Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
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14-07-2014, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2014 08:30 PM by smileXsmileXsmile.)
Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
lets chat but keep it short and sweet. How do you approach the atheism/theism conversation with someone that claims they are not atheist?


I have some mental bullet points that have gone well for me. Usually I start with defining the word believe, because too many people use that as a crutch, which leads to blind faith. Last time I had this convo with a theist, I had to put the convo on pause to define the word faith. Sometimes I'll set up a hypothetical philosophical senario; if your brain was wiped clean and you had to choose one book which would you choose the pastafarian bible vs the christian bible, and why? because essentially they're the same argument.

Does anyone have a short and sweet way to get their point across, without getting into creationism or anything crazy like that? I'd be interested to hear the mental bullet points you use to try to explain to people why you/we think what we think.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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14-07-2014, 10:35 PM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
It all depends on the outcomes that I want to facilitate.

I usually start with ...
There is no god but Allah and Mohammed was his messenger.



Or sometimes just the shortened four word version Wink

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14-07-2014, 10:50 PM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
(14-07-2014 08:13 PM)smileXsmileXsmile Wrote:  lets chat but keep it short and sweet. How do you approach the atheism/theism conversation with someone that claims they are not atheist?


I have some mental bullet points that have gone well for me. Usually I start with defining the word believe, because too many people use that as a crutch, which leads to blind faith. Last time I had this convo with a theist, I had to put the convo on pause to define the word faith. Sometimes I'll set up a hypothetical philosophical senario; if your brain was wiped clean and you had to choose one book which would you choose the pastafarian bible vs the christian bible, and why? because essentially they're the same argument.

Does anyone have a short and sweet way to get their point across, without getting into creationism or anything crazy like that? I'd be interested to hear the mental bullet points you use to try to explain to people why you/we think what we think.

I simply point to indoctrination, and tell people they only believe in Christianity because they were indoctrinated to believe in it, and that there are billions of Muslims in the Middle East who are just as sure that Islam is right and Christianity is wrong for the same reason. If you grow up in Saudi Arabia, you are also guaranteed to grow up being indoctrinated with a belief in Islam.

In order for anyone's belief to be logical in any way, they have to come up with some reason other than indoctrination for why their particular religion is right. You'll see some people claim that they were formerly atheist before they became a believer, but that is pretty much always a bullshit lie to get people to believe that somebody was convinced by Christianity (or some other religion), to join that religion's side. I'm sure that there have been people that were not brought up to believe in anything in particular, and later joined a religion simply because they wanted something to believe in, but I have NEVER seen somebody who was a stone cold atheist turn around and become religious.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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19-07-2014, 08:07 AM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
indoctrination is a great one.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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19-07-2014, 09:02 AM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
To my mind it all depends on the motives of the conversation...


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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19-07-2014, 10:22 AM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
I used to debate daily, and have a lot of experience with different types of debaters. If it is a literal word of god as per the bible theist, just pat them on the head and walk away. I have spent hours systematically dismantling this belief basis (bible) all just to get the GODDIDIT escapism excuse, or my absolute favorite, "I don't care what you can prove, I still believe". Facepalm

I have however had a lot of success using "Manual for creating an atheist" by peter boghossian.. book's epistemology approach. You don't criticize the individual as that just makes them go defensive, you don't attack the religion itself as that just gets you dogged down with hours of discussion on how this and that proves or disproves the bible..which I enjoy doing, but it is a time suck. You focus on the faith..."why do you believe"....if they answer the bible says so, it is the true word of god....I play to their ego..."okay, well surely as an intelligent human being, you have put more thought into it than just basing your faith, which is the belief in something without evidence, on a book right? So think about it for a minute, why do you believe?"

If they say something like "well the complexity of the world, you know, it is impossible this all happened by accident"...then you go with "okay, well just for the sake of discussion, because a close minded person has stopped learning, and I know you are willing to learn right?...lets say that if tomorrow science could answer all of your complexity questions...would you still believe? If they say yes, then you reply "great! so we have established that you don't believe based solely on complexity, just because science has not advanced enough yet to answer all the questions, so we can just take that off the table for the moment......so again, why do you believe..."

then you start whittling down the basis of faith more, gently discuss how using faith as a methodology for learning has been proven to be a failed epistemology. If a belief is based on insufficient evidence, than any further conclusion drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value. This can not point one to the path of truth. The only thing faith can teach you, is the myth itself.

If they say no, then it is a done deal. "So you believe in a supernatural answer to the questions that science cannot answer ONLY because they havent been answered yet. I am confident you see that isn't a solid position on such an important question right? Surely you see this is not a valid way to learn knowledge? There are far better methods of logic and reason that are backed up with empirical evidence that we can utilize to answer these important questions." Lets look at the basis of faith together...where we as humans got the idea of god in the first place, lets discuss the creation of jesus the son of god story, what greek myths it was based on, how Luke took creative licence on his portrayal of jesus, the Census of Quirinius , Emperor Constantine, the life of constantine, the nicene council, and the actual authors of the various books of the bible, how no one who wrote of jesus ever met him, etc etc (this is when you start dismantling the belief system piece by piece without being overly helpful, lay the questioning attitude on them, bring up the subjects, let them take themselves down the path to the truth...then you plant seeds that grow into disbelief.

etcetc

If the theist sticks to quoting scripture, I dont even get engaged with that anymore, it is senseless. One cannot quote scriptures (argument from authority) as a proof of anything. If it is someone I think I can reach, I might spend time slinging scriptures back and forth a few times, then lean hard on the formation and creation of the bible, ( http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm ) is a great source,. If it is someone who is just a closed minded fundamentalist who believes in the literal word of the bible, I just match their scriptures with some of the following I created:

Goldilocks 1:14 - Thou shalt not sleep in someone else's bed.

Little Red Riding Hood 3:37 - Thou shalt not make fun of grandma's big mouth.

Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe 2:22 - Thou shalt not have more children then one can feed.

Hanzel and Gretel 5:17 - Thou shalt not eat an old witch's house.

The point being, quoting myth and controversy as a validation of ANYTHING is a moot point.

Drooling

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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19-07-2014, 11:13 AM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
The trouble I tend to have is that I don't talk to skilled debaters or educated people.

It is doing this on a simple level that is an art I find. The minute you use a concept or word that is not common usage, like you would hear at the dinner table, they close shut because they are not going to want to learn or admit they don't understand.

If the bible is quoted and they are not familiar with it, they shut down.

If anything smells of the slightest confrontation, they shut down.

So it becomes a matter of KISS - keep it simple, stupid!

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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21-07-2014, 09:45 AM
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
ASK the person if they're interested in debate and/or religious discussion.

If you just start talking about it, you come off as pretentious and confrontational. It just looks like you're trying to instigate an argument or start a fight for S&Gs instead of actually trying to learn/teach and have clear and honest dialog.

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21-07-2014, 11:54 AM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2014 12:08 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
Well said KC. it is my personal opinion that all, or at the very least, the vast majority of creationists/theists fight some level of inner doubt. I feel the more intelligent and educated they are, the more of that inner doubt exists. BUT, as you implied, if they are not even willing to discuss it, it is just as annoying to "preach" to them the error of their ways as it is for them to preach to a non believer. I find the most intriguing discussions I have had have been with highly educated and intelligent believers who have a balanced approach to their faith, as in they recognize the bible is largely a huge parable, written by well meaning folk attempting to support their faith's message...they can speak science fluently, can dabble pretty deep into various philosophical views and are quite the hard nut to crack...in those scenarios, we both learn...in the end, few change teams....but I bet their inner doubt grows a bit more after the dust settles if I made a solid valid and substantiated point or two.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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22-07-2014, 08:14 AM (This post was last modified: 22-07-2014 08:20 AM by smileXsmileXsmile.)
RE: Approaching the Atheism/Theism convo w. someone
Another mental bullet point: I keep in mind or even say, that we're both on the same team. We are both trying to be the most rational person and come up with the most probable explanation for things.

Hell, I'm even open to changing MY thinking if you can change my mind, and believe me, I'm all ears. Like a scientist, if I'm presented with a new perspective I am completely open to changing my mind, given the thought is rational.

Another mental bullet point: I also give a warning that I'm very well educated in this topic, and that I spend more time researching different religions then they spend reading and studying the bible, and going to church. I give a heads up that I have my 'ducks in a row' so they don't get caught too off guard. Like I said, we're on the same team, there's no reason not to be transparent.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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