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Essay:Fundamentalist debate tactics
These are tactics encountered when debating fundamentalists on their pet issues, such as evolution and the origins of the universe and life on earth.
Debate ending techniques
Most common methods for online debates
- Not replying, and instead posting some "poetry", etc, about how evil the media is these days and how atheism has happened. (Tally: 8 times. Add one to this figure for each time it has happened to you.)
- Saying "I will pray for you", then leaving. (Tally: 27 times. Add one to this figure for each time it has happened to you.)
- Thanking you for "showing them how strong their faith in God is", while they were generally just disregarding your arguments. (Tally: 7 times. Add one... You get the point.)
- Saying that you are "blind to the truth", and that they are thankful that Jesus died so that you would not have to suffer. (Tally: 10 times)
- Saying that "He who laughs last laughs with the LORD", then leaving. They also say similar stuff such as "I will be the one laughing when you are in Hell". Ah yes, love thy neighbor. (Tally: 5 times)
- Saying that you are biased and not worth their time debating. (Tally: 16 times)
- Simply quoting a bible verse(s) or stating Christian theology as an end all be all of debate. (Tally: 16 times)
- Being super-skeptical when addressing points they disagree with while letting logical holes the size of an oil tanker through with issues they agree with. (Tally: 15 times)
- Making very general and tenuous blanket statements about very diverse and large demographics. (Tally: 9 times)
Less common methods for online debates
- Saying that evolution is only true in the Universe of strange monkey people. (Tally: 1 time)
- Citing Conservapedia (or other creationist propaganda), telling you to read it, then leaving. (Tally: 5 times... Fortunately, not many Christians are that bad.)
- Calling the non-believer a "evil reptilian kitten eater from another planet", then leaving. (Tally: 0 times, though it has happened once in a different context. And it will certainly be used by some Christian in the near future.)
- Calling you Michael Jackson. (Tally: 2 times. WTF indeed. One instance was in real life, although that may have had a bit to do with this editor's looks.)
- Calling you an idiot and/or clueless and then ignoring everything you say while chickening out. (Tally: 2+ times)
Methods for real life
- Starting a fight and teaming up with some others to beat the non-believer up. (Tally: 2 times, but in one case, not to one of the authors, to someone else in a Jesuit school, I heard about it after I joined, since it had happened before I joined.)
- Telling you to email them, then using one of the above tactics to end it. (Tally: 2 times)
- Burning the non-believer. (Tally: A large amount of times in history.)
- Saying that you are a God Warrior. (Tally: 2 times)
- Saying 'unclean, unclean,' and warding you off with their fingers crossed. (Tally: 1 time)