I've watched and participated in a number of these discussions here in the HubForums as well as a fairly large number in other venues. Unfortunately, the arguments are almost always just repeats of the same points and counterarguments from both sides. I think the reason for this is that (to varying degrees) non-believers think that believers are acting irrationally, which is the same as disregarding the entire worldview of the non-believer in most cases. On the other hand, believers seem to universally (though, again, to varying degrees) feel that non-believers are aware of the error of their skepticism and are simply obstinately clinging to what they know to be a fallacious position. I feel that both of these standpoints are what are causing the same old argument to be rehashed over and over again.
My challenge to both believers and non-believers is to come together and approach their differences anew - WHILE embracing that the respective opinions I've mentioned could at least possibly be untrue.
Any takers? Dissenters?
Only if you can find one rational believer!
Here's my counter argument - its not a proof, of course, but just my basis for feeling that believers CAN be rational in their belief. Consider this:
For a belief to be rational, there need only be some kind of rationale. That is, a belief shouldn't be considered rational if it is not based on some supporting foundation - but, it's my opinion that there aren't really any other necessary criteria for a rational belief. If you disagree with this points then we differ on what exactly we mean by using the term "rational" and should stop to clarify this with one another.
However, taking this one assumption to be true by definition, it is quite easy to explain the rationale of the believer in anything extraphysical (being my preference to the term "supernatural," but having a similar meaning). Simply put, believers' basis for their belief comes not from blind conviction, as is often misunderstood, but from a definite and unique experience which they attribute to some spiritual cause. And really, there's no less reason to attribute that experience to a non-physical cause than to a physical one, in terms of rational thinking.
Your thoughts on this? I don't suppose I've changed your mind, but maybe other people will benefit from the discussion in this light.
I'd love to help, but it won't be a quick fix project.
At least not to think up I don't believe.
Considering the board is the forum, and the rules of the game are set already like those of physics are prerequisite to rules for life on earth, you would essentially need a consensus on the method, or structure. OR a way to deliberately steer away objectiveless non-point oriented submissions.
Otherwise, a random bored-out-of-mind hubber can surf on in and drop a little hydrogen into the mix and the finely tuned sun burning smoothly will grow, suck in attention of those alike, turn inside out black hole style and presto - God vs Evo objectiveless insult bottomless pit thread.
Prevention isn't easy without a secondary, or indirect control, and/or persuasion [formal agreement] to form an organized non-imploding thread.
It'll stop when the snakes stop hissing! Hear that Randy?
You're so cute.
How am I ...I mean... is Victor, doing? ::ahem::
Well, you're currently in the preliminary stages of character development. You must wait until I get to Chapter Three to know what you're all about. Meanwhile, polish those fangs of yours!
Easy killa.. lol
You know what I'm about. [harmless didn't you say.. heh heh]
What if I jump out the book at you?
[ Random thoughts Klara ]
My fangs are polished and you know it.. I mean, yeah now that I've told you...
This keeps happening. I'll be found out if I'm not given a backspace key.. ::sigh:: Klara and her brain... at least it's fun in here.
(It's nice that you thought everything I say up. Makes it more and more and more fun)
I honestly don't think this will happen. Both side are usually very set on ther beilefs and wary of the other.
It is not possible to reason with people who have part of their brain function missing - and it is necesary to resist them trying to drag civilization down to their level, which is a dark, confused, bigoted place of ignorance and superstition.
...And this is why it will never happen. Because some people view religion threads like a dog views a fire hydrant.
Not like a fire hydrant, more in the way we view dog poo fouling otherwise normal footpaths and childrens playgounds. Dangerous, disgusting and it stinks.
I don't know if you've ever thought about this, but the only conceivable takeaway from a post like this is that atheists are jerks.
Yes, I used to be a Christian, but then recommend1 called me a pile of poo and I instantly saw the error of my ways. Now I also call people piles of poo, and fat and ugly while I'm at it, and together we bring enlightenment to the uneducated pile-of-poo masses.
Better to enlighten than to try to lead them down the garden path to ignorance and superstition that we have been 400 years getting out of !! and of course nobody called you a pile of poo except yourself. I was clearly referring to the ridiculous and dangerous fundamental belief systems that have helped keep huge areas of the world at war for so long.
Isn't it kind of like a weirdly inverted ad hominem argument to point to the violent nature of the most extreme representatives of a belief in reference to its validity? You don't see people of faith using extreme examples of atheists who did violent things to claim that atheism is a violent... Oh wait, never mind.
But you see? We need to step away from these ways and bring the discussion into a state of "fair play"
Sorry, but I have many conceivable "takeaways" other than what you suggest.
The discussions run along the same lines because those are the lines the participants want it to run.
Fundamentalists think they know everything. They come online to preach.
Atheists think they know everything. They come online to correct and teach.
Then you've got those with emotional issues that come online to insult.
Those three categories are a small percentage of the participants, but they drive the dialogue. They set the stage.
It's their play, and they are all going by a script. The rest of us are add libbing, but it is always first, and foremost, their play.
I am offended that you calim those who come here to insult have emotional issues ! I come here to insult purely because of the promotion of utter twaddle as a real religion and the danger this presents to simple minded people. The fact that those promoting fundamental religious views are almost invariably really stupid, ego maniacs or manipulatiors helps of course.
I've seen many discussions here in forums that were going nicely and both participents were learning from each other AND THEN someone comes in to disrupt the progress being made.
It seems that when the conversation is already going nowhere, "THEY" leave them alone.
But, the point is that the discussion goes exactly how they want it too. It's one of the drawbacks of anarchy. The minority can rule the moment.
But there is also the issue of those who look on and do not comment. They are the unseen and unheard audience who can be swayed, in fact, broadcasting their views is the only possible reason the fundies would expose their stupidity in such a way.
Unfortunately there are many simple people who cannot think past the first level, like being unable to see past the effect of their own next chess move, and they hang onto some seductive piece of misinformation. I live among a few missionary fundies and I would guess that the single most used argument is "you think your mother was a monkey ?" and they really really think this is it. Onlookers need to see the stupidity of these statements or we are in danger of becoming overwhelmed with zombies.
I don't know. Do you think people that simple could figure out how to get online and watch?
Don't get me wrong. I agree as to the reason the radical, rabid religious fundamentalist is posting. The number of people who are willing to stand by and politely listen to the judgmental tripe is quickly dwindling. They think they have a captive audience online, so they come with the sole purpose to 'enlighten' us. They talk at us, not to us. As do the radical fundamental atheists. And all of the idiots who claim mystical magical power and knowledge. And they all need to be rebutted. Sometimes mockingly.
But, I'm afraid I'll have to admit I am guilty of going overboard at times.
Don't feel guilty, you are never likely to go so far overboard as the basic premise of these stupid people that all of evolution is a myth and a sky fairy is true.
However, I do have sympathy for actual christians who are entitled to their beliefs and way of living - funny how we rarely find them commenting in these threads, maybe they are embarassed about their loony side ?
Yes, I think their crazy cousins make it difficult. But, I have little sympathy for some of the supposedly 'middle of the road' Christians who don't make the statements themselves, but are somewhat supportive of the rabble. It makes me wonder if somewhere in the back of their minds they agree with a lot of what the fundamentalists say.
I seem to always be apologizing for my intermittent contribution to these conversations.
I'm unable to sit in this chair for long periods of time, and when I do wait for others to comment They are long coming. And when I leave for a little while they seem to come back rather quickly.
But on this occasion I was cooking breakfast and cleaning up the mess.
And sometimes it takes me a while to figure what it is that I want to say because when I hear something ... three or more different opinions come to mind at the same time.
I think I live in a YEA ... "Yea that is true … But kind of world"
Again; my apologies for my attention deficit disorder.
That's a good world to live in. When I was younger, I always tried to see everything from at least three different angles. I thought it helped me understand where others were coming from.
I still try to see the point others are presenting, but it's difficult to do that online. We get broadsided by the presumptive stance of 'I think, therefore you are.' Few seem to give others the benefit of the doubt.
We do not have to agree with every attitude to understand where they are coming from.
But we gotta remember that we never understand anything completely.
And we should never forget that their attitude does affect ours in some way whether we are aware of it or not.
I heard a physiatrist once say, It takes a crazy person to understand one, or something like that?
Well, my point is that it doesn't get anyone anywhere. So anybody who has ideas for any potential debatees to avoid in order to foster a productive environment for discussion, this is the place to put it forward.
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