How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
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13-05-2017, 06:03 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
I just tell religious pamphlet people I'm not interested. If they continue to push, I like to quote Matthew 7:1. Wink

For friends, I usually just tell them it's how I feel, I respect them for them and hope they can do the same for me. If they can't, then they can't.

You sometimes need to make an assessment from there as to whether or not you continue your friendship. If it's simply disagreeing with each other, friendship continues. If they become rude and obnoxious about it on a consistent basis, then IMO, time to move on.

I also find that being confident in my stance can be helpful. You can do this by educating yourself on religion, science, and reason.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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13-05-2017, 06:30 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
"I believe it is rude to discuss religion outside of a place of worship. Kindly show some respect. Thank you."

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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13-05-2017, 06:55 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
@cantfixme, you've gotten superb advice. Take it to heart. I think your basic issue is that you haven't figured out that it's not on you to explain yourself, because you're no longer making the positive extraordinary truth-claim. All the burden is OFF you, not ON you. The illusion that it's on you, and that it wasn't before, is just because your former religion is the dominant social force; you were in the majority, now your'e in the minority. But that doesn't change where the burden of proof actually lies. Follow the suggested advice to learn about how to argue a case logically, and also, master the basics of the major logical fallacies that theists typically deploy, particularly, argument from authority, argument from incredulity, argument from popularity / ubiquity / ancientness, as well as the basics of common human perceptual quirks, particularly, confirmation bias and agency inference.
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13-05-2017, 07:07 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2017 07:14 AM by Old Man Marsh.)
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
(13-05-2017 04:04 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Probably a good way to go about it would be toyou're-I'm not religious because I don't take any religious belief seriously. Just point out that you are not obligated to believe in ridiculous things like talking snakes and leave it at that.

You don't have to engage in a conversation if you don't want to, you don't have to even respond if they trot out apologist excuses for why the bible isn't ridiculous.

Pascal's wager is the most likely exchange you would have with someone that believes and it's not even an argument for the existence of god, it's just a veiled threat.

You can counter that they will be sent to Hades for not believing Zeus.

You'll be sent to Hades even if you do believe in Zeus. You think that Zeus desires your post-mortem company after you're dead? Olympus is reserved for the gods! Mortals are STRICTLY FORBIDDEN!!

... unless, of course, you know somebody....

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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13-05-2017, 07:08 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
(13-05-2017 01:36 AM)cantfixme Wrote:  I've recently come out of the religious hole I was stuck in and this may come off as a naive question, but I'm new as an agnostic, and I'm no good at explaining things to people, even if I know it when I'm nervous and scared to talk about it.

Trust me, I've been reading atheist-written articles on the Internet in the past couple days and I'm learning more by watching atheist YouTubers talk about it, and I, myself, am too nervous to even grasp at what I'm saying. What if a theist asks me if I'm religious, and I say, "No, I'm agnostic," then say in their religious defence of why I should be a Christian? I'm nervous enough as it is about it and I was lucky that I have two friends who can understand my point of view without judgement, and I get scared in my mind as to what I should say if I can't just leave the conversation.

I'm getting jittery just writing this post! I can't imagine a real life situation where someone could be polite as I would be to them and accept my answer with a look of appall (especially if they know me!), or they want to ask me for my reasons to give up religion, and have nothing to say in my nervousness.

Just in case, how should I explain why I'm agnostic and defend how I feel about my thoughts of theism respectfully without starting a heated debate? I don't want to lose my friends or cause a scene, or worse, burn bridges over it! Just how do I explain my defence of why I don't believe in what they're saying if they insist on it? I'm not likely bold enough to say in a sharp tone, "I'm agnostic. Deal with it."

Let me elaborate, like if they would ask me a question regarding religion (let's say a stranger with a religious pamphlet, for example), or worse, in a situation where a friend is questioning me why I decided to go the other direction other than the deity one they believe in, and are upset with me. I'm getting even more jittery now.

Guys, can you help me out here, please? I just need to prepare for the future. I'm still in my confused state of mind here and I don't know what I'm even believing, and forgive me if this post is bad or has poor grammar. I'll delete it if necessary and I'm just too nervous over a situation that has never happened (yet, or hopefully not at all.)

I hope I make sense here. The Internet is the only way I can voice out this concern since I'm still hiding my thoughts from people about it. I'm still confused about my own thoughts, let alone come up with a defence.

Knowledge is the key to confidently stating one's position, and dismantling some buffoon's statements. Here are two areas to browse through...

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...rce-thread

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...or-Dummies

In the meantime, just brush them off with a smile until you get your footing.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-05-2017, 07:10 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
(13-05-2017 06:30 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  "I believe it is rude to discuss religion outside of a place of worship. Kindly show some respect. Thank you."

I use something similar at work where they are all bat shit crazy fundamentalist christians.

"I have found that discussing religion and politics at work can create tensions and undermines cohesion so I just avoid the subject."

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-05-2017, 07:25 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2017 07:29 AM by jennybee.)
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
I also love these lines from The Good Girl:

Corny: "Hey Justine, have you ever been to a Bible study? We're about lovin' Jesus."

Justine: "Yeah, I kinda like my nights to myself."

And just as a side note Big Grin My absolute favorite quote from the movie: "After living in the dark for so long, a glimpse of the light can make you giddy. Strange thoughts come into your head and you better think'em. Has a special fate been calling you and you not listening? Is there a secret message right in front of you and you're not reading it? Is this your last, best chance? Are you gonna take it? Or are you going to the grave with unlived lives in your veins?"

The above quote to me is why it's so important to hold your footing with religious people and not let them try and take your brain back. We get one life. Live it on your own terms and not for an invisible, magical demigod or god (of which there have been millions throughout human history).

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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13-05-2017, 07:35 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
(13-05-2017 01:36 AM)cantfixme Wrote:  The Internet is the only way I can voice out this concern since I'm still hiding my thoughts from people about it. I'm still confused about my own thoughts, let alone come up with a defence.

My experience has been that most of the people I live around aren't interested in what I think, only in what they think. So it doesn't matter whether I tell them what I think or not, they typically ignore it anyway.

Perhaps this comes from living with people who don't communcate well or think clearly.

My wife and you guys are the exceptions of course.
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13-05-2017, 11:24 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
Politely decline their "invitations" to debate. You are not under any onus to justify your beliefs or lack thereof unless you are pushing them on another.

If they need to make a point at you then reply with something like, "Thanks, I'll give that some thought." and move the conversation to something more interesting. There is a near endless supply of topics that truly are more interesting.

Don't worry about accepting and reading tracts or their verbal equivalents. Most are such complete horseshit that it's amazing that they can get the ink to stick to the page. Reading one is only going to reinforce the fact that if that is the best that they've got then clearly no self-respecting deity had anything to do with it.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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13-05-2017, 11:48 AM
RE: How to defend myself as a newly agnostic person?
Right on, 'Phyte! Thumbsup

Cantfixme,

If you do get pamphlets or tracts, take 'em and promise them you'll give it some thought. Then scan it in and post it online and link us to it...we will gladly pick its misinformation, illogic, fallacious argumentation, and/or presuppositionalist nonsense to ribbons for you.

It's a favorite hobby of mine and a few others in here. Big Grin

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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