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Michael Shermer’s Note on the Legal Fund

On the legal fund set up for Michael Shermer there is now a note from Shermer himself, acknowledging the campaign.

People are asking me about this legal fund set up in my name, if I am aware of it, if it is legit, should they donate?, etc. For the record: I am aware of and completely support this legal fund and deeply appreciate Emery for setting it up and for the people who have donated thus far. I made it clear to Emery when he set it up that the money goes into an account that I have no access to, that my legal bills will be paid out of the fund directly to the law firm representing me, and that if there is any money left over after the case is finished that it be donated by Emery to a nonprofit organization of his choice. If anyone would like to email me directly for confirmation of the above, my email is [email protected], which is posted on our web page www.skeptic.com. My reputation is all I have. I did nothing wrong–legally or morally–and I intend to defend myself and prosecute Myers until he issues a retraction and apology, as stated by my attorney.

And I would say something about that, but honestly one of my commenters, imnotandrei, really nailed it.

And, as a result, he blew whatever chance he had left of regaining credibility with me.  Because at this point, whether or not he’s done as was claimed, his actions *since* have demonstrated that I shouldn’t trust him.

When your fundraiser makes a rape joke, and asserts that people are out to “do harm to the institutions” and “have set their sights on atheism”, and your response is to say you “completely support this legal fund” — well, it’s clear that you are not only aligning yourself with people defending you, but the people who think rape jokes are OK and Atheism+ is some massive blight on the face of atheism.

And if you’re allied with them, you have lost all credibility in my eyes on these issues.

Comments

  1. clamboy says

    As The Fonz (peace be upon him) would say, “Exactamundo.” (To be clear, this is in regards to what the commenter known as imnotandrei wrote.)

  2. says

    “I made it clear to Emery when he set it up that the money goes into an account that I have no access to,…”

    “I do not know Michael Shermer personally and he has no idea I am setting up this fund raiser. I will be making sure that all money donated will go directly to his legal team and not to him personally.”

    Which is it?

  3. maudell says

    I think it’s morally reprehensible to suppress freedom of speech through legal and financial threats. Whether he did this or not, PZ just related what someone else told him. He even mentioned that he has no way of confirming, beyond trusting the person. And Shermer has been spreading falsehoods about the case himself (through his lawyers and Ian Murphy). I guess he can claim to not have been reading the posts about him, but I’m kind of skeptical about this, given his very very expensive lawyers (as he related to Murphy, along with a legal threat to him too).

    Yeah, no. (Funny how the freeze peach crowd is suddenly for the suppression of free speech)

  4. eigenperson says

    My understanding is that if you work in a large law office, you can always get a paralegal or summer associate to provide extra hands.

  5. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Wondering what the “or morally” caveat actually entails. ‘Morally’ by societies standard, where getting someone pliable through alcoholic drink is morally acceptable? Given the response by a few token asshats around these parts, I’m pretty sure they’ve outlined the overwhelmingly common “moral” position rather well.

  6. wtfwhatever says

    “I think it’s morally reprehensible to suppress freedom of speech through legal and financial threats.”

    Q: In what social justice warrior world is it no longer a right to defend yourself against defamation?
    Q: In what social justice warrior world is defending oneself against calumny considered a moral offense?

  7. hjhornbeck says

    wtfwhatever @8:

    In what social justice warrior world is it no longer a right to defend yourself against defamation?

    With five named individuals staking their reputations on accusations, one of which makes a direct accusation that Shermer raped him, this is looking less like “defamation” and more like “probably true.”

    In what social justice warrior world is defending oneself against calumny considered a moral offense?

    It isn’t. But in what humanistic world would someone defend a person facing multiple accusations, on the sole grounds that the accusations are harmful?

  8. R Johnston says

    Shermer’s ego is clearly too big to enable him to listen to what his lawyers have to say. He’s a truly horrible client. Pity the poor first year associate who must handle his case, because between his ego and the merits of his case there’s no doubt all the real work’s being foisted off on the most junior lawyer available.

  9. ... says

    And the rape joke is… where exactly?

    From the other post:

    “I do, however, begrudge them their inability to believe in the good intentions of others with a demonstrable history of trying to do something positive with the movement. ”

    Wow. Projection alert.

    Enjoy this community – while it lasts.

    “PhD in Mass communications” – I might have known…

  10. carlie says

    And the rape joke is… where exactly?

    “For 5,000, you will receive a night of drinking with Emery, who will not be drinking but keeping your glass full.” If you don’t understand how that is a rape joke specifically tied to this situation, then you don’t know what this situation even is in the first place.

  11. imnotandrei says


    I think it’s morally reprehensible to suppress freedom of speech through legal and financial threats.
    Q: In what social justice warrior world is it no longer a right to defend yourself against defamation?
    Q: In what social justice warrior world is defending oneself against calumny considered a moral offense?

    While I’m awake I’ll take a quick swing at this.

    Perhaps you didn’t bother to read the first commentator’s actual words, and decided to argue against a nebulous fog in your own head.

    There is a giant real-world difference between, say, posting a website with testimonials to your good behavior, or even sending a lawyer letter, and going “I will sue you into the ground unless you retract that, and I have more money than you do.”

    Please note: I am not saying that Michael Shermer is doing that, yet, though he’s doing some things that make it seem possible.

    But can you not see the difference between the first and the second? If an individual spoke up against ConHugeCo*, and got a letter back saying, essentially, “We are going to sue you into the ground over this, and we can spend 5x your annual income every year doing it, unless you retract”, would you not find that morally rephrensible?

    And having people sending you money so that you can sue, rather than defend yourself against a suit, comes again into the realm of potentially threatening, not out of a sense of righteousness, but a position of power.

    That is what the commenter in the first place, to my eyes, was complaining about.

    * A wholly owned subsidiary of Mom’s Cookies.

  12. imnotandrei says

    I managed to miss this the first time around:

    My reputation is all I have

    So you have no publications, no job, no assets, no family, just reputation?

    Sorry, I could not resist the snark, but that is ridiculous.

  13. maudell says

    @wtfwhatever
    Congratulations, you just used the Christopher Maloney argument.
    http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/19/pro-bono-victory-in-a-junk-science-slapp-suit-against-a-science-blogger/

    Now I bet you think that in every cases of abuse, right? The people who denounced the pedophile priests on blogs should have been threatened, right? Only difference, nobody was accused here.

    If a group of people indepently find someone stealing repeatedly, is it defamation to warn others about it?

    Again, it’s so funny how the same people who cry censorship when we criticize them are so quick to jump to legal (aka real) censorship at the drop of a hat.

  14. Hazelwood says

    The money isn’t exactly flooding in there.

    It was very foolish of Shermer to take this course. I suspect that, if he had issued a statement to the effect of ‘I deny the accusations. I have never used alcohol or anything else to coerce anyone into sex, nor have I had sex with anyone who did not, or could not consent’, I think there would have been some statements to the effect of not believing him, but it would have died down (like the Jim Jefferies issue for the GAC). I would have suggested he not buy anyone a drink for a few years, and perhaps even hire someone to give him some PR advice specific dealing with a feminist audience but the course he has chosen is only going to make it go on and on and ensure everyone is waiting for ‘who won’ between him and PZ. With a statement such as I suggested, it would have been his statement against PZs and would have allowed things to be left at that.

  15. chasstewart says

    This head on approach that you are advocating did not work well for DJ Groethe. I think you are underestimating the tenacity with which this community holds grudges.

  16. tiberiusbeauregard says

    How incredibly condescending and ignorant to tell a victim how he/she should behave.
    Oh wait, I forgot white cis males are excluded from that by birth…

  17. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Nah, it isn’t.

    You’re mixing up the original “he raped me” accusation with the 2nd person’s “how shermer nefariously refilled my wine glass” report… (and only the latter was the one to draw ridicule).

  18. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Utterance of an opinion (he’s a ‘quack’) -vs- statement of fact (he raped me)
    ^
    Spot the difference.

  19. A Hermit says

    Funny how the freeze peach crowd is suddenly for the suppression of free speech

    Silly Maudell. Free speech means the right to have your sexist insults posted on someone else’s blog comments without restriction and to never be criticized for those insults. It certainly doesn’t mean openly and honestly discussing the issues…we can’t have that. /satire

  20. says

    Yes, it is. You apparently missed the part where that second person came forward to corroborate the additional information PZ provided in the comments–that the coersion involved in the accusation of rape involved alcohol.

  21. pneumo says

    “My reputation is all I have.”

    Well, suing people to shut them up won’t help with that.

    Especially when it sounds like you are saying “yeah, I did that, but it wasn’t rape”.

  22. superfluousmusings says

    (trigger warning: discussion of rape)

    Person A is drinking. Person B knows that if person A drinks enough, person A will not be in a position where he/she can meaningfully consent to sex or resist rape. WIth this in mind, person B takes action to ensure that person A always has drinks immediately available and/or takes any other action to psychologically manipulate person A into drinking until he/she is intoxicated. Person A drinks those drinks until he/she can no longer meaningfully consent to sex or resist rape. Becoming intoxicated, I think we can both agree, is not morally inappropriate. Assisting someone or pyschologically manipulating someone in becoming intoxicated with the intent of raping them, I would argue is morally inappropriate. I would also argue that it is morally inappropriate to make light of situations where a person is preyed upon by rapists in this fashion as it consitutes further persecuting the victim of an immoral action.

  23. ... says

    ““For 5,000, you will receive a night of drinking with Emery, who will not be drinking but keeping your glass full.” If you don’t understand how that is a rape joke specifically tied to this situation, then you don’t know what this situation even is in the first place.”

    Anyone who is around real conferences as much as I thinks highly of limitless booze.

    Once again, this outrage relies heavily on me believing PZ and his swarm. I don’t. And given Ashley’s loud “I don’t mind if you support Shermer if you really believe him”, she shouldn’t either.

    Oh and: “group of anonymous webizens who apparently know each other, putting forth confirmatory stories via someone who has a vendetta against the accused” isn’t evidence of anything.

    Or maybe we should see what sort of accusations the Slymepit could come up with against you – extensively corroborated, I’m sure they would be…

  24. tiberiusbeauregard says

    (1) Apart from the fact that Mr. Myer’s post-article comments (sorry, will not try to ‘quickly browse’ over 4000 comments) cannot possibly travel backwards through time and determine how the intitial postings were understood and taken as a basis for ridicule,

    (2) I also have the slight suspicion that what you call “corroboration”, is his alleged over-generosity of splashing out on alcohol when sitting together with different womenfolks.

    Assuming that’s how you compose the “wine glass refilled, therefor rapist” narrative, please realise that your fatalistic story-telling does not magically override other peoples’ views on the matter.

    If people come to different conclusions and think the narrative is entirely ridiculous and hast got nothing to do with rape or being a rapist, they’re not telling “rape jokes”.

  25. imnotandrei says

    Anyone who is around real conferences as much as I thinks highly of limitless booze.

    As opposed to velveteen conferences, where it’s all about the limitless water from the pitchers in the back of the session rooms. ;)

    Once again, this outrage relies heavily on me believing PZ and his swarm.

    Actually, no, it doesn’t. Let me toss out a hypothetical here:

    Public figure A is accused by person B of beating someone senseless with a cane.
    Public figure A sues Person B for libel.
    A legal fund to pay Public Figure A’s bills is set up, with the highest donation value being set at “Come and look at my varied and unique cane collection, and you’ll get to try them out!”

    Would you consider that an appropriate joke?

    I will leave the rest of this nonsense to someone else, or simply point back at the N times, where N>enough, that it’s already been addressed and debunked.

    Save, actually, for this:

    Or maybe we should see what sort of accusations the Slymepit could come up with against you – extensively corroborated, I’m sure they would be…

    And with no public presence to them before August 22nd, 2013 — unless they managed to fake some headers. While there are notes about Shermer being on the warning list from well before this round bubbled to the surface. Congratulations — you’re demonstrating both a) why some claims are more credible than others, and b) why you shouldn’t be taken seriously. Here’s a bandage for your foot.

  26. says

    In my own ‘social justice warrior['s] world’, I have to say that free speech is extremely important. In what ‘social justice warrior world’ should we defend the right of Illinois Nazis to march, or of Westboro Baptists to wave ‘God Hates Fags’ signs while protesting against military service members killed in action? It shouldn’t matter what PZ Myers said – even if it was unsubstantiated gossip deciphered, through Myers’s own diseased mind, from scrawlings on a park bench, he should not have to face any kind of court action because of it. Maybe Barack Obama should sue everyone who repeated talk about him not being born in America, or George W. Bush should have his lawyers send letters to anyone who has suggested 9/11 was an inside job (if anything were defaming, it would be to suggest you planned or allowed the killing of 3000 people – people you were supposed to protect at that). John Kerry could get himself quite a settlement against all the ‘Swift-Boaters’.
    A better question to ask might be, what kind of Libertarian (as Shermer describes himself) invokes state power to silence speech?

    (Note, the above is still assuming that Shermer is in fact defend[ing] [himself] against defamation – that Myers’s statements amount to defamation, and were as false and/or reckless as some have claimed – an assumption that I would reject.)

  27. tiberiusbeauregard says

    The reality of human interactions is diverse and consent is not a matter of being meaningful or meaningless, it can be either given, explicitely or implicitly, can be assumed, can be (assumed) absent, can be denied.

    To come to a conclusion about the behaviour of the persons involved in these “incidents”, and if some of their actions were not only morally reprehensible, but so severe that they constitute a punishable crime, we would have to know a LOT more than we actually do from these “reports”.

    Back in the days, I was taught this:
    Never make assumptions which aren’t warranted by the merits of the case, just because you want to come to a certain conclusion.
    And because this golden rule has proved to be useful far beyond legal theory, I stick to it.

    (If something got lost in translation, you can keep it)

  28. R Johnston says

    Shermer’s a victim of his total lack of self control, his inability to view women as human beings, and his inability to remember what the Streisand effect is. Based on his inability to listen to his lawyers and shut the hell up he’s seemingly intent on proving himself a Dunning-Kruger victim.

    While Shermer’s a victim of himself, it’s his other victims that are victims of rape.

  29. superfluousmusings says

    If I extracted my biases from my evaluation, what conclusion should I draw? In the hypothetical scenario I described, the assumption is that person B knowingly acted so that he/she could rape person A.

    Meaningful consent is a legal term fwiw.

    In the specific case of Michael Shermer, if you are inconclusive, are you sure your own personal biases are not driving you to form that particular judgment? What motivation do you have that could cause you to discount the multiple reports of improper behavior reported?

  30. brive1987 says

    Gave $50, see if I can stretch another.

    It wasn’t a warning, it was an accusation. You get to defend against those where I come from.

    You want to warn from the shadows? Ways and means. You want fire a shot without leaving smoke? Another story altogether.

    Pretty simple really.

  31. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Let’s take a step back.

    A public accusation poses a challenge to society and to individuals likewise. Society is expected to enforce its rules for such transgressions (e.g. punishment) and individuals are demanded to position themselves morally.

    These expectations are only reasonable, because they can only be met, when sufficient information is given and therefor, the accuser has to provide sufficient information, if possible.

    In the case of Shermer (as in any other case of anomymous and elusive accusations), the accuser did not give a full account of what happened, but only provided us with selected bits and pieces and her own evaluation of it. That is a deceptive approach – that is what causes such great suspicion.

    And while these pre-judged bits and pieces of pseudo-information are not sufficient for us to come to a conclusion about Shermer’s potential transgressions, which might infact be real, we already have sufficient information to determine the accusation itself to be of highly questionable quality.

    This is what happened.
    And to suggest that all those people, who rightfully found the accusation to be of questionable quality, would therefor automatically consider Shermer to be an innocent lamb, or condone or trivialise rape, is blatantly dishonest – as dishonest as the accusation itself.

    Now, for the “consent” part of your argument.
    I don’t claim to know about anything of value about US criminal law but I can safely state that the question of consent, in theory and reality, is complicated.

    Not only can it be given in many different ways, it can also be assumed (due to personal, situtational or cultural defaults) and it can be assumed incorrectly as well, because there is a misunderstanding between the involved individuals.

    Neither the Shermer story, nor your hypothetical setup, contained sufficient information on these matters.

    My personal bias : Which one ?
    The one by which I find Shermer to be quite a self-absorbed but pleasant presenter of interesting issues? Or the one by which manipulative renditions put me into “defence mode” ?

    If you can, show me where I bend my standards. I think I don’t, but of course I might be wrong.

  32. imnotandrei says

    It wasn’t a warning, it was an accusation. You get to defend against those where I come from.

    Indeed, Michael Shermer has defended himself. He has chosen some unfortunate ways to do so, in my opinion — ways that do not increase his credibility. But he is defending himself.

    You want to warn from the shadows? Ways and means.

    So, you have no problem with the grapevine? And you are quite willing to put at risk the people who don’t get warned?

    I find your presumption that it was a “shot” to be odd — what was Myers supposed to do? What would you have said if he’d said “I heard bad things about Shermer?” Accused him, doubtless, of libel.

    Pretty simple really.

    Only if you look at it at a simplistic level.

  33. militantagnostic says

    Pneumo –

    Well, suing people to shut them up won’t help with that.

    Shermer is taking the “high road” as taken by Mathias Rath against the Guardian & Ben Goldacre, The British Chiropractic Association against Simon Singh, Andrew Wakefield against Brian Deer and Fiona Godlee, Stanislaw Burzinski against a horde of bloggers etc. How did that work out? How did denial and circling the wagons work out for the Catholic Church?

    Shermer’s defenders are starting with an argument from personal incredulity and going downhill from there. Colour me unsurprised that a smug libertarian free market fundamentalist turns out be a sexual predator. I am disappointed that Emery has decided to raise funds for a SLAPP. I won’t be downloading Skepticallity anymore. I have replaced it with The Legion of Reason. The Australian Skeptical Movement has got the antivaxxers there on the back foot – the American Skeptiks have accomplished what other than a feeling of superiority?

  34. ... says

    “So you’re saying limitless booze is one of the main reasons you go to conferences?”

    Duh. Any of a number of hard working and despairing students could tell you that those are one of the main perks.

    “Would you consider that an appropriate joke?”

    If the accusation seemed to me to be patently bogus, then yes, yes I would. By way of parallel: if, oh I don’t know, just prior the first election of Barack Obama someone said that a gang of angry black men jumped her and carved a B in her face – would it be appropriate to make dark and terrible jokes about it?

    Oh, yes. Yes it would indeed.

  35. Jacob Schmidt says

    These expectations are only reasonable, because they can only be met, when sufficient information is given and therefor, the accuser has to provide sufficient information, if possible.

    This actually makes no sense. I’d also like to draw attention to your comment below:

    How incredibly condescending and ignorant to tell a victim how he/she should behave.

    That is a deceptive approach – that is what causes such great suspicion.

    This is actually only true if you question a woman’s ability to recognize whether or not she was raped. The “great suspicion” is actually based on a priory assumptions to that effect, as well as the assumptin that PZ just wants to hurt Shermer (why PZ would want to is never explained in anything but the vaguest of terms).

    And while these pre-judged bits and pieces of pseudo-information are not sufficient for us to come to a conclusion about Shermer’s potential transgressions, which might infact be real, we already have sufficient information to determine the accusation itself to be of highly questionable quality.

    Case in point: you are assuming the information is false based on nothing.

    And to suggest that all those people, who rightfully found the accusation to be of questionable quality, would therefor automatically consider Shermer to be an innocent lamb, or condone or trivialise rape, is blatantly dishonest – as dishonest as the accusation itself.

    Well no. I’ve seen several argue that rape is the women’s fault when she’s drunk; the legal fund itself asserts that he is innocent (otherwise, the claim that Shermer does not tolerate sexual assault would be false); people like you continually assert that the former two never happen or don’t exist despite commenting on the very subject.

    Not only can it be given in many different ways, it can also be assumed (due to personal, situtational or cultural defaults) and it can be assumed incorrectly as well, because there is a misunderstanding between the involved individuals.

    Mistaking dissent for consent and acting upon that is still acting without consent; you don’t get to pretend that an “innocent mistake” isn’t rape.

    Neither the Shermer story, nor your hypothetical setup, contained sufficient information on these matters.

    Regarding Shermer, this is only true if we assume the information given is false.

    Regarding the hypothetical: The victim cannot consent. The victim can not consent. The victim therefor did not consent. THE VICTIM WAS THEREFOR RAPED.

    Why does this confuse you?

    My personal bias : Which one ?

    The one where you assume the given information is false, I gather.

  36. tiberiusbeauregard says

    This actually makes no sense

    1. Society wants to know if a crime happened because it wants to punish crime.
    2. The only way to actually know if a crime happened is to have knowledge about what happened.
    3. That knowledge is the only possible basis on which anyone can come to the conclusion that a crime actually happened.

    What is so hard to understand about this ?

    “How incredibly condescending and ignorant to tell a victim how he/she should behave.”

    That was a sarcastic remark, I thought that was understood. It was directed towards those people who keep on claiming that an alleged victim’s subjective view of an alleged crime is the only one that counts and that only this person has the right to draw any conclusions from it.

    And it was sarcastic, because without even realising it, they wouldn’t grant this to Shermer, although he is a victim of an anonymous accusation.

    This is actually only true if you question a woman’s ability to recognize whether or not she was raped.

    You CANNOT have thought this through.

    Sufficient information is required for a thought process, in order to come to a conclusion.
    Without information, no thought process takes place and no conclusion can be reached , which is based on that thought process.

    If you don’t uphold these requirements, what you effectively demand, is blind credulity.
    That scares the sh*t out of me.

    Case in point: you are assuming the information is false based on nothing.

    No, you still don’t get it.

    The only conclusion I can come to, is that the given pieces of information are not sufficient for me to make a judgement call. I do not assume the given information to be false, but I observed it to be selected, pre-interpreted and incomplete = just not good enough.

    assumptin that PZ just wants to hurt Shermer (why PZ would want to is never explained in anything but the vaguest of terms)

    I don’t argue that but I understand how it is argued:

    Taking into account Mr. Myers’ past behaviour (and the behaviour of many FTB bloggers + entourage), it can be concluded that he has no moral reserverations about pissing on people, demonising them, misrepresenting them, slandering them and so on. Therefor, his credibility on any non-professional matter (biology), is seen as close to 0%.

    Taking that conclusion into account, this incident is to be understood as a “golden opportunity” for Mr. Myers to do what he loves to do most – f*cking up other people.

    And that is sad, even tragic – because if the person who allegedly contacted Mr. Myers is actually truthful and correct about her account of what happened to her, she chose the worst possible channel to conveye her message.

    I’ve seen several argue that rape is the women’s fault when she’s drunk

    Boring. Some people will always talk shit. Because their heads are full of it. Don’t waste your time on blatant idiocy.

    Mistaking dissent for consent and acting upon that is still acting without consent; you don’t get to pretend that an “innocent mistake” isn’t rape

    But that’s exactly what is comes down to. Correctly so.

    If e.g. a person assumes consent in good faith (please read again, if neccessary), he/she will (and should) not be punished – because there is no such thing as “accidental rape”.

    Regarding the hypothetical: The victim cannot consent

    Only under the assertion that consent has to be given at the actual point of intercourse. But that’s not how consent works, see my postings above.
    In reality, it can be given before a person gets drunk (let’s get drunk and “party”), it can be given implicitly by certain actions (your hand in my crotch), it can be assumed, because that’s how a person proceeds regularly (this is how we do it) and so forth… a proper hypothetical would contain sufficient information on the matter.

  37. says

    That doesn’t make a lot of sense. PZ wasn’t fond of Shermer before this, sure, but that’s an awfully big risk to take for a probable low payoff of people who didn’t like Shermer anyway liking him less and maybe make it harder for him to pick up women at conferences. Also, why target Shermer of all people? Surely there are people he likes far less. (Kwok, for instance.)

    Absent more specific evidence, the idea PZ made this up seems awfully unlikely. As far as I can tell, people who have some pressing need to believe SHermer is innocent only believe PZ made it up instead of something more parsimonious, like that his unnamed source made it up and PZ acted in good faith is that they have a grudge against PZ and need to believe he’s guilty of something terrible. I find this ironic.

  38. tiberiusbeauregard says

    why target Shermer of all people

    FTB has a proven track record of advancing their radfem ideology by attacking what they believe to be prominent and/or leading figures in the atheist/skeptic movement… Dawkins, Harris, Vacula, Tfoot, Stefanelli, Harris, Eberhard, Grothe, Lindsay, Krauss … to name but a few…

    The pattern behind these attacks is always the same:

    (1) Chose a white cis male target, find something he said, or something said about him, that can be used against him.

    (2) Construct a public accusation of (A) misogyny (B) sexual assault or (C) racism.

    (3) Create the illusion of relevance by building a double-leveled echo chamber (= multiple FTBloggers targeting the same person at the same time + having their entourages rotate within the comment sections of the different blogs).

    That’s how it’s usually done.
    Shermer hadn’t been targeted yet, so this anonymous accusation was a welcome opportunity.

  39. Jacob Schmidt says

    1. Society wants to know if a crime happened because it wants to punish crime.
    2. The only way to actually know if a crime happened is to have knowledge about what happened.
    3. That knowledge is the only possible basis on which anyone can come to the conclusion that a crime actually happened.

    What is so hard to understand about this ?

    The part where you didn’t write that. Seriously, go back and read the nonsense you wrote. Somehow, you wrote that expectations are reasonable because of the information those expectations require.

    You also seem to be forgetting that society is not the sole arbiter of the actions of an individual; if an individual wants to spread word of their victimization rather than invoke the courts, they have that right. Remember: its only libel if it`s false. If its true, the victim can take any action she wants within the law, which include publicly printing her account.

    And it was sarcastic, because without even realising it, they wouldn’t grant this to Shermer, although he is a victim of an anonymous accusation.

    But I do grant that to Shermer; should the accusation be false, I have no problems with his actions. Similarly, should it be true, I have no problem with the victim making a public accusation through PZ.

    You CANNOT have thought this through.

    Sufficient information is required for a thought process, in order to come to a conclusion.
    Without information, no thought process takes place and no conclusion can be reached , which is based on that thought process.

    If you don’t uphold these requirements, what you effectively demand, is blind credulity.
    That scares the sh*t out of me.

    I have information. I have the testimony of two women; one who says she was raped, one who says she was with the victim shortly afterward. You can distrust that all you want. I have no reason to.

    The only conclusion I can come to, is that the given pieces of information are not sufficient for me to make a judgement call.

    You wrote that the information was false. That’s what the prefix “pseudo” means. If that’s not what you wanted to convey, then stop using prefixes you don’t understand.

    Taking into account Mr. Myers’ past behaviour (and the behaviour of many FTB bloggers + entourage), it can be concluded that he has no moral reserverations about pissing on people, demonising them, misrepresenting them, slandering them and so on.

    Except this didn’t happen. Ophelia pointed out something Shermer said was sexist. She devoted a whole 2 small paragraphs to it. Shermer wrote a bizarre piece on how he and others were the victims of a “witch hunt”. He then continued to ignore any and all criticism on how he was over reacting and being ridiculous.

    That’s the extent of the conflict. There was no demonizing or slander.

    Boring. Some people will always talk shit. Because their heads are full of it. Don’t waste your time on blatant idiocy.

    Right. I should totally ignore a bunch of people advocating rape. That sounds like a wonderful idea that will enable a bright and beautiful world where no one is ever raped.

    If e.g. a person assumes consent in good faith (please read again, if neccessary), he/she will (and should) not be punished – because there is no such thing as “accidental rape”.

    Care to justify that claim? Rape is generally defined as “sex without consent.” For some reason you seem to think that making false assumptions somehow absolves one of the responsibility of having made a false assumption and using another’s body without their consent.

    Can I just assume someone wants to give me money and take it out of their wallet? Can I just assume that someone wants me to take their kid on vacation and leave the country with the child in tow?

    Only under the assertion that consent has to be given at the actual point of intercourse.[1] But that’s not how consent works, see my postings above.
    In reality, it can be given before a person gets drunk (let’s get drunk and “party”)[2], it can be given implicitly by certain actions (your hand in my crotch)[3], it can be assumed, because that’s how a person proceeds regularly (this is how we do it)[4] and so forth… a proper hypothetical would contain sufficient information on the matter.

    1) Consent actually does need to be given at this point since, you know, people may change their minds.

    2) This, in no way, means “I consent to sex.” Since we’re already discussing the consequences for false assumptions, you know that this assumption is unreliable. If you make this assumption and rape someone, you’re at fault for making that assumption and raping someone. Your actions are your responsibilities

    3) This, in no way, means “I consent to sex.” Since we’re already discussing the consequences for false assumptions, you know that this assumption is unreliable. If you make this assumption and rape someone, you’re at fault for making that assumption and raping someone. Your actions are your responsibilities

    4) This is not, actually, how I do it. Then again, I give a shit about not raping. If your wondering why I’ve come to insinuate that you don’t, it’s your assertion that you get to make false assumptions all you want without being held accountable.

    You know, all this defending of false assumptions is funny, given your earlier comment: “Never make assumptions which aren’t warranted by the merits of the case, just because you want to come to a certain conclusion.

  40. says

    Your list is heavily cherry-picked to come up with the claim it’s all white cis-males. It leaves out Amy Dentata, Be Scofield, Ayan Hursi Ali, all TERFs, all republicans, all faitheists, etc. Notably, three of them were part of FTB when the conflict started and only Shermer has been accused of sexual assault by anyone at FTB unless you count a vague insinuation that their was something untoward about JT having sex with women ten years his junior, which Jen later apologized for.

    Plus, there are plenty of cis white males people got in conflicts with people on FTB, including rather heated ones, without any such things happening. (Chris Stedman, Dan Fincke, Paul Loebe & Orac are good examples.) Your pattern seems to be created by you, not something occurring in nature.

  41. imnotandrei says

    “Would you consider that an appropriate joke?”

    If the accusation seemed to me to be patently bogus, then yes, yes I would.

    And what, pray tell, is “patently bogus” in this case?

  42. Jacob Schmidt says

    Not to mention that Harris considers himself not white, or at least ethnic looking enough that he should be profiled along with other people who look middle eastern.

    Jen did post some accusations of sexual assault about Krauss. Krauss threatened a lawsuit; Jen can’t afford one in any case, so she took the post down.

  43. says

    tiberiusbeauregard @9.1.something:

    The pattern behind these attacks is always the same:

    (1) Chose a white cis male target, find something he said, or something said about him, that can be used against him.

    (2) Construct a public accusation of (A) misogyny (B) sexual assault or (C) racism.

    (3) Create the illusion of relevance by building a double-leveled echo chamber (= multiple FTBloggers targeting the same person at the same time + having their entourages rotate within the comment sections of the different blogs).

    You forgot one:

    (4) Profit!

    Seriously, what’s the point in doing (1), (2) and (3) unless there’s some pay-off? Why go through all that trouble for nothing?

    After all, precisely nothing is what’s happened to every single person you mentioned due to FTB activities. Dawkins, Harris, Vacula, Tfoot, Stefanelli, Harris, Eberhard, Grothe, Lindsay and Krauss are all still doing exactly what they used to do, before FTB 1-2-3’d ‘em, according to you, so the targets of these “attacks” have suffered no obvious damage, have they?

    Why get all huffy about a pattern of attacks that are completely ineffectual?

  44. says

    @Jacob Schmidt, fair point about Jen and Lawrence Krauss, but given that she was only reporting accusations that had been made elsewhere by a known party not affiliated with FTB, I don’t think you can count that as FTB accusing anyone. That would like be saying Barbara Walters accused OJ Simpson of murder. I’m not inclined to be that generous to someone I’m pretty sure is arguing in bad faith.

  45. Jacob Schmidt says

    Is that what happened? Seems I’ve been lied to. I only found out about the whole thing afterwards.

  46. nathanaelnerode says

    Deliberately getting someone intoxicated… well, it’s coercion.

    Once someone is sufficiently intoxicated, they cannot legally consent to sex, or anything else including contracts. I realize a lot of people are going to be rather disturbed by this fact, but it is what it is.

  47. Scr... Archivist says

    tiberius beauregard wrote:

    A public accusation poses a challenge to society and to individuals likewise. Society is expected to enforce its rules for such transgressions (e.g. punishment) and individuals are demanded to position themselves morally.

    1. Society wants to know if a crime happened because it wants to punish crime.
    2. The only way to actually know if a crime happened is to have knowledge about what happened.
    3. That knowledge is the only possible basis on which anyone can come to the conclusion that a crime actually happened.

    What is so hard to understand about this ?

    Part of the problem with what you’re saying here is that it is beside the point. The unnamed source is not interested in pressing criminal charges. (And this is partly because your assumption numbered 1 above is not always true.)

    The purpose of the non-anonymous source’s e-mail message was as a warning to other women who may come into contact with the man in question. This is the same kind of warning that has been circulating for some years, about several people, passed on in private conversations. Making the warning list more public is not being done to initiate an arrest or a trial, but to warn more people than the sporadic grapevine was reaching.

    Because of these warnings, will you be more wary in the presence of the person named?

  48. hjhornbeck says

    The fact that many in the skeptic community are ignoring evidence and logic to rally around a potential serial rapist makes me wonder how they can honestly call themselves skeptics.

  49. hjhornbeck says

    Giving someone wine is not coercion and is not rape.

    Consent requires sound judgment. So you think that when people’s judgment has been impaired, they are capable of sound judgment?

  50. dsgqrhqethyehyreghfe says

    I find it odd that Mr. Shermer now has a legal fund. I am not aware of anyone suing him, nor am I aware of him being charged with any crimes. I wonder if he is worried that he is about to be charged with a crime or sued.

  51. says

    I don’t think so. This legal fund is for suing other people. You are quite correct that legal funds are usually for defense purposes when you are being charged with a crime or sued civilly. I can’t think of any other examples of fundraising for a legal offense fund, in fact. This is part of why people are questioning Shermer’s good faith.

  52. nathanaelnerode says

    I was thinking of the formulation when I said “behavior”. Sorry about being uttery unclear.

  53. nathanaelnerode says

    Not that there’s anything *wrong* with a legal offense fund. I mean, arguably several organizations have organized legal offense funds for purposes like suing to strike down mandatory religion in the schools, suing to allow same-sex marriage, etc.

    It’s pretty odd to have a legal offense fund for an individual though.

  54. tiberiusbeauregard says

    @Jacob Schmidt

    Somehow, you wrote that expectations are reasonable because of the information those expectations require

    Yes, because it is a 2 way street.

    Not only does society want to know if such a crime happened, the victim has also expectations towards society to react in certain ways. And depending on how grave the accusation is, society (in the form of criminal prosecution) will prosecute it, even against the will of the alleged victim. That’s what the state/public monopoly of force requires it to do. Hard to imagine the anglo-saxon tradition of law sees this in a different way.

    In short: What is brought to the attention of the public, becomes a public matter. With all consequences.

    Remember: its only libel if it`s false

    That might indeed a difference between the US and (actually any) other countries I’ve bothered to to take a look at. Over here, an accusation of that sort must be evidently true (meaning it will be investigated by the order of the court), in order to not be libelous.

    You wrote that the information was false. That’s what the prefix “pseudo” means

    If I had wanted to say “false”, I would’ve done that. “Pseudo” means that the information is presented as apparently giving an reproducible account of what happened, when infact, it doesn’t.

    That’s the extent of the conflict

    Yes, THIS time. Because they got called out on their BS before they could do their usual spiel.

    For some reason you seem to think that making false assumptions somehow absolves one of the responsibility of having made a false assumption and using another’s body without their consent.

    Yes. And that “some reason” is this:
    If a criminal law binds a certain action (intercourse) to a certain condition (consent), then the alleged perpetrator must have known (A) what he’s doing and (B) his actions meet the required condition.
    Without knowing both, he did not know that he was violating a criminal law.

    That’s why “accidental rape” does not exist (at least not in any system of law which is based on consistent reasoning; we both know that not every system of law adheres to such high standards.)

    @ Ace of Sevens

    Your list is heavily cherry-picked to come up with the claim it’s all white cis-males

    I didn’t say they only talk smack about these few people. Infact, this group of notorious FTBers talk smack every 2nd day, because that’s a huge part of their buisiness model – but the intense and heated witch hunting process I described, is (or at least seems to be) limited to a very selected group of victims.

    @ Scr… Archivist

    Making the warning list more public is not being done to initiate an arrest or a trial,

    Anyone who throws such an accusation into the public realm knows exactly how the public is bound to react. To claim otherwise is absurdly naive or blatantly dishonest.

    Because of these warnings, will you be more wary in the presence of the person named?

    Absurdly enough, I think it was one of Shermer’s talks in which he described why we are the descendants of cowards, who assume danger based on junk information, even when it’s not there. And that’s exactly what every anomyous, unsubstantiated accusation aims for, without accepting the responsibility for doing so. Only the lowest moral beings act in such ways. I think that should answer your question.

  55. tiberiusbeauregard says

    @ (4) profit:

    Money is certainly not the only reason to keep playing that game, although their game does consist of slinging mud in order to create hits and revenue

    The main goal however, is to damage the reputation of these people and, if possible, get them out of their positions of power.
    In the case of Vacula, it worked perfectly when he had to resign his position at the “Secular Coalition for America”. They tried to do the same to Grothe and Lindsay, but failed because their illusion of relevance wasn’t strong enough to pressure those other 2 or their employers into submission.

    It’s not really that complicated – the more mud you’re slinging, the more likely something will stick.

  56. says

    …their game does consist of slinging mud in order to create hits and revenue

    How much?

    The main goal however, is to damage the reputation of these people and, if possible, get them out of their positions of power.

    Again: how does that benefit the FTBloggers you’re accusing?

    In the case of Vacula, it worked perfectly when he had to resign his position at the “Secular Coalition for America”.

    I don’t recall the PA chapter of the SCA forcing Vacula to resign his volunteer position. Where’s the evidence “he had to” do anything?

    They tried to do the same to Grothe and Lindsay…

    How many FTBloggers have called for the resignation/firing of either one of them?

  57. carlie says

    I notice that most of the donors on that fund are listed as “anonymous”. Such brave heroes, not even wanting their names associated with their donations to Shermer.

  58. Scr... Archivist says

    Anyone who throws such an accusation into the public realm knows exactly how the public is bound to react.

    I agree that people will be more cautious around the man in question. But we probably won’t have good handle on just how successful this warning is until next year’s convention season is over.

    And that’s exactly what every anomyous, unsubstantiated accusation aims for, without accepting the responsibility for doing so. Only the lowest moral beings act in such ways. I think that should answer your question.

    Well it’s a good thing that Jane Doe’s statement was neither anonymous nor unsubstantiated. Of course, if she had released her name to everyone, she would without a doubt have been subjected to years of directly-targeted harassment, abuse, stalking, rape threats, and death threats. She would also have been subjected to anonymous, unsubstantiated, and spurious accusations about her character and her contributions to the secular movement, probably worse than the harassment that has followed from innocuous dating advice and requests for improved convention policies during the past two years. I am glad to know that you join me in condemning the lowest moral beings who have been acting in this way against FTB bloggers and their allies.

  59. Jacob Schmidt says

    In short: What is brought to the attention of the public, becomes a public matter. With all consequences.

    This is neither relevant nor true (if the “consequences” you’re describing were actually, well, consequential, we wouldn’t be here discussing the fact that those “consequences” did not happen).

    Over here, an accusation of that sort must be evidently true (meaning it will be investigated by the order of the court), in order to not be libelous.

    You might do well to stop applying inapplicable legal standards.

    If I had wanted to say “false”, I would’ve done that.[1] “Pseudo” means that the information is presented as apparently giving an reproducible account of what happened, when infact, it doesn’t.[2]

    1) You did.

    2) That is not, in fact, what “pseudo” means.

    Because they got called out on their BS before they could do their usual spiel.

    This is just stupid.

    A) You’ve failed to demonstrate that there was any BS on FtBs part.

    B) People are always whining about how FtB is mean to people who say shitty things about women/children/PoCs/mentally ill/etc; why would it stop them in only Shermer’s case and not the others?

    Special pleading is not convincing.

    Without knowing both, he did not know that he was violating a criminal law.

    This is even more stupid.

    A) You admit that the perpetrator has violated a criminal law in order to argue that xe has not violated criminal law.

    B) Ignorance of having committed a crime is not a defense.

    C) You’re confusing legal guilt for a crime with whether or not someone was victimized; even if we somehow grant the stupid notion that false assumptions absolves guilt (“But your honor, I thought he wanted me to fight him. We were partying and I though that was consent to a fist fight.”), someone was still raped.

    Now fuck off with your ignorant defending of rapists.

  60. tiberiusbeauregard says

    That is not, in fact, what “pseudo” means

    That’s exactly what it means – masquerading as something it isn’t.

    You admit that the perpetrator has violated a criminal law in order to argue that xe has not violated criminal law

    You don’t have to take my word for it – even Richard Carrier has laboriously tried to explain to his readers, what the distinction between the objective and subjective part of a legal violation is. Objectively violating a legal norm does not automatically constitute a crime. I understand that such distinctions are lost on folks like you, but that doesn’t change reality.

    Now fuck off with your ignorant defending of rapists.

    Well, at least you’re finally dropping your mask. I was already wondering if you were a FTB disciple or not.

  61. Jacob Schmidt says

    That’s exactly what it means – masquerading as something it isn’t.

    A) Because it’s false. Seriously, just google “pseudo”.
    B) Saying that information is merely masquerading as true information is stil saying the information is false.

    You don’t have to take my word for it – even Richard Carrier has laboriously tried to explain to his readers, what the distinction between the objective and subjective part of a legal violation is. Objectively violating a legal norm does not automatically constitute a crime.[1] I understand that such distinctions are lost on folks like you, but that doesn’t change reality.[2]

    1) True; you’ve still failed to show why it shouldn’t be a crime to assume consent where none is given. You’ve merely shown that, by current legal standards, it wouldn’t have to be. In any case, whatever the current legal standards, assuming consent is negligent.

    2) You forgot the part where I demonstrated that legal guilt is irrelevant to whether or not sex without consent (i.e. rape) has occurred. Indeed, rape was legal against ones wife for centuries; it’s still rape. That you’re more concerned with not being held accountable for rape than you are with not raping is disgusting.

    Well, at least you’re finally dropping your mask. I was already wondering if you were a FTB disciple or not.

    Oi.

    You are, in fact, defending rapists. That is not in question at this point. For some reason, you expect me to respond graciously to this. Why, I have no idea. It’s not unexpected, however, given that above you advise me to ignore those advocating rape and belittling rape victims.

    When did I have my “mask” up?

  62. tiberiusbeauregard says

    if the “consequences” you’re describing were actually, well, consequential, we wouldn’t be here discussing the fact that those “consequences” did not happen

    But they have happened. Mr. Shermer’s reputation is now infact in jeopardy and people already do see him with different eyes, no matter how (un)substantiated the accusation is.

    And we’re lucky that we don’t live in times anymore when “accused” was exactly the same as “guilty by default”. But IF the claims against him are substantiated in the future, more consequences will follow.

    True; you’ve still failed to show why it shouldn’t be a crime to assume consent where none is given

    For the nth time – because you cannot morally blame someone for what he does not know.

    The reasons why the person does not know, might be varying, might indeed be based on his own neglect or on remote influence, but that doesn’t change the person’s state of mind.

    There are 2 types of exceptions to this:

    (1) We condemn neglient behaviour (morally and legally) when it leads to certain negative outcomes with an extremely high probability.

    E.g. : Not paying attention while driving a car. Not paying attention is no crime, driving a car is no crime, but the 2 combined create a situation which -everybody- understands to be extremely prone to accidents in which people might get hurt.

    (2) We condemn behaviour by which a person deliberately puts himself into a state of limited cognition (=putting himself out of his control), that he does infact not know what he’s doing anymore and endangering other property/people in the process.

    E.g. Driving while drunk. Driving is no crime, being drunk is no crime, but the 2 combined create a situation in which the driver has such limited control over his driving that he becomes a grave danger for anyone in his path.

    It should be clear WHY this exception is made – it’s made because a person’s deliberate ACTIONS (and not mere thoughts), regularly and forseeable for everyone, lead to certain negative outcomes.

    “Rape” implies intent, not neglience. You can accidentally injure someone but you can’t accidentally rape someone.

    And legal theory, whichever one it may be, is nothing that comes out of thin air – it is largely based on moral theory and reflects it, but with the focus on the alleged perpetrator’s perspective of things – because he’ll be the one bound to suffer the consequences of our (moral) assessments.

    When did I have my “mask” up? … You are, in fact, defending rapists

    When you pretended not to be a blind subscriber to FTB radfem ideas and methods.

    You not only want to condem a person, but have a person condemned (spot the difference), solely based on what’s going on in 1 other person’s head. I say, this is arbitrary and wicked.

    If you therefor want to call me “rape apologist” or whatever fancy term you have in your propaganda storage, by all means, do it – but should you ever call yourself a “skeptic” again, I will call you out on your BS.

  63. Jacob Schmidt says

    For the nth time – because you cannot morally blame someone for what he does not know.

    The perpatrator is being blamed for acting with a lack of knowledge, not for the lack itself.

    It should be clear WHY this exception is made – it’s made because a person’s deliberate ACTIONS (and not mere thoughts), regularly and forseeable for everyone, lead to certain negative outcomes.[1]

    “Rape” implies intent, not neglience.[2] You can accidentally injure someone but you can’t accidentally rape someone.[3]

    1) Holy shit. Yes; ones deliberate act of sex another done in negligence with respect to obtaining consent leads to someone being raped. Will that always happen? No; sometimes you’ll guess right. But driving negligently won’t always kill people either. You’re still responsible when you do.

    2) I care little for what special pleading you want to apply to the term; you have sex with someone without their consent, you rape them.

    3) Unless you mistake lack of consent for consent, in which case you definitely can.

    Seriously, jackass, just double check for enthousiastic consent. It’s not hard. Stop pretending this is difficult.

    When you pretended not to be a blind subscriber to FTB radfem ideas and methods.

    Making sure I have consent = a terrible, wicked radfem thing. Gotcha.

    You not only want to condem a person, but have a person condemned[1] (spot the difference)[2], solely based on what’s going on in 1 other person’s head[3]. I say, this is arbitrary and wicked.

    1) I didn’t know you could read minds. You must have read mine, since I never wrote this anywhere. /sarcsam

    2) Literally: none. Gramatically: merely syntax. Connotatively: one I’ve done to you (though you accuse me of doing it to Shermer, oddly enough) based upon your own writings and opinions. The other has not happened.

    3) You aren’t calling her a liar. You’re just saying it’s all in her head.

    If you therefor want to call me “rape apologist” or whatever fancy term you have in your propaganda storage, by all means, do it – but should you ever call yourself a “skeptic” again, I will call you out on your BS.

    Shit dude, you can’t even read. You somehow think a misrepresention of my position on Shermer is the premise for my contempt of your disgusting ideas, despite me spelling out the actual premise quite clearly.

  64. kaboobie says

    Indeed, “warning from the shadows” is what women in the community have been doing for years, but it hasn’t been effective in shielding everyone.

    Compare this to the situation with James Frenkel, former editor at TOR, who was finally outed as a serial sexual harasser in June after being warned about on the “back channel” for years. Despite the fact that reports were made as early as 2010, because they were kept anonymous, he kept on harassing women with impunity.

    http://www.jimchines.com/2013/06/how-to-report-sexual-harassment-by-elise-matthesen/

  65. says

    Well, denying the accusations did work out for OJ…the first time, at least.

    I guess losing the subsequent unlawful death suit kinda put a crimp in his celebration plans, though.

  66. says

    For the nth time – because you cannot morally blame someone for what he does not know.

    This is true, but highly misleading. You can’t blame someone for not knowing something per se, but you can blame them for not doing their due diligence to find out if the problem were at all foreseeable. For instance, let’s say some dude sets up a cardboard target on the edge of his property and shoots at it with his gun. A stray bullet hits some kid across the street. He didn’t know the kid was there, but we still blame him because he has a moral duty to make sure than he isn’t endangering anyone.

    In the case of rape, since it’s wrong to have sex without consent, participants have a moral duty to make sure they have consent, not to just assume consent in the absence of strong indicators otherwise,

  67. Edward Gemmer says

    Giving someone wine is not coercion. Coercion means to force or compel someone to do something. The original accusation was that he coerced her into a position where she could not consent (apparently meaning with alcohol). That means he forced her to drink in some fashion. The account where he gave someone wine which she chose to drink was not coercion by any stretch of the imagination. Since in that account he didn’t engage in any sexual contact or conduct, people have been mocking the idea that this account corroborates the first account. That is not a rape joke.

  68. tiberiusbeauregard says

    @Ace of Sevens

    Well, in Jacob Schmidt’s radfem world, you’ve just unmasked yourself as a rape apologist.

    How so ? Because you didn’t acknowledge that no matter what the alleged perpetrator does (in order to find out if consent exists), the only thing that actually counts is, if in the alleged victim’s head, it was present or not –> That’s how you magically become a rape apologist.

    The crazy idiocy layed out by Jacob Schmidt so laboriously might result in scenarios like these:

    (A) Man A asks woman B if she wants to have Sex. B says yes, although she doesn’t want to but she doesn’t want to be bothered with A begging for it all day long either.

    Result in the sane world: No rape.
    Result in the radfem world: (Accidental) Rape. Although she said “yes”, she didn’t really consent in her mind. And because only that counts, it doesn’t matter if he thought it would be ok.

    (B) Man A and woman B are looking forward to having sex. And because they like it, they’re getting drunk as hell. Then they have sex.

    Result in the sane world: No rape.
    Result in the radfem world: Double rape. Only on the man’s side of course. First, for having intercourse at a point in time when the woman couldn’t consent, and secondly, because patriarchy.

    (C)Man A goes into bed, where his wife B lies. He starts having intercourse with her, because that’s how they’ve done it countless times before.

    Result in the sane world: No rape.
    Result in the radfem world: Rape. Obviously, he didn’t ask her and didn’t do anything in his might to make sure she consented, so it must be rape, amiriiiiiite ?

    If you scream “RAPE!” enthusiastically at all 3 scenarios, you’re already in the final stage of the radfem illness and you can’t be saved anymore.

  69. Jacob Schmidt says

    Well, in Jacob Schmidt’s radfem world, you’ve just unmasked yourself as a rape apologist.

    Yes; by placing responsibility on all parties to attain consent, Ace has turned into a rape apologist.

    A) No; that’s just being a shitty person. Seriously, what kind of partner nags all day for self gratification they can achieve with their hand?

    Course, it isn’t as simple as that. Sometimes the nagging is the antecedent to abuse. But why bother with details, eh?

    B) They’re drunk; they automatically consent! By the way, most male rape victims are raped while drunk; you don’t do yourself any favours by insinuating misandry on my part while you mock the scenario that lead to their victimization. Oh, that’s right, I forgot: as long as we assume consent, the consent magically appears.

    C) Did you know that consent can be given through enthousiastic participation and reading your long time partner’s non verbal queues? tiberiusbeauregard doesn’t!

    Isn’t making stuff up about what I think condemning me for things that are only in your head? Seems that principle lasted a whole couple of hours.

    Seriously, fuck wit, enough with the rape apologia.

  70. Snowwy says

    ” Congratulations — you’re demonstrating both a) why some claims are more credible than others, and b) why you shouldn’t be taken seriously. Here’s a bandage for your foot.”

    That one is going to need a prosthesis.

  71. PatrickG says

    Man A goes into bed, where his wife B lies. He starts having intercourse with her, because that’s how they’ve done it countless times before.

    What, no foreplay? No friendly hello? No eye contact? How exactly does this take place? She doesn’t even notice him until penetration is achieved*?

    Given that this is how you frame sexual hypotheticals, I’m suddenly very glad I’m not your sexual partner!

    * Seriously, I can only assume that this scenario involves panther-like stealth and/or dropping from the ceiling dressed like a ninja, penis extended and on target. “Starts having intercourse”, indeed!

  72. tiberiusbeauregard says

    (I thought it was clear? The wife B was lying there because she was sleeping.)

    However, after a lot of hide-and-seek, we’ve finally arrived at the core of the problem:

    You think you have a moral and/or legal saying in how people must arrange their intimacy, in order to meet your subjective requirements of how things ought to be.

    – I say, you don’t.

    – I say, people have the freedom to arrange their sexuality in exactly the way they want it, without boneheads supervising them and yelling “foul!” whenever they disapprove of what meets their eyes.

    – I say, people can arrange their consensuality in any way they see fit and if it’s fine with them, will you please shut the f*ck up about it ?

    By now, I understand very clearly, that in the radfem world, this non-totalitarian approach makes me a “rape apologist”.

    And I thank you guys for that insight because now I know, that this is actually an unintended compliment.

  73. tiberiusbeauregard says

    You know very well that the problem is not their association with Shermer, but the potential real-life backlash and harrassement, coming from the radfem extremists.

  74. says

    People can arrange their consensuality however they see fit, yes. That’s not what’s at issue here. What they can’t do is arrange it for someone else on their behalf. You keep acting like the issue here is someone said “yes,” then sex police swooped in after the fact to say it didn’t count. What’s actually at issue is someone didn’t agree to sex, but consent was apparently presumes because she didn’t put up a fight, which she wasn’t in any condition to do. Also, the idea she didn’t consent originated with her, not a third party.

  75. Jacob Schmidt says

    You think you have a moral and/or legal saying in how people must arrange their intimacy, in order to meet your subjective requirements of how things ought to be.

    You’ve shift tracks. We were discussing one person arranging “intimacy” without the consent of another; without the input of another; without the agency of another. I’m not saying that one must meet my requirements. I’m saying one must meet their partners, and that it’s immoral to act negligently in that regard.

    I say, people have the freedom to arrange their sexuality in exactly the way they want it, without boneheads supervising them and yelling “foul!” whenever they disapprove of what meets their eyes.

    You’ve actually argued the opposite. You’ve argued that one gets to assume consent all they want, regardless of what the other wants, and be absolved of any responsibility for acting upon another’s body without consent. I’m arguing for all parties to arrange their sexuality as they wish; you are arguing that the input of a given person is not necessary so long as their partner assumes.

    I say, people can arrange their consensuality in any way they see fit and if it’s fine with them, will you please shut the f*ck up about it ?

    YOU’VE ARGUED THE EXACT OPPOSITE. You’ve argued that actual consent does not matter so long as it’s assumed. You are arguing for “consent as one sees fit” to be irrelevant should the other(s) choose it. YOU are the one undermining agency in one’s sexuality; I’m arguing for that agency to be respected.

    You don’t get to have sex with someone without their consent just because you assume consent; that’s ignoring “whats fine with them.” You don’t get to assume “let’s party” means “let’s have sex”; that’s denying any possibility that your partner wants something else; that your partner wishes to express consent in a way they see fit rather than a way you see fit.

    So no, I won’t shut up when some moronic, self contradicting blowhard argues that rapists should be absolved of any responsibility in trying to make sure their partner consents.

  76. Snowwy says

    What, tiberius? You have a problem with people being criticised for their public stances?

    Because that’s exactly what rape apologists call it when they engage in “backlash and harrassement” [sic]. The wave of derision, denial, denigration, and death threats that come down on anyone who so much as says “rape is wrong, mm’kay?” is just criticism. If we hateful radfems can’t take it perhaps we ought not to have opened our mouths.

    Sauce for the goose, pal. Step up and take your licks. Or there’s another option, you know. You can remain silent. That will protect you from the kind of criticism you condone when you’re dishing it, and decry when you’re facing it.

  77. tiberiusbeauregard says

    You’ve actually argued the opposite. You’ve argued that ..[yada odle deedle dey]…

    WRONG. And I’m getting really angry by now.

    Why do you think I had added “READ AGAIN, IF NECESSARY” part to the “good faith” part ? WHY ?
    Because it’s fucking obvious that consent, whatever form it may take, cannot just be assumed out of NOTHING.

    THAT’S WHY.

    But if it is assumed, even if falsely assumed, based on an interpretation of WHATEVER TYPE of consent the involved parties HAD before, then it’s not a public matter of moral or legal reproval.

    If you said “Yes, that is rape” to either one of the 3 given hypotheticals, you are transgressing the boundaries of peoples’ freedom. And a failure on their side to properly communicate about what they can and cannot do with each other, is no invitation for you make judgement calls on their behaviour.

    If that doesn’t sink in, I give up.

  78. says

    “Radfem extremists” = people who don’t like to get raped, and don’t like people who rape.

    I’ll be proud to stand up and be counted as a radfem extremist. Thanks.

  79. Jacob Schmidt says

    WRONG. And I’m getting really angry by now.

    You poor dear.

    Why do you think I had added “READ AGAIN, IF NECESSARY” part to the “good faith” part ? WHY ?

    Because you think false assumptions can be justified in some contexts. I don’t care if you honestly thought “let’s party” means “let’s have sex” (hell, those Staubenville kids seemed to think so); you don’t get to perscribe your standards to another.

    Because it’s fucking obvious that consent, whatever form it may take, cannot just be assumed out of NOTHING.

    Is talking dirty consent to sex? Not always, though it’s often assumed to be. Is drinking consent to sex? Not usually, though it’s often assumed to be. Is flirting consent to sex? Not always. though it’s often assumed to be. How about inviting a someone into your house? Inviting someone into your room? Letting someone walk you or drive you home late at night? All things that indidcate, to some, consent for sex. All are scenarios that have lead to rapes.

    I never said you think consent could be assumed out of nothing. You did, however, write that consent can be assumed in scenarios known to be unreliable indicators of consent.

    But if it is assumed, even if falsely assumed, based on an interpretation of WHATEVER TYPE of consent the involved parties HAD before, then it’s not a public matter of moral or legal reproval.

    Unless, of course, consent is no longer there, in which you are victimizing someone based on your own false assumptions. Further, morals are not only a public matter, but also apply to personal interactions. Why you think otherwise, I have no idea. I also have some serious opinions on murder betwen couples; theft between couples, kidnapping between couples; physical abuse between couples; etc.

    If you said “Yes, that is rape” to either one of the 3 given hypotheticals, you are transgressing the boundaries of peoples’ freedom.

    You’ll notice I didn’t (then again, your strawmanning skills are weak); hell, I even pointed out ways to attain consent that you seemed to be ignoring and applied to the scenario. In all of your scenarios, consent had been given either explicitly, through participation, or through years long running mutual agreements. No assumptions were made; they don’t even kind of apply. It’s rather trivial to state that consent exists when consent exists.

    And a failure on their side to properly communicate about what they can and cannot do with each other, is no invitation for you make judgement calls on their behaviour.

    The problem is not lack of communication; the problem is acting upon a lack of communication.

    And yes, I have every right to judge negligence towards ones partner which leads to victimization as immoral, as much as I have the right to judge ANY sort of victimization based in negligence as immoral, with or without invitation. I don’t need an invitation to say that hurting others because you couldn’t be bothered to make sure you weren’t is wrong.

  80. PatrickG says

    But if it is assumed, even if falsely assumed, based on an interpretation of WHATEVER TYPE of consent the involved parties HAD before, then it’s not a public matter of moral or legal reproval.

    I’m going to be charitable and assume you can’t possibly mean this. By this formulation, this directly excuses an abusive ex-partner who doesn’t accept a breakup (“he/she was just angry! they didn’t mean it! we can make up!”) and coerces sex.

    We’ve met all your conditions:
    – assumption of consent, even if false
    – interpretation of WHATEVER TYPE of consent
    – involved parties HAD established consent in the past

    Your construct here does not allow for any number of scenarios:
    – the person involved submits to coercion by direct threat of physical violence
    – the person involved submits to coercion via emotional abuse
    – the person involved submits to coercion in the absence of direct threat, but based on history of abusive behavior (i.e. fear of escalation)

    There are all sorts of scenarios in which people might submit (not consent) to sex; those are just three off the top of your head. You claim, by your construct above, that these situations are therefore not rape because of the (false) assumption of consent based on conditions not relevant to the sexual encounter at hand.

    Now, I don’t actually think you really mean this. You’re getting angry flailing around at the radfems (lol) and you just put together a really horrible construct, right?

    Because otherwise, yes, I do think these scenarios merit moral and legal approval. And if you sincerely don’t get that, I kindly invite you to fuck off.

  81. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Captain Obvious to the rescue.

    (Q) What do all your examples have in common ?
    (A) Either consent was never given in the first place (in any shape or form), or it was revoked with the knowledge of the other person.

    In other words:
    Assuming consent would be based on -nothing-.
    And that is what I explicitly excluded from my conclusions.

    But your examples are actually worse than that.
    Not only was consent never given, but coercion was deliberately used in order to -replace- consent.

    Only valid conclusion:
    The perpetrator never even assumed consent. And in that case, it is without doubt, a crime.

  82. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Sorry, forgot this:

    @ Jacob Schmidt

    your strawmanning skills are weak

    Because I have no such intentions.

    No assumptions were made

    Flatout wrong.

    – In scenario A, the woman signaling consent although it was absent when intercourse started.
    – In scenario B, both parties were utterly drunk and unable to consent when intercourse started.
    – In scenario C, the wife in the bed was unable to consent to anything, because she was asleep.

    In each of my scenarios, consent was not given when intercourse took place, but only assumed.
    I won’t repeat why I think that these scenarios show, that the assumption of consent is more important than the actual presence or absence of it – it can all be re-read above.

  83. Jacob Schmidt says

    Assuming consent would be based on -nothing-.

    vs.

    “he/she was just angry! they didn’t mean it! we can make up!”

    Well no. It’d be based off delusional thinking. But still not nothing, thereby meeting your ridiculous standard.

    Not only was consent never given, but coercion was deliberately used in order to -replace- consent.

    Said delusions are about as strong as yours when you think that assuming consent and coercion are mutually exclusive. Indeed, I’ve witnessed the effects of assuming consent and using coercion simultaneously. It was assumed that she was really OK with it (after all, that’s how they usually did it; except she changed her mind), so abusing her into sex was justified. Fuck, assuming consent and coercion were the legal norm for centuries; any wife was assumed to consent to any and all sex her husband forced from her. Her marriage was assumed to count as consent.

    Really, you’re just being ridiculous now (well, more so). You don’t get to assume consent. Get actual, communicated consent. It’s not that hard. Sure, it might mean not having sex once in a while, but I’m sure you can handle that.

  84. Jacob Schmidt says

    - In scenario A, the woman signaling consent although it was absent when intercourse started.
    – In scenario B, both parties were utterly drunk and unable to consent when intercourse started.
    – In scenario C, the wife in the bed was unable to consent to anything, because she was asleep.

    Liar.

    A: “Man A asks woman B if she wants to have Sex. B says yes”

    That’s rather explicit.

    B: “Man A and woman B are looking forward to having sex.”

    Enthusiastic participation.

    C: If you mean that he just hops on her without even waking her up first, then you’re on thin ground. Maybe he’s right and she’s ok with it. Maybe she’s not, and he’s seriously hurts her for making that bad assumption. Again, his assumption, his action, his responsibility. Who else is responsible for harming her? The rape fairy?

    I won’t repeat why I think that these scenarios show, that the assumption of consent is more important than the actual presence or absence of it…

    You’ve actually failed to demonstrate this. All you’ve demonstrated is that you might be right in making an assummption(you haven’t even shown that; your scenario’s involve consent); that doesn’t absolve responsibility for victimizing someone when you’re wrong.

  85. Nepenthe says

    - In scenario C, the wife in the bed was unable to consent to anything, because she was asleep.

    And obviously then it’s okay for the husband to have sex with his wife, after all, she did marry him. That’s basically a blanket, indefinite consent for sexual activity. And what are wives for after all!

    *vomits*

    Please do realize that you are speaking in a forum containing victims of relationship abuse who have experienced your 3 scenarios.

    You’re angry because you’re getting some pushback on the idea that “she wanted it” is an automatic get-out-of-rape free card? I’m angry because you’re telling me that the man who raped me was totally in the right because he thought I consented (I mean, I did live with him and all).

  86. ... says

    What isn’t? This is up there with the infamous backward-B – except in that case we at least had a named accuser and pictorial, and hilarious, evidence.

  87. ... says

    Come on, get serious. I could tell you, but there’s no reason for you to believe me, is there?

  88. tiberiusbeauregard says

    @ Nepenthe

    If you insist on ignoring 1 out of a 2 sentence hypothetical, you won’t be a part of the conversation.

    @ Jacob Schmidt

    May I remind you that YOU were the one who argued that it only matters if consent was ACTUALLY existent in the mind of the alleged victim ? And that I’m the one arguing otherwise ?

    That’s rather explicit.

    Wrong, nonetheless. I agree that it DOES matter why the person thought consent was given, but that’s not in compliance with your general assumptions that it only matters what is in the other person’s head when intercourse takes place.

    Enthusiastic participation.

    Same story. In my world it does matter but in your view, it can’t. At the point when intercourse takes place, none of the involved persons is able to consent (aka to uphold it) because they’re both in a state of severe cognitive failure.

    Again, his assumption, his action, his responsibility. Who else is responsible for harming her?

    If that’s how they mutually done it countless times before, then the wife in the bed is infact responsible for his assumptions as well. They both created the basis for the assumption that it is ok in the future, because the same procedure was always ok in the past.

    you think that assuming consent and coercion are mutually exclusive

    Because they are.

    Coercion is not persuasion. Coercion means that you make someone endure (whatever it is you intend), because you know that the person doesn’t consent and would otherwise prevent you from proceeding. The sole purpose of coercion is to replace consent when trying to achieve a certain goal.

    It was assumed that she was really OK with it (after all, that’s how they usually did it; except she changed her mind), so abusing her into sex was justified

    It’s not about justification, it’s about exculpation. It’s not the objective, but the subjective side of the matter that abolishes moral reproval.

    And that’s it. I quit.

  89. Jacob Schmidt says

    May I remind you that YOU were the one who argued that it only matters if consent was ACTUALLY existent in the mind of the alleged victim ?

    So as long as you assume consent, there is no victim. Gotcha.

    I had no idea it was impossible to accidently harm someone.

    …not in compliance with your general assumptions…

    In my world it does matter but in your view, it can’t.

    You’re really fucking stupid. You’d do well to stop making stupid assumptions.

    They both created the basis for the assumption that it is ok in the future, because the same procedure was always ok in the past.

    The same reasoning applies to the abusive ex scenario above, as well as many other scenarios that lead to rape.

    That it was OK before does not mean that it’s OK now. You know this since we’re discussing hypotheticals where it might not be. Since you know that it might not be OK, you have no justification for assuming it will be.

    You know what you can do? you can ask. You can communicate with your partner about scenarios where he or she won’t have to give explicite consent. You can discuss when, where, and why and these scenarios happen. You can get your partner’s input. And when you fuck up, you apologize, take responsibility, and do your best to fix it.

    I’ve done it. I have had that discussion, and many others like it. I’ve fucked up, too. I’ve caused my partner to wake up screaming in terror from a PTSD flashback. I take responsibility for that. I don’t whine endlessly about how it wasn’t my fault.

    But fuck that, eh? You want sex now. Who gives a shit what she wants.

    Because they are.

    And yet I’ve shown they aren’t, both with personal experience and centuries of legal standard. As has Nepenthe.

    It’s not about justification, it’s about exculpation.[1] It’s not the objective, but the subjective side of the matter that abolishes moral reproval.[2]

    1) This is incoherent; exculpation requires justification.

    2) No. you don’t get to decide for your partner. Ever.

    I don’t care if you thought the loaded gun had the safety on (after all, you usually leave it on); you shoot someone in negligence, it’s your fault.

    And that’s it. I quit.

    Fucking finally. Your stupidity is tedious and disgusting.

  90. imnotandrei says

    What isn’t?

    So, you’ve decided, based on this absence of evidence, that the claims are bogus?

    How…empirical of you. I would have thought that if you felt there wasn’t enough evidence, you’d go “Cannot be determined — insufficient evidence” rather than “bogus” — unless you’re using a different definition of “bogus”, which is, I suppose, possible.

    (For reference: to me, bogus contains a connotation of “wrong” as opposed to simply “incomplete”)

  91. Nepenthe says

    If you insist on ignoring 1 out of a 2 sentence hypothetical, you won’t be a part of the conversation.

    And which sentence is the one I’m ignoring, the one where the wife is in bed or the one where “this is the way they’d done it countless times before”? Why is it relevant that he’s had sex with his wife without her consent countless times before? Was only the first time my then-fiance raped me really rape, because after that him taking what he thought was his due was what he’d done “countless times before”? Or was it never rape because, having had sex with him consensually in the past, I’d automatically consented for sex at anytime in the future?

  92. ... says

    So I take it you think that the woman was indeed assaulted by the “gang of scary black men” who carved the B into her face, and also thought that Obama was born in Kenya until he released his (long form) birth certificate?

    Or maybe he’s just a space lizard…

  93. Mary V Browder says

    I don’t know Shermer nor do I know any of the women who feel (and possibly were) violated/victimized by him. But it seems Shermer’s position is that the claims are libel, and therefore protected speech. Emery, for one, always believes the answer to speech he disagrees with is more speech, and that’s what he’s doing. I do know Emery. He contacted Shermer for the first time after setting up the fund. Regarding comments that he’s a sexist or rape apologist, he was the victim of repeated familial rape as a young man. As a passive observer and full supporter of equality for everyone, Shermer does have a right to defend himself, or at least know the extent of the claims against him. I can’t imagine this Trial By Internet is really helping the women who felt violated by him any more than it’s helping the accused.

  94. imnotandrei says

    So I take it you think that the woman was indeed assaulted by the “gang of scary black men” who carved the B into her face, and also thought that Obama was born in Kenya until he released his (long form) birth certificate?

    Clearly, you misunderstood me.

    You were comparing a case in which we *know* the claim was false, to one in which we *don’t* know. You said that Myers’ source’s claim was “patently bogus” — and I asked you why.

    Drawing a comparison to another case, and then saying I believed that case, doesn’t address the question.

  95. says

    I think I just found another potential donor for Shermer’s SLAPP fund: Rush Limbaugh.

    The only question is, would he donate anonymously, or use the name on the Viagra bottle he was caught with coming back from DR?

  96. tomh says

    “Emery, for one, always believes the answer to speech he disagrees with is more speech,”

    Collecting money so that Shermer can sue is promoting more speech? Seems more like he’s trying to clamp down on and put an end to speech.

    “But it seems Shermer’s position is that the claims are libel,”

    If so, one wonders why he’s running around giving interviews, making conflicting statements, and generally looking confused, instead of simply filing a suit to show that it actually is libel. What’s he waiting for?

  97. says

    Mary V Browder:

    Emery, for one, always believes the answer to speech he disagrees with is more speech, and that’s what he’s doing.

    Helping to fund a libel lawsuit is the opposite of the “more speech” answer, it’s the “I’ll help use the power of the state to shut you up” answer.

  98. prodegtion says

    Well, rape jokes are OK and Atheism+ is a massive blight on the face of atheism. Did he ever deny this? And how does this cost his credibility? How does this have anything to do with the allegations made against him?

  99. prodegtion says

    And what was this rape joke supposedly made by the fundraiser, anyway? I see no evidence of any rape jokes.

  100. Jacob Schmidt says

    Well, rape jokes are OK[1] and Atheism+ is a massive blight on the face of atheism[2]. Did he ever deny this?[3] And how does this cost his credibility?[4] How does this have anything to do with the allegations made against him?[5]

    And what was this rape joke supposedly made by the fundraiser, anyway? I see no evidence of any rape jokes.[6]

    1) Nope; not when you’re laughing at victims

    2) Heh.

    3) Can you be coherent? No one accused anyone of denying any thing.

    4) Supporting rape jokes while saying you’re not a rapist engenders a bit of dissonance.

    5) Tangentially, I’ll admit.

    6) See up thread.

  101. prodegtion says

    1) Yes, even then.
    2) Not hyperbole at all; Atheism+ (and its supporters) has been immensely destructive to the atheist movement. See thunderf00t’s video series “How Feminism Poisons Atheism”.
    3) Why are people surprised that he supports the fundraiser? Since when has he ever opposed rape jokes?
    4) No, it doesn’t. Supporting rape jokes while not being a rapist is an entirely consistent position.
    5) Exactly — the person who said “his actions *since* have demonstrated that I shouldn’t trust him” is an idiot because his actions since then have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM, and should NOT make the allegations any more plausible in the eyes of a skeptic (but then, if these people were skeptical, they wouldn’t be feminists).
    6) You call that a rape joke? How does that have anything to do with rape??? This is the MO of feminists — label any remark they don’t like as “sexist” or a “rape joke” even if it isn’t — the irony being that there isn’t anything wrong with rape jokes, anyway.

  102. John Phillips, FCD says

    Actually, the only thing that has damaged the atheoskeptic movement is the refusal by too many at the top to take matters such as sexism, racism and harassment in the community seriously. Alongside this we have had the supporters of the ‘nothing to see here move along’ school attack anyone who raises those issues with even more harassment of various kind, e.g look at how RW’s simple ‘don’t do that guys’ has brought the misogynists out in droves let alone the concerted attacks on other female figures and their supporters whenever they have the temerity to raise their heads above the parapets. Such a community deserves nothing more than damage, and IMO even possibly destruction, in the hope that a better one can rise from the ashes.

  103. prodegtion says

    And once again we see how feminism poisons the mind. The fact that RW lambasted someone who did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever isn’t the problem; it’s the people who called her out on it who are the destructive ones. Right.

  104. PatrickG says

    I’d like to pause here for a moment to laugh at you.

    Poisons the mind? Massive blight? Really?

    /notes ridiculous hyperbole
    /points
    /laughs

    Sorry, that’s all I have time for, but you were just too funny not to respond to. I’ll check in later for your latest comedy efforts.

  105. John Phillips, FCD says

    And how is calmly saying, ‘don’t do that guys’ in a short excerpt from a much longer video about other things lambasting anyone. Is it any wonder that nothing your side says can be taken seriously any more and why many of use believe that division is good. You can sit in your corner lamenting about how the mean feminists wouldn’t let you concentrate on bigfoot and the like while we will get on and form our own community where people of all colours and gender can feel safe and not have to worry about harassment, sexual or otherwise. Have fun.

  106. prodegtion says

    How is it NOT lambasting the guy in the elevator? Geez.

    This is what feminism does to you. No wonder scientists overwhelming reject feminism.

  107. prodegtion says

    But the radfems do NOT merely “criticize” people for their public stances — they LIE about them! That’s what PZ did to Shermer in the first place!

  108. prodegtion says

    Are you completely unaware that have legal funds set up for rape victims to sue their rapists???

    And if you KNEW that, do you REALLY think you would say “This is part of why people are questioning Shermer’s good faith.”

    You have been blinded by your feminism. And the blatant hypocrisy is why no one takes feminists seriously anymore.

  109. prodegtion says

    Except he isn’t one.

    Just think about that for a second, because you might find the concept hard to understand: As a matter of OBJECTIVE FACT, he is NOT a rapist.

    You do realize reality is objective, not subjective right. Michael Shermer is NOT a rapist. That is an OBJECTIVE FACT.

    So when you say “I actually firmly believe he is a rapist,” YOU ARE WRONG. You believe something which is FALSE.

    Why do I always have to explain how this works… to the religious AND to the feminists.

    And as I pointed out below, how is his support for this legal fund in any way evidence that he is a rapist? The fact that he supports rape jokes and opposes Atheism+ is not evidence of rape. You don’t get how the scientific method works, do you?

  110. prodegtion says

    Suing people to stop them damaging your reputation won’t help your reputation???

    And what he did was NOT rape. You are aware “rape” means sex without consent, right? It’s not just a word describing any act by a nonfeminist.

  111. prodegtion says

    Wow. That must be the stupidest comment yet.

    “potential” serial rapist. Of course, ANYONE is a serial rapist if you put the word “potential” before it.

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SHERMER COMMITTED RAPE. IF THERE IS NO EVIDENCE, THE SKEPTICAL POSITION IS TO ASSUME IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

  112. hjhornbeck says

    No wonder scientists overwhelming reject feminism.

    Really? Then how did this get cited 1,993 times, according to Google Scholar?

    “In this collection, Sandra Harding offers a broad spectrum of feminist research… an incisive introduction… With this collection, Harding offers an outline of possibilities to students and practicing social scientists whose questions lie outside the dominant traditions of inquiry… ” —Harvard Educational Review

    “The quality of the essays, plus that of the introduction and collection, commend this book to both the reader who would explore these issues and she/he who would know more.” —Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

    In this collection, Sandra Harding interrogates some of the classic essays from the last fifteen years of feminist social science literature in order to explore the basic and troubling questions about science and social experience, gender, and politics which they raise. A valuable introduction to crucial methodological and epistemological issues.

    Harding, Sandra G., ed. Feminism and methodology: Social science issues. Indiana University Press, 1987

  113. hjhornbeck says

    And how did this receive 3,692?

    Examining the full range of feminist research methods, Shulamit Reinharz explores the relationship between feminism and methodology, challenges existing stereotypes, and explains the historic origins of current controversies. Concluding that there is no “politically correct” feminist method, but rather a variety of perspectives, Reinharz argues that this diversity has been integral to the accomplishments of international feminist scholarship. She offers a unique chapter-by-chapter analysis of important research methods, a concluding chapter integrating ongoing debate and major points of view, and an encyclopedic bibliography. “Feminist Methods in Social Research” is an essential resource for students and scholars in the social sciences and women’s studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

    Reinharz, Shulamit, and Lynn Davidman. Feminist methods in social research. Oxford University Press, 1992.

  114. John Phillips, FCD says

    I suggest you look up the meaning of lambasting before you make an even bigger fool of yourself than you already have.

  115. imnotandrei says

    You do realize reality is objective, not subjective right. Michael Shermer is NOT a rapist. That is an OBJECTIVE FACT.

    And your evidence for this is?

    Because even absence of evidence for the assertion “Michael Shermer is a rapist” — a point abotu which you and I disagree — is not evidence for the statement “Michael Shermer is not a rapist.”

    So, claiming the above as “objective fact”, even if you do it in all-caps, is fallacious.

  116. imnotandrei says

    And how do you know that Myers is lying? Where is your evidence?

    Or are you only “skeptical” when it suits you?

  117. says

    Reality is objective, but many facts are unknown. Michael Shermer is either a rapist or not a rapist and it’s not a matter of opinion, but it doesn’t follow that if you can’t prove he isn’t, then he is.

  118. imnotandrei says

    What I said in my video, exactly, was, “Guys, don’t do that,” with a bit of a laugh and a shrug. — Rebecca Watson.

    Wow. If that’s “lambasting”, I must have violated the Geneva Conventions and several non-proliferation treaties several times a week for most of my life.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have officially discovered the Thinnest-Skinned Individual In History, if those words qualify as a “lambasting”.

    Poor prodegtion: clearly having never run across the following quote, or at least not taken it to heart:

    “”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt” — Abraham Lincoln

  119. dean says

    Over the last three years I have noticed that new students at our university have slightly better backgrounds in mathematics and statistics (my disciplines), but abilities in writing, critical thinking, and reading comprehension are down from levels about a decade ago.
    tiberiusbeauregard, prodegtion, and others with similar comments demonstrate to me that critical thinking and reading comprehension are lacking in many locations.

  120. tomh says

    prodegtion wrote:

    Atheism+ (and its supporters) has been immensely destructive to the atheist movement.

    Wow, doubling down on the hyperbole. Next you’ll be telling me that thunderfoot is a reliable source of information. I’m beginning to think you’re not as objective as you claim to be.

  121. PatrickG says

    @ tomh:

    Next you’ll be telling me that thunderfoot is a reliable source of information

    Oh, he already did. See comment 24 (“See thunderf00t’s video series “How Feminism Poisons Atheism”).

    The fail, it burns with this one. But I have to admit it’s somewhat amusing watching someone flail around this badly.

  122. prodegtion says

    I find it disturbing and ironic that feminists constantly bitch about “rape culture”, yet they are very flippant to accuse people of rape. They apparently don’t appreciate the seriousness of that accusation. Or is rape not a serious crime anymore?

    I, for one, do believe rape is a serious crime… which is why I DON’T GO AROUND FLIPPANTLY ACCUSING PEOPLE OF RAPE. I would make absolutely sure there was evidence, something you and all feminists apparently don’t care about.

  123. prodegtion says

    Why do people keep saying that? How is his endorsement for this legal fund IN ANY WAY evidence for the accusations against him? How does it “cost his credibility”.

    You apparently know fuck all about evidence or the scientific method. But then, you wouldn’t be a feminist if you did.

  124. prodegtion says

    Oh yeah, we all know he tried to cover his ass with his someone told me that… crap. A false accusation is a false accusation. Either he’s lying, or he’s incredibly stupid (not to mention highly dogmatic). Oh wait, he is incredibly stupid and highly dogmatic. Good point.

  125. Nepenthe says

    What constitutes, in your mind*, evidence of rape?

    I suggest, before answering, that you go read the comments in this post.

    *I use the term loosely here.

  126. tomh says

    @ progedion

    I’m curious. Is there any evidence you would accept that would indicate to you that the allegations might possibly be credible? You obviously reject testimony from the victim, so what would it take for you to accept the possibility? Anything? Maybe you could just name one or two things.

  127. hjhornbeck says

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SHERMER COMMITTED RAPE.

    You don’t think a woman’s testimony counts as evidence? How about a man’s, then?

    I am fairly certain that Michael Shermer had nonconsensual sex with me. I don’t really wish to elaborate on the details (I am already feeling pretty sick writing this, and yet again, the evidence wouldn’t be enough), but I can confirm it involved the tactics already stated. [...]

    Also, this is a bona-fide public accusation, for all of those keeping track of these things and may think it is some sort of conspiracy.

  128. hjhornbeck says

    And what he did was NOT rape. You are aware “rape” means sex without consent, right?

    Did you read what any of the accusations said?

    I am fairly certain that Michael Shermer had nonconsensual sex with me.

    At a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.

  129. hjhornbeck says

    See thunderf00t’s video series “How Feminism Poisons Atheism”.

    I watched it, and a mere 45 seconds in I spotted an outright lie. Thunderf00t claims these allegations were third-hand and anonymous, but as the original post clearly states:

    It’s a direct report of unethical behavior by a big name in the skeptical community (yeah, like that hasn’t been happening a lot lately), and it’s straight from the victim’s mouth. [...]

    all I can say is that the author is known to me, and she has also been vouched for by one other person I trust.

    If feminism really was a blight, then why does Thunderf00t have to rely on lies in order to make his case? And if Thunderf00t is lying to you about something trivially easy to check up on, how do you know he isn’t lying about less obvious things?

  130. hjhornbeck says

    This is the MO of feminists — label any remark they don’t like as “sexist” or a “rape joke” even if it isn’t — the irony being that there isn’t anything wrong with rape jokes, anyway.

    What constitutes a rape joke? While I have my own opinions, you point out I have a fuzzy feminist brain and can’t be trusted to think properly, so I’ve decided to give you the floor here.

  131. Stephanie N. says

    A false accusation is a false accusation

    Again, since you seem to have lost the ability to read — how do you know it’s false? You claim there’s no evidence that’s been presented for it — that doesn’t make it *false*.

    Again, you appear to be skeptical only when it suits you.

  132. hjhornbeck says

    Giving someone wine is not coercion.

    Not according to this scientific study:

    Two studies examined the effects of alcohol and relationship type on women’s sexual assault risk perception. Study 1 participants (N = 62) consumed a moderate alcohol dose or nonalcoholic beverage, then rated their awareness of and discomfort with sexual assault risk cues in a hypothetical encounter with a new or established dating partner. Study 2 (N = 351) compared control, placebo, low, and high alcohol dose conditions using a similar scenario. Intoxicated women reported decreased awareness of and discomfort with risk cues. An established relationship decreased discomfort ratings. Findings indicate that alcohol may increase women’s sexual victimization likelihood through reduced sexual assault risk perception.

    Davis, Kelly Cue, et al. “Women’s Awareness of and Discomfort With Sexual Assault Cues Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Relationship Type.” Violence against women 15.9 (2009): 1106-1125.

    The original accusation was that he coerced her into a position where she could not consent (apparently meaning with alcohol).

    You’re missing a key detail. Emphasis mine:

    At a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.

    The mention of a lack of consent referred to the sexual assault, not the alcohol.

  133. prodegtion says

    Testimony is completely inadmissible in the court of science.

    So the fact that she claims to be “fairly certain” that Michael Shermer had nonconsensual sex with her is irrelevant.

  134. prodegtion says

    Scientific evidence. DNA, video or audio footage, etc… you know, things that couldn’t be the case unless it happened.

  135. prodegtion says

    Or to put it another way, anything which has a track record of correctly identifying rapists.

  136. Nepenthe says

    Well prodegtion, thank you for your contributions. I’ve been compiling a helpful handy guide from advice given by skeptics. The guide so far:

    TW like whoa.

    The Concerned Skeptic’s Guide to Rape (by Rape Apologists, for Rapists)

    1. Use alcohol to subdue your victim. Even staunch rape apologists tend to look askance on the use of drugs like rohypnol. But as long as you’re not administering it via gastronasal tube, your victim will be considered at fault if they are incapacitated by alcohol.

    2. Use manipulation techniques to get your victim to drink more. It’s their fault for not figuring out that you’re overpouring/masking the taste/using a perpetually full glass to obscure how much they’re consuming.

    3. (From A Bridge) Make sure to have something to drink.* Your supporters will claim that despite your active role in creating the situation in which your victim is vulnerable and then raping your victim you’re not responsible for your actions.

    4. Being raped is as much of a positive action as raping. Therefore the victim must take responsibility for getting drunk with you/being disabled around you/not watching their drink well enough to keep you from putting something in it/trusting you for a ride home, etc.

    5. (From Cold) Be in a position to threaten your victim, whether professionally, personally, emotionally, or physically. The more subtle the threat, the better. If you can step back and let other people do the threatening, that’s even better. If they respond to the threat, that means that the rape wasn’t very serious.

    And now your contribution:
    6. Wear a condom! DNA could be used as evidence against you. Wrap it up and have fun!

    7. Take only memories! I know it’s tempting to photograph and videotape your fun times, but remember DNA and video evidence are the only pieces of evidence that are valid. If you wear a condom and don’t take pictures, you can rape as much as you like.

    To be continued.

  137. Stephanie N. says

    Testimony is completely inadmissible in the court of science.

    OK, I’ll chip in $0.10 for the bridge fund for this one.

  138. prodegtion says

    Did the alleged victim herself publish these accusations? No, PZ Myers did. And what’s the name of the victim? Don’t know? Exactly. They are third hand and they are anonymous.

  139. says

    That makes them second-hand, not third. Unnamed sources and anonymous ones are not generally considered the same thing. If anonymous, PZ wouldn’t know who she was, either.

  140. John Phillips, FCD says

    Depends on whether I am prosecuting a possible rapist in court or whether I simply want to warn women based on the word of someone I have no reason not to trust and who is also vouched for by another I trust. Which of those two categories do you think PZ’s post about Shermer falls into?

  141. prodegtion says

    Wrong answer. It doesn’t matter whether you a prosecuting a rapist or just want to warn women. Either a rape happened, or it didn’t. Truth is the only thing that matters. The standard of evidence is exactly the same. Evidence is evidence, and the fact remains that there is NO evidence that Shermer committed rape.

  142. brive1987 says

    Using the law to defend himself from a specific accusation. How novel. A warning would be ” there are highly placed male skeptics who ……… Beware and be mindful”. An accusation is ” Michael Shermer is a serial rapist. See the difference?

  143. John Phillips, FCD says

    Actually, no it is not the same as anyone with more than one brain cell would know. After all, do you really need evidence beyond a reasonable doubt in making decisions about safety and the like in real life? Of course not, you use probability, knowingly or not. This is no different. However if I was prosecuting Shermer, then yes, I would need enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. However, I am not prosecuting Shermer, PZ is using knowledge given him by someone he trusts to warn women about a possible risk. I.e. the same way we make decisions about all kinds of important things. Also, if I am wrong in accepting PZ’s judgement call, worse case is that a public figure will have been embarrassed somewhat and might find it harder to get laid, boo hoo. For most such cases that I am aware of, even when public figures have been found guilty, society invariably accepts them back and many will even still defend them. Now you can jump up and down and stamp your feet and insist that the two are exactly the same, but they are not and it only makes you look foolish, something you have excelled at a number of times in this thread.

  144. prodegtion says

    First of all, cut the lawyer crap. Let’s stick to the scientific method.

    Of course you need evidence when making decisions about safety and real life. But testimony is completely inadmissible in the court of science. The fact that someone told him that Shermer is a rapist IS NOT EVIDENCE THAT SHERMER IS A RAPIST, as anyone who knows anything about evidence or the scientific method would know.

    “if I am wrong in accepting PZ’s judgement call…”
    Correction: “BECAUSE I am wrong in accepting PZ’s judgement call…”

    “…worse case is that a public figure will have been embarrassed somewhat and might find it harder to get laid”

    Which is a problem. Which you could have averted by accepting the FACT that he is NOT a rapist.

    The worst thing that could happen if PZ didn’t make these accusations is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER, BECAUSE MICHAEL SHERMER IS **NOT** A RAPIST.

    And, besides, you are accusing him of RAPE. That is a very serious accusation, and one which has much more dire implications for his reputation than “being embarrassed somewhat and finding it harder to get laid”.

  145. prodegtion says

    What you’re doing is falling into the trap I mentioned earlier. We only live in one, objective, reality. MICHAEL SHERMER IS NOT A RAPIST. So don’t go blathering on about meaningless hypotheticals and what would happen in some alternative reality where he is a rapist. Let’s stick to our universe.

    It’s amazing how little feminists care about the truth. But then, they wouldn’t be feminists if they did.

  146. says

    First, the standard of evidence for social decisions is lower than for science. I’m sure you don’t demand scientific proof that your friend is drunk before you take their keys. Second, testimony is evidence is science. Where do you think most of sociology’s data comes from? It’s the same for psychology. Some things by their nature are difficult or impossible to measure with a scientific scale and some calipers and these things can still be scientifically studied.

    And you still haven’t justified your apparent assertion that Michael Shermer is by default, not a rapist and only becomes one if you can prove it without testimony. Is there a such thing as probably in your world?

  147. tomh says

    @ prodegtion

    You are hilarious with this “court of science” bullshit. You seem to think science is about certainty. Which just means that you know little about science. To keep shouting, HE’S NOT, HE’S NOT, with such certainty, shows it. People will either accept the testimony about Shermer as probably true or probably not true. Personally, on balance, I accept that it’s probably true. You don’t. So what?

  148. hjhornbeck says

    We only live in one, objective, reality. MICHAEL SHERMER IS NOT A RAPIST.

    You claim to have solid, objective proof that Shermer is innocent. Yet you have yet to produce it. Why are you holding back, when someone you know to be innocent is being dragged through the mud?

    It’s amazing how little feminists care about the truth.

    Liars are treated poorly by scientists, yet as I pointed out earlier feminist works relating to the social sciences can earn thousands of citations. How do you resolve this contradiction? Are you saying scientists do not care about the truth?

    But then, they wouldn’t be feminists if they did.

    I’ll bite. Point me to a false statement made by a feminist. Because, so far, the only one who’s been making false statements is you.

  149. John Phillips, FCD says

    Thank you for confirming my previous last sentence so convincingly as posting in caps and bold doesn’t make you right, however many times you shout it.

  150. MrFancyPants says

    My cat just threw up on the carpet, and I said “hey now, come on, don’t do that” at him. Now he’s mad at me for lambasting him.

  151. prodegtion says

    Of course you need evidence that your friend is drunk. If he exhibits the symptoms associated with drunkness, that is evidence that he is drunk.

    Sociology is a not a science; philosophy is not a science. Philosophers are not scientists. Definitely not as it’s currently practiced. And psychology, as well as neuroscience and cognitive science DOES NOT rely on testimony (at least not if it’s done well). The scientific method is the ONLY method which has been shown to WORK. The creationists and the Austrian economists don’t get to use alternative methodologies just because the scientific method doesn’t say what they want, AND NEITHER DO YOU. The fact that “some things by their nature are difficult or impossible to measure with a scientific scale” DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU CAN USE A DIFFERENT APPROACH. If the scientific method doesn’t work, then NOTHING works.

    And testimony **IS** COMPLETELY INADMISSIBLE IN THE COURT OF SCIENCE. There’s just the evidence. The rest is all bullshit.

    Ah, the “teach the controversy” argument again, as though your opinion is as valid as mine just because you say so. Even though there is zero evidence whatsoever that Shermer is rapist. Sorry, until you can support your claim with evidence, it is WRONG. And for as long as you refuse to provide evidence that Shermer is a rapist, I will have no shame in saying it’s WRONG WRONG WRONG. Just like I have no shame in saying God doesn’t exist. The burden of proof IS ON **YOU**.

    And how about PZ Myers who lied over and over again about thunderf00t while he was on freethoughtblogs? Watch thunderf00t’s video “PZ Myers and the art of shameless dishonesty”.

  152. says

    A better question to ask might be, what kind of Libertarian (as Shermer describes himself) invokes state power to silence speech?

    A Libertarian hypocrite.

    Or for short, a Libertarian.

  153. PatrickG says

    But don’t you know it’s ok to use existing legal apparatus to achieve utopia?

    C’mon, dude, read the latest newsletter.

    /snark

  154. PatrickG says

    I take some exception to your description of “foolish response”, given prodegtion’s record in this thread.

    Foolish notions deserve ridicule.

  155. John Phillips, FCD says

    I really admire the ones you rely on for your ‘facts’, e.g. tfoot, nothing more need be said about your credibility, or rather lack of.

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