The journey from there to here
Published on June 1, 2005 By Gideon MacLeish In Philosophy

One of my absolute pet peeves is evangelical atheists. You know the type; the people for whom even agnostics are viewed as religious extremists. It's not enough for evangelical atheists to not believe, they have to ridicule and mock the beliefs of those who do. And they give a bad name to the many atheists who really don't care what you believe.

They're the type who will loudly complain when, at an event YOU are hosting, you bow with friends in prayer. In complaining, they will simply disregard the fact that silently saying nothing would have done no harm and would have left their religious friends with a considerably better opinion of them.

Evangelical atheists are tricky and deceitful, but they're not original. In fact, it may be their inability to formulate an original thought that has them grasping at straws and using poorly reasoned circular logic in an ad nauseum defense of their (non)faith. A careful dissection of the arguments of the evangelical atheist will reveal a series of well constructed "straw man" arguments, red herrings, and personal attacks that are only thinly veiled when they are brought forth as "new" responses. To be fair, the same can be said of the majority of evangelicals of any faith, but the odd fact as applies to evangelical atheists is that they are defending what is, by their own admission, a NONfaith with the same flawed logic.

So why should I care about these people? Because they target people in moments of weakness and attack them, using the same methods and skills as an abuser in slowly driving a wedge between their targets and their family members and friends in a quest for absolute control. Their methods are pulled from the time proven manuals of cultists and are based on deception and manipulation. The end result is hurt feelings on all sides.

To be fair, most atheists are NOT evangelicals. Most atheists really don't care WHAT you believe, so long as you don't push your beliefs on them. Just as Christians and Muslims are often unfairly branded by their radical extremes, so atheists must often bear the stigma of these hate filled phonies. But there are enough of the hate filled phonies around to reinforce stereotypes for many.

So, what is a Christian to do about evangelical atheists? Well, "fighting fire with fire" does come to mind, but it fails to show the Christlike love we should evidence in our lives. Simply ignoring is the easy answer, but as they grow more and more vocal, it's hard to see others hijacked by the poorly constructed arguments of these hacks. Perhaps "picking your battles" would be the best tactic; let their idiocy out itself, but stand your ground when they mask their ignorance as intelligence.

on Jun 01, 2005
I think you might enjoy, Dr Clay mp3's...or not.
on Jun 01, 2005


I can't d/l mp3's on the library comp. Do you have any text?

on Jun 01, 2005
I will have a look see. He seems to have been heading a University in 1993. Dr Walter Martin was there till his death in 1989. He is the real boffin. Still found nothing. I guess he keeps a low profile. Seems he had been very busy working with a group called 2ndglance. I found a site where one either buys the Cd or downloads mp3's but his days of apologetics seem to have turned into very practical counselling for relationships. click here
on Oct 18, 2006
Do you have any examples of the arguments presented by EA's and suggested counter-arguments?
on Oct 18, 2006
You nailed it, good job Gideon.
on Jun 12, 2012

Wow, how the years have passed us by and these EA's have risen and fallen and yet still remain a very real presence though as I read through a section of Prof. Richard Dawkins' book "The Devil's Chaplin"  ( BBC Coverage )  I discovered that he too much like the late Stephen Jay Gould ( Evolution ) had once resisted the idea to debate pseudo-scientific Evangelical Christians for they weren't interested in Science but instead winning a victory for Christianity over Atheism.  

I could wrestle out the quote but if you've read the book I'm sure you'll remember the final letter exchanges between Richard and Stephen.