How do you respond to the question "Do you believe in God?" asked by a stranger?
I've a couple thoughts on this question. First the assumption that comes from the answer is going to be different whether the question is being asked by someone in your community vs say someone in Calcutta, India. You know what I mean? God is a very broadly defined term yet to many it is a very narrowly defined term.
For me I lean towards the answer of "Yes, but not the one you believe in". Kind of says yes I have beliefs but I keep them to myself and they are personal to me and me alone. What say you?
I just answer no, if they ask why, I'll answer my why. Sometimes it causes a good conversation, Sometimes the person doesn't talk to me anymore and avoids me, I'm good with either.
No, but then I am not asked as much as you yanks. Funny thing is that I only know one devout Christian. She is 25 and a friend of my daughter. A rather naive and impressionable young woman who is saving herself for marriage. At a party recently she brought up the subject of belief. She tends to do this when we talk but I try not to give her a hard time as she lost her mom last year. It was then she blurted out to everyone that she also believes in vampires. (she had had a drink or two) Of course, I quietly sniggered to myself and dismissed it. Only later did I re-think her statement. It may be okay for us not to be afraid of vampires but we are not 25-year-old female virgins!
not being a yank perhaps you overlooked something. This young lady sounds very much like Buffy the vampire slayer. You were likely in the company of a superhero and didn't even know it.
I stopped believing in god when he failed to bring me a pony one year.
@K9Kohle789 Yes. Santa is god and that's why I refuse to tolerate the Santa nonsense, as well.
If it's a total stranger, like some idiot trying to evangelize on the street, I just keep walking and give no answer. In a social situation, like a party or a dinner, I'll be more polite but direct. Sometimes I have told them that I was raised in a cult that practiced a mock human sacrifice every year around the time of the Spring Equinox. We symbolicly sacrificed an innocent then drank his blood and ate his body to commune with his spirit. Most of the time they don't realize that I'm describing their church and the practice of taking communion.
I admire your patience and smartassery, sir...I'm afraid I wouldn't care enough to bother with wasting all this wit on them...
I've had older theists, usually women, come up to me when I was younger and ask if I've been saved. My answer was always "Yes, of course" because that usually ended the conversation the quickest. Thinking I would be a little more blunt and honest now.
My mother taught me not to talk to strangers.
Depending on the context in which the question is asked,...
They pay me to teach you biology, not my personal beliefs.
Belief is irrelevant.
Who wants to know?
Why do you ask?
I see no evidence that I should.
I just say "No, and why do you ask?" Depending on their answer and interest, I may continue the exchange, but usually I can tell it will lead nowhere worthwhile, so I just end the conversation.
I just say, “No, I don’t. My personal delusions I keep to myself.”
If only more of us would keep our delusions to just ourselves, our pets, and our therapists...
My exact answer would depend on the social context, but it would be something along the lines of "I am not sufficiently mentally defective to have beliefs.".
The idea of having an evidence-based world view is anathema to such mental midgets.
I fall back to Linus Pauling who said this. " I believe that all complicated phenomena can be explained using simpler scientific principles. "
“Do you believe in Santa Clause?”
I try to soften it with something like, "I don't really believe in anything without good reason."
I’m always going to say no,…….that I think it’s all nonsense.
I first enquire which of the over 5000 gods are they talking about. Then say "No!!!!! I don't follow the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy"
I always answer which one are you referring too!!!
I come from the UK, so I would probably say. "Wow fun, you are the first one ever." Then. "No of course not, do I look weird ?"
I reply, "I believe in GOOD!" and just leave it at that, unless they want to discuss further.
I should add that because I'm a "humanist minister" so that I can perform weddings, I do get asked that question a lot. So, when someone actually does want an earnest conversation, I might say something that makes them think and find some common ground. I might reply, as some have said, that "God" means different things to different people.
I might say that "I don't believe in Supernatural Deities, but I do love learning about Natural Phenomena," to head off any arguement such as "well then how do you explain a rainbow or a sunset, only God can create such beauty..." For that argument, I'd reply, then only your God can create such horrors and destruction as we also see in the world. As a humanist, I try to see how we can address the problems we see in the world with knowledge, wisdom, reason and compassion, not stories in a book that was written without knowledge even that the earth was round.
I say, "No."
I use to try and maybe have a chat about it. NO it's a complete sentence and I leave it at that.
Same shit, same ritual of drinking the blood of a human sacrifice. Should be no surprise.