Why it's tricky for atheists to 'debate' with believers...

http://www.alternet.org/belief/145172/why_it%27s_so_tricky_for_athe...

from the url:
There has never once been a marginalized group that has won recognition and rights by sitting back and waiting politely for it to happen. There
has never once been a marginalized group that has won recognition and
rights by doing anything other than speaking out, organizing, making
itself visible and vocal. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Freedom is
never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the
oppressed."

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It is difficult to debate with believers because without being rational, there can be no real debate. Believers believe not only without evidence but in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They try to make a virtue out of believing the unbelievable. Their argument comes down to “ I believe, because I believe, because I believe..."
I tend lately to say "it's not that I don't believe, I know there's no god(s)!"

And then I'll hand them a mini-booklet of Robert G. Ingersoll's work.
Yeah right, you're right, it'd be a waste of paper.

Blame the petroleum industry for cramming the holy war crap down folks' throats through Fox (fuax) news!

Or... get some perspective?::::::> Thunderf00t URL:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuWCsJm0zcw
Interesting to see the outcome.
"I tend lately to say "it's not that I don't believe, I know there's no god(s)!"

Why? You don't know any such thing for a fact. Making such an assertion incurs the burden of proof for a position which is unprovable and unfalsifiable.

I don't argue with believers,or defend my atheism to them.

The matter rarely comes up here. The people with whom I've associated for the last 30 years or so have a healthy contempt for people who wear their personal beliefs or patriotism on their sleeves..(sports are exempt from this taboo)

Dogmatic fundamentalists argue from a position of personal certitude.That position has been reached without the benefit of reason or evidence.Their minds are not going to be changed by anything as prosaic as facts or rational thinking.


MY strongest reasons are that I really, truly do not care about the personal beliefs [or lack of them] of others. I despise proselytising of any kind,theist or atheist, as the height of arrogance.
I've always found that if you debate a believr - especially a fundamentalist or a creationist and they can't come up with an answer they start resorting to bible quotes, strawmen or other fallacies.

I know I've won a debate when they start doing that.
This was a great article, thank you for sharing. I also followed the link to hottest Atheist men with a great deal of satisfaction.
You should try living in england, anyone who said anything about religion in a social setting would be considered VERY strange.
I cannot help feeling that its because we got rid of all the strange religious types in europe and we sent them all off in ships, we told them that they were going to a new land, dunno where they all ended up though....;-)
I don't know if you ever read in Douglas Adams but he had all the useless people in society being told that the planet was going to be eaten by a space goat and going off in huge space ships, you could perhaps try that with all the religious types over there.
Oh, Jez....you made my day. If only we could send all of the believers away on huge spaceships........sigh....it's nice to dream.....
It's amazing that the fledgling nation of the US was at the forefront of the enlightenment - in fact the nation was founded on the principles of enlightenment philosophies; that it has now become the bastion of religious loons is truly depressing.
It has been suggested that the enlightenment philosophies that founded the usa were only successful because there was no dominant religious grouping at the time.. fast forward 200+ years however, and the us seems to be lurching towards a theocracy....
I hate to say it, but my response lately has come down largely to saying, in one form or another, "Oh, yeah? PROVE IT!"

Basically, I keep saying, over and over in various ways, "Until you replace faith with knowledge, I have no reason to believe a word you say. Present evidence or shut the @#$% up."

...cuz, you know, after while you start to feel like you've just plain had it, neh?
It isn't "tricky" but I believe that instead, it's pointless in some cases. There are many theists that embrace science, critical thinking, etc. and are a level of sophistication far beyond a delusional fundie with an agenda who slathers himself in confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance as if they were some divine lather from which enlightenment can be achieved. At best, arguing with a fully indoctrinated fundie is a waste of your precious time and at worst it will merely serve to frustrate you while you walk away with nothing and the fundie walks away thinking that they really challenged you, witnessed to you while gloating over their profound spiritual victory by way of serving the "Master of the Universe".

I'd say, only debate (if you're into that sort of thing) with those who are capable of coherent, rational, civilized, intellectually honest discourse (granted they may be a bit more rare than hoped for). Otherwise, you really aren't "debating" but rather you are essentially waiting on your turn to bark at the moon.
Following a lengthy discussion last night, my husband informed me I'm biased so can't know if I'm right. Well, there is truth to that, confirmation bias gets along wonderfully with ego. The problem wasn't so much in the statement as his using it to show he's right about his religion. What I should have said would have focused on how people gather and test information and how it is important to follow the evidence. What I did say contained profanity.

For me, the tricky part is keeping a level head.

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