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Feb 19 2014

Today in Christian Persecution

Yesterday, Hemant wrote about a student group that came up with a brilliant way to advertise themselves while getting others to think about the flaws of Christian apologetics. They studied up on an apologist who was coming to their school and turned all the bad arguments and logical fallacies into a bingo card, which they then handed out to people entering the talk. It made it easier to focus on the bad arguments instead of their good delivery, and the back of the card provided information on the student group itself. As I said: brilliant.

So I tweeted the article. Then this happened. (The Storify is here if the embed doesn’t work for you.)

My position is that “combat” is a standard word for what is done in situations like these, regardless of the source of bad arguments and information. Raven Madd’s position, as near as I can tell, is that the contextualized general should be made to stand in for the universal. I wonder where that goes on a bad-argument bingo card?

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Randomfactor

    That whole “Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war?” Now THAT is just a metaphor.

  2. 2
    Sercee

    The Bingo card IS brilliant! It’s up front, clearly showing people the gimmicks and getting them to think about what they’re hearing. It shows that the group who distributed them (and others like it) have put thought into their positions rather than knee-jerking to a speaker they don’t agree with.

    Raven Madd… not so much.

  3. 3
    Aaron Logan

    Raven Mad read Hemant’s article. Did Raven Mad chastise him on his use of the word “combat”?

  4. 4
    Emu Sam

    Poetic language has a long and honored history. It compresses complex ideas into a few words and makes the whole more easily remembered. Many weasel words – that is, words with multiple meanings – are excellent examples of poetic language. Puns and other plays on words (which I think need rescuing from their bad rep) can have an unfortunate tendency to pack too much information in, some of it unintended. Saying that a group of protesters are combating the speaker is parallel to but less extreme than “militant atheist.”

    A science paper should keep the poetic language low. Complaining about using “combat” as a synonym to “oppose” in a blog post about a protest is taking it too far.

  5. 5
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Raven Madd:

    I didn’t realize we engaged in “combat” with religious people

    Then you haven’t been paying attention.
    Alternately, you don’t understand the context the word is being used in.

  6. 6
    Jon

    How about interpreting the complain as being to centered on the need to engage? The original tweet does presume that engagement is necessary.

    It is not necessary to verbally beat the crap out of every person who pontificates about things that are ridiculous.

    Incidentally, I think it would have been hilarious if ppl in the audience shouted out ‘Bingo!’ when they covered a line on the card. :)

  7. 7
    freemage

    Demanding reading comprehension is apparently persecution, now.

  8. 8
    hoary puccoon

    Raven Madd switched words. Combat (noun) as in war is not the same word as to combat (verb) as in to counter. They aren’t even pronounced the same way. You could just as easily throw a fit about someone “combatting” dry skin with cold cream. It doesn’t mean they went to war with their own epidermis.

    Raven Madd’s objection is a perfect example of just how disingenuous religious apologists have become.

  9. 9
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I, personally, have done hand-to-hand combat with malnutrition and would much appreciate you not using the word in such a cavalier fashion. /snarky

  10. 10
    Matt G

    My dictionary app has “oppose vigorously” as a definition of the verb combat. Personally, I think the best way to fight Christians is by using lions.

  11. 11
    left0ver1under

    Mudd: “Words have meaning.”

    Apparently he doesn’t know the meaning of that one. He probably thinks combat is only a noun with stress on the first syllable.

  12. 12
    brianpansky

    That’s a broad brush you are using. I don’t think l all religious people spread misinformation. You would combat MLK speeches?

    i always find it odd that some people think an atheist won’t view religious information as incorrect. of course, maybe not all religious people spread misinformation, but the ones that do are the ones that are giving talks that are related to the subject, which was kind of implied.

    (that’s another odd fantasy these people have, whether they be anti-atheist or fatheist. that someone who happens to be a christian could be lecturing on an unrelated topic, and suddenly the atheists will come and cause their religion to be a contention for no reason)

    now, as for mlk, i have indeed seen some mistaken quotes from him. for instance:

    “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    which incorrectly gives religion a role for stuff that is much better done with reasoning and philosophy.

  13. 13
    Jon

    ‘i always find it odd that some people think an atheist won’t view religious information as incorrect. ‘

    Perhaps you meant ‘misinformation’; but, it’s not so odd a thing really. Because some ‘religious’ information *is* correct. It is too much a simplification to separate out all correct information out as being not-religious and all religious information as being incorrect. Things would be much easier if we could, but ome things are common. By example, cell phones are used by crooks and non-crooks. There are no good and bad cell phones.

    ‘… reasoning and philosophy.’

    Same goes for these. They can be poorly employed by anyone. Broad brushes are broad :) We all do it.

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