I have come to the conclusion that while arguing with a theist, being aggressive is a very counter productive way of doing it. In an argument, there is ultimately the one goal of one side convincing the other side to agree with their original statement, or at least understand their perspective. I have seen atheist online social groups who argue with theists and their aggressive way of communication seems to never achieve the ultimate goal of the argument. Which is why I say its counter productive, I believe it is from the cognitive dissonance in the religious mind that when their religion is contradicted by a fact, they have an emergency ignorance switch bottled up behind their cognitive dissonance. If it seems as though their belief is being "attacked", this triggers the emergency switch and everything you tell them, as factual as it may be, is interpreted as nonsense in their narrowed perspective. So to ultimately achieve the goal of argumentation the theist must overcome their cognitive dissonance, which I believe cannot be forced. You cannot make the change in their mind, they must make it for themselves. An atheist is potentially able to contradict everything in the holy books or belief system of a religion but I believe that the best way to reach this argument goal is by presenting an idea that will cause them to think radically, beyond the confines of their original perspective. Force them to think so that they can make this change on their own.
Any thoughts on that?
Arguing with theists, as I've said before, is like trying to teach pigs to dance. It doesn't work and it annoys the pigs. Of course, this applies to arguing with atheists also. I find the best thing to do is just dance and let the pigs be. Unless, that is, the pigs start demanding that everybody live according to pig standards. Then all bets are off.
Mark Twain: "Faith is believing that which you know ain't so."
The mother of all cognitive dissonance.
Leaving one's faith at the doorstep and picking up the tools of reasoned thought is often too arduous a task. I liken the emotional bond of one's faith to their god as to the desperate mother clutching her young child while a stranger tries to rip them from her grasp.
I have found that any argument/debate/conversation of this genre has to be conducted as if you were playing the game Operation, except the pieces are always moving and you only have a pair of chopsticks. Irregardless of how many times you have had the conversation and how well you know the subject, no matter how passive or aggressive you are with your wordplay, the emergency ignorance switch will always flip because you will be prying away at someones foundation, something that they have always known and believed to be true no matter what. So far, I've found the truest path to helping stagnation occur in someone's religious views is to open up questions of other religions, of contradictions, of anything scientific, and these should all lead with the question "Can you imagine a world without a god?". If they answer no in any form, the conversation has ended.
I've found that playing the "searching" card and asking simple, honest questions is the best way to discuss religion. Being a former Christian, I remember not even paying attention to the "aggressive" arguments of atheists, but rather feeling insulted by the Devil himself. My faith began to break down when my best friend asked me honestly, "why do you believe?" and I realized I had no good answers.
"If it seems as though their belief is being "attacked", this triggers the emergency switch and everything you tell them, as factual as it may be, is interpreted as nonsense in their narrowed perspective." That is the exact reason I have vowed to stop arguing with theists. Well not the only one, my closest friend is a theist who alwys have Johnny Walker Black Label or Blue Label, for the sake of sharing in his Johnny I have decided to stop arguing with him, one time it costed me the beloved whiskey.