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Markuze investigation continues

According to this news story from Montreal (Google translation), the police have opened an investigation into Dennis Markuze. Whatever that means.

One interesting part of the story: the reporter contacted his mother, who is in deep denial.

In a brief telephone interview with La Presse yesterday, the mother of Dennis Markuze confirmed that he is the author of the messages. However, she refuses to condemn the writings of his son, who still lives in his house, and ensures that it is not violent. “I do not ask him to stop, no. Why should I? It is his job, for what he believes. Why should I stop? “Said Ms. Markuze English.

She quickly washed away when the press told him about death threats that many people say they have received. “He never did that. It does not even kill a fly, sir. I do not believe. You probably understand its messages. “To quote some excerpts (” I’ll put a bullet in the head, “” I’ll t’exécuter “), she replied:” Read the full what he writes and you’ll see “before hanging up.

Oh. It’s his job to spam death threats over the internet. Is there good money in that, I wonder…


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.

Comments

  1. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Google translate does a poor translation, but unless it completely missed the point, it seems she pulled the good old “out of context” card. Because “I’ll execute you” surely sounds much more innocent when you read the whole text.

  2. Freerefill says

    In many cases, “I’ll execute you” WAS the entire message.

    It’s very hard to take that out of context.

    Though, I guess I can sort of see where he gets it from…

    Still, almost 4,000 sigs last I checked. Keep spreading the word! Post it on blogs, forums, everywhere! I know we can hit 10,000!

  3. says

    Things would be so much better for Markuze if his mother were better able to accept that her son has a serious illness. If she did, she could insist on his getting treatment as a condition of remaining in her house. She could cut off his internet access.

    Since she isn’t willing or able to help him, that leaves only involuntary commitment as an option that would actually stop the threats.

    I wonder if Montreal will go that far? Or if they will just investigate, issue a stern warning, and leave him to continue making threats?

  4. TV200 says

    It’s hard to tell from the translation, but it seems as though that petition seems to have done something. If so, I’m glad I signed. Well, even if not, I’m still glad to have done that. But I’m also glad that something is being done about this.

  5. The Rat King says

    It’s probably the translation; Quebec French is a bit different than Francais Parisienne.

    Think of it kind of like ‘It’s his path in life’, in the ‘convert the heathens’ kind of context.

    Only with more delusion.

  6. Michael says

    #5 Did she really say that sending hate mail is his job?

    I think she is saying that “according to his belief” it is his job to send out messages. It’s like a Christian who believes it is his job to pray every day.

  7. I hate the login here says

    Well so we see where the nature of his delusions comes from then.

    This is sad and a bit like a Stephen King film :(

  8. Sili says

    Interesting how Goggle Translate automatically uses the male pronoun. It can’t handle the difference between the possessed and the possessor.

  9. Zorba says

    Of course, if Sam Harris says, “Some propositions are so dangerous that it my be eithical to kill people for believing them.”, in effect saying that it may be ethical to kill people for BELIEFS…as Lenin and Trotsky thought…then he get great book contracts.

    Its all a matter of presentation!

  10. InfraredEyes says

    The translation of M. Markuze’s remarks is pretty reasonably accurate, I think.

  11. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Of course, if Sam Harris says, “Some propositions are so dangerous that it my be eithical to kill people for believing them.”, in effect saying that it may be ethical to kill people for BELIEFS…as Lenin and Trotsky thought…then he get great book contracts.

    Its all a matter of presentation!

    You’re an idiot.

  12. Draken says

    C’est son travail, ce en quoi il croit might be better freely translated as It’s his incentive, that which he believes in, or something such.

  13. Draken says

    Oh wait, she said it in English, La Presse translated it into French, Google translated it back. Oh dear.

  14. consciousness razor says

    Did she really say that sending hate mail is his job?

    Yep:

    C’est son travail, ce en quoi il croit.

    The article does report she said this in English, so it could be a translation error on the part of the reporters. Not likely to completely change the meaning, but I suppose it’s possible. Maybe it was something like, “it’s how he works for what he believes,” or some other inane excuse, which in this context would be just as ridiculous.

  15. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    His “job” could easily mean his calling or his duty. I wouldn’t get too hung up on a twice translated phrase.

    That doesn’t mean it’s any less ridiculous.

  16. qwertyuiop says

    It’s his job to spam death threats over the internet. Is there good money in that, I wonder…”

    Probably not if he’s still living with his mommy.

    Looks like Dennis is another textbook example of the damage childhood religious brainwashing does to the mind.

  17. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I’m starting to think that maybe she really doesn’t know what exactly her son is writing. That would explain the defense that he is just doing what he thinks is his duty (even if she’s not clear on what that is) and the call to read the whole thing to understand when they tell her he was sending death threats. I’m giving her a huge benefit of the doubt here, but maybe she was actually surprised by the revelation and just tried to weasel out with that last sentence.

    I can’t imagine anyone would seriously think that any kind of context could make such death threats acceptable.

  18. embertine says

    The translation’s not bad; it certainly makes it clear that his mother is in complete denial about the extent and escalation of his threats. Perhaps the good lady is herself not entirely right dans la tête?

    On another note, it is both depressing and hilarious that he has actually spammed the petition calling for his incarceration. Impulse control fail.

  19. René says

    If Mommy dear is a native speaker of English, my bet is she said something like “It’s what he does, what he believes in.”

  20. carlie says

    The inactions of the police dept. show that computers still aren’t taken seriously. For some reason (maybe we can call it “Dawkinsesque”?), anything transmitted on the internet isn’t important. If PZ were getting hundreds of physical letters in the mail every day from Marzuke, all carefully typed death threats, or if he were getting phone messages in his voice mail, they would have been at Marzuke’s door inside of a week. But since it’s email, it doesn’t “count”. Because computers are only for playing games or something, not doing anything real.

  21. says

    I wonder if any of our Quebecois friends could contact his internet provider and get him cutoff? Surely this must be a violation of their policy? Hopefully. Since he’s English, the Blok should kick his ass out of the Province, oh then again, he’d probably come to Ontario and then we’d have to deal with him. Bad idea.

  22. nemo the derv says

    Why are they interviewing mabus’s mother?
    Not the most objective choice to assess this guy’s character.

    Things that we know about him:
    1, Lives with his mother while well into his forties.
    2, Has no job(at least not one that pays) which means that mother still likely pays for everything.
    3, Tried to collect the JREF prize by handing in someone else’s work (nostradamus).
    4, Has been dropped from every ISP in Canada.
    5, Sends profane death threats to a very long list of people via any form of media he can(anyone ever get a postcard from this guy?)
    6, has physically stalked people or, at least, one person that I know of.
    7, Never been laid. This is conjecture on my part but i think it’s a safe bet.

    But mom says he’s a good boy so everyone should leave him alone. A perfectly well adjusted child.
    Riiiiight.

  23. NewEnglandBob says

    A year ago, I offered to go up with someone to confront this mentally diseased individual. At the time it was thought that the police will handle it.

  24. Matt Penfold says

    The comments from Markuze’s mother seem to have been made in English, translated into French by the reported, and translated back into English by Google.

    It would be reasonable to assume some mangling has occurred in the process.

  25. moggie says

    I have a vague memory, from past discussion, that he had a moderately successful life of his own before mental illness took over, but googling for details leads me into a depressing swamp of madness.

  26. says

    PZ, have there been any requests from Canadian media for an interview yet, with you, any of the other forces behind the petition, or prominent targets of M*b*s? One would think they would be interested in hearing your sides of the story.

  27. raven says

    Zorba the troll:

    Of course, if Sam Harris says, “Some propositions are so dangerous that it my be eithical to kill people for believing them.”, in effect saying that it may be ethical to kill people for BELIEFS…as Lenin and Trotsky thought…then he get great book contracts.

    Why compare Markuze to Lenin and Trotsky? He is just following the orders of his king, jesus, from a magic book.

    Luke 19:27
    www. thegodmurders.com/id118.html – CachedLuke 19:27

    Jesus said: “And, as for those who would not have Me be King over them, bring them before Me and slay them.”

    If you claim to be a king and order everyone who doesn’t believe it to be killed, you get deified and called god.

    Jesus’s saving grace is that he has never killed anyone, most likely being mythological. His followers have killed tens of millions. Up until we took their heavy weapons away, being an atheist, heretic, or apostate was a death sentence.

  28. says

    The inactions of the police dept. show that computers still aren’t taken seriously.

    QFT

    Yeah – and Markuze is posting stuff that is more crazy and aggressive than Breivik was posting. Although considerably less coherent. I guess they’re going to wait until he pops, just like the Norwegians did with Breivik. As we can see, that works really well.

  29. Physicalist says

    I wonder whether Mother Markuze has an e-mail address. If she’s actually ignorant of her son’s actions, forwarding to her copies of any threats he makes might do some good. Of course, it won’t if she’s indifferent or supportive of what he’s doing.

  30. What a Maroon says

    @ 31,

    This is the first paragraph of the article:

    Chaque jour depuis 1993, Paul Z. Myers, professeur de biologie à l’Université du Minnesota, commence sa journée avec le même rituel: purger sa boîte courriel des menaces de mort qu’il reçoit d’un certain David Mobus, qui s’appellerait en réalité Dennis Markuze, de Montréal.

    The first four paragraphs and the last one basically summarize PZ’s entry from yesterday.

  31. itkovian says

    Well, either way, I think this is a good positive development.

    La Presse is basically the top french-language newspaper in Montreal, and is a full format newspaper as well. That they have an article on this guy (even if it’s only online, not sure about the print edition) is definitely a major sign that this situation is being recognized.

    In short, it’s exactly the kind of visibility needed to get the Montreal Police to actually take the matter seriously.

    As for his mother… well, she might be a fundie as well, but ultimately I think she is simply defending her child. She likely has no idea what he does all day, and believes the quotes are made up. Ultimately that’s irrelevant, if the police take action and find proper evidence.

    Itkovian

  32. nemo the derv says

    physicalist@35

    I can’t be sure but my guess is she does not have email. Her son has been kicked off of a number of ISPs. With her living in the same house, I doubt she can get online. At least, not at home.
    Her son has been operating at internet cafe’s and other such places.

  33. Algernon says

    The comments from Markuze’s mother seem to have been made in English, translated into French by the reported, and translated back into English by Google.It would be reasonable to assume some mangling has occurred in the process.

    Time for Translation Party Equilibrium

  34. nemo the derv says

    Is St Larient a suburb of Montreal? There seems to be differing between articles about where he lives.

  35. Algernon says

    Ugh… it just depresses me though. This woman has an adult son who has no life but to tool around at cafes sending death threats to people, and who has even escalated to showing up where he can to make trouble. He’s clearly going without treatment for some kind of problem… and she’s just not going to see it?

    It makes me very sad.

  36. raven says

    It’s probable that his mother shares some features of his pathology.

    Some mental illness has a high hereditary component. Schizophrenia is one, IIRC, the correlation is 0.8 with perfect being 1.0. Even when the parents aren’t SZ themselves, they frequently aren’t neurotypical either.

    Or she could just be in denial. DM is in his 40’s, there may not be much she can do.

    Around here, the police have gotten a lot more proactive with strange people acting potentially violent. A guy threatened to shoot up the local university after a series of university shootings. Somebody tipped off the cops who put his name in a data base. A few days later, he was arrested while trying to buy a rifle at a store.

    DM would most likely be better off treated and medicated. SZ’s live 15-30 years less than the national average.

  37. Multicellular says

    His “job” could easily mean his calling or his duty. I wouldn’t get too hung up on a twice translated phrase.

    Though isn’t it ironic that it’s believers like Markuze that get hung up on a text that is the translation of a translation of a translation?

    It seems to me that Markuze and his mother are codependent on one another. His mother justifies his behavior in order to “protect” him – unfortunately all this attention will likely only strengthen her behavior.

  38. Bernard Bumner says

    A character named Zenbuffy…

    Who actually appears to be the only person attempting to draw broad generalisations (in the form of Strawmen to argue with) from PZ’s complaint about the specific problem that is DM.

  39. says

    Zenbuffy sympathizes, because, she says, she and Mabus are both crazy. I wonder if she is also sending death threats to massive numbers of people? If not, I think she’ll agree that there are different kinds of crazy.

    There’s the kind of crazy where you get treatment and live the best life you can with the resources you have.

    And there’s the kind of crazy where you are dangerous to have around, and the rest of us, with complete sympathy that the problem is your brain wiring more than your free choices, are going to have to take action to make sure you don’t hurt anyone.

  40. Matt Penfold says

    Zenbuffy seems to have run away and is refusing to defend her position.

    Brave Brave Zenbuffy……..

  41. raven says

    Fox News site gets 8000 death threats

    Cal Coast News – 1 day ago
    More than 8000 death threats were posted recently on the Fox News Facebook page after the communications director for American Atheists, Blair Scott, …

    Death threats from fundie xians aren’t anything new or unusual. Most have heard what happened to American Atheist’s Blair Scott. Fox news had to take down that Facebook page.

    I suppose this is what happens when your gods are invisible and don’t actually do anything in the real world. A lot of theists might have an idea that they don’t really exist.

    Why does god need a spaceship? Why does god need a mob of liars and killers?

  42. carlie says

    I honestly think the world wouldn’t be a worse place if internet death threats were taken seriously, and therefore people had to think twice about making them lest they find a not-so-friendly cop at their door.

  43. ShavenYak says

    I only took four years of French in high school, 20 years ago, but the original article was still easier for me to read and understand than Google’s craptastic translation. I would have thought by now that the translation algorithm could at least understand basic sentence structure differences and understand how different languages handle concepts like negation and tenses, but sadly it still seems to pretty much be just substituting words.

    My best guesses at what DM’s mom actually said in English:

    “I haven’t asked him to stop, no. Why would I? It’s what he does for his beliefs. Why would I stop him?”

    “He never did that. He wouldn’t even hurt a fly, sir. I don’t believe it. You probably didn’t understand his messages. Read all of what he wrote and you’ll understand.”

  44. says

    @Raven, re Comment 32.

    That’s quite a misquote there – your presentation suggests that those words are Jesus’s own. He was telling a parable of an earthly king, not speaking about himself.

    (I’m an atheist, not a Xtian apologist, but just want criticisms to be well founded).

  45. Rawnaeris says

    Mabus/Markuze is spamming the comments of the petition itself now. I hope the Police don’t continue to ignore this.

  46. Hexahelicene says

    Saint Laurent is part of greater Montreal. Think of it like Manhattan and New York.

    My news search is finding a number of articles now. None yet in English … Which is what it takes to get wider Internet traction.

    You are wise to question machine translation, but reporters in Quebec would all be very fluent at translation. That is not to say there are not shades of meaning lost in any translation.

  47. tricycle says

    From the Montreal Gazette: “Lafrenière said he wasn’t aware of any complaint from Myers.”

    If Lafrenière is unaware, then who at the SVPM is aware?

    A good question pairing for them: “What did you know and when did you know it?”

  48. Zinc Avenger says

    Raven @ 50:

    Why does god need a spaceship? Why does god need a mob of liars and killers?

    Hmm, you know, if we strip out the Star Trek reference, then trim it a little more, we get a really good atheist rallying cry:

    Why does god need a liar?

  49. says

    Zenbuffy seems to have run away and is refusing to defend her position.

    Meh. I don’t tend to think a blogger has any need to ‘defend her position,’ unless she didn’t communicate it clearly the first time and wants to clarify it.

    She said what she has to say. I understanding it. I don’t agree with her. She doesn’t have to keep talking until either I agree with her or she admits she was wrong. I weighed in on her comments section with why I think she was wrong, and I don’t need to keep talking beyond that, either.

  50. says

    My French is quite rusty, but I can do a better job at translating that than Google Translator. Here’s an improved translation for people who want a version that won’t make your brain hurt from reading it.

    In a brief telephone interview with La Presse yesterday, Dennis Markuze’s mother confirmed that he did indeed write the messages. But she refused to condemn her son’s writings, and insisted that Markuze (who still lives in her home) is not violent. “No, I haven’t asked him to stop. Why should I? This is his work; it’s what he believes. Why should I stop him?” said Mrs. Markuze in English.

    Her temper flared when La Presse asked her about the death threats many people claim to have received. “He never did that. He wouldn’t harm a fly, sir. You probably just don’t understand what he meant.” At the citation of certain excerpts (“I’ll put a bullet in your head,” “I will execute you”) she retorted, “Read his writings in full and you’ll see,” before hanging up.

    There. Hope that’s better.

  51. raven says

    That’s quite a misquote there – your presentation suggests that those words are Jesus’s own. He was telling a parable of an earthly king, not speaking about himself.

    It’s not a misquote. It’s straight out of the bible.

    Parables are stories with lessons in them.

    As the self proclaimed expert, what lesson was jesus trying to communicate?

  52. says

    “I understanding it,” is, of course, my humorous take on the Google translation, and certainly not a result of clumsy, overhasty typing. Yep. I say I meant to do that, and you can’t prove me wrong.

  53. says

    Raven, we’re already right. We don’t need to lift quotes out of context in order to make our point. There’s plenty of things in the Bible that are horrifying just as they were intended.

    George Lucas said, “You do not know the power of the Dark Side. I must obey my master.”

  54. Matt Penfold says

    Meh. I don’t tend to think a blogger has any need to ‘defend her position,’ unless she didn’t communicate it clearly the first time and wants to clarify it.

    It is not very polite to come to a blog, complain and then turn around and say you will not reply. her being a blogger has nothing to do with it, since the comment was not left on her blog. As things stand once is left to conclude she has not bothered reply since she has no cogent reply to offer.

    She said what she has to say. I understanding it. I don’t agree with her. She doesn’t have to keep talking until either I agree with her or she admits she was wrong. I weighed in on her comments section with why I think she was wrong, and I don’t need to keep talking beyond that, either.

    She did indeed say what she said. It was pretty incoherent, and she contradicted herself at least once. No one can make her come back and defend her position, but it is quite reasonable to come to some conclusions about her character and her confidence in her argument if she does not.

    As things stand she comes across as someone who is rather impolite and not entirely rational on the subject.

  55. dustycrickets says

    @53…

    “…your presentation suggests that those words are Jesus’s own. He was telling a parable of an earthly king,….”

    My understanding is that your comment about Luke 19:27 is likely accurate.
    Perhaps Luke 17:2 would have been a better choice….

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”

    This verse is commonly used (at least on bible belt radio stations) to call for gays and anti-bullying activists to be murdered…..because they want to teach children that sin (homosexuality) is OK and should be tolerated.

  56. raven says

    Raven, we’re already right. We don’t need to lift quotes out of context in order to make our point.

    Where do you get that “we”. You are wrong.

    I read that whole page. It is about a future king, some of whose potential future subjects opposed his appointment. When he was made king, he had them killed.

    In the preceding sentences, the bible mentions the coming Kingdom of god. And who was to rule this future Kingdom of god? God’s son, jesus.

    There is clearly a threat there of deadly force from a future ruler towards his opposition and that is the whole point of the parable.

  57. Doug Little says

    Markuze has been spamming the comments section of the petition. This guy can’t leave well enough alone, do you think he has some form of compulsive behavior disorder? I’m no armchair psychologist anybody out there that has a better idea of exactly what he might be suffering from?

  58. Kevin says

    The parable of Luke 19 is Jesus talking about himself and how people who did not serve him well while he’s “away” will be punished when he comes back to rule the Earth.

    So, it’s not a threat of earthly killing, but yet another instance where the myth writers threaten nonbelievers with eternal torment. In this case, it’s an exhortation to convert more people. The more souls you gather for Jesus, the more you will be valued in heaven. And those who gather none — well, the consequences will be dire. BTW: so much for the “grace alone” branches of Christianity.

    So, it’s not a misquote. And it’s Jesus talking about himself in the guise of an earthly king.

    Yet another instance where the “Jesus meek and mild” character that liberal Christians adore is nowhere to be seen.

  59. Azkyroth says

    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.

    Let me guess: it’s about using the word “crazy,” isn’t it?

  60. says

    Biblical texts are obscure enough without mis-attributing them, and looking for allegorical meaning therein is a job for theologians, not me.

    Anyway, let us unite against the common enemy: The Popular Front of Judea, who is the subject of this post! ;-)

  61. Blondin says

    This seems just a little ironic:

    The police tune changed Wednesday morning, with a tweet from @SPVM that “we are investigating the case.” It included a plea to “please stop sending emails to our media address by signing the petition.”

    It could be worse – we could be spamming their media address with incoherent babble, threats and links to Spandau Ballet music videos.

  62. says

    re: Luke 119:27

    If you go to this link:

    http://bible.cc/luke/19-27.htm

    and look at the bottom of the page, you see that the People’s New Testament, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary all take the verse to refer to the ultimate fate of those who do not believe in Christ.

  63. BBGunn says

    “He never did that. He wouldn’t harm a fly, sir. You probably just don’t understand what he meant.”

    Unfortunately, the next time a newspaper quotes his mother, it may read similar to this: “He was a good son. He never even harmed a fly before this.”

  64. Don Quijote says

    Sorry, I don´t know how to link it, but if anyone is interested there is a guy named Bret “Ginx” Alan who has a blog at http://anythingbuttheist.com who says;
    “I see a harmless spammer who has hurt no one, being bullied by a pack of enraged atheists. They are trying to take an online exchange of words and conflate it into criminal activity.”
    Perhaps you might like to go there and comment.

  65. says

    Lousy job, but someone has to do it. No, something’s wrong with that statement.

    As I indicated in my translation, I’m not sure that “job” is the best translation for “travail” in that context. I think she meant something more like this is his life work or his calling. But I could be wrong. Like I said, my French is far from perfect, and “travail” can mean a lot of things in French.

  66. Rawnaeris says

    The comments on the petition are like the figurative train wreck, awful, yet I can’t stop reading them..even though DM is spamming almost constantly now.

  67. consciousness razor says

    Biblical texts are obscure enough without mis-attributing them,

    The gospel of Luke is “obscure” now? If only that were the case. Maybe next time you could try reading a text before you claim someone got it wrong.

    and looking for allegorical meaning therein is a job for theologians, not me.

    You also claimed the passage had a particular meaning. Does only your ignorant opinion count? It turns out you were wrong. You could just admit it and move on, like an adult. Instead, you pull some sophisticated excuseology out of your ass and pretend like nothing happened.

  68. Anteprepro says

    Bonus Christian morality, before the Parable King calls for people to be executed:

    In Luke 19:22 to 26, the entirety of the passages are the Parable King whining about how mean the servant was to him. I thought that this was a gem: “‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’” Because the best way to prove that you don’t take out what you don’t put in is to demand that other people invest money for you. Just as the best way to prove that you aren’t a “hard man” is to call for the execution of someone who said that you were…

    But, anyway, I believe that the lesson of the parable was succinctly put as ” 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Or, rather, take from the poor and give to the rich. And now the Republican party suddenly makes sense.

    And the parable ends with the call for execution. That’s it. There’s no suggestion at all that we are supposed to frown on the king’s actions and view him as the capricious tyrant he truly is. Jesus presents all of this as if it is hunky-dory; a mouthy servant getting what he “deserves”. Which fits the M.O. of the Biblical God quite nicely.

  69. Freerefill says

    I think I remember reading that biblical passage, in context. It seems (correct me if I’m wrong) that Jesus and pals were walking along, when Jesus suddenly tells them this story. After he does that, they continue walking.

    It’s terribly vague on exactly why Jesus said it, so any opinions are merely interpretation. Perhaps he was describing a bad person, and telling people not to act that way? Perhaps it was a warning for people to not disobey him?

    It seems to me to be simply too vague to debate; everyone is going to interpret it, and then argue their opinion. It’s sort of fruitless to debate the meaning, since the meaning isn’t explicitly stated.

  70. Rabbit Scribe says

    The parable of Luke 19 is Jesus talking about himself and how people who did not serve him well while he’s “away” will be punished when he comes back to rule the Earth.

    Whoa! So Jesus knew that he was going to die soon, and that his death would be of tremendous importance to a vast number of people, and people would at least claim he’d rise from the dead, ascend to Heaven, and someday come again to rule the world? How could he have known that? Was he prescient? Psychic? Maybe I need to reconsider this whole deconversion thing!

    Oh wait- he didn’t know any of that. That parable was interpolated into a copy of a copy of a translation of an oral tradition fifty-odd years after Jesus died. Phew- that was scary…

  71. says

    Good one, Zenbuffy, telling us that you’re just like a mental case who sends death threats simply because you have a mental problem. All mentally ill persons are the same?

    What a stupid stereotype, Zenbuffy. You really are spreading damaging ideas about mental illness.

    Also, calling PZ “mentally disturbed” reaches near the peak of the stigmatization of mental illness. Your hypocrisy is astounding.

    Glen Davidson

  72. Matt Penfold says

    A John Small Berries commenting over at Zenbuffy’s blog makes a good point.

    He says that whilst it is true that most mentally ill people are not violent, the fact that Markuze is violent means that the statistics that apply to mentally ill people as a group do not apply to him as a individual.

  73. says

    @77, 78:

    The direct link is here: http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-engraved-invitation-to-dm.html

    I see a harmless spammer, who has hurt no one, being bullied by a pack of enraged atheists. If they were just hurling words at him, I would probably join in, but that isn’t the case. They’re trying to take an online exchange of words and conflate it into criminal activity. I see no tangible goal stated in the petition or it’s hundreds of comments, just a lot of ambiguous “he must be stopped” rhetoric, without any real actionable plan.

    Of course, he doesn’t mention the 20-year dedication, or the escalating threads, or anything else for that matter. The author is an oblivious moron, who appears to just love the excuse to mock those damned “new” atheists and their concern for the well being of a deranged nutcase and those near him. What inconsiderate, self-absorbed assholes we are.

  74. raven says

    It’s terribly vague on exactly why Jesus said it, so any opinions are merely interpretation. Perhaps he was describing a bad person, and telling people not to act that way? Perhaps it was a warning for people to not disobey him?

    It seems to me to be simply too vague to debate; everyone is going to interpret it, and then argue their opinion. It’s sort of fruitless to debate the meaning, since the meaning isn’t explicitly stated.

    Oh Cthulhu, even for xian excuseology (great word for it), this is pathetic.

    This text is pretty plain and easy to understand. But don’t take my word for it.

    Go to http://www.biblegateway.com

    Put in Luke 19:27 in the search box. Hit search. The middle button with horizontal lines expands the page. Expand. Read.

    Parables are stories to teach a lesson. What is the lesson here? Who is the king supposed to represent? Hint, jesus is a future king of everything. He is about to go away for a while by being killed. He will then come back later, much to a lot of people’s surprise.

  75. raven says

    Or even easier, decide for yourself. We are getting OT here, I’m finished with this.

    NIV:

    The Parable of the Ten Minas
    11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
    14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

    15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

    16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

    17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

    18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

    19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

    20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

    22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

    24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

    25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’

    26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

    Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

  76. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Matt Penfold, that’s true. It’s also blatantly obvious. Markuze is making threats and has made threats. He is one of the violent people on the other side of that statistic. There wouldn’t be anything terribly wrong (except for her sweeping generalisations) with her blog post had she left her inspiration for it out and didn’t try to connect the ‘issue’ (as she sees it) with Myers.

    The point in fact is that Markuze is dangerous and there is evidence, at least, that he has broken some rather serious laws. It’s obvious that Markuze is not well and that he needs help.

    It’s difficult to see how Zenbuffy thought that she could use this incident as a stepping stone to talk about issues of marginalisation of the mentally ill and the stigma of mental illness. It’s unclear why she personally attacks PZ Myers.

  77. says

    I’m not sure that “job” is the best translation for “travail” in that context. I think she meant something more like this is his life work or his calling.

    “Task” or “duty” might have been better ways to translate it.

    Glen Davidson

  78. Anteprepro says

    Freerefill:
    They give a brief sort-of explanation for the parable. Luke 19:11: “While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once”. So, given that it mentions “the kingdom of God” explicitly before the parable, and there is no attempt at all to condemn this Parable King during or after the parable, don’t you think that interpretations involving this King as something good and/or a stand-in for God should be given more weight than others?

    The entirety of the parable before the king gets all execution happy is the king rising to power and later rewarding his servants for doing as they were told and being successful in the small matters he entrusted to them. Luke 19:17: ““‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’” It is pretty clear that, at least for most of the story, the king is being presented as “the good guy” and that his reward/punishment of the servants is supposed to be representative of what you can expect out of life in general (or from God, the Bible likes to conflate those). There really is no point to the parable otherwise. To say that is was simply random and there actually is no point to it is to give the Bible simultaneously too much and too little credit.

  79. Miss Meaghen says

    I don’t think we can take his mothers responses literally. Take it from someone who is on the phone regularly to parts of Quebec – it doesn’t sound like she understands English very well.

  80. Freerefill says

    Raven, I am not using any “xian escapology” (although I admit it’s a fine term), nor am I an apologist or anything else. Furthermore, I also interpret the passage to mean that Jesus wants to reward the rich, steal from the poor, and murder anyone who disagrees with his rule. I think it’s pretty clear. That’s my opinion. That’s my interpretation.

    However, it is not made explicitly clear that Jesus is demanding this. Yes, the word “parable” could be evidence of being “explicitly clear” but unless Jesus said “Kill people who don’t believe in me” then it is NOT “explicitly clear”. A story was told, and if it happened in real life, I’m sure most people would take it as a warning to obey, or else they would be put to death. But that’s just it. An interpretation.

    And that’s me being a skeptic. I don’t like religion and I think a lot of people are indeed using that passage as an excuse to murder people. I think it’s wrong and I think those people should be put away for a long, long time. But I can’t let my OPINIONS and INTERPRETATIONS influence the cold, hard facts.

    Bottom line is, Jesus didn’t say it, he just strongly hinted at it. And it’s not even clear what moral Jesus was trying to get across; whether it was the right or the wrong way to behave.

    And that won’t change, unless you can find something that theologians agree is a more accurate translation which does explicitly state such.

    So don’t fly off the rocker just because I disagree with you; I think it’s a horrifying passage and it only serves to disgust me further. But a lot of things disgust me. That doesn’t give me the right to not be skeptical about them.

  81. says

    He says that whilst it is true that most mentally ill people are not violent, the fact that Markuze is violent means that the statistics that apply to mentally ill people as a group do not apply to him as a individual.

    Eh?

    Point of order: Markuze is not violent, or not to our knowledge. He’s arguably (and I sure as hell would argue, and have) criminal, sure, but uttering threats and cyberstalking are not violent offenses.

    They can be damaging, yes, intimidating and harassing, yes (and they sure seem to be intended to be, here, and this is the very point of the laws involved)…

    Which brings me back to the drum I’ve beat on this before: it’s absolutely not irrelevant if someone who knows the area says there’s reasons from the apparent escalation of threats to worry about actual violence… Dunno if I’ve seen that, exactly, tho’ wouldn’t be surprised…

    But it’s also quite unnecessary, here. The point is: threats and harassment of this nature are crimes in and of themselves, and for very good reasons. I know the law on threats doesn’t require that the person making the threat intends to carry them out, nor that they’re even capable. The point is: using that kind of speech to intimidate and silence (as Markuze sure as hell appears to me to be trying to do) is itself illegal. And long has been.

    It’s perfectly consistent to say all of a) to my knowledge Markuze is not violent, and b) I’m not even particularly confident he’s likely to become violent and c) legal action is still appropriate. Which is pretty much what I’d say, here.

    … that said, the larger point that it’s wildly incoherent to argue pointing out this mentally ill person is engaging in criminal behaviour is somehow pejorative to mentally ill persons who do not, yeah, that should pretty much go without saying.

    … Oh, also re anyone taking this as an excuse to mock the gnus, yes, oh please do attempt such endless, arrogant attempts to silence and intimidate as this wank has made as a mere ‘exchange of words’. We shall know ye by yer friends, ‘n all.

    I am kinda watching this with interest. What additional ‘I feel the fact that I belong to a dominant group what has a god gives me the right to attempt to intimidate those who call me on such rot with threats of death’ types are gonna come out of the carpentry, now? Well, then, let’s see, shall we?

    (/Again: oh do, now, please. The lights are on, ye cockroaches.)

  82. says

    it doesn’t sound like she understands English very well.

    We don’t have what she said in English. We have the French translation, plus the poor Google translation back into English (which put in “understand” for “misunderstand”).

    Google computers don’t understand English very well.

    Glen Davidson

  83. says

    Meh. Editing: ‘Please do attempt to cast such endless, arrogant attempts to silence and intimidate by threats of violence as this wank has made as a mere ‘exchange of words’…’ Anyhoo.

  84. Matt Penfold says

    I don’t think we can take his mothers responses literally. Take it from someone who is on the phone regularly to parts of Quebec – it doesn’t sound like she understands English very well.

    True, it does not sound like she understands English well, but I doubt anyone would after being translated from English into French and than back into English. The first translation was by a person presumably pretty competent at translation, but as we know nuance gets missed in translation, and he may well have been up against a deadline. The second translation was via Google, which is good for giving the gist of something but not much else.

  85. says

    @consciousness razor:

    That’s rather belligerent of you. Did you read the text you describe?

    I am no expert on biblical text, but I can read and comprehend. Can you?

    I claimed no meaning for the passage, but I did claim that the quote was mis-attributed. Before doing so I referred directly to the text in the New International Version at BibleGateway.com. There, it is clear from Luke 19:11 that Jesus speaks the following text, ending with 19:27, as a parable.

    Jesus does not claim for himself the words Raven quoted, but speaks them as part of a parable. If some have interpreted this parable as meaning that Jesus intends for us to understand the King to be himself, then that’s fine by me, but it is an interpretation and not a quote.

    Having reviewed what I wrote, and the text I commented on, I am satisfied that I described Raven’s comment correctly. However as always, I am open to someone pointing out precisely, and in good faith, where I am mistaken. If I am wrong, like an adult I will indeed admit that. I trust you too will revisit my comments and admit your mistakes in an adult manner.

  86. Matt Penfold says

    Point of order: Markuze is not violent, or not to our knowledge. He’s arguably (and I sure as hell would argue, and have) criminal, sure, but uttering threats and cyberstalking are not violent offenses.

    I thought the one thing that was accepted is that he has issued death threats. Are you saying that is not the case ?

  87. Ing says

    I think I remember reading that biblical passage, in context. It seems (correct me if I’m wrong) that Jesus and pals were walking along, when Jesus suddenly tells them this story. After he does that, they continue walking.

    It’s terribly vague on exactly why Jesus said it, so any opinions are merely interpretation. Perhaps he was describing a bad person, and telling people not to act that way? Perhaps it was a warning for people to not disobey him?

    It seems to me to be simply too vague to debate; everyone is going to interpret it, and then argue their opinion. It’s sort of fruitless to debate the meaning, since the meaning isn’t explicitly stated

    If you can’t get the meaning from that one you are virtually illiterate.

    It reminds me of the Sponge Bob Squarepants episode with the bully, where the bully explicitly stated he was going to kick Spongebob’s butt and the teacher interpreted that into an invitation to do community service or some such.

    But hey if you want to use the “I am so dumb I should be locked away for my own protection” as an argument go nuts.

    Sigh. Troll Prediction: Freefall==An Amnesiac Solomon

  88. Matt Penfold says

    I would also point out that Canadian law deals with threats to kill under the same statute as deals with physical assault.

  89. says

    Are you saying that is not the case?

    Umm… I think it’s pretty fucking clear from this and everything else I’ve written here that it’s clear he has, and this is the whole bloody point.

    But I do have to back up part of that: it appears that uttering threats and harassment are now classified as violent crimes in Canadian law.

    In my defense, I suspect this is a pretty recent change.

    And my larger point, anyway, is about another thing, here: people keep going on about this thing, is he or is he not a physical threat, will he actually go off, go spree, whatever.

    Again: that’s kinda irrelevant re charging him or not. He’s already way over the line of the law. There’s reasons this stuff he’s already done is illegal, and he should be charged.

  90. Ing says

    Google computers don’t understand English very well.

    Google computers are attempting to understand English perfectly.

    Unfortunately to deal with people they have to have computers that speak English imperfectly.

  91. Freerefill says

    So I offer a skeptical interpretation of a kooky passage in a heavily translated, ancient, religious book on a skeptical blog…

    …and I get called illiterate and deserve to be “locked up for my own protection.”

    Despite the fact that my personal, non-skeptical interpretation is the same as everyone else’s.

  92. raven says

    dumb xian troll:

    Are Raven and Markuzzzeee closely related?

    Nowhere near as closely related as jesus, undalabore, many other xians, and DM.

    Among other things, I’m not a xian.

  93. Matt Penfold says

    Umm… I think it’s pretty fucking clear from this and everything else I’ve written here that it’s clear he has, and this is the whole bloody point.

    Well exactly, which is why what you wrote made no sense.

    But I do have to back up part of that: it appears that uttering threats and harassment are now classified as violent crimes in Canadian law.

    In my defense, I suspect this is a pretty recent change.

    Not only in Canada but elsewhere. It is quite common for threats of violence (which will obviously included threats to kill) to be treated as actual acts of violence.

    And my larger point, anyway, is about another thing, here: people keep going on about this thing, is he or is he not a physical threat, will he actually go off, go spree, whatever.

    Here I agree with you.

    Again: that’s kinda irrelevant re charging him or not. He’s already way over the line of the law. There’s reasons this stuff he’s already done is illegal, and he should be charged.

    And I agree with you again here.

    I was not meaning to have a go at you. I was confused by what you said since it was not making sense to me in light of what has been said generally and what was said by you in particular. I think I was also thrown by your implication that violence can only be a physical act.

  94. Ing says

    @Freefill

    You didn’t read fuckign skeptically, you read ignorantly and dishonestly obtusely.

    There is an actual fucking intended meaning, it isn’t some pro-mo everyone’s is different.

    You did the equivalent of reading 1984 and thinking the book promoting strong government and surveillance states.

    You can read the words but you don’t understand meaning, that’s why you’re practically illiterate. You are unable to read for meaning.

    Despite the fact that my personal, non-skeptical interpretation is the same as everyone else’s.

    Postulating explanations and excuses and asspulls is not goddamn skeptical. It’s not skeptical to look at the scene of a murder where a guy was shot in the head and start asking “Maybe he was killed by a mountain lion”

  95. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and if I am honest there was a little snark in their as well.

    Sorry about that. My trigger finger was primed from dealing with ZenBuffy and her fellow cretins.

  96. carlie says

    If you say “I’m going to blow your head off and execute you” to a TSA employee, you’ll find your ass in jail immediately. Why is it somehow ok to say it to a blogger?

  97. Olav says

    Sili says:

    Interesting how Goggle Translate automatically uses the male pronoun. It can’t handle the difference between the possessed and the possessor.

    Yes, it is interesting. Of course what happens is that French distinguishes gender in the possessed and English distinguishes for gender in the possessor.

    Whether there is a deeper meaning I do not dare speculate about.

  98. Rabbit Scribe says

    If I am wrong, like an adult I will indeed admit that.

    You might even enjoy it, as you’ll have learned something.

    You’re both as wrong as wrong can be. He didn’t mean anything at all by it, because he didn’t even say it. See my comment above at 84.

    Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, proclaiming the imminent deliverance of the Jewish people by the Jewish God through the Jewish Messiah. He’d have been shocked and scandalized to learn people would decide he was talking about himself as that Messiah, let alone that God. Ever strike you as odd how he kept referring to himself in the third person- “the Son of Man coming in his glory,” that sort of thing? Well, it should, because he wasn’t.

    Anyhoo, the parable is unmistakeably post-Pauline. Couple that with the fact that the same community, and perhaps even the same individual, that produced “Luke” produced Acts, which is largely a sanitized version of Paul’s ministry. Voila: the parable is a later interpolation.

  99. Ing says

    Questioning whether God’s intention with the Abraham/Issac thing was “No human sacrifice” or “When God says jump, you say how high” is open to interpretation. Arguing that maybe God never said that and just ordered Issac to be given a foot rub, is what Freefall does.

  100. says

    @FreeRefill:

    Those who make ad hominem attacks like that have nothing more intelligent to say. That’s the connection between Mabus and this side thread about Luke 19:27. Be not downhearted. :-)

  101. Ing says

    @Rabbit Scribe

    I’m pretty sure we all understood we were talking about the character of Jesus in the bible. The character still said the parable regardless of who the author was.

  102. Ing says

    @Billysugger

    FFS, go look up what ad hom is.

    I made the conclusion based on Freefall’s “skeptical” reading that extrapolates beyond the contexts of the text that he is practically illiterate since he seemingly cannot read for comprehension. I didn’t say he was wrong because of his poor reading skills, I said his wrongness is so bad it indicates bad reading skills.

  103. Matt Penfold says

    Those who make ad hominem attacks like that have nothing more intelligent to say. That’s the connection between Mabus and this side thread about Luke 19:27. Be not downhearted. :-)

    All I saw was an insult. Insults are not ad hominem attacks, so why pretend they are ? What purpose was served by your deliberate misuse of the word ?

  104. Anteprepro says

    And those that whine about ad homs without knowing what constitutes one have even less than nothing to say, contributing white noise and irritation in lieu of original thought. “Nothing” is by far more pleasant.

    As for the “skepticism” excuse: Present a valid, alternative explanation and you might have a point. Otherwise, you are not practicing skepticism; you are practicing denialism. Covering your eyes, plugging your eyes, crying out for more evidence when there’s a sufficient amount right in front of you.

  105. Dorkman says

    Deep denial is putting it mildly. She sounds like the kind of mom who’ll be mumbling to herself what a “good, sweet boy” her Dennis is while disposing of a body.

  106. Anteprepro says

    Or plugging your ears, rather. And I will grant that the “sufficient amount of evidence” needed to believe something is subjective, so I don’t really believe that willful ignorance or denial is going on with those who are being skeptical about Luke 19. I just think you’re being a bit overzealous in your doubts :)

  107. raven says

    rabbit:

    You’re both as wrong as wrong can be. He didn’t mean anything at all by it, because he didn’t even say it. See my comment above at 84.

    You don’t know that. You are just guessing. It’s quite possible that jesus didn’t say any of that. He might not have even existed after all and said as much as any other nonexistent person ever does in the real world, which is nothing, zero.

    But it is all completely irrelevant. Hundreds of millions believe the bible is the inerrant literal word of god and they assume he said it and it is all true. And that informs and dictates their beliefs and actions.

    We atheists don’t have any problems with the gods or jesus. They’ve been so quiet for centuries that it is almost like they don’t even exist. It’s their followers that cause huge problems. Like DM the wannabe killer for jesus.

  108. says

    Oh, and if I am honest there was a little snark in their as well.

    (Gets it/slaps forehead…)

    Oh. Right.

    Sorry about that. My trigger finger was primed from dealing with ZenBuffy and her fellow cretins.

    No worries, really. On my side, it’s just a combination of annoyance re this muddying thing of crimes he might commit and crimes I think it’s clear enough he actually has already anyway, coupled with standard-order former reporter’s caution about overstating a charge.

    Re that stuff getting on the ‘violent’ classification in Canada, the stats people (Statistics Canada) at least seem to have started calling it that somewhere in some rev of their UCR2, so I guess somewhere between 1988 and 2004. Don’t really know how it affects sentencing and all at all, either, so I’m a bit behind the ball, here.

  109. raven says

    rabbit:

    Whoa! So Jesus knew that he was going to die soon, and that his death would be of tremendous importance to a vast number of people, and people would at least claim he’d rise from the dead, ascend to Heaven, and someday come again to rule the world? How could he have known that? Was he prescient? Psychic? Maybe I need to reconsider this whole deconversion thing!

    That is what the bible says.

    According to the xians, jesus is god.

    All powerful creator of everything and omniscient. Of course he knew. It’s all through all of the NT. It was the plan for the atoning sacrifice to save us from…god’s plans for us for being humans made in his image.

  110. UndularBore says

    Are we still stalking I mean talking about jeebus?
    **GOSH** (said with best Napoleon Dynamite accent)

  111. Melanie Phelan says

    We cant understand one piece of text translated from English to French back to English. How many times has the bible been translated? I know, preaching to the choir. Except you Dennis, I’m sure you’ll read this. Hi there, get some psyhiatric help, itll make your life a lot nicer.

  112. Colonel Kurtz says

    I love it when moral relativists get all self righteous!

    Almost as much as I love the smell of atheists bashing each other in the morning! LOL!

  113. Matt Penfold says

    SC,

    I suppose we were to be charitable we could put ZenBuffy’s persecution complex down to the mental illness she admits she suffers from. That would be sad, but it would also be an indictment against those responsible for her care. Why, is she does have a persecution complex, would they allow her to indulge it.

    Or she could just be a lying fuckwit.

  114. Hexahelicene says

    136 … the server can not handle it. Bogged down bad. Seen it … meh … worth a look eventually … not much more.

    http://www.anythingbuttheist.com/

    The author should learn the word ‘payback’ as well as the meaning of death threats and psychosis.

  115. Rabbit Scribe says

    You don’t know that.

    Sure I do- see # 84. If Jesus uttered that parable, then he knew the specifics of a doctrine that would start developing 20 years after he died. That’s very unlikely. He then speaks and acts in a manner completely inconsistent with this knowledge. More unlikely still. Finally, the parable is omitted from what we’re pretty certain is the source material of “Luke’s” gospel. This very Pauline parable just pops up in a very Pauline gospel. I’m certain Jesus never said it.

    You are just guessing.

    Like evolution is just a theory? I’m employing historical-critical analysis of a text. It’s a mainstream scholarly discipline that’s been developing for well over 100 years.

    It’s quite possible that Jesus didn’t say any of that. He might not have even existed after all and said as much as any other nonexistent person ever does in the real world, which is nothing, zero.

    Inconceivable. In a letter we are certain was composed less than twenty years after Jesus’s death, Paul states clearly that he had met Peter and James only a few years after that event. We’re similarly certain that a rich oral tradition of Jesus’s authentic teachings (for example, the Sermon on the Mount) existed in the 50’s BCE. Sure, there’s a lot of myth, confusion, deception and whatnot in the mix, but he was real.

    Hey, remember all that business about “I do not permit a woman to hold authority over a man. She’s to keep silent in church and must be saved through childbirth, now make me a sandwich?” That’s fraudulent. It’s a straight-up lie. That letter dates from decades after Paul’s death, and proving it is a slam-dunk. And no, I’m not a fringe loony: anybody outside of Bob Jones University and the like would tell you the same, including plenty of Xians. But Jesus and Paul were real men, with real messages. Isn’t it neat that we can know far more about what was really on their minds than Rick Perry ever will?

  116. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Rabbit Scribe, there is no evidence that Jesus is anything other than a character in a book. There is no reason to suspect that Jesus existed. There is certainly no reason to suspect that the Jesus of the Bible existed. You do understand how absurd it is to suggest that Jesus existed, but not the Jesus that’s written of in the Bible, and to do that independent of any other evidence for the existence of Jesus? The most parsimonious explanation is that he’s a character in a book. It is certainly not ‘inconceivable’ that he did not exist and it is not certain, as you seem to infer, that he existed at all.

  117. says

    @Ing:

    In 112 I consider your intemperate language to be an attack on the person, not the statement. Your attribution of dishonesty to his reading, rather than error or even a different but valid interpretation, is an attack on the person, not the statement. Using personal insults in such debate is an attack on the person, not the statement. Attacking the person, not their statements, constitutes an ad hominem fallacy. If you intend to avoid ad hom accusations, then I suggest that you distinguish more clearly between your attacks on the person and the idea. If you’re nasty and unimaginative, that’s your choice. If I call you out on it, that’s mine!

    @Matt Penfold: See above. Plus, “deliberate misuse”? Are you so sure of my motives? I call you out on Ad Hom too. ;-)

  118. MFHeadcase, caffeine fueled , but running on "E" says

    Billysugger, “Fuck off you pearl clutcher.” is an attack on the person, mere intemperate language is not.

    Now fuck off you pearl clutcher.

  119. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Billysugger, you don’t know what an ad hominem is, obviously. It’s a rhetorical technique wherein a perceived or real negative characteristic of a person is used to question the truth of that person’s argument.

    An insult is not an argument and it’s not an attempt to redirect attention to a characteristic of an interlocutor rather than their argument or to infer (even explicitly) that their argument is invalid or untrue.

    You may well have deliberately misused the term. More likely, you’re just ignorant of what it really means. Don’t be ignorant, it won’t serve you well here.

  120. says

    Maybe it’s Norman Bates for real, and Dennis is actually impersonating his mother (who is in a rocking chair in the attic) on the telephone.

  121. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Ah, but, MFHeadcase, caffeine fueled , but running on “E”, even if it is an attack on the person, it’s still not necessarily an ad hominem, especially if the person really is a pearl clutcher. Telling someone to fuck off, on the other hand, can never be an ad hominem.

  122. MFHeadcase, caffeine fueled , but running on "E" says

    Thomathy, I know, it is the difference between, “you are a pearl clutcher, thus have nothing of worth to say.”

    Vs

    “The type of worthless shit you spew shows you to be a pearl clutcher.”

    But I thought my previous was more succinct. Alas I sacrificed clarity for brevity.

  123. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    And yet your main thrust was well delivered, and I do agree that pearl clutchers can fuck off, Billysugger among them. That is, if Billysugger can’t learn.

  124. Rawnaeris says

    Wow, this is ridiculous. Now we have right wingers accusing DM of being a deep cover liberal to make them all look like psychotic people out for blood. Gimme a break.

    Link

  125. MFHeadcase, caffeine fueled , but running on "E" says

    Rawnaeris @151
    Yeah, especially since considering most of the Republican presidential hopefuls, they don’t need help from left wing plants to look loopy.

  126. Rabbit Scribe says

    Rabbit Scribe, there is no evidence that Jesus is anything other than a character in a book. There is no reason to suspect that Jesus existed…

    What nonsense. First of all, that’s counter to the consensus of mainstream scholarship (a.k.a the scholarship of people with no metaphysical dog in the hunt who teach at places like Duke and Princeton). We have a letter from a guy who says he met Jesus’s brother and his best friend. Lots of people from the generation after Jesus believed he not only existed, but was important enough for them to memorize large blocks of his teachings. Josephus mentioned him (he didn’t say all the Messianic stuff; that was inserted later. But he did mention him).

    There is certainly no reason to suspect that the Jesus of the Bible existed. You do understand how absurd it is to suggest that Jesus existed, but not the Jesus that’s written of in the Bible, and to do that independent of any other evidence for the existence of Jesus? … The most parsimonious explanation is that he’s a character in a book.

    Which Jesus of the Bible? The superman of Revelation? No- that book has no historical value. The apocalyptic Jewish preacher from Mark, who doesn’t rise from the dead and certainly makes no claim to divinity? Sure- why not? And what’s so great about the Bible, anyway? It’s a pretty arbitrary collection of ancient texts. Why do you insist on treating them all as if they were in some way harmonious? Did a God inspire those texts, but not others?

    A shorter Apostle’s Creed: He was born. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

  127. BinJabreel says

    Well, this might be a little late to the party, but up around #100 or so…

    The standard modern Christian biblical exegesis states that anywhere in the Old Testament where there was any talk of kings or princes, they were really talking about Jesus.

    So assuming that many Christians would interpret that parable as being about the coming Kingdom of God is actually pretty fair, with the spin I see being something like, the “nothing” that the people who have “even that taken away” have would be faith, while those who had already (again, being faith) would receive even more. Usually slaves and wives in parables = the church and its members, which is typically pretty telling.

  128. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Why are we letting people hijack this thread into unrelated territory? Why? It’s not about biblical parables. It’s about Dennis Crazypants Markuze. If you wanna go so off-topic, can’t you take it to the Thread?

  129. Lancelot Gobbo says

    Uttering threats of death or bodily harm is a criminal offense in Canada, regardless of the mental status of the individual uttering them. Anyone leaving such a trail of threats is asking for prosecution, even if, paradoxically, the more the threats are issued the less likely he is to ever act upon them. It is making the threat that is the offense, not the chance that you will actually perform the threatened act.
    Having said that, I am a little sensitive to the stigmatisation of mental illness, and throwing around words like crazy, psychotic, institutionalise when not being technically accurate with them is a big part of the handicap experienced by the mentally ill. Neither zenbuffy, nor I, nor even the sainted* PZ knows whether this man actually deserves any of those terms. I generally find that sane but nasty people are far more dangerous than any flavour of insane people. DM appears to have committed an offense, and it seems something is being done about it. That should be enough for now. It all gets far more complicated if he actually is psychotic, which seems unlikely from what I have read. He may then not be criminally responsible for those acts, and he may not be deemed an actual danger to others in which case he doesn’t qualify for involuntary treatment. What then? Probably a court-ordered withdrawal of an internet connection would make sense.

    *secular saint, naturally

  130. says

    Depuis, il s’en prendrait inlassablement aux «athées», dont Paul Z. Myers. Dans un courriel qu’il lui a envoyé il y a longtemps, Markuze termine d’ailleurs en lui demandant: «Où est mon million?»

    Here you are PZ, just give him his million!

  131. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    DM appears to have committed an offense

    Understatement of the year. More like “thousands of offenses per day”.

    and it seems something is being done about it.

    After over 10 years of doing nothing.

    Probably a court-ordered withdrawal of an internet connection would make sense.

    Would be pointless. He does a lot of this from public wifi hotspots.

  132. Hexahelicene says

    Perhaps we should stop emailing … and phone instead. Hey, he spammed the petition about one hour ago. The police do not have him under control yet.

    Does anybody have the file number this has been assigned? Here in Edmonton, that would show the year it was opened. Gosh … that would be interesting.

  133. secularguy says

    They are apparently too stupid to use mail filters

    Or you are too stupid to consider the possibility that the police may not be allowed to automatically throw away mail?

  134. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Or you are too stupid to consider the possibility that the police may not be allowed to automatically throw away mail?

    Who said anything about throwing mail away, idiot?

  135. says

    Zenbuffy:

    I’m not going to pretend that I agree with Markuze’s tactics, because they are, let’s face it, a little crude.

    Yes, a decade of death threats (IIRC, he’s threatened people’s children) is a bit gauche. Perhaps he just needs some etiquette lessons. I honestly can’t believe she wrote that.

    And I have to wonder where the sensitive outrage about stigmatization has been while Abbie’s been calling Rebecca Watson* “a drunk.”

    *She drinks! And she talks about it in public!

  136. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    And I have to wonder where the sensitive outrage about stigmatization has been while Abbie’s been calling Rebecca Watson* “a drunk.”

    Really? She did that? I’m amazed she even has any credibility left.

  137. H.H. says

    Regarding the mother saying this is his life’s work…I think she just means working with computers, not the spamming necessarily. It is my understanding Mabus runs some sort of computer repair shop. He might try to argue in court that any order to stay off the internet would interfere with his livelihood. Anyway, that’s the only slant I can put on her comment that makes sense.

  138. Matt Penfold says

    Abbie Smith (ERV) thinks there is far to much drinking at atheist/sceptic conferences in general.

    Personally I think she needs to get out a bit more. It must get lonely being stuck her own rectum.

  139. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Abbie Smith (ERV) thinks there is far to much drinking at atheist/sceptic conferences in general.

    I did far too little drinking at the last conference I attended. I’d like to fix that at the next one.

  140. says

    Really? She did that?

    Yes, she really did.

    I’m amazed she even has any credibility left.

    It’s good she works with microscopes. Perhaps she can find it.

    ***

    Abbie Smith (ERV) thinks there is far to much drinking at atheist/sceptic conferences in general.

    This is of course irrelevant to calling someone a drunk. The irony of her stance is that it’s distressing to realize that she’s actually sober when she writes these things.

  141. says

    Mabus/Markuze is spamming the comments of the petition itself now. I hope the Police don’t continue to ignore this.

    (Blinks…)

    Erm… Waitaminnit… That wouldn’t be the very same petition that’s wired up to send it out automatically to the folk investigating this every time someone signs into it, would it?

    The very same one they just begged people to stop signing?

    (Blinks again…)

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

  142. Matt Penfold says

    This is of course irrelevant to calling someone a drunk. The irony of her stance is that it’s distressing to realize that she’s actually sober when she writes these things.

    Well it does suggest a rather puritanical attitude towards alcohol such that having more than a couple of beers might seem to her to be bordering on being an alcoholic.

  143. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I don’t get her at all. In her world alcohol is bad but calling women twats is cool and edgy.

  144. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Right, Erulora? Also just fine for Abbie: Pepsico buying editorial space on Scienceblogs to “discuss healthy eating” and SB treating it like regular editorial space. Not fine: anyone pointing out the conflict of interest. She’s warped.

  145. Matt Penfold says

    Right, Erulora? Also just fine for Abbie: Pepsico buying editorial space on Scienceblogs to “discuss healthy eating” and SB treating it like regular editorial space. Not fine: anyone pointing out the conflict of interest. She’s warped.

    I have wondered whether she genuinely holds these views, or takes an abnormal delight in being contrary. Not that it makes much difference, she is still a seriously warped individual.

  146. says

    Well it does suggest a rather puritanical attitude towards alcohol such that having more than a couple of beers might seem to her to be bordering on being an alcoholic.

    Sure, but even if you think someone’s an alcoholic on that bizarre basis, you don’t publicly call them “a drunk” as some sort of insult. And doing so should certainly have roused Zenbuffy’s ire.

  147. Aquaria says

    Okay guys, Mommy says play nicely or it’s time for bed.

    Mommy says sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, douchebag.

    I am a mom. You’re not.

    Fuck off.

    I don’t get her at all. In her world alcohol is bad but calling women twats is cool and edgy.

    Maybe she’s just been in Oklahoma too long and got too close to the rednecks. That’s their attitude to a T.

  148. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Good fucking grief that Dizzle fo Shizzle commenter at the bunnyfuck site is dense.

  149. Matt Penfold says

    Sure, but even if you think someone’s an alcoholic on that bizarre basis, you don’t publicly call them “a drunk” as some sort of insult. And doing so should certainly have roused Zenbuffy’s ire.

    Well it should arouse the ire in a reasonable person, but it is clear Zenbuffy is not a reasonable person. She also seems strangely reluctant to defend her positions.

  150. Matt Penfold says

    Good fucking grief that Dizzle fo Shizzle commenter at the bunnyfuck site is dense.

    Weapons grade stupid that one.

  151. says

    I have wondered whether she genuinely holds these views, or takes an abnormal delight in being contrary.

    She really seems to hold them. They tend (not 100% of the time, probably) to be – as Jadehawk’s pointed out – those positions favoring the powerful, which she views/presents as brave dissent. It’s quite perverse.

  152. Matt Penfold says

    One thing I have noticed is that I am seeing several reports that the Montreal Police are saying one reason they did act sooner with regards Markuze is that many of those he issued death threats against lived outside Canada.

    Do you think they are aware of how stupid and backward that makes them look ?

  153. says

    Matt Penfold:

    Do you think they are aware of how stupid and backward that makes them look ?

    I don’t know. They certainly don’t seem to be operating in the same century as the rest of us.

  154. Colonel Kurtz says

    How come Sam Harris can suggest it is ethical to kill people for their beliefs…like Lenin and Trotsky did…and make excuses for Pre Emptive War against Muslims, and the atheists not reject him?

    It is because they really want to wipe believers off the face of the earth?

    After all, every time they have gotten political control of a state that is exactly what they have tried to do.

    Ain’t gonna happen again, though.

  155. ChasCPeterson says

    Ms. Smith is not so difficult to figure out. All events and other people gain meaning only as they relate to her glorious Self. Pepsico is zero bad because she enjoys Mountain Dew. HFCS-based softdrinks are not unhealthy because look at her abs*! It’s wrong for anyone to say “please don’t do X any more; it makes me uncomfortable” if she doesn’t think it would make her uncomfortable. Anyone who objects to gendered epithets is Kyle’s mom because she thinks they’re funny lulz. Social drinking is alcoholism because she chooses to abjure. You’re with her 100% or you’re agin her, and crossing that line is as easy as honest disagreement, no matter what preceded it.

    It’s narcissism, pure and simple.
    As has been noted at Benson’s, she’s jeopardizing her scientific career** with these juvenile displays of callous self-regard.

    *when Jennifer Ouelette made fun of her posting the pic of her own abs by calling her “The Situation” (apparently a Jersey Shore reference?), Smith claimed Ouelette made fun of her body. Are these consistent obvious twists of reality deliberate? Or what? OK, that part I don’t get.

    **did anybody see that doofus Gurdur’s post in which he oh-so-helpfully provided a little capsule bio–objective and nonspun, of course–of the major players, where he referred to Smith as “a young successful woman scientist”? ha, sorry. Half right. Maybe 3/4 (though no publications, no scientist, in my book).

  156. Matt Penfold says

    How come Sam Harris can suggest it is ethical to kill people for their beliefs…like Lenin and Trotsky did…and make excuses for Pre Emptive War against Muslims, and the atheists not reject him?

    Many atheists oppose Harris. Why claim otherwise when to do so is untrue ?

    It is because they really want to wipe believers off the face of the earth?

    No.

    After all, every time they have gotten political control of a state that is exactly what they have tried to do.

    Simply not true. Why say something that is not true ?

    Ain’t gonna happen again, though.

    What isn’t ?

  157. Ing says

    How come Sam Harris can suggest it is ethical to kill people for their beliefs…like Lenin and Trotsky did…and make excuses for Pre Emptive War against Muslims, and the atheists not reject him?

    Harris is a fuck who has convinced himself that gut feeling is what is objectively right because he is a rationalist and thus feels fine extrapolating his own values to the rest of the universe.

    Happy?

    If you want I have pre-written responses to bash Dawkins and Hitchens too!

    I also suspect you are misportraying Harris, I haven’t actually heard him say that people should be killed for their beliefs. The most I’ve heard him say is to the affect that if we’re in a war where one side cannot be negotiated with because of their beliefs and they are trying to destroy us we are justified in doing what it takes to win.

  158. Ing says

    Ain’t gonna happen again, though.

    Odd, it’s almost as if you’re sugesting working against atheists solely on the basis of their beliefs.

    But of course Harris is wrong to prejudge people based on their beliefs…but you are right to do so for atheists because they prejudge people based on-*BOOM*

    SERVICE ERROR: 501!
    SYSTEM ING.EXE HAS CRASHED
    PLEASE REBOOT SYSTEM AND REPLACE HEAD.
    IF PROBLEM PERSISTS CONTACT MANUFACTURER

  159. Rey Fox says

    Wait a minute…Mountain Dew? As far as I’m concerned, if you drink that, you have forfeited all right to criticize anything that anyone else puts into their bodies.

  160. Freerefill says

    To give their opinion more weight
    They fill up their voices with hate
    They say, “What’s the harm
    With a little Ad Hom
    Or insults in friendly debate?”

  161. Ing says

    @Freerefill

    “There once was man from Newark
    Who thought he was some piece of work
    He thought he had wit
    and just wouldn’t quit
    even though all he said was just shit”

  162. Ing says

    Seriously Freerefill it was just explained what Ad Hom is. Are you just going to continue to show that you can’t read worth a damn?

    Might I add the irony that I criticize your reading because of your displayed interpretation, and I do it untactfully but back it up because of what you say…and you degrade it into literal school yard taunting and declare yourself the winner because *I* insulted you? Keep going, because I’m sure you’ll provide many other examples of being a twit.

  163. Ing says

    @ Freerefill

    In an attempt to educate you…as pointed out upthread

    “No reason to listen to you, you’re just a drunk” == Ad Hom

    “You are a drunk because you abuse alcohol” =/= Ad Hom

    If you wanted to raise another point, it would be judged on its merit…the only qualifier is that your past actions has lowered my expectation of said point actually having merit.

  164. says

    did anybody see that doofus Gurdur’s post in which he oh-so-helpfully provided a little capsule bio–objective and nonspun, of course–of the major players, where he referred to Smith as “a young successful woman scientist”?

    I saw it a while back. Wasn’t worth my time refuting his nonsense about me. He’s ridiculous.

  165. Ing says

    @Chigau

    From what I remember from the History channel Mabus is a figure/word in Nostradamus’s writings. I imagine Dennis took his handle from it considering his obsession. Also expect people to use that as evidence for why he’s a poe

  166. Ing says

    I saw it a while back. Wasn’t worth my time refuting his nonsense about me. He’s ridiculous.

    AD HOM! AD HOM! /snark

  167. says

    Well you can’t say she’s not observant.

    I’m not going to pretend that I agree with Markuze’s tactics, because they are, let’s face it, a little crude. Spamming blog posts and fora tends to paint one in an unfavourable light, and the content tends to be patchy at best.

    Well spotted! Not well described, but well spotted.

  168. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You know what else I hate about the whole “ad hom” misunderstanding? It exploded sometime since Gnu Atheism did. Some writer —maybe Harris?—- used it in a widely published essay or book, and all of a sudden everyone on the whole Internet was using it. Mostly incorrectly. Fastest stupification of a Latin phrase by common misuse I’ve ever seen.

  169. Ing says

    @Josh

    Not to mention the claim more or less is itself used as something akin to an Ad Hom. It’s used to end conversation by discrediting the target.

  170. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Not to mention the claim more or less is itself used as something akin to an Ad Hom. It’s used to end conversation by discrediting the target.

    AD HOMINY!!@@@

  171. says

    Josh:

    AD HOMINY!!@@@

    With grits, even. I am so sick and tired of every idiot on the net announcing their idiocy by screaming Ad hom! any time they are insulted or see someone else being insulted. I have linked to the definition of the Ad hominem fallacy more times than I can count. Doesn’t do any good.

  172. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    I have suggested that the software for commenting on Pharyngula include some kind of ‘bot that picks on terms/phrases like ad hominem which prompts a popup box saying something like, ‘Hi! You’ve just used a commonly misused phrase. Are you sure you know what it means? Here’s a link so you can check.’

    Anyone have the mad skillz to put such a creature together?

  173. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That’s a fun idea, Wowbagger, but it would be supremely irritating for its frequency.

  174. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Josh, OSG wrote:

    That’s a fun idea, Wowbagger, but it would be supremely irritating for its frequency.

    Names of people with a history of non-misuse can be added to an exclude list…

  175. says

    Hmmm, the phrase “get a life” somehow springs to mind. Enjoy each other’s company while we get on with more important things. :-)

  176. Aquaria says

    @Aquaria:

    “I am a mom. You’re not.”

    Oh really? What make you think that?

    I haz mad readin skillz, that’s why, fuckface.

    Fuck off.

  177. Aquaria says

    Hmmm, the phrase “get a life” somehow springs to mind. Enjoy each other’s company while we get on with more important things. :-)

    The local theater needs a new projection device on the busy nights. You’ll do nicely.

  178. Rey Fox says

    Hmmm, the phrase “get a life” somehow springs to mind.

    Guess what, Chuckles? You’re here too. Saying pointless blather.

  179. Atra says

    Finally took a look at my physical copy of La Presse, the story made the first page (below the fold)! The headline is “Dennis la menace” (Dennis the menace).

  180. says

    You know, call me unreasonable, but I tend to take people at their words.

    So when somebody says, “I am going to kill you,” I tend to believe them.

    I don’t really see the point in people arguing over whether or not he is really going to kill anyone. He says he is. Let’s just believe him, until he changes his mind.

  181. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Cutting the tags off your mattresses? Taking bottles back to the store?

    Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

  182. raven says

    rabbit scribe:

    Rabbit Scribe, there is no evidence that Jesus is anything other than a character in a book. There is no reason to suspect that Jesus existed…

    RS: What nonsense. First of all, that’s counter to the consensus of mainstream scholarship (a.k.a the scholarship of people with no metaphysical dog in the hunt who teach at places like Duke and Princeton).

    Rabbit, all you are doing is piling up one unproven and unprovable assertion after another. That isn’t scholarship. It isn’t thinking. It’s just cuckoo. Cuckoo is crazy and boring.

    Your mention of mainstream scholarship is an appeal to authority. It doesn’t actually prove anything. For one thing, mainstream authority is mostly…xians of one sort or another. Many of them freely admit a bias. Where is their religion and scholarship if jesus is just mythology?

    In point of fact, mainstream scholarship says that the bible NT is mostly fiction. The evidence for that is overwhelming and consists of dozens or hundreds of books. Spong, Mack, Ehrman, Jenkins, Wilson, Pagels, Borg Price, Crossan, and far more have written lucidly on this.

    So how much of it isn’t fiction and how does one tell? No one knows and no one agrees.

    We have exactly zero direct data that jesus even existed. IMO, and I’ve read most of the scholars the circumstantial evidence is that he probably did exist as a Jewish Apocryphal prophet that got himself killed by the Romans. That is something I believe based on all the available evidence, but could not prove in any modern sense of the word “prove”.

    When you see a dispute that goes on for 2,000 years that tells you one thing. Not enough data to settle the point one way or another. Some questions are just unanswerable.

  183. raven says

    Sockpuppeting troll:

    How come Sam Harris can suggest it is ethical to kill people for their beliefs…like Lenin and Trotsky did…and make excuses for Pre Emptive War against Muslims, and the atheists not reject him?

    He stole it from jesus, that’s why.

    Luke 19:27
    www. thegodmurders.com/id118.html – CachedLuke 19:27

    Jesus said: “And, as for those who would not have Me be King over them, bring them before Me and slay them.”

    lying troll:

    After all, every time they have gotten political control of a state that is exactly what they have tried to do.

    That is just a lie. The heads of both Australia and New Zealand are atheists.

    The most peaceful and prosperous nations today are the least religious, Japan, Oceania, most of Europe. The most violent and dysfunctional are the most religious, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, Texas, and the USA.

    It is because they really want to wipe believers off the face of the earth?

    You can read the minds of 1 billion atheists and know that? Of course not, you are just lying some more.

    Historically who killed tens of millions of people were the xians. Up until a few centuries ago, being an atheist was a death sentence.

    I know what xians want to do to me. They want to kill me. They tell me so often. I’ve been getting death threats for over ten years now and long ago lost count of how many.

    PS You posted the same lies this morning with another ID, Zorba the troll rather than Colonel Kurtz. Using sockpuppets is a bannable offense. It also shows that you are rather stupid and just repeat the same old lies over and over.

  184. says

    Hm. Rather glad I changed my nym a while back, as I’d not want to be confused with the current rabbit on the scene.

    Quand même, even my Catholic school taught us that as a historical figure, Jesus *probably* (but was not proven to have) existed, that biblical historians were divided on it, and that none of the known relics have in fact been traced to Jesus himself.

    I’m sure it would have exploded all over the news had any of this changed in the past several years. It didn’t.

    A letter from someone who claimed to have spoken to Jesus’ brother? Yeah, I have a friend who is the doctor of Justin Bieber’s mother. Or something. You see how absurd a connection like that is?

  185. says

    Quand même, even my Catholic school taught us that as a historical figure, Jesus *probably* (but was not proven to have) existed,

    And if anyone’s unimpeachable, it’s a Catholic school. ;)

    Seriously: Paging CJO or Owlmirror to the thread.

  186. says

    The stupid police are saying that they never got a formal complaint before. I hope that someone has their fax confirmation sheets to post on the Internet!

    Submit formal complaints attached to a box of donuts.

  187. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Or poutine.

    Here is one shiny new Internet for the lady from Pharyngula! Congratulations, madam.

  188. Tim DeLaney says

    Wow, the thread has fragmented and blossomed, as threads are wont to do, But to address those that have commented on Markuze himself: I admire the vast majority of you who have described Markuze in clinical terms. He is a person who genuinely needs help. He is mentally ill, and may pose a danger to others, to himself, or even to his mother.

    This is contrast to some of the folks we describe as “batshit crazy”. Terms like that are properly applied to the Harold Campings of the world–people who could be described as “belief impaired”, but are capable of normal behavior most of the time. (Of course, there are borderline cases like Fred Phelps.)

  189. says

    You know, I’m seeing a little too much smearing of Abbie Smith here. Could everyone refrain from that? I’d rather not have a Mounument here.

    We don’t need to cast aspersions. She’s got a couple of threads that do that for us already.

  190. says

    Tim @ 248

    there are borderline cases like Fred Phelps

    What actually sets Fred phelps apart is that he is, according to many witnesses including a son, a very serious child beater and abuser and is an actual criminal in that sense.

  191. says

    You know, I’m seeing a little too much smearing of Abbie Smith here. Could everyone refrain from that?

    There’s been no smearing, PZ. There’s been accurate representation of her words (some of which have been about me) and their effects on her credibility and professional reputation. Her words and actions have been outrageous and hurtful. If accurately reporting them is smearing her, then that says everything about her. If you think anyone should refrain from doing so, then I don’t think I should be commenting here, and you can ban me.

  192. Hexahelicene says

    This is my fave … and very recent to Google News.
    It is from the largest English paper in Montreal.

    Montreal police spammed into submission
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+police+spammed+into+submission/5243983/story.html

    I have also been puzzled over the relationships between Dennis and all the other people I have found in Montreal with the same surname. Many Jewish connections. (Granted, it is not certain the few people found are related to him but it is not a common name.)

    And he spammed the change.org site again in the last few minutes. He is not in custody.

  193. says

    Am I wrong in assuming that Mabus’ fame is due more to his persistence and profuse output rather than the quality of his death threats? They seem kind of lame to me.

    I enjoy the really graphic ones that read like were composed by the Time Cube guy writing a description of a Saw movie with lots of blood and guts and racism and visceral hatred, I even got one of those on the phone one time at the radio station, it was awesome, I would have put him on the air but it was too early, I did give him the address and invite him over, though. That always shuts’em up.

  194. Hexahelicene says

    Markita … you do not have it exactly right for Canadian law but since the exact definitions are regionally defined its no big deal. Regardless, uttering threats in Canada can be an offense by itself.

    Gosh, I wish I knew the IP of any one of his posts to any site right about now. That alone could say if this needs to go to the police in Ottawa where his mom says he is.

  195. says

    You know, I’m seeing a little too much smearing of Abbie Smith here. Could everyone refrain from that?

    That CCP – one person – called her a narcissist? The horror! Y’know, there comes a point when a “friend” is behaving abominably…

    You should know the rest.

  196. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Abbie Smith has been horrible, PZ, and you know it. Look at her misogyny hate fest and tell us you don’t see it. Give me a break.

  197. Benjamin "van Driessen" Geiger says

    “Mounument”? Is that an offering to Tpyos, or a reference I didn’t catch?

  198. says

    I know she’s been awful. That’s a settled issue.

    I’m just appalled at how The Monument was actually a monument to character assassination and personal attacks of the most repulsive kind, and I don’t want any of the threads here turning into the same sort of thing, just with a different target. Let’s be better than they are (which, I know, isn’t a very high standard to set).

  199. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m just appalled at how The Monument was actually a monument to character assassination and personal attacks of the most repulsive kind, and I don’t want any of the threads here turning into the same sort of thing, just with a different target.

    True, true. Thanks for articulating that.

  200. strange gods before me says

    Lancelot Gobbo:

    Well said. Damn near perfect, actually.

    Please comment here more often.

  201. says

    I’m just appalled at how The Monument was actually a monument to character assassination and personal attacks of the most repulsive kind, and I don’t want any of the threads here turning into the same sort of thing, just with a different target. Let’s be better than they are (which, I know, isn’t a very high standard to set).

    This isn’t true at all. That isn’t what’s happened here, and you’re living in a screwy reality if you think it is. How dare you imply that our comments here have constituted “character assassination and personal attacks of the most repulsive kind.” Show the fucking evidence of that.

    ***

    Lancelot Gobbo:

    Well said. Damn near perfect, actually.

    Oh, FFS.

  202. strange gods before me says

    Which portion of Lancelot Gobbo’s post did you think was slightly less than perfect, SC? Maybe we’ll agree it’s the same portion.

  203. BrianX says

    Abbie’s problem is that she’s a /b/tard. (I’m pretty sure she’s acknowledged this openly.) That can warp your brain in some pretty strange directions, and even worse if you’re not aware of it.

    Up until the Watson fiasco I’ve always enjoyed her writing, but she’s essentially gone off the deep end because of it.

  204. llewelly says

    scooterKPFT | 12 August 2011 at 12:23 am :

    What actually sets Fred phelps apart is that he is, according to many witnesses including a son, a very serious child beater and abuser and is an actual criminal in that sense.

    Two sons, actually.
    Nate Phelps
    Mark Phelps

  205. says

    Which portion of Lancelot Gobbo’s post did you think was slightly less than perfect, SC?

    Part of the first paragraph and all of the second. And I don’t feel like dealing with you right now. I’ve had it with warped readings for the time being, thank you.

  206. says

    SC:

    That isn’t what’s happened here

    PZ didn’t say that it did happen:

    I don’t want any of the threads here turning into the same sort of thing, just with a different target.

    I don’t find that hard to understand, and do get his wanting to avoid this possibly happening here. He’s asked people to stop commenting on Abbie in this thread, which isn’t about her anyway.

  207. strange gods before me says

    And I don’t feel like dealing with you right now. I’ve had it with warped readings for the time being, thank you.

    How is this fair? “I don’t feel like dealing with this issue” is fair, but what have I done to elicit this?

  208. Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right. says

    Hm.. Dennis Markuze has only one friend on FB, but it’s surely a sockpuppet of his” Dennis Muykrazy. And it’s “Friends” with a few atheists.

  209. Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right. says

    As far as ages of Gospels and Epistles go, Religious Tolerance .org points out that there’s a difference of, oh, about 150 years in the age estimates made by conservative Christians vs. liberal scholars. But the supposedly eye-witness Gospels are older than some of the Epistles.

  210. says

    And PZ, if you’re not going to step in for me when Abbie calls me a cunt but you will for her when people…what? quote her words and call her a narcissist then I don’t know what to say.

  211. strange gods before me says

    He most certainly did: “I’m seeing a little too much smearing of Abbie Smith here. Could everyone refrain from that?”

    *nods*

    I’d say that’s fairly unambiguous.

  212. BrianX says

    SC:

    You know, I’m reading it more as “I really don’t want to talk about Abbie anymore, it’s a waste of time and space” than in any way defending her.

  213. says

    SC, if you’re still reading, for what it’s worth, I don’t only think you’re nowhere fucking near their level. It’s more like it’s difficult to comprehend that both you and they come from quite the same species.

    (/And that is all on the subject, nodding to PZ’s request all the same.)

  214. says

    You know, I’m reading it more as “I really don’t want to talk about Abbie anymore, it’s a waste of time and space” than in any way defending her.

    He didn’t talk about a waste of time or space (which would have been annoying, since no one’s asking him to talk about anything, but whatever). He referred to “smearing” and suggested that our comments were leading to “character assassination and personal attacks of the most repulsive kind.” Bullshit. No.

  215. says

    I’m not defending Abbie. I’m not saying anyone here has stooped to the level I see over there. I think the descriptions of Abbie’s behavior have been spot on.

    I’m just not interested in seeing a thread develop that spends a lot of time describing Abbie’s faults. It’s not a criticism of what you’ve been saying, it’s just that if we turn into warring blogs that spend all our time detailing the wickedness of agents of the other side, we’re focusing on trivia rather than substance.

  216. says

    it’s just that if we turn into warring blogs that spend all our time detailing the wickedness of agents of the other side,

    The last comment (of a handful) that dealt directly with Abbie was at 5:56. Yours was at 12:15. And there’s been no smearing. Give me a break.

  217. chigau () says

    PZ
    Go to bed.
    It’s late.
    Unless you’re in Norway.
    Then it might be early.

    What happened to your special formatting?

  218. chigau () says

    Schiphol
    Hey! I’ve been there.
    (it’s not quite Norway, I think)
    That thing is huge.

  219. says

    It’s 10am here. Can’t go to bed. I’m also stuck in Schiphol.

    When are you coming to The Netherlands for more than just a transfer?

  220. says

    Oh, BTW, having the ‘Submit Comment’ redirect to an anchor rather than just the page is a huge PitA for subsequent reloads. Any chance of adjusting that?

  221. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I’m also stuck in Schiphol.

    There’s a large duty-free shop there. Buy some booze.

  222. says

    I’m also stuck in Schiphol.

    Or (to get back on topic), do what Mabus seems to do at airports: use the free Wi-Fi to post death threats on the Internet.

  223. raven says

    On topic for a change.

    BURNTHILLS

    Posted August 11, 2011 at 7:44pm
    we bet that any of these atheists attached to a trailer hitch is going to start screaming for GOD to save him long before the old pick-up truck even starts moving.

    From the next post from Glenn Beck’s site.

    A lot of people have noticed that fundie xians toss off death threats like New Agers tell people to “Have a nice day.’

    Here above is a typical example.

    If you are nearly illiterate, ignorant, stupid, and EVIL,; threatening to torture and kill people is about all you have.

    Xianity has a 2,000 year history of doing exactly that, torturing and killing people.

    It’s interesting that the moderators at Glenn Beck’s website didn’t think that threatening to drag an atheist to death behind a pickup truck was at all unusual or a bad idea.

  224. raven says

    If the xian religion was true, they wouldn’t have to attach people to pickup truck trailer hitches and drag them to death.

  225. Archibald the Fair Haired says

    Shouldn’t the Christians be praying to Jesus to kill the atheists? A few heavenly lighning strikes would be much more impressive than dragging somebody to death. Plus it would save on gas.

  226. jpf says

    Nevermind Luke 19:27, check out what immediately follows it in Luke 19:28-34 when Jesus orders his disciples to go steal a horse:

    After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.'”

    Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

    They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

    Jesus was a no good, dirty horse thief! He’s lucky he wasn’t hanged.

  227. Archibald the Fair Haired says

    Jesus was a no good, dirty horse thief! He’s lucky he wasn’t hanged.

    Or horsewhipped.

  228. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Jesus wasn’t a horse thief. He was an ass thief.

    resisting jokes of really bad form

  229. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    No no, don’t resist. Jokes of a bad form are entirely why I used the term “ass” thief instead of “donkey” thief. :3

    ok you asked for it.

    Jesus wasn’t a horse thief. He was an ass thief.

    Seems that the Catholic Church has continued this practice.

  230. Ric says

    Hey, can someone please give me the rundown on the story about Abbie Smith and what she did to piss everybody off? I’m genuinely curious.

  231. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Ric, google “Rebecca Watson sexism atheist community.” Then, for Abbie Smith’s part in it, add “ERV” to the search terms.

    But first make sure you have about a month’s worth of free time.

  232. says

    @Ric:

    Short summary:

    After Elevator Gate, Abbie Smith wrote a response about what Richard Dawkins said. She nicknamed Rebecca Watson “Twatson” which deserved the ire of rationalists. Rather than admit her fault and retract the slur, she embraced it and in doing so embraced a large group of Men’s Rights Advocates.

    That’s what I understand at least

  233. says

    @Carlie:

    ROFL, that’s hilarious.

    “Just, wise up on the atheism issue.”

    I thought becoming an atheist was wising up? I’ve certainly got more wisdom now than I was a Christian.

    (No seriously! My Wis score was a 7 before, but now it’s at least an 11. My Cha went up, too! Same with Int! Str, Dex, and Con are still the same, tho.)

  234. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’m also stuck in Schiphol.

    Kerosene will take the stain right out of your hair and clothes. You’re just going to have to be patient about the smell.

  235. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Wow, so Markuze (or whoever’s writing his twitter) will apologize to Rebecca Watson. But Abbie Smith will not.

  236. Vicki says

    PZ, since you’re at Schiphol: I don’t think the fresh raw herring is in season, but you can probably get some really nice smoked eel there.

  237. Vicki says

    From the very end of the Toronto Sun article:

    “I am not scared at all about what he is doing. I am the mother. And mothers know best.”

    That’s not a woman who is going to encourage her son to get psychiatric help, much less insist on it as a condition of living with her.

  238. Anteprepro says

    “Wise up on the atheism issue”, huh? People supporting the incoherent and deranged Dennis Markuse suggesting that the people that he directs his bizarre diatribes against are less “wise” than they are? What world do these people live in? They make me feel like I slipped into an alternate reality, where up is down, wrong is right, war is peace, and ignorance is strength. It’s a backwards world where some bizarre logic apparently makes God’s existence obvious, but you still need faith. A world where the arguments for gods not only actually make sense but also, despite the apparent broadness of these arguments, favors only Christianity as the one true religion. A world where people who dismiss science are to be taken seriously, despite knowing such a trivial amount of it that they utter such brilliant insights as “Why are there still monkeys?”, “It’s only a theory!”, and “GRAVITY IS MAGNETS!”. I don’t like their world very much.

  239. raven says

    Markuzes mother may be suffering from something similar to her son or vice versa.

    wikipedia:

    Folie à deux (English pronunciation: /fɒˈli ə ˈduː/, from the French for “a madness shared by two”) (or shared psychosis) is a[1] psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another. The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs (“madness of many”). Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as shared psychotic disorder (DSM-IV) (297.3) and induced delusional disorder (F.24) in the ICD-10, although the research literature largely uses the original name. The disorder was first conceptualized in 19th century French psychiatry.[2]

    and

    This syndrome is most commonly diagnosed when the two or more individuals concerned live in proximity and may be socially or physically isolated and have little interaction with other people.

    Delusions and psychotic behavior can be socially contagious. You see it in such events and groups as the Heaven Gates mass suicides, Jim Jones’ 900 dead white night mass suicide in Guyana, the FLDS, the Tea Party, and any fundie xian church.

  240. says

    @raven in #321: or she may just have the “my child wouldn’t do that”-syndrome that any teacher or school principal knows all too well.

  241. strange gods before me says

    raven, not for the first time, you really are a despicable piece of shit.

  242. says

    Which portion of Lancelot Gobbo’s post did you think was slightly less than perfect, SC?

    This, primarily:

    Having said that, I am a little sensitive to the stigmatisation of mental illness, and throwing around words like crazy, psychotic, institutionalise when not being technically accurate with them is a big part of the handicap experienced by the mentally ill. Neither zenbuffy, nor I, nor even the sainted* PZ knows whether this man actually deserves any of those terms.

    Really? We don’t know whether someone threatening to decapitate people deserves the term “crazy”? “Mentally disturbed”? What’s the technically accurate meaning of “crazy”? And no one is supposed to use technical terms, even when it’s clear that they’re using them loosely, because they might not be an accurate “diagnosis.” What would be a nonstigmatizing term for someone exhibiting this behavior? Does anyone really think he’s a sane but nasty person?

    These words are supposed to be stigmatizing somehow, when the pathologizing of psychological and emotional problems isn’t. So doctors and the pharmaceutical industry telling people their brains are chemically imbalanced or “wired up wrong” is not stigmatizing, but calling someone threatening to chop off people’s heads crazy supposedly is. This makes no sense to me. I think the medicalization of these problems has contributed to stigmatization rather than counteracting it. KG has provided links in the past showing this to be the case with drug abuse, and I believe it’s true of psychological-emotional problems, too.

  243. strange gods before me says

    Markuzes mother may be suffering from something similar to her son

    Arbitrary internet diagnoses for the win?

    You are a genuinely evil person. Just awful. I wondered if there were any depths to which you would not sink; the answer now is apparently no.

  244. says

    Thanks, AJ Milne.

    ***

    How is this fair? “I don’t feel like dealing with this issue” is fair, but what have I done to elicit this?

    It wasn’t, and nothing. I was angry about what PZ said, didn’t feel like dealing with the issue, and snapped at you. Sorry.

  245. Erulóra Maikalambe ( says

    I have Patsy Cline on the phone.

    that’s a Willie Nelson tune.

    Care to clue in the clueless?

  246. strange gods before me says

    What’s the technically accurate meaning of “crazy”?

    Here it’s being used synonymously with mental illness, so we can fairly take it to mean that.

    Really? We don’t know whether someone threatening to decapitate people deserves the term “crazy”? “Mentally disturbed”?

    Not from that alone, no, because non-crazy people do that too sometimes. Where I disagree with Gobbo is that I do think the long-running evidence from Mabus’s behavior is indicative of compulsion at the least. Given the pattern of evidence, I don’t think it’s necessarily inaccurate to say that Mabus is crazy. Here I am just disagreeing with the categorical: death threats -> crazy.

    Gobbo said a lot which I agreed with, I was tired, and I wanted to register my general agreement with something similar to my thoughts. This apparently means more work for me overall to clear things up, but *sigh* that’s what I get. Fair enough. I had it coming to me.

    And no one is supposed to use technical terms, even when it’s clear that they’re using them loosely, because they might not be an accurate “diagnosis.”

    It’s not true that they’re being used loosely here. It’s very clear that PZ and many others here mean a diagnosable mental illness. Again, in the case of Mabus, I suspect it’s accurate enough. The complaint would stand more generally, that the terms are used to label mental illness one day and then used to label plain old bad behavior the next.

    Clear from PZ: “Time to institutionalize Dennis Markuze”. That’s not loose at all. Now here’s something plain enough; even if Mabus is crazy, and even if Mabus is a criminal, it does not follow that it’s necessarily time to institutionalize him. That’s a decision which will have to fall to mental health professionals assigned to his case;—maybe probation, or prison, or a police warning, or outpatient therapy, or a combination of the above are more appropriate—it’s not appropriate for the internet mobs to be, uh, calling for his head.

    What would be a nonstigmatizing term for someone exhibiting this behavior? Does anyone really think he’s a sane but nasty person?

    Some people do think that. I wouldn’t quite put it that way. More in a moment.

    These words are supposed to be stigmatizing somehow, when the pathologizing of psychological and emotional problems isn’t. So doctors and the pharmaceutical industry telling people their brains are chemically imbalanced or “wired up wrong” is not stigmatizing,

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the general view that that’s not stigmatizing.

    Back to Mabus:

    If Mabus has made death threats, then what’s objectionable about his person or his behavior is that he’s made death threats. (This “if” is obviously true; he has done that.)

    If Mabus has committed criminal offenses which are actionable by the police, then what’s objectionable about his person or his behavior is [et cetera].

    In any case, what is bad about him as a person, or objectionable about his behavior, is not that he’s crazy. Non-violent crazy behavior is not similarly objectionable, but violent non-crazy behavior is similarly objectionable.

    The crazy is incidental to what deserves complaint. Yet in the case of Mabus, it is continually brought up as though it’s an additional indictment, over and above his behavior: not only does he make death threats, but he’s crazy on top of it!

    Again, I won’t claim that it’s inaccurate in this case, only that it’s incidental to what is objectionable. Like “Mabus makes death threats and he’s a former computer salesman!” But unlike his occupation, the mention of crazy incites a certain agitation; people are especially wary of mentally ill people, and this unease gets packaged up with the genuine complaint about his behavior.

    Accurate or not, there’s reason to worry that this paired mention produces a priming effect which will result in further stereotyping of mentally ill people.

  247. strange gods before me says

    It wasn’t, and nothing. I was angry about what PZ said, didn’t feel like dealing with the issue, and snapped at you. Sorry.

    That’s what I hoped. No worries, then. Thanks for this. :)

  248. says

    Schiphol, ah yes, that’s an exhausting airport. But on the plane to Oslo you probably got those nice sandwiches in the blue and white windmill wrapper, and Punselie cookies. It all works out.

  249. strange gods before me says

    Hey … Raven said “may” before quoting real enough pysch. Lighten up!

    Haha! Of course there could be nothing objectionable about it then!

    Okay: raven demonstrably is someone who’s been using mental illness per se as an insult for months if not years, and “may” be a genuinely evil person who on balance makes the world a worse place.

  250. Pierce R. Butler says

    Hey everybody, give Comrade Mabus a break here.

    At least we have no evidence that he’s ever gone to the terroristic extreme of voting in a Beck “Blaze” poll.

    Prof. Myers: how many (to the nearest order of magnitude) DM comments have you deleted from this thread so far?

  251. What a Maroon says

    I have Patsy Cline on the phone.

    that’s a Willie Nelson tune.

    Care to clue in the clueless?

    Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
    Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so blue

    (And Willie Nelson may have written it, but Patsy Cline owned it.)

  252. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The crazy is incidental to what deserves complaint. Yet in the case of Mabus, it is continually brought up as though it’s an additional indictment, over and above his behavior: not only does he make death threats, but he’s crazy on top of it!

    So I have a question then.

    If someone is making death threats and it’s determined that they are unstable, can that not be considered in determining the seriousness of the threat?

  253. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And to clarify, the death threats are the offense, but can the stability of the person making those threats not be a factor to take into consideration when weighing the actually threat?

  254. strange gods before me says

    If someone is making death threats and it’s determined that they are unstable, can that not be considered in determining the seriousness of the threat?

    Well, just what would it add?

    Is the threatening but stable person supposed to be more dangerous because they’re more decisive and able to plan further in advance?

    Or is the threatening and unstable person supposed to be more dangerous because they’re presumably less predictable?

    Your question seems to assume that the crazy gives us some important information about the seriousness of the threat, but I think this is not established.

    (If we’re talking about Mabus, I think he is compulsive but stable; he’s nothing if not consistent. And if we’re talking about Mabus, again, my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence. I don’t think it’s always wholly inappropriate to talk about someone’s mental illness on the internet—I told the “eye in the sky” guy what I thought he was experiencing, and I think I handled that as well as could be done—but I think we should be certain that it adds something important to the discussion, and “maybe it could figure into determining the seriousness of this threat in some unespecified way” is rather grasping.)

  255. says

    Here it’s being used synonymously with mental illness, so we can fairly take it to mean that.

    It’s being used as “crazy.”

    Not from that alone, no, because non-crazy people do that too sometimes. Where I disagree with Gobbo is that I do think the long-running evidence from Mabus’s behavior is indicative of compulsion at the least. Given the pattern of evidence, I don’t think it’s necessarily inaccurate to say that Mabus is crazy. Here I am just disagreeing with the categorical: death threats -> crazy.

    We were talking about his specific behavior over an extended period of time. I thought that was understood. But it’s totally unrelated to stigmatization. Even if I were making this broad claim, it’s not the same thing as saying “All crazy people make death threats.”

    It’s not true that they’re being used loosely here. It’s very clear that PZ and many others here mean a diagnosable mental illness.

    I don’t think when PZ said “has a psychotic break” he was putting forward a diagnosis. I think he was using it to mean “snaps,” and I don’t see how either one is stigmatizing of anyone else in the slightest. And if PZ had said “before he snaps,” people like Zenbuffy would be raising the same stupid objection: “You’re saying all people with mental illness will snap and become violent!”

    Clear from PZ: “Time to institutionalize Dennis Markuze”. That’s not loose at all. Now here’s something plain enough; even if Mabus is crazy, and even if Mabus is a criminal, it does not follow that it’s necessarily time to institutionalize him.

    Well, to institutionalize him in some form, if he’s a threat to other people. He’s been harassing PZ and others ceaselessly and crazily for almost 20 years, and he’s escalating.

    That’s a decision which will have to fall to mental health professionals assigned to his case;—maybe probation, or prison, or a police warning, or outpatient therapy, or a combination of the above are more appropriate—it’s not appropriate for the internet mobs to be, uh, calling for his head.

    I think the “mobs” are demanding that the police do their job at long last. This is well past the “warning” phase. I suspect that you haven’t read much of his output. But of course none of this has anything to do with any broader stigmatization. No one is saying every person with psychological problems should be arrested or institutionalized. They’re saying people need to take action in this case. As someone pointed out on Zenbuffy’s thread, she‘s the one lumping together everything from depression and OCD to crazy death threats. That’s stigmatizing. People might be mistaken about him or how he should be dealt with, but what they’re saying about him is about him and people who behave exactly like him.

    Some people do think that.

    And that’s very surprising.

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the general view that that’s not stigmatizing.

    But then you have a problem. Because it’s this model of understanding psychological problems that underlies the suggestion that calling someone “crazy” somehow stigmatizes people with mental illness, but if the medical model of mental illness is itself stigmatizing then this can’t be right.

    In any case, what is bad about him as a person, or objectionable about his behavior, is not that he’s crazy. Non-violent crazy behavior is not similarly objectionable, but violent non-crazy behavior is similarly objectionable.

    The crazy is incidental to what deserves complaint. Yet in the case of Mabus, it is continually brought up as though it’s an additional indictment, over and above his behavior: not only does he make death threats, but he’s crazy on top of it!

    This makes zero sense, and isn’t at all what people are saying. Violent non-crazy behavior isn’t “similarly objectionable,” which is why the law deals with them differently. Saying he’s crazy is not incidental or on top of describing his behavior. It’s not an insult or complaint. It’s characterizing it/him. It’s a reading of the behavior and what’s behind it, and one that’s extremely likely.

    Gah. This is why I didn’t want to get into this with you.

  256. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Your question seems to assume that the crazy gives us some important information about the seriousness of the threat, but I think this is not established.

    Yep you’re right it does and it isn’t unless we know more about the specific case (if it is a case).

    but I think we should be certain that it adds something important to the discussion, and “maybe it could figure into determining the seriousness of this threat in some unespecified way” is rather grasping.

    It is. Assuming all mental illness (assuming there actually is) lets us predict some outcome is grasping and making a broad sweep. You’re right.

    And in Mabus’ case I think making a judgement call on his past behavior and what that means is reasonable only because of the long well documented history we have. What that means for the future is uncertain past more of the same.

  257. says

    And if we’re talking about Mabus, again, my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence.

    PZ gets numerous threats of violence, and has posted several. I don’t recall him simply assuming that everyone threatening him was crazy. In fact, he presents people who appear sane and nasty as just that. From this, I conclude that when he says this about DM he’s basing his assessment on his specific pattern of behavior. In this case, the death threats and their form and frequency are part of a pattern of behavior that does indicate mental disturbance of some significance.

  258. strange gods before me says

    We were talking about his specific behavior over an extended period of time. I thought that was understood.

    It was, until you made what appeared to me to be a categorical statement that anyone threatening to decapitate people deserves the term “crazy” or “mentally disturbed”. As long as it’s clear this is not categorically true, then fine.

    But it’s totally unrelated to stigmatization. Even if I were making this broad claim, it’s not the same thing as saying “All crazy people make death threats.”

    I certainly did not claim that it’s like saying “all crazy people make death threats.”

    What I am saying is that certain choices of words add to stigmatization anyway, because of priming effects in a subset of the audience. Consider the case when a high-stereotype listener hears that someone who committed a violent crime was black; they interpret this as a coherent schema of black+crime.

    We have similar stereotyping effects going around about mental illness; not coincidentally, it’s less often reported that “John Doe committed a violent crime and is known to have a history of sanity.” That sort of report is extremely rare unless the defense raised a plea of insanity or incompetence to stand trial, while “a history of mental illness” is frequently reported as soon as possible after an arrest, yet “a history of mental health” is just as relevant as “a history of mental illness”.

    Well, to institutionalize him in some form, if he’s a threat to other people.

    There was no “if” in PZ’s statement.

    I think the “mobs” are demanding that the police do their job at long last. This is well past the “warning” phase. I suspect that you haven’t read much of his output.

    I have read plenty. I have seen what he posts here, excerpts of what he sends to bloggers, and what he posted on the wiki. I agree with sending a petition to the police; I agree that it’s worth taking him seriously. I have no problem with demanding the police look into the matter and rely on their mental health consultants to determine what is appropriate. I do have a problem with folks jumping to the conclusion that what is definitely needed is for him to be institutionalized. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; not appropriate to say “time to do it”.

  259. Stef says

    The police now said they’ll investigate, not because of the petition, but because a citizen of Montreal have filled a complain.

    And not just one, they received 4000 complaint.
    And now the cops are complaining they received too much of them.
    They have to read each complain and its slowing down the investigation.

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/justice-et-faits-divers/201108/12/01-4425345-menaces-de-mort-sur-internet-on-est-dans-une-zone-grise.php

  260. strange gods before me says

    As opposed to what exactly?

    As opposed to the claims that “crazy” is not being used synonymously with a mental health diagnosis. I don’t actually have any problem with it being used as such; I believe it’s going to be used that way indefinitely, so I’d prefer to see it used strictly synonymously with claims about mental illness, because this is at least preferable to the fallacies of equivocation that so often come along for the ride.

    But of course none of this has anything to do with any broader stigmatization. No one is saying every person with psychological problems should be arrested or institutionalized. They’re saying people need to take action in this case

    Police need to take action in this case because someone is making death threats, not because someone is making death threats and is potentially crazy.

    Separate what I’m saying from what Zenbuffy said. I highlighted Gobbo and not Zenbuffy for a reason, and given the chance to explain my differences with Gobbo I’ll do that as well.

  261. strange gods before me says

    But then you have a problem. Because it’s this model of understanding psychological problems that underlies the suggestion that calling someone “crazy” somehow stigmatizes people with mental illness, but if the medical model of mental illness is itself stigmatizing then this can’t be right.

    What underlies my suggestion that calling someone “crazy” stigmatizes people with mental illness is the fact that mental illness per se is frequently used as an insult.

    There may be other factors at play, but I need no more than this one to make my case.

  262. strange gods before me says

    violent non-crazy behavior isn’t “similarly objectionable,” which is why the law deals with them differently.

    Not very differently. Incarceration in prison or institutionalization in a mental hospital is not all as different as we’d hope; which one is worse depends mostly on who operates the particular prison in question and who operates the mental hospital in question.

    Jurisprudence’s concept of insanity and psychiatry’s concept of mental illness are very different; if we’re talking about the law and its concept of responsibility, I can’t argue about it very coherently because I don’t accept the basic premise that responsibility has anything to do with the need for or gravity of legal response.

    To me, violent behavior is equally objectionable either way, because only consequences matter.

    Saying he’s crazy is not incidental or on top of describing his behavior. It’s not an insult or complaint. It’s characterizing it/him. It’s a reading of the behavior and what’s behind it, and one that’s extremely likely.

    But if you are talking about the law’s interest, then it’s irrelevant what bloggers think about Mabus’s sanity. Whatever meaning the police or courts find in that question, the outcome will not need bloggers’ opinion or influence.

    So if the interest in question here is the law’s interest, it was relevant to say “the police should look into this guy” and spam a petition to them, but it is irrelevant to add “and he’s crazy”.

    PZ gets numerous threats of violence, and has posted several. I don’t recall him simply assuming that everyone threatening him was crazy. In fact, he presents people who appear sane and nasty as just that.

    For the sake of this argument, I’ll assent to this, and point out that I haven’t said anything here which should give indication that I would disagree.

    From this, I conclude that when he says this about DM he’s basing his assessment on his specific pattern of behavior. In this case, the death threats and their form and frequency are part of a pattern of behavior that does indicate mental disturbance of some significance.

    I think you must still have thought you were arguing with Zenbuffy or something. I already said I think we can say Mabus is mentally ill from the evidence and frequency; though I expect my guess as to what sort of mental illness would differ from many others here.

    But: my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence.

  263. strange gods before me says

    Rev:

    And in Mabus’ case I think making a judgement call on his past behavior and what that means is reasonable only because of the long well documented history we have. What that means for the future is uncertain past more of the same.

    But would knowing that a similar pattern of death threats came from someone sane mean anything regarding the danger?

    Like, if we knew that Mabus spent only a couple hours a week tuning an elaborate automated system of multiple bot accounts so that while he’s out buying groceries he could make threats of decapitation which didn’t mention Nostradamus, what would that tell us about his likelihood of carrying through an act of violence?

  264. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I’m reading with interest, and I admit that I don’t know much about such things*

    But: my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence.

    In this case, you believe that both of these things are simultaneously true. Do you mean to say that despite the fact that you think that both of these things are true, that they shouldn’t be mentioned together? Or that we need to be careful in characterizing one as the cause of the other. Or interpreting them that way, even if we don’t argue for causality?

    *So tell me to fuck off if this is very stupid.

  265. says

    It was, until you made what appeared to me to be a categorical statement that anyone threatening to decapitate people deserves the term “crazy” or “mentally disturbed”. As long as it’s clear this is not categorically true, then fine.

    Oh, good grief. Fine.

    What I am saying is that certain choices of words add to stigmatization anyway, because of priming effects in a subset of the audience.

    But I asked you what you would consider a nonstigmatizing term for someone exhibiting this behavior and you didn’t provide any. Or are you suggesting that people familiar with the behavior should not say anything to characterize it? If that’s the case, then the specific choice of words isn’t important.

    Consider the case when a high-stereotype listener hears that someone who committed a violent crime was black; they interpret this as a coherent schema of black+crime.

    WTF? “Crazy” is not incidental to the behaviors here. It’s a characterization of the behaviors and a proposed explanation in this case.

    We have similar stereotyping effects going around about mental illness; not coincidentally, it’s less often reported that “John Doe committed a violent crime and is known to have a history of sanity.” That sort of report is extremely rare unless the defense raised a plea of insanity or incompetence to stand trial, while “a history of mental illness” is frequently reported as soon as possible after an arrest, yet “a history of mental health” is just as relevant as “a history of mental illness”.

    Four things: First, again, this isn’t similar. People’s mental state is behind their behavior; the color of their skin is not. The first is potentially relevant information in cases of violent crime; the second is not. Second, you’re continuing to push aside my point from above about the stigmatizing effects of the “mental illness” model in the first place, which complicates the scenario. Third, a history of sanity in itself is not likely to be significant in leading people to commit specific violent crimes, but psychological problems sometimes are. Of course, I don’t think anyone’s history should be mentioned unless it’s presumably relevant to the particular crime, but, again, you seem to be suggesting that mental problems should not be brought up in any case. Fourth, I think the assumption behind statements like “attacked in cold blood” or “for revenge” or “out of hatred” or “out of greed” is that the person involved is sane and was so at the time of the crime.

    There was no “if” in PZ’s statement.

    Because PZ obviously thinks he’s a threat.

    I have read plenty. I have seen what he posts here, excerpts of what he sends to bloggers, and what he posted on the wiki. I agree with sending a petition to the police; I agree that it’s worth taking him seriously. I have no problem with demanding the police look into the matter and rely on their mental health consultants to determine what is appropriate. I do have a problem with folks jumping to the conclusion that what is definitely needed is for him to be institutionalized. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; not appropriate to say “time to do it”.

    Well, I probably agree with this, because it’s conclusion-jumping in this particular case. I do cut a person who’s been victimized by him for going on two decades and is seeing escalating threats of violence against himself a bit of slack. But this has nothing to do with any stigmatization. Some people do need to be institutionalized. DM might be one of them. Even if people who are saying this are wrong in this case, they’re not making any broader claims beyond this case.

  266. strange gods before me says

    AE:

    In this case, you believe that both of these things are simultaneously true.

    Correct.

    Do you mean to say that despite the fact that you think that both of these things are true, that they shouldn’t be mentioned together? Or that we need to be careful in characterizing one as the cause of the other. Or interpreting them that way, even if we don’t argue for causality?

    I mean that as long as a stereotype exists in the wild, priming that stereotype is going to result in stigmatization, even when it’s absolutely necessary to say something that primes the stereotype, so we should be careful to be sure that we do it only when it’s necessary.

    For example, if a black guy committed a violent crime and was already arrested, it is not necessary for the newspapers to report his skin color. If he has not been arrested, and the police are asking people to watch for him, then reporting a complete physical description may be necessary. But in both cases it’s going to prime a stereotype, and thus be stigmatizing.

    I think in the case of Mabus, nothing of importance is added by saying “threatening, crazy and potentially violent” that is not already contained in “threatening and potentially violent”. It is being assumed that the crazy is necessary to bring up, but there is no basis for this assumption.

    As to whether Mabus would still be sending death threats if he weren’t compulsive (that’s just my assumption that he’s compulsive), I really can’t guess. I don’t know that any of us have the necessary information; that may require interviews with him and his family.

  267. says

    People are calling Markuze violent.

    While I certainly think his spamming is illegal, and his death threats are wrong… What has he done that is violent?

  268. says

    As opposed to the claims that “crazy” is not being used synonymously with a mental health diagnosis.

    Not a specific diagnosis. A general appraisal. But I don’t see the relevance.

    I don’t actually have any problem with it being used as such; I believe it’s going to be used that way indefinitely, so I’d prefer to see it used strictly synonymously with claims about mental illness, because this is at least preferable to the fallacies of equivocation that so often come along for the ride.

    But again, as opposed to what? It was used to characterize/explain a pattern of behavior.

    Police need to take action in this case because someone is making death threats, not because someone is making death threats and is potentially crazy.

    People think the police should get involved because crimes have been committed and people are threatened, and they think he’s seriously disturbed and needs help. People don’t believe his mental condition is incidental to his behavior. You seem again to be suggesting that no mention of this be made.

  269. says

    What underlies my suggestion that calling someone “crazy” stigmatizes people with mental illness is the fact that mental illness per se is frequently used as an insult.

    But so is calling someone “mentally ill” or any of the related medical terms. So you do seem to be saying that no one should express that they think DM is mentally disturbed using any words, even if they do think this, because saying this somehow stigmatizes people with mental problems.

  270. strange gods before me says

    AE:

    To clarify further, when people see someone acting apparently crazy, they’re going to talk about whether or not that someone is actually crazy.

    This is not inherently objectionable; it’s how many people learn about mental illness, it can potentially go well, and in the case of Mabus I’ve not objected to having that discussion. As you can see in that link, Mabus’s activity at the wiki leads me to my opinion that he is a little crazy who acts a lot crazy for effect; I expect that the tweet from his account to Watson’s was written by him, if perhaps at his mother’s urging, and I expect that he will be acting differently now to stay within the boundaries of the law.

    It’s just that the issues of “is he crazy” and “is he dangerous” do not necessarily inform each other, and it should not be presumed, without scientific evidence, that the two discussions necessarily must be intertwined.

  271. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    It’s just that the issues of “is he crazy” and “is he dangerous” do not necessarily inform each other, and it should not be presumed, without scientific evidence, that the two discussions necessarily must be intertwined.

    His motivation for making death threats certainly speaks to the probability that he will carry them out*. This information seems pertinent to the assessment of personal risk, that PZ (and others people who receive semi-coherent death threats)) must make from time to time. If Markuze’s motivation is personal entertainment (to rattle PZ’s or Shermer’s or Watson’s cage**), he doesn’t need to kill anyone to achieve that goal. If Markuze really believes that he has been ordained to carry them out, PZ (and others) are in considerably greater danger, and should assess their risk to be greater.

    I don’t know if the evidence exists to evaluate these (or unarticulated) explanations for Markuze’s behavior.

    *I think they should be treated seriously, regardless of the probability that he will act on them.
    **In which case, he may need to seem more “crazy” than he actually is to be effective.

  272. strange gods before me says

    But I asked you what you would consider a nonstigmatizing term for someone exhibiting this behavior and you didn’t provide any.

    How about “someone who makes death threats”.

    Or are you suggesting that people familiar with the behavior should not say anything to characterize it? If that’s the case, then the specific choice of words isn’t important.

    I’m suggesting that the priming of concepts about violence along with concepts about mental illness should be avoided when it is unnecessary. I see no reason to believe that it is necessary in this case.

    WTF? “Crazy” is not incidental to the behaviors here. It’s a characterization of the behaviors and a proposed explanation in this case.

    It is incidental to the harm caused by Mabus. However crazy he is or is not, the harm he causes is the same.

    People want to explain everything; they have a desire for closure. It’s not necessarily the case that they’re justified in pursuing this desire.

    Anyway, we’ve had plenty of discussions over whether Mabus is crazy. It’s not necessary to bring it up every time.

    Four things: First, again, this isn’t similar. People’s mental state is behind their behavior; the color of their skin is not. The first is potentially relevant information in cases of violent crime; the second is not.

    Yes it is similar, because there are stereotyping effects from priming, in both cases. That’s the similar part. These effects are completely independent of whether or not the discussion is justified.

    Hypothetically, it could be necessary to have the discussion you want to defend, yet it would still be stigmatizing. I just don’t think it’s necessary.

    Second, you’re continuing to push aside my point from above about the stigmatizing effects of the “mental illness” model in the first place, which complicates the scenario.

    If you really think it’s stigmatizing in the first place, and you also think stigmatizing things just should not be done, then I don’t see why you’re defending the discussion of whether or not he’s crazy.

    I separate the issues: it may be necessary to have the discussion and yet it would also be stigmatizing. You don’t appear to be separating them.

    It probably is stigmatizing to call someone mentally ill, by whatever term, as long as mental illness is used as an insult—as long as these stereotypes exist in the wild.

    So generally I would say that care should be taken; it should not automatically be presumed a necessary discussion.

    Third, a history of sanity in itself is not likely to be significant in leading people to commit specific violent crimes, but psychological problems sometimes are. Of course, I don’t think anyone’s history should be mentioned unless it’s presumably relevant to the particular crime, but, again, you seem to be suggesting that mental problems should not be brought up in any case.

    What I am suggesting is that concepts of mental illness should not be primed along with concepts of violence unless it is necessary to do so, and it is often not necessary. (And if wishes were horses: if newspapers did regularly report that a violent criminal has a history of good mental health, that would help undo some stereotyping.)

    Fourth, I think the assumption behind statements like “attacked in cold blood” or “for revenge” or “out of hatred” or “out of greed” is that the person involved is sane and was so at the time of the crime.

    Not in jurisprudence, if we’re still mixing the discussions, as these terms must. “For revenge” and “out of hatred” are very compatible with the claim of “temporary insanity”; see “crime of passion”. The other two just need a good lawyer. But these framings do not convey the same stark juxtaposition as “a history of sanity”.

    Because PZ obviously thinks he’s a threat.

    Apparently so, and yet that does not qualify PZ to say he should be institutionalized.

    Well, I probably agree with this, because it’s conclusion-jumping in this particular case. I do cut a person who’s been victimized by him for going on two decades and is seeing escalating threats of violence against himself a bit of slack.

    Okay, but I hope that later he’ll reconsider that call for institutionalization. I mean, I’m not saying terrible things about PZ here; I don’t think I’m being unfair. It’s understandable why PZ is upset. I hope he’ll retract the statement later.

    But this has nothing to do with any stigmatization.

    Yes it does, even if the following was also true:

    Some people do need to be institutionalized. DM might be one of them. Even if people who are saying this are wrong in this case, they’re not making any broader claims beyond this case.

    I never said they were making broader claims. I said that priming of prejudices is stigmatizing. Even when it’s necessary. And it’s not necessary here.

    Not a specific diagnosis. A general appraisal. But I don’t see the relevance.

    I don’t either. I thought earlier that you were actually making the claim that the use of “crazy” here was not a reference to mental illness.

    People think the police should get involved because crimes have been committed and people are threatened

    Yes.

    and they think he’s seriously disturbed and needs help. People don’t believe his mental condition is incidental to his behavior. You seem again to be suggesting that no mention of this be made.

    It’s being assumed necessary to the discussion, and yet there is no scientific evidence that it is actually necessary to the discussion. Rev BDC proposed a hypothetical in which such a discussion—of when someone has made threats and may also be crazy, whether bringing the crazy into the discussion might actually help us evaluate the likelihood of threats being carried out—might be necessary, but there is no evidence supporting the actual existence of such hypotheticals in real life.

    But so is calling someone “mentally ill” or any of the related medical terms. So you do seem to be saying that no one should express that they think DM is mentally disturbed using any words, even if they do think this, because saying this somehow stigmatizes people with mental problems.

    It does stigmatize people with mental problems. It can also be necessary; I don’t think all discussions of a particular person’s mental illness are unnecessary. It is especially stigmatizing, though, when these discussions are paired with discussions about violence, so the alleged necessity of those instances should be held to a stricter scrutiny.

  273. says

    What has he done that is violent?

    Maybe you missed it… he is planning to kill lots and lots of people. That will be a violent thing. I don’t know about you, but I tend to believe people when they tell me about their plans. If you assume people are lying when they tell you things, doesn’t that make it hard to make plans with other people?

  274. says

    Not very differently. Incarceration in prison or institutionalization in a mental hospital is not all as different as we’d hope; which one is worse depends mostly on who operates the particular prison in question and who operates the mental hospital in question.

    This has no relevance to this discussion. The law does deal with them differently.

    Jurisprudence’s concept of insanity and psychiatry’s concept of mental illness are very different;

    Also irrelevant.

    if we’re talking about the law and its concept of responsibility, I can’t argue about it very coherently because I don’t accept the basic premise that responsibility has anything to do with the need for or gravity of legal response.

    To me, violent behavior is equally objectionable either way, because only consequences matter.

    Well, I don’t agree with this at all. But I think you’re caught up on the word “objectionable.” No one was saying he or his behavior is more objectionable because he has mental problems. Your comment far above:

    The crazy is incidental to what deserves complaint. Yet in the case of Mabus, it is continually brought up as though it’s an additional indictment, over and above his behavior: not only does he make death threats, but he’s crazy on top of it!

    This isn’t about complaints or objections. It’s about characterizing and trying to understand the behavior and potential future behavior. That’s what people do. It’s a strange reading of what people are saying.

    But if you are talking about the law’s interest, then it’s irrelevant what bloggers think about Mabus’s sanity. Whatever meaning the police or courts find in that question, the outcome will not need bloggers’ opinion or influence.

    It’s often the case that people who are victims or observers more familiar with longterm behavior than they can possibly be assess that behavior and the threat level. I don’t really see much point in discussing what-if hypotheticals in which he does the same things but doesn’t have serious problems, because we think he does based on his behavior.

    But: my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence.

    Actually, the former makes more sense. I don’t think I agree with it, but it makes more sense.

  275. strange gods before me says

    His motivation for making death threats certainly speaks to the probability that he will carry them out

    Yeah, but as I see it, the potential motivations are:

    I. He thinks atheists should be killed.
    II. He thinks atheists should be tormented with death threats because they are terrible people who ought to be afraid.
    III. It’s fun to make death threats, and hey, they’re atheists, so fuck ‘em.

    If we add crazy or not, it’s not clear how this helps:

    1. He’s not crazy and he thinks atheists should be killed.
    2. He’s not crazy and he thinks atheists should be tormented with death threats because they are terrible people who ought to be afraid.
    3. He’s not crazy and it’s fun to make death threats, and hey, they’re atheists, so fuck ‘em.
    4. He’s crazy and he thinks atheists should be killed.
    5. He’s crazy and he thinks atheists should be tormented with death threats because they are terrible people who ought to be afraid.
    6. He’s crazy and it’s fun to make death threats, and hey, they’re atheists, so fuck ‘em.

    It’s not clear that 4 is more or less dangerous than 1, et cetera.

  276. 0Megabyte says

    And here we go. It begins. Not even PZ Myers can escape the weirdness of it.

    The weirdness being, of course, those fanatics who are so caught up in their own issue that they can read offense when none is given.

    I have personally been told that because I take gender into account in the way I perceive people, I am hurting them. I have been told that stairs are bad, because having both stairs and ramps only flaunts the difference between those who need wheelchairs and those who don’t, and that that is wrong. I have seen people state that any mention of certain subjects, just like insanity in ZenBuffy’s case, is automatically bad, because daring to make mention of such subjects as rape, or insanity, or any other things with anything less than twenty disclaimers and Complete Seriousness creates a culture that denigrates those who are in group x, because idiots might somehow take such mentions as support for their cause.

    Do you know what these sorts of things have in common? In my personal view, it’s that the people so caught up in them are just that -too caught up in it. They have such tunnel-vision that they see offense not only in the places they exist, they fight not only against the things that are actually wrong, and actually unjust, but see offense against their pet problem everywhere, because that’s what they’re used to seeing.

    It’s sad. It’s something that should be taken as a lesson: We should not allow ourselves to be so trapped by tunnel-vision that we see offense when none is intended. We should not be so trapped by our causes that we turn against all mankind. It can happen with stuff like atheism too, I’ve seen some atheists get that way. We have real fights ahead of us, we have real things that are against us, but we mustn’t allow ourselves to become like ZenBuffy, and see the entire world as our enemy, all the time.

  277. chigau () says

    I have a picture of someone trying to stop a dog-fight by throwing a kitten between the combatants.

  278. strange gods before me says

    This has no relevance to this discussion. The law does deal with them differently.

    A lot of what you bring up has no relevance to this discussion.

    I said: «In any case, what is bad about him as a person, or objectionable about his behavior, is not that he’s crazy. Non-violent crazy behavior is not similarly objectionable, but violent non-crazy behavior is similarly objectionable.»

    You replied by bringing up the law. I don’t think that either you or I genuinely believe that what the law finds objectionable is inherently objectionable, so I think it’s a red herring. Back to my point: what is objectionable are consequences, and if Mabus hurts someone, this is objectionable whether he is psychiatrically sane or insane, legally sane or insane, or whatever.

    Also irrelevant.

    Buh, but you started it!

    No one was saying he or his behavior is more objectionable because he has mental problems. … This isn’t about complaints or objections. It’s about characterizing and trying to understand the behavior and potential future behavior. That’s what people do. It’s a strange reading of what people are saying.

    This is unduly optimistic.

    This discussion already had the participation of one person, raven, whom I have documented using mental illness per se as an insult.

    In other words, we are having this discussion in the presence of at least one high-stereotype individual, who saw something in this discussion which seemed to be an invitation to make what is, for raven, an insult about Mabus’s mother.

    Some people do regard mental illness to be an objection against a person’s character. Forgive me if I doubt that raven is the single reader of Pharyngula who does so.

    It’s often the case that people who are victims or observers more familiar with longterm behavior than they can possibly be assess that behavior and the threat level.

    It’s possible, but then that discussion can be had by describing the content of those behaviors without the stigmatizing labeling: “he is escalating the speed and severity of threats”, etc.

  279. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I. He thinks atheists should be killed.
    II. He thinks atheists should be tormented with death threats because they are terrible people who ought to be afraid.
    III. It’s fun to make death threats, and hey, they’re atheists, so fuck ‘em.

    If we add crazy or not, it’s not clear how this helps:

    It may help distinguish which of those is most probable*.

    Intuitively it would seem unlikely that “I” could be motivated by anything other than insanity, while “III” could be the point of view of a person who is simply an asshole.

    If I receive a semi-coherent death threat from a person who otherwise seems sane, I may be more likely to believe that they are having fun at my expense than that they really intend to kill me.

    If I receive a semi-coherent death threat from a person who demonstrates general inability to perceive the world for what it is and who has acted in ways that were dangerous to themselves or others, I may be more likely to believe that they intend to kill me.

    I think this is rational.

    *But I don’t actually know that it does, because my own ideas of what constitutes “crazy” are not well formed (or informed).

  280. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Some people do regard mental illness to be an objection against a person’s character. Forgive me if I doubt that raven is the single reader of Pharyngula who does so.

    FWIW, I think I have behaved that way in the past, and I regret it.

  281. Ibis3, féministe avec un titre française de fantaisie says

    @296 This is an old Christian tradition. In one of the early medieval law codes, the punishment for putting a shrine (to another god) in your field, was to be dragged through the village by a team of horses.

  282. says

    It is probably a great deal easier to criticize Dr. Myers for his use of the word ‘crazy’ than to think of and carry out a course of action that will prevent David Markuze from killing anyone, or from continuing to terrorize anyone.

    Still, the latter would probably be more helpful than the former.

  283. Ron, Just Ron says

    #48 Contented Reader- “There’s the kind of crazy where you get treatment and live the best life you can with the resources you have. ”

    I doubt you’ll see this in the avalanche but thank you for that, Contented Reader. it made my day. I was diagnosed as a teenager, have been on medication and under treatment my entire adult life.

    I don’t understand how Zenbuffy took PZ’x post that way, I certainly didn’t. I’ve read her blog, and yes I understand her experiences and the problems she gets from other people, I get then to0. And I’m on disability, on my dad’s social security because I was diagnosed so young and he died young. He paid into social security his whole life and never saw benefits from it. I deserve that money as I am qualify for it. But I still hear, mostly from family, say ‘get a job’. Which part of the doctor saying “he may hurt himself or others” don’t you understand? And I’m trying my hardest.

    As strident as the horde can get, I’ve never once seen the Pharyngulians insult someone for a disability. You all think you’re nasty but deep down you’re all a bunch of creampuffs. :P

    Most of you have stated that you want Markuze to get the help he needs. It’s heartwarming actually. My definition of insane is somebody who is crazy but doesn’t think they are. Someone may be mentally ill, but if they know it and seek help, and stick with treatment- They aren’t insane.

    Anyway thanks guys for seeing that a person’s illness is not the person.

  284. strange gods before me says

    Intuitively it would seem unlikely that “I” could be motivated by anything other than insanity,

    All it takes is a wartime paradigm and an enemy. I think that Piltdown Man is pretty obviously not insane, but would endorse some killing of atheists to bring about his preferred society. I don’t think he would want to do the deed himself, but he’d cheer for the soldiers who do.

    I think this is rational.

    I expect this is not much informed by statistics on whether the typical murderer is delusional, if we excise a bit of question-begging from one scenario:

    If I receive a semi-coherent death threat from a person who demonstrates general inability to perceive the world for what it is and who has acted in ways that were dangerous to themselves or others, I may be more likely to believe that they intend to kill me.

    That’s a pretty important caveat. If a person has acted dangerously to others in the past—I’ll focus on harm to others because I don’t think it’s evidenced that self-harm is a risk factor for harm to others—then is it any more of a risk factor whether the person is delusional? And if they are delusional but have not acted dangerously to others, then I don’t think it’s evidenced that delusion+threat is predictive of violence in a way that simple threat is not.

  285. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Ron, Just Ron #372

    As strident as the horde can get, I’ve never once seen the Pharyngulians insult someone for a disability. You all think you’re nasty but deep down you’re all a bunch of creampuffs. :P

    Sure, Ron, we’re just creampuffs. By the way, has anyone told you you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny? Well, she parts your hair in a strange way too. :-þ

  286. strange gods before me says

    It is probably a great deal easier to criticize Dr. Myers for his use of the word ‘crazy’

    Complaint is more specific than that, thanks.

    than to think of and carry out a course of action that will prevent David Markuze from killing anyone, or from continuing to terrorize anyone.

    How about if I thank PZ (thanks, PZ!) for passing around the petition to have the police check out Mabus’s behavior, while also complaining that it’s not appropriate to call outright for his institutionalization.

    How about if I reject false dichotomies.

  287. strange gods before me says

    As strident as the horde can get, I’ve never once seen the Pharyngulians insult someone for a disability.

    Do you want to? I have the links.

  288. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    That’s a pretty important caveat. If a person has acted dangerously to others in the past—I’ll focus on harm to others because I don’t think it’s evidenced that self-harm is a risk factor for harm to others—then is it any more of a risk factor whether the person is delusional?

    I don’t know. It’s a critical question. If the answer is “no” than my earlier argument is not rational.

  289. says

    How about “someone who makes death threats”.

    That wouldn’t be descriptive of the behavior, because there’s much more to it than death threats, and the death threats, of a specific form, are in that larger pattern.

    I’m suggesting that the priming of concepts about violence along with concepts about mental illness should be avoided when it is unnecessary. I see no reason to believe that it is necessary in this case.

    This language about “priming of concepts of violence” is silly. Nobody’s priming any concepts of violence. PZ was talking about the actions of a specific person. You keep suggesting that people have simply paired these two “concepts,” when what people have done is talked about the pattern of behavior and characterized it. PZ’s post talked about the ceaseless spamming which includes threats for some time and then says: “I am not a psychologist, but anyone who writes those disconnected rambling death threats, and does nothing else all day long, is mentally disturbed. Something is wrong in his head.” BFD.

    It is incidental to the harm caused by Mabus. However crazy he is or is not, the harm he causes is the same.

    It’s an explanation.

    People want to explain everything; they have a desire for closure. It’s not necessarily the case that they’re justified in pursuing this desire.

    This has nothing to do with closure. It’s about characterizing behavior and understanding it.

    Anyway, we’ve had plenty of discussions over whether Mabus is crazy. It’s not necessary to bring it up every time.

    Not necessary, no.

    Yes it is similar, because there are stereotyping effects from priming, in both cases. That’s the similar part. These effects are completely independent of whether or not the discussion is justified.

    This priming business is tiresome. I think what you’re trying to say is that there’s an idea that people with mental problems are more likely to be violent, which I’m not sure is true, but OK. Then you suggest that talking about a person being mentally disturbed on the basis of his behavior when that behavior includes threats of violence has stereotyping effects. I don’t think so. I don’t think it says anything at all about other people who might consider themselves mentally disturbed. And I don’t think the analogy makes sense. Again, talking about mental disturbance as an explanation for behavior makes sense; talking about skin color in relation to behavior makes none.

    Hypothetically, it could be necessary to have the discussion you want to defend, yet it would still be stigmatizing. I just don’t think it’s necessary.

    It doesn’t have to be necessary, and I wasn’t talking about any hypothetical discussion. I was talking about a few remarks. And I don’t think it’s stigmatizing or has stereotyping effects, so I don’t think there’s anything to defend.

    If you really think it’s stigmatizing in the first place, and you also think stigmatizing things just should not be done, then I don’t see why you’re defending the discussion of whether or not he’s crazy.

    You’re confused. I think the medical model of mental problems is stigmatizing, but not because the terms are used as insults. I do not think explaining a person’s behavior in terms of mental disturbance when that behavior includes bizarre death threats is stigmatizing.

    I separate the issues: it may be necessary to have the discussion and yet it would also be stigmatizing. You don’t appear to be separating them.

    I don’t think it’s stigmatizing.

    It probably is stigmatizing to call someone mentally ill, by whatever term, as long as mental illness is used as an insult—as long as these stereotypes exist in the wild.

    And yet that’s the terminology so many people want to use for themselves and consider nonstigmatizing. So we’re left with nothing to describe mental problems that’s not stigmatizing.

    So generally I would say that care should be taken; it should not automatically be presumed a necessary discussion.

    I don’t accept that it’s a problem, so it doesn’t have to be necessary.

    What I am suggesting is that concepts of mental illness should not be primed along with concepts of violence

    This is the sort of argumentative style I was hoping to avoid. It’s also rather different from your original argument.

    Not in jurisprudence, if we’re still mixing the discussions, as these terms must. “For revenge” and “out of hatred” are very compatible with the claim of “temporary insanity”; see “crime of passion”.

    I didn’t say that they were necessarily incompatible, but that the assumption of sanity is there unless otherwise specified. And I didn’t think we were talking about jurisprudence primarily but media reports.

    The other two just need a good lawyer. But these framings do not convey the same stark juxtaposition as “a history of sanity”.

    Of course I adressed this above.

    Apparently so, and yet that does not qualify PZ to say he should be institutionalized.

    Sigh.

    I never said they were making broader claims. I said that priming of prejudices is stigmatizing. Even when it’s necessary. And it’s not necessary here.

    I do not see the priming of prejudices. I see a person exhibiting signs of serious mental disturbance being described as mentally disturbed.

    I don’t either. I thought earlier that you were actually making the claim that the use of “crazy” here was not a reference to mental illness.

    Craziness.

    It’s being assumed necessary to the discussion, and yet there is no scientific evidence that it is actually necessary to the discussion.

    Who assumed that? I don’t think it has to be necessary to be said. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying it.

    Rev BDC proposed a hypothetical in which such a discussion—of when someone has made threats and may also be crazy, whether bringing the crazy into the discussion might actually help us evaluate the likelihood of threats being carried out—might be necessary, but there is no evidence supporting the actual existence of such hypotheticals in real life.

    I don’t know that this is true at all, and I doubt you do, either. People paying attention to the nature of his mental disturbance may well help in that evaluation. I don’t know enough about it. But these hypotheticals don’t make sense, because it’s not a matter of two people exhibiting the same pattern of behavior and one being sane and one being mentally disturbed. People are saying the behavior reflects mental disturbance.

    It does stigmatize people with mental problems.

    No.

    I do not agree that saying you think someone has serious mental problems when you honestly think this stigmatizes anyone. In fact, I think the suggestion that it does itself contributes to stigmatization. If there’s nothing blamable about mental problems, then there’s no reason to avoid saying certain behavior is indicative of them if it actually is.

    It can also be necessary; I don’t think all discussions of a particular person’s mental illness are unnecessary. It is especially stigmatizing, though, when these discussions are paired with discussions about violence, so the alleged necessity of those instances should be held to a stricter scrutiny.

    It’s not being “paired” with that. That’s part of the behavior in question in this case.

    I think we’re at an impasse and I’m finding this annoying, so I’ll let you have the last word.

  290. says

    This discussion already had the participation of one person, raven, whom I have documented using mental illness per se as an insult.

    In other words, we are having this discussion in the presence of at least one high-stereotype individual, who saw something in this discussion which seemed to be an invitation to make what is, for raven, an insult about Mabus’s mother.

    Oh, come on. Since when has raven needed an invitation? Your assumption about what raven allegedly read as an invitation is a sorry excuse for evidence.

  291. 'smee says

    SGBM@377:

    I’ve never once seen the Pharyngulians insult someone for a disability.

    Do you want to? I have the links.

    Yes, please. We do like citations when a gauntlet is thrown.

    I would like to say, however, that as a group The Horde™ tend to come down awfully hard and fast on anyone attacking the person, but will unmercifully attack stupidity.

  292. strange gods before me says

    Oh, come on. Since when has raven needed an invitation? Your assumption about what raven allegedly read as an invitation is a sorry excuse for evidence.

    Like anyone, raven is not driven solely by disposition, but also by situational factors like the content of a thread. For instance: every time I tell raven to stop it, raven stops in that particular thread. Thus raven could likely be dissuaded from starting this behavior up again in the first place if more people objected more often.

    Yes, please. We do like citations when a gauntlet is thrown.

    I don’t know yet how many links per comment I can put in here, so: documented here at #173 and at #230 in that thread.

    I would like to say, however, that as a group The Horde™ tend to come down awfully hard and fast on anyone attacking the person,

    Not when the attack includes mental illness, except on those days when Louis or I am participating.

  293. strange gods before me says

    Craziness.

    An attack you’ll never see me use, and I’d appreciate similar consideration. I don’t often complain about it, but in the context of this discussion, it really looks like a deliberate attempt to cause hurt. If so, you may be pleased to know that it worked.

    Anyway:

    I think what you’re trying to say is that there’s an idea that people with mental problems are more likely to be violent, which I’m not sure is true, but OK.

    It’s not clear whether you’re saying you’re not sure it’s true whether people with mental problems are more likely to be violent, or whether you’re not sure it’s true that there’s an idea that people with mental problems are more likely to be violent.

    The former interpretation is a whole other discussion in its own right, but the latter would be shocking. In the event that that’s what you meant:

    From the very first result of a search on stereotype+mental+illness:

    “A central aspect of the stereotype of mental illness is dangerousness.” “Rather than waning, recent research suggests that stereotypes of dangerousness are actually on the increase [...] The public stereotype of dangerousness, rather than improving, actually increased between 1950 and 1996.”

    In a survey, they presented a nonviolent vignette of someone with symptoms of schizophrenia, and 61% responded that it was likely the person would “do something violent toward other people”.

    The perception of likelihood of violence in a vignette of depression (33%) was elevated to approximately double that of an average person living with average troubles (17%).

  294. strange gods before me says

    Somewhere (not this thread, I guess), I saw the claim that the people involved were trying to help Mabus out of “compassion”. And some are. But Zeno says “the more trouble DM gets in, the more I like it” and Pharyngula regular Katherine Lorraine registers no complaint when Ed Brayton says “This guy should be in a rubber room in a straight jacket”.

    I just want to note this for anyone who feels any regard for Mabus’s best interests: if you hoped you were surrounded by others who are similarly caring, you were wrong.

    And—situational influences—I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect that “this guy should be in a rubber room in a straight jacket” comes out more easily in an environment where it’s already seen as acceptable to say that he should be “institutionalized”.

  295. Matt Penfold says

    People are calling Markuze violent.

    While I certainly think his spamming is illegal, and his death threats are wrong… What has he done that is violent?

    Making threats to kill is a form of violence. Not all violence is physical in nature.

    Canadian law treats threats to to kill as a specific type of assault.

    How hard is this to understand ?

  296. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    It’s reasonable to say that Mabus is trying to cause mental distress in his victims. Is he going to show up at my door waving a rusty machete and decapitate me? Probably not. Is he raising my anxiety level? Most definitely.

    You’re all upset because of comments made about Mabus’ mental state. What about MY mental state? Don’t I count? Or is it because I’m apparently stable that you don’t care about me?

  297. Matt Penfold says

    It’s reasonable to say that Mabus is trying to cause mental distress in his victims. Is he going to show up at my door waving a rusty machete and decapitate me? Probably not. Is he raising my anxiety level? Most definitely.

    And that is why many jurisdictions treat the making of death threats as a form of assault. It is also why those same jurisdictions treat it a lesser offence than threatening physical violence in person, which in turn is treated as a lesser offence than actual physical assault.

    You’re all upset because of comments made about Mabus’ mental state. What about MY mental state? Don’t I count? Or is it because I’m apparently stable that you don’t care about me?

    Exactly. If Markuze is mentally ill that does not diminish the harm he is doing, and stopping him continuing to do that harm is the priority.

  298. strange gods before me says

    Exactly. If Markuze is mentally ill that does not diminish the harm he is doing, and stopping him continuing to do that harm is the priority.

    Agreed but it’s not the only priority.

    You’re all upset because of comments made about Mabus’ mental state. What about MY mental state? Don’t I count? Or is it because I’m apparently stable that you don’t care about me?

    It’s not a dichotomy.

    As I said, the petition was a good thing, PZ’s passing around the petition was a good thing (though not the way he talked about it), getting the police in contact with Mabus was a good thing. Police contact might end up being sufficient, but if not, at least this spurs their interest. I do hope that whatever they end up doing results in an end to the threats.

    I’m still interested in how mental illness is talked about. If a person of color commits a crime, I’m still interested in how race is talked about. Even at the same time I want to see the crime stop.

  299. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The general discussion on this and previous Mabus threads is and has been about Mabus in particular, not mental health in general. It’s pretty much a consensus that Mabus is mentally ill. We are not saying “he’s mentally ill and ‘everyone knows’ what they will do.”

    You’re looking for something that doesn’t exist here. Plus you’re coming across as if you think Mabus is the most sane person around. He isn’t!

  300. strange gods before me says

    It probably is stigmatizing to call someone mentally ill, by whatever term, as long as mental illness is used as an insult—as long as these stereotypes exist in the wild.

    And yet that’s the terminology so many people want to use for themselves and consider nonstigmatizing. So we’re left with nothing to describe mental problems that’s not stigmatizing.

    Indeed, there is strong evidence that we do not live in a Just World.

    Angermeyer and Matschinger 2003, doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2003.00150.x

    “Summarizing our findings we can state: as concerns schizophrenia, the hypotheses referring to the relationship between labelling on the one hand, and perceived dangerousness, fear, and social distance on the other hand are supported by our findings. Labelling as mental illness is positively correlated with the endorsement of the belief that the individual depicted in the vignette is dangerous (hypothesis 1). This, in turn, leads directly as well as indirectly through an increase of fear to a preference for greater social distance (hypotheses 2 and 3). Besides that, perceived dangerousness results in an increase of social distance through an inverse relationship with pity.”

    There’s a difficult set of conflicting incentives to deal with here. An individual with severe mental illness often faces more negative than positive consequences of talking about it, and so the individual’s best interest is in hiding the fact. At the same time, other people’s biases are best combatted by having contact with someone who they know has a severe mental illness. More from Angermeyer:

    “Experimental studies suggest that among the available strategies, education, protest, and contact with a person with mental illness, the latter may be most effective in inducing change (14). Here again, interventions in schools facilitating encounters between students and people with schizophrenia appear particularly promising (15).”

    Socially we have reasons for wanting people with severe mental illness to talk about it openly, yet this is likely to come at a net cost to the individual.

    Unfortunately, in the meantime between now and a much better world, talking about the symptoms of something like schizophrenia as “schizophrenia” or “mental illness” does have a stigmatizing effect.

    That’s life, it sucks.

  301. strange gods before me says

    The general discussion on this and previous Mabus threads is and has been about Mabus in particular, not mental health in general.

    Yes, and yet, the way we talk about Mabus also impacts the way that people think about mental illness more generally.

    Such as the specific call for Mabus to be “institutionalized”, which is a particular about Mabus that I object to, as well as the more general reaction when someone acts this way.

    It’s pretty much a consensus that Mabus is mentally ill. We are not saying “he’s mentally ill and ‘everyone knows’ what they will do.”

    I’m sorry, but the reality of the situation is that when we talk about any individual’s mental illness along with violence, high-stereotype people have their stereotypes activated, and stigma increases. It may also be the case that low-stereotype people learn more stereotype just from that discussion; I’m not sure about this but it’s a reasonable inference from what is known.

    You’re looking for something that doesn’t exist here.

    I’m quite sure that PZ said he should be “institutionalized”, and that’s part of what I’m looking for.

    Plus you’re coming across as if you think Mabus is the most sane person around. He isn’t!

    Thanks. I was wondering if perhaps you weren’t actually reading what I’ve said, and this confirms it. I did say:

    «I do think the long-running evidence from Mabus’s behavior is indicative of compulsion at the least. Given the pattern of evidence, I don’t think it’s necessarily inaccurate to say that Mabus is crazy. [...]

    I agree with sending a petition to the police; I agree that it’s worth taking him seriously. I have no problem with demanding the police look into the matter and rely on their mental health consultants to determine what is appropriate. I do have a problem with folks jumping to the conclusion that what is definitely needed is for him to be institutionalized. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; not appropriate to say “time to do it”»

  302. strange gods before me says

    And:

    [sg] But: my complaint is not so much about mentioning that he’s apparently crazy, but the priming effect that may occur when this mention is paired with his threats of violence.

    [AE] In this case, you believe that both of these things are simultaneously true.

    [sg] Correct.

  303. Rrr says

    Agreed but it’s not the only priority.

    It’s not a dichotomy.

    Well partition my butt, isn’t that a bit of splitting hairs? Like, an extremely tight photo-finish, to put the opposite end of the horse first in this simile?
    My own, out-of-contest opinion is, LET THE FINEST CA.POLICE DO THEIR JOB ALREADY and check this guy out, or maybe in. Whatever took them so long – I mean, 15 years !!eleventy for cryin’ out crackers.
    THEN, AFTER THAT HAPPENS, fell free to discuss the finer topology of horsehair, by all means.
    Talk about priorities! And sorry for shouting. Sometimes it can help sort the working order agenda into.

  304. strange gods before me says

    My own, out-of-contest opinion is, LET THE FINEST CA.POLICE DO THEIR JOB ALREADY and check this guy out, or maybe in.

    Well, sure. That’s my opinion too. Note: my talking on this blog does not reduce the police’s ability to do their job.

    THEN, AFTER THAT HAPPENS, fell free to discuss the finer topology of horsehair, by all means.

    Nope, see, it matters now how we talk about mental illness now and in the future. So there’s no reason why I should have to wait to have a discussion about what has been said here.

    Talk about priorities! And sorry for shouting. Sometimes it can help sort the working order agenda into.

    Unless you’re a police officer assigned to Mabus’s case—and if so, get back to work!—your contribution here has absolutely no impact one way or the other on how your priority, Mabus’s police case, is dealt with.

    Don’t imagine that you’re helping the police along by shouting on the internet.

  305. Rrr says

    Well I’m glad we agree then. It just kind of trigged my senses when you mentioned more than one priority, which to me seems to be a contradiction in terms.
    Again, sorry for shouting, i understand it’s not helping, but the apparent inactivity of the proper authorities frustrates me, especially after the recent Oslo atrocities – though certainly several orders of magnitude less than those directy affected by DM.

  306. strange gods before me says

    Well I’m glad we agree then.

    Yeah, I have seen some people on other blogs saying that the petition wastes the police’s time, which is an absurdity. I should reiterate that I definitely don’t agree with them. Threats are worth taking seriously, for many reasons, including that people just shouldn’t have to live with threats. It has been frustrating to me too, just hearing the reports that PZ contacted his local police as he was told to do, they forwarded that to the FBI, and nothing came of it.

  307. Ing says

    I’m amused that SGBM will label Raven “Evil” a fairly damning effect, for the lounge chair diagnosis and JAQing but took issue with me earlier for suggesting that someone who advocated genocide was “not nice”. I’m fairly sure he even blasted me about boiling things down to such labels.

  308. strange gods before me says

    Actually what I said was:

    In addition to millions of older folks in the USA, you’re condemning millions of older folks in Japan, Germany, and the former USSR, for succumbing to the power of billions of dollars worth of state-sponsored propaganda, that is, for being normal human beings.

    And you’re making the mistake of using essentialist language while doing so.

    People hear that Grandma was essentially not a nice person, they will reject that outright as absurd, because they knew their grandmother better than you do. Worse case scenario, they learn to think that liberals are unreasonable purists who can’t deal with a complex world.

    And for what? What is the expected positive outcome of calling Grandma not a nice person? It certainly doesn’t illuminate the situation in any way: WWII didn’t happen because Germans weren’t nice people; the Cold War didn’t happen because US Americans weren’t nice people. [...]

    saying Grandma was not a nice person does not deter it. It just makes you sound simplistic. [...]

    If you really think that this is addressed by saying “the Germans were not nice people” in some meaningful sense that does not apply to all other national populations on Earth, let me know.

    And if you think it is 1) historically informative, or 2) a tactically useful deterrent, to say that the Iraq war means US Americans are not nice people, please let me know.

    It’s unfortunate that you didn’t take anything more complex from the conversation. I did not say it was necessarily morally wrong to say what you said, only that it was generally tactically useless, which is relevant because you presented it as a tactic of deterrence.

    In this case, I’m dealing with one person whose psychology is more or less a known variable. I have tried to talk civilly to raven about this, to no avail. Yelling at raven, and attempting to shame raven for being an evil fuck, does appear to have a positive effect. It does appear to be a useful tactic for raven.

    Ing, I have documented raven’s use of mental illness per se as an insult. That’s the context here. It’s not just raven’s one shitty comment in this thread; it’s a pattern of behavior.

    So here’s a few questions you should ask yourself, Ing.

    Are you okay with raven using mental illness as an insult?

    If not, what are you going to do about it?

    You don’t need to adopt my strategy, but you’re going to start speaking up about it in some way, aren’t you?

  309. The Sexism Police says

    it’s not about you at all, lady,

    SEXIST! MISOGYNIST! WOMAN-HATER!

    It was not necessary for you to refer to anyone’s gender to make your point. Therefore, you are guilty of sexism in the first degree and male privilege in the second degree. You are sentenced to 90 days of shutting up and listening to the charcter named Zenbuffy. We are adjourned.

  310. Delurked lurker says

    mabus has spree killer written all over him. he fits the bill according to the info posted here. His appearance at the convention was very ominous and I think for those attending it was a lucky escape.

    You are all giving him the attention he craves by making this so public and increasing the chances that he will strike out sooner rather than later.

    An excellent post #5 on a thread about this is sitting on Greg Ladens blog and it gives information on how you all can proceed here.

    Internet rule #14 is very very important if the Troll shows murderous intent.

  311. strange gods before me says

    mabus has spree killer written all over him. he fits the bill according to the info posted here.

    Not really.

    It’s useful to be cautious, but not useful to stir up this level of fear.

    He was apologizing to various people yesterday for making threats. That is a good sign.

  312. Anon For Good Reason says

    I’m just not buying all this “mental illness” business.

    Compulsive? Yes. Unbalanced? Likely.

    But first and foremost, DM is just one more warrior for god. I see little difference between his behavior and a Talibaner. When a person is doing god’s work, anything goes. I believe his “escalations” have a lot to do with his having gotten away with it for so long. Next, he’ll be tossing acid.

    The photo from the atheist convention indicts him. He ain’t all so crazy that he can’t go to the trouble to blend in. He looks oh so normal. He must plot the same stategy at the coffeeshops where he uses the wireless, for apparently they are unaware of just how evil and nasty he is.

    This guy is a religious terrorist who has gotten away with his shit for so long because he knowingly chooses his targets well. Had he sent his screeds to clergy for not being “christian enough”, this would have ended long ago. The inaction of the authorities appears to be an implicit approval of his threats against the godless atheists.

    That photo, I don’t see mentally ill, I see evil. Unaldulterated *I’m doing god’s work* evil. He meets my definition of a terrorist.

    Yah, he needs to be institutionalised all right, in the jail cell he so richly deserves.

  313. Delurked lurker says

    @401

    Really? You don’t see any similarities with our Norwegian spree killer? Or Martin Bryant? Really ?

    Never mind forget I said anything

  314. says

    SGBM, I read it differently. I think that calling him “crazy” is actually suggesting a mitigating factor, not a stigmatising one. It’s saying that he needs help – and quite possibly seriously enough for an institution. On the other hand, if he were clearly sane then he would need to be prosecuted. I think it’s quite good that people are calling for mental health professionals and not baying “lock him up and throw away the key”.

  315. strange gods before me says

    I think that calling him “crazy” is actually suggesting a mitigating factor, not a stigmatising one.

    The fact is that it’s both. Again, since nobody is really reading my comments, but only reacting as if I am Zenbuffy:

    I think Mabus is a little crazy, and acts a lot crazy for effect. I’m pretty sure he’s at least a little crazy though. Fact: this is stigmatizing to say. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying it, then; but the misunderstandings have gotten to be wearying, so fuck it, I am profoundly self-centered and I value my ego more than any social issue.

    It’s saying that he needs help – and quite possibly seriously enough for an institution.

    It does help if someone here thinks he might need to be institutionalized—it’s become clearer in the aftermath that he certainly does not, by the way—saying that doesn’t make any difference to the people in charge of his case. It does stigmatize severe mental illness, though. Many of the people who the layperson thinks should be institutionalized should not be. The layperson is generally underinformed on any given issue, as we should know well. Spreading the idea that more people need to be institutionalized does not help anyone. It doesn’t impact the way that mental health is handled by professionals, but it does influence how the layperson reacts to strange behavior.

    On the other hand, if he were clearly sane then he would need to be prosecuted. I think it’s quite good that people are calling for mental health professionals

    That you could imagine I’d disagree with this is just evidence you aren’t reading my comments.

    and not baying “lock him up and throw away the key”.

    But some of them are. Ed Brayton, for instance, with his disgusting comment that Mabus “should be in a rubber room in a straight jacket”. And I think that sort of revolting comment comes out more readily in a social environment where it’s taken as acceptable for uninformed laypersons to jump to extreme conclusions like “he should be institutionalized”.

  316. Anon For Good Reason says

    I don’t believe for a second that DM is unaware that he is instilling fear in the victims of his diatribes.

    He knows very well the effect of his terroristic threats.

    That makes him knowingly guilty of his crimes.

  317. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I am profoundly self-centered and I value my ego more than any social issue.

    And it’s showing. Regardless of your actual points about stigmatization of the mentally ill, you look like you’re obsessing on the most ridiculous splitting of hairs.

  318. strange gods before me says

    Really? You don’t see any similarities with our Norwegian spree killer? Or Martin Bryant? Really ?

    Never mind forget I said anything

    Lurker,

    look up selection bias, because that’s what you’re doing. You also need to consider what how many people there are who make threats and don’t follow through on them, because statistically, Mabus looks a lot more like those people than a killer.

    It’s good the police are checking in on him; there’s no harm in taking this precaution. We really don’t need your sort of escalation of fear though. I understand where it’s coming from, but it’s misguided.

  319. strange gods before me says

    Regardless of your actual points about stigmatization of the mentally ill, you look like you’re obsessing on the most ridiculous splitting of hairs.

    Hi, pleased to meet you, I’m strange gods.

    But I think these are mostly important issues. It may not matter to you how we talk about institutionalizing people. It does matter to me. Thanks for reading.

  320. strange gods before me says

    Anyway, people were wondering earlier if the apologies were coming from Mabus or his mother.

    This apology was on the petition comments. The writing shows it’s definitely Mabus.

    Obviously that doesn’t make up for what he’s done. I do hope it’s a sign of improvement to come, though.

  321. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, get off it, SG. I broadly agree with you, but I think you’ve gotten into the weeds with this one and you see horrible social consequences when there probably aren’t any. That’s all.

  322. Carlie says

    SG – that’s the exact same text that was sent to Rebecca Watson. So he (or his mom) has come up with one stock apology and is spreading it around.

  323. strange gods before me says

    Josh: I’ve got the citations, you have your gut. If I’m bothering you, please go read a different thread. You already know I’m not going to back down, so let’s not waste each other’s time any further.

    Carlie:

    SG – that’s the exact same text that was sent to Rebecca Watson. So he (or his mom) has come up with one stock apology and is spreading it around.

    Yep. And who knows, his mom may have written it for him (the use of “we” is a Mabus thing, though, so I think it’s his writing). But the “OUTRAGE” thing indicates that he’s the one sitting there at the computer and sending it out. I am taking that as an optimistic sign.

  324. says

    SGBM, I *am* reading you, but probably I’m not entirely getting your point. I don’t think that all mentally ill people need to be locked away; I do think that specific ones who make death threats quite likely do. And I definitely think that those specific ones – Mabus in particular – need to be evaluated by professionals to determine that properly.

    It looks to me as if you’re making a generalisation, from one case to all. If you think that Mabus should be locked up, then you must think that all mentally ill people should be locked up? And maybe lots of people do think like that, which is wrong. What I don’t know is how to stop that, without at the same time compromising the individual truth. Denying the individual to protect the group doesn’t seem right.

    For analogy, you are most probably aware of how a member of a stigmatised group is treated as somehow representative of all that group. (There’s an xkcd for everything – http://xkcd.com/385/ ) This is clearly a bad thing. I can say that my friend M is a flaming queen, camp as a row of pink tents, and not in any way imply that this is true of all gay men. But it *is* true of M; he revels in it. I don’t wish to pretend that he isn’t what he is. Should I never talk about him for fear of stigmatising gays? I don’t think so.

  325. strange gods before me says

    I don’t think that all mentally ill people need to be locked away; I do think that specific ones who make death threats quite likely do.

    Well, you happen to be wrong about this one. Often they do not.

    And I definitely think that those specific ones – Mabus in particular – need to be evaluated by professionals to determine that properly.

    I agree! I’m glad the police are checking into the matter. I don’t think it helps for laypersons to jump to the most extreme conclusions about what needs to be done, though.

    It looks to me as if you’re making a generalisation, from one case to all. If you think that Mabus should be locked up, then you must think that all mentally ill people should be locked up?

    That’s definitely not what I’m imagining anyone to be saying.

    «I agree with sending a petition to the police; I agree that it’s worth taking him seriously. I have no problem with demanding the police look into the matter and rely on their mental health consultants to determine what is appropriate. I do have a problem with folks jumping to the conclusion that what is definitely needed is for him to be institutionalized. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; not appropriate to say “time to do it”»

    It’s appropriate to say “something needs to be done!” and experts should decide what that something is.

    There is a continuum of danger, and a leader like PZ or even Ed jumping to this conclusion about Mabus is going to influence more people more strongly toward perceiving what can be scary behavior sometimes by mentally ill people as needing a harsher reaction than it really needs.

    What I don’t know is how to stop that, without at the same time compromising the individual truth. Denying the individual to protect the group doesn’t seem right.

    There’s no individual truth about Mabus here. Nobody commenting about this is really in a position to evaluate him professionally. Even a mental health professional would need to interview him to determine the level of risk he poses to the community. The very fact that laypersons think they are in a position to be saying that so-and-so who’s made threats but not acted on them needs to be “institutionalized” is indicative of the stigma problem.

  326. strange gods before me says

    Should I never talk about him for fear of stigmatising gays? I don’t think so.

    The analogy fails to capture relevant detail. Different prejudices work differently in the mind. Prejudice about dangerousness, and the fear that results from it, function differently than the prejudices involving weakness and disgust that accompany discussion of queers.

    It’s also very different when one talks about “my friend who is mentally ill and sometimes needs my assistance” or “my enemy who is mentally ill and sends me death threats”. Those activate different responses in the listener, particularly if the listener is also one’s amiably-oriented acquaintance.

    I didn’t say don’t talk about mental illness. I did say we should be sure that when we talk about mental illness and violence, we should be sure it’s necessary to do so. The discussion over on TET right now that The Sailor brought up is almost certainly stigmatizing. It’s also something that The Sailor felt necessary to bring up at that moment, and I have no reason to contradict him. If he needed feedback then I’m glad he got it. It’s still going to activate some prejudices. Such is life.

  327. says

    An attack you’ll never see me use, and I’d appreciate similar consideration. I don’t often complain about it, but in the context of this discussion, it really looks like a deliberate attempt to cause hurt.

    Look, sg, I wasn’t saying your comment was craziness in any case, if that’s what you think. I was saying “crazy” referred to “craziness,” because I hate “mental illness.” It doesn’t matter, because I don’t remotely see craziness as an insult. I don’t see it as dehumanizing. I see it as humanizing. It was not an “attack” in any way, shape, or form.

    Get off your uncharitable, hyperparsing fucking high horse.

  328. says

    I didn’t say don’t talk about mental illness. I did say we should be sure that when we talk about mental illness and violence, we should be sure it’s necessary to do so.

    You’re determined to ingore the cases in which the form someone’s mental disturbance takes is a demonstrated propensity for violence. This is one.

  329. strange gods before me says

    Look, sg, I wasn’t saying your comment was craziness in any case, if that’s what you think.

    All right. Wasn’t clear.

    It doesn’t matter, because I don’t remotely see craziness as an insult.

    That’s great, but it doesn’t change the way that most people use it, and it wouldn’t change the way I would feel hurt if you were calling me crazy.

    Get off your uncharitable, hyperparsing fucking high horse.

    Your terse comments are often unclear. I thought you were trying to be hurtful.

    I don’t see why you have to keep attacking me when I just said I was hurt. Isn’t it enough to say “that’s not what I meant”?

  330. strange gods before me says

    You’re determined to ignore the cases in which the form someone’s mental disturbance takes is a demonstrated propensity for violence. This is one.

    I thought you were going to let me have the last word.

    It remains stigmatizing even when it’s true, so we should still be careful to make sure that it’s actually necessary to talk about any connection.

    We can talk about Mabus being crazy. We can talk about Mabus making death threats. It’s most ideal if these discussions are separate, because in this case, regarding the petition and the need to contact the police, nothing of importance is added by having a blog discussion about “threatening, crazy and potentially violent” that is not already contained in “threatening and potentially violent”.

  331. strange gods before me says

    Because shit is complicated. I’m a faggot but I can still be hurt by being called a faggot; depends on a prior mutual understanding with the other person.

  332. says

    It remains stigmatizing even when it’s true, so we should still be careful to make sure that it’s actually necessary to talk about any connection.

    Still no.

    We can talk about Mabus being crazy. We can talk about Mabus making death threats. It’s most ideal if these discussions are separate,

    How do you not understand that people don’t see his craziness and behavior separately? It really comes down to this. You don’t appear to believe his behavior is indicative of craziness. Others disagree, and think his deterioration/escalation is worrisome.

  333. says

    Because shit is complicated. I’m a faggot but I can still be hurt by being called a faggot; depends on a prior mutual understanding with the other person.

    Are you hurt by being called gay? Is it stigmatizing to you if someone says “I think he’s gay” on some reasonable basis?

    Do you really think “crazy” is purely an epithet, in the way “faggot” is?

  334. says

    How do you not understand that people don’t see his craziness and behavior separately? It really comes down to this.

    In other words, many think he’s violently deranged. Not possibly violent and also incidentally deranged.

    This says nothing at all about people who are deranged and not violent.

    People who are violently crazy are scary. He looks like one. People who are violent and not crazy are scary, too, but we’re not talking about them.

  335. strange gods before me says

    Still no.

    Except I have the data now. So you’re wrong.

    How do you not understand that people don’t see his craziness and behavior separately?

    I understand that they do. They still should avoid priming that stereotype if they can help it.

    You don’t appear to believe his behavior is indicative of craziness.

    It’s like we didn’t even have a conversation before. Since this is in direct contradiction to what I’ve said, I don’t know what to say, except please read harder.

    Are you hurt by being called gay? Is it stigmatizing to you if someone says “I think he’s gay” on some reasonable basis?

    It depends who’s saying it, who’s listening, and what I think they think about it.

    Do you really think “crazy” is purely an epithet, in the way “faggot” is?

    Faggot isn’t purely an epithet; it depends who’s talking. And gay is sometimes an epithet. The meaning of crazy is contextual.

    This says nothing at all about people who are deranged and not violent.

    It does prime the stereotype that some people have about violence and mental illness though. So it does “say something” however unintentionally. As it “says something” when the newspaper reports the skin color of a criminal. You will be tempted to reply that one may be relevant and one may not, but this observation is irrelevant to the fact that this is still how stereotypes are primed.

  336. strange gods before me says

    I remain disconcerted that when I said I was hurt, you proceeded to insult me and the horse I rode in on.

  337. says

    Except I have the data now. So you’re wrong.

    Except that we’re talking about a crazily threatening person, so that’s not really relevant.

    I understand that they do. They still should avoid priming that stereotype if they can help it.

    I’m not buying this stereotype priming business. I think if you had an argument you wouldn;t need to rely on this “priming of concepts of X.”

    It’s like we didn’t even have a conversation before. Since this is in direct contradiction to what I’ve said, I don’t know what to say, except please read harder.

    You say it, but you don’t seem to make the connection to what others are saying to you.

    It depends who’s saying it, who’s listening, and what I think they think about it.

    So it’s always somewhat stigmatizing and should only be mentioned when necessary.

    Faggot isn’t purely an epithet; it depends who’s talking.

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you wouldn’t pull this nonsense.

    And gay is sometimes an epithet. The meaning of crazy is contextual.

    Are you intentionally missing the point of my question?

    It does prime the stereotype that some people have about violence and mental illness though. So it does “say something” however unintentionally.

    So you assert, continually.

    As it “says something” when the newspaper reports the skin color of a criminal. You will be tempted to reply that one may be relevant and one may not, but this observation is irrelevant to the fact that this is still how stereotypes are primed.

    People can in fact be violently crazy. They can’t be violently black. It is not irrelevant.

    You’re still missing the basic point, as you have been since the beginning: people are talking about someone who they think is violently crazy, not violent and also crazy. This would seem fairly easy to grasp, but you appear determined not to get it.

  338. strange gods before me says

    Except that we’re talking about a crazily threatening person, so that’s not really relevant.

    Except that it is relevant that people attach the stereotype of violence to severe mental illness, and so talking about violence in connection with severe mental illness does prime that stereotype.

    I’m not buying this stereotype priming business. I think if you had an argument you wouldn;t need to rely on this “priming of concepts of X.”

    My argument is that priming occurs. You do know what priming is, I’m sure, so I don’t know why you’re so determined to deny obvious fact.

    You say it, but you don’t seem to make the connection to what others are saying to you.

    Just make up whatever nonsense you like. That’s useful.

    So it’s always somewhat stigmatizing and should only be mentioned when necessary.

    I don’t know that it’s always somewhat stigmatizing. FWIW, it always was where I grew up, and generally is stigmatizing where I live, so I’m pretty paranoid in mixed queer/straight company. I can say for sure that in the company of straight men, it’s generally simultaneously stigmatizing and destigmatizing: their interaction with me generally becomes more distant even while their tendency to stereotype others might be lowered in the longer term. The distancing gets directed at me immediately and I’m only consciously aware of that, but as I understand it the evidence is suggestive that contact with queer people lowers stigma somewhat.

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you wouldn’t pull this nonsense.

    Porcupine? You said it was always an epithet; I disagree. It’s not nonsense. It’s what I think.

    Are you intentionally missing the point of my question?

    Your question was whether crazy is like faggot. I think basically yes, it’s more or less on that level. Usually an epithet, not always, but generally not to be trusted without prior mutual understanding.

    So you assert, continually.

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a black person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against black people will have their stereotype primed.

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a mentally ill person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against mentally ill people will have their stereotype primed.

    People can in fact be violently crazy. They can’t be violently black. It is not irrelevant.

    It doesn’t change that this is how stereotypes are primed.

    You’re still missing the basic point, as you have been since the beginning: people are talking about someone who they think is violently crazy, not violent and also crazy. This would seem fairly easy to grasp, but you appear determined not to get it.

    I get it. It should stop. It’s unnecessary and hurtful.

  339. says

    as concerns schizophrenia,

    When were we talking about schizophrenia?

    Unfortunately, in the meantime between now and a much better world, talking about the symptoms of something like schizophrenia as “schizophrenia” or “mental illness” does have a stigmatizing effect.

    And there you go. My point (one of them) is that this is contrary to creating a much better world. You seem to think it’s conducive to it.

  340. says

    What reading is there to do? You object to the use of the descriptor ‘violently crazy’ as applied to someone who 1) has demonstrated a predisposition to threats of violence, 2) has only escalated his efforts as time has passed and 3) is known to not be an automated script run for laughs. If we’re not to call Markuze violently crazy, what the hell are we to call him?

  341. strange gods before me says

    When were we talking about schizophrenia?

    It was a study to determine the effects of labelling severe mental illness. They present a vignette of schizophrenia symptoms, and asked people to identify it; not everyone who identified it as an illness identified it as schizophrenia, though, and the layperson’s understanding of the differences between different diagnoses is very limited, so various stigmas blur together.

    And there you go. My point (one of them) is that this is contrary to creating a much better world.

    Yes but unfortunately there isn’t any evidence that there’s any better way to talk about these phenomena. The most usefully destigmatizing thing is boring contact with a person who’s known to be mentally ill. Talk between neurotypical people is useless at best.

    You seem to think it’s conducive to it.

    Did you just make that up? Where on earth did I say anything suggestive of this?

  342. strange gods before me says

    What reading is there to do?

    Sufficient reading to come back with a quote that says I don’t think Mabus is mentally ill. Bring your quotes. That’s your homework. Now run along.

  343. says

    Except that it is relevant that people attach the stereotype of violence to severe mental illness, and so talking about violence in connection with severe mental illness does prime that stereotype.

    Except that you‘re the one using “severe mental illness” as some umbrella category. Like Zenbuffy. And it’s creepy.

    My argument is that priming occurs. You do know what priming is, I’m sure, so I don’t know why you’re so determined to deny obvious fact.

    I think the notion of the priming of concepts of X and Y in this instance is silly.

    I don’t know that it’s always somewhat stigmatizing. FWIW, it always was where I grew up, and generally is stigmatizing where I live, so I’m pretty paranoid in mixed queer/straight company. I can say for sure that in the company of straight men, it’s generally simultaneously stigmatizing and destigmatizing: their interaction with me generally becomes more distant even while their tendency to stereotype others might be lowered in the longer term. The distancing gets directed at me immediately and I’m only consciously aware of that, but as I understand it the evidence is suggestive that contact with queer people lowers stigma somewhat.

    No. The word is not stigmatizing. Contact lowers the prejudice.

    Porcupine? You said it was always an epithet; I disagree. It’s not nonsense. It’s what I think.

    It’s an epithet. It may be being reclaimed, but it’s an epithet. Crazy is not.

    Your question was whether crazy is like faggot. I think basically yes, it’s more or less on that level. Usually an epithet, not always, but generally not to be trusted without prior mutual understanding.

    Wrong. Crazy is like gay. (Broadly – there really is no analogous term. Perhaps “autistic.”)

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a black person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against black people will have their stereotype primed.

    !!!

    It doesn’t change that this is how stereotypes are primed.

    It doesn’t change the fact that you’re talking nonsense.

    I get it. It should stop. It’s unnecessary and hurtful.

    No, you’re wrong.

  344. says

    It should also be mentioned that this so-called ‘priming’ is a result of existing ignorance; trying to stop the ‘priming’ is attempting to treat a symptom rather than the underlying disease. To get rid of the priming you have to get rid of the underlying ignorance; if you try to make people stop using ‘bad words’ other words will simply fall into the same manner of usage and be deemed ‘bad words’ in turn. Indeed, I would argue that the ‘priming’ is just manufactured bullshit because the prejudice exists regardless — if the term ‘violently crazy’ is not seen the prejudiced will simply raise in on their own, as if it were used to ‘prime’ them then it and its associations would already be known by the prejudiced in the first place.

    As a side note, SGBM…

    Lord Setar, you are subliterate as ever.

    Call it tone trolling if you must, that was uncalled for.

  345. strange gods before me says

    Except that you‘re the one using “severe mental illness” as some umbrella category.

    Heavens, but that’s the wording they used in the damn study. And it does apply to schizophrenia. It doesn’t apply to what I think of Mabus, but it does apply to what others think of Mabus, so it’s useful enough for this conversation.

    I think the notion of the priming of concepts of X and Y in this instance is silly.

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a black person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against black people will have their stereotype primed.

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a mentally ill person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against mentally ill people will have their stereotype primed.

    No. The word is not stigmatizing.

    Yes, it often is.

    Contact lowers the prejudice.

    And yes.

    It’s an epithet. It may be being reclaimed, but it’s an epithet. Crazy is not.

    Yes, it is an epithet. If faggot is an epithet even while being reclaimed, then crazy is just as much an epithet. It is most often used pejoratively.

    !!!

    Is that your attempt to seriously deny it, or what?

    No, you’re wrong.

    No, you are.

  346. strange gods before me says

    It should also be mentioned that this so-called ‘priming’ is a result of existing ignorance; trying to stop the ‘priming’ is attempting to treat a symptom rather than the underlying disease.

    Not that simple. There are feedback loops such that the symptoms exacerbate the disease.

    Call it tone trolling if you must, that was uncalled for.

    Wrong. Bring me a quote that justifies your absurdity. Until then, or your retraction of your absurdity, it’s more than called for.

    To get rid of the priming you have to get rid of the underlying ignorance; if you try to make people stop using ‘bad words’ other words will simply fall into the same manner of usage and be deemed ‘bad words’ in turn.

    Of course I’m not talking about “bad words.” Goddamn, you are just not capable of keeping up. Find something else to do or read the whole fucking thread.

  347. says

    Yes but unfortunately there isn’t any evidence that there’s any better way to talk about these phenomena. The most usefully destigmatizing thing is boring contact with a person who’s known to be mentally ill. Talk between neurotypical people is useless at best.

    Well, contact is not a way of talking about anything, so not really helpful in a discussion about how to talk about things. I don’t think there’s any category of “these phenomena.” I think talking about people who act in certain ways as crazy (in one form or another) can be useful and destigmatizing, if this is understood contextually. In the case of violent craziness, obviously the least destigmatizing course is to understand it as a temporary but serious problem, harmful to the person with it as well as potentially to others. I don’t even know what “neurotypical” is supposed to mean here, but I doubt many posting in this discussion are it. There just is no clear division. Most do know, however, that we’re not seriously disturbed in the same way DM is.

  348. strange gods before me says

    And let me note that it’s simply hilarious, SC, that you are going to try to tell me I’m wrong that the word “gay” is often stigmatizing.

    This is an awareness which has been relevant to my survival. You might as well be arguing with hunter-gatherers about which roots are safe to eat.

  349. says

    Not that simple. There are feedback loops such that the symptoms exacerbate the disease.

    When you’re talking about general terms you have a case, but ‘violently crazy’ is specific and accurate description of someone who demonstrates a predisposition to violence and obvious mental illness (like, say…Markuze). This is a matter of calling a shovel with a curved blade a spade or a man in fancy robes who orders the cover-up of child abuse a sick asshole; unlike derogatory terms that are specifically and unnecessarily invented to apply to a group based on a broad category (such as, say, ‘crazy’ as a general term to apply to the mentally ill as it implies that they are predisposed to violence and/or unable to function in society, or more obvious cases such as gendered or racial insults).

  350. says

    Heavens, but that’s the wording they used in the damn study. And it does apply to schizophrenia. It doesn’t apply to what I think of Mabus, but it does apply to what others think of Mabus, so it’s useful enough for this conversation.

    So any study about any mental problem (defined as an “illness”) is relevant to this case.

    Um, no.

    You cannot seriously deny that when the newspaper reports that a black person committed a violent crime, that people who are high-stereotype against black people will have their stereotype primed.

    You know what? I’ve dealt with this so many times that I won’t again. SEE ABOVE.

    Yes, it often is.

    No.

    Yes, it is an epithet. If faggot is an epithet even while being reclaimed, then crazy is just as much an epithet. It is most often used pejoratively.</blockquote.

    Even if true, pejoratively (in whatever distantly related sense) does not equal epithet.

    Is that your attempt to seriously deny it, or what?

    It’s my saying that I’ve dealt with this.

    No, you are.

    And again, we’re at an impasse.

  351. strange gods before me says

    I don’t think there’s any category of “these phenomena.”

    There is the category of behaviors which people regard as madness, and the causes of those behaviors.

    I think talking about people who act in certain ways as crazy (in one form or another) can be useful and destigmatizing, if this is understood contextually.

    To whatever degree that’s true, the word “crazy” is about as useful as “mental illness” for that.

    In the case of violent craziness,

    it’s far more useful to do what I’ve been doing, such as arguing against the notion that only a crazy person could express an unfortunately typical violent idea, than to keep repeating over and over and over that “there is such a thing as violently crazy” as though anyone doesn’t get it already and as though everyone needs this dead horse primed right into the ground. Jesus. Let it go already.

    don’t even know what “neurotypical” is supposed to mean here,

    Yeah, it was very much the wrong word choice. I meant not-crazy, of which neurotypical is only a subset.

  352. strange gods before me says

    Lord Setar, until you bring me a quote, or retract your bullshit and apologize for being willingly obtuse, I have nothing to say to you.

  353. says

    (The hell is with me and writing slightly long comments and then posting after one quote)

    Wrong. Bring me a quote that justifies your absurdity. Until then, or your retraction of your absurdity, it’s more than called for.

    An explanation of the absurdity would be nice. Or is that below you, Dr. Craig?

    Of course I’m not talking about “bad words.”

    That’s funny, you seem to have devoted quite a large part of your post to objecting to the use of the term ‘violently crazy’. Are you going to turn it up to a hundred, O’Brien?

    Goddamn, you are just not capable of keeping up. Find something else to do or read the whole fucking thread.

    Hi, my name’s sgbm. I’m so much smarter than you. Listen to me now or you are stupid and prejudiced. If you disagree with me, you are absurd. OBEY OR BE DISMISSED WITH COURTIER’S REPLIES AND INSULTS TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE.

    When are you going to get around to addressing the arguments presented rather than just telling me to go read something, even though it’s damn fucking clear from reading your post what you are talking about? Do you not like it that someone has the balls to stand up and take the most effective attack possible at your overreaching “bad words!” argument? IF MARKUZE IS NOT VIOLENTLY CRAZY, THEN WHAT THE FUCK IS HE?

  354. says

    Lord Setar, until you bring me a quote, or retract your bullshit and apologize for being willingly obtuse, I have nothing to say to you.

    How positively cute. You’re asking me to provide some standard of evidence for a claim…

    Sufficient reading to come back with a quote that says I don’t think Mabus is mentally ill.

    that I never made, asshole. Seriously, you’re one to talk about reading when you can only make a claim that I made a claim. Go on, where did I claim that you claimed Mabus wasn’t mentally ill? Asking you what term you’d use to describe Mabus otherwise doesn’t count.

  355. tohellwithyourturtle says

    I’m going to be shunned for speaking my mind, but so be it.

    Is anyone here genuinely afraid of Markuze? If so, why?

    I’ve received his bullshit death threats. So what? I find him mildly amusing, but mostly annoying. Nothing more. Are you really that afraid of an internet tough guy? (I know he appeared at a conference and ran away in disgrace.) Why the fear? I’m really want to know.
    Is this nothing more than a popular cause? Of course not, it’s seeking validation for cowardice.

    Fuck, here I am drunk and defending DM’s right to fuck with people on the internet: That doesn’t make him right. Only ill. Yet you have no right to force treatment on anybody.

    These were incomplete thoughts, nothing more than a knee-jerk and I apologize.

  356. says

    Asking you what term you’d use to describe Mabus otherwise

    …other than the one that you’re so passionately railing against, that is. And, furthermore, how specific you have to get before the term is unlikely to be used to promote prejudice. I should note that there are many assholes who will mock attempts at making new so-called ‘good words’ and wonder if changing terms really will ever become effective; it would make more sense to me to at least attempt to offset backlash since it appears that backlash is our biggest problem right now =/

  357. strange gods before me says

    So any study about any mental problem (defined as an “illness”) is relevant to this case.

    No, not just defined as an illness. That’s how the researchers ended up coding some people’s responses, but the actual responses were more broad than that. Read the study before you blow all this smoke, SC. This is very likely relevant because it deals with people’s recognition of a relatively common and severe mental disturbance as some category of mental disturbance. Not just defined as illness.

    If you don’t feel like reading it right now, I’ll excerpt the parts I think answer your objection later when I’m not so exhausted. It is after all my job to make the case.

    Anyway, I did also show from the Link and Phelan study that stereotypes about violence are bound up with concepts of other mental illnesses, including even depression, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to extrapolate that stereotypes of violence are a fairly general concept bound up with concepts of mental disturbance.

    You know what? I’ve dealt with this so many times that I won’t again. SEE ABOVE.

    No, you’ve never dealt with the fact that this is how stereotypes are primed. High-stereotype people read about a black person committing a violent crime and their stereotype is primed. You cannot deny this. It’s absurd that you won’t address it, but I think you won’t address it because you know it undoes your entire objection. The same thing happens when someone high-stereotype against mental illness reads about a mentally ill person committing a crime. This occurs whether it the stereotype is relevant or not, true or not, et cetera. It’s just the way the associative brain works.

    Even if true, pejoratively (in whatever distantly related sense) does not equal epithet.

    epithet
    noun
    1.
    any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality: “Richard the Lion-Hearted” is an epithet of Richard I.
    2.
    a characterizing word or phrase firmly associated with a person or thing and often used in place of an actual name, title, or the like, as “man’s best friend” for “dog.”
    3.
    a word, phrase, or expression used invectively as a term of abuse or contempt, to express hostility, etc.

    I promise you, SC, “gay” is all those things.

  358. tohellwithyourturtle says

    Fuck it. You, Dennis Markuze, are a fucking idiot. You have brought an incredible amount of anger upon yourself through your own actions and ridiculous beliefs. Come kill me.

  359. strange gods before me says

    …that I never made, asshole. Seriously, you’re one to talk about reading when you can only make a claim that I made a claim. Go on, where did I claim that you claimed Mabus wasn’t mentally ill? Asking you what term you’d use to describe Mabus otherwise doesn’t count.

    This is the absurdity:

    SGBM, if Markuze isn’t either mentally ill or a bot — and we know he’s not a bot — then what the hell is he?

    If you aren’t claiming that I said he isn’t mentally ill, then you had no justification for asking that question. That’s why I told you to read the fucking thread, because it was just such a stupid question. Either admit it was irrelevant, or justify your asking.

  360. strange gods before me says

    Asking you what term you’d use to describe Mabus otherwise

    …other than the one that you’re so passionately railing against, that is.

    Also, I answered this question way before you got into this discussion.

    I’ll repeat myself for random strangers who get the benefit of the doubt, as well as people I already respect, but not for you, Setar.

  361. tohellwithyourturtle says

    Why is there so much crying on this thread? Nobody here is going to convince anybody other than themselves that they are right.

  362. says

    No, not just defined as an illness. That’s how the researchers ended up coding some people’s responses, but the actual responses were more broad than that. Read the study before you blow all this smoke, SC. This is very likely relevant because it deals with people’s recognition of a relatively common and severe mental disturbance as some category of mental disturbance. Not just defined as illness.

    If you don’t feel like reading it right now, I’ll excerpt the parts I think answer your objection later when I’m not so exhausted. It is after all my job to make the case.

    For the gazillionth time, no one is talking about people with “illness” or mental disorders in general. Not diabetes of heart disease. Not breast cancer or cholera. They are not talking about mental disturbance in some way that covers everything from head-choppers to mild depression. People are talking about a specific person and his specific behaviors.

    No, you’ve never dealt with the fact that this is how stereotypes are primed. High-stereotype people read about a black person committing a violent crime and their stereotype is primed. You cannot deny this. It’s absurd that you won’t address it, but I think you won’t address it because you know it undoes your entire objection. The same thing happens when someone high-stereotype against mental illness reads about a mentally ill person committing a crime. This occurs whether it the stereotype is relevant or not, true or not, et cetera. It’s just the way the associative brain works.

    For the love of fuck, will you address the fact that people can be violently crazy/crazily violent but not violently black/blackly violent? It is not a stereotype that people who are violently crazy are violent.

    I promise you, SC, “gay” is all those things.

    You have got to be kidding me.

  363. strange gods before me says

    For the gazillionth time, no one is talking about people with “illness” or mental disorders in general.

    For the gazillionth time, it does not matter what people are overtly talking about “in general”, because people have said the words “mental illness” and “violence” in relation to one another. This is how stereotypes are primed.

    People are talking about a specific person and his specific behaviors.

    And you know that it matters how we talk about that person. You know for instance that it matters when someone of stature says someone exhibiting certain behaviors should be “institutionalized”; you know that this impacts how listeners think about other mentally ill people more generally, especially those listeners who hold any stereotypes linking violence and mental illnesses.

    For the love of fuck, will you address the fact that people can be violently crazy/crazily violent but not violently black/blackly violent? It is not a stereotype that people who are violently crazy are violent.

    There exists a stereotype or a set of stereotypes linking mental illness generally with violence. My point is that these stereotypes are activated when we talk about a person being violent who is mentally ill, regardless of whether the particular case in discussion is being described accurately.

    You have got to be kidding me.

    No. Why would I kid you about this? Gay is often an epithet. It’s not only that, for sure, but it often is. I forgot why we’re even having this particular tangent, except that you are trying to tell me which roots are not poisonous, and I’m quite sure I know differently. It’s annoying.

  364. says

    For the gazillionth time, it does not matter what people are overtly talking about “in general”, because people have said the words “mental illness” and “violence” in relation to one another. This is how stereotypes are primed.

    Some mental illness takes a violent form. Do you deny this?

    And you know that it matters how we talk about that person. You know for instance that it matters when someone of stature says someone exhibiting certain behaviors should be “institutionalized”; you know that this impacts how listeners think about other mentally ill people more generally, especially those listeners who hold any stereotypes linking violence and mental illnesses.

    I do not. I think this is conclusion-jumping (though not outrageously so) in this case. It says fuck all about any “mentally ill” [!] people.

    There exists a stereotype or a set of stereotypes linking mental illness generally with violence. My point is that these stereotypes are activated when we talk about a person being violent who is mentally ill, regardless of whether the particular case in discussion is being described accurately.

    See above.

    No. Why would I kid you about this? Gay is often an epithet. It’s not only that, for sure, but it often is.

    But that’s not what I asked, and I asked it for a reason.

    Good night.

  365. strange gods before me says

    Some mental illness takes a violent form. Do you deny this?

    I have never denied it. What I have said is that certainly in this case, regarding the petition and the need to contact the police, nothing of importance is added by having a blog discussion about “threatening, crazy and potentially violent” that is not already contained in “threatening and potentially violent”.

    I do not. I think this is conclusion-jumping (though not outrageously so) in this case. It says fuck all about any “mentally ill” [!] people.

    Well, you’re wrong. It’s as though you have never studied how stereotyping functions.

    If a black person commits a violent crime, and the newspaper reports their skin color, the newspaper doesn’t have to say that there’s “a black way to be violent” in order for high-stereotype people to have their stereotypes activated. Do you deny this?

    Also, I don’t have a better way of talking about the set of phenomena termed mental illness, so I’m going to keep using the term that feels right to me.

    But that’s not what I asked, and I asked it for a reason.

    Your question was whether crazy is like faggot. I think basically yes, it’s more or less on that level. Usually an epithet, not always, but generally not to be trusted without prior mutual understanding.

  366. strange gods before me says

    And then you started in on telling me that gay is not an epithet.

    Well, it often is. It’s absurd that you’re telling me otherwise.

  367. strange gods before me says

    See above.

    See below, because you have never addressed this:

    There exists a stereotype or a set of stereotypes linking mental illness generally with violence. My point is that these stereotypes are activated when we talk about a person being violent who is mentally ill, regardless of whether the particular case in discussion is being described accurately.

  368. says

    Is anyone here genuinely afraid of Markuze? If so, why?

    I’ve never been threatened by Mabus, so I’m not afraid for myself. But yes, I am genuinely afraid that he will go to the home or workplace of one of his high-profile targets and kill him or her.

    Why? Because I’ve seen enough news stories about people who spent years being ignored while they constructed elaborate, violent fantasy worlds, and then they went and killed people. And on the news, there were always people wondering why no one stopped them when the warning signs that they were dangerous were so clear.

    Not all mentally ill people are violent. Mentally ill people are not more likely to be violent than “sane” people. None of those statistics changes the fact that this one individual person, Mabus, shows all the warning signs of a tragic national news story waiting to happen.

  369. Thersites says

    “I don’t think we can take his mothers responses literally. Take it from someone who is on the phone regularly to parts of Quebec – it doesn’t sound like she understands English very well.”
    Perhaps her son doesn’t either.

    I don’t think “C’est son travail, ce en quoi il croit.” means “That’s his job…” she would probably have said “C’est son métier…” then. Among the possible meanings of travail is problem or obsession.
    Does the nom-de-guerre Mabus come from the weird silent-film villain Dr Mabuse perhaps?

  370. Lancelot Gobbo says

    It’s true that the mentally ill frighten us, for all the usual reasons: lack of understanding of aetiology, fear of contagiousness, fear of violence, there but for the grace of god go I, and the disorientation brought by the failure of our exquisitely tuned social skills when confronted by someone unpredictable. But none of those fears are well-founded. Only a very tiny percentage of the very ill are prone to violence, and it is usually directed at themselves. It is not safe to make assumptions that ‘crazy’ people are likely to hurt you. Remember too, that 30% of us suffer a mental illness at some time in our lives.
    Now let’s be specific. Psychosis is carefully and technically defined, and does not mean whatever you want it to mean. It roughly is equivalent to the lay understanding of craziness or of madness. Very few of the mentally ill qualify as psychotic, and most of them will be schizophrenic, fewer will be be hypomanic bipolar disorders and fewer still the psychotically depressed. Rarely, their illness may involve violence, but they tend not to be very good at it, being rather disorganised. A much larger group of non-psychotic mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, OCD and suchlike. These folk are no more dangerous than you or I (evil laugh….) The huge grey area between what is illness and what is the edge of normal is where the dragons live. There is more debate to come with DSM V as to the status of personality disorders – are we simply giving a diagnostic label to odd people, which serves no purpose if we are not able to change them? They include those you have heard of as psychopaths or sociopaths, who have little conscience and are prone to criminal acts including violence. Most of us agree they are not mentally ill, and what to do about some of them is a dilemma. In the old emergency dept. trichotomy, we asked if someone was mad, bad or sad. These are the bad. Against this background, I would suggest that anyone with an 18 year history of internet usage and multiple daily death threats coming from a consistent viewpoint is not a schizophrenic. I would expect an untreated schizophrenic to deteriorate over that length of time, but he has maintained the same behaviour, and still accurately aims his attacks against the ungodly. Could he be manic? Yes, but not continuously for this long. There would have been episodes of low mood where he became silent. Psychotic depression – no. Purely guesswork, but if Markuze has any diagnosis at all, it will probably lie in the personality disorders. Somewhere between bad and sad, but unlikely to be mad. But you don’t have to have any diagnosis at all to be capable of handing out death threats on religious grounds. Perhaps you just need to be a simpleton (including some developmental disorders) who has taken your religious instruction literally, and if you lack the social skills to restrain yourself when there is ‘someone wrong on the internet’ – well, there you are.
    Now to stigma. I don’t think anyone here, imagining themselves suffering from a mental illness (some of you won’t have to imagine) would feel feel comfortable letting everyone know about it. Neighbours, employer, prospective girlfriend or boyfriend – you’d tell them you were a diabetic, or if you were hospitalised with a broken leg, but not if you were hospitalised because your doctor felt there was a risk you would kill yourself. Why not? It’s all chemistry in the final reductionist viewpoint, so why is a problem with insulin more respectable than one with serotonin or dopamine? We do discriminate against people with mental illness, even against ourselves when we handle our own illness of one kind differently to the way we handle one of another kind (it’s known as self-stigma). It makes no sense and it creates more difficulty for those trying to get better. It makes it harder for those who haven’t been diagnosed or treated to seek help. There is a real feeling of shame about these things, and we can change that if we want to. I’m not someone with a huge amount of sympathy for running the world according to politically correct guidelines, but some of the things written in this thread will be cringe-worthy one day. Most people never meant any real harm when they called people kikes, queers, fat, stupid, wogs or nig-nogs, but they were doing harm and now we wouldn’t call people by those epithets. If, one day, we come to regard calling someone crazy or psychotic in the same light (and I hope we do) we shall feel ashamed for pointing fingers at those who did not ask for their illness, did not deserve it, and may be unable to help themselves out of it. The Canadian Psychiatric Association convened a working group on stigma, and you might like to read a
    report on one of their surveys. I thought the comment “Stop calling it stigma. Call it what it is. Discrimination!” was telling. Some of the opinionated bullies up above should be made to read it.
    Let us hope that Markuze is charged with the offense he has committed and appropriate measures taken by the legal system to discourage further threats from him.

  371. says

    I have never denied it. What I have said is that certainly in this case, regarding the petition and the need to contact the police, nothing of importance is added by having a blog discussion about “threatening, crazy and potentially violent” that is not already contained in “threatening and potentially violent”.

    You’re denying it right there. It’s not and crazy. No and.

    Well, you’re wrong. It’s as though you have never studied how stereotyping functions.

    If a black person commits a violent crime, and the newspaper reports their skin color, the newspaper doesn’t have to say that there’s “a black way to be violent” in order for high-stereotype people to have their stereotypes activated. Do you deny this?

    There is no black way to be violent. There is a violently mentally disturbed. Not all mental disturbance is violent, but some takes this form.

    Also, I don’t have a better way of talking about the set of phenomena termed mental illness, so I’m going to keep using the term that feels right to me.

    Well, remember that you’re the one creating some umbrella category and playing to a model that I think is stigmatizing.

    Your question was whether crazy is like faggot. I think basically yes, it’s more or less on that level. Usually an epithet, not always, but generally not to be trusted without prior mutual understanding.

    It is not an epithet. It’s a descriptive term that can be used insultingly.

    And then you started in on telling me that gay is not an epithet.

    Well, it often is. It’s absurd that you’re telling me otherwise.

    No, I was saying that it can be used as an epithet, or it can be used descriptively and nonstigmatizingly. You’ve said above that “crazy” or “mentally ill” are always somewhat stigmatizing because they can be used as epithets, but now you’ve said “gay” is not stigmatizing in some circumstances, despite the fact that it’s also used as an epithet. This is not consistent.

    ***

    It’s true that the mentally ill frighten us, for all the usual reasons: lack of understanding of aetiology, fear of contagiousness, fear of violence, there but for the grace of god go I, and the disorientation brought by the failure of our exquisitely tuned social skills when confronted by someone unpredictable. But none of those fears are well-founded.

    “The mentally ill,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, don’t frighten me. People who send strangers thousands of increasingly incoherent (see Jen’s post) and increasingly threatening and graphic messages do.

    Now let’s be specific. Psychosis is carefully and technically defined, and does not mean whatever you want it to mean. It roughly is equivalent to the lay understanding of craziness or of madness.

    Again, I don’t think PZ was trying to make a technical diagnosis, but you’re saying there’s no term, technical or nontechnical, that should be used in trying to characterize/understand this particular behavior. And that any term immediately conjures up every form of mental disturbance in existence. It doesn’t.

    Most people never meant any real harm when they called people kikes, queers, fat, stupid, wogs or nig-nogs, but they were doing harm and now we wouldn’t call people by those epithets.

    The words we’re talking about are not epithets. Fat and stupid are not epithets, either, though they can certainly be used in an insulting manner.

    There is a real feeling of shame about these things, and we can change that if we want to.

    I very much want to. I don’t agree with you about what contributes to that or how to change it.

    It’s all chemistry in the final reductionist viewpoint, so why is a problem with insulin more respectable than one with serotonin or dopamine?

    The monoamine hypothesis has been disconfirmed repeatedly. It is wrong. That you are unaware of this does not speak well of your knowledge on this subject.

  372. strange gods before me says

    You’re denying it right there.

    No, I’m not. You are not arguing honestly anymore.

  373. strange gods before me says

    If you say “do you deny it” and I categorically reply that I do not deny it, and yet you claim that I am denying it, that is not honest. What you want me to do is adopt a language that I do not want to adopt, but I did categorically state that I do not deny any truth in your language. For you to demand that I adopt your language as a condition of recognizing my categorical denial is a bridge too far.

    Normally, I can deal with this sort of thing just fine by hating my opponent and escalating the opprobrium accordingly. But I don’t have the ability to hate you at the flip of a switch, so I’m stuck. I can’t keep going on that particular subargument. You’ve defined demands that I cannot accept in good conscience, so I’m stuck. I think it would be decent of you to take my categorical denial at face value, but alas, I’m afraid that my hopes are too high.

  374. Hexahelicene says

    “Is anyone here genuinely afraid of Markuze? If so, why?”

    No … but I have not been public on the internet. In the last week, I have gone back to read a bit more of the vast archive of his posts. (Granted, most have been long ago scrubbed!) Any of the big names which he has targeted in the past would be wise to be concerned given what he has said and the fact the messages are both violent and incoherent. Professional, I have dealt with people who have been similarly angry and socially disconnected. It does get difficult/impossible to predict their next action.

    Montreal has an international airport. Somebody who does not plan to come back can go a long ways on $1000. My worry would increase substantially if he were known to be in my city.

  375. tohellwithyourturtle says

    As I said, I’ve dealt with death threats (by laughing at them) from internet tough guy dm. Where has he shown up that wasn’t within driving (or bus) distance? Do you really think that he has a grand to drop? You overestimate the little twit. He wants to scare you into believing what he does…he’s got you half way there.

  376. tohellwithyourturtle says

    What’s funny is that DM is being an internet bully the only way he knows how. Is he worse than those who comment here? How is he more mentally ill than those who gang up on people and insult them for thinking differently? Isn’t that exactly what his sad sack ass is doing? I’ll admit, he has no evidence for his claims. Who cares? Perhaps he is so dedicated to his cause that he himself doesn’t understand why you don’t get it. Sound familiar?
    In short, if you are searching for a monster look no further than the closest mirror. (This applies to DM as well.)

  377. Classical Cipher says

    Is he worse than those who comment here?

    The death threats and the constant spamming would seem to imply yes, you self-righteous dumbass.

  378. tohellwithyourturtle says

    The death threats and the constant spamming would seem to imply yes, you self-righteous dumbass.

    I’m a self-righteous dumbass in what way? Cite references please. I said that DM is being an asshole on the internet. That is a fact. Another fact is that posters on pharyngula are assholes on the internet. Grow the fuck up, move past your ridiculous double standards, then we can talk. I’m so sick of the “I think this way, you don’t, therefore you are a stupid fucking idiot” way of thinking. Don’t you realize that you are a joke imitating a joke? (A new poster desperately trying to fit in.) Quite frankly, fuck you if can’t address what I have said.

  379. tohellwithyourturtle says

    @ classical cipher
    People have been imprisoned for posting as you do. Shall I press charges of internet bullying? That’s what you are doing. You are screaming insults that have damaged my mental well-being. I think I may end my life as a direct result of what you have said to me. You have caused undue distress to me via the supposed anonymity that the internet provides. Shall I subpoena the records of this website to prove that you treated me in such a harmful way that I am now mentally unstable and in danger of hurting myself? You sir/madam are directly responsible for my self harm according to your own logic.
    Slippery slope much dumbass?

  380. tohellwithyourturtle says

    In other words: If you can hold a random asshole responsible for death threats on the internet, I can hold you responsible for insults on the internet. PZ is terrified of an internet tough guy, good for him. The problem that you don’t see is that you are doing the same in a different way. What you have posted with your insults has caused me undue distress, the same that DM’s posts have caused your darling, precious host.
    Have you fucking figured it out yet? No, I’m sure you don’t, nobody can have a double standard if they are you.