I used to enjoy arguing about religion. I thought it was fun to make witty jabs and air tight logical points that devastated the other guy’s point of view. I’m not into that so much anymore. Even if your 100% right in your argument, it seldom convinces anyone to change their mind.
I think there are a couple of reasons for that. The first is people don’t share a common method of how they approach religion. My buddy Nate and I had an email discussion a year or so back about how to study the Bible. We were talking about doing a point counter point type study to put up on the blog. We tried to arrive at an understanding of how we were going to understand and study the Bible. In theological terms, this is known as hermeneutics.
We had to give it up. The reason was that we couldn’t come to an agreement on how to approach the subject. Both of us had different methods of studying the same Bible and we couldn’t agree which one of us was right. Most of the time he and I arrive at the same conclusion about what the Bible means, but we get there by taking different roads.
Another reason folks can’t see eye to eye is assumptions. We take certain beliefs into religion that we expect will hold true. If they don’t fit, we want to change the religion to fit the existing beliefs. Some times those beliefs are about religion or scripture, sometimes they’re just part of our world view that we’ve accepted.
There are of course some people who ain’t gonna change their mind no matter what. For them it’s easier to stick with what they know than to think about something new. Sometimes these folks are well studied in the teachings of their church, but mostly not. These are people who say stuff like, “religion is like cloths shopping, you look for churches and pick one that fits you”. Church as a consumer good, God on man’s terms, and you can’t change my mind about it.
On the net you run into all kinds. A big problem with Blogs and religious discussions is the folks having them bring in different sets of assumptions, different methods of study and different preexisting beliefs. You’re not going to change many peoples mind about something unless you first understand how they came to believe it in the first place.