I hate live debates (on important issues)

Go on Youtube. Type Atheist debates Christian. Watch a 2 hour video. Then watch another video from the search results. And another. And another. And another.

Notice a pattern?

Yep. The same old arguments, the same old clarifications, the same old fallacies over, and over, and over again.

Nothing ever gets resolved. And keep in mind these are not some random internet people debating here. These are highly respected theologians and atheists having a supposedly academic and civil exchange.

And, if it weren’t live, then the opposition could, in detail, pick apart their opponent’s arguments bit by bit, catching any fallacies the opponents tried to slip in.

But nooooooo, they are allowed to make fallacies, and “gotcha arguments” because they’re live, they’ve got a short time limit and a rowdy audience, and that’s a problem.

I hate live debates. Only in live debates can a gotcha argument actually be considered appropriate, in text or video exchanges that is simply not the case. It also seems like live debates are more about the individual’s “debate skill” rather than the actual issue, which is silly because those types of debates shouldn’t count for shit outside of high school.

Or not even high school, but just anywhere outside of an inconsequential competition.

But such academic debates aren’t inconsequential because matters of religion affect us every day. If there is a perfectly logical, sound and irrefutable argument for why I should listen to your god, I wanna know about it. If there is a perfectly logical, sound and irrefutable argument for why you should listen to someone else’s god, you as a rational person should want to know about it as well. And if there are perfectly logical, sound and irrefutable arguments against all religion…

I remember watching a debate at my high school a few years back on the topic of should gays be allowed to adopt. I was still a Christian back then, so obviously I was against the proposition. When the for side made the assertion “if you don’t allow gays to adopt then you’re a hateful person” without any justification for that statement, I spotted the problem.

When I later asked the judging teacher why the unexplained assertion was an appropriate argument, she basically said that it was effective because it painted the opposition in a negative light. Basically, she affirmed the circular reasoning: If the you are against gays adopting, then they are hateful people. Why does being against gays adopting make you hateful? Because if you are against gays adopting, then you are hateful.

Even though no evidence was provided, they could just slip that in. Because yeah, you’re allowed to do that in a live debate.

And I get that live debates are supposed to be entertaining, and are supposed to give the audience food for thought rather than bore them to death. But when the food is a gotcha argument that is all aggression but no substance with the illusion of being score-settling to fool the live audience, you have to wonder.


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