What’s your opening line when asking a theist to reach beyond their belief and fearlessly challenge their own doctrine?
Go away! You’re just going to end up looking silly. Shhh! Shhh! Don’t say it. It’s better to let people think you are ignorant than to open your mouth and prove it. You really don’t want to talk with me. Go away!
I don’t have an opening line.
I just be myself and talk with someone just like I would on any other subject.
Thanks, it was more rhetorical.
I’m new on here, perhaps I should read more and tighten my questions
What objective evidence can you demonstrate that any deity or deities exist, or are even possible?
Sometimes they’re honest and admit they have none, but most often the question is ignored or dodged using ludicrous semantics and whataboutism, often trying to reverse the burden of proof their belief carries.
Edit: I should add that some even suggest objective facts are not even possible at all, and that all beliefs must be subjective, of course this is disingenuous nonsense, and so I usually respond that I believe the world is not flat, and could they explain how the shape of the earth is changed or affected by my opinion, which I also consider to be an irrefutable objective fact. This either gets more disingenuous semantics, suggesting I am dealing in absolutes, which of course I am not as I am happy to abandon any belief in the light new objective evidence, even an irrefutable fact, since this would involve it being refuted, obviously.
They often don’t appear to understand the difference between an irrefutable idea and an immutable one, I hold many beliefs that can be claimed to be the former, but none of them are immutable. Or they simply ignore this as well and roll on as if their claim no irrefutable objective facts are possible hasn’t just been demonstrated as false. I often wonder what shape they think the earth is in reality?
I do not have an “opening line”, because it is not my practice to approach others and ask about their religious belief. As far as I’m concerned, it is none of my business, unless the individual shares that info with me unsolicited. Even then, though, I may not instigate or encourage further discussion. Just depends on the person and situation.
For the sake of discussion, though, let’s say a person does approach me asking to talk about religion. In that case, my “opening line” is typically something along the lines of, “Are you SURE you want to have this conversation with me?” (I feel it’s only fair to give them a chance to change their mind. ) If they are silly enough to insist, however, I consider it “Game on!” at that point.
Now, naturally, opening moves can vary according to several factors. That being said, one of the first things I insist on doing is establishing which god we are discussing and the individual’s personal beliefs about the powers/characteristics of that god. (VERY IMPORTANT to do that.) It is a major personal rule I follow. Another personal rule I follow is to always remain pleasant, polite, friendly, cheerful (at times), and attentive. Never show animosity and never be confrontational. (Also VERY important.) With those two things established, that’s when the fun begins…
Basically, what I prefer to do initially is allow the individual to present his/her spiel to get an idea of his/her mindset. Then I simply start asking questions about the bible and their beliefs with a genuine interest. (Keep in mind, I already know the answers.) My point in asking is to allow me to see the person"s reaction and have them explain their answer. For example: “You said your god is all-knowing, right? Well, then why did he have to call out to Adam and Eve when they were hiding in the garden? And why did he not know what they had done?” Basically, I ask questions that force them to face (and explain) the absurdities of their beliefs. I ask the questions in a manner that projects, “Please, show me the reason(s) you believe. Convince me as to why I should also follow your god.” To date, it has not yet worked out very well for those who have “challenged” me.
By the way, here is another important thing to remember. I NEVER expect to convince folks like that to drop their religious faith. That is NOT my goal in any of those talks. For the most part, I honestly couldn’t care less whether or not they heed anything I tell them. But I CAN say that most everybody I’ve encountered thus far has walked away with a puzzled look on their face and scratching their heads as if thinking, “What the hell just happened?” Planting seeds can be fun.
(Edit for plowing, sowing, and reaping.)
The Return of the Gods by Jonathan Cahn
Oh, wait! I know this game! Uh, hold on… Hmmm… Let’s seeee… … Oo-oo-oo! Got it!..
“Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard! Hah! Beat THAT!
Instead of trying to joke around why don’t you something that might have different perspective than yours.
Just so you know, I absolutely LOVE hearing different perspectives. Gives me a chance to learn new things. Doesn’t mean I always have to agree with them, though. Besides, the way you just tossed that out there, I thought we were playing the “Name A Random Book” game. (By the way, did I win?)
You are joking right? Have you actually read this nasty twaddle?
Am I supposed to guess what this means? If you can demonstrate objective evidence for any deity or deities then get on with it, book titles are not objective evidence. If you believe a book contains any then quote it, and we will take a look.
Uhm, well, many years ago, when I was travelling a lot more than I am doing now, I used to seek out and visit Scientology orgs in different cities and countries, for my own entertainment, and/or to kill some time. At one org, I took their “personality test”. At another org, I managed to convince them to hook me up to their E-meter to try it out. But normally, I’d just talk to them, for my own amusement. Back then, they seemed to be really gullible when it came to people just walking in from the street. I haven’t checked up on them for many years, but I suspect they are much less accommodating now, with all the information publically available through any search engine.
Ahem, you’ll find I’ve been prolific with respect to the matter of presenting concepts in a rigorous manner. indeed, I’ve just finished posting this topic, which covers an issue I’ve never seen a mythology fanboy even know exists, let alone address. Likewise, you can have fun reading this exposition of mine, which again covers ideas I’ve never seen a mythology fanboy exhibit awareness of the existence of.
Now let’s see if you can follow your own advice, as in “physician, heal thyself”.
I wrote a bit about the cinematic Cheez Whiz that was Battlefield Earth here.
There’s a saying that there’s ten things Hollywood execs look for in a film sales pitch, that will inform them that the project will be box office poison. Travolta’s project added item number 11: Scientology. Most production companies refused to touch this one with a 60 foot barge pole. The one that did became interesting in ways you don’t want a film production company to be.
At some point I think I’ve mentioned a film covered in that linked post here at AR, namely Holocaust 2000. This was such blatant pandering to Rapturoid fantasies, it makes you wonder what financial embarrassment caused Kirk Douglas to sign up to take part in this celluloid mix of tapioca and cat piss. I cover that cinematic excrescence at length in the linked post above, but the AR version might be languishing on the old AR forum.