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Tired of arguing with friends and family - Comments

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 1 by AtheistEgbert

As a shy contrarian myself, I can sympathize with this obvious conflict of interest, between challenging people's opinions and lonely alienation. If you choose the path of dissent and independent thought, then I'm afraid you will be ostracized and rejected. So when it comes to friends and family, you might have to simply let go and tolerate them, even if you disagree. You can be charming, amiable and witty, and still disagree with them, but at least you will be respected for being yourself.

The master of contrariness and charm is the splended Christopher Hitchens. He wrote a book called Letters to a Young Contrarian, which probably gives better advice than I ever could.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:05:15 UTC | #883722

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 2 by Schrodinger's Cat

I think you can try too hard to be correct and 'win' arguments on your own. Friends, relatives, etc aren't going to suddenly say 'Oh yes, you are blindingly obviously correct and I change all my views'. Nobody likes to climb down in public. A better method than arguing all the minutae yourself is to reference excellent literature on the respective issues.....perhaps by way of ' Have you read Dawkins books on evolution ? That's what I believe in'. That's a more indirect approach.....and it also does no harm to quote the sources of one's knowledge.

In my experience, people are influenced by what one says.....even if they do not admit so at the time. The secret is not to forcibly try to 'win' the argument every time, as that can just irritate people, but to calmly state the basis of one's beliefs with confidence and leave it at that. If the argument continues, just reference supporting literature and ask people to read it.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:05:24 UTC | #883723

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 3 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I feel your frustration. I don't want to get into the exact details in a public forum, even one where I'm semi-anonymous, but recently I got into a discussion with people about female genital mutilation and how barbaric it is. The short version is that the people I was talking to said I was in no position to comment because it's another culture's practice. Someone else said that for people in those cultures who practice it, it's not an issue, even saying that nobody complained about it until very recently. At any rate, I blew up and came close to crying. Nobody was convinced, and I think they just saw me as bullheaded. They didn't say I was a bigot or a racist, but I'm sure at least one person was thinking that. As Richard has always pointed out, you can't criticize cultural practices in Islam because people automatically label you as racist.

Again, I understand your frustration. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I know that I think more deeply than most people, though I tend to think that those on this forum do as well. It's very disheartening how bright people, even certified geniuses, just don't think deeply about things. For me, to go through life like that, would be a miserable existence.


Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:07:15 UTC | #883724

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 4 by brighterstill

I've found that for many arguments where one side (usually the rational side) is very obviously correct to people like us and yet not at all evident to people unused to rational discussion - a good way to "win" is to allow the internal inconsistencies of the opposing viewpoints to essentially defeat themselves. I've found that people respond very well to being asked questions about their arguments in the vein of:

"Well, what's led you to this conclusion?" and "Now, how have you defined this term?" and "Why wouldn't it be possible for this to be true instead?"

With questions rather than facts, people apparently feel less defensive and any discussion (with anyone worthy of having a discussion) seems, at least to me, much more willing to get down to the heart of the matter. With a very patient and unhostile tone of voice even, discussions go from arguments to explorations of their rationale. I think it's some kind of fundamental human need to have other people understand you and asking probing questions, not about what they believe but why they believe it, gives people that coveted outlet for exploring and showcasing their own minds.

With one or two very intelligent peers to practice with - provided they hold at least some views which differ from you - it's helpful to have debate-style discussions to hone your ability to cut to the quick of any topic. I've found with much initial aggravation that the sooner a conversation gets away from the surface issue (abortion, atheism, religion, death penalty, global warming, etc...) and focuses on the real heart of the matter - usually the person's own personal feelings about abstract concepts like meaning, god, science, morality, you become able to point to their deeply fundamental assumptions and axioms about life and usually two opposing sides can at the very least agree that they differ on these assumptions, leading to all subsequent disagreements. The beauty of it is that with irrational people who hold arguments which really are untennable, getting to the "heart of the matter" will, along the way, expose the rediculousness of their core axioms: when they are forced to admit that they really just assume all scientists are lying all the time, or that they believe in a personal god because that's what they're parents believe, they'll often come to profound realizations about themselves. I've managed to calmly talk people into defining their core axioms until they discover they also do not really believe in a supernatural deity and that they just want to live a moral life. In the end, winning the original argument is just an ancillary benefit.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:35:33 UTC | #883729

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 5 by Red Dog

I can understand your frustration but I hope you don't keep your opinions to yourself. That is the way the irrational people win. They just keep on spouting nonsense with so much vehemence that it overpowers reason.

As for "winning arguments" just because the person you are arguing with seldom if ever says "oh yes you are obviously correct" doesn't mean its not worth arguing:

1) I often think the argument is for the people listening or lurking (in the case of online arguments) as much as the individual you are arguing with. That is why I always try (unfortunately often fail) to stay cool, logical, and polite no matter how rude or illogical the other person is.

2) The following has happened to me more than once. (This is more around work issues but I think it applies to all arguments). I'll argue with someone and make what I think are killer arguments. I can tell that they are having some doubts but they still won't admit they are wrong. Then a few days or even weeks later they will come up to me and say "you know I was thinking and ..." and essentially repeat my argument as if it were their own.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:38:36 UTC | #883733

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 6 by SomersetJohn

I am old enough to remember when it was normal to discriminate against unwed mothers, blacks, homosexuals, gypsies, chinese, the disabled; in fact just about anyone who was not you. We have come a long, long way since those dark days. We still have a very long way to go of course, but as long as there are some of us willing to challenge those attitudes which allow these (entirely secular) evils to continue crimes like FGM will eventually be eradicated, first in the west but eventually everywhere.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:43:09 UTC | #883734

G*O*D's Avatar Comment 7 by G*O*D

Just a question. Can you try to quantify how much you argue about: 1) Religion, Islamism, death penalty, abortion, global warming, Afghanistan, genital mutilation, pedophily 2) Sports, music, science, movies, trips, other hobbies

I think being obsessed with (1) might be the problem. I agree 100% (1) is a lot more important, but people may simply be tired of arguing about such issues after, for instance, having argued for eight hours with their boss.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:50:44 UTC | #883736

korben's Avatar Comment 8 by korben

I've come to the same point of frustration and tried the silent approach, that is, there are subjects that I just don't talk about anymore and that makes me very sad as it has created a gulf between my family (even very close family, such as my wife) that I can't find a way to close. It is said that it's very difficult to use logic to convince someone that arrived at a certain conclusion precisely by discarding all logic. What kind of evidence can you provide to somebody who discards all evidence? What kind of logic can prove your logic when logic is disregarded and even considered a reprehensible trait (you have to "feel", not "think")?

If somebody cares to look for the truth regarding for example claims about a new vacuum cleaner or a deodorant but doesn't care about (or even rejects) the truth when it comes to other more significant things such as religion, well being, health, economy, etc. then it's an uphill battle. I can only hope that at one point, clinging to false beliefs will come crashing upon their heads (take those homeopathy drops or pray to your god if your child gets cancer instead of seeking medical treatment and pretty soon you'll have to admit the foolishness of your beliefs) and that at least my approach to things will eventually lead them by example. I've tried everything and as you said, the discussions end up badly because we have different takes on life; I want to get to the truth of things, as tough as truth can sometimes be, while the other party just wants to feel good. I think that it would be intellectually and even morally dishonest on my part to accept anything else than the truth. If I can't be honest with myself about myself then why should I be honest with anybody or expect honesty from anybody else either. In my mind, the only way to grow as a human being is by being honest, brutally honest, starting with myself; it's a never ending process of examining myself, my beliefs, my attitudes, my knowledge, etc and replacing or refining them every day.

So in the end I think that, sadly, sometimes you just have to follow your own path and let everybody else figure out by themselves what they want from life and accept the consequences of their double standards and self-deceptions. I haven't found a way to chip away at the belief system of somebody who refuses to think critically. That's something that they have to decide by themselves. You're probably a mile ahead, you've probably been where they are now and can perfectly understand where they come from, but they won't understand you until they decide, on their own, to walk down the path of reason the same way you did. I think it's a pretty common feeling of frustration and impotence among freethinkers and there are probably very few that have succeeded at changing somebody else's ideas (or lack thereof).

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:17:28 UTC | #883741

Atheist medic's Avatar Comment 9 by Atheist medic

GOD raises a good point. I have been accused of being obsessed with big moral issues and religion. While I think these issues are the most important to discuss, many people don't like to talk about them. Especially if they know that your argument will be supported by greater logic and evidence. People often feel intimidated by people who are willing to support a strong opinion with strong facts and delivery. Try applying your scepticism to less emotive topics, and see if you can persuade people to try your way of thinking.

I do share your frustration, as I frequently argue with my father, who has many opinions that are contrary to my own. Don't give up on discussing the issues that are close to your heart - just try some different approaches. It can often be best to offer people food for thought over a long period of time. Minds aren't changed very often by a single direct confrontation.

Hope that helps. I'm very inexperienced at dealing with these problems myself. I'm sure some of the more experienced members have better advice.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:21:19 UTC | #883744

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 10 by brighterstill

As an aside, I think it's relevent to ask whether you've ever held any of their positions at any earlier point in their life. Many atheists have an advantage in arguing with religious people if they themselves were once religious and can consider the precise reasons they gave up their faith. Describing how you used to hold your opponent's point of view and how you came to be convinced you were wrong is pretty effective - I think largely because you're taking the first step yourself of admitting it's okay to be wrong.

I myself used to be an ardent moral relativist, passionately convinced that western civilization and its morals had no authority to dictate what others in distant parts of the world should believe and practice. I would argue from the position that if the tables were turned on us and, say, Afghanistan and they were the global superpower and North America was still emerging, that we wouldn't appreciate them marching into our cities and telling us how immoral we were for "forcing our women NOT to wear the hijab or the burka." With much self-reflection after reading Sam Harris' work, I got to the root of the matter and figured out that all that argument was really based on was the uncertainty of who was really right. After I decided (agreeing with Sam) that science was the ultimate authority of what is most likely to be right, moral relativism seemed rather heartless and barbaric.

Try forming your opponents' arguments in your own words before deconstructing them, and it certainly helps to have once held (or at least understand how it is possible to hold) these same points of view.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:55:51 UTC | #883758

legal9ball's Avatar Comment 11 by legal9ball


My advice is to get a new girlfriend, asap.


Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:59:27 UTC | #883760

BenS's Avatar Comment 12 by BenS

Firstly, it sounds like you're trying too hard. If you really argue your points hard then people will just shut down - if you're interested in understanding someone's viewpoint and bringing them round to yours then you can't just steamroller them or they'll likely go turtle. You can catch more flies with honey and a big stick than you can with just a big stick. Or something.

Secondly, make sure that the other person actually understands why you have your views and how your views are supported. It may be that you follow a chain of logical thought and evidence from A to B to C to D to E when you're researching a topic but in an argument you skip straight from A to E completely losing the person you're speaking to in the process - much like at school in maths when you just write the answer without showing how you worked it out. It might be the right answer, but you still need to show how you got there.

Thirdly, come on here. Plenty of people to argue with. Do you want to have just one argument or are you thinking of taking a course? It's one pound for a five minute argument but just eight pounds for ten.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 19:41:35 UTC | #883767

Wiwaxia's Avatar Comment 13 by Wiwaxia

People see what they believe as part of their personal identity. Sometimes changing an opinion can be too radical - because it changes how you see yourself.

Don't expect to change people's ideas immediately, they need to come to terms with new ideas and find their own ways of how this new information fits in with their self-image. If someone has the idea that atheists are hard-bitten and non-caring, they won't give up their beliefs overnight. Sometimes it can take years - try reading some of the conversion stories, often it takes a long time to come to terms with new information.

In addition to what the previous posters have said about asking questions, I suggest that instead of trying to argue more eloquently than your family and friends you should try to see your role as planting a seed of doubt, that way they will think that they have come to the idea themselves. If they think that they have come up with the idea, they will be less resistant than if they are trying to block out your ideas.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:08:37 UTC | #883773

calliecparrish's Avatar Comment 14 by calliecparrish

I do my best to avoid confrontation, I'm a terrible debater. But I understand your frustration... I'm known as "that-crazy-liberal-girl-that-has-no-common-sense" I lack sense apparently because I am not Christian. I live in Texas in the heat of the bible belt and I get this all the time. "Honestly, how can you not believe? Can't you see God? I can." First off that person's a kookoo, secondly, how can this person see God and I don't, thirdly how do they know that what they sense is God and that, that God is indeed their God? It frustrates the hell out of me! I stumbled across this thing called "Murphy's law" and one of the sayings is "Don't argue with a fool, people might not tell the difference." It all clicked. So I just gave up trying to make people see reality. I let them live in their fantasy land while I walk around with my eyes open. As long as no one tries to convert me, I am happy with that. Call me a quitter, but I got tired of arguing logically with people that are illogical. I wasn't going to change anybodies mind, people can be so dense that it's nearly impossible to do so. I'm not saying that it is impossible because I believe that one can change another's mind no matter how dense they are. I'm just not one of those people. My debating skills are in the toilet basically.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:17:18 UTC | #883775

calliecparrish's Avatar Comment 15 by calliecparrish

Comment Removed by Author

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:18:07 UTC | #883776

thpoc's Avatar Comment 16 by thpoc

Key in having an effective argument is to simply bring the evidence or name and cite the research paper, research institute or famous person that enforces your standpoint. Give examples. Try and and build the bridge from their view to what's actual the fact of the matter. The main point here is to let the other person feel like you are a mere slave to the facts and logic yourself and just bring it like you're the messenger. This way they wont feel as much like the argument is between you vs them but rather between the sober and honest truth vs them.

[Comment 3] by [InYourFaceNewYorker]
.. but recently I got into a discussion with people about female genital mutilation and how barbaric it is. The short version is that the people I was talking to said I was in no position to comment because it's another culture's practice. Someone else said that for people in those cultures who practice it, it's not an issue, even saying that nobody complained about it until very recently. At any rate, I blew up and came close to crying. Nobody was convinced, and I think they just saw me as bullheaded. They didn't say I was a bigot or a racist, but I'm sure at least one person was thinking that.

That story is unreal, this wouldn't be a question of debate for me, I'd openly question their moral integrity and rational faculty. Sometimes only ridicule is good enough, make people feel embarassed to hold such views. This reminds me of Sam Harris example of this woman that accepted plucking every third child's eye out because of a religious edict "every third must walk in dark", resulting in him rolling his eyes and spinning on his heels (the story ends by Sam mentioning that this woman now advices Obama on matters of biology).

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:47:37 UTC | #883779

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 17 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Comment 16 by thpoc : This reminds me of Sam Harris example of this woman that accepted plucking every third child's eye out because of a religious edict "every third must walk in dark", resulting in him rolling his eyes and spinning on his heels (the story ends by Sam mentioning that this woman now advices Obama on matters of biology).

That was the first thing I thought of when it happened.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:13:39 UTC | #883782

Crimbly's Avatar Comment 18 by Crimbly

I have an acquaintance who will, no matter what, always end up talking about communism when you talk to him. He's a massive socialist to the extent that he is interested in little else. I actually actively avoid him because I just can't be bothered talking about communism (which has never interested me much anyway).

You sound a little like him.

It's great that you've read up on things, but actual arguing will at best allow a mustard seed - to steal Christ's metaphor - to germinate in the other's breast so they go and inform themselves about the issue, yet at worst will make them resentful towards you.

People don't like to be wrong publicly. You complain that you've never had the pleasure of someone saying "you're right" to you - it honestly sounds like you're arguing simply to go "nyah nyah I'm right and you're wrong". Regardless of how right and backed up you are, the way you put the information across is important.

In my circle of friends I'm known as the "bloke who dislikes religion". Everyone has topics or issues that they feel strongly about and good friend- and relationships know what they are to not set them off. It seems like you feel strongly about too many things. What your friends and family mean when they say "there's no way to discuss with you" is actually simply "you argue too much about too many things for me to have a reasonable conversation with you".

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:23:34 UTC | #883784

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 19 by Red Dog

Comment 14 by calliecparrish :

I do my best to avoid confrontation, I'm a terrible debater. But I understand your frustration... I'm known as "that-crazy-liberal-girl-that-has-no-common-sense" I lack sense apparently because I am not Christian. I live in Texas in the heat of the bible belt and I get this all the time.

You have my sympathy. I worked in Dallas for a few months once on a software development project and it seemed like a few years. The people were actually very friendly, in some ways more so than Chicago or San Francisco where I've lived most of my life but when it came to discussing politics or anything other than work I just kept my mouth shut. The core values were just so different.

BTW, you probably know this already but Austin is in my experience sort of an oasis in Texas. Because of the university and the local high tech industry more cool people and places than elsewhere in the state. At least that's the way it was a while ago, haven't been there in a few years.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:26:14 UTC | #883785

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 20 by brighterstill

Do you want to have just one argument or are you thinking of taking a course? It's one pound for a five minute argument but just eight pounds for ten.

Hahahah, thanks man!

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:35:01 UTC | #883788

GPWC's Avatar Comment 21 by GPWC

I'm a terrible debater and my mistake is to get too involved with the subject and then I become intense and I come over opinionated.

Nevertheless ...

Body language and the words you use are as important as facts in an argument - probably more important. My advice would be to work on some rhetorical tricks. A common one in the UK in the 1990s and 2000s was known as the Oxbridge stutter. The technique was to speak fairly fluently but then "er, er, er" a little bit as if searching for the right word - especially if the right word was a cut above normal. It can also take the aggression out of an attacking statement.

eg: "Well, that's a very interesting argument, but I rather think it's ... if I may rearch for the mot juste ... er ... er ... er ... horseshit"!

It seems to have gone out of fashion a bit and now what we get all the time (in the UK) is the awful "Tony Blair" speech pattern. It has been taken up by our PM, Chancellor and, worst affected, the Leader of the Opposition. But presumably it works some how.

The other tip I would recommend is to stay general with your arguments. Don't get bogged down in the detail - I know that's where the devil is, but you don't need to go there to make your point. You can make your point quickly from principle and then keep cool.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:44:21 UTC | #883790

korben's Avatar Comment 22 by korben

The thing that gets me is when I point something out and they flat out reject it; then Oprah says the same thing and it's like she revealed the secrets of the universe to them and they take it as gospel. The problem is that when Oprah starts pushing woo, they also take it as gospel. Again, no critical thinking whatsoever. Also, it makes me think that fame trumps reason every time and that I can be right and argue until I'm blue in the face, I have no power against celebrity woo. We need a celebrity with a brain (and boobs, too, in case a brain doesn't sell enough) to push the truth out. Imagine if Jenny McCarthy were an evolutionary biologist!

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 22:12:10 UTC | #883791

Quine's Avatar Comment 23 by Quine

We need a celebrity with a brain (and boobs, too, in case a brain doesn't sell enough) to push the truth out.

Dr. Kiki

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 22:29:32 UTC | #883792

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Comment 24 by Mark Ribbands

Hi Daniel

I understand your frustration. I used to feel like you do all the time – irritated and bored by an inability to talk with friends about, well, ideas, rather than just trivia.

I hear it’s a common phenomenon amongst intelligent people, and I’ve always suspected it might go a long way to explain the popularity of forums like this one.

I’ve always found one of the greatest pleasures of life to be a decent dinner party, a couple of equally decent bottles of Claret (preferably somebody else’s) and a very late night arguing about something which the great majority of the world’s population just doesn’t give a toss about. But unfortunately the great majority of the world’s population is just that: the great majority, so most of the people one meets are just not worth the effort.

For example, I used to attempt to convert committed religious people: it’s challenging and fun, but in the end, almost by definition, it rarely works. I just can’t be bothered any more, and I suggest rather than trying to change your friends’ minds, simply change your friends instead.

It saves so much time.

Oh, and what ever you do, don’t choose a life partner who is a lot less intelligent than you are. Poorer, uglier, shorter, taller, sure. But stupider? Never: it’s a recipe for boredom and disaster!

Have fun, Mark.

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 23:05:23 UTC | #883802

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 25 by Rich Wiltshir

I guess I'm lucky, because the only time I get into an argument is when challenging street preachers. I do this for four reasons; 1/ Practice 2/ Learning 3/ Show the world that these goons can be stood up to 4/ Entertainment (my own and the audience's)

This remedies all my needs for argument or conflict. The main reason for this satisfaction is that I've no reservations about being forceful (as opposed to assertive), loud (because they are) and even rude; as these people are spreading lies and delusion that has a long history of poisonous damage to individuals and society.

Friends and Family. I enjoy learning when I'm wrong; it's part of the scientific process afterall. I'm unlikely to be right in all my opinions so am eager for anyone to help me discover my errors. The great beauty of this is that those I care about know that they can challenge any opinion and that I will modify my thoughts if their's are convincing and persuasive. They also know that I will discuss their views, if expressed as a challenge, with the same vigour that I'm keen to investigation my own. So I rarely have arguments, but still have many opportunities to discuss difficult or complex subjects.

With new friends and family (I've recently had the enormous pleasure of meeting long-lost relatives) I declare my atheism and skepticism as a feature of my personality - it's as much a part of me as my nose.

I don't know if this is helpful to you, because we're all different people - there's another huge pleasure in life. But I can honestly say that I test my knowledge and opinions in a way that helps them improve but has not led to conflict with the people who matter most to me.

The days when discussing religion and politics was taboo have gone.

One surprising outcome is that most people who discover my atheism and skepticism are eager to say how much they agree wiht the approach. So I'm an argumentative old fart who has very few people to argue with. But I'm happy.

Thanks for this post, I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments.


Mon, 24 Oct 2011 23:17:51 UTC | #883806

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 26 by QuestioningKat

Choose your battles and your friends wisely.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:14:01 UTC | #883826

Laura Bow's Avatar Comment 27 by Laura Bow

@DanielFox I can definitely relate to your experience. In fact, I submitted a topic of a similar nature to this very forum last night. I KNOW that I've alienated people in my life with my fierce and passionate debates. And yet in the moment of intense conversation, I am absolutely thrilled. I tire of casual social small talk, and would rather engage in a probing philosophical discussion than participate in any other leisure activity. The problem is, it is so hard to find others who share this passion for analysis, and by the end of such conversations my companions seem warn out and annoyed, and I end up wallowing in self-loathing.

I do think I am getting better in this regard, and have had a few conversations of recent that have restored my faith in discourse. I think I've learned a few lessons:

  1. As Adam1 mentioned above, ask lots of questions. If someone holds a position that is illogical and irrational, it won't take very many questions to expose a flaw in their thinking.

  2. Don't have debates under the influence of alcohol - Perhaps this is a personal thing, but when I've been drinking I become more passionate, and although I don't intend to be agressive, I come across that way. It's also harder to walk away when you're intoxicated, but in my opinion it's the only option.

  3. Be sure to point out when someone makes a good point. People appreciate it, and it creates an atmosphere of sharing ideas as opposed to "fighting". Find something you can agree on and emphasize it.

  4. Try not to argue with relativists.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:37:55 UTC | #883829

zengardener's Avatar Comment 28 by zengardener

"No, you are wrong." "No, I don't want to argue about it." "Look, I'll explain it to you once." "No, let's just talk about something else." or "Leave me out of this."

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 02:04:25 UTC | #883834

ashwinnarayan's Avatar Comment 29 by ashwinnarayan

I think it's very common for rationalists to get stuck in situations like this. It happens with my family too. I love talking about different viewpoints and discussing the rational side of things but my parents just cut me off every time by saying I'm "talking back" and that I I am just disagreeing with everything for the sake of it.

In many cases I've started to present an argument and my parents hear the beginning of it, jump to the conclusion that I'm insulting them and tell me shut up.

The best thing to do is really to be silent and wait for the right opportunity to speak your thoughts. Don't stop questioning or reasoning but keep it to yourself, inside your mind because no one can control what you think. Scout around for people who are as rational as you (there must be at least a couple of people who are like you right?)

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:07:19 UTC | #883844

G*O*D's Avatar Comment 30 by G*O*D

Comment 9 by Atheist medic

GOD raises a good point.

Finally someone on this forum makes a concession. It will be taken out of context for sure.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:13:48 UTC | #883846