Author Topic: Would you be offended?  (Read 4054 times)

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Offline YY

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2011, 02:07:50 PM »
So, I just heard that someone I know was in a car accident. I don't know their religios affiliation, but if they were atheist (and I didn't know it), would it be offensive to say something like:

I’ll be praying for your full and quick recovery . . .

Here's my question for you. What is your purpose and therefore the intent behind you saying anything to them at all?

The victim is the mother of my friend. As i care for my friend, I want to show sympathy and offer assistance. I was unaware of how bad the accident was, so the I wanted to convey the sentiment of a quick recovery.

Sometimes, I say we'll be sending our love and healing thoughts instead of "praying for a quick recovery".

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2011, 02:44:33 PM »
So, I just heard that someone I know was in a car accident. I don't know their religios affiliation, but if they were atheist (and I didn't know it), would it be offensive to say something like:

I’ll be praying for your full and quick recovery . . .

?

If I was the atheist to whom you made that statement I would be irritated that you had assumed that  I was a theist and that I would be grateful for your offer of prayer.
 If you did not know me well enough to know my beliefs why assume that I must be a theist?

There are many English expressions which have originated from religion which people (atheist or otherwise) use in many social situations but the offer of prayer is not in that category. 

If you knew I was an atheist but still offered the prayer I would be more annoyed.

Even when I was a theist, all those years ago, when somebody might have offered prayer to help me in some physical or emotional stress I thought...

'What are you giving me with your prayer? it requires no effort.'
'You are giving me no practical assistance'
' and '
'Why should God be persuaded by YOUR two cents worth?'.

I thought these things but never expressed them in those circumstances.

Was I wrong?

I was irritated but not offended.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2011, 03:30:27 PM »
Why Velkyn, why would you allow the sentiments of a well meaning believer bother you so much that you would respond to their well-meaning sentiment in a condescending and pseudo-polite manner?]
  TOT, why should I assume the sentiments of this believer as ‘well-meaning”?  That’s an assumption you’ve made. She well may have been well-meaning.  So what?  She’s still wrong.  And why do you assume, with no evidence I might ad, that anything that GG or I would say would be said in a “condescending and pseudo-polite manner”?  You seem to want to assume that GG was being snarky or that I am (safer bet that I am but not always). Why is this?   
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"Letting someone retain their willful ignorance and assumption" that others share their sentiments is harmful in such an example as the one that GG provided? How?
How?  by letting them retain their willful ignorance and assumption.  They are wrong about me. I should lie to them to keep them happily wrapped up in a delusion that I’m agreeing with them and am just like them?  Like in my example.  Again, why should someone be allowed to say things to me I don’t like and I evidently am not allowed to say things back to them?  Nice double standard here, TOT. 

I’ll ask you again, is it okay to lie to someone just to save their feelings when by doing so, I will continually be plagued with this theist nonsense? 
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And the whole whiny-pinyness about being the victim that always has to "sit down and shut up" is unwarranted here because I never said or implied that that was the case.
sorry, I don’t agree and I think you did indeed imply that this was the case.  You said
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You may in fact "know better" than the believer, so with that in mind, why not act better by holding yourself to a better standard of behavior than what your response indicated? She was expressing concern for you, and you responsed to her expression by saying something that obviously and seemingly was deliberately hurtful to her. Such a response is very similar to a child's temper tantrum and for those of us that know better, be ought to do better than that.
you tried to equate GG’s response to a “temper tantrum”. Well, TOT, I’m guesing you’ve never been around a real temper tantrum at all saying that.  You claimed it was “deliberately hurtful”.  When is saying “thanks but I don’t agree” hurtful?  You have raised strawmen and then claimed how we should be “better” than that.  Those strawmen are what make it seem that you are trying to say “oh how bad you were” when no one was and then saying “you should’t say anything” since what was said isn’t bad at all.   
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Had the sister said something along the lines of: "Hold my hands and let's pray together so that if you don't make it your soul won't be damned to Hell", then we'd be having a different discussion and she would need to STFU. But that isn't the scenario here at all. Here we have a caring sister wishing her brother well and expressing her intent to do something that she believes will benefit his circumstance that requires NOTHING of or from him. What you describe as being honest with her as the better standard for behavior is the virtual equivalent to a believer forcefully proclaiming to gospel to you against your wishes. Such behavior is what what one should be offended by.
What she said was less than your attempt but little better.  Why should she think she should pray?  It seems that she thinks god and her brother need her for some reason.  If she thought about it, her actions are pointless, e.g. does god have a “plan”, then no need for prayer,  is god moved by prayer, then whose prayers get answered, etc.  We have a sister claiming that prayer does something here and it does nothing.  If she only cared, she’d say “Hope you have no problems, see ya later bro.”  But what we get is that “my god has a say in your fate”.  At best, it’s thoughtless.  It requires him to either shut up or tell her that he simply doesn’t believe and it’s pointless.  And BS to your attempt an claiming that what I consider being truthful is the same as some theist shouting their beliefs at me.  I guess if I told the theist I didn’t’ believe in that circumstance either, I’d be a bad bad person for daring to tell them that they are wrong too, eh?  I’m wondering, are you objecting to the timing or what, TOT?  At some point, every atheist will likely tell their loved ones ‘I don’t believe, and I think your religion is nonsense.”  Should they never say that?  Or should it only be when the theist wont’ be offended, because I can tell you, that will likely never happen.  Most, if not all, theists think that any declaration that atheists think they are wrong as an attack and we should never talk about it. 
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2011, 04:30:52 PM »
TOT, why should I assume the sentiments of this believer as ‘well-meaning”?  That’s an assumption you’ve made. She well may have been well-meaning.  So what?  She’s still wrong.  And why do you assume, with no evidence I might ad, that anything that GG or I would say would be said in a “condescending and pseudo-polite manner”?  You seem to want to assume that GG was being snarky or that I am (safer bet that I am but not always). Why is this?

Assuming that a sibbling seeing their loved one about to go into surgery and telling them that they will be praying for them as well meaning intentions is hardly a stretch Velkyn. Besides, if you read what was written by GG, you will see that the words GG used implied that he thought she was well-meaning: "I love you sis, and thanks for your genuine concern,........"
 
As for why I assume snarkyness, this post of yours covers it:
I would also ask the person who wanted to pray "really?  And go against the will of your god? He certainly let this happen to me, right?"  or "really?  You can command this god of yours? Okay get to it! Well......what are you waiting for?"

.........by letting them retain their willful ignorance and assumption.  They are wrong about me. I should lie to them to keep them happily wrapped up in a delusion that I’m agreeing with them and am just like them?  Like in my example.  Again, why should someone be allowed to say things to me I don’t like and I evidently am not allowed to say things back to them?  Nice double standard here, TOT. 

I’ll ask you again, is it okay to lie to someone just to save their feelings when by doing so, I will continually be plagued with this theist nonsense? 
you tried to equate GG’s response to a “temper tantrum”. Well, TOT, I’m guesing you’ve never been around a real temper tantrum at all saying that.  You claimed it was “deliberately hurtful”.  When is saying “thanks but I don’t agree” hurtful?  You have raised strawmen and then claimed how we should be “better” than that.  Those strawmen are what make it seem that you are trying to say “oh how bad you were” when no one was and then saying “you should’t say anything” since what was said isn’t bad at all.   

 What she said was less than your attempt but little better.  Why should she think she should pray?  It seems that she thinks god and her brother need her for some reason.  If she thought about it,........ If she only cared, she’d say “Hope you have no problems, see ya later bro.”  But what we get is that “my god has a say in your fate”.  At best, it’s thoughtless.

You ask why she'd hink she should pray, and the most logical answer is because SHE BELIEVES that prayer is effective. It was likely her belief that praying could effect a beneficial outcome. She loves her brother and because she believed in the power of prayer, that most probably was the reason why she thought she should pray.
How is someone saying that they will pray for you in any way assuming something about you? Them saying that has nothing to do with you, but rather it is THEM employing something THEY believe in in hopes of effecting an outcome. Whether their belief is foolish and not well thought out is irrevelant in terms of what they assume about you. So when you say "they are wrong about me", and you then go about putting them in their deluded place, you come across as a whiny a-hole who lacking temperment that is behaving in a rather rude and self serving manner. The perception, like it or not, is that you are being mean-spirited and childish.
So again, why take out your disdain for the Christian faith in a setting like the one in question on someone who cares about you, is exhibiting concern for you, and who is hoping for the best for you?

I’m wondering, are you objecting to the timing or what, TOT?  At some point, every atheist will likely tell their loved ones ‘I don’t believe, and I think your religion is nonsense.”  Should they never say that?  Or should it only be when the theist wont’ be offended, because I can tell you, that will likely never happen.  Most, if not all, theists think that any declaration that atheists think they are wrong as an attack and we should never talk about it.

The timing and the setting is definitely an issue Velkyn, most definitely. There is a time and place for the discussion and revelation of one's beliefs.

Offline Omen

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2011, 04:38:46 PM »
So, I just heard that someone I know was in a car accident. I don't know their religios affiliation, but if they were atheist (and I didn't know it), would it be offensive to say something like:

I’ll be praying for your full and quick recovery . . .

?

I would find it offensive.  More so considering the idiotic theological notions of your belief system, but it would probably be the least of my concerns at the time.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2011, 04:44:01 PM »
But is their heart in the right place? Are they praying for you out of a sincere wish for your recovery, or are they praying to avoid hellfire and get a better mansion in heaven?

Are they being loving, or self-serving?

This is what the phrase "poisons everything" was meant to convey.

I agree for the most part, if we actually take it literally and consider the theological aspects of the believer, then it doesn't make much sense and it can't come across as more than pandering.  Good intentions and platitudes to deranged supernatural mythologies are not very comforting.

Its sort of like watching christians quote John 3:16, but never seeing a christian quote John 3:18.  The irony is palatable.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 04:49:29 PM by Omen »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2011, 08:31:16 PM »
Kinda same topic, but kinda not, I find it truly hilarious that people get offended when you wish them "Merry Christmas" and they might be Jewish. It's gotten to a point of political correctness washout.

I don't think anyone actually does get upset by that.  I think the whole thing is a faux controversy cooked up by fox "news", bill oreilly and ben stein to make their zombie followers pissed off.  I see some stores eschewing a specific holiday greeting in favor of a generic "happy holidays" but I think they do that to be more inclusive and not out of fear of offense.

As for your OP, as you can see, atheists are not uniform in their feelings on the matter.  For me, it depends who says it.  My old catholic granny, I tolerate it.  My orthodox jewish boss, I tolerate.  A friend who should know better is going to get either rolling eyes or a pissed off "you should fucking know better" look. 

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2011, 05:38:58 AM »
A few weeks ago, I had a day off work sick - nothing major, just a bug that made me dizzy and a bit nauseous.  So....I was lying on the couch, watching Phineas and Ferb with my 4-year old son.  (If you've never watched it - watch it!  Quite the most brilliant "childrens" cartoon I've ever seen).

Anyhoo....my little boy came over to me.
"Aren't you well daddy?"
"No, not very well"
"Oh".  (thinks)  "You can hold my blankie daddy, that'll make you feel better."
I've rarely loved him more.

Now....clearly, in that situation, it would have been thoroughly wrong to say to him:
"no thanks, it won't do anything for me at all.  And it needs washing too".
In HIS little mind, his blankie gives comfort.  He fully believes it does, and (seeing I was ill) was quite sincere in his offer of borrowing his blankie.

There seems to be an implication here that we should consider all believers to be in the same boat as my four-year-old.  Quite sincere in their beliefs and motivations.....and utterly, utterly unable to handle someone saying "I don't share your beliefs".

Should we treat believers like four year olds?  Perhaps we should, if they are that fragile.  But only if we can treat them like that ALL the time.  No fair for them to claim that they can handle tough debate - or tough decisions - in any other dealings they may have in the world. 

My son can't open a bank account, for reasons that are essentially because the law notes that he believes blankies heal sickness, and is therefore not able to manage his own affairs.  Is THAT the way that we should be treating believers, TOT?

Or should someone who is generally judged competent to handle adult decisions and relationship in the general world ALSO be considered adult enough to handle being told that their (to others) superstitious and ridiculous beliefs are neither shared nor welcomed?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2011, 07:30:03 AM »
Last year my older sister said she was going to pray for me as I went in for a day procedure in the hospital. My exact words to her were ""I love you sis, and thanks for your genuine concern, but please don't do pray for me, and please stop insulting my intelligence by telling me you're going to, and finally please stop embarrassing yourself by doing such acts of futility..prayer doesn't work sis.""

Guess who got offended and hasn't talked to me much this past year ?   :(

Why do you allow the sentiments of believers, especially a believer like your sister that obviously cares for you, to bother you so much that you would respond to her sentiment in such a condescending and "politely" mean manner?
You may in fact "know better" than the believer, so with that in mind, why not act better by holding yourself to a better standard of behavior than what your response indicated? She was expressing concern for you, and you responsed to her expression by saying something that obviously and seemingly was deliberately hurtful to her. Such a response is very similar to a child's temper tantrum and for those of us that know better, be ought to do better than that.

I think Wright had the right ( no pun intended) attitude by saying that: "Perhaps a little irritating, but unless I have good reason to think they're rubbing their religion in my face, I see it as essentially harmless."
Bottom line is that our reaction to that which irritates us is controllable and we need to exercise discression and self control when facing irritation, especially mild or harmless types.

"May" in fact ? ...No no, try "Do" in fact...... Therefore I cannot think of a more apropos behaviour.

Sentiments ? Yes, and they are deluded and self-indulgent ones. Prayer does not work. Prayer is completely ineffectual and the individual that thinks it does and promotes that it does is simply believing and expressing a false belief that's driven by wishful thinking and emotion. I have every god damn right to call a person on this false belief and if there's one person I'm definitely going to call on it, that would be a family member who knows better with regards to my position.

Why do it ? Because I lover her, and it troubles me to see her in this deluded state. You may be willing to let it slide TOT but not I. She's doing much more harm to herself and her integrity by believing such nonsense than I could ever do by pointing out her error.

This is not even to mention that she is fully aware of my atheist position and that I have no confidence in or belief that prayer works. To then go ahead and still make the indication that she did, shows an immaturity and lack of good judgement in that regards. This immaturity and continued lack of respect for my position on the matter shows her to need correction and, if necessary, deliberate and proper rebuke.

Just because someone "means well" and they express that by the intended use of a false belief does not mean that they should be let off the hook. That would be an emotionally driven error on my part to do so. I refuse to accommodate for such unnecessary, uncalled for, and unfruitful beliefs and actions.

TOT as soon as you seen that it was my sister you should have clued in that she would have known that I was an athiest, and therefore even though she was concerned for me, she was way out of line and being disrespectful for making such a statement to me. I love her to death, but making a statement like that to me means that school's in and it's lesson time.

Your statements don't surprise me though, they're classic of all accommodationists.

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Offline plethora

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2011, 08:25:47 AM »
If someone says "I'll pray for you" in the sense of "I hope you get better", then it would be fine.

If it's preachy, like "Now would be a good time to pray to god and thank him that you are alive" I would be very pissed off and offended.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2011, 09:13:46 AM »
TOT,

I think you’ve been thoroughly answered in the post following your last response to me.  GG said what he thought and Anfauglir is right in his question(and I do hope you address it) in should we treat people like 4 year olds?  Or, in my opinion, so mentally fragile that they are no better than any mumbling schizophrenic on the street?  is this what you want? 

As you can see, one can have good intentions but that doesn’t’ mean you can’t be told “thanks sis but you are wrong”.  Again, you have yet to show that anyone was being mean or falsely polite.  You have ginned up that unsupported view to attack anyone who tells a theist that they are wrong. 

I have no problem with you calling me snarky.  I’m not GG and that’s who we are talking about.  And again, why not call a theist on their delusion, snarky or not?  Considering the circumstance, assuming that sister knew I was an atheist, they deserve it in my opinion for intentionally ignoring what they know about me.  This is a teachable moment, TOT. 

I see you’ve ignored some of my questions.  Is it okay to lie to someone just to save their feelings, TOT?  Why should someone have a free pass to say things to me tht I don’t like when you seem to think that I shouldn’t have the same free pass?  When is saying “thanks but I don’t agree” hurtful?  I want answers to these because it will show just what you think is acceptable and what is not.   
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You ask why she'd hink she should pray, and the most logical answer is because SHE BELIEVES that prayer is effective. It was likely her belief that praying could effect a beneficial outcome. She loves her brother and because she believed in the power of prayer, that most probably was the reason why she thought she should pray.
How is someone saying that they will pray for you in any way assuming something about you? Them saying that has nothing to do with you, but rather it is THEM employing something THEY believe in in hopes of effecting an outcome. Whether their belief is foolish and not well thought out is irrevelant in terms of what they assume about you. So when you say "they are wrong about me", and you then go about putting them in their deluded place, you come across as a whiny a-hole who lacking temperment that is behaving in a rather rude and self serving manner. The perception, like it or not, is that you are being mean-spirited and childish.
As I stated above, I asked a whole lot more than that which you ignored.  IF she thinks prayer is effective, then she is a danger to others.  Prayer isn’t effective and she needs to know that.  She is assuming that the patient wants her prayers. She is assuming that it doesn’t offend them.  She is assuming she is right when she is not.  I do not see how telling someone they are wrong is being a “whiny asshole”.  You have yet to support that at all.  It does not show that I lack any kind of TOT approved of “temperament” nor does it show that I am rude or self-serving, or mean spirited or childish.  With this as your argument, you seem to e indicating that telling anyone that they are wrong is all of those things.  Is it, TOT?
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So again, why take out your disdain for the Christian faith in a setting like the one in question on someone who cares about you, is exhibiting concern for you, and who is hoping for the best for you?
Ah, is it the setting that bothers you?  Or is it the fact that some people are willing to say that the emperor has no clothes? 
I’m wondering, are you objecting to the timing or what, TOT?  At some point, every atheist will likely tell their loved ones ‘I don’t believe, and I think your religion is nonsense.”  Should they never say that?  Or should it only be when the theist wont’ be offended, because I can tell you, that will likely never happen.  Most, if not all, theists think that any declaration that atheists think they are wrong as an attack and we should never talk about it.
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The timing and the setting is definitely an issue Velkyn, most definitely. There is a time and place for the discussion and revelation of one's beliefs.
  So when it is okay to tell a Christian that their beliefs are nonsense?  If you find this one wrong, what are the appropriate times and places?  You seem to have some in mind, so what are they?  When would a theist not find this to be offensive and an attack on their beliefs?  As I asked above, should they never say this if you would deem the target too fragile?   
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 09:26:20 AM by velkyn »
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2011, 09:20:07 AM »
You don't really need to tell someone that you are going to pray for them. All you have to do is just pray. It doesn't make your prayers more effective if you inform them of your intentions. Unless they ARE religious. Then both you and they *feel* better. But that is just a placebo effect.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2011, 10:26:51 AM »
You don't really need to tell someone that you are going to pray for them. All you have to do is just pray. It doesn't make your prayers more effective if you inform them of your intentions. Unless they ARE religious. Then both you and they *feel* better. But that is just a placebo effect.

Exactly! All the expression is is a sentiment designed or intended to show someone you care while at the same time serving to help the person expressing the sentiment feel good that they are showing concern for the plight of their fellow man. Even non-religious people employ such behavior in these settings.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2011, 12:17:36 PM »
A few weeks ago, I had a day off work sick - nothing major, just a bug that made me dizzy and a bit nauseous.  So....I was lying on the couch, watching Phineas and Ferb with my 4-year old son.  (If you've never watched it - watch it!  Quite the most brilliant "childrens" cartoon I've ever seen).

Anyhoo....my little boy came over to me.
"Aren't you well daddy?"
"No, not very well"
"Oh".  (thinks)  "You can hold my blankie daddy, that'll make you feel better."
I've rarely loved him more.

Now....clearly, in that situation, it would have been thoroughly wrong to say to him:
"no thanks, it won't do anything for me at all.  And it needs washing too".
In HIS little mind, his blankie gives comfort.  He fully believes it does, and (seeing I was ill) was quite sincere in his offer of borrowing his blankie.

There seems to be an implication here that we should consider all believers to be in the same boat as my four-year-old.  Quite sincere in their beliefs and motivations.....and utterly, utterly unable to handle someone saying "I don't share your beliefs".

Should we treat believers like four year olds?  Perhaps we should, if they are that fragile.  But only if we can treat them like that ALL the time.  No fair for them to claim that they can handle tough debate - or tough decisions - in any other dealings they may have in the world. 

My son can't open a bank account, for reasons that are essentially because the law notes that he believes blankies heal sickness, and is therefore not able to manage his own affairs.  Is THAT the way that we should be treating believers, TOT?

Or should someone who is generally judged competent to handle adult decisions and relationship in the general world ALSO be considered adult enough to handle being told that their (to others) superstitious and ridiculous beliefs are neither shared nor welcomed?

Clever comparison, but somewhat lacking in being a true parallel to what's up for discussion. The issue is NOT that one should not tell a person "I don't share your beliefs". What it is is the issue of how to treat others with kindness and respect and having the tact to know when it is more appropriate to address the issue of flawed beliefs.
If in the case of your son, he gets older and continues in his Linus-like behavior, there will come a point where you would be doing him a service to say, "son, we need to discuss this blanket of yours." But as you indicated, responding to his loving gesture in the situation above by saying "no thanks, it won't do anything for me at all.  And it needs washing too", would have been kind of mean and self serving. And that would not have been a good example of how to treat people, especially those you love and love you.

As far as adult behavior and handling things as adults, we should recognize that there is a better and more curtious way to approach people when dealing with sensitive issues like politics, religion, and racial topics than blind siding them with shots at their beliefs.   

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2011, 12:26:56 PM »
Exactly! All the expression is is a sentiment designed or intended to show someone you care while at the same time serving to help the person expressing the sentiment feel good that they are showing concern for the plight of their fellow man.

So you admit it is self-serving? Especially, as in gonegolfing's case, the theist is in a position to know better?

Quote
Even non-religious people employ such behavior in these settings.

While I can't speak for everyone, I avoid this if I can. Pumping up my own ego is at best, useless, and at worst, counter-productive. If you can help, do so. If you can't, stay out of the way.
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I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2011, 01:45:14 PM »

Clever comparison, but somewhat lacking in being a true parallel to what's up for discussion. The issue is NOT that one should not tell a person "I don't share your beliefs". What it is is the issue of how to treat others with kindness and respect and having the tact to know when it is more appropriate to address the issue of shut the fuck up with referrences to their flawed beliefs.If in the case of your son, he gets older and continues in his Linus-like behavior, there will come a point where you would be doing him a service to say, "son, we need to discuss this blanket of yours." But as you indicated, responding to his loving gesture in the situation above by saying "no thanks, it won't do anything for me at all.  And it needs washing too", would have been kind of mean and self serving. And that would not have been a good example of how to treat people, especially those you love and love you.

As far as adult behavior and handling things as adults, we should recognize that there is a better and more curtious way to approach people when dealing with sensitive issues like politics, religion, and racial topics than blind siding them with shots at their beliefs.

Quote
Exactly! All the expression is is a sentiment designed or intended to show someone you care while at the same time serving to help the person expressing the sentiment feel good that they are showing concern for the plight of their fellow man. Even non-religious people employ such behavior in these settings.

Jeezuz you're stubborn ! ;D

See bold. That's what this is all about. Remember, atheists are on the receiving end of this kind of nonsense all the time and most of us are tired of it and most certainly don't have to accommodate it or put up with it without saying something. If there ever is a time when we need to say something is when we're on the receiving end of these beliefs when we don't want to hear them most !

Sentiment does not get a free pass. Especially when it is an expression of delusion towards a person who does not share that delusion. A faithhead who in being concerned and caring for another chooses to slip from reality into fantasy is doing the said individual no favours and no good whatsoever in doing so. The atheist gains no confidence or comfort whatsoever from the content of a statement that they have no belief in and see it as an exercise in futility. Atheists (and theists) are looking for common sense and practical compassion and concern when they are facing difficulties, not vacuous and meaningless statements that will have no positive effect on their well being, and not to mention, more than likely create a disrespect for the individual making the sensless comment.

I took no joy in making my point with my theist sister. But it was the opportune time to do so given her irresponsible and inconsiderate behaviour. Being "nice" does not give license to be tactless and free with the mouth.

No, it's the theists that need to learn to use tact.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 01:47:03 PM by gonegolfing »
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2011, 02:15:07 PM »
No, it's the theists that need to learn to use tact.

No, it's everyone that needs to be considerate of others and use tact. In your example, your sister knowing how you felt, then should have thought about what to say to convey her concern better as her saying she'll be praying for you while knowing how you feel is at best a clumsy mistake, or at worst a mean stab at you when you're down.
Let me ask you this. What were you hoping to accomplish with the way you responded? Did it help the situation? How did it if it did?

Offline Malfunc

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2011, 05:49:12 PM »
I don't believe it would be offensive but it would be a total waste of time  ;)

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2011, 06:20:28 PM »
ToT (my bold):
Quote
But as you indicated, responding to his loving gesture in the situation above by saying "no thanks, it won't do anything for me at all.  And it needs washing too", would have been kind of mean and self serving. And that would not have been a good example of how to treat people, especially those you love and love you.
No, it would have been a bad example of how to treat children, which was GG's point.

His sister isn't four, so she got the straight talk. And quite right, too, given that she knew he wouldn't like what she said.

Online Emily

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2011, 07:31:31 PM »
So, I just heard that someone I know was in a car accident. I don't know their religios affiliation, but if they were atheist (and I didn't know it), would it be offensive to say something like:

I’ll be praying for your full and quick recovery . . .

?

I'd probably be offended; but then again I'm the type of person who doesn't sit around passively waiting for an outcome. I'm proactive.

I'd probably just question if this person is giving me lip-service. then I'd question why they think an atheist like myself would find their prayers for me worth answering by their god. Then I'd question why they think me, someone who has a pretty good health insurance plan, needs to be prayed for.

I mean, if they want to help they can pay my deductible......   I'm just saying. 
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2011, 05:03:27 AM »
What it is is the issue of how to treat others with kindness and respect and having the tact to know when it is more appropriate to address the issue of flawed beliefs........we should recognize that there is a better and more curtious way to approach people when dealing with sensitive issues like politics, religion, and racial topics than blind siding them with shots at their beliefs.

Exactly.  And that is why believers should never - ever - tell an atheist that they will be praying for them.  If it is in any way "wrong" to tell the believer "your belief that prayers work is wrong", then it is exactly as wrong for the believer to be saying to the atheist "your belief that prayers do not work is wrong".

Remember the situation: the atheist is ill, in hospital, needing treatment.  They are likely to be scared, vulnerable, uncertain.  The absolute last thing they need is someone coming along and saying - in effect:  "Your views are wrong.  Mine are right.  And you will die if I can't convince my god to help you, you unbeliever."

It cuts both ways, TOT.  If hospitals are no place to open discussion on religion, then believers should keep THEIR traps shut about it.  If THEY open the debate with an unwelcome comment, then they have nobody to blame but themselves when they get an unwelcome comment in return.

Or - as Velkyn has asked several times now - "Why should someone have a free pass to say things to me tht I don’t like when you seem to think that I shouldn’t have the same free pass?"
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2011, 07:30:56 AM »
No, it's the theists that need to learn to use tact.

No, it's everyone that needs to be considerate of others and use tact. In your example, your sister knowing how you felt, then should have thought about what to say to convey her concern better as her saying she'll be praying for you while knowing how you feel is at best a clumsy mistake, or at worst a mean stab at you when you're down.
Let me ask you this. What were you hoping to accomplish with the way you responded? Did it help the situation? How did it if it did?

Yes, everyone.

Accomplish ? Well, at least, just a simple reminder to her that I don't hold her beliefs and that in that particular situation I find them meaningless and unhelpful. At most, that she will change the way she thinks with regards to the belief that prayer works and switch to using rationality and common sense to live her life and in her actions towards others.... Is that asking too much ?

But this isn't about me and my accomplishments, it's about the mental health and integrity of my sister. A person who petitions magical beings is not thinking clearly, not using their faculty of reason, and not behaving rationally. Who better to point this out than I, a loved one, who cares deeply about that person ?

The world is 2/3 full of deluded people to this day and yet one could say with regards to this  "I should just let it ride and mind my own business" ....NO ! If we took that approach to stinking thinking just think of the ugly mess that the world would be in!....we'd still be having witch hunts, stoning gays and rebellious children, living on a flat earth, and profiting off the backs of slaves. No!! we must confront all faulty ideas and thinking at the time they occur and do so with tact and confidence and fortitude.

No, it did not help, unfortunately for my sister my comments did not resonate with her and had zero impact that I know of. I understand though, as she's deeply entrenched and her delusion is a strong one backed up with the thinking that she has a special gifting in the area of dreams and visions  &) .......She may never have the desire to change, and I can't force her to, but I'm going to keep at it with tact and good timing, and do my best to help bring my sister back to reality. She's worth it.   
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2011, 10:11:55 AM »
Clever comparison, but somewhat lacking in being a true parallel to what's up for discussion. The issue is NOT that one should not tell a person "I don't share your beliefs". What it is is the issue of how to treat others with kindness and respect and having the tact to know when it is more appropriate to address the issue of flawed beliefs.
and you have yet to tell me when it would be okay to do this and what to do if a theist would never, and many fit this, take being told that they are wrong with any "kindness" and "respect".  All you seem to want is that atheists should never ever rock the boat, and try to disguise that desire with vague claims of 'better and more courteous" ways. 

indeed, Why should someone have a free pass to say things to me tht I don’t like when you seem to think that I shouldn’t have the same free pass?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 10:13:34 AM by velkyn »
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2011, 10:24:28 AM »
Exactly.  And that is why believers should never - ever - tell an atheist that they will be praying for them.  If it is in any way "wrong" to tell the believer "your belief that prayers work is wrong", then it is exactly as wrong for the believer to be saying to the atheist "your belief that prayers do not work is wrong".

Remember the situation: the atheist is ill, in hospital, needing treatment.  They are likely to be scared, vulnerable, uncertain.  The absolute last thing they need is someone coming along and saying - in effect:  "Your views are wrong.  Mine are right.  And you will die if I can't convince my god to help you, you unbeliever."

I can agree to the extent that the person making the remark is aware of the views of the person they are speaking to. If they were to do that, then it would be like they invited someone to eat and served something they knew the person the invited hated, and that would be rude and not cool at all. I get that saying, "I know you don't like it, but it's good for you, so I'm gonna force you to partake of it" is not right.

It cuts both ways, TOT.  If hospitals are no place to open discussion on religion, then believers should keep THEIR traps shut about it.  If THEY open the debate with an unwelcome comment, then they have nobody to blame but themselves when they get an unwelcome comment in return.

Or - as Velkyn has asked several times now - "Why should someone have a free pass to say things to me tht I don’t like when you seem to think that I shouldn’t have the same free pass?"

Saying "I'll be praying for you" is hardly opening a debate and it is a big stress to say that someone saying those 5 words is opening a discussion on religion. All it is is an expression employed to convey one's concern. It's typically genuine and it is intended as a means to encourage both the speaker as well as the person to whom they address that sentiment. When you break it down and consider the message being given by that expression, here's likely what you will find the believer to be saying:
"Friend or person I care for, recognizing that you are in need of something I can do nothing to provide, I will do the one thing I can do that I believe and have been convinced has the '"power to move mountains,"' and that is pray for the best outcome to your situation."    

When you hear a person express this sentiment, does it not click that they are very likely well-meaning? If so, what is there to be bothered about other than the fact that they may be mistaken and misinformed? That being the case, how does a potentially abrasive and condescending response benefit anyone?

If the person saying they will be praying is so intolerably bothersome to you, first, GTFU, and secondly, why not respond by saying, "Thanks for the concern and BTW, when the doctors fix the problem/the professionals rectify the situation, I'd like to discuss prayer with you."

By responding that way, you act like an adult with self control and an appreciation for your fellow man while at the same time setting the stage for having a conversation/discussion on the foolishness of prayer. When that discussion has started, then the gloves are off as no one is blindsided by a rebuttle they had no idea was potentially possible.

---
To answer the question of: Why should someone have a free pass to say things to me that I don’t like when you seem to think that I shouldn’t have the same free pass?

- you have the same "free pass"
- using that "free pass" is not always a good thing to do
- you as well as the rest of us should be compelled to be kind when addressing others
- there's a time and place for every discussion, and every comment does not open the door for discussion


Offline relativetruth

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2011, 01:45:39 PM »
It's all a matter of context when the OP's comment is made.

In Sweden you would probably get a bemused look with a 'thank you' but the sentiment will mean nothing to them they will dismiss it as not important.
In China and Japan, probably they would react in much the same way but would be even more polite.

In the United Kingdom you would get reactions on all sides of the argument and it would be pure chance which one you get.

I guess that in the USA it would also varies a lot between state to state.
How arrogant are you if you assume that everybody has your beliefs?

If a theist offers a prayer to help somebody they ought to be sure that that person is also a theist (of the same stripe) otherwise they should not be surprised if they are rebuffed.





God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2011, 03:01:36 AM »
Saying "I'll be praying for you" is hardly opening a debate and it is a big stress to say that someone saying those 5 words is opening a discussion on religion. All it is is an expression employed to convey one's concern. It's typically genuine and it is intended as a means to encourage both the speaker as well as the person to whom they address that sentiment. When you break it down and consider the message being given by that expression, here's likely what you will find the believer to be saying:
"Friend or person I care for, recognizing that you are in need of something I can do nothing to provide, I will do the one thing I can do that I believe and have been convinced has the '"power to move mountains,"' and that is pray for the best outcome to your situation."    

Bullshit.  If someone knows I am an atheist, then saying "I'll pray for you" is a direst slap in the face.  It is an insult to everything that I believe, delivered at the most vulnerable point in my life - what an arsey thing to do.  Someone who has just shown that much contempt for what I think and fell is deserving of absolutely NO social niceties on my part: they've just pissed on my beliefs - I'll piss straight back.

I really don't thin kyou appreciate just how insensitive such a declaration can be, TOT - perhaps you are still a lot more wrapped up in the Christian faith than you think?

There a whole world of ways in which one can express concern and offer assistance without trampling all over the beliefs of the person you allegedly want to gve comfort to.  And anyone who genuinely wants to be the best support for the person they are speaking to will realise that and modify their language appropriately.  If they choose not to....well, then that just shows that the person they are claiming to want to help is NOT the one that they are really thinking of at that moment in time.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online albeto

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2011, 10:46:48 PM »
When you hear a person express this sentiment, does it not click that they are very likely well-meaning? If so, what is there to be bothered about other than the fact that they may be mistaken and misinformed? That being the case, how does a potentially abrasive and condescending response benefit anyone?

On another forum I frequent a poster put up the following avitar:

http://edge.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/527873/80462491.jpg

She's much younger than I and apparently in her social circles, that's no big thing.  It caught my breath and I could't keep quiet about it.  Perhaps I was being too fuddy-duddy about it, being the old lady I am, but now she knows some people will not tolerate that sentiment.  I imagine a sentiment about praying for someone is like this "nigga please" sentiment.  It's meant to be harmless, it's meant to lighten the air, but you never know who might take real offense and the fact is, religion *is* offensive whether or not any individual religionist is offensive.  It's offensive like racism is offensive.  It's offensive like misogyny is offensive.  It's offensive like child sexual predatory behavior is offensive.  Anyone who knows a person is not persuaded by the arguments of faith has no business peddling their religion, regardless of how tiny that peddling is. 

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2011, 06:58:30 AM »
Perhaps the most crucial question is this.  When you visit someone is hospital...when you are sitting by their bed.....

Who is the most important person there?

The answer to that question should tell you everything you need to know about what you should, or should not say in your conversation.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Illuminatus99

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Re: Would you be offended?
« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2011, 05:45:25 PM »
Not much different than if someone tell you they hope santa will bring you something nice.