I'm currently having a discussion with a friend of a friends about bringing Bibles back into schools so our kids can be more moral. I've pasted the conversation and I'm just wondering what your thoughts where on how I've responded. I tried to make my response simple and quick because I don't find long responses compelling to read.
Yes, after studying religion and the Bible for the better part of the last 10 years, reading apologetics, and watching debates my mind is pretty much made up on the matter, but I'm open to new arguments on the matter.
Maybe the reason I'm an atheist is my IQ score of 145, though I don't think so, because I was a believer for a short time, though I ran a series of tests that the Pentecostal Christian group failed badly on, so I left, never to return.
I believe that if even highly intelligent individuals fall into the superstitious traps that religious indoctrination practices, they too may become stolid theists.
Such as a highly intelligent man I knew that became a priest and 30+ years later, realized he was wrong. He retired and died an atheist.
Statistics are deceptive, they rarely give an honest picture.
Thanks again for the replies. Some very good points and the 1 Peter 3:15 verse is especially useful. This individual ended up deleting all his replies and disappeared from the conversation, it's a miracle....;)
And that is ofttimes the response one will get in such an argument.
The rules of debate have built-in a sort of humility, that is, if your position is shown to be false or lacking, you must acknowledge that fact.
In the case of your friend's debate, and his subsequent deletion of his replies, it shows he is not capable (at this time anyway) to even submit, "Gee, I don't know. I will go read my Bible, ask other Christians, &c. and get back with you." I don't know is always an acceptable answer in science, heck, it is what drives scientific enquiry, the quest for an answer to "I don't know."
"I don't know" is anathema to religious faith. Faith must be certain, cannot question, or it is false faith. Yet 1 Peter 3:15 is quite clear. He must be able to give reason for the joy of his faith. The deletion of his posts shows he has none (neither reason, nor apparently joy). At least for the moment his faith is shaken, and he cannot adequately answer why.
Faith challenged ofttimes becomes faith frustrated.
Frustrated enough times by enough people, where he constantly has to withdraw from conversation, and he will either a) think himself a martyr for his faith, which puts him at odds with 1 Peter 3:15, or b) eventually cause him to think about what he is saying.
At the very least, he will put forth more reasoned apologetics. He should thank you for bringing up these questions, as they are legitimate questions to his faith he is commanded by the NT to answer.
One can hope the seed of doubt is planted, and he will evaluate his position more sceptically, but I doubt it.
One can also hope if he is not open to alternative views to his own, he will quit bringing them up, as proselytisation works best against the defenceless.