My new ‘friend’ Rational Man (not to be confused with Hyperbole Boy or the Stalker) has fired off a response to my response one or two blog entries ago. Here it is.
I have just a few points.
First of all, I loved the instant fixation on the fact that I am a creationist. This is ‘inside talk’ among atheists for: “And therefore any accusation against them is true.” But in my original blog entry, my creationist positions were never mentioned, and for good reason- they weren’t relevant. This is a common tactic, to be expected, I am afraid, but a little sad to see out of someone so…. rational. 🙂
My next point is more substantial.
It appears from Jimbo’s post that he is a bit put off by the fact that I did not take his points seriously. For example, he said, “So you’ll be addressing these soon, right?” and “The problem … lies in what we believe that a sign from God actually is.” and “The description is far too lacking in detail, but here are just a few problems with your test”
My dear, dear friend, when you write in such a way as to take nobody seriously- which is fine as far as I’m concerned- one ought not be put off if you are not in turn taken seriously. You probably thought that in your original post you were already raising substantive points which any and all could have seen as much. In fact, you were issuing pithy jests, code language for full arguments and whole manners of thinking, and the sort that only your fellow atheists would perceive and agree with. That is not a good way to conduct business if, as it seems, you mean to have an intelligent conversation about the affair.
Nor do I have any intention now to dig into the question. A sidebar with a jester is good fun but it can’t be where I invest my time.
I think I do need to correct you on your analysis about the experiences of my friend I mentioned. You do realize that he’s still an atheist right? You say:
That reality is that if you put someone in a context where they want to believe the insanity that you feed him, he will believe it. It’s just that simple.
The whole point of my original blog entry was about atheists (and anyone, I reckon) asking for something specific and particular, receiving it, and still not being satisfied. Thus, my friend would be a poor illustration of the thread if he believed ‘the insanity I fed him.’ In point of fact, the original blog entry is silent on the details, and I’ll note that you haven’t asked what they are. As such, it is funny to watch you pontificate, knowing as little of the details as you do.
The only important thing is this: this particular atheist friend of mine insisted on having a sign from God, he received said sign, he knew the implications, and he did not need me to lay them out. The whole affair happened days and weeks before he ever talked to me (there were two separate incidents). In the end, he didn’t need “anyone who would talk sense to him” for he talked ‘sense’ into himself, urging that what he thought he had experienced either he didn’t experience at all or he misconstrued.
Hence my point, that if you give an atheist what he wants and he still ain’t happy, what’s the point in jumping through his hoops? If you can, at the bloody end, simply write off the experience as a trick of the senses, then this can be said about any future ‘signs’ too. It also begs the obvious point that you can write off the rest of their experiences on the same ground.
The place that you put me in your response is completely disproportionate to my role. I did not ‘purvey miracles.’ I didn’t ask him to ask for a sign. He asked for a sign himself and when he’d received it he was shaken. And then he called me. Compare and contrast with your statement here:
The test subject talked to someone who wanted to convince him that there would be a sign from God. He didn’t talk to anyone who would talk sense to him.
There is nothing in my original post that suggests that I ‘prepared’ him to receive a sign, or that I had any role in the miracles whatsoever. You sir, have won the “Holy Jump to Conclusion” award. It is a perfect example of what happens when a person has in mind to see only what he wants to see or what he thinks he’ll see. ‘Skeptics’ beware.