Friday, December 02, 2005

Drilling a dry hole


Here's one of the funniest quotes I have found in a long time: very appropriate today:

"For a guy who prides himself on being such a satirist, Armstrong’s reservoir of humor runs dry as soon as he is the one being spoofed. There was even the veiled threat of legal action."

(Steve Hays: "Me, myself, and I," 7-4-05)
( and-i.html)

Not one rational argument yet from all my critics. It's all personal attack.

Do you have any rational response Scott: that actually interacts with what I wrote? C'mon, be the first critic on this topic to do something besides ad hominem nonsense. I know you have it in you . . .


Dave Armstrong is trying his level-best to get oil out of a dry hole. He is also trying to rewrite history.

Just to recap:

1.In my reply, entitled “Jesuitry” (, I began by referring Dave to a distinction I had drawn before the email hoax—one which he himself cited.

2.On the basis of that distinction, I then generated a sixfold taxonomy of hoaxes:

i) Someone impersonates a real person in a self-evidently satirical hoax.

ii) Someone invents a fictitious satirical character in order to lampoon the theology or ideology represented by the fictitious character. People may or may not be taken in by the hoax, but the blogger did not impersonate a real person, so there is no libel or defamation of character.

iii) Someone impersonates a real person with no intent to deceive, but his impersonation has that unwitting effect.

iv) Someone impersonates a real person with the intent to deceive, defame, or defraud.

v) Someone satirizes an individual or ideology in which his caricature has a factual basis.

vi) Someone satirizes an individual or ideology in which his caricature has no basis in fact.

3.I then applied that to the case at hand. The email hoax appeared to be a type-4 hoax, although it was actually a type-3 hoax. There is a morally profound difference between the two.

Frank was responding to what he initially though was a type-4 hoax when it was really a type-3 hoax. He threatened legal action on the basis of a type-4. As soon as discovered that that this was an innocent type-3 hoax, he relented.

4.As to the hoaxing of Armstrong, this falls under type-1 and/or type-5.


  1. Hi Steve,

    It is true that you used reason in your response (I was actualy going to point this out and note that you were the exception to the rule, but I got onto other things last night).

    Your reply was sophistical, fallacious (circular), obscurantist; it only tangentially and partially dealt with any of my reasoning in a point-counterpoint fashion, was accompanied by the usual snide condescension, and missed the point (all rather typical traits of your trashings of my writing).

    But at least it was an attempt at some semblance of a reasoned response. I'll grant you that. And that places you head and shoulders above all your anti-Catholic cronies that I'm aware of, who have responded thus far.

    I was - just for the record - referring mainly to the respondents at Frank's blog, in that remark.

    Your reasoning is clearly circular in that you simply assume that the alleged characteristics of my personality and person which the fake blogger tried to set forth are true. No one has ever presented any argument or reasoning that can hold any water, as to whether I am in fact (as you assume) these things (extremely narcissistic, a "moron" - as in the blog title - or hateful towards theological opponents.

    If anyone ever actually tried to do so, such "reasoning" could easily be overcome, or else the same "logic" would also damn with at least equal force several anti-Catholics, including yourself.

    But hey, if you wish to argue that it is self-evident to all and sundry that I am a narcissistic, hateful moron, then what could possibly be said by anyone to disabuse you of those notions? That's as far removed from detached reasonableness as I can imagine.

    Since no one of your crowd has uttered the slightest against the fake blog yet, then one can justifiably assume that they see nothing wrong with it at all.

    In any event, I will not waste my time trying to prove that I am not these things. That would be ridiculous, and grant the charge a dignity that it doesn't deserve at all. I don't think it needs to be refuted, of course, because I believe that it is immediately ridiculous, and is its own refutation.

    I merely point out the fact of how unreasonable it is. It's not based on reason at all, but upon personal feelings of hostility that have developed, not primarily due to real traits in my personality, psyche or whatever, but due to how past thelogical encounters have turned out, and/or the disgust over my refusal to argue theology any longer with those who hold to positions which I consider absurd and beneath contempt.

    I fully understand why this would upset someone. Who wants to have someone think that they hold a position which amounts to intellectual suicide and an immediately self-defeating nature? That's perfectly understandable. We all think (or should, if we don't) that what we believe is true.

    But at least in my opinion and decision to not debate certain folks about certain things (after having engaged in over 350 debates with many types of belief-systems) I stick to the ideas (anti-Catholicism).

    Not so my opponents. We've seen what they call me. They (excepting you in the sense I described above, but then you also accept the notions of the fake blogger) don't even make a pretense of dealing with any arguments. They assume that I am these things. No one ever proves it. Nor can they.

    So I decided to chronicle the Frank Turk fiasco because it perfectly illustratess the lack of reason, the irrational hostility, and the blatant hypocrisy and double standards involved.

    There is obviously no reasonable discussion to be had with you if it has anything to do with Catholicism. As you know full well, I have already sworn off debating anti-Catholics any longer on theology. I've kept to that for eleven months now.

    I was willing to discuss with you some months back, whether or not my refusal to do so necessarily suggested inability and unwillingness due to that supposed inability (or in short, intellectual cowardice).

    You simply concluded that I was exercising sophistry, and so we couldn't even have that conversation. You were unwilling to begin it. I have no reason to believe that any other would be possible with you, either, so we just lecture past each other. It's stupid and asinine, and there is little point to it if no dialogue is possible between two grown, intelligent men, fully able to defend themselves.

    But I have at least spoken my piece. Go and do your hatchet job on this. You think I am a sophist; I think the exact same of you. I can say that because I have observed how you have argued for many months now. So it's best for all concerned that we just leave each other be.

    I'll end on a positive note by thanking you for at least allowing me to freely comment here. That's more than I can say for James White and Eric Svendsen (who banned me; i.e., in the days when Eric still allowed comments at their site, and when I tried to reason with the folks in White's chat room), Frank Turk (who made a big dramatic grandstanding show of vote-taking on whether I should be banned), and Phil Johnson (who deleted my recent comment). Good for you.

  2. Question: why do you fellows even bother with this Dave Armstrong? Is he actually influential? Does anyone really listen to him? Isn't he just another meaningless Internet peepster? -- known only to a tiny few, heeded by almost no one, and impossible to reason with. I read his nonsense over at A Better Country last year, and all it was, was "sophistical, fallacious (circular), obscurantist, tangential, and snide. Why not completely ignore him?