Hey my name is Sam, I'm 16 and my story is kind of like Matt's, only it didn't take me as long to figure out how wrong I was. But anyway I really want to know how you argue with a christian, without them becoming hostile and rude to you. It seems that every time I want to have a freindly debate the christian wants to make it a screaming match, they start calling me a spoiled brat who thinks the world revolves around me, or they say im mad about my parents abandoning me so im rebelling. Could you please give me some pointers on how to keep this from happening? Thanks!
A couple of things.
Most Christians don't believe in God/Jesus/the Bible, etc. based on reason. They believe based on how they were raised, on weekly reinforcement, and a community that never challenges beliefs. When confronted with a challenge, it often hits them emotionally as if you're questioning their values. There's really no getting around it, but you should at least be aware of how it will hit people initially.
Second, Christians often don't "play fair" in these sorts of dialogs. I consider the three pillars of apologetics to be lies/deception, logical fallacies, and emotional manipulation. Beware of these tactics and call the person on them. They're all admissions that they don't have anything better to give you. In your case, they're attacking you based on your age (logical fallacy) and making you feel childish (emotional manipulation). The other things they're telling you are much the same thing. You're clearly hitting a nerve.
Next, you will likely not "convert" anyone. For most people it takes 7-10 years of really being interested in the truth to come out of religion. You can plant seeds of doubt, ask questions, and point out how silly things look to you.
I recommend you learn about the many logical fallacies and learn to recognize them. Common ones are "ad hominem", "argument from ignorance", "argument from popularity", and "false dichotomy". Start there and expand your toolkit.
Finally, you can end the conversation whenever it no longer benefits you. I usually continue as long as I'm learning something. Not everyone can be reached.
Good luck to you.
Hey, how are you? Im evangelist do you wanna talk? You said that u want a friendly debate! So here I am :) as I don't know your doubts you can begin! :)
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, October 11th at 12:15pm in the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn will give us an update on their activities. The lecture is free and open to the public.