Can we talk, FUN TIMES. If you haven't had the pleasure of engaging in such vigorous debate, I
can't recommend it highly enough. In spite of the fact I haven't successfully deprogrammed anybody yet, the one big drawback is that I DON'T GET TO DO IT ENOUGH. I'm looking at you Helen, I love me a good argument.

Of course the obvious caveat is that before you engage in battle you must know your opponent well enough that he won't go all jihad on your ass. There's nothing scarier than a flesh and blood human defending to the death his spirit friend (yeah go figure, the neighbor down the street, not worth defending to the death, but dissing a nebulous being, death to you, sinner). Another thing to keep in mind too is that humor helps defuse many awkward situations.

Which leads me to this point, how people worship has interested me to no end. My born again sister has a book called Kingdom of the Cults. The twist is that the book is written by a Christian. The only arguments this writer offers against the Jehovah's Witness, the Christian Scientist, etc is that the way these other religions practice their beliefs is contrary to his interpretation of scripture (kettle black pot hello). He goes into great detail how Seventh Day Adventism is a cult because they worship on Saturdays when EVERYBODY knows God rested on Sunday. Wow, with logic like that, who can defeat him?

Anyway, thankfully with such sites as Operation Clambake, Exmormon, Exchristian, etc, you get to read the dirt about other religions' practices. One word Freaky. you don't know bizarro until you read about some of the nonsensical bologna some of these people do in the name of "scripture".

Which leads me to arguing with a Christian. Logic doesn't work. It can't. If you say "atoms and void" you really do mean atoms and void, not, what about the fantastical creature occupying the space BETWEEN the atoms and void, What about him, huh, huh? One billion worshipers in this world can't be wrong!!!

The goal of the Christian is for the non believer to forsake logic, but the goal of the nonbeliever is for the Christian to accept logic. Not to blow my own trumpet, but the person I normally argue with knows he is outgunned in the logic department (I owe all my courage and strength from such sites as http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/) and as a result, we don't argue as much as I would like to. I've tried the whole how come science requires proof but religion does not, anthropomorphism, I can't fear something I don't believe in, etc. Hasn't bought any of these arguments yet. "I just believe, ok? Get off me."

Since logic really doesn't work, my next tactic is more subtle. Whenever possible, I highlight the freakazoid beliefs of Scientologists, Mormons, and Catholics. This way we are automatically on the same side. Isn't if funny how Mormons wear that magic underwear? What about Scientology Operating Thetan III? What about Catholic rosaries? 1001 Hindu gods? (The ironic thing is this particular Christian feels more kinship with a Hindu friend than with me. Christianity and Hinduism barely resemble each other but I digress). Aren't gullible people superstitious for no apparent reason? Ha ha funny right? But the next step is a big leap of faith so to speak for me, really. I guess by poking big gaping holes at other belief systems, the hope is that someday this Christian will examine his own.

Views: 20

Tags: Christian, cult, deconversion, deprogram

Comment by Cara Coleen on January 8, 2009 at 11:05pm
Great post yo...

It's funny because I was definitely one of those Christians that had been convinced being a "faith fool" was the only route because, as everyone knows, God's mind can't be known and who are we to judge his ways? Yeah... ignorance was exonerated. This was the only way for me to BE a Christian, too, because they really didn't like it when I asked so many questions. They had to demonize my mind in order to shush me up, "Oh! Them thar thought're from SATAN! Doubtin' is a SIN!"

Yeah. The frustrating thing really is that a person has to want the truth worse than they want to validate the existence of an imaginary friend.
Comment by Jay E on January 8, 2009 at 11:35pm
You are too right. When you meet somebody on the fence, that person is more willing to listen. In this particular instance, the truth is utterly ignored. If the listener doesn't want to change, or feel a need to deconvert, there's no point. I certainly won't change, and I shouldn't have the expectation that he will, too. But it doesn't hurt to plant those little seeds of doubt.
Comment by Jay E on January 8, 2009 at 11:47pm
sorry, i should have said instead of "utterly ignored," the truth is willfully ignored. which i think is sadder.
Comment by Sophie on January 9, 2009 at 7:51am
Since logic really doesn't work, my next tactic is more subtle. Whenever possible, I highlight the freakazoid beliefs of Scientologists, Mormons, and Catholics. This way we are automatically on the same side. Isn't if funny how Mormons wear that magic underwear? What about Scientology Operating Thetan III? What about Catholic rosaries? 1001 Hindu gods? (The ironic thing is this particular Christian feels more kinship with a Hindu friend than with me. Christianity and Hinduism barely resemble each other but I digress). Aren't gullible people superstitious for no apparent reason? Ha ha funny right? But the next step is a big leap of faith so to speak for me, really. I guess by poking big gaping holes at other belief systems, the hope is that someday this Christian will examine his own.

nice
Comment by River Otter on January 9, 2009 at 10:52am
I have a Christian friend I used to like to debate with. Problem is, he turns his brain off when I start outgunning him. This is very frustrating to me. It is so frustrating that I won't start a debate with him anymore. I let him bring it to me. When he does, he gets mad because I still outgun him.

You see, I am the first Atheist he has ever known. He has never known anything outside of his little town, & what his parents & preacherman have brainwashed him with. He actually cried when I told him I don't believe in Heaven or Hell.

He is so fixed on the afterlife and seeing his dead relatives & friends that he can't let go. Just the other day, he found out that his father had an affair on his mother (both parents are dead now). This was a huge blow to him and I made sure to throw in that his father is probrably in "Hell" now. Cold, I know, but the truth according to his Holey Book.

He also keeps telling me that he wants me to convert so I will go to heaven and he will be able to see me when we are both dead. I told him, "Don't expect to see me in Heaven and you need to cherish the time you have with me now." He didn't like that either, but tough shit. Someone has be realistic and set expectations. I will never convert to any religion. I am an Atheist. I could be wrong but, I don't think that many Atheists convert to a religion. I know that I would never convert.

I will keep hammering away at his Holey Book and tell him to show me his math and science to back up his claims when he is feeling froggy. I have tried to plant those seeds of doubt only to be ignored. There is no converting him either, his little box is reenforced with staples & duct tape.

All I can do now, is give Atheism a good name. I can prove to him that we are good people with ethics that requires NO god. I can answer any questions he has, (and he's curious) as long as he doesn't get bent out of shape. That's all I can really do.

Debating with Christians is very frustrating.
Comment by Jay E on January 9, 2009 at 12:39pm
What a phenomenal and thoughtful post. RiverOtter. To me, this will be summing up my life in a nutshell, I will give Atheism a good name. I couldn't have said it more beautifully or poignantly. Christians and nonbelievers both want to "convert" the other party and each will accuse the other of not listening. However, they will have God on their side and we will have logic. I say, we have bigger ammunition.

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