On dealing with "I'm not a scientist"
I just had a conversation with a Christian that finally made me realize something. Sometimes, rational thought is not at all persuasive to theists. I've known this, I have. But it has been a few months since a successful unconversion, and I'm starting to feel rusty, like nothing I do will get through.
I like to start by immediately dismissing NOMA. I have a preferred way of doing this that tells me a lot about the person I'm dealing with. I generally ask if they can conceive of any circumstance, however improbable, of losing their faith. If the answer is yes, you're good. If no, I offer what I feel as a gift. I don't mind saying I'm prepared to scientifically dismiss evolution in the case of irreducible complexity. That makes most intelligent theists lower their guard, probably because they want the conversion. Regardless, that is how this last conversation started.
His friend joined in here briefly throwing rather weak arguments at me. The metamorphosis of butterflies, how sonar evolved, how DNA can gain in information. I'm not a biologist but these are all rather basic. I answered them all, going as far as predicting a couple more questions he hadn't asked yet. He didn't buy any of it and left the conversation, but he wasn't a bright guy so it didn't bother me. I went back to the first guy.
His arguments went as follows. Atheism is a religion. Simple to deflect, stock answer, I don't have non acrobatics as a hobby, he accepted this rationally. Next question, third law! Again, simple, any atheist should be able to explain why this is a straw man within 60 seconds, which I did. Now I expected him to move on to the ontological argument, but he stopped and ended the conversation. "When it was explained to me, it made sense. I can't debate physics with you, I'm not a scientist."
Conversation terminated, no chance given to reason with him. How can you possibly get through to somebody who insists present logic must be false because of conflict with previous "logic" being weaseled through to the head? When science isn't effective, what else do we have?