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I have a little bit of tactical advice for all you defenders of the faith out there: atheists have a burden of proof for their claims, just like Christians, or anyone else who takes a position on anything. If they make a claim–for instance, that belief in God is delusional–they need to back that claim up with evidence. You have to hold them to this!

Many of them will attempt to dodge their responsibility by changing the subject, going off on all sorts of bunny trails. They will often try to put the burden of proof back on you without supporting their own claims first.

For a few days now, I have been going back and forth on Twitter with an atheist known as @VorianK. Our discussion began when @VorianK responded to a link I had posted to a Christian blog. @VorianK was quick to assert that religion was a delusion. I asked @VorianK to give some evidence that it was a delusion. The response was that there was no evidence that God actually existed. I responded that there was plenty of evidence that God existed, and I would be happy to discuss the evidence in favor of God’s existence once @VorianK gave evidence that belief in God was delusional, or admitted they knew of no such evidence.

Now there was a lot more to our conversation than that, but that is a summary of the most relevant aspects of our discussion so far. Unfortunately, I blundered in that I actually gave in and went down some of @VorianK’s bunny trails. I learned the hard way that going off topic with every little claim and objection my opponent makes is a waste of time.

If you find yourself in a similar situation DON’T GO DOWN BUNNY TRAILS. DON’T FOLLOW RED HERRINGS. STAY ON TOPIC.

You don’t have to address every little objection non-theists make. If they go off topic, make it a point to stay on topic, especially if your opponent is trying to avoid giving evidential support for their claim.

At this point, I’m going to ignore @VorianK because after multiple requests for evidence that religious faith is delusional, I’ve received in return no such evidence. @VorianK continues to assert that religious belief is a delusion, and that I’m dodging questions about evidence for God’s existence. I’ve made it quite clear that I will be happy to discuss evidence for God’s existence if, and only if, @VorianK produces evidence that belief in God is a delusion, or admits they have no evidence.

This time I’m sticking to my guns, and refusing to follow @VorianK down any bunny trails, or even respond to his tweets until claims of delusion are supported by evidence. I don’t expect @VorianK to deliver any evidence, but if they do, then our conversation can proceed. In the meantime, I am lifting @VorianK’s soul up to the Lord in prayer. I’m not an apologist because I want to win arguments, but because I want to win souls.

Proverbs 11:30b NASB

…he who is wise wins souls.