Silence IS NOT Golden

As a favour to my readers who have found themselves banned from other sites I offer…..Silence IS NOT Golden.

Haven't we covered that subject already?

This thread is designed specifically to allow people to do one of two things:

  1. Post replies to posts that you have been banned from or are unable to comment on from other blogs. (You must provide a link to the original post)
  2. Post links to posts or articles you want my opinion on or think is deserving of a post on Misplaced Grace.  Feel free to explain your own opinion or why you think this subject is important.

I hate when I am unable to post comments on blogs, I dislike being barred from comments even more.  Some of my regulars don’t have the luxury of having their own blog to draw attention to abject stupidity (others or their own) and this will hopefully be an opportunity for them to have a voice.  I also hope that this will allow some of my other posts to stay more on topic and give people a place to just shoot the breeze if they are so inclined.  I hope that this might be a source for avoiding writer’s block, and result in some new posts in the future.

THIS POST WILL BE ENTIRELY IRONIC

Rest assured that because this post is designed to be ‘never ending’ I have every intention of avoiding turning this into a spam factory.  So if you want to send your own posts, feel free, but if your comments get out of hand, off topic, or an exercise in link-dumping; I WILL delete them.  I won’t do it for no reason, in fact I promise to give you a reason.  I’ll do it nonetheless.  Just try me.

Is that ironic? Maybe.  Is it necessary? Probably.  Have I ever deleted a post yet, in my whole time blogging? Nope.  Do you really want to be the first?

Don’t like the rules?  Then screw off! 

So without further ado…..Discuss.

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31 Responses to “Silence IS NOT Golden”

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First off – Thank You George, for offering a space for those of us who have been banned to still have a voice.

The description of John Barron Jr. as a presuppositional apologetic was spot on. I don’t necessarily like to pigeon-hole people like that, but I’m grateful for folks like you and websites like Wikipedia to get objective information in order to try to understand how and why people think the way they do.

I’ve trying many times to have a civil conversation with John, but I’ve grown tired of his constant diversions in order to avoid defending his own beliefs. I can appreciate the fact that he is quite articulate and does a great job not quoting scripture every five minutes like some do.

I’ve got to hand it to “Shamelessly Atheist” over at SomeMusician’s blog for my latest favorite line – It is extremely difficult to reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into, and who perverts reason and logic to shore it up.

Rest assured Z, I’m doing this for entirely selfish reasons. I hope that people can help draw attention to posts I might have overlooked or missed and give me more opportunities to find fresh post fodder. Consider yourself a “bird-dog” for Misplaced Grace.
Oh, and also because I want to antagonize people with bad commenting policies.

My Thoughts –

Why do we believe what we believe? It’s such a simple question really, but some people have a difficult time addressing it. Over the past few months I have been on a personal quest to try to find the answer by reading various blogs and sometimes throwing in a conflicting idea to provoke a response. Not only have the replies been dumbfounding, but the entire thought process displayed throughout some of these discussions has been nothing short of frightening.

I realize that it can be extremely hard to critically examine your own belief system and most people are very reluctant to do so. To be clear, I really don’t care what people believe, whether it’s a western religion, eastern philosophy or anything in between. I’m more interested in trying to understand people. Unfortunately, we are now living in a time where these beliefs have strong repercussions throughout the world. What I do care about is the constant intrusion of religious ideology in our political systems and the efforts by those in the religious community to impose their dogma on my life.

The internet has changed the way we communicate. It has become less personal and it is easier to become more intolerant of opposing viewpoints. I know I’ve been guilty of this myself. On a personal level, I never seem to have any problem with any individual face to face and finding out what they believe. Live and let live I say. Whatever works for them and helps them through the day. Most folks are friendly. There seems to be a fine line of questioning someone’s beliefs that the internet make possible without getting personally involved.

Without getting bogged down in the sometimes trivial details of the dialogs, here are some conclusions I’ve found:

1. First and foremost, a lack of understanding in the scientific method and difference between fact and opinion. Religious followers are often quickly critical of anything that conflicts with their sacred beliefs or texts, but are then reluctant to process their own tenets and documents with the same scrutiny.

2. Religious followers have a difficult time grasping the big picture. The fact that their belief system is one of thousands that exist and have existed seems to escape them. Each are quite convinced they’re right.

3. Be sure to define everything before getting started. Conversations often get hung up on a narrow definition of a single word. Instead of discussing one’s beliefs, it’s easy to waste time trying to define words like “atheist” and “evidence” while trying to discuss a larger topic. Diversions in my conversations also included non-existent assertions on my behalf.

4. Religious followers often employ psychological projection. Examples of this include claiming the lack of open-mindedness by skeptics as well as the “never enough” pile of evidence against the argument of the existence of a deity.

While I can understand many of the psychological needs for religion and religious thinking, why is it so difficult to discuss it? People make all kinds of excuses for their religious beliefs and are willing to employ tortured logic to justify it. While I am hopeful, I am not optimistic about the future of human existence on this planet. As long as we have the notion that humans are above the animals on this planet and not one of them we’re screwed. I find it ironic that many religions try to preach humility when we have shown over and over again that we’re everything but humble. We do affect the planet, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, and someday it will probably become inhospitable for human life. Maybe then an intelligent life will evolve that won’t be such a detriment to the big picture.

@zqtx Spot on. How could anybody who writes as reasonably as you do manage to get banned from any site? Seriously. Did you get banned by somebody and why?

Ok, John Barron Jr – regarding your latest entry on morality (Who Are You To Say? – http://truthinreligionandpolitics.com/2011/04/04/who-are-you-to-say/), where exactly did you get your compass for your morality?

Hey Z,
I noticed that John is trying to entirely avoid discussing where he gets his morality, while subtly fishing for how people inform their morality. It does smack as a bit unfair, and I have posted two comments in an attempt to have him clarify his position.
While I have you on the horn, how would you like to do a few guest posts around here? I’m editing a book for a friend and am having a hard time keeping the blog fresh. I’d be willing to accept a few posts-either direct rebuttals to John at length or an original subject-to post on my blog. This would give you a long form outlet without having to start your own blog. It’s up to you. I’ll e-mail you if you are interested. In the meantime, I have four posts coming down the wire in the next few days, including one that directly addresses morality, so you don’t have to have a post ready right away….

I would be honored. Drop me a note at my yahoo email.

George W, I have not been barred from any conversation yet. So, if this comment is in the wrong place, please feel free to remove it. This thread is a good idea as it is a noble thought to give an opportunity to give people who have been banned on unfair grounds to express themselves. There is nothing ironic to sensor how people comment in your blog. After all, even though some people are banned unfairly, there are also a number or sound reasons for banning someones comments.

John Barron Jr, is mentioned here and elswhere in dialogues, not because he is the brilliant mind of our time, but because he is a religious conservative, who is ready to enter conversation about religion and politics on rational level. This defies faith, as faith is basicly a belief in the absurd. I do not know him well enough as to fairly asses his motives, but as religious behaviour is interresting to me from an outsiders view (as I have never belonged to any religious group), he is a sound informant on religious thinking. You can not get much out of a person, who does not enter the debate, or does so only to brainlessly quote some old religious text.

On the subject of “moral compas” and the entry mentioned by zqtx John came out on a very interresting comment. He said he could not derive morals from a fictional story. So, is this why he believes the bible to be true, since he needs a “reliable” source for morals? In my opinion most of us are quite able to draw moral lessons from stories we know are fictional. To emphasize our sense of right and wrong. Is the kind of absolutism, John is admitting to, general to the religious minority of the world? After all though most people in the world are part of some religious sect, only very few are interrested in the subject itself. Some of the most interrested are atheists some are religious fanatics. How much does the blind faith draw “reasoning” from the actual need to have a secure base for morals? A base disconnected from the random universe and unpredictable deeds of humans and human societies?

I have offered zqtx the opportunity to guest post on this blog. I think we need to give John Barron props for being willing to have reasonable dialogue with atheists, as well as admitting when he misspoke. These are rare virtues in Christian circles. I disagree with his policy of moderating comments a priori, as well as banning certain opinions that, though perhaps not well expressed, are valid nonetheless.
I have never banned anyone from this blog, nor removed or edited a comment, and I can’t see why any blogger might have to do this; unless they were bombarded by spamming off-topic comments from a commenter.

To be clear on my views on morality, I believe that we do not need to have any book or faith to inform or ground morality. Morality is an expression of our evolutionary need to function as a social species with a low birthrate, our reason as well as the luxury of our current lifestyles has formed this into what we now consider morality. All of the flourish and allegory of religious texts only serve to give an oral and written history of something that is as innate to humanity as logic, social structure, and reason themselves.

Post replies to posts that you have been banned from or are unable to comment on from other blogs. (You must provide a link to the original post)

Unfortunately, this happens all the time from way too many believers in the God of all Truth. It’s happened again just today, where Neil has posted a whole blog post all about yours truly – and, of course, he will post his lies and twisted facts without allowing me the chance to defend myself against his falsehoods.

But that’s been his MO for a while.

You have to wonder what these people fear so much?

Dan,
I assure you that I am well aware of Neil. The best I can tell you is to not even bother with him, unless it is on another blog. He never accepts any comments from me, but occasionally takes a single line and says “An atheist posted this the other day, and this is why it is wrong” without putting anything in context.
Neil is a jukebox Christian, give him an issue,and he’ll play the same familiar tune every time. Ask the wrong questions, and he won’t answer them. “I don’t play that song.”, says the Jukebox Christian.
I have to agree with him on one front, at least. Contacting his pastor is a bit over the line. Save when someone is representing their church in an official capacity, I just don’t think it is right. The fact of the matter is that people do not have to listen to every word you say. They are entitled to not listen, they are entitled to ban you, but I don’t agree with taking your comments and withholding portions in order to present a false impression. I also do not agree that anyone should write a post about someone and not allow that person to comment on that post. Ban them all you want from other posts, but if they are your subject, they ought to have a voice.
Otherwise, the point of this thread is to give people a place to vent, and to discuss, and to give me some bird-dogs that might give me subjects to talk about. I think banning and moderating are poor form, but that they are also a bloggers prerogative. I think it speaks volumes about the kind of person they are, and what motivates them.

George…

I have to agree with him on one front, at least. Contacting his pastor is a bit over the line. Save when someone is representing their church in an official capacity, I just don’t think it is right.

Well, in hindsight, I sure regret having done that and I’ve told him so. It was one of these situations, like this week’s, where he was posting me out of context, misrepresenting my position and not allowing me to defend myself against the false attacks – behavior that I just can’t begin to describe how loathsome I find. And so, I did what the Bible says Christians should do – I took it to others.

I thought Neil would appreciate that point. He did not, and I recognize now how creepy it sounds, and would not do it again. All the same, it IS a very biblically sound idea (the Bible tells us that if there is a disagreement and a brother is in the wrong and he won’t listen to you, to take it to another and have a three or four way conversation, which is what I did.

Instead of recognizing the biblically apt nature of the behavior, he’s chosen to use that as a stick to beat me with, all the time while he’s taking his complaints about me to a worldwide audience.

I fear he’s a sad, scared, troubled little man, trying to do what’s right and failing.

Dan,
Your Blogger comment system I think ate my comment on your “Irony” post. At first I thought that it was because it got tossed in moderation because I linked in it, but I never saw it this morning. I’m no fan of blogger, they make everything difficult over there.

As I mentioned to you over at your JS blog, I spent a long time in the Church, some of it in a leadership capacity, so I know my Bible pretty well. Matthew 18:15-19 is the passage you are referring to, and I see what you are saying. That said, we must remember that the Bible was written at a time when disagreements between Christians would have been localized in a single congregation and a single community. To extend that passage to the internet age, I think, is denying an important context. I have held John Barron’s feet to the fire several times about Neil’s behavior and comments, asking him on principle to disavow the way Neil communicates- and I feel that being reproved by someone Neil considers a peer is likely the best way to change the behavior. In this way, I am following the letter of Matt. 18, because I am working within the relevant community. If you realize your transgression, then I forgive you, which is easy for me to do because it really affects me not one bit. Yet Neil was rightfully slighted, and he has reason to be angry.

Too often though, people take a slight like this one, which you fully concede was a mistake, and assume that this absolves them of any responsibility to be good Christians in their dealings with you. This is where I think the onus shifts to Neil, and where he has failed to live up to the Word. I fundamentally disagree with writing a post about someone and refusing them the right to comment (politely and on topic) in defense of themselves. I consider that inexcusable. I have had my own issues with Neil, and empathize with your situation.

My suggestion remains to distance yourself from people who have no interest in listening to you. Just continue to “walk the walk”, and focus on your ministry with those who struggle to square the whole of the Bible with Christian values. Those are the people who are going to see the potential of your ideas.

Ok John,

Since you can’t grasp the concepts of non-belief without making an assertion, consider this:

Do you belief in the existance of Ganesha, the Hindu deity? According to you, you must assert that Ganesha exists or assert that Ganesha does not exist. Either way, please prove your assertion. Oh yea – without presuppostition of Christian doctrine, please.

From http://truthinreligionandpolitics.com/2011/05/04/i-dont-not-believe-it/

What John fails to recognize is that in order to dispute a claim of existence, a counter-claim of non-existence is not necessary. My belief or non-belief has nothing to do with arguing his assertion.

Even the Santa example provided by The Invisible Pink Unicorn seems to go over his head. My assessment of his intelligence seems to have been overrated. It’s probably just as well that I was banned from his website…

Now Z…..
That starts to sound like sour grapes.
I agree (and have to the point of driving him crazy) with you on this issue. I also, to some degree agree with what John concedes he is actually saying every time we debate this. He always starts with “Atheists can’t say they lack belief”, then I demonstrate why they can, then he says “what I meant was that atheists can’t say there is no god as if it were a fact and then refuse to defend that claim by saying that they ‘lack belief’ when they obviously just asserted a belief”, which I entirely agree with. I don’t understand why he always starts with the false premise he concedes is not right.
I love it every time he brings it up, because it is a weak argument that he just won’t let go of. Those are the times you can gain some ground with him, because unlike other times, he is actually making a claim. A claim that he has to wriggle to defend.

Maybe someone should write a post about it……
That was a hint.

Yes, yes… and I am becoming more motivated to do so. Unfortunately, it is these very discussions of HOW to debate rather that the debate itself that I find frustrating. I have to give up with John. He’s too childish to speak directly to me and too blind to grasp the concept of the discussion. Like I said before, I credit him for not spouting verses at me, but that’s about it. I was hoping for a bit more than I got, that’s all.

Meanwhile, I’d like to see where The Invisible Pink Unicorn goes with his blog – http://500questions.wordpress.com/
I’m interested to see the replies…

Hmmm…

Regarding http://truthinreligionandpolitics.com/2011/05/13/what-if-youre-wrong/ and his comment after George on 5/17, I am reminded of the interviews by Richard Dawkins in The Root of All Evil, where one apologist claimed not only that atheists had no morals, but that the only thing keeping him from bad behavior was the judgement and fear of god.

As for not believing in the biological diversity from evolution, John, I have to ask if there’s anything that could be presented to you to change your opinion?

Yet he replies to George when this is pointed out, “Its not that I would rape, steal, and murder. Rather I could, and there would be no ultimate consequence, only temporal.”

So again, it’s not that he would, but the fear of ultimate consequence keeps him from acting it out. He apparently holds no regard for his fellow man, just the fear of repercussion from a judging deity.

This is truly freightening, if we consider how many actually religious people there are in the world. Not that most people born into a religion, or taking part in their rituals were very religious, but the really religious ones. Even those are a legion.

Do many of those people, who seem to take morals as set of rules given by an imaginary character, think this way? To whom these commandments and the fear of punisment in the imagined afterlife is the only thing stopping them from committing these atrocities.

Is their own lack of morals why they need the supreme authority to give them any? Yet, it would, in a way, explain a lot of the religious violence in the history of the world. If these religious people are told by a demagogue, that “DEUS VULT” gods want them to commit horrible acts, it does not lead them to doubt the demagogue, or the existance of those gods, but to blindly do what ever they are told to do, and think it is all good and acceptable. This is the fountain where terrorists and crusaders spring from.

This is linked to the morals lacking from people who (even after consideration) are ready to accept, that most people are punished by eternal torment for not believing in the right sort of god. Or just for their ordinary everyday lives. It is just such an unfair idea. That millions of people who have not really even heard about the “right god” have to suffer for an eternity. It is just as absurd and unfair thought, if I claimed you will suffer for an eternity after death, if you do not believe the Moon is made of cheese. No matter, if the thought is turned so that everybody is bound for Hell anyway and believing in the right god is the only salvation. It is just as unfair. In my opinion people who consieve this kind of god as benevolent, have a very serious lapse of morals.

George

I had something I wanted to send you to read, but dont see a contact for you. Can you email me.

Hello George W and others, hello to you too John Barron Jr. Since it now has become necessary for you George to ban comments (trolls) that were irrelevant to… Well, just about anything. I think in the name of honesty I should tell that I have now also been banned by the first time, and I was banned by John Barron Jr.

In Shifting Reality (previously “The Truth in Religion & Politics) John had the topic where people were asked to tell their story of where they were on 9/11 ten year ago when the terrorist attacks on the symbols of US world dominagion, were hit by terrorists. John published my comment though, I do admit I had the audacity to reveal my original feelings when I heard about the event. That it was inevitable that the US would also get its share of the violence it has been spreading around the globe. I was opposed by the host John who claimed the US has only helped other countries and a nother person was also hurt by my memory.

As a reply I thought to clear out that the help against the nazis was good in my book also and that I wanted to show no disrespect to the families of those people who actually lost someone on that faithfull day. But I also added (needlesly long, though not incorrect) list of terrible deeds done by the US around the globe, that might result in reprizal against the US. As to me it is more like a wonder how little the US has suffered in comparrison to the ill it has caused. John decided to ban it because he thought it was “America bashing”. Now, to make this absolutely clear, In my opinion John has every right to ban my text on those grounds. Or what ever grounds as it is his blog.

I can not remember what I wrote from word to word, but I thought it might be interresting that, when I wrote almost the exact same thoughts on a blog of a Canadian writer who was remembering the event as her personal trauma, she thanked me for my words.

To me at least it is interresting how personal so many people in the US feel for this event. As they had themselves lost some sense of security. It has only resulted in more violence and the terrorists have won in a way, as their goal was to create segragation between the western secular culture and the islamic countries. For that is what the islamic fundamentalists really fear, the secular culture of the west being absorbed by their own culture. Though they move the masses by claiming to fight against the dominion of the western corporations in the third world.

There is something terribly “tribal” about the way some people in the west feel about the 3000 or so people who died in these attacks while there are hundreds of thousands of people killed in Iraq an Afghanishtan as direct result of all this, and millions who have lost everything in those countries. Why is it that we may just be horrified by what happens to our neighbour, but feel nothing for the person on the other side of the globe? As if they were less human?

Make no mistake, I abhor any religiously motivated terror and violence and think the attack on 9/11 was illegal and inhumane act. I only mean that it did not come out of nowhere. The US has used its military might and agentures by war, secret operations and support to governments that do not respect human rights, to help some of its super rich citizens to benefit by the cost of the blood of the common people in many developing countries, including the islamic countries.

Interesting. It seems to be only the Americans who freak out over the thought that America might have done something to upset some people. Not all Americans feel this way. Here’s a link to a brilliant TED talk by Sam Richards. He’s caught a lot of shit for this, with people accusing him of America bashing. But really he just makes it clear why some people could come to hate America.

Every American should be required to watch this talk. Then they might start to get a clue about why they are hated in so many places. It’s not really their fault, but there are reasons. And moving in with more guns and power is not going to make it better.

“Hey, noni noni!” Percy Percy in The Black Adder II.

Sorry George, could not help myself. Anyway,Darwin Harmless, thank you for the link. The video was a very brave representation of things far too easily taken as obvious when looking from outside the conflict.

I think most of us (me for sure, at least) need to keep up our emphaty skills and put oneself into the shoes of the other party. Maybe if I felt more emphaty, I would have not even told about my memory on Johns blog, as I should have known it is a delicate subject…

It seems to me that John the hypocrite is at it again. He whines about being censored on another blog while still preventing me from posting any comments to his own blog.

In his latest rant about abortion (http://truthinreligionandpolitics.com/2011/10/14/is-it-really-about-life-and-death/), the comments left have gone in the usual direction. My 2 cents:

Here we go again. No matter what the intent of the original blog is, it always devolves to a disagreement in definitions and terminology. Even when you try to present a slew of supporting literature, documentation and quotes from experts, it never seems to persuade anyone, whether from experts in embryology or experts in climate change. (It’s amazing how selective we get when we look for expert opinions)

On a religious level, why should it make any difference to a Christian about the “loss” of 60 million lives as expressed by the “pro-lifers”? By your own definition, these are “innocents” and their death only results in their immediate union with your god, which as previously discussed, is a benefit for the ultimate good.

Really good point about the “ultimate good”!

Also, I have never really understood, how is it that if the fetus is as much a human being as the mother, why do they choose to protect the mother over the fetus, if they have to choose? Is the fetus not then, by that logic, more “innocent” than the mother. Or is the idea as you say to send the more innocent to Heaven? If so, why does that not aply to all fetuses. After all, it is the people who are not going to join the fundies in Heaven anyway, who do the abortion. If they think that the fetuses go to Hell, how can they worship a god that allows this?

With John it is the same subjects again and again…

I must confess I am really tired to have any conversation whith these fundamentalist religious characters. The problem is faith. Everything the fundamentalist claims, he supposes to claim on reason, but all of their reason is based on faith. It is interresting how the moderate religious people are much more willing to explain their views and emotions to be based of faith than the fundies.

I have tried to find out wether it is their values that made them to choose a particular religion, or do they accept the values of their religion as good simply because they are the values of the religion. It is my subjective opinion that the latter holds true. Though the religion may have been originally chosen in the interrest of them having found a base value that felt right to them, it has somehow made them totally uncritical (should I say unskeptical) about everything offered to them by the said religion.

Regarding the post: http://truthinreligionandpolitics.com/2011/10/16/get-a-life-part-1/

In his continuous rant over the abortion issue, John whines about the immoral nature of abortion and taking the life of an “innocent” human being without proper justification. The simple fact that his god performs countless abortions each and every day without proper justification simply proves that his god is immoral. Any tap-dancing to somehow relinquish the deity of any responsibility by claiming that it is somehow justified is not only intellectually dishonest, but show the never-ending lengths the believer will go through to excuse the reprehensible behavior of the god they believe in. All of the other attacks on the “most offered defenses of elective abortion” are just smoke and mirrors.

Maybe “The Pink Unicorn” and his “500 Questions about God and Christianity” are familiar to you, but here is a link anyway:

http://500questions.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/21-why-does-god-allow-miscarriages-spontaneous-abortions-and-still-births/

There are some very good questions about this particular issue there also.

As an idea the judeo-christian god holds as much morals as a teacher who does not interve when he sees a bully torment a smaller kid. It does not in any way lessen the responsibility of the bully for the attack, but the power the teacher holds to stop the bully, makes him co-responsible for what happens, if he does not use his power.

Satan is like a mad dog set loose upon the world by said god. How is god not responsible for the actions of his pet? All evil in this world alledgedly caused by Satan (like miscarriages, disease, natural catastrophes and such) that have nothing to do with the free will of humans are events that could have been prevented by an allmighty god, right? But he is like Superman soaring in the skies and just watching as Lex Luthor (Satan) terrorizes the world. It may have not occured to the religious zealots, but by logic, having ultimate power also demands ultimate responsibility.

Why is it that the fanatically religious people find the ultimate truth from one old book? Most of us do not claim to know the ultimate truth about anything. We can manage on the most likeliest possibilities, and accept the world as we see it, but some people want to believe they have the absolute truth. Is it a result of some form of lack of security at some crucial point of their early lives, why they want so much to hold on to something absolute? To this “benevolent” father character?

I’ve seen that website and it does bring up some very valid points that theists like to ignore or try to somehow rationalize their way through. Thanks for bringing it up.

What I find interesting, Rautakky, is the perception of persecution that John Barron has over at his blog. It really is a display of psychology that shows that when you insult someone’s god, you’re really insulting them. They are one and the same. Instead of making ad hominem insults to an individual, I try to point out the absurdities of the belief and mock the character of their imaginary friend. I suppose it’s not possible for theists not take it personally.

John finally points out what I have been saying for a long time. He makes an argument about how the argument takes place and gets upset when you don’t submit to his rules of engagement. I agree with the notions of being cordial, concise and staying on topic, but when you expose the underlying cause for specific reasoning that should be fair game as well. If, for example, if morality is the main thrust of the discussion and it is said you derive your morality from the bible, then morality in the bible is where the conversation goes. Most of the opinions expressed on his blog are rooted in his belief system and it only seems logical that most discussions would lead to a defense of that belief.

He doesn’t like the fact that assertions must be defended. His opinions are often challenged, but he demands a counter-assertion in order to discuss anything. No one is allowed to be skeptical. It’s funny how he remarks about the easter egg hunt analogy of finding questions and answers when his replies are often links to another pages to address an issue he feels he shouldn’t have to discuss again. It’s also humorous how he complains about folks addressing his argument line by line. I find that can be an effective way to flesh out exactly how someone reaches the conclusions they come to.

Truth be told, I’ve always been more interested in discovering why someone believes something as opposed to what they actually believe. I got close a few times, but eventually it led to “because this book says so”.

So, there it is – we agree to disagree and to disagree on the ways we disagree as well. So goes the blogosphere. Better luck next time.

So, there it is – we agree to disagree and to disagree on the ways we disagree as well. So goes the blogosphere. Better luck next time.
effective way to flesh out exactly how someone reaches the conclusions they come to.
Truth be told, I’ve always been more interested in discovering why someone believes something as opposed to what they actually believe. I got close a few times, but eventually it led to “because this book says so”.
So, there it is – we agree to disagree and to disagree on the ways we disagree as well. So goes the blogosphere. Better luck next time.

Yes, of course John has the right to set what ever rules for his blog. However, it is a weird demand that you are not allowed to write “essays”, but at the same time you should defend your opinion and not just assert it. There must be a fine line where he counts a comment to be an “essay” and where the commenters are not just defending their opinions, but simply asserting a disagreement or an agreement.

I think one of the reasons he is where he is now, is because he has had at least two sets of rules. Leeway to the long time commentors (as yours truly) and harsh banning for the newbies. Or that is what he claims.

You ZQTX have written to his blog almost as long as I have, and you have not had any leeway for being a long time commentor, none that I can recognize anyway. On the other hand, those guys who are in agreement with him, or who at least support the same god-image as he does, do get a lot of leeway regardless of how long they have commented. So, I have no idea why he has allowed my comments for such a long time, exept that he may have stopped reading my “essays” a long time ago.


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