Monday, April 09, 2012
Talking with an Atheist: Reasons to Believe
How did you come to this those conclusions?
What reasons and/or evidence do you have that support these conclusions?
These are important questions that continually come up in my conversations with Favourite Atheist (FA). We talk about my belief in Jesus and his believe that the world is only natural.
I can't remember a time when I did not believe in God. My early beliefs were based on people I trusted teaching me about God and God answering my specific prayers. As I grew I had more experiences that strengthened my belief. These included more answered prayers, the lives of other Christians I respected, my own encounters with God which included a sense that God was calling me to be a missionary. I had questions and doubts. There are still times when I am confused, struggling or doubt. In this instances I pray, read (the Bible, books that agree with my position and even books that disagree) and I found no reason to not believe.
FA's follow up question to my reasons has been, "do you think this enough evidence for me to change my views?" Or the variation "if a Hindu gave you the same reasons to accept their faith would you change your mind?" Similar experiential evidence coming from a person of a different belief would not convince me to reject Jesus (which often feels like I'm failing my friend).
How do I better communicate my reasons for hope? That has been the question on my mind for months. About a year ago I asked FA what would change his mind. He shared this link with me The Theist's Guide to Converting Atheists. I wonder if there is something else that he hasn't yet considered that would convince him?
So questions to think about: What do you believe and why do you believe it? Do you think that your reasons should convince someone else, why or why not? And would similar evidence from another faith/view be enough for you to switch your views? If it's not then should your reasons be enough to convince someone else, why or why not? And what would type of evidence would cause you to change your mind about your beliefs?
Thank you for stopping by. I know that is a lot of questions. I'm interested in your thoughts. Please leave a comment answering any of the questions or adding your own thoughts to the conversation and return Friday for the conversation wrap up.