Should moderation be applied equally - even to theists?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by phlogistician, May 18, 2011.

  1. phlogistician Banned Banned

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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Just recording this for posterity.

    I'm very happy to admit I don't believe in the particular God known as Quetzalcoatl. That god is rather specifically defined in mythology.

    You can't know if you lack a belief in something that hasn't been defined - until it's defined!

    You're now conflating two points. It may well be true that I lack belief in various gods, but all the ones I lack belief in I am aware have some definition. The ones I have never heard of, or which aren't defined, I can't possibly express an opinion about. I'm not in a position to do so, having not even a definition at hand. And neither are you, despite your repeated assertions to the contrary.

    But your major problem is that you say you're unable to even define what any god is, so you're not even in a position to dismiss gods that may be similar to one another via some common feature.

    Not being able to define "gods" at all means that you're not at all in a position to even start to talk about gods in any way, shape or form.

    You're making my point for me.

    In exactly the same way, you cannot claim to believe or disbelieve in any gods that you haven't heard of. In fact, lacking any definition of the word "god", you don't even know what is being talked about, so you're hardly in a position to make a rational judgment one way or the other.

    admit (noun): declare to be true, concede to be true.
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Temper temper! We've previously established that you don't like me. There's really no need to get all hot and bothered about it.

    A bit personal there, quadraphonics. If we were friends, then I might tell you about my unhappy childhood (presuming I had one, of course). But as a matter of fact you have earned no right to pry into any aspect of my personal life. Once again, you paint yourself as arrogant and lacking in basic good manners.

    King of the shitheads, indeed. Take a good hard look at yourself.

    Better tell phlogistician that.

    So you're another one who has no working definition of the term "god" or "gods" and yet claims to disbelieve in all of them.

    To tell you the truth, I thought your were a little brighter than that.

    Oh, please.

    Why don't you address this rubbish to phlogistician? He takes about 100 posts to make the simplest point. He starts a thread with the putative aim of asking me a series of questions and manages to ask a total of 3 in the first 250 posts. The rest of the thread consists of requests from him that I recycle prior posts for his benefit, quibbles over definitions, empty claims that I have somehow contradicted myself in the course of my 3 replies to his actual questions, etc.

    He is unfocussed on what he aims to achieve. He ties himself in knots over definitions. In refusing to concede the slightest inconsequential point he weakens his argument beyond repair and is forced into defending a completely untenable position, making himself a bit of a laughing stock.

    And you seem willing to join him in his untenable position, purely out of spite against me (I assume, barring the possibility that you're stupider than your posting record seems to suggest). What does that say about you?
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  7. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    LOL..oh yea..i forgot he put me on ignore..he can't see me laughing at him..

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  8. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

    "It's the man, man."

    First, let me say that I think the mods do the best they can.

    Second, the mods are human and imperfect, illogical, and sometimes emotional. Why complain? They have the power. For example, if they banned phlog as hard as they could, unless phlog was in contact with other members by other means, no one would ever know. One more complaining voice gone. Since this doesn't appear to happen(I've deserved it a couple of times myself), then I have to say I think they are controlling themselves quite well.

    Do I agree with everything they do? No. But I don't really agree with anyone on everything they do. I'm not a mod, so I'm not going to sweat it. If you want to, that's you, but just wonder why, if they are so bad, are you still able to access the site? They have the power but don't have a good reason is all. IF they're bound by reason, how can you expect more?
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Note the typical blogman/troll approach, there. As expected. Bait and insult, and then pose as cool and collected when called on it. Perhaps some time you and SAM can have a contest to see who can take that to the most inane extreme.

    Not something you have standing to complain about.

    You misunderstand: those were rhetorical questions. I'm publicly belittling you, not interrogating you. The point isn't the actual explanation, but the assertion that some such explanation must exist for the offensive behavior. The speculations are just a means of making the insult more colorful and specific - and, with any luck, prompting an ill-considered response from the target.

    I'd sort of expected a more capable response to that from someone who spends as much time blogmanning/trolling as you do. But then, it's become apparent that you're all ego and no balls, and so go around looking for easy fodder instead of real challenges. The result is that your skills are weak and your ego easily manipulated.

    Exactly - this is a place of ego-contest and brute hierarchy, where manners have no place. This is the game you seem to love above all else here. You are a nasty bully, with no standing to lecture anyone on manners or behavior. Who do you think you're fooling?

    Exactly. Do you really not get that I'm engaging with your game as an object lesson in how debased and corrosive it is? That is a mirror you're addressing, there.

    Again with the typical attempts to bully - despite my repeated admonitions that I will not participate in such. How about you go tell phlogistician that you're sorry for being such a prick, and then leave SciForums forever? Or better yet, just kill yourself.

    You're going to have to try a lot harder than that, noob. You really think I'm going to bite on a re-boot of your stalemate when I've already explicitly identified such, and refused multiple previous attempts to re-boot? Risible.

    Because you're the one running with the bullshit, not to mention the one running the bullshit show, obviously.

    Again with the usual bullying, all of it manufactured through the intentional cultivation and exploitation of rhetorical stalemate. Do you think nobody sees what you're doing? Do you think that anyone, anywhere, has ever been impressed by one side of an argument offering up a self-serving characterization of the interaction, and the character of their opponent? Do you imagine that addressing such to a third party will appear as anything but desperate baiting?

    And, again, it's extremely weak blogmanship: by making such an argument to me (and so energetically at that), you are implying that such is an open question, subject to my judgement. And to which I will respond (as I have) that your obvious cultivation of stalemate for the purpose of rubbing your dick in phlogistician's face is the problem here. Seriously, that was a(nother) major noob mistake.

    It says that I fucking despise your petty, nasty persona. Which is exactly what I've been saying directly to you, explicitly and in detail, for some time now.

    Not that I accept that your calculated cultivation of stalemate has any bearing on the legitimate tenability of positions, but the point is that doing things out of spite is only a vice if the object of said spite doesn't clearly merit such. And we note that you have made no real attempt to exhonerate yourself - only petty charges that I'm bad too. Which misses the point: the criticism is exactly that you cultivate this space as an arena for ego contests between shitheads. This was obvious when you so gleefully ran with this tangent stalemate to turn this thread into page upon page of hectoring of phlogistician: you think anyone is going to attribute that to any kind of noble motive? Get real.
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Take a chill pill, man!

    You'll blow a gasket.
  11. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Do you disbelieve in Quetzalcoatl?

    Who said I needed to know? That was rather my point, in fact, but please, keep on making them back to me, given time, you _may_ catch up.

    Lies James. You do not have a full, encyclopaedic knowledge of every god, ever, unless you are saying you entertain the possibility of Gods you have never heard of, while dismissing those you have? Care to make a consistent argument?

    Well done, you caught up. Atheism is lack of an opinion. About defined and undefined things.

    I've explained repeatedly you are barking up the wrong narrow tree of definitions too, but there you go again.

    Which is why I invited you to define your god in that other thread. Keep up.

    And I'm not talking about them, other than saying I lack belief. Keep up.

    BARK BARK. Sorry James, wrong tree. AGAIN. I lack belief. How many times must we go over this?
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Yes. I do not believe that the particular Mayan god known as Quetzalcoatl exists, other than in a literary or mythological sense.

    Me, for one. Several times. For example, in the piece you quoted. Duh!

    Of course I must entertain the possibility of an unknown god or Gods. To do anything else would be illogical.

    No. Atheism is the opposite of theism. It is a non-belief in gods. Importantly, the term "god" can be defined by atheists. Read any atheist book on the matter and in chapter 1 you'll usually find some definition of the term "god".

    You're not an atheist. You're confused about what gods even are.
  13. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Sorry James, you have to do better than blatant trolling to keep this thread moving.

    What am I then? You are resorting to twisting words and misapplying labels, and it's all rather desperate. It's definitely dishonest, and rather proving my point.

    Because YOU have completely failed to present a clear case in that other thread! Don't blame me for your ineptitude.

    I'll give you a couple of days to clean up your act, or I'm taking this to Plasma.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I have little interest in keeping it moving. You're so slow at getting to any point that by the time you actually make it everybody has forgotten what the thread was supposed to be about in the first place.

    Here's an idea: you stop replying to this thread, and it will vanish down the thread list. Then you can forget this whole embarassing episode.

    I have no idea, and it appears you don't either.

    What we have established is that you're in no position to discuss the existence or non-existence of gods, and that's the main thing. You actually can't take a position on that matter, as a matter of logic, given your own statements.

    Ok. Let's start again.

    Define the term "god" for me.

    Can't do it? Then you're not in a position to talk about god. Got it?

    Taking what to Plasma, exactly?

    Is it that you feel you're losing (or have lost) an argument here, so you want to try to censor your opponent, or at least appeal to some higher authority?

    Wouldn't it be better just to move on?

    But don't let me stop you. Whatever floats your boat.

    How will your complaint go, exactly? "James R is being mean to me because he won't agree with me. He won't treat me as superior to theists just because I claim to be an atheist. He won't let me get away with illogical and silly arguments. Please censor him!"
  15. phlogistician Banned Banned

    James, you know damned well what you are doing. You are being obtuse and wantonly ignorant, misusing terms and stuffing straw men, and in actual fact, trolling. THAT is what you will get reported for if you do not shape up.
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    You should avoid making blustery threats. If you think you want to go that route, you should just do so without warning.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Which is not the same thing as discussing the existence or non-existence of one's own beliefs.

    Unless you follow theorists like Pratchett, and hold that the belief creates the god.
  18. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

    Everybody is in position to discuss any topic. If you believe otherwise you have no business participating in a forum.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Mr MacGillivray,

    I suggest you read the entire thread before commenting.
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A Dangerous Interjection

    Might I interject in order to propose another approach?

    I did not read the statement as any sort of prohibition.

    If one chooses to expound, say, on matters of law, and if it becomes apparent that one has no clue what they're talking about, then one has no practical reason to expect to be taken seriously.

    I'm not certain, really, that anything useful would emerge from reading the entire thread. I mean, I'm long familiar with the players in this one, and I've tried to follow the discussion, and while I've been, for a while, as we know, among your biggest critics, indeed the only criticism I would offer at this time is that you're still trying.

    That's kind of why I razzed this thread for Gustav's benefit.

    Remember, sir, that you're dealing with someone we've long allowed to live up to his name. Any expectation of progress is probably futile.

    To the other, y'all are putting on a hell of a show.

    It actually brings Ray Bradbury to mind: "Sisyphus, stay, while I get you a bigger rock to push up the goddamn hill!"
  21. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Thing is, part of the thing that started this thread off, before James became a comedian and renamed it, was about moderation, and the point I made, was that I am happy to take a few knocks, and won't always hit that 'report' button right away.

    My complaint was that thin skinned people are pandered to, so I will give folks a chance to acquit themselves, not being thin skinned.
  22. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Exactly. James is being obtuse and dishonest. It's about belief, and more importantly, lack of it. It's not about how or why we lack belief, as he is trying to drag us into.
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    More to the point, the object of contention is simply whether "disbelief" is a positive state like "belief" is.

    That question is somewhere in the grey area between a philosophical proposition and a purely semantic one. Which is to say that it isn't really possible to be "correct" about it, in the way that one can be "correct" about some point of, say, physics (i.e., conclusively demonstrate through argumentation that positions inconsistent with yours are factually incorrect). The most you can really do is make an aesthetic appeal, or maybe catch your opponent using the term in a manner inconsistent with his semantic assertions and skewer him as a hypocrit.

    Or, you can paper over these facts, pretend that you're discussing some resolvable matter of fact, and then exploit the resulting stalemate for page after page of juvenile drama and bullying. If you're the type of ragingly insecure shithead who gets off on such things, that is.

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