Are religious debates online ever productive?

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  1. peeples profile image93
    peeplesposted 2 years ago

    Are religious debates online ever productive?

    Or is it just two people screaming at their screens most of the time?

  2. alekdo profile image80
    alekdoposted 2 years ago

    I don't think that religious debates online or in the mass media are highly productive. Each person has his/her right to believe in God or not. So, it is hardly possible to persuade a person to follow this or that kind of religion. To my mind, God is one for people of all nations, ages, genders etc. The thing is about the situation and religious beliefs of the nation.

    Moreover, I think that screaming at each other trying to state one's personal point of view is just incorrect and inadmissible, because people who really believe in God never act that way. Yes, they may try to communicate with other people somewhere in a street or in a neighborhood about the religion they follow, but making that public is simply inadmissible and doesn’t make any sense, in my opinion.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your answer and your view of it. I think the internet may be the one place where communication can become a bad thing.

    2. Michael-Milec profile image61
      Michael-Milecposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Just getting know what "internet '' communication is becoming -- finding out though how wise are displaying their wisdom and  the opposite  ones, well take your pick.

  3. Ebower profile image82
    Ebowerposted 2 years ago

    In my opinion, it usually doesn't help anyone or change anyone's mind.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, but could it be productive in any other ways. Is venting, is screaming against something you disagree with maybe, therapeutic?

  4. Wissam Qawasmeh profile image75
    Wissam Qawasmehposted 2 years ago

    Yes it's productive .. Ahmed Deedat is the proof
    search for him and you'll know

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      In what way was he productive? What did his constant speeches against every religion other than his own accomplish? In what I have read about him he seems no different than evangelical Christians shouting through the TV. Maybe I am missing something?

    2. Wissam Qawasmeh profile image75
      Wissam Qawasmehposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      You're right .. of course his speeches against every religion other than his own !! If I believe in Christianity, for example, why would i defending  Islam, and vice versa .. the important thing is does he makes sense or not?

    3. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I'll have to read some transcripts of his speeches and get back to you on that. You've peeked my interest, I've never read more than the basics about him.

    4. Wissam Qawasmeh profile image75
      Wissam Qawasmehposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      that's great,  if you're interested in this matter, I can offer you any help you want, You seem open-minded and asks questions to know the truth not just not just to make an argument .. Any thing you want i'm ready to help

  5. Michael-Milec profile image61
    Michael-Milecposted 2 years ago

    It's so sad that the term " religious " is widely inclusive of all man-made- believing systems in supernatural/ natural/ fictional or nonfictional , including the existence of the Creator and sustainer of everything. Thus continuing in " religious" debates online or otherwise are mostly nonproductive and if "two people scream at each other', they know inside of their spirit they both are wrong.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Mostly non productive yet hard to escape for many of us. Weird how that works. We all want our opinions heard I guess.

    2. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      MM: Yes, if one gives HIS/HER opinion rather than TRUTH (Word of God) I agree that "...they know inside of their spirit they both are wrong."  Num 23:19 says "GOD is not MAN that He should LIE.." but man does!

  6. Levi Legion profile image61
    Levi Legionposted 2 years ago

    Online religious debates *may* be helpful sometimes. On Hubpages, I think it's safe to say that most of the people here are here because they like to think about things and/or express their ideas to others.

    That said, it's possible that someone trapped in the mental prison of religion might possibly see the reasoning in the arguments of the non-religious and break free. A person who breaks free of religion will do so because they are looking for something more...something real. It's always a personal journey. Those who are content in religion (not searching) will stay there and the arguments of the non-religious won't affect them because they are not ready to accept reason.

    Often times online religious debates descend into chaos, but I believe they *can* be helpful for the right person.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image86
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Your icon Levi Legion is dark and hooded, but your thoughts are bright and shining. "A person who breaks free of religion will do so because they are looking for something more...something real" -  Very insightful.

    2. Levi Legion profile image61
      Levi Legionposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the kind words, Billie. I speak those words from personal experience and much research. I hope other seekers of truth will find freedom.

    3. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "...something real?"  Heaven & earth will pass away but MY WORDS will NEVER pass away!" (Matt 24:35) Real what?  \

      "...accept reason?"  Prov 3:5 "Lean NOT to YOUR OWN "understanding!"   

      Yes! "... for the rt person." 1 NOT "given over to a repr

  7. integrater profile image61
    integraterposted 2 years ago

    No debate involving religion and God, including atheism, will be productive ever. Futile it will be. Beliefs are well entrenched and people "want" to defend those beliefs. Not because they really believe  but because they have chosen to believe it. They defend their choice not the religion;their choice must always be correct.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      There's NOTHING "Correct" but the Word of GOD (Num 23:19)!  Otherwise, Logic & Reasoning (Prov 3:5)!

  8. bravewarrior profile image92
    bravewarriorposted 2 years ago

    I steer clear of religious debates whether online or in person. Religion is very personal and is not up for debate, in my opinion.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      "Your opinion" is what it is for the Word of God says in I Pet 3:15  "...be ready ALWAYS to give an answer to EVERY MAN that asketh you (responses to questions (asking) on HubPages) a reason of the HOPE that is in you..."

  9. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 2 years ago

    Never!
    I have yet to see anyone converted to a different way of thinking when it comes to religion or politics. Generally speaking it starts off with an exchange of ideas and gradually escalates into a heated debate that sometimes leads to personal insults.
    The purpose of HP Q&A is not to (change minds).
    It's for people to weigh in with their opinion to answer a question.
    More often than not if the asker agrees with someone very much they'll choose that answer as the "best".
    Essentially most questions are asked by a person who already has made up their mind about an answer and they're simply "polling" people to see how many agree or disagree with them.
    Rarely is there a question by someone genuinely looking for help, advice, or insight. Some folks love to rant or have heated debates!

  10. Ruth Angel profile image78
    Ruth Angelposted 2 years ago

    In my experience, politics and religion are both sensitive subjects. Because people are not so willing to accept that others will not have the same beliefs as them, so rather than being open to new perspective they shun the opposing.

    Religious debate would be productive if people were more open minded.

  11. Billie Kelpin profile image86
    Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago

    Productive?  Hard to tell, Peeples.  But I DO think that religious debates online are extremely important for a few powerful reasons. Writing about what you believe refines your own thinking about religion. When you write, you have to ask yourself the higher level thinking question "Why?". Why do I believe this?  The answer to the question about "why" you believe might be simply, "because it says so" in the Koran or the Bible or the Book of Mormon or whatever, but that means that at least you've started at some level to wonder.(Thomas Jefferson said: "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.")
    Just because of the nature of belief and disbelief, I think discussing online can cause a crack in even the hardest solid shell of a believer in Christianity or Judism or Islaam. However, an agnostic or atheist has already gone through that process, there is not a structure to crack - it's already been disolved.  And that precisely is why the debates may become heated, especially on the side of a believer in any religion.  Deep down in the psyche of the believer is the knowledge that they are holding on to a nebulous string that can easily be broken and that connection is vital to their coping with the seemingly unfathomable mystery of our existence.
    Online religious debates also serve another function in society, I believe.  They provide a release valve for both the believer and the non-believer.  As we walk in everyday life, it would be very destructive to go about our neighborhood talking about or acting on our disparate beliefs. I would lose a great many people whom I hold very dear in my life who believe differently than I do.  They are on a different path, but that doesn't mean that I don't honor and respect them. If we walked around evangelizing our beliefs as we do online, we would soon be divided into little groups of believers of this or that and, as evidenced by other parts of the world, that just serves to create  horrendous wars, destruction, and suffering, which according to any rational being, could not be the mandate of any kind of benevolent supreme being.   
    So the debates online, I feel are valuable, because they provoke questions and that questioning is precisely what elevates us among the animals and seems intuitively to be "the mandate" of the universe - to continue to question, learn, grow, and expand our minds.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      ".. an agnostic or atheist has already gone through that process, there is not a structure to crack - it's already been disolved." Wonder how they'll feel on dying bed when no more "self effort" but spirit involved;leaving, going where?

    2. Billie Kelpin profile image86
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      N, You obviously r passionate re: ur beliefs and that's all good. I'm HOPING for non-existence after life. My greatest comfort is the HOPE that there IS no afterlife b/c it makes absolutely no sense me. I'm happy 4 those comforted by belief in heaven

    3. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thks BK! My desire is "None is Lost!" Why not try Jesus? 

      If what believers say is true, you've lost nothing but time & gained "eternal life!"  But if what you believe is not true, OMG!

      It doesn't cost you anything but time!

    4. Billie Kelpin profile image86
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      N, You assume that we, who might not believe, were not once where you are on your journey;  that we can't quote the Bible; that we never sat for 3 hours in Church on Good Friday; and we were never extremely devout.  It's a wrong assumption.

  12. profile image56
    srijithrposted 2 years ago

    most of the times, religious debates often end up in nonsensical and abusive talks. each religion has their own beliefs which may be frowned upon by people of other religion. these simple differences often lead to misunderstandings and take away the subject of discussion

  13. Ericdierker profile image50
    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago

    This is a good question to consider. I found the answer in "debate". I had thought of debate meaning a contest with a winner. Apparently that is not really the meaning of the word. It has more to do with the disclosure and laying out of positions relative to a particular topic. So real religious debate is a very healthy wonderful method of learning and communicating.
    People hanging out at home screaming at their screens and trying to win someone over or prove a point is different. Mostly that does not even elevate to a level we would feel comfortable calling an argument. Probably a written screaming match would be more honest.
    I write a series I call Eric's Sunday Sermon generally. The followers seem to enjoy gaining insight as to what I think. The detractors seem to hanker for more conclusions and direction. We certainly hope we do not convert anyone there. We look not for answers but for questions and a sharing of how to grapple with the issues.
    When I view the screaming matches online I find insight into how differing minds come to their conclusions. I am not so much interested in their conclusions as I am in their thinking methods. Perhaps what aggravates them is just as valuable. So in that sense they are productive.
    We shut up too much. We tow the expression line too heavily in this day and age of PC. Venting is awesome. Written word venting is very awesome. If the screaming releases some of the pent up frustrations for a body that is productive.
    Having to write down your thoughts in a somewhat coherent fashion is really good for us when working through our beliefs. It is a highly recommended form of self discovery. It helps clarify our thoughts to ourselves. And in sharing that process it might help someone else going through the same stage. So it is productive there.
    I did away with "support" groups long ago. I really do not need a cheering section. What I need is for folks to call me on my bullshit. Not a sounding board to tell me how right I am but rather one that makes me rethink my ideas. In that sense they are productive.
    Lookie there, just your question made me debate the issue in my head. I thank you for that.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I like the way you look at it. I too like having someone to make me question my own thoughts. It's productive sometimes. Thanks for the answer.

    2. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Prov 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friends."  It's ALL good if not given over to "a reprobate mind." (Rm 1:28)

  14. profile image55
    Juno Smithposted 2 years ago

    if people are ready to open, listen, understand before anything else… rarity.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      SAD but true!

  15. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/9827211_f260.jpg

    It all depends upon the respective/particular maturity or let us say consciousness level of the debaters involved.  If the debaters are highly evolved people, such a debate would be considered to be mere discussion as each party realizes that each person is entitled to his/her religious, spiritual, or ethical perspective/belief/philosophy.  There will be no argument or force feeding of one's belief system upon the other as this would be entirely against their evolved natures.

    Those at a somewhat mature or moderate consciousness level are able to discuss things somewhat amicably; however, there will be umbrage taken because of opposing beliefs.  Somehow at this level, there will be times that there will be refutations of a belief, religion, or philosophy by one or both parties because h/she views the other's belief as oppositional to his/hers.  In essence, although there is purport by such parties that each is entitled to his/her opinion and perspective, somehow one or both feel a little uncomfortable when the other express a different belief philosophy.

    Then there are those at the immature or lower consciousness level who are not able to discuss any religious, moral, spiritual, ethical, or moral subject without reverting into argumentation of some kind.  These parties contend, even with vehemence that their particular belief system is the only legitimate one and that the other is either in error, does not get it, lost, or needs saving. These parties refuse to believe that each person is entitled to his/her perspective regarding religious, spiritual, moral, ethical, or philosophical matters.  In essence, it is THEIR way or the HIGHWAY!

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed:  "...maturity...of the debaters involved." This is a "Spiritual" journey folks & anything else is "self effort" = "immaturity!"  (Prov 3:5) "Lean NOT to YOUR OWN "understanding" rather move to spiritual things for "maturity!"

  16. Shyron E Shenko profile image81
    Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 years ago

    No, not at all, God's word is God's word and no debate would or should change that.
    Great question.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Not Truth!  II Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is given by insp of GOD, and is PROFITABLE ... FOR REPROOF, FOR CORR, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." How can 1 "prove, correct, r instruct w/o "debating?" GOD'S WORD WILL WIN!

    2. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      TRUE!  HIS WORD STANDS! It's man's interpretation that needs to align w/what He says! W/O Holy Spirit, errors occur!  Tradition, education, not studying WORD, all play a role in misinterpretation when HS not involved!

    3. Shyron E Shenko profile image81
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Norine, read II Timothy 2:15.
      My Bible tells ME what I need to know and it is not up for debate!

    4. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      SS: When WORD is given, do as the Bereans in Acts 17:11 "...to see if those thgs are so..."  However, If one has "Studied" (II Tim 2:15) then one would KNOW!
      Shyron, read I Peter 3:15!

    5. Shyron E Shenko profile image81
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Ms. Williams, which of God's words do you think, I don't believe, and by what authority do you question my beliefs?

    6. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Shyron....Go girl.  U stand in your beliefs w/ confidence & comfort. It is 4 NO MAN to question our hearts! Blessings & hugs. UR Christian attitude is pure beauty.

    7. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      SS: By the authority of His Word (Jesus)! 

      When u said "no debate would or should chg that," contradicts the Word of God!  II Tim 3:16 says"prove, correct, instruct in righteousness."  How does one do that w/o "discussing" or "debating?"

    8. Shyron E Shenko profile image81
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Paula, thank you. Blessings and Hugs to you also.

  17. Gaurav Oberoi profile image73
    Gaurav Oberoiposted 2 years ago

    Though you can learn a thing or two about other people's opinions, it is very difficult to change anyone's beliefs with the help of an on-line debate. More-over, tolerance and patience are two virtues that are elusive in the present world. so, sometimes all a debate does is enrage others.

    1. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I appreciate your very astute reply & commend your honesty & rational thoughts. I have a dear friend who is a "fanatical" Christian who thought he HAD to preach to everyone. People "stay away" from him. Now he has no humans to preach to. Oh w

  18. iggy7117 profile image76
    iggy7117posted 2 years ago

    No, everyone tells their side or cals the other one names. Then they come away without changing anything. These debates involve too many feelings that turn into arguments.

    1. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Holy Spirit uses "people" to teach His Word!  If one tells 1 something, & they are a believer, it's their position to "search the Scriptures to see if these thgs are so" Acts 17:11!  Just telling!  No one HAS to chg! 

      @ Peeps:SORRY! Matt 10:14-

  19. fpherj48 profile image76
    fpherj48posted 2 years ago

    peeples....Ditto to dashing's comment.  I will add a few words of my own.

    By productive I assume you mean, does anyone ever "learn a valuable lesson?" or "are long held beliefs ever abandoned due to "discussing a topic here at HP?"  To the latter, I feel confident in giving an emphatic, "NO."  As for my 1st inquiry....we surely can learn some "lessons" but most of those are WHO to avoid here if we wish to have a constructive, intellectual debate.

    (Since each of us has the option to accept or delete comments made to our Questions or hubs), writers need to determine for themselves how they wish to deal with persistent, irrational, or "repetitious" verbal beating, over & over by any fanatical,crazed individuals.

    IMHO, when any person rarely has an independent, interesting THOUGHT of their own power & knowledge, but must continually QUOTE Scripture as their reply, their small-mindedness & lack of reason, disqualifies them automatically from contribution to my works.

    Those who want this may READ FROM THEIR OWN BIBLES...My site is not a platform for PREACHING.
    Those who have no interest in the Bible, are either unaffected by these quotes or become annoyed that someone finds it IMPERATIVE that they teach another to think THEIR way.  It doesn't work. In fact, as you have alluded, it merely turns people off ...totally.

    Hubpages is not a church, temple, mosque, nor stage for Bible students to do their homework.  These same people who have nothing to really SAY, but lead their lives according to an historical collection of stories, whether fiction or non-fiction, are free to do so.  Others are free to be independent thinkers, intellectuals and rational academics.

    Having said all this, in direct response to your question, peeples, I have to say it depends on our perception of the term. "productive."   IMO, they are rarely even mildly productive.
    Thanks for the great, RATIONAL question.

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      In FULL agreement! My tolerance and continued patience is getting a bit thin.

    2. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      For the love of Pete! She even attacks fellow Christians if they don't say PRECISELY what SHE THINKS they should say! Look at how she snapped at sweet Shyron?  bring on the psyche meds. STAT!
      (HP must we tolerate nut cases? pls re-evaluate!!)

    3. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      What bothers me more is the lack of ability to form and type individual thoughts instead of quotes. I feel sorry for ppl like that. Lost, delusional, incapable of forming their own views and opinions, instead siding to justthink what their told. Sad.

    4. profile image56
      Norine Williamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      ALL are entitled to their belief and/or opinion! 

      Isaiah 5:20-25! 

      Continues to show how this world is moving farther & farther from the Word of God! 

      Don't cry PPL when WE have to suffer the repercussions!

    5. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, that looks like the most thought you have put into any comment here. Good job. There was a sentence in there that didn't come out of the bible.

    6. fpherj48 profile image76
      fpherj48posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Momentary lapse into reality. Doesn't  happen often. peeples...goodluck. I'm moving on & out. She has taken over UR thread. I can't tolerate that. TTYL.

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