Truly religious people can't discuss/debate religion

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The title is perhaps a lil' bit inflammatory, but it is mostly PR tactics ok? So calm down...

Right off the bat, allow me to make 2 points about what's to follow.

1- I'm not an Atheist. Nor am i agnostic... these are mostly labels nowadays and they are mostly attached to either assholes who can't never "let it go" or people who don't want to take sides...

2- i have my own personal beliefs, i have ZERO problems with the concept of religion and personal faith. I Do however object strongly to the meddling of Religion into the body of the State and vice versa. I do not believe in a personal invisible god capable of human thought and rational, meddling and crafting the fate and destiny of all things. I Believe in science and i believe in Evolution and all that's entailed in these groups.

With that being said, what i would ask you is that you argue the point. Not the person. I will write mostly in absolutes as to simply make the idea clear and firmly visible to grasp, it doesn't necessarily mean i think in absolutes. It is for argument's sake. As i'm posting here not to "shove truth" but to open the conversation under this idea...

Ok? Alright then...

So, as said in the Thread title... If you are a truly religious person, you cannot debate religion. Specially with people who are not. By doing so you automatically doubt your own faith or try to manipulate others into accepting your belief system.

The point here is that.. if you argue Civil Discourse, if you claim you can have an open minded conversation or debate about religion, if you truly think you can engage in conversation about a personal topic and be open minded be respectful and accepting... then you must allow doubt.

Anybody that enters in a conversation with 0% possibility to accept being wrong or mistaken, is not having a conversation. That person is just trying to win.

Anybody that enters a debate not accepting any possibility of being wrong, is not having a debate, they are just trying to shove their beliefs on others.

To actually have a conversation, to allow yourself to communicate openly, you must accept the possibility of being wrong. Doesn't matter if it's 10% or 0,01% it must be there. Or else, you are not interested in having a conversation, you just want to bend the other person to your own school of thought.

Here is the divide...

When you come from science, if you have rational and critical thinking with you... you are allowed that. The greatest minds in our time that don't have a personal religion have stated so... it's not about "Do you believe in god? Even if there is the slightest chance of he being real?" and a man of science and common sense will tell you... "If given evidence, if proven to me... i'll believe. None has, so i don't".

Some go further... They state their proof "When i have proof that X is real, then i'll allow myself to believe." Evidence. Proven fact.

A Religious person, cannot allow themselves that.

Because, a truly religious person must live in faith. Doubt in god is not an option. That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions... You must give yourself fully and without regret. Accept god as it's whole and only then you'll be by his side.

Therefore... when talking about religion, you must allow yourself a modicum of doubt. "What if you're wrong? What if god doesn't exist?". That Question mostly goes unanswered...

Or we go into the God of Gaps argument. Stating that God resides on what we don't know, and we can't know everything, therefore we can't never truly know god, so we must believe. Which Crumbles onto itself, cause a mere 200 years ago we didn't knew much that we do now. So under that argument, God would be a forever shrinking force...

Most try to dodge and run around the issue "Then in the final days we'll know who is right"... Cryptic stuff that never solves anything. A Simple cop out for someone who entered a discussion and now must flee behind smoke and mirrors.

Some try to reverse the God of Gaps saying "What if he is real, what then? You won't be saved... you won't be spared..." which, again... falls onto itself, for it's flawed human logic... as it means you believe only to be saved. Faith by Fear. Self interest. Human Arrogance.

If you argue Religion, if you want to discuss it, if you want to debate it... there are 2 camps where you must reside... you either can accept the possibility of God not being real, and therefore your faith is flawed. Because you are not 100% Committed to your own god (you doubt him, even if it's 0,01%) and therefore... you can't be saved, cause you never 100% truly believed...

OR... you don't allow it. You just cannot accept that your personal god cannot exist. And therefore, you are not trying to discuss or argue... you're just trying to impose your belief onto others.

So, that's the crude thought at hand... sorry if it's lenghty. Have at it!

So, the No true Scotsman has become No truly Religious? Good to know.

I see this a lot in religious people arguing against atheism in the "Atheism is a religion" argument. It isn't, it is the LACK of a religion.

Basically, they apply their own schema to everyone else....not everyone sees the world the way they do, and their inability to grasp that makes their ability to acknowledge the opposition (a critical part to a persuasive argument, as any high school English teacher will tell you) nonexistant, and therefore they can only argue from ignorance, not that the average atheist basher has any trouble with that.

madwarper:
So, the No true Scotsman has become No truly Religious? Good to know.

Thats especcialy funny in this thread considering what his 'beliefs' are. Im gonna play the devils advocate here (For lack of a better word) and clear up some misconceptions you are having. (Not you Madwarper)

1. Most religious people arent fundamentalists, just because the holy book their faith is build around doesnt allow it, doesnt mean their faith doesnt allow it. Or it doesnt believe they personally believe in that part of the book, or they have interpreted it differently. Therefor your arguement about religious people never beeing able to doubt the existance of god is weak, and frail. Because many a religious person has doubts in god, it is completely normal to have doubts in your god. And I think if you didnt, you would be very dumb, and gods tend to like smart servants. (The few gods I can 'accept' likes smart servants. The gods that punishes their children for being smart is a bad god that doesnt deserve worship)

2. Religious people cant accept being wrong, well. If this was true, then how come many religious people switch between different branches of their religion, their stances on political issues. And even drop their religion entirely 'all the time' Again, far from all religious persons (Monotheistic religious people I guess we are talking about here) are fundamentalist. Flawed arguement is flawed.

3. Alright, this aint really devils advocate but, whaa... You are an Atheist that refuses to call himself atheist because there are dick atheists out there... Well too bad dude, doesnt make you any less atheist. Get used to it, oh and also... You are one of the people that makes us unpopular, what with all the generalizations going on and all that.

End note: As far as I can see you start off insulting about 70% of this forum, afterwards you go ahead and try to convert the 'few' religious people here using passive-hostility and downright insulting them by treating them like ignorant children. Lemme spoil the ending for ya, it aint gonna work. Most Christians/whatever else than atheists here. Are quite set in their beliefs and are used to better arguements than what you just put forth.

EDIT: inb4 (I WAS TALKLING ABOUT 'TRUE' RELIGIOUS PEOPLE) No sorry. I wouldnt call the openminded christians on this forum any less true than the crazy-nuts in the US. If anything they are more true. You dont 'have' to blindly follow a millenia old book based on stories that are up to several thousands of years old, to be 'truly' religious. Disregarding the fact that there are many kind of religions out there, even if we were 'just' talking Christianity, I honest doubt anyone but the few bible-nuts in the bible-belt follows anything written in that book to the point. Heck, even they just cherrypick what they personally believe in aka (Gays are icky, god hates gays) they still go around eating shrimp all day and probably forgets to fast all the time.

if you can't separate organized religion from individual faith, that's not my problem.

Religions are dogmatic practices. They are a set code of rules that one most follow in order to achieve their own definition of salvation. They have structure and hierarchy, rules, limitations and pre-defined concepts.

So, you know what? When you say "Oh i'm a christian but i don't believe in X, Y or Z" well... to my eyes, you are just faking it. Shaping religion to fit your own personal worldview like a crutch instead of committing yourself to it.

You have to adapt your Behavior to the dogma, in order to live the mindset the religion proposes, not adapt the religion to fit whatever the hell you feel like doing... if you can't do that, then all bets are off, cause anything is valid...

It's not a matter of faith, it's a matter of organized religion. One that has leaders and a code of conduct.

So, yeah... segregation of religion in order to adapt faith to each personal belief. Self serving conduct to avoid doing the stuff that bhotters you personally.

And, no, i'm not an Atheist. Cause Atheism subscribe to a belief that there is no God. It's a certainty, an absolute. I don't know. I can't know. I don't believe there is, i don't have evidence to fact that it could exist... therefore i don't guide myself by it. Simple as that.

Again, re-read the OP before spouting nonsense... the logic that is open to conversation here is a quite simple one, and written in a form that is suppose to attract criticism and commentary ... that's by design. But i was expecting at least a little reasoning behind it...

In any conversation or debate, if you step in without accepting the possibility of being wrong... you're not trying to have a honest debate. Cause you can't accept being wrong. Therefore you must be right... AND SO you're not trying to have a conversation. You're just trying to impose your point. Be it to religion or to anything else.

However, about religion, if you enter a debate willingly accepting the possibility that you might be wrong, regardless of how minuscule that is... you can still have the conversation, but your faith is flawed. Cause to any religion you can't "just kinda believe it", you either do or don't.

That has nothing to do with fundamentalist bullshit... It is the simple common fact that anybody claiming that they believe their faith is real except for all the stuff they don't like (and therefore don't practice) is just bullshitting themselves and others. Exactly like someone who claims to be full of faith and yet practices none of it. Religion is not about YOU, it's a collective. Faith is about you. That's personal and individual... that's the difference between a person of faith and a religious person. They are not the same entity.

If you claim you're a person of faith, then your faith is your own and no rule applies. You can just do whatever the hell you think will bring you salvation and peace. Nobody can touch you, it's your own belief. But you can't impose or compare to anybody, cause it's your own.

If you claim you're a religious person, then you either follow your religion and it's dogmas or you don't and are essentially bullshitting the world, as many many many people do.

bells:
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image
So a real long no-true-Scotsman? Congrats but as Nikolaz72 pointed out, religious people are more than capable of doing the things that you assumed they can't.

"then can because of reasons"

...fantastic.

And "No true Scotsman" doesn't apply here, but keep grasping for straws.... that's way easier than actually counterargument the point

Wait, -what-? People can't discuss or debate something unless they have doubts that it's true? Since when?

If you are 100% sure that you're right and can't accept the possibility of ever being wrong, you're not debating. You are imposing your view onto the other person.

If you think you are 100% right, but also open to the possibility of being proven wrong, then you're debating. You are communicating, interacting... but a religious person (not a person of faith) can't go into that, cause a Truly Religious person (in the sense of someone who actually follows the Dogma they pray on) wouldn't be allow o doubt their faith, for doing so, would be not following their dogma.

It would all be much easier if people bothered reading what was said instead of knee jerking about it going "Oh he said "Truly"!! That must mean "No True Scotsman" must apply! I Don't have to think or analyze, i'll just slam it!" ...or on the very least actually paying attention to what was written. It really isn't that complicated....

No, I'm discussing my views. And you're dead wrong about the Truly Religious not allowing doubt. Doubt is an integral part of Faith - it's much like courage in that regard. Faith without doubt is as meaningless as Courage without Fear. Fear defines courage in much the same way that doubt defines Faith.

A Dogmatic practice is exactly that. No doubt. Absolute faith.

"Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers."

A Religious body is one of Dogmatic Practices. Ergo, a Religious person that attends to a Religious Doctrine, Offered by a Religious institution, subscribes to a religious dogma...

It is different (as i said, 3 times now) from a person of faith, who simply believes what their mind defines as set, just and pure for their salvation and absolution

bells:
Cause Atheism subscribe to a belief that there is no God. It's a certainty, an absolute. I don't know. I can't know. I don't believe there is, i don't have evidence to fact that it could exist... therefore i don't guide myself by it.

No you're an agnostic atheist.

Atheism "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods." -Oxford English Dictionary (Source)

The important part is the "or lack of belief". To lack belief is not to believe in non-existence. Further, disbelief is refusing to accept something as true, but does not affirm anything tangential as either true or false.

that could work, i don't have a problem with that. Sounds a bit contrived... but it fits.

bells:
A Dogmatic practice is exactly that. No doubt. Absolute faith.

"Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers."

A Religious body is one of Dogmatic Practices. Ergo, a Religious person that attends to a Religious Doctrine, Offered by a Religious institution, subscribes to a religious dogma...

It is different (as i said, 3 times now) from a person of faith, who simply believes what their mind defines as set, just and pure for their salvation and absolution

.
They can't be wrong about their faith, but they can admit their wrongness in other areas still related to their religion and political views.

TheIronRuler:
They can't be wrong about their faith, but they can admit their wrongness in other areas still related to their religion and political views.

If their faith is in their religion and yet they claim it is possible for their religion to be wrong... yes, they can. That breaks the Dogma.

If their faith exists apart of their religion, they don't subscribe to any one particular Dogma, so they can't. Their faith is their own.

You'll see that in people who keep the same sense of faith but change from one Church to another. Their faith stays, but they don't accept the Dogma, so they search for another one to follow.

In the Baptist/Protestant faith for example, there are 2 Schools of Thought: Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura. Sola Fide states that just the faith in a moral life and the heart of the teachings of christ grants one absolution and salvation. While, Sola Scriptura states that one must follow the letter of the holy word to achieve communion with the holy spirit.

That's an example of the separation of "Religious Man" and "Man of Faith" within the Catholic Faith itself, if anybody was in need of a more clear example... of course, it's over simplified, but the idea is there, and anybody who wants to know more can easily find more to read on.

PrinceOfShapeir:
Wait, -what-? People can't discuss or debate something unless they have doubts that it's true? Since when?

No True Scotsman is almost the same as your title and you have it almost word for word.

"No True Scotsman would support the English"

Paraphrased here

"No truly religious people can discuss or debate religion"

Yeah, there's no denying it.

recruit00:

PrinceOfShapeir:
Wait, -what-? People can't discuss or debate something unless they have doubts that it's true? Since when?

No True Scotsman is almost the same as your title and you have it almost word for word.

"No True Scotsman would support the English"

Paraphrased here

"No truly religious people can discuss or debate religion"

Yeah, there's no denying it.

yes... judging an entire thread for it's Title... Golden Logic you have there... Just Flawless!

Keep at it, the future shines bright ahead. Now, go! Go!! The world must know of this... you are probably needed anywhere but here, go! No time to waste...

bells:

recruit00:

PrinceOfShapeir:
Wait, -what-? People can't discuss or debate something unless they have doubts that it's true? Since when?

No True Scotsman is almost the same as your title and you have it almost word for word.

"No True Scotsman would support the English"

Paraphrased here

"No truly religious people can discuss or debate religion"

Yeah, there's no denying it.

yes... judging an entire thread for it's Title... Golden Logic you have there... Just Flawless!

Keep at it, the future shines bright ahead. Now, go! Go!! The world must know of this... you are probably needed anywhere but here, go! No time to waste...

Wow, nice use of a post there. Just insult me for the entire thing. That makes me want to debate you.

And I read your post and it goes right with No True Scotsman.

recruit00:

Wow, nice use of a post there. Just insult me for the entire thing. That makes me want to debate you.

And I read your post and it goes right with No True Scotsman.

...because of reasons, right?

is there a button on your post that opens up a few more paragraphs showing that reasoning... or... oh i see, just your word then... just as well i guess.

bells:

recruit00:

Wow, nice use of a post there. Just insult me for the entire thing. That makes me want to debate you.

And I read your post and it goes right with No True Scotsman.

...because of reasons, right?

is there a button on your post that opens up a few more paragraphs showing that reasoning... or... oh i see, just your word then... just as well i guess.

You already went straight to Ad Hominem so why should I bother debating you? It's not worth my time debating a person who insults me after anything I say.

Yeah... first you start by not reading anything beyond the title and already forming judgement, then when called on it you cop out with "It's not even worth it"... totally bro. Keep strong.

If you said anything, maybe it would merit some attention.

And, re-read what Ad Hominem is... that wasn't it.

There is a difference between "faith" and "blind faith". There is also a difference between "Religion" and "Dogma" which would seem to be more evident considering that they are entirely separate words but apparently not.

It also seems to go against the very premise of the OP to presume to tell people that they must accept the definitions and opinions you have laid out for them.

bells:
that could work, i don't have a problem with that. Sounds a bit contrived... but it fits.

The use of the word atheist to mean specifically to believe no god exist is a way of attempting to paint atheist as holding a position on faith. They can quite easily, but the only thing being an atheist requires is a lack of belief in a god or gods.

Like Theism, Atheism comes in multiple varieties notably including Buddhism.

Nikolaz72:

madwarper:
So, the No true Scotsman has become No truly Religious? Good to know.

Thats especcialy funny in this thread considering what his 'beliefs' are. Im gonna play the devils advocate here (For lack of a better word) and clear up some misconceptions you are having. (Not you Madwarper)

1. Most religious people arent fundamentalists, just because the holy book their faith is build around doesnt allow it, doesnt mean their faith doesnt allow it. Or it doesnt believe they personally believe in that part of the book, or they have interpreted it differently. Therefor your arguement about religious people never beeing able to doubt the existance of god is weak, and frail. Because many a religious person has doubts in god, it is completely normal to have doubts in your god. And I think if you didnt, you would be very dumb, and gods tend to like smart servants. (The few gods I can 'accept' likes smart servants. The gods that punishes their children for being smart is a bad god that doesnt deserve worship)

2. Religious people cant accept being wrong, well. If this was true, then how come many religious people switch between different branches of their religion, their stances on political issues. And even drop their religion entirely 'all the time' Again, far from all religious persons (Monotheistic religious people I guess we are talking about here) are fundamentalist. Flawed arguement is flawed.

3. Alright, this aint really devils advocate but, whaa... You are an Atheist that refuses to call himself atheist because there are dick atheists out there... Well too bad dude, doesnt make you any less atheist. Get used to it, oh and also... You are one of the people that makes us unpopular, what with all the generalizations going on and all that.

End note: As far as I can see you start off insulting about 70% of this forum, afterwards you go ahead and try to convert the 'few' religious people here using passive-hostility and downright insulting them by treating them like ignorant children. Lemme spoil the ending for ya, it aint gonna work. Most Christians/whatever else than atheists here. Are quite set in their beliefs and are used to better arguements than what you just put forth.

EDIT: inb4 (I WAS TALKLING ABOUT 'TRUE' RELIGIOUS PEOPLE) No sorry. I wouldnt call the openminded christians on this forum any less true than the crazy-nuts in the US. If anything they are more true. You dont 'have' to blindly follow a millenia old book based on stories that are up to several thousands of years old, to be 'truly' religious. Disregarding the fact that there are many kind of religions out there, even if we were 'just' talking Christianity, I honest doubt anyone but the few bible-nuts in the bible-belt follows anything written in that book to the point. Heck, even they just cherrypick what they personally believe in aka (Gays are icky, god hates gays) they still go around eating shrimp all day and probably forgets to fast all the time.

I think his post does cover most of the issues with your post WHICH I READ! Seriously, you're going to have a hard time here in R&P if this is how you treat people.

TheStatutoryApe:
There is a difference between "faith" and "blind faith". There is also a difference between "Religion" and "Dogma" which would seem to be more evident considering that they are entirely separate words but apparently not.

It also seems to go against the very premise of the OP to presume to tell people that they must accept the definitions and opinions you have laid out for them.

By your logic, no word has more than one meaning. No two words can be used to described the same thing, and two words interconnected by meaning and application are still completely different things.

Need i go on?

And nobody said anything about blind faith. Blind faith is believe without knowing why or on what, no terms, no knowledge, just obedience. Religious faith is believe the dogma, cause it's truth (for the believer).

recruit00:

I think his post does cover most of the issues with your post WHICH I READ! Seriously, you're going to have a hard time here in R&P if this is how you treat people.

Answered in the post RIGHT BELOW that one. So much for reading...

And using someone else's word to claim your own thoughts that so far you haven't expressed beyond the bad use of a couple of Philosophic terms just keeps on fortifying what i said that you didn't read jack squat before passing judgment... and still somehow think you're entitle to attention.

Also... are you going to get mad at me cause what i'm saying ain't nice? Tone Argument? Really?

bells:
By your logic, no word has more than one meaning. No two words can be used to described the same thing, and two words interconnected by meaning and application are still completely different things.

Need i go on?

And nobody said anything about blind faith. Blind faith is believe without knowing why or on what, no terms, no knowledge, just obedience. Religious faith is believe the dogma, cause it's truth (for the believer).

Your response makes no sense. You have outright stated that persons who do not fit your definition of "religious" are simply not "religious". No ifs ands or buts, you simply reiterate your opinion as fact and suggest people reread what you have posted apparently due to some self evident truth there in which, for some reason, only you can see. I was pointing out to you that people define and perceive things differently than you do. But apparently I am the one who does not accept others' definitions.

You can be truly religious without being dogmatic. Anyone who says they have faith who will not admit to having ever had a moment of doubt is...well, I'm very disinclined to believe them. Everyone has doubts. Faith is holding to your beliefs in the face of those doubts, not knowing for certain if it is true and believing in spite of that.

bells:

recruit00:

I think his post does cover most of the issues with your post WHICH I READ! Seriously, you're going to have a hard time here in R&P if this is how you treat people.

Answered in the post RIGHT BELOW that one. So much for reading...

And using someone else's word to claim your own thoughts that so far you haven't expressed beyond the bad use of a couple of Philosophic terms just keeps on fortifying what i said that you didn't read jack squat before passing judgment... and still somehow think you're entitle to attention.

Also... are you going to get mad at me cause what i'm saying ain't nice? Tone Argument? Really?

I did a very specific point by point reply, you did a very vague 'overall' reply. Which only consisted of you repeating your original post.

I mean, if I had to put your post up as a biggoted religious person, here's how it would look.

"Im not religious, but I completely believe in gods existance. However I do not want to associate with the brand 'religious' because there are a couple of nuts which makes everyone religious seem crazy, so im gonna say im not religious, even though I am. And try to make those who admit they are religious seem stupid. Atheists cant truly discuss or debate their lack of religion, because when they go into threads about it if they truly believe in their own stance, then they already have their mind to not be swayed by the words of those whom believe in god and it is therefor not a debate."

Do you see whats wrong here? You are being a bigot.

bells:
If you are 100% sure that you're right and can't accept the possibility of ever being wrong, you're not debating. You are imposing your view onto the other person.

You made a huge disclaimer about how your post works in absolutes for the sake of arguement and not because that's your actual stances, and then decide that religious people may not ever work outside their determined spectrum for the sake of arguement.

Classy...

bells:
Because, a truly religious person must live in faith. Doubt in god is not an option. That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions... You must give yourself fully and without regret. Accept god as it's whole and only then you'll be by his side.

I would just love for you to back this up.

BTW, I know for a fact this is false as regards Judaism. Doubt in G-d is not at all a bad thing. Arguing with Him is encouraged (even Abraham and Moses did it).

If you argue Religion, if you want to discuss it, if you want to debate it... there are 2 camps where you must reside... you either can accept the possibility of God not being real, and therefore your faith is flawed.

How does this follow at all. I seriously do not understand your logic here.

Because you are not 100% Committed to your own god (you doubt him, even if it's 0,01%) and therefore... you can't be saved, cause you never 100% truly believed...

Oh this is so stupid it hurts. Please just stop.

bells:

Because, a truly religious person must live in faith. Doubt in god is not an option. That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions...

Wrong. MANY religions say otherwise. From what I see the Jewish religion is all about arguing about what was meant and several people on here said there are religious jewish atheists and that's ok in their religion. Then there are the Baha'i that even go so far as having their most important prophet tell you that ANYTHING in their book could be wrong and if it is shown to be wrong it is wrong, even if it came from one of their key or founding prophets.

Because you are not 100% Committed to your own god (you doubt him, even if it's 0,01%) and therefore... you can't be saved, cause you never 100% truly believed...

Maybe you don't understand the difference between the flavor of Christianity you were raised in and what religious people in general believe and are taught by their holy books. Heck, not even most christian branches believe its all or nothing.

Cakes:

bells:
Because, a truly religious person must live in faith. Doubt in god is not an option. That is stated clearly in the Holy books of all major religions... You must give yourself fully and without regret. Accept god as it's whole and only then you'll be by his side.

I would just love for you to back this up.

BTW, I know for a fact this is false as regards Judaism. Doubt in G-d is not at all a bad thing. Arguing with Him is encouraged (even Abraham and Moses did it).

Is it true that the hebrew name for jewish people is based on the words for fighting with god?

I think I get it now... Judging by the OP's subsequent responses, it's become clear that the OP is truly Religious.

After all, doubt in the OP's mind, that the entirety of their argument could have been based on a fallacy, simply does not exist. The OP is 100% committed to his own made up pigeonholing definition to what the 'truly Religious' are. There isn't even 0.001% of doubt that he could be wrong, because if he did it would mean that he would never have believed his own argument to begin with.

And, as the self fulfilling prophecy had predicted, we just can't discuss or debate anything with him.
We could go on and on about the 'No true Scotsman' fallacy or the fact that in order to have civil discourse, you first must be civil, but there's no point to it.

Captcha: face the music. I doubt the OP ever will, because he is truly Religious.

While I agree with you that devout religious people shouldn't try to *use principles of logical reasoning* to try and convert others to their viewpoint (because they would then be trying to appeal to an authority that isn't Him (i.e. human reason) to influence decisions about Him, as that could definitely be interpreted as blasphemous from certain perspectives, and certainly I don't consider going into an engagement with no intention of *listening* to the other side as an actual dialogue, it doesn't follow from that that a religious person can neither debate nor have an 'open-minded' discussion about their faith with someone of a differing worldview.

Firstly, one doesn't have to put their entire worldview on trial each time they open themselves to discussion; people can have strong convictions that they are unlikely to change their mind about and still hear their interlocutor out sincerely; part of the reason for that is because one's convictions are often particular responses to a certain deeper concern, and that concern may be shared by one's interlocutor - by the end of the discussion, the same conviction might be reformed, not losing any of its strength, but being differently understood. Everything I'm saying about conviction here applies equally to faith - most religious people I've ever met are willing to admit that faith comes in different forms, and requires the accompaniment of understanding.

Secondly, and this comes back to why religious people shouldn't obsess about trying to use standard logic to justify their views, not every debate or discussion between a believer and a non-believer, for example, has to be epistemological in nature (i.e. Does He exist and how can we know?). Obviously any evidence that meets empirical criteria will fail, and other forms of evidence that only a religious person might perceive (being moved by His grace, etc.) will only be valid by different criteria, so it is an empty debate as traditionally waged. In order to progress, we need to look toward new forms of evidence that both sides can perceive. Furthermore, the debate can shift to revolve around why we should or should not believe, or other such modes.

And as a final side-note, let's distinguish between debate and 'open-minded conversation'. Anyone can absolutely participate in a debate, because the only goal in a (at least formal) debate is indeed winning; that means swaying the audience. You don't need logic or even to be willing to have a genuine conversation (as you define it) for that. However, a real conversation (I prefer the term 'dialogue'), is completely different, and can be fruitful, even if no one ends up changing their minds at the end.

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