It is no secret that I am an Atheist and view biblical texts in scientific eyes - however, one thing that has occurred several times now, which I believe is based on a misconception about Atheism and also is, in my view, a violation of etiquette.

I do not, in any way, appreciate being 'preached' to - I am not in need of 'saving', and most certainly are not in need of being educated/converted.

Several times in my questions, people have sought to reply (usually in comments) of religious matters related, and sometimes not so related to my actual question - which would require a scientific or historical answer (all of which are within the scope of this site).

To be blunt, I actually find preaching and attempts to engage me in debate about my (or your) beliefs irritating, rude and disrespectful. I admire some people's conviction to their beliefs and truths, but people need to accept the fact that I have the same conviction in mine. All attempts to preach or 'educate' me actually drive me away from your 'Truth', as this practice is showing disrespect.

This disrespect extends to the moderators and to many other members of the site.

This has happened too many times now, as a result of this, I do not feel that my continued involvement here is tenable.

  • 2
    I happened to find and join BH 3 months ago; I soon noted I, as a Catholic, am somewhat of a minority here, as for example Jewish and Atheist members are. My personal Bible is often unlike that of most other BH members. What I decided to do was reference a very common Bible here at BH (i.e. the KJV). I just try to be careful and remember that we're all looking to help each other with Biblical questions; we just come from some often different perspectives. Feb 22, 2014 at 15:23
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    It seems that you are interested in the Bible and it holds some credibility in your mind, or you would not seek to prove its accounts scientifically. I find your contributions interesting and on topic. It looks like Jack's answer was satisfactory to you. I encourage you also to address the folks who are doing this directly and individually, as some may not realize how they are coming across, and therefore, they may not realize your post here pertains to them. Some may not even see your post. Or, they do know, & you already tried this to no avail, hence this post--sorry you felt bombarded.
    – user2027
    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:11
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    Interestingly, it usually just takes 1 instance to make me fel mildly irritated, but as it persists, I find myself being reminded why I left the Church. But, I remember that each have a conviction to their beliefs the same as I do about mine. But then it is a question of etiquette, to respect people for their beliefs.
    – user3376
    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:20
  • Well, I hope I have not been guilty of overstepping boundaries. Even Christians encounter this amongst various denominations that believe one is not saved unless one (whatever it is). It has helped me to step back and realize these folks are truly concerned for the state of our souls and if they ever stopped trying to "save us" it would more speak of their dislike of us (ie Jonah and Nineveh). On this forum though, it is simply off topic to carry on such conversation in the comments.
    – user2027
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:51
  • @Matthew, you should be free to operate from your own persuasion. Do not feel you have to use another translation here.
    – user2027
    Feb 23, 2014 at 12:53

4 Answers 4


Thanks for bringing this up on meta, it's pretty important, whether or not you stay, that we make sure folk are not driven away by over-eager evangelism of any persuasion.

Of course I'd like you to stay, your contributions are useful and have been well-received. As long as you are happy for views you don't agree with to appear in answers, there is no reason why you couldn't continue to enjoy the site if we can discourage folk from preaching at you in comments.

I'd like to encourage you and anyone in your position not to engage in unproductive debate in comments, but just to flag any preachy comment and let the mods delete them. If we find ourselves regularly deleting comments from the same users you can be confident we'll take further steps to discourage the behaviour: we have the tools we need for this.

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    Okay, that sounds fair enough - people need to realise that a) this is not a Christian site and b) often people find evangelism to be like sales pitches - irritating and do the exact opposite of what is intended.
    – user3376
    Feb 22, 2014 at 22:10

I mostly agree with Jack's answer, and I DO agree with "respect your audience".

Having said that, this is a site where we discuss the Bible and in the Bible there are many candid references to the identity of God. A Jew can accept this, certainly Christians, but most atheists I know ridicule or discredit this. It would therefore be very tenuous at best to carry on a meaningful dialogue with one who would deny the existence of the main "provacatuer" of the text. I have often said, the "Thus spake Zarathustra" crowd probably won't hang out very long, given what I just shared.

IF you regard the Bible seriously, which the participants here do, THAN there's room for everyone(according to site policy) and we DO respect everyone's particular convictions(or lack thereof) without imposing a 'belief system' on the contributers. I actually +1'd an answer you gave even though I am probably a polar opposite of your belief system. However, you can't hardly turn a page without the word "God" mentioned-if this is a 'deal-killer' than perhaps this site isn't for you.

  • No, not a deal killer at all - however, what I am referring to are comments that are tenuously linked to the topic at best, but disrespecting my beliefs by preaching to me directly. I have no problems at all with divergent beliefs and viewpoints, but this noticable minority need to realise and respect that I do not require being 'saved' or converted. I see the Bible as a historical and cultural text, as such, I revere it as much as I do a scientific text from Einstein etc - as you have seen, I am an Atheist who would never ridicule the Bible.
    – user3376
    Feb 23, 2014 at 3:56
  • Even though, there have been just a few who have engaged in that disrespectful activity - it is noticeable and tiresome, also their efforts are futile - i can not be converted. I do have deep convictions about Science and people - more than likely just as deep as many have for God.
    – user3376
    Feb 23, 2014 at 3:59

It is still occurring - preaching etc to someone who has repeatedly asked for this not to happen is flat out disrespectful, and utterly futile.

Contrary to some former beliefs, it does not and never will mean that I 'hate' Christians etc. I have no problem with 'God' mentioned, but people have to accept that your beliefs, no matter how strongly you feel about them, are not my beliefs - preaching about it, makes me less convinced about what you say.

But, this could, and in my experience, often does go on and on and on.


My experience is that any post even vaguely suggesting that not every word of the Bible is literally true will immediately be removed by a moderator. This site is not the place for serious discussion about biblical hermeneutics.

  • You could comment instead of just voting down....
    – fdb
    Mar 16, 2014 at 17:43
  • This could be improved by pointing out some examples. Mar 18, 2014 at 17:32
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    For example, this one: "Exodus 2:10 says “she called his name Mōšē, and she said: Because I drew him out of the water (mšīthihū)”. This is what we call a folk etymology. The story of the baby Moses is not history, it is a myth. The story of a boy abandoned in a river is a very ancient topos; it goes back at least to ancient Babylonia (story of Sargon of Akkade). Of course, Egyptian princesses could not speak Hebrew, but this is not about a real Egyptian princess, it is a story."
    – fdb
    Mar 18, 2014 at 19:35
  • I meant some example of a post removed by a moderator: if that was one please can you link to it so I can see for myself what happened? I can't imagine such a reasoned argument (you've even referred to sources) would be anything other than well-received here so I'd like to see if there's been a misunderstanding. Mar 18, 2014 at 21:52
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    ...and thank you for looking into this.
    – fdb
    Mar 18, 2014 at 22:29
  • I see. I admit I can't understand why that was deleted. Dan seems to be implying he deleted it because of problems with other posts you made which sounds strange to me. The correct place to have a decision like this examined/changed is here on meta, but with it's own question: please post and I will chime in there suggesting it should be undeleted. (btw I do think your post could be improved: it'd be nice to quote and link to the 'story of Sargon of Akkade' if possible and perhaps elaborate your thinking a bit more as Dan suggests, but I don't think it should be deleted as it stands either) Mar 18, 2014 at 22:39
  • Thank you again. I am old and do not know how to do fancy things with computers. Perhaps you could move it for me?
    – fdb
    Mar 18, 2014 at 23:03
  • I'm not sure about that, I think perhaps it would be better for you to rephrase what you are saying as a question in your own words. Here's the 'Ask Question' link Mar 19, 2014 at 12:58

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