What’s the point of bloggers deleting dissenting comments?

The first time I was told by someone that they were glad to see I don’t censor or moderate dissenting comments here I was shocked to hear it was common.  I was first told this by Atheists.  They said it was common for other Christian bloggers to delete or not allow their comments even if they offered polite disagreement.  Then it happened to me.  I found that bloggers who are decided on the political left would eventually delete my comments and subsequently ban me from their blogs if I asked too many questions.  The most recent example is from Wonkette.  They seem to enjoy deleting non-complimenting comments.

A while back I came across a survey from the Pew Research group who found that the politically liberal were nearly twice as likely to unfriend, block, or censor over dissenting opinions.  But to what end?  Is there really anything fulfilling if you only allow complimentary comments from readers?  What’s the point of posting your opinions if you only want back-slapping praise as a response?  Is it ego?  Is it thin-skin?  I don’t know.  I like having the disagreement.  I think it makes for a more engaging discussion.  Am I missing something?

Comments

  1. I allow dissenting comments for the most part, but the tolerance ends when they become vitriolic, abusive, demeaning or the language becomes too much for me to bear.Occasionally I have to block someone as well, but that is rare, if it gets to that point, I will erase or delete their comments as well. I do always give warning before I delete their comments. God bless!

    • I used to delete abusive comments. But I decided it served readers better to see what the other side has to offer. If that’s all they have, they are welcome to it. The words and arguments they use expose the level of thinking they’ve given to the issue.

      The saying goes that it’s better to remain silent and have people presume you a fool that to open your mouth and prove them right. I let them prove it.

  2. Since I moderate comments, I don’t usually have an opportunity to delete them after they are posted. I can remember ONE time I deleted and entire back-and-forth comment string on my old blog, which was between me and a particular heretic troll which I allowed to go on for way too long, especially since it was completely off topic. I finally cut him off and deleted the entire string as to distracting from the issue at hand.

    I moderate because I have had too much “spam” (which I still get), even after putting on the “type in the characters” gate.

    My comment policy is this:
    Comments with links – either with the commenter’s name or in the text of the comment – which link to sites with heretical, aberrational, obscene or otherwise improper teaching, will not be published with said links.

    If the links just go to sites I disagree with, such as liberal junk, I leave that alone. I just don’t want people directed to false teachers and get sucked into it, or get directed to porn or other obscene and immoral stuff.

    If a commenter only posts attacks and name-calling at me, then I don’t post the comment. I feel if the person only has that to say, it isn’t worth giving him the attention he wants.

    And I also refuse to post comments by trolls and time-wasters.

  3. Glenn,

    What if the commenter is only typing something you believe is heretical in a respectful way which is on topic? Would you allow it and refute it? What if you thought their comments would seem reasonable to some of your readers? Would you not allow it because you don’t want to expose your readers to it?

    Honest questions.

    • C2C.
      Oh, yes! I have posted comments from heretics and those who follow aberrational stuff. I allow such comments so I can demonstrate from Scripture where the teachings are in error. I find that to be beneficial because my readers may come across the same stuff and need to know how to biblically refute it. I just don’t want to include links which have nothing but bad teachings – I don’t want to be the aid to someone getting into confusion.

      • Good. I think your link policy is reasonable.

        I think that those who block or delete conservative or religious arguments are actually taking your link policy to the next level. They don’t want their readers to be exposed to what they consider to be heresy.

        Just a thought.

  4. I didn’t start out this way but I now moderate my comments. Long story short I caught the attention of a particularly nasty troll who invited all of his friends to come bash me (he literally called it a stoning) in my comments section. I let things go on for a while, foolishly thinking I could be polite and reasonable and somehow get some benefit out of the discussion. After two days I was just emotionally tired and blocked the guy. I welcome dissenting opinions, sure, and I left up most of what he said, but abuse is another thing entirely.

  5. paynehollow says:

    And yet, Glenn will not allow comments from me, at least, and I suspect others. Even on topic. Even respectful. Doesn’t matter. He will not post my comments. Why not, Glenn, if you’re not afraid of reasonable, respectful disagreement?

    In my experience, when it comes to blogging, it is almost universal that the deleters/blockers are conservatives. From Neil to Glenn to Stan to at least two dozen other conservative religious blogs, I have been banned, not because I am disrespectful, but simply because they believe (against the evidence) that I am heretical.

    I do know liberal FB users who block/delete comments on Facebook, but that’s because, for them, FB is a fun place, not a place for vitriolic debate. It’s all about context.

    ~Dan

    • Dan, you’ve deleted a few comments of mine made on your blog. Your response was “my blog I do what I want”.

    • Trabue has been blocked on my blog and just about everyone else’s which I know he has posted on because he is a rank heretic who refuses correction, lies about what he has said, apparently he intentionally twists what his detractors say, always resorts to claims that his responders don’t understand him and that they need to be more “rational” etc, so that he is a victim of their “irrational” lack of right reasoning.

      Since he has proved to be unteachable on blog after blog, he has become a time waster , especially when you consider the fact that he also usually takes the comment string completely away from the topic of the article.

      And then when evidence against his actions and false teachings are provided, such as this great link:
      http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

      He hollers that it is nothing but gossip, and that we are un-Christlike, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.

      I don’t like wasting time with people who refuse correction.

  6. I’ve rarely deleted comments or blocked people, though I do now moderate. I don’t get a lot of comments to begin with, and at first the only ones I got were creepy (someone obsessed with kunoichi and obviously making assumptions about me based on my profile name).

    When I first starting writing my blog, then starting a seperate blog about our homeschooling activities, I was anonymous because my kids were younger and I knew some members of my family would not be comfortable with some of the things I was talking about. Then I started writing more about global warming and quickly discovered that people who believe in global warming are a rather unstable lot, and I actually had concerns about my family safety (few people knew about my blog, and the ones that did were local, knew who I was and could easily find out where I lived). Very disconcerting.

    Eventually, I had to switch to moderation because of spammy comments that I got tired of deleting. Then I found myself in real life with a person that is a danger to my family and several others close to me (one of the reasons I blog so rarely now). So I carefully moderate all my blog comments in case Captain Crazypants decides to start threatening me and my family again on one of them.

    I have never had a need to delete comments due to a difference of opinion; just due to really creepy momments directed at me personally. I do think there is a difference in how commenters behave when they know the blog they are on is written by a female, and I find that difference as much from female commenters as male.

    As for my own comments being blocked or deleted, I get that from people dedicated to the anthropogenic global warming theory and those on the political left, regardless of the actual theme of their blog (e.g. I used to follow a number of “fat friendly” blogs that claimed to be safe places for larger people to post without the usual vitriol aimed at us, only to find that they were just as vitriolic towards those holding views they considered politically right). I generally don’t follow atheist blogs, as I tend to find them, in general, to be intellectually deficient, repetitive and/or gleefully obnoxious.

    I actually like having people who hold different opinions in my life. I enjoy discussion, debate and looking at things from various points of view. I learn more from people who disagree with me than those who just nod their heads along with with me. However, I’d respect a person’s opinion more if 1) they were smart enough to hold one and 2) they didn’t insist on insulting anyone who disagrees with them in ways they think are incredibly offensive, but actually demonstrate their own ignorance of those they disagree with. The worst offenders I’ve encountered are those who are policitally liberal/”progressive”, alphabet soup people and their “supporters,” atheists and people who believe in anthropogenic global warming. I usually see all of those traits grouped together in one person. I rarely, for example, see someone attached to AGW theory who is also NOT politically liberal/”progressive” and supports SSM, abortion or a version of secularism that boils down to “Christians are bad; all other religions are their victims and therefore good, no matter how many people they kill.” Which is really weird coming from people who claim to be Christian.

  7. paynehollow says:

    John, you’ve deleted far more of my comments than I have of yours. I have deleted less than a dozen comments in all my years of blogging and more than half of them have been from my “liberal” allies. The rare times I have deleted (and I don’t remember deleting you, but will take your word for it) is usually when I have asked a very specific question and want an answer. If people go on all manner of non-answers off topic after being asked specifically to first answer a question that I have asked, then I might delete them. But again, that has been less than a handful of times with conservatives.

    ~Dan

  8. Dan, does Blogger let you still view comments that you’ve deleted from your blog?

  9. paynehollow says:

    No. Not that I know of. Why?

    ~Dan

  10. Why didn’t you link to the survey? Why would you be that lazy?

  11. Uhh, where? The only link in this post is to Wonkette.

  12. My apologies, Sean. I had it pulled up when I was writing the post and must have forgotten the link. Thanks for letting me know. But calling me lazy? That’s a little rude, no?

  13. Bubba,

    As one who has deleted a few comments in my time, Blogger has two options. The one I use eliminates the comment as if it was never posted in the first place. I don’t think I’ve ever used the other option.
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    The comments I’ve deleted were of two kinds. The most common is the type of pointless comment, one guy’s in particular, that was posted to mock or deride, to accuse with no support of any kind to even give other readers a chance to decide for themselves if the charges were true…in short, a troll who tries to be clever, but only embarrasses himself, and doesn’t have the smarts to be embarrassed. Dan likes him.

    The other type of comment I have deleted was really a one time deal, and the commenter, whose name is Mark, is a fellow of the right wing. He had posted a question to Dan that was really quite offensive (not to me as I am not easily offended just because someone used the crudest of terms) in the words he chose to use. I deleted it as a courtesy to the more sensitive readers, some of whom were women. I regretted having done so as Dan referred to Mark’s comment several times in a manner that was not an accurate reference, preferring to focus on Mark’s choice of words rather than on the point he was trying to make. Mark had grown frustrated, as some do, with Dan’s deceptive and evasive style of back and forth and his crude comment was a manifestation of that frustration. But by deleting it, I could not easily counter the falsehood of Dan’s subsequent commentary. Dan hid behind the absence of Mark’s comment, when reproducing the exact comment would have halted Dan’s strategy.

    Dan speaks of having only deleted a “handful” of conservative comments. He claims to have deleted less than a dozen. But he’s deleted about two or three of mine at least, claiming they were off topic or some other lame excuse. I have taken to saving my own comments in order to re-post them (and he deleted at least one of the re-postings. I was not including the deleted re-postings in my previous estimate). My thought was that if it was truly off topic or irrelevant to the discussion, no one was obliged to respond to it, or, anyone could have agreed with Dan. But then I could have defended why it was indeed relevant and on topic.

    One of Dan’s blogger buddies has deleted comments of mine and continues to avoid responding to me when he doesn’t. Actually he will respond to remind me that I’m not welcome and that he won’t respond to my questions or critiques of his subject. He’s a true coward but pretends there’s something wrong with ME. Similar to Dan, he pretends I’m only looking to cause trouble. That’s how he refers to those who find fault with his position. Again. A true coward. For all his many faults, Dan at least gives one a chance, though he is nowhere near as patient with those to whom he insists need to act graciously, as he is with his blogger buddies when they act as they do.

    Dan also has a friend that banned me on the charge that I was “monopolizing” the conversation. He couldn’t explain to me how that is possible with a medium such as a blog. It’s not as if one cannot post a comment at any time regardless of what is posted in the meantime. One cannot “talk over” another. The truth was that I was shredding his arguments and he couldn’t take it anymore. It is usually the way with the left-leaning bloggers.

    Dan thinks he has been abused in this manner. The fact is, as anyone who has known him (virtually) for any length of time, that Dan will carry on as if his positions haven’t been exhaustively rebutted, will insist his Scriptural distortions are valid and legitimate, if not accurate representations. Yet, when confronted with actual verses that counter his position, he will call the clear meaning of the clearly reprinted words “a hunch”. His methods, and his continued use of already corrected falsehoods leads people to ban him or delete him more for being fed up with his bad form. His complaints are further unjustified given the simple fact that most people have given him long periods of time to run his game before they finally get fed up.

    But for me, even the most insipid troll is welcome if he wishes to actually post a thoughtful comment. I do not run from any legitimate argument opposing my position. All are welcome. My basic motto, if you will, is that I blog to persuade AND to be persuaded. The lefties I encounter want only to have their opponents come to the dark side. I need a good reason to do so. They don’t provide one.

  14. Dan, I ask because I believe you deleted more than half a dozen of my comments in a single thread earlier this year:

    http://throughthesewoods.blogspot.com/2013/07/get-out-your-tin-foil-hats-people.html

    Funny enough, it was one of your attempts to discredit conservatives as “anti-science,” and you repeatedly deleted my comments, NOT because they had nothing to do with what you were writing, but because they didn’t fit your irrational requirements for HOW a person could respond to your loaded questions.

    As you often do, you asked the equivalent of “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

    I objected to the question and explained by objection, and you implausibly portrayed that objection as off-topic, as if the only possible “on-topic” response was a direct answer.

    In asking your leading questions, you insulted people, but any criticism directed your way was deleted as out of bounds: evidently character attacks are “on-topic” only if you approve of the target.

    It’s good that that hair trigger was used pretty rarely, but your behavior in that thread was surprisingly immature, even for you.

  15. paynehollow says:

    If I ask you to answer a specific question or not comment, then that is what I am expecting. I don’t do it often, but you fellas have an AWFUL tendency to just ignore questions – and questions are important parts of conversations.

    As to the oft-abused “have you stopped beating your wife” analogy, that is almost always a red herring. I can always answer a question. I can answer the “have you stopped beating your wife” question. The answer is, “I have never beat my wife, so there is no way to ‘stop’ beating her, since it has never happened.”

    The problem would be if you insisted on a Yes or No answer, but I do not do that. I just expect a DIRECT answer. One can give a direct answer to the wife beating question or almost any question. In fact, here is what I politely requested MULTIPLE times on the post that Bubba cited…

    The cost of your commenting here is answering my question.

    I’m asking politely that you do this or go away. Once you’ve answered the question, we can take it from there and consider other ON TOPIC comments, but the very first thing that must happen is for you to answer my question.

    I was asking for a simple direct answer to the question – not “yes” or “no” only answers, but a direct answer. You kept responding with other topics, non-answers to the question. I think given that specific instance, it is reasonable to expect people to heed the rules of a post.

    In general, if you all would learn to answer questions directly rather than dodge them, conversation would be much easier. Plus, you’d have the benefit of exposing your bad arguments (because avoiding direct questions is one way of hiding/ignoring holes in your arguments) OR you’d have the benefit of making a good defense to a tough question.

    Actually, that is a good follow up question to John’s post here? Not only is it a good question, “Why delete comments?” but “Why IGNORE questions?” If you are going through the time to make your case on a topic, but then proceed to ignore rational questions that arise, that sort of undoes your argument, so why not answer questions?

    Something to consider.

    ~Dan

  16. paynehollow says:

    And thanks, Bubba, for pointing to an excellent example of people not answering questions and showing how incredibly silly it looks when you dodge questions rather than just answer them directly.

    John, expecting people to answer reasonable, on topic questions… what’s the problem with that? Why wouldn’t you WANT to answer questions?

    Now, for time issues, I fully understand that. Sometimes, we just don’t have the time. But when people go on and on answering other questions, making other allegations, saying tons of other comments but refusing to answer a simple direct question, directly (when often that can be done in mere minutes and a relatively few words), why wouldn’t you want to answer it? “Hounding” someone to answer a question? To the degree it happens, how is it unreasonable to expect an answer to a question in an adult conversation?

    ~Dan

    • People do answer your questions. Then you adjust your questions then pretend it wasn’t answered. Then you add another facet and pretend it wasn’t answered again. It’s tiring.

  17. Dan.

    There are only a few possible answers to the question, “When have you [verb]?”

    One year ago, last month, yesterday, never: THOSE are answers.

    What you call you answer — “I have never beat my wife, so there is no way to ‘stop’ beating her, since it has never happened” — IS NOT AN ANSWER. It’s an objection: you object to an assumption underlying the question, namely the assumption that you have beaten your wife.

    What I offered in that other thread was an objection, as well, not to the question’s assumptions but to the question’s very transparent goal, namely to denigrate as tinfoil-wearing lunatics (see the thread title) those who disagree with you.

    My objection wasn’t “off-topic,” it was merely off-script, your idiotic script of how you think conversations ought to go, in showing that there’s Moderate Dan Trabue, Lunatic Conservatives, and Reasonable Conservatives who Join Dan in Denouncing the Lunatics.

    It was inconvenient to your charade, so it had to go, never mind that you apparently thought your own speculations about the arrogance or cowardice of others was entirely germane.

    Speaking of your charade, you write, “In general, if you all would learn to answer questions directly rather than dodge them, conversation would be much easier.”

    It’s dishonest in the extreme for you to ignore the literal years I’ve spent answering your ridiculous questions, to act as if that’s something that I would need to learn.

    It’s also extremely hypocritical, considering how many months it took me to elicit an unambiguous answer from you on what you believe regarding the very important theological questions of the Passover’s historicity and the causal connection between Christ’s death and man’s salvation. In response to your claim that Christ did abolish the OT law, I once took the time to transcribe a TWO THOUSAND WORD EXCERPT from John Stott’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount; you googled his name in a transparent attempt to discredit the man personally, but you never addressed one aspect of the substance of his actual argument.

    And I do not forget that you brought up a complete digression, demanding that I denounce or otherwise address a comment I had never read, to avoid answering the questions I asked first. As I did then, I question the timing of your mock outrage at Mark, and I note that you didn’t actually answer my questions even after I jumped through your ex-post-facto hoops.

    You’re as evasive as they come, Dan.

  18. paynehollow says:

    And yet, I almost always try to directly answer your questions. You all demonstrably do not. You, especially, John. I’ll ask a question and it just sits there. You don’t answer it, nor do you say, “I won’t answer that because…” nor do you acknowledge, quite often. You just ignore the question.

    The problem with this is this: I ask questions oftentimes because you have made an argument that, TO ME, seems to have a hole in it. I’ll ask, “But what about…?” and the answer would help to clarify: Either you HAVE an answer to what seems to me to be a gaping hole in your argument and, by answering, you have addressed what seems to me to be a hole and made your argument stronger. OR, you don’t have an answer and you can admit to it – and I’m assuming you’re interested in Truth, not just supporting a political or personal agenda – and thus move closer to a better, truer understanding.

    Do you need me to point to some recent questions you’ve ignored, or do you recognize that you do this – just ignore questions?

    Similarly, IF you can actually point to a question that I have not answered, then I will be glad to admit it and try to answer it here and now, if you want. I rather doubt that you can do it, though.

    ~Dan

  19. John, if it didn’t happen in that specific thread, it didn’t happen at all.

    Don’t bother trying to bring it up. It’s not context that would put the current conversation in a different light — a more accurate, potentially less flattering light. It’s a digression.

    Whenever a new thread starts, it’s Year Zero all over again. The reset button has been pressed, and we must give this Dan Trabue every benefit of the doubt, because he cannot possibly be the same Dan Trabue that’s been posting the same pseudo-Christian garbage for years.

  20. paynehollow says:

    Sorry, I thought that first comment I was responding to was from John. I see now, that it’s Bubba. Still, most of what I’ve written stands.

    Bubba said…

    What you call you answer — “I have never beat my wife, so there is no way to ‘stop’ beating her, since it has never happened” — IS NOT AN ANSWER.

    It is indeed an answer. Indeed, it is the ONLY real world, factual answer.

    IF someone asks the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” IF they are interested in Truth, then the answer, “I have never beaten my wife.” is indeed an answer to the Truth question being asked.

    IF one is simply trying to set up a “gotcha” question, IT STILL is the only Truth answer to that question.

    The only way it isn’t an answer is if we are not concerned about Truth, but “answers” regardless of Truth. But we are adults who are interested in Truth. Or at least I am, and giving you all the benefit of the doubt, I assume you are, as well. That being the case, the answer given IS the answer.

  21. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, ad hom attacks do nothing to advance the notion that you are interested in Truth, rather than an agenda.

    ~Dan

  22. Dan, speaking of answering questions directly, I brought up a couple questions about that obscure little bit of trivia in the musty corners of Christian history, the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Is that event a miracle, or not? Is it an essential part of Christianity or not? Are they still affirming Christianity, who believe that our faith is vain without the Resurrection, or are they drifting into voodoo?

    I ask because you wrote, repeatedly, that your faith is NOT built on any claims of the miraculous, and I would really appreciate your clarifying and expanding upon that statement.

    I’m assuming you’re more interested in clarity than in some sort of agenda.

  23. “Bubba, ad hom attacks do nothing to advance the notion that you are interested in Truth, rather than an agenda.”

    What was the title of that thread again, where you were oh-so interested in Truth that you deleted my every objection to your obviously leading question?

    “Get out your tin foil hats, people!”

    Please, tell me more about your being an adult seeking truth without any pretense.

  24. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    you googled his name in a transparent attempt to discredit the man personally, but you never addressed one aspect of the substance of his actual argument.

    In looking back at it, I see that I had a lot to say about Stott’s comments, including the fact that I could not locate the particular source for your quote online and I was unsure as to what Stott might actually be saying, in a larger context. I noted that I agreed with him on much and I’d have to see more clarification on other parts.

    That I did not have access to the full “substance of his actual argument” and did not want to respond to a simple excerpt where I had questions – and clearly saying so – is not the same as not addressing it.

    Just as a point of fact.

    ~Dan

  25. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I’m assuming you’re more interested in clarity than in some sort of agenda.

    As John complains about me going off topic too often, I’ll decline RE-answering this (as it has, no doubt, been answered multiple times before – and it’s really not that hard, indeed, I HAVE ANSWERED THE QUESTION already in this post – my faith is NOT built upon miracles, but upon grace and faith and love – would you abandon your faith if there were no miracles?? That sounds like a pretty shallow faith, if so…) until and unless John says it’s okay.

    ~Dan

  26. Dan, I would still describe your response of “I’ve never beaten my wife” to be an objection to the question and its underlying assumption. But I would say that the objection *IS* indeed valid, because the question is unanswerable if a person is both honest and innocent of that assumed wife-beating.

    But, to-may-to, to-mah-to: if your reply of “I’ve never beaten my wife” is an “answer,” SO TOO WERE MY COMMENTS an answer to your question. They qualify for similar reasons: you think it was too important to get to the truth of your lack of wife-beating to answer in the constrained way the question required, and I think it was too important to get to the truth of your transparent motivation of discrediting conservatives.

    You were obviously playing a game, the same stupid, transparent game you’re playing now, about how you’re oh-so interested in Truth and not in any ulterior agendas.

    To try to keep up appearances, you had to delete my comments, not because they were off-topic, but because they were true but inconvenient.

  27. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    What was the title of that thread again, where you were oh-so interested in Truth that you deleted my every objection to your obviously leading question?

    “Get out your tin foil hats, people!”

    Conspiracy theorists tend to be have rational thinking deficits. Thus, calling a spade a spade is not an ad hom attack – that is, calling irrational thinking, “irrational thinking” is not an ad hom attack. INDEED, if I’m not speaking of a person but an IDEA, then it is not – CAN NOT – be “ad hom,” or, “against the man…” See how that works?

    And asking you to specifically answer a specific question and deleting off topic comments is not anything to object to. If you came on John’s post about Climate Change and decided to rant about John’s beliefs on other topics, John would not be out of line to say, “stay on topic or go away.” This is what I did, and mainly on that one post. I’m generally pretty lenient about wandering off topic.

    But for JUST ONE POST, I insisted that you answer the question being asked or go away and you couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Why not?

    But that is off topic here, too, probably.

    ~Dan

  28. Funny how you could write so much in accusing others about being anti-science, but you demur to clarify your position on the necessity of the bodily resurrection, “until and unless John says it’s okay.” Can’t imagine why people would ever think you’re evasive.

    But immediately before writing that, you ask parenthetically, “would you abandon your faith if there were no miracles?? That sounds like a pretty shallow faith, if so.”

    Shallow AND irrational, I’m sure — insert “voodoo” reference here — but why is it YOU can ask ME a question about miracles without John’s say-so, but you cannot answer mine without it verging off-topic?

    About Stott, of course you couldn’t find the source online: I made perfectly clear I typed the excerpt by hand. I typed the ENTIRETY of his argument against the too-common position that Jesus abolished OT law; there wasn’t any missing context that would have changed the substance of his argument.

    I could have typed the entire chapter, and you would have griped about not having access to the entire book.

    I could have mailed you the book, and you would have said that you needed to see his book in the context of his entire body of work.

    Your refusal to address the substance of his argument was as lame then as it is now.

  29. paynehollow says:

    Ad hom attacks only undermine your credibility, Dear Bubba.

    ~Dan

  30. “Conspiracy theorists tend to be have rational thinking deficits. Thus, calling a spade a spade is not an ad hom attack – that is, calling irrational thinking, ‘irrational thinking’ is not an ad hom attack.”

    But no one presented any conspiracy theories, and you know it.

    YOU attributed a conspiracy theory as the only possible explanation for why a NASA-endorsed report — about a subject outside its stated mission of space exploration, no less, summarizing other reports rather than conducting original and reproducible research — need not be taken at face value. Groupthink, political correctness, and toeing the administration line were never considered.

    No, a conspiracy theory was the only possible explanation, or so you maliciously and dishonestly put forward, in an attempt to smear your enemies.

    You weren’t merely trying to say this:

    conspiracy theorist = irrational

    You were making this insinuation:

    John = conspiracy theorist

    THAT is what is slanderous, that is what I objected to, and my doing so was NEVER off-topic, you insufferable ass.

  31. And, Dan.

    I’ve just been told that calling a spade a spade is not an ad hom attack. I’ve written nothing inaccurate about you and your dishonest m.o.

  32. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    YOU attributed a conspiracy theory as the only possible explanation for why a NASA-endorsed report — about a subject outside its stated mission of space exploration, no less, summarizing other reports rather than conducting original and reproducible research — need not be taken at face value.

    That is why I asked the question. It SOUNDED like conspiracy sort of thinking, to me. I asked the question to give your comrades a chance to offer a reasonable explanation. But rather than trying to answer it reasonably, they didn’t answer it at all. Finally, Craig, I believe, began offering “well, I don’t really trust polls…” which is at least an offering of SOMETHING beyond conspiracy thinking. But then I followed that up with, “ALL polls, or is there some evidence that this poll in particular seems problematic to you…” which he answered by saying (my quotes here are summations, but I think they’re accurate), “Well, in this poll, NOT EVERY climatologist responded to the questionnaire…” which I responded by pointing out that that is not the way that polls/surveys work. You don’t have 100% of EVERYONE answering questions in a scientific survey, rather, you have a representative sampling…

    Regardless, the question was there to provide an opportunity to give a reasonable, direct answer. None were forthcoming.

    Ad hom attacks remain ad hom attacks. “Insufferable ass” is childish name-calling and an ad hom attack.

    I, on the other hand, was not attacking John, I was attacking the problem of leaving reasonable questions unanswered. That is an attack on an IDEA, NOT an ad hom attack. Not by definition. Heck, I didn’t even mention the players until you all requested names and attacked that.

    ~Dan

  33. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, to any sincere off-topic questions you might have for me, you know I am always open to an email and will gladly answer any questions you might have there.

    As has historically been the case though, when I offer this option, you have declined to take me up on it. Thus, one has to wonder if your questions are honestly the point or if it’s just an opportunity to try to attack someone with whom you disagree.

    Ad hom attacks always undermine your position, at least amongst rational thinking adults.

    I await any questions you may have, with open arms and sincerity.

    ~Dan

  34. “I asked the question to give your comrades a chance to offer a reasonable explanation. But rather than trying to answer it reasonably, they didn’t answer it at all.”

    In a thread titled, “Get out your tin foil hats, people!”? One that didn’t link to the original post and one that presented their position in a negative and (at least arguably) inaccurate light?

    And they didn’t answer you?

    How strange, and how unforgivably rude.

    They should have assumed that you were only interested in the Truth and certainly not some partisan agenda — and if someone ever makes a sequel to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, you should be on the cover.

  35. Dan, you ought to consider the possibility that I prefer public discussions to private emails, at least in certain cases.

  36. paynehollow says:

    The point you appear to be missing is that this was FOLLOWING repeated attempts to get the question answered on the original blog. I then brought it up on mine and some conservatives types DID comment, but for the most part, they kept STILL not answering the question.

    My point remains: Why not answer questions that are salient to the conversation? As I noted on that particular post, I do it all the time, even if one considers the question rude.

    For instance, I am repeatedly asked questions like, “How can you support a socialist agenda?” or “Do you really believe it’s okay to kill babies…?” etc. I answer questions directly because that is how communication works, even if the question is pointed or rude and nonsensical.

    Why wouldn’t you answer a direct question directly?

    ~Dan

  37. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    you ought to consider the possibility that I prefer public discussions to private emails, at least in certain cases.

    and you ought to consider the possibility that I prefer to at least TRY to stay on topic, especially on someone else’s blog, rather than making a sweeping and false charge. The topic of ignoring questions is at least tangentially related to the topic of this post. Questions about Jesus’ death and miracles are not at all part of the topic.

    But I suppose it’s easier to brainlessly demonize than try to engage in respectful conversation in appropriate ways and places?

    ~Dan

  38. “But I suppose it’s easier to brainlessly demonize than try to engage in respectful conversation in appropriate ways and places?”

    What were you saying about ad hominem attacks?

    Yes, you answer questions “all the time,” except when they’re off-topic, natch.

    And yes, you do TRY to stay on topic, which is why you can’t answer my question about miracles without John’s permission, except you simultaneously try to ask ME, “would you abandon your faith if there were no miracles?”

  39. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, I’m not sure you understand the concept of “ad hom.”

    Saying, “THIS practice is a bad idea, it’s immoral and irrational…” is attacking an idea, a practice.

    Saying, “Bubba is a pompous doody head” is attacking a person.

    When you repeatedly attack me, rather than talk about ideas, you are engaging in ad hom attacks.

    When I point to your attack, call that behavior wrong, that is talking about a behavior, not you.

    See the difference?

    ~Dan

  40. Oh, I see. When you insinuate that I’m “brainlessly” demonizing you, you’re not attacking me, just calling my behavior wrong. You must think I’m a wonderful person, despite my brainlessly demonizing you.

    Well, I think you’re wonderful too. I just wish you wouldn’t engage in evasive behavior, in hypocritical and inconsistent behavior, in transparently partisan and dishonest behavior.

    Such bad behavior reflects poorly on such a good person like you.

  41. “And yet, I almost always try to directly answer your questions.”

    This is one of the absolute funniest things I have read recently. Just priceless.

    The other tactic I love is to absolutely completely with a plethora of well attested sources, demolish an argument no one has actually made. Once that’s done, it’s easy to just ignore evidence to the contrary.

  42. That is my experience in F2F relations too. Our leftist friends have been the harshest on judging us and shutting down conversations and get togethers after we express conservative opinions. It is very hard to offend my conservative friends unless they are religiously conservative also. [not following]

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