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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Friday, November 02, 2007

A train wreck over at RichardDawkins.net

On a lighter note than usual, anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a big fan of Richard Dawkins ... and I love his site, which provides a lot of relevant information and some interesting discussion involving various well-informed people. On the other hand, a few of the regulars there are as stubborn as mules or as crazy as loons. Sometimes both.

Anyway, now and then what starts out as a sensible thread turns into an utter train wreck involving hundreds of not-very-helpful comments. Even sensible commentators get attracted by the wreckage like proverbial moths spiralling into an equally-proverbial flame.

Here is a good example of what can go wrong.


Brian English said...

On the other hand, a few of the regulars there are as stubborn as mules or as crazy as loons. Sometimes both.
That would be me! Recogition. Finally! It's hard being a contrary, stubborn, loon.

Ol' scooternyc seems to have taken on half the site. I'm really not knowledgeable on Libertarians. They seem quite staunchly against paying taxes and quite happy to say that anybody who's in a bad situation must have made bad choices and are thus unworthy of help.

Russell Blackford said...

I just lurrve those Randian nut-jobs.

I do try to keep out of threads (on any site) once they have turned into train wrecks. I suppose someone has to provide the voice of reason, to balance out the loons - of which I could give a brief but colourful list in the case of Dawkins' site - but after awhile you can find you're not contributing much or learning anything.

clodhopper said...

Oh Good Grief! Don't these people have jobs to go to?

Blake Stacey said...

I'm almost afraid to look.

Anonymous said...

Go on Russell – name names – I know you want to ;)

Seriously. I think you are very wise staying out of this one – I ducked and ran for cover quite early on too.

Colin McGinn has recently set up a blog that I really think you might enjoy. (I read only and don’t post on there: too intimidated!)


Look at his run in with Ayn Rand types causing trainwrecks (they certainly get about).



Russell Blackford said...

Thanks, Corylus - I'll have a look at McGinn's blog. But no, I won't cause further wreckage by naming names. :)

I think all the sensible people who post on Dawkins' site from time to time have worked out by now who the crazies and obsessives are.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you look at the last couple of pages of that thread, it has got much more sensible and constructive