I'm Too Hostile to Believers
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22-06-2014, 05:04 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 08:48 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(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.

Negs.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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22-06-2014, 05:06 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(21-06-2014 07:02 AM)Chas Wrote:  Short of assault and battery, can one be too hostile to believers? Consider

I'm struggling with this question as we speak. lol

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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22-06-2014, 05:08 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(21-06-2014 11:31 AM)Anjele Wrote:  Miso,
From what I know of you, you are extreme with your emotions regardless of what they are. You are very passionate and intense. With your religious upbringing and the ongoing issues with your family over religion, I think it makes sense that you are hostile.

Hopefully over time you will relax a bit. I just think it's part of your personality. You feel things very strongly. It'll be okay.

Heart

One of the incredibly few people who has actually given me decent, motherly advice. lol

Thumbsup

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22-06-2014, 05:43 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(20-06-2014 09:20 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(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

That's how my arguments work. These peoples' beliefs really are dog-shit, and the ones I tend to engage with really are stupid.

What I left out (for obvious reasons) is the entire argument(s) I made/make before such insults.

Nothing logically fallacious about calling someone a dipshit while explaining why they're a dipshit. Thumbsup

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22-06-2014, 07:28 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 05:43 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(20-06-2014 09:20 AM)morondog Wrote:  What if someone says to you "You're stupid" and you actually *are* stupid though Consider

That's how my arguments work. These peoples' beliefs really are dog-shit, and the ones I tend to engage with really are stupid.

What I left out (for obvious reasons) is the entire argument(s) I made/make before such insults.

Nothing logically fallacious about calling someone a dipshit while explaining why they're a dipshit. Thumbsup

The issue I see that you are having is that you are allowing your emotions free reign and this might be ok if you were in a fight out on the school yard or out in your front yard yelling at someone, but when it comes to the arena of debate and rational argumentation, these types of tactics are totally impotent.

The reason why is because attacking a person personally, in no way shows that their arguments are invalid in their form, invalid by virtue of the presence of fallacies, or unsound, thus rendering the argument a bad one.

This is the beauty of argumentation in philosophy. Your personal opinion of a person, even if you think you have good reason to hold the opinion you do, in no way shows their arguments to be bad.

For example, a Christian you are speaking with could be completely ignorant as to what atheism means. They might say something like "all atheists are immoral" or "the Bible is the Word of God because it says so".

Ok.... well we know that both statements are indefensible. First off, the Christian cannot make the first statement for he would have to know that all atheists are immoral, but there is no way he could know that unless he knew all atheists, which we know he does not. Secondly, he could be guilty of reasoning in a circle by saying the later.

But guess what?

If the same Christian presents you with the Kalam Cosmological argument, then even though he is obviously ignorant and wrong and what you might call a dip****, none of that matters when it comes to you refuting the argument!

So if you were talking with someone like me, and insisted on calling me a dip**** without responding to my arguments, I would be thrilled!

It would be indicative of the strength of the argument(s) and your inability to refute them.
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22-06-2014, 07:39 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 07:28 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  .... 'Wrote stuff' ....

And along those veins I am still awaiting my apology from yourself, Master Walker.

*Taps foot patiently*

(22-06-2014 07:28 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So if you were talking with someone like me, and insisted on calling me a dip**** without responding to my arguments, I would be thrilled!

It would be indicative of the strength of the argument(s) and your inability to refute them.

Um... you are kidding, right? Given your consistent tactics on this forum, people 'Going off at you' has nothing to do with your lines of argument/reasoning.

Much cheers to all.
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22-06-2014, 07:47 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 12:39 AM)DLJ Wrote:  [Image: Crying-baby.jpg]

(22-06-2014 12:41 AM)Anjele Wrote:  [Image: Crying-baby.jpg]

(22-06-2014 01:06 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  [Image: Crying-baby.jpghttp:]

(22-06-2014 01:34 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  [Image: Crying-baby.jpg]

(22-06-2014 02:08 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  [Image: Crying-baby.jpg]

[Image: U_3c6f57_1279937.jpg]

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22-06-2014, 07:50 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 07:28 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(22-06-2014 05:43 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  That's how my arguments work. These peoples' beliefs really are dog-shit, and the ones I tend to engage with really are stupid.

What I left out (for obvious reasons) is the entire argument(s) I made/make before such insults.

Nothing logically fallacious about calling someone a dipshit while explaining why they're a dipshit. Thumbsup

The issue I see that you are having is that you are allowing your emotions free reign and this might be ok if you were in a fight out on the school yard or out in your front yard yelling at someone, but when it comes to the arena of debate and rational argumentation, these types of tactics are totally impotent.

The reason why is because attacking a person personally, in no way shows that their arguments are invalid in their form, invalid by virtue of the presence of fallacies, or unsound, thus rendering the argument a bad one.

This is the beauty of argumentation in philosophy. Your personal opinion of a person, even if you think you have good reason to hold the opinion you do, in no way shows their arguments to be bad.

For example, a Christian you are speaking with could be completely ignorant as to what atheism means. They might say something like "all atheists are immoral" or "the Bible is the Word of God because it says so".

Ok.... well we know that both statements are indefensible. First off, the Christian cannot make the first statement for he would have to know that all atheists are immoral, but there is no way he could know that unless he knew all atheists, which we know he does not. Secondly, he could be guilty of reasoning in a circle by saying the later.

But guess what?

If the same Christian presents you with the Kalam Cosmological argument, then even though he is obviously ignorant and wrong and what you might call a dip****, none of that matters when it comes to you refuting the argument!

So if you were talking with someone like me, and insisted on calling me a dip**** without responding to my arguments, I would be thrilled!

It would be indicative of the strength of the argument(s) and your inability to refute them.

But all your arguments have been refuted a millions times and you never listen.Hobo
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22-06-2014, 07:52 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 07:39 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  
(22-06-2014 07:28 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  .... 'Wrote stuff' ....

And along those veins I am still awaiting my apology from yourself, Master Walker.

*Taps foot patiently*

(22-06-2014 07:28 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So if you were talking with someone like me, and insisted on calling me a dip**** without responding to my arguments, I would be thrilled!

It would be indicative of the strength of the argument(s) and your inability to refute them.

Um... you are kidding, right? Given your consistent tactics on this forum, people 'Going off at you' has nothing to do with your lines of argument/reasoning.

Much cheers to all.

Precisely!

People slandering me has nothing to do with my arguments. This is exactly my point. Thanks for supporting it.

Even if I were the biggest liar and dishonest fraud you had ever met, that in no way shows my arguments to be bad.
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22-06-2014, 07:53 AM
RE: I'm Too Hostile to Believers
(22-06-2014 07:52 AM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(22-06-2014 07:39 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  And along those veins I am still awaiting my apology from yourself, Master Walker.

*Taps foot patiently*


Um... you are kidding, right? Given your consistent tactics on this forum, people 'Going off at you' has nothing to do with your lines of argument/reasoning.

Much cheers to all.

Precisely!

People slandering me has nothing to do with my arguments. This is exactly my point. Thanks for supporting it.

Even if I were the biggest liar and dishonest fraud you had ever met, that in no way shows my arguments to be bad.

You arguments were show to be PATHETIC a millons times.Thumbsup
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