Some questions I’d like to ask atheists

I have a questionIn no particular order:

  1. In the absence of a common moral code derived from any sense of a higher power, how do you decide what is right and wrong? Is it all subjective and situational, or are there some things, for instance, that are always wrong (e.g. rape, harming the earth, child abuse)? What do you see as the foundation of your moral sense?
  2. This is for atheists who want to persuade religious people to give up their faith and adopt a non-believing perspective: Why? I can see how you might want the brand of religious person who gets in your face and tries to persuade you of their views to back off, but in the absence of behavior that directly affects you, I’m curious about why freethinkers sometimes adopt an “evangelistic” position.
  3. Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with atheist writings as I would like to be, but a lot I find around the web is rather more emotional than rational, or based on misunderstandings of what people of faith actually believe. I can understand that a lot of blogs, for instance, are written for an audience of people who are already like-minded, so they would tend to assume the argument has already been made and accepted. But are there people out there who are interested in offering evidence, listening to evidence and having discussions?
  4. If you are an atheist who used to believe in God, do you think there’s a difference in your experience from people who have never had any faith? If so, how is it different?

See, it’s stuff like this . . .

I don’t mind atheists having fun. A lot of them have great senses of humor. But I’m going to have to hang around for a while before I figure out how to tell the difference between silliness that indicates the having of fun and arguments that are meant to be taken for persuasive and reasonable.

Here’s an example from the articulate Crispy over at Too Many Questions as he wrestles with why God (if he exists) hasn’t just swooped in and made hash of Satan once and for all.

Satan and God are supposed to be on opposite sides, aren’t they?

So why would those sent to hell get punished?

Those following God’s rules expect to be rewarded, surely satan would reward equally, those flouting his opponents rules! If you were at war with someone, would you do EXACTLY what your opponent wanted you to do? I doubt it, more likely one would flaunt and parade the flouting of the opponents wishes! So why does Satan accept the soul? I can only guess they must sustain him, give him power and strength.

Here’s my dilemma: There’s actually a good conversation to be had here about the nature of God, the nature of Satan, free will, etc. I’m genuinely interested in engaging in genuine reasonable dialogue with Neo-Atheists (though I don’t know if Crispy considers himself one of them), but since the tone of their speech and writing is so frequently contemptuous and filled with ridicule, I don’t know how to express curiosity or offer an explanation without tripping a triggered response that wouldn’t be helpful and might raise my blood-pressure.

Suggestions welcome.