Why Do We Put Up With PFJ?

I’m going to coin a term: “Posters For Jesus”. Of course this forum is for open discussion and anyone can participate. But every once and a while someone comes along, like this coral star kid, who from their very first posts make it obvious they’re “posting for Jesus” and not for sincere discussion. I’m not sure if they were given the task as part of their bible study group, maybe in confession the preacher told them to do it, whatever.
They drop in, stir things up, and usually go away. They have their lines and arguments memorized, and you know for a fact they leave satisfied they’ve scored points with their god against the heathens. I often wonder if really what they’re up to is to poison the forum itself.
Anyway, why do so many people here engage them? Do you honestly think they’re amenable to reasoned discussion? Do you think you’ll accomplish anything (remember that great article posted about Denialism).
What’s up?

Yes Cuth but won’t Father Mike and Sister Mary be proud of the way he has cleverly vanquished the skeptics with scientific proof of the existence of god and the way he has clearly shown Darwin’s fallacious theory (it is after all, just a theory) of evolution. I’ll bet they’ll let him turn the bingo cage at the next fish fry. No “Hail Marys” for this hero! Easy solution to CS, put him on ignore and he’ll eventually find another forum to annoy.
Cap’t Jack

Very good point. I posted responses to coral a couple times until i came to the conclusion that he had no intention or ability to have an intelligent discussion. I think everyone else is taking a lot longer to come to the same conclusion

While I agree that they can be a waste of time, I enjoy what I learn from the regular crowd here when they confront them. It helps me form my own ideas better and more clearly when I read well thought out responses to the nuts. I appreciate the way a good argument made effectivly dismisses them for the simpletons they really are.

I often find it to be entertaining. Also, I have never had a problem with persons who are developmentally challenged. Also, just because someone is in denial, now, doesn’t mean they will always be. Who knows? Perhaps, one day, (not anytime soon I would imagine) Coral may look back at his/her time spent on CFI, and think “Oh my! How foolish I was back then.”

We do it for two reasons. One, because we think we might plant a seed of doubt in the minds of either the person posting or a lurker. Such seeds have been known to sprout at least into skepticism. Two, as an exercise in debating skills, which can help us frame responses to such questions at other times. It’s something like exercising our bodies. It keeps us toned and in shape.
Sometimes it’s apparent that we should stop but those two rationales are strong motivators. We don’t have to be making progress with the troll to get something out of it. Others who are more rational may notice and we keep our skills up for future reference.
Lois

I agree with the above mentioned reasons but after all of the arguments have been thoroughly presented and the poster still questions each and every point by merely countering with the same worn out banter, then you are literally beating a dead horse. Time to move on at that point. And while I do appreciate the optimism re: changing someone’s mind especially on religious topics, the epiphany has to come from within and that takes long and careful study. Your opponent’s mind is hermetically sealed. Either that or he knows just enough to annoy the skeptics to get a rise out of us just for kicks.
Can’t Jack

I’m not going to cut and paste and link to prove it, but coral star has more than one angle. It’s basically first cause/ID, but so are most apologist arguments, at least at their core. The trick is getting to that core.
The other thing, given your possible scenarios, he would have to present his findings. In the course of doing that, he would have to show how we responded. Coral star may never change, but someone watching that very well might. The Atheist Experience was a starting point for me, and engaging PFJ’s is their entire show. His strategy may be to make many threads and hope we leave out enough detail on one of them that he can then use that one to say he won, that we have no argument. If it is, somewhere in the back of that closed mind is the awareness that he has to be devious to win an argument.

When someone is clearly not listening or open to questioning their own beliefs, I agree further debate is seldom productive. Ignoring them often solves the problem. Still, I think a lot of these folks honestly believe they have arguments that would transform our understanding if only we were open to them, and I don’t blame them for that or for trying. And realistically, most of us here are in tiny ideological minorities on many issues, so it can be useful to engage with people whose beliefs are more in line with the majority from time to time, if for nothing else to strengthen and hone our own arguments. I once found that helpful, though not in some time.

When someone is clearly not listening or open to questioning their own beliefs, I agree further debate is seldom productive. Ignoring them often solves the problem. Still, I think a lot of these folks honestly believe they have arguments that would transform our understanding if only we were open to them, and I don’t blame them for that or for trying. And realistically, most of us here are in tiny ideological minorities on many issues, so it can be useful to engage with people whose beliefs are more in line with the majority from time to time, if for nothing else to strengthen and hone our own arguments. I once found that helpful, though not in some time. Signature The SkeptVet Blog You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. Johnathan Swift
I agree but attempting to change a closed mind is essentially an exercise in futility and ultimately leads to frustration, which is exactly his aim. Redundant arguments are counterproductive after exhausting practically every piece of empirical evidence via YouTube videos, Wiki and direct quotes from well known experts. Your signature quote tells it all. He's simply trolling. Cap't Jack

From a show my kids watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyf-W0_yH1A
:slight_smile:
Take care,
Derek

CS is not actually a troll IMO. If you read his most resent posts in “On the origin of the species and the religion of Darwin” under Science and Technology, he lays out a very elaborate concoction of tenuous inferences and his beliefs that builds his very own “theory” of everything complete with future predictions for humanity becoming god like. It appears it is a very personal religion of sorts for himself as a lone subscriber. It is a possible study in how religions spring into being by the very natural human tendencies to assign significance and agency to ideas and carefully selected discoveries. He does this mostly with a fixation on DNA.
He is completely unreachable by any rational or evidence based conjecture. He seems to be trapped in his own creation similar to the way conspiracy theorists have a convenient evasion for every contradiction they are presented with. Mostly, he is extremely frustrated that know one else sees what he views as concrete connections and obviously correct inferences.
Trying to reason with him is fruitless, but it might be interesting to ask him questions that allow him to explain his ideas and see where that goes. Our normal process of challenging each other to support our assertions is only a waist of everyone’s time in this case.

CS is not actually a troll IMO.
That really depends on how you define a troll. If you read his responses he rarely responds with a cogent answer to questions. His responses are generally arrogant restatements of his basic position accompanied by pompous denigration of anyone who doesn't understand his "brilliant insights" about DNA. It seems pretty apparent that he never had any intent of having an intelligent discussion. He is here to proselytize which IMO makes him a troll.
It seems pretty apparent that he never had any intent of having an intelligent discussion. He is here to proselytize which IMO makes him a troll.
Right on the money. He is saturating each topic with his own brand of trolling via outlandish comments, each designed to tie up honest posters who pour out fact after fact to counter his nonsense and he'll continue until everyone stops feeding his need for attention. Cap't Jack

He is a harmless nut. And I’m not giving him anymore attention.

While I agree that they can be a waste of time, I enjoy what I learn from the regular crowd here when they confront them. It helps me form my own ideas better and more clearly when I read well thought out responses to the nuts. I appreciate the way a good argument made effectivly dismisses them for the simpletons they really are.
I'll drink to that.
he lays out a very elaborate concoction of tenuous inferences and his beliefs that builds his very own “theory" of everything complete with future predictions for humanity becoming god like.
I agree "concoction" is the right word, in that his ideas don't mix or lead from one to another. Worse, he puts them together differently in different threads. In the Philosophy section, he proposes that since we don't know where life came from, we can't know evolution is true, or Darwin couldn't have known or something, or there must be a designer, or something, hard to say. Anyway, classic ID argument, science doesn't know, therefore God. But he seems to know that is a bad argument so he says he's not saying that, but doesn't say what he IS saying. Therefore troll. In the Science and Tech thread, the one called "new argument", he goes deeper into this 'what is God' thing, although by deeper I mean lengthier. His argument is far from new, it's just simply "we could create life on another planet someday, God created life here, therefore we are like Gods and we would use DNA, so God used DNA." This is non-argument since any type of creature could plant DNA here, from super-intelligent ones to bacteria that hitched a ride on a comet. It doesn't get us any closer to knowing truth than any other speculation. Speculation is fine, especially for young people. What makes this one a troll is the "sheesh" comments, the refusal to interact, the resetting of the conversations back to a point where he/she felt he was in control, ignoring questions, etc.

Haven’t heard anything this morning. He has posted in just about every possible hour of the day. Maybe he’s out buying a new case of Monster energy drink.

So many excellent points made. The other thing I mentioned was poisoning the forum so to speak. I know there are conservative groups out there actively messing with Wikipedia info and so on. It’s part of that Ends Justify The Means approach they take. So I wonder if some of these religious nuts are doing the same here. They fly in, drum up some reasonable discussion on our part, then fly back and link into their “home forums” and tell their homies all about the doubt and debate (which is an evil in their world) that us heathens have.

I think atheists/rationalists are easy to troll because -

  1. Atheists/rationalists genuinely want to discuss things they find interesting, and trolls know this.
  2. Many atheists/rationalists are “aspies]” and have trouble picking up social and emotional clues from trolls.