How to debate with a Christian?
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22-07-2013, 10:31 PM
How to debate with a Christian?
Quick back story. Everyone in my family is a Christian except me. I am not an atheist. I'm an agnostic. As Bill Maher says, I follow the religion of I don't know. Anyways, I always get in these debates which I'm not good at. Are there any websites or articles that list commonly asked questions by Christians to a person who doesn't believe and how to respond?
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22-07-2013, 11:40 PM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
It really depends on the question and the person, I suppose. There aren't any hard-fast rules.

I can hold my own in a debate and dismantle common atheist retorts. It depends on how educated your family members are as well as their theology.

My suggestion is to study and educate yourself on the religion and topics of debate such as evolution/creationism.

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22-07-2013, 11:40 PM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
The thinking atheist (Seth) has on his website a whole section devoted to refuting the bible.

Our forum has lots of information just search through the threads.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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22-07-2013, 11:55 PM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
It took me some time to build up the information needed to counter their claims. Podcasts seem to be the quickest way to get the most variety. First and foremost I'd study up on logical fallacies. Just Google "christian logical fallacies" and that should get you through 90% of your conversations.
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23-07-2013, 12:11 AM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
Instead of picking fights or arguing

You can always start with the basics...

You're not angry with god, i.e., nothing bad happened to make you hate god
You're not being just rebellious
You don't believe in the devil
You don't worship anything.

I would just show them that atheists can be nice people.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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23-07-2013, 12:43 AM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
(22-07-2013 11:40 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  dismantle common atheist retorts.

Laughat I suppose I shouldn't laugh too hard Tongue Seem to recall a stalemate with you a few times... *However* we haz the Living Word of Gwynnite. Checkmate Tongue
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23-07-2013, 02:58 AM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2013 08:31 AM by Shannow.)
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
(22-07-2013 10:31 PM)JDepps Wrote:  Are there any websites or articles that list commonly asked questions by Christians to a person who doesn't believe and how to respond?

Hi JDepps...are you the real Johnny Depp? Loved your work in the Rum Diary if you are.

Anyway...yes...there are 1.3 Million websites devoted to this topic at the last count. Search engines FTW.

My favorites are here and the skeptics bible here and our own Zephony's brilliant debating explaination here.

Most importantly, remember that you're planning to debate with your family. Momsurroundedbyboys words are terribly important. You want to celebrate the similiarities rather than debate about the differances. Smashing up a family unit by arguing about imaginery people is a very silly thing to do...I spent a few years as an 'angry atheist' and all it does is alienate you from the people that you love the most.

Unless you're insane, or your family are very serious fundamental Christians, you'll discover that you probably have very similar views on the critical aspects of being a human being - you'll agree on more than you disagree.

Good luck and tell us how you get on.

"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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23-07-2013, 05:44 AM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
(23-07-2013 12:43 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(22-07-2013 11:40 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  dismantle common atheist retorts.

Laughat I suppose I shouldn't laugh too hard Tongue Seem to recall a stalemate with you a few times... *However* we haz the Living Word of Gwynnite. Checkmate Tongue

Yabut, there ain't many - heck, I cannot think of any - "common atheists" around here. Smart and educated group around these parts. Thumbsup

As to the OP, it's been pretty much covered. One thing that hasn't, however, is identity. When dealing with people you care about, it is important to remember that "god" is part of the theist's core identity. Many feel that denial of god's existence is to deny their own.

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23-07-2013, 09:48 AM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
The most important thing is to educate yourself, as everyone here as stated. Don’t speak about things you don’t really understand. For example, if you don’t have good working knowledge of the theist argument of irreducible complexity, and you don’t have good working knowledge of evolution, then arguing against irreducible complexity will do more harm than good if you have too many holes in your argument. Theist take your lack of knowing something as proof that it’s wrong, not simply that you do not have the information. A poor prepared argument could have the effect of making them more sure of themselves.

I always find it important to first establish what the particular theist you are speaking to actually believes, and try to get a sense of whether they are being honest with you about their own beliefs (they often aren’t). This is important because two people sitting next to each other on the same pew, in the same church may have wildly varying views. If you spend a lot of your time and energy arguing with them about conflicting events in the genesis story (for example), and they then tell you that they don’t take any part of genesis literally, and they are fine with it being considered completely a cultural myth and not to be taken as factual, they then may take the air of you’re the idiot who thinks people actually believe it to be real. Plus if you knew this your focus would not be what’s wrong with the story, but how can one selectively believe some parts to be literal and others metaphorical. And how they arbitrarily choose what they want to believe and what they don’t. Understanding their belief will guide your approach.

But be aware, many of them do lie about their beliefs when confronted just to throw you off and to try to trip you up. Many of them are not above lying about believing Noah’s Arc to have been real just to shut down your argument, or because they recognize it as a venerable area that they can’t defend, or to force you to focus on a different area that they want to focus on.

But biggest thing is educate yourself. Know what you are talking about, and all the advice everyone gave here is good.

...
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23-07-2013, 10:47 AM
RE: How to debate with a Christian?
There should never be a need to debate a christian. After all, there is nothing to debate. His or her beliefs are imaginary.
You can't debate someones imaginary world or imaginary gods.

What you can do is ask them WHY they believe what they believe.
Always keep the focus on what they believe and why they believe it. None of this has anything to do with you.
If they try to ask you what you believe, just say
"Asking me what I believe is like me asking you how that new Lamborghini drives
You don't have a Lamborghini and I don't have a belief that you do."

"Ok, you believe in a god. Why do you have this belief" ?
Treat them like the deranged delusional person they are.
Always make it about them and their belief. It's not about you.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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