Sunday, September 09, 2007

Loftus and Stewart on God of the Gaps

John W. Loftus writes:
Christian philosopher W. Christopher Stewart objects to the “god of the gaps” epistemology because, as he says, “natural laws are not independent of God. For the Christian theist, God upholds nature in existence, sustaining it in a providential way.” From his perspective this is true. But his rationale is a bit strange. He says, “To do so is to make religious belief an easy target as the gaps in scientific understanding narrow with each scientific discovery,” in “Religion and Science,” Reason for the Hope Within, ed. Michael Murray (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub., Co., 1999), p. 321-322. Now why should he be concerned with this unless science truly is leaving less and less room for the supernatural? He’s admitting the evidence does not favor his faith. He’s trying to explain away the evidence. If he still lived in a pre-scientific era before science could explain so much he’d be arguing this is evidence that God exists!

Do gaps in scientific understanding narrow with every discovery? Or do scientific discoveries sometimes render gaps larger and at least apparently less bridgeable? My two favorite examples are the way in which science undermined confidence in determinism through quantum mechanics and undermined confidence in a beginningless universe through Big Bang cosmology. These developments, it seems to me, opened gaps rather than closed them. Naturalism has found ways of living without determinism and a beginningless universe, but before these scientific developments took place naturalists thought that they were essential to their naturalistic world-view.

There may well be something right about the anti-God-of-the-gaps rhetoric. But it's a mistake to give in to it every time it is brought up. Often these arguments are given a free pass, even by Christians.

Of course Stewart may think that there are reasons for accepting theism that do not involve gaps. The Thomistic cosmological and ontological arguments don't appeal to gaps at all, so far as I can tell.


mattghg said...

There are surely both legitimate and illegitimate uses of the "God of the gaps" complaint, as there's a real difference between saying, "There is currently no naturalistic explanation for x, therefore God did it" and saying, "x is intractably resistant to naturalistic analysis, therefore maybe we should start looking for non-naturalistic explanations". Too often, the complaint is simply a kind of naturalistic presuppositionalism, of the type
1. For some unstated reason, everyone ought to start by assuming naturalism is true.
2. If you nevertheless find insurmountable difficulties in naturalism, just hang in there and believe it anyway. "Science is working" on you problems.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...


Loftus, in my view, fancies the air of credibility, but seems generally more interested in gnawing at the juicy bones of poor theology and ill-conceived Christian philosophy than engaging with robust presentations. It is not surprising that he takes issue here with Stewart, rather than evaluating the more pertinent issues of precisely what limits of explanatory power physicalism has and, if these are acceptable, whether theistic explanations ought fairly to be given the same sorts of acceptance. From my brief experience with him, he seems to simply take physicalism for granted, and is ignorant (whether willfully or not) of the sorts of critiques that you or I make.

I don't personally see any value in trying to engage these sorts of jejune atheists. Perhaps it is prideful of me, but I think there is even potentially some harm in doing so; since it implicitly acknowledges that they have something of value to say, when in fact they do not. We need to recognize that they are completely uninterested in an honest examination of the flaws in their position; they seek engagements only for what is essentially political gain: to get their message out and stroke their egos. And, particularly in the case of people like Loftus, apologetic efforts seem particularly futile, since he is professedly "ex-Christian", and thus almost certainly unable to be restored to repentence (Heb 6:4-7).

Again, this may seem prideful; it is not meant to be. It is simply the result of some experience futilely attempting to engage such people, and coming to the conclusion that it does more harm than good in most cases. They only ever seem to preach to their choirs in any case; no one else takes them seriously.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Jason Pratt said...

{{And, particularly in the case of people like Loftus, apologetic efforts seem particularly futile, since he is professedly "ex-Christian", and thus almost certainly unable to be restored to repentence (Heb 6:4-7).}}

C. S. Lewis, to whom this site is more-or-less dedicated, might take some disagreement with that. {g} Most sceptics today are professedly ex-Christian; consequently most conversions from scepticism today are re-conversions. (Which is precisely why the usual sceptical zing in return is 'well he never really gave up being a Christian in the first place'.)

The next generation (already beginning to arrive on the scene) will feature a substantially larger percentage of sceptics who were born (instead of born-again {g}) sceptics. Those people will be looking to their forebears, and those are the people we're engaging in debate _now_. So even if the case is supposed to be hopeless for apostates (though I believe it isn't--not least on the testimony of the same Epistle to the Hebrews, btw {g}), that doesn't mean there is no value in debating ex-Christians.

That being said, I agree that what you said about J'oftus is usually true. _That_ being said, I think he was doing a little better in that particular thread than usual (though he was also verging toward mere irrelevant posturing.) His record of behavior on Victor's site is better than anywhere else I've seen, and I believe Victor is doing right to encourage him (here at least, and so far) to try to have a reasonable discourse. Nor has Victor always failed at this with him in the past. I say Go Vic. {g} (Also 'better you than me'... {self-critical g!})


John W. Loftus said...

If people would stop personally attacking me and deal with my arguments, like Victor does, then that's all you need to have a reasonable discussion with me. I don't deal well with those kind of arrogant Christians who think I am attacking them personally when I make an argument against their faith [Please, please, make that simple distinction, okay?]. That's what get us all into trouble, me included.

Tennant, I tend to stay away from calling people (like me) who have Ph.D's or their equivalent ignorant about something unless there is some evidence for it. Listen, I fight hard the temptation to call Victor, or Paul Copan, or Norman Geisler or William Lane Craig ignorant. Somedays I cannot resist that thought. But I don't express it, because I know something you don't. I know that our differences are more about how we "see" things, and that's it. About this you may not understand what I mean, but I mean this. We "see" things differently. We operate from different assumptions, biases and control beliefs. In my book the largest part of it is in defending my skeptical control beliefs, because this is where the rubber hits the road.

John W. Loftus said...

Vic said...Do gaps in scientific understanding narrow with every discovery? Or do scientific discoveries sometimes render gaps larger and at least apparently less bridgeable?

Good question Vic. One of the hallmarks of science is that theories considered fruitful are better than those that lead to dead ends. Of course, that’s why science qua science doesn’t comment on whether or not there is a creator, although some like Victor Stenger and Dawkins do just that. According to Philip Kitcher “A good theory should be productive; it should raise new questions and presume that those questions can be answered without giving up its problem-solving strategies" [Kitcher, Abusing Science (p. 48)].

A new discovery should open new questions if it’s to be fruitful. But let’s take a good look at what these scientific discoveries are doing, and which gaps they are closing. No, they don’t all equally close theological gaps, but they are cumulatively closing more and more theological gaps.

Vic said...My two favorite examples are the way in which science undermined confidence in determinism through quantum mechanics...

Thus helping to close the Calvinistic theological gap! My former professor, Dr. James D. Strauss, made a good argument defending this in Grace Unlimited, ed., by Clark Pinnock.

But even if determinism is impossible that doesn't make libertarian free will the only alternative. Jacques Monad talks in Chance and Necessity about actions being random, rather than being libertarian free or completely determined.

Vic said …and undermined confidence in a beginningless universe through Big Bang cosmology.

Of course, theists were the ones to object to the Big Band when it was first proposed, you know. Now that they are embracing it Victor Stenger (in God: The Failed Hypothesis, and in The Comprehensible Cosmos) is showing how that observations confirming the big bang do not rule out the possibility of a prior universe. He further calculates that if space were infinite there is a 60% chance something should arise out of it since nothing is infinitely unstable. Out of this we have the mathematical probability of many universes scenerio. And in an era when a mutiverse is considered probably there is less need for a God to explain it.

Sorry if this sounds ignorant to anyone. I can only do my best. Of course, you could read what I've read on this, if you'd like.

Jason Pratt said...

{{I don't deal well with those kind of arrogant Christians who think I am attacking them personally when I make an argument against their faith}}

True; and very understandable.

Then again, you also don't deal well with those Christians (arrogant or otherwise) who give you philosophical compliments while dealing with your arguments, and who in fact base dealing with your arguments _on_ giving you philosophical compliments. Somehow the wires get crossed and you think this comes out to personally attacking you. (Grammatically important "not"s get ignored in simple seven word titles, that kind of thing. {s})

That being said, I agree that a judgment of ignorance (per se) from only brief experience with you, is dangerously thin; and from my own experience with you, I wouldn't say any problems you have stem from ignorance (for whatever that may be worth.) Also, whatever else might be said of you, you don't only preach to your own choirs.

(Though you might mislead your own choirs about the authorship of a new web journal you just discovered...)


John W. Loftus said...

Jason, will you please deal with my arguments rather than repeatedly bringing up the same kinds of things every time you comment on what I write? It's getting old. This too is the kind of shit I don't deal very well with, and you have just provided an example of the kind of thing that riles me to no end, probably to get a rise out of me. That's very Christian of you, isn't it?...something Dr. Reppert had repeatedly spoken out against and one of the main reasons why I visit his blog everyday. You're mudslinging, and that's an ad hominem. I told you I didn't read your 14 page post very closely. I didn't because I hadn't seen anything substantive from you before then. BTW I still have not read it. That must bother you. Again, if you want to comment on my arguments, do so. Otherwise take your mudslinging elsewhere.

John W. Loftus said...

For more evidence than anyone needs to see that I treat people respectfully just visit my blog to see how I treat Christians, or read my policy. I am not, I repeat, I am not to be considered as one of the "New Atheists" who blasts Christians with offensive diatribes. Vic has commented how Christians treat skeptics and he's appalled by it, as am I. I object to my side doing this as much as Vic does with his own side. Unfortunately my personality flaw is that I think I deserve to be treated with respect (imagine that?), and when I am not, I lash out. But even a cute cuddly dog can be provoked to take a bite out of you.

Victor Reppert said...

I wish people would stay out of ad hominem discussions of whether someone deserves an answer. I usually look at what people say rather than who they are to determine whether I should say something in response.

Yes, of course, quantum chance can be brute chance, and maybe an absolute beginning hasn't been proved. (Or, we can live without a cause for the beginning since there was no prior time, etc. etc. etc.) But from the point of view of what naturalistically-minded scientists prior to these developments expected to find, science has gone a little south on them. Therefore, a confident prediction that, say, the logical gap between the mental and the physical will be bridged by future science, just wait and see, seems to me to not be supported by the evidence.

It seems just false to say that the trajectory of science is inexorably in the direction of closing gaps. Darwin expected the then-gappy fossil record to be filled up with transitional forms. For the most part, that hasn't happened. Now is that the end of evolution? Of course not. But it does mean that we didn't quite get the gap closures we were expecting. Predicting the future course of science is tricky business , and rather than there being a nice monolithic track record that says we're going to get all the naturalistic explanations we think we are going to get, the record is rather spotty and pulls both ways.

John W. Loftus said...

Vic, thank you.

Surely you will agree that it's irrelevant what naturalists specifically expect to find in the future. What they expected to find about the universe or what Darwin expected to find with regard to fossils is irrelevant in the sense that science is a progressive enterprise.

But they do expect naturalism to be confirmed with newer discoveries, as has happened in the past.

You can still argue that it's no surprise that methodological naturalism confirms naturalism, since that's all anyone can expect as a result. And I can still claim there will always be gaps in our understanding which may never be closed.

Jason Pratt said...


I did deal with your arguments in that post I referenced; and I dealt with them specifically and very explicitly _in respect_ of you.

As anyone can read who goes on to the comments, and as I said explicitly at the time, I do _not_ fault you for not reading a 14 page post. (In fact I made fun of myself for writing one.) I fault you for not reading a single simple ‘not’ in the middle of a title, and then going on to ad hom me in your replies because you thought I was saying something totally opposite to what I was actually saying. And you flatly refused, then or later (or now), to listen to anyone (myself or others) explaining that I was doing the precise reverse of insulting you in that post.

I don’t expect you to read the actual post now or later (although a post dealing with the particular arguments you had been raising at the time, constructed on the concept that I ought to respect you, would seem at least novel in approach.) But it would be nice if you mea culpa’d the mistake you made in regard to the title. Had you ever done that once, where I could see it, you would never hear about it from me again.

As usual, though, even when I continue to explicitly spell out what my problem is, you still refuse to address it; when a simple ‘Sorry, I thought you had written “John Loftus _is_ Socratic Cole slaw” and by my own admission multiple times later that ticced me off too much to pay real attention to anything you did after that, including when you and other people tried to tell me differently about what you had actually written’ would solve the problem immediately. Instead, you seem to imagine (completely against what I have always actually written, by the way) that my problem is that you didn’t read a 14-page post that I myself joked was too long.

Similarly, if you did in fact somewhere admit you were wrong to mislead your own readers about the authorship of that blog (instead of trying to justify your deception of them on the ground of ‘consequentialist ethics’), then all I need to hear is that you have admitted you shouldn’t have treated your own readers that way. Or if Victor or someone else I trust (like Exap) will affirm you did admit to mistreating your own readers and that you shouldn’t have done it, then that’ll suffice for me, too.

Until then, I think people do deserve to be reminded of what you have done. And until then, I am going to have greatly reduced interest in ‘dealing with your arguments’, because first I _did_ deal with your arguments, specifically in _respect_ of you, and you ad hom’d me off the face of the earth when I did so, for zero good reason at all; and second because you have shown that you have no qualms about actively deceiving your own readers in order to try to make a point.

I’m not doing it “to get a rise out of you”. I do it because when you say things like...

{{I am not, I repeat, I am not to be considered as one of the "New Atheists" who blasts Christians with offensive diatribes.}}

...then I have to wonder how actively misleading your own readers about the authorship of a journal expressly and solely designed to diatribe against a particular Christian, fits into this exactly. (Maybe that’s explained in one of your links? It would have been helpful had you specifically said so, if so.)

{{Vic has commented how Christians treat skeptics and he's appalled by it, as am I.}}

I routinely go out of my way to grant sceptics credence as sceptics (including you in that 14-page post, not-incidentally; the whole thing is designed from that standpoint, which you seem to have never realized). In fact, every semester or so Victor redates some threads featuring disputation between you and Steve Lovell on his paper about DNT/DCT; and guess who I affirmed had proper criticisms there? (Hint: it was Steven Carr and someone else.) Come to think of it, my initial entry in _this_ thread involved tweaking Dominic about considering you a hopeless case not worthy of time or discussion.

Consequently, if I have complaints about you, they aren’t ‘mudslinging’. Someone who was only interested in mudslinging, wouldn’t have gone (and still go) out of his way to give you credence as an opponent.


John W. Loftus said...

Fault away Jason. Throw the first stone. Look at the splinter in other people's eye all you want to. Make moutains out of molehills, and continue repeating them all you want to. It's that kind of behavior that makes me glad I left the Christian faith in the dust. Thanks for yet another reminder.

I remember a Barthian Scholar talking about Origen who castrated himself for religious purity who said, "it's not what I do that bothers me so much. It's what I think about. My mind is a cesspool of filth." Apparently you are different, pure, holier than others. Congratulations!

Sorry, I thought you had written “John Loftus _is_ Socratic Cole slaw.” There, do you feel better now? Sheesh. You are so juvenile.

Are you actually going to interact with the arguments in this particular discussion, or not? That's what I am referring to.

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, why in hell do you really care whether I misled my readers one time? You think I mislead my readers every single time I argue against Christianity anyway.

And even though I did, big deal. Deal with your own (hidden) sins. Or, you can reveal them and confess like I did on my Blog. That's the difference between you and I. I can admit my faults. They are expressed on several pages in my book. Inside the Christian community there is this huge pressure not to admit faults, and you know it. Plus, many Christians never let others forget they did wrong.

BTW, if what you point out is my biggest fault, then I am truly thankful. I have so many faults and problems that you have no idea. I am a flawed human being, okay? How about you? As a former counselor in the churches I served I know the hidden faults of many Christians, and I suspect you are no different than them.

Still, let's say I am the worse person on earth. What does that have to do with any particular argument I might make? I made an argument with premises and a conclusion about the problem of evil. Whether or not I am the sterotypical immoral atheist you might think I must be, it is irrelevant to my argument itself.


Grow up.

Jason Pratt said...


If you never bother to admit you were wrong to ad hom me off the face of the earth in regard to the title of that paper, then by tautology you haven’t admitted to me yet that you were wrong to do so. You can preach to me about how the difference between us is that you admit your mistakes; but clearly you weren’t admitting to _that_ mistake, so your preachiness rings rather hollow there.

The fact of the matter is that I wrote a paper where my arguments were entirely based on _respecting_ you personally, including in the title declaration; and you somehow switched that in your mind into a personal attack against you (instead of a personal _affirmation_ in your favor); which you then viciously ad hom’d me about, including (ironically) declaring that I ought to go take a basic English composition class. After which you staunchly refused to listen to anyone (in that thread or a subsequent one) trying to tell you that I wasn’t doing what you blamed me for doing, even when the evidence for the correction was blatantly there on the page.

Now, in my book that _isn’t_ facing up to a mistake and trying to make things right with me. It’s the absolute reverse.

Consequently, when you reply to a lukewarm defense (but still a _defense_) from me, of your behavior here on Victor’s site, by talking about how you only go off the rails when people who feel personally threatened by you (because they’re unable to make a simple distinction of intention that anyone with sense ought to be able to make) decide to provoke you by ad homming you first--then yeah I see a glaring disparity there from my own recent experience. Until you bother to resolve that matter between us, it’s still unresolved.

And you’ve made it as clear as you possibly can that you resent having to resolve it; and indeed that _I_ am to be wildly cariacatured for daring to suggest that I’m still owed an apology for _your_ unjustified misbehavior against _me_. Thus you type the apology (and as little of that as you can, ignoring all the other issues involved), but demonize me from here to breakfast while doing so.

Which in turn bites pretty hard on your insistence that you are not (repeat, not) to be identified with the New Atheists who diatribe against Christians. Which in turn reminds me again that you actively misled your own readers only a few months ago, so that you could diatribe against a Christian.

Now, last I had heard and seen (as mentioned twice already), you weren’t admitting you had wrongly mistreated your own readers by doing that. You were trying to defend your right to mislead your readers in order to diatribe against that Christian (without them realizing you were the one doing the diatribing). I got disgusted with that attempted defense, so no I haven’t paid any further attention to your site since then.

I think it’s odd that neither you nor Victor (nor anyone else) immediately brought me up to date on that; and I think it’s telling that you had to continue demonizing me (including with contentions demonstrably false in comparison to evidence of my own comments on this very thread) before you would bother to mention (or at least imply) that you _had_ in fact admitted already that you had mistreated your own readers by doing what you did. (Indeed, the not-a-New-Atheist comment was written _after_ I had mentioned this in passing, weirdly enough...)

If however you’re telling me now that you have already admitted that you wrongly mistreated your own readers by deceiving them about the authorship of that anti-Christian-diatribe website, then now that I’ve heard it I’m willing to stop mentioning it. Though if you blithely announce against those unreasonable dunderheaded Christians who can’t even make a simple distinction, that you are not (repeat not) to be identified as one of those New Atheists who diatribe against Christians, you may hear me mentioning it again--which as it happens, I did.

Admittedly, I’m less likely to mention that again even in _that_ kind of case, as time goes by and you show that you don’t in fact maliciously diatribe against Christians anymore. Though so long as you insist on doing things like stating completely imagined falsehoods (contrary to evident facts in this own thread and elsewhere) about me, such as “You think I mislead my readers every single time I argue against Christianity anyway”, then I’m likely to think you _are_ still to be identified with the New Atheists who substitute diatribe against Christians for discussion when challenged.

(If you think you’re getting that from the 14-page paper, then I remind you that you didn’t read it closely. Even then, the worst you could misunderstand me to be saying is that you’re incompetent every single time you argue against Christianity. That’s different from saying you actively mislead your readers every single time you argue against Christianity; and neither position was what I was actually arguing in that paper anyway.)

{{Are you actually going to interact with the arguments in this particular discussion, or not?}}

Considering what happened the last time I tried interacting with your actual arguments in a particular discussion (which is what _this_ particular digression is about), I can’t say I’m very inclined to do so, since frankly I see no evidence that you won’t just do ‘that’ again the moment it looks convenient to do so. Certainly you’ve wasted no time viciously ad homming me again when I brought up what you did _last_ time.

But--I was serious when I defended you and your participation in my first comment in this thread (which defense you have conveniently ignored so that you can ad hom me again for complaining about you wrongly ad homming me several months ago, after I had gone to a lot of trouble to write a reply totally predicated on treating you with personal respect, including as a sceptical thinker.) I don’t retract that defense, or my observation that you behave better here (on average) than many other places.

So, I’ll see what I can work up later. Maybe.

Incidentally, I’m a Christian universalist (as most people here will recall, though apparently you don’t), so I happen to believe more in forgiveness and even fair excusing than most Christians do. Which is why I bend over backward (to the annoyance of some of my brethren) in fairly excusing sceptics as much as I can. But forgiveness can’t be enacted without repentence; and while you might be truly repentent about misleading your own readers in order to diatribe against a Christian, you clearly are _not_ repentent about wongly ad homming me several months ago after I went to much more effort to be respectful to you than any other Christian on that site was willing to do (by their own admission even.)

Still, maybe typing that little bit really is the best you can manage to do. I’m willing to treat it as that anyway, and so forgive you what you did, and even the demonization ad homs you felt you had to add to it in order to make it palatable for you to type it (finally). That means I won’t mention those again, either, outside the context of this discussion. Since you bothered to bring up the stone-throwing anecdote, as though I wasn’t willing to do what Jesus did, I’ll grant your request and cap it with what Jesus said at the end of that anecdote: “Go forth and sin no more.” (People tend to forget that part.)

In regard to one of your other imaginary insults: as it happens, I base my whole analysis of sin around ‘the log in my own eye’, as is publicly evident here (and in subsequent entries) among other places. But I don’t necessarily expect you to have been aware of that, so I don’t count it against you.

I _do_ however expect you to be aware that I’ve gone out of my way to defend and agree with you more than once, and to affirm your propriety as a sceptical thinker. But then, keeping those clearly evident facts in mind doesn’t jive very well with your hypocritical-Pharisee demonization picture you’re trying to paint. So I can understand you wanting to ignore them. (Understand; not condone.)

{{Inside the Christian community there is this huge pressure not to admit faults, and you know it.}}

Not inside any Christian community _I_ have ever been a part of. If anything, I usually hear complaints going the other way. Such as the complaints you launched at me, for instance. If there was some such huge pressure _not_ to admit faults in the community you were a part of, maybe you should have stayed there, rather than coming out into the real world where people are expected to take responsibility for the things they did instead of trying to dodge them.

{{BTW, if what you point out is my biggest fault, then I am truly thankful.}}

I have no concern at all about trying to figure out what your ‘biggest faults’ are. If I did have any such concern, so that I could smear your character in order to protect myself by comparison, I would probably have engaged in a nice fanciful bout of speculative ad homming at your expense in order to make myself feel better.

Instead, I restricted to two factual matters not-known-by-me-to-have-been-resolved, relevant to your reply to _my_ lukewarm defense (but still a _defense_) of your behavior on Victor’s site and of the propriety of trying to discuss things with you. (Though admittedly one of those matters was only indirectly relevant. At first. It became directly relevant after the “not a New Atheist diatriber” insistence.)

{{Still, let's say I am the worse person on earth.}}

Or, if not that bad, let’s say someone who has a habit of lambasting Christians with offensive diatribes, even when they _do_ deal directly with your arguments on the ground that you _should_ be respected as a personal thinker.

{{What does that have to do with any particular argument I might make?}}

If you mean an argument like random short-range determinacy == something other than determinacy, it needn’t make any difference at all.

If you mean a statement like “I am not, I repeat, I am not to be considered as one of the ‘New Atheists’ who blasts Christians with offensive diatribes” or “If people would stop personally attacking me and deal with my arguments, like Victor does, then that's all you need to have a reasonable discussion with me”, it makes more of a difference, I think.

{{I made an argument with premises and a conclusion about the problem of evil.}}

??? Ooooookay. I thought the thread was originally (and except for this digression) about God-of-the-gaps methodologies/fallacies, and was following up on another thread about the same topic. Maybe I got in late. But I agree: pointing out that it sometimes takes more than addressing your arguments directly (instead of ad homming you out of some misperceived threat-of-intention that could have been simply resolved by anyone with common sense) in order to get you discuss something reasonably, is (probably) irrelevant to making an argument with premises and a conclusion about the problem of evil. Or about God-gapping, either one. Just as I agreed in my first comment, in your favor, that your apostasy shouldn’t necessarily be held against you as discounting you for meaningful discussion: a defense of you which I made against a Christian detractor (who was detracting on what he, as well as many Christians, believe to be legitimately Christian grounds).

It is _not_ however irrelevant to you claiming that all it takes is being respectful and reasonable with you, to get you to discuss things responsibly.

Admittedly, the remark about misleading your readers wasn’t directly pertinent to that. I mentioned it mainly because while I was bothering to speak on an issue I knew for a fact was currently unresolved, I might as well mention another incident of vastly greater irresponsibility in discussion that so far as I knew was also still currently unresolved. So it had real but admittedly indirect relevance, too.

You say you’ve admitted you were wrong to treat your own readers that way, though, so I won’t bring that up again outside the context of this digression: as far as I’m concerned, unless I learn differently later, _that_ issue has been resolved.


John W. Loftus said...

Jason, you lost me after the first few paragraphs. I don't have the time for this. When you finally want to discuss the point of Vic's original post let me know.