• About TWIM


    The Warfare Is Mental (TWIM) reflects the mental warfare of an author, screenwriter, publisher and member of the Writer's Guild of America. Family, friends, health, humor, art, music, science, faith, fun and knowledge are some of the things that are important to me.



    TWIM is the first and only theist blog listed on the Atheist Blogroll, which currently contains over 1,000 blogs. It goes without saying that I don't endorse hardly any of the views of any of them. Contact Mojoey for more information.



    Ironically, TWIM won an award for "Best Atheist / Skeptic Site" from this site. Much obliged.



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    You and your commenters are a feast of thinking — great stuff.

    -C.L. Dyck
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I have no need to engage with racists, so will ignore cl’s further diatribes.

    -faithlessgod,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl resists following through on a thought even to provide a solid opposing position, and thus stifles many conversations. It’s a shame since it seems like cl has some brain power that could be applied to the topics at hand.

    -Hermes,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [faithlessgod and Hermes] fit my definition of trolling. I didn’t take any of those attacks against you seriously, and quickly categorized them as trolls.

    -JS Allen,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl] is, as many have noticed, a master of this warfare. I’ve been following him for quite some time and he’s one of the most effective Christian trolls out there. No one can completely destroy a conversation as effectively as he does, and with such masterful grace and subtly that he rarely gets banned. This isn’t a blunt-force “U R Hitler!” troll, this is the Yoda of trolling.

    -Eneasz,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    This seems to imply that cl is, at least in part, disingenuous in terms of how he responds/what he claims. Is this most likely true, supported by evidence, or merely a subjective claim?

    -al friedlander,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...I wanted to get a message to you outside of the context of specific discussions on CSA. You make good, insightful contributions to that site, and since I often agree with you I'm glad there is someone else there defending my positions better than I sometimes can. However I don't think anything of value would be lost if you stopped engaging in personal combat with juvenile snipers.

    -Zeb,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Thank you for your wonderful response - so reasoned in the race of [Waldvogel's] blustering.

    -Annie Laurie Gaylor
     Freedom From Religion Foundation
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Thanks for a great Op-Ed.

    -Marianne Ratcliff
     VC Star
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...as atheists we need to make sure that someone like cl and any Christian readers of [An Apostate's Chapel] don’t come away with the perception that the atheists caved in or were incapable of responding. I’m sure that a lot of Christians who find cl incomprehensible at times and don’t even bother reading him themselves will come away with an assumption that cl is that sort of rare intellectual theist who can prove that gods exist. And that’s how those inane rumors about the feared xian intellectuals start…

    -bbk
     An Apostate's Chapel
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are in so over your head here, you are embarrassing yourself...
    I am well versed in many aspects of evolution biology, through my academic background, and my professional life. Unless your academic degrees and background match mine, cease and desist. Return to philosophy and rhetoric, or whatever it is you perceive your strengths to be. They are definitely not science, even at the high school level.

    -R.C. Moore
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You're doing a fine job.

    -Prof. Larry Moran
     Dept. of Biochemistry
     University of Toronto
     re: R.C. Moore & others
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Phyletic change and vicariance (or, drift and selection versus population isolation), as cl points out, are much better ways of describing what are unfortunately more commonly known as micro- and macro- evolution, respectively.

    -Dan
     Biology postdoc
     Univ. of Cyprus
     re: R.C. Moore & others
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl says, “The minute you call yourself a Christian or an Atheist or whatever the heck else, you automatically get painted by other people’s interpretations of those words, which are almost always different and almost always distorted.” cl’s point couldn’t be more on. As cl points out there is an important reason for not claiming any real religious (or lack thereof) belief. It puts logical constraints on one's arguments due directly to the bias of the individual that is translating the English to mind ideas of what it means to be religious.

    -Bobaloo
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Just who in the bloody hell do you think you are, you Christian piece of garbage, to come here barking out orders? You're an arrogant, condescending piece of shit. You seem to think you're an intellectual of sorts, when all you are is a Christian who's read a few books. John, everyone, this really is the limit. BR, I'm more than a little annoyed that you continue to engage him. I'm out of here. I have better things to do than to waste my time with these cretins.

    -Cipher
     Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    How old are you CL? I'd guess you have not yet experienced much life. I'd say you were under the age of 21, too young to be here. I don't give a damn what you think of me or my deconversion at all. You're too stupid to realize that regardless of it you must deal with the arguments in the book. They are leading people away from you [sic] faith. I'm seriously considering banning you cl, as I've heard you were banned on other sites. You are much too ignorant for us to have a reasonable discussion.

    -John Loftus
     Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I admired the way you handled yourself in the discussion on John's blog. I'm not patient enough to keep my sarcasm in check with some of them blokes, but appreciate those who are.

    -David Marshall
     re: Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl, I have to say, while I fundamentally disagree with you, you are an individual which I highly respect. I think your responses are always well thought out and your insights always well thought out and pertinently derived.
    [Y]ou have made me a stronger atheist in my regards to critical thinking and debating. I really can’t wait to hear more from you. Hell, I’d even buy you a drink, good sir. Cheers!

    -Parker
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Bottom line? Sometimes I think he's right about certain arguments, and I don't have a problem admitting that. Other times, however, I think he's wrong, and I've called him on that. But I have found he can be pretty reasonable if you (1) don't overstate your case, (2) make concessions when you have, and (3) insist he do the same.

    -Lifeguard
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I like it when [cl] makes me stop, think and question if I am making unfounded assertions or if I am being sloppy. What has been annoying me about cl of late is that he is being excruciatingly anal...

    -seantheblogonaut
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I really can't thank you enough for catching me on my error in rhetoric. I always love a good debate! And I always enjoy your posts, as well! Keep up the great writing and the excellent eye for detail!

    -BZ
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You make me smarter...

    -Mike G.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ..thank you, cl. I discovered your blog on a random web search and saw it as an oasis amidst a vast desert of seemingly intractable theist-atheist debate.

    -Sung Jun
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    It's good to be able to discuss with people who are open and respectful, and know that disagreement does not mean disrespect... You are to be congratulated, not only for your patience, but also your ability to hold an ever-growing debate together with an impressive degree of structure.

    -Ritchie
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    My tone is derogatory... [cl is] ignorant and credulous and deserves to be mocked... In the time he's been here, he's shown a consistent pattern of antagonizing everyone he comes in contact with, monopolizing threads, derailing discussions with perpetual complaints, quibbles and demands for attention, and generally making arguments that display a lack of good faith and responsiveness... it's become intolerable. I'm not banning him, but I'm putting in place some restrictions on how often he can comment.

    -Ebonmuse
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    This is no defense of the annoying cl, but what a self-righteous, prissy atheist you turned out to be, Ebonmuse. I'm disappointed in you, stealing a strategem from the theists.

    -The Exterminator
     to Ebonmuse
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I certainly didn't get any bad impression about cl, and I can't relate his comments with any of the things (Ebonmuse) said above. I actually thought it was quite interesting to have him around.

    -Juan Felipe
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Please continue to allow
    cl to post his views and make it clear that he is still welcome. And let me be clear, cl is not a lunatic.

    -Curtis
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    With one exception, you are the most coherent and intelligent theist I've seen on this site...

    -Steve Bowen
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I'm rooting for cl. I hope he perpetually manages to skirt the rules enough to do his damage, forcing rule revision after rule revision, ad nauseum. Awesome! Let's watch as Ebon, ever more frustrated, continues to struggle to figure out how to keep his precious private blog neat and tidy as cl keeps messing up his papers while one by one, readers leave due to an every increasing administrative presence. Outstanding! Well I won't go. The thought of this sounds like the most entertaining thing that probably would have ever happened on Daylight Atheism. Hot damn!

    -PhillyChief
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Your visit has been something of a reality check to me. It seems that when you present rational arguments and criticisms, many commenters feel territory slipping and then work up vaporous or leaky responses. I also want to remark that your presence here has considerably moved me to try being a more careful and understanding debater...

    -Brad
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I do have a lot of respect for you too. You seem to be a very intelligent and thoughtful individual with a knack for getting to the bottom of a problem, cutting through all the bullshit rhetoric on the way down. The fact that many other atheists seem to unreasonably despise you bothers me a lot, because I think that maybe they aren’t acting in good faith.

    -Peter Hurford
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I am not going to waste any more time parsing your comments to decide if they've crossed the line or not... So I banned you.

    -Greta Christina
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Be rude... cl invites rudeness. Would you want an incontinent little puppy coming into your house?

    -(((Billy))) the Atheist
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Note to all my regular readers: Since An Apostate’s Chapel is a free-speech zone, I don’t censor conversations.
    As it appears that cl is a troll, please note that I will not be responding to him any longer. I ask that you refrain from doing so, as well. Please don’t feed the troll!

    -The Chaplain
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    …I can’t reconcile being a "freethinker" with banning speech. [cl's] comments are not offensive in the normal understanding of that term, and he poses absolutely no threat except perhaps to some imagined decorum. Why can’t atheists lighten up, for no-Christ’s sake?

    -The Exterminator
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Is it going to distract from my meal when crazy uncle cl starts blathering out nonsense, pick his ears with a carrot or start taking his pants off? No. In fact, it might actually heighten the experience in some amusing way. So no, I don't see cl's work as damage.

    -PhillyChief
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I am beginning to suspect that you are a troll cl. Albeit an evolved troll, but a troll nonetheless. Perhaps we should all stop feeding the troll?

    -GaySolomon
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl is] is either a sophist or an incompetent when it comes to the english language... (sic)

    -ThatOtherGuy
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I’d say cl is pretty sharp... it may be tempting at times to think that “the other guy” is arguing out of some personal character flaw rather than a sincere desire to acknowledge the truth, I still think it’s better to debate respectfully... It is disrespectful to make unsupported accusations against people, e.g. by suggesting that their views are caused by an intrinsically corrupt and immoral nature.

    -Deacon Duncan, 3-9-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl] cannot refute my facts, so he needs must find (sic) some scapegoat in order to claim that he has confronted the enemy and proven them wrong... cl, sadly, has proven himself to be the sort of guest who comes into your living room and sneaks behind your couch to take a crap on the floor, just so he can tell all your neighbors how bad your house smells and what an unsanitary housekeeper you are... an interesting case study in the negative effects a Christian worldview has on a reasonably intellectual mind.

    -Deacon Duncan, 6-17-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I strongly discourage discussion of the character, abilities, motives, or personal ancestry of individual commenters, as tempting as such comments may be at times. I discourage the posting of comments that make frequent use of the pronoun “you,” as in “you always…” or “you never…” or “you are just so…”, when directed at a specific individual.

    -Deacon Duncan, 4-9-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I won’t be publishing your most recent comment because it’s a return to the same sort of schtick you’ve pulled here before: re-writing other people’s arguments to make yourself look misunderstood and/or unfairly accused, taking “polyvalent” positions so that when people address your points you can claim to have said something else, distorting other people’s arguments, trolling for negative reactions, and so on.

    -Deacon Duncan, 10-8-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [E]gomaniacal troll.
    You win... You’re a disingenuous sophist through and through, cl. And a friggin’ narcissist to boot! Since I’ve thoroughly and purposefully broken the Deacon’s rules of engagement, I shall consider my right to post henceforth annulled, and move on - dramatic pause, lights out.

    -jim
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    He either thinks in a very weird way or he's quite the con artist.

    -mikespeir
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I will gladly admit that I have a boner for cl. Maybe some day I’ll even earn a place of honor on cl’s Blog of Infamy.

    -Eneasz
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Long time reader first time poster... I like reading what you
    have to say over at Daylight Atheism so I figured I'd pop in here.

    -Pine
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    He's just a jerk
    that likes to argue.

    -KShep
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You’re not a reasonable thinker in my book. You’re simply an arguer, for better or worse. I’m Michael Palin, you’re John Cleese. You’re just a disputation-ist, bringing everything into question...

    -jim
     Reason vs. Apologetics
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Motherfucker, this is an interesting blog... Quite the group of commenters.

    -John Evo
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are very articulate, and I can only assume that it's a result of high intelligence; an intelligence that's interested in, and can understand, healthy debate. However, at every turn, that's not what I or others seem to get.

    -ex machina
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are a troll, a liar, and a useless sack of shit. Not only that, but you're still wrong even after moving the goal posts and trying to re-write history. So, you can stop cyber stalking me now and trying to provoke me. I know what you are doing, and you are doing it so that you can whine about how I'm being irrational and mean to you and stroke your pathetic martyr complex. You're a pathetic attention whore and I've already given you too much attention. So, back the fuck off, stop following me around the intarwebs and trying to provoke me, and fuck off.

    -OMGF
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I would just like to say that, OMGF, having read the debate as a neutral observer, some of the things cl says about your style of argument are true, IMO. It is quite hasty, which means you occasionally haven't got the central point cl is trying to make...

    -John D.
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...this is a difficult question that deserves more than a kneejerk reaction, not to imply that you're kneejerking. You're the least kneejerking person I've met.

    -Quixote
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    If you’re here playing devil’s advocate, then, hey, you do a great job at it, it’s a service, keep us sharp... You’re a smart guy, but those are exactly the ones who give the worst headaches!

    -Lifeguard
     An Apostate's Chapel
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are a waste of time, cl. A big fat black hole of bullshit sucking in everyone who comes into contact with you.

    -Spanish Inquisitor
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    As for all that harsh invective that's come your way, umm... I gotta say, I've seen some of the invective, but I haven't seen the behavior on your part that called for it. Maybe I've just not seen enough? I don't know... from what I've read, I can tell that you're a smart person, and whether you deserved any of that treatment or not is quite frankly immaterial to me; I just want to deal with the smart person at the eye of that storm.

    -D
     She Who Chatters
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I now think that you’re an atheist, just having fun at other atheists’ expense. If that’s the case, kudos.

    -The Exterminator
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

Now Taking Suggestions For A Credible Debate Scoring System

Well this whole PZ Myers Memorial Debate sure sparked quite the fiasco, but it’s really got me thinking. A few commenters both here and at VoxWorld have tossed out some pretty decent ideas as far as judging debates are concerned. If you were to judge a debate, what would you look for? What sort of things would you award or penalize? Have you seen any successful debate scoring systems before? What sort of scoring do you think would be fair? Based on what we’ve seen in the recent judging, what sort of things would you advise for or against? Where did the judges do well? Where could we have done better? Was there anything you wanted to see, but didn’t? Let’s see what we can come up with.

The PZ Myers Memorial Debate

In honor of Paul Zachary Myers publicly declaring that he won’t debate creationists anymore, Vox Day has offered the PZ Myers Memorial Challenge. Long story short: PZ wussed out, said a bunch of mean-spirited personal crap about Vox’s dad, and qualified himself as a “coward” by his own definition. PZ, always the friendly and gentle atheist, wrote:

Who is Vox Day? He’s a recipient of wingnut welfare, a pretentious nobody who had a rich and rotten crook for a father and who writes cheesy fantasy novels in between penning cheesy political discourse.

Now that’s weird. Does anybody remember what PZ said when J.J. Ramsey insulted his daughter before being censored into Darwinian oblivion?

If you must insult my family, do it to their faces so they can kick your ass; it’s cowardly to try and do it in front of me.

Oh really now? Looks like the butterfly collector could use a little brushing up on his fallacies, eh? Why dost PZ plead specially? Now that PZ wimped out, Vox needs an atheist with a brain and some courage to debate! I believe that former TWIM regular Dominic Saltarelli has agreed to debate Vox, but that has yet to be confirmed. If anybody ’round these parts wants to take the challenge, contact Vox. Personally, I’d recommend Peter Hurford for the atheist side. Or dguller, but I don’t think he reads here anymore. However, and here’s the interesting part, somebody nominated yours truly as a possible judge for the debate [HT: Quixote]. A commenter going by Mr. Nightstick wrote:

Have you guys seen this guy? He is on par with Vox in his dismantling of atheism. He would be great for the theist judge.

Well. That was nice. I noticed something else this commenter wrote in another of Vox’s threads:

Found your website the other day through CSA. Excellent work! I think you and Vox should go on a comedy tour. Watching people go through convulsions when you and him destroy their worlds is very enjoyable.

Much obliged, Mr. Nightstick, much obliged. Although, I’m not out to destroy worlds, I just call it like I see it for whatever it’s worth. People tend to either hate me or love me when it comes to my dealings on atheist blogs. Oh well. It’s better than being boring I guess! At any rate, I emailed Vox and told him I was interested, so we’ll see where it goes.

The Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis: An Introduction

The basic concept behind the Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis (hereafter MGH) could be summarized as going to the source.

Let's face it: the Christianity that many believers argue is indeed a moving target. Although I think it's an intellectual cop-out, I sympathize with atheists and unbelieving skeptics when they accuse believers of trotting out Courtier's Replies. Who wants to get bogged down trying to harmonize all the differing
opinions of mainline religions and lesser sects, each of whom claim to
be eating from the same salad bar called the Bible? Certainly not me. On the other hand, I sympathize with believers when they accuse atheists and unbelieving skeptics of gross negligence in their characterizations of religion.

M is the work of the Masoretes, Jewish scribes and scripture scholars living roughly 3,000 years ago in what today would probably be Jerusalem, Tiberius or even what would be considered Iraq (then Babylon, Babylonia). M represents the Hebrew rendition of the Tanakh. Many if not most Protestant and Catholic Bibles sample from M, as does the Septuagint (39 books of the OT + select Apocrypha) from which the New Testament writers sampled. G is the New Testament derived as described. This way, we arguably start as close to the actual events and oral traditions as possible, then apply our collective powers of reason to ascertain the set of reasonably permissible predictions.

This means we'll inevitably discuss Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek, lexicon that may be foreign, unwelcome or intimidating for some. We're bound for some rough spots for sure, as many a discussion between atheists and believers derails around this point, but I have faith in our combined powers of reason. 

Is This Conducive To The Pursuit Of Truth?

I was still waiting for the last Power Commenter to respond to Pt. 3 in my response to DD's so-called Evidence Against Christianity when, after a most exuberant and joyous night out enjoying life with my friends (yes, some people actually like me, no I don't pay them, no I don't mean MySpace friends and no, I'm not referring to prostitutes) I hopped online to find 631 very flattering words titled The Heckler's Defense which – like The Loser's Compromise – I fully expect DD to deny are about personalities.

I decided not to respond on DD's blog for a few reasons. Although I disagree that I'm a troll, and I feel that my arguments at EvangelicalRealism are both well-reasoned and made in good-faith, some who disagree are likely to see anything I say as further evidence that I'm indeed a troll. Like a shark to blood, I can sense that DD's just about to his breaking point, and although getting banned from atheist blogs is always flattering, it's also always annoying because it's honestly never my goal – my real goal is the pursuit of truth which entails either emendation or procuring agreement from reasonable individuals that my opponent's argument is not cogent as formed. I hope our new Power Commenting experiment can offer something standard threads seem to have difficulty delivering. At the very least, I can proceed with confidence my Power Commenters won't call each other "mealy-mouthed pricks" or "intellectual cowards," and that they're committed to issues as opposed to personalities. That can't be a bad place to start, right?

Even though my response to The Heckler's Defense is well-reasoned and not trolling, I feel that if I were to leave it in the original thread, such would simply knock the focus further off the issues and reinforce the negative stigmas I earnestly desire to overcome. So, I'm responding here and I'm going to chill off DD's blog in general for a while. 

This is not a concession of defeat for those who like to jump the gun. I will still be very much in this discussion. What better way to disable your accuser than to steal his bullets? Refusing to comment there should swiftly undermine DD's concerns about me being an "infiltrator", "troll", "heckler", "loser", etc. Once his emotions return to equilibrium, once he's exhausted and done contradicting himself by addressing his perception of my personality, I'm hoping DD will return to the issues. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is get banned from his blog before that happens.

I'd like to bring DD's following claim to everyone's attention:

Hopefully we’re pretty much done with the Loser’s Compromise series. I think it’s gone pretty well, and a big part of the reason for that is that this series focuses entirely on the issues, rather than on personalities. I think that’s a good strategy, for a number of reasons. (June 11, 2009)

To me, that translates to saying the Loser's Compromise series focuses on issues vs. personalities, and that such is a good strategy. Presuming DD considers focusing on issues vs. personalities a good strategy outside the Loser's Compromise series, am I the only one who finds that statement odd or perhaps even contradicted in light of The Heckler's Defense, which focuses entirely on personalities and not issues?

Continue reading

Introducing TWIM’s Power Commenters

As stated in the introduction, the eBate is a real-time, one-hour long online debate between myself and another writer. I'm saddened to say, my opponent for eBate #1 – Deacon Duncan – has eschewed my invitation.

Nonetheless, life goes on, and without further adieu, I'd like to introduce TWIM's first four Power Commenters: MS Quixote, Lifeguard, Brad and Dominic Salterelli. As stated before, neither Brad, Lifeguard or Dominic Salterelli argue belief: All three are skeptics of
the atheist variety, as the last thing I wanted was a bunch of Power Commenters who argue belief, inviting charges of padding the jury. Better, all three of them have shown a consistent and objective
willingness to both agree and disagree with me, in the complete absence of insults and personal remarks. The same goes for MS
Quixote, only he does argue belief – Calvinist Christianity in
particular.

I've selected these men because I am 100% confident that whether they agree
or disagree with me, their opinions are the result of rational processes. I'd eventually like to get a decent body of over ten Power Commenters, and in that vein I would also like to invite commenter Jayman whom I know from EvangelicalRealism. So Jayman, if you're reading this and at all interested, drop me a line.

To reiterate, Brad suggested the concept of Power Commenters via reference to computer system administration, and their purpose is "to try and thwart the otherwise invariably downturned trajectory that follows in thread after thread." Originally, the idea was to have the Power Commenters serve as ad hoc moderators or judges during real-time, one-on-one discussion, with comments from the general readership on hold until the Power Commenters have offered their initial comments and criticisms. But why limit them thusly? That being said, the first post to employ Power Commenting will be today's post, which was intended to be part of eBate #1 with Deacon Duncan.

I honestly couldn't care less about the flippant opinions and personal remarks proffered as cogent arguments by the vast majority of my detractors, but the reasoned opinions of my Power Commenters are invaluable to me, and I'd like to sincerely thank them all in advance for their participation.

(To be continued…)

Introducing TWIM’s Power Commenters

As stated in the introduction, the eBate is a real-time, one-hour long online debate between myself and another writer. I'm saddened to say, my opponent for eBate #1 – Deacon Duncan – has eschewed my invitation.

Nonetheless, life goes on, and without further adieu, I'd like to introduce TWIM's first four Power Commenters: MS Quixote, Lifeguard, Brad and Dominic Salterelli. As stated before, neither Brad, Lifeguard or Dominic Salterelli argue belief: All three are skeptics of
the atheist variety, as the last thing I wanted was a bunch of Power Commenters who argue belief, inviting charges of padding the jury. Better, all three of them have shown a consistent and objective
willingness to both agree and disagree with me, in the complete absence of insults and personal remarks. The same goes for MS
Quixote, only he does argue belief – Calvinist Christianity in
particular.

I've selected these men because I am 100% confident that whether they agree
or disagree with me, their opinions are the result of rational processes. I'd eventually like to get a decent body of over ten Power Commenters, and in that vein I would also like to invite commenter Jayman whom I know from EvangelicalRealism. So Jayman, if you're reading this and at all interested, drop me a line.

To reiterate, Brad suggested the concept of Power Commenters via reference to computer system administration, and their purpose is "to try and thwart the otherwise invariably downturned trajectory that follows in thread after thread." Originally, the idea was to have the Power Commenters serve as ad hoc moderators or judges during real-time, one-on-one discussion, with comments from the general readership on hold until the Power Commenters have offered their initial comments and criticisms. But why limit them thusly? That being said, the first post to employ Power Commenting will be today's post, which was intended to be part of eBate #1 with Deacon Duncan.

I honestly couldn't care less about the flippant opinions and personal remarks proffered as cogent arguments by the vast majority of my detractors, but the reasoned opinions of my Power Commenters are invaluable to me, and I'd like to sincerely thank them all in advance for their participation.

(To be continued…)

You Can Lead Atheists To Water, But You Can’t Make Them Think

*Comments are closed on this post because it was moved here.

For the past weeks, I've foregone Rebutting Atheist Universe to debate Deacon Duncan (DD) from EvangelicalRealism over his series, which for some still-undisclosed reason he's titled Evidence Against Christianity.

It was bad enough when DD gave Dominic Saltarelli (not arguing as a believer) credit for making the exact same argument three people (all arguing as believers, incidentally) made in the first two weeks of the discussion.

It was bad enough when DD denied that his GH was Christianity, yet absolutely refuses to this date to explain why it consists of distinctly Christian pre-conceptions about God.

It was bad enough when DD claimed that all people who apply the tools of reason consistently and without bias in biblical exegesis are skeptics.

It's bad enough that many of DD's commenters are so on the man's nuts that they can't see clearly and end up focusing near-exclusively on me.

It was bad enough when DD eschewed my invitation to one-on-one, real-time debate.

It was bad enough when DD crafted an entire sub-series titled The Loser's Compromise in direct response to his perceptions of my arguments, then denied that the posts were aimed at me.

Now, folks – as if it wasn't bad enough already, as if it could get any worse – DD's latest "argument" has left me truly baffled.

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