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Should Atheists (be allowed to) Participate in a Religious Discussion?

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posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 05:33 PM
a reply to: mysterioustranger

Alright then wise guy, what if you don't think snakes exist?

Then you would ruin any snake conversations anyone was having.

posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 05:39 PM

originally posted by: On7a7higher7plane
a reply to: mysterioustranger

Alright then wise guy, what if you don't think snakes exist?

Then you would ruin any snake conversations anyone was having.

Hum, it would be relevant to bring it up, but posting too much with no progress would ruin it, especially if it is already an acknowledged topic.
In that case one could write - lets discuss this independent of the question that they could not exist in the first post of a topic to show potential people it is already taken in mind and would get in the way. Actually people do that a lot in non new religious topics, spiritually however yes.

However, some madmen just jump in without reading when religion is the topic either way. Perhaps through the media made gap between religion and anti religion. It makes it look like there would be only those who take the bible extremely literally with an additional media modification or just blindly pick interpretations and then keeps showing shows about why this religious side would be b#llsh#t.
edit on 23-4-2014 by oneoneone because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 05:42 PM
Personally, I have no qualms with having a discussion with Atheists regarding faith, but as far as forum threads go, I could do without the condescending remarks about the "invisible man in the sky", and the snob routine that generally goes along with it.

As I've mentioned in threads of my own, I also do not care for Christians (as an example) spouting Bible verses at unbelievers either; it doesn't do anything other than to cause a greater rift, in my opinion.

I guess my point is: Whether or not you happen to have faith in a deity, if you're going to enter a discussion that centers around one, show a little bit of respect towards those that do hold said faith, and for those that hold to a certain faith, if you're going to enter a discussion that is based on the non-existence of deities, or a particular one, don't prosthelytize on behalf of yours, as that is not the point of the thread in the first place, and will only stoke the flames of a pointless argument.

Mutual respect, people. We're all adults, so it shouldn't be that difficult to achieve.

posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 05:44 PM
a reply to: WarminIndy

I have no idea, probably for the same reason religious/spiritual people try to sway people toward God, personal opinion. If someone has strong enough faith, nothing will sway them, so I see no harm in it.

I'm not an atheist either, I absolutely believe (know) there is a God.

posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 07:28 PM

originally posted by: whyamIhere
I was ask by a friend this very question...Of course I answered yes, but?

I started thinking about it and I had to ask myself...Why would they?

Background: I was a thirty year Atheist. I was Atheist when being Atheist wasn't cool.

I don't want this to be a religious thread. I want to explore why Atheist's even participate.

If somebody was discussing the existence of Santa Claus...I would just move on.

Here are some of my specific questions...

Do you think people of faith are uneducated or just dumb?

I think that it varies from person to person. I know many highly educated people who are devoutly religious and I have come across an equal portion from the opposite end of the spectrum

Does it bother you that people of faith seem to be happy and blissful?

not in the least. It only bothers me if they use it as an excuse to toss bible verses my way to show why they're so happy and can't understand that I'm equally pleased with life and the world around me without the good book being my guide.

Do you feel you are educating people who have been indoctrinated?

not usually. But I'm always game for a civil discourse. I find that people are who they are and not much I say is going to convince them otherwise. For the most part I prefer to find some middle ground that we can both agree on and base everything off of that as opposed to something near and dear to their heart being stomped on because I'm coming off as an arrogant prick who worships the devil(in their eyes). now that doesn't mean that on occasions I have neglected the high road and tossed out epithets regarding sky fairies or bronze age fairy tales but usually those aren't my proudest moments.

Some of you seem to believe in UFO's. Doesn't that require faith?

I suppose it depends on what the belief in such stems from and how they reached that conclusion.

Atheism is on the rise. Have people just lost their faith?

perhaps in some cases. I think that in others it stems from atheist parents not forcing a church or faith on their children and allowing them to look at all options and decide which path is best for them. My oldest is 12 and believes that there may be some kind of god but isn't terribly familiar with the Christian bible and is aware that there are many people of many faiths in the world and that they can't all be right nor can they all be wrong.

Would you be willing to admit you have no proof whether God exists or not?

Yes. I consider myself an atheistic agnostic. I don't think there's a god or gods but I'm always open to being wrong if the evidence presents itself.

I appreciate you taking the time to read. This thread is not about Religion.

It is about Faith or lack there of.

This is a sensitive topic. Please be respectful if you choose to reply...

Just an addendum, since you were thoughtful enough to give a little of your background in the matter I may as well follow suit...
As I mentioned above, I don't believe in a god and like to consider myself an atheist but I have to keep one leg on that agnostic fence because I like to think I'm not arrogant enough to know 100%. I started off in a very devout Irish Catholic family. I went to Catholic school, attended church 6 days a week and was an altar boy for many years. By high school I started questioning it as my interest in Anthropology blossomed but honestly did not nor do I still feel that evolution can't work hand in hand with some sort of god. By the time I got hurt in the Army my faith was in serious crisis and by the early/mid 90's I was pretty much of the same mind set as I am now which is an agnostic/atheist/LaVeyan Satanist. Don't worry, its all atheistic philosophies and we don't poray to Baphomet lol While I have a tendency to really irritate some very religious people, particularly on this site I've had some amazing conversations with extremely religious folks and found a lot of common ground with posters like RandyVs who I would now consider a friend after many clashes when I first joined ATS. that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

posted on Apr, 23 2014 @ 10:55 PM
a reply to: peter vlar

Great reply...

I think when I learned Religion was used to control the masses. It had a huge impact.

I was mad at God.

It took me a long time to realize God is not the one who screwed up Religion.

I really respect and thank everyone that took the time to answer the questions.

I don't like writing these kind of threads. But, I learn something every single time.

edit on 23-4-2014 by whyamIhere because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 02:35 AM
a reply to: whyamIhere

A real Atheist would not involve himself in a religious discussion unless he was religious about his beliefs making himself religious, evangelistic and preacher of Atheism all in one. This irritates them but defines them nonetheless.

If you don't believe in God, why would you get upset by those that do... after all he does not exist so why defend an opposite position.

It has to do with security.

A secure athiest, homosexual, or even Christian for that matter, would not be offended by an opposite position nor need to defend their position if they were truly secure in it.

But Christians, atheists, homosexuals, fat people etc (whatever it be...) who get offended are NOT secure in their beliefs of what or who they are.

Offense truly shows who is secure and who is not. Those who are impossible to offend often see the funny side and take the piss out of everyone else because they can see the funny side in everything, including themselves.

edit on 24-4-2014 by Maximus2014 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 03:25 AM
Of course they should; atheism is in essence a collective of those who are still seeking answers and truth about who they are; and it forms the opposite side of the coin to the religious, who believe they have found the answers.

You need to remember that regardless of whether you are atheist, agnostic, or of any other paradigm or religion; we are all fundamentally asking the same questions:

Who am I?

or; What is the meaning of life?

These are both at their core the same question; and it is something which everyone seems to overlook when they take up defensive positions on both sides of the fence in religious debate.

When you examine these questions; and both sides of the argument subjectively you realise that for both sides it has becomes less about finding the definitively true answer to this question; than trying to prove the other side wrong.

The question asked as the topic to this thread is a prime example of this.

It is very simple. There are those seeking truth; and those who believe they have found it.

If you can acknowledge this as being an accurate evaluation of the 'Religion vs Atheism' argument; then you should be able to appreciate that the burden of proof always lies with those who believe they know the truth; or the answers to the questions.

The very nature religion means; that when you subscribe yourself to its belief; that you have found the answers to the meaning of life, and who we are; you also open yourself to the scrutiny of those who would disagree with your belief.

This is where the paradox of 'faith' comes into effect within the argument; which is what leads many religious to become frustrated, angry, hateful or dismissive, in their arguments with atheist/agnostic people.

The common factor that you will find present in most atheist/agnostic people is that they are commonly very logical, analytical and intelligent people. Who are looking at things subjectively from the perspective of one without the 'burden' of faith; or proof. They need only ask the questions which do not make sense. And Christians/Catholics fail to appreciate this, and treat them as one who is impaired in their understanding; because they are not seeing things from the position of one who does not require such proof.

Now; before any of you who are religious state to me that they have experienced 'proof of God' or they can give examples of proof. They should consider those they are debating may have never had any such 'experiences', or they may have other rational/logical explanations for these things. And that all physical/historical proof of their religion, is subjective, non-conclusive and in some cases; highly likely to have been manipulated by the hands of men; not God.

So to those you are arguing with; you must forget the experiences you've had where "You had to be there", or physical evidence which would not hold up in any court of law; because that is how they view it.

The issue needs to be analysed logically, and rationally. If you get asked something about a contradictory, hypocritical, or improbable aspect within the Bible; you should never tell them to 'Just believe' or 'Have faith', or anything of this sort. Because if you stop for a second to view this from the mindset of one who needs to understand logic and reason in what they are presented; it sounds like you are trying to con them into something which smells fishy (pardon the pun), or that you don't fully understand what it is you are trying to offer them. It is fairly understandable why they would not trust religion from this perspective.

It gets much worse when those of the religious faiths get frustrated or angry at those asking the questions; because they are not able to answer adequately outside of telling them they should just believe; as they do. Because this portrays to them that not only are you trying to offer them something you don't fully understand yourself; but that you may be a little crazy. And this is not meant to sound insulting; only to give you perspective of how you are viewed in such circumstances.

To most atheists the second you use the words; "The Bible says ..", "Jesus says .." or "The Devil ..", they will switch off to the rest of your argument. The reason being that many of them have analysed the Bible to a level beyond that which most Christians do! (This has been substantiated in surveys on 'Religious knowledge'). It is not because they do no know, or understand what is said within the Bible, it is because; even with all the beauty, wisdom and other gifts offered within the Biblical texts; it still does not sufficiently answer the fundamental question of "WHO AM I" to them.

You need to appreciate that "WHO AM I" or "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE" to a half the people of this world, can not be answered with; "We are from God". Because logically; we had to be created and come from somewhere. This is seen as a way to avoid answering the question; and makes religion seem hollow to those who already understand the vast majority of wisdom within the Bible, by knowing the goodness of their own heart.

"Telling someone just to believe so they stop asking questions; is not the same as answering the question."

And before you try to work out 'how' you can get an Atheist/Agnostic to have faith in that which you believe in; you should consider that you are presenting them with something which is claimed to be 'truth'.

[feyth] Show IPA
confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
belief that is not based on proof.

[trooth] Show IPA
noun, plural truths [troothz, trooths] Show IPA .
the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.

So by the very nature of the definitions; faith and truth are incompatible; and those you are debating with understand this logic. Hence the burden of proof that they are asking you for in the what you are presenting.

posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 03:31 AM
So realistically, if you are one believes that Atheists/Agnostics should not participate in religious discussions; then you are one who yourself should not be participating. Because it expresses that their questions cause you enough of a problem in giving answers; that you would rather they not be asked.

So you need to ask yourself; if I can not answer these types of questions, then why am I debating religion?

Should the student be trying to teach?

The old saying; "Too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the broth" is probably the best way I can describe the issue of the religious debate.

The Priests, Bishops, Ministers, Padres, Nuns, etc; are taught to understand the principles of the wisdom contained with the texts; so that even when questions come up which they cannot answer; they are able to identify an 'underlying' question which that person is asking; and can therefore answer it. Many times, in a manner acceptable to those asking it.

Those who try to answer such questions for others, when they don't fully understand the question themselves; are doing more harm to their religion than good. This is why it pays to instead concede that; "I'm not completely sure, but I know someone who should be able to answer that for you." This will serve the purposes of your faith far more, than trying to fight a battle of logic, you are unequipped to win.

All children are happy to give you their interpretation of what they think something means, even though they may not understand it; but even they understand that when they want to be certain of something; they need to go ask their Father/Mother, or a teacher; to make sure they get the right answer.

Because although the child might be confident and certain they know the answers to things; they are not always right.

And for me it can be quite amusing to watch the debates between Religious/Atheist; because it reminds me of a couple of children arguing over whos Dad would win in a fight.

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