GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


January 21, 2020

The Religious Atheist

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:03 am

Ryan riggins 2KJjKrod2RA unsplash“Even Atheists have religion.” That was the mini-sermon I heard from The Grasshopper this morning.

We all have things we believe in that we can’t validate. That’s faith; that’s trust; that’s religion.

Even the most devout religious person knows they cannot prove many of the tenets of their faith. That, however, is not enough to dissuade them from their belief.

When we believe in something that others cannot fathom, and that we cannot prove, we have a brand of religion. There is nothing wrong with believing; that’s how we are wired.

The problem arises when we want to sell our belief as the only one there is, or to be more specific – The one true religion.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have discussions with non-believers about our beliefs. It just means that we need to step down from our soapbox, so we’re on the same level.

When discussing beliefs, it’s important not to challenge the other person’s way of believing. Here are two words to use when asking a question about another person’s belief: Curious and Wonder.

“I’m curious how you arrived at your belief that all left-handed strippers are bi-sexual.”

“I wonder what makes you believe that your religion (way of believing) is the one, true religion?”

You’re just asking how they arrived at their conclusion. You’re not challenging it, demeaning it, or dismissing it. You are just starting a discussion about what most recommend that we politely don’t talk about.

What their answer will reveal is what NLP practitioners call their “convincer strategy.” But that isn’t my goal when having this discussion. I’m attempting to form a closer bond with someone who has different beliefs than me. I’m not attempting to convince them to see things my way. That generally has them quickly head for the highway.

My goal is to get closer to the belief that this person is just like me – just with different content. I think of us both as tea or coffee mugs. We’re both the same; we just contain a different brew.

The next time you are tempted to dismiss someone’s beliefs, get a little religion and discover that they don’t have to be just like you.

All the best,

John



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