Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
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23-05-2013, 03:38 AM
Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
Hello everyone!

This is quite simple but it's been bothering me for a while now.
Is it worth it to keep on debating a Christian when he clearly ignores your arguments and "attacks" you?

I've been having a debate the last couple of months in a forum with a Pentecostal (you may laugh) and he ignores my arguments to a point where I get angry and defensive, which he translates as a "fury and passion and hatred without an excuse". In other words, he is ignorant, I get angry, he calls me a rebellious teenager.

No matter how many times I've said that I'm not against a god, but against religions, he keeps saying that there is "something deep in my heart and not God that tortures" me and that I just want to be "against the norm" and that "God could make it go away".

Now, I'm sure this must have happened to many of you. The problem is, other people in the forum, even atheists, are starting to see me the same way he does, aggressive and rebellious. But seriously, how can you not be angry when you are ignored? And I try to be as calm as possible!
I feel like I'm only staying there to "expose" him, to show everyone what he really is (which I have seen more clearly in private messages). The thing is, the thread is only active because of the two of us, keeping on with a debate in which no one interferes.

The question is, should I stop already? It's almost like an addiction, like I have to prove that I'm not what he says I am. It's tiring and stressful. Not to mention the numerous bogus websites with "scientific evidence" he posts from time to time where I feel I just have to comment on.

Advice please? Confused

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23-05-2013, 04:00 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
Well, I guess it depends on your point of view.

Taking into consideration your statement that this is going on in a forum, and as you seem to imply that this guy is blatantly ignoring your points, you've two options I think, depending on your views on either one of these two options:

Debates serve a purpose for the watchers more-so than the participants as it exposes the audience to alternate views and arguments.
(Simplified: Debates are for the audience.)
Debates serve a purpose as it forces the two sides to take into consideration their opponents points, thus exposing them to alternate views and opinions.
(Simplified: Debates are for the debaters.)

If they are for the audience, I'd say, it might be worth continuing on and exposing the onlookers, some of whom may be on the fence, to your opinions.
If you think it is for the debaters; Drop the debate. Give the dude one final response detailing everything from start to end, turn it into a "Reason You Suck" speech, and leave with your fist in the air and head held high.

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23-05-2013, 08:37 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
Quote:Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?

Sometimes. Smile

Quote:In other words, he is ignorant, I get angry, he calls me a rebellious teenager.

Don't lose your temper. One of the hallmarks (suposed to be hallmarks) of a born again Christian is they have self-control. When you lose your temper BOTH sides lose in the debate.
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23-05-2013, 08:44 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
Who gives a fuck? Don't waste your time and effort.
Go watch grass grow or something else more productive.

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23-05-2013, 09:57 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
What Free Thought said pretty much matches my thoughts. My personal opinion of debates is that they are more for the audience because it is a rare theist (at least in my experience) that is truly open-minded and who you might have any chance of getting them to reconsider their viewpoint. However, when the discussion deteriorates as you have described, it may not be of much value even to the audience. So that's the point you would need to consider. If you think the audience benefits from your points and the theist ignoring them, then by all means continue. But if no real discussion remains, it's probably fruitless to keep pushing on with it.

I also agree with Please Jesus, that you should refrain from losing your temper at all costs. Doing so only hurts the presentation of your arguments. From the audience's point of view, it can make you look less credible. There are times when getting a LITTLE hot under the collar can actually benefit your argument, but if you're not absolutely certain that it will, it's better to err on the side of avoiding it completely.

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23-05-2013, 10:04 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
(23-05-2013 03:38 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Hello everyone!

This is quite simple but it's been bothering me for a while now.
Is it worth it to keep on debating a Christian when he clearly ignores your arguments and "attacks" you?

I've been having a debate the last couple of months in a forum with a Pentecostal (you may laugh) and he ignores my arguments to a point where I get angry and defensive, which he translates as a "fury and passion and hatred without an excuse". In other words, he is ignorant, I get angry, he calls me a rebellious teenager.

No matter how many times I've said that I'm not against a god, but against religions, he keeps saying that there is "something deep in my heart and not God that tortures" me and that I just want to be "against the norm" and that "God could make it go away".

Now, I'm sure this must have happened to many of you. The problem is, other people in the forum, even atheists, are starting to see me the same way he does, aggressive and rebellious. But seriously, how can you not be angry when you are ignored? And I try to be as calm as possible!
I feel like I'm only staying there to "expose" him, to show everyone what he really is (which I have seen more clearly in private messages). The thing is, the thread is only active because of the two of us, keeping on with a debate in which no one interferes.

The question is, should I stop already? It's almost like an addiction, like I have to prove that I'm not what he says I am. It's tiring and stressful. Not to mention the numerous bogus websites with "scientific evidence" he posts from time to time where I feel I just have to comment on.

Advice please? Confused

I would go back and copy/paste all the questions he's ignored. As them again to address them. When he doesn't or addresses some and forgets others then just keep going.

Also, I find it's good to take a break...go for a walk...Whatever....

There was a theist here that drove me insane.

And it doesn't matter how nice you are in replies. It's about how they interpret it.

Then it might be time to walk away.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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23-05-2013, 11:19 AM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
Well, thank you everyone for the replies, you've made me reconsider some things.

I think I will go on for as long as I can, because I do see many people in the thread, probably following our conversation, and I do think I could offer some food for thought at least for them. I've actually "pushed" him to say some rather irrational things and "exposed" him somehow. So hard not to lose your temper though when someone accuses you of "quoting neopaganist websites".

As for the questions he ignores, he always quotes this:

"So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”
But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed."

Yeah, I know, what an argument.

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23-05-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
undergroundp,
I agree it's hard not to lose your temper sometimes, but when you're posting in a forum, you can always lose it in the privacy of your own home (or wherever the computer is you're using) without revealing that in your reply. I often find it helpful to turn my real frustration into apparent laughter. For example, "LOL, is that really the best reply you could come up with? Apparently you can't defend your position so all you have left is to put down mine."

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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23-05-2013, 12:50 PM
RE: Is it worth it to go on with debates when your arguments are ignored?
It's not a good thing to get emotionally involved in internet debates.

It's not like a face to face debate, and people have the time to twist your words and pick and choose what they want to address.

If you must continue, give him one sentence at a time so he cannot pick and choose, and make it perfectly clear so it can't be twisted.

It's harder to write one concise sentence than a whole page of rambling. But it's also harder for the opponent to ignore the point.

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