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Friendly Atheist: Atheists Need to Do a Better Job of Communication
Posted: 10 April 2012 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hemant Mehta, a.k.a., the Friendly Atheist, says that atheists should learn some Christian marketing tactics:

We’re so laser-focused on proving we’re right that we often ignore the way in which we communicate this information. We think that if we just state the evidence, people will figure it out. They won’t. They rarely do. They don’t all think like we do.

Is this even worthwhile to talk about? I think so. Dawkins does a wonderful job of raising awareness of the problems with religion. But if you want to convince someone who’s not an atheist to take our concerns seriously, nothing beats the power of a good story.

It’s not that we don’t have those kinds of speakers in our movement — we do — but the Christian world is *filled* with them. Hell, it’s a rare event in the Christian world when you’re not emotionally drained after listening to a big-name speaker.

We shouldn’t abandon evidence and logic. But it wouldn’t hurt to put them in a larger context.

Link: Atheists Need to Do a Better Job of Communication

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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How would you, as an atheist, come up with a story about something you don’t believe exists?

Once upon a time Mastro Cherry found a piece of log that didn’t weep and laugh like a child. So he gave it to Geppetto who burned it in his fireplace. The End.  cheese

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

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Turn off Fox News - Bad News For America
(Atheists are myth understood)

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Nooooooo! That pyromaniac! He killed Pinnochio. Now I can’t let my conscience be my guide! angry


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, that slave billboard was so dumb it was hilarious. 

It makes people ask themselves, “How do these atheists think they are smart?”

psik

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 07:29 AM

Yeah, that slave billboard was so dumb it was hilarious. 

It makes people ask themselves, “How do these atheists think they are smart?”

psik

excaim

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Turn off Fox News - Bad News For America
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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 07:23 AM

How would you, as an atheist, come up with a story about something you don’t believe exists?

Once upon a time Mastro Cherry found a piece of log that didn’t weep and laugh like a child. So he gave it to Geppetto who burned it in his fireplace. The End.  cheese

I think of stories about personal experience of what life is like when one is freed from the bondage of religion. Stories of acceptance of people who are rejected by the pious because of how they live or who they love. Stories of learning to experience the wonder and majesty of the cosmos and recognizing that there doesn’t have to be a creator to make it awe-inspiring. There have been a few non-religious people who could do this effectively. Carl Sagan was the best in my lifetime.

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“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 10 April 2012 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Maybe, maybe not; many atheist advocates do give an impression of being pricks - Myers and Dawkins especially.  “Big” personalities among us are rare, and without that it will always be difficult to draw in the rubes; the fact is, we’re talking about trying to convert those who have less than zero interest in science, critical thinking, secularism and so on. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/12231/ This guy Robert McCauley, is probably right that in the long run we freethinkers will always be a small company.

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Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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mid atlantic - 10 April 2012 08:04 AM

Maybe, maybe not; many atheist advocates do give an impression of being pricks - Myers and Dawkins especially.  “Big” personalities among us are rare, and without that it will always be difficult to draw in the rubes; the fact is, we’re talking about trying to convert those who have less than zero interest in science, critical thinking, secularism and so on. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/12231/ This guy Robert McCauley, is probably right that in the long run we freethinkers will always be a small company.

A small company who don’t organize worth a damn.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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traveler - 10 April 2012 07:24 AM

I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

I think our real problem is how slowly we are to accept that reason is not as important to the human mind as we’d like to think it is.

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Cloak - 10 April 2012 06:43 PM
traveler - 10 April 2012 07:24 AM

I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

I think our real problem is how slowly we are to accept that reason is not as important to the human mind as we’d like to think it is.

As much as I hate to admit it, you’re probably right.

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Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

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Posted: 11 April 2012 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Cloak - 10 April 2012 06:43 PM
traveler - 10 April 2012 07:24 AM

I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

I think our real problem is how slowly we are to accept that reason is not as important to the human mind as we’d like to think it is.

Nor to society, ask any advertising excutive.

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 11 April 2012 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Cloak - 10 April 2012 06:43 PM
traveler - 10 April 2012 07:24 AM

I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

I think our real problem is how slowly we are to accept that reason is not as important to the human mind as we’d like to think it is.

Here is a quote from an article by Chris Mooney, author of the Republican Brain, re: a study about

“...the relationship between one’s political party affiliation, one’s acceptance that humans are causing global warming, and one’s level of education. And here’s the mind-blowing surprise: For Republicans, having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say. On the contrary, better-educated Republicans were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans agreed that the planet is warming due to human actions, versus 31 percent of non-college-educated Republicans.

For Democrats and Independents, the opposite was the case. More education correlated with being more accepting of climate science—among Democrats, dramatically so… “


http://www.alternet.org/story/154252/the_republican_brain:_why_even_educated_conservatives_deny_science_—_and_reality/?page=entire

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 11 April 2012 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TimB - 11 April 2012 03:04 PM
Cloak - 10 April 2012 06:43 PM
traveler - 10 April 2012 07:24 AM

I agree in general, but regarding what was said at the Reason Rally, well - it was our rally. We were celebrating amongst ourselves.

Still, I very much agree with what TFA says in that article in the usual day-to-day. We don’t win hearts with pure reason. Sadly.

I think our real problem is how slowly we are to accept that reason is not as important to the human mind as we’d like to think it is.

Here is a quote from an article by Chris Mooney, author of the Republican Brain, re: a study about

“...the relationship between one’s political party affiliation, one’s acceptance that humans are causing global warming, and one’s level of education. And here’s the mind-blowing surprise: For Republicans, having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say. On the contrary, better-educated Republicans were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans agreed that the planet is warming due to human actions, versus 31 percent of non-college-educated Republicans.

For Democrats and Independents, the opposite was the case. More education correlated with being more accepting of climate science—among Democrats, dramatically so… “


http://www.alternet.org/story/154252/the_republican_brain:_why_even_educated_conservatives_deny_science_—_and_reality/?page=entire

People are more likely to accept information when they no longer feel threatened by it. You and I feel that we have something to gain from new information, so we are less likely to ignore it or explain it away. For a lot of people, religion and mythology provides them with a sense of stability, for many reasons that I think are obvious. When we try to shove information in their face that threatens the stability of that foundation, then we shouldn’t expect them to be so welcoming. People have needs, and “being right” is rarely at the top of that list. Self-preservation demands that we protect the things that meet our deepest psychological/emotional needs, and since religion appears to be meeting those needs for most people, they will fight you down to tooth and nail to sustain it. In my opinion, the real battle comes down to convincing people that they have nothing to be afraid of, that its actually possible to be happy on the “other side”.

When I used to be a Christian, I didn’t have to look too long at the angry arrogance of many of those in the so-called “New Atheist” movement, and conclude that they had nothing to offer me. It was not until religion had let me down one too many times that I was able to open myself to an alternate perspective. I was at the point where I hated religion, and wanted out. All of a sudden, all of the information that I used to ignore or explain away sounded much more compelling. And yes, after I abandoned religion, I experienced a genuine sense of liberation that was stronger than I’d ever imagined.

The problem with most atheists is that they forget that people are much more complex than computers.

[ Edited: 11 April 2012 08:11 PM by Cloak ]
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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 05 May 2012 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I had to reply to this:

I think of stories about personal experience of what life is like when one is freed from the bondage of religion

from a senior poster.

I left atheism in my late 20’s after making the mistake of accepting a challenge to simply apply Christ’s teachings to my life.  I did so thinking “no worries”.  Fail.  My life and the lives of those around me improved in a very measurable way.

I understand that some or many of you may have left a fundamentalist/literalist faith, but be very clear:  There is no bondage unless YOU create it.

Dave

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Posted: 05 May 2012 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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canuckzap - 05 May 2012 12:30 AM

I had to reply to this:

I think of stories about personal experience of what life is like when one is freed from the bondage of religion

from a senior poster.

I left atheism in my late 20’s after making the mistake of accepting a challenge to simply apply Christ’s teachings to my life.  I did so thinking “no worries”.  Fail.  My life and the lives of those around me improved in a very measurable way.

I understand that some or many of you may have left a fundamentalist/literalist faith, but be very clear:  There is no bondage unless YOU create it.

Dave

Very true, but there is also no Christ unless you fantasize it.

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