Geezer

Strategies for debating Christians

Recommended Posts

Geezer    1,979

I often see posts where recent, or not so recent, former believers are engaged in debating a Christian, or Christians, about the meaning and/or  interpretation of some specific scripture/scriptures. That to me is getting the cart before the horse and it's also playing to their strength. Any scripture can be interpreted numerous ways and be labeled as correct.

 

The issue, at least for me, isn't what scripture says, the issue is whether or not scripture is true, accurate, and historically provable. Why argue the meaning of scripture before its even been authenticated? And the burden of proof is on the Christian because they have to take the position the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, words of God. They have no other option. So make them prove the Bible is literally true and historically accurate first before any debate about what scripture means takes place.

 

They can't prove scripture is the inerrant, inspired, words of God, because there is absolutely not a scintilla of evidence that even suggests that it is. That's why Christianity is a FAITH issue. Faith is belief without evidence and that is a  compulsory doctrine  because there is no evidence. Because that is true, you end up debating the meaning of man made myths and legends that have been relabeled as Devine instruction given by God personally to some mythical prophet.

 

Now, it is wise to have some ammunition to defend your position,  and that is actually going to require some study and research, because they are going to throw apologetics at you as their defense. Apologetics is basically nonsense that is worded by some often highly educated people that use big words so it sounds like they know what they're talking about but they don't; because they have been just as indoctrinated into their faith as the rest of Christian believers have been. Seminary is basically brainwashing by professionals and it's proven to be highly effective.

 

I like to compare apologist to defense attorneys. Their best weapon is a command of the English language and a big vocabulary. It's their job to convince you bull shit is really prime rib. A defense attorneys job is to defend their client. It's their job to use words to convince a jury the evidence against their client has been misinterpreted, isn't really evidence at all, the evidence may be true, but the defendant's actions were justified, or just make up a bunch of bullshit and hope the jury believes it because that's all the attorney has.

 

It's an apologist job to DEFEND the FAITH. And they go about that pretty much the same way a Defense Attorney defends his client. And that means truth is usually the first casualty. It's good to remember that every denomination has their own apologist, and it's their job to prove that their groups version of Christianity is the only right and correct one...without any supporting evidence. What they have is conjecture, opinions, suppositions, speculations, and inferences. What they don't have is actual evidence that supports their position.

 

The first rule of debate is to put your opponent on defensive. Make your opponent prove their case. And in the case of Christianity they can't do it because they have no evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


PLEASE EXCUSE THE ANNOYING COMMERCIAL BREAKS IN THE CONVERSATION:

As with everything these days, the cost of keeping the Ex-C forum up and running has been rising. Inflation? In part, but the primary reason is this: As participation in the forums grows, costs increase. The Ex-C forums will remain free of charge to everyone, but if you believe this little corner of the Internet provides value to you or others, and you feel inclined to help keep us online, please consider making a one-time donation or becoming a regular contributor. Contribution options appear under the "Upgrade" link above, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Oh, and as an incentive (no, you won't be given any bogus promises of eternal bliss), if you do become a regular contributor by signing up for any monthly or yearly patron package, this annoying ADVO will disappear.

And now, back to the regularly scheduled conversation...



florduh    4,182

I can no longer even discuss religion with believers, much less debate. It can be fun if you're in the mood for such a thing, but never lose sight of the fact that there can be no winning a debate against faith. The most you can hope for is that some onlooker might see how absurd the position of the apologist is and how an undamaged mind can see through the bullshit.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MOHO    446

Good info, @Geezer,

 

I'm sure your post will help some folks with their debating efforts. We (atheists) need to push back.

 

My experience, though, is that I cannot convince a believer and they cannot tell me anything I have not heard and either researched and found it to be B.S., or simply dismissed right away as irrational, illogical, or just plain silly.

 

In some cases, usually with Mrs. MOHO, I experience anger on their part and they begin to vilify me. Don't need THAT!

 

So, I'm going to have to agree with @florduh. I'd rather just avoid the interaction altogether unless I know there is someone on the fence listening.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
buffettphan    974

I agree with what you say Geezer, but I just don't have it in me anymore to discuss, let alone debate with believers, especially since most of the believers I have regular contact with are family members, including DFH (DearFundyHubby).     I'll sign petitions, donate to some causes and what-not, but as far as giving anything of myself personally anymore, I'm burned out.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Geezer    1,979

It is frustrating if you play their game, so make them play your game. Bring me proof that the Bible is literally true & historically accurate & then we"ll talk. It isn't likely you will ever see them again.

 

I agree, however, do your best to avoid talking religion with family members. That is definitely a no win situation.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an interesting conversation with my ex-pastor last night. Anyone who has seen my post about him emailing me for money will know who he is. I agreed to meet with him for ice cream last night to see if I could still talk to him as a friend even though I'd stopped attending church. I was half right, half wrong.

 

Once we had exhausted "catching up" topics, he pounced on my thought processes for having left church. He is a younger pastor (33, I think), so I at least didn't have the problem of speaking to someone twice to thrice my age. I had explained to him why I stopped having faith in god and he listen patiently.

 

Then he made it seem like my responsibility to ask him and his colleagues questions about god's validity (using apologetics, I'm sure). Instead of them having to explain to me why their god is the true god. He likes to claim that christianity is the thinking man's religion, as if listening to both christian and atheist viewpoints (as he does) somehow makes his religion more credible because he chooses christianity in the end.

 

Christians truly do love shifting the burden of proof.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
disillusioned    718
 

Then he made it seem like my responsibility to ask him and his colleagues questions about god's validity (using apologetics, I'm sure). Instead of them having to explain to me why their god is the true god. He likes to claim that christianity is the thinking man's religion, as if listening to both christian and atheist viewpoints (as he does) somehow makes his religion more credible because he chooses christianity in the end.

 

Christians truly do love shifting the burden of proof.

 

Not only is this shifting the burden of proof, it's also disturbing for another reason. When he says that you should ask him questions about God's validity, what he is really saying is "don't think for yourself." Apparently he has a better understanding of these matters than you do. One is tempted to ask what qualifies him to make such a claim.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
♦ ficino ♦    1,637
 

I can no longer even discuss religion with believers, much less debate. It can be fun if you're in the mood for such a thing, but never lose sight of the fact that there can be no winning a debate against faith. The most you can hope for is that some onlooker might see how absurd the position of the apologist is and how an undamaged mind can see through the bullshit.

I remembered things a fellow student, who was an atheist, said when I was an on-fire Christian trying to convert other students. I didn't really have good rebuttals even at the time. I just sort of dismissed them. Later on the "seed" of unbelief got watered and sprouted, heh heh.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Then he made it seem like my responsibility to ask him and his colleagues questions about god's validity (using apologetics, I'm sure).

 

Yeah, when I told my parents I didn't believe in God my father asked why I didn't come to him early on and ask....almost like I was my fault or something.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
♦ ficino ♦    1,637
 

 

Yeah, when I told my parents I didn't believe in God my father asked why I didn't come to him early on and ask....almost like I was my fault or something.

Sadly, I have to point out: yes, it was your fault. It is always your fault. It has always been your fault. That's what you must remember.

 

/s

 

Glad you're out of the cult!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
older    697
 

 

...

 

 

Christians truly do love shifting the burden of proof.

 

^ ^ ^

A frequent challenge in this regard is, "But you can't prove he doesn't exist." Of course, the response is that they are the ones making the claim so the burden of proof is on them.  We also have to be careful to state that we don't believe in gods, and not say that God does not exist. Taking the latter position gives them an opening to say that you can't prove that, which is true. (I will say that based on the evidence, I don't believe the Christian god exists. It is easy to point to such evidence — cancer in children, for example.)

 

Something I'm waiting to use is this (parts of this are from an unknown source):

So you believe in a deity that exists everywhere, knows everything, created everything, planned everything, and can do anything, who sent himself to earth and then killed himself in order to avenge himself for a curse he put on us because one of our distant ancestors and a rib woman ate fruit off a magical tree after being told to do it by a talking snake. Now do you believe this because it makes sense or because other people have convinced you that bad things will happen to you if you don't?

 

But I, too, find it mostly a waste of time to debate. I read an article on line recently in a political context that folks make up their minds based on a core world view, something that is buried within their minds and may not even be perceptible to the individual.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, one on one debate is close to useless and not a good use for my existance.  Any focus has to be on the children, the one's who's minds are much less, programmed...but much more ptogrammable... and doing what we can to stop them be exposed to this crap.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now