Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vox Day versus Dominic

So we're on to part two now. And all I can say is, "Huh."

On the one hand, I liked that Vox brought up the general scope of what qualifies as God and gods, and how atheists are committed to rejecting the existence of all of the above. On the other hand, Vox goes by a dictionary definition that identifies as key that gods are 'beyond nature' (supernatural), whereas my reply is 'What is and isn't natural, particularly with regard to gods, is a tremendous mess that cannot be sorted out easily, if at all'.

Dominic, meanwhile, just seems to be performing terribly. For one thing, he basically entered the debate conceding in essence that if one believes that causality always holds, one ends up at theism automatically - so his response is to question causality. That should have ended the debate then and there, since giving up on causality is giving up on science and embracing absurdity (DS seems to think this is okay, if he lets only a 'little bit' of acausality enter the picture - you know, because you can attach rules to acausality).

Someone in the comments section reported that they think DS is coming on stronger now - I disagree. I think he's flailing madly now. His argument against inferring God due to the presence of (conceded) objective evil seems to be "Because the first explanation is always wrong, and gods were the first explanation". Er, okay. His argument against accepting the testimony of people who have encountered God/gods amounts to "I bet they were influenced by their culture, so bring me a person who never heard of God or aliens and have them say they experienced that." Wow. Really, that's the move?

I like Vox. I think The Irrational Atheist is a brilliant book. And he brought up, at least somewhat, a very important point that I think needs to be made more in these debates. But honest to God, this whole debate just strikes me as so underwhelming. DS seems out of his league and comes across as a guy who has barely considered these issues with any amount of depth. Vox's arguments are pretty esoteric and hard to follow, at least for me - but I half expected that, since Vox isn't very orthodox.

In a way, though, we're getting exactly what the debate was supposed to offer: A proxy for a Vox-Myers debate. Except almost all of the excitement that debate could have generated would have been due to the internet presence of Vox and Myers respectively. It certainly wouldn't have been because Myers is a brilliant guy who's intellectually stimulating to read. So instead, we get a Myers-level argument from a guy who isn't Myers. It's just not very interesting.


Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

This is a stellar post. Any action on China and the language known as Chinese?

Crude said...

I'd like to, but whenever I try, I'm baffled.

The only lessons I can find (ideally on the iPad, so that's where I look) seem to be of the form, "Here's a random kanji. Memorize it by rote!" That's pretty tough.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

Rosetta Stone! Pimsleur audio!

Crude said...

I'll check them out. Hopefully they'll teach me to read it as well as speak it. Thanks!

Rhology said...

I'm also a regular reader at Vox Day.

Crude said...

He's interesting. I think he's wildly unorthodox, but his TIA book was also much needed and should be more widely read. Flaws and all, I enjoy reading him. If nothing else, he's blunt. Funny at times too.