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Why do atheist try to convert Christians

 
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 11:58 am
@Oylok,
Quote:
Also, it is possible that I am simply a very unspiritual person and am simply blind in a sort of spiritual "third eye" that the most of humanity seem to possess to varying degrees. I tend to think materialistically and categorically, a la Aristotle. But are happiness and peace of mind to be found that way?


I would not think that you are simply blind in a sort of spiritual "third eye" that the most of humanity seem to possess to varying degrees because I would think that if this was a true sense and not a disillusion all the other people with this sense would be more in agreeance with each other than at odds.

History also seem to show that these beliefs have evolved for a very long time, "what was believed thousands of years ago would seem crazy to these people today for the most part.

I have a suspicion that the beliefs of today will seem idiotic to people in the future!
Oylok
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 01:50 pm
@reasoning logic,
Quote:
History also seem to show that these beliefs have evolved for a very long time, "what was believed thousands of years ago would seem crazy to these people today for the most part. I have a suspicion that the beliefs of today will seem idiotic to people in the future!


The local UU group isn't about dogma or belief. The church where it takes place has symbols from various world religions. I'm not sure exactly what the discussions or speeches that the minister gives are going to be about, but I'm definitely going at least once.

Quote:
I would not think that you are simply blind in a sort of spiritual "third eye" that the most of humanity seem to possess to varying degrees because I would think that if this was a true sense and not a disillusion all the other people with this sense would be more in agreeance with each other than at odds.


Thanks, RL, and that's an interesting point. However, the Unitarians seem to be more about finding the common spiritual element between all the religions -- figuring out where the religions do agree. (I could be wrong about that though, as I won't be going until tomorrow.) The moment the minister starts trying to force some bullshit metaphysics down my throat, rest assured I'll be gone before she can say namaste!

Also, they seem very open to the idea of a spiritual understanding that evolves over time.

I do feel blind, because I emotionally connect with people or animals only rarely. Sometimes when my cat sits on my lap and starts to purr, empathy washes over me. In a cat's motion, you can see all the most basic human needs, in distilled form. It just wants to sit on your lap and purr and connect with you. It doesn't feel the need to hide the impulse with artifice or pageantry.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 01:58 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Setanta, I agree. As a "Buddhist"--at least as a follower of its philosophical principles--I am embarrassed by the historical indifference some sects have shown to the physical suffering of others, focusing ONLY on the psychic "dukkha" resulting from spiritual delusion.


Are you sure embarrassment is the correct way to respond?

These “sects” are either Buddhist or not. I define a Buddhist as someone who follows the Buddha’s teachings. If these sects are Buddhist then by definition they are following the Buddha’s teachings. As a Buddhist you wouldn’t be following the Buddha’s teaching if you are embarrassed at Buddhists following the Buddha’s teachings. If you’re not a Buddhist you can’t be ‘embarrassed’ by Buddhists practising Buddhism.

Conversely if these “sects” are not following the Buddha’s teachings they are by definition not Buddhist and your embarrassment as a Buddhist for their, “focusing ONLY on the psychic "dukkha" resulting from spiritual delusion.” would surely be unnecessary as they are not acting in a way that would warrant embarrassment because they are not Buddhist.

Surely you could only be embarrassed if you as a Buddhist found other Buddhists actions to be embarrassing. If this is the case I’m not sure that would make you a Buddhist but perhaps someone with an interest in some of the teachings of the Buddha. Then you wouldn’t really be a Buddhist, so you wouldn’t need to be embarrassed at the action of Buddhists.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 02:19 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
That was a complete logical non sequitur. This is below even your usually low, low standards. Basically, you've just taken an opportunity to attempt to indulge in some name calling.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 02:35 pm
Just so you'll understand what is going on here, Fil, not everything is a deep philosophical question which requies obscure posturing. I wasn't preaching anything. I was pointing out that the title of the thread is a loaded questions fallacy.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 02:49 pm
@Setanta,
I would have called it 'begging the question'.
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 02:50 pm
@igm,
igm, I was referring to historical information provided by Setanta of Buddhist sects commiting acts of violence. I could, I suppose, just say that those actors are not real Buddhists. Surely they were not acting in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, just as Catholics were not acting in accordance with the teachings of Jesus during the Inquisition. I agree with you that the violent sects were not Buddhist in their violence and Catholics were not Christians in their Inquisition project.
But when you say that if I am embarrassed by Buddhists' actions I may be just "someone with an interest in [SOME] of the teachings of the Buddha", you seem to imply that I'm critical of some teachings. I trust that's not what you meant. My "embarrassment" is the right word, but it's about actions not teachings.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 02:57 pm
@roger,
Yes, i believe that that is another common description of the fallacy.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 03:16 pm
@roger,
The Fallacy Files describes this as a loaded question, and as begging the question.

Quote:
A question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 04:56 pm
@Setanta,
Oh good! One more way to describe a dishonest title.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 04:58 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

igm, I was referring to historical information provided by Setanta of Buddhist sects commiting acts of violence. I could, I suppose, just say that those actors are not real Buddhists. Surely they were not acting in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, just as Catholics were not acting in accordance with the teachings of Jesus during the Inquisition. I agree with you that the violent sects were not Buddhist in their violence and Catholics were not Christians in their Inquisition project.
But when you say that if I am embarrassed by Buddhists' actions I may be just "someone with an interest in [SOME] of the teachings of the Buddha", you seem to imply that I'm critical of some teachings. I trust that's not what you meant. My "embarrassment" is the right word, but it's about actions not teachings.


Surely, you said you were embarrassed by 'indifference' – see below.

I used your quote (see below) in my post and only this quote i.e. the post you replied to. This quote seems to be about 'sects' meditating instead of physically helping with the suffering of others and definetely not about violence.

It reads:

JLNobody wrote:

Setanta, I agree. As a "Buddhist"--at least as a follower of its philosophical principles--I am embarrassed by the historical indifference some sects have shown to the physical suffering of others, focusing ONLY on the psychic "dukkha" resulting from spiritual delusion.


This is not what you referred to in your reply. For this see the first of your quotes above i.e. "igm, I was referring to historical information provided by Setanta of Buddhist sects commiting acts ..."

I was referring to your embarrassment at ‘indifference’ i.e. a lack of action on the part of the agent?

My point is, are you sure it’s appropriate to be embarrassed by the actions or inactions of agents who act in contradiction to the Buddha’s teachings because they are not Buddhists, if one is a Buddhist? I'd say no. Or, if one is not a Buddhist is it the correct response i.e. embarrassment, if the actions or inactions of Buddhists are actions by definition in accord with the Buddha’s teachings? No because to be embarrassed because followers of the Buddha were following the teachings of the Buddha would mean that as long as that view was held one would not be a Buddhist.

My point is a logical one. It is designed to cover all apparent possibilities not to make a personal statement about the author of my rebuttal.

So my post still stands and is not meant personally but does defend the right for Buddhists to practice the Buddha’s teachings; I certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed if they did and if they are not Buddhist then as a Buddhist I still would not be embarrassed, why would I be?

To reiterate:

igm wrote:

Are you sure embarrassment is the correct way to respond?

These “sects” are either Buddhist or not. I define a Buddhist as someone who follows the Buddha’s teachings. If these sects are Buddhist then by definition they are following the Buddha’s teachings. As a Buddhist you wouldn’t be following the Buddha’s teaching if you are embarrassed at Buddhists following the Buddha’s teachings. If you’re not a Buddhist you can’t be ‘embarrassed’ by Buddhists practising Buddhism.

Conversely if these “sects” are not following the Buddha’s teachings they are by definition not Buddhist and your embarrassment as a Buddhist for their, “focusing ONLY on the psychic "dukkha" resulting from spiritual delusion.” would surely be unnecessary as they are not acting in a way that would warrant embarrassment because they are not Buddhist.

Surely you could only be embarrassed if you as a Buddhist found other Buddhists actions to be embarrassing. If this is the case I’m not sure that would make you a Buddhist but perhaps someone with an interest in some of the teachings of the Buddha. Then you wouldn’t really be a Buddhist, so you wouldn’t need to be embarrassed at the action of Buddhists.

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 05:26 pm
@Setanta,
Are you a linguistics expert?
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 10:35 pm
@igm,
OK.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2011 11:52 pm
@igm,
Sounds a lot like the "No True Scotsman" fallacy:

Quote:
Alice: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
Bob: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn't like haggis!
Alice: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.

When the statement "all A are B" is qualified like this to exclude those A which are not B, this is a form of begging the question; the conclusion is assumed by the definition of "true A".


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

Your forumlation seems to imply that one cannot be a, for example, Buddhist unless one perfectly exemplifies all the teachings all the time.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 03:26 am
@FBM,
Quote:
Your forumlation seems to imply that one cannot be a, for example, Buddhist unless one perfectly exemplifies all the teachings all the time.


This is the same circumstance one encounters with predictably boring regularity from christian apologists. Confronted with examples of christians who do "bad" things, the apologist will simply say that they're not "true" christians. There are a sufficient number of christians sects that, had one nothing better to do, one could prove that there are no true christians.
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 04:39 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Most atheists don't try to convert anyone.
??? Do you mean atheists like the French Revolutionaries, the Nazis, the Communists, homosexuals, child molesters, criminals, etc...are you sure they dont try to convert ANYONE ?
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 04:45 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Richard Harris argues that all belief involving "an afterlife" gives succour to extremists who would destroy "this life" . Since modern technology now gives extremists the means to do this, "believers" are likened to "recreational drug users" who disclaim the dangers of addiction.


"......argues that all belief involving "NO afterlife" gives succour to extremists who would destroy "this life" for their own benefit . Since modern technology now gives extremists the means to do this, "non-believers" are most likely recreational drug users, homosexuals, criminals, hedonists, atheists who disclaim the dangers of self worship addiction and living for the here and now without any regard for others .

You only have one life, why waste it on others ? **** anything, take any substance, exhibit no regard for others and you will die happy .
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 04:56 am
@Ionus,
so thats your credo eh? Well, at least youve admitted it. Doesnt that make you feel better?
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 05:07 am
@Setanta,
Indeed. It the person is a Catholic, they'll say that only Catholics can be real xtians. Then, when pressed, it's a smaller subgroup of Catholics, then a smaller still subgroup, etc etc, until their definition fits the argument.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2011 05:10 am
@FBM,
Let's just hope them opus dei clowns don't get their hands on no nukes . . .
 

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