Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I get Mail #01

Today, I recieved an email from a christian. Other than introducing himself and a few words to close the letter, the entire letter (some 1000+ words) were copied word for word from an appologetic website.

Here's my reply to my corespondant:
Philip, If you want to convince me. If you have any hope of leading me to christ, you'll have to use your own words. I see that you can copy and paste. If you wanted me to read an appologetic website it would have been easier (and more ethical) to send me the url.

You see, whenever someone sends me a wordy letter that's almost professionally written, I'll copy a couple of sentences and google them. If I get an exact match (like I did in this case), I know that the letter was plagarized. Also, I've already read this article a couple of years ago, so when I was reading "your letter", I thought it was sounding familiar.

I disagree strongly with the article at http://www.gotquestions.org/Does-God-exist.html on several points. However, since I doubt that you wrote the article, I'm not going to bother to debate it.

Now, there are situations that copying an article would be acceptable. That's if you were the one who wrote it or if you say that you didn't write it and you tell me where you got it from. I'd probably ignore the latter situation, because I'd rather hear what you have to say, not what some stuffy minister somewhere else has to say. I'd suggest that if you have an article that you wish for me to read, you need to just give me the url (if it's online).

Here's one statement from http://www.gotquestions.org/Does-God-exist.html, "Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset – all of these things point to a Creator God."

I'm quite familiar with that argument. So in closing, I'll point you to an article that I wrote.

Copying and pasting entire articles from the internet does not impress me. If you have an argument or a disagreement with me, please use your own words. If you want me to read an article, just send me the url. Do not send me a letter that is just a bad quality copy of a better quality webpage. Do not ever copy the text that someone else has written and pass it off as your own. I do not like it in email and I will not tolerate it in the comments on this blog. It's ok to quote a website or a book, but please cite the source, so I know where to find the material if I want to read more.

Please, if you want to talk to me, tell me what you are thinking. Think for yourself, don't let some boring old appologist think for you.


Anonymous said...

Reading " does God exist " is not convincing. Also the same old threat that not believing is dangerous is the old dogma christians and religions before it
used. The god explanations for his existance are nothing but apologetic nonsence. They sure aren't true science. Something religions can never overcome and always are on the defensive from.
Christians do and will use any means no matter the filth of their lies, to authenicate their belief.
I find this inexcusable. They are supposed to be the ones with morals of gods. It does not suprise that a christian apologist
would copy something as his own.
Larry Johnson

Laurie said...

You tell him, mate! I have to wrestle with some of my students over plagiarism; at least they have the excuse that they're trying to pass their exams! What's this bloke's excuse?

Laurie said...

Phew - just been to his blog. Everything he writes is plagiarised - trust me, I checked it all!

Robert Madew' Ell said...

Laurie, the writter of the letter was not Mark.

Mark did plagiarize, but to his credit, the last article was not a plagiarism. I commented about 4 times to an earlier article by him before I realized that it was copied word for word in its entirity from the same website as Philip's letter.

I think, I'm going to stop debating these guys until they can write an original piece and start thinking for themselves.

It's so annoying finding out that after I research the fine points of an argument to point out logical fallacies, after I think about it for a few sleepless hours in bed, and write for a half hour or so, these guys just copied and pasted. I'm not even going to bother. The first thing I going to do when faced with this kind of letter or article is google it. If I get an exact match, it's over.

GCT said...

I'm jealous...I don't get any crank emails...