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Author Topic:   Counter-Apologetics
LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


(1)
Message 1 of 101 (664593)
06-02-2012 1:10 PM


A lot of atheists think that debating scripture is a frivolous exercise since it can't be demonstrated to be true in the first place and are therefore quick to dismiss it. However, I believe the bible can be common ground to at least open up discussion (if not objective debate) with more fundamentalist Christians who refuse to start a debate on the grounds of empirical evidence.

I feel that I can debate Creationists all day on the fine points of evolution, history, astronomy, and physics, but when it comes to scripture and biblical rhetoric I feel my knowledge and abilities fall short. I find it hard to navigate through the mental gymnastics and logical fallacies theists persistently use in their scriptural counter-arguments. It seems easy to specifically demonstrate points of atrocity in Leviticus and throughout the bible, but the theists strange counterarguments often leave me lost for words. When debating theists, It's also hard to mediate a separation of dogma and evangelism (when they push it) from a discussion about the logical consistencies within the bible and relating to the world at large (the latter being what I'm interested in). In many ways I feel debating biblical logic is tantamount to debating logical inconsistencies within The Lord of The Rings, except 80% of Americans base their world view on "Lord of The Rings." I also try to keep an open mind so any argument is potentially valid until I can refute it and I try not using the same fallacies I accuse creationists of using.

I've been scouring the internet in an attempt to do more research on counter-apologetics. (Iron Chariots was disappointingly limited IMO). I stumbled upon a website that had a comprehensive list of hard rhetorical questions to ask Christians and halfway through I found a reply from a theist using the type of twisted rationalization I alluded to earlier. Some of his arguments are transparently fallacious while I simply don’t know the best angle to tackle the others (I have ideas, but I'd love to compare them to yours). It's possible some of these arguments may even be sound IF the bible where demonstrated to be a source of reliable information. I thought it would be a fun exercise for you guys to maybe address some of these counter arguments. The website is:

http://www.whyilefttherevivalfellowship.com/bible

and the apologetic reply is located a little below halfway down the page labeled "Wlerin January 18 2011" (or just type the quotations into your browser search)

I would also appreciate past transcripts of similar debates if you have them.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 06-02-2012 3:58 PM LexM1985 has responded
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Message 2 of 101 (664594)
06-02-2012 1:32 PM


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jar
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Posts: 31518
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
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Message 3 of 101 (664601)
06-02-2012 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by LexM1985
06-02-2012 1:10 PM


possible sources
Have you talked to any non-fundamentalist Christians?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 1:10 PM LexM1985 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 7:34 PM jar has responded

  
LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


(1)
Message 4 of 101 (664608)
06-02-2012 7:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
06-02-2012 3:58 PM


Re: possible sources
Sure i have, why?

The point is that I don't want to use my get out of jail free card right of the bat and simply say "prove it" because for my purposes that would put any kind of discussion to a halt. I lost two of my best friends from childhood to fundamentalist Christianity who will no longer have anything to do with me because of their faith. If I bring up the topic of evidence right out of the gate, they will no doubt tune me out.

I want to be able to demonstrate without a reasonable doubt using scripture that the bible is not the inerrant and non-contradictory book they have been fed to believe. The problem is that when I point out these contradictions and moral transgressions the theists are quick to retort using biblical rhetoric. As someone fairly new to the topic of theology I don't feel I can hold my ground on a comprehensive debate of scripture, but do I really have to read the whole bible to defend what are such seemingly obvious absurdities. It seems that In order to reconcile these controversial verses with their own morality they resort to this type of twisted rationalization that is so outside the realm of logic that I simply don't know how to best deal with it. Like I said, it's even possible some of these excuses/explanations may be sound IF the bible where demonstrated to be true. However, I notice that many atheists aren't shy to engage theists in debates of scripture. These debates might cause the theists to at least begin to think more critically about their faith and do some secular research.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 06-02-2012 3:58 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by jar, posted 06-02-2012 7:44 PM LexM1985 has responded
 Message 8 by NoNukes, posted 06-03-2012 10:57 AM LexM1985 has not yet responded
 Message 9 by ringo, posted 06-03-2012 3:51 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded
 Message 10 by Artemis Entreri, posted 06-04-2012 5:46 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31518
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 5 of 101 (664609)
06-02-2012 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by LexM1985
06-02-2012 7:34 PM


Re: possible sources
You're using the term 'theist' far too loosely.

Of course you should read the whole bible, and in as many versions as possible, as well as study the many different Canons and the history of the evolution of the many stories that have been incorporated into the various Canons.

But don't worry.

Once you have done that and can debate based on what the stories actually say, once you do know the history, the evolution of Christianity, they will still just tune you out.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 7:34 PM LexM1985 has responded

Replies to this message:
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LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


Message 6 of 101 (664610)
06-02-2012 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
06-02-2012 7:44 PM


Re: possible sources
a

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Tangle
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Posts: 7101
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 7 of 101 (664620)
06-03-2012 6:41 AM


Personally i think that debating the bible is just literary criticism; similar to discussing the works of Shakespeare but less important.

The problem which can not be overcome, is that those that believe in biblical inerrancy do so because they believe it to be The Word of God - quite literally - and they believe it because they believe that god has revealed the truth to them personally through it.

That kind of deep delusion can't be argued against from any rational angle.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 101 (664627)
06-03-2012 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by LexM1985
06-02-2012 7:34 PM


Re: possible sources
I want to be able to demonstrate without a reasonable doubt using scripture that the bible is not the inerrant and non-contradictory book they have been fed to believe.

There are no such arguments. Bible literalists a slippery lot, and they are not above departing from absolute literal readings in order to "save" the text from contradiction. It's amazing what rationale you can come up with when your world view is under attack.

There are a number of Bible contradiction threads in the Inerrancy forum. I doubt you will find their contents very satisfying.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 7:34 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17444
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 9 of 101 (664633)
06-03-2012 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by LexM1985
06-02-2012 7:34 PM


Re: possible sources
There is no secret weapon. You can't catch every fish in the sea. The ones that get away will feel smugly superior to the ones you catch.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 7:34 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

  
Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2519 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 10 of 101 (664745)
06-04-2012 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by LexM1985
06-02-2012 7:34 PM


Re: possible sources
Where are you coming from? I mean it sounds like you are from some very fundamentalist area where that is all you have to judge theists on.

your take on Christians just seems exceptionally narrow, as if you have only met one kind, and think we are all the same.

"prove it" aint that big of a deal to someone with faith.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LexM1985, posted 06-02-2012 7:34 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by bluescat48, posted 06-04-2012 10:12 PM Artemis Entreri has acknowledged this reply
 Message 12 by Capt Stormfield, posted 06-05-2012 9:55 AM Artemis Entreri has acknowledged this reply

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2480 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


(1)
Message 11 of 101 (664758)
06-04-2012 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Artemis Entreri
06-04-2012 5:46 PM


Re: possible sources
I've been in Fundie areas & non-fundi areas and the Christians in the Fundie areas vs. the Christians in the non-Fundi areas are like day & night, or oil & water. At times one wonders if they are worshipping the same God.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
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Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 403
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009


(1)
Message 12 of 101 (664789)
06-05-2012 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Artemis Entreri
06-04-2012 5:46 PM


Re: possible sources
your take on Christians just seems exceptionally narrow, as if you have only met one kind, and think we are all the same.

The inability of believers to reach any consensus about the meaning of the book they claim as their authority is one of the best arguments against its usefulness. By learning the rhetoric of competing fundamentalisms (And yes, that should be oxymoronic.) the original poster might have some hope of driving the level of debate up a notch. Speaking from my own experience, being forced to seek the common truth undergirding the different denominations of Christianity helped lead to the eventual realization that reality was the only reliable common denominator in life.

Capt.


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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2519 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


(1)
Message 13 of 101 (664808)
06-05-2012 11:51 AM


bluescat48 writes:

I've been in Fundie areas & non-fundi areas and the Christians in the Fundie areas vs. the Christians in the non-Fundi areas are like day & night, or oil & water. At times one wonders if they are worshipping the same God.

me too. When I lived in the bible belt i got to hear about how i wasn't a christian all the time.

Capt. Stormfield writes:

The inability of believers to reach any consensus about the meaning of the book they claim as their authority is one of the best arguments against its usefulness. By learning the rhetoric of competing fundamentalisms (And yes, that should be oxymoronic.) the original poster might have some hope of driving the level of debate up a notch. Speaking from my own experience, being forced to seek the common truth undergirding the different denominations of Christianity helped lead to the eventual realization that reality was the only reliable common denominator in life.

I find most evangelical protestants difficult to understand as well.


Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by LexM1985, posted 06-05-2012 6:15 PM Artemis Entreri has responded

  
LexM1985
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 06-02-2012


(1)
Message 14 of 101 (664829)
06-05-2012 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Artemis Entreri
06-05-2012 11:51 AM


Some interesting points guys, thanks. I've been researching the evolution-creationism controversy for a couple years now and have formed some pretty strong opinions regarding the existence of a God. I joined this board in the hopes of refining my views and listening to what other people have to say on the matters. I have good friends from all kinds of religions and denominations of Christianity and most of them aren't shy from at least discussing the existence of God on a critical level. My original posting was referring to the type of Christians that think "the bible says it, it's good enough for me. Case closed." This type of closed minded, dark-age thinking can't possibly be good for society on any level. I also notice that many of these Christians don't actually know what much of the bible says ( not that I do either, but I know more than many of them). I was hoping that if I can demonstrate that some of the views they have about the bible aren't supported by the book itself then maybe they can take the first step to thinking more critically.

Debating scripture is sort of uncharted territory for me and I'm just not prepared to debate biblical rhetoric. I know much about the history surrounding the creation of the bible and the evolution (no pun intended) of Christianity, but I am rather unfamiliar with specific passages and how they support or contradict one another. In the past when my debates about evolution-creationism turned too preachy and evangelical I always pulled out the trump card and said "prove it" or asked "how do you know that's true?," which brought the debate into familiar territory, but the aforementioned fundamentalists will not discuss the bible on any grounds other than scripture. They aren't even familiar with the argument for intelligent design.

Another question to atheists: When do you think it's appropriate to debate scripture? I know many that have said "Never, it's not your responsibility to be an expert of their holy book," but I've seen others have colorful debates on the topics of slavery, genocide and absolute morality based on their knowledge of scripture.


This message is a reply to:
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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2519 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 15 of 101 (664831)
06-05-2012 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by LexM1985
06-05-2012 6:15 PM


Some interesting points guys, thanks. I've been researching the evolution-creationism controversy for a couple years now and have formed some pretty strong opinions regarding the existence of a God.

welcome.

I think I hear what you are saying but I do not think there is much of a controversy.

I have been Christian my whole life, yet I have never met any creationists in my church. I have probably only met 5 or 6 ever. I think I have one or two friends who are creationists currently, but it never comes up and we have never discussed it.

I joined this board in the hopes of refining my views and listening to what other people have to say on the matters. I have good friends from all kinds of religions and denominations of Christianity and most of them aren't shy from at least discussing the existence of God on a critical level.

depends what side of the fence you are on, and how easy you are offended when your ideas are changed, and how you deal with very semantic and pedantic people.

If I had to guess i would say this place is only 5-10% creationists. they get dogpiled and overwhelmed rather fast but the well informed and trolled-out by the condescending people, few last here for any amount of time.

I was hoping that if I can demonstrate that some of the views they have about the bible aren't supported by the book itself then maybe they can take the first step to thinking more critically.

I think taking the approach of positivism doesn't work very well. Their views are rarely supported by anything more than personal belief to begin with.

Debating scripture is sort of uncharted territory for me and I'm just not prepared to debate biblical rhetoric.

plus its super boring and no one can agree on what is being stated in the passages.

Another question to atheists: When do you think it's appropriate to debate scripture? I know many that have said "Never, it's not your responsibility to be an expert of their holy book," but I've seen others have colorful debates on the topics of slavery, genocide and absolute morality based on their knowledge of scripture.

I am no atheist. its probably appropriate in a forum or thread specifically about a piece of scripture. I try and stay away from that stuff any way.

beware of Sola scriptura.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by LexM1985, posted 06-05-2012 6:15 PM LexM1985 has not yet responded

  
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