Other atheists, but mostly religious people, often ask me why I bother with my criticism of faith. It's always the same reason, "You're never gonna change anything" (of course, that's a load of poppycock
So why don't conversations about god go anywhere?
Because faith is a zero-sum game. Not only is faith built upon mechanics that purge evidence and reason from the equation, in many cases it prompts believers to view any other position (and often, any other information) as the work of the most evil of demons or a corruption of the intellect.
Yet it's amazing (and not the least bit ironic) how often the religious one gets to be the one slinging about accusations of close-mindedness.
I have a gambit in place to double-check the idea that I'm open-minded: I list some things that could change my mind.
1. If a group prayed over an amputee and his leg regrew.
2. If you could pray to god and recite the thirty-digit number I carry in my wallet (hint to god: it's an even number that's not 471922039847563698909836571268).
3. If you could pray to god and then recite the name of all the books on my bookshelf, in order.
4. If god swung by my house (the door is open, and I have tuna helper).
I could literally go on forever. Some of those would allow me to have my mind changed within a single conversation. For some reason, religious people seem to think others are close-minded for demanding god-like evidence rather than ambiguous coincidence for the claim that the believer is privy to the mind of god. Weird.
Then I always ask the believer, can you think of anything, anything at all, that would convince you that Jesus is not the son of god? The answer is virtually always "no." Unbelievably, they almost all consider that answer to be indicative of the strength
of their faith, rather than the intellectual weakness of closing their minds to any conceivable challenge from the world of evidence (which would it had been if I'd answered similarly to the opposite question?). I find it odd that they never seem to catch that the two are indistinguishable in appearance from each other. And how awesome can faith be if it is a twin to disdain for evidence? Really, for someone looking at faith objectively, can anybody tell me how faith differs in both terms of credibility and appearance from delusion that disdains the most noble of intellectual properties?
I'm really hoping for a comment that goes, "No, but that's how faith works. You just don't understand it." I'm counting on you, LNP.