The contexts, the questioners' styles, vary.
The mildest was the man who helps anyone he can but, from in the two years I've known him has not once shown me he is capable of a complex thought. In as calm a manner as I've ever heard, he told me I would come around some day. I ignored him that time but we are both members of a writers group and a Toastmasters club so we communicate on other issues. The harshest was the man who last year, with as much certainty as I've ever heard from anyone on any subject, told me that after I die I will be on my knees to Jesus. I learned from his wife that before a recent stroke he hadn't talked like that. He and I nod when we see each other.
To those on the polite end of this range, when a response is necessary I say either "If my dad hadn't sent me to Catholic schools I might still believe a god exists" or "I'm a born again agnostic; I knew nothing of gods until I heard of one in the Catholic school my dad sent me to. In college I returned to agnosticism, but having seen no evidence since then I climbed down off the fence on the atheist side."
To those on the harsh end of the above range, when a response is necessary I say "Religion is the biggest fraud that has ever been perpetrated on humankind." It has shock value.
While in college a few Catholics told me I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. For a while I had no reply. Then I realized that the baby, Catholicism, had so polluted the bathwater that I had to throw them both out.
About 15 years ago, when a woman announced with conviction that I was on a fence, I took several minutes to tell her how much skill being on a fence, and not falling off, requires. She soon looked so confused that I almost felt sorry for her.
You helped me see something. Thanks,
In 12 years of Catholic schools, I learned a lot about religion.
To free myself I had to learn more and I can hold my own in a debate against it.
A recent survey said non-believers know the bible better than believers.
In a serious discussion, believers' ignorance surfaces.
To win, believers turn to more violent means: interruptions, shout downs, etc.
My favorite rebuttals are some jokes I have put together throughout my life.
1. Religion, like a drug, is an escape from reality and like a drug can become addictive. Just say no to God.
2. In the beginning. Man created God in his own image, therefore we could say that God is the ultimate extension of the male penis.
3. God is the adult version of the childhood Santa Claus.