Meeting the Masters

Back in “Believing Whatever You Want to Believe” (from 2016!) I wrote about William Wildblood, who was visited by beings he calls the Masters, who I’ve always presumed—out of an abundance of caution—were demonic, but I never found as much to criticize about his views on Christianity. In any case, I’ve been reading Wildblood’s blog since 2016, so I guess that tells you something about my tolerance.

But yesterday, brother Gunner Q responded (PDF) to Wildblood’s experience, and this time he addressed the point much more directly than I did. The review was another Gunner Q takedown, like the uncountable many that have preceded it.

Unlike my meager post, which quite possibly no living human has ever read, on my meager blog, which I joke has a negative number of readers, this time William Wildblood has responded to Gunner Q (PDF).

In one of the comments under Wildblood’s post, Francis Berger writes:

Well, I have nothing but respect for the way you have responded to that diatribe. I must say, I was a little beside myself after reading that post. Gunner is usually fairly solid, but that particular post was ill-tempered and grossly unfair. I won’t wade into the errors and misunderstandings because you have covered those commendably here.

I admit that I am surprised by this response. I’ve personally been the subject of a vicious, non-charitable Gunner Q hit-piece twice (here and here), so either Berger doesn’t read Gunner Q regularly, or he agrees that I deserved it. That is interesting either way.

Another comment by Lucas makes a very sensible observation:

I think if he read Meeting the Masters he’d come away with a much milder take to say the least.

If Lucas were talking about me, he’d have a point. I have read this book and did come away with a much milder criticism, however, I know Gunner Q and I’m 95% certain that he would not come away with a milder take. If anything, I suspect his take would be even stronger and his condemnation even more fierce. He would not be diplomatic about it (he rarely is, regardless).

On Francis Berger’s blog, he just posted an insightful post “As With Everything, When It Comes to Christian Blogs, Motivation is Key” (PDF) which almost certainly is in response to Gunner Q’s post. He writes:

The good heart begins to fade, something else stands in its place, and the ideas and opinions the blogger shares stop meaning all that much, regardless of how penetrating or insightful the ideas and opinions happen to be.

 

Many nasty, cantankerous Christian bloggers have good hearts and clearly discernible motivations that are good, but that good heart and those good motivations must be discernible; otherwise, such bloggers are, at best, only nasty and cantankerous or, at worst, on the wrong side.

Having received two nasty cantakerous attacks on my person by Gunner Q. These were perhaps the most vicious attacks that I have ever received, far worse than the one by Dalrock (PDF) from back when I wrote things that I wouldn’t write now. I nonetheless believe that Gunner Q has a good heart. Does this surprise you? It is rather ironic, then, that Berger appears to not detect this good heart in Gunner Q.

It is very difficult to detect someone’s motivations. I am constantly frustrated on this blog by those who impute all manner of motivation upon me. The accusations against me have been varied and contradictory, but generally unjust. Who knows if someone like Berger would detect positive or negative emanations coming from what I write! I suspect he would view this blog negatively, as most people do, even though my motivations are plain.

One time I tried commenting on Bruce Charlton’s blog, sensed that his response was somewhat harsh (I think he has problems with difficult commenters?). Over the years there have been certain authors that I follow that I simply cannot interact with. Even though I love reading their work, our interactions do nothing but clash due to our natures and (in some cases) language barrier. So I mostly just quietly read their work and mostly avoid any direct interactions. It is best, sometimes, to just keep a wide berth rather than judge someone unworthy. These things happen.

Most of what I write attacks some idea that someone holds. Many of the times people take this personally, even though I avoid judging people whenever possible, focusing solely on ideas. But I’ve long ago given up on expecting everyone to judge my intentions according to the Principle of Charity, nor am I surprised when other bloggers express disapproval of another blogger. Frankly, it is to be expected.

15 Comments

  1. Bardelys the Magnificent

    We are all working out our salvation. Some people become very proud of their ideas, especially if those ideas gained them an audience or a paycheck. That’s the way it goes. Hopefully maturity or time (which are not the same thing) cools the passions, but not in every case.

    I used to be a Libertarian, but arguing with people shook me out of it. Most people do not want the truth; they want to be right. You have to learn to let some things go. That was a hard pill for me to swallow. We in the manosphere, especially the Christians, are an argumentative bunch. Boy, do we love to argue. It never ends. To drop the subject means admitting defeat. Sin of Pride. I try to be humble. It’s just as hard as arguing all day, but God isn’t going to ask me how often I was right.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      Well, at least I have nothing to argue against in your comment. It is well said.

      Personally, I like arguing because it is the most effective way for me to purge my brain of bad ideas and help me identify my axioms. I don’t argue just to argue (I’m not a debate club kind of person).

  2. RichardP

    Are arguing and debating the same thing? Or does each have an aim different from the other? My experience has been that most blog posts and comments aim to educate – to present conclusions, based on observation. If one has reason to believe that someone’s conclusion has been arrived at based on faulty premise(s), is it fair to the readers to stay silent? I think it is desireable for one to state their case without resorting to personal attacks. Attack ideas or premises, maybe. But not the writer. Attacking the writer provides no help to the reader in trying to understand how to arrive at useful conclusions, based on correct premises. There are books on logic and teaching that get into this in more details, for those who might be interested in a more in-depth discussion. I don’t have any titles in mind, specifically, but Google is useful in this regard.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      “Attack ideas or premises, maybe. But not the writer. Attacking the writer provides no help to the reader in trying to understand how to arrive at useful conclusions, based on correct premises.”

      I strive to focus so solely on people’s ideas that people get upset at me for ignoring people’s feelings. People are very social and they will assume you are attacking the writer even when you are not. Merely disagreeing is sufficient to be viewed as an attack. You can even tell them that you are not attacking them and they won’t believe you. Perception, in this case, is more important than the actual motivation.

      It takes two both people to agree that no one is being attacked, and this requires prior coordination that is almost never available. If one is arguing and one is debating, is there a meaningful difference between the two?

      I frequently ask people to adopt the Principle of Charity in discussions with me. I’m not sure how many people ever do so.

  3. I liked GunnerQ’s post. And I figured you’d join others to tone-police him for contending against Wildblood’s foolishness.

    Derek, you seemingly try to appear rational and impartial, but you’re quite emotionally or ideologically driven, to the point of becoming a hypocrite regarding your biases.

    You quote another man as saying, “Of course, this does not mean that it is wrong for groups of men to want to analyze women [..] Just that such behaviour is rather… effeminate!”

    LOL If it is effeminate for men to discuss women, you must be a gay suitor for as much as you’ve recently written about me. By my count I see seven lengthy articles in just the last month.

    (Sharkly on Women: November 4, 2023)
    (Sharkly on Women, Part 2: November 13, 2023)
    (Sharkly on Women, Part 3: November 15, 2023)
    (Why Is Disproving Arguments So Hard?: November 16, 2023)
    (Sharkly on Women, Part 4: November 24, 2023)
    (Despair: November 29, 2023)
    (Talking About Old Women: December 4, 2023)

    Whereas I’ve only mentioned you in one brief post, and that was an affirming post.

    I don’t nearly have time to respond to all of your lies and distortions. And when I do respond you just double down on your lies and then add more deceits to them. I probably I shouldn’t feed my trolls. LOL

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      “And I figured you’d join others to tone-police him”

      If you consider my mild defense of Gunner Q to be tone-policing him, I don’t know what to say to you. That’s a creative interpretation, I guess.

      “you seemingly try to appear rational and impartial”

      Thank you. That is my goal at all times.

      “you’re quite emotionally or ideologically driven, to the point of becoming a hypocrite regarding your biases.”

      If by “ideologically driven”, you mean that I acknowledge my axioms (what you might term “biases”) and live by them, then you are absolutely correct.

      If you believe me a hypocrite, please show where I have done so. I think you’ll find that I strive to get other people to acknowledge their axioms, as I did with you. That you refused to acknowledge your viewpoint on the image of God as axiomatic—rather than rational—is what separates us.

      “I don’t nearly have time to respond to all of your lies and distortions.”

      Yes, if you have to attack me—falsely accusing me of lying and deception—rather than address the ideas that I (and you!) have presented, then you really shouldn’t say anything at all.

      My most immediate concern is where you claim that I don’t know what circular reasoning is because you have trouble understanding how single clause statements can beg-the-question:

      “…daftly bandying about the names of logical fallacies which you clearly misunderstand [..] Nobody else in their right mind would think a single one-way statement was circular.”

      Yet, such circular reasoning is incredibly common and people in their right mind can see it on a daily basis if they look for it.

      For example, any time someone makes a presumption about the meaning of a verse while using that meaning to interpret the verse, it is begging-the-question. Only a single sentence is necessary to do that, because it is about presumptions (which may be unstated!).

      And so, I easily demonstrate that your claims…

      “The image of God is the foundation of why men have a divine right to rule. [..] The matchless image of God clearly makes men the superior vessel.”

      …beg-the-question by swapping out the conclusions for their alternative…

      “The image of God is the foundation of why humans have a divine right to rule. [..] The matchless image of God clearly makes humans the superior vessel.”

      …in order to definitely show that you are presuming the conclusion (i.e. that only men are the image of God). Wouldn’t you agree that it is begging-the-question for me to to claim that your statements are wrong because mine are correct? Do you see how this begs-the-question and goes both ways?

      You keep attacking me, calling me a liar and a deceiver, but I keep addressing your ideas and claims. I don’t call you a liar or a deceiver, I call you irrational: you do not hold logically coherent positions. That’s the difference between us.

      On the issue of the image of God, I claim that you are wrong. I do not claim that you cannot be right, nor that I have proven that I am right (although I’ve presented evidence to that effect), nor have I proven that you are wrong (within your axiomatic frame, I have presented several—still unrefuted—arguments that your views are self-contradictory), nor have I stated that you are an evil agent of Satan for holding your chosen axioms. I don’t believe that you can say the same.

      In fact, if you read my previous comments carefully, you’ll note that I’ve applied the Principle of Charity against what you actually say to me. I don’t think you’ve actually committed a fallacy, I believe you simply hold those view axiomatically but refuse to acknowledge it. If you were merely to acknowledge that what you believe is axiomatic, a matter of perceived trust in God and not anything you can prove, then what objection could I possibly have to that? If we were to reach this point, you would have to admit that you cannot defeat my axiom by citing scripture as the Word of God, and admit that you must give up trying to force your views onto other people, two things that you are unwilling to do in your proselytizing.

      The fact of the matter is that when we disagreed on what ‘adam meant in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 5:1-2, you challenged me and lost the challenge. Not only have you failed to update your argument to reflect this failure, but you have not even acknowledged it. You challenged me as if I would have to change my mind if you proved your point, but then when you were defeated by your own argument you should have changed your mind. From my perspective, you have shown that you are not arguing in good faith. Your charge of hypocrisy lies squarely at your feet, for you expected me to be convinced by your argument without allowing argument to work on you! It’s the bad-faith meme all over again:

      Once you’ve addressed your own behavior, then come and try to fix mine. I’ll be here ready to listen.

    2. Derek L. Ramsey

      “If it is effeminate for men to discuss women, you must be a gay suitor for as much as you’ve recently written about me”

      Sometimes the things you say are truly inexplicable.

      You know it’s not really about you, right? I could hypothetically anonymize everything with your name in it and it wouldn’t impact my arguments at all (except, ironically, that people might believe I was setting up an obvious strawman!).

      1. That was a joke. My point was that Feminist Mr. Charlton doesn’t have any authority by which to get the men in the manosphere to quit defaming his goddesses, and so he resorts to trying to stop them by shaming them as effeminate, because, as he decrees, talking about another party too much is effeminate behavior. And so, by his logic which you cited, to smear the men of the manosphere, that would make you obsessed with me, to an even more effeminate degree.

        I thought you’d pick up on that funny bit of hypocrisy. That when other men talk a lot about women, y’all claim they must be light in the loafers, but when you post incessantly about another man, somehow Mr. Charlton’s logic can’t be applied.

        1. Derek L. Ramsey

          Sharkly said: “I thought you’d pick up on that funny bit of hypocrisy. That when other men talk a lot about women, y’all claim they must be light in the loafers, but when you post incessantly about another man

          Nice try. To wit:

          Sharkly said: “Here are a dozen points for you to play with, copied and pasted form my site: [..] If they’re not all answered with unassailable logic when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll declare that you lack the intellect to answer all my questions.”

          It’s not about you.

      2. I’ll try using some of Derek’s reasoning skills here:
        So, if Derek ever gets around to denying he’s a flaming poofter, then that will beg-the-question why he is not homosexual. And if he wants us to believe that he is not a homo just because he said he is not a homo, and yet he said he wasn’t a homo because that’s what he wanted us to believe, then he’s clearly using circular reasoning and has been forced to commit one of his beloved logical fallacies by his covert love of phalluses.

        And since I’ve already preemptively proven him to be a stool stabber, if he still denies it, I’ll also declare him to be illogical, unreasoning, and insensible. And then if he still doesn’t accept that, I’ll declare that I’ve proved it three times already now. And that his sketchy belief in his own straightness goes against all logic and reason. And that he needs to quit with the logical fallacies and come out of the closet and just own his desire for men’s hairy behinds.

        Yep, it’s just sad that he can’t come to terms with his queerness. I really thought he could do better than that half-hearted circular reasoning excuse. SMH

        LOL And I’m just getting started. After I beg a few more questions and answer them, Derek will soon have confessed to both kidnapping the Lindberg baby and sinking the Titanic. 😉

        1. Derek L. Ramsey

          You can declare whatever you like. I still won’t misrepresent you by falsely calling you any of those things. Do you think spurious attacks—whether intentionally fictitious or not—are going to sway me? Attack my ideas if you want a further response.

          1. You said that I speak fallacies based upon questions which you yourself claim were somehow “begged” and then you yourself supplied your own answers to, and reasoning for, in order to make my simple true statement circular in your own mind.

            So, we’ve arrived at the point where you say that I speak fallacies, and I tell folks that you are the liar who forges lies about my doctrine to try to appear to be refuting the truth I’ve shared, so that people will be more likely to fall back into your Feminist doctrines. Don’t for a second imagine that you didn’t start this enmity by first trying to make a liar out of me, falsely.

          2. Derek L. Ramsey

            “Don’t for a second imagine that you didn’t start this enmity by first trying to make a liar out of me, falsely.”

            You begged-the-question when you asserted your claim to me. That’s it. The rest of what you say simply isn’t true or relevant. You can go off on a tirade, calling me a liar, spawn of Satan, or whatever, but that just isn’t true. Your statement and your statement alone begs-the-question.

            This…

            “The image of God is the foundation of why men have a divine right to rule. [..] The matchless image of God clearly makes men the superior vessel.”

            …begs-the-question that only men are made in the image of God and have the right of rule (e.g. over women).

            Wouldn’t you agree that it is begging-the-question for me to claim that your belief is wrong because women are made in the image of God? Do you see how this begs-the-question and so also applies to your statement?

            It’s not clear to me why you keep insisting that it isn’t. Begging-the-question is not particularly notable and it happens all the time when two people disagree on something. It is your denial of it that is especially noteworthy.

            Your public meltdown over it has got to be one of the most extreme overreactions I’ve ever seen. Despite my repeated explanation, you continue to get more and more animated over it, including publicly airing your grievances about me to other people, when I’m literally right here waiting for you.

          3. Derek L. Ramsey

            NOTE: Sharkly made a disparaging comment here, to which I defended myself briefly here, and to which he responded here (which referenced my comment above). I am responding here because this is a more appropriate forum for this discussion.

            ——————————————

            This…

            “The image of God is the foundation of why men have a divine right to rule.”

            …is the same as this…

            “You seem to associate authority with the image of God”

            …but both of these are plainly not this:

            “When I was trying to explain to you what ranking effect the image of God would have on men, if they alone had it.”

            Your “single unidirectional statement” made no reference to “if they alone had it.” That is, by definition, an unstated presumption, which you claim you didn’t make. Indeed, that presumption is the very same thing we had been debating and you now act as if it wasn’t relevant!

            Either stop claiming that your statement was an isolated/independent “single unidirectional statement” without any unstated contextual presuppositions, or else admit that you begged-the-question “as if I were making conclusions reasoned from my own [unstated] presuppositions that you disagree with.”

            If you keep insisting that it is not begging-the-question, then I will, here and now, publicly admit that you did not beg-the-question, but you merely made an irrational statement that does not logically follow, as demonstrated by the statement:

            “Women are made in the image of God, therefore the image of God cannot be the foundation for why men are specifically given the divine right of rule”

            I will also publicly assert, here and now, that I made an error in assuming that the relevance of your comment was to be understood in the context of the very thing we were talking about in that thread of comments, even though you didn’t tell me you were changing the subject. After all, everyone should have understood from this comment that all of this that we had discussed…

            “Anyhow, to remind folks who may not see the relevance of all this:
            The image of God is the foundation of why men have a divine right to rule.”

            …wasn’t in any way relevant to our ongoing discussion to that point, but was in fact a completely new and independent thought not relevant at all to all of what had taken place previously.

            ——————————————

            Had you merely said…

            “If only man is made in the image of God, then this would be the foundation for why men have a divine right to rule.”

            …then I might have retorted…

            “If women are made in the image of God, then your statement is irrelevant and unconvincing”

            …instead of saying…

            “Your argument is circular reasoning, for you also claim that women cannot be in the image of God because men were placed to rule over them (i.e. 1 Corinthians 11:7).”

            But you said “is” not “if”, because you don’t think there is an “if.” Had you wanted to make a conditional proposition in a single unidirectional statement, you could have done so. But you didn’t, and you publicly and falsely call me a liar because of that choice that you made.

            You clearly believe that women cannot be in the image of God because men were placed to rule over them and you also believe that because men are made in the image of God, they are placed in rule over women. This is clearly a circular belief.

            It’s never been clear to me why you think making two statements separately has any relevance at all to their circularity as a part of your belief system. In both cases you asserted those things as being true, you did not couch them as conditional propositions and you’ve never disavowed either statement.

            You can’t call me a liar because you clearly made two statements of belief that collectively form a circular belief. No matter what you say, you can’t alter that fact of history. You can foam at the mouth all day long, but you still hold the belief A→B and B→A, regardless of when you made those statements of belief and whether or not they were each independently-made unidirectional statements. This is absolutely unambiguous, and calling me a liar for saying something that is unambiguous is so truly bizarre.

            The fact that you also clearly and unambiguously beg-the-question regarding “only man” just makes this even more bizarre.

            ——————————————

            In any case, your explanation…

            “When I pointed out that: Circular reasoning is mutually dependent proofs: “A must be true because B is true; and B must be true because A is true.””

            …does not include the form of begging-the-question where “A must be true because A is true” is implicitly stated.

            ——————————————

            “…saying that my early church held belief is based upon the logical fallacy of circular reasoning”

            Actually, I believe your view it is based on your axiom. You can only be guilty of begging-the-question if your belief isn’t axiomatic. I don’t actually think you are guilty of the logical fallacy, but I also respect your belief that it isn’t axiomatic. I don’t want to call you a liar, so I take you at your own word even though I don’t believe you.

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