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Feb 06 2009

You weren’t wondering, but…

Where has Rhology been trolling since we showed him the door? Well, he’s currently being tiresome over at poor Abbie Smith’s blog. The usual obfuscation, idiotic premises (“The consistent naturalist can’t prove that he is not a brain in a vat.”), goalpost shifting, hand-waving and tautologies (“Or perhaps you could prove that evidence is the best way to discover truth. I’d like some evidence for that claim.” …etc) presented as if they were bold challenges, followed by smarminess. His pattern is the same there as it was here: present a load of hopelessly inane questions and risible assertions, and when people point out how inane and risible they are, slip into smirking condescension that they’re — ha ha! — avoiding answering you.

Poor ERV. Sure, her commenters are making mincemeat of the guy. But only a few of them have twigged that he’s an intellectual poseur who isn’t interested in answers, facts, or even genuine discussion, only in getting a rise out of atheists. And once he’s done so, he does his little victory lap. Anyway, go have a look if you need a reminder of why the boy isn’t welcome here any more.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    Johnboy

    I first thought you guys were too harsh by kicking Rho out of this blog. But after reading the link you posted i can see that it is all about wordplays for him”James, can you observe, test, or otherwise analyse the scientific method by the scientific method?”He really thinks reality is a worldview. Proving something does prove nothing since prove itself is a worldview.Of course that only counts when the evidence is not in favor of his religion. If science would ever discover anything that would favor his religion or show evolution or other religions to be wrong.I bet he would be the first to say “see look at this new scientific discovery!!!” and use it as evidence for his religion

  2. 2
    Johnboy

    holy shit i just read his Evolution challenge postI’d like evidence that evolution from one type of organism to another is occurring TODAY with the following qualifications:1) A laboratory injects intelligence into the equation. No lab.2) Experiments observed on a REPEATED basis, as good science should be.3) No intelligent (ie, human) manipulation of the events.4) With ALL normal environmental factors present. No control group, no outside interference from intelligent agents (ie, humans).5) With ALL normal other factors present, such as predators, weather, fluctuations in prey, water, and other nourishment.6) And a good way of judging when the line of organism has become a different type (just for utility’s sake, but I’d call this slightly less interesting or necessary than the other 5).Just, wow

  3. 3
    Rhology

    Johnboy seems to think that I’m kicked out of this blog. Is that true? I truly didn’t see that announcement.If you’ve banned me, I will respect your decision and won’t post anymore, but that honestly is news to me. Please let me know either way, a quick note will suffice.

  4. 4
    NAL

    Yeah but …Rho’s posts are met with a variety of substantive rebuttals that help us all in our debates with theists. If other commenters don’t want to engage him, fine. But I’ve learned a lot from reading other’s rebuttals. It’s fun to watch him get his clocked cleaned.

  5. 5
    Reynold

    Oh wonderful. If you haven’t gotten enough of this guy on this blog, guess what? He’s a guest blogger on the Atheism is Dead blog.

  6. 6
    Tommykey

    Rhology writes “Johnboy seems to think that I’m kicked out of this blog. Is that true?“Gee, where could Johnboy have gotten that idea? Well, maybe because the post titled “You weren’t wondering, but…” contains the following:Exhibit A: “Where has Rhology been trolling since we showed him the door?“Exhibit B: “Anyway, go have a look if you need a reminder of why the boy isn’t welcome here any more.“(Text bolded for emphasis)The respondent rests.

  7. 7
    Kazim

    I let this one comment of Rhology’s through, just so I could highlight this point.Rhology, you’ve been banned for weeks. I’ve commented multiple times on this banning and the reasons why, on the very same posts where you’ve tried to leave additional comments.The fact that you STILL aren’t aware of this after so long conclusively demonstrates your status as a hit-and-run poster. You appear from time to time to write snark, but you don’t even stick around and read the responses. That’s why people wind up being immensely frustrated with the need to keep going over points they have already responded to.Thank you for illustrating exactly why you have been banned.

  8. 8
    Tommykey

    You appear from time to time to write snark, but you don’t even stick around and read the responses.In fairness to Rhology, I wouldn’t characterize him as a drive-by commenter. For good or ill, he does tend to stick around and respond.

  9. 9
    FrodoSaves

    Sounds an awful lot like Sye TenB over at his site.If you haven’t been there before, well, I’m sorry I had to do this to you.

  10. 10
    Johnboy

    I tried to argue with him on the atheism is dead blog. Kazim and Cypher, you were right. There is no arguing with him. What a waste of time.

  11. 11
    cipher

    It’s as we said the other day – this is why they like debate. Like the stage performances of their preachers, it’s mainly theatrics; it has noting to do with truth. Oh, they like to talk a good game about TRUTH (in somber, dramatic tones, of course, because your immortal soul is on the line), but the reality is that they don’t give a frak about it – they just want to win. If they can convince themselves they’ve won, it means they’re right, and they get to go to heaven when they die, and they and God and Baby Jesus can spend eternity watching you being roasted alive and laughing their cosmic asses off.This is why I won’t bother with them – not merely because most of them can’t be changed, but because they’re beneath contempt. Fundamentalists really are the worst people in the world.

  12. 12
    Kazim

    Tommy, it’s not that Rhology doesn’t stick around — obviously he does. It’s that every post he makes, makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t listen.An honest and competent debater can argue both sides successfully. He can restate his opponent’s own position in such a way that the opponent will say “Yes, I agree that this is what I think.” I don’t expect everybody to be capable of doing this, but it’s generally something to strive towards.Rhology not only is incapable of doing this, but he takes an aggressive pride in misunderstanding what his opponents think. The point where this became too obnoxious for me to stomach was this post, in which the conversation went roughly like this:Kazim: This weekend we’re talking about “Left Behind: The Kids.”Rhology: Sarcasm about how this does not threaten him.Kazim: We don’t do every episode to threaten you.Rhology: Clearly you do, because your show is all about being against Christians, and I am a Christian.Kazim: That’s not what the show is about.Rhology: Yes it is too.Kazim: Ban stickTo me, this is the behavior of a guy who is not the least bit serious about having a discussion. He wants to rack up conversation points according to rules he has invented in his own mind. I received a private email accusing me of being a coward, so I expect that he has already spun this into some kind of personal victory. That’s fine, dude. You have your own blog. There, see? I even linked it for you. Heap scorn on me. Knock yourself out. Have fun.

  13. 13
    Tommykey

    He wants to rack up conversation points according to rules he has invented in his own mind. I received a private email accusing me of being a coward, so I expect that he has already spun this into some kind of personal victory.Oh, that I agree with you on, and I believe I even wrote that he was probably going to do a post on his blog spinning it that TAE was afraid of him. Like I said, a legend in his own mind.

  14. 14
    FrodoSaves

    Kazim,I don’t know about this specific guy, but I think a common motivation for similar theist antics is the ability to wave the persecution flag. It fits in nicely with the Christian tradition if a believer can play the victim.What a load of balls.

  15. 15
    cipher

    a common motivation for similar theist antics is the ability to wave the persecution flag. It fits in nicely with the Christian tradition if a believer can play the victim.Oh, yeah! They love martyrdom; they court it actively. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” It gets them brownie points in heaven.(I quoted from the KJV, because, as everyone knows, that’s the English that Jesus spoke.)

  16. 16
    Amnistar

    Aw I missed him, and his altime favorite quote: “Try to stay on topic!”

  17. 17
    tracieh

    >To me, this is the behavior of a guy who is not the least bit serious about having a discussion.To me this is the difference between preaching and dialogue. I recently was engaging someone on the TV list who repeatedly failed to grasp my criticisms of his arguments. He merely kept repeating the same arguments more adamantly.He wasn't rude or insulting–just _not_ addressing my criticisms. I restated them a few times in different ways–trying to communicate them, but I never got anything back that demonstrated that this person understood my points. This means that either I am not able to communicate my concerns clearly enough for this person to understand them (in which case a dialogue is not possible), or he's not reading or caring what I write (in which case a dialogue is not possible.After restating a concern a few times and trying to make it 'more clear'–I have to lean toward the idea that this person doesn't care what I say–they aren't listening. And in that case, what is the point of me being engaged with them?Some people feel that if you note they aren't hearing you that what you are actually saying is that they aren't agreeing with you; but that is not what I'm describing. I can hear you, restate your stance to make sure I understand your position (and if you confirm it, then we're good), and still disagree. What I'm describing–and what it seems to me Kazim is describing is a situation where there is no sign my position is even understood. That cannot result in a dialogue.I think often–based on my own theistic past (what I did, and what I witnessed others do routinely)–theists (esp. of the fundamentalist variety) are truly incapable of wrapping their brains around someone else's perspective. In addition to learning what to believe, they are also taught what other people believe (usually incorrectly). So, when an atheist begins to dialogue with this type of theists, they often have a ways to go before they can actually convince the theist that the theist really _doesn't_ know what the atheist thinks regarding everything. Sometimes, the atheist can never be successful in this, because the theist believes the atheist is deluded and "wordly" and that _this_ is the real problem.This leads to a conversation where the theist spends all his energy trying to convince the atheist that the atheist doesn't really know what he (the atheist) believes and why. There can be no response to that. If you think what I'm saying isn't truly representative of my views–then what good is it for me to express anything? The theist has already decided what I say doesn't matter, since it's not honest. If nothing I say about myself and my thoughts is going to be believed, and I'm merely going to be told what I think and what I believe–how long can I reasonably be expected to engage in that conversation?If a person's goal is to preach at me–and they aren't going to listen to me–what is my motive to spend time in the dialogue if it's not public and nobody is going to gain by reading it? If it's just between me and the theist, that conversation will be cut very short.And in a public dialogue (such as this blog), if a person continues down this road, there really is no benefit once they've stated their view and a response has been issued. If they don't address the response in their replies, and only restate their views again and again, nothing is gained.

  18. 18
    cipher

    I think often–based on my own theistic past (what I did, and what I witnessed others do routinely)–theists (esp. of the fundamentalist variety) are truly incapable of wrapping their brains around someone else’s perspective. In addition to learning what to believe, they are also taught what other people believe (usually incorrectly).This is the seat of the problem. They really are incapable of grasping the concept of differing conceptual frameworks. There’s some evidence now that it’s neurological. Note that they invariably tell us, “You know, in your heart, that God exists; you just don’t want to be held accountable!” This latter bit is, of course, projection.Add to that the paralytic fear that they may actually hear something that threatens the foundation of the belief system. So, yes – I’ve found that dialogue is impossible. I won’t even attempt it any longer.

  19. 19
    Andrew T.

    Rhology’s “Evolution Challenge” post is just.. mind-boggling. How exactly is someone to do “good science” (criterion 2) without a control group (criterion 4)???

  20. 20
    MI Dawn

    Rho left a challenge on Abbie’s blog to the readers. We answered him, but he hasn’t come back yet, except with a brief statement that he would reply when he has time. It’s been 2 days…where did Rho go?

  21. 21
    Amnistar

    Well, I went and poked the hornets nest but I think I got him stumped to. Or rather, he has to admit that I’m right, which is about the same thing for Rho.

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