Tuesday, May 17, 2011
One of the most difficult things to do is debate effectively. Trying to debate someone with a viewpoint equal and opposite of your own, someone who holds their belief just as strongly as you do, if not stronger, is like trying to move a mountain. Because such a belief is a "world view," as the expression goes. That world view, be it Biblical or other, colors the perspective of all data we receive. People of faith obviously have this reality filter in place, but scientists are not immune to this bias either. In our world where we are trending towards more faith in science than religion, that has its own hazards. But I digress...
How do you debate someone with a different world view? How do you convince someone that blue is pink, or the other way around? I don't know, but I am trying to learn more effective ways to do so in the arena of faith. It's just difficult and frustrating. When you can look at the sky and say "See that blip of light? That comes form a galaxy 300 million light years away," and yet people still think that the earth is less than 20,000 years old, you just want to throw your hands up and wave the white flag. Just like watching a magic show, people of faith are willing to suspend their disbelief until God pulls a rabbit out of his Holy Hat, to reveal that He made the universe already fully matured.
So what approach do you take? Any tips for this Fool? I'm thinking of trying to limit conversations to a core set (yet to be completed) of arguments, like:
Why is it that we are even having a debate about God's existence instead of it being intuitively obvious?
Assuming that there is a God, how can you be certain that the revelation in your holy book is indeed from God?
Assuming that demons exist, how can you be certain that God actually cares and sent Jesus, as opposed to the whole story being concocted and enacted by demons as a way to entertain themselves by playing with the minds of mortals?