Amanda Metskas, the director of Camp Quest, saw this quotation recently:
“People who are interested in telling you about their religion usually aren’t interested in hearing about yours.”
It got her thinking about her own views on religious debates. As an atheist, she’s tired of them:
I’m bored of having debates with religious believers. Really. Been there, done that. When I was trying to figure out what my worldview was, and I was exploring all sorts of ideas, I found debates very compelling. They were a way that I could think through things I hadn’t thought through before. They were a way that I could test my emerging worldview and see if it held up. But now, I’ve got to say that my mind is pretty well made up. Sure, if presented with absolutely extraordinary evidence, it’s subject to change, but I wouldn’t bet on that happening.
Instead of the debate where one side tries to prove it’s validity against the other, and neither side budges at all, Amanda opts for something else:
… I don’t want the terms of the conversation to be an argument to try to convince the other party that one of us is right. I’m bored of that conversation. I’ve had it too many times.
How do I want to talk with religious folks instead? I could use a little less debate and a lot more dialogue.
I want to talk about public policy. I want to find out what religious people think about the issues of the day, and how they think religion should interact with those issues. I want to find out what they think about separation of church and state. I imagine the answers will vary a lot from person to person, and I want to see if we can be allies on issues that matter to me, even if we disagree about metaphysics.
It’s definitely more compelling, and both sides might actually walk away having learned something new.
Check out the rest of Amanda’s article here!
[tags]atheist, atheism, debate, Christian, religion[/tags]