I am trying really hard to cut down on generalising and bagging out “atheists” rather than specific people and streams of atheism.
They’re not all the same – and they aren’t all out to eat your babies. But atheists (general) keep giving me reason to think bad thoughts about them. Like the two who hijack this thread on Communicate Jesus.
Here are five tips for my atheist friends to help them seem nicer and more reasonable.
- Stop being so smug.
- Don’t assume every piece of Christian evangelism is directed at you – we want the undecideds, not the decided-uns.
- Admit that the debate about God’s existence is complex – and that it can, depending on your presuppositions, be quite possible for intelligent and rational people to intelligently believe in an intervening deity who communicates through a book.
- Admit that the scientific method – which by its nature relies on induction rather than deduction (starting with a hypothesis and testing it rather than observing facts and forming a hypothesis) – is as open to abuse as any religious belief, and is neither objective nor infallible.
- Try to deal with the actual notions of God seriously believed in by millions of people rather than inventing strawmen (or spaghetti monsters) to dismiss the concepts of God – and deal with the Bible paying attention to context and the broader Christological narrative rather than quoting obscure Old Testament laws. By all means quote the laws when they are applied incorrectly by “Christians” – but understand how they’re meant to work before dealing with the Christians described in point 3.