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Aug 14 2013

The gospels are anonymous, geddit?

Behold: an asshole.

Start at 5:15.

104 comments

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  1. 1
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Wait… I thought he was one of the good ones? /sighs, shakes head, walks off deflated

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    And if you’re in school (or a town hall, or congress) and someone asks you to pray, just don’t do it. That’s how atheists with backbones and personal responsibility handle such things.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    No. He’s not.

  4. 4
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Never watching one of his videos again.

  5. 5
    Amphigorey

    Can someone provide a summary? I’d rather not watch the whole video.

  6. 6
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    What the… Oh, just fuck it. Apart from watching some videos, I don’t know the guy, so I can’t say I’m surprised that he’s an asshole, but I am kinda surprised he’s an asshole enough to go this far.

  7. 7
    Inaji

    *sigh* Not helping. Not helping at all.

    I am so weary…

  8. 8
    Inaji

    Amphigorey:

    Can someone provide a summary? I’d rather not watch the whole video.

    The ‘Mr. Deity’ part was fine, it was the afterword that is, um, problematic.* He goes on at some length that stating anything anonymously should never, ever be accepted, especially by all those wonderful, genius skeptic types.

    *Understatement, for the nuance-impaired.

  9. 9
    tonyinbatavia

    Damn. That really bums me out, especially considering he’s a friend of Carrie Poppy’s. That was pure “I simply don’t get it.”

  10. 10
    Jean

    Behold: an asshole.

    Wow, that’s an understatement.

  11. 11
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    The most offensive part was when he mansplained to women how to take responsibility for their drinking. It was unfuckingbelievable. Vile bullshit. I watched that while I ate and now I’m going to be ill.

  12. 12
    tonyinbatavia

    I mean, if I wanted to be preached at by someone who apparently doesn’t care about women, I would still be going to church.

  13. 13
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    That was pure “I simply don’t get it.”

    Worse. It was a pure, disgusting case of the whole shithead creed “bros before hos” spouted by a so-called skeptic.

  14. 14
    Louis

    Unhappy about this does not even cover it for me. What a rape apologising, manspalining fucker. I know he’s working with Shermer, so I was half expecting this, but, eurgh, I expected him to be one of the good guys.

    Louis

  15. 15
    Inaji

    G Pierce:

    The most offensive part was when he mansplained to women how to take responsibility for their drinking. It was unfuckingbelievable.

    Unfortunately, not unfuckingbelievable. The amount of flaming doucheweasels I’ve argued with over the last 6 days about women and alcohol, oy…

    It’s an incredibly ingrained part of our culture, that women who drink are fair game, and hey, women, if you don’t want bad things to happen, then you need to *insert 8 gazillion stupid things here* and take responsibility! After all, the poor men just can’t control themselves,* so they shouldn’t have to take responsibility!

    *obligatory spittiness at anyone who advances that nonsense, too. I’d be furious if I was a man and anyone implied I lacked the ability to control myself.

  16. 16
    Sunday Afternoon

    Wow, that was… an asshole, you were correct in your introduction.

  17. 17
    MyaR

    Yeah, not his first complete fail. The last Mr Deity I watched was, I believe, shortly after Elevatorgate started. I didn’t watch this one, either, and now know that was a wise decision.

  18. 18
    supernorbert

    I’ve kind of feared that he would do something like that because he made some videos with shermer lately and maybe he even gets money for these from him…

    beyond that and all the evil mansplaning he got it all wrong: The problem with the gospels is not that we don’t know the authors rather then they are bullshit.

  19. 19
    NelC

    I was in two minds about whether he was playing the asshole, rather than being one, but if so he flubbed it. As it is, I’m wondering if he’s read about the Shermer thing and gotten it wrong, since — all together now — the claim wasn’t anonymous to PZ, so the whole thing talking about anonymous claims just misses the target completely, which he would have known if he’d gone to the source rather than reading accounts distorted by MRA fellow travellers. PZ isn’t anonymous, and Jane Doe isn’t anonymous to PZ, and neither is the claim terribly extraordinary.

  20. 20
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Exactly. We don’t know exactly who wrote the gospels, but we’re pretty damned sure that they wrote them several decades after the supposed events. THIS? First-hand fucking information from people who may be anonymous to me, but aren’t to those I trust.

  21. 21
    seraphymcrash

    For those people who don’t want to stomache the video:

    Mr. Deity (Brian Dalton) – starts by saying he is asked all the time why he doens’t believe the gospels. It’s because they are anonymous accounts, and good skeptics don’t ever believe any anonymous accounts off hand, especially when talking about something truly awful.

    One of the awful things that Jesus is accused of is turning water into wine, and everyone knows thats just a dirty tactic to get women drunk.

    (Someone offers Brian a Refill, and he refuses).

    Brian then explains that it’s just that easy to say no, and that we should have some personal responsibility.

    He then goes on to explain that there is too much time between the gospels for us to verify their authenticity, and that we have no way to confront the accusers.

    Gah, I feel dirty just typing a summary of this filth up…

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    $50 says BKD’s response to a comment like:

    I love your Mr. Deity videos, though I have to watch them at the school library. I live in a very religious family, and I have no one to talk about my doubts. Thank you for giving me hope.

    …would be anything but dismissive.

  23. 23
    Anthony K

    My made-up comment in the blockquotes above was supposed to be signed by anonymous, but the HTML fucked up. I blame Jesus.

  24. 24
    seraphymcrash

    And to think, I thought we didn’t believe the gospels due to the fact that the gospels contradicted each other, were written a life time after their supposed events, and reference supposed historical events which are not recorded, such as a Roman census. I guess it’s cuz we don’t know the authors name… Wow, no wonder the christian apologists think we are full of shit.

    Also, someone commented a few days ago, and it bears repeating, being drunk doesn’t make someone less raped than a sober person.

  25. 25
    deepak shetty

    so evidently the reason to disbelieve the gospels are because they are anonymous? Heck i can put Mr Deity in touch with many Indians who have witnessed miracles from various holy men. And ofcourse the RCC has eyewitness proof for all the miracles provided by saints.

    But heck put Mr Deity right up there with Ray Comfort – Till we see a species evolve into another with our own eyes , it doesn’t happen!

  26. 26
    Inaji

    Anthony K:

    …would be anything but dismissive.

    There aren’t many sure things in life, however, I’d be willing to bet on Mr. D’s falling and fawning all over an anonymous post like that, as a sure thing.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    supernorbert

    I’d be willing to bet on Mr. D’s falling and fawning all over an anonymous post like that, as a sure thing.

    I don’t think so, he will be the new hero of the manosphere/slimepit

  29. 29
    deepak shetty

    Brian then explains that it’s just that easy to say no, and that we should have some personal responsibility.
    Exactly. The problem in cases like the Steuben-ville rape case is that the victim did not show any personal responsibility. I guess Mr Deity is auditioning for a spot on Faux news.

  30. 30
    Inaji

    Supernorbert, I think you may have misunderstood me. Anthony K was riffing on BD’s “never, ever accept anything which is anonymous” crap, and I was agreeing with him, that if anonymous praise was sent BD’s way, he wouldn’t have any problem accepting it, in spite of it being anonymous.

    That said, I have no doubt he will be hoisted on the internet shoulders of flaming doucheweasels everywhere.

  31. 31
    gregorylynn

    That was surreal.

    I kept waiting for it to not be what it was sounding like and it never happened.

  32. 32
    supernorbert

    Caine, you’re right I’ve missed the quote

  33. 33
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Since when does YouTube make you have to create a channel to comment on the video?

  34. 34
    supernorbert

    I’ve just remembered that one
    Mr. Deity and the woman

  35. 35
    Walton

    Ugh. “Mr Deity” is a complete asshat.

  36. 36
    oolon

    Don’t think I ever managed to watch one of his videos all the way through as he always came across as a smug wanker. The “backbone” and “not able to take personal responsibility” bit was the worst, I defy anyone to watch that and not wish a Monty Python like foot squashes him at that point. Or something.

    Almost coming out and saying in the open that if you get drunk and my even smugger wankier skeptic pal takes advantage of you, then its your fault.

  37. 37
    LeftSidePositive

    Yeah, was gonna link to “Mr. Deity and the Woman,” but supernorbert beat me to it. That video made me stop watching Mr. Deity altogether. I don’t care if you claim to be “ironically” sexist (and never mind all the “it’s just a joke!” comments on that vid), something like that just plain isn’t funny, and isn’t the sort of material one would create if one didn’t have some major problems with women. (And, no, Lucy filling the Exceptional Woman role, herself a Long-Suffering Wife trope, does not make this lazy stereotype-for-laughs okay!).

    Mr. Deity for me is in the category of “If he’s ever right about anything, someone else will say it better, so why waste time on him?!”

  38. 38
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Elyse’s take on it:
    http://skepchick.org/2013/08/if-you-dont-like-rape-dont-get-raped-duh/

    The first comment there, by Surly Amy, is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time:

    In the wise words of my grandfather, “You can go shit in your hat.”

  39. 39
    Eneraldo Carneiro

    I’ve just realized… Am I wrong or this kind of…”argument”: take care of yourself, personal responsability, etc., doesn’t it just support the Schrödinger Rapist approach?

  40. 40
    Pteryxx

    eneraldocarneiro: You’re not wrong. The vigilance argument’s always on the victim, never the aggresor. That’s why victim-blaming’s such a crock; the predator gets to keep trying and trying and trying, refining their approach and learning all the tricks, while each and every possible victim’s expected to never slip up even once.

    That’s also why bystander education is so important; suddenly the entire community can vigilantly watch for predatory actions instead of everyone policing themselves for irrelevant, supposed “mistakes”.

  41. 41
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    It’s interesting: He’s suggesting that no one should believe the woman’s account, but at the same time, in talking about wine-drinking and “personal responsibility,” seems to be suggesting that the account is true. No one should believe anonymous accounts about “awful” acts, but this act that really happened wasn’t awful anyway. How is this supposed to work?

  42. 42
    Bernard Bumner

    Mr. Deity and the Woman

    Yes. That one definitely marked him out as an arsehole unworthy of attention.

  43. 43
    Ophelia Benson

    For not watching the whole video: start at 5:15. Sorry, I should have said.

  44. 44
    sarah00

    I was just about to go to bed when I saw this story http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/norfolk-pd-all-rape-victims-were-assu

    To anyone who says “why don’t they report it to the police?”, THIS is why.

  45. 45
    Bernard Bumner

    It’s interesting: He’s suggesting that no one should believe the woman’s account, but at the same time, in talking about wine-drinking and “personal responsibility,” seems to be suggesting that the account is true.

    Yes, the classic smear that this is simply a case of drunken-sex/regret. It allows him to concede the essential facts whilst disputing the interpretation and thereby shifting the responsibility.

  46. 46
    Bernard Bumner

    Blockquote bork.

  47. 47
    Anne C. Hanna

    According to some of the hyperskeptics over in the comments section on that video, it’s apparently an extraordinary claim that anyone could ever possibly do anything to cause a person to drink more than that person intended to drink or realized they were drinking. YouTube comments really are the sewer of the internet.

  48. 48
    LeftSidePositive

    Eneraldocarneiro: yeah, of course they’re FURIOUS when women (consciously or unconsciously) take a Schroedinger’s Rapist strategy, because that apparently means we hate all men…but if we don’t use such a strategy, it’s totally our fault and we totally wanted it anyway. Basically it boils down to: “protect yourself from rape” advice is not there so people will actually be protected (because they lose their shit when someone, say, declines an invitation to go to someone’s hotel room for “coffee”): it’s there so if women who engage in otherwise-socially-encouraged behaviors (“Look cute!” “Smile, baby!” “Don’t be such a prude!” “Come to TAM–the parties are awesome!”) they are specifically UN-protected.

    It’s like Pudendum over on Lousy Canuck–he went on and on and on about how the problem was totally drinking to excess–but why don’t we see people like him protesting every single Skeptics in the Pub and calling for a ban on conference hangouts at hotel bars, if they were REALLY just oh-so-concerned about drinking?!

    These “Oh just watch your drinking, gaaawd!” types would be MISERABLE if all the women in the skeptical movement actually took their advice and stopped participating in alcohol-related social events. Rather, they WANT people to join in to the alcohol culture, and they WANT to be able to use that as a means of dictating their boundaries to them.

  49. 49
    CJO

    SC:
    It’s interesting: He’s suggesting that no one should believe the woman’s account, but at the same time, in talking about wine-drinking and “personal responsibility,” seems to be suggesting that the account is true. No one should believe anonymous accounts about “awful” acts, but this act that really happened wasn’t awful anyway. How is this supposed to work?

    Staggering, isn’t it? Over, and over, and over again, these fuckers just prove how limited, how narrowly constrained to upholding and apologizing for prevailing inequalities, their sooper-genius skeptic act is.

    It’s fucking sickening, and every iteration of this bullshit just reminds me how incredibly naive I used to be about online and activist atheism.

  50. 50
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Yes, the classic smear that this is simply a case of drunken-sex/regret. It allows him to concede the essential facts whilst disputing the interpretation and thereby shifting the responsibility.

    Yes, if he wanted to help Shermer, he probably should’ve stopped at “Don’t believe anonymous accusations” and left out the joke about turning water into wine as a strategy to get women drunk and the part about refusing a wine refill. Because the latter read like a confirmation of the woman’s account, including a suggestion about predatory intent, by a friend of Shermer’s, pretty much rendering any arguments about anonymous accusations moot.

  51. 51
    Kevin

    That got me so angry that I deleted the bookmark of a favorite site, whose owner passed the thing along uncritically. Won’t be going back there again. Too bad. I kind of enjoyed his blog web site.

    To fisk the video’s primarily claim:

    1. We do not disbelieve the “Gospels” because they are anonymous. We disbelieve them because they claim magic. Magic ain’t real. We also disbelieve them because they are completely uncorroborated and are, in fact, at odds with known historical events. And they make claims that were disproven 2000 years ago (ie, “the world will end in the lifetime of those here present.”) They’re batting .000 in credibility, authenticity, accuracy, and historicity. And claim magic. Which ain’t real.

    2. When it comes to evaluating more-mundane claims, anonymity or lack thereof has very very little to do with whether we believe the claim or whether the claim itself can be deemed credible. For example, Richard Nixon was brought down primarily because of revelations from an anonymous source — one who never came forward even after Nixon’s death. Virtually all whistle blowers start out as anonymous sources. Conversely, an “anonymous” source told the media that Iraq had yellowcake uranium. So, mere anonymity doesn’t equal credible or noncredible. It’s quite frankly a non-sequitur. A red herring.

    On the other side of that equation, Shermer et al hang out with people who interact on an ongoing, constant basis with others who fervently believe that they were abducted by aliens, or saw Nessie or Bigfoot. If non-anonymity = credible, why then does Shermer and Dalton not believe their first-hand eyewitness accounts? “It wuz aliens…I seen ‘em.” OK, sure. I believe you because you’re not anonymous? HA!

    Oh no. Anonymity or lack thereof has absolutely zero to do with whether a claim is credible or not. Nor as to whether it is true or not. You have to evaluate the claim in context.

    Frankly, this was so badly thought out that it reads as an admission of guilt.

    Especially when Dalton reaches for the wine bottle. Nice victim-blaming. How about the guy with the wine bottle taking “personal responsibility” for NOT RAPING SOMEONE.

    So glad I never contributed to his little “show”. I’d feel like a fool.

  52. 52
    Robert B.

    Athe DAMN it. This is almost as bad as finding out about Bill Nye. I don’t watch regularly, so I missed “Mr. Deity and the Woman” but I always thought the Mr. Deity videos were really funny. (Though this one was disappointing even before I got to the editorial afterward.) I watched until I was sure it wasn’t satire – presenting his opponent’s arguments in order to show how ridiculous they are is basically his act, after all – and then once I was sure he meant it I had to stop. Simultaneous empathy fail and logic fail. I do indeed behold an asshole, though I don’t think I’ll be beholding him again.

  53. 53
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Douchemaggotry of the lowest order.

  54. 54
    Ophelia Benson

    tony @ 9 -

    Damn. That really bums me out, especially considering he’s a friend of Carrie Poppy’s.

    Carrie just tweeted

    I won’t be doing Mr. Deity again until an apology is made. Blaming the victim isn’t funny or clever. It’s old as dirt and just as disgusting

  55. 55
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @eneraldocarneiro #39:

    If you think about it, the same argument could be used against the victim of any crime, which just emphasizes how poisonous (and disingenuous) it is.

    @SC (Salty Current), OM #41:

    “It didn’t happen, and besides, it’s her fault.”

    @Kevin #51:

    Ouch. Sounds like bailing out of there awhile back was the right call.

  56. 56
    carlie

    I’ve just realized… Am I wrong or this kind of…”argument”: take care of yourself, personal responsability, etc., doesn’t it just support the Schrödinger Rapist approach?

    No, no. You see, you are supposed to take care of yourself, but only if you can do it without potentially hurting any man’s feelings by being anything less than polite and obsequious to him.

  57. 57
    karmacat

    I really want to yell at them: “If you don’t want to be accused of rape, then don’t sleep with someone who is drunk.” Of course, it is the wrong thing to say in that the statement doesn’t support victims of rape. The other point is the rape is really not about sex as much as about control and violence.

  58. 58
    notinmyname2050

    I hope you don’t mind if I cross post my comments from Elyse’s blog.

    This is particularly disappointing given Mister D’s own recent exchanges in the comments section of Ashley Paramore’s (helathyaddict) Sexual Assault at a Conference video. Even after he came forward as a witness to the event people continued trying to undermine Ashley’s account. Given that he has first hand knowledge of the rabid, unhinged vitriol being aimed at someone who gave up their own anonymity while not releasing their attacker’s identity, how is it so hard to imagine that people don’t want to add insult to their injury by having their personal lives turned into the movement’s political football when they try to warn others about predatory behaviour?

    Then, of course, there’s the victim blaming. Fuck that shit. If a woman out for a weekend of fun with friends she only sees at these conferences wants to cut loose like everyone else, this does not for one second shift blame from the kind of sick, pathetic fuck that would prey on women in that way.

    In his attempt to protect his buddy he has just insulted every victim that has ever been coerced or taken advantage of after having a few drinks. If I could, I would sit him down and make him watch coverage of the Steubenville case on a loop with his own words playing over it to see how long it would take for him to just fucking get it already.

    RRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWRRR!!!!!!

    Also, what does it imply when his defense is not to claim that it did not happen, but that the person could have stopped drinking anytime they wanted? Has he just unwittingly lent credence to the facts of the accusation (Shermer got someone shitfaced and had sex with her), if not the conclusion (it was rape). Not stating that this is definitely the case but I’m having a hard time to see how it can be taken any other way.

  59. 59
    tonyinbatavia

    Thanks for sharing that, Ophelia @54. I was curious how Carrie might react … and her reaction is about as good as you can hope for.

    People should be called out on their bullshit — duh, right? — but it’s not always easy to do if you have a relationship or otherwise respect the other person. That Carrie was willing to publicly draw a clear line in no uncertain terms is really good on her. Though this video has me thinking he is already beyond hope, I really want to believe Carrie has his ear and will hold some sway with him.

    Personally, I really enjoy his videos. Though he has fumbled a few times, I have given him a pass largely because his humor is right up my alley and I figured we all have our own blind spots, right? Until this video, which blows all that away. That is not a blind spot; that is deliberately being on the wrong side. Or, as UnkownEric the Apostate said @13, it’s “a pure, disgusting case of the whole shithead creed ‘bros before hos’ spouted by a so-called skeptic.”

  60. 60
    Ophelia Benson

    notinmyname – Do I mind if you post comments like that here? No. No I do not.

    And yeah. What you said.

  61. 61
    deepak shetty

    One of the other guys who is fast falling down in my eyes is Jerry Coyne
    His post at
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/mormon-theology-and-mr-deity
    includes his comment
    “The conversation about harassment is liable to blow up, leading to name-calling, and other stuff that I would prefer not to host. It’s been rehashed endlessly (and with rancor) in other places, and perhaps those places are better venues to vent your feelings.”
    If you truly believed and wanted this , why would you end your post with
    The last few minutes of the video are an interesting disquisition on skepticism.
    It looks to me that he does a lot of nudge nudge wink wink while trying to maintain plausible deniability

    [Disclaimer Im banned at whyevolutionistrue]

  62. 62
    Ophelia Benson

    tony – sure – I can easily imagine liking all his videos, until the one where it suddenly emerges that he’s a shit about women.

    It was very disheartening when Hitchens wrote his stupid piece about women. I’d always assumed he was pretty much a bro, because Martin Amis certainly is…but I didn’t expect him to spell it out.

  63. 63
    Ophelia Benson

    Deepak – ugh. I knew that would happen. I saw that post, including that jibe about the last few minutes, and I saw a few critical comments late in the thread – and I figured Coyne would shut that whole thing down.

  64. 64
    Ophelia Benson

    And yes, he does do a lot of nudge nudge wink wink, also a lot of unpersoning.

  65. 65
    John Morales

    I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing the relevant section:

    [--transcript-- emphasis and punctuation as per my perception]

    I want to take this time today to answer this question I get a lot: why don’t I believe in the gospels.

    Um — the first big problem I have with the gospels is that they are anonymous — a lot of people don’t know that, but it’s true.

    Um, and no good skeptic, atheist, freethinker should ever accept any anonymous report just offhand; aah especially when we’re talking about something truly awful — I mean, the gospel writers have Jesus doing some pretty ugly stuff. Umm, killing a tree for no reason, which makes him look completely insane; they have him claiming to be God, which would have been a major blasphemy within Judaism at the time; and they have him turning water into wine, which we all know is just a tactic to get the ladies drunk — right? — I mean, no-one turns water into wine for any reason that’s not just completely nefarious!

    But if you’re gonna talk [whoopee noise] about someone like that, you can’t do that anonymously — and if you do, what is that? What are we talking about?

    That’s nothing more than gossip.

    And I think that as good skeptics, atheists, freethinkers, we should all know how absolutely toxic, disgusting and beneath us it is to repeat and or report mere gossip.

    [Person with wine bottle approaches wineglass-holding Mr. Deity: "would you like a refill?"
    "Um, no. Thank you."]

    Now. See how easy that was?

    Here’s another little tip: if you find it hard to say no to the refill, you can just leave the glass full! Don’t take another sip!

    That’s my friendly little piece of advice to those of you without a backbone, or any sense of personal responsibility!

    The other problem with the gospels is that these anonymous reports are made years after the fact; some scholars say decades.
    Ah, that gives Jesus no opportunity to refute the claims — I mean, there isn’t a decent justice system in the entire world that doesn’t give the accused the right to confront his or her accuser. That’s just basic justice.

    And in many cases, even the witnesses of the witnesses are anonimous.

    Really?!
    C’mon! We’re skeptics!
    We don’t take stuff like that at face value!

    The other problem here is confirmation bias: the tendency to see only what we wanna see.

    That’s clearly what the gospel writers were doing here; they wanted a hero (or a villain, depending on your perspective), and they found one!

    But, as good skeptics, we should all know the power of confirmation bias — I mean, for heaven’s sake, they found witches in Salem, and Joe McCarthy found the communists under every bed — as skeptics, we need to stand up to these anonymous gossipal authors and those who would repeat such gossip and say “have you no sense of decency, Sir! At long last, have you left no sense of decency.”

    Of course, if you’re completely divorced from the skeptic community, I don’t expect you to understand these basic principles — but the rest of us should know better!

    Remember: “do unto others”

  66. 66
    leni

    karmacat

    I really want to yell at them: “If you don’t want to be accused of rape, then don’t sleep with someone who is drunk.” Of course, it is the wrong thing to say in that the statement doesn’t support victims of rape. The other point is the rape is really not about sex as much as about control and violence.

    We can work with that! “If you don’t want to be accused of rape, then don’t intentionally overpour in order to sleep with someone who is drunk and then act like you didn’t do anything wrong later..”

    ****

    Kevin

    You should post that in the comments on his video. I’m sure someone has already, but you said it really well. It’s worth a repeat.

    I kept thinking, you know, I complain about my coworkers without the cover of anonymity and I’m pretty sure that’s still gossip. Mostly it’s just one and mostly I just call him cheap because getting that asshole to order a freaking sharpie is like pulling teeth. But I digress. It is presumably more credible because I was not wearing a Guy Fawkes mask when I said it, apparently.

    (Oh yes, that reference was god damned intentional.)

  67. 67
    carlie

    Thanks, John – videos are inaccessible to a lot of people, so that will be a good reference.

  68. 68
    Ophelia Benson

    Many thanks for that, John. I’ll make it a post, because it’s useful.

  69. 69
    notinmyname2050

    Thanks for the transcript John.

    From the video:

    “The other problem here is confirmation bias: the tendency to see only what we wanna see.”

    Never has anyone been so right and so wrong at the same time.

  70. 70
    leni

    That’s my friendly little piece of advice to those of you without a backbone, or any sense of personal responsibility!

    You know what else really, really bothers me about this? Does he not know that people have substance abuse problems? Does he really not know the tremendous risk people with addiction problems put themselves at? Does he not understand that predators look for this? Predators like some of those creeps in churches who want to “heal” addicts and abused children with Jesus and personal responsibility?

    I’m not saying this particular case involved a person with substance abuse problems. Or that being an addict excuses bad behavior. But hurting yourself is very, very different from hurting yourself while specifically targeting others so you can hurt them too. Both are bad, but only one is worse.

  71. 71
    leni

    (P.S. It’s the specifically targeting others that’s worse, in case Elizabeth whats-her-face is reading this and is feeling confused.)

  72. 72
    Inaji

    notinmyname:

    Also, what does it imply when his defense is not to claim that it did not happen, but that the person could have stopped drinking anytime they wanted?

    A woman who came forward to talk about her narrow escape from Shermer detailed just how he managed to get her very incapacitated with alcohol, and it’s an all too common technique. It really doesn’t take long for the alcohol to hit, and once it does, of course you aren’t thinking clearly, and it’s not the same at all as having a half a glass of wine, then setting in with the “no more for me, thanks” business.

    I absolutely loathe these assholes who insist on blaming every woman on the planet for having a drink or two. FFS, yes, women do (or should) have the right to have a drink or two or three. A woman should have the right to get absolutely drunk, and she should not have to be concerned with being raped. The only thing which causes rape is a rapist. Full stop.

  73. 73
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    This really made me upset (not because I had a special love of Mr. Deity vids or anything, just the sheer assholishness made my skin crawl–I had to stop watching at about the point where he mentions turning water into wine in order to get women drunk). What the fuck is wrong with people? Aren’t they aware that the press routinely keeps from publishing the names of victims of sexual assault? Even when there’s a trial and conviction? In some jurisdictions, like Canada, that’s enforced by law:

    486.4 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the presiding judge or justice may make an order directing that any information that could identify the complainant or a witness shall not be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way, in proceedings in respect of

    (a) any of the following offences:

    (i) an offence under section 151, 152, 153, 153.1, 155, 159, 160, 162, 163.1, 170, 171, 171.1, 172, 172.1, 172.2, 173, 210, 211, 212, 213, 271 [this is sexual assault], 272, 273, 279.01, 279.011, 279.02, 279.03, 280, 281, 346 or 347,

    (ii) an offence under section 144 (rape), 145 (attempt to commit rape), 149 (indecent assault on female), 156 (indecent assault on male) or 245 (common assault) or subsection 246(1) (assault with intent) of the Criminal Code, chapter C-34 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970, as it read immediately before January 4, 1983, or

    (iii) an offence under subsection 146(1) (sexual intercourse with a female under 14) or (2) (sexual intercourse with a female between 14 and 16) or section 151 (seduction of a female between 16 and 18), 153 (sexual intercourse with step-daughter), 155 (buggery or bestiality), 157 (gross indecency), 166 (parent or guardian procuring defilement) or 167 (householder permitting defilement) of the Criminal Code, chapter C-34 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970, as it read immediately before January 1, 1988; or

    (b) two or more offences being dealt with in the same proceeding, at least one of which is an offence referred to in any of subparagraphs (a)(i) to (iii).

    Mandatory order on application

    (2) In proceedings in respect of the offences referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b), the presiding judge or justice shall

    (a) at the first reasonable opportunity, inform any witness under the age of eighteen years and the complainant of the right to make an application for the order; and

    (b) on application made by the complainant, the prosecutor or any such witness, make the order.

  74. 74
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    According to some of the hyperskeptics over in the comments section on that video, it’s apparently an extraordinary claim that anyone could ever possibly do anything to cause a person to drink more than that person intended to drink or realized they were drinking.

    When I think about it, on several occasions, including recently, men, while suggesting a refill and/or just taking my glass to refill my drink, have made joking comments about how they’re intentionally trying to get me drunk so they’ll “look better” or whatever. They’ve said these things openly and unabashedly, in front of me and other women, including sometimes their relatives. I’m not suggesting that all or any of them are predators, but the fact that they make comments like that so openly shows how ordinary and normalized the idea is.

  75. 75
    Ophelia Benson

    notinmyname – I know, the bit about confirmation bias is jaw-dropping. Dude. Shermer is a friend of yours! Are you really positive all the confirmation bias is on the side of the question that isn’t yours? Really?

  76. 76
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Imma go have that beer now and escape into a book or something. This is really getting under my skin. Maybe I’ll take a few days off of the Internet.

  77. 77
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Um….sorry. That unreferenced quotation was from the Criminal Code of Canada.

  78. 78
    carlie

    And how many of those guys who are actively trying to top up a woman’s glass will stop at “No thank you”? “Aw, come on, I’m just trying to be nice.” “Just one more? I mixed them myself, are you saying they taste bad?” “Are you sure? I’ll just top it off a little.” “What, you think you’re too good to drink with me? Oh no, just joking, let’s have another though”. Like it would stop until she gave in or got called a wet blanket party-killing bitch.

  79. 79
    John-Henry Beck

    You know, paranoia about stuff like this is one of the reasons I never took up drinking. You know, getting drunk and doing something stupid or harmful. I admit, though, as a non-drinker I’ve tended to be hazy on some of the boundaries. Seems like there is quite a bit of encouragement to drink for lowering inhibitions, a social lubricant and all that. So it doesn’t seem too hard for it to slide in to getting someone drunk so they’ll ‘change their mind’…

    I think that leaves me less shocked that people would be going in to defend the sex with drunk people thing. It probably doesn’t seem far removed from what a lot of people do at parties and bars, from that kind of view.

  80. 80
    leni

    Are you really positive all the confirmation bias is on the side of the question that isn’t yours? Really?

    Why yes, because they are smarter than everyone else!

    More insidiously, it also levels the playing field. Suddenly all claims are equal: anyone can have confirmation bias! We all do! Therefore forget everything else. Forget reality. Forget statistics. Forget testimony. Only remember personal responsibility, lady gossip, and confirmation bias. And how utterly evil anonymity is.

  81. 81
    Inaji

    Ibis3:

    Imma go have that beer now and escape into a book or something.

    Just opened a beer, and off to immerse myself in Sandman Slim.

  82. 82
    athyco

    Notinmyname (@ 58) linked to the comment section of Ashley Paramore’s video, and the “RWWWAAAAARRRRRRR!” was an understatement.

    misterdeity 1 week ago

    As a prominent member of the Atheist community, whose reputation and respect would be destroyed were I to be caught lying about this, why would I stick my neck out like that? You’re assuming some kind of grand conspiracy in my stepping forward and backing her up. What would be the motivation? Go watch my videos and see how much they are lacking in feminist dogma — hell, I’ve been lambasted by feminists myself for some of my videos (Mr. Deity and the Woman). There’s no conspiracy. Only paranoia.

  83. 83
    jblaw

    @62

    but was it??

  84. 84
    LeftSidePositive

    Oh, so according to Mr. Deity, only women who don’t speak up about feminism deserve to be believed about sexual assault?! Well, it’s not like sexual assault is a MAJOR FEMINIST ISSUE or anything, so I’m sure that won’t be an absolutely impossibly fine line to balance…

  85. 85
    Pteryxx

    Oh, so according to Mr. Deity, only women who don’t speak up about feminism deserve to be believed about sexual assault?! Well, it’s not like sexual assault is a MAJOR FEMINIST ISSUE or anything, so I’m sure that won’t be an absolutely impossibly fine line to balance…

    Of course not. Only Good Pure Christian Girls ever get raped. *hurk*

  86. 86
    Julie

    I’m a bit surprised no one has specifically brought up the lousy video Dalton made in response to elevatorgate, Mr Deity and the Opposition. (Although at least one commenter here did refer to an unspecified Mr Deity video, in the right time frame.) Maybe the lion’s share of pro-social justice folks were already driven away by the prior Mr Deity and the Woman episode?

    Here’s what I recall of that episode; I’m not willing to watch it again. He used some key lines/aspects of Watson’s account from her original Mythbusters, Robot Eyes and Feminism video, but rearranged them to remove all physical threat (the Mr D characters were video chatting) and made the moral of the episode that asking someone for coffee was ‘just coffee’ and it was an acceptable interaction. (I never get over that point: even though Dalton is a writer, he made a version of the ‘language is never indirect’ argument?!?!)

    When some YouTube commenters objected, Dalton helpfully clarified: strong women don’t need protection, elevatorgate was not troubling but rather ‘all about RW’, it actually doesn’t matter how RW felt in the moment because he could mansplain the situation better, etc, etc. It was his vigorous nastiness in the comments that drove me away from him for good.

  87. 87
    bastionofsass

    I have been wary of Mr. Deity since the controversial creation of Eve episode. “Yeah, women have these stereotypical behaviors and interests because they were created that way. Ha-ha.”

    At the time, those of use who were appalled at the sexism on display during that episode were told, “Oh, lighten up. It’s funny.” Wasn’t funny then, not funny now.

    I unsubscribed to Mr Deity right after I saw that episode and haven’t contributed to him since.

  88. 88
    Anne C. Hanna

    carlie @78,

    And how many of those guys who are actively trying to top up a woman’s glass will stop at “No thank you”? “Aw, come on, I’m just trying to be nice.” “Just one more? I mixed them myself, are you saying they taste bad?” “Are you sure? I’ll just top it off a little.” “What, you think you’re too good to drink with me? Oh no, just joking, let’s have another though”. Like it would stop until she gave in or got called a wet blanket party-killing bitch.

    Hell, I had a friend inadvertently help me become overdrunk because he thought he was playing a good host by keeping my glass full, and he didn’t realize I didn’t notice him doing the filling. I had very limited experience with the effects of alcohol, was deeply engaged in the conversation at the table, and was trying to just sip a single glass at a slow pace, so I didn’t really notice that the level didn’t go down anywhere near as quickly as it should have. Fortunately for me, he wasn’t a predatory rapey asshole cutting me out from the herd and trying to get me drunk enough that he could assault me, he was just a wine-lover who hadn’t thought too carefully about how it might be polite to *ask* somebody before you fill their glass. So all that happened was that I was a little more wobbly walking home than I’d planned to be.

    Given how easy it was for my friend to do this by accident, it’s hard for me to understand what could possibly be so extraordinary about the notion that someone could easily do far worse on purpose. Mr. D really messed this one up, and he just doesn’t seem to understand. I, too, remember the coffee video that Julie mentions @85, so I know it’s not unprecedented for him. But I really thought he’d learned something since then, or that he’d at least learned to keep quiet about that whole area of discourse. I guess not. :/

  89. 89
    changerofbits

    @85 Well dammit, I’m probably wasting my time in the YT comments then (I’m venitnehiladeus there). Thanks Anne for speaking up there. I had hoped he was just ignorant, but he seems determined to not get it.

  90. 90
    rorschach

    I note that the video was retweeted by the Atheist Foundation of Australia. No surprises there.

  91. 91
    angharad

    @Anne C. Hanna – I’ve had a very similar experience. I think that was about the drunkest I’ve ever gotten. It’s really hard to keep track of how much you’ve had. I would not credit how hard if I had not experienced it myself.

  92. 92
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    According to some of the hyperskeptics over in the comments section on that video, it’s apparently an extraordinary claim that anyone could ever possibly do anything to cause a person to drink more than that person intended to drink or realized they were drinking.

    I bet if you googled “how to get women drunk,” you’d come up with 0 hits. It’s not like there are how-to websites on exactly this topic, with exactly this goal in mind.

  93. 93
    Anne C. Hanna

    changerofbits @89,

    I’m probably wasting my time in the YT comments then [...]

    I’m pretty sure *I* was. Mr. D responded a couple of times at the beginning, but it was just more excuses, and then he was replaced by a flood of juvenile apologists repeating the same stupid things that everyone else has already debunked over and over and over. What a grotesque fail this all is. :/

    ———

    angharad @91,

    I’ve had a very similar experience. I think that was about the drunkest I’ve ever gotten.

    Since my refills-on-the-sly experience, I’ve gotten equally drunk exactly once, and it was at a Passover Seder, at which one traditionally drinks at least four full-to-the-brim cups of wine. So that’s how much my “one glass” got extended to by unnoticed refills. If I’d gone in to that dinner with a plan to drink two or three ordinary-sized glasses, I probably would’ve been not just wobbly, but outright incapacitated by the effects of the refill multiplier. It doesn’t take a hell of a lot of imagination to see how that could lead to extremely bad places in less-trustworthy company. I’ll grant that if somebody had told me about that kind of thing beforehand, I might have been a little skeptical that it was really *that* easy, and I might have been confident that *I’d* never fall for it, but the breezy contempt with which Dalton dismissed the possibility was breathtaking. I didn’t love everything Dalton did, and I didn’t imagine he was perfect, but I did like quite a bit of his work, and before all this happened I considered him a valuable person to have in the community. Same with Shermer. Same with Krauss, and Grothe, and Lindsay, and even Thunderf00t, once upon a time, as well as many others. It’s fucking terrible that this is how it has to be.

  94. 94
    freemage

    Okay, story time.

    I once “got a girl drunk,” about twenty years ago. She was a friend, I (at the time, a hugely awkward nerd with no social experience to speak of outside of D&D groups) had a huge crush on her, and she came to my dorm room after breaking up with her boyfriend looking for a drink and some emotional support.

    During the subsequent evening, she kept pace with me as we tapped into my small stash of liquor for shot-drinks–Kahlua, Bailey’s and Bicardi 151, a combination known locally as a “Texas Snakebite”, alternated with tequila. We had the same amount to drink, but I outweighed her by a good 80 lbs and the time. I never forced a drink on her; I just refilled the shot glass each time she gulped down, without even thinking twice about it.

    With inhibitions lowered, we talked, a lot. Some of the comments she made were provocative (“I just like sex. Is that wrong?”) Others she made were very ambiguous. (IIRC, the conversation went, “You know, I turned down all those other offers for a drink because I thought you might take advantage of me.” “I wouldn’t do that.” “Yeah, I know.”–so, had she decided she wanted to have sex, or had she just made up her mind I was safe?)

    Time rolled on, the bottles got more empty, and eventually we decided to turn in; she was tired and seriously wasted and asked if she could stay there; I agreed, and we laid down on the bed. Then I…. reached over, pulled the sheet over us both, and we went to sleep.

    Because I’m not a rapist piece of shit, and had no desire to wake up as one. And though we never wound up together, I have no doubt in my mind that, even if she originally came to my room looking for a hook-up to get over the boyfriend (this was never clarified–neither of us was mature enough to initiate that sort of convo while sober), I did the right thing.

    Mr. Deity? Fuck you, and every rape-apologist piece of shit who thinks like you.

  95. 95
    michaeld

    I noticed you over there as well Anne. You were far more patient and active then I was last night.

  96. 96
    changerofbits

    @93 I think the third time Dalton displayed what I can only say is dishonest ignorance of the situation, I gave up (and he even went so far as to wonder out loud why anonymous didn’t say “rape” in her account, that describes the rape, fucking dishonest ignorance that is beyond the pale). I don’t like to use ad hominems much, but Dalton has convinced me that he’s either a stupid dolt or a dishonest pig.

    The usual ‘pit crew came by, and some of them seemed aware that the only thing to be “skeptical” of is PZ. Tried to push the believe the victim meme. Anyway, I’ve had enough of the YT comments for a year or two. Number two is due next Friday and I need to keep some sanity that will be in short supply with loss of REM sleep.

  97. 97
    Anne C. Hanna

    changerofbits @94,

    and he even went so far as to wonder out loud why anonymous didn’t say “rape” in her account

    Wow. I got so caught up in answering dumbass trolls that I missed him saying this. Now I’m even more annoyed that I wasted time trying to talk to him. He is clearly in full-on straw-grasping denial mode, and doesn’t care who he damages in the process. Such a goddamn shame.

    ———

    michaeld @95,

    I strongly suspect that the only thing I really accomplished there was to remind myself why I usually stay out of YouTube comments sections — I meant to make one quick comment, and I ended up stuck there for hours wrangling over trivialities with dishonest and lazy interlocutors who weren’t even the people I’d gone there to communicate with in the first place. It’s like a goddamn tar baby. The trick is to remember that *before* I touch it next time. :/

  98. 98
    Jacob Schmidt

    Wow. I got so caught up in answering dumbass trolls that I missed him saying this. Now I’m even more annoyed that I wasted time trying to talk to him. He is clearly in full-on straw-grasping denial mode, and doesn’t care who he damages in the process. Such a goddamn shame.

    What’s disgusting is it’s not even true. One part she writes to the effect of “coerced sex where I couldn’t consent”, and just after, she writes “rape”. The asshole was quotemining. He hasn’t responded to my or other’s corrections yet.

  99. 99
    Anne C. Hanna

    What’s disgusting is it’s not even true. One part she writes to the effect of “coerced sex where I couldn’t consent”, and just after, she writes “rape”. The asshole was quotemining. He hasn’t responded to my or other’s corrections yet.

    That *is* worse. And I didn’t catch it, because it didn’t even occur to me that Dalton might be so far gone that he’d outright *lie* about it, so I didn’t go back and check. (And now I have and he did.) Jesus fucking christ. Can this get any more appalling? (Unfortunately, it probably can.)

  100. 100
    morvaadam

    Ophelia, I’m sick of your dumbfuckery, and your victim complex. If I were you I would seek professional help. I’m not being an asshole right now, I’m serious.

  101. 101
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    morvaadam, I sympathize. It must be awful to have a computer which drags you, completely unwillingly, to visit Ophelia’s posts, then obviously asserts some sort of Clockwork-Orange-forcing to make you read them. It must be awful and jarring for you. I can only recommend maybe going somewhere fucking else as a solution.

  102. 102
    Ophelia Benson

    What is the professional help for dumbfuckery, anyway?

  103. 103
    Dave W

    morvaadam @100:

    I’m not being an asshole right now, I’m serious.

    That appears to be a false dichotomy.

  104. 104
    Anthony K

    What is the professional help for dumbfuckery, anyway?

    It doesn’t matter.

    If it’s morvaadam who is sick, then it’s morvaadam who needs to seek treatment.

  1. 105
    Transcript of Mr Deity’s advice on gossip and wine consumption » Butterflies and Wheels

    […] Transcription courtesy of John Morales. […]

  2. 106
    Just curious here, Atheist Foundation of Australia

    […] on the Shermer business yesterday, hours after multiple websites had pointed out that there was a massive problem with his remarks, was that to tell us that the official Atheist Foundation of Australia […]

  3. 107
    Blaming Helen | The Discordian Times

    […] found his video fun and worthy to discuss, since Dalton raises a couple of good points was left in consternation upon receiving the news that not everyone agrees with their way of handling the situation. […]

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