Author Topic: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread  (Read 3055 times)

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Offline screwtape

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WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« on: March 23, 2011, 09:33:24 AM »

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 08:23:04 AM »
I'm way too busy the next few weeks to sit back and enjoy this, but Voter's first post has me a bit perplexed. How a christian who now admits he knows about tautologies is going to argue anything from the bible is beyond me, since the bible is nothing but a huge tautology.

However, I can't quite understand why the healing of an amputee, especially instantly (which is what I assumed an omnipotent god could do) is hardly ambiguous. It has never been observed in humans because it cannot currently happen. I have a friend who lost his left harm clear up to the shoulder via a booby trap in Vietnam. I saw him yesterday. If when I see him again on Saturday he has his arm back, where would the ambiguity come from? Especially if he says he prayed to get it back on Friday night and on Saturday morning it was there?

Ah, of course other sources (aliens?) could be the actual explanation. So now I understand the ambiguity part.

But then it seems like all parties, Voter included, understand that prayer is a bunch of crap anyway. Because if prayer can't even help a person do so much as get a job or win $5 in a lottery, what good is it? And what is the point of remaining a christian if one of the central tenants of the religion (prayer) is moot? A god who can't answer the prayers so adamantly touted in the bible is pretty darned likely not to exist.

Not only is Marshall Brain wrong about prayer, all christians are wrong about prayer. And if prayer isn't real, then there is no reason to think anything else in the bible is real.

Which is what all atheists have been claiming ever since we invented ourselves.





Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 08:59:12 AM »
I'm unimpressed by Voter's first post.  His argument seems to be that if god did heal amputee, it would go from an "unambiguous healing" to an "ambiguous healing".  For all of his words, he never bothers to explains why this is a problem for god, or why god couldn't insure that everyone knows that it was HIM that did the healing.   Once more, it's just excuses for why god is useless.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 09:13:54 AM »
I'm unimpressed by Voter's first post.  His argument seems to be that if god did heal amputee, it would go from an "unambiguous healing" to an "ambiguous healing".  For all of his words, he never bothers to explains why this is a problem for god, or why god couldn't insure that everyone knows that it was HIM that did the healing.   Once more, it's just excuses for why god is useless.

It's the exact same argument that he used in the thread, and it got torn apart there, too. His position is that it is somehow illogical for god to provide proof to everyone. He was asked how it's illogical in the case of a being that, by definition, can do anything it wants. But he never answered. Unless Velkyn's suffered a sudden labotomy, she's not even going to have to try with this one.

His whole premise is so obviously nonsensical.
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 12:23:44 PM »
His whole premise is so obviously nonsensical.

Indeed.  Rereading his post, it makes even less sense than it did the first time around.

Seriously, can anyone tell me if I interpreted his point correctly?  God doesn't present himself in obvious ways because then it wouldn't be clear if he presented himself or not.  Does that sound about right?
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 12:47:55 PM »
Voter: Disproving his god further and further, one step at a time.  8)

Doesn't he realize how silly it looks to say "the question WWGHA fails due to circular reasoning"? And saying that specific prayers can't be answered? He keeps judging his god... He keeps SPEAKING for his god... What the fuck, man? I thought you weren't supposed to do that. Some Christian.


Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 01:15:18 PM »
His whole premise is so obviously nonsensical.

Indeed.  Rereading his post, it makes even less sense than it did the first time around.

Seriously, can anyone tell me if I interpreted his point correctly?  God doesn't present himself in obvious ways because then it wouldn't be clear if he presented himself or not.  Does that sound about right?

Not quite. It's more like "Even if God did heal ambiguously, we would simply then find some excuse for how it was something else." Like I said, it's the same argument he was making in the thread. He just reworded it to be very vague. He thinks that any proof that god provided that was clearly a miracle would ruin the existence of miracles because they would then be commonplace. Which means that we would stop calling them miracles and stop attributing them to god and to natural occurence instead.

Yes, I am well aware of what that sounds like but I'm working with his logic here.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 01:19:53 PM »
I don't think he is arguing for the existence of god so much as he is saying the question - wwgha? - does not disprove god.  Most of us would concur, I believe. 

His argument is really one of semantics with Marshall Brain.  He is critical that Brain has not defined or distinguished between ambiguous and unambiguous healings. 

The one difference is this – we’ve observed all the things in the ambiguous group. An ambiguous healing is one that’s been observed. An unambiguous healing is one that we’ve never observed.

Bold his.  Eh, no.  He was closer here:

He does not claim that regeneration of a limb would violate known laws of nature. If he did, he would be incorrect.

Wrong.  That would be absolutely correct.  It is not just that limb regeneration has not been observed in humans (it hasn't).  It is that humans do not posess the physiological features necessary for limb regeneration.  Or, in Marshall Brain's own words... http://express.howstuffworks.com/ask-mb-regenerate.htm[1]

I'm not sure this is a good approach for him.  Not only is the argument not good, but he essentially says that all miracles are ambiguous, and so we cannot be sure they are miracles.  If he's not one of those miracle believing xians, well, good on him.   

And how does a dead guy rising from the grave fit in with this?     

 1. that was pretty sweet getting it from how stuff works, innit?
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Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 01:36:48 PM »
I don't think he is arguing for the existence of god so much as he is saying the question - wwgha? - does not disprove god.  Most of us would concur, I believe. 


I realize this. That's why I said it's what he was doing in the previous forum thread. His argument was that the premise of the entire question was flawed because there could never be proof, as any miracle that was done would stop being a miracle. Which is the tact he's trying here. His problem is that he everytime anyone picked at his argument he refused to answer. Which means that he's made the entire premise of his opening argument something that has already been seen and picked over. And worse yet, it's something that he clearly can't support beyond the initial assertion.
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Offline Dante

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 01:40:07 PM »
And velkyn just wrecked it.

Next?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 02:04:39 PM »
That's because Velkyn hasn't suffered the aforementioned potential lobotomy.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline velkyn

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 02:10:58 PM »
I only use icepicks to make sure my bourbon is adequately chilled.  :angel:
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 02:11:18 PM »
She definitely got it down. If Voter were to debate further, the only option would be to disprove his god more (he tends to be really good at doing that). The definitions are so simple; no further semantics are required.

Quote
am·big·u·ous/am?bigyo?o?s/Adjective
1. (of language) Open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.
2. Unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made.

Quote
unambiguous
(?n'?m-b?g'y?-?s) pronunciation
adj.
Having or exhibiting no ambiguity or uncertainty; clear.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/unambiguous#ixzz1HXtXB4RY

There is NOTHING to change the definitions. It's either clear and could only be possibly done ONE way, or there could be multiple ways. At this present time, like stated many times by velkyn and others, humans are not able to restore limbs like starfish do. The only way would be for prayer. Are there any records of an amputee restoring limbs? No. It's so simple, and right there. It's completely precise and unambiguous.

I just don't see Voter going any further.


Offline screwtape

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 03:54:45 PM »
Very nice job, velkyn.


I realize this. That's why I said it's what he was doing in the previous forum thread.

They were just my observations, not a response to your post.  I had only skimmed the previous post.  I'm sorry if it seemed as if I was correcting or challenging you.  I wasn't.


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Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 03:59:56 PM »
Very nice job, velkyn.


I realize this. That's why I said it's what he was doing in the previous forum thread.

They were just my observations, not a response to your post.  I had only skimmed the previous post.  I'm sorry if it seemed as if I was correcting or challenging you.  I wasn't.

It's fine. I didn't think you were. I just thought you quite misunderstood me. Anyways it should be interesting to see how Voter weasels his way out of this. Destroying yourself in the first post is not a very good sign.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 09:05:00 AM »
Is Voter actually arguing that every single "miracle" there has ever been, should be considered as absolutely zero evidence of god?  Would that apply equally to every alleged "miracle" that Jesus was alleged to have done that marked him out as the Son of God?  Or am I missing something?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Ivellios

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2011, 02:22:30 PM »
Is Voter actually arguing that every single "miracle" there has ever been, should be considered as absolutely zero evidence of god?  Would that apply equally to every alleged "miracle" that Jesus was alleged to have done that marked him out as the Son of God?  Or am I missing something?

He's saying if a miracle happens it's no longer a miracle.
If a miracle happens it's impossible to know the exact reason the miracle happened.
if a miracle is OBSERVED it immediately changes from unambiguous to ambiguous.

The Reason to believe in God IS because of the Miracles but if he performs one these[1] days then you have no free will, so he flat out refuses to do them. Even though he promised in Mark, every believer could. In another book stated about christians that he[2] will claim he never knew, yet are still capable of preforming miracles even unto the last days.

Well, despite the claim that even in the last days people will be doing "great works" and since we are in the "last days[3]," yet there are no miracles, no "great works." Of course, God is mysteriously silent, but it's part of his 'Master Plan.'  ;D ;D

I think that's his arguement.

Edit:
Jesus performed miracles. Knights fought Dragons. Wizards and Witches cast many spells!
I swear they're all true! They're ALL in books after all, so they MUST be! The fact they aren't observed today is irrelevent!

 :D
 1. Didn't seem to bother him from Adam till 33 CE.  &)
 2. Jesus
 3. May 2011 after all! Yippie!  &)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 02:27:46 PM by TruthSeeker »

Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2011, 03:20:12 PM »
He's saying if a miracle happens it's no longer a miracle.
If a miracle happens it's impossible to know the exact reason the miracle happened.
if a miracle is OBSERVED it immediately changes from unambiguous to ambiguous.

And he still ignores the obvious problems in this argument.
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Offline LadyLucy

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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2011, 04:45:27 PM »
Ah, my mistake. I read something wrong. He didn't say such a thing where I thought he had.

However it still remains that it's completely clear that he either hasn't, or has and just ignores most of it when it suits him.

I read his posting history, and he never did state if he did so. As far as I know, he read some of the Bible, otherwise he wouldn't be aware about God murdering people and also punishing those who disobey him. So, I went ahead and asked the question (why the heck not?).

From what I've been reading, he tends to make his own "magic decoder ring" hermeneutics when it comes to the Bible. I.E. The debate about Job, although he is straying off, going off-topic, and even goes on to talk about "evolutionists." Now, if that didn't make it more obvious that he was a Creationist, I don't know what to say other than I'm at a loss of words in the following paragraph:

Quote
In my first post I brought in cases of regeneration in other animals to show that regeneration does not violate the laws of nature. Apparently I need to spell out the ramification of that fact more clearly. From an evolutionist view, we know that the ability to regenerate has evolved at least once. If regeneration occurs in a human, there’s nothing that would stop you from speculating that it was happening again. Some evolutionists might even trumpet it as proof that we’re evolving. There wouldn’t be conclusive evidence of this at first, but as I’ve shown above, we don’t have conclusive evidence of the mechanisms for spontaneous remission of cancer or rabies cures, so firm understanding is not necessary for a phenomenon to be included in the ambiguous category.

In order to succeed on that line, you would need to prove that it would be impossible for humans to ever develop regeneration ability.

So we see again that, if an amputee is healed, the healing of amputees would merely be moved from the unambiguous category to the ambiguous category.

No scientists have proven that it is impossible for humans to regenerate limbs. They have been finding ways instead to try to see if humans could achieve it, and it is possible, for example, by removing one gene. Of course, some people would argue in the future if scientists were to use genetics in order to make this possible that it is "playing God" when in fact, it is simply testing and experimentation. Ethical issues other than "playing God" would arise, but I am going on a tangent.

Salamanders have been studied to see what happens if they lose a limb, them being the only vertebrate to be able to produce new limbs. Instead of building a scar, the salamanders "reactivate an embryonic development program to build a new limb."

[Source for the bolded statement above: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=regrowing-human-limbs]

Now, with this knowledge, I don't know why Voter even brings up a Creationist-made term like "evolutionists" into the conversation. No one said it was absolutely impossible for humans to one day be able to regenerate limbs. However, the fact of the matter is, unless humans develop the same feature that salamanders have/get rid of one gene/evolve the ability to regenerate limbs in the next millions of years to come, then there is no way that amputees can ever regenerate limbs, other than through a miracle.

The bottom of the matter is, did said miracle happen? No. Is it recorded in history, other than in an old, superstitious, religious book? No. Does this thus make it disambiguous? Yes. And to argue that it is ambiguous would require the human body to actually be able to regenerate limbs in another way other than through a miracle. Humans, through billions of years of evolution and "the way nature intended" based on their environment and further breeding, are NOT naturally able to regenerate limbs. That is a fact.

The only thing that humans can DO is to try to find ways to regenerate limbs, instead of relying on any god to regenerate a human being's limbs, since this god hasn't shown himself to be present at all, thus triggering the philosophical question: Why won't God heal amputees? It can apply to any deity, but the top two are two of the three Abrahamic Faiths, which is why it is "God" rather than a long list of other deities, which include Hinduism's huge pantheon. The only rational conclusion for the question "WWGHA?" is that no deities exist, and dwelling on a god being separate from this world or "not caring enough" to interfere with humans would be a fallacy, since stories say otherwise (whether it comes from the Bible, the Vedas, or the Koran). Going back to the heart of this matter of whether the question "WWGHA?" is ambiguous or not:

Is regeneration of limbs thus ambiguous, after knowing for a fact that humans don't naturally regenerate limbs? Not at all.


Offline Aaron123

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 01:12:35 PM »
Voter's now claiming that the only worthwhile prayer are those that ask that god's "will be done".  Yet, he doesn't explain what that means.  I'm not sure what is meant by"god's will", or why we should pray for that.  If god is all-powerful, then why do we need to pray for him to do "his will"?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2011, 02:07:06 PM »
In conclusion, when the entire Bible is read and considered, we should not have an expectation of seeing unambiguous miracles.

where does a dead jewish carpenter figure in to that?
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Offline Alzael

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2011, 02:20:27 PM »
In conclusion, when the entire Bible is read and considered, we should not have an expectation of seeing unambiguous miracles.

where does a dead jewish carpenter figure in to that?

Or turning rivers to blood? Or causing it to rain frogs? Or parting a sea?

Funny, but I have read the bible several times and several versions, and in all of them god is only too happy to jump up and down and scream "Look at me, bitches!" at every opportunity he gets.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
In conclusion, when the entire Bible is read and considered, we should not have an expectation of seeing unambiguous miracles.

You know what, I agree. For the exact say reason that after reading and considering the Illiad, I shouldn't expect Greek gods to get involved in wars.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Grimm

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2011, 08:07:30 PM »
... figured y'all would enjoy this one, as it seems to have bearing:

"But to us, there is but one god, plus or minus one."  - 1 Corinthians 8:6+/-2

-- Randall, XKCD http://xkcd.com/900/

Offline velkyn

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2011, 08:09:47 PM »
heck if prayers could even do that much, they might have some worth. I expect a few minutes ona bike connected to a generator would do as much. 
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 01:04:15 AM »
I might not have this saying exactly correct but the point is the same: Prayer, it's doing nothing and thinking you did everything.

According to them, it's Prayer that defeated Hitler, all the people who died, wounded, traumatized, imprisioned for defying God and his will because Hitler's government was "God Sanctioned" got what they deserved. But it provides the illusion that it happened more naturally so God wouldn't be taking our freewill.

The truth is, it's the other way around.

------------------------------

Excellent rebuttal on "thy will be done." If everything happens "according to his will" and "he's all knowing[1]" anyways, what is the point of prayer? Once I asked this question, I quit praying, I understood the futility of it. By saying "thy will be done" is to get the brainwashed people to accept that nothing's going to happen, but to keep them paying 10% of thier income.
 1. Which means, he alread knows what I'm going to ask for.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2011, 07:31:02 AM »
I thought of this after watching Narnia: Prince Caspian earlier. Unambiguous Miracle - Watch till the end of the movie, a character gets an amputation healed. Yes, just like that, an observed unambiguous amputation healing miracle. Too bad the Lion of Judah can only do that in works of fiction.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2011, 05:45:22 AM »
In conclusion, when the entire Bible is read and considered, we should not have an expectation of seeing unambiguous miracles.
In my next post I’ll show that, unless you admit to special pleading, the expectation of the miraculous is illogical.

I honestly wonder what side Voter is arguing.  He has been pretty clear that he does not think that there ARE events that can be unambiguously taken as miracles and, as such, those events cannot be taken as evidence of the Christian god.

Heck, I'm happy for him to declare that as a win.  I'm already planning to use it the next time a Christian points to their recovery from cancer as a "miracle that proves god exists", and using Voter's accounts to show that (a) it proves absolutely nothing, and (b) they are follish to ever have thought it was.

Can we admit Voter to the Atheist's corner?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline LadyLucy

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Re: WWGHA: Voter vs Velkyn commentary thread
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2011, 03:16:09 PM »
Can we admit Voter to the Atheist's corner?

Nah.

He'd convert right back. Plus, he acts childish, with "superb posts" such as this one:

Quote
@ TruthSeeker: Sorry, but you're wrong. pd made unwarranted assumptions about the two-day rule. Moral of the story is, don't insist on strict application of the rules without analyzing your position under the rules first!