Proposal: Can Atheism refute Theism? Atheists to attack, Theists to rebut.

Propose a formal or informal debate or discussion in this forum. Declare a challenge/invitation or respond to one.
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DMB
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Post by DMB » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:05 am

You must allow for time zone differences.

I feel very uneasy about the logical fallacy question. I don't think that either of the participants should be the judge of who has or has not committed a logical fallacy. One should be free to allege that the other has committed a specific fallacy, with reasons, but if the other disagrees, that should not IMO thereby have any effect on the conduct of the debate.

If, however, logical fallacies are considered to be such an issue that they in some way interrupt the debate and if, say, PC thinks RS has perpetrated the fallacy of the undistributed middle, I would suggest that he should contact the moderator by PM and the issue should be settled by PMs between the participants and the moderator rather than in the debate itself.

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Val
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Post by Val » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:20 am

My middle gets distributed equally, I don't care who sits in judgement.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:14 pm

[quote=""R. Soul""]Wotever floats yer boat.

So. Agreement?

Debate Topic: Can Atheism refute Theism?
Max rounds: Five
Max words per round: 1000
Opening arguments: R. Soul
To rebut: Politically Correct[/quote]

And a 36 hour window for replies after each post is put up. Should there be a grace period, say a further 12 hours, making it a full two days before the late poster defaults? Keep in mind, too, that Debate is a moderated forum, and I'm not online 24/7, so there will be occasional delays due to the fact that I or another admin will not be available to OK posts, and put them up in the debate thread.

Like DMB, I think that excessive focus on logical fallacies would probably ruin the debate. I suggest that any such fallacies spotted by either participant should simply be named and noted in the succeeding post; then ignore them. If one side or the other makes excessive and quibbling accusations of that sort, it'll be plain to the onlookers, and will probably result in showers of denigration from the Peanut Gallery.

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Politically Correct
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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:33 pm

[quote=""R. Soul""]Bit slow are ya? Cool.[/quote]

I aim to press "send" within 2 hours of reading your replies during this debate. However, with the weekend looming, anything could happen. As you know weekdays exist to help people recover from weekends.


[quote=""DMB""]You must allow for time zone differences. [/quote]
That too.

[quote=""DMB""]I feel very uneasy about the logical fallacy question. I don't think that either of the participants should be the judge of who has or has not committed a logical fallacy. One should be free to allege that the other has committed a specific fallacy, with reasons, but if the other disagrees, that should not IMO thereby have any effect on the conduct of the debate.[/quote]

Please, don't fear. Logic is your friend.

Also you recall l already laid out a way of calling out logical fallacies in Post #14 above:

[quote=""Jobar""] So, when a logical fallacy is called out, the actual contentious statement is quoted, the logical fallacy it points to is named, the logical fallacy is explained, and further, it is explained how it applies to the contentious statement quoted. Then, the judge of the debate decides whether it is indeed a logical fallacy.[/quote]

I might add (as it goes without saying): the judge should also briefly explain why he rejects a logical fallacy call (the only valid reason being that it isn't a logical fallacy), and leave it at that, no further conferring.

I might also add that for one quote, start to finish, there may only be 1 logical fallacy demerit, even if it has multiple fallacies bound up in it. However, where quotes overlap, but are different (e.g. different parts of the same sentence), then each section being objected to can earn its own logical fallacy demerit. Again this latter part (re: overlap) goes without saying.



[quote=""DMB""]If, however, logical fallacies are considered to be such an issue that they in some way interrupt the debate [/quote]

Frankly, hosted debates on all websites l've read have been bland in that the opening posts have been the size of an undergrad dissertation, subsequent posts have been too, without even being broken up into manageable sections.

But the biggest issue? No arbitration. Calling out logical fallacies / sophistry imbues a debate with the quality of correctness which makes it all worthwhile. Because frankly without that type of arbitration it is just graffiti or mere posturing. That's how i see it anyway.

So I'll leave it there for now. I hope next is the debate itself.

P.S. As already agreed, 8 fallacies = a disqualifier. This has already been agreed, and the calling out of logical fallacies is a cinch. It's just logic, binary, objective, simple.

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Val
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Post by Val » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:28 pm

Bla bla. I think you're not really interested in debate, but rather wanking over your logical fallacy wiki reference page.

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Val
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Post by Val » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:09 pm

Anyways, I think an informal debate format is best considering the apparent difficulties in setting this lot up. A bit like applying for a home loan really.

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Politically Correct
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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:18 pm

Excuse me, why do you insult in the vilest manner at every turn?

I am polite. I proposed a debate under specific terms. You accepted.

Now you are saying that inherent in those terms and in my character, l want to evade the debate, as if your trying to dodge the terms and your insults aren't precisely doing just that (evading the debate)?


Why would you want a debate full of illogical statements? What's the point? It's obvious that's what you're gearing up to do (going by almost everything you've said prior to this), which is mere trolling, not debate.


A count of logical fallacies will not prove a person's point directly. It will just prove that the opponent is incapable of debate to begin with. Also, if the fallacy pertains to the opponent's actual argument (rather than their insults), then yes, it will also prove the opponent has no argument either.

What do you fear?

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:47 pm

PC, A lot of people are going to have problems with your views of what constitutes logical fallacies. Our Philosophy Moderator, subsymbolic, actually teaches philosophy. Would you be content to allow him to monitor the logic?

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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:15 pm

Perhaps we can just proceed to the debate. You don't need to be an expert on philosophy to assess logical fallacy canards, they are simple binary diversions of thought, and are all objective, and listed on Wikipedia. Anybody can judge.
Last edited by Politically Correct on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:27 pm

Can I ask a question PC?

Why do you want a debate on this question?



What I mean is, it's a no-brainier. Atheism cannot refute theism, any more than it can refute elfism. End of.*

Specific claims such as omnipotence and omniscience, yes, perhaps, there can be some refuting, but not 'theism'.

So, why do you choose this question, if you don't mind me asking?

Because I can only think of one reason, which is that you cannot lose. Why set up a debate that you cannot lose?


*ETA: nor can theism refute elfism, nor elfism refute atheism, etc.

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Post by Copernicus » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:31 pm

I hope that someone starts off with a reasonable definition of a god. Some of them can be logically refuted--e.g. the omnimax versions of God. However, there is always some logically possible concept of a god, no matter how implausible they are. By couching this as a logical argument, rather than an empirical one, it seems that it would be impossible to prove the nonexistence of gods. That they likely don't exist is another matter. That is very arguable.

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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:31 pm

@ruby sparks

Well my friend, l explained earlier, that l'd like people to see that Atheism and Theism are just points of view, and nothing to hate over.

It might save a lot of wars if people saw that, do you agree?

I think what l'm aiming at is an inclusive secularism, where all faiths and none, come together under the banner of common humanity.

I am beginning to think this site is more about exclusive secularism, where the separation of church and state = the separation of religious folk and Atheists. That's a really hard path (although it's your prerogative, l didn't create this site, i can't dictate to you how to live, nor would l want to - nor am i 100% certain my way is the right way).

I think this is why my words are causing so much conflict, because i'm inclusive secularist, rather than exclusive (these terms, inclusive and exclusive secularism, are my own coinages)

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:33 pm

If you asked people what they understand by "secularism" you might get some interesting answers.

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Politically Correct
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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:36 pm

[quote=""Copernicus""]I hope that someone starts off with a reasonable definition of a god. Some of them can be logically refuted--e.g. the omnimax versions of God. However, there is always some logically possible concept of a god, no matter how implausible they are. By couching this as a logical argument, rather than an empirical one, it seems that it would be impossible to prove the nonexistence of gods. That they likely don't exist is another matter. That is very arguable.[/quote]


Hmm ok.

God = Infinite potential + infinite actual. The rest i think stems from that. Any objections?

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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:38 pm

[quote=""DMB""]If you asked people what they understand by "secularism" you might get some interesting answers.[/quote]

I should have done that right at the very beginning l reckon!

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:40 pm

[quote=""Politically Correct""]Well my friend, l explained earlier, that l'd like people to see that Atheism and Theism are just points of view, and nothing to hate over.

It might save a lot of wars if people saw that, do you agree?

I think what l'm aiming at is an inclusive secularism, where all faiths and none, come together under the banner of common humanity.

I am beginning to think this site is more about exclusive secularism, where the separation of church and state = the separation of religious folk and Atheists. That's a really hard path (although it's your prerogative, l didn't create this site, i can't dictate to you how to live, nor would l want to - nor am i 100% certain my way is the right way).

I think this is why my words are causing so much conflict, because i'm inclusive secularist, rather than exclusive (these terms, inclusive and exclusive secularism, are my own coinages)[/quote]

At the end of the day, you are right. They are both just points of view, or even 'worldviews' if you like. This is just my personal opinion, you understand.

I think, as Copernicus said, that there is plenty of room to discuss the merits and demerits of either, but I don't think it boils down to refutation, except for certain specific claims.

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Politically Correct
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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:40 pm

OK so what now?

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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:41 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
At the end of the day, you are right. They are both just points of view, or even 'worldviews' if you like. This is just my personal opinion, you understand.

I think, as Copernicus said, that there is plenty of room to discuss the merits and demerits of either, but I don't think it boils down to refutation, except for certain specific claims.[/quote]

Totally, but in case there were some that thought one could refute the other (l reckon there are a lot of ppl that believe so), then this was my attempt at bringing them out (into open debate).

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:43 pm

Me personally, I would not take up the task that R Soul is offering to. :)

But he likes a bit of argy Bargy, and a bit of cheekiness, as do I, so I can see that it might be fun.

But he will not behave himself. Lol. I warn you now.

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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:45 pm

[quote=""Politically Correct""]
ruby sparks;623697 wrote: At the end of the day, you are right. They are both just points of view, or even 'worldviews' if you like. This is just my personal opinion, you understand.

I think, as Copernicus said, that there is plenty of room to discuss the merits and demerits of either, but I don't think it boils down to refutation, except for certain specific claims.
Totally, but in case there were some that thought one could refute the other (l reckon there are a lot of ppl that believe so), then this was my attempt at bringing them out (into open debate).[/QUOTE]

Quite honestly, I don't think I've met anyone who does think that, and I've been on more stridently atheist forums than this, for many years. :)

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Politically Correct
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Post by Politically Correct » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:52 pm

Uh okay, shall we call the debate off? I don't mind either way (honestly).

But if that's all, l'll be off to attend to real life (been taking a few days off). Nice forum (apart from a few hiccups lmao).

Btw, when l get outraged in a debate, be assured it's just a friend arguing with a friend over a textbook.

But anyway shall we call it off or proceed?

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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:59 pm

I'm just chucking in my tuppence worth. I wouldn't want to be seen to be saying to anyone that they should not enter any debate if they want to.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:29 pm

@ PC


I'm going to engage in a speculation here. Im not assuming I'm right.

Are you a theist who would like atheists to be less hostile? :)

Or are you an agnostic who would like atheists to be less hostile?

Or are you an atheist who would like both 'sides' to be less hostile to each other?

They're not that heavily loaded, those questions. What I mean is, no particular answer will lead me to look down my nose at your point of view, your worldview.

As I said, I am not making any assumptions. Just curious, I suppose, as to what your own 'designation' or 'self label' is.

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Post by Copernicus » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:52 pm

[quote=""Politically Correct""]
Copernicus;623692 wrote:I hope that someone starts off with a reasonable definition of a god. Some of them can be logically refuted--e.g. the omnimax versions of God. However, there is always some logically possible concept of a god, no matter how implausible they are. By couching this as a logical argument, rather than an empirical one, it seems that it would be impossible to prove the nonexistence of gods. That they likely don't exist is another matter. That is very arguable.

Hmm ok.

God = Infinite potential + infinite actual. The rest i think stems from that. Any objections?[/QUOTE]
I find that definition to be too vague and to broad to be useful. Most of us think of a god as a spiritual being that commands some kind of absolute control over some aspect of reality. It can think and plan in much the same way that humans can, and it commands enough social respect to be worshiped, the point being that prayers and worship can affect its attitude in some way. There are other attributes that gods have, but that is in the general vicinity of a coherent definition.

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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:05 am

[quote=""Politically Correct""]God = Infinite potential + infinite actual. The rest i think stems from that. Any objections?[/quote]


I have a similar response to Copernicus.

I could nearly make that the definition of 'the universe' or even 'a godless universe'.




If I was being harsh, I might say it sounds a bit non-commital.


Or, alternatively, a bit like your debate question.

A definition that can't be wrong.

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