I made a list for shutting down conversation with an atheist, so it’s only fair to attempt one for shutting down conversations with a theist.
Of course, I’ll have to remember back to when I believed in God, but I’ll give it my best shot. If you’re a theist, feel free to add to my list in the comment section.
Compare God to Santa
I get why atheists do this, but it’s usually not productive. It just comes off as being condescending. If you want to have a thoughtful conversation with a theist, don’t start it off by comparing their belief in god to Santa.
I know it’s tempting at times, but it’s a conversation destroyer.
Pretend atheism makes you smarter than a theist
There are smart and not so smart atheists and theists. Being one or the other doesn’t mean you’re automatically smarter than the other. Let’s not pretend they do. Trying to put yourself on a pedestal isn’t going to lead to a good conversation.
Fairy in the sky
It sounds a bit like a rock song, but I see atheists using this line quite a bit. I’m not sure who made it popular, but I personally don’t find it very productive. It’s sort of like the Santa analogy – it sounds condescending and insulting.
Ignore when theists make a good point
When I answer posts I tend to answer point by point. I do this because I don’t want the other person to feel as if I didn’t read or consider their point of view. I also like to acknowledge when a theist makes a good point.
Assume what a theist believes
This knife cuts both ways. Both atheists and theists often make assumptions about what the other believes. It’s much better to just ask the other person to clarify what they believe than to assume. Plus, you run into less misunderstandings this way.
Win. Win. Right?
This is a weird one but in my line of work, I run into it sometimes. It’s when someone doesn’t want to work with the other group because they either believe in god or don’t. Sometimes I have to work with religious organizations because we have a common goal; whether that means working with a shelter or soup kitchen. Sometimes the ends justify the means and we can work together to accomplish that goal.
Be able to defend quotes or links
I brought this up in my other article, but atheists can sometimes fall into the same trap. If you’re going to use a quote, make sure you can back it up or defend your position. Dropping a quote doesn’t automatically mean you’re right.
So there’s my list. Feel free to disagree with me, agree or add your own thoughts to the list in the comment section. Thanks for reading!