Is There Value in Debunking Christianty?

While we take aim at the Christian faith here at DC, there are skeptics and atheists who disagree with what we're doing, such as Jeff T. Haley and Dale McGowan in Sharing Reality: How to Bring Secularism and Science to an Evolving Religious World. I have not read their book. I'm guessing it contains a lot I would not vehemently disagree with. What is their principal thesis? Ronald Lindsay tells us in a review for a recent issue of Free Inquiry Magazine. It's that "promoting science and secularism is more important and more useful than attacking theism directly."

Now anyone who knows me, knows I embrace all effective approaches when it comes to debunking Christianity, and that science is indeed the most effective way to do so. What I don't understand very well are people who steer all of our energy into one approach, discouraging and even disparaging other approaches.

I'm going to share a Facebook discussion I had about this very issue in a bit. Let me introduce it first. It arose out of my high recommendation of a recent posting by Dr. David Madison. This One! On Facebook I linked to it and wrote: "I consider this post by David Madison and the challenge itself, to be the most important one he's written. THIS. SHOULD. VIRAL. GO! If I could tag everyone of my FB friends I would do so. I can only select 50 people at a time." Then I tagged a few people who had names in the early letters of the alphabet. One of them showed up and proceeded to fire at me. Before I share it, let me first say a few things about the indefatigable and fantastic Madison.

Dr. Madison is the author of the excellent book Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief: A Minister-Turned-Atheist Shows Why You Should Ditch the Faith. He had asked me to write the Foreword to it, so I obliged (to appear soon). Here are a few snippets of what I wrote:

I am very humbled, honored and happy Madison highlights my work in this book. He even partly derived its schematic and title from something I wrote. So when asked if I would write this Foreword I couldn’t refuse, nor did I want to, as it’s probably the biggest honor an author could ask of another. Yet, despite all the honoring going on, my aim is to get people interested, no excited, to read Madison. I’m not saying if you like what I do you’ll love what he does, although that’s a good start. No. It’s rather, you’ll love what he does, period. I know I do.
What did I say that helped him develop his book? This: "Former Christians leave the faith for a wide variety of reasons since there are so many problems with the Christian faith." This is a common theme with me. It prompts me into offering a smorgasbord of reasons to leave the faith, presented in a cumulative manner, something Madison does in his book (ten major problems). No single approach does it all, since there are a variety of reasons to leave the fold. Anyone who sticks to just one will not be as effective.

Next I quoted Madison's answer to why another book like his is needed:
We’re still flogging the horse because it’s not dead. We are up against a major world religion with 2,000 years of momentum behind it–but with plenty of cracks and weaknesses to be exposed and exploited. We keep writing and speaking because–well, because we each have something to say in our own way.

The next atheist author could be a perfect match–the very voice, just the right message–for folks who are at the tipping point, who won’t take much nudging to walk away from Christian silliness. There can never be too many atheist books, given what we’re up against. We keep writing and speaking because of the frightening possibility that we may be fighting a losing battle. (p. 35)
Again, this is about approaches and voices. If we think Christianity harms people then we need to encourage every atheist to come out and share their stories and arguments as to why they left the faith.

Then I named a few things Madison and I both agree about. Here's one of them I had mentioned:
He Sees Value In Debunking Christianity. I’ve seen atheists justify what they do simply because it’s what they do best. I get that. Many of us do this when it suits us. So it’s no surprise that some atheists are looking down on people who debunk religion when compared to others who are trying to build a better atheist, humanist or secular society. We’re told the latter are doing the harder work, the necessary work and the more important work.

Madison disagrees, as I do. I don’t disparage any atheist from doing anything that helps build a better secular society without god, so I see no reason why atheists should disparage what Madison and I do. I think we need all kinds of different approaches. Debunking a religion can help build a better society anyway, since it takes away the religious motivation for refusing to reject homophobia, gay bashing, sexism and misogyny, or even racism. In fact, a world without religion would automatically be a better place, even if we couldn’t say it would be a perfect place.
Here's something else we agree on:
His Firebrand Approach. He is a firebrand atheist, no doubt. He doesn’t think there is an ounce of truth to the Christian gospel story, and he’s not afraid of bluntly saying so, or treating Christianity like we treat all other religions we cannot stomach. We can see it in how he ridicules his former religion. He’s agreeing with the advice of atheist philosopher Stephen Law, who said,
I for one would much rather understand what my intellectual opponent really believes about me than have them disguise it. After all, if a Christian really believes that, as an atheist, I am hell-bound, they surely have a moral duty to warn me. I understand and appreciate that. I think we atheists should be similarly honest. I consider Christian belief … to be pretty ludicrous: scarcely less ludicrous, in fact, than many other religious belief systems that [Christians] would probably find ludicrous (such as Mormonism and Scientology, for example).
Anyway, here is the aforementioned Facebook discussion with someone who disagrees with us here at DC. Tell me what you think.

Oh, about that the echo chamber accusation? That's a pejorative that can be said of anyone's blog, since writers usually attract like-minded readers. I do consider this to be my house, and I do reserve the right to block trolls, Bible thumping idiots and people who personally attack me/us.

Strange, I have not even unfriended Drescher on Facebook! How inconsistent of me!