Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Friday, July 14, 2006

Paul Manata making a fool of himself again

God is for Suckers made an entry about the Dan Barker-Paul Manata debate.

Manata comes across as an angry thug. You can hear him constantly scribbling notes, his voice cracks and he stammers constantly, and the rage that goes back to his violent, drug abusing days vibrates just below the surface of everything he says.

Most of his arguments are petty and fail to address any of the sweeping contradictions Dan points out. He keeps trying to push Dan into a semantic corner: “Did I say that? When did I say that? Define that. What do you mean when you say that?”

Good ol' Paul. Still making a fool of himself after all these years.

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At 7/14/2006 8:01 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I thought that this, much like his debate with Derek, was essentially a non-debate. That is, Paul's positive argument is minimal, and he spends most of his time criticizing the position of his opponent. This is to be expected, because as a presuppositionalist, Paul only has two avenues available: 1) claim that any non-Christian worldview is "unjustified," and 2) prosetylize.

Dan had to spend most of his time trying to give Paul a remedial logic lesson. Things really couldn't proceed because of Paul's reification of logic- it'd be like debating the finer points of a jambalaya recipe with someone who doesn't know how to cook.

There was a point in the middle where Dan and Paul were discussing morality which was interesting- Dan effectively points out the immorality of Christianity, and although I used to agree with most of his moral thesis, I think it would be stronger if he could describe it objectively, as has been done on this blog extensively.

All in all, Paul gets points for rhetorical effort- he obviously had prepared for it, and had a decent delivery. But again, just like his debate with Derek, I heard style, but no substance. The match goes to Barker.

At 7/14/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dan's website boasts, "He belongs to a number of High-IQ societies, including The Prometheus Society, with an entrance requirement at the 99.997th percentile, and plays in chess tournaments."

Based on this quote from Dan's website, I really expected more from him. It was disappointing. Dan did not seem to be prepared for this debate. He constantly asserted that "logic is not a thing" as if he's actually done something worthwhile. If he wants to assume a nominalist position concerning the ontological status of the laws of logic, then he will need to rise above the level of assertion and actually give an argument. Dan seemed to be unfamiliar with many of the philosophical topics brought up by Manata.

If this is the level of atheistic reasoning, then so much the worse for atheism.

Manata wins hands down...

At 7/14/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"philosophical topics brought up by Manata"

You've gotta be kidding me.

At 7/16/2006 2:22 AM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

Here's my assessment of the debate. But...

I can't believe you (and "God is for Suckers") thought that Manata lost! And you thought that Manata lost to Sansone too! Wow.

Godis4suckers: Manata comes across as an angry thug.

So what? Dan Barker came off as a wussie. Better a thug in a fight than a softie.

Godis4suckers:You can hear him constantly scribbling notes, his voice cracks and he stammers constantly, and the rage that goes back to his violent, drug abusing days vibrates just below the surface of everything he says.

Obviously, ad hominem. So what if he stuttered? So what if his voice cracked? So what if he scribbled notes? Is it wrong to make note of your opponent's points. Anyway, what Manata did that Barker didn't do was prepare and actually engage in what your opponent said. If you listen to the last two segments (rebuttal and conclusion), Barker hardly addressed what Manata said. On the other hand, Manata addressed every point Barker made. Say, what you will, but any objective judge will tell you Barker lost serious points because of that.

Godis4suckers: Most of his arguments are petty and fail to address any of the sweeping contradictions Dan points out.

As we've seen that wasn't the case.

Godis4suckers: He keeps trying to push Dan into a semantic corner: “Did I say that? When did I say that? Define that. What do you mean when you say that?” Same thing he did when he was arguing with us.

Well, yes, the point of the debate is to corner your opponent. How well your opponent does after being cornered is the question. And Barker did terrible.

Godis4suckers: Everything is relative to his deranged presuppositional worldview, including the rules of logic and scientific inquiry.

LOL, As is yours.

Godis4suckers: Dan politely refutes everything Manata says in a way that comes across as more than mildly baffled that people like this exist.

As we've seen that wasn't the case. Barker did not handle Manata's refutation. I repeat, he did not handle them. Not in his rebuttal period or in his conclusion. With a flippant shrug he said that he already addressed what he said in his opening statement!

Godis4suckers:I would recommend skipping the openings and jumping forward to the cross-examinations. Much more fun.

I agree.

Godis4suckers: At one point Manata tries, and fails, to make the hilarious argument that Dan’s secular morality can’t differentiate between eating broccoli for pleasure and eating people for pleasure.

Well, Dan said that man is no different than nature. Manata succeeded in having Dan refute himself.

Godis4suckers:Dan demolishes that completely.

All he said in response to Paul was, "are you serious about that question?" and Barker admits cosmically we're not better than broccoli!

Godis4suckers: And I almost fell out of my chair at the point where Manata admits that he believes in talking snakes. But there is even sillier shit than that. Being a Bible literalist just leaves you wide open to ridicule. And the circular reasoning of this presuppositional apologetics crap is a hoot. Dan does a good job of tearing it all to shreds — with great aplomb.

As we've seen he didn't. Funny how you didn't even address induction. I doubt you understand it.

Godis4suckers: Not only that, but he doesn’t stop there. In closing, he makes some classic arguments as to why Manata’s worldview is not only logically incorrect, but morally bankrupt. Zing.

It didn't do much though. Becuase by then people were wondering why Barker didn't even address Manata's arguments.

Godis4suckers: I mean, shit. Look at the picture. Which one of them would you sit next to on a bus?

Paul. But anyway, obviously Godis4sucker's assessment of the debate was far from fair. Instead this poster was deluded by their own biasness and hatred toward Paul. In fact this blinded Godis4sucker's so much it impaired his judgement of the debate.

At 7/16/2006 10:05 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

At 7/17/2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...


I'm curious, how would "objective scoring" be tallied? Where can I find the scoring guide you're referring to?

Here's where you lost the debate in my mind: when you denied the truth of Barker's talking cat. If you accept the existence of talking animals in your worldview, that's fine, and I won't even begrudge your Biblical epistemic foundations, but buddy, if you're going to make those kinds of presuppositions, you at least have to be consistent. There's nothing unbiblical about a talking animal today, and it doesn't even have to be a miracle- by your own admission, the serpent in Genesis was possessed by the Devil (not biblical either, but I'll go with it). Thus, by denying Barker's cat, your epistemology demands that induction be trashed (which is no problem for the Christian, as Dawson Bethrick has shown at length that induction is replaced with a "cartoon universe.") And by doing so, you show the irrationality of your worldview, as Barker pointed out.

Incidentally, Barker's cat did not say, "How's the LSD, Dan?" He seems to have anticipated one of your rebuttals, but didn't bring it up again.

I don't think that you did such a bad job in terms of style- I'm just think that, when crossing horns with atheists, you don't really have a chance. If you spend some time debating other Christians, then you could be a lot more successful, because other Christians have the same basic prerequisite beliefs as you, and won't be able to trip you up with atheistic critiques.

At 7/18/2006 6:20 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Zach, buddy, here's where you lost this debate:

It's logically fallacious to say that if I accept 1 (or 2) animals that have talked I must accept *all* reports of talking animals. That's a fallacy, Moore ole buddy.

Secondly, the second fallacy is a category mistake. I don't accept the talking serpent upon inductive grounds. Dan's say-so is not on par with God's.

Third, my argument was two-pronged. I argued that Dan couldn't justify induction (hence his argument against the snake looses steam). I critiqued it in my rebuttal and his reply... crickets chirping.

Fourth, it is a miracle, and I'm a cessasionist. So I do have biblical grounds.

Fifth, the debate covered more ground than tyhe snake. I critiqued and refuted Dan conceptualism, FANG, functionalism, morality, et al. he never responded. I won thos epoints.

Sixth, what, you never heard of collegate debating? They score them you know. What, you've been under the impression that they just did "eeny meeny miny mo" to decide the winner?

So, as always Zach, it'sd easy to make you look bad. Indeed, don't even bother debating other atheists. Most philosophically sophisticated ones laugh at you, and goose -n- crew.

At 7/18/2006 10:37 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...


1) It follows from induction that if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible.

2) I granted your acceptance of the talking serpent from your Biblical epistemology.

3) The strength of your argument is not dependent on the weakness of another's.

4) Arguing the existence of miracles simply begs the question further against induction.

5) Dan rebutted successfully all of your other critiques- you don't get any of those points by my scoring.

6) I have heard of collegiate debating, actually. Which collegiate scoring standard did you have in mind when you claimed that you had "objectively" won?

7) I'm not worried about you making me "look bad." But I do appreciate the psychological projection, really.

At 7/21/2006 7:49 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...


1. That's laughable. [a], show how "it follows from induction."

[b] you said I must accept the talking cat, now you're saying it is *possible* that a cat could talk. You're shifting the goal posts.

[c] well then you must accept the possibility of a talking snake and cat, given that humans talk and we're animals. And, "if one talking animal is possible, then other talking animals are possible."


[d] Even if induction never showed us something that something would, in your worldview, be "possible." For example, you've never seen a flying pig, but that does not mean that one is impossible, given your worldview.

[e] Apropos ([d]), if one flying animal is possible, then it's possible any animal could fly. Thus Zach needs to accept the possibility of flying elephants!!! So, ylooks like you got the same cartoon worldview as I do.

[f] Too easy, Zach ole buddy.

2. Good, so within *my* worldview I'm not irrational for accepting that claim (and we saw in yours, you wouldn't be either!) and so all Barker did was to *assume* my worldview false and then, *based on that assumption* call me irrational. But, THIS WAS WHAT WE WERE DEBATING!!! Moore, ole buddy, you can't go into a debate about whose worldview is more rational and then just assert mine is irrational. I mean, we all knew that, so why show up??? You're hopeless Moore.

3. And that's why I said "two-pronged" Moore. Pay attention McFly! My negative argument does show he has no basis for using induction, that doesn't prove me right, no.

4. Well, I assert the opposite. There, it's easy to argue in Moorean fashion.

5. Hmmm, interesting! Okay, put your money where your mouth is

[a] where'd he deal with my critique of FANG?

[b] Where'd he deal with my critique of conceptualism?

[c] Where'd he deal with my critique of functionalism?

[d] WHere'd he answer my critique of his justification for induction?

[e] Where did he deal with my 3 positive arguments I made towards the end of my rebuttal.

6. Any that judge by point/counterpoint systems.

7. I know you're not, it's called living a lie. I've not met pne person who doesn;t thinkI've smoked your arguments like a Cuban Cigar.



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