How to Argue with a Christian


It is difficult in being an Atheist without engaging in a debate with someone about God.  It goes without saying.  I have been in many myself and throughout my experience, I have learned much in the way of how to prepare myself for when I speak with a Christian…

First off, I would like to say that many of my friends are of faith, predominately Christian.  I have no problems with anyone having faith and belief.  So long as they can accept who and what I am and we can set aside our differences and have a good time, all is well.  Sometimes the discussion of religion comes up, but it is more of wanting to hear the opposition rather than preach or convert.

There are however fundamentalist, who feel charged with the duty to defend their beliefs and the beliefs of others against the threat of Atheism and other religions as the wrong kind of thinking and will bring nothing but death and destruction upon the happy existence that Christianity can bring you.  That’s a bit dramatic I admit, but I often get a sense of those who deeply follow their religion to feel that way.

So what do you need to do to prepare yourself if you are ever approached by a theist of how you are wrong?

First and foremost, that no amount of evidence you can give will change their beliefs.  While they themselves believe that the power of Christ can change anyone to their way of thinking, no matter what you say, they can fall back that their belief is their belief.  “I will still believe in what I do, no matter what you say.”  You need to remember that faith is defined as a belief not based on proof.  You could present 100% proof there is no God and they will still fall back on their faith.

Next, you need to keep in mind, most (not all) haven’t done their homework.  Often times they’ve heard something here and there and think they know your side of the argument.  “Dinosaurs existed with Adam and Eve and died after they ate the apple.”  This is evidence that many fundamentalists don’t think for themselves (though they would argue they do), and will use the works of other people to throw at you.  I had someone do this to me, we were having a chat on Yahoo and they were copying and pasting information.  I quickly figured out it was not their words and was able to figure out what website they got it from.

Part of “not doing their homework” is picking and choosing passages of the Bible to support their viewpoints and still citing it as perfect.  This gives you something you can use.  As Penn Jillete said referencing the Bible, “Read it because we need more atheists, and nothing will get you there faster than reading the damn Bible.”  Try to be knowledgeable of the Bible itself and ask them what they think on more controversial topics within the Bible, turn the fightback on them.  More than likely, you would have read more of the bible than the fundamentalist claim they have.

Lastly, logic has no place in this discussion.  You as an Atheist can try to use common sense and logic to explain your point, but they themselves will not use logic as the Bible and much of their faith do not use logic to begin with.  A better way to look at it, they will try to use their own logic, not the logic of thought and reason.  Often they will break their own logic when it suits them, when they are put in the corner and need to escape.  I am not saying don’t use logic, because that is how you found Atheism, but remember that you are thinking on a different level they are.

The only winning move is not to play

In all honesty, the only winning move is not to play.  That is a quote from the movie Wargames, and I find it fitting here.  You can’t change them and they can’t change you.  While you yourself may not try to change them, their ultimate goal is to try to change you.  The great thing about Atheism is that you can hold open to the idea that you could be wrong, but Christianity is very rigid and will never accept they could be wrong.  So it really comes down to, why do it then?  Nothing between the two parties will find common ground, both can be quite stubborn…what’s the point?  For me, while the theists may argue their point, I myself will hope that those who are on the fence on the issue will hear my words and decide to step forward and become an atheist themselves.

Again, I speak of the fundamentalist, because my friends are much more level headed on the subject and it doesn’t really come up.  I wish there were more Christians like them than many of the ones we hear about.


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