Disagreements between christians and atheists seem to have heated up in the last decade or two. Whether it is because atheists have become more convinced of the evils of religion, or there are just more of them these days, or whether it is because christians are feeling more under threat, I don’t know. Or perhaps it’s just another outcome of the impersonality of the internet.
But I do know that things can often get unpleasant or even downright nasty, and that there are those on both sides who argue this is a justifiable and even necessary tactic.
But here’s one commentator who pleads for a little more tolerance and humour. (I saw this piece some time ago, but only now got around to posting about it.)
10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On
Five years ago David Wong at Cracked listed 10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On:
1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One
2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They’re Saying
3. In Everyday Life, You’re Not That Different
4. There Are Good People on Both Sides
5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them
6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy
7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too
8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid
9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table
10. You’ll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence
What do you think?
I think I agree with all of them except #5. I would prefer to re-phrase this as “They are likely to find your point of view offensive”, for I don’t think we should take offence unless views are expressed in an insensitive and deliberately nasty and personal manner (which unfortunately happens often enough).
But I can imagine some christians may question #2 & #9, while some atheists may disagree with #2 & #10.
But I’d be interested to see comments after people have read the original article. Also whether you would be willing to try to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.