You're Being Intolerant!
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28-03-2013, 01:12 PM
You're Being Intolerant!
I just had a very frustrating..uhm, 'talk' with my mother earlier today on the subject of Evolution. It started when I was watching a video of Richard Dawkins interviewing creationist Wendy Wright, and at one point my mother said how she recognized Richard Dawkins from the Bill O'Reilly show and didn't like him. She went on further to say that this was why she found most atheists to be intolerant. Watching the video, Dawkins is anything but intolerant, if not unfairly patient with Wendy Wright and her repetitive, circular, unsubstantiated arguments. It then became a big argument about the "fact" of Evolution, and I found myself having to explain the scientific definitions of theory and fact to her that she classically mixed up with her Creationist beliefs and everyday colloquial terms. Having a civil talk with my mother is nearly impossible. It's not hard for her to get riled up and for her to make you feel riled up as well. She just has that effect, and there doesn't seem to be any reason that comes through to her (or at the very least consideration of what I'm saying).

She then went on to call me intolerant which I found unfair. Why? Because I have opposing views? Because I'm offering a bit of debate on the subject? What would it require to be 'tolerant' during the discussion of science, evolution, and atheism? Frankly, I'm just confused and annoying. Obviously there was no headway made or any sort of understanding on either sides. I heard what she had to say and her arguments were flawed and frustrating: Evolution is not a fact; it's just a theory, science is always changing it's mind (as if this is a weakness), what's true now won't be true later, prove to me that evolution is a fact, prove to me humans came from monkeys (even after repeated explanations that we DO NOT come from monkeys but share a common ancestor with chimpanzees).

Can anyone offer any advice on how to have civil, patient intelligent discussions when it comes to touchy subjects such as this? I'm speaking for myself because I get quickly irritated and frustrated, and I want to work on my debate skills. It's just hard not to want to scream when someone tells you that "science is a religion and you're exercising faith too"....... Dodgy Also, some evidentiary support for the questions my mom spoke about (though I felt I gave the best possible answer) would be great; maybe there is a more efficient way to explain them.
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28-03-2013, 01:21 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Dude.

She's your mom.

You don't need better debate skills, you need better conflict resolution skills.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-03-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
(28-03-2013 01:21 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Dude.

She's your mom.

You don't need better debate skills, you need better conflict resolution skills.

Or a better karate chop.

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28-03-2013, 01:30 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Let's say - for the sake of argument - that you were being intolerant. So what? Evolution occurs and her understanding of the word "theory" was wrong; regardless of whether or not you are intolerant of....well, of whatever the fuck she thinks you were being intolerant of.

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28-03-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
I don't think you can have a calm discussion with your mother about this. She is your mom every unfair question she asks and every comment about your personality will hurt ten times more just because she is your mother. Having a calm debate often means letting personal attacks and offensive argument pass by, this is hard when the person saying this things is your mom.

I am guilty of starting arguments with anyone willing to have them. So i understand the desire to have this conversations. Still i don't think you should have this conversations with your mom.
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28-03-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Maybe no explanation is necessary.

Unless you're trying to change your mom's beliefs (which sounds like a pretty unrewarding experience), I'd avoid the subject. If she brings it up, you can simply say:
"I have heard both sides of the argument and I have chosen to accept evolution as the truth. I'm not interested in discussing it."

'Science is faith, you'll go to hell, etc.' are all just strawmen that lead to emotional arguments based on nonsense. AVOID THEM. Repeat over and over, "I've heard both sides of the argument..." If she starts dropping theist pamphlets and books on your desk and demands you read them, request science pamphlets and books so you can read both sides of the issue. Tell her you want to think for yourself and draw your own conclusions just as she was (ahem... probably not) allowed to do.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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28-03-2013, 01:48 PM (This post was last modified: 28-03-2013 01:53 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
(28-03-2013 01:12 PM)origerhm Wrote:  Ith my mother earlier today on the subject of Evolution. It started when I was watching a video of Richard Dawkins interviewing creationist Wendy Wright, and at one point my mother said how she recognized Richard Dawkins from the Bill O'Reilly show and didn't like him. She went on further to say that this was why she found most atheists to be intolerant. Watching the video, Dawkins is anything but intolerant, if not unfairly patient with Wendy Wright and her repetitive, circular, unsubstantiated arguments. It then became a big argument about the "fact" of Evolution, and I found myself having to explain the scientific definitions of theory and fact to her that she classically mixed up with her Creationist beliefs and everyday colloquial terms. Having a civil talk with my mother is nearly impossible. It's not hard for her to get riled up and for her to make you feel riled up as well. She just has that effect, and there doesn't seem to be any reason that comes through to her (or at the very least consideration of what I'm saying).

She then went on to call me intolerant which I found unfair. Why? Because I have opposing views? Because I'm offering a bit of debate on the subject? What would it require to be 'tolerant' during the discussion of science, evolution, and atheism? Frankly, I'm just confused and annoying. Obviously there was no headway made or any sort of understanding on either sides. I heard what she had to say and her arguments were flawed and frustrating: Evolution is not a fact; it's just a theory, science is always changing it's mind (as if this is a weakness), what's true now won't be true later, prove to me that evolution is a fact, prove to me humans came from monkeys (even after repeated explanations that we DO NOT come from monkeys but share a common ancestor with chimpanzees).

Can anyone offer any advice on how to have civil, patient intelligent discussions when it comes to touchy subjects such as this? I'm speaking for myself because I get quickly irritated and frustrated, and I want to work on my debate skills. It's just hard not to want to scream when someone tells you that "science is a religion and you're exercising faith too"....... Dodgy Also, some evidentiary support for the questions my mom spoke about (though I felt I gave the best possible answer) would be great; maybe there is a more efficient way to explain them.

The goal should not be to win a debate with your mom. Your goal should be to change her thinking, which she won't do in a heated debate. If she calls you intolerant, forgive and forget it. If you are successful in changing your mom's position it will happen much later...when she is engaged in a moment of self reflection. Keep your eye on this long term and don't be frustrated if she doesn't concede in a debate because you simply should not expect her to concede in a debate.
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28-03-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Religions thrive and survive on the "us vs. them" mentality - you're either with us, or you're against us. It's always been like this. You're mother has been taught her whole life that anyone who disagrees with her religious belief system is automatically "against" her. That idea of "against" is often vague and undefined and it can imply a lot of awful things to a religious person: trying to undermine her beliefs, trying to steal her soul, trying to keep her from God and Heaven, trying to destroy her.

At the very least, it implies that you are opposed to her beliefs and therefore intolerant of her precious beliefs.

In other words, she already knew you were intolerant before you began talking to her, because you're not with her so you must be against her and therefore automatically intolerant, and every argument you made just reinforced this viewpoint.

You ask what it takes to convince her you're not intolerant. Simple. Join her. Remember, if you aren't with her, you're against her, so be with her. Join her church, become religious, drink the Kool Aid. Anything short of that and you're still against her and intolerant of her precious beliefs.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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28-03-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
I guess it's sad when you can't have an understanding with someone, especially on something like Evolution. It's as near to a fact as science will humbly call it, and the evidence for it is so great it's almost perverse to deny it. Guess I'll just have to reel in my debate impulses and fish somewhere else for a good conversation. Mothers. Haha
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28-03-2013, 03:48 PM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2013 12:27 AM by Doctor X.)
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
******

Those who administer and moderate in order to exercise personal agenda merely feed into the negative stereotype of Atheism
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