02 August 2013

Mom and Dad! The atheists are at the door again.

atheist evangelists cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

A few months ago I announced our intention to go door to door with the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. So I figure it's time to tell you how that went.

The short answer is, unfortunately, not so well.

There's a good reason for that, of course. We (my son Philip and I) chickened out. But we're going to do it tomorrow.

Here's our plan. We'll start with this:

"Hello, my name is Philip and this is Steve, we're here today handing out Bibles for free to anyone who's interested."

Then, depending on the response, we'll go from there. But however people respond, we're going to be polite and non-argumentative. If they are interested, we'll give them an SAB; if not, we'll leave.

I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

In the meantime, it might be fun to guess the outcome. What percentage of householders will accept a free SAB? Give your prediction in the comments. Whoever guesses closest gets a free copy of the 2nd Edition of Drunk With Blood. (We're also getting guesses from twitter and facebook. Those will be valid as well.)

Thanks to David Hayward for the reminder.


Jason Korbus said...

I'll go with 30%

Dee Paolina said...

If you tell them you're atheists, I'll guess 2%.

Canadian Atheist said...

I'll guess 5%. One of every twenty households or so.

Pecos B said...

I say 1%.

Anonymous said...


No said...

Steve I hope your going to youtube this, pleaaaaase !!!

Now guessing is puzzling not knowing which state/province or even city your planning to do your stunt.

It could really be substantialy different from place to place, any hint would be welcome.

I know you guys would do fine in my part of the world.

teavee said...

I'm guessing everyone that takes a Bible will also take an SAB out of curiosity (or because it'll be one less you can give to someone else who might otherwise be in danger of losing the faith). I'll go high, 80% (4 out of 5).

I'd recommend having a separate SAB bookmarked with some good annotation examples to show people if they show interest, perhaps some pages with a good sampling.

It might be that some of the people would take an SAB and would pass on the Bible. You might want to offer the SAB no matter what if it seems they would not be too offended.

Good luck.

TWF said...

Best of luck to you both!

I think teavee may be closer to the number, but for a different reason. Face-to-face, people will do a lot to just be courteous and avoid confrontation. In a way, you are already pre-filtering with a bias toward courteous people in just the people who will actually open the door to you after checking through the peep hole or window.

Still, many people are now trained to reject "free" things, knowing there is often a catch.

Figuring these things and a few others, I would guess about 60% of those who actually answer the door would take a free SAB if you do not start bringing up contradictions and other Bible issues. For those that you do get to begin "proselytizing", I suspect that number will drop significantly, like maybe to 10%.

Nathan said...

I think 4/5 will accept. This assumes they don't shut the door on you before you get the chance to tell them it is for free.

Make sure you let them know to write you guys on their thoughts after reading through (I think 1 out of 4 will deconvert after reading through your annotations!)

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hmmmmmm......I think 8%

No said...

Hope you guys have nice weather to save people from salvation, I'll go for 18%.

Steve Wells said...

Sorry, No, I forgot to respond to your request for a hint about the location.

We haven't decided yet on the neighborhood, but we live in Moscow, Idaho and don't plan to drive far--just far enough to make it unlikely we'll know anyone that we encounter. With that as a clue, feel free to change your estimate.

And Nathan thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't thought of asking them for their thoughts after using the SAB. But I'll try to make a point of doing so. We will leave them a card with our contact information.

If anyone accepts one and then responds, I'll let you know about it here.

It's raining a bit this morning, but maybe that will mean that more people will be home when we knock.

Nathan said...

Teavee said 80% (4/5) before me. Not sure if I should take 7/10 or 9/10????

I'm surprised at everyone's low guesses. I'll take 7/10 if it's not already taken!

Unknown said...

Put me down for half. 50-50.

Malaysian Tamil Christian said...

Nice to know that you 'approve' the method we use to preach the Good News.