In the final part of my conversation with this theist/deist, we sort of started to lash out at each other, which I believe is a result of the medium. It's almost like the final round of a heavyweight bout and we're trying to outslug one another before the final bell. I was particularly disappointed with how this ended because he disconnected. It couldn't have been because of any insults, so I think he either started to get frustrated or he lost his Internet connection.
We pick up the conversation with him spouting/quoting some indoctrinated drivel that injects his own opinion and makes very little sense. It is very typical of a theist, who is driven by fear of the unknown rather than the betterment of humankind. I'm still answering his previous points about the Catholic Church, but I really wish I had more time to address his fear.
HIM: "Because, without the concept of God (as a man, as the Universe, as the Earth, as the Flying Spaghetti Monster), what does man have left to fear? His own mortality- thus all "sins" (objective case for harmful actions to himself and others)"
are done to forget, and ultimately hasten, his death.
ME: The Catholic Church is a money-making machine, keeping its billions (that it takes from the gullible) and then disguises its philanthropy as its own. And what about AIDS in Africa? Catholic Church's actions say it's better to die from AIDS than to use a condom. Idiots. Just keep your religion out of public schools and government and stop starting wars, and I'll be fine. ... And you act like the CC is the only way people could be helped in society. There are countless secular charities that do the same work, without taking the pope's cut. ... Why do we have to fear anything? Laws and enforcement are in place to protect us in the here and now and prison and retribution instills plenty if fear in me. You're so indoctrinated it's sad. Think for yourself, man. Stop regurgitating what they "teach" you, and stop irrationally inventing heaven's justice/reward to placate being afraid of the unknown.
HIM: I haven't been taught anything- your idealistic approach to humanity is both myopic and misguided. You emphasize the ideal of the individual over the group, yet completely omit how disobedient and indulgent everyone is? Have you taken a look at society today? All this murder, broken families, all a result of a breakdown of the nuclear family structure, held together by God-fearing men.
ME: Where did I emphasize individualism? Disobedient to whom, your made-up malevolent dictator of a god? By the way, America, which is NOT a Christian nation, is basically at its most religious in history and yet the crime and unconventional family numbers are still higher than we like. How come? In fact, the states with the most teenage pregnancies and crime are the states with the most religion. That study was just released last week.
HIM: And, by the way I never once said I was Catholic- I harbor Deistic intentions. And have you ever been to a church, seriously? You're confusing tele-evangelists with most other churches. Hell, most churches barely scrape by- that's why they ask for money to be passed around as mass. Go to your local church, I don't mind if it's Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, or what have you, and see how they tread on cutting staff and amenities on a monthly basis.
ME: Please. You're showing your ignorance. On any given street in this country you will find multiple churches, sometimes in double figures. Yep, they are struggling all right. ... So why would you defend the CC or any religion if you lean toward deism? And I love deists, they are so selfish. You invent a god because you can't answer the question of how we got here and you hate the idea of a theistic god in your head and watching you have sex.
HIM: Are you serious? I have read reports to demonstrate to the contrary, that in fact, America is becoming undeclared in heaps and bounds. A pillar to Christianity (for example), is virtue and faith, and faith works in mysteries (placebo effect); a disgustingly high amount of children grow up in broken homes, and, as a result, (in fatherless homes, statistics indicate), offspring are more prone to be incarcerated, depressed, dependent on drugs and alcohol, and so on.
ME: Check your prisons and run the numbers. Less than 1 percent of prisoners are atheists or non-believers. The fact that more secularity is becoming apparent doesn't mean the country is less religious as a whole. It just means more people are finally not afraid to admit it; it was much more difficult to come out as an atheist decades ago and it was essentially social/career suicide. This country is still 85% religious, that's huge, and yet you are saying the country is going down the toilet when it comes to crime and vices. You can't lay all of those harmful stats on the undeclared or non-believers. So, your god isn't having a strong enough influence on your religious brethren after all.
AND THAT ENDED THE CONVERSATION AS THE STRANGER DISCONNECTED.
What I took from this conversation was this believer was very typical. He lived his life in fear, cherry-picked what he wanted from his religion and then invented the god he wanted by admitting his particular bend was toward deism despite not one shred of proof for that worldview. He attributed everything he thought was wrong with this country/world to heathens (without evidence), yet it's statistically impossible for infidels to be responsible for it.
I really would have liked this confab to have been through email, so I could have taken my time with destroying his arguments and addressing each point in chronological order. But I'll have to settle with getting him to essentially regret defending the Catholic Church and fleeing after throwing out a bunch of unsubstantiated "facts" that had nothing to do with lack of religion.