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Boxing You Own Weight

Generally speaking, I tend to get quite a few demands from fundamentalist religious believers to engage in some sort of debate. I imagine that some of the more famous atheists get hundreds a day. There simply is no time to debate every fundy wishing to make a name for themselves so obviously atheists need to choose who to debate. Those who already have experience and can show some sort of familiarity with the issues take priority.

Of course this is true on the other side too. I would love to debate Ray Comfort and his boy toy. But I don’t demand it because I know that I am not in his fame class. My experience is not as extensive as his and if I could debate him, it would significantly raise my debating stature. William Lane Craig is an in a much higher debating weight class than that. This isn’t to say he knows more or is more correct, but simply that he has more experience debating and has a higher fame stature within his community.

The point is that the market decides our debating class, not necessarily knowledge and skill. Although knowledge and skill do have some place in the imaginary rankings. Especially in my level on the debate scale, knowledge and skill have more to do with the issue than fame and audience size. Still, I can’t debate every theist with a Bible.

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  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    “The point is that the market decides our debating class, not necessarily knowledge and skill.”

    Well said. To do well in any market one needs to hussle and gain street cred.

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-norfolk Kenneth Montville

    Excellent post, Staks. I agree, it seems to me that some Christians read a Lee Strobel book and think that they are ready to take on all the nonbelievers. But then again the same can be said of many skeptics who read something by Dawkins once.

    It is a shame that fame has more to do with who can debate whom than actual knowledge but on the flip side of that I would concede that many of the famous debaters on both sides know the arguments for their positions inside and out (no matter how ridiculous they may be) and that is why they are where they are.