How Do You Make Someone Believe in God?

Pastor reading the bible
Image by Monika Robak from Pixabay

Back in 2010, my obsessive-compulsive tendencies got the best of me. I spent too much time pouring over my Google Analytics data. I was curious about what content visitors to Atheist Revolution were seeking. I thought this insight would help me provide more relevant content.

Something unexpected emerged from the data. Some of the common search terms were a few variations of "How do you make someone believe in God?" A surprising number of people were searching for answers to this question. Kind of sad, isn't it? Sad but not too surprising. After all, many Christians do seem to think this way. So much for respecting the beliefs of others, right?

Aside from the creative approach described here, my answer to this question would be that you cannot do so. More important, you should not want to do so. Plenty of people are happy and contributing members of society without your god(s). There are millions of atheists right here in the United States alone. We are your friends, your neighbors, and your children's teachers. We are your police officers, nurses, babysitters, and accountants. We have no need for your gods. And most of us aren't interested in having any of them pushed on us.

By trying to force your beliefs on us, you devalue our dignity and worth as human beings. Pushing your religion on us communicates your conviction that we are flawed. You view us as lacking in some important ways and want us to "see the light." It reminds us that you think you are superior because of what you believe.

This is bigotry. It doesn't matter that you dress it up in religion. It doesn't matter that you claim your "holy" book or your pastor instructs you to "witness" to us. It communicates your lack of respect for us as equals. It makes you someone many of us will seek to avoid. After all, that is often how people respond to bigotry.

How do you make someone believe in your god(s)? You don't. You don't even try. You recognize how harmful that would be, and you refrain from evangelism. If you'd like to make your religious beliefs more appealing to others, there's a much better way to do so.

This Atheist Revolution post from 2010 was revised and expanded in 2022.