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Bazz99

Is it actually impossible to reason with a devout christian?

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I mean has anyone here ever successfully reasoned with a evangelical christian? Is it simply an impossible task im wasting my time with? Or can it be done?

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Has a Buckeye fan ever successfully reasoned with a Wolverine fan?

"Devout" christians are not seeking the truth; they are defending orthodoxy against heresy.  I do not see any point in arguing with someone like that.  When a good discussion here turns into endless point-counterpoint with one of the sword-wielding christian apologists, I tune it out.

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45 minutes ago, Bazz99 said:

I mean has anyone here ever successfully reasoned with a evangelical christian?

 

Christians do not use reason, so a discussion based on reason and logic is impossible. Their world view comes from within the Bible and they cannot see anything outside of that, so rational discussion is something their minds cannot do. They defend themselves by ignoring fact, denying reality, and using logical fallacies, all of which seems normal to them because they can't think beyond that. When backed into a corner, they'll just say, "Well I believe it so that settles it." End of discussion.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Bazz99 said:

I mean has anyone here ever successfully reasoned with a evangelical christian? Is it simply an impossible task im wasting my time with? Or can it be done?

 

I successfully reason with them. Then they continue being a Christian. 

 

It's been fun pointing out logic and rationality , blah blah blah...but generally it's a waste of time imo. And what do I really care what someone believes? My non-Christianity is not the best way for all. shrugs

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Thanks for the great replies guys.

 

I guess im still really naive in thinking that its impossible for ANY human being in this day and age to be as totally brainwashed by religion. When facts and logic are so readily at hand.

 

Religions ruins everything. I tried to reason with my christian friend yesterday. She reacted with so much hostility it scared me. Like a cornered wild animal.

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8 hours ago, midniterider said:

And what do I really care what someone believes?

Every day we seem to have a new example of something horrible done in the name of religion. Honor killings, terrorism, demon exorcism causing death, refusal of medical treatment for children and so many other examples. Religious beliefs are often dangerous to others who do not hold the belief. That is everybody's business.

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1 hour ago, Bazz99 said:

Thanks for the great replies guys.

 

I guess im still really naive in thinking that its impossible for ANY human being in this day and age to be as totally brainwashed by religion. When facts and logic are so readily at hand.

 

Religions ruins everything. I tried to reason with my christian friend yesterday. She reacted with so much hostility it scared me. Like a cornered wild animal.

 

When online apologist's get going they usually tend to put on an act until that act finally breaks down and then they're reduced to cornered animals - lashing out, cursing at times, throwing ad homs, and showing their true colors to everyone. Not the happy go lucky kind and loving christian lot that they usually pretend to be. It's no different in real time when addressing the same issues with friends or relatives. 

 

They are people belonging to a cultic religion of ego centric based self importance. It's snide and nasty, in the name of peace of love. 

 

Probably most of us were among the same general incredulous lot, who took at face value claims that we were among the elect in this world and superior to everyone one else in one way or another. That's christianity. You are right, everyone else wrong whether theist or atheist. If they're not part of your in group, they're out. It's a horrible mind fuck when put in context. And it sets people up to lash out like cornered animals when facing the possibility of being dead wrong! Ego's become rabid. Take a look at many of our recent christian guests and members. Some of them go beyond rabid to full on bat shit crazy gibberish speak. It can be quite odd to witness. 

 

Some of us interact with them anyways, knowing how it will unfold. And simply use their predicable behaviors to suite our own purposes - whatever those purposes may be. Online, those purposes are usually to bring out their true colors and let the rabid responses fly on purpose so that witnessing readers can see what's really going on. In real time, it may do some good to have them lash out so they can feel the embarrassment of having lost their cool, fake persona. And let them dwell on it for a while.....

 

 

 

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I have never seen a Christian agree to become a skeptic or the like within one discussion. But I think the "plant a seed" concept works both ways. Things that non-Christians said to me when I was a devout Christian came back into mind years later, when I was starting to have my own reasons for beginning to doubt. 

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36 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

Probably most of us were among the same general incredulous lot, who took at face value claims that we were among the elect in this world and superior to everyone one else in one way or another.

 

Realizing I was doing this is one of the things that got me going down the path I eventually went.  "Our little splinter of a church is convinced that we are right and everyone else is wrong, and I believe it because I was born into it."  It made me uncomfortable and I started looking around.

 

Then there is the conversation I once had with a fellow believer, educated and intelligent, about evolution.  I told him that the fact that molecular biology, messenger RNA, histones, and so forth, is identical in all species from man to microbes, is evidence in favor of evolution, not creation, because if god created all species from scratch they would not have to be identical like this.  I was not defending evolution per se, just pointing that out.  My friend got very agitated and insisted that the molecular similarity was evidence that god was an orderly god.  I kept telling him that it was possible to believe that, but it was not evidence per se, and that the evidence went the other way.  He just got more agitated, voice rising, and would not budge from the orderly god position, and was staring at me like, "how can you say such a thing."  It was sort of creepy.  And it made me wonder if you have to check your brain at the door to be a christian.

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Devout Christians are overwhelmingly resistant to reason coming from outside.  Those of us who left the faith are here only because at some point we cracked open the door ourselves and reason got a foot in the door.  But that door has to be opened from inside.  How that happens varies.  Many Christians have to deal with their belief that non-Christian loved ones (or even likable strangers) appear to be headed for Hell and all that that entails.  That’s a hard thing to deal with it.  That can cause some to start to question.  Others stretch Christian doctrine almost beyond recognition to allow for people they care about to escape the fire:  “at the end of the day, only God knows who is saved and I know he’s a loving, just God”.  That works for some.  But for others a big crack appears in the structure.  

 

I’ve seen a good many Christians concede that there are some troubling issues with Christian doctrine and with scripture, only to say “I choose to believe anyway”.  They tend to be rather liberal Christians, and rather harmless.  Fundamentalists can’t afford to admit to any contradictions or dilemmas, because then the whole basis of fundamentalism would collapse.

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2 hours ago, Bazz99 said:

 

I guess im still really naive in thinking that its impossible for ANY human being in this day and age to be as totally brainwashed by religion. When facts and logic are so readily at hand.

 

 

Mr Spock would tell you that humans are easily swayed by emotion and sometimes astonishingly resistant to reason and logic.  And not just in the area of religion and theology.

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1 hour ago, ficino said:

I have never seen a Christian agree to become a skeptic or the like within one discussion. But I think the "plant a seed" concept works both ways. Things that non-Christians said to me when I was a devout Christian came back into mind years later, when I was starting to have my own reasons for beginning to doubt. 

This.  Because success can be measured in different ways.  Can you change a christian's mind?  Likely not.  Can you be instrumental in helping them change their own mind?  That's entirely possible.

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2 hours ago, florduh said:

Every day we seem to have a new example of something horrible done in the name of religion. Honor killings, terrorism, demon exorcism causing death, refusal of medical treatment for children and so many other examples. Religious beliefs are often dangerous to others who do not hold the belief. That is everybody's business.

 

Should we eliminate bad behavior (bad culture) or eliminate beliefs? Should there be freedom of religion? 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, midniterider said:

 

Should we eliminate bad behavior (bad culture) or eliminate beliefs? Should there be freedom of religion? 

 

 

I don't follow. The bad behavior referenced is due directly to religious belief. I don't care if you believe in a Pink Unicorn but if that "deity" tells you to kill non believers, refuse medical treatment for a child or otherwise take the beliefs outside their own personal behavioral code, then I'd say such beliefs are dangerous psychotic behavior that needs to be addressed. Very often religious zealots do not keep their religion privately but try to influence society at large. So in answer to your question, freedom of religious belief that is benign is okay, but we don't always see that play out in real life.

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23 minutes ago, florduh said:

I don't follow. The bad behavior referenced is due directly to religious belief. I don't care if you believe in a Pink Unicorn but if that "deity" tells you to kill non believers, refuse medical treatment for a child or otherwise take the beliefs outside their own personal behavioral code, then I'd say such beliefs are dangerous psychotic behavior that needs to be addressed. Very often religious zealots do not keep their religion privately but try to influence society at large. So in answer to your question, freedom of religious belief that is benign is okay, but we don't always see that play out in real life.

 

I agree, harmful behaviors should be addressed by the legal system.

 

Benign, I dont care. Not my business to interfere. 

 

Of course there's gray area between harmful and benign. 

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As it is written, your rights end where another's begin.

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5 hours ago, midniterider said:

I agree, harmful behaviors should be addressed by the legal system.

But if the harmful behaviors are directly from the religious teachings, then what? Religion is not the problem? That's like saying Nazis aren't a problem until someone actually exterminates some Jews.

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56 minutes ago, florduh said:

But if the harmful behaviors are directly from the religious teachings, then what? Religion is not the problem? That's like saying Nazis aren't a problem until someone actually exterminates s

 

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8 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

Should we eliminate bad behavior (bad culture) or eliminate beliefs? Should there be freedom of religion? 

 

 

We should be careful here. The Soviet Union was an attempt to eliminate "bad culture", and that didn't turn out very well.

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21 hours ago, Bazz99 said:

I mean has anyone here ever successfully reasoned with a evangelical christian? Is it simply an impossible task im wasting my time with? Or can it be done?

I once put the questions in my Thought Experiment post to the pastor of a church. He side-stepped them and changed the subject to question me on the source of my Deist morality.

 

I think Christian fundamentalists have been deeply shaken over the last couple of decades. Jesus was expected to return around 1988 (forty years---a biblical generation---after the birth of the modern state of Israel). Jesus didn't come back, the Soviet Union (the great "prophetic" enemy of Israel) fell, the European Common Market (the great beast) was dissolved.....by the early '90s their whole apocalyptic scenario had fallen apart. Now they're scrambling to convert the Jews to Christianity, apparently to set things up so Jesus will return after saying in the gospels that he wouldn't be seen at the temple again until his critics learned to cry, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" They're still proclaiming that the end is near, but I suspect that underneath it all they're desperate for vindication.

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On 10/5/2019 at 9:44 AM, midniterider said:

 

Should we eliminate bad behavior (bad culture) or eliminate beliefs? Should there be freedom of religion? 

 

 

 

This, I think, is a very important question. When I first deconverted and joined ex-C, I believed (and stated on this forum) that Chritianity should be actively eliminated. I still think that at a governmental level it should be discouraged. But banning it altogether, while desirable to me, entails a lot of problems that I didn't previously consider. In theory I have no problem with burning down all the churches and publicly ostracizing those who profess belief in Jesus. The problem is that religion is an evolutionary adaptation, and those who choose to reject Christianity will usually find another channel by which to express their irrational zealotry. We need look no further than the climate justice movement. I will state at the outset that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon supported by current observation and analysis. That said, consider the large number of scientifically illiterate people who are currently admonishing us to "believe scientists" who say the world is ending in twelve years (as a scientist I can attest that this is not supported by any rigorous study whatsoever). Consider the flamboyant displays by "climate protestors" yelling at the wind and making demands that they themselves cannot clearly articulate. Consider all those who change their diets and avoid beef on the basis that doing so will marginally reduce their contribution to global carbon emissions.

 

My goodness, it usually takes religion to compel someone to change their diet, publicly proselytize, and believe in apocalyptic delusions. It is time for us to admit that what we have here is a new religious movement which has filled the power vacuum left by the decline of Christianity. I am happy that Christianity is waning in influence. But I am not so sure that I like the pseudoscientific movement that is taking its place. Climate justice seems no more desirable to me, as a scientist, than creationism does.

 

I'm not saying any of this to turn this into a political or social debate. But I bring this up because what I have described above has left me more convinced that humans have an innate, self-destructive desire to practice religion of some sort. What is the point of eliminating Christianity only to end up with something that is as bad? Are we to play a social version of whack-a-mole? It would seem to me that religion is a social version of a vestigial organ. Some of us exhibit this trait less than others. I myself am perhaps in the middle, since I choose to identify by my cultural religion of Hinduism, even though I don't believe in God. However it seems to be a rare gift to be able to live happily without any belief in a contrived higher purpose. Were we to eliminate freedom of religion, religion would likewise persist under an alternate guise such as climate justice or a similar movement.

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Bhim: The problem is that religion is an evolutionary adaptation, and those who choose to reject Christianity will usually find another channel by which to express their irrational zealotry.

 

...

 

I think you hit the nail on the head there. :)

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3 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

I think you hit the nail on the head there

The nail will adapt.

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If anyone's interested I can post a transcript of a Bible study meeting I was leading, back in 1989.  In those days I made cassette tapes of what was said, so that I could go back and learn.  I found it impossible to lead a study and to take notes, so taping it was the best option.  When I finished with Jesus I wiped every single tape except this one.  Why?  Because it illuminates how reason struggles in the face of true faith.  

 

Just to make it clear, the meeting involved five deeply devout Christians.  There were no skeptics, atheists or non-believers present.  So, this wasn't a case of an outsider finding it impossible to reason with a Christian.  Here, two Christians were finding it impossible to reason with each other.  Or, more precisely, I was finding it impossible to reason with another Christian about the words of the Bible.  Faith was getting in the way of understanding what the text was actually saying.  When I look back I can now see that this was a persistent problem in our church.  The congregation were encouraged to look at the scriptures... 'through the eyes of faith'.  They did this readily, but at the cost of using their ability to reason. 

 

Once I asked this question.  Jesus instructed his followers to... "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'  ...so, if we look at scripture with only faith, then how are we using all of our minds in the service of God?  I didn't get a satisfactory answer.

 

Anyway, in the study we were looking at 1 Corinthians 11. Sadly, we couldn't make it past the first verse.  "You are to imitate me as I imitate Christ."  

 

Please let me know if you'd like to read the transcript.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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With regard to the OP question, I refer  you to the thread "Exchristian" in Rants and Replies.

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