Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Own Blog

I've been commenting on blogs for a while. Mostly over at Triablogue. Sometimes also at Debunking Christianity, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, and STR. Triablogue worked the best for me. It's not too big, where comments get lost. There aren't a whole lot of non-Christians there, so as one of only a few I'd get lots of attention and criticism. This makes for faster paced learning. The drawback at Triablogue is that the contributers are generally more obnoxious and rude, being mostly Reformed types. STR and Catholic blogs are not nearly as bad. So you have to hold your nose though insult after insult. If you can tolerate that you can learn.

Unfortunately I was banned. Why? Well, it's not too clear. The only thing specific mentioned is my use of "google and Wikipedia". Kind of weird. But the "staff" at Triablogue does not want to elaborate. Anyone that would want to discuss it over there would risk being banned as well.

I think I was mostly banned because of another person. A guy that went by the name of Touchstone. Touchstone was an old earth evolutionist Christian, and he had been spending a lot of time exposing Triabloggers as ignorant and irrational on the issue of origins. They hurled insult after insult at him trying to scare him off, but like me it didn't seem to bother him too much. I think the guy just has enough confidence in his own positions that he wasn't intimidated by their attempts to malign him personally.

But the real kick in the crotch came here, where Touchstone explained some of his reasons for spending time at Triablogue. Apparently he had been witnessing to people, and those people as they considered Christianity came upon Triablogue, with all of its vitriol, condescension, arrogance, and ignorance. They would say to Touchstone "This is Christianity? This is the movement you suggest I join?" They wanted him to address Triablogue nonsense, and so he did. Touchstone showed what he had argued in many cases before. In many cases Triablogue does far more harm to Christainity than Richard Dawkins type skeptical bloggers ever could do.

I think it was this commentary that really sealed his fate, and mine. Nothing hurts more than the truth. The realities of the impact Triablogue has on potential converts was a real sucker punch for these guys. What to do? They had been trying name calling for a long time, and that works for most people. It obviously wasn't working on Touchstone. They had no choice. They had to ban him. But on what grounds? You can't ban him for his truthful arguments about the effects of Triablogue. Pretty much they didn't bother with specific reasons for banning him. Discussion with him I guess is unprofitable.

Basically Touchstone makes Triabloggers work very hard. His arguments are good and he's just as tenacious as they are. He wears them out. Dave Armstrong sometimes pops in. John Loftus sometimes pops in. Other skeptics from Debunking Christianity pop in. By Triablogue logic discussions with these people are just as unprofitable as discussions with Touchstone. But the difference is, these people are not quite as tenacious. They might go elsewhere in the face of insult.

Orthodox and I are more like Touchstone than we are like some of the skeptics that don't take much time. We make these guys work a little bit. If they are going to be unfair and ban Touchstone, why not also eliminate others that are sometimes difficult to deal with and make the load a whole lot easier. I think that's why I'm gone.

It seems to me that this action is entirely emotional, rather than rational. Triablogue is very slow to ban people. They allow anonymous comments from people that really do nothing but heckle. They of course think I engaged in poor reasoning, but when I posted, it wasn't about heckling and harassing. It was about engaging in substantive arguments. Same with Touchstone and Orthodox. I wasn't a big fan of Orthodox' reasoning, but he was clearly there to engage. So they've banned their three primary opponents that engaged their reasoning at levels deeper than any other. This meant long, extensive comments' sections at the end of their posts. Since we've left there's been less extensive debate in the comboxes. I think there is less that can be learned.

So this partly explains why I started this blog. I enjoy participating in this debate, and perhaps I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with other formats available to me. So I'll try it here and see what happens.

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