It was brought to my attention by The Atheist Missionary that someone on Randal’s blog had asked him if he was going to respond to my recent book, The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit’s Foot, which is a deconstruction and response to his book, The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails.
Randal responded, rather unkindly I might add, by pointing out what I felt was water under the bridge.
But since he drags up old issues in order to bad-mouth me behind my back I attempted to respond in kind. But…
As you can clearly see, even though Randal says he unblocked me, he clearly hasn’t. Screen-caps do not lie. (I also checked on my iPhone just to be sure — but I got the same message.)
The second thing I found odd is that he is holding a grudge against me for something I apologized for, and which he admits I apologized for, but then turns around to burn me on anyway.
Usually when you let bygones be, you move on. I thought we resolved our differences and were ready to move forward. I guess not.
Also, he says Loftus’ comments in a blog on Debunking Christianity , which Randal takes umbrage at, represent my mentality. Wait, what?
What does anything John Loftus might think have to do with the way I think? We’re different people, the last time I checked.
Just because both John Loftus and I have rubbed Randal the wrong way at different times in the past, he calls us both nasty, puerile, and vindictive.
This is called an ad hominem because it attacks our character while refusing to engage with the substance of our arugments.
So it seems Randal isn’t so much about having a nuanced engagement as he is lobbing ad hominem attacks and stonewalling anyone who disagrees with him while he gives himself a free pass to act as badly as he pleases. I don’t feel it’s very charitable, but that’s just me.
Later on in the comments thread Randal and a commentator take issue with my Amazon.com page where the book description says: Skeptic and best selling author Tristan Vick doesn’t have a theology degree, yet he knows just as much about God as any theologian.
[Update: The Amazon page has since been altered to better reflect the content of the book and not make it a debate about this author’s credentials. As per usual, wait 3-5 business days to see changes.]
This was a (perhaps not so obvious) nod to The Great Agnostic, Robert G. Ingersoll’s comment that anyone can know as much as a theologian about God because there is no God, thus nothing to know.
I would like to point out, however, it doesn’t say I know as much about systematic theology or the history of theology as Randal, who has a theology degree. It says I know as much about God as Randal or anyone else.
I have since had the promotional blurb changed since I realize that I would probably be more familiar with the obscure quote than the general reader browsing Amazon, and wanted to correct it as to not let the same misunderstanding occur again.
At any rate, if Randal changes his mind and would like to engage in a REAL honest and nuanced conversation, or engage the content of the book and not harp on something said a year ago that we have since put behind us, he knows where to find me.
[Update 2: Hat tip to John Loftus for letting Randal know that I still cannot post on his blog. Randal is welcome to comment here anytime.]
[Update 3: To be more generous toward Randal, I changed the title of the post. I still think he’s acting unprofessionally, but that’s just my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.]
[Update 4: Randal Rauser has blocked John W. Loftus for trying to help me out by pointing out that I still wasn’t unblocked, and sharing a screen-cap I took to prove it.]