This probably one of my favorite topics. It does not pack the same punch as some of my other Decon routines, but carries a very sharp edge. I would recommend folks use this carefully and you can get dramatic results. Use it aggressively and you will only get an argument.
Let me restate the concepts of deconversion again for new readers.
1. People did not get their religion by argument, you are not going to deconvert them by arguing with them either.
2. One of the most powerful words in the English language is the word AND.
3. You listen to what they have to say
4. You agree with them by saying "AND"
5. Then you mess with their mind. (see my other posts for more ideas)
*Also, one critical part to this process is to understand an old saying
"If I say it, it might be true, BUT if they say it, it MUST be true"
Most Christians consider them selves good Christians, godly, pious, and all kinds of religious words that make them feel warm and fuzzy.
You job here is to make them look at themselves and find out they they are those things AND MORE. Did you catch that. I said "AND". We are not going to argue that they are not the things they mentioned. We agree with them. After all that IS how they feel and how they look at themselves.
Remember our goal is deconversion. Not to make them feel bad about themselves, or to show how smart we are, or how bad they are, or anything like that. Our goal here is to simply open their eyes to themselves and to acknowledge some things about themselves they may never have thought of.
We have only one objective today. To open peoples minds and show them where they are closed. No decision is being made, only awareness being raised.
--- we are not trying to trick them or anything
--- it is just nice that you are honestly talking with someone
--- in a caring and friendly way
ready to begin....
* tell me about how you got into your faith?
* what do you like about it?
* what places have you attended services?
* did you have a favorite pastor, priest, celebrant, rabbi...
... now you have begun some friendly conversation
... you have shown genuine interest
... you have shown you are not confrontational
-- result should be that they have their defenses down
and are willing to engage you in honest conversation
=====NEXT, SOME PREP WORK=====
- we are not going to try to trick them or build great rational arguments
- this decon routine is probably one of the softest in the most recent posts
- the softer you approach this, the more caring, the more attentive you are
to the other persons mood and defensiveness the better your results should be.
- my routines assume you are working with a christian
FYI-some definitions for you to know(do not need to cite to other person)
heretic - a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field
heresy, unorthodoxy -a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
heterodox - characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards
apostate-a person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc.
heathen: a person who does not acknowledge your god
Infidel (literally "one without faith") is an English word meaning "one who doubts or rejects central tenets of a religion or has no religious ...
Infidel-A person who does not belief in any particular religious system.
Blasphemy is the use of reference to one or more gods in a manner considered objectionable by a religious authority.
List of world religions (http://www.religionfacts.com
Aladura Asatru Bah'ai Faith Bön Buddhism Cao Dai Chinese Religion Chopra Center Christianity Christian Science Confucianism Eckankar Epicureanism Falun Gong Greco-Roman Religion Hare Krishna Hinduism Islam Jainism Jehovah's Witnesses Judaism Kemetic Reconstructionism Mayan Religion Mithraism Mormonism Neopaganism New Thought Rastafari Scientology Shinto Sikhism Stoicism Taoism Unification Church Unitarian Universalism Wicca Zoroastrianism
--the above are not for you to quote, but to help you learn some religion names.
====Continuing the conversation
* Would you say there are at least 50 different major religions in the world?
* how many would you say there are?
* What is the difference between an atheist and a theist?
* would you say you are a theist or an atheist?
* would you say that being a theist or atheist is black and white, either/or ?
* since you are a theist, that means that you believe in the Mayan gods right? no?
* so your not a theist about the Mayan gods?
* What about the Greek gods? you totally believe in those gods? right?
* So your not a theist about those?
* What about the native Indians, or Chinese Falun Gong? not these either?
* didn't you say you were a theist?
* That must mean you have to accept all these, because your a theist, right?
* So your only a theist for the specific type of god you believe in?
* So if you believe in many gods your a polytheist, if only one a monotheist
* So you don't believe in those others, just the one - a monotheist, right
* All right let's roll back a few minutes
* You previously said that there were over 50 major religions
* and as a mono-theist, you think at least 49 are wrong and don't believe in them
* right 1 out of 50? lets come back to this later?
* alright let's change the subject slightly?
* what do people call some one who says there are zero, absolutely no gods?
* an atheist. right?
* how many Mayan gods do you believe in? zero?
* so you are an atheist with regards to the Mayans?
* so what about all those other religions? zero of those gods too?
* so you are atheist about those too?
* so let me get this straight, you are only a theist about your specific god.
* so the math here is 1 god out of 50 gods, right?
* so that is 1 of 50, or 2 out of 100. That is 2%.
* so as you see it, you are 98 percent atheist, and 2 percent theist?
* is the math right there?
* alright, lets change the subject
---note we don't want to stay on this subject
---we want them to move on quickly and not try to talk themselves into/out of anything.
---We want them to think about this stuff at home, when we are not around
---This routine is a soft pitch
---so far all we wanted was to get them to agree to the math of 1 out of 50
or 98% atheist/2% theist.
---we want to change the subject very quickly after that
---we do not want to start them talking about how they are not an atheist, 2% means this, or that, blah, blah,...
---Get them to say the number AND CHANGE THE SUBJECT, that is all.
lets continue ...
* Look it was just some numbers, I am not saying you are an atheist
* Actually, I wanted to talk about something else.
* I wanted to go back an talk about one religion, the Islamic stuff
* since you said you specifically don't believe in that, do you know that the official term is for someone like you? Infidel.
* Infidel is not a bad thing, it just means you are outside the Islamic faith?
* so you are an infidel right? at least for that religion.
* what about the other 48, infidels there too? right?
* so you are an infidel to 98% of the worlds religions? Thats ok.
* Not very many people can figure out how to be in more than about 2 religions at a time.
* alright, this is getting kind of weird. let's change the subject.
* I want to talk about something you are more comfortable with - christianity.
* according to the web, there are something like 10 major forms of christianity?
does that sound right? stuff like Catholic, Amish, Eastern Orthodox, etc.
* and they say there are some 30,000 or more denominations.
* does that sound high or low to you?
* I am not going to do that percent thing again
(don't have to, they will do it silently in their head to themselves)
* Christianity is really built around an us and them idea.
* Our faith is going to heaven, those other people are going to hell
* we are saved, they are not. we should try to save them - well some folks say that.
* what is the official religious term Christians use for someone not in your specific faith. It's a heretic, right?
* it is important for people in a church to be all in agreement on their faith.
* churches don't like people making up their own stuff or going off in other directions. What do they call that? Blasphemers or blasphemy. Right?
* so the official terms we are working with are heretics are folks outside your faith, and blasphemers/blasphemy is for folks not following your specific faith.
* is that right?
* so how do all the other Christians around the world view you?
* do you all believe exactly the same, killing live chickens and all that?
* so if I am getting this straight, there are over 2 billion Christians, and they are not all agreeing on the same thing, right?
* well this has been an interesting discussion.
* I have to get going in a minute or so.
* let me summarize this before I go.
* you are 98% atheist, billions of your fellow Christians look at you as a heretic, and every time you talk with someone about your faith, you are officially committing blasphemy or are a blasphemer.
--Keep going here... don't pause... they will try to interrupt and defend
* sorry not trying to call you names or anything, just looking at official religious doctrine.
* don't you think religions could try to be nicer to each other?
* it's like we have it right, you have it wrong, you others are going to hell.
* At least that is how it seems to me. Does it seem like that to you too?
---here is a little mind game (tread lightly please)
* I think I would have trouble sleeping at night knowing that billions of people thought of me as a heretic or infidel.
* I mean, I know you think of yourself as a good solid christian, with great morals and a solid belief in god. right?
* to billions of people around the world you are a heathen, not even willing to worship their god as the true god.
-- keep it going don't stop here...
*So really, you are a solid 2% theist, at least as far as Christianity is concerned.
* at least you have the solid foundation that you are a true theist perfectly in sync with 1 out of 30,000 denominations.
* Christianity is not one big faith, it is about believing in the right way.
* I bet lot of Amish or Russian orthodox would not say you are going to heaven.
* so you think of your self as a 2% theist,
the rest of the world sees you as something like .0003 percent theist.
--(it is actually a lot less than that, but this is not a math lesson)
--we are talking to ordinary folk and already way too much math
* You want to hear something funny
* lets get rid of the percentages, way to confusing.
* they say there are over 6.7 billion people in the world
* and considering the numbers we just talked about
* I looked up some odds (http://www.funny2.com/odds.htm
* did you know that if I were to place bets on you being an atheist, heathen, infidel, blasphemer, or committing blasphemy
* you would lose against:
* actually getting killed by lightning(not just getting struck),
* or dying from a part falling from a plane and killing you.
* most people think to themselves "I am a theist. I am not in anyway an atheist."
* but even you, we just went through the math, you are 99.9999% atheist.
* I hope you can hang on to that last little thread
* hold on tight to that last little bit that is not atheist
(man that is a subtle, but powerful statement to the subconscious)
* you will right?
--you just go them to agree
that they are holding on to the last little bit of them that not atheist
--did you get that. they just agreed in their mind they are almost a full atheist.
* well, its been great chatting with you. Hope to chat with you later. see ya.
Just think about where we were when we started
This person probably thought they were a rock solid 100% christian
now they realize the are an outsider to most Christians
they realize they are an outsider to most other religions
they realize that all the terms they use to apply to others now apply to them
they are heathens, infidels, heretics, etc
- they probably had those words saved for the atheists
- uh ...
- wait ... uh ...
they just said those words applied to them. They just said they were infidels.
Heck they just said they were 99.9999% atheist
and were barely hanging by a thread to their own theism.
Nice job - from 100% theist, to 99.999% atheist in under 10 minutes.
Give yourself a hand.
Hope you all enjoyed this ...
This post came from my blog at
I would like to start a discussion here on other ideas people might have to make this decon routine even better.
Looking forward to reading your posts.