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Pondering Apologetics ~ Why do all the canvassers have such terrible arguments?

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  • Pondering Apologetics ~ Why do all the canvassers have such terrible arguments?

    So,

    Evangelists are pretty bad at their jobs.

    By "Evangelists", for the purpose of this thread, I mean the people who are actually going out and doing grunt work of going out in public to try to convert people, save souls, whatever you want to call it. I try to keep definitions open when precision isn't super important.

    Basically, every single person I've come across who had the motivation to actually get outside of their comfort zone and do the street team thing has been woefully unprepared for anyone who isn't a lapsed Christian ready to be cajoled into going to church.

    Why is this?

    From what I recall from my church when I was looking into missionary work as a teen, and from talking with people who have shown up on my doorstep or met on the street (I used to live in San Diego and would run into people from out of state coming to do stuff at the creationism institute there while on the light rail) the whole point of these kinds of outreach efforts are supposed to be about saving souls.

    OTOH, 3/4ths of the US is explicitly Christian. These people are, by the tenets of evangelical's, already saved. So if the goal is to save souls, they need to actually go after people who don't already believe, but their entire arsenal is, again as far as I've seen, woefully inadequate.

    This isn't, incidentally, just a problem with Christianity. I ran into this a little with wandering Buddhist monks in rural China, but not with the ones in the temples (who mostly just wanted to chill, talk about ethics to the extent we could since I don't speak much Mandarin, and explain the relationship between a belief in reincarnation and vegetarianism). Or, oh my, the Hari Krishna's I ran into while in Australia were just laughably bad at their job, but aside from the differences in content, it was not particularly any better or worse to describe Vishnu (or whatever) having the entrails of his enemies around his neck than to reiterate basic, evangelical protestant dogma to a non-believer. The strange thing for me is the process for why all the various people I've talked to (predominantly eva. Protestents, JW's. Mormons, HK's, some Buddhists [the ones in Hong Kong at least had some street magic sleight of hand that suckered in one of my Navy buddies while we were on shore leave] and a few minority religious [I used to leave near Portland, Or... so, yeah]

    So, I suppose, the gist of this thread is the title.

    "Why do religious canvassers have such terrible arguments?"

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
    So,

    Evangelists are pretty bad at their jobs.

    By "Evangelists", for the purpose of this thread, I mean the people who are actually going out and doing grunt work of going out in public to try to convert people, save souls, whatever you want to call it. I try to keep definitions open when precision isn't super important.

    Basically, every single person I've come across who had the motivation to actually get outside of their comfort zone and do the street team thing has been woefully unprepared for anyone who isn't a lapsed Christian ready to be cajoled into going to church.

    Why is this?

    From what I recall from my church when I was looking into missionary work as a teen, and from talking with people who have shown up on my doorstep or met on the street (I used to live in San Diego and would run into people from out of state coming to do stuff at the creationism institute there while on the light rail) the whole point of these kinds of outreach efforts are supposed to be about saving souls.

    OTOH, 3/4ths of the US is explicitly Christian. These people are, by the tenets of evangelical's, already saved. So if the goal is to save souls, they need to actually go after people who don't already believe, but their entire arsenal is, again as far as I've seen, woefully inadequate.

    This isn't, incidentally, just a problem with Christianity. I ran into this a little with wandering Buddhist monks in rural China, but not with the ones in the temples (who mostly just wanted to chill, talk about ethics to the extent we could since I don't speak much Mandarin, and explain the relationship between a belief in reincarnation and vegetarianism). Or, oh my, the Hari Krishna's I ran into while in Australia were just laughably bad at their job, but aside from the differences in content, it was not particularly any better or worse to describe Vishnu (or whatever) having the entrails of his enemies around his neck than to reiterate basic, evangelical protestant dogma to a non-believer. The strange thing for me is the process for why all the various people I've talked to (predominantly eva. Protestents, JW's. Mormons, HK's, some Buddhists [the ones in Hong Kong at least had some street magic sleight of hand that suckered in one of my Navy buddies while we were on shore leave] and a few minority religious [I used to leave near Portland, Or... so, yeah]

    So, I suppose, the gist of this thread is the title.

    "Why do religious canvassers have such terrible arguments?"
    I can't speak for the other religions, but a lot of times zeal outweighs the patience it takes to be fully prepared. When you're young in your faith, you want to share it with as many people as soon as possible because you want everyone to know and experience what you now know and experience. Being fully prepared to handle and communicate deep theological questions and ideas takes time, and the type of wisdom that comes with maturity. And as with all things, what's fresh, and new and exciting today can eventually be tempered tomorrow. One's love for one's wife may be deeper now than it was when the two first met, but rarely is it as passionate, and I think it's the same in regards to one's faith. Also, with time, people often find that going door to door, or standing at street corners isn't a particularly effective way to evangelize.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
      "Why do religious canvassers have such terrible arguments?"
      Lack of choice.

      Roy
      Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

      mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

      Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
      Mountain Man: … this is how liberals argue these days, with labels instead of ideas.

      Comment


      • #4
        Many modern Christians do not see the world in the same way that their target audience sees it and therefore they are doomed to miscommunicate at virtually every level. They are a divergent population undergoing extinction. Adrift, here, sees the problem you mention as a lack of mature preparation in the subject when, in fact, the tenets of the faith can be spelt out in a few lines. It is not difficult to understand but it is dressed up to appear relevant and important and more complicated than it really is. The clergy in particular do not understand why they are being rejected. They see that the world thinks them mad but they cannot see why.
        “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
        “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
        “not all there” - you know who you are

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
          I can't speak for the other religions, but a lot of times zeal outweighs the patience it takes to be fully prepared. When you're young in your faith, you want to share it with as many people as soon as possible because you want everyone to know and experience what you now know and experience. Being fully prepared to handle and communicate deep theological questions and ideas takes time, and the type of wisdom that comes with maturity. And as with all things, what's fresh, and new and exciting today can eventually be tempered tomorrow. One's love for one's wife may be deeper now than it was when the two first met, but rarely is it as passionate, and I think it's the same in regards to one's faith. Also, with time, people often find that going door to door, or standing at street corners isn't a particularly effective way to evangelize.
          In other words when you are young in your faith, you really don't know what you're talking about, but somehow you want to share your ignorance with others anyway. I find that most christians, excluding the apologists of course, no very little about the bible anyway. Most believe in the main idea because it was impressed upon them in the naivete of youth. Young canvassers are most likely the same, they tell you of the belief thats been instilled in them, in the hope that you will believe it to, but can't really make sense of it if asked questions.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's not like progressives are generally any good at arguing their ideology either (eg. fm93, or the average Yankee college student). So in general

            Originally posted by Paprika
            the average Christian hardly differs from the average person with regards to intellectual issues. That's just trivial.
            Last edited by Paprika; 06-07-2015, 12:12 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
              It's not like progressives are generally any good at arguing their ideology either (eg. fm93, or the average Yankee college student). So in general
              Make a case for that or get out of the thread

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
                Make a case for that or get out of the thread
                That pot is just trying to recover from its introduction to the kettle. That's all.
                Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jaecp View Post
                  Make a case for that or get out of the thread
                  That's easy. I'll give the obvious examples: lots of atheist on the net or 'authorities like Dawkins can't argue well at all for their atheism. We've all seen how the infant libertarian Dee Dee sucks at arguing her new found ideology, as she herself admits. The examples are numerous. Tje average person just can't argue well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fm93 View Post
                    That pot is just trying to recover from its introduction to the kettle. That's all.
                    We'll make an incisive feels-obliterater of you yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jaecp View Post

                      Basically, every single person I've come across who had the motivation to actually get outside of their comfort zone and do the street team thing has been woefully unprepared for anyone who isn't a lapsed Christian ready to be cajoled into going to church.
                      That's what
                      - She

                      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                      Stephen R. Donaldson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        We'll make an incisive feels-obliterater of you yet.
                        From what I've seen, your modus operandi is essentially to repeatedly misconstrue arguments and then launch into an annoying tirade based on said misconstrued arguments. "Hey, look at me, kids! I'm Mr. 'Apparently Incapable of Discerning Between Overblown Emotion and Genuine Biblically-Mandated Empathy and Compassion,' and because of my apparent lack of discernment, today I'm going to endless throw around patronizing buzzwords like "feels" when I see the latter part of my title, and consequently I'm going to make myself seem like a condescending sociopath!"
                        Last edited by fm93; 06-07-2015, 07:36 PM.
                        Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                        I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                          That's easy. I'll give the obvious examples: lots of atheist on the net or 'authorities like Dawkins can't argue well at all for their atheism. We've all seen how the infant libertarian Dee Dee sucks at arguing her new found ideology, as she herself admits. The examples are numerous. Tje average person just can't argue well.
                          All I see here is anecdotal slander.
                          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                          go with the flow the river knows . . .

                          Frank

                          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            That's easy. I'll give the obvious examples: lots of atheist on the net or 'authorities like Dawkins can't argue well at all for their atheism. We've all seen how the infant libertarian Dee Dee sucks at arguing her new found ideology, as she herself admits. The examples are numerous. Tje average person just can't argue well.
                            This was explicitly about people doing it in person. Saying other people suck too isn't a case, nor is Dawkins an example of a progressive. Go look up senator Warren on anything and you'll find brilliant argument

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              Can you delete this? You know I prefer my threads to be discussions and not video filled stuff.

                              Comment

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