Sunday, September 19, 2010

Twin perspectives on ridicule

     "Perhaps the best way to use mockery as a tool against the pseudo-profound is in the way of the young boy who noticed that the Emperor had no clothes. He simply stated a fact without being concerned if he was profound or not.
     "Demonstrating facts may not convince the converted (they still want to be wise enough to see the gorgeous fabric) but it does expose the pseudo-profound guru for what he is and cause him to be the source of his own mockery.
     "I have seen John Stewart do this on the Daily Show by showing film clips with very little comment needed.
     "When a guru attacks or twists the facts, a continued repetition of the facts ('I don't see any clothes') would make it more obvious that the pseudo-profundity is meaningless. I don't know if this is a philosophy term, but I always called it the 'broken record' technique when debating with my children!"

     "All I can say is, you will get nowhere. Presuppos are not about converting, but about ridiculing the opposition by using any tricks necessary. They call this 'show that they deny the truth in unrighteousness.' So, honesty is not something that worries them."

     These are twin perspectives on ridicule, one favoring it, the other opposing. But it should be noted that the stances of the respective authors do not differ on much else. The second quote talks about the frustration of dealing with the people who practice "presuppositional apologetics." What I find interesting is the fact that presuppositionalists follow the exact tactics advocated by the first quote right down to the "broken record." Restating something as fact repeatedly, of course, is not the same thing as demonstrating it to be a fact. But it is my experience that those who use ridicule tend to skip over the demonstrating part anyway.

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