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Should we try to shame God believers into changing their outdated belief system or patiently wait for them to smarten up? But it's been thousands of years already and it's still the same superstitious, outlandish belief system.

Here's a paragraph from my book which I think makes the point.

...If they couldn't figure out that the Earth revolved around the sun, how can we expect these divinely inspired holy men to have insight into the complex mystery of human nature? Rather than believe in Cynthia's concept of original sin of arrogance, refusal to accept incontrovertible evidence that we evolved from lower life forms, the writers of the Bible devised a fantastic bedtime story of Original Sin where a talking snake seduces the first lady (literally) into deceiving her boyfriend thereby pissing off the omnipotent ruler of the universe - comic book stuff!

Aristopus 7 May 7

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Shaming is so daft. lead by example or get following

Thank you! If I feel the need to correct someone, there are half a dozen things I need to correct.


People cling to their beliefs vehemently and any push to the contrary will only strengthen their will. They must see the hypocrisy and decide to think for themselves. Have patience, the young see through the bullshit and are rejecting religon more than any time in history because of it.

Absolutely. Religion is on the way out. I even believe we should censure the priests for screwing up the world and make them get jobs like everybody else. Constantly ask them for money. See how they like it.


Much like trying to teach a pig to sing. Ultimatly futile and makes you a jackass.


How does this make us any different than the very thing we accuse them of? Who cares what they believe as long as it doesnt' impact us---live and let live--don't go down to their level

But it impacts us in hidden ways, culturally. These people are living for the next world, not this one. They are pleasure negative. What is "vice" to them, is fun to many of us. Do you believe prostitution, gambling, smoking pot, etc. should be considered criminal behavior?

@Aristopus Yes, I think prostituting women should be illegal, as in pimps and John's should be prosecuted.


We may have no right to shame them but they think their book gives them a divine duty to convert us. This is why most of them piss me off and I try to make them feel uncomfortable as much as I can. They think I'm just an angry atheist. What can I say? Jesus never did bring me that pony.


Shame them? Why would we do that? Most of them are programmed from birth to assimilate so NO I have no desire what-so-ever to shame them nor is it an effective approach. What I would recommend is for us to focus our time and attention on the things that do matter to us and stop fighting the things that don't. Why would we look down on people we believe are deceived instead of feeling compassion for them? If we simply live our truth and invite others to join us in a non-religious experience they just might become curious enough to ask us questions but shaming them would give them no way out. Why would anyone want to switch sides if they had to deal with being shamed for not formerly having known of their own programming?
Behaviors not beliefs or people should be what we focus on otherwise we are simply another aspect of a religious war. I could care less if someone believes in a god or not if they are trying to force another person into ANYTHING I will shame the behavior and put my life on the line for the victim. I do not tolerate abuse but try (emphasis on try) to accept the individual. We have NO RIGHT to shame anyone and ask for acceptance and respect in the same breath.

That's true what you say as long as they stay out of politics. These people are pleasure negative and are living for the sake of the next life. Doesn't it bother you that the likes of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are assuming leadership roles due to their majority religious conviction? They should "render unto Caesar" as the Lord says and there'd be no problem. How about all the war in human history that religion has caused? Are you all right with that?

@Aristopus You see you are talking about the system now and not the individual anymore. You just turned the question into a different one. I said we should not shame the "believer" but changing the system is different than shaming the individual so please make sure you understand the question before making such serious assumptions, I abhor war. I abhor our government but that does not give me the right to shame a "believer". They are separate issues. Shaming the "believer" is not even close to what you are talking about. No I am NOT alright with that but that was not the question was it?

@CreativelyMe well said !

@evergreen Thank you! I appreciate the positive feedback very much!


No..... leave private believers alone ONLY FIGHT THEOCRATS and violent believers acting out in public ....we Atheists should not be thinking for the delusionals. do so is to operate a cult. ...
Shame them at the school board meetings city council prEyers local and state governments RUN FOR CONGRESS TO REPLACE THE CRIMINAL THEOCRATIC THERE


I think this is where something called street epistemology is the way to go... using Socratic questioning to plant that small seed of doubt.

If you're unfamiliar with it, check out Anthony Magnabosco or Cordial Curiosity (Reid Nicewonder) on YouTube... good stuff!


They have to come back to their default position on their own.
No amount of "shaming" will make them do anything other than dig in their heels.
The ONLY reasonable thing to do is always respond to them with reason and logic.
People who've been lied to their whole lives are always reluctant to accept the truth
of that. Sure, they are a constant source of consternation, but they are pitiful.


Be a teacher, not a shamer. Pretty sure you'll feel better about the results.

^^Runner up. Bonus points for sagacity in brevity!


I wouldn't bother. Some need to believe for whatever reason, obviously facts don't come into it. You can lead a horse to water and so on, I think we can use our energy and time in better ways.


Religious people believe fairy tales and we do not.


I don't unless they make a comment about my atheism. My response is in the line of "well, I can't believe your stupid enough to buy into that line of bs. Why would your opinion about anything matter to me?"


Shame is the worst thing you can possibly do. If you ever want to have an interesting thought provoking conversation with someone, making them feel like shit is only going to put their guard full on, and then no one is getting anywhere.

This may seem hipocritical, but I use their own tactics against them. Christians will calmly and casually present all these ideas, listen to your concerns and give you answers to those problems. This is like basic evangilism, but it doesn't have to be used for only religion. When I am talking with a believer, I make my stance known, and then ask them their beliefs. Listening is key to a good conversation. Listen and engage. I've put the seed in many a ear over my time as an atheist. Richard Dawkins himself for a while really put out there that being a good atheist should be like acting like Jesus, just be cool and let your actions cause the questions. A lot of believers really think atheists just want to shit down there throat, don't be that person, you'll never get anywhere. They aren't stupid, or corrupt, or hopeless. They are just high on faith and have a logic center with a loop hole.


I think with tec the way it is things are changing quite rapidly. I know a lot of churches are falling into disrepair near me.


The gullibles will always be around. They need to believe instead of thinking - it's easier for their weak minds.

But that's the problem. They are easily led like sheep, often by psychopathic demagogues.


Theology, when applied reasonably, provides meaning to one's world view. However, when theology shapes one's world view it can and should be a problem.


I'm past the point of bothering with them.

Yepper....................why bother.


Isn't religious freedom what we want ? To believe, or not ?

I do my thing - they do theirs. Don't try and sell me, and I won't sell or try to "correct" you.
Case closed.

There are only three gods left our of thousands. Memebots seem to know if they don't continue to propagate they'll go the way of Zeus, Jupiter, Bumba the Congolese Sky God and all the rest.


OK, here's another one. Christopher Hitchens says religion shouldn't ask us to believe the impossible. Here's a good one.

At the last supper the Lord took his chalice of wine, held it over his head, muttered a few incomprehensible sounds, and set it back on the table. He told his disciples, "This is my blood!" Not one of his cronies uttered a "hey, hold on. It was wine a minute ago."
Then the Lord took a loaf of bread off the table and held that over his head, continued to mumble, set it down and declared emphatically, "This is my body. Eat this in commemoration of me."
The Lord then told the boys, this sacrificial ritual must be performed constantly somewhere in the world, or God the Father will get pissed off again and we'll be back where we started. Don't ask any dumb questions. This is the miracle of transubstantiation. Just do it and keep your mouth shut except when you receive hold communion.


Freedom of Speech should mean being able to Criticize Bad Ideas (as Sam Harris Might Say). But this notion that you can't criticize abhorant behavior because it might offend someones religion has got to Stop!


If someone wants to believe in unicorns who has the right to change that?
Most of us don't want to be preached or spoken down to about it which is why most have taken a different stance to begin with. What gives us the right to speak down to them?
Are we not all human?
Besides religious people, you've got vegans, non milk drinkers and all those other anti socially awkward people telling us how wrong our lives our and somewhere we want to be a part of that?

I thought this was a place to get away from all that but yet we speak more of religion and the bible than they do.
Have you really given thought to that?
We are by no means any better or above anyone based on our thought processes so why should we chastise anyone? Who ordained that shit?


I think you're looking at it all wrong. How do you feel when a Jehovah's Witness comes to your home and tries to teach you about their religion? You feel insulted and on the defensive. If someone had told you there was no Santa Clause when you were 5 years old you would have been devastated and you'd run to your parents crying. You would have to be convinced there was NO Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny because you had been told for so it was true and now your world had changed. As a child you are easily indoctrinated into a religion and until you are old enough physically and meny to question something you've been told all your life, you will not change your thoughts. Getting upset with a child will not solve the problem. You have to be able to explain a sunset to a man who has been blind all his life and never seen colors. Most people want and need boundaries and religion gives them that and give them hope.


Besides Knowing we evolved from lower life forms does not preclude the existence of God. The story of Adam and Eve is has a rich tapestry of human mythology that goes back thousands of years. So it can be appreciated as literature and a stunning creation myth that acknowledges our dark and bright sides. Its really an allegory about growing up, leaving childhood, discovering sexuality and growing sad and cynical as we look back on Eden and the days of our innocence. Eden, we were all there once. And we have all been cast out. Like Neverland, one you leave your childhood behind, you can’t go back. Toy land - “once you pass it’s borders, you can never return again.”

Agnosticism, as I understand it, is the state of ‘now’. Inherent in the joy or suffering in this moment is the recognition of having a kind of blissful ignorance of tomorrow. Whatever will be, will be. And today, we alone are responsible for our own actions. “I’ll go on my way, and after today, the darkness will guide me.”


Leave them alone. Everyone has their comfort zones. I’m not sure that being an agnostic should be a cry to arms. It’s just a little corner for you to appreciate the miraculous accident that gave you consciousness and to whisper the question “why?” And hearing the breeze sing “I don’t know....”

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