Friday, January 29, 2010

ApostAZ podcast #19

After a multi-month hiatus, the ApostAZ podcast returns:
Episode 019 Atheism and Spooky Bullshite in Phoenix! Go to for group events! Intro- Joe Rogan "Noah's Ark (George Carlin Remix)". Paranormal Activity, Chick Tracts and Ugandan Love.
The guy whose name you couldn't think of around 16:22-16:30--of the Stop Sylvia Brown website--is Robert Lancaster.

1 comment:

vocab malone/jm rieser said...

Around the 25 minute-mark Brad brought up our recent cross-blogging dialogue and gave some commentary on our discussion. I take great exception to his gross mischaracterization of my arguments. Here is a partial transcript of the pertinent comments:

Brad - Vocab will read a certain amount of texts from one of his apologists and he’ll copy pasta … he’ll attribute it and put quotes around it but he’ll put that as an argument to something Jim that broke down himself and examined the truth value of and Vocab says, “Yeah, but this apologist says this.”

... So that’s where you can say one person is a skeptic and one is not. If Vocab is just openly copy pasta, puts that shit up there - that’s not skeptical.

Shannon – No. If he’s not formulating his own thoughts and opinions and backing them up with justifications and where his logical path was to get there.

I know Shannon was not able to follow the Personhood convo w/Jim but I would say by and large I did exactly what he said should be done in his last sentence there. In a research paper, if the author is not an expert in the field they are writing – and therefore not writing a monograph - they will often cite sources to back up their claims. This is one reason why articles in academic journals are often heavily footnoted.

It should be self-evident this is wholly different than the practice of utilizing “copy pasta” in place of actual argumentation. If you read my posts in our personhood discussion, you will see that I did not merely substitute substantive argumentation by gratuitously pasting in quotations from “apologists”.

The charge of quoting apologists is completely unfounded, anyway. An apologist is usually understood as one who defends and clarifies the truthfulness of the Christian faith. Does Brad want to redefine an apologist as a medical professional or ethicist who is pro-life? Even if all I did was quote “apologists” – which was not that case - it doesn’t actually prove they are necessarily wrong. The arguments themselves still need to be handled.

As a further point, many of the quotes I used come from the abortion advocates themselves. This is one way to make sure you give the other side a chance to speak for themselves. Here is a cursory glance at some of the abortion advocates I quoted:

Sadja Goldsmith (of Planned Parenthood),
Suzanne Poppema (wrote a book on why she is an abortionist),
Peter Singer (a Princeton ethicist),
Judith Jarvis Thomson (philosopher at MIT),
Crick and Watson (Nobel laureates for their DNA work),
Joseph Fletcher (the “situational ethics” guy),
Winston L. Duke (writing in Reason mag),
Warren Hern (prominent Colorado abortionist/activist),
Eileen McDonagh (legal scholar),
Steven Pinker (of MIT fame),
David Boonin (pro-abortion philosopher)
and Jim (that's you!)

I also quoted two pro-choice moderates - their positions are difficult to categorize - Daniel Callahan and Jane English. That’s fifteen citations from those who disagree with me and remember, that doesn’t count the continuing comments under each blog. I also quoted several textbooks on embryology and fetalology.

The term ‘copy pasta’ is a pejorative and usually implies copying the text from one site on the Internet to another. Most of my quotes came from actual physical books I touched and handled. The way most of the quotations ended up in my posts was by me hunt-and-peck typing, not by hitting CONTROL C/V.

I am glad that Brad was reading at least some of the posts and even commenting on some of them – this is a good thing. I am also happy that the discussion Jim and I had was given a little more attention – as I think it was a very helpful back-and-forth (shout out to Jim for making that happen). However, I am extremely dismayed that my arguments were severely mischaracterized. Perhaps future ApostAZ podcasts can avoid such errors.