I did not compare TAM to Nazi Germany 2


I’m tired of this, so I’m going to set the record straight, even though it’s futile. I did it once last summer, and now I’ll do it again.

I did not “compare TAM to Nazi Germany.” The harassers have been posting that version all over the place and it’s a stupid malevolent lie.

Here is what I said. Exactly what I said, not a new and improved version of what I said invented by the mildew people.

Responding to DJ Grothe’s “a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe” quoted by Rebecca,

I said:

As Jews in Germany circa 1936 might have created “a climate where Jews — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe.” As the Southern Poverty Law Center creates a climate where people who are the object of systematic vocal hatred end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe. That’s not to compare TAM with Nazi Germany or racist pockets of the US, of course, but then Rebecca didn’t name TAM in the item DJ quoted, either; she (or rather USA Today, indirectly quoting her) said “the freethought community.”

See? I compared a stupid and unpleasant thing that Grothe said to various hypothetical things that someone might have said in other situations. (Yes, the examples were too strong, and I later took them back, but that’s a different subject.)

That is NOT the same thing as making “an analogy between TAM and Nazi Germany.”

Comments

  1. carlie says

    And not a SINGLE person who has complained in this manner has also chastised any slymepitter for using the term “feminazi”. Not even Orac.

  2. NoxiousNana says

    It probably is futile. Nazi Germany and Hitler make for great comparisons though. I’m frustrated lately when people of any opinion start calling Godwins because that has become more common than making Nazi comparisons.

    In my observation, limited, I admit, when Nazi/Hitler gets mentioned it’s almost never equating the subject with N/H, but rather more akin to hypotheticals like you did. It’s the extreme nature of N/H that makes it a useful temptation to get ones point made. It’s a trap, of course.

    I haven’t been online today and don’t know the sources of this latest kerfuffle, but I’m fairly confident it’s a trap your detractors have fallen into themselves. I have.

  3. Rodney Nelson says

    The people who understand your comparison don’t accuse you of comparing TAM to Nazi Germany. The people trying to find something to hit you with will leap on the supposed comparison with glee. I understand how frustrating it is for you to have refuted the lie to have the refutation ignored and the lie repeated again and again. But this is a case where you can’t win against the people trying to drag you down.

  4. NoxiousNana says

    Gah! I can’t believe I forgot about feminazi. The sheer number of times that word has been uttered by misogynists demolishes my earlier theory of mostly benign nazi/hitler comparisons.

  5. says

    Hey! “Honesty” and “integrity” and “basic human decency” are based in ethical values, and therefore outside of the scope of skepticism. HOW DARE YOU TRY TO APPLY ETHICS TO SKEPTICS?!?!?!

  6. great1american1satan says

    Indeed Joe, we must preserve the purity of our Vulcan logic by ignoring the suffering of others. How else will people be protected from believing in Bigfoots?

  7. daniel imms says

    @ 3 – You’re making a truth claim without any evidence. You really have no idea who understands the comparison and who doesn’t, or whether those doing the accusing understand it or not. Most skeptics don’t believe in mind-reading, but you might be the one to finally provide evidence.

  8. says

    @great1american1satan:

    Can you explain to me the purpose of protecting people from belief in Bigfoot, or homeopathy, or witchcraft? Because protecting people sounds like a value, and values means ideology, and that means ILLOGICAL! DOES NOT COMPUTE!

    What’s the purpose in debunking ANYTHING? Let me hear the asshole ‘pitters give me a valid answer to that question, that doesn’t also invalidate everything they stand for.

  9. Brian E says

    Because protecting people sounds like a value, and values means ideology, and that means ILLOGICAL! DOES NOT COMPUTE!

    Reminds me of something a canny Scot said…

    Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. ‘Tis not contrary to reason for me to chuse my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of… [a] person unknown to me.’

    They’re not opposed to their own values. Just hypocritically opposed to others having different values.

  10. says

    Brian E,

    That looked poetical, and I don’t traffic in that shit. :)

    What I do object to is the claim that their position is somehow value-free and somehow more pure than what everyone else on Earth is doing. That’s bullshit, when they “reject ideologies” they are simply embracing the current dominant values because the status quo suits them. Where it doesn’t suit them, they are all up in arms to pick a side.

  11. Brian E says

    Hume comes across mellifluously. I’m agreeing with you Joe just a block quote fail in the previous post.

  12. davidmc says

    They do appear to have a nazi propaganda mentality

    “Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble.” Mein Kampf

  13. Bjarte Foshaug says

    @Carlie #1

    And not a SINGLE person who has complained in this manner has also chastised any slymepitter for using the term “feminazi”. Not even Orac.

    Or Michael Shermer for comparing criticisms made against Dawkins, Harris and himself to witch-hunts and the Holocaust.

    @NoxiousNana #2

    I’m frustrated lately when people of any opinion start calling Godwins because that has become more common than making Nazi comparisons.

    In my observation, limited, I admit, when Nazi/Hitler gets mentioned it’s almost never equating the subject with N/H, but rather more akin to hypotheticals like you did.

    Exactly. If it’s not even permissible (because “Godwin!”) to compare the logic of blaming the victims of sexual harassment to the logic of blaming the victims of Nazi antisemitism – even while explicitly stating that “That’s not to compare TAM with Nazi Germany or racist pockets of the US” – doesn’t that kind of imply that there is nothing we can learn from the worst atrocities of the 20th centuriy (because to suggest that any such lesson might be applicable to current affairs automatically makes it “godwinning” and hence invalid)?

  14. Rodney Nelson says

    Thank you, Jafafa Hots, for saying in one sentence what I struggled to put in a paragraph.

  15. Martha says

    The thing is, I haven’t seen anything that suggests that these guys can deal with subtle arguments even if they were to try to read for comprehension. A distinct uneasiness with subtlety is to be found in One-True-Wayers of all types, religious or otherwise. And I think I might include fervent libertarians in the former camp.

  16. says

    Of interest is yesterday’s episode of Irreligiosophy (2.2 Mere Christianity) from 25:36 to 38:30

    They discuss ElevatorGate through to the recent Shermite touchdown, with a refreshing perspective (their original “edgy” co-host is gone). And Chuck acknowledged that sexist “jokes” from earlier episodes provided cover to misogynists.

    Chuck – “If you don’t want women to have equal rights, get the fuck out of the movement…I’m all for deep rifts”

    Am I being too optimistic to see this as progress?

  17. says

    I listened. More allies. I don’t know anything about their past, though, so I just see more allies as opposed to a conversion or shift. They certainly don’t sound as if they’ve ever been pro-misogyny.

    The Shermer bit was especially amusing.

  18. jose says

    Must be draining to have to address these kinds of conscious, deliberate distorsions. Reminds me of the “death panels” and the “war on christianity”, dirty politics… except dirty politics are done to get folks elected, not simply out of hatred. In any case, just setting the record straight for the public to see and moving on was the best course of action. Nobody can reason with hatred.

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