Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
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24-04-2014, 12:36 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
That's why I was just wanting to show the funny ones. Tongue

Yeah, Hitchens is definitely not what you'd call "Atheist Lite." Perhaps the funnies would be too much though, not sure.

Dawkins might be better.
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24-04-2014, 12:40 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 12:36 PM)Charis Wrote:  That's why I was just wanting to show the funny ones. Tongue

Yeah, Hitchens is definitely not what you'd call "Atheist Lite." Perhaps the funnies would be too much though, not sure.

Dawkins might be better.

Dawkins is great for the pure science. Sam Harris is where I would go, though. He speaks plainly and doesn't sugar coat things, but he's far less abrasive than Hitchens and a much better debater than Dawkins.

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

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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24-04-2014, 12:41 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 12:31 PM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  
(24-04-2014 12:25 PM)Charis Wrote:  Awwww!
Yes, many of us have been personally and deeply hurt by those in our pasts (some are being hurt by those in their present). In my case, I was hurt and this caused me to falter in my faith and begin to question.
Questioning is not a bad thing. It's neither here nor there. If a belief system is true/accurate, then that set of beliefs will stand under the questioning.

Do you mind if I link some funny Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins videos? I know, I know, that's like me asking you to start dancing with the Devil first thing, but these would only be rather profound or amusing soundbytes, and they would also show some answers to how many atheists think in a brief funny format without beating you over the head with stuff first thing.

Also, get to know us! Smile While you're doing that, do a search on previous threads so that you're not accidentally looking like many of the theists who come on here saying the same thing over and over and over and.... ok, I'll shush. I started out as a theist when I first came here. Everyone treated me very well. In case you're curious, I come from a Fundamentalist background.

A warning about this, though. Hitches is abrasive and arrogant. I loved him dearly and still re-watch his videos, but depending on where your doubting sits, he may not be the best person to watch right off the bat. He was a "no punches pulled, nothing sacred, in your face" kind of debater. He was absolutely brilliant, though and extremely entertaining. His debates helped push me from the "agnostic" label firmly into the "atheist" label, but my doubts were already very well formed and my apostasy all but assured at that point.

Myself, I'm not worried about abrasiveness. I work in manufacturing, so there are plenty of abrasive people there. I've not seen much of Hitchens, but I've seen Dawkin's videos. He's condescending too, but I wouldn't say abrasive. Awhile back, I've seen Dawkins and was irritated by his videos. But you know, I had a very hard time trying to prove him wrong. I can't remember the video, but it inspired me to read up on some things and that only made me to question more. That was probably a few years ago.

What inspired me to start this thread was my reaction to seeing a Fundamentalist in action trying to convert someone in a youtube video. Having being the recipient of this type of evangelization, it made me want to cling to my faith more tightly as a reaction to what they were doing. As I was reading the forum, I noticed that people didn't show a whole lot of patience towards the actions of the the most hardened theists - fundamentalists. I'll be the first to call myself out on this because I too have zero patience for this type of attitude from believers too. When someone tells you that you are going to hell and your beliefs are garbage, it gets to you. Put the shoe on the other foot though, I can see a theist recoiling against an atheist in indignation if he/she was told that their faith was garbage. IDK, just made me take pause and think.
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24-04-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 12:41 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  
(24-04-2014 12:31 PM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  A warning about this, though. Hitches is abrasive and arrogant. I loved him dearly and still re-watch his videos, but depending on where your doubting sits, he may not be the best person to watch right off the bat. He was a "no punches pulled, nothing sacred, in your face" kind of debater. He was absolutely brilliant, though and extremely entertaining. His debates helped push me from the "agnostic" label firmly into the "atheist" label, but my doubts were already very well formed and my apostasy all but assured at that point.

Myself, I'm not worried about abrasiveness. I work in manufacturing, so there are plenty of abrasive people there. I've not seen much of Hitchens, but I've seen Dawkin's videos. He's condescending too, but I wouldn't say abrasive. Awhile back, I've seen Dawkins and was irritated by his videos. But you know, I had a very hard time trying to prove him wrong. I can't remember the video, but it inspired me to read up on some things and that only made me to question more. That was probably a few years ago.

What inspired me to start this thread was my reaction to seeing a Fundamentalist in action trying to convert someone in a youtube video. Having being the recipient of this type of evangelization, it made me want to cling to my faith more tightly as a reaction to what they were doing. As I was reading the forum, I noticed that people didn't show a whole lot of patience towards the actions of the the most hardened theists - fundamentalists. I'll be the first to call myself out on this because I too have zero patience for this type of attitude from believers too. When someone tells you that you are going to hell and your beliefs are garbage, it gets to you. Put the shoe on the other foot though, I can see a theist recoiling against an atheist in indignation if he/she was told that their faith was garbage. IDK, just made me take pause and think.

If you're not afraid of the abrasiveness, watch Hitchens. Watch ALL of Hitchens. The man was one of the most gifted orators of our time and had a mind that, even in his dying days, was sharper than a surgeon's scalpel. I'll post my absolute favorite debate of his here. He and Stephen Fry tear the Catholic Church a new one. From there, just watch anything with Hitch in it. I went crazy on the "related videos" bar, I think I had about 200 items in my "watch later" queue at one point because I kept seeing other videos while watching videos that I had marked.





It's long, as are all of his debates, but it's well worth the watch if you've got the time.

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

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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24-04-2014, 12:48 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2014 12:51 PM by elconquistador.)
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
I get your point. Atheists have a PMS reputation.
but theists can suck my tampon. I currently have no interest in selling atheist conversions. I was religious 5 months ago and now I realize the entire community is made up of douche bags. I have no interest in being nice especially since the way they treat atheists when we leave.

fuck them.

sorry, just bitter right now.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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24-04-2014, 01:19 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 12:29 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I am constructed out of solid smugness, I cannot be otherwise. Undecided

You're the fifth element.
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24-04-2014, 01:27 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 11:51 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  I hear what you are saying but you must remember that many of us have suffered greatly at the hand of the well-meaning religious starting with our own families.

It is sometimes very difficult to keep in check all the bottled up anger and I know I project this unto theist that come to this forum to argue and convince...my calm deamenor regarding religion is but a paper-thin veneer. Wink

I suspect this is true for more people than care to admit it. It is astonishing to me that believers don't expect it. "Why are you so angry that we keep trying to morally judge you and convince you that you are a sinner and threaten you with eternal torture if you don't acknowledge that we are correct?" Really?
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24-04-2014, 01:36 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
(24-04-2014 12:14 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  Sorry guys, I wasn't trying to be a dick. I also apologize if I am coming across as smug or arrogant myself. That was the furthest thing from my mind. If you can, please cut me some slack because I'm new to actively questioning my faith Smile, and I don't want to come across as abrasive myself.

Thanks to those of you who gave me the benefit of the doubt and don't think I'm trying to be a jerk.

Plan 9, as I read all the replies I find none that have attacked you personally. I think the forum is being very honest and open of how they feel towards theist and religion in general. I don't think you've been anything but genuine. (Our Troll radar is always set on maximum stun, you'll know when we take exception...guaranteed).

I think I speak for the majority here when I say that we are willing to take the time and explain to you why we feel the way we do so you can decide if any of it rings true for you. Deconversion can take years and it isn't an easy process so ask away, if we can help you understand why we think the way we do it may help you come to terms with your own inner demons.

Good luck in your search.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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24-04-2014, 02:05 PM
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
I will be plain here.

I think you are a bullshit artist. I think you are just another theist who joined an atheist website under false pretenses.

Why would you do this? Dishonesty does not warrant compliments.

As for atheism. I suggest you research the term. The word itself is an insult designed to remove all worth and dignity from people so they could be killed more easily and without conscience, by theists.

People such as you, have been mindlessly killing people such as I, for millenia.


(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.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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24-04-2014, 02:06 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2014 02:10 PM by Logisch.)
RE: Why be smug and condescending? Turning people off to your beliefs
I have several friends who are still religious. I'm usually not the one who brings things up, it's usually them. However, when the opportunity presents itself, I'll happily toss a few things out, remain totally cool joe as can be and try to make logical points to try and try and steer them to something that makes sense.

Some of those friends remain dead set in their ways, others tend to get their gears turning and actually use their brain and change their stance on some things. More than anything, I think it is important to get people to think, rather than change their mind. The "why" on changing the mind is the important thing.

You could convince someone your stance is the correct stance. However, if that is only because you come across as someone who "knows their shit" then they are only agreeing with you due to argument from authority, or perhaps the illusion of so. That in itself is a logical fallacy. Convincing them to think for themselves, to think critically and get them to change the way they think is more important... as far as I'm concerned.

Example: "I believe xyz is wrong because the bible says so."
"Ok why do you think that?"
"Well everyone knows that."
"Do they, why do you think that?"
"It just is."
"well that's not good enough for me, could you explain?"
"I shouldn't have to, it just is."
"Well, if you're unable to explain your position to me, why should i take you seriously?"
"Ok fine... *explains poorly*."
"I don't feel that explanation is very good, did you research this yourself or did someone just tell you this? Do you have a better way to explain it?"

Such things force them to put themselves into a point of explanation. If it sounds silly, call them out and make them explain. It forces people to think about their own position, justify it and show they bothered to research it. Some people out of sheer shame of looking stupid will research their position next time and if a conversation comes up, you've forced them to think for themselves for the next time around. Even if you think their stance is stupid the next time around, you're essentially forcing them to use critical thinking skills and refine them. As long as people are not challenged to do so, they won't bother to do so.

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