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There is proof of God


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Showing 176-200 of 317 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 3:29:30 AM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
Rothery, I think that is one of the few debates that Hitchens lost. And I am a huge Hitchens fan. Note I don't say that John Lennox is correct, just that he won the debate.

There is a debate technique where you bring up so many points in your turn that your opponent cannot address them all, and when the floor comes back around to you, you say "notice my opponent did not address points 3, 6,7, and 10." There is a name for this debate technique but I forgot, does anyone know what it is?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 4:09:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 4:10:36 AM PDT
Bubba says:
It sounds like it is related to the Gish Gallop debate technique.

The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop debate technique thusly:

Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much [bs] in such a short span on that your opponent can't address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more 'talking points' that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it's not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.

1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure [bs] and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.

2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally [bs]. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they're [bs], but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much [bs] into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012, 4:59:32 AM PDT
Rothery says:
"I have a Christian friend that has gone from intolerance to tolerance, over the course of our conversations in the last decade. I think I had some small part in that."

It may take another ten years and the next step is from tolerance to acceptance. Persevere, like the denizens of these forums. You'll have recruited another one to the good side. Saved a soul, essentially.

Yes, a little sarcasm there. But it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that the reason people are here is to convert others to their way of thinking, despite repeated denials of that by many.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 5:04:59 AM PDT
Rothery says:
I'm sure given enough time Hitchens would have countered quite skillfully. The debate is not one that needs to be won or lost, I think. It comes down to belief, mostly.

The winner, if there could be one, is the one that asks the most questions, and not the one that makes the most assertions. Lennox may have the edge in that regard, but it doesn't make for a victory, it just lets the listener make their own decision, which I think is the crux of the whole issue!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 7:18:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 7:19:58 AM PDT
I have to say, I'm deeply amused that RRR and D. Thomas don't believe that I'm really an atheist. I wonder if, perhaps, they're just not used to atheists who behave differently than they do. It's almost as though it's not enough to be an atheist; you have to be an anti-theist. DT even quotes what I've said to WP as "words worthy of a pastor." (Interestingly, Ariex looked at the very same post and accused me of trying to start trouble with everyone, theists and atheists alike.) Well, thank you DT. Unlike you, I don't have anything against pastors.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 7:24:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 7:38:07 AM PDT
I did spell "interview" wrong. Dang it! I do try to copy edit my posts. Book titles are supposed to be italicized, though, not put in quotation marks. (Or, just for D. Thomas, qt. marks.) And Amazon doesn't allow me to use italics.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 7:32:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 7:40:57 AM PDT
RRR: "Saying that I didn't recall a single instance of this is certainly NOT attacking the poor, abused Mr. Weaver. All he had to was point out a single instance and I would have replied that I saw his point. It could have been that simple, but poor Mr. Weaver had to ratchet up the hysterics. I'm a little surprised that you wouldn't investigate such claims more thoroughly."

I'd just like to point out that I've done exactly that. Please see my post on this thread at Nov 2, 2012 12:10:52 PM PDT about another thread entitled "Don't you ever get tired of living in a fantasy?" I believe it's still going strong.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 9:24:22 AM PDT
Joe W says:
"But it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that the reason people are here is to convert others to their way of thinking, despite repeated denials of that by many."

Some may have that hope, but I doubt that anyone who considers it rationally has that expectation.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:04:51 PM PDT
Re Rothery, 11-3 4:59 AM: "... the reason people are here is to convert others to their way of thinking, ..." I declare openly that such is precisely my intention. Religion is a corruption of rational thought, and should disappear for that reason. The progress of our species depends, directly and exclusively, on our ability to understand the real world and to use its assets for our purposes -- and this can be accomplished solely by rational thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:15:57 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Rachel Rebecca Riordan says: "Any blunt speech by Dawkins or Hitchens pales in comparison to what we see from believers on a daily basis."

Ariex: And from what believers here write. These same folks often criticize Dawkins/Hitchens frequently for things far milder, as you note. "Having the Truth gives us the privilege of dumping on everybody who isn't us."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:27:42 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Faithradha says: "There are definately those who KNOW "Truth Absolute"... though they are certainly quite rare."

Ariex: And not quite sane. But how do you know anybody knows "Truth Absolute"? You can't even describe it, so how could you recognize it, much less recognize somebody who has it. Or do you, like so many, fall in love with the idea that some charismatic guru has found the answers?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:29:07 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Faithradha says: "One of my favorite prayers is what some call the "Jesus Prayer".. it goes simply: Dear God, please protect me from my followers."

Ariex; A better prayer for those who fall in love with attractive ideas: "Dear God, please protect me from my leaders".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:37:57 PM PDT
I agree here with both Rachel and Ariex that the blunt speech of Dawkins and Hitchens does not compare to religious extremism and also that religious extremism is more common. I don't think that excuses Dawkins and Hitchens, though. Surely we must have higher standards than that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:40:39 PM PDT
Standards should at least be consistent. When I see you criticizing theists with the same zeal with which you pursue atheists, I'll consider you consistent.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012, 12:42:44 PM PDT
Well, thanks, Rachel, but I'm not exactly holding out for you as the arbiter of consistency.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:45:25 PM PDT
You mistake me for someone who cares what you think.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:45:43 PM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
THAT'S IT BUBBA! You da man!!

Lao

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:48:36 PM PDT
Joe W says:
That is kind of vague. What standards do you think should be met, and on what basis?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:49:01 PM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
I agree with you Rothery, that people here are more affected by well intentioned arguments oft repeated, than they are willing to admit.

One potential sign of this is when you start to see your (quasi) opponents using your terms.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:49:12 PM PDT
No, Rachel, really I didn't.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:52:09 PM PDT
It was a reference to previous posts about Dawkins and Hitchens. Just standards of civility. Some of us had been talking about how we liked much of what Dawkins and Hitchens said but that we were put off by their animosity and dismissive attitudes towards theists. I had been posting earlier on the different goals that might be behind exchanges between atheists and theists. In my opinion, if your goal is to understand people better, then this animosity gets in the way.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:54:44 PM PDT
The difficulty with taking anything you say on this subject seriously is the unequal standard you apply. As far as you are concerned, theists should be able to say anything they want and the atheists should sit down and shut up.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 12:55:19 PM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
My thought is Rothery, that listening to Lennox, i am like "wow, this guy would wipe the floor with me", even knowing that I think my side of the argument is correct and his is not.

If you want to be schooled by a master in debate and rhetoric, watch John Lennox debate The Hitch on youtube. Hitch was too lazy to do his homework on Lennox, he relies on previous material, which is why he lost (I do think Hitch's record is about 20 wins and 1 loss, I have watched almost every one of this debates).

Another very entertaining debate is Hitch vs George Galloway. A man of letters vs a guy that has delivered maybe a thousand speeches by the time of this event. Battle of the Titans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLKQGwVkczg

This is the Hitchens/Galloway link. I think Hitch wins this debate, largely because he makes his devastating points in a subdued manner, but Galloway is no chump in debate. Massively entertaining.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 1:06:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 1:10:29 PM PDT
Joe W says:
*nod* I saw that and have been reading/skimming through the discussion. I didn't see specific incident. Maybe I missed it? In general, with regards to theism, understanding it is not really an issue, is it? One must know the specific implementation that one is addressing if one is making specific criticisms, but its not like the various religions present major barriers to understanding the beliefs of the people who adhere.

As for civility v animosity...in my experience, a lack of deference to religion is often seen as animosity. There is a certain level of unwarranted expectation that has been trained into us, to give religious beliefs a level of respect and esteem that they have not earned. And when treated like any other idea, such treatment is perceived by believers, and some non-believers, as uncivil. It is a matter of social conditioning.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 1:09:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 1:11:07 PM PDT
RRR: "The difficulty with taking anything you say on this subject seriously is the unequal standard you apply. As far as you are concerned, theists should be able to say anything they want and the atheists should sit down and shut up."

CW: Rachel, at what point did I ever say this? What post did I ever make that even comes close to saying that atheists should shut up while theists should be able to say whatever they want? I'm an atheist myself, for Pete's sake, and you certainly don't see me sitting down and shutting up!

If you would like to see me being critical of theists, you might go back to the beginning of this thread where I said that theists trying to prove the existence of God are doing something that's pointless. I have consistently said that what I think is important in an exchange of views is trying to understand where the other person is coming from. I've pointed out where I think people on discussion threads have come up short in trying to do this, and I have said that it happens with both theists and atheists.

If you would like a thread where I am critical of theists, you might check out my contributions to the thread: "God wants you to understand the facts and not be swayed by the best liar so you can cast an informed vote." I don't know if they'll live up to your expectations for attacking theists, but you'll have to judge that for yourself.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Oct 28, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 4, 2013

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