Re: Destructive criticism - last post

Stephen Jones (
Sun, 07 Jun 1998 22:53:58 +0800


On Tue, 02 Jun 1998 19:33:12 -0700, Mike Hardie wrote:

MH>I admit, I am really barging in where my opinion is unwarranted here. But
>I have been following this thread, and can't help but add my comments.

That's OK. It would help if you would tell me a bit about yourself, so I know
where you are coming from.


>SJ>If you publicly destructively criticise leading Christian apologists like
>Hugh Ross and Phil Johnson, while claiming to be a Christian, then I will make it my
>"business" to enquire just what your Christian standing is.

MH>You made it clear (indeed, rather repetitively clear) that you don't want
>to talk about "ad hominem" anymore. However, what you have implied here
>does actually verge on the real definition of the term. Mr. Morton's
>ability to criticize the views of Hugh Ross or Phil Johnson is not
>dependent on his status as a Christian, but on the logical and evidential
>merit of his arguments. It is neither rationally or morally incumbent on
>him, then, to justify his religious convictions to you.

I said all along that Glenn does not have to justify his religious convictions to


>SJ>I am glad to hear (finally!) that at least you go to church regularly. I am less
>>pleased that you do not seem to pray as regulalry for those Christian apologists
>>whom you destructively criticise.

MH>In all the posts I have read for this thread, I have only seen Mr. Morton
>say that he criticizes the *claims* of these apologists. The fact that he
>argues against their claims has absolutely no bearing on what he feels
>about them *as people*, and consequently his criticisms cannot be construed
>as personal attacks.

I made it clear in a previous post that Glenn is destructively criticisng their
positions. But he does it in such a way that it would discredit them as
people. For example, Glenn has often claimed they do not tell the truth,


>GM> I can't live up to your standards of perfection.)

>SJ>Yet you expect Christian apologists to live up to *your* "standards of
>perfection"! Consider your perfectionistic attack on Phil Johnson for his statement that whales
>and bats came from a "rodent", despite the fact that evolutionists like Steve Stanley
>say it too. And what about all your pontifications about Christian apologists needing to adhere
>to higher standards than non-Christians? You don't even live up to your *own* "standards of

MH>You are conflating two vastly different issues in this personal attack on
>Glenn Morton. At no point has he claimed that Ross or Johnson do not meet
>a "standard of perfection" as people; he has claimed, instead, that the
>views they have propounded have sometimes been false, and consequently must
>be refuted and corrected. There is a difference between refuting someone's
>position, and criticizing their personal character. If there weren't,
>"argumentum ad hominem" wouldn't be a fallacy at all.

Mike, I have been debating Glenn for 2-3 years. I downloaded a list of Reflectorite members
on 5 May and you were not on it then. If you had been on the Reflector for several years
you would understand the issues better. Glenn attacks leading Christian apologists in a way
calculated to discredit them. I am defending them and part of that is exposing where Glenn is
coming from.

>>GM>Now get your nose out of my personal business!

>SJ>If you publicly destructively attack Christian apologists, then your Christian standing
>>is no longer your "personal business" and I will continue to poke my "nose" into it.

MH>Mr. Morton's Christian standing *is* his personal business, because he has
>not, to my knowledge, made the validity of his arguments contingent on his
>Christianity. Differently put, his arguments against Ross and Johnson's
>positions would be no more or less true even if he were the world's worst
>Christian, so your inquiry into that matter is entirely irrelevant.

That's your opinion. It's not mine.


>>GM>on this particular issue to be rude, annoying, unchristian, unloving,
>>>judgmental, pridefully pharisaic, and holier than thou.

>SJ>Just because I asked you if you regularly went to church, read the Bible and
>>prayed? Your overreaction here is *very* revealing.

MH>I think he is justified in his reaction here, if for no other reason than
>that your questions are irrelevant to the issue at hand. His personal
>religion has no relevance to the strength of his arguments, and criticizing
>it is consequently irrelevant (at best) or fallacious (at worst).

Disagree. Glenn claims to be a Christian attacking leading Christian apologists.
It is important to know where he is coming from as a Christian.

>>GM>Are you going to look down your nose at me if I am not as good as you
>>>think you, yourself are?

>SJ>You seem to forget, it is *you* who thinks that the world's leading Christian
>>apologists are not as "good" as you are.

MH>He said their positions were wrong, not they they themselves were "not as
>good as he is".

Glenn does not just say that "their positions were wrong." He destructively
criticises them in a way designed to discredit them in the eyes of others
(eg. implying that they are less than truthful, etc).

>>GM>You have NO right to judge me in this fashion. Who do you think you
>>>are, God?

SJ>Who is judging you? I simply asked three questions that any Christian should
>>be prepared to answer.

MH>You above judge him in this very letter: "You don't even live up to your
>*own* standards of perfection!" (One example.)

My "Who is judging you?" was in respect of the three questions I asked
Glenn previously.

I am not "judging" Glenn. God will do that in good time. It 's the sober truth that
he doesn't live up to the "standards of perfection" that he sets for others, in
particular the Christian apologists who he destructively critciises.


>SJ>I said all along that you didn't have to answer my questions. But if you as a
>>"servant of God" publicly and destructively criticise leading servants of
>God like Phil Johnson and Hugh Ross, then the quality of your spiritual life becomes
>>an issue.

MH>Again, I think this is the point of confusion. He has said that he
>criticizes their positions, not the "servants" themselves.

See above. Hang around and see for yourself!

MH>Now, you may resent my having poked my nose into this, but I really think
>this issue is unbecoming of a list full of learned academics. Let's cease
>the character attacks, both explicit and insinuated, and switch instead to
>an emphasis on the issues in question. To use this as a case in point, if
>you believe Glenn Morton's criticisms of Ross and Johnson's positions are
>incorrect, then why not deal with that? Why not point out where his
>arguments have failed? Surely, even with matters of logic set aside, that
>is a more worthy topic than prying into the details of his private worship.

I heve been debating the "issues" with Glenn for the last 2-3 years.

If Glenn keeps on with his detructive criticism of Christian apologists, then
I will defend them, where and how I think appropriate.

Thanks for your input.


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
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