Inquiring Christians want to know.... What do you think about us?...and Why?

I really want Christians to HEAR what YOU think of them....good, bad, or ugly.

Brief stories and examples would be most helpful for them to understand your perspective.

Since most Christians won't visit ThinkAtheist to read it, please submit your comments via this site: http://tinyurl.com/245dov5. If you don't use my site...that's fine too...it will just take me longer to read through and summarize the points.

Some disclaimers:

I am not here to attempt to save your soul or preach to you. I'm not here to set you up or attempt to trap you. I don't have any ulterior motives.

My mission is to help Christians live what we preach. Among other things...to love one another...and that includes atheists and non-believers. I want us to coexist. We can't do that if Christians are adding fuel to the fire and visa versa. We must seek to understand and respect each other if we are to coexist in peace.

Again, I'm not trying to change YOU...I'm trying to change Christians...for everyone's benefit.

Tags: Christianity, Christians, of, opinions

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Brad, many of us are happy to have you here. I mean that sincerely.

My experience hasn't been so much stupidity as denial of known facts because it contradicts what they want to believe. I suppose that I've been in arguments where I've held on to a point too long, so I get it to a point. An Example... I have a neighbor who is an Evangelical Pastor. His website says that they teach the literal word of God. He encourages me to read the Case for the Creator, even gives me a copy. I read it and it's just old out of date science. I would suggest chosen on purpose. For example, they pick apart Java Man as a partial skull and three teeth. True. But Homo Erectus is a known complete skeleton and Java Man was just the first. So why address Java Man specifically and not Homo Erectus? I met with him for coffee and it was a nice discussion. At the end of it he says, "It didn't quite happen as it's laid out in Genesis, did it." I simply said "No" and left it at that. But he still teaches his followers that the Bible is literally true.

I really think that indoctrination in the culture keeps the Sunday Christians in the game. The serious students of Christianity stay in for the hope or perceived positive influence and not necessarily for faith. That's how I've perceived my experiences.

If I don't respond, to a question, it's because I have a big family reunion planned til Sunday. Happy to chat.
Thanks. You are awesome! Appreciate the editorial "typo" help...and for taking the time to read it... I know the gap is wide and the chance of either side bending is pretty slim. How can someone who has had a miracle happen, convince someone who hasn't, that miracles happen? Science can't prove it...and if you only believe in things that can be proved or disproved with science....well I guess it's a long shot to ever change beliefs. Here is what I used to say when I was an atheist...maybe we can both laugh about this: "If Christians are wrong...then I guess when we die we're both just really dead. If Christians are right...then please put a good word in for me...I was a pretty nice fellow anyway".
Brad, I'm guessing that you are familiar with Pascal's Wager, as your quote is a variation of it.
As pointed out, you are not the first theist to this site and you are by far not the first theist in our lives.

While I can tell Christians what I think of their religion (or, one of the tens of thousands of sects that dwell under the Christian umbrella), I can hardly lump my opinion of so many people together into something so simple. I know smart theists, dumb theists, ignorant theists, willfully ignorant theists, bloody brilliant theists, etc., etc, and so on and so forth.

Really, this invitation smacks of rabble rousing, an appeal to atheists to vent frustration bravely and anonymously over the internet. Perhaps your intent is sincere and benevolent, but I don't see the point. My experiences with Christians are so many and so varied, that to base a simple and sweeping opinion of such a large group of people based on an experience or two seems silly. And besides, I used to be a Christian for over 20 years, so, trust me, I know how Christians think.

Healthy dialog is all well and fine, but it seems the seeds of this dialog could be something more thoughtful and substantive, rather than resembling an invitation for ad hom.
Thanks for your reply. I can't make you believe in my sincerity. I leave that for you to decide. I'm glad you've had both good and bad experiences.

To specifically address your comment, and to get to the ultimate point of why I started the discussion... I believe Christians don't spend enough time thinking about and studying what they believe. Maybe you agree. I know plenty of Christians who have never ever cracked the bible open. That would be like a Darwinist evolutionist saying he/she believes in Darwinian evolution...but doesn't have the slightest clue what's in his book/theory.

So, I'm attempting to help Christians realize WHY non-believers have certain opinions of them. If you have specific examples of a situation that steered your opinion in one significant direction or another...that's what I'd like to hear about. No arguing, no debating...just sharing your honest experience.

Maybe through it, some christian some where will say, hmmm...maybe I should figure out what I really believe.

Thanks Reggie.
Most often I have witnessed Bible "study" to be an exercise in affirming and reinforcing beliefs. However, if critical inquiry is what you mean, then I agree that Christians, and not just Christians, have a dearth of that.
I believe that religious people are either ignorant or choose to live as though ignorant. They seem unwilling or unable to recognize reality and cannot differentiate between it and fantasy. I do not understand how anyone can seriously give credence to the existence of a supernatural world for which there is not one iota of factual support. Your conception of reality is illogical, irrational, unreasonable, and impossible.
My opinion of Christians? It varies, depending on the individual, just as it does with Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Jets fans, Democrats, pastry chefs, and so on. You cannot create an accurate picture of a broad group of people save in the most broad of terms. Things like 'Christians are all theists' or 'Christians believe in God', and even that last one is not completely accurate.

They way that you say that We know you think we're nuts, crazy, unintelligent, delirious, hallucinating... or all of the above makes me think that you are either looking for some angry, insulting attacks to use as demonstrations of how atheists are all horrible, awful people, or have fallen prey to the common misconception that all atheists are the 'angry, bitter atheist' stereotype. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'll go with the latter.

Do I think that some Christians are unintelligent? Certainly. I also think that some atheists are swimming in the 'dim' end of the pool. But by no means do I think that all Christians are stupid, any more than I think that all atheist are intelligent. There may be a correlation one way or the other, but that is a correlation, not a causation.

I do think that religion in general, not just Christianity, has an appeal to those who either cannot or do not wish to think. Religion gives easy, black-and-white answers, ones that do not require in-depth thought. This is not to say that religious people cannot indulge in deep thinking, just that religion provides an easy 'Get out of thought free' card for anyone who just wants simple, fast answers. Because of this, people who find this type of (non-)thinking attractive are far more likely to flock to religion than they are to philosophy and other, more difficult areas.

It is much harder for someone to acknowledge that there are gray areas where there are no hard and fast answers; no simple platitudes that resolve every question. For some reason, "We don't know" as an answer scares people, and so they create an answer that can be fit into any troubling question. God. Why is the sky blue? God. Why is there lightning? God. Where did we come from? God. What happens after we die? God.

Over time, we've answered a lot of questions, but we've never answered them by just replying 'God'. We've had to go out and find the answers for ourselves. Of the four I listed, we know a lot about how the first two work, we're learning a lot of information on the third, and the fourth is still "We don't know". (Although all the evidence we have points to 'Nothing')

Not all Christians think that ignorance is a virtue. But enough do to make me worried about humanity's future. Not all Christians think that their beliefs should be legally mandated upon others or given special privileges. But enough do to make me need to pay attention to what they are up to rather than go back to what I did for years, which was to let theists believe in what they wanted to, as long as they didn't try to force it on other people.

As for why I'm an atheist rather than the Christian I used to be? That's another story for another time, which I'd be happy to share with you if you wanted.
I know that you were pointing to me with the dim end of the pool comment Dave!
I think of you as more subtle lighting, Gaytor. :)
With a dimmer switch depending on the subject. :D
Thanks Dave. I don't believe all or even most atheists are bitter/angry etc... I'm certainly not looking for evidence to show Christians how horrible you all are. I know that's not true.

I'm willing to start with neutral...and let our conversation show both of our characters.

Starting with "I know you guys think we're crazy" was just an attempt at humor and to assure you I wouldn't be repulsed or deluded about the types of comments I might get back.

As an example of the feedback you've provided already in your comment....if I could write it for you would be: "anytime a christian can't explain something rationally...they just say God. Instead of digging deeper and being intellectually honest...they take the easy road and just explain away all of the indefensible opinions as "God" ". Would that be an accurate representation of at least one real experience talking with Christians?

If so, that's the type of feedback I'm truly, sincerely, hoping to get. I would much rather Christians go deeper as well. But if they realize the negative impression if gives atheists when we just poo poo an answer with "God"...maybe it will inspire them to go deeper.

That's my purpose. I hope you'll give me the benefit of the doubt.

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