In general, the best thing to do is not to answer evangelists at all,
because they have a theocentrist agenda, and by answering their
questions you let them determine your agenda.
Unlike theirs, your agenda should be a normistic one, centered on
instead of that of gods and demons in the singular or the plural.
If you are not yet convinced of this, read Tale One of
But, perhaps, you have agreed beforehand not to obtrude on one another's
privacy and to convene at a suitable place at a suitable moment.
There, you divide your time equally and justly in order to give one another
some honest responses.
In such a case the answers you give to questions posed by evangelists
should be answers to make them think, if not right away, then at
least in the long term, before these fellow-citizens are blown to
eternity in a 'hell' or 'heaven'.
Here are some examples1:
||Is there a Heaven or Hell?|
||In mythology and literature there certainly 'is' (between quotes).
In reality there are better places, where truth, inclusiveness,
moderation and personhood are more or less respected; and worse places,
where supernaturalism, exclusivism, extremism and authoritarianism
I prefer the former, everywhere and forever.|
||Do You have a Spiritual Belief?|
||Yes, if spiritual means not out-and-out materialistic,
allowing for things that are symbolic of the existence or meaning of
No, if spiritual means supernaturalistic.|
||Where will You go when You Die?|
||Then i (without Oddball capitalization) will not be going anymore.
On the contrary, i will stop going.
What i am interested in is where you and i are going before we
What path will we be following, what bad things and their consequences
will we not be (co)responsible for and what good things will we leave
behind in space and in time?
||Will God let You into His Heaven? Why?|
||This is a question to ask an egoist who takes ancient mythology and
It is egoists who ultimately are only concerned about what will happen
to themselves, individually or collectively.
Others are glad to experience happiness as a by-product of their
goodness, even if only temporarily.
||Would You like to know if what You believe is true or not?|
And if it is relevant or not.
And if it helps to promote moderation or not.
And if it recognizes the right in others to believe and to disbelieve
In summary, my first piece of advice is not to reply to evangelist
questions at all, but to follow your own path and agenda.
(Keep in mind, however, that if atheism is your
you are still dragging yourself along the same, theocentrist path.)
My second piece of advice is: if you do start a discussion with such
believers, give an answer that makes them think.
And there is a third piece of advice i would like to add: if you did not
follow my first and second pieces of advice, and now find yourself in the
clutches of a supernaturalist, exclusivist and/or extremist ideology
(called "religion" or whatever), it is not too late to change your path,
so long as you are still alive.
In this world, that is.
|| The above questions are real.
They appeared in a brochure (of Upward Bound, an evangelical ministry,) of
the First Nazarene Church, somewhere in the American State of Ohio it seems.
See the article 'When Atheists Meet Jesus' by Jim Bado in Free Inquiry,
February/March 2011, Vol.31, No.2.|