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Old 14th March 2019, 06:16 PM   #41
Robin
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When I was a theist and had debates with atheists I would have a "no holds barred" rule. ie that atheists should say exactly what they think needs to be said and exactly in the way they think it should be said. And if it offended me then that was my problem.

I was worried that by saying "don't be offensive" I was really saying "don't be effective".

Maybe that is the reason I am no longer a theist.
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:20 PM   #42
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One can start by considering the point that the human mind is both rational and irrational.
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:39 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ralfyman View Post
One can start by considering the point that the human mind is both rational and irrational.
Okay, I considered that self-evident point, and I pretty much equate "rational" with "intellectual", and "irrational" with "emotional", now what?
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:40 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
While you are in a nice mood perhaps you could make that argument?
No. Seems my nice moods don't last long, and I don't want to derail a thread even though it seems to have been abandoned by it's creator (a deist thread creator perhaps?). .
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:43 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
I look forward to engaging input from you here on the forum, and I wish you the best in the meantime!

I'm going to make a prediction about this thread and then just hope I'm wrong.
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:47 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I'm going to make a prediction about this thread and then just hope I'm wrong.
Go ahead then, make your prediction . . .
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:54 PM   #47
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Come to think of it this thread doesn't really have a topic to discuss, it's merely a repeat of his "Hi, I'm a nice atheist, atheists can be nice, let's be nice to theists"post in the Welcome! section .
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Old 14th March 2019, 06:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
No. Seems my nice moods don't last long, and I don't want to derail a thread even though it seems to have been abandoned by it's creator (a deist thread creator perhaps?). .
Dude. It's only been 12 hours since the thread started. Maybe the OP went to bed.
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Old 14th March 2019, 07:09 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Dude. It's only been 12 hours since the thread started. Maybe the OP went to bed.
Dude. I've been abducted by aliens and have been travelling at near light speed in their spacecraft. Your 12 hours is my two weeks!

This makes sense if you use your irrationality rather than your rationality .
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Old 14th March 2019, 08:41 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I would add that a lot of the atheists here come across as extremely rude and insulting..
FTFY
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:43 PM   #51
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Here is a YouTube channel of a guy who does what he calls "street epistemology": asking people in public what they think and, more importantly, why they think it, without arguing against them:

https://www.youtube.com/user/magnabosco210

He has videos not only of conversations he's had this way as examples, but also teaching others (both those he meets & goes out with in person, and you/me as viewers), how he does it and how to avoid easy mistakes (which are usually a matter of slipping into too much aggressiveness/confrontationality). Some other atheist YouTubers, even those who are often more aggressive/confrontational themselves, like Aron Ra, have enough respect for his methods & results that they've either referred to him & recommended him & interviewed him on their own channels or even gone to him to learn from him themselves.

Picking the right place must be part of it. Judging by the willingness of the people he meets to actually engage instead of just moving along, and their apparent average age, I think he's usually at a college campus, but I don't know.

Other than that, I can think of two more separate approaches:

1. Go to a church, synagogue, mosque, or whatever. Don't hide your atheism, but you won't bring it up to them either. They'll start asking you what brought you there soon enough, and when they hear the answer, some will hear it as a starting point from which to just keep going.

2. Find forums & FaceBook groups that are about bringing together people from multiple/all religions, even if they don't say anything in their self-descriptions about including atheists. That's where religious people who are the most open to talking about it with outsiders are likely to hang out. They don't often venture into places that are mostly full of atheists.
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:48 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
I see in statements like these a lack of awareness of the contigent nature of an individualís beliefs, worldview and self identity.
You can see whatever you're looking for. Very common position.

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Maybe you did grow up in a practicing religious household but who you are now is a mix of genetic predisposition and cultural environment with ďchanceĒ meetings with people who influenced and helped shape you.
And maybe I grew up in a very mildly religious household but decided at age 10 that religion was idiotic and have refined that view through study of religion over may years in the meantime.

I have found the odd theist deserving of and given my respect. I think the total is 2 so far.

I have as much for theists as I do for homeopaths and anti-vaxers.

Wilful ignorance is a disgrace in a sentient being.

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Many of the atheists on these forums that you may back slap today were once deeply religious people.
I have no problem with that - kids generally start out with their parents' belief. As I'm sure you know, theists are made, not born.
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:42 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Sounds good to me.
As soon as I saw the interesting title of this topic and clicked on it to read the OP, I thought, 'Ah, I hope The Atheist posts here and mentions SofF!' Do you still pop in there to read occasionally? The format is vastly easier to use these days and a while back I was 'taken to Hell'!!! This was very interesting!
Quote:
Fair enough. I can't stand talking to people who still need the security blanket of a sky-daddy myself, but you're not me.

If you do want to have civil discussions with serious and thoughtful christians, this is a very good place to start: https://forums.shipoffools.com/

They are mostly non-Pentecostal, and therefore don't think you're possessed by Satan for being an atheist. Very nice people, and some are of them are amazingly intelligent, except for one small area of thought. (They used to have a no-holds-barred area to have excellent flame wars, too. May still be there.)


Good luck with that. I suspect that like all atheist bloggers, you'll end up preaching to the converted. I was fairly active in that way myself nearer the turn of the century but found it a waste of my time.


Keep them well away from me, then. Pandering to weak-willed wankers who need a crutch to cope with life is not on my to-do list.


I think you'll find there's not a lot to learn - diverse people suffer from the exact same delusion, be they christian, muslin, Hindu or Jewish: they think their invisible entity is the one true one.

Thanks & likewise to yourself. Always nice to see new blood here. We're getting a bit stale on it.
I think discussion would improve if believers would acknowledge that, yes, they might be wrong, but on the few forums I frequent, this almost never happens.
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Old 15th March 2019, 12:00 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
As soon as I saw the interesting title of this topic and clicked on it to read the OP, I thought, 'Ah, I hope The Atheist posts here and mentions SofF!' Do you still pop in there to read occasionally? The format is vastly easier to use these days and a while back I was 'taken to Hell'!!! This was very interesting!
No, I haven't been there for years, but I was talking about my twin, Father... (forgotten his name - the Orthodox priest bloke)

I must pay a visit - I believe I'm still a member.

Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
I think discussion would improve if believers would acknowledge that, yes, they might be wrong, but on the few forums I frequent, this almost never happens.
And never will. Faith doesn't allow for questions that challenge it.
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Old 15th March 2019, 12:45 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
Hi all,

My name is Jeff Bradt. My parents raised me Catholic from infancy, until at age 12 I told my mother there was no god and that I was an atheist. From ages 26 to 38, I belonged to a non-denominational Christian church, and then I went back to atheism in 2008, journeying through agnosticism as I went. Now, I am a very strong atheist: gods are silly concepts to me.

Nonetheless, I want to reach out to believers like my wife, who I married fully knowing she believed in God, and with her fully knowing I was an atheist. We actually enjoy talking about God, and I hope to do the same with other believers as well. I am thinking perhaps starting online would be a good idea. I have been tweeting many atheistic quotes and personal thoughts, as well as following many atheistic Twitter accounts, for a few years now. I very much enjoy that. I hope to blog atheism and naturalism, and to reach people with the message that we atheists are amazing, lovable, kind, compassionate, gentle people. Most of us are not rude to theists online, but they see the rudeness, especially as the rest of us often do not speak up. I want to be one of the ones who speak up. Those whom no one has exposed to atheism, agnosticism and skepticism, need exposure to these things so that they are aware of our true, wonderful nature.

In addition to exposing others to our non-theism, we can learn more about theists as well, and get to understand them progressively better.

I look forward to engaging input from you here on the forum, and I wish you the best in the meantime!
A discussion between a theist and an atheist should begin with a non-aggression pact. Otherwise, it will end badly. Before entering this forum I believed that atheists were rational people, not fanatics. After a while I have lost this ingenuous belief. There are irrational and aggressive people on both sides -and about anything, in reality.

I think that was Wittgenstein who said that he had not problem to discuss with a believer until he start to get nervous. In personal debates I use to follow this wise rule. In Internet, where you don't see the partner, it is more difficult. I advice to disregard the fans of wrestling.

In any case, dear Jeffbradt, I am willing to sign a non-aggression pact with anyone who wants to.

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Old 15th March 2019, 01:48 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Okay, I considered that self-evident point, and I pretty much equate "rational" with "intellectual", and "irrational" with "emotional", now what?
"Intellectual" isn't necessary equated with "rational," and "irrational" with "emotional."
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Old 15th March 2019, 03:31 AM   #57
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My notion of being amicable about religion is basically, "don't ask, don't tell." I won't ask what anyone believes in, and I'd rather they don't start telling me about it. If they do, well, they asked for it
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Old 15th March 2019, 04:12 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
My notion of being amicable about religion is basically, "don't ask, don't tell." I won't ask what anyone believes in, and I'd rather they don't start telling me about it. If they do, well, they asked for it
Interesting parallel. Do you understand that 'don't ask, don't tell' was essentially homophobic? It was an unfair and insulting approach, and is seen today (more enlightened times!) as at best a clumsy, idiotic policy and at worst as deliberate oppression.
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Old 15th March 2019, 05:54 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
I think discussion would improve if believers would acknowledge that, yes, they might be wrong, but on the few forums I frequent, this almost never happens.

I've had some discussions with believers where not only do they not consider that they might be wrong - but they don't even consider that others with slightly different beliefs could even be partially right. I had one experience with an Evangelical who insisted that all I needed to do was read the NT to see the truth of it. Having been raised Jewish, I reminded her that even if I were a believer, it wouldn't be in her exact conception of her God. I might as well have been talking to a wall. She couldn't even abide the existence of their christian sects, let alone religions that weren't christian at all (let alone a lack of religion).

And that's the story of how I blocked my first friend on Facebook.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:12 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
I want to reach out to theists amicably
Yeah, good luck with that. This thread is a good illustration of the main problem you're going to face: every conversation you start with someone will merely be the continuation of an argument they're already having with someone else.

There's no closure, you see. No hypotheses to falsify or axioms to refute. Religious arguments just taper off when no one has anything more to say, building up a backlog of l'esprit de l'escalier to dump on the next amicable-seeming person interested in the topic.
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Old 15th March 2019, 08:52 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Interesting parallel. Do you understand that 'don't ask, don't tell' was essentially homophobic? It was an unfair and insulting approach, and is seen today (more enlightened times!) as at best a clumsy, idiotic policy and at worst as deliberate oppression.
And I'm religion-phobic, so I think it works quite well as an analogy, thank you very much
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Old 15th March 2019, 11:45 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post

Let's not derail this thread.
Why, so you can have the last word. You told me to look up deist in the dictionary. Well it so happens I have a copy of the two volume shorter oxford English dictionary in my extensive library, here is what it says.

Deist; One who acknowledges the existence of a God upon the testimony of reason, but rejects revealed religion.
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Old 15th March 2019, 01:09 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I'd like to see amicable atheist jeffbradt and amicable theist attempt5001 have an in-depth god debate. It might be a worthwhile lesson in amicability. Is attempt5001 still active here?
Hi ynot. Yes, still here. Thanks for the shout-out And hi again jeffbradt ("Jeff" okay?). I saw your welcome post and it's nice to see you've started a thread along the lines of what you posted there to see where it will go. I posted a little background about myself in an earlier thread you can have a look at if you like (http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=333650). I'd be happy to chat further. I'm encouraged by your attempt to engage in a positive way and happy to reciprocate. I sometimes get busy and am away for a bit and often struggle to keep up with fast moving threads, but I'll do my best. Specifically, I'd be interested to hear a bit more about key moments or decisions points that stood out for you regarding your thinking pertaining to (a)theism throughout your life. Cheers!
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Old 15th March 2019, 02:01 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why would anyone argue against the conversion of a long-time atheist Australian politician who converted to Christianity recently at age 85? There are many reasons people convert to god beliefs, so what?

How would you argue against the deconversion of an increasing number of long-time theists?

Extraordinary that GDon thought he was scoring some kind of point here.

I had a Mother who found faith when she was almost 80. Mentally she was a long time past her zenith I might add, and was having a most traumatic time dealing with horrific hallucinations, brought on by pain suppressing drugs. So what do we learn from this?
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Old 15th March 2019, 02:16 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi ynot. Yes, still here. Thanks for the shout-out And hi again jeffbradt ("Jeff" okay?). I saw your welcome post and it's nice to see you've started a thread along the lines of what you posted there to see where it will go. I posted a little background about myself in an earlier thread you can have a look at if you like (http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=333650). I'd be happy to chat further. I'm encouraged by your attempt to engage in a positive way and happy to reciprocate. I sometimes get busy and am away for a bit and often struggle to keep up with fast moving threads, but I'll do my best. Specifically, I'd be interested to hear a bit more about key moments or decisions points that stood out for you regarding your thinking pertaining to (a)theism throughout your life. Cheers!

Hi attempt and welcome again. Looking back on our exchanges I would have described them as quite amicable ..... You?
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Old 15th March 2019, 03:39 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by ralfyman View Post
"Intellectual" isn't necessary equated with "rational," and "irrational" with "emotional."
I didn't say they always necessary equate. I said "I pretty much equate". Do you see the difference?.

Regardless, what now? What is the purpose and what can we gain from . . .
Originally Posted by ralfyman View Post
One can start by considering the point that the human mind is both rational and irrational.
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Old 15th March 2019, 03:58 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Why, so you can have the last word. You told me to look up deist in the dictionary. Well it so happens I have a copy of the two volume shorter oxford English dictionary in my extensive library, here is what it says.

Deist; One who acknowledges the existence of a God upon the testimony of reason, but rejects revealed religion.
That desists may claim this doesn't mean it's any more true that when other theists make the same or similar claims. Claiming to "acknowledge the existence of whatever" without credible evidence of the actual existence of whatever is a dishonest way of avoiding having to admit "I merely believe in the existence of whatever". Conflating their god beliefs with knowledge is a very common thing most if not all theists do. And what the hell does "testimony of reason" even mean?

I can cherry-pick dictionary meanings as well - "Deism - Belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it".

Theism/theist is a generic label applied to all people that believe in a god(s), deity, paranormal/supernatural supreme creator being. To claim deists arenít theists is as silly as claiming agnostics that donít have a god belief arenít atheists.
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Old 15th March 2019, 04:00 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi ynot. Yes, still here. Thanks for the shout-out And hi again jeffbradt ("Jeff" okay?). I saw your welcome post and it's nice to see you've started a thread along the lines of what you posted there to see where it will go. I posted a little background about myself in an earlier thread you can have a look at if you like (http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=333650). I'd be happy to chat further. I'm encouraged by your attempt to engage in a positive way and happy to reciprocate. I sometimes get busy and am away for a bit and often struggle to keep up with fast moving threads, but I'll do my best. Specifically, I'd be interested to hear a bit more about key moments or decisions points that stood out for you regarding your thinking pertaining to (a)theism throughout your life. Cheers!
Good to see you're still around buddy . Don't blame you for not being a very active poster recently .

If jeffbradt hasn't completely and permanently "left the building" I hope he accepts your very amicable invitation .
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:24 PM   #69
ynot
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In any case, dear Jeffbradt, I am willing to sign a non-aggression pact with anyone who wants to.
Are you also willing to "sign" (agree to) a "stay on thread topic" pact as well?
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:08 PM   #70
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Hi attempt and welcome again. Looking back on our exchanges I would have described them as quite amicable ..... You?
Thanks Thor 2. Agreed for sure. I was re-reading the first page of posts to my "balancing" thread and was encouraged again by the responses.
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:12 PM   #71
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Good to see you're still around buddy . Don't blame you for not being a very active poster recently .

If jeffbradt hasn't completely and permanently "left the building" I hope he accepts your very amicable invitation .
Thanks buddy. Same here. I'll keep an eye out.
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Old 15th March 2019, 07:19 PM   #72
GDon
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Extraordinary that GDon thought he was scoring some kind of point here.
I wasn't trying to score a point. I was making a point: IMHO many atheists (not all!) want you to prove to them that the particular version of God that they don't believe in in fact exists, rather than working from what the theist themselves describe. The conversion starts with two people talking past each other, and doesn't improve from there.

For example, atheists obsessed with the Bible (which seems to include you) will always bring the conversion back to the Bible, even if the theist has other reasons for belief, such as our esteemed former Federal Labour leader and Australian Humanist of the Year, Bill Hayden.

How would you proceed to engage with his ideas that ďThereís been a gnawing pain in my heart and soul about what is the meaning of life. Whatís my role in it?Ē and ďI can no longer accept that human existence is self-sufficient and isolatedĒ, other than with a shrug of the shoulders?
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Old 16th March 2019, 12:33 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I didn't say they always necessary equate. I said "I pretty much equate". Do you see the difference?.

Regardless, what now? What is the purpose and what can we gain from . . .
If they don't equate, then you should be able to answer your own question.
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Old 16th March 2019, 02:44 AM   #74
David Mo
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Are you also willing to "sign" (agree to) a "stay on thread topic" pact as well?
Why not?

Last edited by David Mo; 16th March 2019 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 16th March 2019, 02:52 AM   #75
David Mo
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post

For example, atheists obsessed with the Bible (which seems to include you) will always bring the conversion back to the Bible, even if the theist has other reasons for belief, such as our esteemed former Federal Labour leader and Australian Humanist of the Year, Bill Hayden.
Personal reasons and objective/inter-subjective reasons are two different things.
"I believe in God because it agrees with my liver".
"I believe in God because I know he exists".

What are we talking about?
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Old 16th March 2019, 03:36 AM   #76
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I wasn't trying to score a point. I was making a point: IMHO many atheists (not all!) want you to prove to them that the particular version of God that they don't believe in in fact exists, rather than working from what the theist themselves describe. The conversion starts with two people talking past each other, and doesn't improve from there.

For example, atheists obsessed with the Bible (which seems to include you) will always bring the conversion back to the Bible, even if the theist has other reasons for belief, such as our esteemed former Federal Labour leader and Australian Humanist of the Year, Bill Hayden.
Mate, you're confused. What we're asking is HOW DO YOU KNOW about whatever God you're peddling? The Bible would be an acceptable source, sorta. At least you got it from SOME source. It's not a good source, from a historian perspective, but I'm willing to grant that someone might believe Luke is a historian because he said so, or such. But at any rate then their information comes from SOME actual source. But some theist just pulling out of the ass whatever nonsense makes them feel better, is not it.

So no, I'm not asking you to disprove MY god, I'm asking your to SUPPORT YOURS based on some source. Not on just the dumbest personal delusions, and not just based on that it makes them feel good. Feeling good doesn't make something true, or even reasonable to believe in.

I mean, I feel good if I think of our saviour Snow White, who choked on the apple, died and then revived for our sins, as revealed to her apostles the brothers Grimm, but you don't see me preaching that that makes it a reasonable belief. And if I did, then it would be an entirely reasonable question: where did I get that from, if that's not what the text says?

And to reiterate, I'd even have nothing against personal delusions as long as they're personal. If anyone just wants to keep their nonsense, I'm not going to drop by and ask them to support them. But if they come on a skeptic board and want to talk about it, then they better support it. The notion that I'm rude if I don't just shut up and let someone preach nonsense to me, just because they have some personal reason why it makes them feel better to preach nonsense to me, is itself flat out stupid. If they want to talk, then talk. Don't expect a one way street. If not, then they can simply not start the talk in the first place.
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Old 16th March 2019, 07:48 AM   #77
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mate, you're confused. What we're asking is HOW DO YOU KNOW about whatever God you're peddling? The Bible would be an acceptable source, sorta. At least you got it from SOME source. It's not a good source, from a historian perspective, but I'm willing to grant that someone might believe Luke is a historian because he said so, or such. But at any rate then their information comes from SOME actual source. But some theist just pulling out of the ass whatever nonsense makes them feel better, is not it.

So no, I'm not asking you to disprove MY god, I'm asking your to SUPPORT YOURS based on some source. Not on just the dumbest personal delusions, and not just based on that it makes them feel good. Feeling good doesn't make something true, or even reasonable to believe in.

I mean, I feel good if I think of our saviour Snow White, who choked on the apple, died and then revived for our sins, as revealed to her apostles the brothers Grimm, but you don't see me preaching that that makes it a reasonable belief. And if I did, then it would be an entirely reasonable question: where did I get that from, if that's not what the text says?
Original thought not permitted? It seems contradictory to simultaneously disbelieve in past theories of the supernatural while insisting any current theory of the supernatural be sourced in past theories.

Quote:
And to reiterate, I'd even have nothing against personal delusions as long as they're personal. If anyone just wants to keep their nonsense, I'm not going to drop by and ask them to support them. But if they come on a skeptic board and want to talk about it, then they better support it. The notion that I'm rude if I don't just shut up and let someone preach nonsense to me, just because they have some personal reason why it makes them feel better to preach nonsense to me, is itself flat out stupid. If they want to talk, then talk. Don't expect a one way street. If not, then they can simply not start the talk in the first place.
The thread title is "reaching out", but this last paragraph sounds like you insist on being able to attack everything someone says when they're invited to do so. "Please tell us your theories...and now I'll tell you why you're wrong". You've promised to not consider what anyone says, before they've even said it. Why, then, would any theist want to talk to you? You're obviously not keeping an open mind.

And it's not "preaching" if someone says what they think, it's only preaching when someone tells other people what to think.
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Old 16th March 2019, 10:32 AM   #78
GDon
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Mate, you're confused. What we're asking is HOW DO YOU KNOW about whatever God you're peddling?
No, that's not the point I was responding to, and that doesn't reflect what was in the OP.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And to reiterate, I'd even have nothing against personal delusions as long as they're personal. If anyone just wants to keep their nonsense, I'm not going to drop by and ask them to support them. But if they come on a skeptic board and want to talk about it, then they better support it.
I agree completely. If someone claims they have objective evidence to support their version of God, then they should be prepared to be questioned and provide that evidence. But that's not what the OP was about.

In this case it is the atheist jeffbradt who wants to reach out to theists, to "expos[e] others to our non-theism." No theists have yet made the positive claim that they have objective evidence. So once the theist has explained his personal delusions, what's jeffbradt's next step?
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Old 16th March 2019, 10:37 AM   #79
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JeffBradt has only made two posts, and starting this thread was one of them, I wonder where his other post went. Come on Jeff, come and join in, why don't you?
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 16th March 2019, 01:40 PM   #80
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I agree completely. If someone claims they have objective evidence to support their version of God, then they should be prepared to be questioned and provide that evidence. But that's not what the OP was about.

In this case it is the atheist jeffbradt who wants to reach out to theists, to "expos[e] others to our non-theism." No theists have yet made the positive claim that they have objective evidence. So once the theist has explained his personal delusions, what's jeffbradt's next step?
I'm not talking about objective evidence that God actually exists. That's the next step. The first steps are
- so what's your god?
- what does it do?
- do its parents know? Err... I mean, how do you know that?

What I'm saying is that I'll respect someone a lot more if they read about that stuff in a reasonable (for their belief system) source, than if they just pulled whatever feels good out of the ass. The former may not be SOUND, if that source isn't reliable, but the latter isn't even VALID.
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