How do we convert a Theist?
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27-02-2012, 10:19 PM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
(27-02-2012 10:16 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(27-02-2012 10:02 PM)Thomas Wrote:  This may be one approach.
I am just extremely confident that god does not exist. ... In the final analysis, if you are more confident in your beliefs then they are, you will take the day.
Jesus Christ, Thomas, one's personal metaphysics ain't based on game theory. Pascal already tried that.

This is not Pascal's wager. The religious are like sheep. Just lead them away.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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27-02-2012, 10:27 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2012 10:43 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
(27-02-2012 10:16 PM)TalladegaTom Wrote:  You should care because those nutters will use their wacky beliefs to influence your life.

Not if it's up to me. Atheists vote too.

(27-02-2012 10:19 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(27-02-2012 10:16 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(27-02-2012 10:02 PM)Thomas Wrote:  This may be one approach.
I am just extremely confident that god does not exist. ... In the final analysis, if you are more confident in your beliefs then they are, you will take the day.
Jesus Christ, Thomas, one's personal metaphysics ain't based on game theory. Pascal already tried that.

This is not Pascal's wager.

The details are irrelevant, he was trying to game it.

(27-02-2012 10:16 PM)TalladegaTom Wrote:  The religious are like sheep. Just lead them away.

We're gonna need some border collies.




As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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27-02-2012, 11:41 PM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
Ok, the Pong with Sheep was frickin' awesome.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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28-02-2012, 01:39 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2012 02:52 AM by DeepThought.)
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
TT... What are you trying to accomplish?

Years ago I used to be fairly angry with myself and religion and its influence in the world and used to take it out on others. I think I've calmed down a bit since then. I've also distanced myself from most of the atheism theism debating. I guess I realised that what others believe is up to them and it doesn't affect me directly and certainly doesn't have to make us enemies.

I stand for peoples right to believe whatever they want provided they don't violate my freedoms. That's the society I want to live in and I don't need to be an asshole to everyone who believes differently. I don't feel the need to ostracise people who a different to me. That's cult behaviour and group mentality and has nothing to do with atheism. I see similar behaviour with football teams. Like the riots that used to break out in England after the match.

You aren't going to change anyones mind by being hostile and condescending. Most of the time people will just look at that and think 'what a prick'. Maybe it will raise your blood pressure, make you angry and if that's what you want you can have it...

Your singling out theists and telling them 'your deluded and wrong' only builds walls. Why don't you give this a go.. Actually get to know a theist, allow them to have their beliefs without trying to convert them. See if you can have a normal conversation with them and share common interests.

Does having a theist around scare you? Do they make you feel uncomfortable, threatened or intimidated? You sure do act like it.

Most theists don't bite, and atheism is far more contagious than theism in my experience. Sure there are the occasional nut jobs out there like 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named'. Not everyone has to think like you for fucks sake.

I think you want a world where people can believe whatever they want since that is the beginning of the scientific method. Hypothesis/Conjecture.

I don't go out of my way to impose my views on others since I've been on the receiving end when it's not welcome. I just tune them out.
To answer the subject of your thread in short:
Don't build up walls, burn bridges or isolate yourself to one camp.
Socialise with as many people as possible and express yourself without hostility and emotional baggage.
Be open and don't push your views on people unless its wanted.
Accept people and realise that many wont believe what you do.
Realise there are many other important things in life that affect you and have nothing to do with religion.

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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28-02-2012, 02:21 AM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
Not so sure about "hard core" theists, but I think the fence sitters and closet atheists could use some nudging. After hearing Seth's podcast with Dan Barker about the Clergy Project, I thought it might be a good thing for all those out of work pastors to initiate a "church of de-conversion". Some folks who go to church regularly are probably just there for their families, or spouses, and I would suspect that a lot of them have doubts and questions they would like to ask, but are afraid to. Wouldn't it be nice if they could go somewhere as a group where the questions were welcome? Seems like it might be a comfortable way to test the waters of reason.

But obviously, some of you were at one time hard core theists. Something changed your mind. So I would say that there's hope for everyone. Well, almost...

I'm hearin' ya, TT. I've said it before, but I'm so ready to move on and be over this part of human evolution. I'm ready for all religions to be as relevant as Zeus. Too much energy wasted on this crap. Globally. There's so much more important shit to discuss...

"Religion is the binky of a teen-age humanity."
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28-02-2012, 03:18 AM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
You cannot convert the following:

Someone with a close mind.

Someone too scared to admit the true nature of death. Who need religion as a coping mechanism. (Even we atheist understand this. When someone just lost a loved one and says "She/He is in heaven now"...who of us burdens them with the truth? We have the compassion to understand their coping mechanism. Only we have the courage to face it.

Someone who cannot admit that mom and dad were wrong. It takes courage to admit that all your life you were lied to. This does not mean that the parents were necessarily evil, they just went with the fold of how they were raised. FACT: The majority of people believe in what they were raised to believe.

But my last point is a good tool in helping an open minded theist. Why ask any theist, "If you were born in the middle east, and raised muslim, what do you think your chances of being christian are?" And vice versa if you are talking to Muslim if raised in middle east for example. Of course, you have to emphasize the word MAJORITY. Not everyone believes what they are told. Take the majority of atheist for example.

Also, bring up the point of humility and if it's really bible based (or whatever holy writing they believe). And then get to them the point of atheism. That it is Ultimate humility. That atheist don't know for sure and most don't deal in absolutes. That we understand that most of what we know about the universe pretty much equal nothing!. To where as most theist KNOW there is a god and that is that!(for the most part). Which seems more humble to you.

I have many more thoughts on this but to conclude let me say this. The best way to convert a theist is by your example. Let your good qualities shine. And let him/her know that great qualities aren't obtained from the bible/quran/holy text. But the desire to for a constructive civilized society and for the better of our offspring.

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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28-02-2012, 04:31 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2012 04:36 AM by DLJ.)
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
(27-02-2012 08:36 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Look, dude. We'll leave it up to a democratic vote. If more people want me to leave, I'll leave. No questions asked.

Ahah!
Now I understand why you started the vote thread.
(27-02-2012 10:02 PM)Thomas Wrote:  I believe the key is calm confidence and a massive amount of facts to back your position is the key to success.

Yup, that's about it.
Also, find your own style. Not everyone is a Hitchens, Jonathan Miller or Richy Dawkins.
(27-02-2012 10:27 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  We're gonna need some border collies.




Awesome. Just, awesome. Makes me proud to be a Celt.

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28-02-2012, 06:48 AM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
How does business convert people to using their product, even when they have been using their competitor's for ages and believe it's better?

Yep, advertising. Advertising is the only way you can change people's minds when their minds are closed.

And I don't mean just put up an ad by the freeway with a slogan you personally feel hit's the spot.

Ad campaigns like the ones used by politicians. When the human mind gets exposed to the same statements over and over again, they become real.

Scientifically composed advertising is the only way one can change ingrained beliefs. And it is actually the same thing that made them believers in the first place. Continuous exposure to the same statements, over and over and over... No one is born as a believer. Hence we have babies afflicted with a mortal sin until we baptize them. People are methodically conditioned to becoming believers.

Of course, schools can play a vital role. Children may be indoctrinated by the time they go to school, but their minds are still flexible. Teaching proper science in school will make a huge difference in a whole generation. Theists know this and that's why they are so insistent that schools teach creationism and include prayer.

In personal relationships - letting yourself be known as atheist and as a nice, friendly, feeling person will go a long way to open a closed mind.

Confrontation will never work, it just pushes the believer in a defensive corner and that strengthens the belief, if anything. Now the atheist is the persecutor and the religious person the persecuted, and persecution has never worked to solve any issue.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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28-02-2012, 09:57 AM
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
Why am I a "militant" atheist?
It's like this.




It's all in your head, because there is no other place it could be.
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28-02-2012, 10:41 AM
 
RE: How do we convert a Theist?
Converting me is a whole lot easier than you might think. All you have to have is one positive argument (that works) that God does not exist. And I don't mean a you-can't-prove-he-exists argument, or a god-isn't-needed argument, I mean a logical argument for his non-existence. I can do that for the Christian concept of God, and that's exactly why I'm not a Christian. My concept of God is this: God is the monistic entity of fundamental consciousness.

Have at it.
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