Saturday, April 2, 2016

Internet Debate

Presented for your reading enjoyment and edification, the following comes from an actual internet debate between a believer (a conservative Christian) and a non-believer (a liberal atheist).

atheist: I think everyone should be suspicious of anyone who professes to 100% believe in a complicated and dogmatic deity, and the resulting religion.

Christian: Why? Simply because it is not your personal preference?

atheist: Obviously we do not have the time to completely debate the rise of Christ into the heavens, nor the apparent vastly nuanced nature of that story and its relationship to mankind - so I think maybe [it is safe to assume] that people holding these types of events are struggling to relate to reality, and that the subsequent pandering to the masses is both irresponsible and arguably negligent.

My way or the highway.
Christian: Wow. Do you really believe what you say? Do you ever struggle to "relate to reality?" Perhaps you might accept that at some time or other, everyone struggles to "relate to reality." All this talk of reality makes me want to ask you to define the term for me. We do have time to talk about all that other Jesus stuff, so if something is troubling you, post a question and I'm sure somebody will answer it for you.

atheist: In short, for most of the history of mankind, groups of people have assigned religion and dogma to explain that which their society could not.

Christian: In my understanding of history, groups of elitists have dictated their views through most forms of government, especially forms of tyranny, such as socialism, (and its twin) communism, and fascism.

atheist: Usually, history looks back and accepts that these people were primitive and their various religions were nothing more than myth... thus the concept of mythology.

Christian: You are mistaken. Religion doesn't arise from mythology and just because someone is religious does not make them primitive.

atheist: If we could fast forward a hundred years, maybe we could say the same - but we might not survive if we continue on our current course.

Christian: Ha ha I'll bet you a gazillion dollars people will still be around in a hundred years. If you believe otherwise, you're probably a Democrat.

atheist: There really needs to be another Enlightenment period on a global level.

Christian: I agree. A period of Enlightenment would expand our understanding of the sciences as well as usher in a renewed understanding of the reality of spiritualism.

atheist: Unfortunately, the education system has dilapidated to the point that the global society (including America) is seeing a resurgence in religious thinking; and more importantly, an increase in exclusionary and violent religious fanaticism.

Christian: The US educational system has failed because of political correctness, the lack of religious faith and belief, and the push for diversity. Schools are more interested in molding obedient citizens rather than encouraging true excellence (as exposed to fake excellence -- everybody gets a trophy!).

Christian: You say there is an "increase in exclusionary and violent religious fanaticism" and then go on to suggest Christianity, not Islam, is the cause. That kind of comment may be embraced in the Houston Texas Mayor's office or the Oval Office, or the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it doesn't play well in most other places. I recognize that you are attempting to hang all the world's ills on people of faith, but it's just not the truth.

atheist: Got a handle on the truth, do we? It would be great if we could say this is isolated to the Islamic faith, as I am sure some believe, but it just isn't the case.

Christian: Yes, those Muslims are a peace loving people and we should welcome them with open arms. Think of the bomb-making skills they have. We could learn so much. Like, how to chop off a Christian's head.

atheist: When you actually have adults debating whether the story of Adam and Eve, or the concept of Natural Selection/Evolution is more accurate, you've got big problems. This should not even be a discussion, and it is just one example. Others would be birth control, sex (in general), the concept of money, etc.

Christian: I am up for discussions on all these topics. I would suggest, however, that prior to our debate, you actually bone up on the subjects.

atheist: So in summary, please educate your children about all religions.

Christian: Druidism? Baalism? Satanism? You didn't really mean to say that, did you?

atheist: Please explain why some people need religion and the history of the various religions.

Christian: So they will know right from wrong and so they will know there is a way to salvation. I could go on, but that's it in a nutshell.

atheist: Please teach them that morality can be established without involving heaven, nor hell.

Christian: There is no morality without God. None. Zip. Zero.

atheist: Please learn to be good people simply because it is the right thing to do - not because your dad told you, whose dad told him, whose dad told him, who read it in a book written over a 200 year period, by many different ignorant men, selectively assembled by other ignorant men, to fit a prevailing narrative about 2000 years ago.

Christian: Why is being good simply "the right thing to do"? Especially when we see our leaders and our role models living like egocentric heathens? Take a good look at those ignorant Christian men and women, read some biographies, and question your own motives for writing a post trashing Christianity. My dad didn't tell me squat. I'm an orphan.

atheist: Please learn about science, don't fear science.

Christian: I don't fear science. I recognize it as a tool and not necessarily as a complete explanation for the way things work in the material world. Shoot, man, we don't even know what dark matter is. Science postulates its existence.

atheist: Understand that finding ways to harvest clean energy, manage large groups of people, undo damage already done to our closed system (both economic and ecologically), and learning to understand our nature and purpose will probably not be accomplished by chanting a few words before dinner and singing some songs on Sunday, but from studying the history of man.

Christian: Fossil fuels still deliver the best bang for the buck when it comes to horsepower. The great machines of the world have been tooled to run on gas for the past one hundred years. Yet, I suppose you'd like to see a mess of solar panels on my roof and one of those windmill thingys out in the yard because Cheney ran Halliburton. "Manage large groups of people" sounds ominous in a discussion of this sort. Isn't that what FEMA wants to do? Put the Christians in rehab camps so we can all be propagandized properly? I hope they'll have fish sticks for lunch.

Christian: I take it you believe all the global warming nonsense and that it is a good idea to charge taxes based on your carbon footprint despite statements from thousands of scientists who claim global warming is a hoax. Eh?

atheist: Give me an hour. I'll bet I can come up with a hundred scientific articles proving climate change is real.

Christian: So what is it? Global Warming or Climate Change? I'll bet I could come up with two hundred. Science cannot teach us "to understand our nature and purpose" and such a statement is just wishful atheist thinking. I do think I may have discovered your nature and purpose.

atheist: I know that this little one-time diatribe will not change anybody's mind, but I also feel like staying silent contributes to the problem.

Christian: The problem, as you framed it, is ignorance. You might want to check yours before accusing others. I tried my best to not be disrespectful, so forgive any perceived offense. On that note, I guess I will see you guys in hell.

atheist: Nope. Wrong again.

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