Why do debates about religion get so negative?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Defender of Freedom, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Defender of Freedom

    Defender of Freedom Member

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    So far on this forum, I have encountered relatively every possible political affiliation and belief. I keep finding that on debates about religion and religious issues, that it gets to the point where people start spewing hate at each other. Many threads posted by atheists are bashing anyone who is religious (especially Christians) by attempting to make them look ridiculous. Even those on those who are religious do the same thing to the other side. I respect other's beliefs and have no problem if another person believes in a different God, or does not believe in one at all. However, when I post an opinion on a matter, I receive a lot of negativity and hatred from the other side.

    All I would ask is for tolerance from both sides, and that we respect each other's views without childishly insulting each other based on our beliefs. I hope you agree, and if not, then you are a waste of my time.
     
  2. Burzmali

    Burzmali Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A lot of religious beliefs seem ridiculous if you didn't grow up with them. Atheists tend to recognize this about all religions, and the religious recognize it about the faiths that they don't subscribe to. And the simple fact is that it is pretty tough to nicely talk to someone about something you think is ridiculous. The person who takes it seriously is likely to feel like you see them as dumber for believing it. That leads to defensiveness and vitriol. That isn't to say that the person taking it seriously is to blame. Plenty of the people who find a belief to be ridiculous also can't or won't act tactfully during such a discussion.
     
  3. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    without wanting to confirm your fears, I have to say that the above is patently untrue - and therein lies the 'problem'. The term respect when used to in conjunction with religion almost always means venerate, rather than tolerate. We (atheist) tolerate all faiths - and dont prevent anyone from worshipping as they see fit. But tolerance does not require us to remain silent, or to avoid all criticism. One can tolerate things one doesnt like, in other words.

    So, when you ask for indiscriminate respect, if that is what you're doing, you're actually asking for indiscriminate veneration. I'm fairly sure you don't venerate MANY beliefs and faiths, so why ask it of others?
     
  4. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    Just venturing a guess, I would have to guess that you are applying a term whose definitions are excessive in regards to the 'respect' the other poster was mentioning. In other words, it is my belief that you are more than likely using that particular term (venerate) to justify your own personal beliefs.

     
  5. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Since none of the assorted "holy books" preach tolerance why should anyone practice it?

    The main problem is that the believers are basically ignorant about their favorite ethnocentric religious fairy tales and they get upset when skeptics point it out. Some people's beliefs aren't worthy of respect. If you saw your neighbor roasting his child on an altar in his backyard would you respect his belief that a voice in his head told him to do it because the voice was some god who had promised him fame and fortune for doing it? Do you think that Satan sleeps in your nose at night just because other people believe it?
     
  6. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    You had me... I was cheering you on for such a well written post... then in the last sentence you became that which you seem to detest by making a binary either or statement... sigh... so much for tolerance... /facepalm
     
  7. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It seems to me a relatively obvious issue. Many who accept the bible(s) as truth must inherently be less than accepting of the reality most others live in. They additionally tend to be very sensitive when it comes to someone pointing it out, or trying to explain deficiencies in the books and stories they believe in.

    Few Atheists care about what Christians say about them, and often see in as an entertainment. Most Christians however, take discussion and critique as personal and direct attack or persecution of religion and God.

    Likely, this post will also be seen as such.
     
  8. vino909

    vino909 Well-Known Member

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    It usually comes down to who poked who in the eye first. Sometimes all it takes is the wording or tone of the OP. After that... it's a mud slide.
     
  9. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    When one can no longer argue rationally but instead resorts to emotion then it is not the rational brain that is arguing , it is more likely a deeply held conviction taught long before and not thought of in a rational manner.
     
  10. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    Why is it that you have to go the path of insults and ridicule to make your point? I think your post is a prime example of what the OP was conveying.
     
  11. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Where's the insult? Are you saying that you would believe your neighbor if he told you he was roasting his child because a voice in his head to him to do it to please a god? When you go to sleep do you really think that Satan is sleeping in your nose? Satan will also urinate in your ear if you sleep in church. Do you think those beliefs are worthy of respect? Is there anything you won't believe?
     
  12. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    How is it that you can not see the belittling you are doing? The OP simply asked why respect can not be part of a religious debate/discussion? Why so hard for you? Chill out dude!
     
  13. robini123

    robini123 Well-Known Member

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    Did you happen to read the last line of the OP's post? If so then did you notice the belittling the OP did? If not then perhaps your measure of belittlement is different than my own.
     
  14. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    Good point and duly noted. But I do question if that was in fact belittlement? Hey I agree with the OP about not resorting to childish antics and to keep the conversation respectful.
     
  15. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    It's long been my experience that christians in particular, almost always mean veneration when they ask for respect. After all, they already have complete tolerance. They also overlook the fact that respect is earned, not gifted, and few religions actually earn respect. Some religious people do, but that's a different topic. Theists effectively demand unearned veneration of their actual beliefs - without granting the same boon themselves.
     
  16. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    Lumping all Christians to your percieved view does not make the cut! To play devils advocate (Pun intended)...I doubt all Athiests would want to be generalized in such a manner.
     
  17. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything you won't believe?
     
  18. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    I don't believe I would ever want to have a beer with you!
     
  19. Dood

    Dood New Member

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    Apparently Atheists are highly offended by being compared to the GOP.
     
  20. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    So you do believe all of the ethnocentric Middle Eastern religious fairy tales without exception. How do you know that I'm not an angel? If you saw me thirsty and hungry but didn't feed me and give me something to drink don't you think you would be denying Jesus and be sent away into everlasting punishment? (Matthew 25:42-46).
     
  21. kgeiger002

    kgeiger002 Active Member Past Donor

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    I am hardly perfect - and never claimed to be. You simply want to get in some kind of pissing match with me. Dude you don't have to believe in GOD. I could care less whether you believe or not. Just try and show a little class at least.
     
  22. mihapiha

    mihapiha Active Member

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    I think it's because it's a forum. People have their opinions but few are willing to change or listen. And this is true in most fields not only in religion. I think the post count is a good indicator in that matter. If somebody has a really high post count they are usually more vocal about their opinions and less accepting of others. It's obviously not always the case, but I see here quite a few with a real agenda and they tend to drown out those of us who want to have a discussion and understand the "other" side of the issue.
     
  23. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    Based on what you have written above, it is obvious that you are expressing your opinion... opinion based on personal experience... will that stand up to the scrutiny of scientific investigation?
     
  24. Incorporeal

    Incorporeal Well-Known Member

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    You do realize that what you have indicated above is a two way street, don't you? Others may feel the same way about your beliefs.
     
  25. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Yep, things are tough everywhere. Over 7 billion people and they all have their own unique beliefs. Ten minutes after Moses raised his staff to part the Red Sea people stopped believing in his deity and made their own.
     

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