Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Debating Internet Atheists!

Just a side note about some exchanges I've been watching recently, between various internet apologists, blogging philosophers, and a certain wannabe internet atheist desperate for notoriety. Which is why I won't be saying his name, but man, anyone can likely guess who I'm talking about.

* I have rarely seen someone who is as blatantly seeking praise, money, and what passes for internet "stardom" as this guy. He practically oozes insincerity. So much so that I suspect, for all of his "I am a supreme champion atheist scholar!", this is actually far less about scholarship, or even atheism for him. He seems as interested in atheism as, say... Jim Bakker did in Christianity.

* His track record is atrocious. We're talking about a guy who was caught red handed starting up a fake blog to attack people on some theology/apologist website through while insincerely pointing at it as if he was some surprised third party, but didn't cover his tracks enough, and was exposed. If any other so-called "scholar" was caught doing that sort of thing, to say nothing of his other exploits, it would shred his credibility. But again, I'm sure Jim Bakker had some true believers even after his scandal.

* His arguments are inane. He keeps insisting that everyone should take his "test", but if you take his "test" and remain a Christian (or anything else, I have to say) he insists you didn't do it right or are deluding yourself. Also he never deludes himself! He knows this for certain! He's basically a self-parody.

* He rarely actually shows up to debate anywhere. Instead he shows up in comments sections and typically insists anyone talking about him has got him completely wrong, and that they'd realize such if they'd read his arguments. Which he insists he cannot argue for himself, as it requires buying his book. And conveniently he has no rights to his own books and can't offer up a copy of his own. And he'll call his lawyer if you quote too much of his book while you review it. Ultimately, his argument is "Buy my book and you'll be convinced!" Buy his book, read it, review it, point out all the flaws, and he'll insist that the reviewer got everything completely wrong, and readers will realize that for themselves... but they have to buy his book!

I could go on, because the guy in question just strikes me as ridiculously insincere. Again, I'm saying this guy doesn't even care about atheism or Christianity. Hell, I'd say he's the Jim Bakker of atheism, but that would imply vastly more success, suaveness, and skill than this guy has. At the end of the day, he's just yet another wannabe PZ Myers. Except one who is decidedly more slimy than normal.

I bring this up only because I'm waiting for the inevitable day he screws over his blogmates and "co-writers" and they start bitching about him in forums. Regardless, in the off-chance I talk about this guy again, I'll use the following designation for him: "Some asshole in a hat."