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Static_Martyr
09-23-2010, 03:46 PM
and now most of them are shunning me, my boss is trying to convert me, and I think I might be in danger of losing my job.

Let me back up a little bit....I first want to say that I DO NOT talk about religion or politics in public, ESPECIALLY at work. EVER. It's a personal policy because of situations exactly like this. So I want to make clear from the get-go that this is not a case of me going around and acting all superior or "smug atheist" and just getting backlash for it.

The whole thing started last weekend (not this last weekend, but the one before that). I had gone to see one of my internet heroes, Mr. Hemant Mehta (I made a topic here (http://www.offspring.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42677) about it for anyone who still cares). I was really stoked about it, got him to sign my book and everything. I went to work on Monday that week, just like normal. No problem. I've mentioned to some of my friends at work (in passing) that I don't really do religion, that I don't believe in an afterlife, etc., so it was my understanding that they basically knew this much about me, and were more or less "okay" with it --- even if they didn't *like* it, per se, we seemed to get along pretty well, and nobody ever tried to argue with me or convert me or anything. So it's not like this came out of NOWHERE; they knew that I was nonreligious. We just never talked about it because there was never a reason to.

Well, that Monday, this older lady I work with asked me how my weekend was. I figured if I kept light on the details, it would be no problem to tell her that "I met one of my internet heroes this weekend, and got him to sign me a copy of his book." She asked who it was, I told her his name, and she had never heard of him. I said, "Well, he's this atheist guy who basically promotes synergy between religious groups and atheist/secular charities and stuff. He has a blog," etc. etc., minor details. Well, she stuck on that word "atheist" and made it clear that she disapproved.

I didn't want to argue about it, so I kinda tried to defer the conversation in another direction. Instead of outright defending Mr. Mehta, I said something to the effect of, "well, at least he's not like that pastor guy that was gonna burn all those Korans. I mean, it's not like he's going around ****ing on people's faith, he's just trying to help people out." She said that yes, he WAS as bad as the koran-burning pastor, actually WORSE, because "at least that guy believed in some god." That was when I realized it was a bad conversation. So I just kinda shrugged and went back to work, like, "well, anyway, it's over now, so...."

But she followed me into the other room and started trying to argue with me. "So you don't believe in god? Well how did all this get here, then? Who created everything?" I told her, "I don't know." She said, "that's right," and kind of mocked me, like "take that!" I tried to walk away again, but she followed me and said, "What I don't get is, you don't believe in god because you can't see him, but can you see the wind? Do you believe in the wind?" I told her that this was a really gross simplification of even the most primitive atheist belief. It really seemed to be bothering her, though, so I said, "Look, it's not like I'm hostile to religion. My mom's Baptist and my dad's some weird kind of naturalist or something. I've grown up around Muslims and Christians and all kinds of weird stuff. It's no problem to me." I basically tried to assure her that I wasn't going to try and convert her to Satanism or whatever. She interrupted me, though, and insisted that I "must've had some tragic event happen in my childhood to drive me away from GAWD," since my mom was so Baptist (she's actually not that religious, she considers herself "spiritual") and I was raised that way.

Well, I got pissed at that point and decided to bail out. I just said, "That's entirely wrong," and I walked out. She was busy with something by that time, so she couldn't follow me.

Well, I thought it was all done with after that. In a completely unrelated story, I had just purchased this book (the same day, as it were) by Christopher Hitchens (for research purposes, I'm starting a blog) called "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." It was sitting by the coat rack in the back of the store, and I tend to read it on break. Well, I have a feeling this lady went and said something to somebody, because *all of a sudden* people were taking a heavy interest in what I was reading at the time. The book got slightly defaced (someone poured water on it), but since it's still readable, I decided to keep bringing it to work. Other people bring prayer books all the time, so I figured fair is fair --- this is pretty much the only time I have to read, so I'll be damned if I'm not gonna read what I wanna read. I never talk about it to anyone, and I never show it to anyone. The only way it'll bother anyone is if THEY look at it or if THEY ask about it. Otherwise they'll most likely never even know I'm reading it.

But then, today, my GM came out and asked me blatantly, "So you don't believe in god?" She's a Christian, too, but I figured if anyone would have some sense about this it would be the GM. So I said, "Well....you could say that." So then my manager says, "Well, how do you think this all got here? Who created the world?" And that other lady, who's at the other end of the room listening, says, "That's what *I* asked him." And I told her the same thing I'd said before, "I don't know." So my GM smugly says, "That's what people who 'don't believe' can never answer." I tried once more to derail the conversation in another direction to keep the peace, so I said, "yeah, you're right. It's a mystery. But there are mysteries no matter how you look at the world, not even god explains everything." She countered with, "Well, the Bible has the most truth of any other book."

This is when I started getting irritated....like I ****ing ASKED you for your advice? Jesus, leave me alone! So I said, "Yeah, my favorite part is where Jesus teaches us how to properly beat our slaves. I also like the part where Moses says guys whose 'stones' don't work aren't allowed to enter the house of god." She just looked at me with this weird expression like she'd never heard of that before.

And so suddenly people are starting to have "complaints" about my work, which, for the last 3 years, has been perfectly satisfactory (to the point that they call me in to work when other people don't show up). I'm worried that these things may be related, although to be fair, I must say it's too early to know for sure. Just to be safe, though, I'm putting in applications elsewhere.

[/rant]

I already know what I'm gonna do to get around this, I just thought it was an interesting story. I've never been too open about my atheism in real life, so I never realized exactly how crazy people get over it, especially down here in Alabama....it's like, no matter what kind of person you were before or how well you got along, once they find out you don't believe in god, suddenly you're worse than a pedophile or Hitler or something. It's insane.

Outerspaceman21
09-23-2010, 04:03 PM
People are like that. No use in arguing with them, to be honest. You did your best to be civilized at least. Hope it stops, and if it doesn't, hope you get that new job.

_Lost_
09-23-2010, 04:03 PM
Geeze Louise... That's crazy. I can't stand people like that. It is beyond belief that you're getting that from your GM. Lyke 4srs. Ridiculous.

Thomas
09-23-2010, 10:35 PM
I'm pretty sure you could take legal action if you end up losing your job over this... just sayin'...

Outerspaceman21
09-24-2010, 12:10 AM
I'm pretty sure you could take legal action if you end up losing your job over this... just sayin'...

Yeah, you definitely could. Losing your job because you're an atheist is a violation of your first amendment right. If you desired legal actions, you could definitely follow that route.

Jesus
09-24-2010, 02:49 AM
Yeah but then you're a young guy that has taken legal action against his employer. Which will make working there even worse and it'll probably not help you at other jobs if it gets into the open. So it might be a right thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Harleyquiiinn
09-24-2010, 04:20 AM
Yeah but then you're a young guy that has taken legal action against his employer. Which will make working there even worse and it'll probably not help you at other jobs if it gets into the open. So it might be a right thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it.

It depends in what field he works... if he does a regular job in a regular company, he should totally sue them if he loses his job for that. This is religious discrimination. Dn't sue them if you intend to stay there though, Jesus is right

Start gathering proof just in case...


Now, on the situation, I think you bringing the book might have been taken as a provocation

WebDudette
09-24-2010, 04:33 AM
I was going to recommend getting legal advice, but only if the situation doesn't just defuse itself. If they continue to treat you unfairly or fire you, I'd do something about it. I actually might look into some preemptive proof and legal advice, to be honest.

I haven't had anything that bad happen, but I've had my run ins. Every time it comes up that I'm an atheist, people have to give me the third degree and ask me all sorts of stupid questions. Atheism really isn't that hard to understand.

Bringing the book is provocation? I suppose I see what you are saying, but honestly, fuck that. If someone is offended by my book, it's really not my fault and I'm not going to stop bringing it because they have the emotional range of a toddler. He shouldn't be required to bend his lifestyle to accommodate the 'comfort' of crazy people.

Harleyquiiinn
09-24-2010, 04:38 AM
Bringing the book is provocation? I suppose I see what you are saying, but honestly, fuck that. If someone is offended by my book, it's really not my fault and I'm not going to stop bringing it because they have the emotional range of a toddler.

No no, I said that it might have been taken that way. Not that it was provocation.

And I agree with the rest of your sentence...

WebDudette
09-24-2010, 04:40 AM
Okay, yeah. I get what you're saying. I'm certain people could take it that way and that pisses me off.

How is 'god is not Great'? I have it on my bookshelf, but haven't started reading it yet.

I think all my problems with religion would dissipate if the religious would just genuinely mind their own business.

Static_Martyr
09-24-2010, 06:08 AM
Yeah but then you're a young guy that has taken legal action against his employer. Which will make working there even worse and it'll probably not help you at other jobs if it gets into the open. So it might be a right thing to do, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Yeah, I was aware of the possibility of legal action *if* this were to get out of hand, but at this point I think it would be premature. One of the points of "coming out" as an atheist in the first place is so that people can realize that (A) we're not pedophiles and Hitler Youth, and (B) we're actually a lot like them in many ways. I actually want people to feel like they can ask me about things like that without getting sued, because I feel like that's the best way to confront stereotypes --- a lot of these people are genuinely scared of atheists because they've never met one, they've only been told about them by their pastors (in this case I could tell by the way she argued that she was just flipping through different talking points she'd been fed by someone), so I think I have a chance to make an impact (however small) by openly being atheist and yet also going against whatever stereotypes they have about me being evil or satanic.

Besides, I would feel (and look) like a HUGE dick if I freaked out and tried to sue someone because they asked me something once or twice....I would only even consider legal action if this proceeded to the point that it was starting to interfere with my job, if for no other reason than to set a precedent should this happen to someone else in the future. It seems like "Atheist Sues [X]" is WAY too common of a media story nowadays, and I really don't wanna get on that bandwagon just yet.


Now, on the situation, I think you bringing the book might have been taken as a provocation

Yes, I had considered that....but ultimately I decided it didn't matter. I didn't *intend* it as a provocation and only the most paranoid mind would see it that way, and on top of that I have a perfectly valid argument in the event that someone confronts me about it. I think it's pretty presumptuous to assume that I even *agree* with this book --- I mean, now someone automatically agrees with something just because they're reading it? What if I was reading Mein Kampf? Would that make me a Nazi? I'm allowed to read for educational purposes. That first lady that tried to convert me actually told me at one point (without my asking for her opinion), "That's your problem, when you're doubting god, you turn to these other folks instead of turning to the Bible or god." Like I'm not even supposed to acknowledge sources of knowledge other than the Bible. Like any kind of education outside of Christianity is "dangerous" or "satanic." I find that idea reprehensible. I mean, I haven't even mentioned anything I've read in this book. So I guess they just connect the dots that, "well, he's an atheist, and that book is written by an atheist, therefore they must agree on all principles."


How is 'god is not Great'? I have it on my bookshelf, but haven't started reading it yet.

Not bad, actually. I was afraid (from the title) that it would just be a long, disconnected diatribe against religion (and to be fair, the first few chapters are just that), but it gets better pretty quick. There's actually a lot of history, a lot of other authors and recommended reading, Biblical stories and references....the guy shows his work. If you look at it as more of a philosophy/history book, then I would predict you'll get your money's worth at it. Just keep in mind who wrote it :D The man who called Jerry Falwell a "toad" on national TV the day his death was announced. Make what you will of that~

So far, my hands-down favorite chapter is the one where he addresses arguments from design. I've always found those the most frustrating (because they're easy to state but take PAGES to rebut properly, because of how many fallacies go into them), but he's managed to distill my current 6-page wordy-as-hell response into about 2 sentences. So I'm happy about that.

Little_Miss_1565
09-24-2010, 08:01 AM
Bringing the book could possibly be considered a provocation, but I think you should go to your office HR person with your concerns that you are being discriminated against for your lack of religious belief. Take steps before it gets to the point where you might lose your job. Then log those conversations with your HR person. That way, if you do end up losing your job, you have a record of making complaints at the time of incident, and if you have to sue for discrimination, it makes your case 10,000 times stronger.

ad8
09-24-2010, 11:18 AM
I already know what I'm gonna do to get around this, I just thought it was an interesting story. I've never been too open about my atheism in real life, so I never realized exactly how crazy people get over it, especially down here in Alabama....it's like, no matter what kind of person you were before or how well you got along, once they find out you don't believe in god, suddenly you're worse than a pedophile or Hitler or something. It's insane.
If these people are being honest with you, then I have to say that I really feel sorry for you. I mean, how can people be this ignorant? And you have to work with them every day? Fuck.

You might try to try to persuade them that the bible might just be A LITTLE different from reality, but you might as well just try to avoid any kind of confrontation and ignore their comments and just focus on work now. Maybe they'll forget about this if you don't talk about your beliefs anymore.
But it's really a pity that people can be as hostile as this.

I won't say that they're stupid because I don't know about any absolute truth concerning the creation of this world. But if one realises that there are no superior beliefs in this world one should also realise that it is not smart to discriminate against other peoples beliefs.

Retard
09-25-2010, 10:31 PM
Good luck man..... I wish I had some advice but i honestly can't think of anything that hasn't been brought up..... the only time i think it'd be safe to take legal action is only if you get fired, or if something else happens like loads of weird harassment happens. I think you'll be good though.

and if anyone thinks that you're provoking them with bringing the book in, theyre fucking dellusional.

Streef
10-01-2010, 11:17 PM
Sounds like you're in the position in which I could easily find myself any day now. All of the long-timers are pretty heavy Bible-thumpers as well, and I can brush off walking into work to find them swaying with their eyes closed to blasting Gospel music or their sitting around doing Bible study for Sunday services the next morning, but when a supervisor prints a ridiculous, bigoted email forward and leaves it lying out for everyone to laugh about... I honestly thought I'd do her a favor and stick a note in her box to remind her that eventually someone's going to be hired who isn't going to appreciate that type of humor and take it as harassment.

The email was about a supposed court case where an athiest filed a lawsuit because all of the major religions are given time off work to celebrate their holidays, and athiests have no similarly recognized holidays. Apparently after hearing the man's testimony the judge dismissed the case on the grounds that athiests already have their own holiday: April Fools Day. Obviously not a real case, as any judge who did such a thing would lose his license to practice law.

If I had known the supervisor had honestly believed it to be a real court case I would never have bothered trying to give her a heads-up, since the entire idea of what was wrong with what she'd done would have been lost on anyone that mind-numbingly stupid... As it was she called me to her desk, asked if I was an athiest, I told her I was not (I'm pagan), and she then proceeded to tell me that nobody had asked for my opinion. The next time I walked in and a coworker started to hand me something this supervisor had printed, said supervisor intercepted it midway. That got people wondering and talking, lol. I can't stand ignorant morons. It's as though logic eludes them.

AllIn All It's Not So Bad
10-02-2010, 09:45 AM
Dude, just find out where they go to church and burn that piece of shit building

wheelchairman
10-02-2010, 09:59 AM
I wrote a log reply to this while back, but then the website was rehauled while I wrote it so it disappeared. :/

So I'll summarize in point form!

1. Your colleagues are the lowest. The kind who have to ruin it for everybody.

2. It sucks this happened because of THIS. I remember your previous thread about the guy, I looked into him (rather superficially) and he seemed very interesting. It sucks. It's not like he was Dawkins or someone polarizing.

3. The only thing you can do is to work flawlessly. Criticizing your performance sounds like the best step towards a legal foundation to firing you. Don't give them the pleasure.

4. Your religious views are none of their business, and I guess now you have to emphasize that. :/

5. Sorry this happened, it sucks and it sucks you have these jokers around you who want to ruin everyone's time.

p.s. LM1565 gave some excellent advice, I second it wholeheartedly.

KHWHD
10-02-2010, 06:52 PM
I think you should go to your office HR person with your concerns that you are being discriminated against for your lack of religious belief.

This is a good point, but it also all depends on his workplace and how "big" of a company it is.

Where I work, we have 3-4 seperate different "plants" in my city, all owned by the same owners. The specific plant (factory) I work in is the smallest of all them. We have maybe 50 people work there (both Days & Afternoon shift.)

The problem with that is is because it's small you have to be careful what you say to certain people. Take my supervisor for example. He's got the biggest fuckin' mouth in there. I've been there a year now and of course he's got "favourites." He's 62 years old and can't keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it. It's the same with the ones in the office. You ask them not to say anything (whatever the personal situation is) to anyone - the bosses. It always gets back to them in the end.

My point is is that you have to be careful what you say and whom you say it to. If certain people find out, they'll make your life a living hell and you'll either say, "fuck it, I'm better than this and don't deserve this harassment" and quit. Or stay and put up with it.

I feel for ya though bud, I really do. I can relate to a certain extent. Not on the religion aspect, but I've been fired unjust and took the company to court and won big a few years back. Now I'm glad they fired me. Good luck and hope it all works out for you.

Little_Miss_1565
10-03-2010, 12:56 AM
Well, right. I wouldn't ever say anything to one person in my office that I wouldn't be okay with screaming in public or issuing a press release about -- because it ultimately amounts to the same sort of result. But going to the company HR rep should be a much different thing. It's not about finding a sympathetic ear, it's more about creating a paper trail / incident log in case he loses in job or gets passed up for a promotion or something like that.

Static_Martyr
10-03-2010, 07:14 AM
So I found out something yesterday that made me feel a LOT better about this whole thing. Apologies in advance for the walls of text:

Okay, so we were really busy during peak hours this one day, a couple days after the argument we had. That lady (the one who went off on me first) basically just insulted my work ethic for no damn reason --- she had apparently asked me to do something and I didn't hear her (because I was busy with like 5 other things and it was loud in the back with all the stuff running) --- and she said I was being lazy and deliberately ignoring her. And I was just kinda dumbstruck; at first I tried to defend myself and say that I was really busy and I didn't catch that, but she interrupted me and insisted that I was deliberately ignoring her and that I had been doing so "all week." Which was news to me because we'd been actually been getting along pretty well that week, to the extent that I thought she was basically over her tantrum about this whole thing. So I finally, in the interest of trying to salvage at least our work relationship, threw up my hands and said, "Look, I'm sorry, alright? My bad."

The reason that's weird is because I've known this lady for 3 years, we've always gotten along great, and I *always* forget stuff that she asks me to do :o But I always come back and do it as soon as she reminds me (like, "oh sorry lol, I forgot....my head's up my ass today," etc. etc.). And this has NEVER been a problem. I know that sounds like I'm patting myself on the back, but this lady has pretty much, for the entire time I've been at this job, been the most understanding person there, moreso than my boss most of the time. We have never had a single fight before this; we haven't even had any major disagreements. So this seems really petty and out of character for this person --- a year ago, if you'd told me this would happen, I would tell you you didn't really know her.

Anyway, I bummed it over for a day or so and then forgot about it, and went back to my routine --- trying to behave myself and not "retaliate" to give them ammo to use against me --- and things pretty much kinda smoothed out after a couple days. This lady was talking to me again (albeit not without every-so-often throwing in a forced reference to god or Jesus, along with a smirk or scowl in my general direction), and my boss hasn't tried to convert me (or say anything about it, really) since then.

So everything was fine, and then basically the same thing happens again on Thursday, last week, with someone else. The owner (who's above my GM) comes in and tells me to stop what I'm doing (Y) and do X. So I do. And then while I'm doing X he comes back and tells me, why am I not doing Y? I say, "Because I'm doing X, like you told me." And he says, "you can't do two things at once?" I say, "in theory I can, but these two things are on opposite sides of the room, so no, I can't do them at once." And he goes off on me and says I'm being lazy and "now we're behind on Y" and all this stuff. This also happens frequently, but not quite with this reaction.

At this point I pretty much decided, "fuck it, I'm just gonna not say anything to anyone, I'm just digging a hole for myself by even trying to defend myself. Time to go into 'yes ma'am yes sir' mode." So I was minding my own business when I ran into my assistant manager, who (so far) has had nothing to say about this whole thing. She's giving me this scowl or something so I figure something's up. I ask her, "alright, what'd I do this time?" And she basically tells me she thinks it's bullshit that they pile so much on me and then get pissed when it's not all done in 5 minutes, and she told me that she said something to that other lady for going off on me the other day. I was actually kinda surprised; I really genuinely didn't know what to say.

So on the bright side, it seems that not everybody is "out to get me!" I'm looking back and feeling a little relieved that I *didn't* go say or do anything outwardly offensive. I know my assistant manager is Christian as well, and also she knows I'm an atheist, so I was expecting the worst, but while she doesn't seem to like that I'm an atheist, she's the only one who hasn't let it interfere with her image of me as a worker. And I am really grateful for that. I feel confident that as long as I have her positive opinion of me, then I probably won't be losing my job anytime soon --- she doesn't actually handle hiring/firing, but she does have a lot of influence with my GM (having been the only non-GM employee here right now that's been there longer than I have).


1. Your colleagues are the lowest. The kind who have to ruin it for everybody.

See, that's what bothers me is, these are people I would normally have called "friends," or something close. We talk about personal stuff all the time; I've told this lady stuff I don't tell ANYBODY and she doesn't judge me for it, and vice-versa. I've had some pretty personal conversations with other people at work, so these people know me, they know what kind of person I am and how I think. So I'm really kind of disappointed that so many of them have been acting this way. I guess that's why I feel so tempted to try and fix it rather than just abandon it or freak out over it.


3. The only thing you can do is to work flawlessly. Criticizing your performance sounds like the best step towards a legal foundation to firing you. Don't give them the pleasure.

That's actually what I've been focusing on doing. I normally try to work pretty flawlessly *anyway,* but now I've been doing extra things here and there and trying to not forget anything or miss anything. Before I do something I try to think, if someone were going to accuse me of not doing my job, would they be able to use this as ammo against me in some way? And then I try to do it in a way that couldn't possibly "leave a trail," so to speak.


4. Your religious views are none of their business, and I guess now you have to emphasize that. :/

I know....and I guess I'm kind of a dumbass for bringing it up in the first place. But seriously, if I'd had ANY IDEA that I would get the reaction I got, I would have just told her I played Metroid Prime all weekend instead :o Well, at least I learned something from this!


Well, right. I wouldn't ever say anything to one person in my office that I wouldn't be okay with screaming in public or issuing a press release about -- because it ultimately amounts to the same sort of result. But going to the company HR rep should be a much different thing. It's not about finding a sympathetic ear, it's more about creating a paper trail / incident log in case he loses in job or gets passed up for a promotion or something like that.

I'm not like worried about people knowing that I'm atheist or anything....in fact, I can even deal with the reaction to an extent. I guess to me, at this point, this is a social issue and not a legal one, at least until something happens that seriously threatens my job (and I am preparing for that in the case of the worst). I want to try and make an example that whatever their pastors have been telling them about me (and I know they're getting their information from somebody) is fucking wrong and I am not a rapist or a murderer or something, I don't have baby corpses under my bed or a satanic altar in my closet. I'm trying to just be normal and remind them through action that I'm still the same person they've known for 3 years, and hope it works itself out.

Little_Miss_1565
10-04-2010, 12:46 AM
Normally I'd say that it's a good idea to lead by example, but like I said, going to your HR rep is more about establishing an official record of incidents in case anything happens in the future. But if you don't feel like you need it at the moment, then cool. But I would keep an informal log at home with precise dates, times, and people involved with comments if you're not going to go to your HR rep.

Retard
10-04-2010, 08:43 PM
That's only if he has an HR rep at his work.... I'd always feel weary about that. Granted i'm only getting my example of an HR rep from Tobey.... fucking tobey.

T-6005
10-07-2010, 11:34 PM
On a personal note, I just can't wrap my mind around this sort of individual actually existing. I mean, I read it, and I believe Static Martyr, but I can't for the life of me turn this story - the caricature of the religious American - and believe that it is somehow reflected in reality. Even knowing that it is.

People with firmly defined, logically tenuous grasps on reality are a mystery to me, and I've never met one for longer than it took to pass them by. Perhaps it's an institutionalized necessity or a personal property, but I can't even accept simple things about my own life like liking "my" country or choosing a political opinion without breaking them down into uselessness first.

I mean, I get the idea of being so incensed by something that you actively - although it feels almost automatic, almost unconscious - shun that person. But the reverse is true for me - I feel bigoted towards bigots. No problems with religion, but embracing an ideology and then believing that it allows you a moral superiority - and with that superiority, a mandate to act upon it - is disgusting.

Not that I'm without my own prejudices, I'm sure. Never did trust those people of that certain ethnic or shifting sociocultural background.

the Mota Boy
10-08-2010, 01:24 AM
I will be honest. I'm a Christian and I do worry about you (I have friends whom I worry about the same). However, I would never badger you over it. Force is not how you justify a religion. These people in Alabama are not practicing true Christianity in my opinion. You have clearly stated that you are not against Christianity. In my opinion, whoever is not against religion is for it. They just need meaningful reasoning, but hastling one, like your coworkers have done, is not how you do that.

If you are firmly set in your opinions then stick with them, whether you have to find another job or not. Don't ever let anybody force you to condone that which you don't.

ad8
10-08-2010, 03:25 AM
I mean, I get the idea of being so incensed by something that you actively - although it feels almost automatic, almost unconscious - shun that person. But the reverse is true for me - I feel bigoted towards bigots. No problems with religion, but embracing an ideology and then believing that it allows you a moral superiority - and with that superiority, a mandate to act upon it - is disgusting.

Not that I'm without my own prejudices, I'm sure. Never did trust those people of that certain ethnic or shifting sociocultural background.
Yes. In this context the existence of a confirmation bias is really crucial since these people feel no need to change themselves and on the other hand accredited to attack other people for not thinking the same.


These people in Alabama are not practicing true Christianity in my opinion. You have clearly stated that you are not against Christianity. In my opinion, whoever is not against religion is for it.
Good point. This proves how those coworkers are actually not christian but only members of a certain social construct, not people who believe in the values conveyed by the bible.

Static_Martyr
10-08-2010, 06:09 AM
Normally I'd say that it's a good idea to lead by example, but like I said, going to your HR rep is more about establishing an official record of incidents in case anything happens in the future. But if you don't feel like you need it at the moment, then cool. But I would keep an informal log at home with precise dates, times, and people involved with comments if you're not going to go to your HR rep.

I'm not sure (as I've never had to ask about anything like that before), but this is a very small company (we have maybe 18 employees *total*), and I'm not sure if we even *have* a human resources department. I'd just ask directly, but I know that people would start jumping to conclusions....although, I'm pretty sure we don't have one....


Good point. This proves how those coworkers are actually not christian but only members of a certain social construct, not people who believe in the values conveyed by the bible.

I dunno, I don't think that's really fair, to say that these guys "aren't really Christian." I mean, they seem to believe pretty strongly that *anyone* who doesn't believe in god is going to hell for all eternity, and that's part of their basis for acting this way in the first place. That one lady who spoke to me first acted like she was afraid to be around me because I might "drag her down with me." As far as that goes, I don't think she was *trying* to be a bitch about it. That doesn't make it any easier to work around, of course, but there's that to consider.

Also, I was talking to another friend of mine who usually comes in about 20 minutes before I have to leave (he's a Christian but he's taken this whole thing a lot better, since he knew me back in high school when I was a snotty asshole atheist and thinks I'm actually a lot better off now, :D), and I said something kinda to the effect of what you said here, that they're not really living by Christianity by "shunning" me....and he told me that I was arguing "no true Christian" and that it was bullshit of me to call someone like that because Christianity is a work in progress, nobody's perfect, and these guys *know* they're not perfect, they just have a different way of dealing with it than me. He said, if we're gonna say you "don't count" just because you do one douchey thing, do we go around saying anyone who's ever done anything asshole-ish "doesn't count" either? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose, since Christianity asserts that we basically *are* assholes that need some kind of divine redemption to help us stay "good?"


I will be honest. I'm a Christian and I do worry about you (I have friends whom I worry about the same). However, I would never badger you over it. Force is not how you justify a religion. These people in Alabama are not practicing true Christianity in my opinion. You have clearly stated that you are not against Christianity. In my opinion, whoever is not against religion is for it. They just need meaningful reasoning, but hastling one, like your coworkers have done, is not how you do that.

If you are firmly set in your opinions then stick with them, whether you have to find another job or not. Don't ever let anybody force you to condone that which you don't.

I'm not "against" religion, no, but also I am very unlikely to be converting at any point I can see in the near future (when I explain this, people think I'm being a dick, but I try to point out that I feel strongly about this, and so I'm probably just as likely as *they* are to change their mind at some point). I tell people this (and have told this to the people I work with in the past), but what's frustrating is that I thought they had accepted this about me (however begrudgingly, at least in the same sense that I've accepted their religion and don't constantly try to de-convert them, then get pissed that it's not working and ignore them). Instead it seems that they look at me the way a used-car salesman looks at a customer --- a guy to make a sale to. If they know I'm not gonna "buy," then I'm basically not worth their time, even in the sense of working effectively together. What I thought was a genuine friendship was actually a conditional relationship based on how likely they thought I was to change to their religion, and when it became apparent that I was getting interested in and enthusiastic about atheism again, they realized it probably wasn't going to happen and they got fed up with it. It's like the last 3 years were just an act.

The whole thing has kinda calmed down at this point --- no more direct confrontations, no more mentions of religion or arguments --- but you can tell something's changed. That lady who first confronted me is always just looking for something to call me on in my work, so I have to work to a higher standard than I've ever had to in the past. It's kinda stressful because I know every little mistake I make is gonna get reported to my boss and stretched out of proportion to make me look like some deliberate asshat who's just not helping because he's mad at them for being Christian (and I'm NOT, I don't know why they seem to think that, I've taken every opportunity to show them that I don't CARE what religion they are, and I never have....I'm curious why this all suddenly matters so much when we've gotten along so well for over 3 years).

[/wangst rant]

Sorry, I got like 2 hours of sleep last night. Today's my last day this week, though (got the weekend off), so hopefully I'll get some recording done. Working on a new EP :D

ad8
10-08-2010, 06:22 AM
I dunno, I don't think that's really fair, to say that these guys "aren't really Christian." I mean, they seem to believe pretty strongly that *anyone* who doesn't believe in god is going to hell for all eternity, and that's part of their basis for acting this way in the first place. That one lady who spoke to me first acted like she was afraid to be around me because I might "drag her down with me." As far as that goes, I don't think she was *trying* to be a bitch about it. That doesn't make it any easier to work around, of course, but there's that to consider.
Yes, I worded my post a little weird. I should rather have said that they are not practicing Christianity the way it was meant to be. They probably are real christians since they probably went through communion/confirmation and those formal things.

Llamas
10-08-2010, 06:27 AM
You know, I don't have a story like this, but I've experienced religious intolerance in the workplace, and it's disgusting. I think a lot of you might know that I used to be quite religious when I was younger. At the age of 19, I got a job at Domino's pizza, and I was the only religious person there. I kept my opinions to myself, as the rampant atheists paraded about, boasting about how STUPID religious people are and blah blah blah. I finally began defending religious people, in a psuedo-devil's advocate role (I was afraid to let them know I was religious myself). Well, they bought the role at first and continued to bash religious folks... what they said was really horribly offensive, and I still find it offensive even though I'm no longer religious. Eventually, my guise wore thin... they started to wonder why I was always defending religious people, and they caught on that I'm probably Christian myself. That's when the attacks became personal. I couldn't go to work without exhausting myself in the process of defending my beliefs. The general manager was one of the worst, as he was a former navy general and was quite overly aggressive. All my coworkers were constantly telling me that I must be really fucking stupid that I needed to fill gaps in my missing knowledge bank with some myth about god... things like that. I know that the majority of this bbs posts similar ideas, but it's on this bbs - not to coworkers that you know are religious (and keep their opinions to themselves unless provoked). My manager always hated me, and I kind of figured this was part of the reason. I was never at risk of being fired, thank god, but the torment was unbelievable. I should've done something about it, maybe legally, but I was 19, didn't know I could do anything, and it was a pizza place. I probably wouldn't have gotten too far with that. Anyway, it really fucking sucked... people need to grow up a bit regarding religious beliefs.

---------------------------------------------------------

Something I find so horribly ironic is that Christians blame atheists for the fact that they're persecuted, but the blame belongs equal parts to "Christians" like Static's coworkers. I think Pilz said earlier in this thread that if everyone kept their religion to themselves, there'd be no problem. These coworkers and people like them will ruffle feathers and cause problems, which will lead to a banning of religious stuff in work. Why do you think we have such tough laws against religion in schools and such? It's because of the people who act like fucking idiots about it. And yes, these idiots exist on all sides of the fence - NOT JUST ATHEISTS.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

To the mota boy: if a Christian (like you) wants to "worry" about people you don't know, that's fine by me. You can pray your little butt off and hope that person will go to heaven, but WHY DO YOU GUYS INSIST ON TELLING PEOPLE?? I can't tell you how many people have told me they'll "pray for me"... why are you telling me? Does it make you feel like you're such a good humanitarian and you want to let the other person know how great you are? To an atheist or agnostic, praying for them is the same as doing nothing, because we don't believe what you believe. It's honestly a fairly condescending thing to say - like, "well since you're too stupid to talk to my god, I'll talk to him for you, even though you didn't ask me to."

wheelchairman
10-08-2010, 07:14 AM
Llamas, generally with certain atheists there is a certain self-indulging arrogance to their beliefs. As though they think

'Well I must be smart, I realized on my own there is no God, while everyone else blindly follows along. I am so smart and they are so stupid.'

As though they were the first or the only people to reject God, as though it actually did make them smarter and wasn't more akin to a lifestyle choice than anything else.

In reality its the exact same form of condescension that Static's coworkers have shown. However instead of acting as though they were smarter, they simply act smugger and seemingly laud their 'moral superiority'.
----------------

There was a guy on the daily show a few days ago who talked about how science could be used to create a new moral code. However his explanations didn't make any sense to me, and he had a hard time answer Jon Stewarts questions. (To be fair, some of JS's questions were rather long and convoluted.)

But the guy sounded more like he was reacting to Christianity, than actually trying to create or explain something new. Simply part of the public discourse.

Harleyquiiinn
10-08-2010, 07:25 AM
Llamas, generally with certain atheists there is a certain self-indulging arrogance to their beliefs. As though they think

'Well I must be smart, I realized on my own there is no God, while everyone else blindly follows along. I am so smart and they are so stupid.'

As though they were the first or the only people to reject God, as though it actually did make them smarter and wasn't more akin to a lifestyle choice than anything else.

In reality its the exact same form of condescension that Static's coworkers have shown. However instead of acting as though they were smarter, they simply act smugger and seemingly laud their 'moral superiority'.


That and what I feel really stupid with atheist arrogance is that, since nobody can know for a fact that there is a god or not, life after death or not, when you are an atheist, you believe that there is no superior entity. But it's still believing in something.

It's one thing to reject a specific religion. It's another to reject any existence of a God. If you do that, you are religious in a way...

For example, I really don't believe in the bible and the creation of the world, Adam and Eve and all that stuff... but God ? well... I have no idea. Maybe there is some entity behind all that. How can we know ?

wheelchairman
10-08-2010, 07:31 AM
That and what I feel really stupid with atheist arrogance is that, since nobody can know for a fact that there is a god or not, life after death or not, when you are an atheist, you believe that there is no superior entity. But it's still believing in something.

It's one thing to reject a specific religion. It's another to reject any existence of a God. If you do that, you are religious in a way...

For example, I really don't believe in the bible and the creation of the world, Adam and Eve and all that stuff... but God ? well... I have no idea. Maybe there is some entity behind all that. How can we know ?

Well I've said this a thousand times before so I fear I might sound like a broken record, but the idea that people are religious because they don't understand the universe or want some mythical explanation for its creation just misses the point in my opinion. The majority of Christians take Adam and Eve as a cautionary, not literal tale.

People turn to religion for comfort and strength. To help them deal with their lives or whatever other problems they have. There is nothing evil in that itself.

It'd be like blaming the employees of some 'evil corporation', instead of the leadership.

WebDudette
10-08-2010, 09:45 AM
Very few atheists claim to know there isn't a God. Seriously, most atheists are going to tell you they don't believe in a God, not that they know that there isn't one, even Dawkins. Most atheists are atheist/agnostic, meaning they don't believe in a God but they also know they can't know. There is a huge, huge difference. As far as atheists being arrogant? Some of them definitely can be. Atheism, in itself, is not arrogant. But the belief that the universe was created for one insignificant planet is just about as arrogant as one can get.

It's not that people find comfort in religion that bothers me, as I said earlier, go for it. It's that many people use their religious values to try and dictate other peoples lives. The leadership for the Catholic Church makes a lot of ridiculous claims, attempts to dictate other peoples lives, and in a lot of cases succeeds. Many people who follow the teachings of the church, the 'employees', also attempt to dictate the lives of those around them. There is a difference between working for someone you don't agree with and willingly making the decision to make other peoples lives your business and attempting to control other peoples lives. I'm not upset with people solely for being religious, I've never had a problem with any Buddhist or Hindu, for example.

Atheism is in no way faith based or a religion. It's the failure to believe in something that has yet to be proven.

I loathe when Christians make claims about other people 'not really being Christian', you have no right to make that claim. Just as I have no right to tell you that douche bag atheist kid who tries to mock religious people 'isn't really atheist.'

wheelchairman
10-08-2010, 10:16 AM
It's not that people find comfort in religion that bothers me, as I said earlier, go for it. It's that many people use their religious values to try and dictate other peoples lives. The leadership for the Catholic Church makes a lot of ridiculous claims, attempts to dictate other peoples lives, and in a lot of cases succeeds. Many people who follow the teachings of the church, the 'employees', also attempt to dictate the lives of those around them. There is a difference between working for someone you don't agree with and willingly making the decision to make other peoples lives your business and attempting to control other peoples lives. I'm not upset with people solely for being religious, I've never had a problem with any Buddhist or Hindu, for example.



Actually I tried to draw parallels between arrogance in religion and arrogance in atheism, but I should've taken the metaphor further. Hating or disliking atheism because of the bad behavior of a loud mouthed minority is no different than the dislike of religion for the bad behavior of their loud mouthed minorities. And while they might be more succesful in your country, it's not universal.

As for believing the Earth is the center of the universe. Seriously, does your entire understanding of monotheistic religions come from the middle ages? Or just from a vocal minority of weirdos in your own country?

You're applying universalities to a multi-faceted umbrella religion. You know...when talking about arrogance...

And on this topic, I don't want to beat this dead horse anymore, but its a pet-peeve. I don't know how many times I've seen atheists quote statistics to each other about how much smarter they are than everyone else. (Keeping in mind this is the one thing they don't apply their critical thinking to, statistics.) Yeah that's a universality for a multi-faceted... movement*. This has turned into more of a disconjointed rant, than an actual response to anyone. I've never been very good with my pet peeves. But I think its clear I mean certain people and not all of them. Living in a secular nation (not officially but statistically, lol) people just don't get so torn up about it. It's by and large the American discourse and debate that I can't really stand. We had an abortion debate once in Denmark, back in the 1970s. Now its about how far should the government pay for abortions during pregnancy, and when should the private person pay. (I think they agreed on the first 4 months). Keep in mind, we have an official state church that is part of our government. Granted in the same way the royal family is (symbolically).

I guess my metaphor from the last post wasn't clear enough. Hate the playa, not the game.

Either way, I thought the evangelical wing of the republican party was crumbling. What happened to that? I thought that was going to be rather nice. Stupid 2 year old predictions.

*for lack of a better term.

WebDudette
10-08-2010, 10:28 AM
Actually I tried to draw parallels between arrogance in religion and arrogance in atheism, but I should've taken the metaphor further. Hating or disliking atheism because of the bad behavior of a loud mouthed minority is no different than the dislike of religion for the bad behavior of their loud mouthed minorities.

As for believing the Earth is the center of the universe. Seriously, does your entire understanding of monotheistic religions come from the middle ages? Or just from a vocal minority of weirdos in your own country?


I can definitely agree with that, but I feel like that is not what Harely was implying.

That's not at all what I was talking about, people who believe in geocentricism are just... fucking dellusional. I'm talking about the pretty widely held belief among theists that the entire universe was created solely for mankind.

Harleyquiiinn
10-08-2010, 10:35 AM
I can definitely agree with that, but I feel like that is not what Harely was implying.

That's not at all what I was talking about, people who believe in geocentricism are just... fucking dellusional. I'm talking about the pretty widely held belief among theists that the entire universe was created solely for mankind.

I was only adding to wheelchairman said, and I understood what he was saying. To me atheists and agnostic are definitely not the same, and I think a parallel can definitely made between religious and atheists as "the ones who believe there is no such thing as a god".

Also, I wasn't saying that all atheists are arrogant by saying "atheist arrogance". I was saying that opposed to the "Chistian arrogance" of Static's coworkers who do not represent the whole Christian community.

Also, I didn't understand your last sentence. That one:
I loathe when Christians make claims about other people 'not really being Christian', you have no right to make that claim. Just as I have no right to tell you that douche bag atheist kid who tries to mock religious people 'isn't really atheist.'

WebDudette
10-08-2010, 10:44 AM
Atheists and Agnostics are different things, but that doesn't mean there are not atheist/agnostics*, just as many people who believe in a God are theist/agnostic.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a145/SystemSloth/1282119655530.jpg

*Most if not all famous atheists and I think it'd be safe to assume that most that aren't teenage trupunx atheists are atheist/agnostic.

A lack of a belief is not a belief. Here's an excerpt from an article (http://edmundstanding.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/atheism-is-not-a-belief-and-does-not-require-faith/) that I find to be true.

This is not a faith position and does not require any form of belief, but is instead an expression of incredulity in regard to belief. Many theists make the mistake of claiming that not believing in God requires faith. Often, this assumption is the result of belief in God being so widespread that the unspoken assumption is that the atheist viewpoint is in fact a radical departure from what is ‘obviously’ the case, because the majority believe it to be so. In order to reject the majority belief that there is a God, it is assumed, one must have adopted some alternative belief (i.e. ‘belief’ that there is no God). In other words, because it is seen as so normal to have faith in something, the idea that simply repudiating faith is not in itself an act of faith doesn’t seem to make sense.

My mistake, this just sounded like you feel atheism is inherently arrogant:

That and what I feel really stupid with atheist arrogance is that, since nobody can know for a fact that there is a god or not, life after death or not, when you are an atheist, you believe that there is no superior entity.

I just mean that no one group of Christians has the right to claim that any other group of people aren't 'really Christian.'

Paint_It_Black
10-09-2010, 09:57 AM
I think a lot of you might know that I used to be quite religious when I was younger. At the age of 19, I got a job at Domino's pizza, and I was the only religious person there. I kept my opinions to myself, as the rampant atheists paraded about, boasting about how STUPID religious people are and blah blah blah.

And how long did it take you to realize they kind of had a point?

wheelchairman
10-09-2010, 10:25 AM
And how long did it take you to realize they kind of had a point?

I know you're being tongue in cheek, but its stuff like this which gives atheists the insufferable rep they have today.

Llamas
10-09-2010, 11:31 AM
And how long did it take you to realize they kind of had a point?

Umm, never? Because it wasn't true. I didn't become agnostic because I got smarter or because I "learned". Christian me was no less intelligent than agnostic me is. And what WCM said.

Static_Martyr
10-09-2010, 11:45 AM
Umm, never? Because it wasn't true. I didn't become agnostic because I got smarter or because I "learned". Christian me was no less intelligent than agnostic me is. And what WCM said.

Have you ever heard of the LGBT/atheist blogger Greta Christina? She made this really interesting (IMO) speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YxdM1WChHc&feature=player_embedded) once, and part of it (around 47:00) addressed the issue of atheism becoming mainstream:


We need to be prepared — not this year, probably not even in a few years, but eventually and sooner than we might think — for atheism to become mainstream.

And when that happens, we need to really, really be prepared to let go of any ideas we might have about atheists being special. About atheists being more independent, better at critical thinking, less willing to just believe what we’re taught, better informed about religion, more thoughtful about ethics and the meaning of life, more anything.

...

I think that that “amazingness” is doomed. And, more to the point, I think that it should be doomed.

I really agree with that sentiment; I think there are times when it's tempting to act like you're "smarter" than other people (i.e. when they act like they "know" something they can't possibly know, or when they call you arrogant for thinking that humans *might just not* be the ultimate centrifugal focus of the universe), but ultimately I think it's counterproductive to both:

(A) act like atheism is "normal" and everyone should just naturally not believe in god, yet
(B) act like we're all special and everyone else are a bunch of ignorant assholes.

It's the same problem that I think a lot of these aggressive religious types in this country have; Christianity is the "normal" or "default" position, yet anyone who isn't specifically Christian (be you atheist, Muslim, or even Jewish) is "abhorrent" and has to be either removed or shunned. So if you want people to share your beliefs, you only speak openly and respectfully to people who *already* share your beliefs? Isn't that kind of purpose-defeating?

I've always felt like bragging about atheism is like bragging because you're bald. It's not really "good" or "bad," it's just something you don't have and can live fine without (either hair or religion); you don't go around trying to shave other people's heads, do you? Or trying to force them to wear wigs?

[/stupid ass metaphor]

On a side note, there used to be one of those fake motivational posters that had the back of a bald guy's head and it said something like, "Atheism: it is to religion what bald is to hair color."


Yes, I worded my post a little weird. I should rather have said that they are not practicing Christianity the way it was meant to be. They probably are real christians since they probably went through communion/confirmation and those formal things.

Communion is specifically a Catholic thing, actually....these guys are mostly different kinds of Protestants. In any case, what I meant was that there are different ways of practicing Christianity; it doesn't make sense (to me) to accuse someone of "not really practicing Christianity as it was meant to be practiced," when the *entire point* of Christianity is (arguably) that we CAN'T do it perfectly, so you'll be forgiven for your transgressions as long as your faith is genuine and you make an honest effort. So if we were going to say that people "weren't practicing Christianity properly" because they acted like an asshole about something, then we'd have to say that there *are no* true Christians, because everybody (Christian or no) has had an asshole moment or three.

wheelchairman
10-09-2010, 12:27 PM
(A) act like atheism is "normal" and everyone should just naturally not believe in god, yet
(B) act like we're all special and everyone else are a bunch of ignorant assholes.

She makes a nice point about atheist exceptionialism.

However I don't see why it boils down to these two choices. Atheism could simply be one of many personal choices a person can make about faith. There are many countries with a faith plurality where the faithful and atheists get along.

Perhaps it comes down to how strongly people identify with their choices of faith (or perhaps that's a result of the polarized debate, I don't know.) But as I've said before, this is the kind of issue that never comes up here. I would imagine places like Italy or France are more religious and you don't really hear about these kinds of controversies.

Ireland's rather fucked up, but then again divorce was only legalized in the 90's so don't really know what to say about that. They seem to get by on not shouting it to the world. Or maybe the world just ignores them.

Anyways I went off on a tangent. My point was a 3rd option is available, and its also a pleasant one.

Static_Martyr
10-09-2010, 12:54 PM
However I don't see why it boils down to these two choices. Atheism could simply be one of many personal choices a person can make about faith. There are many countries with a faith plurality where the faithful and atheists get along.

The point wasn't so much that those are two "choices" that we have to choose between, but rather that a lot of people seem to do both of them at the same time, and that's inconsistent. It doesn't make sense to say on the one hand that something is "a reasonable, normal thing to do," but then also say, "we're special or exceptional for believing (or not believing) the way we do." Either you're normal or you're special, you can't be both. So I'm always just a little critical/skeptical of people who lament the state of atheism in America today, yet do absolutely nothing to improve the very, very negative image that Americans have about atheists as "arrogant."

wheelchairman
10-09-2010, 01:50 PM
Oh yeah that makes perfect sense. When I wake up on saturdays I should probably wait a few hours before reading stuff.

And yeah, I definitely agree with that statement.

Static_Martyr
10-11-2010, 09:41 PM
Well, like I said before, this situation seems to have mostly died down....the worst of it has been whittled down to a lot of passive-aggression from the more determinedly-religious folks I work with (which, thankfully, is actually only two or three; the only one who's really being a serious ass about it is that very first lady I spoke to, the one that went off on me, and I actually think I have a theory to explain that....more on that in a minute). The "worst" I seem to have to deal with now are these occasional bouts of what I call "drive-by evangelism." Today at lunch, I had one of those.

This girl I work with (I had asked her out like four or five months ago, she declined, I moped, we became "just friends" and everything's been fine since then, to my knowledge) came to sit down next to me at lunch --- not in a "I'm specifically sitting next to you" kind of way, but more that it's a nice corner seat and we both happened to go on break at the same time. I was reading this new book I got, "Good Without God: What A Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe," by Greg Epstein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Epstein). I said, "Hey," when she sat down, and she immediately asked me if I was reading a new book (the last time we sat together was when I was reading "God Is Not Great," which I have long since finished). I said yeah, it was a different one. She asked me what it was about. I gave a small summary, not small enough to recount in detail here, but basically I said that it was kind of a study of morality without any supernatural grounding.

She made it clear that she had no idea what that meant, so I tried to simplify; I used an example of a church billboard I'd seen earlier that week which said, "Good without god is 'o.'" I said that this book was basically a kind of response to that mentality that 'good works are irrelevant if they're not done in the name of god."

Again, she acted alienated. I kind of expected that, but at the same time I didn't want to just blow her off when she asked me, so I kinda walked into that one. Anyway, about that time, this other lady I work with came over and sat down next to me. As if on cue, the first chick whips out her cellphone and starts reading this Bible verse she got in a text message (something to the effect of "nothing in the world, life or death, [something something], can separate us from the love of god"). I just didn't say anything and I kept reading, 'cause I figured it was none of my business, and I didn't have anything to say about it, anyway. So then the first girl says, "my pastor sends me a Bible verse every day," and went on to say (suddenly speaking in a loud, clear voice) how she thought it was interesting that every time you went to read a Bible verse, it seemed to be relevant to what you were going through at the time.

I just kinda went back to reading (I figured they knew I wouldn't have much to say about any of this), but then I realized she was talking to *me.* I started to say something about how I felt the same way back when I used to read Stephen King --- how the characters in the book always seemed to be a metaphor for something happening in my life, depending on how loosely one allowed for interpretation --- but she interrupted me and said, "My pastor told me something cool the other day, he said, 'You're always either coming out of a storm, in the middle of a storm, or going into a storm.'" The other chick yes-manned her on that one. I decided to play it off all light-hearted, so I said, "Well, I'd take that one and twist it a little bit and say, I AM THE STORM!" And I tried to make it REALLY obvious that I was being hyperbolic, although I still wanted to make a point, so I said, "I think like Harvey Dent in the Dark Knight before he turned into Two-Face --- I make my own luck." She said, "well, it's not really about luck, it's more about just life and circumstance." And I said, "Well that's what I mean, luck, as in, the circumstances of your life that cause whatever situation you're in. You can't control *everything,* but there's almost always something you can do about something."

She just kinda looked at me, all alienated again. So I shrugged and went back to reading. After that, she got up and left, and then I clocked back in and that was the end of it.

So in a way, you could say this whole thing worked in my favor: I got to make a small stand for my ideals (for a change of pace), without having to provoke anyone into a conversation about it. It was purely in response to what she was saying to me, so nobody can say I was being obnoxious or forcing my beliefs on anyone. In a way, I appreciate moments like that, because they help me learn how to deal with some of the more mundane talking points that evangelists like to use (for example, earlier, one of my afternoon superiors was giving me more of that dreck about the Bible having 'the most truth of any other book,' and I told her, 'yeah, my favorite verse is 1 Timothy 2:12, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." The look on her face was priceless :D)

I feel like I've been handling this decently so far....I'm just afraid that if I get too used to it, I'll slip up and say or do something too aggressive or stupid. I only need to last a couple more months at this job, and then I can quit without any trouble. I just don't want to get fired before then, because this is the only really good reference I have (it's the only job I've ever kept more than 4 months...).

Also, I've been trying to play it easy on that lady (the one I first told that I was an atheist), because I realized that one of the reasons she's gotten so seriously religious on me is probably because her boyfriend of 19 years (he was actually married...to someone else, not to her...make of that what you will) died of a heart attack a few months ago. Ever since then, she's done a complete 180, and suddenly she cares about everyone's religion and wants everyone to go to church. This is interesting because before my grandma on my dad's side (a woman who was NOT religious in any sense of the word) died, I heard from my uncle that she had started freaking out and wanting to go to church and talk to a priest, and that sort of thing. I have a working theory that this is all related to the possibility that this lady is absolutely terrified of death. I think her boyfriend dying on her like that made her realize how fragile life can be, and it seems to have freaked her out pretty bad. And it's only been a few months, so I don't want to go overboard and say anything stupid, so I've been trying to just keep to myself, defend my ideas when they're attacked, but not bring them up myself, and hoping that she'll eventually get over it or come to her senses and see that I'm still the same person I always was (and so is everyone else). That's really all I can do at this point....my only other problem in the meantime is the very real possibility that she'll try to "raise the town against me," so to speak --- she's already gotten a couple of my coworkers to look at me as a devious coward who'll do anything to get out of work (even though she knows I'm not like that and haven't been for the last 3 years we've worked together).

[/HUGE rant]

Paint_It_Black
10-12-2010, 11:46 PM
Umm, never? Because it wasn't true. I didn't become agnostic because I got smarter or because I "learned". Christian me was no less intelligent than agnostic me is. And what WCM said.

As Per pointed out my comment wasn't meant to be taken entirely seriously. However, I am now wondering why you did become agnostic.

Does anyone else think that religion VS atheism debates are heading towards being the new abortion? Actually someone's probably said that already and I just didn't read it. Because this forum is ugly now.

Llamas
10-13-2010, 04:18 AM
As Per pointed out my comment wasn't meant to be taken entirely seriously. However, I am now wondering why you did become agnostic.

Does anyone else think that religion VS atheism debates are heading towards being the new abortion? Actually someone's probably said that already and I just didn't read it. Because this forum is ugly now.

Okay :P Well the best way to put it is that growing up, nobody could've convinced that Jesus and God didn't exist. I believed in them. I do still believe in the existence of some god to this day, but now I doubt anyone could convince me that Jesus exists. It's an internal belief that seems unchangeable - for me, my religious beliefs have never been any more controllable than my sexuality. Saying that I got smarter and that caused me to become agnostic is the same to me as saying that I got smarter and that caused me to become gay (which is an argument I could actually see someone making :D) I've known the bible my entire life, and I've always believed that religion and science can coexist. So this was never an issue of knowledge or education.

I guess part of what it came down to for me was that most churches disagree with each other, and I got to a point where I didn't know who I was supposed to believe. Until I was 19, I'd had a couple really great pastors. Ones who never tried to scare people, never tried to convert non-religious people... they just wanted to bring people together and talk about stuff with people. My family moved away from the first one, and then I found the second one but then he retired... after that, I tried a few different churches, and I simply wasn't happy with how things were forced down my throat, or how they'd make me feel like shit about my life, or how they'd tell us that if we didn't convert others, God would punish us. Plus I think I ran into some really conservative churches and other such stuff. I did find one church in Minneapolis that had a rainbow on the front sign and it said "all are welcome" - a very liberal church, and I went there a couple times and I did enjoy it, but it seemed that by then, I just didn't believe anymore and it was too late. Since then I've had an impossible time with the idea that anyone knows what is right - knows the answers. So now I'm an agnostic theist, and that's that.

------------------------------------------------------

In news related to this thread, something happened to me kinda related to Static's story. One Sunday a month, I go to the mountains with this other teacher to teach some teenagers. This other teacher is a black dude from Texas, and he's very religious. He has a car here, so he drives us, and he usually plays god-praising music. He asked me on the first day if I go to church, and I said "no" and left it at that. I've avoided telling him my religion or that I'm gay or anything, but those car rides aren't super short and he's very talkative. Last Sunday, he gave a ride to this lady Jana, and when I asked how he knew her, he said that her mom goes to the same church he does. He started talking about how he and her are Catholic and such, and so I asked Jana if she also goes to that church/is Catholic. She said yes. I smiled and said "ah okay". Then the guy asked me if I'm Catholic, and I said, "Nah." He asked me what I am then. I tried to tell him I'm an agnostic theist, but I think he heard "atheist", and didn't really listen... and he said "baaaaahhh, you shouldn't tell people that." I said "What?? Why not??" And he said, "Because we want to love other people who love God!" I said, "Well, whatever. I like everyone regardless of their religion." That shut him up, and we got on a different subject and everything was okay :)

Paint_It_Black
10-13-2010, 07:55 AM
Basically it just seems to come down to a simple fact. Anybody who tries to force their opinions on others is a douche. Discuss something once. If you don't agree, move on. When it comes to religion people on both sides can be just as pushy or just as reasonable. However, I've never been approached by random atheists in the street trying to convert me, so they get a point there. That would actually be awesome to see. I think things could get out of control quite quickly if atheists tried those methods.

Llamas
10-13-2010, 09:35 AM
Basically it just seems to come down to a simple fact. Anybody who tries to force their opinions on others is a douche. Discuss something once. If you don't agree, move on. When it comes to religion people on both sides can be just as pushy or just as reasonable. However, I've never been approached by random atheists in the street trying to convert me, so they get a point there. That would actually be awesome to see. I think things could get out of control quite quickly if atheists tried those methods.

The thing is, I see a fundamental difference here. Now, I don't believe there's any good reason to want to convert strangers, but if you care about someone and you believe they're leading their life down a bad path, most people would try to help them. I see parallels between my wanting to help my sister not drink so much because I think it's likely to cause a lot of problems in her life, and a Christian wanting to help their atheist family member or friend to believe in god or whatever because they think being atheist is likely to result in an eternity in hell. However, you can't cram it down their throats. I got to a point where I realized my sister wasn't interested in my help, so backed off because I knew she was going to start getting irritated. Now, I'm not by any means saying they're the same thing, but I see similarities.

But what compassionate reason would an atheist have to try to "convert" someone? You don't want that person you care about to think they could have a happy afterlife? You want to convince them their body and "soul" and whatever is just no more? There's no *point* in trying to tell someone about atheism.

I saw a discussion on fb once where a christian person said, "I can hope that my friends and family believe what I believe, but I'd never push them or force it on them." Someone who was atheist replied with, "but I don't wish others were atheist." It's not the same. A christian hopes that people they care about believe the same thing they do because they believe that otherwise those people will spend eternity in hell. Why would an atheist hope people are also atheist? Other than out of arrogance, there'd be no reason.

Oh, and finally, most christians I've met in my life don't try to force their religion or talk down to those who aren't religious. I have quite a few religious friends and I rarely have a problem with any of them. I'm sure some of them "hope" that someday I'll believe what they do, and that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't be friends with them anymore though if they tried to convert me or anything.

Static_Martyr
10-13-2010, 02:32 PM
But what compassionate reason would an atheist have to try to "convert" someone? You don't want that person you care about to think they could have a happy afterlife? You want to convince them their body and "soul" and whatever is just no more? There's no *point* in trying to tell someone about atheism.

I saw a discussion on fb once where a christian person said, "I can hope that my friends and family believe what I believe, but I'd never push them or force it on them." Someone who was atheist replied with, "but I don't wish others were atheist." It's not the same. A christian hopes that people they care about believe the same thing they do because they believe that otherwise those people will spend eternity in hell. Why would an atheist hope people are also atheist? Other than out of arrogance, there'd be no reason.

Let me start off by saying that I don't believe in trying to "convert" or "deconvert" people one way or the other. In fact, the "duty to convert" is one of the big reasons why I have never been able to realistically consider religion for myself.

However....I don't see it as fundamentally arrogant to wish that other people were atheists, or to have some desire to that effect, as long as you don't go around talking down to people and trying to make a negative thing out of it (like trying to "deconvert" them). You said that a Christian hopes that people believe a certain way so they won't go to hell, whereas it's arrogant for an atheist to want someone else to believe a certain way.

Well, to me, the high point of atheism is learning to overcome my life from my own strength and my own ability to cope with reality.* At the end of the day, what matters to me is not what makes me feel the best, or what helps me deal with a bad situation; in that sense, I feel like religion would be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. All too often I hear these conversion-to-Christianity stories where people say things like, "I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have Jesus," or, "before I went to God, I was at the lowest I've ever been," etc. I like to try and prepare my mind for those kinds of situations and ask myself, "What would I do if I was in that situation and I didn't have God or Jesus to turn to?" I think it's quite frankly a load for someone to say, for example, that I'm somehow obligated to just let my life turn to shit, all because I don't think god magically bestows me with the strength to *not* do that. So I know I don't want my life to go under, but I also feel that to believe in something like god for a reason like that is not a real reason --- I wouldn't be believing it because I feel like it's true and necessary, I'd be believing it because it made me feel better. And that, to me, feels like lying to myself. So basically, you could say that "I believe in something, but that something is not god." I guess you'd say I believe in "goodness."

Forgive me if I sound arrogant here, because that's not my point; my point is that, to me, when I 'wish atheism on someone,' it's not because I want to hurt them or tear down their beliefs or their way of life, it's because I secretly wish that they had the strength to look at themselves and make those decisions for themselves, without having to proxify those decisions onto a deity or another supernatural source. I've always seen god(s) as a kind of metaphor(s) for personal discipline and self-esteem, so I always try to think of that when someone says that "god gives them the strength to do something." But I sometimes wonder if they really do see themselves as incapable of handling their lives, to the point that they feel the need to be "saved" from their own perceived incompetence.

I'm trying to say that I think they're not giving themselves enough credit by saying that they're "worthless sinners," or that they're "incapable" or "unworthy" of forgiveness or of dealing with life. I think that's a horrible way to sell yourself short.

Now I know there are other forms of religion besides Christianity (this post was aimed specifically at the more evangelical forms of Christianity), and they can have very different views about god (like deism, pantheism, etc.), so I want to clarify that this isn't a diatribe about *any* belief in the supernatural. It's more against the idea that it's somehow "arrogant" to believe that *you* are in charge of your life, and that's always (to coin a phrase) a blessing to see other people realize that. That doesn't really have much to do with atheism *specifically,* granted, but I'm responding specifically to your (apparent) comment that an atheist can't have a noble or unselfish reason for wanting someone else to be an atheist.

Slight anecdote: One of my friends recently got out of rehab for a serious backlash to her alcoholism. She went to a seriously Christian rehab facility in town, and took an 84-day class there in place of what would have been a six-month jail sentence. She "graduated" at the church on campus yesterday, and me and some of her friends from work (we all worked together before she got arrested, long story...) went to watch and offer moral support. I went in thinking it would be no big deal, that it would be a run-of-the-mill stereotypical "PRAISE THE LAWD" church service. I was fine and dandy until she actually got up and started talking about how the services and the people at that facility helped her turn her life around, and even though she spoke in metaphor for the most part, and I haven't known her long enough to really know what she was talking about specifically, I felt this really genuine emotion coming from her, like she had finally found a real sense of self-esteem. It was great because I (and some of the others of us) had always kind of wanted to be there to help her get to that point, but that's something that only she could ultimately do. And if it took going to church and believing in a god to do that, then I say she's better off for it than she would've been as an alcoholic. I was pleasantly surprised because Christian sermons, as I've experienced them, tend to VASTLY emphasize the concept of servitude, worthlessness, unworthiness, and self-hatred; but here it seemed that they had actually taught her to think for herself, to value her decisions, and to value herself. I was trying to look cool in front of my friends from work, but inside I was crying like a little bitch 'cause I was happy to see her come out like that :cool: I wasn't "mad" that she became "more Christian" for the experience, because in the end, I feel like she was better off after the fact, regardless.

The point being....I could superficially use this story as a reason to say that it's noble to want people to be Christian. But instead I'm going to use it as a reason to say that I think it's good to want people to value themselves, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof); if an atheist sees a religious person who seems unhappy, and it seems like their religion could be the cause of that, then I don't think it's entirely "arrogant" to wish that this person would get rid of the thing that seems to be dragging them down. Assuming he/she doesn't go over and try to rip that thing away from them; I don't think that ever helps at all. I mean, I always ask aggressive atheists when I talk to them, were YOU "converted" to atheism by an asshole atheist who talked down to you and ridiculed you and called you names for believing in god?" I certainly wasn't. I became an agnostic atheist because I want to have a "no comment" position on matters of the supernatural. I don't care about it and I don't feel it's relevant to my life whether there is a god or not. To quote Daniel Andriano, I prefer to "just be true to yourself, if it lands you in hell, well, at least now you know" :)

I mean, if it had been the other way around --- that, say, she was part of a dominionist church that preached the servitude of women to men, and her boyfriend was a misogynistic asshole, AND on top of that she was an alcoholic --- I might have thought to myself that her religion was at least in part responsible for her behavior of self-loathing, and I would have been a bit more disappointed to see her involving herself deeply in that church.

I think people put too much emphasis on what the religion itself does for people, though; the way I see it, those sorts of behaviors are present before you even factor in what religion a person is; in my family, we always used to say that a person who wanted to do good and help themselves and others would use anything (even religion) as a tool to do so; and people who wanted to hurt others and act like douche bags would likewise latch onto any kind of external justification for doing so (even religion). So I think it's really superficial to say that religion (or lack thereof) is the "cause" of any of that, ultimately.

[/preachy rant]

*=I didn't mean to be condescending by use of the term "reality," I just meant that (as I explained later) I feel like I would be lying to myself if I only believed in a god because I found it "useful." To me, that would be like (a much more extreme version of) believing that I won't have to pay the rent this month because it makes me feel better to think that.

Paint_It_Black
10-15-2010, 10:44 AM
There's no *point* in trying to tell someone about atheism.


I agree with this statement, but for much different reasons. I'm not getting into that though.

You want an altruistic reason for spreading atheism? Well, it could free up a lot of Sundays. You can try to save my soul (which may or may not exist) but I'm trying to save your fucking weekends.

And, you know, prevent a shit ton of assaults, murders, suicides etc.

Except I don't agree with trying to convert anyone. Like I said before, anyone who forces their opinions on others is a fucking asshole. Regardless of motive. I don't need to be saved, thanks anyway. I get how they have good intentions, I really do. But isn't the road to somewhere I don't believe in meant to be paved with those?

Whatever your belief system, the procedure for gathering new acolytes should be the same. Make sure people know you exist and the basics of your beliefs. Then shut the fuck up and let people come to you.

wheelchairman
10-15-2010, 11:11 AM
How come church bells don't count as spam? It's unsolicited and if you live near one it sucks.

God said 'thou shalt rest on the 7th day?' Now which group of hypocrites are the only ones not resting on Sunday?

Yeah I stole all those from a Danish comedian, should I have taken credit?

Llamas
10-15-2010, 11:18 AM
I agree with this statement, but for much different reasons. I'm not getting into that though.

You want an altruistic reason for spreading atheism? Well, it could free up a lot of Sundays. You can try to save my soul (which may or may not exist) but I'm trying to save your fucking weekends.

And, you know, prevent a shit ton of assaults, murders, suicides etc.

Except I don't agree with trying to convert anyone. Like I said before, anyone who forces their opinions on others is a fucking asshole. Regardless of motive. I don't need to be saved, thanks anyway. I get how they have good intentions, I really do. But isn't the road to somewhere I don't believe in meant to be paved with those?

Whatever your belief system, the procedure for gathering new acolytes should be the same. Make sure people know you exist and the basics of your beliefs. Then shut the fuck up and let people come to you.

Most places I've lived (except Austria), nearly the same things are/were closed on Saturdays as Sundays... people get the weekend off in professional business lines of work. It has very little to do with religion anymore.

I agree that atheism has never been a key role in any genocides or anything, and I figured you'd bring that up, but I was speaking on a personal level. You don't think these people's lives will get better if they stop believing in god - you've even said yourself that you wish you could believe in a god cause it'd make you feel better about what happens when you die.

But again, I do not believe that pushing beliefs on others is ever an okay thing to do. Ever.

WebDudette
10-15-2010, 11:42 AM
Say I find out that my best friend cheated on his girlfriend. He says it only happened once and will never happen again. I believe him, but I would still tell his girlfriend. I could have prevented them both being very upset, but I didn't, because I feel the truth is more important.

It's a different ballpark, but the basic principle is the same. I'm going to tell someone the truth over trying to protect their feelings.

Now, I'm not saying I try to convert people, because I don't. I just give them the arguments I have against religions, why I personally don't believe, and let them do with that what they will. The reality is, while I don't want to convert anyone, I desperately want people to study their religion. I want them to be open to questioning their religions and to research what they believe. I do feel like that would lead to a lot more people becoming nonreligious.

I just want to clarify, I don't think that atheism is 'the truth', that wasn't a metaphor or anything. I'm just saying that if I am asked my opinion, I will always tell someone what I truly believe and that I'll tell someone the truth and let them be upset, even if it isn't important anymore.

Llamas
10-15-2010, 12:05 PM
Say I find out that my best friend cheated on his girlfriend. He says it only happened once and will never happen again. I believe him, but I would still tell his girlfriend. I could have prevented them both being very upset, but I didn't, because I feel the truth is more important.

It's a different ballpark, but the basic principle is the same. I'm going to tell someone the truth over trying to protect their feelings.

Now, I'm not saying I try to convert people, because I don't. I just give them the arguments I have against religions, why I personally don't believe, and let them do with that what they will. The reality is, while I don't want to convert anyone, I desperately want people to study their religion. I want them to be open to questioning their religions and to research what they believe. I do feel like that would lead to a lot more people becoming nonreligious.

I just want to clarify, I don't think that atheism is 'the truth', that wasn't a metaphor or anything. I'm just saying that if I am asked my opinion, I will always tell someone what I truly believe and that I'll tell someone the truth and let them be upset, even if it isn't important anymore.

I don't think this is terribly relevant, though. You're talking about describing your beliefs to someone when you're asked your opinion; we were talking about unsolicited stuff. People trying to convert others. Pushing your beliefs. Totally different thing.

wheelchairman
10-15-2010, 12:08 PM
The reality is, while I don't want to convert anyone, I desperately want people to study their religion. I want them to be open to questioning their religions and to research what they believe. I do feel like that would lead to a lot more people becoming nonreligious

but why? Why is it important to you, desperately important if you're telling the truth (which, as you said, is something you like to do.) I mean I can understand why you would want someone to question their beliefs. Buy why research what they believe? It might simply be that they have different priorities with regards to what they want to research. It might lead to more nonreligious people, but I've known a handful of very religious people who did take a higher education in theology and only became re-inforced in their beliefs. It naturally depends on your relationship to your religion, how dogmatic etc.

I mean I understand your logic. Personally I'd assume that when people go to study politics they'd become less Marxist, but I think the numbers disagree with me (it's not something I've looked up, just personal experience.) And while Marxism isn't a religion, it does have its fair share of dogmatists.



I'm just saying that if I am asked my opinion, I will always tell someone what I truly believe and that I'll tell someone the truth and let them be upset, even if it isn't important anymore.
I don't think anyone's asking you to lie. To be sensitive perhaps, but not to lie.

-----------------
Around here is where I stop replying to Pilz and start rambling randomly.

I feel like I've said this before. But the bad behavior of others (those who try to convert) doesn't excuse one's own bad behavior. Despite how annoying, awful, or downright despicable those people can be.

As for atheism and genocides. It was the policy of militant atheism in the USSR that did have an incredibly adverse effect on people who were religious. Essentially blocking them from advancement in society at times. The gathering and exiling of the Jews to far-eastern Siberia for instance was partially motivated by religion (and partially by geopolitics and paranoia). In fact militant-atheism could be blamed for a lot of Eastern block human rights violations.

But I wouldn't put it as solely atheism because stripping down actions like that to one singular cause is not only an extreme simplification, but it also makes you look like a retard.

Oh yeah and there's some crazy shit about China and Tibet and religion or something I think, but whatever. Actually the use of religion in the Sino-Tibetan conflict is pretty interesting. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_Panchen_Lama)

WebDudette
10-15-2010, 12:17 PM
I don't think this is terribly relevant, though. You're talking about describing your beliefs to someone when you're asked your opinion; we were talking about unsolicited stuff. People trying to convert others. Pushing your beliefs. Totally different thing.

I mean yeah, I kind of said that myself... But what you were getting at was, why try tell someone something if it's only going to upset them and nothing good can come of it.

I guess what I'm saying is, you can tell someone something unsolicited that is going to upset them and nothing good can come from it, but that doesn't make it the wrong thing to do.

My post wasn't about being asked an opinion, I only briefly mentioned that, and it wasn't at all mentioned in the scenario I created. I agree though, that it was all but 100% off-topic.

Llamas
10-15-2010, 12:22 PM
Per says smart words. Very good point about the USSR.

WebDudette
10-15-2010, 12:24 PM
I mean I can understand why you would want someone to question their beliefs. Buy why research what they believe? It might simply be that they have different priorities with regards to what they want to research.

I'm not asking for extensive research, I'd just like for people to understand what exactly it is they claim to live their entire life for. I mean, at the very least, read the bible. Without it, it's just blind faith and willful ignorance, and if I'm being truthful, that annoys the hell out of me.


I don't think anyone's asking you to lie. To be sensitive perhaps, but not to lie.

I guess I shouldn't have said anything about opinions. I can be sympathetic and constructive when giving an opinion. But there are situations such as the one I mentioned at the beginning of my first post, where I can just not say anything, or I can tell his girlfriend he cheated on her. If I know for certain that it will never happen again, how is it at all beneficial to tell her that it happened? It really isn't, but it is still the right thing to do, for me.

wheelchairman
10-15-2010, 12:46 PM
I'm not asking for extensive research, I'd just like for people to understand what exactly it is they claim to live their entire life for. I mean, at the very least, read the bible. Without it, it's just blind faith and willful ignorance, and if I'm being truthful, that annoys the hell out of me.

Wouldn't going to church constitute research? I mean it's not first-hand accounts or primary sources, but supposedly that's done by an expert, which in many cases and for many people that would be understandable as a replacement for personal research. (I mean simply in my own field of studies, I've been greatly aided by my professors explanations, or compilation books with annotations on complicated theories.)

I mean you're asking them to do research, but I'd argue that going to church is much in the same. So when you say blind faith, I question whether you understand a distinction between blind faith and faith. Faith by definition is the belief in something of which there is little empirical proof, no?

I mean I do understand what you're saying, and there are naturally a large number of people who fit into that category. And yet what you're saying smacks of a categorical judgement.

WebDudette
10-15-2010, 12:58 PM
Many of the people I know do not even go to church, but are still very held in their beliefs. I definitely see what you are saying, but I don't necessarily agree with second hand information either. When I started reading the bible, a friend of mine told me that I would need to go to church or study groups to truly understand it. That frustrated me beyond belief, I wanted my interpretation of the Bible, I wanted to know what it really said. Many pastors or group leaders pick and choose what they want to preach and they will interpret things in a way that benefits their agenda and people will follow it without question, that's what I mean by blind faith. It's like only watching Fox News, taking everything they say as fact, and ignoring everything else.

Of course, this isn't true of all religious groups, I just choose not to address every group and it remains true of most people I know personally, even my friends.

RageAndLov
10-15-2010, 04:56 PM
I'm sorry people at work are giving you so much hard time. I understand that you live in Jesusland, but it is just really dumb and ignorant of them to suppress your lifestyle.

Static_Martyr
10-15-2010, 06:50 PM
As for atheism and genocides. It was the policy of militant atheism in the USSR that did have an incredibly adverse effect on people who were religious. Essentially blocking them from advancement in society at times. The gathering and exiling of the Jews to far-eastern Siberia for instance was partially motivated by religion (and partially by geopolitics and paranoia). In fact militant-atheism could be blamed for a lot of Eastern block human rights violations.

But I wouldn't put it as solely atheism because stripping down actions like that to one singular cause is not only an extreme simplification, but it also makes you look like a retard.

Oh yeah and there's some crazy shit about China and Tibet and religion or something I think, but whatever. Actually the use of religion in the Sino-Tibetan onflict is pretty interesting.

There's actually an entire chapter of "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens where he describes the importance of a secular society as opposed to an "atheist" society. The idea was (and I strongly agree with this) that a society should be secular and uninterested in people's personal religions (or lacks thereof), if for no other reason than because people have religious tendencies, and to suppress them doesn't make them go away, but rather manifest in ways that are harmful to society. Because what happens when you fervently declare that all citizens must be atheist? According to Hitchens it means that you inevitably fall into a state of hero-worship, a sort of artifical "religion of the state" like the one in North Korea, where the state leader himself effectively becomes the "god" of the state --- he's irreverent, his word is unchallengeable, etc. To sum it up, he says that state-sponsored atheism doesn't *really* get rid of religion, anyway, it just *replaces* it.


I'm not asking for extensive research, I'd just like for people to understand what exactly it is they claim to live their entire life for. I mean, at the very least, read the bible. Without it, it's just blind faith and willful ignorance, and if I'm being truthful, that annoys the hell out of me.

What really bothers me is when someone is "attacking" my beliefs and they're quoting Bible verses, and I quote a verse or two that goes against what they're saying, and they have no idea what to say. I've had people who had never even heard the verse I quoted before. And I'm not even Christian. I think, if you *insist* on going to go around "converting" people, the LEAST you can do is learn the fucking material!


I'm sorry people at work are giving you so much hard time. I understand that you live in Jesusland, but it is just really dumb and ignorant of them to suppress your lifestyle.

Actually, it seems to be blowing over for the most part....but thanks for the sentiment anyway :D I think that lady I was talking about earlier (the one who was the alcoholic) might have said something to that one lady (the one who got pissed and tried to convert me) because ever since she came back to work again, there haven't been a whole lot of problems. My other friend is basically okay with my beliefs (we had communicated in letters for awhile before this, and it had come up), so I think that helped. The worst thing that's happened since she came back to work was that the lady that tried to convert me was talking about those miners that were recently rescued (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0925972620101013), and she said (really conspicuously) that "if that don't prove to you that there is a god..." and then she really obviously looked over at me, like, "yeah, take that." My other friend looked at her and just kinda shrinked back into what she was doing, and she said out loud, "Oh, boy..." And I haven't had any problems since.

So only time will tell, but for now, I'm feeling confident that I might actually be able to salvage our work relationships! Woot :cool:

Llamas
10-16-2010, 03:56 AM
There's actually an entire chapter of "God Is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens where he describes the importance of a secular society as opposed to an "atheist" society. The idea was (and I strongly agree with this) that a society should be secular and uninterested in people's personal religions (or lacks thereof), if for no other reason than because people have religious tendencies, and to suppress them doesn't make them go away, but rather manifest in ways that are harmful to society. Because what happens when you fervently declare that all citizens must be atheist? According to Hitchens it means that you inevitably fall into a state of hero-worship, a sort of artifical "religion of the state" like the one in North Korea, where the state leader himself effectively becomes the "god" of the state --- he's irreverent, his word is unchallengeable, etc. To sum it up, he says that state-sponsored atheism doesn't *really* get rid of religion, anyway, it just *replaces* it.


If I can find a torrent for that book, I'm gonna read it. You've made it sound awfully good. And the ways I agree with this concept are endless. The only way a society should ever function is as a secular one. Forcing Islam or Christianity onto your people is no worse than forcing Atheism.

And regarding Pilz wanting people to be "educated" about their beliefs, I *do* agree with this. I think I mentioned before how obnoxious/irritating it is when a religious person tries to "educate" and "save" me, not realizing I was once Christian myself... and I end up knowing a lot more than they do. I just feel so insulted then.

Static_Martyr
11-20-2010, 08:49 PM
Okay, so get this....turns out the whole thing hasn't blown over after all. That lady and I haven't said two words to each other about religion or anything since this all first went down, and so I had the impression that it was basically water under a bridge....come to find out, she's been complaining about me to my GM behind my back.

Back when she was first giving me an attitude over the religion thing, I had confronted her once about insulting my job performance. I told her that if she had a problem with something I was doing, to let me know and not just assume that I was doing it to be an ass. She went all, "no, no, no problem here, everything's fine, I don't know what you're talking about," and acted like everything was cool. So I figured it was over with. But I now find out that she's been going behind my back over any and every little thing she thinks she can pin on me (anytime I forget something, or take too long to do something, or make any mistake), trying to get me fired. It's getting ridiculous; so much that even one of the other Christianfolk I work with overheard her trying to force me into a debate on religion and said something to the effect of, "Oh, here we go again."

I've really been wanting to keep my mouth shut about this whole deal, because it hasn't been bad enough to affect my job in any way --- and on top of that, I'm certain that this sudden obsession with JEEZUS has at least something to do with this lady's fragile emotional state, now that her boyfriend of 19 years is dead, so I definitely don't want to go rattling THAT cage --- but I feel like she's beginning to cross some lines. If this keeps up, it might not be too much longer before I have to take some kind of action, if for no other reason than to secure my own reputation. My work reputation is very important to me and I will not tolerate somebody trying to trash me just because they're pissed about my religious affiliation. This is completely unacceptable.

And you know what pisses me off the most? She's been coming to me and asking me for money all nice-like every week before payday, complaining about how expensive gas is and how "tough" times are for her now that her boyfriend isn't helping pay her bills....and then she turns around and acts like this when she thinks I'm not looking. I guess that kind of hurts a little; I've always thought of this person as a friend, and I've always tried to do everything in my power to help her out when she asked me (and sometimes even when she didn't). On the one hand she acts like I'm a completely different person now, some kind of crazy super atheist-asshole, but then on the other hand, she knows I still try to treat her as a friend, and she comes back to me wanting help with this or money for that, and up until now I've given it to her (I loaned her something like $120 over two or three months that I ended up just telling her not to worry about, because her son was in jail and she needed to have a prepay account on her phone so he could call her). And she knows that I'm willing to help her like that, and she still tries to get away with acting like I'm some kind of dick just because I'm not Christian.

Even that would be manageable, though --- just stop loaning her things --- if not for the fact that she's now taking active, deliberate steps to slander my reputation and cost me my job. I'm about a single dirty rumor away from telling her to go somewhere and have intercourse with herself.

[/rant]

P.S. On the bright side, as it turns out she's the only person I work with who feels that way, with the possible exception of my GM; a number of other people I work with (pretty much EVERYONE I work with is Christian, and deeply so) have come to my defense, and even reported to me directly some of the things she's been saying about me behind my back. So my job is probably not in as much danger as I had originally suspected....but still, it's the principle of the matter. She must have some monstrous kind of cognitive dissonance to treat people the way she does. If not, she has to be some kind of sociopath....this is just unbelievable :mad:

Omni
11-20-2010, 10:26 PM
Just know that, as a Christian, if I had witnessed any of this, I would have maybe gotten into serious trouble over the things I'd have said to them. And again, being a Christian, I understand that a large part of the Christian infrastructure is spreading God's word and being concerned about other people's salvation - a good gesture of brotherhood - but this is not 25 AD. People don't need or want to be warned, especially in the south. If you're inclined to bring it up and try to "educate" them of God, be reasonably good at reading body language and voice tones to know whether or not the person is interested in what you have to say. I'd say anyone not in a third world country has more or less made a permanent decision regarding their stance toward God.
I find this situation to be an exaggerated, almost comical reaction on their part. I live in Arkansas, which cannot be that much different from Alabama. Theres a church on just about every corner, faith is a large part of life for a lot of people here. I've met my share of really dumb Christians, who make me keep my mouth shut about being a Christian they embarass me so badly, but I've never met someone who reacted this way at the place of work and acted so petty. How can you live to be an adult (I'm assuming these people are over 25?) and not have encountered an athiest, or encountered so few to react so harshly?

My boss is a devout Christian. He goes to church every sunday, he believes sex is for procreation, and he's a good guy. He employees mostly felons and ex-drug addicts who could not geta job anywhere else. He knows more than one of them are athiests. He would still loan money to those people and let them pay it back out of their paychecks slowly. He would still let them miss work for dumb things, as they are trying to get their lives back on track, as long as they worked hard and tried to make a change for themselves. I wish more Christians were like my boss. I'm a little angry just sitting here reading your situation.

People like this are like the cop who pulls you over for going 47 in a 45, lectures you on the safety of other drivers, and writes you a ticket; now you can't help but think cops are pigs rather than people who're there for your safety if the need arrises.

Sorry if this is not a very cohesive post. I'm pretty much just ranting.

wheelchairman
11-20-2010, 10:38 PM
I think you gotta be careful Static. Some people can't be reasoned with, and will just use you if it suits them. Especially people who have recently suffered that kind of trauma, it can be natural that they get a little selfish or entitled, even at the cost of others.

Just be careful. She does not sound like a pleasant woman. If you can, I'd try to confront her directly with what you wrote here. About how you treat her, how she treats you, and how she treats you behind her back. You might as well let her know that you know.

If there is another recourse you know about, use it. Like talking to someone in the company, your boss or an employee relations person. Obviously its a problem.

WebDudette
12-01-2010, 08:10 PM
I was going to recommend getting legal advice, but only if the situation doesn't just defuse itself. If they continue to treat you unfairly or fire you, I'd do something about it. I actually might look into some preemptive proof and legal advice, to be honest.

I haven't had anything that bad happen, but I've had my run ins. Every time it comes up that I'm an atheist, people have to give me the third degree and ask me all sorts of stupid questions. Atheism really isn't that hard to understand.

Bringing the book is provocation? I suppose I see what you are saying, but honestly, fuck that. If someone is offended by my book, it's really not my fault and I'm not going to stop bringing it because they have the emotional range of a toddler. He shouldn't be required to bend his lifestyle to accommodate the 'comfort' of crazy people.

I read most of this, agreed with it, but wondered why he was replying to the first page months later. Then I realize it is what I said, word for word, months ago.

Lord Phidias
12-03-2010, 12:36 AM
Why is this thread so popular?

WebDudette
12-03-2010, 12:46 AM
It's an interesting thread with something that can actually be discussed.

For Real
12-03-2010, 07:13 PM
hmmm.... do I wanna jump in this thread or....


... no way man! I might miss out on something cool again, if my thoughts are so focused that I forget to multi-task!

nikole95.7
12-29-2010, 04:47 AM
No no, I said that it might have been taken that way. Not that it was provocation.

And I agree with the rest of your sentence...

Okay, yeah. I get what you're saying. I'm certain people could take it that way and that pisses me off.

How is 'god is not Great'? I have it on my bookshelf, but haven't started reading it yet.

I think all my problems with religion would dissipate if the religious would just genuinely mind their own business.

Noodles
01-14-2011, 10:24 PM
Static, I think that this lady you're mostly talking about has problems beyond being Christian. Everybody has some kind of mental or emotional shortcoming/s, and some people have more than others. I would watch your back with her. I think you have to be careful about making this a religious thing when you, or if you, have to take it up with your superiors. If she's out to get you the way it seems she is, you should be able to make it mostly about that. Let her continue to be the crazy one who makes it about religion. Good luck.

I don't ever really feel the need to push my beliefs on anyone until someone knocks on my door to push theirs on me. It seems to me that those people knocking on my door (this happens frequently in the U.S.) to share their beliefs with me are always the least receptive to mine. I am, however, enraged when politicians try to force their brand of Christianity on me, my family, and the rest of my country. When school board members in Kansas or Texas try to take evolution out of science books, or at least equate it with creationism, I firmly believe that these people are morons in need of an education. Does that make me arrogant? More arrogant than the Christian school board members? Whose forcing whose beliefs on whom? That being said, I think the US would benefit from religious education as long as it was truly educational, as opposed to proselytizing, and encompassed all the worlds major religions. Actually I think the whole world might get along a little better if we all understood each other a little more, but that might just be me being naive.

I had a very religious upbringing and I think I learned a lot from it. I know a lot of amazing people who are very religious, and I mean people I think of as heroic in their everyday lives. I also know a lot of really twisted people to whom their religion means almost everything, yet seems to help them with nothing. I honestly think it's a wash. I don't think that what you believe about God, or the absence of one, has much to do with wether or not you are a happy, healthy, "good" person. For some people their beliefs may give them the strength they need to deal with their lives for the better. Some people's beliefs lead them to great accomplishments. For others their beliefs are just a comfortable pair of cement shoes. For others still, an assault rifle or a bomb strapped to their chest.

I really did enjoy this thread. I found it to be really thoughtful (with a couple of trolling exceptions), but then I would expect nothing less from our fans. Unfortunately, I don't think I added much, but I felt like venting anyway. Thanks for the post, Static, and to all who replied.
Noodles

Little_Miss_1565
01-15-2011, 12:00 AM
Noodles, if that's what you just hanging out and venting sounds like, please vent more often. A++++ WOULD BUY AGAIN.

jacknife737
01-15-2011, 12:18 AM
Noodles, if that's what you just hanging out and venting sounds like, please vent more often. A++++ WOULD BUY AGAIN.

Totally agree.

ad8
01-15-2011, 04:35 AM
Static, I think that this lady you're mostly talking about has problems beyond being Christian. Everybody has some kind of mental or emotional shortcoming/s, and some people have more than others. I would watch your back with her. I think you have to be careful about making this a religious thing when you, or if you, have to take it up with your superiors. If she's out to get you the way it seems she is, you should be able to make it mostly about that. Let her continue to be the crazy one who makes it about religion. Good luck.

I don't ever really feel the need to push my beliefs on anyone until someone knocks on my door to push theirs on me. It seems to me that those people knocking on my door (this happens frequently in the U.S.) to share their beliefs with me are always the least receptive to mine. I am, however, enraged when politicians try to force their brand of Christianity on me, my family, and the rest of my country. When school board members in Kansas or Texas try to take evolution out of science books, or at least equate it with creationism, I firmly believe that these people are morons in need of an education. Does that make me arrogant? More arrogant than the Christian school board members? Whose forcing whose beliefs on whom? That being said, I think the US would benefit from religious education as long as it was truly educational, as opposed to proselytizing, and encompassed all the worlds major religions. Actually I think the whole world might get along a little better if we all understood each other a little more, but that might just be me being naive.

I had a very religious upbringing and I think I learned a lot from it. I know a lot of amazing people who are very religious, and I mean people I think of as heroic in their everyday lives. I also know a lot of really twisted people to whom their religion means almost everything, yet seems to help them with nothing. I honestly think it's a wash. I don't think that what you believe about God, or the absence of one, has much to do with wether or not you are a happy, healthy, "good" person. For some people their beliefs may give them the strength they need to deal with their lives for the better. Some people's beliefs lead them to great accomplishments. For others their beliefs are just a comfortable pair of cement shoes. For others still, an assault rifle or a bomb strapped to their chest.

I really did enjoy this thread. I found it to be really thoughtful (with a couple of trolling exceptions), but then I would expect nothing less from our fans. Unfortunately, I don't think I added much, but I felt like venting anyway. Thanks for the post, Static, and to all who replied.
Noodles
Yes, the dilemma clearly has to do with people who don't understand religion the way it was meant to understand. But can you expect a less intelligent person to not always think literally? Clearly, these are the problems that education is supposed to solve, but as long as it does not work we need to find a way to make religion less vulnerable to misinterpretations and extremists because that seems to be a problem that every religion has (because it is not caused by religion but cognitions).
Oh god, I'm really not expressing myself clearly enough...
anyway, there will always be less intelligent people or people with mental issues that might cause troubles in the name of religions and the solutions we need to find should either address a better education/treatment of those people (although that will be a very, very slow procedure) and/or finding a way to emphasize the important values of religion to them.

tl,dr: I agree with Noodles' great post!

WebDudette
01-15-2011, 10:23 AM
I feel if I were a better and wiser man, I would have said it exactly like that. Fantastic post, Noodles.

Static_Martyr
01-15-2011, 07:25 PM
I think you have to be careful about making this a religious thing when you, or if you, have to take it up with your superiors. If she's out to get you the way it seems she is, you should be able to make it mostly about that. Let her continue to be the crazy one who makes it about religion. Good luck.

That's pretty much exactly what I've been doing. We mostly get along now, although she does still take the occasional opportunity to try and convert me or otherwise throw Jesus in my face (like the other day, we were talking about something work-related, and while I was in the middle of a sentence, she suddenly burst out singing some hymn I didn't recognize, rather loudly and conspicuously, while staring right at me). I've been, for lack of a better term, "playing dumb" about the whole thing; I just act like I think she's joking around or something, and it usually blows over.

A month or two ago, we had this weird altercation that resulted in my having to go to my GM; what I told her (GM) was basically, "this lady and I have been getting along for so long, and now suddenly we're having problems and I don't know why." I mentioned that I'd tried asking her what was up and she insisted there was "no problem, no problem at all" (which is true). My boss said we would all talk about it at some point, but we never did and I never heard about it again (and in a way I'm kind of glad, because I *really* dreaded the idea of a sit-down with all three of us....as I've said, I do have some respect for this person and I'd hate for it to end awkwardly).


I think the US would benefit from religious education as long as it was truly educational, as opposed to proselytizing, and encompassed all the worlds major religions. Actually I think the whole world might get along a little better if we all understood each other a little more, but that might just be me being naive.

I actually really like the idea of having free access to a religious education (i.e. classes on the Bible and the historical context in which its various books were written, etc.), but my main fear is of the people they might get to teach it. In my experience, there are far too many "professional" Christians who are more concerned with trying to "win you over" than with actually teaching you about it. Hearing all these horror stories about teachers trying to carefully squeeze religion into classes that have nothing whatsoever to do with religion (like biology) makes me really skeptical about letting them teach classes that are based primarily on religion.

Granted I'm a little biased here; my 11th-grade Earth Science teacher was a creationist (though I didn't know the term at the time), and in retrospect I realize that he spent a significant amount of time trying to creep "Biblical" explanations into the curriculum --- he always touted the "Noah's flood caused the fossils" explanation, for example, and another thing he did was, throughout the entire semester he made us keep notebooks about global warming (he presented it as a "controversy"); at the end of the term, we had to put whether we had been convinced that GW was "true" or "false;" I put that I wasn't really comfortable making a commitment to either side at the time because I didn't have enough information, and he gave me an "F" for not putting down one opinion or the other. Interestingly, another student got an "A" for writing that "Global Warming is a hoax, because the world can't be permanently damaged by humans," and that "it will only end when God makes it end."

So I'm probably a little overly-paranoid about the idea of taking a Bible class from someone who might be a Creationist. But overall, I do support the idea of Biblical literacy, just because it's become such a huge part of our culture (and so much of our language has evolved the way it has because of the Bible). I had thought this on some level for a long time, but it was actually none other than Richard Dawkins who finally openly convinced me of this, because of how he explained it in "The God Delusion"~


I don't think that what you believe about God, or the absence of one, has much to do with wether or not you are a happy, healthy, "good" person. For some people their beliefs may give them the strength they need to deal with their lives for the better. Some people's beliefs lead them to great accomplishments. For others their beliefs are just a comfortable pair of cement shoes. For others still, an assault rifle or a bomb strapped to their chest.

I basically agree, and that's one of the reasons why I've been trying so hard to not make a big deal about it in this lady's situation at work (especially given that it's a bad time for her, with her boyfriend of 19 years suddenly dying and all). My biggest hope is that, if I continue to act the way I always have (regardless of how she treats me now), she'll realize I'm exactly the same person I always was and I won't go raping kids or stealing stuff. In doing so, I'm mostly trying to subtly drive home the point that before, when I was an atheist but she didn't know, she had no problem with me; it's only after she found out that it became a problem for her.

At the end of the day, I always feel a little bit better for not just completely snapping on her. Although I do feel tempted at times, sitting here and thinking about all the things I've thought to say in response. I mean, some of them make me feel pretty damn witty :D


I really did enjoy this thread. I found it to be really thoughtful (with a couple of trolling exceptions), but then I would expect nothing less from our fans. Unfortunately, I don't think I added much, but I felt like venting anyway. Thanks for the post, Static, and to all who replied.
Noodles

I'd like to say "Thankya Much Mr. Noodles," but I'm too busy SHITTING MYSELF because Noodles posted in my topic. :D :D :D

[/starstruck]

dr.vanessa
01-16-2011, 06:11 AM
I'm proud of people who are strong enough to believe or refuse to believe in something & i dont care if their beliefs are different to mine!People don't need others proselytism to choose what to believe in or not..normal human beings are free ,able and clever enough to make that choice on their own!So people who try to proselytize others or dislike people who have different beliefs are the ones that are actually arrogant cause in fact they think that their own truth is the most important so others(that are "idiot" enough to believe in something else..) HAVE to follow it..!!!!!I dunno probably that kind of people are deep inside quite insecure cause.. c'mon why is it SO important to them to make a world full of people who have the same beliefs as them?Wouldn't this world be boring?

P.S: Sorry if my english is not quite clear & correct i really did my best!:p

Noodles
01-19-2011, 07:53 AM
Hey, Static, it just keeps getting worse there in Alabama, doesn't it? Even your Governor is now saying that non-Christians can't be his "brothers and sisters." Probably because that's what Christ would say. Sheeesh!

Gustavo
01-19-2011, 08:11 AM
To put it mildly, shit is fucked up.

I agree with what Noodles said in his other post, "the whole world might get along a little better if we all understood each other a little more".

I was born in a very religious family, and my brother is studying physics at college, and now he claims to be agnostic. My parents were not quite so happy about it, but they're not treating him any different because of that.

Honestly, I think people should just mind their own businesses and let people do what they want to do and believe what they want to believe without having to be seen as a better or worse person because of that.

dr.vanessa
01-19-2011, 09:29 AM
Honestly, I think people should just mind their own businesses and let people do what they want to do and believe what they want to believe without having to be seen as a better or worse person because of that.

You are right!!!Unfortunately,many people feel disgust for everything that's different to them!!Not only about religion but about nationality, sexuality, disabilities etc. as well.I happen to be a disabled person for years and i've experienced some kind of racism sometimes..you know this fake kindness (which in fact hides doubt about your all kind of abilities) that really sucks!!But fortunately, i grew up in a great family that taught me to respect myself so i dont give a damn about those idiot racists!I just try to be the best i can :)
Of course,when people show their racistic feelings in job,things are not always that easy...especially when it's up to them to keep or fire you..

dexter12296566
01-19-2011, 06:16 PM
If you actually lost your job over that, it would be shit, I mean really people? Don't you have anything better to do than bother people about their personal decisions that don't effect your life IN ANY WAY???!!!

People need to grow up. Religion is a personal thing so pushing it on someone is just a load of shit. I think I actually get more shit from religious people about liking punk than not being very religious.

I think it's the same thing a lot of times with people who aren't religious with people who are. I recently wanted to study religion a bit, and I believe in the faith of Jesus Christ so I would stick with Christianity. Well, I told my dad about that one and clearly he disapproved because I said I would be either Catholic or Baptist and he said one thing. "I hope in hell you NEVER become a Baptist." Thus ending the conversation. I looked into it anyway, and I still believe in God, Christ, afterlife, etc. but I won't join a church... I'm too independent to follow a religion....

samseby
01-21-2011, 06:41 AM
The question really is if I would like to work / continue working in a place like that.

Do religious beliefs or non-beliefs make someone a better employee / person or do they affect one's work in any way? I don't really think so.

It's generally sad, narrow-minded and shallow to be reduced to religious preferences, sex, personal appearance, nationality etc.

Static_Martyr
01-25-2011, 04:46 PM
Alright....I have another development. From the looks of it, this will probably be the last of them, for better or for worse.

Long story short....this lady has been pretty much non-stop talking shit about me every. Single. Day. That I'm not there. Some of the things she's been telling people:


-) That I was "stalking" this one girl we work with (I asked her out twice; the first time she misunderstood me and thought I was asking to hang out "as friends," but the second time I made myself clearer and she turned me down --- we're on good terms now, though);

-) That various people should "stay away from me," because I'm "no good" and "you never know what 'a person like that' is capable of," that I'm a man and therefore I'm "only after one thing" (she tells this to all of my female coworkers with whom I am currently on friendly terms);

-) She complained because I bought one of my other female coworkers (the one I asked out) a fancy necklace for Christmas, because I bought her a cheaper one and threw in $10 (the necklace I gave to my "love interest" was only $40, and I gave it to her when I asked her to be my GF....as I mentioned, she turned me down, so I told her to keep it anyway as a token of our friendship if nothing else....the place I bought it from said no returns, anyway...but we were on good terms until this lady started talking to her, now she's all wary and suspicious of me);

-) She tries to "set me up" at work and then rat me out....example: today we were unusually busy, so I had to help out in a department I'd never worked in. This lady was supposed to tell me what all to do, but every time I asked her something she would just say, "do whatever you want," and snub me; so I did my best based on what I normally see other people doing in this department. Later on, it turns out I did something completely backward, and this resulted in a lot of wasted time. The GM asked this lady, "why is this all backward?" And she replied, "Oh, I don't know, I guess *somebody* just did it backward," staring at me with this vengeful glare. And earlier this month, she said that the reason I was going to the bathroom so much was because I wanted to "look at men" (the real reason? I had just had a cyst removed off of my tailbone, and I had to check it every couple of hours and make sure the site wasn't getting stretched or torn from all of my bending and lifting).

-) She constantly prejudges me and my other coworkers --- I had a doctor appointment last week (a pilonidal abscess, a complication from the removal). I told my boss that I might be having a procedure to remove it (long story), and she was cool with that. This lady, though, went ON and ON and ON about how "I should let my boss know in advance if I'm going to have a procedure," and even though I repeatedly told her that I knew what I was doing, that it wasn't as simple as she was making it out, etc. etc., she just kept parroting the same bullshit about how I wasn't being responsible and I was just asking to get fired (even though my GM was perfectly cool with it). I finally got frustrated and just told her --- my surgeon told me that he would have to (a) open the abscess, (b) wait a week to make sure it drained properly, and (c) call me back for another checkup to see if the channel it had formed in was ready to be removed. Due to the nature of this procedure, I wouldn't know until basically the last possible minute whether or not I'd be having the procedure (I wouldn't know until the day of the appointment; he'd have to look at it and then, if it was ready, remove it then and there). If I waited too long, the abscess might become infected again and we'd have to do the whole process over again. So it was in my best interest to get it removed on the spot (no pun intended). After that she just gave me this flat "too much information" remark, and I said, "well, you kept asking and asking and asking, so I told you."

So anyway, I heard some rumors here and there about some of this, and I started to get worried about my work reputation. I decided to ask one of my female coworkers about one of them --- I asked if this lady had told her to "stay away from me" because I was "up to no good," etc. etc. I mentioned that I had heard a rumor about it. She said, "no, why would she say that?" And I said, "alright, thanks, I believe you." And that was that.

Or so I thought.

This morning, this lady just comes at me full force as soon as I walk in the door --- she's demanding explanations, "why did I ask this," "why did I ask that," "who told me this," etc. I told her I wasn't trying to rock the boat, I had just wanted to get it straight from the horse's mouth in that case, and that it was all over with, so don't worry about it. She kept insisting that I told her who had "started the rumor" (it was actually a fairly innocent comment that had lead me to ask the question in the first place, not a "vicious rumor"), and I kept telling her, "no, I'm not going to do that. Because what you're going to do is, you're going to go to that person and say, "Tim said you said [x] about me," and you guys will fight. Then that person is going to come to me and say, "Tim, why did you tell so-and-so that I said [x]? I didn't say that." And it's just going to be chaos.

She wouldn't hear it, though. She said, "unless the next phrase out of your mouth are the name of the person who told you that, I don't to hear it."

I told her, "alright. Your rules, not mine. I'll be over here if you change your mind."

And we haven't spoken since (not cordially, anyway --- I still make every effort to be nonsuperficially courteous and respectful any time we have to speak for work-related reasons, although she just basically snubs me unless she absolutely has to speak to me). I have no doubt that it was this conversation that lead to her attempts to set me up today, and I have no doubt that there will be more attempts like them in the future.

The good news, though, is that I confronted my GM about this today as well. The conversation went something like this:


ME: "Ms. GM, I'm only bringing this up because I know for a fact that [this lady] has already mentioned it to you and everyone else, and I just want my side of the story to be in the rotation....I tried to explain that my intent wasn't malicious and that nobody was "talking shit" behind her back, but she absolutely Would. Not. Listen. To me. She told me if I wasn't gonna tell her who 'started the rumor,' that she didn't want me to talk to her anymore. So we're on silent treatment I guess, but I just wanted to pre-empt any claims about my job performance by saying that I have NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER of letting this affect my job performance. And the only reason I refuse to tell her who told me that rumor is because I don't want to cause a whole fuckton of chaos about this stupid, stupid issue that wasn't even an issue until this other girl went and blabbed to this lady about it. Although in retrospect I realize I probably shouldn't have asked that girl about anything, 'cause I always assume that whatever I say will eventually get back around to whomever I was hoping it wouldn't get around to."

GM: "Don't worry, you're handling it right. Just let it go."

ME: ":D"

So....it seems that I have the advantage in that I'm not letting this affect my job, but she's letting it affect hers plenty --- she's skimping on stuff so I'll have to do extra (and everybody knows it, including the GM), and she's making deliberate trouble and trying to "raise the staff" against me (nobody's buying it, except that one girl who ratted me to her in the first place). So if I just mind my own business from here on out, she'll probably snap and get herself fired over nothing all on her own.

On the one hand I'm happy --- I mean, I'm sick to death of this immature bullshit, and if she has to get herself fired over this, then it's not my problem, more power to her. But on the other hand, I just feel kinda bad that it's had to come to this. I've tried MANY MANY times to smooth things over, and most of the time it's gone alright, but this time she's taking no prisoners --- she's gonna get rid of me, or she's gonna get rid of herself. From her point of view, those are the only two options. She just will not take no for an answer anymore.

*sigh*

I just feel a LOT better now that other people aren't buying into her charade anymore. I mean, she actually called one of her best friends (until now, anyway) a "snake" behind her back --- she told the new girl to watch out for this other person, because she was a "snake" who caused nothing but trouble. I happen to be friends with the "snake" in question, and I know that's a load of shit. And so does everybody else. So I guess I'm also glad that the spotlight is no longer just around me --- she's making other people miserable as well. So maybe eventually she'll piss off enough people to actually get something done about it.

[/rant]

EDIT: I keep forgetting to say, thanks for the thoughts and comments people! Whenever I used to try to talk to my dad about stuff like this, he'd always give me some dumb response like, "just punch her in the face, she won't fuck with you no more." Which would be funny and facetious if he wasn't being serious about it :o It's nice to have a fresh (non-violent) perspective on things to help keep my head on straight when I'm thinking out of anger.

ad8
01-26-2011, 04:53 AM
It's good to see that things are turning out better for you... as Noodles mentioned, this woman probably has some serious mental issues and as long as you remain calm and act reasonable, she is going to make herself look more pathetic the more she tries to denounce you to everybody else. (Although I am kind of worried by the thought of her getting fired and her subsequently getting even more angry at you because of that)

Gustavo
01-27-2011, 04:28 PM
Wow, Static! I'm impressed, this lady really doesn't seem to want to let it go. I think you should really consider taking legal actions against her if she doesn't stop, that is your right.

That really doesn't make much sense, the lady claims to be christian, the Bible is against judging, according to it, humans can't judge each other, only God can judge us, and yet this lady seems to really judge you. What's up with your right of free will?

This lady reminds me of a certain t-shirt I saw, it said "Jesus, save me from your followers". And it makes a lot of sense, actually. Christians nowadays are nothing like what they were supposed to be. Christians keep asking themselves "What would Jesus do?", I'm fairly certain that this kind of attitude is NOT what Jesus would support.

Static_Martyr
02-12-2011, 09:52 AM
Alright, I pretty much just got tired of this whole situation, said "fuck it," and I went out and applied for a new job yesterday after I left work. I found a place just down the street from where I work that I seem to have a good chance with (I talked to the manager and it seemed to go over well); I'll be putting in my two weeks' notice on Monday when I go in again.

And truthfully? I already feel significantly less stress about the whole thing. Originally I was just mad, but then I said out loud to myself, "I am QUITTING this job," and it just felt right. I don't have to take this; I am a good employee, I've been here for three and a half years, and I'm leaving on positive terms (on paper, anyway), so as far as any future employers will know, this job will be a great reference and I'll look good because of it. There will be no need to mention this whole pseudo-religious "scandal" deal.

It's about time anyway, though, even without considering the conflicts I've been having lately. I've started developing some pretty bad back problems from being consistently overworked at this job --- it's gotten so bad that, when I finally got desperate and went to see a specialist ($250 just for the visit, as I had no insurance :D), he told me that switching to a different job would be the best thing I could do, because the job I currently have is horrible on my back, and if I stay for too much longer I could permanently damage it. At the time I figured that I could tell my boss about this and ask her to work with me on it so I didn't have to quit, but it's been made pretty apparent in the meantime that she's just gonna tell me what she thinks I want to hear and then forget about it completely.

I just keep saying in my head, "I can't wait to put in my two weeks' notice on Monday," and already my back's been feeling better....I think the stress of having to constantly think of how to deal with this stuff is a large portion of it. So hopefully it'll start to get better after I've been out of this job for awhile --- my new job is significantly lighter (labor-intensity-wise) than the one I have now, so I won't be pulling it constantly.

[/rant]

Thanks for listening, BBS! It's been a difficult decision to make but I think things are gonna finally work out :D

wheelchairman
02-12-2011, 10:12 AM
Jesus it's about fucking time. ;)

There is NOTHING like quitting a job, and feeling awesome about it. Only ever had to do it twice, but it was so satisfying.

Especially cause last time I just went awol for a while and then quit. Take that fuckers.

jakecummings
02-12-2011, 12:14 PM
what is an atheist?

if someone doesnt believe and/or follow a religion then they dont need a label. why is there a label for everything. i dont care for religion either way and i dont care whatever religion you worship as long as you dont preach to me or try to impress with your religion.

Llamas
02-12-2011, 01:27 PM
Especially cause last time I just went awol for a while and then quit. Take that fuckers.

Haha, I sort of did that once. I wrote "off until further notice" on the schedule... and then I never gave further notice. That was all because I'd gotten a new GM who was a huge dickbag. It was great.


what is an atheist?

if someone doesnt believe and/or follow a religion then they dont need a label. why is there a label for everything. i dont care for religion either way and i dont care whatever religion you worship as long as you dont preach to me or try to impress with your religion.

a = without, theist = god. An atheist doesn't just not follow a religion; they absolutely believe god does NOT exist. I'm glad there are names, because I'm not religious, but I'm not an atheist. I'm an agnostic theist, which is very different, and I wouldn't want to be considered an atheist.

Static_Martyr
02-12-2011, 07:31 PM
Jesus it's about fucking time.

There is NOTHING like quitting a job, and feeling awesome about it. Only ever had to do it twice, but it was so satisfying.

Especially cause last time I just went awol for a while and then quit. Take that fuckers.


Haha, I sort of did that once. I wrote "off until further notice" on the schedule... and then I never gave further notice. That was all because I'd gotten a new GM who was a huge dickbag. It was great.

Yeah, I've had this whole routine planned out in my head (hypothetically, of course) for some time, just in case it came to the point where I had no choice but to quit suddenly and obnoxiously. And honestly? If this job wasn't my only real job reference ever, I'd probably do just that, just to send a message that not everybody is gonna take the crap they're dishing out. But as it stands, I've only had three jobs before this one (one at Burger King, one at MovieStop, another at the hospital down the street from where I will no longer officially work as of two weeks from this Monday~), and the first two were just week-long temp jobs. The hospital job, I kept for about four months before switching to this one, which I've had for three and a half years. So I really need this one; it's perfect, I have no write-ups, no documented problems or conflicts (aside from this small deal, but as far as I know no documentation of this was ever made, so meh), and if I quit on good terms (such that I'm at least re-hireable), then it will look good on paper.

Seems a little ironic, that this horrible job is going to do such good things for my career :cool: I also like to think I'll be a little less miserable and brooding after this whole thing blows over.

yarock
02-13-2011, 08:24 AM
I'm an agnostic theist, which is very different, and I wouldn't want to be considered an atheist.

Too bad you can't appreciate a song like God Only Knows.


Jesus

Oh sweet irony.

WebDudette
02-13-2011, 11:17 AM
Wait, what? Some of my favorite albums and bands are very heavily influenced by religion.

Anyway, that sounds so relieving. I only worked at Wal-mart for close to 2 months, but it was doing a number on my back and it was just all in all an awful fucking job. I know I shouldn't have, but I just stopped going and it felt great.

ad8
02-14-2011, 03:01 AM
Ah, so the title of my favorite Static Martyr record does make sense ;)

IamSam
09-03-2011, 12:05 PM
Not to steal Static Martyr's awesome thread, but I felt like this was a good place for something like this.

So I recently became an atheist, but haven't told anyone besides two of my closest friends and...well..now the internet...so basically everyone and their dog knows besides, essentially, anyone I know.

I posted this as a status on Facebook this morning:


If you would have been born in Iran you would have been Muslim. If you would have been born in India, probably Hindu. Tibet? Most likely Buddhist. In all instances you would believe, through overwhelming faith, that your beliefs were the true beliefs and all others are wrong. Food for thought that I was just thinking about.

Which was met by this response from a former classmate:


You are right Birch! But the key difference between all other religions and following Jesus Christ is that Jesus is alive! I am convinced of this, because over a year ago I first believed Him to be who He says He is, which is Lord of all, God's only begotten Son, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life. After this happened, I began to have a guilty conscience of the way I was living my life. I didn't understand why, but things that I had done all my life which I never use to think twice of doing, all of a sudden were revealed to me as wrong (sin). There is not a doubt in my mind that when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, He filled me with His life giving Spirit, and that Holy Spirit leads me into all Truth.

You probably already know what the bible says about the only one True Way to the Father, which is through Jesus Christ. You can argue about whether the bible is the word of God, and argue whether or not to believe it. But one thing yhou cannot argue is the personal testimony of people whose lives have been changed by God through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.

This one thing I know, I was blind, but now I see! Jesus Christ is alive, and He dwells in those who believe in Him as Lord. No other "religion" follows a God who is alive - because of the resurrection. In no other religion does God reach down to humanity by making His Son like us, and then killing Him to ransom us. All other religions involve do's and dont's, whereas Christianity involves a relationship with a personal God that cannot appeased by works.

It is a historical fact that a literal Jesus walked this earth 2000 years ago. If you can prove to me that is false, and prove to me the resurrection never happened, then I will renounce my faith and become an athiest.

For one thing, his first two paragraphs exemplify the thoughts of what I had originally stated. The only reason he views his beliefs are right is because that is what he believes.

Secondly, he states that once he became 'saved' he, 'began to have a guilty conscience of the way [he] was living his life.' Of course this is true because the vast majority of Christian denominations and sects teach through fear and guilt that human beings aren't worthy of God's love.

In his third paragraph he states that 'no other "religion" follows a God who is alive.' This is patently false. Is Allah not alive to a Muslim? Is Elohim not currently living in the heavens for Mormon's? He also states that 'in no other religion does God reach down to humanity by making his Son like us, and then killing him to ransom us.' There are troubling (if you're a Christian) parallels between Horus of Egypt and Jesus.

The final paragraph is, well, honestly it's quite admirable. As there is no evidence that Jesus did walk the Earth and that any historical evidence in the Bible is false (the census, who was reigning, etc) one would think that you can't prove historically that he didn't exist. However, he could have existed merely as one of the many prophets that wandered the land. We don't know and can't prove it either way (besides faith which is a non-argument).

So, challenge accepted? Yes or no?

Static_Martyr
09-03-2011, 12:32 PM
You are right Birch! But the key difference between all other religions and following Jesus Christ is that Jesus is alive! I am convinced of this, because over a year ago I first believed Him to be who He says He is, which is Lord of all, God's only begotten Son, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life. After this happened, I began to have a guilty conscience of the way I was living my life. I didn't understand why, but things that I had done all my life which I never use to think twice of doing, all of a sudden were revealed to me as wrong (sin). There is not a doubt in my mind that when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, He filled me with His life giving Spirit, and that Holy Spirit leads me into all Truth.

You probably already know what the bible says about the only one True Way to the Father, which is through Jesus Christ. You can argue about whether the bible is the word of God, and argue whether or not to believe it. But one thing yhou cannot argue is the personal testimony of people whose lives have been changed by God through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.

This one thing I know, I was blind, but now I see! Jesus Christ is alive, and He dwells in those who believe in Him as Lord. No other "religion" follows a God who is alive - because of the resurrection. In no other religion does God reach down to humanity by making His Son like us, and then killing Him to ransom us. All other religions involve do's and dont's, whereas Christianity involves a relationship with a personal God that cannot appeased by works.

One thing that's always irritated me about evangelicals is their insistence on "believing so you will see." At first that sounds all nice and pretty, but if you think about it for just a second, you'll realize that this reasoning can make anything seem true. If I decided to believe in Allah so that I could see his works in the world, I would be a Muslim. Likewise for Elohim and the rest. For me, this is not a way to divine truth about the nature of god, insofar as one exists; for me, the method I use to arrive at belief in a god must be exclusive --- by that I mean, it must be something which meaningfully, not arbitrarily, allows me to believe that a god (a particular one or in general) exists. If the system being proposed always forces the same conclusion of truth, independently of the hypothesis being tested, then it's not a useful way to divine any sort of real truth about the nature of god --- all it is is a platitude.

EDIT: Another way of phrasing it is, if the answer to the question, "how can I see evidence that god exists?" is, "you must believe before you will see," then that forces the next logical question: "what reason do I have to think that I should believe?" The answer being offered is not a real answer at all; it's just a rephrasing of the same platitude that provoked the original question --- how can I see something that will make me believe? The real answer, then, seems to be, "you can't." It seems that I have to believe in god before hearing the evidence in order to see their arguments as evidence of god....but then, what good is the evidence of god in the first place? Is it not the place of evidence to demonstrate things in such a way as to sway people away from one belief and towards another?

In information theory, there is a saying that goes like this: if you have 1000 bits of information, and they are transferred from one place to another, if the exact value of each of those 1000 bits is already known prior to the transmission, then it is said that no information has been transferred. This is the method by which many psychics, for example, claim to have psychic powers --- they provide the illusion that information is being transferred when it is actually already known prior. They claim to have discovered a method of transferring information which is more efficient than normal physical means, when in fact they have already utilized normal physical means beforehand, and the "psychic" transfer is a ruse. Likewise, it's sort of "cheating" at argument when an evidence must be accepted as evidence a priori in order to count as evidence. It defeats the entire purpose of the evidence in the first place, which is to transfer information (that was not already known prior). Evidence that carries no new information is not really evidence in that sense.

....with all that said, ‎going back to the religion aspect. I find the following to be a nearly-perfect response in this kind of situation:


"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." --Stephen F. Roberts

Llamas
09-03-2011, 12:47 PM
I saw this status today and found it interesting; it struck me, but I didn't realize you weren't openly atheist there. I didn't check back for comments, just figuring people would "like" it a lot.


You are right Birch! But the key difference between all other religions and following Jesus Christ is that Jesus is alive! I am convinced of this, because over a year ago I first believed Him to be who He says He is, which is Lord of all, God's only begotten Son, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life. After this happened, I began to have a guilty conscience of the way I was living my life. I didn't understand why, but things that I had done all my life which I never use to think twice of doing, all of a sudden were revealed to me as wrong (sin). There is not a doubt in my mind that when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, He filled me with His life giving Spirit, and that Holy Spirit leads me into all Truth.

You probably already know what the bible says about the only one True Way to the Father, which is through Jesus Christ. You can argue about whether the bible is the word of God, and argue whether or not to believe it. But one thing yhou cannot argue is the personal testimony of people whose lives have been changed by God through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.

These two paragraphs are such generic, run-of-the-mill evangelist rhetoric. His only "argument" here is that you can't disprove testimonies. This is retarded, because I could testify that once I had a broken leg, and my mom accidentally gouged herself with a huge knife and I was the only one who could drive her to the hospital. But I couldn't drive with a broken leg, so I prayed to Allah to ask for his guidance... and just then, I had feeling in my leg and was able to drive my mom to the hospital just in time to save my mom dying from blood loss. You can't argue that, either.


This one thing I know, I was blind, but now I see! Jesus Christ is alive, and He dwells in those who believe in Him as Lord. No other "religion" follows a God who is alive - because of the resurrection. In no other religion does God reach down to humanity by making His Son like us, and then killing Him to ransom us. All other religions involve do's and dont's, whereas Christianity involves a relationship with a personal God that cannot appeased by works.
This just confuses me. How is Jesus more alive than any of the others? And even if so, how does whether or not he's alive make this religion more viable than others? Who says that in order for a religion to be real, the god you worship must be alive? Wtf?


It is a historical fact that a literal Jesus walked this earth 2000 years ago. If you can prove to me that is false, and prove to me the resurrection never happened, then I will renounce my faith and become an athiest.

lolz I love this argument. If you can prove to me that there is no such thing as an insect with a white body and purple head whose diet consists solely of turtle feet, I will become a Christian.

IamSam
09-03-2011, 01:11 PM
One thing that's always irritated me about evangelicals is their insistence on "believing so you will see." At first that sounds all nice and pretty, but if you think about it for just a second, you'll realize that this reasoning can make anything seem true. If I decided to believe in Allah so that I could see his works in the world, I would be a Muslim. Likewise for Elohim and the rest. For me, this is not a way to divine truth about the nature of god, insofar as one exists; for me, the method I use to arrive at belief in a god must be exclusive --- by that I mean, it must be something which meaningfully, not arbitrarily, allows me to believe that a god (a particular one or in general) exists. If the system being proposed always forces the same conclusion of truth, independently of the hypothesis being tested, then it's not a useful way to divine any sort of real truth about the nature of god --- all it is is a platitude.

EDIT: Another way of phrasing it is, if the answer to the question, "how can I see evidence that god exists?" is, "you must believe before you will see," then that forces the next logical question: "what reason do I have to think that I should believe?" The answer being offered is not a real answer at all; it's just a rephrasing of the same platitude that provoked the original question --- how can I see something that will make me believe? The real answer, then, seems to be, "you can't." It seems that I have to believe in god before hearing the evidence in order to see their arguments as evidence of god....but then, what good is the evidence of god in the first place? Is it not the place of evidence to demonstrate things in such a way as to sway people away from one belief and towards another?

In information theory, there is a saying that goes like this: if you have 1000 bits of information, and they are transferred from one place to another, if the exact value of each of those 1000 bits is already known prior to the transmission, then it is said that no information has been transferred. This is the method by which many psychics, for example, claim to have psychic powers --- they provide the illusion that information is being transferred when it is actually already known prior. They claim to have discovered a method of transferring information which is more efficient than normal physical means, when in fact they have already utilized normal physical means beforehand, and the "psychic" transfer is a ruse. Likewise, it's sort of "cheating" at argument when an evidence must be accepted as evidence a priori in order to count as evidence. It defeats the entire purpose of the evidence in the first place, which is to transfer information (that was not already known prior). Evidence that carries no new information is not really evidence in that sense.

....with all that said, ‎going back to the religion aspect. I find the following to be a nearly-perfect response in this kind of situation:

This is what bothers me as well. I believe because I have seen...you have seen what? Everyday occurrences happen and attribute them to God? How is that logical?


I saw this status today and found it interesting; it struck me, but I didn't realize you weren't openly atheist there. I didn't check back for comments, just figuring people would "like" it a lot.



These two paragraphs are such generic, run-of-the-mill evangelist rhetoric. His only "argument" here is that you can't disprove testimonies. This is retarded, because I could testify that once I had a broken leg, and my mom accidentally gouged herself with a huge knife and I was the only one who could drive her to the hospital. But I couldn't drive with a broken leg, so I prayed to Allah to ask for his guidance... and just then, I had feeling in my leg and was able to drive my mom to the hospital just in time to save my mom dying from blood loss. You can't argue that, either.


This just confuses me. How is Jesus more alive than any of the others? And even if so, how does whether or not he's alive make this religion more viable than others? Who says that in order for a religion to be real, the god you worship must be alive? Wtf?



lolz I love this argument. If you can prove to me that there is no such thing as an insect with a white body and purple head whose diet consists solely of turtle feet, I will become a Christian.

The believing that Jesus is anymore alive than the others is just sheer ignorance of other cultures and belief systems. Just because your religion featured a son of God that 'walked among men' and then 'ascended into heaven' doesn't make your God any more alive than another believer's God.

The fact is that yes, I can prove that there is no proof of the Biblical Jesus, but I can't totally disprove his existence. I can see the argument progressing into a tautology of 'by faith then, God exists' or 'you don't have proof, therefore God exists.'

This is what I've come up with so far...haven't posted it yet...any suggestions, feel free to yell them out.


Firstly, you have fortified what I said. The only reason you view your beliefs are right is because that is what you have faith in it and believe in it. It's like me believing there is a teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars that's too small to see with any human technology. You can't prove or disprove the teapot is there, but I believe it is. As for feeling guilty after conversion, this is normal due to the fact that the vast majority of Christian denominations and sects teach through fear and guilt that humanity isn't worthy of God's love.

And of course arguing with personal testimony is a dead end. Why? Because people will believe what they want to believe. I could believe that I got my job because of my stellar resume, but it wasn't. It was because they needed warm bodies to fill positions and weren't that picky.

As for no other religion following a 'living God' I do believe Muslim's and Mormon's would like to have a discussion with you because most certainly Elohim and Allah are alive to their respective followers.

I do have to say that I admire your final paragraph and your declaration on the surface. It takes an open mind to state that you would renounce your faith if you were given evidence contrary to it. However, a question is left dangling. Do you have historical proof that Jesus did walk this earth and was resurrected besides the Bible? I say besides because it is only through faith, and not historical fact, that you could base this belief off of. The Bible is notoriously counterintuitive when it comes to historical fact.

Nowhere have I stated that I was an atheist. What I do have problems with is a direct and literal interpretation of the Bible as historical and scientific fact.

Paint_It_Black
09-04-2011, 01:26 AM
This is what bothers me as well. I believe because I have seen...you have seen what? Everyday occurrences happen and attribute them to God? How is that logical?

It's not, clearly. That's why the only believers I respect are the ones who will freely admit that it's not about logic, it's not about evidence, it's entirely about faith. If they will admit that logic and evidence means nothing to them I can accept that. I still can't understand them, but I can accept that they are just different than me.

When they just say things like "I know it in my heart to be true" I'm totally ok with that and can leave it alone. Just don't try to claim it makes sense, that's all I ask. It would be like if I knew someone with OCD who had to flick the lightswitch 20 times before leaving a room. If he said "don't worry, it's just something I do" I'd be cool with it. If he tried to argue that it was a logical thing to do and that I should do it too I'd be pissed. Well no, I'd feel sorry for him for being so crazy. I would feel sorry for all the believers out there for being so crazy except the lunatics are running the asylum.

But uh, yeah. If they just say that they believe it in their hearts to be true I can say that I think it in my mind to be false and leave it at that. Agree to differ on it.

IamSam
09-04-2011, 11:59 AM
It's not, clearly. That's why the only believers I respect are the ones who will freely admit that it's not about logic, it's not about evidence, it's entirely about faith. If they will admit that logic and evidence means nothing to them I can accept that. I still can't understand them, but I can accept that they are just different than me.

This is where he is starting to go now. His evidence is faith and it is by faith he feels that this argument is valid.


When they just say things like "I know it in my heart to be true" I'm totally ok with that and can leave it alone. Just don't try to claim it makes sense, that's all I ask. It would be like if I knew someone with OCD who had to flick the lightswitch 20 times before leaving a room. If he said "don't worry, it's just something I do" I'd be cool with it. If he tried to argue that it was a logical thing to do and that I should do it too I'd be pissed. Well no, I'd feel sorry for him for being so crazy. I would feel sorry for all the believers out there for being so crazy except the lunatics are running the asylum.

He hasn't crossed over into saying it makes sense, although it feels like that is where he is going.


But uh, yeah. If they just say that they believe it in their hearts to be true I can say that I think it in my mind to be false and leave it at that. Agree to differ on it.

This was the last little bit I left him with:


You and I base our truths upon different things. You base yours upon faith, like I use to. I can have faith that my football team will make the playoffs. I can believe they are going to. Does that mean they are going to? No. Can people argue against me? Yes. Can they disprove that they won't make the playoffs before it happens? No. This is why I don't enjoy arguing against an argument based solely off of faith. My truth involves tangible evidence based upon the skepticism of my mind. After getting my degree, formulating arguments, and looking for a burden of proof to argue and stand by points, I've found that an argument straight from faith and belief won't stand rigorus tests.

Llamas
09-05-2011, 07:20 AM
http://i.imgur.com/55FhM.jpg

This reminded me of this discussion... and every single time a fundamentalist christian tries to really argue this crap.

RageAndLov
09-05-2011, 04:13 PM
Religious arguments on facebook <3

IamSam
09-06-2011, 06:11 PM
Religious arguments on facebook <3

This isn't so much an argument on Fbook as I would describe it as a debate. I've had arguments on Fbook and this one is much more...civil...

Llamas
09-23-2011, 08:20 AM
Just a little thing I wanted to complain about... definitely not worthy of a thread, but has to do with religion and Facebook...

A super religious girl I know who is on a program through American churches to teach English in central Europe and "evangelize" just posted this:

http://i56.tinypic.com/2dwiahf.png

So, so much is wrong with this, and it's something I frequently see with these kinds of people. But what bothers me the most is that it's a post about people DYING, and yet 4 people "like" it. Why is that? Would you normally "like" a status about dying grandmas? Or is it just because she ended it with a bit about God working through them?

I won't even get into how messed up it is to claim that dying grandmas and moms is a sign of God trying to work through you... wtf.

Luzodar
11-29-2011, 03:31 AM
Just read through the entire first post and I found it really interesting. It's so far from what I am used to. But then again I live in a country where there's up to 85% non-believers, atheists and/or agnostics. No-one ever talks about God...

paulzycz
12-22-2011, 06:56 AM
Well, IMHO atheism is just some point of view. It's a lot better than religious fanatism.

BagOfShenanigans
12-22-2011, 08:34 AM
Let people be what they want to be. I was raised Christian, I've thought about it long and hard and realized that there's no solid proof of anything, hence, I'm Agnostic.

So, I believe that it could be a circle, it could be a square, but we can't honestly know due to a lack of confirmed evidence.

Baldwin
12-23-2011, 06:08 AM
I am silly!!!!

http://images.encyclopediadramatica.ch/8/8a/I_am_silly!.png

I haven't actually read the thread, so I don't have any opinion at all. I just happened to glance at your strawman cartoon and wanted to point out that you are silly!.

Llamas
12-23-2011, 07:32 AM
How is the cartoon a strawman? It reminded me of this discussion, so I posted it for that reason. I didn't use it as an argument (I wasn't even in an argument), nor did I ignore any points made toward me. I just thought it was funny.

IamSam
12-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Oh look. I'm blaldwin. Justin's other account. I'll waste hours posting something that i think is useful to a dying message board when i could have been doing somehthing more worthwile.

Baldwin
12-24-2011, 02:43 AM
llamas, it's an opinionated cartoon featuring a discussion between the author's opinion and a dissenting opinion. They're all Chick-Tract level strawmen, and they all conform perfectly to the "I AM SILLY" template. The only time they'll ever be funny is unintentionally.


Oh look. I'm blaldwin. Justin's other account. I'll waste hours posting something that i think is useful to a dying message board when i could have been doing somehthing more worthwile.

Nice one bro. You forgot to mention that I'm also a student teacher who gets drunk and solicits sex on the public message board of a pop-punk bands with a primarily underage fanbase, violating the morals clause of my employment contract. If you added that part in it woulda really zinged me, bro.

Little_Miss_1565
12-26-2011, 02:18 AM
So what I've learned from Justin posting again is that he looks like a caveman and is responsible for the shaping of young Australian minds. Wicked.

Al Coholic
12-26-2011, 10:19 AM
By the way, if he found the square he thinks is a circle, how can he say they've known it was a circle for generations?

Llamas
12-26-2011, 10:41 AM
By the way, if he found the square he thinks is a circle, how can he say they've known it was a circle for generations?

Not sure I get what you're asking? I think in the first panel when he says "that you found", I think he means, that your people found. Hence is response that "we've known it was a circle for years", and not "I". Otherwise, yes, that'd be a mistake.

AllIn All It's Not So Bad
12-26-2011, 01:11 PM
Just a little thing I wanted to complain about... definitely not worthy of a thread, but has to do with religion and Facebook...

A super religious girl I know who is on a program through American churches to teach English in central Europe and "evangelize" just posted this:

http://i56.tinypic.com/2dwiahf.png

So, so much is wrong with this, and it's something I frequently see with these kinds of people. But what bothers me the most is that it's a post about people DYING, and yet 4 people "like" it. Why is that? Would you normally "like" a status about dying grandmas? Or is it just because she ended it with a bit about God working through them?

I won't even get into how messed up it is to claim that dying grandmas and moms is a sign of God trying to work through you... wtf.

I really wanted to like that comment.