Why Do This?

Crossover
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Why Do This?

I have been a member here for a long time. I stopped posting after a while just cause I got tired of A) Keeping up with a forum and B) The atmosphere. I just decided to check back in and see whats going on. Well, since two years ago it seems like nothing has changed. I highly doubt more than a handful of people have jumped ship in their beliefs about God, I'm fairly sure most of the theists are just coming and going while I still recognize a lost of the atheist posters. So to all my "theists" and atheists I have a question. Why do this whole debate thing?

To my theists: I understand the hope to change a soul, or just say Jesus loves you and hope for the best, or even the simple desire to just prove your right in some way. But honestly, you're going to have much better luck saving souls in Africa than on a forum. It may not have the great convenience of your own air conditioned home, but it you want to do some good in the world the do some good beyond hiding behind a keyboard. I promise you a smile and a kind word to a stranger will do better than arguing microbiology and physical concepts. You're fighting a battle that can not be won. I sat here as a 17 year old kid hoping I could do something to at very least make some one say "that's a good point, I never thought of that". It's not worth the time, frustration, and research required to debate. You will never help anyone find God (whatever God you may believe in) by a debate. That's up to God. And for the love of God, no pun intended, those of you that are rude and mean to the atheists shouldn't even be here to start with. Just the same goes to those who were like me two years ago who had little scientific knowledge and no clue what to say other than "Jesus (or whoever) loves you"...you're shark food here. Stick to church, or synagogue, or whatever and just build each other up. Do missions work where true good deeds will be done, and stay away from negative debate that will just bring you down.

To my atheists: Some of you seem like great people who are intelligent, nice, and genuinely enjoy intellectual conversation. Some of you are as rude and arrogant as the day is long. The same goes for theists. But you guys know that most theists would rather stop coming to this forum than admit defeat. I love an intellectual conversation or debate, as I'm sure most of y'all (excuse my southern roots) do. However, I can't imagine how debating can be much fun after a while considering it always ends in...well, no decision. There's no score keeper so you can think you made the best case and you were right, but since most theists would rather just stop coming than admit defeat, what's the fun? Yea, you can prove you're right in your mind, but what's the fun since the other person hardly (if ever) admits they are wrong? Sure I know that Bob Dylan is the best song writer alive, but what good does it do arguing that with Kanye West? He will never admit that his songs aren't the best. But since this is an atheist forum and not a theist forum I won't even hint that you shouldn't come here. There are tons of theist forums where very little debate about the existence of God happens, it's all debate about doctrine. So the topics about science, specific atheist ideas, and even sports are completely understandable. But what's the fun in playing if the other person either forfeits or says they win? Its like tee ball, each team thinks they won.

 

I am literally asking the question so I will look for the answers. I am not just trying to convince you all to stop debating. This debate has been going on for thousands of years and if little old me could just convince everyone its pointless then I might be the Antichrist of something. But honestly think about what I said and please tell me why...both theists and atheists. I think I was a little harder on the theists, just because I am one. But to those of you who will inevitably keep the debates rolling I ask that you remember (both theists and atheists alike) the words of Sun Tzu:

 

If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

 

Not to imply that we are enemies, but think tactically about the debate and at least know what the guy you're calling an idiot believes. Theists are the worst about believing common myths and crap about atheists without really knowing the truth, however atheists do their fair share of misunderstanding too.

 

 

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


Crossover
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And before anyone else does

And before anyone else does I shall point out the irony of this post. I am pointing out that this is a battle that has no point, and yet I know that I can not convince everyone to not have it.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


EXC
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Crossover wrote:Why do this

Crossover wrote:

Why do this whole debate thing?

In a real debate you bring real evidence, and logic reasoning. You must ignore evidence and refuse to follow the rules of logic in order to 'believe' in fantasy. Being a theist makes you feel better than not being one. Theist are way to narcissistic to even contemplate the end of their own existence after death. So your right, there is nothing to debate.

I suppose I just want to vent my frustrations about religion because I've seen how it has poisoned so many lives and societies. I want to make it perfectly clear to anyone that theism has no intellectual leg to stand on. Anyone that studies it can see it's just your little pill. I just want to live in a world where you keep your poison to yourselves.

Crossover wrote:

But honestly, you're going to have much better luck saving souls in Africa than on a forum.

Right, find the most desperate person you can, then give him a bowl of rice if they'll only 'believe'. Certainly don't educate them or get them to use birth control. You need an endless supply of poor pitiful people to keep the religion going.

Crossover wrote:

 Do missions work where true good deeds will be done, and stay away from negative debate that will just bring you down.

Right. Fly to Africa on a jet. Provide the sick with modern medicine, clean up their water with technology, help them grow more food with technology. Then tell them that Jesus not science and rationality is the answer to their problems.

Crossover wrote:

But since this is an atheist forum and not a theist forum I won't even hint that you shouldn't come here. There are tons of theist forums where very little debate about the existence of God happens, it's all debate about doctrine.

And why don't the theists debate atheists on these forums. They either ignore us or tell us to leave. Since they are so loving, why not give us the answers rather than let us all go to hell? You believe Jesus 'died' a torturous death to save men's souls, but you can't put up with some criticism and insults?

At the final judgement, is Jesus going to be pleased that you let us perish rather than provide us reason to believe? Can't we all just say at the final judgement "Crossover didn't want to come up with reasons to believe" then escape hell while you end up there?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


ubuntuAnyone
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Crossover wrote:Why do this

Crossover wrote:

Why do this whole debate thing?

It's kinda fun, I think. But maybe I sadistic and like rambling on about stuff....

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


Atheistextremist
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I think debate is worth it

I'm a bit grumpy about god thanks to a fundy upbringing but aside from taking potshots at what I see as subjective and unprovable assertions from god people I love the talk and I learn from the debates. A lot of the christians seem decent folk tho' we do get core fundies who's threat-based arguments are pretty bloody annoying.

Like a lot of the atheists I hve trouble getting my head around the philosophical elements of the debate that to me seem irrelevant to the discussion, almost like bushwalking through the imagination with a theodilite. Ontology. One day some one will explain it in terms of the design of the human brain.

I admit my love is the science stuff. Men and women who spend 40 years on hands and knees in the desert with a toothbrush. There's something profound to me about that true effort and I think it's something worth defending. Geology and associated fossils are the real and inviolate book of life and unbelievers and christians should be equally illuminated by these actual stories written into the earth.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Its fun when you know you're right

Of course we want to debate, because its fun if you are sure you are right and the other side is wrong. Anyway the responsibility of proving that god exists is for theists. It not ours to prove it doesn't exist, as there are infinite things we cant disprove.. like you cant disprove odin or zeus do not exist. Anyway ive been dabating this in my life for years, and it becomes more fun as I become more sure that im right and most of the people are wrong and wasting their lives.
Ive also converted some people to atheism by debating (my parents for example) and they thank me, as we all feel more happy and free without believeing in ancient myths and just seeing the beauty of life and enjoying it.


pauljohntheskeptic
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Do it for the masses

 

If you remember a member named I am God As You (Mark) he always said that we should do it for all those that watch and read but don't participate. I usually consider that aspect as the most important and realize that the theists will never concede defeat in most areas. But sometimes people see things a little differently after their beliefs are dissected. Either way, if nothing else it helps those who are looking for answers to questions or those who are in "grey areas."  As you mentioned, there is a lot of misconception of atheists by theists and perhaps some of us address that area. 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:If

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
If you remember a member named I am God As You (Mark) he always said that we should do it for all those that watch and read but don't participate.

IAGAY was one of the best of us.

 

I miss him.

 

[EDIT addendum]

And you know what? That's why I fucking do this. Because of IAGAY, and HisWillness, and Answers In Gene Simmons, and Thomathy, and BobSpence1, and Eloise, and Luminon, and DamnedDirtyApe, and Cpt. Pineapple, and even fucking Paisley. Because there are good people here.

Also, it's fun to watch a theist debate their position. It's like watching a worm on a hook.

And sometimes, some theists realize atheism is more logical. Sometimes.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


pauljohntheskeptic
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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
If you remember a member named I am God As You (Mark) he always said that we should do it for all those that watch and read but don't participate.

IAGAY was one of the best of us.

 

I miss him.

 

[EDIT addendum]

And you know what? That's why I fucking do this. Because of IAGAY, and HisWillness, and Answers In Gene Simmons, and Thomathy, and BobSpence1, and Eloise, and Luminon, and DamnedDirtyApe, and Cpt. Pineapple, and even fucking Paisley. Because there are good people here.

Also, it's fun to watch a theist debate their position. It's like watching a worm on a hook.

And sometimes, some theists realize atheism is more logical. Sometimes.

I agree. IAGAY was one of the best, I also miss him.

And everyone else that comes here that spends time and effort to try to bring rationality to the world and dispel ignorance, I do it for them. Even Paisley, though he is a stubborn son of a bitch.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


David Henson
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I used to post on forums

I used to post on forums like this, The SAB, The Friendly Atheist, The Reason Project, JREF, and Infidels? Is that the name of the place? So boring I can't remember the name, Skeptic Tank, Blasphemy etc. because I like a good argument, am interested in the Bible and can relate more to Atheists than Christians. I used to think that Atheists were more reasonable than Christians but that is no longer the case. I work on The Pathway Machine, which is a response to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, but every once in a while I feel compelled to hash it out with some
"Freethinkers" such as these.

It is, most of the time, a completely pointless exercise of the ego. For me as well as them. I consider myself fortunate in that I can walk away from it knowing that. I don't have to win an argument. I also don't subscribe to the quixotic notion that I can "save a soul" or "convert" anyone.

You are particularly wise, or at least sensible, in having come to the conclusions that you have regarding participation on forums such as this. Many adults, such as myself took years to learn it.

As for being mean to atheists . . . eh, I can be nice or I can be as mean or meaner than they are to me.


Crossover
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I guess I underestimate the

I guess I underestimate the ability of people to have fun doing something though it provides no ultimate ends! I love football even though they end up doing it all over again and we will never know who the greatest football franchise of all time is (sorry all you Cowboys fans), so while it isn't a prefect parallel, it's close enough for me to come to understand everyone's motives.

 

I can respect that.

My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon


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Another one of those "why

Another one of those "why bother ?" threads ? Oh for f*ck's sake...

Okay then : Many thanks again to the regular posters here, especially JPthe sceptic and JCgadfly for their extensive knowledge of all things biblical and their clear and concise arguments, and on the science side, Deludedgod and Bobspence for dumbing stuff down enough so I even could get it and pass it on. (I probably missed about 20 people, but you know who you are)

Without you guys bothering to post here, it would have been me who would have had to debate all my theist and on-the-fence friends about this crap every time it came up. That would have sucked, and it might have cost me a friendship or two. Simply directing them to a thread here has helped them see that I'm not just "mad at god" or some such nonsense, and it has even given me some much needed company on the atheist side of the fence.

So yeah, thanks again.

(This is the last time I'm repeating this, so enough with the "why bother"-threads already, k ? )


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To give my answer why, I

To give my answer why, I enjoy debate and discussion. I am also fully willing to change my position if someone can prove a logical reason to change my views and arguments. In some cases I have had some very interesting and enlightening arguments with people, we might not agree but we can better understand one another and formulate better ideas and views. I debate philosophy, game design, political theory and nation building strategies for similar reasons. Either that or a lot of socratic dialogue from a young age made me unable to stop arguing *shrug*

 


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Some do Sudoku

 It sharpens the mind.


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It gets asked often, but it

It gets asked often, but it is a good question.

 

Personally, I'm here because:

1. The education has been enormous.  I've seen some great threads about topics I didn't even know existed before I came here.

2. I like to debate in an open environment.  Here it is almost impossible to get banned, and so you have all sorts of people talking.  Honestly, where else would I debate theism?  On a Christian forum I would just be banned.  Maybe there are some liberal Christian forums around that would keep me around, but they aren't so worried about atheist...Biblical literalists, as a rule, don't accept atheistic commentary on their forums.

3. The people here are neat.  It has been fun to watch the evolution of characters as they post over time.  I'm sad that we don't see as much from Hamby and some of the others as we used to, but people like Atheist Extremist are generating more thought provoking content which helps make up for it.

4. Just a place to be myself.  I live in a rural area that is mostly fundamentalist Protestant, excepting the WASP Mormons and Hispanic Catholics.  I don't feel like I can be open about my atheism in this environment without penalty so this is a really refreshing place to visit sometimes.

 

I've learned a lot about myself as well.  I was raised as a fundamentalist Protestant...private Christian school, Bible study seven days a week, Church, church, church, religious retreats, the whole ball of wax.  I can pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and the Bible just as well as I can the American flag.  If you've ever watched the movie, "Jesus Camp" well, that was my childhood, except my parents were not as hateful and bigoted.

This site is sort of the current culmination of my journey from that life to my current atheism.  I had already been deconverted for years before I stumbled on to this site, but up until that time my journey had been intensely private.  This site is a way for me to externalize the end result of that process in a way safe for my family and career.

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