Monday, January 9, 2012

Straw man Debate tactics: A rant.

It's easy to not be charitable in addressing the argument in which you want to attack. Personal barbs, cheap shots, and one liners can be irresistible when presented with the opportunity to land a quick but perhaps ineffective blow. I'm guilty of taking cheap shots when I'm annoyed/pissed off with a an opponent who will not stick to the subject matter or constantly shifts from position to position, drags in irrelevant facts, and expects you to have answers to the most ridiculous of scenarios/questions. The most egregious offense to me is to purposely restate the initial position articulated into something so pathetically weak and malnourished or just plain wrong,  move to attack the newly formed thing, then claim some sort of victory after knocking down the watered down version of the original position. The move is not an act of charity. It's an act of cowardice. It screams of intellectual vacuousness and is often peddled by loud and obnoxious time wasters. Persons that adopt the style of straw man apologetics whinge about the mood of the person they are talking to, drag in race/gender when it's not needed, or complain incessantly about meaningless irrelevant bull shit. If they had better arguments, they would provide them, rather offer crying and tons of distractions. The critiques of your position are often riddled with inerrant, poorly constructed fits which contain zero intellectual content. In short, they develop their debating skills by misappropriating the other position, argue against their own bull shit and behave as though they are superior.  

Respectful debate requires charitable re-telling of the other position(s). Failure to meet the task to me is grounds for terminating the debate, no matter the subject or the person speaking about it. Another thing which works ly nerves is after you state your position multiple times, the other person continues on with the watered down version of your position, ignores substantive objections, facts, corrections and so forth. They continue trolling down the path of straw man tactics. Every single straw man is expected to be burned and to be honest, the work can be tiring and infuriating. If I determine based on evidence and solid reason(s) that's where the debate will go, I reserve the right to end it. It's not a position of weakness but it's the realization of understanding how valuable my time is to me. I cannot get it back so I need not waste it dealing with straw men debaters unless I become a pyromaniac. I need to keep my blood pressure down anyway.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Conversations between a 'Thug' and a 'Trainee Priest'

I hadn't had the pleasure of having a hatchet piece written solely about me until December 28th, 2011(This date is suspect to me for 2 reasons. 1st my blog about his antics came out on December 30th 2011, although he explicitly states in his own piece about me that I attacked him in a blog earlier. I'm thinking he fudged his own date to make me appear badly. It makes no sense for him to know what I said about him before I said it.). I am not surprised due to the source and I knew it would happen. In my last blog post, I mentioned annoying trolls I've dealt with in the past and one took special exception to my words about his tactics. His comments about me are mentioned here Allow me to provide some background here. Late one evening I had grown tired of his antics and issued a challenge. I told him if he commented on any of my blog posts of his choosing, I'd reply to one of his own. Most notably he wants atheists to respond to a fallaciously driven blog called "Atheist Dilemma". He chose to respond to a post I'd written about atheism not being a religion and he cited a court case   
to make his point that atheism is a religion. In fact his own source mocks the courts ruling. The courts as well as dictionaries(he cited merriam webster) has gotten the definition of atheism wrong as well. I liken it to the colloquial and often wrong definitions of biological evolution. Here's where I began to mess with the priest in training. I purposely held(and I still have his comment) his remark in my moderator cue. I knew by doing that, it would send him into a frenzy. I replied to the good priest on Twitter in a very long public Ubersocial comment before I took a final exam. The reply was between 7:45 and 7:56am Eastern Standard Time and within the reply I told him why I would not comment on his blog(I cited intellectual dishonesty, nastiness in many conversations as 2 reasons). Then I blocked him knowing that would piss him off even more. He hopped around on Twitter bothering other atheists about me and calling me a coward and whatever else his little heart desired. About a week or so ago I wrote a post about annoying trolls on Twitter and he is one of them ( The post was circulated and he even replied to that post claiming I'm paranoid. He unknowingly proved my point with his hatchet job on me which was not my intended goal but it was better than I had hoped. This priest in training has a very nasty habit of being intellectually dishonest in debate and when backed into a corner he throws all sorts of insults, fallacious claims, and smugness toward those in which he disagrees. He took special aim at someone I care about, so I decided to grind his gears a bit and it worked better than I had originally planned.

I'm not sure when we began to interact with one another so I'll accept his Summer 2011 timetable. The discussions were not fruitful and in many cases I ended up cursing at him but only after substantive replies were given and I burned a number of his fallacious strawmen. I think he has a narrow view of intelligence. He believes and wrongly so that cussing is the mark of a weak mind. He also links cussing and blackness in such a way that if you did not know any better you'd think only Black people cuss. I refer him to Vice President Biden's comments in front of an open mic calling the Health Care law a "big fucking deal". Is Joe Biden ghetto? The critique is no more than a whine for if he had cogent arguments and responses, the manner in which I reply to him is irrelevant. I retweet for 2 reasons. First, the discussion keeps both people honest. Second, wrongness and ignorance can be rooted out. It's not a sign of fear but a call to open and honest discussion. When a tweet is retweeted it cannot be deleted and I'm reasonably sure the future priest is not thrilled about it.

I will take credit for the tweets he posted. Those are mine through and through but he omits the context in which the replies were given which is not unexpected. He did choose a very nice big picture of me though. In the circulation of his own hit job on me, he tagged it "the rev has a crush on me". Given the size of the picture I beg to differ. I'm sure it screams of a thug, ghetto and whatever race baiting nonsense he tossed out. He made sure to take out the gang signs and the neck tattoos which leads me to believe he knows his way around photoshop. He writes an entire blog post about ME, includes a picture of me, makes tons of racist comments, and then has the temerity to claim I am the immature person. Perhaps he wants to taste the Rev's chocolate but I'll never know and he doesn't have a chance. I'll leave it to you to decide which one of us needs to grow up. His post brought me nothing but laughter because the source of the smear seems to be oblivious to one fundamental truth about his antics; his reputation precedes him. Clearly I was able to get under his skin and for that I'm happy. I was able to make @Sacerdotus and his alter ego @Bronxbomber777 angry and he affirmed everything many others have remarked about him.