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View Poll Results: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat

Voters
23. This poll is closed
  • Yes - All of the time.

    2 8.70%
  • No - Never.

    6 26.09%
  • Yes - some of the time.

    15 65.22%
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  1. #1
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    Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Christian Silence is controversial.

    My last religious OP has over 3,000 words. Even though less than one percent of the post addresses Christian silence, one Christian criticized me for spending half of the post on the subject. Another Christian negged the whole OP, just because of that one sentence. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Dio did caution against mentioning Christian silence, but I opted against it. Moral of the story? Never go against Dio's omniscient suggestions.

    Seriously, though, I'd like to address this issue of Christian Silence, since most of us seem to have a rather passionate opinion on it.

    Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    WHY VOTE "NO"?

    Any fair-minded observer will tell you that silence does not necessarily connote defeat. Despite its addictive nature, people do have lives outside of ODN. I, for one, took two and a half months to respond to Yasashiku.

    MT made an astute observation: Participation in some threads requires a great deal of knowledge. Some Christians have probably never even heard of - let alone studied - the biblical problems raised in my OP.

    We Know You Don't Know

    I'll digress for a moment.

    Comedian Bill Maher sums up his religious position as "knowing that you don't know." I think many non-Christians on ODN can appreciate this sentiment.

    Is The bible Really Inerrant? presents a challenge to all Christians who regard the bible as an inerrant document containing the 100% authentic words of Jesus. Some Christians may not have the knowledge required to make claims about the biblical passages in my OP. That's fine, but doesn't that also mean that they don't have the knowledge required to TELL us that the bible is inerrant?

    One of The Unapologists put it best. When I asked him why we should even bother posting in the religion forum, he declared:

    For the PRINCIPLE of the thing! Even if no one ever responds to your threads, your arguments will remain strong, proud, and unvanquished reminders of the absurdity that is Christianity, of the hypocrisy of their screaming that they have God's word yet being unable to answer even the simplest of questions about it.


    WHY VOTE "YES"?


    Sometimes, silence looks a helluva lot like defeat.

    Forget the threads that have few or zero responses from Christians. Consider threads with many replies from Christians.

    An example is this thread: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...=20725&page=11

    In a thread with a little over 200 replies, and a little under 6,000 views, Christians made attempt after attempt to challenge the OP. That's all they were - attempts.

    This thread represents perhaps the most decisive victory for The Unapologists. On every major issue, Christians fell silent and endured extraordinarily lopsided defeats. Would any rational person honestly describe posts #163 and #167 as anything other than a pants-pulled-down-to-the-ankles-spanking? Massive kudos to Kahn, Rogue, and Alloc. We even received private concessions from Christians on the now defunct appeal to free will.

    Although I believe their side lost, I believe Cdubs and Yasashiku deserve major props as well. Cdubs fought valiantly (against several opponents)
    to the bitter end, and Yasashiku might not even be done yet.

    Vote

    So, there you have it. Place your votes, and feel free to address my comments. Perhaps if we all come to an understanding on Christian Silence, our conversations will progress more smoothly. Also, please take the time to explain why you voted as you did.
    Last edited by sonofnietzsche; May 23rd, 2010 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Silence means exactly what it says on the tin. Noone has posted any responses. Thid doesn't "defeat" Christianity it simply means no-one has bothered to go against that particular argument for whatever reason. One can extrapolate on the fact that this may mean it's because they CAN'T go against that particular argument to their heart's content but the silence by no means necessitates christian "defeat". Merely that as things stand, the point is uncontested.
    -=]Eliotitus[=-
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  3. #3
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    I think in normal discussions/forums, the notion of silence does not indicate defeat. However, in a debate forum, a non-response should be treated as a concession. It doesn't need to mean that the silent party agrees with the challenging argument, or has now changed their minds about it. It only means that they concede that they cannot or will not argue against it - which is a defeat in debating.

    The primary mode of concession at ODN is silence, and I know that I am guilty of it too. I try to let people know when I concede, but sometimes I simply get very busy and don't have time to post, and before I know it its been several weeks or months and I have completely lost my train of thought or motivation. I know I treat silence to my argument as a concession, and I assume that others treat my silence as one as well.

  4. #4
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    It can't be that open-and-shut. I shut down quite a few liberals during the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, yet I doubt you would get them to admit I "won." I'm guessing the counter-argument goes something like "Your tenacity is more annoying than correct," or something to that effect.

    Just because someone doesn't show up to a fight you are picking, that doesn't necessarily mean they "lost" it. I happen to agree with most atheistic arguments, and see quite a few go with unanswered posts, but I don't think that definitively means they are absolutely correct just by that virtue alone. Holes may still exist, even though nobody is specifically addressing them.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Many times there are people who just don't care about the op topic. Does that mean we "lose" if we don't participate? No. For example, your most recent thread on Bible contradictions. Frankly, I don't care if there are apparent contradictions in the Bible. I figure that there is a way to reconcile them which is not yet apparent. And I'm not interested in spending countless hours trying to figure them out. Why should I spend a lot of time trying to figure that out, if I just don't care? I haven't come up with a reason, and your attempt to claim the ultimate victory over Christians hasn't changed that.

    After that, there is the ever-present taunting by you, RC, Khan, and some others, not to mention the gang reps, that make the whole process of debating atheists less than enjoyable. If you and the others really do try to strike a new tone, for an extended period, then you may find Christians coming back to some of the more interesting debates. Otherwise...enjoy the silence.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    To some, I'm just some text that they read, and i don't have a real book of layers like a real person. i'm just another random opinion. They even sometimes fail to see that most my text has a pattern to it. This is the flaw of forums, and the perfection of forums: the emotional anonymity. BUT That's only partly on topic: I admit loss, i don't just ignore the thread, but some people do and some people don't, and some people are doing something else with their time and really don't feel like, or can't, post something, and some people are trolls who will go to the very last ******* minute to annoy the **** outa people on nonsense, I have a limit, if things get touchy I don't post more i say agree to disagree and leave It because I know there you are real, and not just text.

    wow that kinda dragged on if you didn't read the whole thing: I admit defeat by texting you win, or agree to disagree, but some people are occupied, and silence to some people is their way of saying you win

  7. #7
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Many times there are people who just don't care about the op topic. Does that mean we "lose" if we don't participate? No. For example, your most recent thread on Bible contradictions. Frankly, I don't care if there are apparent contradictions in the Bible. Why should I spend a lot of time trying to figure that out, if I just don't care? I haven't come up with a reason, and your attempt to claim the ultimate victory over Christians hasn't changed that.
    I wholeheartedly agree that my latest thread does not represent any sort of victory... yet.

    I figure that there is a way to reconcile them which is not yet apparent. And I'm not interested in spending countless hours trying to figure them out.
    This is not surprising, since you once irrationally dismissed "most philosophers" as "idiots."

    Most critical historians - who spend their entire academic lives scrutinizing, examinating and reviewing such things - have concluded that no reconciliation exists for Luke. Yet, you - who has spent none of your life on such things - apparently know better. One wonders exactly how you have acquired this knowledge that presently eludes the greatest minds in the field. I find this beguilingly arrogant. But hey. Maybe it's just "common sense" for you, and most critical historians and scholars are probably idiots, right?

    After that, there is the ever-present taunting by you, RC, Khan, and some others, not to mention the gang reps, that make the whole process of debating atheists less than enjoyable. If you and the others really do try to strike a new tone, for an extended period, then you may find Christians coming back to some of the more interesting debates. Otherwise...enjoy the silence.
    Perhaps if your posts were better, you wouldn't get negative reps. In the thread in question, you were ridiculed by atheists and theists. One of your ODN-rule-breaking-posts was so terrible that even a Christian negative repped you. (Well, he actually pos repped you, but that was by mistake. He meant to neg you. Classic noob error )

    I rep people according to their debating skills. To Christians, I issue positives just as much as I issue negatives. I have never negged Talthas or Yasashiku. I have positive repped them a bunch. Just ask em'.

    I'm sure most people who read the "why so many non-believers" thread will agree that you deserved every negative rep that you received.

    Note: On one particularly awful post (#163), you were negged by a Christian who stated that your style of debate is precisely the sort of stuff that made him seek a place like ODN
    Last edited by sonofnietzsche; May 23rd, 2010 at 10:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    It depends on why the person is silent. If a person is silent because of life obligations, then no. But if it has to do with an inability to logically counter your opponent's post, then I would say that fits the criteria for what most debater's would consider "defeat."
    Last edited by czahar; May 23rd, 2010 at 07:25 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    I think that the question is both too broad and too specific. I will elaborate.

    First, let's explore why the question is too broad. As expressed above, "defeat" is a somewhat inexact term. In the case of this OP, asserting that you have "won" an argument simply because there is no suitable or appropriately substantial response doesn't really mean anything. It just means that nobody with the intellectual or philosophical mettle to meet the challenge has decided that it's a worthwhile investment of their time to do so. Another problem is that even in the situation where there is a lengthy debate that ends in silence, it doesn't always mean defeat. As you yourself pointed out, it can take some time before an appropriate amount of research is done to allow the interlocutor to effectively rebut the arguments. Another important consideration is the time that it takes to compose a decent reply to such esoteric topics as the ones you tend to bring up. I myself have spent several hours at a time composing sufficiently thoughtful responses to your posts so that I can give the arguments the attention they deserve. To do less would be a discredit to myself and an insult to your hard work. When I cannot spare that time, I feel that silence is a more eloquent "response," if you will, than mealy-mouthed complaints about how busy my life is. Nobody wants to hear about how the planning for my recent wedding (just over a week ago) and my subsequent honeymoon (which I'm still on and posting while my wife sleeps (and I'm not in the least bit tired)) have basically consumed every waking moment not devoted to figuring out clinical rotations and getting a job and housing lined up for Jen. It's just not germane to the discussion, usually, and frankly it's nobody's business. So... instead of vague pleas of "too busy," I choose to allow the point to stand as it is, unmet, until I can compose the appropriate response.. if I am able. I believe that this is frequently the case with the debaters here.

    Another reason that this question is too broad is that silence is also ill-defined. Do you mean the initial refusal to address the question at all? The lapse on the part of the interlocutor at the latest turn of an ongoing debate?


    Next, your point is too specific. The same question you ask of Christians can be asked of any group of people being put to a particularly demanding series of questions or attacks. Are liberals/progressives likewise being defeated? I haven't seen a liberal/progressive argument truly carry the day in any unequivocal way in some time, but as Dr. Gonzo aptly pointed out, I would lay down steep odds against getting any of them to admit that they have been defeated in any way except the most superficial ones. They are much less likely, in my experience, to admit such defeat in a gracious way than many of the theists you debate in the religion forums. You could really apply this question to any ongoing thread. The answer, if there is one to be had, would probably be the same throughout. The real question is: "Does it matter?"

    I'm not sure that I believe it does.

  10. #10
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post

    Most critical historians - who spend their entire academic lives scrutinizing, examinating and reviewing such things - have concluded that no reconciliation exists for Luke. Yet, you - who has spent none of your life on such things - apparently know better. One wonders exactly how you have acquired this knowledge that presently eludes the greatest minds in the field. I find this beguilingly arrogant. But hey. Maybe it's just "common sense" for you, and most critical historians and scholars are probably idiots, right?
    This is exactly the kind of ridiculing/taunting/baiting I was talking about. You ignore my point about not being interested in the specific topic presented, and problems with the tone presented by atheists, and then turn to attacking on me personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post
    Perhaps if your posts were better, you wouldn't get negative reps. In the thread in question, you were ridiculed by atheists and theists. One of your ODN-rule-breaking-posts was so terrible that even a Christian negative repped you. (Well, he actually pos repped you, but that was by mistake. He meant to neg you. Classic noob error )
    More of the same. My post that was negged was because I called you a jackass, if I remember right. A really poor effort, because I was trying to comment on your tone and approach. The negs were appropriate because of my poor form. I accepted that.


    Is sum, your post is needlessly personal, criticizing my debating skills generally, rather than addressing the issues I raise about not being interested in the topics presented, and deciding to avoid your threads because of the tone presented by you and other atheists.
    Last edited by evensaul; May 24th, 2010 at 06:51 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Silence is not defeat unless someone is engaged in a formal debate or challenge. At that point I suppose it is at leas a defeat in that thread.

    I think you have to define what victory and defeat really mean.
    Is it convincing an audience?
    Is it convincing the other side of the debate?
    Is it scoring a certain number of points?
    Is it merely flowing an argument through a thread unopposed?
    Is it a concession?
    Is it watching someone make a truly desperate argument?

    I suspect different debaters have a different notion of success or defeat.

    I've abandoned a post for many different reasons over the time I've been here.
    1. Forgot about it
    2. Could not spend the time needed to rise to the challenge posed by the opposition
    3. Real live drew me away.
    4. The opponent's argument was boring me
    5. I wanted to avoid the discussion becoming personal
    6. I found the opponent insulting and/or obstinate
    7. Someone else picked up the torch and I didn't want to overwhelm the opposition

    I wouldn't call most of those a flat out defeat.

    Bible in-errancy is a hard topic to really defend well. The bible clearly has errors of one kind or another. The only defenses are to claim it contains deeper spiritual truth even if portions are not literally true, or to play super apologetics and re-interpret everything to have a meaning that is true rather than its apparent meaning.

    I think the problem is that it was a challenge against something not many ODN folks are strong believers in. I've seen more than one Christian here admit the words of the bible are not 100% accurate in all things or that large swaths are allegory or myth that speaks to a spiritual truth rather than a literal one.

    The literal truth challenge is often best left for when someone claims the bible as absolute evidence of historical events. While it happens all the time in the real world, it doesn't happen much on ODN because we get the smart and well educated Christians.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  12. #12
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Does Christian silence mean defeat? No. It's called PRAYER. Jeez guys, get a clue.

    Personally, if I view a thread and don't post, assume I have nothing to say and therefore forfeit (otherwise I'm wasting board space with what I already know is a loss in the waits). So where I'm concerned, yes, it's always going to mean defeat if I don't say something after viewing the topic.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    For example, your most recent thread on Bible contradictions. Frankly, I don't care if there are apparent contradictions in the Bible. I figure that there is a way to reconcile them which is not yet apparent. And I'm not interested in spending countless hours trying to figure them out. Why should I spend a lot of time trying to figure that out, if I just don't care? I haven't come up with a reason, and your attempt to claim the ultimate victory over Christians hasn't changed that.
    But why make this assumption, though? If you don't know the answer, and no one else you know does either, and your local church doesn't know, and all your apologetic literature doesn't answer it, and no website you've been to answers it, don't you wonder why no one knows? Shouldn't the Bible be easy to understand? Shouldn't any questions on it be easily answered? One thing that Christians here should find particularly shameful is that atheists are responding more to my threads than Christians are! Don't you all feel ashamed that ATHEISTS know your religion better than you do?

    After that, there is the ever-present taunting by you, RC, Khan, and some others, not to mention the gang reps, that make the whole process of debating atheists less than enjoyable. If you and the others really do try to strike a new tone, for an extended period, then you may find Christians coming back to some of the more interesting debates. Otherwise...enjoy the silence.
    But what would you do, if you were in the atheist's shoes? If someone else claimed his book had no contradictions or errors, and then refused to respond when you pointed some out since he "just didn't care" what would you think of his knowledge of his religion? Be honest, here.

    The reasons non-Christians "taunt" Christians, is because Christian frequently never put their money where their mouths are. Much of the Bible is a narrative of what happened, either to the Jews, or to Jesus. Yet, frequently the authors either can't get their story straight, or present it in a piecemeal, convoluted fashion, making the Bible a confusing read. Clearly, the Biblical needed to attend a basic writing class and learn about how to write a decent narrative, without plot holes and other inconsistencies. Yet, not only do Christians claim that the Bible is completely clear, free from errors, whether logical or scientific, but they go further. They claim it contains excellent, accurate spiritual instructions. As I've said, even if the Bible was completely historically accurate, and 100% crystal clear, it still wouldn't prove a single one of its supernatural claims. Yet the Biblical authors couldn't even write a clear narrative. And we're supposed to trust them with concepts that are even more difficult to write about, lofty topics like theology, cosmology, eschatology, and other complicated spiritual phenomena? Would you trust Spongebob, who cannot even drive a boatmobile, with a NASA space shuttle?

    Of course, if Christians kept to themselves, there would be no problem. But they don't. They refuse to shut up about how great the Bible is. They claim to know the afterlives of people whom they've never met. They claim to have a monopoly on truth based on the above "evidence." And worst of all, they create institutions to make the entire world believe in this "truth", wasting billions of dollars in the process. Suddenly, what was originally just a personal thing becomes the world's problem.

    And with that, the Christians overstep their boundaries. When Christians insult other religions and say their adherents will fry in hell, they'd better be able to back it up. When they respond with the usual Evangelical Arrogance, no one is convinced. It may have convinced poor, ignorant peasants hundreds of years ago, but now we're dealing with a better class of skeptic. Society has changed. But Christian arguments have not. They remain fossilized in the past. Deprived of the usual means of spreading the religion (force) they resort to lies, slander, and bribes in Third World countries, and silly arguments filled to the brim with Evangelical Arrogance. When Christians are so eager and sure that they know exactly what's going on, wouldn't the responsible thing be to ask for proof and question their claims? And if they refused to answer, but also refused to shut up, isn't something wrong? As Buddhist apologist A.L. de Silva says:

    Quote Originally Posted by de Silva
    However when Christians claim, as many do with such insistence, that their religion alone is true, then they must be prepared to answer doubts which others might express about their religion.
    Last edited by The Great Khan; May 24th, 2010 at 05:34 PM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Interesting, but didn't vote in the poll. Unsure on this.
    Last edited by czahar; May 24th, 2010 at 10:09 PM.


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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    I've abandoned a post for many different reasons over the time I've been here.
    1. Forgot about it
    2. Could not spend the time needed to rise to the challenge posed by the opposition
    3. Real live drew me away.
    4. The opponent's argument was boring me
    5. I wanted to avoid the discussion becoming personal
    6. I found the opponent insulting and/or obstinate
    7. Someone else picked up the torch and I didn't want to overwhelm the opposition

    I wouldn't call most of those a flat out defeat.
    These are very good examples of reasons to remain silent that don't seem to be concessions, and after I posted in this thread I did rethink my hard-line response. But in the end, I found that I had no problem with considering all of these situations a debate "defeat." I think in situations with an obstinate opponent a moderator could step in and keep the debate moving, but I know that is a very hard thing to do while still remaining impartial and with a limited staff. As for the rest, I find that if I don't have time to continue or don't feel like it then the other person deserves to win, and my ego isn't hurt.

    I think the issue is with the Christian (and other religions') conception of their own identity, in that a challenge to Christianity is not only a challenge to Christianity as a philosophy but to Christians themselves. I know that if someone challenges my stance on something like racism, I don't feel attacked personally but intellectually. I imagine that this is a hard distinction to make in a faith-based religion, and perhaps shows a fundamental unsuitability of Christianity (or any other faith-based religion) for debate. So I would encourage people who want to debate Christianity (and any other religion) to separate their personal faith-based conviction from their rational argumentation, and recognize that just because they might fail at the rational level (as everyone does sometimes) it does not invalidate Christianity (or any other religion) as a faith based identity, and need not be considered an invalidation of personal identity.

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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    But why make this assumption, though? If you don't know the answer, and no one else you know does either, and your local church doesn't know, and all your apologetic literature doesn't answer it, and no website you've been to answers it, don't you wonder why no one knows?
    Not really. I figure there is a reason, even if it hasn't been found yet. And I remember something about knowledge and understanding greatly increasing near the end times. I think that probably includes understanding of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Shouldn't the Bible be easy to understand? Shouldn't any questions on it be easily answered?
    It were all simple and easy, there wouldn't be reason to discuss it. How much time do you spend discussing basic mathematics, or simple chemistry? When was the last time you read a book or saw a movie and told someone that it was great because everything was predictable, logical, easy to understand, and no challenge whatsoever?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    One thing that Christians here should find particularly shameful is that atheists are responding more to my threads than Christians are! Don't you all feel ashamed that ATHEISTS know your religion better than you do?
    More baiting and intimidation, with an unproven premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    But what would you do, if you were in the atheist's shoes? If someone else claimed his book had no contradictions or errors, and then refused to respond when you pointed some out since he "just didn't care" what would you think of his knowledge of his religion? Be honest, here.
    I think the Mormon and Jehovah Witnesses religions have serious problems, and I've found that I know more about their beliefs than many of their followers that I've met. But I don't go out of my way to insult them and ridicule their members or their beliefs. Same, believe it or not, with a bunch of the Christian denominations I think are way off. I'm not starting threads to insult and ridicule those with beliefs different from mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    The reasons non-Christians "taunt" Christians, is because Christian frequently never put their money where their mouths are. Much of the Bible is a narrative of what happened, either to the Jews, or to Jesus. Yet, frequently the authors either can't get their story straight, or present it in a piecemeal, convoluted fashion, making the Bible a confusing read. Clearly, the Biblical needed to attend a basic writing class and learn about how to write a decent narrative, without plot holes and other inconsistencies. Yet, not only do Christians claim that the Bible is completely clear, free from errors, whether logical or scientific, but they go further.
    You have a real habit of gross generalization. I think most Christians are aware of apparent contradictions and possible errors. One only has to read a bit, and that is apparent.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    They claim it contains excellent, accurate spiritual instructions. As I've said, even if the Bible was completely historically accurate, and 100% crystal clear, it still wouldn't prove a single one of its supernatural claims. Yet the Biblical authors couldn't even write a clear narrative. And we're supposed to trust them with concepts that are even more difficult to write about, lofty topics like theology, cosmology, eschatology, and other complicated spiritual phenomena.
    Up to you to accept or not. If you don't, then that isn't the fault of Christians who do believe. So why take your frustration out on us with your insults and ridicule? Can you not ask questions and debate the issues without the pettiness?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Of course, if Christians kept to themselves, there would be no problem. But they don't. They refuse to shut up...
    You and Herman need to get together on this. He wants debate, and you want us to shut up and go away.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Suddenly, what was originally just a personal thing becomes the world's problem. When Christians are so eager and sure that they know exactly what's going on, wouldn't the responsible thing be to ask for proof and question their claims? And if they refused to answer, but also refused to shut up, isn't something wrong?
    Question all you like. All I'm asking for is civility, which is sorely lacking in many of the atheist ops.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Not really. I figure there is a reason, even if it hasn't been found yet.
    This means we're spending most of our time trying to figure out what our divine guidebook means. If we don't know what it means how can it guide us?

    And I remember something about knowledge and understanding greatly increasing near the end times. I think that probably includes understanding of the Bible.
    So the Bible is least known when its most needed, and most known when its least needed? Does that make any sense at all?

    It were all simple and easy, there wouldn't be reason to discuss it. How much time do you spend discussing basic mathematics, or simple chemistry? When was the last time you read a book or saw a movie and told someone that it was great because everything was predictable, logical, easy to understand, and no challenge whatsoever?
    What makes you think discussion is necessary? A guidebook is supposed to be clear. If it isn't clear, it cannot guide. The Bible is supposed to be a spiritual guide. If it is unclear, then it fails its purpose of spiritually guiding us, meaning we can safely scrap it, as God would certainly not inspire an unclear book for us to follow.

    More baiting and intimidation, with an unproven premise.
    Doesn't affect my point any. It should be Christians, not atheists, who are have the knowledge and expertise necessary to argue in favor of Christianity. The fact that the opposite seems to be true indicates that Christians really need to learns some more about their religion don't you think?

    I think the Mormon and Jehovah Witnesses religions have serious problems, and I've found that I know more about their beliefs than many of their followers that I've met. But I don't go out of my way to insult them and ridicule their members or their beliefs. Same, believe it or not, with a bunch of the Christian denominations I think are way off. I'm not starting threads to insult and ridicule those with beliefs different from mine.
    But what would you think of their knowledge of their religion? If they refused to answer any of your questions but refused to stop insisting that they had God's word, wouldn't you wonder how they could claim to have God's word but be unable to defend that claim?

    You have a real habit of gross generalization. I think most Christians are aware of apparent contradictions and possible errors. One only has to read a bit, and that is apparent.
    Christians are people who use the Bible as their spiritual guide. This means that they find it clear, despite its apparent lack of clarity to everyone else. As such, they should be able to answer all questions on contradictions, inconsistencies, etc. Doesn't fact that they can't or "just don't care" raises doubts as to the validity of their claim that it is clear and most definitely God's word?

    Up to you to accept or not. If you don't, then that isn't the fault of Christians who do believe. So why take your frustration out on us with your insults and ridicule? Can you not ask questions and debate the issues without the pettiness?
    I'm not blaming the Christians for my not accepting it. I'm blaming the Biblical writers for that. I'm criticizing the Christians for insisting that it is most definitely God's word yet being unable or unwilling to answer questions about it. If Christians use the Bible as a guide, then they must find it clear, as I have said. As such, they should be able to answer these questions about them with ease, and clear up the confusion. Why don't they?

    You and Herman need to get together on this. He wants debate, and you want us to shut up and go away.
    I only want Christians to shut up if they cannot argue. If they can argue the Bible's case, then this is the place to do it. If Christians cannot argue the Bible's case, however, they have no right to claim to have any knowledge of God, salvation, sin, or anything else supernatural. They cannot claim that the Bible is God's word. They cannot claim to know what happens to non-believers, believers, or anyone else when they die. They have no reason to waste billions of dollars in spreading beliefs that they themselves do not fully understand. Doing so is pointless, arrogant, intolerant, ignorant, and blind.

    Question all you like. All I'm asking for is civility, which is sorely lacking in many of the atheist ops.
    I don't disagree with you on this count.

  18. #18
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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    This is exactly the kind of ridiculing/taunting/baiting I was talking about. You ignore my point about not being interested in the specific topic presented, and problems with the tone presented by atheists, and then turn to attacking on me personally.
    Nope. I specifically addressed your point. You "figure" that evidence exists which reconciles the verses in my latest OP - even though you actually don't have this evidence. Challenge to support a claim. Most critical scholars and historians disagree. Provide a rational reason behind your "figuring."

    More of the same. My post that was negged was because I called you a jackass, if I remember right. A really poor effort, because I was trying to comment on your tone and approach. The negs were appropriate because of my poor form. I accepted that.
    I didn't neg you just because you called me a dick (I would've let that fly). Neither did PZ, I suspect. We negged you for your evasion. Repeated, almost habitual evasion.

    "We" being who? A very small percentage of the population who call themselves atheists?
    We've been over this, Evensaul. On numerous important theological points, not even Christians can figure out what the bible actually means. Christians can't even agree on the bible's requirements for salvation.

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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    This means we're spending most of our time trying to figure out what our divine guidebook means. If we don't know what it means how can it guide us?
    "We" being who? A very small percentage of the population who call themselves atheists?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    So the Bible is least known when its most needed, and most known when its least needed?
    Your assessment. If God thinks otherwise, does that mean you are right and He is wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    What makes you think discussion is necessary? A guidebook is supposed to be clear. If it isn't clear, it cannot guide. The Bible is supposed to be a spiritual guide. If it is unclear, then it fails its purpose of spiritually guiding us, meaning we can safely scrap it, as God would certainly not inspire an unclear book for us to follow.
    Again, your opinion, only. What if God wants the book discussed?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Doesn't affect my point any.
    Doesn't change the fact that you are making gross generalizations, without support.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    But what would you think of their knowledge of their religion? If they refused to answer any of your questions but refused to stop insisting that they had God's word, wouldn't you wonder how they could claim to have God's word but be unable to defend that claim?
    The point, Khan, is that I wouldn't care. I'd probably leave them alone, and most certainly wouldn't go about deliberately insulting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Christians are people who use the Bible as their spiritual guide. This means that they find it clear, despite its apparent lack of clarity to everyone else. As such, they should be able to answer all questions on contradictions, inconsistencies, etc.
    Where did you get the misguided belief that Christians are obligated to defend Christianity against atheist attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    I'm not blaming the Christians for my not accepting it. I'm blaming the Biblical writers for that. I'm criticizing the Christians for insisting that it is most definitely God's word yet being unable or unwilling to answer questions about it. If Christians use the Bible as a guide, then they must find it clear, as I have said. As such, they should be able to answer these questions about them with ease, and clear up the confusion. Why don't they?
    I'm guessing you use Google or some other search engine as a guide on the internet. Do you understand all the details about how a search engine works? Or do you simply have faith and use it? Do you need to know every detail about how your computer, monitor, and internet connection work? Or do you just have faith that they will do what you have been lead to expect? My guess is that you know less than .00001% of how computers and internet communications work. Can you tell my why you trust them to work correctly? Or do you simply have faith in what you've been told and experienced, and continue to see with your own eyes, and believe that it will continue to be so?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    I only want Christians to shut up if they cannot argue. If they can argue the Bible's case, then this is the place to do it. If Christians cannot argue the Bible's case, however, they have no right to claim to have any knowledge of God, salvation, sin, or anything else supernatural.
    Sorry, faith doesn't work that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    They cannot claim that the Bible is God's word. They cannot claim to know what happens to non-believers, believers, or anyone else when they die. They have no reason to waste billions of dollars in spreading beliefs that they themselves do not fully understand.
    Sure they can.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    Doing so is pointless, arrogant, intolerant, ignorant, and blind.
    What a tolerant, open-minded, and humble expression of your position that is!


    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    I don't disagree with you on this count.
    Sure. That's why you just ad-hom'ed every Christian on ODN in another gross generalization.

    ---------- Post added at 08:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post
    Provide a rational reason behind your "figuring."
    Did you miss the part about "is not yet apparent"?


    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post
    I didn't neg you just because you called me a dick (I would've let that fly). Neither did PZ, I suspect. We negged you for your evasion.
    I think you just didn't like the points that I did make. But maybe I'll revisit that thread, so you don't feel compelled to re-argue it here. Okay with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanLeadread View Post
    We've been over this, Evensaul. On numerous important theological points, not even Christians can figure out what the bible actually means. Christians can't even agree on the bible's requirements for salvation.
    And one difference between us, HL, is that I don't have a problem with not understanding some things. I expect that I will understand, eventually, in the hereafter, when God's justice is made apparent to all. (Know where that comes from in the Bible, HL? Doesn't it suggest that we're not going to appreciate God's justice during our current lifetime?) I'm okay with not knowing all the fine details. Why do you have a problem with that?
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Does Christian Silence Mean Christian Defeat?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Did you miss the part about "is not yet apparent"?
    No.

    You "figure" that it exists, yet most critical historians and scholars disagree. Do you "figure" that it exists, simply because it "is not yet apparent"?

    Again: Challenge to support a claim. Provide a rational reason why you "figure" that a reconciliation exists.

    I think you just didn't like the points that I did make. But maybe I'll revisit that thread, so you don't feel compelled to re-argue it here. Okay with you?
    Feel free. I listed your evasions in post #167.

 

 
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