November 20, 2011

Bad Logic on My Part

There were voices in the night 
"Don't do it!"
Voices out of sight
"Don't do it!"
— Chris DeBurgh, "Don't Pay the Ferryman"

Buon giorno. I did some bad logic. Yes, I know it's astonishing. But your astonishment will evaporate when I tell you that it was on purpose.

You see, when I did an article about appearing on an atheist "show" (podcast thing), I asked the viewing public if I should engage in this activity:

The question itself is biased. Then, the first two answer choices contained loaded wording. The third selection was legitimate, and the last two were because I wanted to be funny (I was the only one to vote on "Sorry, what?"). If I worked for a pollster, I would have been sacked.

In the article, I pointed out my dealings with some of those people in this "show" included manipulation, personal attacks, ridicule, profanity and fundamentally flawed logic. They must think that I am stupid, because I am still badgered to be on the "show", even though I have repeatedly explained my reasons for refusal. Further, continued attempts at manipulation and appeal to pride ("Come on the show, prove you're not a Poe") reinforce my belief that they have no respect for my intelligence, beliefs or for me as a person. By the way, the "prove that I'm not a Poe" nonsense can easily be turned around because atheists have their own Poes. News flash, guys! Ridicule is not a form of logical discussion!

Another reason that this poll was spurious is because I never intended to participate. But then, I never claimed that I would abide by the results of the poll. Which is a good thing, because it was obviously manipulated by these guys and their pals. I received e-mails strongly imploring me not to do this thing ("Don't waste your breath nor fingers as no good can come from that situation"..."I voted for "leave it alone". As I was doing so I noticed "38 votes so far" and thought, "Hey, that's pretty good." And when the results appeared I could see that 26 of those votes are from your creepazoid stalkers. They really want you, baby! Take my advice, it'll be better for your blood pressure. I can feel mine going up just thinking about it"), and personal conversations strongly advising me to give it a miss.

Something I forgot to mention in the previous article is that I had no idea how many atheists I would be facing, and what topics. (I was told much later by the one who is actually civil that it would be one-on-one, and I could choose the topic. Aside from my trust level being zero, I have the larger concern of being unable to see much value in the whole thing, aside from making their CV look good.) I'm not Matt Slick, James White (not every show takes calls) or Greg Koukl, ready and willing to take on just about anything in a cold call. One of these atheopaths has humiliated himself on Matt's show, I'd love to hear him try his stunts with Greg or Dr. White. Tee hee.

I had some extra knowledge that I chose not to mention in the other article: The reputation of these guys who want me to call and "debate" on their "show". I told of my experiences with some of them, but what about people who have actually listened to this thing? "Tribalogue" had some interesting comments, plus a follow-up. So did "Grace in the Triad". (Unfortunately, I had to remove the links to the above material that existed when I made my decision.) Also, I asked someone who had actually endured this "show", and was told, "Don't do it". 

Edit: This arrived in my e-mail: "I am glad that you have decided against appearing on the Fundamentally Flawed podcast with host Alex Botten. After having done a bit of homework on the man and observing him at various blogs on the internet, I have come to the realization that Botten is a sickening and exceedingly wicked man. He is not merely incoherent and irrational—although he is that—but a truly wicked and disturbed man who relishes in his feculent sin."

After the poll was closed, I received an e-mail wanting to set up the debate that I had never promised to do. All these attempts at manipulation are off-putting, to say the least.

If they had started out acting respectfully and being skilful, they could possibly have built up a decent reputation by now. I wonder if they will ever change? Nah. Hate makes people act stupidly, and think irrationally. You can see Alex Botten's lack of logic, lack of civility, lack of understanding the basics of copyright law, lack of willingness to follow the Terms of Service of Wordpress, lack of respect for the rights and sensibilities of others here.

"What's your point, Cowboy Bob?"

I'm glad you asked. There were three. First, I vented a bit. Second, to give other potential callers some information on which to base their decisions to participate. Third, and most important, to discuss how my previous write-up was skewed with loaded terminology; it is an example of the kind of thing that should be approached with caution when it is presented as "objective".
Alex Botten, Jim Gardner, Fundamentally Flawed

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