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Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.
Nonono. The source he’ll pick is “reality,”
then again, if you won’t base your premises on reality, anything goes!
hello flying spaghetti monster… or Phoenix!
Exactly. So the source our side would have to pick would be “mythology.” The problem is, he’ll claim the Bible for not being in that class. While, whatever we exclude from “reality” would have as its goal to establish itself in the class of, um, reality.”
Which is a roundabout way of coming to the conclusion that there is no benefit to debating theists.
Is ‘reality’ a source?
I’d pick ‘scripture’.
Well now, if you expect fundies to stick to logical premises and follow the rules of a debate, you are obviously new around here. :->
I remember finding a video on Youtube of a debate between Christopher Hitchens and some other guy (forgot his name). Only got to see the beginning of the video (it was over 2 hours long) and I think in the beginning he said something like, he would argue the existence of god using logic and reason, or something to that effect. The title was something like “Christopher Hitchens Fails” or something, don’t really remember. Has anyone seen it? How’d it go? I’m curious to find out what transpired during the debate.
I remember that, it was a debate with William Lane Craig. He is famous for dumping so much shit, that debaters won’t know where to start shoveling. As a result a couple arguments will be unrefuted and he will declare himself the winner. Nice to know; while he prides himself by saying Richard Dawkins is afraid to debate him, he himself refuses to debate John W Loftus, a former student of his.
To be honest, Christopher came off weak IMO. That was before his cancer diagnosis, but he seemed really tired, and I don’t think did a good job. Partly that’s my expectation of Hitchens, but I also didn’t think he prepared well for Craig arguments. He left a lot of things un-addressed. Other people have done a much better job with Craig
http://worldviewnaturalism.com/debates/I did think of Craig when I saw this. He does a kind of a two part where he starts with the Kalam to ‘prove’ god exists, and doesn’t get into scripture until he ‘proves’ that the God of the bible is that God.Another would be Kirk Cameron who relies on a stupifyingly ignorant understanding of evolution to explain that an eye, like a camera lens, couldn’t just pop into existence.
I’d pick “faith”.
Lol no Bible for you, kiddos! This would be a very amusing and very brief debate.
I’m not sure that there are any fundies who know how to debate. Don’t they just shriek like harpies and throw their toys out of the pram?
Lots of fundies are very good at debating, by which I mean using the standard debate format to make their side sound more legitimate than it really is. Simply put, a debate format favors liars, because both sides have limited time and it takes more time to disprove a lie than to tell one. Where the fundies fall flat on their face is outside of the standard debate format, where the other side can take all the time they need to point out the lies, fallacies, rhetorical tricks, and propaganda techniques the other side is using.
Sounds boring as hell.
Atheist to Fundie: You can’t use the bible. Fundie to Atheist: You can’t use reality.
Catholic priest here. This sounds like a wonderful format, but as I’m no fundamentalist, I don’t know that I could participate.
Choosing a source to ban from atheist use in a debate is a hard call. I’m thinking I’d ban “revelatory truth-claims”. In short, I’d be more interested in preventing an atheist from quoting the Bible (or Qu’ran, or whatever other Scriptures exist). I could quote the Bible (or cite other revelatory truth-claims from Sacred Tradition), but my quotes would be worthless in argument, as I would have made them irrelevant for the conversation; neither one of us could quote revelatory truth-claims.
I can tell you what source to ban for a Catholic–the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Not only would you remove a Catholic’s theological touchstone, but you would also remove (I assume) his philosophy as well. To work outside of a Thomist (or Neo-Thomist) philosophical system would be exceedingly difficult for a Catholic.
Psst. You’ve got it backwards. The point of the whole thing is, the *atheist* would ban the Bible (or whatever holy book that particular fundy espouses).
I understand, but I slightly changed the terms of the engagement because I’m a Catholic, not a fundamentalist.
I’d want to ban the atheist’s use of revelatory truth-claims because I wouldn’t want us to get sidetracked by comments about belief in a virgin birth, the Ascension of Christ into heaven, &c., &c. And for it to be a “fair” fight (i.e., a meaningful conversation), I’d have to renounce revelatory truth-claims as well. If you can’t use the Bible against me, what good is it for me to try to use it against you? I’ve taken that weapon away from both of us by asking the atheist to renounce revelatory truth-claims.
I still think the atheist would do well to ban a Catholic’s use of Aquinas. I don’t know that Dawkins, Hitchens, et al., know how deeply Thomism runs in the Catholic mind. To ban Thomas is to ban recourse to the analogy of being, without which Catholic theology falls apart.
EDIT: I could more easily debate an atheist without the Bible than I could without Thomas Aquinas. I say this so you know just how critical he is to Catholic theology/philosophy (not to the Faith itself, but to its coherent exposition; he is critical to making any attempt at a “preambula fidei”).
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