Saturday, August 7, 2010

Helping out poor Pastor Pipsqueak with Definitional Subtleties

Well, mental pipsqueak, that is. But as I intimated earlier, we must try to be kind to people whose highest level of educational attainment is a G.E.D. - even if they venture into a public forum or square and are determined to exhibit their mammoth, monumental ignorance. They lack sufficient vocabulary to be able to subtly parse meanings, and always get in over their heads because they inevitably misinterpret the words of others- owing to their own limited repository. But as humanists (I' m sure the "pastor" to whom I refer will now say atheists like me "claim to be humanists", not remotely aware that one can have more than one affiliation at once without these being mutually exclusive to his core identity!)

With that in mind, let’s try to help this pastor out of his mental doldrums to clarify things for his little brain.

He writes:

"On one particular atheist blog , the poor lost - and misguided author - has claimed to be ( either directly or indirectly ) one or more of the following : - atheist ( he does NOT believe in God )- atheist ( he "withholds belief" in God )- atheist ( "Quantum cosmologist" )- atheist ( he embraces Catholicism )- atheist ( he embraces Buddhism )- atheist ( he is a "democratic Socialist" )

Actually, he's correct in only two of these- about withholding belief in a deity- and identifying myself as a democratic Socialist, which btw, has not one thing to do with god beliefs or rejection of such. Hence, he immediately commits a rather profound category error by including this political affiliation in his religious set!

All the others he's contorted and mixed up, perhaps due to inadequate ability to discriminate definitions in his febrile little brain. For example, I 've repeatedly emphasized that the atheist is a passive respondent to any theist claim for God's existence. Hence we cannot "deny that God exists" nor do we "disblieve it" as an active modus operandi. One would think even a normal IQ person would finally grasp this after having it explained about fifty times already, but he either has a monumental mental block or maybe his IQ is sub-normal.

What is happening with the atheist is not active disbelief, i.e. making a statement 'There is no god', but rather simply passively withholding belief/acceptance in a statement already made. Hence, the deity believer has already made the positive claim in some form or other, or even putatively. The ontological atheist’s is the absence of belief in it. No more - no less. Since the one making the extraordinary claim (the theist) has the onus of demonstration or proof, it is HIS job to show that, not the atheist's to disprove it. This is the mental error that inevitably snares this slow guy- and probably will again. I guess with such a limited vocabulary that’s all we can expect.

Also, I NEVER claimed (even "indirectly") to be a quantum cosmologist, only to have cited a number of them (Alan Guth, T. Padmanabhan) and their papers in arguments. What's so damned difficult about getting the difference straight? It's not like we expect him to solve a tensor equation from general relativity! But since he's never made the effort to properly distinguish atheists from quantum cosmologists (not to mention the latter from evolutionists), it stands to reason he’d make this error. Just like he forever mixes up evolutionists with those who propound ontogenesis(the origin of life, as opposed to its evolution). How many ways must we spell this out, that authorship of specific papers and research makes one a quantum cosmologist, not merely citing them for argument's sake. Capital ignorance anyone?

Further, I've no idea where he imagined that I “embrace Catholicism” – though maybe he’s confused on that too since I've defended it a number of times against his bone-headed tirades. I see no reason why having had three years of higher Catholic education (obviously superior to his biblical online college) that I'm somehow bound to forego using it in religiously based arguments! I most assuredly can use them to defend against ignorant fundie claptrap. Furthermore, it's obvious to me the guy is pissed because I received a quality education in the essentials of textual analysis, exegesis and comparative theology which he never did. Sour grapes anyone? But I can't help if his online education is inferior, and they don't provide regular oral tests like they did with us at Loyola, as well as require comprehensive written dissertations in front of the classes. He needs to complain to the Southern Bible College or get his money back - not engage in his incessant bellyaching and whining at me, using strawmen and red herrings all over his blog.

As for Buddhism, I respect its practices, and have also defended it against his insipid, ignorant slurs, but again my defense of a position or faith doesn’t meant I share it - any more than his defense of Israel means he embraces Judaism. But when I see a hate fest mounted against any group I will feel compelled to chime in and defend those being attacked, if I deem it justified. That defense, however, has more to do with not abiding any intolerance rather than that I suddenly "converted" to the (defended) group or "embrace" its theology! Only an idiot or buffoon would make such an absurd, simpleton interpretation.

As for being a democratic Socialist, yes – but that has nothing to do with religious contexts, so I have no idea why he’d interject it here. Maybe he thinks all socialists are atheists, like so many other dumb clucks?

He also writes:

"And these are but a FEW of the claims he has made in one form or another . Of course , with Satan controlling him , is it any wonder this poor lost soul doesn't know whether he's 'coming or going' ?"

Again, it is this forlorn babbling baboon who doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, since I've only made two of the claims: that I withhold belief in any of HIS God claims (as an atheist) and that I am a democratic Socialist (which has nothing to do with religion, showing HE is the one supremely mixed up).

If this moron could learn to read even at fifth grade level he might be able to better parse differences as opposed to constantly mucking about and mixing up terms and definitions because his word power is so paltry – but then maybe it matches his room temperature IQ. And as usual, we have come to expect the ridicuous "Satan controlling him" theme when he's exhausted his other dubious arguments - which is fairly quickly - usually within the first few paragraphs of his mind numbing, aimless screeds.

He blathers on, immune to the stark irony of his idiocy:

"What I also find amusing , is that this particular self-proclaimed atheist , attempts to validate his arguments against Christianity , due to the fact that he had attended a CATHOLIC COLLEGE for a few years back in the '60's ! ( Yet , when he became an "atheist," he allegedly renounced Catholicism , that he NOW cites and embraces - though he'll deny the latter , I'm sure . Go figure , huh ? ) ."

And as I noted, merely because I ceased being a Catholic doesn't mean that in the midst of religious arguments (which demand religious or biblical knowledge) I renounce the educational background that provides me the resources and armamentarium to rebut his horse manure. If I did that, allowed him to sucker me into foregoing all that I learned in textual analysis, exegesis at Catholic university, I'd be in the position of someone who willingly tossed away a Bowie knife in a knife fight. I'd also be a blinking, bare idiot for pre-emptively disarming myself. But see, this is what he'd like me to do, because then the simpleton wouldn't have to contend with serious theological arguments - and he could simply push his inane screeds any which way he wants.

When he beholds me invoking the basis of textual analysis in arguments, what he's really miffed at is my showing or demonstrating how certain high standards apply equally to theological arguments as they do to physics-astronomy arguments. The fact he can't meet those high standards, since his pathetic online bible college doesn't provide that quality of education, causes him to descend to degenerate baseless arguments, like asserting I "can't make up my mind", or "embrace Catholicism, or Buddhism " or some other baloney. If this is the best one has, the non-argument or the pseudo-identity contradiction assignation, then one has no genuine argument, far less theological substance. He has something more in line and attuned with cartoonish, or clownish joke sets that are more apt in a comic standoff - like "Last Comic Standing".

He's also an idiot when he says I now also "embrace Gnosticism" merely because I cited Elaine Pagels book, The Gnostic Gospels. Had this moron actually READ the book, he'd have seen the parts to which I alluded (concerning Paul, and his rejection of Yeshua's Mosaic law and the Rabbinic tradition) were not in the main part of the book (to do with Gnosticism) at all!. The first part was the Introduction of some 35 pages which gives the historical background to the Nag Hammadi scrolls and their relation to the New Testament. The next chapter, 'The Controversy over Christ's Resurrection' also has nothing to do with Gnosticism as any central issue, but rather the agenda of Paul to deliberately wrest the context of Yeshua from the Jews and make it a Gentile-salvation program based on a fictitious God-man myth.

Had his own online bible college actually educated him properly and with greater rigor, he'd have realized that he can't just go making wild assumptions based on a few words in a blog, but would actually have to secure the source and check it out! In other words, GO to a library, and get the book and see where and in which contexts my statements were being made. THEN he'd have easily seen the sections of the book (as noted above) have nothing to do with Gnosticism proper. Indeed, any halfway educated (or intelligent) person would know enough to do this. But clearly, he doesn't even meet that standard. In fact, he doesn't even the meet the standard of recognizing the difference between invoking and using textual analysis for the bible, meaning parsing the idioms and METAPHORS used, and taking them literally. For this reason, he's also confused in his head by my unapologetic use of textual analysis when he thinks I've dismissed the bible as "fairy stories". (I don't! I only dismiss the literal adoption of self-evident metaphor (without textual filtering) as fairy stories! Thus, the literal take on Jonah living in a whale IS a fairy tale, as is Adam and Eve! The Jonah whale tale is just that, and copied from the more ancient Greek Heracleid in which Hercules was swallowed by a whale. The real meaning of "Adam and Eve" is the birth of genetic consciousness in embodied matter, nothing more. But again, his education is too inadequate to meet the necessary standard to know any better).

He ends with more claptrap:

"For a few years he had been taught anti-Christ theology , BY anti-Christ profs' , via an anti-Christ "bible." Now , mix all that up along with Satan hacking away at his brain cells for the past 25-plus years, and he now believes he's the greatest theologian that ever walked the face of the earth . Brothers and Sisters , it wouldn't surprise me if we looked up the words "lost souls" in the dictionary and saw his pathetic little face ."

Again, we behold here the level at which his pathetic bible college teaches its inmates....errr. students. Rather than training them in the Socratic method or using actual debate tools to show them how to disprove textual analysis as taught by the Jesuits, they have to resort to just junking them all as purveyors of "anti-Christ theology". But in fact, it is HE and his ilk who actually pander to the anti-Christ theology since they foment hate, intolerance and discord against all other faiths and their believers.(To the extent they condemn all the practitioners in these other faiths to "Hell" merely because they follow a different path. )

In addition, rather than forging compelling and coherent arguments, we see the repeated pathetic invocation of the "Satan" macguffin - something one would more expect from a derelict child. "Satan is hacking away at brain cells", well, one could as well tell an inquisitive person that the "boogieman" is influencing his brain cells. In any true educational venue, it ought to be self-evident that this crap doesn't pass muster and isn't worthy of being substituted for argument. But in his limited educational domain, it obviously qualifies- else he'd not resort to it as often as he well as his imbecilic 'heh, heh, heh's' - last invoked at the DEPICTION I rendered of what a lizardlike biped MIGHT look like if the Chicxulub asteroid hadn't impacted, though the idiot took it as a direct literal representation! One can only hope his classmates at Southern Bible College aren't so lame, else I fear when they're unleashed on an unsuspecting nation the mean IQ will plummet by 30 points..

If at some juncture he's able to actually forge and craft substantial arguments to refute textual analysis - then we may take him more seriously. He may then be someone worthy to engage on a more or less equal intellectual level. As opposed to being merely another time-wasting jackass clone (clown?) churned out by the production line of some jackass, two bit online outfit that can't even teach its denizens the difference between atheism and Buddhism, or Catholicism. Oh, and we also await the results of his taking that 10-question evolution test I put up, to see if he really has "studied evolution" and isn't just blowing smoke. My bet is the latter!

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