Christians won’t change

Ever argued with a christian and felt like they did not listen at all to what you said? Ever feel like they completely ignored simple facts and evidence? Did you feel frustrated that they could just ignore everything you said with ease? Ever wonder how they could do that?

Here is why…

  • To be clear I do not mean ALL christians. I am being general when I use that term, but I will say it does refer to a majority of them in the context below.

Christians won’t listen to logical reasons to disbelieve their god because it is against their nature. They got to where they are in their belief by faith not logic. Faith is believing in god or doctrine based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

If the average christian wanted to think for themselves or reason out the truth about their version of their deity and the evidence to support their belief, they probable would not be a believer. They do not want to use logic, they don’t feel compelled to be logical about god, or be totally objective in regards to their deity. As a matter of fact, they probably find it much easier to believe what they have been conditioned to believe and would stick with it even if they knew they were wrong. (I know that from personal experience.)

It is unnatural for a person of faith to listen to logical arguments against their faith and to honestly try to see the truth. They became christians by not doing that! Accepting what they cannot explain and accepting does not make sense is exactly what they do! It is what they are good at.

Why would a christian believe evidence against their deity? Why should they stop doing what they do naturally and truly be objective?

Christians are not going to change even if your argument is sound and the evidence is clear. Ignoring opposing facts and evidence is basically the definition of faith. Faith is so ingrained in them it is natural. It would be unnatural for them to listen to you or to change.

 

50 comments

  1. archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

    Faith is believin’ what you know ain’t so.
    — Mark Twain —

    Like

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      Not always. I had faith and believed in what I knew was so. I knew it was so, but I was unable and unwilling to be swayed by the truth or the evidence.

      Like

      • nowamfoundatlast · February 22, 2016

        faith ain’t evidence

        Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        If it is a miracle, any sort of evidence will suffice, if it is a fact, proof is required.
        — Mark Twain —

        Liked by 3 people

  2. pcts4you · February 22, 2016

    You changed. Thank god 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      YES!!!! But I am an exception to the rule. It wasn’t natural for me, and it took lots of time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nowamfoundatlast · February 22, 2016

      grew and learned would be more correct than just changed

      Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        true, growing and learning is change, right?

        Like

      • nowamfoundatlast · February 25, 2016

        tides change, leaves change, winds change, every 4 years we may get a new president but you DELIBERATELY purposefully changed and grew and learned, albeit painfully and perhaps mourfully, but you changed. you were an agent of change upon yourself. kudos to you. tides? no biggie. well, really a biggie but you know what i mean. i think

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Alan · February 22, 2016

    and yet, you were a believing Christian, and you have changed. and most of the atheists I encounter are former theists who have changed. The trick, though, is that deeply held beliefs are not changed in the middle of discussion when other people are watching; they’re changed on your own, when you’re lying awake in the dead of night. Other people won’t see them change. but other people still should have discussions about this stuff with Christians, because otherwise the Christians won’t even consider changing their minds later.

    Liked by 4 people

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      For sure!!!! My point was more “don’t be frustrated when they don’t change” and “most won’t change”. I truly believe some people cannot change. It is too much a part of who they are and it would hurt to much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fayinfide · February 22, 2016

        And hurt it does. Once I started changing, I had to go through a period of grieving the loss of religion. What I wanted to be true and reality just did not mix. Thank you for being so open about your experiences and thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        Yes!!! Grieving is spot on! It was a loss like losing a loved one for me! I cried many days and many nights during the process.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ratamacue0 · February 22, 2016

        I think it’s worth clarifying to say many/most/often, vs. just “Christians” do/act/react like X, which I think is too easy to read as “all”.

        Of course, we’re obvious counter examples – and I hope for many more.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        I thought about it, but I tried to keep things brief. I felt like, being that I am writing it and I changed people would understand I am implying a generalization and not inclusive of all christians.

        Like

      • ratamacue0 · February 22, 2016

        Given that I’m the third commenter here so far to say “not all…”, I still think it’s worth a few extra words.

        I worry that some readers may take posts like these to heart, and write off all Christians, whereas they otherwise might’ve made some effort at understanding them and challenging their beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        OK, I will see what I can do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        I’ve actually had three people in the past year tell me that they have discarded a lifelong Christian belief system, based on the information I’ve given them – I don’t say that to toot my own horn, but to emphasize that you can’t accomplish anything by hurling invectives. These people have identified with their beliefs for SO long, that when you viciously attack their beliefs, you are effectively attacking THEM, or if not, someone they deeply love and respect who turned them onto their religion in the first place. You must begin by respecting the person, if not the belief.

        Liked by 3 people

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        good work!

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        Hey, I’m no atheist missionary, I just talk to people on these blogs and inform them of things about their Bible that they’ve never been told.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ratamacue0 · February 22, 2016

        Re invectives, I think this is often true, but I’m not convinced that it always is. I think some of the more “strident” atheists still get some positive results. But your point is probably even more true in a 1-on-1 situation – and maybe that’s what you had in mind to start with?

        … Was that part of your comment connected to something I said?

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        I don’t remember, I’ve slept since then.

        OK, yes (I just backtracked):
        …whereas they otherwise might’ve made some effort at understanding them and challenging their beliefs

        But no, not the part about hurling invectives – I was thinking about a certain Pom/South African transplant.

        Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        …who shall remain nameless.
        (Arkenaten!)
        Sorry for the sneeze, I must be coming down with something —

        Liked by 1 person

      • ratamacue0 · February 22, 2016

        Lol

        Like

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        lol

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        Ark’s a friend, but he does get a little vitriolic from time to time.

        Like

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      Also, I changed! I am trying to show others who believe they can change too. So, my post isn’t completely pessimistic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

      Further, there are facts about who wrote the Bible, when and why, that you never learn from any minister, and without exposure from someone on the outside, will likely never consider searching for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet · February 22, 2016

        I remember being completely blown away when I saw various atheists talk about how the bible was put together and the problems with it. I had no idea that information existed…I’d never have known to look for it on my own. Thank goodness for the internet and vocal atheists!

        Liked by 2 people

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        Yes, I recall – it blew all the leaves off your tree —

        Liked by 2 people

      • Violet · February 22, 2016

        Then my new atheist friends helped me grow new leaves:

        Liked by 5 people

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        Yes you did, sweet lady, and blossoms.

        Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        As I recall, you took it in stride, trooper that you are —

        Liked by 3 people

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        I wish I had a “more Like” button to click here right after clicking the “like button” for Arch’s post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        True. The internet has been wonderful at making information available!

        Like

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      I edited the post. Better?

      Like

  4. Brad D · February 22, 2016

    “Rational arguments don’t work on religious people. Otherwise, there would be no religious people.”
    – House, MD

    That quote and more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWBm-2Ka7YM

    Liked by 1 person

    • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

      Liked by 1 person

    • John Small Berries · February 22, 2016

      It’s a nice sound bite, and very good for non-religious people who want to feel smug and superior. But I know several former Christians who stand as counterexamples. No, rational arguments didn’t make them immediately say, “You know, you’re right – I’ve been stupid all this time”, but they did cause them to start thinking about what they believed and why, which led ultimately to discarding their faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

        I agree! Remember I myself changed. I totally did not mean no Christian will ever change. I never meant it to even sound like that. I do not think the overall tone of my post says that, but I did go back and add a statement to reflex my meaning.

        Thanks for the post. You are correct.

        Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · February 22, 2016

        No one said the effect was immediate.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ubi dubium · February 22, 2016

    This is why I’m interested in the new “Street Epistemology” ideas. Instead of attacking the specific beliefs, get people to think about why they believe what they believe, how they acquired their beliefs, how the support their level of certainty about them, and whether they might believe differently if they had been raised in different circumstances. If you attack beliefs directly, you are more likely to provoke the “backfire effect”, where people dig in to their beliefs harder when confronted with contradictory evidence. Shifting the conversation to being about “belief” rather than about specific beliefs, might help avoid that problem.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. gretta · February 22, 2016

    Hi

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gretta · February 22, 2016

    Just wanted to write and support those who urge caution about absolute statements like “Christians won’t change.” Clearly, they do and it is really important that we who live on the other side of traditional or fundamentalist beliefs don’t pick up the same argumentative rhetoric with which the intransigent regularly do war. But I wanted to add, as well, that liberal Christianity has a strong tradition of “changing” and seeming to update and broaden theological discourse.
    That, IMHO, has created another problem which mainline and progressive iterations of Christianity (and other faiths) are only now recognizing. By stretching the traditional terms in which their doctrinal claims are framed so that they mean completely other things – “Jesus is Lord” means “we have to struggle against corporatism” (seriously, a clergy friend of mine, who is quite respected in his own denomination, actually told me that was his definition of the phrase), God means “the good we do”, etc. – we continue to legitimize those Christians I think you were meaning to imply “won’t change.” I don’t think it was their job to change, as fundamentalists. I do think it was the job of those within the liberal tradition’s ecclesial courts and theological colleges to deconstruct the dogma and then bring what they learn to the conversation. Instead, they wrapped it all back up in the same packaging. The way things stand now, liberal theology reinforces the use of a theistic, supernatural god as the source of moral authority when many within those traditions don’t even believe that themselves. They do it simply by speaking in the language that supposes a divine, interventionist supernatural being. For example, take a look at the prayer posted on the front page of my denomination’s website, a denomination that taught me, in its own seminary, that god was a concept, not a being. Well, the prayer doesn’t suggest that they are speaking to a concept, now, does it? http://www.united-church.ca/prayers/prayer-fiji
    Thanks for continuing to engage on this side of “changing”!

    Liked by 2 people

    • adisillusionist · February 22, 2016

      Thanks for your post! I agree. Actually everyone changes, so obviously I didn’t mean that all Christians don’t change ever. I did go back and change the post to explain my position a little more clearly.

      You are also correct the waters are getting muddier.

      Like

  8. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · February 23, 2016

    It’s been my life-long experience that the people I’ve known and met who believed in God didn’t really, “really” believe in God. They believed/believe in the belief in God. They have faith in the belief.They used/use God belief and religion for their benefit. They were/are generally not seekers of truth. If they were, they’d leave no stone unturned in drawing closer to said god.

    IMO, those (Christians) who end up leaving the faith tend to be the ones who, at one time, did have a sincere faith in God, (not just the belief), studied and earnestly sought a personal relationship. That’s why deconversion can be — is so painful.

    I remember a video lecture with Bart Ehrmam. He said that in his religious classes, each semester, he’d ask his students to raise their hand if they had read a certain popular novel. Most hands would fly up.

    Then he asked: “How many of you have read the Bible?”

    Just a few scattered hands, he said.

    Then he’d asked: “If God wrote a book, wouldn’t you want to know what’s in it?”

    My point being…if they were sincerely believers in the Christian god, not just believing in the belief in God, they’d devour the Bible. In the process they would eventually come to the conclusion that the Christian deity is a human construct.

    Liked by 2 people

    • adisillusionist · February 23, 2016

      I agree for the most part that what you said makes sense. I devoured the bible as you said. I totally believed in god and devoted myself to him. It was my zeal for truly understanding him and get closer to him so I could witness effectively to an atheist that lead to my deconversion.

      BUT most people that I know who truly believe in god and have a heart for following him would not possibly change. They just become better at making excuses for things that don’t make sense. They find more creative ways to explain the nonsense.

      I know some really, really intelligent believers that I would be super shocked if they changed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ · February 23, 2016

        Cognitive dissonance only takes you so far. We are proof of that. Therefore, I still think they have a sincere belief in there belief in God, and it’s those who tend to dig their heels in when they feel their belief in their belief is challenged.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Brent · February 23, 2016

    Two apropos quotes from Martin Luther:

    “Reason is the Devil’s harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does.”

    “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

    While there are some Christians (and churches/denominations) that are extremely skeptical of reason and an intellectual approach, there are certainly others (I was one) who are willing to consider arguments from the outside, and to examine their own beliefs. When I started my process I had no idea where it would lead; I already believed I had the truth so I saw nothing dangerous in wrestling with a few questions that I didn’t have good (apologetics) answers for. Those few questions led to more questions, which led to serious questions, which led to doubts, which eventually led to disbelief; I pulled a few threads and a few years later the sweater had unravelled.

    It was only in retrospect that I realized I had only ever heard what Christians SAY non-Christians believe… I hadn’t actually heard what unbelievers say themselves. And I realized that the question “How do we best discover what is true?” was far more important than I ever thought. As you say, the approaches of faith and reason/evidence (depending on your definition of faith) really do conflict with each other.

    There certainly many Christians that won’t change, because they won’t engage deeply with this kind of critical self-examination, for various reasons (don’t see the need to, or have been taught to reflexively fear and reject anything outside their faith, etc.). BUT: There are probably way more people than we realize who, hearing something we say or write, will say, “Huh. I never thought of that before. How would I answer that?” And now the ball has begun rolling.

    Liked by 1 person

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