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Author Topic:   An Army of One
nator
Member (Idle past 2254 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 16 of 59 (346275)
09-03-2006 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by NosyNed
09-03-2006 1:58 PM


Re: An approach??
quote:
Do not engage but ask for a lot of clarification. E.g., "how do you know?", what do you mean?, what do you define .... as?
I find this to be an extremely effective techniqe to fend off ignorant people who attack your acceptance of just about anything; evolution, feminism, liberalism, agnosticism, etc..
Acting curious and asking them to elaborate upon how it is that they know this information, who claims these things to be true, what did they do to check to see if the information is accurate, and so on, is a great way to get THEM to think about what they are claiming and saves you from trying to deal with a "Gish Gallop" situation.
Edited by schrafinator, : No reason given.

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BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 17 of 59 (346281)
09-03-2006 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by RAZD
09-03-2006 5:21 PM


Re: my 2bits (emailed earlier)
Hi RAZD.
There is a very low probability of making a dent on the newly converted.
Or the converted from long ago, it would seem.
Invite your brother to participate at EVC if he thinks he has any real argument.
I would love for him to do so, but it seems highly unlikely.
Or do you live at home while going to college?
Unfortunately, yes. I am in school and I am grateful for the hospitality ( I'm not free-riding, I do pay rent) but I wish to be on my own.
Thanks for your words and time.

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 Message 13 by RAZD, posted 09-03-2006 5:21 PM RAZD has not replied

  
BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 18 of 59 (346282)
09-03-2006 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by jar
09-03-2006 5:36 PM


Remember that there are two kinds of people, those who look for Answers to questions and those who look for answers to Question.
Eloquence, it would seem, is second nature to you.

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 Message 15 by jar, posted 09-03-2006 5:36 PM jar has not replied

  
BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 19 of 59 (346283)
09-03-2006 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by nator
09-03-2006 5:38 PM


Re: An approach??
Acting curious and asking them to elaborate upon how it is that they know this information, who claims these things to be true, what did they do to check to see if the information is accurate, and so on, is a great way to get THEM to think about what they are claiming and saves you from trying to deal with a "Gish Gallop"
I have never heard of a "Gish Gallop", but if I had to slap a label to their argument and methods of reasoning, this phrase would fit like a glove.
Thanks Schraf.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by NosyNed, posted 09-03-2006 6:44 PM BMG has replied
 Message 29 by dwise1, posted 09-03-2006 10:18 PM BMG has replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1339 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 20 of 59 (346284)
09-03-2006 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by BMG
09-03-2006 11:07 AM


I would suggest you read a book called Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism by Philip Kitcher. It is concise and discusses several different issues in the evolution/creationism debate that many people have a hard time grasping in easy to understand language. Moreover, in the course of this discussion, Dr. Kitcher uses many examples showing how science has progressed in the past and, while evaluating the scientific merit of evolution and creationism, explores some fairly complex questions in the philosophy of science. This book would not only help you understand the evolution/creation debate, but science in general.
Edited by subbie, : No reason given.

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

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 Message 1 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 11:07 AM BMG has replied

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 21 of 59 (346286)
09-03-2006 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by BMG
09-03-2006 6:34 PM


Questions
Why don't you jump in and ask your best dumb questions now?
I can absolutely assure you that asking questions of any kind will not be looked down on.
It will probably be best if each is in a thread of it's own though.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 6:34 PM BMG has replied

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1551 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 22 of 59 (346288)
09-03-2006 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by BMG
09-03-2006 11:07 AM


Standing in a half circle round me, eyes as wide as dinner plates, and voices which sounded like gunfire, I felt incredibly uncomfortable, even though I love to talk of the possibility of God, and Afterlife, and evolution.
Well, tell them that. Nobody has a right to put your spiritual beliefs to the question, or bully you into belief.
Tell your family that you're more than happy to answer questions about something you're interested in - biology - to the best of your knowledge, but that your individual spirital life isn't something you expect to have to justify to them. Nobody walks your path but you. Let them know how uncomfortable they made you, and don't let them play it off like "that's God's way of trying to reach you." (There's honestly no feeling or situation evangelical Christians won't try to capitalize on to convert you.)
Let them know that the science of biology and evolution are definately on the table, and you'd like whatever opportunities they have to correct their misunderstandings, but your personal faith is definately not on the table, and they have no right - indeed, should be deeply ashamed of themselves - for presuming to know better than you in that regard.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 11:07 AM BMG has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 9:43 PM crashfrog has replied

  
BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 23 of 59 (346290)
09-03-2006 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by subbie
09-03-2006 6:43 PM


This book would not only help you understand the evolution/creation debate, but science in general.
Sounds interesting. I will keep this in mind.
Thanks, subbie.

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BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 24 of 59 (346291)
09-03-2006 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by NosyNed
09-03-2006 6:44 PM


Re: Questions
Why don't you jump in and ask your best dumb questions now?
Well, I'll give you one question, and if the admin's (I know, you're and admin too Nosy) find it off topic and requiring another thread, then so be it.
One question they asked of me was whether or not I believed in the creation of Adam and Eve. I nodded in disapproval. Their mouths stood ajar and "Oh my God"! was said in chorus.
I wanted to mention something of the DNA bottlenecking that would occur in the homo sapien species, and how want of genetic diversity
may have killed us off.
Before I could respond, the subject changed, and to reply then I would have had to yell, and decided not to.
P.S. I will respond to you tomorrow Crash, for I have run out of time for today.
AbE: I should have mentioned, although at the time I typed this I was short on time, that the greater reason I didn't mention the genetic bottlenecking was that this was something I didn't know much about, and needed to read up on this more before I was going to use it as support for my position.
Thus my reason for asking about credible books on the subject.
Thank you all for your time.
Edited by Infixion, : No reason given.

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 Message 21 by NosyNed, posted 09-03-2006 6:44 PM NosyNed has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by NosyNed, posted 09-03-2006 9:05 PM BMG has replied

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 25 of 59 (346296)
09-03-2006 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by BMG
09-03-2006 8:22 PM


Adam and Eve
Well, it's not exactly a question is it?
I suggest that you were a bit blunt. When the kids (now late teens) ask if I believe in santa claus I still say yes.
I think you can, in the same spirit (pardon the pun), say you do believe in Adam and Eve (to the degree that you believe in god or are agnostic about it).
What makes us human (please refer to catholic church's position on this too) is NOT the bodies that we inhabit; it is the our natures (our spirit for those so inclined -- but not me).
One can choose to believe that god "breathed" this spirit into the animal shell and in fact did it to just a pair of early humans about 200,000 years ago.
Of course, others here would say that God is MUCH more powerful than that and set the course of events going 4 or 14 billion years ago knowing that after that time a few millenia ago spirited humans would arise.
Not necessarily just two but only a few in the garden of Africa.
It's too bad that your family choose to believe in such a little weak god but what can you do.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 8:22 PM BMG has replied

Replies to this message:
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BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 26 of 59 (346301)
09-03-2006 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by crashfrog
09-03-2006 7:39 PM


Nobody has a right to put your spiritual beliefs to the question, or bully you into belief.
That's the Crash I remember . I mentioned to them that I respected their beliefs and had no quarrels with it, if and only if they would extend the same courtesy, tolerance and understanding to me.
This seemed to register to a certain degree, but their incredulity in my being the only agnostic in the family still sends shivers down their spines.
This is definately a work in progress, but I remain optimistic.
As an aside, I appreciate this forum greatly, for I can think of no other place or forum in which I could reveal such personal issues. Aside from a psychologist's office, of course, but this method is far cheaper.
I see this site as almost an electronic journal, although I fear a poster here may have already used this metaphor.
Thank you Crash.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by crashfrog, posted 09-03-2006 7:39 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1551 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 27 of 59 (346303)
09-03-2006 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by BMG
09-03-2006 9:43 PM


This seemed to register to a certain degree, but their incredulity in my being the only agnostic in the family still sends shivers down their spines.
I know how you feel. Every time I'm faced with an issue, or things aren't going well for me, it seems like my parents are all like "you know, I find prayer very helpful at these times."
I politely remind them that that's something that isn't going to work for me, and I try to avoid the issue at other times. Of course I recently got my conservative mom a book about how the GOP is manipulating American Christianity to its own purposes, and that went over like a lead balloon.
You're not alone in your walk. Almost every atheist and agnostic has to deal with the well-intentioned evangelism of their family. Understand that they belong to a church that informs them that absolutely nothing is more important than convincing you to believe just like them.
Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by BMG, posted 09-03-2006 10:22 PM crashfrog has replied

  
BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 28 of 59 (346304)
09-03-2006 10:11 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by NosyNed
09-03-2006 9:05 PM


Re: Adam and Eve
Not necessarily just two but only a few in the garden of Africa.
Blasphemy! Sorry, I'm just imagining how they would respond. But you make a good point. Perhaps some form of compromise would be best.
I'll see how things roll out, but to be perfectly honest, I guess, I just needed to blow off some steam.
It seems to be something similar to many posts I have read on this forum of the science literate being overwhelmed with frustration when conversing with those less knowledgable of the facts.
Thanks again, Ned.

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5973
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 29 of 59 (346305)
09-03-2006 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by BMG
09-03-2006 6:34 PM


Re: An approach??
quote:
I have never heard of a "Gish Gallop", but if I had to slap a label to their argument and methods of reasoning, this phrase would fit like a glove.
It's named for Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), one of the inventors of "creation science" in the wake of Epperson vs Arkansas (1968), which led to the demise of the 1920's "monkey laws." He was one of the leading creationist debators, the 1970's debate circuit having been their primary venue for attacking evolution and drumming up support for their "balanced-treatment laws".
Gish was famous for firing off a series of "problems for evolution" that his opponent could not respond to. One main reason why his opponent could not respond was the format of the debate (which had to be exactly how the creationist wanted it or it would not happen). The opponent had 20 minutes to respond. It would take longer than that to respond to any single one of Gish's "problems for evolution"; eg, if Gish fired off 10 "problems" in one minute (he could do more than just 10) and each needed 30 minutes to respond to properly to demonstrate what was wrong with each claim, then the opponent would need five hours to respond in. But he was only allowed 20 minutes.
Another reason was that most of their opponents in the 70's didn't know anything about the creation science claims and so were caught completely by surprise. So they went back and did their homework and turned the tide around 1980.
Good luck. Just be glad your brother wasn't sucked in by Chuck Smith or his son. Even my friends at Saddleback complain that Calvary is too legalistic.
PS
When they present you with a claim, do take it seriously and at face value. Then ask them about it. Try to discuss it with them, as was suggested to you earlier in this thread. I've found that there's nothing that a creationist hates more than to discuss their own claims and have to support them.
PPS
No, evolution is not mentioned in the Bible. A lot of things aren't. Including the Republican Party. Including the Baptist Church. Including Protestantism.
Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.
Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.

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BMG
Member (Idle past 293 days)
Posts: 357
From: Southwestern U.S.
Joined: 03-16-2006


Message 30 of 59 (346306)
09-03-2006 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by crashfrog
09-03-2006 10:06 PM


You're not alone in your walk.
That's reassuring.
Almost every athiest and agnostic has to deal with the well-intentioned evangelism of their family.
I guess I'm no exception.
Understand that they belong to a church that informs them that absolutely nothing is more important than convincing you to believe just like them.
This is the facet of several organized religions that I fear the most. Just today I was reminded that they were "not going to give up on me so easy"; I smiled and walked away.
I think the responsibility of clear and well-intentioned dialogue more strongly tilts on my side. It's possible some change in habits and ways of thinking can manifest itself in them, but it's not very likely.
But again, I will remain optimistic that we can live in harmony and with a greater understanding and tolerance for one another.
Thanks again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 09-03-2006 10:06 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
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