I have a weird situation that I'm not sure how to handle.
My old youth pastor is my friend on Facebook and sent me a message asking me why I'm an atheist.
Now, I respect him as a person so I don't want to be rude or snarky in answering him. It's also not my goal to convince him that his beliefs are wrong....even though I tihnk they are.
How can I say, "The existence of God doesn't make sense" and "religion is a horrible plague that spreads hate and misery" without sounding like a douche bag?
i would tell him that you believe that our beliefs should be based on evidence and reason and that you just can't get there with religion.
i'm sure that, like with me, there are many reasons for your atheism but that on a fundamental level it's just that there's no evidence at all. explain to him that same thing, that there are many reasons why you arrived at atheism as the most logical conclusion and that you'd be open to answering any questions that he has.
You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.
Ok guys, thanks so much for all the advice. As always, I appreciate you and the community we have on here.
Here's what I wrote in response:
"The atheist thing sort of came about over time. I'd always struggled with believing in all of it even when I was a little kid. I wanted to believe but, from what I've found, the existence of God doesn't make sense.
I could go into the whole evidence and science thing but I know the likely response to that will be the argument of faith taking the place of evidence. It's a circular debate.
There was no "if god existed then (insert bad event) would never have happened!" moment. There was no one whispering in my ear telling me god wasn't real. I just began evaluating what I believed and why."
So this whole thing turned out to be pretty anticlimactic. His response was just telling me about how the kids are that he does missions work with in Amsterdam. No attempt to convert me, none of that.
Not what I expected.
Secretly I was sort of looking forward to the challenge.