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The Brick Wall Argument

I always find it interesting when Christians tell me right from the start that they will never be convinced that they are wrong. But what is really interesting is that they then project that stone wall mentality onto me. They tell me that they will never be convinced or that neither of us will be able to convince the other.

As a point of fact, I was once a religious believer and now I am not. I was convinced based on evidence and reasoning that God almost certainly doesn’t exist. So I think it is possible for the Christian to convince me (but not probable) if he or she presents strong evidence and solid reasoning for their position. However, they do not believe that any evidence of solid reasoning on my part will convince them by their own admission.

Then they make claims that I have, “closed my heart of God.” It seems to me that my “heart” is open to being persuaded if strong evidence and solid reasoning is presented. They on the other hand have closed their hearts and minds to the possibility that there might not be a God and that they might have been mistaken.

I think we can find a way around this brick wall. If religious believers attempt to put up such a wall, we call them out on it. This is what makes their beliefs dogmatic. We ought to point out that we are open to changing our view, but that it is they who are not. They have admitted that talking to them is like talking to a wall.

Once they are able to admit that they are open to the possibility that they might be wrong and that God might not exist, then they will start down the journey of questioning their religion on their own. But we have to knock down that wall of dogmatism in order to get them to even consider the possibility.

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  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    Whenever I talk to a believer I keep in mind that positive change takes time, and hopefully I will be part of that process.

  • Andy Bushonomics

    Nice post. I’ve found that standing my ground (relative to how intense the debate is) works best. Many times, they haven’t actually been given accurate definitions for concepts like:
    – what is a fact?
    – what qualifies as evidence?

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