Let me do a Voltaire here for Voice of Reason, Longrider and The Nameless Libertarian. Apologia here is being used in the formal sense.
The issue we had in that notorious post and the earlier one of AKH was that of manner. Though my position was obviously closer to Libertarian lost in Scotland, I didn’t like the way the debate went at all and I really must spring to the defence of those gentlemen in the first paragraph. If you can get it away from the topic of Christianity, even for a second, if you waded back through the posts and comments, it would be obvious that I agree with and defend their positions on many issues.
What we have here today is a divide and rule agenda. Now we could argue the toss over this as to who the guilty party[ies] is/are but I think it’s those who wish to divide and rule in the society. So their men in the church, backed by money, take out a series of bus adverts deliberately designed to p*** off most people and cast gays as victims of the church. That way, the PTB get the natural resentment of people over the 6% dictating to the 94%, together with a whole lot of free Christian bashing by those who can’t distinguish between agents-provocateurs and the majority of quiet believers but go by the diktat “religions cause all wars”.
I’ve much to say about that and no doubt VofR would have much to say in reply but what is being lost here is that he is a most reasonable guy on so many issues, his post itself was reasonable [apart from certain assumptions IMHO] and the bottom line is that he’s genuine. So is LR, so is TNL. So I’m going to throw my lot in and defend these guys. I’d rather have a thousand guys like that who speak from the heart and with no beg pardons – and many of you don’t know LR outside of the blog but he’s a really nice guy – than one troll [and no, I’m not including LliS here] who was stating something I might believe in.
Is that just being contrary?
Look, we are in great danger of liberty being lost – it’s everywhere. We have differences over various issues but we don’t have differences over liberty here and every single move the PTB make should be opposed by all of us. We really much watch this divide and rule business too. I’d rather concede a dozen arguments on Christianity in order to preserve the confederacy of liberty protecting people against the PTB’s agenda because we need to get our priorities in order.
I mean, who cares if G-d exists or not? If He does, then He’s a big enough boy to look after Himself. Sure I’ll still put together that post on it as a debating point – that refusing to acknowledge your main defence is lunacy – but if it descends into divide and rule again, I shan’t. It’s of vastly more importance for us, at this worrying time, to stymie the countless nasty little moves in vilifying and marginalizing freedom than to push one dogmatic line on either side [and it is on both sides too].
Chuckles said that in his field of engineering, the way they solve issues is to throw all points of view onto the table and thrash out a solution, rather than go away and write defences of positions and put them in learned journals. I agree with the former, though I’m schooled in the latter. We hoped that that was what OoL would do – allow all the points of view to be put and readers can draw conclusions from that. We didn’t want a “party line” or even the one sort of person writing. And speaking for myself here – I’m loathe to delete, even if you say I’m talking s***. Readers can make their own minds up on that – they’re big boys and girls too.
From that, there’ll be a certain heat but that’s better than the bland nothingness of the Monty Python “yes, we’re all individuals” mentality. That’s also why the rules of the debate must preclude direct ad hominem, if only to allow the debate to go on, on the issue and not get sidetracked into something else. There’s a big difference between “no, that’s rubbish, you’re talking s*** on this” to “you are s***”. Huge difference.
And I’m going to say, here and now that I’d much rather have a pleasant drink with VofR, LR and TNL than with so many so-called Christians [who aren’t at all] or Dawkins devotees.