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← Jesus, the Easter Bunny, and Other Delusions: Just Say No!

Dave H's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Dave H

I really liked that talk, but not necessarily the poorly formed questions from the audience. Some of Peter's mannerisms were obviously honed from the classroom, but that's okay. Repetition to emphasise a point works, and most faithheads that I know need the repetition (and extra time) to get them to actually think about what you've just said. I thought the speaking style was enthusiastic, dynamic and enjoyable.

I always like to compare talks like this with James Lett's article on FiLCHeRS, which I still regard as the definitive treatment on how to get at the truth.

In my discussions with the faithful, they don't always pull "the switcheroo" of changing from "faith is true" to "faith is beneficial". (This has echoes of Dan Dennett's ideas on the difference between "belief" and "belief in belief".

But they often pull two other "switcheroos". One is that when I point out the holes in their belief they say that it is rude for me to do so (and I have to remind them that it was they who started the discussion). In other words they try to change the topic of the argument from reason and logic to courtesy and protocol. I guess it's their way of trying give themsleves a privileged position, and to stop me making my point after they've made theirs.

The other common switcheroo is that they start out claiming that they use religion to decide what is moral, and when I point out some of religion's atrocities they say that the perpetrators aren't "real" Christians or "true" Muslims; that is, they turn right around and use morality to define what is religious.

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 17:45:11 UTC | #926457