Your neighbor is religious.
Do you consider it your obligation to confront and challenge them on their beliefs (even in a “friendly” way)?
I am opposed to aggressive evangelism of ALL kinds. And not because it isn’t “nice.” The reason is that uninvited personal critiques of belief, especially of irrational ones, are almost never effective. Of the scores of people I know who have given up religious beliefs, approximately zero did so as the result of an uninvited challenge by another person.
There are all sorts of things we can and should do to make it more likely that they challenge themselves, but you can’t force another person to think. You can help another person become curious enough to invite the discussion, in part by being a visibly contented nonbeliever yourself. Once you have an invitation from the other side, a lot is possible. Otherwise, forget it.
I have to agree. It’s the same reason I almost never bring up religion around close friends and classmates. If they don’t bring it up, odds are they don’t want to talk about faith.
I know a lot of atheists have been on the receiving end of uninvited conversion attempts by Christians. It’s annoying as hell and they never have anything intelligent to say. It’d be laughable if it didn’t make you so angry.
Has anyone actually succeeded at changing someone’s mind about religion when the person wasn’t asking for it?
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