Can Christians and atheists find common ground on the importance of having civil discussions today? That’s what Drew (YouTuber: “Genetically Modified Skeptic”) and I aim for in this video. Rather than debating questions about the existence of God and the afterlife, as important as these issues are, I ask Drew a ton of questions about his deconversion from Christianity to atheism and how we can have better conversations today across the religious divide.

For a synopsis of how we met, check out my blog: “Learning from a Young Atheist” (https://bit.ly/2U9vxFA)

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Timestamps
0:00 Intro
2:06 Why would an Atheist come onto a Christian Apologists Youtube Channel?
3:53 How did Genetically Modified Skeptic get started on Youtube?
6:13 How did Genetically Modified Skeptic become an Atheist?
9:20 How did fundamentalism in the Church affect GMS’s life?
12:24 What was GMS’s experience with Christianity in his early life?
18:15 What issues made GMS question his faith?
22:36 How did Christians respond to GMS questioning his faith?
25:50 How did GMS questioning his faith effect his life?
29:10 What experiences occurred after Drew “came out” as an Atheist?
34:50 How did it feel to come out as an Atheist?
41:50 GMS Role-plays as a Christian parent
45:43 How was Youtube an outlet for GMS?
52:05 What is the Atheist-Christian relationship like on Youtube?
57:26 What can both Christians and Atheists do to improve the relationship with the other side?
1:02:50 What can Christians do to better understand people with other belief systems?

source

43 COMMENTS

  1. SanityFC asks for one contradiction in the Bible.
    1. I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Matthew 5-17 Vs.
    2. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. John 8:7
    Contradicts Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.

  2. I just heard this conversation today and love how both of these men showed grace and thoughtfulness towards one another. I have prayed for Drew what God immediately brought to my mind: ““Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.””
    (Luke 22:31–32)

  3. Somewhere in the middle of Rusia n ukraine war……
    Einstein : Jesus christ! The nuclear is coming! 😢
    Hawkins : oh my God… We are dead!😭

    Me : ?????????????????

  4. I saw Drew’s video about his and his wife’s deconstruction on his channel. He stated there that one of his big issues was homosexuality being condemned in the Christian culture. I am surprised he did not mentioned it here. I do find Drew intelligent, kind, and a deep thinker. Glad that you two have connected.

  5. Theres a difference between deconstructed Christian atheists and never religious atheists. Deconstructed already understand Christians and know more about the Bible than the average Christian.

  6. Wow. I do not generally subscribe to identification systems such as Christian or Atheist, yet I've been a decade outside of the Christian lifestyle my parents structured in my youth. I am very thankful for this loving and respectful dialogue. The stated thesis of listening to the other side of a dialogue is shared by me. I highly appreciate the fact that you, Sean and Drew are modeling this. Thank you. Thank you.

  7. In all moments in this conversation, the litmus test comes down to one's relationship to the Scripture. This talk demonstrates time and again the central place one's relationship with Scripture plays and whether you keep company with others who do the same. Christian movements are constantly getting pressure to loosen their identity to accommodate those who take opposing (not questioning, but opposing) theological posions.

  8. I can and do appreciate efforts to have civil dialogue between people of different and maybe even opposing positions. However, this only works on a personal level. As long as people use faith to influence public policy, it moves beyond that point. As an atheist, I am fully capable and willing to recognize someones personal faith, but as soon as they believe their faith is the only correct world view and that public policy should be based on that world view, we then have problems and my interest in civil dialogue ends.

  9. Great discussion! Thank you both for making this video. I was an atheist who converted to Christianity after about 2 years of discussions with Christians who treated me with kindness and respect and who listened to my thoughts and questions patiently. When they couldn’t easily answer some of my questions they gave me articles and books, including More than a Carpenter and Evidence that Demands a Verdict.
    Oddly, since then, even though my conversion experience should have been helpful, I have not been able to lead anyone else to faith. Maybe it’s my fault. But I never wanted to be an annoying pest in my witness. I’ve had some brief conversations with a number of atheists in which I’ve tried to ask questions and let them talk. But none have been interested enough to ask me about my faith in return or showed any inclination to continue the topic. While I can understand that there’s no commandment for atheists to engage Christians, they certainly do engage our children in public schools, colleges, the news media and all forms of entertainment. Such communications are often overtly condescending, degrading and/or gross propaganda. So they shouldn’t be offended when we try to engage them in a respectful conversation. Nothing screams “My argument is weak!” more than trying to shut down the free speech of those who disagree with you.
    Also, I’m not a fan of public debates because they are most often not persuasive either way. At least, I haven’t seen one yet. The few I’ve seen or heard featured one speaker who was much better at the art of debate than the other. But I suspect that even if we had the best from both sides, it would be unlikely that anyone in the audience would change their positions. We live in separate bubbles and thanks to people spending our lives on the internet, meaningful interactions with each other are increasingly rare.

  10. This kind of conversation goes a long way to beginning the journey of honest, productive conversations and tolerance . Sean and Drew, you represented your respective "sides" eloquently and thoughtfully. Thank you both.

  11. When a person believes that telling an atheist that they’re “going to hell” is helpful, that person needs serious help 🤦‍♀️. What are you trying to accomplish at that point? Way to push them further from God 🙄.

  12. Deconstructed atheist here, and just want to say how much I really loved this and realize that I personally need to be better in my dialogue with believers. Lots of respect here, Sean. Thanks for doing this!!!

  13. I can’t get over the feeling (I said feeling) that Sean is just doing this to get credibility with his audience. It didn’t feel like genuine interest. I felt like he was moderating Drew’s responses by making a quick point of his own, and quickly moving on. I’m not sure I trust Sean here. It’s all “here are the arguments we need to engage in and the attitude we need to take to convert the atheists, or to dispute the atheists”. Not to understand atheists as people and love them no matter what their beliefs, but to convert them as tokens. It feels a bit dehumanizing. I just can’t get over the feeling of mistrust of Sean’s intentions here.

  14. I have very little interest in trying to persuade Christians or Muslims or anyone else in changing their mind. I do have a problem with a deep seated hatred of conservatives. Obviously there is overlap there with religion, but as far as I'm concerned, even most historical communist leaders were conservatives, because of their racism, sexism, and homophobia. I know you can point to pockets here and there in which this group or that group did better under these regimes, even under the Nazis there were spaces for women that weren't available before. But under authoritarians, it's always in isolated pockets, and it never lasts. Religion or lack of religion is no guarantee that you will or won't end up a conservative.

    But I do believe that a conservative is the worst that it is possible for a human being to be. I understand that is not always productive. But it's hard to feel positive about the idea of being productive when this force is doing so much overwhelming violence throughout the world, and it feels like there is nothing we can do to stop it. I will take decent people wherever I can get them. Get over you homophobia, racism, sexism, bigotry in general, and then I'm delighted to hear and try to understand your metaphysical or spiritual beliefs. But whatever your believe about meta reality, I have withering patience for you if you spend your time in present reality wrecking it for people that you don't know and have nothing to do with, for no reason.

  15. We're never talked about but there are those of us that were raised without religious indoctrination. From this perspective there is no reason to accept one religions fantastical claims over those made by another. When you weigh them all equally the most logical and frankly obvious position is that they are all false. At least until such a time that one of them can offer clear, repeatable, falsifiable evidence of their claims. Just wanted to offer an underrepresented atheist viewpoint.

  16. Neither one of these good gentlemen represent my own perspective (I'm a pagan), but I sincerely appreciate the openness and respect they show to each other. I've never been treated especially poorly due to my beliefs, or my conversion from Christianity (I was pretty devout as a teen), but there are things I simply don't discuss with certain members of my family, not because they'd stop loving me, but because their disappointment is palpable. It strains those relationships in ways you can't fully understand unless you've experienced it. In that way, I fairly well understand where Drew is coming from.

  17. This is just whining because there are those who are misinterpreting one's point of view because of one's passion. The more you believe your point of view the more passion you will have.

  18. I’m a practicing Catholic who came here because I am a fan of GMS. I have to thank Drew for encouraging me to be way more mellow and actually listen to the people I disagree with.

  19. Awesome dialogue, thanks so much Sean and Drew. There really isn’t any difference between us. My family and I view reality in completely different ways, but when we get together for dinner of a holiday it makes absolutely no difference. It’s about unconditional love.

  20. I mean no judgement by this, but for me, my personal experiences could be completely removed, and I would still be a Christian. At one point, I began to question my faith for similar reasons. I felt there was not a solid set of facts to prove the Bible. As I dug and dug, I found many videos about science and astronomy and the science of the origin of life, and I was in a tailspin as far as my faith went. I felt a lot of what I knew was false (I was raised a young earth creationist). Frankly, I think this was not fully resolved until some time last year. I think I began to push it down because I didn't like the dissonance it caused me. I eventually came across Mike Wingers videos talking about the case for the resurrection and fulfilled prophecy in the Bible. I want to be clear. These are definitive known events that are agreed on as a concensus by scholars and they prove without a doubt that people spoke the future hundreds of years in advance. I am now in a place where I believe there is nothing that can set me back in my faith. No personal experience holds this weight, and no new discovery by science will shake it. knowing that the truth of God was preserved in this way and proven by these prophets is so refreshing and freeing.

    I will be praying for GMSkeptic as well as any others who have fallen away. I hope for the best for them.

    God bless

  21. This is all wrong…I'm editing the books again so all you retards stuck in print culture are gonna have to learn new stories to make videos about or get kicked off my insurance…Reading books has got you idiots so far in life hasn't it? How many book readers grew up in families with slutty women???? 100% Damn, life is so predictable…The Christian genocide of their own people is the most disturbing thing this world has ever witnessed

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