cuchulain

The Atheist Evangalist

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There are many who decry the atheist who talks about their nonbelief.  It is said, sometimes on the news, that if they don't agree they should just let others have their faith and be quiet.  Yet when a Christian proselytizes, if a Christian is "called" to preach, they are treated with respect for their decision.  They are thought of as special, or holy.  (A note added:  I do not mean to pick only on Christians, I simply know more about Christianity than other religions).

I wonder, why is it that a person who feels the call internally to speak the truth they see it is judged by the title at the beginning of their name?  Reverend, Friar, Father, Atheist.  Of course, the first three are thought well of while the last is reviled.  Disconcerting, isn't it?

Edited by cuchulain

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Key   

Me thinks it is misguided logic that if one does not believe in a god or gods, there would be nothing to "preach" about.

And, yes, I agree it is upsetting that anyone could be denied the same respect another receives for performing the same service of informing about their belief system, or lack thereof.

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mererdog   

There is an important difference between telling people what you believe to be true and telling people what you believe to be false. When being evangelical, atheists tend to do the latter rather than the former. That approach gets a positive response when preaching to the choir, and that's about it.

Edited by mererdog

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Key   
6 hours ago, mererdog said:

There is an important difference between telling people what you believe to be true and telling people what you believe to be false. When being evangelical, atheists tend to do the latter rather than the former. That approach gets a positive response when preaching to the choir, and that's about it.

Perhaps, but it is still communicating, or advocating, a belief.  On a stage such as this forum, everyone deserves some respect for their opinion and/or belief, accepted or not. At least until a debate becomes a personal heated exchange, at which point respect is obviously lost.

It also is one thing to acknowledge neither participant is willing to change their minds to the other's view, but it is another to continue being provoked for it.

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mererdog   
40 minutes ago, Key said:

Perhaps, but it is still communicating, or advocating, a belief.

 When I say "I don't believe in God," it says nothing about I believe, only what I don't. In the same way that if someone tells you what they don't like, they have not told you what they do like. Now, if I tell you what I believe, we can have a conversation comparing and contrasting our beliefs. If I only tell you what I don't believe, it can't work that way.  This is the main problem with using self-descriptors that are really just rejections of the self-descriptors of others. They don't tell others who we are, just who we aren't. And it is very hard to have a conversation revolving around the fact that someone is not a cow. You know?

Edited by mererdog

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I have seen lots of billboards on a variety of subjects.  The most common is Christian.  Usually it says something along a positive line, but there is one near where I live that proclaims those who don't believe are going to hell.  A very negative message, in my opinion.  Of course, that is a value judgment on my part.  Still...I have seen atheist billboards, but only in the news, and only with the news anchor decrying it.  Granted, it's only on Fox news that I have seen this, so I do not know how wide spread the denouncing actually goes.  If a billboard says you don't have to be a Christian to celebrate Christmas, I see that as a positive message.  Again, a value judgment on my part.  They were sure making a big to do about it on Fox, though.  That is just one example, of course.

Locally, there is a church, or some such, that sprang up downtown.  It's called the "War Room for Jesus".   Now, I can use my own reasoning skills and life experience with people in this area to understand that they probably don't mean anything negative about it, you know?  I can say to myself, it's just a catchy name and they are trying to attract people's attention.  That's what those catchy names are really for, you know?  There is a major debate about this place, because some atheist around here found it to be negative and hostile.  Let's face it.  You say "War room" and it comes across as hostile.  If it said "War room for Allah"...well, you better bet the churches would be out en mass to protest it, that's for sure.  So an atheist protests it, and the place of course cries foul.  Now, they named it that for a reason:  To get attention.  They got it.  Just not in the way they wanted.  Now there is a division about the subject, one side thinks the name is provocative, the other thinks the atheist is simply yelling into the wind, so to speak.  Raising a stink.  I know the guy, I know he honestly believes what he is saying.  But even if he didn't, he has the same right to complain about a name as the place has to name itself what it wants.  Just my thought, but everyone involved would do well to remember that they only have power over themselves, and their own reactions(or responses, more appropriately).

Just another example, though, of how an atheist speaking their mind can get a bad rap simply because they are atheist, not for the position they hold.  I was debating with someone on another forum about homosexual marriage.  I was using one user name throughout the debate, and making points that were very related, but the other person simply wouldn't listen or even read most of them because they knew that I was an atheistic stoic and they were fundamentalist Christian.  So I did something deceitful and evil, and started making the same points under a different name, and backing them up with the appropriate bible verse.  He started liking the comments and agreeing 100%, and engaged fully in the conversation.  He conceded my points one by one.  Then I told him about the deception.  Yep, it was foul on my part.  I don't mind living with the stigma of having tricked someone into listening to me, if he don't mind living with the stigma of not listening to someone else simply because of their lack of faith.

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mererdog   

 Rejecting popular cultural norms is not a good way to become popular within our culture. Water is wet.

Edited by mererdog

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That is, of course, assuming one seeks popularity instead of truth.  The truth is often unpopular.  Of course, I view the truth in these cases as clearly biased on both sides.  But I believe ultimately that both sides should be afforded a certain level of respect until they take actions that reveal they are not deserving of that respect.

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emalpaiz   
On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 4:45 PM, Child of God said:

God would see the atheist evangelist as a liar and a spiritually murderous heathen.

Wow!

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2 hours ago, emalpaiz said:

Wow!

It is the human and angelic condition that we are evil and in ruins without God in the afterlife. Upon the death of the body, Jesus restores the soul of the believer with His powers before going to heaven to be with God, the angels, friends and family. This is why Jesus died on the cross...the salvation of souls...to be His...our Creator...forever.

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On 6/27/2016 at 8:54 PM, cuchulain said:

There are many who decry the atheist who talks about their nonbelief.  It is said, sometimes on the news, that if they don't agree they should just let others have their faith and be quiet.  Yet when a Christian proselytizes, if a Christian is "called" to preach, they are treated with respect for their decision.  They are thought of as special, or holy.  (A note added:  I do not mean to pick only on Christians, I simply know more about Christianity than other religions).

I wonder, why is it that a person who feels the call internally to speak the truth they see it is judged by the title at the beginning of their name?  Reverend, Friar, Father, Atheist.  Of course, the first three are thought well of while the last is reviled.  Disconcerting, isn't it?

We don't need to preach.  We need only to exist.  For this alone, we are resented.  For the offence of existing.  I refuse to go back into the closet.  It is enough.

Reality will prevail.

:mellow:

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On 6/28/2016 at 4:45 PM, Child of God said:

God would see the atheist evangelist as a liar and a spiritually murderous heathen.

This is the weakness of an Interfaith church.  I must tolerate the intolerant and respect the disrespectful.  It is a heavy burden.  I lack sainthood.

:mellow:

 

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If the evangelical atheist converting people to atheism finds himself wrong about Christianity, he and his followers will suffer the ruinous spiritual condition known as hell. Anyone who has witnessed an evil spirit has witnessed hell. On the other hand, if the christian is wrong, nothing happens. Take it from someone who has seen the truth. Jesus is the way.  Ignorance is no excuse.

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emalpaiz   
19 hours ago, Child of God said:

It is the human and angelic condition that we are evil and in ruins without God in the afterlife. Upon the death of the body, Jesus restores the soul of the believer with His powers before going to heaven to be with God, the angels, friends and family. This is why Jesus died on the cross...the salvation of souls...to be His...our Creator...forever.

My "Wow!" of the other day was not an approval of what you said.  I was surprised by your arrogance.  You call yourself "Child of God" and I would expect humility from you, but I saw none.  One of the reasons that forced me to walk away from traditional Christianity was the arrogance of many Christians.  True spirituality is not forcing ones religion upon others, but expressing our thoughts with Understanding , Love, and Compassion.  Let go of your arrogance, and express your thoughts with loving kindness.  I know that Jesus Christ expressed His thoughts with loving kindness in the same way that the all the spiritual giants of the world. 

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Pete   

I think in many ways religions of many sorts have received great privilege in  society and have been adopted by it and allowed to speak for it.  Take the UK and and even the USA for instance - no one in the event of national tragedy calls upon an atheist minister to talk to the bereaved even if many or those killed may have been atheists.   I think that society has adopted religions into their norms. If I got up in the street and started shouting I may be arrested as a nuisance, but if I was preaching it is likely I would be treated with respect even if I was really a nuisance. 

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mererdog   

Yet, wouldn't that make it arrogance to set yourself up as the arbiter of what is and is not "True spirituality"? To presume that people who don't act as you would have them do are somehow less than you because of that? You know, accusing them of lacking humility, or having some other personality flaw?

To approach a subject like this with true humility requires accepting that you may be wrong without realizing it. When beliefs become ingrained into your personality, that becomes all but impossible. We believe certain things too strongly to ever seriously consider the possibility they are not true. We did not choose to believe them, nor can we choose to stop, or even choose to believe them less. We are stuck with them until circumstances are such that we change our minds, whether we like it or not. That isn't arrogance. It is one of the central tragedies of human existence.

All of us are destined to strongly believe things that are not true, inevitably leading to us doing things that we probably shouldn't, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it...

Edited by mererdog
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mererdog   
On 7/2/2016 at 7:04 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

This is the weakness of an Interfaith church.  I must tolerate the intolerant and respect the disrespectful.

That is a strength, in my opinion. Tolerance is one of those skills that you can only get better at through practice, you know? And the people who never learn it have fairly miserable lives....

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Dan56   
30 minutes ago, mererdog said:

That is a strength, in my opinion. Tolerance is one of those skills that you can only get better at through practice, you know? And the people who never learn it have fairly miserable lives....

I don't think its possible to respect something you dislike or hate.  All you can do is accept the right of others to believe what they choose, no matter how crazy it may seem.  And I don't think its necessary to tolerate the intolerant, at least not when their intolerance interferes or is harmful to others.  I personally don't respect Islam, in fact I hate the religion.  And I certainly won't tolerate the radical and extreme element, no one should tolerate terror. A person's belief system is their own, and that should be respected until they try to forcibly make it yours...  jmo

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