As I'm currently working as a teacher, I have nothing to do for the next two months, and a lot of time to kill. I am quite keen on debate. In particular, I like debating about religion. This is not so much because I am passionate about the topic, but because it is a unique topic to discuss. It gets into the very nature of what truth is, what evidence is, what can justify a belief, and so on so forth. Since topics on religion inevitably end in a debate about religion with people getting upset, I thought I'd make a topic with the expressed purpose of debating about religion.
To hopefully make this a topic that is not full of bans, I'm going to lay down the following rules.
1. By posting, you consent to have your beliefs challenged, and possibly insulted. If you are sensitive about this sort of thing and do not enjoy having your beliefs challenged, then don't post.
2. While I am not here to offend or provoke, I will give my honest opinions on beliefs. I imagine that my opinions may be offensive to some. If you are going to be offending by me calling your ideas ridiculous, then you'd be better off not engaging me. You may call my ideas ridiculous if you find them to be so. I will not attack any person holding beliefs, only the beliefs themselves.
3. If at any point, a conversation becomes unfruitful either participant may simply make a post saying ONLY "I don't feel this is productive" or something similar. After this, the other participant will say NOTHING beyond possibly "It was nice taliking to you" or something along those lines. They will not attempt to get a last point in, or try to goad anyone into posting further. This way, nobody has to feel obligated to keep defending their points in fear of "losing" the internet debate.
Now, I'm willing to debate whatever facet of religion anyone would like to discuss. I'll explain my beliefs so that people know how to respond. If you try to mischaracterize my beliefs, I simply won't respond.
1. I am an atheist. By this I mean that I do not believe in any deities or supernatural things. I don't think it is impossible for those things to exist, but that there is no compelling reason to believe that they do.
2. I do reject the Judeo Christian god/Jesus/Yahweh/Jehovah, if you believe that the Bible to be a literal and accurate description of his attributes and character. If you view the Bible as metaphorical, I find the existence of this particular god very very unlikely, but not impossible. I do however believe that belief in this god is irrational.
3. I belive that the idea of a personal god, one that cares about humanity as a whole or individuals, is incredibly incredibly unlikely.
4. I find the idea of a deistic god (one who created the universe and does not interact with it) to be pointless. If such a god existed, it would not have much bearing on how to live one's life.
5. I find the idea of some force or being beyond current human comprehension, that some may call a god, to be actually somewhat likely. As with the deistic god though, I don't think it's relevant. So if you want to argue about a first cause, or something like that, then I will, but I don't think the conversation is useful.
6. I think that organized religion is a fundamentally bad thing.
7. I believe that nations should be entirely secular. As in, religious ideas should not be a factor in laws and policies. Conversely, the government should have no hand in discouraging religion.
So, if anyone wants to have a (hopefully) interesting and productive conversation with me or someone else, come on in and throw out an issue to be debated.