Dinner with a Christian
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30-07-2015, 03:53 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(30-07-2015 03:08 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 03:06 AM)HappyTiger Wrote:  Thanks for the advice guys. I don't want to go to dinner with a militant atheist attitude but I also don't want to go into the lamb's den empty handed.

If they instigate, get as militant as you want.

... like ask them for the address of their embassy and if you can borrow some matches.

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30-07-2015, 05:44 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:07 PM)HappyTiger Wrote:  Tonight I am having dinner with a few evangelical christians. The last time I saw them I was religiously ambiguous and they seemed fine by it. Probably because they thought they could proselytize me. The circumstance has changed of course.

The subject of religion will be brought up and I know I will get questioned. However I am unprepared because I am only in the beginning stages of science literacy. What useful information and arguments should I prepare myself with for tonight? What was your experience dealing with evangelics for the first time?

I can almost guarantee Pascal's Wager will be thrown at you.

Then the old "where do you get your morals from".

Maybe the "where did everything come from?" question.

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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30-07-2015, 06:19 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:07 PM)HappyTiger Wrote:  The subject of religion will be brought up and I know I will get questioned. However I am unprepared because I am only in the beginning stages of science literacy. What useful information and arguments should I prepare myself with for tonight?

Don't go there thinking you're going to win any debates. Even if you debated flawlessly, a lot of apologetics are based in logical fallacies or appeals to faith. Most apologists don't back down when proven wrong; it only strengthens their resolve.

That being said, if the topic comes up, feel free to either:

1) Say you're not interested in discussing religion. It is one of the "forbidden two" topics in polite company (the other being politics), and pressing for a debate when the other person politely declines is a blatant faux pas.

2) If you do want to discuss it with them, don't make stuff up. Admit when you've hit the end of your knowledge, and tell them you'll look into it more. It's not like you're going to a formal debate where everyone is expected to have time limits to speak and that this is the only chance you have to make your case. Feel free to look stuff up in your free time and rebut later. Chances are, they've spent a lot more time than you reading about this stuff.


In either case, I strongly suggest you not turn this into a science debate. Trying to debate things like evolution or the physical feasibility of a global flood 5,000 years ago only ends in tears. A dinner conversation isn't the kind of place where you can just submit evidence contrary to their objectively wrong world views. All you're left with are words in a debate where hard evidence isn't enough to change their minds.
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30-07-2015, 06:20 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
Plus of course... "Why do you hate God"
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30-07-2015, 06:21 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:07 PM)HappyTiger Wrote:  What was your experience dealing with evangelics for the first time?

I don't remember, exactly. I do know that I used to make a lot of bad arguments that I have since backed down from. I've learned a lot talking to people on both sides of the issue over the last four years.
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30-07-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:25 PM)DLJ Wrote:  If you're not comfortable or confident enough to challenge their claims with facts (biblical / scientific / etc.) stay focused on epistemology.

Challenge the process they use to determine what is true.

Faith (belief without evidence or in spite of evidence) loses to logic and reason every time.

Enjoy your meal

Smile

Excellent advice DLJ. And also remember that you have reality on your side.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-07-2015, 07:43 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
Don't forget to report back on how it went.
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30-07-2015, 07:47 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
There's always "How about them Vikings, eh?"


While not a really fair debate tactic - it's fun to get the blank look on their faces..


Big Grin

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The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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30-07-2015, 07:50 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:07 PM)HappyTiger Wrote:  Tonight I am having dinner with a few evangelical christians. The last time I saw them I was religiously ambiguous and they seemed fine by it. Probably because they thought they could proselytize me. The circumstance has changed of course.

The subject of religion will be brought up and I know I will get questioned. However I am unprepared because I am only in the beginning stages of science literacy. What useful information and arguments should I prepare myself with for tonight? What was your experience dealing with evangelics for the first time?

Actually If you want to really put them off their game and force them to talk about the weather or baseball instead of religion, simply ask them if there is a reliable method to distinguish what they are calling God from something they are merely imagining. In my experience this will shut them down withing a few exchanges. You may not get invited back to dinner though ever again.

Typically the Christian will answer that God is infinite or timeless or some other irrelevant piece of information. Simply answer that one can say anything one wants about something one is imagining. Say that you can imagine such a thing but that is the only way you can apprehend such a thing. There is no alternative to the imagination for this. Point out to them over and over that there is a fundamental distinction between the imaginary and the real. On this distinction the theists program falls completely apart. Ask them when you imagine their God, how is what you are imagining not imaginary. They will not be able to overcome this and it strikes right at the root of their fraud.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-07-2015, 08:45 AM
RE: Dinner with a Christian
It took me a long time to get over my pride in saying "I don't know." It's okay to to not have an answer and make a case to have to study it a little more thoroughly. In fact I would argue that this is far more intelligent then jumping to conclusions about something one doesn't know.

Christian responses for belief boil down to two arguments:

1.) You have to have faith -
This can be disputed in several ways.

A.) Define faith as "belief in something that does not exist; and pretending to know something that you don't. Using logic and rational thinking, it's very difficult to see why we would even utilize faith since we do not do so in our every day life.

B.) If faith is all we need then how do we decide which religion, which god, of the thousands and thousands to believe? That merely boils down to preference, not truth or fact because the premise is based on supernatural which cannot be measured.

2.) The Bible
This can be refuted by pointing out the countless number of inconsistencies, contradictions, absurdities etc. In fact when looked at in the view of the higher methods of criticism, (source criticism, form criticism, tradition criticism, redaction, etc.) it is quite unclear if an actual Jesus even existed. Of course, they will tell you that you must have faith. And thus begins the hamster wheel of circularity that christianity runs on.

**Crickets** -- God
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