Mudcat Café message #2285971 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109167   Message #2285971
Posted By: Little Hawk
11-Mar-08 - 11:02 PM
Thread Name: BS: I'd like to believe that there is a God
Subject: RE: BS: I'd like to believe that there is a God
One more thought on the subject. You said, "why is it more insulting/agressive to tell a believer that you don't believe than for a believer to tell you that they do?"

Okay. It is more aggressive to express disbelief in something someone else believes in than simply to express belief in something you believe in.

The first is a deliberate negation of the other person's values. That is likely to bother them. The second is merely a positive statement about some value you have, not a deliberate negation of anyone else.

(but there can be some beliefs that are in themselves negative...like the belief that "unbelievers will burn in hell"...so it's tricky...) Those are negative beliefs, not positive beliefs. Negative beliefs DO involve attack. Postive beliefs do not.

Here are some examples:

It's a negative thing to say to someone, "Your clothes are ugly. I don't like them." ;-) If you say it, the other person doesn't like it.

It's a positive thing to say, "I like the clothes I'm choosing to wear." or "I like your clothes."

It's a negative thing to say, "That's a lousy piece of art," to an artist who is showing his work at a show.

It's a positive thing to say to him, "That's a beautiful piece of art." (or if you don't think it is and you can't find anything good to say about it, then just don't say anything about it, and move on...)

Get the analogy?

Now if I was aware that someone had different values than me in regards to clothing, let's say, and I didn't like their style one bit, would I go up to them and say, "I hate your clothing. It sucks."?

No. I wouldn't. ;-) Why bother them about it? I would not broach the subject at all.

If, on the other hand, I liked their clothing, then I might tell them so if it crossed my mind to.

If someone proposes a prayer thread on Mudcat, they are not attacking people who don't believe in prayer, they're just doing something they like to do that makes sense to them. Period.

If someone, on the other hand, launches a thread saying that all prayer is "a crock" and that people who pray are fools, then they ARE deliberately attacking people who do engage in prayer and they're trying to get them to give it up. What they should do instead, I think, is launch a thread talking about how great science is or something else like that that they are for. Something they themselves believe in. Talk about THAT. That's not an attack on people.

I recommend focusing more on positives. Persuade by enthusiasm about what you are for and what you like, rather than by criticism of and attack upon what others are for. It shouldn't matter what others are for so much, because they are not living your life for you. What they are for is basically their own business, because that's their life, not yours.

What you are for is likewise your business, because it's your life, not theirs.

People cross the line when they try to badger everyone else into being the same as them and having the same values as them. Religious prosyletizers do that, and that's why most people don't like them. Those who constantly attack religion and badmouth it also do that. They are also prosyletizing, but with a different point of view in mind. Both are claiming some kind of superiority. Neither has the right to.

In either case, it's aggressive, invasive, and offensive to try to badger other people in that fashion.