DEBATE INVITATION FOR THE RRS

Gavagai
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DEBATE INVITATION FOR THE RRS

This is an open debate challenge to the RRS. The challenge is issued specifically to any of the following members of RRS:

Brian

Kelly

Greydon

Rook

 

On either of the following resolutions:

 

Resolved: Theism is more likely to be true than atheism.

Resolved: It is rational to believe that theism is true.

 

You pick.

 

Suggestions for format:

 

Option (1): Written debate, in the formal debate forum of either theologyweb.com or infidels.org. These sites have reasonable guidelines to ensure that both parties in the debate are treated fairly and given an equal amount of space to present their case.

Option (2): Phone debate, with each party given an equal amount of time -- free of interruption -- to present their case. (Amount of time allotted to each party to be determined upon agreement.) Four rounds. Round 1: opening statements. Round 2: rebuttals. Round 3: cross examination. Round 4: closing statements. Both parties are allowed to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit.

 

These are preliminary suggestions; I am open to making modifications. If you're a member of the RRS and your name is on the list above, let me know if you're interested in taking up the challenge.

 

Cheers,

W.G.

 

 

 

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We're real on tight right

We're real on tight right now with tons of projects.  We just had a computer crash as well (the main one).  We'll be reverting to old windows xp to get the sound settings we need to record the show. 

 If it gets up and running soon maybe we could have you on one night for a little bit, you'd pick which of the two you want to resolve.

 

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Gavagai
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Brian,  Would you agree to

Brian,

 Would you agree to give each party an equal amount of time -- free of interruption -- to present their case? 

 And would you agree to allow each party to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit?

Hope everything gets worked out with your computer troubles.

 Cheers,

W.G. 

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Hello Gavagai nice to see

Hello Gavagai nice to see you again Wink


Gavagai
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Likewise, rev.  Hopefully

Likewise, rev.  Hopefully Brian and I can get a debate scheduled soon.


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Out of curiosity, what kind

Out of curiosity, what kind of 'theism' is being discussed?


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Gavagai, are you fixed on

Gavagai, are you fixed on the idea of having one of the core members?  I know that deludedgod has expressed interest in a written debate, and I might be interested, depending on exactly what the topic is.

For myself, I'm only interested if a written debate is in standard debate format.  Your side, as the sides claiming that something exists, namely a god or gods, or a spiritual/supernatural entity/entities, would have the burden of fully articulating your claim and then presenting your case.  After your case was presented, I would have the same amount of space to refute or rebut.  I would insist on a limit to the number of counter-rebuttals, perhaps three rounds.  I would also insist on a guarantee that in no way would any of our posts be altered in any way, and that I would retain approval rights for any commercial use of any of my text.

I would also be available to do a two on two style debate with deludedgod.

If you are fixed on the idea of one of the core members, that's ok.  I won't be insulted.

 

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Quote:

Quote:

I know that deludedgod has expressed interest in a written debate,

I have?

You're thinking of tod. But he's not here. Then again, I don't think he very much likes it either. We both have the commonality of hating the debate format. Nothing ever gets accomplished. We prefer the discussion format.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Pardon me. I thought you

Pardon me. I thought you had expressed interest in a written debate with someone after that dude wrote the blog saying RRS wouldn't debate any of the "big wigs" of theology.

My mistake.

 

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Quote: Pardon me. I

Quote:

Pardon me. I thought you had expressed interest in a written debate with someone after that dude wrote the blog saying RRS wouldn't debate any of the "big wigs" of theology.

Ah, I remember that guy...he never showed, what happened? 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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After I passed along our

After I passed along our willingness to debate anybody who would do it on a level playing field, he thanked me for my email and promised to do his best to get someone to debate.  I told him how to contact me, and have yet to hear anything back.

I suppose I should check his website to see if there's anything about it there.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Norm's newest blog: follow

Norm's newest blog:

follow up to "Strong Enough…"

LiveJournal Tags: , ,

If you read any of the comments on that post, you have noticed that it garnered response for the RRS group. Which was appreciated. And I am following up on some of that.

What I wanted to pursue here is simply this. I am beginning to get my arms around this whole package that RRS presents. Even though they appear to display a rational and convincing argument, I am beginning to believe it simply boils down to debating skill, not convincing evidence.  Notice, I said “I am beginning to think.” It will take some time for me to work through that. But Mr. Sapient and his legion may not be as “wise” as they may first appear to be. They could simply be good debaters.

For example: Person A takes their position over here and then stacks all their resources supporting that position and resources that support the resources that support that position, and stacks them in their camp.   Person B does the same on their side.  Depending on who has the bigger stack that day, may determine who “wins” and who “loses”.

To put it another way. Person A could say, “Mr. X says that the experiment used to recreate the original molecules for the origin of life has been proven to be false by scientist C, D, and F.”     Person B then says, “Everyone knows that current studies done at Summa University by Professor H have reaffirmed that experiment, not only showing the molecules for the origin of life, but recreating the very atmosphere from that period.”    ( And the audience goes wild!!!!)

Well, person A cannot refute that because they have not seen the evidence from Summa University.  Once the debate is over and they see it, it becomes obvious that the experiment is blatantly false and riddled with errors. But Person B didn’t care about that or see a need to point that out. It simply proved their point in the debate.

Now I am not saying that is how RRS conducts “business”.  It just appears that “debate” is their strong suit. That is all. Besides, who would ever want to go up against someone with the last name of Sapient - “having or showing great wisdom or sound judgement”?

As they say in the South - I am going to noodle this one for a while. Do a little research and reading on debating, then we may revisit this.

 

*******************

My response:

Norm,

As you might expect, we’re anxiously awaiting any well educated theologians who might want to debate us. I’m not rushing you, as I understand that you want to be sure of what you’re doing. That’s fine.

I do want to address some of your concerns in this blog. The reason I insist on a written debate is precisely to avoid some of the pitfalls you are mentioning. Once the debate is said and done, theists and atheists alike have the benefit of being able to go back and nitpick each and every detail of the debate to decide whether it was about good “debate skills” or sound logic.

The second reason I insist on a written format is that it allows each side enough time to do their own research. If person A asserts that Summa University has published this or that study, person B will have time to determine if this is true, and can read the whole study if it pleases him to do so.

I know it’s kind of hard for many theists to wrap their mind around this idea, but we atheists want you to be able to state your case in intricate detail, and we want you to double check our facts, and we want you to analyze our debates to see if we’re using rhetoric or logic. A written format makes things better for you if we’re just “good at debate.”

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Gavagai wrote: Likewise,

Gavagai wrote:

Likewise, rev. Hopefully Brian and I can get a debate scheduled soon.

If you're that eager I'm sure one of the lesser mortals around here could oblige you, ?  but I think you have a cunning plan Wink ,don't you Gavagai


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Gavagai wrote: This is an

Gavagai wrote:

This is an open debate challenge to the RRS.

You still need to focus on all your basic errors in linguistics before you can even enter into such a debate.

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/supernatural_and_immaterial_are_broken_concepts

 

 

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deludedgod wrote: Quote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

I know that deludedgod has expressed interest in a written debate,

I have?

You're thinking of tod. But he's not here. Then again, I don't think he very much likes it either. We both have the commonality of hating the debate format. Nothing ever gets accomplished. We prefer the discussion format.

Indeed. I'd also add that he's proven himself incapable of recognizing his basic blunders... I have no time for peons who aren't willing to learn from their mistakes.

 

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Quote: Indeed. I'd also add

Quote:
Indeed. I'd also add that he's proven himself incapable of recognizing his basic blunders... I have no time for peons who aren't willing to learn from their mistakes.

For what it's worth, for both Norm MacDonald and Gavagai, I have no interest in debating an undeveloped or incoherent topic.  The two topics presented in the OP are both suffering from a complete lack of precise language, and before I'd even consider a debate, I'd want to know the precise meaning of all the vague words, such as rational, god, likely, etc.

In other words, until a coherent proposition is presented, I'm not going to waste my time.

I'm still baffled as to why these prominent theists, who are supposed to be so good at dismantling our arguments, don't just come here and dismantle them.  It seems like it would serve them awfully well.  We're getting to be a thorn in a lot of people's sides.

 

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Umm.. Sorry. I still think Gavagai deserves airtime

You guys have done nothing to dissuade me from thinking that Gavagai deserves a fair debate.  What is the problem?

 Seriously.  What is the problem??

 Go for it boys.

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Nadja wrote:

Nadja wrote:

You guys have done nothing to dissuade me from thinking that Gavagai deserves a fair debate. What is the problem?

Seriously. What is the problem??

Go for it boys.

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 


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Quote: You guys have done

Quote:

You guys have done nothing to dissuade me from thinking that Gavagai deserves a fair debate.  What is the problem?

 Seriously.  What is the problem??

 Go for it boys.

Did you read the thread that todangst posted?

He's had a fair debate, and he proved himself incapable of recognizing simple logical fallacies, which were demonstrated to him repeatedly by many people.

Read the whole thread, please.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Nadja wrote:

Nadja wrote:

You guys have done nothing to dissuade me from thinking that Gavagai deserves a fair debate. What is the problem?

Seriously. What is the problem??

Go for it boys.

1 Gavagai

2 Gavagai

3 Gavagai

4 Gavagai

5 Gavagai

Gavagai's previous fair debates, listed above, Gavagai uses insults and or appeals to a authority/academic credentials, when his logic and reason are debunked, ie he has tried the fair debate and failed miserably, but you have-to hand it to Gavagai, or anybody like him trying to justify the irrational as rational, they won't give up their irrational ideas easily, so me think's he has a cunning plan, to rephrase his thoroughly debunked arguments, and present them to a limited amount of people specifically people without an equivalent to his own academic background in philosophy, if he can pull this off he can claim victory for irrationality and justified his belief in the flying spaghetti monster or what-ever, and it will all be recorded for his new book, rational belief in the flying spaghetti monster or what-ever, by Gavagai

Wink good luck Gavagai


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Hamby and Todangst,

Hamby and Todangst,

The challenge is only for the members of RRS that I listed. Thanks for your interest, though. As far as todangst's claims about my past discusision with him wherein I allegedly committed "logical fallacies" and other "blunders", I encourage all intelligent readers to click the links that he and rev provided, and judge the outcome for yourselves.

Brian,

In case these questions managed to escape your notice, here they are again (supposing our debate takes place via phone):

 Would you agree to give each party an equal amount of time -- free of interruption -- to present their case? 

 And would you agree to allow each party to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit?

 

Cheers,

Gavagai

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As I said, Gav, no worries.

As I said, Gav, no worries. As for you past links, that's why we do written debate. Anyone can read the entire thread and see exactly what was said by all. I also encourage everyone to read the threads and make their own decisions.

As for a debate, I don't claim to speak directly for Brian, Kelly, and Rook, and I'm not honestly sure how often Greydon reads the forums, but I can say that I'm certain that any debate won't be for a little while. Everybody's got a ton of projects right now, and there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff in the works.

Rest assured, if you have some patience, and someone agrees to your debate, later will be better in terms of audience size.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Rev_Devilin wrote: so me

Rev_Devilin wrote:

so me think's he has a cunning plan, to rephrase his thoroughly debunked arguments, and present them to a limited amount of people specifically people without an equivalent to his own academic background in philosophy...

Well then our show and website aren't exactly the place for his cunning plan.  He should try the atheist and agnostic myspace group.

 

 

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Brian,  In case these

Brian, 

In case these questions managed to escape your notice, here they are again (supposing our debate takes place via phone):

 Would you agree to give each party an equal amount of time -- free of interruption -- to present their case? 

 And would you agree to allow each party to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit?

 

Thanks. 

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By the way, I have no idea

By the way, I have no idea what Rev is talking about. My plan is simply to engage you in a debate, providing you take up my challenge.

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Sapient wrote:

Sapient wrote:
Rev_Devilin wrote:


so me think's he has a cunning plan, to rephrase his thoroughly debunked arguments, and present them to a limited amount of people specifically people without an equivalent to his own academic background in philosophy...


Well then our show and website aren't exactly the place for his cunning plan. He should try the atheist and agnostic myspace group.



Gavagai wrote:


And would you agree to allow each party to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit?


A well known atheist site, well-publicized, core members, it's absolutely perfect, in a Machiavellian way, he will stick to philosophy and logic and play-to what he perceives as your weaknesses in these disciplines

I say go for it, make publication conditional, you might as well make a few bucks out of this, and every time he says the word rational point out that rational lies in the domain of psychology (the psychology of reason) and not in logic (the correct principles of reason) and when he uses philosophy, remember philosophy is based upon reason, no leaps of faith and so on Wink, read his previous posts, and you will know what to expect, especially the end bit's Wink

 


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Gavagai wrote: By the way,

Gavagai wrote:
By the way, I have no idea what Rev is talking about. My plan is simply to engage you in a debate, providing you take up my challenge.

 Gavagai, please

 


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Gavagai wrote: Brian, In

Gavagai wrote:

Brian,

In case these questions managed to escape your notice, here they are again (supposing our debate takes place via phone):

Get the idea of a debate out of your head, look at it like a conversation.  The ideas you suggested for "debate" aren't worthy of debate.

 

Quote:

Resolved: Theism is more likely to be true than atheism.

Resolved: It is rational to believe that theism is true.

1: atheism can't be true or false.  It's the absence of theism, not a set of beliefs able to be true or false.  

2. rational to believe theism is true: the tougher topic and worthy of you getting some airtime, in a conversation.

 

Quote:
Would you agree to give each party an equal amount of time

Who holds the stopwatch?  (within reason, the answer is yes.  Had you ever actually listened to a good chunk of our shows, you would not have asked)

 

 

Quote:
free of interruption

 The only way you're gonna get that deal is if you agree not to say anything false, dishonest, fallacious, incorrect, or misleading.  Considering I'm reasonably certain you can't make your case without falling in to one of those categories, you're likely to be interrupted.

We're not gonna let you ramble bullshit for 20 minutes unfettered.   Again, if yo've listened to the show enough you'd know all of this.  It's stated over and over.  Interruptions from our side won't necessarily be statements... you're more likely to have us interrupt you after you make a false statement and we'll ask you a question that you most likely wont be able to answer without lying to yourself or the audience.  In other words, even though we interrupt you, you're likely to end up getting more time than us.  As we'll ask a lot of questions and let you talk them out in front of the audience. 

 

Quote:
-- to present their case?

Laughable.  If you have a case that proves it's rational to believe in a god don't wait for our show.  Put your proof online for the world to see, so you can be known as the most important theist to ever walk the Earth, and help all of us atheists find the truth.

 

Quote:
And would you agree to allow each party to record the entirety of the debate and distribute it as they see fit? 

Again, this has come up many times as well on the show.  You're free to record it.  I'll even let you hog my bandwidth and host the file myself, so you can give it out.

 

Realizing you haven't listened to our show much, and that we're still on semi-hiatus, are you sure you don't want to handle this on the forum with the community at large?  I've given you a few excuses to bail, feel free to take them and run.

 

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Brian,

Brian,

Thanks for your reply.

You say, "Get the idea of a debate out of your head, look at it like a conversation." Shouldn't the degree of confidence you place in your atheism warrant more than just a defense in an informal "conversation"? Why not defend it in a real debate with me? If your atheism is rationally defensible, one would think that you'd be eager to participate in a serious debate.

You're objection against the interruption-free policy seems odd, since it is a policy that virtually all rational and civil debates are guided by. (You are interested in a rational and civil debate, right?) If you hear me assert a falsehood, you would of course be free to point it out during your rebuttal. Problem solved. So we can agree to no interruptions, and you can still point out whatever falsehoods you wish. This is reasonable and fair. As soon as you agree to it, we can discuss scheduling considerations.

We'll both have watches, and they'll be synchronized beforehand.

Here's a more specific breakdown of the format I have in mind:

Round 1: Opening statements. 10 min each

Round 2: Rebuttals. 7 min each

Round 3: Cross exam. We each get to ask the other party 3 questions (questions should be framed in under a minute). The other party will have 2 minutes to respond to each question.

Round 4: Closing statements. 5 min each.

As for the resolutions, since you don't believe atheism has a truth-value, we can modify the first resolution as follows:

Resolved: Theism is more likely true than not.

In any case, you seem more interested in the second resolution. So we can go with that one.

Cheers,

Gavagai

 

 

 

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You are asking for a

You are asking for a discussion on your own terms whereby if one party says something that the other deems to be dishonest, misleading, incorrect or whatever, the other will have to sit idle for a predetermined ammount of time before calling them on it. And there is no right of reply to the last closing statement either. The whole thing could just invite manuevering to conceal bad points. And what if one party has more than three really good questions to ask? What if time runs out and there is more to be said?

 

And are you not confident enough in your theism that you can't defend it on someone elses terms?

 

And why are you turning down opportunites to similar debates with people you didn't pick out in the OP?  Did you just pick out busy people so you can go around saying how scared the RRS is of you, whilst todangst, has expressed over and over a willingness to engage you at length, and has pretty well ripped up most of what you have to say already, "doesn't count"? 

 

Because a cynical person might suspect just that.


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Brian makes a really good

Brian makes a really good point, and it's one of the reasons many of us shun the traditional verbal debates in favor of good old fashioned print. Theism has never, ever, ever been proven. If anyone could prove it, it would be front page news all over the world, and literally everything about science would have to change.

To think that someone who could do this simply wants to give Brian or Kelly a chance to try to argue seems ridiculous in the extreme.

Either this person is extremely malicious, and just wants to make RRS look bad before he wins his Nobel Prize, or he doesn't have enough goods to go to the Nobel panel, and would rather try to pick on someone he perceives as unable to refute his fallacious arguments.

By the way, if you review those threads Rev posted, you'll notice that it was Todangst and me who thrashed his arguments to shreds. I wonder if it's a coincidence that he doesn't want to debate us again?

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Brian

Hambydammit wrote:

Brian makes a really good point, and it's one of the reasons many of us shun the traditional verbal debates in favor of good old fashioned print. Theism has never, ever, ever been proven. If anyone could prove it, it would be front page news all over the world, and literally everything about science would have to change.

nothing in science would have to change if theism was proven correct.  You are thinking about the Bible Hamby

 


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Quote: nothing in science

Quote:
nothing in science would have to change if theism was proven correct.  You are thinking about the Bible Hamby

Nope.  I'm thinking of theism.  I've opined on this at length, as have both todangst and deludedgod.  If you haven't read, or don't understand the arguments, please review these threads:

The Notion of Scientific or Indeed any Empirical Proof of God Commits an Internal Contradiction

My Central Thesis on The Conceptual Absurdity of the Theistic God

"God" is an incoherent term

The self refuting nature of "Hermeneutics"

Either a god is natural or it's not.  If it's natural, then science can describe it, and theism becomes meaningless.  If it's not, and it exists, then all of philosophy and science would necessarily be turned on its head.

 Before you start harping on how theism would not be meaningless, consider this.  If science demonstrated the existence of a natural being, and further demonstrated that worshiping (whatever that happens to mean) this being was beneficial, or granted eternal life, or whatever it happened to add to one's life, then the practice of worship would not be theistic any more.  It would be scientific.

The two are forever irreconcilable.  Religion must deal with that which is not scientific, else we would call it science.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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What is the fascination so

What is the fascination so many people have with debates? Debates are games. They are about winning and losing, not about discovering truths. It seems to me that anyone who truly thinks they have the knowledge and ability to demonstrate the truth of a proposition would do so simply by demonstrating the truth of their claim instead of worrying about playing a game where winning is more important than establishing truth. How often do you see scientists basing the worth of their theories on a debate?

Debates may be useful in determining who is the better debater. Other than that, they are strictly entertainment. If someone wants to prove something they should bring the facts. Leave the games to the politicians.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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This is precisely why I

This is precisely why I insist on written "debates" if someone must debate. 

Honestly, though, this seems incredibly simple.  What's the monetary prize for winning the Nobel?  It's pretty big, if I recall.  All these internet hacks who claim to be able to do it are either:

1) Incredibly self centered -- after all, why would anyone want to hold back such an amazing proof from the world?

2) Full of it.

Every "debate" I've ever engaged in went something like this...

 

Theist: I can prove god.  blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (ad nauseum)

Atheist: That doesn't prove it.

Theist: Yes it does

Atheist: No it doesn't

Theist: Yes it does

Atheist: Where's your Nobel Prize?

(chirp...... chirp...... chirp)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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The no-interruption policy

The no-interruption policy I suggested is used virtually universally in all fair, civil, and rational debates. If either party feels that a falsehood has been asserted, then they'll be able to respond to it during their statement. Problem solved.

 Brian and Kelly are well-known core members of the RRS. Rook and Greydon are slightly less well-known, but nevertheless are (or are close to being) core members. That is my reason for wanting to debate any of them rather than message board posters like hamby and todangst.

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So your arguments only work

So your arguments only work with the most well-known members?


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Did I say that?

Did I say that?


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Gavagai wrote: Brian, You

Gavagai wrote:

Brian,

You say, "Get the idea of a debate out of your head, look at it like a conversation." Shouldn't the degree of confidence you place in your atheism warrant more than just a defense in an informal "conversation"?

Atheism means nothing to me, I have no confidence in "atheism."  I have confidence in your inability (along with every other human to ever live on this rock we call Earth) to give rational reasons to believe in your god.   My defense of being an atheist is your inability (and everyone else in the world) to give good reasons to be a theist.  When I say good, I mean logical, falsifiable, rational.

Good try in getting your 20 minute spew bullshit session on our show though.

 

Quote:
Why not defend it in a real debate with me?

Defend what?  Atheism again?  Look around this site, I've written hundreds of times as to many of the reasons one should not believe in a god.  

 

Quote:
If your atheism is rationally defensible, one would think that you'd be eager to participate in a serious debate.

I am eager to debate issues worth debating.  Want to compare the residual value of a Honda versus a Toyota and factor in reliability?  We can debate an issue like that all night if you want.

You seem to think you bring something to the table worthy of debating.  You don't, you apparently don't even understand what atheism is.  We'll talk with you and try to help you overcome your ridiculous beliefs in as civil and polite a manner as possible, that's what you can have as a promise. 

 Also... you'll get back from the show, what you give to us.  Turn in to a jerk, and you're likely to ed up on the phone with a few jerks.  Be nice, respectful, civil you're likely to get it right back.  (all things you'd know if you'd had listened to a few of our shows)

 

Quote:
You're objection against the interruption-free policy seems odd, since it is a policy that virtually all rational and civil debates are guided by.

You're inability to promise you won't refrain from making statements that are false, dishonest, fallacious, incorrect, or misleading is ironic.  You want me to compromise my show... then you compromise who you are too.

 

Quote:
(You are interested in a rational and civil debate, right?)

No.  You are interested in trying to defend your views in front of a crowd of folks capable of picking them apart right?  

You're off to a horrible start with me.  You see how I started this post telling you to get the idea of a debate out of your head, and then you go on to ask if I'm interested in debate with you?

Civility I can handle, please start with yourself.

 

Quote:
If you hear me assert a falsehood, you would of course be free to point it out during your rebuttal. Problem solved. So we can agree to no interruptions, and you can still point out whatever falsehoods you wish.

Apparently no we can't agree, and you're following a pattern of theists that have blazed the path for you.... ignore everything we say. 

 

Quote:
This is reasonable and fair.

Not on our show it doesn't.  It sounds like boring radio.

 

Quote:
As soon as you agree to it, we can discuss scheduling considerations.

When you seriously want to come on our show, and you've realized your not the director of it, let me know.

 

Quote:
We'll both have watches, and they'll be synchronized beforehand.

I think the audience should hold the watches.

 

Quote:
Here's a more specific breakdown of the format I have in mind:

Round 1: Opening statements. 10 min each

Round 2: Rebuttals. 7 min each

You really have no idea what you're walking in to.  Just no clue at all man.  80% of the audience here would tell you that hell would have to freeze over before we let someone come on and spew 10 minutes of bullshit in our ears.  No fucking way is it happening.   

 

Quote:
Round 3: Cross exam. We each get to ask the other party 3 questions (questions should be framed in under a minute). The other party will have 2 minutes to respond to each question.

This can be round 1, 2, and 3.

 

Quote:
Round 4: Closing statements. 5 min each.

3 mins.
 

Quote:

In any case, you seem more interested in the second resolution. So we can go with that one.

Take the second one, and take it on our forums.  I won't be responding again here until we're ready to book you.  This was a waste of time.
 

 

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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Gavagai wrote: Brian and

Gavagai wrote:

Brian and Kelly are well-known core members of the RRS. Rook and Greydon are slightly less well-known, but nevertheless are (or are close to being) core members. That is my reason for wanting to debate any of them rather than message board posters like hamby and todangst.

 This is insulting, juvenille, and falls in line with the cluelessness you've illustrated every step of the way.  I don't have the time to count the ways in which all of the people you mentioned are equals, but they are.  

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Gavagai wrote: Did I say

Gavagai wrote:
Did I say that?

Gavagai wrote:
Brian and Kelly are well-known core members of the RRS. Rook and Greydon are slightly less well-known, but nevertheless are (or are close to being) core members. That is my reason for wanting to debate any of them rather than message board posters like hamby and todangst.

 Well this sure seems like it.  You can only be bothered to debate someone who you consider well-known. 

I suspect that the real answer to this is ego-fun-time for Gavagai, so you can turn back to whomever you need to gain respect with and declare you went toe to toe with RRS people they may have heard of, thus elevating your own respect level somewhere.

 Or, as other people have pointed out, you might have identified particular weaknesses that each of them have exhibited and you have some sort of strategy to make them bumble over a point in a formal debate format.  (knocking over all the chess pieces and declaring victory once again)  

So, yes.  To either extent, your plan only works against "well-known" members because otherwise you don't get your own ego boost, or you're not exposed to specific people that you may have already found some sort of weakness in. 

If you've figured out the whole god thing, way to go! Write your book and make millions.  It's definitely information people will pay for.   


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Brian,  Yes, it is your

Brian,

 Yes, it is your show, and it would be unreasonable for me to try to tell you how to run it. That's why you'll notice that I never suggested being a guest on your show to begin with. We would debate on the phone (independently of your show), and each of us can personally record the call if we'd like. What's wrong with that?

 I did not assert (implicitly or explicitly) that the people above are not "equal" to you. I merely stated that they are less well-known, which is surely true, isn't it? Why then do you claim that my statement is "insulting" and "juvenille"?

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Stunt, You say that such

Stunt,

You say that such and such "seems like", or that you "suspect" this or that, or such and such "might" be the case. Is there anything you'd actually be willing to assert that is factual and substantive with concrete evidence to back it up? If not, why continue with the empty speculations and ambiguities?

Cheers,

Gavagai

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Gavagai wrote: Stunt, You

Gavagai wrote:

Stunt,

You say that such and such "seems like", or that you "suspect" this or that, or such and such "might" be the case. Is there anything you'd actually be willing to assert that is factual and substantive with concrete evidence to back it up? If not, why continue with the empty speculations and ambiguities?

Cheers,

Gavagai

Ok then, sport.  Tell us why you will only debate "well-known" members of this community.   


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First, given that Brian is

First, given that Brian is more widely heard of than, say, "todangst" or "hambydambit", the recording of the debate would receive more attention (and hence, more feedback) when distributed throughout various online venues.

Second, it's plainly more sensible to debate the most outspoken members of RRS. Brian is one of them.

Third, with all due respect to todangst and hambydambit as well as other members of this board, Brian (or Kelly) would most likely provide more of a challenge for me, judging from their writing. 

But I guess that's all irrelevant now, since Brian admits that he's not interested in engaging me in a fair, rational, and civil debate. Confident atheists like Richard Carrier, Christopher Hitchens, et al, have been perfectly prepared and willing to engage several of their detractors in serious debates, not merely informal conversations plagued with interruptions. Why won't Brian do the same?

 

 

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Richard Dawkins relatively

Richard Dawkins relatively famously refuses to take part in debates. Don't you understand the reason they refuse the absurd "no interruptions" rule - because you could spout off ridiculous things for 10 minutes and by that time nobody will remember everything to rebut. I think you shouldn't go on the show - it might be as bad as when Matt Slick was on and refused to answer questions - all he did was whine about them interrupting him and more than 1 person asking questions.

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MattShizzle,Your claim is

MattShizzle,

Your claim is factually incorrect. Dawkins just debated Lennox.

 Confident atheists like Carrier, Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al., have engaged theists in serious debates that included moderation to ensure no interruptions. Why won't Brian agree to a fair and rational debate?

The no-interruption agreement is decidedly far from being "absurd", since nearly all formal, rational, and civil debates employ such an agreement.

Cheers,

Gavagai

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Gavagai wrote: First,

Gavagai wrote:

First, given that Brian is more widely heard of than, say, "todangst" or "hambydambit", the recording of the debate would receive more attention (and hence, more feedback) when distributed throughout various online venues.

Yes, just think of all the extra publicity that would be brought to the RRS when the world found out they had dared to debate Gavagai. 

Quote:
Second, it's plainly more sensible to debate the most outspoken members of RRS. Brian is one of them.

I do not see why you would consider him more outspoken than  the others. You seem to be equating outspoken-ness with well known-ness which really makes this second point the same as the first. But it is always better when listing points in this manner to have more than two so... 

Quote:
Third, with all due respect to todangst and hambydambit as well as other members of this board, Brian (or Kelly) would most likely provide more of a challenge for me, judging from their writing.

Yes. Its about the challenge, isn't it?

The information you are able to present to support whatever proposition you wish to attempt to support does not change dependent on how much of a challenge your debate opponent is. But as I said, it isn't about truth is it? As your statement helps to demonstrate, it is a game; a contest to see who can win, where strategies are played out and tactics are employed. It is debate skill that matters, not truth or accuracy or evidence.      

Quote:
But I guess that's all irrelevant now, since Brian admits that he's not interested in engaging me in a fair, rational, and civil debate. Confident atheists like Richard Carrier, Christopher Hitchens, et al, have been perfectly prepared and willing to engage several of their detractors in serious debates, not merely informal conversations plagued with interruptions. Why won't Brian do the same?

Very probably because he knows how useless debates actually are. If someone wishes to show reason why people should believe in a 'god' they should simply show the reasons. Why does it require a debate? What purpose does the debate actually serve? 

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Vessel,No, actually it's

Vessel,

No, actually it's not about "debate skills" or "winning" a game, but thanks for speculating so much with so little evidence. I actually have no prior formal debate experience. I have academic training in philosophy. That's all. I'm honestly interested in seeing if Brian would like to accept my challenge and have some fun debating the issues with me. Debates can oftentimes highlight core questions surrounding the issues, which in turn is a step closer to arriving at the truth. The no-interruption agreement for the debate is to ensure fairness and civility. There are no hidden agendas or secret plans, and there is no "game".

 "Very probably because he knows how useless debates actually are."

Confident atheists like Hitchens, Carrier, Dawkins, et al. have apparently found them useful enough to actually engage in. Why won't Brian do the same?

Cheers,

Gavagai

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The veil is lifting.  If

The veil is lifting.  If Gav can prove theism is rational, what does it matter who is standing on the other side of the "debate"?  In his own words, it's about grand standing.  He wants to be able to say he took on Rook and Kelly.  It's not about proving theism.  It's about making a name for himself.  If this was really about proving theism, it wouldn't be important who argued against it.  If the argument is sound, the argument is sound.

Gav, you still haven't really addressed my question.  It's odd.  I seem to remember you doing that a lot when I trounced your linguistic "proof" that supernatural is not incoherent.

My question:  If you can prove that theism is rational, why are you wasting your time with small fry like RRS?  There are dozens of conservative think tanks who would love to run your proof on the front page of all the newspapers in the country.   Do you have something new?  If you do, the world would love to hear.  If you don't, what do you hope to accomplish?  We've deconstructed every apologist argument that any of us has ever heard of.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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