Ah, my memory is that the last time I greeted you with courtesy you said you wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire. But pleasantries are not really part of your charm.
Snide attempts at appearing endlessly forgiving and tolerant are not charming either. Reminds me of something. Can't quite put my finger...
Christians. Yes, you remind me of those Christians pretending to love everyone all day, everyday on the TV, talking out the sides of their mouths at every slimy platitude.
I try to treat every person’s new posts as independent opportunities to shine or to shit on the rug, and entered this thread in exactly that spirit. You brought past correspondence up, and with that history in mind, I stand by my intention to withhold piss should it every come to pass that you are aflame. No piss for you!
The challenge is to meet the believer on their own ground. Know their arguments, and be able to counter them.
Why? Positive assertion requires evidence. What you have provided so far doesn’t amount to much other than special pleading. Given that many discussions with theists will turn to the existence of their deity, why should the null hypothesis not be a common starting point? Existence is binary. Something either exists or does not. Starting from anywhere other than a null position is dishonest.
I know. Once you have won the argument once, you want others to recognize your authority. It is not that I don't recognize the high ground, just that I think asserting it is not an effective form of engagement.
It’s not a matter of wanting authority or wanting authority recognised. It’s about assessing ideas by means which actually can lead to reliable conclusions. I don’t care how many times the argument has to be made, so long as the goal posts aren’t shifted, as you are attempting to do.
Excuse me, but are you suggesting that a detailed knowledge of your opponents point of view is a weakness?
Pfft. Splugh. Straw, straw, everywhere. Not even high quality straw. Smells of piss. Have you been taking out fire insurance?
No. Knowledge is not a weakness, but neither is detailed knowledge of a theology necessary to dispute the validity of the truth claims at the core of that theology, as you seem to be asserting.
Shibboleth has previously suggested that to dispute a claim of a faith you have to do so from within the framework of that faith, and I didn't find it convincing when he served this idea up either.
... and you follow this with what is essentially an argument from personal opinion. You accuse me- incorrectly- of saying I said you were wrong because you were wrong and now just a few paragraphs later you are actually making that argument for yourself. One of the lovable things about you as an adversary is your absolute lack of any sense of irony.
No. I’m saying that in addition to being logically flawed, your idea is not new and that nothing has happened since my first encounter with it to change my mind on its validity.
Do you accept that pointing out that the burden of evidence lies with the party making positive claims is valid in dealing with homeopaths and psychics? How are the delusions of these people distinct from religious beliefs? How would your approach apply in conversation with someone who refuses to vaccinate their children because they think the government is keeping us all ill deliberately and using the needles to inject sub-dermal mind control microchips?
Those are positive claims with testable implications. Some claims of the religious are also positive claims and can be addressed. The existence of God is not one of them. Individual religions can be taken down, but sorry to say you actually have to know something about them.
Why? If someone says “Fellatio is wrong because my deity said so, so don’t suck cock,” they are making a claim about truth which I can dispute simply by asking for evidence that their deity exists, said what they claim it said, and can impose negative consequences for ignoring its edicts. Detailed knowledge of the history of their religion might be very interesting, but it isn’t needed to defend the actions of anyone who wants to suck a willing cock. If they can't get out of the starting blocks regarding the existence of the deity in question, how is knowing more about their religion of any merit beyond cultural interest?
Throughout our many interchanges your desire to find a shortcut to defeating others beliefs has been manifest, as has your ignorance about the details of the beliefs you dismiss. But you can't challenge me to make an argument against religion and then say that the argument included too many things you didn't know. That is pure angry silliness.
What’s wrong with shortcuts? Science is great at finding shortcuts, allowing us to make predictions and to plan ahead without resorting to trial and error in every aspect of our lives. Is science bad because it seeks shortcuts? Shortcuts save time and energy, so I don’t see my attempts to find the shortest route to my goals as the negative you are trying to portray it as.
You are the one asserting that detailed knowledge of a faith is needed to dispute that faith and you have not brought anything to the table to convince me that that is the case. I might be ignorant of a lot of things, but you haven’t shown that is innately bad or that it excludes me from disputing theistic claims placed before me.
You’re back to your bullying ways, I see: 1) Make unevidenced statement; 2) Use negative adjectives and nouns to put down anyone who disagrees with unevidenced statement; 3) Prophet
The measure of an argument is its effectiveness, not its ultimate correctness. I agree with the anti-religious conclusion, but trying to assert the non-existence of God with the null hypothesis is a clever trick, not a real argument. The place where religious belief goes wrong is when it steps off the null point into some sort of theological assertion. Countering those beliefs takes knowledge, not attitude.
Well, if it’s effectiveness you want, my approach has helped prevent theists*, both online and in the pulpit, from perpetuating incorrect and damaging claims against atheists. Wanna see?
What has your approach achieved?
Got any evidence of it in action?
* Very much a work in progress, as there are lots of theists about, but the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, and if everyone did a little, no-one would have to do a lot and other true aphorisms.