Can you discuss the existence (or non-existence) of God without insulting someon

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  1. ColibriPhoto profile image73
    ColibriPhotoposted 12 years ago

    Can you discuss the existence (or non-existence) of God without insulting someone?

    It appears to me that whenever someone discusses God or religion that it always results in an argument where a person's intelligence is put into question. Answers are usually voted up or down depending on the beliefs of the reviewer and not on the quality of the statement. Is it possible to talk about this subject without insulting another person or their views?

  2. mohammedkamran profile image61
    mohammedkamranposted 12 years ago

    yes it is, if you speak politely and carefully without bringing any religion into views, just on logical questions such as science and human existence, purpose and all. I recommend you watch this video for clarification........

    I recommend these videos By Dr. Zakir Naik, he is the best teacher where from you can learn about almost each and every religion and religious questions, even about GOD.........

  3. Thesource profile image68
    Thesourceposted 12 years ago

    The question you have comes from your mind.
    Our mind is a powerful tool. Science, theology, mathematics, history are products of the mind.

    However, our minds cannot reach God. You have to be out of your mind to feel God. Those who have felt God seem to be crazy and don't normally fit in society. These men include Jesus, John the Baptist , Buddha and many more.

    But we can reach God through our souls. Our souls know everything. This includes your past life, present and future.
    The soul therefore needs no proof of God 's existence.
    We can feel our soul better if we go into the wilderness away from material comfort. Take a walk alone through the woods and you will be closer to your soul. Spiritual masters such as Jesus, John the Baptist and Buddha have done this.
    When you feel your soul you will have the faith in God.

    Faith is knowing something without the need for proof.
    To me that is the only way to know and feel God exists.

  4. ColibriPhoto profile image73
    ColibriPhotoposted 12 years ago

    First I want to thank both Mohammedkamran and Thesource for your feedback, but unfortunately that does not answer my question.

    Mahammedkamran, thank you for the links but my question is if it is possible to discuss the existence of God without it developing into an argument that eventually ends in anger. A discussion is a conversation between two or more people. Your links are a lecture, which is one person presenting his opinion.

    Thesource, I am not trying to establish the existence of God in my life, I have already crossed that bridge. My question is if it is possible for two or more people to discuss the existence of God without personal attacks on the individuals involved. I  guess this is much the same thing as political discussions. It always ends in an argument, each side wanting to prove they are right.

    I never answer religious questions because no one will discuss the topic. If the other side will not conform to their beliefs then the topic turns into name-calling and personal attacks. If a reader does not agree with the others belief then they will mark it down for that belief, not for the content of the argument. The ultimate result of these disagreements is the cause of many wars. No one wants to agree to disagree and discuss their differences.

    So let me pose the questions a little differently. "Is it possible to discuss the existence of God in this or any other forum without someone getting upset and launching a personal attack on the other side? Can this question be discussed without it resulting in an argument? Is there a peaceful solution to this question?" So far, in the history of man, it seems impossible.

  5. Apostle Jack profile image60
    Apostle Jackposted 12 years ago

    That depends on what one calls an insult.Most times no matter what you say nor how nice you say it someone will take it as an offense.
    Most people cannot accept the truth with a good spirit,so they rebel with a negative response.Some people are naturally arrogant and offensive and don't care about the response one way or the other.
    Strong spiritual stability is a must on the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare,since no one will believe nor follow everything that anyone will say nor do in this world.
    Can it be done without offense........NO.But can it be done without insults........YES.But the truth should not be considered an insult just ,negative and evil ways of addressing the matter at hand.

  6. profile image0
    Giselle Maineposted 12 years ago

    I think that no matter how politely or respectfully you state your views, people will disagree and vote down based solely on that instead of whether you've put thought into your question or answer.  This question resonated with me because that is exactly what happened to me recently (got voted down a lot when I answered a question about religion, although it was a question I HAD thought about carefully).

    Bascially, I think that a lot of people have knee-jerk reactions and get annoyed/insulted purely by the fact that other people may have a different opinion to theirs. So, to ultimately answer your question, I don't think it's possible to ask a question about the existence of God without insulting someone... but the problem I think is at the other person's end, not yours (provided you've used sensible, reasonable language in asking the question).

    My current approach is not to ask questions that might be controversial (simply because I don't want to have the bother of presiding over an influx of polarized and not-necessarily-polite answers).  I will happily *answer* questions about religion even if I think they could get controversial; if people are not being nice I can just 'unfollow' the question and forget about it... I just shrug and move on (whereas if I ask the question I feel the onus of responsibility to read all the answers).

    1. mattgproctor profile image60
      mattgproctorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think the deeper problem relies not in that people aren't okay with other people having different opinions, but that when it comes to religion, they consider what they believe to be facts.  They don't see it as arguing opinions, in my opinion.

  7. Green Wasabi profile image61
    Green Wasabiposted 12 years ago

    Yes it can be discussed philosophically, having in mind that you can't really prove either existence or non-existence of God objectively. If both sides agree on that, then it can be a very interesting discussion involving interpretation of scientific facts, holy scripts and personal experiences. However a civilized discussion needs civilized, tolerant to other people of course.
    Maybe it is difficult to discuss in a forum like this, because you don't know people, don't hear the tone of voice and misinterpretations are possible. You have to define what is "God" as well in order to talk about the same thing. I'm interested in religions, comparing them or discussing things in the conception of one religion - but yes it is difficult with some people. And atheists sometimes can be as radical as believers.

  8. nightwork4 profile image60
    nightwork4posted 12 years ago

    i have debated it many times without insulting anyone. to me intelligence is part of the issue but i don't see a need to insult a person over it. sometimes though, i will end up insulting a believer when they say things like "is mental illness sometimes demonic possession" to me that's so absurd that i can't hold my tounge.

  9. Beege215e profile image59
    Beege215eposted 12 years ago

    most hostile feeling that evolve from conversations are a result of one of the following:
    1) either one or both parties involved have a closed mind regarding the topic and will refuse to open their mind for fear of losing it
    2) If the speaker uses an inappropriate tone of voice, or demonstrates an insensitive attitude while speaking, the listener may shut down and will no longer hear the "conversation"
    3) If one or both parties fail to understand the basic ground rules of conversation, (ie-sharing ideas, allowing the flow of back and forth) then there is no conversation, there is a speaker and a listener.
    In today's world, in my humble opinion, too many people are on the defensive too much of the time.  People don't want to be attacked, they don't want their beliefs attacked, they don't want to be threatened or even challenged. We live in an information age, and sometimes that very information overwhelms us and becomes a threat even when it is not intended as such.  And in our technological world, people have not learned the fine art of conversation, they text, they tweet and they hang up.
    Finally, if you say something that just plain goes against everything I was taught as a child, as a teen, as a young adult; you have to be wrong. Because if you are right then I am wrong, and everyone that taught me was wrong. and that is more than I can or want to handle. And my immediate response is to tell you that you are wrong, or stupid, or ugly.  Because everything I know cannot be wrong.

  10. westonian profile image61
    westonianposted 12 years ago

    I would have to answer the question with a question ........does it matter ?
    Regardless of the question if someone disagrees with your point of view they will end up being or feeling insulted. When it comes to God (from a Christian perspective) this is a trcky subject because the believer is required to share his faith, but not beat the person over the head with their beliefs. It is possible to tell a non believer in a gentle way what you believe and then tell them that it is up to them what they do with that information. Nine times out of ten the unbeliever will either drop the subject or start asking genuine questions without anger.

    Personally, as a believer in Christ, it is my consistent treatment of others that is far more important than my words.

  11. platinumOwl4 profile image73
    platinumOwl4posted 12 years ago

    It is nearly impossible. This existence is taking at face value.The reality of the existence breaks down during a vigorous discussion. Then people start to question their belief. This is what causes the problem, you make them think.

  12. Aley Martin profile image68
    Aley Martinposted 12 years ago

    People sure are attached to their opinions and beliefs, so I would say probably not. I believe that there are not many people who are truly open minded and everyone gets insulted easily because they worry what other people think of them so much they let themselves BE insulted.

    If we would just all drop our attachments to our opinions and views and allow others to express theirs freely without judgment, the world would be a much moire agreeable place to live. However, I do not think it is possible because people seem to love to play the victim. It gets them noticed and feeds their ego.

    A sad commentary isn't it?

  13. RHinck profile image60
    RHinckposted 12 years ago

    I think the answer to your question lies in the person who may be insulted with your answer.  If you can discuss your own views as objectively as possible then the only way you can insult someone is if that person choses to be insulted. 

    Your views are your own.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  14. tfhodge profile image61
    tfhodgeposted 12 years ago

    It depends on the openness to examination, and a willing spirit to embrace, the opinion of another who can present no threat to one's beliefs.

  15. profile image0
    jasper420posted 12 years ago

    i would like to think so but theese days people are so sensitive about what they beleave in its hard to say i guess it depends on who you are converstaiting with and how you go about making your point

  16. lone77star profile image73
    lone77starposted 12 years ago

    Of course it's possible. Some people have big egos and can't resist poking at other's beliefs. A lack of humility and patience can drive some to insults.

    I enjoy discussing many topics, including God, religion, spirituality, but also science, literature, art, history and many others.

    I dislike the hardened skeptic who attacks first and doesn't even bother to read the material. They may see a word or two that suggests that I am a believer, but miss the multitude of details that show I'm not like any other.

    And then, I've had delightful discussions with skeptics who made very valid points about believers and religion in general.

    Perhaps some are too impatient. I prefer to learn. A good debate is a delicious way to do just that.

  17. ibbarkingmad profile image60
    ibbarkingmadposted 12 years ago

    That really depends on who you are talking to. You have to also be sensitive as well. It takes two to tango. But if the person you or the person you are talking with is very closed minded (no matter what side of the coin you or they stand on) then a civil discussion is doomed to fail. In that case, agree to disagree and move on. Free will is an interesting like that.

  18. Kiwiwi profile image40
    Kiwiwiposted 12 years ago

    People will always be insulted no matter, how you discuss the existence or non-existence of God.Also it is in our human nature to argue.So in my opinion the answer is "No", you can not discuss this matter without insulting another person and their views.

  19. Kaddam profile image59
    Kaddamposted 12 years ago

    On youtube? No. You might as well leave if its youtube.

    1. mattgproctor profile image60
      mattgproctorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ah youtube.  Where "you're stupid" is considered a valid a premise for a logical argument.  *facepalm*

  20. tamarawilhite profile image85
    tamarawilhiteposted 11 years ago

    It is possible to have this discussion logically, if the other side is willing to discuss it logically. However, most people do not want to have such a discussion.
    To say "I want to talk to you, now let me tell you that your basic underlying assumptions of the universe are wrong" is hard to discuss rationally unless it is science. And even in science, the emotional investment in theories and personal loyalties will cause the discussion to be irrational. 
    There is a mistaken pattern, from religion to politics, that someone who disagrees is ignorant. After presentation of your side, if they continue to disagree, they are not just wrong but willfully ignorant - i.e., perceived as stupid or bad. Hence the assumption that continuing to disagree means that the person is stupid.
    I'm quoting, I believe from the science fiction book "Dark Water's Embrace", "Never get between people's gods or their genes, it's too personal". And rational discussions are almost impossible that close.

    1. lone77star profile image73
      lone77starposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Good points, Tamara. It depends on your partner(s) in discussion. If you have extraordinary individuals on both sides and both sides remain polite, then it should be easy to disagree and still not insult. I learn a lot that way

  21. Express10 profile image85
    Express10posted 11 years ago

    I don't believe so because a fairly large number of people get frustrated easily when they are discussing this. This is a highly personal thing. Also, if their lack of knowledge or experience of the subject is exposed they feel insulted and insult people even when no one actually insulted them. The average person will either find a way to get out of the discussion or will resort to their last resort...insults.
    Perhaps some are very passionate, but insults aren't an example of passion in my humble opinion, using them is an example of patience lost. Let's not even discuss the trolls that vote down for whatever negative pleasure they derive from doing so WITHOUT adding anything to the discussion.

  22. Robert Kernodle profile image82
    Robert Kernodleposted 11 years ago

    Unfortunately, a number of people respond to a different opinion as an "insult".  DIFFERENCE is how their emotions DEFINE "insult".

    If we can learn to view differences as shades of colors, then we can draw better conclusions.  So, yes, we CAN discuss our differences without insulting one another, if we understand what DISCUSSING DIFFERENCES means.

    - Robert

    1. dianetrotter profile image62
      dianetrotterposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Robert, you have probably not been on some of the discussions where this happens.  Examples:  "You idiot!", "You obviously have no brain.", etc.  The good thing is that I have seen discussion evolved.  Express and Lonestar have been on a couple of th

  23. mattgproctor profile image60
    mattgproctorposted 11 years ago

    In the most technical sense, it ought to be possible to discuss God and religion without insulting someone, since what you're discussing is God or religion, and not that person.  Of course, that technicality faces a number of issues.

    First and foremost, concepts of God and what religion someone practices is a personal thing.  So much of how we act in life, what we do, how we handle situations, etc., is largely affected by our religion.  We act this way because we believe something to be true, and it becomes very uncomfortable for someone to suggest that something we're basing so much of our lives on might not be true at all.  It can feel personal because it can come across as saying everything you do may be wrong, have you ever considered that?  Even under the best of intentions, that often doesn't go well.

    As for the matter of insulting intelligence, well, that has little to do with discussing beliefs and more to do with how one justifies them.  We all have reasons for what we believe, but, let's face it, even the best of us don't always base everything we believe entirely on flawless logic or irrefutable evidence.  In particular with atheists vs theists, so often faith is attacked as being equivalent to stupid, because faith, to an atheist, essentially means believing something is true despite lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary.  If you believe your faith has resulted a great amount of good in your life, to deny faith seems, well, stupid.  If you believe all belief needs rational or empirical justification, faith is going to seem stupid too.  As for which one I believe, that doesn't matter.  ;-)

    Now, having taken my second major in college as religious studies, I can tell you, it's very possible to discuss to religion without insulting a person.  Objective study of religion is easy to discuss.  What's tricky is trying to discuss religious views that a person actually holds and doesn't want to objectify for the sake of argument.  In other words, it's easy to talk about other people's religions, but you're probably going to run into problems discussing your religion or the religion of the person with whom you're talking.

    Often times it's simply a matter of people who believe with every ounce of their being, whether it be mind or heart, that they are right, and if that's your starting point for a discussion about the possibility they may be wrong, well, sadly, that's just not going to go very well.

  24. dianetrotter profile image62
    dianetrotterposted 10 years ago

    Back in the day, I took a Discipleship Evangelism class designed by Dr. John MacArthur.  We learned to talk to non-believers, listening and respecting their efforts and time.  This is a process of planting seeds.  Getting upset and starting an argument is a sure way to run people away.  We welcome all people in our church for services and classes, regardless of their personal lives.  This provides opportunities to share with them and hear what they say.  We have televised testimonies during sermons where people talk about their former lives, what led them to Christ or Sunrise, and their current lives. 

    If Christians are arguing, there is something seriously wrong with their a) walk with the Lord and/or b) salvation.


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