Are atheists and Christians enemies?

I find intransigence is one of the most frustrating things you encounter, when trying to debate differences in world views. This intransigence applies equally to those with secular views, and to those with religious views. I know I have, on occasions,  “upset” Christians with some of my blog comments. I never do it intentionally,  and sometimes I’m left feeling that some Christians are a little too sensitive when defending their world views. I’m sure many Christians would say the same about me and other atheists, perhaps even worse.

Frustrations on both side often lead to futile arguments and unnecessary nit-picking, and it achieves absolutely nothing positive, and all too often, these exchanges just reinforce already existing intransigence [on both sides]. Below is a  very well presented appraisal of what we should all strive for, when debating different world views. Both atheists and Christians should read and take note


Are Atheists and Christians Enemies?   By:  Leigh McLeroy 


Atheists and Christians obviously have different beliefs. But are atheists and Christians enemies?

An atheist is, by definition, without God. The term “atheism” comes from the Greek word atheos—a- meaning “without” and theos meaning “god.” Atheism is the philosophy that God does not exist.

Put very simply, atheism is the opposite of theism—belief in God or gods. Monotheists like Christians believe there is one true God who created and rules the world. They also believe that one’s relationship with God should greatly influence everything in one’s life.

So are atheists the sworn enemy of Christians, followers of Jesus Christ who believe he is the divine Son of God?

The answer is simple. No, atheists are not Christians’ enemy—certainly not as a category or class of people.

Disagreement, Not Enmity

While the tone of religious debate today can be quite rancorous, disagreement alone does not require two parties or factions to act as enemies, committed to the destruction of each other. Believers and nonbelievers have fundamental differences, yes. And yes, those differences may be deeply held and passionately articulated. They can certainly result in divergent values and lifestyles.

But it is also true that individual atheists and Christians might have much in common. They may be members of the same family or residents of the same neighborhood. They may share the same profession or employer. Together they may love their friends, serve their community, champion the rights of the disadvantaged, protect the peace, or work for justice—all while disagreeing about the existence of God.

It is possible for those with opposing views to disagree strongly, present their arguments openly, and dialogue respectfully. Some may be won to a new view by such tactics; many will not. But the more the two groups are willing to engage truthfully and respectfully as opponents rather than enemies, the clearer their differences will appear—something both sides desire.

Amicable opponents may do what enemies find it impossible to do: avoid mockery, reject intolerance, refuse to engage in hateful rhetoric, listen well, and act with kindness.

via Are atheists and Christians enemies? | The Isaiah 53:5 Project.

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