Pharyngula

O Scalzi, are you that desperate?

I can understand that some days you have little time to post — I’m still trying to catch up on work after my long weekend in the west myself — but chumming the waters with Vox Day? Gross, man.

I guess one has to keep the commenters fed, though.

Comments

  1. #1 Dan
    April 8, 2008

    Scalzi at least seems quite certain as to what he’s getting himself into with that post, and though I’ve not read the comments yet, I’m pretty sure it’ll descend into sheer madness before too long.

    Of course, I’d rather watch a baby fall down an escalator than read anything the loon Vox Day has to rattle on about.

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    April 8, 2008

    Huh, what, that was supposed to be “rational”?

    More to the point, we’re not asking for “rational,” we’re asking for evidence, as in he should be giving us something with which to calculate the “probability” that God exists, if he thinks it’s worth calling a “probability” at all.

    OK, so Vox wrote nothing, as usual. I’m just not sure why Scalzi thought it was better than simply putting no words on his site.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  3. #3 Holbach
    April 8, 2008

    The “Irrational” Atheist? What a freaking joke! I have seen the release for this insane book but doubt that I
    would ever read it, let alone buy it. Irrational? This is
    the only way that the insane can try to get back at us, by
    throwing out the same descriptions that we ascribe to them.
    A campaign of reverse denigrations that the deranged religionists lap up without recourse to realizing that they
    are the ones who are being laughed at and ridiculed. What
    a pile of dimwitted dipshits!

  4. #4 iwdw
    April 8, 2008

    FWIW, for anyone who isn’t aware of it yet, there’s a solid dismantling of TIA in progress over at Evangelical Realism.

  5. #5 Dan
    April 8, 2008

    Ha!

    I read the comments, and Vox is desperately trying –and comically failing– to prove his assertion that the Bible details historical fact as opposed to simple hearsay.

    He’s even trying to use some sort of bizarre federal definition as to what constitutes evidence.

    Seriously. That dude is so freakin’ unhinged, it’s just getting funny.

  6. #6 John Scalzi
    April 8, 2008

    Eh. I posted a general solicitation for authors to participate in my “Big Idea” feature, and he responded, and the book is published by a reputable (if specialized) publisher. Vox knows very well that neither I nor the likely the majority of my readers have much sympathy for his arguments, but I figured if he was willing to lay out his points, I’d let folks take a crack at them. It’s not desperation. I was curious to see how the resulting conversation would go.

    So far we’re 100+ comments in and it still seems reasonably civil (although I’m only skimming — I’m supposed to be writing something else entirely), so in a sense as a stress test for the civility of the site’s readership when confronted with ideas uncongenial to their own, it’s not doing too badly. And that’s interesting in itself.

  7. #7 H.H.
    April 8, 2008

    Giving the label “ideas” to Vox’s inane, hateful, self-contradictory screeds is being generous to a fault.

  8. #8 scott
    April 8, 2008

    How about feeding the readers by linking out to a blog post intended to feed the readers…. I smell a rat.

  9. #9 firemancarl
    April 8, 2008

    The Four Horsemen of the Bukkakelypse

    So, Vox is now into Japanese gangbang porn?

  10. #10 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 8, 2008

    I can’t read Vox Day’s comments or blog or anything. His pomposity and complete lack of a grasp on logic burns.

    He argues to win regardless of facts. He’ll bombard you with anything he thinks he can twist to support his position, caring little on whether or not it does, in hope that you will either not know what he is referencing or will tire of his antics and give up At that point giving him the ability to claim empty victory.

    What a gigantic bore he is.

  11. #11 Dustin
    April 8, 2008

    So, Vox is now into Japanese gangbang porn?

    Bukkake is exactly the kind of thing Vox Day would like — he’s a closet case, a misogynist, and instead of a brain he has a skull filled with load.

  12. #12 jsn
    April 8, 2008

    Quoth he:”I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t even prove to you that I exist.”

    ouch. This guy has serious problems with logic and evidence. He obviously flunked Cartesian philosophy.

    #9
    /The Four Horsemen of the Bukkakelypse
    So, Vox is now into Japanese gangbang porn?/

    Uh no, evidently he’s got a thing for “facials”. Whether he’s into giving or receiving is another story.

  13. #13 Dothemath
    April 8, 2008

    I know Ted Beale (Vox Day) from way back. I know some women he dated. Let’s just say there’s a little reason for the inferiority complex.

    It’s amazing that Beale can continue to undershoot our expectations of him. We expected so little of him, and he still is able to disappoint. The best post of his ever was the one where he seemed to insinuate that we should gas mexicans. Someone please tell me I misunderstood him.

  14. #14 Dale Husband
    April 8, 2008

    Vox Day seems to have a thing for bashing Myers. Look at this:

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/

    Thursday, April 03, 2008
    PZ Myers is getting out of hand
    Pharyngulans may need to consider doing an intervention soon, as PZ, inspired by his starring roles in “Expelled” and “The Dicky D Rap”, appears to be going overboard with his newly acquired habit of crashing conference calls:

    In the “just plain bizarre” category, some “dude,” as our colleague Chris Cillizza, a.k.a, “the Fix,” tells us, got on today’s conference call with Hillary Clinton’s chief campaign strategist Mark Penn, communications director Howard Wolfson and deputy communications director Phil Singer and asked whether Clinton could “talk sexy” in her ads so he could “pinch the squid.”

    Sounds to me like PZ Myers has grounds for a libel lawsuit against Vox Day. Good luck with that!

  15. #15 Marcus Ranum
    April 8, 2008

    “I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t even prove to you that I exist.”

    When some wanna-be philosophy 101 student quoth that shit around me, I usually start punching them as hard as I can in the shoulder, explaining that I will stop when they admit that I exist, and that sterner and more excrutiating evidence will be provided if this is not sufficient.

    Oddly, I have very little trouble making people at least publicly agree that I exist.

  16. #16 Norman Doering
    April 8, 2008

    Rev. BigDumbChimp wrote:

    He argues to win regardless of facts. He’ll bombard you with anything he thinks he can twist to support his position, caring little on whether or not it does, in hope that you will either not know what he is referencing or will tire of his antics and give up At that point giving him the ability to claim empty victory.

    I’ve been there and I’ve decided that no matter how dangerous the propaganda Vox and “Expelled!” might be spewing I’m going to stick to blogging on things I can actually enjoy from now on:
    http://normdoering.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-new-battlestar-galactica-is-more.html

  17. #17 Brownian, OM
    April 8, 2008

    When some wanna-be philosophy 101 student quoth that shit around me, I usually start punching them as hard as I can in the shoulder, explaining that I will stop when they admit that I exist, and that sterner and more excrutiating evidence will be provided if this is not sufficient.

    Oh, you stop when they admit you exist? It’s much more fun to continue to beat them, jeering all the while that I can’t stop since I can’t very well have started since I don’t exist and who are they talking to anyway?

    On a serious note, fuckwad retards like Vox Duh give themselves away with that kind of shit. It’s obvious that they’re playing games when they drop crap like that, since they obviously don’t believe them themselves, since, all ‘logical’ arguments for Jehovah work equally well for Shiva, a fact that always seems to escape their steel-trap minds.

    What an ass.

  18. #18 firemancarl
    April 8, 2008

    Well, I guess Vox should be given a new nickname. Say, King of the Facial?

  19. #19 Marcus Ranum
    April 8, 2008

    Brownian writes:
    Oh, you stop when they admit you exist?

    Yeah, it saves them the embarrassment of calling the nonexistent cops and trying to press assault charges on a figment of their imagination.

  20. #20 has
    April 8, 2008

    John Scalzi also sticks bacon to cats. The man is a loose cannon!

  21. #21 rouge
    April 8, 2008

    Vox used to come out of the bathroom at parties with white stuff all around his nostrils. Maybe all that talcum powder has addled his brain.

  22. #22 Ferrous Patella
    April 8, 2008

    “Of course, I’d rather watch a baby fall down an escalator than read anything the loon Vox Day has to rattle on about.”

    I assume that would be an “Up” escalator.

  23. #23 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 8, 2008

    Quoth he:”I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t even prove to you that I exist.”

    That’s actually right. You see, you might be the solipsist.

    (Well, of course not. If anyone is the solipsist, that’s me. But you get my point.)

    Of course, the use of “prove” is a red herring in the first place. This is where the stupidity lies.

    It’s obvious that they’re playing games when they drop crap like that, since they obviously don’t believe them themselves, since, all ‘logical’ arguments for Jehovah work equally well for Shiva, a fact that always seems to escape their steel-trap minds.

    Exactly.

    Sounds to me like PZ Myers has grounds for a libel lawsuit against Vox Day.

    Agreed.

  24. #24 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 8, 2008

    Quoth he:”I can’t prove to you that God exists. I can’t even prove to you that I exist.”

    That’s actually right. You see, you might be the solipsist.

    (Well, of course not. If anyone is the solipsist, that’s me. But you get my point.)

    Of course, the use of “prove” is a red herring in the first place. This is where the stupidity lies.

    It’s obvious that they’re playing games when they drop crap like that, since they obviously don’t believe them themselves, since, all ‘logical’ arguments for Jehovah work equally well for Shiva, a fact that always seems to escape their steel-trap minds.

    Exactly.

    Sounds to me like PZ Myers has grounds for a libel lawsuit against Vox Day.

    Agreed.

  25. #25 thalarctos
    April 8, 2008

    If anyone is the solipsist, that’s me.

    Ahh, that’s just one man’s opinion. :)

  26. #26 Marcus Ranum
    April 8, 2008

    So the Voxies all say “you can’t argue against this book unless you’ve read it…” Woe betide me, I downloaded it and started crunching away at it.

    Someone owes me a new brain.

    This is just the most horrific schlockfest. It’s written in the tone of someone who clearly overestimates how clever and erudite he is. That makes it tough going simply because it’s full of stuff like:
    Dawkins visits the wreckage of his train of thought, pours lighter fluid over it, and sets it on fire by bringing the multiverse concept, an utterly non-scientific theory invented solely to get around the problem of the anthropic prinicple.”
    Augh… This is like a high school paper written by a badly socialized boy who hasn’t figured out that his mom was biassed when she said he was the smartest kid in the school.

    I’m told that the great “depantsing” of Dawkins comes at page 152 – which turns out to be a bunch of nitpicks based on questionable data. I’m not remotely convinced by it; someone whose idea of counting wars to blame them on either atheism or christianity — who only counts the deaths of soldiers and who apparently forgot the Boxer Rebellion… Well. Not credible. Not credible at all. Dawkins can keep his pants as far as I am concerned – I suspect he hasn’t been “depantsed” as much as “had his ankle savaged by a crack-smoking ferret.”

  27. #27 Alan Kellogg
    April 8, 2008

    I cannot claim to be a solipsist because I truly do not know. But if I did know I would still not be a solipsist because I would know.

  28. #28 Badger3k
    April 9, 2008

    Yeah, I downloaded the book for free from the site, but I haven’t had a chance to slog through it. Ever since it was posted at “Unscrewing the Inscrutable” with a positive review !?!?! (lots of astonishment and confusion) (http://www.unscrewingtheinscrutable.com/node/1727).

    Luckily I haven’t had time to read it and give it a debunking on my own, but I definitely want to read the reviews. I can’t afford to lose any more brain cells (I have finished listening to debates with Alistair McGrath, William Lane Craig and a few others – I put off the D’Souza-Shermer debate to save my sanity).

  29. #29 Small Man Syndrome
    April 9, 2008

    All that and a ninja master too!

    Among his more wild claims, Ted claims to have bested the commandant of the Marine Corps in some sort of male bonding slash sublimated rape contest “on the mat.” If you hurt your head reading enough of his screeds, you can find a lot of similar statements.

    Not bad for someone who’s like 5’9. He is forever living in his father’s shadow, the poor kid.

    My guess is that Dawkins is now in loco parentis. Dawkins is now the knowledgeable Daddy for Ted to rail and flail ineffectually at.

  30. #30 Ron Sullivan
    April 9, 2008

    Dan in #5: He’s even trying to use some sort of bizarre federal definition as to what constitutes evidence.

    Nothing new. That’s approximately Phillip Johnson’s strategy, no?

  31. #31 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 9, 2008

    It’s written in the tone of someone who clearly overestimates how clever and erudite he is.

    Vox Day in a nutshell.

  32. #32 Kseniya
    April 9, 2008

    Sophistry, thy name is Ted.

  33. #33 bad_andy
    April 9, 2008

    Hey, PZ. Long time listener, first time caller. For what it’s worth, I really dig Scalzi’s site. His review of the “Creation Science Museum” was wonderful and got me to read a few more posts and subscribe. This is really the first post that’s been a bit of a disappointment. This meas his batting average is still very high.

    I guess it just seems like this isn’t a big idea. Don’t get me wrong. Even as an atheist, I think that you can have very interesting ideas about religion. (Just in Scalzi’s given genre of Sci Fi we have Frank Herbert’s Dune, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails, etc.) I’d have preferred to see Scalzi give the floor to someone like John Hugh instead of someone like Vox Day. (I suppose we can call ourselves lucky that Dinesh D’Souza was busy that day. *rimshot*)

    Calling Vox Day’s syrupy thick ad hominem attacks, context switching, grandiose claims and sweeping assumptions about the importance of his work to his chosen intellectual enemies a “big idea” is a bit much. This isn’t an interesting discussion of theist apologetics. It’s sensationalist flackery.

    What if Ann Coulter wrote in with her big ideas about political science? What if Kevin Trudeau wrote in with his big ideas about medicine? What if Bill Kaysing wrote in with his big ideas about the moon landing? I know Scalzi’s exercising some editorial authority since his site is so consistently funny and interesting. Anyway, that’s just my $.02. I look forward to checking my RSS feeds tomorrow to see what’s up on both Pharyngula and Whatever.

  34. #34 worg
    April 9, 2008

    Beale makes Ann Coulter look like a hard-headed rationalist.

    I really, really hope to see more of Ted Beale. His views make the know-nothing right look so terribly bad. And he’s far too stupid to know it.

    Ted’s life is a tragic story of things that went nowhere.

  35. #35 Nix
    April 9, 2008

    Theodore ‘Vox Day’ Beale reportedly said

    Dawkins visits the wreckage of his train of thought, pours lighter fluid over it, and sets it on fire by bringing the multiverse concept, an utterly non-scientific theory invented solely to get around the problem of the anthropic principle.

    Forget logic (you can’t expect Beale to provide that); that sentence isn’t even grammatically correct!

    (No, I have not checked the original. I value my brain cells.)

  36. #36 worg
    April 10, 2008

    Is this book self-published? It MUST be. No rational publisher would have anything to do with it.

    If he’s selling it through WingnutDaily, it’ll be quite the cash cow. If he gets $10 profit per sale, possible if it’s self-published, it’s quite reasonable to expect that he’d get 20,000 sales over the life of the book.