CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

I have responded to perceived wrongs as a jerk. Like any conflict, the middle east comes to mind, where everyone is saying "well we are justified in doing this to them because they once did this to us," then no one listens and it just builds like a snowball. I must admit that I have been chided by William Lane Craig and he has enabled me to see that I have been wrong in the way I respond to insults.He said that I am egging them on by the way I respond. I know he's right. That doesn't excuse the hateful "Dawkies" but it does mean i am not excused either. The terms "Dawkamentalist" and "Dawkie" are not attempts to make fun of atheists. It's attempt to give us a means of distinguishing between one kind of atheist attitude and another. Atheists have this option with Christians. They can say "it's not all Christians it's jut the fundies...." So we should have same kind of distinction.

I emailed Craig to ask him if Loftus had been his student. I did not do this because I don't believe John, but because I want to silence those who keep calling him a liar. I empathize with John on that score because I have been treated that way by atheists and I will not have my side treating others that way. BTW for the record, Craig says Loftus was his student and a very good student. He also said my responses are too angry. I agree. I can justify that anger, but then I'm sure the atheists say the same thing. The only way to end it is to stop trying to justify oneself. Since I can't make atheists do that, I must do it myself.

Now I am going to present a post which set me off and to which I respond to as a true jerk. I am not doing this to justify my anger, nor am I doing to strike back. I'm doing to try and give you an idea as to what it is that sets me off and makes me feel that I have been attacked.




Anonymous JoeX said...

Nice article although I disagree with it completely. :)

First, regarding your comment about atheists, you seem to take the position that those that don't agree with you haven't thought things through and just need to mull things over more thoroughly. Then your article goes on to state that god can't be proven through empirical evidence. Well that's the point. Wishy washy subjective and anecdotal accounts are not at all convincing to somebody that relies on reason instead of on faith.


This starts out as an attack because the statement that God can't proven through empirical means is a well thought out philosophical statement. To characterize it as "wishy washy" is just plain offensive, because it's already coming from a position of confession. But then I also hold nothing else can be proven empirically either, at least not without traversing some gaps in knowledge such that leaps of faith are always required. Of course the juxtaposition between reason and faith is not done sympathetically but there is an air of supiriority. That tells me the author does not understand the issues because if he did he would not think this is a debilitating problem for theism. My reaction is wrong, but I am put on the defensive from the beginning. I am analyzing my reasons so you will understand what sets me off. This is an attempt to create understanding between people.



The rest of your article is just higlighting the fact that your god is a supernatural being and thus conveniently exempt from any natural laws or possibilities of testing.


Of course that statement is apt to be provocative. To me that statement says "I am alarmed by world views other than my own and I can't tolerate people who look at the world differently than I do." No attempt is made to expalin why he thinks "supernatural" is so terrible. No attempt is made to demonstrate that he understands the meaning of the concept of supernatural. Most people do not, even Christians in the main do not understand their own idea of supernatural. Understanding that concept requies a lot of knowledge of the history of the development of the idea. I do not see any evidence that this person has that understanding. So the effect is to make me think I'm being attacked by someone with a super superior attitude but someone who doesn't understand the issues of the area upon which he tries to pontificate.


That's always a very convenient argument for those defending their super natural beliefs. Reminds me of those that claim some special power won't work in the presence of skeptics. Again a rational person requires something reason-based explanations rather than myth based explanations.


Of course this is extremely insulting because he's comparing real Christian theology and real thinkers such as E.L. Mascal and Mathias Joseph Scheeben (who I'm sure he has never heard of) to the great Kreskin and that guy with the spoon bending thing. That is obviously very insulting because it means he's just ridiculing things he doesn't understanding. He's trying attribute my statements to some nefarious motive for reasons of ignorance, because the reasons allude him and are clearly over his head. All of his by this point has made me very angry because it's just one insult after another. Stating that God is not an empirical issue is clearly not an attempt at special pleading, it's a bleeding fact of the nature of ontology. It's also placing belief in a vulnerable position, so it's something in the nature of a confessional statement and clearly not one that is necessarily to the believer's benefit. The attitude that he takes the issue says to me "well aren't a stupid idiot?" So obviously I find this insulting. He writes with an air of "i am such a old wise one whose seen so many stupid theists and you are just one more." So he's just degrading my education and my knowledge assuming an Idiot because I'm way over his head. Of course I am and it's not arrogant to say that. Do you really think I would spend ten years in doctoral work studying of ideas and not know anything?




Lastly, your logical argument at the end of the article breaks down immediately at points 1 and 2. You are arguing from an ignorance perspective or a "god in the gaps" pov.



At this point this statement is obviously just slinging mud after hurling a bunch of insults to begin with. The use of the word "ignorance" in calling me ignorant after its clear to me he has no concept of the issues, he is not on the educational level I am. that is merely a fact. It may sound really arrogant to say so, but it's cearly true, if he was he wouldn't say what he said because he should be well read enough to know better. What I said in that article is commonly said in philosophy of religion it's not special and nothing new or "stupid" or anything like that. It's something any philosopher of religion might say. So he has merely demonstrated to me that he is not on the my educational level, then they calls me ignorant, that's obvviously going to be a slap in the face. I don't expect this guy to fall all over himself lauding my brilliance, but why can't he come out and say "this looks like a god of the gaps argument" and wait for my answer? why does he have to make this big build up trying to flaunt his ignorance?


Basically because there are some things that can't be explained then they must have supernatural/mystical origins and so on. That is just relying on ignorance of the causes of x phenomenon. Like when people used to attribute epilepsy to demonic possession. As our learning of how the brain functions we'll be able to explain various states of mind without relying on the need for a supernatural entity. I recommend you keep abreast of the latest developments in neuro science.


AT this point I feel that this is just rubbing salt in the wound. First of all, I never argued that RE is a rational warrant for belief because we don't know what causes it. No wherein my argument did I say anything like that. For him to assume this is the same as saying that he doesn't understand the argument, yet he's calling me ignorant, trying to dismiss what I know as bs, and putting me on the same level as some primitive peasant. But he doesn't even understand the basic argument because he totally confuses what the warrant turns upon.


As a last point, I find it interesting when Christians put forth these type of arguments. Mostly because nothing really implies that their god is any more possible then any other religions god.


After he's already made me furious, he comes on with a supremely ignorant statement. Because if anyone knows me one of the few things that i am known for, other getting angry and begin sarcastic, is the argument that one single reality stands behind all religious traditions. But what did he say? He basically says, although not in so many words, but clearly says, "you are just like all other Christians, since they are morons that means you are a moron. I do not have to listen to you argument or take it seriously, or even try to understand what you said. I just know that you are an idiot so I don't need to listen."

wouldn't it make you made if you thought someone was saying this to you?



But if you mention any other gods or religions they quickly qualify them as silly and wrong.



He's automatically assuring I'm going to say what others supposedly say, which confirms my analysis.


Also, all the discussion of how the christian god defies evidence and can't be tested etc etc, doesn't seem to jive with the old testament god. That god seemed quite involved and didn't seem to mind making his presence known whenever things didn't meet his strict standards. It's very convenient that now in our modern era all of a sudden he seems to shy to make his presence known.


That is a simplistic assumption because clearly I have answers on the OT God and why the images of god depicted in the OT (which are multiple and not just one sort of image) is more than a literal understand and actually constitutes a metaphorical view. But at this point it's just one last shallow un thinking parting shot like it's not enough for him to sling dung on my head, he has to make one last insult.

As these things go this is pretty standard. Point to any message board on any given day and I can show you several wtih the same attitude and the same kinds of insulting comments. The tragedy is he thinks he being terribly insightful but every single statement he makes just say to me "ignorant, arrogant, unread..."

why would this not make anyone angry? Why should anyone be treated this way? I am not saying that I'm right to respond in anger and with sarcasm. But this is the sort of thing that sets me off. If you don't want me to respond this way don't provoke it.

Of course if I analyzed my responses I would have to say I responded in a very rude manner. This guy probably doesn't even understand what he said that would set anyone off.

I did not say all of this to argue that I'm justified. I am trying to turn over a new leaf. You are going to have to help. You are going to have meet me half way.

50 comments:

I empathize with John on that score because I have been treated that way by atheists and I will not have my side treating others that way.

Thank you so much! I feel likewise about any Christian who is maligned. I do not want my side doing those kinds of things to the other side and will condemn it when I can.

Hey thanks Buddy. We can be freinds, and are freinds and can have civil friendly disagreement in good will.

in the final analysis we are all here in this world trying to figure out what's going on. Some of us think we know, some feel sure, some disagree. That's no reason to hate or to ridicule.

You are a gentleman and a scholar.

I can sympathize with your post here, although I think it takes worse than this to set me off. We all have our own threshold I suppose. But I certainly have been known to let loose the full array of my own sarcastic arsenal at times when debating atheists, particularly the ones who talk about logic but give no evidence of having even taken an introductory course on the topic. It's royally frustrating attempting to argue with someone who is so ignorant that they don't even know how ignorant they are. In cases like that I think it's pretty pointless to even attempt rational discussion.

I really think the likes of Dawkins are setting the tone in this whole arena. Dawkins is an absolute lightweight when it comes to philosophy in general or philosophy of religion in particular, so he substitutes mockery, ridicule, and a superior attitude for argument. He appears to have created a legion of little disciples on the internet who are even more ignorant on these subjects than he is but mindlessly parrot his "arguments."

Incidentally, I read your email and Craig's response on his website, and I concur with the general observation about the level of discourse of atheists. Interesting that even another atheist made the same observation. I haven't been doing it long enough to have seen the downward trend that you speak of, but I see how it is now. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and remember why it is that we do this.

Blogger John Fraser said...

I can sympathize with your post here, although I think it takes worse than this to set me off. We all have our own threshold I suppose.

I've been doing this for 10 years so I have a lot more stuff built up.


But I certainly have been known to let loose the full array of my own sarcastic arsenal at times when debating atheists, particularly the ones who talk about logic but give no evidence of having even taken an introductory course on the topic. It's royally frustrating attempting to argue with someone who is so ignorant that they don't even know how ignorant they are. In cases like that I think it's pretty pointless to even attempt rational discussion.

yup

I really think the likes of Dawkins are setting the tone in this whole arena. Dawkins is an absolute lightweight when it comes to philosophy in general or philosophy of religion in particular, so he substitutes mockery, ridicule, and a superior attitude for argument. He appears to have created a legion of little disciples on the internet who are even more ignorant on these subjects than he is but mindlessly parrot his "arguments."


Yes and historically atheists have always been this way. In the English restoration period atheists primary employed sarcasm and ridicule and the latitudinarians created imaginary atheists to do intellectual battle with by using the ancient Greeks.

Incidentally, I read your email and Craig's response on his website, and I concur with the general observation about the level of discourse of atheists. Interesting that even another atheist made the same observation. I haven't been doing it long enough to have seen the downward trend that you speak of, but I see how it is now. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and remember why it is that we do this.

those tendencies have always been there, but I remember when it was better. I remember when almost all atheists tried to give the impression that they were thinkers and wanted to seriously put up a logical argument, but now many of them just go "I don't need to read theology because it's so stupid." I think a lot people have discovered atheism as an identity thing and gotten into it with no real interest in the thinking part.

"You are going to have meet me half way."

Why should I?

"You are going to have meet me half way."

Why should I?

because then it could be niceness. Don't you want to learn? why are you really doing this? ever think about that? are you doing it just to have a bunch p-ing contests?

You're one of the most hateful people I've ever encountered--and I include the likes of Fred Phelps in that list. Are you even capable of being nice?

Oh, and since when did learning have anything to do with being nice to you?

Joe,

I think there is less there to support the idea that he is calling you ignorant than there is to suggest that he's talking about the Argument from Ignorance, because he parallels it with "god of the gaps pov".

The irony is is that he's unwilling to accept that if something not testable, it could exist. That is, he puts the weight of his confidence in that if something hasn't been proven to exist, it does not exist. Meanwhile, you accepted that there were no proofs that God exists.

So you were not using Ignorantium, because you weren't suggesting any conclusion from the state of proof. However he was.

Goedel would have fun with the idea that all existing things and states are provable. Because then you get into the self-recursion of provability on the concept of provable.

Hi again,

This is JoeX. Not sure why "anonymous" is responding as if he were me.

Anyhow, you're post was very illuminating. Frankly until I read through it I had no idea that every single line of my post was so provocative. Some of my comments you also seem to have taken in the most negative way possible or misunderstood them (for example my comment about ignorance was not directed at you but at the lack of knowledge as to what causes the phenomenon example epilepsy)).

Anyhow, I apologize for the whole thing. I've unfortunately gotten used to a different tone of discussion on other message boards. I think it's time for me to turn over a new leaf as well.

Joe,

That was probably your best post ever. Thank you.

I do want to say that "Anonymous" is showing his/her true colors. He/she is obviously one of the hateful people on the 'Net -- stirring up dissension because he/she finds it fun. In "The Dark Knight", Alfred the Butler says something to the effect of "some people just want to watch the world burn." Anonymous (and many on the 'Net) are like that. There is no desire to reason -- just a desire to insult and hurt for the case of insulting and hurting.

I hope your post makes those who are really interested in trying to discuss these matters on both sides of the theological aisle more cognizant that our language can be insulting even if there is no intention to be insulting. For the rest (people like "Anonymous"), if the overall discussion could become more civil their rude and hostile words will be enough for people to rightfully dismiss them on that basis alone.

This is JoeX. Not sure why "anonymous" is responding as if he were me.

Anyhow, you're post was very illuminating. Frankly until I read through it I had no idea that every single line of my post was so provocative. Some of my comments you also seem to have taken in the most negative way possible or misunderstood them (for example my comment about ignorance was not directed at you but at the lack of knowledge as to what causes the phenomenon example epilepsy)).

Anyhow, I apologize for the whole thing. I've unfortunately gotten used to a different tone of discussion on other message boards. I think it's time for me to turn over a new leaf as well.



Maybe I am too sensative sometimes. Some say Peranoid, bu that's just a rumor started by my enemies.

Thanks for thinking about what I said man. Together we can forge a whole new understanding on this blog and really have some good discussions and learn from each other.

You're one of the most hateful people I've ever encountered--and I include the likes of Fred Phelps in that list. Are you even capable of being nice?


Yea, but what don't you like about me? It's not all gravy you know

9/07/2008 08:55:00 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and since when did learning have anything to do with being nice to you?


If you don't see the connection between learning and the environment one attempts to learn in, I'm afraid I can't help you. but it does explain some things.

ooops! old habits die hard.

I think there is less there to support the idea that he is calling you ignorant than there is to suggest that he's talking about the Argument from Ignorance, because he parallels it with "god of the gaps pov".

The irony is is that he's unwilling to accept that if something not testable, it could exist. That is, he puts the weight of his confidence in that if something hasn't been proven to exist, it does not exist. Meanwhile, you accepted that there were no proofs that God exists.

So you were not using Ignorantium, because you weren't suggesting any conclusion from the state of proof. However he was.

Goedel would have fun with the idea that all existing things and states are provable. Because then you get into the self-recursion of provability on the concept of provable.


good observations man!

That was probably your best post ever. Thank you.

thank you Bill! ;-)

What I see here is you, Joe, once again bringing a whole set of preconceptions and attitudes about what this person means to the table. Your anger seems to be directed at what you think he might have meant, and not at anything he actually said. You're reading between the lines and assuming things that just aren't there in the text.

You often seem to be angry at some imaginary atheist stereotype that you have developed, not at the actual person you happen to be interacting with. As a result your responses are often way out of proportion to any actual offense, intended or otherwise.

I have to agree with the comment above; in my experience you have been one of the most hateful, foul-mouthed and abusive people I have ever encountered on the `net. Whatever reasons or excuses or explanations or rationalizations you come up you cannot take back the frankly vicious things you've said to me; always in response to some negative stereotype rather than anything I've actually said.

I commend you for recognizing that you have a problem and taking steps to deal with it, and you often have interesting things to say (Fanny and Alexander is my favourite Bergman film, by the way) and I think I could have enjoyed talking about them with you and, yes even learning from you, but any communication between us has been so thoroughly poisoned by your anger and hatred that it's frankly impossible to take you seriously.

Good luck getting a grip on all that...

I commend you for recognizing that you have a problem and taking steps to deal with it, and you often have interesting things to say (Fanny and Alexander is my favourite Bergman film, by the way) and I think I could have enjoyed talking about them with you and, yes even learning from you, but any communication between us has been so thoroughly poisoned by your anger and hatred that it's frankly impossible to take you seriously.


its not as though you didni't come to by boards with a chip on your shoulder. Everyone else on the boards agreed. Go ask Zorave, Ask StgTomas, ask Kristen, and so the others. Ask Tiny Thinker!

Way to turn that other cheek, metacrock! Show 'em that Christian love!

"its not as though you didni't come to by boards with a chip on your shoulder."

See what I mean? You substitute these imaginary motives for my actual behaviour and use that to justify your abusive behaviour.

I came to your forum in the hopes of finding mature, stimulating conversation, found you ranting about atheist "Nazis", objected to that characterization and was taken to the woodshed for my objections.

You're never going to get past all of this until you accept responsibility and stop trying to shift the blame for your own bad behaviour onto the targets of your hate. Most of us don't actually deserve it...

Way to turn that other cheek, metacrock! Show 'em that Christian love!

so you think saying that he has a chip on his shoulder, which the other posters all said, is brutal and cruel and shows no love?

ok that's interesting. so who is way too sensative?

who is making this about the personalities?

blame the victim. I am the victim. I am the one who is reidiculed cnostantly who is lied about and told I never went to school you say I am so evil an foul mouths like you care! you believe in god? what difference does that make theN? if there's no god watching what I say what doe sit matter/ you are just atoms in the void. you don't want nice, so why are compaliing?

you already said you don't watn nice, so waht do you want other to feel like big big man becuase you can hurt people?

See what I mean? You substitute these imaginary motives for my actual behaviour and use that to justify your abusive behaviou


that's what the other guys said to me after you left.

Tiny Thinker said this recently: "...we miss a great deal of what is going on in the world because our reality is tightly bound up in our expectations."

It sort of inspired me to write a post: There's No Such Thing As A Winnable War.

Interestingly while writing that post, this one showed up in my rss feed, and it struck me that my post spoke to the issues in this post.

Joe gets pissed off, yes, but Joe is not hateful, quite the contrary.

Thanks Mike. that is a great post

"...that's what the other guys said to me after you left..."

Which "other guys" and how would they know what my intentions were?

But it's always easier to believe I'm a liar than it is to face the truth isn't it Joe? You need to stop crying, playing the victim and projecting your anger on people like me. All you can do is change your own behaviour.

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Why bother? Why give you people an excuse to hunt me down?

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Sorry Mike, I had to delete your comments because you quoted wholesale the comments of Anonymous/Goliath.

Anonymous/Goliath, I don't care if you have a conversation and make a point about whether Joe is actually hateful (he's not), but I won't let your foul language stand. Clean up your act, please.

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BK, I think you missed one (The one beginning "Fine. Are you happy now") and deleted others that didn't have swearing. Oh well, I wasn't very fond of the conversation anyway. ;-)

"I don't care if you have a conversation and make a point about whether Joe is actually hateful (he's not)..."

What you mean of course is that Joe has never been hateful towards YOU. Some of us have had a different experience in that regard...;-)

Mike,

I simply deleted the whole chain. If I deleted any inappropriately, I apologize.

A Hermit,

Well, I have known Joe for about 10 years now. I agree that his language at times has been extremely harsh -- in fact, I have deleted some of his comments off of this site. But I have had long conversations with the guy. I know him. I know what he's about. He comes across poorly at times, IMO, but that happens at times when he is passionate about something and feels that he is under attack.

Again, you can say he is hateful. That's something that I will certainly not delete since that is your opinion. However, I do disagree.

You still missed one "Fine. Are you happy now, dip****? Are you ever happy?"

I don't care that you deleted my comments, I just didn't want you to leave one up that could potentially offensive. :-)

Mike, Thank you. I thought I had deleted it. My bad.

"Well, I have known Joe for about 10 years now. I agree that his language at times has been extremely harsh -- in fact, I have deleted some of his comments off of this site. But I have had long conversations with the guy. I know him. I know what he's about. He comes across poorly at times, IMO, but that happens at times when he is passionate about something and feels that he is under attack."

BK, It's not just his language; bad language doesn't particularly bother me; it's his behaviour towards me personally which has been hateful. He invited me to join his forum, and when I found him comparing atheists like me to Nazis, lying about what other atheists had said in another forum and hijacking my attempts at dialogue with insults I objected to his behaviour. For my trouble I was subjected to abuse like nothing I have ever seen on an internet forum, or in my private e-mail, before or since. I felt that I had been invited to the forum just so he could have an atheist whipping-boy around.

Having been reassured by other forum members that I shouldn't take it personally, that, as you say here, Metacrock just gets "passionate" and is really a nice guy I have made several attempts to have a civil conversation with the man, but they all ended the same way; with vicious, angry e-mails calling me vile names and telling me to "f#@& off"."

I'm sure Joe has his good side, in fact I've seen his sense of humour, his appreciation of art, his concern for his family, all of which is of course commendable. But my own personal experience of the man has been almost entirely negative; his approach to me has been nasty, small minded, petty and cruel.

He'll blame it on me, of course, and I may have been blunt with him at times, as I'm being in this comment, but I have never stooped to the kind of vicious abuse I've received in return. So I'm not inclined to give the man the benefit of the doubt when I see him throwing out insults and accusations against others. There's a bitterness in his attitude to those of us who do not believe as he does which is, in a word, hateful.

Yes, that's just my opinion, but it's a well-founded opinion.

A Hermit,

I cannot comment on what happens outside of my presence, but I know that Joe can be pretty callous at times. It is something that is, in my view, preventing him from being as effective as he could be in speaking to others about Christianity.

I leave it to him to answer you, if any answer is forthcoming. For purposes here, I will simply stand by my belief that Joe, while excitable and rough at times, is not hateful.

Callous? Excitable? Rough? Less than effective?

There's an appropriate phrase making the rounds in the political news today; something about lipstick and pigs...;-)

Yes, I used those words. No, you cannot pull them out of context like that and retain the meaning. Obama is sinking in the polls for using that reference, and so it probably isn't advisable to associate yourself with that comment here.

If Obama is sinking in the polls for using that saying alone than people are much more ignorant than I thought.

It's a common saying people! Sheesh!

"Obama is sinking in the polls for using that reference"

LMAO!

Everyone is laughing at the McCain campaign for trying to make an issue out of that remark (one McCain himself has used more than once...) The old Karl Rove smear tactics aren't going to work this time...

I can't wait `til next November when the Republican party gets humiliated and I can finally start admiring America again...

Interesting. Well, since I haven't said anything about my position, and since this is not a political blog, and since I guess you haven't been reading the latest polling data, and since I guess you don't hang around in crowds where you know people who have changed their minds about voting for Obama based on his statement like I have, I guess we'll just leave it there.

"guess you don't hang around in crowds where you know people who have changed their minds about voting for Obama based on his statement like I have"

If people don't want to vote for Obama based on his policies, then that's just fine and dandy. If they are basing it on this statement then they are choosing to make their decision based on ignorance and that is just sad.

Again, it's a common phrase. I'm surprised more people haven't decided against McCain based on his supporting this accusation. I've seen video footage of him using the lipstick on a pig line at least twice if not more, at least once in reference to Hillary's policies.

Again, ths is not a political blog (except where it touches on the area of religion) so I will not comment on your comment.

Again, ths is not a political blog (except where it touches on the area of religion) so I will not comment on your comment.

Fair enough. :-)

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