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Old 05-05-2011, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,676,707 times
Reputation: 7721

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Not always. It depends on the idea. There is no general rule. You have to take each idea as it comes and formulate the best way to proceed with it. Sometimes mockery is the most effective and useful course of action.

With many ideas, dealing with them any other way could in fact have negative consequences such as to make it appear the idea you are dealing with is in fact more plausible than it actually is.

Take the debate between creationists and evolution for example. Creationists simply have no evidence, nor are they offering any. Their entire approach is to attack evolution on the false assumption that if evolution is wrong they are right be default.

Yet when a creationist and evolution scientist enter into a debate on stage or on some kind of media... it gives the very false impression that creationism is coherent or in some way valid... when all it actually is is ludicrous. It creates an impression of false equivocation between they positions. Catholic Scientist and Lecturer Kenneth Miller for example has realized this and now refuses to debate creationists because no matter how stupid their arguments... the mere fact they got into a debate with an esteemed scientists benefits them greatly.

Their ideas are comical. Mocking them is the best approach. Any other approach gives the impression of a false validity to their claims where none exists. In fact mockery is the ONLY approach given their lack of evidence. If they present no evidence.. there is nothing to discuss coherently. So discourse on the level you are touting is simply not possible.

The same could be said about, and done to, the evolutionist's. They can no more prove God doesn't exist than the creationist's can prove He does, which makes both positions objects of ridicule by your standard. The only difference is found in which side of the line you stand on.

But, what does that do to the debate? Does it not result in the trivialization of both positions and preclude any dispassionate look at the evidence for and against either position? Does it not widen the divide and breed resentment, rather than bring us together to explore commonalities or consider that the positions may not be mutually exclusive? Ridicule and mocking only serves to harden positions and cause both sides to build the barricades higher and higher.

What's to be gained by that? I'd suggest that the only thing "gained" would be for proponents of both ideas to feel self-righteously superior to the other.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:59 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,911,546 times
Reputation: 1354
Stillkit, let me give you an example of the last time I actually ridiculed a statement on here (by simply saying the notion was silly) which got me infracted (I may have even been temporarily banned). It's been over a year or more now.

I don't remember what the thread was about and it was, of course, on the Christian forum. A fellow Caribbean national had the audacity to say god ALLOWED African slavery, basically, because our people deserved it due to their pagan ways. He then went on to point to today's Africa, with all of its problems, as an example of why god was so merciful to have our people dragged over here in chains where, today, we supposedly are living better. He wrote it with this sense of smugness that just blew me away.

My girlfriend, who NEVER posts here came in and called the comments idiotic and she was promptly banned.

There are many religious beliefs that are are "out there" and are thus self-evident in their long stretches of the imagination which could ONLY require faith to make something resembling sense. I have since long simply left people to believe whatever they choose to believe without comment on what I [really] think about those "beliefs." I just try to present my points in contrast to theirs and leave it up to them to be the judge. As one person said earlier in this thread or some other thread, my responses are more for those in the peanut gallery and those who will do a Google search and find arguments/answers they may be looking for.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,676,707 times
Reputation: 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Stillkit, let me give you an example of the last time I actually ridiculed a statement on here (by simply saying the notion was silly) which got me infracted (I may have even been temporarily banned). It's been over a year or more now.

I don't remember what the thread was about and it was, of course, on the Christian forum. A fellow Caribbean national had the audacity to say god ALLOWED African slavery, basically, because our people deserved it due to their pagan ways. He then went on to point to today's Africa, with all of its problems, as an example of why god was so merciful to have our people dragged over here in chains where, today, we supposedly are living better. He wrote it with this sense of smugness that just blew me away.

My girlfriend, who NEVER posts here came in and called the comments idiotic and she was promptly banned.

There are many religious beliefs that are are "out there" and are thus self-evident in their long stretches of the imagination which could ONLY require faith to make something resembling sense. I have since long simply left people to believe whatever they choose to believe without comment on what I [really] think about those "beliefs." I just try to present my points in contrast to theirs and leave it up to them to be the judge. As one person said earlier in this thread or some other thread, my responses are more for those in the peanut gallery and those who will do a Google search and find arguments/answers they may be looking for.

I had a similar experience when I first came here. I don't recall what the subject was, but I responded to a post in a manner which was common on the discussion boards I came from and was warned for it. Since then, I've had a couple of posts deleted because they got too personal.

In each case, though, the deletions and warning were justified and I have no beef with the the moderators for taking such actions.

What that did, though, was cause me to examine why I acted that way, to do a little reflection on what was in my heart and I didn't like what I found. So...I changed my behavior.

Since then, I find the discussions much more interesting and informing because I stick to the subject and attack the position, not the person. It just seems to work so much better that way. For instance, Katzpur and I recently had a long discourse on the variations of our beliefs (Southern Baptist and Mormon) and neither of us resorted to ridicule and name calling, though it would have been easy. Not once in a week long discussion! And, guess what? We both came away with an entirely different and fresh perspective on the others faith and I like to think anyone reading those posts did too!

How marvelous that was.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,409,778 times
Reputation: 10958
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Oh sure.

*Waits for the other shoe to drop*
Well, not to be insulting, but sports are a waste of time. I despise them. I don't understand why anyone likes them.

But I "respect" your right to like them, even if I can't understand why.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:20 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,941,099 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
"Respect" has several meanings. It's true it wouldn't make much sense to admire or hold in great esteem religion/theism if you are an atheist. However respect can also mean "to show regard or consideration for" or "to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with." One certainly can try to show consideration and maybe even non-intrusion to things they deem "delusions."
Is is really "intrusion" to respond when a believer injects their sacred beliefs into an unrelated conversation, though? Or more significantly, if political leaders use their interpretation of their religious belief to form policy?
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,409,778 times
Reputation: 10958
They may believe that everything is related to their religion. At which point you nod, and move on.

If you didn't ask for their opinion, and they're forcing it on you, then you beat them up. But if you asked, you shouldn't mock whatever answer you get.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,911,546 times
Reputation: 1354
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
Well, not to be insulting, but sports are a waste of time. I despise them. I don't understand why anyone likes them.

But I "respect" your right to like them, even if I can't understand why.
Oh, that's cool with me. My girlfriend tells me the same thing and we're still quite in love.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,409,778 times
Reputation: 10958
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Oh, that's cool with me. My girlfriend tells me the same thing and we're still quite in love.
As long as you don't love me.

A lot of people suffer from the delusion (to me) that doctors are anything other than quacks, and are useful.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,911,546 times
Reputation: 1354
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
I had a similar experience when I first came here. I don't recall what the subject was, but I responded to a post in a manner which was common on the discussion boards I came from and was warned for it. Since then, I've had a couple of posts deleted because they got too personal.

In each case, though, the deletions and warning were justified and I have no beef with the the moderators for taking such actions.

What that did, though, was cause me to examine why I acted that way, to do a little reflection on what was in my heart and I didn't like what I found. So...I changed my behavior.

Since then, I find the discussions much more interesting and informing because I stick to the subject and attack the position, not the person. It just seems to work so much better that way. For instance, Katzpur and I recently had a long discourse on the variations of our beliefs (Southern Baptist and Mormon) and neither of us resorted to ridicule and name calling, though it would have been easy. Not once in a week long discussion! And, guess what? We both came away with an entirely different and fresh perspective on the others faith and I like to think anyone reading those posts did too!

How marvelous that was.
Looking back at my posts in this thread, I should have made it clearer that I have no problem with people mocking "beliefs" they can debunk as nonsensical, however, *I* personally find it counter-productive and refrain from such a course for the most part.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,676,707 times
Reputation: 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
Is is really "intrusion" to respond when a believer injects their sacred beliefs into an unrelated conversation, though? Or more significantly, if political leaders use their interpretation of their religious belief to form policy?

It's impossible to separate people from their faith. Since faith is such an important part of their lives, it will inform them on just about every issue. It is not a stand alone practice, one which has no bearing on every other facet of their lives, so it's impractical to ask them to divorce it from everything else.
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