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Do atheists think that debating Christian apologists is wrong?

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I understand that many atheists do not like being exposed to religious arguments in particular Christian apologetics. Such atheists say that they find such arguments to be "annoying" and will not tolerate them. They see any kind of religious proselytizing as disrespectful. Many atheists are fair, though, and say that atheists arguing against Christian beliefs to Christians is also disrespectful. I personally enjoy debating Christians about their beliefs arguing against them. I especially tend to focus on Christian beliefs that I know can be harmful. So are such debates with Christians inappropriate?
 

steve_bank

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Christians always paint themselves as under assault and their religious rights are unbder attack. They blame a number of groups including atheists. Another is those pesky liberal democrats.

The irony is they as a group chronically try to impose interpretation of scripture on others, abortion rights being a prominent issue. Gay rights another. Gd says this shoud be, therfore all must comply.

The Vatican has periodically threatened Catholic politicians with religious suctions if they di not vote the Vatican policies.

Over time I have come to rake debating theists not just an exercise, but a matter of self defense of my rights to be free from religion.


The founders understood this, relgion had been well debated in the colonies which most or all had tax supported state reliion.

The Constitution does not explicitly srate freedom from religion, however there are injections against religious test for public office and against govt enacting laws to establish or promote religion.

Another irony is Protestants objecting to a papal central authority imposing interpretation on others, yet they presume to impose scriptura on others and limit behavior and thought and speech.

And finally invoking the term atheist as a group has no meaning, atheists who reject gods can and do hold diverse political, philisophical views and views on relgion.

A Wican can be an atheist. An atheist can believe in ghosts and alien abductions.
 

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The general definition of this kind of debate is an event where two opposing viewpoints or positions are presented, along with citations of relevant evidence, to a group which will choose one or the other to be more convincing.

Most reports of the great debate about Darwin's On the Origin of Species, involving Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley, give the win to the Biblical advocates. It's very seldom a debate settles who is correct.

Whether any debate can be worth the time and effort depends upon the proposition. "Christian beliefs" is a vague term. What percent of Christians would have to ascribe to a specific belief in order for it not to be a simple straw man attack? How would you delineate specific beliefs and then define any harmful effects? How would one counter the argument that atheist beliefs are evil because some atheists advocate for eugenics and euthanasia?
 
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Over time I have come to rake debating theists not just an exercise, but a matter of self defense of my rights to be free from religion.

The founders understood this, relgion had been well debated in the colonies which most or all had tax supported state reliion.

This is basically my position. Anybody who holds beliefs that if acted on will adversely affect me is somebody I should argue against. Many Christian beliefs like their holding that unbelievers are moral wretches who deserve to be punished is a belief I should counter by demonstrating it to be false.

Strangely, some atheists oppose arguing with Christians. It seems like they prefer to preach to the choir.
 

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Do atheists think that debating Christian apologists is wrong?
Depends on what tge debate is.
Debating creationists gives them way too much credibility.
Debating Evangelicals about whether this is a Xian nation is crucial.
 
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The general definition of this kind of debate is an event where two opposing viewpoints or positions are presented, along with citations of relevant evidence, to a group which will choose one or the other to be more convincing.

I've seen a lot of formal debates between Christians and unbelievers on YouTube. I've learned a lot about debating from both sides of those debates.

Most reports of the great debate about Darwin's On the Origin of Species, involving Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley, give the win to the Biblical advocates.

Really? Most of the reviews I've seen give the win to Huxley. "The Lord have (hath) delivered him into my hands."

It's very seldom a debate settles who is correct.

I have seen debates that are scored by polling the audience before and after the debate to see which side changed the most minds. The atheists won in at least one of those debates.

Whether any debate can be worth the time and effort depends upon the proposition. "Christian beliefs" is a vague term.

I use the phrase "Christian beliefs" as an umbrella term for the beliefs that many Christians get out of the Bible.

What percent of Christians would have to ascribe to a specific belief in order for it not to be a simple straw man attack?

I just qualify the Christian beliefs I'm referring to by using qualifiers like "some" or "many."

How would you delineate specific beliefs and then define any harmful effects?

Science can hold answers to those kinds of questions. For example, in a recent issue of Scientific American I read an article detailing the adverse health effects that can follow by limiting abortions. It referred to recent anti-abortion legislation in some states like Texas brought on by some Christian groups.

How would one counter the argument that atheist beliefs are evil because some atheists advocate for eugenics and euthanasia?

Some atheists do have potentially harmful beliefs. I don't need to agree with them. If I was a member of a religious group, on the other hand, I might need to agree with everything they say regardless of consequences.
 

steve_bank

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Over time I have come to rake debating theists not just an exercise, but a matter of self defense of my rights to be free from religion.

The founders understood this, relgion had been well debated in the colonies which most or all had tax supported state reliion.

This is basically my position. Anybody who holds beliefs that if acted on will adversely affect me is somebody I should argue against. Many Christian beliefs like their holding that unbelievers are moral wretches who deserve to be punished is a belief I should counter by demonstrating it to be false.

Strangely, some atheists oppose arguing with Christians. It seems like they prefer to preach to the choir.

Not too long ago openly opposing Christians as an atheist could get you in trouble in your community and work. In the extreme death threats. I watched a documentary on a prominent atheist family around the 1930s. It was not as bad as Jim Crow but an atheistt could be at risk.

One of the rthings the Civil Rights movement did was open the door on what freedom in this country really means, freddom of specch and action is not just for the status quo.

As I like to put it the old saying goes 'Your right to extend your elbow ends at my nose'.
 

southernhybrid

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I have no problem with atheists debating Christians, although I rarely do it myself, other than posting a few things here sometimes.

My Christian friends all know I'm an atheist and in order to maintain close friendships, we avoid the topic of religion. Imo, it's more important to be openly atheist and set a good moral example. There are many misconceptions about atheists that need to be defeated, so imo, that is more important than debating.

I'd prefer a world where tolerance and good works are of primary importance. I really don't care if others believe in the supernatural as long as these beliefs are a positive influence, leading them to be more charitable.

I don't see much point in debating the immoral, repulsive type of Christian as it's almost impossible to bring someone out of a life long cult. But, if an atheist wants to take these people on, go for it.

And, let me add that if an atheist feels too threatened to come out of the closet, that's cool too. We all have different types of personalities. Some people don't feel comfortable debating or having to defend themselves.
 

atrib

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I understand that many atheists do not like being exposed to religious arguments in particular Christian apologetics. Such atheists say that they find such arguments to be "annoying" and will not tolerate them. They see any kind of religious proselytizing as disrespectful. Many atheists are fair, though, and say that atheists arguing against Christian beliefs to Christians is also disrespectful. I personally enjoy debating Christians about their beliefs arguing against them. I especially tend to focus on Christian beliefs that I know can be harmful. So are such debates with Christians inappropriate?

In the context of a debate or discussion, I have very little interest in what someone believes, I care primarily about what someone can demonstrate with facts and reason. Most discussions I have had with theists, on online forums or in real life, quickly devolve into an assertion of their unsupported beliefs, with generous helpings of self-serving special pleading and cognitive dissonance. I am 55, have been a skeptic since I was old enough to think for myself, and have lived for almost 32 years in the South - and I have been exposed to more than my fair share of apologetics and outright proselytizing, to the point where I am sick of it. I don't give a fuck that you believe that your god is the greatest god ever invented by humans; if you cannot put together an argument based on facts and reason I am not interested. I have read the Bible and am well aware of what it says, and I don't need someone else telling me what it means.
 

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How many of us freethinkers would be out & proud if it weren't for the instinct to call bullshit on superstition? It took a few minutes with Why I Am Not a Christian (from my dad's bookshelf) at age 12 to realize in a healthful, gleeful flash that I didn't believe the gobbledegook and never would.
 

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I understand that many atheists do not like being exposed to religious arguments in particular Christian apologetics. Such atheists say that they find such arguments to be "annoying" and will not tolerate them. They see any kind of religious proselytizing as disrespectful

Disrespectful? No, I realize that they are mostly convinced that they are following a divine directive to save me from eternal torture in the Lake-O-Fahr.
Annoying? Yes. But mostly just stupid and sad. I used to enjoy "debating" them, but not having come to their position through reason, they are never going to be dissuaded from that position by reason. So in the end its only benefit is the re-examination of my own reasons for being bored and disgusted by them. I no longer feel any need for further affirmation of those reasons, so ...
 

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How would one counter the argument that atheist beliefs are evil because some atheists advocate for eugenics and euthanasia?

The only criteria for being an atheist is a lack of belief in gods. That's it. Everything else is unrelated, and atheists can and do hold widely varying opinions on subjects that do not relate to this core position, like eugenics and euthanasia.
 
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Not too long ago openly opposing Christians as an atheist could get you in trouble in your community and work. In the extreme death threats. I watched a documentary on a prominent atheist family around the 1930s. It was not as bad as Jim Crow but an atheistt could be at risk.

Nowadays atheism has gone from that to being frowned upon by some people. Many Christians seem to think that atheism is odd or sad. Polled Americans rate atheists as low on the scale of trustworthiness. However, I think they have a stereotype-atheist in mind when they say that. Most of the Christians I know have a high opinion of me even though they know I'm an atheist.

But what I think is odd is why some atheists would think that arguing atheism with Christians is disrespectful or obnoxious. Maybe such atheists fear a backlash from Christians like you've documented if our unbelief is too obvious.

One of the rthings the Civil Rights movement did was open the door on what freedom in this country really means, freddom of specch and action is not just for the status quo.

The Civil Rights Movement demonstrated that freedom isn't free, and the result of it has demonstrated that freedom is way too expensive. What we have in America is outright persecution of ethnic minorities as well as the elderly and the disabled. So the attitude toward atheists and the way they are treated online is just the tip of the iceberg.

As I like to put it the old saying goes 'Your right to extend your elbow ends at my nose'.

If we have freedom of speech, then it needs to be balanced with freedom from speech. Nobody should be subjected to talk that they don't want to read or hear. That's why I tell people in forums that if they don't like to be exposed to what I say, then they can always click out of it.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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I understand that many atheists do not like being exposed to religious arguments in particular Christian apologetics. Such atheists say that they find such arguments to be "annoying" and will not tolerate them. They see any kind of religious proselytizing as disrespectful. Many atheists are fair, though, and say that atheists arguing against Christian beliefs to Christians is also disrespectful. I personally enjoy debating Christians about their beliefs arguing against them. I especially tend to focus on Christian beliefs that I know can be harmful. So are such debates with Christians inappropriate?.
Depends on context. Taking my pants off can be quite offensive if done in the wrong place. Really, your opening premise is suspect as it is really vague and complains about a position taken by people you haven't established.. And supposing there are atheists that feel arguing against theists is wasteful, are atheists obliged to argue with Christians?

If we have freedom of speech, then it needs to be balanced with freedom from speech. Nobody should be subjected to talk that they don't want to read or hear. That's why I tell people in forums that if they don't like to be exposed to what I say, then they can always click out of it.
Tell people in forums? What, are you just bouncing from forum to forum to tell people to have arguments?
 

steve_bank

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It is not about not liking being exposed to religions ideas, it is about the intrusiveness and infringement of rights based on ancient writings of a tribal group, IOW Hebrews.

I doubt any of the atheists on the forum care about anyone's personal beliefs per se. If you want to get naked and howl at the full moon, go for it.

It is about actions and in the name of religion and a god.

With American Jews I have known I always had the feeling of a human connection beyond relgion and beliefs. Perhaps 'I'm ok you're pk'. Of courde there are extreme conservative Jews in the USA.

With Christians it is always in the end a boundary, I am Christian and you are not. Several time in conversation I am suddenly confronted without warning with an attempt at conversion.

Christians in general are intrusive and derive a god given biblical mandate to convert others. Look at the Native American cultural genocide in favor of Christianity starting with the first Europeans in South America.

Conservatives often use the communist bogyman to instill fear, yet i is they who want a uniform Christian conformity.

Juxtapose the RCC with the modern Chinese CCP trying to force a uniform conformity with penalties for resistance, and you have the history of the RCC and Christianity in general.
 

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I understand that many atheists do not like being exposed to religious arguments in particular Christian apologetics. Such atheists say that they find such arguments to be "annoying" and will not tolerate them.
It's a notion a lot of people-in-general hold in society - if you want to keep things friendly then don't talk politics or religion. But I've never encountered it specifically among atheists.

In what context did you observe any atheist saying they don't like being exposed to Christian apologetics? Getting annoyed after a time with stupidity and lies is understandable. If it seems futile to a person, then why not bow out of the debates/arguments? But the way you phrase it, it comes across as something different than that.
 
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I have no problem with atheists debating Christians, although I rarely do it myself, other than posting a few things here sometimes.

If I know somebody is wrong, then I tell them if I can. I do so in person as well as online. I don't think it's disrespectful at all. I've debated Christians in person as well as online. None of those Christians were hurt.

My Christian friends all know I'm an atheist and in order to maintain close friendships, we avoid the topic of religion. Imo, it's more important to be openly atheist and set a good moral example. There are many misconceptions about atheists that need to be defeated, so imo, that is more important than debating.

I've told Christian apologists that the best apologetic is for them to give a good example of just how sensible, informed, and moral a Christian is due to their beliefs. As far as I know none of them have taken up that challenge.

I'd prefer a world where tolerance and good works are of primary importance. I really don't care if others believe in the supernatural as long as these beliefs are a positive influence, leading them to be more charitable.

One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.

I don't see much point in debating the immoral, repulsive type of Christian as it's almost impossible to bring someone out of a life long cult. But, if an atheist wants to take these people on, go for it.

Since I don't really know who is a hopeless case and who isn't, I take on all comers. Even if a "hopeless case" won't listen to reason, some of those looking on might well listen to reason.

Some people don't feel comfortable debating or having to defend themselves.

Evidently some atheists feel that way, and that's why they objected to my debating Christians. They may have feared that they would be proved wrong too.
 
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So, to answer this OP, it will require a bit of history: in highschool and earlier, I was an apologist of the Christian variety. I had by the age of 17 memorized the majority of just so things from all the Christian summer and extracurricular activities, and armed with internet access, managed to also acquire their more "grown-up" permutations.

Then, after a time of parroting all that bullshit, I started to really try to understand it "well". I tried to understand it so well, that I started studying "the opposition" views so that I could use my just so arguments to defeat them...

The issue here is, I couldn't. There was always a "hole" in the logic, and I started getting really good at finding those holes.

Eventually, I discovered that all such arguments seemed to be built on a pile of sand... The same pile of sand they accused secular people of building on.

The reason I despise arguing with them so much is that it is like arguing with an amnesiac: no matter how many times you educate single individuals away from a single bad view, there will always be a pile of bad views and even people who hold the same bad view. It's all PRATTs... And they aren't even interesting ones.

I have been here for some time now, and can almost recite the litany of posts any new Christian apologist here makes. There's always some attempting-to-be-clever appeal to a a KCA type argument, maybe two, maybe some about heaven, and then a giant pile of Gish Gallop whenever they are remotely put to question.

Really, it's not the nature of the religiousity that annoys me. It's the fact that I've already had the same conversation with different meat.
 

steve_bank

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If I know somebody is wrong, then I tell them if I can. I do so in person as well as online. I don't think it's disrespectful at all. I've debated Christians in person as well as online. None of those Christians were hurt.



I've told Christian apologists that the best apologetic is for them to give a good example of just how sensible, informed, and moral a Christian is due to their beliefs. As far as I know none of them have taken up that challenge.

I'd prefer a world where tolerance and good works are of primary importance. I really don't care if others believe in the supernatural as long as these beliefs are a positive influence, leading them to be more charitable.

One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.

I don't see much point in debating the immoral, repulsive type of Christian as it's almost impossible to bring someone out of a life long cult. But, if an atheist wants to take these people on, go for it.

Since I don't really know who is a hopeless case and who isn't, I take on all comers. Even if a "hopeless case" won't listen to reason, some of those looking on might well listen to reason.

Some people don't feel comfortable debating or having to defend themselves.

Evidently some atheists feel that way, and that's why they objected to my debating Christians. They may have feared that they would be proved wrong too.

Are you on a mission to correct all who believe in what you think are untruths? If so yiu have a mighty task.

I do not care if somebody belives in astrology, I will rwact if somebody yses astrolgy to make decions that affect oters.

A foundational principle of our western liberal democracies is the right of self determination. I would never try to dissuade or 'deconvert' anyone, I am not anti religion, I oppose specific actions in the name of religion. Same with any philosophy.

I know I am not all knowing, from that comes a degree o humility and tolerance for that which I do not like.
 

southernhybrid

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If I know somebody is wrong, then I tell them if I can. I do so in person as well as online. I don't think it's disrespectful at all. I've debated Christians in person as well as online. None of those Christians were hurt.



I've told Christian apologists that the best apologetic is for them to give a good example of just how sensible, informed, and moral a Christian is due to their beliefs. As far as I know none of them have taken up that challenge.

I'd prefer a world where tolerance and good works are of primary importance. I really don't care if others believe in the supernatural as long as these beliefs are a positive influence, leading them to be more charitable.

One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.

I don't see much point in debating the immoral, repulsive type of Christian as it's almost impossible to bring someone out of a life long cult. But, if an atheist wants to take these people on, go for it.

Since I don't really know who is a hopeless case and who isn't, I take on all comers. Even if a "hopeless case" won't listen to reason, some of those looking on might well listen to reason.

Some people don't feel comfortable debating or having to defend themselves.

Evidently some atheists feel that way, and that's why they objected to my debating Christians. They may have feared that they would be proved wrong too.

I don't care if other atheists want to engage in debates or not and neither should you. Unlike some atheists, I don't believe that all religious beliefs are harmful. Mythology has always had a strong influence on human societies and probably always will to some extent. I've accepted that as I've aged.

I'm far more interested in character than I am in what someone believes and atheists aren't a like minded herd. Some do a lot of positive things for others, while some are rather self centered people. I've known all kinds of people who identify as atheists over the many years that I've been involved in real life atheist communities. I can say the same about the Christians I've known. Some are nasty, hateful people, while others are kind, generous people. Beliefs don't necessarily make us what we are. You do your thing and don't worry about what others think.
 

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One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.
And......here we go again. Painting all believers with the same tarred brush.

Yes, I am a Christian. No, I am not "uninformed and misinformed" or "superstitious, ignorant". I am a big believer in science. I admire scientists and educators tremendously for using their gifts to make our society better. I have spent my life learning about everything I could. And I am far from alone in the faith community. Unfortunately, the only religious people you hear about are the ones on the far right making fools of themselves in public, kind of like the only atheists you hear about are the ones who make big noises about how Christians are ignorant. Sadly, these are the exact people that wind up in positions of power since they know how to promote themselves as "the answer to our issues". My personal feelings are best stated by this - a pox on both of their houses!

You have made a common error in conflating religious belief with lack of scientific belief. The two are entirely separate; faith deals with the intangible and science deals with the tangible world around us. There is no conflict there.

Back to your original question - is it wrong for an atheist to debate a Christian apologist? Of course not. Both sides have to be willing for a debate to even occur. But you usually just see this happening between those on the fringe of each spectrum. Most of us find such debates to be boring, to be honest. The atheist says that the Christian is believing in fairy tales and not science, and the Christian says that the atheist has made science into their god. All they are doing is talking past each other since they aren't even discussing the same thing.

Ruth
 

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One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.
And......here we go again. Painting all believers with the same tarred brush.
He said "CAN have" not "Will have."
Is it your belief that religious people will never have a a negative impact on science education?
 

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One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.
And......here we go again. Painting all believers with the same tarred brush.
He said "CAN have" not "Will have."
Is it your belief that religious people will never have a a negative impact on science education?
No, of course not. But that is not limited to just religious people; any fool in a position of power can have the same effect.

But you seem to have overlooked the rest of his quote: "Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people." He seems to think that religious people cause that.

Ruth
 

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He said "CAN have" not "Will have."
Is it your belief that religious people will never have a a negative impact on science education?
No, of course not. But that is not limited to just religious people; any fool in a position of power can have the same effect.

But you seem to have overlooked the rest of his quote:
I didn't overlook it. I didn't quote it. Your mind-reading skills need work.
"Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people." He seems to think that religious people cause that.
"Seems to think" again. You could, maybe, ask him what he really thinks?
Or just LUMP HIM in with other opinions you object to, such as people who lump other people into big groups.

He still hasn't said that ALL religious people will ALWAYS lead to this, which is what you're objecting to. If you want him to give 'the other side' fair chance, you probably need to do the same thing you demand of him.

Just saying...
 

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I didn't overlook it. I didn't quote it. Your mind-reading skills need work.
"Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people." He seems to think that religious people cause that.
"Seems to think" again. You could, maybe, ask him what he really thinks?
Or just LUMP HIM in with other opinions you object to, such as people who lump other people into big groups.

He still hasn't said that ALL religious people will ALWAYS lead to this, which is what you're objecting to. If you want him to give 'the other side' fair chance, you probably need to do the same thing you demand of him.

Just saying...
Mmm....maybe. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that the entirety of the quote should be considered when deciding someone's viewpoint. You cherry picked only one sentence; I considered the entire quote.

But okay, let's ask. Unknown Soldier, did you intend to infer that religious people as a whole are responsible for adverse impacts on science and education?

Ruth
 

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"A meta-analysis and an updated analysis...found a measurable negative correlation between IQ and religiosity. The correlation was suggested to be a result of nonconformity, more cognitive and less intuitive thinking styles among the less religious."
- excerpted from the article Religiosity and intelligence on wikipedia. The whole article is worth reading and has citations one can follow, if one wishes.
 

Keith&Co.

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I didn't overlook it. I didn't quote it. Your mind-reading skills need work.
"Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people." He seems to think that religious people cause that.
"Seems to think" again. You could, maybe, ask him what he really thinks?
Or just LUMP HIM in with other opinions you object to, such as people who lump other people into big groups.

He still hasn't said that ALL religious people will ALWAYS lead to this, which is what you're objecting to. If you want him to give 'the other side' fair chance, you probably need to do the same thing you demand of him.

Just saying...
Mmm....maybe. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that the entirety of the quote should be considered when deciding someone's viewpoint.
"Context" still doesn't matter if you're going to project things into the post that aren't actually there.

I mean, there are millions of dumb people doing dumb shit out there RIGHT NOW, and acting superstitiously about vaccines and ivermectin, and i don't blame their religion NEARLY as much as i blame their politics.
So maybe there's another way to interpret the post you took so personally.
 

Elixir

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It’s not the religious, it’s religions.
I was encouraged from early childhood to behave in a “Christian manner”. But not necessarily to be “a Christian”. (Was made to study at least a little of all major religions)
I can’t think of a religion that doesn’t include some good and some bad individuals. But I feel that on balance, organized religions are an evolutionary artifact, a useless vestigial limb and - if you’ll permit a religious metaphor - a curse upon humanity.
 

Ruth Harris

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Mmm....maybe. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that the entirety of the quote should be considered when deciding someone's viewpoint.
"Context" still doesn't matter if you're going to project things into the post that aren't actually there.

I mean, there are millions of dumb people doing dumb shit out there RIGHT NOW, and acting superstitiously about vaccines and ivermectin, and i don't blame their religion NEARLY as much as i blame their politics.
So maybe there's another way to interpret the post you took so personally.
I explained my reasoning for understanding his quote the way I did. You think that I was reading something into it that wasn’t there – so I did ask him what he intended after you brought it up. No problem for me; I do want to correctly understand what someone is saying and would welcome his clarification. I did expect him to reply to my original post if I was wrong, in any event.

But I do object to your continued insistence that your understanding of his words is more valid than mine, until he clarifies this. You don’t have any more knowledge of what he thinks than I do. And to me, reading the whole quote, the inference seemed clear that he thought religious belief led to the adverse impacts he named. In this case, the context was everything. No mind-reading skills required.

No hard feelings on my part, but it would be nice if you would acknowledge that possibly I could be correct. I did not have to project anything into his words to draw my conclusion; all the elements of it were included in that single complete quote.

Ruth
 

Keith&Co.

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I'm old enough to remember this one time that Hillary Clinton warned us that a subset of Trump Followers were racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic.
A whole lot of people got upset that a presidential candidate called "all republicans" a basket of deplorables.
This is not what she said. One has to wonder why they took it personally.
 

Ruth Harris

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I'm old enough to remember this one time that Hillary Clinton warned us that a subset of Trump Followers were racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic.
A whole lot of people got upset that a presidential candidate called "all republicans" a basket of deplorables.
This is not what she said. One has to wonder why they took it personally.
Ah – NOW I get what you are saying.

You think I used too broad a brush by saying that his quote smeared all believers. His post only specifically named believers. I was saying that his link between faith and adverse impacts on science or education was faulty. Those impacts are caused by multiple groups, including but not limited to right wing believers, politically focused science deniers, those that denigrate education as “unnecessary”, etc. To focus on only believers is to make a false connection between faith and ignorance. THAT is the source of my objection.

So let me make this very clear. Religious belief is far from the sole cause for the "uninformed and misinformed" or "superstitious, ignorant". Don’t target your angst against only the faith community. The vast majority of believers are firm supporters of education and scientists. In fact, the current head of the NIH is a devout Christian. He has a stellar reputation in the scientific community.

Call out all of the people who fight against an informed electorate or try to convince others that “too much education is dangerous”. Don’t propagate the misinformation that links these people to the faith community – they aren’t believers, for the most part. They are just fools or people who think they can use them to promote their standing in politics or the community.

Ruth
 

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I am not sure what an atheist is these days, but I see them as more moral and peace-loving and law abiding than the average genocidal, homophobic and misogynous god loving theist.

Statistics are clear on this.

If the more ill-informed and mentally lazy atheists are not more militant in fighting the evils the god religions continue to inflict on women and gays, the stats are over-rated and those atheists are no better than theists, regardless of belief.

Insert gays and women harmed by homophobic and misogynous religions to this quote. You should get an idea of what you should be doing with the homophobic and misogynous mainstream religions if you live by the golden rule.

Please get back to me with your conclusion.

Martin Niemöller
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Regards
DL
 
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I am not sure what an atheist is these days, but I see them as more moral and peace-loving and law abiding than the average genocidal, homophobic and misogynous god loving theist.

Statistics are clear on this.

If the more ill-informed and mentally lazy atheists are not more militant in fighting the evils the god religions continue to inflict on women and gays, the stats are over-rated and those atheists are no better than theists, regardless of belief.

Insert gays and women harmed by homophobic and misogynous religions to this quote. You should get an idea of what you should be doing with the homophobic and misogynous mainstream religions if you live by the golden rule.

Please get back to me with your conclusion.

Martin Niemöller
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Regards
DL

Well, when I debated the Christians at CARM, I criticized them and their religion for their gay-bashing and misogyny and other ills. I got in trouble there for doing so, and some atheists in another forum told me that I deserved it. They may be some of those ill-informed and mentally lazy atheists you mention here.
 

Elixir

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Well, when I debated the Christians at CARM, I criticized them and their religion for their gay-bashing and misogyny and other ills. I got in trouble there for doing so …

If you were posting at CARM and NOT getting in trouble for it, you’re probably a YEC. Definitely doing it wrong, anyhow.
That lot is the most unsalvageable bunch of morons I ever ran across.
 

abaddon

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Well, when I debated the Christians at CARM, I criticized them and their religion for their gay-bashing and misogyny and other ills. I got in trouble there for doing so, and some atheists in another forum told me that I deserved it...
What other forum? Who are these atheists who want atheists to shut up about religion yet don't hesitate criticizing atheism/atheists?
 

Keith&Co.

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Well, when I debated the Christians at CARM, I criticized them and their religion for their gay-bashing and misogyny and other ills. I got in trouble there for doing so, and some atheists in another forum told me that I deserved it.
"Deserved it?" No idea why they'd say that.
You should have expected it.
You could have bet on it.
You should be proud of it. PosRep.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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In fact, the current head of the NIH is a devout Christian. He has a stellar reputation in the scientific community.

Is he a good christian or a bad christian? It's like the good witch asking Dorothy if she was a witch and what kind. Of course Dorothy was biased against witches until she met Glinda.

Is the dude a very devout liberal christian? One person's devotion is another person's heresy, you know. That's the problem with unquantified labels when it comes to religious affiliation.

Do you really think it is possible to be scientifically literate and devoutly christian other than in claim only?
 

Ruth Harris

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In fact, the current head of the NIH is a devout Christian. He has a stellar reputation in the scientific community.

Is he a good christian or a bad christian? It's like the good witch asking Dorothy if she was a witch and what kind. Of course Dorothy was biased against witches until she met Glinda.

Is the dude a very devout liberal christian? One person's devotion is another person's heresy, you know. That's the problem with unquantified labels when it comes to religious affiliation.

Do you really think it is possible to be scientifically literate and devoutly christian other than in claim only?
Decide for yourself where he stands in your view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins

I can tell you that he really defies classification, as far as "liberal" or "conservative" goes in Christianity.

Yes, I think it is very possible to be both scientifically literate and devoutly Christian. There is nothing in science which precludes faith in God.

Ruth
 

Keith&Co.

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Do you really think it is possible to be scientifically literate and devoutly christian other than in claim only?
Footnotes. Lots and lots of footnotes.

*Not to be taken as literal language, historically accurate, scientifically literate, good math, or as a travelogue.

Scatter the *'s as needed.
 

Ruth Harris

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Science doesn't work on the principle of faith.
Faith in God does not work on scientific principles. Love doesn't work on scientific principles either. Does that invalidate love? Both are intangible concerns; science is involved with tangible concerns. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that science will never prove or disprove faith, any more than it can prove or disprove love. That is not the sphere of science. Likewise, faith or love will never prove or disprove science.

Ruth
 

none

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Science doesn't work on the principle of faith.
Faith in God does not work on scientific principles. Love doesn't work on scientific principles either. Does that invalidate love? Both are intangible concerns; science is involved with tangible concerns. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that science will never prove or disprove faith, any more than it can prove or disprove love. That is not the sphere of science. Likewise, faith or love will never prove or disprove science.

Ruth

Insecurity is empirical. Get over it.
 

Learner

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Science doesn't work on the principle of faith.
Faith in God does not work on scientific principles. Love doesn't work on scientific principles either. Does that invalidate love? Both are intangible concerns; science is involved with tangible concerns. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that science will never prove or disprove faith, any more than it can prove or disprove love. That is not the sphere of science. Likewise, faith or love will never prove or disprove science.

Ruth

Agreed Ruth. Some atheists I've come across, talk as if science is the sole property of atheism.

To the OP Unknown soldier. I've seen some good civil debates and discussions between Christians and atheists. Craig v Hitchens for example having mutual respect, and still having a laugh. Of course on forums it varies but can also be respectful, so it's all fine by me, (as being adults).
 
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One of my biggest concerns about religious belief is the adverse impact it can have on education especially science education. Living in a society full of uninformed and misinformed people can't be a good thing if education has any value at all. So I do care if any kind of thinking or lack of thinking results in millions of superstitious, ignorant people.
And......here we go again. Painting all believers with the same tarred brush.

Kind of like the sheep and the goats--or the wheat and the chaff, is it not? If you don't like being "tarred with the same brush," then tell Jesus not to do it to other people.

Anyway, I see that you detest being lumped in with other Christians. Why is that?

Yes, I am a Christian. No, I am not "uninformed and misinformed" or "superstitious, ignorant".

Aside from believing that you can telepathically communicate with an invisible person whom you've been told will grant your requests; no, you're not the least bit superstitious or misinformed.

I am a big believer in science. I admire scientists and educators tremendously for using their gifts to make our society better. I have spent my life learning about everything I could. And I am far from alone in the faith community. Unfortunately, the only religious people you hear about are the ones on the far right making fools of themselves in public...

If you're informed about science then you know that Bible cosmology and earth history have been demonstrated by scientists to be bogus.

...kind of like the only atheists you hear about are the ones who make big noises about how Christians are ignorant. Sadly, these are the exact people that wind up in positions of power since they know how to promote themselves as "the answer to our issues". My personal feelings are best stated by this - a pox on both of their houses!

Actually, the noises many Christians make demonstrate their ignorance. I don't need to tell anybody about that ignorance unless they are uninformed.

You have made a common error in conflating religious belief with lack of scientific belief. The two are entirely separate; faith deals with the intangible and science deals with the tangible world around us. There is no conflict there.

Actually, science and religion overlap in a lot of ways. Science keeps correcting the mistakes made by Christianity. If you are truly informed, then I don't need to tell you that.

Back to your original question - is it wrong for an atheist to debate a Christian apologist? Of course not. Both sides have to be willing for a debate to even occur. But you usually just see this happening between those on the fringe of each spectrum. Most of us find such debates to be boring, to be honest. The atheist says that the Christian is believing in fairy tales and not science, and the Christian says that the atheist has made science into their god. All they are doing is talking past each other since they aren't even discussing the same thing.

Ruth

I used to be a Christian apologist who debated skeptics. Do I need to inform you that that changed? When I realized I was wrong, I humbly admitted it. Maybe that's why so many Christians cannot be reasoned with; they lack the humility to admit their error.
 

DBT

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Science doesn't work on the principle of faith.
Faith in God does not work on scientific principles. Love doesn't work on scientific principles either. Does that invalidate love? Both are intangible concerns; science is involved with tangible concerns. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that science will never prove or disprove faith, any more than it can prove or disprove love. That is not the sphere of science. Likewise, faith or love will never prove or disprove science.

Ruth

Faith by definition is a belief held without the support of evidence. Science requires evidence.
 

Ruth Harris

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If you're informed about science then you know that Bible cosmology and earth history have been demonstrated by scientists to be bogus.
Before I take the time to answer you item by item, it would probably enable better understanding on your part if you read a thread I started a few years ago, and in particular this post of mine in that thread:

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...n-though-I-am-a-Christian&p=382833#post382833

Since you were a Christian apologist it is likely that your beliefs fell on the conservative side of the spectrum. I am considered more a moderate on that spectrum, so some of your assumptions about me are likely incorrect.

Farther on in this thread, I asked a question: did you intend to infer that religious people as a whole are responsible for adverse impacts on science and education? I am very interested to learn your answer.

Ruth
 

Ruth Harris

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Science doesn't work on the principle of faith.
Faith in God does not work on scientific principles. Love doesn't work on scientific principles either. Does that invalidate love? Both are intangible concerns; science is involved with tangible concerns. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that science will never prove or disprove faith, any more than it can prove or disprove love. That is not the sphere of science. Likewise, faith or love will never prove or disprove science.

Ruth

Faith by definition is a belief held without the support of evidence. Science requires evidence.
That is what I just said. One is tangible, one is intangible. So there is no conflict there as they are concerned with different spheres.

Ruth
 

Learner

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Kind of like the sheep and the goats--or the wheat and the chaff, is it not? If you don't like being "tarred with the same brush," then tell Jesus not to do it to other people.

Anyway, I see that you detest being lumped in with other Christians. Why is that?

Forgive me for interjecting, but I pretty much agree with Ruths posts. The reasons are easy - I don't doubt Ruth would agree with me that we both wouldn't want to be connected with prosperity churches, as an obvious example among others. Quoting your "Then tell Jesus not to do it to other people" there is a better and clearer context to this part of the narrative, when Jesus warns believers of false doctrine and false prophets under the guise of Christianity whilst preaching in His name i.e. don't be lumped in with them..
 
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