Why Its So Tricky for Atheists to Debate with Believers

 
  • Why Its So Tricky for Atheists to Debate with Believers

    There's no problem a few frag grenades can't fix.

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    My Twin in life, love, mind, and music: ISoS
    The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit. -Nietzsche
  • Read it. Will write something tomorrow when I have thought more about it.

  • After some thought, I agree it is a well-written article although I do not identify myself with all of the issues which are brought up. I had a similar issue like that just earlier in fact, when doing a random dungeon in WoW and I end up with a person who kept insisting that he is all right and I am all wrong, and ultimately the argumentation took the turn of me being a noob and a retard and me replying with that he should learn how to argue instead of structuring emotional arguments.

    It was pretty much a loose-loose situation, very similar to what was described in the article. Basically the whole idea was that I said that you can wipe in any dungeon, but then the other person kept arguing back that no, you can't, and I kept insisting that yes, of course you can. When he realized I wasn't going to buy his argumentation he brought up the "you are a noob, admit it" card, to which I just replied that emotional arguments aren't going to serve him well, and I said no, of course I am not a noob, and then he tosses out the word retard instead, since it was obvious calling me noob didn't rile me up either. I reiterad that emotional attacks will get him nowhere and he should learn to differentiate valid arguments from ad hominems, then left the group. But point being, there seems to be no way to get out of the situation. If I agree, then I just give him right, but if I disagree, I am still a noob. I am not quite sure what to do at that point. Toss out a red herring? Link to Wikipedia ad hominem definition? He wanted me to be offended by calling me a noob, going the typical stfu and whatnot and it didn't work, so he just stepped up the personal attacks. If I had stayed I am sure it would've gone to the point where I am a cunt and a motherfucker kind of deal, until he himself would probably have become so pissed off that he would have put me on ignore.

    While the Christian accusations are a bit less aggessive when tossing out profanity words (usually), there were indeed similarities in how the argumentation went on. If I insist that no, I have morals, then I must be a believer even though I just refuse to believe it (how does that even make sense?), or I am not moral and then I must necessarily somehow be satanic. Maybe there are some good rhetorical cards there to toss out, but I can't damn think of anything (except maybe false dichotomy...?), since it's obvious that when people bring up that kind of unfair argumentation, they have already decided what you are and will not listen to you either way. Not if you try to be rational at least.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 1 feb 2010, 19:43
    You can't argue against religion because God is a Universal Negative, which puts the the burden of proof upon the critic as opposed to the affirmation, a blatant logical fallacy. The very purpose behind blind faith asserts that because there is no proof that god doesn't exist that he does. When their small sense of logic runs out they always resort to this argument, coupled with the tried and tested emotional hysteria. Moral of the story, don't ever have logical arguments with illogical individuals, you will lose

  • Not true. The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim.

    There's no problem a few frag grenades can't fix.

    Cookies for Godlessness
    My Twin in life, love, mind, and music: ISoS
    The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit. -Nietzsche
    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 7 feb 2010, 17:10
    Not when you are arguing with religious people. They don't even acknowledge this corollary

  • Doesn't matter. If you commit the same fallacy as you claim them or even assume of them for doing, then you are no better than them and as illogical. Don't excuse your own lack of logic by blaming it on others for not understanding you. That's just a very poorly constructed ad hominem.

  • I agree mostly with lea; the rules of logic don't change depending on what people are arguing.

    I disagree that the statement indicated a lack of logic on the part of UndeadMessiah.

    There's no problem a few frag grenades can't fix.

    Cookies for Godlessness
    My Twin in life, love, mind, and music: ISoS
    The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit. -Nietzsche
  • I disagree that the statement indicated a lack of logic on the part of UndeadMessiah.


    I suppose it depends if you put it on a scale. For me it's more or less only logical or illogical argumentation though. It doesn't necessarily mean that the person who construct the arguments is always illogical, just that blaming others for being illogical while at the same time doing the very same fault is to me more or less the same deal. Doesn't matter if you can recognize their faults if you cannot recognize your own. Or at least that's how I reason.

  • When arguing with a religious person, the first step u should take. Is to get them to clearly state the specific type of god that they are defending. That way, it keeps the theist from going back in forth between the different types of gods(deist, pantheist, panentheist, etc.etc.).

  • 99% of all believers don't know what god they believe in and asking them to define their god will not help, and if they do know they have already told you.

  • Nah, it helps sometimes, especially when you start calling them out on it. Sometimes they start considering more seriously what they believe in.

    There's no problem a few frag grenades can't fix.

    Cookies for Godlessness
    My Twin in life, love, mind, and music: ISoS
    The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit. -Nietzsche
    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 24 feb 2010, 03:02
    I think people are misconstruing my statement. I am not saying that it is not logically possible to defeat a religious individual in a battle over the rationality of their faith (in fact, it is as easy as cake). What I am saying is that at any hint of irrationality upon their part they resort to setting up straw men arguments that have no relevance to the issue at hand and redirect the argument from the objective field to the emotional, where often the atheist is portrayed at least in the public eye as ignorant and absolutist, when that is the furthest from the truth. Anyway, I believe it is pointless to argue rationally in the field of faith because faith is based upon emotion and not truth, and religious people will often say that they believe something because they feel it is correct regardless of the facts, even while in a sense conceding to your superior argument. Its like a German man who doesn't speak english conceding to an Englishman that he is better at english than him, but who still believes German is the superior language. Two entirely different mindsets here

  • 99% of all believers don't know what god they believe in and asking them to define their god will not help,

    That is the whole point, most people that call themselves "Christians" if u ask them to define "god" they will give u the definition of a deist god, not a theist personal 'god'. So forcing them to define which "god" they believe in forces them to see, that they don't really believe what they thought they did.

    and if they do know they have already told you.

    Not really, i have watched a lot of debates, where mostly a christian. Always takes the side of a deist god, using the argument of "how could all this get here from nothing" or something similar. And since the majority of believers and prolly a lot of people watching the debate don't know the differences between a deist god and the christian god, the audience usually believe that is not in error. (the christian forgets that by worshiping another "god", they are going against one of the 10 commandments.)

  • RageofAnath said:
    Nah, it helps sometimes, especially when you start calling them out on it. Sometimes they start considering more seriously what they believe in.


    Not the ones I've encountered though :) They usually profess one thing, but it becomes apparent it's another in their arguments and when you call it out they don't understand it even after explaining it many times.


    Not really, i have watched a lot of debates, where mostly a christian. Always takes the side of a deist god, using the argument of "how could all this get here from nothing" or something similar. And since the majority of believers and prolly a lot of people watching the debate don't know the differences between a deist god and the christian god, the audience usually believe that is not in error. (the christian forgets that by worshiping another "god", they are going against one of the 10 commandments.)


    Well, it seems we all have different experiences on the matter. Of what I've seen, when they do know, they will make it apparent by calling themselves Christian, Muslim etc, and when you call out the inconsistencies, they just disagree with you and don't understand it. I am not denying the fact that it can happen that they truly reconsider their positions, but I have not seen it happen personally.

    Although I think at this point we should define the two different groups: the groups who call themselves Christians more because of the fuzzy warm feeling of thinking of god and heaven and those who are actual Christians in that they believe in evil and hell in addition to god and heaven. The problem ultimately boils down to identification. It feels safer to know that you are a Christian than just some random deist. This is why I find it's so hard for them to address this false position; they do not want to because it means they have to change their identity and that's probably one of the hardest things any human being can go through. We are willing to do many things, but from my studies, it is very apparent we cling very tighly to our identities.

  • What do u study LeaTelamon?

  • Socialanthropology.

  • I skimmed through the article and found it to be interesting.

    Although specific to creationists, I do like this guys video series about 'how to argue with a creationist'





    There's another 2 on his site for those who are interested.

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    • afz902k sa...
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    • 10 apr 2010, 06:01
    I never really try to have arguments with theists because they, well, say the damnedest things.

    For example, last week I told some old lady I was an atheist, and she was quite surprised, she wouldn't understand how I didn't accept the existence of nature was in fact proof of the existence of god. I told her that the two matters have nothing to do with each other and she couldn't wrap her head around it, then she got violent. I admit it was funny though.

    I never mean what I post.
    • Waldheri sa...
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    • 10 apr 2010, 08:52
    Well, the 'God' concept is inherently related to nature to most. If you accept that 'God' created the universe, then you might expect to find clues about that God by looking at nature, much like an art expert might be able to tell something about a painter by looking at brush strokes and colour usage. This is true for most theists and deists. Theology used to be a study of two "books": the Scriptures and Nature. There are variations on the theme of studying this 'God', some theological schools focusing on the Scripture and dismissing nature (nominalists), and some others dismissing Scripture and using nature to tell something about a 'God' (deists).

    In more extreme cases, nature is equivalent to 'God' - pantheism. I don't really understand why nature in that case has to be imbued by something supernatural - quite a tough logical hoop to jump through if you ask me.

    Meshuggah: "A combination of the powerful and the avant-garde, the band is as visceral and imposing an act as you’ll ever see and hear, guitarists Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström, and bassist Dick Lövgren hammering out lurching, monolithic riffs as they headbang in robotic unison, vocalist Jens Kidman barking out surreal verses like a twisted drill sergeant while gesticulating like a puppet on strings. - Adrien Begrand (PopMatters)
  • Waldheri, speaking about pantheism: but Spinoza? I know, I just dig him.

    • Waldheri sa...
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    • 10 apr 2010, 10:06
    Spinoza is slightly different, or at least more refined. For many pantheists, god is exactly similar to nature (or, "the universe") as a whole. I think it is not so for Spinoza. Spinoza had a monist metaphysical position in which god is the substance*. This doesn't mean that everything is god, but everything can be ultimately reduced to god (or stronger: everything is ultimately made of god). All that exists are merely different modes of god.

    * "Substance" in its philosophical meaning, as in Descartes who describes two substances in his dualist system : the thinking substance (res cogitans) and the extended substance (res extensa).

    Meshuggah: "A combination of the powerful and the avant-garde, the band is as visceral and imposing an act as you’ll ever see and hear, guitarists Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström, and bassist Dick Lövgren hammering out lurching, monolithic riffs as they headbang in robotic unison, vocalist Jens Kidman barking out surreal verses like a twisted drill sergeant while gesticulating like a puppet on strings. - Adrien Begrand (PopMatters)
  • Yes, that I know of the substances. Otherwise I wouldn't think his philosophy as amazing as I think it is, I think. In light of his philosophy, I can't really imagine pantheism as anything else either. Unless you reduce god to a physical power or draw a comparion that god = universe without any supernatural tendencies.

    • afz902k sa...
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    • 12 apr 2010, 05:06
    I wonder if any pantheists out there think god hates the Higgs boson. A bit off-topic there.

    I never mean what I post.
  • I'm not sure if this is the right place to discuss about this, but today i read an article similar to the one from the thread. It's about an astronomer, Martin Gaskell, who was not allowed to become the director of the University Observatory in Kentucky because of his religious beliefs.
    Here's the article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/us/19kentucky.html
    What do you think about this situation?

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