Why Should Freethinkers Study Philosophy? Debating a Christian
#1
Simply put, most Indians have a wrong idea of what philosophy is. The common perception in India is that philosophy is concerned with subjects that have nothing to do with real life. For many science-minded atheists, philosophy is as fuzzy and pointless as religion or spiritualism. Of course, this is false. These sort of dismissal of philosophy is akin to dismissing the idea of culture (which includes everything from food, to language and art) just because religion has traditionally been a major part of it.

Atheists and freethinkers cannot afford to be ignorant of philosophy. At the very least, we cannot afford to be ignorant of modern philosophical thought when it comes to science and ethics.

India contributes very little to the mainstream philosophical discourse around the world today. Many times I've seen Indians debating online with theists dismiss philosophical arguments as fluff, without addressing them. The truth is, there is a lot of bad philosophy. I don't think we need to be aware of all the philosophical fluff there is out there, just as we don't have to aware of all music to be appreciative of good music. The problem is that if we don't get with the program and learn why the best philosophical arguments actually clearly culminate in the scientific method when it comes to questions about objective reality, we risk being categorized as closed-minded and incapable of reasoning by those willing to adapt the philosophy to suit their nonsensical beliefs.

But it is also key that we learn philosophy not to make a point to theists, but out of interest in the process of reason itself. The biggest mistake we could make is to go in with a pre-conceived view and cherry-pick the philosophy that fits. This is, in fact, what most religionists do when adopting a philosophical defense of their beliefs. If you know your philosophy, especially when it comes to science, you will have no trouble.

Here's an excerpt from a conversation I had on the IA Debate Corner group. Note how the religious apologist makes philosophical assertions and then shifts topic when he finds out that I'm not clueless about the subject. He keeps moving from one bad philosophical argument to the next until I catch him trying to pass off a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.

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"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
[+] 4 users Like Ajita Kamal's post
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#2
I invite anyone else having such debates on FB to feel free to start threads discussing them. We can pick interesting samples and talk about different approaches. It's not very scientific, but at least it will be methodical.. and fun W00t
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#3
nice , IA debates corner gives us a lot of "case-studies"
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