Irish Catholic Forum vs Atheist.ie Mar 6, 2010 3:54:40 GMT
Post by on Mar 6, 2010 3:54:40 GMT
The only common ground we need to share is interest in reasonable debate and basic respect for the other's position. I respect your view enough not to attempt to define it in atheistic terms from the get go. Shame you don't offer me the same respect.
That's the surest possible route to the kind of 'sophist' "I'm right and you're wrong debate" that you spell out in the housekeeping thread you'd like to avoid. I think we both consider that kind of debate both boring and unconstructive.
I would never begin a conversation with a theist by first attempting to apply my atheistic definition or classification of their world view as say... a superstitious myth.
REPLY It would be quite wrong to demand that this be accepted as a CONCLUSION before any debate begins at all. If on the other hand, having said that you believe theism is a superstitious myth, you explain WHY you hold this view and allow the theist to respond, this is a perfectly reasonable procedure.
On the contrary, it would be an entirely inappropriate way for me to begin a discussion with you whether I presented evidence or not. It's quite common for two parties with opposing views to present their own cases as opening salvos, but not to insist A accepts B's definition of who and what A is before they start.
I'm happy to debate theistic and atheistic issues with you openly and sensibly. But I will not insist on defining your beliefs before we begin. I feel you should extend me the same courtesy.
I believe there is something to be gained through rational debate between theist and atheist, but not when it’s underpinned by one side first attempting to classify the nature of the other on it’s own terms.
REPLY On the contrary, such an attempt is a necessary prelude to any dialogue at all; what is futile is when one side demands the other accepts its presuppositions as self-evident as a precondition for debate.
It's not necessary at all. I'm not familiar with any debating process that commences in this way. If you are, perhaps you could enlighten us.
But still, I'm not the one with presuppositions. You are. You presuppose that atheism is a belief system that can be categorized as being on a par with your own faith. That's a mistake I know it's a mistake because unlike you, I actually am an atheist. You are presuming to know more about what's going on in my head than I know myself. That is a gross presupposition. I would not show you such disrespect whilst at the same time pretending to desire open 'socratic' debate in the interests of common enlightenment.
I do not refuse to acknowledge that the definition of knowledge is open to debate. On the contrary, I have acknowledged that you and I have very different criteria for defining knowledge and truth. I accept that difference, I accept that you do not have a positivistic outlook, and I'm happy to discuss things with you knowing that.
Shouldn't you at least accept the fact that I do have a more positivistic outlook than you. I can't surrender that any more than you can surrender a fundamental aspect of your world view.
You appear to be insisting I accept your definition of who I am before we talk, whilst reserving the right to self-determination only for yourself.
That's a good way to start a conversation that's basically over before it begins. And not in keeping with your professed ideals for debate on your site.