Debating with Christians

“Why don’t we just start believing there’s a little green leprechaun on my lap waiting to grant my every wish while we’re at it?”

Question from Brian:
It’s me again. This Christian at my school is planning on debating me about religion this Monday. My problem isn’t really with the information, it’s just that people always think that I think I’m better than they are. What do you think?

Answer by Andrea:
Dear Brian,

First – Kudos to you for debating Christians! We need to have more of that in this country.

Regarding your question, during my college days, I would have said, of course I’m better and more rational than you, how can any sane person believe there’s an invisible wizard in the sky? Why don’t we just start believing there’s a little green leprechaun on my lap waiting to grant my every wish while we’re at it?

These days I’m more tactful, and in studying sociology and neurophysiology, I realize that people can genuinely believe they have had a supernatural experience, and not knowing brain neurophysiology, they attribute it to a supernatural force. Others don’t have the strength to handle life’s issues without a crutch, which can also result from improper upbringing in the formative years.

In answer to your question, however, I would touch on the following:

· Make it clear that everyone has a mixture of strengths and weaknesses including yourself, and no one is necessarily better than anyone else.

· Make people aware that you think they are entitled to believe whatever they want to as long as they don’t try to shove it down everyone’s throat.

· To bring people around to my way of thinking, or at least understanding it so they don’t fear it so much, I would mention some of the reasons why I don’t believe, which for me would be:
– Other than biblically-related writing, there is no secular proof of a man who could heal lepers, raise the dead or walk on water. There is also no proof of any apostles or most, if not all, the stories in the Bible (eg the great flood, etc.). There is secular proof of a King Herod, but he died 2 years before Christ was said to be born. There is also no proof of any mass slaughtering of male children.
– There is much proof that Christianity is merely a plagiarism of many mythologies preceding it (
see for instance “The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold and Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled at URL: www.truthbeknown.com/christ.htm)
– How can one believe religion is a good thing when secular societies are so much more societally healthy, while the US, the most religious country in the industrialized world, has the most societal dysfunction (i.e., highest rates of assaults, murder, imprisonment). The second most religious country, Portugal, is also second most dysfunctional. See also Phil Zuckerman and Gregory Paul for stats.
– Mention the contradictions found throughout the Bible. I think if more people actually read the Old Testament, more people would be atheists.


Try also Secular Student Alliance for answers to your question and for purposes of community.
Hope that helps.
Best,
Andrea

2 thoughts on “Debating with Christians”

  1. Hey there, you mention about what would happen if more people read the old testament.
    I’ve actually told friends about all the contradictions of the old testament with today’s social interactions and they always tell me that’s the reason god delivered the new testament to erase all the beliefs and rules from the old.
    How can you refute that?
    Personally I think this is just like engineered to make religion look good, what a coincidence that god gave the proper moral code after just to make the right thing

  2. Well, your friends have a fairly common position, but they’re in direct conflict with a great many Christians who think the whole thing is perfect and inerrant. The question is, if the Old Testament is overridden by the New, is it only the parts of the OT that are contradicted which should be discarded, or the whole thing? Is it still valid? Did God help write it or not, and if so did He then change His mind, and if not how do we know He had a hand in the NT instead?

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