Re: [atheists-55] Event for GBAC Meetup. "Both are the best approach"

From: Claire L S.
Sent on: Friday, June 18, 2010 1:14 PM
I must firstly say how much I am enjoying this! Thanks Kevin, though I notice you are now conspicuously absent! :-D

I agree that people should be respected and I understand what you say about not respecting their beliefs. But that isn't my point. My point is, when you attack someone's beliefs, you are attacking something they consider fundamental to their idea of themselves. When you do that, it makes them defensive and the response is either a stick-fingers-in-ears, lalala-I'm-not-listening type approach which gets you nowhere, or they self-affirm their own beliefs.

Not many people genuinely think they are stupid. If you contradict that, their brain cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance of "I am not stupid" vs "I believe something stupid". At that point the brain has to reconcile these two things, and since the options are "I AM a stupid person", or "My belief is NOT stupid" then guess which one most people will go for. They then justify, post-hoc, why it isn't stupid but will report that self-justification as the REASON they don't think their belief is stupid.

So this is why I think we need a more subtle approach, and this is why I think challenging believers head on can be counter productive. It's not about respect, it's about results. Changing people's minds is hard. The more you force it, the harder they will kick back. Which brings me neatly to Ian's point about the UK - we have an officially designated religion...voila...increasingly secular society. But as he also says, it takes time, and isn't necessarily pleasant on the way. But I think Americans have an advantage over Brits - they are much more exercised by issues of personal freedom and more willing to buck the system so I think you will come through this process faster than we did.

Cheers,

Claire

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 12:01 PM, Mark <[address removed]> wrote:
http://www.jesusandmo.net/2010/05/11/ears/



From: nondescript <[address removed]>

To: [address removed]
Sent: Fri, June 18,[masked]:42:11 AM
Subject: Re: [atheists-55] Event for GBAC Meetup. "Both are the best approach"

People should be respected.? Beliefs, no matter how sacredly held, should stand on their owns merits.? I cringe when people object to their beliefs being questioned, as if their beliefs are too "holy" to bear such rough handling.

Eric

On Jun 18,[masked]:10 AM, "Ian" <[address removed]> wrote:

Claire,

Here here!

I cringe when I see Atheists attacking people because of their personal religious beliefs. Those Atheists are no better than the people of religion that attack others for their beliefs. Telling an individual who or what they should believe in is like telling the same person who or what political party they must vote for. Though I'm not saying that some people really should be told what to do and who to think, but that's another kettle of fish!

I believe that it is the religious organisations that need to be targeted, and not the individual. If you can expose the orginasation for its lies and misgivings, then hopefully people will see they have been lied to and duped, and will turn away from religion. This is what is happening in the UK. People have had 1500 years of Christianity forced down their throats, that now, more and more people are leaving the church. Christianity is not the dominant religion in the UK anymore.? People are seeing the lies that the church has told them for years. I'm not saying that there are more true Atheists, but there are for sure, many more Agnostics.

The US has only had a couple of hundred years of Christianity, and really, only about 60 years of high pressure, in your face Christianity. (You can blame the anti-Communism movement for the rise of the Christian Right). Give the US another 1300 years, and people here might start to realise the lies of organised religion.

Ian, another Brit...


On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 8:49 AM, Claire L Simpson <[address removed]> wrote:
>
> Hi Michael,...

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