The rabid true believer is beyond conversion and it's pissing in the wind to try. There is, however, a bunch of "go along " christians that are worth the effort - that is until they play the stupid card..
..........but what was Frantz Fanon referring to (in French) and translated ? He was a psychiatrist and might be describing a mental illness, perhaps in relation to colonised and oppressed people. That's what is sounds like to me.
Maybe so, Nappy.
It's a nicer way of saying "you can't cure stupid"
The problem often is, they are not stupid, some of them. Many believers are remarkably intelligent in other ways. They just have this blind spot when it comes to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The intelligent believer is the thing that has bothered me most since I stopped believing. Andrew Sullivan, who debated Sam Harris online (at belief.net, I think it was) is not an unintelligent guy. He just can't see that his Roman Catholicism is bunk, one of the best of grifts around. They like bumper stickers saying "Come Home to the Catholic Church," like Saul-Paul and Constantine invented the first church, forgetting that such gods as Zeus and Attis had cults similar to Christianity and they haven't had adherents for millnia now, except a few neo-pagan types. (As a side note, I once tried to "reconstitute" the beautiful mythos of Attis -- or Atys -- and Cybele/Kybele, gathering the spring rushes and winding them about the sacred pine branch, interspersing ribbons in the deity's corresponding colors. I found it far more fascinating than the Jesus story, thought I stopped far short of the self-emasculating galli. I like my dick.) When it comes to religions, none can claim to have been first. When our species walked out of Africa many thousands of years before God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, we were not just saying Da and Ma, we were saying Ga, too. Then, there is the scientific evidence we are hard-wired to believe. Converting a believer to atheism is mostly a waste of time. We have to learn to live with them.
The thing is, James: you have to be able to evaluate it ALL - religion, atheism, belief, unbelief, rationality, irrationality ... and somehow maintain an independent point of view. [And while your at it, I want $1 million in small bills, nothing bigger than a $20, unmarked, unsequenced, et cetera, et cetera]. They aren't willing to accept our point of view because it disagrees with THEIR point of view. No we can't mention that we've seen things from both sides of the fence and they (mostly) haven't, again, because they see their bias as NO bias, and they cannot be convinced that they do, indeed, HAVE a bias.
Ultimately, it comes down to the same old equation: "You cannot debate a person who will not handicap himself with a knowledge of the facts."
I heard it stated more simply by one of the humanist editors, Tom Flynn of Free Inquiry: you can't win an argument with a dogmatic opponent.
One of my atheist friends said "Let them go go on their own journey; they will find their way eventually."
How would you like it if someone tried to convert you into a theist?
My parents already did.
A planet full of Cognitive Dissonance how did we make it this far. Oh wait Atheist and rationalist had a hand in it.