You're Being Intolerant!
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28-03-2013, 04:05 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
My 2 cents, for what it's worth is this. The way you describe your Mom's personality, it sounds just like that of a relative of mine. Because this relative's irritation flares up so easily, it's almost impossible to have a discussion on something that we disagree about. If that's the case with your Mom, then there is no point in trying to get her to change her viewpoint or even understand yours. It will be difficult enough just to get her to respect you and let you have your viewpoint even if she doesn't understand it.

So my advice is target your responses on making her think about what she is saying instead of on defending yourself. Try to ask a lot of questions and make fewer statements. When she says you are being "intolerant", ask her to describe what she means exactly by the term and how it is that she thinks you fit her definition. Ask her why she is so bothered by you having a different viewpoint. Ask her how many atheists she has met on which to base her statements concerning "most atheists". Ask what makes her think anything besides non-belief in a deity can be attributed to "most atheists". If you can't think of questions related to what you are already discussing, try redirecting the conversation by asking other questions to help her think about her religious beliefs in general; questions like "how do you feel about God's command to order the mass murder of infants in the Old Testament?" that simultaneously point out what's wrong with her religion (use whatever questions apply to her religion, of course).

This approach often has a better chance of working because she will come to any conclusions (hopefully the right ones) herself rather than being told what the conclusions are, but even if it doesn't work, it's probably less threatening and may keep the conversation more civil.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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28-03-2013, 05:00 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Tell her that you're sorry if you're opposing her, but that has nothing to do with tolerance. You have to go along with the scientific facts, you have no other choice. Ask if you can present the facts in a non-offending way. I might be pushing it a little now, but tell her she'll always be your mother regardless of the disagreement.

There is no shame in being wrong. Scientists may make errors, but scientists are intolerant to being mistaken. There are many arrogant scientists who point out and correct the errors. It is impossible to be a good scientist unless they submit their papers to other scientists to check for errors. All people make mistakes, there's no other way.
The main difference is, science is always correcting itself, while some traditions stay wrong forever and pretend they're correct to people who never google up the facts. A theory is the highest level of knowledge, it can even predict facts we will discover in the future and did so on many occasions. (fossil record, astronomy, etc) And so we get to know how things work, which helps us to get things done and have a better and longer life.

You better leave your mother alone with Wikipedia and Youtube, in case she's embarrassed to explore the blasphemous science channels in front of her offspring.
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28-03-2013, 05:15 PM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
You will never get your mom to change her entire belief system because of anything whatsoever you can say.

What you can do (and already did) is plant a little seed of doubt in her head and leave her with it.

Any debates just make her defend herself and end up hating you for attacking her life's basis - her beliefs.

You planted the seed, step back and let it grow.

I do not recommend bracing the subject with her again. Just agree to disagree.

Debating your mom is NOT like debating Joe Blow from school or work. Deabating your mom is an emotionally loaded situation, for both of you. And, it's not healthy.

Respect each other's right to your own opinions and move on.

Remember, you did drop the seed and she will most definitely think about it off and on. Let it be. One doesn't shed religion like an old coat, the longer one has lived with belief the more devastating it is to lose it. Be kind.

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28-03-2013, 05:23 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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29-03-2013, 02:09 AM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
(28-03-2013 01:12 PM)origerhm Wrote:  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.

I had this issue with my Mom a few years back. Finally the only solution we could come to was, a mutual agreement to disagree and try to understand one another instead of fight.

I will admit though I still think it will be very sad when she dies. A whole world view centered on earth, around an afterlife, and personal problems. When I have the entire universe and amazing understanding from science, that we simply will never be able to share.Weeping

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29-03-2013, 02:29 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2013 12:16 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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29-03-2013, 07:42 AM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
Thanks to everyone in this thread. It has served as an affirmation that my mother is a pretty level headed person. Not that I was doubting that... just that seeing that the general attitude toward mothers writ large tends to be that they're either incapable or unwilling to concede.

I've had a good many debates with my mother and have learned a lot about myself through them while at the same time, teaching her some things. Same goes for my dad, although he's a bit more bullheaded than his wife. Dodgy

My favorite debate opponent though, by a long shot, is my son. Oh and, his mother is a good one too. Through the years the three of us have had a lot of productive, if not heated debates which often end up as a two on one match of wits.... with different teams each time.

To all of you who have kids... remember this thread and don't be that parent who won't listen to your child. It will do you both a huge disservice if you are.

Sorry for the ramble tangent. This thread just prompted those thoughts and I wanted to share them.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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29-03-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
It's not a touchy subject. Abortion, euthanasia, the fact that that dress makes your ass stick out like a hippo in a flock of flamingo's are all touchy subjects. Evolution, nope.

Here's a general rule of thumb when "debating" with fucking stupid like your mom; The person who screams loudest, wins. That's a scientific fact for you.

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29-03-2013, 08:13 AM
RE: You're Being Intolerant!
(28-03-2013 01:12 PM)origerhm Wrote:  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.
You might consider yourself lucky...1) you have a Mom, and 2) it's only your mom, I have an extended family of hundreds of religious folks. I still love them and get along by reducing the difference to humor. Look at it this way, you are asking your mom to produce something that is not available.....evidence for a belief. The real 'evidence" boils down to a lifetime of indoctrination and thousands of years of repeating the same beliefs over and over until it becomes tradition.

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