Goodbye for now!

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Jagella
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Goodbye for now!

Post #1

Post by Jagella »

I've decided to take a hiatus from this forum. I'm not sure if I'll be back or not. Several problems here have prompted my imminent departure.

The first problem is the poor quality of the discourse here especially on the part of the Christian members. I found myself spending a lot of time correcting both logical and factual errors on their part. But even after repeatedly correcting those errors, in many cases the errors continued.

Another problem involves the Christians' "disappearing acts." Rather than concede my points, they just leave the debate when they've realized they lost the debate.

Speaking of losing debates, at least one of the Christians here cried foul when she knew the Christians have repeatedly lost debates to me. She seems to think my winning debates makes me angry and hateful. I think it's ridiculous to whine that way. If you can't take having your beliefs critiqued, then it's really stupid to debate them.

But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly. I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions. For example, very recently Elijah John moved a very good thread I started in the apologetics subforum to the Random Ramblings subforum. He moved it there because he knew that it was another disaster for Christian apologetics. He lied claiming there was no "room for debate."

Speaking of lying, the rule against accusing others of lying in this forum is ridiculous. The fact is that people often do lie and shouldn't be defended against being told that they've lied. I can understand why there would be such a rule in a Christian forum, though, because Christians very often lie to defend their beliefs.

And what really irked me was when I was accused of lying, and nothing was done about it! When I pointed out that the accusation was false (a lie in itself), the Christians who made that false accusation were let go.

When you know your position is weak, then slant the playing field in your favor.

But I've learned a lot here. I've learned that Christians cherish their comforting myths over everything else including people's welfare. They literally sacrifice children to abuse rather than concede the problems their beliefs can cause.

I can only hope that some day people wake up to this.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #2

Post by marco »

Jagella wrote:
The first problem is the poor quality of the discourse here especially on the part of the Christian members. I found myself spending a lot of time correcting both logical and factual errors on their part.

Your tutorials may have been appreciated by some, Jagella. If one has failed to get a message across perhaps there are flaws in one's delivery and not just in the reception apparatus of the students. If your expectation has been that your audience would eventually come to an understanding of the truths you impart, I think you were always going to be disappointed. One man's truths are another's heresy.
Jagella wrote:
But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly.

This is a false perception. I have absolutely no bias whatsoever towards Christian posters. I can appreciate when a Christian or an atheist makes a good point. If we hold our own beliefs as sacred truths, be they atheistic or Christian, we will encounter opposition, and it would be foolish to suppose ourselves to be equal to all challenges. We learn from our opposition. It is not a case that we come here to educate, though some may see that as their mission.
Jagella wrote:
But I've learned a lot here.
So have I - from every quarter. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser. Moderators are not infallible, and if unfairneess occurs, it will be corrected, if pointed out. But in the end we have our own private perceptions of what is unfair. I know every effort is made to be fair: I see it regularly behind the scenes.


You have been a superb contributor. Your posts provoke thought and you are well informed. I hope I have reassured you, a little, that moderators would be challenged by other moderators were they displaying bias. In my novice days I fell foul of rules and used the appeal mechanism, sometimes successfully. But I learned that rules are for the benefit of the majority and I worked within them.
My best wishes.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #3

Post by otseng »

Jagella wrote: The first problem is the poor quality of the discourse here especially on the part of the Christian members. I found myself spending a lot of time correcting both logical and factual errors on their part. But even after repeatedly correcting those errors, in many cases the errors continued.
Though it'd be great if everyone here was reasonable and logical, it's not the goal here. The main goal of the forum is for civil debate. We can enforce civil debate, but we can't enforce everyone to be reasonable.

If you find someone is continually making logical errors, it's not your burden to try to continually correct them. You can just ignore them and debate with someone else.
Another problem involves the Christians' "disappearing acts." Rather than concede my points, they just leave the debate when they've realized they lost the debate.
This happens all the time from all sides. Even mods just disappear on me and I have no idea what happened to them.
If you can't take having your beliefs critiqued, then it's really stupid to debate them.
True. You're not obligated to continue to debate with them.
But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly. I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions.
We have 4 non-Christians on the mod team and they are some of the top debaters on the forum. There is no Christian bias from them. People might experience occasional bias from a Christian moderator (including myself), but as a whole, the mod team balances each other out and, in my opinion, it really cannot get more unbiased as a mod team.

As for fairness, I believe we've been more than fair with you. You've accumulated 6 warnings and we haven't issued you a final warning yet. If we were "fair" a banishment vote would've occurred a long time ago.
For example, very recently Elijah John moved a very good thread I started in the apologetics subforum to the Random Ramblings subforum. He moved it there because he knew that it was another disaster for Christian apologetics. He lied claiming there was no "room for debate."
I assume you mean this thread:
https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/ ... hp?t=36156

Please see Tips on starting a debate topic .

1. Make sure that it is a debate topic, rather than a discussion topic.

I don't really see it as a debate topic either since how do you really know what is going on inside another person's head.

8. Don't answer your own question in the OP.

If you answer your own debate question in the opening post, then it appears that you're not really interested in soliciting others for debate. Instead, simply answer your question in the second post.

11. This is not a "blogging" forum

This forum is not a place to simply present your views and then wait for others to react to it.
The fact is that people often do lie and shouldn't be defended against being told that they've lied. I can understand why there would be such a rule in a Christian forum, though, because Christians very often lie to defend their beliefs.
Leave it to the readers to make that judgement call, otherwise you are making a personal attack, even if you believe it is true. Would it be OK for a Christian to call you a sinner even though he believes it is true?
And what really irked me was when I was accused of lying, and nothing was done about it! When I pointed out that the accusation was false (a lie in itself), the Christians who made that false accusation were let go.
If you believe a ruling to be unfair by any particular moderator, you can appeal it to me or marco.
When you know your position is weak, then slant the playing field in your favor.
This forum, in my humble opinion, is one of the most level playing fields to debate religion. The forum has no bias towards any religious position.
They literally sacrifice children to abuse rather than concede the problems their beliefs can cause.
This might be true for some, but it's a false blanket statement to be applied to all Christians.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #4

Post by ttruscott »

Jagella wrote:Another problem involves the Christians' "disappearing acts." Rather than concede my points, they just leave the debate when they've realized they lost the debate.
It is only in your mind that a person stopping trying to reason with an intransigent someone and leaving the debate PROVES they were defeated. The need to defeat rather than find a harmonious truth sure does lead some people into saying just about anything, doesn't it?

As Otseng says: You can just ignore them and debate with someone else. and many Christians do exactly that even though we understand this will be seen as tacit capitulation to higher reasoning. Iow, stopping one's involvement will be taken to prove the paucity of truth in their argument even though it is the best way to stop flogging at the dead minded mule...
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Jagella
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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #5

Post by Jagella »

marco wrote:Your tutorials may have been appreciated by some...
If by "tutorials" you mean my topics for debate, then yes, many people here loved them. There is an obvious difference in the reactions between the atheists and the Christians here, however, in that the Christians really became agitated with much of what I said. I think that getting people riled up that way is a great way to get people to change. Nobody ever made the world a better place by patting wrongdoers on the back.
If one has failed to get a message across perhaps there are flaws in one's delivery and not just in the reception apparatus of the students.
I did my best to always make my "delivery" as clear and relevant as I could. I don't think flaws in those deliveries were the actual problem, though, because when I posted the same OPs in an atheist forum, they had no problem at all, and we had lively, productive discussions.

So the problems with the topics I raised are evidently rooted not in any flaws in those topics but in the predispositions of the Christians here.
If your expectation has been that your audience would eventually come to an understanding of the truths you impart, I think you were always going to be disappointed. One man's truths are another's heresy.
Maybe, but that's no reason to stop trying to inform people. I'd never enroll in a university that had "One man's truths are another's heresy" for its motto.
I have absolutely no bias whatsoever towards Christian posters.
Then why did you have a fit when I used the "TIMITS" acronym? If you don't have a Christian bias, then it seems odd to me that you'd get riled over my allegedly insulting the Christian god--a mythical being.
We learn from our opposition.
Then why have the mods here opposed so much of what I had to say? Personally, I hate forum moderation because mods are so often on power trips enjoying their ability to silence anybody they want to. Mods usually end up interfering with debates rather than helping them along.
Moderators are not infallible, and if unfairneess occurs, it will be corrected, if pointed out.
That's not true! Mods can get away with murder and often do. I posted two examples in the OP.
...I learned that rules are for the benefit of the majority and I worked within them.
No. Rules are to benefit whoever sponsors the forum. Those rules are often made up by the mods as they go along and are rarely applied consistently and fairly.

It seems so strange to me to offer a supposedly open forum to people only to censor them. I think that kind of behavior makes sense if we see those who sponsor forums as having an agenda. Those who do not toe the party line are not to be given free speech.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #6

Post by OnceConvinced »

Jagella wrote:
But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly. I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions.
As a non-Christian moderator I can safely say I see no such bias by the moderating team in favour of Christians. If there was, us non-Christian mods would be kicking up a fuss.

Sad that you feel you need to go because your voice needs to be heard just as anyone else's needs to be. But we all have to follow the same rules and the majority of us have no problems doing that. We all slip up from time to time, but we keep soldiering on.

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.


Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #7

Post by Divine Insight »

OnceConvinced wrote:
Jagella wrote: But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly. I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions.
As a non-Christian moderator I can safely say I see no such bias by the moderating team in favour of Christians. If there was, us non-Christian mods would be kicking up a fuss.
I totally agree. The moderation system here seems to be about as fair as humanly possible. Having said this I have seen warnings being given that I feel were unjustified, but I did say, "as fair as humanly possible". I didn't say it was perfect. :D

But I haven't seen any obvious bias in either direction in terms of moderation.
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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #8

Post by marco »

Jagella wrote:

If one has failed to get a message across perhaps there are flaws in one's delivery and not just in the reception apparatus of the students.
I did my best to always make my "delivery" as clear and relevant as I could. I don't think flaws in those deliveries were the actual problem, though, because when I posted the same OPs in an atheist forum, they had no problem at all, and we had lively, productive discussions.

So the problems with the topics I raised are evidently rooted not in any flaws in those topics but in the predispositions of the Christians here.

Because you "did your best" is no guarantee that you succeeded. I accept it is extremely hard for us to be objective about the efficacy of our own efforts.


If your expectation has been that your audience would eventually come to an understanding of the truths you impart, I think you were always going to be disappointed. One man's truths are another's heresy.
Jagella wrote:
Maybe, but that's no reason to stop trying to inform people. I'd never enroll in a university that had "One man's truths are another's heresy" for its motto.

I think the universities also have a say in who enters. Happy the man who can pick and choose from the world's universities. A key phrase in your narrative is "trying to inform". We impart more here than we often intend. And I can see that many well-informed posters would take exception to someone who is "trying to inform them."



I have absolutely no bias whatsoever towards Christian posters.
Jagella wrote:
Then why did you have a fit when I used the "TIMITS" acronym? If you don't have a Christian bias, then it seems odd to me that you'd get riled over my allegedly insulting the Christian god--a mythical being.

I am surprised that my comment on TIMITS was seen as "a fit". There are ways to be taken seriously by those with whom we are arguing and I feel this, shall we say, lacks gravitas, reducing debate to a childish level. There's no medical condition comes with that objection.
Jagella wrote:
Then why have the mods here opposed so much of what I had to say? Personally, I hate forum moderation because mods are so often on power trips enjoying their ability to silence anybody they want to. Mods usually end up interfering with debates rather than helping them along.

Well your follow-up sentences have adequately answered your opening question here. You view moderators as hostile to your views. Some concur completely with what you believe, but may take exception to your mode of expression. It is useful, perhaps a rare gift, to see things sometimes from the other side. I am fairly sure no one holds a monopoly on truth, whatever views they hold.

The aim is not to censor, but to have decent standards. If you object to regulation and the encouragement of civility then it will not be hard to find places where anything goes.


We can be friendly with our opponents without endorsing their opinions. And occasionally we might surprise ourselves by finding fault with what we say.... unless of course we are insulated against truth by our own dogma. Go well.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #9

Post by wiploc »

Jagella wrote: The first problem is the poor quality of the discourse here especially on the part of the Christian members. I found myself spending a lot of time correcting both logical and factual errors on their part. But even after repeatedly correcting those errors, in many cases the errors continued.
Indeed frustrating. But I'll bet the Christians feel the same way about us when they think they've proven the same point over and over.


Another problem involves the Christians' "disappearing acts." Rather than concede my points, they just leave the debate when they've realized they lost the debate.
Life isn't a formal debate with judges. You don't normally get to carry a debate to the end and declare a winner.

What you get to do is see how well your argument works against opposition, and then refine it and try again.

Imagine a newly arrived Christian floating arguments against opposition for the first time. She'll wind up going thru stages:
- Atheists are flakes, not really serious. They only claim to be atheists because they hate god, or because they like sinning, or because they worship the devil, or because they are trolls like flat earthers. But if there are serious atheists, naive unbelievers, I should be able to cure them simply by presenting any one of these compelling arguments that I've been armed with by my church.

- Some atheists are serious, and even nice. They work at this, civilly showing me what's wrong with my arguments. It's frustrating, really. They're supposed to convert, but I am unable to persuade them. I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I lack debating skill. Or maybe I don't have enough faith. Maybe Jesus is punishing me for that time when I did that thing.

- Okay, Pascal's wager is a non-starter. That dog won't hunt. I wonder why my church taught me that bad argument along with all the good arguments. They shouldn't have done that. I've wasted a lot of time and effort because of that mistake. Someone should notify the church that they've got a bad argument in the mix.

- You know what, several of these arguments go nowhere. They are not demonstrably sound. They have been a waste of my time, and, for that matter, that of the several atheists who work with me on this stuff. My job now is to, with the help of my atheist friends, work my way thru these arguments until I find one that isn't stupid. I have faith that my faith is ultimately reasonable, but I need -- for my benefit now, not for the atheists' benefit -- to find the rational underpinning of Christianity.

- My religion is good. I know this. How would we know good from bad without it? But I've been lied to. The church knows these are bad arguments, and it keeps them in circulation anyway. Why do they do that? Why don't they circulate good arguments instead of bad? Why, exactly, do we believe this stuff? If religion is good, why should belief have to be supported by lies?
This process can take months or years. It does not, typically, require people to acknowledge your victories over them. They many times don't even think you had a victory. They think you cheated, or that they screwed up. So they start over again and keep learning.


Speaking of losing debates, at least one of the Christians here cried foul when she knew the Christians have repeatedly lost debates to me. She seems to think my winning debates makes me angry and hateful. I think it's ridiculous to whine that way. If you can't take having your beliefs critiqued, then it's really stupid to debate them.
Yeah, that's not an attitude calculated to entice people to be candid about which part of an argument they're having trouble with.


But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly.
My impression is that they discipline theists a lot more than atheists. My impression is that this is because the atheists here are calmer, more civil, less easily frustrated, less likely to strike out at people.

We have logic on our side, see, so we get to take the high road. We get to demonstrably be the good guys.

Which isn't to say that we don't meet great Christian role models here too. I'm just saying that I've experienced nothing to support your claim of pro-Christian bias.


I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions. For example, very recently Elijah John moved a very good thread I started in the apologetics subforum to the Random Ramblings subforum. He moved it there because he knew that it was another disaster for Christian apologetics. He lied claiming there was no "room for debate."
Link, or it didn't happen.


Speaking of lying, the rule against accusing others of lying in this forum is ridiculous. The fact is that people often do lie and shouldn't be defended against being told that they've lied. I can understand why there would be such a rule in a Christian forum, though, because Christians very often lie to defend their beliefs.
If you think someone is lying, you shouldn't be talking to her at all. Give people the benefit of the doubt for as long as you can, and then, if you reach the point where you no longer can, go find someone else to talk to.

If you call someone a liar, she either is lying or she's not. If she is lying, she can carve another notch on her headboard, "Yay, I got another stupid atheist to break civility. I'm showing the world that they aren't nice. They're really easily frustrated morons."

If she's not lying, you just pissed her off, taught her that atheists are hateful. That we are the liars.

There's no upside to making that charge.

I remember saying (years ago) that someone on one of these forums was unreachable, obdurate, not worth talking to. I got pushback from several people. One of them said something like, "No, keep talking to her. She is me a year ago. If we keep engaging with her, she'll come around just like I did."

I couldn't give her the benefit of the doubt myself, so I let other people deal with her. I engaged with others, people with whom I could be more productive.


And what really irked me was when I was accused of lying, and nothing was done about it! When I pointed out that the accusation was false (a lie in itself), the Christians who made that false accusation were let go.

When you know your position is weak, then slant the playing field in your favor.
Project much?


But I've learned a lot here. I've learned that Christians cherish their comforting myths over everything else including people's welfare. They literally sacrifice children to abuse rather than concede the problems their beliefs can cause.

I can only hope that some day people wake up to this.
I'm totally with you. I believe that, in order to pass on their religion, Christians have to teach their kids to believe stupid things. They work hard to stunt the intellectual growth of their own children. This is abuse. It ought to stop.

But they aren't going to stop because you insult them and behave abrasively. That makes them less likely to stop. It reinforces their belief that atheists are the bad guys.

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Re: Goodbye for now!

Post #10

Post by CalvinsBulldog »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]
The first problem is the poor quality of the discourse here especially on the part of the Christian members. I found myself spending a lot of time correcting both logical and factual errors on their part. But even after repeatedly correcting those errors, in many cases the errors continued.
The last time I debated with you was about a decade ago, and you basically made the same hostile assertions about Christians then. Not a lot seems to have changed since. I remember you accused me of making logical errors which were not errors. When I pointed this out, you ignored the correction.

It's funny that what you perceive in your opponents is exactly my experience with discussion\debate with yourself.
Another problem involves the Christians' "disappearing acts." Rather than concede my points, they just leave the debate when they've realized they lost the debate.
Only Christians do this? Could there be other possibilities than people leaving because you have bested them with your unassailable logic?

It's happened to me before that I have got to the point where I have decided a discussion is hopeless. It's either descended into rank hostility, or there has been a breakdown in the methodology of intelligent discussion and my opponent is making no meaningful effort to engage with points being traded.

In those situations, where someone's decided to take out their big ol' blunderbuss and just fire away endlessly asserting their pet points, I often walk away. I don't have time to engage with childish, juevenile minds. Why stay when reason has broken down, courtesy has given way to rudeness, and rationality has been suspended? The debate is no longer an enjoyable exchange of intellect, and ego rules the day.

Qutting a debate does not presuppose people have been "defeated". Maybe the fact that this happens so often to you points to a deficiency in the way you engage or interact with other people? The last time I debated you, I ended up walking away for the above reasons. You had not "defeated" me. I just got sick of the hostile timbre of the discussion, and having my points ignored.
Speaking of losing debates, at least one of the Christians here cried foul when she knew the Christians have repeatedly lost debates to me. She seems to think my winning debates makes me angry and hateful. I think it's ridiculous to whine that way. If you can't take having your beliefs critiqued, then it's really stupid to debate them.
The last time I was here, about a decade ago, you were also telling me how badly you destroyed my position, et al. I am sure you found my response to be "whining" even though from my perspective it was a calm correction.
But more than anything else, I think the mods here have a strong Christian bias and treat us critics of Christianity unfairly. I know I've been treated unfairly by the mods on many occasions. For example, very recently Elijah John moved a very good thread I started in the apologetics subforum to the Random Ramblings subforum. He moved it there because he knew that it was another disaster for Christian apologetics. He lied claiming there was no "room for debate."
I've always thought the mods were quite fair. One mod, a Christian, rapped me over the knuckles for preaching in our last interaction.
Speaking of lying, the rule against accusing others of lying in this forum is ridiculous. The fact is that people often do lie and shouldn't be defended against being told that they've lied. I can understand why there would be such a rule in a Christian forum, though, because Christians very often lie to defend their beliefs
Really, nothing has changed in a decade. I'm right back at home! You were making the same ad hominem character assasinations against theists rolled into the soft dough of begging the question fallacies back then, too.

As I told you back then, sectarian accusations like this advance nothing. Atheists do not lie to defend their beliefs? Have you never read the (wearisomely verbose) works of Lenin or the propaganda of the League of Militant Atheists?

Target the behaviour, instead of targetting the people. Stop pretending that behaviours can be corralled into sectarian groups. Lying is something people do, regardless of whether they are atheists or Christians.

The rule is based on a well-established principle that has been used for hundreds of years in any situation where debate occurs. For example, an accusation of lying is unparliamentary within the Westminster tradition. An accusation of lying must be withdrawn or the accuser gets kicked out of the chamber. Likewise in other debating forums. If you begin with the premise that everyone is dealing in good faith, it actually makes debate a lot smoother.

Anyways, apart from being a grab for pretended omniscience, it's just plain bad argumentation - you're deliberately telling untruths to further your argument because I believe I know what is going on in your mind; ergo, I win because I'm honest! Mind-reading is always a bad debate tactic. The whole point of using evidence and reason as the basis of debate is that "lies" can be easily proven.
And what really irked me was when I was accused of lying, and nothing was done about it! When I pointed out that the accusation was false (a lie in itself), the Christians who made that false accusation were let go.
We are always most vigorous and biased in the cause of our own defence. That's why there is hardly a criminal alive that believes he has been justly dealt with by the court that sentenced him.

That's why we need a system of moderators. They provide a level of objective and impartial judgement which we can seldom provide when we are dealing with ourselves and inflamed emotions.
When you know your position is weak, then slant the playing field in your favor.
Funny, because that's what I thought about you when we debated.
But I've learned a lot here. I've learned that Christians cherish their comforting myths over everything else including people's welfare. They literally sacrifice children to abuse rather than concede the problems their beliefs can cause.
And the mystery of why you have negative interactions with Christians lessens further. Honestly, the day you stop generalising about people and viewing them in broadbrush terms, and start dealing with people as individuals is the day your debating experience will improve by orders of magnitude. If you haven't learned this in ten years, though, you never will.

How would you feel if I told you that I've found atheists to be dishonest and mendacious, as well as much less intelligent than they flatter themselves to be? Do you think that facilitates robust debate or hinders it? For goodness sake.
I can only hope that some day people wake up to this.
Yeah, no. Not going to happen. I tell you this in charity.

Keep complaining about the meta-discussion with zero personal reflection. Keep generalising about Christians and stamping them with the worst possible characteristics. You were doing it ten years ago. You're still doing it now. And how many people have you persuaded to your views in that time? I'm betting it comes to a round number - in fact, the roundest decimal digit that exists.

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