Author Topic: Challenge for Athiests and Theists  (Read 935 times)

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Offline Gohavesomefun

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Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« on: September 26, 2012, 05:10:38 PM »
Consider this an exercise in creative writing and a way of expressing your views in a different light.

The challenge for the atheists; is to argue the case of theism and then a religion of your choice over any popular atheistic view.

The challenge for theists; is to do the same, but argue from the stand point of atheism over your current belief system and basis.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 05:39:45 PM »
The atheist challenge is more daulting because not only must the atheist make the case for deities, but the atheist must also pick a deity and a single religion that fully and hopefully logically supports belief in said deity. That's asking a lot.

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 05:48:37 PM »
That's why I called it a challenge ;)
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 05:55:26 PM »
Today everyone is looking at pictures from very very far away in our wondrous universe.  There are those who look at these pictures and imagine that they are BILLIONS of years old, but anyone who thinks about it, understands that makes no sense.

When I look at pictures of our beautiful universe, I feel truly blessed that God took the time to create these wonders for us to enjoy.  There is no way that a universe this big created itself.  The hand of God is upon each star, and each distant galaxy, which He created so that we may delight in His glory.



Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 11:20:45 PM »
This is a flawed exercise.  Why should an atheist have to pick a god to 'believe' in?  Furthermore, an atheist expressing theistic views, or a theist expressing atheistic views, isn't going to be presenting their views in a different light.  They're going to be presenting a viewpoint that they consider to be fake.  It'd be about the same as writing about Harry Potter as if it the person thought it was a biography, but when they really thought it was just a fictional book.  In other words, it'll just end up being a caricature of the other position; they won't really learn anything because they'll only be putting only what they already think about the other viewpoint.

For this to be an honest exercise, atheists shouldn't have to pick a religion.  They should be able to use their imaginations in order to think about the implications of a deity they really believed in, rather than picking one that someone's already come up with.
Worldviews:  Everyone has one, everyone believes them to be an accurate view of the world, and everyone ends up at least partially wrong.  However, some worldviews are stronger and well-supported, while others are so bizarre that they make no sense to anyone else.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 11:53:22 PM »
Do we even have any theists here nowadays, let alone someone willing to do this?
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 04:11:39 AM »
Consider this an exercise in creative writing and a way of expressing your views in a different light.

The challenge for the atheists; is to argue .......

What do you mean by that?

If its the simplistic "make a statement or two form the opposite side", then Quesi nailed it.  I'm sure we've all read enough apologetics to have a stab at a phrase or two!

Or do you want someone to be prepared - in this thread - to completely take on the mantle of the opposition and debate with others on the forum?  That's a significant commitment, and - as jaime says - would be better done with an imagined god: in great part because for the believer a significant part of the puzzle is matching events in their life with intervention from their god.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline EV

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 05:33:15 AM »
Before I posted in and read this thread, there were 6 replies, and 66 views[1].

This proves that Satan is real. Hail Satan.

What's that, you want proof? Well it's changed now, so I can't show you anything. But yes, of course you can take my word for it.
 1. Genuinely.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 11:53:51 PM »
Consider this an exercise in creative writing and a way of expressing your views in a different light.

The challenge for the atheists; is to argue the case of theism and then a religion of your choice over any popular atheistic view.

Existence, it stands as the one reasonably verifiable eternal. Before the universe expanded into existence, before there was a singularly, there was the existence of something or various somethings that we are not able to positively identify which we can reasonably conclude acted or was acted upon resulting in what ultimately led to our existence. In a way we can view existence as a breeder/procreater of more existence and diversity within the realm of all that exists.

We assume that life came to be through the process of abiogenesis, however, what is being overlooked is the reality that life like existence is a given of sorts that has always been. In the birth of our universe, not only was space-time introduced into the reality we are a part of, but so was life. That life developed into a sentient self aware life force that would soon permeate the expanding universe and just as existence always breeds further existence, this life force by its very nature was compelled to create further life. This universe's original life is then what is responsible for all the life that has come to be within the universe.

This original life is the GOD of all the living. It was born with the cosmos and continues to grow and expand in knowledge just as the material cosmos it exists in is ever expanding. Through experience IT came to realize that ITS universe was ultimately hostile to life and that IT was the only unending life in the universe. This was largely irrelevant to God until the life it was responsible for initiating evolved to the point of self awareness and developed the ability to contemplate existence itself. It was this development that caused God to feel a sense of remorse for the temporary and in many ways ultimately meaningless existence IT in effect forced these beings into. Feeling a real duty to make the situation better, God found ways to relay messages to Its creation with the intent being to give these creatures hope. These messages led to the creation of religion, and religion served to give lasting hope dying races that came to believe in everlasting life as opposed to believing the short lives they were born into was it.

God knew that religion would only serve as a temporary fix and figured that in time as creations learned more of the universe's secrets, religious faith would decline. So God focused on making the fantasy of everlasting life a reality for the beings It spawned. What God discovered was that IT could give an age lasting life to sentient beings by somehow making it so that the neural information that gave rise to consciousness could be brought back online even after the death of a being and then transferred into raves of energy  that would exist as long as the universe persisted.

God wanted this message of age-lasting life relayed to created, so various messengers were sent. Unfortunately, the good news of God's message was co-opted by the prevailing religions and the truth of universalism is rarely taught. The truth is that no only is there a God, but there is some truth in religion, it's called Unitarian Universalism! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarian_Universalism


Did I make a somewhat reasonable case for God?

Offline Poseidon

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 01:22:38 AM »
TOT and Quesi both made a case. Quesis' case is a plagiarism. We have heard that one from theists many times before but it will do. TOT made his claim sound very scientific but he was actually baffling us with bullshit. Good on you both.

As for me, I find the whole supernatural thing so repugnant that I'd get sick if I wrote something that defended or attempted to sell that position. I may take a large spoonful of Pepto Bismol and then try it, later.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2012, 04:31:58 AM »
TOT and Quesi both made a case. Quesis' case is a plagiarism. We have heard that one from theists many times before but it will do. TOT made his claim sound very scientific but he was actually baffling us with bullshit. Good on you both.



So I was supposed to argue for the existence of a deity AND engage in original thought?

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 08:53:09 AM »
TOT and Quesi both made a case. Quesis' case is a plagiarism. We have heard that one from theists many times before but it will do. TOT made his claim sound very scientific but he was actually baffling us with bullshit. Good on you both.

As for me, I find the whole supernatural thing so repugnant that I'd get sick if I wrote something that defended or attempted to sell that position. I may take a large spoonful of Pepto Bismol and then try it, later.

I find it impossible to not walk into Poe territory when trying to write something defending to religious viewpoint outside of Deism. It is so damn ludicrous in the first place, and I am inclined towards sarcasm.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »
As far as taking the challenge of choosing a religion and defending it is concerned, I’ve had a few goes in my mind and always ended when I came to the point where I would say to myself, “But if I argue xyz, then I know for a fact that there is no answer to the argument, ‘that can’t be because of abc.’ Thus I fail.”

I probably need to re-read your argument, which is one of those that is superficially attractive, but I did like your third paragraph. Yet, even this is stating there is a god by virtue of defining ‘god’ in the way that suits your argument; in this case, whatever was the beginning of life is god which leads us to think that perhaps some murky pool in a far galaxy is god. But it is just a murky pool, probably lacking all self-awareness.

I recall a post about a year back; some Mormon was proselytizing and was asked “Define your god.” Before he could get any further, a poster I took to be a more senior Mormon, leaped in and, with something akin to panic, ordered, “Don’t do that! Don’t give any definition!”

And that is one trouble with gods – once defined, they are no longer gods; see murky pool above. But to support a belief in them you have to have an idea of what they are like. This idea always falls short of a definition.

I could play the fundamentalist and, as Quesi and Anfauglir suggest, trot out a few apologetics, baseless claims, circular arguments and biblical quotes but I know I will be shot down with, ‘that can’t be because of abc.’ Thus I fail.

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 01:24:39 PM »
Consider this an exercise in creative writing and a way of expressing your views in a different light.

The challenge for the atheists; is to argue .......

What do you mean by that?

If its the simplistic "make a statement or two form the opposite side", then Quesi nailed it.  I'm sure we've all read enough apologetics to have a stab at a phrase or two!

Or do you want someone to be prepared - in this thread - to completely take on the mantle of the opposition and debate with others on the forum?  That's a significant commitment, and - as jaime says - would be better done with an imagined god: in great part because for the believer a significant part of the puzzle is matching events in their life with intervention from their god.
It's funny observing peoples suspicion with this thread, as well as the arguments for what to post.

Theres no intentions to have someone debate this in vast detail. Considering a perspective that greatly differs from your own is a challenge and thats the aim of the thread.

I hope nobody feels like they need to post or to explain why they can't post.
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Online One Above All

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 01:27:35 PM »
Going off-topic for a second here...
How can you spell "theist" but fail to spell "atheist"? It's just a simple prefix that needs to be added.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline EV

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2012, 01:31:50 PM »
I always liked the awfulness of Descartes's ontological argument.

'As the definition of a square as having four sides necessitates the existence of a Square, the definition of a God as perfect necessitates the existence of a God.'

And the definition of a yellow and black fire breathing toothbrush necessitates the existence of a yellow and black fire breathing toothbrush. Aww shit.



This kid is gonna get it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 01:35:02 PM by EV »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2012, 02:15:09 PM »

I hope nobody feels like they need to post or to explain why they can't post.

I specifically did because I tried three times, and looked at what I wrote as a failure and deleted it. I actually thought I had it in me, but apparently I do not have the ability to but together a reasonably intelligent argument for any sort of interventionist deity. Even when I tried to power through by use of will, it just came across as a Poe/sarcastic.

This is kind of strange to me as I've been able to come up with arguments for opinions I do not agree with before as a mental exercise.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2012, 04:02:34 PM »
Why can't we make up a religion that would be worth believing in, rather than try to defend one of the lame-fail ones already in existence?

How about: a religion that actually works as advertised and lives up to the stories in its sacred books?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2012, 08:53:22 AM »
My favourite religion is teh ones that I invented:

1. God needs humans to destroy the universe. God is bored with the universe, but can't find a way to properly destroy it, because he is outside of it, so needs our help.
2. Consciousness is the main experiment. Our brains are host to random consciousness tourists, who tour into the most interesting brains. Women who have the biggest orgasms are the most popular destinations. Our job is to therefore be as hedonistic as possible, to amuse the tourists.
3. God just keeps us around to laugh at us.
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2012, 04:17:19 PM »
The challenge for theists; is to do the same, but argue from the stand point of atheism over your current belief system and basis.
I love stuff like this, because it readily demonstrates the flaws in thinking The Discussion is simply a binary issue (ie. God exists vs God doesn't exist).

I'm a deist, and that makes me a theist from a technical standpoint.  In practical terms, however, I generally make and support atheist arguments.  The case for God (as made by theists) is weak in the extreme.

So, here's my response to your challenge:

There is no reliable evidence that a creator deity exists.  Given this, and given the clear historic examples of the excesses of institutionalized theism, it's not only reasonable to believe no god(s) exists(s), it's entirely pragmatic.  The minute a religion steps forwards and is willing to make falsifiable claims about such a deity - THAT is the point at which theism deserves to be treated seriously.

Until then, assuming no god(s) exist(s) is the clear rational default.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2012, 10:16:28 PM »
There is no verifiable evidence that a deity of any sort exists.  Therefore, I am justified in rejecting the premise on those grounds.  Consequently, I reject the premise.  Therefore, I am an atheist.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2012, 10:32:55 PM »
It isn’t possible to make a rational argument for theism. Sure, I could make irrational arguments for theism, but what’s the point of that?

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2012, 09:23:01 PM »
It isn’t possible to make a rational argument for theism. Sure, I could make irrational arguments for theism, but what’s the point of that?
Deism is the most rational form of theism I'm aware of.

And for the most part, that's because a deist God isn't blamed or praised for the things that happen in His universe.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2012, 07:02:04 AM »
It isn’t possible to make a rational argument for theism. Sure, I could make irrational arguments for theism, but what’s the point of that?
Deism is the most rational form of theism I'm aware of.

And for the most part, that's because a deist God isn't blamed or praised for the things that happen in His universe.

Well Deism only has one logical fallacy: Appeal to ignorance.  All other brands of theism have many many more.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2012, 08:54:49 AM »
Consider this an exercise in creative writing and a way of expressing your views in a different light.

The challenge for the atheists; is to argue .......

What do you mean by that?

If its the simplistic "make a statement or two form the opposite side", then Quesi nailed it.  I'm sure we've all read enough apologetics to have a stab at a phrase or two!

Or do you want someone to be prepared - in this thread - to completely take on the mantle of the opposition and debate with others on the forum?  That's a significant commitment, and - as jaime says - would be better done with an imagined god: in great part because for the believer a significant part of the puzzle is matching events in their life with intervention from their god.
It's funny observing peoples suspicion with this thread......

Well, quite.  All I was after was trying to understand what it was you were actually after - whether you were after the five minute argument or the full half-hour.   ;D
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2012, 02:20:16 PM »
Please make the posts as long or as brief as you wish Anfauglir.

It isn’t possible to make a rational argument for theism. Sure, I could make irrational arguments for theism, but what’s the point of that?
I'm glad you asked 3sigma.

Quite simply, I'm aiming for understanding of the other perspective and to reveal some traits I find overly distasteful amongst the community. You may think you have it, maybe you do; but there are a lot of people here who are demonstrating great difficulty, in proving, that they have considered the other persons persective; no matter how illogical, irrational or ludicruous they may find it. Of course when challenged on this notion of considering the opposing view; many individuals seek to strike at the framework of the suggestion at hand, which has been clearly demonstrated in this thread.

We must understand eachother, it's so important for your own personal growth to expand your persective, no matter how difficult or how impossible it may seem. How do you suppose a member of the opposing argument, is going to understand you and your persective if you haven't considered their thoughts, their emotion and their logical reasoning skills that brought to whatever belief they have?

Regardless so, I and this thread come in peace. My intentions are not to cause harm or upset, simply strike up a conversation with what I would largely consider; a rational community.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2012, 03:19:53 PM »
Gohavesomefun,

We already know the opposing arguments that religious people have. Very well, in fact.

Most of us were born and raised religious and were so until for whatever reason we stopped believing in it. In many cases, we struggled against the idea of atheism for a long time, because the religious viewpoint is so pervasive and prevalent.

Besides that many of us come from religious backgrounds, none of us exist in some little atheist bubble-- we are still bombarded with religion everywhere we turn. Our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers are religious. A lot of us find ourselves attending religious services from time to time for spouses or elderly relatives, and even faking belief certain times, participating in religious observances at weddings and funerals, etc.

Now, I ask you, how many religious people have made any effort at all to understand non-religious perspectives? How many believers read atheist literature or attend any non-believer events with the intention of learning a different point of view? How many times have we been cursed at and condemned by people who don't even know us? Misrepresented as criminals, accused of hating god, assumed to be evil people who just want to commit terrible acts without guilt.

I think it is pretty damn patronizing to tell atheists that we have to try to understand religious people better. Go try that line with some religious people and see how far you get.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2012, 03:37:25 PM »
Gohavesomefun,

We already know the opposing arguments that religious people have. Very well, in fact.

Most of us were born and raised religious and were so until for whatever reason we stopped believing in it. In many cases, we struggled against the idea of atheism for a long time, because the religious viewpoint is so pervasive and prevalent.

Besides that many of us come from religious backgrounds, none of us exist in some little atheist bubble-- we are still bombarded with religion everywhere we turn. Our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers are religious. A lot of us find ourselves attending religious services from time to time for spouses or elderly relatives, and even faking belief certain times, participating in religious observances at weddings and funerals, etc.

Now, I ask you, how many religious people have made any effort at all to understand non-religious perspectives? How many believers read atheist literature or attend any non-believer events with the intention of learning a different point of view? How many times have we been cursed at and condemned by people who don't even know us? Misrepresented as criminals, accused of hating god, assumed to be evil people who just want to commit terrible acts without guilt.

I think it is pretty damn patronizing to tell atheists that we have to try to understand religious people better. Go try that line with some religious people and see how far you get.
I understand from spending a lot of hours reading through old posts, that there is a degree of understanding of the religous argument. This is why I said do not feel as if you need to post, I understand this has been debated. It seems strange that so many old members are getting frustrated with arguments they've seen or learned before. What if someone else hasn't? Are you giving any consideration to anyone else who wants to enter the debate or should they go find a less hostile forum to do it on? I'll reiterate - you were never forced at any point to make a post in this thread.

As for your last question, in my experience; quite a few. How is it you think we got here in the first place? More and more people appear to be less interested in religion, they must of came from somewhere I'd imagine.

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Re: Challenge for Athiests and Theists
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2012, 05:25:37 PM »
How do you suppose a member of the opposing argument, is going to understand you and your persective if you haven't considered their thoughts, their emotion and their logical reasoning skills that brought to whatever belief they have?

I have long considered their thoughts, emotions and logical reasoning skills. After several decades of engaging religious believers in conversations and considering those things, I’ve come to the conclusion that religious believers are insecure and gullible. It is their emotions of fear and anxiety that drive them to want the comforting promises made by religions to be true and it is their lack of logical reasoning skills that allows them to believe them. It seems most people allow their desire for emotional comfort to override their reason.

It seems most people are fearful or anxious when they consider their inevitable death; they seem to be anxious when faced with uncertainty or the unknown; and they seem to fear being ostracised, shunned or not part of their community. Religions promise to quell those fears and anxieties. The most successful religions promise that you will never really die; that a powerful, benevolent figure is in control and has a plan for your life; and they provide a simple answer to any question (God did it). The most successful religions also threaten harm (for all eternity) to those who don’t believe. This combination of comfort and fear drives most people to religious belief. Their gullibility allows them to believe all sorts of irrational nonsense as long as those beliefs provide emotional comfort.

You might then ask, “Why argue with religious believers if their beliefs are providing them with emotional comfort?” If that were the only result of religious belief, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. However, when I read the news every day and see the constant intolerance, misery, violence and death caused by people acting on or motivated by their childish religious beliefs then I have a problem with those beliefs and wish to see them disappear. Unfortunately, as long as there are insecure and gullible people in the world, that isn’t likely to happen so I don’t see religious belief waning any time in the foreseeable future. The best we can do is limit the harm religious believers can cause by doing whatever is reasonable to limit their power.