Remembering Chaucer »« Intuitive heuristics

Comments

  1. Rodney Nelson says

    The Holy Ghost doesn’t spend all its time being gratuitously obnoxious unlike The Amazing Atheist.

  2. says

    At TAM 3 back in ’05, I made the same observation – the Q&A panel ( Randi, Jillette, Teller, Hitchens, Julia Sweeney ) had made a thing about how atheists don’t have priests and such, so I asked them: “If we don’t have popes and priests, then who are you?”.

    I had hoped for a thoughtful reply, but instead of answering, Penn said that Randi should be pope, then Hitchens suddenly changed the subject to Iraq and filibustered the rest of the Q&A time.

    (Oddly, Dawkins was there but not on the panel – he was sitting near me!)

  3. says

    Yes, seriously. Part of my “response” to Shermer’s “response” to me is about this silly quasi-pope thing. He said in his that “I have stayed out of this witch hunt against our most prominent leaders.” I pointed and laughed and said I don’t have no stinkin leaders. No I put it more tactfully than that, but not much more.

    Honestly. “Our most prominent leaders” – because we’re supposed to fawn and grovel and walk backwards out of the room. Puleeze.

  4. Rodney Nelson says

    Atheism doesn’t have leaders. We have some people who are more vocal than others, some who are more respected than others, and some who would like to be leaders but actual leaders are missing.

  5. says

    One of the things that’s been obvious about the whole “deep rifts” thing is that the angry folks have been really jealous of position and status, and are really defensive about growing skepticism out of their areas of expertise. Some of it just seems to be that they don’t want skepticism “diluted” because they’ve worked really hard at building a following and they don’t want to share the spotlight or lose any followers.

    But you know, I keep saying I didn’t vote for them, and they’re not entitled to my time, money, or attention.

  6. sailor1031 says

    I’ve been an atheist in a catholic family for about sixty years now – I don’t think I need to be led or instructed in how not to believe in doG.

  7. arthur says

    Phil Mason (who calls himself Thunderf00t) is ghastly.

    I first saw his videos 5-6 years ago. A few early ones were palatable and interesting, but when they became suddenly popular, Mason’s ego seemed to explode. Subsequent videos document the deterioration of a man hooked on online drama, tedious feuds, relentless self promotion, and plain self delusion. A childish waste of time.

    There are some great atheists and skeptics making videos on YouTube: Peter Hadfield(who calls himself Potholer54) and Edward Current spring to mind.

  8. says

    Ophelia #4:

    Yes, seriously. Part of my “response” to Shermer’s “response” to me is about this silly quasi-pope thing. He said in his that “I have stayed out of this witch hunt against our most prominent leaders.” I pointed and laughed and said I don’t have no stinkin leaders. No I put it more tactfully than that, but not much more.

    “Stayed out”? Yeah, that’s why he opened his attack on straw-liberal science denialists (not that there isn’t a massive anti-science undercurrent in the left — there is, and the fact that Shermer decided to look in all the wrong places for it made his piece all the more appalling) with a blanket dismissal of evo-psych critics. Libertarians, after all, are very well-known for their opposition to all regulations, especially those that counteract discrimination.

    Libertarians are also heavily criticised for how their policies have no basis in reality, which means Shermer benefits wonderfully from the unspoken dogma of “no applying skepticism to politics”.

  9. says

    @ Arthur:

    Phil Mason (who calls himself Thunderf00t) is ghastly.

    I first saw his videos 5-6 years ago. A few early ones were palatable and interesting, but when they became suddenly popular, Mason’s ego seemed to explode. Subsequent videos document the deterioration of a man hooked on online drama, tedious feuds, relentless self promotion, and plain self delusion. A childish waste of time.

    Wasn’t his claim to fame at some point that as a graduate student, he was able to tear apart and completely demolish the arguments of a teenage high school student? A teenager who by at least some relatively credible reports had some serious emotional/mental health problems that weren’t helped by the fact that he was being followed around and mocked by T-Footie and his fans on a daily basis?

  10. Brian E says

    I guess we can’t all be charismatic. I order you all not to follow me. Not following me will be construed as implicit consent authorizing that I am your leader, as you have followef my direct command, in a legally binding sense. Those who follow me, of course, accept me as their legally binding leader.

  11. Silentbob says

    @ 9 Setár

    “Stayed out”? Yeah, that’s why he opened his attack on straw-liberal science denialists… with a blanket dismissal of evo-psych critics.

    Wut?
    Firstly, Shermer’s comment that – “To date, I have stayed out of this witch hunt against our most prominent leaders…” – pre-dates the “attack on straw-liberal science denialists” to which you refer, so there is no contradiction there.

    But, secondly, what does that “attack” have to do with witch hunts anyway? I can only assume you’re trying to frame the “attack” as a pot-shot at Rebecca Watson? If so, I think you’re drawing a very long bow. Shermer refers to “an all-out assault against evolutionary psychology” that occurred “in the 1980s and 1990s”. (source)

  12. says

    Silentbob #12:

    If so, I think you’re drawing a very long bow. Shermer refers to “an all-out assault against evolutionary psychology” that occurred “in the 1980s and 1990s”.

    Way to cherrypick quotes in order to defend your hero, because that is all Shermer characterizes criticism of evo-psych as. To be even more specific, he characterizes the critics as ‘“cognitive creationists”’; creating a strawman where he reduces the criticisms to nothing more than a “belief in the mind as a tabula rasa shaped almost entirely by culture” which is “the mantra of liberal intellectuals”. He does not acknowledge, let alone address, the criticisms themselves; he merely waves his hand and acts as though any criticism of evo psych is part of this “all-out assault”.

    In the immortal words of Rachel Maddow, I’M NOT BUYING IT. I CALL BULLPUCKY. I think that Shermer is trying to take a passive-aggressive shot at feminist (and other) critics of evolutionary psychology, and found a wonderful platform to both do that and attack leftist critics of his reality-free libertarian political stance while appearing “neutral”.

    In addition, I think it’s way past high time that we put a nice skeptical spotlight on libertarianism, and made libertarian ‘skeptics’ like Shermer answer to the very real effects of their fantastical ideology =/

  13. says

    Also, Silentbob, Rebecca Watson is not the entirety of the pro-social justice skeptical crowd, nor is she any sort of leader or figurehead for said crowd, nor is she even close to the entirety of evo-psych criticism. Your attempt to say that I was framing it as an attack on Rebecca Watson (thus insinuating that I am simply attempting to defend her) is a ‘tell’ — it indicates your pre-existing biases. I suggest that you at the very least broaden your scope and recognize the existence of other, better-qualified critics of evo psych, such as that aforementioned Meyers guy, if you wish to be seen as acting in good faith rather than rushing to defend your hero.

    (busy work + slow brain = double posts all over the place, whoopee!)

  14. Brian E says

    Given the large round of indifference (thank you, you’re most kind, no really, thank you) or obedience in that nobody followed me. Obeying my order and thus committing in a legally binding sense to proclaiming me leader. Thus, I inaugurate the reign of Brian I, Atheist Pope and Leader (trademark pending).
    All hail me! (or don’t, I’m happy with the title and silent esteem of my non-believing underlings).

  15. Brian E says

    sailor1031, given you’re admirable, and lickspittling praise, I dub thee Cardinal Sailor1031.
    I now await Michael Shermer to defend us, leaders of the atheists, against the Feminazi ravel who’d rob us of our wenching, and other atheist traits of masculinity such as nonchalantly using the word cunt in an ironic manner, or using it without fear or favour in any locale.

  16. Brian E says

    fuck it. As atheist pope, I’m not infallible (haven’t found my cathedral chair, so no ex-cathedra here baby), and it was obviously ‘your admirable’, not the possessive. I bet feminists neutered my grammar schlong. Wouldn’t happen if I had a huge popey chair with two huge, pendulous balls….

  17. sailor1031 says

    Oh noes – not a cardinal……they’re so RED-looking!! BTW My wife says I can’t go out wenching with you tonight!

  18. Brian E says

    A wife, an enslaved wench, stops you from wenching? You’d bring the great church asunder with such emasculation. Are you man, or part of the (something, can’t remember the catchy line) chorus?
    Oh and Cardinals wear purple, but this pope isn’t fazed. Just appear masculine and nonchalant as you stomp on the uppity females.Tally ho!

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