Best points to plant the seed of doubt
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17-02-2015, 06:51 AM
Best points to plant the seed of doubt
As everyone here knows, you can't de-convert anyone, all you can do is plant the seed. Of course most Christians have "Experiences" that they believe give them all the proof they need to believe.

I'm curious to see what everyone's top point is that seems to actually get Christians thinking and doubting their beliefs.

For me I think it would have to be:
1. There is no secondary statistical probability for people who pray. Everything happens to everyone at the same rate. Only your actions change the outcome.

2. The ten commandments. If it were written by God, there would be something about rape and slavery, instead they read just like priorities of the time period they were written.

3. Why aren't you muslim, hindu, or anything else? If faith (belief without evidence) is the reason you believe, then why don't you give them fair shake? How much sleep have you lost that they are right, and you are wrong?

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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17-02-2015, 07:09 AM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2015 07:18 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
-There is no such thing as morality, at the end of the day all claims about good and evil, amount to no more than stating your likes and dislikes.

-A life devoted to love of others, is no more meaningful or fulfilling, than a life as part of a brotherhood of violence and chaos, like that of ISIS.

-If life is a tale, then it's one told by an idiot full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

- Live whatever way you desire, when you want to steal, steal, when you want lie, lie, when you want to plunder, plunder, when you want to care, care, when you want to show compassion, show compassion. Has a nice ring to it don't you think?
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17-02-2015, 07:15 AM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
Since religious beliefs tend to be based on feelings, I'd start by getting them to empathize with people of all different faiths by exposing them to other cultures. This is especially easy now that we have the internet. Not only can we learn about these people, but we can interact with them directly, and find out they're not all that different from us (even those Scandinavians, with their evil, amoral atheism Evil_monster )

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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17-02-2015, 09:19 AM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
regarding the 10 commandments, make them read the whole story

meanwhile.... watching this video will tell you about it in an entertaining way


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17-02-2015, 01:58 PM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
(17-02-2015 06:51 AM)microterf Wrote:  I'm curious to see what everyone's top point is that seems to actually get Christians thinking and doubting their beliefs.
...
3. Why aren't you muslim, hindu, or anything else? If faith (belief without evidence) is the reason you believe, then why don't you give them fair shake? How much sleep have you lost that they are right, and you are wrong?

Other religions are a good springboard to show the arbitrary nature of a Christian's belief, so long as they aren't so deluded to believe that they have concrete proof their religion is right and others are wrong. I have talked with people like that, and they are remarkably resilient to introspection. That being said, if the person is willing to be honest about their own religious beliefs, several other religions, just off the top of my head, should give them cause to think a bit more.

Lets assume for discussion that (non-Mormon) Christianity is correct and other religions are wrong. Is it as special as Christians think?

Islam: Sure, Christianity is the largest religion (if you're willing to lump ever sect together, which is kind of problematic, but a different discussion), but Islam is also pretty huge. It boasts something like 1.5 billion followers. Islam has shown that given 1,400 years, a "false" religion can boast 1.5 billion followers. This kind of puts a damper on Christianity having 2.5 billion in 2,000 years.

This shows that given enough time and aggressive conversion, a false religion can flourish.


Mormonism: Joseph Smith not only spun a religion out of whole cloth, but he added extra-Biblical texts to the Bible; something Christians consider a big no-no. Yet, he was able to build a following of millions of people less than two hundred years of him completely fabricating this religion in a way that explicitly violates the notion of not adding anything to the Bible.

If Joseph Smith could do this, could Christianity have just been a corrupted version of Judaism?


Scientology and Wicca: I'll lump these together because they both did not exist at the time my still-living grandmother was born. There are living people older than these religions. There are people who can remember a time before anyone believed these things... yet, people totally believe them, now.

You can make something up from nothing and get someone to believe it.
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17-02-2015, 02:02 PM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2015 02:34 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
Successful deconversion requires their desire and ability to question their faith. If they are not already on the fence battling internal doubts, your dismantlement of the bible or their faith is like trying to change the tides by peeing in the water.

I plant the seeds of doubt by asking questions about their faith...why do you believe...which gives me an angle to ask more appropriate questions by letting them get to the obvious answers themselves...

I 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 and abject refusal to discuss or even consider the evidence laid out before them...this is fear, they are scared to death to be convinced their worldview is wrong.

I have however had a lot of success using a "faith is a failed 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...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 you have an even bigger crack in the armor... "So you believe in a supernatural answer to the questions that science cannot answer ONLY because they haven't 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 the anonymous authors of Luke, Mark, and Matthew took creative licence on their portrayal of jesus, the Census of Quirinius , Emperor Constantine, the life of constantine, influence of Bishop Augustine, the nicene council, how no one who EVER wrote of jesus knew him 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...like saying "well who wrote Mark?"....they reply Mark..."really? you sure? lets look that up together...I have a list of references right here...".....then you plant seeds that grow into disbelief.

My two cents..

"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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17-02-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
I've been learning about Sumerian mythology lately, it is jaw-dropping how every myth in the book of Genesis is straight from Sumeria/Babylonian myth stories. I'm just getting started on it, it's quite a bit of book reading involved, but there is no doubt that the creation myth, flood myth, and even the Tower of Babel myth come straight from the Sumerians. Judaism is the Microsoft of religions, they just steal stuff from other religions, tweak it a little and then claim it was their idea. Dodgy

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-02-2015, 03:10 PM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
(17-02-2015 02:59 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I've been learning about Sumerian mythology lately, it is jaw-dropping how every myth in the book of Genesis is straight from Sumeria/Babylonian myth stories. I'm just getting started on it, it's quite a bit of book reading involved, but there is no doubt that the creation myth, flood myth, and even the Tower of Babel myth come straight from the Sumerians. Judaism is the Microsoft of religions, they just steal stuff from other religions, tweak it a little and then claim it was their idea. Dodgy

Are you reading the book by Samuel Noah Kramer? If yes, do you recommend it? If not, what book are you reading. It sounds interesting.
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17-02-2015, 03:16 PM
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
(17-02-2015 03:10 PM)Iñigo Wrote:  
(17-02-2015 02:59 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I've been learning about Sumerian mythology lately, it is jaw-dropping how every myth in the book of Genesis is straight from Sumeria/Babylonian myth stories. I'm just getting started on it, it's quite a bit of book reading involved, but there is no doubt that the creation myth, flood myth, and even the Tower of Babel myth come straight from the Sumerians. Judaism is the Microsoft of religions, they just steal stuff from other religions, tweak it a little and then claim it was their idea. Dodgy

Are you reading the book by Samuel Noah Kramer? If yes, do you recommend it? If not, what book are you reading. It sounds interesting.

I just started reading that, so far it's already talked about Enki confusing the speech of men. It's interesting so far. Thumbsup

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-02-2015, 03:17 PM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2015 03:56 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Best points to plant the seed of doubt
After reading A Manual for Creating Atheists I've been focusing more on 'faith' as the target.

I had a modicum of success on Monday when a colleague told me that she has decided to read the Quran (for the first time) after, as she put it, she sensed physical pain when I questioned why she would believe something to be true without knowing the basis of those truth claims.

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