Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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06-09-2016, 01:08 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Hi,

I'm sorry to bring up the devil on this thread, but Mr Trump seems to have some pretty effective debate arguments. Thing is, I can't work out what they are?

I think the Greeks called it sophistry, a kind of rhetoric in which truth is no arbiter of success.

D.
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07-09-2016, 05:29 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
You have all made some very good points, sorry for trying to address several posters in one reply but here goes.

I've heard this argument, "atheists are just not believing something so all proof and justification goes to those asserting theism."


No, that's agnostics. I would never ask an agnostic to prove or even justify his position, it would make no sense. Agnosticism is probably the most honest view on the matter. Agnostism says "I don't hold a belief on it, I don't know."

For me the fact is, I don't know, you don't know. We will not know without dying.

Given that... we are each free to conjecture, guess, form beliefs and create narratives that make some sense for living our lives.

Atheists do hold a particular belief on the question and there are many nuances about it that I think are worth looking at.

I could say "I had a vivid dream that told me there is a giant dragon on the planet Pluto and I will meet him when I die. I can't prove it and you can't disprove it." No real intelligent further discussion on it gets anywhere. You say I'm silly for believing such a thing, I say, it makes sense to me and makes me happy.

I will say that as soon as abiogenesis is done it will go a long way to validating the idea that life evolved out of matter, energy, time and space and prove biocentrism wrong. In the meantime biocentrism makes sense to me, not because it's rational. Not because it's empirically provable, but more because it's simple, logical, interprets known facts elegantly and feels good to my heart. If it is a crazy irrational belief it is harmless enough.

I know when I first heard the word biocentrism I didn't realize that bio simply means "life." I may have it misconstrued but I see biocentrism as believing life came first and matter evolved out of it. As I said, this feels good to me and would likely mean a joyous future of continued existence even after this body dies. I don't know that and I can't prove it or give evidence for it that is not already commonplace. I don't see it contradicting any current empirical evidence. It is simply an interpretation of what is already known.

You can say, "the idea that life could exist in a transcendent realm is crazy and irrational," and you are right about that.

I could say, "the idea that matter, energy, time and space simply sprung out of itself is irrational," and I may be right about that.

It seems to me there is at least some irrationality either way.



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07-09-2016, 05:54 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  You have all made some very good points, sorry for trying to address several posters in one reply but here goes.

I've heard this argument, "atheists are just not believing something so all proof and justification goes to those asserting theism."


No, that's agnostics. I would never ask an agnostic to prove or even justify his position, it would make no sense. Agnosticism is probably the most honest view on the matter. Agnostism says "I don't hold a belief on it, I don't know."

For me the fact is, I don't know, you don't know. We will not know without dying.

Given that... we are each free to conjecture, guess, form beliefs and create narratives that make some sense for living our lives.

Atheists do hold a particular belief on the question and there are many nuances about it that I think are worth looking at.

I could say "I had a vivid dream that told me there is a giant dragon on the planet Pluto and I will meet him when I die. I can't prove it and you can't disprove it." No real intelligent further discussion on it gets anywhere. You say I'm silly for believing such a thing, I say, it makes sense to me and makes me happy.

I will say that as soon as abiogenesis is done it will go a long way to validating the idea that life evolved out of matter, energy, time and space and prove biocentrism wrong. In the meantime biocentrism makes sense to me, not because it's rational. Not because it's empirically provable, but more because it's simple, logical, interprets known facts elegantly and feels good to my heart. If it is a crazy irrational belief it is harmless enough.

I know when I first heard the word biocentrism I didn't realize that bio simply means "life." I may have it misconstrued but I see biocentrism as believing life came first and matter evolved out of it. As I said, this feels good to me and would likely mean a joyous future of continued existence even after this body dies. I don't know that and I can't prove it or give evidence for it that is not already commonplace. I don't see it contradicting any current empirical evidence. It is simply an interpretation of what is already known.

You can say, "the idea that life could exist in a transcendent realm is crazy and irrational," and you are right about that.

I could say, "the idea that matter, energy, time and space simply sprung out of itself is irrational," and I may be right about that.

It seems to me there is at least some irrationality either way.



.



.

The two concepts are not at all on equal footing, please stop insisting that they are.
There is no evidence to support your feel-good beliefs while there is an enormous body of evidence refuting them.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-09-2016, 06:06 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  You have all made some very good points, sorry for trying to address several posters in one reply but here goes.

I've heard this argument, "atheists are just not believing something so all proof and justification goes to those asserting theism."


No, that's agnostics. I would never ask an agnostic to prove or even justify his position, it would make no sense. Agnosticism is probably the most honest view on the matter. Agnostism says "I don't hold a belief on it, I don't know."

Thank you for clearly demonstrating that you do not understand the basics of atheism. So we can have a starting point from with to work up that conversation again possibly. So i will try to explain to you.

Your mistake is: You are mixing up statements of knowledge and belief.

Atheism (like theism) is a statement of belief. Gnosticism or agnosticism is a statement/claim about knowledge. Those are orthogonal to each other, so in effect 4 combinations of (a)theism and (a)gnosticism exist. There are agnostic atheists who will say "i dont believe in any god, but i dont know if any god exist", and gnostic atheist will say "i dont belive in god and i claim that no gods exist". Your statement would equate to being an agnostic atheist. You seem to think however that atheists have to be gnostic, which is not the case.

You may read wiki which states on atheism:
Quote:Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
Only the last part of that wiki quote refers to gnostic atheists, thats why it desribes this part of atheism the "narrow sense".

The ones who have the burden of proof are the gnostics (of both sides!), the gnostic theists and gnostic atheists. If you are talking to agnostic atheists and make a claim about your favourite religion/worldview, then they can reject this without having any burden of proof themselves, and that is an intellectually honest position (to refer to your original quote).

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07-09-2016, 06:29 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
A simpler point would be that we need not believe in anything until it is demonstrated as 1) completely true, 2) likely true, or 3) at least plausible enough to be tentatively held as true in lieu of better information. These are degrees of confidence.

That goes for claims about deities, NDEs, dragons, leprechauns, and/or ________ (anything else you want to put on the blank).

An atheist is someone who has rejected all the claims about gods he has heard, seeing them as clearly manmade bullshit.

A theist is someone who has rejected all the claims about gods he has heard, except for one of them. Or perhaps a few. But all the rest of them are definitely manmade bullshit.

As has been pointed out, gnosticism is a positive statement about knowledge-- about whether one can know for a fact that there is or isn't a god.

So as an agnostic atheist, myself, I say that it's impossible to know the answer to that question (a-gnosis), but that I have definitively rejected all the gods in the god-stories I have heard humans tell me (a-theos).

It's really that simple, man.

Now, how about you sit there and tell me why you don't think it's even possible that Santa Claus is real, and why you won't even consider it. I think your heart is hardened against the Truth of Holy Nicholas (Santa Niklaus). Do you not want presents? Do you want your childrens' stockings stuffed with coal, and hearing them cry through the holidays? Can you afford to take the chance?

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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07-09-2016, 06:35 AM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2016 06:41 AM by Deesse23.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  Given that... we are each free to conjecture, guess, form beliefs and create narratives that make some sense for living our lives.
Of course you are free to do so. But basing your beliefs on narrative only (for example) will make you an irrational person.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  Atheists do hold a particular belief on the question and there are many nuances about it that I think are worth looking at.
This is wrong, as i have just explained. You were mixing up categories.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I could say "I had a vivid dream that told me there is a giant dragon on the planet Pluto and I will meet him when I die. I can't prove it and you can't disprove it." No real intelligent further discussion on it gets anywhere. You say I'm silly for believing such a thing, I say, it makes sense to me and makes me happy.
As i just said: you are free to do so, but you are irrational to do so and should not wonder if your are criticized by sceptics, or even ridiculed.
If you start really believing in all kinda, sorta stuff just based on vivid dreams, then you are irrational and gullible.
You can entertain a thought, you can speculate, whatever. But as soon as you make a claim, you have a burden of proof, and as soon as you believe in stuff without "good reasons " (which i call evidence), you are irrational.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I will say that as soon as abiogenesis is done it will go a long way to validating the idea that life evolved out of matter, energy, time and space and prove biocentrism wrong. In the meantime biocentrism makes sense to me, not because it's rational. Not because it's empirically provable, but more because it's simple, logical, interprets known facts elegantly and feels good to my heart. If it is a crazy irrational belief it is harmless enough.
Then you are by all means of definition, irrational! If your feelings are a criterion for your beliefs then you.are.irrational.
How do you know your belief is not harmful?
From my point of view you are (potentially!) harmful and dangerous ( possibly to others even), because you base your beliefs on "feelgood" and need no evidence, which makes you gullible as well.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I know when I first heard the word biocentrism I didn't realize that bio simply means "life." I may have it misconstrued but I see biocentrism as believing life came first and matter evolved out of it. As I said, this feels good to me and would likely mean a joyous future of continued existence even after this body dies. I don't know that and I can't prove it or give evidence for it that is not already commonplace. I don't see it contradicting any current empirical evidence. It is simply an interpretation of what is already known.
Again, if "feels good to me" is your argument, then you are irrational, sorry.
You are making the claim here (on behalf of your belief) that "life came first and matter evolved out of it". Please provide supporting evidence! Oops, "i cant (dis)prove it" makes it clear you standards for believing are -sorry to say- shockingly low.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  You can say, "the idea that life could exist in a transcendent realm is crazy and irrational," and you are right about that.
And now you even admit to be irrational. To me the sum of your arguments seem to be "its irrational, and i know its irrational, but it feels good to me (and i proclaim your beliefs to be irrational as well)", which seems to be a recurring theme to you. But you need to acknowledge that relaity doesnt care if it feels goos to you. It just is!


(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I could say, "the idea that matter, energy, time and space simply sprung out of itself is irrational," and I may be right about that.
Why could you, when all the availiable evidence (so far!) points towards this direction, aka. "big bang theory"? It is a strawman anyhow, since noone claims "out of itself". Serious scientists will trace back the history of the universe just to an incredible amount of time after the big bang and will make no claims about where it all came from. They are still speculation and researching, but if you ask them for an answer, they will say "we dont know". Thats the difference between them and you!
By the way space and time are no separate entities. Its spacetime rather since we know about relativity, and for the same reason matter and energy are interchangeable too. You seem to be quite fixated on those terms, want to make them separate, and then claim its "too much to be coming from noting", while they are interconnected. That is (almost) a straw man argument.


(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  It seems to me there is at least some irrationality either way.
Yes, definitely your way, and claiming "tu quoque" didnt help your case a bit.

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07-09-2016, 06:53 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I've heard this argument, "atheists are just not believing something so all proof and justification goes to those asserting theism."

Non-belief in a proposition is the default. If you believe in everything until it is proven false, you will have to believe in contradictory positions.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  For me the fact is, I don't know, you don't know. We will not know without dying.

Given that... we are each free to conjecture, guess, form beliefs and create narratives that make some sense for living our lives.

And when you express those beliefs, the rest of us are free to judge those beliefs.

Your beliefs affect your actions. Your actions affect your life and the lives of those around you.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I could say "I had a vivid dream that told me there is a giant dragon on the planet Pluto and I will meet him when I die. I can't prove it and you can't disprove it." No real intelligent further discussion on it gets anywhere. You say I'm silly for believing such a thing, I say, it makes sense to me and makes me happy.

If you can't prove it, then why believe in it? Because it makes you feel good?

I'm sure that belief in paradise and crowds of virgins make the suicide bombers feel better. Does that make it true? It makes sense to them. It makes them happy.

Are they right or wrong?

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I will say that as soon as abiogenesis is done it will go a long way to validating the idea that life evolved out of matter, energy, time and space and prove biocentrism wrong.

It is extremely unlikely that abiogenesis, evolution or any scientific field will be considered "done". There will always be more to learn.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  In the meantime biocentrism makes sense to me, not because it's rational. Not because it's empirically provable, but more because it's simple, logical, interprets known facts elegantly and feels good to my heart. If it is a crazy irrational belief it is harmless enough.

This statement indicates a fundamental flaw in your reasoning. Your feelings do not mean shit in the discussion of what is accurate and real.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  I may have it misconstrued but I see biocentrism as believing life came first and matter evolved out of it.

You would be wrong, as evidenced by our current understanding of science.

What constitutes "life"?

Do you mean something that exhibits Homeostasis, Organization, Metabolism, Growth, Adaptation, Response to stimuli and Reproduction?

Consciousness is a by-product of our biology.

Our biology is a result of chemistry.

Chemistry is an interaction between different elements of matter.

Life evolved from Matter.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  As I said, this feels good to me and would likely mean a joyous future of continued existence even after this body dies. I don't know that and I can't prove it or give evidence for it that is not already commonplace. I don't see it contradicting any current empirical evidence. It is simply an interpretation of what is already known.

The idea that "I will buy a lotto ticket and win $400 billion" feels good to me. Should I spend all of my money on lottery tickets?

Marrying a particular celebrity fuels the insanity of a stalker. It makes sense, it feels good to them, so no problem, right?

The fact that an idea "feels good" has nothing to do with the truth of that idea.

(07-09-2016 05:29 AM)xear Wrote:  You can say ... and you are right about that.
I could say ... and I may be right about that.

It seems to me there is at least some irrationality either way.

I'm sure it does. That's why strawman arguments are so popular: it's easy to win an argument when you make both sides of the discussion.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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07-09-2016, 06:57 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
At work.

I think I'll just copy/paste Deesse23's awesome above post in reply to Xear from now on.

Hug

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07-09-2016, 07:23 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
Quote:And now you even admit to be irrational. To me the sum of your arguments seem to be "its irrational, and i know its irrational, but it feels good to me (and i proclaim your beliefs to be irrational as well)", which seems to be a recurring theme to you. But you need to acknowledge that relaity doesnt care if it feels goos to you. It just is!

Thanks for your considered reply. I think you accurately portrayed my view there. By the way "feeling good," I regard as just a side benefit, not part of the argument [indeed reality doesn't care about it].

So I admit to being irrational. I would even say all of my best times in life were irrational. That may go a long ways to explaining why more men are atheists than women.

You on the other hand seem to be quite rational. As a rational person can you please explain this:

1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
2. A causal loop cannot exist.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

Why don't you need a rational "first cause?" and no, "the big bang," is not it because "what was there to "bang?" ... that's just more infinite regression.




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07-09-2016, 07:42 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(07-09-2016 07:23 AM)xear Wrote:  
Quote:And now you even admit to be irrational. To me the sum of your arguments seem to be "its irrational, and i know its irrational, but it feels good to me (and i proclaim your beliefs to be irrational as well)", which seems to be a recurring theme to you. But you need to acknowledge that relaity doesnt care if it feels goos to you. It just is!

Thanks for your considered reply. I think you accurately portrayed my view there. By the way "feeling good," I regard as just a side benefit, not part of the argument [indeed reality doesn't care about it].

So I admit to being irrational. I would even say all of my best times in life were irrational. That may go a long ways to explaining why more men are atheists than women.

You on the other hand seem to be quite rational. As a rational person can you please explain this:

1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
2. A causal loop cannot exist.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

Why don't you need a rational "first cause?" and no, "the big bang," is not it because "what was there to "bang?" ... that's just more infinite regression.




.

1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause. -You don't know this, and have no evidence to support it, you also have no reason to jump to any conclusions about this without evidence.


2. A causal loop cannot exist.- You don't know this, and have no evidence to support it, you also have no reason to jump to any conclusions about this without evidence.

3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.- You don't know this, and have no evidence to support it, you also have no reason to jump to any conclusions about this without evidence.

4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.-You don't know this, and have no evidence to support it, you also have no reason to jump to any conclusions about this without evidence.

Since natural things do exist, you could only conclude from this syllogism that the cause is natural, you could NOT do any of the following:

Conclude that it's supernatural.

Conclude that it's a deity.

Conclude any characteristics about a first cause.


Please note, you are asserting characteristics about supernatural things, but making conclusions about unproven supernatural things based on comparison to natural things. So this syllogism is comparing apples to oranges and then jumps to unwarranted conclusions based upon false comparisons. These are two fatal errors this syllogism commits! It also has assumptions loaded into it, so 3 fatal errors.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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