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Is it moral for atheists to convert believers?

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    I was just wondering what fellow doubters of religion think about this. I have Christian friends, and when I show them the flaws of their religion, and show them some literature on why I don't consider myself a believer, you can see them start to doubt their beliefs.

    Now, obviously the truth is the most important thing but, for some people, their religion gives them a sense of community (and lots of friends), a reason to live, and a sense of importance in the world. For these reasons, I sometimes feel guilty when showing my Christian friends things which may damage these securities.

    So should we just leave normal laymen religious people alone, or should they be treated with the same hostility as the extremist believers who are causing much of the world's current strife?
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    We should leave them alone until their beliefs lead to actions that cause harm, either to an individual, group, or public policy.
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    loool I'm Christian and I wouldn't mind.

    And in fact the Bible says that you should test your faith (hold the jokes )

    I agree with your last point. If believers set out to convert others forcefully and do other harm, then they are fair game as far as I'm concerned.
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    If they keep their beliefs to themselves, I will do the same and fair play to them, people are free to believe whatever they want. I will even happily listen to their reasons for believing as long as that's where it ends and they don't try to convert. It's people who try to convert that I have problems with. If I was a believer I would feel the same way.
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    Thing is, they regularly try and convert me into believing in God, so why shouldn't I do the same?
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    (Original post by Laurenx123x)
    Thing is, they regularly try and convert me into believing in God, so why shouldn't I do the same?
    Not to stoop to their level.
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    Great question.Im a athesit and i think its only okay to argue about believe when they effect you or use it against you.then you have every right to defend yourself but you shouldt go looking for people to convert.EVER some people have reason for believing in these sort of things,i have ammazing brillant friends that are christains that i cant talk to them about being an athiest because they became a christain after some they knew died.So it would be very wrong of me to try and convert them AT alll.
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    (Original post by thetom)
    Not to stoop to their level.
    i don't see what they do as wrong, i just have fun disproving their beliefs, just as they do to mine.
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    I would never feel guilty about pointing out flaws in people's beliefs. I mean I wouldn't deliberately bring it up at an inopportune moment, but if it came up in conversation or I was specifically asked about my opinions on religion, I would hold nothing back. If they get upset from being proved wrong, then it just goes to show that their religion was never stable anyway. Do atheists ever get upset because they are proven wrong by religious people's arguments? Or claim that science should be immune to religious arguments in the same way people expect religion to be immune from science?
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    (Original post by thetom)
    Not to stoop to their level.
    Stoop to their level of what? Philosophical premise on what the origin and purpose of the universe is? Most Christians are intelligent people who realise that there must be a God because they know that random events do not occur. Now I'm not trying to start a theological debate here, but what do you mean by "stooping to their level?" I happen to be a very offended Christian right now...
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    (Original post by bordercollies10)
    Stoop to their level of what? Philosophical premise on what the origin and purpose of the universe is? Most Christians are intelligent people who realise that there must be a God because they know that random events do not occur. Now I'm not trying to start a theological debate here, but what do you mean by "stooping to their level?" I happen to be a very offended Christian right now...
    So am I. It's like people believe religious people try and convert others to try and annoy them.
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    (Original post by bordercollies10)
    Stoop to their level of what? Philosophical premise on what the origin and purpose of the universe is? Most Christians are intelligent people who realise that there must be a God because they know that random events do not occur. Now I'm not trying to start a theological debate here, but what do you mean by "stooping to their level?" I happen to be a very offended Christian right now...
    So are you saying that those who don't believe there is a God are unintelligent? I happen to be a very offended Atheist right now...
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    actually from your posts miss lauren you seem very clever to me

    atheist tend to be the type of people that sit down and go.Hang on a moment this doesnt make sence...lets explore that how does that make us unintelligent?
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    (Original post by bordercollies10)
    Stoop to their level of what? Philosophical premise on what the origin and purpose of the universe is? Most Christians are intelligent people who realise that there must be a God because they know that random events do not occur. Now I'm not trying to start a theological debate here, but what do you mean by "stooping to their level?" I happen to be a very offended Christian right now...
    Not the level of any religious people, rather people who convert. See my previous post. And this is not specific to Christianity, I am saying stoop to the level of trying to convert other people, which is basically saying "You are wrong! You must believe what I believe!".
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    You'll never rid someone of their beliefs by attacking someone's belief. But I don't think it has anything to do with morality anyway. For the most part at least.

    When you discuss religion with someone that holds opposing beliefs to you, you aren't doing anything of a moral nature. You're just opening conversation. That could either 1) strengthen their belief 2) make them doubt it or 3) do nothing.

    The easiest and best way to move people out of their comfort zone when it comes to religion is to just give them the information and be respectful then they'll start thinking for themselves and hopefully improve their ability to argue. You aren't offending them nor are you being irrational yourself.

    It's the reason why people like Dawkins won't get far by calling people idiots or various theists calling atheists deluded. When you start attacking and offending someone's stance on something, you're only going backwards.

    So, I think opening a discussion with someone (whether you're theist or atheist) isn't immoral or moral really. But actively attacking someone's belief is counter productive to me and well, rude.
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    You're wrong, the truth isn't the most important thing, people's well-being is. I would live and let live, it doesn't really matter unless they're in your face with it themselves.

    Also it's very hard to actually convince someone to change any belief they hold, the usual reaction is actually for them to artificially inflate their argument by taking a more extreme position than they really hold. This is because we are flawed animals who consider verbal discussion a display threat against the person.
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    You'll never rid someone of their beliefs by attacking someone's belief. But I don't think it has anything to do with morality anyway. For the most part at least.

    When you discuss religion with someone that holds opposing beliefs to you, you aren't doing anything of a moral nature. You're just opening conversation. That could either 1) strengthen their belief 2) make them doubt it or 3) do nothing.

    The easiest and best way to move people out of their comfort zone when it comes to religion is to just give them the information and be respectful then they'll start thinking for themselves and hopefully improve their ability to argue. You aren't offending them nor are you being irrational yourself.

    It's the reason why people like Dawkins won't get far by calling people idiots or various theists calling atheists deluded. When you start attacking and offending someone's stance on something, you're only going backwards.

    So, I think opening a discussion with someone (whether you're theist or atheist) isn't immoral or moral really. But actively attacking someone's belief is counter productive to me and well, rude.
    I agree. Discussing beliefs is not rude or anything like that.

    Even asking the question 'Why do you believe what you believe?' can shake religious people, but it's not inflammatory.

    But attacking somebody is rude, and as you said, that is more likely to push somebody away.
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    (Original post by Beast unleashed)
    actually from your posts miss lauren you seem very clever to me

    atheist tend to be the type of people that sit down and go.Hang on a moment this doesnt make sence...lets explore that how does that make us unintelligent?
    thank you very much. i do try.
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    arek is right what is better? for a young child to know there is no santa clause when hes so looking foward to it or the truth? just an example of how sometimes not knowing 'the truth' isnt allways a bad thing
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    (Original post by Beast unleashed)
    arek is right what is better? for a young child to know there is no santa clause when hes so looking foward to it or the truth? just an example of how sometimes not knowing 'the truth' isnt allways a bad thing
    How many times has the belief in Santa resulted in discrimination towards homosexuals or even people who don't believe in Santa Claus? Or affected the laws of the country one lives in?

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