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Guest freedwoman

Any tips on how to debate others face to face? Other than not getting emotional about it? I tend to get up into peoples faces, and throw in some cuss words with the Bible verses. Sorry I know I should have never done that. But I never got physical about it at least. But I would love to debate like darling Richard Dawkins. Please help. This is a passionate subject to me. 🙂

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Are we talking informal settings? My advice is, don't.

 

Have conversations, not confrontations. Informal debates are not organized, and don't have clear rules. They tend to fall apart very quickly, and often lead to people getting hurt. Also, formal debates exist more for the benefit of the observers than the participants. Informal, in person debates generally benefit no one in my experience.

 

Have conversations. Listen to what people have to say. Disagree with them politely if you think they're wrong, but be prepared to just let things go. People who eagerly engage in debates usually just want to hear themselves talk. That's not a particularly good look for anyone, in my opinion.

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I am a very different personality type from you freedwoman but I would avoid a situation like this because it will almost always yield no positive results while posing a more real risk of hurt feelings on one side or another especially if the topic is faith or religion. Why do you like face to face debates so much and what is it that you are looking for as a result of "winning" such debates? I just wonder if there might not be a better way to get whatever it is that you're looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest freedwoman

Thanks Disillusioned and DanForsman. 

I think it's because I'm fed up with people calling me a coward and calling me stupid. I guess it's to prove them wrong. To test my own courage and knowledge. It's too safe online for me. I wanna take another risk. I'm an adrenaline junkie. When I finish the Quran I want to do face to face debates with Muslims too. Now the latter would take a lot of courage. ✌️🙂

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I've had only one debate/conversation with a religious family member (on abortion) since leaving the church. It did not go very well for me - she regarded it as ample evidence to treat me like "the world". As I was living with her, it was a bad judgement on my part. What was I going to achieve anyway? You cannot argue with brainwashed people, they only get more defensive. 

 

This might provide some food for thought. Ask yourself, what do you want out of the relationship? 

 

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1 hour ago, freedwoman said:

I think it's because I'm fed up with people calling me a coward and calling me stupid. I guess it's to prove them wrong. To test my own courage and knowledge. It's too safe online for me. I wanna take another risk. I'm an adrenaline junkie. When I finish the Quran I want to do face to face debates with Muslims too. Now the latter would take a lot of courage. ✌️

You could join a debate group. I think becoming such a powerful debater would take a substantial investment in time and effort. The person you choose to debate is no small issue either. It is typical for religious people to have no interest whatever in considering another point of view regarding their beliefs. It is an emotional issue not involving logic or reason other than to use those mixed with logic fallacies to defend their position. Fundamental religious types today are likely to see you as evil personified making them even less likely to consider anything you say. Additionally our society (at least here in the US) has become divided and combative, jealously guarding each and every position they take and the positions of the group/groups they identify with. 

   You might want to look at some YouTubes of Islamic apologists looking to convince everyone that their faith is the only true faith. They are really identical to evangelical christian apologists doing YouTubes to gain converts except for the beliefs they are promoting.      

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Dan makes an excellent point. If you peruse the Lion's Den, you'll see that the debates with the Christians who come here really do little more than exercise the debate skills of the participants. No one really concedes much and no minds are changed. And in many of those cases what starts out as a respectful back-and-forth descends into something less than that.

 

What I find most useful instead is to engage the person in conversation by asking them questions about their position, doing it in a respectful way, even if you don't respect them. I tell them that I really want to have a better understanding of where they are coming from. This forces them to think about their position and to verbalize it. And sometimes they realize that they can't verbalize it and they volunteer that the position is not a strong one. Of course, this does not work with Christians. Debating them is futile.

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If you are being called a coward, and stupid, you need to find other people to be around.   Also, if you are an adrenalin junkie, have you tried karate, or other self defense?  Or other sports?  Find something that helps you feel alive and useful, and drain off some of the energy.  Or put the energy to positive use.

 

Also attempting to debate religious people  might leave you even more frustrated.  HA!  Nobody ever wins a debate with them.

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Guest freedwoman
6 hours ago, Weezer said:

If you are being called a coward, and stupid, you need to find other people to be around.   Also, if you are an adrenalin junkie, have you tried karate, or other self defense?  Or other sports?  Find something that helps you feel alive and useful, and drain off some of the energy.  Or put the energy to positive use.

 

Also attempting to debate religious people  might leave you even more frustrated.  HA!  Nobody ever wins a debate with them.

😆 I used to do fighting sports before. I loved fight night. Boxing and kick boxing were my favorite. This one man who hated my guts couldn't knock me out even though he tried to. Plus he lost horribly to another man he fought before me. I've seen that video on YouTube. It's hilarious. Pure comedy. Plus I TKO the other woman. She had more boxing experience than me too. I was just to strong for her. I wish I could do that again. Now that's the adrenalin rush I love and miss the most. 👊💖☺️

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Here are ten additional things you can do that are almost guaranteed to give you that adrenaline rush and sense of personal accomplishment that are at least a significant part of what you’re wanting. Some could be done by joining a group providing the additional benefit of spending time with people who share your sense of adventure.

https://en.france-montagnes.com/magazine/mountain-activities/10-adrenaline-rush-activities

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Guest freedwoman

Thanks DanForsman. I used to want to skydive so badly when I was younger. Bungee jumping sounds too scary. I don't wanna break my neck and become paralyzed. I wanna get back into fighting so badly though. 🙂

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We cannot, and should not, convert others.

I know that's not exactly what the OP was about but I thought I'd reiterate that.

 

There is little value in debating or trying to "one-up" those who confront us. Just leave it alone and avoid confrontational people. When pastor ass-hat or one of the critty bitties try to engage me I simply remind then that the burden of proof is on their side and, so far, they, the Bible,  and xtians in general have done a poor job of that.

 

I have found that being kind and loving to everyone I encounter (yes, it's challenging with some of those mentioned above sometimes) is the best I, we, can do in an informal setting to show that non-believers are not some kind of Parana that hey have been led to believe we are.  It's bee a long time since I have been spoken down to for my lack of believing in a myth. At this point, I'm guessing, most of them realize that my lack of belief in things that cannot be proven is really all that separates us.

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15 minutes ago, MOHO said:

At this point, I'm guessing, most of them realize that my lack of belief in things that cannot be proven is really all that separates us.

  

This reminds me of a discussion I once overheard in a professional context. One of them finally said, "We may disagree but we can still remain friends." 
 

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Guest freedwoman

You're all right. I won't seek debates out like I used to. Besides some of the Christians are probably preaching out of love. Maybe they were always loving? Christianity gave them purpose to take part in helping save other peoples souls? Not all Christians are abusive. Besides this would be cowardly of me anyway if you think about it. Christians are to act out of love. They aren't even allowed to fight back against a physical attacker. 

 

I'll just get back into kick boxing for my adrenaline rush.

 

Plus I'll probably never finish the Quran so debating Muslims may never happen either. 

 

I exit this thread. I've made up my mind.

 

Thanks for all of your helpful eye opening responses everyone. 🙂

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10 minutes ago, MOHO said:

We cannot, and should not, convert others.

 

 

I agree. People can believe whatever they want. My way is not the one true way. But if someone is trying to force their Christianity on me, it would be easy to destroy them (thanks to everyone here, over the years. ) It really depends on who is witnessing to me.

 

If it's a (possibly tipping) customer then I'll love me some Jesus for 15 minutes then revert back to paganism after we're done. If it's a relative, I may do some street epistemology...just ask questions to make them think. If it's the Watchtower Society, just slam the door. 

 

Living  in the sin state , I dont see much proselytizing. 

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15 hours ago, freedwoman said:

I think it's because I'm fed up with people calling me a coward and calling me stupid.

Why would you do anything based on what somebody else says about you?

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Guest freedwoman
53 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Why would you do anything based on what somebody else says about you?

I'm an insecure person who wants respect. I wanna prove my critics wrong. But you're right. I should not think or feel that way. 

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1 hour ago, freedwoman said:

I'm an insecure person who wants respect. I wanna prove my critics wrong. But you're right. I should not think or feel that way. 

Proving someone wrong doesn't result in respect; it usually just drives them deeper into their delusion. Arguing is a frustrating waste of time but maybe you could learn formal debate tactics a la Dawkins and present your ideas to a more intelligent crowd. Maybe the discipline and experience in debate could be a safety valve.

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2 hours ago, freedwoman said:

I'm an insecure person who wants respect. I wanna prove my critics wrong. But you're right. I should not think or feel that way. 

So you're going to care about people's opinions of you? Why? Why would you give your power away like that? 

My first therapist asked me why it mattered, in particular with random people I didn't even know well, what they thought of me. Some people will like you, others won't - that's how life works. Why let that determine your internal sense of self worth? I think you need to work on loving and appreciating your own qualities. 

 

Edit: it all comes back to healing yourself and what you went through. Including self worth. 

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Clearly there’s a consensus here that trying to argue religious believers away from their faith isn’t a good idea:  it will very likely annoy them and is very likely a waste of time.  And you don’t want to reinforce the stereotype of the Angry Atheist.  
 

Having said that, I do think there are situations where we can be effective, and the idea of Street Epistemology has been mentioned here.  It’s a low-pressure way of  encouraging people to think about their beliefs and why they hold them.  It takes time and practice and patience, as well as respect for the person you’re engaging with.  Anthony Magnabosco is the best-known practitioner of SE.  You can look up his YouTube channel or go to streetepistemology.com.  

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3 hours ago, freedwoman said:

I'm an insecure person who wants respect. I wanna prove my critics wrong. But you're right. I should not think or feel that way. 

 

If I may be so bold, I think that this acknowledgement on your part indicates that you're not ready to engage in in-person debates. A good debate is one in which each participant argues for their point of view, and doesn't particularly care what the opposing party thinks of them for holding that point of view. The minute that you become concerned about how you will be perceived for holding your views is the minute that you lose the ability to argue powerfully for them. 

 

This is not meant to be a criticism. Most of us have been there. I know I certainly have. Just focus on learning more and more. Challenge yourself and your convictions by entertaining the points of view of others. This site is a great place to do that. I think you'll find that in time you will become much more secure in yourself, and in your beliefs, and you won't care so much about what your critics think. Then you'll be ready for in person debates. And you may find that you don't want them anymore. But that's up to you. 

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Plenty of good advice here. I will add my 3.7586 cents worth.

 

I think a lot of whether you should or shouldn't engage in face to face debates depends on your personality.

 

For example I can hold my own in a face to face debate but I hate it. My central nervous system (CNS) fires up, blood rushes to my head, its hard to think clearly, I'm not fast off my feet and I get a huge adrenaline rush because my brain thinks I'm under attack! Horrible. So I avoid face to face debates unless it's a subject I feel passionate about or I really need to defend a position.

 

If you are that sort of person, you are not a coward for avoiding such situations, it's just your particular biochemical make up is not conducive towards the combative type of settings that face to face debates commonly are.

 

However I will readily take anyone on in written debate. I'm good at it, I have time to think, my CNS doesn't fire up, and I have time to clearly think about what the other is saying. If a person refuses to engage in written form then that's too bad. Often it can show that they wanted to gish gallop and use rapid fire tactics to throw me off, or simply shout over me rather than actually having a "debate".

 

I could debate with my fundie family all day. What would it achieve? Nothing except hurt feelings. They won't change their position, and I highly doubt they will present anything I have not already considered (On the God subject). So consider what do you want to achieve as well as is face to face debate a good style for you.

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32 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

I think a lot of whether you should or shouldn't engage in face to face debates depends on your personality.

 

My personality is suited for it. I've argued both sides in my time. I can engage the craziest believer because at this point I have no vested interest or emotional baggage. However, it's such a waste of time I don't bother anymore.

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1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

I will add my 3.7586 cents worth.

Damn that inflation.

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1 minute ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Damn that inflation.


He’s talking NZ$,  you know, Monopoly money...😂😂😂

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