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Why do you feel all Christians are trying to "convert" you?

♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮ 2012/12/04 13:52:59
It seems nowadays a Christian cannot even share his faith without being accused of trying to convert someone. This is especially true when talking with atheists. Oddly enough, I've seen a few people on SH that are "evangelizing atheists" that proclaim the "good news there is no God". I say "fair enough" if you want to share your atheist viewpoints but be prepared (if asked) to defend those "beliefs" because you see atheism and theism are both positive claims. Theists have a number of philosophical and theological arguments to substantiate their beliefs. Obviously,this does not,in and of itself, prove the existence of God but it does contribute to the "justified belief" that the Christian God exists. Atheists will claim all day long they have evidence for their beliefs in the way of logic. I have yet to see the proof that disproves Gods existence. Oh, but now the patented response is "the atheist is not asserting anything so we have no BOP." Once again,BOTH theism and atheism are positive claims.There is no "lack of belief" happening here. I'm not talking to agnostics (or the oft cited "agnostic atheist") but rather true atheists. *For the purposes of this thread I shall not bow to the "new" definitions for atheism. To me,atheism is belief in NO God/gods. Agnostics say they cannot know or they are unsure one way or the other.
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  • chesterdjester 2013/01/07 13:36:09
    chesterdjester
    I'm pretty sure most atheists don't try to avoid a argument about religion.

    I'll start off by saying you can't "disprove" a noun without absolution without being omnipotent so pretending that there is proof that disproves god is dumb. I'll be the first to say I can't disprove god and no one else can either.
  • Bastion 2012/12/06 15:28:58 (edited)
    Bastion
    I do not feel all Christians are trying to "convert" me.

    I DO, however, feel that SOME Christians are trying VERY hard to tell me what I think.
    STOP that.
    Atheism is not a claim. It is a denial of myth. Non-belief.

    Believers claim their belief in various gods, magic spirits, superstitions, etc.

    Atheists very simply . . . . DON'T. Why is that so hard to accept?
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/07 01:40:31
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Actually Bastion it's not so much I am trying to tell you what TO think but I'm telling you what I think atheism means and how I see it play out in people's lives. I feel justified in saying that there is no "lack of belief" for atheists. For agnostics i feel they either feel they can't know or don't know about God claims.
    Let me post something regarding atheist definitions and tell me your opinion of the contents.

    A commonly repeated error is that the word "atheism" was derived from the prefix "a-", meaning "without", and the word "theism", meaning a belief in God. Therefore they claim that "atheism" means "without a belief in God". This is incorrect because the etymology of the word "atheism" derives from the Greek word "atheos" meaning "godless". The "-ism" suffix, which can be roughly mean "belief", was added later. The etymology of the word means "godless belief" not "without a belief in gods".
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/07 02:15:56
    Bastion
    "Actually Bastion it's not so much I am trying to tell you what TO think but I'm telling you what I think atheism means" - Exactly - that's what I said - and you're wrong.

    I don't see the point of your etymology . . . without god, godless, without belief in god, all means pretty much the same thing. No god. No claim. No belief.

    Why is it so important for YOU to control what I think? I HAVE NO BELIEF.

    Why the hell can't you accept that? GOD IS NOT THE FALLBACK REALITY.

    The existence of gods is a CLAIM. Having no belief in any gods is NOT a claim.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/07 03:39:52 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    I ACCEPT you have no belief. Instead of telling me I'm wrong how's about trying to accept the fact that A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE think atheism means "belief that no god exists". The fact that I know atheism is a claim to knowledge is really neither here nor there as it doesn't affect you one way or another but your reasoning of "no god,no claim" isn't correct. If someone says "there is no god" THAT IS A CLAIM TO KNOWLEDGE and you need to be prepared to put up or shut up!
    If I say "I'm a Christian" then I'm making a positive claim to knowledge just by the fact that I claim the title. Same with atheism. Now,you could be an agnostic.......that's a whole other matter though.
    Now,I've entertained your opinion and I shall get back to the point of the thread.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/07 13:46:33
    Bastion
    "If someone says "there is no god" THAT IS A CLAIM TO KNOWLEDGE and you need to be prepared to put up or shut up!"

    No it isn't. I have no knowledge of this "god" you speak of. It sounds like another myth to me . . . and I undertand myths. I have REAL knowledge about the cause and nature of myths. They are made up stories used to explain things people don't understand. I get it. But that doesn't mean I somehow have to come up with proof or evidence that YOUR myth isn't actually true. Why would I have to do that? I'd be spending all my time looking for evidence about thousands of years of various gods and why their particular myths aren't based on reality. What a waste of time.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/07 04:19:25
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Bastion you said that "Christians try and tell you what to think". I told you that "I was stating what I think NOT trying to tell you what to think". Then you say "exactly,that's what I said and you're wrong". (BOING) That's NOT what you originally said Bastion so why are you telling me "that's what I said"?? NO IT WASENT!! Now you're just making stuff up!!
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/07 13:51:52 (edited)
    Bastion
    When you tell me what YOU think "atheism means" and how it "plays out in people's lives", and that you "feel justified in saying that there is no "lack of belief" for atheists". and then you say " they claim that "atheism" means "without a belief in God". This is incorrect", what you are doing is telling me what I think - you are defining my "belief", so that you can argue with YOUR definition, not with my reality. And I "feel justified" in saying that you are wrong.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/08 03:05:42 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Actually the part I posted about lack of belief in God came from evilbible.com. I happen to agree with this particular atheists opinion. I'm glad you feel justified in saying I'm wrong. I guess that is yet to be determine,idnit?
    I'm not telling you what you think but I'm telling you what a lot of other ATHEISTS think so I'm justified in saying you are wrong. See how that works??
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/08 16:13:58
    Bastion
    Grouping people together based on the absence of myth will get you a lot of different people. I think the need to think of people who don't buy into any myth as one "belief" or "religion" is a problem owned by the believers. I don't go to meetings; there's no rules or lists.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/07 04:24:05
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Btw, you never said if you agreed or disagreed with the following : A commonly repeated error is that the word "atheism" was derived from the prefix "a-", meaning "without", and the word "theism", meaning a belief in God. Therefore they claim that "atheism" means "without a belief in God". This is incorrect because the etymology of the word "atheism" derives from the Greek word "atheos" meaning "godless". The "-ism" suffix, which can be roughly mean "belief", was added later. The etymology of the word means "godless belief" not "without a belief in gods".
    What's your opinion of the statement as a whole???
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/07 13:58:31
    Bastion
    I think the statement as a whole in semantic BS.

    What people who may or may not themselves have a "belief" in gods decided to name people who had no belief, really doesn't have much to do with the reality of the concept. The word is not the thing, remember.

    And those who create and define the word may not BE what the word describes.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/08 03:07:37 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    It comes from evilbible.com..
    http://www.evilbible.com/Defi...
    Give it a read!! I think you will find it was written by one of your fellow atheists.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/08 16:14:28
    Bastion
    There is no fellowship.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/10 12:39:54 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    LOL. That's what's so silly about atheism. You just change things around to suit your needs. There is no cohesive definition yet atheists get pissed when they are "generalized" or "misappropriated". Well, if you want that to stop then quit having the definition of atheism mean SO MANY different things. It's not just the belief there is no God because of what's attatched to it. You apparently think the atheist on evilbible that gave good solid reasons for claiming lack of belief is ridiculous does not line up with your opinion. Correction-you have not said one way or another so i will recant that it does not line up with your opinion until you tell me otherwise. But, at least one guy says its rubbish. Another atheist says he believes in ghosts and aliens but the idea of God is just "too far out" to believe. Another atheist says another thing,then another,ect....
    That's why things get confused.
    If it truly means "belief that no God exists"' then why is there so many other things attached to it?
    It's not just theists that confuse the term it's your "fellow" atheists as well. You can't decide amongst yourselves what atheism truly means. I guess you have something in common with the religious folks after all. We've got a similar problem.
    You say there is no fellowship. I think Dav...


    LOL. That's what's so silly about atheism. You just change things around to suit your needs. There is no cohesive definition yet atheists get pissed when they are "generalized" or "misappropriated". Well, if you want that to stop then quit having the definition of atheism mean SO MANY different things. It's not just the belief there is no God because of what's attatched to it. You apparently think the atheist on evilbible that gave good solid reasons for claiming lack of belief is ridiculous does not line up with your opinion. Correction-you have not said one way or another so i will recant that it does not line up with your opinion until you tell me otherwise. But, at least one guy says its rubbish. Another atheist says he believes in ghosts and aliens but the idea of God is just "too far out" to believe. Another atheist says another thing,then another,ect....
    That's why things get confused.
    If it truly means "belief that no God exists"' then why is there so many other things attached to it?
    It's not just theists that confuse the term it's your "fellow" atheists as well. You can't decide amongst yourselves what atheism truly means. I guess you have something in common with the religious folks after all. We've got a similar problem.
    You say there is no fellowship. I think David Silverman and the American atheists feel a bit different about that than you do. After all,the billboard campaign is for "closet atheists who feel alone. We want them to know there is a place they can come to with others like them and we welcome them with open arms" Definition of fellowship :
    Friendly association, esp. with people who share one's interests.
    A group of people meeting to pursue a shared interest or aim.
    So, I think I've proven my point that,at least for some, atheism is a fellowship.
    (more)
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/10 13:47:50
    Bastion
    I don't care about all the things that you and others care to attach to YOUR definition of the concept of "atheism".

    For me, I just have the great, wonderful undestanding that there are no gods, no magic realms to fear or desire after death, no supermen judges to fear in life, or bow down to.

    That's what I am. Call me what you want.

    Other people who have the same understanding can form groups or join clubs or have BBQs, I don't care. None of that has the slightest bearing on the FACT that gods and magic realms are MYTHS.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/10 14:45:41 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Ahhh, but we werent talking about christianity being a myth. We were on the issue of atheism and what it means. I like how you jumped over the fellowship part. I'll assume that you conceide there is a fellowship amongst atheists which will further color my definition of atheism. I'm glad you have that understanding that there is nothing higher in power than yourself. Remember,those highest on the totem pole have the farthest to fall.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/10 14:53:27
    Bastion
    Because NOT belonging to a self-deluded cult is NOT a "fellowship".

    Because the attempt to make atheism a "religion" is a blatant tactic by some Chrstians (and other believers) to save their OWN "fellowships" from jumping ship, by identifying an adversary to fight against.

    The only adversary that believers have is the TRUTH - there is no "enemy camp" to focus on, only reality.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/10 14:56:25 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    If that's the case why is David Silverman trying to recruit people?? If there is no cause then why fight?
    Btw, atheists can still be a fellowship according to every definition I have found.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/10 15:01:40
    Bastion
    It would not be possible for me to care LESS what Davis Silverman does, whoever HE is.

    The fight is in self-defense. The fight is to save our Republic, and civilization, from ignorance, intolerance and superstition.

    The fellowship you may be thinking of is the HUMAN fellowship, apart from gods and monsters.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/10 23:13:58
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    You are showing that you don't read everything. I posted this several comments back: fellowship definition:
    Friendly association, esp. with people who share one's interests.
    A group of people meeting to pursue a shared interest or aim.
    YOU are the one giving it religious connotations. NOT ME!
    If you don't know who David Silverman is how can you say his fight is in self defense? By recruiting atheists? This is self defense? Amazing how we've lasted ...ohhhh,2000 years or so with Christianity in our world and lookey here at how advanced we are. We are still one of the most advanced countries in the world. Amazing how that happened with that pesky religion in the way! INTOLERANCE?? Oh my dear Lord. An atheist telling me about intolerance. Now you're just playing around. If you aren't going to be serious then don't comment.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/11 14:23:45
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/11 18:52:18
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Now you are reaching. If there was some OTHER atheistic society that we could go to and see that because their society is secular they are SOOOO much more advanced then there might be something to your funky claim but as it stands,much like atheists claim,without evidence I will consider all allegations to be fallacious due to lack of evidence and the fact that you are trying to prove something that can ONLY be speculated on.
  • Bastion ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/11 19:14:36
    Bastion
    What? You're babbling.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Bastion 2012/12/15 18:42:51 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    No, I'm not . I'm trying to draw the parallel between that silly little info panel you posted about Christianity essentially holding us back as a society and a good reason why it's only speculation. You know as well as I that the limited advancement could have been attributed to a number of things. I think it's simplistic to say that X caused Y in this kind of historical setting. Lots of things contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Dark Ages. It's awfully one-sided to suggest that Christianity, among all the god-worldviews, was singularly responsible for anything at all.Christianity was also clearly not opposed to science. Some of the advancements were only a bad idea if they contradicted something in Christian doctrine. It would be naive and silly to suppose that the Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, and other religious civilizations were tolerant of dissention. So, Christianity was not alone in this attitude.What I'm saying is that cause and effect in history are too complicated to say things like "Christianity caused the Dark Ages." There were more factors at play than just the up and coming religion of Christianity.
  • Kaimeso 2012/12/04 17:26:40
    Kaimeso
    When someone includes the word "ALL" in describing a wide group of people their point automatically is considered flawed. I don't know anyone who thinks (or has claimed) ALL christians are trying to convert them. But that doesn't change the fact that many christians in general are usually busy trying to convert the non-believers.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Kaimeso 2012/12/06 10:19:16 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    I included "all" in the question because that is literally what I hear from EVERY non believer that wishes to state an opinion on the matter (notice I said those wishing to state an opinion on the matter. NOT EVERY non believer.). No one says "ummm, yeah the religitards aren't trying to convert me-they are just stating what they believe". No no no---it's always "they are trying to convert me".
    It's possible that some non believers say "the believers are just telling me what they believe" but I have yet to hear it. While its also possible that the non believers generally feel that the religious are trying to convert them I can virtually assure you that is NOT the case. The bible tells believers to share their faith with others. It says nothing about trying to convert everybody that believes something different. Sharing your faith and trying to convert someone are two VERY DIFFERENT things but seemingly there is no distinction between the two.
  • rand 2012/12/04 16:32:58
    rand
    +2
    That one can't prove a negative leaves this discourse enduring ad nauseum.
  • KeithL 2012/12/04 16:26:45
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... KeithL 2012/12/06 10:48:05
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    +1
    Good honest answer!! You are right and I understand what you are saying. I'm happy you pointed out not all Christians are pushy evangelicals. I guess it's an uphill battle to get a % of those that believe different to understand there ARE Christians out there that aren't trying to push their faith on others but its true that Christians are supposed to tell others about Jesus BUT, and this is the important BUT, it is NOT trying to convert someone simply by telling someone what you believe.
    If you followed the Islam faith and you were to tell me about your religion in an informal setting (depending on what you said) I wouldn't assume that the point of the discourse was you trying to get me to convert to Islam. Why couldn't it be just one person telling another about their beliefs?
    At any rate your points are valid and are appreciated. I just feel that it's important for the general public to know that the intent of a Christian isn't necessarily to try and convert someone that believes different BUT its also noted that some Christians can be pushy and over bearing sometimes. I just think its unfair to lump ALL Christians into the same group.
  • KeithL ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/06 15:55:55
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... KeithL 2012/12/07 00:53:22
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    +1
    Thank you,Keith. I wish more folks were like you.
  • Metaldane 2012/12/04 15:11:07 (edited)
    Metaldane
    Have you ever lived near Mormons or baptists? Do so or stay in just a generally conservative christian dominated area and when asked tell them your an athirst or pagan and you'll see what they mean. Trust me I was an atheist for 17 years you face more prejudice as an atheist then as a racial minority or as a gay person.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Metaldane 2012/12/06 11:05:09 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    Yes, I agree SOME people can be intolerant but I don't think that lumping ALL people of faith into the same group is fair. It also doesn't help the problem. The way I choose to handle it is I listen (if only for a minute) and then explain "I appreciate your opinion and your viewpoints but I adhere to a different viewpoint". That generally is ample to end the discourse and I didn't have to get nasty nor did I have to retort to trying to disprove the validity of the other persons worldview.
    I'm not saying that the way I handle those situations is the absolute right way but its a better way than some people choose to handle it.
    See,I could have chosen to question why you pointed out Mormons and baptists as the bad guys and not Methodist and Pentecostals but I feel what you are telling me is that the individuals that you have had experiences with fall into those two faith groups,which,just for the record, are NOTHING alike.
    I happen to be baptist and if someone tells me they are pagan or atheist I don't pounce on them and start thumping my bible at them! In fact, I don't do anything! Of course,I acknowledge not everyone would handle things the way I do. I also believe that it's unfair for theists to lump ALL atheists into the same group just as I feel it's unfair for atheists or pagans or whatever's to lump all theists into the same group.
  • Metaldane ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/06 18:23:11
    Metaldane
    I don't lump all Christians together like that. But many even in small ways do cross the line time to time on both sides of the issue. Also I named Mormons and baptists because those are the two groups who do door to door converting in my area.
  • ♫♩♫ TNM... Metaldane 2012/12/07 01:20:51 (edited)
    ♫♩♫ TNMUSICMAN ♭♯♮
    I agree that both sides cross the line from time to time. I have crossed that line many times but I have also been pushed beyond a reasonable limit many times. Yep,we should try and let it go but sometimes a mix of mockery of God and calling me delusional,stupid or an idiot is too much for me to just ignore.
    It may interest you that we have door to door witnessing as well AND even though the ladies that visit me are essentially on the same side of the fence as I am I always politely explain "I'm a Christian just like you,I have no interest in switching churches nor do I wish to make a change in my denomination but thank you for the information" and I close the door. I don't pat them on the back and say "yah rah sister" even though they are Christians too because I don't think door to door witnessing is a good idea nor is it effective,at least for the most part. I'm sure there are some that would say that I'm wrong for feeling that way but I don't think Christians should attempt to TRY and convert someone. It's a most fruitless task. God is the ONLY one that can save and it's not important how many people you get to visit your church,which is sometimes the goal of door to door visits (IMHO). My opinions are derived from personal experience and I apologize if it offend some of m...
    I agree that both sides cross the line from time to time. I have crossed that line many times but I have also been pushed beyond a reasonable limit many times. Yep,we should try and let it go but sometimes a mix of mockery of God and calling me delusional,stupid or an idiot is too much for me to just ignore.
    It may interest you that we have door to door witnessing as well AND even though the ladies that visit me are essentially on the same side of the fence as I am I always politely explain "I'm a Christian just like you,I have no interest in switching churches nor do I wish to make a change in my denomination but thank you for the information" and I close the door. I don't pat them on the back and say "yah rah sister" even though they are Christians too because I don't think door to door witnessing is a good idea nor is it effective,at least for the most part. I'm sure there are some that would say that I'm wrong for feeling that way but I don't think Christians should attempt to TRY and convert someone. It's a most fruitless task. God is the ONLY one that can save and it's not important how many people you get to visit your church,which is sometimes the goal of door to door visits (IMHO). My opinions are derived from personal experience and I apologize if it offend some of my Christian brethren. Share JESUS all you want!! That's good! Don't try to change someone's mind! That's bad! Exposing what Jesus has done for you is encouraged but this doesn't mean you should try and get someone to accept Christ on the spot. Only God can convict someone that they actually need Christ.
    (more)
  • Metaldane ♫♩♫ TNM... 2012/12/07 02:47:54
    Metaldane
    Have to agree with ya on the door to door stuff if anything it makes stuff worse for you guys lol, back when I was a teen some Mormons did that and got mad and yelled insults when I said no thanks so my friends and I (in a brilliant mix of teen angst and too much caffeine) showed up at their church the next day and mooned the entire congregation;D.

    As much fun as that was it caused problems for everyone so it's really something people should stop. As for our getting mad it's best to just accept how they feel and walk away getting mad about it just puts more fuel in their fire that goes for both sides too.
  • C-ZAR™, Emperor of the PHÆT 2012/12/04 14:57:10
    C-ZAR™, Emperor of the PHÆT
    No, just those pesky, bothersome Mormons!!!
  • L1 2012/12/04 14:39:57 (edited)
    L1
    +1
    I don't feel anyone is trying to convert me in real life. Here, people vent and go on with their diatribe, but I take it with a grain of salt and/or ignore it. Live and let live.
  • Yoru 2012/12/04 14:17:08
    Yoru
    +1
    No person has any facts whatsoever concerning god for those who claim otherwise are either delusional or chronic liars, as for evangelism all kinds tend to annoy me.

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