How To Argue with an Atheist

One Man's Methodology About How To Fend Off Anti-Christian Atheists

IMPORTANT:   Anti-Christian Atheist refers to anyone who attacks Christians who does not have god or perceived gods in their lives.  This does not refer to Atheists who leave others alone, and those who only defend themselves when need be.

How hard your spiritual life is can be dependent on so many things.  People from the southern United States who live in the Bible Belt will find it extremely easy to maintain their establishment of God in their lives... Until you get on the Internet, and find the newest Anti-Christian Atheist video circulating its way through, getting thousands of viewers... MySpace, forums, profiles.  No, it's not as easy as it used to be to maintain establishments.  We now have nowhere to hide from those who attack.  These steps will help shore up your defense in any debate, should you choose to engage (or should you be forced to).

Step 1

The Christian faith is just that... A faith

As much as we all want to believe in the Bible, and its teachings, if you live by the Bible, or on any material to define your faith, in an argument, stated simply, you will lose.  This is a faith, which means we're not going to answer all of the questions.  God is the only one that has all of the answers, and it is Him in whom we must believe based on what is in our hearts, and based on our personal relationships with Him.   No matter what an Anti-Christian Atheist says, he cannot fight faith, but he can fight and deface everything else.

Step 2

Know the attack points of Anti-Christian Atheists

There are thousands of Anti-Christian atheists, but their theses can usually be summed up in just a few words.  The rest of the steps will be methods of defending yourself, and based on direction, but all of those methods will be based on the fact that you prepare yourself for attack from all directions in things you take for granted.  Look up the following using a search engine, or a local library, or draw from your own philosophies to explain these:

  • 'Jesus' comes from pagan 'Iesu'
  • Christmas is a pagan holiday
  • Jesus didn't exist
  • Jesus is a conman, not a savior
  • God is an invention of man
  • Polytheism came before Monotheism
  • Evolution is proven, Creationism is not 
  • Genesis has the process of creation in the wrong order (Genesis 1)
  • The Bible tells of other gods (10 Commandments)
  • The Bible and its contents were written far later than the death of Jesus
  • Jesus preached hatred toward the family in Luke 14:26
  • God broke his own commandments by preaching the slaughter of other peoples

Step 3

Be the director, don't get shoved around

Atheists are going to come at you from all directions, and from all styles.  If you just defend what you believe in a purely defensive manner, you're just going to get shoved out of the way, which will cause stress and show the aggressor he can shove you (and others) around easily.  The key to fighting an Anti-Christian Atheist is the same key to any debate in general:  Be the director, and attack back.  It's not just about wildly swinging and trying to throw blows at them.  That's how they want you to attack. Instead, get them into a completely different point of view.  Most Atheists will fight you based on pre-thought, stored-up arguments. Many points of these are listed above.  It's important that you know the arguments, but to base your method of defense on their style.  The following are many styles of attack I have encountered:

  • The Troll - The troll is someone, almost always on the Internet, who attempts to grab your attention by using obscene language.   The Troll has few weaknesses, because the troll's ultimate quest is for simple acknowledgement.  The only weakness for a Troll is to not acknowledge that it exists.  Do not fall into The Troll's antics and be infuriated, or The Troll wins.
  • The Intellectual - The Intellectual will attempt to tear Christians down by providing intellectual arguments.  The list of arguments above are most of the ones he will use, but The Intellectual will try to corner you into being able to say nothing.  Intellectual Atheists who are on the prowl will use anything you say against yourself in an attempt to throw you in a corner so he can hammer you.  Despite this, Intellectual Atheists will almost always rely on memorized passages and points.  If you have enough intellect to battle the intellectual, you can probably manage a stalemate if you don't make mistakes, but my personal recommendation is to get into a battle of philosophies.  My favorite method to fight The Intellectual is a two-step process.  First, you point out that science and technology cannot explain the creation of The Universe.  Second, based on that, show that he cannot disprove a god.  After he says you cannot prove a negative, your job becomes easier.  He is now on the defensive, and it's an argument on your level.  At any rate, be careful, and don't be predictable in any debate.  Make them work to beat you rather than throwing things at you from their memory banks.
  • The Bible Attacker - This can be anything from a form of an intellectual, to someone who studies a few Bible verses, and concentrates on them.  The good thing about Bible attackers is that many times it's common verses that you'll get a lot, such as Deuteronomy.
  • The Philosopher - Many people will attack Christians, and God in general, with a frontal assault on the very emotions of God himself.  "How can such a powerful god leave so many people dead?"  Is one angle that will be used.  These people are the hardest to argue with, ironically, because they usually use personal experiences, or events that you may not know about.  With a philosophical/emotional attack, it's best to direct the person's anger away from God, and bring them down to Earth.  I use the argument "God does not control the free will of man", and "Those who do not ask from god will not receive his blessings."  However, you choose to argue your point, these are the people to be the most kind to.  They do not hate god.  They are just angry, and they misunderstand.  Likely, they were former followers.  Likely, they'll go back to where they started.  Just show them that there's a kind heart to actually listen.

However you argue, remember not to make the same mistakes as those you are debating with.  In any debate, you need to be able to present something in multiple ways, and from multiple viewpoints.  Don't pull out the same shaped cookie cutter every time, or someone is going to be prepared for how you approach them. 

Step 4

Challenge them:  Make them think

You have your multiple sources of information.  You know the angles and philosophies of those you are going to encounter. Still, you're not ready!

Before ALL else, you have to maintain your cool.  Few Atheists will honor the rules of debating, and will attack your fundamental principles.  The reason for all of the steps above is because in order to maintain your cool, you must be emotionally prepared for what you're going to face if you encounter a godless predator of what you believe.  It's important to keep your cool, but it's even MORE important that you don't go into an argument of baseless assumptions, which may lead to a back-and-forth of insults. 

While "trash-talk"  might feel good in the moment you are doing it, especially if you are under relentless attack, it accomplishes nothing for you.  Instead, try to ask them questions where they are forced to address you and think of their answers.  Doing this isn't something as simple as asking any question.  You have to ask the right questions, and sometimes it takes a while before they start seeing things your way, being as they may continue to block out your thinking by trying to bombard you with insults.  The questions I have always asked are the following:

  • Did you once believe in god?  If yes, ask: Why did you stop?
  • What do you base your disbelief in god on?
  • What would make you feel open to the existence of god?

Remember that a lot of questions you ask that are good questions are going to get small responses, but the key is that if the person is going to persist in bothering you, or if the person wants to continue the debate, to try to lead him into a way of thinking of his answers.  When he is thinking, that is when he is open to suggestion.  That person may be a little bit more eager to find God even if he shows no signs.

These four steps will help you tremendously in understanding Atheists, and being able to survive debates with them.  Remember, however, that the most important thing to remember is to not think mechanically.  Use these steps as a shell of advice, but find the approach that works for you, as we all think a bit differently from one another.

However you approach Atheists, though, remember that if you wish to engage one, make it a productive session for both you and him.  The last thing you want to do when debating someone of ANY kind is to overstep your Christian values just to prove a point.


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