I really admire Socrates and for the last few weeks I have been toying with the idea of trying to act as a modern Socrates. Today, while I was walking to the market, several Christians tried to evangelise to me. The temptation was too great to resist.
The evangelists told me that they wanted me to know that Jesus loves me. I responded by asking if the Bible was the word of God, and when they said yes, I started asking about how their loving God could have committed genocide and infanticide (Exodus 11), promoted slavery (Leviticus 25), and ordered rape (Judges 21). They refused to believe that this was in the Bible but wouldn’t give me a Bible so I could show them. Finally one said that God must exist because he made the World and that any scientist would tell me so (!!!) to which I responded that they wouldn’t and that the teleological argument runs into problems with its assumption that the world couldn’t exist forever and, by the way, where did god come from? At this point they told me to ask God myself and left.
It was incredibly clumsy in comparison to Socrates and I raised my voice when I started talking about genocide and rape. But while it wasn’t a particularly good attempt, it wasn’t a horrible one either.
It’s interesting to note that the evangelists had a poor command of English, were Asian women, and didn’t know the Bible well.
A block later I saw an Islam evangelist. I asked him about Aisha, briefly. He told me that he didn’t see anything wrong with marrying a six year old and having sex with her when she was nine. And that he thought it would be fine to do now.
In retrospect, I made several mistakes: I didn’t accept their literature or contact information, I raised my voice, and I revealed myself as argumentitive too soon.
… I’m going to read the Euthyphro again.