Anyway, Parsons laments the bad “manners” I showed in having the temerity to give him a taste of his own medicine. He says he wishes we could have had an “interesting discussion instead.” So, in the interests of furthering that end I’ll refrain from returning his latest insults. Instead I’d like to ask him four very straightforward questions to which I think both my readers and his would like to hear his answers. A response should only take him a few moments. I set out some context for each question, but I’ve put the questions themselves in bold so as to facilitate a speedy reply from Prof. Parsons. Here they are:
UPDATE 2/19: Over in his combox, Keith Parsons at first expressed interest in responding to my questions, but then in a follow-up comment wrote:
I’ll let readers be the judge of which of us is “pissed off,” “nasty,” “in personal attack mode,” etc.; of whether I was right to characterize Parsons as too thin-skinned; and of why he decided not to respond to some polite and straightforward questions that should take him only a few moments to answer. (Judging from his combox, Parson’s own readers aren’t too happy with his reply.)
I’ve just posted a polite response in his combox. Let’s see whether I’ve made his day again.
UPDATE 2/20: For those who aren’t following the proceedings in Parsons’ combox, in response to my polite restatement of my questions to him, Parsons wrote:
You have written now, what is it, three lengthy columns attacking me? I think about you approximately zero percent of the time. Apparently, however, I am living rent free in your head. The kind of help you need is not the kind that I am professionally qualified to give.
By this point I found I couldn’t help but let slip the dogs of sarcasm, responding:
Thanks for that. Just ran your comment through Google Translate. Here's what came out: "Prof. Feser, you've embarrassed me by asking four polite and simple questions I cannot answer, despite my having loudly shot my mouth off about the subjects in question for several years. So, I will try once again to deflect attention from this fact by accusing you of launching a personal attack, in the desperate hope that there might still be a few readers left who haven't bothered actually to read your blog post and see that my accusation is false. Also, I never give you any thought, except for all those times over the last few days and years that I've run to my computer to post comments to the effect that I never give you any thought."
Thanks for the hysterical (in both senses of the term) calumny. You prove my point more eloquently than I ever could. Really, sir, you are in the grip of an irrational obsession. Get some help.
Parsons’ readers have, almost to a man, expressed disappointment at his behavior, and now his co-blogger Jeff Lowder has called on Parsons to knock it off and just answer the questions I put to him. But I doubt anything else he might say could be more illuminating than what he's said already.
UPDATE 2/21: If you’ve been following the continuing exchange in the combox over at Keith Parsons’ blog, you know that he has now agreed to an exchange with me, to be moderated by Jeffery Jay Lowder. I’ll report the specific details after they are finalized.