Discussion with a Christian
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19-10-2016, 06:19 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(19-10-2016 01:17 PM)theBorg Wrote:  The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy Trinity BY THE DEFINITION OF THE BIBLE. Capisce?

See: if in the text B is written, what it came from HT, then indeed, the B came from HT. By definition of the B.

If there is no HT, then there is no sense in B. If there is no B, then there is no point in having the HT.

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19-10-2016, 06:39 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(19-10-2016 01:17 PM)theBorg Wrote:  
(19-10-2016 12:16 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Prove it!

The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy Trinity BY THE DEFINITION OF THE BIBLE. Capisce?

See: if in the text B is written, what it came from HT, then indeed, the B came from HT. By definition of the B.

If there is no HT, then there is no sense in B. If there is no B, then there is no point in having the HT.

You've never been within 100 miles of a logic text, have you? Your proof fails and how!

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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20-10-2016, 12:46 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(19-10-2016 01:17 PM)theBorg Wrote:  
(19-10-2016 12:16 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Prove it!

The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy BULLSHIT. Capisce?

Bullshit in bold letters is still bullshit....just in bold letters Big Grin

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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20-10-2016, 01:56 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(20-10-2016 12:46 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(19-10-2016 01:17 PM)theBorg Wrote:  The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy BULLSHIT. Capisce?

Bullshit in bold letters is still bullshit....just in bold letters Big Grin

"Bullshit in Bold Letters" is a pretty good title for the next Chuck Palahniuk novel.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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20-10-2016, 02:56 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(19-10-2016 07:44 AM)theBorg Wrote:  The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy Trinity. Thus, the trace goes beyond the natural realm.

Can you cite a reference that supports this assertion? Or is this simply nothing more than a guess on your part? In effect, you're saying that your god wrote the bible, and the bible confirms that your god exists.

This is an absurd circular argument.Facepalm

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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05-08-2017, 12:48 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 09:54 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  A lot of advice to give. You're of course free to ignore it or not as you choose.

First, to quickly get it out of the way, bear in mind that Borgy is very much a Christian of the "attempt to persuade people to Christ" variety. (And failing miserably.) His advice is not an attempt to help you. It's an attempt to get his religion's hooks back into you. (Though he might think that counts as helping you.) We have some Christians here who will actually help you in YOUR goals. Borg is not one of them.

Moving on...

My top piece of advice is going into both this conversation, and subsequent conversations with your family, with a clear set of your goals... and those goals should be minimal. Your purpose, in these conversations, should be to create a bit of space and freedom for yourself, to come away with what you need to survive as a human being and as a free thinker. Stick to those minimal goals for at least six months. Don't get overambitious and try to branch out into deconverting anyone, or you run the risk of losing on those basics.

What do you need to survive as a human being? Shelter, food, clothing, medical care, etc, which in today's society mostly boils down to money. But the ability to get a good job also depends on college nowadays (or at least a trade school) and that's something worth defending too. How dependent are you on your parents? Are they paying for your college? Are you living in their home and eating at their table? Do you already have your own job? If they cut you off and kicked you out on the street today -- not necessarily likely, but it does happen -- how would you survive? Would it be easy or would it be a challenge?

What do you need to survive as a free thinker? You need the ability to speak your mind, the ability to have conversations with people on these topics without fear of retribution, the ability to explore subjects through books and contact with people without having these things restricted, and a bit of space to be alone with your thoughts and process without being subject to constant propaganda from a single side.

What's the best, easiest, and most likely way of achieving these things? I'd say that it's to establish a degree of respect for what you're doing, and that requires establishing what it is you're doing as something respectable. They might disagree with your beliefs (or absence thereof), they might think you're in dangerous territory spiritually, but at least they can admire your virtues. If you can get that far, that should be enough to maintain many of your friendships and your family relationships, as well as demand your intellectual freedom.

So, you're on a search for truth. That's something that demands respect in its own right. You're shining a very careful, very investigative light on things and trying to evaluate them in a way that most people don't. No, you don't need me to tell you this, but you need to tell EVERYONE this... and show it in everything you do. Force every conversation about religion back to this, your agenda, and reframe it in the light of evaluating its truth. If it comes to arguments about morality, clad yourself in the armor of honesty and integrity and cast off anything approaching a lie or even apathy towards the truth. Claim that high ground for yourself... but only in defense. If they suggest you pretend to get along with people, ask how living a lie is honest.... but don't accuse them of dishonesty. If they employ one of the spurious "believe it's true because you would want it to be true" types of arguments, point out that they don't address the question of whether it's true or not and thus doesn't satisfy your quest... but don't accuse them of not caring whether it's true. Putting them down won't give you your space. It will just get them to counterattack in ways you might not be equipped to defend against.

This is also your best defense against the common accusations that you're just rebelling, or just going through a phase. Is seeking the truth a bad phase to go through? Isn't that a good thing to do, regardless of whether it counts as rebellion? Keep the focus on WHAT you're doing, and its merits, rather than why you're doing it. Act as if the quest for truth is its own justification, reason enough in itself for itself.

You asked for advice specifically about this conversation with your pastor, and that's a good time to start establishing this. Your goal shouldn't be to make a good argument for atheism or against the Bible, not with your words. Your goal should be simply establishing that you're doing what you're doing for good reasons... and you should do that through your actions, as well as explicit words.

So, bring a notebook. Take careful notes. Ask the pastor to slow down and carefully repeat things so you can get them down accurately. GET a dedicated notebook just for this task. Pay attention to what's said, and when he makes a point, good or bad, tell him to give you a minute or two to process it. Think it through carefully before replying. You might have an easy, off-the-cuff answer ready, but still take a minute to think it through. Maybe you'll catch one of your own errors, but either way you'll be signalling that you're taking this SERIOUSLY. If after a minute or two you haven't got an answer, or are doubtful about the answer, or are still not sure you understand the point, either ask a clarifying question to keep that thread of the conversation going, or say that you're making a note to think on that, a lot, over the next few days or weeks. (And do so.)

(This is a good tactic for when others in your circle want to push conversations about faith on you. If they throw a one-off barb your way, respond with, "hold on, let me get my notebook" and turn it into a much bigger, much more serious conversation than they were prepared for. If you're in a time and place where that's not convenient, make a strong effort to schedule time for an in-depth conversation with them. Respond to all of these things in a manner that shows you take it very seriously, and which invites and challenges them to take it as seriously as you do.)

Try to keep the focus on HOW things are known, and whether these methods of knowing things are reliable paths to truth. This is called epistemology. It is both Christianity's greatest weakness, and also your greatest strength in establishing yourself as a truth-seeker.

Questions are your biggest friend here. The help establish you as someone who's seeking truth (rather than convinced that you've already found it). But more than that, questions are less confrontational than hard declarations. They invite conversation rather than conflict and burrow down into issues better. They put the burden on other people to answer your question than on yourself to back up a point... and when you're on the defensive, that's a good thing. If you're looking for book recommendations, I'd point you towards anything related to Socrates just for that questioning technique alone.

One example I'll give of this technique with a pastor is... how do we know the Bible is true? Why would we suspect it is? For example, let's look at Revelations. The Bible was assembled by the Council of Nicea. They brought together many existing books and gospels, including some and rejecting others. Why did they include Revelations? John the Revelator admits straight out that the whole thing was a dream. How did the Council fact-check it? How did they determine whether it was an actual vision, versus just a normal dream, or the result of having the wrong mushrooms for dinner, or for that matter an outright fabrication? For that matter how did JOHN determine it was a vision rather than just a dream? All of this reflects on the standards of truth by those who assembled the Bible, which in turn reflects on the reliability of the Bible itself. Did they just have faith in it? Why did they have faith in that book, but not the books they rejected? I'm not saying to ask this line of questions... but I'm providing it as an example of the sort of questions to ask.

Anyhow, that's my advice. In a nutshell...

tl;dr: Establish that what's going on with you is that you're engaged in truth-seeking, and try to establish some respect for that. Do not attack or get aggressive. Focus on Socratic questions rather than arguments, take things seriously, and take lots and lots of notes. Follow up on those notes.

I just read this again and I have to say thank you. I'm going to be using this today on my dad and I recently came across " Street Epistemology" and I have a much better understand now about what you were trying to tell me.

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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05-08-2017, 06:48 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(05-08-2017 12:48 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  
(14-10-2016 09:54 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  A lot of advice to give. You're of course free to ignore it or not as you choose.

First, to quickly get it out of the way, bear in mind that Borgy is very much a Christian of the "attempt to persuade people to Christ" variety. (And failing miserably.) His advice is not an attempt to help you. It's an attempt to get his religion's hooks back into you. (Though he might think that counts as helping you.) We have some Christians here who will actually help you in YOUR goals. Borg is not one of them.

Moving on...

My top piece of advice is going into both this conversation, and subsequent conversations with your family, with a clear set of your goals... and those goals should be minimal. Your purpose, in these conversations, should be to create a bit of space and freedom for yourself, to come away with what you need to survive as a human being and as a free thinker. Stick to those minimal goals for at least six months. Don't get overambitious and try to branch out into deconverting anyone, or you run the risk of losing on those basics.

What do you need to survive as a human being? Shelter, food, clothing, medical care, etc, which in today's society mostly boils down to money. But the ability to get a good job also depends on college nowadays (or at least a trade school) and that's something worth defending too. How dependent are you on your parents? Are they paying for your college? Are you living in their home and eating at their table? Do you already have your own job? If they cut you off and kicked you out on the street today -- not necessarily likely, but it does happen -- how would you survive? Would it be easy or would it be a challenge?

What do you need to survive as a free thinker? You need the ability to speak your mind, the ability to have conversations with people on these topics without fear of retribution, the ability to explore subjects through books and contact with people without having these things restricted, and a bit of space to be alone with your thoughts and process without being subject to constant propaganda from a single side.

What's the best, easiest, and most likely way of achieving these things? I'd say that it's to establish a degree of respect for what you're doing, and that requires establishing what it is you're doing as something respectable. They might disagree with your beliefs (or absence thereof), they might think you're in dangerous territory spiritually, but at least they can admire your virtues. If you can get that far, that should be enough to maintain many of your friendships and your family relationships, as well as demand your intellectual freedom.

So, you're on a search for truth. That's something that demands respect in its own right. You're shining a very careful, very investigative light on things and trying to evaluate them in a way that most people don't. No, you don't need me to tell you this, but you need to tell EVERYONE this... and show it in everything you do. Force every conversation about religion back to this, your agenda, and reframe it in the light of evaluating its truth. If it comes to arguments about morality, clad yourself in the armor of honesty and integrity and cast off anything approaching a lie or even apathy towards the truth. Claim that high ground for yourself... but only in defense. If they suggest you pretend to get along with people, ask how living a lie is honest.... but don't accuse them of dishonesty. If they employ one of the spurious "believe it's true because you would want it to be true" types of arguments, point out that they don't address the question of whether it's true or not and thus doesn't satisfy your quest... but don't accuse them of not caring whether it's true. Putting them down won't give you your space. It will just get them to counterattack in ways you might not be equipped to defend against.

This is also your best defense against the common accusations that you're just rebelling, or just going through a phase. Is seeking the truth a bad phase to go through? Isn't that a good thing to do, regardless of whether it counts as rebellion? Keep the focus on WHAT you're doing, and its merits, rather than why you're doing it. Act as if the quest for truth is its own justification, reason enough in itself for itself.

You asked for advice specifically about this conversation with your pastor, and that's a good time to start establishing this. Your goal shouldn't be to make a good argument for atheism or against the Bible, not with your words. Your goal should be simply establishing that you're doing what you're doing for good reasons... and you should do that through your actions, as well as explicit words.

So, bring a notebook. Take careful notes. Ask the pastor to slow down and carefully repeat things so you can get them down accurately. GET a dedicated notebook just for this task. Pay attention to what's said, and when he makes a point, good or bad, tell him to give you a minute or two to process it. Think it through carefully before replying. You might have an easy, off-the-cuff answer ready, but still take a minute to think it through. Maybe you'll catch one of your own errors, but either way you'll be signalling that you're taking this SERIOUSLY. If after a minute or two you haven't got an answer, or are doubtful about the answer, or are still not sure you understand the point, either ask a clarifying question to keep that thread of the conversation going, or say that you're making a note to think on that, a lot, over the next few days or weeks. (And do so.)

(This is a good tactic for when others in your circle want to push conversations about faith on you. If they throw a one-off barb your way, respond with, "hold on, let me get my notebook" and turn it into a much bigger, much more serious conversation than they were prepared for. If you're in a time and place where that's not convenient, make a strong effort to schedule time for an in-depth conversation with them. Respond to all of these things in a manner that shows you take it very seriously, and which invites and challenges them to take it as seriously as you do.)

Try to keep the focus on HOW things are known, and whether these methods of knowing things are reliable paths to truth. This is called epistemology. It is both Christianity's greatest weakness, and also your greatest strength in establishing yourself as a truth-seeker.

Questions are your biggest friend here. The help establish you as someone who's seeking truth (rather than convinced that you've already found it). But more than that, questions are less confrontational than hard declarations. They invite conversation rather than conflict and burrow down into issues better. They put the burden on other people to answer your question than on yourself to back up a point... and when you're on the defensive, that's a good thing. If you're looking for book recommendations, I'd point you towards anything related to Socrates just for that questioning technique alone.

One example I'll give of this technique with a pastor is... how do we know the Bible is true? Why would we suspect it is? For example, let's look at Revelations. The Bible was assembled by the Council of Nicea. They brought together many existing books and gospels, including some and rejecting others. Why did they include Revelations? John the Revelator admits straight out that the whole thing was a dream. How did the Council fact-check it? How did they determine whether it was an actual vision, versus just a normal dream, or the result of having the wrong mushrooms for dinner, or for that matter an outright fabrication? For that matter how did JOHN determine it was a vision rather than just a dream? All of this reflects on the standards of truth by those who assembled the Bible, which in turn reflects on the reliability of the Bible itself. Did they just have faith in it? Why did they have faith in that book, but not the books they rejected? I'm not saying to ask this line of questions... but I'm providing it as an example of the sort of questions to ask.

Anyhow, that's my advice. In a nutshell...

tl;dr: Establish that what's going on with you is that you're engaged in truth-seeking, and try to establish some respect for that. Do not attack or get aggressive. Focus on Socratic questions rather than arguments, take things seriously, and take lots and lots of notes. Follow up on those notes.

I just read this again and I have to say thank you. I'm going to be using this today on my dad and I recently came across " Street Epistemology" and I have a much better understand now about what you were trying to tell me.

Oh, hey, wow. Welcome back. Glad you're still finding that old post of value.

Street Epistemology is pretty potent stuff, from what I can tell, but tricky to pull off. Best of luck with your dad!
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05-08-2017, 07:41 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(13-10-2016 07:50 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  I've told my parents that I would talk to a Christian about my lack of belief as long as they understood their bible better than the average Christian. Pretty soon I will be meeting with a guy who used to be my parent's Pastor. He is intelligent and will prob be on a mission to convert me. He's not on a William Lane Craig level, but he's up there in terms of his bible knowledge so our discussion should be interesting.

I plan on approaching with, " What do you believe and why?. Why should I believe it?" Finally, I have some good arguments too incase they're needed. I will of course be open minded, but I don't want to get tricked either. Any advice?

I've reached the point where I will no longer debate the existence of God with anyone. To do so would be to commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. So the question really isn't debatable in reason. I would ask him how he reconciles theism's inherent subjectivism with the primacy of existence and refuse to discuss anything else. If he can't do that then there is no point in discussing further with him. This means the discussion would end quickly because the two can not be reconciled.

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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05-08-2017, 11:12 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(05-08-2017 06:48 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(05-08-2017 12:48 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  I just read this again and I have to say thank you. I'm going to be using this today on my dad and I recently came across " Street Epistemology" and I have a much better understand now about what you were trying to tell me.

Oh, hey, wow. Welcome back. Glad you're still finding that old post of value.

Street Epistemology is pretty potent stuff, from what I can tell, but tricky to pull off. Best of luck with your dad!

I agree and it's something I want to keep practicing. It went good with my dad, but my mom wanted to talk to me first and that went horrible. I started off asking her questions and it was going good then I asked what method she would recommend I use to dinstinguish between her religion or another religion being true because she said you have to have faith.

It got really personal only because she is my mother and knows my history. She brought up when I was on fire for God at this youth service in Florida a few years ago. She said I should just pray to those other gods and see if I feel the same presence that I felt in Florida. She stared mocking how muslims pray Worship Slaves and it got really heated out of nowhere. Then she blamed my girlfriend and said I'm missing my calling to be a pastor because I'm afraid that I will upset my girlfriend(which is the opposite because my girlfriend wants me to be a Christian). Then she started threatening me saying that when the rapture comes and I get left behind I will be saying," Man I was wrong." I told her she didn't have to get so personal, but she said," With God it is personal." So I got up and left.

With my dad, however, the conversation was much better. I asked some good questions and made progress. Unfortunately it didn't go as far as I wanted because I was so frustrated from what my mom said. It cut deep and pissed me off.

Anyways thank you and whether it's my dad or someone else I won't give up. I didn't want to talk to my mom, but if I talked to my dad I had to talk to her. I know I didn't approach it wrong because I wasn't confrontational. She just got really emotional being my own mother and all. Peace Banana_zorro

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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06-08-2017, 02:13 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
Hug

Heart

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