Talk to any junkie about their addiction, and they’re likely to argue in the following way.
- “Coffee and alcohol are drugs too! If you drink coffee or alcohol, you’re using drugs just like I am!”
To this you might offer comparative studies demonstrating the relative risks to health and intelligence.
- “Statistics and science can be used to prove anything! Look at me! I’m fine!”
To which you might offer examples of how their life is sub-standard or below the potential contentment and happiness outside of their habit.
- “I’m very happy! If you only tried drugs, you’d know what I’m talking about! Drugs are the way to go, man! You can’t judge it until you’ve tried it!”
To which you might either shrug them off if they appear beyond the point of no return, or slap them up side the head if they are important enough to you.
The pattern that can be abstracted from this example might be stated as follows.
- A false comparison that ignores differences in degree or quality.
- A refusal to look at the objective evidence in a rational manner.
- An appeal to subjective experience with the assumption that this trumps objective evidence.
Individuals who are addicted to Jesus or any other religious delusion often employ the same line of argumentation.
- “Well, you have faith in critical thinking and science, just as I have faith in Jesus!”
To this you might want to reply that, while belief in Jesus has not resulted in any significant contribution to the human condition in the form of scientific knowledge or outright miracles and has instead stifled technology, critical thinking and science have produced pivotal explanations in the web of material causation that have been converted to technology that has bettered the lives of humans. You might also show the correlation between education, the ability to think critically, and the lack of belief in Jesus. You could suggest that there is a much bigger and more satisfying world out their than the small dogmatic world of their beliefs.
- “Jesus may not be performing miracles for believers that can be examined by science or answer prayer in a way that can be statistically verified because he works in mysterious ways. You have no evidence that he does not exist! And the Bible says that your godless world is evil and unhappy!”
To this you might emphasize the oddity that, the Jesus that promised to provide the power to perform miracles and answer intercessory prayer has done nothing recently that can be examined and verified by science. In fact there is a strange inverse relationship with the number and impact of miracles and their proximity to the scrutiny of science. You can also cite studies that show relative happiness across various ideologies, plus studies of divorce and incarceration rates between Christian and non-Christian societies.
- “Well, I have a personal relationship with Jesus! If you knew my Jesus, you would understand! He performs miracles in my life and gives me more joy than you’ll ever know!”
At this point, what would you do? Walk sadly away from someone who has made themselves a junkie of Jesus, or do your best to convince them that there was a better life outside the delusion of their high? Keep in mind all the implications. Very often, drug and Jesus junkies have children that often become just as dysfunctional as their parents. I was such a child.
Related article: Reasons For My Deconversion
Comments are encouraged.
See also Ecstasy And The Almighty.