Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Are Religious Visitors Questioning Their Belief?

I read a fascinating post at Greta Christina's blog. In it, the case is made that many religious visitors to atheist blogs are looking for someone to challenge their belief so that it can be tested, to see if it is really rational to believe what they do. I can say I was that way. It wasn't blogs for me, but books. I read The God Delusion because I felt it was foolish to only hear the church's side of things. I felt that if I was in an isolated bubble from other arguments, my faith was falsely propped up. It was looking into a lack of belief that was a stepping stone to atheism.

I agree that we need to be patient with the religious believers, because they may be honestly looking for other ideas. If they spout stupid fallacies, such as that atheists have no moral basis, or that since we can't prove with certainty, we can go ahead and just assume god, then we have to be patient with them. This is all they get at church. If they are serious about expanding their knowledge and looking at other viewpoints, then patiently explaining the flaws in their argument may help them. Now, if they start ignoring or insulting you repeatedly, they are probably a troll, so feel free to ignore them, or, if it is your blog, block them.

What do you think? Are many of the religious people on the blogs sincere, or just trolls?


  1. I think a much larger portion than most people realize are sincere. Moreover, many of the people labeled trolls aren't trolls in the sense of just trying to get a reaction but rather sincere but misguided individuals.

    However, some are genuinely trolling. Moreover, they are doing so for essentially religious reasons. They get nasty reactions back which reinforces their us v. them attitude and belief that they are correct and people who disagree are rude and profane people who hate God.

  2. From what I've seen, there tends to be slightly more trolls. But there ARE a lot of people who just want to debate or share their side of the story in a respectful manner.