I Did It. It Was Me!

What I did here is wrong, and I admitted it. I'm sorry. But keep in mind that it takes a lot to provoke me. Holding and Co., provoked me for three years before I did this. And keep in mind that even a cuddly dog can be provoked to take a bite out of you.

Let me tell you something about me. I have personal problems, okay? Who doesn’t? I’ll not spell them all out here, but sometimes I exhibit personality traits I’m not proud of. That’s who I am. I am a perfectly reasonable man when treated with respect, but I can be seen as unreasonable when I am not. Some days I just don’t care. But how in the hell this personality trait of mine can legitimately lead one to reject my arguments is simply beyond me. It is a non-sequitur. I have never asked to be liked. That is not my goal. Many Christians do not like me. But I don’t care if they don’t. I know I’m a nice guy when treated nicely. Most of us are like that, so I’m normal with regard to that. But many Christians look for personality traits in me that might embarrass me and use that against me to show something about me, whatever that might be at the time.

Listen up. Christians are the first ones to say we are all sinners so I don’t want to hear that crap coming from them anymore. We can no more reject someone’s arguments because we don’t like them, than we can reject math because we don’t like our math teacher.

Anyone who has read Paul Johnson’s book The Intellectuals, knows that some of the brightest minds in recent centuries had personal problems, some of them were serious. Mine are not so serious. I may have an arrogant, stubborn streak, but many people who accomplish something in life have the same traits. While I am pretty much a “nobody” when compared to these “intellectuals,” their personal problems say nothing about their arguments, and they say nothing against the influence they had on society, either.

My rule of thumb is that I treat people respectfully, but if I detect that there is absolutely nothing I could say that would change their minds about me, I blast them, I ridicule them, I taunt them. To me it’s answering a fool according to his folly, “as the Bible say.” Other people have more discipline than that. They wouldn’t even bother with such people as that. For some personality fault of mine I do bother with them, and it causes me to sink to their level.

Then what usually happens is that Christians plaster what I said all over the web to show what a nasty person I am, taken out of context. The truth is I am not half as nasty as other people are on other sites, both Christian and non-Christian, even when I’m responding to such things in kind.

Anyway, I started up this blog about J.P. Holding and I’m being blasted for it here. [Edited. This Blog now belongs to J.P. Holding. See comments at the end to see why]. I responded in kind there for several pages in the space of a few hours. As you can tell I was taunting them all. There were nearly 30 people viewing the thread at one time, and that may be a record. But I have little respect for J.P. Holding and many of his gullible followers at TWEB. So I taunt, I argue, I ridicule, and as you can tell I was also having some honest fun with them. But it didn’t matter what they thought of me because nothing I said would ever change their minds about me. That is the context. When I’m in a situation like that I blast away, since it does not matter what I say, and so I did.

As far as my being dishonest goes, technically I was not dishonest, even if I was deceptive. I am not ethically obligated to tell everything that I know. No one is. Christians like St. Augustine claimed one could deceive others by having a hidden “mental reservation” in the mind. Even if I was dishonest I do not believe I did anything wrong because I hold to a consequentialist ethic. Even if I was dishonest it says nothing about my arguments. Even if I was dishonest it is such a small thing that I would be happy, very happy if that’s all I’ve ever done wrong. Even if I was dishonest it must be compared to JP Holding’s overwhelmingly dishonesty, and what I did pales by comparison. He is a scum bag.

The moral question is how to respond to a dishonest person like Holding, whom I regard as a liar. According to Sissela Bok, "To lie to a liar is to give him what he deserves, to play by his own rules, to restore an equilibrium he himself has upset." (p. 125). She has written a whole chapter about “lying to liars” in her book, Lying, which I highly recommend.

One other thing. I am more revealing about myself than probably any other atheist on the web precisely because I have a healthy self-esteem, and as a former minister I know that everyone has personal problems. If anyone wants to point his finger at me, he is being a hypocrite. People can hide by not revealing anything about themselves, and even hide their true identity, but I know different. We are all human beings. We all have problems. I didn’t even have to write this and put it here at DC, but I did, which is more than I can say about what Holding does when he is truly caught being dishonest, over and over and over again.