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Should we take a page from Dawkins regarding 9/11 Truth?

Discussion in 'General Political Discussion' started by Btodd, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Btodd

    Btodd Well-Known Member

    +280
    Atheist
    Private
    To Oldbetang, Chalnoth, Big Cedar, James and others who have spent countless time debating with 9/11 Truthers, I ask......should we do it at all?

    I think that perhaps we should review Richard Dawkins' stance on not debating Creationists, for many of the same reasons. Here's a quote, and a link to his reasons for refusing to do so:

    "Some time in the 1980s when I was on a visit to the United States, a television station wanted to stage a debate between me and a prominent creationist called, I think, Duane P Gish. I telephoned Stephen Gould for advice. He was friendly and decisive: "Don't do it." The point is not, he said, whether or not you would 'win' the debate. Winning is not what the creationists realistically aspire to. For them, it is sufficient that the debate happens at all. They need the publicity. We don't. To the gullible public which is their natural constituency, it is enough that their man is seen sharing a platform with a real scientist. "There must be something in creationism, or Dr So-and-So would not have agreed to debate it on equal terms." Inevitably, when you turn down the invitation you will be accused of cowardice, or of inability to defend your own beliefs. But that is better than supplying the creationists with what they crave: the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science."- Richard Dawkins

    Here's the link: http://richarddawkins.net/article,119,Why-I-Wont-Debate-Creationists,Richard-Dawkins


    It's been over six years since 9/11. We're still going over the same, tired old 'anomalies' that will seemingly never die. There are still no plausible theories put forth by the movement at all to explain the events of that day, because the entirety of the cause is spent in hammering on the 'official story' and expecting.......what? A sway of public opinion.

    Unless there is a plausible conspiracy theory put forth that explains the facts of that day, with positive evidence to support it, and the willingness to present these theories to peer-reviewed scientific journals, then how is it any different than Creationism, and why are we giving them legitimacy by debating nonsense?

    In essence, just having the debate is their victory. It's a chance for them to stay continually on the offensive, and keep you busy doing all the work in making them appear to be credible enough to spend so much time refuting. It keeps the often politically-motivated, psychology-driven belief and agenda in the public eye, where it can be picked up by like-minded others who we help sway into thinking there's an actual controversy. As we've seen here at CF, no matter how many answers you give, you will get none in return....simply the pulling of another 'anomaly' out of the hat, and the game continues.

    And until they produce an explanation, and support it, there is no controversy, any more than there is regarding Creationism vs. Evolution, and perhaps Dawkins' point should be considered regarding 9/11 Truth. Of course, perhaps the result is worse if we don't counter nonsense with reason.....I'm not sure yet.

    Thoughts?


    Btodd
     
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  2. Edx

    Edx Senior Veteran

    +106
    Atheist
    You guys wont even consider incomptence, thats not reasonable to me.
     
  3. BigCedar

    BigCedar Regular Member

    106
    +4
    Seeker
    Lurkers.

    I enjoy a good debate, and the people I choose to stay engaged with display some level of integrity and logic and aren't basing their arguments on the supernatural. Or they are young so I can forgive them by being swayed by misinformation.

    The people who argue against creationism and for "911 Truth" will have their backs up about your comparison. I find their denial of the parallels very interesting psychologically.

    It makes me wonder about my own "blind spots"
     
  4. Btodd

    Btodd Well-Known Member

    +280
    Atheist
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    That's strange, because I think the government was incompetent, and is incompetent.


    Btodd
     
  5. BigCedar

    BigCedar Regular Member

    106
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    Seeker
    I will consider incompetence. Show me a large system not vulnerable to incompetence.
     
  6. BigCedar

    BigCedar Regular Member

    106
    +4
    Seeker
    In fact, the competence level suggested by the "alternative theories" is a little to impressive for me to swallow.
     
  7. Btodd

    Btodd Well-Known Member

    +280
    Atheist
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    I think at some point, integrity hinges upon their willingness to put forth a plausible scenario that explains what happened that day, and then proceed to support it with positive evidence. But it becomes obvious at some point that there's a reason this game hasn't changed in 6 years, and won't for the next however many......there's nothing being done but simply an appeal to public opinion and labeling things like surfing conspiracy sites as 'research'. There is no other theory yet, and appears to be no attempt or sense of responsibility to work toward one. That's why I like the term '9/11 Doubt Movement' as opposed to 'Truth'.......so far, they haven't left the doubt phase toward any other goal.

    I agree with both points......it is fascinating, and should make all of us look for our blind spots and patterns of thinking that we're reluctant to face objectively. I'm sure we all fail somewhere.


    Btodd
     
  8. Daniel19

    Daniel19 Senior Member

    897
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    Well, if any of you would like to, I have some interesting information to look at. I don't want to get caught up in debating semantics and what not with the OP.

    How many of you remember the anthrax attacks that took place shortly after 9/11? I'm sure many of you do, but I know a fair amount of people that forget.

    The case is officially labled as "gone cold" by the FBI.

    How many of you are aware that the anthrax used in the attacks was traced to Fort Detrick, Maryland? New Scientist confirmed that the strain indeed came from Maryland. See the story here.

    The BBC program Newsnight aired a program in early 2002 regarding the anthrax attacks that stated in part,

    "Initially the investigation looked for a possible Al-Qaeda or Iraqi link, then to a domestic terrorist, then inwards to the US bio-defence programme itself. But in the last four or five weeks the investigation seems to have run into the sand...There have been several theories as to why ...

    Three weeks ago Dr Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged authority on US bio-defence - claimed the FBI is dragging its feet because an arrest would be embarrassing to the US authorities. Tonight on Newsnight, she goes further...suggesting there could have been a secret CIA field project to test the practicalities of sending anthrax through the mail - whose top scientist went badly off the rails..."

    Now, the History Channel has aired a documentary stating that the anthrax attacks were likely an "Inside job".

    Watch the clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdamOzrfZI0
     
  9. Edx

    Edx Senior Veteran

    +106
    Atheist
    Cliton gets impeached for lying about a sexual act with Monica, yet no one gets done for incompetence with 911 and Iraq?
     
  10. jamesrwright3

    jamesrwright3 Guest

    +0
    What a poor analogy.
     
  11. Edx

    Edx Senior Veteran

    +106
    Atheist
    Why?
     
  12. oldbetang

    oldbetang Senior Veteran

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    I'm not a fan of Dawkins at all. He's too much of a zealot. He is someone who is not above making unsupportable claims himself. And, while I'm not a creationist myself, I'd just as soon not be associated with him in any way.
     
  13. Btodd

    Btodd Well-Known Member

    +280
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    Jeez, forget Dawkins then, people. He made an argument, just assume 'Mr. Jones' made the argument and get on with it.

    What about the 9/11 debate, does it do more harm than good? :)


    Btodd
     
  14. oldbetang

    oldbetang Senior Veteran

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    While the truthers can tend to be rather annoying , the 9/11 debate hasn't been harmful. In fact , for me at least, it has been rather educational.
     
  15. Btodd

    Btodd Well-Known Member

    +280
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    On a personal level, I've learned a great deal about that day because of it......but that doesn't mean that having public debates with Truthers is a good idea, necessarily. I'm thinking in societal terms more than personal ones. Are we helping them by debating them?

    I'm saying that without the public debate, they have nothing to hope for. Nobody is putting forth any evidence that will change where we stood 5 years ago, and since swaying public perception is their only goal, even if you 'win' the debate, you lose in the grand scheme of things. They just need you to keep answering questions.

    At least, I think that might be the case. The best they seem to aspire to is to be doing this same internet debate 4 years from now, and I'm wondering if we're simply playing the fool by creating the perception of a controversy instead of dismissing it as nonsense.


    Btodd
     
  16. oldbetang

    oldbetang Senior Veteran

    +356
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    We can have fun demonstrating that it is nonsense and at the same time educate ourselves on the intricacies of building construction, demolition, aerodynamics, metallurgy, material composition, applied mechanics, thermodynamics, and the psychology, or paranoia, of tin-foil hatters. The 9/11 truth movement peaked well over a year ago. It is slowly,but surely, receding into obscurity. Enjoy it while you can.
     
  17. marshlewis

    marshlewis Well-Known Member

    +167
    Atheist
    Conspiracy theories are intresting in that people will believe that there is a world wide jewish conspracy to control everything while call the suggestion that US policy is the domination of the world economy by any means, crazy.
    But anyway covering up government involvement in 911 would be like secretly bombing a foreign country for years. Its just not plausible.
     
  18. trunks2k

    trunks2k Contributor

    +3,188
    Humanist
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    US-Others
    Because, to be fair, Clinton was impeached for lying under oath not having an affair. Although the media and politicians on both sides of the aisle sure did a good job of making the whole situation about the affair rather than the lying under oath. Though i do not believe Clinton's lie under oath was a big enough thing for impeachment and it became a total partisan witch hunt. Censure him? Sure.

    Also, incompetence is not really an impeachable offense. If you could prove that Bush knowingly lied about something, then you might have an impeachable offense (depending). But you'll have a hard time proving that, and this is coming from a person who believes the Bush admin did knowingly lie about stuff in the lead up to the Iraq war.
     
  19. jamesrwright3

    jamesrwright3 Guest

    +0
    Exactly, who would you impeach? Clinton couldn't have been impeached since he was out of office..Al Qaeda grew in strength under his watch and 09/11 was planned and plotted well before GWB was in office.
     
  20. Edx

    Edx Senior Veteran

    +106
    Atheist
    Bush wouldnt go under oath in the 911 Commission, but apparently this would break some kind of rule.

    Im not just talking about Bush, Im talked about incompetence accross the board.

    I think its pretty clear they tried to deceive the public about their pre-war intelligence regarding 911. If Clinton can get thrown out of office for what he did, I think its a huge failure of a the system that the Bush administration can get away with so much more.
     
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