The average Theist
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12-01-2011, 02:16 PM
 
The average Theist
So we talk a lot here about the more agressively theistic persons of the world, but in everyday life (at least for me) the people I meet are not bad at all. It's kind of interesting actually because when your average run of the mill Christian who may or may not attend church regularly, and certainly isn't interested in converting anyone finds out I'm atheist the reaction is actually more curiosity. They're like "you mean you don't believe in God, at all?" and the tone is almost like hmmm I didn't even know that was an option? I mean most are just religous because they're parents were, and their parents parents were, its just one of those things you do. I was that way for years. The thought why wouldn't you believe in God comes to mind. Their reaction to most anti-bible arguments would be "so?". My question is what is your approach, or opinion of these people? Are they harmless so you just let them be, or do you press it with them. Is there a reason you would do so? It's not a hugely important topic, but its a topic.
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12-01-2011, 03:50 PM
RE: The average Theist
Most theist I know are liberal christians. They don't talk about religion much if at all. They are only christian because they grew up in a christian environment. Such as having a chrisitan family and having to go to church every once and a while. Most people I know don't care that I am an atheist. They think nothing of it. I did however have a few extremist that I once called friends but unfriended be when they found out I was an atheist.
My opionion of them is that they are your everyday poeple that were unable to escape the chains of indoctrination. These everyday christians are not the same as everyone is different no matter what belief group. They can be good or bad people.
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12-01-2011, 05:58 PM
 
RE: The average Theist
This is how I describe my parents. They are practically atheists, but they are culturally Hindu and they cannot let go of this archaic vestige, and have been indoctrinated to believe it to be their responsibility to have me go through the motions as well. I have blatantly told my parents I do not believe, but I am still occasionally made to go to the temple (recently when my grandparents were here, who I didn't want to disappoint, nor was it worth taking a stance since I rarely ever see them) and actually fold my hands in prayer. What is the point of that if you know I don't give half a shit?

However, the annoying part is, and especially my age when kids just emulate the religion of their parents, is that since religion is just some automatic part of their lives, kind of like doing the laundry on weekends, it is very hard to convince them to stop.

They'll agree with you on almost every count, and since very of them posses the mental faculties to effectively counter you, they are often left speechless and mumbling "Yeah well...." on things they don't agree on. And then they'll go back to doing the laundry.

And since their religion doesn't really dictate how they live their lives, it seems fruitless converting them, at least in the short run. It's almost as if it takes less energy for them to be apathetic Christians then atheists, since this would alienate them from their cultural family life. But it is the complicit attendance of these people that shall drive on the next generation of religion. It ensures the continuation of the organization.

And so, the next generation will apathetically drag themselves to church/the temple because it is "just what you do" and they cannot conceive of any alternative, because that's just the way things have been.
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12-01-2011, 07:38 PM
 
RE: The average Theist
(12-01-2011 05:58 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  And since their religion doesn't really dictate how they live their lives, it seems fruitless converting them, at least in the short run. It's almost as if it takes less energy for them to be apathetic Christians then atheists, since this would alienate them from their cultural family life. But it is the complicit attendance of these people that shall drive on the next generation of religion. It ensures the continuation of the organization.

This is the thing that I struggle with most of all. Yeah their harmless themselves, and taken as one why bother rocking the boat, but back up and there are masses of them, and they ensure the survival of the institution. An institution that will breed more zealots, crave more money, and touch more children, etc ...
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12-01-2011, 09:34 PM
RE: The average Theist
I think it all depends on where you live. My attitude towards Christians has changed a lot since moving to the south. I grew up in the northeast, and now live in the Bible Belt. It's a whole different world.

Up there, everybody got along, basically. People were open minded and no one bothered anybody else. You could (openly) believe whatever you wanted, and no one would hold anything against you either way. No one really talked about religion too much. If they did the discussions were rational.

Here, they are angry, hateful, and extremely intolerant of anyone who doesn't believe exactly what they do. Even different denominations say horrible things about each other. I have not "come out" here, literally for fear of losing my job. I don't go along with them, I just keep to myself about my beliefs. They talk to each other about God and Jesus in all of their normal conversations, assuming that everyone feels like they do. They are truly hateful people, for as much as they preach about God's love.

Not sure if that really answers the question, but wanted to point out that not all Christians are cut of the same cloth.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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13-01-2011, 12:06 AM
RE: The average Theist
These low key atheists may be harmless by themselves, but, history has shown that the organization they belong to can turn them bad quite easily. As long as the leaders are moderates, they will remain moderates. The problem is that there is always going to be change.

Unfortunately, challenging these people on their beliefs may drive some of them deeper into their religion. If you can create interesting scientific discussions with them, you may reach them.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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14-01-2011, 10:17 PM
RE: The average Theist
The apathetic theists (and even apathetic agnostics) annoy me. They are the type of people who obviously do not care about what the more fundamentalist members of their belief system do, or how their belief system leads people to commit atrocious, irrational behaviour.

These apathetic people are dangerous because they give a foundation for fundamentalism to work from. Without a firm foundation of a large group of seemingly normal/rational people, fundamentalists would be a joke. Very few people would take their beliefs seriously, and they would not get a lot of converts to their side. And they would not have as much pull in government and politics. So far, I haven't seen Scientologists campaigning to get their beliefs taught in schools; this is because the vast majority of the populace views the whole conception as a joke. Only a minority of people believe that religion itself is a joke, therefore religion (of any degree of fundamentalism/liberalism) is regarded as a legitimate position to hold. This creates a tolerance for those who are intolerant, which just doesn't make any sense to a critically thinking person, but to somebody who is completely apathetic.... >.<

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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15-01-2011, 04:41 PM
RE: The average Theist
I totally agree.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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17-01-2011, 07:14 PM
RE: The average Theist
Well put SecularStudent.
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21-01-2011, 08:21 AM
RE: The average Theist
I tend to avoid arguments with those who come across as closed minded. If they won't listen to your side then you're not debating because you're essentially talking to a cognitive wall. It's best to leave some in their blissful ignorance and hope that their children or potential children refute their beliefs as they grow older. It's becoming a very common trend at least.

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