4 MORE things atheists and christians should stop saying to each other

by - 7/23/2017 07:49:00 pm

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I wrote a post two years ago about what atheists should stop saying to Christians, and vice versa. See, I'm trying out this thing where I revisit posts of the past and either object to or expand on them. So here we are again! Back with The Simpsons gifs and a couple more phrases, this time focusing on the ones that come up in casual debates. Let's shake it up my fellow atheists & friendly Christians!

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4 THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY NOT SAY TO ATHEISTS

"Doubting God is a natural phase"

"Dear Jo," one emailer wrote, "doubting God is a natural phase. There was a time in my life where I doubted God's existence, too, and my faith came back stronger than ever."

"Well, that's good!" I replied, "Unfortunately, I might take this phase to the grave."

Chances are an atheist isn't going to like their belief being called a phase. After all, for many of us Christians-turned-atheists, religion was our phase. And it wouldn't be very pleasant if atheists said, "Don't worry, believing in God happens to everyone. It'll be over soon." Will my faith come back? Probably not. Just like Adam's untimely ripped rib, some things just don't grow back.
 
"At least I don't believe humans came from monkeys"
 
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TIME TO LEAVE THIS DEBATE.
Actually, atheists think that humans and monkeys had a common ancestor at a very recent point in history, not that we had a monkey great-great (times a bunch)-grandad. At least, I hope few atheists do? Either way, it's definitely not cool when a scientific theory – which is about as close to fact as you can get  –  is passed off as a loose belief.

"I'll pray for you"

Note: not recommended only when used in a condescending manner. O-okay. Praying won't change our beliefs, I'm afraid. But just in case, could you pray for a double-choc vanilla sundae on an extra large cone?? Yeah, I know atheists don't believe in the wonders of prayer. As science-lovers, though, we're pretty open to experimentation.

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"There are no atheists in foxholes"

Whenever people ask me why I would gamble with Heaven and Hell. It sounds pretty logical at first – if I believed in God and he wasn't real, then no real harm has been done. But if God turned out to be real, then I would spend an eternity in Hell. Why wouldn't atheists play it safe?

The reason this time of reasoning is a little superficial is because atheists think the chances of God being real is so slim that we wouldn't even try to live religiously. It's like if someone came up to us and said if we didn't believe in the almighty Zeus he would fry us with a lightning bolt. Our disbelief is such that we wouldn't start reading the Iliad & praying to the Olympians (although Percy Jackson makes them seem like pretty neat gods).

As for the 'risk' factor, we all live with a degree of risk. Why drive a car when there's a chance you'll be in a car accident? The answer is: life is better that way.

4 THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY NOT SAY TO CHRISTIANS

"So you think slavery's okay?"
 
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Well, obviously!
Ah, this old debate. I think I'm in the minority when I say this, but it's okay to not take all Bible passages literally? Like, doesn't Ephesians say something about wives submitting to their husbands in every way? Talk about behind the times.

So even if Peter writes slaves should completely obey their cruel masters, somehow I don't think Christians will agree. In my experience, the vast majority of Christians actually think Jesus' teaching were about love and not, you know, dashing babies against rocks. Everything is up for contention is what I say, since the people who wrote it aren't exactly around anymore.

"Christianity = KKK"(or some other example as to why Christianity's bad)

Listen, my atheist fellow. Humans aren't the best when it comes to making objective moral judgements. We don't truly know if Christianity has done more harm or good because we can't measure stuff like that. Yeah, you can bring up the KKK or persecution of pagans by the Romans. Christianity can equally claim charities or communities that help others in the name of God, or the millions of lives saved by hope.

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"Either you believe in science or God, not both"
 
Okay, so no one says this exactly, but atheists do argue that science isn't compatible with religion. Certaintly, sometimes it isn't. But a person can believe things from both of those worlds.  So if a Christian thinks evolution's true, does God go out the window? Speaking from my experience, I don't think so.  Believing God was behind miracles of science isn't exactly doublethink.

A lot of the science teachers at my school are Christians – and in the science lab or classroom, God isn't even part of the discussion. They don't talk about the Messiah in between organic chemsitry and Newton's laws of motion, because personal faith in God doesn't override what we know about the world around us. Knowledge and faith isn't a binary; it's a Venn diagram.

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"But there's no evidence!"
 
This is a bit pointless, so I recommend not treating it as if it's something you'd shout from a rooftop. The problem with the New Atheist approach is that they only focus on logos, that is, appearing logical. Recently I read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion; at best, it's a motivating read for atheists & at worst, a throwaway for Christians. Again, this is because logos. But Christians have no reason to ditch a religion they've spent years practising if you point out what they already know.

If an atheist's goal is to reduce the harms of religion, then attack the doctrine, not the faith. Really, there's nothing wrong with believing in God. That alone is hardly the problem, wouldn't you agree?

Have you had any of the above said to you? How did you react to the comment?

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3 comments

  1. I agree with a 1000% with this blog post, although I still quote bible verses when around my non-Christian friends, because it's just a habit, luckily, they just laugh it off and sometimes agree with the verse.

    UGH, and I AM a Christian and I hate the "I'll pray for you" when it comes from a smug person who thinks I need fixing! If I need prayer I'll tell you, and if there's a tragedy then pray, but don't just smugly say "I'll pray for you" because you think something's wrong with me!!! :/

    Sorry, for that tiny rant, but that is just annoying no matter what you believe! XD

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  2. I read this and I one-hundred percent agree. While I am Christian, I don't go preaching everything 24/7 (partially because I'm just not comfortable and secondly I'm just not the preaching like type).

    I do agree that it's annoying listening to my atheist friends being mocked upon and people just hammering "it's just a phase." This isn't like listening to some kind of "deep" music and moving on to the next thing. And sometimes people look at atheists like, "OH MY GOSH I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY AREN'T HUMAN OR NORMAL" and it irks me. Yes, they may not believe in your religion, per say, but they're still normal, in terms of how they breathe and such.

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING THE VENN DIAGRAM SYSTEM! I'm pretty sure God and the laws of physics can still exist both in the same way. I honestly like a ton of science and studying the factors that cause the human population to exponentially rise and factors that contribute to why people get allergic reactions from foods treated with GMOs but it irks me when others say that science and religion don't mix-- a lot of scientists actually were religious. I can't name some off the top of my head, but there are plenty of notable ones.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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  3. I am not Christian, or an atheist, but as a Muslim, I have definitely experienced some of the above. Because my mother, my sisters, and I all wear headscarves, it makes us easy to spot. Even at our local Starbucks, people have randomly come up to us, asking if we'd like to go to Hell, and if we know anything about the TRUE religion.

    I think, unfortunately, most religions try to convince others to join them, not allowing others to go in peace, believing what they want.

    Just like Abby said above, it irks me that others can't wrap their mind around people who are different, and call atheists "not human," or believe the LGBTQ+ community is unnatural. Who are you to say that what people is feel is wrong? Leave them in peace.

    That being said, Jo, I will still pray for you. I'm not going to hope that you return to a religion that believes in God, but I will pray that you stop receiving comments from these people that cannot accept you, and that you live a wonderful life. Love you. <3

    Aliah | Indigo Ink

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