As part of giving Zac a helping hand, I've been debating a theistic visitor to Zac's page called Lisa.
We've got a little Q&A thing going, and I'm just about to start typing out my replies, but to help me think I put the back-and-forth into a word document which I thought you all might like to take a look at - see below - and then I was curious, how might you go about tackling each of the claims and assertions she has made.
I'll let you know how I do.
Wow,that sort of thing is so not worth doing, unless someone is genuinely interested in learning. Are you doing this in front of an audience? If not, you're wasting your time.
2C and 6C are classic examples of faithful blindness to mounds of disproving evidence, grabbing onto any evidence that seems to support your beliefs and ignoring anything that contradicts it. Her statement that the Bible is the only one that does what it does is full of nonsense. There are no words of God in the New Testament. There are only the words of Jesus. If the Koran is right about him only being a prophet and not the son of God, then that puts them on an equal footing.
So, her book is the only one that contains the exact myth that she likes? The simple response is "So what?" They're all books of the similar caliber of myth. That's the point, not the exact stories. And if she thinks that the Bible is the only one that correlates with the world, she's reading from it so selectively. If she's not willing to read the whole thing cover to cover, rather than just reading the bits that her preacher feeds her, then she can't possibly make that claim.
Until you can disabuse her of the idea that the Bible is the perfect word, written by God, you're not going to get anywhere. I mean the freaking Catholic church has records of how they made the damned thing. Scholars have picked through it and discovered that whole chapters of the New Testament are almost certainly forgeries. God clearly did not guide its formation, which throws everything in it into question. Once you see where people have screwed with it after the stuff was written down, the original writing down of the text comes into question, as well.
Then, once you introduce things like the Ugarit texts, the whole damned thing falls apart.
Essentially, you're going about this all the wrong way. Having a huge list of questions going all at once allows her to bog you down and swamp you with preachy bullshit. You need to focus the discussion a bit more and address things in order. Until she demonstrates that the Bible is the word of God, discussing anything in it is useless.
Every other theist I challenged ran away screaming (ain't that so, Zac - Bill 2nd Law of Thermodynamics / evolution has never been observed - never seen hide nor hair of him again)
The Q&A arose becuase there was a bit of a tempestuous moment regarding challenges so we said, alright we'd think of some Lisa to her credit - actually said alright bring it on - the novelty of that was enough to pique my interest.
I thinkj of it a bit like t like Bruce Wayne fighting off those six inmates at the start of the rebooted Batman "You're practice" he says to the scary giant before breaking his jaw.
Have you ever known a discussion with a theist be productive? No of course not I'm just keeping my Occam Razor well oiled and checking the aerodynamics on my rhetorical hammers, ready for throwing. ;^)
The so what's / you can't possibly know that's / the bible isn't eyewitness testimony / no proof god exists therefore the bible can't be taken to be the word of god espeically when we know it isn't - is exactly where I was going..
Ahhh, true. There's always value in practice, for when you're ready to try out someone who really knows what they're talking about. And yeah, in this case, you work with what you've got.
And actually, yes, I've known discussions with theists to be productive. It's just very rare and only accomplishes anything when they're already questioning their faith. You need to be there at the right moment, rather than the pastor with his mindless, emotional, comfort bullshit.
This one definitely isn't in that camp. She's out to convert the atheists, because she's been lied to by her pastor or someone similar, about what makes someone an atheist (as evidenced by the first point in the document). We're in the enviable position of understanding our opposition while not being understood by them, ourselves. We know what makes people theists: childhood indoctrination, reinforced by emotional reinforcement (wow, I need to start getting more caffeine before I post; thesaurus fail) and threats of hell or similar.
There's a useful chunk mentioned here, at 5:55:
You'll have to do a bit of googling to expand upon the brief mention, but there's the bit I was speaking of previously, about part of one of the Gospels being a forgery. Hell, just watch the whole thing, though. Sunderb00t is a trip. He's called 4 times, before Matt banned him from the show, after the last appearance.
Ah yes, the last twelve verses of Mark. I have my copy of Misquoting Jesus within arms reach, I think it might come in useful for that bit about "God in the flesh" since scholars agree - that interpretation is just the sect that won the schism battle. The particular reference for that is I think in Luke in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus weeps tears that fall like blood or as blood - depending on which manuscript you read, between the fleshy Jesus or the spiritual Jesus - or the third category the fully man/fully god compromisers who get the best of both worlds.
My favourite is the woman caught in adultary ('let he who is without sin') definitively not originally part of the bible - well see if I can;t wrangle her round to that one on the matter of "we know what Jesus said"
"as evidenced by the first point in the document"
Oh yes the unhappy childhood remark. Yes she said she was going out on a limb on that one - I said I wished her a happy landing on something soft 'cos that bough broke: my childhood was safe and warm and happy and my encounter with the godly fairly benign, I just realised somewhere around age 18 that I really didn't believe it and about 3 years later I really got sorting through why I didn't believe it.
Thanks for the AE link. I've been steadily consuming the archive....
Likewise. The worst you can say about the religious components of my childhood is that they were boring and nonsensical.
And yeah, I've been through the entire A.E. archive, myself. I had a lot of time on my hands at one point, recently.
As I recall church mainly revolved around pva glue and glitter in the side rooms while something I wasn't privy to and escorted out of - was happening in the the main church.
The whole thing? Wow. Martin's my favourite. He seems so cuddly but that fluffy bear's got claws.....
Yeah, I was unemployed for two months, recently. Stupid holiday layoffs. Just because they've run out of projects for me to work on, they don't want to pay me. Meh. First time I've ever had to draw unemployment.
Strangely, I can see what you mean about Martin. It has no hormonal effect on me, since I'm not drawn to men even vaguely, but he's ... appealing somehow, yeah. Very cuddly and friendly. I can imagine with the hormonal draw as well.
I'd have to hold up Matt and Jeff first, for a man crush, but Martin is definitely third.
You'd like him in episode 604, as well. He shines a bit more, without Matt overshadowing him:
His closing, in the second clip, is great.
On the subject of the The Martin man-fan-club, it seems I am not in luck.
But also relating to our conversation in the dating thread, it seems Quakers have something in common with The Free Masons.
Yeah, I've never seen anything to indicate that Martin is gay. I think Don is gay ... and then of course there's Jen who's completely open and talks about it regularly ... not that that does you any good ... well, and she's married, anyway.
So, the Quakers also do the whole "God is light," thing?