Neil Carter, a former church elder who is now a skeptic and blogs over at Godless in Dixie, gave a great talk last year that was part of the Interview an Atheist at Church Day (May 5, 2013). This specific one was organised by the pastor of the Meadowbrook Church of Christ and is a great talk to listen to for those that do believe.
- We have morals too
- You don’t know us better than we know ourselves
- We don’t deep down believe in your particular god
- We don’t hate your particular god
- We don’t all disbelieve because something bad happened to us
- Believing isn’t a choice
- Most of us used to be Christians too
- Quoting the bible does not work like a Jedi mind trick
- We don’t worship the devil
- Hell dosen’t scare us, it does not even make sense to us
- Not all of us are anti-theists
So looking at this conversation in the video, you find that this is a fabulous example of how to communicate effectively. If you had perhaps charged in, declared anybody who believes to be stupid and proceeded to rip their beliefs to bits, it would not have been a positive experience for anybody. Instead he lays out a good outline of some rather common myths and comes across as non-confrontational and so is well-received.
I’m learning myself (the hard way) that it is not just what you say, but also how you say it that truly matters.
Suppose you have something important to say … what then happens if the means you choose to articulate it simply pisses people off, what have you then achieved?
You might of course feel that you have scored a few points, but if in the end, nobody heard what you actually had to say, then I’d argue that even if what you said was the deepest of deep universal secrets, it would have been pointless.
It is all part of a longer interview – you can see the full interview here.