Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stepwise Deversion

You can't reason a Sunni fundamentalist into atheism. You can't talk them into a non-supernatural worldview. You can have the speech skills of Martin Luther King and the money of Warren Buffet, and you'll fail. On the other hand, if you're smart when you pick your battles, you can definitely succeed.

The atheist activist David Fitzgerald often emphasizes that every time you move someone away from fundamentalism, and toward atheism, no matter how incrementally, it's an improvement in their own life and the for the human race. Incremental changes - stepwise deversion - are what you should aim for. You can't turn a Pat Robertson into a Robert Ingersoll. But your chances improve dramatically if you try to turn:

- a hostile fundamentalist Christian into someone merely evangelical

- an evangelical into a conservative

- a conservative into a liberal Christian

- a liberal into a non-denominational Christian

- a non-denominational into a casual Christian ("I don't go to church but I believe in Jesus")

- a casual Christian into a general spiritual person ("I think there's something out there")

- a spiritual person into an agnostic or apatheist

- an agnostic into an active atheist

Think of all of the impact of every atheist using this approach!

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