Theist vs. Atheist debates in an epistemological frame of reference.
I am noticing a trend in theist vs atheist debates of all levels, from your nut jobs vs shit disturbers to high profile educated theists vs high profile educated atheists. Namely, it's as though we fundamentally speak different languages, and we end up talking past ourselves.
I believe that in order to conduct any soft of debate, the debaters must agree on the lowest common denominator. You can then use that as currency and equate the value of any subjective claim. In a few ongoing debates I'm trying to establish an epistemological frame of reference that we both agree on, without a lot of success. Think of it as laying the most basic of ground rules. At it's most basic, I view reality through my senses, and so do they. Empiricism isn't one of the ways to fundamentally perceive reality, it is the ONLY way.
I have yet to have a valid point raised on this, and want to draw on the vast experience of some of the members here, both theists and atheists as to what your thoughts are on:
1. The benefit of agreeing on an epistemological frame of reference.
2. How the theistic epistemological frame of reference differs from an atheistic one.
3. What can I do to clarify this most fundamental position in my debates, so I can move forward.
"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc