debate

Ahoy Mateys! A Response to the Captain and Her Crew

Boy, I’ve sure stuck a stick in the hornet’s nest now, haven’t I? ūüôā

My thanks to all who engaged in this discussion so far, both on my blog and on Captain Cassidy’s. ¬†The situation in a nutshell: ¬†The Captain wrote an article about Christian rebirth, I wrote a response, she and some of her readers¬†responded in kind… and then I left to go visit my in-laws for the weekend, so I couldn’t respond with the promptness that I would have liked. ¬†In a way, though, it was nice to have a break — allowed me to slow-cook some of the important issues that were brought up.

I will respond, in brief, to some of these¬†specific topics in this response, but this will mostly be a meta-discussion so that everyone know where I’m coming from. (more…)

My Favorite Atheist and Christian Thinkers

I love watching debates, especially on the topics of God and Christianity.  Thankfully, in our Internet age there are hours upon hours of such footage for someone like me to watch.

In summary of my experience so far: ¬†I’ve seen a lot of bad debates. ¬†Let me clarify what I mean: ¬†I consider a debate to be¬†bad when¬†any of the following occur:

  1. One or both parties fail to treat the other in a personable manner and with respect
  2. One or both parties make blanket statements without backing them up
  3. One or both parties fail to offer any definitive arguments for their position (rather resorting to “talking points”)
  4. One or both parties fail to answer the other’s points directly
  5. It is apparent that one or both parties are not “on their game”

Thus, by these criteria, a debate in my opinion can be good, even if the atheist presents a better argument. ¬†In fact, I’m not so much concerned with who wins a debate, as much as I am the manner in which it is engaged. ¬†If both sides bring their A-game, engage directly and respectfully with each other, bring up good points and adequately answer their opponents’… hey, that’s a good time for me! ¬†I’m that way with sports too — I don’t enjoy watching games where one side absolutely obliterates the other, even if it’s my team who’s doing the pummeling. ¬†I’d much rather watch a good match (even one where my team loses) then see my team wipe the floor with the other. ¬†I’m curious if you all feel similarly or not in this respect.

So, first things first: ¬†I’m in the market for some new debates. ¬†If anyone has any recommendations, shoot them my way!

I’m also always looking for new faces in the world of theological debate, especially on the atheist side of the table. ¬†I’m very interested to hear from my readers (atheists especially) who your favorite thinkers are in favor of the atheist position.

As for me,¬†in watching many debates and applying the criteria above, I have established somewhat of a scoring system in my mind for the various prominent thinkers who tend to fill one side of the debate table or the other, and have a mental list of my favorite and least-favorite debaters. ¬†A few prominent names on my list, starting with my favorites and working my way down: (more…)

Theological Debate on Facebook

Happy Monday, everyone!

As a new blogger, I’m doing my best to look at my site with critical eyes often, and I have a suspicion that my posts might tend to be a bit too long, on average, to encourage and facilitate robust discussion — which, in itself, is a violation of one of my own guidelines, for I understand that people’s time is valuable, and “brevity is the soul of wit,” as Polonius wisely stated. ¬†(Come to think of it, he didn’t often take his own advice either — what a rat.)

On the other hand, with a topic such as this, sometimes lengthy explanations are necessary in order to provide a thorough portrait of my thought process. ¬†Nevertheless, I think I shall try, from now on, to limit such lengthy posts to once a week at most, and for the most part keep my entries succinct. ¬†Hopefully this will lead to more discussion and interaction, which is the chief purpose of this blog; for I want to hear what y’all have to say — I already know what¬†I sound like ūüėČ

In the spirit of such a resolution (is it too late to call it a New Year’s Resolution?), today I would like to put out a brief plug for the religious discussion¬†site on Facebook that actually is responsible for giving me hope that religion can be discussed with civility and mutual respect. ¬†It’s called Theological Debate, and being a closed group (to prevent activity therein from spamming your friends) you will need to put in a request to join if you wish to check it out.

It’s a small group, but the atmosphere of discussion is unlike anything I’ve seen before on other such sites, for all active members have grown to appreciate the demeanor of the group and thus each actively strives to maintain it. ¬†If you’re into theological discussion (which I hope you are, having found your way here), I recommend popping your head in and seeing if it’s a forum that appeals to you.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and have a great start to your week!

Do Atheists Have a Burden of Proof? – Response to Comment (2)

I received another thought-provoking series of comments from tildeb on the topic of burden of proof, and I thought the ideas warranted another entry. ¬†Below are my direct responses to some quotes from tildeb — I appreciate tildeb’s contribution to the discussion, as well as the content of the¬†ideas presented therein. ¬†My thanks! (more…)

Scientism (Part 3)

I’d like to conclude (for now) the discussion on scientism. ¬†(If you wish, you may read Part 1 or Part 2.) ¬†Pending any objections, I think a solid case has been made that, for those who wish¬†to take seriously the debate about God’s existence, relying¬†solely on scientific evidence isn’t going to cut the mustard; there must be a place for non-scientific, subjective evidence to play a part in the discussion. ¬†And, from that point, I’d like to discuss the question left unanswered from the last post:

What does subjective evidence tell us about the existence of God?

(more…)

Are you a recovering intellectual?

My name is Seth, and I’m a recovering intellectual.

I say intellectual not because I consider myself intelligent, but rather to describe my typical approach when interacting with the world.  I am most comfortable in situations that can be understood and resolved intellectually. My knee-jerk reaction is usually to attempt to rationalize, analyze, and deduce.

I say recovering because I have come to realize that this approach is not always the most appropriate. (more…)