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?
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.
I'm not so much trying to get him to change his beliefs; with an upbringing like his with the missionary parents, there is no chance that anyone will ever change his mind. The only way that will happen is if he changes it himself. And to do that, he would have to change his way of thinking. I guess I'm asking for blood from a stone!
I just don't understand how people can twist everything like that and not even get a GLIMPSE of how ridiculous their reasoning (or I suppose lack of) is. I remember a girl I knew at school and she really was ridiculously deluded, because she would agree with what we said about reason and science, but then refute it two seconds later when she realised it didn't go hand in hand with religion. THAT was utter delusion, there was no helping her.
I don't know. I guess this friend is a lost cause and I should just avoid the topic with him! Sounds like you've got your Saturday mornings covered though! Fortunately I don't get many of them where I live, but whenever I have had them come to my door in the past I'm usually too tired and irritated to argue and end up slamming the door in their faces. Not so much fun perhaps, but satisfying all the same, ha.
Argue against a delusion any way you want. Just don't waste your time arguing with the deluded.
That seems to be a prevailing opinion, I guess you're right! Just wish I could understand it!
This is a common belief among Muslims as well, where they believe every scientific discovery and what not is coming from the will of Allah. To counter argue this you would have to remind them that is not God who is doing all the work, its actually humans who are doing the work. If they say "well God is allowing them for it happen and that is how they are discovering new science". Just tell them then why doesn't God do it himself, instead of man waiting for God to giving them his will? Why waste time when God can do all the work for you?
These questions are very hard from them to answer, so you can easily trap them
Yeah, I've tried those. And because they're hard to answer, they get answered with some completely incoherent statement, or eventually resort to the classic "God works in mysterious ways" and give you that smug look as if that has explained everything. I suppose I should pity him more than anything!
Point out that science uses evidence, not faith. It is the opposite of religion.
"Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it." - Dan Barker
Yeah, I tried that one. Not surprisingly, using reason to argue against him appears not to work, so really, I can't argue against him full stop!
I don’t argue with zealots for their sake, but for those nearby that witness the exchange. That said, here’s my take.
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
That’s good. You can clarify to him that you don’t take the bible seriously either, and now neither of you have to muck about with that awful tome of superstitious nonsense. Now, with the bible out, what is he going to use to prove his position?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity
Ask him how; specifically how.
How has science proven the existence of an invisible, immaterial, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient being?
How has science proven the existence of a demi-god named Jesus?
What were the mechanics of the Jesus resurrection, and why can’t we do that now?
How has science proven the existence of an immortal soul?
How has science proven the existence of heaven and hell, and where exactly are they?
Then add that if he can’t provide the peer reviewed papers on all of this, then he is straight up full of shit.
and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever.
So “just blindly accept it”. And I always thought the word for that was “gullibility”.
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God?
Counter that gods are just an invention of people, and don’t really exist, like giants, and satyrs, and dragons, and cockatrices, and talking donkeys (which, by the way, are also in the bible).
Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
I think this is becoming more common. The vast majority of people recognize that the bible is nonsensical and no longer relevant, that is why 90% of Christians don’t bother reading it. The “personal god” and “personal savior” thing is trending stronger, and involves a lighter framework of dogma, but that amorphous “feeling” thing.
If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to argue, then don’t bother. If you feel compelled, then just keep pulling apart what little structure there is to his position and stomp it with the logic boot. Which brings us back to…
Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God"
When he plays this card, go straight into troll mode and have some fun. Start going on endlessly about an over-the-top, made-up sexual encounter. Make him squirm with uncomfortably graphic detail, and make sure you end with it was enough to make you “a believer”, and you lost count of the number of times you said, “oh god”. Then stop and ask him if it’s like that.
Just my 2 cents. Take care.
To be honest, I can't remember the exact intricacies of how he said science proved Gods existence, but he did once show me and a few friends a DVD (I WISH I could remember what it was called) but it basically pointed out loads of apparent "similarities" between scientific facts and parts of the Bible. It was basically a long list of coincidences and the guy who presented it was convinced that science and religion are entirely compatible. It was ridiculous. He was doing things like pointing out numbers that recurred in science and religion (yeah, seriously, numbers).
He's basically completely brainwashed by his parents I guess, so maybe there's no reasoning and therefore to arguing with him. I just wish I understood what it's like inside his head. He must have some kind of switch that just puts his mind back on the path of religion every time something undeniable comes up.
Troll mode sounds like fun though. Maybe that's the way to go, haha.
Not the vids here were they : focus.org.uk
They have the gall to quote Hawking even, and the Bussey guy is giving a lecture near me next week...so I'm off for a heckle
‘The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers… the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.’ – Professor Stephen Hawking