Reforming Counter-Apologetics


Reforming Counter-Apologetics

Dedicated to realizing the fundamental impulses that drive belief, and seeking secular parallels ~ creating a format for discussion that doesn't address apologetical arguments as much as it replaces the need for those arguments to begin with.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Mar 7, 2014

Discussion Forum

Formulating a New Argument

Started by Park Bierbower. Last reply by Jedi Wanderer Jun 16, 2012. 11 Replies

I was listening to a podcast a few weeks ago, and they were covering the apologetical argument known as Pre-supposational Apologetics.  Its a clever argument, hard to refute if you're not already…Continue

Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 27, 2012. 1 Reply

Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief, Study ShowsJust using their "analytic" system of thinking…Continue

Impulse that drives belief -death anxiety?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 4, 2012. 1 Reply

New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to…Continue

Tags: fear of death

The Accursed Argument (from lack of proof)

Started by Jedi Wanderer. Last reply by Jedi Wanderer Jan 8, 2012. 13 Replies

All of us should by now be intimately familiar with this argument. It is the foundation of the arguments used by a religious friend of mine that I met on MySpace and have argued extensively on the…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 30, 2011 at 4:53pm

Selling atheism is a terrific way to think about the group, in my opinion. I am unsure whether it necessarily needs to be neutral all the time, or whether there isn't room for defensive and offensive strategies as well, all three being used in a full repertoire. But definitely, selling is what our goal is.


As for our most recent "enterprise" (ah, a Star Trek joke, how appropriate) with language exercises, I have gotten to the point of frustration as well. Here is the thing with the whole ambiguity idea: unless we are willing to start going through the English pantheon word by word, saying which word is acceptably defined and which word is too ambiguous, we are just not going to get anywhere by trying to make a big deal out of this argument. Let's call it the "argument from language". It can have its own discussion, and all matters pertaining to it can be left there to be dealt with by whoever thinks it is still relevant. I personally don't. And I think I speak for everyone here except TJ that the argument has run its course. Please TJ, start your own new discussion with tis as the topic, and you can explore its relevance to your hearts content, but from now on the argument will have to remain a dead issue. And to add another thing, the argument is itself a philosophical argument. If the accusation that doing philosophy is using a "religious method" is going to be tossed around, one might just as quickly point out that your philosophical argument regarding ambiguity is not immune. And yeah, you do need help. But you have been good-natured about it, you have admitted that you really don't understand what you are doing, so we all appreciate that you have been so self-effacing and this gives us some hope through all the... fogginess!

Comment by AtheistTech on January 30, 2011 at 12:56pm

Maybe because I have a poor ability to express my ideas accurately is the reason you do not see the connection between this group's goals and my observations. I will try to explain and I hope this group educates me and plugs the holes in my ideas. Here it goes:

From the two comments I read below, the two things you have grasped from my commentary are that religion uses ambiguous words, and that religion may indeed have an advanced (evolved?) knowledge of the human psyche (or just an advanced ability to motivate (manipulate?) people).

Maybe by asking "How does religion use ambiguous words to manipulate people?", I can illustrate my observation of religion's methods. If I tell you that your loved one who has died is in a better place, that sometimes leads to the question "Are they happy there?" Because of my poor ability to express myself, I am under the assumption that from these questions, you can see how religion uses ambiguity to further their agenda.

The point I am trying to make is illustrated in these facts:
1) religion is very old (millennia)
2) The primary goal of religion was for millennia to control(for want of a better word) people's behavior.
3) The religious leaders have honed this ability over millennia
4) This ability is a human tool that can be studied and learned from and in the end defeat religion.
Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 30, 2011 at 10:31am
Yes we should. This is one area I am not proficient in, so I would certainly benefit from a discussion which points out the inaccuracies of religious claims. All of the religious texts have undergone changes and rewrites, things being taken out and things being put in at later dates. I don't really know the details though. I know that Muslims think that the Koran is the infallible word of God, that it is (according to them) the only book which has never been changed or altered from its original pristine state, but this has gotta be false. Anybody want to start a discussion and help a brother out?
Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 30, 2011 at 8:11am

A thought I just had while showering:


It is probably already obvious to you guys, but I thought I'd just say it out loud anyway. The reason why atheism is hated by religious people even more than other religions is that if another religion is right, theirs may be only slightly wrong, but if atheism is right, then they are WAY off.


I think this would be a nice way to start off an argument with a theist. You can ask them how they honestly feel about another religion (Islam seems to be the dreaded one in our culture). After letting them rail about it for a little, then ask them how they feel about atheism. Then you are in the position of pointing out that while other religions are threatening to their worldview because it means theirs must be somewhat wrong, atheism is even more threatening because it means theirs is very wrong indeed. And then we are in a better position to ask them about things like "what is objective truth?" and "why should I believe one religion over another?"

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 29, 2011 at 9:17pm

"Ambiguous language like spirit, soul, God, afterlife, Hell, faith, etc."


Sorry if this is all I got from the post, but it is an interesting thought. Ambiguity may have a lot to do with it, but I agree with TrekJunky that religion does offer much more in the way of a human psychology and plays on our motivations much better than we non-theists often give them credit for. Perhaps you may have noticed that I posted a new discussion with the topic being Thumos, the greek word for "spiritedness". Obviously I will have a lot more to say on this subject, but I would like to point out that to be "spirited" can easily equate to being motivated. Just wanted to make that clear so I don't lead anyone into believing that I would say human "spirit" needs to be anything like another of the ambigious words you use, "soul". But I will take up this discussion concerning spirit, soul, psyche, motivation, etc. either in that discussion or... just later. Gotta get some sleep.

Comment by AtheistTech on January 29, 2011 at 6:37pm
I would like to offer my comments in another group that I feel apply to this group very admirably:

If you feel inclined to read this comment, you may have a question or two for me. If you do, feel free to call me any name you like, then ask your question.

Have a great day!
Comment by Marc Draco on January 28, 2011 at 6:01pm
You know me so well. :-)
Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 28, 2011 at 5:39pm
Hah, I saw that one coming. As soon as I read what he wrote, I thought, uh oh, Marc is going to lose it. I've fallen into a rage over stupid shit like that before. Rookie mistake!
Comment by Marc Draco on January 28, 2011 at 5:21pm

Park, Wanderer, sorry for the outburst in the discussion earlier - probably unwarranted, but I'd had quite enough of this sort of "I know better" remark. JD has worn my patience quite thin and then to have some claptrap about imperfect language sent me over the edge.


I need to get out more. :-)

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on January 28, 2011 at 3:11pm
I'm pretty sure their is. Should be an option for moderator to approve inclusion to the group somewhere.

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