Debating an atheist, a Muslim, a Mormon? Here's my secret one-step method for winning every debate you engage in.
But wait a minute, you may ask first, do you win all your debates?
You might have done all right with Loftus and Price, considering you
were over you head with the latter a bit, and that head had a cold.
And you may do all right on-line, can't say. But it seems to me you
got pretty tongue-tied a few times in that contra-temps with Carrier
down in 'Bama. And you didn't really answer Phil Zuckerman's Gish
Gallop in Sacramento. Are you really so arrogant as to claim to have
WON all your debates?
Yes, uh, I am. But let me explain.
Here's the secret to always winning: make finding truth the real goal of your debate.
Does your opponent put up a good show? Great, we all like to be
entertained -- let the audience enjoy themselves, let the peacock prance
through the foliage and display his feathers.
Does the other
guy stump you with an unexpected challenge? Great, that gives you
something to research after the debate, maybe learn something new, maybe
find even better arguments for the truth of the Gospel. (Just about
every text Carrier cited in our debate proved to do this, whether I had
examined it already or not -- and one of my goals was indeed to get him
on record with the sorts of silly analogies he offered, because they do
shed a powerful light on the uniqueness of the gospels.)
your opponent actually right about something, and show that you are
mistaken? Best of all. Examine what they say carefully, and if it
proves true -- you have learned something new. God is the Father of all
And you have won another debate.
suggest that this is the spirit we should try to adapt and model, and
that may challenge many of our skeptical opponents (as well, of course,
as ourselves) even more deeply than mere facts, argumentative
coherence, or even a confident smile and a witty rejoinder.