To which I replied – I probably didn’t. The fact of the matter is, there are so many issues and arguments and voices in some threads, it is almost impossible to take them all in.

There must be a better way of working through topics. Is “The Center for Inquiry” one of the premier forums for rational discourse about religion or not? Let’s put our heads together on this.

One approach would be to start multiple parallel threads on a topic. So for example, qwerty666 kicks of a conversation by asserting that “secular morality is superior to religious morality.” liberty1776 responds from a libertarian point of view. After a bit of back and forth, a new participant, john3:16, wants to push back against the original assertion from an evangelical christian point of view.

Would it make sense for john3:16 to start a new thread for this? He/she could cut and paste qwerty666’s original question into a new thread and go from there.

Or perhaps we could tighten up our questions by adding more in at the start. So, for example, instead of asking

If it is something that you can try unilaterally, I say go for it. As far as getting the diverse characters on this thread to cooperate with what you think is better, I suggest that you may need a Master’s Degree in cat herding.

The levels are misleading. Having a level 1 skill is not the same as having a leve VidMate l 1 strength rating in the old system. Instead, a level 1 skill is more akin to have initially or recently completed a new skill and having it golden. The levels after that are more levels of fluency, much like Mobdro having strengthened a certain skill over and over again.

It has been my experience that these types of debates are not productive. Atheists and theists simply don’t speak the same language or hold the same things as important. Atheists are only interested in facts. My Jehovah’s Witness friend just cannot comprehend that his Bible quotes only mean something IF he’s right. They will never show that he is. But he keeps throwing them at me and making me look them up because he simply does not comprehend that we are speaking different languages. I say, “Give me a reason to believe there is a God” and he gives me an argument, “Assuming that there is a God and using only my religious text and understanding, here’s why mine is the right one.”

I mean really, what, exactly, did the debate between Nye and Ham accomplish? Did it change minds? Were points made that the opposite side took to heart? Did Ham suddenly become interested in facts and science? Did Nye suddenly decide blind belief was better than facts and science? No. Ham still has a ridiculous creation museum housing plastic dinosaurs with saddles on them which Nye still finds ridiculous.

But maybe you’re thinking smaller. Maybe you’re thinking of debates about particular religious concepts the theist isn’t particularly emotionally invested in, meaning that they are open to alternate points of view. Some level of understanding can be reached there, though it’s ultimately not very meaningful. I have seen on one forum a “one-on-one” debate section, though it didn’t get much attention. Occasionally. Two people would agree to a one-on-one debate and only those two could post in the debate thread. There was a separate thread for comments on the particular debate from everyone else.

The problem was, however, getting someone on the “other side” who was interested in serious intellectual debate. If your belief isn’t factual then it’s emotional. If the reason you hold the belief isn’t because the facts point to the belief being factual then you hold the belief because you are emotionally invested in it. That means you are only capable of delivering an emotional argument, never a factual argument. Counter an emotional argument with facts and you get an emotional response, usually an angry one. Or, even worse, the facts are ignored. I had a friend once going off on “Obamacare”, telling his captive audience the page, paragraph and sentence numbers where the death panels were set up. I pulled up the bill on my phone in its entirety and proceeded to tell him that it wasn’t there. Repeatedly. He kept going. He pretended not to hear me. There was no way facts were getting past his wall of crazy conspiracy nutbaggery (this friend is legitimately nuts, this is not a commentary on all who hold beliefs different than mine). And that happens A LOT with Republicans and theists, whose belief systems and reasons for having them have a lot in common. This friend didn’t want to “debate”, he wanted to “preach”. And that’s the problem with these “debates”. The theist doesn’t come for meaningful conversation. They come to throw shit and screech at the evil people who won’t listen to them.

I pulled up the bill on my phone in its entirety and proceeded to tell him (stupid friend) that it (documented proof he said was there) wasn’t there.
It's like the currently released by partisan Senate Investigation of Russian meddling with the 2016 election, in which Russia actively supported the t rump campaign by funneling stolen, and then weaponized, info and funneling it to the happily accepting t rumpers.

The investigation shows unequivocally that the Russians assisted the campaign and the campaign eagerly accepted their help.

But NOW, the Senate RepugLIARS on that committee, while showing unequivocal evidence that this Russian fiasco happened, (that the Russian propaganda program that never stops, that says that “Russian involvement is a hoax”, is itself, the hoax), NOW, a repugLIAR senator like Marco Rubio, says:

“We can say, without any hesitation, that the Committee found absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election."


So the repugLIARs bring up the horeshit term “collusion” to present the virtual LIE to America. “Collusion” is the poorly and irrelevantly defined term that they use to pretend nothing wrong happened. (Horseshit.) But in order to be technically truthful, Rubio also said:

"What the Committee did find however is very troubling. We found irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling..."
Other findings from the bipartisan Senate Investigation included:
  • The Committee found that the Russian government engaged in an aggressive, multi-faceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
  • WikiLeaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian influence campaign and very likely knew it was assisting a Russian intelligence influence effort.
  • The FBI lacked a formal or considered process for escalating their warnings about the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack within the organization of the DNC.
  • The Committee assesses that at least two participants in a June 9, 2016, meeting with Trump Campaign officials, Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, have significant connections to the Russian government, including the Russian intelligence services...
  • Paul Manafort’s presence on the Trump Campaign and proximity to then-Candidate Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign.
  • George Papadopoulos was not a witting cooptee of the Russian intelligence services, but nonetheless presented a prime intelligence target and potential vector for malign Russian influence.
  • Russia took advantage of members of the Transition Team’s relative inexperience in government, opposition to Obama Administration policies, and Trump’s desire to deepen ties with Russia to pursue unofficial channels through which Russia could conduct diplomacy.

Tim, do you need a hug? That was worthy of being one of my off-topic rants, man. Just breath. Just a little longer, man.

Thanks for your positive attention. It helps. Just don’t spoil me with too much.


Is that another way of asking why does it bother you?

What’s the deal bro, it’s all good . . . . . cough, cough, cough


Why do my mind associations, take me to how pissed off Republicans get with you share factual information with them, it’s like a mortal insult to expect them to learn from evidence, then they and their grievance mentality turns you into the lunatic because simple well know medical information and science is hated by the faithful.


{W, I imagine you were just being cute. But I’m not into cute. Particular not after watching much of that inept Democratic Convention last night. I mean who the f. was in charge of that state by state delegation roll call, talk about pathetic, he (I’d hate to think a woman was so oblivious to visual messaging) should be put on KP duty for the rest of the campaign. }

CC, think back to past National Conventions and the roll call process.

Now compare the state by state presentation of this Convention.

The virtual DNC version that you are apoplectic about, for some reason, was short, sweet, and pleasant in comparison.


As far as your newfound intolerance of “cuteness”, I say, get a grip, man. Occasional cuteness is one of our few defenses in these deadly serious times.



I called it a “rant” because it was mostly off topic, as I, myself, tend to do a whole lot.

When I read post #332740:

Nolan said: The levels are misleading. Having a level 1 skill is not the same as having a leve VidMate l 1 strength rating in the old system. Instead, a level 1 skill is more akin to have initially or recently completed a new skill and having it golden. The levels after that are more levels of fluency, much like Mobdro having strengthened a certain skill over and over again.
What the hell is that? I figured the topic was moot, when I read that. So I just responded to something in your post, Widdershins.

But, even so, people going off thread-topic is not unusual in these forums.

As far as my “rant” in this particular thread, it is an important topic, I think. Americans need to be aware of the truth about Russian interference.

The anti-truth propaganda (over years now) has been so effective that, even today, despite repeated evidence to the contrary, probably half of Americans believe that the whole “bruhaha” about Russian interference is a hoax.