Humour, Arguments and Mockery

Quick note; this post is not child friendly.

How can you tell if an engineer is an extrovert instead of an introvert? He’s staring at your shoes instead of his own.

There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who do not. Continue reading

Of clarity of thought and drunken pastors

This is just too funny not to comment on. Some archaic wording of the King James Version, combined with a far-too-literal country preacher, led to some pastoral inebriation; mandated by God, no less!

Food for thought; if your interpretation doesn’t make sense there’s probably a reason for that. Try a few translations and perhaps a commentary or two. The point is to use your critical thinking spidey senses as I describe in Arguing with Friends. Think, people; just think a little!

This story is not unrelated to a previous post involving Russian Vodka. Why do so many problems in Bible translation involve alcohol? One could accept the official story or perhaps you’ll give an ear to my theory; the pastor had a bit of an affinity for the bottle and deliberately poured too much wine every communion service in order to fulfill that particular Biblical mandate. Just throwing that out there…

You can make a difference!

One of the hopes I had for this blog was to use it as a forum to share experiences and debrief the good, the bad and the ugly. I have had a few people who have been generous enough to share their stories (see here and here) and I’ve used a number of my own (here, for instance) and I have also found a few on the internet (like this one). But I have to admit that I need more stories. If I am going to keep up this feature then I need people share their successes so we can all see an example of how to do this correctly, and I need examples of failures so we can consider what went wrong and learn from other people’s mistakes.

Perhaps that feels a little too personal; just a little too invasive. What does it look like to have your story shared?

Continue reading

Please try to convert me

I was chatting with a friend recently who interrupted out conversation to clarify a significant point. He wasn’t trying to convert me, he just wanted to talk. He also wanted to clarify that he wasn’t interested in being converted, and so he hoped that I wasn’t out to convert him. I assured him that my intention was to explore the ideas so that I could learn the truth for myself and I trusted him to make his own decisions on the matter. I am sincere on that; I was not just going along with him. Unlike a lot of Christians I feel we are called to do our best to represent Christ but we are not called to change people’s hearts and minds; that’s God’s job. I describe this in more detail (including the Biblical rationale) in Arguing with Friends.

But upon further reflection I realized something; I do want him to try as hard as he can to convert me. Seriously, I want people to make every reasonable effort they can to change my mind. Why would I open myself up like that?

Continue reading

AWF is officially a textbook!

I just found out that Arguing with Friends will officially be a textbook for the Apologetics class at Rocky Mountain College here in Calgary taught by Dan Hardock (to email Dan: dhardock AT rockymountaincollege DOT ca). If you live in Calgary and would like more details about the college or the course, drop him a line; he is very friendly! Continue reading

Brief chat in a video store

Continuing in my ongoing theme of exploring conversational successes and failures I have a little ditty of an anecdote to share of my own interaction with somebody. I was meandering through our local video store looking for a movie to rent and as I did so I overheard two of the coworkers bantering with each other. The subject of religion came up and the one employee made it clear that he did not believe in God. He was by no means attacking the other employee and it was all friendly banter packaged in humor.

Well I tore across the store, leapt over the counter and starting beating him until he converted. Continue reading

Think Again – online course

In Arguing with Friends I suggest one of the biggest problems facing society today is not that we have come to believe what is false but that we have lost the art of distinguishing truth from error in the first place. That is even more fundamental to discovering truth. This course would be an excellent step toward remedying that. If I weren’t so swamped, and if it didn’t extend over the Christmas season I would seriously consider taking it.

Anybody else know of similar courses? Maybe something on iTunesU?

The basis for Copernican Revolutions

Some time ago I was chatting with a friend of mine (Atheist) about the nature of mind. From my perspective it seemed obvious that our mind was somehow separate from the brain. Sure they interacted with each other (hardly anybody would deny that), but it seemed completely far-fetched to think that the mind just is the brain; something the brain does. I had several reasons for believing what I did and my friend offered several reasons for his perspective.

On the proverbial table were two options. The one option was the more “intuitive” option; namely that our mind is something which is somehow independent of our physical body. Some evidence supported that view. The other view was the less intuitive option; that our mind is reducible to matter and energy. It’s all just electrons and chemical reactions so the fact that we “feel” like our mind is something beyond our body is an illusion. Two perspectives, each claiming to explain the data and each offering supporting evidence.

How should we decide between them? Continue reading

More on the attraction of hate

I previously blogged on how attractive hate can be for some people; they love to hate others. This article draws attention to another use of hate; the accusation that other people are hateful with the implicit message that they ought to be more loving. While reviewing a book defending the traditional definition of marriage the author recognized that the book, though “charitable, clear, and persuasive,” was apt to be shunned as “hate speech” by the politically correct. Continue reading