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Why do atheists actively engage christians in discussion?

Updated on April 3, 2016

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.

Why do you engage christians in discussion/debate?

Why do you engage christians in discussion/debate?

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    • dianacaswell profile image

      Diana Caswell 16 months ago

      I think some athiests engage to actually have a conversation, while others, engage to start trouble and if you go deep that starts with a lack of something in their lives just as with any other trouble maker. Some like you don't want an outside influence that you disagree with to start to influence your children and others in your family. I think that some probably also engage because they are not truly athiests, but are unsure. Curiosity. I imagine the real reasons are numerous. That is my honest answer as a Christian. What some may not get though is that for most Christians, Christianity is not just a way of life, it is life and all things within our lives must have that as a foundation. NO we are not perfect, far from it. Just to answer that silly question that always gets thrown out there. The whole point of Jesus having to die on the cross for my sins is because I am NOT perfect. To be taught that we come from monkeys is just as hard a pill for me to swallow as creationism may be for you. Just my opinion. :)