I'm an atheist, obviously since I am here, but I have a big problem.
I can't argue with believers. Often they are christians since I live here in USA now. And to be honest that is one religion I really dislike.
Almost all of the believers I talk to, when the religion subject opens they just have zero GOOD arguments and above that, they INSULT ME telling me they do not care what I believe, that I can't prove it and that they can (due to historical evidences). And one of them I was talking to is actually my good friend, and he insulted the ... out of me and I ended up kicking him in the nuts. I can't stand it. I almost want to go cry and punch a wall after arguing with a Christian. They are just extremely stupid in what they believe and argue about....
How can I deal with this? Please help me.
Two things I can't tolerate: People who abuse animals and Christians.
Haha... I can't believe I kicked him in the nuts. Well, I kinda can. I am so untolerent in terms of beliefs and how they argue so poorly. Just insulting and insulting and not even LISTENING. They think they are right from the start, without doubt. So there is absolutely no tiny door open in their minds that can help the argument to end up peaceful.
The majority of believers (denomination aside) are close to impossible to argue with. The thing about a belief is that you KNOW you are right. You require no proof. No evidence will convince you. Look at the people who still, to this day, deny that evolution is a fact. They latch onto the word "theory", not realizing the scientific definition of the word, and continue to ignore the ever growing mountain of evidence until they find a crocka-duck.
My advice? Stop trying to argue. I won't do any good. Just tell them to read, really ready, their holy book. That is the fastest way to become an atheist.
I was born Catholic and my mother converted to Jehovah's Witness when I was eight, so, I had to endure it for 9 years. They work hard at isolating people from any form of sanity or distractions from the constant brainwashing and it leaves the believer in fear of even thinking because they threatened that god knows everything and that it punishes "impure thoughts".
I decided to travel on my own and that allowed me a degree of separation enough to start articulating some sane thoughts. On my return, I was able to see that the leaders were a group of hypocrites and I decided that if there was a god, he would "save" me over them.
They do not let you leave. They announce that you have been "expelled" instead. It was a blow to my family and friends when my "expulsion" was announced, because they were forbidden from associating with me except family, but with restrictions. I did not discuss any issues with anyone, nor tried to convert anyone, but with time all of my friends and my family left the religion.
They told me later that they felt accomplices to a lie because they knew I had left on my own and was not expelled for any reason. They told me that I was a better person than any of the leaders and that my decision made them question the religion.
I don't think you can reverse a conversion or a childhood indoctrination unless you have resources at your disposal such as psychologists to provide therapy. In my opinion, it is best to leave the environment, be a model citizen, and provide an example for others to follow. The sane ones might follow. The others will not.
Hey Aria! I find that it is necessary to approach the problem on two fronts, one the moral and the other the epistemological. First the moral: Ask them if there were no god(s) watching their every move, would they then feel free to indulge all their worst impulses? Would they then see no reason not to go out and behave as treacherously and as evil as they desired? Would they feel free to go out and murder and rape and pillage, or cheat and steal and lie, or so on? Because if they would, then they are sick and "not even religion" can help them, and if they wouldn't, then that is because there is something independent of god which guides our conscience and moral intuitions and it is that to which we should appeal when trying to be a good person, not some imaginary being.
I think the epistemological arguments are just as important, because after that argument from morality they will likely argue that that voice just is god, at which point you will have to point out that they do not know that some imaginary being is talking to them. You have to point out that if they do know this on an objective level, then first of all, there is no need for faith, because they will be able to rationally and objectively show how it is they know this. If they say yes, they can do that, and then try and show you how, you just disagree with them as to what makes for evidence and rational justification. Tell them they are being dogmatic about their beliefs, because they should have at least a spark of doubt in their minds that they can believe a word of what is in their holy books or in their beliefs concerning the supernatural, and if they don't then they are just having faith and not actually being reasonable at all.
If they say that they can't prove it rationally, they just know on an intuitive, subjective level (a gut feeling), then argue that beliefs taken on faith alone can't be rationally justified, because one could always take a conflicting belief on faith and with just as much justification (zero), and then it is clearly (one would hope!) irrational to believe one way or the other, and this proves that faith is the opposite of reason, and so all people "of faith" are really just the definition of being irrational. This should be a pretty tight argument, but those damn theists are a slippery bunch! If you can pin them down with reason, you're better than any of us! That's really turning a trick, deconverting a theist. I did deconvert a Muslim guy once, but in all honesty he wasn't too bright. And if that all fails, you can always kick him in the nuts. 8-0 Nobody messes with Aria Royce! Wow, I can't believe you did that.
Ok, so let me try that again! Here are the three points to argue around:
1. You don't need religion to be a good person (in fact it helps if you don't have it). Our moral intuitions should more than suffice without being threatened with hell or bribed with heaven.
2. The believer claims that it is reasonable to believe in god. Respond by telling them their understanding of reason must not be what your own understanding of reason is, and left there, the conversation can end cordially, "agreeing to disagree".
3. The believer just has faith. Faith is and has always been the opposite of reason, so they are just being irrational. Case closed!
I'm too old to deal with it. It's like talking to a wall. You can't reason with them, avoid the confrontation. It's just extra stress in your life. I find it somewhat like attempting to teach an ape to write. Eventually he gets frustrated and stabs you in the eye with the pen.
I only concentrate on the fence sitting Agnostics. At least they will listen.
My point of view.
My spelling better this time?
Hmm, yeah, not a single misspelled word. Bravo! :-)
Thanks. Couple less beers.
Remember, If they really get you churning, they won. Don't let them win.
First of all, if they're not listening to you, if they can't operate within a healthy discussion or debate about religion, then obviously it's not worth your time. If they will not consider what you will say, then why try and hammer a nail into concrete? If you're becoming impatient to the point where you feel the need to injure something, maybe you ought to refine your debating skills.
You say you cannot tolerate cruelty to animals....
I presume that you have the moral authority to criticize animal abuse because you are a vegetarian and have separated yourself from any connection to, or support of animal cruelty.
I usually force them to defend any statement they make by asking questions. I don't let them move on to the next point until they acknowledge the points that have been made and either answer. You try not to be an ass of course, but when you talk about beliefs people can get offended when you point out simple logical errors.