Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No Takers . . .

I wrote yesterday that I really wanted a discussion with some of those alleged Dawkins-inspired trolls. Alas and alack, they limited themselves to a site such as this. Commenter Parklife thought I was a tad dismissive when I called it "low-hanging fruit", yet a perusal of the thread, I think bears out the description.

One thing I find fascinating is the almost constant invocation of "straw man alert". A question is asked, then dodged and Neil calls it a "straw man". I have yet to read such a declaration actually reference a true straw argument, that is, wherein the questioner puts words and/or ideas in the mouth/head of Neil or another interlocutor, then uses that creation as the basis for a question or comment. That is what a straw man argument is. I don't see any of those. Rather, I see Neil doing what Neil does best, dodging and weaving, refusing to debate in a way that gives his opponent any advantage. It's quite clever, but it is also dishonest, as well.

Like his constant misuse of the term passive-aggressive, his misuse of the straw man label shows that he is a good rhetorician. He keeps his opponents guessing and off-balance.

I just wish some of those folks had come over here. Why does Neil get all the fun?

Virtual Tin Cup

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