March 10

How to Disengage from Antiapologetics, Part II

Adding a stop sign.
Adding a stop sign. Source: Morguefile

Now that you have admitted that your antiapologetic behavior is really nothing more than ego stroking, it is time to discuss ways to stop doing it. It is a waste of your time. It is playing chess with a pigeon, it is teaching a pig to sing.

Colorful metaphors aside, you need to stop.

You need to realize that it is an addiction. That’s the first thing. Don’t worry, we’re not going to advocate a twelve step program. It’s much simpler than that.

Five Dos:

  1. Tell the next person you want to respond to, “You know, I never really thought of it that way. I need to think about this.” or something else along those lines.
    Why this is a good idea: Although you are not telling them they are right, you are handing them a victory of sorts, one they were not expecting. This means they are less likely to want to continue the discussion, which will help you disengage.
  2. Do whatever you need to in order to not be reminded of the conversation. Facebook has a way to turn off notifications for many posts (although I am still trying to figure out how to do it with the newer hierarchical comment system). If you cannot turn off notifications, you will need to have the willpower to not click and read any other comments in the thread.
    Why this is a good idea: Out of sight, out of mind. Constant reminders of the fun you had debating will suck you back in.
  3. Take a break from whatever media source you were arguing on. Some will be easy, like if the source was a website you do not frequent. Facebook and Youtube may be more difficult. Even if it is only a few hours, breaking the mental cycle is a good thing. However, I recommend doing something engaging that does not just “make time pass”. If you are merely waiting to get back on Facebook, you are defeating yourself.
    Why this is a good idea: You are breaking a pattern. The more broken it is, the harder it will be to slip back into it.
  4. If you really want to kick the habit, unjoin debate groups and block any debaters you have had issues with in the past. Clean the slate.
    Why this is a good idea: You don’t hold weight loss meetings in the middle of a supermarket, do you?
  5. Finally, tell your debating palls that you are either taking a break or not doing it anymore, whichever you are comfortable with.
    Why this is a good idea: If they respect you, they should respect that. If not, screw up. Unfriend them and move on.

Five Don’ts:

  1. Don’t leave on a flounce. No grand exit, no potshots on the way out. You are not a dying swan. No one is going to give you an academy award for your performance. Say goodbye and leave, at the most.
  2. Don’t return. Don’t go back to a group you have left. Stick to what you said, stick by your word. By saying goodbye, you said you were leaving. Stay gone. Don’t be one of those people.
  3. Don’t replace one argument with another. Don’t push away from the computer and get into a fight with your spouse or your roommate.
  4. Don’t think ill of the people you are arguing with. They are as devoted to their position as you are to yours. Whether or not it is based in facts and reality or emotion and the Bible, it means something to them. It comforts them.
  5. Finally, don’t debate in absentia. If your debating buddies want to chat you up about their debates, let them, but don’t fan their flames.

In Part III, I will discuss how to keep from returning to the debate.

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Posted March 10, 2015 by zalpha in category "Religion and atheism

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