Posts

Praxis Presup Debate ft. Matt Oxley and Brian Knapp

I was recently challenged to a debate with Christian Pressuppositional Reformed Apologist Brian Knapp. The debate took place on November 13 through Skype and was really fun and enlightening.  I thank Brian and Chris Bolt for having me and for providing the audio recording for the debate.

Brian Knapp writes for ChoosingHats.com

If you prefer to download and listen later or on your MP3 Player you can download it Here.

(total run time is about 1 hour and 47 minutes)

 

I’ll have a commentary on the debate shortly, in the mean time please feel free to provide critique of my positions (or Brian’s) in the comments below.

Is Debating Theists Futile?

Many atheist activists take the time to debate and discuss religion with theists while others often assert the futility of such discussions.  I spend a good amount of time in discussion with theists and aside from the fact that I truly enjoy this type of discourse I personally find that the exercise is more often healthy for all parties involved than not.

Consider the following three examples:

Here in the deep south, in a small town where there are almost as many churches as people – many believers have never been exposed to such fundamentally differing opinions as my own rejection of the faith worldview in exchange for a naturalistic and evidence based approach to determining truth. In my discussions with “real life” people here I’ve come to realize that the vast majority of believers are under-prepared for this level of debate and in many cases find themselves admitting that they are ill-prepared and under educated in the tenets of their own faith.  Most of the time I’m the one that has to explain what the Bible says about any certain topic and I think that this fact has had an impact on many local believers in-so-much that they frequently commit themselves to better understanding their faith and even other view points.

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Rules of Engagement

I don’t particularly like to use terms of war when I discuss what I call Positive Atheism – or activist atheism if you will. In this case I find it rather difficult to find a better term to use, but to be crystal clear, this post is in no way a call to arms or a declaration of war. This is a discussion about engagement in the form of intellectual and philosophical discussions and debates. (I don’t want there to be ANY confusion here – or any opportunity for the less scrupulous individual to make claims that might hinder reason or falsely indicate a “war mentality” here.)
In a previous post, from what seems like forever ago, I discussed what I felt was a moral obligation on my part to reduce faith and increase understanding. In this post I intend to talk about the Rules of Engagement that I have developed when engaging in these sorts of discussions. These are my personal rules, some may not find these necessary – but for me it draws a line in the sand as to what conversations are worthy of my time and attention, as I have a tendency toward extremes. If at least one of the following criteria are not met, I won’t bother engaging.

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RagingRev featured on ParaTrinity Radio

Update, The podcast is now available for download here.

This Saturday, February 20th at 11PM EST, I am honored to be the special guest on a new e-radio show called ParaTrinity Radio.

ParaTrinity Radio is a podcast/live broadcast with hosts Mike and LE that focuses on the religious aspects of paranormal. It’s a show that really appeals to the ghosthead/paranormal research crowd as it greatly focuses on information and guests that have experience with haunting, “demonology”, and ghosts. My goal will be to bring a logical, reasonable, and scientifically sound view to the debate regarding god and the paranormal.

I intend to spend a portion of my air time talking about my past, as a young minister and exorcist (something you will rarely hear or see me discuss). I will also be giving my testimony (or extimony) of my transition from fervent Christian to atheist, something I think that can help those that are struggling with the reality of their own faith.

I really really hope that the skeptical crowd would be willing to show up for the live airing which has a chat room where you can interact with the hosts and I, ask questions, and interact with other listeners. Not only do I know that the show hosts are respectful of our point of view, I know that they are genuinely interested in hearing what I have to say and in seeing the listeners interact as well. I would love to see a large crowd show up, in fact I’d like to make this their biggest show yet – this show has only been airing since the beginning of the year and is still gaining it’s audience, I’d also like for that crowd to have intelligent and kind discussions with those in the live chat.

The Show will air live at ASPRN Studio B beginning at 11 PM EST on Saturday, February 20th, 2010! I hope that some of the Reddit atheists and other readers of my blog will show up!

If you would like to hear some of the previous shows they are available at the podcast site: Podomatic

PS: Leave a comment if you intend to be there…thanks.

Debate & Discussion: Heresy

Crazy Eye Crowley

My ole budy Guy Vestal over at HeresyToday.org has decided to start an old fashioned mailing list for Religious discussion. I am going to be helping him moderate it and we want people from every religious background to join up…so please…do so…it should be lot’s of fun!

To join just go HERE and fill out the info. We are looking for anyone from any background…Wiccans, Christians, Zebras, Atheists, Theosophists, Raelians, etc etc etc…

If American’s Knew-The Israeli/Palestine conflict

It should be said that I’m not one of those folks that thinks that Hamas – the military of Palestine,  is some angelic group trying to save the poor citizens of Gaza, but I don’t for one second think that they would, without provocation, fire rockets during a truce.  That just seems inane to me, and it is. So don’t take this post as any sort of Hamas apologetic, rather it should be seen as a defense  for the people, the Palestinian citizens as well as those Israeli’s that recognize that the current approach is a bad deal. What you believe about the Palestine and Israel conflict is, most likely, a series of lies perpetuated by a Zionist leaning US Government.

The history behind this conflict is a long one and if you don’t know you should really take the time to educate yourself on it, not that I am some expert because there are so many details on this thing I don’t think I ever could be but having at least a working knowledge of the Arab/Israeli conflict is an important part of being an earth citizen due to the impact it has had on humanity for such a long time.

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VeritasDomain responds to my Ray Comfort post

Dizzy answers

Dizzy answers

Dizzy, at Veritasdomain.wordpress.com was kind enough to post answers to my last post criticizing Ray Comforts Huntington Beach video.

First of all, thank you dizzy for your response and very well thought out rebuttal, also thanks for making it point by point, certainly makes response easier.

I am gonna do this like we normally do around here,  post what Dizzy did, just copy and paste it from THIS LINK and then respond to it,  my responses will be in Bold whilst Dizzy’s text will be in Italics.

Dizzy: Thanks for your post. Since you were kind enough to make a passing reference to veritasdomain as another Christian blog, I thought I’d answer your critique of the debate point by point.

For 0:10 you mention that it’s sad to to start off a video with fear mongering. However, pointing out that Ray Comfort is trying to “peddle” fear doesn’t prove anything but your opinion. “You’re not crazy if they’re really out to get you.” Likewise, it’s not mongering, if hell exists.

Me: At this point in the video I am not really trying to prove any point at all, it is my opinion, as a former apologist of this very faith that the tactic of fear mongering results in a less than productive faith (through experience mind you) in some situations. You are right though, if hell DOES in fact exist i guess it wouldn’t be fear mongering as much as it would be just trying to save someone…the problem with that is that Mr. Comfort is propagating fear of something he can’t prove does indeed exist-if he or anyone can prove that it does then I welcome you to do so. You make a good point none the less, and I truly don’t question the MOTIVES of Mr. Comfort, but his method of delivery is lacking here—as well as his logic.

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Ray Comfort–an open invite and a rebuttal to a video

OK, Let me just say this, I know that the Ray Comfort post I made last was a tad on the easy side…but, I mean, you can’t blame me for taking on a guy like this….so much pride and assumption rolled into one little man…its just a temptation I can’t possibly refuse….and now, I have even more for this guy. This time I am gonna openly invite Mr. Comfort to this blog to engage me—I have a feeling he has already been here, so this should be pretty easy, but I’m gonna make sure he knows that I am waiting for him by responding to one of his blog posts.

Secondly, I was perusing the inter-web the other day and I found this video linked on another Christian blog…it simply amazes me how Christians are eating this crap up, they really think these are good arguments…all I see is a fast talking salesman with an inch of magnetic hypnosis at the end. Without further ado, here is the video:

im going to go through this with time stops…just follow along:

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Ray Comfort Vs The Evil Atheists

This man might be stupid!

This man might be stupid!

So the other day I was looking through blogs, dropping my Entrecard on different blogs. I tend to go for the religious/Christian blogs as much as I can, to get the whole Christian crowd to come here as much as possible…

So I stumble upon The Powerhouse Ministry Blog and This Entry in particular. Evidently some dude named Ray Comfort (from Way of The Master Ministries) has some irrefutable evidence for the atheist…it starts with 10 Suggestions for the Novice Atheist, and ends with…The Atheist Test…yes, you heard it here first kids…the Atheist test.

This is my attempt at dismantling this poor mans ridiculous arguments. My own text will be Bolded, his will be normal type: Enjoy

Ten Suggestions for the Novice Atheist

  1. Whenever you are presented with credible evidence for God’s existence, call it a “straw man argument,” or “circular reasoning.” If something is quoted from somewhere, label it “quote mining.”

No one has ever presented any credible evidence for god’s existence yet…at least to me…if you can I invite you to do so though! Straw man arguments wouldn’t really fit there, straw men are used to burn down a persons character-its really an audience/judge ploy against the opponent—not an actual real life argument. Circular reasoning will be called what it is…And who in the hell is unhappy about quotes?

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