formal debate challenge for stealthparx

Propose a formal or informal debate or discussion in this forum. Declare a challenge/invitation or respond to one.
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BWE
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formal debate challenge for stealthparx

Post by BWE » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:33 am

[quote=""BWE""]
stealthsparx;257311 wrote:
rog;257289 wrote:
stealthsparx;257287 wrote:rational arguments for GOD
Go on then, please explain them :)
One will be quite accurate in using the achievements of science to support a belief in a supernatural creator.. The study of the natural world unlike ever before in man's history has greatly increase mans capacity to appreciate where it all comes from..

Of course, Science in itself, can not and will not ever establish or give a definitive answer to the question of why were here? What is our purpose for living? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there a right way to live? What is the meaning of it all? Science remarkably fails with all of these questions..Science has inherent limitations in its scope of what it can discover and figure out..It has a justified prejudice towards everything explainable in the natural world..That's why the temptation to equate naturalism with science is very profound..However, where science doesn't fail is in allowing man the ability to have a greater appreciation of the role of science itself...

Dr. Richard Swinburne once said, "I do not deny that science explains, but i postulate GOD to explain why science explains." Swinburne, as many other great thinkers have before him from Galileo, to Kepler, to Newton, acknowledges that the study of the natural world point dramatically to an extant creator who is behind it all..Needless to say, that this coincides with Paul statement in Romans 1:20,"Gods...eternal power and divine nature...have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made"...T

he composition of the natural world is a contingent creation..It is a "creation"..Key word here is "creation"..That says it all, logically speaking..The history of mankind has of yet to record of anything in the natural world that has the ability and power to create itself..Science for its part, only has the power to explain the mechanisms of creation, not where those mechanisms came from..Science will never have that ability because science, in and of itself, is a man-made affair with nature..The created universe itself is a divine act...I leave you with the words of Prominent Nanoscientist from MIT, Dr. James Tour, "Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes ways from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to GOD"...
Stealthparx, I would like to have a formal debate with you on whether this post is defensible. Actually, I will let you choose the topic as you like and I will take either side. Do you have enough confidence in your position to defend it in a formal debate?[/QUOTE]
I posted this on another thread but to be a formal challenge, I guess I should post it here too.

I wrote, "I will let you choose the topic as you like and I will take either side. " which I do mean, but I would hope that you would choose something like, "Is there a rift between science and religion?" or, "Is religious faith compatible with science/the scientific method?" or "Is belief in God rational?" or, if you really think W.L. Craig has a defensible argument, I would be happy to debate you on any of his arguments for faith in God, although that may not be what you were getting at in this post.

I am sincere in my challenge and not blinkered by materialist glasses. Nor by religious glasses for that matter. I will not dismiss your arguments based on materialist prejudices and I will entertain any religious arguments you may wish to make and give them a fair shake. I am not an atheist either so you won't be stuck with a peanut gallery that favors me over you by default.

I have a sincere curiosity regarding how people support and defend arguments and I also have been searching for an argument that I can understand regarding theism. I do not believe that the scientific method is the only way to learn or acquire knowledge, but, in my experience, knowledge gained through other means ought not make predictions which contradict data collected scientifically (or just carefully) without providing an explanation for the contradicting data (like how the method of collection was flawed or something.)

I am extremely open-minded, have had a few deeply spiritual experiences which shape my entire life today in many ways, and, if you present an argument which seems to tie things together for me, or which I cannot see any flaws in, I will accept your argument as better than mine and adjust my future perspective accordingly. I will also let you judge the winner based on your perception of our arguments because I do think you know what you mean and will be able to tell whether I managed to understand your argument better than I would be able to tell if I understood your argument. Of course, you are also welcome to have a poll, but if my argument seems more acceptable to the materialist heavy population of this forum, the results may not reflect your experience so it is your choice. That is not a foregone conclusion though since the more staunch atheists on this forum who also consider themselves materialists or some relative of materialism don't seem to be able to understand me very well and might well not agree with my arguments (judging from past experience). I do take the responsibility for that as my own. Enough people have remarked about what they perceive to be weak or incoherent posts from me that I have to accept that it could be on my end rather than theirs.

I would hope you to be direct and point out what doesn't make sense in my posts, whether through logical errors or simple incoherency. I will do my best to edit my posts before I submit.

In short, I want a debate entirely on your terms because I want to understand your argument (which is very difficult in a thread setting because you have so much time soaked up answering the barrage of posts that you haven't been able to focus your argument enough for me to tell what it is.) I will defend or rebut a topic you choose framed the way that you think gives you the best opportunity to explain it.

Are you willing?

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Post by stealthsparx » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:19 am

Yes I'm willing..I would like to debate to the question "Is belief in God rational"? I guess youll be waiting for me to give you my initial argument, huh?

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Post by David B » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:26 am

Sorting out the form of the debate in terms of number of words, format, amount of time needed for each response etc comes first.

In a formal debate the only people posting in the debate thread should be the participants, and a peanut gallery is set up for others to comment in, in which the debate participants should not respond until the debate has ended, though they can read it.

We have an experienced debate moderator in Redshirt, but I know he is busy IRL. I'll drop him a PM to see if he would be available to moderate, if not we;ll find someone else.

David

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Post by DMB » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:27 am

We have to set up a debate. Can you two please use this thread to work out the modalities. Do you want an agreed length for posts? Can you agree who goes first? Do you want a limit on posts for each of you?

PM the Admins when you're totally ready to go. I'll try to get Redshirt to be the Moderator for this.

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Post by toker » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:45 am

Hoping they keep things short and tight. I'm a natural atheist rooting for sparx. There is no correlation between not feeling faith and being smart.

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BWE
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Post by BWE » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:34 pm

I think maybe 2000 word maximum not counting quotes -3000 counting quotes? Or 1500/2000 maybe?

I think a week maximum between replies and a 5 post (introduction, 2 response/arguments and 1 concluding post) format sounds easiest to get through. Does that work for you stealthparx?

And, regarding toker's post above, this isn't about smarts, it's about whether belief in God is rational. I think I would be comfortable taking either side btw.

ETA: The opening posts should be posted on the same day I think so that the second post isn't a response to the first post.

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Post by David B » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:53 pm

I think there are precedents for both opening posts being forwarded to the moderator, and then posted simultaneously. But that is a matter for the two of you to consider.

You could agree that one goes first, so the other can respond, or whatever.

David

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Post by stealthsparx » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:45 pm

Yes BWE..I agree with everything you said..I'll let you go first, if that's ok with you since I am not sure how much space a few thousands words is going to take up and I don't want to waste any of my time or ideas..

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Post by stealthsparx » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:46 pm

You can start whenever you like..

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Post by BWE » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:10 pm

Ok, that means I am defending the proposition: belief in God is not rational.
and you are defending the position: belief in God is rational.

We both write opening posts, mine stating my reasons for asserting it is not rational, you stating your reasons for asserting that either belief in God is rational or why you believe I cannot make the negative case.

Let's say those posts due on Wednesday this week? You choose who gets first response, rebutting the other's argument and offering his own counter-argument.

2 rounds of responses and a concluding post.

Does that work for you?

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Post by Redshirt » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi BWE/Stealthsparx,

Just to be clear, would you like to have it so that your statements appear simultaneously each round, rather than appear in sequence? (the formal debate forum is fully moderated, so that will make it possible).

Also, I think it's best to have time limits based on a duration (e.g. one week) rather than a set calendar (e.g. posts due Wednesday).

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Post by stealthsparx » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:06 am

Hello Redshirt,

I guess having our responses appear simultaneously would be best..And I like the idea of having our responses due no later than a weeks time..

Hey BWE, you think you can give me an example of how long a few thousand word response looks like? Also, how about we submit our introductory remarks by friday? One more thing, do we make our first post on this thread?

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Post by Barefoot Bree » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:48 am

Off-beat idea on the word count thing - sparx, are you reading my Doctor Who story? The first two chapters are a hair over 1000 and 2000 words, respectively. Even if you're not interested in the story, you can skim those posts (#2 and #3 in the thread) to see how long that is.

Also, if you prepare your posts offline in a word processor - and it is strongly recommended that you do so for a formal debate, as it gives you every opportunity for revision before posting - any word processor worth its virtual salt will have a word count function, if you can find it in the menu.
There's no such thing as "political correctness". The phrase you're looking for is "Common Decency".
"Said" it? Sink me! She almost SANG it!

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Post by stealthsparx » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:49 am

Since I am going to be away this week and the length of the debate will probably be too long, I dont think I will be able to start a debate with BWE this week..Sorry..

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Post by David B » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:55 am

[quote=""stealthsparx""]Since I am going to be away this week and the length of the debate will probably be too long, I dont think I will be able to start a debate with BWE this week..Sorry..[/quote]

It will give you time to prepare your first post.

When do you think you'll be able to post it?

And will you be able to check in occasionally to get the details finalised?

And no, you don't post first post in this thread.

Redshirt has kindly agreed to moderate the thread, as you have probably gathered, so the details need to be agreed and clear to both participants and him.

I will bow out of the thread now.

David

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Post by Valheru » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:12 am

I got a tenner that sez it won't happen at all.

Any takers?

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Post by DMB » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:43 am

Would people other than staff and the two proposed participants please keep out of this thread? There will in due course be a peanut gallery for comments.

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Post by Redshirt » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:04 pm

Looks like we have mostly everything. We just need a proposed start date to launch the debate thread (the deadline for the first statements would be one week after this start date).

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Post by stealthsparx » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:36 pm

Question To BWE: When you say 2000 to 3000 words, do you mean the entire thread or each response?

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Post by BWE » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:11 pm

Oi. I'm sorry stealthparx. Maybe this isn't a good idea. Those are per-post maximums designed to keep us from going on and on. You are welcome to make a post with 25 words if you think you can make your argument in that much space.

If you are pretty sure you have some compelling argument that is too difficult to explain in the regular threads with the brief responses and the many distractions, an idea which a one-on-one debate format might help you to present, then you will probably want a word count allowance of at least 1000 words.

I am beginning to suspect that you might be unprepared to engage in a debate format though. If your confidence in your ability to articulate your ideas is not high, you may want to spend some time fine-tuning your ideas before you enter into a debate over them. If you are sure of your arguments and simply wanted clarification, then I read too much into your question and apologize.

The word count is a maximum for each post.

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Post by BWE » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Ok stealthparx, when do you want to start?

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Post by stealthsparx » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:06 am

Ill let you know..

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Post by BWE » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:07 pm

ok

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Post by BWE » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:04 pm

I'm starting to suspect that this isn't going to go anywhere.

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Post by Wizofoz » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:09 pm

The Lord Spoketh to Stealthsparx and Said unto Him-

"Dude, don't go there, Yo is gonna git yo Ass Creamed!!!"

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