09 February 2010

Reflection - Debate with Puritan Lad

Puritan Lad has put in his last comment to the debate thread. It is time for me to reflect on the debate. [transcript]

1. Obviously, we started off with very different views. Since it is impossible to prove non-existence, I demanded him to prove the existence of his god. That is a mistake because the debate went no where. He was unable to see the flaw of his logic structure - which unfortunately, I pointed out explicitly rather late in the debate. However, even when I pointed out repeatedly using different examples, he still could not get it. That has caused a lot of frustration on my part. He focussed on the "substance" of the examples while I was using the examples to illustrate the flaw of his logical structure. He thought he has defeated every examples!

2. He basically kept insisting that he has proved his god's existence by asserting that "god is the precondition for meaningful knowledge". I saw that as a circular argument. However, when I attempted to point to other possible causes of human meaningful knowledge, he argued that the epistemological base of science needs justification within an "atheistic" world view. He obviously was reckoning that science is the religion of atheists, yet failed to justify his own. I should have focussed more on getting a justification.

3. He continuously asked me to justify why I am an atheist. As I pointed out my atheist reasoning is the same as his reasoning that he did not believe in Zeus etc. He offered "his god exists" as an reason. I thought I have caught the best moment to insist on getting a solid proof from him. He quickly went back to pressing on my views. That's again very frustrating.

My conclusion of this debate is that I should not attempt any debate with people unable to use logic properly. I need to read up about the "transcendental" arguments and get myself more acquainted to their line of reasoning in order to put forward an argument they may be able to understand.

Since I am no going to respond to the debate any more, the points raised in his last comment will be left as is. The last comment has been included in the debate transcript hosted here.

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