my evangelical atheism


I think of myself of an evangelical atheist. It’s only recently come to my attention that some other atheists are offended by the very notion.
I am evangelical because I am passionate about the positive changes I believe atheism can have on society, and I am dedicated to sharing my world view. I want to engage religious people in conversation and discuss what they believe and why they believe it. I want to expose them to facts that may convince them not only that their belief is unlikely to be true, but that certain aspects of living promoted by their religion may be harmful.

Most atheists are not evangelical. Most atheists simply don’t believe in gods. Religion is irrelevant to them and they are living their lives with little reference to gods or faith, and certainly wouldn’t attempt to persuade religious people to change their lives.

Think of me as spreading good news.

This disagreement over terminology is a case that highlights the complexity of language and definitions – across time, across cultures and even among individuals. We all have different definitions in our heads. Thank goodness we have dictionaries for that moment of doubt. I suspect that in the UK this second definition is now more widely used than the primary religious definition.

Oxford English Dictionary 2nd definition of evangelical:

Zealous in advocating or supporting a particular cause.

‘she was evangelical about organic farming’

More example sentences

‘Whilst the advocates of quality and empowerment are almost evangelical in their quest to change the way we work those on the receiving end are considerably more sceptical.’

‘I get coffee and they get evangelical support from me and everyone I can convince to drink their coffee.’

‘I started off implacably opposed to this and now I am almost evangelical in my support.’

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