Many atheists, myself included, have argued with Christians and Creationists so long, that we've noticed many of them seem to repeat the exact same statements over and over again, particularly with respect to their dismissals of what we have to say. By "dismissals", I mean that they usually end their thread of the conversation with a put-down. For example, first on the list below is "I'll Pray for you", which sounds nice, but on closer scrutiny is really nothing more than pious sounding condescension. When most Christians or Creationists end their conversation with "I'll pray for you", they are essentially saying, "Well, I'm right, because God has giving me the gift of faith and obviously hasn't given it to you, or some such self justification for their position. This artful technique enables them to ignore any opposition despite which one of the participants is better educated on the topic or presents their argument better..."
Below is a list of the most commonly repeated Christian cliches. You will see these statements, or slight variations of them, in nearly every message board and newsgroup that deals with religion versus non-religion. Please feel free to use this list to point out the complete lack of originality, or the predictability of the average Christian in debating religious subjects.
The Pathos or "I pity you, Fool! " group
These statements basically say that the Christian is a superior person who must have pity on all of the poor, lowly unbelievers.
(1) "I'll pray for you."
(2) "Jesus Loves You"
(3) "God Loves You"
(4) "I feel sorry for you."
(5) "Atheists suffer from a mental illness that makes them unable to detect God/Spiritual things."
(6) "Jesus still loves you!"
The "atheism = religion/faith" group
These all boil down to saying that not believing in a religion is the same as believing in one.
(7) "You have to believe in SOMETHING!"
(8) "Everyone worships SOMETHING!"
(9) "It takes a lot more faith to believe in Evolution than it does to believe in God."
(10) "It takes a lot more faith to ignore the evidence of God than it does to believe in him."
(11) "I only wish that my faith in God was as strong as your faith in Atheism/Evolution."
(12) "You may think your happy, but you can only know TRUE HAPPINESS through Jesus Christ."
The "You're stupid, I'm smart, so stop wasting my time..." group
In these cliches, the Christian tells you that you're either blind, stupid, ignorant, or willingly deceiving yourself, despite how much better your argument is than theirs.
(13) "You have already made up your mind, and it's a waste of time to try to convince you."
(14) "You have chosen to be blind to the TRUTH!"
(15) "You have closed your heart off to the TRUTH!"
(16) "You have obviously been deceived by the devil."
(17) "I found Jesus. Why can't you?"
(18) "The fool sayeth in his heart that there is no God!"
(19) "You're obviously running away from God!"
(20) "You're obviously hiding from the truth!"
(21) "Though you say you don't believe, deep down inside, you know there is a God!"
The "God's obvious to me, What's your problem?" group
This group assumes that all unbelievers have a mental block, or cannot see what it obvious to the believer.
(22) "If there is no God, how do you explain the world we live in?"
(23) "What happened in your life that made you hate God?"
(24) "Of course the Bible sounds like foolishness! Without faith in God, you cannot understand his wisdom!"
(25) "Even though you don't believe it, Jesus/God Loves you!"
(26) "Even though you don't believe it, Jesus/God is REAL!"
The "Your life has no meaning" group
These statements tell the unbeliever that their life is worthless, pointless, meaningless, or otherwise not worth anything, unless they accept JESUS
(27) "Well, those people were not TRUE Christians..."
(28) "A universe without God is a universe without Hope!"
(29) "Without a God, life is meaningless."
(30) "Christianity is not just the best answer. It is the only answer."
(31) "You have devoted your life to something NEGATIVE (atheism), rather than something POSITIVE (christianity, of course)."
The "Just you wait..." group
These all basically say that you'll eventually be a believer, when you're old enough, smart enough, have a revelation, etc.
(32) "One day, you will know what THE TRUTH is!
(33) "Some day, God will call you."
(34) "One day you will call to God for help."
(35) "If you simply have faith in him, you will see that God is real."
(36) "I was once like you, a foolish, young, unbeliever..."
(37) "There are no atheists in foxholes..."
The "Threats of Hellfire" group
These are all empty, pointless threats that even if you can win the debate, you're going to go to hell, so f___ you.
(38) "The day will come when you realize the lord is your only salvation."
(39) "It's too bad that you're going to Hell."
(40) "One day you will have to answer to Jesus Christ Himself, and then it wont be so funny when he throws your unrepentent soul into HELL."
(41) "You had better get right with God now before it's too late."
(42) "Hope you have an asbestos suit, cause you're going to HELL."
(43) "Hope you enjoy your special place in HELL."
(44) "One day, when you're burning in Hell, you'll remember this conversation, and that I warned you!"
My personal favorite finishes off the list here. I call this the,
"I am a real Christian but you were never a real Christian!" group.
These short quips are often used to immediately shut the mind of the true believer so he or she does not have to think for a second longer. The arrogance and pride of such individuals is striking.
(45) "There is no such thing as an ex-christian, honey."
(46) "You only THOUGHT you were a Christian."
(47) "If you really had the Holy Spirit, you could never doubt GOD."
(48) "When God gave out the GIFT of faith, He left you out."
(49) "I know Jesus is real in my heart and if you ever had a real personal relationship with him like I have, you would know He is real too."
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)