Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Postcards From the Edge

I see Uncle Dave has been perusing the combox.

He writes:

Nana, Nana, Boo Boo!

Note how I wrote above:

"What the anti-Catholics don't comprehend is that they do not represent all Protestants in my mind. To the contrary, I think they are an extreme fringe element. Protestants who aren't anti-Catholic do not approach me at all like these guys do (and vice versa)."
Lo and behold I am a prophet today, as anti-Catholic Peter Pike idiotically stated at Triablogue:

I see Armstrong is continuing his defining of "anti-Catholic" as "whoever disagrees with Dave Armstrong."

Welcome to the club, Saint & Sinner, from your fellow "anti-Catholic"

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/ 2...776049876026031

Either these guys must be brain dead or they are so incredibly hostile that their minds literally cannot comprehend things that they disagree with. How could one misunderstand such a simple and patently obvious thing? It's a marvel to observe . . .
1. Notice that interlaced in his own article are accusations railing against James White for things like engaging in a "mudfest" and "personal insult," yet Dave feels free to call Pete "brain dead."

2. Here are some reasons, perhaps, that folks "don't get it."

a. Apropos 1, it's hard to "get it," Dave, when you commit the very sorts of actions of which you accuse your readers.

b. Add to that your rambling and mostly incoherent prose style.

c. Also, we're also pondering exactly what the connection is to what Saint and Sinner is posting in his exegesis and James White's alleged behavior.

Turretinfan, was quite right to point out that your entire post is constituted as follows (I'll break it down for you_:

[T]he bulk of Mr. Armstrong's post is in comparisons to other Reformed posters (first paragraph),

self-discussion and general criticism of Armstrong's critics (second paragraph),

complaints about Dr. White and supposed unkind treatment of Mr. Armstrong (third paragraph),

a one-paragraph summary of S&S post (fourth paragraph),

a one paragraph summary of the title criticism (fifth paragraph),

and an ad-hominem - suggesting that S&S is saying so because S&S is a "presuppositionalist" Calvinist and because he has read Dr. White's writings (sixth and seventh paragraphs).

After all that, a block quote summarizing S&S's list of the 9 fallacies identified in DA's writing so far is followed by a sarcastic-sounding best-wishes-hope-it-don't-blow-up-in-your-face paragraph.

After that, the remainder of the post is four paragraphs of criticizing Dr. White's rebuttal of DA's position with a lengthy block quote with color coded comments interspersed, and two paragraphs of conclusion in which DA points out that DA will ignore S&S if S&S refuses to accept DA's correction (no really: "I will tire of it if he doesn't accept correction" - with the shocking kicker "as in White's case" - as if DA had given any credible indication of being "tired" of interaction with Dr. White) and then paints S&S in colors aimed to make S&S's writings unpalatable to Dave's readers (such as Jonathan Prejean).
d. Further, one is hard pressed to find the logical connection between "anti-Catholicism" and something like young earth creationism - except as a substitute for any sort of reasoned argumentation and/or (e) below.

e. What we do get is that your entire post is nothing more than an exercise in well-poisoning.

Moving on...

What's difficult about talking with White is the same thing that makes talking to a lot of apologists difficult. Some apologists (especially James White and Steve Hays) have a staggering inability to empathize with their opponents. By that I mean that the attitude is never "Reasonable people differ over these matters, and I can see why someone wouldn't agree with my position." It's always "If you don't agree, you must be insane." And when White says that, he's not lying. He really thinks that if you disagree with him it can only be because of poor moral character, because no clearly thinking rational person would ever see things any other way than the way he sees them.

This is from Jon Curry, recently banned from Triablogue.

1. Of course, this raises yet another observation, one Steve has made before regarding Prejean. Catholicism, or at least certain versions of it, seem convertible with atheism. At the very least, I find it mildly entertaining that, when the cards are laid on the table, the atheist will run to the Catholic for "empathy." As they say, "Birds of a feather..."

2. I don't recall Jon saying to the folks here, "Reasonable people differ over these matters, and I can see why someone wouldn't agree with my position." Rather, he would go on and on about how unreasonable our position was on a regular basis, parroting the likes of Robert Price ad infinitum. Of course, he would also ignore a great deal of what was stated. One need only check the archives.

3. I don't recall Steve calling Jon "insane." We believe atheism is irrational however, and I would say that Scripture depicts sin itself as a form of "insanity," broadly speaking. Of course, I'm from the South, and, as somebody once said, in the South, we don't hide our crazy relatives, we ask who they are, so maybe I just don't notice it as much.

4. Has White ever called Svendsen, Shisko, etc. "insane?" Surely, this is Jon waxing hyperbolic. Surely, he would not mislead anybody.

5. And as far as not wanting to make anything into a prolonged personal dispute, one could list several threads here in which Mr. Curry persisted in doing just that. Again, one need only check the archives.

6. And isn't one of the stock objections of the Protestant rule of faith the allegedly diversity for which it allows? Of course, there are folks who view all who disagree as heretics, but as I recall, the persons named in this objection distinguish between levels and degrees of error. Of course, claiming to be a Christian does not obviate the use of harsh language when the occasion calls for it; and apostates like Curry are singled out in Scripture with harsh words indeed. Again, we've been over this many times. Check the archives.