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.
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!
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.
Sounds like the pastor who married you was similar to my friend in some ways. You must be very strong to put up with that on your wedding day!
Yeah, you have a point. I think he must be quite literally deluding himself on some level, perhaps without really realising it. With parents who are missionaries, there's obviously no wonder where he got his views from and why they are so deeply ingrained. I guess it's just difficult to understand how someone who is otherwise very grounded and smart doesn't even question his beliefs and thought processes!
Ask the question, “Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
If they say “yes,” end of argument.
If they say “No,” ask why not.
WHATEVER answer they give, you simply turn it around and repeat it to them, substituting ”God” for “Santa.”
Of course, that won’t affect THEIR beliefs (who cares?), but it should make crystal clear the unassailable logic of YOUR lack of belief, and why it would be absurd for you take seriously any of THEIR unsupported, child-like, faith nonsense.
Of course, if you are determined to get them to abandon their belief system (again, though, who cares?), you should approach it as you would when revealing to an 8 year old child that there isn’t REALLY any Santa - that it was just a nice story for when they were children.
If you would like more suggestions for addressing delusional Christians, let me know; I've got a bunch of them that never fail to send J.W.'s and Mormons scurrying away in frustration Saturday mornings.