A person asked him: “Do we like Matt Dilahunty?”. His response was that Matt was OK but that the biggest asshole there was PZ Myers and he was planning to “call him out” in his talk. He also stated that Greta Christina is a “fucking asshole” too as she’s involved with Atheism +.
Well. That’s blunt. We know where we are with that.
So I just listened to a few minutes near the end again, where he talks about unity and how to get unity, in order to transcribe it.
…and I’ll tell you something else about the people inhabiting the space that comprises skeptics and atheists – the very people in the skeptic community who have been accused by some of not welcoming atheists are not only hardcore atheists themselves but are public figures who are routinely in the habit of publicly declaring our atheism, including James Randi, DJ Grothe, Daniel Loxton, Barbara Drescher, Steve Novella, countless more thought-leaders in the skeptic movement AND ME – [very loudly and pugnaciously] READ MY LIPS THERE IS NO FUCKING GOD. But that is my PERSONAL BELIEF, it is not my public cause. My cause is scientific skepticism.
He says the skeptical movement doesn’t need redefining, thanks. It’s fine to have differences and to develop, but.
The fact that the movement is fighting over those differences, however, is not a good thing. Let’s not be arguing as combatants, let’s be discussing as allies, and let’s be presenting a unified front, based on all the things about which we agree so strongly.
That way people of all kinds of different politics can work together – anarchists, libertarians, conservatives, liberals.
If scientific-based skepticism is neutral about non-scientific moral values then the community can embrace people who hold a wide range of perspectives on values issues. On the environment, nuclear power, same sex marriage [etc – long list]. The more you broaden the mission statement, the more you isolate people and chase people away.
That’s where he goes wrong. If scientific-based skepticism is neutral about non-scientific moral values then the community can embrace people who hold a wide range of perspectives on values issues.
Really? Really? Is it really that simple?
No it’s not. He chose carefully. He left out the part where the wheels come off.
Suppose it’s anarchists, libertarians, conservatives, liberals, racists, gay-bashers, MRAs, anti-Semites, xenophobes.
You see where I’m going with this? No, it’s not true that neutrality on values issues guarantees unity, because the community cannot and does not “embrace people” who are objects of hatred and contempt to part of said community. If “the community” has a large proportion of people who freely express contempt for women, then that community cannot embrace women; cannot and does not.
Neutrality on non-scientific moral values just is not some kind of magic that ensures that everyone will get along well enough to work together. There are some moral values, however non-scientific, that make a necessary baseline for working together.