Discussion with a Christian
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13-10-2016, 10:59 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 would simply like to say to keep in mind that you do not have to justify your lack of belief. Given the total lack of any objective evidence, your stance is the only rational one. Whatever else, don't let him put you on the defensive, defending your lack of belief. Keep the discussion on his belief and keep him on the defensive. Ask him by what means he is aware of his god. Is he directly aware of it? If so by what means. If he is not directly aware of it and instead infers its existence ask him what his starting point is. Ask him to show the logical steps he takes from his starting point to reach his conclusion that a god exists. Most likely he'll say his starting point is the Bible in which case I'd tell him his reasoning is fallaciously circular and get up, thank him for his time and leave. If he claims some other means such as personal revelation, ask him how he distinguishes this other means from his imagination. If he tries to redirect the discussion bring it back to the issue of how he knows what he claims to know just as you plan to do according to what you say in your opening post. If he starts to get agitated or angry you know you are on the right track. Keep it up.

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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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14-10-2016, 01:07 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
You might also print off a list of 100 or so names of other gods he lacks a belief in, then explain to him that he is an atheist when it comes to a belief in these gods.

"So, good sir, why do lack a belief in these gods ?"

Really press him about WHY he doesnt believe in them.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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14-10-2016, 04:48 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(13-10-2016 09:13 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Before you have your discussion with him, ask him to research how the bible came to be organized as a book and who decided which books would be part of the bible and which ones wouldn't.

Then ask him to research all the various intentional changes as well as the accidental ones that happened as new versions were copied. Of all of those different versions, which one does he believe is authentic ?

There has never been an instruction from a god to build a bible. Men did this of their own free will.

Okay thanks! Sounds good
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14-10-2016, 04:50 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(13-10-2016 10:30 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Cut him off at the knees by stating unequivocally that the Bible is the claim and not the proof. Using the Bible to prove the Bible is a circular argument and you aren’t willing to debate its merits.

As soon as you say this it takes away whatever perceived power he draws from that sordid book.

Discussing the merits of scripture is a waste of time and a losing proposition for you, people and scholars have been dissecting the Bible for a thousand years and nothing has been gained. For those who believe it nothing will shake their faith, for those who don’t we find it horrifying.

Another tool in your arsenal is responding with such phrases as, “I don’t know” and “I’ll have to think about that”. Most of the time these will be the honest answers. I guarantee if you refuse to talk about Bible verses he’ll hit you up with questions regarding the beginning of the universe and how it came to be and other currently unanswerable questions, responding by saying, “I don’t know” and nothing else gives him no fuel for his fire.

Don’t try to be smarter, just be polite and uncommitted.
Thanks! Will do!
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14-10-2016, 04:56 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(13-10-2016 10:59 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(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 would simply like to say to keep in mind that you do not have to justify your lack of belief. Given the total lack of any objective evidence, your stance is the only rational one. Whatever else, don't let him put you on the defensive, defending your lack of belief. Keep the discussion on his belief and keep him on the defensive. Ask him by what means he is aware of his god. Is he directly aware of it? If so by what means. If he is not directly aware of it and instead infers its existence ask him what his starting point is. Ask him to show the logical steps he takes from his starting point to reach his conclusion that a god exists. Most likely he'll say his starting point is the Bible in which case I'd tell him his reasoning is fallaciously circular and get up, thank him for his time and leave. If he claims some other means such as personal revelation, ask him how he distinguishes this other means from his imagination. If he tries to redirect the discussion bring it back to the issue of how he knows what he claims to know just as you plan to do according to what you say in your opening post. If he starts to get agitated or angry you know you are on the right track. Keep it up.
Great! Thank you so much because I will definitely utilize all of those tools.
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14-10-2016, 04:58 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 01:07 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  You might also print off a list of 100 or so names of other gods he lacks a belief in, then explain to him that he is an atheist when it comes to a belief in these gods.

"So, good sir, why do lack a belief in these gods ?"

Really press him about WHY he doesnt believe in them.

Thanks! Got it.
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14-10-2016, 05:01 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
I think attacking their scripture is misguided. It lends a certain unwarranted credence to it. Instead I attack their bullshit proposition that there is a postmortem preservation of identity. I make them argue for dualism instead of defending their scripture.

#sigh
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14-10-2016, 05:21 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
Using a bit of sarcasm and mockery is effective. The title "Pastor" means a leader of sheep . Let him know right from the start you are not a sheep.

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14-10-2016, 05:29 AM
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 would probably get him off track with an obscure but ridiculous part of the bible, I would just state that the bible is a story book with ridiculous things in it, like people living several hundred years. He would have to defend this, but to defend that assertion would require the "E" word- Evidence.

He has no place to run, all of his apologetics would be trying to reinterpret or excuse this ridiculous assertion in the bible.

I would enjoy referring to obscure criticisms, simply state the ridiculous nature of these stories and then point to plot holes in the bible. A good plot hole is where Noah releases birds after the deluge to determine if there is any dry land. Noah had no way to steer the ark, so it wouldn't matter if he found dry land or not, besides he was relying on god to do the steering of the ark anyway, so this is a plot hole in the story.

This is also an example of the story of Noah duplicating the Epic of Gilgamesh story, so that leads right back to the mythical nature of it.

Plot holes reveal the man made nature of the bible and no amount of aplogetic hand-waiving can change it.

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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14-10-2016, 06:15 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(13-10-2016 07:50 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  .................
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?

It is not easy to influence a theist. But try ask him this Biblical question, please:

"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52 KJV).

If he is not from Eastern Orthodox Church, he would say "oh, this has only a spiritual meaning." But if he is from the Catholic theism, then ask this question:
why do you not have the blood? See: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood..." John 6:53 KJV.

But be very polite. Let the human start his journey to the Verity, to the True Church.
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