Poor and easy answers are never the truth. The prepossessing thing about life is about questioning everything, right down to the very last drop. Exercise skepticism at the highest level. The only way to filter out those nyaff rationalizations, theological bugbear contents and ideologies that are far-fetched in the extreme wild.
Allow me to put down in point form—a few tips that I learned over the years, conversing with many religious folks; not trying to convert them, but rather asking them about their religion. This will (hopefully) allow them to re-think and re-question through a different lens. Questioning and self-thinking is not an act of treason. A basic right that is bestowed to all man.
- Be calm, do not use brute force
- Take your time to think and articulate it well
- Keep calm and composed at all times, even when a ridiculous argument is tossed your way. Keep in mind, that you might hear the same old questions thrown your way for the hundred time. Do not lose your calm or get frustrated over it. Enjoy re-re-re-explaining
- Do not expect the person to change their views overnight
- Speak based on facts, rational and evidence-based arguments
- No, do not raise your voice or jump into a catfight
- Never try to win over a debate or conclude that you won the argument for the day. It is never about winning nor whining
- Do not be arrogant or be a smart-aleck. You might learn something new
- Keep curse words or profanity to a minimum, or none at all
- You do not have to use big words and confuse them with it. Keep your words simple and easy to understand. Scientific terms are welcome, but make sure you try to take a few seconds or a minute to explain it
- Try to slip in some jokes or philosophical quotes
- Smile and relax. Offer a drink; take a sip
- Loop (repeat)
You do not have to follow each point ‘religiously’. Be yourself and learn from your mistakes. You and your friend might disagree when it comes to the topic of Religion, but you might share the same views on other topics.
Keep it 💯
— Isaiah Nathanael (). Image by Ian Schneider.