Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A STORY ABOUT FAITH

I want to tell you a story of a recent debate I had. The debate was with a local fundamentalist Christian pastor. Before the debate, I learned a thing or two about the approach this pastor usually takes. I learned that he never really intended to have a real debate with me and was going to rely heavily on an appeal to ignorance and faith. He intended to ridicule me while I gave serious concise arguments by simply parrying them with faith. So, in light of this new evidence I presented the following introduction to the debate.

(Opening statement)

Rich: “I have FAITH that Christianity is completely and unequivocally false!!” --- I have just completely destroyed your religion and I am sorry but understand it was bound to happen. What will you do now that I have completely dismantled any argument you could possibly use in defense of your religion? Well I hope it all works out for you and thank you for coming.” (Gathers notes and proceeds to leave the building).

*An odd rustling of chairs and whispers permeates through the church. The congregation (now in shock) struggles frantically to come to grips with what has just transpired. About half way down the aisle I hear the pastor’s voice as he speaks very angrily into the mic*

Pastor:” WHERE ARE YOU GOING!” ; “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

* Still with my back towards the angry pastor*

Rich: “The debate is over; I have just proved your religion false”.

Pastor: “Simply stating that you have faith my religion is false proves absolutely nothing!”

(I stop in my tracks, turn and now armed with a mischievous grin from ear to ear say:

Rich: “Well sir, now that we have established that faith proves absolutely nothing---let’s have a debate.”

(I then proceeded to kick the living shit out of every one of his arguments with a real sense of pity for the old bastard. He really never recovered from the first 30 seconds of the debate.)

Other variants:

This technique comes in handy if you think you will have a subject that is easily baited into a trap like this. If you get no response, you can try several variants on this same theme. It’s important to give the audience enough time to process your statement of faith. It is also important that the message be communicated as loudly and clearly as possible (within reason that is). If you get no response try returning to the podium and saying something like this:
Now how many of you think I have completely dismantled your religion with that statement of faith? Did I sway you in the least? Really look into your heart or hearts and tell me what it is telling you?

(This is mumbo jumbo Xian talk, obviously the heart does not speak but they don’t know that).

Are your views any different now than they were 30 seconds ago? No, they are not are they? - Simply stating that I have faith your religion is false proved absolutely nothing. So as you have just seen, with your own feelings and emotions bearing witness - just how unpersuasive and meaningless an appeal to faith really is. Simply declaring faith proves absolutely nothing! So now that we have exposed this most illogical fallacy, let’s have a debate without faith.

12 comments:

Jameson said...

Gorgeous. Brilliant, even.

Jameson said...

Gorgeous. Brilliant, even.

tina said...

That is just cool as hell!

Larro said...

Man. That was absolutely deviously brilliant. Bravo.

Dave said...

Very nice. ;)

AcidRain64 said...

Brilliant! That was fantastic. If I was drinking milk as I read that, my keyboard would be quite milky right now.

Pure and utter Pwnage!!!

Gord said...

LOL... outrageously audacious!!

argyleihnen said...

If this is what passes for brilliance, you've got some pretty dumb fans.

For example: "(This is mumbo jumbo Xian talk, obviously the heart does not speak but they don’t know that)." LOL. It's a metaphor, and everyone except you and your dim nation fanbase knows it, I assure you.

The "pastor" in this story is clearly moronic. If you pick your opponents this carefully, even you will always look smart by comparison. I mean, sh*t: I can always win boxing matches with infants.

Try this with a Christian who's smart. Most of us don't have the cartoony beliefs you mock on your blog. Most of us wouldn't ever mention faith in a debate with an atheist or an agnostic.

Go on. Find someone who's not a caricature and debate him or her. You'll be the one Pwned.

Rich Rodriguez said...

Why don't you and I have a debate then? What do you say - do you have enough courage to defend your ridiculous beliefs?

Jonathan said...

argyleihnen: “If this is what passes for brilliance, you've got some pretty dumb fans.”
What better way to showcase your own intelligence than to open up with a ad hominem attack? I’m sure everyone is interested in listening to your thoughts now.

“For example: "(This is mumbo jumbo Xian talk, obviously the heart does not speak but they don’t know that)." LOL. It's a metaphor, and everyone except you and your dim nation fanbase knows it, I assure you.”
Clearly, Rich is being sarcastic. Apparently lacking any sense of humor at all, I see how you may have missed this. We all know it is a metaphor, hence Rich’s enjoyable sarcasm.

“The "pastor" in this story is clearly moronic. If you pick your opponents this carefully, even you will always look smart by comparison. I mean, sh*t: I can always win boxing matches with infants.”
I wonder what this pastor would have to say about your degrading classification of him. To argue against your point, I’ve heard and watched many such debates, and more often than not, it comes down to the pastor or apologist appealing to faith.

“Try this with a Christian who's smart. Most of us don't have the cartoony beliefs you mock on your blog. Most of us wouldn't ever mention faith in a debate with an atheist or an agnostic.”
Based on past experience listening to and participating in debates with even intelligent Christians, I’m obligated to throw the bullshit card your claim. Most Christians do employ faith, and why wouldn’t they? It’s the foundation of their beliefs.

“Go on. Find someone who's not a caricature and debate him or her. You'll be the one Pwned.”
With such arrogance and excitement, you seem ready to go. You versus Rich. I can’t wait!

Jim said...

I can't speak for this pastor, but as for myself and the Christians i know, we don't try to prove Christianity. That's not why we believe what we believe. But if you're so interested in proof, why don't you try to prove that Christianity is false instead of just trying to confuse some old guy.
Jonathan, how exactly is argyleihnen the arrogant one? This whole "story" is nothing but a display of Rich's arrogance.

Sven said...

@argyleihnen

"The "pastor" in this story is clearly moronic."

And still he has become a pastor, and still he has followers.. How "moronic" must these people be?