The accusation that atheists were missionary is often made by the religious side.This is the outflow of a double morality: when religions are proselytizing – and they do so massively, just think of religious instruction, but also of sending out missionaries – that is completely OK and, of course, if atheists do the same, it is not the Same, but strictly rejected – they are blamed.
It is enough for atheists to defend themselves against accusations and false insinuations, they are already told that they are proselytizing, and that would not be right.The mere fact that they contradict the majority imply “aggression”, i.e. an attack on persons.
Ideologies of all kinds protect themselves from arguments by making core principles of ideology part of the personality of the ideology supporters.If someone refutes the arguments, one immediately switches from the factual level to the level of personality, “feels” attacked as a person, and resists this emotionally. But it is also really difficult to tell someone that the basics on which their way of life is based are wrong without anyone feeling personally attacked. Theists, of course, do not realize that most of their claims about atheists are not only simply false, but also constitute attacks on the person. They are argumentative “glass cannons” – they share with hard bandages and big trowels, but act like sensitive mimosa when confronted with real arguments. Then the whining starts.
This is due to the general argumentative inferiority of the monotheists.There is no other way to help than to fend off the arguments in an inappropriate way. If one were convinced that we had the better arguments, we could react to these things much more calmly.
Conversely, atheists have mostly been persecuted in history.If even small deviations from Christian doctrine are sufficient to be burned alive at the stake, what does it look like if one massively contradicts the basics? Atheists were accustomed to being silent in history, everything else would have been life-threatening. In a dozen states, this is still the case today – there is the death penalty for atheists.
Of course, this silence benefits the monotheists, because they did not have to expect contradiction.That has changed, at least in the West, when the Church was stripped of the power to kill heretics.
Today, the monotheists are already complaining when atheists are only their point of view – one is not accustomed to contradiction, because one has never tolerated it, but one is no longer able to defend one’s way against it by using physical force.
Most atheists just want to be left alone.In order to achieve this, one takes it with a gnashing of teeth, but otherwise silently, when in the sermons once again the atheists are really wooded, one compares them with Hitler, claims that they have no morality, they have stupid views etc. Pp.
A few of us – like me – are not prepared to accept the status quo, which says: We like to take your tax money, determine your life, we also like to move over you, but as long as you remain silent, everything is fine – and if you rebel, since you are in tolerant, aggressive, militant, missionary atheists, and we will publicly accuse you of that.We Christians do not hold the other cheek when you attack us – why should we? – but you, you atheists, you must do this because Jesus said this…
But we do not evangelize, we do not proselytize, our strategy is different: we clarify .We ask unpleasant questions to which Christians do not know the answer, we argue that we do not use violence – we trust in the long-term strategy of better arguments. Not every atheist can muster this patience, so I fully understand those who strike sharper tones, even if I think it is counterproductive. There are no arguments against fundamentalists anyway, they can only be ridiculed. I am entirely in the opinion of Schleichert, see also:
Schleichert, Hubert.How to discuss with fundamentalists without losing your mind: guidance on subversive thinking.9th edition 2017. C.H. Beck Paperback 1344. Munich: Publisher C.H. Beck, 2017.
But I also come to the conclusion more and more that for the rest, the non-fundamentalist currents, the approach of Boghossian is better, see:
Boghossian, Peter G. A manual for creating atheists.Durham, North Carolina: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013.
Boghossian suggests the Socratic method – to make others think by asking him questions that create long-term cracks in his established worldview.For the emotional defensive attitude of Christians leads to an automated defense of arguments: the better the arguments, the more one clings to one’s own attitude, which one assumes is somehow linked to one’s own personality. The fear of a loss of personal integrity leads to a blanket rebutttorby of all arguments and to adhere even more strongly to one’s opinion.
I think that’s all right: criticizing religion, also sharp, just as gentle, making arguments, making fun of yourself, asking questions – everything but violence.Everyone should handle this in the way that suits their personal abilities. But missionary and evangelizing – we don’t need that.