Critical Thinking, Religion

A few thoughts on Free Speech

I chose the title of this post because it is the title of another bloggers post that I frequent.  His name is ColorStorm.  Unfortunately for me, I am not very welcome there because my views are not in line with his and my questions are too troublesome or “corrupting”.  As a result of this, it is near impossible to have a conversation with him or any of his other readers because my comments are routinely moderated, edited or outright deleted.  I have been challenged by one of his readers thusly:

“@Ashely. If I were to cruise over to your blog, just randomly pick a post and randomly start quoting Scripture, would you allow it in the sense of free speech? If the answer is yes, that’s pretty exciting and I will be there shortly. As long as I can say what I want with no restrictions or relation to the post. But, somehow, I don’t think you would allow that.”

This blog post is my acceptance of his challenge.  This is an open invitation to any and to all.  Come and speak your mind.  You will not be censored, nor will you be edited by me.  I don’t care what your views on anything are, you will always be free to say what you want on my blog.  I would prefer that your posts at least be about the subject matter at hand.  If you want to quote scripture for example, fine – but I would appreciate it if you would make it relevant to the issue under discussion.  If you want to ramble on about nothing, feel free, but I will simply ask – to what end?  You’ll succeed only in making yourself look like a fool in my opinion.  But if that’s what you want to do, I won’t try and stop you.

I do not find ColorStorm’s moderating/editing/censoring tactics surprising given his position on Free Speech: “The cry for free speech from certain circles, is simply a plea for tolerance of the mindless. You want to express your free speech? Go ahead, and I’ll decide if I want those seeds of words in my garden, lest they grow to weeds or poison ivy that spreads.”

Now, one need only do a cursory review of that statement to realize that said individual does NOT actually believe in Free Speech – at least not on his blog.  For other people’s blog’s perhaps, but not on his.  However, since it’s his blog and these are free countries (his and mine), he’s perfectly free to exercise his right of determining who can and can’t express themselves freely on his blog.  What I can do though, is make the observation that there must be some deep-seated terror or massively unnerving insecurity within himself that would result in the decision to delete criticisms and inconvenient questions and pretend they never existed.  His position must be so weak that it is indefensible and is unable to withstand a close scrutiny of the claims.  This, as everyone should be immediately able to recognize, are the actions of a dictator, a tyrant and a coward.  I will also make another observation that these actions are identical to the actions of the Christian God in every way.  A demanding, childish, petty, vain, jealous, and insecure god that wants complete devotion and attention from his worshippers and will not tolerate any dissent.

I for one, don’t think it’s a co-incidence that some of his most devout followers act exactly the same way.

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32 thoughts on “A few thoughts on Free Speech

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    While I will agree with you that,

    “…since it’s his blog and these are free countries (his and mine), he’s perfectly free to exercise his right of determining who can and can’t express themselves freely on his blog,”

    I cannot agree that he has the right to maintain his exclusionist policies, while at the same time contending,

    “I have written elsewhere that drastic disagreements challenge our thinking. If something is sure and true, it can withstand the most intense scrutiny.”
    ~~ ColorStorm ~~

    and still maintain any degree of credibility.

    The man lives for pats on the head, and he will get them any way he can. If there WERE a god, as Colorstorm believes, CS would surely be condemned for the sin of pride.

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    • Oh I don’t pretend to think that anything that CS does on his website has any credibility to it. His positions are so ludicrous, illogical and hypocritical its as funny as it is disturbing. It’s very evident that all he’s looking for is praise from his adoring fans and nothing more. Who can’t tell that? LOL.
      If there were a God, I would consider myself to be condemned to live forever in the most diabolically evil, pointless tyranny that could be imagined. That would be incredibly depressing. Thankfully, there’s no reason to believe that anything like that is even remotely true!

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  2. archaeopteryx1 says:

    I invited his Igor, Wally (whom you quoted, above), here for an open discussion – he indicated that would not likely happen. What do they fear? No one can reach through a computer screen and attack them!

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    • I also invited him to come here to which he said “If the answer is yes, that’s pretty exciting and I will be there shortly”. CS was gracious enough to allow my post to him to be published (where I told him yes, he was welcome on my blog and could say whatever he pleased) and he then responded with “Well, I consider myself invited..might someday. Thanks!” So he went from “being there shortly” to “might someday” between responses in the span of exactly 23 minutes. So it would appear that he might have been acting disingenuous when he said that and/or maybe I surprised him by calling his bluff? Time will tell I guess. Depends on his definition of “shortly”.
      Wally, if you’re out there…..we’re waiting.

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      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Wally also said this:

        “So, my question remains, would this behavior be allowed if I took it over there? We won’t ever know, because that’s not going to happen, as that’s not considered decent human behavior.”

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        • Yeah, that’s one of those things where it’s in some kind of code to me. He asked if he could comment on my blog freely, I say yes and then he turns around and says “he won’t know because it’s not going to happen as it’s not considered human behavior.” What isn’t going to happen? What isn’t considered human behavior?
          You see? I am only further confused by his response.

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  3. Ashley I do thank you much for you kind invitation. The truth is there is no purpose for me here other than strife and conflict. I actually do believe you would give me open rein to say what I wish. that doesn’t mean I serve a purpose by saying it here. And that is kind of the point really. Me saying things here so I can get trashed serves the purpose of your blog. On the other hand for example my blog exists primarily to teach believers and talk to those who have an interest in hearing That means that comments which interfere with that purpose may or may not be welcome. There is a difference whether you see it or not. The truth is I am not here to fight so not really inclined to get sucked into one

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Yeah, a lot of odd things happen on Colorstorm’s blog.

      I’m not here to fight you either, Wally – only to discuss intelligently. So what shall it be? The historicity of the Torah? The fact that of 66 biblical books, 57 1/2 were written by anonymous authors? The fact that no eyewitnesses to the life of Yeshua wrote about him? Maybe that the biblical flood was a plagiarization of the Mesopotamian Euphrates River flood story of 2900 BCE, as dramatized in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” or perhaps that the “Tower of Bable” was in fact nothing more than a common Mesopotamian ziggurat? You pick a topic —

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    • Well the first thing I will say Wally is that I thank you for your comments. Now if I may, I will offer a critique of those comments
      I feel that you would be in a better position if you were to explain exactly what you mean by “trashed”. Sometimes, things that believers say of non-believers can be rude, and downright hateful and oftentimes false. I can give you many examples but my favorite is the assertion by believers that without a belief in God, there can be no morality. This is an incredibly insulting and degrading thing to say of anyone in my opinion. I flat out reject the idea that I need to be told by anyone or anything how to act morally or ethically.
      If there is harsh language and name calling, I am sorry but I don’t want to edit people’s posts because words offend you or anyone else. The only thing I can suggest is that you try to find some way of coping with it. Perhaps if you ask nicely, someone will accommodate you. I would like to think that you consider yourself grown up enough to be able to handle whatever is thrown your way.
      And no Wally, the purpose of my blog is not to have people like you come here so we can “trash” you. If you read the statement under the blog title, you would have determined that the purpose of my blog is to expose bad ideas to the light of day, to proper scrutiny where they can be examined and shown as the false promises and anti-intellectual nonsense that they are. Although the bulk of my posts are about religion, there are also posts about critical thinking and “alternative” medicine. I am very concerned about the new wave of anti-intellectualism that is sweeping over the world at large (i.e. the promulgation of ridiculous religious views and positions, anti-vaxxer nonsense, alternative medicine nonsense, free-speech infringements, and so on). It seems as though many people accept “I am offended” as a legitimate argument. I do not. I completely reject the notion it has any merit whatsoever. This troubles a great deal of people who feel that people’s feelings are to be respected above all else, including to the detriment of determining what’s actually true and what’s not. This is a VERY DANGEROUS position to hold in my opinion. That is why I oppose it.
      You said: “On the other hand for example my blog exists primarily to teach believers and talk to those who have an interest in hearing That means that comments which interfere with that purpose may or may not be welcome. There is a difference whether you see it or not.”
      I actually do very much see the difference Wally. Your position and mine could not possibly be further apart. Firstly you say that your blog exists to “teach” believers. You have substituted the word “teach” with the word “indoctrinate” or “promulgate.” In order to teach someone something, it must be open to enquiry and subject to scrutiny. You have outright stated that you are not interested in entertaining comments that “may interfere with that purpose or may not be welcome”. I am university educated. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. At no point did I ever come across a teacher who was unwilling to answer direct questions about the subject matter at hand and I certainly never encountered a teacher who actively tried to silence pupils who asked questions. This is the antithesis of learning.
      I am afraid Wally that you need to learn the difference between teaching and preaching.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well then we can agree to disagree! But the truth is as stated by several commenters is that they are not out to discuss but to erase Faith. That’s fine but not on my blog. Peace

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        • I am not out to “erase” faith. I am out to expose it as something that shouldn’t be considered a virtue and something that shouldn’t be used in place of evidence, logic and reason. Once faith is scrutinized using such criteria, the only logical position is to abandon it. This applies to faith in all things for which there is no evidence and includes religion, anti-vax, alternative medicine, etc, etc. You are the type of person who prefers faith over reason and logic and evidence. This is why you are a man of one book and know virtually nothing else – because you don’t want to know anything else that conflicts with your faith. The more we learn about our world and the universe, the less relevant the Bible and faith becomes.
          This is precisely why you will never take up Arch on his challenge to talk about the historicity of the bible and its contents because many of the claims made within that book are demonstrably false and because examining the claims on the basis of evidence (or lack thereof) will destroy that faith and that disturbs you very much. For that, I feel very sorry for you Wally. I for one, do not feel that ignorance is bliss. It’s a handicap.

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  4. And to explain what it is that is not going to happen that was in reference to the fact that I would not go to another blog hurling insults at the host. Oddly enough that quote was removed from the context in which it appeared.

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  5. carmen says:

    Good blog post, Ashley. I’ve read through this one and have read a few exchanges involving both CS and Wally elsewhere, and it’s my observation (which is also certainly obvious from Wally’s comments on this thread) that both CS and Wally fail to see a difference between hurling insults at a person and hurling insults at BELIEFS. Seems to me that both of them suffer from the same affliction – they somehow feel that their beliefs are immune to criticism, which of course is a ludicrous assumption. I believe, for this reason, that they are both extremely insecure individuals, who probably feel that they are ‘nothing’ without god(s). How pathetic. Perhaps if non-believers challenge their beliefs enough, they’ll be able to expose this pathetic ‘condition’ and people like Wally and CS will eventually realize their own potential as thinking, intelligent, rational human beings, totally independent of an imaginary crutch. Kudos to you for trying!

    Liked by 2 people

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      …people like Wally and CS will eventually realize their own potential as thinking, intelligent, rational human beings, totally independent of an imaginary crutch

      Not a chance, Carmencita, but certainly something devoutly to be desired.

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    • Carmen, I have noticed that the phrase “hurling insults” tends to be synonymous with “asking corrupting questions”. If you dare question the irreverence of God or ask “blasphemous” questions, you’re “spreading hate” or “being corrupting” or other such nonsense. Unfortunately there is no easy or nice or polite way of saying to someone that perhaps their beliefs are based on fairly tales and that they’ve wasted their life glorifying a man-made myth. Some people take the news in stride, others have a borderline mental breakdown and just plug their ears and run away.

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      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        I get the distinct impression that those two are absolutely terrified that their all-knowing god will sense that they might have a doubt.

        Further, they identify so intensely with their belief system, that to attack it, is to personally attack them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen says:

        I’ve witnessed the mental breakdown you refer to, when believers have their view challenged – it ain’t pretty…
        Almost all of them, however, end up just plugging their ears and smiling benignly; preferring to stay coddled in their infantile, make-believe world. These are adults, mind you.
        By the way, I’m not Spanish. Just a cheeky Canadian (east-coaster). 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          By the way, I’m not Spanish. Just a cheeky Canadian (east-coaster).

          How totally weird! Then obviously, I have mistaken you for my friend, Carmen, who is presently visiting relatives in Australia, and who is also a “cheeky Canadian (east-coaster).” (and not Hispanic) – Nova Scotia, to be precise, or “SnovaScotia“, as she has come to call it after last winter.

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  6. The one thing I find strange with CS blog is always adding editor’s comments to comments by others especially the atheist folk. Wouldn’t it be better if he disagrees to express his disagreement separately.
    I also find it absurd that people like Wally would take any opportunity to comment on atheists blogs and limit the same conversation on their blogs. What purpose is served by quoting bible verses anyway? If the only way one can contribute to a conversation is by quoting bible verses, that person is truly handicapped intellectually.
    Great post Ashley.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter says:

    I have just finished a book entitled ‘Difficulties in the Bible R.A. Torrey, the first principle of Moody Bible College. I found it very instructive because it demonstrated the mindset of the person who considers the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God and the ultimate source of truth.

    Once i got the constant use of the word ‘Infidel’ to describe those of a differing view, I noted that it was pointless to argue with such folk. Because I concluded such a person would never admit an error. Mostly there was the most convoluted logic used to explain away the issues. But when this did not work there was still the ‘God Poofed it’ type argument to fall back on.

    I was especially interested in how he explained away Matthew quoting the prophet Zechariah but by mistake attributing it to Jeremiah. Torrey had a range of possible explanations that would have done our friend CS proud. These included, there might have been other writings of Jeremiah that were not in the Bible that Zechariah had access to and included in his prophecy, or maybe Jeremiah was in fact the author of the second part of Zechariah (which Torrey did admit seem to have been written by some one different to the author of the firs part of the book).

    The long day recorded in the Book of Joshua was seen as a God poofed it outcome.

    Because the world view of these folk is that the Bible is true, then their logic is that ‘evidence’ that seems to show the Bible is wrong must be suspect. The problem is they evaluate the evidence based on the Bible rather than evaluating the Bible based on the evidence.

    So unless such folk are prepared to concede their might just be a possibility that thier world view is in error, discussion will be largely pointless.

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Bart Ehrman indicates that the first 8 chapters of Zechariah were actually written by Zechariah, the last six by an unknown author. Those 8 chapters, and the 3-page “book” of Micah, are the only two of all of the Bible’s books, in which the authorship is confirmed by biblical scholars.

      Mostly there was the most convoluted logic used to explain away the issues.” – I call that little dance the Testament Twist, the practice of which will stand one in good stead who wishes to go on to a career in pretzel making.

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  8. archaeopteryx1 says:

    I do not find ColorStorm’s moderating/editing/censoring tactics surprising given his position on Free Speech: “The cry for free speech from certain circles, is simply a plea for tolerance of the mindless. You want to express your free speech? Go ahead, and I’ll decide if I want those seeds of words in my garden, lest they grow to weeds or poison ivy that spreads.”

    Ah, but he contradicts himself when he says in his “About” page:

    “I have written elsewhere that drastic disagreements challenge our thinking. If something is sure and true, it can withstand the most intense scrutiny.”
    ~~ ColorStorm ~~

    It’s enough to make one doubt the C-man’s sincerity —
    (And veracity.)

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  9. archaeopteryx1 says:

    What I can do though, is make the observation that there must be some deep-seated terror or massively unnerving insecurity within himself that would result in the decision to delete criticisms and inconvenient questions and pretend they never existed.

    Exactly what I have said, repeatedly – regrettably, my words never get past his moderation.

    Like

    • I have given up now. I haven’t visited his blog in a few months and I don’t plan to either. Arguing or debating or even asking questions of him is a complete and total waste of time. He either doesn’t answer, or when he does, it’s in some kind of code that I can’t decipher. Requests to clarify only result in him ignoring the request altogether or more gibberish. He puts all of my comments in moderation and allows less than 50% of them through. In the end it doesn’t really matter because it’s like talking to a brick wall.

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      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        …when he does, it’s in some kind of code that I can decipher.
        Here’s his latest one to me:
        Death! Evolution has no answer, may God be praised. Death is the enemy of evolution and unbelief, and is the crown jewel of the need for redemption.

        What do you suppose he’s on?

        Like

  10. Peter says:

    Arch, it is like the warning in 2 Thessalonians (thought by many to be forged) warning against forged letters by Paul. Often times people protest most strongly against the very behavior of which they are guilty. Some of the Christian ministers who have argued so strongly against homosexuality were caught out with male prostitutes.

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