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I was having a lovely evening with my boyfriend, full of board gaming and talking with friends when one of my gaming friends walks up and asks if I'd like to play Ticket To Ride with him and two others. I'm rather sleepy, so it's a mindless enough game, and the other half hasn't played it yet (I'm still breaking him in to Euro gaming). So, I agree.

(quick side note: I wear a gold ring with a heart-shaped gem that is my birthstone [sapphire] as a promise ring when I am in a relationship to signify my commitment.)

He and I sit next to each other, and the new person I am just now meeting notices my ring. During the course of the game he says something that we both giggle at. He said, "You two haven't been married long, have you?" And I correct him that we are not yet married. He asks if we go to church (assuming that my promise ring is some sort of religious thing, which is weird in my eyes, but okay...), I reply that I am Atheist. He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science." And he snapped back with, "Well, my father is a scientist AND a Christian." And I paused. Normally I would respond with, 'That's nice' or something similar. But, I just felt like he was spitting in my face about it. So I responded, "That sounds like an oxymoron." At this point, my boyfriend stepped into the conversation and said, "I hope he is happy," and put his arm around me to give me a kiss in an effort to try and stop the conversation before it blew up more.

So, now, this game of Ticket To Ride that once was friendly and light, now becomes annoying and long. This guy continually forces people to take faster turns, even going so far as to take his turn before I'm done. shake

This exact sort of situation is why I avoid RSP with most people; but he brought it up and I responded in kind. I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could and tried to be a sport about it (I left the table when we were done, didn't even want to count my points because I wasn't even really playing anymore after that). I just find it very hard to tolerate small-minded individuals who think their way is the ONLY way and I should give it a chance. Why can't my way be OK? It works for me, so why should I give your diety a chance? (FTR, I gave it a chance when I was younger. Even read the bible; found it boring, outdated, and ridiculous)

Has anyone else ever had a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it? I enjoy debates and discussions, but I feel this was an unwinnable situation and not worth my time.
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Christianity unfortunately usually includes the obnoxious need to try to proselytize. Since I'm not an atheist, I've not gone that exact phrasing, but I'm Jewish and so I have lots of stories about missionary types where you'd not expect them. I usually either make them look ridiculous or make clear the topic is not welcome, depending on my mood.
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violintides wrote:

Has anyone else ever had a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it? I enjoy debates and discussions, but I feel this was an unwinnable situation and not worth my time.


Yep. I was at a gaming con one time playing a game of Formula De and there was this nice couple who each had jewelry with the Christian cross. He wore a ring with the cross and she had a nice, dainty gold necklace. Anyway, this one gal was playing and she noticed the couple's jewelry and asked if they were Christians, When they replied yes, she responded, with a smirk, "Well, I'm a scientist and quite educated, knowledgeable and way smarter than to be misled by the false notion of a cloud person riding a unicorn and demanding the blood of our children in sacrifice to his evil nature."

Well, as you can imagine, everybody playing stopped, looked at the smug and pompous twerp who had just insulted two people she didn't know and in unison we all said, "Fuck you! Now roll the goddamned dice and play!"

The Christian lady won, with her husband a close second and the scientist/atheist/creep wandered off to play a more fitting Euro game that had muted pastel colors, a spread sheet game mechanic and very little interaction with other human beings.
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violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?
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Apologies, but did anyone else, on reading the subject, think, "All I am saying..."?

If I were in a snarky mood, I'd have proselytized right back: "You should give independent thought a chance."

But in this instance, I would probably have said, "Whose God"?
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I have ONE relative who is religious. The rest of my family doesn't even talk about religion or even really have one. It's very abnormal, I've found, as most families have some sort of normal religion amongst them. I rather enjoyed my lack of religion in my upbringing. It helped me form a more educated thought process about what *I* believe in, rather than blindly believing in whatever my family might want me to. So, when I have things like this happen, I find it rather sad that people want to convert rather than accept the differences in others.

If I had said, "Well, I'm Jewish," then I am certain the conversation would have been different. But instead, the word 'Atheist' carries such a negative conotation to it, that I got a lecture about how I should give God a chance. shake Atheism is like a religion, except not. So why do people insist that I give X religion a chance when I have chosen to avoid it entirely?
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jarredscott78 wrote:
violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?

I am certain I left out bits of the conversation out; but, yes, I did snip back at him because I am of the belief that one cannot believe both in Science and in Christianity as they follow completely different ideals (one is "belief in faith", one is "belief based on actual results from experiments"). I cannot fathom a Christian Scientist. Evolution and Creationism are too different for one to call themselves a Scientist and still believe in a child's bedtime story of the Stork delivering babies and Eve being created from Adam's rib.
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I understand this account is from your perspective, but your use of phrases like "snapped back" don't really ring true to me. It sounds like you are pretty defensive about anyone challenging your beliefs. Simply saying "you should give God a chance" doesn't seem that offensive to me. I certainly wouldn't be offended by a Muslim or Hindu saying a similar thing to me. It seems like you are taking exception to the whole concept of discussing beliefs in this context, and that it was rude for this person to pry. If that is the case, you should not have responded with your comment about science. This obviously invites the discussion to go further. Then again, that's not why you posted this thread. You posted it to complain about how obnoxious Christians are. So I'm going to shut up now for fear of falling into that same category.

To actually answer your question, no. Even door-to-door people I am usually pretty happy to talk to. I don't mind discussing my beliefs and I don't seem them as something to be secretive about. I feel anyone that is genuinely wanting to discuss an issue is "worth my time". Maybe because I don't debate/discuss to win, so whether or not it is "winnable" is not relevant to me. But that's just me.
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"No, we're not married."
"No, I do not go to church. I am an Atheist."

OK, those are civil responses. Then you begin to insult another's beliefs with your insulting and snide comments. You could have stopped at "No thank you" and not thrown in your smug assurance that Christians are ignorant about science. Sorry, but I don't see where you get a pass on this one.
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violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."


"No thank you" is a good response, but the next part about belief in science could have confused things. Religion and science are two separate things, not opposites. And the word belief in this case sounds odd to me since science is about questioning things, not believing.

I agree with you about pushy religious types, though. The door to door religion salespeople are getting out of hand around here.
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violintides wrote:
I was having a lovely evening with my boyfriend, full of board gaming and talking with friends when one of my gaming friends walks up and asks if I'd like to play Ticket To Ride with him and two others. I'm rather sleepy, so it's a mindless enough game, and the other half hasn't played it yet (I'm still breaking him in to Euro gaming). So, I agree.

(quick side note: I wear a gold ring with a heart-shaped gem that is my birthstone [sapphire] as a promise ring when I am in a relationship to signify my commitment.)

He and I sit next to each other, and the new person I am just now meeting notices my ring. During the course of the game he says something that we both giggle at. He said, "You two haven't been married long, have you?" And I correct him that we are not yet married. He asks if we go to church (assuming that my promise ring is some sort of religious thing, which is weird in my eyes, but okay...), I reply that I am Atheist. He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science." And he snapped back with, "Well, my father is a scientist AND a Christian." And I paused. Normally I would respond with, 'That's nice' or something similar. But, I just felt like he was spitting in my face about it. So I responded, "That sounds like an oxymoron." At this point, my boyfriend stepped into the conversation and said, "I hope he is happy," and put his arm around me to give me a kiss in an effort to try and stop the conversation before it blew up more.

So, now, this game of Ticket To Ride that once was friendly and light, now becomes annoying and long. This guy continually forces people to take faster turns, even going so far as to take his turn before I'm done. shake

This exact sort of situation is why I avoid RSP with most people; but he brought it up and I responded in kind. I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could and tried to be a sport about it (I left the table when we were done, didn't even want to count my points because I wasn't even really playing anymore after that). I just find it very hard to tolerate small-minded individuals who think their way is the ONLY way and I should give it a chance. Why can't my way be OK? It works for me, so why should I give your diety a chance? (FTR, I gave it a chance when I was younger. Even read the bible; found it boring, outdated, and ridiculous)

Has anyone else ever had a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it? I enjoy debates and discussions, but I feel this was an unwinnable situation and not worth my time.


Wow... sounds like he needs to stop and think about his value set and the impression he is giving of christians.

Sorry you had to deal with a rude person who was christian.

I could suggest various ways to argue with him, but what would be the point. I think it would be more effective to say, "Listen we are here to play this game and have fun. You want to take a short break til you cool down? Then we can play for fun again" And if he doesn't and continues to be rude- you end the game. Being rude, unpleasant, or openly hostile is a justifiable reason to terminate a game.

@King Ævil
Exactly: Woden, Zeus, Ama, Yahweh*, Ra, Shiva, Vishna, Allah, Coyote Trickster.
*(Calvinist, Roman Catholic, Santiera, Protestant, Jehovah's witness, Mormon, Branch Davidian, Greek Orthodox, etc.)

@violintides: You said it at the start or your post. You were already tired. It's hard to be civil and think of the polite or amusing thing to say when you are tired.

And it took me years to fight free of religion- then years to get past people trying to proseletize me, and then years to get over the irritation of their incredible sense of entitlement and smugness and certainty. Now, I can throw down without getting hot and I can also be polite. The consolation is that if Yahweh is real, man that is one evil, partially, chimerical, insane being by its own religious texts.
And still twice in the last year, three times in the last five years, the same person has tried to convert me at work.


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It's hard to tell from a text account, (e.g. one where we can't see the expression or hear the tone of either party) but it seems to me that you made a choice to escalate here. I think that the "You should give God a chance" comment was pretty obnoxious, but the Science comment was clearly a counter-shot and the oxymoron comment was both escalating and silly, since there are plenty of scientists who are also theists.

That said, I don't think you have to, or should, back down. In similar situations I've said things like, "Given that we've just met I think it's fair to say you don't know whether I've 'given God a chance' or what my reasons are for not believing. I'm happy to discuss it with you another time, but right now I prefer to enjoy some friendly gaming."
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Bearcat89 wrote:
"No, we're not married."
"No, I do not go to church. I am an Atheist."

OK, those are civil responses. Then you begin to insult another's beliefs with your insulting and snide comments. You could have stopped at "No thank you" and not thrown in your smug assurance that Christians are ignorant about science. Sorry, but I don't see where you get a pass on this one.


I agree (see my earlier comment) but do you not think that, "You should give God a chance" to a complete stranger is also a rude comment?
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violintides wrote:
I have ONE relative who is religious. The rest of my family doesn't even talk about religion or even really have one. It's very abnormal, I've found, as most families have some sort of normal religion amongst them. I rather enjoyed my lack of religion in my upbringing. It helped me form a more educated thought process about what *I* believe in, rather than blindly believing in whatever my family might want me to. So, when I have things like this happen, I find it rather sad that people want to convert rather than accept the differences in others.

If I had said, "Well, I'm Jewish," then I am certain the conversation would have been different. But instead, the word 'Atheist' carries such a negative conotation to it, that I got a lecture about how I should give God a chance. shake Atheism is like a religion, except not. So why do people insist that I give X religion a chance when I have chosen to avoid it entirely?


Here! I'll help!

Think about it this way - religion is essentially history. No really. Religion is interwoven with every culture, every advancement, every society, everything good and bad that has been recorded and probably all the things that haven't been recorded.

Not knowing, caring about or acknowledging the power and scope of religious knowledge is, to me, pretty much the same as having a closed mind. As saying to yourself, "Self, I already know all I need or want to know. Anything religion might have to offer isn't as worthy of my time or efforts as hard, calculable science.... that can be meted, measured, statted and graphed."

So how does a person who doesn't concede there is a god, supreme being, pantheon of demi-gods, or some sort of uber-mind/soul thingie, how can that person learn from religion? Easy. Read some religious books. The Bible, Pearls of Wisdom, Koran, you know, books. Actually, I think even a better place to start is to apply your massive intellect to books about religion and then, after seeing what is and isn't interesting, read the actual books of the religions that you find compelling.

I read this one as a young teen:



It is widely available today as I have seen it on Amazon and eBay. The book opened my young, inquisitive mind to the fact that people are just goddamned awesome no matter what part of the planet they live in and what god(s) they do or don't follow. From this small paperback I went on to read something like 20 or 30 heavier books incorporating everything from the LDS faith to Islam to the ancient Druids.

Nobody who claims to be intelligent can deny the intelligence and insight religion has to offer without being somewhat liberal in judging their own intellect.

And no, I am not a religious person or member of a church. But I like most of them.
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jarredscott78 wrote:
violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?


How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?
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mrspank wrote:

How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?

rly?
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DCAnderson wrote:
mrspank wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:
violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?


How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?


It implies a value judgement to Christians. It comes across as, "No thank you I believe in Science. Unlike you, you ignorant savage who as a Christian rejects science."


So don't tell the truth in this situation? Check.
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"I have no interest in the God mechanic regardless of what theme is pasted on."

Seriously though, with acquaintances it's probably best to take the high road with something like "I have a number of replies ranging from rude to polite for your comment, but none of them are appropriate to this game so let's just move on."

If I am gaming with good friends, then I may joust for a few lines before saying "whose turn is it?" - The ultimate subject changer.
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jarredscott78 wrote:
mrspank wrote:

How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?

rly?


What Jarred said.

If someone says you should try X and you say, "No thank you, Y" the implication is that Y is at odds with X. That doesn't have to be snide, if the implication isn't negative. For example, if someone says I should try (abstract) and I say, "No thank you, I prefer games with a theme," then I'm just expressing a preference. But if I say, "No thank you, I prefer good games" then presumably I'm saying that his game isn't good.

One could interpret the above line as saying something like, "Science fills the role in my life that religion fills in the lives of others," but I think the more natural interpretation (and clearly the correct one, given subsequent comments by the OPoster) is that those who believe in God don't believe in science.
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TheChin! wrote:

Seriously though, with acquaintances it's probably best to take the high road with something like "I have a number of replies ranging from rude to polite for your comment, but none of them are appropriate to this game so let's just move on."

If you say this to me I'd rather you just tell me to go fuck myself. Direct beats passive aggressive and smug. I can't imagine how your line is the high road.
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jarredscott78 wrote:
mrspank wrote:

How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?

rly?


I view the "You should give god a chance" as instigating. I find it perfectly reasonable to respond the way violintides did. It's civil given the context of the discussion. If she had blurted it out for no reason then it would have been uncivil.
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Dispaminite wrote:
DCAnderson wrote:
mrspank wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:
violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?


How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?


It implies a value judgement to Christians. It comes across as, "No thank you I believe in Science. Unlike you, you ignorant savage who as a Christian rejects science."


So don't tell the truth in this situation? Check.


The poster said he tries to be civil so the conversation is over whether this is civil.

There is a difference between telling the truth and telling all the truth. If you think that Christians are ignorant savages then it's up to you whether you say so every time you meet a Christian. If you don't, then what's the point of your comment?
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Bearcat89 wrote:
"No, we're not married."
"No, I do not go to church. I am an Atheist."

OK, those are civil responses. Then you begin to insult another's beliefs with your insulting and snide comments. You could have stopped at "No thank you" and not thrown in your smug assurance that Christians are ignorant about science. Sorry, but I don't see where you get a pass on this one.


I agree (see my earlier comment) but do you not think that, "You should give God a chance" to a complete stranger is also a rude comment?

Absolutely, yes. If a person gives a strong indication that they are not interested in your witness, then it is time to back off. But I think he was pushy, not insulting. There is a difference.
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When people say to me, "You should give atheism a chance.", I just tell them, "No thanks. I believe in having an open mind."

I don't know why people think I'm rude, the smug bastards!
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DCAnderson wrote:
mrspank wrote:
jarredscott78 wrote:
violintides wrote:
He quickly replies, "Oh... well, you should give God a chance." I just shake my head and say, "No thank you. I believe in Science."

Two wrongs to start.

violintides wrote:
"That sounds like an oxymoron."

violintides wrote:
I kept a civilized tongue as often as I could...

You couldn't help but to not be civil twice?


How is saying, "No thank you, I believe in science" not civil?


It implies a value judgement to Christians. It comes across as, "No thank you I believe in Science. Unlike you, you ignorant savage who as a Christian rejects science."


Funny... because I heard
Quote:
"No thank you I believe in science which records observed data, builds hypothesis and proposes testable hypothesis. In many cases, when data collected by the scientific method and theories based on that data contradicted christan faith, christians have behaved irrationally, ignored the facts, and even tortured and murdered people who were just stating observed factual data about reality.
...
Unlike you, you ignorant christian savage who probably rejects scientific theories from geology,astrophysics, biology, and genetics.

... Yea... I did hear the ignorant christian savage bit in there. It's hard to avoid. I guess you could say explicitly.

Quote:
But I'm not sure if you reject observed data til we talk more. What's your position on the age of the universe? Let's figure out which beliefs we share. Oh wait.. but we need to start this game and it will take a good half hour to establish your position on science and I'm not really in the mood for it since I'm tired- so how about we talk about it later.


Or you could take the ms manners approach: "That's interesting. (smile). Well, let's play ticket to ride."

Or you could take the ms manners irritated approach: "I'm sorry, I had so looked forward to a conversation about religion, but we have this game we have committed to play and it would be rude to make them wait".

 
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