We all know that both atheism and evolution have been banned here since 2005 because the topics generated too much heat (and not enough light) when brought up. I’m wondering if the ban includes discussion of various arguments for the existence of God or just whether or not God exists? Any idea if we can discuss particular arguments, while avoiding the overarching topic or if discussion of say the first way of St. Thomas is also banned?
The OP asks :** “Does the Ban on Atheism Ban Discussion of Arguments for the Existence of God?”**
it ought to.
Personally, I think the ban is ridiculous. You can’t discuss theism without atheism. And if things get a little heated, who cares. Philosophical debates have the tendency to get a little heated. And this is supposed to be a philosophy forum (not a prayer sanctuary). Right?
I can see both sides. On the one hand, discussing whether a particular argument for God’s existence works isn’t necessarily talking about atheism. An argument can fail to prove God exists and that wouldn’t mean God doesn’t exist, it just would mean that was a bad argument. Someone could also have questions about a particular argument and need help understanding it. That too wouldn’t really be talking about atheism. On the other hand, atheists will likely join the discussion and things could get heated, which is what the mods want to avoid. I’ve read the sticky and this isn’t made clear.
It’s been banned since 2005, long before I joined here. I wonder if the mod who banned it is even around anymore? Maybe its been long forgotten. I can’t image the conversations were so heated, the topic needs be banned 9 years later. But, I wasn’t here at the time to witness the conversations. I’m sure the mods know what they are doing. They keep this a nice forum, so I’m not complaining.
It’s been brought to my attention, in a pm, that the original ban date was 2009 instead of 2005. I’m not sure what bearing that exactly has on my question, which isn’t asking “how long will the ban continue”, but “is talking about a specific argument for God considered talking about atheism and thus banned,” but I stand corrected on that point. 2009 is still “long before I joined here” so my above comment stands.
I think that will depend on how you frame the question. If you present an argument and ask about whether or not it’s convincing then the focus is more on the argument’s merits and you don’t have to grace the boundaries of atheism.
However, regardless of how the question is framed if the discussion becomes uncharitable it will get locked.
I don’t so much mind the thread being locked or deleted as I mind my account being deleted (the penalty described on the sticky banning atheism as a topic of discussion)
Discussing whether a particular argument for the existence of God is valid or invalid is perfectly acceptable. Such a discussion should have nothing to do with atheism since even theists can reject certain arguments for God’s existence as illogical.