Friday, January 30, 2015

Depressing Ideas

I like Victor Reppert. I think he's intelligent, that he's made great contributions to the philosophical debate, and he's helped boost awareness of CS Lewis' philosophical side in important ways, particularly the argument from reason. Beyond that, he is the single most gracious and civil blogger I've run into in all my years. I have not seem him lose his temper, even with me, and you know I've asked for it at times.

If he has one flaw, it's this: he is too gracious to know when his time is being wasted.

Watching him argue with the two regular atheists who haunt his blog - a sad old plagiarist, and a complete science-ignorant nitwit - is actually depressing. It's like finding out that John Searle spends a good chunk of his time arguing philosophy with an angry, toothless hobo who thinks intentionality is a boardgame. I mean, spending his time arguing with that middling hack in a cowboy hat was bad enough, but those two?

C'mon. Eventually it's time to say, 'This is simply a waste of time.', ban, and move on.

6 comments:

Syllabus said...

Yeah, I basically gave up on DI a while back after that idiotic exchange where someone insisted that one didn't need to define their terms in a philosophical discussion. That, and I was tired of Skep and Paps dominating all the conversations ever with their drivel. Figured I had better things to do.

Crude said...

Ah, I remember that one. We don't need to define what supernatural is to know it doesn't exist. Science shows us this! Etc.

Mr. Green said...

I've thought on various occasions that Prof. Reppert could cultivate quite an interesting and thriving community if only he would weed his garden a bit more assiduously. I can't dispute his graciousness, though.

Huh, "Intentionalty: the Boardgame", eh? Presumably the player who can construct the pun with the most layers of simultaneous meaning wins. Look, I drew the "Church" card! "You get religion and discover that everything in the universe has meaning. Move ahead 10 squares." Oh, wait, my thumb was covering it — it's actually the "Churchland" card... "Lose all your points and go back to square 1."

GoldRush Apple said...

@Syllabus: Hmmm. Interesting. What is with, say, non-believers or leftists not wanting to define terms (sometimes they reject labels all together like they're irritated by them)? It's odd.

I was having a discussion with a guy who didn't want to define "anti-" when I asked him to. He just said "It's obvious what constitutes as 'anti-'." I responded no and wanted his criteria of anti-. He then went off like a kid to another person who was more sympathetic to his situation. All I wanted was his version of "anti-." I guess it hit too close to home.

Syllabus said...

@Crude

We don't need to define what supernatural is to know it doesn't exist. Science shows us this! Etc.

Which is - irony of ironies - itself a profoundly anti-scientific attitude. Which they'd know if they ever studied science past the grade school level.

@GoldRush

I was having a discussion with a guy who didn't want to define "anti-" when I asked him to. He just said "It's obvious what constitutes as 'anti-'."

The most satisfying rejoinder to that is "People in Iran think it's obvious that we should string gays up from construction cranes. Why is your 'obviousness' better than theirs?"

Another fun one is asking them to define "hate". They'll usually try to get away with an ostensive definition, which is neat because it lets them define themselves to victory.

Chris said...

For quite a while, I thought Papalinton was a gag. He's annoying. And the other one isn't much better. Fundies come in all shapes and sizes, after all.