Author Topic: Very good article about theism/atheism debates  (Read 3198 times)

Online ctc

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Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« on: March 03, 2014, 09:06:10 am »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/how-to-debate-religion_b_4876997.html

How to Debate a Christian Apologist

(Here is just the first 3 paragraphs from an atheist position)

Recently there seems to have been a rash of debates between atheists and Christian apologists. Of course, we had the much-ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creationism versus evolution ("Ham on Nye"), which only served the purpose of giving Ham's ridiculous beliefs attention they did not deserve. And, it got Ham enough money from donors an taxpayers to complete his theme park.

However, most debates involve an atheist scientist, philosopher, or former clergyperson against a Christian theologian or clergyperson. Occasionally we have an atheist layperson against a clergyperson. It is very unwise for a layperson to debate a theologian.

In the latest debates I have watched, as well as many others I have witnessed over the years, including several of my own, the Christians are almost always very smooth and well prepared. The reason is not that their arguments are so persuasive but that they generally have spent years in front of religion classes, lecture audiences, and church congregants, polishing the same old arguments.
Several are on "ignore".   I won't argue with the ignorant and disrespectful..
 "People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive" ~ Blaise Pascal

Offline coachsparky

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 05:10:35 pm »
Why thanks for sharing it actually is a very good article if you read the entire thing.  I like the very next two paragraphs better than the ones you shared:

Quote
And, after you have watched or participated in a number of these events, you find there very seldom is a new argument. All have all been refuted many times, but most in the audiences do not know that.

Atheists, on the other hand, with one or two exceptions, do not make a living promoting atheism and so have a much tougher job preparing for these debates.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Bigotry disguised as religious liberty is still BIGOTRY

Offline heelpick

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:39:51 pm »
Atheism vs theism isn't a worthwhile debate.  These are questions of belief and not of fact.  A debate over questions of fact ie the age of the planet, evolutionary science, or species existence timelines are a much more worthwhile endeavor.

Offline coachsparky

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 07:21:10 pm »
Atheism vs theism isn't a worthwhile debate.  These are questions of belief and not of fact.  A debate over questions of fact ie the age of the planet, evolutionary science, or species existence timelines are a much more worthwhile endeavor.

I agree, you have to take this post in the evolutionary vein.  Although evolution does not mandate atheism, some religious people like ctc cannot distinguish between the two.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Bigotry disguised as religious liberty is still BIGOTRY

Online ctc

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 07:23:06 pm »
Atheism vs theism isn't a worthwhile debate.  These are questions of belief and not of fact.  A debate over questions of fact ie the age of the planet, evolutionary science, or species existence timelines are a much more worthwhile endeavor.
You obviously know nothing about what you are talking about or else you would not have made such a foolish statement.  The debate of atheism vs theism DOES involve all that you listed.
Several are on "ignore".   I won't argue with the ignorant and disrespectful..
 "People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive" ~ Blaise Pascal

Offline coachsparky

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 08:47:36 pm »
Atheism vs theism isn't a worthwhile debate.  These are questions of belief and not of fact.  A debate over questions of fact ie the age of the planet, evolutionary science, or species existence timelines are a much more worthwhile endeavor.
You obviously know nothing about what you are talking about or else you would not have made such a foolish statement.  The debate of atheism vs theism DOES involve all that you listed.

Lets see, the debate between theist and atheist does indeed not involve the age of the planet, as most theist agree with atheist that it is billions of years old, only a small number of nutjob creationist (yes they are theist too, but they are a subset of theist) believe it is not billions of years old.  It also does not involved evolutionary science as many theist, slightly more than half accept evolution as the tool which their God used in It creation.  It also does not in any way involve the species existence timelines as most theist agree with the fossil record.  So the mistaken one here is ctc, not heelpick.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Bigotry disguised as religious liberty is still BIGOTRY

Online ctc

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 04:52:43 pm »
The initial article iwas written by atheists.  Here is a response to that article.

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2014/02/how-not-to-debate-a-christian-apologist/

In an article on Huffington Post (naturally) entitled How to Debate a Christian Apologist, atheist Victor Stenger explains why non-Christians usually do so badly in debates with Christians and then offers a cheat sheet of brief answers to Christian apologetic arguments. The reason why the Christians do so well, according to Stenger, is that they have had years to polish their arguments in their religion classes and churches. The atheists, apparently, don’t have comparable opportunities. This will come as a surprise to Christian students throughout the Western world who have sat under atheists and other skeptical professors routinely spouting off against Christianity even if it entails ignoring the subject matter of the course.

Stenger asserts that Christian debaters use the same tired old arguments even though they have already been soundly refuted (by all those atheists who get tongue-tied in debates, apparently). Rarely do Christian apologists have a new argument, presumably in contrast to atheists who are churning out a new argument against Christianity every week but don’t know what to say when actually talking to a Christian.

Another reason why atheists don’t do well in debates, according to Stenger, is that debates are really about making impressions and not about the substance of what the debaters actually say. In particular, the Christian apologists always seem to have something clever-sounding to say in response to the atheists, whereas the atheists just aren’t very good at that rhetorical game. That’s apparently because they’re too busy in the lab.

more.........
Several are on "ignore".   I won't argue with the ignorant and disrespectful..
 "People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive" ~ Blaise Pascal

Offline coachsparky

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 06:40:52 pm »
The initial article iwas written by atheists.  Here is a response to that article.

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2014/02/how-not-to-debate-a-christian-apologist/

In an article on Huffington Post (naturally) entitled How to Debate a Christian Apologist, atheist Victor Stenger explains why non-Christians usually do so badly in debates with Christians and then offers a cheat sheet of brief answers to Christian apologetic arguments. The reason why the Christians do so well, according to Stenger, is that they have had years to polish their arguments in their religion classes and churches. The atheists, apparently, don’t have comparable opportunities. This will come as a surprise to Christian students throughout the Western world who have sat under atheists and other skeptical professors routinely spouting off against Christianity even if it entails ignoring the subject matter of the course.

Stenger asserts that Christian debaters use the same tired old arguments even though they have already been soundly refuted (by all those atheists who get tongue-tied in debates, apparently). Rarely do Christian apologists have a new argument, presumably in contrast to atheists who are churning out a new argument against Christianity every week but don’t know what to say when actually talking to a Christian.

Another reason why atheists don’t do well in debates, according to Stenger, is that debates are really about making impressions and not about the substance of what the debaters actually say. In particular, the Christian apologists always seem to have something clever-sounding to say in response to the atheists, whereas the atheists just aren’t very good at that rhetorical game. That’s apparently because they’re too busy in the lab.

more.........

This is a worthless piece which is clear in the first paragraph when they person makes that claim that Christian students have to sit under atheist professors routinely.  Typical right wing extremist lie.  Most Americans, including most American professors are Christians.  This article is absolute foolishness written from the lowest intellectual level known.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Bigotry disguised as religious liberty is still BIGOTRY

Offline coachsparky

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 03:48:59 am »
http://religion.ssrc.org/reforum/Gross_Simmons.pdf

Quote
Previous research has examined the religious backgrounds of college and university professors,7 and a much publicized study that came out earlier this year looked at professors’ spiritual self conceptions, finding that 81 percent of faculty consider themselves spiritual persons.8 By contrast, our survey explicitly examined professors’ religious beliefs. A common perception of the college or our survey explicitly examined professors’ religious beliefs. A common perception of the college or university professor is that she or he is an atheist who rejects religion in favor of science or critical inquiry. Although when asked to specify their current religious preference 31.2 percent of the professors we surveyed said “none,” responses to a question taken from the GSS suggest that more professors are believers than is usually recognized. Respondents were asked to select the statement that comes closest to expressing their views about God. Only 10.0 percent chose the statement, “I don’t believe in God,” while 13.4 percent chose the statement, “I don’t know whether there is a
God, and I don’t believe there is any way to find out.” About 23.4 percent of respondents to our survey, in other words, are either atheists or agnostics. This figure is much higher than for the U.S. population as a whole. The same question was last asked on the GSS in 2000. At that time, only 2.8 percent of respondents said they didn’t believe in God, while 4.1 percent said they didn’t know if God existed and believed there was no way to find out. The figures for the college educated population—a more reasonable comparison group for professors—show greater religious skepticism, with about 11.1 percent of those with four years of college or more falling into the ranks of atheists and agnostics, but the differences with professors are still pronounced. Nevertheless, atheists and agnostics are in the minority among professors as a whole. 19.6 percent of respondents to our survey agree with the statement, “I don’t believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind.” More surprising, while only 4.4 percent of respondents agree with the statement, “I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others,” 16.9 percent are of the view that “while I have my doubts, I feel that I do believe in God,” and 35.7 percent of respondents say, “I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it.”
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Bigotry disguised as religious liberty is still BIGOTRY

Offline heelpick

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Re: Very good article about theism/atheism debates
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 01:25:08 pm »
Wow, ctc you must be clairvoyant.