ag_NO_stic

Arguments against Christians

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I'm just tossing this out there for discussion. We all tell Christians that we know where they've been, that we understand them. Then we proceed to make arguments that we KNOW, from experience, will not work because we used to reject those same arguments. How are Christians supposed to believe that we understand them if we're using arguments we never listened to either! Do y'all see this too? Thoughts?

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My answer would be that certain "arguments" eventually did work for me.  They were more thoughts in my case; but the principle still applies. 

 

Also, just because the arguments don't work on the specific christians that we can see who come here, doesn't mean they aren't working for people that we don't see.  Always keep the lurkers in mind.  They are really the target audience of our "ministry."

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1 hour ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I'm just tossing this out there for discussion. We all tell Christians that we know where they've been, that we understand them. Then we proceed to make arguments that we KNOW, from experience, will not work because we used to reject those same arguments. How are Christians supposed to believe that we understand them if we're using arguments we never listened to either! Do y'all see this too? Thoughts?

 

Same as the prof said. What I know from experience is that these arguments do work, if they are considered honestly. But I also know from experience that most Christians will not allow their underlying faith-based assumptions to be challenged. So in many cases the discussion is fruitless, at least as far as convincing the Christians goes. Still, though,  the conversations are worth having because they are helpful to the newly deconverted.

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Planting seeds. That is all that can be expected when we engage believers. We should expect Christians to initially reject our arguments and evidence when we present them. I feel certain all of us did too when we were first exposed to evidence that challenged the Bible and the Christian faith.....our faith.

 

However, once the seeds have been planted,  they tend to linger in the subconscious. When believers are exposed to more challenges this information tends to stick in their minds even if they appear to reject it. Sometimes this seed produces fruit and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

Generally speaking, until a believer develops doubts about their beliefs they will not act on information that challenges their faith. Until then the seeds that have been planted will remain dormant. At least that has been my experience. 

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3 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

I'm just tossing this out there for discussion. We all tell Christians that we know where they've been, that we understand them. Then we proceed to make arguments that we KNOW, from experience, will not work because we used to reject those same arguments. How are Christians supposed to believe that we understand them if we're using arguments we never listened to either! Do y'all see this too? Thoughts?

 

As a Christian I was instructed to say, "Well, that's nice (to any anti-Jesus argument), but I choose to believe in Jesus." Not sure any argument is a good argument when someone doesnt care to listen anyway. I debate for the joy of debate and to explore new ideas and possibly hone my critical thinking. Not losing sleep over someone not believing my way. If a Christian flipped sides , I wouldn't get to debate them anymore...would be so sad. lol

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59 minutes ago, midniterider said:

Well, that's nice (to any anti-Jesus argument), but I choose to believe in Jesus."

 

I think I will steal and adapt this.  Going forward, when faced with unsolicited religious propositions, I think I will reply:

 

"Well, that's nice, but I refuse to live by anything not backed by facts and reality".

 

If they want to progress from here it will have to be from a basis of facts and reality.....an unwinnable augument for them.

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2 hours ago, Geezer said:

Planting seeds.

This was certainly true for me.  It took 4 years for me to finally deconvert--four brutal years. 

 

And it was because of this mentality:

1 hour ago, midniterider said:

"Well, that's nice (to any anti-Jesus argument), but I choose to believe in Jesus."

 

But the seeds were there.  They were growing.  As I said before, for me there weren't really any arguments, there were just my own thoughts.  I certainly would not have sought out a website like this one, or watched any YouTube videos (I didn't even start doing that until probably 8-9 years after deconverting).  But I had those seeds of doubt in my mind all along.  They were placed there by what I experienced not matching what I had been taught/promised/prophesied over me.  When reality doesn't square with belief, the believer either doubles-down, or changes perspective.  For me, doubling-down was no longer an option.

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1 hour ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

 

I think I will steal and adapt this.  Going forward, when faced with unsolicited religious propositions, I think I will reply:

 

"Well, that's nice, but I refuse to live by anything not backed by facts and reality".

 

If they want to progress from here it will have to be from a basis of facts and reality.....an unwinnable augument for them.

 

Yes, it works in reverse, too. lol

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:25 AM, Geezer said:

Generally speaking, until a believer develops doubts about their beliefs they will not act on information that challenges their faith. Until then the seeds that have been planted will remain dormant. At least that has been my experience. 

 

Bingo! Using my own deconversion as an example, I had years of questions that I had sidelined because they got in the way of faith. It wasn't until something snapped and I saw a problem that couldn't be dismissed that I began questioning consciously. That incident gave my mind permission to figure out "what was wrong with this picture". This leads me to think that many other believers have similar questions and doubts that they have stored up, but sideline because they are afraid of losing their investment of time and money, and don't want to admit they were tricked into joining a cult with no god ever hearing the years of prayers and praise lavished on him.

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:49 AM, ag_NO_stic said:

I'm just tossing this out there for discussion. We all tell Christians that we know where they've been, that we understand them. Then we proceed to make arguments that we KNOW, from experience, will not work because we used to reject those same arguments. How are Christians supposed to believe that we understand them if we're using arguments we never listened to either! Do y'all see this too? Thoughts?

 

I agree with most of the others. I started out rejecting atheist arguments because they didn't feel good. But then slowly realizing that the truth seldom does in many cases. And that I couldn't very well over turn the atheist arguments. In the end they made more sense than the theistic claims or arguments. 

 

Once you're gone and then start talking outside of the 'group think' circles of your various christian sects, you're immediately an outsider. Outta the tribe and off the Island. Getting them to believe that we understand them is probably not very important at all. We can tell them, we can try and give examples of how we once thought the way in which they're currently thinking, then proceed to dismantle the way that we used to think (which they are currently thinking). But that may or may not break through to someone, as detailed as we may be. If they're not open to rethinking it and questioning themselves, then they're closed off. They won't hear what's being said, only what they want to hear. It's part of being stuck in such a delusion. 

 

I think it may be helpful to keep in mind when christians come on here, going forward, that we did think like that at one time, for whatever it's worth. And there is such a thing as overcoming it. I pretty much treated William better than I've treated any prior christians that I can remember off hand. But he completely broke down anyways here on our forums. And then started locking threads and finally ending discussion altogether on his own forum: 

 

https://www.christforums.com/topic/1865-“new”-atheism-15-reasons-why-it-is-irrational/?tab=comments#comment-75370

 

With that, I'm finished. If he wants to talk or finish the open conversations here on our end, he knows where to find us.  

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There's another example of BAA going into christian forums just for the sake of readers who want to witness the results: 

 

 

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Thanks for bringing this up! I've been wondering about this recently too. Being newly deconverted myself, I agree with what others are saying about the importance of exposing people to new ideas even if they don't intend to hear it right away. 
 
The minute I had serious doubts, it was like everything every non-believer had said came rushing back to me.  I started to consider the other side of some arguments I had and put proper time into researching ideas that initially felt scary and uncomfortable for me. I think most of us can agree that deconversion is often a rough and long process. It seems for many of us it isn't just a single conversation or new fact that we learn that changes our mind, but many of them combined.
 
This whole idea also kind of reminds me about conversations on Sympathy vs. Empathy. Saying you understand someone is one thing, but actually feeling their plight and convincing them you do is another.  There is only so much you can do and say to try to convey you understand someone's position, but I think when it is done with empathy there is a greater chance someone will eventually hear it.
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There is a quick and efficient way of ending any Christian argument, continuously ask "why".  This will either cause them to hit a wall and crash (when their reply is "God works in mysterious ways") or get caught int an infinite circular logic loop.  If you actually get them to think about what they believe for a bit, you might just unravel their belief system (see Socratic method).

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On 1/29/2019 at 1:59 AM, Bug said:
Thanks for bringing this up! I've been wondering about this recently too. Being newly deconverted myself, I agree with what others are saying about the importance of exposing people to new ideas even if they don't intend to hear it right away. 
 
The minute I had serious doubts, it was like everything every non-believer had said came rushing back to me.  I started to consider the other side of some arguments I had and put proper time into researching ideas that initially felt scary and uncomfortable for me. I think most of us can agree that deconversion is often a rough and long process. It seems for many of us it isn't just a single conversation or new fact that we learn that changes our mind, but many of them combined.
 
This whole idea also kind of reminds me about conversations on Sympathy vs. Empathy. Saying you understand someone is one thing, but actually feeling their plight and convincing them you do is another.  There is only so much you can do and say to try to convey you understand someone's position, but I think when it is done with empathy there is a greater chance someone will eventually hear it.

 

This is kind of how I live my life. I take a very empathetic approach and it works well for me. Not everyone, of course.

 

I'm not saying we should forsake our current arguments, they are indeed necessary. Do you think maybe it took so many years for so many people BECAUSE we weren't using arguments within their worldview? I know we can't "box in their corner" all the time, we certainly need to address science, logic/reason, morality, etc....I just know that quoting logical fallacies and cognitive dissonance is about the same as them using scripture on us. I feel like they write us off, just as we do with them. William / Christforums made some good points in the midst of all his bullshit. We're not always right now that we've shed faith and it's still good to be challenged. But we are like "Oh wow, this one's _____" like they aren't there, it can be so rude. 

 

I was just curious what everyone thought. :)

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I don't know that I'd ever even heard any atheist arguments! But I'd heard/read liberal Christian arguments, from believers and scholars who knew that the Bible wasn't 100% consistent from beginning to end.

 

I've mentioned before that my path to non-belief started one Sunday morning when the preacher read a few verses in Genesis 3 and I went ahead and read the whole chapter. It struck me that there was no Satan there — that it was just a snake talking with Eve — and within a month I was an atheist. Although I don't recall what I may have read before that day, I have no reason to think I had original thought. It's quite likely that some prior exposure to real Biblical scholarship caused it to jump out at me when a relevant occasion arose.

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2 hours ago, Lerk said:

I don't know that I'd ever even heard any atheist arguments! But I'd heard/read liberal Christian arguments, from believers and scholars who knew that the Bible wasn't 100% consistent from beginning to end.

 

I've mentioned before that my path to non-belief started one Sunday morning when the preacher read a few verses in Genesis 3 and I went ahead and read the whole chapter. It struck me that there was no Satan there — that it was just a snake talking with Eve — and within a month I was an atheist. Although I don't recall what I may have read before that day, I have no reason to think I had original thought. It's quite likely that some prior exposure to real Biblical scholarship caused it to jump out at me when a relevant occasion arose.

 

I had a similar thing. When people ask me what "started it" my answer almost always feels different. I can point to several moments of cognitive dissonance.  The one that happened to me in Genesis was when I saw a meme online that was like "Right. There were three days before the sun was created" or something similar and I was like......"dumbass humans wrote this shit" lol

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4 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I had a similar thing. When people ask me what "started it" my answer almost always feels different. I can point to several moments of cognitive dissonance.  The one that happened to me in Genesis was when I saw a meme online that was like "Right. There were three days before the sun was created" or something similar and I was like......"dumbass humans wrote this shit" lol

 

Interesting that that's the discussion / debate that was declined at christforums. Well the first one that was declined anyways. All right folks, let's start at the very beginning. Bullshit. The foundation stone of this entire boastful enterprise, is built upon bullshit. 

 

Next? 

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What I found in my years of defending faith was that most Christians don't know their own bibles. They really don't know their doctrines, so answering the "why?" questions they simply can't do with confidence so the defense goes up and friction ensues. Their own book tells them "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith...", so if they do that, they can't help but eventually see the real truth about themselves because they must examine themselves with honesty. Most have some sort of doubt, question about the deal, but most won't admit it because that means lack of faith.

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