This is, in my opinion, the ultimate conversation-stopper. You can't argue a point any further once God's "mystery" has been invoked. Whenever someone brings out the "ineffable/unknowable/above our ways/beyond our understanding" argument, nothing more can really be said. It accounts for practically anything you want to claim about God, and it's pointless for an atheist to argue with it, as God is hypothetically just as unknowable to the atheist.Geoff wrote:If God exists, then His understanding is way beyond ours, and we would only know what He would reveal to us of His understanding.
A common discussion-killer from the atheist corner is, "You're an idiot." It's one thing to use analogies that incorporate mythology and cultural constructs (i.e. God is like Santa), but it's another to dismiss someone so entirely that there's clearly no point in either of you continuing to talk. If you think someone is an idiot, why are you wasting your time debating anything with them? If you genuinely think they're just really dumb, why keep poking them with sticks instead of just walking away? Some atheists genuinely think that most theists (or specific theists or all theists) are mentally ill or not intelligent enough to distinguish myth from reality, but in a sane situation, none of those atheists should be spending time discussing religion with theists.
Of course, both theists and non-theists have been known to use the "no one can prove their belief with 100% certainty, so we're essentially even" argument. There's clearly no point in further discussion if you are just going to boil everything down to, "no one can really be sure of anything" and leave it at that. Personally, I think this discussion-killer is mostly used as a way to say, "I'm really sick of this argument (and in some cases, "I'm starting to lose this argument") so I'm out."
1. What are some other discussion-killers you have encountered? Have you found yourself killing the discussion?
2. For you, what is the benefit or point of discussing religious-related topics with those who believe differently?