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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Hambydammit
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Quote: Confident atheists

Quote:
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?

Dawkins doesn't debate as a general rule.  Brian, if you hadn't noticed, does debate, and he did it on ABC Nightline before a national audience.  Why don't you tell us what benefit it is to us to bring the well known and always insightful Gavagai onto the show to show yet again that theists don't have a leg to stand on?

Seems like all the benefit goes to you if we do this.  You get to say you debated Brian, and we get to say that we had some dude from our board on the show.

 

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

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So as snappy as he got with

So as snappy as he got with me, it IS just for attention.  

 


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Gavagai wrote: Vessel, No,

Gavagai wrote:

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.

Gavagai,

Speculating on what with so little evidence? That debates are games and that it is all about debate skill and winning? Well, that's hardly speculation. Ask anyone who has ever been on a debate team. The truth is unimportant as to who wins a debate. I never claimed you had prior formal debate experience and whether you do or not really has nothing to do with whether or not debates are simply games and whether or not winning or losing debates are at all dependent on the truth of the proposition that is being defended or proposed.  

Quote:
I'm honestly interested in seeing if Brian would like to accept my challenge and have some fun debating the issues with me.

It is not about fun. Someone who wishes to debate for fun is not worried about rights to publish. I am sure you want to debate because you think you can win and you see some benefit in it. Goody for ya'. That doesn't change the points I made. 

Quote:
Debates can oftentimes highlight core questions surrounding the issues, which in turn is a step closer to arriving at the truth.

Core issues can be highlighted in many ways. Formal debate is set up as a contest. 

Quote:
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".

I have no ideas what hidden agendas have to do with my comment to you. And of course, if one was to enter into a formal debate, there would be a no interruption poicy. If there wasn't it wouldn't be a formal debate. None of this changes the fact that formal debates are nothing more than games.

Quote:
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?

You can use the term 'confident' before the word atheists, when referring to these high profile atheists, as often as you like in an attempt to goad the RRS into debating, but, being as that they are over twelve years old, you might as well just drop the 'confident'. It really is just pointless extra typing. 

As for these high profile atheists finding debates useful, they probably do help sell books, which in turn helps to disseminate the information contained within those books.

Of course, you also must realize that whether those others have found debates useful to engage in has nothing to do with whether or not anyone else finds them useful to engage in so your question of why doesn't Brian do the same really doesn't follow from your pointing out that these others engage in debates. For all I know Brian does think debates are useful and simply doesn't think debating you is useful. I'm sure Hitchens, Dawkins, et al. don't accept every debate request they receive.

Anyway, been great talking to you. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. 


“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


Gavagai
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I never said it was "just"

I never said it was "just" for attention, although I'm sure some attention would arise as a result. I also never said it was for making a name for myself. My real name isn't even "Gavagai", and I never even asked to be on the show. Stunt and Hamby: please stop putting words in my mouth and accusing me of saying things I never actually said. Please stop speculating without evidence about what my motives are.  I've been upfront from the beginning.

Brian has explicitly answered "no" to the question of whether he is interested in a civil and rational debate. So there's really not much more I can do, short of him changing his mind.

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How about the new Gavagai

How about the new Gavagai drinking game?

Every time he uses the words "civil and rational" to mean "done exactly the way I want to so I can manipulate things like a lawyer or talk radio pundit does" you take a drink. You'd probably feel like shit if you started this at the beginning of the thread!

 

Drunk

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Gavagai
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Vessel, You're speculating

Vessel,

You're speculating (without evidence) that debates must be mere games. Maybe some are, but not all, and certainly not the one I would hope to have with Brian. I have several close friends on the debate team here on my university campus, and they would tell you that debates are not mere "games" to them. Debates can indeed be used to clarify key issues, question deeply held assumptions, and get people to think more carefully -- things that are patently conducive to getting at truth for its own sake.

Further, I put the word 'confident' in front of the names of atheists like Hitchens, Dawkins, and others, well, because they're confident! You again speculate without evidence that I'm doing so rather as some sort of trick to "goad" RRS into debating. Huh? I'm not even sure that makes sense. Why must you continually distort my motives? I called them confident because that's the truth. I said they debate because they do. Brian won't, and he admits he's not interested in rational and civil debate.

Cheers,

Gavagai

 

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Gavagai
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Mattshizzle, Are you

Mattshizzle,

Are you prepared to deny that rational and civil debates have moderation to ensure that there are no interruptions?

If not, then what exactly was the point of your last post?

 

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Gavagai
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Mattshizzle,Are you

.


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***drink***

***drink***


Gavagai
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Were you going to answer

Were you going to answer the question?


stuntgibbon
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  MattShizzle

 

MattShizzle wrote:
***drink***

 Careful, with your rules Gavagai will take your life. 


Vessel
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Gavagai wrote: Further, I

Gavagai wrote:

Further, I put the word 'confident' in front of the names of atheists like Hitchens, Dawkins, and others, well, because they're confident! You again speculate without evidence that I'm doing so rather as some sort of trick to "goad" RRS into debating. Huh? I'm not even sure that makes sense. Why must you continually distort my motives?

 Do you know what goad means? 

Anyway, if you say that by using 'confident' before the word 'atheist', in the manner you did, you weren't trying to insinuate that, being as that Brian did not want to debate he is not a 'confident atheist', and thereby perhaps incite him into accepting the debate challenge you offered then, well, I would say you are lying. Maybe I am speculating without evidence, but if so, so be it. There is simply no other reason I can see to write 'confident atheists' several posts in a row like that. I am fairly certain you don't always refer to them in such a manner whether you think them confident or not.

Alrighty then. Later. 

 


“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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Gavagai's  thread If you

Gavagai's  thread

If you have anything absolute anything, let's see it Gavagai


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I don't think any of them

I don't think any of them could sit there for all that time without calling bullshit. And of course with those rules he could put all kinds of bullshit and logical fallacies in the conclusion or somewhere else where there's no reply. That's why that format would never work with theists or other especially irrational people. It would only work where both parties are honest (not using the format to avoid having what they say challenged) and know and follow the rules of logic.

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stuntgibbon

stuntgibbon wrote:

 

MattShizzle wrote:
***drink***

 Careful, with your rules Gavagai will take your life. 

LOL! Good point! This would make "Hi Bob" look tame. Might have to have a rule for a group that whoever's thae last to call bullshit after he says it has to drink. Might save people a trip to the ER.

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Quote: Gavagai's  thread

Quote:

Gavagai's  thread

If you have anything absolute anything, let's see it Gavagai

LOL.  We'll all be holding our breath.

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:

Gavagai's thread

If you have anything absolute anything, let's see it Gavagai

LOL. We'll all be holding our breath.

 

 

Not me, I'll be drinking some fine ales.  


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Hambydammit wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:
Dawkins doesn't debate as a general rule.

As far as I'm aware, Dawkin's only exception to debating is creationists in a scientific debate.
I think that Dawkin's would be more than happy to use the 'official debate format' for a fellow scientist, one who he thought was bringing something interesting to the table.

Gav, the thing with official debate format is it's a kind of 'ritual' for 'special occasions'. It's good for TV shows and the like when celebrity minds pit their points against each other in a presentable way. It's not for everyone though.
It's kind of like a televised 'intellectual boxing match', split into rounds.
It kind of works best if both sides have some kind of celebrity status, making it interesting for the viewers.
RRS don't have the celebrity status to get one with the president and you don't seem to have enough to get one with them.

It's a shame that you're so dead set on going for the 'big guns'.
Last time you were here your argument intrigued me as you were bringing in my favourite topics. I'd made a point and you said something along the lines of:
"Interesting point. If Todangst agrees with it then we'll carry on."
I really think that you should drop this tactic of trying to go straight for the 'big guy'. Hamby, for example, doesn't have his name up on the top banner but if you were to change his mind of a point through debate it would be significantly noticed by the rest of us. We'd all be intruigued to see what had changed his mind.

Wouldn't you rather build a genuine interest in your arguments rather than to try and demand attention?


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Vessel, "Maybe I am

Vessel,

"Maybe I am speculating without evidence, but if so, so be it."

 That's irrational.

 The reason I called Hitchens and the other confident is because they are. Period.

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Gavagai
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Mattshizzle, You seem to be

Mattshizzle,

You seem to be forgetting that if Brian hears me say anything that he thinks is false, he has a chance to respond during his statement. Conversely, if I heard Brian say anything I thought false, I'd also have a chance to explain why it's false.

If we both kept interrupting each other everytime we thought the other person was saying something false, there would hardly be any progress in the debate.

Cheers,

Gavagai

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Bump

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In the Dawkins/Lennox

In the Dawkins/Lennox debate, Dawkins used his introduction to introduce himself; Lennox said a few words about himself, took a breath, and launched directly into his argument. This forced Dawkins into rebuttal mode from the beginning. Hitchens spent much of his debate with D'Souza dealing with a rapid-fire of red-herrings conflating atheism with communism. In terms of an argument against the existence of a deity, there's not a lot that needs to be said by the atheist side since the burden of proof isn't on them. This leaves the atheist the exhausting task of correcting misrepresentations, and trying to keep track of fallacies. I see no reason why a formal debate format should be preferable to written, unless one banks on exploiting the specific advantages of the format. If an argument is solid, being able to write it down in detail should only reinforce it.


Gavagai
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Strafio, I explained

Strafio,

I explained earlier why I'd prefer to debate Brian rather than members of this board. Take a look at pages 1 & 2.

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stuntgibbon
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Gavagai

Gavagai wrote:

Mattshizzle,

You seem to be forgetting that if Brian hears me say anything that he thinks is false, he has a chance to respond during his statement. Conversely, if I heard Brian say anything I thought false, I'd also have a chance to explain why it's false.

If we both kept interrupting each other everytime we thought the other person was saying something false, there would hardly be any progress in the debate.

Cheers,

Gavagai

 

This here highlights the problem with the format.  If a person is using his time to point out bullshit, there's little time left over to make their own point.  Someone can then say "all Brian did was complain about what Gavagai said instead of making his own points."

  Which seems unavoidable if (A) this format is used and (B) your arguments are full of bullshit that needs rebuttal.  Might this be the crux of your trap?


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Strafio wrote: As far as

Strafio wrote:
As far as I'm aware, Dawkin's only exception to debating is creationists in a scientific debate.

That's probably so, though I suspect if a philosopher wanted to debate him on the rationality of theism in general, he would also decline.

Not a big deal, really.

Anyway, here's the thing with debate. I've seen Hitchens debates, and sometimes he's looked really good. Sometimes, he's looked mediocre. The thing is, his position on religion is correct, regardless of how he does in a debate.

Something else has occurred to me about Gav's insistence on taking out the big man. It's not very Christian. For that matter, it doesn't square with most of the major religions. If he's got something that could change our minds, and he's holding it back because he wants to debate the big guy, then wouldn't that be... what's that cardinal sin called.... um...

PRIDE?

 

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

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Quote: This here

Quote:

This here highlights the problem with the format.  If a person is using his time to point out bullshit, there's little time left over to make their own point.  Someone can then say "all Brian did was complain about what Gavagai said instead of making his own points."

  Which seems unavoidable if (A) this format is used and (B) your arguments are full of bullshit that needs rebuttal.  Might this be the crux of your trap?

Very clever grasshopper... er... monkey... er... ape...

 

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

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Stunt,I'm sure both Brian

Stunt,

 

"If a person is using his time to point out bullshit, there's little time left over to make their own point."

That's why the debate is divided up into segments of opening statements and rebuttals. You're supposed to point out bullshit for part of the debate. What's the problem with that? It wouldn't be much of a debate without rebuttals, right? I'm sure both Brian and I would think the other is "spouting bullshit" eventually. This is why the rebuttal round is reserved for calling it out. It's why debates are structured with "rebuttal" statements to begin with. You seem not to be familiar with the way debates work. The purpose of having no interruptions is merely to prevent unfairness and incivility. That's all.  Brian would also have the closing statement.  He would have ample opportunity to take my position apart. If he was so sure that he could do it, he would invite the opportunity for debate. 

Hamby,

I'm not a Christian, at least not in any ordinary sense. I don't think of myself as prideful either. But thanks for speculating again and jumping to conclusions for which you have no evidence.


 

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Gavagai wrote:   Here's a

Gavagai wrote:

 

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.

 

 Gavagai ? forgive my ignorance in such technical matters, but it is technically possible in 10 minutes of continuous uninterrupted bullshit, to squeeze in more than three fallacies ? 

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Gavagai's thread

If you have anything absolute anything, let's see it Gavagai

? so you have nothing Gavagai absolutely nothing, you just want to spend 10 minutes bullshiting, in the name of truth is this essentially correct ?


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Rev, What are you talking

Rev,

What are you talking about?


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Gavagai wrote:

Gavagai wrote:

 

Cross exam. We each get to ask the other party 3 questions (questions should be framed in under a minute).


Is it technically possible in 10 minutes of continuous uninterrupted bullshit, to squeeze in more than three fallacies ? ( if you have trouble with comprehension I can rephrase the question if you like)

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Gavagai's thread

If you have anything absolute anything, let's see it Gavagai

? so you have nothing Gavagai absolutely nothing, you just want to spend 10 minutes bullshiting, in the name of truth is this essentially correct ?

 

( if you have trouble with comprehension I can rephrase the question if you like)

 


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Gavagai wrote: Confident

Gavagai wrote:

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?

FWIW: Quite a few important atheists (including atheist participants of these "debate&quotEye-wink agree with me that those "debates sucked.  Formal debates are horrible if you want the truth to come out, that's why theists like them so much. 

I could go on for a while as to how much you're making a fool of yourself........ time waster. 

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How about, Gavagai writes a

How about, Gavagai writes a new paper on whatever's on his mind.  We'll write well thought-out responses, to which he can never reply to and disappear for a couple months and reappear to demand a formal debate with Kelly's socks.


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Here are the reasons you

Here are the reasons you gave:

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.

So if you were lining up a special event then bring in the celebrities.
The thing is, if you get the right to 'pick the celeb opponent' then shouldn't they too? If you were a more notable celeb of theism then maybe they'd have a reason want you in their special event.

Not that I blame you for trying.
My problem is that you seem to refuse to debate outside of 'special event'. When you last came here challenging Todangst, you acknowledged I'd made a point and then said that you wouldn't address it until Todangst was 'there' too.

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

Even if they were more outspoken, I don't see that as a reason to limit your debate to them.

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.

You mean to say that you didn't find Todangst or Hamby challenging enough in the last thread?
Add this to what I wrote in the previous post, and the empirical evidence of what your current approach is achieving, and I think I've made a case that your 'going for the big guns' is a bad move in every way!


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Gavagai got the hat!

Gavagai got the hat! ROTF


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Did Gavagai change his

Did Gavagai change his avatar or Is a rude arrogant asshat moderator being ironic?


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I'm not aware of any mods

I'm not aware of any mods being rude arrogant asshats.  If someone has been one, knock it off.

 

 

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

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Eloise wrote: Did Gavagai

Eloise wrote:

Did Gavagai change his avatar or Is a rude arrogant asshat moderator being ironic?

To a dark place this line of thought takes us.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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I don't much care for formal

I don't much care for formal debates, nor for any form of spoken debate. If both people are being civil and fair within a written debate, there's truly nothing to complain about.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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Heh. The Asshat avatar

Heh. The Asshat avatar seems to be the answer to our question. Truly, I don't feel too bad about this. Gav is kind of an asshat. First he comes in here demanding to debate a core member, then he insults todangst's and my intelligence, then he refuses to debate any of us grunts. It's not that my intelligence never gets questioned -- hell, if that's all it was, I'd just stick my tongue out, cross my eyes, and tell him to go sit and spin. It's more that someone comes in here and tries to tell us how to run our show, and then insults the people making it possible. Regardless of whether he "deserves" a debate or not, he's being an asshat.

He had many, many chances to prove himself a worthy debate opponent, and all he proved was that he either does not understand his errors, or refuses to admit them.

 

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

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Gavagai,  The problem with

Gavagai,

 The problem with the debate format you're suggesting is that you're essentially letting both sides preach to their respective choirs for a little while, and then you have rebuttals and counter-rebuttals which constitute an inefficient method for proving anything.

If I say I have a quarter, a nickel and a dime in my pocket, and you say "Prove it", then the burden is on me to prove to you that I in fact have those denominations of coin in my pocket.

If you say that some kind of supreme being exists and we say "Prove it", then the burden of proof is on you. But we know from experience that your "proof" will most likely be riddled with errors and contestable statements right from the start. So why should you be allowed to build a case that is founded on mistakes? If your case is any good, then each linear point you make to build that case should be good as well.

The only case we can make as atheists is to take your case and disassemble it, because the burden of proof can't be on us since we're taking the negative position.

So if you think you have something to prove, write it down in your best English, present it to whichever RRS admin you want (since that's who you seem to be fixated on) and they'll probably be glad to respond to it and post it out on the Internet for all to see.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?