Is it wrong to tell Christians what's wrong with their religion?

Started by Jagella, October 07, 2021, 08:29:19 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Jagella

I've been banned many times from Christian-sponsored forums due to my scathing critiques of Christianity in those forums. The Christians there complained bitterly about what I was saying although all of it was true and I think well-reasoned.

Is it wrong to criticize Christians regarding their beliefs? Generally I think not except in cases where the criticism constitutes harassment.

Dark Lightning

Not wrong, but it's kind of like shouting at clouds. I learned a long time ago to not argue with xtians, especially fundies. I know people who will carry the torch, but it's just painful to watch the (sometimes willful) stupidity that the xtians proudly display.

Jagella

Quote from: Dark Lightning on October 07, 2021, 09:32:20 PM
Not wrong, but it's kind of like shouting at clouds. I learned a long time ago to not argue with xtians, especially fundies. I know people who will carry the torch, but it's just painful to watch the (sometimes willful) stupidity that the xtians proudly display.

There's a debate waged among some atheists over the effort to set Christians straight. Some atheists say it's a waste of time, but others say they've succeeded in changing some minds. It could be that the decline in religious belief in the US is at least partly due to the criticisms of religion. Not all Christians mindlessly hide their heads in the sand. I got out of Christianity because when I found its most basic claims are false, I could no longer be part of it.

Shiranu

Forums are like public halls; if you burst into Bible Study Night at the Y and started shouting "scathing critiques" at them, what do you realistically think the outcome would be?

My opinion; it's annoying as hell when people do it here, so I don't care for us doing it to them there. Live and let live.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

SGOS

I don't think that the current US trend away from organized religion has much to do with atheists.  I think it has more to do with Christianity's negative attitude toward things that are now being accepted by much of the mainstream.  The way I read the polls, people are not so much giving up on woo, as they are on the political divisions that arise from organized religion. The Catholic scandals may contribute, but I haven't seen any data.

I think we will continue to see more people who claim to be spiritual, but not ______ (fill in the blank).

Gawdzilla Sama

We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Jagella

Quote from: Shiranu on October 08, 2021, 01:46:39 AM
Forums are like public halls; if you burst into Bible Study Night at the Y and started shouting "scathing critiques" at them, what do you realistically think the outcome would be?

I don't need to speculate because I have criticized the Bible during a Bible study (Sunday school) session. I was not kicked out, and nobody treated me rudely because I had an opinion that didn't agree with that church's orthodoxy. Of course, the outcome might have been different if that session was conducted online in which the participants did not know each other.

Regarding "public halls" in general, when people gather in say, a PTA meeting or townhall meeting, nobody is ejected for being critical of those in power. Everybody is allowed to make their views known. That's the whole point: People are invited to such meetings to allow them to have their say on the issues, and none of them are kicked out if their views are not popular.

So why is mistreating and censoring naysayers suddenly OK if it is done online? Of course, the internet affords most people a certain amount of distance and anonymity, so they are more likely to mistreat naysayers because they can do so with impunity. But in my opinion being able to do something doesn't make it right.

QuoteMy opinion; it's annoying as hell when people do it here, so I don't care for us doing it to them there. Live and let live.

I feel very differently about those who disagree with me online or offline for that matter. Yes, some views can be disturbing especially if I think those views are based on misinformation or are potentially harmful. However, I always have the option of ignoring anything I don't wish to discuss or even read. My computer has a mouse I can use to click out of anything I want to. And if some fire-breathing William-Lane-Craig clone wishes to come into this forum to laud Christianity or denounce atheism, then I'll be more than happy to engage him in debate. I find preaching to the choir to be often pointless and boring.

Jagella

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on October 08, 2021, 12:11:25 PM
Try not being rude.

I think I was very respectful considering the way I was treated. But you are correct--online forums are rife with rudeness. If somebody hits me, then I'm likely to hit back.

Shiranu

QuoteI don't need to speculate because I have criticized the Bible during a Bible study (Sunday school) session. I was not kicked out, and nobody treated me rudely because I had an opinion that didn't agree with that church's orthodoxy.

Different context, you presumably weren't a random stranger who just walked in, no?

QuoteRegarding "public halls" in general, when people gather in say, a PTA meeting or townhall meeting, nobody is ejected for being critical of those in power.

If they are found to be disruptive by the majority, people absolutely are thrown out. There are plenty of youtube videos showing exactly that happen.

QuoteSo why is mistreating and censoring naysayers suddenly OK if it is done online?

Because it's a private forum and they have the right to censor you if they want. To call that "mistreating" is trying to play the victim so hard.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Jagella

Quote from: Shiranu on October 08, 2021, 12:45:18 PM
Different context, you presumably weren't a random stranger who just walked in, no?

No, but random strangers who just walked in were never turned away from Sunday school regardless of their beliefs. In fact, I remember a pastor in another church who told the congregation that a man who attended church there the Sunday before had expressed a "strange philosophy." The pastor told the congregation to make such visitors feel welcome.

QuoteIf they are found to be disruptive by the majority, people absolutely are thrown out. There are plenty of youtube videos showing exactly that happen.

You'll need to explain what you mean by disruptive. I've found that the only people in online forums who are truly disruptive are the moderators who can and often do interfere with the dialog by censoring views that are not in line with the agenda.

QuoteBecause it's a private forum and they have the right to censor you if they want.

We'll just have to disagree on that point. The only censorship I think is justified is stopping illegal activity or threats of violence.

QuoteTo call that "mistreating" is trying to play the victim so hard.

Sometimes people are victimized and mistreated. If a person feels they've been victimized, then I think they should by all means report it. If you were assaulted by a man on the street, would it be wrong to tell people about it? If we dissuade people from speaking out, then we perpetuate evils and allow victimizers to get away with their misdeeds with impunity. The victimizers are wrong and not their victims.

Anyway, years ago I had my own online forum. A gang of trolls found it and started harassing me. I never banned them but instead argued my position with them. By doing so I soon sent them packing their being unable to counter what I was saying!

So the moral of the story is to have the facts and be able to argue your position logically. Being in the right is even more important. If you're like that, then you'll never need to censor anybody.

Mermaid

Quote from: Jagella on October 08, 2021, 12:29:29 PM
I think I was very respectful considering the way I was treated. But you are correct--online forums are rife with rudeness. If somebody hits me, then I'm likely to hit back.
If you go into someone's territory and act in an adversarial way, the burden is on you to be thick-skinned. It's rude to do what you are saying you've done at best, and of course you'd be banned for being rude.
A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities â€" all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. -TR

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: Jagella on October 08, 2021, 12:29:29 PM
I think I was very respectful considering the way I was treated. But you are correct--online forums are rife with rudeness. If somebody hits me, then I'm likely to hit back.
I judo them by being the soul of politeness. One good rule is to hit the topic, not the other poster.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Jagella

Quote from: Mermaid on October 08, 2021, 02:59:05 PM
If you go into someone's territory and act in an adversarial way, the burden is on you to be thick-skinned. It's rude to do what you are saying you've done at best, and of course you'd be banned for being rude.

I was generally very respectful toward the other members there. I just have my limits as to how much rudeness I will take.

Jagella

Quote from: Gawdzilla Sama on October 08, 2021, 03:53:27 PM
I judo them by being the soul of politeness. One good rule is to hit the topic, not the other poster.

I did hit the topic. In response I was hit. I hit back.

Gawdzilla Sama

Quote from: Jagella on October 08, 2021, 04:23:06 PM
I did hit the topic. In response I was hit. I hit back.
So, you went down to their level. And gave them the excuse to toss you out. Good moves, Gen. Custer.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers