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?
Unfortunately, I too have come across deluded Theists who claim that their faith is 'untouchable' when scrutinised.
I have found that the more we understand about the world through scientific discovery, the more sophisticated the Theist argument has to become to attempt to overcome this.
Science in no way has proven the claims made by Theists, we know this. Can they name one scientist (real scientist with real credentials and a peer reviewed scientific journal) who has proven any of the events of the Bible to be true? The short answer is 'no'. The Big Bang, a spherical Earth, evolution + natural selection, a planet which is 4.54 billion years old etc. are scientific discoveries which conflict with the Bible (supposedly inspired by the word of God).
It all comes down to one issue, if the Bible (or any holy book for that matter) is not a magic book then Christianity, in this case, evaporates. Sam Harris explains in his book, End Of Faith, that 'In the eyes of faith, you can make magical prescience out of any text' and I think that is what your friend/s are doing. They are interpreting the words of the Bible to 'back-up' what they want it to say. Anyone can do this, and Theists have been doing this since the beginning of Christianity to hide their books shortcomings.
Science cannot disprove the existence of a God any more than Theists can prove it, but the burden of proof is on the claimant. How can science prove/disprove the existence of something for which there is no physical evidence (can't see it, hear it, feel it [physically], smell it, or taste it)?
Very good points.
However, in my experience it is rare that arguing the sensible points with extreme theists is a lot like trying to teach a 2 year old algebra. They simply do not have the capacity to absorb the simple logic of it all. It is usually not their fault tho, they have suffered nearly impenetrable mental programming that was reinforced at nearly every holiday that matters to kids, then by the time they became adults the ability to think out of the religious box is all but impossible. Most of them are quite at peace in their belief that the sky god will reward them in the afterlife, and really, who are we to take that from them? Their ignorance is their bliss. We should be so lucky in this regard. No, I say if they have proven themselves incapable of logic we should walk away.
tell them to start watching the science channel. tell him to really get down to the nitty gritty and reseach how christianity started. christians are just christians because they dont do any research. if you really research it, he will see otherwise. here's a link to my facebook group, it has some links on it, maybe one of them can be of some help to you. feel free to join if you want. https://www.facebook.com/tiffany.willoughby.75/info#!/groups/219319...
well. this is what i'd do. id start posting stuff too. if he can, so can you!
While you are dealing with someone pursuing a higher formal education it must always be remembered that the vast majority of religious people have no interest in the details of their religious belief system. They use god(s) as a necessary crutch for getting through everyday life. They don't want to consider issues of evidence or inconsistency. Their god is their imaginary friend that they call upon as life's events warrant. And most will not be open to scientific scrutiny that dissects their spiritual world and lays it open for discussion.
Basically, Ed, and I agree with you completely, you're saying that when anyone tries to confuse them with the facts, they stick their fingers in their ears and go, "La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La!"
Ed and arch....
I couldn't agree more. But the same is true of some very educated types. It never ceases to amaze me that some very intelligent and educated scientists i know will totally ignore their education and practice voodoo or whatever on a whim. ie: vitamin crazes, latest herbal concoctions or bat dunk in a wound cus bubba said it would help.
It appears there is an inherent part of our brains that not only allows inconsistencies to flourish, it even cultivates them.... This crosses much more than just religious view points.
In a manner of speaking, yes. Most members of this site thrive on reason and logic and rightfully so. But when religious individuals make illogical statements in reference to god(s) they don't think about the possible absence of logic in their comment. For example: the Newtown murders of little tots. Theists will say "God called them up and needed them more than we do." That sounds nice and cozy and all that but upon examination it makes no sense that a benevolent god would require a small child, or anyone for that matter, to experience the horror and pain of a ballistics round penetrating their face. Why would he not opt to just take the child in a little more endearing manner? It's nonsensical but the average theist does not ponder things from a logical perspective. It's sad really.
I asked a religious zealot about the Newtown kids, he said "god works in mysterious ways". It was all I could do not to use my power drill and let some of the pressure out of his head because something is clearly wrong in there.
Make that a titanium bit as some of those heads are extremely hard to penetrate....
Do what Matt (Dillahunty) does; "Yours is an arguement from ignorance and I refuse to participate".
Get him to read the god delusion,
If he was brainwashed from an early age it may not be possible to budge his views, i do not always think that you can teach all old dogs new tricks
Ps just found this this to show him