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Standard Christian responses (3) Tue, Feb 18, 2014
I've noticed Christians tend to respond to skeptics and debates with any or all of the following arguments: 
  1. Different brand.  This was the response that surprised me the most about the Ham-Nye debate, e.g. this headline:  I'm a Christian, and Ken Ham Doesn't Speak for Me.  It's the idea that since there are so many different ways to act out a religion, one person's interpretation doesn't always apply to other people of the same religion.  This is true in many circumstances, like the Westboro Baptist Church and other extremists, but where's the line and who draws it?  I'm reminded of a Scott Adams quote:  "You can't both be right. But you could both be wrong."
  2. Mistranslation.  This seems to be the go-to.  It's the idea that the Bible was written in different languages and translated to modern languages in a variety of methods, leading to words and phrases that could easily mean something else.  This is at least reasonable, since language does indeed evolve over time.  But honestly, can't an all-powerful God just state things clearly?
  3. Contradiction-ism.  This is the tactic of admitting that certain things in the Bible or the church are wrong, but that other things are right, i.e. don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.  It comes across in statements like, "Yes, the Bible is anti-gay, but it's also pro-love."  It's irrelevant.  How many positive things would you need to outweigh the negative ones?
  4. Philosophize.  Fall back on the classics:  "What happens after you die?" or "What's the purpose of life?" or "How do you determine right from wrong?"  It's the argument that since you don't know the answer to some important questions, you don't know the answers to any questions.
The reason I point these out is because (1) I used them myself when I was a Christian, and (2) I feel like they're overplayed songs.  If you can get through a discussion without falling back on these tired old rags, I'm much more compelled to have a conversation. #religion

Comments:
harry Wed, Feb 19, 2014
Good points. Just curious, what kind of discussion would you consider?

Dave Thu, Feb 20, 2014
I'd consider a discussion that didn't seek to prove me wrong, that didn't rely on the Bible as proof, and that didn't appeal to personal experiences.  Evidence, reason, and rationality.

harry Tue, Feb 25, 2014
Here's an approach that may lead to an interesting conversation; First, start from the position of believing and knowing nothing. Carefully read statement I'll send when you get a chance. Then, using your reason and rationality see where the logical process leads you. If you agree and want to pursue the idea further, write and let me know.


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