ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 26th January 2016, 12:09 AM   #1
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
The self defeating debate strategy of religion

I was on a Christian website and I noticed two things. The first is that supposedly rational discussion was often countered by resorting to a biblical quote. That seemed very odd to me because these types of quotes are very weak in arguments. However, I then noticed that the guidelines say:
  • All discussions with the intent of belittling or mocking Christians or Christianity will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions belittling Christians by calling them mentally inferior, ignorant, bigoted, etc. will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions blaspheming the Christian God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be promptly removed

Now, suppose someone used Psalm 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

I would normally just paraphrase it to show how silly it is. For example:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

or

God hath said in his heart, Only a fool believeth in me. I am corrupt, I have done abominable works, I doeth none good.

But that would presumably be considered blasphemous. So, I can see that in this framework what would normally be a very weak debating tactic would now be very strong tactic since it could not be easily countered. I notice too that no one who suggested that atheists or homosexuals were evil could be accused of being prejudiced. In other words, you could be called a fool for not believing even if you had logical reasons, but you couldn't suggest that someone was a fool for believing even if they had no reason for their belief.

That would suggest to me that someone used to having discussions inside a religious framework would probably be shocked to find out how weak their arguments are or that they were unaware of what makes a solid argument. That might explain why someone like Kirk Cameron seems to think that his arguments are nearly irrefutable but why I find I find arguments like his so empty.

Last edited by barehl; 26th January 2016 at 12:16 AM.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 01:51 AM   #2
Rincewind
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Adirondacks, NY - with Magrat!
Posts: 7,562
Good to see how open minded and friendly they are - proper Christians indeed!
Rincewind is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 06:11 AM   #3
Garrette
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,568
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I was on a Christian website and I noticed two things. The first is that supposedly rational discussion was often countered by resorting to a biblical quote. That seemed very odd to me because these types of quotes are very weak in arguments. However, I then noticed that the guidelines say:
  • All discussions with the intent of belittling or mocking Christians or Christianity will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions belittling Christians by calling them mentally inferior, ignorant, bigoted, etc. will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions blaspheming the Christian God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be promptly removed

Now, suppose someone used Psalm 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

I would normally just paraphrase it to show how silly it is. For example:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

or

God hath said in his heart, Only a fool believeth in me. I am corrupt, I have done abominable works, I doeth none good.

But that would presumably be considered blasphemous. So, I can see that in this framework what would normally be a very weak debating tactic would now be very strong tactic since it could not be easily countered. I notice too that no one who suggested that atheists or homosexuals were evil could be accused of being prejudiced. In other words, you could be called a fool for not believing even if you had logical reasons, but you couldn't suggest that someone was a fool for believing even if they had no reason for their belief.

That would suggest to me that someone used to having discussions inside a religious framework would probably be shocked to find out how weak their arguments are or that they were unaware of what makes a solid argument. That might explain why someone like Kirk Cameron seems to think that his arguments are nearly irrefutable but why I find I find arguments like his so empty.
That has often been my observation, and it does not apply uniquely to religious arguments but to fringe beliefs and philosophical arguments, too. Such people often come to the JREF/ISF, and it is clear that they are intelligent enough and fairly well read, but they act as if they have never been credibly challenged in their thinking and so must by necessity be right. Such are the ones who seem to take the most umbrage at having their arguments dismantled here.
__________________
My kids still love me.
Garrette is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 06:58 AM   #4
sphenisc
Illuminator
 
sphenisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,629
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I was on a Christian website and I noticed two things. The first is that supposedly rational discussion was often countered by resorting to a biblical quote. That seemed very odd to me because these types of quotes are very weak in arguments. However, I then noticed that the guidelines say:
  • All discussions with the intent of belittling or mocking Christians or Christianity will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions belittling Christians by calling them mentally inferior, ignorant, bigoted, etc. will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions blaspheming the Christian God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be promptly removed

Now, suppose someone used Psalm 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

I would normally just paraphrase it to show how silly it is. For example:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

or

God hath said in his heart, Only a fool believeth in me. I am corrupt, I have done abominable works, I doeth none good.

But that would presumably be considered blasphemous. So, I can see that in this framework what would normally be a very weak debating tactic would now be very strong tactic since it could not be easily countered. I notice too that no one who suggested that atheists or homosexuals were evil could be accused of being prejudiced. In other words, you could be called a fool for not believing even if you had logical reasons, but you couldn't suggest that someone was a fool for believing even if they had no reason for their belief.

That would suggest to me that someone used to having discussions inside a religious framework would probably be shocked to find out how weak their arguments are or that they were unaware of what makes a solid argument. That might explain why someone like Kirk Cameron seems to think that his arguments are nearly irrefutable but why I find I find arguments like his so empty.
This is a hasty generalisation fallacy.
I hope you're not too shocked at finding out how weak your arguments are.
__________________
"The cure for everything is salt water - tears, sweat or the sea." Isak Dinesen
sphenisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 07:26 AM   #5
Crossbow
Seeking Honesty and Sanity
 
Crossbow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 11,227
If you really want to make a Christian fret, then point out the following facts:

First, Jesus and all of the apostles and other followers were Jewish.

Second, point out that Jesus (even if he did exist) did not intend to start a new religion because there is nothing in the New Testament which discusses the formation of new religion or the renouncement of the Jewish faith.

Third, God never does call Jesus his son.

Fourth, there is that weird bit where Jesus is presented with the ghost of Moses.
__________________
On 16 MAY 2017 Paul Bethke discussed some of the sexual prohibitions of his god regarding man-to-man sex acts and woman-to-woman sex acts: "So not only lesbian acts but also anal sex.."
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0#post11840580

A man's best friend is his dogma.
Crossbow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 07:56 AM   #6
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,647
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
If you really want to make a Christian fret, then point out the following facts:

First, Jesus and all of the apostles and other followers were Jewish.

Second, point out that Jesus (even if he did exist) did not intend to start a new religion because there is nothing in the New Testament which discusses the formation of new religion or the renouncement of the Jewish faith.

Third, God never does call Jesus his son.

Fourth, there is that weird bit where Jesus is presented with the ghost of Moses.
That's four out of a couple of hundred.
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 08:34 AM   #7
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 736
Originally Posted by barehl View Post

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

I would normally just paraphrase it to show how silly it is. For example:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

or

God hath said in his heart, Only a fool believeth in me. I am corrupt, I have done abominable works, I doeth none good.

I don't think you know what paraphrasing means . . .
LarryS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 10:16 AM   #8
JJM 777
Illuminator
 
JJM 777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,016
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Third, God never does call Jesus his son.
Hmmm... Matthew 17:5

Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
there is nothing in the New Testament which discusses the formation of new religion or the renouncement of the Jewish faith.
How about the church = the New Israel, and the Old Israel has lost its position? This is not a direct quote, but the thought obviously is there to abandon the Jewish national nature of the religion, replacing the temple rituals with faith in the blood of Jesus, and rejection of literal adherence to laws of the Jewish Torah, such as eating pork etc.

NT is rather revolutionary / rebellious towards OT.
JJM 777 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 12:36 PM   #9
The Big Dog
Penultimate Amazing
 
The Big Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 21,291
Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
That has often been my observation, and it does not apply uniquely to religious arguments but to fringe beliefs and philosophical arguments, too. Such people often come to the JREF/ISF, and it is clear that they are intelligent enough and fairly well read, but they act as if they have never been credibly challenged in their thinking and so must by necessity be right. Such are the ones who seem to take the most umbrage at having their arguments dismantled here.
amen, I note that particularly with anti-religionists who post here and seemed stunned when atheists and others called them on the vituperative rhetoric.
__________________
"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others".
The Big Dog is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 12:49 PM   #10
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23,496
I'm not sure I understand the complaint in the OP. Sometimes people who share a common interest want to discuss their interest with each other, not debate the merits of that interest with antagonistic outsiders.

If you want to evaluate their debate strategy, wouldn't it make more sense to find examples of Christians who are actually seeking a debate with atheists? The OP kinda reads like walking into an IHOP, challenging the nearest table to a fight, and then calling them all losers when they explain they just want to eat pancakes and socialize with each other.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 01:09 PM   #11
AdamSK
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,952
Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
If you really want to make a Christian fret, then point out the following facts:

First, Jesus and all of the apostles and other followers were Jewish.
Correct.

Quote:
Second, point out that Jesus (even if he did exist) did not intend to start a new religion because there is nothing in the New Testament which discusses the formation of new religion or the renouncement of the Jewish faith.
Incorrect.

Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Quote:
Third, God never does call Jesus his son.
Incorrect.

Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”


Quote:
Fourth, there is that weird bit where Jesus is presented with the ghost of Moses.
Correct, but contrary to your previous point here is a SECOND time where God calls Jesus His Son.

Matthew 17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
AdamSK is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 04:47 PM   #12
Cl1mh4224rd
Philosopher
 
Cl1mh4224rd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,483
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Now, suppose someone used Psalm 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

I would normally just paraphrase it to show how silly it is. For example:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

or

God hath said in his heart, Only a fool believeth in me. I am corrupt, I have done abominable works, I doeth none good.

Paraphrasing doesn't involve completely changing the meaning of the statement being paraphrased. For example, "Bob's a jackass," is not a paraphrase of, "Bob's a really awesome dude."

Originally Posted by barehl View Post
So, I can see that in this framework what would normally be a very weak debating tactic would now be very strong tactic since it could not be easily countered.

I don't think so. Definitely not in this situation. They at least have an "authoritative" source for their quotations. You do not. Your "counter-quotes" can be easily dismissed based on that fact alone.

That "authoritative" part is important; you can't just make up a counter-quote mimicking the prose of the inspired word of their god and expect it to have any weight whatsoever.

Originally Posted by barehl View Post
In other words, you could be called a fool for not believing even if you had logical reasons, but you couldn't suggest that someone was a fool for believing even if they had no reason for their belief.

"It's in the Bible," or "God says so," is really all the reason they need.

Last edited by Cl1mh4224rd; 26th January 2016 at 05:01 PM.
Cl1mh4224rd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2016, 05:10 PM   #13
Senex
Philosopher
 
Senex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,231
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If you want to evaluate their debate strategy, wouldn't it make more sense to find examples of Christians who are actually seeking a debate with atheists?
I'd like to visit that site.
Senex is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th January 2016, 11:40 AM   #14
Son of Inigo
Thinker
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 204
Originally Posted by barehl View Post

~Snip~

That would suggest to me that someone used to having discussions inside a religious framework would probably be shocked to find out how weak their arguments are or that they were unaware of what makes a solid argument. That might explain why someone like Kirk Cameron seems to think that his arguments are nearly irrefutable but why I find I find arguments like his so empty.
Yes. Yes I was. I knew I was right. I knew I had the correct answers because all my answers could be found in the bible. Evolution was wrong, cause it says in Genesis that god created the world in six days. The bible was completely and literally true. If you didn't understand why it was true, you either didn't study it enough, lacked faith, or were willfully ignoring it.

In the tradition (or system, or school, not sure what to label it) that I was brought up in, outside inquiry, that is reading sources not approved by the leaders, was highly discouraged, if not actively ridiculed, and in case of the ACE curriculum, you could be punished for it.

So yes I was shocked, and angry when I first confronted all the evil atheist and believers in evolution on forums such as this one. How dare they dismiss the bible. How dare they ridicule YEC. Who were they to challenge my beliefs?

It was quit the shock to the system. The journey from born again fundamentalist Christian to atheist has taken 20 years. It can be very upsetting to re-evaluate everything you were taught.

But it has been so worth it.
__________________
I am not left handed!
Son of Inigo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th January 2016, 11:49 PM   #15
JJM 777
Illuminator
 
JJM 777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,016
Originally Posted by Son of Inigo View Post
The journey from born again fundamentalist Christian to atheist has taken 20 years.
I am on the same journey, in a similar timeline, but I wouldn't call myself atheist, but rather agnostic. I wouldn't say that I have deliberately rejected everything what I believed in the past, but now it seems that if anything believed back then is correct, it is so incidentally rather than because religious source material such as the Bible are reliable to any extent. I wouldn't preach atheism to a believer. I don't have a firm faith in any specific other truth than what a religious person has. I simply have doubts about everything, including atheism.

Last edited by JJM 777; 27th January 2016 at 11:52 PM.
JJM 777 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 01:36 AM   #16
Aepervius
Non credunt, semper verificare
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sigil, the city of doors
Posts: 14,581
Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Hmmm... Matthew 17:5


How about the church = the New Israel, and the Old Israel has lost its position? This is not a direct quote, but the thought obviously is there to abandon the Jewish national nature of the religion, replacing the temple rituals with faith in the blood of Jesus, and rejection of literal adherence to laws of the Jewish Torah, such as eating pork etc.

NT is rather revolutionary / rebellious towards OT.
NT is also made up basically hundreds of years, in the intervening time there were only a collection of disparate stories.
Aepervius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 01:41 AM   #17
Aepervius
Non credunt, semper verificare
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sigil, the city of doors
Posts: 14,581
Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I am on the same journey, in a similar timeline, but I wouldn't call myself atheist, but rather agnostic. I wouldn't say that I have deliberately rejected everything what I believed in the past, but now it seems that if anything believed back then is correct, it is so incidentally rather than because religious source material such as the Bible are reliable to any extent. I wouldn't preach atheism to a believer. I don't have a firm faith in any specific other truth than what a religious person has. I simply have doubts about everything, including atheism.
Unless you are praying from time to time "just in case a god exists" from the sound of it you are probably an agnostic atheist. E.g. disbelieving or not living your live as if a god exists (theist part), but not having the knowledge whether a god exists or not (gnosis part).
Aepervius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 01:47 AM   #18
Aepervius
Non credunt, semper verificare
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sigil, the city of doors
Posts: 14,581
Originally Posted by AdamSK View Post
Incorrect.

Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.



Incorrect.
Authorship in contest and certainly not words from Jesus. Assumed to be a debate letter between pro-judaist (need to convert to judaism to accept jesus message) and those who were that one can be christian and having no need to convert. The fact that there was a debate certainly show it was not at that time a done deal.

So not exactly a shining point against barehl's argument.
Aepervius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 06:07 AM   #19
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,475
Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Authorship in contest and certainly not words from Jesus. Assumed to be a debate letter between pro-judaist (need to convert to judaism to accept jesus message) and those who were that one can be christian and having no need to convert. The fact that there was a debate certainly show it was not at that time a done deal.

So not exactly a shining point against barehl's argument.
Not quite the point. Adam SK was responding to this observation.
Second, point out that Jesus (even if he did exist) did not intend to start a new religion because there is nothing in the New Testament which discusses the formation of new religion or the renouncement of the Jewish faith.
Whoever may be the author of Hebrews, it is in the New Testament although it was most certainly not composed by Jesus, or even by Paul, to whom it has wrongly been attributed in the past.
Craig B is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 07:16 AM   #20
JJM 777
Illuminator
 
JJM 777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,016
Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Unless you are praying from time to time "just in case a god exists"
I am not doing that, nor do I make any arrangements to qualify to eternal life "just in case the requirements listed in NT are correct". My stance is that whatever will come, will come, religious practice will probably not affect it in any way.
JJM 777 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 09:07 AM   #21
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5,680
Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I am not doing that, nor do I make any arrangements to qualify to eternal life "just in case the requirements listed in NT are correct". My stance is that whatever will come, will come, religious practice will probably not affect it in any way.
Yes, that's agnostic atheism. You don't believe there's no god, you just don't believe in any. Or as some people have put it, ignosticism, sort of a "don't know, don't care" approach to the subject.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 10:09 AM   #22
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
This is a hasty generalisation fallacy.
You're right; I left out part of that. I was on a Christian website that is more open with discussion than typical religious websites. Therefore I would assume that the less open websites (the great majority of them) would be worse in that regard.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 10:15 AM   #23
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
I don't think you know what paraphrasing means . . .
Right, I wasn't paraphrasing since I altered the meaning rather than just changing the phrasing. It wasn't really parody though since I wasn't intending it to be funny. Perhaps "contrasting" would have been a better choice.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 10:16 AM   #24
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23,496
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
You're right; I left out part of that. I was on a Christian website that is more open with discussion than typical religious websites. Therefore I would assume that the less open websites (the great majority of them) would be worse in that regard.
"Worse" only if their goal was to satisfy your desire for adversarial debate with Christians about their beliefs.

If their goal was just about anything other than that, they're probably a lot better.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 10:18 AM   #25
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If you want to evaluate their debate strategy, wouldn't it make more sense to find examples of Christians who are actually seeking a debate with atheists?
You have to give your religious affiliation when you create your account. Mine very clearly reads "atheist".
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 12:01 PM   #26
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5,680
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Worse" only if their goal was to satisfy your desire for adversarialactual debate with Christians about their beliefs.
Fixing this. The rules as written (and almost certainly as interpreted) preclude any kind of dialogue between believer and non-believer with more depth than a sermon.

If someone decides to turn their brain off and respond with bible quotes, you can't tell them they're being ignorant of the facts (because that's belittling them), you can't tell them the Bible isn't true (because that's blasphemy), and frankly you've got good odds of the discussion being shut down regardless of how you respond, because at that point you're arguably intending to move to one of the above violations eventually.

To be honest, if you want an actual discussion under rules like that, your best bet is to troll them so hard they'll be crapping Guy Fawkes masks for a week. If you want to challenge theological point X, don't just say so; find a sect which themselves disagree about X and ask for "clarification." With any luck they'll be too busy arguing with each other to notice that the heathen in the room is saying things he'd never get away with against a united front.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 12:05 PM   #27
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Worse" only if their goal was to satisfy your desire for adversarial debate with Christians about their beliefs.

If their goal was just about anything other than that, they're probably a lot better.
Which is not what I said, even though you are trying to bend it that way. The only discussion has been about the quality of argument. Worse in terms of quality of argument, not in terms of anyone's goal or beliefs. To put this in terms that don't have the pejorative of religious discussions, consider something like golf. Someone who has never played golf will almost certainly have poor golfing skills. This has nothing to do with that person's desire to play golf or whether they consider golf to be important.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 12:33 PM   #28
AdamSK
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,952
Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
NT is also made up basically hundreds of years, in the intervening time there were only a collection of disparate stories.
Not hundreds of years, no. Even secular historians agree that the New Testament writings are no later than 150 AD, almost certainly First Century in most cases.
AdamSK is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2016, 12:43 PM   #29
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21,475
Originally Posted by AdamSK View Post
Not hundreds of years, no. Even secular historians agree that the New Testament writings are no later than 150 AD, almost certainly First Century in most cases.
I think Aepervius is referring not to the date of composition of the individual works ("a collection of disparate stories") but to the date of their compilation as a single canonical collection. This happened later.
By the early 3rd century, Origen may have been using the same twenty-seven books as in the present New Testament canon, though there were still disputes over the acceptance of the Letter to the Hebrews, James, II Peter, II John, III John, Jude and Revelation, known as the Antilegomena. Likewise, the Muratorian fragment is evidence that, perhaps as early as 200, there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to the twenty-seven-book NT canon, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them. Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings are claimed to have been accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century.
Craig B is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 07:09 AM   #30
Delvo
الشيطان الأبيض
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 7,040
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I was on a Christian website... the guidelines say:
  • All discussions with the intent of belittling or mocking Christians or Christianity will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions belittling Christians by calling them mentally inferior, ignorant, bigoted, etc. will be promptly removed.
  • All discussions blaspheming the Christian God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be promptly removed
Since there is no possible counter to anything Christian which could not be described as one of those things by a Christian, that just amounts to saying that you're not allowed to disagree with Christianity... which is not a big deal at a "Christian website". But it does make me wonder what purpose there could be in going to such a site, for a non-Christian. I'm reminded of the meme that was going around several years ago about religio-nuts registering at sites like this one and Dawkins's old forum, dumping a few turds over a week or two, and disappearing; they were laughed at for supposedly just being here/there to complete a homework assignment in some Christian college class where they were told to go forth and challenge the infidel on our own turf.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 08:13 AM   #31
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
But it does make me wonder what purpose there could be in going to such a site, for a non-Christian. I'm reminded of the meme that was going around several years ago about religio-nuts registering at sites like this one and Dawkins's old forum, dumping a few turds over a week or two, and disappearing; they were laughed at for supposedly just being here/there to complete a homework assignment in some Christian college class where they were told to go forth and challenge the infidel on our own turf.
I would have no reason to challenge Christian beliefs on a Christian website just as I would not go to a website for dog fanciers and try to convince them that turtles would make better pets.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 08:21 AM   #32
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5,680
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I would have no reason to challenge Christian beliefs on a Christian website just as I would not go to a website for dog fanciers and try to convince them that turtles would make better pets.
Your very presence would be a challenge. Much of Christian theology relies on the premise that the only reason not to be Christian is because you're stubborn, angry or ignorant. That's why they quote the bible passages - they really do think that all you need is to hear the words in the right circumstances and you'll convert just like that. The existence of someone who is polite, agreeable, knowledgeable about the bible, yet still an atheist is enough to crap in their punch bowl all on its own.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 09:34 AM   #33
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23,496
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
Which is not what I said, even though you are trying to bend it that way. The only discussion has been about the quality of argument. Worse in terms of quality of argument, not in terms of anyone's goal or beliefs. To put this in terms that don't have the pejorative of religious discussions, consider something like golf. Someone who has never played golf will almost certainly have poor golfing skills. This has nothing to do with that person's desire to play golf or whether they consider golf to be important.
On the other hand, it would be disingenuous to accuse someone who has no desire to play golf of having a "self-defeating golf strategy". Indeed, it would disingenuous to accuse someone who enjoyed playing golf casually, without being concerned about improving their skill or matching themselves against competitive players, of having a "self-defeating golf strategy".

I think that before you accuse someone of having a self-defeating golf strategy, it's important to verify that they are actually interested in succeeding at golf in the way that you measure success in golf. And I think that before you accuse some group of Christians of having a self-defeating debate strategy, it's important to verify that they are actually interested in succeeding at the kind of debate you want to have with them.

To me it seems like you are looking at a group of amateur golfers more interested in socializing than in their handicaps, and saying "well, they'll never get to the Masters that way", as if it's some important insight or indictment of their game. These Christians clearly aren't interested in the kind of debate you want to have. You can't really say they have a strategy for something they're not interested in doing, let alone a self-defeating one. That's why I recommended finding Christians who actually are interested in debate, and proceed from there.

Last edited by theprestige; 29th January 2016 at 09:38 AM.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 09:49 AM   #34
Loss Leader
Would Be Ringing (if a bell)
Moderator
 
Loss Leader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,084
Echo chambers are great places to hear your own echo - whether you're talking about religion, science, TV shows, or any other topic.
__________________
I have the honor to be
Your Obdt. St

L. Leader
Loss Leader is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2016, 11:47 AM   #35
Delvo
الشيطان الأبيض
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 7,040
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I would have no reason to challenge Christian beliefs on a Christian website...
Then you must have some other reason for being there. What is it?
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd February 2016, 03:47 AM   #36
Mcreal
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 774
Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
This is a hasty generalisation fallacy.
I hope you're not too shocked at finding out how weak your arguments are.
I'm not sure about that: barehl made the comment that ...
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
... supposedly rational discussion was often countered by resorting to a biblical quote
... so barehl was a bit more open-minded than seeking to generalize; initially, at least.
Mcreal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd February 2016, 01:50 AM   #37
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
On the other hand, it would be disingenuous to accuse someone who has no desire to play golf of having a "self-defeating golf strategy".
Just as it would be disingenuous to pretend that I actually said that.

Quote:
I think that before you accuse someone of having a self-defeating golf strategy, it's important to verify that they are actually interested in succeeding at golf in the way that you measure success in golf.
Why do you repeat what I've already said and then pretend that you disagree? This is a self-defeating argument strategy.

Quote:
To me it seems like you are looking at a group of amateur golfers more interested in socializing than in their handicaps, and saying "well, they'll never get to the Masters that way"
To me, it seems like you keep misreading me on purpose. Kirk Cameron was specifically trying to argue with non-Christians. So have many other Christians. It is complete nonsense for you to try to claim that I somehow meant this for all Christians, especially when I said the opposite of this.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd February 2016, 01:54 AM   #38
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,628
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Then you must have some other reason for being there. What is it?
Perspective.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd February 2016, 06:01 AM   #39
ddt
Mafia Penguin
 
ddt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 17,730
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Since there is no possible counter to anything Christian which could not be described as one of those things by a Christian, that just amounts to saying that you're not allowed to disagree with Christianity... which is not a big deal at a "Christian website". But it does make me wonder what purpose there could be in going to such a site, for a non-Christian. I'm reminded of the meme that was going around several years ago about religio-nuts registering at sites like this one and Dawkins's old forum, dumping a few turds over a week or two, and disappearing; they were laughed at for supposedly just being here/there to complete a homework assignment in some Christian college class where they were told to go forth and challenge the infidel on our own turf.
But those posters, IIRC, were hit-and-run posters. They dropped their turd and didn't engage in debate after the obvious counter-posts to their turds. As I read the OP, barehl came to said forum with the intent to actually debate the Christian posters there. It would be better to compare him to Christian posters here like DOC or AvalonXQ, who actually did debate views on religion here.
__________________
Founder of the group "The Truth about Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa"

"I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." - "Saint" Teresa, the lying thieving Albanian dwarf
ddt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd February 2016, 07:48 AM   #40
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,840
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
On the other hand, it would be disingenuous to accuse someone who has no desire to play golf of having a "self-defeating golf strategy". Indeed, it would disingenuous to accuse someone who enjoyed playing golf casually, without being concerned about improving their skill or matching themselves against competitive players, of having a "self-defeating golf strategy".

I think that before you accuse someone of having a self-defeating golf strategy, it's important to verify that they are actually interested in succeeding at golf in the way that you measure success in golf. And I think that before you accuse some group of Christians of having a self-defeating debate strategy, it's important to verify that they are actually interested in succeeding at the kind of debate you want to have with them.

To me it seems like you are looking at a group of amateur golfers more interested in socializing than in their handicaps, and saying "well, they'll never get to the Masters that way", as if it's some important insight or indictment of their game. These Christians clearly aren't interested in the kind of debate you want to have. You can't really say they have a strategy for something they're not interested in doing, let alone a self-defeating one. That's why I recommended finding Christians who actually are interested in debate, and proceed from there.


Playing golf is a hobby interest. It's not a belief system that attempts to dictate how you should live your life, how others should live theirs, how and what you should believe about the fundamental facts throughout all of nature (e.g., origin of universe, origin of humans on Earth, reason for the existence of humans and animals, heaven and hell as an afterlife, necessity to oppose any scientific discoveries that clash with the holly books, preaching conversion to children in homes and schools etc.).

Afaik, golf does not have a vast history of engaging in countless wars with millions of victims. But religion certainly does.

IOW, there is absolutely no comparison with what people believe and argue about golf vs. what they believe and argue in defence of religion.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:27 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.