Having a conversation, either on line or face to face, with a Christian is something all of us have endured. Just out of curiosity, can anybody point to an incident where they accomplished anything by doing so? I know I can’t, but maybe some of you have a higher tolerance for fools than me.

So why talk to them? Perhaps you are afraid that by not responding you concede the argument and they win by default. This appears to have merit until you examine the idea closer. The premise is you can win an argument with a Christian.

There are several reasons this is impossible. There’s the difference between intelligence and ignorance. Christians want to couch the argument in terms of Faith Versus Reason since it implies there is an equality and similarity between the two.

There is a fundamental difference between faith and reason best illustrated by the Two Switches analogy.

Faith is an on/off switch. Either you have it or you don’t.

Reason is a dimmer switch with absolute the darkness of ignorance on one end of the spectrum and the full light of knowledge on the other.

Christian faith permits no compromise, no concession even on the smallest of points. It is all or nothing.

Reason is all about compromise, concession, revision, rethinking, admitting when you are wrong and adapting your beliefs to new evidence. In conversation a reasonable man believes that he can educate his opponent and, with the right arguments framed in the right manner, the other party will be convinced. When a reasonable man loses an argument he is justifiable humbled and begins the long process of rethinking his ideas in the light of the new information or ideas he hasn’t taken into account.

A Christian cannot do this. He is not motivated by a desire to learn the truth. He is motivated by fear. The fear of going to Hell, of course, but more importantly the fear of losing his status in the tightknit community to which he belongs. A reasonable man begins with no idea where rationality will take him. A Christian begins with the conclusion then works backwards to find ways of justifying his presumptions.

This latest batch of Christians is particular frustrating and deliberately obtuse. They want to prove that God exists. They don’t get it that by searching for scientific or logical proof of the existence of God they prove nothing except they have lost their faith.

Let me say that again: Any Christian who seeks to prove the existence of God has already admitted that the evidence for the non-existence of God is so strong that their faith has been brought to ruin.

More importantly, they acknowledge that anyone exposed to the evidence will lose their faith as a result. So they run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find logical and scientific evidence to replace their own faithlessness.

As my brother (a Christian minister) put it, “Faith is another way of looking at the evidence.”

Say what?  

When I responded with:  "So you have examined the evidence?"  He admitted he hadn't.  

By implying he had studied the evidence when he hadn't, my brother lied.  I don't know how often I've run up against this in talking to Christians.  

That brings us to another primary reason for not talking to Christians:

Christians lie.

You can't win an argument with a liar.  All you can hope to do is point out the fact that they are lying so anyone else listening in will get the point.

 A long time ago, so long I can’t remember when I first encountered the idea; I learned something about automobile advertising. Automobile advertising is not directed at convincing people to buy a particular brand of car; rather the ads are designed to assure people who have already bought the car they made the right choice. Brand loyalty it’s called.

Christians believe first then justify later. The trolls on this site aren’t here to convince anyone of the truth of their arguments; they are here to convince honest seekers, a group to which they most certainly do not belong, that they have evidence for the belief in God. They aren’t here to join in an open conversation. They are here to throw as much bullshit they can against the wall in the hopes that some of it will stick. They are here to inoculate people against the truth by giving them the smallest dosage possible so they will not seek any further. They are here to close open minds.

They feed on ignorance. The only way they can make their billions and to exert an un-Godly political influence over the minds of free men is to keep people ignorant. Never mind their alleged founder was offered by their mythological Satan the Kingdoms of This World and he refused the deal. They believe that Jesus made the wrong choice and that he’s coming back to take Satan up on the offer.

They are worse than Islamic suicide bombers. Their own scripture condemns them. To paraphrase: “Don’t be afraid of men, who can only kill your body, fear those who can kill your mind.”

.....................................................

It’s 3 am. I stopped working on this post about 10 hours ago. I just finished watching a movie called Season of the Witch with Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman, actors whose work I have enjoyed in the past.

There’s one more reason we shouldn’t talk to Christians.

They are the enemy.

In this movie Cage and Perlman play deserter Crusaders because they have lost their faith. They are caught and perform one last duty: transporting a young girl accused of being a witch and causing the plague. According to this piece of shit, the Inquisition was right, there really were witches! And, guess what, these witches actually did cause the Plague! Turns out the girl isn’t just a witch she’s Satan! Don’t worry, Cage and Perlman rediscover their faith and do battle against the witch/Satan in order to end the plague. There is a moment in that battle when she…Satan always uses the weaker sex who fall prey to his wiles…makes a clear statement to the priest who is reading a text in Latin from a Sacred Book…says to him: “But isn’t it true that the church has killed more people than any war?” And the priest pauses and starts to think about it. And the others yell: “Don’t listen to her!” And the priest goes back to jabbering incomprehensible words in Latin.

That this movie could be made at this time and openly shown in theaters portraying atheists in such a manner then maybe don’t you think it’s time to admit that this is a war and these people are our enemies. It’s like the Warsaw Ghetto Jewish resistance inviting the Nazis over for a debate.

The time for debate is over.

Unfortunately, the war is over, too.

We lost.

Views: 264

Tags: Christianity, Fundamentalism, lying, politics, war

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Comment by James Yount on November 5, 2012 at 10:46pm

I spent a good chunk of time in Messianic groups too.  One law movement.

Comment by Philip Jarrett on November 5, 2012 at 10:44pm

Thank you, Alan and Nerdlass. You both make good points.

I was deeply involved in all the worst sorts of Christianity for 40 years. My experiences during this time were with storefront churches, Pentecostal Holiness Churches, Messianic Jewish synagogues, the Deliverance Ministry, Pre and Post Millenialism, the Post Millenialists faction is now called Dominion Theology that teaches it is the destiny of the United States to take over all the world and enforce a Thousand Year Christ-Reich on the world after which Jesus will return for the final battle of Armageddon...all the really hardcore groups.

I'm not talking about the Unitarians or the Presbytereans or the Catholics...even do they have their own brand of Fundies and Charismatics. And I'm not talking about seminary trained theologians teaching at universities. It is a common truism that anyone who graduates from a legitimate theological school comes out an atheist.

I have a problem with educated Christian ministers...I read obsessively in Biblical scholarship...I know the sources and timing and purposes and audience of this collection of books cobbled together by people with motivations of their own. It is because I know what they know...or could know just by getting a library card or doing research on the Net...and I know the truth they should be telling people who look to them as authorities.

My problem is they lie from their pulpits and, in doing so, keep others from searching for the truth. My brother is one of those types of ministers. They tell themselves, "I can't teach the truth to these people because I will cause them to lose their faith" even though their own faith has been forfeited.

They lie not just to their congregants but to themselves as well. If they wanted to really help people, they would tell them the truth. The saying goes "The truth will make you free...and anyone who doesn't tell you the truth isn't doing it for some noble reason: They are doing it to keep people enslaved.

They keep preaching because they love being the center of attention, the Man of God...even if they no longer believe in God.

"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Therefore, if God is Omnipotent, then he is by necessity Evil on a scale beyond human comprehenstion.

To be the spokesperson, the very Voice of an Omnipotent God, is the greatest rush, the deepest and most profound spiritual orgasm, that a human being can achieve and, perhaps, endure.

And the most Evil.

Christianity...all religion...is about Control. Who has it, who doesn't? Are you controlling others or are others controling you?

People always want to come back with "I know some good Christian people."

No, what you know are some good people who check Christian on the census when it comes to their religion. What saddens me about these good people is that they would be better people if they weren't Christians.

Comment by James Yount on November 5, 2012 at 9:47pm

Most of us here are formerly religious.  I left my religion do to my own personal research and inquiry, not because any one in particular convinced me.  Has anyone here left their faith because of an argument with someone secular?  Not sure it does any good in convincing the 'devout' but it certainly bolsters my resolve when I see people like Dawkins or Hitchens systematically destroy a Christian's arguments.  I have to admit it brings a perverse pleasure when I leave them fuming and out of arguments :)

Comment by Alan Perlman on November 5, 2012 at 12:40pm

I completely agree with nerdlass -- and with the post as well.  It's been 200+ years since the Enlightenment, 400+ since the Renaissance, and I naively thought the religion would recede into the darkness to which it belongs.  I didn't know how specifically (if deceitfully) it responds to real needs and fears for which people are afraid to seek new solutions.  At this point, atheism/secular humanism is, for me, personal (I love life without God), social (get with other like-minded people), and political (separation of church and state), with minimal efforts at dialog and proselytizing.  But, as Jesse Jackson might say, we must keep hope alive, lest we slip back into the 14th century.

Comment by Nerdlass on November 4, 2012 at 7:35pm

Sorry, that should be "the less seen as inhuman"--LOL :)

Comment by Nerdlass on November 4, 2012 at 7:34pm

I wouldn't go so far as you have in condemning discussion with christians (or any other belief system follower). Many of us here came to be atheists with the help of such discussion. You have no further to look than Matt Dillahunty, to know that to be the case. So, yeah. The vast majority may stick their fingers in their ears and sing "La la la" at you until they're blue in the face.

But not every christian will.

Also, like the gay movement, the more silent we are, the less seen as human we are. When people see that their brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles are freethinkers, the more they'll come to understand that we aren't the stereotype.

Mind you, knowing who and when and what to discuss is something else entirely. I know I can't talk about this with my mother without her breaking down in tears--I'm not going to do that. But I'll be glad to have a healthy discussion with my Jewish friend in town or my ex-mormon agnostic friend in southern Japan. I'm not looking to convince them. I'm not anti-theist. However, I am pro-freedom and pro-connection. Religions evolve or they die out. This won't happen with non-belief, since it's the default. What we should resolve to do, in my opinion, is instill critical thinking in our younger generations and continue the flow of information.

What I worry about are groups like the quiverfull cult and breeding (versus family planning) in general. Young, poor, uneducated parents raising their kids into a belief system that pins them down under the false pretense of lifting them up is something that disturbs me greatly. And it's a puzzle, as I've also seen the good that churches can do... It's just that these people with such good intentions could do so much more if they didn't have the trappings of religion as an umbrella for their works.

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