When does ridicule work?When you watch a lot of arguments, debates, critiques and so on, it should be clear that ridicule is a common instrument in argumentation, especially when it comes to refutations. Many people resort to analogies to mock their opponents work, or even attack their opponents through satirical sketches or parodies. However, the question is when this is appropriate.When does ridicule work? by ResponsibleAtheist
Personally, I try to refrain from personal attacks as much as possible. I've argued with many people who seemed more concerned with being condescending and insulting than with actually trying to convince me. So I know how my opponents might feel if I resorted to similar techniques. The point of a debate is to convince your opponents, or at least have them consider your arguments and point of view. But when you offend people, they are less likely to listen to you and be open to what you have to say.
However, I'm a big fan of many people who usually resort to mockery to get their point across, like Nonstampcollector and Darkmatter
Does background matter in research?There are many scientists who study the history and customs of religion. Among these researchers are people who practice the religion themselves. And other researchers do not practice this religion. But does this affect their research? Do they paint an inaccurate picture of the religion they research because of this?Does background matter in research? by ResponsibleAtheist
On July 16, 2013, Reza Aslan published his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The book gained much publicity after Aslan’s interview with Fox News anchor Lauren Green. She criticized Aslan for writing about Jesus while he himself is a Muslim. Aslan defended himself by stating:
''I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim. So it’s not that I'm just some Muslim writing about Jesus. I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions.''
This small controversy does raise
The religious idea of free willIn discussions about religion and God, a common thing religious people bring up is free will, which they use to explain God´s lack of interference. However, many don´t seem to understand what free will exactly is, and especially not what the implications are. This is the definition of free will according to the dictionary:The religious idea of free will by ResponsibleAtheist
1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
2. Philosophy . the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.
There's still some disagreement about free will among philosophers. Some claim that it can’t exist because our actions have been predetermined by past events. Others claim that this doesn’t prevent free will (compatibilism), or that our choices aren’t affected by these events (libertarianism). However, most agree that free will means making decisions without them being restricted. For exam
Authority: All we need?When I argue with Christians, I often get a lot of arguments from authority (although that goes for most discussions unfortunately). I've argued with people who dismissed my arguments simply because I don't have any authority (mostly because of my age). People often act like authority is all someone needs, and that it wishes away any problem.Authority: All we need? by ResponsibleAtheist
However: It doesn't. The fact that you're an authority on something (due to your work or just education) doesn't make you infallible. If that was true, we would be thousands of years more avanced because no professional philosopher or professional scientist would ever make a mistake. But this isn't the case due to several reasons. One: We are human. Humans make mistakes. Two: While people have lots of experience with certain things, they will always come across things that they don't have experience with. For example, if a new theory is proposed, you can't claim to be an expert on the theory just because of your earlier success or education. Our e