"He's a Christian? This may be problematic"

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Not really, though I'd avoid disclosing my atheism until I got to know them and know how they'd react. I like to flatter myself that I'm fairly good at discussing topics without actually indicating my personal stance.

I'll admit that especially pious people make me feel slightly uncomfortable. Intellectually I can respect that that is their personal beliefs and they are just acting in accordance with them and there is nothing wrong with that (depending on the belief, obviously, but in this context they are often positive things) but for some reason I feel a little uneasy. I can't explain why. I'd never raise the issue or let it spoil a relationship though, life's too short to get wound up about stuff like that.

AgedGrunt:

Vegosiux:
Indeed, they do. But they're not the same. As science advances to explain phenomena that have been previously attributed to deities; it's not Thor that makes lightning, and it's not Morana that makes winter come or makes people die. Thor and Morana are deities, concepts of things that people, at a time, could not explain for themselves.

Religion is a whole other can o' worms though. It has...degrees of adherence.

Mythology, such as Thor, or works of fiction, such as Star Wars and Dr. Who, have degrees of adherence.

Maybe the best thing religion can do is officially re-brand as mythology. Then people can have a portrait of Jesus on their wall or hanging in their cubicles at work and it would be no different than a favorite anime character. The Bible would just be like a really bad fan-fiction, probably turned into manga, but at least the world wouldn't get so offended, just otakus.

Actually, I'm pretty sure there already is a manga version of the Bible.

I think Jesus fights kaiju in it.

Shadowstar38:
Are any of you actually that skittish about the subject about the subject of religion in day to day life? Do seeing people display their faith openly make you feel uncomfortable? Are you more tactful when speaking to people in person, or is it one of those "don't bring it up if you don't have to" situations?

I'm very opinionated and open about what I believe in. Due to this, I love debating anything with just about anybody. I have developed quite the thick skin over my lifetime. I expect other people to have one too. If they don't, I don't much care if they're offended. There is no right to not be offended.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Shadowstar38:
Are any of you actually that skittish about the subject about the subject of religion in day to day life? Do seeing people display their faith openly make you feel uncomfortable? Are you more tactful when speaking to people in person, or is it one of those "don't bring it up if you don't have to" situations?

I'm very opinionated and open about what I believe in. Due to this, I love debating anything with just about anybody. I have developed quite the thick skin over my lifetime. I expect other people to have one too. If they don't, I don't much care if they're offended. There is no right to not be offended.

There is no right to offend either. There is Free Speech, but even it is curtailed in several manners, and you can't say whatever you want. In fact, don't get 'Rights' into this. Right have nothing to do with it. It's about whether or not you want to be a pleasant human being. To offend people needlessly is pointless. To not respect others is contra-productive.

Arakasi:

Lilani:

Arakasi:
Again, this depends on how you view time wasting. If you are a hedonist like myself, none of those things you mentioned are truly time wasting. If you know you're doing something entirely to make yourself feel good, how is that not in accordance with reality?

Ah, I understand now. It's not that you're anti-theist, it's just that you are intolerant to every belief system you don't agree with. As an aspiring philosopher, as you state below, that is rather bad form to be so partial, don't you think?

No, I'm not intolerant to every belief system that is not my own. Simply to those that don't hold up under logical reasoning, and/or evidence. I am very open to change, should evidence or good argument lead me to it.

Technically that's still needing you to be willing to accept what evidence is good or not. You also consider your form of logic to be the only form of logic (judging by what I have read so far).

Realitycrash:

Big_Willie_Styles:

Shadowstar38:
Are any of you actually that skittish about the subject about the subject of religion in day to day life? Do seeing people display their faith openly make you feel uncomfortable? Are you more tactful when speaking to people in person, or is it one of those "don't bring it up if you don't have to" situations?

I'm very opinionated and open about what I believe in. Due to this, I love debating anything with just about anybody. I have developed quite the thick skin over my lifetime. I expect other people to have one too. If they don't, I don't much care if they're offended. There is no right to not be offended.

There is no right to offend either. There is Free Speech, but even it is curtailed in several manners, and you can't say whatever you want. In fact, don't get 'Rights' into this. Right have nothing to do with it. It's about whether or not you want to be a pleasant human being. To offend people needlessly is pointless. To not respect others is contra-productive.

Indeed, I fully agree with him. I find that both sides of this religion vs science/logic/law discussion have tripped somewhere along the line and immediately decided that they were going to war rather then actually talk and discuss, henceforth all pretense for politeness and being pleasant while we discuss and talk has been lost (not in everyone, just in a few intolerable).

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

Lilani:

Ah, I understand now. It's not that you're anti-theist, it's just that you are intolerant to every belief system you don't agree with. As an aspiring philosopher, as you state below, that is rather bad form to be so partial, don't you think?

No, I'm not intolerant to every belief system that is not my own. Simply to those that don't hold up under logical reasoning, and/or evidence. I am very open to change, should evidence or good argument lead me to it.

Technically that's still needing you to be willing to accept what evidence is good or not. You also consider your form of logic to be the only form of logic (judging by what I have read so far).

I've never heard of 'different forms of logic' before. Mind explaining?

A little bit. I do get a bit bothered when people thank god for the great things their neighbors did. Instead of just thanking their neighbors. Although the opposite is true when people feel the need to be openly atheist. If you're pleasant to hang around with I guess I don't care what you believe in.

Arakasi:

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

No, I'm not intolerant to every belief system that is not my own. Simply to those that don't hold up under logical reasoning, and/or evidence. I am very open to change, should evidence or good argument lead me to it.

Technically that's still needing you to be willing to accept what evidence is good or not. You also consider your form of logic to be the only form of logic (judging by what I have read so far).

I've never heard of 'different forms of logic' before. Mind explaining?

Pretty sure he's talking about Scientism and various other 'Anything not learned in this manner can be disregarded' philosophies.

Problematic? Not really. One of my friends actually say our conversations were somewhat a factor in them dropping religion and becoming a heathen like me. I really don't know that many religious folks, and the ones that I do are good people because of their actions, not what they believe in.

cthulhuspawn82:
It's funny to see how things change and still say the same. Religious persecution almost as bad as it ever was, but the roles have reversed. The same thing happened with politics, you used to not want to be open about being liberal least you be called a commie sympathizer; now conservatives have to stay in the closet of get blacklisted by most communities. It was also dangerous to seem unpatriotic in the past, now people with think your a moronic nutjob if you fly the flag in your yard.

As someone in the middle (moderate-agnostic-etc.) it seems sad to me that for all our civil advancement, we have simply traded one form or intolerance for another.

Oh, the tables have not turned yet. The last time a poll was made, most people indicated that atheists were the most distrusted group in the US. It is still very difficult to get elected as an atheist.

Just because Christians make a lot of atheists uncomfortable (partially because there are still rare but well-publicized cases of atheists being murdered by Christians for being atheists) doesn't mean Christians are being discriminated against.

As for myself, I know that something around 90% of the people I talk to in this country are Christian, so having a problem with Christians is not a successful strategy for getting along in life. That said, I don't advertise that I'm an atheist much, especially in certain parts of the country.

Arakasi:

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

No, I'm not intolerant to every belief system that is not my own. Simply to those that don't hold up under logical reasoning, and/or evidence. I am very open to change, should evidence or good argument lead me to it.

Technically that's still needing you to be willing to accept what evidence is good or not. You also consider your form of logic to be the only form of logic (judging by what I have read so far).

I've never heard of 'different forms of logic' before. Mind explaining?

I'm talking about the difference of logic in contra-positive and conditional reasoning, along with other types of reasoning that I being a high school student can't quite comment on due to lack of knowledge.

But yeah, mainly those two forms of logic. Both of which I believe inherently have their flaws when mixed up with human beliefs and the such...

I would also like to note, because I believe I saw it somewhere earlier in this thread...Faith is not religion. Religion requires the usage of faith.

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

Angelblaze:

Technically that's still needing you to be willing to accept what evidence is good or not. You also consider your form of logic to be the only form of logic (judging by what I have read so far).

I've never heard of 'different forms of logic' before. Mind explaining?

I'm talking about the difference of logic in contra-positive and conditional reasoning, along with other types of reasoning that I being a high school student can't quite comment on due to lack of knowledge.

But yeah, mainly those two forms of logic. Both of which I believe inherently have their flaws when mixed up with human beliefs and the such...

I would also like to note, because I believe I saw it somewhere earlier in this thread...Faith is not religion. Religion requires the usage of faith.

There are many flaws in applied logical reasoning, but it is part of the rational process to eliminate those flaws, like bias. Faith is almost certainly no better alternative.

Arakasi:

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

I've never heard of 'different forms of logic' before. Mind explaining?

I'm talking about the difference of logic in contra-positive and conditional reasoning, along with other types of reasoning that I being a high school student can't quite comment on due to lack of knowledge.

But yeah, mainly those two forms of logic. Both of which I believe inherently have their flaws when mixed up with human beliefs and the such...

I would also like to note, because I believe I saw it somewhere earlier in this thread...Faith is not religion. Religion requires the usage of faith.

There are many flaws in applied logical reasoning, but it is part of the rational process to eliminate those flaws, like bias. Faith is almost certainly no better alternative.

But faith naturally comes from repeated reasoning and conclusions or simple basic levels of trust in your logical processes - example: Do you check each and every chair you sit on, right down to the nuts and bolts that make up that chair, check how much weight the seat can take before you sit down? Check with the creators and make sure that they have a history of making sturdy, powerful chairs?

If not and you are just sitting down on the chair you are putting a level of unfounded trust or 'faith' in said chair. You subconsciously decide that 'Hmm, this chair can probably hold me' before you sit down, you don't ask questions. You just sit.

That's faith at its most basic level - to me at least. I could be wrong but I guess its up to opinion as to what both you and I consider to be 'faith'

I'm not arguing against your point, I see where you are coming from but I just want to say that you can't really live without some sort of faith in something even if its as simple as a chair holding you up. Even if you don't realize it you are actually putting alot of faith in TONS of things. In my next breath, I'll have faith that my lungs and blood will continue to work and properly send this oxygen coursing through my body, without realizing. I have faith that somehow you will eventually see this message. I have faith that my fingers will not suddenly burst out into flames upon typing.

In addition, your basic hypothesis in any scientific method is made with a certain level of faith. You may have faith that any pre-existing knowledge you base it off of stays constant and correct, you may have faith that your answer will be apparent through experimentation, observation and the gathering of data. You have faith in science.

I'm not saying faith is the 'holy grail' of all mental reasoning that should be put above everything else, I'm just saying that it has its place right alongside 'logic'.

Angelblaze:
snip.

Actually, nothing that you said actually requires anyone to have faith. I don't test a chair before sitting down because experience shows it will stay up. If it happens to break that's just an unlikely event, but probability still says the next one I sit in should be fine.

Angelblaze:
I have faith that my fingers will not suddenly burst out into flames upon typing.

If faith is something all people have at all times for INFINITE possibilities that could happen then every person is infinitely faithful and faith can be used to descfibe every action performed by anyone ever. What use is it as a term if it cant be used to make any distinctions since EVERYTHING is faith. If EVERYTHING is faith id go as far to say that nothing is faith since it becomes a useless descriptor.

Also you called "repeated reasoning" faith. The idea that you observe something over and over, remember the result and use induction to assume the next action already has a name and its not faith. Its science.

Faith is not the same as trust in my eyes. Trust is earned. You make an initial assumption and then check if it is EVER broken EVER at ANY time in human history. For example the use of inductive reasoning or the scientific method. Have they EVER failed on a completely fundamental basis? Have results changed from the past in front of peoples eyes? Have the rules of logic ever been witnessed to have loopholes or exceptions? If not i have good reason to trust science and logic. Because when i was learning about these tools i couldnt find a single example or exception to their workings. When applied correctly to physical phenomenon they work always 100% of the time to give the most accurate conclusion possible from current evidence. If i watched a man tell the truth on a billion facts for a few thousand years straight it wouldnt take "faith" to know him as a truth teller. Its inductive reasoning that a system that has never been shown to have exception or fail will continue to function. Id say its not faith because i have parameters for dropping or adapting my view.

"I hold my view because it has never ever been shown to be ineffective and its effective every time, if it IS im willing to drop it or adapt it". Not a single part of that requires faith. I have criteria for how my trust can be removed and i have critia for how my trust is earned.

"Complete trust or confidence in someone or something." See i dont COMPLETELY trust the scientific method. I hold it as true because its useful. If you can demonstrate it to NOT be useful i'll drop it in a heart beat with no qualms. Faith implies an emotional investment or "Confidence". If my view is a matter of utilitarianism then theres no investment. Science is to me as an axe is to a lumberjack. Its my tool. If you can show me a better one ill take that instead. Just know ive never found a tree i couldnt log. So to say "You have faith your axe can chop down trees" is silly. Ive been doing it all my life. It can and does.

Angelblaze:

Arakasi:

Angelblaze:

I'm talking about the difference of logic in contra-positive and conditional reasoning, along with other types of reasoning that I being a high school student can't quite comment on due to lack of knowledge.

But yeah, mainly those two forms of logic. Both of which I believe inherently have their flaws when mixed up with human beliefs and the such...

I would also like to note, because I believe I saw it somewhere earlier in this thread...Faith is not religion. Religion requires the usage of faith.

There are many flaws in applied logical reasoning, but it is part of the rational process to eliminate those flaws, like bias. Faith is almost certainly no better alternative.

But faith naturally comes from repeated reasoning and conclusions or simple basic levels of trust in your logical processes - example: Do you check each and every chair you sit on, right down to the nuts and bolts that make up that chair, check how much weight the seat can take before you sit down? Check with the creators and make sure that they have a history of making sturdy, powerful chairs?

If not and you are just sitting down on the chair you are putting a level of unfounded trust or 'faith' in said chair. You subconsciously decide that 'Hmm, this chair can probably hold me' before you sit down, you don't ask questions. You just sit.

It's just a matter of inductive reasoning, a chair has never collapsed under me before, therefore future chairs are unlikely to do so. Not that I'm not picky as to what chairs I sit in, I'm sure as hell not going to sit in some falling apart chair, it requires no faith.

Angelblaze:

That's faith at its most basic level - to me at least. I could be wrong but I guess its up to opinion as to what both you and I consider to be 'faith'

Faith is basically just belief in the absence of evidence. I'm really getting sick of the 'but we all use faith, therefore faith in anything is reasonable' argument.

Angelblaze:

I'm not arguing against your point, I see where you are coming from but I just want to say that you can't really live without some sort of faith in something even if its as simple as a chair holding you up. Even if you don't realize it you are actually putting alot of faith in TONS of things.

I beg to differ.

Angelblaze:

In my next breath, I'll have faith that my lungs and blood will continue to work and properly send this oxygen coursing through my body, without realizing.

I don't. I'm aware at any point that could stop happening, but since it hasn't stopped before, I will continue to act as normal until it does.

Angelblaze:

I have faith that somehow you will eventually see this message.

You know from responding to me that I generally reply, and thus see and read the message. It requires absolutely no faith.

Angelblaze:

I have faith that my fingers will not suddenly burst out into flames upon typing.

Again, it hasn't happened before, and there's no logical reason to think that would happen, so it isn't likely to happen now. No faith necessary.

Angelblaze:

In addition, your basic hypothesis in any scientific method is made with a certain level of faith. You may have faith that any pre-existing knowledge you base it off of stays constant and correct, you may have faith that your answer will be apparent through experimentation, observation and the gathering of data. You have faith in science.

Uhh no. We don't have faith in science. We base models from models, sure, but each level of model has evidence, and once one level of model collapses, anything that's based on it collapses too. There are no illusions.

Angelblaze:

I'm not saying faith is the 'holy grail' of all mental reasoning that should be put above everything else, I'm just saying that it has its place right alongside 'logic'.

Uhh. No.

To answer to the OP's specific situation, she probably thought that if you found out she was an Atheist you would hate her. Most Atheists are uneasy around christians because, you know, the more vocal part or your faith is constantly calling for us to either convert, leave the country, or decry us as traitors and terrorists (Actually had a guy in Texas call me a traitor and threaten to call the police. Some of his friends got him to back down, though.). We Atheists tend to get a lot of flak because one of the most vocal parts of our group, the Antitheists, make religious people very uncomfortable. As a result, many Atheists will not enter relationships with religious people for fear that the backlash if they came out as Atheist would destroy the relationship.

I personally have heard of more than a few bad breakups and divorces over the fact that one person in the relationship was an Atheist.

Shadowstar38:
I tend to not think too much about religion outside of bitching at you people on the internet. But when I do, it's awkward.

A friend of my brother came by the other day to met me. When I went back to my room, I noticed she was looking a little worried over something in the living room, and she had a side conversation with my brother.

The thing she was looking at was my "youth of the year" plaque from church, which I never bothered to take down. Apparently she's a hardcore atheist and she was afraid we wouldn't get along. Not really sure why just coming up to me and asking about was out of the question.

Are any of you actually that skittish about the subject about the subject of religion in day to day life? Do seeing people display their faith openly make you feel uncomfortable? Are you more tactful when speaking to people in person, or is it one of those "don't bring it up if you don't have to" situations?

So she is discriminating people for such things.
I find any kind of discrimination to be bad and immature.
My mindset is that what we should look for to shape an opinion on a person is its behavior,the way it treats people.
I don't care what this other person wears,what music it listens,what's its race,nationality,religion,or how much wealthy it is. I'll judge people by the way they behave. Bad behavior is bad behavior,and I consider discriminating is bad behavior.
How can you shape up a whole opinion for another human being just from a single fact like what it's believin' or what music it likes to listen ?
Humans are complex beings.

Now most of the times I see people display their faith openly,I don't feel bad or uncomfortable.Sometimes if its an exotic religion I might be curious and want to watch what they are doing out of curiosity,because I want to learn what these people belive in,what's the explanation of what I see happening etc. But usually I just don't talk much about such things.
Once some Koreans who live on the same district saw me and gave me food. It was food from some holiday they had,religious holiday. It didn't made me feel uncomfortable. They just handed out to me something for free,what's bad on that ?
And PS I found the taste be rather interesting.
Some day I wanted to share some of the crackers I had with some people I meet everyday on my job,and I also offered to a guy from Bangladesh. He told me it's the day of Ramazan and he can't eat anything until night. I asked why and he kindly explained me. No one felt bad. He smiled.And I,learnt something new.

Spartan448:
To answer to the OP's specific situation, she probably thought that if you found out she was an Atheist you would hate her. Most Atheists are uneasy around christians because, you know, the more vocal part or your faith is constantly calling for us to either convert, leave the country, or decry us as traitors and terrorists (Actually had a guy in Texas call me a traitor and threaten to call the police. Some of his friends got him to back down, though.). We Atheists tend to get a lot of flak because one of the most vocal parts of our group, the Antitheists, make religious people very uncomfortable. As a result, many Atheists will not enter relationships with religious people for fear that the backlash if they came out as Atheist would destroy the relationship.

I personally have heard of more than a few bad breakups and divorces over the fact that one person in the relationship was an Atheist.

Those people that call themselves christians and act in such way,are using the name of christianity wrong. They say the are christians,but are not.
Christ said "anyone/whoever wants follows",meaning that no one is obliged or forced to follow Him (his teaching),thus giving the freedom to each human to decide what to do as they please.
If someone tries to force other people to follow Christ,then that person goes against the teaching of Christ,which is of course a paradox,and a very very bad example. How does this person think that it can attract people on that faith,when this very own person that claims itself following that faith,doesn't do it,and is doing things against the teaching of the faith ?

Eddie the head:
Mostly when I learn people are religious, christian or otherwise, I just feel sorry for them. It's not hate it's not even contempt or even distrust (for the most part, unless they're Mormon) just pity.

I've never understood this. What about it makes you pity them?

Shadowstar38:

Eddie the head:
Mostly when I learn people are religious, christian or otherwise, I just feel sorry for them. It's not hate it's not even contempt or even distrust (for the most part, unless they're Mormon) just pity.

I've never understood this. What about it makes you pity them?

I just think it's sad when people can't live in reality and have to make up there own.

Eddie the head:

Shadowstar38:

Eddie the head:
Mostly when I learn people are religious, christian or otherwise, I just feel sorry for them. It's not hate it's not even contempt or even distrust (for the most part, unless they're Mormon) just pity.

I've never understood this. What about it makes you pity them?

I just think it's sad when people can't live in reality and have to make up there own.

That's basically as ignorant as the guy who keeps saying that we all know about God, but some of us are liars. It's fairly obvious that that is not what religious people do. I'm really not a fan of assertions that you know what people believe 'deep down' better than they do.

I don't really have any problem with religion itself. It's more the stupid political views, racism, and homophobia that often accompany it around here that bother me.

People also seem to just be confused by my outlook on religion anyway. I believe in God. I believe in the Bible (not as literal history but something closer to metaphor and parable with some history mixed in). And I have no use for the church or organized religion in general.

Aside from my borderline fundamentalist grandmother my worst experience with religious people happened a year or so ago.
I was eating lunch alone in the college cafeteria reading a book. My schedule and my friends hadn't synched up for lunch that day. A guy I had seen maybe twice took it upon himself to try to be my friend and preach to me. Despite being less and less subtle about not wanting anything to do with him he refused to leave. I eventually told him to his face that he was wasting his time preaching to a man who hasn't willingly entered a church since I was14. .Thankfully he left after that.

Eddie the head:
I just think it's sad when people can't live in reality and have to make up there own.

I thought the general idea is that reality is whatever you make of it. Philosophy sure bent that a millennia or so ago.

Take for example your reality:
90% of the earth are idiotic delusional psychopaths who have a massive global conspiracy to create something that none of them really believe, they just decided to make up to comfort themselves (thought their knowledge of it being fake removes the placebo effect, but whatever, this is your reality) and where you - thanks to your immutable reason and grip on absolute reality (see Lovecraft and Poe) - are the true authority on reality, able to determine that people are escaping absolute reality by inventing new ones due to their lack of... something.
That actually sounds pretty fucked up, man.

Then again, maybe we just shouldn't make sweeping generalisations about the internal thoughts, emotions and true beliefs of the vast majority of the planet's people.

I admit I actively avoid associating with people who follow a religion or just can't seem to get along with them. I get the feeling our brains are wired in a different way, like they're unwilling to attempt to observe something from a different perspective and seem incapable of changing their minds about something when new evidence is presented. This isn't just about their religious beliefs either - that I could handle - but almost every other aspect of their lives.

It's almost as though the concept of change is something to be fought, that history should be repeated rather than learned from and that the subjective is just as valuable as the objective.

The only time somebody of faith makes me uncomfortable is when they try to shove it down my throat. But other than that, no not really.

ClockworkPenguin:

That's basically as ignorant as the guy who keeps saying that we all know about God, but some of us are liars. It's fairly obvious that that is not what religious people do. I'm really not a fan of assertions that you know what people believe 'deep down' better than they do.

Well I didn't say that. I know they likely believe it "deep down." That's kind of irreverent. I never claimed they knew they where wrong. I just claimed they where wrong.

Zeh Don:

I thought the general idea is that reality is whatever you make of it. Philosophy sure bent that a millennia or so ago.

Take for example your reality:
90% of the earth are idiotic delusional psychopaths who have a massive global conspiracy to create something that none of them really believe, they just decided to make up to comfort themselves (thought their knowledge of it being fake removes the placebo effect, but whatever, this is your reality) and where you - thanks to your immutable reason and grip on absolute reality (see Lovecraft and Poe) - are the true authority on reality, able to determine that people are escaping absolute reality by inventing new ones due to their lack of... something.
That actually sounds pretty fucked up, man.

Then again, maybe we just shouldn't make sweeping generalisations about the internal thoughts, emotions and true beliefs of the vast majority of the planet's people.

Well I would disagree with the idea that "perception is reality" perception is just the narrow field of view in witch we view reality. But then we go back to this. I never claimed that they knew they where wrong. I claimed they where wrong. So maybe we should stop making strawman and address what was said not what is easy to attack. And by reality I mean the facts with logic reason and observation.

Eddie the head:

ClockworkPenguin:

That's basically as ignorant as the guy who keeps saying that we all know about God, but some of us are liars. It's fairly obvious that that is not what religious people do. I'm really not a fan of assertions that you know what people believe 'deep down' better than they do.

Well I didn't say that. I know they likely believe it "deep down." That's kind of irreverent. I never claimed they knew they where wrong. I just claimed they where wrong.

Zeh Don:

I thought the general idea is that reality is whatever you make of it. Philosophy sure bent that a millennia or so ago.

Take for example your reality:
90% of the earth are idiotic delusional psychopaths who have a massive global conspiracy to create something that none of them really believe, they just decided to make up to comfort themselves (thought their knowledge of it being fake removes the placebo effect, but whatever, this is your reality) and where you - thanks to your immutable reason and grip on absolute reality (see Lovecraft and Poe) - are the true authority on reality, able to determine that people are escaping absolute reality by inventing new ones due to their lack of... something.
That actually sounds pretty fucked up, man.

Then again, maybe we just shouldn't make sweeping generalisations about the internal thoughts, emotions and true beliefs of the vast majority of the planet's people.

Well I would disagree with the idea that "perception is reality" perception is just the narrow field of view in witch we view reality. But then we go back to this. I never claimed that they knew they where wrong. I claimed they where wrong. So maybe we should stop making strawman and address what was said not what is easy to attack. And by reality I mean the facts with logic reason and observation.

You said 'They can't live in this reality and have to make up their own'. this heavily implies not only that they are delusional, but that they cannot 'cope' with reality and therefore chose to live in this delusion.

Even dropping the 'choice' bit, your claim is still somewhat stronger than 'they where wrong'. You claim to know why they believe what they believe "they can't live in this reality" and that it is "made up". My conclusion that this is comparable to the other guys statements is not, I think, unreasonable, nor a strawman. I appreciate your clarification of your view "they are wrong" and admit that my arguments do not hold against that clarification, but do not pretend that that was obviously your meaning at the time I made my point.

Honestly, yes, it does make me uncomfortable when people display their faith strongly in public. I'm an agnostic-atheist myself, but people being religious doesn't inherently make me nervous. Hell, two of my best friends growing up were Mormons and I know a lot of people from high school who are Muslim, along with a fair share of devout Christians. Talking to them, at face value, is no different than talking to those who share my views. But then again religion would hardly ever come up, other than a passing remark about religious observances or "prayer study" (how exactly does one "study" prayer, anyway? Shouldn't your communication with your god come solely from the heart? I dunno, I just never asked).

I think that religion, if you've got it, is a private and very personal part of one's life. By all means, share it with your family and close friends and church/temple/what-have-you, but in average everyday situations it doesn't have a place. Of course freedom of expression is a right and I won't say it's necessarily wrong to do that if you want to, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. On the same token, it doesn't make sense for the non-religious to go around shouting "GOD DOESN'T EXIST" at every opportunity either.

ClockworkPenguin:

You said 'They can't live in this reality and have to make up their own'. this heavily implies not only that they are delusional, but that they cannot 'cope' with reality and therefore chose to live in this delusion.

Even dropping the 'choice' bit, your claim is still somewhat stronger than 'they where wrong'. You claim to know why they believe what they believe "they can't live in this reality" and that it is "made up". My conclusion that this is comparable to the other guys statements is not, I think, unreasonable, nor a strawman. I appreciate your clarification of your view "they are wrong" and admit that my arguments do not hold against that clarification, but do not pretend that that was obviously your meaning at the time I made my point.

Yeah the statement was completely neutral on the idea that it was a choice. You might see it that way, but I bet that's just psychological projection. Disregarding that the rest of what you said is a false equivalence fallacy leading into an irreverent conclusion.

My reasons for thinking that people are falling into a delusion and are wrong are facts, empirical evidence, and logic. His reasons some book written 2000 years ago. They are not equal. And even if I was being just as arrogant, or ignorant, as the other guy that in no way proves that what I said was incorrect. Next time it might be a good idea to ask for a reasons before you assume ignorance.

Well, people always say there are two things you shouldn't talk about over dinner: religion and politics. Why? Because no matter what, people will always have strong opinions about either one of them. You can never be sure with religious people whether or not you're going to step on their toes about a certain topic. Not to mention Christians (and Muslims) have a bad reputation among Anti-Theists, liberals, LGBT people, and feminists...for obvious reasons.

Personally, I'm an Anti-Theist Agnostic Atheist. Basically, I think religion is dangerous for society, and I don't believe in any deity, although I admit that there might be a 0.000000000000000001% chance that they exist (but there's a greater chance of me getting hit by lightning today). I mean, I've never really met anyone who flaunts their religion in your face, and most of the "actual" Christians I know are old people who mostly keep themselves to themselves (luckily, I live in a fairly moderate part of the UK), but...I still have that niggling feeling in the back of my head of "you take most of your cues in life from a sky fairy who have 0% evidence of his existence, so I will lose a bit of respect for you".

I mean, a defence that a lot of religious people say is, "It's not religion that harms people; it's people using religion incorrectly that harms people". OK, so I guess that guns don't harm people, it's people using guns incorrectly that harm people. But it doesn't mean that guns are any less dangerous a tool for oppression and murder. I don't like it when even the most moderate Christians are perfectly fine to be friends with you, but still believe that you deserve to be condemned to Hell if you're not part of their spiritual group. It just doesn't meld well with me. There's different opinions, and then there's being two-faced.

Relish in Chaos:
I don't like it when even the most moderate Christians are perfectly fine to be friends with you, but still believe that you deserve to be condemned to Hell if you're not part of their spiritual group. It just doesn't meld well with me. There's different opinions, and then there's being two-faced.

Well...why wouldn't they be friends with you. It's not like they're wishing hell upon you. Or that they think you deserve it. It's just a fact of their religion.

If you put humans on a scale, and our behavior, our political allignment, our spirituality, our faith our ideas about well everything.

You find that most of the people hang in the middle. They see gain in both sides of the story. BUT there always are those who are extremists. They life at the very pinnacle of a point of view.

Lets take abortion. Many people who say that yes abortion should be legal are not extremist in thinking. They tend to look at the situation .. they work from the middle ground. But there always is the person who is totally against it.. even if the the pregnancy happens to a 11 year old who was gangraped. At the other extreme there are those who would want to legislate that every teen pregnancy needs to be aborted.

So I understand why she doesn't really trusts you. She might have had a bad history with Christians. It might even be her own family that have been a reason for her to strongly dislike Christianity.

But the point is we all are humans and most of us hang around the middle. "Yeah you know I am not a fan of it but if it is really needed sure"

And if you are friendly and show that you are just a human life anybody else I am sure she pulls right out of it.

In the end our political matters, religious matters or even choice in if we eat meat or not should not divide us. We are humans.. division cause war. Working together causes miracles to happen!

In short, what I also tell to some of my outer friends, never forget that you are a human. You have a human life, you are bound to humanity and will have to work with humans to get things done.

Shadowstar38:
Are any of you actually that skittish about the subject about the subject of religion in day to day life? Do seeing people display their faith openly make you feel uncomfortable? Are you more tactful when speaking to people in person, or is it one of those "don't bring it up if you don't have to" situations?

I'm an atheist, and I like talking about it. My best friend and his family are very devout, and...well, obviously he's my best friend. I get along great with his parents, and am also good friends with his sister. They're pretty easygoing about it all, though.

The problem I ran into after a while, though, is that you reach a point where religious people start to get uncomfortable because you're asking questions they can't answer since the only answers are "God says so" or something like that. I just want to chat, not undermine their whole faith system, so I stopped asking about it.

Stavros Dimou:
Those people that call themselves christians and act in such way,are using the name of christianity wrong. They say the are christians,but are not.
Christ said "anyone/whoever wants follows",meaning that no one is obliged or forced to follow Him (his teaching),thus giving the freedom to each human to decide what to do as they please.
If someone tries to force other people to follow Christ,then that person goes against the teaching of Christ,which is of course a paradox,and a very very bad example. How does this person think that it can attract people on that faith,when this very own person that claims itself following that faith,doesn't do it,and is doing things against the teaching of the faith ?

Of course, given that everyone and their grandmother seems to have a different interpretation of what Jesus really meant (for instance, the Conservative Bible Project who are attempting to "revert" the bible to how it was before liberals interfered and filled it with lies about love and forgivenes), why should we believe you over them? Almost every single variety of Christian I've ever spoken to or met on a forum has claimed that some other variety of Christian isn't really a Christian.

To an outside observer, it makes it pretty hard to trust anyone who claims to know what a real Christian is, especially when every one of them cites the bible as proof that they are the real deal and the others are phonies.

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