111

I am an atheist, I know many atheists and people of other religions personally and have witnessed many "discussions" turn into full on yelling matches, which is why I refuse to participate unless I am talking with a close friend. That is, I will not bring up the subject. However, if anyone else mentions it, I make a point of saying something. Rhetorical ...


56

I suggest you take an approach that is apologetic, but firm. For example, you could say: I apologize for offending you with my comments about religion, and I will not make such comments unprompted. However, when we are having discussions about religion, I have the same right as you to contribute to the discussion. I respect your beliefs surrounding ...


24

Being a person with strong beliefs, you're unlikely to "make friends and influence others" by arguing with people who also have strongly held beliefs. More, or less, you're a bit more likely to alienate your religious co-workers by talking about their religion, than you are to get them to question their deeply held beliefs. That's not to say that you should ...


21

I see a variety of ways this could go. I think that in the end, if the religious discussion is producing conflict, the solution isn't to insist on your right to discuss, but to ask them not to discuss. The variety of ways: Example 1 Joe: "No bacon for me." Fred: "Is that because you keep kosher? You know, that would also mean that you can't ...


15

I think you are right when you say there is a double-standard. I am a devout Hindu and if I can talk about my beliefs, you as an Atheist are also allowed to talk about your beliefs. (Atheism is discussed as being it's own "religion" in Hindu scriptures, because it's a way of life a person adopts for himself.) The problem occurs because people usually take ...


10

I think the important question for you to ask yourself here is, why has this become such a big deal for you? If the answer is that your colleagues are making you feel mocked or harassed about your identity as an atheist, the answer is clear. You should attempt to make an arrangement with them of mutual effort to not make anyone feel uncomfortable for their ...


7

I'm going to take a different tack from the other answers, and instead suggest your colleagues should become more familiar with the field of Apologetics if they plan to "talk shop" around you. Apologetics is the systematic defense of religious belief through logical argument. Because Apologetics is so well-established, there is no reason your colleagues ...


7

Flip your question around. I realize the inverse is not exactly symmetrical, but it's still a useful exercise in interpersonal relations. Consider the following scenario: under what circumstances would it be appropriate for a religious person to interrupt a conversation about the banalities of religion with a discussion of the fiery afterlife that awaits ...


4

What you and your wife did is a very nice thing, and to me it seems you did two very separate things. Firstly, you made regular donations to an organised charitable program that you trusted would use the funds benevolently. As you stated, you did not directly send money to any one child. But secondly, your wife took the time to write to a child which of ...


3

I see myself in you. While I don't have quite the same scenario, (I'm atheistic but in a more atheist-friendly environment), I'm a Vegan and have very much the same kinds of situations on that subject instead. I sometimes have people tip-toeing about when ordering non-vegan food when we go to restaurants, even though I really don't care (similar to your ...


2

Perhaps you could ask if there could be a policy that a specific subject will be off topic and not brought up at the office, in this case religion. It's easy to think about it using a different subject. For example: You think a particular football team is the best, they can do no wrong; even if they came in last. All your coworkers feel the same way, ...


2

I mean this in the nicest way possible - there are some superfluous details in your question. The fact you met him through a church you no longer attend, and your own introversion are not really anything to do with the fact you have a tenant who is breaking the law and you don't want to be part of it. I mention this, not to criticise your question, but to ...


1

It is important that if something angers you or frustrates you that you do not discuss it until you are no longer angered or frustrated by it. You must wait. Then at another time approach the person and ask if they remember the incident. You can then tell them that what they were asking or discussing was putting you in an impossible situation. You are ...


1

It may help to view the problem objectively, without the religious angle. If you can keep that angle out of the initial analysis, your problem is almost solved, if you see the underlying problem, which is a matter of debate, literally, a question of manners and politeness as a matter of rhetorics. If you are anything like me, you try to be provocative. You ...


1

make it clear that if the subject is raised, I can talk about it just like anyone else Perhaps you shouldn't, though. Imagine a German scholar and a French scholar -- the German scholar likes to talk abut German, and the French scholar likes to talk about French -- all well and good. It's less good if the German scholar says, "French literature is ...


1

I’d just play it safe. The fact is that while it’s not fair for someone to make comments that may offend one of your disposition and then hold you accountable for doing the same to them, you’re better off not saying anything that will offend them if it has no real necessity. For example, as a Jew I often hear what are misconceptions about the Bible. If I’m ...


1

Depending on how confrontational you want to be, you could ask this person to stop airing their religious views in your presence - or you could simply walk away, metaphorically, by saying something non-committal or indicating that you don't care. But both these scenarios are less than ideal, because they inevitably lead to conflict - what you really need is ...


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