Plan to compile a database of theist questions for atheists and our responses



Several of us from a number of atheist organizations are planning to put together a database containing the most frequent and most difficult questions or challenges that theists put to atheists along with our most cogent responses.  To collect as many of these questions as possible, I am asking the members of various freethinker organizations to forward to me the most frequent or challenging questions or accusations that theists have confronted you with. Please also send your responses to these along with some key words to the subjects so that they will be searchable by fellow atheists. Also, if you have suggestions as to how we can restrict access of the planned database to only freethinkers, please include your strategy for that. 

This is one way that we atheists, scattered as we are, can use our internet resources to significantly help each other.  When we keep illuminating the absurd logic and farfetched arguments of theists, we strengthen our position and make them start thinking like the rational and ethical people they really are.  Thanks for all your help!

Eric Stone, PhD
Westchester Atheists

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I have heard several christians refer to atheism as a religion. For example, "if atheists want us to accept their religion, then they must accept everyone else's." I can't tell you how many times I have had to say to people, "Atheism is NOT a religion."

Great question.  We need a brief response to it.

Something like "your definition of atheism is a religious one - we atheists don't accept religious definitiions"

Here's one that's comes from believers and right-wing atheists:

"As an atheist, haven't you just replaced god and religion with State and government?"

'tards worship.  Atheists don't "worship" anything,much less state and government. We participate in them, and follow laws for the same reasons everyone else does:  we get in trouble if we don't.
I reply, " I don't know anyone who worships any state or government unless they're forced to".

My previous reply apparently got lost in the system somewhere so I'm repeating:

 

State and govt are human-made and can be abolished by humans (usually via votes sometimes revolutions).  God and religion are not.

There is also the tendency for religious folks to define atheists as 'anti-religious' when we can more simply define ourselves as 'without religion'.  Not that I can't find reasons to criticize the things people have done in the name of Jesus/Allah/God/Yayweh/etc, etc, fill in the blank with supernatural belief system.  But not every atheist is a 'militant atheist', correct?

 

Atheists can see why a belief system may rationalize individual behavior, provide a sense of belonging/comfort and conclude that it has good and bad components, right? 

I have trouble countering the argument that religion keeps people from fearing death.... countering that (in my opinion) false sense of security that heaven exists in the afterlife.   Who am I to call a person silly or irrational for a belief that keeps them from suffering from existential crisis? 

Can I just point out that it's a little arrogant to think that you can speak for atheists as a whole and answer questions as if atheism was some kind of monolothic entity?

Feel free to add your own answers.

After spelling monolithic wrong I don't think I can take being asked serious questions.

 

But seriously, I was trying to make a serious point: atheists have vastly different philosophical, political, social and scientific perspectives so the idea that someone (or even a group of people) can make an "Atheist FAQ" is a quite weird one. Just me adding my opinion wouldn't make it that much different.

 

Whenever I see people talk about what "we atheists" think, it makes me a little nervous. It makes me feel like I signed up to a clique where others get to speak in my name.

I guess what I'm getting at is that right at the top of the list it should point out that these answers are by no means gospel, and that nothing guarantees that all atheists (or even a majority of atheists) adhere to it. It's just a collection of opinions to give theists an idea how these arguments might be answered by your average atheist.

 

And I don't mean this in a disrespectful way at all.

Wouldn't it seem more prudent to get the theists  to pose the questions, as opposed to the atheists?
Of course, Park.  We're trying to compile lists of those provocative questions theists have or are currently posing to each of us or to the public in general so that we can be prepared to respond effectively.

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