Arguing with Christians

“I spent a couple of hours looking at some of your writing, we don’t get to repeat any minute of time and without wanting to offend Id have to conclude these two hours spent have been a waste of my time. The authors referenced take scriptures and quotes by writers such as CS Lewis out of context to support their/your argument(s), I have little respect for anyone who does this and it undermines any confidence I might have had in that person. Your ramblings are nothing new, same old same old attempts to excuse one from any accountability. In attempting to disprove the scriptures as an error ridden, non-historical and unscientific textbook you have along with many others completely overlooked and rejected the power of God through the Holy Spirit. You are to be pitied more than most for actively seeking followers who will equally reject God. I will continue to pray for you Mark, God is gracious and is able to forgive the most obnoxious of sinners. As you are open-minded, why don’t you take some time to research the many authors who testify to Gods reality in their lives? Yes there are many false prophets and fakes out there so be wise as you discern the spirits. I see little point in continuing to dialogue but I may well challenge your rants if I happen to see them and consider it necessary to add a balanced perspective… Take care Mark”

My reply…

Thanks for wasting your time to read over some of my “ramblings”. I understand your perspective… that I am to be pitied for being an atheist. As your scripture says, “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (a little poetry, which I presume you take literally, from Psalm 14:1). But the wise person questions everything, and weighs everything by the evidence (including psychological experiences like you have had), not by some ephemeral spirit judgement and bullshit talk about discerning spirits and false prophets. So, who is the fool? Someone who rejects or ignores the facts, or at least refuses to discuss or debate known facts or the absence of facts. It is me who pities your ignorance and obscuration/obstinance regarding ‘holy’ scripture, and any questioning of the misguided historicity of the mythical stories contained within. You are to be pitied for disengaging your brain from any intellectual and rational argument about this, and so I agree that we may not be able to discuss this. You do the praying… I’ll do the thinking for you! Thinking is not your ‘modus operandi’. I have been accused of blasphemy against the ‘holy spirit’, the unpardonable sin, before. But in truth, the accusation always backfires, and only has any ‘weight’ if in fact there is a god and a holy spirit. Well, there isn’t. So, I think you are delusional about that. Let’s discuss that.  I’m open to be corrected on this if you can show me otherwise. But I find your premise has no credibility if you cannot or will not discuss or argue with me about your primary authority, the Bible (or is your experience primary?). We should be talking about the many problems with the so-called historical story, the repugnant notions of blood sacrifice and associated superstitions, and “the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (Dawkins). I come back to your comment about authors who reference scripture and authors out of context. I have no respect for people like yourself who do just this. You have no care, or are too lazy, to observe basic hermeneutical principles: “If in this book you choose to look, five things observe with care: of whom it speaks, to whom it speaks, and why, and when, and where.” A little Bible study observing these principles would do you well, though it would put you at odds with your notions of biblical inerrancy, and your guiding principle that ‘the Holy Spirit is my interpreter of scripture’. But if you claim that God has told you, or that a ‘spirit’ experience has convinced you, how can I argue with you? You have closed your mind to any counter argument. So, ‘the fool has said in his heart there is god’, and this cannot be questioned. I know this… I have been there too. Time for a reality check. If I thought prayer worked, I would pray for your deliverance from false prophets and ‘holy’ spirits that bind you from seeing the truth… and you might be set free. But no, stay on your quest for immortality through fiction. As for me (an atheist and an apostate from Christianity), I am saved from such nonsense. If you think you have a reply to this, then let’s meet together and discuss. But if you want to stay locked up in your ‘ivory tower’ and ‘holier than thou’ attitude, that’s okay. Your anti-intellectual mindset will keep you there and keep your ideas irrelevant. As they say, “ignorance is bliss”. Kind regards (because we are both human, and will both cease to exist in the near future), Mark B.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the disconnect between what we think or believe is true and acting as if it were not. It can also be the other way around… acknowledging what is false and acting as if it were true. Either way ‘cognitive dissonance’ is the disconnect between beliefs and actions.

It is often easier for us to see it in others than in ourselves. We may deride them for being a hypocrite, for not practicing what they preach or not preaching what they practice. In doing so, we may well incriminate ourselves for being the same. Cognitive dissonance seems to be a universal dis-ease.

I think there may be many reasons for us being this way… security in a belief system, uncritically accepting what we are told, the lack of humility to accept that we may be wrong, an over-confidence in authority, a lack of trust in the sciences, ‘fake-news’ is more entertaining, or even “who gives a shit.” Speaking of which, it seems that the most significant times when cognitive dissonance is ‘healed’ is when ‘the shit hits the fan’ and we are forced to reconstruct our world-view to match reality.

We are living in such a time, and a super shit-storm is building (biosphere and civilization collapse). Now is the best time for us to scrutinise our beliefs AND our actions. The chances are high that one or both are ‘screwed’. One way to really live and find meaning in living is to overcome cognitive dissonance. For many that should mean… religion and beliefs in a god have to go. For many that should mean believing what science is telling us about the past, present, and future. For me, today on my birthday, it is accepting the reality that I’m not superman/supernatural, and never will be however much I would like to maintain cognitive dissonance and believe otherwise.

On being Offended

Some people say they are offended by what I have to say. I think I know why, and I reflect with a good deal of embarrassment that I too for much of my life would have been offended by what I am saying now. But I now have some courage, and have perhaps developed an ounce of reason, to think outside the box that I have lived in for most of my life, and to think and question what I have been told to believe.  This has led me to many awe-inspiring discoveries, mainly through science, history, and early Taoist philosophy… all of which is largely nonsense, even blaspheme, to those poisoned by religion.  

Offended people, besides just feeling that way, sometime react and miss the point entirely by attacking the person rather than their argument. This is always arrogant, bigoted, and narrow-minded. It is most unfortunate that ‘being offended’ has become an accepted feeling for not thinking, especially under the disguise of being tolerant and accusing others of being intolerant. But I am perhaps most disappointed by the Christian notion that thinking itself is always wrong (vs faith). So, the rug is pulled out from under the feet of reasoning, because all humans are flawed (born sinners) and incapable of reasoning (and doing good). The Psalmist put it best, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 14:1). I’m not offended by this accusation. It’s just irrational anti-empirical nonsense, and perhaps the worst example of the ad hominen fallacy… so atheists are allegedly wrong because they are humans, not mere fools.

A YouTube compilation ‘On Being Offended