1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    28 Nov '15 16:441 edit
    "10 Things I Wish Christians Considered Before Arguing with Atheists" (By Michael Lehmann: February 9, 2015)

    "Mike Lehmann edits Jesus & Dawkins, a blog that looks at the intersection of Christianity, science, and atheism. We asked him to list 10 things he wishes Christians knew before arguing with atheists about God."

    "1. Make sure you’re arguing about the same definition of God.

    If you assume that you and your atheist friend are defining God the same way, then you might be wasting your time. If the atheist uses God to refer to a fictitious man in the sky and you use the word to refer to the immaterial creator and sustainer of the universe, then you two will talk past each other. Bottom line: Don’t let your conversation turn into the tattoo scene from Dude, Where’s My Car?

    2. As Philip Yancey said, “No one ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument.”

    Do you think if you are able to just explain your arguments really well then your excellent reasoning will compel an atheist to believe in God? Not so fast, my friend. As social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains, our brains don’t process arguments in that kind of objective way. He writes, “When self-interest, partisan identity, or strong emotions are involved, reasoning turns into a lawyer, using all its powers to reach the desired conclusion.” We tend to jump to conclusions first and then our reason manufactures supportive arguments. Arguments can still yield light, but remember that we are all biased — so don’t expect your atheist friend to immediately change his or her mind.

    3. Don’t treat your conversation as a confrontation — treat it as a collaborative effort to get closer to truth.

    Atheists are fellow human beings, created in the image of God, who have something to teach you. You shouldn’t view them simply as intellectual adversaries. There are obviously deep differences between atheism and Christianity, but that’s not an excuse for your discussion to devolve into a shouting match. In fact, approaching the conversation with civility and humility will make it easier for both of you to learn something. (Ideally, your interfaith dialogue will grow out of the fertile soil of friendship.) Do each other the favor of listening carefully. Ask good questions to reveal each other’s assumptions and blind spots. For a great example of this approach in action, check out Closer to Truth." (to be continued)
    http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2015/02/09/10-things-i-wish-christians-considered-before-arguing-with-atheists/36113
    _________________________

    Your thoughts?
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    28 Nov '15 17:361 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"10 Things I Wish Christians Considered Before Arguing with Atheists" (By Michael Lehmann: February 9, 2015)

    "Mike Lehmann edits Jesus & Dawkins, a blog that looks at the intersection of Christianity, science, and atheism. We asked him to list 10 things he wishes Christians knew before arguing with atheists about God."

    "1. Make su ...[text shortened]... tians-considered-before-arguing-with-atheists/36113
    _________________________

    Your thoughts?
    My initial thought is that I wish Lehmann's list was only 3 and not 10.
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    28 Nov '15 17:37
    Points 2 and 3 seem reasonable enough. Especially point two, that is something I've seen happen - a relative who is a Conservative was listening to a political statement by a left winger on the television (this is from about thirty years ago - I can't remember the details) they thought for a second and then made some brief statement along the lines of "ah, but that ignores X" and looked pleased with themselves. They may well have been right and they may have been wrong but the thinking process was exactly what you describe.

    I'd take issue with point 1. I don't think that most atheists view of God is a man sitting in clouds - that image is only used by atheists as a rhetorical device. Although the wider point is fair enough, I don't think it's likely that an atheist would have a conception of God that is all that dissimilar to the dominant theism of the society in which they were brought up. The differences between a theist's and an atheist's conception of God would be more subtle than that. For theists God is very much a person, for atheists an abstraction.
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    28 Nov '15 17:52
    All three are good points.
    1. In my experience, it is most often theists that use a fictitious god in their arguments ie they use a god that they don't actually believe in especially when using the 'you can't prove god doesn't exist' claim.
    2. In my experience on this forum, athiests make better more sound arguments than theists on average. It is certainly noticeable to me that an argument can be soundly won by one side and the other side just goes right on making the original claim as if nothing happened. And this is usually with regards to fairly insignificant issues not world views or major beliefs.
    3. I would say : don't treat your conversation as a conversion attempt. Your biggest problem Grampy is that you appear to be totally uninterested in having a genuine conversation with anyone unless they are lapping up your words as if they are pure gold. Any sign of disagreement and you shut the conversation down rather rudely.
  5. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    28 Nov '15 18:46
    DeepThought and twhitehead, thank you for your object insights on this thread's topic.
    I'll reply further as the "10 Things..." are presented. -Bob
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    28 Nov '15 18:46
    Originally posted by divegeester
    My initial thought is that I wish Lehmann's list was only 3 and not 10.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." —Aristotle
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    28 Nov '15 20:02
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"10 Things I Wish Christians Considered Before Arguing with Atheists" (By Michael Lehmann: February 9, 2015)

    "Mike Lehmann edits Jesus & Dawkins, a blog that looks at the intersection of Christianity, science, and atheism. We asked him to list 10 things he wishes Christians knew before arguing with atheists about God."

    "1. Make su ...[text shortened]... tians-considered-before-arguing-with-atheists/36113
    _________________________

    Your thoughts?
    "We asked him to list 10 things he wishes Christians knew before arguing with atheists about God."

    Why isn't there a list naming 10 things atheists should know before arguing with Christians? It seems as though Mike Lehmann postures himself in a defensive position in an attempt to reason with atheists. But that's just my take on it.

    How does Philip Yancey know that no one was ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument? Atheists have already lost the argument, they just don't know it yet!
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    28 Nov '15 20:111 edit
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." —Aristotle
    It's the mark of an ignorant mind to dismiss a thought without entertaining it! -josephw 😉
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    28 Nov '15 21:341 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    My initial thought is that I wish Lehmann's list was only 3 and not 10.
    I don't know, I don't start having significant issues with the advice Reveal Hidden Content
    [ignoring the fact that I think you should all just give up and become atheists 😉 ]
    until point 7. Point 8's fine, 7,9 not so much.

    Certainly if this advice was followed it would remove a significant number of friction points in theist/atheist
    interactions. [specifically those where such a distinction is necessary and relevant.]

    I would note that one poster who would particularly benefit [among others] is GB.

    Particularly points 4 and 5.
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    28 Nov '15 21:43
    Originally posted by josephw
    Why isn't there a list naming 10 things atheists should know before arguing with Christians?
    There are many such lists and guides. They are generally written by atheists and not
    theists however. As seems sensible.

    How does Philip Yancey know that no one was ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument?


    People have 'been converted' by arguments. There are many atheists who are atheists because
    of being converted by arguments.

    However it almost never happens there on the spot, or after only one 'argument/discussion'.

    It almost always takes time for a person to reflect on the arguments made and make their own
    mental journey through the arguments before a change of mind occurs. [generally, not just with
    religion]. This journey can take months, years, or decades.

    Atheists have already lost the argument, they just don't know it yet!


    No, you have that backwards. It's the theists who have lost the argument, your just to blinded by
    faith to see it.

    Of course therein lies the problem.

    You should definitely take the advice from the OP.
  11. SubscriberSuzianne
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    28 Nov '15 23:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    All three are good points.
    1. In my experience, it is most often theists that use a fictitious god in their arguments ie they use a god that they don't actually believe in especially when using the 'you can't prove god doesn't exist' claim.
    2. In my experience on this forum, athiests make better more sound arguments than theists on average. It is certa ...[text shortened]... f they are pure gold. Any sign of disagreement and you shut the conversation down rather rudely.
    So it looks like we'll also definitely need the opposite list to this: "10 Things I Wish Atheists Considered Before Arguing With Christians".

    But this seems a decent start.

    Although your first point seems rather stupid on the face of it, ergo, that's why we also need the other list.

    Regarding your point three, I'm fully aware I'm not going to convert any atheists. And while I don't expect atheists to "lap up my words as if they were pure gold", I'd also appreciate it if they didn't spit out my words as if they were the worst crap they've ever stepped in, eiher.

    Try to keep in mind that this is a two-way street, not a one-way only going YOUR way.
  12. SubscriberSuzianne
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    28 Nov '15 23:34
    Originally posted by josephw
    It's the mark of an ignorant mind to dismiss a thought without entertaining it! -josephw 😉
    Tell me this. How often do you actually entertain the idea that there may be no God at all?

    Not often, I'd wager. I confess that I dismiss that like I dismiss the idea of pigs taking wing. You don't have to be ignorant to know something's not worth entertaining.
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    28 Nov '15 23:39
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I don't know, I don't start having significant issues with the advice [hidden] [ignoring the fact that I think you should all just give up and become atheists 😉 ] [/hidden] until point 7. Point 8's fine, 7,9 not so much.

    Certainly if this advice was followed it would remove a significant number of friction points in theist/atheist
    interactions. [i] ...[text shortened]... one poster who would particularly benefit [among others] is GB.

    Particularly points 4 and 5.
    ignoring the fact that I think you should all just give up and become atheists
    Yeah, let's ignore that.

    until point 7. Point 8's fine, 7,9 not so much.
    Particularly points 4 and 5.
    I'll let you know when I see them.

    Certainly if this advice was followed it would remove a significant number of friction points in theist/atheist interactions.
    Like I told twhitehead, the opposite list should probably be followed too. The street doesn't only belong to you. It goes both ways. Something you've always refused to understand.
  14. SubscriberSuzianne
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    28 Nov '15 23:44
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    There are many such lists and guides. They are generally written by atheists and not
    theists however. As seems sensible.

    How does Philip Yancey know that no one was ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument?


    People have 'been converted' by arguments. There are many atheists who are atheists because
    of being c ...[text shortened]... it.

    Of course therein lies the problem.

    You should definitely take the advice from the OP.
    It almost always takes time for a person to reflect on the arguments made and make their own mental journey through the arguments before a change of mind occurs. [generally, not just with religion]. This journey can take months, years, or decades.
    Again, this happens both ways. People also evolve, not just de-evolve. We're born focusing on ourselves. We have to grow and evolve before we can entertain a higher power than ourselves.
  15. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    29 Nov '15 07:22
    Originally posted by josephw
    "We asked him to list 10 things he wishes Christians knew before arguing with atheists about God."

    Why isn't there a list naming 10 things atheists should know before arguing with Christians? It seems as though Mike Lehmann postures himself in a defensive position in an attempt to reason with atheists. But that's just my take on it.

    How does Phili ...[text shortened]... ecause they lost the argument? Atheists have already lost the argument, they just don't know it yet!
    At some point I'll search online for his rationale.
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