Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
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08-07-2013, 10:45 AM
Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
The first time I went was sometime in January, so I don't recall much then. The two points I remember was on questioning God and the merits of faith.

The questioning God part, I brought up the analogy of how it wouldn't take a chef to show that a meal is poorly prepared, so not being able to question God is a cop out to me.

The second part is what I was most proud of. It started with me questioning what made Christianity different from other religions like Islam. One responded with how with Islam, you had to work for salvation, while with Christianity, you just had to accept Jesus. I pointed out that working for the faith shows that you care more than somebody that just believes something happened. One asked me how would the Muslims know if they were donating the right amount of money, I responded with how do they know they are praying to the right guy.
"Because we have faith"
"So do the Muslims."

Contrary to what you may expect, the leader of the group was actually impressed with my bravery and even wanted me back.

You may have noticed I'm still quite new to the whole debating thing. While I am enjoying the idea of pointing out absurdities, I don't want to be a dick about it. I'm curious if there is any last minute advice to look into before I attend. One question I have, is it a good idea to prepare a list of things that are questionable in the bible, so that when the context comes up, I could point out that their views run contrary to the bible?

Tonight at around 6:10 pm, Pacific Timezone, my friend is going to pick me up for the event.
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08-07-2013, 10:55 AM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
Outdated list,but surely you would find some arguments in here

and you could bring up the contradictions of being omni-everyhing.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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08-07-2013, 11:02 AM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
There is a list on the TTA website
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/r...-the-bible

Is there any way for you to find out if there is specific topic for the evening?


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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08-07-2013, 11:14 AM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
Thank you both for the links.

(08-07-2013 11:02 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  There is a list on the TTA website
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/r...-the-bible

Is there any way for you to find out if there is specific topic for the evening?
The topic for the sermon is usually a surprise, while the topic for discussion I feel is derived from the sermon in some way. The topic in the sermon that preceded the discussion mentioned in the opening post was about Jacob, AKA the guy who wrestled and beat God.
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08-07-2013, 11:44 AM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
When I was young and started to slowly lose my faith, i still went to Youth events as much as possible even though they did nothing to help me regain faith. I liked the girls I met there.

As a kid, I found out that Church-Sponsored Events were a great place to meet girls - and it's the only thing I miss about Church.
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08-07-2013, 02:49 PM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
My only advice is to see if you have time to go over the verses in the sermon, check the context, and see if there's anything fishy or hypocritical. Those kinds of obvious things shouldn't go ignored.
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08-07-2013, 03:20 PM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
Just round house kick everyone.... HYYAAAAH!

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08-07-2013, 03:29 PM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
(08-07-2013 11:44 AM)Julius Wrote:  When I was young and started to slowly lose my faith, i still went to Youth events as much as possible even though they did nothing to help me regain faith. I liked the girls I met there.

As a kid, I found out that Church-Sponsored Events were a great place to meet girls - and it's the only thing I miss about Church.

I did that too in my early teens, even though I didn't go to church anymore and had abandoned religion, I went to church youth events - to meet boys. Smile

Makes you wonder... if there were any atheists of the opposite sex, we would have never known.

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08-07-2013, 10:39 PM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2013 10:51 PM by DemonicLemon.)
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
Just returned. The youth group thing was unexpectedly replaced with a Vacation Bible School for little kids for the week.

This was after I told him I made the jump from deism to atheism in the car ride over to the event. I explained concepts like vicarious autotheism, points in our and other creatures' anatomy which weren't very intelligently designed, and how "Jesus revealing himself didn't do much for cultures like Ancient Greece.

Still got a bit of debate with my friend though. I asked him questions about why a loving god would resort to violence on a regular basis, such as the flood or the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. The former one he justified by saying that the people were just so bad, that God had no other choice, and admitted he struggled with the Pharaoh's heart thing.

The one he answered, the flood, I asked him why a god who was omniawesome would rather resort to many death's rather than use a fraction of his infinite skill to convince them all of the truth of their ways, rather than half-assing it like the bible suggests unintentionally. After pointing out other problems, my friend said that while he didn't understand it, we are incapable of understanding. That's when he said something I find interesting.

He said God gifted me with Deep Thought, and while my friend prays that I see the light and Jesus comes to me, I'll struggle with these questions until I find the answer to it all, and then use those as great ways to prove away the problem of evil and other ways to show the world "God's Love".

After the event, I mentioned how the gift of Deep Thought and how God's plan involved me using it to show the world the "truth." I tied it all back to vicarious autotheism, and how it was him that felt the plan for me and not the god he believed in.

After that, I made a mention how there are things that seem abhorrent in the bible, how there's a whole shopping list of people you are allowed to stone, such as non-virgins, disobedient kids, and homosexuals. He said that since the bible itself says homosex is wrong, he says it is too, but doesn't hate the sinner, but just the sin. I asked why he felt that way, one of them was how gay's don't feel true love. I argued that they are incapable of feeling true love with the opposite sex, or being attracted to the opposite at all. He denied that, I elaborated, and pointed out that if all they had to do to live an easy life was to not be gay, they would pick that rather than risk people tormenting them and denying their rights. He said that if they accept Jesus, they'd be better, as well as how since god never designed them to be gay, they should not practice gay sex. I enlightened him on the Bonobo and other gay animals. He also mentioned that falling in love with a man is different than with a woman. I agree with that actually, only more than he would, given that no two people love the same way, even neighbors would love drastically different.

Then we came to my house, and had a little chat before parting ways. He mentioned that I repeated points a few times, I told him that was because they weren't given a satisfying answer. He said that as long as he accepted the bible 100% on morality because it was the word of God, then it should be mostly original as well as historically accurate. I mentioned things like the Epic of Gilgamesh as well as the Canaanite Yahweh or Elohim as well as the Jews were never enslaved in Egypt. While he was okay with microevolution and an old earth creation, he still considered the bible to be fully correct.

It was time to part ways. I made sure he wasn't hurt in any way, which luckily he wasn't, though I told him that the next time he gets a chance, he should look into the 22 part "Why I am no longer a Christian". We shook hands and left, which assured me we were still friends, just with differing ideals. While I hope he breaks through the wall of questioning the Bible, he prays that I return to Christ.
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10-07-2013, 12:36 AM
RE: Friend of mine invited me to his youth group, second time
If you really want to have a powerful debate presence for atheism, I suggest you watch Matt Dillahunty from The Atheist Experience. I've learned a TON watching him in action. If your debate is of a more formal or "high brow" nature, study up on logical fallacies, and learn how to cross examine like a trial layer does. There are free videos on YouTube that will teach you effective cross examining techniques. The purpose of this is to keep the opposition on the defensive at all times.

I'm starting to get into JT Eberhart ever since Seth had him on the show. He's got some great and unique points. Practice makes prefect. I was forced to learn how to cross examine for a Pro-Se trial (representing myself) in a custody battle for my son after I fired my lawyer. I was fortunate enough to be asked to admin a FB page (shameless plug) which gets bombarded with theists looking for an ass whoopin' on a daily basis. I'm 7 months in as an atheist, but at least in text, I'm confident enough that I can refute everything from "personal experience" to the more formal Kalam argument.

I cannot stress enough, either practice, or watch others you admire in action. I like a more abrasive approach, so my style is going to favor Dillahunty or Hitchens, but that's me. If you want to be a bit more reserved and exacting, Sam Harris and Carl Sagan are who you want to look at. I feel even Seth has more of this softer style. He'd never call someone a fucktard out of frustration, I have no problem doing so.

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