What are some of your favorite rebuttals when someone questions your atheism?

Especially when they say something that makes you feel like an insensitive human being.

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Such a double standard!


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 really put a lot of thought into this discussion and I haven't taken much from what you have written. I love your ending about being on a fence. You are a smart guy.   :)
Crap! I meant that I "have" taken much from what you have written. Oh jeez. Sorry.
So far, i can hardly get a sentence out without being cut off or shouted down. Alot of the time, they look around for support, and won't answer, but try to talk loud and bring attention "he's an atheist!". In their mind they think that the moment of embarassment would be too much, and i would give up being an atheist. Sad. I may have to initiate more, and try to get some answers, if they can stay calm. It's too much work to try to explain the bible, that's why they deflect. It's so nice not having to worry about explaining nonsense, but i have to say, they are good at trying.

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.


Having knowledge about the bible is the best ammo. I'm thinking of taking a course or reading the "Bible for Dummies" just so I can truly debate.
Read the Bible...it's a fascinating piece of fiction!
Those creationists can tend to be angry folks. I had the nicest man try to persuade me to his side every night at work. His last attempt was when he brought in the bible for me to have. I politely said that if he doesn't take it back I was just gonna throw it away or use it to start a fire. I tried to keep it neutral but he would not give in!
Have you ever read the Bible? If you haven't read it, I would suggest it. Like Penn Jillette says (and I tend to agree with him) nothing turns you into an atheist faster than reading the Bible. I've read it three times and I'm considering a fourth after summer is over. When talking with religious people (especially ones who are angry) it helps if you have some biblical references to throw out. A lot of times, they haven't read it themselves (which always amazes me). I don't know...if I was gonna base my whole life on a book, I think I would take the time to read it before I jumped in. I wonder, do they read insurance contracts?  Maybe..maybe not.
Hey Joe, It's interesting you should say that. I downloaded a pdf copy the other night in an effort to better understand the document. That lead me to exploring more about the history of how it was actually put together, the books that were left out, the translations, omissions, additions ...good grief - how anyone can look at that book and take it literally is beyond me. We regularly have letters to the editor appear in our national newspaper where people are quoting chapter and verse as if that somehow validates their argument(s), what a hoot. That's a great quote from Penn.

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.



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