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Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:28 PM

What has come of years of debate in this forum?

I haven't been following this theological battle royale all that long, but I see the same group of atheists/agnostics repeatedly debating the same small band of "faithful" DU members in threads with many similar themes, often covering the same ground.

My questions:

1) Has anyone on either side ever been "converted" to the opposing team?

2) Do you foresee yourself trying to persuade the posters on the other side from here to eternity???

45 replies, 2478 views

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Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply What has come of years of debate in this forum? (Original post)
True Dough Dec 2017 OP
Cartoonist Dec 2017 #1
MineralMan Dec 2017 #2
yallerdawg Dec 2017 #3
Cartoonist Dec 2017 #5
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #12
Mariana Dec 2017 #15
TexasProgresive Dec 2017 #4
True Dough Dec 2017 #6
Mariana Dec 2017 #17
True Dough Dec 2017 #18
Mariana Dec 2017 #22
True Dough Dec 2017 #23
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #24
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2017 #35
trotsky Dec 2017 #7
True Dough Dec 2017 #8
trotsky Dec 2017 #9
True Dough Dec 2017 #10
trotsky Dec 2017 #11
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #13
trotsky Dec 2017 #14
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #16
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #27
marylandblue Dec 2017 #39
sprinkleeninow Dec 2017 #40
Lordquinton Dec 2017 #21
JNelson6563 Dec 2017 #29
TreasonousBastard Dec 2017 #45
Igel Dec 2017 #19
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #20
Bretton Garcia Dec 2017 #25
True Dough Dec 2017 #26
WhiteTara Dec 2017 #28
Voltaire2 Dec 2017 #30
edhopper Dec 2017 #31
True Dough Dec 2017 #32
True Dough Dec 2017 #33
edhopper Dec 2017 #34
guillaumeb Dec 2017 #36
Pythagorean atheist Dec 2017 #37
Rhiannon12866 Dec 2017 #38
Name removed Dec 2017 #43
True Dough Dec 2017 #41
Name removed Dec 2017 #42
True Dough Dec 2017 #44

Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:36 PM

1. Persuasion isn't necessary

I enjoy debate.

The same thing goes on in the rest of DU. Hillary vs Bernie, should Al stay or go? I don't see much conversion going on.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:44 PM

2. The Group is here for the discussion of religion.

It's one of the most popular Groups on DU, actually.

Nobody's trying to convert anyone. We're just discussing religious topics.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:47 PM

3. There are two divergent groups here.

One group offers everything.

The other group offers nothing.

It's all in the eyes of the beholder!

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:53 PM

5. 2 groups

One offers reality, the other offers fantasy.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:23 PM

12. But a very "logical" nothing.

A nothing based on a logical opinion, as opposed to the intuitive opinion.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:33 PM

15. Two groups. You mean Christians and non-Christians? nt.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:50 PM

4. This is not a forum for much

Thereís little debate. Itís sort of a nowhere forum that goes nowhere. Both sides preaching to their respective choirs.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 03:54 PM

6. That's sort of how I see it too

I can't help but pop in once in a while to see if there has been any ground surrendered by either side but I haven't detected it yet!

Oh well, happy holidays to everyone on both sides of the never-ending debate.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:48 PM

17. Ground surrendered?

It's a discussion group. Go read the Statement of Purpose, and you'll find nothing about winning or losing.

You know, lots of debates are never-ending, but that doesn't make them worthless. I've been reading 1895 and 1896 issues of the Providence Evening Telegram lately, because of a story involving one of my ancestors. What did I find? Anti-vaxxers vs. public health officials, arguing over mandatory vaccination (against smallpox) for schoolchildren, because it thwarts God's will. A lawsuit against a school district over teacher-led prayer in school (in Minneapolis, IIRC - the court ruled it was against the State Constitution). A group of US Congressmen trying to amend the Constitution to declare the US is a Christian nation, and the (obviously successful) opposition to that idea. I'm sure some of this sounds familiar to everyone here.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 06:07 PM

18. I suppose it depends on how you want to invest your time

If you're someone who enjoys making the same points over and over again, then have at it!

The DU is full of threads created by people who have stated that they're sick of trying to convince Republican supporters that they're wrong on so many fronts but they're getting nowhere. Many fellow DUers encourage the frustrated parties to just give up and accept that some people will never be moved.

Much the same could apply to this group, IMO.

I see no advantage to carrying on an argument/debate that has been waged for a few years, let alone since 1895-1896. I've said my piece and that's that.

This thread is essentially my parting shot in the Religion group, at least when it comes to the same divisive topics and themes that go round and round.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 08:37 PM

22. You came here to tell us all how superior you are

to the people who participate in this group. How nice of you.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 08:48 PM

23. Like with the Bible, that's your interpretation

Just because I am not inclined to revisit the same (or similar) religious/atheist arguments doesn't make me "superior." That's your choice of words, your perception.

I respect points of view on both sides but I have no desire to pursue repetitive debates. That doesn't make me better than anyone else. It could just as easily be said I'm more impatient, more closed-minded.

Depends on the lens you view the issue through, I suppose.


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Response to Mariana (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 09:46 PM

24. How judgmental.

Judge not.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 04:53 PM

35. After you.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 04:10 PM

7. Far more people read the discussions here than participate in them.

It took several years for me to discard theism. It was a gradual process - as I read more, learned more, thought more, I questioned more. I feel discussions here are probably part of that process for others. I know I have received many personal messages through the years indicating such.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 04:15 PM

8. Well, that's interesting

and the theists here don't have to demand to see your personal messages to prove what you say is true because they are accustomed to going on faith.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 04:34 PM

9. Most of those messages were sent to me in confidence.

I would never reveal their contents unless I was expressly given permission.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 04:37 PM

10. I would feel much the same

My previous post was meant in jest.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 04:38 PM

11. Understood. n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:24 PM

13. #4 mentioned the choir.

Apparently it is more obvious than you think.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:27 PM

14. And a very Merry Christmas to you, guillaumeb.

I wish you all the best - despite how you have treated me here.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:35 PM

16. Appropriate seasonal greetings to you as well.

And good wishes to you.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 04:28 AM

27. Where's mine. 🤗

An appropriate seasonal wish for you:

🌠 "Happiness, Joy and Goodness Be Yours"🌠

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Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #27)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 07:16 AM

39. Merry Christmas

And thanks for your art and music posts in the Orthodox forum.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #39)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 12:34 PM

40. All the Best of a Merry Christmas to You!

We greet one another in the Eastern Orthodox custom of saying:

"Christ is Born!"
"Give Him Glory!"

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 08:01 PM

21. It's a difference of perspective

Theists see themselves everywhere, and don't understand the other side. Atheists are used to being alone, and suffering consequences for speaking up.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 08:41 AM

29. This is such a good point.

Back in the day when on my own journey down the path, in search of my own truth, I happened upon a forum that debated nothing but theism/atheism. These were very knowledgeable people, with the occasional input from the less informed (who usually fell by the wayside in short order), who took the time to participate in serious debate.

For a long time I just read and followed along. I learn so much. It helped me in my own studies as well as teaching me a good deal about disciplined thinking.

Just throwing that out there.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 06:51 PM

45. Possibly the only point...

Some may indeed believe they are the possessors of Truth and the rest of us poor mortals are just too feeble to get it, but many here do have valid points and sometimes it just pays to sit back and understand different views.

That's how we learn and enrich our own understanding, isn't it?

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 06:19 PM

19. Debate has come of the debate.

That is the purpose of the forum. The goal is the debate.

I've learned a lot here. Has it shifted my opinion or faith? No, not really. But some of the articles posted have been informative in their own right, but those aren't necessarily always the heart of the matter.

In some cases, debates show me ways of being wrong that I hadn't really considered. "Oh, so that's the mistake they're making" or "you know, I never realized somebody could be wrong in that particular way." One should understand the opposing arguments. The whole "you're not hearing what I'm saying" to mean "you haven't come around to accepting that I'm right" is insane: It's possible to understand another argument and reject it. In seeking to understand error there abides a certain wisdom.

In other cases, things have been pointed out that I believed true but really hadn't given much weight to. In a world with 10k things that I think valuable and worth considering, it's easy to overlook, um, most of them. It's like what a lay preacher said during services last week--he says the topic of his piece and I think, "Oh, right, I can see that but hadn't really thought about it" ... Then I watched how he developed the idea. At times, it's moved a matter closer to things that matter; in other cases, meh.

In other cases, I have shifted what I thought, think of it as microconversion (since we're into microeverything, from microaggressions to microcomprehension and microempathy ... only 'micro-outrage' is outre these days). But when I've shifted it's been in ways that either left most of what I considered right untouched or, in some cases, reinforced it. Because it's not like there are just two sides, atheist and believer. There's atheism of various stripes, there's various approaches to religion, and that to various religions. Those for whom it's a battle to be won, with conversion being the spoils of victory, leave.

And in a few cases that "microconversion" didn't lead in the direction you'd think: The debate was a point of departure for a line of reasoning that didn't belong here, but certainly, I thought at the time, belonged.

The terms of the debate have shifted slightly over time, of course. We're not cloistered. And those who lack respect find themselves left (in the same bit of linguistic trickery that produced words like "he was disappeared".

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Dec 22, 2017, 06:21 PM

20. The argument is settled.

And the correct side won.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 02:31 AM

25. Actually, Some Converted to Science, Agnosticism?

A few years ago, a Ms. Baker, the main defender of the faith on DU, seemed to relent.

And though I doubt he converted, Rug has for the moment disappeared.

Then too, in society as a whole, agnosticism, atheism, and the "nones" have increased greatly.

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Response to Bretton Garcia (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 03:17 AM

26. Hmm. I'll see if I can track down some of the Ms. Baker posts

That was before my time here at the DU.

As for Rug, his account has been under review for months now.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 07:46 AM

28. Answer: Life keeps on going

It just keeps going.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 08:45 AM

30. what is the point of discussion in general?

This forum at least has actual debates. Sometimes they are even interesting.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 08:48 AM

31. But if I shut myself off from

listening to the believers views on God, then how can I say I remain open minded?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 01:21 PM

32. That's a fair point, Ed

I can see where you're coming from, for sure. It's a "to each his own" sort of scenario. I quickly hit a brick wall in this Religion group where it feels like so many threads are repetitive. So it's my choice to restrict my participation from this point.

I was just wondering if anyone else had taken a step back and wondered what was being accomplished with the ongoing debate among largely the same group. For everyone who feels like there's still something to be gained by doing more of the same, that's entirely their choice and I wish them well in it.

I'm out, however.

Happy holidays!

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Response to edhopper (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 01:41 PM

33. That said...

If Guillaume ever declares that religion is a fairy tale, please find me elsewhere on this forum and let me know. I'd come back to read that post!

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Response to True Dough (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 04:44 PM

34. Will do

and we will all ride pink Unicorns.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 23, 2017, 08:08 PM

36. If I am the deciding factor,

I wish you well in your own journey of discovery.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 04:58 AM

37. What are the two sides reguarding religious issues here in this forum?

 

Here's an example of a religious issue here on DU, that I just ran across this morning:

Teen girl beaten by other girls because she is Muslim

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210020828



Are there really two sides to this religious issue here at DU?

If so, what are they? And who is on the opposing side, here? I certainly know which side I'm on. Should I expect to find folks on the opposing side here at DU?

If so, then yes, I might very well expend some energy attempting to pursuade them, if I felt that it might have some impact (or if I'm just in the mood, even if I don't expect it to have some impact...lol).

I have indeed had success in converting people to the "opposing team" before, but I have no illusions about how difficult it is.




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Response to Pythagorean atheist (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 05:05 AM

38. I'm not a regular poster in this forum, but you won't find "sides" on this particular issue here

Just read through the replies, DUers feel that the bigotry exhibited and condoned by the current administration has led to terrible acts like this. We don't condone prejudice of any kind. Welcome to DU!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #38)


Response to Pythagorean atheist (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 01:11 PM

41. You know the saying "There's an exception to every rule"

Congrats, you found an exception! It doesn't, however, negate my point that the bulk of the threads in this forum revolve around the question of whether god exists. If the threads don't start out on that topic, they often trend in that direction after not too long and many of the same points and counterpoints (or variations of them) are stated again and again. If that argument is definitively settled here, I'll be back to admit my folly for being a "Doubting Thomas."

As Rhiannon noted, I would certainly hope and expect we'd have consensus here at the DU on the issue of abusing others due to their religious beliefs.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #41)


Response to Name removed (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 24, 2017, 01:49 PM

44. That is the long and the short of it

There are many tangents, but I don't know of any that haven't been covered off yet. I've just had my fill, is all. Those who have a penchant to engage further can do so to their hearts content. God bless 'em, so to speak.

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