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Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
05-28-2010, 02:47 PM
Post: #1
Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
Brilliant.. and many of these I see everyday here. #3, #5 for sure!, #6 all the time, #9, and #10 is a biggie.

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1. Understanding what you attack - This is a huge one for atheists. They attack Christianity and, in my opinion, frequently fail to understand what they are criticizing.
2. Learn biblical theology - A lot of answers to objections can be found in basic Christian theology. For example, the Trinity is not three gods. Jesus has two natures: divine and human. Justification is a legal act and sin is a legal problem.
3. Learn from correction - When a faulty understanding of Christianity is corrected, they very often deny the correction and defend their error.
4. Don't be stupid, a tough one for them. But you can do it if you strain yourselves.
5. Don't use incendiary statments - like the one I used in point 4 above. It was an example of what not to do since it raises emotional blocks that prevent rational discourse. (I have to admit I struggle with this one when dealing with atheists. I guess you can say that I'm jaded after all my dialogues with them -- something I have to work on.)
6. Don't use emotionally laden terminology - This only detracts from the argument. For example, atheists will use terms like magic, magic sky god, christian fantasy, christian mythology, etc., when attacking Christianity. Such terms only close the doors of communication.
7. Be respectful to what we believe - You don't have to agree with Christianity. But you need to realize that if you, for example, insult Jesus our Savior, all you do is make yourself look bad, get people defensive, and make atheists, as a whole, look like obstreperous2 twits.
8. Use logic and evidence - when attempting to refute Christianity.
9. Read biblical passages in context - It seems that atheists refuse to do this and just jump on a standard "contradictions" without researching the context
10. Don't cut and paste from anti-Christian websites - Too often atheists want others to do their thinking and research for them so they cut and paste really bad, poorly researched stuff from other sites.
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05-28-2010, 04:52 PM
Post: #2
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
(05-28-2010 02:47 PM)Christian_Chris Wrote:  1. Understanding what you attack - This is a huge one for atheists. They attack Christianity and, in my opinion, frequently fail to understand what they are criticizing.

Agreed. And theists need to understand atheism if they hope to effectively refute it.

Quote:2. Learn biblical theology - A lot of answers to objections can be found in basic Christian theology. For example, the Trinity is not three gods. Jesus has two natures: divine and human. Justification is a legal act and sin is a legal problem.

Disagree. If the premise upon which theology rests is flawed, there is no point in studying the finer points of it. By comparison, I do not need to study astrology to refute it because it is based on the incorrect premise that objects millions of miles away exercise influence on our personalities, happiness, etc.

With regard to theology, if one concludes that God probably does not exist, the intricacies of the Trinity are irrelevant.

Quote: 3. Learn from correction - When a faulty understanding of Christianity is corrected, they very often deny the correction and defend their error.

Conditional agreement. Occasionally christians may argue with slippery, shifting arguments that, when proven false, are simply shifted to a different tact. This is called "shifting the goalposts" and is a common tactic. So an atheist may in fact have a good point, but the Christian may choose to ignore that point in order to focus on irrelevancies.

Quote: 4. Don't be stupid, a tough one for them. But you can do it if you strain yourselves.

Stupidity is an equal-opportunity characteristic. And the Christian who wrote the above loses points for arrogance.

Quote: 5. Don't use incendiary statments - like the one I used in point 4 above. It was an example of what not to do since it raises emotional blocks that prevent rational discourse. (I have to admit I struggle with this one when dealing with atheists. I guess you can say that I'm jaded after all my dialogues with them -- something I have to work on.)

Oh. Ha! I get it. Agreed.

Quote: 6. Don't use emotionally laden terminology - This only detracts from the argument. For example, atheists will use terms like magic, magic sky god, christian fantasy, christian mythology, etc., when attacking Christianity. Such terms only close the doors of communication.

Agreed, but difficult for both sides. Although I don't accept the premise that "christian mythology" is emotionally laden. I think the Christian apologist, like the atheist, needs to grow a thick skin if they hope to have any success.

Quote: 7. Be respectful to what we believe - You don't have to agree with Christianity. But you need to realize that if you, for example, insult Jesus our Savior, all you do is make yourself look bad, get people defensive, and make atheists, as a whole, look like obstreperous2 twits.

Kind of agree. I think Christians tend to be a little hyper-sensitive, and use the "respect my beliefs" Card far too often in order to put non-believers on the defensive. It's called "playing the victim" and is often a disguise for a failed argument. Christians need to understand that beliefs are not people. I think atheists, like all people, should show respect for other people, but ideas/beliefs should be held to the toughest scrutiny. Apologetics can get very brutal, and any Christian who can't handle it should not attempt it.

Quote: 8. Use logic and evidence - when attempting to refute Christianity.

Agreed. And it should go without saying that this applies also to the Christian.

Quote: 9. Read biblical passages in context - It seems that atheists refuse to do this and just jump on a standard "contradictions" without researching the context

Agree, sort of. The only problem with this is that so many Christians themselves abuse the context of their very own scriptures to prove whatever they seek to prove. A better tactic for atheists is to ignore the Bible altogether, since it cannot prove the existence of God anyway.

Quote: 10. Don't cut and paste from anti-Christian websites - Too often atheists want others to do their thinking and research for them so they cut and paste really bad, poorly researched stuff from other sites.

Agreed. It's always more interesting to engage in person to person dialogue. I wish all Christians followed the same practice. By the way, isn't the OP itself a cut and paste job? Mote, meet Plank. Plank, meet Mote.

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05-28-2010, 07:04 PM
Post: #3
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
Many of them can't even follow their own rules.. and btw, any argument is considered an attack on Christianity.. That is how dishonest that little number is, and I won't count how many times on Carm that I have been told that I am going to hell because I had stopped following the ideological construct..
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05-28-2010, 10:19 PM
Post: #4
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
Nod, merryatheist. Smile

Jackal, correct, christians are at fault too with some rules, if not all. and some christians consider any arguement an attack. but to a christian, if you dont follow the bible, then you are going to hell. no arguement about it...thats fact, according to christian beliefs.

but still, good post, yes for both christian and atheist.
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05-28-2010, 11:06 PM
Post: #5
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
I think this can apply to any debate. Christians are often guilty of most of these when they attempt to convert me. #5 is the one I experience most from the Christian camp.

I think all and all, these can be applied in some form or another, in every religious debate.

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05-28-2010, 11:17 PM (This post was last modified: 05-28-2010 11:18 PM by TheJackel.)
Post: #6
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
(05-28-2010 11:06 PM)Clementine Wrote:  I think this can apply to any debate. Christians are often guilty of most of these when they attempt to convert me. #5 is the one I experience most from the Christian camp.

I think all and all, these can be applied in some form or another, in every religious debate.

That is probably why they post those rules.. They are circular and not really meant to govern the debate equally because they tend to feel they don't have to apply to them because they are the Christians who made the rules.. Once you trap them in a corner they often deflect, avoid, and then call you a GODLESS HEAVEN, or tell you that you are off to hell. You really can't argue on Carm without them imploding on their own rules.
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05-29-2010, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 05-29-2010 06:09 PM by Secular Hobbit.)
Post: #7
RE: Things Atheists should consider when debating Christians.
Things Christians should understand when debating atheists
1. Understanding what you defend - This is a huge one for Christians. They attack realism and, in my opinion, frequently fail to understand even the definition of being a realist.
2. Learn biblical theology and accept that scripture is myth. A lot of the time atheists will know the bible better than the religious folk they are arguing with. Christians for the most part have been indoctrinated and accept scripture on blind faith without ever questioning it.
3. Learn to be humble. Atheists don't argue for the sake of arguing but we are passionate about the truth and are the first to admit it when they are wrong. We abide by the scientific method in which to be wrong is a good thing. You should be offended if someone tells you it's okay to tell your kids they will burn in hell despite what your Bible tells you
4. Don't be stupid, a tough one for them. But you can do it if think rationally. Notice how ridiculous it would be if I told you that a million years ago a shrimp built a massive spaceship and beamed up all the elephants on to it while a great typhoon passed through. These are the types of things we are expected to believe.
5. Don't use incendiary statments - like the one I used in point 4 above. It was an example of what not to do since it raises emotional blocks that prevent rational discourse. (I have to admit I struggle with this one when dealing with Christians. I guess you can say that I'm jaded after all my dialogues with them -- something I have to work on.)
6. Don't use emotionally laden terminology or arguments from scripture, they are meaningless statements - This only detracts from the argument. For example, Christians will use terms like Trinity, holy spirit, manifestation of god, the creator etc., and attempt to reconcile these myths with science when justifying their gods with ZERO EVIDENCE. Such terms only lead to deserved ridicule due to how credulous one has to be to think such things are self-evident.
7. Be respectful to what we believe - You don't have to agree with atheism. But you need to realize that if you, for example, insult us for not believing something that as of yet has ZERO EVIDENCE to support it, we hold the upper hand. Lack of evidence is evidence of absence. Occam's Razor applies here.
8. Use logic and evidence - when attempting to refute atheism. This is a funny one since logic and evidence is utterly elusive or non-existent in terms of supporting a sky god (did I break a rule?). The only argument I ever hear is something like: "We don't know what caused the big bang, GOD DID IT!" Non-sequitur after non-sequitur
9. Read biblical passages literally since you have no right to alter the words of the Lord. It seems that only atheists understand this important fact, which is completely expected, since if the religious did read the Bible literally, and some people do, we would be bombed back to the f u c k i n g stone age where rape and slavery would be kosher.
10. Don't cut and paste from pro-Christian websites or the Bible - Too often Christians simply don't think for themselves and posit that arguments from scripture are actually valid. In actual fact, before one can argue from any holy book, that holy book must indeed be verified. Having read the bible myself, I have concluded that it is an extremely important book -- a great work of literature in fact -- that is about as valid as the Harry Potter series.

We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake
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