I'm new here and there is a lot of possible reading.  My interest was captured by a topic looking for responses to the famous, "what if you're wrong" question and I have posted there.


I am interested to know how people respond to the smug last word that many theists seem to get when they end a discussion/debate with either, "God bless you", "I'll pray for you" or a combination of the two.  I have been working on my response and, depending on how irritated I am as the discussion closes, I generally say either: -


"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness and prosperity"

or (if provoked)

"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness, prosperity and freedom from delusion"  (The ones that don't become apoplectic generally just blink in speechless amazement ;)


What does everyone else say?

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Call them on it. When the say I will pray for you- Say "No, you probably wont."
I thought about witty comebacks to because I'm a new atheist. I just say thanks and keep pushing. Because saying Thank you is actually witty enough because they know i don't believe in prayer.
I think a distinction is required between friends and family and those who just use "God bless you" in an automatic way and those who are conducting an uninvited attack on my beliefs by trying to convert me. In case one, I agree with you entirely and I too can sit quietly and respectfully through other peoples prayers. In case two however, I think it is they that are being a jerk and that my response is entirely proportional and fair.

Interestingly, your post implies patience and tolerance of other people but your final question is a little barbed itself; don't you think?
Thought of another response:

"I'll pray for you"

Atheist: "Just realize that every 5 seconds that prayer takes you to finish, a child will die a wretched and painful death ... so may as well pray for them instead ... "
I thought children only died when Bono snapped his fingers....
Sat THIS, with a smile : I'll THINK for you.

This is far and away my favourite response so far and I hope you don't mind if I use it.

I just say thanks. Its much too much work to have to explain myself. The people who know I'm atheist don't say things like that to me.
I've always preferred "May the Force be with you."

Or better yet, "May the Schwartz be with you."

Usually when this happens this sparks a whole new conversation for me. They say I will pray for you, and I answer I would prefer you keep that negativity to your self. To which they normally reply. What on earth do you mean by that?

In which I respond, While I do not believe in prayer I do believe in positive thoughts, and as long as you are wishing positiveness in my life that is great. However I have been a christian in the past and I know how that goes, you are praying , and everything is negative. Not that think that you have any power over me, but if there is some way that your emotions about me can effect me through brain waves traveling through the universe, please keep that negative shit to your self..

Science has proven that emotions are contagious I don't want the negative mojo my way.. ..

I usually go "Eehheheh...uh, thanks." And promptly end the conversation.


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