Saturday, 23 January 2016

The trouble with quotations is the way they can be misused?

[small sample from a draft of a book, this tiny snippet makes some sense even when removed from surrounding thoughts in the draft of my new book.]

The best examples of quotes are pseudo-scientists, who use selected scientific quotes, or those quotes from scientists, to support an unscientific series of opinions, the goal is often to fleece the converted. These shameless entities leach on to the desire for knowledge, trick the somewhat ill-informed, and make a business from a half-baked philosophy. In fact, the lowest blow is where a person clear has originated the deception, so rather than accepting a poor authority, they actually have gone through various statement of a respected historical figure to winkle out a few choice words, this can be to support or dismiss claims, as with the criticism of atheist authors, although this is often applied by amateurs, and on ether side of the debate.

In various debates, many of which are in video form online, a person wishing to misrepresent a position will select quotes, even those quoted by the person they quote, as happened in one instance of a debate between William Lane Craig and Sam Harris, Dr Craig used selected quotes that Harris had quoted from others, and were not his own position.  This kind of quotation is to misrepresent a persons work, and is the lowest form of debate, since a dishonest selection process is used to discredit the individual, in that case Sam Harris. I don't doubt that there are many atheists who would do the same to discredit their opposition in a debate, although if we are honest we should point out these errors in reasoning, regardless of who uses these methods.

[extracted from the draft of a book I'm writing, about reason, philosophy, and quackery]

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