Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker 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 added in June 2017 in a combox: “If I’ve misunderstood the Christian position or Christian arguments, point that out. Show me where I’ve mischaracterized them.” Delighted to oblige his wishes . . .
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, he banned me from commenting there. I also banned him for violation of my rules for discussion, but (unlike him) provided detailed reasons for why it was justified.
Bob’s cowardly hypocrisy knows no bounds. On 6-30-19, he was chiding someone for something very much like his own behavior: “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 — 62 of my critiques of his atrocious reasoning.
Bible-Basher Bob reiterated and rationalized his intellectual cowardice yet again on 10-17-20: “Every engagement with him [yours truly] devolves into pointlessness. I don’t believe I’ve ever learned anything from him. But if you find a compelling argument of his, summarize it for us.” And again the next day: “He has certainly not earned a spot in my heart, so I will pass on funding his evidence-free project. Like you, I also find that he’s frustrating to talk with. Again, I evaluate such conversations as useful if I can learn something–find a mistake in my argument, uncover an error I made in Christians’ worldview, and so on. Dave is good at bluster, and that’s about it.”
I have noted Bob’s bizarre and irrational intellectual cowardice when dealing with my critiques on at least four occasions:
Today I was struck by his absurd double standards, in repeatedly addressing a Christian apologist that he appears to have an equally low opinion of, compared to yours truly. Yet he replies to him and has utterly ignored my 62 refutations as of this date. There are only so many ways to explain such a discrepancy. I think many readers would conclude the same thing I do.
His four-part series in response to the New Zealand minister and evangelist Ray Comfort was originally posted in July 2016 and has now been posted in installments in November 2020 (one / two / three / four). Note how even the titles immediately express Bob’s opinion that Comfort is flat-out not “honest”: “Fat Chance: Pigs Will Fly Before Ray Comfort Writes an Honest Critique of Atheists.”
So let’s do a quick run-down of Bob’s opinion of Comfort’s intellectual prowess (right or wrong — I’m not addressing that, and it’s not my topic –; I’m merely recording Bob’s view for the record):
In the third installment, he calls Comfort “an obnoxious moron” and refers to “how little he understands the issues he talks about.” He gets more and more scathingly insulting as the article proceeds:
Ray keeps using his simple platitudes, . . . He’s been corrected by the best—Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and other biologists have pointed out his errors. And yet he pops back up like a Weeble with the same stupid arguments. . . .
Ray, what do you call someone who makes a mistake, has it corrected by a reliable authority, and then deliberately repeats that mistake? You [call] him a liar. . . .
Does it worry you that you lie? Or maybe you have some rationalization like it’s okay to lie for Jesus or you can lie as long as you ask for forgiveness afterwards.
Bob continues his ranting in part 4, with this preface: “I’ll wrap up with a few more claims from the book that I can’t let stand without rebuttal.” Oh, the pathetic irony! And:
I can understand Ray’s motivation, though—it’s a lot easier to simply make statements like this and ignore that whole evidence-and-good-arguments thing. What a hassle that is. . . .
As for Ray’s pig book, I’m amazed that he can consider this mindless and insulting tract to be an evangelistic tool.
Okay! Now, the obvious question is: if Ray Comfort’s book is so “mindless and insulting” and he is an “obnoxious moron” who understands “little” regarding what he is writing about, with “stupid arguments” that amount to him being a relentless “liar” and having a leading characteristic of ignoring “evidence-and-good-arguments”, then why does Bob bother responding to him at all: let alone with four lengthy screeds?
And if he responds to a person he has such a rock-bottom opinion of: why does he utterly refuse to reply to my critiques: which now number 62? He seems to hold Ray Comfort in even less regard than he does me. He wrote about me on October 17 and 18, 2020:
Every engagement with him devolves into pointlessness. I don’t believe I’ve ever learned anything from him. . . . I will pass on funding his evidence-free project. Like you, I also find that he’s frustrating to talk with. . . . Dave is good at bluster, and that’s about it.
That’s not too bad, all things considered. You would think, since Bob literally pleaded with me in emails to engage in May 2018 and later specifically challenged me, almost months later, 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?
. . . that he would be delighted to have a golden opportunity to refute my critiques and counter-arguments. He wasn’t forced at gunpoint to say that. He voluntarily did. I started my “Seidensticker Folly” series the very next day: which is a systematic refutation of Bob’s anti-theist and anti-Christian / anti-Bible arguments. The series now numbers 62 installments, and as of this date (after two years and three months), not one peep in reply has been heard from Bob. It’s crickets and ZZZZzzzzz all-around (except for the obligatory personal insults if anyone brings up my name). Yet he will write and repost a four-part response to a guy he thinks is “moron” and “liar” and obviously a clueless idiot on many fronts, who habitually makes (so Bob sez) “stupid arguments.”
I think there is only one reasonable and quite plausible explanation for this. He thinks he can provide a good and convincing reply to Comfort but he must not think so as regards my critiques: or else he would respond to me, too. We can’t be too careful in debate about whom we choose to wrangle with.
I’m in very good company, as to being a recipient of insults from Bob. Dr. William Lane Craig is widely considered (by theists and atheists alike) one of the very best philosophical defenders of theism. But that doesn’t stop Bob from trashing and bashing him in all sorts of ridiculous ways:
unhealthy relationship with facts and evidence . . . sloppy thinking [in the title] . . . dark and tangled recesses of the thinking . . . bizarre reply . . . He ignores the problem, assumes that he is right, and then shapes the facts to fit. . . . The mental masturbation continues. . . . It’d be a pain to have to, y’know, do all that research and stuff. I mean, who’s got the time? Using reason would be inconvenient, so let’s not. . . . drunken reasoning . . . So much for apologetics to raise the intellectual content of the conversation. (7-21-14 / reposted on 3-23-18)
His potshots sent my way are veritable high praise compared to this! When you discover this masterpiece on Google (I did by simply searching “Craig is” on his site), the little blurb (first one up) reads: “William Lane Craig is the insane gift that keeps on giving, a cornucopia of crazy. Let’s look at more of the nutty thinking . . .” The description for another post dated 7-29-14 is: “World famous Christian apologist William Lane Craig is well known for his hilariously inept defense of the savage excesses of his God . . .” On 5-7-19 he said of Dr. Craig: “ I suppose if Craig is smart he knows what he is peddling is false. It’s a living for him.”
You get the point. Filthy lucre . . . (which certainly can’t explain away my 39 years of apologetics: the last 19, full-time, as a profession). Yet Bob replies to Dr. Craig over and over and over. Granted, he should, because of Dr. Craig’s academic stature. But we see what he thinks of him. Yet that doesn’t stop him from repeatedly replying to his arguments. I should be short work next to Dr. Craig, right? One would think so. I’m a nobody in the overall scheme of things . . . But Bob has chosen to utterly ignore me. One might say, “well — completely aside from the disputes — , he obviously dislikes you personally.” Yes, I’m sure that’s true. I’m not overly fond of him, either. But doesn’t it seem obvious that he also greatly dislikes likes Ray Comfort and William Lane Craig on a personal level? So that won’t fly (like the pigs), either.
If you, dear reader, have a better explanation of his Utter Silence as regards Yours Truly, please do let me know. I think it’s because I systematically dismantle his arguments in a way that opponents usually don’t do (influenced by my socratic leanings and literally 39 years of debates and apologetics). I believe he simply doesn’t know how to process that, let alone attempt a reply. After all, Christians are never supposed to get the better of atheists in any argument, so he concludes that in fact it hasn’t happened in my case because it’s impossible.
See how the [circular reasoning] mentality works? Thus, he chooses to make out that I have absolutely nothing to say — no arguments whatsoever –, leading to him fleeing for the hills and acting like he has no time at all for someone so supposedly stupid and content-less as I am. Bishop “Dr.” [???] James White: the anti-Catholic Reformed Baptist apologist, has also used precisely this tactic for about ten years with me (as have several other anti-Catholics). It only makes him look like a pompous ass and a coward: just as in Bob’s case. They’re not doing themselves any favors. But Bob wants to lecture others about supposedly lying to themselves and being intellectually dishonest? Spare me.
Photo credit: [public domain / Creazilla]