- Religion and Philosophy
Why do atheists actively engage christians in discussion?
Why atheists engage christians in discussion
As I said in the sub title, I see this question asked a lot, and many times answered by the person asking the question or by another theist, and most of the responses are generalized, unfounded assertions, such as "because it makes them feel better to bully us" or "because atheists think we're stupid", etc. First off, NO generalized assertion will ever be correct, since there are always exceptions, but regardless, it is intellectually dishonest to claim to know every single persons motivations in any particular group. It's the same reason I will never say "all Christians are/do/will/say/think" etc. It is counter productive, and any future poster who is reading this should know that if they want to have an actual, intelligent, honest conversation on any subject, they should start by posing the question to the individuals of a group. It's as easy as adding the word "some" to your question or response to a question. Instead of "because atheists", try "because some atheists". This will keep those who fall outside of a blanket assertion from immediately going on the defensive. Again, if you're looking for smart and honest answers to a question, start with a smart and honest question. If however you're looking to be a troll, then by all means continue with the unfounded and generalized assertions of your personal opinion as fact.
Now, in the spirit of what I just wrote, I'll answer the original question from my personal standpoint. SOME atheists (myself included) actively engage believers for a good reason. As a society, we don't live in a vacuum....namely, what we think, do and say have impacts on those around us. Now while most Christians aren't terrorists like we're seeing a lot of from Islam (aside from the occasional fanatic who bombs or shoots up a planned parenthood for example), in America, we deal with other types of repercussions as a society because of Christianity. Just because there's worse and more violent religions in the world, they aren't something a typical American will deal with on a daily basis. However, as long as Christianity continues to actively try and shape national policy, there will be those among us who feel it's our duty to be the voice of opposition to many of these policies. For example, the recent push to try and get creationism taught in biology as a separate alternative to evolution. I can not in good conscience sit back while policy I am whole heartedly against attempts to make its way into schools my kids will be learning at. This is just one example of many, but I hope it shows that as long as religion is being active in trying to shape our society, there will always be those of us who will be active in trying to prevent changes we feel are harmful to our society.