1. Ramases says

    Tried to listen, and the program itself seemed very interesting, but unfortunately the streaming was so broken up I had to give up. Stopped every five seconds or so, and seemed to spend the same amount of time frozen as working.

    Pity, as there seems to be much there to listen to.

  2. JackC says

    I have a way of talking to proselytizers that usually works: “I deny your premis.” – it makes them walk away shaking their heads.


  3. ennui says

    When they come to our house, I try to keep them here as long as possible (when I have time), as a public service to everyone else. I’ll make coffee (or give them water if they’re Mormon), and sit down with them for a good long talk, since they pose no threat to my atheism unless they bring peer-reviewed research to back their claims.

    Strangely, that has never happened. Usually they leave with a bunch of book titles and web addresses that I have provided them.

  4. JackC says

    ennui – I did that once myself when a Jehova’s Witness came to my house (I told him I really would like to, but I didn’t see the accident….) [badum…. bump]

    The reason I did was he had his son with him – about 9 or 10 maybe. I spent the entire hour or so talking not to the guy but to his son – without doing so directly. I will never know if it worked, but it was a shot.


  5. says

    My wife gets upset with my proselytizing Mormon boys who come by the house. One day when I wasn’t home they came by and she told them that whenever they come by I, beat her afterwards. They don’t come by anymore. I miss them.

    How can you have a problem with the streaming of the show when it hasn’t come on yet? I’ve got 8:19 central time right now unless I’m in the twilight zone.


  6. Scott1960 says

    I just tell them I’m a Buddhist. So far they don’t seem to have any talking points for that situation.

  7. says

    Mike is ALWAYS on time! Hey Mike, where are you to defend yourself here? :) lol

    Actually, the only thing I’ve ever had to say to them is that I’m an atheist. They can’t get away fast enough, but the JW’s still smile at me while they’re backing away.

  8. says

    Thank you, PZ, for the honor of mentioning me in your blog!

    In response to Ramases’s comment:
    “the program itself seemed very interesting, but unfortunately the streaming was so broken up I had to give up… Pity, as there seems to be much there to listen to.”

    –first, thank for the compliment!

    Second, you can find the audio file on One of my YouTube videos also covers much of this same material–see

    As for a brief overview on how I talk to proselytizers, I start out *not* by mentioning my atheism, but I actually tentatively accept–for argument’s sake–their premises that there IS a Creator of sorts, that this said-Creator has made some sort of communication effort with mankind, and that the fundamentalists are correct in their assessment that “one religion is from God, the rest are man-made.” I then turn to a review of non-Christian religions, and my aim is to get the proselytizer to pinpoint the telltale signs of the human authorship of foreign faiths by three criteria: (a) they’re pieced together from pre-existing religions, (b) their holy laws are often based on irrational prejudices and erroneous conclusions about cause and effect, and (c) their stories contain inaccurate and earth-bound descriptions of the universe–stars that are tiny, a moon that shines its own light, a sun that orbits a flat and stationary earth, etc.

    With those premises established, the conversation then turns to examining Christianity by the same light held up to non-Christian religions. Use of this approach means I don’t use my own arguments against with the Christian; rather, the proselytizer is forced to defend himself against his own accusations: his own description of a religion created not by an Almighty Architect of the Universe, but by the flawed mind of man.

    Todd Allen Gates
    Author of Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer

  9. says

    Crystal –

    I am always on time, but occasionally the events scheduled and “time” take relativistically different dance steps.

    Time is a fuzzy concept, you know.

    Also, cars have lately been my bane.