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Old 09-05-2011, 02:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
..

2. Issuing the challenge to prove you are wrong.

We are the ones claiming to be true. A person disagreeing with us has no responsibility to prove we are wrong. The Burden is upon us to submit reason we believe we are correct. to do other wise only makes us look like we have no logical reason to believe what we believe.
There's a point here about whether Holy Books are evidence. While God - claims and religious -truth - claims are often nothing more than claims, the writings exist and I certainly think the case of the skeptic dismissing them as proving nothing is a bit cavalier(though I can't see what wearing a hat with a curly feather has to do with it) since it is presenting evidence and the burden of proof may (it seems to me) fall on the skeptic to show that it really is not good evidence or does not make a reasonable case.

If we start flapping about 'We can't do that! If we fail, then it means that we have to take them seriously - better to just say they prove nothing'. Then we are risking being closed - minded.

OP
Quote:
10 easy ways to make your religious beliefs look foolish. Us theists seem to have a knack for making our beliefs look foolish. Especially on forums and Message Boards. Over the past few years I have often seen these practices done. Sadly these same errors are done repeatedly.

I don't have 10 on my list. Perhaps some can suggest other errors we persist in making, to bring the list up to 10.
adducing nonsense from scripture as proof of a God. I could put it better than that but I have seen the presentation of poetic observations about normal events as though it proved divinely advanced scientific knowledge and a remark about fly's wings as proving knowledge of advanced medicine. That just makes the apologists look silly.

Mind, the OT arguments about cleanliness in Leviticus or Muslim remarks about pig physiology do take a bit of answering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
...
4. Assuming everybody believes our source of proof is accepted as proof by all people

Is something I see more with Christians and Muslims than others. People will quote the Qur'an or Bible as proof of the Qur'an or Bible.
Yes, of course, quoting scripture as though it was proof of something simply by being scripture. What is described as 'The Bible is true because it says so' argument which is a circular argument of course.

There is also the appeal to authority. This is as often misunderstood as atheism/agnosticism and the difference between god and God. Appeal to a valid authority is fine but appeal to Newton or Einstein as theists is not so fine. It means as little as does my list of atheist composers!

The argument is often made that Newton had his science right so his work on Daniel prophecy should be taken as equally authoritative. Anyone think it should be?

P.s "'The Bible is true because it says so' argument which is a circular argument of course." This does raise the accusation of atheists or skeptics appealing to science as though it was Holy Writ the 'Science is your religion' argument. The counter - argument does then go the same way and 'science is always getting it wrong' must seem like sound propf that the science Bible is not that reliable. We really do have a need here to decide what we can rely on for authoritative knowledge.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 09-05-2011 at 03:08 AM..
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:48 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Woodrow, you are looking better all the time and so does Thom R. I'd propose you as moderator for an Islamic board, except that hiving the Muslims off would prevent discussion which is what the board's all about.
Yeah, not to make him big-headed but I think he's the first Muslim here I've found pretty darn impressive. I mean I'm not about to convert or "revert" as he puts it, but it's nice to see a Muslim here be like the Muslims I've seen on Science Fiction forums or in my real life. (Possibly a bit better than that even)
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Yeah, not to make him big-headed but I think he's the first Muslim here I've found pretty darn impressive. I mean I'm not about to convert or "revert" as he puts it, but it's nice to see a Muslim here be like the Muslims I've seen on Science Fiction forums or in my real life. (Possibly a bit better than that even)
Thank you for the kind words. But it is simply a matter of language barriers. This forum is composed largely of people from the USA. Here a Muslim born and raised in the USA has an advantage when discussing Islam with Americans. We are aware of the cultural nuances that can pose communication barriers.

No matter how well a person learns another language, they will always be best equipped for speaking with people of their mother-tongue. The predominatly Arabic speakers here are quite brilliant, when one communicates with them in their native language. However, a less educated person who has English as the First language will often come across better on a predominately English speaking forum. I am on a few Arabic speaking forums and often come across as being an idiot. Arabic is a very colorful language and any word can have many meanings when not taken in the context it is written. To read Arabic you often have to read a sentence as a single word and grasp a paragraph as if it was a short sentence. Word-for-word translations often do not work.

English is actually my fourth language. My family is mixed race/culture and as a child I first spoke Mandarin, Lithuanian and Russian. But my family forbid me from speaking anything except English when I started school at 5 years old. It was a trade off. I gained in the ability to speak English but lost the ability to communicate with much of my own family. I totally lost the ability to speak Lithuanian and never could speak with my Grand parents beyond the pre-school child level.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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And following up immediately from Point 8:

9. Condemning "Unbelievers" to an Eternity in Hell
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,512,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
And following up immediately from Point 8:

9. Condemning "Unbelievers" to an Eternity in Hell
You are right. While we may believe an Unbeliever will go to Hell because of their unbelief, we really do not know who will or will not go to Hell. Not one of us knows what is in another persons heart, intentions or future.

Even worse we seem to enjoy telling people they are going to hell if they do not believe as we do. We come across as a Simon Legree or Whiplash character gleefully rubbing our hands, with an evil grin and snickering.

Looks like another addition to the list.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:40 AM
 
34,470 posts, read 8,888,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Thank you for the kind words. But it is simply a matter of language barriers. This forum is composed largely of people from the USA. Here a Muslim born and raised in the USA has an advantage when discussing Islam with Americans. We are aware of the cultural nuances that can pose communication barriers.

No matter how well a person learns another language, they will always be best equipped for speaking with people of their mother-tongue. The predominatly Arabic speakers here are quite brilliant, when one communicates with them in their native language. However, a less educated person who has English as the First language will often come across better on a predominately English speaking forum. I am on a few Arabic speaking forums and often come across as being an idiot. Arabic is a very colorful language and any word can have many meanings when not taken in the context it is written. To read Arabic you often have to read a sentence as a single word and grasp a paragraph as if it was a short sentence. Word-for-word translations often do not work.

English is actually my fourth language. My family is mixed race/culture and as a child I first spoke Mandarin, Lithuanian and Russian. But my family forbid me from speaking anything except English when I started school at 5 years old. It was a trade off. I gained in the ability to speak English but lost the ability to communicate with much of my own family. I totally lost the ability to speak Lithuanian and never could speak with my Grand parents beyond the pre-school child level.
This is true. I do try to make allowances for people who are evidently working with another language. Suppose I had to post on a Arabic site? How would I get on? Quite Foreign - speakers deserve some kudos for tackling an inglish - speaking site. Having said that just posting bleeding chunks of Quranic text is not going to persuade anyone of anything.

That's why I welcome you especially as you have some standing in the Islamic web - community. We badly need someone to give some good advice (preferrably in arabic) to muslim posters about how to post before all our brains turn to mush.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:46 AM
 
34,470 posts, read 8,888,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Yeah, not to make him big-headed but I think he's the first Muslim here I've found pretty darn impressive. I mean I'm not about to convert or "revert" as he puts it, but it's nice to see a Muslim here be like the Muslims I've seen on Science Fiction forums or in my real life. (Possibly a bit better than that even)
I doubt if Woodrow is in danger of a big head. Knowledge and humility tend to go together. Not false humility of course. I rather think that the reasonable discussion which is so much easier if the other fellow is reasonable (for whom else could I have posted a list of 10 ways atheists can look silly?) could well lead to mutual understanding and the simple respectful exchange of views which you originally suggested would be preferable to trying to persude the others.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Updating the list, we now have 11

1. Demeaning a religion you disagree with.

This seems to be the most common error we make. Showing what you perceive as errors in another person's beliefs does not equate to meaning you are correct. It comes across as evidence you are prejudiced and a bigot.


2. Issuing the challenge to prove you are wrong.

We are the ones claiming to be true. A person disagreeing with us has no responsibility to prove we are wrong. The Burden is upon us to submit reason we believe we are correct. to do other wise only makes us look like we have no logical reason to believe what we believe.


3. Failure to distinguish between our opinion and what our belief says.

We all have opinions and we all are quick to express them. We even have opinions about what we believe our faith is. But if we fail to distinguish between our opinion and actual doctrine, we risk spreading error about our own faith. Sometimes our own opinion can be quite ridiculous.


4. Assuming everybody believes our source of proof is accepted as proof by all people

We have to come to an understanding that no matter how much we believe our scripture to be true, not everybody does. We need to accept we will often come across people that believe our scripture to be false, misleading and evil. These are the ones it is a waste of time to quote scripture to. to speak with people, One needs to speak in terms they accept.



5. Resorting to personal attacks against anyone who believes different from you.

It should be obvious that this only arouses anger and/or hurt feelings. It also comes across as ignorance as it means you do not have the knowledge to reply with facts and are limited to an emotional response.


6. Failing to see that just because a person disagrees with us, does not mean they are evil.

Us theists do have a tendency to come across as being arrogant and self righteous. We do come across as bigoted haters of all people except those who have views that do not differ from ours.


7. Disagreeing with others as a personal issue.


When we make our disagreement about another person's beliefs a personal issue, we often become what we dislike. It is not possible to force our beliefs upon another without it bringing up rejection, as we are asking a person to become what we are and we do not look to be very admirable. A personal disagreement, is just that-- personal. A reflection of an egotistical mind worthy only of ridicule.

8. Presenting what we believe as being absolute, without indisputable proof.

While it is good to have total faith in the truth of what we believe, We only make ourselves look foolish if we present it as indisputable truth and offer nothing except we have faith it is true, Opinions are fine as long as we identify them as opinions and present reason for our opinions.

9.
Condemning "Unbelievers" to an Eternity in Hell

While we may believe that to be true and it is our desire to save a person from that fate. We really do not know. Only God(swt) knows for certain who will go to hell.

None of us humans have the power to send anyone to hell and it is foolish to look like that is what we are doing.

We also have a tendency to come across as enjoying the possibility a person is going to hell. we also misuse it as a threat if they do not believe as we do. Without realizing it, often we do not word it as a warning with empathy and give an image of being evil our selves.

At best we come across as looking like Simon Legree or Snidley Whiplash

10. We often show no care or concern for the person we disagree with.


This is a very common trait we all have. Sadly it is true, we care more about proving a point than helping or understanding. We do need to show we care about the person above any disagreements.


11. We tend to speak as if we are perfect.

We all suffer from egotism and think our replies are perfect. This comes across as arrogance and the best it can do is make us obnoxious. We come across as being incapable of Admitting we're imperfect... or realize how our psychology (study of the soul) is affecting the discussion.


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Old 09-05-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,423,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I wonder whether we atheists could consider 10 ways is which we can make atheism look foolish - as I'm sure we can.

1. Saying that all religions do nothing but evil.
2. Dismissing unexplained events as just superstition and not scientifically possible.
3. Using mockery and slogans instead of explanations.
4. Arguing that Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not 'really' atheists.
5. Breathing threats of abolition against religion and everything to do with it.
6. Claiming that whatever we don't know about doesn't exist.
7. Claiming that anyone who believes in a religion has got to be stupid or insane
8. Picking on some evils done by religious persons as evidence the religion is untrue.
9. Finding a few errors in a Holy Book and dismissing the whole book on that basis.
10. Arguing that, because science has explained a lot of things we can assume it will explain everything else.


And of course, presenting a flawed or inaccurate argument or misrepresentation of the other person's argument. That can rebound badly, if the other fellow picks it up. Though they usually don't as far as I can recall. They are too busy not listening.
That is a good list, and as one atheist, I agree.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,064,818 times
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An excellent OP, Woodrow! I'll add another issue here:

the now-predictable and ongoing dismissal of any open rrequests by atheist debaters for the theist presenter to outline the alternate atheist position.

As in: To demo an understanding of what atheists so ardently argue, which would lead to a realization that theists make many mistakes even before they begin their so-called arguments here. Like the now-officially old "It's only a theory" claim against Evolution. How many times must we endure that blundering error I wonder?

This simple effort on their part would, in fact, show them to be, for the most part, well rounded enough to come to an open-minded debate well educated and thus worthy of at least a modicum of respect from us.

Sadly, the way the theist perspective is presented, so often, only leads to subsequent intellectual dismissal by us, since the theists will not delve into the other side's critical points, but then they instantly go on to make so many bumbling mistakes and claims.

Arguing about something you have only one side's perspective on? Not so impressive.
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