Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
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17-04-2015, 08:22 AM
Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
This came up as a result of an another atheist running into an argument from a Christian trying to use the 2nd law of thermodynamics to debunk science while at the same time prop up his Christian god. I have been at online debate almost daily for the past 14 years. This is not the first time I have seen this. So the following is some long term advice for any atheist reading this.

I have been online dealing with theists for 14 years and have run into this tactic a few times. Don't get distracted if they try to use science to debunk that or evolution or whatever. Here is a better way to counter their crap.


1. If they think Christianity is the only religion to try to debunk science with science they would be wrong.
2. If they think they are the only religion when they cant debunk science with science they try to use science to prop up their holy book. Other religions do that too.

I have run into Muslims, Jews, Hindus and even a Rastafarian who have either tried to debunk science with science, or tried to use science to prop up their books and god claims.

There is no Jesus law of thermodynamics. No Allah based DNA. No Yahweh based physics. Just like there is no Thor theory of lightening, no Poseidon theory of hurricanes, not even a Buddha theory of gravity. There is merely science. Science is not religion dependent, it never has been.

Ocham's razor stipulates that when you have competing claims as to what might fill in a gap, the one with the least superfluous baggage is going to be your most likely answer.

So, if one as these choices, which would be the most likely answer?

1. Religion and god/s are required to explain all this.

Or

2. Humans gap fill an religion is a result of their ignorance of scientific reality? Humans merely make them up as an emotional placebo to placate their own desires.

I don't even like the atheistic religions of the Orient and Asia, they are still full of ritual and superstition and set up social pecking orders based on their social norms.

The truth of all religions are that they are merely a placebo effect that has the real benefit of creating safety in numbers. The problem is that those groups can base that entire society on a false belief. Just like the ancient Egyptians were successful for 3,000 years falsely believing in their polytheistic gods.

The progression I mostly run into over the years looks something like this.

1. Theist will come in, claim science does not get it right.
2. Then claim they are only talking about science and not trying to prove a particular god.

Or,

Will come in trying to sell a god, but when they cant, they first try to debunk science. When they cant do that then they try to co opt science.

But it really is not unique to Christianity. It is merely that is what we mainly deal with in the west the most. You spend enough time exposing yourself to many religions, you will run into those tactics in every camp. They will dress the argument up in science and tradition, and quote their religious apologists and or religious scientists, but it still amounts to crap.

Bottom line is science does not favor any religion, it is why computers work no matter what country they are in. It is why planes fly no matter what boarders they fly over. It is why a cell phone will work in Iran the same way it will work in America.

Religion does not own a patent on science. Keep that in mind no matter what religion the person you are debating is defending.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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17-04-2015, 11:03 AM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
Quote:Theist will come in, claim science does not get it right.

I appreciate your candor, but I would modify this to say the following:

I claim as a theist/Christian that science usually absolutely gets the data correct, but not always the interpretation of the data.

Put another way, it's not even an ad populum argument, it's more of a nonsense argument (!) to say canards like "Q, all legitimate scientists agree that..." as if we can find certain things where we have to make assumptions (like the past or the future) where every reasonable person echoes agreement. Every rational scientist agrees Earth is round or nearly so, and that Oxygen and Hydrogen can form water, but it's not like simply adding more scientists to hypothetical assumptions makes the assumptions correct!

Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

Science is a rigorous discipline, but scientific understanding is in flux. Today's archaeological proof that so-and-so began their rule in 40 BCE is tomorrow's understanding/assumption that so-and-so began their rule in 45 BCE instead or "so we think"...

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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17-04-2015, 11:09 AM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 11:03 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote:Theist will come in, claim science does not get it right.

I appreciate your candor, but I would modify this to say the following:

I claim as a theist/Christian that science usually absolutely gets the data correct, but not always the interpretation of the data.

Put another way, it's not even an ad populum argument, it's more of a nonsense argument (!) to say canards like "Q, all legitimate scientists agree that..." as if we can find certain things where we have to make assumptions (like the past or the future) where every reasonable person echoes agreement. Every rational scientist agrees Earth is round or nearly so, and that Oxygen and Hydrogen can form water, but it's not like simply adding more scientists to hypothetical assumptions makes the assumptions correct!

Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

Science is a rigorous discipline, but scientific understanding is in flux. Today's archaeological proof that so-and-so began their rule in 40 BCE is tomorrow's understanding/assumption that so-and-so began their rule in 45 BCE instead or "so we think"...

How about you give us 5 examples of possible CURRENTLY relevant mis-interpretations of data ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-04-2015, 11:18 AM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 11:03 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

The Q just admitted that prayer has no use for changing any earthy outcome and is essentially a waste of time ("dumb" by his words). Baby steps....baby steps!

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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17-04-2015, 01:06 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 11:18 AM)Timber1025 Wrote:  
(17-04-2015 11:03 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

The Q just admitted that prayer has no use for changing any earthy outcome and is essentially a waste of time ("dumb" by his words). Baby steps....baby steps!

I anticipated precisely that sort of YouTube "pray to a milk jug" nonsense and wrote what I did regardless... why? Because I'm trying to show you universals. Both skeptics and Christians can employ all types of biases.

However, you ought to know truth regarding:

* whether your wife is for real or cheating, bro

* whether you just ate a Big Mac or took poison

* if you're like, in a Matrix or if reality, is like, reality

Etc.

It is evident that there is a prevalent bias at TTA that theists are more prone to biases in general than skeptics because they have magical thinking, are superstitious, and so on. It is evident upon even a cursory reading of the Bible that the more prideful a person is, the more prone they are to error, grievous error.

I make a lot of mistakes, then again, I'm prideful. But I was a lot less humble before I was a Christian--not that such pride was justified. Be careful!

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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17-04-2015, 01:08 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 11:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(17-04-2015 11:03 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  I appreciate your candor, but I would modify this to say the following:

I claim as a theist/Christian that science usually absolutely gets the data correct, but not always the interpretation of the data.

Put another way, it's not even an ad populum argument, it's more of a nonsense argument (!) to say canards like "Q, all legitimate scientists agree that..." as if we can find certain things where we have to make assumptions (like the past or the future) where every reasonable person echoes agreement. Every rational scientist agrees Earth is round or nearly so, and that Oxygen and Hydrogen can form water, but it's not like simply adding more scientists to hypothetical assumptions makes the assumptions correct!

Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

Science is a rigorous discipline, but scientific understanding is in flux. Today's archaeological proof that so-and-so began their rule in 40 BCE is tomorrow's understanding/assumption that so-and-so began their rule in 45 BCE instead or "so we think"...

How about you give us 5 examples of possible CURRENTLY relevant mis-interpretations of data ?

I don't follow your question. What are you asking? I personally think archaeology has much relevance for events today and puts them in excellent context.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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17-04-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 01:08 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(17-04-2015 11:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  How about you give us 5 examples of possible CURRENTLY relevant mis-interpretations of data ?

I don't follow your question. What are you asking? I personally think archaeology has much relevance for events today and puts them in excellent context.

You said "I claim as a theist/Christian that science usually absolutely gets the data correct, but not always the interpretation of the data."

I simply asked for 5 examples.
Whether an archaeologist dates a find as "off" by 5 years, (they date in ranges anyway) is hardly "relevant", or an important issue So to support what you calimed, I'm asking for 5 "important" examples of how "today, scientific understanding is *in flux*". How can anyone not follow that ?
(BTW, it's the nature of science that the understanding of pretty much everything be *in flux*.)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-04-2015, 01:40 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
I never claimed science gets everything right. It most certainly should be subject to scrutiny. When people claiming to be ethical scientists don't subject themselves to scrutiny you end up with perpetual motion machines and Joseph Mengele and Deepak Chump head and "Sceintology".

Science is tool, not a human. Humans use that tool, both in the secular west and in North Korea an even in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

My point was that there is not one believer liberal or conservative, western or fascist that owns science. Science is not a political party, race, nationality or business model, it is a process.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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18-04-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
(17-04-2015 11:03 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote:Theist will come in, claim science does not get it right.

I appreciate your candor, but I would modify this to say the following:

I claim as a theist/Christian that science usually absolutely gets the data correct, but not always the interpretation of the data.

Put another way, it's not even an ad populum argument, it's more of a nonsense argument (!) to say canards like "Q, all legitimate scientists agree that..." as if we can find certain things where we have to make assumptions (like the past or the future) where every reasonable person echoes agreement. Every rational scientist agrees Earth is round or nearly so, and that Oxygen and Hydrogen can form water, but it's not like simply adding more scientists to hypothetical assumptions makes the assumptions correct!

Don't worry, theists say dumb stuff too. I've gotten e-mails that so-and-so is ill and simply that if many Christians around the world will pray, so-and-so will be healed, as if God says, "Yup! I'll change the plan now..."

Science is a rigorous discipline, but scientific understanding is in flux. Today's archaeological proof that so-and-so began their rule in 40 BCE is tomorrow's understanding/assumption that so-and-so began their rule in 45 BCE instead or "so we think"...

To be truly happy, we must exercise critical thinking skills. Curiosity helps us learn about the world, so we should question and explore everything, even our most cherished beliefs.

Church doctrine, however, discourages people from being inquisitive, an attitude that originated from the bible. Adam and Eve were ejected from Eden because they ate of the tree of knowledge. Paul wrote,

“Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom?” (1 Cor. 1:20, JB.)

God has thought for you, provided a package of beliefs you are to adhere to. Independence and original ideas are for fools.

People are told that faith is superior to thought. This unhealthy attitude can cause them to perceive it wrong to objectively examine any new idea. For example, many believers are wary of new technology, reluctant to take medicines, or change their diet. They’re not open to innovative ideas because they’ve been robbed of the confidence to think!

People can also be closed-minded because they’ve been told to believe a spiel for which they’ve never seen any real evidence, so have subconsciously become cynical about everything they’re told.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLPL5p0f...A438AEB8).
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18-04-2015, 09:00 PM
RE: Long term advice when debating theists. OP/ED
Data is data. Whether some theist steps in and tries to manipulate what the data suggests is entirely different.
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