"It doesn't work that way."
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29-01-2015, 09:55 PM
"It doesn't work that way."
Is a common Christian ad hoc statement to answer a difficult question. My parents used to say this to me all the time when I was a kid, too.

Example: Q - "Why doesn't god answer my prayers? Bible says if I have faith in him my prayers will be answered" -> A - "It doesn't work that way."

What are your ways of refuting this fallacious statement?
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29-01-2015, 09:58 PM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
Simple... Ask them how it actually works.

And then ask them how they know.

They might give a crude answer to the first question. But the second one, they'll probably just say some shit about "having faith".

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29-01-2015, 10:22 PM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
It doesn’t work that way?

actually

It doesn’t work at all.

“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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29-01-2015, 10:59 PM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
"Bible says..."
Bible does not work that way

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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30-01-2015, 06:51 AM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
(29-01-2015 09:55 PM)Bear100 Wrote:  What are your ways of refuting this fallacious statement?

It can't really be refuted, because it falls squarely into not even wrong territory, which is sort of the whole point. It isn't so much meant to provide a positive answer to a question, but more to swat a negative question away. It's kind of like the whole "well you can't prove I don't have a baseball, so just assume I do" bullshit. That being said, if I felt like addressing it, I would first declare it ad hoc (as you already did), and then try one of two approaches:

1) Sam's approach. When they give their answer, it will likely be indistinguishable from not working at all, and be sure to point this out. Note how many things that are supposed to "work" are demonstrably less effective than their real-world counterparts. For example:
  • Medicine vs prayer (most Christians will feel you're foolish for choosing faith healing over medicine)
  • Seat belts vs guardian angels (or whatever is supposed to keep us safe)
  • Indoctrination vs the Holy Spirit (why else does religious belief conform so well to certain regions on the globe?)
  • Mental illness/lying vs speaking in tongues (most Christians I know are actually quite skeptical of claims like these, even if the claims are completely Biblical)
  • Mental illness/lying vs seeing angels (see above)

2) Make up an equally absurd claim to show them the absurdity of theirs. It can't be too absurd, or they'll dismiss it out of hand. Point out something about leprechauns, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and how no one ever finds it because it "doesn't work that way". Come up with a stupid ad hoc excuse like "only the pure of heart can find it" or "only people who believe in leprechauns can find it". Those are great because they're perfect analogs for the "faith as a mustard seed" bullshit from the Gospels.
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30-01-2015, 07:13 AM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
(29-01-2015 10:59 PM)cactus Wrote:  "Bible says..."
Bible does not work that way

Fixt

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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30-01-2015, 08:40 AM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
(30-01-2015 07:13 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(29-01-2015 10:59 PM)cactus Wrote:  "Bible says..."
Bible does not work that way

Fixt

The Bible works pretty well, actually... as a deconversion tool.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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30-01-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
As a door stopper, maybe...
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30-01-2015, 08:55 AM (This post was last modified: 30-01-2015 09:00 AM by Ace.)
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
bible does work............................ as a substitute for toilet paper Laugh out load (I just couldn't resist using this line)


besides that it can be used as a deconversion tool which is ironic
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30-01-2015, 09:10 AM
RE: "It doesn't work that way."
Actually your parents are right, it doesn't work that way at all.

You should have said, "You're right, it doesn't work that way, now let's figure out why it doesn't work. Let's start with why I thought praying to a god would change anything.

I read it in a book and I believed what I read at face value. I didn't question it, but now I am. That book was created by humans, altered and changed throughout the centuries. Its not the word of a god. Its the word of people who want to control the masses and hold power over them with rewards and punishment after death.

So it doesn't work because there is in fact, no biblical god that people wrote about. It is all a human invention."

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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