“whether or not an atheist believes they
are right or wrong about their view of the
world is irrelevant to them being an atheist”
—stated by an Atheist debater
In passive martial arts they say to stand aside and let your opponent beat themselves up; simply redirect the incoming momentum.
Well, I posted an image on Facebook. I got a photo of that “The most interesting man in the world” guy and superimposed upon it this statement, “I don’t always debate Atheists, but when I do; I question their presuppositions and they fall apart.”
Well, this brought about lot of comments from Atheists. One very logically asked, “What premises would they be?” and one followed up with “yeah... go ahead.....” (ellipses in original).
I informed them, “Depends upon the topic at hand.” After all, I was referring to Atheists’ premises and not my own. I could have given an example but knew that, eventually, one of them would come up with something off of which I could springboard.
Well, I got a lot of the typical stuff whereby reasoned discourse is replaced with emotive reactions and school yard level taunting such as, “The mythical god of the Bible” which, it seems, was one Atheists way of pointing out that I too have a premise. Indeed, we all do; but their fall apart, as we shall see.
Apparently, itching for me to offer a premise, while I awaited one from them, one Atheist wrote, “Why don't you show us a fact that proves your idiotic post”?
Then the Atheist upon whom I focused chimed in. I learned long ago that debating too many people at once can be fun and instructive but mathematically daunting. See, if, say, 5 people reply to you and you reply to them then the next day you will have 5 new people replying along with the 5 replying to your reply. So, you reply to 10 only to find that the next day you have to reply to the 10 replies along with 5 new ones and on it goes (on and on and on and on).
I once debated multiple Atheists on the Ex-Christians.net site only to have the admin. Simply deleted the entire comments section. Too bad for them that I was actually copying and pasting all comments day after day so when everything was deleted, I had my own copy of everything which I posted as ExChristian.Net Has Been X’d, part 1 and followed it up with ExChristian.Net Further Discredits Itself.
In any regard, the Atheist upon whom I focused stated, “You do realise having a meme doesn't add validity to claim.” And “Come on” eagerly, “pick the best topic that always makes us fall apart. Free choice. Your best one. Go. We're waiting.”
Apparently unaware that some of us have lives outside of Facebook, he followed up with, “A day later and still waiting. No response should lead to banning on grounds of being a Poe.”
So, I chimed back in with “The comments above seem to imply that I am wrong; is that the case?”
The reply was, “Actually yeah they would imply you are wrong. Don't think anyone here has fallen apart based off of anything you gave said.” Of course, I had said virtually nothing thus far, I just threw chum in the water, watched the sharks go into a frenzy and waited for the right moment. The same reply continued with, “But like we have repeatedly asked. Give us your best premise that makes us fall apart. Please.”
Well, I waited since I wanted one of them to come up with a premise and did not want to put one in their mouths.
Another Atheist got impatient and wrote, “I feel particularly ‘not fallen apart’” and “you need to do more than threaten.”
To this, the focus Atheist attempted to rally the troops with, “So all agreed then” that I was “just another hit and run Poe. ?” And followed up with “agreed..?” because not one replied to him.
Patience my friends, patience; do not be roped into action. This is not about ego, it is about “taking the roof off” in order to allow them to expose themselves. Then, when the roof is off and they can see that the foundation, the premise, is faulty; they will be more likely to think about it which will not happen as much if you just shove it in their face. Let them reach a conclusion and do not toss one at them right away.
I came back with, “Seems to me that the overall point is that whether I am right, wrong, half baked, etc. the Atheists believe that they possess the one true worldview, that they are right and everyone else is wrong.”
To this, the focus Atheist replied, “no the point of the OP was a claim that we all fall apart when you question a premise but you have yet to pick one...Atheism isn't a world view.. so whether or not an atheist believes they are right or wrong about their view of the world is irrelevant to them being an atheist...so.. answer the question based on the original OP... what premises do we fall apart on..?” (all ellipses in original).
Now, having dealt with many, many, many Atheists I must say that one statement in that quote is an absolute gem, “whether or not an atheist believes they are right or wrong about their view of the world is irrelevant to them being an atheist” wow, now that is priceless—and true!!!
Another Atheist replied with, “I agree with [focus Atheist]. Atheism is not a worldview. It is the absence of belief in God,” etc. But wait; granting this definition of Atheism, for now, the statement is that, both, 1) Atheism is not a worldview and/but 2) It is the absence of belief in God. Well, if you are absent a belief in God then that is a worldview.
Another Atheist stated, “im also unwilling to believe in big foot.... is that a world view ?” Well, indeed, it is; it is a view of the world wherein there is no place for bigfoot. Yet, note that the statement was not “I lack a bigfoot belief” or even “there is not bigfoot” but rather, they are “unwilling to believe.” Wonder if this was a Freudian slip which denotes the manner whereby the deal with the issue of God’s existence. It is not that they have considered the evidence and find it lacking or that it results in a conclusion that God does not exist but rather, they are simply unwilling to believe.
If that is the case, it would certainly not be unique to this Atheist. For example, Professor of Philosophy and Law, Thomas Nagel has stated, “I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” Such sentiments are not rare, for more see: Why Atheism is chosen
But we will get into that with my reply to the focus Atheist which went thusly, “I am unsure as to who appointed [focus Atheists] and [“Atheism is not a worldview” guy] arbiters of that which is and is not Atheism? Many academic sources disagree with your definition. Also, for example, the Atheist author of evilbible.com wrote that Atheists who define ‘Atheism’ as merely a ‘lack of belief in god(s)’ are a ‘few morons’ who are ‘so damn stupid’ for defining atheism as such.”
The erudite elucidation from the focus Atheist was, “whoop de doop... you have one definition of atheism that differs from others.. but the fact is theism is a question of belief... not knowledge... i dont give a rats what you call it.. I do not believe in the claims of a god.. this is not a world view.. but please go back to the OP and actually make the point.. what premises do you ask about that actually make all atheists fall apart” (all ellipses in original).
And he came right back with, “and for the record many sources agree.. you see it's like me accusing you of being a street corner homophobe, cos i see theists doing that... but i dont.. cos theists come in a variety of shapes sizes ideas, etc. theism and atheism is just a question of belief..” (all ellipses in original).
Seemed as if he was going to pull a tu quoque and trail off into questioning theism. Yet, he kept on track for the most part. Also, add to the gem above that, both, “atheism is just a question of belief”—amen to that.
Here is my reply, “‘whoop de doop’ all you want but the fact is that I asserted something and you deemed it wrong based on your premise that you had THE definition of Atheism yet, your premise has been found to be erroneous.”
Nothing exactly Earth shaking but yet, the point stands; I got him to make a statement based upon a premise and demonstrated that his premise was faulty. Thus, I met the challenge.
But, of course, that is not good enough as he came back with, “actually you didn't assert anything.. you just left a vague claim hanging... and i said i don't care what your definition of atheism is.. in the same way you probably don't care what my definition of christianity is... I've told you my position.. I don't believe in your god, based on a lack of evidence for your claims, i dont believe in any other gods for the same reason.. I've never said there is no god..”
Care or not, the fact is that his premise was a certain, conveniently narrow, definition of Atheism which was faulty. Now he is making it personal by stating, “I've never said there is no god.” This fails to consider the context which was the definition of Atheism and not his personal views.
My reply was, “Seems that more Atheists have to be more forthcoming about (and/or educate themselves on) weak/negative Atheism vs. strong/positive Atheism.
In fact, Thomas Henry Huxley coined the term ‘agnostic’ because Atheists positively affirmed God’s non-existence while theists positively affirmed God’s existence but he sought a middle path. http://creation.com/atheism#definition”
The focus Atheist came back with, “agnostic atheist here too... but as ive already said.. who cares what you label it... i dont believe your god exists... now where are these premises that you mention where we all fall apart.. lets get this back to your wildly inaccurate OP...give us your best premise where we all fall over... so far you've not brought one...” (I do not know why he writes this was but, FYI, ellipses in original)
Again, I will not let him sidetrack me into a debate about God’s existence since he led me to the fact his premise of that which is Atheism is faulty in the first place. The fact that he denies that his definition is his premise is the problem.
Well, this was common ground and so I noted, “I have played this game time and time again. You ask for an example of a premise, I make an assertion (feel free to look up the definition since you denied it), you reply based on a premise, I prove that your premise is faulty and here comes the game; you deny that this is what happened and ask for another then, no matter what I say, you deny it and ask for another, and another and another until round and round she goes…”
He came back with:
“You ain't brought a premise. You've quibbled over a definition of the word atheist. I don't care what you definition is. I don't believe your claims of a god. Call that what you like. But where's the bit where we fall over cos were so baffled by your premise. Or is all you have, a redefinition ??
Fine. A Christian is someone who betrayed bullies and belittles everyone who doesn't think or believe exactly the same as they do. My definition if xtians based on observations of the west borough baptists who claim to be christians.
Of course I could define it as a great person who uses the bible as a guide for being good but doesn't take it literally cod that would be stupid as it's clearly made up in parts. As I see with my best friend.
Hmmm definitions are tricky. They change. So surely it's better to just ask a person what they believe or not first ?!?”
Actually, definitions can be tricky but the difference is that Christians have established principles and definitions or, firm foundations upon which to derive definitions.
On the other hand, the Atheist has to interpret biochemical neural reactions occurring with the haphazardly evolved gray matter of a bio organism sitting atop a spinning rock in the universe’s backwaters.
Well, what was there left to say? I went with this, “‘You ain't brought a premise’??? Of course, not, you did and it failed. I hate the game but not the player—capiche? In any case, what is the point if I am right, wrong, ignorant, dumb, etc., etc., etc.?”
Another Atheist chimed in with, “…can clarify how we atheists have failed? You presupps are very fond of declaring victory and shutting up. Please explain. Thanks.”
Well, ironically, it was focus Atheist who shut up and was never heard from again. This, by the way, does not mean victory as maybe he just got tired of me. Also, my point was not to be victorious in an “in your face!” sort of way but merely, as aforementioned, to take the roof of.
In the end, and that was the end, I ended up shutting up as my focus Atheist was gone and the evidence was there to be read by all. Going round and round (and round and round) again so as to explain was a premise is and how it was faulty seems like a fruitless endeavor.
This last Atheist referred to me as “You presupps” meaning presuppositionalist or presuppositional apologist. This is because I did not fall for the ol' rabbit trail game but focused upon a, any, presupposition that they cared to raise.
I trust that you will see that this was effective; just be patient.