Friday, August 9, 2013


The essential difference between religious people and non-believers is that non-believers want information while religious people merely want confirmation.  In particular, they want the confirmation of others.  They make confirmation bias into an active world view.  In fact, it is usually one of the primary tenets of their religion that they should not seek information or think about things independently.

Non-believers, on the other hand, want to know the truth, even if it means learning they were wrong.  This is the primary reason that it is a waste of time to debate religious people--unless you are doing it for the benefit of a third party audience that might contain people with more open minds.  Non-believers and believers simply have different definitions of the point of the debate.  They define "winning" the debate differently.

If you are ever accused of being "unwilling to debate", "unwilling to listen", or "being close-minded", you can respond with:

"Non-believers seek information, believers seek confirmation.  Therefore, it is a waste of my time to debate you.  You are not looking for the truth."

You can also say:

"A person who takes things on faith is, by definition, close-minded.  That's you, not me."

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