So, A Fairly Quick Response To Lothar

Lothar said this to me, and quite kindly I might add:

Hello Malcom. I think that it would be great if you were to give up the use of such words towards nice folks you disagree with.

I don’t mean that for my blog but as a personal advice for you in general .

Though I often disagree with you, you often have interesting ideas, but people are extremely unwilling to answer you because they feel offended and insulted.

Consider how Jesus treated his opponents. He did not use inflammatory languages towards kind pharisees such as Nicodemus or others who sincerely disagreed with him. He reserved harsh words for self-righteous bigots.

So it is perfectly fine if you use such a language towards militant atheists (and I should add nasty religious fundamentalists) but you should avoid it with people who just appear to have another opinion.

And always ask yourself: would I use such words if I were speaking to him or her face to face in the real world?

As for me I am not perfect by any means and am also a work in progress.

Lovely greetings in Christ, Marc.

My response:

First off, thank you for the kind words. Know that I comment here, even on this thread, because I find your thoughts intelligent and interesting. So there’s my compliment in return.

I actually have pretty interesting conversations with people in general, but abortion is indeed a more incendiary issue for me than others. I once again will reiterate that, with sheila, I was NOT unjustified, and I tried to give my defense for that on my own blog.

With EL, I was rather rude. I do apologize for that.

Now, having given that apology, twice, I do want to say one thing, not in my defense, but so you understand:

As a pro-lifer I tend to be used, in the real world, to people who disagree with me to do it in the most vile and vicious ways, often trying to shut me up entirely because they simply refuse to consider my side of the issue. If you want evidence of this, I invite you to read my article “Abortion in Ethics Class”, one of the few cases where I can say I did NOTHING at all wrong and was still insulted, yelled at, and finally ignored completely out of disgust for my views. So, in response I have developed a, if not exactly an aggressive tone, a VERY blunt one that can come off that way (even my early comments with sheila, while not insulting, were quite sharp).

So that is another reason why abortion is such an emotional issue for me: People in real life have turned it into one.

At any rate, I will try to keep what you have said in mind and make my comments less rude to people who have not yet been rude to me.

-malcolmthecynic

P.S. As for people like tildeb…well, I think I was more than justified. I originally responded to him with two sentences and he went off on me like I dropped an atom bomb. His attitude towards religious people was nothing short of incendiary and condescending.

There are atheists I HAVE conversed with respectfully, but unless tildeb changes his views I doubt he will be one of them. That said, I will try not to START any arguments with him.

And, as this is your blog, I will try to move conversations elsewhere [meaning here, mostly].

To the people of this blog:

In general, I like to think I keep a mostly civil tone, and I am willing to converse with people who disagree with me. With that being said, if you imply I don’t care about raped, abused, or suicidal women, and then wildly misrepresent everything I say, don’t expect me to be nice. If you do not just disagree, but insult or belittle my beliefs, don’t expect me to be nice. Basically, if you want me to be nice, then be nice in return. Otherwise I WILL return the favor. Dr. Feser often says that polemics is justified when other people have started the broadsides already, and I agree with him.

Now, my comments in the thread to theEvangelicalLiberal (if you click the link you’ll find them fairly easily) were ruder than justified.

But otherwise, he is the only person I can think of since I’ve started blogging here who genuinely deserved an apology from me, and he got what I think is a sincere one. If anybody else thinks they do as well, feel free to post the exchange. Sometimes I am rather blunt with people, but in that case I fully expect, and get, bluntness in return, and do not hold it against them – like with the Codg.

So, that’s my response, apology, and defense. Just to get it out there for people to read.

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4 Responses to So, A Fairly Quick Response To Lothar

  1. Ilíon says:

    Does God “keep a civil tone”?

    Do the people who want to destroy God’s people “keep a civil tone”?

    Under what morality is one obliged to “keep a civil tone” with regard to murderers and justifiers of murder? Are we Aztecs?

    • I don’t think I’m necessarily obligated to do anything. Even rhetorically though sometimes it pays to be polite to people who are polite to you.

      NOT give up ground, mind you. Just not to be outright rude.

      As I said, EL is the only person since I started this blog who has gotten an apology from me. This is somebody who has not shut down the conversation either, mind you. He was still willing to converse, which also makes a difference.

      (Not counting the “real world” of course)

  2. Ilíon says:

    Consider how Jesus treated his opponents. He did not use inflammatory languages towards kind pharisees such as Nicodemus or others who sincerely disagreed with him. He reserved harsh words for self-righteous bigots.

    That claim not actually true, not as Lothar means it.

    Consider how Christ treated his friends.

    It’s not the case that “He reserved harsh words for self-righteous bigots”, but rather that he would not wink at intellectual dishonesty, neither from friend nor foe.

    As just a minor example — and one that God-haters (including most “liberal” “Christians”) love to misrepresent — consider the risen Christ’s (mild) rebuke of Thomas. Contrary to what today’s pseudo-skeptics like to claim, the rebuke wasn’t due to Thomas’ doubt/skepticism that the others had seen the risen Christ, but rather that his skepticism was irrational given his already-existing knowledge and prior intellectual committments. That and that his demand to see-and-manhandle the risen Christ himself before he would believe was a bit of childish petulance and selfishness.

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