“Come back here and think, dammit!”

Question from Devilush:
Why is i when I try to discuss Atheism with a theist,they always seem to run away in one way or another?Whenever their faith is challenged with science and logic they run from the conversation…do they know they are full of **** and can’t handle it so they would rather not even hear it,do they really have no will of their own and have to cling to the idea that they are watched over by a invisible incompetent father figure who does not give a ****?

Answer by SmartLX:
It’s because you’re not talking to the right theists.

Sure, there are those who want to stay clear of anything which might make them question their faith, possibly because their faith demonises doubt itself, because they have a rule about arguing over religion and politics, because they don’t want to argue with you in general or simply because they don’t like having to defend their deepest convictions at short notice. That’s their choice.

Take it from me, though, there are plenty of believers out there who will happily engage you. Many of these amateur apologists write to Ask the Atheist treating it as a game of Stump the Atheist. (That’s fine by us, it makes for some of the most interesting exchanges.)

If you want to meet these people outside of the internet, they’re not too hard to find because they’re supposed to make it their business to reach out to non-believers. They’re at markets and festivals handing out pamphlets with meeting times and places. Your local Alpha course is run by one, and will probably have several more along for support. (Check out the journal of an atheist who stuck out the whole eleven weeks.)

Generally, though, keep in mind that not everyone wants to talk about this stuff at any given time. If someone proselytises around you and then won’t listen to your response, you’re justified in calling them out for being unwilling to take what they dish out. Just as non-believers are entitled to deny preachers their attention, some people just won’t want to hear about religion from you either. Don’t take it personally, and don’t judge them too quickly.

1 thought on ““Come back here and think, dammit!””

  1. Oh … there are plenty of theists who want to talk about their faith. I’ve personally been dragged into debates about 1) the Qoran being in tune with science more than the bible and thus true just like science is (considering that it was written number of centuries after the bible, I don’t see why the Qoran should not have some more accurate scientific facts in it), 2) about why atheism is unscientific (usually these tend to revolve around the fundamental question: “Who do you think made the big bang happen, huh, huh?”), 3) About why girls should be raised in accordance with the traditions of Islamic, Christian, Hindu etc. faiths (mostly scared parents or parents-to-be unwilling to let go of their daughters in the (perceived) big bad world – some of them driven by social group pressure).

    Some people though, theists and atheists alike, just don’t want to discuss faith. My wife is a theist and she has moments when she wants to talk about it and moments when she doesn’t care what I think. One of my close friends is an agnostic and he simply does not want to talk of anything but economics and leverage cycles.
    Another close friend is a fence-sitter theist and all he is concerned about it his wife making it to residency in a hospital.

    People tend to be engulfed in the waves and eddies of their individual lives – theists and atheists alike, and they may not want to talk all the time (or even any of the time) about religion. Or even if they talk about it, they may not have the bandwidth to think about it just yet at that point of time in their lives.
    If you are just adding one more thing for them to be troubled and worried about, you are unlikely to get much enthusiastic listening and engagement from them.

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