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Have u ever convinced a religious person that what they believe is all myth and does not make sense? And have u heard them say that they r now agnostic or atheist?

Greenheart 7 Apr 21

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No, however I may have sown a seed a few years back. My job as a trainer takes me all over the UK and as far as Australia and enables me to train people from all religions, backgrounds etc. I was training a site in London with delegates from a mainly muslim, hindu background. We were having a chat at lunchtime and the topic got onto religon (nothing extreme. This is England after all). They asked what religion I was and I said I didn't have one. I just said that I believe in being nice to people and leading a good life. You could suddenly see their neurons start to fire and a bit of logic creeping in.

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Yes and I felt a bit guilty afterwards. It was an African guy from Nigeria I think. He told me his father had type 2 diabetes so I piped up oh in that case you must have had white ancestory. Well this got us on to talking about Neanderthals and how it was they who carried the T2D gene and as there were none in Africa, its likely he had a European ancestor, so we talked about genes, hereditory and evolution. I remember him looking at me and saying, 'this means there isn't a god'. He looked so crestfallen I felt dreadful...hope he moved on.

This was accidental

I'm sure he moved on, but it did give him something to think about. It's still good to question. good story.

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No....because I don't waste intelligent time trying to convert a person; I believe the conversion must be self-made to be meaningful. Without reasoning it would be the replacement of one belief by another.;

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Yes, but the number is small! It can't be done directly from the outside, and they have to willingly come to letting go of religion on their own. You can plant seeds of truth and hope they take hold, often they fall on barren ground. Had one a few weeks ago after a couple months of serious online discussion of the History of the Bible, and early Christianity, and a lot of talk about feelings and a pretend parent figure in the mind. Not much use trying to influence the older deeply indoctrinated people, but I have had luck with some young better educated people. The Neuroscience and Psychology behind how religious indoctriation works to affect their hidden brain chemistry takes omse time and patience. Reason and facts are not actually the best way to break through. Religion works like a strong mental addiction that satisfies their inner fears and insecurities of emotional and psychological needs, so facts don't seldom overrule what make them feel good.

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When it comes to core beliefs, like belief in god, I personally would never try, but that's just me. I doubt that you can talk to someone, and through logic, reasoning, and debate, convince them to dissolve the belief system that acts as the pillars to their existence and their view to their understanding of the world. Especially since belief does not rely on logic or reasoning.

In my experience, when I've challenged someone's belief in something, all I get back is anger, resistance, and defensiveness. Why would I expect anything else? This belief is something that the person's worldview is based on and a challenge to that is a challenge to their existence.

I would go even further to say that they are entitled to their own religious belief systems (as long as it doesn't harm others or harm the earth 😉 ) They ( as we all are) are a product of their environment and conditioning. This is not to say that I would agree with their belief system at all.

I could be wrong, but those persons who think that practicing street epistemology with religious believers may be somewhat misdirected, in that it only produces friction and frustration on both sides. Maybe someone on this site can prove me wrong on that.

Now if it's something silly like belief that bigfoot exists, well I'd probably just smile and wink.

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No. But I think it takes a while to think through all that religious indoctrination. We can plant the questions in thier mind and hope they will get around to it.

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Yes. A work colleague who I travelled a lot with. He was very guilt ridden because of his religion. We used to discuss it frequently. I never forced my views on him but just explained why I thought the way I did. When he mentioned things, I'd just ask him why he thought that. It was hearing his own answers that made him doubt his beliefs. Eventually he realised that they didnt make sense and now openly admits that he no longer believes. He is a much happier guy now. Guilt free. We are still good friends and still talk a lot about religion.

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Yeah, quite a few.

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I have never overtly or actively tried to deconvert a theist. I do know some who've discussed their doubts with me, I told them my thoughts and eventually they left religion on their own

JimG Level 8 Apr 21, 2018
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