RichardDawkins.net: Valliant vs. The Usual Suspects

William Scott Scherk's picture
Submitted by William Scott Scherk on Fri, 2007-12-28 19:10

At leat two SOLOists took part in discussions at RichardDawkins.net, with James Valliant leading the scoreboard at 50 posts.

At least one thread seems devoted to Rand and her ideas (along with her ideas' critics):

Who was Ayn Rand, and what did she promote?

James may take time from his busy holidays to let us know if there are any other threads of note.


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You Said It...

James S. Valliant's picture

Dumb as a rock, isn't he?

And having the nerve to ask for the one thing he is incapable of himself, clarity, on top of such unexcelled vacuousness is truly a rare gift.

Back up a single claim (or insult) of your own, Ole Scherky, just once, and maybe someone will take your silly requests seriously.

But please don't stop... you're an example that is very instructive to have around.

Hi Skool for the Stoopid

William Scott Scherk's picture

Casey Fahy: "Mr. Scherk, You love the smell of your own brain-farts [ . . . ] the gang-bang crew [all lobbed] arguments from authority, cheap ad hominem, out-of-context stinkbombs."

Scherk: I'm sorry we miscommunicated, Casey. Would you care to give us an example or a link of the Gang-Banging Ugly Trolls doing what you claim they were doing on Richard Dawkins's forum? Here is the the link to the thread . . . Maybe you can back up your claim, maybe not."

Fahy: "Do you know what the argument from authority is, looks like, or smells like, Scherk? It smells like your post."

WSS

Scherk

Casey's picture

All you ever do is hide behind the skirts of those you suppose know more than you do -- and if there are more of them than on the other side, all the better. YOU personally don't seem to have a clue about the issues. You're content with the role of cheerleader.

Here's a tip so you won't embarrass yourself further:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

And name-calling (yer stoopid) doesn't exactly raise your profile. 

James, I don't think you are that stupid and evasive, but . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

James: You have provided nothing more than still more arguments from authority.

if I mention a "list," you might want to check to see if you mentioned or quoted anyone mentioning a demand for a list of something or other... maybe of "authorities," since we have been given certain clues...

Scherk: ??? WTF? James, what the jim jeebuzz are you referring to? List. List. Demand. Huh? Clues? WTF? Quotes of mentions of demands? What does any of this refer to?

Casey named some people, you named some people. The same people. A list of people. A list of people who are Ugly Trolls (and worse, Stuttles). They, according to Stinkbomb Casey have lobbed 'ad hominem,' 'arguments from authority' and 'etc.' On Richard Dawkins dot net forum, as cited above.

Interested readers have asked "Can you give examples?"

Declare victory over the trolls and move on, Sir Valliant.

[Victory on Dawkins.net, victory on Wikipedia -- added June 23 2009]

WSS

Scherk

James S. Valliant's picture

If you can't see how practically everything that you write is an argument from authority, you might be well served to start by considering whether you ever discuss the substance of any issue -- and then work backwards from there.

Next, if I mention a "list," you might want to check to see if you mentioned or quoted anyone mentioning a demand for a list of something or other... maybe of "authorities," since we have been given certain clues...

Now, if you think that you've merited straight talk from anyone, I'd also like to see the substance of that claim.

Is "know-it-all" the best you can muster this time?

Always Delighted,

James

James, I don't think you are stupid, but . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

Here is Casey Fahy churning up the butter on behalf of his friend and collaborator:

"It is ugly to dodge the issues being discussed and resort to attacking the messenger, which is what the gang-bang crew of Campbell/Parille/Stuttle and Calopteryx rode in to do. It took four of them, all lobbing arguments from authority, cheap ad hominem, out-of-context stinkbombs."

Here is James "I know more than anyone" Valliant excoriating me for questioning Casey's statement:

"This is not just an argument from an authority, Casey, but the argument from a list of authorities."

Now, I will admit it -- James has me snookered. Minion Fahy notes supposed 'arguments from authority" being lobbed by the four folk he names. I ask for an example or reference to the Fahy claims . . . and suddenly sprockets are flying from the brain cases.

What the fuck, Casey? You might point to illustrative examples. James, too.

No, I am snookered. I don't understand what the hell James is referring to, beyond that those on the Dawkins list who enjoined discussion are all Ugly Trolls (or worse, Stuttles).

Casey, I do think you are stupid, so you are excused from thinking the next part through. It is for the pleasure of the hidden readers:

If the folks at the Dawkins forum are Ugly Trolls, how, specifically? Can we find examples in the thread referenced above?

WSS

Oh, Well...

James S. Valliant's picture

This is not just an argument from an authority, Casey, but the argument from a list of authorities. He just can't seem to avoid doing it. It's more than an inability to address the substance -- it's "his way."

[edit.: we really should put this gem together.]

"My Questions are unanswered" {Repeat]

William Scott Scherk's picture

Valliant: The ugly trolls were showing up.

Fahy: the gang-bang crew [all lobbed] arguments from authority, cheap ad hominem, out-of-context stinkbombs

Scherk: Arguments from authority? Ad Hominem? Stink-Bombs? [Care to give a link, Casey?]

Fahy: Scherk mentions a bunch of names [ . . . ] as though that is an argument because the put-downs are by certain other names, then resort to a flippant argument-from-authority statement ("no one here") as some kind of proof that James was wrong. Consider yourself an honorary member of Galileo's trial by fire.

Scherk: I'm sorry we miscommunicated, Casey. Would you care to give us an example or a link of the Gang-Banging Ugly Trolls doing what you claim they were doing on Richard Dawkins's forum? Here is the link to the thread. Maybe you can back up your claim, maybe not.

James left the discussion shortly after he was asked to provide some support for his assertions. Here we have Dr Miller:

Jim, in all honesty, can you please give some specific examples? I have read most of Rand's stuff and a great deal of stuff by other Objectivists. I do not recall a single example (except perhaps Tara Smith) of Objectivists surveying the views of non-Objectivists in their field in a manner, which meets the elementary requirements of scholarly work.

[ . . . ]

Also, again, could you please inform us of some of these Objectivist scientists -- specific names please?

Casey, you are right, damn right that "[i]t is ugly to dodge the issues being discussed and resort to attacking the messenger."

So, how about it, handsome? You have the links, you have the list's attention . . .

Valliant: My Questions! My Questions! My Questions!

Scherk: Perseveration, excellent rote memory, unusual, formal style of speaking; difficulty understanding nonliteral and implied communication, difficulty with “give and take” of conversation, intense interest in a particular, often very restricted, subject that dominates the individual’s attention, behavioural rigidity.

Valliant's son: "Dad, you said that you would get me a bike for Xmas."

Dad: "Sir, I invite you read the record. It speaks for itself."

Son: "DAD!!! you SAID."

Dad: "Maybe you should examine your own record, no, sir, since it seems you are unable to track a 'discussion'?"

Son: "Dad, I forgot. I might as well be talking to a horse. Thanks for the autographed copy of PARC. I will add it to my collection. Asshole."

Evil

WSS

Mr. Scherk

James S. Valliant's picture

The post quoted is so inaccurate a summary of the discussion that it isn't worth responding. In fact, what I said remains untouched -- that is, by substance.

Clarity of expression, Mr. Scherk, is required only for those who have something to communicate. Your style appears to be an exercise in trying to impress.

My questions remain unanswered.

A clinic in Argument from Authority

Casey's picture

Scherk mentions a bunch of names of what he supposes to be authorities in his post. While accusing me of leveling the fallacy of the argument from authority without merit.

Wow.

Do you know what the argument from authority is, looks like, or smells like, Scherk? It smells like your post, in which you first list names you think should make the argument all by themselves, then put down names as though that is an argument because the put-downs are by certain other names, then resort to a flippant argument-from-authority statement ("no one here") as some kind of proof that James was wrong. Consider yourself an honorary member of Galileo's trial by fire. Bravo!

Anyone can see, however, that the argument from authority just happens to be your stock in trade by this last post.

Care to offer any substantive opposition to what Jim said?

Didn't think so.

(Why don't you quote someone with authority here.)

"You shore got a purty face."

William Scott Scherk's picture

Unsung expert scientist Don Q Fahy asserts: It is ugly to dodge the issues being discussed and resort to attacking the messenger.

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr Fahy, whose may or may not have read watched skimmed Dr Harriman's new $1295.00 DVD.

Dr Fahy continues: [The] gang-bang crew [Campbell/Parille/Stuttle and Calopteryx] all lobbing arguments from authority, cheap ad hominem, out-of-context stinkbombs.

I take it Dr F does not consider Dave Miller part of the Gang Bangers, nor does he thus consider Valerian. (Dr Miller is a physicist from California who also questioned Casey's master on richarddawkins.net).

I take it Dr F is also too sated with knowledge to bother pointing to examples from the thread in question. Arguments from authority? Ad Hominem? Stink-Bombs? We must take in on faith, I suppose.

In other news, I have heard Casey's master referred to as The Church Lady of Objectivism. Some here may remember the Dana Carvey character from Saturday Night Live.

In this case, we are asked to replace SATAN! with BRANDEN!
All hail Church Lady and the One True Church of Peikoff.

I hear that Dr Peikoff will finish his next book shortly after Dr Harriman finishes his . . . around 2030. In the meantime, Objectivist Orthodoxy is available on CD, DVD, and cassette tapes.

Here also an excerpt from Dr Miller's commentary to Dr Valliant. The Dawkins forums have not heard a squeak from Valliant since, although an additional 11 threads have opened up that discuss Rand.

 

_______________________

Jim,

I'm afraid that, in your lawyerly way, you are
evading the point.

Neither I, nor anyone else that I have noticed
here, is trying to prove that determinism is true.

It is you who claimed that you could prove
something. You claimed that you could give
empirical evidence that would show that Rand really
did prove the existence of free will.

You presented that empirical evidence: your strong
personal feelings that you do really make choices.

No one doubts that you have such feelings.

No one here except you has indicated that they view
your feelings as evidence that you really do have
free will.

You find that annoying.

You have given reasons why you feel we should be
convinced. We have given reasons why we find your
reasons unconvincing.

This also annoys you.

It has become clear that you have nothing to say on
this subject that most of us find of much
intellectual value. Perhaps, the reverse is also
true.

WSS

Thanks

James S. Valliant's picture

Yes, judging by the nature and volume of on and off-line feedback, the discussions of PARC on the Web -- even the thread you mention -- have been a tremendous success.

Thanks for the kind words.

"UGLY"

Casey's picture

It is ugly to dodge the issues being discussed and resort to attacking the messenger, which is what the gang-bang crew of Campbell/Parille/Stuttle and Calopteryx rode in to do. It took four of them, all lobbing arguments from authority, cheap ad hominem, out-of-context stinkbombs, etc., while managing to gird themselves with a general disdain for Rand that enabled them to ignore the substance of an argument Jim was elucidating with admirable focus under such a concerted attack.

I laugh at you, Scherk, for laughing on the sidelines, which takes not a wit of intelligence or a watt of courage.

To the ugly Shrek Monster

Mark Hubbard's picture

 

Through Jame's posts to Solopassion, and the Dawkins thread I have read this morning, I have acquired much knowledge, precisely because he makes his points via the explication of his reasoning.

This is the antithesis of your bile below which informs me you have some type of basic disagreement with 'your' protagonist, but gives me no reasoning at all, and therefore nothing through which to judge your position.

A lot more detail from you would be not only appreciated, but the honest course for you to take from this point.

(This is unless your post is some type of ironic reinforcement of James, vis a vis humour. If so I apologise, but if so, because I have trouble identifying any type of consistent philosophical line through your various posts, then we must have entered realms that are the opposite of reason, in which case we are all wasting our time. Another way of saying, I didn't get it.)

The ugly trolls like Ellen Stuttle?

William Scott Scherk's picture

I have to laugh at you, James. You certainly gave as good as you could in the thread noted above. And you certainly had a civil to-and-fro with Calopteryx, as far as I can see.

I have to laugh at you not only because of your characterization of "ugly trolls" and worse, "Ellen Stuttle." I have to laugh at you because your arguments were not any more impressive than your 47,043 posts in defence of your recent book.

The most interesting parts of the discussion can be found here, where you demolish Robert Campbell, and here, where you demolish DMiller, and here, where you demolish the credibility of La Stuttle.

I have to laugh at you because the interlocutors are 'ugly trolls' and worse, and because your ability to entertain contrary opinions most resembles that of Nick Otani. When coming to terms with your lack of engagement with science, your tactics resemble Kevin Owen's.
If in doubt, quote from the holy book, without clear reference, with dodges. Admit no error, expose your ignorance and call it victory!

 

WSS

 

Indeed

James S. Valliant's picture

Yours truly doesn't mind a little attention, but when my presence became more of a distraction that an aid in the explication of Rand's ideas, I left. The ugly trolls were showing up, like Robert Campbell, and, flattered by their arrival as I was, even the invitations for me to return had dubbed me the voice of "official Objectivism." In a discussion of what Rand stood for, is it appropriate to argue with Neil Parille about PARC -- or worse, Ellen Stuttle about whether Parille's Blog submissions here all concern PARC? So, gu-bye, now.

But it was an interesting conversation for a while.

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