Talk:Courtier's Reply

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Neutrality and Synthesis[edit]

"The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved." A notice with the above was put onto the article on Feb 1st 2013 but no reason was given why the article is not considered neutral. On Feb 3rd 2013 I asked Peterdjones why he put that notice on. As of Feb 4th 2013 I'm waiting for an answer. Proxima Centauri (talk) 08:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I can't say what motivated the editor to place the non-neutral tag on the article, but this unreferenced statement, " Postmodernists in particular have used it to defend the more impenetrable works of leading lights such as Derrida, Lacan, et al., from criticism from "outsiders" who "just don't understand"[citation needed]." is certainly not neutral. The editor that put the non-neutral tag on the article also put several citation needed tags in the article. That would be a good place to start if you want to balance the article. The non-neutral tag will attract other editors who will also work to bring it into neutrality. That's how Wikipedia works. By collaboratively editing articles about ideas, the thought is that the balance of viewpoints from several editors is the best way to get at the actual truth of the idea. Gtwfan52 (talk) 08:27, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I removed the sentance about Derrida etc as it's not important to the article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:45, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Your original post that started this article you stated was copied from another wiki. This is a licence violation, as the editors of the article from the other wiki are not getting their attribution. Stuff licensed under CC-BY-SA is not free. Gtwfan52 (talk) 09:50, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I had sources for what I wrote:-

  1. 1st old version of RationalWiki article
  2. 2nd old version of RationalWiki article

Both times the first edit I made was to paste the material in exactly as it was in the source. Later I adapted the material trying to get it to suit Wikipedia rather than RationalWiki. Therefore sorting out what I wrote here and what was copied should be relatively easy. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:07, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Apart from attribution, sites with user-generated content, including wikis, cannot be used as sources under Wikipedia:USERG.
In addition, the article was filled with unsourced/unattributed passages, including statements of opinion that were being presented assertively as fact. One passage read "The Courtier's Reply can be extended to defending other atheist thinkers as well as Dawkins." Really? Says who? Who said this? What's the source for this? Why wasn't there a citation for this? And there were also statements that featured an accompanying citation, but which were not explicitly attributed to the authors of those citations in the text. For example, Amanda Marcotte's opinion that the Courtier's Reply is a type of red herring was not attributed to her. Instead, the passage simply read "The Courtier's Reply is a red herring since it diverts attention away from...", as if this is a fact. Other passages included those that made claims about the beliefs and arguments expressed by both "Christians" and "some militant atheists", again, with no attribution.
And of course, there was quite an amount of material attributed to uncredentialed owners of personal blogs. One passage was attributed to some guy on Blogspot/Blogger named named Brandon Dahl. Another was attributed to a Blogger user identified only as "Dave". Seriously? "Dave"? THIS is a reliable source? Even when the author is identified in the text, no effort is made to explain who he or she is or what their qualifications are, like when one passage starts off with "Deacon Duncan in support of Myers, maintains...", without explaining what Deacon Duncan's credentials are. In following the citation, it appears that he's just some guy on WordPress. Mind you, Graham Veale sounds like he'd be a good source, but I couldn't verify the credentials he gives on his site. He doesn't have a Wikipedia article and I couldn't find anything about him via Google. And it's not just unreliable sources. Even people like Dawkins, Myers, and Luke Muehlhauser, were mentioned, without explaining who they were. In general, there was not a great deal of explanatory clarity in the article. Even the opening sentence of the Lead section, for example, states what the Reply claims, without stating upfront what it is--namely, a logical fallacy. Instead, it drops mention of this in a subsequent sentence.
I have removed these policy violations, and would encourage editors who are new to Wikipedia to familiarize themselves with the site's Source Reliability policy in general, and WP:USERG in particular. Nightscream (talk) 22:43, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

In its current state the article now contains a great deal of WP:SYN. Various passages are cited as being examples of the Courtier's Reply in the opinion of the authors. What is lacking are citations of people using the phrase "the Courtier's Reply". Although the lede confidently states that the C's R "is" a fallacy, it does not feature in standard lists of fallcies that have been discussed by logicians and philosophers for centuries. If it turns out that the only reliable source for the C's R is P Z Myers' blog, then the article may well fall beneath the required level of notability.1Z (talk) 12:04, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

The article has been modified since the post above. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:54, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Article is very one-sided and there is no mention of notable criticism of this 'so-called' fallacy. Sources are only from people who agree with the premises of this idea, and no mention is made of those who have criticized both the idea and the way it is often shabbily used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

More importantly: WHY is it a logical fallacy? It is not explained! If someone commits a straw man fallacy, then accusing him to do so is not a fallacy but pointing out a FACT about the person failing to address some subject properly and truthfully. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

I added an objection to the "fallacy". I said that Myers et al object (correctly) -- to creationist ignorance of "evolution"; I then said that the Courtier's Reply is simply a way for them to blow off their ignorance of religion. It's as clear a case of the double standard as one could ask for. Nightscream promptly removed what I wrote, claiming that it was "original research". Could it be that Nightscream is more concerned with objections not being raised. I would not call what I wrote "original research", since I "researched" nothing. JHobson2 (talk) 16:27, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
The objection you added was not supported by a citation of a reliable source, as it was merely your personal viewpoint. All material to Wikipedia articles must be supported by reliable, published sources that are cited in the text. We cannot add our own personal viewpoints to articles, since individual editors are not reliable sources, and adding our own viewpoints would violate Wikipedia's Neutrality Policy. Material that is derived not from reliable sources, but from an editor's own personal knowledge is what original research is, regardless of what you "would call" it. You would know this is you bothered to actually click on the link and read the original research policy.
As far as your accusation of my not allowing objections to the CR in the article (one which you don't bother to provide any evidence for), there is indeed an objection to the CR in the article right now (one that is supported by a citation of a reliable source), in the Criticism section, which I have been active in editing. You yourself know this, since you called the material you attempted to add "another objection". Kinda hard to complain about objections not being allowed in the article when there already is one in it, don't you think?
The problem is not that anyone is preventing objections being added to the article. The problem is that you haven't bothered familiarizing yourself with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, and apparently have no intention to, given your obtuse mischaracterizations of these policies that you've left on my talk page, your failure to directly answer those two simple questions I last posed to you on your own tp, and inane comments like the one above about you "not researching anything". You've been warned by other editors about violating NPOV since February, and I explained these policies in detail and left copious links to those policies on your talk page several times, yet you continue to respond in ways that indicate that you either don't really read these messages and the related guidelines, don't comprehend them, and/or just don't want to. If this is the case, you may need to reconsider whether editing an encyclopedia is something you're suited for.
Btw, new messages go at the bottom of a discussion thread, and not in between two previous messages in the thread. Nightscream (talk) 14:00, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

To JHobson3 (aka JHobson2): Please do not add your own personal viewpoints to Wikipedia, as you did with this edit to Courtier's Reply. The source in question never mentions or alludes to The Courtier's Reply. Rather, the criticism of "ignorance" in that essay was directed at Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, and not The Courtier's Reply. The essay also contains no mention of Myers nor creationist ignorance, much less the assertion these things constitute "special pleading", as this is clearly your opinion, and not Eagleton's. As I informed you repeatedly back in May here, here and here, editors cannot add their own personal viewpoints to Wikipedia articles, as this is a violation of the site's policies on Neutrality and Original Research. Again, please click on these links and familiarize yourself with those policies if you intend to edit here.

Also, why, during this subsequent edit, did you move the closing ref tag containing the citation of Eagleton's essay from after "London Review of Books. Vol. 28 No. 20 pp. 32-34" to after the title and link to the essay, so that the citation no longer contained that latter publication info, which was now left in the visible article text? And why did you write the new criticism passage so that the phrase "According to Terry Eagleton" was followed by a colon, the citation and a comma? Did you not notice this?

Lastly, citations go at the end of the material that they support, and not in the middle of it, as indicated by WP:PAIC. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 18:51, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Paragraph quoting Hallquist[edit]

What does this paragraph have to do with the Courtier's Reply? The paragraph is just a lengthy quote asserting that theological writers are sometimes deliberately obscure. I'm tempted to delete it, if there are no objections. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, no conversation, so I will be bold and delete it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Type of fallacy?[edit]

Is the courtier's reply a formal or informal fallacy? The lede says it is (an alleged) "logical fallacy", which is a piped link to "informal fallacy", whereas logical fallacy redirects to formal fallacy? The piped link should be replaced with a clear and direct one to whichever form of fallacy the courtier's reply is. Iapetus (talk) 13:48, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

It's an Informal fallacy. The logic of the courtiers reply isn't invalid, it's not formal enough to be invalid. Should not link to formal fallacy SPACKlick (talk) 13:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


Is there a reason why this is considered an "alleged" logical fallacy? I'm not saying it's definitely a logical fallacy, especially given that my understanding of formal logic is novice at best, but I feel that the wording here may affect the neutrality of the article, especially given its place in the opening paragraph. If it's a logical fallacy then it's a logical fallacy, and if it can be used to break down a logical argument then it seems like a useful tool to me. Maybe someone who's more well-versed in debate can help break it down and explain why the word should be used in this context. Crawldragon (talk) 07:36, 19 March 2015 (UTC)