Talk to Me, Snake

Often in religious discussions, particularly with those of Christian faith, I and the person I’m speaking with run into a road block of sorts.  While scientific evidence leans towards the idea that a deity is not necessary or likely in our universe, it still cannot be systematically disproven.  Therefore, the Biblical miracles tend to get brought up. 

When it comes to this point in a debate, there’s one question I love to ask.  Especially if the religious individual is clearly of an otherwise sound mind, this question tends to speak volumes about relgious belief.  I lean into them, look them directly in the eye, unwaivering, and ask, “So, honestly now, do you really believe that a snake gently leaned down from it’s branch and spoke?”

What the theist does now is generally take a few moments to answer.  It’s clear that their brain is wrestling with the stories they’ve been taught to believe since they were a child.  Most answer, “Yes. I honestly do.”  If this is their answer, I generally lean back in my chair and say, “Really?”

What’s going on in a conversation like this is that religion is asking the person in question to believe something they know is more than likely not true.  When the truly ridiculous aspects of the text are directly pointed out, they are not allowed to back down.  After all, if you’re dedicated to the “truth” of your beliefs, you can’t pick and choose what to believe, even though when you truly think about it, you know what you’re believing in is false.  I mean, let’s really be honest with ourselves here; I’ve never seen a talking snake, raining frogs, or anyone just get up and walk out of their grave (if they were actually dead that is).  Our brains have evolved to be very complex and capable of totally objective, rational thought.  I just wish more people would use it for it’s intended purpose.

Here’s a great bit that ties in beautifully with what I’m talking about:

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2 Responses to Talk to Me, Snake

  1. Colin Hutton says:

    Cody :

    I really liked the Hitchins clip. Thanks for that. He presents far more effectively (both in his book and in tv appearances) than does Dawkins in his. (I don’t disagree with anything D. says, only the was he does it, which has a somewhat sneering quality – unlikely to win friends and influence people).

    Having had a catholic education, I wouldn’t know about your serpent thing. But try asking a professed catholic to describe precisely what they believe they would actually have seen, had they been priveledged to witness the assumption (which , amongst other things, all ‘catholics’ are bound to believe in). Direction, angle of the corpse, clothed or naked, – if clothed, what happened to the clothes in heaven – rate of ascent…. .

    – Colin

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