LarryF wrote:So, is it worthwhile to argue with the faith heads? Maybe, maybe not. I can't provide statistical evidence to make the case one way or another; however, it is a sporting endeavor, one that is more humane than fox hunting, so ... I'll continue to continue. By the way, Carstonio, I've enjoyed your posts in the past; why not weigh in on the Harris site?
I was referring to the forum on Sam Harris' own Web site, not to Truthdig which I've never visited. Thanks for your praise of my posts.
Your question is fascinating. I see arguing with the fundamentalists/literalists as a matter of principle - they're not going to define me according to their beliefs without me putting up a fight. If someone believes I deserve to suffer for eternity because I don't share the person's beliefs, them's fightin' words.
Perhaps arguing with believers in general may sway some of the moderates. I see religious moderates as being pulled in two directions - one way by the forces of naturalism, and the other by the forces of fundamentalism. The theocrats aren't able to destroy religious freedom on their own. They would have to lead the moderates into a Faustian bargain, probably by using some national crisis to scare moderates into believing that their religion is in imminent danger.
I had a weird thought not long ago...fundamentalist Christians who talk about the imminent return of Jesus remind me of the protagonist of the 1973 hit "Delta Dawn." The song does seem like an allegory for the delusion of Christian premillennialism. I wonder if that was the intention of the songwriters?