How to Argue Against Emotion?
I need some advice. In the Alpha Course I’m currently attending, I have been bringing up many logical and factual problems with Christianity during the group discussions. Talking about these questions in the groups has been interesting and somewhat fruitful, but, quickly, any answers given from the religious group members (which are almost all of them) reduce to appeals to emotion, and feeling, and knowing God’s love, and all that crap. I can’t just steamroller over their beliefs and feelings since that’s a surefire way for them to disrespect anything I say. Hell, I can’t even respectfully disagree and give alternative rational viewpoints for anything they believe in based on feelings. I’ve tried with my wife; she interprets any response other than, “your feelings have won me over; of course Christianity must be true” as a personal attack. There is even one girl in our group who just starts crying from time to time due to the emotion of thinking about Jesus.
So my question is: how do you argue effectively with people whose viewpoints are entirely based on feelings? Right now, whenever the Alpha discussions descend into emotional territory I’ve just had to drop whatever I’ve been arguing for and move on to another topic because it’s a dead end.