Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
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01-02-2013, 05:04 PM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
Yea, no true Scotsman is pretty handy. Here's a link... my linky thing is fucked at the moment...

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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01-02-2013, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2013 07:00 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
(01-02-2013 01:43 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I take an issue with 3b.

According to Christianity, a person cannot lose their salvation. If they say that they did, they are either 1) lying or 2) were never "saved".

By applying a "No True Scotsman" to this, you are applying an atheistic view as an authority for a Christian belief. This isn't fair.

As an atheist, you cannot rewrite Christian views based on your own experience. If a Christian says that you were never saved based on the what the Christian authority says, then that is truth according to Christianity.

Much like you addressed how Christians cannot impose their views upon atheists, atheists cannot impose their views upon Christians

This is one of the few instances where "No True Scotsman" is valid.
Vosur's reply fairly well sums up my take on this. (Yes, I'm aware of what Paul said.) But you got me thinking some about the way I phrased things, and the fact that I'm not really looking for any doctrinal dispute here (but rather a focus on manners, basic information, and common sense). And really, I SHOULD have seen this particular dispute coming from a mile away. I've got an edit that covers 3's main paragraph, as well as 3b, which I think defuses this potential conflict. But it's also long and wordy. Could people tell me what they think of it?

Proposed revision:
Quote:3) Misconceptions of Christianity, and poor definition of what it means to be Christian. People, and not just atheists, have been arguing about what it means to be Christian for a long time. Definitions out there run the gambit from very, very narrow ones (the only true Christians are those thirty or so who belong to THIS particular church out in the middle of nowhere) to the extremely broad (phone surveys, for example, tend to count as Christian anyone who identifies as a Christian, with no doctrinal tests at all). Atheists also have varied definitions of Christianity. My perception is that most lean towards the broader definition of calling anyone who identifies as a Christian a Christian, but some will subscribe to narrower definitions adopted by individual denominations or churches. It is extremely arrogant to insist that anyone, Christian or atheist, MUST adopt your semantic definition of what is or isn't a Christian, absent significant persuasion on your part. Establishing a working definition or clarifying what you mean by the word in a particular discussion is one thing, but bear in mind that others, be they atheists or Christian, will NOT use the word the same way, and you have no more right to insist that they use your definition than they have to insist that you use theirs. In particular, consider whether a given definition represents a practical distinction in any given conversation or argument. This error is often used to rule out certain people as "not Christian" which a broader definition might consider to be Christian, or to otherwise dismiss or ignore aspects of Christianity and Christendom which are inconvenient. In particular:

b) Insisting that (identifying) Christians who became atheists were never truly Christians to begin with. Again, this is about having a narrower semantic definition of Christianity than the atheist in question. In particular, this definition lacks predictive power. Someone who truly subscribes to this argument could NEVER say with confidence that anyone still living is a Christian, because they have no idea who may have deconverted five years from now. And if you can't say who is and isn't a true Christian, if you can't draw that distinction at all, well, the distinction has little practical value.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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01-02-2013, 07:29 PM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
On the converse....

Common Mistakes Atheists Make When Arguing With the Religious


1. You cannot reason a person out of a position they were not reasoned into.
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01-02-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
(01-02-2013 05:04 PM)kim Wrote:  Yea, no true Scotsman is pretty handy. Here's a link... my linky thing is fucked at the moment...

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman


I just hate it when my linky thing is fucked. Oh, wait. No, I just love it.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-02-2013, 10:30 PM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
Reltzik, this is a great one-stop shopping digest of conversations and arguments many of us have had with the religious. Thanks for putting this together. Do you mind if I print it out? I'd like to keep it in my purse, then if I need the handy reference, I can tell whoever is trying to convert me to read it and then come back to discuss the matter. I get tired of repeating these same arguments to people, and if they place so much importance on my eternal soul and harassing me about it, the least they can do is read this. Then maybe we can have some intelligent dialogue, or maybe they'll decide this makes sense and not try to convert me anymore. A girl can dream...

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01-02-2013, 11:50 PM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
(01-02-2013 01:54 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(01-02-2013 01:43 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I take an issue with 3b.

According to Christianity the Christian denomination that I adhere to, a person cannot lose their salvation.
Fixed.

(01-02-2013 01:43 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  As an atheist, you cannot rewrite Christian views based on your own experience. If a Christian says that you were never saved based on the what the Christian authority respective person's belief says, then that is truth according to Christianity the Christian denomination that they adhere to.
Fixed.
Heart Well said sir.
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02-02-2013, 12:19 AM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
(01-02-2013 10:30 PM)cjs Wrote:  Reltzik, this is a great one-stop shopping digest of conversations and arguments many of us have had with the religious. Thanks for putting this together. Do you mind if I print it out? I'd like to keep it in my purse, then if I need the handy reference, I can tell whoever is trying to convert me to read it and then come back to discuss the matter. I get tired of repeating these same arguments to people, and if they place so much importance on my eternal soul and harassing me about it, the least they can do is read this. Then maybe we can have some intelligent dialogue, or maybe they'll decide this makes sense and not try to convert me anymore. A girl can dream...
Thanks! I have no problem with you printing it out, but you might want to wait a few days until I've got the final draft up. Hope it helps!

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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02-02-2013, 09:48 AM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
Ok I'll eagerly await the final version then,

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02-02-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
I'd like to add 2 things to the whole list that is somewhat rare, but I've experienced enough times to think they should be addressed.

1) Christians who believe that atheist really do believe in God and are just in denial.

2) Christians who don't see the logic error of believing in the bible while at the same time not supporting the church (any church)

Let me explain the 2nd one. Without the bible, the church has no leg to stand on. While on the other hand the modern bible is a product of the church's translation, editing and rewriting process. It was essentially created by the church and is the foundation of church doctrine. These two things support each other because the church gives the bible a faux pas legitimacy due to the size of it's congregation and the bible supports the church by giving the people who run the church interpretation duties, allowing them to come up with whatever twisted rhetoric they could possibly draw from what is written.

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02-02-2013, 10:21 AM
Re: Common mistakes Christians Make When Arguing with Atheists
I am seriously considering shrinking this down to buisness card size and just handing the card out to anyone I meet who babbles about god. I like it!
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