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Journal theStorminMormon's Journal: There's One Way to Get What You Want 17

So a friendly journal reader linked from a comment in my last JE to the JE of user Pudge: http://slashdot.org/~pudge/journal/171395. The title of the JE is "Mormonism is a Cult, and So is Radical Atheism". Obviously I had a problem with the premise. The main problems I had were:

1. "Cult" was never well-defined
2. Pudge claimed that scholars provided his definition, but when I criticized his choice of scholar (Walter Martin, look him up on wikipedia and decide for yourself) as being a non-scholar he claimed this was ad hominem. So, to recap, it's relevant to say "dude is a scholar" to back up your claim that he said x, but it is a logical fallacy to say "dude is not a scholar" to criticize. So I suppose scholarship is a one-way street.
3. He consistently denied making a value statement by claiming that Mormons are a cult and refused to answer the question that would have made that clear ("Do you consider Christianity superior to non-Christianity?")

Well he threatened to foe me so that I couldn't post to his journal, but I just kept posting anyway, and he continued to respond. So I figured he realized my comments were in good faith. Then this morning I found a long reply from him with (gues what!) no option to reply. I'd been Foe'd. (comment here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=234185&cid=19123505)

Now partly I just want to respond here. It's my journal, so I can, and I'll feel a little relief even if no one reads it. But partially I also want to vent about how pathetically spineless I consider this. A journal is your turf. If you want to keep from being hassled, that's your perogative. But if you don't like someone just foe them and have done with it. Posting an incredibly long article (before or after the foe) that you know they will not be able to respond to is pathetic. It's like radio show hosts who mute their callers and go on rambling monologues as though the caller was incapable of finding any whole in the logic.

What's more pathetic, however, is that you have some sad soul wandering around who's been so completely and totally mind-f***ed by the evangelical anti-cultists. The poor guy things Walter Marin is a scholar! The dude has never published a single article, review, or book with a scholarly source (only with evangelical presses), he used the title "Doctor" for nearly a decade with no PhD, and then just paid cash for a PhD from a diploma mill. This is scholarship? And in the face of mounting evidence against his idol, Pudge simply turns the criticism off. That's beyond sad.

So - some jewels from his untouchable comment:

So it's not ad hominem to say he's not a scholar (me)

No, but it is ad hominem to imply it is relevant to this discussion.

Then, one ponders, why did you bring up scholars to defend your "definition" in the first place?

False. In fact, you demonstrated nothing of the sort. In fact, other uses were noted separate from Martin. In fact, you did not show anything about what "most scholars" think, only what one person said most scholars think, or some other similar nonsense.

So, for those who don't want to read the comments, Pudge has provided a vague and worthless definition of "cult" and claimed that many scholars backed it up, but only provided one name. An evangelical. I quoted to professors of sociology who argued the term "cult" had no meaning left. Oh well...

Then he just launches into the longest stream of calling things "ad hominem" I've ever seen. Including:

If you think Christianity is better than non-Christianity, then calling Mormons non-Christian is a value statement. (me)
Again, ad hominem. (pudge)

Here's more good times:

But you haven't actually removed the religious bias, you've just swept it under the rug. The bias creeps back in when you decide which religion to use as the basis. If a Mormon uses your definition of cult, then evangelicals are a cult. But you've only applied it one way. (me)

In fact, no. You could not be more wrong. The definition assumes that the parent religion is the one to use as the basis. So Judaism cannot possibly be a cult of Christianity, and Protestantism cannot possibly be a cult of Mormonism, because it gets the parent-child relationship backward. And of course, I stated this clearly up front. (pudge)

For our viewers at home, Mormonism claims to be the original Church of Christ. Thus, if Mormonism is true, it is the mainstream Christians who are the child religions and Mormonism = Church of Christ is parent religion. I'm not trying to argue my doctrine against his, I'm pointing out that you can't define the "parent/child" relationship without religious bias. Only by assuming that Mormon doctrine is false do you end up with "Mormonism must be the parent". An objective reading would say "from the perspective of Mormonism, they are the parent and from the perspective of mainstream Christianity, they are the parent".

Anyway... my dealings with Pudge make me yearn for a "Coward of the Week" award. Anyone else think that's a good idea?

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There's One Way to Get What You Want

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  • by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot

    But partially I also want to vent about how pathetically spineless I consider this

    Vent all you want. You continually lied about what I said. You would make a claim, I would show you why it was a misrepresentation of what I actually wrote, you would not even attempt to rebut my correction, and instead continued to repeat the misrepresentation.

    For example: your claim that I said the analysis of something as a "cult" is "objective." In my original entry I called it subjective, and I corrected you, and you still continuted to make this false claim against me.

    That's called "lying."

    Posting an incredibly long article (before or after the foe) that you know they will not be able to respond to is pathetic


    • Dude. You were pwned. It happens.

      Maybe instead of whining you should take Jeanine Garaflo's advice and read your journals as an unbiased observer. Have you ever been wrong? Have you ever re-evaluated your stance based on new information? You have a lot of potential Pudge, but as long as you remain so focused on always being right, you're never going to realize it.

      • by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot

        Dude. You were pwned.
        Heh. Which part of his argument do you think I got "pwned" by? Where he lied about what I actually said, or where he invented motives for me that I don't have?
    • Hey! Pudge! The man himself! I really didn't expect you to follow me back here. I mean what's the point of shutting me out of your own journal if you're going to follow me to mine? I mean have no fear - I'm not going to ban you just for disagreeing with me, I just got the impression you didn't want to continue the conversation. Something about a lengthy reply you know I would not be able to rebut gave me that impression.

      For example: your claim that I said the analysis of something as a "cult" is "obj
      • by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot

        I really didn't expect you to follow me back here.

        That is because, as usual, you are assuming what I mean in spite of what I say.

        I mean what's the point of shutting me out of your own journal if you're going to follow me to mine?

        Once again, you cannot read. It is precisely what I already said: I foe'd you for lying. I have rules in my journal space, and you were violating them, repeatedly. I have no rules for YOUR journal space. Despite your implication that I am a coward, I certainly didn't foe you to keep you from discussing whatever points you may have. I did it only because you violated the rules, repeatedly. I even offered to let you take ba

        • 1. The Title of Your Initial Post.

          Your title was objective. Your content was subjective. You respond by saying: What part of "if the title were sufficient to explain the content, there would be no content" are you incapable of understanding? I understood it perfectly well. I just disagree with you. There's a difference between a title that is merely incomplete (which is what all titles must be) and a title that is contradicted by the content. Consider these two examples:

          Title: The sky is blue
          Body: It'
          • by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot
            I will respond until I hit the first logical fallacy. Then I will stop.

            1. The Title of Your Initial Post.

            Your title was objective. Your content was subjective.
            What was quick!
            • Care to explain the fallacy?
              • by pudge ( 3605 ) * Works for Slashdot

                Care to explain the fallacy?

                I did. Several times.

                I am going to do it one more time, and because of this, it will be my final response. You've proven yourself, beyond any doubt, to be either incapable or unwilling to understand simple words. So, I am done.

                You completely ignored my explanation the first few times, instead choosing to lie and say that I was speaking objectively, when I explicitly stated I was not and that you misunderstood. Now you finally address my explanation, and you incredibly claim that the title is contradict

                • When you chose to claim that I was making an objective statement, you did so by looking only at the title, and not the context, which completely contradicted your claim. That is dishonesty. That is lying.

                  Reaction 1:

                  I direct your attention to my 4th point:

                  4. Objective vs. Subjective

                  You write: You actually expect anyone to believe that your lie that I was attempting to make an objective claim was justified based only on the TITLE of my journal entry? Even after I responded to you about that? as well as I am t

      • Pathetic is his middle name. This is his MO. Similar to a drive by. If you look closely you will find he's quite the bigot against immigrants, blacks, some religions it appears, and those being held against their will regardless of the reason. He wants to deny those people proper medical care sinply because they are incarcerated! [slashdot.org] Totally refusing to accept the fact that if you have somebody in your custody, you ARE responsible for their care, no matter who they are or where they're from, and regardless of w
  • I had a side question for theStorminMormon related to the definition and usefulness of the term 'cult'. You noted in your JE that sociologists hold the word to be all but (use|meaning)less now.

    My question is twofold. What was the apparent definition of 'cult' in the context of this debate; and why has the term been abandoned by sociologists?

    I'm going to hazard a guess on the second question, namely that a 'cult' can be so many things - a rabid but secular community of fans, an obscure subset of any given wi
    • What was the apparent definition of 'cult' in the context of this debate

      The definition provided by Pudge (such as it is) is that a cult is a child religion (you have to also have a parent) that is very different from the parent in terms of theological beliefs. This definition has no basis that I can find anywhere else, but I can only assume has some kind of credibility in the anti-cult crowd.

      Wikipedia has a more general definition: In religion and sociology, a cult is a term designating a cohesive group of

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