• To Christians: Is it OK for me to wish that you become atheists?

    I’m wondering, and I hope Christians will comment.

    Is it OK with you that I earnestly and fervently wish that you will discover the truth about Christianity and so become atheist? Should I not wish this for you?

    Category: Religion


    Article by: Larry Tanner

    One Pingback/Trackback

    • r.holmgren

      Of course it’s okay. Evangelising is just one of the things that point to atheists as being religious and atheism their religion. Along with:

      Origin of the Universe Mythologies
      Growing number of Denominations
      Infighting among Denominations
      The Atheist Ten Commandments
      A goal of happiness and well-being
      Sunday morning Church meetings of like believers
      Summer camp for kids to learn the dogma of atheism
      Codified Moral Behaviours
      TV shows where people call in to hear the “experts” explain atheism
      Evangelizing in attempts to convert
      Shunning of those who disagree
      Faith required to maintain core belief
      Donating money to advertise core beliefs
      Atheist Leaders making appeals for donations


      • SmilodonsRetreat

        Religion – Noun
        The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

        The theory or belief that God does not exist.

        I remain flabergasted that Christians don’t get this simple point. There is nothing, r.holmgren, in your list that distinguishes religion from anything else. Boy Scouts, iOS fanboys, browncoats, are religions to you.

        That’s very interesting. It’s fundamentally wrong, but I can see where you would be confused. Most of the Christians I’ve dealt with are so programmed by their religions that they literally cannot see anything except in the light of religion, which includes all of the things you describe. Unfortunately, none of those are defining characters of atheism. They aren’t even defining characters of religion.

        • I disagree with you on this one. Atheism is not a theory or a belief. Is the complete lack of belief.

          Atheism is a belief in the same way bald is a hair color, and abstentionism is a sex position; wouldn’t you agree?

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            I agree. We may have to have a little talk with Merriam Webster though.

      • David Brunton

        Anyone else find it funny that the baby eating atheist goes out of his way to be polite and literally the first response by a christian is the typical passive aggression and hostility?

      • Clare45

        r.holmred, I am curious about the atheist ten commandments. What are they?

    • @google-0cf70d6de3d471bccff990e718539c2b:disqus How we agree to define the word “religion” may be important for rhetoric, but for reasoning about the nature of the universe it has zero relevance. I don’t care whether you want to call the germ theory of disease a religion — if it is, then it’s a reasonable religion, like atheism. The relevant point would stand just the same, namely that there are no good reasons to believe that Aphrodite, Yahweh, Moroni or Xenu exist outside of stories, and many good reasons to believe that they don’t.

    • “Is it OK for me to wish that you become atheists?”

      Is it OK for me to believe that most of them already are?

      (Emperor’s new clothes and all.)

    • lartanner

      Let me put some cards on the table. Personally, I do not actually wish that people (either specific people or people in general) become atheist. I really don’t care. But I recently read an article by a Christian who asserted that Jesus authorized Christians to go anywhere, to anyone, and preach the gospel to them. No consideration for what non-Christians think or want. Christians have the authority and that’s that.

      The arrogance and sense of entitlement was stunning to me. So I wanted to know if it was OK for atheists to do the same as Christians, and if so, why do Christians get so upset at atheist billboards, books, organizations, and blogs.

    • Dave Mabus

      what’s the harm of little idi*ts?


      • David Brunton

        OMG is that a dennis markuz post? Is this the first one? I haven’t seen one of these on skeptic ink yet. This little blog association really has hit the bbig time, hasn’t it?

    • Larry,

      As the “arrogant” author of the article to which you refer — you know, the one with the stunning “sense of entitlement,” I have no problem with you wishing whatever you might wish.

      You ask why Christians “get so upset at atheist billboards, books, organizations, and blogs.” The answer is that I don’t. I get upset over people lying about what I represent as a Christian. I get unhappy over the grossly dishonest and manipulative approach taken at a few specific atheist blogs (P.Z. Myers and Jerry Coyne). When I see those kinds of things I feel free to point out that the people responsible for them are dishonest and hypocritical.

      And I also get a bit annoyed at being stereotyped, for example when people accuse me in some blanket manner of being indiscriminately upset over atheist billboards, books, organizations, and blogs.

      But for other kinds of atheist messages, I have mixed emotions. Take for example the frequent atheist proclamation that theirs is the party of reason. That, to me, is a mixture of tragic and hilarious: for New Atheist thought leaders in particular do not demonstrate much competence in reasoning.

      Or the busses that said, “There’s probably no God; so stop worrying and enjoy life.” I thought that was amusing, except it was sad the way it implied that belief in God was worry-producing.

      Anyway, I invite you quite warmly to express your beliefs, as you have indeed been doing without restriction on my blog. You disagree with me and you’re free to say so, as long as you respect me as a fellow human being. I’ll continue to do the same with you.

      Oh, and by the way, thanks for the compliment. It’s not every day I get described as arrogant and full of a sense of entitlement.

      I wonder, though: is there anything about my expressing my beliefs that’s any more arrogant and entitled than you treating me that way about it?

      • lartanner

        Just to clarify: I found the position arrogant and displaying a sense of entitlement. I don’t know you as a person and cannot really say whether or not you are arrogant or entitled or not.

        On a grander scale, I think your protestations are lame about your religious beliefs being, generally speaking, mischaracterized. Your recent post that associates Nazi brown-shirts to a single campus organization announcing a t-shirt initiative is a case in point.

    • I give a rats dirty posterior if someone wants to believe or not – as long as their belief does not become a basis for political positions and subsequent lawmaking forcing their particular “holy book” based morality onto the general public and suppressing the rights of minorities.

    • northierthanthou.com

      It’s funny. The folks at Christianforums.com used to allow non-believers so long as we respected certain boundaries. At one point I remember that the moderators had taken to viewing the intent to deconvert people as evidence that a non-believer was there to cause trouble. I still remember raiding the issue visa-vie the apologetics forum. I simply asked how unreasonable is to for a non-believer engaged in discussion about the existence of God to actually prefer that those he is talking to about it adopt the view that God doesn’t exist? It may or may not be a clear agenda, but it would seem that is the point. I think the moderators shifted their stance back a bit, but several still regarded the intention as evil in nature. …even Satanic.

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