As of late, I have been engaged in a debate cum discussion, more or less, with a Christian who has accused me, amongst a myriad of his misfortunes, of being abusive (kind of the abused housewife syndrome on his part), angry, morose, and worst of all, unsympathetic of his beliefs.
Indeed, those who know me well enough, online or otherwise, do know of my infamous temper; I am quite prone to anger, especially from those who commit the Sin of Stupidity (tis the only Sin in my vocabulary, the rest are imaginary), and yes, I have little patience for morons who act and behave like half-witted simpletons who have amoebas for brain cells.
With this in mind, Marcus Mok comes into the picture: I first came across one of his blog posts (link here), in which, amongst other things, he accuses atheists of untying the "good" work of his Christian brethren. Apparently, some atheists had tried to de-convert (if there is indeed such a word) a sheep whom had just joined the Christian fold, and he was crying wolf. Very vindictive stuff.
While my first reaction was to lampoon him with four-letter expletives, a short perusal of his blog seems to indicate the presence of brain cells in the Christian brain of his; maybe, just maybe, I thought, he might be intelligent enough for a decent debate. I thought wrong.
Now, folks, I have never been wishy-washy enough to deem myself as an angelic creature of sorts; after all, I am an ex-navy guy, and if anything else, I hate pusillanimous fellows who wish to peddle crap to me, or attempt to sneak in bullshit under my radar screen.
Right from the start, I have been quite cordial in handling this Marcus guy: No expletives (or kept to a minimum), no insulting of immediate relations, and the works. I have also invited him for a debate, which he neither accepted nor forcefully declined.
Subsequently, however, after my first blog post titled: "A Debate With a Christian, Part I", he over-reacted. First, it was that harmless little caricature which I had pasted on the post proper; it seemed a little bit too "extreme" to him. I had then assured him that the cartoon was nothing more than mere jest.
Things went down the proverbial hill after that: I was accused, amongst other things, of being a tyrannical bully and a shadowy character of the Hitleristic kind.
Excerpts from his latest blog post (His in Red, my rebuttal in Blue):
1. Oh Dear, I am so, so busy!!!
As many of my friends have already known, I am in a life phrase of massive changes and adjustments: our baby is coming in January next year. The mantle of fatherhood is something I am still readying myself for. My primary responsibility now is to my wife and baby, and we are looking forward to it.
As a teacher, I have lesson plans and materials to prepare. I am accountable to my students.
I am also accountable to my church youths whom I lead.
Sure Marcus, you are SO DAMN BUSY (Busy wanking yourself???). Indeed, teaching, baby-making, church, the works. Fair enough. I give it to you.
WHY MUST YOU REPEAT THIS EXCUSE EVERY TIME YOU SEEM TO RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY??? Are you alluding that I am a bloody loafer who depends on cash outs for a bloody living?
You are busy, so am I. I work ten hours a day, flat out. I understand how it feels to be industrious, believe you me, but don't make it sound as a sympathy vote or attention-grabbing ploy, because it doesn't work on me. Besides, I have never compelled you to debate with me on any time basis, or any other basis for that matter. So, quit whining.
2. I Hate Debates!!!
Marcus makes it clear, on this post, that he detests debates: His reasoning is somewhat pusillanimous: He thinks debates are anything but fruitful. I guess in Marcus's little fantasy work, Jebus features highly on his list; there are no debates in his little imagination. Just androgynous Christians believing in the same doctrines or a hippie-loving Jesus.
A summary of his points (The rest can be gleaned from his post):
1) Debates tend to entrench opposite parties in their own propositions.
2) Debates not well moderated ended up appealing to emotionalism and sentimentalism, with little clarity given for reason and reflection.
3) Outcomes of debates is not necessarily conclusive.
From here on Mr Marcus rants and rants about the mishaps of debating, and why he just ain't interested. Fair enough.
But why accuse me of skulduggery when I have not engaged in any?
I have been accused of the following nefarious deeds:
1. Taunting: Amongst other things, I have also commented on his tagboard and his blog.
Now, as a blog owner myself, I understand the open nature of blogs: As long as you invite people to comment, it is quite akin to opening the door of your home and inviting all manner of strangers: People will read what you write, comment, or sometimes abuse you. One has to be a little thick-skinned to endure negative comments, take it in your stride, and move on. Such is the nature of writing on blogs.
But Marcus doesn't want that. He doesn't want me to comment "excessively" on his tag board; so I inquired: What exactly is the problem? Why is he so afraid of my comments?
He takes that as a taunt of sorts:
Marcus: wow, u flooded my tagboard. We can carry our discussion elsewhere, ya? Over email and gmail chat, as we're doing
Which he tauntingly and inaccurately interpreted as worry:
Beast FCD: Why are you so worried? Let your Christian brethrens know the truth. Nothing but the truth.A taunt of this nature will be too mild for me: Anyone with half my wit and talent as a bad-ass wordsmith can only take this as a token of insult. I can definitely craft a taunt that can insult your family line till the 18th generation, but for the sake of decency I haven't done that.....yet.
2. Rude for Debunking his Arguments
This is a bit of a sidetrack, but in a Gmail chat, I had torn down Marcus's half-arsed attempts in the art of the Apologetics Argument (Which to me is a half-arsed idea: How does one sum up any form of cohesive arguments in support of the Scriptures???), and in a follow up, I had kindly advised him not to waste any more resources and time on such futile endeavors:
My advice on the tag board:
Beast FCD: Ok ok. Got your point. Anyway, your apologetics class sux. I don't think you should pay money to attend it. I can debunk your arguments as easily as swatting a fly.
Wait a minute. This is going overboard. I had written off my personal reflections, and I shall reiterate it as such: these are just my reflections. You do not take personal reflections as the sum total of my apologetics training. It is very unfair to my teacher, to say the least. It is also very unfair to me, and I'll explain why:
(What can I say? A bad master begets a bad student. A friendly advice of this sort is not a personal insult: If the teacher is a moron, change a new one. Incompetency should never be tolerated!)
I remembered he once promised to be civil if I remained civil. To my mind, I do not think I have acted in an uncivilised manner, unless he interpretts my probing questions as uncivilized. Surely, a civil response should be to point out my error first?
(Which I had done, numerous times: The most glaring error was the part when he said ADAM WAS A BIOLOGIST!!!!!)
To be fair, Beast had acted civilly before. Once I made a point about why he's so religious about his atheism. He pointed out to me that this is an ad hominem argument, and threatened me with retaliation. I learnt my manners, and a new word.
(Religious about atheism? Well, I think Marcus is talking about the art of oxymoron, or the philosophy of square circles. Point of note: I did not threaten Marcus in any way, physically, verbally or both.)
Could he be slightly more consistent in his manners?
(Always been, plus and minus a few cheeky remarks here and there.)
To my mind, I do not think he addresses my points adequately. In a Gmail chat later, he said that my arguments are phony. Well, 1) most of the arguments I've put forth are fairly original, so I'm happy you point out what is phony about them, as I can then refine it. 2) For the arguments that others more abled than I have put forth, I do not see him engaging adequately enough with it. For example, I made a reference to the kalam cosmological argument, and he dismissed it with some sweeping misconceptions and later a mathematical argument to disprove it (which reminded me of Dawkins). I later questioned the validity of that mathematical argument, and he tried to explain. All's well and good, but I remained unconvinced. There're loads of unqualified assumptions behind his explanation, but I had no time to seek further clarification.
(The argument was simple. If the idea that God has to be the first Cause, the mathematical probability that God's existence came from nothing would have been more infinitesimal than the Universe evolving all by itself.)
Being a concerned creature, I was wondering if the stress of all that counter-rebuttals was getting into our dear Marcus's head; when another Christian attempted to rescue Marcus, I kindly ask the 3rd party to wait his turn.
Guess what? I was accused of being an uncouth, uncivilized barbarian:
My comments on the blog post:
Wei wu:If you want a debate with me, you gotta line up.Marcus is first on my list. Beast FCD(Friend of Charles Darwin)
Apparently, asking someone to wait is akin to asking someone to shut up (I wonder if Marcus ever queues up for his food in the school canteen? He's a teacher.......).
Marcus's Response? I am the Devil with a two-pronged fork and a masking tape:
(Note that the same 'courtesy' was not extended to me when I commented on his blog. Others are free to engage with my points--I don't have a problem with that really--but when weiwu spoke up, he shut him up and ask him to line up.)
I did not extend the same courtesy? Read my blog post again, Marcus. Oh, if you can't read, allow me to quote myself:
"At no point have I assumed that you are here for a quarrel. While I cannot assure you the kind of response you will be getting (After all, I can't control the thoughts and reactions of posters who visit my blog, even if they do have nefarious motives), what I can assure you is that as long as we stick to the same decorum as we have done in the past, I am sure we can take this debate to some kind of a meaningful level."
A Pusillanimous Ending
Like a damn weasel he has proven himself to be, Marcus devoted entire paragraphs to mask the exact nature of the going-ons, sort of like white-washing a dirty wall:
"I doubt that you will read my blog post without a hint of anger or arrogance, though I certainly hope you could prove me wrong. If your or your friends' responses are vindictive and rude, rest assured that I will not allow you to tag/comment anymore. I certainly hope our friendship do not end on such terms.
The manner in which we sought the truth should match the gravity of the matter sought for.
You might want to know, Beast, that I did not quote from an apologetics guidebook, believe it or not. I write from my personal reflections, whether here or at your blog. Don't jump to criticize my course nor my books, just as I had refrained from criticizing any of the New Atheist writers."
To hell with you, Marcus. Stabbing me behind my back, and telling me not to be furious!
Sure, Marcus, you mentioned nothing from your Apologetics class? Remember "Adam is a biologist" crap you bantered about in my face like some kind of a Christian bait? Lying is a sin in your bible, Marcus. Remember that.
Add to the whole list of my insidious deeds, I had caused him to lose sleep: Gee, I never thought I was so scary (I know I have a face of a mutt, but mutts are ugly in a cute way.....):"No, it isn't. I couldn't sleep the night I wrote this, so I got up at 2.30am and wrote all the way to 6.30am.
This shows the extent that I am affected. Rem u said u won't laugh."
Ok. I promised not to laugh. But I didn't promise that my readers won't be guffawing away at your abject cowardice and ineptitude.
Marcus: A Typical Christian Weasel
In any case, I have had enough of this Christian weasel. It has been a complete waste of my time; if anything else, I would like to comment on the Mumbai bombings and the sadistic and murderous nature of religion.
Until then, adios, and good night.