Why Do Atheists Shout So Loudly When They Believe the Stakes are Lower?
When it comes to religious matters, we Christians believe our very souls are at stake. Atheists do not believe there is anything so serious at stake. Anyone would therefore expect that Christians would shout their message the loudest, since they believe there is the most at stake. However, it seems that both 'shout' similarly loudly. Why is that?
Both camps genuinely believe that their version is the underlying truth (although of course, both cannot be right). Therefore, both camps have the truth at stake; they think of themselves as campaigners for the truth. In addition, Christians believe our souls are at stake. Why then do atheists shout so loud when they believe there is less at stake?
This is a question which is difficult to answer. However, we should be aware that Christianity can actually benefit from these loud shoutings of the atheists. Why is that? It is because the atheists give us specific things to refute. Much more dangerous for Christianity if atheists regarded religion with the same indifference as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. The fact that atheists stand up and shout against Christianity gives Christians something concrete to refute. Whereas if atheists instead had a "Tooth Fairy" attitude of uncaring indulgence to Christianity, it would be far harder for Christians to have something specific to refute. Of course, Christianity rests on what Christ did for us, not on how flawed the arguments are for atheism.
From a recent discussion involving an atheist, I realized to my surprise that some atheists are actually against the idea of Christianity existing at all (as opposed to a 'you have your beliefs, I have mine' approach). This may be a subset of atheists and these views may not be representative of all. However, this lack of tolerance seems odd to me, as I always thought that atheists (along with Christians) particularly valued the idea of freedom of choice when it comes to religious beliefs. Furthermore, most Christians do not have a problem with atheists choosing to be atheist (although they might worry about the atheist's soul being in danger, but ultimately recognize each individual has the right to make their own decisions). Indeed, it is clear from the Bible that Jesus wants people to come to him freely and not under duress or against their will. Yet many atheists have a problem with the mere existence of Christianity. Why does it seem to bother someone if I am a Christian? The other person's opinions of my religion doesn't upset me or affect my belief that Jesus is our Lord and Savior - I am secure enough in my beliefs after all - but their attitude puzzles me a little, and in any case I am not bothered by their beliefs. However, I will take it as a compliment: if someone dislikes me for my religion, that's fine by me.
So in conclusion, it is not really clear why some atheists shout so loudly when according to their beliefs the stakes are lower. Yes, it is correct that Christians and atheists both have completely incompatible views, and each believe their view to be the truth. However, if the stakes are really as low as the atheists claim, then why is there the need to be so vocal about it? Why are atheists not willing to let everyone just coexist? Yet, this very attitude is something which is to the advantage of Christianity: by being vocal it gives the Christians a chance to refute something specific (and therefore their voice to be heard), and also, any attitude of religious intolerance by atheists will, in my opinion, hurt their argument and not that of Christianity.
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