Many, if not all, of my facebook friends are of the religious variety. How I despise those "Like if Jesus loves you" posts.
Does anyone think that atheists have an obligation to "de-convert" the religious? Assming they are not in the "dangerous" religions, is there any real harm? I know Harris would say yes, that any religion gives cover for the extremists, but I'm not sure if can extrapolate that into going out of our way to de-convert all of our friends.
This post is not about the arguments, there is an AN group for that, but whether or not we should "seek out" deconversions, and if so, how agressively should we pursue it?
Your feedback is appreciated.
Mike, I totally agree with what you say here. I have a child who is smack in the middle with one parent who is religious and one who is atheist. I have NEVER been about telling someone what to believe, because only you can make up your mind for yourself if you ask yourself HONESTLY what you believe or don't believe.
I have never indicated to my child that I would be disappointed in whatever his beliefs or non beliefs would be. What I HAVE told my child, is that he should NEVER be afraid to ask questions, and if he is given "answers" that don't make sense to him, he should question "the answers".
He says he gets in trouble whenever he questions these answers from his dad. THAT is where my problem with religion really comes into play! To me that is mental abuse plain and simple. Like binding the feet of female children in China is considered abuse, I think binding of the mind could have worse and more far reaching negative impact not just on the person it's done to, but the people around them.
I find myself wanting to scream it to everybody...I mean how can they not understand if they're just told. It's so simple, right? Except that brainwashing from birth has made god exist for them and made us evil. There was a time when I thought atheists worshiped the devil (because that it what baptist Sunday school taught me) and anything they said would have just been the "devil's words!"
What I TRY to do is make subtle remarks or positive facebook status'/stati ?? Lol, well either way positive things about thinking for oneself, humanism etc... and hopefully plant a seed for a few who may actually want to know more. It's not in their face, and I have found that is the only way to keep them from going straight into the mind closed defense mode.
Thanks Carla, I have a similiar FB approach. If I get direct questions, however, I "let it all out"!
Anyone smart enough to be a skeptic, will, most likely, eventually become an atheist. For those not smart enough to be skeptics, atheism would be rather meaningless anyway.
Enlightened thinkers always have and always will be a tiny minority. We can change ourselves, but we will have no luck in changing the species ;-)
I try to avoid conflict in person, but when I get on the internet it's a different story.
Anonymity + Internet = Asshole
If your friends or family bring up the subject then sure (They started it!), but it depends on how severe their indoctrination is and how irrational they are. For example if you know someone who has an authoritarian personality, then you're only asking for a fight and should avoid the subject like you would politics.
I'm a second generation atheist so I haven't experience a deconversion because I've always been an atheist. Don't most first gen atheists arrive at their non belief on their own terms?