So I was thinking the other day about the psychology of influence, and how people (“typical people”, not you crazy skeptics who like to change your mind) come to change their minds about things like religion and politics and what have you.
Back in grad school, we were taught that people were more likely to make changes to their lives if they felt like the change was their idea, rather than someone dictating to them what they should do.
So, instead of walking into a client’s house and going, “Oh, hmm… All of these throw rugs on the floor could pose a trip hazard. You should take them up” I say something more like, “So, when you were walking through your house just now I noticed a few things got in your way… yes, the throw rugs did seem to be a problem. They are awfully pretty. Is there anything you think you could do to make your hallway safer? Why YES, I think taking the throw rugs up is a GREAT idea…”
I wonder how a theist would react to a conversation in which, instead of speaking to them about our doubts, our thought, our logic, we turn the tables around: are there things in their Holy book/belief system that many people of their faith hold, but that they doubt? How did they get to that conclusion of doubting? Was it lack of evidence or something a pastor said?
So, instead of making them defensive, we can get them to talk about their own process of doubting.. and maybe send them off to doubt some more? Plant a seed?
Just a thought.
This is post 19/24 by Christina for the SSA blogathon in support of the Secular Student Alliance! Go donate to them!