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ChloeB

You Say God Is Dead?

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ChloeB
An explosion of smart-phone software has placed an arsenal of trivia at the fingertips of every corner-bar debater, with talking points on sports, politics and how to kill a zombie.Now it is taking on the least trivial topic of all: God.

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Publishers of Christian material have begun producing iPhone applications that can cough up quick comebacks and rhetorical strategies for believers who want to fight back against what they view as a new strain of strident atheism. And a competing crop of apps is arming nonbelievers for battle. Publishers of Christian material have begun producing iPhone applications that can cough up quick comebacks and rhetorical strategies for believers who want to fight back against what they view as a new strain of strident atheism. And a competing crop of apps is arming nonbelievers for battle.

“Say someone calls you narrow-minded because you think Jesus is the only way to God,” says one top-selling application introduced in March by a Christian publishing company. “Your first answer should be: ‘What do you mean by narrow-minded?’ ”

For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”

In a dozen new phone applications, whether faith-based or faith-bashing, the prospective debater is given a primer on the basic rules of engagement — how to parry the circular argument, the false dichotomy, the ad hominem attack, the straw man — and then coached on all the likely flashpoints of contention. Why Darwinism is scientifically sound, or not. The differences between intelligent design and creationism, and whether either theory has any merit. The proof that America was, or was not, founded on Christian principles.

Users can scroll from topic to topic to prepare themselves or, in the heat of a dispute, search for the point at hand — and the perfect retort.

Software creators on both sides say they are only trying to help others see the truth. But most applications focus less on scholarly exegesis than on scoring points.

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xYlvax

that's crazy :lol:

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SilverCougar

Yes, because fueling fights between religious folk nd non religious folk at the touch of a button is always a "good thing"

>.<

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ShadowSot

So... in essence this would be more competition between the two companies, as the people using these apps would not be contributing anything themselves...

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questionmark

Wow, incredible to what length some companies go to generate some cash flow...

Now, I have a question: Does this App also provide an unequivocal proof that either God exists and/or He is alive?

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Paranoid Android

I can just imagine how this is going to affect future discussions with people....

Door knocker (Christian): *knock knock* Hi, would you like to hear about the great news of Jesus Christ.

Home owner (atheist): Oh, that'd be great. I love showing Christians how wrong they are. Just give me a sec and I'll grab my iPhone.

Door Knocker: Wow, I use one of those as well.

*cue 20 minutes of "debate", as the two protagonists read prepared statements from their iPhone applications, searching key words that the other person brings up*

:rofl::lol: I can just imagine future debates and discussions being held via iPhone. Why not just hook the iPhone's up and let them debate for you :whistle:

Edited by Paranoid Android

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BlindMessiah

This is the epitome of what I believe religious debates have ultimately boiled down to: rehearsed lines that the speaker doesn't even understand. It's like when young children repeat their parents' political views, they don't understand them, they just know what to say.

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Rosewin

iRebuke

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questionmark

This is the epitome of what I believe religious debates have ultimately boiled down to: rehearsed lines that the speaker doesn't even understand. It's like when young children repeat their parents' political views, they don't understand them, they just know what to say.

Ah, here we are getting somewhere, and that is the core of the debate:

Do those who preach really know what they are saying or do the just parrot-like repeat what they have heard?

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Amaranthe90

People should just believe what they want and let other people believe what they want.

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Emma_Acid

I can just imagine how this is going to affect future discussions with people....

Door knocker (Christian): *knock knock* Hi, would you like to hear about the great news of Jesus Christ.

Home owner (atheist): Oh, that'd be great. I love showing Christians how wrong they are. Just give me a sec and I'll grab my iPhone.

Door Knocker: Wow, I use one of those as well.

*cue 20 minutes of "debate", as the two protagonists read prepared statements from their iPhone applications, searching key words that the other person brings up*

Until they give up and just play scrabble.

Edited by Emma_Acid

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Paranoid Android

This is the epitome of what I believe religious debates have ultimately boiled down to: rehearsed lines that the speaker doesn't even understand. It's like when young children repeat their parents' political views, they don't understand them, they just know what to say.

Agreed to an extent - provided this applies to both religious and non-religious adherents, I cannot disagree. It has been my experience that there are so many uninformed people in this world (both for and against Christianity)..... the big debate here is how to help people become more informed of their outlook on life (whatever that may entail).

~ PA

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Paranoid Android

Ah, here we are getting somewhere, and that is the core of the debate:

Do those who preach really know what they are saying or do the just parrot-like repeat what they have heard?

But contrary-wise, do those who respond to preaching really know what they are saying or do they also just parrot-like repeat what they have heard from others?

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questionmark

But contrary-wise, do those who respond to preaching really know what they are saying or do they also just parrot-like repeat what they have heard from others?

Accepted point.

The only slight difference is that nobody not preaching would go out of his way to make his arguments known.

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ChloeB

I can just imagine how this is going to affect future discussions with people....

Door knocker (Christian): *knock knock* Hi, would you like to hear about the great news of Jesus Christ.

Home owner (atheist): Oh, that'd be great. I love showing Christians how wrong they are. Just give me a sec and I'll grab my iPhone.

Door Knocker: Wow, I use one of those as well.

*cue 20 minutes of "debate", as the two protagonists read prepared statements from their iPhone applications, searching key words that the other person brings up*

:rofl::lol: I can just imagine future debates and discussions being held via iPhone. Why not just hook the iPhone's up and let them debate for you :whistle:

LOL, it's true. How would that go over if someone's arguing with you, but has to pause between to consult their iPhone? You'd end up telling them to just hand you the phone and debate with it, as it's the one that has the answers.

But yeah, a handy dandy tool for debater on the go in our fast food society, who would like to take a strong stance about religious issues, but really can't be bothered with all that time-consuming learnn', yet would like to appear that they have. I'd say that's the crux of the issue.......why would someone want to take the time to argue something, attempt to sway another, if they aren't to be troubled by investing much effort in researching it them for themselves...........and that dance is performed on both sides of the fence.

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Paranoid Android

Accepted point.

The only slight difference is that nobody not preaching would go out of his way to make his arguments known.

Accepted point. But I would also argue that there are people out there with very strong anti-religious agendas who do go out of their way to make their arguments known - of course, it could also be argued that these anti-religious individuals are engaging in their own form of "preaching", trying to make the religious see the error of their ways, so to speak. Would you agree?

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MARAB0D

The interference of the phone companies shows that the modern religions have nothing to deal with the dialogue "a person - God". They simply do not go that deep, and are only concerned with the recruiting the followers for the sake of increasing the tithe cash-flow. I fail to see a logical connection between someone's private belief or disbelief in God and the need of special software to debate this belief or disbelief. Atheism means "no God", so what an Atheist can debate with a believer unless they both just want to advance their debating skills? It has been clarified long ago that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, but it is even harder to prove or disprove that some certain religious view on this God is correct and adequate. I mean that in general the Atheists can encounter absolutely any possible and impossible religious concept, so how the software can counter all existing cults, sects, teachings and heresies?

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Rosewin

The interference of the phone companies shows that the modern religions have nothing to deal with the dialogue "a person - God". They simply do not go that deep

...

unless they both just want to advance their debating skills?

It does reveal that popular religion for the most has lost the deeper and private components that offered the most benefits in what religion and spirituality has to offer.

What we have left is the rotting shell of a fruit long fallen from the tree. What was once pleasant to the eye now leaves the horrible stench of divisiveness.

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MARAB0D

It does reveal that popular religion for the most has lost the deeper and private components that offered the most benefits in what religion and spirituality has to offer.

What we have left is the rotting shell of a fruit long fallen from the tree. What was once pleasant to the eye now leaves the horrible stench of divisiveness.

Yes, one can notice the degradation. Post-modernist religious forms do not have the esoteric component, which traditional religions have. There is no Theology or monasticism at all in the new churches, no "God search". They are rather just social clubs. To me this demonstrates the agony of the organised religious forms, they are existing in a materialistic society and reflect it by also being materialistic. The relationships with God are seen as a form of a contract, a trade - one side behaves well, and another side guarantees postmortal reward... Pity they cannot produce the original with God's signature :)

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TFSM

I just want to point out that this is exactly that type of non-thinking, respond with what you are told type of attitude for which many athiests criticize thiest. Having an iphone application feed you your argument is no better than having your argument fed to you by a book or by your spiritual leader.

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questionmark

Accepted point. But I would also argue that there are people out there with very strong anti-religious agendas who do go out of their way to make their arguments known - of course, it could also be argued that these anti-religious individuals are engaging in their own form of "preaching", trying to make the religious see the error of their ways, so to speak. Would you agree?

Oh yes, in fact extreme atheism is a new form of religion, with as many fanatics as any other one.

Some fanatically believe in God and others fanatically do not believe in God. In between there are many shades of gray.

And to me all ayatollahs are the same animal, no matter if theist or atheist.

Edited by questionmark

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Tiggs

...It has been clarified long ago that it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God...

* Consults his iSmite *

Paris Hilton. I rest my case.

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Paranoid Android

I just want to point out that this is exactly that type of non-thinking, respond with what you are told type of attitude for which many athiests criticize thiest. Having an iphone application feed you your argument is no better than having your argument fed to you by a book or by your spiritual leader.

Indeed. Unfortunately for humanity, stupidity is not confined to a single religion or belief. Just because someone identifies themselves as either atheist, agnostic, or non-religious (or any other synonym for such a view) does not make them "smarter" than everyone else, nor does it mean they have spent more time and effort in developing their world view. Just because a person states "there is no creator" does not therefore mean that they have invested more time or thought into the question than someone who believes a creator exists....

~ PA

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mklsgl

Indeed. Unfortunately for humanity, stupidity is not confined to a single religion or belief. Just because someone identifies themselves as either atheist, agnostic, or non-religious (or any other synonym for such a view) does not make them "smarter" than everyone else, nor does it mean they have spent more time and effort in developing their world view. Just because a person states "there is no creator" does not therefore mean that they have invested more time or thought into the question than someone who believes a creator exists....

~ PA

I'll reply in a little while... my phone needs to recharge. ;)

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MARAB0D

Oh yes, in fact extreme atheism is a new form of religion, with as many fanatics as any other one.

Some fanatically believe in God and others fanatically do not believe in God. In between there are many shades of gray.

And to me all ayatollahs are the same animal, no matter if theist or atheist.

QM, religion is an organised set of beliefs and practices. Atheism does not recommend any "practices"! Neither it is an organised set of beliefs with its own scripture, Theology, priests, prophets etc. Atheism involves no worshiping, no praying, no "sin", no afterlife rewards or punishments. Atheism is simply a natural rational thinking, when only really existing factors and events are taken into account, while the myths and legends are treated exactly as myths and legends.

When/if Atheism appears aggressive, the reason to this is hidden in the social interactions between the people. Religious mindset prevents the carrier to fully accommodate all information, which the modern society needs the members to possess, and thinking algorithms which are required to maximise personal contribution to the social wealth. The latter directly affects the taxes the other citizens pay and their living style and standards, so these "other" may try persuading the believers to wake up, drop the golden slumbers off and become more productive within the society. A modern person must think about the job done to the highest possible standard, not about some bearded santa in the skies, it is not middle ages outside. Even the immigration flood in many respects is caused by the inability of the native citizens to acquire the skills, essential for the normal social functioning, and this is the reason why educated Chinese spies work in Los Alamos instead of patriotic Americans, who neglect getting proper education for the sake of reading the Bible.

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