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  #11  
Old 15th February 2017, 08:28 AM
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Iron Chariots Iron Chariots is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

THWOTH, your story reminds me of the ability of religion to make good people think and do the most disgusting immoral things. Personally I view every single bible god follower, yes over a billion of them, as one of these. After all one only has to read the bible to understand this.

While conversations with believers can be useful, and at the very least interesting, it is a hard and time consuming road. I've had maybe hundreds of conversations with believers, only a small handful began on the road to recovery and atheism. While being somewhat confrontational in the beginning, my face to face interactions soften to the task of not directly challenging all the ridiculous things they believe and the consequences in reality, but to lead them to question the validity of how they got there in the first place. The validity of faith as a basis for any knowledge claim.

My interactions over the years have lead me to two main conclusions...
1. Believers should be viewed and treated like other addicts. Alcohol and gambling come to mind. For the addict to start on the road to recovery they have to first admit there is a problem. This is why I think questioning the validity of faith as a starting point for their knowledge claims has more success than taking on the actual nonsense they believe that stems from that faith.
2. If one wants to advance atheism in society, it is in general a much more productive use of time to target not the believer, but the fringe dweller. ( there are a lot more of these) That is, the type of people that will put Christian on the census form, not because they are an actual christian, but they think of themselves and want to be seen as a good person. The victims of 2000 years of Christians selling Christianity as equating to good and in a way victims of the Christian idea that everyone is born bad and surprise surprise, they are the only ones with the cure. Label 'Christian' I must be a good person.
These are the majority that while not actively spreading Christianity into society, will let it happen. After all they say "isn't Christianity a good thing".
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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't rely on your own intelligence" Proverbs 3:5
Bible Jesus "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me." Luke 19:27
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves." Leviticus 24:44

Last edited by Iron Chariots; 15th February 2017 at 08:47 AM.
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  #12  
Old 15th February 2017, 10:16 AM
Holmz Holmz is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

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Mjt said View Post
Yup. Told me that I was never to set foot in his church ever. Forever. And when I pointed out that he didn't know me so how would he know, he told me that god would point me out to him and strike me down.
That was about 7 years ago. I guess god takes time off coz I went to a wedding there about 5 weeks ago. There was not much in the way of smiting going on.


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Well the smiting could have been off, so we will see how the marriage goes...

There was a young woman (Karen) who came home from her date and her mother asked, "How was your evening?"
Karen: "Good and bad mother".
Mom: "How so?"
Karen: "We Johnny asked me to marry him".
Mom: "That is wonderful what is the bad news?"
Karen: "Well Johnny is don't believe in religions!"
Mom: "How about heaven?"
Karen: "Naa he don't believe in that either!"
Mom: "Saints?"
Karen: "Nope!"
Mom: "Angels?"
Karen: "Nope!"
Mom: "God?"
Karen: "Nope!"
Mom: "The Devil?"
Karen: "Nope!"
Mom: "Hell?"
Karen: "Nope!"
Mom: "Well marry him anyhow, between the two of we will convince him there is a hell"
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Old 15th February 2017, 03:46 PM
Athe1st
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  #13  
Old 15th February 2017, 03:47 PM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

@Mjt That's the kind of weak, hyperbolic threats and stone-walling i expect. btw, i agree with Wolty, that'd make a funny read for the mag.

@Iron Chariots Yeah man, definitely keen. I'll need to set up my camera etc, is it ok to PM you for more details?

@Thwoth Thanks for sharing your experience, I hear what you're saying. I've talked to many religious people, but JW's are unusually duplicitous, to the point that they changed their bible so that Jephthah's daughter doesn't get sacrificed, she becomes a nun.

I had one JW leader tell me that god commanded us not to kill so I asked him if a small child ran past us and onto the road - and we knew that he would die - would god punish us if we didn't grab them as they ran past? He said no. I asked if he thinks that right? He only stone-walled with 'doing god's work is all that matters' or some drivel.

So I did a little speech about every night my own conscience would punish me, and that I care more about that child than god, and that i'm more moral than god - and so were they. I saw out of the corner of my eye the 2 people watching us talk look at each other questioningly. They're who I'm really talking to and that's why I want to go into their churches.

Thanks again for sharing, everyone's comments are confirming the uphill slog i suspected, but I do think it's important to keep confronting atheism as there are those (mostly children) who are trapped in these fundamentalist homes.

Last edited by Athe1st; 15th February 2017 at 03:48 PM.
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  #14  
Old 15th February 2017, 04:08 PM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

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Iron Chariots said View Post
THWOTH, your story reminds me of the ability of religion to make good people think and do the most disgusting immoral things. Personally I view every single bible god follower, yes over a billion of them, as one of these. After all one only has to read the bible to understand this.
I used to as well, but I think it's more helpful to understand and more productive if you recognise the followers as victims of indoctrination and a poor critical thinking skill-set and attitude. The problem comes as a result of people using the bible (or any text claiming 'objective truth') to assign an objective 'Truth' to the (cultural) morals they already hold.

This is why religion is a drag on the moral progress of society. Because this objective Truth has been attached to culturally relative morals they can not admit that they're wrong.

Quote:
Iron Chariots said View Post
My interactions over the years have lead me to two main conclusions...
1. Believers should be viewed and treated like other addicts. Alcohol and gambling come to mind. For the addict to start on the road to recovery they have to first admit there is a problem. This is why I think questioning the validity of faith as a starting point for their knowledge claims has more success than taking on the actual nonsense they believe that stems from that faith.
2. If one wants to advance atheism in society, it is in general a much more productive use of time to target not the believer, but the fringe dweller. ( there are a lot more of these) That is, the type of people that will put Christian on the census form, not because they are an actual christian, but they think of themselves and want to be seen as a good person. The victims of 2000 years of Christians selling Christianity as equating to good and in a way victims of the Christian idea that everyone is born bad and surprise surprise, they are the only ones with the cure. Label 'Christian' I must be a good person.
These are the majority that while not actively spreading Christianity into society, will let it happen. After all they say "isn't Christianity a good thing".
I agree with both these points. It's not a coincidence that religion runs AA and NA, as well as the majority of homeless shelters and welfare refuges. That's why these people are victims of indoctrination - especially in these vulnerable situations.

As far as accurate labels go this is a massively understated point. There are 33,000 different denominations of christianity, but they all call themselves christians. Meanwhile atheists use every sort of euphemism and double-speak to avoid offending religious people.

Secular, Free-thinker, Rationalist, Humanist. All these labels prop up religion while discounting our power.

Last edited by Athe1st; 15th February 2017 at 04:11 PM.
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  #15  
Old 15th February 2017, 04:46 PM
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Iron Chariots Iron Chariots is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

AA & NA. Substituting one addiction for another.
Yes the religious love a soft target and I find religion tends to corrupt charity.

I do agree that there are a great many atheists that are too afraid of standing up just in case they will offend someone.
A quote comes to mind whenever I think of this.
"Why is saying their is no God considered disrespectful to believers but saying there is a God not considered disrespectful to atheists?"

Pro god terminology is well entrenched in society. Even atheists will use the term Godless to describe themselves. When has a non flying pig believer ever been called flying pigless?
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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't rely on your own intelligence" Proverbs 3:5
Bible Jesus "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me." Luke 19:27
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves." Leviticus 24:44
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  #16  
Old 17th February 2017, 01:37 AM
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THWOTH THWOTH is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

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Athe1st said View Post
...
@Thwoth Thanks for sharing your experience, I hear what you're saying. I've talked to many religious people, but JW's are unusually duplicitous, to the point that they changed their bible so that Jephthah's daughter doesn't get sacrificed, she becomes a nun.

I had one JW leader tell me that god commanded us not to kill so I asked him if a small child ran past us and onto the road - and we knew that he would die - would god punish us if we didn't grab them as they ran past? He said no. I asked if he thinks that right? He only stone-walled with 'doing god's work is all that matters' or some drivel.

So I did a little speech about every night my own conscience would punish me, and that I care more about that child than god, and that i'm more moral than god - and so were they. I saw out of the corner of my eye the 2 people watching us talk look at each other questioningly. They're who I'm really talking to and that's why I want to go into their churches.

Thanks again for sharing, everyone's comments are confirming the uphill slog i suspected, but I do think it's important to keep confronting atheism as there are those (mostly children) who are trapped in these fundamentalist homes.
Yeah, it wasn't until I actually started reading the study material of the JWs that I realised just how fundamentalist they were - like really bloody fundamentalist. They're a bit of a joke over here, but given a free hand they'd happily create a Hell On Earth so that the annointed select 200,000 could live in paradise. The silly thing is that they all somehow think they're going to be chosen, as if the quota system for heaven doesn't apply to them.

I made it absolutely clear to my JW that I wasn't interested in converting them. This came up many times because when you challenge a religious ideal or principle which is largely held as an unconsidered principle you're actually blaspheming in the JWs mind - a difficult challenge, one without a ready answer, becomes a temptation to sin for them. One after a month or so of reiterating that I was interested in leading a considered, good life did my conversation partner start to accept that I wasn't just plain bad for disbelieving. Over and over I said that I had not been tempted away from God by evil ("But how would you know, the Devil works in the shadows?"), that I had thought about things for myself and applied the same principles and conditions to Jahovah as I did the greek pantheon or Shiva and the Hindu host. Unfortunately when someone is wedded to the 'one true god' principle explaining that you're an atheist with regards to their religion on exactly the same grounds that they're an atheist with regards to somebody else's religion doesn't go very far. "Yeah, but the Hindus got it wrong - it says so in the Bible."

Keep up the good work though. A reasoned and reasonable defence of atheism/secularism is just as
important and needed as an active, positive promotion and advocacy thereof. Good luck!!
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  #17  
Old 17th February 2017, 01:58 PM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

Yeah they're a cult alright. Did you know that they don't vote because satan is in all the governments? Even the ones that have created high positive health outcomes and low inequality measures. How do you reason with that? They've rejected reason. So I'm surprised that they listened to you that you're not satan haha.

So my main thing with JW's now is to show them that god is a bad guy, and that they're better, they just don't know it. Not sure if it will work though.

Thanks brother
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  #18  
Old 17th February 2017, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

It is called Street Epistemology

Step 1: purchase and read Pete Boghossian's "Manual for creating atheists"
Step2: Watch Anthony Magnabosco's videos - https://www.youtube.com/user/magnabosco210
Step3: get a action cam
Step 4: go forth!
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  #19  
Old 18th February 2017, 12:39 AM
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Goldenmane Goldenmane is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

Step 0: realise that Boghossian is just as prone to cognitive bias as anyone else, and just as prone to make an arsehat of himself on social media, thus resolving to have on hand a grain of salt.

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  #20  
Old 18th February 2017, 01:17 AM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Default Re: How to set up a debate

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workmx said View Post
It is called Street Epistemology

Step 1: purchase and read Pete Boghossian's "Manual for creating atheists"
Step2: Watch Anthony Magnabosco's videos - https://www.youtube.com/user/magnabosco210
Step3: get a action cam
Step 4: go forth!
Yeah mate, ordered the book already just waiting for it good call but.

Any lamp has a thousand rays of light and many techniques for many different conversations.

I was hoping to join in the 10,000 street epistemologists Boghossian's hoping to have conversations and i welcome all aussie atheists to help, it's an interesting technique that seems to work and looks fun too.

Quote:
Goldenmane said View Post
Step 0: realise that Boghossian is just as prone to cognitive bias as anyone else, and just as prone to make an arsehat of himself on social media, thus resolving to have on hand a grain of salt.

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He definitely can be an arsehat. I'm really more interested in the technique he uses though. It's always dangerous to pedestal people, shit i still disagree with some things about Christopher Hitchens, and I hold him in very high esteem.

I'll prob make another thread about SE, and tbh it's prob gonna be more effective overall but this thread is more about engaging pastors etc in front of their flock in a debate or even a discussion format.

Also, I was hoping someone would know of willing participants or maybe even interested as well. Never know
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