15 June 2008

Unworthy Apologetics Tactics

(Or, How to stifle genuine religious communication)

Keep on asking questions
Inundate your opponent with questions of all kinds on many different subjects. It doesn’t matter if you repeat different versions of the same question over and over again. When he answers, launch a new set of questions – preferably similar to the previous ones. This approach guarantee that your opponent will ultimately become exasperated… when he gives up, claim victory – see, he lost the argument because he cannot answer! Even better, you can even predict the outcome.

Insist on chapter and verse
Pretend that an answer is truly biblical only if it is a direct quotation from the Bible complete with chapter and verse. Disregard the fact that Satan was not at all biblical when he quoted directly from Scripture to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. Ignore the fact that the foundational Christian doctrine of the Trinity is robustly biblical even though we can’t give a single chapter and verse that defines and proves the doctrine in its entirety.

Demand a Yes or No answer
Ignore the fact that a bare ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cannot adequately answer loaded and complex questions. Follow the Pharisees who insisted with Jesus to give them a yes or no answer as to whether it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. Ask trick questions like, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” – a yes answer implies that he used to beat his wife; a no answer means that he is still beating her! You win either way!