Do you bother taking on theists?
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08-01-2012, 05:02 PM
Do you bother taking on theists?
I belong to an atheist group on facebook, but I also joined a christian apologist group about a week and a half ago and have been debating them. Of course, I'm not doing bad, but I'm not convincing anybody for obvious reasons (and it is like 1 against ~5 people).

I already know I'm not going to convince them and know they're probably not going to convince me, but I also sort of like debating them. How about you?
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08-01-2012, 05:03 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
(08-01-2012 05:02 PM)GwJ Wrote:  I belong to an atheist group on facebook, but I also joined a christian apologist group about a week and a half ago and have been debating them. Of course, I'm not doing bad, but I'm not convincing anybody for obvious reasons (and it is like 1 against ~5 people).

I already know I'm not going to convince them and know they're probably not going to convince me, but I also sort of like debating them. How about you?

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08-01-2012, 05:08 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
Online? Sure. In person? Not really, unless they bring it up and won't leave it alone. I discuss it with my friends and my wife sometimes but rarely strangers. Not because I am afraid, but because I am a non-confrontational kind of guy. As for the evolution vs. creation debate, you're damn right I will debate in person.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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08-01-2012, 05:20 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
If someone else wants to talk about it, I love a good debate! Big Grin
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08-01-2012, 05:42 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
On the net...always. In person...it depends. If someone just states their religion generally I will just be silent and smile derisively inside but if they keep talking about it or start to push it then it's ON! I have no problem with confrontation at all, in fact, people have walked away or just shut the fuck up as I can be a little intimidating hehe (especially when pushed enough)

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08-01-2012, 06:11 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
Depends on the debate.

If they are trying to convert me, then no...nobody's going to learn much from that conversation.

If they say something delibaretly contentious and annoying, like "women should come under the authority of men and live in cloth bags", then I sometimes fall into the trap and challenge thier viewpoint...rarely a good idea.

If they want to know about my beliefs, or if I have a specifc question about thier beliefs then yes.

If there's no value to it, and I'm just going to get told I'm going to hell or some other fairy story then I tend to go and do something more constructive.

"Christianity is like a diet where you eat lots of chocolate cake all week, and then on Sunday you mentally scold yourself and "try again" only to repeat the cycle." - Buddy Christ
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08-01-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
I debate all kinds of stuff as I helped myself to Godel's Incompleteness. That rather than being cursed with a search for the truth like so many, I am content in becoming a more complete truth.

In person this unit is sheep shearer deluxe - I don't take nobody on, but if they step up, wool flies. Big Grin

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08-01-2012, 09:23 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
I've backed away from doing it as much now. I'll ask questions and ponder ideas on my blog, but not necessarily get into debates. It always seems to end up with them saying that since they have faith, the proof of God's existence doesn't matter. Even when the discussion isn't about his existence, but about the ridiculousness of faith and religion, especially Christianity. Faith is the cop out for asking questions or thinking rationally.

I find that arguing/debating with theists is often futile and tiring because the atheist and the theist are on two completely different planes of thinking. If a theist seems on the fence, then maybe that's different because they are open to discussion. I'd much rather "discuss" religion with a skeptical, questioning Christian then attempt to debate a fervent, devout follower. The latter seems to never go anywhere because their deluded mind (IMO) is in another dimension, one not based in reality.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely." — Sam Harris

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08-01-2012, 10:27 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
I enjoy debates, but it's usually frustrating. Whether speaking with a theist or an atheist, it's hard to convince somebody that a position that they've taken could be wrong. It's against human nature to admit weakness, even among scientists who embrace the idea of improving their knowledge by admitting what they don't know.

Speaking as an atheist on a theist site (and I imagine, as a theist on an atheist site) is especially frustrating. You quickly become drowned in rebuttals that you'll never have time to answer, and many of them are irrelevant or pointless... and letting them go without answer is an implication that you don't have an answer.

I've tried taking on several theists on two sites, and I've gotten to the point where I just can't keep up with it. Take this post, for example. Even though I was hardly overwhelmed by the large number of people answering, the same guy kept answering and kept giving new arguments by abandoning his older ones and taking different tacks. And he had to have the last word. To be fair, I also wanted the last word, but I would've been happy with someone else responding to him. However, when you're outnumbered, that rarely happens. It does sometimes, though.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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08-01-2012, 10:51 PM
RE: Do you bother taking on theists?
The debate is necessary and important. Make one whenever you come across it.
It was debate of ideas by many people that ultimately turned me. Some points were made famous by the likes of Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins and the rest, while others were cemented by regular folks like the ones that post here.
I say confront it always.
Never let a stupid delusion pass you by without giving it a kick in the pants.
It will make you more intelligent too as you search for answers to questions that you would otherwise not have thought of.
Set straw men on fire. Break the bonds of circular thinking. Ask for their methods to determine truth and point out our method. Call them on anything they claim as true based on faith.
Be relentless.
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