Meet Slicey

There's a fellow calling himself (or maybe it's a woman calling herself) "Slicey" in the meta, and yesterday I clowned Slicey for saying this:
Your Cartesian understanding of knowledge, and lack of recognizing your own pre-understanding was my point.
Which, I think, long-time readers of this blog will find especially amusing. However, Slicey isn't happy about being clowned:
Tell me what it means before you "clown me." Because you don't understand something don't resort to a graphic.
Let's hang on a minute here -- because the irony is pretty delicious. Slicey -- who has called the poster video "cartesian" in presupposition -- wants me to explain the category "clown" to him/her before I apply it. I should be more rational, apparently, rather than intuitive.

I'll wait for you to stop laughing before we go on.

You OK now? good.

See -- Slicey doesn't think I know what he/she means when he/she calls me "Cartesian", and ... well, he/she tells it so well:
Typical evangelical.
Which, of course, is not a label, right? Just an obvious fact based on evidence. Nothing "cartesian" about that -- that's not a wholly-westernized criticism based on Enlightenment-style classifications. That's just the truth in love, I am sure. We'll get back to that in a minute.
Call someone a "liberal" or the like then you don't have to listen to ANYTHING they have to say.
Now, here's what's interesting: I didn't call Slicey a "liberal": I called Slicey a "clown" -- in fact, I used the "angry clown" gravatar, not the "happy clown" avatar to make my point more pointy. So if Slicey wants to kvetch about "cartesian understanding of knowledge", maybe he/she should check his/her own epistemological Brita filter before coming here and getting all allegedly-informed on me.
It's like there is a chess game and by labeling you wipe their pieces off the board before the game begins.
Which, if we review the meta, the first person to start assigning labels was ... Slicey. To make full disclosure here, this is what the exhange looked like:
These posters were difficult to read spread out over time on Pyro. To see them so quickly together...the narrow world-view, the arrogance, it is difficult for those that recognize (sort-of with some help!) their own pre-understandings and biases that they come to the text with.

Descartes would be so proud of your grasp at knowledge. YHWH on the other hand...
Slicey | Homepage | 09.28.07 - 4:15 am | #


BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh brother -- that's the best joke of all, dude! It's an offense to God to say that the Emergent guys are unorthodox in their theology and adolescent in their ability to interact with those they disagree with!

Oh man -- whooh! That's better than coffee at 6:30 AM ...

... oh wait -- I just read your blog, dude. That's a shame. It's too bad you're serious.
centuri0n | Homepage | 09.28.07 - 6:35 am | #

I never said it was an affront to God to say stuff about Emergents. Stuff needs to be said about Emergents.

Your Cartesian understanding of knowledge, and lack of recognizing your own pre-understanding was my point.
Slicey | 09.28.07 - 3:45 pm | #
At which point I clowned Slicey and said, "'cartesian understanding of knowledge'? That is the dumbest thing I ever read, dude. Take your clowning like a man."

So as we consider who broke out the Enlightenment Dymo labeler and started tagging things with categories in order to dismiss them, poor Slicey was the one who thought labels would clear things up for the rest of us. Especially in God's eyes.

For the record, Slicey, you got clowned for being self-controdictory and more smug than informed. One of the reasons for that would be a conversation I had with Tim Enloe about two years ago in which he accused me of the same thing, and I told him that, in the first place, I wasn't a dualist; in the second place, Descartes' "cogito ergo sum", in spite of his good intentions, was and is a form of idolatry which places experience before divine revelation. It's humanism, as you would agree, I am sure -- but in that, it violates the precepts of Romans 1:18-end, replacing God as the cornerstone of how we know anything.

But let's be clear about something -- it's your position, Slicey, that labeling things is an enlightenment task betraying Enlightenment epistemological presuppositions. The problem is that God is a covenant God, and He sets aside Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob -- He in fact gave a name to Abraham and Israel to set them apart for all time. It's funny how God makes such a big deal about setting apart Israel but that act somehow gets lost in the eyes of people who want to be more Eastern or more into context. It is in that way, by that method of separating our work from His, which God tells us what is true about Himself.

That's not an Enlightenment view of things: that's the Old Testament view of things, which predates Descartes by two millennia.

So you get clowned for buying into a Chomskyite reduction of western civilization, and not being half as concerned with a God-centered view of the mind and reason as you like to think you have.

If you need more detail there, we can probably cover another 1,000 words on the subject before its get mind-numbingly boring and all my readers have slid off to cut grass or whatever.

It's your site, do what you want, "clown me" if you must. I'm still fairly certain though that if there might be people reading this that understand the term Cartesian, they will see you don't even begin to understand what I meant, because I used a term you didn't recognize, and inadvertently clowned yourself by trying to cut me off with something so shallow.
Aha. I didn't clown you: I clowned me. I didn't realize that you're rubber and I'm glue -- because if I did recognize those categories, I would have ended my comments with "double jinx infinity -- no takebacks!"

You got clowned for doing the thing you say is bad, Slicey. You got clowned for trying to fish the mote in my eye out with your half-informed, self-congratulatory stage-prop-sized powder puff rather than something which will actually accomplish the job -- and you hit yourself in the face with it, and got mad at me for laughing.

Stop hitting yourself, dude. You don't want me to laugh? Stop hitting yourself.