International Cat Speculators Since 2006


The mind doesn’t work properly if it’s closed – Open Parachute tag line

Having watched Ken Perrott argue today, I thought I would pull together a few of his more classic lines into a post.

Glenn Peoples tries to cut to the chase at M and M.

Ken, setting aside your emotive tactics (pretending to know that I feel embarassed), let’s see if you can show exactly how I have misrepresented your belief.

You don’t think that a church – as a church, a place of worship, teaching, Christian counsel etc – is doing anything charitable, and this is because you don’t these things achieve a charitable purpose.

Correct so far?

And you don’t these things really help people because you think they’re all based on falsehood.

Again, correct so far?

And because of this, you think that the government should treat churches as not being a charity just by virtue of being a church. You think that the governement should say that they need some other claim to being a charity.

Am I beginning to “get it wrong” yet, Ken? You’ve stated all these things yourself. These are the claims that I have attributed to you.

Now, you may proceed to show how I am “getting it wrong” by attributing these beliefs to you. Be specific please.

Reading through the comments, I thought this one stood out as a genuine attempt to get to the numb of the issue. As he says, all these things are things that Ken has said, and it seems to be a good statement of what Ken’s position is.

Ken’s response?

Glenn, I am not interested in your theological jelly wrestling. You guys will do anything (verbally) to avoid and confuse issues.

I think everything is clear. Read my last comment. I am not interested in continually restating it.

It’s a simple human rights issue. You are just trying to defend an ancient religious privilige.

If anything, it’s Ken who’s trying to slip out of being pinned down by anything, even his own beliefs!

But there are a few more examples. Bethyada ends one comment

As far as rates go, I have talked with our church treasurer and I know that they do pay a nominal amount towards rates, so I stand by my comment in the article.

Ken replies:

Bethyada – perhaps you should point your treasurer at the legislation – he may be unaware. Or he may be misrepresenting the true situation to you.

So rather than admit that his reading of the legislation is wrong (it is – churches are only exempt the land tax portion of rates, not other charges such as water) he instead attacks someone outside the discussion as either ignorant or lying.

Then, on his own blog he attacks both Ropata (after he accused Ken of trolling) and Glenn as having a financial interest in the debate.

I think this muddled thinking comes from your own pecuniary interest. You have something financial to loose and it is only natural you will do your best to defend that privilege.

I don’t expect any better.

A simple web search would have told Ken that Glenn’s church was founded about 10 years ago. They don’t even have a church building. Ergo, they can’t even claim a rates exemption.

Believe it or not (and I understand completely if it’s “not”!), my interest in any debate is for the truth to come out. I think Ken’s made some good points, when he’s argued the facts.And this debate is more complicated than it seems at first. Most of the atheists are talking about one sort of church (the well established, well known ones) and most of the commenters are from much smaller, with far smaller financial assets – some with none at all.

Unfortunately, the above examples (and others) show that when someone actually comes out and seriously challenges him, he resorts to attacks, and outright contradictions.

I usually try to believe that people are arguing in good faith -that they believe what they say, and it’s logical in their own mind even if it isn’t in mine. It’s hard to believe that a proud scientist would argue in bad faith, but I can’t see any other explanation.

FYI: My position on the matter (for those interested) is best described here. Quick version: it doesn’t matter.

Update: Stumbled across this at M and M – seems like I’m not the only one to notice this sort of thing.

There are three ways, and only three ways, to understand/categorize the oh-so-common atheistic inability, which is on display in this thread, to follow and address the actual points being made:
1) inability *ever* to understand;
2) ignorance, leading to misunderstanding;
3) disinclination to understand … or, at least, to admit.

To understand Ken’s behavior in terms of option 1) is to say that Ken is too stupid to understand the matter and the arguments. I don’t see how any of us is ever justified in choosing to believe that about anyone.

To understand Ken’s behavior in terms of option 2) is to say that Ken lacks some logically prior information or understanding, the lack of which is leading to his present erroneous reasoning. That is, that Ken’s error *is* error, but that it is honest error. However, has not his misunderstanding been explained to him multiple times in this very thread?

To understand Ken’s behavior in terms of option 3) is to say that Ken is intellectually dishonest; it is to say/recognize that no amount of evidence and argumentation is going to sway him … because he never was interested in genuine understanding.

Those are the three options; there are no others.

Comments on: "What to do when you can’t win" (39)

  1. Rather than selective quotes what about providing the link to my blog post I put up Monday presentingy own views and arguments. It also quotes fr the legislation.

    And why get so worked up if you think it doesn’t matter. This is now the fourth blo attacking me on this issue in the last week. All conservative Christians and theadt two not acknowledging orinking to my post.

    Why hide my arguments?

    • “Rather than selective quotes what about providing the link to my blog post I put up Monday presentingy own views and arguments.”

      Don’t see how that’s relevant. There’s plenty of links, I don’t see how adding another helps you or anyone else for that matter.

      “It also quotes fr the legislation.” – Yes, and I’ve pointed out that you’re wrong on the legislation, and quoted you above telling someone that they were probably lied to, rather than admitting you might be wrong. Frankly, you owe someone an apology for that, it’s disgraceful.

      “And why get so worked up if you think it doesn’t matter.” Personally, I think this sort of bad faith arguing does matter, that’s why I wrote the post – where did I say that didn’t matter?

      Fact: I didn’t. More bad faith on your part. Thanks for playing.

      “This is now the fourth blo attacking me on this issue in the last week.”

      Actually, the others were on the issue of charitable rebates, this one is on your lack of integrity.

      “Why hide my arguments?” – actually, this post was put up to show that you’re not interested in arguing the facts, and I think it does it quite well. I fail to see how I’ve hidden anything at all – there are more than enough links for people to follow.

  2. Sorry about spelling – bloody iPods, aging eyes and old glasses.

  3. FYI Glenn’s church meets in a bowling club owned by the council. It pays rent to said bowling club which helps said bowling club pay its own rates and remain open.

    • Of course I know this, but thought it might be impolite to say. There’s a number of other things I could say about Glenn’s church (including the national organization) but won’t.

      Suffice to say, anyone who thinks Glenn’s church is flush with cash is pig ignorant.

  4. Ken – you are peddling the same lie here that you tried on with me at my blog. Bethyada has indeed linked to the original discussion. So did I, yet you told people that I hadn’t.

    Don’t make absurd arguments worse by adding lying to the mix, Ken.

  5. […] competition going on. Another conservative Christian blog has come out attacking my comments (see What to do when you can’t win). Brings the current total to 4! As I said. obviously a sensitive issue with some […]

  6. Sorry, Scrubone. I actually missed to link to my post. It was buried in the middle of the article. I was obviously too busy gloating over my great wealth and material possessions to actually read the article!

    However, anyone genuinely interested in my contribution, rather than a highly edited extraction of comments made elsewhere, please have a look at my article Avoiding tax – supernaturally

    Scrubone – I have explained to Glenn that my use of pecuniary, in the sense of related to money, was not implying a direct corruption by any means.

    Simply that my knee jerk reaction to any increase in alcohol tax is pecuniary because I enjoy wine. Or my reaction to the government’s removal of tax exemption from company investment in research and development was pecuniary because in my former life it would have increased the number of research contracts I could have attracted. I had a knee jerk reaction to defend an existing privilege rather than thinking it through and considering the greater good.

    Similarly I can understand why religious people should have a knee jerk reaction to defending a privilege they have had for 400 years. I believe, though, some religious people are able to think through the issue and see the moral, rather than pecuniary, arguments.

    But I guess getting all personal and offended is a common tactic for avoiding issues in a discussion.

    Actually – a bit of advice for you guys. This is an issue that won’t go away. I think it is best to debate and discuss the facts of this issue rather than attack individuals or deal only with comments. Your posts would have been more effective if they were articles on the issue itself and your own arguments around it.

    To continue a debate using highly edited comments actually turns people off. They see it as a form of public masturbation of no value to them.

    I certainly am not attracted to a hes said, she said presentation. Give me the issues and personal interpretation every time.

    • >Sorry, Scrubone. I actually missed to link to my post. It was buried in the middle of the article.
      Applogy accepted.

      > However, anyone genuinely interested in my contribution, rather than a highly edited extraction of comments made elsewhere,

      True, I only picked out the worst examples of your debating style. If people want to debate the tax issue, rather than your bad faith, your post is as good as any.

      >Scrubone – I have explained to Glenn that my use of pecuniary, in the sense of related to money, was not implying a direct corruption by any means.

      It seemed pretty clear to me, and I’m sure to any other readers.

      > I had a knee jerk reaction to defend an existing privilege rather than thinking it through and considering the greater good.
      >Similarly I can understand why religious people should have a knee jerk reaction to defending a privilege they have had for 400 years. I believe, though, some religious people are able to think through the issue and see the moral, rather than pecuniary, arguments.

      Another example of your debating style: refusing to acknowledge that anyone else might actually have principles.

      I have stated I would be fine with atheists having access to the religious exception, others have pointed out that atheists are already getting them even without it. So we’re not defending privilege – but you stating that we are.

      That’s fundamentally dishonest.

      >But I guess getting all personal and offended is a common tactic for avoiding issues in a discussion.

      Well, many of us wish you’d stop.

      >Actually – a bit of advice for you guys. This is an issue that won’t go away.
      I don’t think it will either, some issues are like that. But as I’ve stated, I don’t think removing the tax exception for churches is going to make much difference to anyone, so it’s largely a moot point to me.

      >I think it is best to debate and discuss the facts of this issue rather than attack individuals or deal only with comments.

      See above, and take your own advice.

      >To continue a debate using highly edited comments actually turns people off.
      As I’ve said (and you seem to have a hard time understanding) this post isn’t about tax, it’s about your lack of good faith when you argue on blogs.

      >I certainly am not attracted to a hes said, she said presentation. Give me the issues and personal interpretation every time.

      Ken, did you even read your own quotes above?

  7. Sorry – shouyld have quoted this from your post seeing you dispute it:

    “FYI: My position on the matter (for those interested) is best described here. Quick version: it doesn’t matter.”

  8. I don’t follow a lot of what you say Scrubone. However your comment:
    “I have stated I would be fine with atheists having access to the religious exception, others have pointed out that atheists are already getting them even without it. So we’re not defending privilege – but you stating that we are.”

    Do you not know what the situation is with the religion exemption? It is clearly based on supernatural belief. Organisations applying under this criteria provide a statement of belief – not required under the more genuine charity areas. This whole thing has been tested in the courts so you should no that argument is not considered legitimate.

    [I am of course, referring to a theoretical law change, the same way you are. More bad faith.]

    Sure other organisations can apply under education, alleviation of poverty, etc. But not religion. Only religious organisations can do so – hence the privilege.

    [But I’m *not* supporting that supposed privilege, as I’ve *clearly* said I think atheist organisations should be allowed to register as religous. – yet more bad faith.]

    Its noticeable that some religious organisations (eg. Family First, NZ Training Centre) register under these other provisions. It is interesting to speculate as to why all don’t – it would be a more defensible position morally. If they are doing genuine charity work – why not?

    [Ken, that arguement is outright bizarre. *You* consider it “more defensible position morally”, but that’s you. Other people have no obligation to follow *your* ethics. They tick that box because it’s perfectly moral in their worldview to do so, don’t try to suggest that it’s not. ]

    Your pointing out that other organisation can register under these other provision is just simply avoiding the human rights issue. That religions have access to a tax exemption which others don’t. It is a privilege and the qualifications (supernatural worship and prosletysing) would not be considered a genuine charitable purpose by most.

    [“Most” – where’s your evidence? I would suggest that it’s the other way around, that most atheists are tolerant of other people’s beliefs and allow them to run a non-profit organisation tax free.

    Besides, you’re again demonstrating bad faith by ignoring my willingness to consider atheist organizations religious. If a law change were put up, I’d support it.]

    You are away with the birds to suggest I am “refusing to acknowledge that anyone else might actually have principles.” Directly after quoting me “I believe, though, some religious people are able to think through the issue and see the moral, rather than pecuniary, arguments.”

    [Your point is that because other people agree with *you*, *they* have principles. My clear point was that you refuse to acknowledge any other position might be principled. Can you make a single point without bad faith?]

    I would not be commenting on a conservative Christian site if I did not think there would be readers who could see, and agree with, the moral arguments. Perhaps that is the reason for the hostility – that these arguments may influence such people).

    [And do what? Change the law that I’ve repeatedly said won’t make any noticeable difference?

    Personally, I find comments like these to be the bottom of the barrel, and smack of desperation.]

    Finally, you suggest “this post isn’t about tax, it’s about your lack of good faith when you argue on blogs” which I think illustrates my point. You are participating in an act of public masturbation of no interest to others, rather than dealing with the real issues. And yet you do try to deal with those issues (although in a very unconvincing way IMHO).

    [Ken, I’d love to deal with the real issues with you. Unfortunately, you can’t. Hence this post. But if you want to try good faith for a change, feel free.]

  9. Replied in line.

  10. Sorry – can’t follow the discussion this way. I think comments should remain unaltered and if necessary copy.

    However, I get the impression that you agree that the current situation represents a privilege for religious people and that you would advocate removal of the supernatural qualification.

    OK – many would agree with you. I probably would to – but insist on a change of name to something like life stance rather than religion. I think that most people (and yes it’s only my opinion – what else can you expect?) would probably agree that life stance issues do relate to benefits for the community.

    However, the fact remains this has been well established in the courts and the definition used by Inland revenue and the commission is derived from court rulings. When the issue is raised with the Human Rights Commission they agree it contradicts the essence of our HR legislation but point to the court decisions. Their recommendation is to fight for a law change.

    Changing the religion provision to a life stance one by removal of supernatural privilege would be one way. The other would be to remove that provision all together and cover this aspect through the other provisions which include benefits to the community.

    I think this discussion may have produced an agreement.

    So I guess I will see you on the picket lines outside parliament when (and if) this ever gets to a bill.
    Perhaps Glen will be on the other side of the picket though?

  11. Ken wrote Sure other organisations can apply under education, alleviation of poverty, etc. But not religion. Only religious organisations can do so – hence the privilege.

    Glenn addressed this already, some educational groups can only apply under education, and not under alleviation of poverty. Some groups that alleviate poverty cannot apply under education. So by this reasoning these other clauses also give people a privilege.

    In fact parity of reasoning could be used to show atheists get privilege from the law , some religious groups can’t register under the education clause because they do things over and above educating people in the faith, such as conducting worship. The humanists however can register under the education clause because they don’t worship. Hence, the same line of reasoning Ken utilises shows that the education clause grants a privilege to people who do not worship.

    The point is that while atheists cannot apply under the religion clause ( and for the record I have suggested the definition of religion be broadened to allow this) they can appeal under other clauses hence there is nothing which Christians gain from the law which atheists cannot also gain legally. The fact that a different section of the law allows them to do so hardly means they can’t get it. Similarly while some religious groups cannot register under education because they worship they can under the religious clause, hence they are not deprived of anything humanists get.

    The claim of privilege then is simply mistaken. What you actually want is a situation where Humanists and groups who don’t worship get tax exemption for teaching humanism while Churches do not get such an exemption for teaching Christianity because they also worship. That is not equality at all.

  12. Ah, Matt, you are also in agreement (“for the record I have suggested the definition of religion be broadened to allow this”)

    So, here is the proportion. That government should be asked to amend the taxation law to remove a religion privilege (perceived or real) by either:

    1: Removing the advancement of religion as one of the sectors the application could be made under.

    Or

    2: Amend the “advancement of religion” to instead state “advancement of life stance” or “advancement of religious or other beliefs and life stance”

    or something to that effect.

    Do you agree with this Matt?

    What about you Glenn?

    I personally would be happy with either as long as the current legal interpretation providing (or implying) privilege to supernatural worship and prosletysing is removed by the change to the act.

    • Ah, so now *both* propositions remove “supernatural worship and prosletysing”.

      Which is the point we’ve been making all along. You want your beliefs reflected in the law of the state.

      • Childish. There are no supernatural provisions in the Act. That arises out of court decisions on interpretation.

        My suggestion produces a situation where there is no privilege for, or privilege against “supernatural” beliefs. A level playing field.

      • Ken, you just said you want that provision removed.

        Do you, or do you not want the law changed so that churches cannot register as charities on the basis of “supernatural beliefs”.

  13. Proposition – not proportion.

  14. Sorry, Ken, your last comment was so long it was simply easier.

    “However, I get the impression that you agree that the current situation represents a privilege for religious people and that you would advocate removal of the supernatural qualification.”

    So 2 points
    1 – do I agree it’s a privilege? No, I’m not convinced it is.
    2 – Would I advocate removal of the supernatural qualification?

    No, not at all.

    My position is that I’m willing to accept that atheists hold genuine (but personally I believe they are mistaken of course) beliefs. I see no reason why one false religious belief system (say, Islam) should get a tax advantage, when another – Atheism – does not. In other words, I’m operating on the principle of tolerance.

    You on the other hand have stated that you don’t consider supernatural worship to be worthy of charity status. You want that status removed, so that churches only qualify if other forms of charity are present. As has been well established, atheist organizations already have recognition under other areas (such as education) so your proposed change holds no risks to the organisations you support.

    So while my position is based on tolerance, your position is trying to push government policy towards your view of churches.

    While that appears to be close, it’s actually a massive gulf in attitudes. I’m giving ground, you’re taking it. I’m acknowledging your right to your beliefs, you’re refusing me mine.

    In other words, we’ve arrived at Glenn’s post. 🙂

    But I agree, now that you’ve acknowledged my point we actually are getting somewhere. Keep it up.

  15. I think you are using the question of privilege as an out. The fact is that there is a perceived one, if not by you certainly by others.

    So I put the same suggestion to you as I did to Matt. Working for a change to the taxation act by either:

    1: Removing the advancement of religion as one of the sectors the application could be made under.

    Or

    2: Amend the “advancement of religion” to instead state “advancement of life stance” or “advancement of religious or other beliefs and life stance”

    or something to that effect.

    We are not going to agree on the value of supernatural worship (or what that bloody word even means). But I am not attempting to impose my ideological views on government. Just trying to remove an anomaly that even the Human Rights Commission acknowledges conflicts with the essence of our human rights legislation.

    The position seems very clear to me.

    Do supports such, or similar, changes to the act or not?

    By the way – it is pathetic to suggest I am refusing your right to your beliefs. I have said nothing, ever, to suggest that at all. I am clearly behind our human rights legislation on this matter. You have really got to grow up and learn how to listen instead of insult.

    Just answer the question.

    • “We are not going to agree on the value of supernatural worship (or what that bloody word even means). But I am not attempting to impose my ideological views on government.”

      And we arrive back at bad faith. Because just a few minutes ago, you wrote:

      “I personally would be happy with either as long as the current legal interpretation providing (or implying) privilege to supernatural worship and prosletysing is removed by the change to the act.”

      “By the way – it is pathetic to suggest I am refusing your right to your beliefs. ”
      I’ve just quoted where you did just that. You want my beliefs stricken from the legislation, to be replaced with yours. It’s overstating a little, but you should show the good faith of putting the comment in it’s full context.

  16. Scrubone – you are behaving like an old hen.

    Just tell me, yes or no, would you support the sort of change to the act I describe?

    If not, can you suggest your own change which would cover the issue?

  17. Hm, think I may have confused myself – it happens. So here’s my question to clear it up.

    Do you, or do you not want the law changed so that churches cannot register as charities on the basis of “supernatural beliefs”?

  18. The act does not have such a provision. That is a court interpretation to provide help in interpretation. They just register as religious and provide a description of beliefs.

    As I said leave that out – its not there now. Just extend the phrase to include other life stances. They can be supernatural, natural, alien, idiotic, whatever.

    The act shouldn’t (and currently doesn’t) define such things. (If yoiu start including such terms you will be paying lawyers for new interpretations. I don’t think these words have any real meaning anyway).

    • I think we do have a point of agreement – that the legislation be amended so that both supernatural and atheist organisations can register as religious charities.

      It’s the removal of the current provisions that I have a problem with.

  19. What specific “current provisions” in the act do you have a problem with? (Don’t forget “supernatural” is not mentioned.

    And don’t you see a problem with trying to include the non-religious under the term “religious” in a government act?

    What have you got against inclusion of “life stance” or “other beliefs and life stance”?

    And keep away from the word “atheist” in a parliamentary act. There are a lot of non-religious who claim that would not cover them.

  20. Thanks Ken, I thought we were agreeing there but you seem to insist on being difficult and picky. If you want to show you’re now arguing in good faith, that’s not the way to do it.

    The courts have interpreted the current law one way. In order to change that, you change the law and make it clear that the religious category covers organisations pushing all religious positions, even those pushing the position there is no God.

    So long as no one who currently qualifies is pushed out, I am fine with that. You can call it “life stance”, or you can call it Harry, it makes no difference if it’s properly defined.

    I’m not a lawyer, so I’m just setting down the principles, not the legal detail.

  21. OK, Thanks for that.

    I interpret it a support for option 2.

    Now Glenn and Matt – where do you stand on such changes to the Act?

  22. Ken, the definition in the Charities Act (see part 1, under “interpretation”) does not need changing at all. It is fine. “every charitable purpose, whether it relates to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter beneficial to the community.”

    The word “every” and the phrase “any other matter” already show that the act includes a “life stance.” The things listed in the act are only examples, and the phrase “any other” shows that they were never intended to be exhaustive.

    There’s no need (and in fact good reason not to) try to list every possible type of charitable purpose in a section of the act that is supposed to be general in nature.

    Or were you talking about a different part of the Act, and if so, which part?

  23. Of course, Glenn, your argument about these phrases defining inclusiveness could be used as an argument to delete”advancing relegion” as a superfluous clause.

    However, I will just take your response as being inwilling to countenance any change, you are on the other side if the baricades to me and Scrubone.

    What about you Matt? Where do you stand on the suggested amendments?

  24. Ken, to say that my comments justify deleting the reference to religion as superfluous is to also say that we should delete ALL the examples. But why delete any? They are examples, and that is all they are.

    You should not put words in my mouth – instead you should take my response for what it is – a clear, well explained reason for why the law already says exactly what you want it to, whether you can bring yourself to say so or not.

    As for barricades” – even though this is an issue to be discussed on its own merits, you seem passionate on making it a battle between you and those who attack you. Why? What is to be gained by doing this? Do you see me doing any such thing,either here or in my own blog on this subject?

    As I’ve said elsewhere Ken, this is not about you. Stop personalising it.

  25. Get a grip, Glenn. Have you not heard of metaphor.

    You are mistaken with your claim that religion us only there as an example. There are good historical reasons why the different sectors have arisen. And cahrities register by sector with an extra requirement for religion

    I am not putting words in your mouth. I asked you a specific question and you specifically presented a view that the act does not need amending. If you want to change your mind on reflection please do so.

    I am untreated to see how different people line up on these practical solutions to the problem.

  26. Sorry, interested, not untreated.

  27. Ken, firstly don’t be an egg – obviously I realise you weren;t talking about physical barricades. What a foolish way to get angry at me!

    Secondly, you did put words in my mouth. You said that I indicated that I was nwilling to coutenance a change. This is false, as I did not indicate this at all and do not need to change my position. My position was never that a change would be wrong, unthinkable, or something I would not countenance. My position is that the existing law says exactly what you already agree with, and that there’s no need for change.

    I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but just let me say what I have said, and not some more extreme position that you’d like to hear from me.

    And I am exactly correct when I say that religion is given as an example in the law. If you don’t realise this, then you do not know how to read legislation. Here’s the proof again: “every charitable purpose, whether it relates to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter beneficial to the community.”

    Note the word “whether” and the phrase “or any other.” This is full proof that the things presented are presented as examples.

    It is pointless waiting for “practical solutions” to a “problem” when there has been no demonstration that a problem even exists. There is no privilege here, except for ALL groups that have a charitable purpose, whether that purpose is religious in nature or not. The law is fairly clear on this.

  28. Should I put you down as undecided or unwilling to commit, then?

    I am not interested in going over old ground. I just want people to declare themselves on the proposal.

  29. “I am interested to see how different people line up on these practical solutions to the problem.”

    But that assumes people agree there’s a problem.

    Glenn, Matt, and I agree there isn’t.

    Many of us are happy to include atheism, even so. But Glenn’s quite entitled to stick to the position that none is necessary.

    It’s been an interesting thread, but it’s long past the original topic so I’m closing it down.

Comments are closed.

Tag Cloud

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: