Saturday, May 23, 2015

Arguing with people who know they're right

I try not to be drawn into pointless Facebook arguments, and it is never a wise idea to argue with anyone about religion. 

Yet I have become enmeshed in an unfolding and probably never ending dialogue with people who are extremely faithful Christians. My role has become "doubting Thomas" but a worse version, more like "Don't you see that your faith keeps you trapped in a thoughtless vacuum bubble Thomas." 

For example, one of these people, whom I will not name, posted a photo of a surgical team in an unnamed hospital engaging in a prayer circle. Perhaps it was a stock photo or staged for some reason. 

I took the bait and posted that if I saw nurses and surgeons at a hospital in which I was a patient performing such a rite, I would drag myself to another hospital. And rhetorically, I posed the question, "If you were in a hospital in which the surgeons danced weirdly with a monkey skull before your surgery would you be as sanguine?"

The point being, a show of familiar faith is one thing; a show of an unfamiliar faith is something different, and perhaps disturbing. Ultimately the idea was, could you imagine yourself as a Christian in a foreign non-Christian nation, undergoing surgery, and how would you feel is a heathen rite was performed on your behalf?

The response was purposely (I assume) obtuse. Was I against freedom of prayer? Was I not aware that the group in the photo was praying to God, not a monkey skull.  No one addressed my questions but that should not have surprised me.

If you believe you know the truth based on a 2,000-year-old book, or a story passed down from 2,000 years ago that seems like many other myths, then no argument can sway you. 

These's something about that frame of mind that I find frightening. What's the difference between being certain of Christianity and being certain of Islam?  Or, for that matter, any other absolutist philosophy, including Nazism, or Communism?  

So I swore on a Facebook of electrons not to engage in any more useless arguments with these people, some of whom are sort of obnoxiously all-knowing in a restricted claustrophobic kind of way.

Freedom of speech, as I posted, also means freedom from speech, which is as easy as killing a Facebook account. And eliminating a Facebook account is about as easy as obtaining a tour of North Korea's nuclear weapons plant. 

So, there you have it. Would Jesus be on Facebook, assuming he ever existed?

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