Vox Day fails againJune 11, 2008 — Deacon Duncan
Since we seem to be talking about Vox Day this week, and since he has been so kind as to make some rather revealing posts recently, I thought I’d offer a comment or two on the Great Debate Challenge that Vox has been crowing about recently. As you may have heard, Vox challenged atheist blogger PZ Myers to an on-air debate on the subject of the evidence for God, in conjunction with the “Northern Alliance Radio Show.” PZ replied “Thanks but no thanks” (well, actually, he said “I don’t debate crazy pipsqueaks any more”), and Vox predictably pounced on this as proof that PZ was “afraid” to debate.
Now, personally I don’t believe fear had anything to do with PZ’s response. Vox Day is to reasonable discourse what a fart is to a flower shop, and it’s no shame for PZ to turn down the “opportunity” to lend him any more time in the spotlight than he deserves. But if you look more closely at the two exchanges, you might be surprised to find out who it is that is actually running away. Then again, you might not be surprised at all.
Let’s look first at Vox’s original invitation.
Dear Dr. Myers,
You recently complained that you’ve never found any intelligent arguments for gods and said the reason you only addressed the weak arguments was because you were unaware of the strong ones…
It is my contention that there is not only substantial evidence for the existence of gods, but that the logic for the existence of gods is superior to the logic for the nonexistence of them as presented by yourself, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, to name a few.
PZ, as we mentioned, turned down this invitation, but he did propose a reasonable alternative.
I would think that if he had some zinger of an argument, there would be better ways to reveal it than on an obscure AM radio talk show in a debate with an equally obscure professor at a liberal arts college. He could, for instance, put it right at the top of his web page, where we could all marvel at it before rushing off to our much-neglected church.
Frankly, that’s a great idea. If Vox does indeed have strong arguments for God, he should post them on his blog, where they’ll be easily available, accessible to major search engines, and documented for some time to come. Plus they’ll be dissectable, not subject to emotional influences like on-mike vocal expressions or stage presence, or to artificial time limits necessarily imposed by the radio show format, or to engineering manipulations like cutting off the mike to keep someone from making a point. Vox is already using his blog to try and state his case against PZ; let’s see if he can use it to make a strong case for God.
Sadly, that appears unlikely at this point. While PZ was courteous enough to acknowledge Vox’s challenge and respond to it, Vox has yet to even acknowledge PZ’s counter-proposal. Perhaps he’s hoping that if he struts enough and poses enough and boasts enough about PZ “running away,” that no one will notice he himself is quite obviously fleeing PZ’s much more reasonable idea. If it is indeed true that “The venue makes no difference to me [Vox],” then let the blogs be the venue. Let’s see Vox post the so-called “stronger” arguments for God which he thinks are so much better than the traditional arguments PZ and others have already addressed.
Personally, I don’t expect to see it. Vox is only good at pretending to be a winner. If he really had a conclusive case for the existence of God, he could have written that book instead of TIA, and discredited both new and old atheists at one stroke. But he doesn’t have the goods, and he knows it. That’s why we get boasts and poses, and never any actual, verifiable evidence.