We hear it all the time, as soon as anyone says anything against religion it is perceived as offensive criticism. Nobody likes being told they are wrong; and telling someone “there is no god”, when they believe in one, is basically telling them they are wrong. I’ve seen some heated discussions on the blogosphere (and been involved in a few myself) and I wonder if it’s people’s propensity to dislike criticism that causes the disputes, almost as much as the actual context of that dispute?

Well today I came across two interesting articles on criticism, which may help us all. Whilst these articles are aimed more at face-to-face workplace environments, there are points people may want to consider before writing, or responding to, an article. Below are 7 ways to criticise without causing offence and 7 ways to deal with criticism without getting offended (see links for further explanation).

7 Ways to Criticise People Without Causing Offence :

  1. I have made the same mistake myself.
  2. Tone of Voice.
  3. Smile
  4. Criticise Important Things.
  5. Disguise the Criticism.
  6. Praise then Criticism.
  7. Praise them for doing the right Thing. (even if not true)

and 7 Ways to Deal With Criticism:

  1. What Can I Learn from Criticism?
  2. Respond to the suggestions not the tone of the criticism.
  3. Value Criticism.
  4. Don’t take it Personally.
  5. Ignore False Criticism.
  6. Don’t Respond Immediately.
  7. Smile

Obviously within a blog it’s often difficult to convey tone, and smilies only go so far (too far for some), so greater consideration needs to be taken in the words chosen to convey your message.

The again, sometimes I just want to say ‘fuckem’ and write whatever I feel like, and hang the consequences!

Well, that’s two blogs in a row that a certain someone is going to make sure I personally pay attention to. ;-)

Who was it that said “do as I say, not as I do”?  :???:

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4 Comments to “Criticism”

  1. Cricket tragic says:

    Interesting post Oz, did you read it carefully?

  2. 1. I have made the same mistake myself.

    This won’t help much. Theists don’t appreciate being reminded that most atheists were once believers. It highlights the fact that they may lose their faith one day.

  3. I guess it all depends on the discussion at the time. I will always try to criticise without trying to offend, but if the other person’s attitude gets up my nose, I will usually adopt your other idea of …..
    “sometimes I just want to say ‘fuckem’ and write whatever I feel like, and hang the consequences!”

  4. vjack says:

    In my experience, all bets are off when it comes to religion. At least in America, there are strong cultural norms which say that Christianity must not be criticized. This is a big part of why it often feels like an up-hill struggle for atheists.

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