The bitter truth about informal logic and argument is that it’s a game played with no referees. Like high school tennis where you have to just trust your opponent to call the balls you hit in bounds when in fact they are. There are two problems here. First, the guy’s honest perception of where the ball landed is probably at least a little off. In the game of argument, even more or less reasonable and fair people like Tony, Kevin and me will often want to challenge a call and at least talk it over with the other guy until we can both agree on where the ball hit. The second problem is that many people are obnoxious jackasses who care more about racking up imaginary “wins” than playing the game, and in fact don’t even really know how to play the game except to just call everything out of bounds.
David Wong wrote John Dies at the End. He’s also an editor at Cracked and runs a website called Pointless Waste of Time. His interests include sociology, gaming and penis jokes. He is my hands-down pick for Revised Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2007 because virtually everything he writes is in its very own dimension of amazing.
I have my favorites: “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making you Miserable,” “Inside the Monkeysphere,” “Do-It-Yourself Crotch Bulges,” “A World of Warcraft World.” But when I read this, I knew Mr. Wong was truly a man after my own heart. In the words of Maddox, “Readjust your face, because it’s about to get rocked off.”
So what just happened?
This has happened. David Wong has asserted the following: “If you hold to a radical scientific materialism that determines your entire worldview then you are no longer permitted not to live in a hellish moral netherworld, because all value judgements are devoid of factual meaning.”
“So, what, he’s saying that all atheists are stupid and are basically walking contradictions?” Not at all. It only pertains to a certain type of a certain subtype of atheist, the majority of which, coincidently, tends to chirp to the tune of “ALL CHRISTIANS ARE RETARDED LOL!!!!!”
Anyway, I’m dedicating a whole series of articles to this article of his. I’m not going to argue it’s soundness. I’ve studied enough philosophy to know two things: the Wong article’s soundness is airtight and its argument is basically immaculate, and very few people actually care whether or not an argument is sound or valid.
What I’m going to do is unpack the horror. It is not enough to “ride the horror like a dolphin at Seaworld” or to “embrace the horror.” I am going to ride the horror like your mother after I get three Long Islands in her. I am going to have sex with the horror, and not figuratively either. It is not enough to see through the windshield, through the road, until we see nothing at all. We must get so accustomed to not seeing anything that we forget what sight ever was. David Wong has killed the Beached Whale of Sweet Naivity; I am going to blow up its corpse.
So I’m going to follow with an analysis of free will and determinism. We will learn that they can both be maintained… but at what cost?