When atheists debate

robj101
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When atheists debate

It seems like we tend to debate from the religious perspective. The religious rarely come to our level to debate. They don't often point out anything from an atheists viewpoint, yet as an atheist I manage to point things out from their own.

I have never debated with one who could assume there was no god, it is always me having to disprove the myth from their perspective.

This is why I made that "opposite" post a while back. They have a hard time thinking like an atheist, whereas we have no real problem looking at things from their viewpoint.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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This would seem

This would seem evident.

 

After all, if they could conceive of both world views, it would perhaps become painfully obvious that one was much simpler, and less absurd than the other, and it would take quite the mad effort to hold to the old religious world view after that. (Of course, the evidence to this effect is largely anecdotal)

I suspect, if educated, in order to keep the religious wold view, they would likely have to twist the atheist one into something it is not.

 

When they do understand our side, they end up becoming atheists.  Half the time they become atheists when they understand *their* side.

Why else would the ultimate sin in Christianity be knowledge, eh?


robj101
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Blake wrote:This would seem

Blake wrote:

This would seem evident.

 

After all, if they could conceive of both world views, it would perhaps become painfully obvious that one was much simpler, and less absurd than the other, and it would take quite the mad effort to hold to the old religious world view after that. (Of course, the evidence to this effect is largely anecdotal)

I suspect, if educated, in order to keep the religious wold view, they would likely have to twist the atheist one into something it is not.

 

When they do understand our side, they end up becoming atheists.  Half the time they become atheists when they understand *their* side.

Why else would the ultimate sin in Christianity be knowledge, eh?

Exactly.

It was worth making a thread over in my opinion. It seems one of the most relevant things to keep in mind when debating. It is not so much in trying to win a debate by proving or disproving, but to get the religious to honestly view the other side of the coin, that is the real clencher.

 

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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Yea, off the top of my head

Yea, off the top of my head I can't remember debating a theist who actually understood where I was coming from.  When they try they usually assign my beliefs to anger at god, unhappiness, willful rebellion, etc.  When I explain how happy and straight-laced I am they never have an answer, they just sort of shut down....they can't imagine a world where a happy, 'normal' person with no negative experience with religion would be an atheist.

 

Not that it matters though.  Funny how they can become Christians because they had some crazy experience that made them feel the light of Jesus, but if someone loses their faith because of a tragedy their input it is invalid.  Like emotion is a good reason to 'find' god but not a good reason to leave god.  I remember a story where a lady had been molested by a church leader and was now an atheist.  She never brought up the molestation when talking to theists, because as soon as she did they just wrote off all of her arguments because she must be angry with god/jesus/the church.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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robj101 wrote:It seems like

robj101 wrote:

It seems like we tend to debate from the religious perspective. The religious rarely come to our level to debate. They don't often point out anything from an atheists viewpoint, yet as an atheist I manage to point things out from their own.

I have never debated with one who could assume there was no god, it is always me having to disprove the myth from their perspective.

This is why I made that "opposite" post a while back. They have a hard time thinking like an atheist, whereas we have no real problem looking at things from their viewpoint.

This makes sence because us atheists take a rational viewpoint. If the theists were to argue from our viewpoint then they would have to throw away any belief in Gods.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You cannot disprove the existance of God, but you also cannot disprove the existance of an all powerfull, incomprehesible, pink elephant that lives in the boot of my car.


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robj101 wrote:I have never

robj101 wrote:

I have never debated with one who could assume there was no god, it is always me having to disprove the myth from their perspective.

I think that not only is it difficult to find a person who can assume that there is a god. I have almost never found a theist who could manage to debate without  the assumption that god does exist.

For example, a few weeks ago, I was talking to a Christian girl about why I am an atheist. She asked me how I could prove that god does not exist. I told her that I do not have to prove with 100% certainty that god does not exist in order to lack a belief in god's existence. After about fifteen minutes of me trying to explain this, she still did not understand the concept. At the end she specifically said, "If you can't prove that god does not exist, then you have to believe god exists."  (That is a direct quote.)

Not only was she incapable of making the assumption that god does not exist (I don't think very many people ever make this assumption when they are having discussions or debates, and I don't think I ever have). She was completely incapable of not holding the assumption that god exists.

edit: to clarify the context of the discussion, even though she is Christian, we were not talking about one of the specific Gods inherent in the various denominations of Christianity, but just whether or not any god exists.

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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That reminds of an interview

That reminds of an interview I heard a few years back on our National radio service ( the ABC ) with a guy who was certainly a believer. This was on a program which is not specifically a religious program but which explores 'spirituality' in a somewhat broader sense.

When the question came up about what were his particular reasons for belief, his reaction made it clear that the question didn't quite make sense to him, as he obviously thought of God as just a fundamental aspect of existence. It stuck in my mind as the most explicit example I have heard expressed of such thinking, and this was not an unintelligent, uneducated man-in-the-street. He had some credentials as a public intellectual, which was why they chose to speak to him on the program.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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The worst fundamentalists

The worst fundamentalists will not listen even after you insist that you don't actually believe what they think you believe. Not only are they unable to conceive of God not existing, they can't even conceive how someone else could not believe in God! So, from there, they come to the strange conclusion that we really do believe in God, and what we say we believe is just lies. They think we're just morally rebelling by worshipping Satan.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Trying to debate with

Trying to debate with theists is a lot like an Enlightenment philosopher debating morality with a medieval serf.  The serf argues as if the only possible way of government is through absolute power given to one or a few individuals.  He would have a hard time comprehending the idea of a democratic society.

The same is true when atheists debate theists/creationists.  The theist/creationist gets his entire world view pre-packaged and handed down to him through an idea called "divine revelation."  Thus, when he debates with an atheist, he assumes that because he gets his world view from an absolute authority figure, the atheist must also. After watching many of these debates I've come to the inescapable conclusion that many theists simply do not comprehend the idea of working things out for oneself. To them, we don't accept evolution because we've read what the experts have to say on the subject, evaluate the evidence for ourselves, and come to the same conclusion. No!  The scientists must be an absolute authority! We blindly follow what the scientists tell us to believe!

Many theists also have this idea that simply having more answers makes them right about everything. I don't know how many times a creationist or a theist has stood up on a debate platform and said something like "science can't answer ______, but WE CAN! Therefore, God exists."  It's like they don't even realize that just because they have an answer that nobody else seems to have, it therefore must be the correct answer, and thus by extension, everything they believe must be the truth!  You see it a lot from the people who argue that the Bible is entirely confirmed by science, history, and archaeology because it talked about the city of Nineveh even though archaeologists didn't know about it until the late 1800s. That would be a valid point if ALL the Bible said was that there was a city called Nineveh once, but that is only a tiny fraction of the entire picture, and nobody is saying that the Bible is entirely wrong in every way.  Some parts of it are right, many are wrong.  But to a theist/creationist, it's either all or nothing.  There is no room for compromise.

So when they encounter an atheist who has formulated his/her own world-view through the intake of evidence and the application of reason, an atheist who hasn't had his/her belief system handed down from a "higher" authority, an atheist who doesn't believe in absolute knowledge, and/or an atheist who thinks its okay to simply leave a mystery a mystery if one doesn't have an empirically-derived answer for it, they can't fathom such a thing. To them, all beliefs and knowledge are handed down from authorities, all statements of fact are absolute claims of knowledge, and having more answers than someone else puts you in an intellectually superior position. They treat the rejection of theism as if it were a position just like theism.  That's what leads to the really ignorant statements like "Atheists have faith, too, you just worship Darwin," or "Science can't explain the origin of life, therefore Jesus Christ is the Lord and savior of mankind!"  It's not that they don't understand what our position is, they don't understand how we think. They don't understand WHY we rejected their beliefs.  Some might claim to, but if they're making statements like the above, then they don't, not really.


robj101
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butterbattle wrote:The worst

butterbattle wrote:

The worst fundamentalists will not listen even after you insist that you don't actually believe what they think you believe. Not only are they unable to conceive of God not existing, they can't even conceive how someone else could not believe in God! So, from there, they come to the strange conclusion that we really do believe in God, and what we say we believe is just lies. They think we're just morally rebelling by worshipping Satan.

I had one tell me Dawkins and Hitchens are both the devil. She begged me to not listen to them. She obviously does not realize I am as much an atheist as they, if not more so because I am arrogant enough to come out and say there is no god at all, and there never will be evidence for one. I haven't yet actually been this callous with her in particular, but if she persists, it will come up.

But for her, god is like oxygen. She thanks god for every good thing in her life, and blames the bad on herself. What a terrible way to live.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


Kapkao
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Atheists debate...

...BIG GUYS START CARRYING AXES!!

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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The problems, as I see it

The problems, as I see it are,
1) You consider it a debate. A debate is contests were the winner might not actually be the person who is right
 but just better prepared. In a debate you present an arguments with the intent on persuading another.
 It doesn’t work simply because it is useless to try to prove a belief to any one whose belief omits room
 for any information that goes against their desires, be it atheist or theist. Simple human nature
 Many of the tactics used to win a debate only get in the way of what is being said, or in this case written,
 and confuse the issues

2) In actuality there are two different types of debates being attempted at the same time ,
 an Academic Debate and a Lincoln-Douglas Debate. When combined they usually only roll themselves together
 into a ball of crap. This is often caused by the theist because it is an emotional topic.
 

3) An atheist ability to point things out from a theist view.
 This is the one I have the most problem with. I am always being told what my beliefs are.
 I find this quite annoying because it is always a very narrow view of how theist think.
 We are not all uneducated fundamentalists who think science is Satan, and by the way cherry picking is not a sport for
 theist only
 I do agree that many theists have a hard time thinking like an atheist and that is the greatest thing about
 this website. Some of questions raised here give a great oppotunity to learn about and even strengthen a theist
 beliefs if they are willing to research why they believe what they believe.


robj101
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Mjolnin wrote:The problems,

Mjolnin wrote:

The problems, as I see it are,
1) You consider it a debate. A debate is contests were the winner might not actually be the person who is right
 but just better prepared. In a debate you present an arguments with the intent on persuading another.
 It doesn’t work simply because it is useless to try to prove a belief to any one whose belief omits room
 for any information that goes against their desires, be it atheist or theist. Simple human nature
 Many of the tactics used to win a debate only get in the way of what is being said, or in this case written,
 and confuse the issues

2) In actuality there are two different types of debates being attempted at the same time ,
 an Academic Debate and a Lincoln-Douglas Debate. When combined they usually only roll themselves together
 into a ball of crap. This is often caused by the theist because it is an emotional topic.
 

3) An atheist ability to point things out from a theist view.
 This is the one I have the most problem with. I am always being told what my beliefs are.
 I find this quite annoying because it is always a very narrow view of how theist think.
 We are not all uneducated fundamentalists who think science is Satan, and by the way cherry picking is not a sport for
 theist only
 I do agree that many theists have a hard time thinking like an atheist and that is the greatest thing about
 this website. Some of questions raised here give a great oppotunity to learn about and even strengthen a theist
 beliefs if they are willing to research why they believe what they believe.

You make some good points.

From my angle what I "think" as having been raised  christian, believing god was real and in control of everything, then questioning it, and finally dropping this belief alltogether. I feel like I have an excellent idea of how christians think. I have seen people who claimed to have been atheists and are now christians. I do not believe for a moment that they were actually ever an atheist, perhaps skeptical but not an atheist. I think they were just not totally convinced of a god and in good part "god" helps answer questions about life, thus god equals an easy out. If one were to look around, study and think about this decision I can't help but think they will draw the same conclusion as every real atheist. It is as plain as day that god has been concocted wholly by ancient man.

There is a reason people of lower intellect tend to be believers and the more intelligent tend towards skepticism. The more intelligent enjoy thinking about such things and the simple minded like the easy out. Almost literally, thinking is hard. Note I did say "tend" towards, I did not say all religious people are stupid. In fact some of them are quite smart and some of those are perhaps not very religious at all but use it for control or monetary gain.

Now as for theists thinking like an atheist, to truly do so, you have to block out the fictional god and everything associated with it. But to most that seems like instant drowning or starvation and they just can't do it, they can't even imagine doing it. It's amazing.

This is all just my personal opinion however.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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 Quote:We are not all

 

Quote:
We are not all uneducated fundamentalists who think science is Satan, and by the way cherry picking is not a sport for 
 theist only

No, you're not all uneducated fundamentalists who think science is Satan. I know and understand this. I have friends and relatives who are Christian and not like this.

But you have to realize that theists, especially Christians, like you are the minority. You're the exception to the rule.  If you weren't, there would be no God Delusion. There would be no Letter to a Christian Nation. Christopher Hitchens would be known only as a writer of Rolling Stone and his atheism would be a footnote.

When we address, ridicule and criticize the beliefs of the majority of Christians in the United States, we are not cherry picking. It's not cherry picking when you address the majority. If we were singling out more open-minded Christians like you, THAT would be cherry-picking.

Even if these crazy fundamentalists really aren't the majority, they're a large enough group to be of major concern. I said this in another thread, but this one warrants a repeat. These uneducated fundamentalists aren't harmless backwoods hillbillies relegated to spreading their views on their homemade short-wave radios, these people are senators. They are supreme court justices. They are governors. Sometimes, they're even presidents. Right now we have a willfully ignorant dentist sitting on the Texas state school board who almost succeeded in removing evolution from the science books and is trying to remove references to Thomas Jefferson from the history books! Texas is the largest purchaser of school text books, and thus textbook publishers use the Texas standards universally. 

My beef with moderate Christians is that in no time in history was a moderate wing of a religion able to keep its fringe elements under control.  You don't see a lot of Christians fighting to keep evolution in the schools. Some do, but again, it's the exception to the rule.  You don't see a lot of Christians fighting for the separation of church and state.  Again, some do, but again, it's a rare exception. Take a look at Islam. I know that there are probably a lot of moderate Muslims out there who hold no ill will against the United States or people of other faiths, but look at what always happens when Islam gets the force of law behind it: extremism, brutality, totalitarianism, oppression of women, oppression of other religions, etc.  This happens when Christianity has the force of law as well. To argue that greater church involvement with the state leads to greater freedom is as ridiculous as arguing that Burger King will thrive if McDonalds is allowed to make the laws.

I realize that you probably support the idea of church-state separation (it's why we have such a...robust...religious climate here in the U.S. in the first place), but the problem is a lot of your contemporaries don't seem to care one way or the other.  There are plenty of Christians who not only want a Christianity-run society, they actually believe this is how it was in the beginning, and I'm unconvinced that moderate Christians as a whole are capable or even willing to stand up to it.

 


iwbiek
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i don't know why, but

i don't know why, but thinking about theists debating reminded me of this:

 


Mjolnin
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robj101 wrote:From my angle

robj101 wrote:

From my angle what I "think" as having been raised  christian, believing god was real and in control of everything, then questioning it, and finally dropping this belief alltogether. I feel like I have an excellent idea of how christians think. I have seen people who claimed to have been atheists and are now christians. I do not believe for a moment that they were actually ever an atheist, perhaps skeptical but not an atheist. I think they were just not totally convinced of a god and in good part "god" helps answer questions about life, thus god equals an easy out. If one were to look around, study and think about this decision I can't help but think they will draw the same conclusion as every real atheist. It is as plain as day that god has been concocted wholly by ancient man.

There is a reason people of lower intellect tend to be believers and the more intelligent tend towards skepticism. The more intelligent enjoy thinking about such things and the simple minded like the easy out. Almost literally, thinking is hard. Note I did say "tend" towards, I did not say all religious people are stupid. In fact some of them are quite smart and some of those are perhaps not very religious at all but use it for control or monetary gain.

Now as for theists thinking like an atheist, to truly do so, you have to block out the fictional god and everything associated with it. But to most that seems like instant drowning or starvation and they just can't do it, they can't even imagine doing it. It's amazing.

This is all just my personal opinion however.

 Understanding how people think is not the same as thinking as the other person.
I say this because I can review a specific study and its conclusions and understand the thought process
behind the conclusion, but only to a point, that is when I get the deer in the headlights look on my face,
however that is not where I stop. I loose the ability when I am unable to follow the logic to
a conclusion as they can. Fundamental deductive arguments flow logically to a conclusion but deductive
logic can rarely be used. Inductive logic has more truth but less prevalence in the world. (Just my thoughts)
With this I alter your quote “There is a reason people of lower intellect tend to be believers and the more
intelligent tend towards skepticism”. To, Researchers who follow deductive logic tend to be believers and those
who follow inductive logic tend towards skepticism. I don’t like to use the words “lower intellect” because
my level and ability varies from above average to moron depending on the subject matter.

I do agree that some theists, and definitely too many, are perhaps not very religious at all but use it
for control or monetary gain.


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  I prefer to get people

 

 

I prefer to get people to try to define what a god is first. After they tell me the definition they have, I ask what evidence led them to that conclusion. If their definition comes from some holy book, then the discussion will probably lead there.  The thing is, most people have this mindset where they just accept supernatural claims. Even many people who say they are not "religious" still accept that there are spirits and souls. It's just ingrained in people from an early age. Trying to get people to think outside that box is the biggest challenge I've had when trying to discuss these concepts.


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Bahana wrote:  I prefer to

Bahana wrote:

 

 

I prefer to get people to try to define what a god is first. After they tell me the definition they have, I ask what evidence led them to that conclusion. If their definition comes from some holy book, then the discussion will probably lead there.  The thing is, most people have this mindset where they just accept supernatural claims. Even many people who say they are not "religious" still accept that there are spirits and souls. It's just ingrained in people from an early age. Trying to get people to think outside that box is the biggest challenge I've had when trying to discuss these concepts.

 

This is a great point.  The best place to start a serious discussion with a theist is to ask, "What do you believe, and why?"  Theism is so varied that until you know the answer to that question you can't have a debate.  See the current discussion with Cap in the holy grail thread for an ongoing example of what happens when they refuse to even go that far.

 

Even with that though it is tough.  Often, I think face to face debates might be more productive, because people can't go quote mine theism sites and copy and paste walls of text.  Although I guess the people who do that probably aren't going to engage in honest debate under any circumstance.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Bahana wrote:   I prefer

Bahana wrote:

 

 

 

I prefer to get people to try to define what a god is first. After they tell me the definition they have, I ask what evidence led them to that conclusion. If their definition comes from some holy book, then the discussion will probably lead there.  The thing is, most people have this mindset where they just accept supernatural claims. Even many people who say they are not "religious" still accept that there are spirits and souls. It's just ingrained in people from an early age. Trying to get people to think outside that box is the biggest challenge I've had when trying to discuss these concepts.

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.


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Mjolnin wrote:Bahana

Mjolnin wrote:

Bahana wrote:

 

 

 

I prefer to get people to try to define what a god is first. After they tell me the definition they have, I ask what evidence led them to that conclusion. If their definition comes from some holy book, then the discussion will probably lead there.  The thing is, most people have this mindset where they just accept supernatural claims. Even many people who say they are not "religious" still accept that there are spirits and souls. It's just ingrained in people from an early age. Trying to get people to think outside that box is the biggest challenge I've had when trying to discuss these concepts.

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Mjolnin wrote:God is

Mjolnin wrote:

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

 
Whatthedeuce wrote:

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

You are right - The theist forces themself into a box. It limits one of the players responces only to the box they walked into. I will use the tactict myself but only to trap and never to learn. It is a simple flanking move. Once in the box you are limited to defending from the box, to leave the box you have to change the definition. Best case - no one wins because no one is seeking truth, just a win. 


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Mjolnin wrote:God is

Mjolnin wrote:

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

 
Whatthedeuce wrote:

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

You are right - The theist forces themself into a box. It limits one of the players responces only to the box they walked into. I will use the tactict myself but only to trap and never to learn. It is a simple flanking move. Once in the box you are limited to defending from the box, to leave the box you have to change the definition. Best case - no one wins because no one is seeking truth, just a win. 


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Mellestead,  ...."but if

Mellestead,  ...."but if someone loses their faith because of a tragedy their input it is invalid.  Like emotion is a good reason to 'find' god but not a good reason to leave god."    I can identify with this, myself and my two children had some terrible things happen to us during the 11 years we were a part of the IFB's (independent fundamental baptists), during this horrific time, we were also suffering at home.  The parallel between our home life and our church life was the same.  During the last few years before we 'escaped' the religious abuse got worse, so too did the abuse at home, also during these last few years I was questioning and doubting. 

When I gave my deconversion story recently, one person said to me "so you left for emotional reasons", and I responded by saying that sounds like leaving partially for emotional reasons is invalid.  I left for a number of reasons, many.  But my critical thinking skills, reasoning and rational thinking didn't really kick in until I was out and free and able to pursue research and study intensely and in earnest. 

I just wish I had learnt, or acquired critical thinking skills as an adolescent and young adult, I never would have been seduced by christianity or by the (wrong) man I married.


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butterbattle wrote:The worst

butterbattle wrote:

The worst fundamentalists will not listen even after you insist that you don't actually believe what they think you believe. Not only are they unable to conceive of God not existing, they can't even conceive how someone else could not believe in God! So, from there, they come to the strange conclusion that we really do believe in God, and what we say we believe is just lies. They think we're just morally rebelling by worshipping Satan.

That strange conclusion they come to is because that's what it says in their bible, the brainwashing and indoctrination of the fundamentalist is severe and intense and complete.  And it can only undone by critical thinking, skepticism, rational thought, and lots and lots and lots of debunking and deprogramming, and huge amount of study.  I speak from experience.


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eboni4leigh

eboni4leigh wrote:

Mellestead,  ...."but if someone loses their faith because of a tragedy their input it is invalid.  Like emotion is a good reason to 'find' god but not a good reason to leave god."    I can identify with this, myself and my two children had some terrible things happen to us during the 11 years we were a part of the IFB's (independent fundamental baptists), during this horrific time, we were also suffering at home.  The parallel between our home life and our church life was the same.  During the last few years before we 'escaped' the religious abuse got worse, so too did the abuse at home, also during these last few years I was questioning and doubting. 

When I gave my deconversion story recently, one person said to me "so you left for emotional reasons", and I responded by saying that sounds like leaving partially for emotional reasons is invalid.  I left for a number of reasons, many.  But my critical thinking skills, reasoning and rational thinking didn't really kick in until I was out and free and able to pursue research and study intensely and in earnest. 

I just wish I had learnt, or acquired critical thinking skills as an adolescent and young adult, I never would have been seduced by christianity or by the (wrong) man I married.

 

Religion is a terribly insidious thing, especially when you are a child and especially fundamentalist religions.  They literally warp your ability to think critically, which makes it doubly hard to get out of the mental and emotional traps that protect the religion.

 

Honestly I'm still surprised I made it out.  I'm glad you did.

 

 

How are your kids now?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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My kids are great now, my

My kids are great now, my son is 32, married with a 4yr old son, it has been exceedingly difficult for him though, we all bear scars, my daughter is 25, a highly motived academic, she is now a successful young lawyer.  I did not get involved with fundamental religion till I was 37, and got out when I was 49, I am now 60.  I didn't grow up in it.  But my kids spent 12 of their most precious formative  and adolescent years in it. 

When I look back now, now that I have a rational, critical and reasoning brain, I think how stupid and deluded naive I was to be seduced into such a mindless and destructive way of life.

But I'm totally liberated and free now, free to be myself at long long last.


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eboni4leigh

eboni4leigh wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

The worst fundamentalists will not listen even after you insist that you don't actually believe what they think you believe. Not only are they unable to conceive of God not existing, they can't even conceive how someone else could not believe in God! So, from there, they come to the strange conclusion that we really do believe in God, and what we say we believe is just lies. They think we're just morally rebelling by worshipping Satan.

That strange conclusion they come to is because that's what it says in their bible, the brainwashing and indoctrination of the fundamentalist is severe and intense and complete.  And it can only undone by critical thinking, skepticism, rational thought, and lots and lots and lots of debunking and deprogramming, and huge amount of study.  I speak from experience.

What has to be done is first to get the fundamentalist to realize the value of reason and logic and understand how and why it is a more effective and accurate way to understand reality than dogma and statements of faith.  Reason is not an effective weapon against the unreasonable, and you cannot reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into and do not currently base upon reason.  Appealing to a true believer's sense of logic is like a true believer appealing to our sense of a holy book's authority. A well-reasoned argument from us to them is like a "Bible says so" argument from them to us.

The only reason I was able to abandon theism is because I based my faith upon logic, evidence, and reason. It may have been faulty logic, cherry-picked evidence, and biased reasoning, but I valued the concept of them nonetheless, and believed the evidence confirmed my faith.  That was my reason for believing. Then all it took was the acquisition of new evidence to re-think my position.  If I had decided the evidence didn't matter, that our perceptions where not reality, that what we could prove didn't matter because the Bible superseded all, evidence and reason would not have appealed to me. They would have been irrelevant, and I would still be a theist.


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eboni4leigh wrote:My kids

eboni4leigh wrote:

My kids are great now, my son is 32, married with a 4yr old son, it has been exceedingly difficult for him though, we all bear scars, my daughter is 25, a highly motived academic, she is now a successful young lawyer.  I did not get involved with fundamental religion till I was 37, and got out when I was 49, I am now 60.  I didn't grow up in it.  But my kids spent 12 of their most precious formative  and adolescent years in it. 

When I look back now, now that I have a rational, critical and reasoning brain, I think how stupid and deluded naive I was to be seduced into such a mindless and destructive way of life.

But I'm totally liberated and free now, free to be myself at long long last.

 

Not really your fault though, rationality and critical thinking are skills that need to be taught.  Heck, even with those religion can get through if kids are not given a broad base of knowledge about world religions to make informed choices.

 

I'm glad you are doing well now.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Mjolnin wrote:Mjolnin

Mjolnin wrote:

Mjolnin wrote:

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

 
Whatthedeuce wrote:

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

You are right - The theist forces themself into a box. It limits one of the players responces only to the box they walked into. I will use the tactict myself but only to trap and never to learn. It is a simple flanking move. Once in the box you are limited to defending from the box, to leave the box you have to change the definition. Best case - no one wins because no one is seeking truth, just a win. 

 

It is to learn what concept you're dealing with before you start the conversation so you do not talk past each other.  It's up to the person who makes the claim to demonstrate what it is, and why they believe it.


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 Mjolnin wrote:God is

 

Mjolnin wrote:

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

 
Whatthedeuce wrote:

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

You are right - The theist forces themself into a box. It limits one of the players responces only to the box they walked into. I will use the tactict myself but only to trap and never to learn. It is a simple flanking move. Once in the box you are limited to defending from the box, to leave the box you have to change the definition. Best case - no one wins because no one is seeking truth, just a win. 

They might be trying to win; however, they are both also seeking the truth.

If the theist wins, we now know that the box contains the truth.

If the theist's opponont wins, we know that the truth is not entirely inside the box.

 

Either way, our knowledge of the truth is increased.

 

 

 

 

I don't understand why the Christians I meet find it so confusing that I care about the fact that they are wasting huge amounts of time and resources playing with their imaginary friend. Even non-confrontational religion hurts atheists because we live in a society which is constantly wasting resources and rejecting rational thinking.


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Whatthedeuce wrote: Mjolnin

Whatthedeuce wrote:

 

Mjolnin wrote:

God is Copenhagen's seer

You are trying to get someone to think outside a box after you have forced them into a box.

 

 
Whatthedeuce wrote:

What do you mean by this? The theist holds a belief in god before Bahana ever asks for a definition. The theist forces him/herself into the box. All that Bahana does is ask the theist to say what the box is.

 

You are right - The theist forces themself into a box. It limits one of the players responces only to the box they walked into. I will use the tactict myself but only to trap and never to learn. It is a simple flanking move. Once in the box you are limited to defending from the box, to leave the box you have to change the definition. Best case - no one wins because no one is seeking truth, just a win. 

They might be trying to win; however, they are both also seeking the truth.

If the theist wins, we now know that the box contains the truth.

If the theist's opponont wins, we know that the truth is not entirely inside the box.

 

Either way, our knowledge of the truth is increased.

 Personally I don't think a debate will tell the "truth" either way or at least not convince someone of the truth you hold. However in a real debate you present a question or statement, and make the other consider a response. If while they are pondering this response you have managed to make the opponent "think" outside their box, I would consider that the win. Atheism for example, you wont likely just tell someone about how there is no god and convince them, they will just fight it. This is why I always try to phrase my statements as questions to make them think of the answer. If it is an answer you come up with yourself, well the implications of that are self evident.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin