In a desire to better understand (some) atheists, and their perspective on life, sometimes I read through posts in the r/atheism community on Reddit.
Today this post caught my attention:
The Christian belief system is now so pervasive that I’ve found debating Christians to be an entirely useless endeavor. It’s not that skeptic’s talking points are bad. They’re logically sound and even correct but Christians just don’t care and will go on believing regardless of how good your arguments are. The ideology runs too deep to be countered with mere words alone. Christians cannot be bargained out of their belief system because they view Atheism as a moral threat synonymous with their conception of evil itself. I’ll never debate another Christian about the existence of God again because I have better, more constructive things to occupy my limited time on this Earth with and I suspect the same can be said for the rest of you as well so I’m not going to even waste my time on the issue anymore.
First and foremost, I respect this person’s experience. It sounds like they wanted to help their Christian friends find liberation and truth, received some lame answers to their questions, dismissive replies to their arguments, and finally decided to give up on the effort.
This makes me sad. I wish their experience had been one of profound respect, genuine listening, deepening empathy, and thoughtful engagement with their questions and arguments.
Instead, they don’t ever want to talk with a Christian about the existence of God again.
Understandable. And sad.
A few questions:
First, do you view atheism as a moral threat, synonymous with evil itself?
I try to take a step back from this. For me, the question is, “What is true?” That’s what I want to search for with my friends. If there is going to be a genuine exchange of ideas, then we have to search our hearts and see if we want to seek the truth together.
The effort to persuade my friends to think what I think isn’t very interesting. It can easily devolve into manipulation.
Second, what are the main ways that you have seen friends lose their interest in talking about Christianity? What is frustrating them and driving them away from the conversation?
As we share our insights, perhaps we can see our blind spots more clearly and move away from these poor practices.