The Internet Monk has a message for his fellow Christians (emphasis his).
Write this down: When the coming evangelical collapse happens, and especially when thousands of our young people bolt for non-believer status, a lot of it will be COMPLETELY DESERVED.
You see, evangelicals have made such outrageous assumptions and promises about happiness, healing, everything working out, knowing God, answered prayer, loving one another and so on that proving us to be liars isn’t even a real job. It’s just a matter of tuning in to an increasing number of voices who say “It’s OK to not believe. Give yourself a break. Stop tormenting yourself trying to believe. Stop propping up your belief with more and more complex arguments. Just let go of God.”
Make no mistake; iMonk is still on the side of the Christians. But he admits what many atheists have been saying all along: You don’t need to point out every Biblical contradiction, or find several examples of Christian hypocrites, or analyze every religious ritual to get people to open their eyes about the problems with faith.
If you can show them they can live a happy, meaningful life without the trappings of superstition and belief in a god, that’s all some people need.
There are ways to raise children, obtain a sense of morality and personal ethics, and celebrate the major moments in life without resorting to faith. There are intelligent people, from all walks of life, who don’t need to buy into the god myth to get through the day. The more we can shine a lot on them, the more we can get “regular” atheists to come out of the closet, the easier it will be to spread the ideas of rationality and reason.
And the more that Christians embrace an intolerance toward homosexuality, ignorance in the face of Science, and an intertwining of church and politics, the easier they make the atheists’ job.
Yes, there are arguments against any god’s existence and arguments against the truth of any religious text. We shouldn’t stop making them. But I don’t think these arguments, as logical as they are, appeal to the masses.
What will convince more people to lose their faith? Hearing a philosophical debate featuring an articulate atheist or witnessing functional, happy atheists going about their lives with no regard for a god or religion? The debate loses every time.
(Thanks to Emma for the link!)