Author Topic: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?  (Read 1754 times)

Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« on: July 29, 2020, 06:01:24 PM »
I think that most of us are well aware that Christians tend to react very emotionally to any open skepticism expressed about their beliefs, and they are often outraged when we criticize their religion. For example, years ago I had an email exchange with a Christian on AOL. He told me he had seen me in a chat room mocking Christianity. He called me a reprobate and told me that "the smoke of (my) torment will rise forever."

His comments raise the question: how many people are burning in hell for dicking around in an AOL chat room?

Anyway, it's obvious that many hurting Christians are left in the wake of atheism. They depend on their faith for help making it through the tough times. When a loved one dies, for example, they hope to be reunited with her or him in heaven. When they face death, they wish to go on living forever freed from their sick and broken bodies--and so on.

So do we dash their hopes when we falsify their beliefs, and is it wrong to do so?

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 06:05:56 PM »
I don't think we can say much that will impact their faith. They just damn us to burn in hell forever, but we might hurt their feelings by telling them the truth?
God Not Found
"There is a sucker born-again every minute." - C. Spellman

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 06:36:26 PM »

So do we dash their hopes when we falsify their beliefs, and is it wrong to do so?
We have nothing to do with the falsity of their beliefs.  They chose to believe a falsehood(s).  That's on them.  I did not force them to 'believe'.  Yet they have no problem in forcing me to accept their beliefs under the lie of religious freedom.  I can't get some prescriptions from some pharmacists because it offends their religious beliefs?  That's hurting me.  I can't have a ham sandwich because it is against somebodies religious beliefs?  The religious have no problem whatsoever cramming their believed lies down my throat.  If it hurts them to see and understand the truth, then too bad--that's on them!   
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 06:41:57 PM »
No.  Open constructive criticism hurts no one, except their feelings.  The problem is, the question of Christianity isn't just epistemological ... it is theological and ideological.  People criticize X for multiple reasons, not just because of epistemology.  People have agendas other than clarity.  And we know how religion ties into politics and therefore power (Poland/Hungary resisting EU dictates on LBGT).
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 07:03:42 PM »
I don't think we can say much that will impact their faith. They just damn us to burn in hell forever, but we might hurt their feelings by telling them the truth?

Yes, it works both ways as far as who is hurting whom is concerned. Christians don't seem to consider how their beliefs hurt others.


Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 07:53:41 PM »
We have nothing to do with the falsity of their beliefs.  They chose to believe a falsehood(s).  That's on them.  I did not force them to 'believe'. 

True. If Christians can't handle having their beliefs scrutinized, then they should keep those beliefs to themselves.

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Yet they have no problem in forcing me to accept their beliefs under the lie of religious freedom.


How are Christian beliefs being forced on you? I assume you mean Christians use pressure in their efforts to evangelize. Note that they want unbelievers to accept what they say without question.

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I can't get some prescriptions from some pharmacists because it offends their religious beliefs?  That's hurting me.  I can't have a ham sandwich because it is against somebodies religious beliefs?  The religious have no problem whatsoever cramming their believed lies down my throat.
 

OK, I see what you mean now. I'm not sure about how difficult Jews may make it for us to enjoy pork, but Christians have interfered with health care opposing abortion, contraception, and stem-cell research. Their opposition to evolutionary biology jeopardizes medical research in particular the study of the spread of diseases like Covid 19.

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If it hurts them to see and understand the truth, then too bad--that's on them!


While it's important for all of us to be informed, Christians have a right to remain in the dark. So if they don't bother us, then we should leave them to their "blissful ignorance." But if they engage others in debate, then they do it at their own risk.

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 08:07:28 PM »
I was well equipped to handle non believers and anything they could say. I was the problem.

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 09:52:39 PM »
Jagella, another aspect to this religious vs non religious, is the attack the religious are making on science.  Trump is making it clear he is not allowing science to help attack the covid pandemic.  Science vs religion has intensified much to the determent of the world.  I do not question a persons right to worship as they wish (as long as that does not harm others).  But I do object to the religious telling me how to live,  and what to think.  I am not as concerned how the religious feel, as how they act.  If my simply speaking facts makes them feel bad, then so be it. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 10:20:54 PM »
Yes, it works both ways as far as who is hurting whom is concerned. Christians don't seem to consider how their beliefs hurt others.



Do non-amputees worry about how their public presence hurts the feelings of amputees?  Black people hate being in a country that isn't majority Black ... should we expel the majority Whites?  Same thing with women, they hate men almost as much as they hate women ;-)  I agree with the "no hurt" but I am talking beatings etc, not feelings.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 10:24:31 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 10:21:38 PM »
I was well equipped to handle non believers and anything they could say. I was the problem.

Rhetoric is a two edged weapon.  Hope you didn't cut yourself ;-)  My Ex, as a formally religiously trained person, sliced and diced some Jehovah's Witnesses that she invited in.  They weren't served for dinner ;-)  All they knew, like many committed voters, were the slogans they had memorized.

@MikeCL ... vast armies of Creationists marching on California science utopia ... are Fortune Tellers a threat to you too?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 10:26:28 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 11:02:40 PM »
I was well equipped to handle non believers and anything they could say. I was the problem.

When I was a Christian I ran into some tough atheists one of whom was an old man named "Jim." Jim was your stereotypical grumpy old coot. Jim didn't like me, and when he found I was a Christian, he knew he could get under my skin by mocking my faith. He succeeded in hurting me that way, and I felt miserable.

Not too long afterward I did lose my faith in much the same way that Jim had taunted me saying I would. Rather than run and hide, I went up to Jim one day and told him he had been right about Christianity. He was a mean, unlikable old man, but he was a mean old man who had known the truth. It was only right to let him know.

So the moral of the story is that if you or I or anybody else is "the problem," believing dangerous lies, then we should face the truth regardless of who tells us the truth. And that includes grumpy, old atheists like Jim!


Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 06:40:31 AM »
I sorta miss being deluded and so happy I was going to heaven to be with family and pets forever. The alternative being maggot food. I would have felt sorry for Jim. Even so, way down deep inside, I was secretly troubled by the greatest story ever told. I was just a kid with so many questions and the answers did not line up. But doubt is OK, normal, expected and dealt with in scripture. At some point I made a positive correlation between religiousness and people I dislike. That is when I turned the corner. Finally...I became receptive to non believers.

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 06:46:13 AM »
The absurdity of people "burning in Hell" should have killed this thread immediately.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 09:32:29 AM »
The absurdity of people "burning in Hell" should have killed this thread immediately.

Burning in Portland etc is real, not a myth.  America is Hell under the Dem Brownshirts.  I am the cranky old theist ;-)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 09:52:45 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline aitm

Re: Is our open skepticism hurting Christians?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 10:45:30 AM »
Religious “belief” is far more emotional. People have invested emotion and freely admit to their peers their ferver. Calling it into question is not a matter of whether their religion is right or wrong no matter how much proof we have. We are challenging their emotional ties, calling out that their admittance were wrong, they lied, they have been fooled, taken, scammed. Good luck getting people to admit to that.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust