Attack a Theist
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21-05-2013, 03:33 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(20-05-2013 02:38 PM)Mojch Wrote:  2. Education wise, I have three degrees. (BA, M.Ed, JD) I have a working grasp of most scientific concepts but am not a scientist by training.

Sorry if this has been asked already.
What was your study emphasis for your BA and Masters and what is a JD?

***
Also, our TTA book club will eventually have a discussion thread for The God Delusion. Since you've read it, you are welcome to give input and I'd be interested to hear a theist's perspective. Our current book discussion thread is Hitchens' God Is Not Great - I recommend it; I think you might enjoy and gain insight to the very human, very reasonable, atheist perspective.

Being a life long atheist, the above two are the only "atheist" type books I've ever read, while I have read a diverse accumulation of purely "theist" and/or "holy" books.

Thanks - and Welcome to the forum. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-05-2013, 03:44 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Dom,

Thanks for asking my opinion!

Based on my reading of your post, you make two primary points.

Point #1: "Procreation has ceased to be crucial to the human race, it is, in fact, harmful if in excess."

You asked my familiarity with this line of reasoning. Functionally, the reasoning appears at least superficially similar to the argument put forth in The Population Bomb by Professor Paul Ehrlich. I am familiar with the general arguments and have done limited reading in the area. Personally, I agree with this first statement. One would have to be insane to claim that unchecked human population growth has been a net positive for the climate or the natural world.

You also asked about the "level of awareness in church circles". This is radically different than asking my personal opinion. Most church goers see children as a "blessing from God" and therefore they would reject the above argument out of hand based upon a faith that God will not allow overpopulation to cause serious damage. I, personally, reject this reasoning.

Point #2: "The "usefulness" of procreation is not applicable in today's world."

I believe this statement is too strong. I would argue that procreation as a motivation for sex is LESS relevant but not inapplicable. I would argue that it is still a critical, if not the most critical, factor in making sexual decisions. Because I believe that the morality of an action is determined at the societal and not the individual level, this leads to the problem with homosexuality I expressed in my debate with Mark.

I hope the above is somewhat clear and, should you desire to discuss further, I would be intrigued.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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21-05-2013, 03:50 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Kim,

Thanks for the welcome! I would love to participate in a discussion of The God Delusion. Hopefully, I will still be around when it begins.

As for my education...

BA: Double Major in Rhetoric & History
M.Ed: Curriculum and Instruction
JD: Juris Doctorate (Yes, this means I am an attorney.)

Although I have not mentioned it earlier because it does not really matter, I also have certifications (part of the M.Ed) in the life sciences. These certifications are NOWHERE near the degree of understanding required for even a BS in the hard sciences but, unless things get too mathematical, I can usually follow most scientific discussion.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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21-05-2013, 03:52 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(21-05-2013 02:26 PM)Mojch Wrote:  Bucky Ball,

I am allowed to have two "Ring" debates going at once, correct? If so, I challenge you to a debate on the following terms...

1. You may chose any topic whatsoever in an attempt to disprove Christianity. However, you must present your topic in the form of a question to me and it must sufficiently specific to inspire precise and concise debate.

2. I will respond to your question with a succinct statement of how my personal belief system answers the question.

3. You will then be free to attack my belief in whatever method you prefer. However, you must present one and only one argument at a time. Of course, I will be bound by the same restrictions in my responses.

4. No reply may exceed three hundred words. (This avoids the problem of ever increasing argument length we are encountering in the Mark debate.)

5. A point will be argued until one of the following has occurred. (1) I concede the point. (2) You concede the point. (3) I have posted on the argument twice and you three times. (EXAMPLE: You attack my belief, I respond, you respond, I respond, you get the final word.) I give you the final word so as to avoid being accused of attempting to skew rules in my favor.

6. Citation to external evidentary support is NOT necessary unless a point is contested and evidence is specifically requested. This is a rule of convienience to avoid citing evidence for points agreed upon.

7. All responses must be formulated in a logical format, although formal syllogistic reasoning is unnecessary.

8. Respect and decorum must be maintained at all times.

Interested? If so, feel free to start a "Boxing Ring" thread with your first question. If not, I also extend the challenge to Starcrash, Rahn127, or Steven (Atothetheist).

Of course, should you desire to propose a rule change, I would be glad to consider that as well.

Sincerely,

Mojch

I'll be honored to take you on, and I have no problems with the rules.

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Credit goes to UndercoverAtheist.
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21-05-2013, 03:55 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Clang!

Godless in the Magnolia State
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21-05-2013, 04:06 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(21-05-2013 03:44 PM)Mojch Wrote:  Dom,

Thanks for asking my opinion!

Based on my reading of your post, you make two primary points.

Point #1: "Procreation has ceased to be crucial to the human race, it is, in fact, harmful if in excess."

You asked my familiarity with this line of reasoning. Functionally, the reasoning appears at least superficially similar to the argument put forth in The Population Bomb by Professor Paul Ehrlich. I am familiar with the general arguments and have done limited reading in the area. Personally, I agree with this first statement. One would have to be insane to claim that unchecked human population growth has been a net positive for the climate or the natural world.

You also asked about the "level of awareness in church circles". This is radically different than asking my personal opinion. Most church goers see children as a "blessing from God" and therefore they would reject the above argument out of hand based upon a faith that God will not allow overpopulation to cause serious damage. I, personally, reject this reasoning.

Point #2: "The "usefulness" of procreation is not applicable in today's world."

I believe this statement is too strong. I would argue that procreation as a motivation for sex is LESS relevant but not inapplicable. I would argue that it is still a critical, if not the most critical, factor in making sexual decisions. Because I believe that the morality of an action is determined at the societal and not the individual level, this leads to the problem with homosexuality I expressed in my debate with Mark.

I hope the above is somewhat clear and, should you desire to discuss further, I would be intrigued.

Sincerely,

Mojch

Ok then, but again, this is a conversation and not a formal debate.

An aside: I am curious about your relationship with your church. We have a resident theist here, Kingschosen, who is Calvinist and also a moderator. He seems to have disagreed with his church on some fundamental points. Do you disagree with your church a lot? So far what you have said sounds like it. Mere curiosity, and not a discussion point here.

Back to sex (I am not calling it procreation on purpose here):

1.Do you agree that different individuals are endowed with different amounts of the various hormones?

2.Do you agree that young folk, especially teenagers but also adults, are driven strongly by those hormones, especially the sexual ones?

3. So how much sex should people have in your opinion? Assume they are married and meet with your approval, but they have 3 kids already. Is it ok to continue to have sex even if let's say a fourth kid is undesirable? Why? Why not?

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21-05-2013, 05:14 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
(21-05-2013 02:26 PM)Mojch Wrote:  Bucky Ball,

I am allowed to have two "Ring" debates going at once, correct? If so, I challenge you to a debate on the following terms...

1. You may chose any topic whatsoever in an attempt to disprove Christianity. However, you must present your topic in the form of a question to me and it must sufficiently specific to inspire precise and concise debate.

2. I will respond to your question with a succinct statement of how my personal belief system answers the question.

3. You will then be free to attack my belief in whatever method you prefer. However, you must present one and only one argument at a time. Of course, I will be bound by the same restrictions in my responses.

4. No reply may exceed three hundred words. (This avoids the problem of ever increasing argument length we are encountering in the Mark debate.)

5. A point will be argued until one of the following has occurred. (1) I concede the point. (2) You concede the point. (3) I have posted on the argument twice and you three times. (EXAMPLE: You attack my belief, I respond, you respond, I respond, you get the final word.) I give you the final word so as to avoid being accused of attempting to skew rules in my favor.

6. Citation to external evidentary support is NOT necessary unless a point is contested and evidence is specifically requested. This is a rule of convienience to avoid citing evidence for points agreed upon.

7. All responses must be formulated in a logical format, although formal syllogistic reasoning is unnecessary.

8. Respect and decorum must be maintained at all times.

Interested? If so, feel free to start a "Boxing Ring" thread with your first question. If not, I also extend the challenge to Starcrash, Rahn127, or Steven (Atothetheist).

Of course, should you desire to propose a rule change, I would be glad to consider that as well.

Sincerely,

Mojch

Not interested at this time.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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21-05-2013, 05:48 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
Dom,

No formal debate, agreed. Yes, I disagree with my church often. I would not classify myself as Armenian or Calvinism but somewhere in-between.

In response to your questions...

1. Yes, certainly.
2. Yes!
3. Married people should have as much sex as they desire, even if another kid is undesirable. I have no problem with the use of contraception. This is acceptable because there is no negative social cost to marital sex between consenting, faithful and married men and women. Even when contraception is used, a social positive occurs due to the strengthening of the family bond created by sexual intimacy. Thus, the positives outweigh the negative. I believe this position may lead to an inherent logical contradiction regarding gay marriage and adoption. We can explore that if you would like.

I am enjoying our discussion!

Bucky Ball,

Thank you for your reply! I hope to have further conversations in the future.

Sincerely,

Mojch
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21-05-2013, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 21-05-2013 06:25 PM by cjs.)
RE: Attack a Theist
Mojch, I'm unmarried and have no desire to get married, but figure my sex life is no one's business but mine and my partner's. Getting married would ruin a good thing! Marriage is not the ultimate place that where every relationship should end.

As for the young people, waiting until marriage to do the deed seems unrealistic since many people now put marriage off until late 20s, 30s, or later. Painful to think about...

Thankfully I'm not restricted by religious beliefs on the subject. I live in Mississippi, the most religious, conservative state, yet with the highest teen pregnancy rates, so doing that math makes me think that religion must not be a real deterrent to premarital sex. In fact the relationship goes precisely the opposite way. I've found that people give lip service (pardon the unintended pun) to waiting and abstinence but do not always walk the talk. We've got the knocked up teen moms to prove it!

Just food for thought on religious strictures on sex and how they, well, don't generally work too well in the real world.

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21-05-2013, 06:38 PM
RE: Attack a Theist
CJS,

Could I ask you to articulate the argument you just made in a logical format? As I evaluate it, your points are...

1. "my sex life is no one's business but mine and my partner's": What logical argument do you have to support this? I offer the following counter-argument. (1) Sex has social consequences, whether emotional or physical. (2) Social consequences impact others. (3) Others have a right to care about what impacts them. (4) Thus, others have an interest (however limited) in your sex life. I would think this logic unassailable. Many of our sex crimes are specifically premised on the idea that certain sexual activity has such drastic social consequences that we do not make it a private matter. The more appropriate perspective is not "my sex life is no one's business but my own" but "my sex life is no one's business but my own up to a point". I propose that we disagree on where that point is, not on its existence as your original post suggests.

2. "waiting until marriage to do the deed seems unrealistic": Agreed that it SEEMS unrealistic. Modern society has made this goal unrealistic in the sense that it is incredibly difficult to achieve. However, IF one is able to achieve it, the positive consequences outweigh the cost of achieving it. Thus, attempting to wait and advocating waiting is the greater moral good.

3. "how they, well, don't generally work too well in the real world.": Actually, when implemented correctly, I would argue that they work very well. Your argument seems to be (1) Following religious sexual morality is so hard as to be unrealistic. (2) As a result, people don't follow it in the real world. (3) Therefore, the religious sexuality morality does not work. Effectively, you argue that religious sexual morality doesn't work well when people don't follow it. I agree. If we are concerned with determining truth however, the proper question should be "If we truly believed this and followed it, would it work?"

And, for the record, I would advocate teaching abstinence while at the same time providing information about and access to birth control.

Sincerely,

Mojch

PS - No more posting tonight! I am getting consumed by the forums...See you tomorrow.
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