How Do You Make Someone Believe in God?

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While examining some HitTail results recently, I noticed that one of the search terms bringing people to this blog were a few different variations of the question I used in the title of this post: How do you make someone believe in god? Evidently, some people are actually searching the Internet for answers to this very question. Kind of sad, isn't it? Sad, but perhaps 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 approach described here, my answer to this question would be that you cannot. But more importantly, you should not want to. People can be perfectly happy, well-adjusted, and valuable members of society without your god(s). In fact, plenty of people manage to be all of these things and more without any gods. There are millions of atheists right here in the United States. 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 frankly, we aren't interested in having any of them pushed on us.

By trying to force your beliefs on us, beliefs which we recognize as absurd superstitions, you devalue our dignity and worth as human beings. We are smarter than that, and we hope you would be too. Pushing your religion on us communicates your conviction that we are flawed and that you are superior because of what you believe. This is bigotry, and it is perceived as such even when you attempt to dress it up in religion by claiming that your "holy" book or your pastor instructs you to "witness" to us. Doing this communicates your lack of respect for us and makes you someone we will seek to avoid, someone who will be the butt of jokes.