Mistakes Atheists make when talking with Christians.

Recently, I listed 5 Mistakes that Christians make when conversing with Atheists. My goal was to persuade the Christian to rethink the way he or she conducts their dialogues. Now, I want to challenge my atheist friends to rethink the way they converse with Christians. I mean these in the most Charitable way possible.

1. Straw-man argumentation – Often Atheists will refer to God as the belief in the “Magical Man in the Sky.” This is not what Christians believe. Christians believe that God is a “Spirit” as taught in the Bible and became a man at the incarnation. These are theological issues that are worth discussing. I think it is better for the Atheist to draw out (by asking thought-provoking questions) from the Christian what it means to believe in God etc, If the goal of the atheist is understanding. Correctly representing the other person’s view (whether you agree with it or not) is just polite.

2. Stacking the deck in favor of the atheist – What I mean by this is asking the Christian to prove the existence of God only within the boundaries of Science. The atheist knows that this is an unreasonable request because God cannot be put inside a test tube. Here is an alternative: Ask the theist to lay out the reason(s) / evidence(s) that they have for the existence of God (no matter what it is) and then weigh it, refute it, point out flaws in it, ponder it etc. to keep the conversation going.

west3. Judging Christianity by its abuse – I am REPULSED by the people of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. What they have said, written, yelled, screamed about the homosexual community is unacceptable. I condemn all of their tactics. Remember this: Not everyone who calls themselves Christians actually are. Jesus gave commands to his followers to do 2 things: (1)Love God and (2) Love others. The people of WBC do NOT love others. Please do not paint all Christians with the WBC paint brush. I genuinely try to be cordial to all especially those who disagree with me and it angers me to see what people say and do in the name of Christianity. So, Atheists, please give us the benefit of the doubt where possible.

ducks4. Mockery and Insults –  I have a good sense of humor. I try not to take myself too seriously, and am not easily offended. I agree that there are instances where Christians just open themselves up for mockery. The late night comedians make a killing off of mocking religion, I get it. However, when conversing 1-on-1, remember that mockery and insults are not arguments. They are barriers in the way of mutual respect and understanding.  It is better (for both sides) to take the high road. Stick to the arguments! If it is truth and understanding that you are after, logic, reason and argument are the paths to follow.

5. “If God exists, then he would strike me down right now!” – Fortunately, thoughtful and well-versed atheists do not use this argument. This argument rests in the arsenal of the untrained atheist. I want to point out that what the atheist is saying is, “If you don’t do exactly what I tell you to do God, then I will not believe in you.” We witness this type of behavior in the grocery store when a mom will not buy the toy for the toddler, so they throw a tantrum in the aisle. God’s existence is not dependent on him answering our frivolous demands. There are much better counter-arguments to theism. Learn those and then challenge your theist friends.

This list is not exhaustive and some could apply to the theistic side, too. I want every encounter that I have to lead to a deeper understanding of the other person’s view. I want them to “want” the conversation to continue, don’t you? So, atheists, continue to challenge us, but do it in away that causes us to think about our view. I seek truth wherever that may lead.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Mistakes Atheists make when talking with Christians.

  1. I can understand those of us who are abrasive simply due to the fact that some atheists have spent their lives ‘keeping the conversation going’, and frankly don’t want to keep talking about it any more.

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  2. i have a couple of observations and questions:

    1. “Christians believe that God is a “Spirit” as taught in the Bible and became a man at the incarnation.”
    In my experience, as a Christian and as an atheist, this doesn’t speak for all Christians or for what is in the bible. Claims of evidence that god exists are different than “what it means to believe in god”. I could ask someone what it means to believe in Vishnu but it wouldn’t be the same as me asking “what evidence do you have for your god?”

    2. If you were talking to another believer in another religion, would accept baseless claims as “evidence” that their god exists, or would you also try to use what atheists use as questions? God can indeed be put inside a test tube if the theist wishes to claim that this god has caused physical change in the world.

    3. I do not judge Christianity by its members, I also judge it from the abuse that this god condones and insists upon in the bible. How should I be able to tell who the True Christians are? I was a Christian, know the bible quite well, and those folks at Westboro are just as biblically supported as liberal Christians are. For example, there is nothing that says that your god loves everyone, indeed there are plenty of conditions for god’s love. If I should ignore the parts of the bible that say all non-beleivers should be killed, by what standards should I pick and choose?

    4. What do you consider mockery of religion?

    5. It is your opinion what you think “thoughtful and well-versed atheists” are and what they will do, but that might not match with what they are to someone else. An atheist can have a reason to say something similar to “if your god exists, it would strike me down right now”, since your bible says that can happen, Uzzah, Sapphira, That it doesn’t, is a point toward the idea that your god doesn’t exist.

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    • Club,

      Christianity is defined by itself and not by the people who call themselves Christians.

      So if someone believes that God is not spirit and that Jesus was not God incarnate, then that someone is not Christian.

      You are using your mistaken understanding of Christianity to somehow demonstrate that Christianity is defined by others who also possess mistaken understandings of it.

      The following is you arguing with yourself and losing, in your own words:

      “I also judge it from the abuse that this god condones and insists upon in the bible.”

      You don’t get to judge God based on your personal opinion (which is based on your postmodern atheist worldview) and then try to sell it as the Gospel truth.

      Atheism has various fatal flaws and one of them is your dogma that, “I opine it, therefore it is true.”

      The Bible is a tome developed by the Christian authorities of the time, for Christians of all times and cultures.

      But to understand it, a person must learn to view biblical storytelling from the worldview of cultures that were long, long ago and far, far away ie, the cultures that produced it and compiled it.

      What you mistakenly view as abuse, is actually justice.

      Since Christian Western Civilization developed the greatest, most prosperous, most advanced, must just civilization in human history, it is atheism that is on the outside looking in, not Christianity.

      And since the greatest mass murders were committed by atheists in the name of social justice, the atheist view of justice equates it with tyranny, brutality and ruthless oppression.

      When Plato discussed this type of justice in his “Republic” he called this definition of justice, “the advantage of the strong.”

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      • again, that is not true, SOM. It is your usual arrogance and ignorance that make you think that you and you alone can define Christianity. Christians use the same claims as you, interpretation, understanding culture, etc and comes up with different outcomes on what their god “really” wants.

        Nice set of lies about atheism. They are all untrue as usual. It’s always lovely to see someone like you using “social justice” as a bad thing and declaring abuse to be “justice”. How Orwellian.

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      • Club,

        If you read and understood my comment, you would have understood that Christianity defines itself, not you or I.

        In my own words, the first sentence of the my comment as a matter of fact:

        “Christianity is defined by itself and not by the people who call themselves Christians.”

        Why do you insist on arguing with yourself and always losing?

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      • again, Christians don’t agree on what their god wants or what it does, therefore Christianity is not “defined by itself”. I don’t care what you say SOM, it’s still not true. Repeating it won’t make it true.

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      • Club,

        All Christians agree that Jesus is Lord, the Son of the Father and that he died for mankind.

        Within that basic, common doctrine is the Christian worldview, which includes justice.

        The only way atheism works out is if the atheist reduces everything to personal opinion and pretends that everything just happens all by itself.

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      • So, SOM, do all Christians agree on who gets into heaven? do all Christians agree on who goes to hell? do all Christians agree on when the Sabbath is?

        Nice false representation of atheism again.

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      • Club,

        Who gives a crap about heaven? Atheists certainly don’t.

        So it’s pure mental illness for you to make an issue out of what you don’t even give a crap about.

        How about sticking with what everyone cares about?

        That would be the issues in the land of the living.

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      • Club,

        Believe in heaven is not required for salvation.

        Knowing who goes to heaven is not required for salvation.

        And which day a person choses to go to church has nothing to do with salvation.

        What is required for salvation is the belief that Jesus is Lord and that he died to save mankind.

        And since it is Jesus who saves, only he knows anything about that.

        As Pope Francis said recently, “Who am I to judge?”

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      • alas, SOM, many many Christians say all of those things are required for salvation, for if one doesn’t believe like them one is damned. One can see it all over the internet.

        I have no idea why you would try to lie about something so easy to demonstrate. All of the anti-Catholic websites, all of the websites that decry Christians who marry homosexual couples. etc. All calling each other not Christian and thus not saved.

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  3. Unfortunately for the atheist, science in fact, proves the existence of God.

    Out of the entire realm of science lets pick just three areas that prove the existence of God:

    1. Information technology
    2. Cosmology
    3. Molecular biology.

    Information is a hallmark of intelligence. In mankind’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Atheist Carl Sagan’s, SETI), instrumentation is used that separates information from natural noise.

    Information technology that makes wireless communication possible uses noise to transport intelligible information.

    Information technology demonstrates that information, the signature of intelligence, is different from natural noise in a most fundamental way.

    That is, information and noise have two different sources, intelligence and nature respectively.

    Consequently, all the information imbedded in the natural world from the quantum realm to the cosmic realm indicates the presence of intelligence.

    Discoveries in modern cosmology have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the universe had a beginning. That means the universe had a first cause.

    For 2500 years, that First Cause is the definition of God.

    Molecular biology has discovered the protein, a humongous family of thousands of specialized, precision designed, precision manufactured tools.

    Tool-making, like information, is a signature of intelligence.

    Archeologists understand sophisticated tool-making as a hallmark of intelligence.

    Presented with scientific evidence of the existence of God, the atheist simply denies it demonstrating that atheism is really a rejection of science, evidence-based reasoning and systematic thinking.

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