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Do atheists ever post on religious forums?
Posted: 13 September 2013 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just a question here… do atheists ever bother to add their comments on religious forums?

I noticed that religious folks post here at times, which I actually find engaging (sometimes only), but do atheists ever bother to post on religious forums? I would guess not, unless you like arguing and getting nowhere, but maybe there are people who do? No idea. Any input?

Thanks.

Michelle

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Posted: 13 September 2013 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not me. Most religious people do not want to engage in honest debate. They’d rather, as LilySmith recently demonstrated, gloss over religious atrocities and contradictions and cherry pick their favorite passages than examine their beliefs objectively. Going to a religious forum and debating them is a waste of my time.

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Posted: 13 September 2013 11:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have not posted on strictly religious forums, but a while ago I stupidly tried to challenge some thread on a woo based forum.

It was a thread about the power of “spiritual health” and curing disease; the members of that forum were completely batsh** crazy, and I was a fool to even try and discuss anything with them. shut eye

[ Edited: 13 September 2013 11:38 PM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 14 September 2013 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks to both answers so far. That’s sort of what I figured….

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Posted: 14 September 2013 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Not so fast.  I USED to post on Christian forums.  Sometimes they can be difficult.  For example, on one I described myself as an agnostic.  Their attitude was:  “Agnostic means you don’t know, therefore you should take our word for it because we DO know.”  And that was pretty much it.  They refused to take anything I said seriously.  On the other hand, I have had some interesting conversations on another forum.  I made it clear from the onset that I wasn’t there to convert anybody, just to give a secular humanist’s perspective on some of the topics.  Mainly everyday things like morality; I rarely bothered debating about the scriptures themselves.  Some people accepted me.  Others didn’t.  One of the admins kept telling me what I was SUPPOSED to believe, being an atheist, and I kept telling him he was wrong, and that being an atheist I was in a much better position to know what I believed than he was!  smile

The only reason I don’t post there still is that the forum itself is defunct.  They pulled the plug.  Sometimes I think about finding another one, but I’m just not that ambitious these days.

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Posted: 14 September 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It appears to me that missionary work is part of being a believer.  I have no interest in ´╗┐proselytizing´╗┐ so I don’t go on them.  However, I think some younger atheists do go on for the fun of the debate.  I think even they realize they aren’t going to change anyone.

I was on a general discussion forum years ago, and one of the theists gave some really insane arguments to prove god’s existence.  The atheists there completely disproved his arguments because they were making statements about percents of people in various situations and quite a bit of present day meteorology, physics, chemistry, etc.  He shut up, however, a year or so later he was on an adjacent forum and gave the same stupid arguments.  Not interested in truth, only in conversions.

Occam

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Posted: 14 September 2013 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Don’t need to. I’m surrounded daily by xtians who can’t wait to tell you about their particular brand of fundamentalism from Jehovah Witnesses to Pentacostals who periodically stand on street corners with signs begging us to honk if we love the unborn. So, I have no need to engage anyone on a believer’s site when all I have to do is shout “atheist here” in the local supermarket and like pigs to the trough they come running to convert me. There are seven churches within walking distance of my house BTW. Lots of wide eyed young fundies in the neighborhood. That’s one of the reasons I’m on this site.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 14 September 2013 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Occam. - 14 September 2013 03:34 PM

Not interested in truth, only in conversions.

Any theists sincerely interested in truth will quickly convert to skepticism.

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Posted: 14 September 2013 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Michelle D. - 13 September 2013 05:25 PM

Just a question here… do atheists ever bother to add their comments on religious forums?

I noticed that religious folks post here at times, which I actually find engaging (sometimes only), but do atheists ever bother to post on religious forums? I would guess not, unless you like arguing and getting nowhere, but maybe there are people who do? No idea. Any input?

Thanks.

Michelle


They’re bad enough on groups like this one.  If it’s a religious forum I think it would be hard to get any skeptical or atheist point across. Religious people tend to get their feelings hurt easily if you say anything that goes against their beliefs.  They can’t seem to understand skepticism, either, especially if it involves religion.  It’s usually a losing game.

Lois

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Posted: 14 September 2013 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’ve done it, probably for the same reason as people were trying to have a discussion with LilySmith: I was trying to see if I could get through.

I took the question to mean “theistic,” not religious. I am religious. I wish people would stop using the terms synonymously. It’s insulting to the millions of us secularists who are not theistic but are religious, and it’s inaccurate.

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Posted: 15 September 2013 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I won a T-shirt last year for one of the most prolific posters at Tony Jones’ blog on patheos.com. I have since cut back, mostly boredom. He is very open minded and I’ve had some good discussions there. They are “emerging church” folk, so I like to push them.

I tried Theoweb, back when I was more on the fence, but there were some people who chased me from topic to topic and hassled me no matter what I said. There are some way fundies there. I found a more progressive thread here or there, but couldn’t figure out to get away from the fundies. I can’t remember if I bothered contacting the moderators.

I also comment at OnBeing now and then, but there’s not much discussion there.

Any other place I’ve just been ignored most of the time.

I have Patheos on face book, they have a lot of progressive people, Frank Schaeffer and others. Every now and then they’ll solicit atheist comments and I usually respond.

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Posted: 15 September 2013 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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PLaClair - 14 September 2013 08:39 PM

I’ve done it, probably for the same reason as people were trying to have a discussion with LilySmith: I was trying to see if I could get through.

I took the question to mean “theistic,” not religious. I am religious. I wish people would stop using the terms synonymously. It’s insulting to the millions of us secularists who are not theistic but are religious, and it’s inaccurate.

The problem is that most people equate “religious” with theism.  You are left to explain exactly what you mean every time you use the word, often several times to the same people. It’s like the word “belief.”. It doesn’t do any good, even on a group like this, to suggest people be careful in their use of words because you will get a firestorm of opposition from people who will accuse you of trying to control their speech or thoughts. The only thing you can do is continue to be misunderstood about certain words or explain them ad infinitum. It’s a no-win game. Too many people don’t see words as communication tools. They see them as weapons they own, like a gun.  Just suggest they might want to use it in a more thoughtful way and they’re liable to shoot you.

Lois

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Posted: 15 September 2013 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Well said, Lois.  Unfortunately few have even heard the word, semantics.

Occam

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Posted: 15 September 2013 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Lois (and Occam), you didn’t admit that you were wrong about the word “belief,” even though you clearly were. You simply ignored the long list of usages by top secularists. See “The war of the words” topic in the Humanism forum and “Should theistic fact claims . . .” in the Religion and Secularism forum.

Now you make the same claim about “religious” and again you are dead wrong. It’s not just a difference of opinion. You’re dead wrong, and as in the other topics you don’t have a shred of evidence to back up your claim. I don’t mind explaining myself a bit. You write as though people just use single words unassociated with anything else, which of course is ridiculous. I have no problem at all communicating the fact that I do not believe in a supreme being (God) but am very religious. Most people understand that just fine. You don’t understand it but that’s because you don’t want to understand it. You have an emotional reaction to these words. Lois, you admitted it. You were presented with overwhelming evidence in the form of clearly understandable uses of the word “belief” in two other topics. And what did you do? You ignored the evidence and persisted in your claim, which you now make again as though none of the above ever happened. And as with those other instances, neither of you has a shred of evidence that people don’t understand me when I use this word “religious.”

Tell me, Lois and Occam, how is your behavior on this point any different from that of the most close-minded biblical fundamentalist? It’s a serious question. I don’t see a difference, so if you do see one, I’d like to know what it is. If you are serious about the intellectual component of secular humanism, you will give this question a serious and honest answer - and since you won’t be able to do that, you will admit that you were wrong. Because you are. The evidence is right here on these forums for anyone to read.

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Posted: 15 September 2013 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Well, Paul, you have me confused. How can you be religious without believing in a god?

[ Edited: 15 September 2013 07:36 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 15 September 2013 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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DarronS - 15 September 2013 07:31 PM

Well, Paul, you have me confused. How can you be religious without believing in a god?

You can be a member of Ethical Culture.

You can be a Tibetan Buddhist.

You can be a Confucian.

You can be a New-Ager, though mostly I don’t recommend it.

You can be a Stoic.

You can be a Taoist.

You can be a Unitarian-Universalist who doesn’t believe in a god.

You can be a secular Jew.

Or you can be a Humanist like me who sees all of life’s central concerns as part of his religion.

I understand that Harvard University Press is about to publish Ronald Dworkin’s final work, a book entitled Religion Without God. Check out a pre-review from the New York Times book review department at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/apr/04/religion-without-god/?pagination=false .

Really, folks, this is old news. I know that a statement like that won’t make me popular but this is a stupid argument that we need to get past if we are going to be taken seriously. It’s time we got with the program.

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