Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
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23-05-2013, 08:00 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Your blog entry is nothing short of awesome and I applaud you for it! It's well written, politely stated, and hits all the most important points on the subject.
Wow, thank you very much. I'm humbled. I'm so used to hearing scorn when I say such things, its a little hard to accept praise.

(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Impulse Wrote:  The moral implications of homosexuality is a subject I have argued probably more than any other on countless forums. Like you, it was one of the first and most significant influences in stopping me in my tracks to rethink about my Christian faith originally. I have many gay friends and it bothered me tremendously that these are really good people and yet god supposedly condemns them for something harmless and especially when he created them that way... (because I have known for a long time that homosexuality starts with biology).

But, not to get too far off your point, I can see nothing in your blog entry that should offend anyone. Those who were offended felt that way because it makes so much sense and threatens their own erroneous beliefs. It's often far easier to "kill the messenger" than to accept the message.
True story. Ad hominem attacks are so much easier than attacking the argument, aren't they? Sigh...

(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Do I worry about hurting people's feelings? Only to a point. I try to state things in a sensitive manner and I try not to insult people, but I also don't avoid saying what needs to be said. After that, if they feel offended, I really couldn't help it because the discussion was necessary. And chances are the offense was from their reaction, not anything I actually did or said. However, I do also consider whether the discussion really is necessary. I, for example, try to avoid arguing with my 80+ year old mother about religion because she is approaching the end of her life. She may need her faith to get her through her final years and what would the point be of my taking that away from her? So I don't start any religious discussions with her and, when she starts them, I try to limit my responses to explaining myself rather than pointing out what I find wrong with her views.

I totally agree with all points. One of my problems is I like discussion and debate, so even though I try not to go poking bears that can only eat me, sometimes they poke me first and stuff happens. Like when I was at a friends very Catholic wedding last weekend, and I was all quiet and trying to stay respectful, but my friend sitting next to me couldn't stop talking about how great a man the Pope is (and he's not even catholic himself). I just couldn't let it go after like 5 minutes of nonsense. But usually I try not to pick fights, just fight the fights already in progress depending on who I'm talking to. I do really cherish some of my christian friends who are very open to honest discussion and exploration of ideas without personal attacks. They are rare, but they exist. I'd like to believe i used to be one of those Christians myself.
(23-05-2013 10:52 AM)Impulse Wrote:  I also wanted to comment about your Christian mentor. I found it interesting that he called you a FB bully when he tags you, calls you ignorant, says you make him sad, tells you that you failed him, etc. Talk about FB bullying...!

Yeah... my 4 page response that I have yet to send him points that out. Crazy right? I'm the bully yet I have never once specifically tagged anyone or called out anyone I know personally on a public forum. He actually got banned on TTA facebook page for the tag where he said I make him sad. Irony much?

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:02 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 11:20 AM)JAH Wrote:  I worked as an engineer for over 30 years. Needless to say most of my coworkers were well educated in math and the physical sciences, essentially all had college degrees some from well known universities. One I knew had graduated from UC Berkeley and also was a member of a very fundamentalist church.

I asked him one day about evolution and he got quite angry with me. Even when I offered him the out of "intelligent design" he clung to the creation myth of the bible. I had attacked his beliefs and as such became an enemy. I had had a reasonable but distant relationship with him before. I was fortunate that my subsequent dealings with him were limited as he remained angry with me from that day forward. Not much you can do sometimes when you are honest with people about your lack of beliefs.

Sad... what a strange over reaction on his part, but I am not surprised. That's the thing about religion... it can make even really smart, otherwise logical people think totally irrationally.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:04 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 03:39 PM)Chas Wrote:  Tell him to go fuck himself. Your beliefs are none of his fucking business.
Un-friend him - he's a bigoted jerk.

I don't think I could in good conscience do that as much as it might feel nice. We have too much of a history together. I don't think he's a bad person, just a person warped by religulousness.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:08 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 04:00 PM)amyb Wrote:  Another thing I find crazy is that I don't see a lot of atheists commenting on religious posts from their f-list, but the minute and atheist puts something about atheism on FB, all hell breaks loose, they are called stupid and hateful and wrong.

This drives me crazy as well. There have been so many times I'll see things on FB or wherever from religious people and I've had to force my eyes to not roll into the back of my head. I can't think of any time I've ever commented on them unless i've had something positive to say. They just don't see the hypocrisy in it.

(23-05-2013 04:00 PM)amyb Wrote:  I'd suggest that maybe the problem is not your lacking a backbone, but your friend's inability to respect other views...
I think you're right. Just struggling to get my heart to believe it.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:14 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 04:42 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  I wish I could get into arguments! The last facebook "argument" I was in was between myself and my father when he claimed "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was historically accurate and that Jews were slaves to Egypt & Christians were prosecuted in the Roman Empire.

Suffice it to say, it didn't last long.

LOL! I must confess, there is a part of me that likes the arguments. I don't seek them out, or try to escalate them, but if religious people want to go all crazy on me, and show their true colors, part of me sort of enjoys letting them reveal themselves to the world at my expense. But it also makes me feel like crap at the same time. I have problems. Big Grin
(23-05-2013 04:42 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Re: the original post itself.

I'd say, save your frustration, when he gives you an opening, absolutely destroy him, tell him he is a dick and block the guy soon after.

He hasn't quite given me enough of an opening to go that far. Not sure I'm capable of destroying anyone in the heat of the moment. He's had 20 more years to be able to perfect his apologetics. I'm still figuring out all the great truths to debunk them. And sometimes while I perfectly know that what is being spewed is nonsense, I can't always come up with the details in the heat of the battle. That's why I write.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:15 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 04:46 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Always remember to take breaks from debates. If you notice your emotions are getting a bit high, you might want to stop.

In real life debates I frame everything in terms of what I believe, and why. I let them know I'm not interested in convincing them or being convinced.

On the internet there is so much information that debate on theists side isn't favorable. So I tend to take the look at this! Educational route. As I learn, I also try to pass on the information even if they disregard it all. That way others can evaluate the debate for themselves, and come to their on conclusions.

Agreed. I just wish more of my friends I'm debating with also agreed.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:17 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 04:50 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Having a backbone is easy if what you are defending has evidence.

I wish I found it as easy. I think where I have problems is that I never claim to know everything, so I'm always questioning my own knowledge which just leaves me vulnerable to attack. I care about getting the facts right too much, where the other side can just throw out stuff like "i feel" blah blah blah.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(22-05-2013 11:02 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I don't like hurting people I care about -- so I make a point not to. And ya it pisses me off -- because I feel they should give me the deference I give them...

But I'm the selfish one trying to take god out of their lives. I don't really understsnd it.

Agreed. Frustrating when you're not treated in kind during a discussion.

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." ~Rene Descartes.
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23-05-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 07:43 PM)PersephoneK Wrote:  I appreciate your perspective. I think intellectually I completely agree with you, but I have a hard time totally believing it from an emotional perspective. Although I don't think my friend is telling herself a lie. I can only say from when I was a Christian, I really did fully believe what I believed. I never allowed myself to fully question (even though I think I questioned more than most). It wasn't until I literally gave myself permission to go to Hell that i was able to completely question all possibilities, including the absence of god. I think for my friend, her belief is much more of an emotional crutch. She has gone through some major crap in the last few years, and this is her way of coping. I think she sees me as cynincal or something, which isn't true at all. I have discussed with her the whole truth thing, but she tends to not believe in objective truths, so our conversations in that area sort of grind to a halt. We just don't speak the same language when it comes to the natural world. I find this to be a problem with many people I know actually. Frustrating.

It's neither intellectual nor emotional. It's psychological. She knows what she believes is untrue, else she'd not be offended when her beliefs are challenged.

The human mind is the most powerful and curious thing we'll likely ever experience.... and it can be our worst enemy or best ally.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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24-05-2013, 06:22 AM
RE: Wish I Had More Backbone in Debates
(23-05-2013 08:04 PM)PersephoneK Wrote:  
(23-05-2013 03:39 PM)Chas Wrote:  Tell him to go fuck himself. Your beliefs are none of his fucking business.
Un-friend him - he's a bigoted jerk.

I don't think I could in good conscience do that as much as it might feel nice. We have too much of a history together. I don't think he's a bad person, just a person warped by religulousness.

If he is stalking you or your posts, firmly tell him to stop or we can help you create responses that will make him stop.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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