Personally, I think that engaging believers is an essential part of atheism. If you believe that religion poisons everything, then it becomes a moral responsibility to combat its influence.
Aside from that is the lack of variety in a mutual admiration society. If we all share the same basic notions about religion and its pernicious effects on humanity, we'll run out of issues to discuss . . . or else, we'll keep paraphrasing those issues. Debating with diametrically opposed points of view might prove daunting for the moderators but I believe it would prove to be invigorating for Atheist Nexus as a whole.
On the flip side, there's a lot of benefits to a gathering place where atheists can relax.
But we can have both if we designate a particular section of the site for engagement with believers. That way, the disinterested can still relax (by avoiding those sections) and the debaters can debate.
Personally, I believe that nobody is going to deconvert before our very eyes. But gauging from my own experience, all the arguments presented here will accrue in the minds of believers -- along with all the other arguments they've ever heard before. And, because of their exposure to these arguments, many current believers will be tomorrow's atheists when they finally admit they were brainwashed all along.
So, to me, debate with believers is important. Every deconversion makes the world a better place.
I am totally against that idea. There are PLENTY of other websites available for discourse between atheists and theists. Atheist/Nexus is our own unique vacation away from all that crap. This is our underground bunker that shields us from direct contact with the religious nut-jobs who roam this earth.
With that said, I see you are a new member here. I'd like to wish you a warm welcome to Atheist/Nexus. Please don't take offense to my reply of your suggestion. I think you'll find lots of robust topics here to discuss. I see you are quite young, and I commend you for seeking us out. Welcome. --Carl
I'd agree that "direct contact with the religious nut-jobs" is not desirable for the entire site. But a section of the site where believers can espouse their views and debate with us would still preserve the remainder of the site for atheist commiseration.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Religionists can't debate religion because it is nonsense. There is no basis to their beliefs. They would get torn apart.
Are you alright ?
I see you're a young fellow. Don't worry about old farts like me.
Frankly, I'm here to enjoy the company of other atheists and discuss issues regarding atheism, as well as issues of personal interest to me which others may share, WITHOUT the interruption of theists and their tripe.
I had a considerable run on another board where I indulged in such debates. I have to say that, for the large part, those debates were wasted time. It may be that the odd person who read those discussions may have been influenced positively, but for what I saw, they were more an exercise in people talking past each other than to each other. I have had enough of that.
If a JW or other suchlike comes to my door (and they have, more than once), I have no problem in engaging them in discussion and dismantling their naive positions. Otherwise, I have better things to do.
Debates is a good idea, but it won't work here and they would end up posting all sorts of religious crap also. This is because you cannot restrict their answers to debate only. Try searching instead for a site that specializes in atheist vs. religious debates. Once there you will find that the "stupid atheists" do not have any answers and the religionists (resting on the authority of their sacred writings) are "making their heads explode" with the power and authority of "god's writings."
Good idea but an "I CAN"T HEAR YOU" battle. It just won't work.