9 thoughts on “With So Many Atheists…

  1. As an Atheist I can see where you are going with this. However I for one do not ask for attention and neither do many other Atheists I know. The presumption that we either constantly question religion or constantly speak badly of religion is quite incorrect.

  2. Oh, probably it is a case of misunderstanding. I wasn’t saying that all atheists are like that (most aren’t), just that there are lots that are like that, and I never mentioned anybody doing anything constantly. I wanted also to hint towards the difference between the sincere questioning one does for himself vs. the often unproductive nature of the atheist/theist debates.

  3. How does an Atheist asking for attention hinder someone from engaging in self-reflection on their own beliefs?

  4. An atheist can only take a theists time if she lets him. Of course, I am just speaking from experience, but the theists I know (several who have masters in divinity and are ordained ministers) don’t seem to be very concerned with atheistic arguments against their position. Another interesting phenomena (again just speaking from experience), my intro students have overwhelmingly not been impressed or even worried about potential objections to belief in God. Not sure what that says, except that in the cases I am familiar with…the theists I know and the ones I encounter don’t seem to be very worried about it.

  5. Hi Trey,

    That is interesting re. your students, because that is the part of the issue I wanted to hint toward. As a theist, I feel that I’m aware of all those points that atheists make in their arguments, and they don’t worry me on a rational level. However, getting involved in arguments about those points, and doing that again and again, I think with time results with the theist thinking about truth of theism just in this closed and abstract set of arguments for and against religion.

  6. Well, Tanasije, that is probably according to ‘which’ arguments of the atheist you are referring to and what your view of theism is. You are very bright, so I presume your view of theism is probably not in accord with the Evangelical movement of America.

    I look at it like this. There are philosophers (people who actively engage in the pursuit of philosophical understanding). These people should consider the arguments of atheists…on rational grounds. But, they should not devote their careers to trying to persuade atheists. That has been the moral of my experience…its basically a futile enterprise…both ways. For non-philosophical theists, I do think it would do them well to at some point actually engage the arguments of guys like Hitchens and Dawkins, but it should not be a ‘show stopper’. It should be a stimulus for those who normally would not reflect on their beliefs to reflect on their beliefs. But the theist would do better to work on further formulating her own view than in trying to debunk every atheistic position against her view.

    I think that may be what you were getting at…or at least partly…that some theists are so caught up in the debate against atheists that they are not concentrating (as perhaps they should) on reflecting on their own beliefs on their own terms. Furthermore, such pursuit is probably futile. I agree to that.

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