Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Feeling the heat

Dave Armstrong said...

“I freely grant that he has written a lot of other stuff about Catholicism. But all of his work in this regard suffers from the same fallacies and methodological flaws that I noted in the Introduction to my four-part series.”

i) Since there’s no evidence that Dave has even read Jason’s “other stuff,” he’d be in no position to venture that assessment. But why doesn’t he tell us what other stuff he’s read by Jason–on which he presumes to make that assessment?

ii) Likewise, it’s hardly impressive to claim that Jason’s “other stuff” suffers from “the same fallacies and methological flaws,” absent any effort on Dave’s part to actually document and substantiate that allegation.

“It is best shown to be deficient when someone grapples with it line-by-line, in order to demonstrate how he tries to reason. But Jason's usual method in responding to me is to pick-and-choose and be highly selective as to what he will respond to, whereas everyone can see that when I responded to him, it was line-by-line, without ignoring anything.”

The fact that Dave merely said something about everything Jason wrote in one post hardly indicates that what Dave said was actually responsive. Indeed, as I said to Jason last Saturday:

For the time being I've now said what I intend to say in response to Armstrong. I'm of two minds about saying more. Much of the time he makes no serious effort to interact with your arguments. He will simply quote a sentence or two, then make a dismissive comment which is unresponsive to the substance of your claim.

He also acts as though your post was an evaluation of Cardinal Newman's theory of development, then faults you for allegedly misrepresenting Newman or failing to take into account something Newman said here or there. But, of course, that was never your framework. You were largely responding to an article by Lane, not Newman's essay on the theory of development.

As the series continues, Armstrong's replies, which weren't high-quality to begin with, further degenerate. He resorts to extensive padding. Long block quotes from other writers. Dismissive one-liners.

He clearly got tired. Ran out of steam. So it's just filler. Creating the misimpression that he offered a comprehensive rebuttal to your post when most of what he says consists of copy/paste filler and dodgy replies.

“Therefore, nothing is ever truly accomplished, in terms of dialogue, because both parties have to be willing to interact with the other's stuff comprehensively, not in a scattershot fashion.”

But by Dave’s own admission, he’s ignoring all of Jason’s supporting material. Therefore, Dave is also picking-and-choosing what “isolated tidbits” he wants to reply to–in “scattershot fashion.”

“So I'll wait to see if he will try to actually interact with my reasoning considered as a whole, rather than from isolated tidbits. I don't have unlimited time.”

As if Jason has unlimited time.

“Moreover, note that in this present response, if I actually wanted to pursue it, it opens up into almost all major areas of Catholic theology, so that it strays almost completely from the topic at hand. I don't play those games. One can't do everything at once. I can't simultaneously answer four people all answering me at once, and every paper that Jason has written about Catholicism. “

Looks like the poor little darling is feeling the heat. Maybe he should buy a tube of sun block so that his tender epidermis doesn’t turn bright red.

“It is Jason Engwer's paper that I critiqued. It is his responsibility to defend his own ideas.”

I take it that Dave will ban all sympathetic commenters at his blog, and retroactively delete their supportive remarks. After all, it’s his responsibility to defend his own ideas. As such, it would be irresponsible of him to allow any Catholic commenters to offer statements in his defense. By the same token, I also assume that he will delete all of the supportive comments he ever left at other Catholic blogs.

“I hope Jason is not relying on Ken Temple, TAO, and Steve Hays to do a comprehensive reply, because I will respond to him alone. When all this is done, I'll go back to my normative policy of ignoring anti-Catholics.”

His normative policy is to have no normative policy.

1 comment:

  1. "....One can't do everything at once. I can't simultaneously answer four people all answering me at once, and every paper that Jason has written about Catholicism.".

    Huh? Was this an oral debate with five people and four of you anti-Catholic rascals were speaking all at the same time to the one?

    Shame on you!

    Didn't your mothers teach you any manners?