Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Over at Atheism Analyzed, Stan has lost his cool again. Or perhaps it's the case that he never had any "cool" in the first place. One thing's for certain: if you present a serious challenge to his incessant stream of ideological propaganda and outright lies, you will not be allowed to comment in his safe space for bullshit.
Stan considers himself to be the epitome of rational thinking. He has a number of featured posts on his blog that attempt to "educate" his readers on the logical incoherence of atheism (a topic that I have discussed before, and found that his own logic suffers from some serious flaws). Stan also is an avid denier of climate science, and especially evolution theory, a topic that I addressed here. When he is challenged on these things, his responses tend to be emotional and loaded with ad hominem attacks. And one of the emotional responses he is prone to make is to ban the challenger.
I was banned from his blog some time ago, but that's not so much what this article is about. I understand that my own style of argumentation can be abrasive, and that I tend to get under the skin of people like Stan, not so much by engaging in ad hominem attacks against them as by persistently calling out their lies and hypocrisy. They don't want to hear that. They prefer to post their stuff and then bask in the glowing adoration of their loving admirers in the echo chamber. Stan wants to be revered by his followers as a master of logic and science, who refutes atheists and scientists whose theories disagree with his own dogmatic positions.
That's why it seems curious that he would create "discussion zones" for ongoing debate on the topics of atheism, evolution, and abortion. He is actually inviting people to argue their points with him and anyone else who cares to join in. And he tolerates these dissenting views - up to a point. As long as he feels that he is in control, and his own claims haven't been challenged with sufficient force to make him feel that he is no longer the dominant intellect in the discussion, he allows people to disagree, and then he deals with their comments by either dismissing them with a barrage of accusations of logical fallacies, or simply re-asserting his own dogmatic position. When he starts to feel that he is losing his position of dominance in the discussion, he resorts to personal attacks (and this is not uncommon).
He has now banned Hugo Pelland from making any further comments. And this is particularly irritating to me. Hugo is a model of civil and rational discussion in the face of dogmatic and irrational argumentation. He has commented on my blog to chastise my abrasiveness, and I suppose he's right, but honestly, I don't have a problem with getting under the thin skin of conceited zealots like Stan. But that's not Hugo's style. The debate in question occurs in the Evolution Discussion Zone mentioned above. Hugo, as always, is rational and focused on facts. His only sin is to refuse to back down on his claims regarding the scientific facts that refute Stan's dogmatic belief in anti-science propaganda. And this is a shame. Hugo was Stan's best hope for laying any claim to being willing to carry on a reasoned discourse with those who are not members of his own ideological camp.
Once again, Stan has shown that he can't tolerate the voice of opposition when he doesn't know how to answer their arguments. His blog is a safe space for the most zealous religiously motivated science denialism. As long as you go along with that, Stan's happy to hear from you. But if you're not an adoring fan, you're on thin ice. Show him evidence, and he'll deny it has any validity. Point out that he's wrong, and it will get you banned. That's the strength of his position. Nobody can refute Stan, because he won't allow persistent rationality on his blog.