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May 13th, 2007

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11:03 pm - Why should we convince others to atheism?
I've been talking with my wife on that. After some thinking, we cannot find a good enough reason for convincing some religious people to atheism. I'll explain which people.

Imagine someone, who works normally, and feels happy believing some religion. You know that very few people follow all the rules the religion gives, and most more or less base his owns' actions on 'intuition'. I think they simply choose being part of a religion for the pleasure of a community membership.

If that person feels happy, probably in life will not find any notable delusion, and works normally producing something good for the rest of humanity... shouldn't we let him live without trying to convince him on atheism?

I think that other cases of religious people (unhappy, clearly non-helping the human race, ...) deserve more attention by atheists, because we may help them.

I didn't write with much conciseness because I don't feel sure of what I'm saying, so please attack me on each flaw. :)

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 14th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Hmmm, I don't know...I've always hated being cornered by missionaries of ANY religion, and I've no desire to become one myself.

I think that if someone is doubting, or unsure, or has no idea, then we're as much in our rights to try to convunce them of the truth of atheism than religious people are to evangelism.

However, I know some people - mostly Christians - who have a LOT in their lives resting on their religion, and if they're not hurting anyone with it, I don't see any reason to tamper.
[User Picture]
Date:May 14th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Well, that's why I don't.
[User Picture]
Date:May 14th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Personally, I figure that I would be a complete hypocrite if I started evangelizing for atheism the way I so despise that the fundies do to me about Christianity. My attitude is more or less "live and let live". I lead by example; I'm happy because my beliefs are based on the knowledge I've accumulated so far in my lifetime, not on what some preacher tells me to believe. That security in fact and not fable and willingness to say, "I don't know because there isn't enough information to say one way or the other" about some things (like the details about the progression from free chemical reactions to organized rudimentary cells) is what attracts people to atheism, not advocacy and self-promotion. I have great respect for the religious people I know who also lead by example rather than spending their time trying to convert people, so why should I do otherwise?

I also don't like the attitude that we can "help" unhappy religious people. They have to help themselves if they aren't happy with their spirituality. What good will it do them to switch from one belief system they were convinced to follow to more of the same? They need to decide what they believe and what will make them happy on their own. The most anyone can do is educate them on their options, and let them make up their own mind.
[User Picture]
Date:June 5th, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
I use to think that when two people discuss on something, at the end there must be a common agreement on what's the best thing to do. It doesn't mean that both will make the same, but at least there will be an agreement.

For instance: what should we try to do most? Learn something from Russell's works, or watch futurama? Although I may think that it's better to learn from Russell, I may choose to watch futurama. :)

So, I feel it should be the same on religion. And from my experience, "educate them on their options" wouldn't be "I tell you how atheism works, and why it's good, so choose what you want". That education, I think, should end in a common agreement. In the sense that both in discussion choose atheism, or choose any other -ism.
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
I can hardly criticize religious folks for their conversion efforts if I do the same thing--so I don't. That said, I feel I have equal right to counsel anyone questioning religion as to the benefits and truths that I see in atheism as any church member has to give similar counsel. If someone is happy in their faith, fulfilled and uplifted by their beliefs, and courteous towards others, I'll support them in their faith. If they're unhappy, questioning, or intolerant of others, I'll challenge them to consider the alternative. Over the years I've also found ways to talk about morality and other topics typically considered spiritual/religious in a way that's understandable to the faithful--regardless of their religion. It's about finding the shared ground, acknowledging their belief, but holding fast to my devout atheist viewpoint at the same time.
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
i was just browsing and found your community
However i´m from austria and the situation is quite different than in the US.
Religious people here are quite rare, the majority is member of the catholic chirch but wouldn´t call themselves religious. Still i think it´s important to discuss with them about atheism and try to convince them,because in my opinion the catholic church and religions in general were always institutions to surpress people and only if they have as little power as possible people can be free.
Another thing is that religious fanatics often try to set their theories beside or even above darwin´s evolution theroy and that is,i think very dangerous.
Why should we convince others to atheism? - Ask An Atheist — LiveJournal

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