Author Topic: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?  (Read 10396 times)

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Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2011, 07:46:16 PM »
Do not confuse me understanding my darker impulses with embracing them.  As you can see from this post, I am a cynic and I have a rather dim and pessimistic view of people.  Don't take that personally, though.  I think you're a peach.  Just don't be angry at me until I deserve it.  Okay?

You're not like the Nazis or Terrorists, you're like Sarah Palin!

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2011, 07:52:19 PM »
You sound like the guy who took "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. Let's all do it YOUR way right?

You sound like the guy who put it into the pledge.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2011, 07:54:54 PM »
Or maybe there is something you don't understand about their "personal experiences"? Wouldn't it make sense that their personal experience outweighs the evidence you present?

Personal experience is highly subjective. So no, it would not outweigh evidence, because evidence is objective.

If you're basing value on quantifiable statistics. . .  But, if you like vanilla more than chocolate, I'm not going to sway your decision no matter how many more people statistically like the opposite.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2011, 07:56:25 PM »
You sound like the guy who took "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. Let's all do it YOUR way right?

You sound like the guy who put it into the pledge.


Well, would a world with no religion or spirituality be a better place?

Online pianodwarf

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2011, 07:58:28 PM »
Well, would a world with no religion or spirituality be a better place?

Ummm... hell, yes?   :o
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Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2011, 08:02:10 PM »
What do you believe is the best way to argue for the merits of the agnostic/atheistic philosophy, besides the sometimes demeaning presuppositional arguments?

If your goal is to de-convert theists, you would probably want to stop thinking like an atheist and start thinking like a marketing agency. First, you'd need to figure out why someone would choose to be a theist. There must be something in addition to fear and obligation. You'd then find the other motivational factors to persuade otherwise and focus on creating programs or group memberships in the direction you're looking for.


Offline The Wannabe

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2011, 08:07:48 PM »
What do you believe is the best way to argue for the merits of the agnostic/atheistic philosophy, besides the sometimes demeaning presuppositional arguments?

If your goal is to de-convert theists, you would probably want to stop thinking like an atheist and start thinking like a marketing agency. First, you'd need to figure out why someone would choose to be a theist. There must be something in addition to fear and obligation. You'd then find the other motivational factors to persuade otherwise and focus on creating programs or group memberships in the direction you're looking for.

People don't usually *choose* to be theist, they're usually INDOCTRINATED into being theist.  Big difference.
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance."  -Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2011, 08:07:57 PM »
Well, would a world with no religion or spirituality be a better place?

Sticking "one nation under god" into a pledge in 1952, to attack Commies is hardly spiritual.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2011, 08:09:29 PM »
Or maybe there is something you don't understand about their "personal experiences"? Wouldn't it make sense that their personal experience outweighs the evidence you present?

It would make sense, however, it doesn't appear to be true. A lot of scientific method is a recognition of the ways we can fool ourselves. At first, we believed we could test herb by giving it to one person. Hahnemann did just this when he created homeopathy. Then we realised that you had to give it to many people; then that it had to be blinded; then that it had to be doubled blinded; then that even the statistician had to be blinded, or the monkeys involved would bias all the results.

There are some guys around here who have schizophrenia; does it make sense to believe every bizarre religious thing they say, when their brain is malfunctioning? How many other people suffer from the same thing without knowing it? Why is religion so subtle that it exists in this region of murk?

A lot of personal experiences are a matter of interpretation. If I slip on a step after thinking bad thoughts about a person, does that mean that God is punishing me, or does it mean that I had a lapse of concentration while I was thinking that bad thing? If a startling coincidence happens, is that just a coincidence, or my poor understanding of statistics, or the person I'm talking to is lying?

If you want to consign God into this murk-region, a region defined by how we can fool ourselves, then that's where God lives.

Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2011, 08:11:13 PM »
If you're basing value on quantifiable statistics. . .  But, if you like vanilla more than chocolate, I'm not going to sway your decision no matter how many more people statistically like the opposite.

A valid argument is not based on what you like or dislike, or what you value. It is based on using scientific evidence and reason to figure out the truth. You know, the TRUTH?

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2011, 08:33:02 PM »
Well, would a world with no religion or spirituality be a better place?

Ummm... hell, yes?   :o

one of my first post was about this very question and I must say that I have to respectfully disagree. I do not think it would be any different on a fundamental level.
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Offline The Wannabe

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2011, 08:40:04 PM »
Well, would a world with no religion or spirituality be a better place?

Ummm... hell, yes?   :o

one of my first post was about this very question and I must say that I have to respectfully disagree. I do not think it would be any different on a fundamental level.

Link?  Or would you care to explain why it would not be different?
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2011, 09:09:47 PM »
Link?  Or would you care to explain why it would not be different?
Human nature. The battle is constantly for resources and power. This will not change if religion is absent. There has always been, and will constantly be, struggle for land and resources. My belief is that religion is basically a proxy.  Here is the link of my post that asked this question  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,13964.msg309141.html#msg309141
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Offline MMcNeely

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2011, 10:23:55 PM »
I see where your going jay, and I sort of agree with what your saying.  Mankind is a group of greedy selfish bastards, but without religion we wouldn't have a skirt to hide behind.  With the removal of god(s) and spiritual convictions the Crusades would have never happened, 9-11 would have never happened, the holocaust would have never happened, and a lot of Middle Eastern problems would have never existed.  No, the world won't be perfect without the idea of God, but it would be better off.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #72 on: September 22, 2011, 12:37:49 AM »
People don't usually *choose* to be theist, they're usually INDOCTRINATED into being theist.  Big difference.

Wow, that's a really bad generalization. You could also say the same of national pride, that you were indoctrinated. Anyway, most people go through some sort of questioning period when they actually make a conscious choice to remain a theist. Please tell all of your theist friends that they remain Christian or Catholic or Hindu or what have you because they are too ignorant to think otherwise. See how silly that sounds?

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #73 on: September 22, 2011, 12:48:22 AM »
If you want to consign God into this murk-region, a region defined by how we can fool ourselves, then that's where God lives.

I understand where you're coming from. I'm merely trying to take an unbiased view from the mind of many theists (myself not included) who are so firm in their belief of the effect of God and spirituality on the reality of their life aka "personal experience", that this data (in the theist's mind, whether it be true by quadruple blind test or merely anecdotal) outweighs scientific fact.

The most obvious example would be the people who don't believe in climate change no matter what data you put in front of them. Theist or not, there are people who just have core beliefs that can't be swayed.

So back to the OP, you'll have to use another angle rather than the age old point proving back and forth that just won't get through to many theists -- because they just DON'T want to hear it. It could also come from the view that if you can't understand what and why theists believe the way they do, then anything you say just won't have impact. There's no way to try to make ME understand if YOU don't understand what I'M talking about.

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2011, 12:50:49 AM »
If you're basing value on quantifiable statistics. . .  But, if you like vanilla more than chocolate, I'm not going to sway your decision no matter how many more people statistically like the opposite.

A valid argument is not based on what you like or dislike, or what you value. It is based on using scientific evidence and reason to figure out the truth. You know, the TRUTH?

I'm just trying to explain, from a theist's pov, why you can put scientific evidence in front of someone and they see it there in black and white but still aren't swayed by your argument.

It is the TRUTH that more people like Chocolate, but it is my lifelong understanding that I like Vanilla so I don't care what your statistics say. See?

Offline The Wannabe

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2011, 12:58:16 AM »
People don't usually *choose* to be theist, they're usually INDOCTRINATED into being theist.  Big difference.

Wow, that's a really bad generalization. You could also say the same of national pride, that you were indoctrinated. Anyway, most people go through some sort of questioning period when they actually make a conscious choice to remain a theist. Please tell all of your theist friends that they remain Christian or Catholic or Hindu or what have you because they are too ignorant to think otherwise. See how silly that sounds?

Wow, no it's actually true for the majority of theist on this planet.  Give this a read:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

Now, tell me if the Islamic people have the option of freely make "a conscious choice to remain a theist" or not.
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance."  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2011, 01:00:07 AM »
I see where your going jay, and I sort of agree with what your saying.  Mankind is a group of greedy selfish bastards, but without religion we wouldn't have a skirt to hide behind.  With the removal of god(s) and spiritual convictions the Crusades would have never happened, 9-11 would have never happened, the holocaust would have never happened, and a lot of Middle Eastern problems would have never existed.  No, the world won't be perfect without the idea of God, but it would be better off.

Don't believe what you read. Would it be too much of a stretch to use religion as a scape goat for horrible things that happened.

Let's take 9-11 as an example. The "official" story says that Muslim extremeists carried out the attacks based on their religious beliefs. Could there be a scenario where a small group of greedy individuals masterminded these attacks and then create a story of a boogie man who believes in a different god that hated the way Americans live their lives and sell it to the American public? It's misdirection, sleight of hand on a massive scale!

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2011, 01:06:41 AM »
People don't usually *choose* to be theist, they're usually INDOCTRINATED into being theist.  Big difference.

Wow, that's a really bad generalization. You could also say the same of national pride, that you were indoctrinated. Anyway, most people go through some sort of questioning period when they actually make a conscious choice to remain a theist. Please tell all of your theist friends that they remain Christian or Catholic or Hindu or what have you because they are too ignorant to think otherwise. See how silly that sounds?

Wow, no it's actually true for the majority of theist on this planet.  Give this a read:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

Now, tell me if the Islamic people have the option of freely make "a conscious choice to remain a theist" or not.

Well, that would be true if this were Medieval times. Otherwise, you'll have an isolated case here and there and more people being killed by lightning strikes rather than Apostasy.

So Apostasy is irrelevant in this case.

Offline The Wannabe

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2011, 01:15:21 AM »

Well, that would be true if this were Medieval times. Otherwise, you'll have an isolated case here and there and more people being killed by lightning strikes rather than Apostasy.

So Apostasy is irrelevant in this case.

Bullshit.
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance."  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline YY

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #79 on: September 22, 2011, 01:45:52 AM »
Bullshit.

I'm curious about that answer. Would you care to elaborate?

I'd say that there are people in the world who this applies to, but in this modern era, that would be a tiny fraction of a percent. The other tiny fraction of a percent would belong to those who have never been exposed to any other religion outside of the one they grew up with.

Offline bertatberts

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2011, 01:59:43 AM »
. . . we should start by trying to stop the indoctrination/inculcation of children, we need to somehow get it reclassified as abuse.

This is still America isn't it?

Why not coexist rather than get extreme? You sound like the guy who took "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. Let's all do it YOUR way right?
I'm happy to co-exist, if the religious would do the same. but they not only wish to enforces their beliefs on their children, they wish to do it to me and other peoples children, I can discern what is right or wrong what is reasonable and unreasonable prepubescent children can't.
we should let them be children until such a time as they can decide for themselves. But no that does make sheep does it.

Oh and note the emphasis the world isn't only America. We don't have statements like that. enforcing us to think one way and one way only. Else we're not good  Americans as George Bush Snr put it. (luckily I'm not American.)
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Offline fishjie

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2011, 02:16:53 AM »
I think a good method would be the socratic method.   its not terribly confrontational, and you get them to see the problems with their beliefs all on their own.

for example, if someone starts preaching about their god, you ask,
"What is God?"

It sounds like an utterly stupid question, but I guarantee you most theists have not come up with a meaningful answer to that.    Once they pin down a concrete definition of God, then you can drill into specifics.    If they say God is omnipotent, you ask the pedantic question about whether or not God can create a rock so heavy even he can't lift it (Yes, its asinine, but if omnipotence were logical in the first place, there'd be a good answer).    Or if they say God is loving, ask why there is evil in the world.

Basically open a dialog.    There are lots of canned scripted apologetic responses to these things, so you want to take them off the script.   Make them think for themselves.   They will start to question their beliefs.    I know I did.

Offline bertatberts

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #82 on: September 22, 2011, 02:36:32 AM »
I think a good method would be the socratic method.   its not terribly confrontational, and you get them to see the problems with their beliefs all on their own.

for example, if someone starts preaching about their god, you ask,
"What is God?"

It sounds like an utterly stupid question, but I guarantee you most theists have not come up with a meaningful answer to that.    Once they pin down a concrete definition of God, then you can drill into specifics.    If they say God is omnipotent, you ask the pedantic question about whether or not God can create a rock so heavy even he can't lift it (Yes, its asinine, but if omnipotence were logical in the first place, there'd be a good answer).    Or if they say God is loving, ask why there is evil in the world.

Basically open a dialog.    There are lots of canned scripted apologetic responses to these things, so you want to take them off the script.   Make them think for themselves.   They will start to question their beliefs.    I know I did.
Hermes put that very question up here, many years ago. He ended up, just giving up.
He just got Bs, back stepping, Intellectual dishonesty, Etc.. So no it doesn't work. 
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Offline fishjie

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #83 on: September 22, 2011, 02:43:23 AM »
I think a good method would be the socratic method.   its not terribly confrontational, and you get them to see the problems with their beliefs all on their own.

for example, if someone starts preaching about their god, you ask,
"What is God?"

It sounds like an utterly stupid question, but I guarantee you most theists have not come up with a meaningful answer to that.    Once they pin down a concrete definition of God, then you can drill into specifics.    If they say God is omnipotent, you ask the pedantic question about whether or not God can create a rock so heavy even he can't lift it (Yes, its asinine, but if omnipotence were logical in the first place, there'd be a good answer).    Or if they say God is loving, ask why there is evil in the world.

Basically open a dialog.    There are lots of canned scripted apologetic responses to these things, so you want to take them off the script.   Make them think for themselves.   They will start to question their beliefs.    I know I did.
Hermes put that very question up here, many years ago. He ended up, just giving up.
He just got Bs, back stepping, Intellectual dishonesty, Etc.. So no it doesn't work.

That's on the internet.   People put up a false front on the internet for a reason.    You can't see the effect of an online debate.  But there is definitely is one.   In person, you can read body language cues and see it more clearly.    Also on the internet, theists have hours to craft up their badly thought out answers.   If you talk to someone in person, you're really putting them on the spot.    Its quite different. Kind of like how my good friend used this very method to deeply shake his gf's faith.

Its kind of like the opposite of what Jesus was talking about with "seeds of faith".   What you're doing is planting seeds of doubt.     I argued on the interwebz for YEARS but deep down I knew inside all this shit was illogical.    But of course I could never admit it.   I *FINALLY* deconverted YEARS later (and it was sudden and shocked everyone), and then when I met the people I argued with in person, I high fived them all and greeted them with "WERE GONNA BURN IN HELL LOL!".   Good times.   

So just because a bunch of trolls on the internet responded with the typical theist stupidity, does not mean they were not shaken by the whole experience.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 02:44:57 AM by fishjie »

Offline The Wannabe

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #84 on: September 22, 2011, 02:55:46 AM »

Well, that would be true if this were Medieval times. Otherwise, you'll have an isolated case here and there and more people being killed by lightning strikes rather than Apostasy.

So Apostasy is irrelevant in this case.
Bullshit.
I'm curious about that answer. Would you care to elaborate?

I'd say that there are people in the world who this applies to, but in this modern era, that would be a tiny fraction of a percent. The other tiny fraction of a percent would belong to those who have never been exposed to any other religion outside of the one they grew up with.

Here's a link showing how many innocents were murdered in the name of Islam in the past 2 months:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#attacks

While these may not all be apostate related killings, they are still crimes perpetrated by faithful Muslims in the name of Islam.

Now, here's a link showing how many lightening related deaths occurred last year: 

http://addins.wxow.com/blogs/weather/?p=1177

You do the math.

"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance."  -Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #85 on: September 22, 2011, 04:02:21 AM »
Let's take 9-11 as an example. The "official" story says that Muslim extremeists carried out the attacks based on their religious beliefs. Could there be a scenario where a small group of greedy individuals masterminded these attacks and then create a story of a boogie man who believes in a different god that hated the way Americans live their lives and sell it to the American public? It's misdirection, sleight of hand on a massive scale!

I've always wondered what this misdirection was meant to achieve, esp as OBL pointed out within a few days of the attack, that the American Jews and the secret service was behind the attack. URL  What more evidence would one need to conclude that the government was lying? Everyone knew that Afghanistan and Iraq had nothing to do with OBL. If misdirection had anything to do with it, it was the preposterous excuses used to invade both these countries at great detriment to the US taxpayer.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline jetson

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Re: What's the best way to push theism into the minority?
« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2011, 06:10:53 AM »
YY,

I think you are mistaken about people being indoctrinated.  I think there are far more parents who simply tell their children what to think, and most children believe their parents.  I'm glad that some can escape that pattern as they age, but I can't believe that the majority of them decide to choose religion on their own.  It is the indoctrination, along with fear, guilt, and shame that keep them from admitting that gods a mythology.  Sad.