1. Discuss the Fermi Paradox. Atheists love aliens because they always assume that, a) brainy creatures gushing out of every galactic cranny shows that Earth is low-rent cosmic real estate, and b) the smartest aliens will be atheists. Against this giddy optimism, the famous physicist Enrico Fermi asked a quite innocent question: If Earth is a typical planet, and there are lots of planets in the universe, then why haven’t any extraterrestrial critters dropped by, or even sent us a text message (“ur nt solo, n btw ur nt vry smrt”)?
2. Join Mensa. Atheists are obsessed with their IQs and they love to flaunt their membership in an organization of people dedicated to self-congratulation. The atheist assumption is that religion is a sure sign of evolutionary atavism. A devout believer whipping out his Mensa card is entirely incomprehensible and ultimately indigestible.
3. Bait and Switch # 1. Atheists love to talk about the Spanish Inquisition. Get them, ever so casually, to talk about persecution by zealous believers in general, and then the persecution by zealous Marxists in particular. Finally, since atheists like math, have them compare the number killed by the Inquisition over several centuries (2,000-6,000) with the number killed by devout Marxists in one century (100,000,000).
4. Bait and Switch # 2. Despite their pretence to moral relativity, atheists will still grant that Adolf Hitler was epically evil. Having gotten them to admit this point, offer to read aloud some of the most offending passages from Mein Kamp (a special copy of which you just happened to be carrying). After about a half-hour, suddenly strike a quizzical look and say, “Wait a minute,” removing the dust jacket, “How did that happen? This is my copy of Margaret Sanger’s The Pivot of Civilization! Say, wasn’t she the founder of Planned Parenthood?”
5. Learn to talk like William F. Buckley. A comfortable prejudice for American atheists is that religious believers all speak with a heavy Southern accent and use small words.
6. Have Lots of Children. Atheists love humanity as long as there is less of it. They are especially grieved by biologically prodigious believers who seem to be taking Darwin at his word, but for all the wrong reasons. Nothing is more irksome than to behold their own future self-imposed extinction amidst the swelling tide of the God-fearing.
7. Host a Darwin Read-a-loud. Invite some atheist friends to read and discuss Darwin, and then read some purple passages from his Descent of Man where he waxes eloquently on the importance of eugenics, the biologically based moral and intellectual inferiority of “lesser races,” and the inevitable evolutionary extermination of the “negro” and the “Australian.”
8. Talk about the Impending Crash of the World Economy. Ideas have consequences, and some of the worst economic ideas were hatched by John Maynard Keynes. Make clear to your atheist interlocutor that the wide-scale adoption of Keynes’ conception of government as the grand fiddler micromanaging the economy through narcotic stimulation with freshly printed money is the single most important cause of the current American and European financial implosion. Then mention ever-so-casually, “Wasn’t Keynes an atheist?”
9. Stage a Nietzsche Practicum. Atheists love the nihilistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who famously declared “God is dead.” More exactly, they love it in theory, but invariably cringe at the practical implications Nietzsche quite logically drew out: without God, there is no moral order and the strong should devour the weak, for “life itself is will to power.” Invite your favorite atheist to meet you for lunch to discuss Nietzsche. Order the most expensive meal on the menu, steal his iPhone while he’s in the bathroom, and then at the end, stick him with the check. Then on the way out snatch the keys to his Saab and speed away in it singing at full lung, “I love Nietzsche! He’s really rather peachy. A world devoid of moral qualms is far more fuuunnnn…than one that’s preachy teachy!”
10. Assault Them with Charity (cont’d. from No. 9). Drive around the block to the restaurant again, and pull up to your fuming atheist friend. After returning the keys to his Saab and his iPhone, and shelling out your share of the tab, say “I just can’t bring myself to act as if God doesn’t exist.” Then, forever after treat him with unfailing kindness, as if he were Indian Untouchable and you were Mother Teresa.