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Old April 14th, 2013 (12:14 PM).
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Kanzler Kanzler is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto
Gender: Male
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Posts: 5,916
Might I ask what common ground you think atheists and the religious have? And keep in mind I've suffered quite the bit of abuse from the religious just because of who I am, so in my mind I don't see very much common ground at all.
Sounds like you're not very committed to keeping an open mind. Coming from a different background than the rest of us is no excuse to treat it as a handicap when it comes to understanding others. I can tell you some things we've agreed upon in this thread: we believe in cause and effect, we agrees that humans are irrational creatures but can use reason nonetheless, that science can be compatible with reason, that it is difficult to explain the inexplicable and that religion can be analyzed in a rational framework.

These concepts are the foundation of this thread and the foundation of a constructive conversation that will lead to understanding between all of us. Because we have these common definitions and concepts, we can compare and contrast the way we think. You're misconstruing understanding how someone else could believe in a god with "incontrovertible evidence of God's existence". Perhaps because their belief is irrational so the evidence you seek is irrelevant to their belief system? That, however, doesn't prevent you from being able to understand why they would think that way. Just because you understand something doesn't mean you have to believe it. We can still grapple with irrationality within a rational context.

I don't know why you, as a gay man, don't see the worth in trying. What are allies for if you claim we "can't understand what it means to be gay"? I can't experience it the same way you can, but would anybody really be an ally if I couldn't understand what it means? The Venn diagram of gay and straight has some overlap, similarly to that of religion and atheism, as I have demonstrated above. The overlap is what I'd like to get at in order to come to a greater understanding.

Their explanation may not make sense, but you can try to understand why they would believe something that doesn't make sense to you. And that in itself is significant.
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