I admit that i seem to forget too much when a debate happens. In the heatr of the moment, i draw a blank. I had the idea of making acronyms to remember certain points. Why not share your skills with the rest of us. "lilo prayman" was my first technique i guess. This covers literal bible discussion (li), the coincidence of location and religious leanings (lo), god's will and why pray (pray), and the fact that so much of the bible has been explained/debunked by man, but not the other way around (man). So "lilo prayman" seems to stick with me. I need more. What about an acronym for the sun gods that preceded jesus; just an idea.

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damian...May I suggest that one of the most valuable tools one may employ in a debate or in a casual conversation of conflicting opinions...is the ability to identify errors in reasoning...logical error. I can suggest a book that has greatly aided me with my process of picking out...picking up on flawed logic in my conversations with others. The name of the book is "Crimes Against Logic"by Jamie Whyte. To quote Mr Whyte..."Unless you know how reasoning can go wrong, you can't see that it has."

The book is an easy and fun read and the instant you finish the book, you will have gained invaluable insight into identifying and debunking points of argument that are flawed...logically flawed. This will help you control your conversation...you won't allow yourself to be diverted.

It seems to me that you have been concentrating on specific points..."I had the idea of making acronyms to remember certain points", rather than working on your technique.

What do you think?
I hone my debating skills on a debate forum, Volconvo. While there are a few formal debates there, mostly it consists of the type of debates you might find yourself involved in in everyday life. I usually focus on what the opposing opinion holder has presented as evidence and debunk that. I don't really have a particular method. I do try to remember to debate the topic and avoid potshots at the person expressing their opinions. I try to be civil and disengage when the debate shows signs of slipping into a flame war. I respect other humans but don't always respect their beliefs, faith or opinions.
I will check out that book, and the volconvo site. I'm not too bad with debunking what others present in a real life conversation. I guess what i was seeking was some sort of presentation, an offensive strategy. Let's say that someone wanted you to enlighten them, what would you present to them. I only asked this because some people (including my brother, ex-friends, customers) blindside me, and want me to explain my position without offering anything. I was just seeking something quick and effective, because I'm pretty sure that is the only thing that will work with these people. I guess you have to be in the situation to understand what i'm talking about.
Oh...now I've got it. sorry damian. I think the business world refers to what you are looking for as an "elevator speech"... a condensed version of what you believe, in this instance, that can be presented in a very short period of time. If I am asked about my "faith", I say that I am an atheist...that's it. Most people know this means that I do not believe that a god exists. But many times I will be questioned to be more specific and at this point I say that I am skeptical of all supernatural and that I depend upon evidence that is verifiable on which to base my beliefs. If the conversation goes much further than this...I have found that a mini debate is usually coming and depending upon the situation, I may cut off the exchange or I may elaborate.

If you are looking for a specific definition of YOUR position..why don't you compose a short paragraph that describes your personal beliefs? The key is to be very brief...the more you say, the more likely you are to be challenged.
well, i remember hearing something online, and i forgot where i heard it, but i like to use it now. It may have been sam harris, but anyway, the statement/question was something similar to this >>>>> "would you call not collecting stamps a hobby?". /body>
The quote is "If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby...". I can't remember who said it either....maybe it was Sam Harris. :-)

I recently had a long conversation about the classification of atheism as a religion. I don't accept that atheism is a religion and I find the notion that atheism is a religion to be not only inaccurate, but offensive.
I like "atheism is a religion like baldness is a hair color."
Last year I was debating a Christian on a board that no longer exists, hosted by my local newspaper. I posted a lengthy essay explaining why I am an atheist. This is the conclusion of that essay, which summarizes my position:

If there is a god, we will not learn of it by a priori musings from the philosopher's armchair. And it is not going to be from someone's testimony of a personal experience that cannot be verified, someone yelling "I've seen god, and she's black!" It must be from verifiable evidence.

Scientists conduct research into religious claims all the time. Last year there was a major metastudy out of the Mayo Clinic of the results of prayer for patients' recovery from surgery. It found that there was no statistical indication of a positive effect from prayer. Sometimes patients in surgery claim to have left their bodies and floated above, from where they watched the surgery performed. Signs have been place on the tops of tall cabinets, that would be seen only from that vantage point, and no one has returned and shown that they had read them.

The Randi Foundation has offered a prize of $1 Million to anyone who show, under scientific scrutiny, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. That should be an enormous incentive, but no one has been able to claim it.

Whenever possible, claims of supernatural events should be investigated. But, so far, every such investigation has turned up empty. The only justifiable conclusion is that the god hypothesis cannot be confirmed, and should be considered discredited. Now, as with everything learned from experience, it is always possible that I could be wrong. Every conclusion of science is tentative until later observational results disprove or refine them. But for now, god is in the same category as alchemy, phrenology, phlogiston and cold fusion – obsolete.
I agree with you George..the problem is that the "believers" are thinking outside the box of reason... "delusional" is my description.

One can not reason with the unreasonable.
>>>>>>>>>The Randi Foundation has offered a prize of $1 Million to anyone who show, under scientific scrutiny, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. That should be an enormous incentive, but no one has been able to claim it.

My thought is that theist are so fanatical in believing that there is a got that you would thing that they would have found a scientific bases for it if it was only $1.
"My thought is that theist are so fanatical in believing that there is a got that you would thing that they would have found a scientific bases for it if it was only $1."

Tedster...If there is no scientific basis for the existence of a supreme being...or any "paranormal event"... then the scientific basis can never be found.
I typed it wrong, but yes that is my thought as well.

What I ment was that $1,000,000 was not necessary, theist can never prove anything, and as you said,

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