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Seidensticker Folly #43: Intellectual Cowardice & Hypocrisy

Seidensticker Folly #43: Intellectual Cowardice & Hypocrisy August 28, 2020

Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker, who was “raised Presbyterian”, runs the influential Cross Examined blog. He asked me there, on 8-11-18“I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?” He also made a general statement on 6-22-17“Christians’ arguments are easy to refute . . . I’ve heard the good stuff, and it’s not very good.” He added in the combox“If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that out. Show me where I’ve mischaracterized them.” Such confusion would indeed be predictable, seeing that Bob himself admitted (2-13-16): “My study of the Bible has been haphazard, and I jump around based on whatever I’m researching at the moment.”

Bob (for the record) virtually begged and pleaded with me to dialogue with him in May 2018, via email. But by 10-3-18, following massive, childish name-calling attacks against me,  encouraged by Bob on his blog (just prior to his banning me from it), his opinion was as follows: “Dave Armstrong . . . made it clear that a thoughtful intellectual conversation wasn’t his goal. . . . [I] have no interest in what he’s writing about.”

And on 10-25-18, utterly oblivious to the ludicrous irony of his making the statement, Bob wrote in a combox on his blog: “Someone who’s not a little bit driven to investigate cognitive dissonance will just stay a Christian, fat ‘n sassy and ignorant.” Again, Bob mocks some Christian in his combox on 10-27-18“You can’t explain it to us, you can’t defend it, you can’t even defend it to yourself. Defend your position or shut up about it. It’s clear you have nothing.” And again on the same day“If you can’t answer the question, man up and say so.” And on 10-26-18“you refuse to defend it, after being asked over and over again.” And againYou’re the one playing games, equivocating, and being unable to answer the challenges.”

Bob’s cowardly hypocrisy knows no bounds. Again, on 6-30-19, he was chiding someone for something very much like he himself: “Spoken like a true weasel trying to run away from a previous argument. You know, you could just say, ‘Let me retract my previous statement of X’ or something like that.” Yeah, Bob could!  He still hasn’t yet uttered one peep in reply to — now — 41 of my critiques of his atrocious reasoning.

Bible-Basher Bob’s words will be in blue. To find these posts, follow this link: “Seidensticker Folly #” or see all of them linked under his own section on my Atheism page.

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Bob runs the popular Cross Examined blog: whose purpose is to mock, lie about, make fun of, misrepresent Christians and Christianity. He was active on my blog sometime in the past and was banned for being bigoted against Christianity. He virtually begged me in an email, to be unbanned / unblocked, and claimed that he was not prejudiced against Christians or Christianity at all: that it was all a big misunderstanding.

Thus in May he became very active on one combox thread: dialoguing mostly with Deacon Steven D. Greydanus, and also with me. We soon engaged in what I thought was a good dialogue, about worship. Meanwhile, I was checking his blog to see if indeed he had bigoted attitudes or not. Indeed, he did, as I documented. We engaged in one more dialogue (still in May 2018) about “evidence”. Then he mainly stayed away, but showed up again in August, His behavior was such that I again blocked him, and meticulously explained why (knowing I would have hell to pay for banning an atheist hero and supposed “champion”).
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This led to a huge (and utterly predictable) reaction on his blog, where I was subject to every imaginable personal attack. I documented it for posterity (so people can see how the sub-group of “angry / anti-theist” atheists argue). To sum up the anger and supposed “righteous indignation” against me, I was savaged primarily because I had the gall to ban Bob from my page (as if there were no conceivable good reason to do that).
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Then the crowning absurd irony was that Bob banned me from his blog, after less than two days (!!!). So the very thing that drew down titanic and volcanic ire upon my head, Bob himself did. But he’s perfect and I’m Vlad the Impaler and the biggest scumbag that ever walked the face of the earth. Go figure . . .
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Meanwhile, I wrote two articles critiquing Bob’s views on science, scientism, and Christianity’s relationship to science:
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Even so, on the attack thread on his blog (which is now up to 561 comments as I write, with a second one partially devoted to savaging me, up to 768 and still rising), Bob still managed — not long before banning me — to challenge me to reply to his papers: on 8-11-18: “I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?”
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As a result of that challenge, I decided to do a series of replies to his posts. So far, I have completed 42. Thus far, crickets; no response at all [which remains true more than two years later]. Someone informed Bob of #4 (while many of his bootlicking sycophants attacked me up and down in his combox, with his approval). Here’s how Bob responded:
I can’t imagine I’m missing much by not reading it.
Why read it? He has no credibility. Posts like that are the equivalent of The National Inquirer or Weekly World News. [link]
I have no interest in visiting his blog anymore, . . . [link]
Now, doesn’t all this strike you, dear reader, as two-faced, hypocritical, and evasive / run for the hills intellectual cowardice (as it does me)?
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If he’s truly interested in debate and dialogue with the Christian position, then he needs to put up or shut up. After all, he was the one who came to me, begging to be “let into” my blog in order to have debates. I was happy to let him, but he didn’t follow my rules, and so was at length banned.
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Then he (even in the midst of all the asinine, ridiculous personal attacks that he thinks are fine) challenged me to reply to his papers. I do so [now 42 times], and then he comes back with: “Why read it? He has no credibility.”
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Fair enough. I will continue to refute his anti-Christian, poorly argued (and that’s putting it very mildly) garbage because people are out there reading it and being influenced by it. Whether he responds or decides to run, lobbing grenades at me all the way, is up to him. I will continue to refute error and lies with regard to Christian beliefs, just as I have done these past 39 years.

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(originally posted on Facebook on 8-15-18; slightly expanded on 8-28-20)

Photo credit: Norman Rockwell’s No Swimming, the cover for The Saturday Evening Post, published 4 June 1921 [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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