God vs. no god futility. May 29, 2007Posted by Joe in atheism, god, religion, theism.
Richard Wade you are absolutely correct in your comment to my problem of evil post. The existence of god debate is a complete waste of time for both sides.
The existence of any (nontrivial) god cannot be demonstrated nor refuted logically. God is an ill defined concept that challenges the very meaning of the word exist.
Also, such arguments do little more than make both sides look bad. If an atheist wants to influence the reasoning of others in regards to the question his (or her) best strategy is to avoid argument, and focus on the following:
- Behavior – Demonstrate with actions and words that atheists are not inherently evil, immoral, impolite, ignorant, abnormally unhappy, arrogant or any other negative stereo-type that is often applied to atheists.
- Question – When the opportunity arises well placed, but non-threatening questions are more likely to bring extreme believers to a more liberal outlook on an issue.
- Facts – Many extreme religious positions are simply wrong. (i.e. the efficacy of abstinence only education.) Simple, straight forward, polite refutation of these positions can lead believers to question the veracity of their sources of information.
Many deconversion story that I have read feature at least two these factors prominently. I think they are the most respectful and the most effective way of influencing the thoughts of others, regardless of the subject.