I still don't understand...
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05-02-2014, 12:28 PM
I still don't understand...
I have been on this forum nearly two years and am still confused with regard to many of the theists that show up.

We have the ones that make one 'you are all wrong and damned to hell' thread/post. These usually contain a Bible verse or two. People here come back with questions only to find that the theist on a mission has left the building. It sort of reminds me of the flyers that get left on our front door from time to time. Read this, I made my point, my job here is done.

Then we get the ones that come in and will answer a question or two but leave after a while when they figure out that we just aren't going to buy into their belief system easily. They made the effort, on the surface, and apparently fulfilled some requirement that their church has of them. Sort of like Internet JWs that will engage in a short conversation but will also take 'no' for an answer and then move on to the next house to run through the spiel again. I often wonder how many of these brief visits actually draw someone in.

Then we have the ranters and ravers that are screaming their beliefs at us in what seems to be an attempt to browbeat us into agreeing with them. Those remind me of the people on the street with big 'God hates fags' signs, or something similar. To me it feels like a bullying tactic. Like they are yelling, "YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE BECAUSE I AM LOUD AND RIGHT". - and I am yelling so loud that I can't hear a thing you have to say-think Westboro

We very infrequently have some that show up and actually want to interact; to have a conversation. Maybe they are really interested in what we have to say and maybe their technique is just smoother. I don't know.

I don't think that I will ever understand the need to try to convert people. What is the promise made in exchange for new believers? I am often mystified by it all. This was not a part of the churches I attended so it is so foreign to me that I must be missing some real key piece here. Anybody have a good explanation?

Sorry, rambling...just some things that make me wonder and have begun to bring out an instant knee-jerk reaction in me. I tend to now just see the screaming bully even when the new theist on the block may actually be someone interested in the exchange of idea. Consider

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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05-02-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
(05-02-2014 12:28 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I don't think that I will ever understand the need to try to convert people. What is the promise made in exchange for new believers? I am often mystified by it all. This was not a part of the churches I attended so it is so foreign to me that I must be missing some real key piece here. Anybody have a good explanation?

Apparently as I have heard, if you convert other people, you get higher on the ladder of people who get to be saved when the "apocalypse" or "judgement day" comes.
Anyways,
(05-02-2014 12:28 PM)Anjele Wrote:  We very infrequently have some that show up and actually want to interact; to have a conversation. Maybe they are really interested in what we have to say and maybe their technique is just smoother. I don't know.
Some a "good" theist I recently discovered here is Drich, who doesn't want to convert people, and like you said, have a conversation... I think.

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05-02-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
(05-02-2014 12:28 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I have been on this forum nearly two years and am still confused with regard to many of the theists that show up.

We have the ones that make one 'you are all wrong and damned to hell' thread/post. These usually contain a Bible verse or two. People here come back with questions only to find that the theist on a mission has left the building. It sort of reminds me of the flyers that get left on our front door from time to time. Read this, I made my point, my job here is done.

Then we get the ones that come in and will answer a question or two but leave after a while when they figure out that we just aren't going to buy into their belief system easily. They made the effort, on the surface, and apparently fulfilled some requirement that their church has of them. Sort of like Internet JWs that will engage in a short conversation but will also take 'no' for an answer and then move on to the next house to run through the spiel again. I often wonder how many of these brief visits actually draw someone in.

Then we have the ranters and ravers that are screaming their beliefs at us in what seems to be an attempt to browbeat us into agreeing with them. Those remind me of the people on the street with big 'God hates fags' signs, or something similar. To me it feels like a bullying tactic. Like they are yelling, "YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE BECAUSE I AM LOUD AND RIGHT". - and I am yelling so loud that I can't hear a thing you have to say-think Westboro

We very infrequently have some that show up and actually want to interact; to have a conversation. Maybe they are really interested in what we have to say and maybe their technique is just smoother. I don't know.

I don't think that I will ever understand the need to try to convert people. What is the promise made in exchange for new believers? I am often mystified by it all. This was not a part of the churches I attended so it is so foreign to me that I must be missing some real key piece here. Anybody have a good explanation?

Sorry, rambling...just some things that make me wonder and have begun to bring out an instant knee-jerk reaction in me. I tend to now just see the screaming bully even when the new theist on the block may actually be someone interested in the exchange of idea. Consider



So glad you typed this up. I've been having the same thoughts.
Personally, I don't mind people having their own beliefs and even as deeply devoted christians coming here to find out why non-believers think as they do. I'd consider that healthy. The only ones I ever get upset with are the ones who don't really come here to exchange; they're not really seeking or questioning. But rather they are here to *sell* their faith - whatever brand of faith they're committed to. I think their salesmanship is only due to their own Lack of faith instead of as it should be - the direct opposite and they seek to validate their beliefs by pitching what they think they've found to non-believers. They appear weak and time wasters to me.
I've always thought if someone was secure in how they believed they've no need to prove it.
my two cents worth.

Thanks Anj. Thanks for the post. Has there been a run of theists here lately or is it always like this?

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05-02-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
(05-02-2014 01:07 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(05-02-2014 12:28 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I have been on this forum nearly two years and am still confused with regard to many of the theists that show up.

We have the ones that make one 'you are all wrong and damned to hell' thread/post. These usually contain a Bible verse or two. People here come back with questions only to find that the theist on a mission has left the building. It sort of reminds me of the flyers that get left on our front door from time to time. Read this, I made my point, my job here is done.

Then we get the ones that come in and will answer a question or two but leave after a while when they figure out that we just aren't going to buy into their belief system easily. They made the effort, on the surface, and apparently fulfilled some requirement that their church has of them. Sort of like Internet JWs that will engage in a short conversation but will also take 'no' for an answer and then move on to the next house to run through the spiel again. I often wonder how many of these brief visits actually draw someone in.

Then we have the ranters and ravers that are screaming their beliefs at us in what seems to be an attempt to browbeat us into agreeing with them. Those remind me of the people on the street with big 'God hates fags' signs, or something similar. To me it feels like a bullying tactic. Like they are yelling, "YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE BECAUSE I AM LOUD AND RIGHT". - and I am yelling so loud that I can't hear a thing you have to say-think Westboro

We very infrequently have some that show up and actually want to interact; to have a conversation. Maybe they are really interested in what we have to say and maybe their technique is just smoother. I don't know.

I don't think that I will ever understand the need to try to convert people. What is the promise made in exchange for new believers? I am often mystified by it all. This was not a part of the churches I attended so it is so foreign to me that I must be missing some real key piece here. Anybody have a good explanation?

Sorry, rambling...just some things that make me wonder and have begun to bring out an instant knee-jerk reaction in me. I tend to now just see the screaming bully even when the new theist on the block may actually be someone interested in the exchange of idea. Consider



So glad you typed this up. I've been having the same thoughts.
Personally, I don't mind people having their own beliefs and even as deeply devoted christians coming here to find out why non-believers think as they do. I'd consider that healthy. The only ones I ever get upset with are the ones who don't really come here to exchange; they're not really seeking or questioning. But rather they are here to *sell* their faith - whatever brand of faith they're committed to. I think their salesmanship is only due to their own Lack of faith instead of as it should be - the direct opposite and they seek to validate their beliefs by pitching what they think they've found to non-believers. They appear weak and time wasters to me.
I've always thought if someone was secure in how they believed they've no need to prove it.
my two cents worth.

Thanks Anj. Thanks for the post. Has there been a run of theists here lately or is it always like this?

They seem to come in waves. If atheism is mentioned specifically somewhere on a religious site or other media outlet then some show up to see what's going on. Religious holidays tend to bring them out of the woodwork. Moms and I were discussing the inevitable pre-Easter rush to save souls. The batshit crazies just come out of nowhere it seems. (see anything by Mark Dreher)

Growing up Catholic there was not recruiting, there was retention and breeding to keep the numbers up. I don't ever remember a promise of anything for bringing anyone into the faith unless by birth or marriage. And marriage was more of a last resort.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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05-02-2014, 01:17 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
Good point Anjele, but i got to wonder if their not having some fun coming in here to just push buttons and stir up the hornets nest, then sit back and watch some people have a aneuryism with replies that never get heard.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the same can be said for recently converted atheists that seem to take the exact 180 degree of what they did pontificating as theists, and I may add with the same fervor of extremes.

I know this is a "atheist" forum, that needs to have some movement in it to stop the superstitious crazies, BUT, it is just a non beliefe in a gods, etc.

Instead of ranting like they do, wouldnt it be more prudent to show them that we enjoy life more than they do, and that we can be much happier than they by not even caring what they think... or, lead by example, type thing and the sheep will eventually come around.

Now before someone jumps me for this train of thought, I by no means want to imply that this applies to the batshit crazies trying to change education, politics and such, just more so for the confused everyday religious delusional folks.

I dont know, maybe because I never believed, I look at it all differently than most folks in here.
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05-02-2014, 01:25 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
(05-02-2014 12:28 PM)Anjele Wrote:  We very infrequently have some that show up and actually want to interact; to have a conversation. Maybe they are really interested in what we have to say and maybe their technique is just smoother. I don't know.

If a theist showed up with an open mind and open to reasoning, they would no longer be a theist. I'm all for healthy debate, but sadly the power of brainwashing is stronger than their sense of rationality.

~Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.~
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05-02-2014, 01:31 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
(05-02-2014 01:17 PM)War Horse Wrote:  Good point Anjele, but i got to wonder if their not having some fun coming in here to just push buttons and stir up the hornets nest, then sit back and watch some people have a aneuryism with replies that never get heard.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the same can be said for recently converted atheists that seem to take the exact 180 degree of what they did pontificating as theists, and I may add with the same fervor of extremes.

I know this is a "atheist" forum, that needs to have some movement in it to stop the superstitious crazies, BUT, it is just a non beliefe in a gods, etc.

Instead of ranting like they do, wouldnt it be more prudent to show them that we enjoy life more than they do, and that we can be much happier than they by not even caring what they think... or, lead by example, type thing and the sheep will eventually come around.

Now before someone jumps me for this train of thought, I by no means want to imply that this applies to the batshit crazies trying to change education, politics and such, just more so for the confused everyday religious delusional folks.

I dont know, maybe because I never believed, I look at it all differently than most folks in here.

Well said. I've mellowed over the years, but when I was a lot younger I used the rant and rave against the catholic church. I soon realised that I was as bad, if not worse than them.

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05-02-2014, 01:39 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2014 04:29 PM by Anjele.)
RE: I still don't understand...
I think sometimes it just gets tiring. We are here hanging out, talking about all kinds of things and here comes some stranger that instantly passes judgement on people they don't know. If someone walked in my house and started screaming at me that I don't live my life right (read-as I think you should) and you are going to change your ways right now...yeah, I'd get defensive. Really, who are these people that think it's okay? In fact, I get more and more defensive when it comes to some of the theists here than I was when I first joined. I don't barge onto their sites and tell them they are all delusional and on and on, in threats and big font and Hitchen's quotes.

What I do find interesting is the sheer number of people here that KNOW the Bible. When Christians come in and start quoting this, that, and the other and are then shown that they are either incorrect in their quotes or have ignored contradictions...well, then I pretty much stop believing anything the theist is saying. I am not a Bible scholar, I've not read it. I don't even know if we had a Bible in the house when I was growing up. And the only thing they used it for in mass was to read passage here and there. But people here continually amaze me with their knowledge of religious writings and teachings.

Showing we are enjoying life would be easier, I think, if some of the theists would just stop thinking it's their place to tell us we are doing it wrong.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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05-02-2014, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2014 01:53 PM by Escape Artist.)
RE: I still don't understand...
The way I was taught, there wasn't any "ranking up" if you converted people or anything like that, but we were charged to "Go forth and preach unto all nations" (something like that - the Great Commission or whatever) and so you were encouraged to do so, to spread the "Good News".

Also, there was the guilt often placed upon that, if you did not "witness" to someone when you felt God pressing an opportunity to do so onto your heart, then if the person went to hell, it was on you. A person's eternal suffering was all your fault.

I was Southern Baptist, by the way.

[Edited to add] - There was no "live and let live" in this mindset of a Southern Baptist. If you just "let someone live" that could mean more or less condemning them to hell and so there was a lot at stake. A person's eternal destiny was dependent upon you opening your mouth and telling them the good news of Jesus Christ. "Letting someone live" was almost a capitol offense. If you see someone dangling over the fire, you rescue them. Only we saw unsaved folks as dangling over the eternal fires of hell. Sitting back and not witnessing was in essence watching them hang there while you toasted s'mores or something. It was unforgivable.

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05-02-2014, 02:20 PM
RE: I still don't understand...
I dunno, Ang, I'd be kinda insulted if they didn't! I mean, if they believe with everything that they are that I am a heartbeat away from eternal torture...why wouldn't they try to save us? In fact, to do otherwise is the equivalent of witnessing a horrific car accident but not calling 911 or trying to help.


Same way I once felt compelled to tell every theist I knew, "Hey, did you hear this whole thing is a huge scam?"

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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