Total Posts:48|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Why should atheists waste their time...

Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 1:51:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Debating religion.

Religious folk claim there's a book written a very long time ago in a different language revealing objective truth.

If atheists point out a something wrong with the book, theists have a tried and ture list of annoying rebuttals available

-It was a metaphor
-It makes sense if you translate it a different way
-It makes sense if you take it in historical context
-It does not count because it was corrupted (we know it is corrupted because it is wrong... lol)

So why should I become an ancient historian? Why should I become an expert linguist? Why should I become a textual forensics expert?

The religious advocates on these forums are content to link evidence from www.myreligionisright.com, but the academic fields themselves exhibit heavy religious bias. No atheist is going to dedicate his life to studying a holy book. If he does, he probably has severe mental and emotional problems compromising his work.

I'd also question the competence of experts in these disciplines. If they're twice as competent as PhDs in liberal arts, they aren't half qualified enough. The feedback mechanism on their work is inherently political, not scientific. If an author is wrong about a historical fact it will not matter. In fact he may sell more books/gain notoriety/etc.

So the debate is very very long and tedious, requiring a level of (technical) competence possessed by neither participant. Combine this with shifting and circular interpretive standards, and the debate is fully retarded.

This is why no ground is ever gained for or against religious wackjobs. They have arbitrarily decided that a certain arcane text is objectively true, and are asking us to work forwards to the "truth" when they themselves have worked backwards. No wonder we arrive at different conclusions!

It is complete trolling. Don't take the bait unless you're feeling masochistic.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:01:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I could not agree more. The existence of God debates are a bit old now eh? What's been said that hasn't been said before 8,000 times? I don't mind the internal debates between Christians, but the usual stuff on religion makes me want to jump out my ground floor window.

I also would welcome a debate on spiritual principles and their application in life, but relgion, and religious text, atheist versus theist, no more thanks.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:01:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Many religious people do switch to Atheism and many Atheists do convert to various religions. (Not that Atheism and religion are exclusive. See Jainism, Taoism, and Buddhism; atheistic religions.)

Also, you act as if the debate is only on scriptural accuracy. This is not the case, many debates focus on whether God exists despite the accuracy of any holy book. Also, you don't need to be an expert on literature and history just to understand what the central tenets of a religion are.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:07:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:01:16 PM, innomen wrote:
I could not agree more. The existence of God debates are a bit old now eh?

Trying to figure out the fundamental questions about existence hardly gets old.

What's been said that hasn't been said before 8,000 times?

I just created a brand new argument against God last week. Surely that hasn't been said 8,000 times before.

I don't mind the internal debates between Christians, but the usual stuff on religion makes me want to jump out my ground floor window.

Why do you make the exception for internal debate? Isn't that even more insignificant than the regular debates about the truth of religious claims?

I also would welcome a debate on spiritual principles and their application in life, but relgion, and religious text, atheist versus theist, no more thanks.

Spiritual principle and their application in life aren't at all related to religion or religious text according to you? How. Especially given that your spiritual principles come from something called Christianity.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:10:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Also, you act as if the debate is only on scriptural accuracy. This is not the case, many debates focus on whether God exists despite the accuracy of any holy book. Also, you don't need to be an expert on literature and history just to understand what the central tenets of a religion are.

The grounds depend ENTIRELY on what the theist wants them to be. If they believe in god cus it says so on a napkin, there are no technicals. If they believe in god because of an ancient religious text thousands of pages long and use the fallback arguments I listed above, the debate now depends of technical ability spanning several disciplines, and the debate becomes impossible.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:12:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Presumably atheists don't debate in an attempt to convince religious "wackjobs", but reasonable religious people who are willing to change their minds.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:15:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In theory, debating a "reasonable" religious person over an ancient text still suffers from the inherent defects mentioned in the OP.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:20:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:10:12 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 4/18/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Also, you act as if the debate is only on scriptural accuracy. This is not the case, many debates focus on whether God exists despite the accuracy of any holy book. Also, you don't need to be an expert on literature and history just to understand what the central tenets of a religion are.

The grounds depend ENTIRELY on what the theist wants them to be. If they believe in god cus it says so on a napkin, there are no technicals. If they believe in god because of an ancient religious text thousands of pages long and use the fallback arguments I listed above, the debate now depends of technical ability spanning several disciplines, and the debate becomes impossible.

Those Theist fallback arguments are easy to defeat. A text means what it says until demonstrated otherwise. If a Theist wants to claim that a passage is a metaphor, different meaning with historical context, etc.
the burden is on them to demonstrate why this is so!
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:20:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:12:48 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Presumably atheists don't debate in an attempt to convince religious "wackjobs", but reasonable religious people who are willing to change their minds.

I don't expect to convince anyone with my debates. That's not the point of debates on this site at least not for me. It's more fun to argue pointlessly.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:27:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In my experience, detailed academic knowledge is not required to change someone's mind on any issue, religious or not. Just the act of clearly presenting an alternative viewpoint often makes someone question their own and many people are quite willing to be persuaded by layman's arguments (whether it's rational to do so or not).
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:27:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:20:36 PM, socialpinko wrote:
anyone with my debates. That's not the point of debates on this site at least not for me. It's more fun to argue pointlessly.

That too. :)
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:31:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:20:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 4/18/2011 2:10:12 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 4/18/2011 2:01:32 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Also, you act as if the debate is only on scriptural accuracy. This is not the case, many debates focus on whether God exists despite the accuracy of any holy book. Also, you don't need to be an expert on literature and history just to understand what the central tenets of a religion are.

The grounds depend ENTIRELY on what the theist wants them to be. If they believe in god cus it says so on a napkin, there are no technicals. If they believe in god because of an ancient religious text thousands of pages long and use the fallback arguments I listed above, the debate now depends of technical ability spanning several disciplines, and the debate becomes impossible.

Those Theist fallback arguments are easy to defeat. A text means what it says until demonstrated otherwise. If a Theist wants to claim that a passage is a metaphor, different meaning with historical context, etc.
the burden is on them to demonstrate why this is so!

They are not easy to defeat because half of them rely on historical/linguistic claims. The other half are slippery too. Can you prove that a sentence is(n't) a metaphor? It either is or it isn't. The way you know is whether or not its a metaphor is it makes sense to interpret it literally = circular logic.

Normal human beings don't have problems with metaphors because our metaphors are well established (raining cats and dogs), or we can just go back and correct ourselves. Unfortunately no dialogue can be opened with a thousand year old book, so we're kind of in the dark.
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 2:45:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:07:39 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 4/18/2011 2:01:16 PM, innomen wrote:
I could not agree more. The existence of God debates are a bit old now eh?

Trying to figure out the fundamental questions about existence hardly gets old.

Trying to figure out? Ha ha ha ha ha.

What's been said that hasn't been said before 8,000 times?

I just created a brand new argument against God last week. Surely that hasn't been said 8,000 times before.

Doubt very much it's original, and if it's one of your tedious semantic based arguments, save it.
I don't mind the internal debates between Christians, but the usual stuff on religion makes me want to jump out my ground floor window.

Why do you make the exception for internal debate? Isn't that even more insignificant than the regular debates about the truth of religious claims?

Personal interest, and I don't see as many of them.
I also would welcome a debate on spiritual principles and their application in life, but religion, and religious text, atheist versus theist, no more thanks.

Spiritual principle and their application in life aren't at all related to religion or religious text according to you? How. Especially given that your spiritual principles come from something called Christianity.
They are related to text and religion, what's your point? I don't care about the text and the religion as much as I do the principle and it's application. The minutia of the translation of the parable is about as interesting to me as boiled wonder bread.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 4:56:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The fact of the matter is, people are going to read these texts and get wildly different meanings than was intended simply because language changes over time. If the words themselves do not change, the understandings of these words change.

Whether the holy text of your choice is metaphorical or not is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, people place authority on these words because of the fact that the text is considered holy. That is the problem.

As soon as you get a text that allows for many different, wildly different interpretations, it becomes ineffective at delivering the message that was originally intended.

I think the problem that most people have when interpreting religious texts is that they do not interpret them as if they have an understanding of reality. They look at a scripture in one light instead of many different lights. They think shallowly on it.

Biblical literalism obviously is a stance that does require deep thinking when interpreting scripture. However, looking at a text literally has its uses... As the best way to see how badly something can be interpreted is to do so literally.

An atheist has reason to study religion as much as an atheist has reason to study anything else. Holy texts are relevant to many different fields of study.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 5:05:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, while theists are often times no better when it comes to interpreting text, they have reason to point out when a non-believer extracts something stupid from their scriptures.

Atheists and theists all around the board are absolutely terrible at interpreting scripture.

Atheists are bad at interpreting scripture because more often than not, they are trying to attack it. They are trying to find holes in it.

Theists are bad at interpreting scripture, because they believe it is sacred, and often times are willing to suspend their own better judgement to keep that scripture in a holy place.

Both sides are bias against or for the scripture in question. Because of this, their interpretations are often times nonsensical, worthless, and most likely contrary to the original meaning.

As for the texts themselves, people take them very seriously. Even though it really doesn't matter, these texts still have a lasting effect on the world. The texts themselves are not to be blamed for this.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:23:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There are different interpretations of political ideologies, simple philosophical concepts, and everything else. Just because a person is religion does not mean that you can put him in a box with all other religious people.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:27:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:23:21 PM, Mirza wrote:
There are different interpretations of political ideologies, simple philosophical concepts, and everything else. Just because a person is religion does not mean that you can put him in a box with all other religious people.
*religous
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:31:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 2:01:16 PM, innomen wrote:
I also would welcome a debate on spiritual principles and their application in life, but relgion, and religious text, atheist versus theist, no more thanks.
I don't really see the difference. The spiritual principles and their application in life seems to be quite a personal thing. In order to help guiding other people, what should I tell them? Seek God? How do they seek God? Through arrogance, humbleness, anything else? Well it will go to the point where I give answers that simply constitute what is called a religion. That's why I think that when even you preach, you preach religion. Sure, it is not with accordance to a specific scripture, but it is still religion. You believe that a person finds God through humbleness and good character, right? Is that belief not the same as religion which simply sets criteria for belief, too? I think so.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:47:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@ Innomen -- I might take you up on the debate insofar as there is no such thing as spiritual lol. So I highly doubt "spiritual" concepts are applicable to my life, though admittedly I use the word a lot when I'm too lazy to think of an appropriate word. For instance in another thread I just said that marriage was more "spiritual" than legal. I don't believe in spirits but I think semantics aside everyone got the gist.

Another thing I have to repeat (even though I very much like you as a person and think you are very intelligent) is that the "spiritual" talk is just nonsense. Basically you read about what a guy named Jesus allegedly said and you find it nice and inspirational... so you basically disregard all of the problems with accepting theism, and hold onto a belief in God just because you like Jesus so much. Well I love Jesus too! If I could smoke a blunt with anyone dead or alive it would be Jesus ;) But that doesn't prove anything. I don't see how you're sick of religious debates when you get out of pretty much every one of them by just saying that you appreciate the message in the gospels and disregard the stuff that's too inconvenient to try and defend. It's silly. The bible is basically a compilation of perpetuated myths (historical fact) mixed in with cultural references (historical fact) and a few people's ideals that you accept were divinely inspired because you like what they had to say.
President of DDO
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:51:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@ Sieben -- I agree with you; however, I echo the sentiments made by the person who said that discussing with REASONABLE theists is engaging. If someone enters a debate with the mindset to win, then almost nothing will get them to back down (especially with a concept such as God). But if they have an open mind and want to seek truth, then I think it could be very useful. I can't speak for everyone but I'm willing to bet a majority of atheists on this site were once theist. I was VERY religious for a long time, and it was through acknowledging discrepancies that led me to (surprisingly very quickly) accept atheism... so why not help point them out to others? I agree it's getting very boring for me personally but hey if I'm in the mood (or other atheists want to) then I can see the appeal. Also don't forget that theists are shaping POLITICS with their ridiculousness, so it may be in my best interest to try and convert some crazies.

Think about it though. There are grown men on this site seriously advocating a Santa-like story! They're not going to embarrass themselves by going down without a fight. All they can do is hold on (much like you think TAA responds to you just to save face). Not only that but they harbor deep rooted fear and guilt of denial. It's only through pointing out obvious discrepancies and problems that people might have the courage to deny something they've been brainwashed to believe is so vehemently true. My good friend Mike irl is like a religious version of Freedo, constantly changing his beliefs. Well all of a sudden he decided he was a theist. Every time he would say something stupid I would challenge it. He would get defensive and say I was attacking. I said, "Not at all. I'm merely pointing out the flawed reasoning. How is it not flawed? And if it is flawed, then...?" He'd be stumped. Yesterday he told me he's back to being an atheist. So hey if I can SAVE at least one person, then it's worth it :) Cody was an authoritarian turned objectivist. Vi entered this site a libertarian and now espouses views closer to communism (you know what I mean). So DDO can be effective I suppose. I know it's different from religion though, so I see what you're saying.
President of DDO
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:52:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:31:30 PM, Mirza wrote:
You believe that a person finds God through humbleness and good character, right? Is that belief not the same as religion which simply sets criteria for belief, too? I think so.

I believe that a person finds happiness through good character. I'm an atheist.
President of DDO
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:54:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:52:13 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 4/18/2011 9:31:30 PM, Mirza wrote:
You believe that a person finds God through humbleness and good character, right? Is that belief not the same as religion which simply sets criteria for belief, too? I think so.

I believe that a person finds happiness through good character. I'm an atheist.
I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God, but vice versa. Your point is irrelevant. A person can open a door by pushing it. He can also do that by kicking it. Point irrelevant.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 9:58:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:54:50 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/18/2011 9:52:13 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 4/18/2011 9:31:30 PM, Mirza wrote:
You believe that a person finds God through humbleness and good character, right? Is that belief not the same as religion which simply sets criteria for belief, too? I think so.

I believe that a person finds happiness through good character. I'm an atheist.
I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God, but vice versa. Your point is irrelevant. A person can open a door by pushing it. He can also do that by kicking it. Point irrelevant.

Actually neither your first comment to innomen nor your dumb reply to me made any sense whatsoever, but I'm going to take Sieben's advice and not even bother engaging with you because it's a waste of my time.
President of DDO
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 10:03:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:58:27 PM, Danielle wrote:
Actually neither your first comment to innomen nor your dumb reply to me made any sense whatsoever,
Then take English lessons, don't blame me for you not understanding it. Explain how the reply is dumb. You come with a rubbish and irrelevant statement that "a person finds happiness through good character." Yes, and? You're an atheist? Perhaps I claimed that you find good character through God? No, I never said that is the only way.

Don't just come and tell me how "dumb" my replies are (sad for all of you who have to express inner anger on others), and then expect me not to continue discussing. I don't let go of what I say, thank you.

but I'm going to take Sieben's advice and not even bother engaging with you because it's a waste of my time.
I guess he should have followed his own advice before having debated you (where he described you and your arguments similarly to how he describes religious people here).
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 10:07:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
And excuse me, but atheist just seem to contradict their own teachings over and over again (not that vice versa does not happen). You find happiness through good character, sure. But this arrogance among the childish and angry atheists seems to make them laugh and happy, and will anyone tell me that this is good character? Nonsense. Pure garbage and nonsense.

This thread is idiotic, unsurprisingly, and I just sense arrogance. If you don't want to debate religious people then hit the road. Nobody asks you to.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 10:21:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 9:51:09 PM, Danielle wrote:

Think about it though. There are grown men on this site seriously advocating a Santa-like story! They're not going to embarrass themselves by going down without a fight. All they can do is hold on (much like you think TAA responds to you just to save face). Not only that but they harbor deep rooted fear and guilt of denial. It's only through pointing out obvious discrepancies and problems that people might have the courage to deny something they've been brainwashed to believe is so vehemently true.

You can read theists' minds now?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 10:25:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I thought mirza's response to Innomen was apt... and that Danielle's response to mirza demonstrated that she didn't understand what he was saying.. and was biting at the bit to jump on mirza

but that's just how I see it :P
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/18/2011 10:53:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/18/2011 10:41:23 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 4/18/2011 10:39:00 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Mirza you're using "vice-versa" wrong, you mean the reverse.
They are synonyms.
They're not.

I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God, but vice versa
=
I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God, but a person finds humbleness and character through God and a person finds Gods through humbleness and character.

---------------------------------------------------------

I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God, but the reverse.
=
I didn't say a person finds humbleness and character through God; I said a person finds God through humbleness and character.

"Vice versa" means they are both correct and interchangeable. "in reverse" means that there is only a single answer to the dilemma - the opposite.
'sup DDO -- july 2013