Showing posts with label debate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label debate. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Conversation On Agnosticism vs Atheism

OU812 wrote:
It staggers the mind, if you think about it, that so, so many of our 'enlightened, intellectual' class pass by the label of Agnostic in order to proudly label themselves Atheists. Why not be content with being Agnostic if you, as an intellectual, cannot prove any conclusive position on this point? It seems calling yourself an Atheist is a cheap and easy way to secure an appreciation of your intellect - in certain circles, anyway. I am not using this as a means of starting a theological debate, but to me, the lack of consistency exemplifies, so blatantly, human failings. Would any Atheist 'intellectual' conclude that there is no life on other planets simply because there is no proof that there is?
Gnosticism deals merely with knowledge, not belief. That's where theism comes in. Everyone is agnostic, since NO ONE knows for sure. Saying you're 'agnostic' is a nonsense statement in a sense since it says nothing about what you believe. Even the most religious person on earth is agnostic, no matter what they say. So when someone asks if you believe in god(s) if you're one of those people who shrugs their shoulders and thinks "I dunno" that's not what they asked.

The right answer (and this is where people start getting annoyed and whatnot but it's just true) is that you don't currently hold a positive belief in god, aka you're an agnostic atheist. If you think 'I dunno' when someone asks if you believe in god you're definitely not a theist......which makes you an atheist. There's no third middle option. That middle option people think of is actually the answer to a separate question (do you KNOW a god exists).

Theism= belief in a god.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-theism= the lack of a belief in god.

Gnosticism= knowledge of god's existence.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-gnosticism= the lack of knowledge of god's existence.

Two different things. It's not agnostic or atheist; those are two different answers to two different questions. I am an agnostic atheist.

OU812 wrote:
That may be accurate in a literal sense, but i don't think most people, particularly those in the public eye who voice their opinion on the matter, go any further into the definitions of atheist, agnostic and believer/theist than as I had originally argued. That would certainly make sense since I believe those in the forefront of politics and popular culture, the opinions I am hearing and evaluating, are the pseudo-intellectuals Sowell so elegantly swipes at in his books.
You, Sowell, and those like you are all making the same mistake. Let me quote you to show you what I am talking about:

OU812 wrote:
Now both believers and non-believers require the same level of proof to come to their conclusions -- none. It is the Atheist, however, who claims the intellectual high ground for his position, ridiculing those who disagree.
The problem with this is that the burden of proof is always on those making a claim. The axiomatically correct stance in any case of the asserted existence of some thing is the null hypothesis until proven otherwise. This position should only be changed to belief/acceptance of the claim when sufficient evidence is given to them by those making said claim. So, in the case of the existence of a god, the human who says "hey, a god exists" to a second human, or a group of humans, must then prove that this is true. Much like the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court case, the god believer must demonstrate to the people he is preaching that the god in question exists and he must do beyond all measure of reasonable doubt. If they fail to do this, the 'atheist' is holding the correct position- that of disbelief. He need not defend this disbelief nor is it correct to accuse him of holding a faith based position. It is in fact the philosophically correct one.

Sowell is wrong and imo, he just gets off on writing off the atheists as angsty pseudointellectuals. It's lazy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Debate Tips #1: Rebuttal To Being "Entitled To My Opinion"

Two people engaged in a debate. One is challenging the opinion of the other. They go back and forth, point by point. Until it happens:

"Well, I'm entitled to my opinion."

When people say this, I think they're saying that they have the right to hold the opinion, content of the opinion notwithstanding. If so, I agree but that is basically a nonsense statement. I have the right to hop on one foot I suppose, but if someone points out that walking normally is more efficient and I, instead of engaging them on that point just say "Well, that may be but I have the right to hop on one foot" I might be right but I am also babbling and missing the point.

Address the actual content of the opinion, not your right to hold it.

That is all.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Theist PWND on Gamefaqs

Note: This is an older post that was sitting in my drafts.

Theist PWND on Gamefaqs.

In a discussion on the inclusion of JFK in the upcoming Call of Duty game (something I knew/know nothing about, since I don't follow the games, but this discussion was being had by others and I chimed in) the following ridiculous, frustrating, saddening, angering exchange (more like an ownage session) (with someone I have never spoken to online prior to this) was had:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Typical Discussion with a Christian

I received two private messages on youtube regarding the first ever video I ever uploaded to the site. Said video is based on the following blog post:

Eternal Torment and a Just God

The thesis of said blog post basically being that the christian god punishes every sin in the same way, even though (apparently) not all sins are equal. I ask in the video/blog if this is fair, and whether or not we are more just than god, since "in the criminal justice system, differing crimes are given differing sentences. But not in hell. An atheist gets the same treatment as a serial rapist or a murderer. Hell, under this system, I would get the same punishment as Hitler. Is this fair? Is this behaviour indicitave of an omnibenevolent being?'

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Debating Religion with Theists: Pointless? (Short Post)


Arguing with theists about religion is pointless. It never goes anywhere, and accomplishes nothing. 'Tis futile and a big waste of time!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Ongoing Debate With Rhology, the Christian Apologist: Special Pleading and Hypocrisy?

EDIT: Here is his response to this post.  I will be responding to it in time. It's headache inducing, so I may have to do it bit by bit ;)

This is a response to THIS POST, which itself was a response to MY RESPONSE to THIS POST by the user Rhology. That post of his is a response to my Initial Post which was a response to an older post of his (linked to in my original response post).

This might be starting to get confusing. Just follow the links, it's not nearly as confusing as it may sound. Basically, this is the thrid or fourth round in an ongoing debate of sorts with the Christian Apologist Rhology from the RHOBLOGY BLOG.

This response is definitely the most heated of what has thus far been a very civil, but strident, debate. I think I may have just opened the gates to some anger and perhaps even insults, although this was certainly not my intention. Sometimes, to be honest, you have to ruffle some feathers. Regular readers of mine may be scratching their heads at this point, wondering if perhaps I have sustained a head injury or something, as I am known for my fiestiness and proclivity to 'let someone have it' if they, in my estimation, deserve it. I only make these disclaimers in this case because this is someone who, up until this particular comment of his that I am responding to, was open and honest, with a respectful demeanor. Well.....I am afaid the demeanor may have remained intact, but the intellectual honesty seems to have taken the night off.....Let's get into it, shall we?

Response to the Response to my Response by a Christian Apologist

This is a response to THIS POST by the user Rhology (who I accidentally refer to as Rhoblogy in this...sorry man). That post of his is a response to my Initial Post which was a response to an older post of his (linked to in my original response post).

Here goes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Response to a Christian on the topic of Atheist Morality

I have been engaged in a discussion with a christian apologist, who seems to have been at it for a long time. After some back and forth (during which he was refreshingly honest about his opinions, specifically those relating to the issue of morality in the Old Testament) this was the message directed at me, regarding atheist morality, atheistic inconsistency, and the accuracy of atheistic claims in the comment section of this person's blog (THIS is the post in question).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Presuppositions, Frameworks, and Argumentation.

Video on this topic:

And yes, I was having a horrible hair day that day, sue me ;)

Okay, so I have been intermittently been thinking about this topic for some time. The thing of which I am speaking is debate on the subject of relgion. Now, while this could actually pertain to any subject, I would like to frame this within the context of religious discussion. Namely, that which takes place beteen believers and non believers.
So, believers and non believers have two completely different worldviews, or frameworks, from which their arguments on this subject are deployed. Each of these viewpoints, or frameworks, contain beliefs that are fundamentally subscribed to. They are presupposed. For example, the believer will pressupose the existence of god(s). Any discussion regarding religion always takes place with this presupposition in effect.

An atheist will pressupose things as well. For example, if I am to discuss evolution with someone, I absolutely enter the debate with the presupposition that evolution is a fact. Or, to tie in with the example I gave for the theist, an atheist will pressupose that certain arguments for the existence of a deity are false. Speaking for myself, I outright reject the TAG, cosmological, and teleological arguments for the existence of god, and thusly enter into any discussion about them with the idea in mind that they are insufficent/flawed/unacceptable.

So just what the fuck am I driving at here?

Well, presuppositions can change, although it is (notoriously) difficult. So my question is as follows:
Which do you think is the more effective method of argumentation? Working within people's given frameworks, and trying to change their mind on enough non pressuposed issues until one day the presuppositions themselves naturally come under scrutiny (or they are willing to actually consider them)

aka The Top Down Approach (as it was named by my friend and excellent Youtuber


Going right for the presuppositions, knowing that if you strike right at the heart of the matter and are successful, everything else will presumably fall in line?

aka The Bottom Up Approach (also named by my friend and excellent Youtuber

To elucidate this, as an atheist, would you think I'd have more success refuting a theists' notions on several different particulars until their very belief in god comes into question, or going right for the presupposition, knowing that if I can remove the certainty, the rest will crumble the second the belief in god does?

This of course, as I stated, can be applied to anything. Politics is another big one. This does not have to be about religion.

One thing to add was something I stated in the video: Does the fact of whether or not the ideas that follow from the presuppositions are logically consistent/follow from the belief (aka not non sequitors) change the ideal approach? I would think that it does, in that, if Y follows from X, it might be more prudent to go right for X, since you will have a harder time attacking a position which is seemingly steeped in solid logic. And of course, the opposite would be true (in my view, of course). If Y does NOT follow from X, then it is easier to tackle Y. So, if Y and Z both do not logically follow from X, and you strip them away, X is more susceptible to scrutiny (aka the top down approach).

I would love to get some feedback on this, both from theists and atheists. I think this is an interesting topic than could benefit from anyone, on both sides of this debate. Actually, forget that context, anyone, period, in terms of ANY debate. Sometimes I get too steeped in the theist/atheist thing, but what can I say? It's the area of discussion with which I am most fascinated, opinionated, and well, according to a few people.....obsessed.