ThickShades posted a video on October 16, 2010, challenging me to a live debate. No, ThickShades, thank you, I will not debate you, or anyone else, live or otherwise. For anyone who's interested, I'll enumerate my reasons, which are fairly quick and straightforward. Also, I'll talk (again, for anyone who cares) about some of the kinds of conversation that I refuse to join, based on my experience with ThickShades.
Yes, I said that I was done with the ThickShades' of the world. However, I'm posting this in case anyone else wants to debate with me, and so I have a ready reply to anyone who ever asks me why I won't answer their challenges. Go ahead, be disappointed and unsubscribe. Be sure to leave me an angry note to let me know that I've reached that milestone in my YT career.
Here are my reasons for declining all invitations to debate.
- Debates, live or otherwise, involve each side defending a preselected position. I am not interested in wasting my time in that fashion. I care about the truth. I want to listen to an argument, give it careful consideration, discuss it at length with others who care about the truth, decide how much merit it has, and incorporate it into my thinking accordingly.
- Debates, live or otherwise, tend to be focused on the debating skills of the participants, rather than on the content of the discourse. The debate I'm currently discussing in my "Quality Control" videos is a perfect example: both debaters are full of shit, and they're just trying to out-debate each other, not making even the slightest effort to find something meaningful.
- The merit of a message is independent of the messenger, or the quality of the delivery. If Sarah Palin told me something true, I'd listen. If Stephen Hawking told me a lie, I'd push him down the stairs. I already made a fool of myself in my last conversation with ThickShades, but that has no effect on whether my message is true.
- I think very slowly. I write essays for all of my videos, then I convert them into scripts. I do very little ad-lib. It would be boring as hell for anyone to watch me sitting there going over every thought with a fine-toothed comb.
- He seems not to understand just who he is talking to. As an example, consider his video, "Bore Needs A Quality Control Department," posted on October 13, 2010. At about 1:20 in this video, he challenges me to show him a bible verse that claims that the unsaved will burn in hell for eternity. He doesn't understand that I'm not making any such claim about the bible. It's his fellow Jesusianismists making this claim; why ask me to prove their claim?
- I have a really hard time following him from premise to conclusion. For example, in pointing out a terrible flaw in his god's character, I used the phrase "morally better". He wastes a whole minute of video, starting at about 2:16, asking questions about whether some human behavior is morally better than some other. He concludes this stream of pointless questions with, "What is your standard of morality? See, you got none." What I think he's trying to say here is that because I am not doing anything about rape in Africa, I have no standard of morality, and therefore have no right to criticize his god. I don't know, it's really hard to tell.
- He has a really hard time following me from premise to conclusion. For example, in pointing out yet another terrible flaw in his god's character, I ask what one might think of a parent who tortures his children who don't buy his fire insurance. ThickShades takes this metaphorical question literally, getting lost in some musing about a psychotic father working for an insurance company. He concludes this rambling with an expert blow, at about 5:10: "Who's gonna pay for [the insurance] anyway?"
- He seems to approve of his god being a bully. At about 5:55, referring to the fact that I disapprove of his god, he asks, "What are you gonna do about it?" Maybe I'm weird, but for me, that's a conversation stopper.
- He makes metaphysical claims without even attempting to offer any support for them, such as his preachment that "We are here for God," at about 6:15.
- He makes absolutely inexplicable comments with no explanatory elaboration, such as, "You cannot be thinking this one-dimensionally for your own convenience sake." That's it. He just says that, and nothing else about it. What am I to make of that? I can't tell what he means about one-dimensional thinking, and I'm not convinced that he knows what he means by it.
- He scares me. From about 8:55 <clip>.
- He asks me to explain metaphysical dilemmas, as at about 9:05, "How can god be with evil?"
- He wounded my ego in his challenge video. At about 57 seconds in, he shows my channel and says, "Recently, you have quite a few things about god." Recently? Oh, what a knife in my heart. Now, if he'd said something like, "Wow, 145 videos and almost all of them about god! GreatBigBore, you're amazing!" Then I might have felt differently.
- He repeats various keywords in a way that's incredibly annoying. "LOLZ, kid, crappo," and of course, my favorite, <clip>. I have to assume that causing annoyance is his intention. No, I will no longer attempt to have a discussion under such circumstances.
Thanks for watching.