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Communicating Ideas

Atheists have a problem that we need to address. We need to communicate our ideas better. Religious believers don’t tend to have that problem. You ask them a question and the answer is either a Bible verse or God did it. If you ask why God did something that answer is that God works in mysterious ways. Their beliefs are communicated. But when a religious believer asks an atheist a question, we have to give a long explanation because reality isn’t easy to explain.

So our problem is that we need to learn how to explain the complexity of reality to religious believers in more memorable and more easily understood ways. Last week, I answered 10 questions that some Christian posted on his blog. I have gotten a lot of feedback from people saying how much they appreciate my answers.

What I tried to do was answer the questions in memorable ways that turn the questions around on the believer. But I also tried to keep it short. There is no doubt that there is a lot to be said about the subject of morality, but people don’t want to hear a lecture so we have to boil it down to something simple and then hopefully if they are more interested, we can go on and help them find the right places to go to learn more about it.

Our job shouldn’t be to educate them, but rather to get them interested enough to want to educate themselves and then point them to the best places to go to do that. If you have a particularly pithy answer to a common religious question, please share it. We need to create these memes and get them out there to the religious world.

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  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    I don’t know. It seems like we have an awful lot of memes, few of which seem particularly effective. I’m okay with complex explanations much of the time because I recognize that reality is complex. But of course, there is the important matter of being able to tailor one’s message to one’s audience. I suspect that is something we could all do better.