An Efficient Way To Dialogue With Apologists

This blogger has had several dialogues with Christian Apologists.  As such experiences have taken place, there has been a refinement process toward a more efficient and effective conclusion.  Following are some step-by-step recommendations:
  •  Encourage the apologist to present the one BEST argument for a god.  Don't fall into the trap of arguing about Jesus.
  • You will quickly come to a point where the apologist will be presenting philosophical reasons for a god based on that one best argument.  Present the fact that philosophy is not "proof" of a god, as it is only speculations and assertions regarding such.  To support any claim, to include a religious one, evidence must be presented and this point MUST be hammered home, no matter what occurs next.  Chances are that the apologist will attempt to obfuscate the discussion by focusing on a word or phrase that you used but really has no bearing on the point at hand and/or continue to talk in philosophical terms.
  • Next, ask the apologist in what part of his daily living, outside of religion, does he/she accept claims without evidence.  He/she will probably admit that he/she does require supporting evidence for acceptance of claims, but, perhaps, only after you present some real-life examples (i.e. advertisements, sales pitches, character judgement, legal/financial matters, etc.).
  • Then, ask why he/she does not use the same thinking regarding matters of religion, as there is no evidence for the existence of a god.
  • Now, you are at a crucial "fork in the road."  The apologist will usually talk about "other ways of knowing" besides evidence and science.  Challenge him/her to present an alternative and support its use.  There is no alternative to evidence and science as being the best tools we have to determine reality.  He/she will probably talk about "the internal witness of the holy spirit", or some form of subjective experience/anecdote.  Quickly point out that this is not evidence to anyone else.
  • If there is continued resistance, ask the apologist to present evidence that religion has advanced humanity over the last 2,000 years and compare it to the vast positive improvements as the result of science.
  • If the apologist is unwilling to accept the full value of science and evidence at this point, just agree to disagree and save your time.
  • If the apologist is a rare example of one who is willing to be persuaded by evidence, THEN AND ONLY THEN should you go into discussion on further arguments for a god and for Jesus. 
In summary:  You MUST get the apologist to accept the total value of evidence and science or you will hit a wall somewhere along the line.
- - - - -
    Comment:  Supporting information for every point made in this post is readily available on this blog.  This blogger would be glad to assist anyone in finding such information.

      No comments:

      Post a Comment