1. Religion & Spirituality
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Atheists and theists frequently get into debates over the existence of gods, the nature of religion, whether religions do more harm than good, etc. Every atheist and theist are different, but a lot of these conversations hit the same topics and run into the same problems. Both sides can be at fault, but there are errors which theists make that kill any chance at having a productive, interesting, and substantive discussion. These errors can be avoided if theists know about them in advance.

 

Read Article: Top 10 Conversation Killers for Atheists: How Religious Theists Can Hurt Their Cause

Comments
February 2, 2007 at 8:28 pm
(1) John Hanks says:

Religion is an attempt to explain the unknowable to ignorance. Therefore a dogmatist should be forced to defend himselve by explaining the unknown. God should be referred to as a “skygod”. The Bible should be referred to as a bronze age text.

April 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm
(2) Eric says:

A list like this was long overdue. I would add something though – asking “where will you go when you die?” This question is almost always buttressed by a presumption that the proselytizee has already internalized and accepted the Christian afterlife belief structure.

April 25, 2008 at 5:22 pm
(3) Samuel Skinner says:

People who don’t commit these errors are almost certain to be atheists- or really messed up theists. I mean… they’d take alot of double think for theists to pull off.

April 25, 2008 at 6:12 pm
(4) DeeGee says:

Great list, Austin…and a good addition to it, Eric.

April 26, 2008 at 12:10 am
(5) silkworm says:

The best comeback I’ve read to the Christian’s offer to pray for the atheist is that in return the atheist will think for the Christian.

April 26, 2008 at 2:37 pm
(6) Relativist says:

Thanks for the tips. Now I know how to shut them up when they start in on people at the student center.

April 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm
(7) Austin Cline says:

Now I know how to shut them up when they start in on people at the student center.

If conversation bothers you so much, why do you insist on posting comments here? Why do you insist on using a variety of names to make it look like you’re several different people?

April 26, 2008 at 6:34 pm
(8) Tired says:

Thanks, but I find that I get involved in great conversations. Maybe I’m hanging out with a different type of theist. Actually, I have a lot of different kinds of friends who believe a lot of different things. With them the conversation is never disrespectful and never requires my disrespecting them.
However, I used to work for a bunch of “Free Church-ers” who felt compelled to evangelize every chance they got (Christmas time was especially annoying). Wish I’d had this list back then.

Thanks

April 27, 2008 at 4:25 am
(9) Paul Robotham says:

No thank you for the insincere, condescending, unhelpful advice. I’m sure the article will be edifying for the atheist faithful.

April 27, 2008 at 6:43 am
(10) Austin Cline says:

No thank you for the insincere, condescending, unhelpful advice. I’m sure the article will be edifying for the atheist faithful.

Actually, it’s your refusal to explain what’s wrong with the article that is unhelpful. Perhaps you find the piece unhelpful because having a sincere, productive conversation with atheists isn’t part of your agenda? Your comments here certainly betray no such desire.

April 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm
(11) Eric says:

“No thank you for the insincere, condescending, unhelpful advice. Iím sure the article will be edifying for the atheist faithful.”

The problem is that people actually keep saying stuff like this when talking to atheists. I actually would suggest to Austin that he post of a list of things that theists who wish to engage atheists in serious conversation do if they wish to be taken seriously. For example, actually asking the atheist what he or she does or does not believe rather than presuming to tell said individual what he or she believes. Or offering evidence to support your conclusions. It might be a good idea to complement this list of bad habits with suggestions of good habits.

April 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm
(12) Austin Cline says:

I actually would suggest to Austin that he post of a list of things that theists who wish to engage atheists in serious conversation do if they wish to be taken seriously.

How to Talk to, Debate Atheists: Ways Religious Theists can Avoid Common Errors

I even did it for atheists. How to Talk to, Debate Theists: Ways Atheists Can Avoid Common Errors

October 4, 2010 at 2:48 am
(13) G.M. Jackson says:

I find it is difficult to have a rational conversation with someone who chooses to be irrational. It is a deal breaker for me.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.