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cds69
September 21st, 2009, 10:55 PM
I'd just like to say I'm extremely disappointed in the quality of the religious debates on ODN. I cringe reading the titles and have absolutely no desire to take part.

They are largely mean spirited and offensive. I myself am an atheist. But I respect the extremely personal and passionate nature of one's faith. Perhaps it is because the nature of these arguments is Belief vs. Non-Belief rather than Belief vs. Belief, but I think my atheist brothers and sisters need to learn a little respect and tolerance.

Over and over again I see atheists subtly or not-so-subtly poking jabs at believers. Little things like intentionally failing to capitalize "God" when you are clearly debating about God in the Christian tradition. (Yes, I realize this isn't always intentional, but more often than not it is). Capitalizing the word "God" doesn't commit you to believing, it just shows that you have a comprehension of the English language and customary grammar practices. Even if someone disbelieves the Big Bang Theory they should still capitalize it.

In some instances (occurring more and more frequently) the thread title itself seems intended to offend... "God murders children", etc...

Other threads just seem self-serving and useless, like the "Have the Christians lost the War on ODN...." War? Is that what it is? It makes me wonder why I am so unlike most other atheists I know. I think the belief in God is just as illogical and silly as the next atheist, but I wonder why so many seem so emotionally invested in converting believers.

Atheists, in my opinion, tend to only see the "evil" of religion (most specifically in Christianity). They can tell you how many thousands died during the Spanish Inquisition. But can they tell you how many lives have been saved, or changed for the better because of Christian hospitals and Christian ministries? How many children around the world have been spared disease because of the efforts of churches to send medical personnel and medicines to inoculate those in the third world? Where are the atheist non-profits? Where are the atheist hospitals? Where are the atheist community centers?

I do not believe in God. Ergo I do not believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God. But I believe that if all people were to actually follow the basic social tenets of Christianity, then the world would be a beautiful place.

Allocutus
September 21st, 2009, 11:15 PM
I'd just like to say I'm extremely disappointed in the quality of the religious debates on ODN. I cringe reading the titles and have absolutely no desire to take part.

They are largely mean spirited and offensive. I myself am an atheist. But I respect the extremely personal and passionate nature of one's faith. Perhaps it is because the nature of these arguments is Belief vs. Non-Belief rather than Belief vs. Belief, but I think my atheist brothers and sisters need to learn a little respect and tolerance.

Over and over again I see atheists subtly or not-so-subtly poking jabs at believers. Little things like intentionally failing to capitalize "God" when you are clearly debating about God in the Christian tradition. (Yes, I realize this isn't always intentional, but more often than not it is). Capitalizing the word "God" doesn't commit you to believing, it just shows that you have a comprehension of the English language and customary grammar practices. Even if someone disbelieves the Big Bang Theory they should still capitalize it.

In some instances (occurring more and more frequently) the thread title itself seems intended to offend... "God murders children", etc...

Other threads just seem self-serving and useless, like the "Have the Christians lost the War on ODN...." War? Is that what it is? It makes me wonder why I am so unlike most other atheists I know. I think the belief in God is just as illogical and silly as the next atheist, but I wonder why so many seem so emotionally invested in converting believers.

Atheists, in my opinion, tend to only see the "evil" of religion (most specifically in Christianity). They can tell you how many thousands died during the Spanish Inquisition. But can they tell you how many lives have been saved, or changed for the better because of Christian hospitals and Christian ministries? How many children around the world have been spared disease because of the efforts of churches to send medical personnel and medicines to inoculate those in the third world? Where are the atheist non-profits? Where are the atheist hospitals? Where are the atheist community centers?

I do not believe in God. Ergo I do not believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God. But I believe that if all people were to actually follow the basic social tenets of Christianity, then the world would be a beautiful place.

I hope the above will receive the reception you intended. But something tells me you have just sparked off another cut-throat theist-vs-atheist debate.

I agree that there's been a tendency by some atheists to demonise God and Christianity. However, they do rely on facts and on the Scriptures. They are either correct or they are incorrect. If they are incorrect then their claims are there in black and white to be confronted. I, for one, am currently arguing that it's logically impossible to judge God (any everlasting or omnipresent entity) on any moral grounds.

As for your claims about how much good Christianity has done, it would be useful to come up with some facts and compare them. Charity contributions per head of Christian population vs those per head of atheist population vs Hindu population vs any other faith's population.

While you also might be right in saying that the world would be a beautiful place (isn't it already?) if all people were to follow the basic social tenets of Christianity; again you might be right. But what about if all people were to follow basic secular moral standards? Would the world be any worse off?

The bottom line is, while your OP has much merit as far as the behaviour of some atheists is concerned (and this was never really in dispute anyway), it also smuggles in some unsourced, unresearched and unsupported claims that attempt to validate Christianity as against other religions and atheism itself.

cds69
September 22nd, 2009, 12:09 AM
I hope the above will receive the reception you intended. But something tells me you have just sparked off another cut-throat theist-vs-atheist debate.

I agree that there's been a tendency by some atheists to demonise God and Christianity. However, they do rely on facts and on the Scriptures. They are either correct or they are incorrect. If they are incorrect then their claims are there in black and white to be confronted. I, for one, am currently arguing that it's logically impossible to judge God (any everlasting or omnipresent entity) on any moral grounds.

Allo, I've seen your debate style and tactics. Please take me at my word when I say that I've never seen you debate this (or any issue) using the tactics I've described. You, and others who debate in a respectful manner, argue using facts and logic.

However you must admit that threads like the "God orders and commits the act of murdering children" is grossly disingenuous and serves no purpose other than to offend. First of all, the debater who posted this is ostensibly an atheist. If this is true, then why is he posting a thread with a title that infers that God is real? There is no reason other for him to offend Christians. He wraps up his OP by saying "God is a child killer...."


As for your claims about how much good Christianity has done, it would be useful to come up with some facts and compare them. Charity contributions per head of Christian population vs those per head of atheist population vs Hindu population vs any other faith's population.

My mention of the good works carried out by Christians wasn't meant to glorify them as opposed to other religions, or as opposed to the population at large. My intent was to show that when debating, many atheists will only mention bad acts, and ignore good. Given the historical scope and ambiguity of this argument, I think any effort into weighing good vs. bad would be futile. But I think it can be reasonably stated that Christianity, as well as virtually every religion, has had both positive and negative effects on individual societies and mankind as a whole.


While you also might be right in saying that the world would be a beautiful place (isn't it already?) if all people were to follow the basic social tenets of Christianity; again you might be right. But what about if all people were to follow basic secular moral standards? Would the world be any worse off?

While I don't disagree, I must argue that there really aren't any "basic secular moral standards" that people would agree upon. However I think that if you asked Christians to state "basic Christian morals", you would see a fairly uniform commonality to their answers.


The bottom line is, while your OP has much merit as far as the behaviour of some atheists is concerned (and this was never really in dispute anyway), it also smuggles in some unsourced, unresearched and unsupported claims that attempt to validate Christianity as against other religions and atheism itself.

I made no attempt to "smuggle" any claims about Christianity as contrasted or compared to other religions. The fact is that here in the US, I'm in a world that is largely Christian, and likewise, here on ODN almost all theists are Christian. Almost all "theist vs. atheist" debates on ODN are really Christian vs. Atheist. I would imagine that in countries that are largely Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc, that those religions very well could be as benevolent to their populations as I made out Christianity to be in the country where I live. I did not speak to those religions because I don't have the experience or information on which to present any facts or opinions.

Let me reiterate. I'm an atheist. I've debated on the topic. I find a belief in God/gods to be illogical, contrary to science, and unsupported by any reliable historical records. When I speak to these issues, I would hope that any debate opponents would see that I'm debating what I believe to be true in a "good faith" manner (no pun intended). In my humble opinion, doing so lends credibility to my arguments, while anyone who argues that God is a baby killer is not only ignorant of the topic he or she is debating, but is also grossly offensive and discredits respectful, logical debate from the atheist point of view in which individuals like me and yourself choose to participate.

Allocutus
September 22nd, 2009, 12:33 AM
However you must admit that threads like the "God orders and commits the act of murdering children" is grossly disingenuous and serves no purpose other than to offend. First of all, the debater who posted this is ostensibly an atheist. If this is true, then why is he posting a thread with a title that infers that God is real? There is no reason other for him to offend Christians. He wraps up his OP by saying "God is a child killer...."


I think of posts like that as appeals to emotion, unless they posit some moral principle that would claim that it's WRONG for God to do the things alleged. This is why I started the thread "God can do no wrong".



My mention of the good works carried out by Christians wasn't meant to glorify them as opposed to other religions, or as opposed to the population at large. My intent was to show that when debating, many atheists will only mention bad acts, and ignore good. Given the historical scope and ambiguity of this argument, I think any effort into weighing good vs. bad would be futile. But I think it can be reasonably stated that Christianity, as well as virtually every religion, has had both positive and negative effects on individual societies and mankind as a whole.

Agreed. I apologise if I took it too far.




While I don't disagree, I must argue that there really aren't any "basic secular moral standards" that people would agree upon. However I think that if you asked Christians to state "basic Christian morals", you would see a fairly uniform commonality to their answers.

I would suggest that the moral standards of American Christians are remarkably similar to American secular moral standards (and this goes for any region). They seem to change with the changing social framework and they seem to be independent of religion. There are counter-examples, like abortion (most Christians are against it by far, whereas secular morality varies). But then there is slavery, where both Christians and seculars are against it and yet it's something that was never contradicted by Christian principle. Christians and non-Christians alike appear to be against discrimination against homosexuals (although same-sex marriage might be an exception). And yet both the OT and the NT were against homosexuality. Not so long ago, both Christians and non-Christians were against homosexuality and discrimination was rife. Women's vote was not a Christian principle but most Christians agree that women should vote, despite the fact that the Bible clearly doesn't support that. I would say that the movement originating this wasn't based on Christianity at all and yet the Christians have followed suit. I don't know what the numbers are on capital punishment but my impression is that Christians seem to be more for it than non-Christians (if true, this is interesting, given the divine imperative to forgive and to turn the other cheek).

I don't think there's any real evidence that Christian morality is in any way superior to secular morality (not that I think a morality can be superior to another anyway). I also don't think there's any evidence that Christian morality is self-consistent. As described above, it appears to be walking hand-in-hand with secular standards as the years go by.




I made no attempt to "smuggle" any claims about Christianity as contrasted or compared to other religions. The fact is that here in the US, I'm in a world that is largely Christian, and likewise, here on ODN almost all theists are Christian. Almost all "theist vs. atheist" debates on ODN are really Christian vs. Atheist. I would imagine that in countries that are largely Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc, that those religions very well could be as benevolent to their populations as I made out Christianity to be in the country where I live. I did not speak to those religions because I don't have the experience or information on which to present any facts or opinions.

I understand. But if you're making the point that Christianity does good things, you have to show that it's Christianity and not HUMANITY that does them. This is why I said that such a claim would need support. Sure, people who are Christians do some good things.

But I understand your point. You're saying that atheists tend to argue against Christianity and some of them tend to use moral grounds in these arguments and they overlook positive things that Christianity does. But then, wouldn't it be upon the Christian debater to point out to those positive things? We're not expecting atheists to argue FOR Christianity (except me and Ellio, when acting in our GA capacity at the moment).

Bear in mind that none of the above in any way disagrees with your disappointment with some tactics and some claims (which I call appeals to emotion).



Let me reiterate. I'm an atheist. I've debated on the topic. I find a belief in God/gods to be illogical, contrary to science, and unsupported by any reliable historical records. When I speak to these issues, I would hope that any debate opponents would see that I'm debating what I believe to be true in a "good faith" manner (no pun intended). In my humble opinion, doing so lends credibility to my arguments, while anyone who argues that God is a baby killer is not only ignorant of the topic he or she is debating, but is also grossly offensive and discredits respectful, logical debate from the atheist point of view in which individuals like me and yourself choose to participate.

I think that the argument that God is a baby killer had factual merit. The Bible is clear on the subject; God has killed babies. But I think where these arguments lack is they fail to show any moral grounding why such an accusation should be relevant at all; other than an appeal to emotion.

Aspoestertjie
September 22nd, 2009, 12:58 AM
I'd just like to say I'm extremely disappointed in the quality of the religious debates on ODN. I cringe reading the titles and have absolutely no desire to take part.

Which I think is the fault of both theists and atheists many times. We need to be honest about this.


They are largely mean spirited and offensive. I myself am an atheist. But I respect the extremely personal and passionate nature of one's faith. Perhaps it is because the nature of these arguments is Belief vs. Non-Belief rather than Belief vs. Belief, but I think my atheist brothers and sisters need to learn a little respect and tolerance.

Which I commend you for. We need to be careful though to actually label a debate as being 'mean spirited'.

The very nature of debate is to actually to provoke reaction. I agree that it should be done tastefully and do agree many times it is not done with that spirit in mind. It is important to respect each other in debate, no matter what the topic is.


Over and over again I see atheists subtly or not-so-subtly poking jabs at believers. Little things like intentionally failing to capitalize "God" when you are clearly debating about God in the Christian tradition. (Yes, I realize this isn't always intentional, but more often than not it is). Capitalizing the word "God" doesn't commit you to believing, it just shows that you have a comprehension of the English language and customary grammar practices. Even if someone disbelieves the Big Bang Theory they should still capitalize it.

I don't think Christians need to feel offended if the word 'God' is not capitalized. Usually it is a lack of language skills that causes people not to do it. If it is done intentionally though, with the meaning to offend Christians, they still need not to get excited about it.


In some instances (occurring more and more frequently) the thread title itself seems intended to offend... "God murders children", etc...

Other threads just seem self-serving and useless, like the "Have the Christians lost the War on ODN...." War? Is that what it is? It makes me wonder why I am so unlike most other atheists I know. I think the belief in God is just as illogical and silly as the next atheist, but I wonder why so many seem so emotionally invested in converting believers.

While I agree and disagree with you regarding some points. You need to remember that thread titles are created to provoke reaction, to get someone interested in opening the thread in the first place. It is a 'marketing tool' for your thread.

That doesn't mean I condone disrespectful thread titles. It simply means I encourage original thread titles.

Thread titles are many times the sole reason for catching a guest's attention and they might join even because of it.

With that said, if a debate is created with a title which offends Christians, it doesn't mean it is bad. It should only encourage them to defend their views even more. I believe from a Christian's point of view, you need to be humble and respectful, even to those who fail to show it to you.

Unfortunately many Christians falls into this trap. They lose that control, argue aggressively and in the end give the Atheists more stones to throw them with.

This whole issue cuts both ways I am afraid.


Atheists, in my opinion, tend to only see the "evil" of religion (most specifically in Christianity). They can tell you how many thousands died during the Spanish Inquisition. But can they tell you how many lives have been saved, or changed for the better because of Christian hospitals and Christian ministries? How many children around the world have been spared disease because of the efforts of churches to send medical personnel and medicines to inoculate those in the third world? Where are the atheist non-profits? Where are the atheist hospitals? Where are the atheist community centers?

I do not believe in God. Ergo I do not believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God. But I believe that if all people were to actually follow the basic social tenets of Christianity, then the world would be a beautiful place.

I don't think all Atheists are like that.

For instance... I saw Dio once admit to the importance of churches while Wolf Myth condoned the death of children just so that they don't need to learn about God.

I think on ODN you have Atheists that can see the true meaning and value of religion regardless of the fact that they don't agree with it. I think the demography of Atheists on ODN is well balanced too. You will get you guys like Zhavric, who we all know is a tough guy to reason with. Then you get guys like Allo, who is the total opposite and you can actually reason with him because of his respectful demeanor towards Christians.

Trendem
September 22nd, 2009, 01:02 AM
I don't see the need to be politically correct just because we are discussing someone else's religious beliefs. If your view is that God has murdered children and you can back it up, then what's wrong with saying it? People who get offended need to grow up and learn to take criticisms of their God.

I would not be offended if someone started a thread titled "atheism fosters immorality" or "atheism encourages genocide". In fact, provocative thread titles will encourage me to participate. I will want to see what logic and evidence the poster has for his assertions. So I don't see why we should handle Christian beliefs with kid gloves.

Also, I agree that religion can be a force for good and even argued as much in a formal debate. But that is a separate question from whether it is true, or whether the Bible contains instances of immoralities and atrocities committed by God. Just because Christianity can be socially useful doesn't mean we cannot criticise its more unsavoury or illogical teachings.

Sigfried
September 22nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
I agree in principle but I disagree in specifics.

Due to the "war" threads I've been watching the religious debates carefully. For my money the Atheists have been extremely polite, considerate, reasoned, and respectful in all the threads on religious topics. It's been Christian's resorting to swearing, pouting, guilt tripping, ranting and generally making a scene in those threads. Granted there are Atheists who make hay, but most of them seem to be gone at the moment.

Your example of God murders children is a bad one I think. The case is pretty clear that God has killed a great number of children if the bible is to be believed and he did so without any stated cause of justice nor is it easy to imagine what an infant might have done to deserve death at Gods hand. Murder is the word we use for unjustified killing. It is provocative but it is accurate to the challenge posed.

If someone isn't capable of defending their faith without getting upset they should avoid the religious forums on a debate site. Many don't want to defend their faith, but they are perfectly happy to proclaim it. We have had outright admissions from some they see ODN as a place to win souls. The battleground of truth isn't always a warm and fuzzy place.

Few would accuse me of being harsh and unrespectfull. I get a lot of positive reps saying quite the opposite. But you must speak your mind, even if some will find it offensive. Being honest is not the same as being disrespectful.

Christians want to talk about their religion, they want to show us we are wrong and they are right. If they want to do that they will encounter some harsh critique that says their sacred beliefs are nonsense. If they aren't ready for that heat they should stay out of the kitchen and keep God to themselves.

I do absolutely nothing in my day to day life to advertise my lack of belief and I do that for a reason. But if a Theist comes to me wanting to talk about God I give them a subtle warning sign, just enough to let them know who they are dealing with. Then if they engage they get the full scope of my thinking on the subject.

Rogue Cardinal
September 22nd, 2009, 09:10 AM
I agree with what you are sayign to an extent....but I disagree with you on what you see verses how somethign is presented.

For example....you don't like "God orders and murders children to be killed."

You feel like it's snubbing Christianity. And perhaps to a certain degree it is. And yet....when one reads the bible.....one finds multiple times God ordering a murdering children. So while you don't like the statement because of what you think the intent is it is a fact none the less that God does those types of things in the bible.

Now while it's a bold claim....it can bring about deeper conversation and debate if one is willing to put their emotions aside for a moment and look at the facts. We end up not arguing about whether of not GOd did the murdering....because it can't really be argued....he did. he says so in his little book. Now it becomes a question of morality.

Thus you would prefer someone start off with yadda yadda yadda morality.....instead God the murderer. and I can understand that....but I think the title has set the tone and is quite usable.

Spartacus
September 22nd, 2009, 12:18 PM
I'd just like to say I'm extremely disappointed in the quality of the religious debates on ODN. I cringe reading the titles and have absolutely no desire to take part.

They are largely mean spirited and offensive.

Most Christians here concur with your points CD.

That is why we have chosen to essentially not participate in the Religion area so much lately.

If anyone wants to see support for what CD is talking about -- just look at my rep points and see how many atheists gave me pos rep. for threads they found to be highly critical of other Christians.:coolsmiley:

I posted those threads not to get rep points -- but in an attempt to change the tone and tenor in the religion forum. A forum I have avoided for a very long time precisely because of what CD mentioned.

Even so, at least one atheist still chose to neg rep me for being as critical of atheists as I was of Christians.

It is not about political correctness. Rather it is about decorum and decorum is rooted in respect -- especially when we don't agree with someone.

I don't think theists mind sensational headlines -- it is the generally disrespectful, and superior tone one finds in the body of posts that people find grating.

Sigfried
September 22nd, 2009, 01:14 PM
If anyone wants to see support for what CD is talking about -- just look at my rep points and see how many atheists gave me pos rep. for threads they found to be highly critical of other Christians

Gee Spart, damned if we + rep you damned if we - rep you.

Could it simply be you made good OPs and Atheists responded to that? How many Theists have + repped an atheists religious OP? Not many I think. Yet when we "cross the line" were whoring...

Why can't we just take reps for what they are instead of trying to read in some kind of conspiracy or methodical agenda. Folks Rep when they are moved to do so by the quality or content of a post. That means most of the time they will rep like minded debaters and on rare occasions they will do otherwise.

Spartacus
September 22nd, 2009, 01:18 PM
Gee Spart, damned if we + rep you damned if we - rep you.

Could it simply be you made good OPs and Atheists responded to that? How many Theists have + repped an atheists religious OP? Not many I think. Yet when we "cross the line" were whoring...

Why can't we just take reps for what they are instead of trying to read in some kind of conspiracy or methodical agenda. Folks Rep when they are moved to do so by the quality or content of a post. That means most of the time they will rep like minded debaters and on rare occasions they will do otherwise.

Firstly - I don't care much about my rep points here. I see them as 'popularity points", and frankly don't see how the rep system fosters anything good -- IMO.

Secondly -- Come on. People here tend to +rep people they agree with. Are you claiming that I was +repped simply because the posts were good -- and had nothing to do with being critical of Christians -- really?

Sigfried
September 22nd, 2009, 02:21 PM
Secondly -- Come on. People here tend to +rep people they agree with. Are you claiming that I was +repped simply because the posts were good -- and had nothing to do with being critical of Christians -- really?

Speaking for my own reps, yes. I can't speak for others. But what is wrong with repping posts you agree with... it says Agree/Disagree for goodness sake. What are we expecting here?

Repping people you happen to agree with or who you think make strong posts is what the thing is for.

Almost every time I am hearing a Christian's specific complaint about the debates here, its how we Rep people. I hear a general (the tone is hostile) but when I'm actually in the debates I don't generally see it.

Since this started I've been pretty hyper aware of it and generally the bad vibes are coming from Christians. Two have been hit up for clear trolling (not regulars I know but...) and one seemed to have a breakdown and cursed us out before storming off. Meanwhile Atheists are trying to help balance the number of users on a given position, making very polite arguments, and generally being amiable to whatever topics Christians have posted, repping you and others for their efforts.

Perhaps you need to gather to gather, figure out exactly what it is you are expecting, determine if it seems reasonable, and then make a specific plea for it.

I'm all for "be more nice" but so far as I can tell most of us active atheists are being nice. Personally I've gotten reps specifically for that more than once.

KevinBrowning
September 22nd, 2009, 03:58 PM
It's hard to tell if the general tone of the religion debates is more or less civil than a year ago, or than in 2004. Certainly there are more members, but there have always been more atheists than Christians here if I recall. I'd say some of the more blatantly insulting atheists have left (e.g. Zhavric). For a while there, he and his fan club were responding to almost every thread, religious or not, with some idiotic jab about a Jewish zombie or a stock Dawkins quote.

Allocutus
September 22nd, 2009, 04:33 PM
It's hard to tell if the general tone of the religion debates is more or less civil than a year ago, or than in 2004. Certainly there are more members, but there have always been more atheists than Christians here if I recall. I'd say some of the more blatantly insulting atheists have left (e.g. Zhavric). For a while there, he and his fan club were responding to almost every thread, religious or not, with some idiotic jab about a Jewish zombie or a stock Dawkins quote.

Well that's DEFINITELY not happening now. Nothing near it.

Sigfried
September 22nd, 2009, 05:49 PM
Certainly there are more members, but there have always been more atheists than Christians here if I recall. I'd say some of the more blatantly insulting atheists have left (e.g. Zhavric).

When Zhav was in the house I have to agree that there was often a hostile tone. There are a few that echo his sentiments...

I was thinking that each of us is more likely to notice the less active members of the opposition than you are to notice the less active folks on your own side... and generality its the semi active folk that tend to throw the fireballs most often.

Really we need each other... if it were only one side or the other the debates would be pretty flaccid I think.

Rogue Cardinal
September 22nd, 2009, 06:12 PM
Firstly - I don't care much about my rep points here. I see them as 'popularity points", and frankly don't see how the rep system fosters anything good -- IMO.

Secondly -- Come on. People here tend to +rep people they agree with. Are you claiming that I was +repped simply because the posts were good -- and had nothing to do with being critical of Christians -- really?

you and I have had a checkered past.

I pos repped you because I thought you were taking a fresh and honest approach to a subject that I find interesting. I was highly impressed with your honest and the depth at which you started the OP with. I thought it was beyond interesting and bold for a Christian to be that honest about the subject regardless of where you were going with it.

I do agree with Siggy....it appears that we are damned if we do or don't with you. I am really bothered by your post.

daman
September 22nd, 2009, 07:02 PM
Firstly - I don't care much about my rep points here. I see them as 'popularity points", and frankly don't see how the rep system fosters anything good -- IMO.

Secondly -- Come on. People here tend to +rep people they agree with. Are you claiming that I was +repped simply because the posts were good -- and had nothing to do with being critical of Christians -- really?


I can only see the last 5 reps only one of which congrats you for challenging your own. The rest congratulated you on your post including my own. I'm disappointed you didn't regard these reps as a compliment of your quality post, for that is what I believe they were meant as. You may not care much for positive reps but it feels good to me to give one when it is justly deserved and not a popularity rep.

Spartacus
September 22nd, 2009, 08:31 PM
I do agree with Siggy....it appears that we are damned if we do or don't with you. I am really bothered by your post.

Well personally I didn't think much of it until I read the OP in this thread.

In my last two OPs that both were critical of Christians -- and one of which was critical of Atheists and Christians.

I received 7 + reps from Atheists.
One + rep from a Christian

and one neg rep from an atheist that read:

"NOTE: You might find the debating of God's existence boring, but many of us don't. There's a reason by (sic) it's the most attacked point by atheists."

Don't know why you would be "bothered" by my mentioning this RC. Perhaps you could elaborate a little?

Want more evidence? Just look at the pos reps the OP in this thread received. See how the normally rep-stingy Christians pos repped CD here. I include myself in this you know. I'm guilty.

Obviously, we here at ODN have a tendency not to rep well constructed posts -- but posts we agree with that are well constructed. When someone from one side attempts to take an objective view of his own side -- the folks on his side hate it it, and the people on the normally opposing side seem to lap it up -- based on the evidence of the reps here anyway.

Why is it so hard for people to appreciate a well-constructed post just for being a well-constructed post? I think this goes to decorum and respect which is at the heart of CD's OP here. But that's just my opinion.

Rogue Cardinal
September 22nd, 2009, 08:41 PM
Well personally I didn't think much of it until I read the OP in this thread.

In my last two OPs that both were critical; of Christians -- and one of which was critical of Atheists and Christians.

I received 7 + reps from Atheists.
One + rep from a Christian

and one neg rep from an atheist that read:

You'll have to dig that neg rep up for me....it didn't make it in your post.

I would say that honestly, the Atheists appreciated your stance on the subject. I know to me it wasn't, "HAHA look at them infighting." TO me it was, "Damn.....those are some profound statements.....I'm very interested to see where this goes and who is honest and deep enough to talk to Sparty about this stuff."

I couldn't even argue with you on the subject and said so in my pos rep. I agreed with your OP completely. I would have when I was a Christian also.

Just so you know....Atheists do call Atheists to the carpet from time to time also. A recent example is when I saw an Atheist twist a bible verse way out of context....I argued against his position and showed him why he was in error. I received a lot of love from Christians.....one of whom felt compelled to ask, "Why didn't a Christian write this?" Which was interesting and really to the point of some of your recent threads.....because Christians had already responded to the Atheist and had failed to mention in perhaps the detail I did why he was wrong.

cds69
September 22nd, 2009, 08:59 PM
Your example of God murders children is a bad one I think. The case is pretty clear that God has killed a great number of children if the bible is to be believed and he did so without any stated cause of justice nor is it easy to imagine what an infant might have done to deserve death at Gods hand. Murder is the word we use for unjustified killing. It is provocative but it is accurate to the challenge posed.

Let's be real here. Analyze this statement and tell me what you think...

God does not exist, and He also murders children.

You yourself have just demonstrated how disingenuous these debate tactics are. If God of the Judeo-Christian tradition did exist, it would be impossible for Him to commit murder. Murder is the unjustified killing of one human being by another human being.


If someone isn't capable of defending their faith without getting upset they should avoid the religious forums on a debate site. Many don't want to defend their faith, but they are perfectly happy to proclaim it. We have had outright admissions from some they see ODN as a place to win souls. The battleground of truth isn't always a warm and fuzzy place.

This is where I really get confused by fellow atheists. If a person actually genuinely believes that Christianity is the one and only path to salvation and eternal life, then what kind of person would they be if they didn't make an attempt to pass that along to others?


Few would accuse me of being harsh and unrespectfull. I get a lot of positive reps saying quite the opposite. But you must speak your mind, even if some will find it offensive. Being honest is not the same as being disrespectful.

Again I ask you, how HONEST is it for an atheist to say "God murders children"?


Christians want to talk about their religion, they want to show us we are wrong and they are right. If they want to do that they will encounter some harsh critique that says their sacred beliefs are nonsense. If they aren't ready for that heat they should stay out of the kitchen and keep God to themselves.

Yeah, right. I don't see a lot of threads being started by theists that are condescending or offensive. I just took a couple of minutes to peruse through the first two pages of threads in the Religion section. I saw at least a half dozen threads that were insulting to theists. I saw none that seemed offensive to atheists.


I do absolutely nothing in my day to day life to advertise my lack of belief and I do that for a reason. But if a Theist comes to me wanting to talk about God I give them a subtle warning sign, just enough to let them know who they are dealing with. Then if they engage they get the full scope of my thinking on the subject.

Hmmm... the first thing I do is thank them.

Sigfried
September 23rd, 2009, 06:38 AM
Let's be real here. Analyze this statement and tell me what you think...

God does not exist, and He also murders children.

God for an Atheist is a fictional character that others believe is a real entity. The actions in the Bible can be attributed to God whether he is fictional or real. When I start a thread about bible stories I generally posit that the ground for argument is that God exists and the bible is a true account of his actions, as that is what the bible is intended to say. You won't find much talk of God not existing in the "murders" thread.

So the two, while seemingly contradictory are not. Generally they are made separately since they are unrelated points. One is saying we don't think there is a God, the other is saying that if there was we'd have moral issues with him.

Personally I have always argued that even if you don't think God is real, so long as anyone worships and follows the bible he is none the less a force to be reckoned with and taken seriously. God is every bit as real as his followers make him to be.


This is where I really get confused by fellow atheists. If a person actually genuinely believes that Christianity is the one and only path to salvation and eternal life, then what kind of person would they be if they didn't make an attempt to pass that along to others?

I don't see where you differ all that much. The behavior of a Christian is often (although not always) understandable. That doesn't mean we have to embrace it or like it when someone comes preaching the word to us. (Personally I look forward to such occasions as it gives me licence to share my thoughts on the subject.)


Again I ask you, how HONEST is it for an atheist to say "God murders children"?

Yes, completely. Anyone claiming its OK for anything to murder children, I'm going to call them on it, even if we are talking about a fictional character, and especially if they think that character is real and that they worship and love said character. I find it disturbing.

The answer I'm hoping to get is "I think its wrong but I hope that God in his wisdom did it for some good reason." I usually get, God can do no wrong so it isn't murder, which for me is a big load of BS.


Yeah, right. I don't see a lot of threads being started by theists that are condescending or offensive. I just took a couple of minutes to peruse through the first two pages of threads in the Religion section. I saw at least a half dozen threads that were insulting to theists. I saw none that seemed offensive to atheists.

I am talking about the content of the debates themselves which I engage in regularly. Thread titles are "catchy" so as to attract interest. The ones with the worst titles get the most traffic. If you are offended by debate topics then its best to avoid debating. You make provocative titles in your political threads CDS.


Hmmm... the first thing I do is thank them.

Since it is not something I appreciate I don't. I will thank them after the conversation if it is a good one. But for just advertising I offer no thanks.

Aspoestertjie
September 24th, 2009, 01:13 AM
Why is it so hard for people to appreciate a well-constructed post just for being a well-constructed post? I think this goes to decorum and respect which is at the heart of CD's OP here. But that's just my opinion.

I think many people do appreciate it Spart.

I do for one. And I usually make sure the person knows it by giving him/her a rep for it. Many of those threads I might not even participate in, as I prefer to pick my challenges very carefully. I don't have the time to jump into every thread which is created.

I think many of the people who gave you positive rep did it, not because they like the fact that you challenge Christians, but the mere fact that your OP was really constructed well, and it is a fresh approach to religion topics in general.

Don't make assumptions. You know what they say about it. ;)

Spartacus
September 24th, 2009, 05:07 AM
I think many of the people who gave you positive rep did it, not because they like the fact that you challenge Christians

Then how do you explain the source of the reps both for my threads and the OP for this one?

Bias exists and it is rather strong here at ODN where repping is concerned.

Sigfried
September 24th, 2009, 06:34 AM
Bias exists and it is rather strong here at ODN where repping is concerned.

But that is fully expected is it not? The rep system even encourages bias by the way it is worded. How in the world would you expect to get an even number of reps from folks who think you are wrong as from those who think you are right? It just wouldn't make sense.