Saturday, March 24, 2007

ATheists Shut Down Dialogue

Atheists have closed down rational discussion no all message boards. I can't find a message board ran by atheists where the atheists don't use bully tactics to silence all contrary thought. Their major tactic is to ignore whatever logical argument the apologist gives and either attack personality, or bring up a litany of irrelevant side issues. For example, I once spent well over an hour crafting a well structured and well thought out argument about the nature of empiricism and not a single atheist, out of about ten responding said anything about it. The entire thread was taken up with questions like "O yea, well why are there contradictory geneologies of Jesus in the Bible?" Trust me on this one, this has absolutely nothing to do with empiricism.

The other tactic is to turn the apologist into the issue. This was done to me on a mass scale by the Secular Web people who started a character assassination campaign. The first spread the lie that no one thinks Metacrock is intelligent. Then they began saying "Metacrock admits he can't debate" (now would I say that?). Finally, they spread the idea that my arguments have all been beaten. Some atheists defended my arguments. Fleetmouse put up a valient defense of my cosmological argument on Metafilter. But the AARM people assisted in destroying my reputation so these ideas quickly because short hand ways to dismiss anything I post. But other Christians don't fair any better. A friend of my tried to use my cosmological argument on "debating Christianity" and was immediately told "O these arguments are by Metacrock so they have been beaten." My friend argued that 'beating these arguments is a simple matter of showing this and this. let's see you do so." Of course they never even tried. They just began making his personality the issue.

Of course then there is the blame the victim camp. They want to just reduce the whole argument to "well its your fault because you are insulting to people." I am the first to admit when I get frustrated I can respond by lashing out. When you have twelve people or so insulting you and calling you names and trying to make your personality the issue you are going to tend to get frustrated. I find that it is impossible to go on a message board and put down a logical argument for the existence of God and get a logical response. No atheist will address my arguments by using logic. They must either make me the issue or diver to their litany of one liners "what about the crusades." I do admit that I have not helped myself. My temper has gotten in the way. but that is no excuse for why I cannot find a single board on which I can have a discussion about the logic of a God argument.

Another tatic they employ is the claim of logic. In this scam the atheist claims that the apologists argument is illogcial and that he has beaten the logic, but he never actually deals with it. I always challenge them "show me a law of logic that my argument violates." Here I mean "this is a violation of the law of excluded middle." Or perhaps "this is special pleading." They do actually use that because before they shut down disucssion they had an atheist misconception which they always trotted out that the claim that God doesn't need a cause is special pleading. When you ask them to define special pleading they never can.

There are some boards where the mods assist the atheists. These are boards that pretend to be Christian boards or don't announce their atheist affiliation. Christian Boards and Debating Christianity and Religion are two examples. The latter is really bad because they will actually move your post if you win an argument. Two threads of a friend of mine were moved to a section called "random ramblings" where they would not be seen. In one of those my friend had 300 studies to back his argument and in the other one he gave two criteria that one must meet to beat the argument and the atheists never said anything about them. They said "these are Metacrock's arguments so they have been disproven." They said my friend must be my soul mate because doesn't think I'm stupid. But they never dealt with any logical argument at any time. These were structured well thought out arguments which have been ran by Plantinga (Notre Dame) and Robert Koons (UT) they were not "random ramblings."

Why have atheists shut down discussion? Probably for the same reason that this new cult of atheist "fundie" has risen to spread hate. Atheism in its organized manifestation is rapidly becoming a hatre group. The pretense of the great intellectual scientist such as Dennett or Dawkins (Sam Harris had only a BA when he published The End of Faith) is basically a lie. These people are not involved with rational argument, they don't confront Plantinga or Koons they just coast on an undeserved reputation of havng achieved something in science that they never achieved. I think the reason is because atheism is a spent force in society. The paradigm is shifting to the extent that atheism is about to become totally irrelevant to any thinking agenda concerned with metaphysics. Atheism is more and more religated to the ninteeth century and the old progress laden way of thinking that was part of the 1939 world's fair mentality. Allf forms of religion are growing, Christianity is growing in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, but Islam is growing at a faster rate, wica is growing at an amazing rate, but atheism lacks any cultural capital and is still largely an unthinkable proposition for most people. Atheists are lashing out, and those on the internet have been beaten consistantly by Christian argument. All of their truisms have been disproven and their litany of irrelivant side issues have been derailed. Sot have no resource left but to abandon rational discussion.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you critique one atheist argument its very improbable on a message board to not have hoards of other completely unrelated assertions thrown at you from numerous posters. It makes it really hard to look like you are making sense when there is an overwhelming mass of over-confident people going up against you.

Furrowed Brow said...

Ok Metacrock. This point ticked me off.

No atheist will address my arguments by using logic

I've been involved in some of those debates with you. All I can say is that you have a very one eyed interpretation of events.

I've got some posts at DebatingChristianity on the logic of your arguments still waiting a reply from your friend Schweppes.

No atheist will address my arguments by using logic Ggrrrr.

FathersAndSons said...

I think you have several trends coming together. First, this is a reaction against narrow-minded religious fundamental of all stripes. While such religious groups are in the minority, they are organized, active, zealous, and loud. They captured the White House and, perhaps, parts of Whitehall. Then there's Muslim fundamentalism. These people you discuss, who are already disdainful of religion, are now fearful. Their own misreadings of history & science give them the same self-confidence & narrow-mindedness the radical fundamentalists have. So the battle begins, as both think they need to save the soul of humanity.

But there is, I think, a political dimension of Left vs Right. The economics of Left & Right, at least as pure "theory," have failed. Thatcher & Lenin don't work. Plus the emergence of global economic institutions and the weakening of the nation-state mean there is less to realistically fight over anyway. So this is the new Left-Right battleground. The Right tends to be not only religious but tied to "traditional" religious beliefs--which seem (near as I can tell) to be closer to inerrantist positions. Towards the Left are, traditionally, atheists--because in Europe, where Left & Right really developed, religion was part of the overall structure of power (elite & state churches helped reinforce inequality). So to attack religion was a political statement. (Although this conflates "religion" & "belief," but most people make this mistake anyway.) This has continued. The new Left-Right battleground is an echo of past politics. As religion has become institutionally marginalized in politics (even if religious zealots of all stripes become more active), the attack on its as regressive continues. Again, this misreads the history (although let's be fair, established churches could play a role in perpetuating stratification).

So why Dawkins & Grayling & the like on the attack now? I'd say you take all this "soil," and add contingencies: Bush & Muslim fundamentalism. And Dawkins et al need space to talk, and they get it in places like The Guardian, for example, on web blogs.

Jim said...

When it comes to hate, you have to ask yourself, at what point does a group go from an activist group advocating a particular point of view to a hate group? What line do they need to cross?

J.L. Hinman said...

Anonymous said...
"When you critique one atheist argument its very improbable on a message board to not have hoards of other completely unrelated assertions thrown at you from numerous posters. It makes it really hard to look like you are making sense when there is an overwhelming mass of over-confident people going up against you."

>>that is so true! good observation

J.L. Hinman said...

Furrowed Brow said...
Ok Metacrock. This point ticked me off.

No atheist will address my arguments by using logic

I've been involved in some of those debates with you. All I can say is that you have a very one eyed interpretation of events.


>>>howdy FB. I admit you got me there. I am bad about not qualifying my statments. I apologize.I menat to say "some athists." rather than blaket statemtns. I know you do try to use logic (nuc nuck, just kidding. you are one i would would qualify for, you do well).



I've got some posts at DebatingChristianity on the logic of your arguments still waiting a reply from your friend Schweppes.


Schweppes computer is down, very conicidental as mine is down too.




No atheist will address my arguments by using logic Ggrrrr.

8:44 AM



ahah sorry. It can seem like that after you do this with 12 people all night.

J.L. Hinman said...

I am aware F/S that there is a point to be made for the "other side" that they run up against narrow minded "fundies" a lot. They often really do get the short end from a bunch of our know nothings. But then they are OUR know nothings! How about that for a new Trotskite pamphlet? "Our know nothings and their's."

J.L. Hinman said...

Jim said...
When it comes to hate, you have to ask yourself, at what point does a group go from an activist group advocating a particular point of view to a hate group? What line do they need to cross?

8:19 PM,




I use that termenology because for many of them it appears their ownly reason for being on a board is to vent their hatred. But then they could just be trolls, it's hard to say.

FathersAndSons said...

Don't know if we could put out a proper Trotskyite pamphlet with that title. The heart of that ideology is never to admit you or your group are wrong!

I was just trying to suggest some reasons why you're seeing atheist hostility. They are reacting to our know-nothings, sure. But this might be an echo of old Left-Right divides.

I also wonder if there isn't something generational. Older atheists might be part of the Left-Right divide. Given the rise in religiosity, I can see younger atheists as rebelling simply to rebel. There are a LOT of younger intellectual wannabes (who don't have the capacity to be intellectual, as you have seen) who show off by going on the attack (and I'm certain you've seen this while in graduate school--how do grad students score points but by bringing someone else down?). But because they are on the attack only, what is the chance for real discussion? Of course when they are in that mode their first priority is to take you down, by whatever means possible!!

So pretend you are a professor and these are a bunch of whining freshmen. (Admittedly even I find that hard to do sometimes!)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, but have found the folks at dawkins.net entirely reasonable and friendly, and willing to engage in open and honest discussion. I am surprised your experience of dialogue with teh atheist communities has been so negative.

j x