Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
Find the whole debate at this link
Midwest Atheist and Friend - Considered and Refuted, part 1 of 3
Hereinafter we will consider the, now in stasis, discussion which took place between myself, the Midwest Atheist and a friend of his as we attempted to discuss atheism, Christianity and atheist talking points.
Right off the bat I must deal with an issue, again, with which I cannot believe I have to deal but alas…
I have come to call a certain ad hominem objection the argumentum ad chronologicum. This objection seeks to discredit a counter-argument not by responding to it but by appealing to arbitrary—supposedly common knowledge unwritten—rules about an undetermined, unspecified amount of time between someone making an argument and someone responding to it. Now, this seems to be specific to the modern era of websites and blogs since I notice that atheist do not tell other atheists that they cannot critique the Bible because it is oh, so old etc.
The first time that I encountered the argumentum ad chronologicum was in reference to ExChristiannet.Net (which has been X’d and X’d again). Some were upset because I have commented on a 3 and a 5 year old post. Now, I did not note their age as I was interested in content and subject matter and not chronology.
Well, someone informed me that indeed, the unwritten rule limited responding to only going as far back as 3 to 5 years—what a coincidence!
My next experience was with the Midwest Atheist who committed the argumentum ad chronologicum because I commented on a 5 month old post—thus, the unwritten rule was re-un-written from 3-5 years to 5 months!
I have now experienced my third argumentum ad chronologicum at Liberal Conspiracy (with regards to atheist bus ads) with someone writing this, “you sad religious sod, coming back to a dead thread to spew your nonsense” which, by the way was the entirety of their comment. Well, if it needs be stated: the article and first comment were posted on Nov. 19th with comments following on the 20th, 21st (including my first one), 24th, 25th (my second and the chronologicum), 28th and 30th.
Well, this is obviously malarkey and to reiterate from the ExChristian.Net essay; feel free to comment on any Atheism is Dead post that you please—any at all. I will elucidate some options below as this was discussed a bit.
Oh, by the way; in the following quotations all misspellings, lack of capitalizations and other grammatical errors are quoted as is; as the argumentum ad bad grammarum is as ubiquitous as the argumentum ad chronologicum.
…recently got an e-mail from a fundamentalist Christian with the following question: I am writing a paper and am wondering what some of the common questions/arguments atheists aim toward Christians? I responded to her question, and CC'd a number of friends of mine…I got some compliments on what I wrote, so I thought I would share it with everyone through this site. Enjoy.
As you can tell from my comment, I was less than impressed with that which followed,
Are you serious?You got compliments for merely repeating atheist talking point.And talking point which are based on a lack of knowledge of Christian doctrine and illogical?Odd indeed.
I know that I should not be surprised but I constantly am by the fact that the more certain atheists seek to condemn the Bible and Christianity the less they seem to know about either. Compounding the issue is the ubiquity of atheist talking points which are bounced around well within the box groupthink—this is why he was complimented for fallacy; these atheists agreed and share a common lack of knowledge.
Sadly, we only got to discuss point one (only in part) as apparently, the Midwest Atheist lost interest or lost the argument, or something, and is no longer approving my comments and so the discussion ended by him not allowing my comments to be posted. Here is how it went down as he wrote:
Are you serious? Trolling a 5 month old post?"You got compliments for merely repeating atheist talking point.And talking point which are based on a lack of knowledge of Christian doctrine and illogical?Odd indeed." Your grammatical errors are to numerous to point out. Get a life and learn to write.You don't expect to bait me into some sort of debate or de-bait with that pitiful attempt, do you?
Now, my point was to voice objection and then see if someone would bother responding. If this is baiting then so be it, I just figure why write an entire refutation only to leave it un-responded to; this would truly be trolling would it not; if I expected to refute and have no response back to me? In any regard, I came back with:
Please be aware that appealing to my grammatical errors is what in logic is known as an ad hominem. One could express themselves in a manner which is grammatically incorrect and still present make a valid statement.People such as myself, for whom English is a second language and who are dyslexic, would prefer empathy rather than ridicule but judging by what you consider to be challenging questions you appear to not have much more with which to work.The fact that you were complemented for listing talking point which are based on misconceptions about Christian theology seems to me to denote that you are engaging in well-within-the-box-atheist-group-think. In an era in which so much information is available at the click of a mouse button such lack of knowledge is inexcusable and if you were an honest skeptic you would welcome reasoned discourse and the possibility of being corrected.By the way; if you have established some sort of schedule whereby you no longer defend statements that you made mere months ago you should either 1) delete those posts which you refuse to defend or 2) post a note on your comments sections informing the reader as to how far back they are allowed to go chronologically in order to comment.This way they will not bother responding to arguments which you refuse to defend because they were made an unspecified amount of time ago and they will not have to be ridiculed for not being aware of your arbitrary standards.
So you see, it is not very difficult to deal with the supposed chronological counter-argument rule if you hold to any such thing.
Now, came the “friend” to which I referred in the title of this essay who chimed in and stated:
Hi MarianoFair points regarding ad hominem, age of thread, etc. Would you care to address some of the questions in the original post?There are many variations of christian doctrine so some of the questions MWA put forward will not coincide with your particular version of christianity, similar to the fact that not all of them coincide with the version of christianity from which I escaped.It would be interesting to hear what your answers to some of the questions are, even if only the ones that you consider do actually match up with the version of christian theology to which you subscribe.Is infinite torture for finite crimes moral? (Some versions of christianity say that the torture part is only metaphorical, but even if it means eternal unhappiness, that would amount to the same pain if it is infinite)Is vicarious redemption moral? (If so, then please justify your answer)Can god really be said to love us if he is willing to toss us into hell (a place he created) if we question the divinity of his son, who supposedly lived 2000 years ago and left behind so little evidence that his very existence (let alone divinity) is questionable?Is it moral to hold the crimes of an ancestor over the heads of their descendants? (Jahwe does this many times in the bible, not just "the fall")Thanks Mariano. I look forward to reading your answers to these questions.
Fair and level headed enough. Yet, the Midwest Atheist also responded thusly,
Mario,You have stated that I'm using some sort of "talking point" that tells me that you must be very familiar with the "talking points" As someone who is familiar with the "talking points" it seem to me that you could have come up with a counter point. This is how it works! This is how we have debates! All you said was: "talking point which are based on a lack of knowledge of Christian doctrine and illogical"
You gonna call me a poopyhead next? When you tell some one that they are wrong you should back that up with the reason you think they are wrong. why they are wrong and how they are wrong. What you did was to basically say: "hey! your wrong!"
what was I supposed to say to that?Your October 25, 2009 1:02 PM post was long winded and added nothing that even resembled an argument on the original post, this tells me that you are not interested in discussing the thread topic. You simply want to argue about nonsense.
You get the feeling of that which, sadly, was to come from him: emotive belligerence.
So I wrote,
[to the friend],
Thanks for the question but if you do not mind I had one of my own, before I respond. You state that you escaped from some version of Christianity; to what did you escape? If it was to atheism, please tell me which sect.
[to the Midwest Atheist],I simply do not understand how stating that you listed atheist talking points which are based on a lack of knowledge of Christian doctrine and illogical can in any mature way be correlated to “poopyhead.”I thought it would work just find if I express my view, you question it, ask just how you are being illogical, etc. You seem quite prepared to argue to ridicule and all but ignore the arbitrary and illogical manner in which you are proceeding.
Need it be elucidated? Commenting, however generically initially, on his list prepared the floor for dealing with his particular points, his stated arguments, while references to “poopyhead” would be an ad hominem—he is making a category mistake, perhaps assuming that I could only function on his level of emotionally charged personal besmirchments.
Midwest Atheist wrote back,
I'm sorry but your time is up! You failed to make any argument; you just made accusations as to my understanding with no reason or argument nor even a single counter point! you are simply trying to bait me. You still have said nothing that resembles an argument for why you believe I have a "lack of knowledge of Christian doctrine" or how I am illogical? you might as well be saying that I am a poopyhead! It is childish to expect that you be taken seriously without backing up your words. You called me ignorant and illogical, back it up or shut the hell up and leave me alone!
Well, I went right ahead and left him alone even though he kept writing to me in order to pour derision upon me.
See how I chose to deal with it in the next segment.
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