Sometimes I start to reply to posts and by the time I get my point made I have written too much. I reread it and sometimes I scrap it. I have amended my viewpoint or thought of another angle. However I am happy with that because someone has said something to make me think.

That gave me an idea. Maybe rather that debating theists (I am always doing it) I will ask them to reply in writing to my points. After all they are always giving me crap to read.

So I did an interesting experiment today with some “doubters” before I tackle the deluded ones. I have been debating with them for a few weeks now. So rather than listen to more “But what if there really is a god?” or “How can you be so sure?” I suggested that they spend 15 minutes writing down what their beliefs actual were and WHY they believed them.

This compelled them into thinking about what they were writing. They had to “listen” to their own arguments. They were not just blindly repeating some mantra type answers.

They all found it more difficult to do than they had expected. I could see a lot of lines getting crossed out. However the surprise came when I asked each one in turn to read aloud what they had written. It sounded so immature. When one said “I believe in everlasting life after death”, he started laughing.

One could nearly hear them thinking “Is this what I actually believe?” I got more doubt sown today without saying a word. It would be interesting to see if these results could be replicated. Maybe I have been spending too much time perfecting arguments and rebuttals. Ok – they are needed but I will try this with the Witnesses next weekend.

The point is that because they were asked to write down what they believed they were forced to analyze it and confront themselves, rather than confront me and argue against me. If you analyze yourself you must use Reason, not Faith and the seed of Doubt is firmly planted – which is my only objective.


PS - Put up my “Science Dog” icon just in case anyone thought I was ugly :)

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I love that Frederick Douglas quote.  I will have to use it.  Thanks.

Yes - I am writing about the indoctrination of children by religions. Then you read one line and get clarity from it.

That's a great tactic, Reg!

Only the most closed mind can escape self-examination. Encouraging a little introspection before baring one's thoughts is a good strategy that will help make our job easier.
Great. I can think of quite a few young earth creationist Youtubers I would LOVE to realize how stupid they sound.
Had a look at the vid. Some good points. Stating one believes something is not enough. We want the reasons WHY. If they cannot be evaluated objectively they are not worthy of our attention.
Good tactics. I will try to use them and post here the data.

"What do you believe and why?"

I think this is one of the best possible questions for a theist.

I think most of us, atheists have become so, not because we looked at atheism and said "What a nice position that is. We should join them!", but because we looked and thought about the position where we were at, and found it absurd.
Yes - very few of us became Atheists overnight if we were religious at some point. We thought about it and were probably Atheists long before we used the word as a definition of ourselves.

A recent post asked if Atheists are cleverer than theists. There is very little evidence to suggest that. However I would suggest that Atheists are more mature than people of faith. We have come to terms with our mortality which I consider a major factor in becoming a mature person. Someone who continues to believe in god is less mature. So they may appear foolish to us and therefore less intelligent. However a high IQ is of no use to anyone if they haven’t mastered the critical thought process. People need to understand why they believe (in) something.

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Well if he did why did he keep writing !!

Don't expect to ever "win" or "de-convert" any of them. They have to do that themselves. Just plant your barbs and wait. And, they have to be barbs--short, sharp, and hooked. The typical long, thoughtful replies that atheists give just don't work.

Please read:

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/categorizing-relig...

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/atheist-arguments-...

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/11/catchiness-or-argu...

'I believe in everlasting life after death'

How is this an immature belief? I find this idea absolutely fascinating and it comes back to the idea; 'its either a dellusion or real.' I think there is more weight with it being real.

An inability to accept the evidence, to accept facts, is childish.  A desire to believe in life after death is obviously one's natural instinct for self-preservation combining with egotism and fear to produce a delusional belief.

 

You already know what being dead is like.  You have been dead.  Mark Twain said it best:

 

"I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

 

A child cries at the realization of his own death.  An adult simply knows it will happen and accepts it.  The very old often embrace it.

 

I do not fear death half as much as I fear irrational people who want to spoil my life.

 

Correct Scott. When I say "an immature belief" I mean a person is not a fully matured adult until they come to term with the fear of death and accept it as an inevitable part of ones life. I do not think we can do this without being Atheists. Removing the fear of death that religions have monopolised removes the need for eternal life and therefore the need for a god.

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