So then the main reason I debate with you theists is because your beliefs effect me (both directly and indirectly - and especially when it comes to law, policy, education, and personal rights). Due to the fact that I strongly disagree with most religious belief (it is in fact superstition etc) I would like to see those views either modified or overturned. So there, now you know my motives and intentions when I debate with you on these forums and the question no longer needs to be asked.
Very clear explanation of where you are coming from and what your motivations are for the conversations you have on this board.
I confess that I'm more selfish; I think the argumentation for the sake of injecting more rationality into the world, moving society away from superstition, and kicking faith out of the room of virtues are all very laudable goals. Part of why I question and argue is for the same purpose. But for me, the main motivator is personal...
I have a set of beliefs about reality. These sets of beliefs are, of course, in a constant state of flux, ebbing and flowing as I gain more knowledge, learn more life lessons, and interact with other people and their sets of beliefs and viewpoints regarding reality. In a sense I am testing what it is I have come to understand about reality - I am trying to put myself on the epistemological chopping block and seeing what sticks and what doesn't. I can go on about how a better understanding of reality helps me to interact better with reality, make better decisions, and generally be better at helping myself and my fellow sentient creatures survive and thrive. And all of that is certainly true.
But mainly I bum around here because, quite selfishly, I just want to know
things. I want to know if I'm right about something. I want to know if I'm wrong about something. There are different viewpoints that pop up around here. Sometimes those viewpoints run somewhat or entirely contrary to things that I believe to be true. Finding out why those discrepancies exist is one part of helping me determine the truth-value of my own beliefs.