Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Deliver us from nonsense

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 2, 2010

Vox Day believes in god, the christian god to be specific. And he is baffled  by some atheists’ use of the “problem of evil” argument against the existence of god, accusing us of theological ignorance, which may well be true given that admittedly we don’t spend as much time being brainwashed by stone age myths as he and his friends must (for a more in-depth description of the Problem of Evil, check out the Wikipedia page). And he offers to set the record straight. Let us examine!

I am often bemused by those who appeal to the so-called “problem of evil” in questioning the existence of God. While there are, I think, a number of perfectly rational reasons for intelligent individuals to doubt the existence of the supernatural or a Creator God, the problem of evil is most definitely not one of them. Indeed, an appeal to it is nothing more than a demonstration of complete theological ignorance.

Right of the bat, we must clarify his clarification. See the problem of evil is not used to question the existence of god period; it is used to question the existence of an omnibenevolent while simultaneously omnipotent, and omniscient god. It may not sound important to make the distinction but it is; because see the problem of evil argument breaks down unless the god is posited to have all 3 of the above characteristics, and that is why it is a crap argument to make against Zeus. However, it does make a perfectly sound argument against the christian god as posited by most christians, but what do I know, I am theologically ignorant.

But here is the important point: Vox maintains evil must exist…because the christian faith requires it to exist otherwise jebus may well be a myth. And since jebus must have existed, and done all those things he’s rumored to have done, thus evil must exist, thus our “problem of evil” argument is kinda stupid. You see? Our logic does not matter because the christian faith tells us that evil exists, and any argument that doubts that, however logically sound it may be, must be wrong. Get this (comments in red are mine):

Without evil, Man is not fallen (He isn’t!). Without evil, there is no bondage to sin (We are not bound!) . Without evil, there is no reason for Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself for us (he did not!). Without evil, there is no purpose to the Crucifixion (there wasn’t any!) , no significance to the Resurrection (there wasn’t any!), and no need for our salvation (there isn’t any!). Without evil, there is no basis for the very foundation of the Christian faith. (AND?)

It is because there is evil in the world that Man has need of Jesus Christ (Man does not!). It is because Man is by nature slave to sin (Man is not!) that we have need of the one who can set us free (we don’t and he hasn’t). And it is because we owed a debt (we don’t!) that was beyond our capacity to pay  that Christians are grateful for the epic sacrifice that we commemorate today.

You see kids, in order to prove that evil exists, Vox wants us to accept everything the christian faith teaches us, part of which is that evil exists. So we prove evil must exist by accepting, a priori, that it does. Logical fallacy much Vox?

On which I must edumacate Vox Day…yet again!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 26, 2009

It’s been quite a while since I had my mini fights with Vox Day. Now he has done and made me mad yet again, although this time it is not a skeptical/atheistic issue. This time it is about the Bahamas legislation about marital rape! So what does Mr. Vox think about this issue?

First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked; the form in which marital consent is revoked is well-established. It is called divorce.

*clearing throat* WHAT? On what planet does Vox live to make such a statement? Does he even understand what rape is? Rape is forcing another person, against their wish, to perform various sexual acts. Anyone can force someone else to do it! Marital status does not have anything to do with it. Furthermore, on what alternate universe does consent mean “unlimited access to my body regardless of my wishes“? I have gotten married myself, and I have been a witness in other people’s weddings and never have I heard the bride consent to her body being the unquestioned property of her husband. Never! The arrogance and stupidity that is betrayed by these words “there is no such thing as marital rape” is gigantic. I’ve known Vox Day was a sexist from his many blog entries, but this puts him right there with Ahmadinejad.

Vox let me educate you on this issue:  People are sovereign over their own bodies. Marital consent does not confer unlimited rights to the husband over his wife’s body. He does not have unlimited access to it. Every sex act requires consent by both parties, during every particular instance. If force is used to get sex it is rape, regardless of who is forcing who. Is that clear enough for you?

This isn’t a religious issue, although many on both sides will attempt to view it that way, it’s a simple matter of when consent is revocable and the specific form that revocation must take. I invite those who believe that consent may always be granted and revoked at will to consent to join the U.S. Army, then attempt to withdraw their consent.

Oh Vox, you’re so full of shit! First, it is a religious issue. Here is how people in the Bahamas are justifying the same position Vox is taking:

“It is ridiculous for them to try to make that a law, because I don’t think a man can rape his own wife. After two people get married, the Bible says that they become one – one flesh. How is it possible to rape what is yours?” asked Mr. Sutherland.

“Even if a woman says no to her husband it still can’t be considered rape because she is his wife. He already paid his dues at the church and she already said ‘I do,’ so from then on, even if [a man] forces sex on his wife, it isn’t rape,” he said.

“I disagree with the bill because I disagree that a man can rape his wife. The Bible tells me that a man’s body is his wife’s and her body is his. How could he rape her?” asked Ms. Sweeting.

Do you see a trend her Vox? Each and every opponent is specifically invoking the Bible or the church in their twisted opposing of the law. You’re only being a bit smarter (or more cowardly one may say) than them by not publicly voicing the same sentiment.

Secondly, your army analogy is too stupid to even waste time on it, but alas I must unless I be accused of not addressing your point. Consent takes many forms, but usually what one consents too is specified before said consent is given. In the army case you consent to join with the knowledge that you can only leave under certain circumstances. It is not an at will relationship. In a marriage consent is also given with specific knowledge, and being a sex slave to your husband’s desires is not part of what most women consent to, and claiming otherwise is patently stupid and can only be defended with equally stupid arguments…or religious ones. Pick and choose your poison!

The attempt to create a legal concept of “marital rape” is no less than an attempt to destroy the basic concept of marriage. If the husband or the wife has no more claim to the spouse’s body than anyone else, then the marital vows are meaningless and the marriage is a charade. Once consent is withdrawn, the marriage has ended.

There goes the “they’re redefining marriage” nonsense again! When will you stop with the bullshit Vox? You just contradicted everything you said so far. If once “consent is withdrawn, the marriage has ended” is true as you say, then the moment the wife does not consent to sex the marriage is over, thus the husband no longer can have her; she is no longer his property which is basically the point you’re trying to drive home, thus the using of the force to take her constitutes rape! And this is by using your logic! See this is what happens when you try to prostitute logic and reason to your predetermined conclusions, you get egg on your face! Most sane people do not constitute non-consent on specific occasion to mean marriage is over, thus the term marital rape. Still married and being raped by your husband. Is that really too hard for you to understand?

But, once married, neither husband nor wife has the right to reject the other’s marital claims. This does not mean that it is wise for anyone to abuse one’s marital rights, as doing so on a regular basis will tend to lead to the legally correct abrogation of those rights. One is always free to respect the other’s wishes and refrain from exercising one’s rights in the same way that most Americans fail to exercise their right to bear arms most of the time. But failing to exercise one’s rights is not the same as failing to possess them.

Oh I see, so only raping your wife on a regular basis is an issue, a rape here a rape there are all part of a healthy marriage right? And one is not always “free to respect the other’s wishes” one is bound to respect the other’s wishes, especially when the other’s body is at stake! And stop with these false analogies that only make you look stupider than I think you are. The right to bear arms has been specifically given to Americans; the right to unlimited access to my wife’s body has not been given to me, specifically or not! Come on Vox, you can’t be that dumb!

Men contemplating marriage would be wise to sound out their prospective brides on this issue. If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her!

Yes Dr. Phil! I actually would like to take this chance to turn this piece of crap advice around. Women contemplating marriage would be wise to sound out their prospective husbands on this issue. If a man does not believe in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry him! Oh, and post Facebook updates on the jerk so no other woman can fall prey to him!

That the “marital rape” concept is not only legally oxymoronic, but deeply undesirable for both sexes, is exemplified by its implications for sex that by definition precludes consent. Let’s face it, any man or woman who believes in the criminalization of wake-me-up sex is not an individual with whom any decently hedonistic being would want to be saddled for a lifetime.

This is moronic! Not being raped is deeply undesirable? Yeah, I remember reading about all those women who had the misfortune of being almost raped and had to live with the void that a missed opportunity at a good rape leaves behind. Now on to the “wake-me-up sex” thing. I can only assume that what Vox means is the practice of gently waking up your sleeping partner so that the two can engage in sweet lovemaking! Sweet!  Unfortunately, reason fails Vox yet again. By definition wake-me-up sex involves waking up the other person, so that one may proceed to have consensual sex with them. He’s talking as if he thinks it means inserting your penis into a sleeping woman without waking her up, or her knowing what has happened, kinda like in the date-rape scenario. The former is perfectly fine Vox, because a recently woken person can still give consent, or not! The second is rape.  Should I draw a diagram for you Vox?

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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The education of Vox Day Part 1- The Straw Man fallacy

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 8, 2009

I love me a good old intellectual fight, and at times I am shown to be wrong, at which point I must humbly apologize. Luckily that is not the case with Vox Day’s reply to my last entry. The fact remains that Vox refuses to address my challenge, instead he’s chosen to accuse me of committing the Straw Man fallacy. Moi? Impossible. So in order to perform a public service to anyone who may be reading this entry, and as a personal favor to Vox, let us go over the Straw Man Logical Fallacy, and see if I did, in fact commit it. I would like to concentrate on part of his reply here and hopefully the second part on a later entry.

Straw Man Fallacy

Wikipedia gives a pretty good summary of what the Straw Man fallacy is.

The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern:

1. Person A has position X.

2. Person B ignores X and instead presents position Y.
Y is a distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:

  1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent’s actual position has been refuted.[1]
  2. Quoting an opponent’s words out of context — i.e. choosing quotations which are intentionally misrepresentative of the opponent’s actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).[2]
  3. Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person’s arguments – thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.[1]
  4. Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
  5. Oversimplifying an opponent’s argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.

3. Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.

If my logic follows the path above, then I have committed the Straw Man Fallacy and I must retract my original argument. Let us examine if that is the case:

Step 1 – Person A has position X. That would be Vox’s position. Here is the full paragraph from his first entry (emphasis added):

Baggini’s efforts are well-placed, but one thing he misses in his essay is that the New Atheists, having seen their “error theory” repeatedly blown away and shown for the logical and empirical nonsense that it is, are in the process of shifting to what can be described as the “compartmental” theory. This 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.

Step 2 – Person B ignores X and instead presents position Y. That would be my interpretation of the above paragraph.

Here is what I said on my first entry (emphasis added):

First, I would like to see what evidence he is referring to when he says that “all of the available evidence demonstrates rather conclusively that the objects of their ridicule are, as a point of fact, rather more intelligent”, because I suspect he’s using a very unorthodox definition of evidence here.  Second, I consider myself to be one of those ” run-of-the-mill internet atheists” they are referring to here, and while I have done my fair share of calling stupid people out, I think, and hope, I’ve only done it when they actually said or did something stupid, not solely because they believe in God. I don’t think that believing in God makes people stupid. It makes them wrong and misguided, but not stupid. Nevertheless that is not the point I want to concentrate on in this entry.

Ok, so far so good; I only called him out on the claim he made. This in no way can be interpreted as falling under any of the 5 sub-categories on Step 2 of the Straw Man Fallacy.

Then on my second entry I wrote the following:

First, Mr. Vox wants to take a shot at my challenge of his claim that they (religious) are more intelligent than us (atheists). While it is quite ridiculous to make that statement for any group in relation to any other group, nevertheless he clearly means to say that religious people are smarter than the atheists. Here is the original statement from his first entry:

The bold part is what he’s latching on to claim that I committed the Straw Man. It is clear, I think, that what I said does not fall under categories 2-5. Anyone wants more details why, I’d be happy to explain, but I think it is self evident. So that leaves Category 1-Misrepresentation of the other person’s position. What is Vox’s position that started this whole thing?  It was his original statement that “This 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.”

Now who are the run-of-the-mill-atheists he’s referring to? Well it would be people like me, Atheist Revolution, The Friendly Atheist, The Atheist Blogger, Unreasonable Faith, Rodibidably, etc. etc. Who are the objects of our ridicule? Anyone and everyone who did anything ridiculous in the name of their religions, such as the Pope saying condoms make AIDS worse, the faithful parents that let their children die because they rely on prayer, the person that blows up buildings in the name of his God, the pilot that lets the plane crash because he was too busy praying rather than trying to actually do something, etc. etc. etc. Those people dear Vox are the main objects of our ridicule, they are in fact religious people of all pins and stripes, and sometimes stubborn refusal to face reality is also ridiculed, statements that amount to “I know it does not make any sense, but I still want to believe it”, which come to think of it covers a large portion of the believers that I have known anyway.

In a nutshell Vox, internet atheist bloggers are criticizing religion, religious people and their religion inspired behavior. It is untrue that we are ridiculing them all the time, but I will assume that you’re also including critiques under the term “ridicule”. So it seems to me that I am not misinterpreting anything in claiming that your words mean that “the atheists are less intelligent than the object of their ridicule (the religious)” or vice-versa that the religious are more intelligent than the atheists. If anything your statement was ambiguous so that it left open the possibility of it being interpreted that way. I can’t see how you can deny that my interpretation is valid. It may not have been what you meant to say, but, in that case, you ought to be more careful how you word thing, and you should simply clarify what you meant to say and re-word your statement so that it is not ambiguous. If you did not mean to say that , please let us know. Either way, you can’t say that I was the one to commit a fallacy.

Ok, so we don’t need to go to Step 3, because without Step 2 you can’t go to #3. So I think this conclusively handles Vox’s pathetic statement:

Read it again, o valiant black knight of atheism. The fact that I have repeatedly explained, both in TIA and on this blog, why atheists are more intelligent on average than theists, is sufficient to demolish your attempt to construct this demonstrable strawman.

Ok, if I’m gonna be a a knight, I think I ought to be referred to as a knight in shinning armor! Second I have not read TIA and I have not read everything you’ve ever written (and you haven’t read everything I’ve written either, so I guess we’ll call that a draw). I made it clear that what I was criticizing was what you said in that first entry, the portion that I keep going to over and over, the run-of-the-mill atheist sentence. You are now engaging in what is known as Moving the Goal Post, trying to say that what I am trying to deconstruct is your body of work, when in fact I am taking exception with that one statement, in that specific entry, so let’s not start jumping around from one topic to the other.

But if your body of work does in fact make it clear that you think that “atheists are more intelligent on average than theists” how can you explain your statement? How is it that you think that atheist are on average smarter than theists, but then turn around that the internet atheists are less intelligent than the theists? Do you think there’s something wrong with those of us who speak up on the internet? I don’t know, and since I don’t want to be accused of a Straw Man Fallacy, I think I’ll let you handle that one.

PS: By the way Vox is still dancing around the first challenge.  Maybe third time is the charm: Vox Day, can you or can you not provide us with the evidence that you so boldly proclaim “demonstrates rather conclusively that the objects of their ridicule are, as a point of fact, rather more intelligent than the atheist himself.“? Where is the evidence? You say you’ve seen it! Show it! Point us to it! Give us links! If not, don’t you think you should not use the word “evidence” and replace it with “it is my opinion”?

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I guess I had it coming, Vox Day wants a fight!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on April 5, 2009

And I must oblige. It appears I have ruffled the feathers of one super-intelligent (at least according to him) Vox Day. Apparently my entry was lucky enough to attract his attention and not only that, but he felt like he had to reply and put me in my place. Well I can’t let a challenge go unanswered, now can I? What kind of run-of-the-mill atheist turns the other cheek? None that I know of. Se let the spanking begin.

First, Mr. Vox wants to take a shot at my challenge of his claim that they (religious) are more intelligent than us (atheists). While it is quite ridiculous to make that statement for any group in relation to any other group, nevertheless he clearly means to say that religious people are smarter than the atheists. Here is the original statement from his first entry (emphasis added):

This 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.

Which I immediately challenged, since we know well that there is no such evidence, thus he must be relying on some “unorthodox” (my exact word) definition of evidence. Mr. Vox took exception to that.

Logical and empirical evidence. Or, to be more specific, logical, documentary and statistical evidence. Let us consider the most readily available example: Since I am known to possess, at a bare minimum, a Mensa-required +2SD IQ, it is obvious that most of my atheist critics are statistically bound to fall well short of that not-terribly-impressive level.

Ok, ignoring the fact that, by the very same rules of statistics, so would most religious believers, it is quite ridiculously childish to argue that a sample of one constitutes evidence when one is comparing two groups as large as atheists and believers.  I am not American (although I have lived in this county for 10 years I learn new things about it every day) so I am not that familiar with IQ tests, nevertheless it is my understanding that regardless of your IQ score, stupid statements remain stupid statements, religious and atheists alike. A high IQ does not inoculate one from saying stupid stuff, now does it? And replying to a direct question of “where is the evidence you mention” by saying “sure there is evidence”  and leaving it at that without pointing to said evidence, does not do you much good on the stupid department.

Basically Vox thinks that “I think so” should be considered good evidence.  Well, personally I would expect something a little more firm such as say, at the very least, an article in a major wold newspaper, referring to some survey/study with a title of something like, oh I don’t know “Intelligent people ‘less likely to believe in God” perhaps? Or this one maybe? Now that is what I would  consider as evidence, but Vox’s word, unfortunately does not count. Sorry Vox but that’s just the way it is and it doesn’t matter how much you deny it, evidence will never be defined as one person’s word in any dictionary!

Now personally I must say that I consider this to be an exercise in futility because it is quite stupid to proclaim any group of people smarter than any other group of people, especially when the groups are not formed based on intelligence standards to begin with. There are very smart people that are atheists and there are very smart people that are religious, and then there are stupid people on both sides. Their level of intelligence is not at stake here though, even though Vox seems to want to make it about that. What is at stake is their behavior with respect to one issue and one issue only, belief in God. You could be an astrophysicist and still believe in God. I don’t know how you’d rationalize that, but whatever, it’s your choice. But I can’t help but call you stupid if you say something stupid in an attempt to defend your belief, solely because you happen to be quite smart when astrophysics is concerned. Smart people do stupid stuff all the time and guess what their stupid actions are called….stupid.

It is, of course, amusing to see an atheist suggest that I might elect to make use of an unorthodox definition of evidence, when almost every single atheist claim that “there is no evidence for God’s existence” requires ignoring the standard definitions of evidence provided by every English language dictionary from American Standard to Webster as well as the definitions used in the American legal system.

No Mr Day, having strict standards for evidence is not a shortcoming of skeptics and atheists as you would like to suggest, at the contrary it is a virtue. Some very intelligent men have said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and is there a more extraordinary claim than God? Vox uses the typical strategy of most anti-scientists, more specifically trying to use the everyday use definitions of certain words in an effort to minimize or avoid the more rigorous requirements that a scientific approach demands. Ever heard the “it’s just a theory” slogan? Vox is doing the same here with the word evidence. And why stop at the American legal system I wonder? Why not look at other legal systems? How about Sharia? How about evidence from a woman is half as good as evidence from a man. Maybe we should look into that?

The evidence that Vox has in mind is useless, for that same “evidence” can be applied to any God that ever lived (figure of speech of course). Does that make you a Muslim Vox? Does this mean you believe in Allah? Surely the evidence the Muslims present for him is no less than the evidence  you think you are presenting for your God, so which hypothesis does this evidence support? Which God? Evidence that supports no hypothesis or all hypotheses is not good evidence at all. Surely, you must know that.

Then Vox bravely takes on my hypocrisy charge. If you remember from my first entry I had said (apparently I misspelled the word hypocritical. Bummer!):

Bit hypocritital no? First he says that our primary form of “debate” is calling people stupid, which of course must be wrong, then he turns around and presents his argument/debate which basically amounts to nothing more than calling us fools. Now, I’m nothing but a mere run of the mill internet atheist, who is mentally inferior as demonstrated by all the available evidence, but this sort of reasoning sounds a little….well…..stupid foolish to me!

Vox obviously does not like that. Who likes to be called out on their hypocrisy? So he counters as such:

This is precisely the same sort of thing we have seen so often before. Call it the First Law Fandango. Because Skepdude possesses an above-average intelligence, he assumes that because he does not understand what an individual of superior intelligence has written, that individual and/or his reasoning must be stupid, foolish, hypocritical, etc. But there is a basic logical flaw in his errant attempt to find hypocrisy here, because it is eminently obvious – based on the readily available documentary evidence – that a single reference to a well-known Bible verse is neither a) an argument, nor b) my primary form of debate. So, no, not in the least bit hypocritical.

I posses an above-average intelligence? Thanks, that’s quite nice actually, but I guess this guy is quite trigger happy with compliments (he does refer to himself as an individual of superior intelligence after all), so I will take that with a grain of salt. Well thanks to my above-average intelligence I know that hypocrisy means preaching one thing and doing the opposite, such as for example complaining of one’s use of the word stupid while using the word fool yourself. That’s pretty straight forward, as far as I can tell and where you’re getting your words/ideas from (the Bible, the Quran, the Yellow Pages) makes no difference. See the hypocrisy lies in the conflict between what you say and what you do, not where what you say comes from. Come on, didn’t they have a section on hypocrisies on the IQ tests?

Even if I had been making an argument there in the second of those two sentences – which I was not, I was merely offering scriptural support for my assertion that atheism has been around for a very long time and will probably always exist so long as there is conceptual space for it – a single argument does not dictate any specific form of debate, much less define my primary form of debate.

He’s right that I was too generous to use the words argument and debate, it would have been more accurate to say his statement, so I guess I stand corrected on semantics there. Nevertheless, let us look at the specific sentence in his original post:

Atheism will always exist. As it is written, there have always been fools who have said in their hearts that there is no God.

So did he make an assertion that atheism has been around for a long time? Sure he did. But did he not also call all atheists fools? See it is right there, in the middle of the second sentence. He is paraphrasing the Bible, but it is clear, I think, that this is a statement that he agrees with. How do I know he accepts what the Bible says on the issue? Because he is using that paraphrased verse to support his statement, namely that “Atheism will always exist”. You don’t use an untrue statement to support your own claim now do you? So I don’t know why Vox is embarrassing himself implying that he doesn’t think we’re all fools over here. I don’t know what Vox is thinking. Pointing at claim/statement #1 does not negate that you made claim/statement #2.

So to recap, Vox Day did not address my specific challenge of where this evidence of his that shows the regligious to be more intelligent than us. Instead he gave us what I am going to call (and trademark) as the Argument From My Awesomeness. Then he proceeded to make a complete buffon out of himself by claiming that saying on his blog that we are fools somehow does not mean that he’s saying on his blog that we are fools (a stance he must take I think if he is to even try to not to look hypocritical). Instead, as usual with anti-scientists,  you get rhetoric, dancing around the questions and some failed attempts at humor. The fact remains that his original claim 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” is as unsupported one entry later as it was when he first made it. I am still waiting for Mr. Day to be generous enough and point us to this evidence so we may evaluate it for ourselves.

Ball’s on your cort Vox.

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