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Switch to Forum Live View How do you argue with this?
6 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 12:27PM #31
shawnf
Posts: 73
[QUOTE=Walther;776655]I find it very discouraging that very few here  -- very few -- have endeavored to second this clarion call for freedom of thought.  Evidently, most people here on both sides of the various divides under discussion still share one tenet above all: MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY! :-(

Jefferson once remarked of religious disputation that different individual viewpoints "neither pick my pocket or break my leg".  We've obviously moved backwards since then.

Well done, folks -- NOT.

Walther[/QUOTE]

I admit that I haven't read all the replies on this post, but I think it's a little lame to try to shame us for replying in the manner requested.  Sure, there can be no way to win a debate about religion, but  the replies to this post should address the original question raised.  If a person asks how an argument can be refuted, then I'm going to suggest a way to refute it. 

I don't think this will bring 'the believer' around to a different perspective, but I also don't think that was the intent.  The point is to have some way of replying to an argument put forward by some well intentioned other.  I don't see this as arguing a "my way or the highway" tenet.  It's more like "I don't trust the map you're following, and your belief that it'll get you where you want to go isn't enough to put me on your road."

On the other hand, Dawkins' The God Delusion actually puts forward some rather good arguments in favor of atheism, and for trying to convince other people that it's the best course.  If you can accept that religious beliefs don't really hurt anybody, then you can agree with Jefferson.  But all too often other people's beliefs DO "break legs."
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 12:27PM #32
shawnf
Posts: 73
[QUOTE=Walther;776655]I find it very discouraging that very few here  -- very few -- have endeavored to second this clarion call for freedom of thought.  Evidently, most people here on both sides of the various divides under discussion still share one tenet above all: MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY! :-(

Jefferson once remarked of religious disputation that different individual viewpoints "neither pick my pocket or break my leg".  We've obviously moved backwards since then.

Well done, folks -- NOT.

Walther[/QUOTE]

I admit that I haven't read all the replies on this post, but I think it's a little lame to try to shame us for replying in the manner requested.  Sure, there can be no way to win a debate about religion, but  the replies to this post should address the original question raised.  If a person asks how an argument can be refuted, then I'm going to suggest a way to refute it. 

I don't think this will bring 'the believer' around to a different perspective, but I also don't think that was the intent.  The point is to have some way of replying to an argument put forward by some well intentioned other.  I don't see this as arguing a "my way or the highway" tenet.  It's more like "I don't trust the map you're following, and your belief that it'll get you where you want to go isn't enough to put me on your road."

On the other hand, Dawkins' The God Delusion actually puts forward some rather good arguments in favor of atheism, and for trying to convince other people that it's the best course.  If you can accept that religious beliefs don't really hurt anybody, then you can agree with Jefferson.  But all too often other people's beliefs DO "break legs."
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2008 - 4:04PM #33
hailtothesquirrel
Posts: 287
[QUOTE=Sailorlal79;742368]I once thought I was the victim of a haunting. It was a weird event (no visuals, just sounds, odd events, etc) and at the time, assumed it meant that ghosts must exist. Now, I believe that there must be some rational explanation for what I experienced, even though I can't identify what it is.[/QUOTE]

I know how you feel here. My biggest problem right now is that I'm on neither end of the spectrum. OK fence sitter. I don't really believe, but I also am not a hard line skeptic. So I think what's makes religion, paranormal, whatever interesting is that I'm not committed to one side or the other. A believer has conviction as does a non-believer. They both "KNOW" the "truth" in their hearts and minds. You can't get a skeptic to believe and you can't get a believer to ditch their faith.

I've had a few weird things happen that made me think. But they haven't been so irrefutable that I am made a believer.

So, back to the OP. There is absolutely no use in attempting to argue, debate or even discuss these things with people who are certain of one side or the other. It's one of the worst things about bnet unfortunately. With only a few exceptions, people are here merely to bait others into argument, still others use the site strictly as a soap box, and just to be nasty. This goes for Christians and non-Christians.

So where in the world is the intellectual discourse?? I see so many threads get off topic within the first two posts. They turn into argument about who said what and quoting everyone from Peter to G.W. Oh and the scripture quotes. None of it proves anything so again we find ourselves back to the beginning.

I generally hope for the best to learn new things and possibly share my own thoughts knowing that there is no truth. I don't bother to get into deep discussion unless it's someone who is also a little on the fence and willing to consider anything but doesn't blindly believe.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 12:45PM #34
Knowlegable_Seeker
Posts: 68
[QUOTE=Walther;776655]I find it very discouraging that very few here  -- very few -- have endeavored to second this clarion call for freedom of thought.  Evidently, most people here on both sides of the various divides under discussion still share one tenet above all: MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY! :-(

Jefferson once remarked of religious disputation that different individual viewpoints "neither pick my pocket or break my leg".  We've obviously moved backwards since then.

Well done, folks -- NOT.

Walther[/QUOTE]

I think you have freedom of thought confused with seeing validity in all the thoughts of others and respecting them as such. I fully admit that people have the right to think whatever they like, and I don't think anyone here would disagree. But at the same time I have the right to think that those thoughts are full of shit and say so.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 3:03PM #35
Sailorlal79
Posts: 1,365

hailtothesquirrel wrote:

I know how you feel here. My biggest problem right now is that I'm on neither end of the spectrum. OK fence sitter. I don't really believe, but I also am not a hard line skeptic. So I think what's makes religion, paranormal, whatever interesting is that I'm not committed to one side or the other. A believer has conviction as does a non-believer. They both "KNOW" the "truth" in their hearts and minds. You can't get a skeptic to believe and you can't get a believer to ditch their faith.

I've had a few weird things happen that made me think. But they haven't been so irrefutable that I am made a believer.

So, back to the OP. There is absolutely no use in attempting to argue, debate or even discuss these things with people who are certain of one side or the other. It's one of the worst things about bnet unfortunately. With only a few exceptions, people are here merely to bait others into argument, still others use the site strictly as a soap box, and just to be nasty. This goes for Christians and non-Christians.

So where in the world is the intellectual discourse?? I see so many threads get off topic within the first two posts. They turn into argument about who said what and quoting everyone from Peter to G.W. Oh and the scripture quotes. None of it proves anything so again we find ourselves back to the beginning.

I generally hope for the best to learn new things and possibly share my own thoughts knowing that there is no truth. I don't bother to get into deep discussion unless it's someone who is also a little on the fence and willing to consider anything but doesn't blindly believe.



I agree with you about the level of discourse here. Try stepping over to the abortion debate sometime. Endless semantic arguments and attacks, no one is willing to admit that there's a gray area, or that they may have anything but absolute certainty on the issue.

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2008 - 10:10AM #36
artboyz
Posts: 293
[QUOTE=hailtothesquirrel;871866]A believer has conviction as does a non-believer.[/QUOTE]

The real problem your having is that its apples and oranges. They are mutally exclusive positions.

Personally, I have no convictions regarding faith. But my lack of conviction should not be taken as conviction for anything. Most religious organizations say I'm going to hell because I'm gay, so I'm pretty convinced that they suck. But if you want have faith in something that does me no harm, all the power to you.

This is the closest thing I've ever had to a personal spiritual experience. Once, when I was using my computer it occured me that the Apple logo was emblematic of the forbidden fruit and thought that the internet might be the realm of Satan. I mulled over that for a few troubling moments and then thought, 'Nahhhhh!' To each there own.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2008 - 10:51AM #37
billandted
Posts: 64
[QUOTE=Sailorlal79;739260]One thing I run into a lot on the debate boards is the old "personal experience" card. As in, "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't". My personal feeling is is that people who claim this are fooling themselves. Do you have to respect the personal experience? Can you suggest that maybe this misinterpret whatever it is they experienced?[/QUOTE]

A personal experience is entirely subjective.  If they're going to claim that theirs is valid, they have to grant yours, too.  Otherwise, what they're saying is that their so-called personal experience has objective truth.  Come to think of it, many of them do seem to be saying that.  Personal experiences are equal because they are exactly that, personal.

You can't really argue with someone like that.  They've already made up their mind that they're right, and anything you say is going to be heard only through their filters.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2008 - 10:57PM #38
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,201
AN ATHEIST'S GROUNDHOG DAY

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "That wasn't God.  That was your psychotic self."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Did he tell you to rub it in?  A$$hole!"

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Was that before or after rehab?"

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Liar!"

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "[Laughing] Yeah, I'll bet you have."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Yeah? Well God called back to say he was just kidding."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Funny, cause you smell like you've just had a personal experience with crack."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Could you be more specific?  I'm trying to calibrate my bullsh*t detector."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "If, by God, you meant your own gullibility, I hope you had a good chat."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Did he happen to mention the winning numbers of today's lotto?"

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "You'll say anything to get into my pants."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Well, I guess you get to drink the Kool-Aid first."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Yes, I know.  God always liked you best."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I wouldn't have to blow your grandma."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Actually, I just had an even bigger experience with God, one that puts yours to shame."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Is that why you smell like Charlton Heston's jock strap?"

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "And I'm sure it has made you a humbler person."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "With God?  Wow.  I only got as far as a burning bush, an angel and two apostles."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "And as long as it was 'personal,' maybe that's how it should stay."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Which is why you're babbling nonsense and I'm not."

Theist: "I've had a personal experience with God, you haven't."
Atheist: "Tell you what.  You follow your experience and I'll follow mine."
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