How to Kill God and Reduce Religion

#religion

Monotheism - single-god religion - has done more harm to humanity than any other belief system. Violence, ignorance, sectarianism, intolerance, backwardness and confused morality are the biggest side-effect of dogmatic belief in God. To win, for humanity, we need to remove the sources of fundamentalism and bigotry that hold back entire cultures. If you argue well, presenting facts and taking emotions into account, we can win the war against the idea of god by reducing the firmness of belief in it. Any reduction in the power of organised monotheistic religions is a victory. If you argue with a theist long enough and well enough they may become agnostics, disillusioned with revelation yet still hold the belief that something divine exists. This is still a victory. How do you attain these victories? Because religion and god-belief is based on wishful thinking and delusion, the best weapon we have is the truth.


1. Debating With Individuals

1.1. Things to Bring Up in Debates

#determinism #evil #god #life #philosophy #religion #suffering #theodicy #theology

1.2. Present Yourself Calmly and Be Personable

Most people do not belong to a religion because they have rationally chosen it after purveying the available evidence. Most people's justifications for their own religion are concocted after they self-identify. This is because most people fall into a religion socially or through parental pressure. It is only occasionally that a person sits down to examine the merits of competing religions, and most the time when they do this, it is because a new influence in their life is already changing them. Psychological, emotional and societal pressure is generally much more important than factual debate.

So to release a person from the intellectual shackles of religion, you generally need to approach them with the right demeanor, acting responsibly, calmly, confidently, but never being self-glorifying or sanctimonious. If they think you are worthless, a loser, biased, then they will not accept your arguments. If they start off thinking you are biased, as they probably will if you present yourself with different religious beliefs to them, then the way to overcome their judgement is to be a professional and polite in all conversation with them. Make them see you as considered and upstanding; you must gain respect.

If you present yourself, calmly, rationally, peacefully, in a friendly manner, then you can make a large amount of ground without even trying. Closely knit religious social groups often become deluded as to what atheists are like, for example in some parts of the Bible belt, or in some entire countries, atheists can be rare. Smash misconceptions by simply being nice.

There are too many dumb atheists who argue are arrogant and annoying and these only serve to solidify the theist's opinion that they are in the moral high ground and silently strengthen their commitment to their current position.

Fundamentalists have to be taken carefully, and slowly, and the best line of attack is to come over as friendly and acceptably as you can. In effect you have to get much deeper into them, you have to make a bigger (and unobtrusive) impression on them. They are very willing to jump on to a defensive rant, or to block you out, if you show signs of arguing offensively ("like all the others"). They love to find ways in which they can prove they are better than you in order to "prove" that their theology is equally untouchable.

Bad psychology will prevent your arguments from making an impact, and can turn a winning argument into a lose. Good psychology will turn a draw into a win and give you a good reputation as an arguer rather a reputation for being argumentative.

Develop your look and your appearance. Yes, we are using every trick in the book here! Dress smartly but no ties for crying out loud - that's what evangelists and mormons wear! Keep good eye contact, don't look at your feet as you talk. When they are wrong say, "Are you sure?". Even if you cannot prove something you can state, "Are you sure that's true?" and you allow them to think about the possibility that it isn't. Smile! Smile when they make a good point! Smile when they say something clever! Reward them for any intelligent comments, as it is through intelligence and good-thinking that they will eventually save themselves.

1.3. What Not To Do: Forceful Arguments, However Factual, Can Increase Religiosity!

Do not constantly engage those around you in powerful argumentation. Have more skill than to approach everyone with a philosophical sledgehammer. In most areas in Europe religion is something that other people get up to. The average liberal European does not participate in his own religion. If we are stupid, and suddenly barrage them with theology we can have the reverse effect to what we intend. We can cause them to pay attention to their religion when previously they paid none. We should not force an issue when they are religiously placid and undefined, we can end up turning a neutral situation into a loss when the original situation was fine. Restraint!

So:

So, be wise in your battles. Don't conduct a verbal war - conduct a gentle, peaceful conversation. Scale up the harshness if they are themselves experienced debaters, but always remain civil, polite, giving compliments and encouraging them when they use their brains! Don't stay permanently negative and destructive because their only recourse will be to reject everything you say! Sweeten your harsh, cold truths about the universe with smatterings of social niceties!

1.4. When to Give Up

2. Aiding the Decline of Religiosity

2.1. Sociological Anti-Religious Forces

I detail the wider sociological factors that are undermining religion on a page on www.HumanReligions.info, "Anti-Religious Forces: Specific Factors Fuelling Secularisation" by Vexen Crabtree (2011). Get in league with the representatives of these movements and ideas! The menu of that page is:

2.2. Tax the Churches

The single biggest step, possibly unlikely, is to tax the Church on all its income, property and land and watch it instantly fold up to a fraction of its size. Charity is a good cause, but Church is not the way to do it. Support taxing of churches, demand it, and make it known that good people will continue to do good work whether or not they have the "charitable" backing of a church. Nearly all religion-based charity work is a backdoor method of evangelism, and at worse, a subtle method of outright extortion, with most money going to pay the wages of churchpeople. It is all more efficient it charities are run by secular, non-religious folk, who have no church overheads or expensive cathedrals to maintain!

2.3. Those Who Are Oppressed by Traditional Religion: Women, Gays and Minority Religions

Women, LGBT communities and minority religions - as well as competing denominations - all must unite in order to topple the horrendous dogmas of established religions. The problem is, when one falls, another rises in its place. So the true battle must be fought against establishment religions in general. Warn people about the horrors that occur when religious dogmas are enforced alongside civil law; the more power the ruling religion has, the more the minorities and others have to lose. Stonewall, Human Rights bodies and many other campaigners have all fought long battles against Christianity and Islam; embrace these bodies in the fight against tyranny and delusion. The more members these defenders have, the more governments are likely to listen to them in their fights against religious oppression.

2.4. Debating Online

Forums and usenet are the best place you can practice, hone and perfect your arguing techniques. Some of these will remain archived for decades to come so always be respectful yet forthright. You will learn to be precise, to think quick and to read around the subject area because people with all sorts of specialities will be arguing with you. Practice with this will make you knowledgeable in a practical, real-life kind of way. Join Christian mailing lists and engage in arguments. Ignore the fundamentalists once they stop being logical, and stick to what we do best: Logic, historical facts that contradict religion, philosophy and common sense.

Work alongside a friend who is constantly looking to point out your mistakes in logic and fact, and who you sit with whilst debating. Do not argue when you are clearly wrong - publicly admitting someone has come up with a good argument will give you respect and make others more likely to listen to you, and to be civil.

2.5. Creating a Website

My own websites have achieved much in the way of educating people, bringing people out of delusion, and helping other debaters attain the same goals. Creating a simple website is easy and free. Approach the content in a few ways:

Over time, your creation can blossom - or it can sit there and simply provide some links to other websites, helping those sites prosper. Plenty of advice on how to build websites is available online.

3. Conclusions

It is gratifying to be able to change someone's opinion, or to defeat them in an argument. Arguing on usenet, when done properly, is not a waste of time but a strong source of confidence and experience. You will become familiar with your own weaknesses and develop good textual arguing skills - as long as you avoid hot-headed counterproductive personal vendettas!

Arguing with street preachers, promoting occult religions and having a knowledge of theology will aid you, along with your reputation and image, in gaining an air of authority when you speak to others. Usenet is a good place to learn to use speciality words easily and quickly. And the argumentative atmosphere makes it a much more challenging and stimulating place than other methods of learning that are devoid of such in-your-face competition.

By Vexen Crabtree 2000 Jan 06
(Last Modified: 2016 Dec 07)
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/killgod.html
Parent page: There is No God: Theological, Philosophical and Logical Problems of Theism

References: (What's this?)

Davies, Paul
(1984) God And The New Physics. Paperback book. Penguin 2006 edition. Davies is a Professor in theoretical physics who has published ground-breaking research.

Hille, Rolf
(2016) "A Biblical-Theological Response to the Problem of Theodicy in the Context of the Modem Criticism of Religion". Published in the Evangelical Review of Theology (2016) 40:3, 247-263.

Momen, Moojan
(1999) The Phenomenon Of Religion: A Thematic Approach. Paperback book. Published by Oneworld Publications, Oxford, UK. Book Review.

Footnotes

  1. Davies (1984) p142-143.^
  2. Momen (1999) p214.^
  3. Theologian Rolf Hille (2016) complains that 'no form of the denial of God has worked as effectively even until the present as the apparently insoluble conflict between God´s goodness and omnipotence and the evils of the world'.^

© 2017 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.