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An Encounter With Some Preachers
#1
An Encounter With Some Preachers
Hey Y'all
I don't post here that often but I had an encounter with some preachers the other day on my way to work, and I wanted some advice on how to do better the next time I encounter some of the arguments they use.

They wanted to tell me about god the mother or some BS, so I aksed them why I should believe in god to begin with, and they immediately turned to the Bible. I then asked them, "why should I believe anything the bible says?" and they went the route of trying to convince me that the bible holds all these amazing scientific revelations.

The first one they used was Job 26:7, "He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing" and tried to argue that this meant that the Biblical authors knew that the earth was an object in space. Now, I argued that that explanation is far too vague to arrive at that conclusion. If you offered that explanation to someone who had a bronze age understanding of astronomy and asked them to depict it, you would wind up with vastly different interpretations of what that verse meant that differ wildly from what we currently understand. In retrospect, what I should have said was that that's a horrible explanation. The earth isn't 'suspended', it's traveling at tens of thousands of miles per hour around the sun, which in turn is orbiting around the milky way galaxy. In that sense of the verse, it would be more correct to say that the earth is suspended by gravity over the sun. Even if it did offer a more concrete explanation of where the earth stands in relation to the rest of the universe that was WAY ahead of its time given the knowledge of the era - while that would suggest that there is something very strange about the book, I still wouldn't be convinced that this information came from a god as there are still many other explanations that are far more plausible (ancient aliens, a lucky guess, time travel, etc.).


He then moved on to Job 36:27-28, "to He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams, the clouds pour down their moisture, and abundant showers fall on mankind." and said that this was evidence that the Biblical authors had knowledge of the water cycle. I was honestly a little surprised that the bible contained a verse that somewhat accurately describes the water cycle, and I stumbled here a bit. I used an argument similar to the one I'd made above about how scientific revelation doesn't really prove there's a god or prove that anything else in the bible is true (although I think I stumbled some in my explanation), and then I explained that Muslims point to scientific explanations in the Quran, and told them that perhaps they should consider Islam. One of the preachers pressed me and asked me to give a specific example of scientific revelation in the Quran. I'm not familiar with that Holy book, and I don't know what kinds of "scientific proof" Muslims point to, but I do know that it is a phenomenon that does occur, and to object to it on grounds that I can't point to a specific example is honestly kind of silly.

Now, honestly, I don't think I should have had to have gone that far. I can't put my finger on why this is, but as far as scientific revelation goes, Job 36:27-28 honestly seems kind of underwhelming, and I feel like I should have been able to argue that it's silly to think that that verse is derived from an advanced scientific understanding of the water cycle - I feel like I had to concede that it might have actually pointed to such an advanced understanding, and that shouldn't be necessary. Next time that's brought up, how should I respond?
Proud member of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
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#2
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
At work.

Sorry.... wrong th rear. Can't seem to delete
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#3
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 2:58 pm)Hungry Hungry Hippo Wrote: Hey Y'all
I don't post here that often but I had an encounter with some preachers the other day on my way to work, and I wanted some advice on how to do better the next time I encounter some of the arguments they use.

They wanted to tell me about god the mother or some BS, so I aksed them why I should believe in god to begin with, and they immediately turned to the Bible. I then asked them, "why should I believe anything the bible says?" and they went the route of trying to convince me that the bible holds all these amazing scientific revelations.

The first one they used was Job 26:7, "He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing" and tried to argue that this meant that the Biblical authors knew that the earth was an object in space. Now, I argued that that explanation is far too vague to arrive at that conclusion. If you offered that explanation to someone who had a bronze age understanding of astronomy and asked them to depict it, you would wind up with vastly different interpretations of what that verse meant that differ wildly from what we currently understand. In retrospect, what I should have said was that that's a horrible explanation. The earth isn't 'suspended', it's traveling at tens of thousands of miles per hour around the sun, which in turn is orbiting around the milky way galaxy. In that sense of the verse, it would be more correct to say that the earth is suspended by gravity over the sun. Even if it did offer a more concrete explanation of where the earth stands in relation to the rest of the universe that was WAY ahead of its time given the knowledge of the era - while that would suggest that there is something very strange about the book, I still wouldn't be convinced that this information came from a god as there are still many other explanations that are far more plausible (ancient aliens, a lucky guess, time travel, etc.).


He then moved on to Job 36:27-28, "to He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams, the clouds pour down their moisture, and abundant showers fall on mankind." and said that this was evidence that the Biblical authors had knowledge of the water cycle. I was honestly a little surprised that the bible contained a verse that somewhat accurately describes the water cycle, and I stumbled here a bit. I used an argument similar to the one I'd made above about how scientific revelation doesn't really prove there's a god or prove that anything else in the bible is true (although I think I stumbled some in my explanation), and then I explained that Muslims point to scientific explanations in the Quran, and told them that perhaps they should consider Islam. One of the preachers pressed me and asked me to give a specific example of scientific revelation in the Quran. I'm not familiar with that Holy book, and I don't know what kinds of "scientific proof" Muslims point to, but I do know that it is a phenomenon that does occur, and to object to it on grounds that I can't point to a specific example is honestly kind of silly.

Now, honestly, I don't think I should have had to have gone that far. I can't put my finger on why this is, but as far as scientific revelation goes, Job 36:27-28 honestly seems kind of underwhelming, and I feel like I should have been able to argue that it's silly to think that that verse is derived from an advanced scientific understanding of the water cycle - I feel like I had to concede that it might have actually pointed to such an advanced understanding, and that shouldn't be necessary. Next time that's brought up, how should I respond?

I don't believe this happened to you, sorry.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#4
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
Stab them in the throat.
Sanity adjacent.


Angel





IMGUR 
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#5
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm)The Valkyrie Wrote: Stab them in the throat.

That's what I love about you, Beccs - your subtlety.  Smile

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#6
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(June 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm)The Valkyrie Wrote: Stab them in the throat.

That's what I love about you, Beccs - your subtlety.  Smile

Boru

To me, sometimes, subtlety is something that happens to other people...

...with a brick attached.
Sanity adjacent.


Angel





IMGUR 
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#7
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I don't believe this happened to you, sorry.

Boru

Hey dipshit, regardless of what you believe, it DID happen to me. I don't know what your reasoning is for discarding my story as made up, but that's extremely insulting of you, and it makes you look like a jackass, so how about you do yourself a favor and not make such posts in the future.

This is extremely frustrating! I'm an atheist, I'm no Matt Dillahunty, I can't immediately slap down every argument I hear with a 5 out of 5 counterpoint, but I do want to improve. I come here, seeking out help from a community of like-minded skeptics and atheists, and, of course, the first response I get is this asshole looking down at me through his nose, sneering, "Oh piss off you little runt, you're making this up!"

Unbelievable...
Proud member of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
[Image: EvilAtheistConspiracy.jpg]
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#8
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 3:25 pm)Hungry Hungry Hippo Wrote:
(June 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I don't believe this happened to you, sorry.

Boru

Hey dipshit, regardless of what you believe, it DID happen to me. I don't know what your reasoning is for discarding my story as made up, but that's extremely insulting of you, and it makes you look like a jackass, so how about you do yourself a favor and not make such posts in the future.

This is extremely frustrating! I'm an atheist, I'm no Matt Dillahunty, I can't immediately slap down every argument I hear with a 5 out of 5 counterpoint, but I do want to improve. I come here, seeking out help from a community of like-minded skeptics and atheists, and, of course, the first response I get is this asshole looking down at me through his nose, sneering, "Oh piss off you little runt, you're making this up!"

Unbelievable...

Here's my reasoning:

1.  The way you describe it was a pretty long exchange.  You said you were on your way to work, but you never mentioned being late to work or how you avoided being late.

2.  People on their way to somewhere important (work would qualify, I think) don't typically stop off for a lengthy chinwag with a bunch of random street preachers.

3.  You went from plural to singular:  'The first one they used...' vs 'He then went on to...'.  Did the rest of the preachers scatter or something?

4.  Every thread you've ever made here has been a request for help answering an exegesis for some Biblical passage or other.  This is just more of the same.  Have you never though of looking this stuff up somewhere else?

And leave off the name calling.  I apologized for not believing you, didn't I?

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#9
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
To be fair, these whackjobs seem to appear in the most unlikely places at the weirdest times.

A couple of years ago I was walking to the railway station on my way to work (5.20 am), and a jogger ran past me.

He said “good morning” and I responded in kind.

Then he stopped, told me he was a Mormon and asked if he could talk to me about god.

My response was basically, “At this time of the morning? You’re kidding, right?”
Sanity adjacent.


Angel





IMGUR 
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#10
RE: An Encounter With Some Preachers
(June 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Here's my reasoning:

1.  The way you describe it was a pretty long exchange.  You said you were on your way to work, but you never mentioned being late to work or how you avoided being late.

2.  People on their way to somewhere important (work would qualify, I think) don't typically stop off for a lengthy chinwag with a bunch of random street preachers.

3.  You went from plural to singular:  'The first one they used...' vs 'He then went on to...'.  Did the rest of the preachers scatter or something?

4.  Every thread you've ever made here has been a request for help answering an exegesis for some Biblical passage or other.  This is just more of the same.  Have you never though of looking this stuff up somewhere else?

And leave off the name calling.  I apologized for not believing you, didn't I?

Boru

Okay, I apologize for the name calling, but with all due respect, this DID happen to me earlier this week, and your post was quite insulting. Also, it isn't like this is the first time this has happened to me. I think almost every time I've posted here I've gotten a rude, or at the very least, an insensitive response from someone, and I'm beginning to question how nice this community is.
 
Allow me respond to your points:
1/2) I was waiting at the train station for my train to arrive when the preachers approached me. Within a few minutes of them speaking to me, my train arrived. I told them if they'd like to board the train with me, I'd love to continue talking with them, and they obliged. So yes, we had a lengthy exchange on the train and I was not late for work. They got off the train before I did and I got the feeling that they were headed back to a nearby church or something.

3) There were two of them, and I addressed both of them at different points of the conversation. I guess it technically would have been correct to say, "One of them said... and I responded..." but I didn't think people were going to be probing through my post with a fine-toothed comb so they could interrogate me. Yes, I did say "He", they didn't say the argument in unison like a hive-mind or something.

4) Who says I didn't look elsewhere for a response?? Honestly, posting here is a last resort for me because it usually requires writing out lengthy posts and engaging in a lengthy dialogue with different members - it's honestly a very time-consuming endeavor for me, and that's why I post so infrequently. I would much prefer to simply find a video on YouTube or an article written by an atheist that outlines the answers I'm looking for. In this case, I need a critique of a random bible verse and I'm really not finding anything out there of much help. This is simply too much of a niche, specific issue for an internet search. That's why I came here.

Anyways, I came here hoping to have a discussion about the issue at hand, and I'm finding that instead I just have to waste a bunch of time arguing with people over the validity of my experience. If you have a good reason as to why Job 36:27-28 is an underwhelming verse to point to as advanced scientific revelation, I'd love to hear your response and engage with you, and I'd be extremely appreciative. On the other hand, if you think I'm yanking your balls and am fabricating my story, please post somewhere else, I'm beyond frustrated at this point, and you're really not helping...
Proud member of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
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