If you were/are/will be an Atheist, how would you prefer to be approached by someone of a faith?
I was once an Atheist but that was when I was much younger and naive in a sense and uncaring but once having been that Atheist; I had always wanted someone of faith to approach me in honesty.
Not just to preach and leave but to let me know they fully believed in what they said and to do it without judgment or external influences that pulled their choice of word.
Not at all. I pressume you mean bible bashers accosting me in the street or knocking on my door. I don't want strangers invading my privacy.
I appreciate the tone of respect that I read into your question.
Just the fact that you would ask a person how they prefer to be approached is a great start.
I am generally up for dialog with people of faith, when the tone remains even and respectful and each party to the discussion is open to hear another viewpoint.
I was a "person of faith" for many years and then came to other conclusions. It doesn't mean I don't believe in God, I have just another way of knowing God.
Having been a "person of faith", I feel deep understanding for those who are on that path and would not try to convince them otherwise.
Similarly, I do not choose to be approached by a person who is where I was, telling me that their version is the only or best way.
I do not choose to go backwards (for me, it would be backwards, but that is not any reflection on another's path.)
A good beginning question is simply, "Are you open to discussing the matter of faith?"
I prefer that they don't approach me and we agree to disagree. I don't understand why it is people feel they have to impose their beliefs on other people. I don't approach religious people about being agnostic/atheist unless they ask and I appreciate the same courtesy and respect.
In all honesty, and I mean no disrespect by this, but I think that people who feel they "have to" share or try to convert others do so out of a place of ego and insecurity in their own beliefs. Somehow a "conversion" would bolster their own ego or make their own beliefs more valid.
I am wholly confident in my atheistic/agnostic mindset and I don't feel a need to convert others to my way of thinking.
If you were/are/will be a person of faith, how would you prefer to be approached by an atheist?
I am open to legitimate discussion on virtually any topic for the purpose of mutual understanding and further enlightenment. However, I do draw the line at proselytizing; I will NOT be engaged in it.
I would prefer they don't talk to me about it at all. There is nothing more angering than someone coming into my space or property and trying to force something on me. If I wanted to find religion, I know where it is.
For me, the best way to approach me, if someone wants to have a discussion, is to ask questions and listen. However, it does matter how those questions are worded. A question like "Why do you reject god?" is counter productive and illustrates that all they want to do is attack me. A question like "When did you first become an atheist?" is positive because it implies they're accepting of my differences and wish to know more about them. Atheism is a very personal belief and we have a lot of things to say about it. Being willing to listen politely goes a long way.
"Hi there, want to talk about something not pertaining to religious beliefs at all and simply discuss something like college exams, the weather, or maybe the economy?"
I'd just like them to not talk about religion at all. Saves me several hours of lecture.
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