Debating 101

I’ve had many discussions/arguments/debates with Christians and none of them have ever ended with a Christian, saying that I have made good points worthy of considering.  Some of these Christians know what they believe and are very knowledgeable, and some are not.  All of them, though, are very certain that they are right, and I am wrong.  After returning to school and having to take several classes where I had to make an argument and defend it, I learned there are parameters for debating and rules for making a clear argument.  Those classes were very helpful and gave me a better understanding of debating.

I find myself wondering what would have happened if I debated, in one of my speech, poli-sci, or philosophy classes, the way Christians argue for their belief.  Picture it.  I’m presented with a difficult argument, or perhaps even one that refutes my argument, and in response I say, “You know, I can’t explain it, but I feel, in my heart that my argument is true, and when it comes down to it, it’s a matter of faith.  In conclusion, there is nothing you can say to change my mind.”

I’m pretty sure I know what the outcome would be:  F.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thatcatkatie
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 00:48:29

    But they never say that, because that would be admitting there’s no real basis upon which to believe religion over the evidence science has presented. They’d have to admit the only thing they have is faith and that there’s no real logic to their belief. They’d have to admit that they see the evidence before them (whether they understand it or not) and choose to think irrationally because it just suits them better – that their argument is based solely of feeling and an ancient belief with zero proof to back it up.


    • notabarbie
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 00:55:52

      I know it seems ridiculous, but they will admit that “the only thing they have is faith.” It’s surprising, but I have had several Christians say those very things. After we go round and round they will finally say that they just know it to be true, that they feel the presence of god in their lives and I’ve had more than one say, “There is nothing you can say to change my mind.” When push comes to shove, they play the “faith” card, which, of course ends any intelligent debate. …so frustrating.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  2. juliesamazed
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 01:11:52

    There are many questions that Christians can ONLY answer that way, aren’t there? And I do remember, when I was on the Christian side of the argument, being just fine with that. Actually, I felt even smug about it, knowing that there was nothing ‘intelligent’ that mattered to me. Isn’t it amazing to be on THIS side of that argument now, and to realize how brainwashed you really were!!


    • notabarbie
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 14:47:14

      God, I know! I felt smug as well. It’s hard for me to even wrap my head around the idea that I was that person too. That’s why I’m convinced that, on some level, because of my indoctrination, my brain wasn’t working properly. Doesn’t it seem like that?


      • ... Zoe ~
        Oct 29, 2012 @ 22:47:47

        I tend to think mine wasn’t working properly either, except it was because it was doing what it was taught and thus wired to do. Later some new wiring was laid down but when I look back on it even from my perspective today I wonder in a self-depracating sort of way if I wasn’t crazy. 😦

      • notabarbie
        Oct 30, 2012 @ 05:14:40

        Well, we were indoctrinated; that’s for sure. It’s difficult to know whether we were crazy in the sense that we were utterly deluded, or if by being indoctrinated at such an early stage of development, we suffered some type of brain damage. I do know it was something, because I can’t even try and make myself think that way. Although I know that I did, I actually don’t remember what it feels like to think that way…seriously. I’m so glad we were able to re-wire ourselves aren’t you?
        Thanks for the comment Zoe 🙂 xxxooo

  3. The Arbourist
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 01:37:28

    All of them, though, are very certain that they are right, and I am wrong.

    The position they take (godbagging) is indefensible outside some really convoluted arguments that take time to learn and apply properly. Most people do not take the time to think critically or at all, but rather repeat what they have been told it is true, regardless of the truth quality of the statement in question.

    Have you ever tired discussing the merits of the social democratic state with many Americans (Socialism !!!11!!1/!!)? Or the idea that our media is fundamentally a conservative entity (liberal news bias blargh!!@!)? You will encounter the pattern you describe fairly frequently because we are taught not to think, but to follow.


    • notabarbie
      Oct 29, 2012 @ 02:08:10

      So, so true. When I was a Christian, I felt like I was crazy or sinful for thinking and questioning. Even outside of religion, I have found followers to be very uncomfortable with thinkers (Don’t confuse me with the facts). Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting.


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