Friday, May 27, 2005

"Excus-a-Getics": James White Opts Out of Answering My Nine-Part Refutation, With Ridicule

James White is always true to his own jaded ideals and principles; of that much we can be certain. In Part VI of my nine-part treatment of the Moses' Seat issue, in reply to White's eight-part paper (link to Part I), I predicted (with great confidence) that the man would find some way to avoid responding; probably resorting to pure ridicule:

I'll be even more shocked if he actually tries to interact with my present reasoning, and either retract his opinions where necessary or fully defend them against the present scrutiny. I would love to hear a counter-response, not only to this, but to all my argumentation. I won't hold my breath, given Mr. White's abysmal past track record of fleeing from rational discussions, just when they get interesting, and when his positions look the weakest and most indefensible.

See also my recent paper, More Typical James White Braggadocio and Ignoring of Opponents' Arguments. I commented in another recent thread about White:

. . . watching now to see how (or, I should say, IF) White responds, given his past rhetoric and childish tauntings, is entirely in accord with my principles. He's making a fool of himself now, for all to see. If that's how he wants it, it's fine with me! I'm merely documenting it. If the self-professed leading anti-Catholic debater wants to self-destruct and forfeit debates left and right by default (due to no response), then clearly it is in the interest of Catholic apologetics to document this.

. . . White clearly does whatever he thinks will advance his anti-Catholic cause and make him look good, and unvanquishable. Answering my reply won't accomplish that.

. . . if he were so invulnerable to any criticism, and the Anti-Catholic Answer Man Par Excellence, as he makes out ad nauseum, he would leap at such opportunities to further his cause. He would cherish and welcome them.

. . . If White were truly unanswerable (and since he has made no such resolution, as I have, and as R.C. Sproul in effect has), then he wouldn't take such pains to avoid critics who are doing the most work critiquing his material.

(comment of 5-23-05)

And two days later, I added:

. . . he runs from written debate (particularly with me), because I expose every trick and sleight-of-hand that he tries to pull on unsuspecting readers, especially those inclined by prior disposition to agree with him and disagree with me.

. . . we see what anti-Catholics do when I refute their errors: Svendsen mounts an incredible ad hominem assault; White taunts and mocks, accuses me of dishonesty and intellectual cowardice, then runs and ignores my reply when I thoroughly answer him; others make fake blogs which are entirely made up of personal insult and slander, etc. When they can't answer, they must do SOMETHING to detract from my reply, because that ain't supposed to happen! A Catholic can never prevail in any debate with an anti-Catholic!!!

(comment of 5-25-05)

Sure enough, I was a prophet once again. I've watched how this man operates for ten years. After accusing me of being scared and unable to reply (motifs which are reflected in the current "reply"), White now decides to offer no answer, because (bottom line) he contends that I am an idiot. This is what might be known as the "[Eric] Svendsen Methodology of Dismissing Effective Critiques of One's Writing and Arguments." If I decide not to reply to White I am (no one could doubt for a second) a coward and a simpleton. When White, on the other hand, decides to not answer me, it is, of course, also because (as everyone "knows") I am a coward and a simpleton, not worth anyone's time.

One has to wonder, then: if this is true, why did White devote so much attention to me back in January? He didn't yet know that I was an imbecile and an idiot then, after almost ten years knowing me, and challenging me to oral debate maybe 15 times? Now he has suddenly figured this out? Yeah, right. . . .

Without further ado, here is his entire blog entry, trying to rationalize his decision to utterly ignore my critique, complete with yet more irrelevant childish ridicule:

The Dave Armstrong Arcade Game

A while back I took the time to engage Dave Armstrong's The Catholic Verses on this blog. The response by Mr. Armstrong was 1) bluster and absurdly silly replies; 2) full-scale retreat and a "promise" (again) to stop interacting with "anti-Catholics" like me. Since then, Mr. Armstrong has returned and, evidently, has healed from his wounds, forgotten his own promises, and is now busily non-responding to me all over again (even producing reverse-color purposefully bad pictures originally taken by Mormons). Remember that cheesey arcade game where the little animal pops up out of a hole and you have to bop it back in to get points? The kind of thing you played just because you only had one token left and the real games took two? Well, I may have played that game once, but found it completely boring and not worth even that last token. Ditto, Mr. Armstrong. There is no reason to even respond to a person who, upon being shown to be in error, will reply, "Oh, I don't have to answer that! That person is anti-me, and I take an oath not to respond to his kind...until this topic has passed, anyway, or I have had more time to come up with a response or something." Such is not apologetics, it is excus-a-getics, and is not worth the time it takes to activate the RSS feed.


Those who follow this blog and the ongoing chronicling of this man's pathetic folly and embarrassing intellectual suicide, will readily see the massive hypocrisies and self-contradictions in this reply, so I need not add anything. It's more fun to simply cite White's blog entry above the one on me, where he engages in breathtaking hypocrisy, with regard to this business of folks not answering replies. This time, it had to do with Pat Madrid:

So it seems Madrid has had to get into the fray. He's posted some articles on his equivalent of a blog. Now, very usefully, he has posted the text from his This Rock hit piece against me from 1993, the one I referred to below. Here it is. [link] Now, read that, then my response, here. [link] I'd be happy to point you to his rebuttal to my documentation of his errors, but...there is none. A decade has passed, and there has not been any reply to my knowledge.

Hey, I can match that! White has never answered the final 36-page reply in our first debate, either. That was in 1995. Now (we have his "official" word) he chooses to utterly ignore my nine-part refutation of his nonsense and smoke and mirrors with regard to the Bible and Tradition. But remember the reading points, dear readers: when someone doesn't reply to White, they are cowards. When White does the same, it's because, again, his opponents are cowards and idiots (I know; it makes no sense, but there it is). Instead of getting to work and defending his arguments against my critique, White prefers to carp on and on (like a self-obsessed playboy recounting his sexual conquests) about his debate with Madrid in 1993, and another with Art Sippo in 1991 (devoting a half-hour to the latter on his webcast, so he informs us). Can anything more ridiculous and laughable be imagined? This is priceless! Man, I was accused of undergoing a "massive meltdown" in January, simply because I was fed up with the substanceless, sophistical, insulting nature of White's "arguments." What, then, is this???!!! White asks:

I invite any semi-rational person to consider, for just a moment, the idea that debating me is like "fishing out of a barrel."

I think it is a very apt description, myself, as I sit here marveling at the man's decision to ignore my vigorous refutation of his argument. It has been no debate at all, as always with him, so, even though I ain't a fisherman, I could see an analogy to, maybe, um, trying to fish at the monkey cage at the zoo or something (I struggle to find an appropriate metaphor for total futility and exasperation, which is what it is like to try to reason and dialogue with White, because he won't interact, and he won't defend his ideas).

I have never heard any Roman Catholic apologist claim that I have lost every debate I have done. In fact, I have not heard any claim that I have lost even 50% of them.

I don't know about all these other debates, because I've only listened to part of one, years ago, but I know that he has lost 100% of his debates with me (most by default, because he simply left in midstream, just as he is currently doing), so excuse me if I am completely underwhelmed by the man's dialogical and theological prowess.

So, if I am such a push-over, why is it we have to work so hard to find opponents anymore for debates on Roman Catholicism?

Exactly my reasoning, James!!!! Why is it that if I am a total fool and easily refuted, you are so extremely reluctant to reply to my critique of your arguments? Hey, maybe if we take up a collection and offer the good bishop $10,000, he would reply? White, desperate for his debate "fix," pride and ego seemingly wounded, at the very moment he is running as fast as he can from my reply, and others now out there, such as Ben Douglass' response on justification, lowers himself to the depths of a proposed written debate (which he has assiduously avoided, for the most part, for years now, and even mocked as a totally inferior medium), and challenges Pat Madrid to that which he has frequently described in the past as "hiding behind a word processor":

Since debating me is like fishing in a barrel, how about Patrick Madrid putting his debating skills where his keyboard is? . . . since he seems to agree that debating me is like "fishing in a barrel," why not let all his Envoy readers see this as well? . . . surely the best way to prove I am such a push-over as a debater would be to engage me directly in the pages of his own magazine, right? That way his own audience would see just how good a debater he is and how bad I am. So, I am offering to help Mr. Madrid do that. I will gladly engage him in a written debate in the pages of Envoy on the exegesis of the key Petrine texts, Matthew 16:17-18, Luke 22:31-32, and John 21:15-18 (the "golden texts" of St. Peter's basilica). We can spread the discussion out over four issues, covering each passages, and even have interaction on the preceding texts, too! I would love to do this after my debate this fall with John Dominic Crossan. And I'm certain Mr. Madrid will jump at the chance.

Finally, let's cite one more example of White's blatant hypocrisy. Remember how he has just decided to ignore my elaborate, lengthy argument in reply to his, when you read these words:

Now, in case debating the Petrine texts is a bit too ambitious, how about the exegesis of 1 Cor. 3:10ff, in light of Madrid's article found here? [link] The interested reader will note that I addressed every single aspect of this article in my debate with Fr. Peter Stravinskas, and in other articles [link] on our website, and that Madrid shows no evidence of knowing anything about those replies. . . . In any case, I look forward to hearing back about Mr. Madrid participating in next year's debate on Long Island and on the written debate in the pages of Envoy.

Pat Madrid ought to consider himself almost singularly blessed that the Great White Anti-Catholic Hope is still willing to debate him! It may or not be worth his time to debate White, based on many considerations (having done so before, he has nothing to "prove", anymore than I do, and it's always a drag dealing with this man, due to his ongoing sophistry and rudeness), but one might argue that the extreme rarity of White showing some intellectual guts and chutzpah for a change is the opportunity of a lifetime, kind of like Halley's Comet coming around.

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