Discussion with a Christian
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14-10-2016, 07:49 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 06:15 AM)theBorg Wrote:  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.

I am amazed this asshole is allowed to so blatantly proselytize time and again with impunity.

Anyway, @goldenarm ignore theBorg, he’s been brainwashed by the collective. Yes

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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14-10-2016, 09:48 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 06:15 AM)theBorg Wrote:  
(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.

Let me get this straight. You want the atheist to help convert the pastor to your particular brand of delusion. That's rich!

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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14-10-2016, 09:54 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
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.
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14-10-2016, 10:09 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 06:15 AM)theBorg Wrote:  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.
Catholics do have the blood. Undecided

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14-10-2016, 10:32 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 10:09 AM)LostLocke Wrote:  
(14-10-2016 06:15 AM)theBorg Wrote:  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.
Catholics do have the blood. Undecided

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist
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14-10-2016, 10:39 AM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 10:32 AM)theBorg Wrote:  
(14-10-2016 10:09 AM)LostLocke Wrote:  Catholics do have the blood. Undecided

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist
And? It says exactly that right in that article....

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14-10-2016, 10:41 AM (This post was last modified: 14-10-2016 11:25 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Discussion with a Christian
It's Borgy. He doesn't read for comprehension.

Also, this thread isn't about Borgy. We shouldn't make it about him, or let him make it about himself. Could we get a mod to split the conversation off, maybe?

EDIT: Oh, wait, DLJ already said no. Oh wells. 2ND EDIT: But we still shouldn't make it about him, or let him make it about himself.
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14-10-2016, 01:10 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 05:29 AM)TheInquisition 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 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.

Thanks that will be useful! The plot hole thing is interesting. I've never heard of that one.

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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14-10-2016, 01:14 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 06:30 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  I don't know if you have been around long enough to have read any of the post by theBorg but the safest thing you can do is ignore him. He is an idiot and a troll.
A good example is when you ask for advice on talking to a preacher as an atheist the morons advice is " convince him to be a different Christian"

To the surprise of no one.

Thanks for telling me because his post made no sense lol!

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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14-10-2016, 01:17 PM
RE: Discussion with a Christian
(14-10-2016 07:41 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(14-10-2016 07:12 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Hey asshole go troll a different thread, this kid is asking for help. You’re proselytizing and incoherent babble are not welcome.

@mods perhaps we can move this thread to the personal issues and support? Thanks.

Looks to me, like a general discussion that does not need any special protection ... in fact, theBore seems to have presented himself as a sparring partner to give goldenarm some pre-match practice.

@goldenarm, lemme know if you want this thread moved to the safe-space. If so, I'll move it and delete theBore's contributions.

Haha thanks! I'm fine for now. If it gets too out of control you can!

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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