Atheist Evangelism to Fundies; Is it advisable?

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Troy Hongsermeier's picture
Atheist Evangelism to Fundies; Is it advisable?

My atheism has recently evolved to an opinion that compels me to be more openly confrontational when I hear fundamentalist comments. While I'm reluctant to speak out against the faithful who's devotion is based exclusively on either personal revelation or their professed personal relationship, I have mixed emotions about confronting those who express adherence to the Bible or doubts about conventionally established science for religious reasons. On the one hand, I don't wish to abuse the devout, unless perhaps their provocative statements are intended to delude children, but on the other hand I've concluded that allowing casual statements supporting religious delusions to go uncontested is equivalent with granting credence to those who openly believe in fairies, gnomes or pixies.

While the value of such confrontations may be situational, is it even advisable to publicly confront the devout when their comments may be casual, incidental or made largely out of some cultural ignorance?

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Lmale's picture
You have to be careful how

You have to be careful how you confront fundies remember they believe the crap that they have been told about atheists.
Thus they believe we are evil immoral sin obsessed satanic hateful people and that anything an atheist says cant be trusted.

Brandon Titus's picture
I think the context in which

I think the context in which the comment is being made should be considered. If someone is speaking directly to you or is making inflammatory remarks to you or another person with intent to cause emotional or mental harm, then I believe you should speak out and confront them. However, if you are not part of the conversation being had and the remarks are not harmful, then I believe you should just let it be, especially considering if these people are as delusional as you say it is unlikely that your comments are going to persuade their opinion and more likely that it will just start an unnecessary confrontation.

Anser's picture
Choose your battles. Publicly

Choose your battles. Publicly challenging a person's faith in a room full of fundamentalists is a lose/lose scenario. You'll find yourself angry and frustrated and you won't do your cause any good. Whether you like it or not religion is part of the warp and woof of society. Our very language has been heavily influenced by it.
I too often cringe at some of the ideas that are simply accepted without question but consider your own motives before you publicly challenge them. Are you trying to reinforce your own belief that there is no god or are you trying to express your viewpoint in order to get others to think for themselves?
Have you ever met a newly reformed alcoholic, drug addict, smoker or any other person who has "reformed"?
Generally, they make themselves obnoxious by insisting that what they believe is right for them is right for everyone and they will incessantly preach about it more to reinforce their personal reformation than to elucidate others. Most often they do their cause more harm than good. Human nature is such that when a person's belief system is attacked said attack ends up reinforcing their belief rather than defeating it.
I am always happy to discuss or debate my personal belief that gods don't exist but I won't argue them.
I've found it better to let someone ask me about my philosophy than challenging theirs. Debate is the art of persuasion. Argument is simply violence put to words.

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