Fewer words and more intentional questions go a long way in conversations and debates.
In both, conversations and debates, your intent should be to understand one another.
In a conversation, you want to understand one another so that you are not in disagreement and you get closer.
In a debate, you want to understand one another so that you can find what you disagree on and lay a persuasive argument.
All too often I see online debates and conversations starting with assumptions and arguing from there. Often wordy, long-winded, hard-to-follow exaltations. Sometimes the assumptions are right, but usually, they are simply strawmen. An assumed position for your opponent.
The foundation of debate is the definition of terms. Without an agreed-on definition, one can— and often does— disagree semantically and think they are disagreeing on the topic.
So my recommendation: Use fewer words and ask more intentional questions. Understand one another first. You cannot disagree with what you don’t understand.
When Lawrence Krauss says that no true scientist starts assumptions of God, he’s committed a fallacy called a No True Scotsman.
A No True Scotsman argument is an ad hominem fallacy, targeting the person making the argument instead of the argument at hand.
It goes as follows:
“Scientists have to be militant atheists to do their job,” which gets the response ”Michael Faraday was a believer in God and used Scripture as a source to discover electromagnetism,” to which the one bad at arguing says, “No true scientist believes in God.”
It’s a way of distracting from the argument at hand and poor form, for sure.
When Lawrence Krauss does this, he ignores the wealth of scientific understanding that has come from Christian men and women that started with the Bible as their authority.
As previously stated, Michael Faraday was the father of electromagnetism.
In a book on Faraday and electricity, Brian Bowers writes that ‘it seems likely that his religious belief in a single Creator encouraged his scientific belief in the “unity of forces”, the idea that magnetism, electricity and the other forces have a common origin.’ Faraday went on to show that the electricity produced was the same regardless of how it was produced—by a magnetic field, by a chemical battery or as static electricity.
Michael Faraday—God’s Power and Electric Power
The father of Thermodynamics, too, was a devout Christian scientist. James Joule, who is credited with Joule’s Law. Isaac Asimov called his First Law of Thermodynamics, “one of the most important generalizations in the history of science”.
But don’t forget Pascal, Pasteur, and even Newton. Much of early science was pioneered by Christian creationists, but even modern science is seeing major discoveries from creationists, such as the inventor of the MRI, Raymond Vahan Damadian.
To set a pseudo-requirement that scientists mustn’t believe in God is just another attempt to silence faith in today’s world. Because tolerance.
Response to All Scientists Should Be Militant Atheists