Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On improving the tone of political debate

I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays. Compared to him, Steven Carr has been the model of politeness. To Hays, it isn't enough to say that I am backing the wrong candidate for President. I have been compared to Goebbels, called a Red Philosopher, a Baby Butcher's Best Friend, a poseur, a goose-stepping apparatchik for the left, a false philosopher and a false Christian, and even someone too stingy and selfish to help his own parents in their old age, since I said I was sure glad they got Social Security and Medicare when they advanced in age. He presumed that, all this time, I was a tenured professor, which, alas, I have never been. To him, this isn't a debate, this is a police interrogation. Anything you say can, and will be used against you.

I am quite sure I don't deserve this treatment. At the same time, I have to ask myself if I have done the best job I could, not merely for making the case that a Christian can support Obama, but really exploring the issues in a helpful way, encouraging critical thought, and not simply shooting at easy targets. This is a blog, not a set of publishable essays. I'm trying to open honest discussion, not speak the last word on matters of considerable dispute amongst Americans. In the philosophy of religion, I would like to think that my efforts have created a more civilized playing field, where people on both sides can discuss their differences. I may not have done so well on political matters.

I can't think of anybody in political history who has rubbed me the wrong way as much as Sarah Palin has. It may be my intellectualist bias; I expect my political leaders to have thought-through positions on issues. Maybe that's asking too much, I don't know. I know some would say that even if she doesn't have thought-through positions, at least she doesn't take the wrong positions. But from the first time she opened her mouth and tried to grasp the mantle of Hillary Clinton and the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, despite complete opposition to everything Hillary stands for, I have found this choice to be an insult to the intelligence of the American people.

Because I think Obama has health care right, the economy right, Iraq and Afghanistan right, and for a number of other reasons, I do support him for President. I'm not a simon-pure pro-lifer, but I would like to see more commitment to the value of unborn life than he has shown so far. Despite evidence that of pro-abortion extremism, I'd like to think that he is persuadable on, say, a partial birth abortion ban. (There's the audacity of hope for you!).

I'd like to see a grass-roots, bipartisan effort including both pro-lifers and moderate pro-choicers (the combination of these groups surely constitutes a majority in America), to get together to look for ways to minimize abortion. Maybe a Coalition to Minimize Abortion should be formed. Do a little community organizing. Because I think that with the current political deadlock, with "the right to life" and "a woman's right to choose" used as a means to get out the respective party bases, there is little chance of doing anything on the abortion issue that makes any progress from anyone's perspective.

Of course, if you think I have all the other issues wrong, this won't impress you. Fine. I do respect thoughtful conservatives like Bill Vallicella, in spite of my deep suspicion that the what has come out of the dominance of conservatives over the past 28 years or so has resulted in a lot of what I call corporate prostitution and the abuse of power. (These are subjects for more detailed discussion, of course). I don't think either party has a monopoly on good or on evil.

55 comments:

Ilíon said...

VR: "... I can't think of anybody in political history who has rubbed me the wrong way as much as Sarah Palin has. It may be my intellectualist bias; I expect my political leaders to have thought-through positions on issues. Maybe that's asking too much, I don't know. ..."

But you're such a hypocrite. Including (I strongly suspect) in your whining about how Hayes is savaging you.

Ilíon said...

Here is a very high-level, off the top of my head, synopsis of how you are behaving hypocritically:

* You're *for* rank injustice -- this error is at the root of the problem -- and you want to insist that injustice is really justice. So long as its the injustice(s) of which you approve and/or profit. And then you bitch when your your own tits get caught in the wringers of the injustices of which you approve and politically support ... that is, approve and support so long as it's the other guy feeling the pinch.

* You're *for* the armed robbery of your fellow citizens -- thus proving what a moral and compassionate person you are -- and then you bitch because you're also caught up in the tax-man's dragnet.

* You're *for* lying about and demonizing those who oppose the armed robbery of themselves and their fellow citizens -- for, after all, they're "greedy" and "selfish." But, also of course, *you* are not "greedy" and "selfish" when you bitch that you, personally, are being taxed too highly.

* You're *for* appealing to the baser and sinful aspects of human nature (including supporting outright lies) to advance the "progressive" agenda in society: envy, greed (the real thing, not the false "definition" always employed by "progressives"), jealously, foolishness, and so on.

* AND, you're *for* abortion. It's irrelevant that you're "personally opposed to abortion" -- the policies and politicians you support are for protecting and expanding the abortion regime. You are their footsoldier; you are their willing "useful idiot" (in Lenin's memorable phrase).


* Now, for a specific:
In that passive-aggressive womanly manner (I'm speaking of a flawed character trait stereotypically female, not claiming that it is exclusive to women) of which "progressives" are so fond, you accuse Palin of being a liar. And you assert all sorts of other faults/weaknesses with her. Now, all, or at least most, of the faults/weaknesses you assert of Palin can more properly be placed at the feet of the man at the top of the Democratic ticket. Furthermore, Biden is a well-and-ling-known liar (even aside from all his other flaws).

Where is your post detailing all the false statements -- many of which are not only false, but outright lies -- he made during the VP debate?



Now, I haven't seen Hayes' savaging of you; but if what he is saying is based upon truth and careful reasoning from that truth, then you really don't have the moral right to bitch about it. That you don't *like* to have it bluntly stated where you are in error is quite irrelevant to the fact that you *are* in error and *refuse* to correct the error.

That some of the Triabloguers refuse to reason logically about certain issues is quite a different matter from the fact that you refuse to reason properly about your invalid conflation of "progressive" politics and Christianity.

Anonymous said...

If no one willingly pays any taxes, and all taxes are ultimately supported by the threat of force, then aren't ALL taxes armed robbery? So do you advocate for the repeal of all taxes? Of a voluntary tax system?

Or are you just saying there's an amount of armed robbery that is appropriate?

Anonymous said...

Not that I expect an answer, as I don't expect you'll ever make a case for your claims that Obama is a racist.

Because, you know, you're a fraud.

Charlie said...

Victor, if your goal is to open things up for honest discussion, you have exceeded it. Your posts have also been strong examples of independent thinking, intellectual care, and reasoned Christian commitment. Do not ever let the Ilions and the Triablogues of this world tell you otherwise; they are clumsy thinkers and callous souls.

By the way, in tonight's debate, Obama said he was committed to a ban on partial birth abortion, and gave, in my view, morally justifiable reasons why he voted for the policies he did in the past (the ones often cited as examples of his "infanticide"). (Full disclosure: I am staunchly pro-life.) Most importantly, he touched on the crucial issue, the root causes of abortions: lack of preventative programs, lack of education, and lack of morally right sexual ethics. It can pretty clearly be inferred from what he said in tonight's debate that he plans to fix these problems. Doing so would undoubtedly lead to a dramatic decrease in the rate of abortions. We will not get these kinds of well thought-out solutions from McCain; we will get more of the superficial criminalization that hasn't helped matters. Worse, with McCain's refusal to make fundamental changes to health care, the abortion rate would likely raise among poorer populations. Superficial criminalization is not what will save the unborn. What will save them is nothing less than a paradigm shift on many levels, which, if he keeps good on his word, Obama will bring about.

normajean said...

Victor, you're solid! That's why I drop by almost everyday to read your latest. Many thanks for your wisdom, brains, patience, and Christian conduct! My wife and I enjoy you a bunch!

Clayton said...

VR,

I'm pro-choice, an atheist, and I have a Democratic Party Visa Card. Don't know if this will come as much comfort, but as crazy Christians go, I think you're alright in my book.

Also, I don't think you're a hypocrite, but hypocrisy isn't such a big deal. The hypocrite is almost always getting something right.

(Seriously, I think you're pretty alright in my book. I figure you're alright enough to know I'm kidding with the 'crazy' remark.)

Roger said...

Victor, as just one anonymous and somewhat conservative (though I don't have much favor for Republicans) regular, let me say a couple things.

I think you don't deserve the treatment you're getting over at Triablogue. On the same time, your posts about the contenders in this election have been unusually sarcastic, mocking, and aggressive. To reuse your example, you've been vastly more tolerant of the Carr types than you have of McCain/Palin.

This doesn't excuse the treatment. But I think in this particular case, your posts have been very hostile, reactionary, and at times petty. And to be fair, this is also exceptional for you, someone who is frankly downright calm, pleasant, and restrained when being on the receiving end of such things.

It's not a big issue. Just have some more restraint and calm - it's what you're known for.

exapologist said...

What Clayton said.

Blue Devil Knight said...

I'd like to think that he is persuadable on, say, a partial birth abortion ban.

He is against it, except in cases where harm would come to the mother if she carried through with the pregnancy. McCain sure didn't like that position in the debate, but an exceptionless law on late term abortions would be a mistake.

Political topics are the rotten carcass for the flies of the internet. The discussion at your other blog is much more civil and dialogic partly, I think, because the subject matter is more dry, academic, and it tends to select for more serious discussion.

The personal rhetoric at Triablogue reminds me of my atheist friends who callme a 'Christian' when I say moral truths pose an interesting and difficult problem for naturalists. It's silliness. I don't think they deserve your attention or the hits their site will get because you are mentioning them.

As an outsider it looks like the juvenile outburst of a severely wounded branch of the Republican party. At best. 'Temper tantrum' might be a more fitting depiction. Of course Christians can be for abortion in some cases, and of course Christians don't have to make that the sole criterion in their electoral decisions. It is just laughable to suggest otherwise. If Obama were a Creationist, I'd still vote for him. I'd make fun of him like hell for it, but I'd still vote for him if all of his other policies remained the same.

It's pretty standard black and white thinking over there, and that isn't the type of thinking at your blog. You should wear it as a badge of honor. You set a Christian example in your respectful, even-keeled approach to topics. I'm an atheist, but the Christians that I remember, that have a pull on my heart, are those that treat me as an equal. Those that are all angry, condescending, and combative in their role as Crusader are poor witnesses.

Ilíon said...

Michelle Malkin: The Rage That’s Not On Your Front Page The liberal media frets over conservative anger, but are blind to a torrent of liberal hate.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse, you surely know by now that I don't imagine myself answerable to intellectually dishonest persons -- liars -- such as yourself. What a fool you are: to imagine that your denials of the obvious change reality.

The whole world knows that Obama is a racist. The whole world knows that whether he hatres America, he certainly doesn't love it. The whole world knows that he looks down on regular Americans as being beneath his majestic dignity.

Anonymous said...

Illion,

You need to take up a sport or hobby, man.

Ilíon said...

What? It's not sporting of me to point out the truth?

Ilíon said...

Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* looking down their noses at the act/facility of using rational and logical thinking (that is, *actual* thinking) to discover actual truth?

Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* trying to "win" the argument, whatever the argument happens to be, by pointing to the horror of their opponent engaging in "black and white thinking?" "You're just engaging in 'black and while thinking,' therefore I'm right!"


All you people who wish to know/learn actual truth -- grow a pair: stop allowing yourselves to be intimidated by such anti-rational foolishness; see it for what it is, call it what it is. And laugh at it.

T'sinadree said...

As much as Mr. Hays might disagree, quotes like the following seem quite contrary to Ephesians 4:2 (Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.): "But because Reppert is a naïve, shortsighted dupe, he is cheering them on. And he’s doing this in the name of Christ. Another “Christian” quisling who collaborates with the forces of darkness."

Even if VR wasn't a Christian (an estimation I disagree with) behavior such as that displayed above is completely unwarranted. Although I feel anger is at times justified, this case is not one of them.

As Robert C. Roberts, a Christian philosopher at Baylor University has said: "Few things are uglier than a thoroughly irascible person, and it is clear why very early in the history of the church anger came to be regarded as one of the seven deadly vices. When it gets deep and pervasive in a life it really does kill love and everything lovely." (http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=334)

Clayton said...

Michelle and Barack Obama believe Barack Obama is racist. Heck, they don't just _believe_ it, they _know_ it.

That's the truth! Ilion said so.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Ilion:
Black and white thinking: treating graded/multidimensional categories as if there are only two poles with no internal structure, displaying profound insensitivity to naunce.

Hmmm, sound like anyone we know here?

Keep up the good work ilion you crack me up.

Charlie said...

Ilion is a racist who hates america.

Mike Darus said...

What does it mean to "love America?"
a) Love it the way it was
b) Love it the way it is
c) Love it for what it could be

a) reminds me of the evangelical right wing. There was a time in the past when America was moral, prosperous, and exhibited wonderful values. We need to return to that pristine past.

b) is almost nobody except for those who fear that any change will worsen things.

c)is almost everyone who has an ounce of ambition or optimism.

Jim S. said...

Victor, I tend to disagree with your politics more often than I agree with them, but I have no respect for those who belittle the debate by demonizing those they disagree with. I was frustrated in the 90s when the Republicans treated the President disrespectfully. I've been frustrated for the last eight years with how Democrats not only treat the President disrespectfully, but even publically engage in assassination fantasies about him. If this pattern of oneupmanship continues, it worries me.

At any rate, don't let the demonizers get you down. They have anger issues and their just channelling it through you.

Anonymous said...

I think this debate is getting rather rude!

One Brow said...

Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* looking down their noses at the act/facility of using rational and logical thinking (that is, *actual* thinking) to discover actual truth?

As someone who decrys the false dichotomies that characterize black-and-white thinking, and understands the arbitrary assumptions put into a dual-valued truth system, I also that rational and logical thinking (which are different things) each have advantages an disadvantages.

Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* trying to "win" the argument, whatever the argument happens to be, by pointing to the horror of their opponent engaging in "black and white thinking?" "You're just engaging in 'black and while thinking,' therefore I'm right!"

Generally, when people decry using black-or-white thinking on an individual topic, it's because both the black and the white position are incorrect.

All you people who wish to know/learn actual truth -- grow a pair:

Thank you for telling us what part of your body does your thinking for you.

stop allowing yourselves to be intimidated by such anti-rational foolishness; see it for what it is, call it what it is. And laugh at it.

Not to worry, I do see the anti-rational foolishness of black-or-white thinking, I do call it for what it is, and I do laugh at it, at lest whent eh source in internet posters.

Samuel Garcia said...

illion: wow...hope no one wastes their time reading what you write because I just did, and I'm never getting those minutes back.

Victor: I love your blog. I've bookmarked and subsequently deleted many blogs mostly because they're not consistently good. You have a sharp view on things, and even if people don't agree with you, you try to be charitable. Keep it up!

Ilíon said...

Samuel Garcia: "self-identification of what he is"

I'm sure you Mommy is very proud of you.

Ilíon said...

T'sinadree,
By you own asserted standard (which just happens to *not* be the Gospel), you stand accused of hypocrisy. For, after all, you have set yourself up as competent to judge Mr Hayes, and you are judging him, and it almost seems condemning him, for the "sin" of judging Mr Reppert's actions over the past few months.

You have no rational basis to object to (apparently) anything Mr Hayes, and so you turn to emotions.

While I personally probably wouldn't have put it quite as baldly as your quote of Hayes does (indeed, I have for these past few months trying to get Reppert to come off the ledge without so bluntly stating where he is at), the quoted statement is correct in all its claims.


Love does not lie. Love does not cover for lies. Love does not act as enabler for lies. Love does not refuse to see and understand. Love does not wink at injustice, much less advocate for it.

Love is not hypocrisy.

Ilíon said...

BDK:
Intellectual dishonesty -- worshipping all the Pretty Shades of Grey while refusing to see the white and the black which is actually there and attempting to dehumanize, or even demonize, those not so dishonestly inclined.

Hypocrisy -- asserting a double standard.


BDK -- totally scripted.

Ilíon said...

Mike Darus: "What does it mean to "love America?""

What does it mean to "love your family?"

What does it mean to "love the gospel?" What does it mean to "love Christ's Church?" What does it mean to "love Christ's Church in time and space?" What does it mean to "love justice?" What does it mean to "love righteousness?" What does it mean to "love the truth?"

Goodness! What "impossible" questions. I guess we'll just have to "conclude" that it's impossible to judge whether Obama does or does not love America, considering that the question is meaningless and is asked only by those terrible, terrible evangelical right wingers.

Ilíon said...

Jim S,
By your own asserted standard, you are a demonizer. By your own asserted standard, you are a "belittle[r of] the debate" -- for you are trying to have it that truth must take the back seat to "niceness."

This "niceness" is, of course, to be defined (and redefined when necessary) by those who do not value truth in the first place.

Ilíon said...

Ilion: "Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* looking down their noses at the act/facility of using rational and logical thinking (that is, *actual* thinking) to discover actual truth?"

One Brow: "As someone who decrys the false dichotomies that characterize black-and-white thinking, and understands the arbitrary assumptions put into a dual-valued truth system, I also that rational and logical thinking (which are different things) each have advantages an disadvantages."

Talk about amusing incoherent self-refutation! (along with the requisite misrepresentation and equivocation)

One Brow, you're such a willful fool: you *choose* the intellectual dishonesty and self-contradiction you constantly spout.


Ilion: "Ever notice that those who decry "black and white thinking" are *always* trying to "win" the argument, whatever the argument happens to be, by pointing to the horror of their opponent engaging in "black and white thinking?" "You're just engaging in 'black and while thinking,' therefore I'm right!""

One Brow: "Generally, when people decry using black-or-white thinking on an individual topic, it's because both the black and the white position are incorrect."

What the fool is trying to assert is that true and false are equivalent.


One Brow: "Thank you for telling us what part of your body does your thinking for you."

And you do your thinking about two inches away, the a southerly direction.


One Brow: "Not to worry, I do see the anti-rational foolishness of black-or-white thinking, I do call it for what it is, and I do laugh at it, at lest whent eh source in internet posters."

What a self-contradictory pathetic and hypocritical fool you are.

John W. Loftus said...

Vic, Steve Hays is not worth your time. He is a low life who somehow read a lot of books and became highly educated. To argue with him is the wallow in the mire with a pig. I did that in the past and got soiled but he's not worth any intelligent person's time. I call on the Secular Outpost to remove him name from the list of recommended Blogs. Personally attacking you like he has done is the final straw.

Cheers.

Ilíon said...

It stands to reason that Mr Loftus, the definition par excellence of the intellectually dishonest man, would show up and post a so-typically hypocritical rant.


Take a good look at Loftus, Mr Reppert, for that is what you are working yourself up to become.

One Brow said...

Talk about amusing incoherent self-refutation! (along with the requisite misrepresentation and equivocation)

Well, I certainly apologize for any misrepresentation of your opinions. If you could explain what it was/they were, I'll be careful to not repeat them. There is absolutely no reason to misrepresent you.

One Brow, you're such a willful fool: you *choose* the intellectual dishonesty and self-contradiction you constantly spout.

I am quite convinced you have no choice in your positions. They are ass complex as you are capable of understanding, it would seem.

What the fool is trying to assert is that true and false are equivalent.

Just because both choices can be incorrect does not make them equivalent. For one thing, they would generally be divergent from an accurate representation of the situation for different reasons.

One Brow: "Thank you for telling us what part of your body does your thinking for you."

And you do your thinking about two inches away, the a southerly direction.


I disagree. However, even if that were true, I doubt I would brag about it and encourage others to do likewise.

One Brow said...

Victor,

I would just ignore the people at Triablogue. You can only teach someone what they are willing to learn, you can only engage critical thinking in people who value the same. On the entire first page, I saw not one glimpse of either tendency.

T'sinadree said...

Illion: By you own asserted standard (which just happens to *not* be the Gospel), you stand accused of hypocrisy. For, after all, you have set yourself up as competent to judge Mr Hayes, and you are judging him, and it almost seems condemning him, for the "sin" of judging Mr Reppert's actions over the past few months.

Illion, you, too, are a victim of your own reasoning by making such a pronouncement. Unfortunately, we could go back and forth in such an infinite regress by accusing each other of being judegmental.

Unfortunately, I think your view of judgement is confused at best. The word "judge" can mean to discern between right and wrong, or it can mean to decide what punishment ought to be imposed on a criminal, or it can mean to presume to know the heart of another. In this case, I was discerning between right and wrong. Indeed, I made no pronouncement concerning punishment, or the state of Mr. Hays' heart (i.e., is he a Christian or not) or condeming him (as you claim).

I think James 5:19-20 puts it best: My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV translation)

Judgement should be made with careful discernment. Condeming someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse is, obviously, what we shouldn't do.

On the other hand, if we take your view of judgment to its logical conclusion, then we cannot identify any wrongdoing by another person. Consequently, if I think the Holocaust was wrong and Hitler severly depraved (to put it mildly), then I guess you can call me judgemental.

Robert said...

Hello Victor,

“I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays. Compared to him, Steven Carr has been the model of politeness. To Hays, it isn't enough to say that I am backing the wrong candidate for President. I have been compared to Goebbels, called a Red Philosopher, a Baby Butcher's Best Friend, a poseur, a goose-stepping apparatchik for the left, a false philosopher and a false Christian, and even someone too stingy and selfish to help his own parents in their old age, since I said I was sure glad they got Social Security and Medicare when they advanced in age.”

Someone who writes this way about another believer is just acting like a jerk, plain and simple. But this is no surprise if you consider the source. Coming from Steve Hays who repeatedly engages in this kind of intentionally offensive rhetoric. He has no accountability and is just a loose canon spewing his hatred of others through his blog on the internet. I think part of the problem, part of his bitterness, comes from his life circumstances: if I were a little guy like him (a friend of his says he is only about 5 foot 6), about 50 years old, unmarried, without children and living with my ailing mother (a full time job in itself), and my **job** was as a teaching assistant, I might not be a happy camper either. He fancies himself a writer but his stuff lacks quality and so likely will only appear on his own blog.

Victor on your blog here, you provide a good example of a place where both believers and unbelievers can engage in rational and civil discussion of various issues. This is precisely the kind of thing that ought to be happening on the web. You can and should have discussions with people, even when they disagree with you, in a civil manner. There is no need for the kind of personal attacks you mention, and that you have endured from Hays. The verbal attacks contribute nothing to the discussion and only hamper a rational and intelligent discussion. Don’t let the jerks on the web get you down. You have a great blog here, keep up the good work.

Robert

Blue Devil Knight said...

Robert: ouch!
Picture

Really, though, such people feed on attention so we should just starve them. Sort of like those advertising icons in the Simpsons episode.

Anonymous said...

Oh the irony! Steve Hays is attacked and ridiculed and mocked in a post decrying attacking, ridiculing, and mocking opponents! Vic, come to Steve's defense. Don't tell us all you were trying to do was gather the support of political leftists and theological Pelagians? Say it aint so.

Patrick Chan said...

Robert said:

Coming from Steve Hays who repeatedly engages in this kind of intentionally offensive rhetoric. He has no accountability and is just a loose canon spewing his hatred of others through his blog on the internet. I think part of the problem, part of his bitterness, comes from his life circumstances: if I were a little guy like him (a friend of his says he is only about 5 foot 6), about 50 years old, unmarried, without children and living with my ailing mother (a full time job in itself), and my **job** was as a teaching assistant, I might not be a happy camper either. He fancies himself a writer but his stuff lacks quality and so likely will only appear on his own blog.

Robert,

I happen to know Steve. Sorry to inform you but your comments about him are pretty ridiculous.

BTW, I wonder which "friend of his" you're referring to? It doesn't seem like this "friend" is a true "friend," though, since he apparently fed you misinformation. Either that or you heard wrong.

But even if we assume you're right, then what? You make it seem as if it were somehow a bad thing for a Christian to take care of (as you say) "an ailing mother," for one thing.

Also, you say that Steve "has no accountability and is just a loose canon spewing his hatred of others through his blog on the internet." Wait a sec, hold up. Isn't this precisely what you're doing here and now though? What are you doing if not attacking Steve's character?

Speaking of "accountability," and being a "loose canon," who's holding you accountable? And aren't you a bit of a "loose canon" on the internet (not only here on the Dangerous Mind blog but in the past on Triablogue too)? Steve, for example, is in the public sphere, but we know precious little about you except that you say your name is "Robert." If hiding behind an online name -- "Robert," which may or may not be your real name -- and sniping at others like you're doing here with Steve isn't being a "loose canon," then I don't know what is.

The only other thing you've possibly revealed about yourself though, if memory serves -- didn't you at one point mention you're a prison chaplain? If you are, then I wonder how you'd judge yourself, by your own standard or yardstick? After all, if taking care of "an ailing mother" is somehow a negative thing to you, something to be bitter about as you suggest, then I can't imagine what ministering to prisoners must mean to you.

patrick

GeneMBridges said...

if I were a little guy like him (a friend of his says he is only about 5 foot 6), about 50 years old, unmarried, without children and living with my ailing mother (a full time job in itself), and my **job** was as a teaching assistant, I might not be a happy camper either.

So, Robert, can we infer from this that you have no biblical argument against Steve at all?

Rather, we can infer that given the intellectual vacuity of your past posts (still waiting on your exegetical presentation showing the Bible teaches libertarian freedom - despite having asked you for it so many times I've lost count), you're an ageist who believes that single men shouldn't take care of their ailing parents, and you dislike short people too? Tell us, Robert, how this is at all a "Christian" way to talk about another believer?

Let the record show that Robert regularly spews this sort of ad homineum invective and playing this sort of double standard. He decries this sort of speech in others, but he revels in it himself on a regular basis. What's worse, he lacks the courage to say it to our faces on Triablogue. Instead, he hides on other blogs and does it. Indeed, I've even received emails from others in which Robert complains to them about his treatment at Triablogue.
One supposes this is his attempt to make us "accountable." To whom, Robert, are bloggers "accountable?" Is Robert suggesting that we should be accountable to some sort of ecclesiastical authority? Fair enough. Then, in that case, to which ecclesiastical authority is Robert accountable?

Ilíon said...

Robert, you are in the wrong, both wrong in reason and logic and in morality.

You are speaking from your personal dislike of the Triabloguers, rather than from a stance of having one foot securely planted in logical reasoning and the other planted securely in true morality.

Paul Manata said...

Robert's out of intellectual gas and so all he can do is put put put along in his hybred engaging in drive-by name calling. How "gangsta" he is.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/10/why-arminians-like-robert-hate-steve.html

Ilíon said...

This two-way personal vendetta between the Tribloguers and Robert ... and, apparently, their personal vendetta against anyone who dares to disagree wth their erroneous theology ... is so tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Ilion's personal vendetta against Reppert and Triabloguers is so tiresome.

Ilíon said...

Anonymouse,
On top of being such a supreme willful fool, you're eminently ignorant. Not that you mind about either.

Anonymous said...

Ilion's personal vendetta against Anonymous is getting tiresome.

Ilíon said...

You made a funny, Anonymouse! I hadn't thought you had it in you.

Anonymous said...

Hooray, that Manata guy is back! He's a Triablogue poster, too, right?

I especially like his new blogger photo: a sniper. Because nothing says "follower of Jesus" like "sniper". Certainly an improvement over his former photo: the Predator.

Triabloggers: not at all unhinged or otherwise nutty.

Ilíon said...

Anonymous,
Yes, some of the Triabloguers ... well, let us say, some of them appear to "have issues."

But, if a person is right about something, then he's right about it: truth is not a popularity contest.

GeneMBridges said...

Yes, some of the Triabloguers ... well, let us say, some of them appear to "have issues.

It's time to lay our cards on the table in this little gossip game from the schoolyard.

Which Tbloggers do you have in mind?
Exactly what issues would those be?

Ilíon said...

Obviously, I mean, at minimum, those who cannot comprehend what they read, nor its context which gives it its particular meaning.

Now, why don't you go play elsewhere? I simply don't have the time to waste with those who will not think.

GeneMBridges said...

Obviously, I mean, at minimum, those who cannot comprehend what they read, nor its context which gives it its particular meaning.

And which ones would those be, and which examples do you have in mind?

Now, why don't you go play elsewhere?

Sorry, but when you bring up "some Tbloggers" you're invoking my name, since I'm one of them. I have every right to ask this question, since you're one of those engaging in innuendo.

I simply don't have the time to waste with those who will not think.

I was not aware that you get to dictate the rules of participation on this blog or any other. You're the one who brought up this issue, so it's up to you to justify yourself. If you can't or won't do that, it's not my problem. I find it rather ironic that when the folks in this combox get called out on their own level, they resort to this sort of sophistry.

Victor Reppert said...

For the record, I am not interested in speculating on Steve Hays or any other Triablogger in terms of his or her motives. By the way, Gene, I did notice that you were not in lockstep with Steve on the abortion-related discussion, so I should further note that Triablogue is not perfectly monolithic politically. Nor, for that matter, is everyone on there a Calvinist, contrary to popular belief.

Ilíon said...

Isn't it amusing that someone -- who apparently can't be bothered to understand -- who imagines he is competent to command others to answer to him, doesn't seem to understand "Talk to the hand ..."

Robert said...

Patrick wrote:

“I happen to know Steve. Sorry to inform you but your comments about him are pretty ridiculous.”

He treats those who think differently than he does as **opponents** (whether they be Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, other Protestants, Arminians, whatever). And these **opponents** are attacked, mocked, ridiculed verbally and viciously.

“BTW, I wonder which "friend of his" you're referring to? It doesn't seem like this "friend" is a true "friend," though, since he apparently fed you misinformation. Either that or you heard wrong.”

Actually it is **more than one person**, and since they say the same things, I take these things to be true. I know a lot more than I have stated, but sharing the rest is really not necessary.

Regarding his taking care of his ailing mother, his friends say this is a commendable thing for him to do. And I agree with them.

“But even if we assume you're right, then what? You make it seem as if it were somehow a bad thing for a Christian to take care of (as you say) "an ailing mother," for one thing.”

I did not say it was a bad thing, and as his friends who have shared the information say, it is commendable (i.e., Honoring your father and mother: taking care of those family members in need).

“Also, you say that Steve "has no accountability and is just a loose canon spewing his hatred of others through his blog on the internet." “

My conclusion is based on my own history with Hays and observation. I shared bible verses with him first which he ignored and claimed I was misinterpreting. Then I said let’s go through local church leadership (and he responded that he was not under local church leadership). I then contacted a respected calvinist leader who contacted the Triablogers about this problem. None of it worked, there was no change, no repentance, and he **continues** to engage in the same kinds of vicious verbal attacks of others. So I conclude that he **is** a loose canon.

“Steve, for example, is in the public sphere, but we know precious little about you except that you say your name is "Robert." If hiding behind an online name -- "Robert," which may or may not be your real name.”

Robert is my name so I am not “hiding” behind my own name.

If Hays wants to attack ideas and show the problems with other people’s ideas “in the public sphere”, fine. He can do that with all with whom he disagrees, and that is not a problem. But it is the ***additional personal attacks***, the snide comments, belittling comments, hateful comments, etc. etc. that are added and unnecessary that are the problem.

You seem to have forgotten (or ignored) that Victor talked about these unnecessary personal attacks by Hays, which is what I cited and responded to. Recall what Victor wrote which began this thread, where he refers to the verbal attacks he has received from Hays:

“I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays. Compared to him, Steven Carr has been the model of politeness. To Hays, it isn't enough to say that I am backing the wrong candidate for President. I have been compared to Goebbels, called a Red Philosopher, a Baby Butcher's Best Friend, a poseur, a goose-stepping apparatchik for the left, a false philosopher and a false Christian, and even someone too stingy and selfish to help his own parents in their old age, since I said I was sure glad they got Social Security and Medicare when they advanced in age.”

Is Victor lying here?

Or is Victor actually receiving the kinds of unnecessary vicious verbal attacks which I claim are the problem with Steve Hays?

This kind of personal attack is what is unacceptable. And it is precisely this kind of thing that Hays repeatedly engages in over and over again. That stuff is wrong and unacceptable. But he keeps doing it, and apparently he has no accountability so it will continue. As others have noted, perhaps the best response is to just ignore him and his hateful comments.

Robert