Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Increase in the Atheist Fringe

I finally caught up to the most recent Reasonable Faith podcast, and on it Kevin Harris brings up some good points about how atheists have begun to act, not just online but in academic settings as well. Case in point, the questions that were asked in the Craig/Harris debate Q&A session. Apparently a local atheist group crowded the mics at the debate and asked really poor questions, many of which had nothing to do with the debate. One moron went on a tangent about God appearing to him and whatnot, and basically made a big fool of himself.

Harris' poor debate behavior was also an issue, as he really avoided the issue in much of what he said and just focused on getting his pet peeves out while he had a bully pulpit. Thinking atheists everywhere should be ashamed of what happened, and I think some are. But you sure don't see it on any of the infidel websites out there.

You see this happening in most of the blogs that deal with the issue of God's existence in their comment sections as well. A mixture of attempted one-upmanship mixed with irrelevant tangents and ad hominem attacks come forth from the internet infidel fingers. Even once respectable atheist blogs themselves have begun to devolve into Dick Dawk-esque rhetoric.

So I'll repeat the question Harris asked in his interview with Craig; is this what you atheists want? Do you want to ignore the issues, the arguments, the ideas that need to be discussed and grappled with, or do you just want to strike emotional chords and rhetorical victories and achieve your "you're no Jack Kennedy" moment? Is that what atheism is becoming? Because that's not reasonable or intelligent, it's dogmatic and dishonest. What happened to your quest for truth?

24 comments:

Ryan Anderson said...

That kid could have been clearer, but his point was valid if one was so inclined to hear. Why give credence to the idea that god spoke to "Isaiah" or "Moses" or whomever any more than he did to that kid.

It's entertaining how quickly some christians dismissed that kid, but ancient works with questionable authorship are not.

WLC put himself in a tough spot if he's ever defending divine revelation in a debate and his opponent wants to capitalize on his post-Harris debate comments regarding that kids question.

bossmanham said...

And Ryan comes along and proves my point, as I suspected. I enjoy continually reading your inability to follow a line of reasoning, Ryan. You're a laugh riot, and the very person I'm speaking of in the post.

Ryan Anderson said...

I didn't expect a substantive response from you. You met my expectations.

bossmanham said...

Heh.

David said...

You asked for a reasonable question. Ryan gave you one. You provided no answer. Do you want to ignore the issues, the arguments, the ideas that need to be discussed and grappled with?

bossmanham said...

No, he was supporting an irrelevant question (asked in a retarded way) about ethical epistemology in a debate which wasn't about ethical epistemology.

And I didn't ask for questions, I'm critiquing the level of integrity and inquiry from those who claim the high ground on the issues.

Ryan Anderson said...

Brennon said in the original post: "Apparently a local atheist group crowded the mics at the debate and asked really poor questions, many of which had nothing to do with the debate. One moron went on a tangent about God appearing to him and whatnot, and basically made a big fool of himself."

John said...

Ryan Said:

"It's entertaining how quickly some christians dismissed that kid, but ancient works with questionable authorship are not. "

It's entertaining how you simply refuse to understand (since you obviously ought to be smarter than that) why "christians dismissed that kid."

If the kid had "been clearer" as you said he should have, and acted more maturely, which I think is what you really mean, then maybe Christians wouldn't have dismissed him so quickly like you say they did.

Dawkins will dismiss anyone who asks him questions akin to : "So, there's this baby in the room right now, why isn't it O.K. to completely mutilate him?" which is just a very stupid way of asking him what in his worldview makes things evil. Dawkins would rightly dismiss questions of that kind because they are put very immaturely. Don't you think?

Hypocritical much?

David said...

"And I didn't ask for questions, I'm critiquing the level of integrity and inquiry from those who claim the high ground on the issues."

I see. So, you're not going to answer the question because you've decided it's "irrelevant", even though you brought up this question in your post. You don't like it if someone asks a question that you don't think is relevant to a particular debate. Your refusal to answer is not related to the question of whether or not the question is reasonable or important. Do I understand correctly?

By the way, if one is going to criticize another group for "ad hominem attacks", do you think it's wise to refer to those you disagree with using terms like moron, fool, retarded, dogmatic and dishonest? As John would say, hypocritical much?

David said...

One other question. Are we allowed to alter other people's names in an insulting way? Just wanted to at what level we're allowed to operate here.

John said...

"You don't like it if someone asks a question that you don't think is relevant to a particular debate."

-- And I take it that you do. O.K.

"Your refusal to answer is not related to the question of whether or not the question is reasonable or important. Do I understand correctly?"

-- Notice that Ryan didn't put any question marks. We can reasonably assume that HE WAS NOT ASKING A QUESTION and was merely defending an immature one by some immature questioner. And when called out on it he (or you) wants to make it seem like he was simply asking an honest question? Nice.

"By the way, if one is going to criticize another group for "ad hominem attacks", do you think it's wise to refer to those you disagree with using terms like moron, fool, retarded, dogmatic and dishonest? As John would say, hypocritical much?"

-- If you are able to clearly show how someone is being moronic, do you think it's still an adhominem if you call him a moron? Do you know what an adhominem is?

bossmanham said...

Yes Ryan, that's what I said. Congratulations.

bossmanham said...

I see. So, you're not going to answer the question because you've decided it's "irrelevant", even though you brought up this question in your post.

I brought it up to highlight its irrelevance to the debate. If you could comprehend the English language in the least, you'd also see that it certainly has nothing to do with this post.

You don't like it if someone asks a question that you don't think is relevant to a particular debate.

Right. It's a red herring.

Your refusal to answer is not related to the question of whether or not the question is reasonable or important. Do I understand correctly?

It would be pertinent if asked in a reasonable way (not like the dumb kid) and in the context of ethical epistemology (how we know what is right and wrong).

do you think it's wise to refer to those you disagree with using terms like moron, fool, retarded, dogmatic and dishonest?

An ad hominem is an argument of the form: that guy is I (some insult) therefore because of I, his argument is wrong. I'm not saying that the kid's arguments are wrong because he's a moron, I'm calling him that due to his ridiculous behavior.

Are we allowed to alter other people's names in an insulting way? Just wanted to at what level we're allowed to operate here.

I kind of advocate free speech, but if it's done inappropriately or to reason fallaciously, you'll get called out on it.

David said...

John,

"-- And I take it that you do. O.K."

Well, it depends on how, exactly, you define "relevance". My point was that the question may, in fact, have had some relevance. I understand that BMH didn't see the relevance, but that does not eliminate the possiblity that there really was some relevance here. BMH is not the final judge of such matters.

"And when called out on it he (or you) wants to make it seem like he was simply asking an honest question? Nice."

I can't speak for Ryan, but yes, I'm trying to ask an honest question here. I'm not getting an answer, but it's an honest, reasonable question.

"Do you know what an adhominem is?"

Yes, I do. See below.

David said...

BMH,

>Are we allowed to alter other people's names in an insulting way?

"I kind of advocate free speech, but if it's done inappropriately or to reason fallaciously, you'll get called out on it."

Dick Dawk? Appropriate? Reasoned?


"It would be pertinent if asked in a reasonable way (not like the dumb kid) and in the context of ethical epistemology (how we know what is right and wrong)."

Well, it seems to me that the question does, in fact, address the issue of how we know what is right and wrong, and this was an issue at this debate. So, maybe it's actually a relevant question after all.


"An ad hominem is an argument of the form: that guy is I (some insult) therefore because of I, his argument is wrong."

Yes, I know this. But both your original post and your responses have made repeated use of insulting terms, suggesting that you are rejecting arguments, at least in part, on the basis that those that disagree with you are "I", and therefore, wrong. Given the level of insult, it's difficult to determine your true reason for rejecting the argument.

Can you really decide that a person is a dishonest, moronic, retarded fool on the basis of a single question? Would you like to be judged on the basis of a single question?

Given the general tone of your post and responses, it seem to me that you are, in part, rejecting arguments based on your opinion on those asking the question.

Now, if you'd like to consider the question itself, perhaps we could move beyond the broad generalizations and insults.

exreformed said...
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exreformed said...
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bossmanham said...

While exreformed's posts did simply prove my point (which is hilarious), I always delete posts with cussing in them.

Dick Dawk? Appropriate? Reasoned?

Yes. It wasn't used in the context of an argument, and is his name, only shorter.

Well, it seems to me that the question does, in fact, address the issue of how we know what is right and wrong, and this was an issue at this debate.

No it wasn't.

But both your original post and your responses have made repeated use of insulting terms, suggesting that you are rejecting arguments, at least in part, on the basis that those that disagree with you are "I", and therefore, wrong.

I never argued that because someone is a moron, an argument presented is incorrect. No argument has been proffered from any atheist here. I critiqued the behavior of a dumb atheist at the debate, not an argument. No argument was given.

Can you really decide that a person is a dishonest, moronic, retarded fool on the basis of a single question?

You can decide they are being at that moment either one of those things or all of them, yes.

Given the general tone of your post and responses, it seem to me that you are, in part, rejecting arguments based on your opinion on those asking the question.

But, like you are so often, you'd be wrong. Again.

Now, if you'd like to consider the question itself, perhaps we could move beyond the broad generalizations and insults.

I've answered the question before, I believe to you personally. I bet you can figure out what I'd say.

bossmanham said...

And I'm not going to allow this post to be hijacked on something you want to talk about. You can ask me on a post where it's relevant how I think we can know what is right and wrong. I asked a question on this post that none of you has directly answered.

Actually, I've seen defenses of the behavior I'm criticizing, which leads me to believe the atheists aren't at all concerned with truth or reason, but are doing exactly what I'm criticizing them of. So you really want your movement to become that? That's fine with me, as you'll simply delegitimize yourselves and your ideas.

David said...

"And is his name, only shorter."

No, it's not. This is disingenous, as you know. It's a modification that is intended to be insulting. As you would say, just man-up to what you are doing here.


"No it wasn't."

Well, that's your opinion. It's an assertion. To each his own, I guess.


"You can decide they are being at that moment either one of those things or all of them, yes."

This is not how you put it in your post. There were no qualifiers. The questioner was a moron. The questioner was a fool. Period. From one question, you labeled this individual as "retarded". Not just the question, but the individual as well.


"I critiqued the behavior of a dumb atheist at the debate, not an argument."

Again, note that you have labeled the questioner as dumb. Period. No qualifiers. You labeled the questioner, not the question.

Besides, your post went far beyond the behavior of a single questioner. It offered a broad-bush and negative assessment of those who disagree with you.


"And I'm not going to allow this post to be hijacked on something you want to talk about."

Your post focused on a question that you claim is irrelevant. It's not irrelevant. I'm not hijacking anything. It's a reasonable question related to the debate. If you prefer to avoid the question, that's your choice.

"I've answered the question before, I believe to you personally. I bet you can figure out what I'd say."

I have many conversions with many people. If you've answered this before, I don't recall the answer. And, no, I don't necessarily know what you are going to say. I've learned that it's best not to assume to much. Doesn't mean that I always follow my own advice, but I try to seek clarification before jumping to conclusions.

So, there is to be no discussion of the question in question then? I think that's a wise move on your part.


"So you really want your movement to become that?"

My movement? What movement? Have I claimed to be an atheist or to be a part of any "movement"? Talk about jumping to conclusions.


"I asked a question on this post that none of you has directly answered."

Could you clarify? What question are you referring to? Just want to sure about what you are talking about.

bossmanham said...

No, it's not. This is disingenous, as you know. It's a modification that is intended to be insulting. As you would say, just man-up to what you are doing here.

Wah.

Well, that's your opinion

No it's a fact.

This is not how you put it in your post. There were no qualifiers.

Use your brain to figure it out.

Again, note that you have labeled the questioner as dumb. Period.

Use your brain to figure it out.

It offered a broad-bush and negative assessment of those who disagree with you.

No it offers a broad-bRush negative assessment of exactly who I say it does.

Your post focused on a question that you claim is irrelevant.

No I didn't focus on it.

If you've answered this before, I don't recall the answer.

Not surprising given your normal behavior.

Could you clarify? What question are you referring to? Just want to sure about what you are talking about.

Did you even read the post, David? Or, like I pointed out in the post, did you just come over here to shoot your mouth (fingers?) off?

David said...

"Wah."

I'm just trying to establish what your standards are. If you wish to engage in this form of insult, that's fine with me. We can play with people's names if you'd like. Just be honest about it. Let's discard the disingenous responses. As I said, just man-up. Live up to your alleged beliefs.


"No it's a fact."

Assertion. No argument made.


"Use your brain to figure it out."

More evasion. I guess that you prefer this to acknowledging error. Fact remains, you labeled the questioner, not the question. This is quite clear. What exactly does the phrase "the dumb kid" mean?


"No I didn't focus on it."

You highlighted this as a prime example in the post. In any event, the question remains relevant.


"Not surprising given your normal behavior."

What is this supposed to mean? Normal behavior?

Look, dude, I honestly wish to avoid making assumptions about your position. I truly do not keep detailed records of every single interaction I've ever had. Unlike you, I try to avoid jumping to conclusions about the views of others. If you decline to clarify, that's your choice, but you have a bad habitat of assumping the worst about those who disagree with you and of chosing insult over debate.

Ok, it's clear that you are not going to answer the question.

"Did you even read the post, David?"

Yes, I did. The last paragraph of the post contained several questions. Which question are you refering to?

Ryan Anderson said...

Brennon; ...or do you just want to strike emotional chords and rhetorical victories and achieve your "you're no Jack Kennedy" moment?

Is this your experience with internet atheists? If so, I have to wonder if it's one of those "you get what you give" things.

As a corollary, I don't have enough information to form a conclusion, but I've long suspected that the doctrine of "Total Depravity" strikes a chord in sour people because one tends to think other people are on average more or less like themselves. i.e. Jerks think everybody else are jerks as well.

bossmanham said...

I'm just trying to establish what your standards are. If you wish to engage in this form of insult, that's fine with me.

I've never claimed that satire is always out of the question. I'm not the one to make up the term "Dick Dawk." Just don't use it in the place of reasonable argument or to dismiss someone's argument. Also, don't use it in an academic setting, where certain standards should be met.

Assertion. No argument made.

No, the debate was about a certain topic, ethical ontology, not about the topic you want addressed, ethical epistemology.

More evasion. I guess that you prefer this to acknowledging error. Fact remains, you labeled the questioner, not the question. This is quite clear. What exactly does the phrase "the dumb kid" mean?

No, your incessant and ridiculous repeated questions get annoying. Your bloating insignificant issues does as well. This is why I don't take you seriously.

Ryan,

Wow, you actually are interacting with the post! I'm flabbergasted.

Is this your experience with internet atheists? If so, I have to wonder if it's one of those "you get what you give" things.

Yes it is my experience. I give reasoned arguments and rebuttals, and I get a lot of what you want to propagate around here. I could grab over a dozen posts from you to prove my point.

I don't have enough information to form a conclusion, but I've long suspected that the doctrine of "Total Depravity" strikes a chord in sour people because one tends to think other people are on average more or less like themselves. i.e. Jerks think everybody else are jerks as well.

What does that have to do with reasoned argument. Are you saying that if you don't like a Christian doctrine, that you should then harbor the bitterness and then reveal it in a discussion that is completely foreign to the doctrine? So use emotional argumentation about a completely irrelevant issue. That doesn't sound reasonable or logical at all.