The Dude is suspended from MAD. Is this "goading"

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Post by harmony »

beastie wrote:Dr. Peterson's latest contribution to the thread in question:

Over on a board that appears to be largely dedicated to obsessive-compulsive derision of this board and where accurate reading seems to be in short supply, there has been some cackling about my purportedly miraculous ability, in this thread, to comment negatively on Richard Dawkins's book without yet having read it. Of course, I've made precisely no comments directly about Dawkins's book. I simply called attention to a review of Dawkins by Alvin Plantinga, and summarily mentioned one or two of Plantinga's arguments.

I much prefer it when people respond to what I've written rather than to what they imagine me to have written. Unfortunately, that's surprisingly rare -- and particularly so on the board where these folks are making their remarks. (I'll pass over in charitable silence their latest conspiratorial speculations about me.)


Isn't this kinda like Peter, James, and John? They visit us, take note of our activities, most of us don't even know they're here at all, leave no evidence of their presence, then return from whence they've come and report on our activities? Feels kinda creepy, for a guy who has repeatedly expressed disdain and disinterest in us and this board.

For a guy who refuses to post here, Daniel sure feels the need to comment about our comments. And in the process, shows his obvious self-absorbion.

Daniel.. hon, sweet thing, dahlink... read my lips: it's not always about you. Sometimes (like this time), it's about someone else (The Dude, specifically). Try to understand. We love you, really we do, but sometimes we like to talk about other people too! It's not a reflection on you. And we aren't taking anything away from your world-renown-ness just because we want to talk about The Dude for a change. So quit trying to make it all about you, for pete's sake, and try to curb your natural inclination to be on stage. I promise we'll get back to you soon. Really, we will.

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Post by beastie »

Dr. Peterson already answered on that thread. It appears I was right. Dr. Peterson did not intend to do a review in that thread. He only offered information about someone else who had and who he seems to hold some degree of respect for.

In other words, Dr. Peterson didn't just pull down a review from the internet. Dr. Peterson has reason to believe that the reviewer knows what he's talking about.


Just how does one evaluate whether or not a reviewer "knows what he's talking about" when one hasn't read the book in question?
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Post by asbestosman »

beastie wrote:Just how does one evaluate whether or not a reviewer "knows what he's talking about" when one hasn't read the book in question?


How about this: Dr. Peterson may have a good idea as to whether the person is a qualified philosopher and would be qualified to spot fundamental logical errors.

I don't think Dr. Peterson said that the review was correct. He only offered it as information. I see nowhere in that thread where Dr. Peterson said that Dawkins had been thorougly refuted. But then again, I apparently don't have the knack of seeing the emperor's new clothes like many people on this board do.
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Post by Mister Scratch »

asbestosman wrote:
beastie wrote:Just how does one evaluate whether or not a reviewer "knows what he's talking about" when one hasn't read the book in question?


How about this: Dr. Peterson may have a good idea as to whether the person is a qualified philosopher and would be qualified to spot fundamental logical errors.

I don't think Dr. Peterson said that the review was correct. He only offered it as information. I see nowhere in that thread where Dr. Peterson said that Dawkins had been thorougly refuted. But then again, I apparently don't have the knack of seeing the emperor's new clothes like many people on this board do.


I have seen His Highness engage in this sort of low-rent, "scholarship by implication" before. He did it on a thread dealing with Mike Quinn's book on homosexuality. DCP refused to offer up any commentary on the Quinn book beyond the barb, "it is tendentious and embarrassing," but he *did* direct people to a couple of reviews (which were published in FARMS Review---the journal which DCP himself edits). He apparently did this in order to take the burden of explanation and argument off of himself. Moreover, as Professor P. repeatedly pointed out, one of the reviews was quite "long." I took the time to comb through both of the reviews, which turned out to be smear pieces constructed on shaky logic. So, I would be somewhat wary at DCP's "references" to other scholars.

Also, any time that Prof. P. begins saying, "You repeatedly misunderstand me!" or, "You continuously misread what I wrote!" you can know for certain that he has been backed into a corner. His recent flailing about in utter desperation has been a sight to behold indeed.

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Post by moksha »

Asbestos, I too am confident that Dr. Peterson was merely trying to be helpful. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the MAD mods suspending The Dude? What do you make of this goading charge?
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Post by asbestosman »

moksha wrote:Asbestos, I too am confident that Dr. Peterson was merely trying to be helpful. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the MAD mods suspending The Dude? What do you make of this goading charge?


I think if The Dude had left off the "Yes/No", then his question wouldn't have been seen as goading or barking orders. I don't think The Dude intended to goad. I think The Dude feels that Dr. Peterson often avoids giving straight answers and wanted to force him to be clear. However, by forcing a straight answer it could understandibly be supposed that an answer of "no" would have been followed by a discrediting of the information provded (I mean how could Dr. Peterson know if the review was worth reading if he hadn't read the book, etc).

I don't think that Dr. Peterson agreed with every word of Plantinga's review. I pointed out where it contradicts LDS theology.
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Post by moksha »

asbestosman wrote:
moksha wrote:Asbestos, I too am confident that Dr. Peterson was merely trying to be helpful. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the MAD mods suspending The Dude? What do you make of this goading charge?


I think if The Dude had left off the "Yes/No", then his question wouldn't have been seen as goading or barking orders. I don't think The Dude intended to goad. I think The Dude feels that Dr. Peterson often avoids giving straight answers and wanted to force him to be clear. However, by forcing a straight answer it could understandibly be supposed that an answer of "no" would have been followed by a discrediting of the information provded (I mean how could Dr. Peterson know if the review was worth reading if he hadn't read the book, etc).

I can understand that. I too dislike being pinned down to straight answers. Like this morning, being pinned down to a choice of wheat or white seemed to oppressive. Waitresses should not goad one like that, should they? Best to leave the straight answers to Jersey Girl.
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Post by The Dude »

asbestosman wrote:
moksha wrote:Asbestos, I too am confident that Dr. Peterson was merely trying to be helpful. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the MAD mods suspending The Dude? What do you make of this goading charge?


I think if The Dude had left off the "Yes/No", then his question wouldn't have been seen as goading or barking orders. I don't think The Dude intended to goad. I think The Dude feels that Dr. Peterson often avoids giving straight answers and wanted to force him to be clear. However, by forcing a straight answer it could understandibly be supposed that an answer of "no" would have been followed by a discrediting of the information provded (I mean how could Dr. Peterson know if the review was worth reading if he hadn't read the book, etc).

I don't think that Dr. Peterson agreed with every word of Plantinga's review. I pointed out where it contradicts LDS theology.


I thought that was an interesting point you made, asbestosman.

I do feel that Dr. Peterson would have avoided my question if I hadn't put in the "yes/no". But he answered it and handled himself well enough. I wasn't planning to go any further after him, once he made clear that he hadn't actually read the book yet. If he does, I would be interested in further discussion, but I won't try to engage him on MAD.

Why? Read Orpheus' attitude about me:

Orpheus wrote:I spend some time reading The Dude's posts from the last few days. Maybe if his cheerleaders would it would make more sense why we have had enough for now. Calling Pres. Hinckley's comments "weird crap" isn't going to get you far on this board when nothing of much substance is there. There sure isn't any research being put up with all the put-downs. I think Mr. Dude might be trying to get the boot.


It's the death knell for my time on MAD if Orpheus really thinks I'm trying to get the boot. I've lately felt that the moderating has been quick to intrude without being called upon, and now that I see Orpheus admitting that my posts are being read in the worst possible light, it may be too stifling over there for me to continue. In the thread where I used the phrase "weird crap" I was directly quoting the sharp-tongued "Confidential Informant" who said every religion believes in "weird crap."

I don't think Dan Peterson complained about me goading him. From his witty reply it's clear he doesn't need such protection.

I could go on and on about the unfair benefit that goes towards the LDS posters, some of who are uncivil as a rule (Pahoran, Hammer/Serious) or downright creepy (YH8), but I've seen the moderators go after them now and then, so my complaints would be weakened. I've even complained about them on one or two occasions and, after a lag of 6-12 hours, seen the moderators act. But the difference here is that I had to take steps to complain about personal attacks and insults. It would really benefit the MAD board for the moderators to first let complaints come from the posters (who are actually participating in the thread and are imbedded in the context of the discussion) before they meet out punishment on individuals. (Taking action and closing a whole thread is maybe a different matter, since it affects everyone the same.)

As for the book review in question, I think it's pretty lazy for Dan to waltz in and toss out "a nice little review of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion (titled "The Dawkins Confusion") in the March/April 2007 issue of Books & Culture. Among other things, Plantinga faults Dawkins for fundamental logical errors" -- with no intention to discuss the actual book. It was a drive-by post (Nevo actually provided the link) just like we see from overeager anti-mormons who want us to read their latest "Jesus Saves" rant. Furthermore, the example of "bad logic" that Dan gave doesn't seem to be anything Dawkins actually said, so should we trust Dan to trust Plantinga's ability to comprehend Dawkins' arguments and pick apart his logic? I don't think that quite adds up.

Asbestosman, you read the book; do you think that was a good representation of Dawkins?

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Post by Jersey Girl »

Dude,

Unravel Orpheus' ball of yarn for me....where did you say Hinckley's words were "weird crap" on MAD or on this board?

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Post by The Dude »

Jersey Girl wrote:Dude,

Unravel Orpheus' ball of yarn for me....where did you say Hinckley's words were "weird crap" on MAD or on this board?

Jersey Girl


On MAD, during a discussion about an upcoming PBS program (Frontline, I think) on "The Mormons".

CI said something like, "Every religion believes in weird crap" so it's hypocritical for Mormons to be criticized by the media.

I said something like, "I think the PBS program will be good like other Frontline programs have been, and it's sure to be better than watching Hinkley make uncomfortable denials about historcal LDS beliefs (you know, the 'weird crap')."

(referring to Hinckleys remark about "that's just a couplet" ... you know, weird crap)

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Post by rcrocket »

The Dude wrote:Asbestosman, you read the book; do you think that was a good representation of Dawkins?


I've read the book. It is horrible. I've read other books by prominent athiests and he doesn't compare either in logic or style. Sorry. I'm so disappointed. I loved the Red Queen.

My eyes roll as he published mean-spirited emails to him. I can't imagine that Christianity can be measured by the rants of anonymous posters.

The section on Hitler was a laugher. Trying to prove he was a Christian without explaning away the athieism of Stalin. To me, the success or failure of Christianity is not measured by the success or failure of particular Christians.

He makes no attempt to account for the beliefs and philosopies of eastern religions. His assessment of Islam is one-dimensional.

He makes no attempt to attack the logic of Thomas Aquinas, the greatest advocate of the existence of God who ever lived. I think he mentioned him once. I don't think he's read him.

You previously mentioned his section on the "Moral Zeitigeist." Basically, he argues for the progression on knowledge and education, and that we live in enlightened times, and we don't need God to improve. That is a very naïve view of history. Islam was once the most enlightened civilization and religion in the world; now look where it is.

If you want lose faith in Christianity, this book is OK of you're into reading Harry Potter-level literature. Otherwise, read the writings of Bart Ehrman, Karen Armstrong, Robin Lane Fox and, of course, Bertrand Russell.


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Post by asbestosman »

The Dude wrote:As for the book review in question, I think it's pretty lazy for Dan to waltz in and toss out "a nice little review of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion (titled "The Dawkins Confusion") in the March/April 2007 issue of Books & Culture. Among other things, Plantinga faults Dawkins for fundamental logical errors" -- with no intention to discuss the actual book. It was a drive-by post (Nevo actually provided the link) just like we see from overeager anti-mormons who want us to read their latest "Jesus Saves" rant.

I think Dr. Peterson made it clear back in Feb. that such "drive-by posts" or rather announcements is all he intends to do from now on.

Furthermore, the example of "bad logic" that Dan gave doesn't seem to be anything Dawkins actually said, so should we trust Dan to trust Plantinga's ability to comprehend Dawkins' arguments and pick apart his logic? I don't think that quite adds up.

Asbestosman, you read the book; do you think that was a good representation of Dawkins?

As I no longer have the book in front of me, it is hard to give a straight answer ;)

I will say this: I think that Dawkins may have made that logical error. However, if Dawkins did make such an error, I think it was because he was careless with his wording. As I recall, his point was that the probability for the existence of God is miniscule. Of course that doesn't prove anything. However, he also made it clear that just because nobody can prove there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster does not mean we should assume the chances for it are equally likely. Nor should we live our lives in fear of what the FSM may want us to do--because what if he really does exist, etc.

I also note that Dawkins addressed the idea that God is simple being of one substance. I am disappointed that Plantinga did not address Dawkins objections here. In any case, the whole one substance defense fails for Mormonism.

I kind of liked RenegadeOfPhunk's review, but I am looking forward to FARMS's review. Perhaps they will be a bit more rigorous in addressing Dawkins strongest points instead of his semantic issues.
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Post by The Dude »

Okay rcrocket, I remember you said you were reading it. I've got complaints too. I was totally bored with the chapters on the possible origin of religion and what traits might have been selected (in terms of evolutionary psychology). It was nothing new, just the same old speculations, and really unnecessary to the overall argument. But it seemed to be included for the sake of completeness. Thank goodness it came in the middle of the book and not as part of the final chapters.

Mean-spirited emails from Christians show some of the persecution atheists endure. It's another piece of data, complementing the poll showing that, in terms of presidential candidacy, atheists are viewed with the most prejudice and disregard of any segment in America.

The focus on Hitler was an embellishment, made possible by the fact that there is evidence for some Christianity in him. The more important point is that a few bad apples don't prove a connection between atheism and monstrous leaders. It's basically illogical, right?

I remember a bit more about Thomas Aquinas than you apparently do. Some of the basic claims FOR the existence of god were claims that originated, or were formalized, by Thomas Aquinas. Dawkins covered Aquinas in those terms. But your right, he didn't sufficiently ad hominen Aquinas and that's probably why you aren't remembering.

You previously mentioned his section on the "Moral Zeitigeist." Basically, he argues for the progression on knowledge and education, and that we live in enlightened times, and we don't need God to improve. That is a very naïve view of history. Islam was once the most enlightened civilization and religion in the world; now look where it is.


The bold part is good support for Dawkins' point that we don't need God to improve.

I have another problem with the "Moral Zeitgeist" though. It's fine for looking back and seeing what has changed, but if you look around today and try to predict where things will go, it's as much as a rorschach test where you see what you want to see. If I think veganism is the morally correct lifestyle, then I'm going to think that in the future the Moral Zeitgeist will move that way. So it's actually a somewhat limited idea.

I've read some of those authors. Karen Armstrong is very good, but mostly I don't spend my time reading books that are purely atheism. So "The God Delusion" was a diversion for me, principally because I've been a fan of Dawkins ever since we read "The Selfish Gene" with Scott Woodward at BYU. I do like his logic and style.

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Post by The Dude »

asbestosman wrote:I kind of liked RenegadeOfPhunk's review, but I am looking forward to FARMS's review. Perhaps they will be a bit more rigorous in addressing Dawkins strongest points instead of his semantic issues.


I liked RenegadeOfPhunk's review too. I wish I could go over there and point out why I think Dawkins is so hard on moderate religions. At least I can read the board now that I cleaned out my cookies.

As for the FARMS' review... how old is Richard Dawkins? FARMS didn't review Carl Sagan until he'd been dead for 10 years.

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Post by Bryan Inks »

beastie wrote:Dr. Peterson's latest contribution to the thread in question:

Over on a board that appears to be largely dedicated to obsessive-compulsive derision of this board and where accurate reading seems to be in short supply, there has been some cackling about my purportedly miraculous ability, in this thread, to comment negatively on Richard Dawkins's book without yet having read it. Of course, I've made precisely no comments directly about Dawkins's book. I simply called attention to a review of Dawkins by Alvin Plantinga, and summarily mentioned one or two of Plantinga's arguments.

I much prefer it when people respond to what I've written rather than to what they imagine me to have written. Unfortunately, that's surprisingly rare -- and particularly so on the board where these folks are making their remarks. (I'll pass over in charitable silence their latest conspiratorial speculations about me.)


Is anyone really suprised that despite his highly advanced and educated intellect, he is guilty of the very thing he accuses this board of?

DCP wrote:a board that appears to be largely dedicated to obsessive-compulsive derision of this board


This statement would not be funny if it wasn't for irony.

DCP wrote:where accurate reading seems to be in short supply, there has been some cackling about my purportedly miraculous ability, in this thread, to comment negatively on Richard Dawkins's book without yet having read it. Of course, I've made precisely no comments directly about Dawkins's book.


Apparently, we sodomite apostates aren't the only ones that are lacking in the "reading comprehension" area. May I suggest you open your eyes next time you come over here? I'm not talking your mind's eye or a metaphysical chakra. I'm talking your corporeal eyes. I've found that when my eyes are open, my reading comprehension skyrockets.

Just a suggestion for our favorite lurker.

rcrocket

Post by rcrocket »

The Dude wrote:But your right, he didn't sufficiently ad hominen Aquinas and that's probably why you aren't remembering.


Well, that's not a nice crack. I think that it is "you're." A common error.

I think "ad hominem" [not "ad hominen'] is an adjective, not a verb. But, who's keeping track of such gaffes?

In any event, by definition one cannot assert ad hominem arguments against anonymous posters.

rcrocket

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Post by Bryan Inks »

rcrocket wrote:In any event, by definition one cannot assert ad hominem arguments against anonymous posters.

rcrocket


And your evidence for this?

You know, Kettle, I'm finding myself astounded at the number of times you are being asked, not just by myself, for proof of your claims.

I'm still waiting on your proof that all critics of Mormonism are guilty of "lazy research".

Should I hold my breath for your proof that you can't insult a poster who doesn't use his real name?

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Post by It occurs to me . . . »

asbestosman wrote:Dr. Peterson already answered on that thread. It appears I was right. Dr. Peterson did not intend to do a review in that thread. He only offered information about someone else who had and who he seems to hold some degree of respect for.

In other words, Dr. Peterson didn't just pull down a review from the internet. Dr. Peterson has reason to believe that the reviewer knows what he's talking about.


My purpose in bringing this information here, was not to discuss Dr. Peterson's response or lack thereof. I don't have a problem with that. It just seemed to be such on over reaction on the part of the moderators. I don't see how dialogue can continue if you are disciplined for asking whether or not someone has read a book.

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Post by harmony »

It occurs to me . . . wrote:
asbestosman wrote:Dr. Peterson already answered on that thread. It appears I was right. Dr. Peterson did not intend to do a review in that thread. He only offered information about someone else who had and who he seems to hold some degree of respect for.

In other words, Dr. Peterson didn't just pull down a review from the internet. Dr. Peterson has reason to believe that the reviewer knows what he's talking about.


My purpose in bringing this information here, was not to discuss Dr. Peterson's response or lack thereof. I don't have a problem with that. It just seemed to be such on over reaction on the part of the moderators. I don't see how dialogue can continue if you are disciplined for asking whether or not someone has read a book.


What ever gave you the idea that MAD board was about dialogue?

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Post by Mister Scratch »

rcrocket wrote:In any event, by definition one cannot assert ad hominem arguments against anonymous posters.

rcrocket


That just isn't correct, Bob, and you know it. We've been over this before, in fact. Ad hominem arguments involve shifting the discussion to the rhetor's character and away from the argument. So, whenever you halt the discussion at hand in order to say, "Well, you're anonymous and a coward," you are engaging in ad hominem attack, since your are diverting the discussion off onto character, rather than dealing with the argument at hand. You ought to have figured this out by now.

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Post by Bryan Inks »

harmony wrote:
It occurs to me . . . wrote:
asbestosman wrote:Dr. Peterson already answered on that thread. It appears I was right. Dr. Peterson did not intend to do a review in that thread. He only offered information about someone else who had and who he seems to hold some degree of respect for.

In other words, Dr. Peterson didn't just pull down a review from the internet. Dr. Peterson has reason to believe that the reviewer knows what he's talking about.


My purpose in bringing this information here, was not to discuss Dr. Peterson's response or lack thereof. I don't have a problem with that. It just seemed to be such on over reaction on the part of the moderators. I don't see how dialogue can continue if you are disciplined for asking whether or not someone has read a book.


What ever gave you the idea that MAD board was about dialogue?


Well, as we all know, if something is in the name of the organization than the organization must be focused on that.

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Moron Apologetics and Discussion. Now this one is a bit of a stretch because it isn't quite dialogue, but discussion can be used as a synonym of dialogue.

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