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The problem with Religious debates ONLINE

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posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 07:31 AM
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As a Christian I always remember that the gospel, good news, is an offense to the world. It was an offense to me before I became a Christian. It's offensive because the basic assumptions that underlie it are an offense to the worldly mind. Specifically, that we are all sinners and that we are in enmity with God - we're at war with God. That really grates at how we make our choices in life, our decisions. I certainly didn't want to accept this, although I knew I was and still very much am a wretched sinner. Breaking the news to someone that their concept of 'goodness' is wrong or that they themselves are wretched is bound to raise everyone's hackles. Secondarily, it's an offense because it makes an assumption for people about what they actually hope for, i.e. eternal life. This is an affront because most people are spending 100% of their efforts on life in this world, enjoying the 'right now', and not thinking about eternal life. If you say to most people, what happens when you die, or would you like to spend eternity in a perfect place ruled by a perfect being, most are going to be both skeptical and hostile - you're striking a major nerve in people.

I think this is why the Apostle Paul spent little time arguing with people over these ideas. He simply stated the gospel to unbelievers and let God do the rest. To believers, he wrote long letters of explanation that can now be freely digested by unbelievers as well. But I'm not surprised that very little of what Paul says winds up convincing the unsaved of anything. Nope - the gospel stands on its own and pretty much has to no matter how much we Christians would like to help it along with slick argumentation and debate.

So, I think this was a noble experiment, but introducing yourself as a Christian in the initial post was bound to cause offense because people in general know what Christians believe and they dislike the premises. If you hear the gospel and are drawn to it, that's fantastic for you, because according to the new testament you are literally one of those people who is being called. Now, pick up your cross and enjoy a life of persecution. However, if you are a person who hears and are repelled, irritated, made hostile or want to attack, my suggestion is that you identify specifically what it is that irritates you so much and address that.

I hope this was civil. I think it's the truth as I understand it.




posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by sparksgordon
reply to post by Mickierocksman
 


i used to have the exact same beliefs as you matey! if that is true though id have to even go down the road as to say that God created all life not just on out planet! and if science proves evolution to be true i will applaud science and i will also applaud God

That would be all well, and fine, but then begs the question of, who created God? It is not wholly impossible for complex life to evolve on it's own. If God created matter/energy and designed the systems that have propelled matter into it's present arrangement, who or what accomplished that for God? Why is it any more reasonable to believe that God has always been than it is to say that matter has always been? The problem here is that humanity has a mistaken concept of God.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:17 AM
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I believe God is everywhere and he is not self contained in one book.

He can be found in any book...

He can be found in any country....

All you have to do to find god : receive and give love without condition

And remember good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. This is life on Earth.

We came here willingly to learn how to love one another for their difference and evolve spiritualy.

How we doing?



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by sparksgordon
I find it so interesting how you cant open a conversation like this up without people jumping into attack mode. we all need to stop being we are better than you and more like "your belief is valid" you cant use the past of religion to stereotype all christians. if we did that we may as well stereotype all types of people

I know. Having experienced this phenomenon, in several threads, I will make a comment here. Peaceful, intelligent debate is not possible in the company of passionate people. Now it's true some of us are smarter that the average poster, and some are more educated than most. This should spark a great many conversations, but sadly it evolves into petty fights and squabbles among those who think they know, while the ones that do know stand aside and let it happen. I myself have been guilty of stereotyping Christians, but have since learned that is simply not the case. Some Christians actually do ask questions, and look into things concerning their religious faith. Women a lot more than men. I think everyone needs to question their faith once in awhile, else it grows stale.

But debate, even among Christians, always breaks down into a fight. I recently saw a thread where two Christians went at it tooth and nail, completely ignoring the OP. This has happened in my own threads, where I asked a question or two, and then saw the thread disintegrate. I saw the same thing in a Nibiru thread. One member overpowered the thread with his claims in the negative, based not on science, but on his beliefs, I reckon.

It is clear to me what is going to happen. We have Christianity, and we have Islam. Both are a Book centered religion, and belief in the book is their main purpose. Each thinks, and sees the other as Satan, or Infidel. Each has pockets of Extremism, and each has armed militant groups within it's ranks. Each would like to see the coming of a Beast that kills them, and a Giant Battle that will bring about the End of the World. Each has a Human "Savior" that will save them from it all, it seems. (al-Masih meaning "The Messiah" mentioned Eleven times.)
The Awaited Savior of Humanity (al-Mahdi in the Eyes of the Ahlul Bayt)
I believe these two factions will go to war, eventually. Already they kill each other in small, regional conflicts.

So I am left to wonder...after the two Saviors are finished killing off the Beast, and destroying all things evil, will they then turn on each other in a fight for control over Humanity? The two religions are not compatible, so how would this work?



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:28 AM
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First, let me say that I grew up in a Christian home, but was an atheist for about ten years, mostly after reading Ayn Rand and getting into all that Libertarian stuff.

Nowadays, I am a born-again Christian, and maybe the story of how I went to that from an atheist is a bit mysterious even to me. The short version is that God drew me to Him after my father, who had been praying for me for years without result, got his own life in order.

So here I am, not Catholic or catholic, not Orthodox, not Protestant, not Fundamentalist, not Evangelical, not Charismatic, not even a regular Trinitarian, but not a Unitarian either. I read my Bibles, I read history, and I am drawn to the Celtic Christianity of pre-Augustinian Britain.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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OP. As you already knew before starting this thread, Christianity is not tolerated very well on ATS. There are a few reasons for that, not the least of which, as another poster has already mentioned, is ignorance.

Another reason it isn't very well tolerated, is you have several members here who were Christians, and do understand it all too well, But are now atheists or agnostics. I fall into that group, and admittedly, I have some very strong views and opinions regarding Christianity.

I think the third reason it isn't tolerated well, is because many members feel it flies in the face of what ATS is all about. Most Christians base their decisions, observations, and their very life on faith in Jesus, and a book they staunchly believe is the very word of God. This confines Christians to a box that allows them very little objectivity in their world view. Any belief, theory, or "evidence" that remotely conflicts with biblical and/or current Christian doctrine is dismissed, or rearranged to fit Christian dogma. In short, they see Christians view of the world as a narrow band of light, rather than anything remotely similar to the broad spectrum of the rainbow.

And lastly, many here see all religion, not just Christianity, as the root of this worlds problems. From their perspective, the overwhelming majority of the world profess, and/or practice some form of religion, and yet after thousands of years of religious belief and practice, the condition of the human race is not pretty, and isn't getting any better. So if that is what religion does for us as a species... well you get the idea.

This isn't meant to be a definitive explanation, and it certainly isn't meant to be offensive. It is just a smathering of my observations, and I'm sure many could add to it.
edit on 7/31/2012 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by sparksgordon
The problem about doing it online is quite simple. Discrimination.

I've gotta disagree. The biggest problem about religious discussion online is IGNORANCE. (I guess discrimination is a subset of that). I have seen a whole lot of garbage posting from people. They post what they think people of other faiths believe and those supposed 'facts' about what others believe almost always turn out to be wrong. The 'sources' they use for information come from their own belief system which is always biased against the others and ignorant.

No amount of attempting reeducation of them helps. they simply won't listen.
Those people are hell bent on converting everyone to their belief system.
It's myopic .. it's ignorant .. and it's really, really sad.

edit on 7/31/2012 by FlyersFan because: fixed quote



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by sparksgordon
I dont mind answering your questions mate. however if you intend to make this thread an argumentative discriminative insulting thread im afraid you are wrong. if you want to debate like that please go on one of the COUNTLESS other threads on the matter not this one.


Sir - first of all, I am an Agnostic.

Second of all, I am watching this thread with my very eyes and YOU are not answering questions and are now getting defensive.

Why?

Now, are you going to construe my post as a strike because I am going against you?



Was I disrespectful? Was Mickierocksman? No. You are just being contested and it appears you are dodging questions and getting upset.

Edit: I just read the rest of the page. You said you were attacked? Are you just messing with us? I don't understand. What is the point of this thread? Mickierocksman was respectful and you just railroaded him by "not responding to your posts".

This is why us Agnostics and Atheists want to bash our heads into walls sometimes. This thread is proof. Am *I* not worthy of a conversation/debate now because I hurt your feelings???
edit on 7/31/2012 by impaired because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


The simple answer to this is that these two beliefs are not compatible. Various people will attempt the compromise, to triangulate, between disparate beliefs but that simply will not work for true believers of either faith.

So, there you have it, they are left to believe what they believe and leave the other people alone.

Can they do it? Nobody can make you believe something you don't believe.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Originally posted by rick004
I believe Jesus , Mohammad , we're good prophets trying to preach there message . Maybe their initial intentions where good but man in his quest for power corrupted both faiths ! If you were to uncover our western civilization 2000 years from now , it would look like we idolized and prayed to athletes and rock stars !! I think it's a human trait when you have low self esteem to look up to something greater than ourselves. Perhaps we were visited by aliens in the past who had superior technology and helped " kick start " mankind and that's where the sensationalism came in ! Just my belief !

I just so agree! Both Jesus and Muhammad, and Buddha, Krishna, and Mithras were Teachers, not Gods on Earth. Human being, hungry for the return of their Teachers, made them into Gods and worshipped them as such. And you are right, it is a human trait when people have such low self esteem that they need something to look up to that is greater than they are. They have evil thoughts, so they need a Saviour pure of those thoughts. They have failed miserably on taking personal responsibility for their actions, and need to be "saved" from being punished over utter failure in preserving their planet and furthering their own Spiritual development.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by humphreysjim
You say you love it when people ask why they should believe in God, so..."Why should I believe in God?"

Let's take it from there. I am a Weak Atheist, I don't believe in a supreme being, I find Christianity to be extremely far-fetched and the Bible to be full of false accounts, but I do not have absolute proof that any particular religion or God is false.

I have talked with a lot of Christians, and one thing seems to be consistent to all of them, and that is lack of sufficient evidence for their beliefs. I am not in attack mode, I am honestly interested in the justifications for your beliefs. Another thing that seems to be consistent is that they will go to great lengths to rationalize their beliefs, rather than honestly accessing the evidence for whether an account is likely to be true or not, and a great case in point is the Noah's Ark story.
edit on 31-7-2012 by humphreysjim because: (no reason given)


People have a hard time admitting to/being wrong about things. This thread is proof.

I don't think a second line is necessary. I got my point across.

Who bets that the OP will call me (or think of me being) "hateful" and "aggressive" for disagreeing with the OP?



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


This isn't meant to be a definitive explanation, and it certainly isn't meant to be offensive. It is just a smathering of my observations, and I'm sure many could add to it.

As one of those you spoke of who knows only too well, I'm sure I could add some more, but I will refrain from that.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by sparksgordon
What do you believe

- I believe there is a God .. but He's not what I thought. I no longer and sure what He is.
- I believe Jesus is God incarnate.
- I know there are good and bad spirits, and that they are among us.
- I know there is the Communion of Saints .. those who have 'died' before us can hear us and interact with us.
- I believe that prayer and meditation connects us with the divine and the next world.
- I believe that the next world is our true home. Earth is just a classroom or something ...
- I believe that reincarnation happens. I don't know if it's for everyone or just some .. but I think it happens.
- I believe there is an afterlife. You decide where you go by how you chose to live.
- I know that there are ghosts .. unsettled souls with unfinished business.
This is 'purgatory' or whatever you wish to call it.
- I believe there is MUCH more life out there .. aliens and other dimensions .. we are not alone.
- Other than the Gospels - I do NOT believe there is much of God in the bible.
- I do NOT believe there is anything of God in the Quran.
- I do NOT believe in the natural religions .. wicca for example. I like their rule 'do no harm' ... but I don't believe in the rest.
- I like certain aspects of Buddhism and Hinduism. I wish I could be on a karmic diet (I had planned to before I got sick but now I can't). I like 'the middle way' but honestly don't practice it. It isn't my personality so it's taking a lot of effort to try it.
- I haven't decided if I believe in Karma yet. It looks like there is collective Karma .. we don't just 'pay' for our own sins but we bear the burdens that others cause with their sins as well. But again .. I'm undecided about Karma ..


and why?)

Personal experience, prayer and meditation, and common sense.
What I believe changes with time and experience.
If you ask me again in a year, this list will probably be different.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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Maybe not all beliefs are worthy or deserving of respect....

Peoples right to believe in what they want should always be respected, this goes without saying. But those beliefs themselves?

The O.P is a case in point, after creating this thread about how we should all be respectful to each others beliefs, he no doubt said a prayer before bed to his God that has stated that I and a great many other people deserve eternal punishment in a lake of fire after we're dead. He probably loves this 'God' too, more than his family or friends (as is commanded) yet he wants to claim the higher moral ground in-order to conduct a civil discourse.......
edit on 31-7-2012 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by sparksgordon
 



i would like to see if this thread can stay civilized in a religious DISCUSSION not a debate.


You're asking a conspiracy website, where everything is countered and counter-countered, to act like they don't have differeing opinions.

Tell me, what's the difference between discussion and debate? To my knowledge, both are productive, and both are essential to finding the truth. I think that is Christians won the arguments all the time, you wouldn't be complaining right now.

We're trying to help you, that's all. But you don't want to be helped because your Dollar Store religion is all you "need".



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by sparksgordon
 


I am working on a personal philosophy at the moment that is very spiritual, but not religious. It uses science and self-evident truths to promote its agenda. The basic idea of the philosophy part is as follows:

On the core values:
It is considered healthy when you and those around you are close to your max potential
Healthy values are ones that do this, while unhealthy ones are ones that don't
You are welcome to do as you please, but understand the consequences...
As unhealthy values will make your life experience worse.

On Karma:
Hurting other people is not in your best interest, as it burns bridges, and will only result in harm to you later
Helping other people is in your best interest as it will improve the quality of life of those around you, and thus your life, it will also result in people liking you more and helping you, on occasion.

On Knowledge:
It is important to be willing to accept and create new ideas until they are proven false -
It is also important to accept when you are wrong, for brandishing false beliefs is unhealthy
In addition, empirical evidence is a good thing.

On debating:
Make sure to use tact, this means you want to use language that doesn't accidentally offend someone, for this is unhealthy.
Try to support your arguments with sources and empirical evidence.
Be willing to look at someone else's point of view, you might learn something.
Be willing to admit when you are wrong, for brandishing false beliefs is unhealthy.

On spirituality:
I am able to prove free will exists through scientific methods. I am also hoping to do experiments to further knowledge in areas such as the spirit and afterlife, and a universal God. There is a lot to be discussed and discovered in this area of study.
edit on 31-7-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


You know what I believe? I believe that there is no one right way, and that a person is not "punished", per se, for doing the wrong thing. They may face natural consequences, but nothing goes out of its way to see that they're thrown in some hell for all of eternity.

Therefore, all spirituality is free game as long as you learn what you need to in this life. And no, no one really KNOWS exactly what that is.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by Prezbo369
 


You're kind of painting with a broad brush suggesting that people are praying to their God that non-believers are cast into an eternal hell. To the contrary, believers in Christianity are told to love, not condemn, and many of them carry this out publicly as Stephen did when his last words were asking God to not hold their offense against them as they stoned him to death. Christians who don't practice this are resoundingly called hypocrites.

So, not all Christians are praying for others' eternal demise - to the contrary, we forgive and forgive and forgive again - 7x 70. That's the teaching - enough with the preaching - just gotta live it.



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by BSTStar
reply to [url= by Prezbo369[/url]
 


You're kind of painting with a broad brush suggesting that people are praying to their God that non-believers are cast into an eternal hell. To the contrary, believers in Christianity are told to love, not condemn, and many of them carry this out publicly as Stephen did when his last words were asking God to not hold their offense against them as they stoned him to death. Christians who don't practice this are resoundingly called hypocrites.

So, not all Christians are praying for others' eternal demise - to the contrary, we forgive and forgive and forgive again - 7x 70. That's the teaching - enough with the preaching - just gotta live it.



You misunderstand, Christians pray to and profess to love a God that wants to condemn and torture.

Such a belief system deserves no respect IMO, only ridicule, mockery and disgust.


edit on 31-7-2012 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

Originally posted by sparksgordon
The problem about doing it online is quite simple. Discrimination.

I've gotta disagree. The biggest problem about religious discussion online is IGNORANCE. (I guess discrimination is a subset of that). I have seen a whole lot of garbage posting from people. They post what they think people of other faiths believe and those supposed 'facts' about what others believe almost always turn out to be wrong. The 'sources' they use for information come from their own belief system which is always biased against the others and ignorant.

No amount of attempting reeducation of them helps. they simply won't listen.
Those people are hell bent on converting everyone to their belief system.
It's myopic .. it's ignorant .. and it's really, really sad.

edit on 7/31/2012 by FlyersFan because: fixed quote


The biggest problem about religious discussion online--or any online discussion, for that matter--is that it's easy to sit behind a keyboard and not have to look at the person you're "debating" with before you either insult them or are insulted in turn.

Penguins Fan





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