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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Comfortable Delusions
Posted by: Tanoro - May 17, 2011 3:49PM

Wow, I had what must have been one of the most absurd exchanges this morning. A person whom I met online and will identify here only as "D" became upset with me last night after a brief discussion about religion and epistemology. I made an honest effort to be as polite as possible, but I'm willing to admit that I perhaps came off as a bit more aggressive than I had intended. D expressed an unwillingness to speak to me anymore, without providing a reason why, and disconnected from me quite abruptly.

Now, I'm fully aware that some people can't handle a religious discussion and I'm willing to humor these people to a degree (a small degree). This morning, D was back and I offered an apology for saying anything that might've come across as offensive. D accepted this apology and so began a discussion on a different topic. The topic was the sudden ending of a relationship that I had in the past with a friend of D's. This friend, my ex, I will identify as "J". J and I had a few mutual friends, "A" and "B", with whom J already had a provably strained relationship. After J chose to break up with me, a matter that went smoothly by my perspective, J posts a short rant on a public journal including some expressions of disgust over A and B's choice in men and a few personal details about B's sex life. Knowing that this journal was public and has most certainly been read by others already, I alerted A and B about it. This caused a huge uproar that effectively ended J's relations with A and B.

And now, D emerges as a friend of J and wanting to confront me about this action. Now, I wish to reply to D's ranting from this morning and reach a conclusion in this matter. Yes! I most certainly did alert A and B about that journal entry written by J. I honestly don't care that you've chosen to JUDGE ME as some kind of lesser person because I DARED to reveal J's PUBLIC journal to people whom she didn't intend to see it. Just because it is labeled a journal doesn't make it private when it is posted in public.

The fact that J felt it necessary to externalize the blame for that entry even existing, excusing herself from any responsibility, doesn't mean the blame falls on me. There is a general rule of thumb regarding the use of the Internet, "Don't post something you wouldn't want your mother to see." If J was not prepared for literally anyone seeing that journal, it should NOT have even been there...period! J can bluster about it all she wants and blame me if it helps, but that doesn't make it true, nor does your willingness to buy it.

Had the journal entry been private or had I known no one else had read it, I would've simply requested J remove it before someone did read it, as you suggested. But knowing the damage had already been done at that point and I KNEW others had definitely read it, the most rational option left was to alert the people which that journal would effect. You said J told you that this was my attempt to ruin the relationship she had with A and B? That is bullshit. I didn't write that article for her, I didn't tell her to post it, and I didn't cause the strains J already had in dealing with A and B that made this journal the final straw that broke the camel's back. *HOW DARE YOU* bring that accusation to me not knowing jack about it except for J's sole allegation. It is THAT kind of blatant and willful dishonesty of which I accused you this morning and it is THAT kind of dishonesty for which J constantly took such flack (the flack that you called "bullying")!

You said that J told you that no one except me had access to and/or knew of that journal. I'm sorry, D, but that is a boldface lie and J damn well knows it. I wasn't the only one leaving comments throughout that journal and if that's not an indication that others saw it, I don't know what is.

And you persist still by using such bogus qualifiers. "J isn't perfect! You made J feel suicidal!" I wasn't asking for perfection. I wanted honesty and respect, not just for me, but for the people J was willing to humiliate with that journal entry (the people you are ignoring). And if J is feeling suicidal, then you should NOT be ranting at me. You should be encouraging J to get professional help like a caring and concerned friend would. That's what professional help is there for! That is the proper course of action and you don't need to be that bright to understand that!

D, I initially thought you charming and pleasant, just as I initially found J to be so. I knew you and J are close friends, I knew you had been informed of my past with J, and thus I even suspected your willingness to interact with me was REALLY to test me and to see if what J told you about me was true. You claim that your opinion of me was not based on J's opinions. I'll agree with that, because it is based on confirmation bias. You're not objective. You're not fair. You're not open-minded. You're biased. As such, I don't care if you think I'm closed-minded or immature. You want to know why I don't care? Because when asked to answer for myself, which I feel I did so successfully, you could only muster the following defense: "Stop trying to prove me wrong!" That statement almost floored me, D. It tells me volumes. It tells me that I've defeated your argument and you no longer believe that rational confrontation will work with me, so you're trying to get me to allow you to declare victory without it, as if your comfortable delusions have ANY basis in reality. How's that for epistemology?

If you want to permanently cut me off from this point on, feel free. I won't lose any sleep nor will I answer for this asinine clambake anymore. If you want J to feel better, let her move on.

Finally, I leave you with a word from one of my favorite Atheist speakers:

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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