Many, if not all, of my facebook friends are of the religious variety. How I despise those "Like if Jesus loves you" posts.
Does anyone think that atheists have an obligation to "de-convert" the religious? Assming they are not in the "dangerous" religions, is there any real harm? I know Harris would say yes, that any religion gives cover for the extremists, but I'm not sure if can extrapolate that into going out of our way to de-convert all of our friends.
This post is not about the arguments, there is an AN group for that, but whether or not we should "seek out" deconversions, and if so, how agressively should we pursue it?
Your feedback is appreciated.
I have a brother in-law who is very authortarian and as far right as one can get. I've had several religious and political debate with him that have gotten absolutely no where. He is one of those that holds on to his beliefs no matter what. The more contradictory evidence that is presented, the tighter he holds on.
I've given up on him for now, until I can come up with another strategy. I anticipate it being a very long process.
Well, if we as a society would like to promote our full potential as seekers of knowledge, I think that we are going to have to put a stop to what religion does to the brain. That, is condition the brain to think there are certain things one just must accept, and learn not to question. Learning acceptance without question, that is a really bad pattern of behavior that doesn't bode well for human progress. It's a slippery slope because it obviously trends into other areas where questions need to be asked, but aren't. Mental laziness is what I call it! Look at what we are electing to hold office these days! Jeez, mental laziness is the reason Fox News exists because people find it easier to hear what they want rather than to actually think and form their OWN informed opinions about things. It sure doesn't seem like these people will fall out of existence, what with breeders like the Duggars and their 19 kids and counting.... It's hard to deny, that the dumbing down of our nation has had a bad affect, and will continue to have a negative impact on EVERYTHING....basically human evolution. Evolve or die. FACT
I agree with you Kelly that we, as a society, need to be more skeptical and to improve our critical thinking skills, but doesn't it seem to you that we are losing the battle? I seems like this big old boat we are all riding on has been making a long slow turn to the right for years now and is on a direct path towards the looming iceberg (maybe it will melt before we get there). How do we push it back the other way?
I do think that in some cases, it can become an OBLIGATION to save a person from religion.
If a gay youth is Mormon or from some other fundie religion and is seriously considering suicide or harming h--self in some other way because of his or her religion, then that person should be advised to IMMEDIATELY MOVE AWAY from his religion and empowered to repudiate it with all his being!
In fact, even if they're not considering suicide but are simply depressed and experiencing self-loathing because of it, they should be helped to overcome their religious affliction because this can lead to all kinds of risk behavior including factors that leads to HIV.
Another instance is women and children that live their lives hostage to poligamy, whether mormon or muslim. Oftentimes these are cultures where girls are married against their will to men that are much older than they are and where sexual abuse is constantly happening and is never reported or talked about.
Other instances include cases of personality cults, like the Hispanic guy from Florida who says he's Christ incarnate, Waco, or anyone who claims he speaks directly to god and should be obeyed without question, like the twelve mormon apostles. OR people who follow leaders who recycle fascist ideology as religion (Westboro Baptist Church, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson) ...
great point Hiram.
I suppose the same thing can be said about any behavior or belief that could lead to dangerous behavior. Drugs/alcohol, gangs, cults, etc should be lumped in with dangerous religions as reasons to intervene and prevent greater involvement
There is nothing wrong with wanting to enlighten people and put an end to ignorance. I recently became outspoken about my atheism on facebook and youtube, and lost a lot of my friends and family. Apparently I committed blasphemy by questioning their religion so they un-friended me lol. However, in my opinion we are not "converting" anyone to atheism we are educating them to reality. To convert someone you are trying to convince them that a belief system you hold is correct, but with us there is nothing to believe. We have science, reason, and what we see in reality. I've found that people are either intelligent enough to understand your arguments and will probably become atheist anyway given enough time, or are thick-headed theist who cannot understand science so they have "faith".
Don't understand science? Try faith it's really easy.