Open letter to @camelshammers .Posted: 03.02.11
You and I recently had the displeasure of a row on your blog about my recent post, “How we move forward as atheists in the 21st century.” On your own blog, you shredded my post based on the statement that I made on your blog (that I don’t think we should be engaging theists in arguments) and part of the premise of my blog, which was that we “will never, ever convince them [that their God does not exist].” I left a closing argument on your page, and I have not (and will not) gone back to view any additional responses, as I felt that we were all argued out at that point. I was, however, watching a video earlier on YouTube, and it made me think of you.
Your premise for writing that post was that you felt I was wrong in my assessment, and that theists could and should be argued out of their faith as much as possible, and that it would be irresponsible to allow religion to go unchallenged. With the latter, I obviously agree (since my premise was to challenge the hold that religion has over our society); with the former, I obviously do not agree that arguing people out of their faith is the best avenue for the latter. To that end, I just want to present you with these YouTube videos. Enjoy.
“The Shifting Sands of Evidence and Argument” (Why Religious Arguments Fail to Persuade)
Plus, as a bonus, my answer to his call for comments (which is relevant to our interests in this matter):
“I’m a little late getting to this party. I think you and Faust are both right–I don’t think her ideas apply when an atheist or a theist is in *transition.* By nature, a transitional state in belief implies that you have heavy doubt already about your former beliefs, and thus, are much more willing to consider alternative arguments. Doubt caused by fear, by negative experiences, can rock one’s belief foundation in a way that argumentation alone cannot.”