I’ve been having a discussion with a theist recently, but it takes a very long time because I keep having to take breaks because otherwise, I’d have to get to a hospital with a concussion from whacking my head on the desk over and over again. See, this theist insists they have evidence for the supernatural. They are some kind of vague eastern mystic type of theist, they don’t believe in any specific gods, just some kind of weird woo-woo nonsense. But he has evidence, really!
What kind of evidence, you might ask? Well supposed eyewitness testimony! There are tons of people who make all kinds of unsupported claims about the supernatural, that many people just can’t possibly be wrong! Therefore, he has evidence that his beliefs must be true!
Of course, he refuses to even identify his specific beliefs, I haven’t the slightest clue what kind of vague eastern mysticism he buys into and it could be anything at all. Heck, I ran into someone recently who literally believes that Thor is real, so I’m not ruling anything out. But of course, he isn’t just talking about people who believe his specific kind of woo is real, he means *ANY* kind of spiritual claim. Someone believes in ghosts? It’s evidence for his cause! Someone has some experience with some god? It’s evidence for his cause! It doesn’t even matter what god it is! So long as it is a claimed supernatural experience, it counts!
But when I point out that none of these experiences actually has any demonstrable basis in fact, that all of these people are just arbitrarily assigning an emotionally comforting cause to their otherwise unexplained experience, he doesn’t care. Why? Because they use eyewitness testimony in the courtroom and admit it as evidence, therefore it is! Never mind that eyewitness testimony is the weakest form of evidence in any court case, that doesn’t matter! He even admits that it’s weak evidence, but it is evidence nonetheless. I pointed out that, were a case to go to trial, with the supposed evidence he favors, the lawyers would rip the witness apart, up one side and down the other, completely discredit the testimony and probably hurt the position of whatever side he was testifying for. So what? It’s evidence! Declare victory!
Never mind that nothing he presents is at all credible or demonstrable, it’s just empty claims, made of pure emotion and wishful thinking, that wouldn’t stand up to a moment’s rational scrutiny. He still has evidence, no matter how admittedly weak or flimsy and so long as he can claim evidence, he’s not going to let it go!
Yes, it is a waste of my time to try to convince him how absurd he’s being. I know that. It takes all of my self-control to keep from unleashing a string of four-letter invectives at him for how stupid he’s being because he combines his stupidity with that other far-too-common characteristic of the religious. He’s smug as hell about it. He acts like having these ridiculous beliefs with his laughable “evidence” makes him better than everyone else. He’s just wrong. He just won’t admit it. That’s what pisses me off.