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← Can theists be convinced by reason?

Starcrash's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Starcrash

Comment 10 by Phen :

In my experience, there is no point in picking fights with these people.

Agreed. I absolutely love debates, but nobody ever really wins these things. I like to plant the seed of doubt, because it can lead to changes in thinking, but I'll never change someone's thinking outright by cornering them with an argument that they can't rebut... the human mind just has too many good defense mechanisms.

So does reason ever convince a person? Not in debate, at least in my experience. But I was won over by reason (a Christian before, and now an atheist), and others can be too... they just have to discover it themselves.

It's a lot like therapy, I think. Therapists can listen to a person for a while and discover exactly what that person's problem is, but they use an approach that makes the person ask himself or herself the right questions. If a person comes to a conclusion himself or herself, that idea will take hold and meet less resistance. If it comes from the therapist, it can and probably will be met by the same defense mechanisms that stifle debate.

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 05:36:37 UTC | #897401