Even a Cuddly Dog Can Be Provoked to Take a Bite Out of You!

First JP Holding, then Frank Walton, then Paul Manata have all provoked me repeatedly. They view apostates like me with utter disgust and seek to malign me in every way possible, even knowingly and repeatedly lying about me. They have the same theological position with regards to how to treat apostates like me, and it has been very difficult to keep my head above water. Walton’s position is obvious. Manata’s position can be found here, and Holding’s position is to be found here, and especially here. I have challenged their position toward treating apostates and skeptics on this matter here.

These guys (and others) have been berating me, provoking me, lying about me and dogging my every step. So in the past I have sunk to their level, which won't happen any more. After months, and in Holding's case years, others might sink to their level too. You'd like to think differently, wouldn't you? But who knows?

In Holding's case I started a Blog detailing his lies and dishonesty, but since I didn't want people to know it was me I deceived people into thinking someone else did, which later I owned up to, even though just like them, I still could've lied by denying it but I didn't, and I didn't have to broadcast it on my blog. In Paul Manata's case I got pretty upset with him based upon his violent past and predicted he'd probably beat his wife someday, although I also said I hope it doesn't happen. Frank Walton has a strategy for provoking people that is reprehensible, and he doesn't give a damn what we think of him.

If I really didn't care what others thought of me, and if I truly was an obnoxious perverted person, then what best explains why I continue to try to defend myself from these accusations? I mean really, if I am as bad as they say, wouldn't it stand to reason that I just wouldn't give a damn? And wouldn't you see some evidence of these so-called personal faults of mine at DC at least some of the time?

But you DO see those characteristics from Holding, Walton and Manata on their sites all of the time. The bottom line is they share the same theology with regard to treating apostates like me, and the main reason they have successively attacked me is because they have thought I was important enough to attack.

All murder is not the same. All violence is not the same. All deception and all lies are not the same, either. This should go without saying. Take several cases regarding violence for instance. 1) If you walk up to someone and you hit him in the face without provocation, that’s different than 2) hitting him because he provoked it. And the latter is much different if 3) he continually and persistently provokes you and then you finally blow up at him and hit him. And it’s clearly not the same when 4) you’re defending yourself from his physical assault.

While few of us would have any problems with the need to defend yourself in case #4, and we would probably all be against hitting someone in case #1, more of us would be sympathetic to you in case #3 than to you in case #2. Most people would still think you did wrong in case #2. When it comes to case #3 fewer people would condemn you for what you did, even if they thought it was wrong, since it is more understandable. As I understand the law, only cases #1 and #2 are crimes. Case #3 involves mitigating factors that would not gain a conviction in court because the person you hit had already committed a crime if he continually verbally provoked you.

Now let’s say a case like #3 happened to you. You hit a guy after about 3 years of taunting and ridicule and verbal personal attacks. Are you therefore a violent person?

NO!

Even a cute cuddly dog can get mean and take a bite out of a person if provoked. Likewise, it’s the mitigating factors that dictate under what circumstances you might be classified as a violent person. All we can say is that under those same set of circumstances you might get violent. Under normal circumstances you could be as cute as that cuddly dog.

On the web between us there are some pretty heated debates going on, which includes ridiculing and belittling one’s opponent. It’s so hard to keep one’s head above water if you engage in these debates everyday like I do. I am always impressed with people who engage in said debates without wallowing in the mire with the others who do. Every once-in-a-while I get drug down in the mire when I can’t tolerate what others say about me, and I respond in kind. But it takes quite a lot to push me in that direction, I think. All I’ve ever wanted was a reasonable discussion of the ideas that separate us, and that’s still what I want. Anyone who reads what I write on a daily basis can plainly see for themselves that’s what I want.

But just because I sink down to their level once in a rare while upon being provoked repeatedly and persistently, no more makes me like them than failing to take my daily shower once or twice a month characterizes me as a dirty person.

What I find interesting is the hypocrisy of this. Some Christians can taunt, demean, ridicule me, and be dishonest with me by gerrymandering what I write all of the time and plaster it all over the web. When I finally get fed up with it and respond in kind they take a snapshot of me and plaster that all over the web too, as if this is what characterizes who I am. Frank Walton even posted a video on YouTube claiming I’m a lying homosexual. The only thing bad about it is that it’s a lie! But I don’t see any condemnation of that video or of it’s creator from fellow Christians. Why not? Do Christians hold other Christians to a lower standard than they hold us atheists to? That would be amusing to me, if so.

The bottom line for me is that I have to develop thicker skin. I need to ignore the taunts, the ridicule, and the belittling that Christians do out there. I have to understand that they feel personally attacked by the simple fact that this very blog exists. If I can keep my head above water here, I'll do okay. I plan on doing much better about this from now on. I'll try not to miss that daily shower again! ;-)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

John, you need to understand that it comes with the territory. And it comes from both sides of the coin. This is what it is. It is not a good thing. This is the fruit of it. There must be another way.

Anonymous said...

John,

You said, "All I’ve ever wanted was a reasonable discussion of the ideas that separate us". You personally and your logical discussion points supported by data offer that kind of interaction but your opponents, generalizing, mostly have faith, bluster and shrillness that comes with knowing they don't have a convincing rebuttal to you.

Your recent crankiness, a tempest in a very small teapot, is by far a better way for the Christians to react to you than responding to the discussion points you raise. It isn’t nice, it isn’t fair but it is a better strategy in debating you then trying to pretend that, for example, the apologist’s reconciliation of the two versions of creating in Genesis is reasonable and intuitive.

Sorry about the Anonymous