It was pointed out to me that someone on a blog had attacked my blog and my arguments about mystical exerpince and brain chemistry. This attack demonstrates a vicious attitude which was not elicited by anything I did or said. This person had never had any exchanges or dealings with me before that I know of. Note the instantly hateful tone:
The No Nothing's space:
I was scouring the internet for purely unrandom rubbish when I came across this gem of Christian paranoia. Despite my unabashed dislike of apologetics, I often find myself indulging an argument here or there, or all the time for the sake of entertainment. Some have called me a verbal masochist, because I thoroughly enjoy the stress-inducing frustration of arguing the qualities of the non-existent. You can probably get a hint as to why I latched onto this guy's blog post, already.
This guy is making a lot of totally unsupported assumptions. He knows nothing about my views but he immediately assumes I don't believe science is real or valid, he assumes so apparently just because I'm a Christian. He calls it "rubbish" but it's painfully obvious he knows almost nothing about the literature in the field.
[quote]The author is a fellow by the name of Joe Hinman, or at least that's what he calls himself. I have no reason to doubt, but I'm naturally skeptical of all things. So I'll call him Joanne for now until he can prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is in fact Joe Hinman, and not Joanne. Just kidding.
Not only this awkward joke about my name but implying some sort of sexual inadequacy as well. What a vicious little monster. I've never done done anything to this creton.
It seems to be the case that Joe is one of those Christians who thinks that any information that isn't overtly supporting his theological position is in defiance of his theological position. If you're not with him, then you're against him and he will hunt you down for your disloyalty.
Of course he draws this conclusion from the fact that I don't accept brain chemistry reductionism and give the cart blanch to make any claim they wish without analyzing it. He therefore assumes "well Christians and idiots this guy's a Christian so he must be an idiot. He must a creationist so he doesn't believe in science." Come on honestly now, do you really want to label yourself the way this guy does? Do you really want to be associated with his ideology and his world view?
He argues from the start that "the point of the article is to destroy faith in religion by reducing religious experiences to brain chemistry." The only problem with this presupposition is that nowhere in the NPR article can one find any such intention. Joe is, in effect, tilting at windmills. But let's pretend for a moment that he is correct and that the intention of the author is to discourage religious faith by providing naturalistic explanations for its accompanying phenomena. And hopefully we can ignore the fact that the intention of an author is immaterial to the actual argument, or lack thereof.
The assertion the argument I'm dealing with exits only in one article is idiotic and everyone knows that atheists on message boards all over the world and in thousands of publications make the assertion that brain chemistry disproves the notion that RE is connected to the divine. We all know that there's no reason to pretend that's not the real issue.
His first contention is that the study authors can't show that they are actually testing "real mystical experiences". Well, Joe, neither can anyone show that there is such a thing as a mystical experience to begin with, or that these experiences are not biochemical. Relying on current neurological ignorance won't get anyone anywhere in the long run, because neurologists will eventually find out what's going on in our heads while we are experiencing these "mystical experiences". And I don't know how many people can distinguish between "real mystical experiences" and "unreal mystical experiences", as if there is some coherently meaningful division between the two that everyone magically knows.
The real irony is this bozo got it totally wrong. That is not what I argued, it's not what the article was about, and it's actually the opposite of what I said. He doesn't understand the argument because he has read absolutely nothing about the scientific data on religious experience so he has no idea about the issues.
The point I'm making is with not provocation and no good reason he just begins wtih hate, angry, lies and makes wild eyed derogatory assumptions that can only come from the basic assumptions of hate in the first place. I don't see how a rational thinking person can deny that atheism, at least the "new atheism" breeds hatred.
To see my full answer to history entire areticle and to understand how badly his attacks miss the mark see Metacorck's Blog.