It's mostly defensiveness, because these are people who try to claim that 
atheists are more intelligent/morally upright/ saner than people who believe, 
and some even argue that all religion should somehow be abolished (hence the 
fact that even Buddhism doesn't get a free ride). 

What really frustrates me is the claims about the "truth," when I find that 
rather arrogant for humans to assume that we know "the truth," even with our 
best science.  They are intent on *proving* that there is no God. 

Why does this seem to affect me so personally? I don't know. I find someone 
telling me what to think in the name of "freedom" (and subsequently describing 
stuff that I love in ways that I simply don't recognize, i.e. "religion is just 
about controlling people") really hurts my feelings. Is that odd?

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
>
> DP,
> 
>  
> 
> I think you are drawn into arguments with people like these either out of
> compassion or ego.  If you engage with them thinking you might help them,
> that could be compassion.  If you engage with them to defend your beliefs or
> yourself (your self), then it is ego-related.
> 
>  
> 
> I consider myself at the least an agnostic (a person who holds the view that
> any ultimate reality such as God*) is unknown and probably unknowable) and
> perhaps even an atheist (one who believes that there is no deity*).  I do
> believe there is 'an ultimate reality', but that ultimate reality is Just
> THIS!  It's everyday life - the ultimate WYSIWYG (What You See (and Touch
> and Hear and Smell and Taste) Is What You Get).
> 
>  
> 
> Although I do not consider myself a Buddhist, I see no conflict between
> Buddhism and either agnosticism or atheism.
> 
>  
> 
> Back to your question 'why are you drawn into arguments?', I think the
> simple answer is that it is fun for you, maybe challenging.  You do learn a
> lot from arguments.  They make you think about whatever the topic is in a
> different way than you usually think.  They certainly can be uncomfortable,
> but I think they are healthy.
> 
>  
> 
> Just remember, especially when arguing about religion: almost all arguments
> are based on logic, and logic is not the basis for religion.  Faith is the
> basis for religion.  Don't let your opponent drag you into a logical
> argument.  Then you're on his territory.
> 
>  
> 
> And if all else fails you can fall back on the 'fact' that logic and
> rationality is actually based on faith itself - faith in cause-and-effect.
> I myself actually consider science itself a religion which is based on faith
> in logic and cause-and-effect.  When I think about this I'm always reminded
> of a valuable story which compares logic and belief:
> 
>  
> 
> A European hunter was on a trip to Africa and was taking a trip up a river
> on a boat which was propelled by a steam engine.  He hired a couple natives
> to keep the fire in the boiler stoked.  When he hired them and told them
> their assignment he explained very carefully how a steam engine works and
> why it was important to keep the fire going.  They understood, but
> inevitably they would eventually stop shoving wood into the fire, the fire
> would go out and the steam engine and the boat would stop.  This happened
> over and over again.  His African guide watched all this and finally decided
> he would have to sort this out.  He told the men that there was a very
> powerful, angry, vengeful and HUNGRY god living in the boiler.  If they
> didn't keep his belly full of wood he would become so enraged with hunger
> that he would come out of the boiler and eat them!  The boat never stopped
> for lack of steam again.
> 
>  
> 
> Sometimes logic is not the most appropriate tool to use.  Another example is
> if a 3-year old child has just been run over by a car, talking to the mother
> about momentum, kinetic force, inertia and the crushing threshold of a human
> skull is not going to soothe her.  Telling her that her child is now
> 'playing with the angles' or 'in the arms of Jesus' would be a better
> approach.
> 
>  
> 
> .Bill!
> 
>  
> 
> *Merriam-Webster Online
> 
>  
> 
> From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
> Of DP
> Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:20 AM
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [Zen] How to walk away from arguments
> 
>  
> 
>   
> 
> i have this frustrating tendency to get into arguments with random people on
> the internet. I personally try to keep in civil, but I get discouraged by
> all the insults and obnoxiousness.
> 
> Many of the arguments are about religion. I encounter a lot of so-called
> "internet atheists" who seem to design their arguments to provoke people and
> make self-congratulatory statements (although I wouldn't call them all
> trolls). They spare no religion, citing examples of Buddhist violence or
> badly misrepresenting concepts to make them sound like so much babble. (I
> have some Christian beliefs, but they are not very orthodox, which they find
> hard to understand and therefore I get a lot of "why not just give it all
> up?")
> 
> So why do I feel the need to argue with these people? Why does my ego make
> it so I feel the need to confront everything they say, not give them the
> "victory?"
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> database 5490 (20100929) __________
> 
> The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.
> 
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