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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Notes From Triablogue, Part II: The Remarkable Paul Manata

As you may know, I’ve been defending one of my arguments against criticisms made by Triablogger Paul Manata. Well, I had been defending my argument, until Manata decided to delete my posts with extreme prejudice and then close the thread to prevent any further discussion of the topic.

After the first time Manata deleted one of my posts, I posted an argument explaining why his stated reasons for deleting it were not valid. His stated reasons were that I had responded to his own arguments without argument, posting only dismissive comments without rational support. He said he was making “new rules,” and that dismissive comments without argument would be deleted.

Since I’d been receiving all posts to that thread in my email, I had a copy of the post in question, and I was able to repost it, pointing out that Manata was incorrect in asserting my comments were made without argumentative support.

I then posted three more times. The first two posts further explained the failure of Manata’s proposed counterarguments against, and elaborated upon the sense of, my original argument. The third post briefly corrected a small error in the preceding post. None of those posts contained dismissive comments. All of the posts contained arguments (except for the one post making a slight correction to an argument) and nothing else. Thus, I was following Manata’s “new rules.”

Yet, Paul Manata deleted all of those posts. He says he deleted them because they contained “rubbish and name-calling.” So these are even newer rules: No rubbish and no name-calling.

If Manata wants to restrict me from calling him any names, who am I to stop him? If he wants to delete my posts for pointing out that he is an incompetent, ignorant fool, that's his right. However, I didn't call him any names in those deleted posts. When he said I "still want to post rubbish and name-calling," he was flat-out lying, and I can prove it. Before Manata deleted my most recent posts, I saved a copy of the entire thread to my computer. If anyone would like a copy, just comment here or drop me an email and I'll pass it along.

Now, whether or not any of my arguments are "rubbish" is surely debatable; any respectable moderator of a philosophical discussion would welcome the defense of an argument that he or she thought was "rubbish." Deleting a post because it contains what the moderator of the board considers a poor argument is unequivocally anti-philosophical.

It is clear that Manata doesn't want anybody to read my arguments, and that he is only interested in preserving whatever reputation he thinks he has at Triablogue. Manata has no respect for the principles of philosophical discourse. He would rather lie and silence his opposition than engage in an honest discussion. As I said to him already, he might eventually grow out of this stage in his intellectual development. One can only hope.

It's worth noting that Manata's actions here were most likely partially motivated by another discussion I'd been having with him in another thread, in which I pointed out a variety of his shortcomings. Manata came out looking pathetic in that thread, and he'd probably delete some of my posts there if he could. The only reason why he can't, I think, is because that thread was started by (and hence is regulated by) Steve Hays. It's not Manata's puppy.

Will Hays stoop so low as to delete my posts as well? I guess we'll see.

As it happens, I hadn't finished defending my original argument in Manata's thread. (I haven't finished responding to Steve Hays, either.) What I will do eventually is post a further defense and elaboration of my arguments here some time in the relatively near future. I don't think I'll bother posting on Triablogue again . . . certainly not in any threads Manata is regulating. Probably not on anybody else's threads, either. Their lack of respect for philosophy is apparent.