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Current time: August 14, 2022, 5:54 pm

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religious friends
#1
religious friends
I rarely discuss religion or any aspect of my being an atheist. Once in a great while I have had someone talk to me about their religion, and I always feel embarrassed for them. If they had impressed me as a reasonably intelligent person up to that point, I always feel disappointed and sad, hearing them talk about this absurd stuff as though it were real.

I find myself almost completely unable to respect them, once they have talked about their God or whatever, and while I don't exactly blame them, I just feel...limited, like I can't bring myself to take them seriously in any other matter. I never know what to say. If they ask me about my religion, I generally mumble something vague and change the subject.

I suppose it seems arrogant for me to feel sorry for them, and I am sure if they knew it they would find it amusing, but I can't help it. It just comes as such a disappointment to hear someone start going on about the Lord and such, I can hardly believe they are serious and I feel so lousy knowing that there is this gulf between us.

To be honest, if I already thought they were not very intelligent, then I sort of expect the religion talk to happen, so I am not very disappointed. I have some friends who I know are not atheists, but who are not overtly religious or at least haven't been too obvious about it with me. I have never managed to sustain a friendship with someone who spouts that creepy "what The Lord has done in my life" sort of stuff, and I have heard it from a few reasonably intelligent people over the years.

Have any atheists here managed to maintain a friendship with an overtly religious person?
And the Lord God spake unto them, saying, "A Great Fire be bound within all things, and know ye that be it unleashed, its energy shall be as like its mass, multiplied by the swiftness of the light, and so multiplied again." And they were much amazed. --II Physicists, Chapter IV, verses 5-8.
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#2
RE: religious friends
Having moved from a public primary school to a private Lutheran school... and mind you, I choose the school.. so I can't complain too much..
but I found it difficult to talk openly or be my true self for fear of descrimination.

Although,
recently I just had a fight with my ex's brother due to his views on same sex relationships which is derived from religion. It nearly left me in tears.
Also I found my relationship with some Muslims difficult when they said that same sex relationships was like cancer.
As soon as somebody says that they are traditional Catholic I can't help but cringe.. because I don't know how they would feel about myself or my friends being in same sex relationships.

I don't concern myself too much with feeling sorry for others because I am too self-involved with my own discoveries of belief.

Oh and YES i do manage to maintain friendships with many overly religious people.. mostly because my hobby is to talk to these people.. I will be crushed many a times by my Islamic, 7th Day Adventist, Buddhist, Christian, Catholic, Jewish friends.. and some of the things they have said make me want to cry.. but I have learnt to look for the things that we agree upon... I look for me in them.. and I find much joy in that. It depends upon your focus. I also keep some of my thoughts private from some of my religious friends. I never lie to them. I just share what I need to. I am alot more open in communicating to people compared to high school.
[Image: geelong_football_club.jpg]My site: http://puglover.org
Bex loves: skiing, bike riding, maths, pugs,
her atheist society, politics and religious studies.
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#3
RE: religious friends
Here in Doncaster, UK, I know of not even one christian, muslim, buddhist, jew, anything. Not in my age range anyway (I know there are churches here, but I don't know anybody who goes). I never come across any religious people here.

However, when I come across it online I feel like I've been punched in the gut. As soon as somebody I've been talking to for a few months mentions their little fantasies I feel as if I've just lost them to the dark side Tongue Or if they tell me what one of their religious friends have said, I instantly wonder how they can put up with it.

The most devestating feeling was hearing my friend Lacey from MA being baptised, sent to a private catholic school (because her mother wanted her to "at least have a foundation" in terms of religion), forced to attend mass, receive confirmation, do morning prayer and pledge alligience to her country whilst doing strange handsigns all the while. On the bright side, 2 years of talking to me have led her to stop participating in any of these ancient rituals and she can be quite active in debates with her friends these days. It's all good Smile

Back to the point, I think I'd be like you Uvirith, I'd have to restrain myself from talking about it, and hope they don't bring it up. It'd be sad to have to deal with them as if they were children and try to respect their wild fantastical beliefs.
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#4
RE: religious friends
Come to think of it.. I have come to think the thoughts that both of you both share as disgusting. Just cause they think you are going to hell doesn't give you any right to assume that they are missing half a brain.
We are all people.
And you are at a great loss if you are unable to communicate with somebody that has different views then you.
Would you all like to have an atheist street?
I know in certain parts of the globe it can be difficult to be an atheist.. in particular, some parts of America..
but everybody deserves respect.
Look I won't too evangelistic in this post.. I mean I can't kill you to much.. cause I also used to be the same as you too.
I don't restrain myself from talking about religion.. although I have learnt to be less judgemental and am respectful in my choice of words.
[Image: geelong_football_club.jpg]My site: http://puglover.org
Bex loves: skiing, bike riding, maths, pugs,
her atheist society, politics and religious studies.
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#5
RE: religious friends
I knew two muslims online for years. We basically just gamed online on the RTS game AoC (age of empires II, the age of kings, the conquerors expansion. Age of conquerors for short (AoC)) (and that is the only reason I met them in the first place) and talked about games and got on very well.
Then we talked about music and tv shows...and we have different tastes and that was cool, that was fine....
When we got into beliefs like religion (or lack of religion)...our entire friendship just fell apart, deflated. That was that.
They didn't even believe in evolution! I was only in my early teens...and I had just ASSUMED all along that they believed in evolution! Its not like they were even stupid or anything! And they didn't believe in evolution! They were polite guys....they were good at RTS games. One in particular (I'm not gonna name names here) was brilliant at the custom scenarios in the game. Absolutely brilliant. I don't think I ever met a better player at CS overall, out of the hundreds of CS players I met. And I wasn't even a CS player most of the time. Most of the years I played AoC it was random map (anyone else ever played AoC?)
In the end we just couldn't get on. We were TOO different. It just didn't work.
Despite the fact we could game together and have a laugh together....once it got into the subject of religion (or lack of religion)......everything just fell apart.
And that was that. It didn't work.
Evf
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#6
RE: religious friends
(December 20, 2008 at 9:33 am)puglover Wrote: Come to think of it.. I have come to think the thoughts that both of you both share as disgusting. Just cause they think you are going to hell doesn't give you any right to assume that they are missing half a brain.
We are all people.
And you are at a great loss if you are unable to communicate with somebody that has different views then you.
Would you all like to have an atheist street?
I know in certain parts of the globe it can be difficult to be an atheist.. in particular, some parts of America..
but everybody deserves respect.
Look I won't too evangelistic in this post.. I mean I can't kill you to much.. cause I also used to be the same as you too.
I don't restrain myself from talking about religion.. although I have learnt to be less judgemental and am respectful in my choice of words.

If somebody fervently believed in the stork theory of pregnancy, you'd find them a little weird and crazy. If somebody believed in a mighty being with fairytale lands to send you to and floods and fermements and dinosaur riding humans and arks and talking snakes and magic trees and the power of telepathic requests... You'd be like "excuse me?Tongue". You can't help but think "is this person crazy or something?", but you hold back these thoughts and try to discuss it. Then they get offended, offensive, defensive, emotional, undebatable and then you have this little awkward patch in your friendship and from there everything just seems to crumble.

EDIT* : All I'm saying is that it's hard to be a rational person and take somebody elses blatently reason-defying beliefs seriously. We all feel a need to say "woah, you're better than that type of thinking"
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#7
RE: religious friends
I can count all my atheist freinds I have ever had on one finger.[Image: ugh.gif]

I live for the debate, but I am never the one to bring up the subject. When asked, or even if I am just part of a group and not asked directly, about religious things I hold no bars about telling others exactly what I think. I love engaging theists on the subject.

I especially like it when they "gang-up" on me. I like to take measurements on how long it takes the average theist I encounter, especially in gangs, to turn violent. When the subject has been broached I glance at my watch. Whenever the first "You're going to hell!" or any name calling or profanity is directed toward me or when they begin to attack me the person and not the arguements that conflict with their paradigm, I glance at the watch again.

Sometimes I share that info on how long it took from them to go from 'rational discussion' to ad homen, sometimes I don't. Very rarely does it take more than 5 minutes. Once in a blue moon one will maintain composure. It's really grand when it is admitted if they were given undeniable proof they would continue to believe because it gives them comfort. It is a security blanket that, like Linus, they will never give up and they go into convulsions at the mere thought of not having it.

Getting called Satan or the Devil is the shizzle.

I say engage them. Let them know exactly where you stand, then stand there! Don't back down but don't lower yourself to their level by ad homen attacks. Counter their ad homen attacks with rationality and composure. If they continue to attack your personality or continue with any type of personal attacks and it seems the real intent they have is to "make you cry", then gloves off. Explain attacking the person isn't conductive to a rational discussion and you would rather not go there, but if that is the game they want to play, well hell, I can play that way to.

Usually the ad homens stop at this point but if they continue then have fun calling them brainless nematoda or whatever. Of course this is not what you are hoping the outcome will be but if they force it there have fun with it! I like to go the "Yo' mama" route.
I used to tell a lot of religious jokes. Not any more, I'm a registered sects offender.
---------------
...the least christian thing a person can do is to become a christian. ~Chuck
---------------
NO MA'AM
[Image: attemptingtogiveadamnc.gif]
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#8
RE: religious friends
I'm friends with many religious people, and by "religious people" I mean people who believe in some form of God, but it doesn't affect their lives in many ways. I'm not friends with any really religious people, mainly because they always turn out to be arrogant twats who care little for my views and only wish to convert me to their religion. You simply cannot be "friends" with these people.
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#9
RE: religious friends
(December 20, 2008 at 11:53 am)Tiberius Wrote: I'm friends with many religious people, and by "religious people" I mean people who believe in some form of God, but it doesn't affect their lives in many ways. I'm not friends with any really religious people, mainly because they always turn out to be arrogant twats who care little for my views and only wish to convert me to their religion. You simply cannot be "friends" with these people.

Likewise I know a few people who believe in heaven and such things, but wouldn't consider them "religious". They're just a mixture of abstract indoctrinations of the CoE upbringing fused with the politically correct high school indoctrinations. Cherry-pickers with no real clue about any of the subjects, I suppose- but they don't claim truth, push on their beliefs or even express these beliefs actively.
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#10
RE: religious friends
(December 20, 2008 at 11:53 am)Tiberius Wrote: I'm friends with many religious people, and by "religious people" I mean people who believe in some form of God, but it doesn't affect their lives in many ways. I'm not friends with any really religious people, mainly because they always turn out to be arrogant twats who care little for my views and only wish to convert me to their religion. You simply cannot be "friends" with these people.


And how does Dotard as an atheist differ any more from these people?

The problem Dotard is in fact your approach in communicating with people..
This word 'argue'.. It always makes me stiffen my back.. I rather a 'discussion'.
If your intent is to argue then don't complain about people's defence on a personal issue.
Although, in no way do I condone violence (I think that is a given).
I might many of your kind at the atheist society...
they usually argue over the definition of 'atheism' or the little things..
and end up missing the big picture as to why we are here.
I feel very isolated in my atheist group..
I am the few of my age group there and the others that do attend are the feminists who are
there to affirm themselfs by argument with bigger people.
[Image: geelong_football_club.jpg]My site: http://puglover.org
Bex loves: skiing, bike riding, maths, pugs,
her atheist society, politics and religious studies.
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