Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Fear to Debate Me

This is one of the many ridiculous tweets I have been receiving since August 2012 regarding having debates on my blog.

Atheists message me every time accusing me of being unfair and dishonest.

The accusations are these:

I own the blog and have control, therefore:

  • I have an "advantage."
  • Can edit or remove comments.
  • Can take time posting an opponent's reply.

These accusations are preposterous and are just an attempt to circumvent debating me.  My blogs are academic in nature, hence they are licensed.

I do not have any advantage solely because it is my blog.  Everyone is free to comment granted their comments fit the criteria for posting. I cannot post vulgarity, ad hominem or other comments that are not professional or polite.  

Moreover, blogger does not give me the ability to edit comments.  I can only remove or delete them completely.  However, if I do "weed" out comments during a debate, then the flow of the debate will be disrupted and will not make any sense.  Any arguments I make will be floating in the air while my opponent's would be missing.  This would not serve me any purpose if my intention is to educate people on both sides of the issue.  This is why my debates have a format.  They are not meant to be a long collection of comments.

While there may be a time difference on when comments are posted, this is not due to any attempt to delay the debate.  Everyone has a life and a busy schedule.  I am not on my blog 24/7 and cannot post every comment immediately.  In any event, comments posted will post with the date it was first sent so there would be no difference in time noticeable to readers.

The real issue is that atheists know that once they post a comment, that comment will remain there.  They cannot retract, edit or remove it.  This is what they fear.

This is why I chose to debate on my blog.  Everyone comments and those comments are the final word.  They cannot be edited nor removed.  Therefore, each debater must choose his/her words and arguments carefully.

Atheists want the ability to edit in order to keep their arguments as coherent as possible.  This is unfair.  One cannot have a fair debate when the other party is constantly changing a previous statement.

Atheists who refuse to debate me on my blog do so because they are not intellectually confident in posting arguments that are coherent and bring substance to their premise.

My debates are very fair for the following reasons:

  • No comments can be altered or removed
  • There is a direct format on how to carry on the debate.
  • No ad hominem or silly comments are allowed
  • The public are the moderators and decide who did a better job

The charges that my blogs or debates are unfair or intellectually dishonest holds no weight.  They are just cop-out attempts.


  1. So why not debate on a neutral forum?

    1. Any forum that allows one to edit comments is NOT neutral. Once you post on my blog, your post remains.

  2. Challenge: Leave this comment unedited.
    Atheism is a view that there is no evidence for God or Gods. There is even less for the Christian God of the Bible. Therefore, our morality is generated within ourselves as generally rational human beings and not dependent on the alleged words of a supernatural being.
    When there is sufficient reliable evidence, agnostics and most atheists may well alter their views, though many atheists may still refuse to worship such a being, particularly if He/She/It allows such pain and needless suffering in the world.
    God(s) do not scare us, as vampires do not.

    1. Blogger does not allow users to edit comments. Only Wordpress does. Your claims that there is no evidence for God is unfounded. There is only ONE God, there is no "Christian" or "Muslim God." Only ONE exists. In academia we have Theology. There are thousands of scholars who dedicate themselves to this discipline. To state that their studies are based on a God that cannot be supported is silly and uneducated. There is indeed evidence. Atheists and Agnostics convert to Catholicism every year! Atheism has the lowest retention rate of any religion. People do not remain in those errors for long.

    2. Eight lines of text but not one piece of evidence of a god. Instead of going on and on that there is evidence, why not simply present it?

    3. I am working a series of blog posts. See the evidence for God post.

    4. Atheism is not a religion. You want to do it in Spanish, Manuel? Let's get it on.

    5. It is. Even courts have ruled it as a religion. My name is Michael. I do not know much Spanish.

  3. Still waiting to see my post appear here (101 words of non-straw man, non-abusive, and relevant comments). I guess you are still busy or sleeping (11 hours and counting). Sweet dreams, hope to continue debate soon.

  4. 18 hours and counting (still waiting for the 101 words)

  5. Willing to debate here, following your rules, but you are not responding (nearly 23 hrs since original post). Why won't you publish? Is this process somehow biased in your favour? Is this a demonstration of dishonesty? Prove me wrong.

    1. For debates, click the link above. I do not have debates on this forum.

    2. En dónde está el link Manny? y cómo puedo firmar para que no sea anónimo... no tengo cuenta en ninguna de las opciones.

    3. Michael. That is my name. Please get it right or next time your message will not be posted. I trust that you are smart enough to verify the nonsense being posted about me. Notice how Rosa will not go on skype with me so we both can show our passports. Why is he scared of?

      If you cannot call the people mentioned and verify, or if you cannot present a birth certificate or other legal document proving that is my name, then you are naive indeed and susceptible to all kinds of nonsense. You can also be sued by this individual.

  6. "NewPope666" your posts have been posted, where have you been? For debates, click the link above. I do not have debates on this forum.

  7. Good to hear from you. I'll stand by my claim as to what atheists state. The written evidence for God(s) has come from ancient texts that have their origins in oral traditions. In the case of the New Testament, best estimates are that it was written some 30 years after the crucification. My youngest daughter was born 29 years ago, and I struggle (even with my wife's help) to remember details of a great deal of the events at that time. And we have photos to help us! So, I do feel that this 'evidence' has a strong likelihood of at least containing a good deal of errors and exaggerations. Both books of the Bible are well known to contain contradictions (and yes, I have read them), so their reliability has to be considered.
    I know Theology exists, and I find the subject of what people believe and why fascinating, so I can see why it attracts so many academics. I would postulate that not all of them believe their studies are based on a God. It's not uneducated to debate an issue that academics or experts support, proving it is rational.
    You say there is evidence, but that is also true of Egyptian and Norse mythology. Even translations of the Old Testament show that a plurality of gods was believed in. So, if this the key evidence, it does need to be doubted, academics not withstanding.
    Yes, you are right, atheists and agnostics do convert to all sorts of beliefs, Christian and others, all the time. The same is true the other way, especially when believers take the time and effort to critically read their religious texts. I do take issue with your penultimate sentence on two counts. Firstly, the naked assertion of retention rate - I have no data or research papers to support or refute that claim, do you? Secondly, I have a strong conviction that there is no reliable evidence to support the existence of any supernatural beings. By taking a definition from Wikipedia "Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values". I do not 'buy into' the idea of spirituality, so therefore cannot be religious. I therefore am not convinced in the existence of any gods - an atheist standpoint I feel.
    Even if I were to become a believer in a god, I would still find that the vast amount of suffering and damage done by ALL religions in his/her/its name to be totally unforgivable. I do appreciate that many organised religious groups have done some tremendous charity and emotionally supportive work, but in my opinion, the world would be a better place without it.

    1. The argument that history coming from oral transmission or a delay in publication is useless is not a strong one. You are not taking into account the time and circumstance. People thousands of years ago did not have the luxury of a computer, blog, USB drive, or even a pen or paper. Moreover, most were not educated and did not know how to write. It was extremely difficult to keep records of anything. This can be found in every ancient civilization. Moderns are left to decipher the little that was left behind. Furthermore, history is often written after it happened. For example: It will be rare to find history books in classrooms mentioning the September 11 attacks or the execution of Saddam. Schools would have to wait until newer editions appear which can take years. Does this delay in publication mean that Sept. 11 or Saddam's death did not occur? Think about it. Any contradictions believed to be in the Bible are due to misinterpretation. Each book was written at different periods. The canon itself is meant to convey the salvific mission of God through Jesus Christ.
      The difference between the mythologies you mention and Scripture is that archaeologists have found evidence of the latter. Israel exists, so does Babylon etc. This cannot be said of mythologies such as Egyptian or Norse. They are folk religions.
      In regards to retention rates, see my blogs regarding Atheism on the Rise and Religion is growing. You will see the statistics there.
      One cannot blame religion for the failures of its members. It is more logical to judge the individuals, not the religion. In reality, politics does more damage to people, not religion. Governments create and engage in wars, not Churches. We do not own weapons nor do we have disputes over oil, money or land. Without religion, humankind would suffer greatly. We are seeing the effects of it in Europe which is falling apart due to secularism.

    2. Still waiting ... too busy or too difficult to refute? Looking forward to your reply to my three part response.

  8. Still waiting for approval of last 3 part response.

    1. Still waiting to see my response here. Having problems with technology or theology? Also waiting for response on your Atheist Vent site, or do you selectively respond there as well?

    2. As Dianna Ross said "...and I'm still waiting". Looking forward to your response to my detailed 3 part post. Happy to debate, though frustrated by delays from you. I will check again in about 10 hrs time (assuming the rapture hasn't started by then!).

    3. To what post are you referring to?

  9. Oh come on, don't be coy. Surely you remember the three part, 7 point response to you March 24th comment. I can easily resubmit it all, but in any case, here are the first two points again:

    I think I need to address a few issues with you further.
    1. You say "Your claims that there is no evidence for God is
    unfounded. There is only ONE God, there is no "Christian" or "Muslim God." Only ONE exists."
    It is up to theists to provide evidence/proof of God - I wouldn't know which religious text (or part thereof) to trust. If there is the same God for Christians and Muslims, why do their followers disagree so much? For example, Hell is an infinite punishment for one, and not for the other. Both can't be right.

    2. You seem to support my argument about the testaments by agreeing about the aural tradition, lack of recording methods and lack of education of people at the time. Modern history, by definition, will always be written after the events. However, major events (9/11, Saddam's execution, major weather events, etc) are documented on radio, TV, newspapers, internet and even movies, within moments or months of them occurring. Later, due to the delays in publishing, they appear in print (which may not be years, but history courses tend to go back 50 years or so), then when schools can afford to renew them, are available in classrooms. It is not a sound argument to then try to link this delay and the events it portrays with events in the ancient religious texts. And yes, I have thought about it!

    1. I answered this already in the following reply on the 24th of March.

    2. No you didn't. That was my reply to yours of 24th March at 4:35 pm, which in itself replied to mine of the same date at 11:17 am.

      Here are the next points from my 'missing post':
      3. As to the books being written at different times by different people, I would agree with you. In fact, as far as the New Testament is concerned, it is unclear which of the main Gospels were written by whom (almost certainly not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The excuse of misinterpretation is 'special pleading'. Surely if this evidence is the word of God (or in the case of the Qu'ran, God himself), why wasn't it made clearer and consistent? Why not present the evidence at a time when more reliable recording systems were available?

      4. Archaeologists have found lots of things over the years (like
      paleontologists have fossils to confirm the age of the Earth and the evolution of species). Evidence of a religious society is not necessarily proof of the deities concerned. A folk religion is just a religion of the folk - i.e. a religion, so no difference! All countries are artificial contructs by man (like units of time or weight), however, like Israel, Egypt also exists (some of the greatest archaeologists have confirmed those people's religious beliefs), as does Scandinavia.

      5. Your blog on atheism being on the rise does make some interesting points. What is missing, is addressing the fact that though religious belief has dropped by 13%, it doesn't mean those surveyed will naturally identify as atheist (a term that many ill define). Some will plump for Agnostic, Humanist or even select a Jedi!
      Your description of what atheism is or does is flawed in my opinion. You assert that "To date: There is no empirical evidence that indicates the absence of God. This leaves Atheism as merely speculative rhetoric." That is equally true in reverse. There is no empirical evidence that God exists. That leaves theism as merely speculative rhetoric. You cannot prove the absence of a pink unicorn in my garage.

  10. ...and the last two comments from the 'missing' post:
    6. As to retention rates, I took your advice and checked your blog. From that same survey, the greatest loss of affiliation from actual religious groups - atheism is not a religion remember - is Catholicism (a drop of 7.5% points). Atheism, on the other hand, went UP by 1.1% points. (taken from the document you quote on your blog, Childhood Versus Current Affiliation of U.S. Adults table, page 24). This is a point you brought up, not me. Personally I find many surveys less than reliable, especially ones that are attitudinal in nature.
    You make some other assertions on that page, such as "The only reasons Atheism would be on the rise is due to poor catechesis and anger from disgruntled believers." You cannot say that is a statement of fact, nor is the one about increased scrutiny for child abuse in the clergy. These are opinions, which can easily be countered. For example, the rise in atheism could be due to a wider dissemination of reasoned debate, growing discoveries in science, increasing maturity of the human race or discoveries of how many pious religious leaders have been shown to abuse or lie to their 'flock'. I'm just speculating.

    7. I think you can blame religions for the failures of its members. The systems put in place that set up the hierarchies, the rituals, the rules and the ceremonies, all put the priests and clergy above the average Joe. Because these leaders are human and have human weaknesses (even the Pontiff), many are tempted and betray the trust put in them. What makes this far worse is the lies they tell, the pleading for 'forgiving their sins', the blaming of the Devil and the way that religious organisations cover this up.
    You are right, politics does do damage to people, especially in times of war. Governments are often given excuses to engage in wars by the dominant religion in that country. Consider such conflicts as The Thirty Years' War, the Nigerian Civil War, the Crusades, the war in the Lebanon, etc. The conflicts between Protestants and Catholics alone have killed millions of people over the centuries. And don't get me started on the other ways religions and superstitions have caused untold suffering and death (religious persecution, denial of health care and life saving medication, honour killings, refusal to allow contraception, etc.). These are indeed very powerful weapons against the human race.
    As to your final point, the 'falling apart' of Europe (if that indeed is happening) has nothing to do with secularism. The financial crisis affecting both sides of the Atlantic, which originated in the USA, has a lot to do with greed and corporate dishonesty. Traits seen in many large and powerful organisations that rely on hierarchy and subservience.
    Humankind has suffered greatly over many centuries even when and where religious beliefs and systems predominated. As a race, we need to grow up and face some stark truths: life can be very unfair, it may not get better, they won't be a chance for another go at it, and death is the end. Embrace that last point, and do the best to make this world a better place for all. There is no supernatural solution. The Universe existed for about 13.8 billion years before you and I were born, and will probably do so for at least the same time without us - and not notice our passing.


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