Things Christians Should Consider When Trying to Make Debate Rules

I was recently referenced to THIS. Some of which makes some sense, much of which doesn’t. Let’s take a look at these points one by one and show where the issues lie:

1. Understand What you Attack

Generally speaking we do. Indeed many atheists become atheists precisely because they come to understand Christianity (or other religions) and hence their shortcomings. In general I find atheists have a much better and complete understanding of religion than those who support it. This sounds surprising, but if you think about it for a little bit, it really isn’t.

2. Learn Biblical Theology

Given that there’s so many different and contradicting theologies, this is an impossible ask.

3. Learn From Correction

Again, given that each sect, even each believer, seems to not agree on what they believe or how to interpret, this is impossible. It’s also somewhat hypocritical to ask.

4. Don’t be Stupid

Oh, the irony.

5. Don’t Use Incendiary Statements

What constitutes an incendiary statement is very different from person to person. Often simple facts are taken as incendiary by people as an excuse to flee an argument.

6. Don’t Use Emotionally Loaded Terminology

The examples given here include ‘Christian mythology’, which is obviously only a loaded term if you’re irrationally biased and wedded to the mythology in the first place. Again, what it taken as ‘loaded’ will vary from person to person.

7. Be Respectful of What We Believe

I thought lying was a sin in your theology? We don’t respect what you believe. Respect has to be earned. We respect YOU enough to argue it.

8. Use Logic and Evidence

Oh, the irony.

9. Read Biblical Passages in Context

Which is, of course, code for “Interpret them the same way I do”. This has the same problems as mentioned before, nobody does that the same way.

10. Don’t Cut and Paste from Anti-Christian Websites

This gets about as much ground as ‘Don’t post Bible passages’ would. It’s often a lot easier and quicker to give references in an argument. It’s useful.

21 responses to “Things Christians Should Consider When Trying to Make Debate Rules

  1. Debating whether God is real or not is useless. To tell Christians how to debate God is even more useless. Why? Because like everything in this world truth is truth. You can believe what you want but in the end one belief will be standing. So many people are so concerned with proof to say that God is real, rather than ignoring society and experiencing christianity themselves. And from experience I know once you give your life to Christ and forsake your old ways you will know that God is real. And there will be no debating that! I strongly encourage you to give God a try. Christianity is what you make it so go all the way! Don’t just claim Christianity is a lie if you have never tried it! (You could say the same for me but I experienced life without Christ to be frightening, unsatisfying and dull.) Be willing to try Him before you deny Him! 

    • I think you’ve missed the point Phreek. The theist quoting this was trying to frame the context of the argument in such a way as to give them advantage. It’s more a matter of how to debate ANYTHING. Nothing should necessarily be off limits, nothing should necessarily be given benefit of the doubt or undue respect. Why – for example – should one respect a religious belief any more than a belief in leprechauns?

      One shouldn’t.

      You can indeed believe what you want but that doesn’t alter what is right or true and when those beliefs become destructive it is a matter of public concern. What you say about ‘giving your life to Christ’ is said by people of all religions, self-help books, crystal waving and all the other woo. You can’t all be right, you can all be wrong.

      That life can be frightening, unsatisfying (you must be pretty shallow if you think that) or dull does not necessitate the existence of a god.

      I dislike this term ‘deny’. To deny something there really has to be a case for it first and there is none for god.

      • You say people shouldn’t respect a belief more than another…Why would someone respect a false belief? What is to respect? If what you believe is true than it alone should be respected!

        You say giving your life to Christ is spoken by religions. By religions; maybe so. But Christianity is a relationship NOT a religion. And you said something about them promoting self-help…That’s thing about Christianity that makes it different; you are not just helping yourself to a good life, you are giving back to the best of your ability what is due Christ. (praise/worship)

        If you are honest with yourself you’ll realize that through all of this you are not satisfied with life. And whether you choose to admit or not to me is up to you. But if I’ve lived without God and it was terrible. But came to know God and it has been wonderful doesn’t that point back to God? 

        And unlike you said there is a case for God. They are everywhere. I’m one of the cases. The things I’ve witnessed you could never persuade me to say they never happened. Every Christian’s testimony is the case for Christ. I could talk about facts or I could just tell you about what He has done for me. In then end you choose. I just hope you choose the right thing….

      • Precisely. Why should one respect a false belief? Why should anyone be stand-offish about examining any belief? Religion seems to ask for special treatment in this regard.

        No, Christianity is not a relationship, yes, it is a religion. It meets the definition of religion. What you’re espousing is being non-denominational, not being part of a church but you’re still being part of a religion. My earlier post asking if atheism is a religion has the definition of religion in it and you’ll find Christianity meets that definition. It’s really no different to any other religion, it’s not special, its followers just like to think it is (just like the followers of Islam or any other faith).

        People find all sorts of psychological props in life but that doesn’t make any of them true any more than it makes a heroin addiction or alcoholism healthy. You just call your prop Christianity.

        Again, subjective personal experience is not evidence for god. Any number of people of any number of faiths make similar claims. They can’t all be right, they can all be wrong. If you want to persuade someone like me you need actual evidence, not hearsay.

      • Well I guess it’s just obvious that you don’t understand the idea of having an open mind. If you continue to seek only scientific fact then you will never understand God. He is supernatural not scientific. And Christianity IS a relationship. God is not making us do anything. He’s giving us a choice to love Him. If Christianity were a religion it would imply you could earn God’s love, which in fact you can’t. But He gives nonetheless…You seek proof and “fact” instead of God Himself. If there was no God than that leaves so many holes that would need explanations. And you could give a reason for some maybe but it would always lead back to more questions of who, what, when and why…So no matter how many “facts” you gather up there will never be a complete explanation for everything. God is beyond our comprehension and I guess that’s not enough for you…so say what you want but just know you can’t say God isn’t real if you’ve never given Him a chance! You have to Try Him before you deny Him.

  2. I don’t think you’re grasping the concept of an open mind. To have an open mind is to be willing to examine people’s claims. It says nothing about believing them.

    You’ve yet to establish to my – or anyone else’s satisfaction – that there even is a god. I require evidence before I believe anything. Anything that does exist is natural, ergo there is no supernatural.

    You may believe that Christianity is a relationship, but it remains a religion. You’re still confusing the terms ‘religion’ and ‘church’. A religion is:

    “A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

    I don’t think you’d disagree with any of those points.

    ‘God’ isn’t a solution to issues, it raises far more questions, holes, than it fixes and creates many paradoxes.

    If as you say ‘god’ is beyond our comprehension – for example – yet you claim to understand and know of its existence, then you’ve just contradicted yourself.

    Again with the ‘denial’ and again with the assumptions. I’ve given your god the same chance I have any other.

    I assume you subscribe to the standard Christian definition of god?

    * All knowing
    * All powerful
    * All good


    • Consideration helps when having an open mind. You haven’t shown that. 
      We only call it natural because its familiar to what we know to be natural. But what about the creator of natural? What does that make God?

      If Christianity is a religion that would make friendship a religion. What we have with Jesus is like a friendship. The Bible says “He (referring to God) calls me (followers) friend.” It’s not something you HAVE to do. God gives us a choice. It’s not just rules and regulations. Though there are some that is not all there is to it. God doesn’t want us to just be like robots and do everything because we have to. He wants us to choose Him. Like a friendship, it’s life in tune with each other.

      The Bible says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” I don’t have complete understanding of God. But I have faith for an unseen, yet undeniable God. So I have not contradicted myself in any way.

      But you can go on a say what you may but I’ve said all I need to say. I hope one day you’ll see and be convinced that you don’t always have to see it to believe it. Like I said the case for Christ is what He’s done in people’s lives. Those near death experiences, though miraculous healings, those inexplicable visions and dreams. Where is science to explain these things. What do you call it when the scientists can’t explain it? Not real? Well obviously thats not right because they happened! You could never take that away from them. God is real. And that’s my simple argument for Christ.

      ~God Bless~

      • Anything that exists is by definition natural, rendering the term ‘supernatural’ superfluous. There is no indication of, or need for, a creator of the natural world and the problem with that assertion is then ‘who creates the creator?’. It doesn’t solve anything it just invites further questions and leads to infinite regress.

        Friendship is with someone that exists. Friendship does not entail views on the cause, nature, purpose of the universe. Friendship does not include ritual observances such as prayer, or keeping particular holidays. So again,no, there’s no comparison.

        Before invoking the Bible.

        1. Demonstrate the existence of a god.
        2. Demonstrate that said god is your god.
        3. Demonstrate that said god has communicated with man in the form of that text.
        4. Demonstrate that the text has remained pure.

        Incidentally, presuming that you believe in an omniscient god, free will is impossible, so if said god did exist we would – indeed – be robots.

        Your definition of faith meets mine, it’s belief without evidence. This is also a working definition of delusion.

        You say the case for Christ is what he’s supposedly done in people’s lives yet there’s no historical evidence that he ever lived and the same can be said for any number of religions, faiths, imaginary figures, self-help groups, placebos etc. It’s the person that makes the change in their lives, not any particular nonsense that they subscribe to. So no, that’s not evidence for Jesus.

        NDEs are culturally informed. They’re hallucinations brought on by oxygen starvation, ‘brain storms’ and the release of DMT by the brain under extreme duress.

        There are no miraculous healings.

        Dreams are just dreams.

        Science has explained all those things and even if the answer were ‘I don’t know’ that doesn’t mean ‘Magic man in the sky made it happen’ wins by default.

        So I’m afraid none of that qualifies as evidence, certainly not without anything to back it up.

  3. So through reading all your comments I see you are completely, 100%, totally sure there is no God. So then if you are completely sure then you must know everything, right? You’ve used everything there is to use, know everything there is to know and be 100% sure there is no God. But if you DISagree with this claim (which you should) that means there is possibilities left that you don’t know. And in those possibilities could lie your “scientific” proof of God. So you cannot say there is no proof of God or existence of God. Because you don’t know!
    I KNOW God exists because I’ve experienced His work in my life. It’s like air. I can’t see it but I can hear,smell, and feel it. I don’t need “scientific” proof that it’s there because I’ve experienced what it sounds, smells and feels like.
    Like I said, you can’t just seek proof without trying God Himself. Because you’ll never know everything there is to know. Try Him before you deny Him. Because there is a case for Christ, you just haven’t discovered it yet…and haven’f been willing to accept it!

    • 99.9% recurring certain and certain enough given that all the evidence is one-sided in favour of naturalism and there’s zero evidence for any god. For particular, defined god concepts I am 100% sure. An omnipotent god cannot exist for example, the concept is self-refuting. Same issues with omniscience and free will co-existing. Same for any that make historical or physical claims contradicted by reality (creationism for example).

      Possibility =/= actuality or even probability. One needn’t know everything in order to dismiss claims that are obviously incorrect.

      You don’t know god exists, you have faith god exists. Your claim of influence in your life etc is, again, replicated by any number of other faiths and other beliefs. It does not constitute evidence. As for the air, I suggest you check out my previous post on that topic.

      Tried, no evidence, so you’re wrong there too.

      • So now you’re saying you’re almost positive there is no God. You know 99.9% of everything there is to know, to be almost sure there is no God. Conclusiveness is not the same as being 100% sure. What if the people who thought the world was flat, were 99.9% sure so they just assumed that must make it right? We’d never know the truth. They were wrong because someone found in that .1% the evidence of a round world. 99.9% isn’t 100%. So again, do you claim to know everything there is to know to be POSITIVE there is no God? Because if you don’t then there is still a possibility of God’s existence, therefore the rash statement of there is no God cannot rule…

  4. You don’t need to know everything to dismiss the obviously wrong, such as omnipotence. I am certain the biblical god – as described – doesn’t exist and the same for most god concepts that have been presented to me.

    If you can present evidence for a god you can change my mind, until then you’re shit out of luck.

    • Well what if everybody thought that way? Where would that put us? What if because almost everybody thought Greenland was green, and they just assumed it true? And never went there and just explored it themselves. Majority does NOT rule in these situations. Because majority rules is NOT 100%. So 99.9% scientific reason and “proof” means nothing if it’s disproved in the .1% So if you cannot know everything there is to know, then that means there’s no such thing as an athiest. Because atheists are “sure” there is no God. When in fact they cannot be sure because cannot know everything. And then that means there can’t be atheism either! So what does that make you?

      • In a much better position than we currently are with people believing nonsense for no reason. The position you’re describing is your own, not mine. One can only work on the information available and come to logical conclusions on that basis.

        You don’t need to know everything to dismiss a god hypothesis, only what that hypothesis is and whether it’s viable. Otherwise without evidence FOR a claim it must be held false under the burden of proof. Otherwise you would have to hold EVERYTHING to be true.

  5.  I’m not saying you HAVE to believe God because there’s a possibility of finding evidence of God. I’m saying you cannot claim there is no God because you don’t know for sure, because it’s humanly impossible to know everything. You don’t know what I’ve seen to say I was crazy or hallucinating. I could be lying or telling the truth. But you don’t know. Because you are not omniscience. Therefore my point is you cannot say there is no God. And if you cannot say that, then atheism has no ground to stand on. Because atheism makes the rash claim there is no God! Again, what if in the .1% there was evidence of God? That’s all you need to disprove your statement…You say you only need majority to make thing so, but ask anyone around and they’ll tell you majority is not 100% rock solid. Which is what you seem to need to be convinced of anything. How can you ask us Christians to give 100% proof of our God, but then you only require what you call 99.9% to dislodge God? Does that seem fair to you? 

    • You’re still not quite getting it.
      As an atheist I do not believe in god. I don’t ‘believe there is no god’. I actively disbelieve in many god concepts because they’re impossible or disproven, for the rest there’s no evidence so I don’t believe. This is the only rational position to take.

      I don’t know the specifics of what you say, but such claims are common and never substantiated with any evidence. That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. There are so MANY similar claims to yours, all inter-contradicting. So no reason to believe in any of them.

      It’s hardly a rash claim when there’s no reason to believe in a god.

      Should evidence turn up, I would believe, but it’s far more rash to believe without evidence than it is to disbelieve because there’s no evidence.

      I don’t ask for 100% proof but ANY evidence at all would be nice, enough to go ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, something that can be tested and observed.

      Asking for evidence does, indeed, seem fair to me. It’s all I ask of any claim.

  6. Sorry for the wait in my response but I have two last points I want to make…
    1. Saying you believe in God is the same thing as there is a God! But there is a difference between God and God concepts…people have different concepts about God, but that isn’t God. Just like people can know things about you, but they don’t know you!

    2. I guess you’re just an impossible case…what I mean by that is through your responses you claim the majority rule (that has been proved wrong before) is enough to be 100% sure of something, you claim to need evidence but you won’t accept the evidence given (testimonies) and the evidence not given you are not willing to find or search out yourself (experiencing God), and anyone who claims of hearing God or seeing anything of the supernatural (angels,demons,miracles etc…) is crazy or hallucinating (thats alot of people by the way)…My last example is my hand. I can feel it, smell it, move it etc…It obvious! But it’s only obvious if I’m willing to look at it. If I’m not willing to look at it, I will never know for sure if it’s there. (that .1%)
    So that last thing I’ll say/comment is if you are not willing to accept evidence given (which there is some, contrary to popular atheist belief), you will never accept the existence of God. So much for an open mind….

  7. There’s a difference between unicorns and unicorn concepts too, that doesn’t mean unicorns are real either.

    I’m not claiming majority rule, I’m claiming the burden of proof. There is no evidence for a god, therefore it is not rational or acceptable to believe in one. To see this explained in greater detail read up on Russel’s Teapot, The Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Testimonies aren’t evidence for the reasons I’ve outlined previously.

    I have looked myself, nothing.

    Claimed visions are reflective of cultural inculcation and without exterior evidence backing them up have no reason to be believed and plenty of reason to be considered natural (temporal lobe epilepsy for example).

    I would accept evidence but what you consider evidence, simply, isn’t.

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