This is a neat trick being bandied about in Christian apologetic circles presently. Perhaps the most prolific of apologetic authors to use this approach is Ravi Zacharias, although I am sure there are many others of equal reputation using a similar tact. There may already be a name for this style, but I want to define this type of debating technique as the reverse or the upside-down method.
Let me explain. I set this web site up as a place to help those trying to deprogram themselves from Christianity to realize that they are not alone. Not only that, the articles and links here are in support of a rational and experimental approach to reality as opposed to a fantastic and unverifiable belief system. Rather than create a static web site, I design this site to be interactive. Visitors here can post comments on articles, in the guest book and in the forum discussion boards. I realized, of course, that aggressive Christians who stumbled on to this site would not be able to resist posting some quip or another. I have never denied any of them from posting just about anything they want. In a way, the often ignorant and more often vitriolic posts from the
So, I did set it up to be interactive, and so having fundies post is to be expected. That is not really the issue I am addressing here. What I want to address here is being accused of attacking someone's world view by way of this site.
Let's analyze this a bit. If I were trolling an interactive Christian web site posting refutations of Christianity and "stirring the pot" in Christian bulletin boards, could I in all honesty describe myself as a defender of rational thought. In reality would I not be viewed as an antichristian infiltrator, or perhaps as an evil atheist apologist, or something. Regardless of how I viewed my purpose in disrupting a Christian internet sanctuary, I am absolutely sure that my agenda in doing so would not be appreciated as anything but confrontational and rude. Christians set up discussion groups all over the internet as a place to pray, discuss theology, or just hang out with other internet junkies. Should I understand that these site as a direct attack on my world view? Should I view such sites as an affront on rational thinking people everywhere? By the definition of my fundie sparring partner mentioned earlier in this post, that is indeed exactly what I should be doing.
The fact is, this site is a sort of online sanctuary for EX Christians. People who for one reason or other have made the huge decision to leave their religion, are in desperate need of support. It is no easy task to readjust years long thinking patterns, life time daily habits and social associates, especially if the person has been in the cult for a very long time. Believe me, I know. When some fundie posts his or her rhetoric here, they are absolutely attacking us. To insist that Christians who post here are "defending" their god is disingenuous. They are attacking something they do not want to exist. The vocal apostate is by far the worst thing a believer has to contend with. An apostate knows all about the religion, has been a past faithful adherent to the religion and has decided it is not true. Apostates present a dynamic threat to the presuppositional premises of true believers.
Now no one has been coerced into clicking on to this site. Those who have found their way here, did so by searching for it or by hearing about it from others. I personally know of hundreds of Christian sites, but never bother with any of them since leaving my fantasy life in phoney religion.
Now does that mean Christians are not invited to browse the site and post as they see fit? No, everyone is freely encouraged to post whatever comes to mind. Sites such as this assisted me in my own detoxification from illogical thinking. Also, I do not ascribe to an exclusionary world view. Unlike fundamental Christianity, I think it is in the best interest of thinking people everywhere to encourage dialog between opposing viewpoints. Talking is far superior to the intolerant approach usually taken between conflicting religious, or lack of religious, convictions.
What this whole rant is intended to be about is being disingenuous. This is ExChristian.Net. If you want to post a contrary viewpoint to the ones promulgated here, by all means do so and do your best to support your viewpoint. BUT, at least be honest with yourself when you do so and admit that you are not defending your world view when you come to this part of the internet, you are attacking ours. We are the defenders here, and you, Christian, are the aggressor.
Agree or disagree?