Get Out Your Bullshit Detectors

The “Redneck” Blue Collar Atheist has worked with plenty of animals in his time and apparently he can get deep piles of bull shit on demand and he’s threatening to use as much of it as necessary to counter my latest sally in our escalating blog war:

With the slap of my challenge glove still stinging on his face, lightning-quick Daniel Fincke whipped out his rapier and carved a 2,600 attack onto my chest! The agony!

The worst of it is, I never completed my training in Philosophy. I was first in my class in Bookish Nerd. Achieved gold-star speckled certificates of merit in Internet Addiction. Gained royal notice in my teen years and achieved a widely-lauded Knighthood in Masturbation Fantasy. Won a Gold Medal in the 2010 Atheist Olympics.

But Philosophy? I’m a complete amateur. And I’m facing a Jedi Master.

Just in his first attack, he has overcome my guardian droids, escaped the Mighty Sarlaac, and freed the princess.

I stand alone now, barely armed, quivering under his proudly lifted chin, the confident glow of his Philosopher-Academic aura, the earnest intent of his poised verbal blade.

Now what? I can’t run. Can’t fight him on his own ground. Sweet Baby Jesus, if only I’d kept my big mouth shut.

But wait! I’m suddenly remembering something my former Master — Gary Leffew, 1970 World Champion Bull Rider — taught me:

“If You Can’t Dazzle ‘Em With Brilliance … Baffle ‘Em With Bullshit!”

Ha! This I can do.

“Hold, Mighty Sir Daniel! I beg a brief delay, whilst I mop up the blood, and fetch my shovel.”

Little does he realize, the poor fool, that a philosopher’s light saber slices right through bullshit. Only reality is thick enough to make us struggle.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • jimmiraybob

    Is it customary to set out a light buffet for these affairs? Seems a good blog war could benefit from some good grub. And beer. Who provides the keg, the slapper or the slappee? A nice stout would seem appropriate.

  • Isabel

    Why do you keep referring to him as a “redneck”? Many of us find the term offensive and unnecessary, and I don’t see it on his site. Has he self-identified as a redneck? Do you?

    Wow, did I just spell unnecessary right on the first try? That was a first! Unless the spell check isn’t working.

  • Isabel

    My comment just disappeared. Okay, here goes again: Why do you keep referring to your opponent as a “redneck”? I don’t see where he has self-identified as such. The term is used around the blogosphere in a generally pejorative way. Why not just use blue-collar?

    • Camels With Hammers

      The name of his book is Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist.

    • Camels With Hammers

      And this is war! It is no time for niceties! This is the way he declared war on me:

      Scrutinized and COUNTERED?? Dan, you madman, you think you can COUNTER my simple homespun redneck wisdom?

      Do your worst, sir! Go ahead and be a phil-ossi-fer if you like!

      Expect a visit from a couple of friends of mine, though. You’ll recognize them by the overalls and gappy teeth.

      And banjos.

      Dee-dee ding-ding-ding-ding-ding ding-dang

      emphasis on redneck added

  • Isabel

    Sorry for the double comment. Weird – after I hit preview the second time around, I did see my second comment (so far so good- the first time I didn’t use preview so maybe that’s why it disappeared?) but then when I clicked submit, the original comment promptly appeared! Now the second has disappeared which is good, except I dd add as explanation that the term “redneck” is used in a pejorative manner around the academic/science blogosphere, so should be used with caution, or at least qualification (even if your opponent himself is not offended). Thanks.

    • Camels With Hammers

      I just googled “Camels With Hammers” and “redneck” and outside of my references to my good self-identified-redneck-friend and “hated enemy” Hank Fox, I have never used the term.

      I do not make a habit of name-calling (see See The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth—But No Name Calling for my views on the subject). So feel free to call me on it if you catch me doing it without my tongue lovingly in cheek.

    • Daniel Schealler

      … my tongue lovingly in cheek.

      Someone needs to make that into a euphemism.

  • Isabel

    Well, that does make a difference, but is not automatically clear to readers. As I mentioned in my follow-up comment. I am not sure I am satisfied with that explanation but it’s your fucking blog;)

    (on many blogs it is used as a synonym for lower-class white person which in turn is assumed to be a synonym for ignorant pig-fucking racist)

    Consequently I feel a lot more comfortable with his use of it than yours, unless you also self-identify as a redneck.

    • Camels With Hammers

      I understand your concern, but if you look at the series of posts in context, you will see grasp the hyperbolic tone of the exchanges.

      And I think I have only used the term Redneck twice, once clearly signaling I was joking and the other (in the post above) just identifying him by the title he gave himself in his book’s title.

      Now stop making me explain the joke, you’re sucking all the fun out of this!!!

  • Isabel

    Yes, I did see his reply to your earlier post. My comments still stand. Maybe you could use quotes. Or just do what you want, just putting my two cents in. As a working class white person myself, I detest the term, having heard it used disparagingly by my self-proclaimed social betters my entire life.

    I guess there is a delay, or you are just doing some sort of super-fast moderating!

    • Camels With Hammers

      It might be that the site is not refreshing on your server quickly enough (I’m not moderating at all).

      I’m genuinely sorry you were offended, like I said, I am opposed to name calling and am very suspicious of classism (this whole thing even started with Hank responding playfully to my overcautious attempt to make sure I wasn’t going to accidentally come off as condescending and I just started playing along).

      Out of respect for your feelings, I will add the requested scare quotes around the word “Redneck”. Deal?

  • Isabel

    Sounds good, and I didn’t mean to go on for so many comments. The delay was a bit confusing, I thought maybe I was supposed to register. Never came across that before; even after I hit refresh, the comments do not appear for a while. But when they finally do appear, you have already replied. As you said, must be the server or something. Good luck with your blog war!

    • Daniel Schealler

      I can see how the use of ‘redneck’ could be viewed that way when taken out-of-context by a new reader.

      But for whatever it might be worth, I’ve been following the exchange – and it was clear to me from the outset that the use of ‘redneck’ is all in fun.

  • Hank Fox

    I don’t mind the term “redneck.” When I was a teenager in Texas, it was a term we ourselves used, with a certain amount of pride. I grew up among rednecks … but I got better.

    The part that REALLY bothers me is that I used this phrase:

    ” … and carved a 2,600 attack onto my chest!”

    — when I meant to write:

    ” … and carved a 2,600-WORD attack onto my chest!


    • Isabel

      I hear what you are saying, but I have also heard it used too often as a pejorative by people who are not as “morally superior” as they imagine, including on the blogs, to be comfortable with non-rednecks using it. Sorry, didn’t mean to derail. And I did notice it was a friendly exchange.

  • john

    ah yes another idiot misinterpreting the bible

    carry on