T Nation

To the Believers...


#1

After countless posts, it's become pretty clear that neither camp is going to convince the other. Perhaps one reason I've been as persistent as I have is because I was in your camp once. I understand what it is like to KNOW that god is real, that god has spoken to your heart, and that god is watching over your life. I understand wanting to share that happiness and peace with others. I did so myself as a full time missionary in Australia for two years, and over many years of church service.

I guess it's human nature to want others to see the world as you do. I've been guilty of the same zeal I had as a believer, only here I've preached agnosticism as the path to truth :slight_smile:

During our discussions, I've been demonized as disingenuous, hateful, and debased. My agnosticism, and being a gay man, have made me a target of some pretty "strong" remarks. In turn, I've made remarks about people believing in fairy tales, and being bigots, and for that I apologize.

I know that you are sincere in your beliefs, and I don't fault you for that. I wish you every happiness that life has to offer, however that path works out for you.

I'll continue to participate in the forum, but I'll be more sensitive in my comments about beliefs that are important to you. I know that won't make any practical difference in how we ultimately see things, but hopefully it will lend a little more civility, respect, and dignity to our discussions.


#2

[quote]forlife wrote:
After countless posts, it’s become pretty clear that neither camp is going to convince the other. Perhaps one reason I’ve been as persistent as I have is because I was in your camp once. I understand what it is like to KNOW that god is real, that god has spoken to your heart, and that god is watching over your life. I understand wanting to share that happiness and peace with others. I did so myself as a full time missionary in Australia for two years, and over many years of church service.

I guess it’s human nature to want others to see the world as you do. I’ve been guilty of the same zeal I had as a believer, only here I’ve preached agnosticism as the path to truth :slight_smile:

During our discussions, I’ve been demonized as disingenuous, hateful, and debased. My agnosticism, and being a gay man, have made me a target of some pretty “strong” remarks. In turn, I’ve made remarks about people believing in fairy tales, and being bigots, and for that I apologize.

I know that you are sincere in your beliefs, and I don’t fault you for that. I wish you every happiness that life has to offer, however that path works out for you.

I’ll continue to participate in the forum, but I’ll be more sensitive in my comments about beliefs that are important to you. I know that won’t make any practical difference in how we ultimately see things, but hopefully it will lend a little more civility, respect, and dignity to our discussions.[/quote]

For what it’s worth, this is a noble gesture I feel obliged to respect and return in kind. I hope we get many a chance to tell the other he’s wrong, and still feel like we haven’t made an enemy in the process.


#3

[quote]forlife wrote:
in Australia for two years[/quote]

This more than anything would be the reason for being messed up. Why on earth would you even consider going to that god forsaken hell hole?

But seriously, I’ve said some pretty bad things myself. I’ll try and moderate myself - while I might not believe myself, I know how much those beliefs can mean to people.

Except when it comes to mick28. I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person, but riling that guy up is hilarious.


#4

Sloth, Forlife,

that’s the kind of spirit that keeps me around here. Thank you.

Makkun


#5

Mak, you don’t actually get any choice where you go as a Mormon missionary. I went to Australia, and my brother was called to Idaho :slight_smile: I loved Australia; the people are down to earth, exotic animals/vegetation, and a cool Euro/American/Polynesian/Aboriginal culture you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.

That said, I have several friends from New Zealand, and from all accounts your country is beautiful. Hopefully I can make it there some day.


#6

[quote]forlife wrote:
Makavali, you don’t actually get any choice where you go as a Mormon missionary. I went to Australia, and my brother was called to Idaho :slight_smile: I loved Australia; the people are down to earth, exotic animals/vegetation, and a cool Euro/American/Polynesian/Aboriginal culture you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.

That said, I have several friends from New Zealand, and from all accounts your country is beautiful. Hopefully I can make it there some day.[/quote]

Out of curiosity, which part of Aussie did you go to?


#7

Why did you feel the need to convince anyone of your position? Could it not be left to respectfully disagreeing?


#8

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Why did you feel the need to convince anyone of your position? Could it not be left to respectfully disagreeing? [/quote]

Well, I can’t imagine how this forum would contain a single post without someone trying to convince others of something. And, hey, I’d hate to see people stop trying to convince others. What fun would that be? But yes, we all should try to think our posts over once or twice before hitting submit. Be honest, no matter what. If you don’t intend to hurt someone, but your position may anyways, you still have to be honest. But, if the goal is simply to hurt someone’s feelings with name calling, or purposefully using derogatory phrasing, what end does it serve? Clearly, only to hurt someone.

Edit: This of course excludes “discussions” between Irish and Push. If they weren’t calling each other names, I think one might believe the other was truly mad at him.


#9

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Out of curiosity, which part of Aussie did you go to?[/quote]

New South Wales, I was in Wollongong, Sydney, and Tamworth.


#10

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Why did you feel the need to convince anyone of your position? Could it not be left to respectfully disagreeing? [/quote]

I think it’s natural to see your truth as the truth, and defend it as such. I did it as a believer, and I’ve done it with equal fervor as an agnostic.

Nothing wrong with that, except that you’re unlikely to convince anyone, and it’s easy to offend people in the process.

I agree with Sloth that it’s important to speak the truth as you see it. At the same time, I personally want to do a better job of respecting the right of people to follow their own truth, even when it contradicts mine.