I have been seeing several Christians actually use fairly devious debating tactics to win arguments in the forums. To me it is a little unnerving. Do not get me wrong lively debate is good. But using such tactics as "straw men", "red herrings" "goading" and "bating" seem wrong. Trick questions with no right answer or rewording another's position with slight change are all awesome tactics but just seem wrong in this scenario.
Hey I am the first to use them in a secular competitive environment, but when they are trying to convince another to BELIEVE as they do ?????
The problem is if they ARE going to win debates they HAVE to do it with sneaky tactics.
Mainly because they are trying to win a logical argument based on beliefs and feelings. Both feelings and beliefs (opinions) have a place in life, however they have no place in logical debate.
As soon as the religious realize this, the sooner there will be no arguments. Wouldn't that be nice?
Theological discussions are wonderful, if they are discussions. The purpose in 97 percent of these little exercises in absurdity we have on the forums, however, is to 1. Try to convert. 2. Trying to defend their beliefs.
If it's reason one, then the person fully and completely deserves all abuse that they are going to have heaped on them. If it is reason two, then their faith isn't as strong as they think it is. If they feel the need to defend themselves, then they know they are in a weak position to start with subconsciously.
Either way, there is no logical rational debate to be had on questions of faith, so ethical debate tactics cannot possibly exist, hence the "dirty tricks". Now, debates on the facts of religion could possible be intellectual and valid. I.E. translation questions, history of the religion, etc. However, the correctness of the dogma/doctrines of a faith are completely a matter of opinion and are best left to a non-confrontational (yeah right) discussion, not a debate. (I.E. acknowledging that no one is right or wrong... again, like that's going to happen.)
Thank you for that, at least I do not have to ask "how do you really feel". You do realize that your comment was demeaning, oh I think ultimately very true but put forth in a way that would not lead to a neutral response. Perhaps you answered with more than you intended. i.e. that was a confrontational answer, though not for me. I enjoyed it.
It wasn't intended to be demeaning but I acknowledge I really don't have the patience to be particularly tactful.
I really am curious, with absolutely no sarcasm (pinky swear) why it would be offensive.
Look I will lay it out no games or justification for my thoughts expressed: It felt that way. But I learn to throw that away for the most part.
Theological discussions between Christians can be stimulating and thought-provoking, so this kind of debate can be good and productive, but I agree that debating with non-believers is pointless. It probably only results in cutting off any interest they had in learning more and can be quite counter-productive. I think your were 'spot-on' in your comments, Melissa.
Definition and application of the tactics you mention are themselves often subjective, and could be the topic of yet another debate. What may be viewed as a straw man or red herring to someone with one set of beliefs and convictions may just be the truth to someone with a differing, but well entrenched, perspective. In other words, what you consider devious, may not be intentionally so.
Consider too, who is being addressed. I am under no illusion that an atheist, (those who have "said in their heart there is no god"), will be persuaded by anything. That's about as likely as them convincing me there is no god. So why bother? Frequently, anymore, I don't. When I do, I am not witnessing to those I am engaging, but instead utilizing the debate and HP medium to disseminate information in the hope that more open minds may be looking on.
I suspect your concern is how it appears, and if we are being kind and respectful enough to unbelievers. In the situation I described above, where two people with pretty hardened positions are simply volleying, both are big kids with thick skins. Meeting their more aggressive approach, up to a point, illustrates we have conviction and no reason to be ashamed of our understanding. Should we stop short of embarrassing or misrepresenting Christ? Certainly. Holding firm to your beliefs is not doing that though, just conduct yourself respectfully.
On that note, many folks will feel disrespected by biblical perspectives regarding unbelievers, and I don't believe we need to apologize for that. Pretty hard to avoid anyone being offended when what I consider truth is offensive to them and what they consider truth is offensive to me.
When directly witnessing, teaching or mentoring those who illustrate they truly are open to it, I employ a softer approach.
I just remember a group of folks called sophists, pharisees and Sadducee and the traps of the widow and brothers and heaven and such. And I get a non-peaceful uneasy feeling when I see it nowadays. I could be wrong but I like to think Christians should fight all battles with one sword - love, I fall short but.....
It is a concern when one uses a deception to win a debate. These tactics go back to the birth of the catholic church.
I'd say these tactics go back to the birth of humanity. Like it or not, no church holds the monopoly on hypocrisy and using dirty tricks to 'win' anything is just that - hypocrisy - and something that every church, as well as everyone outside of them, has been doing for centuries.
But admit they are used by Universalists to trap Calvanists.
Bah, Universalists aren't really out to trap Calvinists... or really anybody else for that matter. In general, they just like to hear themselves talk...er...type.
That really explains a lot about my mother!
Girls I must insist you be nice! But I am chuckling and giggling. I mean it -- play nice ;-)
Me and Mo never place nice... but we will try to restrain our naughtiness in deference to thread sensibilities.
Oh, I meant no disrespect, I promise! My mother is someone I loved and admired a great deal! But she A) had tendencies towards being a Universalist and B) the woman could TALK! And trust me, it's a trait her daughter came by quite honestly.
And Melissa knows I have not a bone in my body capable of disrespecting her!
Nope, that was likely due to heritage Us Italians also like to hear ourselves talk.
True also...but my Italian heritage is from Dad's side. Of course, both of my parents were a bit ... loquacious.
A genetic predisposition for loquaciousness in a former nun... There's an obscure literary reference there for Neil Gaiman and/or Terry Pratchett fans.
Good Omens... it's an amazing book.
From Pratchett's wiki
http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index. … Loquacious
http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index. … _St._Beryl
Eric, what reason would any Universalist have to trap anyone? We are abligated to teach the real good news that is not taught by both calvinist or arminian. The news that all are or will be reconciled with our Lord the living God. Saying it doesn't seem to get threw to such people so I use questions, and at times multiple choice questions. Your last statement has a hint of being some biased against the Universalist of me for that matter. Duly noted.
There are different kinds of Universalists. Don't assume that he was talking your specific kind of Universalism.
There cannot be possibly be different kinds of Universalists, Melissa. After all, all Christians are the same. All homosexuals are the same. All white women are the same. All Americans are the same. And since a person identifies with any of those groups, they must be the one being personally attacked when someone points something out about those groups in general.
Come on man --- Blacks and Blue eyed, tall and short, young and old, stupid and smart, happy and sad, Turtles verses tortoises, giraffes verses Rhinoceros's, volcanoes verses domes, water verses deserts.
I am so happy I am me!!!!
Wonderful that you folks bring happy levity. I think I vote for Rad Man, after all shouldn't all debates be about popularity.
These forums are used to exchange ideas in an effort to increase understanding, even in differences. But sometimes levity is needed to break up the seriousness
Of course! If I left y'all to your own devices, these forums could conceivably turn into a bloody mess. I have to keep you guys from beating each other up and make you smile once in while.
geez...kind and tolerant christians. Can't we go back to the fire and brimstone?
*ducks and covers*
Well...if you want, but I sorta like it this way.
OMG.. Kind, understanding, tolerant Christians? What a concept!!! Don't want to go back to brimstone.. makes roasting marshmallows taste nasty.. Besides,I kinda like being nice... It's part of my appeal
lol It's still very foreign to me, to be honest. I like it, but it takes some getting used to. Now I'll start thinking fondly of you people and get slapped upside the head by a baptist that I didn't see coming. :-)
YOU PEOPLE?!?!?! What do you mean YOU PEOPLE??!?!?! LOL J/k.. You see all of us coming. you would never get caught off guard.. besides, you have Me, Mo, and Melissa here to jump in front of you to catch those before they can get to you
I do love a good human shield. Now can all of you just come to clearwater and walk in front of me in my everyday life?
Yep.. I've never been.. It can be a family outing!!
We have passes so we go whenever we want. Its a great place with fantastic animal experiences combined with roller coasters and beer. Its great
Hell you don't need all of us for a human shield. I can do it all by myself.
I'll protect you little lady.
*THIS FACEPALM CANNOT POSSIBLY BE EMPHATIC ENOUGH*
I'll watch your back. I'll be your armed guard.. Then again, it's the hands that might pose an issue...lol.. well maybe not the hands, but I'll have a great view
ARGHHHHHHHHHH.....what is WRONG with you people?
Got a couple of hours and a short-hand pad?
Probably gonna need more than one pad, if we're honest with ourselves.
Probably, because Baptist throw each other at people when they run out of Bibles.
Sorry, Rad. Forgot you beer-swilling, hockey playing wannabes.
Hey look, we don't ALL play hockey. Although my summer beer league does start soon.
Then, there are those who have no intention of discussing or debating anything, they are here entirely for selfish reasons, to get in good with their gods at the expense of everyone else.
SoM, the bias is not against you or Universalism at all. The bias is clear and open and transparent against any group declaring rules. Faith based dictation of Laws of man as though God's are what got my Savior killed. I would rather here a man say my faith is silly, than one say I must believe a certain way.
Again you straw man the topic. I never said you should believe a certain way, I said you cant answer the question. You should of just left it when your first comment said that you cannot answer the question.
Whoa SoM, this forum was not about you, in particular. You stand by a core belief that "Hell" is man made. You and I engage in discussion/banter to flush out the foundation for such belief. That really would not apply here.
I think I have seen people in their own self made hell. Not a myth at all. But a fiery place, like God wears a white robe and sits on a throne with a long white beard, mythical. Eternal suffering perhaps but that would be a space not a place.
The word hell and its meaning today is not real wether in this life time or the after. It is man made. The Greeks and the Romans believed in their underworlds as well as the Egyptians, Babylonians. The norses and the Germanic tribes had their underworld, and the ruler of their pagan underworld was the pagan goddess hel. All the church did anno 500 was adopt the pagan tradition of this horrific afterlife into one its belief system. Sin is an educational process. We live in the dark seeking light (God), and when we find the light, we appreciate it more. The parable of the prodigal son is a perfect example.
My question would be this: if you find it okay and acceptable to use such tactics in a secular environment, why not in a religious discussion or debate? Is it not a bit hypocritical to think it's okay when you're dealing with people outside of your circle of faith, or at least if you're only dealing in secular business, but not when you're trying to convert them? It's sort of like only being nice to people when you want something.
Wonderful point good friend. I was speaking more of like a football game or a courtroom. There are no hypocrites in foxholes or on the frontline or trying to provide for a family or keep a man free. But in trying to convert or witness the situation is different I hope.
My personal feeling is that one who is trying to win a debate is not actually witnessing, however much they would like to believe that's what they're doing. Witnessing happens far better through actions than words. Rarely does someone lead another to the Lord by winning their argument...and IMO (and I'll duck because this might get me shot), few of the Christian 'debaters' here on HP are truly interested in witnessing. They're far more interested in being right and winning arguments and defending their faith. And, I'm in total agreement with Melissa, if you feel a need to defend your faith, then is it really that strong to begin with? The strength of our witness comes from the strength of our faith - if others only see us defending it and getting shot down and beaten down by much more rational and logical thinking, how strong does it really then appear to be?
Good points Mo. While I outlined above that I use different approaches with different folks in different situations, the common thread I try to maintain is properly representing Christ. Many will have a different view than I of what that looks like, and therefore may feel I don't. My accountability is to Him though, not their perspective. Representing Christ, and being accepted by the world at large are, however, mutually exclusive. We should strive to do our best, for Him.
Clarity is a rarity. That was well spoken/written. We learn much from each other when both sides strive to represent that which was so freely taught. You give much to think about Thank you!
I agree completely. And I personally feel that means being the same person in all situations, even if we might approach each situation a bit differently. Who we are should never be in question, and we are indeed children of God. Jesus didn't need to use sneaky or underhanded tricks to 'win' anything. People chose Him because of who He was.
And thank you for the kind words.
Well Motown, if you are anything but a preacher, a teacher or a counselor or a housemom ---- all of which are awesome please remind me not to hire you. If you are a mechanic, accountant, lawyer or doctor remind me not to hire you.
Your Utopia there is nice. But do not come work for me. /// I know I was over the hill, but so were you.
I'm not quite sure why integrity would be something that would preclude someone from doing a good job for an employer. If that's not what you meant, it's certainly what anyone would infer from that comment. Are you saying then that good business requires sneaky and underhanded tactics? This post is really confusing.
That said, I'm not looking for a job, but I don't believe I'd accept one from anyone who thinks that because I don't believe in fighting dirty, I'd make a bad employee.
It isn't a Utopia that I'm speaking of - it's being the same person in every arena of one's life. Honesty is not reserved for one's family of faith, or at least shouldn't be.
Again, quite confused.
When I compete in a sport, I am not the same tender man I am with my small child and wife. When I negotiate with a mega insurance company with no face, I do not treat them like I do my elderly neighbors. I honestly love my coworkers, but it would make them uncomfortable if I told them that every morning. If a policeman pulls me over for a broken tail light and happens to ask me if I was speeding, I do not blurt out that I confess to sinning against the laws of the city.
If you do not get that, hmmm. I certainly could not share much with you as you would go honestly tell others my business. Even if it was none of their business. Discernment and good judgment are gifts not to be thrown away.
I think you've misunderstood something I've said. It happens. I'm sorry you feel that way, but I don't believe we communicate well enough with each other for there to ultimately be clarity. Indeed, your tone with me is sadly condescending. I acknowledge that one's approach may vary due to circumstances, but the core of one's character must remain the same. If it doesn't you're a hypocrite. Unfortunately, that's the number one reason most people have for disliking Christians and for turning away from Christ.
But, enjoy your day and your forum discussions.
Debating is supposed to answer questions Not create more questions
My experience is a little different. I see time and again theists being criticised for abandoning reason, being illogical etc. Then non theists go ahead and use arguments that are just as illogical and unreasonable. I agree with Melissa that much religious/philosophical discussion is about differing opinions about one set of assumptions or another, but when someone criticises another for being illogical, then as a minimum their argument should itself conform to logic. If not then the criticism becomes self-defeating. So although I don't think the things you mention are particularly helpful in any discussion, I do think it's justifiable to point out, using logic if needs be, the flaws in some non theist arguments. If nothing else but to highlight the issue of confusing true/false with logical/illogical.
I know you are not supposed to serve two masters, but I serve several. Wisdom is woman that taunts me and asks me along so I follow her, though poorly, the Psalms tell me she was at creation. Paul is a super heated bad ass dude. I try to follow him. Logic is part of my brain which is God's brain, Science is fantastic and so awesome. Love seems too often to be a jealous wench, yet I love.
So here I sit Mr. fancy pants with masters and doctorates and a congregation and too many children who are all perfect----- and I declare truth??? What an ass I am.
I am a mess. But above all that, I love and I love and I love because I cannot do elswise but love.
So your point is well taken, and I am forsaken. I gots nothin but love.
There is a difference between following, using, and serving. Paul was a tough dude, so of course you want to follow the example set. Same with Christ. Following his example is what makes us Christian. You use logic and wisdom, we feel love.. the only true master you serve is God
I don't understand how anyone thinks this debate can be won. The Bible says only God can change a man's heart. We can share biblical truths, personal experience... we can insult, compliment, wound and mend with our words, just as those who have secular beliefs. But I do not see any of us "winning" this debate.
I am not sure anyone expects to win a debate here. You have some fun, get to know some folks, there is an entertainment and hopefully educational value to it, but let's be honest...most who speak up here have their minds pretty well made up. We can hope those passive participants lurking on the sidelines also reap those benefits, and perhaps something they glean from it all will help them settle issues and make up their minds. If not, at least we passed some time and enjoyed each others perspectives.
Yeah, that was the point I hope I was making.
We are not capable of changing a mans heart... so any other way of "winning a debate" would most likely only make the person with an opposing view angry if they felt they'd been shown up. Either way, it's just a discussion. My desire was to have a discussion at first, but found I was constantly defending my faith. If that is what Im supposed to do, Im willing, but I don't believe I have the ability to change a heart on my own.
How fun to have such fun expressing and learning and joking. Beth you lightened mine. So you did good. I will go try and lighten someone else's heart. Thank you.
haha, that's so funny. When I make jokes, someone usually gets mad at me, this time I was serious and somehow I lightened your mood. Well that's a good thing. Im glad. Tomorrow Ill tell you a super depressing story... it'll be like prozac for your soul. lol
I think your serious is a breeze carrying the beauty of life. In that I am lightened. I do not mean to make little. You just show us that truth can be nicely put.
I look forward to being aware of something depressing.
I don't believe I've ever in my life received a nicer compliment. I would frame my computer if I could.
If you frame your computer, it might be upset. Especially if it's not acquitted.
The problem with that is that no one really realizes just how BAD the convos around here look from an objective standpoint.
I've seen very few religious debates on these boards that wouldn't send someone who was considering becoming a Christian running for the hills. Seriously, I don't think they would even stop to get their shoes.
By and large- with a few notable exceptions- the Christians on these boards are holier than thou, irrational, argumentative, stubborn, unwilling to accept other peoples viewpoints and often verbally aggressive. Nobody is coming to Christ if those are the best representatives he can find of his faith.
How dare you! Im incredibly offended! Ill be waiting for an apology via a hub written to my attention.
I am still upset over the Italian remarks ;-)
LMAO... don't come to any of my family dinners then... we call each other derogatory names that the worst anti-Italians in the world couldn't come up with. It's a sport for us.
I was known as the W.O.P.P. (pronounced whop) in that I was and Italian kid adopted into a German American family, the scars are of great laughter and fun--- But I could out talk any of them. Of course now I am the preacher and they are the agnostics -- go the hell figure?
Ah, we are that other word. The one that is very close to the name Diego.
What's funny is I married a German man. When I say German, I mean he is the youngest son of a German woman who married an American GI during WWII.
Yeah, she doesn't like Italians.
Melissa. I respect your opinion. Do you respect others? In your case the term would be "going" to Christ. Do not be vague please how has this Christian Minister offended you. I will deal with myself more harshly than you if I have not acted lovingly. I am sincere and have no desire for you to be a Christian. It is not my job.
You haven't offended me. I was making a general observation. It's a personal thing with me to a certain extent. I dislike the behavior of Christians who become representatives of every single negative stereotype of Christianity that exists then cry persecution when Christians are judged by the same stereotypes that they, themselves, are reinforcing.
Those behaviors are the reason that Christianity is a declining religion in all but third-world countries.
Are you saying there is nothing I can say that will change your mind?????? I'm shocked. It's all any exercise of the mind, believing anything different would be dishonest.
Those with firmly entrenched beliefs which involve assumptions as to the thoughts, behavior patterns and ultimate disposition of another are bound to degrade to those tactics. They are on a mission.
Respect for the thought processes of others would alleviate the need for such tactics. But, Christians aren't the only ones here to 'witness'. The funny thing is, the witness from these far ends does more to damage their cause than anything else. Once one is given a window into how that accepted belief drives behavior patterns; we can determine the value of that belief compared to the ones we have already adopted.
Winning arguments is an exercise in ego. When you use devious tactics to accomplish that, the argument is all you have won. Which means, all you've done is stroked your own ego. Strange behavior pattern for someone seeking to share what they consider to be a belief structure worth emulating.
As an atheist in these forums, I'm on the opposite side of the coin here, but I figured I'd throw in my two cents. Things you've mentioned under "debate tactics" are really logical fallacies - and I see them on both sides of the issues. They polarize people, and they're divisive. I know and freely admit that I've used them myself in certain cases where emotions get the upper hand over logic. But ultimately, I agree with what several other posters have said. Resorting to these tactics displays weakness in your original argument. If you have to use a logical fallacy to claim "victory" the only thing that you've demonstrated is that you're not able to approach the issue logically or open-mindedly. In matters of religion (or lack thereof) it's often difficult to distance yourself from your position. Although I'm an atheist, that's not all I am. I'm also a wife and a mother to kittens. I love creative writing and poetry. And yes, I love debates. I don't enter into debates with the intent of "winning" or scoring points - I genuinely enjoy discussing different ideas with types of people that I may not encounter in my day to day life. Therefore, I few my participation in these forums as a way of expressing myself and my position - not to deconvert people or to fundamentally change their minds. Sometimes these discussions become heated and both sides are capable of losing their rationality as emotions come into play. For me personally, if a person is using shady tactics or using logical fallacies, it tends to diminish their credibility. It makes me feel as though the faith that they're so adamantly defending is not quite as strong as they'd like others to believe. If someone's faith was truly as strong and unshakable as they'd like others to believe, it wouldn't need to be defended. It would stand on its own. The same goes for me, and I've been guilty of it on more than one occasion with my position. I also agree with Mo - a believer's greatest testimony (especially in venues like this where all you have to go by is what people say and how they treat others) is their own behavior.
How would a place of eternal fire hurt a soul completely disconnected from its body's nerve endings?
Good point, well presented, deserves an answer, but you won't get a logical one, just vague opinion.
True, I asked the very same question a while back and got no real answer.
I've asked it several times myself, and got no answer at all, let alone a good one
here is my answer. What is not real cannot hurt you.
That's why I'm not afraid of Ghosts, but fire is real and can hurt us, but can it hurt a soul? An invisible undetectable nothing get burnt by fire?
I have an idea of how this is possible.
(NOTE- I am not saying that my idea is a good one...LOL. Merely that for some reason, I am imaginative enough to at least hazard an explanation... hence part of the reason for my name...LOL)
Zelkiiro, I wonder why no one answers this question. It seems so straight forward and fair to ask. All I could think of when you asked it was the guy who got his legs blown off. We would just be talking and he would wince. Clearly he was feeling pain. And sometimes he would say, it was in his legs. He related it was the only pain he could feel while taking pain medication.
So you're implying that it's most likely (to put it in role-playing game terms) psychic damage, which targets the mind rather than the body?
That is an interesting approach when looking at a place created to inflict suffering on immaterial beings. But then that begs the question of why Hell and the Lake of Fire are defined by fire when a consciousness can only feel mental pain if detached from the stimuli of physical pain.
If you're a believer, it's a puzzling question. If you're a nonbeliever, it's a plot hole.
Having not been there and hoping never to be, I have heard from good teachers that one description of hell describes the eternal torment of having met and been in the presence of a loving God and then being separated from Him from eternity to face darkness and depression alone with no end in sight. Having been thru dark times here on earth, I could buy that.
Our understanding of what our bodies will be is not clear. Who is to say we cannot have nerve endings? Who is to say what it means to be spirit. The Bible says that we will be transformed, that we will have new bodies, that we will not be sick, or face death again... that there will be no more sadness or tears.
Which ever hell is... the deepest loneliness, grief and sadness over facing eternity in the presence of evil with no hope of being rescued, or actual physical pain. I would want to avoid either by putting my life in the hands of one who could save me b/c of his deep love for me.
Those are not good teachers if they resort to telling lies. How are they supposed to know?
That's like saying we know for a fact leprechauns ride unicorns in the kentucky derby, but who is to say if they wear their traditional leprechaun outfits or if they don jockey suits.
Wonderful fairy tale, isn't it?
Not so wonderful fairy tale?
That doesn't sound like excruciating torture. That just sounds boring.
Some eternal damnation. Ho-hum.
And, Julie, have you noticed? Everyone's got an eye out for your backside. We'll all such pervs.
by Nicole Canfield4 years ago
Why is it that Christians believe that Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Native Americans, etc. are all wrong in their beliefs and that they'll all go somewhere horrible when they die? Why can't we just accept that other...
by atomswifey7 years ago
I was posed the argument that I was quote: "Having an agenda" when speaking/writing my beliefs about God on this forum.I question back though, who it is that REALLY has the agenda?Ok, we are here on hubs to...
by Pratonix5 years ago
One of the greatest tricks of the devil is to get Christians wasting their time in arguing and debating with unbelievers. Unbelievers will not understand Christianity, unless God opens their eyes (the eyes of their...
by Alan3 years ago
If you claim to be christian, what difference does it make to your life? If I hear your proclamation, your words professing your “faith,” what am I likely to notice about you that is different than if you did not...
by Ben Bush8 years ago
For those identifying themselves with Jesus Christ, the lure of Secular politics is constantly before them. In the name of their Savior, many are urged to participate. To not do so is considered sin by many. Is this...
by Stump Parrish10 months ago
A reader of my local paper (The Spartanburg Herald-Journal www.goupstate.com) sent this comment to our opinion section "The Stroller": TAKE MY CHANCES': "A local reader" observes that as Christmas...
Copyright © 2017 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.