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Aug 12 2012

These sensible people shouldn’t be so rare

Ah, a heartening article from someone reasonable. It’s good to see.

I will disagree on one point, though. I will not give up on the atheism movement. I will not give up on the skeptic movement. They must change and the barbarians must back down.

463 comments

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  1. 1
    sc_124b8886f29b4eac2b8b153e11f7b90c

    Reasonable because she agrees with you, if not she would be considered unreasonable.

  2. 2
    vicarofartonearth

    I think it is important to point out that all of you are handicappist. Really. So we can all sit down cut some slack and if people act like they got it move on or you folks can be able bodied-minded jerks concern with your own little world. And I don’t have to tell you how your jerks because you should know already.

    Does the sceptic/feminist Blogging faction want to educate people to change behavior or does it want to punish people? I am not an insider, but this discussion is appearing as more in fighting than education and supporting people moving into agreement.

  3. 3
    peterhearn

    Harassment at any type of convention is common

    Oh really? Thats sounds like a broad, sweeping generalization that can’t possibly be true in all cases. On what basis are you making this extraordinary claim?

    and the skeptic community should know pretty damn well it’s a problem

    Why? It seems to me that the skeptic community should be skeptical of this claim.

    especially after “Elevatorgate“

    Thats the justification? A person’s account where no sexual harassment actually occurred? This guy doesn’t sound skeptical at all.

  4. 4
    Scarina

    I just wish that the feminist movement wouldn’t give up an atheism and skepticism. As I was becoming an atheist and a skeptic, I found that I disliked my main hub of feminist news, Feministing, more and more. It was very open to woo, downright New Age-y, and, while celebrating women in science, tended to reject the scientific method in favor of feelings. It was really disheartening, especially since I’ve considered myself a feminist since I was old enough to understand what the word meant.
    Thank goodness for Skepchicks, it’s mostly replaced Feministing for me.

  5. 5
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Who blew the dog whistle?

  6. 6
    firefly

    @ #1
    Yes, people who agree with a reasonable position are indeed reasonable. Your point is…?

  7. 7
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And all y’all douchebags? You don’t get to win here. You will not. You are recognized for what you are. No one here will back down on the claim that women are human. No one here will engage your irrational hyper skepticism.

    This is not your place. You are scorned here and, increasingly, in other venues. When you question basic tenets of feminism (women being human, not excessively prone to lying, etc.) you will be shouted down. People here will not engage your consciously dishonest pose of “wanting to debate facts.”

    So piss and moan all you like but you’ve already lost.

  8. 8
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Why? It seems to me that the skeptic community should be skeptical of this claim.

    Huh. Seems to me that the skeptic community should be skeptical of your claim that the skeptic community should be skeptical of that claim.

  9. 9
    marinerachel

    Which forum were you all directed from?

    And “That made me uncomfortable so please don’t do it again” is a pretty clear example of providing someone with insight and the required information to modify their inappropriate behaviour without punishing them for it so no, not ableist at all. The socially awkward (as if all socially awkward people make others uncomfortable – they don’t) are not being slayed. BUT when you’re going to respond by telling people who tell you “I don’t like that” that they are wrong to be uncomfortable and violating your human rights by saying “Don’t do that” it’s all very irrelevant.

  10. 10
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Marinerachel—my guess is Twitter. Some folks recently posted about the article linked in the OP here.

  11. 11
    feralboy12

    Thats the justification? A person’s account where no sexual harassment actually occurred?

    Even if we were to concede the idea that waiting for hours for a woman to leave the safety of a group and following her into an elevator isn’t any kind of harassment, the over-the-top reaction to RW’s simple “guys, don’t do that” should tell us that there is a problem in the skeptic/atheist communities.
    It should tell us that, but some awfully thick, desensitized people can’t seem to think past the “coffee” angle and see the whole situation for what it is.
    Yeah, that’s you, bub.

  12. 12
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    This is one of those times I wish I could control minions’ minds. I’d force every decent person here to deny the MRAs engagement on things like Rebecca Watson, what happened, what didn’t. It’s way, way beyond the point where they should be met with anything but extreme scorn and mockery.

    Why indulge them? Why pretend this is an actual conversation?

  13. 13
    Pteryxx

    Sheesh, eliding Elevatorgate is SO last year.

  14. 14
    marinerachel

    Ahhhh, Twitter. Thunderf00t, you can have it.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    I think it is important to point out that all of you are handicappist. Really.

    Interesting. So, even those of us here (and there are many) who are handicapped in one manner or another are nasty handicappists, eh?

    Your thinking requires a bit of work.

  16. 16
    Anri

    Reasonable because she agrees with you, if not she would be considered unreasonable.

    Please grace us with your reasonable opposition position, then. The one that talks about a harassment policy not really being required, because of… well, lots of reasonable reasons, I’m sure.
    The one listing all of the reasonable reasons that TFoot wasn’t doing anything wrong, or potentially harmful, or dishonest, or bigoted.
    The one supporting with super-reasonable-reason-based reason-type reasons why we should use the term ‘Feminazi’, and take the people who use it seriously.

    You do have arguments like that, right?
    Because if not, expecting us to agree with you is a bit… unreasonable.

  17. 17
    PZ Myers

    sc_124b8886f29b4eac2b8b153e11f7b90c and vicarofartonearth and peterhearn: you will not be allowed to hijack this thread. You’re done here. Go back to your troll den; post again here, and yes, I will ban you.

  18. 18
    bjarndoolaeghe

    No one here will back down on the claim that women are human.

    I never disputed that at any point. As far as I can remember, I never treated women other than as fellow human beings.

    I still do think that after Elevatorgate this whole issue did get blown up out of proportion quite a bit around here. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I don’t attend conventions (as we don’t have them here anyway) and so I can’t properly see how much harassment there is. But still, the posts I saw did make me think, quite often, you’re overdoing it. To put it completely the wrong way, you;re all being hysterical. *shrug* I must be missing something by not being in the US I suppose.

    Grothe had stated there was really no reason for a harassment policy because he’s never received a report of harassment happening at TAM.

    Grothe was wrong on that one I agree.

    How many men have personal attack alarms? And how many women do?

    Where I live, I know noone who does. There would be little point. This is the country where, I regularly see young women dressed for partying walk home alone at night in the middle of a major metropolis and noone will bat an eye.

    Back in the home country of course that wouldn’t happen, at all. Definitely so in the capital. If what you are trying to convey is that all of the US is pretty much like my old capitol, I don’t even want to be in the US.

    although someone did allege Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson were “radical feminists” — they’re really not —

    They may not be, but they sure give off that impression.

  19. 19
    feralboy12

    I am not an insider, but this discussion is appearing as more in fighting than education and supporting people moving into agreement.

    Rebecca Watson tried to use the elevator incident as a teachable moment, and a shitload of guys went all Pink Floyd The Wall on her.
    Sometimes fighting is necessary.

  20. 20
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Does the sceptic/feminist Blogging faction want to educate people to change behavior or does it want to punish people? I am not an insider, but this discussion is appearing as more in fighting than education and supporting people moving into agreement.

    Fallacy of composition.

    Some of us want to change behavior.

    Some of us want to punish people.

    Some of us want to be left in peace.

    Some of us want other things.

    In my observation, there are sufficient numbers of people who’re educating, such that anyone who’s open to being educated can find someone to educate them — often by reading more of what’s already written, rather than showing up in a comment thread and expecting to be treated both as a tabula rasa and respectfully.

    But let’s not insist that everyone should be educating.

  21. 21
    Amphiox

    Thats the justification? A person’s account where no sexual harassment actually occurred? This guy doesn’t sound skeptical at all.

    Another idiot dishonestly and deliberately missing the whole point of “elevatorgate” with another pathetic and transparent attempt to deflect.

    As if we haven’t already seen this odious tactic ad infinitum already.

    How pitiful.

  22. 22
    mythbri

    For anyone who might not be aware, peterhearn made the exact same comment at Ophelia’s place when she posted this. It seams as though peterhearn favors copypasta over substance.

  23. 23
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hey bjarndoolaeghe, could you please define what a “radical feminist” is?

    I mean, I have my own definition, but my definition excludes Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, and all the other ones some people seemed to be pissed at.

    PZ, please forgive me for engaging on this, but I’m quite lost, here. I feel like the definition is “anyone who claims to be a feminist”, which makes me wonder why it’s okay to define Feminism by its radicals when that doesn’t happen to any other group in existence.

    Also, I just posted a blog post which contains a response to you. I don’t know you’ll get a ping-back or whatever it’s called, but… yeah…

  24. 24
    Amphiox

    They may not be, but they sure give off that impression.

    No they don’t. At least not to anyone who’s truly interested in treated woman as equal human beings.

    I still do think that after Elevatorgate this whole issue did get blown up out of proportion quite a bit around here.

    It was the other side that blew what was just a standard, completely mild, innocuous attempt at a teachable moment completely out of proportion.

  25. 25
    mythbri

    @bjarndoolaeghe

    Please don’t try to make this a “only in the U.S.” problem. It very much is not limited to the U.S. I don’t know where you’re from, but the likelihood of women being free of harassment there makes me skeptical. You may think that you don’t treat women any differently than you do men, but what in the world would make you think that your behavior is close to universal? If you are not part of the problem, then these criticisms aren’t directed at you.

  26. 26
    mikmik

    Fuck, Josh, do you have to be so damn right all the time? ;)

    I agree with this attitude. We call each other on our shite, and I’ve been called to task for my very slight, in my mind, slights against common sense and others strong viewpoints, and not till I wass hit over the head a few times did I get my shite together.

    Civil rights movements have to be fucking forceful. This easygoing peaceful and harmonious BS DOES NOT WORK.

    These fucks, fundies, neo-con teapartiers baggers, old school ‘in my day’ whatevers that won’t change their ways…. They have fucked our environment and society royally.

    It takes both attitudes to elicit change, not exclusively niceness OR belligerence. Hysterics, that is tight out.

    But, it would be nice if we didn’t tone troll each other so much.

    vicarofartonearth, you have a point, but whether or not this is the majority viewpoint is quite another matter, although I’m not saying it isn’t. But you want to know what else? People want to fucking punish the initiators of change, and to keep them down and quiet.

    You don’t think people are starting to notice something is going on? Do you understand how fucking much IT DOES handicap people to be fucking well oppressed? Do you? Really?
    Is it enough to get fucking emotional over? Are these fundamentally important issues that have been addressed ‘nicely’ for fucking far to long now, and much as I effin hate it, this is the world we are living in, and effin sheltering ourselves and others is no longer a fucking option.

    Shut the fuck up to people that say it should be more polite, or temperate, or whatever, because part of it absolutely has to be pissed right the fuck off with injustice, and bullshitters.

    There are bullshitters that have no insight, there are trolls and miscreants, and they foster an atmosphere of disruption all the while decrying it, and when others start giving this credence and supplicate to ‘the peacemakers and advisers’ it means they win, and we go back to being less threatening and determined.

    I wish some people would fucking learn to make shorter posts, FFS, that’s an issue that we must address right now and the sooner[SLAP!]… Thanks, I needed that.

    PZMEYERS! I CAN’T GET EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS FROM PHARYNGULA, AND NOTHING HAS HELPED THIS. EVERY OTHER BLOG ON ftB WORKS. THANKS, MAN!

  27. 27
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I never disputed that at any point. As far as I can remember, I never treated women other than as fellow human beings.

    So you’re a sock puppet?

  28. 28
    Jafafa Hots

    And heeere they come.

    Meanwhile there’s an article on Slashdot today about sexual harassment in gaming that is predictably filled with MRAs. (It is Slashdot, after all).

    Someone on the “bitches ain’t shit” side of the argument accused me recently of being bitter.

    I once thought that there were a few or maybe a couple dozen “skeptics” with this lack of empathy some seem to have.

    Now it feels like being in a zombie movie where they come in increasing waves.

    Some MRA accused me of being bitter recently.
    Yep. And I’m not even a target of this shit.

    I don’t know how those of you who ARE targets of it manage to deal with it.

  29. 29
    Pteryxx

    bjarndoolaeghe: to start educating yourself, see the papers cited in the OP and comments here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/02/the-further-hyper-skepticism-stalling-our-conversation/

    Sexual harassment is so common that MOST women have to deal with it, some on a daily basis. But the prevailing narrative says there’s hardly any such thing so any woman who mentions it must be lying and/or a radical feminist with an agenda. That’s basically what you also claimed: argument from personal incredulity and presuming that women can’t be trusted. The evidence is not on your side.

  30. 30
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, here they come. That’s why there is a Horde here, though: shred those assholes as they pop up.

  31. 31
    Pteryxx

    amazing how often I have to whip this list out for the harassment denialists.

    peterhearn:
    Maybe theres something else going on specifically at DefCon.

    Pteryxx:

    …and specifically at Readercon:

    http://glvalentine.livejournal.com/341417.html

    …and specifically at philosophy cons and departments:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/known-among-women-at-least-as-someone-to-avoid/

    …and specifically in academia:

    http://people.cas.sc.edu/swansc/CortinaSwanetal1998Sexualharassmentandacademia.pdf

    …and specifically at TAM:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2012/06/06/arent-you-making-it-up-why-women-dont-report-harassment/

    …and so on and so on, but all these totally are just exceptional circumstances that happen in a void! If they actually happened at all because women lie! Totally.

  32. 32
    Jafafa Hots

    I repeated myself in that last comment plus I was redundant.

  33. 33
    Amphiox

    As far as I can remember, I never treated women other than as fellow human beings.

    Except of course, like, right now, by dismissing the very real concern of real women over the odious treatment of Rebecca Watson by the slimepit crowd (and THIS was what most of us here were most concerned about, the actual incident in the elevator was only a minor part of it. THIS was what “Elevatorgate” is really about) as “overblown”.

  34. 34
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, I’m not putting up with motherfuckers right now. Just sayin’.

  35. 35
    PZ Myers

    Good. I’m not either. I am so tired of hyperskeptical assholes and their sidetracking dance. Fuck ‘em all.

  36. 36
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    [Side note---I'm also not putting up with players on Draw Something with names such as "Hey-girl." Yeah. For rilz.]

  37. 37
    Jafafa Hots

    As far as I can remember, I never treated women other than as fellow human beings.

    It’s hard to remember things you’ve been conditioned not to notice in the first place.

  38. 38
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    [Side note II---As a frequent user of the term, I can understand your puzzlement. If you want to signal you're funny, not a creeper, you must spell it, "Gurrrrrllll!"]

  39. 39
    Pteryxx

    since Chris Rodda’s still debunking the Liars for Jesus’ misrepresentations of documents from the 1880′s, at least one can hope the Liars for Penis have less, er, stamina.

  40. 40
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m disappointed to see SC retreat, HARD, from the slightly more reasonable perspective we’d apparently brought him around to a few long-ass threads ago. >.>

  41. 41
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Hey bjarndoolaeghe, could you please define what a “radical feminist” is?

    I mean, I have my own definition

    If you refer to it as your own definition, it’s quite likely to be wrong.

    Radical feminism is the stance that inequality measured across genders is rooted in violence by men against women. If this sounds too obvious, remember that some people have said otherwise; some have said it’s rooted in classism, and that by ending inequality measured across economic classes we would also end inequality measured across genders.

    A radical feminist is someone who agrees with that stance and self-identifies as a radical feminist.

    (The self-descriptor is important. Some people agree with the stance but prefer to emphasize something else in their self-identification. This is comparable to how liberalism is the rule of law, consent of the governed, and individual rights to life, liberty and property; but some people who agree with all that nevertheless prefer to emphasize reducing poverty by self-describing as socialists.)

  42. 42
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    (Err, by way of explanation I means “SC numbermess” and I’d conflated his response with vicaro’s tired-canard-invoking. Never mind.)

  43. 43
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’m disappointed to see SC retreat, HARD, from the slightly more reasonable perspective we’d apparently brought him around to a few long-ass threads ago. >.>

    If you’re referring to sc_124b8886f29b4eac2b8b153e11f7b90c, google says that nym has never commented anywhere before.

    The sc_hexadecimal type nyms are autogenerated, I think.

  44. 44
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    #40…

    I was thinking of the very rare breed of “feminist” that actually hates men… like, is bigoted against men and everything having to do with men. You know… the one out of every 100,000,000 feminists (or something like that). And like I said, that would automatically rule out every single one of the Skepchicks and the Feminists who post at Freethought Blogs, at least in my experience (not a single of you appears to actually hate men, despite what the slimepit denizens would have us believe)…

    That’s what I meant with “radical feminist”, kind of like when I say “radical Christian” I mean a Young-Earth creationist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist Christian.

    Is there a different word or phrase that’s used for them?

  45. 45
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Nate

    Gynosurpremacist or misandronist

  46. 46
    bjarndoolaeghe

    Amphiox: I didn’t catch that before somehow. Re-evaluating.

    Ptheryxx: Thanks for the links, reading up.

    Josh: Sock puppet? No.

  47. 47
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    If you’re referring to sc_124b8886f29b4eac2b8b153e11f7b90c, google says that nym has never commented anywhere before.

    The sc_hexadecimal type nyms are autogenerated, I think.

    Oops.

  48. 48
    ibelieveindog

    Is there a different word or phrase that’s used for them?

    A person who hates men is called a misandrist.

  49. 49
    Jafafa Hots

    Sad to see that simply observing reality is radical.

    But then again I guess it actually IS.

  50. 50
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Good. I’m not either. I am so tired of hyperskeptical assholes and their sidetracking dance. Fuck ‘em all.

    I’ve responded to a couple of them so far today by parroting back wanking for male supremacy lying for Jesus done by creationists. It’s the same asshole bullshit, really. And patiently going over again and again what “lift gate” was really about is just playing their game. Just like Ray Comfort going on about how impossible it would be for a male dog to reproduce if it couldn’t find a mate, so evolution must be a lie, they go on and on about ‘asking to go for a coffee’. Just like Kirk Cameron thinks he has a slam dunk argument against transitional forms when he holds up a crocoduck, these douchebags go on and on about how out of proportion and hysterical the response was, as though we are making an equivalency between rape and inappropriate behaviour. Maybe, just maybe the comparison might shame some of them.

    I don’t know if I can keep it up on my own, but perhaps if we all did the same thing, we could stop the continual arguing stuck at square one.

  51. 51
    strange gods before me ॐ

    kind of like when I say “radical Christian” I mean a Young-Earth creationist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist Christian.

    Heh. See, I think Jesus Radicals — Christian left anarchists. But I suppose there’s slightly more contest about what is the root for Christianity. Something like 2000 years of contest.

    Is there a different word or phrase that’s used for them?

    “Man-hater” seems to work.

  52. 52
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Nate:

    “Radical feminist” is also used colloquially, especially by other feminists, to describe people who identify as feminist but are perceived to in one or more senses “go too far.”

  53. 53
    Jadehawk

    kind of like when I say “radical Christian” I mean a Young-Earth creationist, homophobic, misogynistic, racist Christian.

    this is an annoying misuse of the word “radical”. you already have the words “extremist” and even “fundamentalist” for that.

  54. 54
    fiendish

    Dont’ think the skeptical community are going to support any time soon, they’re now publically calling Freethought blogs as having their own set of rules and use them however suits and are the Fox News of atheism according to respected skeptical leaders and even Australian women podcasters.

  55. 55
    strange gods before me ॐ

    “Radical feminist” is also used colloquially, especially by other feminists, to describe people who identify as feminist but are perceived to in one or more senses “go too far.”

    That’s a hopelessly uninformative use of “radical”, whether applied to feminism, socialism, conservatism, liberalism, or anything else.

    It means to address (usually change) the root of a system. How people feel about any such change is quite another matter.

  56. 56
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Thanks Ing, ibelieveindog, strange gods, and Azkyroth.

    I guess that just confuses me even more because I’ve always associated the word “radical” with “fanatic” and “fundamentalist”, and when I use all three (usually separately, but occasionally together), I’m referring to the most extreme of any ideology, like I explained with the Christian analogy.

    Like, I’m a slightly radical Led Zeppelin fan because I will apologize for their musical thievery and I collect not just official recordings, but unofficial recordings, too (I have 5 video sources and 15 audio sources for their reunion concert, for example… and that’s not counting the matrices [combination of two or more sources], of which I have 2 video and 6 audio… and don’t get me started on the rest of my Led Zeppelin audio/video collection… :p).

    It appears, however, that my understanding of the word “radical” and its usage is flawed. This requires more research…

  57. 57
    mythbri

    For the curious:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism

    And here’s what I am:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_wave_feminism

  58. 58
    Ingdigo Jump

    I disagree PZ, I think the septic movement and atheist movement is a lost cause.

  59. 59
    mythbri

    @NateHevens

    I think you would find it helpful to browse the history and development of feminism (the two links I provided are a good start). There are internal jargon in feminism, just as there would be in most schools of thought.

  60. 60
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Doing so right now, mythbri. Thank you.

  61. 61
    rorschach

    peterhearn pulling a Blackford is fucking pathetic.

    PZ:

    They must change and the barbarians must back down.

    My feeling is the whole house may have to be demolished and rebuilt from the foundations up. Too many termites in the woodwork.

  62. 62
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Rorschach

    but what if those termite look up and ask you to save them?

  63. 63
    mythbri

    @Ing #57

    I’m really starting to feel that way, too (more than I was, anyway).

    Attention Atheist/Secularist/Skeptic Movement:

    You may not hold up examples of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, trans*phobia, classism and racism up as examples of the ills that religion inflicts upon society, and then cast them aside as soon as they’re not convenient for you. You are not allowed to scold and discard religion while retaining it’s inherent patriarchy. Stop co-opting the oppression of women and minorities to further your cause without demonstrating that you give a damn beyond whatever suits your purposes.

  64. 64
    mythbri

    @Ing

    I know, I know! He’ll whisper “No.”

  65. 65
    Ingdigo Jump

    damn it Mythrbri! I wanted to get him to say it!

  66. 66
    mythbri

    *Crestfallen*

    Sorry. I totally Britta’d your joke, Ing.

  67. 67
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    In my blog post, I said the following to PZ:

    I wish I had your optimism, but I don’t. I don’t think the movement as it currently stands can succeed. It either needs to change drastically, or be abandoned for a new wave. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic, but it looks to me as if the slimepit has taken over.

    Basically, I’ve lost hope. I’m much more interested in Social Justice these days. The MRAs and other slimepit denizens are going to completely destroy any chance any atheist movement has at making changes, because the wallow in the exact same privileges and slime that they rail against Judaism, Islam, and Christianity for causing.

  68. 68
    marinerachel

    At this point in time, I would be embarrassed to have my name associated with any organised skeptic or atheist movement that I’m familiar with. Atheism is the only thing I have in common with the likes of Thunderf00t. It does not qualify him as an ally or someone alongside who I want to take up a cause.

    I hope, in time, the face of atheism is a little less bleak but I definitely need a time-out. I’m becoming radicalised against the views of some of these people and I don’t want there to be collateral damage when I become overwhelmed and push back.

  69. 69
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I’m going to bed now. Gotta wake up early for the gym. I’ve lost 20 pounds already! But I’m not stopping until I’ve lost another 25 to 30.

    Anyways… mythbri, I’ll finish reading the two wiki articles tomorrow. I’ll be able o pull them up on my iPod while at the gym, so I’ll read them while doing cardio. Thanks for the sources.

    ‘Night all.

  70. 70
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    When people call Ophelia or Rebecca “radical feminists” they are using the term as a slur* for “vocal, unabashed feminists”. Just like when people use the term “militant atheists” they are not using it for atheists who are running around with assault rifles and a plan to take over the government, but rather as a slur for “vocal, unabashed atheists”.

    *mostly because they misunderstand the term entirely and think it refers to women who hate men and want to oppress them as some kind of revenge fantasy payback

  71. 71
    Inaji

    For Nate and others who might need a bit of help, there are excellent links on the sidebar to the Pharyngula wiki, specifically:

    Feminist link roundup

    There’s a fucktonne of reading there, but it all provides a great education.

  72. 72
    Inaji

    Ibis:

    When people call Ophelia or Rebecca “radical feminists” they are using the term as a slur* for “vocal, unabashed feminists”.

    Very true. It’s all screaming and yelling over the fact that all of us nasty wimmin aren’t happy chill girls, so we’re misandrists who are all ugly/fat/un-dateable/un-layable, yada, yada, yada, ’cause why else would we possibly be upset with the menz?

  73. 73
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Nate,

    Anyways… mythbri, I’ll finish reading the two wiki articles tomorrow.

    Keep in mind there’s overlap. Radical feminism begins in the second wave, but my impression* is that more than half the radical feminist commenters here are third-wavers.

    *derived from gut or ass, depending perhaps on whether the reader agrees with my assessment.

  74. 74
    vaiyt

    What good is getting rid of religion if we’re going to perpetuate its ills? It seems a large number of “atheists” just ditched god and replaced it with their own inflated egos. They are part of the smart people club and don’t need to think anymore.

  75. 75
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I wonder if part of it is that many atheists have gotten so used to the squawking and protests of wounded religious privilege that they’ve developed a heuristic of “you’re pissing people off” = “you’re doing something right,” which is now serving very, very badly when it comes to social justice in general and gender equality in particular. Any suggestions on how we could approach this?

  76. 76
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    This is some excellent empirical evidence on the study of how long a thickie will stay thick. It shouldn’t take a druid’s degree and a dozen sledge hammers several weeks to make someone realize that equality is equality is equality. I would never have expected this to go the direction it did and to take so long. As Natalie put it, it’s embarrassing and almost so off-putting to make one want to chuck the affiliation with ¡El Ateismo! (that would make a really cool mascot name, btw. Maybe a badger, or a rat, or a squid, or all three(!) wearing a Nacho Libre wrestling mask and a cape emblazoned with the Dawkins atheism ‘A’ logo). Feminazi is a Limbaugh word, which should be recognized as vitriol. Seeing it picked up by people I thought on the side of rationality and doing right for all people makes me throw up in my mouth A LOT.

    Speaking of related product, I’m still waiting for the FtB shop to start carrying the ‘FtBully, and proud of it!’ bumper stickers and t-shirts.

  77. 77
    SallyStrange

    Attention Atheist/Secularist/Skeptic Movement:

    You may not hold up examples of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, trans*phobia, classism and racism up as examples of the ills that religion inflicts upon society, and then cast them aside as soon as they’re not convenient for you. You are not allowed to scold and discard religion while retaining its inherent patriarchy. Stop co-opting the oppression of women and minorities to further your cause without demonstrating that you give a damn beyond whatever suits your purposes.

    Repeated for emphasis.

  78. 78
    SallyStrange

    Here’s something I wrote a few days ago, over at Friendly Atheist’s place:

    Here’s the thing, guys:

    Atheism is the product of skepticism applied to religious claims.

    Skepticism is a useful tool that everyone should know about and use in their daily lives.

    If–IF!–you truly believe that EVERYONE should be able to learn about and use skepticism, then you will be doing everything you can to ensure that the organized structures that exist to promote skepticism and critical think are welcoming to literally everyone.

    That’s the genesis of the intersection of skepticism/atheism and social justice.

    On the other hand, if skepticism is just a fun toy for you, or a way to feel superior to the rest of the world because you know you’re right about God and the Bermuda triangle, while those deluded fools are just wrong, well then of course you don’t see the point of incorporating social justice concerns into skepticism’s big tent.

    I would submit that treating skepticism that way is selfish and immoral and makes you kind of a jackass. But that’s just my opinion, based on my non-empirically verifiable belief that it would be a good thing to reduce suffering and increase the opportunities for all human beings to flourish and live happily and healthily on this planet for the short time we are here. I recognize that not everyone shares my humanist values, and I suspect that those are the people who don’t see the point of having an organized atheist/skeptical movement. Heads up: nobody is forcing you to be a part of this movement. You’re perfectly welcome to sit at home and play parcheesi while continuing to not believe in God or chupacabras. But I don’t understand what compels you to seek out these outlets where the movement is organizing and re-organizing itself and complain that there are people trying to get organized and get out there and effect social change.

    Unless you’re opposed to that social change.

    Are you?

  79. 79
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    But that’s just my opinion, based on my non-empirically verifiable belief that it would be a good thing to reduce suffering and increase the opportunities for all human beings to flourish and live happily and healthily on this planet for the short time we are here.

    This is actually close to empirically verifiable, at least in the abstract, insofar as, from what I’ve read, cooperative strategies tend produce better outcomes for players in game scenarios. You really just have to postulate that these things are good for any individual.

  80. 80
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Pompous asshat and self-styled ‘atheist leader’ Justin Vacula tweeted something along the lines of, “We’d be far more likely to believe the #FTBullies claims about hate directed at women if they respectfully listened to those who respectfully dissented.”

    Unbelievable. Should anyone else who’s on Twitter want to hit the hashtag and refute that sort of nonsense it’d be handy; I’ve dropped about ten tweets in a row there myself…

  81. 81
    Jafafa Hots

    Wowbagger, I decided that I’m not bothering with the #FTBullies hashtag anymore.
    Apart from the few of you countering the crap, it seems now just to be a handful of people talking to themselves.

    They simply don’t CARE what anyone says.

    Maybe this is a bad word to use, but looking at that tag stream just feels like barging into a circlejerk.

  82. 82
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Well, aside from the obvious connotation, they are a circle of jerks.

  83. 83
    congaboy

    I don’t understand what any of this has to do with atheism. Atheism isn’t a “movement,” it’s merely the lack of belief in gods. Being a bigot, racist, misogynist, douche bag, etc, has nothing to do with atheism or how good an atheist a person is. Those aspects affect humanism, freethought, feminism, etc. These are the real movements. It’s like that article about the top 5 awful atheists, with the exception of SE Cupp, the author talked about points that had nothing to do with atheism. Sam Harris may be a bigot and a racist, but that has nothing to do with how good an atheist he is. Penn Jillette may be a libertarian, but that has nothing to do with atheism. Bill Maher may be a horrible skeptic, but that has little to do with whether he is a good atheist. I don’t know much about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. These four people aren’t awful atheists, they may be awful people, but that has nothing to do with atheism. Nor are these people defined solely by their atheism. But, of all these people the only one who is truly an awful atheist is SE Cupp, because she’s not an atheist and is most likely a shill. Cupp is truly awful at being an atheist.

    Atheism can be an aspect of other movements, but it’s not a movement in itself. Simply because a person holds oneself out as an atheist doesn’t mean that that person has any other redeeming qualities. A person can be an atheist and still be a complete racist bigoted misogynist ass-wipe. Too often we project our values on to others, simply because we see common ground in one small aspect of that person’s life.

    So, for all those bloggers who have lost hope in the “atheist movement,” take heart that there is no such thing and turn towards the real movements; humanism, freethinking, feminism, etc. Find your allies and friends there. Skepticism and atheism are merely ways of addressing certain kinds of evidence or claims. Being a skeptic or an atheist does not automatically make one a good person. Humanism, freethinking, feminism, these are world views and one will find more common ground with people who call themselves by these labels than with people who label themselves only as skeptics or atheists.

  84. 84
    huntstoddard

    My assessment of this whole kerfuffle, directed at no one particular is twofold: first the atheist movement has just begun to deal with the fact that being atheist doesn’t mean you’re instantly imparted enlightened, wonderful-person status. Of course, one moment’s thought should have dispelled this notion from the start, since Randroid are atheists, and Randroids are repugnant. Disproof by existence. Second, there is one faction of atheists who think the issue of sexual harassment, and the way it is being handled, is some kind of Jacobin plot to purge normal male behavior by a subgroup irresponsible people (note: using the word “feminist” here would inflame things more, so erase this entire parenthetical from your short term memory). In other words, they think some kind of witch trial is happening. Thunderfoot cites plummeting female conference attendance to make the case that the purge of sexism has overextended itself and is actually damaging the community, analogous to shouting fire in a theater. Even though sexism and fire in a closed room are dangerous, so is inciting panic or testing for demon possession with stones and deep water. Personally, I think TF has a point, but then I think everyone else has a point too. What’s really depressing is how this whole damn mess was handled. The result is that now TF, who would have been an awesome addition to FTB, is gone, a lot of people hate each other who probably didn’t have to, and nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment, and fix things. (Except me, of course.)

  85. 85
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Personally, I think TF has a point

    Why?

  86. 86
    Hatchetfish

    … TF, who would have been an awesome addition to FTB …

    You mean in that alternate reality where he did something other than MRAspew while he was there? Because the facts in this universe are that he did, and it went down the shitter from there, entirely by his own hand.

  87. 87
    Hank_Says

    I decided that I’m not bothering with the #FTBullies hashtag anymore.
    Apart from the few of you countering the crap, it seems now just to be a handful of people talking to themselves.

    They simply don’t CARE what anyone says.

    Maybe this is a bad word to use, but looking at that tag stream just feels like barging into a circlejerk.

    Yeah, I had a brief and intense crashtag flirtation but now the thrill is gone and the Wall of Douche is too high and too goddamn thick. Too many entrenched and entitled fuckwits, too many come-lately types who have literally no idea what the fuck they’re tweeting about and what bullying actually constitutes. There are also too many smarmy, intractable douchebag “names” like Kirby and Blackford and that fucking intolerably smug fucker Stangroom who seem in it for the long haul. Let ‘em have their hilarious tag back – frankly, without stalwarts like Wowbagger responding it’ll fade into exactly the kind of circle jerk you describe in no time. Noone will visit it but those clowns and eventually they’ll all bail. Hell, I bet Blackie and Stangers are loving the extra attention they’re getting! Fuck ‘em – they’ll get no more attention from me.

    I just have a hard time understanding the FtB haters’ position: since noone’s actually behaving like a man-hating radfem or threatening to ban high-fives or shin-chewing at conferences or equating all pickup-artists to rapists or behaving like totalitarians and expelling people for simply being controversial (as opposed to being a flat-out, unrepentant fucking trolls from the very beginning), the two most glaring (and rather broad) options I have in front of me are a) ignorance and b) dishonesty. Neither option reflects well on the FtB haters. Ignorance, while potentially excusable, can be cured by information (of which there is much) so obviously intelligent people like Kirby and Blackford have no fucking excuse. Dishonesty, well, that’s almost never excusable – again, especially not from people with a track record of usually being on the honest, skeptical side of things.

    I say give them their tag and watch it either disappear into obscurity (Stangroom and Blackford should be pretty comfy back there) or become a magnet for MRA fuckwits – the same way the Republican party’s become a magnet for far-right idiocy of all stripes.

  88. 88
    Jafafa Hots

    Congoboy, what would be the point of a list of top atheists if the sole characteristic judged would be their non-believe in gods?

    How do you judge? Do you argue that Degrasse-Tyson isn’t as good at not believing in a god as someone else?

    Or do you bring in what they DO, and what they SAY, and how that helps educate and promote atheism and critical thought?

    If you do THAT, which is the only reason to make a list anyway, then you have to take into account ALL that they say. Because some of it might just work against their favor. Maybe some people might think that a guy who is really good at not believing in gods but who is also a racist or whatever shouldn’t be as high on the list?

  89. 89
    Jafafa Hots

    Sorry Congaboy, misread your name.

  90. 90
    Inaji

    huntstoddard, please do not be derailing this thread into your opinions about TF. There are two active threads about those issues right now. Take that crap to one of those threads or take it to Thunderdome. Thank you.

  91. 91
    Louis

    I will not give up on the atheism movement. I will not give up on the skeptic movement. They must change and the barbarians must back down.

    100% with you.

    I will be double fucked in all the wrong ways before I give up the atheist/sceptic movements to a bunch of whiny, over-privileged, self entitled titty babies who think that bitches ain’t shit and somehow women are their property or mostly for adornment and leg chewing (or whatever).

    The self same thought processes that lead one to critically examine the world and be an atheist or sceptic or scientist or rationalist or whatever, are the self same processes that lead one to feminism, activism, social justice issues, and a whole plethora of ways of questioning the status quo and ideas in society.

    Louis

  92. 92
    huntstoddard

    “Why?”

    Because as valid as sexism is, as real and as damaging as it is, it can also be invoked injudiciously and to the detriment to a community. I think if you deny that this is possible, you’re simply not being realistic. We all know that the colonials were imagining things when they thought they were being stalked by Satan, but for them witchcraft was certainly as real as sexism is to us. Just because something is thought, or known, to be real and serious doesn’t mean it can’t be used to detriment. The problem here is there are so many tripwires tied to explosives that might ignite in one’s face. If anyone is ready to even suggest that Watson may have been overstating threat, a whole raft of suppositions will follow. You’re suggesting she was inciting hysteria, therefore that she was hysterical…she’s the stereotypical hysterical woman! OMG! You’re such an MRA douche!

    At that point, there really no need to even suggest that perhaps Watson didn’t realize how people might interpret some of the things she said. Is she really in favor of cutting female conference attendance in half by fostering the impression that they’re dangerous for women? Ridden with rapists, as TF described it. At some point, you really have to entertain the idea that fear mongering might be possible, whether or not that is actually happening. The fact that that discussion never happened, and that it should have, is one of TF’s points.

  93. 93
    huntstoddard

    “Take that crap to one of those threads or take it to Thunderdome. Thank you.”

    So my opinion is crap. Thank you for outlining exactly what is wrong with this blog.

  94. 94
    rorschach

    I think TF has a point, but then I think everyone else has a point too.

    Is there a point here?

    The result is that now TF, who would have been an awesome addition to FTB, is gone,

    The last month seems to be evidence that TF would make a good addition to the slymepit, but not to the atheist movement. At least for those who see the movement as more than a bunch of non stamp collectors.

  95. 95
    Louis

    Josh, #33 and PZ, #34,

    I fear neither of you are being sceptical enough. I see SGBM has been sceptical of the scepticism of the sceptics above, but frankly that’s not good enough. I’m sceptical of the sceptics’ scepticism of the scepticism of the sceptics.

    More than that until everyone proves different I am sceptical that we are not all brains in buckets and I’m the only real person in the universe and you are all figments of my warped imagination.

    I am considerably more sceptical than anyone. Even myself.

    Louis

  96. 96
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    @huntstoddard

    Excuse me, let me get this straight.

    Harassment of women at a conference is just like witch-hunting, because pushing the idea of stopping harassment is like pushing the idea of convicting and killing witches.

    Wait, let’s try it this way: when pilgrims hunted witches, they were pushing an idea too far. It hurt them. So when you decide to stop harassment at a conference, you could hurt the conference. Women who hear there is a policy to stop harassment will be upset. Just like witches.

    Gee. I guess I’m just not bright enough to get it. And dopey me, thinking witches didn’t exist and that pursuing them was harmful because then there were convictions for doing something it was impossible to do.

    My. I wish Tfoot had explained that. It would have added to his reputation.

  97. 97
    rorschach

    We all know that the colonials were imagining things when they thought they were being stalked by Satan, but for them witchcraft was certainly as real as sexism is to us.

    The Olympics are over, you know. You won’t get a medal for breaking the false equivalency world record.

  98. 98
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    I am considerably more sceptical than anyone. Even myself.

    Mutters to self: show off.

  99. 99
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Mandrellian wrote:

    I say give them their tag and watch it either disappear into obscurity…

    Yeah, I do see your point. As a general rule I’m not actually engaging with any of them directly; I tend to just drop in, read what the latest idiocy posted is, a toss out a few of my own that undermines whatever weak-ass point they’ve tried to make. I got angry when that utterly pathetic pissant Blackford made another ‘Won’t somebody think of the children?’ tweet, even though I know he’s in far too deep to change his position on this – he’s gotten a taste for popularity, and he knows his newfound support base will turn on him in a second if he does an about-face now. Weak, but (somewhat) understandable.

    I’m just so damn susceptible to SIWOTI. But I’ll try to exercise some restraint, and leave the hogglers to their angry self-abuse.

  100. 100
    huntstoddard

    This isn’t an argument I can win, because

    1) Sexism and sexual harassment are real and they happen at conferences.
    2) No matter at what incidence, some people will say that others aren’t ranking it at high enough importance, or they will say that there is no ordinal ranking for things like it and that it should be kept at the fore simultaneously with all other issues.
    3) Others disagree with 2 and think things like conference attendance and distractions from other causes shouldn’t be impacted by minor issues.
    4) Others think sexual harassment can never be a minor issue when compared to all other issues, not matter what, no matter the incidence of harassment.

    Example: Your family is going on a camping vacation. You back out of the driveway and over your dog. You cancel your vacation because you killed your dog.

    5) Other people will be deeply offended because they think I just equated sexual harassment with dog killing. They will allow that impression to guide their entire opinion of me from here to eternity. No possible discussion will ever fix that fact. The only possible solution would be to ban me, even though I probably agree with them on at least 95% of all matters.

  101. 101
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I see SGBM has been sceptical of the scepticism of the sceptics above, but frankly that’s not good enough.

    Buh, see, I was coding up some automagical skepticism, to recurse so many levels of skepticism that I crash reality.

    I am considerably more sceptical than anyone. Even myself.

    That’s nothing. I don’t even believe I exist. Prepare for reboot, Wednesday at 10:00 PST.

  102. 102
    strange gods before me ॐ

    They will allow that impression to guide their entire opinion of me from here to eternity. No possible discussion will ever fix that fact. The only possible solution would be to ban me, even though I probably agree with them on at least 95% of all matters.

    huntstoddard, I think you’re making a bigger deal of this than you need to.

  103. 103
    oolon

    Good read but unfortunately the bit in bold kept distracting me.

    We should know better. We’re on the same side.

    Yeah right, we *know* there are no god(s) therefore we are better than that. Or we *know* there is no bigfoot so we can pat ourselves on the back at how clever we are.

    So more naval gazing about how terrible it is that some of ‘us’ are less than perfect sceptic-atheists, what a revelation! So what to do? Take sides of course as that will make things so much better – it is a well known fact proven by statistics and sciencey stuff that people think a lot clearer when part of a ‘side’.

    Fighting against the barbarians might seem attractive to PZ ‘Braveheart’ Myers but not to me I’m afraid. It seems extremely attractive to some of the prominent ‘slimepitters’ fighting it out with Sally Strange on TFs blog and propping up a commenter who made a really nasty violent rape threat. (BTW the ‘Thunderf00t’ on there joining in is fake)

    So my call to arms, in contrast to PZs, would be fight the barbarous ideas and make yourself heard if you don’t agree. That applies to both ‘sides’ – fight the ideas *you* don’t like not those your ‘side’ is supposed to agree with and definitely not the people. And that is nothing to do with daft ‘we are better than that’ not-logic as it applies universally.

  104. 104
    Nick Gotts

    I will disagree on one point, though. I will not give up on the atheism movement. – PZ

    There’s really much less of an “atheism movement”, and much less need for one, in the UK (and much of Europe) than in the US. While there are certainly annoyances such as religious privileges in education and broadcasting, and bishops in the legislature (really, how ridiculous can you get, particularly as they can only move diagonally), and it won’t do to be complacent over creationist attempts at infiltration, the most important issues where religion comes into play are abortion, gay marriage, FGM, forced marriage, and others that are central to feminism andor GSM* rights. On which, as we’ve seen quite clearly, the “atheism movement” is deeply divided. So aside from commenting at FTB, the nearest I come to the atheist/sceptic movement is intermittent attendance at Sceptics in the Pub. Maybe I should be stirring things up there!

    *GSM = gender/sexual minorities. Someone used it here yesterday – sorry I’ve forgotten who – and it’s much more wieldy than LGBTQ…

  105. 105
    Louis

    SGBM,

    Impressive. Most impressive. I see you have been trained in the way of the sceptic. Your scepticism is powerful. But I doubt even that.

    PH34R MY L337 SCEPTICISMUS!!!

    Louis

  106. 106
    huntstoddard

    huntstoddard, I think you’re making a bigger deal of this than you need to.

    You realize, I hope, that I wasn’t talking about myself. That is the generic person who has fallen out of grace for one reason or another. The “atheist movement” (and at this point, I think the quotes are deserved) is either going to be a big house or a little house. The big house is probably going to need to hold its nose a bit, but if it’s inclusive it retains the capacity to change minds. If it’s closed, and guillotines everyone who doesn’t conform to a specific guideline, I think it’s going to move in a very different direction.

  107. 107
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    @ Caine,

    Missed the direction to Thunderdome. Will stop responding to huntstoddard here.

    huntstoddard, if you intend to continue with the tfoot stuff, take it to the dome.

  108. 108
    rorschach

    The big house is probably going to need to hold its nose a bit, but if it’s inclusive it retains the capacity to change minds.If it’s closed, and guillotines everyone who doesn’t conform to a specific guideline, I think it’s going to move in a very different direction.

    “Women are people” is too hard for you? Because that’s the main thing all those terrible FTBullies are asking for.

  109. 109
    oolon

    @rorscach why are FtBs the only ones saying “Women are people”?
    Or am I misunderstanding and you are you saying essentially you have the same position as the ‘slimepitters’ so we should all give each other a big hug?

  110. 110
    huntstoddard

    huntstoddard, if you intend to continue with the tfoot stuff, take it to the dome.

    It’s not necessary to continue that here, though those who think that specific example doesn’t encapsulate the broader problem are either fooling themselves or not smart enough to understand it. I mean, it may well be that “atheism” alone is not a cohesive enough movement to sustain itself and that it might need to split into numerous splinter groups for each to be viable. I’ve seen others suggest something similar, and I think the idea might have merit. Seriously suggesting the end of “movement atheism” should be advanced just for the sake of attempting to galvanize those who aspire to the conceit of leadership into deciding whether they’re more concerned about the cause than comparing their cock size to those they think challenge it. It seems certain that atheism as a movement has no chance as a whole if they continue with their divisiveness.

  111. 111
    oolon

    @Huntstoddard WTF are you on about? ‘Atheism Movement’ and it needs to split into numerous splinter groups?

    Sorry to burst your bubble but unless I missed the memo there is no ‘Atheist Movement’. Atheism is a position on one question, not even an ideology which something like feminism might be characterised as. Even the answer to that question does not need to be particularly strong to call yourself an atheist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability)

    Oh and divisiveness? So we need to hold up our gold plated idols of atheism and never let them be criticised. Be that PZ on one side or Thunderf00t/Abbie Smith on the other. Sound much like the way the religious hold that their leaders are infallible? Our ability to attack crappy ideas where we see them (No matter who it comes from) and challenge and criticise is a strength not a weakness.

    One of the stupidest things TF said (imo) is that he would never criticise a fellow atheist even if they were wrong.

  112. 112
    Pteryxx

    huntstoddard:

    At some point, you really have to entertain the idea that fear mongering might be possible, whether or not that is actually happening.

    At some point, YOU really have to entertain the idea that fear mongering might not be actually happening, whether or not it’s possible.

    This has been addressed, you know, ever since DJ made it the foundation of his position back in MAY. Sexual harassment is a real thing, it’s common, and it’s studiously ignored, dismissed and misrepresented. See the links I posted above, to research cited in “Hyperskepticism”, to other instances of harassment at conferences, and also the entire field of chilly climate research.

  113. 113
    huntstoddard

    oolon,
    I don’t see how you can write that and not see that you’re agreeing with what I’m “on about.” Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

  114. 114
    oolon

    @huntstoddard OK if you are talking about egregious character assassination then fine I agree. Only problem is many conflate criticism of atheist leaders that say stupid things to character assassination. Frankly Richard Dawkins can manage a bit of criticism from Rebecca Watson, especially when so deserved. The ‘other side’ in this see PZ and his horde as suppressors of free speech because they ‘silence’ their critics. As if kicking someone off this network is both an irrelevancy because this network ain’t worth shit but it is also the only place someone can express their free speech so… FTBullies!

    So I hate to say it but where is your example of “shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries” in this context?

  115. 115
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    I agree. PZ should really stop his murdering spree. People are going to start asking questions.

    Ignoring the irritating exaggeration : what’s all over? People are going to start believing in god(s) if we don’t accept their various other blind spots? They are suddenly going to decide that secularism really isn’t worth the trouble of giving up their sexism? If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure the atheist movement would be fucked even if we accepted them all, because they don’t sound very reliable.

  116. 116
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    Utter nonsense. People become atheists because they stop believing in gods; there are myriads ways for that to happen, and it was happening well before a bunch of people started writing blogs.

    While having people speak out leads others to become atheists, those people are still going to speak out, no matter how many ‘schisms’ occur; and if for whatever they do stop, others will start.

    At this point in history it’s a snowball rolling down a hill; I don’t think we could stop it even if we wanted to.

  117. 117
    Pteryxx

    and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people women at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    Make a little more sense now?

    optional replacement metaphor: “throwing women under the bus”.

  118. 118
    huntstoddard

    At some point, YOU really have to entertain the idea that fear mongering might not be actually happening, whether or not it’s possible.

    I’m not denying the reality of sexual harassment. I fully realize that it is widespread.

    So I hate to say it but where is your example of “shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries” in this context?

    Seriously, you can’t think of a single example, considering Myers Lansky’s recent activity?

  119. 119
    oolon

    @Beatrice – no matter how stupid an example you can come up with someone on the internet will play that out. Not quite what you said but… http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/there-is-war-going-on-at-freethought.html

    This fella is sooo pissed off at PZs divisiveness he has taken up religion!

    Which is why I state that atheists disagreeing with each other is not due the knicker twisting that results. They will always disagree and since thought is free in this ‘community’ then get used to it.

  120. 120
    Anri

    huntstoddard:

    If it’s closed, and guillotines everyone who doesn’t conform to a specific guideline, I think it’s going to move in a very different direction.

    First of all, either:
    a) list the people who have been guillotined,
    b) stop using the term, or
    c) stop hypocritically asking the drama to be turned down.

    What has happened in the real world, of course, if that people have behaved in apparently sexist ways, and have been told that what they were doing is sexist, and that they should quit or out themselves as sexists. That’s… not really very analogous to being executed.

    Secondly, as has been noted by several posters above, the ‘specific guideline’ being adhered to is “Women are people and their concerns are not less important because they lack penises”. We have labeled people who don’t adhere to that ‘sexist’ – because they are.

    Thunderfoot cites plummeting female conference attendance to make the case that the purge of sexism has overextended itself and is actually damaging the community, analogous to shouting fire in a theater.

    Of course the alternative theory – that women are less interested in attending because they see a deep and enthusiastic push-back against sexual harassment policies – would require thinking:
    a) women’s brains work as well as men’s, and
    b) women’s concerns are important.
    Why exactly should I respectfully listen to someone who refuses to accept those basic ideas?

  121. 121
    oolon

    @Huntstoddard “Seriously, you can’t think of a single example, considering Myers Lansky’s recent activity?”

    Sorry excuse my naivete but I don’t get the reference? What examples? I can think of a couple of times I’ve criticised PZ for going too far, IMO, but I wanted yours…

  122. 122
    Anri

    (recently:)

    …shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries…

    (earlier:)

    …nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment, and fix things

    …might wanna look at your password there, friend. Surely this must be two different people posting under the same nym – right?

  123. 123
    blf

    “throwing women under the bus”.

    I did that once! Sort-of. Actually just tripped the mildly deranged penguin when she wasn’t looking.

    The bus has never been found. Most of the road, in fact, has never been found. Some bits and pieces were found amongst the crater ejecta, along with a few crumbs from the cheese she was eating at the time.

    Later, the mildly deranged penguin explained I did it all wrong. With a personal demonstration. Well, an attempted personal demonstration — I was able to hide whilst she was still trying to start the sled’s jet engine…

    So a passerby was given a, literally, crash course in manners. Several times, just to get the point across.

  124. 124
    huntstoddard

    Of course the alternative theory – that women are less interested in attending because they see a deep and enthusiastic push-back against sexual harassment policies – would require thinking:
    a) women’s brains work as well as men’s, and
    b) women’s concerns are important.
    Why exactly should I respectfully listen to someone who refuses to accept those basic ideas?

    You shouldn’t respectfully listen to someone who had the opportunity to consider them and didn’t, but is that the case? Did that discussion, which would probably have been very productive, ever happen?

  125. 125
    huntstoddard

    Anri, relax, it’s hyperbole.

  126. 126
    oolon

    Hyberbole based on not one bit of evidence or example – so I’m wondering how you manage to hold that opinion?

  127. 127
    fenne

    You mean it must be (re)made in your image? Jezus. I mean PeeZus.

    Look, ofcourse misogynie and all the crap you guys are railing against is bad. Few of the anti-bullies will say otherwise (and if they are, it’s to troll since you are such easy targets in this respect atm).

    Thing is, skeptics and especially freethinkers, dont like to be told how they have to think. They will reject that. You will then perceive that as rejecting that ‘misogynie is a problem’. No not really. When just speaking for myself, I come here for facts, debunking, skepticism etc. Not for moralizing. People can’t disagree on facts. You’re either right or wrong. Not so when it comes to morals and points of view. Sure, there are ‘universal ethics’ such as don’t rape women (or men) that every sensible person will agree to. But there are also personal ethics, where right and wrong isn’t quite applicable. If you try to see something as elevatorgate in terms of right and wrong instead as a personal ethics thing, you end up with an infinite debate, more shit than fan.

    If there’s any Belgian people here that saw Alex Agnew’s last show, he summmed it up nicely. He was talking about all the progressive people in his neighborhood. He quite agrees with them on a lot of issues (such as gays etc), but the problem is that they are súch in your face assholes about it. They all have signs on their windows that say ‘no hate straat’. Alex agrees, he prefers a no hate street. But all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves. So much so that he took a ‘no hate street’ sign, cut off the no and hung it by his window.
    This is pretty much what’s happening here. You really shouldn’t be surprised that decent people tell you to go fuck yourselves when you pedanticly tell them what they already know.

  128. 128
    carlie

    It just hit me – the same people who say “atheism isn’t a movement! It’s just unbelief in gods!” are often the SAME people who then say “But we’re all on the same side so stop attacking me!”

    WE ARE NOT ON THE SAME SIDE.

    Some of us understand intersection and how being a skeptic means stripping away all of the cultural pseudoreligious reasons for treating each other like shit and realizing there is no reason to do that and want to stop doing it. Our atheism is inexorably entwined with social justice. If you don’t want to do that, fine, but don’t go trying to wrest it away from us. And as mythbri said, you then do NOT get to criticize religion for doing the exact same thing you are still clinging to. Here it is again for even more emphasis.

    You may not hold up examples of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, trans*phobia, classism and racism up as examples of the ills that religion inflicts upon society, and then cast them aside as soon as they’re not convenient for you. You are not allowed to scold and discard religion while retaining it’s inherent patriarchy. Stop co-opting the oppression of women and minorities to further your cause without demonstrating that you give a damn beyond whatever suits your purposes.

  129. 129
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    Did that discussion, which would probably have been very productive, ever happen?

    You mean, just letting them ask questions? Yeah, that got considered; after the first few thousand times, it got kinda old, and we realised what it was: a dishonest stalling technique used by assholes to prevent the change they won’t ever consider making until they are forced to, kicking and screaming.

  130. 130
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’m just going to join in the groooopthink and agree with all the smart and decent people, and reject and shun all the dumb/evil people.

  131. 131
    Nick Gotts

    They all have signs on their windows that say ‘no hate straat’. Alex agrees, he prefers a no hate street. But all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves. So much so that he took a ‘no hate street’ sign, cut off the no and hung it by his window. – fenne

    Well, that’s an additional advantage of the signs: the signers now all know that Alex is a fuckwitted privileged shithead. Just like we all now know you are.

  132. 132
    oolon

    @fenne I agree with some of what you say but elevatorgate, ugh I can understand why some get so tetchy as it is so often misconstrued. The *wrong* there was the torrent of hate on the youtube comments to a minor offhand comment ‘Don’t do that’ in a video by a woman who happens to be an atheist-sceptic. If your ethics don’t allow you to classify that as *wrong* or any evidence of at least sexism if not misogyny then you are pretty fucked up in that regard, I’m sure you will agree?

    BTW no one is talking to you personally… (Apart from me now!) If you feel you ‘get it’ then the message is not meant for you. Just because it is put out there on sites you look at does not mean people are personally moralising to you.

  133. 133
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    Thing is, skeptics and especially freethinkers, dont like to be told how they have to think.

    Well, you’re almost correct.

    What I think you mean is so-called ‘skeptics’ and ‘freethinkers’, like the religious they insist they are so much smarter and more open-minded than, don’t like being told that they’re wrong about something.

    You really shouldn’t be surprised that decent people tell you to go fuck yourselves when you pedanticly tell them what they already know.

    They don’t know it. If they did know it, they wouldn’t have a problem with it, because decent fucking people don’t happily treat half the population as less than human when they get pissed off.

    That’s the real downside to the atheist/skeptic movement. We’ve spent so much time telling each other how fucking smart we are for not believing in gods that we’ve somehow convinced no small number of us that they must be the smartest fucking people alive, so smart that every thought they have must come from critical analysis, even when many of those thought are just as ingrained into them by society as they are in the sleepiest, doe-eyed Christian who flocks to church on a Sunday morning.

    They’re telling us to go fuck ourselves because they don’t want to change. They don’t want to recognise their privilege. They want to be able to just act the same way as they always have around women, and not have to stop to think about how that might actually make them feel.

    It’s fucking laziness is what it is. And a whole lot of fucking excuses for not wanting to think about something hard. That’s the thing about not believing in gods; it’s actually pretty fucking easy. Processing that we don’t live in a fair and equitable society, on the other hand? That takes effort. As does changing your behaviour to try and fix that as best you can.

    Of course a lot of entitled dudebros don’t want to do that. And they’re kicking back. We get that. But we’re not going to stop.

  134. 134
    consciousness razor

    When just speaking for myself, I come here for facts, debunking, skepticism etc. Not for moralizing.

    If you come here, you’re going to get what you call “moralizing.” If you come here for other reasons, no one gives a fuck except you.

    By the way, would you consider it moralizing to tell us what our focus should be, based on what you think is in your interests?

  135. 135
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    Are you fucking kidding me? Being told “women are people” is like being executed? Not being allowed to silence those who say “women are people” is like being executed?

    Seriously?

  136. 136
    hyperdeath

    Fine, Fenne, you’re perfectly entitled to a movement without “moralizing”. Don’t expect us to have anything to do with it though.

  137. 137
    huntstoddard

    Yeah, that got considered;

    I’m not denying anything, and I’m not hiding behind a question. I’m specifically referring, as is readily apparent from the context of the question, to whether T-foot was allowed to respond to that before getting summarily axed. If you could answer that, you might actually be helpful.

    Hyberbole based on not one bit of evidence or example – so I’m wondering how you manage to hold that opinion?

    Hyperbole based on how PZ has treated T-foot, how T-foot has treated Myers, how Brayton has dealt with it, and everyone else in PZ’s gang of ten, or whatever it was. I’m just sick of the whole pile of shit. It’s like when your teacher in high school took out both fighting parties, regardless of who started it. Back to the hyperbole again, I’m half expecting Marlon Brando to get resurrected to play the leading patriarch.

  138. 138
    hyperdeath

    …or to put it another way, I’d rather hang out with a gang of friendly ghosthunters and cryptozoologists, than be subjected to the company of some poisonous misogynistic weirdo, who believes himself to be superior, because he doesn’t believe in ghosts or the Loch Ness Monster.

  139. 139
    fenne

    @oolon Sure, I’m not saying that torrent of hate was any good. Neither do I want said that that would be evidence of sexism, it just might be hate directed towards a person, not a gender. There’s plenty of people I don’t really like.. that happen to be a woman. Don’t mean I don’t like all women. Anyway, I guess that’s been said before (because it’s so obvious).
    I realize that the message isn’t really meant for me if I already get it. It’s hard however to not take it personal when the message is so broadly cast towards the entire community. I consider myself part of the greater community, though not of the more vocal subgroups like the ftbullies. They rail against the other subgroup(s), mostly the ones on the other extreme (that might indeed be misogynistic). The longer this goes on, the more polarization you get, the more ‘us or them’. Moderates get fed up and feel personally spoken to when they hear things like KG’s crap.

    @KG ahaahaha, you just said so much more about yourself than about me.
    See, here’s the problem. Not realising there’s a middle ground (that might actually be the largest, but silent group) and immediately labelling anyone not part of one’s own (quite radical) group as part of a radical group on the other side of the spectrum. It’s like being a Tea Party’er and saying someone that expresses a moderate view is by definition a Communist. A fuckwitted shithead.
    lolz, give me a break.

  140. 140
    oolon

    Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    Huntstoddard managed to not come up with a single example that props up his/her hyperbole. Apart from some reference to PZ being a mafia crime boss or something, which I don’t get. So I’m assuming this was just a comment for effect or otherwise known as pointless trolling.

  141. 141
    hyperdeath

    to whether T-foot was allowed to respond to that before getting summarily axed

    Yes he was. It’s clear to anyone prepared to actually look for evidence:

    PZ’s public final demand for Thunderf00t:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/01/thunderf00t-check-your-email/

    was made well before Thunderf00t’s final post:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/07/01/skepchickcon-and-the-harassment-lol-icy/

  142. 142
    consciousness razor

    I’m specifically referring, as is readily apparent from the context of the question, to whether T-foot was allowed to respond to that before getting summarily axed. If you could answer that, you might actually be helpful.

    Are you suggesting perhaps thunderfool never had the opportunity to consider something like the following?

    a) women’s brains work as well as men’s, and
    b) women’s concerns are important.

  143. 143
    oolon

    @Huntstoddard sorry you’ve given TFs treatment as your example… Hmm yeah he was clearly shot and buried in a shallow grave, that might explain why he is incapable of answering questions on his blog and why he has someone sock-puppeting his nym on there.

  144. 144
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    I’m just sick of the whole pile of shit.

    Then. Fuck. Off.

    Why do you believe you have the right to tell people like PZ what they should or shouldn’t fight for?

    If you don’t like it, find a network of atheist writers who write about what you want to hear about. Hell, start your own blog. But don’t fucking come here into PZ’s place and tell him you’re sick of what he’s doing, you fucking pathetic entitled piece of shit.

  145. 145
    huntstoddard

    Not being allowed to silence those who say “women are people” is like being executed?

    I don’t know. Maybe if you could provide some kind of sequence of references to justify this, it might make some sense. To me it just seems like “defending those who harbor weapons of mass destruction…” or something, but I’m willing to admit that maybe I don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about.

  146. 146
    carlie

    Atheists are never all going to be on the same page about everything, and if its leaders don’t stop shooting people at the base of the neck in abandoned quarries, it’s all over.

    Either they’re never on the same page, and therefore not a movement and have no leaders, or it is a movement with leaders, in which case there are things that everyone involved in the movement is expected to agree on or simply not be a part of the movement. You can’t claim it both ways.

  147. 147
    thetalkingstove

    He quite agrees with them on a lot of issues (such as gays etc), but the problem is that they are súch in your face assholes about it. They all have signs on their windows that say ‘no hate straat’. Alex agrees, he prefers a no hate street. But all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves.

    Fuck, I seriously hate this shitty, pathetic idea that fighting for social justice is somehow annoying or only done to make people feel superior. Funny how it only ever seems to be annoying to straight white dudes.

    Seriously, how do signs = “in your face asshole”? What impact does a sign make on this Alex chap? He has to read it once or twice? Holy fuck, how can he stand the relentless pressure from this dreadful sign with its horrendous anti-hate message!

    If it makes just one person from a minority group feel the slightest bit safer and more welcome, what’s the problem? And even if it doesn’t have any effect at all, I just can’t fathom how much of a slimeball you have to be to see people working for equality and parse it as ‘those people just want to be superior’.

  148. 148
    hyperdeath

    Does anyone have the slightest idea what huntstoddard is talking about?

  149. 149
    ibelieveindog

    Fenne @138

    It’s hard however to not take it personal when the message is so broadly cast towards the entire community.

    If you “get it” and the message doesn’t apply to you, why are you offended? Perhaps you should take a longer look at your privilege.

  150. 150
    huntstoddard

    But don’t fucking come here into PZ’s place and tell him you’re sick of what he’s doing, you fucking pathetic entitled piece of shit.

    Oh, STFU, I’m not telling PZ how to do anything. I’m telling people here what I THINK, nitwit. If that’s too much for you to handle, then drop dead. And while you’re doing it, realize that your little power-mad rant is another reason the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

  151. 151
    Louis

    Whoa whoa whoa!

    Women are PEOPLE now?

    Okay, when did this happen?

    I shall be appropriately sceptical about it. Apparently people can make sammiches, therefore…

    …You know what to do, ladies.

    Louis

  152. 152
    fenne

    @wowbagger, most of your post could have been written by me directed towards you.
    But fine, continue your crusade.

    Comments genre ‘what are you doing here if you don’t like the moralizing’ do have a point. Must be why I’ve cancelled my subscription in my RSS. Shout good riddance all you want. Label and vilify me to convince yourself of being right. It’s just a moderate you’ve lost.

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

  153. 153
    oolon

    @fenne

    Moderates get fed up and feel personally spoken to when they hear things like KG’s crap.

    I agree but there are two sides to that equation – KG assuming you are a misogynist and you posting about how concerned you are that this blog moralises about sexism too much. I’m sure you can see it is an important topic to some, not you, but to some. So if you pop in and minimise that importance then you are likely to be shot down?

    To translate KGs comment (Sorry KG) I think you are being accused of not being interested in feminist issues as they are not important to you. The assumed reason they are not important to you is that you are in a position where sexism or prejudice is not likely to be effecting you. So it may be seen that you are again minimising the importance of those issues to the oppressed by means of your personal position, which may be a privileged one. This requires some empathy to understand…

  154. 154
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    hunstoddard wrote:

    Oh, STFU, I’m not telling PZ how to do anything.

    Bull-fucking-shit, you pathetic little pissant. You’ve somehow gotten it into your tiny head that you’re entitled to determine what PZ does and doesn’t talk/write about, and – like a spoiled child – you think stamping your foot is going to have some impact.

    And while you’re doing it, realize that your little power-mad rant is another reason the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

    Really? You got any citations to back that up, you piddling weaksauce cretin?

  155. 155
    Crys T

    @hunstoddard If you don’t get where we’re coming from, why don’t you read the posts and threads that led up to this point? Because it’s just so much easier to decide, without doing any previous research, that anyone who says something that isn’t immediately apparent to you is either overreacting or a liar?

    Look, hunstoddard, fenne, et al., if you don’t have a problem with treating women like human beings, then you don’t have a problem with the basic stance taken in this forum.

    And if you do have a problem with that, well, fuck you.

  156. 156
    Louis

    Fenne,

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

    This is an internet comment thread. Social justice is barely being fought here at all, this is a conversation which might just about have some non-zero social justice value.

    Whilst conversations, the exchange of ideas, and the general unwillingness of people to put up with expositions/defences of egregious social injustice in those dialogues is valuable, no one here mistakes this for serious real world activism. It just ain’t.

    You don’t like the tone of this conversation? Fine. I don’t like the passive aggressive tone of conversations where negative peace and polite forms of dishonesty are encouraged where they are not merely tolerated. I find those tones far more destructive to meaningful discourse than any amount of swearing or intolerance of idiocy.

    I’m also for letting a thousand flowers bloom. If you want to approach social justice more politely than many Pharyngulites do, go to it with my blessing. But in doing so, don’t pretend for one second that your “tone” is in any way the only appropriate one, I certainly don’t. And no one here is pretending it either.

    Why you feel the need to scold people for their tone on an internet comment thread as if it were somehow a binding or universal mode of conversation applicable to all people and situations is beyond me. Perhaps it’s you that needs to question your own motivations and privilege rather than anyone already on that path.

    Louis

  157. 157
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    fenne wrote:

    wowbagger, most of your post could have been written by me directed towards you.

    Than you truly are confused, and should spend less time writing and more time reading and thinking.

    It’s just a moderate you’ve lost.

    If you aren’t prepared to fight for what’s right when it’s not easy and convenient for you to do so, then not having you around is hardly a loss.

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

    Yes, I can imagine that having to think about your privilege, and contemplate changing your behaviour would be something you don’t like. But that’s fine; you run away and we’ll do the work for you – no doubt once it’s all done you’ll be back, pretending you were on the right side all along.

  158. 158
    consciousness razor

    Thanks for killing the movement, Wowbagger. I was worried that it wasn’t going to get cancer.

  159. 159
    hyperdeath

    huntstoddard:

    And while you’re doing it, realize that your little power-mad rant is another reason the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

    In your opinion, is it more important or less important than the rape and death threats that outspoken women receive?

  160. 160
    Crys T

    @hyperdeath: Now I’m waiting to see how hunstoddard is going to tap-dance round that question.

    I’m betting on total refusal to address it.

  161. 161
    joed

    What is the atheist and skeptic movement?
    There is plenty of social things to comment on here at Phrayngula, is a “movement” really necessary?
    Who has created this movement?
    Movements, i don’t need no stinking movements.
    Well, bowels excepted.
    There is mucho white male privilege, harassment of women at conventions and hateful words and acts towards minorities of all types. Public discussion of these things at the very least let us know these things are problems.
    I don’t need a movement to discuss these problems.
    If someone says there is a problem then goddamnit I will take that complaint seriously. And I will use,as best I can, logic and reason and skepticism to try to understand what is going on.
    I don’t need a movement to treat other humans with respect and dignity.
    Like Rodney King said, can’t we all just get along.
    So, I don’t know what “movement” is being discussed here but I don’t like it and seems some commenters are not being sincere and are trying to create something that isn’t necessary.

  162. 162
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    …the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

    Not near me it isn’t.

    Maybe if I thought this was all represented by the interactions of a few hotheads on blogs/Youtube I’d think so, but it seems pretty damned healthy here in the UK. The secular movement* here is gathering pace rather than fracturing.

    Louis

    * Which is what the atheist movement really is, i.e. the combating of social religious privilege.

  163. 163
    hyperdeath

    fenne wrote:

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

    Would you prefer that it be done in a way that’s easier for you to ignore? If not, please describe your preferred method.

  164. 164
    mepmep09

    I see no “radical feminists” on the shelf I’m near, but {rummages around a bit} here are a couple straw feminists. Are these the feminists that exist in the minds of the keep-teh-wimmenz-in-their-place club?

    [applause and h/t to Kate Beeton]

  165. 165
    joed

    And now I read that the “movement” has died or is dying of cancer. gimme’ a fuckin’ break.
    This movement doesn’t exist and never has existed.
    died of cancer!

  166. 166
    carlie

    And while you’re doing it, realize that your little power-mad rant is another reason the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

    Actually, the cancer is being excised. It’s only the cancer cells who see this as a tragedy.

  167. 167
    ibbica

    Er… fenne, let’s try this:

    …it just might be hate directed towards a person, not a gender.
    [snip]
    It’s hard however to not take it personal when the message is so broadly cast towards the entire community gender

    No, the slurs being flung about in response to requests for “treatment as humans with thoughts and emotions”, are not just ‘hate directed towards a person’. “Insults” insult ONLY the person (or feature) that’s actually your target; the responses to anyone daring to suggest that latent misogyny is something that should be addressed make it clear that women are to be held in contempt.

    And THAT is what many of the people complaining about FtB and Skepchick are ‘railing against’. They want to be able to use as “insults” slurs that vilify an entire group of people based on some biological feature, and to do it without having anyone complain about it. They want to be able to condescend to an entire group of people – in this particular case, women – and to do it without having anyone complain about it. They want to be able to treat women as something other than ‘people’, and to do it without having anyone complain about it.

    In short: they want to preserve their privilege at all costs.

    If you really want to be associated with people like that, you are welcome to them.

  168. 168
    Crys T

    “Actually, the cancer is being excised. It’s only the cancer cells who see this as a tragedy.”

    QFFT.

  169. 169
    consciousness razor

    joed:

    You’re the reason an atheist movement is unnecessary. Like you said, you can use reason and evidence to handle these problems yourself, since they all obviously occur inside the protective bubble you live in. I would say “good job,” but clearly you don’t need me or anyone else to give you any support.

  170. 170
    oolon

    …the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer

    As mentioned – atheism is a position on one question not a movement. It has been around since Epicurus and will continue quite nicely thank you.

    Why not look on the bright side rather than make bizarre malthusian statements? The people referenced in that link for that one country alone probably account for more atheists than those that read FtBs on a regular basis. So get some perspective and grow up.

  171. 171
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    mepmep09, excellent Kate Beaton reference. It’s both apt and well-timed.
    _____

    Congratulations to fenne and to Huntstoddard for successfully directing the conversation.

    A special mention must be made of Huntstoddard for devising a way to bring Paul Mason into the conversation without acknowledging his recent criminal and morally bankrupt behaviour so as to make a non-point about the state of affairs as regards women and the very controversial claim that they are people too.
    _____

    As for the article, I agree, except I won’t give up on the movement (such as it is), even if it is filled with bigots who discount the importance of LGBTQ activism (a significantly more important thing to me than scepticism or atheism as a gay man), anti-racism and feminism. At this point, I’ve got too much invested. Instead of giving up, I’m going to help to kick the bigots out.

  172. 172
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Can people please stop trying to describe the associated communities of atheists and atheism as anything other than a movement. It is a movement. There are conferences which like-minded people attend. There is out-reach and education about atheists and atheism. There are billboards. There is attempt to persuade people to critical thought about religion, about the question of the existence of god. People are changing their minds because of the activism of atheists.

    It’s a fucking movement. It’s also an answer to a very simple question, or the result of thoughtless, emotional outrage over religion.

    These aren’t mutually exclusive things. It’s as old as thought and it’s also a movement. Deal with it.

  173. 173
    Jasper of Maine

    I guess I don’t understand the “I don’t want to be part of the atheist movement anymore” thing.

    It sounds as silly as saying “I’m not going to believe in God anymore because I’m mad at him”

    Does that mean this person isn’t going to assist with secular issues, or promote skepticism? Well, that’s their prerogative. I guess the rest of us will carry your dead weight.

  174. 174
    consciousness razor

    As mentioned – atheism is a position on one question not a movement. It has been around since Epicurus and will continue quite nicely thank you.

    Epicurus wasn’t an atheist, and atheists existed before him. Epicurus thought certain beliefs about gods were false (as does every other religionist if they’re consistent) and for those reasons, believed gods didn’t need to be worshiped or feared.

    And the belief in a god or gods has never been about “one question.”

  175. 175
    Jasper of Maine

    When people say that the skeptical/atheist movement is “dying of cancer”, does that mean everyone is just going to stop fighting for secular issues because we disagree on harassment policies?

  176. 176
    oolon

    @conciousness razor, just using Epicurus as an example as how far back disbelief goes – maybe there are better but it is hard to know what Epicurus was especially as the famous atheist aphorism attributed to Epicurus may not be his/hers at all.

    I’m not convinced by Thomathy’s statement that atheism is a movement.

    movement: a group of people with a common ideology, esp a political or religious one. The organized action of such a group.

    Please point me to the atheist ideology? Given Jains are atheist in some sense I’d be surprised if you can find one that fits. Now secular humanism could be a movement, feminism is one so if you tack that on such as atheist-feminist movement I may agree.

  177. 177
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Does anyone have the slightest idea what huntstoddard is talking about?

    Its doing free-form concern trolling. Don’t expect sense. It doesn’t have any, or any evidence either. Just noisy hyperbole and wanking.

  178. 178
    joed

    @168 consciousness razor
    I can use all the help I can get! So please stick around so I can read your comments, use what you say for, perhaps, some introspection and I can learn too.

    “Like you said, you can use reason and evidence to handle these problems yourself, since they all obviously occur inside the protective bubble you live in…”
    Actually consciousness razor I didn’t say what your quote says I said. I said that i would try to understand the complaint or problem.
    And certainly, the problems not only, “occur inside the protective bubble you[I] live in but the problems are real and worldly and I want to at the very least be aware of my complicity in the problems and I think you do too!

  179. 179
    carlie

    It’s a fucking movement. It’s also an answer to a very simple question, or the result of thoughtless, emotional outrage over religion.

    Just like how evolution is a fact AND a theory! :)

  180. 180
    cehbeach

    Well that’s really the question isn’t it? Who the barbarians are depends on who you put the question to and their personal political beliefs. The ‘Old Guard’ Libertarians that have been ruling the roost for years see you and the Progressives as the barbarians at the gate. What’s funny is that both camps are wrong. Why they both fail is that both confuse their political values as objectively ‘rational’. Sorry, but no matter how much one believes they are in the right with their politics, it comes down to values. Values that are not purely rational, but based on subjective opinion. This is why Atheism and Skepticism fail as a vehicle for any political agenda

  181. 181
    ibbica

    Thomathy (171):

    That’s about the best explanation I’ve heard of “why” atheism should be considered a ‘movement’, so thanks for that.

    So, next step: How does one (er, or a group of ‘ones’) manage to remove or ostracize people from any movement, on the basis of something that isn’t directly related to the main issue around which the movement is based?

    i.e.: what can we do that would help eliminate (say) misogyny from an “atheist movement”?

    Unfortunately, I don’t think you can. You can’t very well insist that someone who doesn’t believe a god exists that they’re “not an atheist” because they’re also exhibiting misogynistic behaviour. I’d love someone to explain how I’m wrong in that, though.

  182. 182
    consciousness razor

    @conciousness razor, just using Epicurus as an example as how far back disbelief goes

    He isn’t an example of that, since he didn’t disbelieve in gods.

    maybe there are better but it is hard to know what Epicurus was

    We can read some of what Epicurus and later Epicureans wrote (or people who quoted or attributed arguments to them). If you did that, which isn’t hard, you’d know he was a polytheist.

    especially as the famous atheist aphorism attributed to Epicurus may not be his/hers at all.

    You mean the Epicurean paradox (a.k.a. the Euthyphro trilemma, from Platonic Socrates)? His argument is used by atheists today, but that doesn’t make him an atheist, any more than it makes Socrates or Plato or Hume an atheist.

  183. 183
    ibelieveindog

    You can’t very well insist that someone who doesn’t believe a god exists that they’re “not an atheist” because they’re also exhibiting misogynistic behaviour.

    No, but they certainly cannot claim to be freethinkers or humanists.

    I don’t want to be connected in the minds of others with “those” atheists. What’s to do?

  184. 184
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    It is easy to get rid of those you don’t want in a movement. Of course, we’ll always have straw-feminists.

    Make them pariahs. Make them unwanted. Make sure everyone knows what they’ve done and what they are and don’t stop talking about them. Most importantly, make them irrelevant. Don’t invite them to conferences as speakers or attendees. Make them feel unwelcomed when they do show up. Crowd out their views and their voices. Invite people you’d rather have as speakers and attendees.

    They’ll never go away entirely, but they can be made to be the nutty fringe.

  185. 185
    Socio-gen, something something...

    huntstoddard:

    The big house is probably going to need to hold its nose a bit, but if it’s inclusive it retains the capacity to change minds. If it’s closed, and guillotines everyone who doesn’t conform to a specific guideline, I think it’s going to move in a very different direction.

    Here’s the thing: If I have to choose between “holding my nose” and tolerating harassment of myself and others by supposed “allies”, or leaving the “big house” in order to reduce the amount of harassment and sexism I experience — guess which one I’m going to pick?

    I have no interest in a “movement” — atheist, green, whatever — that tells me my very real concerns are invalid, overblown, not serious enough to waste time on, not a big deal in “our” community, or are plain o’ “man-hating.” I refuse to accomodate people who think those speaking up are the problem and if we’d all just shut up, the “movement” could be more appealing to those outside it.

  186. 186
    Ingdigo Jump

    Of people want a place that wont moralize to them when they do wrong I shudder to imagine what it is they’re planning.

    How is that different from “my beliefs make me happy and its mean to correct me”. It is admitting our point that so called sceptics and atheists are not open minded, not rational, and are basically supremecists.

    I do not say anything to anyone here I do not expect my friends to say to me in the same situation. I have an understood standing Brutes Sanction where its understood that if one of us acts immoral it is to be addressed not overlooked. Because actually being right is more important to me than feeling right and actually being a decent person is more important than being the straw vulcan

  187. 187
    congaboy

    Jafafa Hots @87:

    I guess one would make a list of atheists with awful or good world-views.

    My point (and probably poorly made) was that just because a person claims he/she is an atheist, doesn’t also mean that person has a really good world-view. One problem I have seen on some blogs has been people becoming disappointed with other atheists who don’t share or up hold the admirer’s values or views. That is why I don’t see atheism as a movement; being an atheist is not predicate upon any other values or views, it just necessitates that one not believe in gods. I think that these authors who are abandoning the “atheist movement” have it wrong, because it appears that they feel that other atheists should share their world-view. This was the problem with inviting Phil Mason to FtB; he did not share or even understand the values of free thought. Once this was discovered, it should really come as no surprise that he could actually be a really nasty person. I think that atheists need to be aware that, on a Venn diagram, the only traits in common that many atheists will share are being an atheist and being Homo Sapiens.

  188. 188
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    oolon, you obtuse twit, the article and the OP are exactly about the intersection of social justice issues and atheism. The atheist movement is all about joining atheism up with any number of things, importantly education and out-reach. If there are atheist people concerned with the education of people in things like critical thinking or science and they have conferences and put up persuasive billboards and lobby for secularism and atheist rights and do it all while promoting, primarily, the fact that they don’t believe in god, it’s difficult to do anything other than to refer to these people as a belonging to a movement -the atheist movement.

    Mindless pedants (and their dictionary definitions) be damned as useless, of course there is no atheist ideology, it’s just that atheists and atheism don’t exist in a bloody vacuum.

    Good fuck, but you’re good at missing the point. It’s a fucking movement. Deal with it.

  189. 189
    Shoe

    @oolon
    “Atheist Movement” does not mean “Atheism.” Yes, atheism is a position on a question. The atheist movement is more than that. You don’t have to be part of the movement to be an atheist, at least in the literal sense (we may eventually envelope the term). Obviously. Like.. you realize you can be LGBT but not be part of LGBT movements, right? For example? Or be an indigenous person but not be part of an indigenous movement? Movements take their names from things but they are not necessarily those things. You seem to be confused because, for example, feminism is a movement by itself, and so a ‘feminist’ is someone in the feminist movement. This is not the case for atheism, or any number of other movements. The feminist movement was also called the women’s movement. If that had become the primary name, would you be sitting here also arguing “women aren’t a movement! They’re a single identity on a gender spectrum!!”?
    Come on.
    We do have an ideology and we push it actively. We’re a movement.

    @ibbica
    They can still be atheists, they just can’t be part of this movement. The atheist movement IS NOT atheism. If this movement gets bad enough, I’ll jump ship. I’ll still, oddly enough, be an atheist.

    Additionally, they could still consider themselves part of some atheist movement. We don’t have to accept them, though. There are horrible anti-trans monsters who call themselves feminists. We should reject, shame, and marginalize them. Same with these atheists.

  190. 190
    oolon

    @ibbica I think this is a good point

    i.e.: what can we do that would help eliminate (say) misogyny from an “atheist movement”?
    Unfortunately, I don’t think you can. You can’t very well insist that someone who doesn’t believe a god exists that they’re “not an atheist” because they’re also exhibiting misogynistic behaviour. I’d love someone to explain how I’m wrong in that, though.

    I’d say it is even more fine than that – given the so called ‘Atheist Movement’ is free of a clearly outlined ideology it is very hard to say who is in and who is out. Talking to the ‘slimepitters’ they were arguing that FtBs and Skepchicks are ‘Destroying the Atheist Movement’ because they are toting the ‘wrong’ brand of feminism. Apparently the ‘Atheist Movement’ is all about 2nd wave strong feminism (Or none at all) and FtBs/Skepchick are heretic 3rd wavers who should be expelled from the club.

    Such a loose term as atheist cannot be called a movement for reasons I gave in my comment #175 above. Or at least when it is there is an understandable amount of friction and misunderstanding about what the fuck it is and what its ideology is!

  191. 191
    mythbri

    Witch hunts and neck-shots and cancer, oh my!

    I understand the need for metaphors as a means of illustrating one’s position, but seriously – there are metaphors, and then there’s ridiculous rhetoric.

    I’m really tired of seeing the “both sides are just as bad!” equivocation, and the “well, you and your cause just lost me because my feelings are hurt!” and the “I’m tired of talking about this so please shut up so that it will be easier for me to ignore this” positions. There has been a lot of misrepresentation of views in this entire conversation, but it’s not split equally on both sides as some might think. In fact, the side that thinks anti-harassment policies are going to make it impossible for all people everywhere to get laid at cons is the one that’s blowing these arguments out of proportion.

    Do you know what I see when I look at the atheist/skeptic movement (and it is, more or less, a movement – they have gatherings and lobbyists and such)?

    I see this:

    Atheist Movement: Grumble grumble religion! Isn’t it terrible that they treat women so badly grumble separation of church and state grumble marriage equality grumble grumble. *Shakes head* It’s just so awful that their belief in God lets them rationalize terrible things. Grumble grumble rape and death threats against Jessica Alquist – those horrible Christians! That’s so wrong. Glad I never do anything like that grumble.

    (Within) Atheist Movement: Um, actually, Rebecca Watson and other prominent female atheist bloggers get rape and death threats all the time – and they’re not all from religious woo people, either. They’re coming from within the movement!

    Atheist Movement: Well that’s different because freeeeeeee speeeeeech and she was wrong and grumble grumble why do you think all men are rapists?!

    (Within) Atheist Movement: Also, we need to put some anti-harassment policies in place at our official gatherings so that everyone feels welcomed and supported.

    Atheist Movement: But grumble I’ll never be able to flirt or get laid again why are you denying everyone sex why do you think all men are rapists?!

    Look – regarding specific parts of specific anti-harassment policies, a conversation can be had. Constructive criticism can be given, considered, and changes can be made. Those are conversations I’m willing to have.

    The conversations that I’m not willing to have are the ones that center around questions like these:

    “Prove harassment actually happens. Are you sure she isn’t lying?”

    “Aren’t you the real sexists for talking about sexism? I don’t see gender.”

    “Why are you trying to ban rape jokes and misogynistic slurs?”

    “Why are you saying that we have to get written permission to talk to or flirt with or touch anyone?”

    “Isn’t it worse for one guy to be thrown out of a conference unjustly than ten women to be sexually harassed?”

    We’re not even close to the constructive part of this conversation, because there are a lot of people who reject the premise entirely.

  192. 192
    ibbica
    You can’t very well insist that someone who doesn’t believe a god exists that they’re “not an atheist” because they’re also exhibiting misogynistic behaviour.

    No, but they certainly cannot claim to be freethinkers or humanists.

    “Freethinking humanists” it is! At least, as long as we can get the word out about what ‘freethinking’ and ‘humanism’ actually mean… Is there some word that means a combination of those Because I’d *that* is a “movement” I’d like to be a part of.

    I don’t want to be connected in the minds of others with “those” atheists. What’s to do?

    I honestly don’t know that you can. Can you think about someone who identifies as ‘c/Christian’ without connecting them in your mind to your least-favourite sect? I’m back to identifying as ‘freethinking humanists’, or whatever the equivalent would be, I guess. I’m open to other suggestions, though.

  193. 193
    Louis

    Cehbeach,

    Atheism and scepticism are not vehicles for any political agenda. The social justice aspects of feminism and anti-racism etc are outgrowths of the same evidence based, rational processes that lead to scepticism, they’re not simply value judgements or subjective claims. It can be (and has been) demonstrated that the huge overlap of abilities between groups overwhelms the differences between them, it can be (and has been) demonstrated that there exist a number of social conditions that disproportionately affect one sub group over another. It’s not simply opinion that this happens, or simply politics that combating these conditions leads to certain (almost) universally desired conclusions.

    No one is claiming that some political ideal is perfectly objectively rational, or that feminism or other fields of social justice are completely without subjective or political elements, that’s facile crap. What is being claimed is that one can arrive at some of the conclusions of various social justice movements, and demonstrate the effects of them, independently of purely political or subjective concerns.

    I came to social justice and feminist issues THROUGH scepticism, as an example. Prior to that I hadn’t questioned my (relatively UK conservative) politics in a sceptical way at all. When I saw the paucity of evidence for certain ideas I held, I changed those ideas for better evidenced ones. I’ll do it again when better evidence comes along.

    That’s not to say I have no value judgements, of course I do, but within a given system of values the progress of any idea and the “fitness” of any system or claim is not merely subjective. To use a really simple example, if we, that is the “sceptical/atheist community” agree on the value that we wish to include a greater diversity of people under our umbrella, then it’s demonstrable that addressing concerns of under-represented subgroups is a superior way of doing that than ignoring those concerns. Obviously that’s fraught with complexity, how does one pick “representatives” of a group after all, but even given the imperfection and complexity of the tactic the tale of history across all societies studied shows that if we have that value in common, then there are better ways of achieving that desired diversity than others.

    Perfect objectivity and rationality is not possible, even for the most atheistic of sceptical Straw Vulcan sceptical atheists. That sort of perfection is something we can only tend towards, not reach. It’s an illusion, and to be honest, if anyone thinks they embody it they are deluding themselves. Honest, clear, humble dialogue can reveal shared values, we can use reason and evidence to feed back into and modify those values, so even though we have a provisional foundation, consistently questioning and examining it against observed reality is the best we can do. It’s a red herring, and untrue, to claim that simply because it isn’t perfect then all options are equally good/useful.

    Certain aspects of social conservatism are supported and encouraged by religious ideologies. In questioning the basis of those religious ideologies in fact, we also must question the basis of those socially conservative claims in fact. If they are demonstrably at odds with the observed facts, then no matter how derived, they are untrue. It doesn’t actually matter if Person A believes in idea X because of tradition or because of evidence, with respect to the truth of idea X. It matters to the process of getting ideas, but the truth value is not systemic in that way. A stopped clock can be right twice a day after all.

    If we are going to question the ideas of others, the validity of others’ ideas, then shouldn’t we also bend over backwards to question our own ideas? Of course we should! That’s why the sceptical/atheist position on any subject, including ones that impinge on politics, should always be an evolving, parsimonious, provisional one. False equivalences won’t get us anywhere.

    Louis

  194. 194
    oolon

    @Thomathy and Shoe — sorry missed your posts while I was ranting…

    I’m fine if the ‘Atheist Movement’ is defined by you to be this community… But I’m sure you will agree that is grating for some as you are taking a general term and saying FtBs is the true ‘Atheist Movement’

    @Shoe ->”Come on.
    We do have an ideology and we push it actively. We’re a movement.”

    Where is it! Really… Treating women as equals etc are all very general and I agree. Being against nutty MRAs and misogynism again I agree. Unfortunately a lot of the ERV lot do as well. So what makes this community of atheists different?

  195. 195
    Shoe

    @oolon
    …wait. The reason atheism can’t be a movement can be demonstrated in how second wave and third wave feminists argue within it, and therefore it’s too board? ….wouldn’t that also mean FEMINISM is not a movement, because second and third wavers clash and therefore feminism doesn’t have a well-enough defined ideology? Make sense.

  196. 196
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Shoe, I would hesitate to make this argument:

    Like.. you realize you can be LGBT but not be part of LGBT movements, right? For example?

    To illustrate the difference between any given atheist and the atheist movement.

    First, I don’t actually think it’s possible, except as an hypothetical isolated, closeted person, for anyone to not be part of the LGBTQ meta-movement. I’ve said as much here, too long ago now for me to bother finding it, so I will try to be concise in the following.

    We can see in the examples of celebrities, who, while perhaps exceptional cases, struggle, sometimes immensity, with coming out as gay, for example, exactly because they wanted to remain outside of an association with any ‘movement’. It is necessarily the case that an out person, given the current political and cultural climates across the world, is part of an LGBTQ movement at the very least passively; part of the a movement as an example of the people exemplified by media and wider culture as LGBTQ (obviously not always nor necessarily a good thing). It’s inescapable.

    I would argue the same is true of atheists. People don’t live in vacuums and not being ‘active’ in a community doesn’t make a person any less a part of it.

  197. 197
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    oolon, obtuse twit, I am not claiming that FtB is the atheism movement or the true atheist movement.

    I am saying that there is an atheist movement and that there isn’t just one (and not you’re very confused). I am also saying that you are a part of it.

    That must really grate if you thought that I was talking only about the community of bloggers and posters here as being the True Atheist Movement.

    I’ll get the fainting chesterfield ready for you.

  198. 198
    Pteryxx

    But I’m sure you will agree that is grating for some as you are taking a general term and saying FtBs is the true ‘Atheist Movement’

    no, they’re *disagreeing* with those who claim FtB is *destroying* the ‘Atheist Movement’. Keep the straw arguments straight please.

  199. 199
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    given the so called ‘Atheist Movement’ is free of a clearly outlined ideology it is very hard to say who is in and who is out.

    This is not the problem that you think it is.

    *JAZZ HANDS*

    (I never was subtle)

  200. 200
    oolon

    @Shoe… Well feminism was unfortunately my example but any disagreement across groups of atheists the same will apply. When one group says we are the Atheist Movement then other groups of atheists who may also be activists but disagree on crucial things like how important harassment policies are will start screaming.

    You may think in that example that you don’t care what ‘the other side’ think. But they make an argument that at times is hard to counter if FtBs philosophy is being set up as an exemplar for such a loosely aligned group as atheists.

  201. 201
    DLC

    I love the smell of burning straw man in the morning.

  202. 202
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Has anyone else read this post to which Liberal Will linked? Never was the saying “Christ, what an asshole” more appropriate.

    Generally: No, being an atheist is not contingent on being a decent human being, which is why I don’t give a fuck about the skeptic movement and I become less and less concerned with the fate of the atheist movement.

    Fenne:

    Thing is, skeptics and especially freethinkers, dont like to be told how they have to think.

    “Waaaah, mommy, you can’t make me eat my vegetables / pick up my room / poo in the potty instead of in my pants!!”

    Good to know Alex Agnew is a douchebag who will contribute to the ambient hatred and intolerance for GLBT people in society out of sheer annoyance. Why would I want to be on his side? He’s not on the side of GLBT people. He cares more about not being “annoyed” than he does about them enjoying their rights.

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

    If your rights aren’t the ones being fought for, it’s not your call, so shut the fuck up and step the fuck off. Asshole.

    cehbeach:

    What’s funny is that both camps are wrong. Why they both fail is that both confuse their political values as objectively ‘rational’. Sorry, but no matter how much one believes they are in the right with their politics, it comes down to values.

    Research data favors the progressives in any area of politics you want to discuss. At least, if your “values” favor a society in which everybody can participate and prosper, rather than one stratified rigidly by class, race, gender, sexual orientation/identity, and ability. The latter type of society is not merely unpleasant for people on the bottom. It’s unproductive; it costs the elites in security, subterfuge, and anxiety; and it’s inherently unstable.

  203. 203
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    oolon, it’s a good thing no one is claiming ownership of the atheist movement, then.

  204. 204
    Ingdigo Jump

    Good to know Alex Agnew is a douchebag who will contribute to the ambient hatred and intolerance for GLBT people in society out of sheer annoyance. Why would I want to be on his side? He’s not on the side of GLBT people. He cares more about not being “annoyed” than he does about them enjoying their rights.

    He is also a bigot. If someone decided that all this talk of ‘equal rights’ for the colored was something they agreed with but all the talk of it was annoying so in protest they burn a cross on their lawn, would anyone actually think that’s a reasonable or not bigoted act?

    Alex Agnew was offended by the idea that GLBT people exist.

    @Oolan

    I know there’s a veil of ignorance over new posters, but Oolan makes it hard to forget that he’s in my killfile for being absurdly dense

  205. 205
    consciousness razor

    My point (and probably poorly made) was that just because a person claims he/she is an atheist, doesn’t also mean that person has a really good world-view.

    Has anyone said otherwise?

    One problem I have seen on some blogs has been people becoming disappointed with other atheists who don’t share or up hold the admirer’s values or views.

    If an atheist believes in astrology or that slavery is good, should I not be disappointed? Is being disappointed in them the same thing as claiming “you’re not an atheist”?

    That is why I don’t see atheism as a movement; being an atheist is not predicate upon any other values or views, it just necessitates that one not believe in gods.

    If there’s an atheist movement, then it’s composed of human beings, not disembodied non-beliefs floating about in the ether. I’m not a non-belief in gods. I’m an atheist, which is to say I’m a person, and people ought to care about shit other than the nonexistence of gods. If they’re atheists, they of course don’t need to care about anything else in particular, but what the fuck does that have to do with anything?

    And why do people make this ridiculous dictionary atheist argument so fucking often? What the fuck is it supposed to accomplish?

  206. 206
    Ingdigo Jump

    What’s funny is that both camps are wrong. Why they both fail is that both confuse their political values as objectively ‘rational’. Sorry, but no matter how much one believes they are in the right with their politics, it comes down to values.

    If true this validates what I’ve been saying; the skeptic movement has failed utterly at their primary goal. If the only topics that can be addressed are those of little importance and not those of foundational necessity that it is roughly as important a goal as knitting.

  207. 207
    Pteryxx

    taking a better thought out try at this:

    Treating women as equals etc are all very general and I agree. Being against nutty MRAs and misogynism again I agree. Unfortunately a lot of the ERV lot do as well. So what makes this community of atheists different?

    Because this community is outspoken about it, instead of quietly and politely shutting up for fear of being too “in-your-face” and driving off sexism accommodationists. Basically, what’s good for Gnu Atheists is good for Gnu Social Justice. And there’s evidence backing this up, massive evidence showing that bigotry is often unconscious yet still does harm, that microaggressions add up and have real measurable consequences, and that NO level of politeness can ever be sufficient to avoid “you’re too rude/outspoken/in-your-face” silencing attempts. Remember the atheist billboards and bus signs that got banned because the WORD “atheist” was too controversial? Remember the congresswoman silenced for even saying the WORD “vagina” while discussing transvaginal ultrasound legislation? There is no middle ground to be had on this. Getting defensive about social justice is a proven silencing tactic, however sincerely and innocently you mean it, because that’s the mechanism of action of unconscious bigotry.

    Rapists will admit to raping as long as the scary word “rape” isn’t used. Abusers and victims will describe blatant abuse but not call it that in their own minds. “But I’m not a racist” is no excuse for anything. The only way to solve this problem requires self-examination to get past this cognitive fallacy that one’s own behavior can’t possibly be a contributing factor. It is, the research is there, being skeptical or rational (or a freethinker) absolutely requires acknowledging this on both community and personal levels.

  208. 208
    oolon

    @Thomathy, you and I agree there is no one Atheist Movement (I’m not convinced that is meaningful as a result but we disagree there) … When there are lots of different groups with lots of different priorities and philosophies who all claim to be part of the Atheist Movement you can see why poor souls such as myself get so confused? Probably just a semantic trap but one many seem to fall into. [Rests on chesterfield to take a break]

    @Ing if you can’t spell my nym properly then I’ll choose to not be too worried about being in your ‘killfile’ whatever that is ;-)

  209. 209
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    ChrisWorfolk, apparently he’s a trademarked nice guy. What an unfortunate case of being wrong.

  210. 210
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing:

    He is also a bigot.

    Yes, you are correct. Intent isn’t magic.

    If true this validates what I’ve been saying; the skeptic movement has failed utterly at their primary goal. If the only topics that can be addressed are those of little importance and not those of foundational necessity that it is roughly as important a goal as knitting.

    Correct again.

  211. 211
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    oolon,

    The way you are going, you could say that no social or political movement really exists or ever had existed. There are always people disagreeing with what any given movement or organization is supposed to be, they can form fractions if disagreements are serious enough, and so on. That doesn’t mean movements don’t exist. It just means that they are no set in stone, they are fluid. Goals change. Methods people are willing to use to achieve those goals change. People realize that things they thought were important really aren’t or aren’t important any more, or are outright wrong. They realize there are other important things that should fall under the umbrella of the movement. None of those things means that a movement is fake or that it shouldn’t exist.

  212. 212
    Inaji

    CR:

    And why do people make this ridiculous dictionary atheist argument so fucking often? What the fuck is it supposed to accomplish?

    An affected air of sniffy ennui?

  213. 213
    Ingdigo Jump

    Yes, you are correct. Intent isn’t magic.

    Can that even be applied when the intent is “fucking faggots ruined my neighborhood!”

  214. 214
    Shoe

    @Thomathy
    I understand that. Simply being out does assist in certain goals, largely because so much of the LGBTQ agenda simply consists of awareness and acceptance and the simple (‘simple’) act of being out helps both. And I wavered on giving that example for that reason. So I take your point.
    However, I was more speaking of those who actively participate in and identify as members of a movement, since that seems to be where we’re headed with the questions of “how do you kick someone out of an atheist movement when they’re still atheists?” and whatever. If someone wants to say “I’m an atheist and I don’t agree with the ideas pushed by this atheist movement/don’t want to be part of any momvement,” then, you know, my answer is “fine.” They don’t need to be part of it, beyond whatever way they may be passively part of it. And even if they do want to be active, we can still kick them out without making them stop being atheists. My point is that I don’t see this contradiction other people see with being an atheist but not being welcome in the broader movement due to being a horrible person.

  215. 215
    Anthony K

    He was talking about all the progressive people in his neighborhood. He quite agrees with them on a lot of issues (such as gays etc), but the problem is that they are súch in your face assholes about it. They all have signs on their windows that say ‘no hate straat’. Alex agrees, he prefers a no hate street. But all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves. So much so that he took a ‘no hate street’ sign, cut off the no and hung it by his window.

    What a fucking piece of shit.

  216. 216
    oolon

    @Beatrice thanks that is a good reductio ad absurdum to my argument. Whenever I see someone claiming FtB/skepchicks are destroying ‘the Atheist Movement’ – I’ll point out there is no such thing as FtBs et al represent ‘An’ Atheist Movement and if you don’t agree with it then fair enuff. @Pterryx gives a good summary at #206 and I find I agree with the specifics as well, so good to know I’m probably in the right place.

    Apart from agreeing with this FtBs Atheist Movement I don’t think I can be said to be a part of it as I contribute nothing. So thanks for clarifying and I’ll carry on shouting from the sidelines where appropriate.

  217. 217
    Ingdigo Jump

    Apart from agreeing with this FtBs Atheist Movement I don’t think I can be said to be a part of it as I contribute nothing.

    100% agreement

  218. 218
    cehbeach

    “At least, if your “values” favor a society in which everybody can participate and prosper, rather than one stratified rigidly by class, race, gender, sexual orientation/identity, and ability. The latter type of society is not merely unpleasant for people on the bottom. It’s unproductive; it costs the elites in security, subterfuge, and anxiety; and it’s inherently unstable.”

    Values I agree with by the way. But values all the same and it has nothing to do with being rational or objective. Sorry. You’re also being overly broad and not talking about specific POLICIES to achieve these aims. Not to be snarky, but your ‘on the side of angel’s’ proclamation of being for baskets full of cute puppies are not specific. Politics is when we get from the what to the how and that’s when the knives come out. Here’s an example. Do you support hate speech laws and sanctioning individuals for expressing unpopular and downright horrid opinions?

  219. 219
    AJ Milne

    Good to see:

    But also, re:

    I will disagree on one point, though. I will not give up on the atheism movement. I will not give up on the skeptic movement. They must change and the barbarians must back down…

    … and Ophelia’s (at the linked article) :

    I’m not letting the privilege gang having atheism though. I’m not leaving. I refuse.

    That also.

    These people are an embarrassment. I don’t like being linked to them; I don’t like being seen anywhere near them. The fact that people may now think when they think ‘atheist’ also ‘privileged, spectacularly dense, sexist asshat who whines entirely about the irrationality of others and never looks in the mirror but once to think about their own prejudices and those institutionalized within their own organizations and who doesn’t actually give a shit about social justice at the end of the day’ is actually pretty painful.

    Listen: I’ve endured some years of various fuckwads in this world assuming the worst about me because I identify as an unbeliever. It’s damned appalling having to take that shit in the larger context I know: ‘oh, you’re also a nihilist, then’, ‘oh, then, you also lie and rape and beat nuns and rob people, then’ or some damned thing…

    But as appalling as it is, at least I know: there’s no real reason for them to think that. Indeed, I know too well that’s really just an offshoot of the self-serving mythology about their own creed they imbibed at their daddy’s knee, and I can shove it back up their asses hard if I’m in the mood.

    But this sexism thing, this is another matter. I look at this noise, and I think to myself: y’know, were I coming from outside, I might easily start assuming that about unbelievers as default. There’s enough smoke, why wouldn’t you think there’s fire?

    And look, there is obviously some fire. There’s too much of this shit in the air around here. Elsewhere in the world–hell, anywhere in the world–people talk like this too much, and they’ve had the talk, had their chance to reconsider, I stop considering them friends. I wouldn’t hang out with people like that. I cannot consider people like that allies. It really doesn’t help me here much that they happen to agree with me about one blunt and incredibly obvious point of cosmology if they can’t move ‘emselves beyond this to draw certain other more important conclusions worth a damn, which, is what it seems to me, is the real problem here.

    So it’s tempting just to say to hell with it–I’m not posting anywhere where those shitheads spill their garbage, I’m not getting the stench of this anywhere near me, I’m not even letting myself be associated with net atheism, if there’s that much of that reek in it. To say: ‘Screw it; I’m out. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.’

    But listen, part of the whole damned point of my bothering to identify as atheist, and to stay somewhat public with the costs that has had (and it has had some, I fucking assure you) was it was a matter of conscience. Because I want people growing up in the here and now to know they have a choice, to know there’s others out there that think the same, to know they don’t have to go along in silence with the creeds they’re force-fed, they don’t have to shut up, they can speak their mind, they can speak their conscience. Because I felt alone and isolated on that, once, thought I just had no real choice.

    This is the same damned thing. I’m a feminist because of what I see, what is obvious, what any fucking idiot can see if they just open their fucking eyes. So I’m not going to go invisible on this either. I want others who feel the same, who see the same things–hell, who see that as part and parcel of the same thing that drove them to self-identify as atheist–for if you are honest enough with yourself to admit you know the gods are smoke and mirrors, you ought also to be able to face the assumptions and attitudes conscious and unconscious within and without yourself that have created this current mess–I want them to know I see it too, and that I’m with them in calling it out.

    So I’m still here. I’m staying. I guess we’re just going to have to see who dies out first.

  220. 220
    Ingdigo Jump

    But values all the same and it has nothing to do with being rational or objective.

    It’s this thought which is why I don’t want to be part of the skeptic movement. It is filled with people who fetishize amorality or reckless immorality as rational.

  221. 221
    mythbri

    @Shoe #213

    You know, it’s an interesting question about atheists being part of the movement or not. You don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist, and being a woman in and of itself isn’t enough to make you one. The anti-racism movement can have white allies, and being a person of color isn’t necessarily enough to be considered part of the movement, either. The LGBTQ movement is a little more complicated in that sense – just being “out” and visible goes a long way toward promoting acceptance and reducing the amount of “othering” that occurs – and yet there are still groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, which identify as “allies” to the part of the political spectrum actively denying LGBTQ people their rights.

    When it comes to the Atheist movement it becomes even trickier, because the goals of the Atheist movement tie in very closely with other social movements as well. Being an atheist is a position on the question of god/s, but what it means further than that is up to the individual. It would be impossible to “kick someone out” of the Atheist movement by forcing them to stop being an atheist, but it would be possible to ostracize an atheist for not being on board with the goals of the movement, whatever those end up being.

  222. 222
    Anthony K

    It would be impossible to “kick someone out” of the Atheist movement by forcing them to stop being an atheist, but it would be possible to ostracize an atheist for not being on board with the goals of the movement, whatever those end up being.

    Take a De Botton-type religiophile atheist, add in a large enough does of anti-Muslim bigotry that they support not secularism but Christianity as a state religion as a misguided defense, and there you are. An atheist who’s opposed to a common goal of the movement.

  223. 223
    David Marjanović

    Comment 17:

    If what you are trying to convey is that all of the US is pretty much like my old capitol, I don’t even want to be in the US.

    On the one hand, it’s true that such things are quite a bit worse in the US than where you probably come from.

    On the other hand, this very fact makes it very easy to ignore these problems, or even deny that they exist at all, where you come from and in places like it. They’re universal, and they’re not going away on their own; they’re just more blatant in the US of A – as a lot of things are.

    (That last point is for instance true of the atheist movement. Billboards? Is there a single atheist billboard on this continent?)

  224. 224
    ibbica

    They can still be atheists, they just can’t be part of this movement. The atheist movement IS NOT atheism. If this movement gets bad enough, I’ll jump ship. I’ll still, oddly enough, be an atheist.

    The label “atheist movement” that folks are choosing to use really does imply that “advancing the idea that gods don’t exist” is the only requisite for membership. What does it mean to be a ‘capital-A-Atheist’, if not ‘publically insisting that god doesn’t exist’? “Skeptic movement” seems a bit better, semantically, but then of course you lose the emphasis on ‘no gods’.

    I’m not just asking for the sake of asking here: I’m wondering if it’s possible for anyone to lay out a set of goals for their group to advance, as part and parcel of an “atheist” movement specifically.

    Is it worth setting aside the ‘atheist’ label in favour of ‘humanist’, ‘skeptic’, and/or ‘freethinker’? Or is this a battle to be fought on two fronts, trying to deal directly with both hyperskeptics and misogynistic atheists?

  225. 225
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I don’t know. Maybe if you could provide some kind of sequence of references to justify this, it might make some sense. To me it just seems like “defending those who harbor weapons of mass destruction…” or something, but I’m willing to admit that maybe I don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about.

    Well, that makes PERFECT sense. First you make the ridiculous, asinine comparison then run like a fucking coward from it when called on it.

    ++

    Actually, the cancer is being excised. It’s only the cancer cells who see this as a tragedy.

    Aahhhh, NOW I understand why he thinks people who say ‘women are people’ and won’t shut up cuz he tells them to shut up is akin to execution. It is the same thing, to a cancer cell.

    And nothing of value was lost.

  226. 226
    mythbri

    @cehbeach #217

    Values I agree with by the way. But values all the same and it has nothing to do with being rational or objective. Sorry. You’re also being overly broad and not talking about specific POLICIES to achieve these aims. Not to be snarky, but your ‘on the side of angel’s’ proclamation of being for baskets full of cute puppies are not specific. Politics is when we get from the what to the how and that’s when the knives come out. Here’s an example. Do you support hate speech laws and sanctioning individuals for expressing unpopular and downright horrid opinions?

    What is the use of rationality and objectivity if it has no bearing on the oppression of fellow human beings?

    And yes, this conversation has largely been about policy. Specifically, about anti-harassment policies. And the reaction to this very minor request that has multiple benefits to multiple parties (they protect the organization, give event-goers recourse in the case of harassment situations, and clarify the standard of behavior for everyone) has been hyper-skepticism. Doubt on the existence of harassment within the atheist/skeptic community, doubt regarding the relative importance of trying to alleviate it, doubt regarding the intended effect of these policies, etc.

    I don’t know where you’re from, so I don’t know what speech laws you are specifically referring to. But to my knowledge, this hasn’t been about the rule of law – it has been about bringing social censure to bear on people who direct hate speech, whether it’s at women, LGBTQ people, minorities, etc. Too many people have conflated “Freedom of Speech” with “Freedom from Criticism”, which is bullshit. I exercise my freedom of speech to make criticism where I think they are warranted. As another commenter said above, people want to say what they want, even if it’s hateful and destructive, without being called out on it.

  227. 227
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ fenne

    [Alex Agnew] So much so that he took a ‘no hate street’ sign, cut off the no and hung it by his window.

    Gillende geile gadverdamme, wat een vieze rukker!

  228. 228
    skeptifem

    re: radical feminism

    Nuns were called radical feminists by the vatican for trying to help people (instead of pushing an anti-gay anti-contraception agenda). It seems to just mean “too far” to most people.

    To me it has always meant rejecting gender essentialism and liberating women from patriarchal violence and oppression. There is a rift between radical feminists who are down with transwomen and ones who aren’t, a really shitty trend that I (and many other radical feminists) have spoken out against specifically. More thoughtful critique of that kind of bullshit would be most welcome, but it virtually never happens. Most of the inter-feminsm critique of radical feminist ideas focuses on sex work and pornography.

  229. 229
    cehbeach

    @mythbri
    Actually the even larger context is the using of Atheism/Skepticism for a particular political agenda/viewpoint. Note: I do not consider agenda to be a dirty word denoting nefariousness. A prime example is *some* Feminists promoting Patriarchal Theory. Sorry but that is NOT an objective or rational ‘sciency’ concept. It’s an opinion and a worldview. much like Libertarian political philosophy, most certainly not accepted by a large portion of people that consider themselves Atheists or Skeptics. It’s a political worldview. Please also note that ‘subjective =/= ‘wrong’.

    As for the argument over harassment policies, I have no sympathy for the fratboyologists that think having reasonable policies for safety is a threat to their towel snapping locker room shenannigans

  230. 230
    Paul

    Sorry but that is NOT an objective or rational ‘sciency’ concept. It’s an opinion and a worldview.

    Seriously, atheists are playing the “just a theory” card now? Here’s a tip. Studies can be provided to identify the existence and ramifications of “Patriarchial Theory” as you put it. All you have is “that’s just a theory, I don’t want to have to recognize any of my privilege”. If it’s not “objective or rational”, neither is evolutionary theory or gravitational theory. Until you provide a theory that better fits the available data, “just an opinion” or “not objective or rational” doesn’t fly and isn’t “objective or rational”.

    It’s not “just an opinion”. And the fact that it’s “most certainly not accepted by a large portion of people that consider themselves Atheists or Skeptics” has no bearing on whether it can be identified as emergent behavior. No more than EG demonstrates that there are no sexist problems in the skeptic/atheist spheres because a large portion of people think there are not.

  231. 231
    vaiyt

    @179:

    Well, if YOUR values include treating half of humanity as less than human, I am not afraid to say that you’re wrong and I want nothing to do with you.

  232. 232
    qwints

    mythbri 225

    What is the use of rationality and objectivity if it has no bearing on the oppression of fellow human beings?

    This is a non-sequitor.

    Increasing our knowledge of the world is an end in itself. Reducing the suffering of conscious beings is an end in itself. I embrace both values and, currently, see no conflict between the two.

    You conflate skepticism with denialism when you label the reaction of opponents to harassment policies as “hyper-skepticism.” Someone who’s reaction to “this behavior makes me uncomfortable” with “you’re wrong to feel uncomfortable” isn’t being a skeptic, they’re just denying an uncomfortable truth.

  233. 233
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Quinn Martindale, they are not in conflict. One is more important than the other, however, and one is a means to an end of the other. I think you know where to place the relevant nouns.

    The hyper-sceptics are denialists. It’s not conflation; they’re actually just doing scepticism wrong, the denial is where they end up.

  234. 234
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    mythbri and Shoe, yes.

  235. 235
    Pteryxx

    Quinn: “hyper-skepticism” refers specifically to disbelieving or denying that harassment exists, that it’s harmful, that it goes unreported, or any of the other demonstrable and researched facts that undermine the patriarchal mythology. It also may apply to denying a woman’s credibility without disproportionate calls for evidence. Saying “you’re wrong to feel uncomfortable about this” is just straight-up being an insensitive douche.

  236. 236
    cehbeach

    “Studies can be provided to identify the existence and ramifications of “Patriarchial Theory” as you put it.”

    Uh huh. Thanks for proving my point by using the classic ‘some studies’ line. Are you seriously putting PT on the same level as Evolution or QM? This is the same tactics that I’ve dealt with for years from Libertarians and Objectivists to promote their own politics as SCIENCE!

    Sorry but Patriarchal Theory is a POLITICAL tool to view everything from the heart break of psoriasis to climate change through the lens of gender politics. I find it to be extremely myopic and in some cases wanders right off of even the reservation of the political extremes.

    You’re entitled to your own (political) opinions, you’re not entitled to label them as facts and treat people that don’t agree with you as Creationists

  237. 237
    Nick Gotts

    Not realising there’s a middle ground (that might actually be the largest, but silent group) and immediately labelling anyone not part of one’s own (quite radical) group as part of a radical group on the other side of the spectrum. – fenne, fuckwitted privileged shithead

    Look you purulent carbuncle, you cited with evident approval a scumbag who puts up a sign “Hate Street” because “all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves”. That tells me all I need to know about him, and about you too: you don’t give a shit about people who are actually the target of hate, and you’ll whine about anyone who does making a simple gesture of solidarity with them.

  238. 238
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sorry but Patriarchal Theory is a POLITICAL tool

    Sorry, but no until you provide a citation backing this inane claim. Your word isn’t evidence.

  239. 239
    Paul

    Thanks for proving my point by using the classic ‘some studies’ line.

    Uh, yes, that’s how science works. You have a problem with them? Identify where they go wrong.

    <blockquoteYou’re entitled to your own (political) opinions, you’re not entitled to label them as facts and treat people that don’t agree with you as Creationists

    Get off the cross. I never called you a Creationist.

    You could have said ahead of time that you just want to play martyr, and that you’re not actually interested in discussing evidence. Have fun wanking, I have no interest in helping you out.

  240. 240
    Nick Gotts

    I find it to be extremely myopic and in some cases wanders right off of even the reservation of the political extremes. – cehbeach

    So, you’ll no doubt be able to summarise the main points of Patriarchal Theory, and cite the studies or critiques that show where it goes wrong. After all, a rational sceptic such as yourself would hardly make that sort of judgement without a sufficient knowledge of what they were criticising, would they?

  241. 241
    mythbri

    @Quinn Martindale #231

    My fault for not being clear, sorry. Taken on its own, it can indeed be read as a non-sequitor. However, it was in response to the idea that there is [category] rationality and objectivity [category] and then there is [category] value judgement [category], and one shall not have any bearing on the other. My question was regarding the assumed mutual exclusivity between the two. Rationality and objectivity can lead someone to a value judgement, after all – one that is informed by a skeptical process rather than being opposed to it. For example, feminism can be seen a skeptical reaction to the notion that women are inherently inferior to men, as well as a value judgement about inequality.

  242. 242
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Patriarchal Theory

    Doesn’t exist. Patriarchy, within feminist theory, is a useful concept and demonstrable social construction.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, cehbeach.

  243. 243
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Minor Correction, it (Patriarchal Theory) doesn’t exist as cehbeach imagines it to. It definitely exists otherwise.

  244. 244
    congaboy

    conscious razor @204:

    My point is that atheism means something very specific. Whereas claiming to be Humanist or Feminist or a Freethinker, encompasses a wider range of ethics and values. Atheism does not encompass any world-view, ethics, or value system. I did not agree with Richard Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter, Sam Harris’ views on profiling and other bigoted views, or Christopher Hitchens views about the Iraq war, but that doesn’t make their views on religion any less valid or any less an atheist. The “atheist movement,” if there really is such a thing, only deals with views on the belief in and influence of religion. One does not have to be a Feminist or Humanist or Freethinker to be an atheist. One does not have to be a good person to be an atheist. If Sam Harris’ bigotry against Muslims was because he disliked Islam, but he was fine with other religions, then he could very well be an awful atheist. But, if Sam Harris disbelieves in all religions equally, but is a bigot towards Muslims specifically, then perhaps he’s just not an enlightened individual. Perhaps, there could be categories for atheists; enlightened and unenlightened atheists or narrow-view and wide-view atheists, etc . . . Being mad, upset, or disappointed with someone who claims to be an atheist, but doesn’t hold some or all of your ethical views is like being mad at someone who claims to be an American, but doesn’t hold your political views. Being American means that you are a citizen of this country, it has nothing to do with any other values, ethics, or beliefs that you hold. If you are disappointed or disillusioned by another atheist, perhaps you should take a look at yourself and see whether you may have unfairly projected your beliefs and expectations upon that other person. Otherwise, when addressing the short-comings of other people, we should talk about those aspects of that people separate and apart from their atheism. i.e. “Richard Dawkins is a privileged white male. Sam Harris appears to be bigoted towards Muslims. Bill Maher is a woo-thinking misogynist,” etc . . . None of those things have anything to do with whether or not they believe in gods.

  245. 245
    Jadehawk

    You shouldn’t respectfully listen to someone who had the opportunity to consider them and didn’t, but is that the case? Did that discussion, which would probably have been very productive, ever happen?

    yes. it’s been happening for 3 years now within the atheist movement, and for decades before that.

    I’m specifically referring, as is readily apparent from the context of the question, to whether T-foot was allowed to respond to that before getting summarily axed.

    he got 3 of his dense posts in before getting fired. plenty of time to “respond”. Also, why are you operating under the false premise that this is a topic that hadn’t been addressed before TF wrote his ignorant posts?

    - – - – - -

    Thing is, skeptics and especially freethinkers, dont like to be told how they have to think.

    it’s really not our fault you lot didn’t grow out of the contrarian teenager stage of development, and therefore balk at people telling you about how reality functions.

    When just speaking for myself, I come here for facts, debunking,

    then you come here to be told how to think, but only on issues that don’t require you changing your mind to adjust to reality.

    If there’s any Belgian people here that saw Alex Agnew’s last show, he summmed it up nicely. He was talking about all the progressive people in his neighborhood. He quite agrees with them on a lot of issues (such as gays etc), but the problem is that they are súch in your face assholes about it. They all have signs on their windows that say ‘no hate straat’. Alex agrees, he prefers a no hate street. But all that ostentatious moral superiority, the smugness, gets hugely on his nerves. So much so that he took a ‘no hate street’ sign, cut off the no and hung it by his window.

    so basically he doesn’t like people who actually fight for their rights. and you think this is good? both of you are wastes of space. you’re the people MLK railed against when he wrote this:

    First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”;

    Don’t mean I don’t like all women.

    incidentally, neither sexism nor misogyny is “i don’t like all women”. misogyny is prejudice against women, sexism is discrimination against women. both of which can exist subconsciously. When dislike for one woman falls into a pre-existing pattern of discrimination and prejudice against women, it’s part of that pattern even if you prefer to deny that.

    Moderates get fed up and feel personally spoken to when they hear things like KG’s crap.

    “moderates” on issues of whether non-white non-dudes should be made more welcome in a movement that is currently presenting a “chilly climate” for them? what the fuck would that even be?

    Not realising there’s a middle ground

    again. the issue is whether women and racial minorities should be made welcome, or whether the movement should continue being a refuge for privileged white dudes and their fellow travelers. what middle ground can there possibly be? “let’s only make the movement comfortable for women and minorities as long as they’re not uppity and make me uncomfortable?”

    Social justice is a cause worth fighting for, definately. I just don’t like how it’s being fought here.

    They you don’t think Social Justice is worth fighting for, you think it’s worth politely asking for.

    - – - – - – -

    And while you’re doing it, realize that your little power-mad rant is another reason the “Atheist movement” is dying of cancer.

    Actually, the cancer is being excised. It’s only the cancer cells who see this as a tragedy.

    QFT. plus… if the movement dies when the cancer is removed, then that would be sad, but not really a good argument against excising the cancer. It just means the “patient” was too far gone to save.

    - – - – - – - –

    First, I don’t actually think it’s possible, except as an hypothetical isolated, closeted person, for anyone to not be part of the LGBTQ meta-movement.

    then you’re an idiot who’s never met many LGBTQ people in his life. There can even be LGBTQ folks who are actively against LGBTQ rights (pretty much every “ex-gay” falls into this category)

    - – - – - – - – -

    What’s funny is that both camps are wrong. Why they both fail is that both confuse their political values as objectively ‘rational’. Sorry, but no matter how much one believes they are in the right with their politics, it comes down to values.

    this is a boring lie perpetuated by those who can’t be bothered to think too deeply about their politics. While all ethical systems are based on a few axioms, most political positions are hypotheses about how the world works. In reality, some political positions are based on wishful thinking and reality denial, while others are supported by research.

    A prime example is *some* Feminists promoting Patriarchal Theory. Sorry but that is NOT an objective or rational ‘sciency’ concept.

    it’s as “sciency” as any hypothesis in the sciences, your ignorance of the sociology of gender notwithstanding. but thanks for outing yourself as someone in love with their own Dunning-Kruger Syndrome.

    much like Libertarian political philosophy,

    dude; libertarianism is empirically testable, and it’s empirically wrong about the world in the same way religion is. these are not just “opinions”.

  246. 246
    qwints

    @Pteryxx 234: I see now your earlier post linking to more on the term. Thanks! I still prefer the term denialism, but I see there’s no significant difference between the terms.

  247. 247
    Jadehawk

    Sorry but Patriarchal Theory is a POLITICAL tool to view everything from the heart break of psoriasis to climate change through the lens of gender politics.

    your ignorance on this topic is not a valid argument. having to bullshit and lie about it is even less so.

    You’re entitled to your own (political) opinions, you’re not entitled to label them as facts and treat people that don’t agree with you as Creationists

    actually, I’m very much entitled to treat deniers of well-researched social phenomena the same way I treat creationists and AGW-deniers; because they are the same.

  248. 248
    Paul

    actually, I’m very much entitled to treat deniers of well-researched social phenomena the same way I treat creationists and AGW-deniers; because they are the same.

    But you’re missing the point! They don’t believe that there exists a book that is infallible because it is written by God! They deserve a pat on the head, and you should definitely always make a point of recognizing how special and smart they are.

  249. 249
    Ingdigo Jump

    so basically he doesn’t like people who actually fight for their rights. and you think this is good? both of you are wastes of space. you’re the people MLK railed against when he wrote this:,

    No what Alex basically said is that he has no problem with gay people (he lets them use his bathroom) but he doesn’t want the queers talking or doing anything. If they get into his space at all (space defined by white hetero standards as “anything the light touches”) he’ll side with bigots over the queers. But he doesn’t hate queers..he just hates having to deal with them and having them around and would rather promote hate against them.

  250. 250
    Ingdigo Jump

    In other words another fucking bigot shit head who wants to not be a bigot by defining himself as an ally.

  251. 251
    Ingdigo Jump

    It’s as believable as a Klansman saying he’s obviously not bigoted because he just said he’s not racist!

  252. 252
    Pteryxx

    Quinn @245, you’re welcome. Hyper-skepticism’s definitely a form of denial, but it’s useful to refer to folks whose arguments consist of “but we’re SUPPOSED to be skeptics about this!” Er, no.

  253. 253
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Alex Agnew is indeed an active bigot. By putting up a “hate street” sign he didn’t just throw a peevish fit about perceived self-righteousness. He actively contributed to an environment of hostility against queers that can get them beaten, fired, or murdered.

    That’s not an ally. That’s not a progressive. That’s not moderate. It’s active hate. He is an enemy.

  254. 254
    vaiyt

    If someone wants to compromise on the idea that women are human beings, then I refuse to consider that person an ally. That’s the MINIMUM line I expect people to cross before I consider them to be on “my side”.

    I’m all for building bridges, but you can only extend them so far before you end up on the other side yourself. Compromise was the root of the horrible racial policies of my country, which make extremely hard even ADMITTING there is a problem.

  255. 255
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    About the history of atheism: I’d say it started with Gorgias, myself. These are from his (lost) pamphlet, On Nature or the Non-Existant (in response to Platonic idealism and religion, meant to demonstrate that ideal arguments are just as easily about nothing as they are about a perfect something):

    1. Nothing exists.

    2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it.

    3. Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.

    4. Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood.

    I’ve seen translations which state the premises this way:

    1. The gods do not exist.

    2. Even if they do exist, nothing can be known about them.

    3. Even if we manage to know something about them, we cannot communicate that knowledge.

    4. Even if we could communicate it, we have no way of understanding the concept.

    An important note thar is that his opposition was to the idea of perfect objectivity, which is implied by Platonic idealism and religion.

  256. 256
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    And, frankly, anyone who would allow the offense given by strong and angry discussions of privilege is too self-centered to be anyone I’m interested in being in a group with.

    Yer feelings about the facts, they are not as important as the existence of the facts.

  257. 257
    consciousness razor

    I did not agree with Richard Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter, Sam Harris’ views on profiling and other bigoted views, or Christopher Hitchens views about the Iraq war, but that doesn’t make their views on religion any less valid or any less an atheist.

    Once again, no one has claimed otherwise.

    If you are disappointed or disillusioned by another atheist, perhaps you should take a look at yourself and see whether you may have unfairly projected your beliefs and expectations upon that other person.

    What the fuck is unfair about wanting someone — anyone, atheist or theist — to be opposed to bigotry, or to other religious or pseudoscientific bullshit? Do you project your fucking beliefs and expectations on people every time you explain why they shouldn’t believe in gods?

  258. 258
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Also, Gorgias publicly took up the cause of Helen of Troy, who was damned as a slut who ruined a nation at the time (The Encomium of Helen), which I think makes him a relatively good role model for atheism.

  259. 259
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    In addition, he also took up the cause of relativism, noting that the power of words on the masses was both more powerful that that which the gods were supposed to have wielded and relative to the societies the speakers and audience were in, in the second and third centuries BCE.

    Atheism is not a new mode of thought, and is more than capable of accommodating feminism (also an old mode of thought) and the concerns of people of color (ditto) or people who are on the LGBT spectrum (ditto ditto).

  260. 260
    David Marjanović

    Can you think about someone who identifies as ‘c/Christian’ without connecting them in your mind to your least-favourite sect?

    Yes, because I grew up being a mostly harmless Christian like pretty much all the people around me. On the other hand, I can’t think of “freethinkers” without thinking of the wacky German conspiracy theorists that happened to be the first self-identified freethinkers I found on the Internet – their thoughts so free as to be entirely unconstrained by reality, their minds so open their brains had fallen out.

    It all depends on one’s prior experiences.

    Gillende geile gadverdamme, wat een vieze rukker!

    Why so many words? Alex Agnew is a troll by the strictest definition of that word: he says something, anything, just to annoy people, no matter whether he agrees with it or not.

    Meatspace isn’t somehow special when compared to the Internet.

  261. 261
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Jadehawk, fuck you. I’m not an idiot and I am categorically against your substance free dismissal of my explanation for why I believe as I do. You’re welcomed to respond with substance if you don’t consider me too much of an idiot who’s never met many LGBTQ people in his life.

    then you’re an idiot who’s never met many LGBTQ people in his life. There can even be LGBTQ folks who are actively against LGBTQ rights (pretty much every “ex-gay” falls into this category)

    I’m gay, Jadehawk. This isn’t news around here. Also not news is that I live in what is, quite possibly, the gayest place in North America. Further, you are making baseless assumptions about the breadth of the LGBTQ community with which I interact with daily and how many people who aren’t just gay men that I know. You can take those assumptions of yours and you can screw them with your dead porcupine.

    I think you’ve been unduly uncharitable to me and, for whatever reason, your assumptions really hurt me. Perhaps I’m feeling a little raw today, but something about your characterisation of me hurts quite deeply (however irrational it is to be upset over being characterised as someone who doesn’t live and breathe a gay world, being fully confronted with the vast diversity of the LGBTQ community daily and witnessing and dealing with, albeit it usually relatively light, bigotry from day-to-day and from time-to-time). I also think you’ve failed to parse what I was actually saying, as mentioned above.

    I wasn’t talking about people, even LGBTQ people, who actively work against the movement, was I? I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement. I even added the caveat that it may not always be a good thing when they are.

    But sure, I’m an idiot, I don’t know many LGBTQ people in real life and I’m not fully cognisant of the fact that even people who self-identify as some kind of queer are trying to hurt me and others like me. Thanks for that!

  262. 262
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Ing, from a long way up, #219

    But values all the same and it has nothing to do with being rational or objective.

    It’s this thought which is why I don’t want to be part of the skeptic movement. It is filled with people who fetishize amorality or reckless immorality as rational.

    This, this this*!

    I am not rational because I strive to be an atheist. I am an atheist because I strive to be rational. Atheism follows from rationality. It is not the only thing that rationality entails, though.
    I work with an atheist student group, and I talk with many nascent atheists, and I see some of what Ing describes as a plateau or for want of a better word, stage, in the development of their atheism. The shackles have been thrown off, and the world is now open to them in a way that it wasn’t before…, sex isn’t sin, your thoughts can’t condemn you, etc.
    But this epiphany may be confusing because much of the morality enforced by superstition is the same as the morality that people understand universally. It’s wrong to kill people unprovoked. It’s wrong to take without compensation. Etc. These are the babies** that can be lost with the bathwater.
    For many nascent atheists this is a very brief phase…a flicker. What follows is an appeal again to rationality– I do not believe. What now? A few people never really make this next step, and in their intellectual arrest are very dangerous, because as Ing says, they fetishize reckless immorality.

    Phase two is far simpler than phase one, and requires little subjectivity. I think people generally agree that fairness is an important value and should form the basis of morality and law. This is subjective. Doubtlessly. Yet few dispute it because it is so ingrained in any concept of what makes a human society functional.

    Rationality with fairness as a goal cannot help but support feminism!

    Sorry for babbling, but I see this so often and I particularly liked the way Ing articulated it.

    *You’re on fire today. Keep blazing!
    **Sweet, succulent babies.

  263. 263
    congaboy

    conscious razor @256:

    Actually, the author of “The 5 most awful atheists” article is saying that very thing (with the obvious exception of SE Cupp whom I believe is not really an atheist). So, there are people saying things similar to what I’ve expressed.

    I have never said that it is unfair to want people to be more enlightened, I said that it is unfair to project expectations upon others you don’t know and with whom you share nothing but a disbelief in gods. Perhaps I have made an incorrect inference from some of the blogs I’ve read, but it appeared to me that there is a growing number of people who have become dissatisfied or disappointed with what they perceive as an atheist movement, because some of the people calling themselves atheists don’t share their world-views. Take, for example, Phil Mason. I haven’t watched all of his videos or read all of his posts. So, I don’t know whether he made videos about how much he supports humanism, feminism, freethinking, or whether he ever expressed any of his world-views at all. Had he made such videos or posted such blogs and then FtB invited him to join their blog, but then Mason started to trash all or any of these world-views, then it is fair for FtB to be disappointed with Mason. He held himself out as something other than just an atheist. If Mason was invited on to FtB simply because he is an out spoken atheist and was never told that there were any other expectations of him other than being an atheist, then FtB may have unfairly projected expectations upon Mason. I am not defending Mason in any way and this is not a judgment as to whether FtB should have asked Mason to leave FtB. I am just talking about when it is fair or unfair to project expectations upon other people and he seemed to be a current topic with which I could try to make a point. So, yes there are times when it is unfair to project expectations upon others and then become angry with or disappointed in them when they don’t meet your projected expectations. This has nothing to do with liking them or not. This is about whether it is fair to expect them to act or behave in a manner of your choosing. My point is that simply calling one’s self an atheist projects no expectations other than a disbelief in gods.

  264. 264
    Pteryxx

    If Mason was invited on to FtB simply because he is an out spoken atheist and was never told that there were any other expectations of him other than being an atheist, then FtB may have unfairly projected expectations upon Mason.

    Well, yeah. The prior expectation was that TF was a decent, trustworthy human being. That’s more than fair; it’s a compliment.

  265. 265
    congaboy

    Pteryxx @263:

    Good point. And in thinking about the Mason incident, I seem to remember that PZ and Mason had many personal interactions. So, FtB’s expectations of Mason may very well have been completely justified. And Mason could have very well let them down. I just used that as an example from which to draw a few hypotheticals. Again, it was not meant to be a judgment or rehash of what may or may not have actually transpired.

  266. 266
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Again, it was not meant to be a judgment or rehash of what may or may not have actually transpired.

    Why hedge? We know what he did. He hacked into and stole information that wasn’t his and showed it to at least a few people.

    We know exactly what happened recently in regards to Phil Mason.

  267. 267
    joed

    conscious razor you may be conscious but you sure don’t seem aware of what people say in their comments.
    you accuse me of being in a bubble, well, it seems that what you say is what you are.
    How is it that you are so wrong?!

  268. 268
    Pteryxx

    Well, PZ knew how TF interacted with him; that is, with another educated, science-based, white male atheist. That’s one of the problems with bigotry in general – it’s set up to take advantage of the presumption of good faith. Whether PZ OUGHT to have known better, I assume has been hashed out in the backchannel. But recall that entitled types also tend to behave well towards those who have power and voice. My own guild got burned by one of these assholes, who I personally invited; but of course he always acted nice around ME – I was a guild leader. It’s an exploit in the system of trust.

  269. 269
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    My point is that simply calling one’s self an atheist projects no expectations other than a disbelief in gods.

    No one is talking about “simply calling one’s self an atheist”. The atheist movement is not about simply calling oneself atheist.

    There are implications.

    We just haven’t got those sorted yet.

  270. 270
    consciousness razor

    Actually, the author of “The 5 most awful atheists” article is saying that very thing (with the obvious exception of SE Cupp whom I believe is not really an atheist). So, there are people saying things similar to what I’ve expressed.

    You’re not arguing with him. But in fact, it’s obvious even in the title that the author is claiming that they are atheists.

    But then you claim SE Cupp isn’t an atheist, without citing any evidence. I don’t even know where to begin. You remember that conversation about the atheist movement we were going to have?

  271. 271
    congaboy

    Antiochus Epiphanes @269:

    Oh, okay. I’ll wait to see how things get sorted out and I’ll be prepared to retract whatever needs to be retracted at that time or say “told you so,” depending on how things shake out. In the mean time, we could use clarifying adjectives when describing atheists who possess less than desirable characteristics. (i.e. “Bill Maher, the woo-thinking, misogynist atheist, said . . .”)

  272. 272
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    *hatfloor*

    A person is not a movement, congaboy.

    You aren’t so much shifting the goalposts as rearranging the furniture.

  273. 273
    congaboy

    What I have been trying to say (and this will be my last post on the subject) is that I don’t think of atheism as a movement. I think of it as simply a lack of belief in gods. I could very well be wrong or clueless or whatever. If one is going to judge a person as an awful atheist based on things that have nothing to do with atheism, then I think the criticizer is off point. Saying someone is a bad or awful atheist is a critique of that person’s belief or disbelief in gods and not whether the person is bigoted, misogynist or whatever. As I have said from the beginning, whether a person is bad or good has nothing to do with being an atheist or atheism. And I said that I believe (right or wrong) that SE Cupp is not really an atheist. But, I have watched several videos of her talking about religion and atheism and I think that she is an awful atheist, because of her views on atheism and religion. I do not think she’s an awful atheist, because of her political or social views. Which is how we should critique atheists.

  274. 274
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    congaboy:
    Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Atheism is a movement.

    It is both of these things. They are related, but not the same.

    How movements are criticised is not the same as how people who are part of those movements are criticised.

    How we judge the atheist movement need have nothing to do with how absolutely its members disbelieve, but rather with how effectively it achieves its goals. There are good reasons that secularism is part of the atheist agenda. Many have argued (effectively, IMO) that feminism is a necessary part of secularism.

    What don’t you understand about this?

  275. 275
    congaboy

    Antiochus Epiphanes:

    Thank you. That makes things clearer. I see where I was mistaken. This also has helped me too:

    http://www.newatheistmovement.com/aboutus.htm

  276. 276
  277. 277
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    congaboy: No sweat. Now that I have done right by the world, I can start drinking. Laterz.

  278. 278
    consciousness razor

    Dictionary atheists are a movement …

    Made my day.

  279. 279
    tkreacher

    Guide to Conduct as a White Male Skeptic, Online edition:

    1. Freethought means Freedom* to think however you like (free… thought, duh) and spew those thoughts at others without receiving criticism, shunning or disassociation.
    a. *Freedom means that you can do whatever you want. If someone inhibits your ability to do whatever you want, including but not limited to: criticism of your words, actions, or ideas… ignoring your words, actions, or ideas… not actively supporting your words, actions, or ideas… not providing a platform for your words, actions, or ideas – they are banning you and are literally Nazi’s. Repeat this as many times as possible until it sinks it.

    2. Since you do not believe in gods or bigfoot, you are clearly never wrong, and your common sense is superior to evidence. Even evidence provided by other so-called “skeptics” who prove they are not skeptics by holding views contrary to your common sense.

    3. If something doesn’t affect you, it is not a problem that exists.
    a. If someone claims there is a problem that you do not experience, they are blowing something out of proportion. This is evidenced by you not being affected by the problem. Let them know that it really isn’t a problem, and they should be focusing more on bigfoot and Yahweh, real problems that actually exist.
    b. If it is a woman who is asserting there is a problem you do not experience, the problem is a result of her is being hysterical and over emotional. Be sure to point this out to her, so you may untwist her panties, calm her down, and make her a better skeptic.

    4. If the word “rape” appears anywhere on a web page, regardless of any of the words that may surround it, you are directly being accused of rape. Protect yourself against possible criminal charges by pointing out that you are being falsely accused of rape. Use all capital letters while you explain that you are being accused of rape to really make your point.

    5. So you can be readily identifiable by other skeptics, ensure you use a variant or combination of one or more of the following words: skeptic, reason, thinker, free, logic, critical, truth, and dude. Innovative methods are encouraged, ie: r3A50nDUDE for “reasondude”. As you can see this will demonstrate you are also proficient with internet skills like numbers and shift.

    6. If anyone disagrees with you and many of the White Male Skeptics you know, they are likely a victim of “Group Think” and “Hive Mind”. These are phenomena to which non-skeptics are very susceptible. They don’t understand the concept of Freedom and will therefore parrot whatever unreasonable thing they might hear multiple times. Be sure that you and all of your White Male Skeptics help rectify this malady by, whenever you see a number of people disagreeing with you, helping these unreasonable non-skeptics by telling them they are doing “Group Think”.

    This is particularly effective when all of you rush in and do it together. At once if you can.

    7. There is a common tactic non-skeptics use to attempt to befuddle you and win arguments: repeating what you say. This usually takes two forms.
    a. They may quote you, and then criticize what you have written directly.
    b. They may quote you, and then discuss the implications and/or ramifications of what you have written.

    This is a simple tactic to counter act. Repeat the word strawman vigorously and repeatedly. This is all that is necessary. You needn’t explain yourself; saying “strawman” is enough.

    You see, as we discussed earlier, anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, because common sense. As any skeptic knows, being wrong is known as logical fallacy. A strawman is a logical fallacy. Therefore if someone disagrees with you they are committing a strawman. Simple logic, but many don’t understand.

    So just repeat the word strawman until they understand.

    8. The more you pretend you are a Vulcan, the more correct you are. If someone is using curse words, or your common sense tells you they are “emotional”, they are not thinking rationally and are wrong. Emotion equals wrong – this is just simple logic.

    You therefore can, and should, ignore an argument if it contains anything resembling emotion. And you should point out that the non-skeptic needs to calm down and relax.

    It should be noted that it isn’t just women that are prone to emotion. You need to be wary of this phenomena when dealing with even male non-skeptics.

    9. “Privilege” doesn’t exist. If it did, being White Male Skeptics, our common sense would have seen it. If someone uses the word privilege they are directly calling you racist, a rapist, a rape apologist, misogynistic, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, wealthy, selfish, and the inheritor of an easy life completely without struggle.

    Be sure to immediately disregard further discussion and repeatedly defend yourself against these vile accusations to the exclusion of anything else.

    10. Since you are a White Male Skeptic and therefore always right, you needn’t actually engage non-skeptics in unnecessarily long discussion. The most useful method of combating non-skeptics is to follow a fellow White Male skeptics youtube, twitter or blog, and whenever you see that a person or group of people disagree with you:
    * Rush to the blog, twitter or youtube channel in question
    * Do not wast time reading/watching the content in question, or any of the comments that follow, as they are certainly wrong
    * Use any of the relevant techniques detailed above (calling strawman, pointing out you aren’t a rapist, letting people know they are hysterical, ect)
    * Leave before further hysterics ensue
    * Return at a later date and repeat what you previously said
    * Repeat entire process until the non-skeptics are logical

    I know this isn’t easy guys. It is very annoying to have to deal with people who are irrational. But we must remain strong and on mission.

    Bigfoot and god aren’t going to disprove themselves.

  280. 280
    huntstoddard

    In your opinion, is it more important or less important than the rape and death threats that outspoken women receive?

    It’s always fun when the “have you stopped beating your wife?” question rears its ugly head, in one guise or another.

  281. 281
    Feats of Cats

    @tkreacher

    Beautifully done.

  282. 282
    huntstoddard

    We’re not even close to the constructive part of this conversation, because there are a lot of people who reject the premise entirely.

    There no need for a constructive conversation. Bullets in the neck are very convincing.

  283. 283
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There no need for a constructive conversation. Bullets in the neck are very convincing.

    Typical MRA. Loudmouthed and abusive. Evidenceless and dumb.

  284. 284
    Pteryxx

    And this one started out sounding all reasonable, before the mass-execution fantasies. Like THAT’s never been seen to happen before.

  285. 285
  286. 286
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    tkreacher @279 for Mollie! Errr, quote of the month? Whatever we’re going to have.

  287. 287
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    This thread is moving fast, but this might also be of help, congaboy:

    The title of that article could be read as “5 people who are atheists and awful” or “5 people who are atheists but are awful representatives of the atheist movement”. It doesn’t necessarily have to be read “5 people who are awful at not accepting god claims”.

    Also, why are you so intent on denying there is an atheist movement? There are organizations, billboards, activists, conventions, lobbyists, fundraising, outreach, recruiting, and, yes, even an ideology and an agenda. What’s missing? (Recap: hat’s two questions: how is it not a movement, and why do you want to deny it?)

  288. 288
    huntstoddard

    Nerd of Redhead, McCarthyist Douche

  289. 289
    mythbri

    @huntstoddard #288

    Since you quoted me, you’re welcome to explain how my words are exactly like a bullet to the back of the neck. Feel free to further explain how it dumps your body in a quarry.

  290. 290
    carlie

    If you’re willing to toss an entire group of people under the bus just because they hurt your feelings, you are not an ally of any kind. How is this a difficult concept?

    I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement.

    Tomathy, I honestly don’t understand what you mean by this. Do you mean that people who are out will be automatically lumped by straight people as part of the movement whether they want to be or not?

  291. 291
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    Bullets in the neck are very convincing.

    Please provide a list of those who have had been silenced by a ‘bullet in the neck’ – either figurative or literal. Because, if you hadn’t noticed, Tf00t has continued to blog and make YouTube videos pretty much constantly since he was banned fired from here.

  292. 292
    huntstoddard

    mythbri,
    I agreed with your comment, it’s just that, to continue the metaphor, you can’t have a conversation with a dead guy. The Nerd now thinks I’m MRA, which I am not now, nor ever have been… People here are wondering why certain conversations never happen/ed. Yeah, maybe because you hit your interlocutor’s teeth in with a baseball bat. That is my full objection, though (surprise!) a lot of people here can’t quite bring themselves to believe it. There’s got to be an ulterior motive. He’s hiding something. He’s got an agenda. He thinks sexual harassment is bullshit. I thought I caught the whiff of MRA. Once the words are spoken, he is already suspect. After all, if he wasn’t MRA, then why would someone accuse him? Surely, to be safe, we should treat him as MRA until he shows otherwise, which he probably won’t…because he’s GUILTY! Damn it. He is unclean. Like in The Thing, he’s going to suddenly split in half and JohnTheOther is going to come out of him.

  293. 293
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nerd of Redhead, McCarthyist Douche

    huntstoddard, abject slack-jawed fuckwitted idjit. Try leading with evidence, not opinion. Oops, that’s right, you MRA noisemakers have no evidence. None presented by one of you loudmouth arrogant fuckwits since before elevatorgate. Most be a character defect….

  294. 294
    strange gods before me ॐ

    About 16.7 hours ago I said

    “huntstoddard, I think you’re making a bigger deal of this than you need to.”

  295. 295
    SallyStrange

    People here are wondering why certain conversations never happen/ed. Yeah, maybe because you hit your interlocutor’s teeth in with a baseball bat. That is my full objection, though (surprise!) a lot of people here can’t quite bring themselves to believe it.

    Oh, I have no trouble believing that that’s your claim. It’s just that I dismiss your claim because it’s illogical and you haven’t presented evidence.

    And you are pretending that having your claim dismissed is just like being shot and killed.

    That’s just stupid.

  296. 296
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard:

    Yeah, maybe because you hit your interlocutor’s teeth in with a baseball bat

    For fuck’s sake, stop using misleading hyperbolic analogies. No-one has been shot, killed, bashed, murdered, buried, butchered, slaughtered, strangled, decapitated, beaten, slugged, flayed, defenestrated or as much as even fucking slapped.

    To keep using such terms is dishonest and misleading, and – most importantly – it makes you look like a stupid fucking asshole who doesn’t understand how blogs work.

  297. 297
    Ingdigo Jump

    I think I hear the hyperoble police speeding along to drag someone off to Exagetraz

  298. 298
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The Nerd now thinks I’m MRA, which I am not now, nor ever have been

    Citation needed, your words say otherwise….

  299. 299
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gee, why doesn’t one person who wants a dialog, say “this is what I believe, and this (link) is the evidence to back it up“. Gee, not one who wants a dialog has done that, they just farted their EVIDENCELESS OPINION.

  300. 300
    Jadehawk

    I wasn’t talking about people, even LGBTQ people, who actively work against the movement, was I? I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement.

    and you’re still wrong. there are out gay people working against LGBTQ rights, and out gay people who don’t do shit either way.

    as to the rest… I’ve been too charitable to you. I assumed idiocy because of ignorance based on complete lack of familiarity with a certain large and diverse group of people. Considering who and where you are, you have no such excuse for your unrealistic beliefs then.

  301. 301
    Jadehawk

    I wasn’t talking about people, even LGBTQ people, who actively work against the movement, was I? I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement.

    in fact, you contradict yourself right there, when you admit there are gay people working against the movement. or do you think those are all still (or back) in the closet?

  302. 302
    Jadehawk

    actually, no, I give up trying to find anything coherent in your post altogether. how do the two following bits not actively contradict each other?

    I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement. [...]

    the fact that even people who self-identify as some kind of queer are trying to hurt me and others like me[...]

    However, I am sorry that my claim about your personal knowledge of LGBTQ people was hurtful. I failed to imagine someone who isn’t ignorant of the variety of LGBTQ people, yet insist that they’re all part of the LGBTQ movement. clearly, I was wrong.

  303. 303
    mythbri

    @huntstoddard @292

    The reason I don’t think that we’re at the point where we can start having new conversations is that people insist on having the old ones. Do you know how many times Elevatorgate has been discussed, brought up, discussed, brought up, discussed, brought up, discussed and brought up again and again and again and again and again.

    People are prioritizing their “right” to use misogynistic slurs, to joke about rape, to dismiss the real concerns of women in the movement and women in general.

    I know that I, personally, feel like Sisyphus. No matter how long or far I keep rolling this boulder uphill, it comes crashing down and I have to do the same work I’ve already done over and over.

    You want to talk specifics? Awesome! I would love to talk specifics. Let’s talk about how to improve anti-harassment policies that are being adopted by various atheist organizations. Let’s talk about other ways we can attract women to the movement, by offering child care during events. But let’s not have – AGAIN – the conversation about whether these policies, versions of which can be found literally EVERYWHERE, are even necessary.

    So please: talk specific to me.

  304. 304
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    mythbri wrote:

    So please: talk specific to me.

    Oh my god! You just decapitated huntstoddard, stuffed his headless body in a trunk and threw it into the Atlantic weighed down with chains.

  305. 305
    mythbri

    @Wowbagger #304

    *Ominous voice* And you, as a witness, are NEXT.

  306. 306
    Anthony K

    Yeah, maybe because you hit your interlocutor’s teeth in with a baseball bat. That is my full objection, though (surprise!) a lot of people here can’t quite bring themselves to believe it.

    Probably because people who’ve been shot in the back of the head or hit with a baseball bat don’t continue to comment.

    There’s a vast different between debilitating or fatal physical attacks and blog commenting, though there are many who can’t bring themselves to believe it.

  307. 307
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Brownian wrote:

    There’s a vast different between debilitating or fatal physical attacks and blog commenting, though there are many who can’t bring themselves to believe it.

    I remain skeptical of this claim.

  308. 308
    PatrickG

    @ tkreacher

    I know others have said similar things, but you just won so many fucking internets, you broke the damn internets. Still chuckling as I write this (in a morbid way, of course).

  309. 309
    Amphiox
    In your opinion, is it more important or less important than the rape and death threats that outspoken women receive?

    It’s always fun when the “have you stopped beating your wife?” question rears its ugly head, in one guise or another.

    The question asked is about as similar and relevant to the question “have you stopped beating your wife” as a blog post has to a bullet to the neck.

    ie, NONE.

    Poor, poor huntstoddard. He must be chained in front of his computer, which has been rigged to shock him every time someone makes an unfavorable internet post about him.

    It’s the only explanation that doesn’t involve deliberate dishonesty.

  310. 310
    huntstoddard

    or fuck’s sake, stop using misleading hyperbolic analogies.

    OK, no more hyperbolic imagery. See, I can make concessions too.

    Because, if you hadn’t noticed, Tf00t has continued to blog and make YouTube videos pretty much constantly since he was banned fired from here.

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that everyone here agreed that Tfoot had been truly egregiously treated, banned/fired whatever, sent back to his blog and vlog. Then you stepped in to defend that action by saying, no, he’s actually back at his blog spouting away, notwithstanding the fact that he was now unhinged with rage over how he was treated. Your point makes about as much sense.

    So please: talk specific to me.

    I’m still in the meta, meta level discussion and so are a lot of people like T-foot sympathizers. To think that it doesn’t matter how we got to a good position with respect to having harassment policies instated is a utilitarian perspective that I don’t necessarily agree with. There are a lot of bodies lying around hurt feelings and bruised egos. The wounds are deep. These people may not return even if they later decide they were wrong. Even from the utilitarian perspective, given that that seems to be the overarching principle here, was that a smart way to conduct things?

  311. 311
    PZ Myers

    “T-foot sympathizers”? I don’t think you understand.

    Fuck Thunderf00t. He’s no longer a member of our network. We don’t care what his “sympathizers” say, they have no say whatsoever in how we run the show here.

    As for those people who have “hurt feelings and bruised egos” because we booted a narcissistic asshole off our network…fuck them, too. They can go whine in a cesspit somewhere.

  312. 312
    mythbri

    @hunstoddard #310

    I remain unmoved, sorry. So what? So what if the people who took a strong stance against the need for anti-harassment policies are having second thoughts but are too proud to admit they were mistaken, and perhaps acted like assholes?

    If I act like an asshole, I deserve and expect to be called on it. Then I make the decision on whether or not to change my behavior.

    Why would they need any kind of apology or concession from their opposition in this discussion? No one’s forcing them to come back here, if they were here in the first place. No one’s preventing them from coming back here, for that matter. And the thing about scary, scary Pharyngula is that good arguments and intellectual honesty are respected, as is the ability to admit fault. But no one’s even asking for that, either.

    Honestly, I’d be satisfied if the opposition just petered out and stopped actively working against the people who are trying to make the movement more welcoming to women and minorities. I don’t need to hear another word from them about it, ever. But I’ll be damned to non-existent Hell before I apologize for standing up for what I believe is right, instead of reaching across a bridge that was burned by the people who chose to cross it.

    So yeah. Screw Thunderf00t. I don’t care about him.

  313. 313
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    Then you stepped in to defend that action by saying, no, he’s actually back at his blog spouting away, notwithstanding the fact that he was now unhinged with rage over how he was treated. Your point makes about as much sense.

    No, dumbass, wrong again.

    You implied with your ‘bullet in the back of the head’ line that he’d somehow been permanently silenced.

    He has not been permanently silenced; on the contrary, he appears to be busier ranting against FTB than he ever was against plucking the low-hanging fruit that is creationism, to the applause of a platoon of easily impressed, self-satisfied dingbats for whom realising gods aren’t real is both the pinnacle of intellectual achievement and a justification for never having to think deeply about anything else – especially not social justice.

  314. 314
    Ingdigo Jump

    huntsoddard’s metaphors are shitty much like a thing with a thing that it is bad at

  315. 315
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your point makes about as much sense.

    You don’t have a point. That is your problem. What’s done is done. End of story. Get over it. Move on. We did weeks ago since we aren’t abject losers holding a grudge.

    I’m still in the meta, meta level discussion and so are a lot of people like T-foot sympathizers.

    No, you’re whining and whinging like abject losers, not adults who understand the situation. Fired is fired. Go sob at TF’s blogs, not here, where the other immature whiny folks hang out. We’ve moved on.

    And still not one iota of third party academic evidence to show TF’s ideas were right. That is the problem…

  316. 316
    Anri

    Ah, they’re back.

    huntstoddard:

    You shouldn’t respectfully listen to someone who had the opportunity to consider them and didn’t, but is that the case?

    I do not particularly respect the opinions of someone who has considered the concept of women being full human being and disagreed, no.
    Likewise, I don’t think I am obligated to give much weight at all to someone who is willing to have an opinion on the subject without giving it any thought.

    Do you disagree?

    Did that discussion, which would probably have been very productive, ever happen?

    I’m sorry, are you seriously asking if discussions of feminism have ever occurred on freethoughtblogs? Or on this blog?

    “Ye’d best start believin’ in feminist discussions matey – yer in one!

    Anri, relax, it’s hyperbole.

    In this case, I’m not really certain what’s more irritating – the rank hypocrisy of someone vilifying the level of hyperbole and then cowering behind it themselves, or someone telling me to ‘relax’ about the very real problems women face in the real world.
    Flat dishonesty or smug privilege-airing? Which is more repugnant? The World May Never Know.

  317. 317
  318. 318
    huntstoddard

    Fuck Thunderf00t. He’s no longer a member of our network. We don’t care what his “sympathizers” say, they have no say whatsoever in how we run the show here.

    Yeah, I think I got that from your post. Well, good luck with the strongman approach.

    What’s done is done. End of story. Get over it. Move on. We did weeks ago since we aren’t abject losers holding a grudge.

    Yes, it’s water under the bridge, for better or worse. I can tell you’re so over it.

    In this case, I’m not really certain what’s more irritating – the rank hypocrisy of someone vilifying the level of hyperbole and then cowering behind it themselves, or someone telling me to ‘relax’ about the very real problems women face in the real world.

    I told you to relax regarding my use of violent hyperbole, used as metaphor! which is NOT abuse, as someone implied, at least for anyone who understands the difference between reality and imagery. This is the kind of disingenuous blog crap that drives people to distraction. I didn’t even obliquely reference your concerns over the real problems women face. I stopped with the hyperbole because even I was getting tired of it.

  319. 319
    hyperdeath

    huntstoddard:

    In your opinion, is it more important or less important than the rape and death threats that outspoken women receive?

    It’s always fun when the “have you stopped beating your wife?” question rears its ugly head, in one guise or another.

    How is the “have you stopped beating your wife?” cliché at all relevant to what I wrote? The answer “less important” is a perfectly valid option, that doesn’t implicate you in any way.

    I’ll rephrase my question is a way less amenable to ridiculous attempts at evasion: Regarding things damaging the atheist movement, how would you rate the relative importance of people like you being told to fuck off, and outspoken women being bombarded with rape and death threats?

  320. 320
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yes, it’s water under the bridge, for better or worse. I can tell you’re so over it.

    As you and your fellow immature fuckwitted MRA idjits should be too. You won’t change a thing. Reality and you are strangers.

    Well, good luck with the strongman approach.

    Who the fuck cares what an abject and immature fuckwitted idjit like you thinks? You don’t think. You shriek like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, spouting the same type of irrational nonsense over and over at the top of your lungs. Mature discussion can’t result from such behavior.

    Mature discussion requires you to find evidence to back up your OPINION. Not one of TF’s defenders has shown any evidence to back up TFs inane OPINIONS dismissing of women’s concerns. So you have lost the discussion before it even starts, as you have nothing rational to hang your argument on.

  321. 321
    insipidmoniker, 37th Emu of the Mild Dyspepsia

    Wait, you mean I’m not just expected to be ‘against sexism’ in some vague and nebulous way, but that I’ll actually be expected to modify my behavior and speech to reflect the positions that I supposedly hold? You assholes!

    Gah, the Hate Street thing makes me wince. It’s a precise example of the kind of privileged bullshit that I’m all too susceptible to. Well, it doesn’t offend straight, cis, white, male me so anyone complaining MUST be oversensitive! Those other pretentious jerks are actually trying to DO something that makes the LGTBQ people feel welcome! What losers!

  322. 322
    vaiyt

    Hey, huntstoddard, why don’t you go ask Mason to build bridges with creationists? Maybe if him and his lot compromised on god creating some things, you wouldn’t have to fight. Think of how much bigger would his following be!

  323. 323
    huntstoddard

    Yes, people “like me”… good, good. This time I see you’ve designed the cattle shoot to go right down to the kill room. No, I don’t beat my wife, I mean yes, I’ve stopped, I mean…

  324. 324
    Louis

    PZ Myers, #311,

    I am sorry but your comment was too moderate and subtle. You must be at least this {__________} mean to go on the ride. Please become a lot meaner. Hiding behind innuendo and hyperbole cannot be good for you. Come out and say what you MEAN, man!

    ;-)

    Louis

  325. 325
    huntstoddard

    Mature discussion requires you to find evidence to back up your OPINION.

    You’re exhibit A, as far as I’m concerned. Why would I need anything else?

  326. 326
    vaiyt

    Why does huntstoddard keep blabbering even after being persecuted, maimed, shot and dumped in the gutter?

    We must be the worst totalitarian regime ever.

  327. 327
    Louis

    Vaiyt,

    It’s like villains in horror movies. Tone trolls never really die, they endlessly resurrect and keep droning on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and…

    Louis

  328. 328
    huntstoddard

    Dumped in a quarry, you mean. I don’t know. I have a couple minutes to kill… PZ pretty much closed the case. He wants to play Caligula, so whatever. I’ll be the first one to nudge him onto the battlefield with a plastic sword and beach towel toga.

  329. 329
    Anri

    I told you to relax regarding my use of violent hyperbole, used as metaphor!

    Very well – I’ll drop the assumption of privilege and keep what sticks, the rank hypocrisy of complaining about overblown rhetoric while engaging in it yourself.

    which is NOT abuse, as someone implied, at least for anyone who understands the difference between reality and imagery. This is the kind of disingenuous blog crap that drives people to distraction.

    And what’s truly cruel is we’ve sealed off the exits!

    (whispers offstage) We haven’t?
    (whispers) Free to leave whenever they like?
    Oh… never mind, then.

    I didn’t even obliquely reference your concerns over the real problems women face.

    Hmm, yes, I’ve noticed that.
    As far as I can tell, you haven’t bothered to deal with real issues women face at all, in fact.
    You could do that, I suppose… but naw, it’s lots more fun to whine about the way other people are writing on the internet.

    I stopped with the hyperbole because even I was getting tired of it.

    Not because it was pointed out to you that engaging in the exact behavior you were complaining about makes you look like a fool?
    Ok, well, that lesson will have to wait for next time, I suppose.

  330. 330
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard:

    @310: “OK, no more hyperbolic imagery. See, I can make concessions too.”

    @328: “Dumped in a quarry, you mean. I don’t know. I have a couple minutes to kill… PZ pretty much closed the case. He wants to play Caligula, so whatever. I’ll be the first one to nudge him onto the battlefield with a plastic sword and beach towel toga.”

    (Your credibility index is abysmal)

  331. 331
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You’re exhibit A, as far as I’m concerned.

    No, you are exhibit A for unevidenced fuckwittery and immature discussion. As you have no reasonable argument of why I’m exhibit A for anything, as you present no argument or evidence. Just inane and fuckwitted shrieking thinking your immature OPINION means something.

  332. 332
    PZ Myers

    Would it be the “strong man approach” and Caligula-like if you had a party at your house, someone started rudely gnawing on the guest’s legs, and you threw them out? Would you then mind if a mob showed up at your door — a mob of like-minded assholes — and they started howling at you to let the leg-gnawer in again, not caring that it is your house and your party?

    Yes, we’re over it. No one is having any second thoughts about kicking that jerk out, and his current behavior confirms that we want nothing to do with him. The bloggers here are not having a debate on the back channel about bringing him back. There were no reservations at the time we kicked him out — the only arguments were “Now? Or after the weekend?” (“Now” won).

    I don’t even understood how you defenders of thunderf00t even dare to argue his case after it’s been revealed that he snuck back into the house through an unlocked window and skulked about in a back bedroom pilfering everything he could get his hands on.

    I repeat: fuck Thunderf00t.

  333. 333
    vaiyt

    @huntstoddard:

    Cute. Go you little martyr you. *plays heroic tune on the world’s smallest bugle*

    @louis

    That’s the Energizer bunny.

  334. 334
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yes, people “like me”… good, good. This time I see you’ve designed the cattle shoot to go right down to the kill room. No, I don’t beat my wife, I mean yes, I’ve stopped, I mean…

    Good grief you are a moron.

  335. 335
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    PZ pretty much closed the case.

    The case was closed when TF was fired. People can and do return to jobs where they leave under good circumstances. After being fired with the same management? No, doesn’t happen. Any rational person saw that at the time it happened. You are irrational since it appears you think TF can get back on FtB. Why do you think your trolling will do anything other than irritate the people making the decisions?

  336. 336
    opposablethumbs

    Wowbagger #132

    It’s fucking laziness is what it is. And a whole lot of fucking excuses for not wanting to think about something hard. That’s the thing about not believing in gods; it’s actually pretty fucking easy. Processing that we don’t live in a fair and equitable society, on the other hand? That takes effort. As does changing your behaviour to try and fix that as best you can.

    Of course a lot of entitled dudebros don’t want to do that. And they’re kicking back. We get that. But we’re not going to stop.

    QFT and may I just say how very very much I like you today?

    mythbri #62

    You may not hold up examples of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, trans*phobia, classism and racism up as examples of the ills that religion inflicts upon society, and then cast them aside as soon as they’re not convenient for you. You are not allowed to scold and discard religion while retaining it’s inherent patriarchy. Stop co-opting the oppression of women and minorities to further your cause without demonstrating that you give a damn beyond whatever suits your purposes.

    Cannot be said enough!
    .
    I often fail to chip in when I know I don’t have anything really substantive to add – and yay timezones as well – but there’s no reason not to add one grain of sand: this this this is why I am now, and for the forseeable future will continue to be, here rather than on any other atheist forum.

  337. 337
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    PZ wrote:

    I don’t even understood how you defenders of thunderf00t even dare to argue his case after it’s been revealed that he snuck back into the house through an unlocked window and skulked about in a back bedroom pilfering everything he could get his hands on.

    The problem, PZ, is that these poor saps have become conditioned to need people to do their thinking for them. And they’re happy when you’re telling them stuff they want to hear, like how religion is bad and religious people are idiots and monsters.

    When you start holding up a mirror to the community and pointing out the flaws, though, they don’t know what to do.

    But Thunderf00t offers them a way back to that paradise, that place where an atheist blogger/vlogger does what an atheist is supposed to do: make atheists feel better about themselves by reminding them how smart and decent they are – well, at least compared to the religious.

    Don’t you know you’re ruining their fun? They didn’t become atheists to be told what they need to change – they became atheists so they could tell other people what they need to change.

  338. 338
    Ingdigo Jump

    Omg this is just like bashing iguanas wityh 9 irons!

  339. 339
    oolon

    I don’t even understood how you defenders of thunderf00t even dare to argue his case after it’s been revealed that he snuck back into the house through an unlocked window and skulked about in a back bedroom pilfering everything he could get his hands on.

    PZ is a lot more internet savvy than myself I would have thought he would not find it particularly hard to understand how inventive people can be when they have a true cause to defend.

    Huntstoddard is not a particularly obvious TF defender – all he seems to be saying, to co-opt PZs metaphor, is yes TF was a shit but did you have to throw him out of the party on his arse – wouldn’t it have been nicer to quietly ask him to stop chomping on legs a couple more times and in a nicer tone of voice first. Could just be a generic tone troll like I myself am at times.

    I wasted a few precious minutes of time arguing with a few particularly strange TF supporters who quite happily admitted TF had acted unethically, like a shit or douche – all sorts of insults. But I am *just* as bad because I said I thought accessing the emails was illegal. Oh and by the way all of FtBs is *just* as guilty because they made that libellous claim. It was a bit surreal as I could only think that the aim was to say that if everyone is *just* as bad as TF then somehow he is not as bad?

  340. 340
    Louis

    Vaiyt, #333,

    1) Small (minded).

    2) Repetitive.

    3) Annoying.

    There’s a difference?

    ;-)

    Louis

  341. 341
    Ingdigo Jump

    Prattling on about this is just like burring an emu up to its neck and taking turns pooing on its head

  342. 342
    Louis

    Ing,

    What else do you do on Tuesdays?

    Louis

  343. 343
    tkreacher

    Thanks for all the compliments.

    You know, for a non MRA huntstoddard sure seems to be utilizing a couple of the guide points pretty thorougly.

    #1b, banning/Nazi (persecution, extermination) imagery:

    The only possible solution would be to ban me, even though I probably agree with them on at least 95% of all matters.

    ***

    and guillotines everyone who doesn’t conform

    ***

    There no need for a constructive conversation. Bullets in the neck are very convincing.

    ***

    McCarthyist Douche

    ***

    Yeah, maybe because you hit your interlocutor’s teeth in with a baseball bat.

    ***

    Surely, to be safe, we should treat him as MRA until he shows otherwise, which he probably won’t…because he’s GUILTY! Damn it. He is unclean. Like in The Thing, he’s going to suddenly split in half and JohnTheOther is going to come out of him.

    ***

    This time I see you’ve designed the cattle shoot to go right down to the kill room

    ***

    He wants to play Caligula, so whatever.

    ***

    Dumped in a quarry, you mean.

    #8, emotion equals irrational:

    a lot of people hate each other who probably didn’t have to, and nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment, and fix things.

    ***

    Other people will be deeply offended because they think I just equated sexual harassment with dog killing. They will allow that impression to guide their entire opinion of me from here to eternity. No possible discussion will ever fix that fact.

    ***

    Anri, relax,

    ***

    I told you to relax

  344. 344
    Anthony K

    “nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment”

    is my favourite, especially in the context of the previous quotes.

  345. 345
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    hate each other who probably didn’t have to, and nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment, and fix things.

    Fix what, how, and why even bother? The only “fix” is done by TF apologizing to FtB and the world for his irrational and immature behavior during the episode. That is something I don’t see happening. FtB has done nothing they can be faulted for except inviting TF to join in the first place; that was their only mistake in the sorry episode. If TF won’t listen to reason, which was the documented case, he can’t be rationally dealt with.

  346. 346
    tkreacher

    Brownian,

    I thought that was pretty impressive too.

    It really is something to behold. The more someone harps on being “skeptical” and “rational”, the more terrible they are at analogy, parsing meaning, noticing confirmation bias.

    Dunning-Kruger I suppose.

    Reminds me of a funny aspect of the military. I found that the better trained someone was – the more dangerous the person actually might be – the less likely you were to hear that person talk about being a badass.

    But you hear somebody going on and on, explaining in great detail their skills and Rambo-like ability, the more likely you were to catch them with their helmet on backwards.

  347. 347
    Amphiox

    But you hear somebody going on and on, explaining in great detail their skills and Rambo-like ability, the more likely you were to catch them with their helmet on backwards.

    Isn’t this so well known that it’s a veritable war movie cliche? The braggart character who’s always the first one to die? Usually in the middle of some embarrassingly cowardly and incompetent attempt to run away from danger?

    (Or the Leroy Jenkins variant, charging in like an idiot and getting blown away, while putting his entire squad at risk….)

  348. 348
    Aratina Cage

    [It] makes me wonder why it’s okay to define Feminism by its radicals when that doesn’t happen to any other group in existence.

    Except atheists, you mean. :P

  349. 349
    Louis

    tkreacher,

    Reminds me of a funny aspect of the military. I found that the better trained someone was – the more dangerous the person actually might be – the less likely you were to hear that person talk about being a badass.

    This. A lot of this.

    I am not military but I know a good number of UK military folk and without fail, the really dangerous ones are the ones that almost never talk about it.

    Anecdote=/=data, but, yeah, this fits my experience.

    Louis

  350. 350
    tkreacher

    Amphiox,

    Heh, yarp:

    Miles Gloriousus

    He’s a soldier; he’s a real man! Just listen to all his exploits and how the very gods are afraid of him! Admire his pristine uniform and shiny medals that prove his valour! He loves danger! He will seek out any peril to test himself against!
    Just don’t put him near an actual fight.

    Small Name Big Ego

    A character with a comically over-inflated image of himself. He thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, thinks he’s a real lady’s man, thinks he’s cool, it’s all about him, but both his fellow characters and the audience know that this coolness is all in his mind.

    Boisterous Weakling

    This character is just as loud and doesn’t like to be ordered around. But contrary to the Boisterous Bruiser… he doesn’t really have much to back it up. He is physically (and maybe emotionally) weak but that doesn’t stop him from constantly calling out those who glower at him (or so he thinks). Sure he may pick on people weaker than him, but if he happens to realize his opponent can effectively kick his ass, either he will find a lame excuse, or insist and get his ass kicked. Or both. Don’t expect that to make him think twice the next time, though: the Boisterous Weakling shows an astounding inability to acknowledge his own impotence. Even if he tries to bite, he has no fangs.

  351. 351
    Anthony K

    Reminds me of a funny aspect of the military. I found that the better trained someone was – the more dangerous the person actually might be – the less likely you were to hear that person talk about being a badass.

    I know a sniper in the Canadian military. I only learned he’s a sniper from his wife.

    Unrelatedly, can I just get this off of my chest? It’s been gnawning at me for this entire thread:

    These sensible people shouldn’t be so rare

    Then cook them longer, PZ!

    Ahh, that feels better.

  352. 352
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Aratina Cage at #348

    [It] makes me wonder why it’s okay to define Feminism by its radicals when that doesn’t happen to any other group in existence.

    Except atheists, you mean. :P

    Actually, it seems to slowly be getting better. Personal experiences are statistically insignificant, but I notice the the people I know are slowly coming around to recognizing that atheism is not a positive belief, but a lack thereof.

    Hence why I say Feminism is the only group left in which this happens.

    Brownian at #351…

    Was it worth it?

  353. 353
    Anthony K

    Brownian at #351…

    Was it worth it?

    Worth what?

  354. 354
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    BTW, while threacher was busy winning all the internets, Pteryxx was sniping in with pinpoint accuracy here:

    Well, PZ knew how TF interacted with him; that is, with another educated, science-based, white male atheist. That’s one of the problems with bigotry in general – it’s set up to take advantage of the presumption of good faith. Whether PZ OUGHT to have known better, I assume has been hashed out in the backchannel. But recall that entitled types also tend to behave well towards those who have power and voice.

    Queueue Eff Tee. This is a very useful point to remember.

    You can’t judge a bigot by how they act towards their peers and the powerful. Or even how they act in front of them. Watching how they treat the waiter is a classic tell, but some assholes know that one and will be on better behaviour in front of the people they want to impress.

  355. 355
    vaiyt

    I’ve no doubt TF is an excellent person to those on his in-group. But treating well your own is the lowest bar you can set. Even the worst criminals love their mamas.

  356. 356
    huntstoddard

    Huntstoddard is not a particularly obvious TF defender – all he seems to be saying, to co-opt PZs metaphor, is yes TF was a shit but did you have to throw him out of the party on his arse – wouldn’t it have been nicer to quietly ask him to stop chomping on legs a couple more times and in a nicer tone of voice first. Could just be a generic tone troll like I myself am at times.

    That captures part of it, although it’s not like everyone should have just mellowed out, taken a stress pill and thought things over. For one thing, telling this mob that they should have been “nicer” will probably have something like the effect of breaking an egg in a flock of chickens. I *do not* excuse TF’s cyber behavior, but on the other hand I think I understand it at a psychological level. We’re not talking about people with marginal egos here. We’re talking about people with house size egos and bronze balls hanging over the fireplace. They get up in front of hundreds or thousands of very intelligent people or sit on panels and tell them what’s what. What happens when a house sized ego gets challenged? Generally speaking, it goes off the rails rather quickly and spectacularly. I can cordon off what TF did, compartmentalize it away from other events in this story because I can so easily picture myself in an unhinged state doing something similar. This was not genocide, murder of manslaughter. Five years from now it will either be forgotten or should have been forgotten. Other people who are still in good graces with this community have done things directly similar, and I’m not referring to the PZ phone-in thing.

    Of course, my objective opinion and perspective are very different than FtBlogger’s subjective ones being on the receiving end of cyber attack, and they have every right to be mad as hell.

    I think it (the present dust up) should have been handled differently because I would have enjoyed the ensuing debate or even screech session. It’s my unrealistic conceit that it would have ended with mutual agreement and Kumbaya My Lord (considering the intelligence of the primary players, not the subsequent MRA invasion), but even if it hadn’t I still think the spectacle would have been productive. Much more than my own self interested desires, I believe it would have been healthier to handle it differently. Call that concern or tone trolling if you wish.

  357. 357
    huntstoddard

    “nobody seems to have the skill or maturity to walk the situation back, take a rational assessment”

    is my favourite, especially in the context of the previous quotes.

    Straw Vulcanism and Tu quoque. The “dear leaders” of the movement are supposed to be better than me, right?

  358. 358
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard:

    Call that concern or tone trolling if you wish.

    I’ll call it what it is: motivated, wishful thinking.

    (Also, a big ego is a weak thing, and obviously the thunderpod’s is a fragile one; is yours?)

  359. 359
    huntstoddard

    The case was closed when TF was fired. People can and do return to jobs where they leave under good circumstances. After being fired with the same management? No, doesn’t happen.

    Out of a very questionable field, this is the truest thing you’ve said, so yes, I admit I was wrong to ever suggest it as possible. There’s no way to turn back the clock. Even if I worshiped TF as my one true idol, I would still probably think that reinstating him at this point would send all the wrong messages and cause irreparable harm.

    Apologies for the multiple comments.

  360. 360
    John Phillips, FCD

    huntstoddard #356

    ….I think resent dust up) should have been handled differently because I would have enjoyed the ensuing debate or even screech session. It’s my unrealistic conceit that it would have ended with mutual agreement and Kumbaya My Lord (considering the intelligence of the primary players, not the subsequent MRA invasion), but even if it hadn’t I still think the spectacle would have been productive. Much more than my own self interested desires, I believe it would have been healthier to handle it differently. Call that concern or tone trolling if you wish.

    If you had actually followed this from the beginning, you would have already known that even before he was fired he ignored communication attempts by ‘the management’, ignoring their explicit request to contact them. AIUI, one of the reasons he was finally fired was this refusal to have a dialogue, well except for the garbage he posted on the few blogs he ‘authored’ while here. So tell me, oh not sowise one, how do you have a meaningful dialogue with a person who ignores explicit contact requests while continuing to fling shit from his blog. BTW, so effective were ftb at shooting him in the neck and dumping him in a quarry‘banning’ him that not only is he still blogging/vblogging, his blogs are still on here for anyone to read.

  361. 361
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    The “dear leaders” of the movement are supposed to be better than me, right?

    Very much no. Why on earth would you think a ridiculous thing like that? even in jest/snark. Prominent public atheists and sceptics sit the same way around on the toilet we all do.

    Maybe mania for miracles from mentionable members is the make up of your magical motivation.

    Louis

  362. 362
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Apologies for the multiple comments.

    Then shut the fuck up. You haven’t said anything cogent since your first inane and fuckwitted post. You failed to understand the history of the incident, so you come off as ignorant, boorish, and stupid in your claims. Unevidenced claims too.

    It’s my unrealistic conceit that it would have ended with mutual agreement a

    Showing you are a fuckwitted idjit who didn’t understand the concept of somebody acting like an ass. And that somebody was TF. Now, go harangue him and leave us alone.

  363. 363
    opposablethumbs

    @ huntstoddard

    This was not genocide, murder of (sic) manslaughter.

    No, it wasn’t. But if I have understood correctly, Tfoot either threatened to disclose or actually did disclose to third parties the rl identity of several people on the blog who are pseudonymous because of the very genuine danger that they could be severely adversely affected in the real world, from discrimination up to and including physical harm, if their identities were known. People who weren’t even involved in the initial conflict at all. Just by way of example, you are aware, I presume, that transwomen are at a far, far higher risk of assault than most?

    That was beyond vile, that was downright evil.

  364. 364
    echidna

    Reminds me of a funny aspect of the military. I found that the better trained someone was – the more dangerous the person actually might be – the less likely you were to hear that person talk about being a badass.

    But you hear somebody going on and on, explaining in great detail their skills and Rambo-like ability, the more likely you were to catch them with their helmet on backwards.

    Fits my experience too, especially military types, but all sorts of other experts as well. I think it comes down to the basic idea that if you really have the expertise, you don’t need to go around trying to prove it.

  365. 365
    John Morales

    [meta]

    opposablethumbs:

    But if I have understood correctly, Tfoot either threatened to disclose or actually did disclose to third parties the rl identity of several people on the blog who are pseudonymous because of the very genuine danger that they could be severely adversely affected in the real world, from discrimination up to and including physical harm, if their identities were known.

    No.

    He is in a position to do so, and that’s the worry — but facts are facts and you have not understood correctly.

    As Natalie wrote:

    EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION: Something I noticed in the comments that I’m a bit worried about, and might make things worse, is people thinking Thunderf00t has directly threatened to out me or my name, or has suggested this is something he intends to do, for its own sake. That hasn’t happened. A few weeks ago, he threatened to publish private e-mails that would have resulted in my name being compromised, and seemed to persist in these threats after I suggested the possible consequences. Following that event, it came to light that he allegedly had regained access to the listserv (through some kind of hack or exploit or something) and was forwarding private e-mails. If that is the case, and any of those e-mail threads contained any contribution from me, my name and privacy would have compromised, and in my appraisal of the situation, it’s much more likely than not that that has already happened, but my name and safety is not something Thunderf00t has directly threatened to compromise.

    (Notice the qualifier: not directly)

  366. 366
    huntstoddard

    Now, go harangue him and leave us alone.

    Why is there a fucking guy, on every fucking blog that ever existed, that sounds like this guy? Right wing, left wing, it doesn’t matter. I’d really like to know. Knuckle dragging idiot who everyone thinks is there cute little gorilla, ready to step up to any conceivable threat with his (or her, hell I don’t know) chest puffed out. If he alone doesn’t incarnate in action some kind of egregious sexual stereotype, I don’t know what does.

  367. 367
    Anri

    That captures part of it, although it’s not like everyone should have just mellowed out, taken a stress pill and thought things over. For one thing, telling this mob that they should have been “nicer” will probably have something like the effect of breaking an egg in a flock of chickens. I *do not* excuse TF’s cyber behavior, but on the other hand I think I understand it at a psychological level.

    One hallmark of smart people is that they have figured out that being cool is not superior to being right.

    I *do not* excuse TF’s cyber behavior, but on the other hand I think I understand it at a psychological level. We’re not talking about people with marginal egos here. We’re talking about people with house size egos and bronze balls hanging over the fireplace. They get up in front of hundreds or thousands of very intelligent people or sit on panels and tell them what’s what. What happens when a house sized ego gets challenged? Generally speaking, it goes off the rails rather quickly and spectacularly.

    And that makes them right?
    Or does it just mean that they make a bigger *thbbbbppp* sound when their balloon is finally holed?
    And if it’s the latter… so what? These ‘huge egos’ can stop defending wrong positions anytime they like.
    Avoiding conflict isn’t the highest goal around here – it’s being in the right.

    I can cordon off what TF did, compartmentalize it away from other events in this story because I can so easily picture myself in an unhinged state doing something similar. This was not genocide, murder of manslaughter. Five years from now it will either be forgotten or should have been forgotten. Other people who are still in good graces with this community have done things directly similar, and I’m not referring to the PZ phone-in thing.

    Five years from now, what TF did will be just as wrong.
    It won’t have gotten less wrong with the passage of time.

    Of course, my objective opinion and perspective are very different than FtBlogger’s subjective ones being on the receiving end of cyber attack, and they have every right to be mad as hell.

    It must be a terrible burden being the only sensible one in the room. Tell us more about your experience with the flighty – one might almost say hysterical – bloggers of the Congo FtB.

    I think it (the present dust up) should have been handled differently because I would have enjoyed the ensuing debate or even screech session. It’s my unrealistic conceit that it would have ended with mutual agreement and Kumbaya My Lord (considering the intelligence of the primary players, not the subsequent MRA invasion), but even if it hadn’t I still think the spectacle would have been productive. Much more than my own self interested desires, I believe it would have been healthier to handle it differently. Call that concern or tone trolling if you wish.

    Ok, I know I’m going to regret this, but what should have been done differently?
    Seriously.
    Give a brief summary of what steps were taken, and what steps you think should have been taken – I’m curious.
    I feel confident that even brains as sadly blown by the tides of irrational emotion as ours will see the shining glory of your simple, yet elegant solution.

    - Right?

  368. 368
    echidna

    Alethea continuing from Pterryx:

    You can’t judge a bigot by how they act towards their peers and the powerful.

    As a female engineer, I was often mistaken for being one of the admin or secretarial staff (yep, pre-personal computer days). When senior engineers found out that I was an engineer, their attitude changed from condescending to friendly and helpful (even though I was still far below them on the totem pole).

    These interactions made me become aware of the “engineer” privilege in an engineering organisation, and only after having experienced it for myself was I able to extend this idea to other types of privileges. Had I not, I would probably have become a “chill girl” type.

    Pterryx is probably right: TF would not have displayed his boorishness to PZ. It’s quite possible, even likely, that TF himself doesn’t recognise that he is relegating women to a sub-TF status.

  369. 369
    Nick Gotts

    I can cordon off what TF did, compartmentalize it away from other events in this story because I can so easily picture myself in an unhinged state doing something similar. – huntstoddard

    Yes, I can easily picture you doing something similar. Myself and most of the regulars here, I can’t.

  370. 370
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard:

    Why is there a fucking guy, on every fucking blog that ever existed, that sounds like this guy?

    Because there are fucking people like you, and thus the Universe balances itself. ;)

  371. 371
    vaiyt

    Why is it always this side who has to step back and reconsider? Why don’t you go preach to Phil Mason’s side?

  372. 372
    echidna

    Nerd to Huntstoddard:

    Now, go harangue him and leave us alone.

    Huntstoddard:

    Knuckle dragging idiot…

    Seriously, didn’t you understand that Nerd has a very valid point? You are attacking FTB because TF behaved so badly that his blogging privileges were revoked. TF has continued to behave badly. And yet you are haranguing us, without seeming to have even read TF’s posts here.

    Why? Why aren’t you suggesting that TF rethink his position?

  373. 373
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I stopped with the hyperbole because even I was getting tired of it.

    Really?

    This was not genocide, murder of manslaughter.

    I find this comment of your especially stupid considering all of the hyperbole you’ve been tossing around and have been called on.

    Of course it wasn’t genocide or murder or manslaughter.

    By your logic we shouldn’t go after shoplifters, car thieves, or wife beaters.

  374. 374
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why is there a fucking guy, on every fucking blog that ever existed, that sounds like this guy?

    Why are you still here blowing flatulence over this blog when you know where the trouble lies? Why are you the fucking idjit guy who thinks they have an opinion worth sharing, and when shared, should have kept their mouth shut since nobody was interested in their idiocy? Look in the mirror before you make pronouncements about other people. You need to take your complaint where it needs to be. That is with TF, not us.

  375. 375
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    People are, albeit in their different idiomatic ways, trying to make a very simple series of points to you:

    1) There exists a subset of the sceptical/atheist movement that is deeply sexist in both word and deed (ample evidence of this exists as you know). This is not necessarily unique to these movements, more a reflection of this phenomenon in wider society.

    2) You apparently agree with many here that this subset of these movements is in error, i.e. their sexism is factually incorrect.

    3) You apparently agree with many here that this subset of these movements is actively destructive and hostile to greater diversity within these movements, or at least sufficiently oblivious to their privilege (for want of a better term) to minimise the problem to the point that they feel they have to take no/merely cursory action about it.

    4) You are apparently sufficiently disturbed by the tone of the replies from many people here, many of whom are on the receiving end of the sexism of the above mentioned subset, that you think that this tone is what is entrenching the sexist subset as opposed to their own intransigence.

    5) You are apparently focussing your efforts on correcting, as you see it, the tone of the replies of the victims of sexism and those people opposed to sexism, instead of focussing your efforts on correcting the sexists.

    Does any of that strike you as problematic?

    Louis

  376. 376
    opposablethumbs

    John Morales, thank you for the correction and the clarification. I am very glad to be wrong.

  377. 377
    opposablethumbs

    … glad to be wrong about what has already happened thus far, that is. It still looks pretty bad, though.

  378. 378
    huntstoddard

    Give a brief summary of what steps were taken, and what steps you think should have been taken – I’m curious.

    Well, he was fired, apparently after some remonstrations from “the management” that went unanswered. Why that would be, we would have to consult TF himself. Keep in mind this happened in a rather abrupt period of time. I suspect that “the management” quickly came to the conclusion that they were dealing with a loose cannon and they couldn’t risk what might be presented next.

    I think what should have been done is he shouldn’t have been fired!, as I said, because I would have profited from the battle that followed and so would many other people. (Hell, maybe you too.) Beside that, have you ever heard the saying “keep your enemies close”? TF is not a hopeless misogynist. Down deep I think most people here understand this. Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA. We know what these people are like, and TF is not that. You’ve got to know it. So now, in a fit of rage, will he suddenly start spewing MRA crap and anti-feminism? No, he won’t, precisely because he is not that type of person.

  379. 379
    vaiyt

    @378: He won’t spew MRA crap… except he did exactly that. And keeps doing it. What the fuck are you on?

    Keep your enemies close? Does that mean FTB should start sending invites to the Discovery Institute?

  380. 380
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    huntstoddard wrote:

    TF is not a hopeless misogynist. Down deep I think most people here understand this.

    All we can say for sure is that he is acting like a hopeless misogynst, which is more pertinent, since it reveals a great deal about his character – i.e. that he is not a good person, since good people do not toss an entire gender under the bus when they get pissed off.

    You may be right – but even you are, he’s still a scumbag, and one who I’m glad is not part of FtB. I’d like it even more if he faded away completely, but given the number of similarly-minded scumbags who’ve been revealed as such by this episode, I (sadly) don’t think that’s going to happen soon enough for my liking.

    On the plus side, at least we know they’re there.

  381. 381
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    TF is not a hopeless misogynist. Down deep I think most people here understand this. Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA. We know what these people are like, and TF is not that. You’ve got to know it. So now, in a fit of rage, will he suddenly start spewing MRA crap and anti-feminism? No, he won’t, precisely because he is not that type of person.

    Despite him doing exactly this type of thing already?

  382. 382
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I think what should have been done is he shouldn’t have been fired!,

    Who the fuck cares what tone-trolling wanker like you thinks? We don’t, since you don’t think. Take your OPINIONS where they might do some good, which is to TF. Quit farting your flatulence at us.

    TF is not a hopeless misogynist.

    Unevidenced wanking OPINION so *POOF* dimissed as fuckwittery. Care to have your wanking rationally analyzed some more?

    No, he won’t, precisely because he is not that type of person.

    Irrelevant and unevidenced OPINION, so *POOF* dismissed as fuckwittery. Rational analysis of your emotional flatulence. Care to keep playing with UNEVIDENCED OPINION?

  383. 383
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    huntstoddard, until you can link to demonstrate to us you are taking your tone/concern trolling where it belongs, to TF, don’t bother to post here again. You aren’t the unbiased agent you pose to be unless you can demonstrate you are berating both sides.

  384. 384
    PZ Myers

    Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA.

    Lately, he’s been tweeting stuff at me from AVoiceForMen. You know, hotbed of MRAdom, on SPLC’s list of hate sites?

    You can stuff your pollyannaish wishful thinking up your ass. It’s soft and fluffy, it won’t hurt much.

  385. 385
    Louis

    I must be invisible.

    I’ve politely, in a nice tone with minimal to no sarcasm, addressed Fenne (at #156), Cehbeach (at #193), and Huntstoddard (at #162, #361, and #375) and I’ve been ignored.

    Don’t worry, I’m not hurt.

    However, I will say that, as a sceptical kind of guy, I do think their claims of desiring to engage people civilly and politely about matters of substance seem to be remarkably lacking evidence. Their concern with tone and substance seems to be loudly proclaimed but not really supported.

    That coupled to the fact that these people are here complaining about the tone of the/this anti-sexist crowd makes me think seriously sceptical things about their claimed “agreement” and motives.

    Louis

  386. 386
    carlie

    This was not genocide, murder of manslaughter. Five years from now it will either be forgotten or should have been forgotten.

    And neither was disinviting him from a blog collective he had joined less than a month prior.

    But he took that as a reason to grossly violate the privacy of everyone in the collective, whether they had a hand in the decision or not, by secretly collecting their emails.

  387. 387
    Nick Gotts

    Beside that, have you ever heard the saying “keep your enemies close”? – huntstoddard

    Yes. It’s extremely stupid, and so just the sort of thing I would expect to find favour with you. If you keep your enemies close, of course, they have much more chance to damage you.

  388. 388
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    How can “keep your enemies close” even apply to Thunderfoot if he’s not really an enemy, but just a misunderstood good guy whom the FTB hive mind has unfairly shot in the back of the head (in other words: fired)?

  389. 389
    vaiyt

    @Louis:

    Ya think?

  390. 390
    Louis

    Vaiyt,

    LOL

    Shhhh I’m hunting wabbits.

    ;-)

    Louis

    P.S. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

  391. 391
    David Marjanović

    You can stuff your pollyannaish wishful thinking up your ass. It’s soft and fluffy, it won’t hurt much.

    *steal*

  392. 392
    Amphiox

    The unspoken implication of the phrase “keep your enemies close” is that it is to make it easier to SPY on their confidential communications so you can more easily harm them with dirty tricks.

    Pretty much what Mason has done.

  393. 393
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA.

    if it quacks like an unhinged bigot, posts videos of unhinged bigotry, and commits incredibly unethical acts because others wouldn’t tolerate his unhinged bigotry – its an MRA.

  394. 394
    Louis

    I’m just wondering if it’s the pollyannaish wishful thinking that is soft and fluffy or Huntstoddard’s arse that is soft and fluffy.

    And that is not something I ever wished to wonder about.

    {SHAKES FIST}

    CURSE YOU POOPYHEAD!!!!

    Louis

  395. 395
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Jadehawk (and carlie), okay. Apparently I was wasn’t clear and I certainly wasn’t concise.

    I’m actually having a difficult time trying to conceptualise what I’m trying to say, so bear with me, if at all possible.

    Being out at all necessarily makes someone visible, so in that sense they’re part of the ‘movement’, for good or for bad. Not part of a specific movement, mind.

    Also, the visibility of LGBTQ people working against more mainstream LGBTQ movements indicates the presence of a movement counter to that, lending credence to the existence of the movement.

    That’s the sort of parallel I was drawing to atheism. Out atheists don’t all work towards the same goals, and some are actively working at cross purposes, undermining or threatening the activism of others. One thing they all are, however, is out atheists and having discussions about a movement, either a meta-movement or specific movements among atheists, points to the existence of the movement.

    That’s what I meant when I said ‘necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement’, which, admittedly, doesn’t read like I thought it would. Of course, I meant the meta-movement and in the sense of only being visible as gay, and not any specific rights movement. I mean, without any rights movements these people wouldn’t even be able to be visible.

    So, when I say

    I was saying, very clearly, I thought, that out gay people are necessarily part of the LGBTQ movement. [...]

    the fact that even people who self-identify as some kind of queer are trying to hurt me and others like me[...]

    I don’t mean to be contradictory. I’ve just poorly expressed myself. And I may well continue to be doing so in using the word ‘movement’, hopefully some sense of what I’m thinking gets through and makes at least some sense. My mind has been a bit muddled lately, more-so than normal.

  396. 396
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Damn, and not just as gay, but as any kind of queer. Excursionist, I am.

  397. 397
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA.

    Yeah, just like the people I know who start off a sentence

    “I’m not a racist but let me tell you about those mexicans.”

  398. 398
    David Marjanović

    Isn’t this so well known that it’s a veritable war movie cliche?

    Even Rambo himself doesn’t talk much. He just shoots and shoots and shoots and shoots and shoots…

    Other people who are still in good graces with this community have done things directly similar

    Do tell.

    I can cordon off what TF did, compartmentalize it away from other events in this story because I can so easily picture myself in an unhinged state doing something similar.

    – huntstoddard

    Yes, I can easily picture you doing something similar. Myself and most of the regulars here, I can’t.

    We have a winner.

    I would have profited from the battle that followed and so would many other people

    ~:-|

    Are you trying to say no such “battle” happened?

    It did. It lasted a month, TF’s entire time on FtB, from his very first post to his firing. Thousands of comments were left; look them up!

  399. 399
    vaiyt

    @397: Actually, in this case, it’s more like “Let me tell you about those mexicans, but I’m not a racist”.

  400. 400
    Anri

    Well, he was fired, apparently after some remonstrations from “the management” that went unanswered.

    You kinda missed the whole – blogged something repulsive, was called on it, blogged something slightly more repulsive, was called on it again, doubled-down, was asked not to publicly and privately, kept digging…
    …then was fired.
    And why did you put the management in quotes?

    Why that would be, we would have to consult TF himself. Keep in mind this happened in a rather abrupt period of time.

    Since you keep saying you know better, how long should it have taken?

    I suspect that “the management” quickly came to the conclusion that they were dealing with a loose cannon and they couldn’t risk what might be presented next.

    No, they came to the conclusion that they were dealing with a bigot and they didn’t want him posting under their brand.
    That’s almost what you said, but the differences are important.
    (quotes again?)

    I think what should have been done is he shouldn’t have been fired!, as I said, because I would have profited from the battle that followed and so would many other people. (Hell, maybe you too.)

    Please explain what’s preventing any interested party from determining the opinions of all parties involved, could you?
    (When doing so, please don’t talk about things being accessible here at FtB – as has been mentioned a number of times, TF is not banned, and may post here to discuss his side of things. So far, he chooses not to.)

    Beside that, have you ever heard the saying “keep your enemies close”?

    I’m sorry, are we agreeing that TF is an enemy of FtB?
    If so, wouldn’t it be… kinda dumb to continue to give him their masthead?

    TF is not a hopeless misogynist. Down deep I think most people here understand this. Whatever you think about his behavior, he’s not an MRA. We know what these people are like, and TF is not that. You’ve got to know it. So now, in a fit of rage, will he suddenly start spewing MRA crap and anti-feminism? No, he won’t, precisely because he is not that type of person.

    I don’t know if TF is an MRA.
    I don’t much care.
    I do care that he’s supporting them, and arguing alongside them, and opposing the forces opposing them.

    It’s like this: Someone who denies Anthropogenic Climate Change might be doing it because they are short-sighted and only concerned about their immediate profit. They might be doing it because they are simply ignorant and honestly confused about what the science says. And they might be doing it because they are, in fact, assholes that just want to watch the world burn. I don’t care – they’re still wrong, and I will still oppose them, and if I ran a network like FtB, I would not give them my (presumably valuable) name to post under if they refused to at least provide quality arguments.

    TF wasn’t fired for insubordination. He was fired for incompetence.
    That’s my understanding of it, anyway.

  401. 401
  402. 402
    huntstoddard

    ^^^ Something of a shock, I must admit. I’ve seen her videos before and her snide anti-feminism, not to mention wing nuttery, is pretty repulsive. Okay, I’m almost ready to relent. Perhaps I made a bad call on this one. I can only think that a lot of this territory is new to FT, and he’s scrambling to educate and justify himself. Citing an “authority” like that is like gaining your politics from “Atlas Shrugged.”

    your pollyannaish wishful thinking

    It’s not that I’m a Pollyanna, it’s that I’m reluctant to give up on people. I am slow to judgement, that’s for sure. I fully realize the horrors that lie in dark places.

  403. 403
    strange gods before me ॐ

    You don’t have to give up on Thunderfoot, and nobody here said you did.

    You can spend/waste all the time you want trying to reason with him.

    Many of us, though, have already tried. And many of us are done. Each individual makes that decision. It’s just tiresome that you’re arguing with us instead of arguing with him.

  404. 404
    Crys T

    “I’m reluctant to give up on people”

    I call bullshit. You’ve been giving all of FtB over-the-top criticism–equating them to the Maria, McCarthy, etc.–while refusing to acknowledge the very real nastiness that TFoot has engaged in.

    The only thing you’re about is defending him.

  405. 405
    huntstoddard

    I call bullshit.

    Point taken, though FtB is not a person, it’s a group. I guess I did call PZ “Myers Lansky.” Also, it was an action against and individual, and I like many, will reflexively take sides with an individual against a group due to the inherent power imbalance–as a default position anyway. This is one consideration that I thought got short shrift, and possibly explains a portion of T-foot defense that excludes any specific opinion on sexual harassment.

  406. 406
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Huntstoddard, have you harranged TF yet? If not, what the fuck are you doing back here like a troll?

  407. 407
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Also, it was an action against and individual, and I like many, will reflexively take sides with an individual against a group due to the inherent power imbalance–as a default position anyway.

    Who the fuck cares why you are an idjit? You are an idjit if you don’t take the harangue to TF as he is the one who must apologize to make amends. There is nothing for you here, as you are a fuckwitted loudmouthed idjit who has nothing cogent to say to us. As you prove by saying illogical fuckwittery again and again, which is called trolling. Time to be logical and realize your idiocy and concern trolling is a waste of your time and our patience with you.

  408. 408
    Louis

    Hi Hunstoddard,

    If you’re here, and it appears you are, would you mind answering/responding to my #375 please.

    Thanks in advance.

    Louis

  409. 409
    huntstoddard

    5) You are apparently focussing your efforts on correcting, as you see it, the tone of the replies of the victims of sexism and those people opposed to sexism, instead of focussing your efforts on correcting the sexists.

    Does any of that strike you as problematic?

    I don’t see that as a concern. I’m free to order my own blog involvement as I see fit. Tomorrow I might be over at Tf’s place. The same issues seem to keep coming up in different guises in this discussion. You are essentially dismissing one of my concerns or telling me it is insignificant because another one is more pressing, a bit ironic. One of Tf’s early mistakes was to think sexual harassment was claiming too much time, when actually it just happens to be the topic du jour. A similar type of error, but understandable. You see how easy it is to have your own priorities leak into your impression of another’s.

  410. 410
    huntstoddard

    Nerd of Asshat,
    You’re just copy and pasting, aren’t you.

  411. 411
    John Morales

    huntstoddard responds to a fifth of Louis’ comment thus:

    5) You are apparently focussing your efforts on correcting, as you see it, the tone of the replies of the victims of sexism and those people opposed to sexism, instead of focussing your efforts on correcting the sexists.

    Does any of that strike you as problematic?

    I don’t see that as a concern.

    So, you confirm it (and blithely so) and don’t find it problematic.

  412. 412
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You’re just copy and pasting, aren’t you.

    No, I am responding logically to your fuckwittery. I have a good memory for your tasks like haranguing TF. Have you done so yet, or do you acknowledge you are a hypocrite and fuckwitted idjit with an agenda?

    You are essentially dismissing one of my concerns or telling me it is insignificant because another one is more pressing, a bit ironic.

    You act like we think what you think is important. It isn’t. We don’t give a flying fuck what you think or don’t think. Because real thinking and root causes are beyond your meager intellect and kumbya bullshit.

  413. 413
    huntstoddard

    No,
    You can’t defend the priority of a problem, no matter its level of significance, and then turn around and tell someone else that he can’t prioritize a problem, as he sees it. That’s called hypocrisy.

  414. 414
    huntstoddard

    You act like we think what you think is important. It isn’t. We don’t give a flying fuck what you think or don’t think. Because real thinking and root causes are beyond your meager intellect and kumbya bullshit.

    After the fifth time the “we don’t care thing…” gets a little repetitive. You might tell whoever crayons your notes to get new material. And it’s great that you can speak for The Body. Landru is with us!

  415. 415
    Nick Gotts

    I don’t see that as a concern. I’m free to order my own blog involvement as I see fit. Tomorrow I might be over at Tf’s place.

    Yes, and tomorrow I might look out of my window to see a squadron of porcine aviators. You’ve been riding your hobby-horse here for four days.

    The same issues seem to keep coming up in different guises in this discussion.

    That’s because you keep bringing them up.

  416. 416
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’m free to order my own blog involvement as I see fit. Tomorrow I might be over at Tf’s place.

    Yeah you can do whatever you want, but when you’re creating more unnecessary work for feminists then you are making the world a worse place, not better.

    Again:

    http://saltycurrent.blogspot.com/2012/06/note-to-those-who-say-they-oppose.html

  417. 417
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sorry fuckwit, haranguing only side, especially the side not at fault, pretending to be impartial observer is hypocrisy. As I have said your OPINION is irrelvant since it is biased.

  418. 418
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    Thanks for replying.

    You are essentially dismissing one of my concerns or telling me it is insignificant because another one is more pressing, a bit ironic.

    No, I really wasn’t. My “Does any of that strike you as problematic” referred to my summary of the situation, not your actions (or lack of them). My apologies that that was not clear enough to you.

    You’re completely right that you are free to order your own blog involvement as you see fit. I would never deny that. In fact I support it utterly. More than that, you are totally free favour trying to solve one problem over another. Again, no objections.

    Other people too are free to regard your actions, their own actions, everyone’s actions, with a similar level of scepticism and freedom. They are free to see the actions of some people as positively counter productive to the stated aims of those people or some group. In fact that is what you are largely doing with your “tone arguments”. You are trying to fix what you see is a problem in the communication style of others. Assuming of course you’re not simply trolling, which sadly, given this is the internet is always a problem, but let’s argue with the benefit of some charity.

    In good sceptical fashion all of us have to examine anyone’s actions, our own very much included, and their consequences. We have to bring as much evidence as we can to bear on the problem and acknowledge our potential limitations. Given what is known about a variety of social justice and civil rights movements the world over, we know about how certain forms of objection to demands for various rights, or at least to demands that certain restrictions are placed on extant social privileges, manifest themselves. It’s not a new phenomenon. A quote from Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” captures it nicely (rad the whole letter too, it’s worth it):

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    Now obviously it’s not a perfectly mapped analogy, no analogy is, but it raises a very key point (and elsewhere in the letter is raised another key point): that of people who claim to share the aims of people engaged in a particular social justice effort, and yet who focus their criticisms largely on their fellows and not the people actively opposing the particular social justice effort. People, apparently, like you.

    As already acknowledged and agreed, you’re free to do this. Does your freedom to do this somehow preclude anyone else’s freedom to argue back? Or to disagree with you? Or to criticise your approach with the same freedom you rightly use to criticise anyone else’s?

    It’s actually all relatively understandable, if you want the same things we do, as you claim to, support the same ideas we do, as you claim to, but you think we’re going about it in a destructive way, then of course you have to stand up and criticise us. I would demand no less! It’s what I would do too.

    What tone arguments, yours included, constantly miss is the use of one particular method/style in one situation does not preclude the use of different methods/styles in different situations. Context matters. They also neglect some other goals, that you may not share, exist, and that these methods/styles are appropriate to those goals too. For example, I am an atheist and a sceptic, I am utterly opposed to ceding the atheist/sceptic movements to a loud minority of sexists. My scepticism made me a feminist (not a straw feminist, a considered one like 99.99999999% of the people you’ll encounter here.), not the other way around. My commitment to social justices causes of all types arise from my sceptical and scientific outlook and the data I have available to me. Pretending that’s been easy and quick would be untrue, by the way.

    This blog has a reputation as having a particularly rough and tumble comment section and general tone. Many people here come here precisely because of that tone. As I agreed, your freedom to participate in any blog is unquestioned, as indeed is your freedom to not participate. You are free to decide that the tone and tenor of the comments section of this blog is not for you. Other blogs, other tones. I don’t speak to my mum precisely the same way I do people here. I don’t speak to my boss or the people who work for me the same way I do people here, I don’t speak to my wife the same way I do people here. Not because I am horrendously dishonest and insufficiently rational, but because the contexts under which those conversations happen are different to the context here. People here are not advocating (on average) an all out combative, vitriolic approach everywhere and for all contexts, they are saying that that is the style HERE. In THIS context, and your freedom to participate is also the same freedom that grants you the ability to not participate.

    This brings me to the second point that MLK’s letter illustrates:

    You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

    Again, the analogy is not intended to be a perfect map, it is an analogy of type rather than extent. Throughout history the methods that have achieved social justice goals have been, for want of a better word, “rude”. They have been loud, disobedient, risky, aggressive (but not necessarily violent), tension causing and above all sceptical in the best sense. Sceptical in the sense that they examine received wisdoms and the status quo and put it to the test of evidence.

    One of the things that has always happened to any social justice movement is criticism from without and within about their timing or tone. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, after all tactical discussions are valuable. The problem is that even with the best intentions tone and timing criticisms can be, and often are, the precise thing that hinders progress towards a goal. It’s the committee problem. Mind you, as it’s a given facet of any democratic process, this doesn’t make it inherently bad, just that it cuts both ways. It can be used in bad ways.

    This is one reason people are very suspicious of those who criticise the tone/timing/appropriateness of anti-sexists (those fighting for a pro-social justice cause) and don’t, apparently, criticise to anything like a similar degree the actual sexists. It’s not an ironic imposition of “our” values on “you”, or a dismissal of “your” concerns, but a recognition that these tone arguments are used dangerously as well as usefully. The imbalance in where your criticisms are being applied is the reason people are reluctant to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Your freedom to participate how you will and where you will also applies to other people. And if they see you participating in criticism of one group and in one manner more than another, then they are free to come to conclusions about your stated motives not matching your hidden motives (if that’s the case), or to disagree with your criticisms. They might be wrong, but they are not unjustified in the act of doing so. Remember, your freedom is also theirs.

    Does that go some way to explaining why you are getting the push-back here that you are?

    Louis

  419. 419
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Srsly, I love MLK just for the Letter from the Birmingham Jail. I mean, he was pretty neat otherwise, but that alone is enough to make me love him.

  420. 420
    Louis

    Esteleth,

    Word.

    Louis

  421. 421
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I also appears HS doesn’t understand the difference between having his say (assertive), and bullying by presence (aggressive). During the first couple of days HS was having his say. Explaining where he comes from and voicing his OPINION. All fine.

    But then the folks at Pharyngula did not respond in the fashion HS mistakenly and egotistically thought was appropriate, which was to fawn adulation on his “obvious wisdom”. So repeated repetitions of already voiced concerns and attitude were made by HS, to increasing amounts of skepticism and ridicule for his not learning from the responses to his concerns. After day three, HS was really passive-aggressively bullying Pharyngula with repeated appearances saying nothing new, complaining about our tone and lack of appreciation for his inane concerns. Since he was only voicing those concerns to Pharyngula, the hypocrisy of his impartial demeanor was exposed for that of a partisan, and his aggression/bullying behavior continued unabated and unrecognized by him.

    So, there are some serious questions HS needs to ask himself. Why continue posting if he has nothing new to say? Why isn’t he posting at ThunderFoots place, expressing concern over there? What will further evidenceless OPINION posts at Pharyngula accomplish, other than more scorn and ridicule shown to his concerns? Why can’t HS supply evidence to back up its OPINIONS at Pharyngula?

    Inquiring people want to know.

  422. 422
    huntstoddard

    Louis,
    Yes, that does summarize the motivation of those here who think I’m tone trolling, but you have to consider that mere tone trolling was a diagnosis that they applied to me, not me to myself. Tone doesn’t bother me much at all. After all, I’ve tolerated the Nerd with pretty good humor, I think.

    Against those who are genuine 100% known horrible misogynists, the MRAs who openly hate women, openly believe that because some men have crappy jobs it means that men are oppressed and therefore that this can’t be a male dominated world, and hate women for it, and so on (you know the type), I absolutely agree with applying the MLK letter. Despite the general impression here, I have confronted these people on various blogs. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to wrestle them to the mat to very little avail. To a large extent, *I* have come to the conclusion that they are hopeless cases. Whatever is causing the misogyny is so deeply ingrained that we might as well just adopt the strategy that we’re going to wait until they die off or become irrelevant for one reason or another. You have to ask yourself why the civil rights movement was successful in changing minds and what type of mind actually changed. Did the white southern bigots, those who had lived intergenerationally with the idea that blacks were chattel, ever change. Very few. It was the fence sitters and those that realized the direction the wind was blowing–and had the psychological capacity to do so.

    This brings us back to the present situation. The understand the problem in its entirety, first we have to categorize the players, which presents the immediate problem that nobody actually knows what the percentages are, but roughly speaking the categories are this:

    1- Blatant MRA bigots, many of whom piled on after they saw a conflagration.
    2- Anti-feminists, who are not quite as hateful as full blown MRAs. Many of these think some kind of McCarthyism is operative in some form.
    3- People who oppose firing TF on principle because they think this was some kind of Hundred Flowers purge and think Free Thought blog should have tolerated this and handled it in stride.

    IMO nothing can really be done about the MRAs. Cat 2 is the group that the community is afraid fill the ranks in higher numbers than previously thought. Some people in Cat 3 might move into Cat 2 if their fears are not assuaged to some degree. Some people in Cat 2 might move into Cat 1 if the blandishments of MRAism play effectively enough on their psychological vulnerabilities, and unfortunately MRAism is enticing to the ignorant neophyte, particularly those who are hurt in some way or think they’ve been treated unfairly. I used to think this was an impossibility wrt. TF, but my faith has been shaken somewhat by the twitter posts.

    So anyway, I have to do something else at the moment. Sorry for the brain dump, but I hope this provides some perspective.

    P.S. Why have I not gone directly to TF’s blog? TF is still an open book and very much a loose cannon. I don’t precisely know where he’s going to shoot next. Maybe I think whatever I have to say will fall on deaf ears, or maybe I’m just being lazy.

  423. 423
  424. 424
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Maybe I think whatever I have to say will fall on deaf ears, or maybe I’m just being lazy.

    Or maybe you are being hypocritial, and maybe you subconsciously support TF. But you have nothing cogent to say to us until you face down TF with your drivel, and it is drivel. Hypocrisy is thy name until then.

  425. 425
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    Despite the general impression here, I have confronted these people on various blogs. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to wrestle them to the mat to very little avail. To a large extent, *I* have come to the conclusion that they are hopeless cases. Whatever is causing the misogyny is so deeply ingrained that we might as well just adopt the strategy that we’re going to wait until they die off or become irrelevant for one reason or another. You have to ask yourself why the civil rights movement was successful in changing minds and what type of mind actually changed. Did the white southern bigots, those who had lived intergenerationally with the idea that blacks were chattel, ever change. Very few. It was the fence sitters and those that realized the direction the wind was blowing–and had the psychological capacity to do so.

    And this is perhaps where you’re mistaking our intent (or at least the intent of a large number of people here, myself included). Converting dyed in the wool MRA/misogynists, like converting creationists in one hit to rationality, is largely wasted effort. They’re not the target.

    By verbally beating up the misogynists so thoroughly, by drawing a very firm line against misogyny, by not tolerating expressions of misogyny we’re targeting the very fence sitters you mention. Those people look at the shellacking the misogynists get and think. By no means all people in all circumstances, I’ve already mentioned that this is not a “one size fits all policy”, but a goodly number are converted away from unquestioned, socially ingrained misogyny by encountering unwavering anti-misogyny.

    I’m glad you ask “what was successful in the civil rights movement” because it was PRECISELY this. MLK et al. used non-violent civil disobedience (they were “rude”, “uppity”, “loud”, “inconvenient”, “acting at the wrong time”, “impatient”, “strident”…) to move the Overton Window, to move the centre point of discussion to a more equitable centre. Re-read Letter from a Birmingham Jail. MLK is quite explicit about the problem of the so called “moderates” in situations like this. Remember, no one here is advocating violence or anything much more serious than “naughty words on a blog” or a bit of real world activism (non-violent). And look at the rhetoric that gets thrown back. This whole issue really took off in this community ~1 year ago with “Elevatorgate” when the internet done lost its shit because a woman said “Guys, don’t do that”.

    As I alluded to in my previous post, you perhaps are mistaking your goals for “our” goals (or at least “my” goals). Sure I am, like you claim to be, keen to reduce the incidences of sexism/misogyny in the sceptic/atheist community/movement and indeed society at large. On that we appear to agree. What I think you’re not getting is that by in no way compromising with unabashed bigots I am not targeting them. I am targeting the onlookers.

    Ever been in a fight with more than one opponent? Sometimes, just sometimes, if you absolutely batter the first guy, really do him some damage, the others back off. It’s not necessarily the most rational response (from any perspective), but social primates we are, and seeing the Big Boss Fella take a shellacking discourages the participation of others. Again, not perfect, far from universal and luckily only being used as a metaphor here!

    When the real misogynists take a verbal shellacking, no one is under any illusion they will suddenly see the light and rush out to buy the collected works of Andrea Dworkin (not that they should, there’s a lot she says I disagree with!). What we’re hoping for is collateral damage. That the onlookers, the cheerleaders, the adult equivalent of the kid that looked around the school bully’s back and sneered, the enablers, the “I’m not sexist but”-ers, the cowards, the clueless SEE what misogyny gets you. Perhaps, just perhaps, in the silence of their own heads they will the confront their own misogyny. Just like I did (for example).

    THIS is what worked for the civil rights movement. The unwavering and relentless commitment to shift the centre point of discussion away from “more racist” to “less racist”. You do that by refusing to accept any racism.

    You mention the “fears of the Category 2s”. Undoubtedly not all methods work for all people. Undoubtedly some people will react irrationally to any criticism and harden their line and views. Here’s another goal you don’t seem to share with me (or “us”): GOOD! I don’t want those people. Seriously, in the immortal words of the Prophet: “Fuck them right in the ear”.

    Again, you missed my point that context matters. No one here is advocating an “All Pharyngulite methodology in All places at All times with All people”, least of all me. What we are advocating is an “All Pharyngulite methodology at Pharyngula, where it is appropriate, and anywhere else it is also appropriate. Increased Pharyngulosity may serve your ends as it did every social justice movement before this one”. If the Thunderf00ts and self proclaimed moderate versions of Thunderf00t are distressed by our lack of tolerance and pleasantness towards them: GOOD. That is a bonus. A weak and conditional ally is no ally at all.

    Criticising the excesses of religion, or some woo-ish belief, and its effects on women (for example) is all fine and dandy, but if we as a group are repeating actions that have those self same effects…that is less fine, and not remotely dandy. As I’ve said to many of the regulars here who have lost patience with the atheist/sceptic movements because of the vocal misogyny (and apparent unwillingness to challenge it from some quarters) within it: I’m an atheist, I’m a sceptic, and I’m a feminist for the EXACT SAME REASONS. Sexist sacred cows are no less sacred cows to be exposed because our chums have them. There’s no good evidence for any deity, the claims are largely meaningless and incoherent. The scientific method, when applied to a myriad of irrational beliefs and claims, demonstrates their invalidity in exactly the same way it has countless scientific (and pseudoscientific) ideas throughout history. Similar reason based scrutiny of social ideas, received wisdoms and their underpinnings reveal exactly the same thing: that they are baseless, and worse, destructive.

    What you’re not getting is that we ARE doing what worked for every single social justice/civil rights movement throughout history: we’re not compromising with the bigots or failing to address them.

    Louis

  426. 426
    huntstoddard

    Louis,
    After I made that last comment, I drove up to a friend’s place and while in the car, grasped the targeting problem. We usually do our best thinking after hitting Enter, ain’t that the truth. To a certain extent I probably understood it before, since there is a gaping contradiction in that comment, which is that I’ve given up on trying to correct MRA’s, yet agree that the MLK philosophy should be applied to them. So, yes, we are in total agreement that the moderate element has always been the target. It’s only that the theatrical battle lies with the extremists, probably because that is where the biggest bang for the buck lies. I was going to take issue with your description of the method. Ever hoping that misanthropy is not true, it struck me at first that in the pitch of battle those moderate elements realize just how horrid are those they have thrown in with and so epiphanously convert to the other side. Then I slapped myself in the face and realized that you’re probably right in general. Some people do change by that process, but depressingly, the majority probably change by conformity to law, to a sense of political correction, because not doing so will result in social ostracisation, and so on. Unfortunately that is often all these people are, conformists. Secretly they still harbor their original feeling but perhaps attenuated.

    I still hold TF as a candidate for my (Pollyanna) approach. If he continues the trend he appears to be on, I WILL ask him, dude, do you really want to associate with these people (Voice for Men, etc.)?

    Is it time for Kumbaya yet? I think we’re getting pretty close. Nerd, hit it.

  427. 427
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I still hold TF as a candidate for my (Pollyanna) approach.

    Who the fuck cares what you think? Really, why should we care? I know I don’t ever care what tone/concern trolls “think”, because they evidenceless fools,

    Is it time for Kumbaya yet?

    If by kumbaya, you mean you finally shutting the fuck up like you should of two days ago? Then yes.

  428. 428
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    LOL Ahhhh l’esprit de l’escalier. I know it only too well.

    No kumbaya quite yet though! Pollyanna TF all you like, it will actually serve to oppose the goals you claim to be working towards. And therein lies the problem that SC and SGBM and others have explicitly mentioned, and I have alluded to.

    Have you read Sam Harris’ books? In one of them (The End of Faith IIRC) he refers to “moderates” giving cover to “extremists”. This is a general problem, it affects “us” as much as “them” (BTW I am very much of the opinion there is no “them”, there is only “us”…but I digress). TF has staked a position that is counterfactual, that is proclaimed by extremists (A Voice For Men is registered with the SPLC as a hate site like Stormfront for fuck’s sake!), and is associating himself with the (very shoddy) arguments of the extremists. This is not a morally, or factually, dubious act! This is a bloody stupid act of obvious bigotry! If I did this (or its equivalent) I would expect, nay demand, to be jumped on by my nearest and dearest and given a bloody good thrashing.

    Even though I might like X about Person A, the fact that I like X doesn’t mean that I should give Y a pass, when X is a “good” thing and Y is a “bad”. The same goes for Person B who largely does Y type things and then does an X. That X’s “goodnesses” are independent of the person’s “goodnesses”. So whilst I might also hope that TF is not an irretrievable misogynist douchebiscuit, he is doing a sufficiently good impression of one that he needs to be jumped on, especially by his nearest and dearest, and given a bloody good thrashing. (Metaphorically)

    TF deserves his metaphorical thrashing so much more than some knuckle dragging fundamentalist knobber raised in the back woods of Sexistville, Racist County. TF is intelligent, educated, in a sufficiently sceptical environment to know the methods of good sceptical enquiry, he’s surrounded by people willing to help, educate, show him the evidence, and he is entrenching. He’s getting MORE misogynist not less. That’s not evidence that any tactic with him is not working, it’s evidence he is beyond rational reach for the time being. Ask any religious fundamentalist who has converted away from that religious position, such defensiveness is a hallmark of the early stages.

    The problem with the Pollyanna approach to a person currently beyond reason and rational reach on a topic is that it treats them, and their ideas and claims, as if they deserve respect. This is precisely the opposite of what people need to do. Why? Because it serves to shift the Overton Window the wrong way. Dealing with unreasonable people espousing bigotry as if they (and it) are reasonable shifts the centre point of discussion back towards the bigoted end. Not what we want.

    You might have heard Richard Dawkins say he will no longer debate with creationists. This is not because he can’t, but because debating with them grants them an undeserved degree of credit for their ideas and their undeserved rhetoric. Deborah Lipstadt makes an excellent case for refusing to debate with Holocaust deniers because it grants them an undeserved platform. Their ideas are demonstrably counter to the available evidence, when they have ideas supported by similar degrees of evidence then debate might be worthwhile. Debating with someone whether the moon is made of rock or green cheese in a serious fashion unfortunately gives the Green Cheesers undue seriousness. Everyone must be {_______} this hig to get on the ride and these muppets don’t even warrant a bracket!

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? If we are to be the custodes, the guards, who will guard us? Well, as alluded to above, I’m pretty certain there is no “them” so our only choice is “us”. We have to be scrupulously honest with ourselves. As Feynman once said “Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”. We have to try to the very core of our beings not to fool ourselves and it is ridiculously easy. TF’s actions demand that we, his scientific, atheistic, and sceptical peers so to speak, get up off our arses and police “our own”. If he proves himself to be as far beyond reasonable discourse as he currently is, if he proves himself to be the bigot he is currently working very, very hard to be, then we are better off without him. His goals and ours are not identical, we’re trying to serve the purpose of reasoned enquiry into our universe, internal and external, he’s trying to shore up his demonstrable prejudice and privilege. That’s not a reasoned or rational act.

    Sexist atheists/sceptics have as much claim to any self aggrandising mantle of rational thought as homoeopath atheists/sceptics do. They’re being highly selective about where they apply their scepticism. That’s naughty. And should be a problem, an open, obvious and serious problem.

    Louis

  429. 429
    vaiyt

    I still hold TF as a candidate for my (Pollyanna) approach.

    And yet, you don’t go there and talk to him.

  430. 430
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And yet, you don’t go there and talk to him.

    Of course not. He does see TF as an unreachable loose cannon, and thinks we are open to his version of reason. Except it isn’t reason, just kumbaya platitudes and other inane and meaningless bullshit. Real reason has him talking to TF, not us. His kumbaya platitudes are already where they belong, in the dumpster.

  431. 431
    Louis

    Nerd,

    He does see TF as an unreachable loose cannon, and thinks we are open to his version of reason.

    Ahhhh but maybe he is open to our reason…

    …then again, maybe not. But it’s Friday, I may treat myself to a post work beer before working through the weekend, I’m feeling generous.

    Grog?

    Louis

  432. 432
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Grog?

    *slips vial of 10-day old grog into pocket in case HS returns*
    Five-day old good? The bacon sammiches are fresh.

  433. 433
    huntstoddard

    Louis,
    Thanks for your comments. I had not heard of the Overton window until you mentioned it, but now that I know it has a name, I realize that I’ve encountered it in various forms for years, even on a small scale within blogs. I said that I’ve spent time on right wing blogs debating anti-feminists, but I didn’t mention that for me it was actually something of an obsessive involvement in “someone is wrong on the Internet.” I literally spent two or three years of my life wasting hours a day interacting with these cretins. I became so immersed in it, something akin to Jane Goodall’s acceptance by the chimps happened. I laughed and joked with them, but I was always careful to not give the impression that I sympathized with them. The Overton window that existed there was far different than that of the general political climate, and eventually I came to conform to it as well. When on occasion an overt atheist, feminist, liberal, or non-racist appeared and offered an outraged opinion, my reaction became something like this In retrospect, it was a pretty dumb and unhealthy thing for me to do, and I do think I’ve damaged my brain somewhat by doing it. Realizing that, generally speaking, these people DO NOT CHANGE has really helped me drop the obsession.

    And yet, you don’t go there and talk to him.

    In due time. I’m now pretty convinced TF is truly at sea at this point. Give him time to process the information, and if he comes down off the mountain sounding MRA, then I’ll start in.

  434. 434
    John Morales

    [meta+

    huntstoddard:

    In due time. I’m now pretty convinced TF is truly at sea at this point. Give him time to process the information, and if he comes down off the mountain sounding MRA, then I’ll start in.

    Were that the case, it’d be after due time, O laggard wishful thinker.

    (Speaking of Overton’s Window, you’ve certainly sidled over! :)

    At some point, you’ll doubtless claim you ‘got it’ from the start)

  435. 435
    huntstoddard

    I’m trying to resist the temptation to think about this as if he’s in the prodromal stage of rabies or something. That attitude, at least, I have preserved from the start. What I have changed my mind about is the impression that handling something in stride, because it has the veneer of being reasonable, is necessarily a good idea or strategy. I also have a greater appreciation for why the collective decision was what it was, and that my individual course can legitimately diverge from it. Boiled down, this was basically “tough love,” and some might debate the second word. I’ll just say that I’ve never liked “tough love” as a concept, but here I’m growing more convinced that it was warranted. How’s that for mea culpa?

  436. 436
    Louis

    HuntStoddard,

    The reaction TF is getting is not tough love. There ain’t much love! It’s not hate (at least from me, far too much like hard work!), it’s outrage at his expressions of bigotry. Opposition to bigotry does not necessarily equal its polar opposite level of emotion. He is wrong, morally and factually, even by his own standards I very much doubt he’d tolerate such naked expressions of less socially “acceptable” bigotry, say, naked anti Semitism and subsequent Holocaust denial. Just because it’s a little more pervasive we should tolerate his naked expressions of misogyny?

    I think not.

    But I’m glad you’re moving away from “he’s so far gone as to beyond engaging”. Cultural misogyny is much more damaging that batshit creationism (for example).

    Louis

  437. 437
    huntstoddard

    Great discussion. I thank everyone for tolerating me. Even the Nerd. I learned a lot.

  438. 438
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I haven’t tolerated you.

  439. 439
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard: “Tough love”?

    Nah; amused disdain is what I feel.

    I thank everyone for tolerating me.

    Well, that’s silly.

    It’s PZ alone you should thank, since it’s only he who has power over your comments here.

    (As you may have by now garnered, he’s pretty fucking tolerant, as long as people aren’t egregiously boring or vacuous, so to imagine you’ve had some special dispensation is just more wishful thinking)

  440. 440
    huntstoddard

    I haven’t tolerated you.

    Jesus Christ on a Popsicle stick you people are irascible. Also, for the last two days, it’s been me, Louis, and crickets, but you came back to say that. Bullshit, you tolerated me.

    It’s PZ alone you should thank, since it’s only he who has power over your comments here.

    PZ Myers is hell and gone from this discussion Morales. If you can get him to say that he’s been overseeing it, like YHWH, you get 100 of my dollars, sent to the address of your choice.

  441. 441
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    huntstoddard, your red herring is hardly smelly and I’m no hound.

    Again: It’s PZ alone you should thank, since it’s only he who has power over your comments here.

    (To thank others for forbearance when they can do nothing other than comment is at best otiose and in any case fatuous)

    If you can get him to say that he’s been overseeing it, like YHWH, you get 100 of my dollars, sent to the address of your choice.

    O ye of little faith.

    (I find your lack of faith disturbing

    (Fear… will keep the local systems in line)
    )

  442. 442
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I thank everyone for tolerating me.

    We don’t tolerate you. That implies a certain acceptance of your message. Your message was fuckwittery from start to finish. You kept acting like you were the first person to bring such a message or the most important person who must be treated with the utmost respect person. Your blatant egoism. That is what wasn’t, and never will be tolerated. And quit trying to get in the last word. Prima facie evidence of your ego run amok.

  443. 443
    huntstoddard

    And quit trying to get in the last word. Prima facie evidence of your ego run amok.

    You’re such a little twit. Didn’t you read my comments? I spent three years fucking around with people with your exact temperament. Aside from belief structure and political affiliation, you’re exactly as brutal, insensitive and unthinking as your right wing counterpart.

  444. 444
    huntstoddard

    (To thank others for forbearance when they can do nothing other than comment is at best otiose and in any case fatuous)

    Yes, like it couldn’t possibly be an expression not meant to be literally translated. I didn’t really realize there was anyone else here except perhaps Louis. I guess I should have considered the Recent Comment assholes who will always haunt a post for posterity. Well fuck you. Now I’m going to get the last word in if it takes me until 2015.

  445. 445
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    Don’t blame me. I just work here!

    I didn’t (and don’t) “tolerate you”, and I realise that this might be a fine hair to split, but I did (and do) “disagree with you”. I just, against normal practises and habits, haven’t engaged in anything above Level 1 Mockery yet! What’s there to tolerate? A difference of opinion? Pass me my fainting couch and smelling salts! I think you’re mildly “Wrong On The Internet”, I’m pretty sure you still help old ladies across the road, are kind to sick animals and give your mother flowers. In time, I’ll cope with the disagreement. One day at a time.

    You’ll get a spectrum of replies here at Pharyngula Towers. Some will be more pleasant than others. If you turn out to be an irredeemable moron, I’ll mock/ignore you like I do any other irredeemable moron. I’d expect the same courtesy by the way! ;-)

    Others, myself on different days included, might have different definitions of “irredeemable moron”. {Shrug} It takes all sorts to make the world go around, it would be awfully dull if we were all the same.

    Either way, If you want my totally unasked for advice, I’d get the fuck over it. It’s not all about you.

    It is, however, all about me. My mummy told me so…

    …you’re not calling my mummy a liar now are you?

    Louis

  446. 446
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard:

    Now I’m going to get the last word in if it takes me until 2015.

    Then you shan’t only be proving Nerd right, but also engaging in a pointless and futile endeavour.

    (Your optimistic time estimate is noted with due derision)

  447. 447
    Louis

    John,

    (Your optimistic time estimate is noted with due derision)

    {Snigger}

    I thought the same thing!

    Louis

  448. 448
    huntstoddard

    Either way, If you want my totally unasked for advice, I’d get the fuck over it. It’s not all about you.

    Word.

  449. 449
    Louis

    Word.

    The last one?

    Louis

  450. 450
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The last one?

    Never, its too full of itself and kumbaya.

  451. 451
    huntstoddard

    Then you shan’t only be proving Nerd right, but also engaging in a pointless and futile endeavour.

    As a only slightly engaged longtime lurker, Nerd’s function seems to be to aggressively confront anyone not “of the body” in the attempt to stimulate them to say something that will get them banned. I used to think that particularly sleazy technique was limited to right wing blogs, but I guess not. Exactly why PZ tolerates him I don’t know, except that he must approve the effort. Then I gave him some kind of credit as “bad cop” played off the more thoughtful commenters, but if that’s the case, he’s doing a pretty good job of staying in character and not showing he has any other capacity whatsoever.

    By the way, what nationalities are we dealing with here? Louis says he’s from UK; I seem to recall Morales is Australian, Nerd may as well be from Mars. I happen to be American, but in the middle of the Pacific variety (Hawaii).

    The last one?

    (rolls eyes) Yes, the double meaning was deliberate.

  452. 452
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard, this is not an open thread.

    (You want to chat, go to the thunderdome)

  453. 453
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    (rolls eyes) Yes, the double meaning was deliberate.

    Oh my dear, sweet, wonderful chap, I did get that. Roll your eyes back into position! I was, as we British say, taking the piss.

    Now really, really, REALLY take my utterly unasked for advice and shut the fuck up on this thread about this tiresome crap. Yes I know you can say anything anywhere. I agree. The “but” is this: community standards and mores are not always 100% rational and perfect, and Pharyngula is no different, but we HAVE standards (odd though they may be). If you wish to comment and not be leapt upon for being an irredeemable moron then don’t do the things that are the hallmarks of the irredeemable moron. Seriously, if you can participate sensibly, and there’s no major reason to doubt you can, play the game a little bit, you might find that winding your neck in a bit gets you further than you might imagine. If you are a bright and reasonable fellow, just remember you ain’t alone here. One of the hardest lessons to learn is there are a lot of bright and reasonable fellows (female and male and every permutation in between) here. Learn from them, contribute to the discussion, don’t just make it about your bruised ego like you are doing here. Please, for your own sake.

    And Hawaii? I HAS AN ENVY!

    Two reasons: 1) Fuckin’ HAWAII BABY!!!! I love a surf, 2) Hudlicky. That’s all I’ll say. I would work in Hawaii in a heart beat. Wife and child? Money? Family? Easy access to Real Ale and proper sausages? Who needs ‘em!

    Louis

    P.S. That’s not what Nerd is doing btw. What Nerd is doing is very openly and accurately demonstrating the contempt for irredeemable morons on certain issues that your average Pharyngulite has. I share that contempt and I mock/ignore people when I experience that contempt. I’m happy to engage people nicely, carefully and seriously, I’m not happy to do it forever. Believe me when I say I am not a tolerant person. Not even by Pharyngulean standards. Learn!

  454. 454
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nerd’s function seems to be to aggressively confront anyone not “of the body” in the attempt to stimulate them to say something that will get them banned

    No, that’s not what I’m doing. I’m showing contempt for both your kumbaya message and the way you deliver it with passive-aggressive bullying. And I’ll keep doing that to keep your failure in front of you. Your message is in the dumpster where it belongs. Nobody has agreed with you. You changed nothing. Deal with your failure elsewhere.

    If you wish to converse try the thunderdome thread.

  455. 455
    huntstoddard

    What Nerd is doing is very openly and accurately demonstrating the contempt for irredeemable morons on certain issues that your average Pharyngulite has. I share that contempt and I mock/ignore people when I experience that contempt. I’m happy to engage people nicely, carefully and seriously, I’m not happy to do it forever.

    Cut and wrap. In other words, he’s your cute little attack dog, unfettered by social (and in some cases moral) conscience to make any claim his little attack doggy nose tells him might stick. Oh! he’s soo cutie wooty! He’s tolerated because though he might be a vulgar boorish shit, he’s YOUR vulgar little boorish shit.

    Yes, you’re willing to talk nice. You know what else? You’re willing to have the conversation debased by Nerd without telling him to STFU. And that does say something about you, whether you want to admit it or not.

  456. 456
    huntstoddard

    If you wish to converse try the thunderdome thread.

    Translation: Hey kid, you…you want some candy?

  457. 457
    John Morales

    [meta]

    huntstoddard, you are now nakedly trolling.

    (Good luck with that!)

  458. 458
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You’re willing to have the conversation debased by Nerd without telling him to STFU. And that does say something about you, whether you want to admit it or not.

    And it says something about your passive-aggressive bullying that you can’t/won’t shut the fuck up either. You want me to shut the fuck up because I don’t and won’t agree with you, and let you know that. And you are going to keep trolling until I let you think you won. Pitiful, fallacious, and delusional thinking.

  459. 459
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    Not telling Nerd to STFU says something about me? OH NOES! TEH HORRIBLES! I’ll survive. I don’t particularly care about Nerd’s tone, if and when I do, I let him know. He isn’t debasing the conversation in my opinion, he is demonstrating a well earned degree of contempt for a shitty set of arguments. The fact that I have demonstrated my contempt for those arguments in a more generally socially acceptable fashion doesn’t mean that contempt is absent.

    Is he my/our attack dog? Hardly. He’s himself. Politeness qua politeness, is not particularly valued here. Nerd can and has engaged people perfectly politely for years. He does what he wants, just like you do. Just like I do. I neither excuse Nerd’s style nor condemn it, it’s a style, and frankly, I find how Nerd says things less interesting than what he says.

    This has been a constant refrain for you, the one of tone. Look at this. Complaining about tone is a convenient distraction, if you could, but for a second, pull your ego out of contention in this discussion and just allow for the possibility that you can be wrong too (because I’m great at being wrong, I do it 100 times a day at least! One of the advantages of being a scientist is I get to be wrong a LOT), then this tone nonsense would matter so much less to you.

    Why did I engage you with a different tone to Nerd? Two reasons:

    1) Tone trolls, which you emulate if you’re not actually one yourself, are typically hypocritical about their disagreement. Which has been amply demonstrated on this thread alone. Look how “loud” I had to “shout” to get any engagement with quite sensible and polite posts instead of the posts of nastier tone from others. I made the point about hypocrisy in this instance pretty well by not engaging in unpleasantness and being thoroughly ignored until I jumped up and down waving and shouting “over here”.

    Tone trolls are disagreeing with the argument but don’t want to be seen to be doing so. It’s the “I’m not racist but…” writ large. This is not universally the case, obviously, but particularly in areas of social justice, the “rude”/”uppity” epithet is chucked about by people oh-so-concerned with the success of the social justice movement, and oh-so-worried about those nasty people scaring folks off. This “concern” is at odds with the tale of successful social justice movements and tactics. Remember we are talking about language, uncompromising words, rudeness, tension, not violence.

    2) Some people emulate tone trolls but are not actually tone trolls. If I take your claims about engaging the sexists and criticising them at face value, then great, you’re a real ally just disagreeing over tactics, no great crime there. Disagreement is useful! If I don’t take those claims at face value, I refer you to 1), and IMO you and your complaints should be treated with contempt. It’s been richly earned in that case.

    Again that treatment creates the very tension we want. That tension is useful, it exposes those opposed to the particular social justice issue as the bigots they are. However they wish to hide that bigotry. How do you think my own bigotry (which exists of course) was/has been/is being exposed? With a rub down and a shiatsu? Hardly! I’ll play nice with people as long as I consider them to be honest interlocutors. The second I decide that I don’t believe that, I start to mock/ignore as appropriate. No amount of superficial incivility is as destructive to discourse as mealy mouthed disingenuity.

    This has so obviously become an issue of ego for you. Right or wrong, nice or nasty, there are people who are just going to piss all over you for that. If you keep persisting in this you’re going to have to outlast them and walk that fine line between being at odds with the prevailing culture (one of carefully crafted rudeness on certain issues, whether you like that or not) and being a pest and getting yourself banned. That’s not a threat by the way, what I mean by it is if certain types of tension and discord are caused for certain reasons (egotistic pissing contests of the type you are engaging in), PZ will eventually notice and become bored by you. There are better ways for you to contribute if you want to.

    Many moons ago I argued against a prevailing idea here about the use of the word “cunt” and misogyny. I was wrong. Massively wrong. Some parts of my methodology were not utterly daft, but a lot of them were and I just simply hadn’t questioned my privilege sufficiently, I was pretty unaware I even had any. I learned. Why? Not because I valued fitting in here, I don’t particularly, but because I like to evaluate my own arguments. I get things wrong. A lot. Sometimes, just sometimes, when I am opposed by a vocal, rude, majority I’m actually the one at error. Sometimes I’m not of course, but the simple fact of majority/minority or rude/polite doesn’t factor in. What matters is how the arguments work, how coherent they are, how they are based in evidence etc. THAT is what matters. That is why people, myself included, are so utterly contemptuous of complaints about tone. The fact that Nerd has chosen to engage you with a greater degree of naked contempt than I have is not a reflection that I accept your position more than he does, I don’t, you’re manifestly wrong, it’s that I have been, and up to now can be, bothered to deal with you relatively nicely. That’s it.

    Again, there is a whole wide internet out there. No one has a gun to your head forcing you to comment somewhere where the general tone of the conversation, which it seems is what is currently energising you, is not to your taste. So don’t! If you have an actual argument as opposed to yet another well refuted tone argument, then let the dog see the rabbit. Until that point why the hell do you expect to be dealt with with anything other than contempt/mockery/being ignored for presenting the umpteen millionth recitation of an incredibly dull pseudo-argument that is orthogonal to the point of the actual argument?

    Louis

  460. 460
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Huntstoddard, here’s an intellectual exercise for you to do honestly and with integrity. Every social change, be it women’s suffrage, civil rights for blacks, civil rights for gays, appear to have two parts to be successful. A in-your-face noisy group to get peoples attention, and make them realize there is a problem, and a quieter group to alleviate the fears associated with potential solutions. Pharygula is one of the noisy-in-your-face groups.

    Now, show a recent major social change that succeeded in a short period of time using only your kumbaya methods. Even with Ghandi, while he passive, others weren’t, so it doesn’t fit.

    Evidence for their methods actually working for change is the problem the tone/concern trolls have. At the end of the day, they don’t really want society change, and use politeness and quiet to stifle change, like you are doing. Read Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail for his opinion of tone/concern trolls. You should be taking your concerns to ThunderFoot. Why aren’t you? You appear to in the ego trap, where since we here told you to do it, and you can’t stand being told what to do, you immaturely stay.

  461. 461
    huntstoddard

    Louis, you could have written that about a hundred comments ago. Neither of you are accurately reflecting just how this discussion has actually progressed. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that you really don’t believe anyone can ever actually change their mind or themselves. The once heretic will always be a heretic. Cynical admonition to go talk to T-foot is pure deceit. If I am tainted by ideological impurity, what the hell chance does he have? The only thing you really have left is your own black hearts. It’s either that, or the possibly less attractive alternative that you believe the only goal of civil conversation should be that the vanquished must be required to beg forgiveness before the tribunal and then slink off in humiliation. I’m wondering if that was actually your own former experiences, and now you’re just acting out the abuse.

  462. 462
    Louis

    Huntstoddard,

    I want some of whatever you’ve been smoking! it seems like it’s good shit!

    My whole position, from then to now, has been that engaging people like Tfoot is useful, of course they can (and frequently do) change their minds. I’m not asking for vanquishing or humiliation or anything like it, you’re just making things up now.

    There’s more to engaging the Tfoots of this earth in the hope that they will change. I’ve explicitly mentioned just how engaging them has “side benefits” a few times. For you to “forget” this after acknowledging it above is….mysterious.

    You’re the one arguing for non-engagement with Tfoot. Many people here, myself included, have been saying that your tone arguments on this thread butter no parsnips, they are vacuous and easily refuted (see above). Many people here, including myself, have said that instead of spending your effort telling the people opposed to social injustice that their tone is poor, you could spend that identical effort telling the people perpetrating that social injustice that they are perpetrating social injustice.

    Holy bananas, Batman, do you really need me to scroll up and find the exact quotes from you where you complained about being told your effort here with tone arguments was wasted and just why you weren’t going to engage Tfoot et al?

    I’m going with strike 2 here, the previous treating you as a serious human being counts as strike 1. I think I may have been too generous.

    Louis

  463. 463
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Cynical admonition to go talk to T-foot is pure deceit. If I am tainted by ideological impurity,

    The deceit is on your part for pretending to be an impartial observer, but only engaging one side. That is called partisanship. In engaging in partisanship, you tainted your ideologicial purity all by your little lonely, and are no longer an impartial observer. We are trying to get you back on the path by having you engage ThunderFoot. You explanations (not excuses) for not doing so ring hollow, and are prima facie evidence of your hypocrisy of pretending to be impartial, while just engaging one side with your inane concern/tone trolling.

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