Sometimes one swears


I too have a very low opinion of Karen Armstrong, Debbie Schlussel, Fred Phelps, Rush Limbaugh, and Ronald Reagan. I’m likely to use harsh adjectives and/or swear words to describe them.

I’m just saying.

Comments

  1. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    To quote my late grandfather, “Reagan can take and kiss my ass.”.

    That’s right, TAKE and kiss it. Where’s your civility god now, bwahaha?

  2. iknklast says

    Schlussel I don’t know. The rest I agree with you. I’m especially tired of hearing about Ronald Reagan.

  3. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Do I want to know what this is about? Well, I do … Do you want to expound? That’s up to you …

  4. says

    A wanker has taken offense to being called a wanker, so is proving his non-wankery by wanking louder and more publicly.

  5. brucegorton says

    iknklast

    You know that old saying about “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”?

    People who take that advice don’t have much to say about Debbie Schlussel.

  6. Blanche Quizno says

    Hmm… Ronald Reagan. Our MISTER Reagan, as my sainted California grandmother used to call him during his governorship. My children are fast approaching college age, so I’m reminded that, before Our MISTER Reagan became governor, California used to offer free college through the University of California/Cal State systems to residents. But now that we’re all free to choose to spend our money however we wish, most are finding that college is now way out of their reach. We’ll be okay, but I’m not feeling particularly charitable toward Our ASSHOLE Reagan. Pardon my Ayn Rand.

  7. yazikus says

    But, Ophelia, according to commenters on another blog, you’ve been chastised for being too pro-liberty by the FtB overlords and have reigned in your rebellious ways. Certainly you won’t be using swear words?

  8. John Morales says

    NateHevens, Atheist Ireland unfriended publicly disassociated itself from PZ, because his alleged divisiveness and harmful rhetoric.

    (And the “smearing”!)

  9. Wowbagger, Heaper of Scorn says

    I’m amazed. I had no idea that Monsignor Nugent could outdo his previous efforts of tedious wankery on the subject of PZ’s heresy and blasphemy, but he’s managed it. And now he’s achieved his rage-fapping wet-dream of excommunicating PZ from…something.

    What a laughably pathetic pissant he is.

  10. says

    Excommunicating PZ from a tiny organization he didn’t belong to in the first place, in a country with a population the size of Louisiana’s.

  11. says

    I don’t normally look down on countries with small populations, of course, but when people start issuing statements of “disassociation” then the rules change.

  12. says

    Another one here who doesn’t know what this is all about. (And isn’t sure he wants to — there are only so many hours in a day, and keeping track of who’s pissed at whom and why and which [if either] party has the right of it is a lot of work. Especially if you live over towards the Aspergers side of town).

    However, I wouldn’t have thought Karen Armstrong belonged on any list that includes all those others. Has said stupid things, yes, and perhaps deserves bluntly scornful language for that — but AFAIK she’s not actively evil.

  13. says

    Okay. Reading it now.

    Boy does Nugent have a very high opinion of himself.

    But you know what? I actually hope there’ll be some heeding of Nugent’s words. Because any organization that “disassociates” itself from PZ Myers is an organization I know to avoid like the plague… because that’s an organization that’s happy to let bigots run amok and provide a safe space for creepy men to harass women.

    So fuck Nugent, and fuck his organization.

    He is an Irish Wanker, and he can quote me on that.

  14. says

    Eamon, no, you probably don’t want to. It’s basically nonsense.

    As for Armstrong – yes but I get sweary at people who say silly things as well as at people who are evil. It’s shocking! shocking! but I do.

  15. says

    This is nothing new. I’ve had people declare my excommunication from the Catholic Church, too, and I wasn’t a member of that, either. I suppose it made them feel better, although I have to say I didn’t feel even a twinge of regret.

  16. melanie says

    Fuck these fucking neocons and their Islamophobic best friends.

    The New White Supremacist Atheists may be jumping with joy at the moment, and no doubt being congratulated by their token neocon friends such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz, but the truth will eventually come out!

  17. says

    melanie what on earth makes you think Maajid Nawaz is a neocon? Do you know anything at all about him? (Just for a start, he’s a LibDem, not a Tory.)

  18. arthur says

    I’ll take issue with the “Irish Wanker” remark.

    In my world, that would be considered an offensive and bigoted insult. I grew up in 1970s Britain and I heard stuff like that coming from racists and bigots all the time. When I read it coming from PZ, I immediately thought he was out of line.

    I totally agree that Nugent is a wanker, though. ‘Attorney Debbie Schlussel’ and ‘broadcaster’ Rush Limbaugh, indeed.

  19. says

    PZ – huh. I thought excommunication was a privilege strictly reserved for actual Catholics.

    It’s a funny enterprise, this business of throwing people out of things they weren’t in to begin with, and never wanted to be.

    I banish you from this smelly mildewed basement festooned with rat turds! Take that!!

  20. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Seriously, though, you’re all excommunicated from my attic. No old Hardy Boys books for you!

  21. Wowbagger, Heaper of Scorn says

    I banish you from this smelly mildewed basement festooned with rat turds! Take that!!

    You know, that’s a pretty apt description of the current state of the atheist movement…

  22. melanie says

    Ophelia, Maajid Nawaz is a fucking mate of neocon Sam Harris.

    Deepen the fucking rifts with these neocons.

  23. says

    Arthur @ #26

    I’ll take issue with the “Irish Wanker” remark.
    In my world, that would be considered an offensive and bigoted insult. I grew up in 1970s Britain and I heard stuff like that coming from racists and bigots all the time. When I read it coming from PZ, I immediately thought he was out of line.
    I totally agree that Nugent is a wanker, though. ‘Attorney Debbie Schlussel’ and ‘broadcaster’ Rush Limbaugh, indeed.

    Oh! Really? I did not know that. I meant in the same way that I’d consider Rush Limbaugh a US-American Wanker and Benjamin Netanyahu an Israeli Wanker and so on.

    But, based on what you say, I unequivocally apologize for my use of it and take it back.

  24. says

    Also… Ophelia… I seem to recall that Maajid Nawaz has expressed very similar sentiments to Sam Harris about Muslims… not the stuff about extreme Islam, but the more racist stuff about Muslims as a whole. He’s a bit like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, minus the conservative think tank and the atheism stuff.

    There’s a chance I’m confusing him with somebody else, but I don’t think so. I have to do more research on him…

  25. says

    As a result of today’s events, Nugent has now tweeted: “Atheist and secular advocacy will come out of this stronger, with robust analysis and respect for people providing political effectiveness.”

    This, coming from a guy who has wholeheartedly embraced and accepted the worst of the slymepitters. Is he even making an attempt at self awareness?

  26. says

    This is frustrating and sad. Bad people are succeeding in trashing his reputation with lies, and he’s doing good work. If all liberal Muslims get trashed this way and their natural allies believe the trashing…it’s all hopeless.

  27. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Excommunicating PZ from a tiny organization he didn’t belong to in the first place, in a country with a population the size of Louisiana’s.

    Ha ha ha. In a country with a population smaller than middling cities like Atlanta, or Toronto, and only slightly larger than Minneapolis-St. Paul, or lil ol’ Boston. Yeah, I get that there’s no reason to look down on little countries — and on the whole, I’d rather be in Ireland than in Atlanta — but, c’mon, cute as it may be, Ireland isn’t exactly a great leader in world affairs.

    And Irish Atheism? According to the census, 3905 people total claimed to be atheist in Ireland in 2011. Supposedly Atheist Ireland has more than 1000 members. No wonder Michael Nugent has gotten a swelled head. He might claim to “represent” 1 of every 4 of their crowd. That’s twice as good as American politicians who win with 51% of the vote but only 25% of potential voters bothered to turn out. Yay, Michael, big big frog in a tiny pond!

  28. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Nate: I like you, so don’t hear this as hostile, please. Slow down. Don’t be so quick to have a Final Opinion on things. You swing between extremes quickly. Things seem easier to sort if you sit out some of the back and forth and let it mulch in your head a bit before you decide what you to write.

  29. says

    “Mulch in your head,” I like that. Although, as a gardener, I would have to suggest that “compost in your head” is perhaps a better analogy, Josh.

  30. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    courtneycaldwell, commenting today on Rebecca Watson’s post (at Skepchick), has this to say:

    Atheists Ireland is Michael Nugent writing in the third person.

    Sweet.
    I think we should all get Tshirts made with that quote and wear them to the next big atheist convention.

    Oh, who am I kidding. I will never ever ever go to an atheist convention. Too much risk of too many creeps attending in guise of “thought leaders”.

    I’ll still be laughing with that quote, though. Michael Nugent, what an ass . Or arse, if he prefers. Or to really be sensitive to his love of Ireland, cad a thóin.

  31. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I’m part Irish on my father’s mother’s side, but y’know, between Michael Nugent, U2, and the Cranberries, Ireland is on thin ice with me these days! Shape up, Emerald Isle! 😉

  32. Morgan says

    In my world, that would be considered an offensive and bigoted insult. I grew up in 1970s Britain and I heard stuff like that coming from racists and bigots all the time.

    I grew up in and live in Ireland, and to me it reads as simply descriptive (especially since he’s not being described as “an Irish wanker”, somehow different from being a regular wanker, but “The Irish Wanker” to avoid naming him because he’s a creepy obsessive wanker). Unless Nugent or PZ have moved to Britain recently, I see no need to cede anything to him on this point.

  33. Bluntnose says

    “in a country with a population the size of Louisiana’s.”

    Which somehow manages to have a greater literary heritage than the whole of the acceptably large USA. Go figure.

  34. says

    The comment about Ireland having a smaller population than Louisiana is a little unfair. But Atheist Ireland’s excommunication of Myers does seem rather petty and ineffectual.

  35. Bluntnose says

    Not petty, I think it is reasonable for organisations to refuse to be associated with people they think guilty of vicious behaviour (there is a post on this blog complaining that the BBC have not been ‘petty’ enough in this regard). Whether or not it is effective, we’ll see. Certainly a lot of people seem to be coming out to say ‘about time’. PZ Myers habit of defaming and smearing people he disagrees with even slightly has annoyed a lot of people.

  36. says

    Those who whine:

    “Oh, you’re using bad words, I don’t have to talk to you!”

    are (a) often just as likely to use the words themselves, and (b) using that excuse to cower and run away from addressing the argument or issue. They can’t or don’t want to address a point, so they resort to the gutless tactic of claiming offense and running away. I doubt anyone is familiar with my posting, but I avoid profanity and insults yet some will still use that tactic on me.

    It’s not the first time Mehta has pulled this crap. Sometime last fall, he hurled the “women should calm down” line when someone was justifiably arguing with some condescending remark Dawkins had said. Was that OB, or someone else? I can’t find the item to cite.

  37. says

    Bluntnose says:

    Not petty, I think it is reasonable for organisations to refuse to be associated with people they think guilty of vicious behaviour (there is a post on this blog complaining that the BBC have not been ‘petty’ enough in this regard).

    The comparison to the BBC and Jeremy Clarkson is ludicrous. Clarkson was a BBC employee, who committed assault against another BBC employee, while filming a BBC show. Atheist Ireland has no connection to Myers besides him giving an hour long talk, nearly two years ago.

    Certainly a lot of people seem to be coming out to say ‘about time’.

    What do you mean “coming out”? Most of these people have been whinging about PZ for ages.

  38. Bluntnose says

    “The comparison to the BBC and Jeremy Clarkson is ludicrous. ”

    I don’t agree, I think it is very similar. AI had previously given Myers a platform and that fact could have become an embarrassment for them because it might be taken to be an endorsement for his current behaviour. So a modest statement making it clear that they do not endorse him in any way is in order.

    By ‘coming out’ I just meant ‘saying’. But I think there are a lot of people who think the statement timely.

  39. Deepak Shetty says

    I dont think I completely agree with you.
    I think there are swear words and harsh adjectives and then there are swear words and harsh adjectives
    I think there is a world of difference between calling someone for e.g. a wanker and saying that someone has developed a callous indifference to a child’s sexual abuse. The former – not my cup of tea but Meh -The latter? you have to provide a level of argument that has to be pretty airtight instead of an off the cuff remark based on a casual reading of someones life experience. (assuming you also want to be on the side that is ethical and compassionate)
    And I think there is a distinct lack of self evaluation being shown when all criticism is being dismissed using Nugent is obsessive, writes verbose posts , is self important , Ireland is so small etc. There are atleast 2-3 examples in that list that should cause people to pause and think.
    FWIW I dont think you come anywhere close (in your use of harsh words/adjectives) to be problematic.

  40. Bluntnose says

    Pretty much agree with those remarks by Deepak Shetty, although I think ‘Irish wanker’ is a bit closer to the bone that just ‘wanker. I am pretty sure Myers would not say ‘black wanker’, for example. Personally I wish he would avoid that word altogether, he doesn’t quite understand how to use it. Its a bit embarrassing.

    But the point about glibly dismissing all criticism by bundling it up together and then sneering at the nationality of the complainer as if that is at all relevant is well made. I don’t think it is very honest.

  41. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    There are atleast 2-3 examples in that list that should cause people to pause and think.

    Well don’t leave us hanging, out with it. What are the examples that should concern us?

  42. Bluntnose says

    “Well don’t leave us hanging, out with it. What are the examples that should concern us?”

    I think it is pretty clear. Why not read the list and see which ones you think are concern-worthy.

  43. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I think it is pretty clear. Why not read the list and see which ones you think are concern-worthy.

    No no, that’s not how it works. A positive claim was made (“there are specific examples that are of concern”). So either explain which specific examples and why they are problematic or admit that you fell for the gish gallop and have no clue of the context of most of what was said. To help you with that, here’s Alex Gabriel’s post where he actually links to the posts that say what Nugent said PZ said.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/godlessness/2015/04/08/atheist-irelands-statement-on-pz-myers/

    Be a skeptic, dont’ take the easy way out and fail to check the references.

  44. Bluntnose says

    “Be a skeptic, dont’ take the easy way out and fail to check the references.”

    I have checked. I think Nugent makes his case. If you disagree I would be interested to know why, but I don’t think anyone has any obligation to take you through it. Have a look and see what you think.

  45. says

    hyperdeath @ 50 – of course the comment about the tininess of Ireland was unfair – it was meant to be. Levels of sarcasm; reflexive sarcasm; living up to this reputation for being terrible, terrible. Bluntnose apparently took it at face value, which seems a bit…well, literal.

    The business about “Irish” as racist – ok, but then you might want to have a word with Nugent about the slyly invidious way he kept talking about “mostly American bloggers.” I for one thought it was a rather disgusting dog whistle. *wink wink nudge nudge we all hate those pushy Yanks, don’t we? nudge nudge, say no more.*

  46. Bluntnose says

    “Bluntnose apparently took it at face value, which seems a bit…well, literal.”

    You mean your comment about the size of Ireland was meant to be obviously too stupid a thing for you to believe? Why say it then?

  47. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I have checked. I think Nugent makes his case.

    What case is that? What exactly is the problem with what PZ said? And why NOW suddenly? He’s been doing this shit for literally years and Nugent and everyone else lapped it up, why is it suddenly such an issue that he blasts people like Rush Limbaugh

  48. Bluntnose says

    “but then you might want to have a word with Nugent about the slyly invidious way he kept talking about “mostly American bloggers.””

    The things are not alike. If something is ‘mostly American’ that is just a claim of fact, it is true or not. It is no more dog whistle than to say that an allied force was made up of ‘mostly American’ troops. But even if that weren’t the case, I think the whatabouterry as a defence of Myers’ racism is unwonted.

  49. Bluntnose says

    ” He’s been doing this shit for literally years and Nugent and everyone else lapped it up”

    I think you are wrong. Many people did like it (and many still do), but many others were alienated and then appalled by some of his bullying behaviour. I don’t think I could make the case better than Nugent so I won’t try to paraphrase. It is worth reading his complaints though.

  50. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    It is worth reading his complaints though.

    I have, but I”m trying to see if you have, and it looks like you haven’t if you can’t even paraphrase it.

    I still ask my question. Nugent and PZ were chums until recently. So Nugent never had a problem with this supposed “bullying” behaviour before. Why is it suddenly such a huge issue? Is it because it was all fun when PZ was mocking creationists, but suddenly when he points out ridiculousness in ahteists’ thinking, it’s just Not Good Cricket?

  51. Bluntnose says

    “I have, but I”m trying to see if you have, and it looks like you haven’t if you can’t even paraphrase it.”

    But I have told you that I have read it. And I didn’t say I couldn’t paraphrase but that I would prefer not to for the reasons I gave.

    Your question is answered in the posts that you read. Myers did certain things that Nugent considers unacceptable so he has changed his attitude. This isn’t strange or unusual. Myers used to be a prominent supporter of Richard Dawkins, for example.

    I do agree with you in part, though, people should pay more attention to their attitude towards bullying when they hate the targets. It is easy to laugh along when you think the victim deserves it and persuade yourself that you are justified.

  52. Bluntnose says

    “but suddenly when he points out ridiculousness in ahteists’ thinking, it’s just Not Good Cricket?”

    By the way, you mean ‘not cricket’, which has a quite different meaning. It’s not a phrase you will hear much in Ireland, though.

  53. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    By the way, you mean ‘not cricket’, which has a quite different meaning. It’s not a phrase you will hear much in Ireland, though.

    Fair enough, I’m from South Africa so it’s something we say here, although I did bastardize it.

    There are different ways to define “bullying”. I honestly don’t think that PZ is bullying anyone. He is not going to their spaces and calling them names over and over again or harassing them, he’s using his own platform to publish his thoughts. Is he harsh? Indisputably. But where is the line where you start to call it “bullying”? Is one not allowed to call a creationist putting forth ridiculoulsly horrible arguments an idiot? A fucknut? On your own blog?

  54. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    I think it is pretty clear. Why not read the list and see which ones you think are concern-worthy.

    Well, since I’m one of those who were teasing about Ireland being such a little country, which is somehow on your list, why don’t you make yourself clear exactly why that was a problem?

    I think it’s completely apropos to point out that wanker Nugent claims to represent — at most — 0.02% of his fellow nationals; this tiny percentage is even more ludicrous when you see that if he had the entire country of Ireland on his side, it’s still not a blip in world affairs. He’s a trumped-up small-timer who wants everyone to kiss his ring hand.

    Getting a merit award from Michael Nugent and his alter ego, Atheist Ireland, is like being given the keys to the city by the mayor of Podunk, Michigan. And being dissed by Michael Nugent is like being hated by the dog-catcher of Podunk. The only thing we can do is point and laugh.

  55. Bluntnose says

    “Sometimes one swears”

    You are allowed to, of course, but I find it hard to understand why you would bother. But Myers does much worse than that. He invents libels and then publishes them to his very large following. He does it a lot. It is easy to think you would feel indifferent to someone making very strong false claims about you on the internet, but I think you would be surprised and it can do real world harm.

  56. Bluntnose says

    “I think it’s completely apropos to point out that wanker Nugent claims to represent — at most — 0.02% of his fellow nationals; this tiny percentage is even more ludicrous when you see that if he had the entire country of Ireland on his side, it’s still not a blip in world affairs. ”

    Ah bit is much more than that. I am guessing you are from the States, am I right? Do you know where Ireland even is?

  57. Bluntnose says

    “Which claims are false?”

    Many of them all itemised by Nugent in his post with links and context and all that. Much better read it there. But I suppose the list is out of date and we could add the new claim that Ayaan Hirsi Ali happily exploits atrocities could be added. It is a very typical Myers smear, although far from the most serious, of course.

  58. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Ah bit is much more than that. I am guessing you are from the States, am I right? Do you know where Ireland even is?

    No, dearie, I’m right about the percentages. (Michael Nugent’s Atheist Ireland claims about 1000 members.) And of course I know where Ireland is: I’m Irish.

    Do feel free to continue to expose your anti-American bigotry, though. Please, do.

  59. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Many of them all itemised by Nugent in his post with links and context and all that. Much better read it there. But I suppose the list is out of date and we could add the new claim that Ayaan Hirsi Ali happily exploits atrocities could be added. It is a very typical Myers smear, although far from the most serious, of course.

    Actually, nothing Nugent lists is a false claim. And neither is the one about AHA. There is in fact a whole thread of discussing that specific piece of her rhetoric right here, and she said what she said.

  60. Bluntnose says

    “No, dearie, I’m right about the percentages. (Michael Nugent’s Atheist Ireland claims about 1000 members.) And of course I know where Ireland is: I’m Irish.”

    You are wrong about your claim, Ireland registers as much more than a ‘blip’ in world affairs. I am surprised that an Irish person didn’t understand that, did you not notice the gigantic splash that your county’s economic problems caused across Europe?

  61. Bluntnose says

    “Actually, nothing Nugent lists is a false claim. And neither is the one about AHA”

    It is. She does not ‘happily exploit atrocities’. In fact she has dedicated her life to putting a stop to the atrocities that Myers is referring to. The claim is a nasty smear.

  62. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Go argue that on the thread dedicated to that. Many people, myself included, agree that she is “happily exploiting atrocities”, and has a history of doing so.

  63. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    So no, that’s not false. What else do you term to be “false” from Myers?

  64. Bluntnose says

    “Go argue that on the thread dedicated to that. Many people, myself included, agree that she is “happily exploiting atrocities”, and has a history of doing so.”

    Thanks for the advice, and I know that many people support Myers in his bullying behaviour, but that doesn’t not make it right.

  65. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    did you not notice the gigantic splash that your county’s economic problems caused across Europe?

    Don’t be more of a fool than you have to be. This thread is not about world economics, but about whether anyone should care about being dissed by the poseur Michael Nugent. If you weren’t so quick to try playing gotcha, you would have noticed that.

    And in case you can’t think it through, the answer to whether anyone should care about Nugent’s “atheist” opinion is: NO, no one should give a fig.

  66. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Thanks for the advice, and I know that many people support Myers in his bullying behaviour, but that doesn’t not make it right.

    You keep saying “bullying behaviour”, but you don’t say what you mean with it. You claim PZ makes “false claims” and “invents libels and then publishes them to his very large following. He does it a lot.” Your single example up to now is shown to be false, it was not a “false claim”. What else have you got?

  67. Bluntnose says

    “Your single example up to now is shown to be false, it was not a “false claim”. What else have you got?”

    You haven’t shown it to be false. The claim that AHA ‘happily exploits’ the atrocities she has dedicated her life to stopping is an obvious smear. Ophelia Benson has made a career in part of opposing sexism, racism and homophobia, and has gained prestige, reputation and even money from doing it. But if I was to suggest she was ‘happily exploiting’ the suffering of rape victims I would be smearing her. Myers had a small disagreement about the content of one part of a long speech, but he couldn’t simply argue that, he had to smear and defame.

    Many many more examples on the lists of Nugent that you already have.

  68. Bluntnose says

    “And in case you can’t think it through, the answer to whether anyone should care about Nugent’s “atheist” opinion is: NO, no one should give a fig.”

    Perhaps a more pressing question for you is why anyone should care about your opinion of whether anyone should care. The fact remains that lots of people seem to.

    And you brought up Ireland’s position in world affairs, not me. I just showed you why you were wrong. No thanks necessary.

  69. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Wow, you clearly don’t seem to know what’s meant with “exploiting” an atrocity. Hint: it means more than just mentioning it or fighting it, it means mentioning it ONLY when you can weaponize it to achieve your own goals.

  70. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    So I’d LOVE to know how AHA wasn’t exploiting atrocities. Seriously.

  71. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Before I close for the day, I’m going to say I’m not doing this for PZ.

    I’m doing this because Ophelia is right, and stick-up-his-ass Michael Nugent is wrong.

    Sometimes a person should swear at the sexism, bigotry, and stupidity of world leaders. Yes *gasp* even Atheist World Leaders. Sometimes swearing is the only appropriate response for a person who is capable of both thinking and feeling at the same time. Ophelia has got the balance down perfectly.

    Sometimes a person should use “mean words” to get the attention of the assholes, or at least the attention of the bystanders. Mealymouthed platitudes never change peoples’ actions to get more justice and freedom in our world. It usually takes being confronted uncomfortably for people to wake up, to notice that their ingrained attitudes of sexism and bigotry are sucky and should be better.

    I don’t know if PZ has ever crossed the line from “mean words” into unacceptable. I’ve never witnessed it if he has, and Michael Nugent’s so-called evidence is nothing but words taken out of context, exaggerations, and outright lies perpetuated by the slymepit. So. that’s worthless as testimony against PZ. And people have often tried to pull the same stupid shit on Ophelia, obsessively stalking her posts for “mean words” they can use as examples of what a terrible person she is, and how she should be shunned. Michael could just have easily turned his trumped-up hatred against Ophelia, and with exactly the same justification: None. None whatsoever.

    He should go back to the Catholic Church since he’s so interested in having the power to excommunicate people for their words and (what he assumes are) their thoughts. He could work himself up to bishop in no time!

    Being “excommunicated” by Michael Nugent isn’t proof that PZ or Ophelia are on the right side, but it sure is a powerful sign that they’re doing something right. Anyone whom Michael Nugent hates … is almost certainly on the side of the angels. 😉

  72. says

    “You haven’t shown it to be false.” Are we shifting the burden of proof?

    “The claim that AHA ‘happily exploits’ the atrocities she has dedicated her life to stopping is an obvious smear.” It seems your logic is that it is an “obvious” smear based on this claim that she has “dedicated her life to stopping” atrocities. It seems to me the disagreement is at least in part in your premise. And perhaps even in the logical argument. Primarily, just because one dedicates their life to something doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage (i.e, “exploit”) of some perks along the way. In short, the logic you appear to be using (since it doesn’t seem you’ve laid out your argument in a clearly logical form…but then maybe I’ve missed something; I’ve only skimmed the comments) doesn’t follow.

    Now, to go back even further in the comments… “Many people did like it (and many still do), but many others were alienated and then appalled by some of his bullying behaviour. I don’t think I could make the case better than Nugent so I won’t try to paraphrase. It is worth reading his complaints though.” And generally I could be OK with that. The problem I have is the focus that is exclusively on PZ. There seems to be no concern whatsoever that people PZ has had issue with could be alienating as well (like, for example, Michael Shermer and his behavior). Nugent doesn’t seem to bother to consider his own behavior as alienating. So it seems that PZ is being expected to live up to a standard no one else has to. I take issue with that. I’d generally be fine (even if I still disagreed) with Nugent’s high standards if he were consistent. I don’t see consistency, which basically means I instead see hypocrisy. Lots of hypocrisy.

  73. says

    Personally, I think I’d be grateful to be so ‘unfellowshipped’ or whatever the hell this was.

    I mean, I was just grumbling a mite about how being at all visibly atheist does get you associated of late with folk I’d really rather not have to waste time apologising for. Having ’em publicly denounce me would, really, be something of a convenience, therefore.

    I don’t know much about this Nugent character, mind. But this does sound like something I’d appreciate, from him…

    (/Do they make thank you cards for this sort of thing, though? They really should. Seems only proper etiquette, after all.)

  74. Deepak Shetty says

    @Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says
    Well don’t leave us hanging, out with it. What are the examples that should concern us?
    Alright. Note first what my claim isn’t– It isn’t an evaluation of the truth of the insults – Only that certain insults or accusations need a more detailed case made for them. For e.g. you want to call someone an asshole is different from calling someone a racist. The first one merely indicates you annoyed me , the second one needs some argument to be made – some adequate proof to be provided.

    a) Dawkins has seemingly developed a callous indifference to sexual abuse of children
    b) Nugent supports/provides a haven for rapists (specifically rapists , not harassers) – here I find myself to be in the position of the current AHA supporter. I think i know what was meant , but thats not what was said
    c. I didn’t look into it , but if the claim that someone was indeed suffering from mental illness is true – I’d find any insults directed towards that person problematic. (assuming Myers was aware of it – if he was unaware and subsequently was made aware I’d expect an apology or retraction). I don’t know details about the specific incident so I wont comment further.

    Don’t get caught up in the true /false of the above – The claim is merely that adequate rational justification was not provided for these claims – And yes thats a subjective evaluation. I don’t have a problem that these claims were made(even in a blog) nor do i have a problem that these claims may be true/false.

  75. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Deepak Shetty in comment 95, thanks for giving examples. I’m not sure I understand what you mean, though, about it not mattering whether these claims are true or false.

    a) Dawkins has seemingly developed a callous indifference to sexual abuse of children

    Take this one. Dawkins is on record saying that “mild pedophilia” is not so bad. That’s a verifiable fact. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to say that he has “seemingly developed a callous indifference to sexual abuse of children”. So I don’t see how the fact that Dawkins said “mild pedophilia” is not so bad (which can be verified by a simple internet search) has no bearing on PZ saying what he said, or how what PZ said isn’t sufficiently justified.

    Same with b.

    b) Nugent supports/provides a haven for rapists (specifically rapists , not harassers) – here I find myself to be in the position of the current AHA supporter. I think i know what was meant , but thats not what was said

    Micheal Shermer is a rapist. Nugent was defending him, along with the Slymepit, and hosting the slymepit defending him. Thus, he provided a haven for rapists. Therefore it was not unreasonable or “bullying” to say that Nugent provided a haven for rapists.
    What more rational justification do you need? It’s all in the links that Nugent conveniently left out but Alex added, linked above.

  76. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Oh, and here’s the mental illness one. What Nugent says PZ said:

    He called Irish blogger ZenBuffy a ‘narcissistic wanker,’ after she said she has experienced mental illness.

    From the link, which deals with David Markuze’s mother refusing to see that her son was harassing someone and threatening them with violence:

    A character named Zenbuffy has decided I’m just as bad as Markuze, because i’ve been stalking her for ten years and sending her a collection of death threats every day. Oh wait, no, I haven’t done that…it’s because she has experienced mental illness personally, and because I think obsessively sending many hundreds of violent threats every day all day is a sign of being mentally disturbed (you think?), I have stigmatized every single crazy person in the universe. While I do think Zenbuffy is a narcisstic wanker — it’s not about you at all, lady, it’s about the guy who floods me with nonstop hate mail — I don’t regard all mental illnesses as the same, I don’t consider a history of mental illness as an evil. I just want ONE crazy stalker to stop what he’s doing and be taken seriously by community authorities.

    So no, he didn’t call her “a narcissistic wanker after she said she’s experienced mental illness”.

  77. Deepak Shetty says

    about it not mattering whether these claims are true or false.
    Suppose I say you are a horrible human being – Do I have any reason for making that claim? If I dont , should I make the claim?
    Could that claim be true/false ?
    I really dont want to argue the details of atleast 1 of those claims. (You should note that supposedly Myers said ” Shermer is not commenting on your blog, so I will say that you aren’t providing a safe harbor for him” – which if true , makes my interpretation of what provides a haven for rapists meant , wrong)

    For Dawkins ever consider that his mild pedophilia related comments may be how he deals/dealt with his experience ? Are you really comfortable passing judgement calls on Dawkins for this issue? As far as I could tell he was describing his experiences and others who he knew – with an additional dose of comparative ranking – Neither of which , necessarily, indicates a “callous indifference”

    for ZenBuffy you might well be right , but like I said I dont know the details)

    But anyway , im fully aware that this is subjective so there isn’t much point in these arguments. You wanted examples of what i would think problematic and I gave you those .

  78. says

    @Deepak Shetty #98:

    For Dawkins ever consider that his mild pedophilia related comments may be how he deals/dealt with his experience ? Are you really comfortable passing judgement calls on Dawkins for this issue? As far as I could tell he was describing his experiences and others who he knew – with an additional dose of comparative ranking – Neither of which , necessarily, indicates a “callous indifference”

    His continued use of his experience as though it can be generalized, his continued claim (with varying degrees of qualification, usually very little when on Twitter) that teaching children about Hell is worse than “mild pedophilia,” and his expanded comments about how he can’t condemn what happened to him because it was a different time, is what led PZ (and many others, including other victims of child sexual abuse) to criticize Dawkins, and what ultimately led Dawkins to apologize. Although, as has become typical with Dawkins apologies, he doesn’t quite understand why what he did was wrong and has continued to do it since (his fixation on comparing different tragedies is thoroughly bizarre).

    Framing this as Dawkins talking solely about his experience and people calling him a pedophilia apologist for it is either ignorant or disingenuous, Deepak. The links and articles aren’t hard to find; let’s find out which it is.

  79. Donnie says

    False equivalency.

    If PZ said,

    – “The Black Wanker”
    – “The Mexican Wanker”
    – “The Gay Wanker”

    We would have jumped on him. But PZ didn’t. Had PZ said,

    – “The American Wanker”
    – “The Mexico Wanker”

    No one would have complained. What PZ said was, “The Irish Wanker”.

    If the definite article was replaced with an indefinite article, then you would have had a point and we would have jumped on him.

    Please,keep your equivalence togehter but u am finding that is hard for Wankers to do. Wankers love to shit stir without regard to logic, reason, or context.

    Thus, stop being a Wanker.

  80. Deepak Shetty says

    @tom foss
    You confuse Dawkins was wrong/ should apologize / retract/ minimized the experience of others who might have suffered abuse with “callous indifference to sexual abuse of children”.
    Here – My ancestors were probably married as children by their parents – that I understand it was part of my culture and that it is indeed true that standards of ages past are different from today , doesn’t mean I think that a) They were right or b)That I am now demonstrating a callous indifference to child marriage.

  81. Bluntnose says

    “False equivalency.
    If PZ said,
    – “The Black Wanker”
    – “The Mexican Wanker”
    – “The Gay Wanker”
    We would have jumped on him. ”

    I don’t really see the moral difference between ‘the Mexican wanker’ and ‘the Irish wanker’. I am pretty sure there isn’t one.

  82. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Deepak Shetty, 101:

    Here – My ancestors were probably married as children by their parents – that I understand it was part of my culture and that it is indeed true that standards of ages past are different from today , doesn’t mean I think that a) They were right or b)That I am now demonstrating a callous indifference to child marriage.

    Yes, but did you say “I don’t think it did anyone (of us) any harm”? That’s kind of where the difference comes in. It’s fine if it didn’t do Dawkins any harm, and if he said it didn’t do him any harm. What he said instead was it didn’t do anyone of the kids any harm, and the logical conclusion from that is thus it is harmless.

  83. Bluntnose says

    “It’s fine if it didn’t do Dawkins any harm, and if he said it didn’t do him any harm. What he said instead was it didn’t do anyone of the kids any harm”

    He said that he didn’t think a specific, relatively innocuous (in his view) sexual abuse did any harm to a specific group of boys (including himself) at a particular time. And to make sure no-one could honestly misunderstand he later elaborated to explain that he does think that a great deal of sexual abuse causes enormous harm and should be eliminated and punished and that, on refection, he couldn’t want to be seen as speaking for anyone else’s experiences but his own. All of this was well known to Myers.

  84. Bluntnose says

    To save you the search Gen:

    That is why I made light of my own bad experience. To excuse pedophiliac assaults in general, or to make light of the horrific experiences of others, was a thousand miles from my intention.

    I should have hoped that much was obvious. But I was perhaps presumptuous in the last sentence of the paragraph quoted above. I cannot know for certain that my companions’ experiences with the same teacher were are brief as mine, and theirs may have been recurrent where mine was not. That’s why I said only “I don’t think he did any of us lasting damage”. We discussed it among ourselves on many occasions, especially after his suicide, and there was indeed general agreement that his gassing himself was far more upsetting than his sexual depredations had been. If I am wrong about any particular individual; if any of my companions really was traumatised by the abuse long after it happened; if, perhaps it happened many times and amounted to more than the single disagreeable but brief fondling that I endured, I apologise.

  85. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I don’t have a lot of time today, but bluntnose, PZ wrote what he wrote BEFORE Dawkins issued his clarification and apology. Further, other people on the network expounded on his apology and the problematic issues he didn’t mention in his apology. (like here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/godlessness/2013/09/13/dawkins-has-made-the-wrong-apology-admirable-it-still-suggests-hes-missed-the-point/)

    I don’t see your point, in other words. You expect PZ to magically telepathically know what Dawkins actually, really really meant and ignore what he actually really really said? Before Dawkins clarified?

  86. John Morales says

    [meta]

    But Gen, Bluntnose merely indicated that one cannot generalise on the basis that Dawkins was only referring to what he thought about a specific, relatively innocuous (in his view) sexual abuse which did no harm to a specific group of boys (including himself) at a particular time.

    He didn’t make any claim about what he thought about a non-specific, non-relatively innocuous (in other than his view) sexual abuse which didn’t do no harm to a non-specific group of boys (not including himself) at a non-particular time!

    (Or: “X is bad. Y is worse.” is not applicable here, since X is “zero bad”)

  87. says

    Deepak, there’s a pretty big difference between what happened to your distant ancestors and what happened to people in the recent past. Dawkins’ endorsement of temporal moral relativism here is callously indifferent to other people in his age group who were similarly molested. Writing it off as though the 1950s were ancient Greece and just had a more accepting attitude of adults molesting children is not only ahistorical, but it minimizes the experience of all those people who’ve been suing the Catholic church over similar abuses for decades.

    Recall that the Catholic church was the focus of this back at the beginning, when Dawkins wrote about this in the God Delusion. He spends paragraph after paragraph delineating the degrees of child sexual abuse to conclude that teaching children about Hell (he doesn’t bother to qualify that, to suggest that there are different degrees of Hell indoctrination) is more traumatizing than the kind of abuse that he received. Not that it was more traumatizing to him, not that the worst Hell-teaching may be worse than the mildest sexual abuse.

    Dawkins has this idea that the trauma of an event is always proportional to the violence of the event, something that’s at the heart of his repeated comments on this subject, on rape, even on women’s rights. He’s been corrected on it, he’s been told by other victims of abuse that he can’t generalize his experiences or assumptions the way he does. Despite apologizing repeatedly for these remarks, he continues making them.

    When someone dismisses abuse because it was a different time, says “mild touching up” shouldn’t be considered in the same category as other kinds of sexual assault, and continues making similar comments even after being told that they’re dismissive at best, and they continue making similar remarks? Maybe you wouldn’t call that callous indifference, but I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to do so.

  88. Bluntnose says

    “Dawkins’ endorsement of temporal moral relativism here is callously indifferent to other people in his age group who were similarly molested. ”

    It isn’t. He merely said that he thought that the experience they shared had done them no lasting damage. That is neither indifferent nor callous He knew these people well, kept in touch with them and discussed the events with them. Later on he explained (see above) that even so he was too hasty and should have allowed for the possibility that some suffered worse trauma than they had admitted or than he knew. If this is callous indifference then none of us ‘scape whipping.

    The point he was making about the teacher who killed himself presumably because of his horror at his own sexual proclivities and may (to those who are not callously indifferent to such suffering) therefore deserve some of our sympathy, was that he could not be judged in the same light as those who do similar things now with the full knowledge of the harm they can do that the intervening times have provided. This is not relativism. It is like suggesting that we should not be so hasty in judging Marie Curie as negligent in her handling of radium as we might a modern physicist.

    The desire to smear Dawkins with this is really pitiful. I presume that those doing it are themselves victims of childhood sexual abuse or they would just shut and listen to Dawkins the survivor . But …

  89. says

    Bluntnose, you’re commenting very prolifically, so it’s time for you to start using blockquotes to make your comments easier to read. Follow the convention, please.

  90. Deepak Shetty says

    @Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    “I don’t think it did anyone (of us) any harm”?

    Ok , Having spoken to my grandparents and a couple of their peers(who lived and were married in time frame 1920-1950) they also said this early marriage didnt do them any lasting harm and that they were pretty ok with their lives.
    Now look at context – if I make a statement of this sort as an answer to “What is your opinion of child marriage?” – It is a valid criticism , that I appear to be trying to minimise problems by focusing on anecdotes. If on the other hand , this question relates to something I wrote in my autobiography, it should be obvious that I am talking about my experiences and my conversations rather than a statement in general.

  91. Deepak Shetty says

    @Tom Foss
    1) Im merely making a variation of Sagans statement Extraordinary claims (or accusations or insults) need Extraordinary evidence. if you feel that the examples in question meet that criteria, fine , its a subjective evaluation and nothing I can say will make you change that (or vice versa) – i will note , that in your arguments , you have introduced many points , that are not found in Myers post (I still dont think you meets the requirement to make a statement of the sort that was made). If the claim was merely Dawkins was wrong , or that Dawkins didn’t look to have considered other experiences or that Dawkins feels that only physical violence is problematic – all of those would be good, valid , criticisms.
    2) There’s been a tendency to try and minimise the dissociation with what are effectively ad -homs. When some of us said that we don’t want to do anything with Dawkins because he just doesn’t get it and neither does he seem to want to – I’d feel that if I got a response of the form “Who cares about some Indian wanker with poor grammar” I’d likely not see it as reasonable.

  92. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Deepak Shetty

    they also said this early marriage didnt do them any lasting harm and that they were pretty ok with their lives.

    You’re still not doing it right. Your hypothetical grandparents are still only speaking to their own experience, which is fine.

    If they had said “child marriage didn’t do anyone [they know who got married that young that they were acquainted with] any harm” then it would a problem. It would be a problem because one victim (or group of victims) don’t get to dictate how other victims experience or characterize their abuse, and besides, deciding on behalf of someone else what did and didn’t harm them is fucking offensive.

    Which is why what Dawkins said is problem, regardless of whether he’s a victim of sexual abuse or not, bluntnose. No one, including victims, get to tell other people that the abuse they suffered (no matter how mild it’s judged by the person speaking to be, which is another fight all together) “didn’t do [them] any harm”.

  93. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Deepak Shetty, again, this time 112: I couldn’t figure out what you meant to say in point 1.

    Im merely making a variation of Sagans statement Extraordinary claims (or accusations or insults) need Extraordinary evidence

    Which claims are extraordinary here? I’m not sure what you’re talking about or what you mean.

    I still dont think you meets the requirement to make a statement of the sort that was made).

    I don’t understand what you mean here either.

    If the claim was merely Dawkins was wrong , or that Dawkins didn’t look to have considered other experiences or that Dawkins feels that only physical violence is problematic – all of those would be good, valid , criticisms.

    I don’t see how what you said here is any different in substance than what PZ said. PZ used harsher words, yes, but the points are basically the same.

    As for your point #2, that’s fine, but it’s basically a tone argument. If you’ve been proven to be not only wrong but also dishonest, then someone saying that they don’t care about what some Indian wanker says (with reference to you) isn’t actually that unreasonable. Is it harsh? Yes. Not nice? Yes. Unreasonable? I don’t think so.

  94. Deepak Shetty says

    I don’t see how what you said here is any different in substance than what PZ said.
    But that is precisely the point. We agree on the substance – We don’t agree on stuff like concluding that Dawkins has developed an indifference to child abuse – You can’t claim to be ethical , compassionate and having empathy and draw that conclusion from what was said. You can’t claim to be for internal criticism and then off-handedly dismiss people as being tone trolls.

    If you’ve been proven to be not only wrong
    Not the point. I said if I chose to dissociate with Dawkins(as people have done) , then dismissing that dissociation as inconsequential because I am a non-entity is unreasonable. Thats what a lot of comments about Nugent have focused on. The arguments were not that Nugent is wrong – it was that Nugent is self -important, Atheist ireland is Nugent in 3rd person, Ireland is soooooo small etc.. What purpose does that serve?

  95. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    You can’t claim to be ethical , compassionate and having empathy and draw that conclusion from what was said.

    We just had a looong discussion right here where it comes out that yes, you can actually. Especially since Dawkins continues to show his ignorance on the topics of child abuse and other sexual abuse, as highlighted in the article I linked, yet insists on making sweeping statements that actually harm survivors of abuse.

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