A friend of mine is a pretty die-hard Christian (shock horror, both of his parents are missionaries/vicars) and he often posts little sayings of some kind or another on Facebook, which I usually ignore. However, today he posted something that really irritated me for some reason:
"The more I look at science, the more in awe of God I become."
And just to make that worse, one of his Christian friends commented "Boom" as if he had made some kind of infallible argument. Somehow, I feel as though nothing I say will make any difference because they must be incredibly deluded already to believe that God just "invented" science. Basically, this is the guy who thinks he's a "modern and intelligent" Christian by saying that things like Noah's Ark are "just stories and aren't meant to be taken seriously by Christians". But if that is true, then why take ANY of the Bible seriously and where does he draw the line between stories and (what he believes is) the truth?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever. How do you argue with someone like that??
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God? Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
Sadly folks like this will use anything to justify/rationalize their crap. For a delusional, everything has been turned to a 'tool' to maintain the delusion.
Hi Natasha. I'd say this was pretty difficult to answer as it is not a "one answer fits all" question. The first context I heard something similar in was a budhist monk being asked why he thought there was a god and replying that when he looked about hi at the world he could see a god in nature.
I guess I'd start with asking them why they think that. If they come back with any "facts" such as biological complexity then you can follow up with Darwin's responses on evolution of complex organs ...or if humour is more appropraite, you could ask why an omnipotent supreme being made such a hash of it - belly button fluff, flatulence, or more extreme examples of bad "design". Yu could also ask them why their god or gods created beings that certainly appear to have evolved (snake and whale legs) ... but be prepared to be told you are being ,militant or worse!
Yeah, I've had that discussion. He came up with the age old "God invented evolution" story, which obviously fits in nicely if he says that the Bible isn't meant to be taken seriously. It's difficult to see where he draws the line, which is all the more ridiculous.
I wasn't called militant, but I was called close-minded and a different friend in the group who was Christian basically said that he didn't realise I was an atheist and that we "couldn't be friends any more". I laughed. How utterly pathetic. Figure I don't really need friends like that anyway so he did me a favour!
Sounds familiar. What's more closed minded though; to have an opinion but be open to discussion with people of differing opinions (no matter how unevidenced), or to avoid all contact with people of difffering opinion - they are a bit immature by the sounds of it...as you say - better out of that one.
Yeah, you're right!
That one did come up in a debate once, yeah. I think his only reply was something incredibly vague and nonsensical. I think all of the replies on here are just cementing in my head the fact that he can't be argued with!
Seriously, why are you bothering with him - you know there have to be others out there who are more compatible --
With all due respect, it's as if you're saying, "I LIKE banging my head against a wall!!" Move on to someone with whom you have more in common, life's too short!
He's just a friend from university, and his religious views aside, he's actually one of the nicest, funniest people I know; a real pleasure to be around. As for the compatibility comment, I'm certainly not looking to get involved with him in that way, if that's what you mean (sorry if I've misunderstood you there though).
And it's not so much that "I like banging my head against a wall", it's more that I just don't understand the process that goes through his head when he's talking about proving his belief. I don't know how people like this process their thoughts. I'm almost more fascinated than anything else.
Natasha - RE: "As for the compatibility comment, I'm certainly not looking to get involved with him in that way, if that's what you mean"
Actually, I deliberately left it open - compatibility can mean many things - so you could fill in the blanks.
Ask him to list the steps in the scientific method, and if he gets them correct, ask him how they could be used to test his religious claims (the power of prayer, for example).
I have met people like that as well. I strongly suggest walking away.
There is no shame in avoiding a waste of time.
When I was getting married, the only way to get married by my wife's church was to become a member of it. I politely refused, so a very nice pastor went out of his way to convince his bosses to settle for bible study instead.
During this bible study, the pastor said a similar thing like your friend there. How science proves god. When I asked how, he said "well, god gave us everything, so he also gave us science. So whatever science does, it does it through god!"
At that point, rather than wasting my breath, and putting my wife's wedding wishes in jeopardy, I simply answered with "Hm" and left it at that.
Sometimes, it is better to walk away, especially if you know that the person will not listen to reason, or acknowledge evidence. If their beliefs are so deep seeded, that no amount of proof will change them, don't bother.