Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
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24-04-2014, 11:21 AM
Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
There seems to be a tone that resonates with a lot of arrogance and smug behavior. I get it, because just the other day I started a thread on here that I shouldn't have where I was ridiculing Fundamentalist Christians for believing some of the stupidity with a literal interpretation of the bible, young earth creationism, etc. I was thinking that people like Baptists, Evangelicals and Fundamentalists who go door to door trying to convert the unwashed masses most likely push more people away from Christianity than they do to convert people to it. I think people who believe that there is no God can come across with an abrasive attitude that can push people towards Christianity/Islam/Judaism than to guide them away from those faiths.

I'm coming from the point that at this point in my life I'm fully open to exploring POV's between theistic and atheistic ideals, so maybe I'm biased in my thoughts about this. Also, I can understand most people who are atheists not caring if theists are offended by comments because atheism is typically not in the business of trying to convert people unlike religion. But for me, I do not know any avowed atheists personally. I'm sure there are a few who are in the closet or like me who don't know what to believe. I know at the end of the day if I take that final plunge and embrace atheism (which looks like I'm moving down this path), I will have to remain in the closet for some time based on my current relationships.

My question is why heap so much ridicule on theists if you're sure you are correct? IMHO, if someone chooses to remain ignorant, that's on them. I'm eager to see your thoughts on this.
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24-04-2014, 11:25 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
Because their ignorance affects the world around me, and I get tired of listening to them bitch.

"Never underestimate stupid people in a large group"
-Someone on the internet

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24-04-2014, 11:27 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
Why come to our forum, not bothering to get to know any of us, and accuse us of being condescending, smug, and arrogant?
Seems like a dick move to me...

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24-04-2014, 11:32 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
Though I'm not advocating being a jerk for no good reason, I do think there's a distinct difference between Christendom/Islam/other-religions-that-persecute-people and religions or faiths that don't get much attention on this site.

Think about how many different systems of faith there are. Which ones get the most attention here? Well, ok, mysticism gets a little, but it's a mere head nod compared to what Christianity and Islam get here.

Why is that? Aren't they all equally false? If so, why do we ridicule and pick apart certain ones more than others? Why can we not just ignore them equally?

I think it's because certain religions have such reach, such influence and such profound negative (and sometimes devastating) impact that to simply ignore them would be silly at best; dangerously negligent at worst.


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24-04-2014, 11:36 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 11:21 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  There seems to be a tone that resonates with a lot of arrogance and smug behavior. I get it, because just the other day I started a thread on here that I shouldn't have where I was ridiculing Fundamentalist Christians for believing some of the stupidity with a literal interpretation of the bible, young earth creationism, etc. I was thinking that people like Baptists, Evangelicals and Fundamentalists who go door to door trying to convert the unwashed masses most likely push more people away from Christianity than they do to convert people to it. I think people who believe that there is no God can come across with an abrasive attitude that can push people towards Christianity/Islam/Judaism than to guide them away from those faiths.

I'm coming from the point that at this point in my life I'm fully open to exploring POV's between theistic and atheistic ideals, so maybe I'm biased in my thoughts about this. Also, I can understand most people who are atheists not caring if theists are offended by comments because atheism is typically not in the business of trying to convert people unlike religion. But for me, I do not know any avowed atheists personally. I'm sure there are a few who are in the closet or like me who don't know what to believe. I know at the end of the day if I take that final plunge and embrace atheism (which looks like I'm moving down this path), I will have to remain in the closet for some time based on my current relationships.

My question is why heap so much ridicule on theists if you're sure you are correct? IMHO, if someone chooses to remain ignorant, that's on them. I'm eager to see your thoughts on this.
In general, I agree with you. It is far better to be polite if you really want someone on the other side to take you seriously and consider your points.

That said, there are two more things:
1) While some atheists are rude, plenty of atheists are polite. The same can be said for Christians or other theists.
2) Some theists who come here are themselves rude. Or, if they aren't explicitly rude, they demonstrate clearly that they aren't receptive to discussion by displaying repeated intellectual dishonesty and refusing to consider or discuss obviously valid points. For those theists, a measure of confrontation including condescension and abrasiveness (within limits) is warranted and earned.

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24-04-2014, 11:44 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
For me, the "smug and condescending" attitude only comes out once people have proven that they have no desire to learn or rationally discuss things.

As Losty said, it's kinda a dick move to come into our house, tell us it's decorated wrong, and then start flinging poo around everywhere.

I am of the mind that anyone who wishes to learn something from me or discuss a topic we disagree on is welcome to ask questions and give responses to others' questions. All too often, though, people come here to an atheist haven and start right off with proselytizing, damning, and accusations or assumptions.

If someone isn't willing to discuss a topic rationally, and only wants to fling poo, I have nothing nice to say to them. Even though my momma told me to keep my mouth shut in those situations, I'm still going to let them know what I think of them.

There's also the incredibly old, tired arguments that get spouted off. Had the person engaging us taken a short amount of time and skimmed through a few of the other debates on this forum, they would have already seen what our responses to their assertions are. That's just lazy and stupid, and again, we'll tell you it is.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

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24-04-2014, 11:44 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
If they misbehave too much, bring Taqqiya out. He'll strap them to a St.Andrew's Cross and have his way with them.
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24-04-2014, 11:46 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 11:44 AM)Charis Wrote:  If they misbehave too much, bring Taqqiya out. He'll strap them to a St.Andrew's Cross and have his way with them.

Hehe our beloved guard dog Taq Heart

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24-04-2014, 11:49 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
Firstly, not all of us believe there is no god. That's not what Atheism is. We simply lack the belief that there is a god. There is a difference, there.

Secondly, why care if they're ignorant? Because we live in a society, not a vacuum. Their ignorance affects the world around them in a very negative way. Thus, it must be stopped.

Thirdly, I'm abrasive because I'm angry. Furious, even, at the sheer amount of ignorance (much of it willful) on the part of the theist. Furious at the negative effects that ignorance has and furious at how very prevalent the disease is. Any person of significant moral and ethical fortitude would be equally angry, and justifiably so. Being in my mid-twenties, perhaps this will subside in time. Perhaps my furnace will simmer and I'll be more inclined to speak casually with a believer from across a park bench rather than actively seeking to destroy belief the way a soldier seeks to destroy a tyrant. I don't know. But as it stands, I'm fired up, and I'm using that to my full advantage.

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24-04-2014, 11:50 AM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 11:44 AM)Charis Wrote:  If they misbehave too much, bring Taqqiya out. He'll strap them to a St.Andrew's Cross and have his way with them.

Yeah, aside from Taq and maybe Banjo, most of us aren't too rude without provocation. It tends to show up in one of three situations:
1) The theist has shown repeatedly to ignore what we're saying, and we lose patience,
2) The theist shows up making a really arrogant argument (particularly if its their first post), so we respond in kind.
3) We've had a lot of trolls, and someone makes a really sketchy first post.

In all honesty, I try to avoid falling into #3, and tend to give posters the benefit of the doubt. As for #1 and 2, I lose patience with those pretty quickly. At that point, it's not about "winning them over" anymore.
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