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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Power of Doubt or Messin with Fundies

In the past two months a couple of events have kept me laughing about the silliness of those who believe without really thinking about their beliefs. A religious coworker and a Jesus door to door sales lady have given me much amusement.

A few months ago I was working in an office where one coworker kept making religious references in almost every conversation. I didn't say anything but he started assuming that I was a Christian that agreed with him. How presumptuous. After a week, it was time to end that assumption.

He started saying some creationist ideas about the Earth being only a few thousand years old. I said that I did not agree with that. The evidence shows a universe and Earth that are billions of years old. He then stated that he believed that every word in his bible was true. I asked him how he knew that it was true.

His reasons were that he believed the supernatural was true and that prophecies from the old testament foretold Jesus. The boss walked in at that moment and asked what we were discussing. I found out later from my boss that my coworker had been in trouble before for bothering people about religion. I replied that my coworker was trying to convince me that the supernatural existed. The boss laughed, letting me know that he was sympathetic to my point of view.

I replied to my coworker that the old testament prophecies were useless because the writers of the new testament had those writings available to them when they wrote the new testament. That was the simplest explaination. He said that he had never thoughtful it that way and would look this up. He never came back with another explaination.

For the next couple of weeks my coworker kept making these strange passive aggressive remarks about me going to hell when I died. I finally got tired of this one day, so it was time to teach this person a lesson, the parable of the abusive husband.

After he made his little remark, about burning in hell, I said that how could that possibly describe a loving god? That this was like a man being thought of as a good husband but he tells his wife that if she does not tell him that she loves him, then he would lock her up in the basement and torture her. How can this possibly be considered "loving"?

He made a little strangled sound, but made no reply. He never made those remarks about hell again. I thought the boss was going to high-five me.

Last Friday I was expecting a couple friends to come over. The doorbell rang and I answered it. There were two ladies in their 20s, dressed up and carrying their bibles like magic talismans. One woman started by saying "God is not responsible for natural disasters." She then quoted something from John and from Timothy. Then she started with hinting that "dark forces" caused bad things. I guess she was talking about demons and the devil. Who knows? Perhaps like Voldemart, you can't say it out loud?

I asked her if God created everthing. She answered in the affirmative, that yes he created everything. I asked the obvious "If he created everything, doesn't he also create disasters as well?"

She replied somewhat uncertainly that she had never thought of it that way. I wanted to discuss this further, but she quickly stated that it looked like I was busy with my daughter and that they must be going and they must leave now. Hopefully they won't come back. I shut the door and busted out laughing when I discovered that I had forgotten that I was wearing a set of fuzzy purple antennas that my daughter had put on me earlier.

4 comments:

J said...

Hey Anna.

Formerly I just slammed the door on the church ladies (baptick, mormonic, witnesses, whatever) . Now, I will chat a bit with them when time allows (excepting witnesses--Verboten!). Two baptisst girls were recently going around and I invited them in for a...fairly long lesson about religion, and the problems thereof..... but they declined. So it goes.


Another solution the non-believers, rationalists and skeptics --even the big name, Sam Harris/ Hitchens types have overlooked--might be the psychological angle . Extreme religious hysteria might be viewed as a type of..mania, a delusion. Now I don't think all christians (muslims, jews, etc) are hysterical...yet some definitely are (ie, baptists, Campings, Hagees, most Bachmannites, Rex Parris, Paul Clappelll, etc). So classify it as a mental disorder--issue xanax, etc.

Ciao.

Anna Lemma said...

I like to mess with their minds. I take whatever they are interested in discussing with me and start asking questions. Usually their thinking is stuck quite firmly in a box and it is very easy to ask obvious questions they gave probably either not thought if of have avoided asking themselves. You can usually tell by their body language when you reach a question they really are uncomfortable with. When that happens, I quickly follow up with a series of questions. These questions are in the form of "how do you know this is true?". Or if they are interested in discussing something from the bible, I find either a contradicting verse or concept, or one that leads to a horrible consequence or logical extreme. After this, they are usually in a hurry to leave.

J said...

Hi AL.


You don't see too many catholics going door to door (or other mainstream churches, or jews). The RC's got enough power presumably, and the padres don't need to sell their church. But the catholics might have some selling points--like say to AV's growing sex offender population.

Anonymous said...

The sales ladies remind me of my first week at University. We three roommates were still getting squared away when an older student came by making his appointed rounds. Just as fervent and closed-minded as the ladies whom you encountered, he treated us to an exegesis of Marxist superstition and intolerance. Rather than decline to join the Revolution, we strung this apostle of the strange along until even his thick mind couldn't help but suspect that we were rocky ground upon which to cast his seeds of poisonous plants.