A Debate Going in Circles

Anonymous
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A Debate Going in Circles

Hello,

I've been a member on here for about a year or so, but I've never done much more than lurk around. I'm a pretty vocal atheist and rationalist in real life, but recently I've been having much more tooth-and-nail debate with theists. I've posted 6 YouTube videos about religion and I reliably receive threats, insults, and criticisms every one to three weeks. One such user, who goes by the name of Clark, has pursued a debate with me for a bit over a week now. That's fine with me. In fact, it invigorates me to have the opportunity to actually try to speak some sense with a religious folk versus dodging verbal bombshells.

But it has become so monotonous and cyclical that I am physically losing the strength to read this guy's messages and respond to the six-part messages daily. In order that I might accurately represent Clark, I will do my best to not summarize his points but rather give you actual citation of what he has said to me with no correction or markup of text. Of course, truncating this debate to what I merely choose to pick and pull is not fairness of any kind, but I'm just trying to weed out the bland stuff from the real important parts.

Firstly, it all began when I argued that there is an inherent philosophical flaw in the concept of the Christian God that comes from the flood. If one assumes that God exists and that the flood actually happened, then Biblical fact states that every single creature on Earth was drowned to death except for Noah's family and two pairs of every animal on Earth in a 450 foot boat. Sidestepping the debate over the arc, to flood the entire planet constitutes killing not only "sinning" adults, but also children too young to develop free thought or the ability to sin and animals, including their young, which could never commit any sort of moral treason. I said that this is not possible to argue as a morally justified act and therefore God made a mistake and therefore he is not perfect and so on and so forth. Again, this under the assumption, for sake of debate, that the flood thing is even plausible. Scientifically justifying that is a whole other essay.

Clark responded with this:

"if there is a god who inspired the writing of the bible, and he teaches that children should honor their fathers and mothers so that their days should be long, which i personally believe to be true, then that means that this is a god who frowns upon children who disrespect their parents. now you cant find me one instance in scripture where god tells any parent to kill their child the very first time or even the second time they are disrespectful. you cant even find me one scripture where the bible says that god arbitrarily or whimsically orders the death of any person, let alone a child."

In response to that, I cite the aforementioned flood as wanton murder of children and I cite Genesis 7:21-23 in which God floods the world and also Genesis 6:13 in which God says the reason was to rid the world of violence. I extend that to Exodus 12:29-30 when God kills all the firstborn of Egypt in a horrible curse to convince the Pharaoh to let the Jews go. Clark declines this as wanton murder because:

"people like you always forget one simple truth.....GOD HATES SIN! you dont, but god does! genesis shows conclusively that that generation was very wicked. thus, god judged it. yes, babies were killed in the flood, but its a documented fact that the actions of adults effect the lives of their children. you cant dispute this! i never hear skeptics admit to the fact that the adults in that time were guilty or responsible for their actions, which resulted in judgement. you always use "the babies" as a shield to disregard and exempt the adults of their wickedness which led to their demise."

Okay, Clark makes two valid points. God does hate sin, according to the Bible, and parents do have an effect on their children. That said, he is making the claim that children are clones of their parents. Being influenced by and being identical to somebody are two very different things. Therefore, these children could not have done anything that was so morally unjust that they deserved to be killed. Secondly, God hates sin yet he violates his own code. Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not kill. This act makes God the #1 genocidal killer ever to have existed, yet it's okay because he's God. After I tell this to him, this is where Clark says some things I never would have imagined:

besides, THE BIBLE doesn't teach us to kill disrespectful rebellious kids, the old testament did. the bible consists of two parts, the old testament and the new testament. the passage you referenced is from the old testament. the true people of god no longer live under that law of moses. gentiles never did. you cant find that teaching in the new testament. thus, you are wrong again in saying that THE BIBLE teaches us to kill rebellious kids. i am not dismissing the fact that its in there and that it came from god, just showing you that the bible as a whole must be properly interpreted.

At this point, Clark dismisses one section of the Bible, which he directly attributes to God himself, while simultaneously confirming the validity of the Bible. His personal judgment has apparently transcended that of the God he worships. I can't find any way to rationalize how you could argue that realistically. It gets stranger:

"a disobedient and disrespectful child deserves to have his life taken after all corrective measures have been exhausted and been found to be ineffective. laws are also written to deter bad behavior. show me one instance in scripture where some child broke this law and was stoned to death by the elders."

I've heard about religious insanity and seen it from afar, but this is the closest I've ever been to it in reality. I take into account that he's saying it should be after "all corrective measures have been exhausted," but at exactly what point do you decide that and who has the wisdom to do that anyway? I just don't see how he believes that killing a child is okay, even the fact that this is stemming from my argument that God killed infants! How is an infant at all disobedient or disrespectful? They can't even walk for crying out loud.

Look, this debate continues on and on for dozens of messages and I could quote again and again where Clark is contradicting himself. I just wanted to show you some of the parts that really blew my mind. I am omitting my own account of scientific evidence for the theory of Evolution, the Big Bang, and calculated significance of a human being in relation to the planet, the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe. I cite proof of the Big Bang via measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation, Friedmann models, and measurements of light spectra of distant galaxies which indicate spacial expansion. I used genetic variation examples to demonstrate natural selection, I cited the archaeopteryx, ambulocetus, and protohomonids as transitional fossils, I mean, I pulled every bit of science I know on top of rationalized philosophy and Clark just dismisses my evidence. This is one of his honest-to-goodness replies to my evidence (referencing the Big Bang in this case):

"are most secular scientists REALLY trying to find the true origin of the universe? are they totally unbiased and 100% open to whatever the data reveals? or could it be that they're just trying to find data that supports their preconceived theory? is it possible that they could have found data that supports creation, and just discarded it? if they were to find evidence that supports creation, would they publish it? would publishing such data cost them their social status? their reputations. or even their careers. could these things factor into the "data" they find and publish? would finding and publishing data contrary to the evolutionary model contradict and totally discredit any previous research they've published before and won awards for? if this is at all possible, and you are NOT a dumb guy, then that means at least some of the data you get from these men who label themselves "evolutionary scientists" is already predetermined. would you agree?"

He called it a conspiracy theory. He said that to me in all seriousness and I just can't wrap my head around why someone would do that. I attribute it to his willingness to remain ignorant to science, but come on, I can't even respond to that beyond being totally slack-jawed. It's like someone saying that mathematicians are really just paid off by the government to do nothing even though we have jet airliners, we've been to the moon, and we can accurately land a rover on mars to within meters, all predicted perfectly by math.

So I guess the question is this: I've never given up on a religious debate with anyone, should I give in now? I just keep saying the same things over and over and putting down all sorts of pseudoscience he throws at me, but this guy is totally unwilling to correct even the smallest errors when they are in the teeth of evidence. I don't intend on convincing him to revoke religion, I just want him to realize that my atheism is not, as he attributes it, due to a fear of God or a desire to be rebellious and chaotic, but that it stems from empirical truths and philosophical improbabilities. Is it just not worth it?

 


Susan
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It sounds like your buddy

It sounds like your buddy Clark is a "La La La I Can't Hear You" xian.

The last message you quote could easily be turned on him.

"are most secular  THEIST scientists REALLY trying to find the true origin of the universe? are they totally unbiased and 100% open to whatever the data reveals? or could it be that they're just trying to find data that supports their preconceived theory? is it possible that they could have found data that supports creation EVOLUTION, and just discarded it? if they were to find evidence that supports creation EVOLUTION, would they publish it? would publishing such data cost them their social status OR WOULD THEY BE SHUNNED FROM THEIR CHURCH? their reputations. or even their careers. could these things factor into the "data" they find and publish? would finding and publishing data contrary to the evolutionary ID model contradict and totally discredit any previous research they've published before and OBVIOUSLY NOT won awards FROM ANY RESPECTED SCIENTIFIC GROUP for? if this is at all possible, and you are NOT a dumb guy  TRULY THE BLIND PERSON YOU SEEM TO BE, then that means at least some of the data you get from these men who label themselves "evolutionary scientists CREATIONISTS" is already predetermined DEBUNKED. would you agree?"

 Or, you could just throw your hands in the air, roll your eyes and move on because you'll never make a dent in this guys ideology.

My advice, just ignore him.

 

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