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“If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

We have lately gotten a number of emails from viewers bringing Rich Allen’s YouTube bullshit to our attention, and who haven’t gotten the memo that Jen essentially exposed the guy for the pathological liar he is more than a week ago. They seem to think we need to address Allen’s falsehoods as a matter of some desperate urgency. These viewers need to realize that this is exactly what Allen wants you to think: that he is important and that his ravings have some bearing on our own character and credibility.

There are two kinds of people in the world: honest and dishonest. And among each, but especially among the dishonest, there are multiple levels of severity, from the inconsequential dishonesty that comes from mere ignorance, to the truly malevolent levels of douchebaggery that come from a sense of self-importance inflated out of all proportion to any actual achievement or substance to back it up. Because Rich Allen belongs to the latter group, it is senseless to engage him or any of his little pals beyond the level we already have.

There are plenty of sincere Christian apologists out there genuinely interested in having a two-way conversation, in which actual ideas are exchanged, for us to waste our time with the kinds of people who (as happened earlier tonight with one of Allen’s doucheposse) send us emails simply repeating Allen’s little content-free shifting-the-burden fallacy (which Matt thoroughly disposed of today) and, regardless of whatever answer they receive, respond with such delightful bon mots as (as our correspondent called Jen) “you stupid fucking cunt.” Guys like this are just bad people, and there was never even the hint of a desire on their part for an honest exchange of ideas. Their pattern is infantile in its simplicity: taunt the atheist to get him riled up, then declare victory no matter what is actually said by whom. Like their idols in the lunatic fringe media (Glenn Beck seems to be the template here), the principle in play is “Just say anything!” The bigger the lie, the better, because you can guarantee the target you wish to smear will get angrier, and all you have to do is get them angry.

So, you know, fuck these guys. Seriously. Don’t keep emailing us about them, because you’re giving them the credibility and attention they crave.

There’s a scene in the classic movie Casablanca that sums up the situation beautifully. Peter Lorre plays a small-time hood who is desperate for the attention and admiration of Rick, Bogart’s character. Bogart has his number and basically dismisses him as the wannabe poser he is. At one point Lorre, with wide, expectant canine eyes, says to Bogie, “You despise me, don’t you?” And Bogie, without even looking up from his work, calmly replies, “If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

So there you have guys like Rich Allen, our little Peter Lorre*, forever seeking the attention of the atheist community despite a total absence of any real cred to shore up his bluster. He almost surely does deserve to be as despised as he wants to be, because bad people are despicable by nature. But really, should we give him any thought? What has he brought to the table to earn it? Beyond his oft-repeated lies, I mean? Nothing? Well, sorry, but nothing earns you nothing here. So let’s hear no more of Rich, then, okay?


* Naturally, I am speaking of Lorre’s Casablanca character here. Lorre himself is someone I’d have loved to have known!

Comments

  1. says

    I laughed the first time I saw that video where he supposedly called the show. I knew it was bogus right away, because not only is it a completely stupid question that was asked, but the voices on the other end sound nothing like anyone who has ever been a co-host on the show. I guess that the people truly worried about this supposed stumping of you guys are not really fans of the show, because they would have figured this out already otherwise.

  2. ribidons says

    Fighting off YouTube morons is an absolute pain, and that goes double for a group whose primary connection to their audience is not via YouTube clips. I think the key for the audience lurkers out there is to point out that these whiners are making noise in the wrong forum, and to tell them that if they want attention, call the show — the number's up there every single week, just as it has been for years. Have them get their fans to join the stream whenever they're going to call, so there can no doubt about post-showing editing or misrepresentation. The true believers can't readily be helped, but the idly misinformed might just take a hint.

  3. says

    Bang on target Martin. He used to follow me around on my YouTube channel and comments, a year or so ago, always striving for attention. The Casablanca comparison is perfect for this sad man.

  4. says

    on one hand, of course, all he wants is to gain some kind of credibility by lying as much as possible. and no matter how much he is exposed, a small number of his group will always take his side no matter what. but on the other hand, anyone who has been on YouTube( and dont try to trivialize it like iv herd u do in the past, it IS a significant source of information, in fact, one of the most significant of the modern age)knows what a "PCS" is, and they, as i have observed, have more potential than any atheist group or scene leader i have seen. for example, i think YT user vemonfangx has done more for atheism then any YT user. "PCS"s are important examples for many people. i do not think that the fact that he wants attention is enough reason not to give it to him. u said the same thing about the BANANA MAN! he Is the BANANA MAN! let him be the banana man! you should be making billboards FOR HIM. again, the fact that his goal is to gain attention is not reason to try and not let him have it. like you guys say, the truth has nothing to fear, especially annoying, lying, YT pricks.

  5. Martin says

    CVS: Actually I don't mean to trivialize the importance of YouTube as a social phenomenon or source of information. Its popularity makes it really impossible to dismiss. The problem is, of course, it's a spectacular source of utter bullshit information, that allows little YouTube cliques and cults of personality to develop around specific users and their fan bases. So yes, it's important, but I think it should be viewed warily. People are far more likely to get bad information from it than good.

  6. says

    "it's a spectacular source of utter bullshit information, that allows little YouTube cliques and cults of personality to develop around specific users and their fan bases."Yes, and, welcome to reality, lol. given the fact that YT does attract very specific demographics, it may not be a perfect analog of the real world, but it does come close. anyway, YT aside, i think the position i would take on people like him and ray comfort is, let banana men be banana men and if they want attention, just dont stop them from getting it. not that you have done that, he hasnt even called the show yet. it just seems like that is the general direction the AE goes with people that even theists cant stand. i dont see any reason not to make him internet famous. surly the educational, and entertainment value is enough reason to do so.

  7. says

    It is sort of the same thing as Richard Dawkins refusing to debate creationists, isn't it? Whether you win or lose you're just giving the creationist free publicity and reflected respectability. That goes double for YouTube nobodies who are looking to score more attention for themselves at any opportunity. That goes triple for a YT nobody who has formulated a nonsensical "question" and then claims victory when people can't "answer" it. Hey, I should do that! "Hey smart apologists? What proof and evidence can you provide that Christianity is tasty and nutritious?" I should start harassing William Lane Craig and Ray Comfort with that one…

  8. says

    Now, of course, I'm going to have to rewatch Casablanca. Peter Lorre is one of the many reasons I love that movie.

  9. says

    Well said… As I've stated on a few post on Matt's Facebook page this guy is simply background noise and not worth the effort.

  10. says

    Hmmm. I don't know I would have to say I am kind of split on the matter. I can totally understand the point about not giving some poser attention that they so desperately crave and the Casablanca example was great. But.. on the other hand there is the thinking that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil over good is for good people to do nothing". The notion that if you are silent and don't challenge people like that then they will just run roughshod over your rights. The loudest voices tend to rally the masses for good or ill. But then if everyone took the advice to ignore them then their voices maybe wouldn't be that loud so… I don't know.As for his 'arguments', theists always have the distinct advantage in that since they are dealing with supernatural fiction they can just make shit up. They are only bound by the limits of their imagination while atheists are limited by the facts of observed reality.

  11. says

    I have seen shockofgod popping up in the comments sections of youtube with his oh so witty non-question and every time I see it it makes me laugh.You can almost imagine him being literally patted on the back by his zealous christian chums everytime he writes it (little realising how uttelry stupid it sounds). As for the video he made where he called the show (ahem), what a crock of shite! Blatantly not TAA he phoned. Isn't there some prohibition in the bible about being a lying twat? Maybe not….

  12. says

    Great post, Martin.It's funny–toward the beginning of Casablanca Rick's apathy toward Ugarte (the Lorre character) is as much due to Ugarte's disreputableness as Rick's own personality: He's apathetic toward everyone and every cause–"I stick my neck out for nobody" he says.But this guy Allen has earned our contempt. His actions are dishonest and dishonorable. I mean, calling Jen the C-word? That's beneath contempt. How is that ever called for?

  13. says

    Shockofgod is more devious and dishonest than Ken Ham and Kent Hovind put together.Well, on second thought maybe not, those two have a huge capacity for lying..

  14. OnceProudKnight says

    This is perfect. Shockster got me to watch a couple of his videos and every time I responded he blocked my comments and gave me some major bullshit. I asked my friend if I should make a video rebuttal, and he gave me the same sentiment Martin expressed here. He's not worth it, because thinking people on both sides can call the bullshit immediately. I think WLC would give this guy the finger.

  15. says

    Well said, I tried getting this guy to call in for at least a week before I found out that you guys have actually heard of this clown and during that wasted time all I got were veiled threats, accusations that I am gay (as that matters to me), and more accusations that I was gay.I think I can put this issue well behind me now. I'm not used to running into genuinely bad people, I guess I found the experience [pun]shocking[/pun].

  16. says

    @Andy – that actually wasn't Rich. It was one of his deluded fanboys. The whole exchange was quite comical – in a pathetic sort of way.People like this reveal their character in many ways, usually without any provocation from others. I'm sure the last thing this guy expected was to get a substantive response 13 minutes after he sent his email. He knew he was out of his league, so he hurled an insult and ran away. He did leave his breadcrumbs all over the internet, though. I was able to find a complaint that he filed against a moving company a while back that contained a racist remark and a whine about "profanity and verbal abuse." Talk about revealing your character.In any case, I think we have ample information to form an opinion about the kind of person Rich Allen is, and the kind of people who associate with him.

  17. says

    I'm afraid I have to admit I have not actually seen Casablanca, but I dug the analogy. Just reading the line "If I gave you any thought, I probably would" made me feel the pain that character surely would have felt. I mean, really. Ouch! Complete and utter disregard for someone expressed so succinctly…

  18. says

    Jeremiah: But.. on the other hand there is the thinking that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil over good is for good people to do nothing". The notion that if you are silent and don't challenge people like that then they will just run roughshod over your rights. The loudest voices tend to rally the masses for good or ill.You're setting up a bit of a false dichotomy there. It's not a choice between "publicly debate/respond to these people" and "be completely silent." You can respond to apologetics without citing specific apologists–that's the Iron Chariots model, after all. It's almost certainly better to do it that way, since you're addressing arguments that lots of people use, and since doing so allows you to avoid even the mistaken perception of committing ad hominem-type fallacies. There are certainly times to respond to specific apologists, and situations where even debates are warranted (especially when they have little prestige or fame to gain from the debate–like when savvy students debate Creationists), and I think calling out ShockofGod for dishonesty or ridiculing Ray Comfort's idiocy are those kinds of times. But we can loudly debunk idiotic arguments without giving credence or time to the idiots themselves. And that's doing something.

  19. says

    I answered his dumb question with the following. (Of course he won't post it and he still claims no atheist can answer his question.) I'm an atheist and I have evidence that atheism is accurate and correct. The proof is that I personally disbelieve in the existence of gods. This proves that atheism is accurate and correct because by definition atheism is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.Now you can no longer claim that an atheist has never answered your question. And if you do otherwise then that's proof and evidence that you are a liar. Thanks for the question sir, it was extremely easy to answer.

  20. Admin says

    As rational atheists, we enjoy laughing at the more ridiculous religious personalities (ie. Ray Comfort). We ridicule them as fools, pass their videos to our friends for a laugh, etc.The problem is that religious people, actually think that if atheists are laughing at these people, then they must have some 'cred'. As we know from Poe's Law, nothing is too ridiculous for these people to take seriously, so clowns like Ray Comfort have developed a bit of a following because of our quest for humour.Unfortunately for us atheists, the only way out of this situation might be for us to simply ignore the more ridiculous of apologists. But what fun would that be?

  21. says

    @JenThanks for clearing that up. Well, I'm sure he instantly condemned his fanboy's sexist slur, right? (Right?)I think you're right. All the available evidence suggests this is someone who is of questionable character. His YouTube videos are, well, disturbing. The obsessiveness, the strange arguments, the "creep factor"–it's all very odd.

  22. says

    @Tom FossJust to clarify, I wasn't really intending it to be an either/or type of response. Obviously it is a kind of a judgment call as to when to be confrontational.And I still don't know. To follow your example, I love Iron Chariots, but while it might address Shocks arguments, does it address his influence? Most of the people watching on Youtube won't scour the internet for a resource like iron chariots to hear the other side. Because that is kind of what I was getting at, is that regardless of right or wrong if certain ideas go unchallenged and gain influence then they can negatively impact peoples lives. The rise of Martin Luther's anti-semitism for example. I totally understand where you are coming from, but my point was mostly that it isn't always easy (at least in my opinion) to be able to tell when is the right time to confront someone and when some other means of dealing with the situation might be better. That and that it isn't always enough to challenge an ideas correctness, but it's influence as well.

  23. says

    Friggin typos. I meant to say, "As if it matters to me." When I was talking about Shock accusing me of being gay.When he didn't get a rise out of me he just stopped replying.He also accused me of being Matt Dillahunty.

  24. says

    I apologize for flooding this post with comments. I think we can put an end to this hilarious catastrophe of an apologist by name dropping him in the announcements and inviting him to call in personally.I would love to see this clown flop about as Matt, Tracie, Jen or Jeff throw down the hurt on him when he can't fall back to ignoring the conversation when he realizes it can't go his way or that trying to aggravate by throwing out meaningless homophobic accusations or claim that atheism is madness.He's scared of you folks. You as a community should be proud. You have apologists who won't call in to ask a question, compared to callers calling in to threaten to punch you in the head for Jesus not three years ago.Also, thanks for reminding me I have an empty Blogger account. I had no idea until I started to comment in this thread.In summary, Shock is a scared little man who doesn't exist in the same world as most of us. He doesn't understand the terms "proof" and "evidence" but he throws them around because somebody made him look stupid with them in a conversation if I am allowed to speculate. He's a tired bigoted homophobe who is confused by the direction the world is taking.He's a bad person. I'm not used to bad people.I think name dropping him in the announcements with an invitation to call in would totally throw him off. He's already invited himself onto your show to appear live after a two-week deadline if you can answer his senseless question. How an ego like that can develop without anything to back it up baffles me, but I think it is sprung from a lack of self-confidence.Again, sorry to flood with comments. I mostly wanted to correct an error that made it seem like I said I would care that Shock called me gay when that could hardly be farther from the truth. Then I got started on calling him an asshole and well, time flies. Last comment I'll make — promise.Keep up the awesome work, folks. ; )

  25. says

    Jeremiah: I didn't figure you really meant an either/or thing, but I just wanted to clarify the spectrum of possibilities. I get your point, and obviously the fact that Iron Chariots exists isn't necessarily a counter to ShockofGod specifically. I think PZ Myers's position on debates, however, is the better idea: instead of engaging directly in a debate, set up in the same place with the same audience and give a separate presentation that addresses the claims. A decent example might be Thunderf00t's Why People Laugh at Creationists series. It occasionally becomes a clear one-to-one response, but more often it just uses clips of YouTube creationists as a springboard into explaining why their argument is wrong, and then moving on to real education about the science involved. The distinction might be a little hair-splitting, but I think it's a valid one. There's a difference between having a dialogue with someone, and quoting them. But it really comes down to a case-by-case, person-by-person thing.

  26. says

    You accuse Shock's question of being "content-free shifting-the-burden fallacy." However, it is the modern atheists who have been shifting the burden onto the Christian by trying to redefine atheism as just a "lack of belief in God." No, atheists, atheism is the affirmation there is no God, look it up in philosophy dictionaries; thus Shock's question asking for evidence that atheism is accurate and correct is perfectly valid.

  27. Martin says

    Oh look. A Shocky fanboy."Theism": belief in a god. Prefix "a-" = without.There is a form of atheism that can present itself as an affirmation that no gods exist. This is called strong atheism. But for most atheists, atheism is simply the rejection of theistic claims. Rejecting a claim does not automatically equate to the positive affirmation of an oppositional claim.In philosophy, the burden of proof rests upon the one making a positive claim. Theists assert a god exists (positive), atheists reject the claim (negative). Thus theists bear the burden of proof. Always.Thanks for playing. Next.

  28. Martin says

    (Though it bears mentioning that you could have simply scrolled down two posts and read Matt's detailed answer to Rich's question. There's an even shorter, trivially easy answer: In light of the failure of any theist in history to provide conclusive and irrefutable evidence for a god's existence, non-belief in gods is the correct position.)

  29. says

    @ BathTub. Shock's new video has quotes from the comments on the first AE blog post about him from AE hosts such as Jen, Tracie, and Martin where he either inserts new phrases into the quote that makes them seem far more hostile than they were originally or either mislabels them.He put's Matt D's name on a comment he had nothing to do with.This Shock dude truly blows my mind. I'd say terrible things about them, but apparently he'll make them up on his own when he reads this comment. :D

  30. says

    @ Bath Tub I'm downloading a mirror right now but I don't know whether the annotations including Shock's version of the quotes will be included. PM me on YT if you want what I downloaded in the case that Shock pulls this vid (as I highly suspect he will.)

  31. says

    "You accuse Shock's question of being "content-free shifting-the-burden fallacy." However, it is the modern atheists who have been shifting the burden onto the Christian by trying to redefine atheism as just a "lack of belief in God." No, atheists, atheism is the affirmation there is no God, look it up in philosophy dictionaries; thus Shock's question asking for evidence that atheism is accurate and correct is perfectly valid. "Yeah but Christians believe in the absurdity that the universe was made by a giant cosmic piglet named Perciple who made everything by rutting through mashed mangos. And that all left handed people need to have a small dog stapled to their elbow. AND that minorities are an abomination and should be painted purple. Justify why that stance is right!I mean, if we're clearly going to let the other side define what we believe.

  32. says

    "This Shock dude truly blows my mind. I'd say terrible things about them, but apparently he'll make them up on his own when he reads this comment. :D"Christians, explain why your stance that "It is ok to lie and slander people because I have a small penis" is accurate!

  33. says

    I am looking into a matter for a youtuber who thinks posts here can be edited and that editing them doesn't update the timestamp. You know investigating the matter. I think it would be odd if it doesn't update the timestamp, but even if it doesn't that doesn't prove they were edited. This post will be edited in about 10 minutes from my current time which is 10:35 AM 8/5/2010.I guess that won't matter too much because I could just edit that… rambling. Anyway please don't be annoyed.

  34. says

    You guys are right, and I have stumbled slightly. How about "What proof and evidence can you provide that Christianity is both thermodynamically efficient and aerodynamic?"

  35. says

    I am looking into a matter for a youtuber who thinks posts here can be edited and that editing them doesn't update the timestamp. You know investigating the matter. I think it would be odd if it doesn't update the timestamp, but even if it doesn't that doesn't prove they were edited. This post will be edited in about 10 minutes from my current time which is 10:35 AM 8/5/2010.I guess that won't matter too much because I could just edit that… rambling. Anyway please don't be annoyed. "I don';t think you can edit your comments

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