Dave Muscato: how to convert me.

Here’s another quick link worth reading (cobbled together before getting onto the road this morning).  Dave Muscato has written a piece that should be mandatory reading for every Christian.


About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Christians have an extra hurdle.

    First they have to convince me their God exists. Given that I take the “no evidence” approach to atheism, they simply have to provide evidence. I’m still waiting.

    Second, they have to convince me their God is not the bullying, capricious, genocidal tantrum-throwing toddler character depicted in the Bible. As hard as “evidence for God” is, this one might just be even harder.

    • John Eberhard

      May I re-post this as my status, with an attribution to you, of course?

      • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)


  • Glodson

    I would add a number 6: “If you cannot find good evidence or logic to back up your argument, pray long and hard about it before attempting to convert me again.” Just keep praying and praying and hope that I convert. Maybe your prayer will be answered, and I don’t have to refute the bad argument. We both win!

  • http://davemuscato.com Dave Muscato

    Thanks for the link, JT! Travel safely.

  • baal

    We’re a christian to bother with the questions there, they’d be halfway to being an atheist. Being a Christian requires a certain amount of not focusing on fair arguments with supported positions. Rather, thinking like a Christian seems to require a certain amount of recitations of faith, armoring of the mind, and witnessing the Truth. Those features all serve to channel thought. Once you start thinking about the whole endeavor, it falls apart.

  • eric

    My #6 would be: avoid using arguments from your holy book that try and show your book or your religion is correct. I do not accept the premise that its an accurate document, so any such argument based on that premise is going to immediately fail. I’m going to consider it to be circular.

    • Art Vandelay

      Or at the very least, if you are going to appeal to the bible to convince me of a truth…just go with it. If you’re accepting something as true based on the idea that it has some sort of divine authority provided by an infallible deity, run with that. Don’t pretend to embrace modern day scientific discoveries or humanistic moral progress. Once you abandon something that you’ve already lent divine authority to, you’ve show yourself to be intellectually dishonest and lost me. The conversation is going nowhere.

      • Kodie

        That’s what gets me too. Obviously it’s hard to pick just one god out of the bible when there are so many, but taking something like the resurrection dead serious while dismissing other passages as non-applicable or definitely metaphorical (if I can find some moral to the story, it can totally mean anything I want though!), you still believe at least one fantastical thing but pretend to be more rational and cool about everything else. I say (at least in my head, I say) “A-ha! Religion is made up, you just made it up.” I think the problem is people don’t know how their brains work. If they think something is true, especially about god, they think god put that thought in their head so it is definitely true. More likely, just like most religious beliefs, another person suggested that interpretation and it merely sat right, it seemed to fit with your observations. So I don’t think on the whole that people are responsible for creating their own religions, but latching onto another one made up by someone else.

        How can they live in this world, see the same things I see, and then reconcile that with something they already accept as true when they don’t quite match? Force or denial. Yes, everything does seem to have a reason after you notice that it seems to match up with a circumstance that’s favorable, so that’s what you’d cling to when things go south again. Maybe instead of something bad making something good come about, it’s the other way around. Why would so many good things come from something bad just to have everything turn to shit again? When you freely make these thoughts go where they would go, it’s not pleasant, so of course avoiding unpleasant realizations is the source of religion. If it were pleasant to you at one time to hate gay people, then you actually found them ok, suddenly god put you through that just to help you learn how to be a decent human being. No sweat, why doesn’t he help all the other people stop being assholes? I have no idea. But all of a sudden, new insight changes god or regrets that you believed something false. I just don’t know how people bridge that gap without realizing you were influenced by the people, and if the people are wrong about what god wants, then if there’s a god, why doesn’t he message them like he did you? It’s so self-centered.

        • Art Vandelay

          Yup. The word of God is really just people’s personal opinions on things. They may have to jump through hoops to make sure that their personal opinions are the same as the creator of everything but rest assured…they’ll get there.

  • UsingReason

    LMAO Oh boy, the comment thread over there has some gold in it; the guy claiming Dave is dishonest when he expects Christians to read their own holy book is priceless.