No, I haven't gone completely mad.

 

I've been reading Dale Carnegie's seminal work, "How to convince your publisher that a really long title is a good idea, honestly"

 

OK, jokes aside - the summary is here on Wikipedia and makes for interesting reading:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Win_Friends_and_Influence_People

 

Crucially, Carneigie (through his own, painful experience over a quote from Shakespeare wrongly attributed to the Bile) observes that you should never correct someone else's argument - even when they are painfully and obviously wrong.

 

Literal creationists (call them what we will) have suffered a terrible education - and a dishonest one, in our view. Yes, they are wrong, but telling them as much only actually strengthens their belief in their own error!

 

To make it doubly hard for us, if this obstacle wasn't enough, the truth is perhaps the most painful of all. They have been told that they will live forever, ya-de-ya and we're telling them:

 

a) They do not matter one iota in the grand scheme of things

b) No ethereal being gives a fuck - because the ethereal being is a figment of their imagination.

c) They are animals - little different from the apes in the zoo.

d) They are going to die - quite soon in real terms and for most of them, a in very short time, there will be nothing left save for the replicated strands of a complex chemical and perhaps a few memories.

 

So, the reason for this discussion is to find other ways - perhaps based on Carnegie's advice (it's good, but you should read the book) - of convincing these poor, terrified creatures that:

a) Life is actually worth something;

b) Science is like a fractal - the deeper you look, the more you see.

c) Death is part of a natural order and they have nothing to fear, save for the fear of death itself. The will live on in the memories of the people they touch (in a good way).

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A long time ago, I had a cardboard plaque with the following printed on it:

 

It is impossible to debate a person who will not handicap himself with a knowledge of the facts.

-- Anon

 

By the same token, it is equally impossible to hold a sensible discussion which attempts to bridge the gap between rationality and determined and sometimes purposeful irrationality.  The fundamentalist theist knows what he or she believes and has no interest in facts, however well documented or proven they may be.  To admit to a fact which contravenes their belief would be to deny their belief, an action they will not consciously consider.

Even as many if not most of us came to the conclusion on our own that god and religion were non-working concepts, they will have to come to the same conclusion on their own, if they come to it at all.  Certainly, we serve a purpose by countering their irrationality and maintaining our position, but until they GET IT THEMSELVES, arguing with them will in most cases prove fruitless.

It is impossible to debate a person who will not handicap himself with a knowledge of the facts.

-- Anon

 

I'm going to have that put on a car sticker and a tee-shirt.

I've been looking for plushy squid toys at rummage sales to throw at people who make stupid remarks like "I've never been a big fan of evolution" (true comment).

So far I haven't found any though.

 

For me it's not about fighting the teachers of this bull, its about the fence-riders. Those that instinctively feel something is amiss and they can not put their finger on it. The videos I make are for that person. Just enough to make them ask a couple critical questions about their own belief. I have never had someone tell me they were convinced by a vid I made, and I don't think I ever will. But somewhere, out there, is a soul crying out for reason but not knowing where to look. If by happenstance he watches one of my videos and is posed a question he cannot answer within his scripture, every thing I have ever done in my life will have been worth it to be a part of someone recognizing their own ability to question, and not be satisfied with a biblical answer. You Can win! Although you may never know it, and that is fine.
1. debating creationists (for the most part) is not to convince them but to inform the people watching/listening/reading.
1a. kent hovind is best ignored but his ignorance helps push any people who are on the fence.
1b. people who are as bad as hovind though need to be dealt with carefully; so only people who are good at debating creationists
1c. i have won several unofficial debates and they need to be handled VERY CAREFULLY.

2. http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4691
2a. this does an amazing job at deconstructing creation movements
2b. tells why in a clear and concise manner why ID is BS using primary and secondary causation to answer why methodological naturalism is required

3. your a,b,c,d are poor arguments against creationism because those are atheistic positions not scientific positions (by necessity science cannot address primary causation as mentioned in 2b)
3a. creationism is not to hard to get around as it is used to back up their believe in god
http://www.youtube.com/user/Evid3nc3#grid/user/A0C3C1D163BE880A
Evid3nc3 has put it best in my opinion setting up a web where all nodes are only there to prop up the main believe in god.
if i didn't write it clear enough you can scientifically prove evolution to the creationists satisfaction and that will not affect their believe in god. William lane Craig put it bluntly that even if someone took him back in time and he watch jesus' body rot he would still believe

for the last part i think most christians accept a,c

i hope this added to the conversation
Have you ever seen the YT channel called FinallyFreeFromFaith? He was heavy into the God scene for awhile. He said the proper way to debate a Christian is to debunk the Bible. It's a pretty good video, and he has some other good ones, too.
Alas, I can sort of see the point there.  Winning a logical debate with a Christian won't do shit if your goal is to convince them.

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