Mar 14, 2011

I got dragged into another debate with a Christian. Read on...

So, I got dragged into another "debate" with a Christian on facebook.  It started off with a post on a fellow atheists post.  It seems her cousin doesn't share her theological viewpoint.  Read on if you would like to see how it went down.  I won't make any snide comments, only post the exchange.  All names, other than mine of course, have been changed.

Original post
Someone just told me, "with all the signs that Jesus saves how can you not believe?"

other than that he doesnt exist...shit like this...doesnt this make you question, whats so great about you that you get to be highly blessed and favored?

Aristotle's Muse
Jesus didn't save Japan, did he?
Aristotle's Muse
If there is a god, he is one heartless, malicious, evil motherfucker. Even if he where real, he wouldn't be deserving of any praise from me.

A benevolent god would not allow for circumstances that required being saved from.
So, Aristotle's Muse: You believe that the presence of God or gods means the absolute absence of natural disasters, pain, crime, highway accidents, kidnappings, ourselves, poverty, genocide, slavery, addiction, war. (the previous is a list of things from which one might need to be delivered and/or saved.)
Aristotle's Muse
No, i believe a truly benevolent god would not create or otherwise stand by when such disasters destroy so much, including churches mind you; and then wait for prayers to decide whether or not to help those who are suffering according to his own whims.

Your assessment of my comment is very oversimplified. The existence of a *benevolent* god would necessitate much more than, but not necessarily include, all of those things you mentioned.
No where in the Bible is God characterized as strictly benevolent. So your assessment of God's operating principles is too oversimplified.
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
No where in the bible is he characterized as loving and caring either...
That's what parenthood taught him. ;-)
Aristotle's Muse
What a wonderful way to look at things. He just wiped out thousands of innocent people because... he's not *necessarily* a good guy. BUT... It's not HIS fault. No, he got fed up with his "children" [that's what parenthood taught him].

So...... yeah.  Fuck Japan. We brought it on ourselves by angering god anyway.
Quote by Aristotle. So the muse will like this one : "Men create Gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life" So. Just as men are equally capable of benevolence and destruction so is God. And just as men would rather see good and cannot account for other men's choice of evil neither can God. And just as men like to be praised for the work they have done on this earth so does God.
Gee. Muse. What anger and pessimism.
Don't count on me to participate. I've had my say and have found this interactions to be entertaining but much too often futile.
Wait. But if you're an atheist why are you even considering God in the matter of Japan, since you seemed greatly moved by the tragedy!? Shouldn't you simply attribute it as an act of Nature? And as Aristotle says "Nature does nothing in vain." ok i'm done
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
//That's what parenthood taught him. ;-)//

I wasn't. Figured we were all making frivolous points
Aristotle's Muse
Arguing against rationality from a mystical perspective is bound to frustrate those who would rather persist in fantasy.
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
what points are frivolous? The fact that christians associate this with "end times" and that god must be angry so thats why all this happened or the fact that now we must pray to god after he has done this, imho, is beyond frivolous!
Aristotle's Muse
Maybe we're going about this all wrong... maybe you'd like to explain to us your perspective on these things?
Random Dude
@Guy. Aristotle wasn't talking about the God of the Bible in your quote, so what was the point of quoting him in a Bible God discusssion?

As for me I'm not at all interested in considering God in this matter of Japan and it was an act ...of nature. However, the surrounding American environment is making pleas for all to turn to God at this time and that can annoy some in the atheist community, so some are venting.

And that's natural too.
The end times are also being heralded by those who believe in the Mayan calendar. @ Random Dude. I actually haven't quoted a scripture. All of my quotes have been by the philosopher Aristotle. And I'm not sure what other God is referred to as God.... ?

My point is simply this: It seems that Atheists spend an inordinate amount of time harping on something that they neither believe in nor recognize the existence of. Is that not a frivolous act. Hell from my experiences on my Cuzzo's wall, Atheists are bound and caught up in considering the ways of God more than some Christians. It's an irony of "Biblical" proportions.
Aristotle's Muse
We aren't angry with god, that would be ridiculous. We are simply tired of living in a society that is so deeply steeped in superstition and nonsensical hokum. We are tired of watching humanity suffer for it's own delusion, and so are an...gry with those who propagate those delusions. When we make references to god's motives and intentions, it's simply to point out logical fallacies in the thought processes of the religious.

As for Aristotle, I am not and have never laid claim to his theological viewpoints. The name Aristotle's Muse comes from my tee shirt store that started out with science and philosophy shirts and only later branched out to include atheism.

Quoting Aristotle's views on religion isn't going to accomplish anything, as it is entirely unrelated to this discussion.
So what's your solution? Aristotle says, "He who can live outside of (without) society is either a beast or a god."

These are not Aristotle's views on religion, these are philosophies--thoughts, ideas, ideals, codes by which to order and dir...ect ones life. Religions too are philosophies. So is your Atheism which wouldn't exist without "theists". Your Atheism too is a religion in which the deity is the individual.
Is it not also logically fallacious to wave the banner of a leading philosopher without knowing his beliefs? Is that not the same lemming, blind sheep mentality that you and your ilk are angry with believers about? The not knowing? The pro...pagation of an romanticized ideology?

I simply don't get it. Is your goal conversion of all the religious all over the world to believe as you believe? That sounds damn near religious and zealous. Hell that's Christian evangelical.

What wasn't related to the topic was the attack against God in article that was highlighting racial injustice.
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
‎@ Cuzzo...Im not a deity..I just think for religion.
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
@Cuzzo..he said he got the name from his t-shirt store, lol

I know what he said. And you must understand the nuances of the role of a deity. Where believers look to the heavens for an intercessor in times of trouble, the Atheist looks in the mirror. :-)
Aristotle's Muse
I've explained the origin of the name. I have established brand recognition associated with that name and so it will not be changed.

Again, Aristotle has nothing to do with the subject matter at hand.

Atheism is not a religion any more tha...n your lack of belief in Zoroaster or Gaia are in and of themselves additional religions to which you subscribe.

Do you believe in Unicorns? If no, then by your reasoning, that too is your religion. See how that works? Atheism is not based in any way on faith. The fact is that there is such overwhelming evidence against the existence of a god or gods that the only conclusion one could rightfully draw from the facts is that there are no supernatural powers such as gods.

When you bring religious texts into the equation, the amount of evidence against organised religions (including christianity) is overwhelming.

Simply following the evidence against superstitious nonsense and rationally concluding that there is no truth to such nonsense does not a religion make.

My solution? encourage others to investigate the evidence and draw rational conclusions rather than wilfully ignoring facts and suspending rational thought. If the religious would spend their energy learning rather than deluding themselves, humanity would benefit more than from any other single cause in all of it's history.
Aristotle's Muse
I don't want the religious to believe what I believe. I want them to do a little research and subsequently know what I know and draw rational conclusions from that information. It has nothing to do with belief.
Why is that every time I debate an Atheist they bring up unicorns? Is that the go to fictive? And who's quoting scriptures? And how did an article on racial injustice devolve and crash into the stonewall of ideological differences?
It's been fun Capitalist Inspiration. Be blessed on your Crusade.
Aristotle's Muse
They bring up unicorns because A) they are a perfect allegory to other non-existent supernatural creatures, and B) because the bible states that they are, in fact, real creatures.

Here is an article from a Christian website (answers in concerning the existence of unicorns in the bible.

How did an article on racial injustice devolve into this?

Well... let me recount it for you. The original post contained this text "with all the signs that Jesus saves how can you not believe". I made mention of the earthquake in Japan to illustrate how the logic of a benevolent god saving people is irrational. You then began an argument with me.

Don't forget, this thread started out as an atheist post with presumably the atheist community as the target audience. I understand the post was made by your cousin, but I was not stepping on any toes by posting something congruent with her viewpoints.

Now that that's out of the way, let's hear some of what you really DO believe. Starting with unicorns. (Since you neglected to comment about the apparent impossibility of a benevolent god as per my prior request.)
A unicorn can't be an allegory. I know this because I am English teacher. At most it can be a symbol. The Book of Revelations is allegorical so are Aesop's Fables so are some of the short stories of James Thurber.

As for what I believe. I ...believe the Atheist community is very narrow in its scope of faiths to ridicule. I do not believe that the Bible is the complete God breathed word of God any honest theologian would tell you that. It was a text organized for a specific time in the development of a Church; howevern the lessons in it transcend time and faith. Much of it overlaps with Greek and Norse mythology and it shares ancestry with other desert texts. I believe what I believe in spite of what you think I don't know.
I believe the Word used to validate the enslavement of my people was also the plow share beaten into the sword of liberation. I believe that every Atheist has prayed at least once. And I believe it is easy to cherry pick the most the extreme examples and prop them as proof of anything. And I believe in God the Father Almighty the Maker of Heaven and Earth. And I believe that whether we live as believers or skeptics from dust we came and to dust we shall return.
Guy's cousin, Girl ‎
‎//I believe the Atheist community is very narrow in its scope of faiths to ridicule.//

You believe a god sent his son to be killed so that you could have everlasting life in proof...just on faith...

Narrow? Come on cuzzo...Among ...other things, but probably by far the worst of all the craziness in christanity...who sends his son to die for all the rest of mankind? And everyone born on earth, whether they like it or not, has to now be some way indebted to this...god? That you cant prove exists?

Who's narrow cuzzo?
Not talking to you cousin. But since you chimed. Like I've told you before expand. Christianity isn't even the most populous religion. I'd respect the campaign more if it wasn't so . . . Fox News like. I believe my credo of beliefs is state...ment enough And I BELIEVE that's enough on this thread. For any further comments please contact my representatives The Father The Son and The Holy Ghost.

On a different band might I suggest a viewing of The Sunset Limited.
Aristotle's Muse
The atheist community do not share any dogma or idealism other than that they have independently drawn the same conclusion. Therefore, grouping them together in what they do and do not collectively "ridicule" would be in error. Atheism not mean one does not believe in the Christian god, it means one does not believe in ANY gods. Be it Allah or Jehovah or YHWH or Jesus or Apalonius of Tyanna or Mithra or Godzilla. Or any other gods for that matter.

The reason you see atheists usually ridicule Christians is that you are a Christian living in a largely Christian country and speak a language primarily used by Christians. Atheists are not going to illustrate their viewpoint to you by going over the problems with Zoroastrianism.

Asserting you know what all "honest" theologians think, or that those who disagree with this viewpoint would necessarily be dishonest is a fallacy. A pretty obvious one.

You are right though. I hadn't expected you to be aware of christianity's roots as a middle eastern cult derived from a large smattering of other popular religions of the area and period, though I do think you are unaware of the extent that Christianity borrows upon prior religions. As to why you subscribe to any of it though, I do not understand. I can only speculate that you avoid learning anything that could contradict your viewpoint and willfully suspend rational thought in order to appease a deep seated need to believe.

The fact of the matter is, when you take out the parts of any religion that have been factually disproven, such as unicorns, the creation, the flood, zeus's bolts of lightning, Muhammad's magical flying horse, the firmament etc. etc. etc., there is very little left. Certainly not enough to call a religion in any case and nothing that couldn't be written by a band of nomadic desert dwelling goat herders. In fact, considering the bigotry and barbarism condoned by the Abrahamic religions, it's hard to consider it anything to the contrary.

Cherry picking is a term I think you would be well advised to avoid considering your viewpoint.
Aristotle's Muse
Good call on the misuse of allegory by the way. My bad.
I'm aware of what Atheism means. I didn't say all honest theologians I said any honest theologian and because I also teach argument that statement has been skillfully qualified against any fallacy. There are about 17 common argumentative fa...llacies.I also took about 18 hours of religion courses in college. None were geared toward conversion all were academic approaches to understanding a popular faith. I ascribe to it for the saame reason you don't. Choice. And as far as your assertion that I "avoid learning anything" would challenge my view point and as far as my suspension of rationality, have I not entered into a lions den and have I not debated the issue rationally?

I do appreciate your admission of the misuse of allegory. You also might wanna stop wielding the term fallacy like a light saber as well.
Aristotle's Muse
‎"I do not believe that the Bible is the complete God breathed word of God any honest theologian would tell you that."

This is a "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

There is a reason I keep using the word.

...Either way, I think I may be beginning to overstep my bounds considering this is your cousin's post and all others have become silent on the matter. And so, I'm afraid I'm going to have to end the conversation out of respect to her and any others who may be beginning to find this subject derailment offensive. I have a feeling your cousin would be better suited for this anyway.

Keep on teaching those kids. Proper use of English is an underrated skill set. No hard feelings of course, and I wish the best for you in the future.
One man's fallacy is another's strike of genius. Peace be unto you

Considering the last reply, I feel pretty satisfied. I think it nicely exemplifies the conversation.

1 comment:

  1. Give him this, he was polite... a rarity in religious argument... wrong of course, but polite all the same...


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