Dear Atheist Friend, I Think We Want The Same Thing

by Jason Wisdom

Dear atheist friend,

I think we want the same thing. Or, at least we both claim to want the same thing. Think about it. Why are you on the internet talking about all of the problems with religion? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is because you are convinced that atheism is true, correct, and represents the way things really are. What is more, you want people to know the truth. You believe people’s lives will be greatly enriched by aligning their views with reality rather than delusion. Now, suppose you asked me the same question: why am I on the internet talking about my religion? My answer would be the same: because  I am convinced that Christianity is true, correct, and represents the way things really are! If you are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, as I have given you, then you will have to conclude that we want the same thing. Like you, I want people to know the truth. I believe people’s lives will be greatly enriched by aligning their views with reality rather than delusion.

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You might say, “No, you just want to convert people to your religion!” But come on then, why would I (or anyone) want to do that? Suppose I accused you of the same thing–of having self serving reasons for expressing your atheism. What would you say? I think that you and I would give the same answer: “Whether or not I have selfish motives does not change the fact that, at bottom, I am convinced that my view is true, correct, and represents the way things really are.” Now, I cannot speak for everyone who professes Christianity, but personally, I have absolutely no interest in seeing people become Christians if Christianity is false. Neither do I have any interest in being a Christian myself if Christianity is false. Maybe I am just really shallow, but I don’t like to be wrong. Sure, some people who grow up in a religious tradition might want to stubbornly hold on to the moral and/or therapeutic elements for personal reasons (I can understand that), but I doubt they would waste much time, or risk very much in order to tell people about something that they thought was false, incorrect, and did not represent the way things really are..

So why does this matter? Well, I don’t know about you, but I have grown rather bored with all of the tedious mud slinging (from both sides). You know what I am talking about…

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Dear Atheist Friend, I Think We Want The Same Thing – Because It’s True