I told you he read FTSOS

Jack Hudson is a bit like Ken Ham. Both are Christians. Both are creationists. Both routinely fail to defend positions. Oh. And both refuse to link to those who criticize them.

Anyone who regularly reads Pharyngula knows that Ken Ham and his Creation ‘Museum’ people will not link back to PZ’s articles. It’s a cowardly passive-aggressive sort of thing. They have made a habit of referring to PZ as an “atheist professor”, a “professor from Minnesota”, or some other similar name, but they won’t mention him directly. Now it looks like Jack Hudson has taken out a page from that play book for use on me.

After getting up in a huff over something someone else said to him, he left FTSOS, vowing never to return. Okay. But it has been clear that he still lurks around here. His articles have often been based upon links posted here, and his remarks have often been thinly veiled responses to comments made here (and a couple times even to comments made on Facebook…sort of like how he referenced his Facebook discussions when he texted my cousin).

You know, I can’t deny that I’ve had conversations with friends that have resulted in posts here. It happens from time to time. Of course, if I’ve made specific responses to a person, even if written in a generalized voice, I’ve always sent on a link to the person. It’s just common courtesy. And really, why would I want to hide from what I’ve said? I said it in the first place because I want people to listen.

Jack has had at least three responses to FTSOS. The first was an update to a post of his that was pro-bigotry while vaguely featuring some infantile libertarianism.

An Addendum:

It’s a bit of a myth that this wouldn’t have happened to a heterosexual married couple; in fact, this does happen to elderly married couples.

This was in response to my post about an elderly gay couple that was separated by the state. The two men had about as much legal documentation as they possibly could so as to avoid the hardships of current end-of-life care in the United States which disregards their humanity. But it didn’t matter. They were separated and had their belongings stolen and sold by Sonoma County in California.

Jack thinks that’s the same as another older, heterosexual, married couple who was forced into a nursing home. While that is superficially similar (the gay couple was also forced into a nursing home), the fact is that this all hinges on marriage. Someone blinded by pure bigotry dressed up in lies isn’t likely to see this: the gay couple was separated and not allowed to see each other, despite the lack of any sort of conviction for alleged abuse (which was alleged by known liars), much less the presence of any charges. A married couple would have been given better than that. And, in fact, the married couple in the second story, while in a deplorable situation that was and is an abuse of power by the state, were not separated, the only reason being because they were married. Honestly. One friend (who will be getting this link, incidentally) recently told me that this whole thing is about “the legitimization” of gay relationships, suggesting that there are ways gay couples can get rights “without calling it marriage”. That’s crap and this is just another piece of evidence that separate but equal can never be equal. Oh, and gay relationships already are legitimate, gays already act as the heads of households and families, and no denial of equal rights is going to change that fact.

But that isn’t the only passive-aggressive attack.

To that end I need to make clear a few simple rules I have here – one’s that I have always had, but didn’t feel the need to make public before, but now feel compelled to.

First off I filter foul language – if you can’t say anything without dropping the f-bomb or referring to a body part in the crudest of terms, then it won’t get posted here. It is a pretty simple rule for most to follow, but some can’t seem to help themselves.

This is in response to posts of mine which occasionally have featured th-th-th, gasp!, the F-bomb!

There are three reasons I don’t stop anyone from saying “fuck” all they want on my website. One, I’m not a child. I can deal with it. Two, censorship is mostly crap. Three, it is an immature view of language to think it a good thing to curb any of its use. Words should be elastic, allowed to move and flow with the times, context, and even emotion. Sometimes a good go fuck yourself is the best available terminology; the magic is in its simplicity. I often intentionally use very simple, straight-forward titles for my posts to get my point across. Was anyone confused about what I was saying when I titled a post Andreas Moritz is a stupid, dangerous man? Was anyone befuddled as to where I was going when I said Deepak Chopra is not an intelligent man? I like to think I was pretty clear. And that was the whole point behind those titles. Sometimes simple words are needed when what’s behind the meaning is simple. There is no need to be an obtuse, pompous douche when there is so much more clarity in being short. But then there are times when a pretentious title is needed. For instance, when I wrote about the tenability of unsourced claims as they pertain to objective morality, I wasn’t trying to convey that an easy read was ahead. Philosophical styles differ markedly from most other ways of writing – and not in a way that makes them a breeze to peruse. For anyone who actually gives a rat’s ass about writing, it is abundantly clear that it is a mistake to unnecessarily corner language and only allow what feels good. Language is expression; express it.

Secondly, I don’t post personal attacks or responses to them.

Really?

You know Michael, I almost never feel compelled to deal with anyone physically, but you are very lucky your puny little bank teller body is in Maine, because i would kick your butt from one side of the room to the other if you said that to my face. Of course you wouldn’t because you are a coward.

And along with that readers should know I never call or email strangers or people who I interact with online.

Again, Jack is directly responding to material from FTSOS, but he’s pulling the ol’ Ken Ham. He doesn’t want to link others here and get any exchange moving between users, I suppose. Fortunately, while Jack has a handful of creationist milling about his page, I have a bit of a larger audience. I encourage everyone reading this to venture over to Jack’s site and start leaving comments. Don’t spam the guy’s stuff, but make him actually response to something intelligent. I recommend starting with this incoherent post about atheism, but feel free to tear apart whatever seems appealing. Unlike Jack, I don’t want to pretend I’m your boss.

And finally:

Recently I saw an atheist claim that ‘spiritual beliefs do not equal religious beliefs’. This may be true, but for an atheist to say so is a bit like a vegetarian lecturing on the best way to prepare a steak.

Surprise, I’m that atheist.

This analogy is just so awful. First, an atheist has no religion. That does not mean an atheist has no knowledge of religion or is unable, like Jack, to tell the difference between a real world phenomenon and a nebulous term that always needs to be defined before being used. Second, aren’t theists always claiming that atheism is a religion? In Jack’s bad analogy, atheism is very unlike religion. Isn’t it amazing just how often these people undermine their own silly claims?

So a quick wrap-up (because this post is way longer than I ever intended): Jack is a creationist like Ken Ham who refuses to link back to those who criticize him; he does not understand how to parallel socially important issues because (also like Ken Ham) he is a bigot; and finally, he apparently does not pay close enough attention to FTSOS. Say something stupid loudly enough, like Christopher Maloney or Andreas Moritz, or cross me in a magnificently stupid way like Rawn and Judy Torrington or Lt. J Christopher Read, and I have no issue posting and posting and tearing apart what I see as a wrong on my website (and for all five of those people, publishing and distributing stories all around my hometown, including Maloney’s own neighborhood). I mean, honestly. Have I not been clear? Has there been confusion as to what I am willing to do to get my point across? Do people not realize that to do something for the sake of science does not simply mean to act in a way that shows passion for science because science is good, but it also means to stand up to bad actions, bad behavior, lowly thoughts, and dishonest methods?

Thought of the day

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.

~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816

Jack Hudson is a moron, part 2

After rambling on with a number of lies and a little incoherency, one might imagine Jack Hudson couldn’t get worse. Don’t worry. There’s always art.

(Not only is Religion not Dangerous) But it appears to have given us art.

Please excuse the randomly capitalized words. Inside the parentheses is the title of the post (despite “only” being written inappropriately).

Jack is attempting to make a correlation and call it a causation here, nothing more. But let’s continue.

But we already knew that didn’t? After all, the vast majority of art, music, writing, and much architecture in human history appear to be motivated by some sort of spiritual beliefs.

Lol? Yes, lol.

1) “Spiritual beliefs” do not equal religious beliefs.
2) That something can be motivated by a type of belief is not evidence that that something originated in a type of belief. In other words, just because there is religious art, music, writing, and architecture does not mean that religion is somehow the creator of these things. Indeed, all of these things are actually what help to create religion. They are means of communication and expression which promote ideas that then morph and evolve into more and more complex things. Jack’s analysis is fairly immature.

The article on Science Daily discusses how the origin of art and religious beliefs are linked though – and how we had to overcome wrongheaded ideas about evolution to realize it.

The article in question actually says nothing about evolution. The original paper (to which Jack does not link), however, mentions ideas about social evolution. It quotes the beliefs surrounding early man – from 1865; it also quotes socially-based racist beliefs surrounding man from the same time. In fact, the paper then goes on to note that many of the beliefs that early man had no religion came largely from political considerations, not any actual evidence. None of the ideas expressed were ever really part of evolutionary theory, and they certainly are not part of it today.

The reality is that humans are spiritual creatures – we are in fact the only organisms which exhibit spirituality. Divest us of this spiritual reality, and we lose all that that it produces, and which makes us unique as humans – art, music, philosophy, systems of morality and law.

Jack has no idea what makes human unique.

1) Evidence exists which shows that Neanderthals also had art. Were they also spiritual? Does that put them on an even playing field with humans?
2) There is no evidence that spirituality – a nebulous term Jack has not bothered to define – gives us art or anything else.
3) No evidence has been offered which actually shows causation. Major fail. Move along.