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Monthly Archives: January 2012

An Open Letter to Christians trying to “Convert” Atheists

There have been many times that I have spoken with Christians who have tried to persuade me that I should join their religion. The reasoning behind it is of course their wanting to “save” me. They believe that I am not only going to hell, but that I am somehow trying to undermine their religious freedoms by demanding equal rights.

Witnessing

A sign saying "No Witnessing Allowed"

If only they followed what that sign says.

I would first like to address the methods and tactics you use in your attempts to “save” people. Witnessing is, in effect, telling the story of what made you a Christian. I can not count how many times I have been “witnessed”. I have had many Christians tell me that this is the most important tool in their arsenal, (their word, not mine). The framework of a witnessing story is fairly common. A person is weak, they do bad things and sin or have become injured in some way. Then some sort of extreme religious event happens, which could be a vision of Jesus, or visiting by angels that causes the person to become “Born Again”. Then because of that, they have the strength to overcome the hardship or suddenly become healed. That extreme event is what interests me the most. That’s where the most creativity and detail is put in to the story. Then it ends up with everything turning out great, and them being a devout Christian. Like the happy ending of a sitcom. I really need to tell you, this doesn’t work, and here’s why.

Every time I get witnessed I have the same reaction, “Yeah, and?”. I’m completely baffled as to why you like to do this all the time. Sure it’s a great story. I liked Harry Potter too, but that had a better epilogue. The reason why this doesn’t work is simple. I and the atheist community, don’t believe you. Sure, I believe that you believe what you said, but I don’t believe it happened the way you said it, or if it happened at all. I’m not accusing any of you of deliberately lying in your witnessing, though I would not be surprised if some of you have. Memory can be a tricky thing, it changes over time. It’s not the rock solid event recorder that is popular to believe. Many of the examples I’ve heard could have been attributed to coincidence, to hallucination, or to you managing to turn your life around. I have also heard many “spontaneous healing” stories where simple research would tell you that the condition could reverse itself. Many Medical conditions are self limiting. Conditions with the spine and even cancer have self limited at times. You deserve the credit for what you have done.You, and you alone. Congratulations to those of you that have told me stories of getting off drugs, getting off the streets, or getting through a war. Those are all commendable achievements. I cannot see any reason why you would attribute your hard work to someone or something else. I do suppose it’s comforting to believe there is someone watching over you and intervening on your behalf, but that’s just giving your accomplishments away. You did the work, and it’s OK to take the credit. Continue reading

The January Get Together is going to be in Hitch’s Memory

Hitchens and Fry from the IQ2 Debate

Hitchens and Fry from the IQ2 Debate

This month for out MISkeptics Get Together we are doing a tribute to Hitch. We’ll be watching a debate between him and an apologist and (assuming the damn DVD ever gets shipped to me) a tribute hosted my Stephan Fry.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

We also have special guests and speakers that contribute to the conversation and/or debate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary. You can RSVP on out Meetup Page or our Facebook Event Page.

I hope to see you all there!

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