I'm Too Hostile to Believers
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20-06-2014, 06:50 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 05:09 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I think you might be angry at yourself for believing all that bullshit and now taking all that anger out on others.

Don't hate them for being gullible.
Lead a fantastic life and show them the door you walked through to get there.

It's not necessarily just that they're gullible; it's that they're so condescending and stubborn. At least online. (I get it in person, too, but less so than behind the anonymity of a computer) I can handle a person being wrong; it's a person who chuckles about how "No no, silly atheist, here's what's really going on…" and then proceeds to school me on what he and every one of his supporters seems to think I'm missing. That really fucking irritates me. Then the gloves come off and I couldn't care less about their feelings.

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20-06-2014, 07:51 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 06:50 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(20-06-2014 05:09 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I think you might be angry at yourself for believing all that bullshit and now taking all that anger out on others.

Don't hate them for being gullible.
Lead a fantastic life and show them the door you walked through to get there.

It's not necessarily just that they're gullible; it's that they're so condescending and stubborn. At least online. (I get it in person, too, but less so than behind the anonymity of a computer) I can handle a person being wrong; it's a person who chuckles about how "No no, silly atheist, here's what's really going on…" and then proceeds to school me on what he and every one of his supporters seems to think I'm missing. That really fucking irritates me. Then the gloves come off and I couldn't care less about their feelings.

I hear ya. There is an air of smug arrogance about them. It's the condescending attitude that gets me, but I'm rarely ever around someone like that. Over the forum or social media, I'll attempt conversation, but when that turns into me talking to a brick wall, there is no need for me to waste any more time with that person.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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20-06-2014, 08:48 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 12:12 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I grew up as a believer. The entirety of my childhood was focused on (and, I now realize, stolen by) the ritualized belief in and worship of God. Everything I did, I did for God.

But that's a story many of you are familiar with, because you've lived it as well. Since losing our faith, though, we now see belief for what it really is. It is irrational. It is unreasonable. And, in many ways, it is positively harmful. It is morally disruptive, and it causes a great deal of damage to our society - even in the most subtle of ways. For this reason, I am angry. Yes, I am the stereotypical "angry atheist" who belittles the beliefs of others and encourages them to do away with such ways of thinking.

The problem is that I'm a little too hostile. In fact, I can be downright savage toward others when engaging with them about their beliefs. A lot of people point to Dave Silverman, for example, as someone who is "too aggressive" with believers. He posts billboards that read "You know it's just a myth" or "You know they're all scams," and everyone - even those within the atheist community - gets up in arms about how he's being too direct and how he's only going to turn people off. But frankly, I could never see what was so offensive about such methods. To me, people like Silverman aren't being hostile enough. Here are just a few gems of vitriol that I've spewed against believers:

"Your beliefs are dog-shit. Plain and simple. No, I don't have to respect them. Your beliefs are a disease."

"When did I suggest that human life is superior to ANYTHING? Now you're pulling blind assumptions out of your ass. Not surprising, really; it's what you believers do."

"Once you stop being a selfish prick, maybe you'll be able to make a positive change, rather than masturbating in your god's love."

"Your belief is a disease of the mind. There is no "tolerable" level of disease. There is no point at which your beliefs are ok."

And, of course, the ever-popular punctuation to any argument:

"Fuck yourself."

So…I'm more than a little hostile. (Those were all culled from just the last hour of argument with several individuals, btw. We've not even begun to examine the tip of the iceberg)

I've been listening to a lot of the "Dogma Debate" podcast, lately. In fact, it's become my new favorite podcast of all time. I can't get enough of it. One thing that's really begun to sink in with me is how the host(s) go about arguing with believers. They don't shame and ridicule. They don't berate and they certainly don't issue profanity-laden insults. Quite the opposite, actually. The main host - David Smalley - has a stern method of compassion when dealing with these people. He doesn't try to change their minds by yelling at them. Rather, he tries to change their minds by relating to them as human beings and connecting with them on a personal level. He prefers compassion over vitriol.

And the truth, if I'm being completely honest, is that it works much better than my method. Yes, aggression has its uses. It really does. But I'm beginning to feel as though I've been using that as an excuse to be hostile with believers. "Sometimes you have to smack people in the intellect with a sledgehammer in order to wake them up," I've always said. But while that may be true, it doesn't mean every problem requires a hammer. It doesn't mean I have to go swinging left and right and knocking everyone's intellectual teeth out. It makes me feel a lot better to do that, yes. But I'm slowly beginning to accept the truth that it does little to make them more susceptible to a change of mind. In reality, their walls go up, and it becomes a competition of who can be more hostile than the other before everyone storms off. Invariably, I spew such hatred that they give up and leave; telling me they'll pray for me and that they hope I can "one day learn to live a life of love with God, instead of a life of hatred without him." I just end up making non-belief look bad for everyone else.

The point of all this rambling is that I want to be more calm in my interactions with believers. I actually have had civil interactions in the past, and the results were always much more rewarding. They were open to my views, and, to some extent, even changed their own in accordance with my arguments. People really are more open when I'm not being a complete asshole to them. (Imagine that) The problem is that I get so fucking angry when I'm confronted with certain beliefs or with certain arguments that I can't control myself. I go off. I try to keep it cool, but my fuze is very short and I become a ravenous, angry, "militant" atheist. I don't wish harm upon any of my opponents, but I do completely break down who they are as individuals. I attack their beliefs (as we should), and then I attack them for holding such hideous beliefs (as we…shouldn't? Should we?). Again, this is when walls go up, and no progress is made.

How the hell do people manage to be so calm and collected with believers? Teach me your ways.

You are learning why ad hominems are fallacious. Attacking a person in no way refutes their arguments.

In fact, whenever someone "goes off on me" and begins saying things like "you're stupid" or "you're gay" or something like that in response to an argument I have put forward, I smile and think about what Christopher Hitchens said once. He said that whenever people resort to the ad hominem, he took it as them having nothing to say about his arguments.

So I think you are taking a step in the right direction. You are realizing that in order to get your point across there are more effective ways than berating and attacking the person you are talking with.
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20-06-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 08:48 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  ...
I ... think about what Christopher Hitchens said
...

Oooh! Listening to Hitch? That's a step in the right direction.

(20-06-2014 08:48 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  ...
So I think you are taking a step in the right direction.
...

And that was just spooky!

Ohmy

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20-06-2014, 09:20 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 08:48 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In fact, whenever someone "goes off on me" and begins saying things like "you're stupid" or "you're gay" or something like that in response to an argument I have put forward, I smile and think about what Christopher Hitchens said once. He said that whenever people resort to the ad hominem, he took it as them having nothing to say about his arguments.

So I think you are taking a step in the right direction. You are realizing that in order to get your point across there are more effective ways than berating and attacking the person you are talking with.

What if someone says to you "You're stupid" and you actually *are* stupid though Consider

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-06-2014, 09:38 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 09:20 AM)morondog Wrote:  ---
What if someone says to you "You're stupid" and you actually *are* stupid though Consider
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20-06-2014, 10:19 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 12:12 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  How the hell do people manage to be so calm and collected with believers? Teach me your ways.
I think you have already taken the first and most important step simply by recognizing that the hostile approach isn't productive except to make yourself feel better.

Talking to these people is a lot like posting on a message board. You are not only talking with them, but also to anyone else that might be listening. Hostility may push away other people too, not just the one(s) you are talking with. When we do that, we are only helping theism to persist. Try to keep that in the forefront of your mind and it may help to hold yourself back.

It's not an easy thing to remain patient and calm in the face of stubborn avoidance of common sense and evidence. I have a family member who I am very close to and who I can therefore be more patient with than most people. But when we get into religious discussions, I sometimes still find my voice starting to escalate in frustration. I try to be aware of those moments and prevent them from continuing no matter what because I know it will only damage any impact I might be making. Sometimes it helps even to apologize for my raised voice. Doing so brings it right out on the table for both of us to be aware of, attempts to patch any harm done, and implies a commitment to refrain from such escalations - thus making it easier to really do so.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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20-06-2014, 10:23 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 08:48 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In fact, whenever someone "goes off on me" and begins saying things like "you're stupid" or "you're gay" or something like that in response to an argument I have put forward, I smile and think about what Christopher Hitchens said once. He said that whenever people resort to the ad hominem, he took it as them having nothing to say about his arguments.

What Hitches said does not apply to Jerry though, as he has had every single one of his pustulant thrashings he calls "arguments" soundly destroyed by multiple people on this very forum (to say nothing of other forums).

Here is the quote that applies to his idiocy.
"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."
~Thomas Jefferson~

People don't call him stupid because we can't address his arguments, we call him stupid because we already have dismantled every argument he has and his is to stupid to realize it.
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20-06-2014, 10:57 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
Pssssst........ *too

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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20-06-2014, 11:08 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 10:23 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  People don't call him stupid because we can't address his arguments, we call him stupid because we already have dismantled every argument he has and his is *to stupid to realize it.
(20-06-2014 10:57 AM)Thinkerbelle Wrote:  Pssssst........ *too
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