Matt Slick’s article “Concerning Attacks on Theism” raises a question I have come to wonder about as I’ve looked for other open-minded seekers in the online world: why do so many atheists find it necessary to attack believers? Simply put, Slick’s point is if God doesn’t exist, what is the harm in another’s belief? To be fair, it is equally easy to find believers attacking atheists. For some reason, it is easy to find the extreme voices shouting out there – those who have made up their minds either way and are determined to convince the rest of us of the error of our ways. This country with its freedom of speech, press, and religion, was also built on a tradition of civil disagreement and the value of listening to all sides of an issue and selecting the best of them. We have an obligation to carry on that tradition and be respectful of others’ views, just as we have the right to live out our own beliefs. I have found a few quiet voices out there, those who want to engage in a dialogue to help think through some of the big questions we all have at one time or another. I don’t believe I’m smart enough to have all of the answers, and I am grateful for others’ help in finding answers that ring true for me. In fact, I am no longer sure that I discovered any of my strongest beliefs myself, having “stolen” them from those more insightful and thoughtful. I owe them much. I’d be grateful to be pointed to other voices from whom I can learn.
“Just as no one can be forced into belief, so no one can be forced into unbelief.” —Sigmund Freud