Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

The Education of Vox Day Part 2- Jumping to conclusions

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 9, 2009

Ouch, he thinks he has a slam dunk this time. That will show me!

Just one example of why I enjoy the religion/atheism discourse:

VD: “This [move from “error theory” to “compartmental “theory”] hasn’t yet made its way down to the run-of-the-mill internet atheists, whose primary form of “debate” still consists of calling people stupid despite the fact that all of the available evidence demonstrates rather conclusively that the objects of their ridicule are, as a point of fact, rather more intelligent than the atheist himself.”

Skepdude: “Personally from what’ I’ve seen, atheist bloggers mainly go after specific behaviors rather than people.”

Skepdude’s commenter: “Vox Day is a complete idiot. Don’t even waste time or typing on him.”

I suppose this is the point where, if I was an atheist or a left-liberal, I would be expected to make use of that silly, self-aggrandizing, overused, and oft-unjustified metaphor: “the X, it burns”. But it doesn’t, you know, it’s just moderately amusing. Note that I didn’t refer solely to “atheist bloggers”, but rather “internet atheists”, which of course includes both commenters and bloggers.

I must hang my head in shame. Apparently I misunderstood him again.  He meant to include anyone and everyone who ever wrote anything about atheism in the intertubes in his “run-of-the-mill internet atheist” category. Ok, I guess that’s fine. But that’s more of a problem for Vox, no? I wonder how much one would have to read to be able to make a statement about this, now much much larger, group of people. How many blog entries and how many comments does Vox read, in order to make such a confident statement? And on top of that he would have to keep working on his own blog, his upcoming book, obviously read all the comments on his blog…..????

By the way, Vox you keep avoiding the main issue- Where is the evidence you mention? And let’s not forget that now your evidence needs to apply to all “run-of-the-mill internet atheists” including commenter, not just bloggers. Thanks for clearing that out for me!

PS: Vox, my commenter in no way shape or form, said or even implied, that he was an atheist, which he must be for your post to make any sense at all. Remember, this blog is called Skepfeeds, we deal with much more than just religion here. So why do you assume he is an atheist? Can’t someone call you names without being an atheist? You should be careful not to jump to unwarranted conclusions.

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5 Responses

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  1. Badger3k said, on April 9, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    If Vox means to include everyone who ever wrote anything on atheism, does that mean that we have to claim that fruitcake Kirk Cameron, who claims to have been an atheist, but is completely unfamiliar with any intellectual arguments or reasoning behind an atheism. Or does he count as an idiot for both camps?

  2. Julia said, on April 10, 2009 at 6:05 AM

    When I read The Irrational Atheist, and checked the many references, I realized that the “New Atheists” had made dozens and dozens of factual errors.

    The “New Atheists” were simply warmed over “Old Atheists” and spent as much time on ad hominems and ridicule as anything, and anyone, else. I certainly saw no evidence of superiority.

    Who ya kiddin, boys?

    • Skepdude said, on April 10, 2009 at 11:51 AM

      We’re kidding no one. We made no claim of “superiority”.

      PS: Would you mind listing a couple of the factual errors that you found, just so we can determine if they are relevant to the discussion at hand?

    • the bullcooker said, on April 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM

      a. “Dozens and dozens of factual errors”? That’s interesting, because even the magnificent hurricane of intellect that is Vox Day only found a few. And most of those were trivial.

      b. It really doesn’t matter if the new atheists are warmed-over old atheists, you still have to deal with their arguments. At least Vox tries – and fails, for the most part, but at least it’s funny to watch him flailing.

      c. If spending time on ad hominem and ridicule counts against your arguments, then everything Vox Day has ever written is EPIC FAIL. Also – you’ll find that they don’t, in fact, rely on ad hom and ridicule, with the exception of Hitchens, who was a prick to begin with.

  3. Badger3k said, on April 10, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Who stated superiority? Really, it’s the lack of critical thinking skills and the ability to apply them to every belief, that distinguishes some atheists from theists, and even other atheists. Intelligence – whatever that means – has far, far less correlation with atheism than education. It also takes a willingness to be open, to be challenged, and to admit when we don’t know – and to rely on evidence to support our conclusions. We, however, tend to place “personal revelation” and the like so far down the “evidence” pile that they are irrelevant – we know how people fool themselves, so out standards are set higher than that. If that makes me superior to one who has lower standards, then so be it – I could care less what someone else thinks of me. If it makes you happy, have at it.

    But, Teddy really needs to clean his own house before he starts to complain about “ad hominems” and insults. There was something I read about “the beam in your own eye”, or “let he who is without sin…” (ok, so we know the last is definitely a later addition to the scripture and was not original, it still is believed to be authoritative by most Christians).


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