There are quite some posts here on meta about questions asked in "bad faith". I get the distinct impression that questions asked from an atheist perspective are not really welcome here. The posts mentioning questions asked in "bad faith" did not cite specific examples, so I am left wondering on which questions this criticism is directed at.

Are questions about common criticisms of christianity welcome here? Is the whole field of christian apolegetics welcome, or should atheists refrain from posting anything on this site?

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    Related: The role of the non-believer on the site
    – user72
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 23:01
  • Can you please cite some examples?
    – Jim G.
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 1:26
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    @JimG. This was asked and answered 3 years ago at which time it was pretty obvious what the issue was. We've since gotten our scope much more settled. There is really no need for examples here as this is a settled question. If you care about the historical state of things you can read through other meta posts from around this date.
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 7:49
  • @Caleb: Um. Then why don't you close this question as a duplicate? #justsayin
    – Jim G.
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


I would rather field genuine questions from atheists than bad-faith questions from professing Christians.

The term bad-faith, as I've used it here, is not about the beliefs of the OP. It is about the intent in asking. The difference is hard to describe and can only easily be diagnosed as the question plays out, usually in comments.

Before asking, examine yourself and figure out why you want to ask something. If you genuinely are interested in learning about the issue -- go ahead and ask. If you are secretly hoping to trap our trip up someone into saying something fallacious (which Christians often do so it's not hard, we are after all ignorant humans) then you probably shouldn't be asking. That's not in the spirit of this site. Remember that the scope of this site is not the same as the scope of a Church.

  • Christianity as a religion should not be afraid of the hardest questions that could be leveled against it. It is nothing if it cannot answer the deepest fears and strongest doubts of men.
  • Christianity as a StackExchange site is having a hard time getting quality questions that fit the QnA format. People only want to throw out idle speculations to see how the fight goes down -- or dogmatically repeat some worldly-wise critique and hope the supposed house of cards tumbles.

Will your question only serve to bring the gawking trolls out of their caves our do you hope to learn something that will constructively make your life better for getting a quality answer?

As a footnote I would add that questions are much more welcome than answers. It takes a really special kind of person to give a valid answer from a perspective they don't hold. Mostly we see people masquerading in answers in order to discredit the whole system (often deleted as non-answers because they aren't) or ... well you get the idea. It's not pretty. Only if an answer calls for an Atheist's perspective or you have really good knowledge of history of an area of history does it make sense to answer. I've noted "Christians say that" is a red flag for a possibly bad answer. You look for the "but" then flag :)

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    Exactly. Atheists are welcome to ask real questions they have, and hope to learn from the answer. If you want to ask questions to make the little doggies jump through hoops, blow.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 0:21
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    @mxy note that the last statement should apply equally to believers :)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 17:43
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    Didn't say it didn't...
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 19:57
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    Extra suggestion, to remind questioners that answers will be from the point of view of Christainity. So if you ask "how did Jesus walk on the water", the answer will be "God worked a miracle", not a discussion of abnormal fluid dynamics. Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 23:40
  • @DJClayworth: but you do realize that God is the ultimate scientist? There are some of us here (including me) willing to face questions of "How could God make the earth in six days without running out of energy"... or some craziness like that ;).
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 16:24
  • @Roland We don't want to get bogged down in an argument where the questioner refuses to accept "it was a miracle" as an anaswer. And I certainly don't want to get involved in discussions of whether the Red Sea could have been parted because of an earthquake. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 17:30

Most definitely

As long as they keep it respectful the honest doubter should be allowed and encouraged to ask questions here.

The site would lose all it's credibility if they censored atheist


It's not about you...it's about the content of the question

It doesn't matter if whomever is the asker is agnostic, atheist, Lutheran, Calvinist, Mormorn ... it matters not. What matters is the topic, the content, and whether or not you can ask a clear and appropriately scoped question about Christian belief(which is a very broad subject).

Is your question on topic? Ask away.
Are you trying to start an argument, or get into a "Truth" argument?
Are you out to prove something or someone is right or wrong?
There's the whole rest of the internet to go and play in, this isn't the place for that. Please note, this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum.

  • 1
    "It's not about you". Good summary.
    – user3961
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 2:31

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