The Tone for Debate

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ronald bertram's picture


Thank you for the response. CALILASSEIA, you place a high level of significance on these "mythology fanboys". I base that not just on your response but on your other posts.

You may never come to appreciate how I see the discourse on this forum. You seem to be far more invested in the significance of the theist/atheist debate than I will ever be. I offered my observations (opinions) without assigning any obligation to anyone. Anyone can read them, ignore them, respond to them, etc. I realize that is a statement of the obvious. I take full ownership of my comments and stand by them.

I don't put a lot of value on the atheist/theist debate. It is entertainment. I have a friend that I went to college with. He is an invertebrate paleontologist, world reputation on Ordovician ammonites ( Kentucky has great Ordovician sequences). About once a month, a group of us get together for an evening supper. Everyone attending is a devout atheist with extensive academic credentials in biological and geological sciences. When the toplc of theism comes up, he never says a word. One evening Dr. DeMoss ask him "Hey, Charlie what have you got to say?" Charlie replied, "Not a God Damn thing. I got limited time as it is. Why the hell do I want to talk about something that don't matter to me," There are plenty of arguments for that being a bad attitude. I kinda feel the same way Charlie does. I continue to believe the forum has a defensive, hostile tone. To be clear, I don't disagree with the substance of the responses. I just don't identify with the tone.

I took your excellent response to heart. I will show restraint but I don't think I will ever take the debate as seriously as many of you do.

How is that? Am I being fair?

Calilasseia's picture
And at this juncture, it's

And at this juncture, it's time to provide some more explanatory insights.

Quite simply, my background is primarily academic, and within that background, I developed an early appreciation for the utility value of devising rigorous methods of assessing the soundness of ideas. Which is most apparent within the world of pure mathematics, a world I enjoyed inhabiting for much of my studies.

However, that appreciation for pursuing soundmess of ideas has a practical application. One of the lessons I've learned from history, is that when bad ideas are allowed to persist, they frequently become the means by which good people are destroyed. One does not have to look far into history to observe some spectacular examples of this principle in action.

Since I have an interest in seeing civilisation, and along with it, decent, humane civil societies, persist, I recognise the need for diligent effort to be expended, whenever threats to civilisation and decent, humane civil societies arise. After much deliberation,I've concluded that assertionist doctrines of all species are to be viewed with extreme suspicion, because they have a habit of becoming threats of this nature.

Early on, I recognised the utility of empirical validation of ideas about the world and its contents, and this was reinforced by the gifts dispensed to me by a stellar collection of science teachers at school. Quite simply, the one means we have, that will ensure that bad ideas do not persist, and do not become threats to civilisation and decent, humane civil societies, is ruthless testing of assertions to destruction. I regard it as a public duty to take part therein.

In short, I'm 'invested' in various debates, because I recognise several important lessons and their ramifications.

Flatland's picture
Atheism never intends to

Atheism never intends to debate, it's just to make people with different beliefs look silly.

LogicFTW's picture
*Pats Flatland on the head*

*Pats Flatland on the head*

How is the fishing today?

Flatland's picture
"How is the fishing today?"

"How is the fishing today?"

I fell for the bait again.

LogicFTW's picture
When you say you fell for the

When you say you fell for the bait again, what are we talking?

Did you fall in love? Or more just got tricked by the bait?

I would of thought it be more: "the bait fell for it again." Or maybe: "there are still some fish biting."

Cognostic's picture
@Flatland: Debate What?

@Flatland: Debate What?

I don't believe in your god.

Yes you do.

No, I don't.

Yes you do!

NO! I don't

Why you getting all angry.

I'm not angry I am making a point. I do not believe in your god.

Of course you do.


ronald bertram's picture


Oops. Wrong place.

ronald bertram's picture

@Flatland stated: Atheism never intends to debate, it's just to make people with different beliefs look silly.


I only speak for myself. As a young man, I guess I did push atheism on folks to insult them. And yes, I have mocked theist. I lost a dear friend just 3 years ago. She is a small animal Veterinarian who is very religious.
She invited me to her Church. She was standing in for the preacher and gave the sermon. I thought she did well. Later that evening, she ask me about her performance. I said some things that hurt her so badly that she cried. Got up and left. Never came back. I recently got her at least exchanging texts with me. You have to be careful. The juice just ain't worth the squeeze.

LogicFTW's picture
This is a big reason why I

This is a big reason why I talk about this sort of stuff here. And not to people I actually know well in my day to day.

On some level to me, just about all religious folks to some degree show a lack of clean calm organized rational thought when it comes to their god idea. I seen some of the calmest nicest people I know fly into a huge rage when their beliefs are challenged and they do not have a good reasonable response, they quickly switch to a much more emotional and unreasoned response.

These forums provide the buffer of anonymity and the written, instead of spoke word. Where everyone can read and reread an idea and have to form their own response, giving time for a more reasoned debate, instead of a purely emotional response.

Cognostic's picture
Bright(TROLL)Raven: The

Bright(TROLL)Raven: The Juice is most certainly worth the squeeze. That IDIOT friend of yours could have gone her entire life without being confronted with what is real. You did not hurt her feelings. Her idiotic world views and arguments dipped in ignorance were her downfall. You finally got her to text you - well WOOP DEE FUCKING DOO... Has she changed her position?

Calilasseia's picture
Read my posts above, and

Read my posts above, and learn how their content destroys your fatuous assertion.

Whitefire13's picture
Silly rabbit!!! Tricks are

Silly rabbit!!! Tricks are for kids!!!!

Tin-Man's picture
@Whitefire Re: "Silly rabbit

@Whitefire Re: "Silly rabbit!!! Tricks are for kids!!!!"

Maybe so, but they're always after me lucky charms.

Cognostic's picture
@Whitefire13: Well.....

@Whitefire13: Well..... "fuck me!" I always thought "Tricks were for Johns."

Lion IRC's picture
This post caught my eye.

This post caught my eye.
Great sentiment.
Angry atheism (and its sectarian counterpart) is so 2008.

We can disagree without being disagreeable.

My pet hates;
" don't really believe that, secretly you agree with me." (Bad faith)
"'re not interested in learning / unwilling to be taught." (It's your fault I can't persuade you)
"...we all, everyone here, us atheists think with one mind. (Third person 'splaining)
" what you're really saying is [insert favourite strawman here]
"...did you watch all those video URL's links yet? The ones that demolish your carefully typed out post.
"'s not an abusive ad hominem if it's true (you &@#%!!! effwit)

David Killens's picture
@ Lion IRC

@ Lion IRC

"Angry atheism (and its sectarian counterpart) is so 2008."

And religion is so 32.

I could spout such fatuous statements all day, and neither of us is any closer to the truth or understanding. If you truly desire to learn and exchange opinions Lion IRC, then please stop hurling such inflammatory nonsense.

Personally, I am a calm and patient person. But yes, I despise religion and understand the pain, suffering, and evil it has inflicted in humanity. Yea, I am angry at theism.

I have some pretty weird theories, one that politics and religion should evolve to match human progress. For example, feudalism served primitive societies, and capitalism served expanding nations. And religion did have it's purposes for a few hundred years, but during the advent of the Renaissance, it became obsolete, and since then exists just to maintain power and control.

Any positive contribution that religion can offer today can be easily replaced and improved on by other methods. For example, gaming is a new community that allows others to gather together and share similar interests and beliefs. Therapy is much more effective than a group prayer.

Am I angry at theism? Yes in the sense I become irate knowing the harm religion has caused. But I do not perceive it personally, to me it is a plague, like AIDS or Corona virus. Something to be stamped out and remembered as a plague on humanity.

ronald bertram's picture
@David Killens

@David Killens

Posted: "Am I angry at theism? Yes in the sense I become irate knowing the harm religion has caused. But I do not perceive it personally, to me it is a plague, like AIDS or Corona virus. Something to be stamped out and remembered as a plague on humanity."

Interesting topic.

I am not angry at theist, Christians, Muslims, or any other philosophy. I am not angry at parasites, venomous snakes, Coronavirus, AIDS, etc. They are part of the natural world.

I loved my mother and father. They were uneducated wonderful humans. They simply reflected the culture they were raised and nurtured in. They were theist. I am one of five siblings. Four boys and one girl. Three are atheist and two are Christians. I don't think there are five closer siblings that I know.

I think Michener did a great job with the book The Source. It gives a good accounting of how religious philosophy evolved. Maybe someday, in another 500 years, mankind will abandon it.

As Michener revealed so cleverly, if you imagine primitive tribes struggling to perpetuate their kind, it is easy to understand the evolution of religion. It provided answers to questions they had no capacity to even explore.

LogicFTW's picture


I am similar to david's thinking.

For the longest time I considered myself agnostic, then I switched to atheist when I realized all it meant was I was not theist. (A believer.)

Coming here, and getting informed, I learned so much more. I learned about all the damage religion did and continues to do this day.

Like david said, there are superior solutions then religion. I strongly feel the whole of humanity would be better off without religion. But coming back to reality, I realize that will not be a fast or quick transition. I feel I would be lucky to see signficant progress on this worldwide within my life time.

I even see capitalism, (not necessarily a superior solution,) over taking religion in many western societies. Christmas? A capitalism event much more so then a religious event. Easter is still holding on as more religion oriented simply because capitalism has not been able to monetize it beyond candy and maybe paper cards. But then easter is a shadow of a societal event compared to christmas/december holidays.

Of course we are only talking about the parts of the world that celebrate Christmas in large percentages.


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