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Why do you proselytize?

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    The world's 3 largest religions, Christianity, Islam and Atheism are all proselytizing religions.

    I know that I, as a Christian, must share the news of Jesus Christ. Why do I do this? Well, that's easy, it's because I love my neighbour. I do not want to see anyone condemned for their sins.

    Conversely, Islam is spread because it is an ideology which cannot withstand criticism, hence why it flourishes in places like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. The reason it spreads is self-preservation. Safety in numbers and all that.

    Why do Atheists proselytize? To put a downer on everyone? In my experience, no one has ever benefited from losing faith. Atheism is certainly not spread out of love.

    Why do you proselytize?
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    1. You called atheism a religion which in the eyes of atheists on this forum is like the worst thing ever! :eek:

    2. You've quite blatantly made your religion look the best as if it's the only one thats proselytizing is justified when in fact the same "I just want to save you from hell and bring you to heaven because I love you" argument could be used for virtually any religion that believes in the existence of an afterlife.

    3. I'm pretty sure the atheists justification would be something like that they just want to stop people from wasting their short lives on worshipping an imaginary being or that they're enlightening us ignorant idiots etc. instead of "To put a downer on everyone"

    4. Every person has the right to express their beliefs and inform others about them; but the distinction comes when that "informing" turns into "shoving my beliefs down the person's throat" and is a line that is crossed very often by both theists and atheists alike.
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    Atheism is the lack of a belief of god, it's not a religion . . . and even still, I don't think there are more than 850million (guestimate of amount of Hinus in the world) of them worldwide (unfortunately) which is very roughly what it would need to be the 3rd largest 'religion' as you put it. Where did you get info from that states that there are more atheists than hindus in the world??

    Religions that don't do this die out because nobody else knows about them . . . you can't convert to a religion you know nothing about.

    Plus there's power in numbers. By spreading the word of 'god' then the religion get's more followers so can have more political power if someone from said religion runs for president or whatever with policies in favour of said religion, followers of it will most likely vote for them.
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    Move past the obvious comment on "atheism not being a religion", people. It's not the topic of the thread.

    They prosetylise, because they think they're right. Atheists try to convince others they are right; same as Christians, Jews, etc. Not every religion, and not every atheist, feels this way, but enough do.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Move past the obvious comment on "atheism not being a religion", people. It's not the topic of the thread.

    They prosetylise, because they think they're right. Atheists try to convince others they are right; same as Christians, Jews, etc. Not every religion, and not every atheist, feels this way, but enough do.
    You're a terrible moderator. It's not the blatant topic of the conversation, but it was deliberately snuck into the OP as a false assumption to base his "argument" on. Why shouldn't it be discussed? Atheism, not being a religion, cannot, by definition, have followers who "proselytize". Atheism's characterization as religion or not is entirely relevant to the idiotic insinuations in the OP, and as a moderator, your job is to limit preaching and abuse and promote discussion and argument, not channel the conversation into whatever direction YOU personally think most relevant for the topic at hand.
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    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    You're a terrible moderator. It's not the blatant topic of the conversation, but it was deliberately snuck into the OP as a false assumption to base his "argument" on. Why shouldn't it be discussed? Atheism, not being a religion, cannot, by definition, have followers who "proselytize". Atheism's characterization as religion or not is entirely relevant to the idiotic insinuations in the OP, and as a moderator, your job is to limit preaching and abuse and promote discussion and argument, not channel the conversation into whatever direction YOU personally think most relevant for the topic at hand.
    Really? Because countless atheists out there don't try to convert theists? There's not a bus campaign in London trying to convert theists, or perhaps there's no Dawkins or Hitchens out there preaching the good, atheist word? Because this entire sub-forum doesn't consist of numerous atheists trying to convince theists atheism is right and theism is wrong? If you think that, you might want to look at your own posts a bit better.

    Well you're at it, just ignore Positive/Strong Atheism which is very much like a religion; the countless number of atheist groups designed to pat each other on the back and spread the good, atheist word, etc. If you think atheists don't proselytise because "atheism isn't a religion", more power to you, doesn't make it true.

    If you have an issue with my moderation, go to AASM. But simply stating "atheism isn't a religion" with no other point isn't the topic and making this thread into another wonderful debate on that topic really isn't going to happen. Especially when it wasn't snuck in. At no point does he even make the assertion that atheism is a religion.
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    Proselytising people are *******s regardless of what they're trying to convert other people to. I think we can all agree on that.

    I'm an atheist myself but I don't give a crap if people want to worship Yahweh or Allah or Krishna or Zeus or Mars or anyone. Just don't tell me how I need to do the same as you and we'll get along fine.

    (And atheism is definitely not a religion. If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.)
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Really? Because countless atheists out there don't try to convert theists? There's not a bus campaign in London trying to convert theists, or perhaps there's no Dawkins or Hitchens out there preaching the good, atheist word? Because this entire sub-forum doesn't consist of numerous atheists trying to convince theists atheism is right and theism is wrong? If you think that, you might want to look at your own posts a bit better.

    Well you're at it, just ignore Positive/Strong Atheism which is very much like a religion; the countless number of atheist groups designed to pat each other on the back and spread the good, atheist word, etc. If you think atheists don't proselytise because "atheism isn't a religion", more power to you, doesn't make it true.

    If you have an issue with my moderation, go to AASM. But simply stating "atheism isn't a religion" with no other point isn't the topic and making this thread into another wonderful debate on that topic really isn't going to happen. Especially when it wasn't snuck in. At no point does he even make the assertion that atheism is a religion.
    OP said "The world's 3 largest religions, Christianity, Islam and Atheism are all proselytizing religions."
    That looks like saying that atheism is a religion.
    Proselytizing is converting to a faith. Atheists argue with theists because we like it, we get a kick out of arguing and debate, and because theists exist. Representing the status quo, all we do is ask for evidence. It's not proselytizing, it's demanding evidence and confirmation. Not even "strong atheism" (whatever that means) is like a religion at all- agreeing on the falsity of certain claims has nothing religious about it. It's simply agreement. You might as well say that people who disagree with neoliberalism are "a religion". There are no dogmas, no inherent moral guidelines, no automatic metaphysical beliefs. It's absurd, and it's not proselytizing, however you want to spin it to make it out that "atheists are just as bad as the religious".
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    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    OP said "The world's 3 largest religions, Christianity, Islam and Atheism are all proselytizing religions."
    That looks like saying that atheism is a religion.
    Proselytizing is converting to a faith. Atheists argue with theists because we like it, we get a kick out of arguing and debate, and because theists exist. Representing the status quo, all we do is ask for evidence. It's not proselytizing, it's demanding evidence and confirmation. Not even "strong atheism" (whatever that means) is like a religion at all- agreeing on the falsity of certain claims has nothing religious about it. It's simply agreement. You might as well say that people who disagree with neoliberalism are "a religion". There are no dogmas, no inherent moral guidelines, no automatic metaphysical beliefs. It's absurd, and it's not proselytizing, however you want to spin it to make it out that "atheists are just as bad as the religious".
    And yet, somehow, you think that trying to prove others that they're wrong and you're right isn't proselytising... Right.

    No, of course not, atheists don't try to convert people to atheism at all. Clearly. [/sarcasm]

    As for the bit on what is Strong Atheism, look in the Definitional Thread. :yep:
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    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    You're a terrible moderator. It's not the blatant topic of the conversation, but it was deliberately snuck into the OP as a false assumption to base his "argument" on. Why shouldn't it be discussed? Atheism, not being a religion, cannot, by definition, have followers who "proselytize". Atheism's characterization as religion or not is entirely relevant to the idiotic insinuations in the OP, and as a moderator, your job is to limit preaching and abuse and promote discussion and argument, not channel the conversation into whatever direction YOU personally think most relevant for the topic at hand.
    Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning

    As for the OP's question of proselytising... I don't. I find it distasteful and irritating :yes:
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    People proselytise for one simple reason.

    They always think they're right. Until their proven wrong, then they change their mind, and proselytise their new "religion."

    Bit of a vicious cycle really.
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    Fundamentally, because all sides think they're right, the others are wrong, and that the world would be a better place if everybody understood that.

    It's the same reason why this whole "respect other people's beliefs" business is nonsense. It doesn't work that way. I can respect other people even if their beliefs differ from my own, I can even respect their right to expound their beliefs and practice their religion however they think best, but their beliefs? How can somebody seriously ask me to respect a belief that I consider to be somewhere between a silly and archaic hangup and potentially dangerous delusion? Equally how can I ask a fundamentalist christian to respect my beliefs when from their point of view I'm doing the devil's work?

    Anyway, returning to topic, there are two principal reasons for atheists to 'proselytise':
    the first isn't actually atheism, but secularism. We want to exclude religion from certain things - the recent council prayers business is a good example. We don't (in general) want to block people's right to their religion, we just don't want it to be official business, or to have any direct influence in official business.

    The second is balance. Religious people proselytise, and while we might not want to actively suppress their religion we are hardly going to conclude that it's desirable either. So we make the counter-arguments in the hope that when people think it through they'll tend to agree with us, because actually we do think you're wrong and we think that history shows religion to be harmful.

    (Original post by FrigidSymphony)
    x
    (Original post by Hylean)
    x
    Hurling snide comments at each other makes neither of you look good.

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