Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wrapup with the Jolly Nihilist

Thus ends our most recent blogalogue. I have little doubt we will exchange blog pleasantries over virtual tea, crumpets, and steel-toed boots sometime in the future.

Hi JN,

Your response is mostly just repetitions of, on the one hand, your vehement claims to holding to moral relativism/skepticism, and OTOH moral statements that transparently are meant to be applicable to others. It's the cookie jar. Again.
Look, man, I feel you - cookies are tasty, particularly hypocricookies.

Just a few things...

-You fail to interact with my longstanding point regarding the comparative violence committed by "Christofascists" and Islamofascists. I'm disappointed, honestly. You are politically foolish.

-You repeat yourself on what seems to be your desire utilitarian outlook on morality, w/o taking the necessary step of explaining how we know whether the things we desire are good. And that's kind of the key question.

-You infuse the atheistic dogma of USSR Marxism/Leninism with a critique of "religious fanaticism", w/o even attempting to deal with the obvious fact that this either renders atheism a religious system by your own standards or reduces fanaticism to a system of behavior that has no necessary connection to religion at all.

-I love how you compare the questions "What is the funniest joke ever written?" and "Is rape wrong?" whether intentionally or unintentionally. That's simultaneously very funny, very sad, and very scary. One hopes you never achieve a position of influence...anywhere.

-You continue to retreat on the front of Christianity's doctrine of the treatment of women. Lack of interaction noted.

-You misapprehend more or less completely what I mean on your retreat to the OT, even though I have just 9 posts ago written on that very topic.

-You commit the Primitives Were Morons fallacy.

-You continue to commit the Perfect Computer Manual fallacy.

-You exercise an external (and therefore epistemologically pretty much invalid) critique on whether it's extraordinary that the Bible be God's Word.

And after all that:
-After all, you are to apologetics what the finest Oxford fairyologist is to the study of pixies, fairies and elven creatures.

I'll take that as a compliment. :-D

Nice talking to you.


John Morales said...


JN also responded in detail to 10 of your points.

You too have repeated yourself, in your assumption that moral relativists have no valid basis for their moral statements.

Anyway, I note that you perceive that you showed JN as obtuse, incoherent and repetitive.

I imagine you must be happy with the outcome, as you see it. Must be one of the joys of blogging.

Rhology said...

Yes, John - this is the response to that last post from the JN.
When I repeat myself, it is to drive home the point that my assertion has not been refuted. It's a repetition of a diff quality than what the JN (and you) has been doing.
I actually think the JN is among the most courteous, well-written, and coherent atheist bloggers with whom I've interacted. He is, however, such in spite of the position he holds. Most of the displeasing aspects of his presentation is due to the horrible things he holds to.

You could've spent some time engaging the points rather than complaining about whether I complimented the JN all over the place...

The Jolly Nihilist said...

Good show, Rhology.

I am quite pleased with the way this blogalogue has turned out and, based on this post, it seems you are satisfied, as well. As previously noted, I hope there are other people reading the posts we are lobbing back and forth; if I do say so myself, they are nearly as substantive as some of the ones featured on mainstream websites, such as BeliefNet. Moreover, I hope the excessive length of my contributions did not drive too many people away. [Do note that, on more than one occasion, prior to submission, I excised several hundred words from my composition. I try... I try...]

I also would like to express my appreciation for your kind words, and I toss them back to you. I have interacted with innumerable Christians on "the internets" and I would consider you among the most formidable and intellectually rigorous. I also appreciate the fact that you take the time to ensure your spelling, grammar and style are correct. [I am a writer and editor by profession, and I tend immediately to dismiss any interlocutor who cannot use the language properly.]

I also appreciate your general civility, despite the intensity of our disagreement. It is a pleasure to debate somebody who eschews childish insults and personal sliming. I always have found that, when personal insults are resorted to, it is a clear sign the debater is desperate...if not already thrashed.

I wish you well, Rhology. I hope to interact with you in the future, at which time perhaps I can persuade you to join me in the boundless pleasure of the rational, science-driven life.