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How to debate a Christian
14th August 2010, 01:19 (This post was last modified: 14th August 2010 01:21 by padraic.)
Post: #11
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RE: How to debate a Christian
I rarely debate anyone any more.

The reasons are:

A decent debate is fun and intellectual exercise for the literate,it doesn't prove anything. Winning an argument does not guarantee truth,like logic itself.

Debates rarely change anyone's mind. In formal debates, I often took the contra to my own position . (and won).

I have no interest in changing the opinions of others and don't care about their personal superstitions unless they get in my face.

Few Christians I've run across seem capable of critical thought and have little if any understanding of logic. They tend to depend on a few tired logical fallacies and debunked arguments.Few show any understanding of words such as 'evidence' or 'theory,and terms such as 'burden of proof' seem beyond them.


Quote:If you could reason with religious people there wouldn't be any (Greg House)
Man is not so much a rational animal as a rationalising one.
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14th August 2010, 06:07
Post: #12
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RE: How to debate a Christian
Well, I'll give you some tips.

1. If you are discussing the Bible, make sure that you know what you are talking about, and be prepared for that Christian to say "out of context," because even though it might not be out of context, their stubborness will kick in due to the failure of accepting the fact that it is indeed in correct context. At that point, ask them how it's out of context. Right there, try to see yourself how it could be out of context. If you can't see it being out of context, just point out that the person is acting very stubborn. But be warned, breaking the shield of stubborness is very difficult. Attempt to change the subject, because you have already won the debate on that subject since they can't show you how it really is out of context. Unless it is.

2. When discussing the existance of God, make sure you know what Faith is. Because apparently to Christians, it's stronger than evidence and proof according to a supposed saying of Jesus in the bible. In other words, a word by definition meaning "trust", makes something true and it doesn't need evidence or proof. Ask them how "trusting" in something shows the existance of anything. The very word of "Faith" can only be brought down if you can show to the Christian how faith doesn't prove an existance of anything. It will be even harder to do that for closed minded people. Stubborness is key. If they show stubborness due to failure of understanding the very word of Faith and its definition, you have already won.

3. Attacking the Creation Story is actually very simple. Ask them how they know that Adam and Eve were the first human. If their answers are something like "Because the bible states it," ask them to prove it. Ask them how they know that the Eartth and the Universe were created in a week. They'll most likely not be able to prove it. And when they state something like "With my Faith in the bible, it must be right" then you have already won the debate, because they can't prove to you that the creation story happened.
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14th August 2010, 12:48
Post: #13
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RE: How to debate a Christian
(14th August 2010 06:07)superstarr Wrote:  Well, I'll give you some tips.

1. If you are discussing the Bible, make sure that you know what you are talking about, and be prepared for that Christian to say "out of context," because even though it might not be out of context, their stubborness will kick in due to the failure of accepting the fact that it is indeed in correct context. At that point, ask them how it's out of context. Right there, try to see yourself how it could be out of context. If you can't see it being out of context, just point out that the person is acting very stubborn. But be warned, breaking the shield of stubborness is very difficult. Attempt to change the subject, because you have already won the debate on that subject since they can't show you how it really is out of context. Unless it is.

2. When discussing the existance of God, make sure you know what Faith is. Because apparently to Christians, it's stronger than evidence and proof according to a supposed saying of Jesus in the bible. In other words, a word by definition meaning "trust", makes something true and it doesn't need evidence or proof. Ask them how "trusting" in something shows the existance of anything. The very word of "Faith" can only be brought down if you can show to the Christian how faith doesn't prove an existance of anything. It will be even harder to do that for closed minded people. Stubborness is key. If they show stubborness due to failure of understanding the very word of Faith and its definition, you have already won.

3. Attacking the Creation Story is actually very simple. Ask them how they know that Adam and Eve were the first human. If their answers are something like "Because the bible states it," ask them to prove it. Ask them how they know that the Eartth and the Universe were created in a week. They'll most likely not be able to prove it. And when they state something like "With my Faith in the bible, it must be right" then you have already won the debate, because they can't prove to you that the creation story happened.

Thank you for the tips! Very useful.

@leo-rcc
Yes, I've already seen that site, its funny.

@padraic and @Irh9
I know that there are some impossible to win debates that bring nothing useful, and I try to avoid those. There are many people that are too stubborn or seem not to be able or willing to analyze the information they receive on this subject that they consider sensitive.

But there are cases when I encounter people that with a debate I can help them in some way improve their lives and change their lifestyle in some meaningful way, at least for them if not for other people also that are around them.

I consider the religious institutions as poisonous for the human mind. Maybe they had some uses in the past for some people to have some hope in their dark times, but today I find them dangerous and useless. Only by being active in exposing their primitive mentality and their constant attempts to slow the human development, and their constant attempts to obtain more power, I am sure that their influence can diminish even faster than right now, and maybe they will just remain a dark stain in humanity's history, a joke told in pubs about how naive can humans be.
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14th August 2010, 13:42
Post: #14
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RE: How to debate a Christian
How to win a debate with a Christian: say 'Prove that your god exists' and watch them squirm.
'We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.' H.L. Mencken

'False religion' is the ultimate tautology.

'It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.' Mark Twain

'I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.' Abraham Lincoln
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15th August 2010, 01:31 (This post was last modified: 15th August 2010 01:33 by padraic.)
Post: #15
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RE: How to debate a Christian
(14th August 2010 13:42)The Omnissiunt One Wrote:  How to win a debate with a Christian: say 'Prove that your god exists' and watch them squirm.


Unless of course they accept intelligent design,in which case they will trot out the teleological argument, aka argument from complexity and 'the watchmaker's argument'.

A simple reply: A fact may imply (suggest) a lot of things. However,the only thing which may be inferred (concluded) from a fact is itself.

'Nothing comes from nothing": That is a common belief which is has been questioned,even refuted by some physicists over the last couple of decades.(I don't claim to understand the physics)

IF you have nothing better to do,and really want to debate a believer, Google 'arguments for the existence of god' and familiarise yourself with the responses.
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15th August 2010, 01:36
Post: #16
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RE: How to debate a Christian
Quote: How to debate a Christian


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15th August 2010, 01:44
Post: #17
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RE: How to debate a Christian
I am an atheist who has read the Bible and written several books on the topic. Now if you want a 20 second soundbite to win any debate, okay here goes. Start with the OT story of creation. Either the snake talked or it didn't. Either the earth is 6,000 years old or it isn't. Pretty simple. If they claim the snake talked and a young earth, you should be able to laugh them out of the room. If they claim it is just a parable, then use the fundie debate. If there was no real fall of man, if it was just a parable, then why does man need to be redeemed? There is no need for Jesus. It is a lose-lose situation for any Christian.
"On Earth as it is in Heaven, the Cosmic Roots of the Bible" available on the Amazon.
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15th August 2010, 08:13 (This post was last modified: 15th August 2010 08:15 by RAD.)
Post: #18
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RE: How to debate a Christian
(13th August 2010 13:03)dreamer2008 Wrote:  Hello, I am an atheist, and I love to challenge the faith of some people around me with the hope that maybe with a successful debate I can help some of them see how useless and harmful the religious institutions are.

I don't disagree at all, but this fact proves nothing about Jesus anymore than the argument people who believe in him behave better. You don't seem to grasp that you rown argument is equallly as useless

Quote:I had some success stories but most of the time religious people avoid conversation about this topic and just change the subject.
I don't. Atheists supply most of the red herrings in my discussions with them

Quote:This is one problem, I understand that for some people changing their beliefs is useless and harmful, if the stories from religion help them in their life and they can function like this without troubling others, okay, I leave them alone and try to understand them.

It's called freedom of religion

Quote:Some simply don't want or can't understand new ideas related to religion, there is mostly nothing that can be done about those.

I've noticed the same thing

Quote:But some people don't benefit from belief in a god, and makes them in general more inefficient and more dangerous in their daily lives, and they have enough intelligence to grasp new ideas and maybe transform themselves for the better but are jamming themselves,

I can't imagine how I could have had a better more productive and creative life than I do. Neither could Isaac Newton I suspect, or Bacon, or Locke, whom Jefferson called the three greatest men in the world. (All Christians). You do a lot of pigeonholing in this post BTW

Quote:making religion a sensitive subject and want to avoid it. I want to know some methods on how I can penetrate this shell

Make an argument that doesn't employ logical fallacies?

Quote:And another problem is the text they use to close the conversation. Most of them are ignorable, but there is one that I don't feel that I can answer efficiently yet, and that is :"You didn't read the Bible so you can't talk about this subject". And the truth is I started to read this book a couple of years ago especially for this but I couldn't even finish Genesis, because its so silly, cruel, and simple that I didn't have the patience and stomach to continue, all that killing, incest, and that cruel, not so intelligent god were too much for me. So how can I answer to this statement so that I can continue on this subject?

False in one part so false in all is a formal fallacy, which you just committed. If only Mark is true, and all the rest is false, you have an intellectual obligation to change your worldview. Right?
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15th August 2010, 10:10
Post: #19
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RE: How to debate a Christian
Get them to produce contemporary accounts of jesus's life. i.e from eye witnesess and the like.

When they find there aren't any maybe that'll make them stop and think.
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15th August 2010, 11:25 (This post was last modified: 15th August 2010 11:26 by dreamer2008.)
Post: #20
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RE: How to debate a Christian
(14th August 2010 13:42)The Omnissiunt One Wrote:  How to win a debate with a Christian: say 'Prove that your god exists' and watch them squirm.


Yes, this most of the time quite effective Big Grin

(15th August 2010 01:31)padraic Wrote:  
(14th August 2010 13:42)The Omnissiunt One Wrote:  How to win a debate with a Christian: say 'Prove that your god exists' and watch them squirm.


Unless of course they accept intelligent design,in which case they will trot out the teleological argument, aka argument from complexity and 'the watchmaker's argument'.

A simple reply: A fact may imply (suggest) a lot of things. However,the only thing which may be inferred (concluded) from a fact is itself.

'Nothing comes from nothing": That is a common belief which is has been questioned,even refuted by some physicists over the last couple of decades.(I don't claim to understand the physics)

IF you have nothing better to do,and really want to debate a believer, Google 'arguments for the existence of god' and familiarise yourself with the responses.


Alright, I will, thank you.


(15th August 2010 01:36)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote: How to debate a Christian


[Image: 23243.gif]
Big Grin


(15th August 2010 01:44)LEDO Wrote:  I am an atheist who has read the Bible and written several books on the topic. Now if you want a 20 second soundbite to win any debate, okay here goes. Start with the OT story of creation. Either the snake talked or it didn't. Either the earth is 6,000 years old or it isn't. Pretty simple. If they claim the snake talked and a young earth, you should be able to laugh them out of the room. If they claim it is just a parable, then use the fundie debate. If there was no real fall of man, if it was just a parable, then why does man need to be redeemed? There is no need for Jesus. It is a lose-lose situation for any Christian.


Great advice, thank you!


(15th August 2010 08:13)RAD Wrote:  
(13th August 2010 13:03)dreamer2008 Wrote:  Hello, I am an atheist, and I love to challenge the faith of some people around me with the hope that maybe with a successful debate I can help some of them see how useless and harmful the religious institutions are.

I don't disagree at all, but this fact proves nothing about Jesus anymore than the argument people who believe in him behave better. You don't seem to grasp that you rown argument is equallly as useless



Yey, a believer! I am happy to see you here Big Grin, although I didn't expect it. What I don't understand is the reason why are you here, posting on an atheist forum. You are searching for something? Maybe you are unsure about your beliefs? Or just want to reinforce them? Interesting... Anyway, from the start I notice that you have a slightly aggressive attitude in your arguments from the start, and I don't understand why. My point in these posts so far wasn't to convince anybody, we are in an atheist forum anyway, so I wasn't interested in providing the best explanation for my perception since most of the people here understand me already, knowing mostly the same things as me in this area.
And about your first comment, I notice that you use a negative, and actually although you don't disagree with me, you don't say that you agree with me, that meaning that maybe you have some support for religious institutions. But what you say about Jesus isn't very clear for me, you mean if the institutions are corrupt that doesn't mean that you can't have a correct view about Jesus? But how would you get a correct view about Jesus if you don't use the "translators" of religious text, the religious authorities? And I didn't even mention Jesus, so why do you?
And finally you mention that my argument is useless. What argument? I didn't state any argument. It sounds that you have a general idea of what arguments atheists in general give and you assume that I suggest the same arguments, whatever those may be.



Quote:I had some success stories but most of the time religious people avoid conversation about this topic and just change the subject.
I don't. Atheists supply most of the red herrings in my discussions with them



Really? That sounds weird since atheists rely in general on facts, while believers rely, well, on belief, and on the Bible, mostly. Maybe you get that impression because you ask some questions that can't be answered so easily by science yet and atheists, at least me, wouldn't want to give false information just to support their argument. But if some things aren't answered yet, why think they won't be answered i the future and prefer to rely on stories to create the illusion that you got an answer?



Quote:This is one problem, I understand that for some people changing their beliefs is useless and harmful, if the stories from religion help them in their life and they can function like this without troubling others, okay, I leave them alone and try to understand them.

It's called freedom of religion



And you think that if I say that I try to understand them that doesn't mean I accept them? I said that if the belief is useful for some they should keep it of course, I mention in my posts that religion is not useful and actually dangerous for some, those are my targets.



Quote:Some simply don't want or can't understand new ideas related to religion, there is mostly nothing that can be done about those.

I've noticed the same thing




Quote:But some people don't benefit from belief in a god, and makes them in general more inefficient and more dangerous in their daily lives, and they have enough intelligence to grasp new ideas and maybe transform themselves for the better but are jamming themselves,

I can't imagine how I could have had a better more productive and creative life than I do. Neither could Isaac Newton I suspect, or Bacon, or Locke, whom Jefferson called the three greatest men in the world. (All Christians). You do a lot of pigeonholing in this post BTW



Good for you, then you should keep your beliefs, but again, then why are you here if everything is good about your religion?
And again with those examples I heard a lot of times. Remember that those great men lived a long time ago Isaac Newton - 1643 - 1727, Francis Bacon - 1561 - 1626, or John Locke 1632 – 1704. That was in average 300 years ago, those were really different times. It was the beginning of the scientific method, and truly the end of the dominance of Aristotelian logic in University life and the idea of just thinking of what was reality, and the beginning of actually trying to observe it, make hypothesis's, make predictions and experiment and see if you are truly right, not just believe you are right. And notice that the scientific method is not incompatible with belief, so of course they were free to believe anything they wanted. But why don't you give some modern examples of believer scientists. From what I know about 90% of the scientific community today is atheist, or more.




Quote:making religion a sensitive subject and want to avoid it. I want to know some methods on how I can penetrate this shell

Make an argument that doesn't employ logical fallacies?



logical fallacies? that means that I use incorrect argumentation. But like I said, I didn't use any structured argumentation. This is an example of unprovoked aggressiveness



Quote:And another problem is the text they use to close the conversation. Most of them are ignorable, but there is one that I don't feel that I can answer efficiently yet, and that is :"You didn't read the Bible so you can't talk about this subject". And the truth is I started to read this book a couple of years ago especially for this but I couldn't even finish Genesis, because its so silly, cruel, and simple that I didn't have the patience and stomach to continue, all that killing, incest, and that cruel, not so intelligent god were too much for me. So how can I answer to this statement so that I can continue on this subject?

False in one part so false in all is a formal fallacy, which you just committed. If only Mark is true, and all the rest is false, you have an intellectual obligation to change your worldview. Right?



But Bible supporters say that the WHOLE Bible is the word of God, then true completely, but if you discover contradictions, and accept that some things in it can't be true, why accept other parts of the Bible as true, and how can you recognize the parts that truly say the word of god and which don't, its corrupted completely then
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