I welcome spirited debate at times (and like to passively watch it occur at times) with conservative Christians and with atheists.
Lord knows, I’ve pissed off both groups, which in my mind tells me I’m doing something right.
But it occurs to me lately that both groups share some similar problems in their approach (which often makes it impossible for me to talk intelligently with some of them): Problems of context and translation.
That is, when they either go on about the inerrant nature of the Bible or the ridiculousness of its teachings, they often pay no mind to that fact that the words that they either uplift or denigrate are not always what they think they are.
Translations are sometimes not accurate, owing to a lack of precise words to capture the original meaning in English or other languages…as well as to the fact that English itself has changed since the days of the first King James Bible. Also, context is key. Teachings in the Bible were often designed for the society of the times, and it does no one any good to either shoehorn them into doing something they aren’t meant to do or can no longer achieve…nor is it good to act like they were never meant to adapt to realities of a changing world.
But hey, on the bright side, at least the most obnoxious fundies and the most aggressive atheists are working from some common falacies.