About two weeks ago I left IRC for Discord. IRC had become far, far too small, and the discussions too played out — the entrenched guard of the debate channels on DalNet had become too insane, too far gone to make it worthwhile anymore. It was fun while it lasted.
The future seems to be on platforms like 8×8, Jitsy, Skype and Discord. Discord in particular as a free chat server seems to replace IRC very well.
So I moved onto Discord and much like IRC it seems people mainly go to Discord to either defend their religion or missionize, or both — it’s very easy to get attacked and be called stupid (among other things). There are many well-known people on Discord who put themselves out there, but in general none of the people there are very good debaters, and none of the Muslims or Christians are really qualified to debate their religion in the first place. In the last two weeks, I’ve met:
- A number of Atheists who tend to attack the morality of the bible without any real understanding of what the Bible says on various issues (ex. the Slaying of the Midianites in Numbers 31, or Slavery in the Bible).
- Atheists who troll the channels by subverting religious discussions into off-topic arguments over ontological and epistemological philosophy that no one understands or cares about, in an attempt to make themselves look smart. No really it’s just endlessly pedantic and pretentious for the sake of being so.
- A Muslim who swore he would convert to Christinanity on the spot if anyone could show him that there were metaphors in the Q’ran.
- Several Muslims who say the Q’ran is holy because it has been preserved, and deny all evidence that it has not been preserved — while at the same time attacking the Torah as corrupt despite the Kuzari Argument, and without being able to show where the chain has been broken — who then call you arrogant and insane and then start swearing at you when you ask them for simple proof of where the chain has been broken.
- Christians who will say anything and warp logic to extreme degrees in order to justify their religion in the face of biblical criticism. For example;
- Christians who swear up and down that people like Abraham and King David had a strong belief in and faith in Jesus.
- Christians who swear that Abraham (or Adam or Noah or King David or all of them) are buried under Golgotha and that when Jesus was crucified his blood dripped down into their mummified mouths and they were saved by his blood
- Endless circular reasoning; Romand 3:9 justifies 3:10, which justified 3:10. Or that King David believed in Jesus because of 3:13-on, ignoring the problems with 3:9-12.
- The incredibly toxic debate style of presuppositionalists (How to turn someone away from Christianity in 1 easy step).
- And more!
- Drunk Christians who call me a pedophile when I bring up Ezekiel 18:21 and then angrily leave the room
- Power drunk Christians and Muslims who will kick/ban you from a server because you disagree with them
It does in fact get worse. But, as a platform, I believe Discord is a good one. It just reflects modern society, that’s all. If Discord is to be used for rational debate it must be moderated — this is the old usenet problem come back to haunt us — an un-moderated platform is a useless platform. Here is what would be productive:
- Using Discord to hold a moderated debate.
- Using Discord to give online lectures to an (online) community or group of interested people.
The last thing that is productive is going on Discord and trying to debate religion, because the people there are generally not interested in learning, but in attacking and belittling people of other faiths. The second last thing that is productive on Discord is asking questions as a seeker of truth, because most people (especially the people who like to talk a lot) do not know anything about their own religion let alone anyone else’s.
I probably give Discord more credit than it deserves. But,
Servers to Stay Away from
- In general, avoid any server without a dedicated Religion channel (if you are interested in discussing Religion).
- Be very aware of atheists who will attempt to subvert the discussion with philosophy or politics. It’s off topic, just ask them to leave and report them if they don’t. If the admins tend not to do anything, just leave the server, it’s a troll server.
- Stay away from “drama servers” which attract people based on drama and spectacle. These are servers where there’s always some kind of drama going on with the server owner or admins. They are either insane, on drugs, or ask for money. If they don’t know how to run a server or aren’t interested in the community, they’re not worth it.
- Be very wary of servers where all the moderators are the same religion, they are almost certainly not socially ready to listen to anyone’s beliefs but their own. You will be viciously attacked.