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← Emotional arguments against religion

Steve Zara's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Steve Zara

I think there might be a way to at least show theists the way out, even if they don't take it.

Educate them about the nature of world religions. So often I come across both believers and atheists who see religion as a simple choice between a god and nothing, between heaven and oblivion.

That isn't the only choice. The polytheism of Hinduism may be too strange for Christians and Muslims, but varieties of Buddhism might appeal, or at least may be found interesting. Show believers that not having a creator god at the centre of things need not lead to nihilism, or a lack of morality. Then, some of the Buddhist ideas of scepticism can be introduced. This is not implying that Buddhism is true, but that there are less theistic faiths or belief systems.

The idea of this is not to convert, but to show that not having a belief in their god, or indeed any creator is not a frightening step.

If I may re-use Richard's analogy, there can be a gentle path down "Mount Unbelievable" towards lesser levels of belief, not a sudden plummet into the (supposed) abyss of atheism.

This may lead believers to be more at ease with atheism, even if they don't choose that path.

Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:18:32 UTC | #582151