Even though I don't live anywhere near the place I grew up, I still have many friendships and other connections to the people who are still there. Most of them I'm friends with on Facebook. I've gotten in the habit recently of just reading over peoples' status updates to see what's new with my old home.
One guy's updates over the past few months have almost driven me over the edge. Here's a sample:
"[name] Is wondering: who has more faith, the Atheist or the Christian? Your turn:"
"[name] Question of the night: If Jesus said you will recongize my followers by their fruit, what are the precise pieces of fruit he is talking about? Are there pieces of fruit that seem to indicate that one's walk with the Lord is suspect?"
"[name] Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? -Job 2:10"
"[name] Hot Question of the Night: If a person could get to heaven by being good, then why did Christ have to die? Your turn:"
I couldn't take it anymore and responded to the first one listed about who has more faith. The conversation has been long and sporadic including a small number of Christian acolytes. Not sure why, but I just wanted to share my initial response. If you guys are interested I can post the entire conversation.... it is long as can be though, so I'll only post it if there is a demand for it. Here's the initial response I gave:
"[name]... first of all, Hi. I think it's been over 15 years since we were in touch. How are things? Second, to answer your question, Christians have more faith. Period. Atheists don't have faith. Faith, by definition, is belief without evidence - or trust in the unknown/unknowable. Atheists become so by choosing to believe what they have sufficient evidence for. In the absence of evidence, they tend to reserve judgment. Many atheists would happily concede to religion if religion provided ample, verifiable, testable, observable evidence about the existence of God. Since this can't be done (in favor or against), they don't believe what there is insufficient evidence for (aka, they don't have "faith," or trust in the unseen/unproven, as it's defined)."
From there I was hit with attempts at disproving evolution through the statistical improbability argument, had a few Bible verses thrown at me, someone said he liked the saying "there are no atheists in foxholes," one guy said Global Warming was a hoax, and made many false claims about that and evolution, one lumped liberals in with atheists, and, my favorite, one guy quoted an entire Christian website that offered probably the worst attempt at using logic I've ever seen. Here's the site he quoted verbatim:
Good stuff. Let me know if you guys are interested in reading the entire thing. I'm sure the seasoned atheists here won't see anything new.