My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Is it possible for atheists and theists to discuss their world views without one ooh t of view or the other feeling anything along a scale from dissatisfied to furious?

440 replies

BertrandRussell · 18/06/2017 08:13

Theists get patronising, then defensive, atheists get exasperated, then angry. Is there another way? Or is it just completely impossible and not even worth trying?

OP posts:
LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:18

I think it depends on the individuals involved. I've had such discussions in real life, with reasonable individuals. Never reached a resolution obviously, but mutual respect was retained. On the interwebz, the angry brigade always come out.

PhilODox · 18/06/2017 08:18

Come on, Bertrand, how can one argue with irrational belief?

PhilODox · 18/06/2017 08:19

Darn it-there was supposed to be a wink after that!

BertrandRussell · 18/06/2017 08:20

"On the interwebz, the angry brigade always come out."

What do you mean?

OP posts:
LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:21

And oddly enough, my experience is that the atheists get patronising and the theists get frustrated, so I guess we all see the arguments from our own personal perspective,

LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:22

PhilIDox has just demonstrated perfectly.

LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:23

Cross post with the missing wink!

allegretto · 18/06/2017 08:23

In real life, yes. On here, probably not.

LassWiTheDelicateAir · 18/06/2017 08:24

I can't imagine having a satisfactory conclusion to such a discussion as I have no idea what theists are talking about. I can't relate at all to the idea that a god exists.

I have no idea what people mean when they talk about faith or that god is in their lives.

UserLotsOfNumbers · 18/06/2017 08:25

Like Lost says, I've seen patronising from atheists far more than from theists.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo · 18/06/2017 08:25

I tend to avoid these types of discussions. What's the point? It is such a personal thing and people are unlikely to change their beliefs. Obviously academics and philosophers etc need to discuss these things, but I assume they can cope a bit better.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo · 18/06/2017 08:27

I've encountered patronising atheists and theists. People can be wankers whatever they believe.

Sunnymorningwithbacon · 18/06/2017 08:27

I am a total atheist. One of my very best friends in all the world believes fervently in the bible as literal truth.

We manage to have many discussions about it and not fall out.

I love the bones of him (in a friend zone way) and have gone out of my way to help him when he needed it, as he has me.

We respect each other's point of view.

BertrandRussell · 18/06/2017 08:32

The thing is, I thought I was having interesting and thoughtful discussions in real life, until recently I was chatting with a Christian friend about a local head teacher who had done some funny business with some GCSE coursework. At the end of the conversation she shrugged and said, with no hint of humour or irony (or indeed awareness!) "Oh well, he's a godless atheist". Which means that all the conversations we have previously had about morals and stuff must have been completely false.

And, incidentally, while this country still allows Christian privilege we have to talk about it......even if it wasn't interesting.

OP posts:
Sunnymorningwithbacon · 18/06/2017 08:35

It doesn't Bertrand.

It just means she and you had a discussion but at the end of the day she didn't agree with you.

As long as she was polite about it I can't get annoyed about stuff like that.

As someone on here said yesterday, you don't have to go to every argument to which you are invited.

Agree re Christian privilege - but do you think part of your problem might be your approach? You're very fervent in your beliefs, which isn't wrong at all, but tends (from whatever side you come) to get people backs up.

More flies with honey etc

LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:39

At the end of the conversation she shrugged and said, with no hint of humour or irony (or indeed awareness!) "Oh well, he's a godless atheist". Which means that all the conversations we have previously had about morals and stuff must have been completely false.

Sounds like an issue of perspective. You've just been forced to er-evaluate your view of the way she thinks. It can be an odd experience when you have such a revelation, but bear in mind that the new picture still isn't the full picture as you see everything through the prism of your own beliefs and expectations.

BasketOfDeplorables · 18/06/2017 08:40

I think that in philosophical discussions it is important to define the boundaries of the discussion, so we don't wander off topic, and talk about the meaning of all the words being used. All of the philosophical issues around religion are so huge that it doesn't work to jump quickly from one point to another, and it takes a great amount of effort just to understand what's already been investigated, before even thinking about reaching new conclusions.

Jijhebtseksmetezels · 18/06/2017 08:42

The thing that offends me the most is when Christians and other religious people believe that atheists can't have a moral code without a God.

borntobequiet · 18/06/2017 08:43

Unlike Lass, I do have an idea of what people mean when they talk about faith and God in their lives, as I was brought up a Catholic.
This makes me careful never to discuss the subject of faith with anyone in RL as in my view it and everything to do with it is completely irrational and can be very damaging intellectually, emotionally and morally.

LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:45

The thing that offends me the most is when Christians and other religious people believe that atheists can't have a moral code without a God.

In a nutshell, all atheists are amoral and all theists as stupid.

Now everyone is outraged.

LostSight · 18/06/2017 08:46

*are, not as.

NameChanger22 · 18/06/2017 08:48

I'm an atheist. When I've met religious people in the past and the subject has come up there seems to be a quick and defensive wall that goes up and I know they don't want to discuss it. I would love to discuss it. Same with politics when I meet very right wing people. Nobody wants their fragile belief system to be questioned.

alpacasandwich · 18/06/2017 08:52

There's not any point in atheists and theists arguing whether or not God exists.

The theist hasn't sat down and logically reasoned that there must be a God, they're simply following a religion they've been involved in since they were young, or that presented itself as the answer to an emotional problem in adulthood.

It's like arguing with someone who doesn't love you, that they should logically love you. It'll get you nowhere.

Sunnymorningwithbacon · 18/06/2017 08:54

I think part of the problem is that it's such a personal thing - to discuss it rationally you need to be very secure in your relationship with the other person or it can easily feel like a personal attack.

Hence why me and my friend are ok talking about it - because we both know we are going to be friends regardless. Whereas if you talk about it with someone with whom you don't have such a strong relationship it can cause fractures
In the friendship.

babybythesea · 18/06/2017 08:54

It partly depends on how the discussion is framed I think.

If it is framed in a way that says "This is what I think and believe. This is how those thoughts and beliefs impact on my life and my actions" then I have no issue.
If it is framed in a way that says "Other people believe this, which is different to me, therefore they must be stupid/amoral" I have a big problem.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.