Thursday, September 13, 2007

Troll Talk: "The Nutroots" & Eternal Forces

I'm bringing back this feature to showcase the various forms of pseudoreasoning internet trolls employ to desperately change the subject. Take this comment left for me the other day regarding my post on the Pentagon & the Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game.
Jason said...
Actually, the nutroots lied about the game to "shut this plan down." They claimed the game promotes "convert or kill" violence, which it absolutely does not. Quite the contrary, the game promotes peaceful solutions even in the face of armed, hostile adversaries. Everyone who has made this claim about the game has not played the game, cannot point out exactly where in the game the "convert or kill" violence is promoted, and most are simply mindlessly parroting what they've heard elsewhere.


Ok were do I start?

1. Anybody who can't make a point without an ad-hominem three words into their comment isn't seeking to debate, correct, or validate a post. Use of invectives is reserved for the intellectually challenged and trolling.

2. As for the "convert or kill" violence, I myself was not claiming this but the article I excerpted claimed it did, along with many others that I have read regarding said game. Though I would find it incredibly naive to believe that a game centered around the Apocalypse would consist of peaceful solutions other than converting someone because all those who except the mark are doomed to Hell and are handmaids for the antichrist who naturally would be an opponent... Ones I would imagine you would kill. If there are peaceful solutions other than to convert in the game then the burdon of proof is on you to cite them.

3. You are right that I have not played the game, but why would I contribute funds to the Christian Right by renting or purchasing?

4. If citing reprutable news sources is "mindlessly parroting what [we've] heard elsewhere" then I wonder what would be a satisfactory source for your high standards?
Jason said...
Oh, and the Pentagon wasn't distributing this game. An organization that partnered with them included copies of the game in care packages for the troops. These care packages still contain Bibles. I don't see you complaining about that.


I never said the Pentagon was distributing this game, I said that the Pentagon was "endorsing" it. In other words the packages were being sent with full knowledge and permission from the Pentagon. Also the article itself never says the Pentagon was distributing it either, but rather Operation Straight Up was distributing them. Of course if you had actually read the damn article you would already know that. Instead you erected a strawman argument and didn't think anyone would notice.

As for anything religious being sent, whether it is a Bible or a video game, it has no business being endorsed by a governmental agency. You want to send the troops something? Send them something useful, like a kevlar vest, money, or some food. Don't prosthelyze on my dime as a tax payer.

5 comments:

Jason said...

Anybody who can't make a point without an ad-hominem three words into their comment...

Oh, I guess I should've done it at the FIRST word like you did (i.e. "TROLL Talk..."). Thanks for correcting me.

2. As for the "convert or kill" violence, I myself was not claiming this but the article I excerpted claimed it did, along with many others that I have read regarding said game.

Try looking up reviews of the game by people who've actually played it. For example, GameSpy's review states in part:

===============================
The other "controversial" aspect of the game is its explicit connection to evangelical Christian philosophy. Here too, the hysteria is seriously overblown. Within the game itself, the amount of proselytizing is kept to a minimum. Units bow their heads to pray in order to replenish their "spirit" resource and giving a unit orders may elicit a response like "For the Lord!" or "In His name!" Prayer scrolls with Biblical verses are also available as power-ups that can call down angels for bonuses, but anyone looking for explicit "Kill the unbelievers!"-style content to justify their fear of the game won't find it here.
===============================

Which runs 100% contrary to the articles you've been reading. Perhaps it's time to start being skeptical about articles that agree with your preconceived viewpoints.

3. You are right that I have not played the game, but why would I contribute funds to the Christian Right by renting or purchasing?

The demo is free...

4. If citing reprutable news sources is "mindlessly parroting what [we've] heard elsewhere" then I wonder what would be a satisfactory source for your high standards?

Max Blumenthal's blog on the Nation website is a "reputable news source?" Dude, not even Wikipedia considers blogs as reputable news sources.

I never said the Pentagon was distributing this game, I said that the Pentagon was "endorsing" it.

Your previous post is entitled, "The Pentagon Sends Messengers of Apocalypse to Convert Soldiers in Iraq." Not "The Pentagon ENDORSES," but "The Pentagon SENDS." Of course, it wasn't even an original title, but something you just mindlessly copied and pasted without a whit of skepticism or critical thinking.

As for anything religious being sent, whether it is a Bible or a video game, it has no business being endorsed by a governmental agency. You want to send the troops something? Send them something useful, like a kevlar vest, money, or some food. Don't prosthelyze on my dime as a tax payer.

OSU's involvement with the Pentagon was hardly "endorsement" as it relates to your beloved "separation of church and state." The Pentagon endorsed OSU's support of the troops, not the materials that OSU sends the troops on its own dime. The dimes you are so worried about went to promoting OSU as a partner. No government money went to obtaining Bibles and LB:EF or sending them to the troops.

silently screaming said...

^^^^DUDE you are FUCKING lame^^^^^

Jason said...

DUDE you are FUCKING lame

Translation: "I can't respond intelligently, so I'll just swear and hope it makes me look superior!"

Mildly Brilliant said...

Actually, I didn't post that, but since I am here, I will.

1. Calling you a troll is not an invective because that was what you were doing, trolling. Only after I called you out on it did you respond with more than a paragraph that contained more than insults.

2. I fail to see how your cut and paste from Gamespy "runs 100% contrary to the articles [I] have read" seeing that even your excerpt admits that the game proselytizes which is exactly why it shouldn't be endorsed by the Pentagon.

3. There are two things the game focuses on:
a.) Fighting the Anti-christ's factions.

b.) Converting people.

I think that fits the criteria of "convert or kill" seeing that those are the options of the game as admited in the article you pasted. Though perhaps you are interpreting that as "kill all the unbelievers," to which neither I nor Max Blumenthal never did say. The closest thing that comes to that is:
-----------------------------------
"The game is inspired by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' bestselling pulp fiction series about a blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon pitting born-again Christians against anybody who does not adhere to their particular theology. In LaHaye's and Jenkins' books, the non-believers are ultimately condemned to "everlasting punishment" while the evangelicals are "raptured" up to heaven."
-----------------------------------
What is not true about that? Do you not believe in the rapture?

Do you not believe that Christians will be pitted agaist the world in Armageddon?

4. Don't lecture me about skeptism. I am not the one who believes in a religious text that if taken literally, estimates the earth's lifespan at 6000 years old, that mankind is the product of residual incest, that the whole earth was flooded although no record of such event exists in the earth's strata, that all life as we know it fit on a boat made of gopher wood (not to mention this is lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh,) and completely ommits advent of the dinosaurs.

5. I can't play the demo of the game because I own a Mac.

6. The title "The Pentagon Sends Messengers of Apocalypse to Convert Soldiers in Iraq." is not mine but the title of Max Blumenthal's piece.

7. You are right that this is from his blog but seeing he is an established writer for The Nation, I imagine his credentials are above that of just some random kid's blog or dare I say it? ...that of some reviewer at Gamespy.com

8. My beloved seperation of church and state should be yours as well as it was intended by the founding fathers to protect all of us from religious tyranny.

9. You said : "The dimes you are so worried about went to promoting OSU as a partner." That is exactly the problem, the Pentagon is knowingly endorsing a religious organisation (OSU).

Like I said before: "Don't prosthelyze on my dime as a tax payer."

Jason said...

1. Since when is posting facts "trolling?" And your excuse is weak - whatever justifications you want to use, it's still ad hom. From the very link you yourself provided:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to an irrelevant characteristic about the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

I made an argument and factual claims, but you decided to resort to labeling me a troll. Sure sounds like ad hom to me. Perhaps you think your farts don't stink?

2. Gamespy's review completely debunks the claims of "convert or kill" in the Max Blumenthal article you cut-n-pasted from. As far as your claim that the Pentagon "endorsed proselytizing," THEY DIDN'T. They had absolutely nothing to do with the distribution of the game or anything else OSU did. In fact, read the Pentagon's disclaimer from their America Supports You links page:

Disclaimer
The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Defense Department of linked sites or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Defense Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD Web site.


"...does not constitute endorsement..."

Seems pretty clear to me.

3. "Fighting the Antichrist's factions" involves far more peaceful, non-violent spiritual warfare than guns. Almost exclusively so. There is no "convert or kill" if there is no killing of everyone who will not convert.

And you really, really, REALLY need to go back and read Blumenthals blog entry. In the eighth paragraph, the second to last sentence blatantly reads:

To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.

Do I need to repeat that?

To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.

How about using all caps?

TO WIN THE GAME, PLAYERS MUST KILL OR CONVERT ALL THE NON-BELIEVERS LEFT BEHIND AFTER THE RAPTURE.

So Blumenthal actually does come a hell of a lot closer to interpreting "convert or kill" as ""kill all the unbelievers." And while you might not have copied and pasted that part, you completely endorsed it by citing Blumenthal. (Perhaps you should've included a disclaimer.)

As far as what my beliefs are about the Rapture, they are very open. It might happen, but it also might not, or might happen in a way that's completely different than what has been portrayed in various media. It really doesn't matter to me and doesn't have any impact on my or anyone else's salvation.

In regards to Christians being pitted against the world, they have ALWAYS been pitted against the world, so if "Armageddon" (which is actually a place, not an event - see Rev. 16:16) happens, it won't be any different than what has happened before and is happening now.

4. Blah blah blah. Heard it all before. Believed it, too, once upon a time (back when I also believed that everything came from nothing - strange belief, that).

5. How unfortunate and convenient for you.

6. And you fully endorsed it by cutting and pasting it. Congratulations.

7. Having "credentials" doesn't mean one is immune from writing falsehoods. If it did, Dan Rather wouldn't currently be living in a state of disgrace and denial. I'd sooner take the opinion of someone who's actually played the game as opposed to someone (Blumenthal) who is repeating false information second- or even third-hand.

8. "Separation of church and state" wasn't created by the Founding Fathers. The phrase was coined by Jefferson and it originally had a much, much different meaning than how it is being used today. Jefferson himself along with most, if not all, of the Founding Fathers would be appalled at how it is being used today. I bet you didn't know that Jefferson attended Christian worship services in Congress 2 days after coining that phrase. I also bet you didn't know that he opened up both the Treasury and War Department buildings to Christian worship services. Doesn't really fit in with this modern definition of "separation of church and state," does it?

9. Again, read the Pentagon's disclaimer. Promoting OSU as a partner in the America Supports You program is not an endorsement of any religious trappings of OSU. In fact, the program is open to groups representing other religions or even non-religion. Having something that is open to all is not an endorsement of one cherry-picked group.