Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'll Not Be Posting Until....

Next Monday. See you then,


oBAMIA said...

Mama Row said...

stan can u help me debate? i dont know how to spot fallacies. do you have an email i could send you what someone is saying and would you be willing to point out their fallacies? i post in a forum and there's an atheist there who's good at debate and the christians are all looking stupid. it troubles my heart so i'm reaching out for assistance.

Mama Row said...

what i would really love if you could do is make an account on the website, or i could just give you a password to one of my accounts that i already have and you could just come in to the forum and debate this person. i'd pay you to do it if i could, that's how much i seriously want this.

Phoenix said...

@Mama Row

Why don't you paste some of the main arguments your Atheist opponent has made and some of the regular viewers over here can take a look and perhaps offer some assistance too.

We've all been there where you are now. In the past I wouldn't dare challenge an Atheist to a debate because he'd simply ask me to provide scientific evidence for my claims while pointing out the logical fallacies in my argument. Meanwhile he is completely immune to any attacks because he doesn't have a worldview to attack or so it seemed at the time. It's like attacking a darn frustrating.

Fortunately there is some hope, just stick around at this site and eventually you'll be knowledgeable and confident enough to be a formidable opponent for Atheists too.

As a new student to logic may I suggest you start with Stan's introductory logic classes.

Stan said...

Mama Row,
Yes, we'll address any and all Atheist arguments which are made here. And we're glad to do it, so go ahead, even cut and paste the argument into the comment box, and we'll address it.

Mama Row said...

This is his story of why he became an Atheist.

As requested, here's my "personal testimony".

I was born into a Christian family. My father was my Church's music director, my mom was its secretary. I grew up and studied my Church lessons ceaselessly as a child, and over time I became the leader of its Bible Drill team, winning several blue ribbons for my Church in local competitions. (In case you don't know what that is, here's a video that should give you the gist of things.)

As a teen, I'd occasionally teach at Youth Group, which involved me preparing my own lessons for it. In preparing for one such lesson involving the Creation narrative, I noticed that the order of events between Genesis chapters 1 & 2 were not simpatico; there seemed to be a contradiction about whether Adam or the animals was created first. I actually thought it was some sort of misprint, since I was using an NIV instead of my usual KJV, and had been told the story in Church probably a hundred times... but upon checking the KJV, the discrepancy was present there, too.

I went to my Pastor for clarification, and commented that the verses contradicted one another. He misinterpreted what I was asking (which was for a simple clarification), and, under the assumption that I was questioning my faith, overreacted somewhat. He lectured me at length about how the Bible contained no contradictions, and actually cited several examples of things which "worldly people" always "claimed" were contradictory, including the Nativity story and the presence of Giants during the Exodus narrative.

Rather than comforting me, the idea that the Bible had things in it which could be problematic to its consistency was troubling to me, so I looked into the specific things he'd mentioned. I specifically remember making a flow chart with the timelines for Matthew's and Luke's versions of the Nativity on it and trying to rectify them, but being unable to do it, and being very upset about it.

At this point I started reading the Bible and looking for stuff which didn't add up... which was all over the place. I came to the conclusion that I'd been tricked since I was a kid. I'd even been rewarded with candy and stuff for good attendance and memorizing verses and whatnot - the same way you train a dog to do tricks - bothering me more than most things.

Mama Row said...

I kept going to church, though. The people there were like my family, and the indoctrination of my childhood nagged at me to not to cut my ties to with God, particularly because the teaching that those who "knew God" and rejected him anyway had a "special" place in Hell waiting for them. However, the more I thought about how apostates received a more severe punishment in despite all sin being equal in the eyes of God, I realized that this was basically a contradiction in the character of God himself, who was supposed to be "the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow"... which a little more studying revealed was not the case at all, and that God changed his mind about things pretty often throughout the Bible. To my horror, I also learned that he gloated about murdering his enemies to the point where his weapons would become drunk with their blood, and ordering his people to commit religiously-oriented genocides on more than one occasion. Since this was not too long after 9-11, that struck a particularly powerful chord with me, since there was all the talk of Islam basically wanting to do that to everyone else.

At that point, the cognitive dissonance just became too much to handle. I stopped going to church altogether, because I couldn't deal with the mind-numbing sadness of realizing I'd been manipulated into believing a huge lie for as long as I could remember.

I was depressed and angry for a while, and I remember that being one of the motivators for taking my first religion class in college. That was where I learned that the reason for the Christian God acting like two different between the OT & NT was was because he literally was two different characters, and Christianity had conflated them. I remember thinking something like, "Oh... well that makes sense", and the more I learned about it from a secular standpoint, the less upset I was.

By the end of my first semester, I'd come to the conclusion that the Bible was just a collection of mythology, like those from ancient Greece or Egypt or wherever, and actually found it quite fascinating from that point of view. With an understanding of concepts like Biblical cosmology, stories like Noah's Flood suddenly took on different meaning and the language of the story was no longer ambiguous; I knew where the waters had come from, where they went, and there were no problems. Learning about how the two Creation narratives were written centuries apart from one another (and after the Israelites had gone through significant cultural evolution) made that contradiction make sense.

I was also amazed by how much of the things I'd been taught weren't even legitimately scriptural. Removed from their original context and authorial intent, the passages that these teachings were gleaned from had entirely different meanings. I joked with people in class about that, saying that I'd only lost about half of my religious beliefs, since the other half weren't actually in the Bible to begin with.

Through education about the Bible, its history and mythology, the dread, confusion and pain it had caused me faded away to nothing. From there, I discovered that I had a deep love and appreciation for mythology and culture from non-Abrahamic faiths as well, and studied everything from Shintoism to Zoroastrianism, as well as how almost all religions borrowed and converted stories and concepts from one another, yet claimed that these stories all originated within their own faith.

So there you have it. Any questions?

Mama Row said...

There was some discussion between us also:

Atheist: If you don't remember the story, then how can you attempt to liken it to something and assume it has any accuracy...?

Me:i didnt liken your story to anything.

Atheist: You compared me to "a Bible gamer who beat the game". That's "likening me to something"

Me: you asked me how can i liken your story to something. i compared the tone that i get from you and how you come across to me when you discuss the bible. i didnt liken your story of how you lost your faith to anything.

Atheist: Well, I guess that's just your personal interpretation, then, innit? You should really practice what you preach about those.

Me: what it is, is my impression of you and personal opinion about you and how you come across to me. to my knowledge i've never preached anything about ppl having personal opinions about others. but i'll preach this so there's no confusion -
everyone is entitled to have and express their personal opinion about how someone comes across to them!

so now that i know your story, it's my opinion that you were someone who tried to please his parents and the ppl at your church and who now despises the bible that you feel you were tricked into memorizing. and who comes across as someone who despises the faith that you see in others who are willing to still believe in and love the words that you couldn't rectify on your flow chart and claim didn't add up for you ,even when they don't always fully understand those words either.

Atheist: That was far too much hay to fit into just your average straw man... That was a straight-up straw dinosaur.

Me: to me, you come across as someone who believes they are an authority on what the bible says and means, and who thinks they can dictate to others its meaning

Atheist: I am, and I can, because I studied it from numerous perspectives, including that of a believer, a skeptic, and a scholar for over two decades.

Me: ty for demonstrating the mind set of a cult leader.

Atheist: Eww, what's that smell? Did someone get sick...? Oh, nevermind; it's just your ad nauseum nonsense about me being a cult leader.

So, do you just have no respect at all for education? Is that it, or is this your simply your pet ad hominem?

Atheist: The nuance lies in that you reject any non-Christian interpretations of scripture on principle, regardless of that source's expertise,

Me: correct, because the scripture teaches that one who isn't a believer and born again of Gods Spirit, does not possess the ability to understand the words of God. the words of God are Spirit and must be spiritually discerned. the bible teaches that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit nor can he know them. and that's you, a natural man. all you have is your natural mans mind to discern with, you do not have the reborn Spirit to discern what the word of God means.

Mama Row said...

Athest: but you parrot interpretations from Christians as though they're absolute truths with no concern for their credentials.

Me: this is untrue. because even if someone claims to be a Christian yet they hold a belief or teaching that i dont feel agrees with scripture, i dont accept their teaching and i certainly dont parrot their beliefs that i disagree with.

Athest: Lemme guess, your religion tells you that atheism is "a rejection of God", and that's all that matters to you. Forget about accuracy, and intellectual honesty, and all of that other meaningless stuff, am I right...?

Me: pretty much, but more like Forget about your opinion of what you believe is accurate or intellectually honest because your world view, that you're entitled to have, isn't my world view, which i'm also entitled to have. here's why i believe you reject God:

"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

i believe that if anyone has rejected Christ and receiveth not his words, it's you.
btw, thank you for posting your story.

Atheist: ...because it gave you more fuel for your legion of deliberate misinterpretations of me? Insincere thank-you is insincere.

Me: the bible teaches that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit nor can he know them. You are a natural man. all you have is your natural mans mind to discern with, you do not have the reborn Spirit to discern what the word of God means.

Atheist: As has been explained to you dozens of times, the source of a claim is not evidence for the truth of that claim. ..yet when I showed you that Dr Craig's interpretation of 2 Peter was congruent with mine, you handwaved that, too.

Was it because he "does not have the reborn Spirit to discern what the word of God means"? No. You rejected it because it didn't mesh with your preconceptions about the verse.

...and speaking of how you have no regard for accuracy or intellectual honesty, Like so many other things, this has been explained to you over an over again - and you just keep on making the same bull**** assertions anyway because "forget about any opinion that isn't mine".

Once again: If I were rejecting Jesus, that would mean that I still believed that he existed and was denying him anyway. That's not where I am, because I stopped believing that Jesus existed in the first place, which is a different thing.

Thanks Guys! i apologize if this is long or confusing! Thank you for being encouraging and willing to help! It's truly an answer to prayer!

Mama Row said...

basically what's happening in the forum where we're debating is this particular Atheist is calling the few Christian believers who post there out on their logical fallacies and honestly, we can't really compete because even if he were to be wrongly accusing us of fallacies, which he probably isn't, we're not experienced enough to know one way or the other.

I have a feeling that he is guilty of fallacies too, but i dont know how to point them out yet. for instance he wanted to rate whether my beliefs are based on the bible so i answered some of his questions providing chapter and verse. then he replied by saying how the KJV wasn't accurately translated on this verse and that verse and how i'm not even interpreting the scriptures accurately. basically claiming i dont even really have the word of God or a bible to base my beliefs on and therefore my beliefs aren't based on the bible. it just seems like what he did has to be a logical fallacy!

Stan said...

Mama Row,
I urge you to read all of this, and ask as many questions as you wish.

What I will tell you here, and what I will suggest, will not solve your situation because of the nature of Atheism, and the nature of the Atheist. Learning logic and rhetoric takes time and diligence, and in the end has no effect on any Atheist. I will give the reasons for that, below. What I will tell you here is that arguing with an Atheist is futile, even by biblical standards: the Atheist is blind, intellectually. There’s a bible verse somewhere that predicts exactly that.

You can’t successfully explain the difference between the colors pink and vermillion to a color blind person: that is futile. It’s even worse with Atheists, intellectually, because an Atheist absolutely must believe what he believes in order to sustain his worldview, self-image and ego.

I do not recommend that any Christian who is not fully educated in logic and rhetoric engage with an Atheist. And certainly not engage by using any biblical precepts, because Atheists are self-convinced that the Bible is false, defective, and nothing more than an ancient comic book for nomads. So using the Bible is futile. There are other approaches which Atheists cannot defeat, which means attacking Atheism where it lives in the minds of the Atheists, rather than defending the text of the bible. But even those logic attacks have no effect on Atheists.

Here are some observations from my perspective as I understand Christian theology, with which you need not agree:

1. The bible is not “a” book; it is 66 separate books and letters, by maybe 50 or so authors, all with different perspectives within which it is thought that the deity worked. These books and letters were not dictated by the deity, they were considered deity-inspired yet transmitted through the prisms of the individual authors.

2. Both of you are literally translating biblical texts which are not originals, and which have been previously translated from the original language(s), ancient Hebrew for the OT, and Greek/Aramaic for the NT. Those languages might not be fully translatable into English. Biblical scholars know this and take it into account, considering that the overall narrative is more accurate than single sentences. The Atheist is not a biblical scholar. Biblical scholars are called Theologians.

3. I never argue religion particulars or specifics with a non-believer. I argue solely against their own Atheistic false concepts which are necessitated by their rejection of authoritative concepts which are prior to themselves and outside their necessary belief system. That rejection renders their own Atheist beliefs false. The issue of the source of authority for a concept becomes basic to addressing Atheism, because they ultimately reject all authority which is not themselves.

Stan said...

Some examples of necessary Atheist beliefs:
a. The universe came from nothing, or at least with an unknowable physical cause. (Unknowability is agnosticism, not Atheism).

b. Life came from minerals… but just once.

c. Human life has no cosmic value or any other kind of distinction from animal life, and is therefore violable when the Atheist declares it so. Human life has no Free Will or agency, because those violate the sciences (the only source of knowledge for the Atheist) which depend on deterministic cause and effect, in an unbroken chain clear back to the Big Bang.

d. Knowledge is produced only by deterministic, materialistic science. Without determinism, science cannot provide knowledge, yet science is the only path to knowledge of all material existence. Material existence is all existence that there is. Atheism is intellectually bounded by Philosophical Materialism, and does not accept any non-material existence.

e. There is no morality other than evolved cultural rules for behaviors; a strong ruler can make up morals to suit himself (Nietzsche’s Will To Power). Atheist morals are personally derived to suit their own proclivities, and are highly volatile, being changeable at any moment. Thus Atheist morals are situation specific (Consequentialism). The Atheist has self-authorized with the moral authority to decide the morality involved in every situation. The Atheist accepts no higher authority than himself, thereby placing himself at the pinnacle of morality and human existence. Which is why Atheists are self-centered to the point of clinical narcissism, and why they are not trusted any more than are child molesters, because no one can know what their morals du jour might entail at any given time.

f. Moral authority: the Atheist is automatically self-vested with moral authority because after rejecting the moral authority of an objective source above himself, he will be in an initial void of morality. Then he will fill that void of morality with his own moral principles, which he tailors to his own proclivities.

Stan said...

g. The Mechanics of Atheist Elitism: Since his moral principles match his own actions and desires, the Atheist finds that he is automatically tautologically moral, and thus he cannot fail to be completely moral under his own principles. At this point he becomes convinced of his own personal moral superiority to all others, who fail to meet his standards. Once he is convinced of his moral superiority, he also becomes convinced of his intellectual superiority as well. This vision of personal superiority naturally induces arrogance and elitism, and those qualities are so naturally self-induced that they are extremely difficult to shake off. These qualities are also found to be very pleasant and self-affirming by the Atheist; losing such qualities or having them successfully attacked is a blow to the Atheist psyche, much more devastating than merely accepting facts which are contrary to prior beliefs. To summarize, Atheism is both a worldview and a lifestyle, as well as a self-affirming psychological crutch for the ego.

An Atheist who has self-endowed with moral and intellectual elitism will not be convinced by any reference to religious texts or precepts. Even worse, an Atheist at that stage will never be convinced that there are errors in his logic, despite references to official documentation of disciplined Aristotelian deductive logic or informal fallacies of logic or rhetoric. By this stage of Atheism, the Atheist “knows” that his every mental output is the embodiment of rationality and logic, and any indication to the contrary is just wrong, logically and even probably morally wrong. He has acquired full-onset narcissism.

This is why I don’t plan to change any Atheist mind, even with robust, testable, disciplined logic: it can’t be done. A convicted Atheist is not interested in intellectual humility in the pursuit of deductive truth. He has created his own Truth for himself which is complimentary to him, and he is not inclined to be disabused of that.

However, there are observers in the stands who are watching the discussion, and who still can be influenced by the cold discipline of deductive logic being applied to the Philosophical Materialist errors and Scientismist errors which Atheists believe in with blind belief. So it is not the Atheist being influenced even though he is the foil for the logic attack; it is the proto-Atheist who still has an open mind and is subject to rational logic who might be influenced. And those are generally silent readers who do not participate, but do observe.

But again that can be done only by addressing the necessary beliefs the Atheist holds, and not the precepts of any religion. If Atheism is demonstrably logically false, and it is, then it follows that at least one religion is correct. But of course this requires that the protagonist leave the defensive mode, and enter into logical offense. Not many people really want to do this.

As I recall, Jesus recommended “kicking the dust off your sandals and moving on” when one’s message is not well received. And Paul was stoned and left for dead for not moving on fast enough.

Given this, learning logic and rhetoric is still a valuable pursuit, and is useful for one’s own personal journey toward finding truth as it exists naturally inside and outside the universe. But it won’t work with Atheists. It works only with those not yet ego-locked into Materialist Philosophy, and with a still open mind.

I know that this answer is not what you hoped for, but I assure you that it is a realistic view of Atheism.

Stan said...

Finally, should you decide to challenge the Atheist regarding his own beliefs, I can help you with that. It will be a distinctly unpleasant conversation. But it can be done.

Stan said...

Here's a belated thought. You could invite the Atheist to come here to this blog and present his case in order to debate me. I would happily do that.

JBsptfn said...

Mama Row,

Once you get good, you should go to this site and debate these guys:

The Skeptic Zone

This blog belongs to a clown named Im Skeptical. There are also two other clowns who think they are so great by the name of Papalinton (a world-class plagiarizer) and Merrill (an insult hurler, but otherwise, usually has nothing that great to say).

The only other Christian on there talking to these clowns is Planks Length. Skeppy and Mr. Plagiarizer have been banned from a multitude of sites (CADRE, Metacrock's blog, Atheist Watch, DI, etc....), so I don't post there anymore (don't want to be a hypocrite. I am part of the CADRE, and I proposed their banning).

Mama Row said...

Thank you for such an in depth and informative reply. I had suspected that he is pretty much his own authority and basically worships his own mind. imo, that's him being a god unto himself. My goal isn't to convert him, but to be able to discuss and defend my beliefs and opinions without him constantly accusing me of being guilty of one logical fallacy after another lol. Or at least be able to point out that he too is guilty of just as many fallacies that i am guilty of.

Is there no escape from logcal fallacies for the bible believing Christian? I also want to be able to point out his logical fallacies. Because i believe that he's doing the same thing that i'm doing in that i'm taking someone else's word for it to be truth, in my case the Bible's word. In his case, he's taking his own word, professors words, scientists words, ect.

He always points out my straw man fallacies, and circular reasoning because i believe the bible is true and obtain faith from the word of God because the word of God claims it's true. However, i suspect he's guilty of logical fallacies too, i just dont know how to expose his.

Again, Thank you! And i think i will challenge him to come argue here, with other scholars like himself rather than debate the teenagers and mothers of faith. i did ask him about that once after he was proudly listing his accolades whether or not he debates men his own age who are experienced at debate. He is like a lone wolf in the forum where we have debates and discussions. he's impressive and if i were a younger kid doubting religion and faith, he would be someone i look up to because he can seemingly tear holes in our faith and make us look like such morons.

Stan said...

Mama Row,
Pls contact me on email, thx.
My email address is in the right hand column.

Mama Row said...

Would anyone be willing to come to the Gaia online Morality and Religious forum to debate this atheist? i have an account that you can sign on and use.

Mostly it's just skeptic kids and Christian women/mothers that post there. i'd really like to see how he holds up in a debate with a man or someone his own age who has experience debating.