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Den Beste Criticism


Please don't waste your time trying to talk me out of my atheism. You won't do it. Believe me, I've heard all the arguments before.

I've always felt that it was rude and presumptuous for someone to try to convert someone else who has strong convictions unless they ask for help and guidance. (And I definitely do not want any.)

ummm, lessee. he says his atheism is immune to criticsm. he claims to know all arguments that exist against atheism.

is it presumptuous to criticise someone with strong convictions? more like the reverse. it's presumptuous to think you're so perfect that no one has any useful criticism of you.

I do understand that he gets lots of mail and it makes sense to try and get less mail on a subject where the mail tends to be really bad. But why doesn't he write, "If I don't know you, please don't send me email about atheism. I won't read it because I'm busy with other stuff."? Instead he goes off saying all sorts of crap and never even mentions this. In fact, this defense of his position may not be true. Maybe he skims all his email and doesn't mind the time -- enjoys doing it. We don't know.

Den Beste asks If I suffer amnesia, did I die?

This is a question of the form: if word 1, then does that mean word 2?

This is semantics.

I can divine what issues he's confused about from this question. But from almost everyone he'd get much better quality responses if he managed not to ask about semantics. Because a respondent needs to be |337 (elite) enough to totally ignore his explicit question (and probably explain why when Den Beste tries to insist on discussing semantics).

The issue he's actually interested in is what is important about a person. The answer is his worldview. Amnesia thus destroys the person if it's permanent. If it's potentially temporary, then the information is still there, and we could say the worldview is in stasis or something like that.

Notice i didn't mention death. Because death is strongly associated with bodies. It'd be standard to say someone who had amnesia did not die. What happened to him? Amnesia, which is equivalent to destruction of what's important about him, but not his body. Notice how this paragraph is really boring and pretty damn useless WRT his question. That's b/c it talks about semantics.

PS I criticise Den Beste in particular not because it's the dumbest thing I ran into lately. Rather, because his blog is one of the best. So the ideas ought to be more interesting to people with |337 worldviews than if I pointed out, again, why headlines like "Israel Puts An Explosive Stop To Peace By Blowing People Up" are wicked. You can always go read LGF anyway.

Elliot Temple on June 14, 2004

Comments (1)

It's not clear what exactly you're criticizing him for. Not believing in fairies and hobgoblins? Not being willing to entertain "proofs" that these magical creatures exist?

Anonymous at 3:22 AM on October 26, 2016 | #7028

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)