Understanding Religious Opposition

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posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:53 AM
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I have a serious question. There's something that's puzzled me for years, and I'd like to get to the bottom of it. If one spends any amount of time in the religious fora of ATS (and elsewhere), one notices a pattern: a thread gets posted, and then non-religious people show up and start opposing all religious viewpoints. Nearly every religious-forum thread devolves into a flame war. We're referred to as "the peanut gallery." Personal attacks ensue that have nothing to do with the thread topic. The message is ignored in favor of besmirching the messenger whenever the message itself cannot be attacked. And these oppositional posts almost always get far more stars than the posts of believers. I never see "Religion A vs. Religion B," it's always "Atheism vs. Christianity." These threads are religious people trying to discuss religious matters with other religious people; I have no idea why non-religious people would even look at them, let alone attempt arguments like, for example, "The Bible is full of inconsistencies." That'll get you nowhere with believers; if something looks like an inconsistency to you, it just means there's some fundamental bit of wisdom you don't know yet that explains it perfectly once you understand it. So my question is simply this:

Why do you do it?

I'd like all non-believers who regularly engage in this activity to perform an honest self-evaluation to find the cause of your need to convince believers to not believe. Think of this real-world analogy: it would not, if you had a decillion years, be possible to convince someone who likes opera to stop liking it. They might stop liking it on their own some day, but you can't force them to (except perhaps with hypnosis, which would be cheating). Religion is a similar personal preference. What you're doing is no different than someone who hates mushrooms going around to restaurants and belittling people who are eating things with mushrooms in them. (It's also no different than a religious person trying to force beliefs on non-believers, which I despise just as much as you do, trust me. We must all have free will in determining our own religious beliefs through contemplative introspection. Those who tortured Christianity into non-believers during the Inquisition cannot have been real Christians.) For what purpose would someone do that? Why waste your valuable, limited time alive in such vain pursuits?

And think about this. If you disbelievers are right, then everyone simply ceases to exist upon death, and all their thoughts with them. That means you can never know you were right. If you ever do find out for sure what the truth really is, it literally can only mean that you were WRONG. It would mean that you should've been seeking religion instead of opposing it. It would mean you quite foolishly devoted a lot of time and effort towards ensuring your own destruction. If you write anti-religion posts because of some deep-seated need to Be Right About It, that need can never be satisfied. You literally can never, ever, ever be proven right, only wrong. If the believers are wrong, nobody will be around to sneer "Told ya so!" at them. ¿Entiendes?

So again, seriously and honestly: Why do you bother? What can you possibly gain from it? Why not spend that time writing posts about things you like instead, things that matter to you? Is it an admission that religion does matter to you? Why waste your time on it if not?

Discuss. And just this once, no flame wars, please. Be constructive instead. It's more fun.




posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:17 AM
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From my personal perspective, if I didn't see it, I wouldn't feel any compulsion to comment on it.

Religion? Isn't that what churches, temples, and mosques are for? Isn't that where religion should be discussed? Aren't there people in those places to talk about these things with?

I'm not out beating unsuspecting people over the head with Atheism, or ever bringing any subject up that nods in the direction of that venue without provocation or assumed invitation.
It's a matter of politeness. I don't pull out my life philosophy and wave it around at people, and in turn, it's a little bit expected that no one else does either.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, people of faith just can't ever keep the corks in their big bottles of mythology, and wind up gleefully spraying the contents all over any and everyone regardless of whether they want it or not.
One good turn, thus deserves another reply in kind.
Han shot first.


Additionally, what's that rule that's suppose to be so popular?
Something Golden?
Due unto others as you would have them do unto you?
With that in mind, with all that doing unto and onto and just plain to people, it only seems natural and rational that should the topic be brought up, it's open-season all-comers invitation to get got done unto.




edit on 11/3/2013 by AliceBleachWhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:39 AM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 


Because it interests me.

I like figuring out the unknown. Often when we find answers, we discover more questions, which is always fun.

I don't like paths of inquiry that eliminate discovering more questions, I think it is detrimental to a unified world. Christianity doesn't allow for anything else, so it should be questioned as to its validity.

If it is found to be totally accurate.. then excellent!... but many inaccuracies and contradictions can be found... which leaves me with questions to be answered... "God did it" doesn't suffice.

In my opinion, Christianity doesn't hold all the cards in terms of theology, yet it places itself as the only, which leaves it open to obvious criticism.

Ever more we are discovering that the philosophies held at the core of Christianity lead to conflict, so it should be questioned.

There are lots of believers, but pretty much only Christianity tells everyone else only they are right.
edit on 3-11-2013 by puzzlesphere because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:40 AM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 


I can't say I regularly engage in religious threads, but there are two situations / religious driven debates where I think it's necessary to be the opposition:

Wherever religious zealotry attempts to meddle with politics. We can't have that.

... And whenever religious people attempt to declare their opinions to be facts, ignoring the scientific method, armed with a bucket full of fundamental logical fallacies.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:54 AM
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AliceBleachWhite
From my personal perspective, if I didn't see it, I wouldn't feel any compulsion to comment on it.

Then why would you, as an atheist, browse threads in religious fora at all? Do atheists sit around watching "The 700 Club?" No; they simply never put their TV on that channel and avoid it (unless they're looking for something to make them mad I suppose). Why would you choose to read this particular forum? I have no interest in football, so I'd never hang out in a forum where football is all that's discussed. This indicates to me that you do have some interest in religion; despite not believing it or liking it, you seek it out anyway. Is it merely to have something to oppose? If so, I must remind you, you'll never be proven right.


Religion? Isn't that what churches, temples, and mosques are for? Isn't that where religion should be discussed? Aren't there people in those places to talk about these things with?

I wouldn't trust a one of 'em, myself. But are you saying that religion should not be discussed on ATS, that freedom of speech should be abridged? By the way, a "church" is defined as "two or more people gathered in God's name." There are thousands of Christians gathered together here on ATS; doesn't that make this forum a "church?"


I don't pull out my life philosophy and wave it around at people, and in turn, it's a little bit expected that no one else does either.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I myself never do that. And it's a bit difficult trying to visualize the circumstances that would lead to you being forced to read religious posts on ATS. There is no one waving them at you. You choose to read them. Why? To be done unto?



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 01:56 AM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 


...because the forum topic is Religion, Faith and Theology...discuss...
But that's not what happens...somehow, the topic becomes Christianity, Christianity and Christianity...and more often than not, they are not discussions, but proxy sermons with the back-slapping and high fives...no discussion...those that do treat the topic section as the heading suggests (christian or not - because it is an open forum within T&C) get accused of christian bashing, when initially they are not...they simply had no idea the forum had been magically changed...but were discussing to only be met by 'well, if you don't repent, you're going to hell'...that's not discussion...

The few that do work are by and large free from these signpost phrases, or the posters are adult enough to see past them and actually discuss...ignorance is denied at both ends of an imaginery scale...and no-one loses thier religion/faith or lack of...

Å99



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 02:11 AM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 

What do you mean by "seeking religion"? As if that would provide answers..... which religion? Christianity? Which branch of thinking within Christianity? Which version of the Bible? Which pastor or Pope or religious leader? If Christianity were monolithic, it might be different, but its extremely divided. Then, there's the Book. Or which version.

When we find out that there may be translation differences, ESPECIALLY those that are based on Jewish knowledge of their own languages and religious texts and stating that Christian writings got it wrong, what are we to think? Seeking religion.... I seek answers and truths but only find more questions. I wish it were otherwise.

I would love to have faith in something that might make actual sense of this crazy world, but no religious person tells me anything other than my lack of faith is my downfall. Don't ask questions, just follow doctrine and your heart. But my heart wants logic and proof as well does my mind. Those that DON'T ask questions of authority, be it religious or government, scare me.

So we pick apart arguments and discussions based on old writings that have been modified, parts of which were chosen, parts of which were discarded, parts of which there have been different translations and interpretations.... what are logical and scientific minded people with common sense to believe? Just as in discussions of UFOs and Aliens and Ghosts and Strange Creatures, and Moon Landings... we would all like some kind of proof.

My girlfriend and i are having a tough time because I am skeptical of her watching videos and stories of people who have had visitations or gone to heaven. Without first hand experience, it is all hearsay to me. She has been fooled and taken advantage of by a number of people. Too trusting perhaps. Wanting to believe is not necessarily good reason to believe.
edit on 3-11-2013 by jaxnmarko because: punctuation
edit on 3-11-2013 by jaxnmarko because: paragraphing
edit on 3-11-2013 by jaxnmarko because: actual paragraphing



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 02:19 AM
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reply to post by puzzlesphere
 


Would it surprise you to know I agree with some of that? I'm a scientist. We only understand things by probing them, testing them, questioning them. I wouldn't claim to know all the answers. There are a bazillion things about Christianity I still don't quite understand, things no one understands yet. My faith comes from faith, not proof. Proof of something removes your free will to not believe it. Faith is gut instinct, not logical reasoning. You know for a fact that germs cause disease because it's been proven scientifically, but Ignaz Semmelweis had to take it on faith. Think how many lives his faith saved, how many would've been lost if he'd simply believed what the medical community told him to believe. The man's a friggin' hero because of his faith in his instincts.

The philosophy at the core of Christianity is thus: "Love everyone as you love yourself, including God, and have faith that Christ was God's son, sent here to rescue us." If that leads to conflict, it's man's fault, not God's, any more than it's Einstein's fault that Japan got nuked. Not all people are like that. Those who are like that, those who use Christianity as an excuse for conflict and hate, are not Christians. If they were, they wouldn't behave like that. It is not Christianity that should be questioned, it's man's misguided interpretation of it that should be. Make sense?



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 


Why did so many non-Christians (and some Christians) fall for the Mayan Calender prophecies about 2012?

How were so many non-Christians able to look past the Mayan religion and invest belief in the Mayan priests who developed this so called End of Time, End of the Age, end of something doomsday prognostications?

I didn't hear the same thing against the Mayan religion from non-Christians, but it does seem when someone enters the room and says "Hello, nice to meet you, I'm a Christian", everyone points and says "Save us from the Christian"?

But let's wonder about this, how many of you truly believed in 2011 that the end was coming in 2012 and engaged in discussing it and not once did you slam the Mayan RELIGION with all it's human, bloody sacrifices? But Christianity, you call Barbaric, but couldn't twist to see that the Mayan prophecy came from their own religious system while they were ripping the hearts out of blue-painted people offering to Quetzlcoatl?

If we went back through the 2012 threads, who would we find posting positive messages on there? But the Mayans got a pass from most of you, even though it was a religious system full of temples and priests. Don't even say it doesn't exist any more because it does, they just aren't sacrificing any more.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 02:40 AM
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ColCurious
 

Wherever religious zealotry attempts to meddle with politics. We can't have that.

No, we can't. Governments have too much power to also be in control of religion. But I doubt politicians spend much time debating religion on discussion boards. It's the things they do in secret that need to be, but cannot be, watched. Only money sways their opinions, for the most part. That's why the Mormons get to dictate the laws that everyone in Utah has to abide by. Inexcusable. But it sure ain't gonna be solved in an ATS post.


... And whenever religious people attempt to declare their opinions to be facts, ignoring the scientific method, armed with a bucket full of fundamental logical fallacies.

The scientific method breaks down when there are observations that must be made to gather evidence and no way exists to perform said observations. Nothing outside of this universe can be looked at, because no instruments can do so, and if God's real, he's outside the universe (otherwise how could he have created it?) Thus, science will always fail to explain the spiritual. All that's left is faith, and gut instinct. We all go with our gut for spiritual beliefs, whatever side we're on; nothing else is possible.

So why, I wonder, are there millions and millions of Christians? They can't all just be brainwashed sheep. Some of them are very intelligent indeed. What convinced them?



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 02:52 AM
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reply to post by jaxnmarko
 

I don't just get my religious beliefs from the Bible, though it's a good starting place if one studies it in the original languages (yes, I agree that translation errors are the rule rather than the exception). My faith cannot be explained or rationalized. It wells up from within, uncontrollably, driven by instinct (which Christians believe is the "Holy Spirit"). I contemplate the basic story scripture is telling, and I think, "Yeah, that makes sense." It does all make sense to me, in a way that can't be put into words. The more I learn, the more I think about it, the more it gets reinforced.

My only advice is to keep looking within for answers, not in a book or the words of humans. If you really want to find God, he'll make sure you find your way to him.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:06 AM
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Well, there is this thing on ATS that lists all the NEW topics, and recent posts in threads, in one big lump. I use that quite a lot. And often there are a few religious threads, this one included, that list in them.

So if it's entitled "I love god. thanks" I usually ignore it. But if it's "I I love god and you should too, or you're a sinner!" then I come in and have a gander. And often what I see irks me to the back teeth.

And then there are the sort of folk who waltz into unrelated threads with such enticing quips as "Read the bible." as the sole answer to someones dilemma. Yesiree, I do tend to consider that an opportunity to engage the religious folk in some haughty banter.

Otherwise, I tend to mind my own bees wax when it comes to someones personal religious choices.

It's quite striking, how often they get uppity and point fingers at all and sundry who have had a gut full of their superiority and moral snobbery, and question Why oh Why do we go into their sacred dens to pontificate in the negative.

Yet more often than not, they are blind to the fact that they themselves are out and about espousing their religious intolerance in all things non-religious. Striking indeed how it only goes one way.

About to become homeless? Read the bible.
Got cancer? Pray to god.
Want to find spirituality? Get on your knees or you're a sucker.
Like a beer or two? Drugs are for mugs man... jesus is the only way.
Having a spot of bother with the missus? Religion will fix you!! Have a psalm.
Sick of religion? Why are you coming into our religion based forums and having a go, you stupids!!!

I have nothing against people who believe in fantasy. I don't go about hassling people who dress up as elves and goblins or furry little animals. I don't harangue people who dress up as knights and fair maidens and battle with rubber swords for the honor of the kingdom... Because they don't go around walking up to strangers and saying "Hey has anyone ever told you about king arthur? Let me tell yo a story..."

I'd take his sword and plunge it where not even merlin could find it.

Basically, the bottom line is this. Religious folk are bloody annoying. Hopefully if I am as equally annoying, they'll get the point. If not, well I have a giggle, they learn patience, and it's all a learning experience...
edit on 3-11-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:06 AM
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Coming from the mouth of someone who does believe, people of faith do themselves very few favours when they start using their belief as leverage for hatred. i.e the 'God hates' brigade. Most of these people are ill educated in their own faith and are simply cherry picking bits of the bible to justify their prejudices and agendas.

I believe Jesus was the one whom very wisely said 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' Christians are every bit as much guilty of one liners and cheap shots at non believers. This is one of those age old arguments that nobody ever really wins.

However, if a person of faith wants to reach out to a non believer, it needs to be done in a compassionate, non judgmental and open minded manner. After all, it is every person's right to believe or disbelieve as they want. We each see the 'truth' from our own point of view and we are all equal in the eyes of God whom our faith teaches us is the only one who gets to call people out and to judge them.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:09 AM
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reply to post by WarminIndy
 


I believed that 12/21/2012 might get fulfilled by people, as in, TPTB would use it as an excuse for some Evil Act they had planned. And who knows; maybe they did start something on that day that will eventually lead to humanity's downfall. I never saw it as having a religious component, though. The Mayans didn't prophesy doom and destruction; they just made a really long calendar, and that's the date it happened to cycle. The doom prophecies were all our doing (mostly New Agers, Terrance McKenna's "Timewave" followers, and the media, both mainstream and not). The non-religious fear the future. The rest of us await it eagerly.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:19 AM
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reply to post by winofiend
 



winofiend
Well, there is this thing on ATS that lists all the NEW topics, and recent posts in threads, in one big lump. I use that quite a lot. And often there are a few religious threads, this one included, that list in them.

So if it's entitled "I love god. thanks" I usually ignore it. But if it's "I I love god and you should too, or you're a sinner!" then I come in and have a gander. And often what I see irks me to the back teeth.

And then there are the sort of folk who waltz into unrelated threads with such enticing quips as "Read the bible." as the sole answer to someones dilemma. Yesiree, I do tend to consider that an opportunity to engage the religious folk in some haughty banter.

Otherwise, I tend to mind my own bees wax when it comes to someones personal religious choices.

It's quite striking, how often they get uppity and point fingers at all and sundry who have had a gut full of their superiority and moral snobbery, and question Why oh Why do we go into their sacred dens to pontificate in the negative.

Yet more often than not, they are blind to the fact that they themselves are out and about espousing their religious intolerance in all things non-religious. Striking indeed how it only goes one way.

About to become homeless? Read the bible.
Got cancer? Pray to god.
Want to find spirituality? Get on your knees or you're a sucker.
Like a beer or two? Drugs are for mugs man... jesus is the only way.
Having a spot of bother with the missus? Religion will fix you!! Have a psalm.
Sick of religion? Why are you coming into our religion based forums and having a go, you stupids!!!

I have nothing against people who believe in fantasy. I don't go about hassling people who dress up as elves and goblins or furry little animals. I don't harangue people who dress up as knights and fair maidens and battle with rubber swords for the honor of the kingdom... Because they don't go around walking up to strangers and saying "Hey has anyone ever told you about king arthur? Let me tell yo a story..."

I'd take his sword and plunge it where not even merlin could find it.

Basically, the bottom line is this. Religious folk are bloody annoying. Hopefully if I am as equally annoying, they'll get the point. If not, well I have a giggle, they learn patience, and it's all a learning experience...
edit on 3-11-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)


Seems like you are looking for something...

What age did you stop believing in God??

Do you remember?



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:40 AM
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reply to post by markosity1973
 


Well-said. It is vital to understand and recognize the distinction between the two types of religious belief. They're called "extrinsic" (egotistical foaming-at-the-mouth fire-and-brimstone fundamentalists with no sense of humor and a vicious attitude towards non-believers who selfishly use religion as a weapon or tool for their own betterment) and "intrinsic" (those who have actually incorporated the true teachings of their religion into their hearts and do their best to live by them). Extrinsic Christians are not actually Christians, it's impossible. It's like their only purpose is to make the intrinsic ones look bad, to discredit the religion itself and thus its God ("Save us from the Christian!"). Once you can tell them apart, and it ain't hard, the extrinsics can't fool you, but you have to know first that there is a difference. Otherwise all Christians go into the same pigeonhole, and everyone suffers. Nothing vexes me more than having to watch Westboro Baptist members pretending they're Christians. They're the quintessence of extrinsic Christians. I just don't know if they're doing it on purpose or not... but probably.

Open-mindedness, compassion, generosity, and being non-judgemental are hallmarks of the intrinsic, but everyone seems to think that all Christians are extrinsic. The problem is a lack of education; if everyone knew about this, they would simply ignore the extrinsic ones. They're obvious. Just look for the rabies symptoms.

And now I suppose I have to get a bit hypocritical. Since they make us look bad, extrinsic Christians probably should be challenged when they start spewing all over a thread. No intrinsic Christian would even write posts like "You're going to hell, you sinner!" Intrinsic Christians do start a lot of threads that are attempting to be helpful that then get taken over by a fight between atheists and extrinsics. Oh, I know the solution: intrinsic moderators! It could happen.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:49 AM
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I think I pretty well nailed it in one...

Classic disingenuousness disguised as preaching.

Religion, Faith and Theology...that's the answer to your fake 'serious question'...

...and you asked for it.

Å99



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 03:57 AM
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Thought Provoker

Then why would you, as an atheist, browse threads in religious fora at all?


BROWSE?
No.
Up at the top of the screen are several category buttons.
I typically poke back and forth between the one labelled "NEW", and the one labelled "myATS".

Under "NEW", thread titles are displayed, and, as often is the case, it happenstance occurs that quite a number of these religious forum threads Title themselves challengingly, or, in asking questions I happen to know the answers to as it applies to ancient History, or in embracing an outright fiction that's quite readily documented Historically from various sources to be contrary to their embrasure.
Example: Sargon of Akkad

... Sargon was the illegitimate son of a priestess (older translations describe his mother as lowly). She brought him forth in secret and placed him in a basket of reeds on the river. He was found by Akki the irrigator who raised him as his own son.

Sound familiar?
This guy lived, as a real, legitimate verified person some 1000 years before the invented Moses character was suppose to have existed.
This, isn't the only Hebrew theft from Sargon either.
Sargon and his grandson Naram-Sin were amalgamated into the invented biblical character Nimrod.



I wouldn't trust a one of 'em, myself. But are you saying that religion should not be discussed on ATS, that freedom of speech should be abridged? By the way, a "church" is defined as "two or more people gathered in God's name." There are thousands of Christians gathered together here on ATS; doesn't that make this forum a "church?"


Freedom of speech works both ways.
Sexual intercourse is typically defined by engagements between two or more people too, but, it's usually considered quite tacky, rude, offensive, and all around bad form to practice such in public where anyone and everyone can see and be affected by it.
Some may not realize this, but, there's a growing demographic that feels the same about displays of religion in public.



I can't speak for anyone else, but I myself never do that. And it's a bit difficult trying to visualize the circumstances that would lead to you being forced to read religious posts on ATS. There is no one waving them at you. You choose to read them. Why? To be done unto?


Actually, the posts are, indeed, somewhat being waved about, since, just in case this might be news, this is a public forum and these topics, as described and elucidated on earlier pop up.



Back to free speech though; as said, it works both ways. If you (Majestic plural, not 'you' specifically individually) don't like or want contrary dialogue and challenging debate, then, it might be wise not to post anything that invites such in venues that support such.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by akushla99
 


Preaching? Did I do that? I wasn't intending to. I just wanted to know why non-religious people get so concerned about religious matters that they spend time fighting about it in places where it can't possibly make a difference. I understand the phenomenon a little better already, in fact. The question wasn't fake or disingenuous; I would've still wondered about it even if I was a non-religious person. I still wonder about the attitudes, though, the vehemence, the meanness, the outright hostility. Why is that always a part of some people's debate style? Simple immaturity, or something deeper?



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 04:18 AM
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Thought Provoker
reply to post by akushla99
 


Preaching? Did I do that? I wasn't intending to. I just wanted to know why non-religious people get so concerned about religious matters that they spend time fighting about it in places where it can't possibly make a difference. I understand the phenomenon a little better already, in fact. The question wasn't fake or disingenuous; I would've still wondered about it even if I was a non-religious person. I still wonder about the attitudes, though, the vehemence, the meanness, the outright hostility. Why is that always a part of some people's debate style? Simple immaturity, or something deeper?


But, did you have a problem posting in a topic heading Religion, Faith and Theology, and going on to say things like...

"personal attacks ensue that have nothing to do with the thread topic"... When the thread topic is titled Understanding Religious Opposition...topic does not mention Christianity.

Or...

" it's always "Atheism vs. Christianity."...cos I had the distinct impression that you were genuinly going to discuss Understanding Religious Opposition...not Chritianity versus the non-believers, because indeed, that is not what the Forum topic heading suggests...and I said as much in answer to your long-winded query...

I still wonder whether the immaturity of averred christians is even recognised as the passive-agressive psych game that it is, and if they believe they really are jiggling anyones marbles...

I don't know, you tell me...

Å99
edit on 3-11-2013 by akushla99 because: (no reason given)






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