Pet peeves as a “new” atheist
One thing that I find as a newer atheist that still irks me, is the constant habit of so many Christians to rehash old arguments as evidence for their faith. I think most of them do it in all sincerity. Perhaps, they don’t know how well I actually know the Bible and its theology and arguments. Others do it because they truly believe the word of God is “living” that it can magically change my heart. Others do what I do, we forget that we’ve already discussed an issue and start debating it as if we had never hashed it out before. We should agree to disagree but we keep going in circles.
The problem that I have, is that so many Christians continue to rehash the same arguments against atheism or for their beliefs. When I disprove them or fail to accept their evidence as proof, they just restate the argument or even just the initial premise.
What I would like to see is one of three things:
Either we agree to disagree and go about our way. My friendship won’t be hurt and I won’t think less of you for your beliefs. Since we don’t agree and we’ve gone over all the evidence for our respective positions we know, we don’t need to bring it up again. No need to try to convert me, no need for me to try to de-convert you.
Or, if you have some new evidence, particularly something that is not mainstream Christianity, something that you haven’t heard before than let’s talk about that instead of rehashing the old arguments. There’s a good chance I’ve already heard it, but i’m open to surprises.
Or even better, why don’t you read some books that support my point of view. And then let’s discuss what you’ve learned or what you disagree with.
Sometimes when I suggest this, Christians tell me “read some books written by Christian authors supporting my perspective, and maybe I’ll consider one of your books”.
While I haven’t read nearly everything, I have read a huge amount of Christian apologetic material and find that most is quite redundant. The point is, if you as a Christian grew up like I did, you’ve read nothing or hardly anything by secular authors about religion or science. I’ve probably read over 100 books supporting Christianity. Once you’ve read half that many supporting evolution, science, logic, and atheism; maybe I’ll read a few more from your perspective.
I can’t tell you how many christian friends and acquaintances I have who are convinced of their views. They are more than happy to debate me on all issues of science and faith. And yet, to my knowledge, they have no read one single source of information in contradiction to their views.
Remember I don’t know everything on either side. I’m human just like you. You may have insight I never thought of. Chances are if you use typical Christian apologetic arguments, I’ve heard it already and it won’t changed my mind. But I’m trying to keep an open mind here.
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