Sharing my first real debate

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Tin-Man's picture
Sharing my first real debate

(My apologies for the long read…)

Hear, ye! Hear, ye! Gather ‘round, my friends, for an announcement pertaining to a personal accomplishment over forty-five years in the making! I am honored to share the news with you all that I have finally had my first “official” face-to-face real-world debate with a theist in a public location! And, much to my surprise, I discovered it was actually a bit of fun… *grin*… Allow me to expand a bit on the event…

This past weekend, the wife and I attended a local festival that is held annually in a small town just a few miles down the road from us. With a wide variety of food vendors, arts-n-craft tents, and a live music stage, the event is a nice way to spend a day enjoying good food, listening to local musical talents, and scoring a couple of pieces of unique craft items. So, after purchasing a large basket of delicious strawberries, we started our journey along the outer perimeter of the arts/crafts tents. And it was about halfway down the first row that I spotted one tent that stood out from the rest, because it had absolutely nothing in it displayed for sale. The only “advertising” visible was a large banner across the front reading, “Three things it is impossible for God to do.” The banner was (obviously) the first thing that caught my attention. It was after reading the banner that I then noticed the table below it, on top of which was some sort of “reveal board” display. The display had the word “Question” across the top, with the numbers “1”, “2”, and “3” below it, and you could tell that the word and the numbers could be turned individually as to reveal whatever was written on the back of them. (Make sense?) Anyway, naturally, my curiosity was piqued, causing me to stop dead in my tracks to further investigate.

Okay, so, I am standing there with a quizzical look on my face thinking to myself, “Hmmm… Wonder which way they are going with this?” Keep in mind, there were no crosses, or bibles, or any other types of indicators visible. There were just three or four folks sitting in chairs toward the back of the tent, and one guy standing up front beside the table. Obviously, the guy noticed me standing there staring, and he approached me and said, “Hi there. Would you be interested in hearing about the three things God cannot do?” My reply to him was, “Well, to be honest, I was standing here trying to figure out which direction you are going with this.” Apparently missing what I meant by that remark, the guy said, “Well, I would be happy to share this with you if you have a minute or two.” It was then that I looked over and saw that my wife had continued walking along, unaware that I had stopped. As I looked toward her, she stopped and turned to look back toward me, wondering why I had stopped. She walked back to me with a puzzled look on her face. About the time she got beside me, the guy had started his spiel. Basically, this is how it went…

“Let me show you three things it is impossible for God to do.” he said as he reached over to the “reveal board” and rotated the number “1” around to reveal the statement, “God cannot lie,” along with a bible verse. Then, reaching over to the number “2”, he rotated it around to reveal the statement, “God never changes,” with another bible verse. (Uh, suffice it to say, by this time I am having difficulty holding back spontaneous laughter. And the wife and I glance over at each other with a look of, “Is this guy serious?”) The guy continues by turning around the number “3”, revealing the statement, “God cannot allow anybody into heaven who does not believe in him and is not baptized in the name of Jesus.” (Yes, another bible verse included.) It was then the guy look back at us and stated, “Okay, with those three things being brought to your attention, here is my question to you.” The guy reaches over and flips the “Question” board to reveal the question, “If you were to die today, how certain are you that you will not go to hell?” (At that point, I about lost it… LOL… Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to NOT laugh out loud hysterically.) Somehow, though, I maintained composure, and then looked over at my wife and said, “Uh… Well… You wanna do this?” She looked back at me, and I saw a hint of a smile touch the corner of her lips as if to say, “Hell yeah! Lock and load! Game on!” So I looked back at the guy while thinking to myself, “Sorry, dude, but you asked for this.” But I told him, “Well, my wife is pagan, and I am an atheist. Soooo….” He looked startled for a brief moment, but then he recovered and said, “Oh, okay. Uh, in that case, I would love to discuss why you do not believe.” Poor guy… *hanging head in dismay*… He never had a chance. Total carnage ensued…

Without going into too much detail, there are a couple of things you should know about my wife. One, she was raised in a Christian home and attended a Christian school from kindergarten through high school graduation. The study of the bible was an actual class they had to take and pass during every year of school. (And she was an “A” student.) Two, she is a research fiend. Anything that gets her attention, she will research the hell out of it, and she has studied/researched a wide variety of history and other religions over the years. Oh, and when she is challenged on anything, she can become absolutely vicious. (A wonderful sight to behold, I must say… *happy sigh*… *wiping a tear of joyful pride from eye*…) Anyway, combine that with my laid-back “interviewing” skills developed from twenty years on patrol, along with everything I have learned from the AR over the past several months, and the poor guy was just way too outmatched. At one point, I even started feeling a little bit sorry for him… *chuckle*… To give him at least some credit, though, he did manage to stick to his faith. (Which, by the way, was ultimately the ONLY “defense” he eventually had to resort to using. Surprise-surprise…)

All in all, it was a ground-breaking experience and significant hurdle for me. At the same time, I learned a couple of things about myself in the process. For one, the encounter was not nearly as “uncomfortable” as I had anticipated it would be. Matter of fact, I found myself to be incredibly relaxed and even enjoying myself to an extent. Most importantly, however, I now know for absolute certainty that any discomforts I may have ever had in regards to religion are totally and without a doubt GONE. That is a feeling I wish everybody could experience. Thanks to all of you on here who have been so fantastic in helping me get to this point in my life. I would give you all a big hug if I could… *grin*…

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David Killens's picture
And I stand up and offer

And I stand up and offer applause to you Tin-Man, and your wonderful wife. I am quite sure it was a glorious evisceration.

From my interpretation of your tale, they set up the fight, but somehow did not realize they brought water balloons to a knife fight.

Cognostic's picture
Congrats!!! There is a

Congrats!!! There is a sense of power and control standing against the all powerful god of the universe and dropping the bastard to his knees. *Insert Evil Maniacal Laughter Here.*

arakish's picture
Damn! Dude. Wished I could

Damn! Dude. Wished I could have been there. It would have been fun just sitting back and watching.

My little Tin-Man has grown up. ***wiping tear of joy***

rmfr

Tin-Man's picture
@David, Cog, and Arakish

@David, Cog, and Arakish

Thanks, guys. It really was rather empowering, I have to admit. A little on the humorous side, too... *chuckle*... I started by telling the guy a little background about how I finally "escaped" religion and how it never made sense to me, despite my Christian upbringing. He was actually a pretty nice dude. He listened and then asked a couple of questions. A somewhat pleasant conversation so far.

Meanwhile, I glance over, and my little warrior gal is standing there quietly studying the guy. And I can tell from her demeanor she is looking for targets and mentally donning body armor and drawing her sword. "Uh-oh," I think to myself. So my conversation with the guy continued a bit more, during which time I asked him, "Do you believe in Allah?" The dude stammered just a bit and started dodging by giving some lame excuse about how "Allah" is just another word for god and how Islam "stole" much of its teachings from the bible. Then I commented on how the bible had stolen pretty much ALL of its teachings from many other religions that pre-dated Christianity by thousands of years. When the genius attempted to counter by claiming the bible was written during the same time period as those other religions, THAT'S when it happened. She launched... *chuckle*...

Lucky for me, I saw it coming and was able to take a step back to avoid the splatter. As she started bombarding him with fact after fact after historical fact, I was thinking to myself, "Oh, you poor bastard. Wonder who is going to clean up the mess when she is done?" When he made the mistake of suggesting she should study the bible better, I physically cringed, then looked around while thinking, "Is there a priest nearby to perform Last Rites?" Uh, yeah, suffice it to say, it was brutal... lol... At one point I even considered jumping in to save what was left of the poor guy. But it was just too fascinating to watch. I'm just glad I got a couple of shots in before she went Ninja on his ass... LOL

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Hahhahaha...I can just see

Hahhahaha...I can just see your much much better half, eviscerating the poor bloke, reaching down and tearing his still beating heart from his breast, then, taking a bite , looking over at you and saying "oops!" while dripping blood and gobbets of flesh ........

Hahahah...love you two....

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

LMAO.... Yep! You nailed it! Can't wait to tell her what you said!... LMAO...

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

Sent the wife a screenshot of your post. Her response... "Awwwww.... That made me smile." Yeah, I knew she would like it... lol...

arakish's picture
Tin-Man

Tin-Man

Thanks, guys. It really was rather empowering, I have to admit. A little on the humorous side, too... *chuckle*... I started by telling the guy a little background about how I finally "escaped" religion and how it never made sense to me, despite my Christian upbringing. He was actually a pretty nice dude. He listened and then asked a couple of questions. A somewhat pleasant conversation so far.

Meanwhile, I glance over, and my little warrior gal is standing there quietly studying the guy. And I can tell from her demeanor she is looking for targets and mentally donning body armor and drawing her sword. "Uh-oh," I think to myself. So my conversation with the guy continued a bit more, during which time I asked him, "Do you believe in Allah?" The dude stammered just a bit and started dodging by giving some lame excuse about how "Allah" is just another word for god and how Islam "stole" much of its teachings from the bible. Then I commented on how the bible had stolen pretty much ALL of its teachings from many other religions that pre-dated Christianity by thousands of years. When the genius attempted to counter by claiming the bible was written during the same time period as those other religions, THAT'S when it happened. She launched... *chuckle*...

Lucky for me, I saw it coming and was able to take a step back to avoid the splatter. As she started bombarding him with fact after fact after historical fact, I was thinking to myself, "Oh, you poor bastard. Wonder who is going to clean up the mess when she is done?" When he made the mistake of suggesting she should study the bible better, I physically cringed, then looked around while thinking, "Is there a priest nearby to perform Last Rites?" Uh, yeah, suffice it to say, it was brutal... lol... At one point I even considered jumping in to save what was left of the poor guy. But it was just too fascinating to watch. I'm just glad I got a couple of shots in before she went Ninja on his ass... LOL

DAMNIT! Why could I not have invented Transporters and teleported there to witness that.

DAMN! The evisceration would have been lovely to have filmed for prosperity.

And BTW: Bwhaaaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaa! FOOCROFLMFAOUC

rmfr

Rohan M.'s picture
@Tin-Man Haha it always

@Tin-Man Haha it always cracks me up whenever they use the old "you know nothing about the Bible because I said so"- as if reading that storybook wasn't already the main reason why I deconverted.

Tin-Man's picture
@Rohan Re: "Haha it always

@Rohan Re: "Haha it always cracks me up whenever they use the old "you know nothing about the Bible because I said so"

Yeah, like I said, my wife grew up going to a Christian school where they literally had to study the bible and write essays and pass tests each year to be able to graduate. And she was an "A" student. So whenever somebody is stupid enough to tell her, "You don't know the bible," I tend to take a step or two back, because I know things are about to get messy... LOL... She does not take that kind of shit from ANYBODY, and they end up learning REAL QUICK just how much THEY do NOT know about their own bible... *chuckle*...

arakish's picture
Tin-Man: "She does not take

Tin-Man: "She does not take that kind of shit from ANYBODY"

NOW THAT IS MY KIND OF WOMAN! Just like me wife.

Damn I need to learn cloning technology...

rmfr

Rohan M.'s picture
@Tin ManShe does not take

@Tin Man

She does not take that kind of shit from ANYBODY, and they end up learning REAL QUICK just how much THEY do NOT know about their own bible... *chuckle*...

Yep, exactly. The irony of it all is delicious. Had those people actually read the Buybull from cover to cover, they would have probably become disillusioned themselves.

LogicFTW's picture
@Tin-Man

@Tin-Man

At one point, I even started feeling a little bit sorry for him…

I actually these days feel mostly pity for the religious absolutist/apologist, (except for the very few at the top that profit/gain enormously.) What a confusing ugly lie to be stuck in, tricked from birth by likely most all of their peers, I see many religious folks even the loudmouth ones as victims of a 2000 year old con that runs much of their life.

I see it as we have only one short life, and to be tricked into thinking there's some sort of afterlife and to live in constant fear of this "god's" judgement as a horrible waste in this one life we have. Worse still people think if they follow these crazy confusing rules that somehow their own lives will be better, if they just pray enough that less harm will come to them, instead of empowering themselves getting up and doing what they can about it instead of waiting for sky daddy to fix all their problems for them, even though that will never happen.

I feel sorry for them. Well except for maybe for the rare loudmouth that truly convinced he is much better than me, I mostly ignore these people, and avoid them, but if I can't, then there is no mercy from me, and I will hold them accountable to their religion and all the ill their religion has done I will tell them there is no god, they been conned and they are spreading lies and completely unevidenced claims and their entire religion is a mess of lies, contradictions, logical fallacies and most of all nonsense.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Tin-Man's picture
@Logic Re: "I actually these

@Logic Re: "I actually these days feel mostly pity for the religious absolutist/apologist, (except for the very few at the top that profit/gain enormously.)"

Exactly. Same here. The guy we encountered was just a regular Southern Boy, likely raised in a small-town church much the same as I was. (Oh, he looked to be in his mid-thirties, by the way.) Difference, obviously, is that it stuck with him in a way it did not with me. And he was out there that day simply doing what he believed to be "the right thing". Guess I should also mention there were no requests for donations made, nor any indications that donations were being sought. Therefore, with this guy, I really did start feeling a bit sorry for him once we started getting further into the conversation. Because he was completely sincere in what he was saying, and he fully believed in the myth he was taught.

One thing that really amazed me, though, is that he was using the exact same excuses and "defense" as the theists that visit us on here so often. Even more astounding (and a little sad) to me was when he was actually AGREEING with my wife about several key points she made, but then he would fall back on the ol', "Well, I see what you mean. I admit I have often wondered myself. But,"... (Waaaait for it.)....."that is why we've got to have faith." The wife rattled him so bad a couple of times I almost wanted to walk over and hug the dude... *chuckle*... Like I told P.J., I wish we would have had more time to talk in a more comfortable setting.

As it was, the missus finally took mercy on him and let him off the hook. She even complimented him on hanging in and keeping his cool as well as he did. Then we all shook hands and bid each other a good day. Would be nice to think we managed to say something that got him thinking. Having grown up around folks like him, though, I know the reality is that our conversation more than likely just caused him to dig in his heels a little deeper and hold on tighter. Alas... *sad sigh*...

LogicFTW's picture
@Tin-Man

@Tin-Man

I know the reality is that our conversation more than likely just caused him to dig in his heels a little deeper and hold on tighter. Alas... *sad sigh*...

Yeah that is the way it often ends up working. It is the human condition that once just about anyone invest in something they tend to stick with it to the bitter end rather then change their ways. This is especially true for most religion, especially when a person gets to the point of being an apologist or standing around trying to preach to others that think differently then they do. These people are VERY invested in their particular religion, to the point they dismiss and rationalize away any counter argument.

If everyone could dismiss any idea once shown to be wrong in a factual evidence anchored in reality way, there would be no religion. Every theist that visited here would be greeted with a well written text that explained reality. And all the theist would walk away atheist/agnostic upon reading it. Sadly the human race as a whole is simply not that rational. We are irrational creatures and other humans take advantage of that fact.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Pirate Jack's picture
@ Tin Man

@ Tin Man
Hey man congratulations! I myself have never been much of a debater. I can talk at great lengths, but when someone is arguing in ignorance, I lose my shit eventually. The “pirate comes forth from within “. At least you took the time to state your beliefs and moved on. Great job!

Tin-Man's picture
@PJ

@PJ

Thing is, I really wish we would have had more time to chat more that day. Plus, standing out in the middle of the sun and baking did not exactly lend itself to lengthy conversations... *chuckle*... And even though the guy did not have a very strong game, he was at least fairly nice. I'm just a bit disappointed I did not have a chance to get in all the points I wanted to make. Would have liked to have had a chance to sit with him in a comfortable place and have a long conversation before my wife turned him into mincemeat. lol

David Killens's picture
Tin-man, it is empowering.

Tin-man, it is empowering. For too long these kind of bible thumpers believe they can just stand out in the open and say any kind of shit they wish. In fact, I am sure that when they were making up their cute three little boards they truly believed they had an air-tight argument.

But after this little encounter, a lot of internal smugness was dissipated. Of course, it did not dent their faith. But I am sure that the next time they pull a stunt like that, he will give serious consideration to what they put on the boards, and have a more solid argument.

Tin-Man's picture
@David Re: "I am sure that

@David Re: "I am sure that when they were making up their cute three little boards they truly believed they had an air-tight argument."

Yeah, the board was very well made, making me think it was actually something they probably ordered online from a Christian supply store or something. In which case they would have likely been thinking it was even a MUCH better idea, since it came from "experts."... LOL... And judging from the responses I overheard from other people who walked up and had it explained by the guy's partner, those folks all seemed to be rather impressed by it. I truly believe, though, the guys running the tent woke up that morning and NEVER imagined they would have somebody like my wife and I arrive at their doorstep....*chuckle*.... He will have to up his game by a HUGE amount if he ever tries going toe-to-toe with my wife again. She always keeps her blades razor sharp. As for myself.... *shrugging shoulders*... Hell, I just wanted to talk with the poor fella... LOL...

David Killens's picture
"God cannot lie"

"God cannot lie"

Sheesh, even I could destroy that pile of bullshit.

The entire story of god, Abraham, and the sacrifice of Isaac is because god lied to Abraham. The motive is not relevant, only the fact that god lied to Abraham.

Rohan M.'s picture
"Impossible for God to do"

"Impossible for God to do" That begs the question: If he is omnipotent, then why is it that it is "impossible" for God to do those things?

Tin-Man's picture
@Rohan Re: "If he is

@Rohan Re: "If he is omnipotent, then why is it that it is "impossible" for God to do those things?"

LMAO.... Oh, holy shit, dude! That was so damn obvious I had totally missed it! Aw, damn! I sooooo wish I had thought of that while standing there that day. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Definitely gonna have to keep that in mind in case I ever have another such encounter. Nice catch!.... LMAO...

LogicFTW's picture
@Tin-Man

@Tin-Man
Can be hard to keep up with all the lies in real time. Which is a big reason I much prefer written debate to live debate. Actually takes a fair amount of practice, (mainly in studying up what the person is likely to say, so you can then plan ahead with carefully thought out responses.) A common tactic more experienced religious apologist use is also to throw out something that the person has not encountered before, wrap it up in word salad, and think they scored a victory when the atheist has take the time to unpack their latest crazy unexpected assertion/claim etc.

Rohan M.'s picture
@Tin ManLMAO.... Oh, holy

@Tin Man

LMAO.... Oh, holy shit, dude! That was so damn obvious I had totally missed it! Aw, damn! I sooooo wish I had thought of that while standing there that day. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Definitely gonna have to keep that in mind in case I ever have another such encounter. Nice catch!.... LMAO...

You're very welcome. :)

David Killens's picture
Who is foolish enough to bet

Who is foolish enough to bet that Tin-Man and his wife won't be back at that festival a year from now? lol

Tin-Man's picture
@David Re: Bet

@David Re: Bet

Man, I'm already making debate reminder notes! lol

arakish's picture
@ Tin-Man

@ Tin-Man

Keep reminding me. I'll save vacation time and come visit at the same time. Then I just hang back be the pom pom boy cheering y'awl on.

rmfr

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