Friday, July 15, 2011

Do You Hope That Others Become Atheists?

Make a wish, just leave my brain out of it. OK?
I noted in an earlier post that someone was praying for me to find God. I recently came across another comment in which the writer expressed hope that Person X would be touched by the arguments for God as formulated in the philosophical system of Thomas Aquinas.

Am I wrong to think it's distasteful for one person to desire that another adopt different beliefs and opinions? That sort of desire seems so...intrusive.

How do people feel about the following statements?
  • I hope that you will change your views and become a member of Political Party ABC some day.
  • I hope that you change your mind on the music of Artist Y.
  • I hope that you will be touched by the work of Charitable Organization Z and reconsider donating.
  • I wish that you would reverse your position and become a supporter of Policy P.
  • I want you to be persuaded in favor of my Conviction V.
Maybe I'm making too much of this, or making something out of nothing, but it creeps me out to imagine that someone else could have desires and designs on what I think about things. Someone wants me to have their ideas and opinions, not mine. Someone wants me to be someone else.

I don't see myself as trying to change people's minds, and I hold no particular desire for anyone to think anything different than they already do. I see myself as expressing my own views and making them available to scrutiny and response.


  1. Billy Smoke4:49 PM

    Unless Hell is real, then I'd suppose you'd want to hear from us.

  2. Far too often, religious folk trying to convert others come on like a salesman trying to sell something to someone that doesnt really want it. Hard-sell to me seems counter-productive. A better approach would be to live the life they want to sell us and, by their example, make the product seem appealing.
    Doesnt happen much, and personally I respond to the hard-sell by walking away. If someone want me to "buy" something that literally involves my soul, they'd better show me how great their product is, something which the most prominent American Christians (and their followers) are not doing right now (unless the product they're selling is raw political power).


Feel free to comment if you have something substantial and substantiated to say.