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I would never debate someone on their religious beliefs (unless they ask to have that debate) but I always try to tell people that I'm an atheist when religion comes up. I just think it's important that people in our communities know we exist and that we're pretty awesome human beings. Thoughts? Also I'm new so hello = )

klang72 5 Sep 6

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I am open about it. But do not debate. You can not have meaningful conversation when you are starting from two different places.


I don’t often debate about religion, and when asked I’m more likely to say I’m Buddhist than I’m atheist. It’s just a question of what do you feel is more important to get across.


Hi & welcome to the site!
There is no payout for debating religion. I'm not going to change them; they're not going to change me. If the other person insists on dragging out the discussion, I'm likely to fall back on "that's nice" and "good for you" responses.


Hello there! I am the same way. It's my way of destigmatizing my fellow freethinkers.


I don't debate folks unless they try to proselytize me. Then the gloves come off.
Welcome to the group.

gearl Level 7 Sep 6, 2018

Unless asked directly, I don’t tell people about my non-belief, even if people are talking about religion(as extremely rare as that is). It’s like if two friends were talking about jazz, and I’m not into jazz. I don’t jump in and say I don’t like jazz. I have nothing to contribute to the discussion.

Yeah, that makes sense. I think my past experience is why I choose to be vocal about it. One lady told me she "had never met a real atheist before" and getting to know me really changed her mind about what we're like. I once had a coworker who was like "you're a really good person so you can't be a real atheist. All the real atheists I know are in prison." I like to shake up those perceptions when possible, but that's also very much a product of where I live.

@klang72 That makes sense as well.



WOW!!! You're going to be rare among atheists on this website! Not really, but we agnostics (or, for me more aptly, apatheist) too often take a pounding here from some atheists as closed minded as their theist counterparts.

I have no debate with the beliefs of the religious. I don't care what they believe. I DO care how they behave! On 9/11 we commemorate the senseless murders of thousands at the hands of one group theists while we are subjected to a continued decline of our civil liberties by different groups of theists.

I'm not one to debate anyone's religious beliefs...the effects of said beliefs are an entirely different matter!

Yeah I completely agree. I will say though, if someone is considering hurting people over their faith I'm sure a conversation with me isn't going to change their mind.

Agreed, but on those rare occasions...door knockers, street preachers...I respond with, "let's talk about your extremists" MAY just give them food for thought. At the very least, I never have to deal with them for long!


I also share when it comes up, we all have a certain level of responsibility to lend credence to rationality.

Also welcome, it is good to have you.

Yeah that's where I'm at.


Interesting take. I use that argument for why I go by “Dr. J” at the school where I teach — I especially want girls to see that they can become doctors and there’s nothing with it (I live and teach in Mormonville). I certainly wouldn’t say that to my students, but one could argue telling colleagues. Mostly I just ignore their religious comments or I may say I’m not religious. You’re giving me food for thought, though. Now I’m wondering if I’ll be brave enough if/when the time comes to tell people I’m agnostic (although I suspect that would be easier for people than saying I was an atheist)

Kodij Level 5 Sep 8, 2018

I used to teach as well. I live in a conservative state so I'll admit I was a lot more careful in that situation. I wouldn't think twice about telling someone I meet at a party or friends of friends, family of friends etc. but work colleagues are a little trickier. Some people might surprise you but don't feel like you're any less brave if you're not ready or if you've considered it and you don't think it's a good idea.


I just commented on another post about this very thing.
Essentially, I feel and act the same way you do.

Oh, and Welcome.


Welcome to the asylum. Enjoy your stay.


I'd like to discuss religion with people more often. But I'm pretty careful not to dive into it in most environments.


I will never debate anyone on religion. If asked I will give them my reasons why I am an A-theist then tell them I have no interest in hearing anything they have to say on the subject. I sometimes ask if there is any chance that I could change their mind and if they say no (they always say no) then I say what's the point of discussing it.


I think that's a good attitude, don't push it on others, but don't hesitate to state your position when it comes up.
Welcome to the site...

skado Level 8 Sep 6, 2018

Thank you!


Unfortunately it is often the case that the atheist is willing to respect the belief of the theist, but the theist is seldom willing to accept the status of we the atheists and feels compelled to warn us we are going to burn in hell unless repentance is forth coming.
Such sentiments I find both insulting and presumptuous as well as showing a complete lack of respect for me and mine.

Yes, that is absolutely true. I think we end up having to be the bigger person far too often.


Hello and I am also new here.

I was trying to have my first post and incidentally saw this one which is kind of similar to what I had in mind.

I had a close friend who initiated a debate with me telling God is true, her religion stands for love and brotherhood and religion is required for that. I shared my views with most sincerity and finally she got pissed off and ended the conversation. Thereafter she is not keeping in touch with me.

I think by avoiding me on the basis of the debate, she is proving herself wrong on the point that her religion and beliefs stand for love. I had refuted it in the debate telling no religion accepts anything which opposes its beliefs. So as I said by avoiding me she is proving herself wrong.

My only concern as a human is that she is a nice hardworking and educated girl, so I tried to get in touch with her multiple times, but she is trying to avoid more conversations.

Should I still try to contact her often as a friend and avoid debating with any friends in future?
Should I stand stern on my rational thoughts when someone asks about religious views?

Oof, that's a tough one. I personally am against forcing any sort of debate onto people so if she's not into it I would respect her right not to talk about it. Especially because if she isn't open to discussion, she's not open to changing her mind. When friends bring it up with me, I always tell them my personal view, and when they tell me their's I'm like "oh that's cool" and move on. I won't let people put my beliefs in the closet by being afraid to be but I won't debate people either.

Also hey from a fellow Masshole.

WELCOME, by the way!

I'm sorry to hear this about your ''friend.'' Always sad to learn someone you thought you knew isn't really ''that'' person! I haven't (knowingly) lost anyone due to religion but politics has caused the end of three relationships with people I ''thought I knew." We're better off without them. At least this administration will change and life will go on....the religious arguments can last a lifetime.

If you really miss this girl....a funny card with a line or two about creating an ''off the table'' list of topics you two choose to avoid at all costs. (For the sake of the friendship.) If she's not willing to do that...forget her and find different friends! (Still, I'm sorry about it.).


I do not proselytize my atheism. If someone, however, tries to proselytize their religion to me, then I will simply tell them I am an atheist. Do not impose your religion on me, and I will reciprocate not to impose my atheism.
I lived in Alabama and faced that nonsense. Working at a university however certainly obviated the need to face these problems usually.

I also work at a university and yeah, it really helps. My personal bubble of sanity.

@klang72 I agree completely. It is an island of rationality in a sea of madness.


hello back, and i'm with you with the caveat that i am not always averse to bringing it up. i don't feel compelled to do so but there are times i feel it's appropriate. i'm not shy about saying what i do and do not believe, and, if asked, why.



I researched religion vigorously, and I came to the rational decision that there is no God. at first I was almost ashamed of being one of the few that I know that admitted to being an atheist but then I realize that I was no longer a gullible uneducated irrational Patron. I also felt it was important to acquit myself with all the information I needed to disprove and the bunk anything about religion especially Christianity so when the topic to come up I'm well equipped to make some people look really foolish maybe that's what they need instead of being lied to.

Interesting. Why would you want to make them look foolish?

@Geoffrey51 I suppose that I just feel so offended by being gullible enough be indoctrinated be lied . By definition a lie is a deliberate attempt deceive. You have two types of religious people the educated ones who preach you you probably know the truth and then the uneducated gullible ones that the Bible refers as the Sheep. I feel that is important that people know the truth and not live in Everlasting ignorance and equally important be well equipped Stand My Ground when this topic pops up. I guess it's a matter of principle.

@RichardLeek so when you say religion are you referring to Christianity?

@Geoffrey51 yes Christianity is the religion that I was indoctrinated as a child, when I look back countless amount of people that I've met who were so naive and ignorant of the truth and origins of Christianity it's almost mind numbing. I have compiled of mountain of evidence that disbunks every aspect of Christianity I could get into it great detail if you would like.

I completely see where your desire to have those debates comes from. Many of my friends who were indoctrinated as kids became really angry once they realized what was forced on them. I was lucky enough to be raised by atheists so I never had to go through that. It might feel good to make them feel foolish but the end result is that they'll only cling more tightly to their beliefs and be more distrusting of atheists in the future. You can't logic people out of illogical beliefs, but you can set a better example and show them that there are people, enlightened by reason and living without , and they're exactly the kind of person you might want to be. If people respect you and look up to you they're more likely to change their minds all on their own. You need to inspire them.


You say you try to tell people that you're an atheist. If you are one, do you have any concrete evidence to prove that there's no God? Being agnostic, I believe that I do not know if there's a God or not. When i look at the nature and when I see the Sun rising and setting regularly without fail, I understand that there are some sort of power behind it. Can we not call this 'power' God?

Noyi Level 6 Sep 7, 2018

sure you can, if you want to redefine god into meaninglessness. you can call the force that keeps things floating on water "god" if you want to, too.

I quote you "Sure you can, if you want to redefine god into meaninglessness." Does it mean that there has already been a meaningful definition for God? If so, what's that definition?

That's a great question, Noyi. If I were to describe my beliefs as accurately as I can, I would call myself an agnostic atheist. Agnostic just means without knowledge, and whether we believe we have the right answer or not, we're really all without knowledge. I don't KNOW there's no , just like I don't KNOW there's no such thing as unicorns. No one can prove a negative. But burden of proof is on the positive claim and I personally don't see any evidence for a . I don't believe the existence of a is probable and therefor if you ask me if I believe there is a , I do not. That's my best guess with the information that I have.

If you consider yourself agnostic you are indeed an atheist. if you're not 100% totally convinced that there is a deity then you are an atheist how do you not know why the word agnostic even exist you either believe or you don't. Educated people do even have a slight inclination of science do not believe, however uneducated and ignorant people they do believe the church relies on these type of people, the Bible refers to them as the Sheep.

"Concrete evidence to prove there's no god" is an impossibility. You cannot PROVE a ''negative." For example...can you prove to me that there's no giant anaconda swallowing planets in a black hole? Nope. You can prove evolution but you can't prove a god, unless you see/hear/smell it.


I generally tell people you are entitled to believe anything you you want.

Agreed, I am happy enough knowing the truth. Truth is what the facts are, why would I even care about other people's beliefs or opinions when I don't even know them, everybody is entitled to their opinions no matter how inaccurate they could be. You know the book of fables says the truth will set you free, well it's my experience I feel a lot better now that I'm not being manipulated or indoctrinated.


HELLO and WELCOME! It's a wonderful thing to see how atheists are "coming out" now. I think a lot of it stems from the ability of the LGB community to stand up publicly and announce their identity. If you're old enough to recall the ''good old days,'' being among those folks (including atheists) got you shunned!

So, I'm proud of you for speaking up and doing a little education.

I'm sure you'll enjoy this site!

I was very lucky to grow up in a community that accepted me from day one but it would not have been that way had I grown up in a different part of the country. I'm very thankful for that and I'm also proud of everyone who has the courage to be themselves. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. <3


Welcome, I'm new around here too. I'm not a fan of starting a debate, I use to back in High school, but i always ended up coming off as a bit of an ass. now a days I mostly only do it when overly religious family members try to convert me or tell me I'm "possessed". And even then it ends up being more of a opposed conversation then a debate.


Welcome. I don't debate religion either, unless they want to. I don't really focus on people's religious affiliations.


Welcome klang72!

I we debate in a forum. If asked if I'm religious, I will say I'm an Atheist.

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