Friday, February 1, 2013

Tube Boobs: The GPA Attack



In the comments for my vid on how to define the “unforgivable sin,” and what that means in terms of the so-called “Blasphemy Challenge,” one of the high priestesses of fundy atheism at YT – one styled “WildwoodClaire1” – left this inane query:

Speaking of the consequences of "denying the holy spirit," where do you think the Jews killed in the Holocaust went? Are they in hell, writhing in agony next to their persecutors and murderers? If not, why not?

“Speaking of”? Er, no. For one thing, the vid had nothing to do with the “consequences” of the sin; that was not even mentioned in the vid.  It also has nothing to do with Jews killed in the Holocaust, who weren’t engaging in “blasphemy challenges”. Finally, as readers well know, I don’t buy into the “writhing in agony” picture of hell. Three strikes – the troll is out.

What this does represent is a habit ingrained in many people, but particularly fundy atheists, and particular YouTube fundy atheists, who find the 500 character limit to be an excellent way to mouth off in ways that keep your opposition from offering a depth answer. As I said in an article for CRJ, it’s not hard to present an emotionally (not rationally) sound argument for the problem of evil: Just pick some headline event that makes people cry, then ask why God allowed it. In contrast, a theodicy requires a lot more words, a lot more care, and a much longer attention span. Note that those are three things fundy atheists lack, as do YT viewers as a whole. The combination does a great deal to encourage them.

Such comments as these, though, are just what I call GPA Attacks – not grade point average, but “Goad, Provoke, Annoy.” Such comments are obvious by their very nature: They are decidedly NOT on the topic of the vid, and/or require some abject straining (which is transparently mistaken) to MAKE them relevant to the vid. They are also usually, as noted, emotionally charged, irrationally (non-)argued summaries of some complex issue, which the fundy atheist knows good and well will not be able to be intelligently answered with 5 million characters, let alone 500. And of course, it’s a dash of what I’ve called hurling the elephant. Here alone, we have the troll squeezing in two for one, at least: The problem of evil, and the horror of hell. 

Fundy atheists like to brag that Christianity is dying. The bright side (?) is that if this is what’s replacing it, it won’t last long.

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On that note, a bulletin about the Forge blog. I’ve come to a crossroads where I need to prioritize and pare off some duties that seem less relevant and productive. On that account, e-books and vids are taking a front seat, and the Forge experiment is taking up the rear. I’ll keep it alive and going, but from now on I’ll use it only either as a place to put extras for vids (like the Christian Religious Knowledge Test), or if I have something to say that fits best here.

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