Bloggers and YouTubers “Deflating Atheism” and “Escaping Atheism” (Dean Esmay aka “Max Kolbe”: American loon #655 http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/…/655-dean-esmay.html)) decided to take a swing (and a miss) at me, Aron Ra, Genetically Modified Skeptic and Godlesss Cranium. (Time stamp 27:30) https://youtu.be/-_Y0mKm1dwo?t=27m30s
From Max in his comment section:
“We’d argue that McRae is worse. He’s one of those scumbags like Penn Jillette who puts on a show of being reasonable but knows exactly what he’s doing when he lies his ass off. And Steve McRae never stops lying.”
Now let’s look at the massive irony here shall we? While I’m sincerely flattered to be compared to Penn Jillette and that I “put on a show of being reasonable” I find it pretty comical that here is a person accusing me of lying and yet makes a video calling me an atheist…after being corrected on this numerous times. As Godless Cranium astutely notes I self Identify as a temporal agnostic, which is not an atheist by more formal definitions. I have never once self identified as an atheist, but here are two theist completely and willfully lying about my theological position in a video deliberately relating me to a ideological position that I do not hold to.
Another interesting thing to note from the video is that neither of them truly seem to understand the word “skeptic” or that it is a polysemous term that represents many possible meanings. The word itself to me is rather vague, as there are many types of skeptics…and generally the word refers to someone to adheres to Skepticism, a philosophical position that I don’t have as it maintains that philosophical skepticism questions our ability to make knowledge claims. I am quite fine with make knowledge claims as I have a pretty well defined epistemic framework that allows me to make knowledge claims…now, if one is referring to scientific skepticism then sure, I would be a scientific skeptic who does believe that scientist should be ethical and follow Mertonian norms…but it is quite obvious that neither Deflating Atheism nor Escaping atheism understand these types of positional nuances. They are quite typical of people who focus more on assigning their own version of a label to someone, rather than trying to actually understand that persons beliefs and positions.
I also would very much like to know how I am being paid to “be a skeptic” or how I “make cash” by converting people to atheism. 3 years on YouTube and I know of absolutely no one that I have ever “converted” to atheism…nor of a penny that I have earned from making one either.
Max then goes on to make the infelicitously bizarre claim that I am in an “atheist cult” and that I have a “talking point” of “I hope I have offended you”…in my 570+ videos on YouTube those words have never been uttered by me. My goal on YouTube is not to offend, it is to foster meaningful and interesting dialog between people with various differing positions. Does this mean no one ever gets offended? Of course not…as if someone on YouTube isn’t offended by something you say every so often, then you really have nothing of consequence to say.