Moving the Goalposts
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07-01-2014, 10:05 AM
Moving the Goalposts
Just been in a debate with someone on a forum. Started as a discussion on the idea of an afterlife, but quickly turned into a debate about the existence of God.

What's infuriating is, that the guy I've been talking to has a very vague concept that he calls "God"... And that since he can't comprehend the universe existing without it, it therefore must exist.

Every argument I use he seems to just back into "we can never know that", "that's guesswork" etc... Everything I've hit him with is logically sound, and backed up by what is known to be fact. But he continues to insist that I'm "guessing".

Is there any point continuing this debate?

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07-01-2014, 10:09 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
Probably not.


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

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07-01-2014, 10:12 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
(07-01-2014 10:05 AM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Is there any point continuing this debate?

Hhmmm no.

Theists who are vague like to play with words and meanings. It's like nailing jello to a wall.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that if you're arguing for more than 5 minutes, both sides have lost.
The only way to deal with someone like this is to keep asking questions and establish clear definition of key words.

Best of luck

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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07-01-2014, 10:18 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
I find that anger and frustration sets in quickly in these situations, and although the blood gets pumping and a good vent is relieving, i am learning to keep it short when these topics come up.

“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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07-01-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
(07-01-2014 10:05 AM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Just been in a debate with someone on a forum. Started as a discussion on the idea of an afterlife, but quickly turned into a debate about the existence of God.

What's infuriating is, that the guy I've been talking to has a very vague concept that he calls "God"... And that since he can't comprehend the universe existing without it, it therefore must exist.

Every argument I use he seems to just back into "we can never know that", "that's guesswork" etc... Everything I've hit him with is logically sound, and backed up by what is known to be fact. But he continues to insist that I'm "guessing".

Is there any point continuing this debate?

NO. Not unless the other party acknowledges and ceases using the following fallacious tactics:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

You may find the following to be useful:

[Image: i-451f5356ad30f214361cd29fda6a4963-debatingrules.jpeg]

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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07-01-2014, 11:22 AM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2014 01:56 PM by WindyCityJazz.)
RE: Moving the Goalposts
(07-01-2014 10:05 AM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Just been in a debate with someone on a forum. Started as a discussion on the idea of an afterlife, but quickly turned into a debate about the existence of God.

What's infuriating is, that the guy I've been talking to has a very vague concept that he calls "God"... And that since he can't comprehend the universe existing without it, it therefore must exist.

Every argument I use he seems to just back into "we can never know that", "that's guesswork" etc... Everything I've hit him with is logically sound, and backed up by what is known to be fact. But he continues to insist that I'm "guessing".

Is there any point continuing this debate?

No, it's a waste of time to continue a debate with someone who has to ignore evidence. He's obviously beyond reason, and refuses to even contemplate what the other person is saying. His defensive responses are typical of theist debaters. People get defensive when you question their faith, and the typical reaction is to dismiss any proof that shows their claims to be wrong, and use cover-all excuses for things they can't answer (the whole "God's plan" thing). "God of the gaps" is a popular one as well.

His responses show that he will not take anything that conflicts with his views into consideration, so he's a lost cause.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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07-01-2014, 11:43 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
I've never met a xtian yet who could navigate that chart successfully.

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07-01-2014, 11:55 AM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
I presume his argument went something like this :-

[Image: tumblr_mevs215AFw1rvhgbfo1_500.jpg]

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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07-01-2014, 12:37 PM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
(07-01-2014 10:12 AM)djkamilo Wrote:  ...The only way to deal with someone like this is to keep asking questions and establish clear definition of key words.
...

I would agree, but then you get call pedantic...

...
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07-01-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: Moving the Goalposts
(07-01-2014 11:22 AM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  ...
No, it's a waste of time to continue a debate with someone who has ignores evidence. He's obviously beyond reason, and refuses to even contemplate what the other person is saying. His defensive responses are typical of theist debaters. People get defensive when you question their faith, and the typical reaction is to dismiss any proof that shows their claims to be wrong, and use cover-all excuses for things they can't answer...

I agree that this is what they do. But I always wonder, when they do simply dismiss proof that shows their claims to be wrong, despite their dismissal, how much of that still actually forces its way into their brain and gets stuck there, and for how long?

I think, maybe, they recognize this as it’s happening, and that's what freaks them out, because they can't unlearn what they’ve heard, and they know it challenges their beliefs in ways they can't unknown or unthink. So they simply try to cut it off before they receive too much more of it, and hope with time, with enough ignoring, and shoving it down, and refusal to engage in it, and deflection of similar topics in the future, they could let it fade from their mind. And in time hopefully forget that piece of information, as to not have to consider it in with the rest of reality anymore. But initially its difficult, because you put it right there on the tip of their brain, and that makes them pissed at you because now they have to deal with something they had no intention to deal with or even knowledge of, and now need to wash it away. And that takes work, and that’s your fault, and that makes them made at what you did to them.

I think this is the real reason they get so upset, and deflect and avoid in so many ways. Because they realize it makes sense, and if they can distract you by deflecting the question, or by taking "personal offence" and getting irate mad and pissed off at you, that cuts off the conversation, and allows them to peruse cognitive dissonance.

It’s funny to me to consider, I never get pissed off in these conversations, but they often do. Which betrays the strength of one’s position. You could tell me you don’t believe the speed of light has always been constant, and that doesn’t piss me off, but I tell them a “god” who orders the genocide of an entire people and the rape of its female girls, doesn’t sound like a loving “god”, and they get pissed.

...
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