how do you actually put into practice "conversational intolerance" with theists? a wonderful coworker of mine told me last week that she believes in the whol jonas in the whale story and the truth of the bible stories. i was dumbfounded and asked her if she believed in a talking snake and i think i offended her a little. how do you respond when really smart people voice such stupid beliefs?

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I find it interesting that you were concerned about offending your coworker. I question if she's concerned about offending you. After all she "opened the door" and should be prepared to "defend" her position. I have always thought that if you get hostile when your beliefs are questioned that you question your beliefs. You should be able to put forth cogent arguments about your ideals without rancor.
In my opinion, never miss a chance to point out the utter stupidity of such things.
Yup,like whales can swallow nothing larger than a socker ball, and would never swallow a human.
The bible has lots of ignorant nonsense in it,Noahs Ark being one of the biggest bs stories in the book,that and the retarded creation myth.
I find it intriguing as well and question whether they truly believe it or just "say" they believe it to avoid the slippery slope of what to believe and what not to believe, making it all rather messy. Since they've bought in to the idea of hell, they better stay on the safe side and just say they believe it all. Lord knows what might happen if they should voice just a small part of not believing. If they're wrong, they might get eaten! Better to run and assume it's a monster, than stay and find out. We are genetically selected to be on the safe side. So maybe to her she's being smart, not stupid.
Just casually say 'I was always told they were metaphors.' It's best to voice your opinion, but not directly question theirs, as if you're sharing your experiences and not judging what they just said.
...when really smart people voice such stupid beliefs?

Try to explain these "stupid beliefs" were created by "really stupid people" who had about as much knowledge of the world as a 7 year old child today. If "really smart people" today would only realize the relative ignorance and superstition of the people who made up all this crap, it would free their minds from the utter nonsense of it all.
The last time I discussed it with her was just after I finished reading Exodus and asked her why god was such a psychopath. she told me it involved faith and well that just ends the discussion. i really like my coworker and consider her a friend, but i do think that pointing out the inanities of such beliefs in a nice way would be the best way to further critical thinking and help people abandon religion. i remember hearing sam harris speak on this conversational intolerance that needs to happen in the area of religion. yet, i find putting that into practice is a lot harder than it seems.
I always point out the ignorance of such comments, never missing an opportunity to ridicule and sow the seeds of doubt. "I thought you were smart" etc. Damn their stupidity.
theist wha, ugh...
fellow atheists
when you live in S.Florida

there's no love for atheists (I don't know what pill or al'keeholic level these fundies are at by now but...)
cultures are always on the mend here; seen cocaine cowboys documentary, that's when my aunt was killed.
money chase, gubnah not recalled yet people laid off in droves
drugs, money, strange sex, gambling, shady stock market loands aka foreclosures... But Disney wants YOU to blow off steam there, forget standing for your rights against corrupt confederacies of hatred to thy fellow man/woman
did I mention perverted pastors that were 'once' atheist but needed the money

it's all here
fear, racism, euro-trash, canadian trash...
listen, this is street level talking
if you only see life through a TV or bible/coran etc..
good luck
street level folks don't do god
they have not time to contemplate possible myths working in reality
strong atheist out
strong non-tech-phobe in
or shot tomorrow for nothing and dead/out; at least I'll have a trail of evidence online of who might have wanted to hire a hired gun
JRM out! F_ck fascist regimes!
> : )
tell me where is sanity?
not in the past.
Reading the bible helps.

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

Drop something like this on them, ask them if they believe it too. There are lots of VERY dumb things and some very disturbing ones also. Write a few down and keep them in your wallet/purse, then ask the person to help you understand what their god is trying say. Get THEM to read the bible. I can't think of a better weapon against ignorance then learning. Smart people will think, and it should not take much thought or much reading to instill a little doubt. That is all you can hope for, everyone of us that believed in higher power or whatever (just think back to find out that Santa was not real) started with a small doubt. The hoplessly stupid? I can't help with... try religion, they deal with stupid people all the time, they may be of some help....

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