Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How I would eliminate Atheism forever!

In order to eliminate atheism for good, I would have to fix all that is wrong with christianity. I think that if christians did "only" what Jesus did, that there would be a lot less outspoken and angry atheists. As I read the Bible, I don't see Jesus preaching a message of judgement and condemnation. I see Jesus helping people and telling others to help people. I see Jesus showing God's love to people. In fact, the only time I see Jesus speaking harsh at all, was when He was criticizing the pharisees. They were so convinced that they had "earned" their way to heaven and Jesus warned them that they were in danger of God's wrath. He even went as far as to tell them that, not only were they not getting into heaven, but those they had deemed unworthy of heaven "would" be in heaven.

Anyway, I want to take an atheist argument about atheism and turn it around on christians. Atheists have told me that atheism is NOT a belief. They state that "not" playing checkers isn't a belief, so atheism isn't either. I decided to take it a step further and ask the question "why isn't NOT playing a checkers a belief?" And I think it has to do with the attitude of the people who DO play checkers rather than those who don't. Let me explain.

In checkers you have rules. In checkers there are certain ways that you do things and certain ways you don't. People who play checkers are sometimes very passionate and enthusiastic about playing checkers. They have big tournaments with prizes, and they are a real big deal to these "checkers players." But people who play checkers don't criticize other people who play checkers. There are several different versions of checkers and people don't go around saying that their version of checkers is the "right" one and everyone else is wrong. Checkers players don't make fun of chess players and proclaim that chess players are wrong. As I stated earlier, checkers players have rules that they play by, but they don't freak out if someone doesn't like their rules. They just choose to not play with them. Checkers players don't run for political office and then try to force other people to play checkers; by "their" rules. Checkers players don't try to pass laws based on their rules and belief that checkers is fun. They don't try to force people to play checkers, who don't want to play checkers.

But what if they did? What if people who played checkers did all the things I listed above? I can assure you that people would rise up against them. People who didn't want to play checkers would proclaim their right to "not" play checkers and not be judged for it. These people would most likely organize themselves and look for political attention to create awareness of their persecution. They would write blogs about it being ok, to not like checkers. They would proclaim that not everybody wants to play checkers and they have the right to decide that for themselves. They might even create a logo for themselves, and before you know it, they would have a "movement" going. A movement that was fighting for the rights and freedom to NOT play checkers.

Of course, I am painting a ridiculous and exaggerated comparison. But am I? What if christians never did the things that I talked about checkers players doing? What if all christians were known for, was helping people in need. What if christians never preached about how bad people were, or how they were "sinners" and needed to repent so they didn't spend forever in hell? Why can't christians do that? Jesus didn't come with a message of hell, fire, and brimstone. He talked about heaven. He talked about His Father. He talked about forgiving your enemy. Don't get me wrong, He talked about the dangers of sin. He talked about being a good person. And I don't think atheists have a problem with that message. They would agree that we need to be good people. They would agree that there are consequences for being bad. What I never saw Jesus do, was point out to someone how bad they were. How they were a "sinner" who needed to change their wicked ways or they would spend eternity in hell.


He did speak like that on about 3 occasions. He spoke like that to the pharisees. The so called "religious experts." The one's who proclaimed that "they" had it all figured out. Jesus very clearly informed them, that they absolutely did NOT have it figured out.

I am not saying that we don't have to be saved from our sins because we do. We all do things that are wrong, from time to time. But that is not the point of heaven. God is not about "avoiding" hell. He is about having a relationship with. When I converted to christianity, it wasn't because someone told me what a horrible sinner I was. Someone took the time to share God with me. And that message was about love, mercy, and grace. Had he sat me down and told me about my sin, and how wicked I was, I probably would have walked away and would still be an atheist today. Or at the very least, a strong agnostic. But I was lucky. Someone who cared about me, taught me about mercy and grace and the rest grew from that perspective.


  1. Without even reading this article I am at odds with the title. Last I checked, atheism is a personal ideology, similar to, but not identical with, any religious system.

    A person is an atheist by choice. Or, a person may choose to advocate one of the several religions. Atheism, similar to a religion can be called an ideological system, though it is not a belief system. Therefore, a person who advocates a certain religion will probably not succeed in changing an Atheist into a Christian.

    Furthermore, a person who would presume to "eliminate" or "wipe out" any ideology or belief system is assuming that they have a power no one else has; in effect they are playing "god," or worse, assuming that their actions and beliefs could operate the same for anyone.

    In my view, this presumes way too much.

    1. Diane, I felt like this too at first, until I understood what the point was. This isn't about eliminating atheism, as in, converting them all, it's like getting rid of the group of people, atheists, as a group. There is no word for people-who-don't-play-checkers, so why is there a word for atheism? this means that people that are considered atheists now would be people-without-any-religion, and not have any reason to rally as a group. He isn't trying to change an atheist into a theist.

    2. Without even reading your comment....

  2. The idea of the title, Diane was to spark an interest to read it. I have to say this is my commented on, article on facebook. So that tells me the title worked. Read the article then tell me what you think.

    Thanks for commenting, though.


    1. It's bad. If you take the view that all press is good press, go for you, but it's offensive and I wouldn't want you in an Atheist group with me. The entire post is back by the assumption that eliminating Atheism is a worthy goal. It's not.

  3. Well, I did read the first sentence which practically strangles any creativity or wiggle room. You're assuming that if you "eliminate atheism" you can somethow lead people into christianity merely by fixing it. Why does a person even need religion? Sorry, but with two I-can't-stomach-its between the title and the first sentence, I've lost my ability to want to follow your track...

    Also, many people are atheists after traveling through a range of science fields, and they don't exactly specify a creator, especially with a particular moral code. So. why not not any other ["fixed"] religion?

    1. He's saying that atheism, as a concept, was created in apposition to theism. If theism weren't so agressive in their beliefs, atheists would not exist as a group, but merely as people who weren't christians or jews or muslims. Consider ancient Rome- you will find no Latin word for homosexual or heterosexual, because there was no distinction between the two. People slept with whom they liked, and to label such things would be like labeling people who prefer grape juice over orange juice. Similarly, he's saying that religion should be a personal choice not pushed onto others and not inflicted onto the unwilling. If religion were simply another aspect of someone's personality, there would be no need for people to come up with a group -atheists- to oppose it. There would just be two different groups of people who believed different things. Maybe you should actually try reading the article before commenting on it. You ended up making yourself look a bit foolish.

    2. Thanks for clarifying, Qup. You understood the point I was trying to make.

  4. I had a couple of different reactions reading this. I will start with where I agree with you. You say that you think there would be a lot less outspoken atheists if Christians would...shall we say chill out. As an atheist blogger myself, I can speak to what compelled me to start blogging. I basically read enough news stories that got me angry enough to want to start writing. There are the atrocities of the catholic church that don't seem to phase the average catholic, there is the gay marriage issue, and there is the evolution controversy to name a few. But what really got me was that atheists are apparently hated, and I think it is because so many people haven't interacted with any. So I figured maybe I could interact with some Christians through the internet and hopefully change some minds. In the same way that you hear stories about anti-gay people actually meeting a gay person and then changing their mind on that issue, I thought maybe I could have a similar effect on someone.

    Now, I do disagree with a few things that you have said

    "I don't see Jesus preaching a message of judgement and condemnation."

    I have to disagree here, this and this for example, certainly seem like judgement to me.

    "Jesus didn't come with a message of hell, fire, and brimstone."

    Again, I disagree, for example this and this and this seem to be fire and brimstone to me.

    Don't get me wrong, I really like the idea of "keep the good, ditch the bad", but to pretend the bad isn't there seems dishonest to me.

  5. I am sorry Diane, but you have completely missed the point of the article. Perhaps I will get better at making points in the future.

    My point, is that if christians were more of a "keeping to themselves" instead of being so judgemental of everybody, that atheists would not feel the need to "speak out" as much as they have.

    THats why I made the correlation to Buddhists. Buddhists have beliefs but because they don't try to force their beliefs on people, atheists rarely speak out against buddhists.

    1. I think you've missed one of the central concepts of Christianity which is the notion of spreading the "good word". Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling this aspect of their Christianity to the letter, while others are a bit hit and miss. Missionary work is based on this fundamental, and interestingly served historically as the vehicle of oppresion for many "founding" nations.

      Atheists are not angry and to characterize the group of them as such is incredibly short-sighted and uninformed. Someone who is atheist is simply choosing to rely on the evidence before investing emotional and intellectual energy into this concept called "God". The fact that some atheists become angry or frustrated has more to do with the abuse they are often subjected to simply for demanding some shred of credible scientific truth.

      I am responding to this post because a friend of yours posted your letter to Reddit.

  6. Hausdorff, always good to hear from you. In regards to your disagreements based on Matthew 5:22 and 25:30, I will not deny Jesus had some harsh words. But I consider the context of the entire message. I also consider the source of the comments. Jesus, being the Son of God, can say whatever He wants. He was perfect and without sin. We, as humans (christians) are not perfect and are definately not "without" sin. And those two passages are more general statements of being good and avoiding the conequences of being bad. And I wouldn't call those two verses "defining" verses in the entire context of what Jesus said.

    Let me provide an example. If I say to you that drinking and driving is very dangerous and can cause harm to other people, you wouldn't consider that as harsh and judgemental. But if I went off on a tangent about what a terrible person you were because you drank alcohol, I would most definately have crossed that line of judgemental.

    I would use the same argument for the 3 latter verses you cited as well. I dont think you can call them defining verses to illustrate the context of Jesus' message. Those verses definately explain the benefits of accepting God's grace, but they arent so specific as to point out specific actions of specific people. Not in the way that christians condemn people and groups of people for things they do, or don't do.

    And that is my underlining message. Jesus didn't go around pointing the finger to people in regards to the way they lived their lives. His message was basically "You can't earn your way into heaven. It has already been provided as a free gift by the Father. If you deny that gift, however, let me tell you how much the alternative sucks. So just accept my Father's gift and help each other out."

    Perhaps I am naive in my interpretation of the scriptures but I am absolutely not alone.

    1. I want to first say that I love the idea behind the blog. It would be a much nicer world if people could have civil discussions about these important ideas without taking stuff personal.

      That being said, I would have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. // I will not deny Jesus had some harsh words. But I consider the context of the entire message. I also consider the source of the comments. Jesus, being the Son of God, can say whatever He wants. He was perfect and without sin. // God is also without sin and that guy ordered some pretty heinous stuff, that I would definitely not find moral in the least bit.

      You said that Jesus gives us a choice. If I said "would you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream?" To me, that would be a choice. If I said chocolate ice cream, or suffer eternal torture, I don't really see that as much of a choice. I could say "make me a sandwich, or I'll blow your head off?" etc.. To me, those aren't really choices. "Follow me or suffer eternal damnation." That's horrible. Even the world's worst dictators weren't this bad. At least if you stood up to Genghis Khan or Hitler, the worst you might get is torture, but at least you would eventually die. God doesn't give you that option. I like the drinking and driving analogy. However, I'm sure you wouldn't go and torture that person to death or murder them for doing so. While not perfect, that's why we make rules, or laws to punish and hopefully curb that behavior where possible.

  7. Very interesting analogy with the drinking and driving. On one hand, you can point out that drinking and driving is dangerous and therefore encourage your friends to not do it, not judgmental. On the other hand you can call you friend a terrible person for considering drinking and driving, judgmental. You are saying that similarly, Jesus basically said not to do these dangerous things that will land you in hell.

    But isn't the difference here that with the car accident you are putting yourself in a situation where the odds are very high that something bad will happen. On the other hand, Jesus is saying that certain acts will land you in hell. But how do you wind up in hell? God judges you and decides that you deserve eternal punishment. The whole idea of getting put into hell is based on judgment.

    As far as the verses about fire and brimstone not being "defining verses", that idea I am ok with. I'm not familiar enough with the bible to agree or disagree with it, but based on my limited understanding, it seems like a reasonable claim to make. My issue was more that it sounded to me like you were saying the fire and brimstone wasn't there at all.

  8. // But how do you wind up in hell? God judges you and decides that you deserve eternal punishment. The whole idea of getting put into hell is based on judgment.//

    That is not entirely correct, Hausdorff. Yes, everyone is judged, but we all have the option to avoid the judgement we deserve, in Jesus. Jesus said "I am the truth and the light. THe only way to the Father is through me."

    What exactly does that mean? I don't know for sure and you can get 50 different answers based on which "doctrine" you ascribe to.

    THe way I read it, "Jesus" is the way, or more specifically, "His sacrifice" is the only way to God. Especially when you consider the verses that say there is "nothing" we can do to earn God's favor or mercy. It's already been done for us.

    I would say that "asking" forgiveness, "accepting" Jesus as our savior, and "repenting" of sin, are all "things" that we do.

  9. Victor, I agree and appreciate your idea that if Christians acted in all ways with other people interests in mind that the world would be a better place. I wouldn't (and I am not inferring that you are) limit it to Christians. I want everyone to act that way.

    But even if this happened, it would not eliminate atheism. You are taking atheism to mean anti-Christian. We are not anti-Christian. We simply do not believe that a god exists. Not your god or any god of any other faith. That is what it means to be an atheist. Pure and simple.

    I hope one day that we can live in the world where everyone is accepted for who and what they are and what they believe in. (Or don't believe in).

  10. No wonder you got kicked out of the atheist group.

    We arent all atheists because we think religion is bad, or has become broken.

    The only way you will get atheists to become christian is if your religion, over any of the other hundreds, drops faith, bigotry, the concept of heaven, miracles and basically anything else unproven, impossible or unbelievable.

    You are then only left with a philosophy. Here you have a problem, because there is not one single positive philosophy from the bible that cannot be found elsewhere and, in some cases, attributed to others outside the bible much earlier.

    In short, there is nothing that christianity offers that I cannot adopt, and often improve on, without it.

    The only thing you have domain on, compared to atheism not other religions, is an afterlife. But we can come back to that one when there is any single good reason to believe there is an afterlife.

  11. I'm going to second what Kyle said here, and expand just a bit. What you've put together here is a very reasonable way for all of us to get along, but not an end to atheism. If Christians, Muslims, etc., were to all act in the way you've described, I would be less "militant", but by no means would I be less atheist. What I think would be really great would be if the level of nonsense out of the combined churches of the world dropped to a level where I could be more of an atheist instead of the anti-Christian anti-Muslim anti-organized-religion individual I am.

    1. Yes, Victor is confusing Militant Atheism with atheism. atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a god. Christian atheism, for example, follows the teachings of Jesus without a belief in anything supernatural. If all Christians were as nice as Victor there wouldn't be as many antitheists, but there would still be plenty of atheists.

      Victor, have you read The God Delusion?

    2. No, I havent read it. I read the Greatest Show on earth and I enjoyed the science involved. It wasnt convincing for me, that there is NO God, as Dawkins hoped to illustrate.

    3. Of course it won't end atheism. The title was just to get people's attention and read the article. It worked. :-)

      At the time I wrote this, it was my most popular areticle.

  12. Hi Victor! I apologise for only responding to such a very small part of your entry here, but I hope you can forgive me. The bit I'm going to tackle is this whole "Atheism is not a belief" thing.

    I would say that anybody who has claimed THAT to you is confusing the words "Belief" and "Faith". I'd like to avoid that mistake, so I'm going to post their Google dictionary definitions.

    1: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
    2: Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

    1: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
    2: Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

    By those definitions, I would argue that while Atheism is NOT a faith, it IS a belief.

    To me, Atheism is rooted very strongly in the scientific principles of healthy scepticism. The idea is that you should always be asking yourself "Am I wrong?". Any opinion you may have should always be subject to evidence-based change.

    That in itself is a philosophical tenet, and a belief. It is also the precise antithesis of faith, because faith means accepting something as being real and true even when there is no evidence for it. Indeed, many faithful of all religions take pride in being able to continue believing in something despite overwhelming evidence AGAINST it.

    Catholic dogma, for instance, has it that the wine and bread of the Sacrament are the literal and actual blood and body of Christ. They even go so far as to define the precise moment at which the transition from mere wine and bread takes place. This moment is actually before the items are consumed, and from experience I can tell you that they taste nothing like blood or flesh. And yet despite this really very strong evidence that they are NOT blood or flesh, many of the faithful will continue to claim that, in fact, they ARE blood and flesh.

    That right there is faith - the staunch belief in that which cannot be demonstrated, and to many people it's a virtue. To an Atheist on the other hand, the idea that you can drink something that looks like, smells like, tastes like, and is indistinguishable in every measurable way from wine, and then claim that it is in fact blood, lies somewhere between stupidity and delusion.

    I am an Atheist, and that means that I don't have a Faith, but it DOES mean that I believe something - it means that I believe in what can be proven and demonstrated to me in tangible ways, that I try NOT to believe in things which can't be thus proven or demonstrated. It means that I believe that I should always bear in mind the possibility that I could be wrong.

    My beliefs are evidence-based and, as such, because I have not yet been shown conclusive, rigorous and logically sound proof that God is real, I do not believe in Him.

    I hope you get the chance to talk over the definitions of the words "Belief" and "Faith" with somebody. I was sad to hear of your being asked to leave that discussion group, I don't think that's how people who call themselves "free thinkers" should be behaving. To me, Free Thinkers should WANT to have their beliefs challenged by somebody intelligent and if your presence makes them uncomfortable, then the correct response should be "...so?". I'd even encourage you to show up at least one last time and talk it over with them in person.

    Anyway, can I just say that while I don't share your beliefs, I certainly respect them. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. Cheers!

    1. While your syntactic analysis of the isolated statement is fair, I feel compelled to pick a bit at the semantic value of the phrase in the context in which it generally arises. While atheism does *involve* a belief, namely in the supremacy of observation and reasoning as a path to truth, that belief is not what defines it. Many people hold empiricism and logic to be the highest forms of inquiry, but only a subset of those people are atheists. This is because atheism is not that belief, but a conclusion drawn with reference to it. By contrast, the belief and faith in the existence of God is the defining characteristic of theism.
      In short, while (almost) all atheists are rationalists (which is the belief you ascribed to atheism in your post), not all rationalists are atheists. Atheism is not itself a belief, but it does depend on one.

    2. You're right, of course. Thank you! :D

    3. I hear what you are both saying and really we would be going into semantics at this point. Maybe a better word for atheism would be a "worldview." I don't know. You make good points Sticher and I appreciate your comments.

      Ultimately, the point of this article was that if christians didn't "push" so much, maybe atheists wouldn't feel the need to "push back" as much as they do. But as long as christians try to force their way of life on atheists, they will continue to resist.

      as they should.

  13. > but we all have the option to avoid the judgement we deserve

    Wouldn't that be unjust? If we deserve the judgement, then why should be have an option to avoid it? Sounds like corruption.

  14. I would probably rethink the analogy of chess and checkers. People don't "believe" in checkers or chess, and certainly don't deny that it probably exists for lack of evidence. I doubt you'd find a person who didn't acknowledge the existance of checkers or chess after presenting them evidence. Usually when someone uses the analogy with atheism, it goes as such: "Atheism is a belief system, like baldness is a hair color or not collecting stamps is a hobby." I'm pretty sure that you are an atheist yourself with respect to every belief system, except for the Abrahamic God of course. In order to eliminate "atheism" would really involve having a pantheistic system. =/

  15. Hi!
    I understand with, and agree that, many Christians need to start doing what Jesus did. BUT I found your title "How I would eliminate Atheism forever!" to be a bit disconcerting...as it felt a tad...fascist?
    Not that I mean to call you that! I quite like the messages of your posts.

    It's just that atheists aren't a "plague to be cured", so to speak. Atheism, at least in my case, isn't a product of apathy but instead a result of years of critical thinking about my prior allegiance to Islam.
    Anyways, the issue here isn't about faith. Seeing Christians and non-Christians coexisting happily without bigotry warms my heart, but is in no way relevant to the truth of Christianity.

    In the same way that I find wisdom in the parables of Confucius and truth the the non-materialistic worldviews of Buddha, I find (some) good elements of morality in the classic Judeo-Christian ethic.

    Should I...
    Love thy Neighbor? Absolutely.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Of course!

    These are some Christian ideals that I incorporate into my own personal ethic. They are, in my opinion, regardless of origin, irrelevant to some sort of higher power.

    Hell, look at Hammurabi's code. It predates any Jewish scripture, but maintains elements of "justice" in the modern sense.

    One does not need religion to behave ethically, and a religious person acting as such is no evidence to the credibility of their deity.

    Anyways, that's my opinion. Cheers! (:

    1. The title was an experiment in controversial titles. It obviously worked because at the time, this article got more hits than any other article I had ever written. I do think I needed to be a little more clear in the article though. Most people realized it wasn't a negative article about atheism, but some still didnt get the true intention of my message. I imagine that as I write more, I will get better at clarifying my intentions.

      //Seeing Christians and non-Christians coexisting happily without bigotry warms my heart, but is in no way relevant to the truth of Christianity.//

      I would say this depends on who you ask. It also depends on who you study in the Bible. John the Baptist was very "hell, fire, and brimstone" in his message, but Jesus had a very peaceful message. He only healed people and actually chastised the apostles when they tried to be hostile to others.

  16. Hi Victor,

    I appreciate the attitude you describe to make it easier for non-believers to see that most christians are really good people and I am convinced that for most of them willing to be a good person is one of the main reasons to believe in God.

    I've been christian most of my life but consider myself an atheist for a couple of months now.
    My younger brother lost his faith before I did which means that my parents now have two non-believing kids.
    It did not break our relationships or anything, but it created an awkward situation and it is especially though on my mom.

    My parents try to be really understanding and that's also true for the people in the church who know of it, we are free to think for ourselves and I feel nobody judges us.
    Most of them have a very good attitude, close to what you describe here as how Jesus dealt with people according to the bible.
    So I have no bad feelings towards any of the christians of our church and I can live with the occasional prejudice towards people who don't believe, I don't expect people to perfectly understand everybody.

    Last Sunday however (mother's day), I went to church and there was a sermon about how there will be a seperation at the youngest day.
    Obviously I don't agree with it but one thing the church gets from the bible (and I agree that the bible is not too vague on the issue) is that the separation is between the believers and non-believers, and that the non-believers really are hell bound.
    Although it is not the first thing they would say to atheists, they do believe it and they often have a hard time dealing with it themselves.
    I was sitting next to my mom and at some point during the sermon she started crying. I am not sure why she cried but I think it likely to be because of me and my brother.
    It is really though to see your mother cry and at this point I actually got quite furious at the doctrine the minister was preaching. It was not that I was really hurt or offended by it, but it was killing my mom with her belief that her two sons will undergo eternal punishment and that will most likely haunt her the rest of her life.

    This shows the pain a belief can bring, and so far nobody has been able to show me that this belief is actually justified. And it is not only my mom; There are countless people who fear for their own eternity and others because of doctrines of their religion.
    So even though I myself am not offended by these beliefs, I find it really sad that these believes can make other people so miserable for no good reason.

    I can see that christians are mostly genuine and good of will and that is one of the most important reasons why I remained a christian for as long as I did. But I think you'll understand that it is really though for nonbelievers who care for their fellow humans to see these unjustified fears rampant in church. No nice conversations and honesty and real interest in atheists will change this.

    I hope I made sense :)

    1. I hear what you are saying and I appreciate your comments. I just feel that if christians didnt "push" so much, that maybe atheists wouldn't feel the need to "push back" as much.

      Do you agree?

    2. Thanks for your response!
      I am from the Netherlands, if there is any influence from religion it is very secular. No politician ever calls us a nation under God and arguments from the bible are only used in church or christian homes. Christians are really tolerant and that was also the case when they were the majority. There are few people who have a problem with religion, and as far as I know there is no outspoken atheist-community as there is in the US. The pushing is gone in our country if it was ever there so you are right about the fact that atheists don't need to push back here and I absolutely agree. Despite that, the secularisation is still ongoing in society and within most churches so I am not sure if it is really helping. But maybe that's another topic ;).

  17. I have to say that I would disagree. A belief is the acceptance that a positive statement is true, so not that something is not true. This would mean that if you are claiming the existence of something, it is a belief, but if you are doubting it, even strongly, then it is not a belief. If you are 100% certain that there is no higher power though, then I would agree that is a belief, but atheists don't have to be 100% certain, so atheism is not a belief.

    With the checkers example, the people who resist the rule of the checkers players are not holding a belief against checkers, but a belief in personal freedom.

    Finally, to do with the opening statement, I would disagree. Many would never be atheists if you did eliminate all that is wrong with Christianity, but many would still question the existence of a God, as I would. Being an atheist because Christians have done bad things is irrational, and does actually present any reason for not believing in God himself. There are also those, such as Christopher Hitchens (quick side note: I am not a raging anti-theist who treats Hitchens and Dawkins as though they are deities, and 'The God Delusion' as though it is a holy scripture) who think that the idea of the Christian God is wrong, as he 'can commit you of thought crime' and because of the absolute power that he holds. If you eliminated what they felt was wrong with Christianity, you would eliminate Christianity itself.

    P.S. have just discovered the blog (through reddit.com/r/atheism) and am really enjoying it.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Daniel. Obvioulsy we would be arguing semantics. My point, is that if christians didn't "push" as much as they do, atheists wouldn't feel the need to "push back."

      Of course there will always be atheists as long as there is religion. But do you agree with what I just said?

    2. I would agree that many atheists would not feel the need to push back, but I do not think that it would be too many. I live close to the area in which Richard Dawkins was raised, and nobody forces their beliefs on others, and I would definitely say that Christians don't 'push'. Richard Dawkins however does feel the need to fight back in some way, and as he is good at debating and writes well, he gathers a large following. There will always be people like this, and therefore there will always be atheists pushing. It would not be as much, but it still would occur.

    3. I think I disagree with you Daniel. I think if Christians really stopped pushing their religion on people, most atheists would stop caring about it.

      You mentioned Dawkins, and if I am reading you right, it sounds like you are saying that he was in an environment where he didn't get pushed by Christians and yet he is outspoken anyway. My understanding is that he is motivated by the public not accepting evolution for religious reasons.

      I know for myself, I blog about this stuff not for personal interactions I have had with Christians (there have been some but relatively few) but because of things I see in the news. Story after story about Christians using their religion to oppose evolution, abortion, even contraception. Plus you have the stories about people who pray intead of taking their children to the hospital or of the child who dies during an exorcism. That is the push that bothers me, and I think that is the push that bothers many of the outspoken atheists. If those things went away religion would be more of a curiosity to a lot of people.