You know what makes me really shake my head? Watching theists sit around and argue over theology, especially when you get people with entirely different theological positions who are convinced that everyone but themselves are wrong. It reminds me a lot of a bunch of 9/11 conspiracy nuts sitting around bitching about the minutia of their shared delusion. Why? Because it’s exactly the same thing. Crazy people calling other people who believe other crazy things, crazy. There is no way to talk sense into a room full of people who have no concept whatsoever of what being sensible means. I keep seeing different sects of Christians arguing over the trinity and both of them are just declaring victory and because obviously, they are right, everyone who disagrees has to be an “antichrist”. What does that even mean? What can be done about the crazies?
It’s not just the lunatic groups who get together to hash out their lunacy, this happens on an individual basis too. I’ve got one guy who is desperately trying to tell me that there is a plan for redemption and throwing me all kinds of Bible verses and links to prove it. No, there is a CLAIM that there is a plan for redemption, I’m questioning whether it’s real or valid. He simply assumes that it must be real and valid because he has blind and fanatical faith that it is, therefore just throwing around verses from the Bible is all the proof anyone should ever need. No, try again. That only works with people who already believe the Bible is true, those who question it are not going to be impressed by quoting it.
It is really pointless to try to have a productive intellectual discussion with people to whom intellectualism is meaningless, at least when it comes to their religious beliefs. As has been wisely said, you cannot reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place. I think it’s the worst of all possible worlds when you have people who know their beliefs are irrational, they acknowledge their beliefs are irrational and they just don’t care. Why should they have the slightest interest in thinking critically about what they believe? Why should it matter? It makes them feel good, that’s all they care about, who gives a damn if it’s actually true. And yes, I have had theists tell me they couldn’t care less if there is really a god, they’re going to believe because it makes them happy to do so and nothing anyone could possibly say will ever make them reconsider their decision. These people are insane.
But what can we really do about the insane? They cannot be reasoned with, by definition. They cannot be ignored, people like this vote their beliefs and that screws things up for everyone. So what’s left? Shoot them? Most of them will never change their minds and the only way we will ever be rid of them is after their deaths. Of course, that will never fly. So what can we do? That’s where I’m stuck.