ANSWERS: 37
  • Yes. I think they should leave us alone and stop trying to convince us with faulty logic.
  • No, Because they are doing what they believe to be right. Athiests try to disprove christianity all the time. It's a two-way street.
  • It's all down to how they do it. If it's simply asking questions and polite debating in the hope that they will "see the light" then that's ok. It's the ones who stand on the street shouting out about how much we need God to "save" us because we are "all evil" that are wrong. It works both ways though, I try to be polite but firm when debating with Christians etc. It's a balance between freedom of religion and freedom from religion- you just have to meet in the middle.
  • YES Not just atheists, but everyone! But here is the twist, I also think atheists need to stop trying to convert (and being so rude to) theists.
  • Yes. Trying to convert people on any side is not the right thing to do. One has a right to believe what they want to believe for their own reasons. Atheists who try to convert Christians are just as wrong as the flip side of that coin.
  • Yes. I feel that many of the Christians I've spoken with act as though atheists believe the way they do because they just haven't learned about Christ. They seem to think that by telling us more, and quoting bible verses, and telling us of the fate *they believe* we are headed for, they are going to be able change our mind. It wont. Most Atheists are painfully aware of what people of other religions believe. We hear it all the time. The problem is that people think they are trying to save us from something, and then they don't leave us alone. People can have whatever beliefs they want. I just prefer that they keep it to themselves. If I believed what you were telling me, then I probably wouldn't be atheist, would I? I'm a grown person, who has developed her own beliefs and thoughts on the subject. You can't change my beliefs any more than I can change yours. If I find, at some point in my life, that I don't believe the same way that I used to, it will be up to *me* to look around, do some research, and re-clarify what I believe. It is not your job to tell me what I should believe, nor should it be.
  • Where will your path end? There are some who awkwardly try to convince and others who want to share their faith. In some circumstances in life this becomes essential. Persons will have a world view and this affects you and others in the present. Want to know what you believe? http://www.belief.net/story/76/story_7665_1.html
  • Where will your path end? There are some who awkwardly try to convince and others who want to share their faith. In some circumstances in life this becomes essential. Persons will have a world view and this affects you and others in the present. Want to know what you believe? http://www.belief.net/story/76/story_7665_1.html
  • The problem, I think, is that there are a lot of “Christians” out there that believe for all the wrong reasons. Chief among which, is apparently fear. The problem with this type of so-called “faith” is that it is often founded on weak, frail ideas about God. If my faith, therefore, is weak, so will my ability to answer for it. This creates anxiety of having honest and open discussion regarding it. I become afraid that my security blanket that I call faith will be ripped from my grasp by someone that has actually thought very seriously about their beliefs, and has therefore gained a stronger argument against mine. So, these fearful “believers” often find that the only course of action is to just condemn all that believe otherwise as “refusing to acknowledge the truth”, of “running from God” or “unwilling to change their evil ways.” It’s an alternative to having to face the fact that they themselves have doubts. That is the reason I posted this question. These people that claim to hold to the same beliefs that I hold dear, are a shame to me, and, I think, God is quite sick of them too. The teachings of Christ do not reflect this type of “Christianity”. In fact, they often condemn it. This is my, perhaps pathetic, attempt to set the record straight, and, in a small way, combat the harm it has done to the true faith of true believers. It isn’t wrong to attempt to LEAD SOMEONE IN THE DIRECTION OF CONVERSION. However, it is not only wrong, but, frankly, unrealistic, and egotistical to assume that one can in fact convert anyone. That’s, perhaps, the problem with these “believers” that try. They themselves were converted, due to their weak state at the time or just outright weakness altogether, by a self-righteous, egotistical man/woman, and not God. My answer; therefore; Yes. It is wrong, and I hope you can forgive them, and no longer let it cast a shadow on the rest of us.
  • No, I think that they're just trying to spread their beliefs, because theyre trying to help. Most christians believe that they are following a path that will lead you to heaven, and would like to share it with everyone. In the same regard, I dont think its wrong for an athiest to try to prove a christian wrong. They are just trying to share what they know is true.
  • Yeah. I think they have the right to voice their opinion, but trying to convert people is wrong....darn door knockers...
  • Because people are entitled to their opinions. Trying to convert people is just stupid and wrong. If people don't believe in God, that's ok.
  • From the Christian point of view, remember that Jesus told his disciples something like this (not the exact words): Go and spread the word, but if they, whoever they are, won't listen or don't care, just take the dirt of your shoes and keep going...In other words..don't TRY anything in order to convert anyone! That was a direct order from the very beginning, coming from the Big Boss!
  • Yes, I think proseltyzing by any religion is wrong. Why? Proseltyzing is inherently disrespectful of the other person's beliefs and right to choose what he/she believes. It requires the premise that the proseltyzer's religious convictions are superior to those of the person they are attempting to convert. In the end it is egocentric, arrogant, and disrespectful.
  • because everone is entitled to their own opinion, belief, religion and that should be respected.
  • Yes, on several levels. On a personal level, it is disrespectful to assume that someone who is an atheist can only hold that position from ignorance. On a logical level, the "arguments" they tend to advance (generally based on logical fallacies or emotional quid pro quos) are ludicrous. On a pragmatic level, they are more likely to annoy unbelievers than to convert them. Faith is a personal thing; we should all try to tolerate each other's differing faiths more.
  • I don't know why you feel that way. Sometime people just don't want to accept the Truth. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but I believe this is the answer. I think people really do know that God exist, but they just turn from it. They want to live their lives in whatever kind of way they please. God is in everything. There is way to much proof pointing to the presence of God, and that's why we try to talk to you about the Lord.
  • They are not really wrong, just pushy. Christians are required to spread the word of Christ, what's wrong is pushing it upon people, instead of just being there for those who wish to know. When most Christians preach about Jesus, they honestly believe that what they're saying may help better your life. Trying to help somebody live a happier life is never wrong, not the fact that you want to at least. It's how that is where it gets grey. So, I don't think it is wrong that they do it, I think it is wrong that do it so forcefully.
  • IMHO, when religious types try to convert other people, it's *annoying* but not neccessarily wrong. I might think someone is an obnoxious jerk for trying to convert me, because here's someone who doesn't know me at all (And it would have to be a stranger, because my friends know better!)trying to tell me that I don't live correctly, and implying that who I am is going to send me straight to hell. That's pretty arrogant, don't you think? BUT I wouldn't necessarily think they were, say, immoral for it, or that it should be illegal. What I DO think is wrong is for public tax dollars to support religious proselytizing, at least if you're in America where there's no state religion. So it's wrong for a public school to try to convert people, it's wrong for a public official to try to convert people, it's wrong for laws to be passed that emphasize Christianity over other religions or over the non-religious. It's also wrong in the situation of a boss in the workplace trying to convert their subordinates, basically forcing them to pretend to be religious at the risk of losing their job, because this is religious discrimination (and it happens!). Basically the rule of thumb is: an individual trying to convert people = not wrong, although some people won't like you much for it. A public instutition or person with power over others trying to force conversion = wrong. Perhaps this is splitting hairs over the "wrong" vs. "annoying" distinction, but it's an important one to me.
  • I don't really think of this as a matter of right and wrong, but as a matter of clarity and confusion. I'm Buddhist, and I have no real illusions about being able to "convert" anyone. Why? Because the more attuned I am to the other person, the more I can sense the complex web of interconnections that they are, and see how that web holds them together and gives them an identity. To dive in and muck around with someone else's web is something that has to be done with great care and respect if you're going to have any sort of positive influence... it's not something that can be done skillfully without great awareness and the cooperation of the other person. It's this latter part (consent) which gets missed so frequently in "conversion" attempts, and which makes them so offensive to others. So I focus on being myself, and since Buddhism is a large part of MY web, that naturally includes sharing about my religion, but I try to do it from a perspective of just sharing myself and my life with people. Sometimes, somebody else "hears themself" in that... something within them resonates with what I said, and then they may get interested in hearing more. But I wait until I sense that THEY are driving the conversation before I go very deeply into the topic with them. If I'M driving the conversation, I know that will probably backfire. This is where Christians often go off on the wrong foot, I think.
  • It depends on how. The bible talks about 'preaching the gospel', and most people interpret that as going out bible thumping. I don't believe that's the case. I have no right to just stand up and start preaching at you that you're going to hell if you don't accept Jesus. It may be the truth, but I don't believe bible thumping is the way we're meant to do it. Why was it that so many people followed Jesus? Why was it that so many people followed his disciples after they became the Apostles and began evangelising? I don't think it was because they bible-bashed them. It was for their example. The people followed Jesus and the Apostles for who they were and how they lived. They preached, make no mistake about that. But the difference is that they lived what they preached, and imparted that to other people. They bore fruit, to use a religious term. Whether it was praying for people, giving to them, bringing healing or deliverance, raising the dead... whatever it was, their faith was backed up by their works. People saw it. People wanted it. They didn't have to hold people at gunpoint and say "convert or die". Their lives were their testimonies, and people came to them willingly. I find it interesting that Jesus didn't really spend a lot of effort trying to convert the Pharisees - he knew where their hearts were. He went to the people who were willing to receive, and even then his ministry was very hands on. He didn't just stand on a pulpit and preach. After the sermon on the mount, he fed 5,000 men plus their women and children. Whenever somebody came to him, he cleansed them before he preached to them. Why do I say this? Simply, I believe that nobody has the right to speak into another person's life unless they've taken the time to build a relationship with them - or if that person gives permission. By my books, attending a crusade or evangelistic meeting is giving permission for the speakers to speak to you. You don't have to receive, but you chose to be there. Coming up to you on the street and bible-bashing you is something completely different. The old saying goes: "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care." It's so true. If I don't care enough about you to take the time to build a relationship with you and try to bring some benefit to your life, what right do I have to preach to you? If I don't live my beliefs, or even genuinely believe what I preach, then what right do I have to preach at you? Now don't get me wrong - I believe that everybody needs to hear the gospel, at least so they have heard it and have the choice to accept or reject it. It is not my responsibility, however, to make you accept it. That's between you and God. So, if I was an atheist and somebody tried to convert me, I would look at things in this light: did they show they cared about me, and build a relationship with me? If it was somebody who did this, and who I knew was genuinely concerned for me as a person, I'd be more inclined to allow them to speak into my life. However, if it was just somebody knocking on my door and telling me to accept Jesus or go to hell, I'd probably be inclined to tell them to get lost. It's probably a strange take on things, but it's just my opinion.
  • How can tell if the person doesn't want to be converted? Do they leave them alone or try anyways?
  • Someone needs to save their souls and claim them for Christ.
  • No but they can overstep themselves. We each have to make our own choice.
  • I know that a great deal of them have good intentions - and they should be lauded for that... But it is nonetheless an extremely frustrating (somewhat arrogant) thing for them to be doing. It's their -method- which annoys me, not their intentions. ***** I'd have no problem if they mentioned -once- that I need to be saved and explained why, but when you have people knocking on your door constantly, harassing you in the streets (literally) shoving Bibles into your face, swearing quite violently at you for being sinful, and threatening your life and family for believing what you believe... It is mildly agitating, to say the least : P ***** It is wrong because their methods are offensive, arrogant, and annoying.
  • Is a tick wrong for latching on to my calf muscle while I'm not looking? I don't think you can blame people for what they believe, what is inherently in their nature.
  • My opinions are my own. If I choose to enter into a discussion then fair enough but otherwise I would prefer to be left alone.
  • not at all. but don't push them.
  • No. It is wrong to 'force' someone to believe in Jesus Christ, but it is our job and it is what the Lord commaneded us to do to try to win them to Christ. -In the service of the Master. Thank you and God bless you!
  • They're not necessarily wrong. They're doing what they've been taught to do. Most don't realize, if they're trying to convert a true atheist, they will never be successful.
  • It depends on how. If you mean by imposing religious views on non-believers whether that be through a theocracy or unbalanced religious influence in a democratic system then yes it is wrong. Not just atheists either but all those who do not believe a particular faith. It is impossible to get the faiths to agree so even if you impose (just an example) Christian rules, which ones? It will go against a sub set of the larger Christian group unless it is such a broad idea (Murder is wrong) that all groups agree on it. If it it militant irritation of non-believers then I suppose not wrong provided they respect boundaries of civil society. i.e. know where to leave it. If it is in open discussion by all means. I will not try and convince anyone to be an atheist but I will argue the merits of both sides with anyone that wishes to engage in amicable argument.
  • I believe it's wrong because i don't think anyone should be trying to convert anybody. A person's beliefs is a personal matter. And it should remain so in my opinion.
  • No! its not wrong for christians to witness to you! its sharing our opinion with you and others! im christian, i dont understand why athiests get upset when we share our belief with you, but you can go on and ridicule our GOD! i mean you are trying to seek truth - even if it costs you your reputatio, even your friends!?!?!
  • Are atheist wrong in trying to convert Christians? Are Muslims wrong in trying to convert Buddhists? Of course not it if they believe they hold the truth then it is their responsibility to spread truth. You would never dispute with a medic with a wonder drug trying to convert patients and medics into believing in the drug. The choice is entirely for the hearer to make!
  • I think that no one should try and convert anyone. If a person is not ready or wanting to hear about God, and you "go after them" it will probably do more harm than good and possibly have a negative impact. In order for a person to be "converted" they must be seeking something that is missing in their life..if they ask and you feel comfortable..discuss your beliefs with them. But the decision is theirs..not yours.
  • People in my life have tried to convert me for over 20 years now. I have seen many different techniques, and many different approaches. I can tell you that I have gone from being mildly intrigued, to annoyed, to frustrated, to scared, and then angry. At the moment, someone has decided that I need the tough approach. The push I am receiving right now from two people (co-ordinated) has absolutely destroyed any inkling I had of learning more about Christianity. I am berated, called names, and many beliefs I have are ridiculed. I am asked what I am afraid of, and told that I have seen no evidence of God because I am nothing -- garbage -- and don't deserve it yet. I must change my ways, repent, and become a believer -- and then and only then will his Truth be revealed to me. It should be known that I am This conceited and pushy approach has taken me away from Christianity for good. I will no longer listen at all. My wife became born again 4 years ago knowing how I felt about this confronting approach. She agreed with me that it did nothing to make me "hungry" and wished people would stop. But NOW says that the bible says that Christians MUST confront people like me so we can see the error of our ways and finally accept Christ. After all, it is for my own good. This forceful confrontation involves making me feel horrible about myself, saying I'm sacrificing my 3 year old son to the devil (whom I do not believe in), and telling me the least I could do is attend one year of bible study before making any sort of opinion. When I offer to do that but ask for the two people to attend one year of non-religious learning (science or just to read about dinosaurs) -- they scoff at me and tell me to get serious. Their minds are "blissfully closed" I'm told, and my mind if "so open the devil has driven a semi truck right through my house". I can't even answer this type of dogma anymore. It is so destructive, so conceited, and so, well, just MEAN, that I certainly DON'T want to be that way. EVER. No, I'm lumping all Christians together here, but I do see a pattern over 20 years (actually longer) that cannot be denied. If Christians think it is a good thing, they should remember my story, and how it is advancing the Christian cause. I used to speak highly of faith, and now I can't even be civil to someone approaching me with this, always unrequested. Leave me alone. Leave everyone alone. Do what you want, but I have my rights, and you cannot circumvent them just because you think you have a divine mandate to do so. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!! c.
  • Well I don't try to get them into my way of thinking , so I do consider it rude and disrespectful.

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