Poll: Is debating theists a waste of time?
Debating theists is awaste of time, they will never change
It's worth the effort, it's not about the theist, but the others who are just reading
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Is it worth it?
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13-06-2014, 06:25 AM
Is it worth it?
Do you think it's worth the effort?? All the posting that we do to refute the theistic claims, their misinformation, twisting the facts, sometimes out-right lying... Spending an hour or two sometime on just one post, looking up information, getting sources, checking our facts, making sure we aren't also misleading people... All the while, KNOWING full well that the individual we are "debating" will never change their position...

I think it is...

I think that it's not about changing the mind of the person we debate. Being a former believer, I know that it requires a person to have enough questions regarding their faith of their own, combined with the willingness to look up the information, in order to begin the process of really analyzing those beliefs and where they come from.

If one of my random, ridiculously long posts on YouTube, or some debate forum, can get just one person the see a logical contradiction that clicks in their mind, and triggers them to begin the process of becoming a critical thinker... I think it's worth the effort.

thoughts?
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13-06-2014, 06:31 AM
RE: Is it worth it?
I couldn't make a choice. My reason is not offered.

If it's done well, with cool heads Yes, debating a theist is great practice--only.

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13-06-2014, 06:42 AM
RE: Is it worth it?
(13-06-2014 06:25 AM)RedJamaX Wrote:  Do you think it's worth the effort?? All the posting that we do to refute the theistic claims, their misinformation, twisting the facts, sometimes out-right lying... Spending an hour or two sometime on just one post, looking up information, getting sources, checking our facts, making sure we aren't also misleading people... All the while, KNOWING full well that the individual we are "debating" will never change their position...

I think it is...

I think that it's not about changing the mind of the person we debate. Being a former believer, I know that it requires a person to have enough questions regarding their faith of their own, combined with the willingness to look up the information, in order to begin the process of really analyzing those beliefs and where they come from.

If one of my random, ridiculously long posts on YouTube, or some debate forum, can get just one person the see a logical contradiction that clicks in their mind, and triggers them to begin the process of becoming a critical thinker... I think it's worth the effort.

thoughts?

I think that whether or not debating is worth the time is entirely up to the debater, base don whether they think debates are for one of two primary goals:

A) Debates are primarily for the viewers; to expose the audience to the views and evidences of your own side in opposition to your opponent in order to educate and convince them.
Or
B) Debates are primarily for the debaters; to expose each other to their contemporaries views and facts to try to shift the opponent and convince them of your own ideals.

I personally think it should always be for the audience; they are the people who actually matter in the debate, for they are the masses who will disseminate the information further and thus are the ones to convince. Plus most of them aren't as likely to be entrenched into their opinions like the debaters are.
If there is the prospect of teaching the audience something new through the debate, I say it is best to go along with debates anyway and forget about convincing your opponent, with the exception of being mindful to not slip down to his/her level (assuming they as intellectually (dis)honest as most to the big name theistic 'debaters' out there like William Two Citations Craig).
and hell, if you manage to convince the guy your debating; that's just gravy.

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15-06-2014, 10:26 PM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2014 10:45 PM by WindyCityJazz.)
RE: Is it worth it?
I think we often forget that there are others viewing this forum. I was a lurker here for a couple of weeks before joining. I was already an atheist at this point, but I think it's highly probable that there are fence-sitters looking at this forum as well. Our debates with theists and our refutations of theist claims might be exactly what they are looking for in deciding what makes more sense. So, in my opinion, it is definitely worth it.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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15-06-2014, 10:43 PM
RE: Is it worth it?
Part of me goes, "Waste of time. They won't change." But since other people might read it, you never know who it will affect. So... waste of time on the person themselves? Maybe. Waste of time in general? Not always.

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16-06-2014, 04:30 AM
RE: Is it worth it?
I'm living, tangible, demonstrable proof that engaging with believers is "worth it."

My very existence ends the "is it worth it?" debate in its tracks. My existence renders anyone who utters the words "Don't even bother" an idiot.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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16-06-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: Is it worth it?
(13-06-2014 06:25 AM)RedJamaX Wrote:  Do you think it's worth the effort?? All the posting that we do to refute the theistic claims, their misinformation, twisting the facts, sometimes out-right lying...

We? All the posting we do?? You just got here. Consider


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16-06-2014, 10:37 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2014 10:45 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Is it worth it?
(16-06-2014 06:28 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(13-06-2014 06:25 AM)RedJamaX Wrote:  Do you think it's worth the effort?? All the posting that we do to refute the theistic claims, their misinformation, twisting the facts, sometimes out-right lying...

We? All the posting we do?? You just got here. Consider

Its not an exclusive club, the op could be an active member of another forum, FT summed it up, the audience is the target, think of it like republicans and Democrats, they rarely change their left/right positions on a topic, but their debates affect decisions in the center.
People/families/communities/countries are drifting from an inherited authoritarian theism, to an I want there to be something else deist position in such great numbers now that the people in power are fighting for the minds of the youth, threating them hell fire for considering evolution over bible literalism.
So yes, definitely worth the effort, arguing someone to deism with an acceptance of international science norms and secular morality is a worthy goal.
You can't turn some one atheist, that is a position one can only switch to themselves.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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01-07-2014, 04:49 PM
RE: Is it worth it?
I always think it's worth debating people on this subject matter - you may not sway them entirely but I tend to think that if enough evidence is presented there will eventually be a point at which literalist theism is not acceptable to them.
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01-07-2014, 05:22 PM
RE: Is it worth it?
(16-06-2014 04:30 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I'm living, tangible, demonstrable proof that engaging with believers is "worth it."

My very existence ends the "is it worth it?" debate in its tracks. My existence renders anyone who utters the words "Don't even bother" an idiot.

Well, you could just be an anomaly. Consider

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