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Killing religion with kindness. October 6, 2010

Posted by thegodless in Uncategorized.
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As I type this, I sit in an Effective Interpersonal Communication training, which of course has me pondering the issue of effectively communicating to the world why secularism is the better way forward. More so than the disagreement over the existence of deities, us nonbelievers often have difficulty guiding theists past the typical rhetoric and dogma. Most theists are so emotionally entrenched with their beliefs and positions, that they are incapable of taking the path towards clarity. One of the first things you are taught with communication theory is to not be reactionary and emotional. While I know both sides are guilty from time to time, it is the dogmatic and literalist theist that presents this weakness the most. I can only imagine that this occurs due to being taught from the beginning not to question their faith and to avoid contact with nonbelievers. It all really boils down to the theist making a choice to communicate in a nonproductive way in order to avoid where our logic leads. Many theists also start the process of debate by being in a default position of religion being 100% true, which will always be counterproductive to fact based padjustments to thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Us nonbelievers that like hammering away at religion may be better off using a more empathetic tone. We should be killing religion with kindness. When dealing with theists, we should focus more of our effort on listening to the the theist and communicating back to them what their words and thoughts mean to us. We can still get in people’s faces and we can still challenge absurd beliefs, but maybe we should try a little less escalation and a little more constructive criticism. Then again, we are arguing with people that think their feelings are fact.

On a side note, if anyone reading this is secular philanthropist, please give us an American college based upon the values of secularism. Atheists don’t have seminaries, though we all could probably use some additional training in the areas of religion, communication, and science.

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