Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mistaken ideas atheists have about Christians

In the interests of constructive debate, I'm working with Steve Borthwick on some cross-posts to help atheists and Christians understand each other better, so that we can do slightly better than taking the mickey out of each other. We'd both like to address the misconceptions that 'the other side' have about atheists/Christians.

I asked my Twitter crowd for 'things Christians would like atheists to know' and have had the following responses so far:

"we don't check our brains in at the door when we meet together as church"
"The vast majority of us are not biblical literalists or creationists"
"we share as many doubts and as much faith as each other"
"That we're not all brainwashed, right-wing anti-Darwinian idiots. Oh, and some of us used to be militant atheists too."
"we use our brains. We like stuff like science & art too. We're not closed shop we try best to love even those we disagree with."

there's a common thread emerging here....

Please add your own in the comments or via Twitter.

The responses will help me put a post together for Steve's blog, and he'll be posting here to give my (mainly Christian) readership a better handle on atheism. But start here if you can't wait until then, excellent post.

(by sheer coincidence, if you believe in that sort of thing, Slipstream is focusing on the 'new atheism' this month, with various book extracts to read, and an interview with Peter Williams, author of 'A Sceptics Guide to Atheism.

See also this on Maggi Dawn, which is partly the reason I'm doing the cross post. Not all atheists are 'new atheists' and not all Christians are creationists)


  1. We don't believe that morality is dependent on a belief in eternal punishemnt in hell.

  2. Some of us love and understand science. Inasmuch as science can ever be understood.

  3. Thanks folks. Gary - have had comment moderation on after some 'interesting' comments from atheists...

  4. Do Christians really believe that Jesus ascended into the sky and disappeared into a cloud on his way to Heaven, as eyewitnesses claim?

    Do Christians believe that God will send good people to Hell?

  5. Are atheists mistaken to believe that atheists are a small minority of the population and that Christians are a large majority, over 70%?

  6. Some of my best friends are atheists. Surely you're not saying that some of them can be rude and abusive?

  7. G - there are rude and abusive atheists, and there are rude and abusive Christians. Not sure if anyone here is saying your friends are rude and abusive, but a quick look round the web will find you plenty of atheist sites where believer-baiting is the house sport. (In some cases it's more justified than others.)

  8. Just to add one more... I've put up my own views on the matter (In detail) on my blog. Shame to inflict one more academic essay on the world, but I hope you enjoy it if you can face it...