Why do people that don't believe in God, respond to questions about God?
Don't get me wrong. I respect and appreciate every response, even if they disagree. That is everyone's right. But I usually don't waste time and energy in things that I don't believe in. Sure, I don't believe in Santa and still enjoy the fun of it, but that's all it is. Fun. But some of these questions and comments are serious stuff. It gets heated and many times offensive and angry. Why? For the sake of argument? Trying to change other's beliefs or disbeliefs? Help me understand. Both sides. BE NICE!
This is truly a million dollar question IDONO. Thank you for asking it. I look forward to the responses you get.
Thanks JT. Now I'm looking for the million dollar answer. Mick S made a good point about athiest questions. I guess I'm trying to make sure my own motivations are in the right place by identifying with others.
Well JT. What do you think? Considering the nature of the question, I think all are handling very well. I'd like to see this whole group open some kind of forum in the future. This has been good, healthy discussion.
Well you need to consider a few things. The first thing is that half of the questions posted by believers seem to be targeted at us (non believers). Of course we will respond to those. Then there are the questions that somehow put one group of believers on a higher pedestal than everyone else. I respond to those just as a reminder that one belief or another or even a lack of belief doesn't make you better than anyone else. Just as being white doesn't make anyone better, or being from the USA doesn't make a person better. Another thing to consider is maybe the person is a fan of the person who is asking the question. Take for example JThomp42, I completely disagree with him on almost every question he posts, but he posts out of sincere belief and I can tell he doesn't usually have the intention of being hateful (even though there are moments when he goes too far, he is human). That I can respect and I will post my opinion in hopes of giving him a better understanding that us nonbelievers are not all the same. I feel that by following questions like his it can become a learning experience for us all.
Finally there are a small group who do it just for arguments sake. Just as there are a small group of believers who seem to do the same thing.
I do my best to be respectful but I'll admit there are moments when I just want to yell at the person on the other side of the screen, and when I get like that I know it's time for me to stop replying and let the other person have the last word.
I totally can relate to your last paragraph. I'm as guilty as the next guy. I have no problem when someone's beliefs differ from mine. But when they belittle my beliefs or call them "ignorant", I boil. It's hard clicking off, isn't it? Thanks.
I also always am kind and thank them. However for the first time, my recent question, had a couple rude remarks. I deleted for very first time. Wish I hadn't, good for others too see that some people r rude over a mere simple question.
By the same token, why do people who do believe in God respond to questions about atheism, and non/other belief system altogether.
I supose it may be because a question is asked, and we all have our right to respond.
I believe I addressed this in the question summary. Everyone is welcome, either way. Rights aren't the question. Motivation is the question.
I rarely, if ever, read the ancillary information, the actual question is what is important, and what the thing is about. Clarity in the question is precision, the need for extra bits shows imprecision.
I believe the ancillary is there to provide a context in which the question is asked. Hopefully, in any subject, this keeps the topic from ending up all over the place. It also shows whether a question is being genuine or just sarcastic.
I don't believe so, I believe it is there to provide imprecision and a preaching ground, so I rarely read the ancillary stuff..
One thing that I believe is that some people like to hear themselves talk. It is almost as if they have to be in the spot light at any cost. I do agree with some of the comments that peeples has made, sometimes questions or comments do come off as if one group's belief is higher than another and should be understood by all.All in all more often than not misery loves company and you know what comes with misery........
Have you considered the possibility that since "God" is all knowing, all wise, and all controlling that he could be manipulating a non believer like myself to whip those who claim to believe in him into shape? All things are possible.
Respectfully, that's impossible. If I truly didn't believe there was a God, how could something that doesn't exist, manipulate anything? That makes no sense. But thanks for making me think. That's why I ask.
mintinfo...that is indeed a distinct possibility. Paul wrote to Philemon that Philemon should share his faith in order to grow up in his faith. The implication is that disciples of Jesus grow by answering questions about their faith and Jesus Christ
INDONO, whether you believe something or not does not make it real or not. Remember this "What you believe doesn't change what is, but what IS should change what you believe."
IDONO there are many things in this world that we do not understand. That is why some of us refuse to believe that our lives are pre ordained. Consider the example of a parasite that can control the brain of Cat owners. http://goo.gl/9KG0c
Mitch. I get what you're saying. My problem is that what I may believe in, is all I have. No one knows "What Is". Never will. What is real, is that we have beliefs or disbeliefs and those should be treated respectfully.
I love you mintinfo! You have an OPEN MIND!
Rarely does one expect to "change" someone's mind with regard to any question they answer. In fact if they don't find the question to be somewhat (interesting) they don't bother answering period. I believe most people answer questions to offer their own opinion. A great question will usually attract a variety of responses!
Yes, there are times when things can become heated when someone strongly disagrees with another and sees fit to point out what they consider to be illogical conclusions or they "judge" the person based upon disagreeing with them on (one) topic.
When it's all said and done more question views often lead to more hub views. Some people only answer questions they disagree with others about. The important thing to do is not become "emotionally attached" to any question. Q&A would be rather boring if everyone that answered questions were on the same page.
One man's opinion! ;-)
For the most part, I try only to answer questions directed at me. For example, if it's asking a question of, or about, atheists, then I feel a certain sense of obligation to respond. I will also sometimes answer questions about belief in god that aren't necessarily directed at atheists. For example, if someone is confused about something contradicting in the mythology of god, then I like to at least present the idea that he doesn't exist, which I don't think is hostile; merely giving people every angle of a given debate.
I'd like to think that I don't seek out religious questions that have nothing to do with me, but I can't say with certainty that I've never responded to one (simply because I can't remember them all). My goal, as an atheist, is to spread knowledge of my beliefs so that theists will be less likely to demonize me. I don't expect to turn anyone into a non-believer, I just want believers to know that atheists can be just as kind, trustworthy, and spiritual as theists.
It's very difficult, in this topic, to not think, to some degree, that they are directed atme, since my own beliefs are all I have to compare Q&A to. I think that's human nature. There's also a difference between obligation and being compelled.
Yes, compelled is a better description of it than obligation.
I see three reasons:
First, believing in something and thinking an issue is important are two different things. One can think that an issue about God or religion is important, no matter what religion one professes, or if one is an atheist or an agnostic regarding God.
Second, people are complicated. One may not currently believe, but still be questioning and seeking. In that case, such an encounter can help the writer.
Third, of course, are those who get caught in the desire to provoke others. I don't have anything to say about them, whether it's a non-believer talking about belief or a believer talking about non-belief.
If I feel a question is either truly seeking an answer OR seems to be predicated on a misunderstanding or misinformation, then I will often respond. For instance, if someone posed the question, " Why do Christians pray to Mary?" I would respond with the answer concerning the fact that that is a Catholic doctrine (some would say that statement in itself was wrong and spur another conversation) and that Biblical Christianity teaches against praying to anyone but the Father, through Jesus. I always try to be respectful...firm, but respectful. I believe the dialog between rational believers and non-believers is a good exercise. It can be used to encourage the believer to dig deeper in his/her faith and strengthen it by understanding the Bible on an even deeper level and it can cause the non-believer to either dig deeper and come to faith or at the very least strengthen their own conviction if the facts and logic don't outweigh their questions.
Thanks, Mitch. You mentioned " doctrine", which Is another topic for another question. But are doctrines of a religion truly what people believe or what they are told to believe? I'm not arguing. I'm just trying to understand the passion involved.thx
I used "doctrine" to include any belief system (religious,agnostic & atheistic). There are many doctrines under the umbrella of Christianity, not all are theologically divisive. If you believed something was vitally important, you'd share it, rig
Sure, Mitch. As long as I remembered that my belief or opinion is no more important than anyone elses. I'm only talking about the degree of importance.
The "Doctrine" of Jesus is the only "Doctrine" we must consider when answering any question posted. If not written in Scripture, "rightly divided," then it is against the Word of God!
This is a great question...Apparently those who do not believe in God are as evangelical as those who do. They seem to have an innate sense of duty to save the world from the injustices they perceive theists have perpetrated against those who choose not to believe. While those who adhere to Judeo-Christian God-centered values have contributed more to the cause of uplifting the poor and downtrodden then any other group in the history of the world (especially in the last century), we have also committed enough injustice to give non-believers fuel to doubt.
Evangelical? I have yet to turn on my T.V. or radio and hear anyone preaching Atheism. Nor have I seen tents that advertized Atheist Revivals. If I don't understand "Evangelical", I apologize. One thing we all agree on. We all have freedom of choice
This is but one of the many examples of evangelical atheists... http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfa … eists.html
ecoggins: I hear what you are saying, "Everyone is Preaching!"
But few according to the Word of God!
IDONO you asked a very good question and without trying to offend anybody I will give my answer.
I am a very firm believer in God and our Lord Jesus Chirist. I am also very blunt and direct when it comes to my answers and comments. I would like to make it very clear that I DO NOT hate athiests or non-believers in general. I believe that they, like every one else, are titled to the opinions and to make their comments know in any form they choose. I also believe in good exchange on christian views were ever possible.
I have spend most of my adult life studying the bible and although I don't have a full understanding of it's entire context I do believe I have a fair understanding of it. One of the amazing things about the bible is that no single individual will ever have a full understanding of it. I further believe that although man physically hand wrote the bible, it was inspired by God. All 66 books of it. Now what may surprise many is the fact that I believe that most if not all of the so called christian churches we see today are a joke. The last time I sat foot in one was over 34 years ago. And I therefore have much doubt about many who call themselves christians. Many who claim to be christian are "ignorant" when it come to understand the word of God. I DON'T use the word "ignorant" to be insulting. I use the word ignorant because most who call tthemselves christians are spoon fed the bible from the people standing behind the pulpit. They don't take the time and effort to STUDY the bible for themselves. Notice I used the word ignorant and not the word stupid. I don't see the word ignorant to be insulting. The meaning of "ignorant" means lacking the knowledge or understanding on a subject. And that can be change through learning and study.
Not only do I believe most so called christians are ignorant when it comes to the bible and the subject of God, but athiest to are "ignorant" when it comes to this very subject. This may not apply to some athiests who are former christians. In such case I just see them as possible lost souls.
An athiest who does not believe in God has the right to do so. God gave each of us free will.
But I take offence when God is blamed for evil things or blames God for allowing evil things to happen when that person has no understand of God in the first place. It's also very insulting to a believer to have God compare to a toothfairy. Athiest can believe what they want, but they seem spare no punches to insult my belief.
Crazy how calling someone illiterate and uneducated is somehow so much better to you than calling someone unintelligent.
Chill out! The whole purpose of this question was to hopefully create an understanding and respect of both sides. There's no room to be confrontational here. It adds nothing to the discussion. Answers to other ? don't belong here.
I'm sorry IDONO but this is one of those moments I stated in my answer. Calling everyone but oneself ignorant irks me.
Peeples. People "get my goat" all the time. Some people view people with a little less knowledge as ignorant, which is not true. Ignorant means "no knowledge". How you perceive yourself is what is important. I've read your stuff. You're no dummy!thx
I understand where you are coming from. I think. BUT, I do wonder why you assume that your use of ignorant is not offensive, yet if it used in the same manner (eg lack of knowledge) towards believers is it seen as offensive? Anyway, each to their own
Example: I do not know how to fly an air plane. This is an area (flying air planes) that I am well uninformed. (IGNORANT). In order for me to fly an air plane I must learn. Once learned I,m no longer ignorant in that area.
Grace not my point. Some Christians lack knowledge of certain subjects which they discuss with non-christians. Yet when we point out that they lack knowledge in that area, we are deemed offensive. Yet it is used in the same manner you are using. Huh?
Many so called christians are ignorant when it comes to the bible. I already said that in my answer. Let me make myself very clear, I, TOO, am IGNORANT about a lot of things in life. I am no different than any one else.
I'm just curious as to why it is deemed offensive if it comes from us. I'm not saying you find it so, I'm asking for your opinion on why. I think I have that from your last answer. Thank you for indulging me in my curiosity.
Graceinus. In the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, some synonyms for ignorant are brainless,untaught,foolish, idiotic,senseless,silly and moronic. And more. Your definition is conveniently vague. Now, do you blame people for being offended?
IDONO- I have explained my use of the word "Ignorant" And have explained the context it which I meant it. If there are those who wish to read more into it than what I have stated and explain, then I could careless what they think.
Grace - US being those who don't believe or are agnostic.
The definition tho - it can only be taken by the dictionary meaning not one made up. Which is the meaning by which it is often take when used by us. If its nt offen frm u, it shldnt b frm us.
Webster's II New Riverside Univeristy Dictionary> Ignorant: 2.Displaying lack of knowledge or education. 3. Unaware or uninformed.
I'm not saying you were offensive. I may trust your definition and explanation, but some may not. If they look it up and see these other synonyms, they may misunderstand. I'm not taking sides here. Just trying to keep the peace. Thx.
Understood. So why then is it always taken as offensive when used by non-believers towards believers on a topic that the believer is genuinely lacking in knowledge about? It always seemed to b taken as an attack when it's not. Which is y we tk offns.
jlpark- Because of the synonyms words that people seem to attach to the word ignorant. They think the snonyms are what DEFINE the word. They don't look at the true definition.
So both believers and non believers should stop being so sensitive! That would solve everything. Discussions would be so much easier! If only we could make that work! oh well, dreams are free! (I am not trying to be cheeky!)
In all honesty, maybe, when a non-believer's choice is made, based on more knowledge than the believer has, he may become insecure in his own belief. At that point, instinct tells him he must defend his belief. The easiest way: call you the bad guy.
IDONO- As I said from the very start of my answer, I was not trying to offend anyone.
Graceinus. I know. My last commemt was referring to the insecurity of the believer, not you. I'm a believer. But not one with what I call an inflated religious ego. Sometimes I think that is what many are defending. I try to be fair to all. Thx
In Grace's defense, a believer as I,the word "ignorant" is used throughout scripture! (Rm 11:25, I Thess 4:13, Eph 4:18, I Cor 12:1-3, a few) If the Word of God offends, so be it! (Heb 4:12). Believers should always give scripture!
Well, unless the asker asks non-believers/atheists/agnostics, et cetera not to respond (heh, or in blatant spite of this), then questions about God are precisely likely to evoke responses from that end of the belief to non-belief spectrum. Yep, I said spectrum. I think that's to be expected - while rude, aggressive or intimidating behavior from anyone anywhere along that axis certainly is not.
There are a great number of other topics or fields whose audience, on the surface, would exclude certain people or groups of people. Politics, religion, gender topics and child-rearing a just a few. I listen to Rush Limbaugh occasionally, that is until the urge to toss my cookies eventually overwhelms me. He's red red red. I'm a very deep blue - well, with dots of violet here and there! But I want to hear many perspectives, just as I would wish mine to be heard as well.
Actually such people believe in God from the inner of their hearts but do not accept it openly. Every individual has his/her own way of friendship with GOD as you know that GOD has no enemies at all.
I'm amazed that someone, in my lifetime, has the ability to know the goings on of the "inner heart" of others. You have to "accept" that there are people that truly don't believe. Acceptence is the way it is; not how you want it to be. Thanks.
IDONO Look up the term empath. Oh how I wish it were not so. But some of us poor bastards walk around feeling what others do.
No. Some people do not believe in a god. Period. You cannot profess to claim you know their inner heart any more than I do. And they state they do not believe in a god. So, I take them on their word.
Because we all feel we are connected to something greater. Even if some deny a definition of God imposed by their society. Be it a bearded man or a metaphisics theory, there is something that is part of every single one of us and is everything.
I don't even click to read most religious questions. Although I am an atheist, I have done a lot of research into many religions and can carry on a literate conversation about them, but I usually don't bother with questions that don't pertain to me. I don't believe it's my job to try and change someone else's beliefs or opinion but I like to have my voice heard the same as everyone else does.
To be brutally honest with myself and with you, my fellow writers, I respond to questions about God for two main reasons:
1. to sway other's beliefs because I personally find many religious beliefs harmful to humankind in general and a great detriment to the development of what might be our glorious destiny and
2. to dispel misconceptions of skeptics as not having been, at one time, very religious and to show that most non-believers, like most religious individuals, have deep humanitarian goals and aspire to function in the world according to the highest of principles that run as a thread through almost all religions.
Why? Because they can. Because they are invited to do so. Freedom of speach is what they call this.
You could wonder about the way people respond to this but that's something you can't control whenever you ask a question.
You could also wonder why so many people on Hubpages feel the need to ask questions about God. Some questions really just trigger people in responding offensively.
There are two sides to this always. People are allowed to ask questions and people are allowed to answer. Why and how they do this is up to anyone's personal beliefs and characters.
And apart from asking this good question you could also decide not to spend your energy in trying to understand why people respond so offensively on any question about religion.
Whenever I see a question on this by believers or non believers, I pay attention to what they ask and the way the ask their question. If the question itself is obvious enough in triggering someone's sensitive subjective mind on this....I skip it and go on with my sunny life in Spain:-)
Perhaps it is that they wish to learn about it, or offer what they think on the question posed. Sometimes a different view is not necessarily a bad thing - it may bring to light an angle something had not been looked at by those who believe.
What I mean is that those who believe may (read MAY) follow what they are told in Church that this particular verse means, and may never have thought to look at it another way. Many agnostics, and atheists, are ex-Christian. One does not come to these decisions lightly - to walk away from a faith one has been brought up in is not done on a whim, but for significant reasons. Not all of us, however, are brought up in the faith either.
I personally will respond to ones that are directed at something that I identify as - such as those directed at Non-believers - as MANY of these have been lately. Because they are asking,- at least one could assume they are anyway - for the opinion or reasons why from non-believers.
As a agnostic, gay woman, I also respond to the ones about homosexuality. Many people remove verses on homosexuality (or apparently about homosexuality) from the historical, cultural and verse context. This makes the use of the verse SOLELY about either misunderstanding (as I'm trying not to use the 'I' word), or hatred. Yet it is often done - whether they are aware of it or not (that they are doing it). If I can make one person's journey through realising they are gay, and wanting not to lose their faith at the same time, easier - my job is done.
I know that I will never change anyone's beliefs about their God, and I do not wish to. I do wish to educate on the use of their verses appropriately, particularly if they don't want to be yelled at by less tolerant people!. I do wish to make others journey's easier.
I am also curious about the religions of the world, so I like to learn. Even with the heated conversations here on HP - I've learnt quite a bit about Christianity.
Thats why I answer them. You?
Jlpark you say you are agnostic. Are you agnostic Christian or agnostic Atheist?
When I wrote this answer - just agnostic - as I didn't know there were
other definitions that worked better to explain how I thought. Now I identify as an agnostic-atheist. However I enjoy learning abt religion, I just don't believe in God/s.
It's not necessary that if we don't believe in a particular thing, we don't respond to them. Same in the case of those who don't believe in God.
I believe in God, but I think those who respond to questions on God are actually those who think that there is a supernatural power that guides all of us. I have heard many people say that they don't believe in God. But I am sure even they have faith in this supernatural power. It is this power that we call by the name of God.
I think that in your question is your answer. You respond and write about what you believe in. If someone does not believe in God that does not mean they do not think about God. Notice you say "I don't believe in Santa". While a non-believer would normally say, "I do not think Santa exists". Non-believers do not generally say "I believe in evolution" they normally would say "I think evolution is a valid theory or fact".
I have very seldom met an Atheist who would want to say I do not believe in God. They generally would say there is simply no proof or evidence. Then a fellow like you comes along and suggests there is proof or evidence of God or just assume it in your statements.
Well regardless of what the question is about, if you are speaking of truth that they see as requiring proof, you have stepped into their arena and out of faith.
So when us believers ask questions like "why do you believe in God" we are normally considered as asking for proof. Then inevitably some Christian will cite a portion of the Bible as proof, which is not acceptable to many, and off we go to the debate. I get the Bible as proof. Because I understand that proof is not always scientific type empirical proof, but empiricists which most atheists are, do not accept proof unless it is tangible to the exterior senses.
So in the long run, the questions are not about God, but about how we think and that is open, always, for discussion.
Cogito Ergo Sum. And if I do not write or speak of my thoughts they only mean something to me.
Of course all of that is open for discussion as it is only my understanding and may not be yours.
Every question posed deserves and answer. Everyone likes to put their point across, irrelevant if it is right or wrong.
When questioning the existence of God, believers will automatically respond in defence. Non-believers will respond to the initial responses, again in defence.
The saying goes: the best defence is often a good attack. Unfortunately this often results in anger as, instead of defending their individual beliefs they attack the beliefs of others. People who get into these types of arguments often lose sight of the original question or statement, because the deeper they get into it the less they are likely to back down or walk away.
Don’t forget people, your personal belief is yours, so defend it by all means. There is no reason to attack the beliefs of others.
I think the answer is as many as there are people who answer the questions.
As peeples said, many of the questions are aimed directly at nonbelievers and nonXians. Otherwise, you're all just patting yourselves on the back in a sort of group hug. That's okay, I guess, but what is really happening is proselytizing at nonbelievers. And the nonbelievers are going to respond.
A lot has to do with human nature. Nonbelievers are quick to point out how much religion has screwed up humanity. You may not think it's your religion causing problems, but all you have to is do a body count of nonbelievers to determine otherwise. Even today, we're taking giant steps back in science because fundamentalists are insisting that their holy books are actually scientific fact.
My thought is that you can believe whatever the heck you want to believe, just don't be a rude jerk about it and insist that your religious beliefs trump science which has been studied, analyzed, peer reviewed, and generally accepted as fact.
The other thing is that there are people with beliefs that are not Judeo-Christian. Unfortunately there is little respect for those people's beliefs.
To answer this question I think some people like debates or to be argumentative, which could b y they answer such question.
However if they r so happy with their belief, I am curious to y they get rude. If ur happy ur on top of the world and probably would just say no I wouldn't but great question.
I would never judge or put anyone down for their beliefs.
If I am so happy I would not wake up wanting a debate?
I had one person keep twisting my question. I said a simply no would suffice if u don't believe. Thank you
I think it is more a dislike of the insistent believers than anything else. It gets incredibly annoying hearing from "true believers" that you are going to an eternal punishment because you don't believe in their god.
Maggie your right, I agree.
However we all know of karma and whether we believe or not karma follows us. We may not know it's karma but it is. I always usr the case of OJ. Laughed is way out of court and bang, look what happened. Universe works it ou
I agree Maggie. I think of it as karma. Whether we believe or not, it follows us. Universe works it out for us. I always use OJ as an ex he laughed his way out of court and bam look what happened. Thanks to Divine intervention he's not laughing now.
I'm not willing to accept karma as an absolute. I sure some nasty people have not gotten punished. While I don't mind seeing bad people get their "just desserts," I'm not convinced it has anything to do with karma or a cosmic righting.
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