Facts and Faith … One More Time

I have two posts percolating and I planned to write at least one of them today, but when I read the recent conversation that “Ark” (ataleuntold.wordpress.com) is having with bottomlesscoffee007, I knew I had to write this one and my others would have to wait.

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In conversations between believers and non-believers, it is not uncommon for the non-believer to point out the fallacies of the Christian faith, often with hard evidence (e.g., information/facts from accredited scientists, publications by biblical scholars, testimonies of well-known deconverts, etc.)

Of course the Christian cries “foul” and immediately does one (or more) of the following three things: (1) attacks the non-believer, (2) references Christian apologists, and/or (3) quotes scripture (as if this has any meaning to the non-believer).

Case in point:

Ark: But don’t take my word for it – listen to any deconvert, and especially the numerous former professional pastors, priests and preachers, many of whom have considerable in-depth knowledge of the history of the Christian religion and its doctrine.

bottomless: The deconvert as you call them, the professional pastors, priests and preachers never believed to begin with. Early on they figured out that they could make a lot of money. So, the entire time they were just coning people.

You continue to cite other researchers, yet I get the feeling you basically just read something and the regurgitate it to sound intelligent.

All you do is basically talk shit, you are not even 100% about the research you cite, since you never actually did the work yourself.

Arkenaten, you are simply lazy and insecure. You leach off of others you have never even met in an attempt to come off as intelligent.

The very first sentence of bottomless‘s comment is a mind-blower! Notice how he responds by making the totally unsubstantiated comment: [they] “never believed to begin with.”

You’ve probably noticed this is a very common argument among believers. In other words, there are no deconverts. There are only people who “faked it.” Yeah, right.

Notice also how he continues his comment with the typical insults.

Undoubtedly, this battle will go on … and on … and on … Nonetheless, whether Christians want to accept it or not (and no matter how many insults they want to throw at atheists and other non-believers), the facts (statements and/or assertions of verified information) will never take the place of their personal beliefs.

Now in the Ring: Theist vs. Atheist

Following is a question that was asked on another blog …

Why is it that so many comment sections [on theist blogs] can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree?

I think I may have some answers.

Consider …

  • Most of the information Christians share has come from what they’ve been told by their church leaders — and it’s not always accurate. When called on it … they become angry.
  • Some Christians believe “God’s Word” is all it takes to win their case so the entire conversation revolves around scripture. When this approach doesn’t seem to have any effect … they become angry.
  • Many believers feel Christian apologists have all the answers. When a non-believer disputes this and offers opposing sources … they become angry.
  • Christian bloggers tend to use the same arguments over and over, believing this time it will “take.” When it doesn’t … they become angry.
  • There are some Christians who are simply not open to opposing information. It’s their way or the highway and if you disagree … they become angry.

Naturally, these aren’t the only reasons, but I feel they are the more common ones. Feel free to share your perspectives.

In closing, here is some advice I came across. It behooves ALL of us (on both sides) to keep it in mind when discussing religious matters in the blogosphere.

To win arguments, be prepared to use evidence to show why you’re right. When gathering this evidence, be sure to find credible sources that give you access to solid facts and relevant examples. Remember that getting emotional during an argument is a surefire way to lose! Always strive to keep your cool.