How to Convince People Without Being Insulting

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toto974's picture
I think, i will have to study

I think, i will have to study a lot more psychology and social sciences to understand this phenomenon.

CyberLN's picture
People tend to do what they

People tend to do what they know...

Anonymous's picture
Maybe this will help you

Maybe this will help you understand: In England, and other parts of the world, there was a time when women couldn't have money. They couldn't inherit it, they couldn't have it, they couldn't have a job to even earn it. They weren't allowed to own property or have any legal rights over their own children. If they were in a shop, they had to be escorted, and could not come up to the counter. They HAD to have a male with them if they wanted to go anywhere, and had to SIT and WAIT until that male showed up.

Men had all the power. For those women who voted for Trump, they are still in the mindset that men have all the power. (Many women today still don't know their own worth.)It wasn't right, but this was the way it was. If a woman wanted to survive and not be easily classified as a whore, she had to be married.

They didn't LIKE it, Logic. That's the point. That's the way it was. That's why it took so long to get the vote. Or even become equal in the eyes of the world.

Unless you've experienced it, you have absolutely no understanding of what it took for women to risk everything in order to change their status. Men weren't going to do it. But get this, if nothing else: they didn't LIKE it.

LogicFTW's picture
I agree women did not like it

I agree women did not like it, in the long history of England, (compared to say US,) Men had such absolute power and authority, that even if women did not like it, they frequently had to. For most of england's history a woman that did not marry and obey the system had few other options that they were even aware of to them and none of them were very good. (Become a nun, -still basically a servant- or to sell their bodies, arguably for most, far worse.) Although counter to that you did have a few Queens of england where a woman was indeed the most powerful person in the land.

It is hard for me to imagine women still having the mindset that men have all the power in the US in late 2016. Women can vote and have been able to vote for more than a generation. Women can own property, can go unescorted, have legal rights over their children, (Frequently more than men these days, as many judges when all else is equal will lean towards awarding custody to the mother over the father.)

I most certainly have not experienced it I am a male if it was not obvious before. I have visited parts of the world where women currently live in much less than equal standing with men then here in the bulk of the US is about the closest I experienced.

Then back to the 2016 US election: women had enforced total privacy, to vote for a presidential candidate, on one side the first major party female candidate for president ever in the US, on the other hand a known, proven misogynist. Now they could decide tape evidence of misogyny is "fake news" but why would they not even consider the possibility that it might be true. And ofcourse I will be the first to agree that Clinton was by no means a perfect flawless candidate, I had major issues with her, but in a choice between Trump and Mrs Clinton for presidency for a woman interested in women's rights and equality, it really should be a no brainer.

Sheldon's picture
One of the hardest things to

One of the hardest things to convey to theists is that as an atheist my lack of belief in Allah or Jesus has no more relevance to me than their lack of believe Balder – Son of Odin and Frigg. If I started telling people how they had to dress, behave, or who they could have sex with and marry because balder had visited me after some prayer and fasting it's hard to see how they'd find that compelling.

Believe whatever you want, but those beliefs don't entitle the holder to anything in this life denied to anyone else.

CyberLN's picture
I’m not sure I understand

I’m not sure I understand this whole string...the OP seems to admonish folks for admonishing other folks.

Six of one, half dozen of the other as far as I can tell.

Cognostic's picture
I didn't take it that way as

I didn't take it that way as we do get pretty vocal around here and a newbee might get the wrong impression. In short - I didn't feel admonished but regarded the post as a legitimate inquiry. At the same time, your post has inspired me to read the OP again. I can't help but wonder why he came to an atheist site to find out....

"I want to know WHY someone believes how they believe. If they're religious, then why? If not, they why?"

When he says "Why someone believes..." I assume he means religious people. Or is he assuming atheism is a belief as well? Anyway, this seems to be a weird choice of sites to try and understand why religious people believe in the silly things they do.

David Killens's picture
And the same dynamics as in

And the same dynamics as in other posts has now come into play.

I am willing to listen to criticism, but when another attempts to dictate boundaries in behavior, a push-back begins.

Dave Matson's picture
I'm an atheist, in part,

I'm an atheist, in part, because I've never seen even a half-way compelling argument for God's existence--especially the monotheistic gods of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism which are hung by their own books. That after years of study.

My main reason for being an atheist results from accepting science as the most reliable method for investigating the world of atoms and energy, including anything that can affect the same. "God" does not fare well in that light. (See my thread "Science Gives God The Bump!" [08/07/2016 18:47] for a detailed analysis.) Also see my much more recent post on the thread "On Converting Atheists" [08/03/2018 14:48] for the justification of science as the road to the physical nature of reality. Hopefully, those posts will go a long ways towards answering your questions.

Sapporo's picture
Unfortunately, with internet

Unfortunately, with internet discussions, posts can come across a lot blunter if they do not begin with informal pleasantries as would be typical for an offline conversation. Also, current discussions are often influenced by past conversations in ways that seem particularly harsh to those who are new to a community. Perhaps also there is a genuine amount of terseness caused by the polarization in viewpoints that you'd naturally expect of any debate.

The_Quieter's picture
I see no reason not to be

I see no reason not to be insulting when the basis of the conversation starts like this.

"You're evil and you deserve to be tortured for it"

Nothing I am ever going to say, no matter how insulting, will ever be as ugly as somebody honestly looking me dead in the eye and telling me, without knowing a thing about me, that I'm evil and I deserve to be tortured for it.

So yes, I have said to people both in person on occasion but online frequently that the things they believe are stupid, barbaric, horrible, evil, and downright disgusting. Upon seeing somebody say that they had their children pass out Chick Tracts my only response was to come back with "when your children grow up I hope they forgive you after they're done being ashamed of you"

CyberLN's picture
The title of the OP is, “How

The title of the OP is, “How to Convince People Without Being Insulting.”

Who defines what is insulting to others?

Anonymous's picture
The title needs editing.

The title needs editing. "How to Convince People Without Being Intentionally Insulting".

I want to spread atheism as far and wide as the bacteria on our beloved planet. I've found that many atheists deter this because they are often *intentionally* insulting. Therefore, the definition is not as important as much as the attitude.

Do you know if there is a way to edit the OP's title?

CyberLN's picture
Who is to judge what is

Who is to judge what is ‘intentionally insulting”?

If I respond to something with, for instance, “Fuck no!”, is that always insulting? Am I being intentionally insulting? Who is the arbiter?

Could it be that you admonish people for communicating with what is YOUR perception of insulting, not theirs?

Anonymous's picture
Your question demonstrates a

Your question demonstrates a misunderstanding of the OP. I think this is intentional, because your last question is a defensive one.

Why did you think I was "admonishing" you?

CyberLN's picture
Help me understand how you

Help me understand how you arrived at ‘defensive’?

“advise or urge (someone) earnestly.
synonyms: advise, recommend, counsel, urge, exhort, bid, enjoin”

Anonymous's picture
Cyber, I'm a retired

Cyber, I'm a retired psychologist. I apologize for being so clinical in my observations. It's part of the profession.

You presumed I was "admonishing" you. I wasn't. You misinterpreted the OP as admonishing probably because you have had lots of criticism and shamed for it.

It wasn't an admonishment. You just interpreted it that way. Admonishment requires that I know your moral code; I don't. Therefore, the OP is information.

CyberLN's picture
I listed some synonyms of the

I listed some synonyms of the word admonishment. You seem to assume my use of it carries a meaning you’ve assigned it rather than one I, the user of it, would assign. Interesting. You suggest, after, maybe a hundred or so written words that I have been subject to lots of criticism and shame? As a trained psychologist, I would have guessed you, more than others, would ask what I meant by a word rather than assuming you already knew. Imagine my disappointment!

Anonymous's picture
Cyber, so what's bugging you

Cyber, so what's bugging you these days, really? Defensiveness is a human trait. Everybody does it, when they feel they are attacked. It is human behavior. My point is I wasn't attacking you. I wasn't admonishing you. Until you accept that, we can't get any further.

I wish you would accept that, so we could go on. If you want to personal message me, please do.

(I had a client who you remind me of. He was an extremely talented and creative young fellow who are just not fitting in anywhere. He had spent his young life having to defend himself because he was socially attacked. So when he finally comes into counseling, he still interprets everything as an attack. Until he realized he wasn't being attacked, we were stuck for months.)

Ramo Mpq's picture
@Magnificent beast

@Magnificent beast

“I want to spread atheism as far and wide as the bacteria on our beloved planet”

Based off some of brief comments I read from you, and the quote above you are obviously not for religion. Why not? Also, if Atheism is simply the lack of the belief (which contradicts what this website says it is), why would you want to preach it to the world? Isn’t that what religious people do? I guess my main question is how to do want to spread/preach lack of belief, if there is nothing to believe? What would you spread/preach? I apologize in advance if the above quote is taken out of context as it might be part of a larger conversation I did not read.

Many atheists here have said that atheism is nothing but lack of belief with 0 dogma (paraphrasing) but, this website says “Atheism is a boundless subject and while some atheists may be very lax about their beliefs, some others may aim to achieve certain objectives.” So which is true? Personally, I think the definition provided by the website is a far more accurate one than the definition some users here have given. Also, what beliefs are atheists lax about? And what falls under this “boundless subject”? It’s either someone believes in something or they don’t, and either side they are on they need to “believe” in something to be on that side. Sorry, I know these are loaded questions so, just answer whatever you feel comfortable with.

Anonymous's picture
Your presumptions are so many

Your presumptions are so many that I don't have the energy to respond to your questions. I'm sorry.

I reread your post several times, and conclude that your thinking is very black/white, either/or. Also, I'm not a spokesperson for atheists, so some of your questions ("what beliefs are atheists lax about?") seem like rhetoric; I'm not sure.

What is this? What is that? How can we know? questions really bore me. I don't mean to offend, but imho, they lack sincerity for real answers from me.

Anonymous's picture
Presumption #1: "you are

Presumption #1: "you are obviously not for religion" wrong
Presumption #2: "atheism is a lack of belief: wrong
Presumption #3 that your questions are loaded. wrong.

On the other hand, you seem frustrated about something. Look at your logo. So what's up? I've had coffee and now have energy to listen.


Attach Image/Video?: 

Tin-Man's picture
@MB Re: Searching for Truth

@MB Re: Searching for Truth

MB, allow me to introduce you to Hulkster (aka: Searching for Truth, SfT, and Hulkamania). Hulkster here is one of our regular theists. Muslim, specifically. Oh, and it is worth noting he actually CHOSE Islam after a couple of years of diligent research into various other religions. We're cool, despite the tenacious cling he has to ancient fairytales. (Oh, and I hope you like merry-go-round rides. *chuckle*)

Hulkster, this is MB. She is one of our newest members. Pretty smart lady from what I've seen so far. Hope she hangs around for awhile.

Anyway, didn't mean to interrupt. Just figured it was polite to make introductions. I'll leave you two kids to have fun, while I go grab some popcorn and settle in to watch. This should be entertaining....*ambles off to kitchen while yelling toward other room*..... Hey, Old Man! Where did you put the choco bombs?!?....

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM
"Choc Bombs" are in my cool hands here in the best seats...where the Green Godzilla of Islam mets the Mad Brain Professor...seems like some great entertainment...oh I got the pork rinds for you and some Spotted death chillis to go...sssshhhhhh lets watch...round two has begun....

Anonymous's picture
OH, stop!

OH, stop!

I hope he talks about Islam. It's such a imaginative, beautiful religion, with the exception of a few things. But the tiles...

Oh,those magnificent tiles.


Do you agree with some theologians that human figures in Islamic art? I can see both points, myself. What is your take?


Watch, you guys, this is where it ends. I used by shrink zapper on him.

Ramo Mpq's picture
@old man

@old man

I will be honest, I think this is the first time any of your comments made laugh lol. “Green Godzilla of Islam” hhmmm?? Might change my name to that, got a nice ring to it.

Anonymous's picture
It reminded me of Green

It reminded me of Green Goddess salad dressing. lol

Islam is a wonderful religion, SFT. I can completely understand the attraction it has for men.

So, what about my question? Do you agree with the theologians who say the human figure should be forbidden in Islamic art?

Ramo Mpq's picture
No no no no young lady. Let's

No no no no lady. Let's not avoid questions while asking our own. Let's take it one step at a time. As a Muslim, I'm all about respect for women and beleive in "ladies first". Therefore, please first answer/address my question(s)/comments

Anonymous's picture
Uh hunh; just as I thought.

Uh hunh; just as I thought. You're into Islam about as much as my little finger is. You just proved it.


Were you, by chance, on the Amazon religion forum, before it closed? You sound familiar.

Ramo Mpq's picture
I'd be lying if I said I

I'd be lying if I said I understood anything you said or anything you are talking about in your last post.


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