Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-09-2011, 05:49 PM
Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
I made a comment a while back in another thread that as usual was probably off topic, but I feel it merits discussing under a new heading, if I may. My interest here is to see if anyone feels that arguing with theists in a never ending circle is really a learning experience or is it just spinning wheels for the fun of it. Does it help theists see our point of view as legitimate? .. or even to see our point of view at all? Does it help non-theists understand theists? Is there really an exercise here?

Here's a cut of what I said in that post...

Quote:.... If this is just entertainment for you, have at it. Have fun. Enjoy the verbiage and nouniage... But if you think you are actually having a conversation of any reasonable use, think again. When religionists argue against reason it is futile. They have set you up for a maelstrom of useless proportion that is ultimately the point of their argument, to twist and negate and make blanket absolutes that only make it sound as if the sentences are actually readable. Every time you try to make a reasonable point, you are adding to the elation and gratification they feel of slaying the infidel even though his words are absolutely empty and without form. The more quotes, the more words he can use, the more he can hide behind them. I'm sure he feels he's getting his heavenly scout badge... and you are feeding that delusion.

Now that being said, I would really like to learn something if you have any argument that makes the seemingly relentless discussion with theists a useful endeavor for anyone... not just an exercise in argument or entertainment. My point of view is that it is futile.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2011 06:40 PM by Glaucus.)
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
Theists will very rarely admit to being wrong, they will always move the goal posts to save face. That's why I don't debate in private, I always do it somewhere public so that other people can hear the discussion. The goal is not to deconvert the theist, but to get people who are watching the discussion to think.

That's how I became an atheist, I watched youtube videos of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, TTA, and the Atheist Experience. I had been quasi-atheist for awhile, but it took hearing other people voice the same problems with religion that I had to help me get comfortable enough to accept my new views. Ever since then, I've tried to offer the same thing to people and allow them to come to grips with their own misgivings about religion.

*shameless plugging of my only youtube video*
I made a youtube video awhile back discussing "closeted" atheists and how they are simply waiting to know that they are not alone.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 07:06 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
Are you saying then, that it's those in the background who are benefiting from the discussions? If so, don't you think that a strait on point/counterpoint and finish would be a better way of discussion rather than a line by line rehash of the same information resulting in insult and exhaustion?

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 07:37 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
That's exactly it.

Of course it would, but 2 reasons why the rehashing is how it will always be:
1) Debating Religion is telling someone that they way they understand and view the world is wrong. So you have to expect that they will be offended and it'll get heated. But there are some debates that can stay civilized, usually short ones where the debaters give a speech, then take questions from the audience.
2) You are one of the few common denominators between debates. The people who you are arguing against and the people listening may have some of the same ideas or misgivings about it as people in your previous debates, they just haven't heard someone point out the fallacies. Theists aren't that aware of atheists, so they are often surprised when the usual mind-tricks don't work on non-theists.

Though, there is the excitement you get when you get to see a new trick people use to re-interpret the "Good Book".

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 08:07 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
The vast majority of the people here used to be Theists, myself included. The useful endeavor is that you will enlighten many minds.

[Image: 81564_gal-1.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 09:23 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
I gave up debating with theists because of the never-ending circle of discussion that results from it.

Roughly 25% of the planet's population declare themselves to be Christians when asked to state their religion. I would guesstimate that probably less than 10% of them are "true" Christians in that they regularly attend church, worship their god or pray.

The 15% balance of those people possibly never think of religion or a god and I'm sure that faced with the challenge of thought, logic, science and common sense, they would undoubtedly arrive at the same conclusion that I arrived at, at a young age.

It's not these people that tend to debate Christianity or the existence of a god, but more the hard core Christians whose minds are totally closed to the possibility that their belief could be misguided. If they won't challenge what they believe in their own minds, then let them believe what they want.

"To think of what the world has suffered from superstition, from religion, from the worship of beast and stone and god, is
almost enough to make one insane."

Robert G. Ingersoll
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-09-2011, 09:57 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
(26-09-2011 08:07 PM)17thknight Wrote:  The vast majority of the people here used to be Theists, myself included. The useful endeavor is that you will enlighten many minds.

I certainly hope so, 17th. My question is not whether information should be discussed or even debated but how can we actually have an effect that can change the abysmal condition of ignorance? Do we run in circles like a dog after it's own tail? or do we speak with reasoned authority showing that we are just as "virtuous" as they think they are? Because, for real...guys... WE ARE just as virtuous, moral and "holy" as they are. From my experience, even more so because it isn't the bible that tells us so... it is US! It is our own innate sense of love and humanity that we listen to. Not some washed up ancient text that dictates every move and takes the blame for us. It isn't some Jesus character that saves us from our sins... WE save ourselves from our iniquities. Our sins are based on science and the planet and our connection to it and each other. That, I think, is what we need to be getting across, not rehash the stupid scripture trying to put reason into oblivion.

Whew... that was fun!

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes defacto7's post
26-09-2011, 11:33 PM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
(26-09-2011 09:57 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  I certainly hope so, 17th. My question is not whether information should be discussed or even debated but how can we actually have an effect that can change the abysmal condition of ignorance? Do we run in circles like a dog after it's own tail? or do we speak with reasoned authority showing that we are just as "virtuous" as they think they are? Because, for real...guys... WE ARE just as virtuous, moral and "holy" as they are. From my experience, even more so because it isn't the bible that tells us so... it is US! It is our own innate sense of love and humanity that we listen to. Not some washed up ancient text that dictates every move and takes the blame for us. It isn't some Jesus character that saves us from our sins... WE save ourselves from our iniquities. Our sins are based on science and the planet and our connection to it and each other. That, I think, is what we need to be getting across, not rehash the stupid scripture trying to put reason into oblivion.

Lol,, good post. It is an ongoing battle, and in the end I think you will need to rehash the same points over and over and over. Every time you bring up something you plant a seed of doubt in someone's mind. It may not even be the person you are debating with, but rather the listeners.

I think Thank You For Smoking has a great scene that exemplifies my point. Don't think of yourself as always arguing to convert the person you're arguing with.

[Image: 81564_gal-1.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-09-2011, 09:43 AM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
I think it depends on the theist.

I know a tiny number of theists who seem reasonable and open to honest and frank discussion about science/logic and religion/faith. They consider themselves seeking...and not necessarily already signed, sealed, and delivered unto their god. There is no threat for them in inquiry and doubt, and our discussions are always fruitful. Mostly fruitful. We agree to disagree on a lot of subjects, but we don't come away from the conversation feeling like we've just done battle. Instead, we both come away feeling like we have a deeper understanding of the world and the human experience.

Then there are the theists who, no matter what you say or how you say it, will consider that everything coming from your mouth is either from satan or the words of a sad and confused theist in denial. Those are the kind of people who are unable to have a normal conversation...about anything, really. Those are the folks with whom you cannot have a fruitful discussion because they consider logic and reason to be tools of those who have turned their backs on god and are now meant to perish in their ungodly arrogance. Those are the people I refuse to talk to about any subject that might remotely lead to a disagreement about faith and no faith. Those conversations don't go past discussions about "Lost."

So, I think we have to choose our battles, and cut off people who just aren't going to, or just can't, have a fruitful discussion. There is no point in wasting energy on that. However, I'm thinking that it's those people specifically who are the ones who benefit from being on the sidelines of a discussion...when their mouth isn't running (or fingers aren't typing), they have more of a chance of actually hearing what is being said. I would hope, anyway.

Just my two cents. Smile

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-09-2011, 10:23 AM
RE: Around and around and around we go. Where we stop... Who knows.
My form of arguing is pretty cut in dry. People believe things because they don't associate the implications of said belief with anything else. It has an abstract thought in their head that is translated by them as X. I force them to acknowledge the implications of X and that A, B, and C follow suit. The debates either continue with, "I see what you mean." or they force some kind of loop hole such as "You interpreted that wrong." At that point the argument for me is over, because I debate, not argue.

A prime example was my coworker and I were talking about the advance in medicine and how the possibility of living to 130-150 might be possible under good health. He stated it can't happen, god wouldn't allow it. I took the implications of his statement and combined them with god allowing people to live up to hundreds of years in the bible. At this point he either agrees with me to accept the implications of the bible, or throws out the bible(which won't happen) or the argument is over because HE claims that he knows god just wouldn't allow it just because. He later agreed with my view point.

Arguments have to have a strategy or a plan, if they go into a loophole of fallacies and contradictions, it's over.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: