In a recent thread our good friend and constant companion, David, made some assertions about his first encounter with Brock here on SEB. Now most of the assertions that David makes are the sort that are… difficult… to verify one way or the other. Assertions like his supposedly in-depth study of philosophy at the age of 14 which rivaled what others might be exposed to in college or how he’s presented his views on the weaknesses of the Theory of Evolution to PhD level biologists (and avowed Evolutionists) who had no recourse but to admit he had managed to stump them. But every so often he slips up and makes a mistake and hands us something we can actually look into to see how much truth there is to his claim. A recent response from David to Brock provides us with one such occasion:
Brock, the reason I have written the things I have to you is in response to the never ending personal attacks you have made on me. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference. If you will remember our first encounter was over the gay marriageӔ topic. You were abusive, obnoxious, and clearly asserting your sexual preference. You were abusive, obnoxious, and clearly asserting your sexual preference. But I see that once again, you all are allowed to have opinions about other people, but if I have one, I have to PROVE I FEEL that way.
Look, I’ve never complained about the attacks (as I’ve been accused of doing) but I’ve pointed it out on occasion to show reason for my responses. But here you are, actually whining about me giving you relatively minor rebukes after what you’ve written about me. If you cant take it, stop dishing it out. If you know anything about Christians at all, you know that if you ask, I’m literally bound to forgive you.
Now here we have several rather easy to check on assertions that we can verify with just a little effort so let’s dig in and see what we can come up with, shall we? Let’s put David’s recollection of the facts to the test!
David first showed up at SEB on June 20, 2003 @ 12:12PM and has made roughly 151 comments to date, though it feels like infinitely more at times. Brock first showed up on June 29, 2003 @ 12:50 AM and has made around 368 comments.
OK, so let’s break this down starting with the easiest assertions to verify such as…
- If you will remember our first encounter was over the gay “marriage” topic.
The first comment made by Brock that contained any direct mention of David was in an entry on July 22, 2003 @ 10:13 PM that originally dealt with a news item about four teens who group hugged after killing a former friend and had nothing to do with gay marriage. This is an entry that David had already spent quite a bit of time in arguing about the existence of God and how foolish we all were. This is the famous entry wherein David embarked on his dissertation of the Proof of God at my request only to have me shut him down once he fell back on the old Argument from Design tact. This thread is also where David first directly addresses Brock on July 27, 2003 05:08 PM. Again, nothing in the thread has anything to do with gay marriage.
Now let’s take a look at a couple of related assertions…
- Brock, the reason I have written the things I have to you is in response to the never ending personal attacks you have made on me… You were abusive, obnoxious, and clearly asserting your sexual preference.
This one is a little tricker seeing as what constitutes a personal attack is rather subjective, but let’s see what we can see. Brock’s first comment which addressed David actually addressed all of us who were participating in the thread and it read:
- Gheeesh, with you guys its god or nothing. David, you need to stop trying to talk down to everyone. I believe we will/do exist as aware energy after physical life, and time is an artificial construct, so we are in the next place being the next thing now. I dont believe there is created or maintained by a god, but by all aware energy equally. DonҒt expect me to try to prove that though. I dont believe proving there is possible while focused on here. David, where would you be without the Bible? Les and Eric, where would you be without Scientific American? WeҒll all retain our same beliefs regardless of what the others say.
Nothing in there about his sexual preference nor is it clearly abusive or obnoxious. If you stretch things a bit you could say that Brock telling David to stop talking down to everyone might be considered a personal attack, but if you go look at the thread it’s pretty clear that David was talking down to everyone. He took on a rather haughty air of self-superiority early on and hasn’t let it go ever since. Granted at the start it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it has grown to be, but it certainly foreshadows what’s to come. Continuing…
- Since then, you have seldom posted a civil response to anything I’ve written.
Again, rather subjective. All told there are around 50 comments in which Brock directly refers to David by name, though undoubtedly there are some where indirect references is at least implied. In the second comment Brock made to David he says the following:
- “It seems to me, David, you are reading too much and feeling too little. No offense intended, and I hope you read this as well meant, if you can.”
Hardly what I’d call uncivil. In fact, the first really critical statements about David that I can find from Brock are the following:
- This is a most transparent self-serving, prideful thing to undertake. I at least will not believe for one moment that your desire for my, or anyone’s soul’s safety, is the reason for you “talking” here. Plain and simple, you want to be perceived as wise, as patient, as reasonable and as “saved” as a person could hope to be. You want to magnify your own worth, as it were. That has been glaringly obvious in most everything you have written here. Though you talk of pride as though it is evil, your words suggest you have much pride in your own intellect and deeds. While pride in one’s self is not a bad thing, denial of another’s rights to have pride in his or her accomplishments and reasoning ability is.
- If you can see any parallels in the above example of Christian method and your own writings and apparent beliefs, I commend you. If not then I’ll just say to you what you said to readers “…it leads me to believe that you must be either inexplicably stupid, or deliberately avoiding the truth.”
- And isn’t it fortuitous that you know for certain what God thinks is uniquely good, while the rest of us struggle constantly to represent goodness, commonly doubting our ability to measure up. You place yourself far above many by minimizing someone else’s right to seek a personal understanding of good, whether it be defined by God, one’s parents or others or one’s self. I speak back to you not because I understand better what is ultimately right, but because you represent everything I hate about the search for higher awareness. You have the answers, the book and the “creator of all” on your team. You certainly can’t blame us for having a speck of doubt concerning your right to “lord” it over others.
All in the same comment. Critical? Surely, but not obnoxious, abusive or uncivil. There’s quite a few comments from Brock for awhile that don’t say anything particularly negative about David other than to ask newcomers who argue in a similar style “Have you met David?” Brock doesn’t really lay into David until the Eric’s entry from February 23rd of this year on efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriages. Considering Brock’s sexual orientation this is likely to be an emotional subject for him yet his first response to a comment from David is again not what I would consider abusive or obnoxious:
I have no problem whatsoever with you speaking in public David, but from your first paragraph to you last, you lied, much as randall does. You aren’t looking at the issue with unbiased perceptions and you have lots of issues with how you perceive homosexuality and union.
Be a close-minded, ill informed bigot, I don’t care, but when you speak, don’t be surprised if someone expects you to back up your words with exact and current facts and logical arguments.
With regards to David’s assertion that Brock was “clearly asserting” his sexual preference in their exchanges I think it’s safe to say that anyone who actually looks at the exchange that took place will see that Brock doesn’t bring up his orientation and it is, in fact, David who first raises the possibility that Brock might be gay:
- I never hid how I felt about homosexuality. I came right out at the beginning of my post and said I think it’s wrong and would be interested in hearing why anyone thinks it’s right. I don’t think this is a minor issue at all, or I’d not bother to respond, particularly to your petty insults. Your emotion and accusations betray to me a strong stake in this matter and a projection of your own reality. Why don’t you come clean?
I like that bit about “petty insults” he tossed in there as there weren’t any I could see in the previous part of the thread. In Brock’s follow up he confirms his orientation with the following statement:
- To those who feel that gay marriage is wrong, that homosexuality is an abomination, that gays are perverted, and have said as much either by using those words or intimating it through scriptural citation, you deserve whatever name I’ve called you, and more besides. If you think I’m going to remain silent while you spread hate using your schizophrenic religion’s tenets, think again. I’ve had it with “innocent” personas using religion to tell me I’m fucked-up damaged goods. Don’t tell me you love me and call me perverted. Don’t say you care while spreading messages of exclusion. Don’t use your God to justify your desire to judge, to hate, to pity, to deny me the certainty of being correctly and therefore, appropriately human.
At this point this is probably the most critical Brock had ever been of anyone on SEB and his comment isn’t addressed to David in particular, though certainly David is included in the intended audience. Meanwhile David has already settled into his now long familiar mantra about how Brock “spews insults and calls it tolerance” which he repeats in this thread. For the rest of this thread until I closed it Brock makes no more direct or indirect comments to David of any kind.
As an observation I’ve noticed that David likes to say that many of us on SEB keep claiming to be ultra-tolerant, but in my memory I don’t remember too many of us making such claims on a regular basis. But what would I know? Not like I can look it up…
Speaking of looking it up, I’m going to go through the comments I have from Brock to David and list all of the ones I can see that I would consider even remotely insulting:
- David you are such a proud prick!
- I’m sorry, but your bullshit gets old quickly.
- I don’t think you’ve fooled a single person here into believing you’re a well intentioned guy. Ok, maybe David or brian believe this, but they’ll believe anything.
- If you’re afraid you’re going to be tempted to go gay I can understand how you would think the rest of humanity might falter as well – after all you know best.
- Only David could make an asinine remark like this and think he was helping his argument for Christianity or think he was coming across as moderately informed. David, dude, you seriously need to get a clue about so many things!
- I doubt you’ve ever had an insight David. You can twist things to make them work for you, but that doesn’t count as insightful. Try again – you still have a million clues to get.
- Apparently you, David and randall are that arrogant!
- I think poor nowiser should be worried. He’s impressing David and randall and guys like them. He’s one step away from being rendered ineffectual , even counter-productive, if he keeps this up. You’ve got to figure out what you’re doing, nowiser – then stop doing it!
- You have shown early on that you’re just as rigidly indoctrinated as David. Neither of you present concern and tolerance very well at all. Matter of fact, most of us here appear to be better Christians than either of you, even though we don’t believe in a god or his son, who expect us to represent love and acceptance of others. We do the technically difficult stuff better. All you guys do is pretend you have outlooks of worth to the world.
- That’s why I’m convinced you guys really worship the devil, furthering hate and subjugation like you have passion for it. You’re an embarrassment to Christianity – which is an embarrassment to itself. That’s being quite embarrassing!
- It might seem that we’ve been discriminating against you David, but we haven’t.
- David, once again you’ve demonstrated just how pigheaded and small minded you can be.
- I’m glad David’s here! He makes me think there’s lots of work to do and he focuses me. Though he’s likely the most deserving here of the description pseudo-intellectual, he still manages to say something interesting now and then.
- Hey David, I just thought it was a damn good line.
I’m laughing like you want me too, then you gotta go and hurt my feelings. Now you’re making me cry. You monster! Don’t worry. I usually only feel insulted when I value someone’s opinions. I haven’t read many of yours that I like, but thanks for trying to cheer me up.
- You really have your head up your ass, dude.
- I had you pegged from the beginning when I called you a bigot.
- I find you bombastic and pretentious and hardly worthy to teach great truths to others.
- David still doesn’t understand that the only person he can decree a Christian or non-Christian is himself and even then he’s probably called it badly.
- David, I invite you to put your shit where your mouth is and look back a few months for posts I’ve made.
Let’s see… 19 possibilities of which many of them you have to be pretty thin skinned to consider abusive and obnoxious. Over 50 some odd comments to David and perhaps 19 or so that, admittedly in my opinion, fit the definition of insulting. Overall looking at the database extract it seems to me that Brock has, by and large, attempted to remain civil overall and engage David with a minimum of personal attacks contrary to David’s claims. Hell, I’ve been more active at making personal attacks on David than Brock ever has and I’ve expressed much more of a lack of respect for David to boot. He should be bitching about how I’m uncivil and obnoxious towards him as I’m much more guilty of it than Brock has ever been. It leaves one to wonder what it is about Brock that makes David feel so put upon. Could it be that Brock’s sexual orientation bother’s David more than he claims it does and thus heightens any perceived slight coming from “the queer guy?” Who knows? It’s clear that David’s perceptions of who is actually more negative towards him is severely distorted.
I’m not even going to try and list all of the insulting statements David has made about others, let alone Brock, in his comments to date. It’s already close to 2AM and I should be in bed. I wanted to go over his assertions that he’s never complained about being attacked, as he puts it, as well as his claim that his rebukes were “relatively minor” in comparison to what Brock has said about him, but I’m going to regret this in the morning already. I think I’ve done an adequate job of showing that David’s recollection is pretty shitty, or questionable at best, and that he doth protest too much. But don’t take my word for it, there’s a perfectly good search function built into SEB and you can look this stuff up for yourself and draw your own conclusions. David should know better than to make easily verifiable claims without checking into them for himself beforehand. Now as to why I did all of this…
In all honesty I wasn’t terribly impressed with Brock when he first showed up at SEB. Not that he was particularly unpleasant or anything like that, but his early comments just didn’t really engage me all that much in part because he was trying very hard not to offend anyone and came across as a bit, well, wishy-washy. Since then he’s turned out to be one of my favorite regulars and has not only developed his commenting style into a much more assertive approach, but he’s responsible for some of my all-time favorite bits of comedic writings here at SEB.
In comparison David normally doesn’t bother me too much and I’ll give him some credit for keeping things lively around here, but occasionally I get a little tired of him bitching about how mean everyone is to him and how he’s not allowed to express his opinions like everyone else does and he’s so put upon and so on. His tendency to accuse others of the sins he’s guilty of himself while denying he’s guilty of those sins just irks me to no end. So when he got all up in Brock’s face with his latest missive I felt I owed it to Brock and the rest of you to show you just how full of shit David really is. This is why I find it very hard to accept anything that David has to say as being remotely credible. If he were to tell me the sun will rise in the east tomorrow I’d be very tempted to stay up and make sure for myself because he’s just so full of shit most of the time. He’s either redefining the rules of the game, or using his own unique definitions for words, or engaging in the very activities he whines at others about. Here’s one more “Bonus Round” example for you taken from the same thread that started this whole entry. In a reply to Nunya who had provided David with a number of links to various collections of Biblical Contradictions he had the following to say:
- Nunyabiz, I’m not going to go disagree with a bunch of sites I already know I disagree with. If you’ve got a contradiction that you think you can back up, then lay it out. Otherwise, once again, you are letting someone else do your thinking for you. I’m talking to you, and I’m pretty sure this is for the last time. If you cant defend a point of one of your arguments personally (something I’ve yet to see you do, but have tried many times to get you to do) then I’m really not interested in reading anything else you have to write..
But has David always felt this way? Not really, here’s a gem from all the way back in his early days…
- I’m not saying I did the research myself, but I’m tired of having the validity of my arguments attacked because they don’t like the source of the information, without ever actually examining the truth or falsehood of the data.
Pretty fucking funny, eh? When other’s don’t like his sources he bitches about it, but it’s OK for him to write off other people when they use their outside sources. OK, I’ve gone on with this for long enough and there’s probably only three people total who even give a shit about this, but I feel better for having done it.
Though I’m definitely going to regret it come 6:30 A.M.