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How Atheists Can Be Effective Evangelists A guide to public rabble-rousing.

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Presentation on theme: "How Atheists Can Be Effective Evangelists A guide to public rabble-rousing."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Atheists Can Be Effective Evangelists A guide to public rabble-rousing

2 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists2 Outline 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

3 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists3 Why bother evangelizing? Because it's fun! Because it makes you smarter Because it lets your voice be heard

4 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists4 Letters from high school "It is a common misconception that atheists are immoral people. We are glad that you could show our class that. We liked how you explained that morality can come from human nature not just the supposed word of God." "Even though I am a Christian, I was glad that you accepted everyone's beliefs and you explained your view on sensitive subjects like abortion and homosexuality. Overall I believe that your presentation, though not as flashy as the others, was the best one our Humanities classes had visit them. "Dear Dr. Glasser, You have changed my life for the best. I will always look at religion and life in different ways."

5 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists5 What happens when you don't bother Silence is treated as consent Religious people get to define what atheism means o (Tip: They don't get it right)‏

6 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists6 How theists hope you'll perceive atheists... “I used to be a devout atheist and that sounds a little strange but I was committed to my belief that God didn't exist.... I've since learned that when you really look at the evidence, the truth is, it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe in God.” - Kirk Cameron “I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” - D. James Kennedy, misquoting Sir Julian Huxley

7 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists7 Do we want to create more atheists? Hell yes! But ultimately, this is about two things: o Spreading memes, and o Pushing people gradually in our direction

8 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists8 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

9 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists9 When to speak up and when to shut up

10 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists10 Don't be a jerk Atheists don't go door to door telling people about atheism Why? Because people who do that for religion are jerks There are, however, lots of opportunities where it comes up in every day conversation Remember, nobody is saying that you should act in such a way as to get fired, arrested, or beaten up

11 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists11 On the other hand, don't be intimidated “Atheist” didn't become a dirty word by itself. Neither did “secular.” You're not being a jerk if you respond to an argument that someone else started. Learn to enjoy conflict.

12 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists12 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

13 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists13 Getting informed The way to be informed in a debate is to know everything. Since that's not practical, you should count on reading a lot. Even more importantly, you need practice

14 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists14 How to practice Basically, get out there and argue with people Either you'll win or you'll lose: –If you win, you gain confidence –If you lose, you learn a weakness, and correct it next time Use the resources you have –Books –Wikipedia –The rest of the internet –Other atheists on other sites –Christians (learn what they think from the source)‏

15 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists15 Lessons learned from gaming

16 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists16 Playing To Win "Playing to Win," by David Sirlin Competition makes you stronger When you get beaten, learn from your opponent Don't be a "scrub" o Example: Appeals to emotion are used because they work! Always play offense

17 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists17 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

18 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists18 How to make a logical argument "Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?"..... "I've told you once." "No you haven't."..... "Yes I have."

19 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists19 How to make a logical argument Premise Inference Conclusion Any step of this process could go wrong, so it wouldn't hurt to brush up on logical fallacies

20 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists20 Common fallacies Hasty generalization Post hoc ergo propter hoc Appeal to authority Ad hominem Appeal to emotion

21 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists21 To repeat: always play offense Don't follow the chat-o-matic script. (Yes it's real.)‏chat-o-matic Identify your points of disagreement early Never let them hear an “expected” answer Losing makes you stronger

22 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists22 Is it okay to use appeals to emotion? People learn things through a combination of reason and emotion. While we ridicule Christians for overusing emotional arguments, they're used partly because they work Again, don't be a scrub: use all the tools at your disposal when necessary

23 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists23 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

24 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists24 Who's your audience? If you don't have an audience then WHY ARE YOU ARGUING??? There are several possibilities for who you are talking to: The theist, to bring them closer to your side An audience, to turn them against the theist Yourself, to learn whether your arguments are any good Remember that if you no longer have an audience, nobody is forcing you to keep talking

25 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists25 1.Why bother evangelizing? 2.When to speak up and when to shut up 3.Getting informed 4.How to make a logical argument 5.Who's your audience? 6.Promote your opinions

26 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists26 Promote your opinions Start a blog – it's easy and free Argue on message boards and usenet – you get practice AND friends Don't be afraid to get into a discussion if it comes up

27 10/05/2008How atheists can be effective evangelists27 In conclusion... Don't be embarrassed by what you think or the label you carry Memes are self-replicators, like viruses Intelligent responses can replicate too – they're antibodies


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