Out of Respect…
I told Paul Manata that I would get around to backing up my quote-mining accusation in a month or so, and then I left on a vacation over the weekend. When I returned, I found out that my good friend DUB had decided to write a little about the recent interaction between Paul and I at his blog, Out of Respect...
Now there's three posts in total relating to this issue, and they should be read in this order: Pressing the Antithesis Goose Part 1, Pressing the Antithesis Goose Part 2, and A Veneer of Defense.
DUB first clarifies the differences between a religion, a philosophy, and a scientific theory. Then DUB explains why Manata is wrong, the silliness of Manata criticizing my spelling in comments posts, and the hypocrisy --and even greater silliness-- of Manata not using a spellchecker for his blog posts (hey even I use spellchecker for my blog posts).
DUB also notes the over-the-top use of insulting language in Manata's posts. It really does put people off, it makes Manata look immature and insecure to say the least, and it discourages atheists from wanting to interact with him. I was already growing a thick skin from Manata's liberal ad-hominem, but reading DUB's posts woke me up a bit, and made me think "Wow, Manata really IS an asshole!"
DUB also correctly points out that I've insulted Manata. I partially regret doing so, only because it makes me look bad and makes me feel like I've compromised my morals. I don't like being dragged down to Manata's level, but it seems to happen every time I interact with him. Manata's insults are so numerous that it becomes almost impossible to not insult him back at some point. I've never had this kind of insulting and hostile communication with any other Christian ever. Manata brings out the worst in me, because he constantly displays the worst in himself. The less I interact with Manata, the more time I have to interact with real Christians (whoops did I just say that?), and the better I feel.
Anyway, here is the summary: Manata quote-mined and I called him on it. He wrote three insulting and delusional posts about me in response to my accusation, without even knowing what "quote mining" is. I exposed his ignorance, and then he threw down the gauntlet demanding me to prove that he quote mined. I told him I would get around to it in a month. DUB lended a helping hand, and wrote a few powerful critiques, which exposed Manata's sloppy thinking and hypocrisy, and proved that he quote mined. But this is good news for Manata, because can just suffer the embarrassment now and get it over with, and go back to the Puritan Boards where he belongs, arguing about random Bible passages with his fellow cultists.