Debate-Flow-Chart

[Source: http://atheismresource.com/wp-content/uploads/Debate-Flow-Chart.jpg]

The above is a guide for atheists who wish to debate Christians. It essentially lays at the rules of discourse that the Christian should be willing adhere to if he wishes to debate the atheist on the topic of religion, or ‘God’, presumably.

It should be noted that one can easily substitute ‘Christian’ with the holder of any ideological view point, philosophical stance or epistemic position, and this debate scheme would still be just as useful. 

In fact, it would also be useful as a guide for Christians debating atheists.

I think everyone, regardless of where they stand on whatever issue, should be willing to engage in a civil debate. Because we are all human and prone to the same biases, no camp has the monopoly on good reasoning; not even those who describe themselves as freethinkers.

It is by recognising our inherent proclivity to succumb to these biases, and taking the effort to minimise the degree to which they can influence our thinking, that we can have a proper debate with another person.

Following the above guide can help you have a focused discussion with another person. It will also let you know before hand whether or not you’re probably better off not even bothering to debate that person in the first place – because failure to abide by the rules of discourse suggested in the above guide will almost always guarantee you going round in circles with that person and accomplishing nothing.

Good luck!

 Be right back

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