Intelligent Design

The Golden Rule

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It is best to acknowledge one’s mistakes as promptly as possible, when one makes them. In a recent post, I exposed the identity of one of our more intelligent critics, who was writing under the pseudonym of Mathgrrl. (Update: The next two sentences have been removed, as they mistakenly identified Mathgrrl with another anonymous contributor to Uncommon Descent, on the basis of a remark by the latter contributor which was intended as a joke. Evidently the joke went over my head. My apology to Mathgrrl can be found here.)

Some readers were pleased with my outing the individual who was writing under the pseudonym of Mathgrrl. A few others, though, made remarks that forced me to reconsider the wisdom of my actions. Perhaps the most persuasive point that was made related to the Golden Rule. We cannot expect to have our own privacy respected if we do not respect that of other people around us – even those who are at times uncivil. Upon reflection, I think that this is a sensible argument. There is enough bitterness and strife in the world already, without my adding to it. I would therefore like to offer a sincere apology to the individual concerned. I can promise him that if he wishes to post on Uncommon Descent under another pseudonym in the future, I will not unmask him.

34 Replies to “The Golden Rule

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    A welcome post. Thanks vjt.

    iirc, MathGrrl was asked repeatedly to denounce such activities and declined to do so, so I can see why you might do it as an object lesson, but still…

    In fact, it might be an interesting exercise to review MathGrrl’s posts where the subject is mentioned wrt it happening to someone else.

    Again I seem to recall that they took the form of, don’t make it so easy for people to find you if you don’t want to be outed, or some such.

  2. 2
    Upright BiPed says:

    “Again I seem to recall that they took the form of, don’t make it so easy for people to find you if you don’t want to be outed, or some such.”

    Yes, Yes. I think I’ve seen that exact sentiment expressed several times in regard to particular ID proponents. And if I remember correctly, the sentiment is typically expressed with a great amount of malice and colorful language.

    In the end, I don’t care who Mathgrrl is. This debate is not about personalities, its about the evidence. I know it sounds crazy when I say it fast like that – but its true.

  3. 3
    Neil Rickert says:

    I should have read this before I posted in that other thread (on my puzzlement as to why that thread existed).

    Thanks for recognizing that the earlier thread was a mistake.

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    WWJD? Did Jesus himself practice the “Golden Rule” on everyone? He sure had no problem calling liars and hypocrites names, baiting them, and exposing them. He used the nice terms “snakes”, “vipers”, “fox”, “sons of the devil”, etc. Does this apply in this case? You decide.

  5. 5
    Eocene says:

    mike1961 said:

    “WWJD? Did Jesus himself practice the “Golden Rule” on everyone? He sure had no problem calling liars and hypocrites names, baiting them, and exposing them. He used the nice terms “snakes”, “vipers”, “fox”, “sons of the devil”, etc. Does this apply in this case?”
    ====

    That is correct Mike, he did just that. It should be noted however that every single one of those occurences were always directed at religious leaders. Are Evolutionists truly religious leaders ??? Let’s compare.

    Those religious leaders[Jesus enemies] were vulgar, arrogant, lied, twisted truth by “What is Truth” argumentation, schemed with like dastardly cowards to commit fraud and deceit to take down their opponent[in this case Jesus], continually made unsupported twisted faith-based statements without evidence and when backed into a corner like a wounded animal dogmatically defended such faith statements.

    Well then yes I believe in these cases there are times when it applies. Seriously, these cowards do it to Cornelius Hunter all the time. Funny when the tables get turned.

  6. 6
    Ilion says:

    Everyone, or so nearly so as makes no difference, is essentially anonymous on the internet, even when they use their real names.

  7. 7
    mike1962 says:

    Eocene: It should be noted however that every single one of those occurences were always directed at religious leaders.

    Actually, he called Herod a “fox” (which was not a compliment.) Herod wasn’t a religious leader. But you are mostly correct 🙂

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Actually, he called Herod a “fox”

    Jesus was gay?

  9. 9
    ThatDarnCat says:

    If you hold the authority Jesus possesses, then go ahead and judge the guy.

    Hrr complete lack of understanding how a targeted search algorithm does not demonstrate random mutation (information loss) and natural selection is the only alarming thing here.

  10. 10
    vjtorley says:

    Upright Biped wrote: “This debate is not about personalities, it’s about the evidence.”

    I completely agree.

  11. 11
    Eocene says:

    mike1962 said:

    “Actually, he called Herod a “fox” (which was not a compliment.) Herod wasn’t a religious leader. But you are mostly correct :)”
    ===

    Actually this[Herod’s case] still fits the M.O. of your average evolutionist. Herod looked out for self interests, maneuvered and manipulated situations to fit his needs for power and prestige. I believe he even worshiped himself as a diety which in the end cost him his life. Hmmmmm, I believe he instantaneously de-evolved into worms. *grin*

    The term “fox” is not that nasty a word in view of it’s alluding to craftiness and cunning of the animal. Seems to even fit many evos.

    *wink*

  12. 12
    Eocene says:

    vjtorley said:

    ‘Upright Biped wrote: “This debate is not about personalities, it’s about the evidence.”

    “I completely agree.”
    ===

    Yep, totally agree here as well. If they actually had cold hard facts and evidence to bring to the discussion they would have posted them at the beginning of the debate, as opposed to the tired old definition shell-gaming, intellect verse intellect gaming, etc, etc, etc. Then totally lie and insist they are not doing this.

    Numerous posters come to mind here. You know, the ones who must be dragging themselves away from their all important scientific research to combat those they otherwise consider beneath their condescending self importance to dignify with a response ??? Anyone else notice that most of the leadership[names aren’t necessary, you know who they are] on the evo side of things and their ideological troll wannabes have never really actually spent any real world time out in the field to arrive at the conclusions they pimp ??? Calling on the authority of Atheistic sites like ‘TalkOrigins.org, TalkRational.org, etc are a dead give away. Also, you never here of any practical application for findings without them plagerizing “Intelligent Design” tools and attaching evolutionary signage on them and hijacking these as their own.

    Other than that , same ol’YAWN!!!

  13. 13
    steve_h says:

    Nice one VJ.

    I should apologize for my typically snarky tone with you on the outing thread. It was a little hypocritical of me because I also outed someone who occasionally posts here somewhere which is not popular here. I felt quite bad about it later and resolved not to do it again, but I didn’t apologize because I don’t think he or she ever knew about it. Anyway, if anyone reading this ever wrote a blog at a site for and by young ID bloggers and isn’t as young as they might have been, then I am sorry. I could have made the same point with an age and a profession and skipped the name and other details.

  14. 14
    tragic mishap says:

    lol

    It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

  15. 15
    Chris Doyle says:

    Hello vjtorley,

    I disagree with you on two points, one of little consequence, the other much more interesting.

    First of all, Patrick May aka ‘Mathgrrl’ was never “one of our more intelligent critics”. The man is a buffoon: utterly unresponsive, nowhere near as clever as he would have us believe and deeply dishonest. You are not remotely at fault for exposing this man for what he really is: someone with really disturbing issues.

    Secondly, and much more interestingly, I am uneasy with your point about privacy. More specifically, the desire for anonymity. There is absolutely no justifiable reason why the likes of Patrick May need to conceal their identity. Nobody is forcing the likes of Pat to participate. Every word he posts is of his own free will. Nothing he has said can possibly damage his interests apart from the nasty personal remarks he has made. And even though those nasty personal remarks deserve to be punished, in reality, people like Pat can be quite confident that they won’t be. If people like Pat want to hide their identity, then it can only be because they have something shameful to hide. Further, by hiding their identity, they feel liberated to act much more shamefully than they otherwise would. Cowardice in the evolutionist ranks is to be expected, but it should be criticised on a regular basis.

    Naturally, this criticism of anonymity extends to everybody who participates in this debate. At the same time, Kairosfocus is quite right to point out that:

    “Darwinists do not face career harrassment or busting if they are publicly identified, design theory activists or even those interested in a giving a fair hearing do. That is a crucial asymmetry in the situation.”

    However, I feel like an opportunity is being missed by every believer who posts anonymously. And it is this: stand up and be counted. Post your comments and sign them with your real name. If you truly have faith and trust in your Creator, then you must have courage in your convictions. One day, the Creator may ask you: why did you conceal your true identity when you spoke of Me?

    Will your answer be, “I chose convenience over allegiance: I didn’t want to be inconvenienced by junk mail or even loss of earnings so I withheld my real name whenever I referred to you”?

    Whatever the inconveniences would be, and no matter how much of a burden they are, they are certainly worth bearing to openly declare your allegiance to the Creator. And no soul is given a burden too great to bear.

    We should not seek persecution in the name of the Creator, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it either. If you are persecuted in this life for openly declaring your allegiance to the Creator, this will serve you better in the Final Reckoning than persecution-free convenience and anonymity.

  16. 16
    Upright BiPed says:

    CD, perhaps I could disagree with you more, but I’ll have to think about it.

  17. 17
    Upright BiPed says:

    CD, perhaps I could disagree with you more, but I’ll have to think about it.

  18. 18
    Graham says:

    To CD: Im choking on the words, but I actually agree with UB on this.

    Mathgrrl simply posted a question(s) and seemed (as far as I read) polite in his exchanges. Almost nothing you wrote seems to correspond to what actually happened.

  19. 19
    Clive Hayden says:

    vj,

    If you have a question or a comment about someone’s posting privileges here or what other pseudonyms they may have used previously, and whether they have been banned in the past, then please write me an email and we can discuss it. A contributor’s real identity and current and prior pseudonyms, and whether they should be allowed to post, is a moderation issue, and, in my opinion, nothing more than that. I appreciate your apology and feel free to contact me regarding any such matters. I’ve privately determined the identity of plenty of people here, but I don’t make it known.

  20. 20
    Clive Hayden says:

    Chris Doyle,

    I don’t see how discussing evolutionary searches and whether one’s mathematics are accurate is tantamount to witnessing. And I don’t think it’s very wise to call anyone posting here a bafoon, especially if you think you’re witnessing and proselytizing by virtue of posting here. This language will get you moderated.

  21. 21
    Chris Doyle says:

    Good Morning Clive,

    I withdraw the buffoon remark and apologise for making it. I was posting while under the influence of one too many John Smith’s.

    As for evolutionary searches and mathematics, I agree that these can be discussed without any reference to theological beliefs and you don’t even have to be a believer to discuss them. Naturally, it all depends on why you are discussing them in the first place.

    However, there is a wide variety of discourse here: some of which is necessarily about the differences between those who believe and those who don’t. That sort of discourse is more like what I had in mind.

  22. 22
    Upright BiPed says:

    Someone quick!! Take a picture!!

    Graham just discovered the difference between a creationist and an ID proponent.

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    Clive, just let me know if you want to know my identity, lol. (If you don’t already have it.)

  24. 24
    ScottAndrews says:

    Anonymity is about more than just ID. What if a prospective employer googles me and finds me posting that Mission Impossible II was the most horrific sequel since Gremlins 2? (I still have flashbacks. From both.) What if he or she liked those films?
    The ability to post an anonymous rant is a treasure. I try not to abuse it, but I cherish it.
    Disclaimer – I chimed in on the previous MathGrrl thread. I don’t think much of faking a persona deliberately, but ultimately I respect anonymity.

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    I’m sort of with Chris on that last one SA. Trust God. Who wants an employer like the one you mention anyways.

    That said, it would not surprise me to find that Christian met in secret. So I claim no specific Biblical warrant for my view, hehe.

  26. 26
    PaV says:

    I used my real name at some website, and the next thing I know, when you ‘google’ my name, every Tom, Dick, and Harry that disagrees with ID has something nasty to say.

    Who needs that? So, when I came here, anonymous it was.

  27. 27
    MathGrrl says:

    vjtorley,

    Your apology would be much more convincing if you had removed the original post. After all, it’s not as though comments and entire threads haven’t disappeared from Uncommon Descent in the past.

    The truth is that you decided to spend your time ingratiating yourself with your chosen tribe through actions that you would find obnoxious were they directed at yourself and which you would not take against someone who agreed with you. Your behavior would be more worthy of respect if you had the integrity to man up and own your motivations. I would have laughed and saluted had you simply said “Yeah, I outed a pseudonym because I didn’t like what the person behind it was saying and I knew the people I identify with would appreciate it.”

    As it is, your lack of testicular fortitude highlights not only the character flaws that lead to attacking the person rather than addressing the argument, but also the smug insincerity that permeates your apology.

    I hope it worked for you. I know that whole “CSI can be generated by natural processes” thing must have been embarrassing and cost you some UD street cred.

  28. 28
    MathGrrl says:

    vjtorley,

    For the record, you have very little evidence on which you based your conclusion, making it little more than a not unreasonable guess. Since that is more evidence than any ID proponent has ever used to support their claims here before, though, I’m going to toss you a bone and let you know that you are correct.

    I’ve posted MathGrrl’s autobiography if anyone is interested.

    This will be my last post here.

  29. 29
    vjtorley says:

    Mathgrrl:

    As regards Intelligent Design, I consider it obvious, even if the mathematical justification is incomplete. This video shows why:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

    For your information, I have received not a single criticism from ID proponents regarding my posts on CSI. Loss of street cred: zero.

    (Update: The next paragraph has been removed, as it mistakenly identified Mathgrrl with another anonymous contributor to Uncommon Descent, on the basis of a remark by the latter contributor which was intended as a joke. Evidently the joke went over my head. My apology to Mathgrrl can be found here.)

    My apology was sincere, by the way.

  30. 30
    Upright BiPed says:

    Patti,

    By all means don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Your only value here was not if you could play the ideologue behind the demonstrated false premise of civility, it was whether or not you would answer to the evidence.

    In that regard you repeated the same utter failure of your previous identities.

  31. 31
    dmullenix says:

    vj, Seversky has denied being Mathgrrl on antievolution.org.

    The “I am Mathgrrlacus!” comment was a reference to the movie “Spartacus”.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Mung says:

    This will be my last post here.

    As MathGrrl.

  34. 34
    Chris Doyle says:

    Yes Mung. I think Patrick May is already back amongst us. I spy with my little eye someone beginning with J…

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