When arguing with a faither (a deeply religious person), against the precepts of their religion, what are the best techniques to use to expose reality. For example, the other day Jehovah's witnesses argued that Noah's arc was real because it was only 2 of each species that was needed to fit on it?
its a case by case basis, situation by situation.
IF the ark story were true, then Noah's Family were the most pest ridden humans of all time!
They HAD to carry, flesh eating bacteria, scabies, crabs, intestinal worms, tapeworms, pinworms, lice and Bot fly larva, just to name a few.
As well as all the diseases which ONLY reside in humans, smallpox, typhoid, malaria, Diphtheria, TB and a host of others.
IF that tale were true, you could not fit the INSECTS alone. There are over 35,000 species of spider known, and an estimated 35,000 or more as yet undiscovered.
Not to mention little issues like elephants tipping the boat, the unsoundness of a wooden vessel of such size, ignoring the fact that other nations on the earth took no notice of the flood at all, or that there is just not enough water, or the reality that other people HAD boats already, and in a years time would have assaulted such an ark for the wealth of food it contained.
THEN as the final kicker, it would be the ultimate genetic bottleneck, reducing our DNA finger\print to the results of ONE family, making us ALL siblings by DNA. This would result in all sorts of birth defects and inbreeding within a generation.
It not only takes faith to believe this, it requires turning off your brain as well.
I honestly believe if the person is open to reason you might make progress discussing things with them otherwise they are just numb to reason. For most it’s talking to a wall. I would suggest that listening to what they say and then mentioning why what they say doesn’t make logical sense. I have done extensive research on subjects only to have folks fail to show or refuse to discuss subjects. I was a JW for nearly 40 years and have a son who I failed to even recognize when I passed him by at the post office one day, it’s been that long since we have spoken. He admitted previously that there are things that bother him but he won’t address them because he fears he will lose his own family. I believe that no matter what you say, it doesn’t matter until the person has entered a state of mind that is open to accepting truth.
Get them to explain things to you in detail. In doing so they may come to realise how little they know or how stupid it all sounds. Ask questions relating to actual evidence.
Ask them how many species there are in the world. There are many questions to ask about the ark and the flood. Rather than tell them it's garbage, just ask them to explain how it all works, and in detail.
Can't argue with the wittlesses. One of their tenets is to not engage for long with disbelievers. This is how the maintain the existence of their cult. Just like Scienctolergers.
Most religionists do not have a broad enough education to be able to process reality about their adult fairy tales. And they are trained to not try to do so.
But if ya wanna have a go, say, "Jesus was a jewish myth. There is no evidence that a man named jesus ever lived. The bibles are all allegories and fables designed to get people to be obedient to the church and political leaders."
And: "You guys need to read another book. Can't learn much reading the same words over and over. Especially when nearly every current translation of those books is no where near the original aremaic and greek."
"The OLD testament is a jewish book. And only jews know what it means."
"Why do you guys have to beg your all powerful invisible friend for anything? If he is a loving god, why does he not just fix it before its broke?"
"Nothing fails like prayer."
The most moving debate I had with a preacher was when I had one as a captive audience while we were waiting for a Helicopter christening. Long story but after he again asked me why I didn't call him father (he was a man of the cloth) I started by introducing how important it was that we (persons and society) need to use facts to make the best informed choices. After many (about a half hour) of examples (climate change etc. including the dire consequences of making uninformed decisions) he agreed that we need facts to make the correct choices. I then revealed how as a peddler of faith (belief without evidence asserted as fact often in direct conflict with demonstrable fact) he was promoting an unhealthy mind state and was not doing mankind a service but was actually doing much harm as people who valued faith over facts do not make the best choices. Such decisions are more likely lead to the degradation of not only themselves, easily deceived as they have been brainwashed to accept unsupported stories as facts, but society as masses of people making decisions without evidence may greatly influence our civilization and do irreparable harm to mankind.
By the time the Helicopter arrived, the priest was nearly in tears as he admitted I was right and asked me, “. . . what else can I do. . . “ I told him about The clergy Project [clergyproject.org]
I would like to ask them questions.
If god is all-good and all-powerful, why does he not vanquish evil? Why does he allow innocent babies suffer violent deaths due to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes?
How fair is it to have infinite punishment for finite sins?
What's the point of punishment or reward if people can't learn to do better (heaven or hell), or can't remember what they're being punished or rewarded for (reincarnation)?
How much worse is the best person in hell than the worst person in heaven? Is that small difference fair?
How can heaven be perfectly blissful if people you love are in hell?
I don't know but I will tell you this. I bounce my best arguments off my close family. They are extremely religious and no matter what I say they usually have to have the last word of something like I didn't come from a monkey even though I have spent the last ten minutes explaining that we are apes and come from a common descendant of other species.
If I can present an argument that they can accept I consider it bullet proof!!!!
Geeze... its rough... arguing with that special person of god about religion. I say its all man made excuses to explain things. I wish some one would find how they cut and smooth stone to make the pyramids. Stones to big for cranes to pick up and put in places tjat are to tight to fit.
To use argument is to lose. To ask evidence it to make them approach admitting there is none. All will have their limit. Typically it will end up being ‘I have faith’ then you can bring up other men had faith in Zeus and that’s folly.
You can then explain you believe in only one less god than they do.
the Bible will tell you not to do this--debate with the deceived--but since that is hard to illuminate to a blind person (the blind lead the blind), you might get familiar with the cult of Sol Invictus, which your dad is surely engaged in--"death more abundantly," to put it briefly; the Romans just altered Mithraism and inserted it into Christianity--and you could maybe ask him how he imagines that the part of him that is supposed to die--his ego--might possibly make it into any "heaven" in the afterlife? Which is nowhere in the Bible btw;
all go to the same place
no one knows where they go when they die
no Son of Man may die for another's sins
but you won't make any headway doing this ok, you can only further alienate your father doing this. He cannot hear you
As others have mentioned in the comments, it really depends on if the person is already doubting some of their beliefs and are open to reason. If they are "firm and determined" to hold strong to their beliefs, they will continually dismiss all logic and use the excuse that God can do anything by miraculous means.
I don't try to convince people who don't respect facts. It's a fool's errand. Nor do I have a need to change people's beliefs unless they come to me looking for info. Same principle as I don't want them proselytizing me unless I ask them to.
Now what actually does happen is sometimes on a site like this (more often, obviously, on a site that's more frequented by believers) people come voluntarily specifically to engage in such debates; that's a different matter. But even there, after many years of such exchanges, I am not eager to engage in them unless I see some sign of intellectual honesty. Which is pretty rare with these folks.
You can Google about the "2 of each species" issue and find ammo if you care to. I've heard people work out the math of the cubic footage of the ark and the space needed for the animals, food, water, waste handling, and ventilation (and for a small handful of people to take care of them all). As a practical matter, it doesn't, in fact, work out. And in fact, a single pair is not a real-world guarantee that the species will survive. All it takes is for one of them to die or be sick or injured in some way that prevents mating. So not only would all the animals need to fit but they'd have to be miraculously kept from mishap for several weeks in close quarters while being buffeted by waves, etc.
I buzzed a JW into my home the other day--I live on the top floor of a two-flat, and as she was coming up the stairs she told me she was "from the Kingdom Hall." I told her "Thank you, but I'm an atheist. I wish you a good day, though." I figured why waste energy coming all the way up my stairs. I see no point in engaging.
why argue? Let them do their thing and we do ours. The part that bothers me sometimes is the ignorance. Some of the things, well, most of the things in the bible are just nuts. Some of my "point outs" are: How did Jonah get swallowed by a whale 600 miles from the nearest body of water? Who did Cain and Abel marry?How did Shadrack, Meshack and Abendigo survive 3 days in a furnace with a fire hotter than had ever been built before? Who had the thermometer? It just goes on and on---so why bother--you can't fix stupid