Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hector Avalos: Fundy, Angry, Militant Atheism Gone Wild

Hector Avalos is mad that an "utter amateur" like myself argued him down over the issue of relativism vs. realism. To someone with a degree from Haaaavad, that's a rough pill to swallow. I think they promise you that if you graduate from Haaavaad, you will never lose an argument to an "utter amateur," and so Hector is fuming. Here's my arguments against him. and here:

Notice, despite the bloviating, there's not been any substantive response to the arguments I presented him. So his claim that I "couldn't beat him in an argument, so I had to go call the experts [to say essentially what I had already said, mind you]" is false. Hector is resorting to lies and deception.

Now, Hector is trying to pretend that I misrepresented his arguments and that is the only way some of the world's top ethicists could dismiss it. Okay, let him put his money where his mouth is. Why doesn't he get the same ethics profs I emailed to offer their take on his argument for relativism and, after getting their permission of course!, post their comments on his blog. Seems to be an easy way to settle matters.

In any case, I have no idea why Hector gives people such a bad impression of professional academics. He's imputing dishonesty to them all by claiming that they would rebuke his poor argument in private but prais it in public. It's unethical to call people hypocrites with no evidence.

Hector's latest response is an exercise in more digging of his own grave. He should have let sleeping dogs lie. Now he's brought to everyone's attention again the fact that not only was he bested by an amateur, some of the world's most knowledgeable ethicists scoffed at his argument. Those are the factors that Hector, alleged intellectual that he is, should be most concerned with. He needs to worry about his poor argument and his contribution to false ideas. Isn't that what he got his colleague, Guillermo Gonzalez, denied tenure for? Hector's the I.D. theorist of the world of ethicists.

His latest post is self-incriminating and also deceptive:

HECTOR: "What he did wrong was to ask for their comments under false pretenses. He intended to post their comments all along, but he did not tell them that he was going to do that."

I appreciate the massive credit he gives me to know the field well enough to know, in advance, that the philosopher's would all find Hector's argument laughable---the realists and the relativists, the atheists and the Christians, all of them I knew, in advance, would pan Hector's argument. What explains my predictive abilities in a field I am not an expert in? How could I know the non-cognitivists, the relativists, and the atheistic ethical naturalists would all scoff at Hector's argument? How could he not know that, since he apparently thought his argument worthy of public consumption? Would he have made his argument if he knew in advance what some of the world's best ethicists would say about it? No. So apparently this is a tacit admission to my knowledge of the field over against his.

HECTOR: So, by August 6, Manata was probably frustrated by the fact that he could not find a way out of the circular nature of his ethics, and so he ran to these philosophers for help. They actually did not help him. Some told him to stop doing what he was doing.

Apart from the speculation, this is another lie. No one "told me to stop." All of the philosophers laughed at Hector's "circular nature argument for relativism." So Hector has now taken to lying to defend a post where he lied about me lying.

HECTOR: "He claims he did nothing wrong. The fact that the philosophers he contacted asked him to remove their comments itself is evidence that they did not think what he did was right."

This is false; or at least misleading, and so deceptive (!) on Hector's end. Only two contacted me, though Hector no doubt contacted more than two. Furthermore, one of the two, did not even ask me to remove the post, I did that on my own accord. Only one person asked me to remove his quote, and he said that I had "failed to protect [his] identity." I assume he wouldn't have cared if the post didn't tie him to it. So what of the other 7 or so other philosophers? Why didn't they contact me? Perhaps they didn't care, and what they said in private they would say in public? Perhaps they didn't think anything unethical was done? How does Hector account for the majority of philosopher's he contacted me not even bothering to say a word about it? Moreover, one of the philosophers who I had some extended discussion with afterward thought Hector Avalos was unethical because of his dismissing my arguments by saying, with a English accent no doubt, "You, sir, are not an expert, but a complete and utter amateur, and thus your writings are rubbish." In the interest of full disclosure, for Hector's sake, that quote was not really from Hector, that was a satirical paraphrase.


  1. "Now he's brought to everyone's attention again the fact that not only was he bested by an amateur, some of the world's most knowledgeable ethicists scoffed at his argument. Those are the factors that Hector, alleged intellectual that he is, should be most concerned with."

    So? An amateur Christian beat a professional atheist. What's the big deal?

  2. Awww, I bet he wishes you'd quit hectoring him.