How to debate an atheist
Posts in total: 15
(1) define the terms:
Define what you mean by the term "God" and ask the atheist whether they find it (A) more probable that God does not exist or (B) whether they are undecided on whether God's existence is probable or improbable. I suggest framing the issue on whether consciousness is fundamental or whether the material world is fundamental.
If the atheist identified as (A), then they need to rationally justify their position using some form of evidence. If the atheist identified as (B) then the atheist is purely impartial on whether God exists or not and needs no evidence because they have no position on the matter. If the evidence leans in favor of God's existence this would rationally compel them to become theists.
(2) agree on a threshold for rationally warranted belief. Some atheists will demand "incontrovertible" evidence of God before believing. A perfectly rational person, however, would accept that a claim is true if there's more information indicating that it's true rather than untrue.
(3) Present your evidence. This is really where the theist should shine. There are cosmological, axiological, teleological, and ontological arguments in support of God's existence. The theists case will consist of arguments on offense and the atheist will be playing defense. Even if the atheist is successful in negating all of these arguments, they still would have no positive case that God does not exist until they present arguments in support of that position.
The theist is loaded with ammo but the atheist has a shield. The outcome of the debate will depend on how familiar you are with the available body of evidence and how rational your interpretation of the evidence is.
The atheist has 2 major secret weapons.
1 the straw man. They will always make God something other than The Ultimate Reality, and debate that.
2 invincible ignorance. They will refuse to accept The Truth, because fundamentally, behind all their pretense, atheism is the nihilistic denial of reality itself or even worse, the refusal to accept any reality that isn't arbitrarily determined by themselves.
But what is the main secret weapon against the atheist? The Spirit of Truth, and if you are going to try to grasp God intellectually and debate the God denier on that level, you will be making the error of the scholastics. If it were not for the haughtiness of the scholastics, who considered themselves wiser than the church fathers before them, modern day secularism may not even be a thing.
The Holy Spirit. That is the key.
Without that, you will simply be made a fool of by the atheist, who will use every kind of sophistry and style of rhetoric to sound convincing, the truth being far from them because they don't really believe in truth!
"Can you say, The Ultimate Reality exists"?
If they say yes, that is an admission that they believe God exists. If they refuse to acknowledge this is God, well, they are debating a straw man. If they say, "the ultimate reality doesn't exist." It undermines everything they say. "It is the truth that there is no such thing as truth!" Is what they are effectively saying. If they refuse to say, "the ultimate reality exists", it means even they understand how stupid that makes them sound, and so they will do everything they can to wiggle around that and change the subject. But this is their undoing, because they have been exposed as arguing from the vantage point of not believing in truth! That means, they don't even believe in what they themselves are saying!
So atheism towards God is not a valid position, and arguing about someone about whether God has such and such quality is a waste of time as long as they are in denial of God altogether!
Explain to the atheist why the god you believe in is the only god among billions of gods that wasn't created by man.
I'm sorry but I must have missed the part where you defined terms in your other threads. What exactly is god to you? (If you have already defined terms I apologize because I really did miss it.)
A prime, eternal consciousness
How could we ever be certain that something was eternal? We do not have eternity to observe and so we could never confirm or deny anything as eternal. I see no way of knowing that any eternal thing does or even could exist. All we can say with certainty is that we have never observed anything eternal. Also I'm not sure what you mean by prime and the word conciousness is not well defined.
Do you have a definition that is useful to the discussion?
You can't argue religion with an atheists. They are present for the creation of all religions and know more than you.
What do mean by probable? Do you mean strength of conviction? Because it's not as if you can survey 100 universes, and estimate the proportion that have a God in order to calculate the probability of God existing in this universe.
What's happened fallonyourkneeze? Got no response, you poor thing.
--> @Fallaneze, @disgusted
Define what you mean by the term "God"
Let's start with this.
A prime, eternal consciousness
Ok, no problem.
A prime, eternal consciousness = Deism.
Please explain to the skeptic why the god you believe in is the only possible god among billions of gods that wasn't created by a human imagination.
I still want to know what 'prime' means!
It probably has something to do with "perfection" or "first" or "not evenly divisible" or cow meat.I still want to know what 'prime' means!
Oh, I see. I thought it might only be to make it seem deep.
You don't have any debates to your name. It would be nice to see an example of your use of these tactics.