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On the rampant intellectual dishonesty in this forum

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Geko45, Apr 22, 2012.


  1. Geko45

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    I'd like to take a moment to address an issue that seems to involve nearly every thread here to one degree or another and that issue would be the rampant and pervasive presence of intellectual dishonesty in this forum.

    I don't intend to name any names in either praise or criticism. There are certain believers here that I have actually been quite impressed by (I believe you know who you are). Believers that debate fairly and honestly, make the best arguments they can in favor of their position and concede points when it is clear that the counter-point has been established. If you are one of these individuals, I commend you. You do your faith a great service by being a good example of it. Which in my mind is much more important than the validity of any particular argument.

    However, there are certain others (you know who you are as well) that have descended into what can only be described as a free-for-all of intellectual dishonesty. No distortion seems to great for these individuals. At no time will they concede that an argument has even been presented, let alone admit that one is valid. They use tactics such as denying that a point has been addressed even when there are multiple pages already presented on the topic. Or changing their argument on the fly when new information is presented without ever admitting that their position has changed. Or the continual demand for "proof" when they themselves offer none and refuse to accept responsibility for even backing their own assertions.

    My (rhetorical) question(s) to these individuals is this; What do you think you are accomplishing with these tactics? Do you believe some undecided third party is going to come across your parade of fallacies and not see them for exactly what they are? Are you not the least bit concerned of driving these people away from your faith by putting yourself forward as a negative example? Do you feel no social responsibility in this regard at all? Is it really all just about "winning"?

    Now, I have certainly handed out my share of sarcasm and even the occasional ad hominem, but only after I make my case first based on reason and evidence and only as a response to either intellectual dishonesty or similar ad hominems, but I am here for a purpose. Whether you agree with me or not, I am here because I believe that I have learned something that can help others and I want to try to pass on that knowledge to them. I want to help people that are currently stuck where I was stuck several years ago as I know the difficulties it entails.

    For those of us entrenched in our positions, we all (on both sides) know that it is unlikely that we will meaningfully sway the other. Most threads here will be fought to a stalemate and it will be up to the reader to make their own judgment on who they agree with, but some threads clearly are not stalemates. Some are entirely within the realm of provable, and yet these threads seem to be the ones that become the most divisive.

    I suppose that is just human nature. Nobody likes to be wrong. I have been wrong (only once that I know of ;-), but I do my best to recognize it and admit it publicly when it occurs. In actuality, these are the instances where I typically learn something new. Which is its own reward in my opinion. Can we not all strive for this goal? I'm not talking about any lofty and unattainable ideal, but just the simple first step of recognizing what the other has actually said and addressing it on its own merits as opposed to the verbal game of dodge ball that this forum has become?

    Is that to much to ask?

    Well, something to cogitate on at any rate, goodnight gentlemen...
     

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    #1 Geko45, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  2. English

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    Well said.

    English
     

  3. Geko45

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    Thank you. Although it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
     
  4. rgregoryb

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    .............did you say something? :supergrin:
     
  5. fgutie35

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    Not quite. You do have a point, but you cannot possibly hold everybody to the same standard of intelligence.
    You have to realize that most of poeple's knowledge ( including yours), come from things that we read somewhere from other people's knowledge or conclusions. Base on that, poeple take ownership of that data, and make their own conclusions, which then they classify as true knowledge. It happens in all spectrums of intellectuality. Not only that, but you also have to include those who are lazy and just parrot what other people or authors say about X subject, in the effort to look smart to others. There is also those who innocently expose what they believe without full knowledge of the facts. Then there are the ones you mentioned who take ecxerpts of articles or books, take them out of context, and shape them to aid their case fully aware of the consecuences and of what they are doing. For the atheists, I do not know if there will be a consecuence. For the believers, well I feel very sorry for them because they know better what awaits them. Sorry for the typos, typing on the ipad!
     
  6. Japle

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    They say that half the population has below average intelligence. I’ve never thought intelligence was the issue here, although the posters the OP refers to seem to believe they can treat anyone who doesn’t agree with them as members of the “below average” group.

    There are too many arguments and statements that are obviously absurd (even to low intelligence) to count. I’ve noticed too that logical, well reasoned arguments are often ignored or there’s a transparent attempt to misunderstand the argument or to try to deflect attention by asking an unrelated question. These attempts are frequently indicated by poor grammar and misspellings, as if the poster is desperate to refute his opponent and types out the first thing that pops into his head without thinking it through or running it through a spell/grammar check.

    I seriously doubt any of that will change. Ever.
     
  7. steveksux

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    Some people create intellectually dishonest arguments to use, others pass them along fully aware, and some are merely blinded by their belief and simply don't stop to think too hard about an argument when it agrees with their viewpoint.

    Birthers come to mind. Lots of other conspiracy theorists as well.

    [​IMG]

    Randy
     
    #7 steveksux, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  8. series1811

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    So the atheists here are trying to change minds and not liking how it is going? Why is that so important to you guys?

    And, the getting pissed about it, too.

    So, what is that all about?
     
    #8 series1811, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  9. Japle

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    We see this a lot. It’s been explained a lot.

    Again, a deliberate misstatement of the facts, apparently intended to divert attention from the OP’s subject.

    Assuming facts not in evidence. Atheists aren’t angry. Sometimes we’re amused, sometimes we’re baffled by what we read. Theists are usually the ones who are angry and defensive.

    Why are they defensive? Because they’ve got nuthin’.
     
  10. packsaddle

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    an excellent example of intellectual dishonesty.

    thanks for sharing!
     
  11. muscogee

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    See the OP.
     
  12. WS6

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    I agree. Here's a prime example:

     
  13. Tilley

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    Your entire statement is based on your claim that once you were deceived and believed in God, and now you are so much smarter and know God does not exist, so your mission here is to help us goofs to see things your way. To help us. So our lives will be so much better and clearer. Like yours.

    Your philosophy or your "logic" is based on certain rules. You seem to think that the entire universe can and must be compartmentalized on these rules. As if man has reached a point in our development to understand all things.

    If that is what you believe, then there can be no further discussion with you. You have a very myopic and can only believe in things within a limited range of thought.

    We are not at a point where we can say how the universe was formed, how man came to be, how life came from non-life, or why are we here. To say we know these answers is to only expose our ignorance and flavor it with childish arrogance.

    To believe in intelligent design leads one to believe that there is also a designer. We call him God.

    I know that it is not within my mental abilities to know what a designer of his capacity knows, thinks, let alone comprehend who he is.

    I do believe this designer has reached out to us to tell us about himself. He developed relationships with certain people who wrote about it. These writings compose the Bible.

    The designer himself placed himself in human form to be among us and to let us know who he is. To tell us why we are here.

    He gave us a mind to think and reason, and emotions to feel. He gave us freedom of choice. When it comes to Him, we can choose to believe or reject him. We can do great things, or debase ourselves and destroy one another.

    Why would a designer let us do this to ourselves? :dunno: But without freedom of choice, the can be no free will. Also, asking why falls again into the category trying to understand something far greater than our understanding.

    Bottom line in this freedom of choice is we get to keep our choices. Believe or not. Simple.


    1 Corinthians 3:18-20



    Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.

    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
     
  14. Tango 1Zero

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    This has taken a turn.
     
  15. English

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    It is often difficult to distinguish between intellectual dishonesty and intellectual incapacity. Geko has made it clear that he does not expect any of us to convince people like yourself and is only hoping that people who are already in the process of leaving religion will be helped by reading both sides of the discussions in this religious forum. What you call you "goofs" are no more than a foil to his purpose as he expects people lost between two viewpoints to have their doubts clarified by reading your posts. That is, he expects their doubts about the validity of religion to be strengthened by reading obviously falacious support for it and their emotional disturbance to be allieviated by reading of someone who has come happily out of the other side. This is not a difficult interpretation of what he has said, so why do you misrepresent it?

    English
     
    #15 English, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  16. Bren

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    Heck, you think this forum is bad, go over to the James Randii Education Foundation some time. That place attracts the kind of nuts who really do only live on the internet (on both sides of the debbate - the pseudo-intellectual alleged skeptics are the worst of all). Imagine people who claim to be skeptics - as long as it doesn't involve being skeptical of anything the left wing is required to hold sacred.

    It makes me as angry as watching the news on MSNBC, so I rarely go there.
     
    #16 Bren, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  17. Tilley

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    This isn't a philosophical debate, this is real life and death stuff to us.

    Look, you've probably heard somewhere in the Bible it says something like hate the sin and not the sinner, and our battle is not with flesh and blood...well, there is a battle here.

    Anyone who denounces Jesus as Lord is an antichrist. I really don't think it would be correct to say to an antichrist, "Well...you make a good point, and your views must be considered, and..." Baloney. If you denounce Jesus as Lord, you work for satan, you are deceived.

    Does that sound harsh? Heck yeah it does! But you are headed in a bad direction and it does no one any good to let an atheist go on believing things will turn out well for him if he continues.

    Intellectual dishonesty...give me break.
     
  18. Bren

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    I guess I'd be wrong to speculate on which of those words is causing you the most trouble.:rofl:
     
  19. lakepop

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    Man can not comprehend no beginning or no end.Two dementions the mind does not
    understand.
     
  20. Lone Wolf8634

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    Wow! My MIL just considers me a demon.:wow:

    I'll have to let her know I've been promoted.:supergrin: