[Lounge #369] »« It’s lovely to see the Romney campaign in such disarray

Comments

  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.

    W. C. Fields

  2. Sili says

    “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get.”
    – Clint Eastwood

    I’m sure it’s been said endlessly, but I guess the Republans indeed made his day.

  3. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter is, in fact, a vile human being – even more than Caine, and perhaps comparably to Nick Gotts, she has a long history with n00bs here of immediately jumping to the interpretation of greatest evil. – David Marjonovic

    Do I do that? Perhaps more important, do I often get it wrong? Examples would be helpful if you have them.

  4. Ichthyic says

    “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get.”
    – Clint Eastwood

    man, that could be a quote from “White Hunter, Black Heart”

    I could just imagine John Huston saying the exact same thing.

  5. Aratina Cage says

    @jonmilne from previous Thunderdome thread:

    It’s not like McGraw didn’t have the freedom to write several response blog posta as well as presumably use Twitter to express her outrage at Watson’s so-called “dirty tactics”. Hell, it’s not even like McGraw couldn’t have arranged some other public speaking outlet where she could have outlined her issues with Watson there.

    What’s more, McGraw did use an official organizational blog to criticize all 10 seconds of the “Guys? Don’t do that.” part of Watson’s YouTube video. She did that right before Watson’s keynote presentation was about to be given. And not just her, but others also. They went after Watson on Twitter and on YouTube besides the blogs. All doing so right before her keynote presentation to which some of them would be attending (as many of them were associated in some way with the organization Watson was presenting at).

    Do you (the general you, that is) think they could have possibly written her or called her and told her about the differences they had with what she said instead of just talking dirt about her (on official blogs! and elsewhere) behind her back? These were people who were part of or associated with the very same organization as Watson. They could have easily gotten ahold of her if they had tried. It’s the same level of disregard that DJ Grothe showed by talking dirt about Watson and Co. behind their backs instead of talking to them.

    Watson did not have much of a choice in how she handled this matter; she was pressured to respond to the growing clamor as anyone with her fortitude would be, and she chose to respond directly to some of the prime voices of the hubbub in the audience. I’m almost sorry it was McGraw if she wasn’t ready to be called out on it as appears to have been the case, but she did write it on an official organizational blog for all to see and should have been ready to reflect critically on what she wrote from that moment on.

    So to add to what you wrote, yes, lots of different avenues could have been explored for a conversation between Watson and whoever else had a bone to pick with her at the time or wanted to make an example out of her for whatever purpose after the keynote and before. Lots of things could have been done differently by McGraw (or at least by other instigators if McGraw was pressured to write that herself). I don’t want anyone to overlook the fact that they were already expressing their outrage at Watson on social media apps and official organizational channels before she gave her keynote presentation.

  6. Dhorvath, OM says

    David,

    Ms. Daisy Cutter is, in fact, a vile human being

    Really? Did you mean this to sound so damning? I can’t really reconcile calling someone vile with looking forwards to meeting them in meatspace.

  7. says

    Aratina Cage,

    I would ignore the whole “Watson/McGraw” thing as a red herring. Watson didn’t really make a big deal out of McGraw, and in response McGraw didn’t really make a big deal out of Watson. It was “Hey guys, don’t do that” followed by “Hey Watson, I disagree” followed by “Hey McGraw, you’re on the wrong path” followed by “Hey Watson, you could have picked a better venue”… and then as far as I know there wasn’t anything else at all. Watson and McGraw didn’t seem to actually make too much of a big deal out of each other, so why is everyone else making a big deal out of it?

  8. James says

    So, this week saw my my Higher Education course cancelled, 3 weeks into the course. This is the third course I’ve tried to take this academic year that has been cancelled and, too give some perspective, Higher Education is what you take to get the qualifications to get into university.

    This would be bad enough, but it transpires not one of my local colleges actually does the full Higher Education course in mathematics, or any of the core sciences, both of which are required to get onto any science uni course, so that means that if you over the age of 19 and live where I live, it is now impossible to get into university to study Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, Software Engineering, Engineering, etc.

    So I need to get something off my chest:

    AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Thankyou

  9. Aratina Cage says

    I’m just trying to make sure that the history of it is not erased, Improbable Joe. But I know it wasn’t a big deal for either of them after it happened (McGraw seems to have moved on fairly quickly although she was a little shocked and upset after the keynote and wrote about it, as did Watson), but it was a big deal for the slimepitters and their backers. I want people to know about what prompted Watson at the keynote presentation to even talk about it in the first place, which was a landslide of MRAism.

  10. anbheal says

    Okay, this is a rather frivolous question, but I recently found, after two years of frustration, deep in my cache, 4000 of my 6000 mp3s. So my listening sample has been greatly enhaced the past week, with every single CD song I uploaded over all those dozens of hours, rather than just those I purchased from iTunes.

    My dilemma is this: I can do without Sam Phillips (in her post-Christian pop incarnation, with husband T-Bone Burnett) and her fairly regular laments about how useless science andknowledge and stuff is. Lovely voice, interesting arrangements, but fine, I can dump her, she’s an annoying C&W-godbotherer transformed for marketing purposes.

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    Same principle, less crucial, Arlo Guthrie.

    And for some reason it’s different, when listening to modern music, when compared to looking at Flemish or Italian paintings. Admiring their brush strokes and colors and shadings, with Biblical images, while rejecting any truth behind the images, seems rather straightforward. But when I, as a grown-up rational person, rather than a kid in my older sisters’ bedroom, hear Marvin going on and on about Jesus, it kinda undermines the whole cool sexy gestalt.

    What to do?

  11. Aratina Cage says

    Also, Improbable Joe, jonmilne is the second person I’ve seen in the last few days who doesn’t seem to realize that there was a lot more going on there than just Watson responding to some random blogger on the Internet. They don’t hear about how it was actually a response of hers to a concerted effort of MRA griping that overflowed into official organizational channels in the freethought community (via McGraw).

  12. Aratina Cage says

    Plus, I had to sit through two months (I think it was) of people like Russell Blackford assuring me and others that what Watson did was waaaay out of line before the video of the talk was released, and then when I watched it and transcribed it and compared what McGraw wrote to what Watson said, I came to the justified conclusion that Blackford and others like him had been blustering the entire time, which is quite frankly reprehensible of them to have done because it did pollute the timeline and make it so that we have to correct it now whenever we see it come up.

  13. Pteryxx says

    I want people to know about what prompted Watson at the keynote presentation to even talk about it in the first place, which was a landslide of MRAism.

    For follow-up, here’s the video of Rebecca’s actual CFI talk. The topic was the religious and right-wing war on women, but the intro was about the abuse she received for speaking up, within the community.

    http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-religious-right-vs-every-woman-on-earth/

    Partial transcript of the relevant portion (the intro) by Aratina Cage here:

    http://aratina.blogspot.com/2011/07/talk-by-watson-at-cfi.html

    [16:25] And so, I really just want you all to know that despite the fact that it’s really painful to read daily messages from people saying that you need to get raped, it’s actually worth it because I have a chance to convince at least a few of you, I hope, to work to make your groups more diverse, more inclusive. And in doing so you can actually help tackle some really serious human rights issues that are currently being handled by feminist organizations, which I see as a branch of humanism. And so there are a lot of places where the goals overlap. And so, that’s why I’m here [slide changes from Feminism 101 quote to one with title "The Religious Right vs Every Woman On Earth"] and that’s why I’m talking about this topic, about the religious right. Because I think it’s important. And, it’s not a fun topic necessarily but it’s a good one and you can actually work to help make a change and–for the better.

    Full transcript of introduction here:

    http://www.thearmchairskeptic.com/2011/07/transcript-of-rebecca-watson-talk-at.html

  14. Pteryxx says

    oops – and here’s Rebecca’s statement about the intro. The video and transcripts didn’t hit until *after* the shitstorm had started. So this post pre-dates the video release by one month.

    http://skepchick.org/2011/06/on-naming-names-at-the-cfi-student-leadership-conference/

    When I was discussing the video with friends the next day, I was blown away to be told that there were other student leaders who had expressed similar dismissive attitudes recently on Facebook and on other blogs. An hour or so prior to my talk, someone sent me this link to a post by Stef McGraw on the UNI Freethinkers site. I added a paragraph of that response to a slide for the intro to my talk, in which I hoped to call out the anti-woman rhetoric my audience was engaging in.

  15. erikthebassist says

    anbheal, don’t worry about the message in the lyrics, there’s too much great music out there attached to shit poetry.

    Some songwriters are also great poets but most aren’t, just enjoy the groove.

  16. says

    Is it kosher to point out that the people harrassing atheist women are mostly ‘just’ run of the mill misogynists? MRAs have amusingly little power to do shit, as such… but there’s plenty of asshat misogynists the world round.

  17. Chaos Engineer says

    I would like to ask Hilary Clinton, or any Pharyngulites, if they saw The Book of Mormon and if they found it reprehensible and/or disgusting?

    I’ve seen The Book of Mormon.

    It was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame, so of course it was hilariously disgusting; I’ve got no complaints there. The “Dysentery” song is worth the price of admission all by itself.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “reprehensible”, but I did find parts of it troubling. The African characters were a little too close to the stereotype of “brutal and ignorant savages who need the White Man to come along and put them on the right path”. Now, the characters are more complex than that…but I would have been happier if there had been even more complexity and less stereotyping.

    Mormons come across a little better. Of course they play the opposite end of the stereotype: “Naifs who think that all of Africa’s problems would be solved if somebody just went over and taught them to act like Proper White People”. But the ultimate moral of the play is, “Yes, Joseph Smith just made all of this stuff up, but there’s real value in living your life as if it were true.” Followed by the coda: “Provided you’re able to change bits of doctrine when they start to cause real harm.”

    I personally don’t agree with that. There are lots of ways to encourage ethical behavior without making up wild stories to justify it. But the ending is pretty much required by the structure of the play; anything else would have been artistically unsatisfying.

    My final verdict: I’ve got some concerns about the script, but I can recommend it for mature and fair-minded adults. It’s not appropriate for very young or very bigoted people.

    The author of the Wall Street Journal article you linked has what we call “Fatwa Envy”. This is a character flaw and he should exercise it in private instead of spewing all over the Internet.

    I’ll ask Hilary Clinton for her opinion the next time I see her, unless I forget.

  18. cm's changeable moniker says

    Off-topic: I saw Gordon Ramsay today, IRL.

    Hopped out of a fucking cab, pulled on his fucking leather jacket, and wandered off with his fucking entourage to do whatever the fucking hell he was there to fucking do.

    (As he would have put it.)

  19. says

    Why does this guy call himself “Justicar,” is it a Mass Effect reference ( http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Justicar) in which case, yay he won’t have kids to spread his… bleh on. Or a WoW reference? Or is it more medieval?

    Ive seen only a little bit of him, and already I think of him as a pencil-necked douche than any symbol of justice.

  20. Gregory Greenwood says

    With all the Warcraft references floating about the thread, I thought I would point out that this guy would probably be more PZ’s kind of chap. Not only does he have the funky wardrobe (the height of cold weather full plate fashion this season), but he even comes with a nifty soul stealing rune blade, and since the fundies are always claiming that we godless apostates are hell bent on condemning believers to fire and brimstone by, you know, pointing out how ridiculous their beliefs really are, then I thought that might be appropriate.

    Add in the possession of a vast, shuffling horde of undead bound to his will (you know – the fantasy equivalent of the hive mind that we are all supposedly share), and I think that seals the deal.

  21. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Here’s the ironic thing, there ARE Men’s Rights Activist positions that I would actually quite happily promote: […] any attempts to help gay guys with feeling happy with themselves and their sexuality

    Oh hell no.

    MRAs have no claim to this. Just because something affects some men doesn’t make it an MRA thing. Gay men don’t need help in the form of “men’s rights”; we need support as queers, and while men who have sex with men have some different needs than women who have sex with women, there is no hope for an ostensibly pro-gay activism that is positioned clearly outside the LGBTQ framework.

    A lot of the other things you listed have similar problems of scope — men who experience workplace bullying? it’d be blinkered to treat this with a “men’s rights” focus instead of a bullying focus — but I absolutely must speak up about this one. MRAs qua MRAs are no help to queer men.

  22. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    susanlee wrote:

    Ive seen only a little bit of him, and already I think of him as a pencil-necked douche than any symbol of justice.

    I’d advise to not look any further. He’s one of the most dishonest, narcissistic scumbags – even by the standards of those whose primary output is YouTube videos – floating around the internet at the moment, and you really can live without seeing why firsthand.

  23. strange gods before me ॐ says

    in both of those countries [Germany and Australia], women can have […] equal pay

    *blink*

    o_O
    O_o

    Did you seriously believe that?

    Of course he did. rorschach’s a fucking imbecile on the subject of sexism, always has been. He is a walking argument from incredulity.

  24. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I just read this fascinating article about naked mole-rats. They don’t get cancer; they live well into their thirties (!); they can tolerate oxygen deprivation; and they have many other ‘super-rat’ qualities as well. (Forgive me if this is old news to all the biologists et al. out there.)

    Caine, I thought of you when I read this (since you’re an adorer/nurturer of ratties).

  25. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    I would like to ask Hilary Clinton, or any Pharyngulites, if they saw The Book of Mormon and if they found it reprehensible and/or disgusting?

    Girl saw it with protoSiL and protoMiL. She loved it. She even got the t-shirt.

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    Enjoy the damn music. If it sounds good, it is good. I have shitloads of bluegrass gospel from the 1940s through the 1970s and enjoy the hell out of it. I also listen to Gregorian chants and really enjoy Bach’s Saint John’s Passion. And Arlo Guthrie (and Woody)? Great music even if the lyrics are cringeworthily religious.

  26. says

    IndyM:

    Caine, I thought of you when I read this (since you’re an adorer/nurturer of ratties).

    Hee. I read that article sometime back, absolutely fascinating. Rats are fascinating creatures all the way around and have some remarkable attributes, such as being able to dive to 100 feet and hold their breath up to 15 minutes. Many are also trained heroes. :D

  27. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    “What is life in God? A perfect vision of the self

    “I went to God just to see, and I was looking at me.”

    And if that’s too, uh, narcissistic for you, then just recognize all the songs are really about your fellow commenter, sgbm.

  28. says

    Excellent, a place where I can swear bloodly hell over all these GD logins! Log in here, log in there, remember this password, make out that captcha.
    Arrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Where’s my head axe?

  29. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Caine: thanks for the link–I loved reading about the HeroRATS. Those African giant pouched rats are quite impressive.

    I’ve never had the opportunity to meet/hang out with a rat (although I’ve met gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs), but I see rats every day in the subway system and in the garbage cans outside my apartment building here in NYC. The ones here look a little scary, although that may be my unfamiliarity with rats speaking. Anyway, I love reading about yours. I think Vasco is my favorite (I have a soft spot for sleek, black animals–I have two black cats [out of four]). Your writing and photos have definitely piqued my interest in ratties. :)

  30. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    Don’t forget John Coltrane: A Love Supreme

  31. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    I don’t know what it is with my brain re music, but I never pay much attention to lyrics. I’m very passionate about music, and I think I have extra-sensitive hearing (my mom has perfect pitch, and I hear extremely delicate differences in sound that others don’t hear), so perhaps my brain is just grooving on the pure sound of things. Anyway, I listen to lots of music with questionable lyrics, and it doesn’t bother me (except in some cases, when the lyrics are overtly racist/misogynist etc.). For example, I absolutely adore Aretha Franklin’s “How I Got Over,” and that is one hell of a Jeebus-infused gospel song.

  32. says

    susanlee @34:

    in which case, yay he won’t have kids to spread his… bleh on.

    Apropos of nothing really, but asari Justicars can and do have children. Samara, the Justicar who travels with Shepard in Mass Effect 2 has three daughters.

    I don’t know anything about the person to whom you’re referring; I’m just an obsessed Mass Effect fanperson.

  33. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Not yet explicitly addressed is the way that a request for a link was called a defense of John by RahXephon and Ms. Daisy Cutter.

    You really suck at this, SG. Neither of our posts were addressed solely to that post by Chigau.

    That was untrue, and unethical since it discourages fact-finding. People should not be shamed for wanting to read primary sources.

    Daisy didn’t have a link to an old thread on hand, which is somehow “discouraging fact-finding”? Daisy herself asked for the fucking link in her original comment, that other people could obviously look at as well.

    Again, you suck at this.

  34. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Neither of our posts were addressed solely to that post by Chigau.

    It should be obvious that I’m talking about the parts of your posts which were.

    Daisy didn’t have a link to an old thread on hand, which is somehow “discouraging fact-finding”?

    Certainly not.

    It was supporting your shaming of chigau — “before some self-righteous douche-defender like chigau gets in my face about it, I’m going off solely what John has admitted to in this thread. Jerkoff” — by echoing “What Rah said, more or less. Shit’s sake, you’re better than that.”

    Both of you were discouraging fact-finding by so doing.

    Daisy herself asked for the fucking link in her original comment, that other people could obviously look at as well.

    Inconsistent of her, then, that she objected when someone else wanted a link. An inconsistency perhaps born of the desire to not appear to contradict you, but still unethical.

    To be sure, I listed you first because you get top billing.

  35. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    It was supporting your shaming of chigau — “before some self-righteous douche-defender like chigau gets in my face about it, I’m going off solely what John has admitted to in this thread. Jerkoff” — by echoing “What Rah said, more or less. Shit’s sake, you’re better than that.”

    Defending rapists and attempted rapists is something I think should be shamed.

    Was Chigau directly defending him? After looking through the thread again, I can’t say exactly, other than that she nonsensically asks Daisy for a link while quoting Daisy asking for the link she clearly doesn’t have, while implying that Daisy is giving her own (skewed) version. (By the way, Daisy misremembered the comment in the original thread. Misremembering is not lying or intentionally “giving one’s own version”.) Then, instead of responding to Daisy again she passive-aggressively pointed out how John isn’t in her killfile and implying Daisy is.

    Both of you were discouraging fact-finding by so doing.

    Is this where we talk about how the author is dead? Because I happen to think my motives still matter, and I never tried to tell people not to read the original thread. Neither did Daisy when she asked for the original fucking link. You’re reaching.

    Inconsistent of her, then, that she objected when someone else wanted a link. An inconsistency perhaps born of the desire to not appear to contradict you, but still unethical.

    She, and I, objected to what we saw as defense of John, not to asking for a link. Maybe it seems inconsistent to you because you parsed it incorrectly.

  36. says

    But what am I to do with Marvin Gaye and Solomon Burke??? So much God, but so much AWESOMENESS. Any tips here for how to avoid the cognitive dissonance in absolutely loving to listen to them, and absolutely cringing at the all-too-frequent Jesus-y homages?

    Imagining them with new lyrics by Cartman?

    (/Always glad to help.)

  37. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Defending rapists and attempted rapists is something I think should be shamed.

    That right there — the calling of a request for the link a “defense” — is indeed exactly what is unethical and discourages fact-finding. You should stop doing it.

    Was Chigau directly defending him? After looking through the thread again, I can’t say exactly

    Then you shouldn’t have said it the first time. You should recognize that you were wrong to do so.

    other than that she nonsensically asks Daisy for a link while quoting Daisy asking for the link she clearly doesn’t have,

    One can make sense of it — if the meaning was that Daisy should have gone looking for the link instead of paraphrasing.

    while implying that Daisy is giving her own (skewed) version.

    She was giving her own version. And while “skewed” is your choice of words, it is generally okay to think that another person may be giving a skewed version of a story.

    (By the way, Daisy misremembered the comment in the original thread. Misremembering is not lying

    No one said it was.

    or intentionally “giving one’s own version”.)

    We’re always giving our own versions of events when we aren’t quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s version; nothing more than this was evidently implied.

    Then, instead of responding to Daisy again she passive-aggressively

    I don’t think it was passive.

    pointed out how John isn’t in her killfile and implying Daisy is.

    So what? After what you and Daisy said to her, she didn’t owe either of you a response.

    Is this where we talk about how the author is dead?

    I’m not sure what this means. For the moment I’ll hope that skipping it and addressing the next sentence will be sufficient.

    Because I happen to think my motives still matter,

    They matter in some ways and not others; they do not obviate the effects of your actions.

    and I never tried to tell people not to read the original thread.

    But you did verbally attack* someone for asking. That kind of behavior will have the effect of discouraging others from also asking.

    *I hate this word in this context but I’m not finding a better one right now. Sorry.

    Neither did Daisy when she asked for the original fucking link.

    For the second time now, I didn’t claim otherwise:

    «Certainly not.

    It was supporting your shaming of chigau — “before some self-righteous douche-defender like chigau gets in my face about it, I’m going off solely what John has admitted to in this thread. Jerkoff” — by echoing “What Rah said, more or less. Shit’s sake, you’re better than that.”

    Both of you were discouraging fact-finding by so doing.»

    Is this a rhetorical tactic, one of those things where you claim I’m saying something I’m not saying? Or are you genuinely confused?

    You’re reaching.

    I might be reaching if I was saying the thing you’re suggesting I’m saying. But I’m not.

    She, and I, objected to what we saw as defense of John, not to asking for a link.

    Ah, but that’s it right there. All she said was “Maybe you could provide the link rather than providing your version.”

    You called that a defense of John. That was untrue and unethical of you both.

    Maybe it seems inconsistent to you because you parsed it incorrectly.

    Nope.

  38. says

    Somebody should share this comment thread with Dan Fincke. “The Other Point of View” certainly is civil, so surely it’s obvious to any right-thinking human being that equally civil engagement with hir is the only appropriate and productive response, right? Right? I just don’t know what those commenters over there can be thinking to respond so hatefully to TOPoV’s simple and forthright expression of hir point of view. Tsk, tsk, such moral laziness!

    *snarl*

    Am I bitter that this shit just never ever seems to go away? Yes I am.

    ———

    On an unrelated topic, consciousness razor, I want to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth in re the philosophy discussion. I just don’t really enjoy going on and on about the things I don’t like about some philosophy, on accounta I really don’t have any desire whatsoever to make hating that stuff a major part of my life. So once the argument seemed to be getting to that point, my eagerness to continue sorting through hundreds of Thunderdome comments to continue it was dramatically diminished, and I kind of got distracted and just didn’t get around to getting back to it.

    The only reason I commented on the issue in the first place was to support Improbable Joe in his recounting of his own discomfort with philosophy-as-such, by confirming that he’s not the only one who has had a non-negligible number of negative experiences with philosophy. I didn’t come in prepared to cite chapter and verse because I’m not anything like a professional researcher in that area, just an ordinary person who was interested and investigated but ultimately concluded that much of what I encountered didn’t live up to the level of investment it demanded, much less the pretensions of its boosters.

    I would be interested to hear a positive argument for all the great things I’m missing by not making academic philosophy a bigger part of my life, but it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for spending a lot of time defending the position that philosophy has enough unappealing features that I don’t want to spend a lot of my time on it. If you like it, fine. If you want me to like it, make a positive case by pointing me to specific positive experiences I can have with it (just as I can do for anyone I meet who claims not to like science), and maybe I’ll re-evaluate. Otherwise I’m just gonna be content to continue to store it in the “usually not worth my time” folder in my mental filing cabinet.

  39. strange gods before me ॐ says

  40. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    That right there — the calling of a request for the link a “defense” — is indeed exactly what is unethical and discourages fact-finding. You should stop doing it.

    She didn’t defend him, then. Happy? Enjoy your win on a technicality.

    Doesn’t change the fact that other people support him and I think that’s gross.

    Oh, by the way, if you’ve got the time:

    I don’t.

  41. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    By the way, SGBM, have I told you lately how much you remind me of Justicar?

    It’s not a compliment.

  42. says

    IndyM:

    I think Vasco is my favorite

    Vasco is my lovebug. He’s a very sweet, affectionate boy. He did go through a phase of being obsessed with repeatedly fucking my right hand, usually as it rested on my computer mouse. Now that that little habit has been broken, things are better. :D

    Out of both litters, he’s the only solid black rat. He is gorgeous, no question. It tends to look even more startling on him because of his pink hands and feet. He’s…stylish.

  43. strange gods before me ॐ says

    She didn’t defend him, then. Happy?

    Somewhat — I didn’t like seeing the way you acted in the first place, and the reason I said something is to hopefully prevent similar behavior from you or others in the future — so I’d be happier if you’d acknowledge that you acted unethically.

    Enjoy your win on a technicality.

    The reason I commented was that asking for a link wasn’t a defense of John, you called it a defense of John, and that was unethical. This isn’t a technicality, except insofar that what I complained about was a “technicality” of the ethics of discussion — people shouldn’t be shamed for asking for primary sources.

    Doesn’t change the fact that other people support him and I think that’s gross.

    Doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t talking about any of that.

    By the way, SGBM, have I told you lately how much you remind me of Justicar?

    That’s cute of you. I don’t trust your perceptions of things, though, so I’m not worried about it. I know that I don’t make shit up like he does.

  44. strange gods before me ॐ says

    that is the sort of thing that I feared and made me really pessimistic about the A+ ambitions.

    You mean Ichthyic over there in the Beckel thread?

  45. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Somewhat — I didn’t like seeing the way you acted in the first place, and the reason I said something is to hopefully prevent similar behavior from you or others in the future — so I’d be happier if you’d acknowledge that you acted unethically.

    Since you seem to have plenty of disdain for me, why should I care about your happiness?

    The reason I commented was that asking for a link wasn’t a defense of John, you called it a defense of John, and that was unethical. This isn’t a technicality, except insofar that what I complained about was a “technicality” of the ethics of discussion — people shouldn’t be shamed for asking for primary sources.

    I read her comment as “give me the link because I think you’re lying”. Wouldn’t be the first time anyone’s done that here. Is it not possible to you that I misread her and I can apologize, to her, without bowing and scraping and accepting you calling me unethical? Because it totally is.

    Chigau, if you can read my comments, I apologize for misinterpreting your comment as a defense of John.

    Doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t talking about any of that.

    I didn’t say you did.

    That’s cute of you. I don’t trust your perceptions of things, though, so I’m not worried about it. I know that I don’t make shit up like he does.

    I’m talking about tactics, sweetcheeks, not content.

  46. Aratina Cage says

    @Improbable Joe #28: I think I see what you mean, and I think we are on the same page. They made a mountain out of a mole hill, right? You are emphasizing the insignificance and brief nature of the personal arguments between those two despite the MRA outcry. I am emphasizing that the dispute between them was small potatoes to the larger MRA shitsplosion that had been aimed at Watson before McGraw wrote her blog post and before Watson spoke about it at the meeting, something they were both caught in.

    @Pteryxx: Thanks for putting up the links.

  47. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Since you seem to have plenty of disdain for me,

    No, not plenty.

    why should I care about your happiness?

    I didn’t say or imply that you should. You asked if I was happy, I answered.

    I read her comment as “give me the link because I think you’re lying”.

    Well the comment certainly didn’t say that.

    Wouldn’t be the first time anyone’s done that here.

    But since that wasn’t what it said, it was wrong for you to take it as justification for piling on all the insults.

    Is it not possible to you that I misread her and I can apologize, to her, without bowing and scraping and accepting you calling me unethical? Because it totally is.

    It is now, apparently. And apparently it wasn’t going to happen without my saying something about it.

    Anyway, you don’t have to “accept” me “calling you unethical”. What you did (not so much your person) was unethical whether you accept it or not. And I am saying so with the hope of preventing similar actions in the future; it would only be helpful, but it is not necessary, for you to agree.

    I didn’t say you did.

    Okie doke. Just so we’re clear.

    I’m talking about tactics, sweetcheeks, not content.

    Still don’t trust your perceptions. There’s nothing objectionable about my tactics in this conversation anyway.

  48. strange gods before me ॐ says

    That sort of thing, but more the bigger thing that people were quite happy and right to point out ‘yes we should be open to the idea of excluding people who say horrible things’ and then what I see is a lot of foot dragging and awkward humming when pointed out if that is actually going to happen or if people actually are going to be called out.

    Yeah, I see what you mean. So it goes.

    My pessimism has been somewhat tapered, though. Whatever’s happening internally, I was worried that A+ wasn’t going to be perceived as exclusionary enough. But I’ve seen a lot of complaints that zomg they’re sooooo exclusionary and they’re taking over atheismz! This is kind of awesome to watch, imho.

  49. says

    Whatever’s happening internally, I was worried that A+ wasn’t going to be perceived as exclusionary enough. But I’ve seen a lot of complaints that zomg they’re sooooo exclusionary and they’re taking over atheismz! This is kind of awesome to watch, imho.

    Not sure I follow you. it sort of gets into the complaint I had that none of the prominent speakers say things that are apparently ‘deal breakers’…because no one making that judgement is the target of their bullshit.

  50. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Well the comment certainly didn’t say that.

    So, I never said people shouldn’t read the primary sources, but my intent doesn’t matter because my comment can apparently be easily inferred to mean that. Reading Chigau’s comment and inferring an assumption of dishonesty, however, is what? Impossible? So which is it? Does it only matter if something is explicitly stated or not?

    But since that wasn’t what it said, it was wrong for you to take it as justification for piling on all the insults.

    Which I apologized for. To someone else. Get over it.

    It is now, apparently. And apparently it wasn’t going to happen without my saying something about it.

    Yes, I insulted the wrong person on the internet and without your tireless efforts, it never would’ve been resolved. I’m faxing your Nobel Peace Prize now.

    Anyway, you don’t have to “accept” me “calling you unethical”. What you did (not so much your person) was unethical whether you accept it or not. And I am saying so with the hope of preventing similar actions in the future; it would only be helpful, but it is not necessary, for you to agree.

    What’s your operating definition of ethics in this case? I don’t happen to call misinterpreting someone unethical. I don’t have to accept your definition applies if I don’t agree with your definition in the first place.

    Still don’t trust your perceptions. There’s nothing objectionable about my tactics in this conversation anyway.

    I happen to find your tactics objectionable. You can’t objectively say your tactics aren’t objectionable if someone fucking objects. You can think I have no grounds to object, and you apparently think that, but it doesn’t mean they’re unobjectionable.

    A big reason I short-circuited this discussion is because it’s late and I know how you are. You may not realize it, but you hound people into agreeing with you even if they don’t really want to, if only to get you to stop.

  51. consciousness razor says

    Anne C. Hanna, #59:

    I would be interested to hear a positive argument for all the great things I’m missing by not making academic philosophy a bigger part of my life,

    You probably need to figure out what exactly that would mean to you and do that yourself, since I don’t know what your interests are. Are any academic disciplines a big part of your life? If so, then what are they and in what way? Philosophy deals with issues in every discipline, so those at least are already relevant to you, whether or not you recognize them formally as “philosophy.”

    If you’re simply not interested in law, for example, then I wouldn’t suggest you study any philosophy of law. Maybe you are more interested in the practical side, and don’t think the philosophical aspects matter. That means you should expect your views about the law (as it is practiced in the real world) to be at best naive or ignorant because they aren’t likely to be well-founded by default. If you’re interested in science and want to argue for some point from a scientific perspective, then for the same sort of reason, you should try to have at least a basic understanding of the bigger issues in philosophy of science (whether they are outstanding problems or basically settled).

    The problem here is partly that I think you have a caricature of philosophy (the discipline) in your head: that it’s only concerned with navel-gazing, obscurantism and supernaturalism, that it never touches anything outside its own special mysterious domain. Some of it was, some still is, but quite a lot for at least the last several centuries hasn’t been like that at all.

    On the other hand, you might also say everyone routinely engages in philosophy (loosely speaking) by using logic and conceptual analysis, making philosophers superfluous. It’s presumably a fine thing to do (at least to some extent, sometimes, when it’s convenient); but the moment it becomes a headache or a philosopher treads on someone else’s turf, the whole enterprise is somehow suspicious or not worth it.

    I don’t think there’s any good way to defend that. When you get down to it, it’s a defense of laziness at best and anti-intellectualism at worst. Using “common sense” or “intuition” isn’t going to work for most of the problems that really matter. Maybe you want to argue some issues philosophy are trivial and don’t really matter, but you won’t be able to argue that without engaging in philosophy yourself. The fact is, we need more rigorous and careful thinking, not less, from people who know how the issues have played out in the past and how they fit into a broader picture. Good ideas don’t just grow on trees, you know? People generally have to seriously think about them a lot for a very long time, while sometimes getting them seriously wrong. That’s basically all philosophy’s meant to do, so as long as you find that agreeable, then no other positive argument (about you or your personal interests or things you don’t care to understand) has to be made.

  52. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Not sure I follow you. it sort of gets into the complaint I had that none of the prominent speakers say things that are apparently ‘deal breakers’…because no one making that judgement is the target of their bullshit.

    Ah. Fair point. I was really just noting that I’m “enjoying” some of the anti-A+ uproar among blog commenters, because I want it to be exclusionary. Still, perhaps it is still insufficiently exclusionary.

    +++++

    So, I never said people shouldn’t read the primary sources, but my intent doesn’t matter because my comment can apparently be easily inferred to mean that.

    I didn’t say your intent/motives doesn’t matter. In fact I said they “matter in some ways and not others; they do not obviate the effects of your actions.”

    And no, I clearly did not say that your comment can be inferred to mean that people shouldn’t read the primary sources.

    I clearly did say that your comment — the attack, specifically — can have the effect of discouraging people from asking for primary sources. This would be regardless of any inferred meaning from you.

    Reading Chigau’s comment and inferring an assumption of dishonesty, however, is what? Impossible?

    Uncharitable.

    So which is it? Does it only matter if something is explicitly stated or not?

    What matters are the effects.

    Which I apologized for. To someone else. Get over it.

    I’ll get over it at my own pace. You also kept trying to justify your action — “I read her comment as “give me the link because I think you’re lying”. Wouldn’t be the first time anyone’s done that here” — therefore I pointed out again that what you did was unethical. I think it is sometimes best not to leave stray deflections of criticism unanswered.

    Yes, I insulted the wrong person on the internet and without your tireless efforts, it never would’ve been resolved.

    It does appear that way.

    Else, answer: if not now, when?

    I’m faxing your Nobel Peace Prize now.

    Sweet!

    What’s your operating definition of ethics in this case?

    I don’t think that’s the question you want to ask. Do you really want me to point to a dictionary, or are you asking what ethical framework I’m using?

    I don’t happen to call misinterpreting someone unethical.

    Oh, I agree. What matters is what you do with that misinterpretation.

    I don’t have to accept your definition applies if I don’t agree with your definition in the first place.

    You don’t have to accept anything. I hoped you would. Your evident determination to be free from ethical criticism today makes me suppose you won’t.

    My thinking is already evident, though, is it not? It is unethical to discourage people from asking for primary sources, and that is what you did, inadvertently or not.

    I happen to find your tactics objectionable.

    And yet you don’t quote, cite, or explain this objection. So I suppose you can guess how much I care.

    You can’t objectively say your tactics aren’t objectionable if someone fucking objects.

    You realize you just said pretty much everything in the world is objectionable, yeah?

    You can’t objectively say your tactics aren’t objectionable if someone fucking objects.

    Unless pretty much everything in the world is objectionable, we can probably figure out which one of us is right.

    A big reason I short-circuited this discussion is because it’s late

    Hey, sorry, but this is when I logged on and saw the discussion had continued.

    and I know how you are. You may not realize it, but you hound people into agreeing with you even if they don’t really want to, if only to get you to stop.

    You’re pretty good at that yourself.

    Are you implying you’re regretting the apology, though? You haven’t agreed on anything else. And if you’re not regretting the apology, then I haven’t hounded you into anything.

  53. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    You’re right. It was uncharitable to assume that of Chigau. What I did was unethical. I was angry when I made my original comment, and admitting that I did something unethical isn’t something I enjoy doing, so I tried to justify it.

    I was wrong. I’m sorry to her, and I’m sorry to you.

  54. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    The main things I’ve taken away from this experience (and it’s not the first time) is that I shouldn’t post while angry, and I should ask for clarification before I go on the attack. I’ll try to do that from now on.

    The fact that doing that should cut down on the number of arguments I lose to you is just a side benefit.

  55. chigau (違わない) says

    RahXephon
    I’m feeling OK with this segment of what could prove to be a long and sometimes hostile relationship.
    Let’s just armrassle whene’er we met, eh?

  56. says

    @ evilisgood
    Huh, I thought the wiki said… Wait, I see a loophole; if she had her kids before she became a Justicar, I think that’s allowed…
    I just googled “Justicar” to try to find out about him. The Mass Effect wiki outranks him, with relief.

  57. Amblebury, I doesn't afraid of NOTHING! says

    @Swarley

    I had a look, and without doubt most of those terms should be avoided because they’re just damn rude.

    The primary reservation I have about lists like these is that they can be patronizing. Who are these people who are deciding for every disabled person what terms they should and should not use? How much consultation has there been? It just smacks of “Social Justice Warrior decides what’s right for You.”

    The very term “Ableist” makes me uncomfortable. It seems,(to me)to be lumping all disabilities together. If that’s not a gross over-generalization, and lack of recognition of difference, I don’t know what is*.

    I’d like to hear people who live with physical, intellectual or mental health issues speak for themselves. So I could shut up and listen.

    * I don’t know, really. Nor do I feel I have any authority to decide.

  58. jonmilne says

    @Aratina Cage

    Ah, I see. I’ve been attempting to do some reading up on the whole ElevatorGate thing, and the impression I seem to get from most summaries is that things REALLY blew up when Watson was being irrationally perceived as being disrespectful to McGraw from a public speaking position which in turn prompted an irrational outcry of “Unfairness” because McGraw was perceived as having no way to respond. From what I’ve seen, the Watson vs McGraw thing as well as Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter seemed to be the major points which really escalated the conflict.

    But yeah, learning just how bad Watson was getting it even before all that… Fuck. I just don’t get that – even now I still can’t grasp what people found so objectionable about her just saying “Don’t do that”.

    @strange gods before me

    Fair enough, I thought there might have been some crossover between groups, but I’m glad to see that even any slightly positive feelings I may have had on MRA positions was misguided. Always willing to learn, and I’m glad I’m not like others who stick to a wrong position even when corrected until they piss people like us off.

    Glad to hear from you all,

    Jon :)

  59. checkit says

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    [The Thunderdome is a mostly moderation-free zone, but nobodies coming in using fake email addresses to dump sexist obscenities in the thread will be dealt with. The intent is to allow uninhibited argument, not random misogynistic filth. –pzm]

  60. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    md,

    If you have something you want to say to me, say it here. I don’t follow links provided by fuckwits.

  61. says

    Huh, I thought the wiki said… Wait, I see a loophole; if she had her kids before she became a Justicar, I think that’s allowed…
    I just googled “Justicar” to try to find out about him. The Mass Effect wiki outranks him, with relief.

    Yes that is what happened. She became a justicar because of her daughter going all vampira

    Ophelia Benson often finds Sam Harris ‘irritating’, but not so much that she won’t laud the bigot’s occasional hitting of the nail on the head, as she puts it.

    Why? I’m sure you could find someone less annoying to source for any hits. Also ‘genocidal self righteous cowardly woo woo fairy’ is a bit beyond ‘irritating’ for me.

  62. says

    On the ME stuff, am I the only one who regards Leviathan as face plaming bad fan fiction? I have no idea what the frell Bioware was smoking when they decided to (ROT 13 due to ME3 Spoilers)

    N) Tvir gur Erncref n pyrne bevtva
    O) Znxr gung bevtva erqhpr gurz gb onfvpnyyl znyshapgvbavat Ybxv Zrpuf engure guna haxabjnoyr Ybirpensgvna ubeebef
    P) Fhqqrayl vagebqhpr gur gurzr bs zna if znpuvar gung pnzr gur shpx bhg bs ab jurer

  63. Brownian says

    In case anyone cares, I was indeed mirroring StevoR’s bigotry in the “Let’s not get confused” thread, with white Australians as my target. I figured “It’s like it’s in their DNA or something” might be a giveaway. Nick Gotts appropriately tried to task for it, but I wasn’t willing to give it away just yet. But I should come clean now, for his sake at least.

    Of course, it wasn’t entirely a wasted effort, as StevoR tipped his hand when he absolved the genocide of Aborigines with:

    Now okay some white folks did some bad things -whilst many others approached things in a human and kind way buy the understanding of the time which is quite different to how we view things in this era.

    I had linked and described situations such as the Myall Creek massacre, in which they tied up Aborigines, unarmed, and hacked them apart with swords. Now, Myall Creek wasn’t notable for its brutality. Myall Creek was notable because it was one of the first incidents in which whites were prosecuted (they were in fact hanged, IIRC) for the crime.

    This is the kind of thing that StevoR describes as ‘bad things’ which we need to view in the ‘understanding of the time’.

    I’m going to leave a space here. Feel free to mentally fill in the blank with what you think I might say to StevoR. Don’t hold back; I can assure you that you won’t even come close.












    And as for md, you little puke, from one of your links:

    The children of Pakistani immigrants in Queens wear skinny jeans and listen to dubstep while their cousins in London stand on street corners preaching the joys of sharia law.

    Oh, no! Sharia law! Why, that sounds positively foreign! If only they’d shave up and preach the kind of theocracy that whites can get behind! Maybe as former GOP darlings!

    Fucking bigots.

  64. says

    md @8:

    re: Book of Mormon being “reprehensible and/or disgusting”:

    Reprehensible? No, but I’m someone who does not find mocking religion reprehensible. Disgusting? Yes. Also: hilarious.

    Amblebury, I doesn’t afraid of NOTHING! @83:

    I also share your concerns about Social Justice Warrior. As someone who has had life-long struggles with major depression, I am personally not offended by references to mental illness used as insults (e.g. “batshit insane”). But I can see how others would be, so I’m trying to be more aware of that and when I catch myself casually doing so I substitute a non-ableist term. OTOH, I do use “idiot” freely, which (for purposes of my blog) I define as:

    Someone who is unaware of something or other is not an idiot: we are all ignorant of many, many things, and discovering them is what makes life (and blogs) interesting. No, an idiot is someone who becomes aware of countervailing reasoning or evidence, and yet holds onto an untenable position anyway. Idiots are willfully ignorant, whereas if you simply do not understand something and inquire about it in good faith, you are by definition not an idiot.

    I read somewhere an explanation for why the word was ableist that had to do with its formerly common meaning, i.e. “a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.” I was not convinced by that argument that its current meaning (“an utterly foolish or senseless person”) is ableist, but I am open to being persuaded. (FWIW, I also have a page called “Iris the Idiot’s Kitchen,” wherein the current definition is quite appropriate.) Same goes for “dumbass,” which connotes idiot and asshole — to me, anyway. Again, I am open to being persuaded otherwise.

    I am also in the habit of referring to the mental condition of extreme right-wing conservatives as “Conservative Personality Disorder.” A few months back I had a good discussion with Brownian about this on my blog. I had written a post about a comment he made to raven here about conflating religiosity and mental illness, and using mental illness as an insult. It troubled me at the time, as I wondered if I was guilty of the same thing with my personality disorder paradigm, so I did a lot of thinking about it. I came to the conclusion that I was not, and that it was a useful framework through which to view extreme conservatism. YMMV, of course.

    And thanks for posting that link @84. Good reading on this topic.

  65. md says

    iris @ 93

    –Reprehensible? No, but I’m someone who does not find mocking religion reprehensible. Disgusting? Yes. Also: hilarious.

    Thanks for responding. Did you watch the trailer for The Innocence of Muslims? What was your reaction?

  66. md says

    Brownian,

    As a secularist and champion of the separation of church and state (I assume, please correct me if im wrong) do you find the increase in demand for Sharia Law in Britain by younger British Muslims, in contrast with their integrationist parents, evidenced by the poll in the Guardian link I provided, to be a good, bad, or neutral phenomenon?

  67. jose says

    Ing @91:
    Actually it’s worse than that.

    spoilers!

    The advertised Leviathan as explaining the reapers but they didn’t explain them. All we were told is “the catalyst made them” which we already kinda knew tbh. They were already made into stupid mechs in the original ending. What they did explain at length instead with this dlc is the origin of the catalyst. Seemingly they still believe the damned child was a good idea that just needed some clarification so the stupid fans could grasp it.

    Current canon goes like this: the lesser species kept making synthetics and being slaughtered by them; this prevented tribute from flowing towards the leviathans; the leviathans made the catalyst and told it to preserve life; the catalyst began doing that in its own peculiar way; and it has continued doing it till now. Careful readers your heads don’t explode from the dumb!

    – Lesser species weren’t smart enough to make a machine that wouldn’t slaughter them.
    – Leviathans weren’t smart enough to give the catalyst the right order. “Preserve all life” is not the same as “keep the lesser species alive and make sure tribute keeps flowing.”
    – The catalyst was not smart enough to look at the context for the leviathans’ order and figure what they really wanted. His actions all these millenia have been a consequence of his inability to understand the orders he was given.
    – His idea of preserving is, well, peculiar.
    – Because he ignores context, he’s not smart enough to see his orders don’t make sense anymore because Shepard made things change.
    – He made the reapers just as dumb as he is, or a bit dumber so he could control them.

    All in all, the whole conflict of the trilogy comes from a big misunderstanding out of sheer incompetence.

    Everybody knows how important the enemies are for all action/adventure stories. The enemy must be charismatic and smart though flawed in some way, like Saren. With a good motivation. To appreciate a story in which all the enemies are incompetent retards is really hard to me. Especially since they were nothing like that in the last 2 games!

    ME3 can only be saved by removing the child and overhauling London.

  68. says

    consciousness razor,

    The problem here is partly that I think you have a caricature of philosophy (the discipline) in your head: that it’s only concerned with navel-gazing, obscurantism and supernaturalism, that it never touches anything outside its own special mysterious domain. Some of it was, some still is, but quite a lot for at least the last several centuries hasn’t been like that at all.

    See, this is exactly why I got tired of this conversation in the first place. Having wandered away from it for a little while, I managed to convince myself that maybe I was over-reacting to the instances where it felt like you were not even listening to what I said because you were so enamored of this strawman version of me that you’d constructed, despite my repeated explanations that these points are orthogonal to my complaints. But apparently I was being unfair to myself.

    If you can’t even be bothered to acknowledge my repeated statements that this is *not* my view of philosophy, then it’s really a waste of time for us to have this discussion. My objection all along has had *nothing* to do with subject matter. I leave the subject matter argument to others. Rather, I have been telling you that in my experience the *quality* of the arguments in stuff that formally labels itself as philosophy are lousy at a higher rate than I have the patience to sort through, and that it seems that these lousy arguments are allowed to persist far longer than they should and are treated with far greater seriousness than they deserve.

    If you want to present me with positive reasons to spend more of my time sifting through the output of professional philosophers, as opposed to preferring to spend my time in areas where the density of high-quality argumentation seems to me to be much greater, then what you should reference is high-quality argumentation on *any* useful subject produced by people who consider themselves to be philosophers. And, again, I’m not saying that such high-quality argumentation doesn’t exist, just that the density is low enough to try my patience with the discipline, and that in the past even the people I’ve been told are awesome must-reads have often been pretty crap. So tell me, who do *you* think I should be reading and following in order to restore my respect for the academic philosophy community?

  69. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Brownian@92,

    I’m relieved.

    md the fuckwitted bigot,

    The relevant difference between Book of Mormon and The Innocence of Muslims is that only the second was made with the deliberate intention of provoking violence against innocent third parties. For anyone interested – I couldn’t give a shit whether md follows these links – see here, here, here and here for information on who is behind the film, and how it came to be available to Islamist extremists to use in fomenting riots.

  70. Brownian says

    As a secularist and champion of the separation of church and state (I assume, please correct me if im wrong) do you find the increase in demand for Sharia Law in Britain by younger British Muslims, in contrast with their integrationist parents, evidenced by the poll in the Guardian link I provided, to be a good, bad, or neutral phenomenon?

    As a secularist and champion of the separation of church and state, I find the increase in demand for religiously-based laws in wherever to be a generally problematic development.

    Why?

  71. checkit says

    Why does this guy call himself “Justicar,” is it a Mass Effect reference ( http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Justicar) in which case, yay he won’t have kids to spread his… bleh on. Or a WoW reference? Or is it more medieval?

    Ive seen only a little bit of him, and already I think of him as a pencil-necked douche than any symbol of justice.

    Fun facts I learned about Justicar from watching his vids:

    – Hes 100% gay
    – He lives with at least 2 other men who are his “roommates”
    – Together they have 3 adopted children they raise together.
    – His “job” is running a World of Warcraft service where he does stuff for people on WOW. (I doubt he makes much money doing this. One of his sugar daddys probably has a real job and supports him)
    – He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.
    – And of course, he hates FTBs.

  72. Brownian says

    Oh, and while you’re dancing ’round the mulberry bush, md, mark my words:

    I hate bigots. I loathe them. Laws prevent me from writing what I’d like to personally do to them, should I be legally able to do so.

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Whatever crimes some Muslims might commit do not absolve bigots like you whatsoever.

    So, you can try to convince me all you want that the Muslims are taking over. You won’t, ever, convince me that people like you and I are anything but enemies at the core.

    So, feel free to fear Muslims, if fear is your bent. But don’t not fear me because we share a skin colour, language, or culture.

  73. hoopz says

    Why does this guy call himself “Justicar,” is it a Mass Effect reference ( http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Justicar) in which case, yay he won’t have kids to spread his… bleh on. Or a WoW reference? Or is it more medieval?

    Ive seen only a little bit of him, and already I think of him as a pencil-necked douche than any symbol of justice.

    Fun facts I learned about Justicar from watching his vids:

    – Hes 100% gay
    – He lives with at least 2 other men who are his “roommates”
    – Together they have 3 adopted children they raise together.
    – His “job” is running a World of Warcraft service where he does stuff for people on WOW. (I doubt he makes much money doing this. One of his sugar daddys probably has a real job and supports him)
    – He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.
    – And of course, he hates FTBs.

  74. says

    hoopz, I agree that Justicar spends waaaaay too much of his time obsessing about the evil of FTB et al., but can I ask how that conglomeration of random facts about his personal life is related to his general asshattery? None of those other things seem to be particularly damning. Or is there some other point you were aiming at that I’m missing?

  75. bargearse says

    Hoopz

    I’m impressed. There are many reasons to despise Justicar and you’ve failed to find any of them. Well done

  76. Brownian says

    - Hes 100% gay
    – He lives with at least 2 other men who are his “roommates”

    What does that have to do with anything, and why is ‘roommates’ in scare quotes?

    I’ve had female roommates, even some with whom I’d previously been in a sexual relationship, and I can assure you we were just roommates.

  77. says

    @ md: I haven’t seen the trailer and have no interest in it. Why? I’m not familiar with your history here, but I’m seeing a false equivalence being made to support your point, whatever it is. What is it?

    @ hoopz: those are not “fun facts,” or in any way relevant to anything being discussed here.

  78. Amphiox says

    Hoopz, one does not answer Justicar’s general misogyny with veiled homophobia, intentional or not.

  79. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Fun facts I learned about Justicar from watching his vids:

    – Hes 100% gay
    – He lives with at least 2 other men who are his “roommates”
    – Together they have 3 adopted children they raise together.
    – His “job” is running a World of Warcraft service where he does stuff for people on WOW. (I doubt he makes much money doing this. One of his sugar daddys probably has a real job and supports him)
    – He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.
    – And of course, he hates FTBs.

    And exactly what is wrong with any of that?

    Justicar is a giant fucking asshole who as a tenuous grasp on reality, but his sexual orientation, lifestyle and choice of income have nothing to do with that.

    Like

  80. Brownian says

    I look like a homophobe don’t I?

    Uh, let’s review:

    - Hes 100% gay
    – He lives with at least 2 other men who are his “roommates”
    – Together they have 3 adopted children they raise together.
    – His “job” is running a World of Warcraft service where he does stuff for people on WOW. (I doubt he makes much money doing this. One of his sugar daddys probably has a real job and supports him)
    – He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.

    Is there something in that justifies your question mark?

  81. Walton says

    Anne C. Hanna,

    I speak for no one but myself, but I find philosophy not only worthwhile, but necessary. We all work from certain philosophical assumptions, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and philosophy, for me, is about examining those assumptions and considering whether they are justified.

    For instance, almost everyone espouses moral convictions of some sort. Here at Pharyngula, most of us feel strongly about various moral issues (and we frequently have acrimonious arguments about them). But on what do we base our morality? What is morality? How do we tell the difference between right and wrong? These are philosophical (specifically, metaethical) questions. And everyone who espouses any moral convictions at all needs to ask themselves these questions, sooner or later, and to come up with a satisfactory answer. When we do so, we are, by definition, doing philosophy. Ditto for our assumptions about free will and moral responsibility, and their implications for debates about justice, punishment, forgiveness and so forth. As soon as you make any statement at all about what is good or bad, or about what a person deserves or doesn’t deserve, or about what should or should not be done, you’re working from philosophical assumptions. You can’t get away from philosophy, any more than you can get away from science – you can only choose to engage with it or not.

    But this may be irrelevant: as far as I understand your objections, your argument is not so much that philosophy shouldn’t be done at all, but rather that professional philosophers often do it badly, and that the output of philosophers often doesn’t add much to our understanding. And I don’t necessarily disagree with that. But as far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t mean we should abandon philosophy – it means we should strive to do it better.

  82. Brownian says

    But on what do we base our morality? What is morality? How do we tell the difference between right and wrong? These are philosophical (specifically, metaethical) questions.

    They’re also psychological, neurological, sociological, and anthropological ones.

    At least you didn’t double down on it when called out.

    Yes, that is a good thing, hoopz.

  83. erikthebassist says

    I too am interested in the ableism discussion. There was a recent skepchick thread about it and it didn’t get very far.

    The point I was trying to make there is that crazy can be, and very often is used as a compliment. This is true in my world, as a musician, and in many other vernaculars. I used skateboarding and extreme sports as an example.

    In any event, terms like sick, nuts, crazy, insane, off your rocker, touched, etc…. are very often used to convey a sense that someone is an outside of the box thinker, extremely creative, extraordinarily brave, and other undoubtedly positive qualities.

    I also made the point that gay is used all the time in a positive sense or just as a descriptor for a person, but it’s only when it’s used a pejorative that people take offense. Shouldn’t it be the same with these ableist terms? At least some of them?*

    In other words, doesn’t context matter? Am I being an ableist when I call a musician a “sick individual” meaning they think on a whole different level than I am capable?

    *I’m not aware of any positive usage for lame as an example, I’m sure there are more.

  84. says

    @Jose

    IMHO the Reapers should never have been explained, the Leviathans themselves do not endear me as a race and feel like a voodoo shark. Protheans already have the market covered on ‘asshole precursors’.

    a) the idea that the Reapers have a creator, while not bad itself, I think should have been remained open…have them just be old and POSSIBLY be a natural phenomena. Again the Lovecraftian elements worked great

    b) We didn’t really NEED Catalyst as a villain. He sucks at it, appears late, and is a loon. We already had both Harbinger and Martin Sheen as villains both of which worked much better. In fact reading Cataylst as Harbinger talking via a indoctrination hallucination oddly works better to me.

    c) speaking of which…Bioware should have known that once Indocrination was presented there was no way short of a good unambiguous ending that people wouldn’t suspect it. Even if not intentional so many details of ME3 fit what we learn about Indoctrination that we at least needed a scene of it being addressed (possibly would work as a boss fight)

    1) Rachnoid queen describes the Indoctrination as inky wells intruding in the mind…which matches the dreams
    2) Legion explains that memories or mind links aren’t perfect images so your mind fills in details (ie Shepard sees Quarians in Legion’s memory in their suits because she has never seen what one really looks like and why a delete program looks like a gun in the mind link)…and then the Catalyst looks like the child that died on earth…and Shepard now has a magic gun like when in the Geth consciousness?
    3) The technicolor light show and how white and perfect the Catalyst chamber looks… it’s very beautiful. Unfortunately Martian Sheen gives dialogue as he dies telling Shepard that the ruined Earth looks beautiful to him under the effects of Indoctrination.

    This really needed addressing

  85. Walton says

    They’re also psychological, neurological, sociological, and anthropological ones.

    Yes and no. The ambiguity here is my fault: I didn’t distinguish clearly between a descriptive and a prescriptive account of morality. You’re obviously right that the social sciences have plenty to say about how particular conceptions of morality developed, how people make moral decisions, how morality functions in particular societies, and so forth. (Which is not my field, but I find it fascinating.)

    But science can’t, in itself, tell us what we should do. It can’t tell us what is morally right or wrong, because those aren’t empirical questions – they’re questions of value, and values are different from facts.* That’s why we need metaethics.

    (*Of course some philosophers – Dan Fincke included, as far as I understand him – think that moral goodness is a factual matter, and that statements of value can be understood as statements of fact. I think they’re wrong. But even if they’re right, the claim that moral goodness is a factual matter is itself a philosophical claim.)

  86. says

    But this may be irrelevant: as far as I understand your objections, your argument is not so much that philosophy shouldn’t be done at all, but rather that professional philosophers often do it badly, and that the output of philosophers often doesn’t add much to our understanding. And I don’t necessarily disagree with that. But as far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t mean we should abandon philosophy – it means we should strive to do it better.

    Thank you, Walton. This is *exactly* what I have been arguing from the beginning (including the “let’s do it better” part, although I didn’t mention that in my most recent post). The fact that this didn’t seem to be getting across was causing me to begin to question my sanity.

  87. Brownian says

    The ambiguity here is my fault: I didn’t distinguish clearly between a descriptive and a prescriptive account of morality.

    I know the difference. The questions you asked were all clearly descriptive ones, and fall into the realm of sciences such as psychology, neurology, sociology, and anthropology.

    Metaethical questions would be:

    But on what do should we base our morality? What is should morality be? How do should we tell the difference between right and wrong?

    And that’s my general issue with philosophers.

  88. Brownian says

    I’m not aware of any positive usage for lame as an example.

    “That gold lame jacket looks positively sick on you, dude.”

  89. says

    @ Ing and Jose

    There’s a popular theory that Indoctrination was the original idea, but then everyone figured it out so Bioware doubled down on the stupid. I think this is giving them way too much credit.

    Is Harby in Leviathan at all? His absence in most of ME3 was disappointing (among other things).

  90. UnknownEric says

    Is it time for a little Muslim rage?

    The “best” part about that Newsweek cover? It looks more like “rocking out” than “rage.” The guy on the left is just yelling “FREEEEEBIIIIIIIIIRRRRDD!!!!”

  91. Walton says

    I know the difference.

    I didn’t intend to suggest that you didn’t – I was taking responsibility for not having made clear, in my earlier post, that I was talking about morality in a prescriptive rather than descriptive sense. It was poor writing on my part.* But I think we’re on the same page now.

    (*For which I apologize. I’ve been in the process of moving to new accommodation today, so I’m somewhat distracted.)

  92. Brownian says

    Brownian knows it’s spelled lamé.

    Hmm? What? Oh, of course.

    I agree with ericthebassist. There is no context that I know of in which lamé can be used positively.

  93. says

    (*Of course some philosophers – Dan Fincke included, as far as I understand him – think that moral goodness is a factual matter, and that statements of value can be understood as statements of fact. I think they’re wrong. But even if they’re right, the claim that moral goodness is a factual matter is itself a philosophical claim.)

    I think the problem here comes down to, how do you define moral goodness? If you define it as something like, the things that humans tend, on average, to consider morally good, or even, the moral intuitions that evolution would tend to build into social creatures like us, then certainly it’s a matter of fact. We can go out and investigate what humans actually believe, and we can go through modeling exercises to try to determine what types of moral codes are likely to be adaptive for a particular type of species evolving in a particular environment.

    But outside of this sort of anthropological study, what one “should” do is always necessarily dependent on what one’s goals are. An individual’s goals could also in principle be subject to empirical investigation — I could ask them questions, or put them under some kind of fancy science fictional brain scanner machine. And the question of what (if any) course(s) of action will provide optimal results given a particular goal structure is, in principle, also a matter of fact.

    The problem comes in when you try to combine these two different types of moral goodness, in other words, when you try to take a bunch of individual humans with potentially very different sets of goals and combine them into a single society and try to decide what the rules for that society “should” be. Certainly you can come up with some kind of notional formula to assimilate all of those individual sets of goals into one single parameter called “goodness”, and one can then (in principle) compute what course(s) of action will maximize that parameter. And in that sense, the moral goodness of any particular outcome will indeed be a factual matter.

    But there’s no one objective standard which can be used to construct the “goodness” formula. Each individual will have hir own preferred formula (usually weighting hir own goals disproportionately heavily compared to the goals of others), and each individual’s formula will likely be slightly different. And there’s no way to adjudicate these differences purely as a matter of fact. The best we can do on that front is to try to use our fundamental human commonalities to influence each other’s goal structures in such a way as to bring all of our individually preferred goodness formulae into as close alignment as possible. Whatever results from such attempts at alignment could be thought of as objectively “good” in the sense that it’s an objective fact that such a thing would be the outcome of goal harmonization by creatures like ourselves, but of course a different type of species evolving in a different environment might come to a different result.

    But I’m not sure that that’s what folks like Fincke and Harris and so forth mean when they talk about objective morality. I certainly don’t think this kind of morality is objective in the sense that most ordinary people mean when they talk about such a thing, in the same way that the kind of free will neurobiology suggests that we have isn’t the kind of free will that most people think of when they’re talking about it. So I’m extremely reluctant to assert that morality is objective in the same way that I’m extremely reluctant to assert that we have free will. I think it just confuses the conversation to use those words if I don’t mean by them what other people will inevitably assume that I mean.

  94. Brownian says

    I didn’t intend to suggest that you didn’t – I was taking responsibility for not having made clear, in my earlier post, that I was talking about morality in a prescriptive rather than descriptive sense. It was poor writing on my part.* But I think we’re on the same page now.

    (*For which I apologize. I’ve been in the process of moving to new accommodation today, so I’m somewhat distracted.)

    Poor Walton. I sometimes forget that you tend to take a little too much to heart what I meant as friendly ribbing, especially when you’re busy and distracted.

    To be clear, I think we are on the same page. Science cannot answer the ‘should’ questions, though it can inform to some degree what those ‘should’ questions should be.

    But I do find the tendency of some philosophers, particularly the younger ones (and I’m not including you in this category of ‘some’, Walton) to let their Dunning-Kruger run wild and try to answer with philosophy descriptive questions which can and often have been answered by more empirical sciences.

    The Rev’s comment 125 is an excellent example of such an empirical observation that can then inform ethical questions. What might we do should we wish to increase certain social and emotional skills in the population, knowing that high social status tends to impair them in individuals?

  95. Brownian says

    I sometimes forget that you tend to take a little too much to heart what I meant as friendly ribbing

    I should be clearer. This reads as if it indicts you for being too sensitive, when it is in fact my issue for sometimes being too terse and aggressive with you, knowing that it has lead miscommunication and plays into your tendency for you to apologise for things you have no need to apologise for.

    Have I ever told you you’d make an absolutely wonderful Canadian, Walton?

  96. Walton says

    But I do find the tendency of some philosophers, particularly the younger ones (and I’m not including you in this category of ‘some’, Walton) to let their Dunning-Kruger run wild and try to answer with philosophy descriptive questions which can and often have been answered by more empirical sciences.

    Absolutely. I encountered this a great deal when I was studying philosophy of law, for example – eminent legal philosophers often make assertions which are, in substance, empirical claims about how legal systems work and the role legal systems play in society, but they don’t necessarily provide rigorous empirical evidence to back up these claims. There certainly needs to be more cross-disciplinary interaction between philosophy and the social sciences.

  97. Walton says

    Have I ever told you you’d make an absolutely wonderful Canadian, Walton?

    *giggles* I’ll take that as a compliment.

  98. Brownian says

    On the video swarly linked to, which I just skimmed enough to catch “…the old religious tactics of shaming and shunning”—I have to wonder:

    Are anthropological texts that hard to come by in whatever STEM schools churn out YouTube atheists?

    “Religious” isn’t a synonym for “things I don’t like”.

  99. consciousness razor says

    Rather, I have been telling you that in my experience the *quality* of the arguments in stuff that formally labels itself as philosophy are lousy at a higher rate than I have the patience to sort through, and that it seems that these lousy arguments are allowed to persist far longer than they should and are treated with far greater seriousness than they deserve.

    Like what? Before, you mentioned ontological arguments (not taken seriously and not persistent), along with some guy arguing something about creationism from Coyne’s blog (ditto).

    I can’t recall you talking about any other arguments, but I haven’t bothered reading our previous conversation again to check if I forgot one. So just given those, since that’s all I have to go on…. Do you think that’s what most (or a significant chunk) of philosophy is like today? It’s somewhat hard to differentiate the “subject matter” part from the “lousy argument” part. But just take that latter if you want: do you think those are representative?

    I ask because I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. If you can’t bother to give a specific example, then I don’t know why I should bother. But maybe you could be more general and say which philosophers, or what kind of philosophy, you’ve studied. How else am I supposed to know what your “experience” is, or care, or say anything about it?

    Should I instead ask what you consider a lousy argument? Where would you draw the line, where an argument is not so lousy that it’s unbearable? Are you expecting too much? Are you perhaps wrong about them being lousy? If you’re not, what should philosophers do about it that they’re not doing? Are they worse than professionals in any other field, to the extent they can even be compared?

    You’d have to actually know a lot about it to answer some of these honestly and fairly, wouldn’t you? So how do you know all of this?

    If you want to present me with positive reasons to spend more of my time sifting through the output of professional philosophers

    Why would I care? If you stopped trashing the whole field indiscriminately (and ignorantly, I have to assume), the argument from me would be over, at least for now. Alternatively, you could back up your opinions with just one hint of a shred of evidence. Because I still don’t think you know what you’re talking about. You haven’t given me any reason to change my mind about that. Talk about lousy arguments….

  100. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    But I do find the tendency of some philosophers, particularly the younger ones (and I’m not including you in this category of ‘some’, Walton) to let their Dunning-Kruger run wild and try to answer with philosophy descriptive questions which can and often have been answered by more empirical sciences.

    I’m not sure this is restricted by age so much*, but yes. This. Well articulated.

    *My “not sure” isn’t intended to reflect disagreement, as much as ignorance.

  101. ChasCPeterson says

    Let’s not forget the words of Quentin Robert DeNameland, greatest living philostopher known to mankind:

    “Well, folks, as you can see for yourself, the way this clock over here is behaving, TIME IS OF AFFLICTION! This may be cause for alarm among a portion of you, as, from a certain experience, I tend to proclaim: ‘THE EONS ARE CLOSING!’! Now what does this mean, precisely to the layman? Simply this: ‘MOMENTARILY, THE NEED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW LIGHT WILL NO LONGER EXIST!’
    Of course, some of you will say: “Who is HE to fell me from this light?” But, in all seriousness, ladies and gentlemen, a quick glance at the erratic behavior of the large, precision-built TIME-DELINEATING APPARATUS beside me will show that it is perhaps only a few moments now! Just look how funny it’s going around there! Personally, I find mechanical behavior of this nature to be highly suspicious! When such a device doesn’t go normal, the implications of such a behavior bodes not well! And, quite naturally, ladies and gentlemen, when the mechanism in question is entrusted with the task of the delineation of time itself, and if such a mechanism goes on the bum, or the fritz… well, it spells trouble!”

  102. Brownian says

    I’m not sure this is restricted by age so much*, but yes. This. Well articulated.

    *My “not sure” isn’t intended to reflect disagreement, as much as ignorance.

    That’s probably not accurate of me to have said. I should have said is that my experience is more with non-professional philosophers, particularly those at the undergraduate and graduate levels, who tended not to have a very well-rounded knowledge base, and often assumed that what they didn’t know wasn’t known.

    Oddly enough, I personally know of two mathmeticians with philosophy backgrounds who are extremely well-read and have a lot of general knowledge.

    And, of course, the problem of tunnel vision exists in every field.

  103. says

    consciousness razor, if you won’t even read my damn comments, then I’m not going to waste my time discussing this with you any more. I repeat once more:

    The only reason I commented on the issue in the first place was to support Improbable Joe in his recounting of his own discomfort with philosophy-as-such, by confirming that he’s not the only one who has had a non-negligible number of negative experiences with philosophy.

    If you like the vast majority what you’ve encountered in academic philosophy, it’s fine by me. My experience to date has been different, and I’ve reported that to you. You can believe me or not, but that doesn’t make my experience to date non-existent, and “my experiences with this area have been negative” is not a “citation needed” situation. If you don’t want me to continue reporting that I have had negative experiences, you can very easily cause that to stop (which is what you seem to want) by citing professional philosophers making high-quality and useful arguments and showing that views like theirs are beginning to dominate the discussion. Are you seriously trying to tell me that “high-quality” and “useful” are such subjective terms in philosophy that there’s *nothing* whatsoever you can point me to that ought to be impressive on that front? (If you *do* assert that, then please note that that’s the exact kind of thing I’ve found objectionable in my encounters with academic philosophy.) Is there nothing, even, that impresses you enough that you can remember it to cite it to me? And if not, then why are you so up in arms that I haven’t been keeping a list of all the things I found unimpressive, just so’s I could wave it around in my defense if I happened to find myself in a pointless discussion like this?

    In fact, hell, *I* can even name philosophers who have made arguments that impressed me, although I don’t agree with them on everything. (Daniel Dennett and Peter Singer spring most easily to mind, but I could probably mine my bookshelf for others if I was at home.) For all you insist on strawmanning me as “trashing the whole field indiscriminately”, I’m starting to wonder if *I* couldn’t even mount a better defense of its value than you’re doing here.

    I don’t know much about you, so I hate to make any assumptions, but I’m getting the impression that there’s something about people saying anything negative at all about philosophy that just makes your knee jerk pretty hard regardless of the specific content of the criticism. I’m sorry if I’ve inadvertently hit some trigger for you, but I wish you’d respond to what I’m actually saying instead of what other people who have annoyed you in the past said in some unrelated conversation that didn’t involve me.

  104. David Marjanović says

    Do I do that? Perhaps more important, do I often get it wrong?

    You very, very quickly accuse people of lying, hardly ever granting that they might actually be that ignorant or incoherent. How often you get it wrong is difficult to tell – if they’re driven away quickly enough, they can’t show us.

    Not having time to look for examples right now, I’ll call out the next one I see.

    Really? Did you mean this to sound so damning? I can’t really reconcile calling someone vile with looking forwards to meeting them in meatspace.

    Well, she has that one vile aspect to her. I’m not gonna trigger it. :-|

    Years ago, I told Caine to fuck off, in so many words, twice. I’m capable of having opinions about individual aspects of people’s personalities instead of viewing them as monoliths.

    Huh. Well, so nice to know what you think of me, David. Thanks ever.

    Context.

    You, too, accuse people very quickly of knowing that what they say isn’t true.

    …Also, you happened to come in handy, because I needed someone to show I wasn’t singling Ms. Daisy Cutter out. Neither is she anywhere near a Complete Monster; I was using you and Nick for showing that not everyone else is Incorruptible Pure Pureness.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    RahXephon, I know you’re over the topic of this section, you’ve apologized, you’ve said you were angry and shouldn’t comment when angry. So, let me apologize in advance for using your quotes as a teachable moment – as you’ll see toward the end of the section, it’s nothing specific to you, it’s a very general point I want to make:

    That right there — the calling of a request for the link a “defense” — is indeed exactly what is unethical and discourages fact-finding. You should stop doing it.

    She didn’t defend him, then. Happy? Enjoy your win on a technicality.

    Enjoy? I don’t think any such thing is his motivation.

    It is now, apparently. And apparently it wasn’t going to happen without my saying something about it.

    Yes, I insulted the wrong person on the internet and without your tireless efforts, it never would’ve been resolved. I’m faxing your Nobel Peace Prize now.

    Don’t you understand? SIWOTI syndrome is a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder! I have mine under rather little control, and sgbm apparently has his under even less. He’s not doing this to be praised, and it’s frankly quite narrow-minded of you that you seemingly can’t imagine anything else. He’s doing it because he thinks somebody has to do it and I hadn’t come back and done it.

    (…To be precise… I’ve never been diagnosed with anything of the sort, but I have done clearly obsessive-compulsive things in the past. Minor things… but even in public, because I didn’t realize they were visible. Like… writing selected letters in the air with my finger when someone said a word with them. If that’s not OCD, I don’t know what is. I think SIWOTI syndrome is fairly similar; it just happens to be a lot more useful.)

    All my life I’ve been chided for saying things in order to be praised or feeling superior when the very thought of being praised for them or of feeling superior afterwards hadn’t even crossed my fucking mind. Do neurotypics think every utterance is done to either flatter or insult someone? …Don’t worry, I’m not going to starfart. I’m in fact remarkably close to crying, considering the fact that I’ve never cried in front of a computer.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    < hrf=”http://www.ytb.cm/wtch?v=nP-TKWzwk∓ftr=plyr_dtlpg#t=27s” rl=”nfllw”>

    Now, I know this is disemvoweled… but… how did the amazing ∓ get in there? :-)

    I look like a homophobe don’t I?

    Uh, let’s review:

    […]

    Is there something in that justifies your question mark?

    Well, maybe it’s a phobia of polyamory, not of homosexuality, and “he’s 100 % gay” is just there to explain what’s so “bad” about the multiple male “‘roommates'” and how he can have a “sugar daddy”.

    But then, I don’t know what exactly “He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.” refers to.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    If you don’t mind me asking, Caine, how’s Dexter? I asked in the [Lounge] long ago, and now I have no hope of catching up. :-(

  105. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Not having time to look for examples right now, I’ll call out the next one I see.

    Well, without specific examples, I’m not inclined to take what you say very seriously.

    Well, she has that one vile aspect to her.

    Well your use of the phrase “vile human being” was… pretty vile.

    Also, you [Caine] happened to come in handy, because I needed someone to show I wasn’t singling Ms. Daisy Cutter out. Neither is she anywhere near a Complete Monster; I was using you and Nick for showing that not everyone else is Incorruptible Pure Pureness.

    Unlike you, of course.

  106. David Marjanović says

    Unlike you, of course.

    That is the worst of the neurotypical assumption that every utterance must be intended to either flatter or insult someone.

    No, of fucking course not. Not only have I never claimed to be anywhere near Incorruptible Pure Pureness, I don’t believe I am, and it’s quite insulting of you to imply that I do.

    Consider yourself invited to list my vile traits while I look for examples of you claiming people are lying when there’s no reason for that assumption. I’m sure I have some.

  107. strange gods before me ॐ says

    He’s doing it because he thinks somebody has to do it and I hadn’t come back and done it.

    Not you specifically. Somebody. Anybody.

  108. strange gods before me ॐ says

    But then, I don’t know what exactly “He only takes it. He doesn’t give it.” refers to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottom_%28sex%29

    hoopz’s interest in reporting all this did strike me as “how weeeeeird” and thereby homophobic; I’m glad other people said something, and I’m glad hoopz noticed and rethought it.

  109. David Marjanović says

    My memory of time clearly has issues. I haven’t found a single instance up to and including page 9, which starts with the last post of Sept. 7th.

  110. David Marjanović says

    He’s doing it because he thinks somebody has to do it and I hadn’t come back and done it.

    Not you specifically. Somebody. Anybody.

    Sorry, I should have clarified – I’d probably have done it, had I visited this thread in time; that’s why I mentioned myself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottom_%28sex%29

    Yeah, I feared so.

  111. Walton says

    Aaron Baker: I’m always impressed with those who have the talent to write publishable poetry. I write poetry regularly, but most of mine is poor – I’ve only written a few that I was genuinely happy with, and I’ve never even considered trying to publish anything (except on my own blog).

    I like your style, though it’s very different from mine. (I rarely write free verse, since it’s not something I’m good at – I prefer to stick to rhyme and metre, since it gives my writing a certain amount of discipline.)

  112. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Not only have I never claimed to be anywhere near Incorruptible Pure Pureness, I don’t believe I am, and it’s quite insulting of you to imply that I do.

    Whereas calling people “a vile human being” isn’t insulting at all.

    That is the worst of the neurotypical assumption that every utterance must be intended to either flatter or insult someone. – David Marjanović

    Yeah, well you know what? I’m getting pretty sick of this “I’m non-neurotypical so I can be a shit to people” you’re pulling here.

  113. says

    Thank you for the kind words, Walton. I use rhyme and regular meters (metres), too, though it’s the free verse so far that’s been accepted.

    If you’re not happy with what you’ve written (and I know that feeling for sure), keep working on it. I have some efforts I’ve tinkered at over 20 or more years (Garb, I’m getting old!).

    Thanks again.

  114. Brownian says

    Yeah, I feared so.

    I admit to having supressed that thought with a “Nah, that can’t be what was meant.”

  115. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Whereas calling people “a vile human being” isn’t insulting at all.

    Just to confirm, you know it’s her tagline? “Ms. Daisy Cutter, Vile Human Being”? That’s where he got it from. I don’t know if he realizes it’s bait and not an invitation to repeat it.

    I’m getting pretty sick of this “I’m non-neurotypical so I can be a shit to people” you’re pulling here.

    He isn’t doing that. No quote you’ll find on this page contains such an argument. It’s likely that if you show him something unethical he’s said, he won’t try to excuse it.

  116. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Excuse me.

    “It’s likely that if you show him something unethical he’s said, he won’t try to excuse it by reference to being non-neurotypical.”

    He may simply disagree that it’s unethical, of course.

  117. Walton says

    Aaron: Yes, I’ll keep practising. At the moment, the only poem of mine with which I’m genuinely happy is this one. I’ve got a great many more poems (and one or two short stories) gathering metaphorical dust on my hard drive, but none of them are good enough to consider making public.

  118. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Just to confirm, you know it’s her tagline? “Ms. Daisy Cutter, Vile Human Being”? – SGBM

    Thanks, I’d overlooked that – I seldom pay attention to taglines. That does change things somewhat, although it would have been better in that case to have used upper-case where Ms. Daisy does – and he did also appear to apply it to Caine, who doesn’t.

    He isn’t doing that.

    I disagree. It’s an attitude – quite possibly one he’s unaware of – not an argument, and is evident in:

    That is the worst of the neurotypical assumption that every utterance must be intended to either flatter or insult someone.

    Implication: if you take something I said as an insult, that’s your fault, not mine.

  119. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Implication: if you take something I said as an insult, that’s your fault, not mine.

    Context: what was it a direct response to?

    Also, you [Caine] happened to come in handy, because I needed someone to show I wasn’t singling Ms. Daisy Cutter out. Neither is she anywhere near a Complete Monster; I was using you and Nick for showing that not everyone else is Incorruptible Pure Pureness.

    Unlike you, of course.

    That is the worst of the neurotypical assumption that every utterance must be intended to either flatter or insult someone.

    No, of fucking course not. Not only have I never claimed to be anywhere near Incorruptible Pure Pureness, I don’t believe I am, and it’s quite insulting of you to imply that I do.

    Consider yourself invited to list my vile traits while I look for examples of you claiming people are lying when there’s no reason for that assumption. I’m sure I have some.

    I.e. you implied he thought of himself as pure. He replied that no he doesn’t — and he hadn’t said what he said to make himself seem pure by comparison, and it’s a mistake to assume that’s his intention.

    So, precise implication: if you take him to be intending to flatter himself, you’re mistaken.

    Plausible further implication: if you take him to be intending to insult others, you’re mistaken.

    Nothing was said about a case in which you find his words insulting regardless of intent.

  120. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Basically, the “Unlike you, of course” was gratuitous, and since it’s really quite out of context to the flow of the discussion, it elicited a reaction which also can’t be much understood in the context of the rest of the discussion, except with reference to those four words from you. His reaction isn’t more than a response to what you said immediately prior.

  121. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    SGBM

    That is the worst of the neurotypical assumption that every utterance must be intended to either flatter or insult someone. – David Marjanović

    There is no such neurotypical assumption, and Marjanović must know that. It’s therefore most naturally interpreted as I did – as an attempt (not necessarily a conscious one) to shift blame to neurotypicals for perceived insults from him.

    Plausible further implication: if you take him to be intending to insult others, you’re mistaken.

    Which implication I simply don’t believe; if he wasn’t intending to insult both Ms. Daisy and Caine, he’d have apologised at least to Caine, who complained about the insult.

  122. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Basically, the “Unlike you, of course” was gratuitous – SGBM

    No, it wasn’t. It was a response to him saying he’d used Caine and me:

    because I needed someone to show I wasn’t singling Ms. Daisy Cutter out. Neither is she anywhere near a Complete Monster; I was using you and Nick for showing that not everyone else is Incorruptible Pure Pureness.

    If what was needed was just another example of non-IPP, why not use himself? The whole bit about jumping on noobs was an irrelevant complaint about Ms. Daisy at that point, because the issue about her was that she’d brought up John’s earlier comment for no good reason; there was also a discussion of how a noob saying something similar to John would be treated going on, but that had not involved Ms. Daisy, either as participant or subject of discourse.

  123. strange gods before me ॐ says

    There is no such neurotypical assumption, and Marjanović must know that.

    I don’t know if there is or isn’t.*

    I am quite sure that he does think there is. See his middle reply, to RahXephon.

    *I recall having to explicitly tell Josh** one time that David wasn’t explaining something (which Josh found condescendingly simplistic) for the sake of making himself look superior, but rather that Josh ended up on the sometimes annoying end of the autistic tendency of explanation for explanation’s sake.

    **Not that Josh is neurotypical, but he is not autistic, and that would be the more proper referent here.

    It’s therefore most naturally interpreted as I did – as an attempt (not necessarily a conscious one) to shift blame to neurotypicals for perceived insults from him.

    No, not in this case. Again, it wasn’t even the implication of insult which prompted his response to you, it was precisely your implication that he was flattering himself: “Unlike you, of course.”

    His reference to insult happened for a very particular reason; it was leftovers, something that was already on his mind, from his earlier response to RahXephon. It’s verbatim: “to either flatter or insult someone.”

    Which implication I simply don’t believe; if he wasn’t intending to insult both Ms. Daisy and Caine, he’d have apologised at least to Caine, who complained about the insult.

    Well, there’s the other thing that happens when someone says something insulting, didn’t intend it as an insult, but then doesn’t think it should be rescinded if it’s still felt to be true regardless of insult. That’s a possibility, but I can’t guess.

    Now if I were David I would apologize, since it seems his meaning is “I’m capable of having opinions about individual aspects of people’s personalities instead of viewing them as monoliths”, while his initial wording from Daisy’s tagline implies, in my and I suspect many others’ opinions, a kind of essentialism. Comparably, many of us try to make a distinction between “stupid argument” and “stupid person”. And maybe he will apologize later. He may have gone to be already — it’s evident that some parts of the discussion have been very stressful for him.

    If what was needed was just another example of non-IPP, why not use himself?

    Because he’s already aware of his own critiques of his own behavior, and so doesn’t figure he needs to inform himself? There’s other explanations; it’s not as though he’s never taken others’ criticism of himself here, so it’s simply not evident that he thinks of himself as pure. That’s why I say it’s a gratuitous remark (not, by any means, the first from either side).

    The whole bit about jumping on noobs was an irrelevant complaint

    Could be. I’m not going to get into that. It is Thunderdome and he has made out-of-context complaints about me here too, references to my politics when that’s not the topic. For all I know it’s an airing of grievances. I think you are reading more symbolism into several statements than is evident.

    But, Inshallah, I’m going to try to stop responding for a while, as I just don’t think I’m capable of making you see what I think I see about how his thought processes unfold, and I may do more harm than good.

  124. UnknownEric says

    Like… writing selected letters in the air with my finger when someone said a word with them.

    Well, it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only person who does that.

  125. carlie says

    It looks to me like David was trying to say that everybody has blind spots and touchy spots and everyone acts in ways that other people don’t like sometimes, but that doesn’t constitute the totality of who that person is and it’s entirely possible to dislike certain aspects of a person while liking others, and even moreso liking them on the whole. I would have been hurt by that original comment too, but I think after his explanation I get what he meant.

  126. Josh, Asshat, Embarrassment to Atheists, Gays, and Free Speech. says

    **Not that Josh is neurotypical, but he is not autistic, and that would be the more proper referent here.

    Well, that’s one way of putting it, I guess?

  127. chigau (違わない) says

    So is anyone who comments here Normal™®?
    By Normal™®?, I mean
    That Which Was Shown On American TV Sitcoms In The Nineteen Sixties.

  128. says

    @Evilisgood

    I think you’re mistaken. What is confirmed is that the shiny vs squishy thing was not in the original story. The original draft was going to address that idea that ME violated the law of conservation of energy (turns out it doesn’t) and that use of it was actually damaging time space. The Reapers were going to be an attempt to give species a chance while preserving the universe by wiping them out when they reached the level they would start using ME too much. The original ending was going to be whether to make a deal with the Reapers, because they think that if they can make a human reaper they can reach a solution to the problem, by sacrificing humanity so they leave the other species alone…or telling them to piss off and risking trying to find your own solution.

    It was leaked and changed.

  129. Dhorvath, OM says

    David M,
    Thanks, based on previous encounters I suspected your meaning differed from my primary inference, and so I asked.

  130. says

    Does stating on a unremarkable blog that you support A+ release some sort of douche signal?

    Honestly. It’s as if I have not been thoroughly mansplained enough already and a topping up is required. :P

    If I’d just listen to reason and not promote deep rifts things would great.

    *headdesk*

    /rant

  131. cm's changeable moniker says

    I so want to comment about “justify it’s” here. Because, dammit, if a thread’s going to go off into pedantic derails, I want my chance to shine!

    Not going to, though. Except for this. :-)

  132. opposablethumbs says

    I’m not aware of any positive usage for lame as an example.

    “That gold lame jacket looks positively sick on you, dude.”

    Brownian knows it’s spelled lamé.

    Hmm? What? Oh, of course.

    I agree with ericthebassist. There is no context that I know of in which lamé can be used positively.

    Not actually relevant, but … this reminded me of walking along a street in Paris with a (slightly tipsy) friend who misread the restaurant name l’Ame Slave as Lamé Slave and started wondering aloud about how a restaurant could make a go of catering so specifically to the glamour bondage scene.

  133. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    We Are Normal And We Want Our Freedom.

    Wonderful – SC

    I recently found a copy of The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse in a charity shop – I bought it when it came out, in, like, 1968, man, but had lost it somewhere along the way. Another couple of favourite tracks: Humanoid Boogie, and My Pink Half of the Drainpipe.

    “If I had all the money I’dve spent on drink, I’d spend it on drink” – Vivian Stanshall

    The quote’s from Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and is spoken by Sir Henry (played by Trevor Howard in the film, with a long, thoughtful pause at the comma IIRC, but I assume by Stanshall himself in the audio recording, which I haven’t heard).

    Unfortunately, Stanshall seems to have taken his own advice; he died in a fire in 1995, reputedly because he’d fallen asleep while drunk and smoking.

  134. says

    So is anyone who comments here Normal™®? / By Normal™®?, I mean / That Which Was Shown On American TV Sitcoms In The Nineteen Sixties.

    Naw. Thirties, maybe, a bit, tho’…

    (/… insofar as sometimes my hair looks a bit like Alfalfa’s.)

  135. chigau (違わない) says

    cm

    If my brow furrows any more, I’ll audition for a role in Star Trek.

    hahahahahahhahahha
    (I always called them Lumpyheads.)

  136. says

    Another couple of favourite tracks: Humanoid Boogie, and My Pink Half of the Drainpipe.

    Loved the first. I think you have to be British to appreciate the second (I do like the Mr. Potatohead in the image).

    Thanks!

    Unfortunately, Stanshall seems to have taken his own advice; he died in a fire in 1995, reputedly because he’d fallen asleep while drunk and smoking.

    Buzzkill.

    ***

    Chopin, Ballade #4 in F minor; Andrei Gavrilov.

    Lovely. Too lovely.

    I drink a vodka tonic, listen to this, and think of crustaceans.

    I am so normal.

  137. says

    More importantly, can you sing?

    Sure. But I will not croon.

    And old enough, I guess. I saw a few episodes in the seventies. It was on after school, with stuff like Hogan’s Heroes and Gilligan’s Island.

    Speaking of, I now can’t remember which webcomic I was reading recently which observed just how bizarre it seems in retrospect that there was actually once a sitcom about a wartime prison camp in WWII…

    But, yeah, actually, okay. It is bizarre.

  138. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Arbourist,

    Does stating on a unremarkable blog that you support A+ release some sort of douche signal?

    Zomg you are killing atheism!

    What will the Christian and Muslim et cetera neighbors think?

  139. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Trolls are lucky I don’t blog. I would simply ban that slqblindman, delete his comments, and be done with it.

  140. Rorie says

    @Ing, 174

    That sounds like a much better story than what they ended up using. A bit of a shame they felt the need to change it.

  141. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    SGBM @193:

    Instead of deleting them and removing proof of stupidity, if you were adept with HTML at your own BLARG, you could put a flashing marquee around the offending comment with some words scrolling ‘Simpleton Asshole Douchester award winner!’ and keep a long list of SAD award winners for posterior posterity. I would love it if someone implemented it here at Pharyngula, but they have these ridiculous notions of ‘taste’ and ‘simplicity’ and seem offended by the garish and gauche*, which I require for survival, because Vegas/booze.

    *With exception of the Dungeon, but they seem to view that as ‘punishment’…FIE! I say.

  142. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Heh.

    My thinking was heavily influenced by my experience at Wikipedia, where we were dealing with, mmmm it’s hard to put an exact number on it but it seemed like roughly two new trolls per minute, 24/7/365, with huge spikes whenever Stephen Colbert ordered another raid.

    The tactic of denying recognition can be a very effective one, depending on one’s purposes.*

    *To those who want to point me to Stephanie Zvan’s post or similar, please note that regardless of what I think about that (I’m very undecided), in any case what I’m saying is not incompatibile with what she said. Totally erasing the troll’s presence from one’s own blog means not letting the troll control the conversation.

  143. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It’s also what I do at Pharyngula Wiki, where it has been very effective at keeping tigers away.

    (There’s been worse periods, but there’s only about one troll per month now — and PZ has the wiki linked directly from his sidebar, while he didn’t when trolling was heavier.

    Technically speaking, they are logged, so returning trolls can be identified, but not in any publicly prominent way.)

  144. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    Fair enough. The aesthetics police would have been all over your hynder for listening to me anyway. It probably makes more sense to have something like the ‘marquee de Sade’ in the Dungeon anyway, where there’s expectations of inelegance and lack of refinement. No point in foisting it on the everyday viewer in a main thread. Also, things could go wrong very rapidly if your blog was ever sued by someone that has that Pikachu Freak Out Disorder* kids were having from flashy-splashy video games in the pre-warning era.

    +++

    *Note: Not the actual medical term.

  145. says

    @SGBM 193,

    I would simply ban that slqblindman, delete his comments, and be done with it.

    That probably the best course of action, he claimed to be a rational thinker but that was proven to be a false hope.

    I lost some sleep over this as my mind played with the idea trying to make the dude understand. Groggily, this morning, I came to the same conclusion you did. Banhammers away!

    And I feel better already . :)

  146. rrede says

    @Anne C. Hanna:

    Re: philosophy, academic philosophy, worthwhileness of.

    I’m an English professor, but one of my three areas is theory which often overlaps with philosophy but is taught in other disciplines.

    Some philosophy departments have declared theory is not the same as philosophy; philosophy is the worst humanities academic area in terms of discrimination in degrees awarded, hiring and promotion, with relation to gender (and even worse in terms of ethnic diversity), so the insistence on what is “true” philosophy is somewhat suspect. And the ways in which *some* try to claim that philosophy (defined in a very narrow way) has a lock on critical thinking skills is also problematic.

    I can easily substitute “theory” for just about every usage of “philosophy” above and it makes sense to me!

    Some citation to support the sexism in philosophy as a discipline claim above:

    Althouse on philosophy conferences, hiring, boozing parties

    Blog with links to statistics on gender phds in disciplines

    More statistics

    Here is one feminist philosophy blog I follow regularly talking about the issue, and I would high recommend the blog generally:

    Feminist Philosophers

    Racism in academic philosophy

    Of course, there is a difference between a philosophical or theoretical approach in critical thinking and the academic institution as it exists (and is teaching what they consider the best approaches to critical thinking!). I was struck by your use of the term academic philosophy and other’s ignoring of the specifics of that term!

    Elizabeth Spelman’s Inessential Woman is one of my most recommended books: a work of feminist philosophy that argues and supports the erasure and marginalization of women in western philosophy, and the erasure of race and class by white women philosophers.

  147. anteprepro says

    First an ad for Liberty University Online (The largest online Christian propaganda mill!). Now an ad for “Sharia-compliant home financing”. The ads here can get kind of entertaining sometimes.

  148. says

    @Josh

    Further, why do you get it so consistently wrong when you talk about Ophelia’s alleged Islamophobia (especially you, Ing)?

    Especially me?

    Josh you are welcome to try to conjure up a single solitary other time than now I have commented on Ophelia and Islam.

    You’re remembering wrongly and/or confusing me with someone else. Also you were pretty damn disrespectful for a comment asking for others to correct me if I’m wrong.

    Someone help me here, to me this looks like Ophilia Benson is off the fucking rails criticizing Muslims for peacefully protesting now

    Pretty sure that indicates I was asking for a second opinion there, which would of course mean I’m NOT being uncharitable as I’m not making the presumption my reading is correct.

    You’ve been very quick to presume the worst lately, Josh, is everything ok?

  149. Josh, Asshat, Embarrassment to Atheists, Gays, and Free Speech. says

    Sorry Ing; I must be conflating you with other commenters/conversations.

  150. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    What has troubled me most about the FREEZE PEACH argument in the matter of The Innocence of Muslims (and subsequently the Charlie Hebdo cartoons), along with the consideration Walton raises, has been the refusal of many (including Ophelia, from what I’ve seen) to recognise that there is any moral responsibility to take into account the danger to innocent third parties when trolling potentially violent people. I recognise that there are times when it will be right to go ahead and exercise your free speech despite such danger to others; but to refuse to admit that these dangers should be considered is willful moral blindness.

  151. Walton says

    Nick: True enough, and I also think it’s worth noting that free speech doesn’t entail the right not to be criticized. I can acknowledge that those who publish cartoons mocking Mohammed are exercising a protected civil right, but I can still criticize them for being grossly irresponsible and putting others’ lives at risk. And for going out of their way to insult a group who are already marginalized and discriminated against. (As a more general observation, it annoys me when people roll out the “FREE SPEECH” argument when what they really want is to be immune from criticism, or to be praised simply for the act of transgressing social norms, irrespective of the effects of doing so.)

  152. says

    The free speech really raises and interesting question with the innocence of Muslims. the film makers took actors and lied to them about what the movie was, dubbed over them and involved them against their will or consent in a film that was likely to incite people.

    Now surely we can agree that whether it’s dickish or not people are fine to do it, but to involve others without their consent? To draft them into your political demonstration? It’s the equivalent of putting up a billboard with some random blokes face on it that has the caption “ARE CHILD PREDATORS LIVING NEAR YOU!?” after all you told him was that it was a photograph for a billboard. Is that recklessly endangering the actors lives? I’d say yes and I’d say that the fact that they LIED rather than get actors wiling to consent shows depraved indifference.

  153. Walton says

    Now surely we can agree that whether it’s dickish or not people are fine to do it, but to involve others without their consent? To draft them into your political demonstration? It’s the equivalent of putting up a billboard with some random blokes face on it that has the caption “ARE CHILD PREDATORS LIVING NEAR YOU!?” after all you told him was that it was a photograph for a billboard. Is that recklessly endangering the actors lives? I’d say yes and I’d say that the fact that they LIED rather than get actors wiling to consent shows depraved indifference.

    Yes, I’d agree with that. And it’s been suggested that the actors might have grounds for a civil action (disclaimer: I’m not familiar with the applicable law).

  154. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Threadrupt, so apologies as necessary, but **I LOVE I love charts!

    A thing of beauty. 2 pull-out eligible quotes, one directly relating to Jesus, but the even better one?

    “King Henry VIII …was the last English Monarch of the Devonian period.”

  155. chigau (違わない) says

    Like several of the commenters, I was born in the Eocene.
    Is there a song in there?

  156. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oligocene for me.

    I like the song idea, but it seems it might have a small audience unless this chart goes viral.

  157. chigau (違わない) says

    Crip Dyke
    I was thinking of ripping-off Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.
    catchy tune
    you can dance to it

  158. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Damn. I’m Eocene. Wife is Oligocene.

    Now I really feel old.

    ‘Scuse me. I gotta go feed my Uintathere.

  159. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Chigau: I can see it. Or hear it. Or I would if I wasn’t completely deaf by now, having been born in the Oligocene. Unfortunately “I was born in the Oligocene” is one too many syllables…

  160. chigau (違わない) says

    Crip Dyke

    ah wuz born in th’ you ess eh
    ah wuz born in th’ ‘li go scene

    I could be done.

  161. dianne says

    At some point, someone brought up the idea that Muslims are responsible for getting rid of radical Islamists or be considered guilty of their crimes. Sorry, don’t remember who or exactly where or the context, so I may be saying something entirely banal and/or already settled, but just in case this is useful…If every Muslim is responsible for the idiots that go riot over movies, does that mean that every atheist is responsible for Thunderfoot, elevator guy and Harris’ dubious remarks? We’ve definitely failed to eject them from the atheist movement (if there is any such thing.)

  162. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I guess it is “beat up on Joe week” here.
    Look, I’m sorry I’m not as literate as the rest of you, and I apologize to David Foster Smith for not knowing who he is or understanding why I should care. I guess I’m not educated enough to have an opinion, and I should stick to topics that suit my lower class station in life.
    But this is the Lounge, so maybe “beat up on Joe week” should happen someplace else? Because right now, you people are making me feel like a stupid, poor, uneducated piece of shit.

    Cut it out. This isn’t an issue of classicism against you. This is an issue of you putting forward an opinion about a writer whom you hadn’t heard of, much less read. This is also Pharyngula. Lounge or no lounge, such opinionated ignorance is likely to be called into question. As long as you’ve been commenting here, it’s a surprise that you don’t know this by now.

    Regardless of your difference of “opinion” with ChasRPeterson, it is mysterious how you’ve come to have an opinion at all. So unless you want to explain how you know that Wallace is a classist asshole, maybe you have nothing else to say on the topic. Of course, you could read some of his work, and develop an opinion the way that honest people do. You can get any DFW book as a used paperback for less than the price of a happy meal, FFS.

  163. Pteryxx says

    You can get any DFW book as a used paperback for less than the price of a happy meal, FFS.

    That was a shit thing to say in a discussion about classism aimed at someone who’s recently been running out of money to buy food. I don’t give much of a crap about you defending this Wallace dude, but that was a rotten move.

  164. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I don’t know fuckall about Joe’s situation, but that slight wasn’t intended. My apologies, Improbable Joe.

  165. Dhorvath, OM says

    Dianne,

    If every Muslim is responsible for the idiots that go riot over movies, does that mean that every atheist is responsible for Thunderfoot, elevator guy and Harris’ dubious remarks?

    I would say that yes, we are responsible, in the sense that any decent person should oppose the actions of assholes. However, there is no tenet of atheism that specifies dubious behaviour on the part of non-believers so the responsibility differs in nature from that which weighs on convenience believers in faiths with extremist sects.

  166. jonmilne says

    So here’s a fun little game for everyone to play.

    Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island, but you’ve got a working television and DVD player. You also have eight DVDs of movies. In addition, you also have one book that isn’t the Complete Works of Shakespeare or any of the cool Atheist books, as well as a novelty item.

    What would be your eight movies, book, and novelty item?

    I’d take:

    Secret of NIMH
    Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
    Inglourious Basterds
    The Queen
    Teeth
    Zombieland
    Star Trek (2009)

    I’d take along the first Artemis Fowl book, and I’d also take a Rubik’s Cube.

    What about you guys?

  167. dianne says

    Where does the electricity come from?

    I think I’d like to trade my movies in for season 12 of Mythbusters and have my novelty item be sufficient duct tape to build a canoe and outrigger?

  168. chigau (違わない) says

    I want a still that can distil gin from seawater.
    (didn’t the Professor once build a radio out of coconuts?)

  169. says

    In addition, you also have one book that isn’t the Complete Works of Shakespeare or any of the cool Atheist books, as well as a novelty item.

    But the complete works of Shakespeare is one book!

    Movies:
    -Three hazlenuts for Cinderella
    -The 13th warrior
    -The last Unicorn
    -The Life of Brian

    Can I swap the other movies for more books?

  170. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Can I ditch the movies for books on a 10 for 1 basis? I’d much rather have 100 books than 10 movies. Hell, I’d rather have 10 books instead of 10 movies.

  171. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Improbable Joe is a racist and a homophobe.

    trinioler is a homophobe too, not sure about racist though.

  172. cm's changeable moniker says

    Lovely. Too lovely.

    *puzzled*

    I’m not sure how much snark was in that comment. I’m going to assume none.

    #2

    #3

    But, and this is where I give Gavrilov my go-to-guy badge:

    #1

  173. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I think I would bring some big-ass math books and try to teach myself some math. That ought to fill the time.

    [Step back, self-proclaimed geeks and nerds! I’m so square that I want to spend the rest of my life alone doing homework. You may as well be the homecoming court of Cool-ass Valley High compared to yrs trly.]

  174. says

    I dunno about the movies, either. I know from having had kids that watching them over and over and over and over actually isn’t especially pleasant. Seriously, I can probably recite major passages of Finding Nemo and Cars from memory, now. It’s not really a good thing. And probably the most I’ve watched any single movie that I actually wanted to watch is like in the four or five times range. I think. And there’s not many of those.

    I could probably take a fair bit of Blade Runner, oddly enough. And I’m not even sure I like the film that much. It’s just that it’s got this oddly vacant pacing, lets you kinda sink into it; might survive repeated viewing… And I’m trying to figure out also how many times in a row something like Airplane! or Top Secret would actually remain funny… Mebbe if I like saved it up, maybe only watched it every month. Might work out…

    I think also Yojimbo… Dunno… It has this weird serenity about it despite the anarchy it’s built around. Again: should survive repetition well… But now I’m running out of stuff I could even hope might work that way.

    But I’m thinking the easy/smart choice for the non-Shakespeare and the novelty item tho’–if this is allowed–would be like some huge anthology of music and the matching instrument. Like, say, the Fiddle Fakebook and a violin (with like a few hundred spare sets of strings, again, if allowed). Should keep me busy for a few months, at least, I figure, and probably help immensely with the whole not going completely insane from the isolation thing. And then if I get off the island alive, I can start a new career with my insane licks.

    (/If the violin isn’t allowed, I’ll take a theremin. That, I figure, has to count as a novelty. Tho’ I strongly doubt there’s a lot of anthologies of theremin music out there… Or, wait, how ’bout a pocket trumpet? Trying to work the loopholes, here…)

  175. says

    At some point, someone brought up the idea that Muslims are responsible for getting rid of radical Islamists or be considered guilty of their crimes. Sorry, don’t remember who or exactly where or the context, so I may be saying something entirely banal and/or already settled, but just in case this is useful…If every Muslim is responsible for the idiots that go riot over movies, does that mean that every atheist is responsible for Thunderfoot, elevator guy and Harris’ dubious remarks? We’ve definitely failed to eject them from the atheist movement (if there is any such thing.)

    I think that was me on twitter. If not then I did tweet pretty much that thought

  176. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Improbable Joe is a racist and a homophobe.

    trinioler is a homophobe too, not sure about racist though. – SGBM

    Where the fuck did that come from?

  177. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Where the fuck did that come from?

    Hey, I’m not here to have arguments, I’m here to socialize. Why can’t I just socialize and vent? I’m not interested in dealing with the “citations please” stuff. I’m allowed to have opinions and not have to defend it.

  178. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I1: The inventor of vanilla ice cream was a raging alcoholic wife beater.
    I2: Why do you think that?
    I3: Critics of ice cream have said as much.
    I2: What critics? What do you know about the inventor of vanilla ice cream?
    Bystanders, several: echo I2
    I1: The inventor of vanilla ice cream was a raging alcoholic wife beater = I don’t like vanilla ice cream. Quit picking on me, everyone! I have a right to my opinion.  
    I4: Hey, asshole. I love my piggy piggy, and I1 is entitled to his opinion, which exists far above the level of discussion.

    It’s just lounge logic, sgbm.

  179. strange gods before me ॐ says

    FWIW, guinea pigs are adorable, and I’ll porkypine anybody who says otherwise.

  180. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    My daughter’s GP Baby Jackie Piggie is very fat which only increases the cuteness. Or so I have been told.

    Given that Baby Jackie Piggie eats nothing but lettuce and celery and shit, his chubbiness is really surprising. But in a good way, because of the chubbiness/cuteness correlation.

    See. We can talk about nice adorbz shit in the ‘dome. That’s about all I got, though.

  181. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Is it fat for a guinea pig? They are cylindrical animals.

    If so, is it perhaps eating too many empty calories? I realize there’s more you didn’t mention besides celery and lettuce, but this site (I have no idea whether it’s reliable) seems to indicate that sort of food would be insufficiently nutritious. I know fuck all, though.

  182. peterooke says

    Greetings, it was suggested that posting on this thread might be more appropriate (and hopefully result in better conversations!).

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PeteRooke, this is an open thread. If you wish to pontificate about something, just post it. People will respond.

  184. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Also, Pete, nobody actually gives a fuck what you think, so just as a practical matter, you might as well not waste your and our time by posting.

    But you’re allowed to, if you really really want to.

  185. peterooke says

    Okay then, Nerd – of all the people on Pharyngula I’ve debated with you are singularly unique in terms of the levels of vitriol and hate that you send my way.

    Genuine question: is it me specifically or do all believers receive this treatment?

    And, why?

  186. Patricia, OM says

    I’d like to know how pete got out of the dungeon. Wasn’t he a roomy with Pilty and Hoggle?

  187. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Patricia, most of the Sb dungeon was not grandfathered into the FtB dungeon. So he’s been released.

  188. peterooke says

    Patricia, this conversation occurred when I previously emerged a while ago on the new ftb platform for a brief spell. The dungeon did not travel according to Dr Myers! But behave well none the less…

  189. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    peterooke: We’re talking about guinea pigs here. Pipe the fuck down.
     
    ahem. 

    Yes. Fat for a guinea pig. Not cylindrical, but oblate-cylindrical.

    Also, I haven’t been up-front. I’m not sure what all they feed it. There is a bag in the refrigerator labeled “for Jack” and I know that I have seen celery and lettuce in it for certain, but I’m almost sure that I remember a carrot in his little….habitat (I guess) one time.

    I have no pet responsibilities, given that I am not for having pets, so I’m not really as in-the-know as I maybe let on to be. I’m sure that his caretakers must be doing a fine job though, because they care about that sort of thing.

    Also, I didn’t know that corn was high in vitamin C.

  190. Beatrice says

    Sorry, I see the dungeon is full and a lot of the inmates seem to have been there for a while.
    *shrug*

  191. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Weren’t they all let out when PZ got angry?

    Nah, them that were already in the FtB dungeon were put back in.

    Pete was never in the FtB dungeon.

    PW: “With the general amnesty for trolls extended to almost all the dungeon inhabitants after establishing FreethoughtBlogs, Rooke was free to participate again, which he did in October 2011.”

  192. Amphiox says

    Genuine question: is it me specifically or do all believers receive this treatment?

    No, it’s not you, nor believers, specifically.

    Anyone, not just believers, who make fact claims about anything, not just deities, without providing evidence, does.

  193. anteprepro says

    Okay then, Nerd – of all the people on Pharyngula I’ve debated with you are singularly unique in terms of the levels of vitriol and hate that you send my way.

    BAAAAAAAW! If I had a flake of human skin for every crocodile tear shed by internet True Believers, I would be able to restock your wardrobe.

  194. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I have no pet responsibilities, given that I am not for having pets, so I’m not really as in-the-know as I maybe let on to be.

    Ah, understood.

    Also, I didn’t know that corn was high in vitamin C.

    Depends what “high” means to those authors, I guess.

    Uncooked, 68 mg/kg. For comparison, oranges have 450 mg/kg.

  195. strange gods before me ॐ says

    There it is, Pete, your last warning. Your only hope now is to stop posting in any thread except for Thunderdome. I can’t guarantee you’ll be allowed to stay even if you only post in Thunderdome, but it is indeed your only hope.

  196. peterooke says

    “Did you ever think people genuinly don’t like you because they find you a hateful pompus biggoted savk of puss encrusted scabs?”

    That is uncalled for. I hope everyone can see that.

  197. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Joey is still around?

    Who the hell keeps rewinding him?

    Lol. I haven’t seen him for a while, but it’s a good bet he’ll be back.

  198. Patricia, OM says

    Strange Gods – Ahso, thanks for the link, now I remember. A sober me forgets much more than a drunk me does.

    Pete – Nerd doesn’t pick you out of the herd of godbotting fools. You all get an equal invitation to prove your nonsense or shut up.

  199. says

    “Did you ever think people genuinly don’t like you because they find you a hateful pompus biggoted savk of puss encrusted scabs?”

    That is uncalled for. I hope everyone can see that.

    Absolutely…

    Ing! It’s ‘pus’! And I think it reads more nicely with the hyphen, there. It’s one g, one t in ‘bigoted’, you typoed ‘sack’ and ‘genuinely’ and ‘pompous’…

    So, corrected, we have:

    ‘… people genuinely don’t like you because they find you a hateful, pompous, bigoted sack of pus-encrusted scabs’.

    … at which point, really, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    (/… apart from your failing to mention that he’s also the vile, pestilential, stinking rot that doth fester in sewers running with the wet, fetid excrement summoned by cholera. But I’m assuming you were aiming more for a précis, here, anyway.)

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Genuine question: is it me specifically or do all believers receive this treatment?

    All believers are asked to show conclusive physical evidence for their imaginary deity unless they keep their belief personal and out the discussion. Because if they can’t show said evidence (evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin), they tacitly acknowledge their deity is imaginary, existing only between their ears.

    And, why?

    To remind them that their presuppositional games like you play will not be respected here. It will be mirrored back on them. They either put up the conclusive physical evidence for their imaginary deity, or, if they are persons of honesty and integrity, they shut the fuck up about it until they can do so. Or, they tacitly acknowledge to the blog that they are liars and bullshitters if they can’t put up, and can’t shutup. You have been through that ringer before, and you came up a liar and bullshitter for jebus. You should know the answer. It hasn’t and won’t change.

  201. peterooke says

    Good to know it’s not personal then… AJ Milne – your comments are impeccably structured and punctuated – are you a sub-editor or similar?

  202. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Uncooked, 68 mg/kg

    All I’d need to eat to prevent scurvy is 441 g of raw sweet yellow corn per day, which is just about a pound. About twice that to feel healthy.

    No wonder Baby Jackie Piggy is so fat.

  203. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Now suppose I made shirt for this guinea pig out of the skin of your loved one. . ..

    Thanks, thank you ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be here all week. Try the knee-roll.

  204. says

    … your comments are impeccably structured and punctuated – are you a sub-editor or similar?

    … no, but really, I’m deeply flattered and conveniently distracted by your curiosity.

    Your prose is reasonably well-structured, but tediously conventional, and your thrust is patently evasive on demand, but oddly transparently so…

    … are you a Mormon or something?

    (/Failing that, are you leaving?)

  205. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I had a Spokesgay moment upthread, btw.

    I read “My daughter’s GP Baby Jackie Piggie is very fat which only increases the cuteness”

    as

    “My daughter’s general practitioner Baby Jackie Piggie …”

  206. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Josh: I didn’t know that you practiced tanning.

    SGBM: Oh, goodness no. Her general practitioner is Dr. Snuggybooboo Puppydoggie.

  207. peterooke says

    “Your prose is reasonably well-structured, but tediously conventional, and your thrust is patently evasive on demand, but oddly transparently so…”

    Is poetry. In a just world you would be leaving gems like this in the margins of essays for your students to agonise over.

  208. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That was beyond a SpokesGay Moment. It involved the hallucination of whole words from mere initials. Perhaps SpokesGay Moments are part of a vast, fractal kind of head-fuckery.

  209. peterooke says

    Now suppose I made shirt for this guinea pig out of the skin of your loved one.

    That would change everything, no :-)

  210. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    “Tediously conventional”, huh? What I wouldn’t give for a “tediously conventional”!
     
    The sun must really shine out of your ass, peterooke.

  211. opposablethumbs says

    AJ Milne your #274 has a nicely measured élan to which most of us merely aspire in vain.

  212. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Lovely, antepro.

    However, I just got supernaturally helped. We are discussing this paper, in a class I’m teaching. I thought it would be nice to have some wingless and winged phasmids (as well as outgroups) so that students could see that the recovered wing was homologous to wings in other polyneopterans. I couldn’t find any winged ones in the insect range, so I was bummed. On an unrelated errand to my wife’s office, I found that she had a glassed/framed specimen on her desk of a big, beautiful winged phasmid. Win. Not epic win, but come on.

  213. peterooke says

    “anteprepro gets my September Molly nom.”

    Seems like someone who needs a hug or two. Yes God is all-powerful, yes you’re not. Life goes on.

  214. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Oh, yeah. Moral of the story. Jeezus did that for me.

    I got kind of wrapped up in the link, and forgot to end that properly.

  215. says

    Hee hee…

    So the banner ad at the top of the page is now for a ‘Diplomacy and tact communications assessment’…

    Should I sign up?

    (/Go, context-sensitivity!)

  216. peterooke says

    “Oh, yeah. Moral of the story. Jeezus did that for me.”

    Jesus died for you. That’s the moral of the story.

  217. peterooke says

    Brownian,

    maybe you’re right and my belief in God doesn’t bear scrutiny or a fair appraisal — what then?

    why are you out trying to counter my faith? to what end? because it really doesn’t mean anything if you are right.

  218. says

    why are you out trying to counter my faith? to what end? because it really doesn’t mean anything if you are right.

    LOL. *You’re* the one who came to the Thunderdome pushing your faith, Buffalo Bill.

  219. Amphiox says

    Since he came back to life, he didn’t die for anybody. Death by definition is not reversible.

    You could if you wanted say that Jesus suffered for humanity.* And given how most variants of Christianity fetishize the Passion, they most surely recognize this, but they prefer the sanitized word “die” because sadomasochism is icky to them.

    *in the myth, of course

  220. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It does matter.

    Learning and acknowledging the truth about the world is often inherently rewarding. I want you to have that experience, Pete.

    Also, trivially, if you became an atheist, you would cease to bother us about Jesus, and that would incrementally improve our lives.

    Less trivially, you would probably approach social and political issues differently, probably for the better — to the benefit of everyone in the world, which does matter.

  221. Amphiox says

    I would have a great deal more respect for the New Testament if Revelations had the Son of Man suffering from PTSD from the trauma of the crucifixion. Suffering for the rest of his eternal existence.

    I mean then his sacrifice would actually MEAN something, and the redemption thus provided be something worthwhile. Not this sleeping for three days then poof back to normal hale and hearty no worse for the wear triviality.

  222. peterooke says

    “Why not?”

    Because it would be an exercise in stating the obvious. because life would be devoid of meaning & purpose. because order in chaos would be a fleeting blip.

  223. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    peterooke,

    Jesus died for you , if he existed at all, at best suffered a temporary inconvenience before ascending to an eternity of infinite bliss in heaven, which is not by any meaningful definition of the term, a ‘sacrifice’. That’s the moral of the story.

    FIFY.

  224. erikthebassist says

    because life would be devoid of meaning & purpose.

    Speak for yourself there Skippy, my life has plenty of meaning, and none of it is derived from believing in fairy tales.

  225. ibyea says

    @wowbagger
    Granted, being crucified is not just a mere inconvenience. But still, other humans have suffered worse.

  226. Amphiox says

    It is sad indeed for a human being to be so emotionally stunted that he finds it necessary to invent falsehoods just to have meaning in his life.

    Orde in chaos? It has meaning BECAUSE it is brief, precious because it is ephemeral. What need to care about the eternal? It’ll always be there.

  227. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    ibyea wrote:

    Granted, being crucified is not just a mere inconvenience.

    Relative to infinity in heaven?

  228. ibyea says

    @Wowbagger
    Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you have an infinity of nice life ahead of you. Any experience of torture is horrible at the time it is experienced. But I agree with your overall point. There wasn’t any real sacrifice. He came back all fine and dandy with nothing lost.

  229. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    *rolls eyes*

    I see the Rookie is back.

    Just so you know, Rookie; I think your personal relationship with god comes from the same place where you think that you and Patricia came to a grudging respect and where you thought that PZ allowed to to start commenting a couple of years ago.

    Now where is that bottle of milk? I need to leave some backwash.

    Also, how sad your thinking is if you need to be created by a deity in order to give your life meaning.

    So, Rookie, where does the big sky daddy get any fucking meaning to existence?

    You are still a sad sack.

    (So the people who have shown up in the last couple of years know; one weekend when Mabus filled the blog with hundreds of comments while PZ was away, the Rookie was saddened that all of those comments were being deleted. He wanted to have a talk about god with Mabus. Yes, the Rookie was serious about that.)

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still not one iota of solid and conclusive evidence from PR that his deity Yahweh isn’t imaginary, that his babble is inerrant, or that his jebus, son of a phantasm, isn’t mythical. All that crap he believes without evidence. That is presupposition lurkers. Presuming something is true without any evidence for the idea. Typical of godbots, creobots, and other delusional fools like conspiracy theorists.

  231. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    ibyea wrote:

    Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you have an infinity of nice life ahead of you. Any experience of torture is horrible at the time it is experienced. But I agree with your overall point. There wasn’t any real sacrifice. He came back all fine and dandy with nothing lost.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to never have been tortured – but yes, I agree that it would have had to have been – had it actually happened – pretty unpleasant at the time.

    Why the Christians seem to think that it’s somehow indicative of a great sacrifice is beyond me, though. I suspect it’s actually the result of the fairly inconsistent cobbling together of the different mythologies of the period – since there are ways that it could have been a great sacrifice.

    Like, say, he had gone to spend eternity in hell in our place – i.e. genuinely dying for our sins/to save us, which when you think about he didn’t actually do in the standard Christian story).

    But I guess the idea of Jesus also being God and therefore indestructible had to kick in and ruin what could have actually been inspiring. Well, at least somewhat inspiring, because of course there’s still the problem of why the bloody hell a so-called omnipotent god was forced to require a sacrifice of anyone, given that he could have just chosen to forgive humanity.

    Having Jesus be God’s enemy, of course, would have been even better; then, offering himself to appease the monster and save humanity from an eternity of suffering would be far closer to the real definition of ‘sacrifice’.

    I’m not too up on the mythology, but I have an inkling that that’s what the Gnostics were on about. In a way it’s probably a good thing the other Christians murdered them (well, not for the Gnostics, obviously), since that’d be a much harder belief system to dispense with – unlike regular Christianity, which is just plain stupid.

  232. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, you are just being gruesome now.

    You might have broke his squeaky Nerd.

    Jebus, run to the grocery store and set up the HPLC, and the squeaky toy breaks while I’m offline. Sigh, guess I’ll just have to throw the pasties in the oven for dinner.

  233. Brownian says

    because life would be devoid of meaning & purpose.

    If all you need for meaning is to think that you’re doing the bidding of a superior being whose methods and meanings are inscrutable to you, then become my slave. I exist, and my morality is superior to your capricious deity.

    (Don’t worry; I’ll stir some shit up just to keep you on your toes, but unlike your god, I won’t ever ask you to commit genocide.)

  234. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Suppose that PZ is a dog with rotten teeth and he starts chewing on an other dog’s squeak toy…

  235. cm's changeable moniker says

    Death by definition is not reversible.

    Having been revived a few times, my father might dispute that. :-/

    I’m hiding in the Jaguar Temple for a while. (No need to post, I’m just admiring the scenery.)

  236. A. Noyd says

    I’m pleased with myself today. I gave a verbal smackdown to a street harasser. He wasn’t harassing me, but had done that “how dare you refuse to acknowledge my friendly greeting” thing to a pair of young women across the street from me (which involved yelling down half a block at them). Then, after they were gone, he came over to the bus stop where I was waiting and tried crying on the shoulder of a third woman over his treatment at the hands of the first two. (Figuratively, that is. He kept his hands to himself.) All three were strangers to him. I couldn’t hear the whole speech he was giving the third woman, but I snapped when I caught something along the lines of “this is why you girls can’t get dates.”

    I started asking him did he know how many times a day a young woman has to put up with guys expecting her to give them attention and how threatening it is to be called out by a stranger when she declines to give said attention. When he demanded to know why I was butting in, I said I couldn’t just stand by and watch street harassment without saying anything. When he said it wasn’t harassment because the women across the street had smiled and laughed, I told him that women are conditioned to respond to threats and harassment with politeness. He claimed he was bothering the third woman (or, as he put it, “just asking questions”) because he just wanted to become more informed about women (or something), and I said there were far more appropriate ways to get answers than to put strangers on the spot.

    He seemed really taken aback at being called out, and even said, “I never thought about it that way before.” Maybe he wasn’t sincere, maybe he’ll shake it off later, but it feels good to have made him face his bad behavior even for a few minutes.

    Anyway, I might have had the urge to yell at the guy no matter what, but I couldn’t have pulled it off nearly so well if it weren’t for for the FtB regulars. I’d seen all his arguments and excuses struck down dozens of times or more. I knew how to talk about why what he did and said was wrong. If I made a difference, much of the credit for it goes to the people here.

  237. Brownian says

    Peterooke, A.Noyd did something with which I am very pleased. Bring A. Noyd a beverage.

    Your master commandeth thee, so that thee may find meaning.

  238. Brownian says

    A. Noyd, since I think my servant may be a bit of a dunderhead, I owe you a beverage of your choice, good for any instance in which the opportunity for me to make good on this debt presents itself.

  239. says

    Look if some being created me to be a slave and hung infinite torture over my head for diobidience, id say killing said creator and being a free being would be a far better way to get meaning in life…or at very least it gives you something to be proud of and rest on your lurals about.

    We should take the Klingon example and kill all gods, they’re more trouble than they’re worth

  240. says

    Dammit, Ing, I just got out of all that accursed other life stuff and back here, and was just going to echo SG’s kudos for yer ‘skulls on the side of the plane’ image…

    … and now I see you’re working variations on the theme, and I feel like it’d be roughly as obnoxious as telling a recording artist with a new disk out ‘Yes, but can you just play me your old hits… I loved that first album…’

    (/Soooo…. The new material’s good, too. Just haven’t had time to process, is all. Oh, and anyway, #301 will always remain a classic, and there should totally be a t-shirt that says that or something.)

  241. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I always point out that Guan Yin the Buddhist mercy God/godess DID go to hell in one incarnation…and got kicked out because she kept up being nice and charitable in hell, making it a less horrible place to be

    I like that. That’s pretty cool.

    It is a doctrine of some Christianities that Jesus did go to Hell for the three days he was dead, but he was so powerful that he was able to leave of his own accord. Not a sacrifice in the way that Guan Yin’s story could be said to be.

  242. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Strange, thanks for that link. I’d always thought that Jesus spent the weekend in Hell. I didn’t realize the the scriptures don’t actually state that. I’ll need to read more.

    I’ve always known that he wasn’t dead for three days and three nights, so there’s that to be said for me.

    No matter how much time he spent in Hell, he didn’t do enough to pay for all the eternities spent in Hell by all of humanity. Nor did his suffering on the cross even make up for the suffering of the two thieves who were crucified beside him.

  243. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Pete Rooke is now confined to Thunderdome. I warned you, Pete.

    +++++
    Menyambal, if you like this stuff, you may be tickled to look into all the different implied meanings of the various NT authors when they use the words Hades, Gehenna and Tartarus.

    For instance the author of Acts 2:27 is quoting Psalm 16:10, but of course the author of the Psalm must be a pre-Christan Jew, who almost certainly considers Sheol to be a general place of the dead, not necessarily a place of punishment. The Acts writer translates Sheol as Hades — and Hades was by many Greeks also understood as a place of the dead. The notion of eternal punishment isn’t, as far as I can tell, present in the earliest Christian scriptures.

    I’m too much of a novice to say anything except that the dating Acts is uncertain for me. But it’s not at all clear that the author would have understood Jesus going to “Hell” as anything like we’d think of it today with our extravagant medieval influences.

  244. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Come to think of it, I’ve long known that most of the really popular ideas of hellfire and pitchforks are not in scripture, either. Christians have made all that damnable stuff up and they cling to it from the desires of their hearts.

  245. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Year after year, some of them do manage to find their way out of (belief in) hell, though.

    Even that evil fucker C.S. Lewis felt he needed the possibility that people could choose to leave hell and go to heaven — after death — and in his story, some do. That wasn’t universal reconciliation, but he apparently couldn’t accept the standard damnationist view.

    Universal reconciliation is such a relief from cognitive dissonance that I expect it to always be somewhat popular. Looks like it’s having a revival right now, what with Carlton Pearson and Rob Bell getting lots of mainstream media coverage in the past few years.

    I like it. It ain’t as intellectually rewarding as atheism, but still, people shouldn’t have to live in fear. I’ve read accounts of people sobbing with relief when they accept that there is no hell.

  246. opposablethumbs says

    Hat off to A. Noyd – you just made me imagine how utterly wonderful it would be if most people reacted that way! Whole streets, cities, the world, full of people for whom it was SOP to actively reject harassing behaviour … it would be a different world! In this one, what you did goes totally against the social grain and is just sheer dead brilliant. Cheers! ::raises mate cocido as it’s breakfast time here and way too early for grog::

    Your Thy master commandeth thee, so that thee thou may mayest find meaning.

    /pedant. Because Brownian is totally ace and I want him to be even moar aceier.

  247. chigau (違わない) says

    It’s late.
    I’m out of booze.
    I’m annoyed at my local “representative”.
    It’s garbage day tomorrow and I am not ready.
    The cat just puked on the wool carpet.
    peterooke
    wanna chat?

  248. strange gods before me ॐ says

    The cat just puked on the wool carpet.

    Oh, don’t tell me you cleaned it up? You are stifling kitty’s artistic development!

  249. chigau (違わない) says

    Well, yeah, I cleaned it up…
    ’cause stepping it it later causes critic* that could be worse for the artistic development.

    *jjeeezzuss fukking wut the fuukk did i just step in!!???

  250. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Surely it was meant as an interactive installation piece. If you step in it, it becomes immersive!

  251. chigau (違わない) says

    immersive interactive installation piece
    Poor kittteh.
    I have been misinterpreting her for, like, 18 years!
    No wonder she is so surly.

  252. Amblebury says

    A. Noyd. Well done.

    Myself, I have penned a Strongly Worded Letter to a weekly publication of some renown. Words largely influenced by those hereabouts.

  253. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    why are you out trying to counter my faith? to what end? because it really doesn’t mean anything if you are right. – peterooke

    That really is remarkably silly. Do you refuse to enjoy a sunset or a blossoming tree because it won’t last for ever? Refuse to take painkillers because the pain isn’t eternal?

    People here try to counter your faith:
    1) Because you are extremely annoying, and if you stopped believing the ludicrous nonsense you do, that would be alleviated.
    2) Because your vile faith has caused and is causing immense human suffering, and unlike you, most of us believe reducing human suffering is a worthwhile goal in itself.

  254. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I didn’t know hat they made carpets out of wool. Actually, upon reflection, what I know about carpets is hat you find them on the floor.

    Is it itchy?

  255. erikthebassist says

    To share in the same vein as A.Noyd, not trying to one up, just reinforcing the idea that hanging around FTB has positive real world effects:

    I recently confronted my roommate about his attitude towards women. He’s a simple guy, thinks mostly about cars and women. But he doesn’t think about women in any capacity except sex, and he’s said somethings that really pissed me off.

    I told him he has to stop thinking about women as walking vaginas and start realizing they are people, because he comes off like a sexist asshole, which might be the reason he’s single at almost 50 years old and has only had one decent relationship.

    I’m not sure if any of it penetrated his thick skull yet but I’m still working on it. He’s otherwise a great guy who is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. He has two brothers, no sisters, a very passive mother and a loud “he-man” type dad so I think he’s mainly a product of his upbringing.

    The line I constantly take is that he wouldn’t want someone thinking about his mother or nieces that way.

  256. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    why are you out trying to counter my faith? to what end? because it really doesn’t mean anything if you are right.

    Ol’ Petey you’re as dumb as ever.

    Of course it means something if we’re right. It means you god bothering types have been running a couple millennia old scam on the world. That or you’ve had a couple millennia old scam run on you.

    I think it’s kind of blend of both.

    The implications on the world would be gigantic.

    I would have hoped you would have learned something in your time away Petey.

  257. says

    sgbm ॐ and other Thunderdomers – has there been any response by ‘Tis Himself to the plagiarism thing? I’m not the most thorough Pharyngula reader (I try to keep up!) but I haven’t seen him around – here or anywhere else on FTB for that matter – since that all happened, two or three Thunderdomes ago. I’m wondering if he’ll address it, or if he’s just left Pharyngula/FTB instead.

    Thanks, by the way, for bringing it up. I gathered it wasn’t the first time you’d done so, but I wasn’t aware of the plagiarism and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

  258. says

    Dammit, Ing, I just got out of all that accursed other life stuff and back here, and was just going to echo SG’s kudos for yer ‘skulls on the side of the plane’ image…

    … and now I see you’re working variations on the theme, and I feel like it’d be roughly as obnoxious as telling a recording artist with a new disk out ‘Yes, but can you just play me your old hits… I loved that first album…’

    (/Soooo…. The new material’s good, too. Just haven’t had time to process, is all. Oh, and anyway, #301 will always remain a classic, and there should totally be a t-shirt that says that or something.)

    Don’t worry I plan to be more Buddy Holly than Rolling Stones.

  259. A. Noyd says

    erikthebassist (#356)

    To share in the same vein as A.Noyd, not trying to one up…

    Oh, but think of how it would improve the world if I was one-up’d by as many people as possible! Also, it turns out I’m not the only one who took on a harasser yesterday. So, hooray for you and Jodi Thibeault!

  260. Aratina Cage says

    I’m wondering if he’ll address it, or if he’s just left Pharyngula/FTB instead. –sisu

    I doubt he has left. I caught a glimpse of him going by the alleged cannibal “Alfred Packer” some time ago (as SGBM had pointed out he was doing earlier) on a different FTB blog, meaning he either thinks 1) he is being creepy-funny or 2) he thinks he has been wrongfully accused (he hasn’t). I would bet he is still reading or has an entirely new ‘nym already commenting around FTB. He could even be you! :) Just kidding. I don’t know why he hasn’t faced up to it, either. I don’t know what he thinks we are going to do to him other than tell him to stop it, which we have already done.

    Come on, ‘Tis. Even that nasty Booly Wumblebee character finally acknowledged she had withheld sources for material she quoted at length, though she didn’t acknowledge she had used the material in a way that made it seem like it had been her own (which is plagiarism). You can do better than that.

  261. chigau (違わない) says

    Fuck.
    Why did Gilman hafta be such a racist?
    I like my new heroes to not have feet of clay.

  262. Akira MacKenzie says

    Petey spewed:

    because life would be devoid of meaning & purpose.

    Translation: “I’m an self-centered and hubristic asshole who MUST believe that my ultimately insignificant existence in this vast, ancient, universe must be somehow important. My ego, which is hidden behind a facade of humility, is so huge that I can’t come to terms with the fact that I’m just another animal among millions living for a short time on one planet among billions. I believe that reality (read “God”) accepts my importance, so much so that I will live on forever in some magical realm after my body dies. Can’t they see that I matter and everything I do and say had the cosmos’ approval?!”

  263. erikthebassist says

    Petey spewed:

    because life would be devoid of meaning & purpose.

    Translation: “I’m an self-centered and hubristic asshole who MUST believe that my ultimately insignificant existence in this vast, ancient, universe must be somehow important. My ego, which is hidden behind a facade of humility, is so huge that I can’t come to terms with the fact that I’m just another animal among millions living for a short time on one planet among billions. I believe that reality (read “God”) accepts my importance, so much so that I will live on forever in some magical realm after my body dies. Can’t they see that I matter and everything I do and say had the cosmos’ approval?!”

    QFT, I often say the reason people believe in an afterlife is because they can’t imagine a universe without them in it, you know, like it was for 13.5b years (give or take) before they were born.

  264. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1214/

    “Hubble goes to the eXtreme to assemble the deepest ever view of the Universe”

    PeteRooke, go there, click on every link, read for comprehension, and then come back here and tell us how billions of galaxies fit into your fairy tale, and how your existence has any meaning in the universe.

  265. Brownian says

    Ah, Scented Nectar and the hyperskeptics who fight against all stereotypes have invaded Crommunist’s blog.

    It’s fascinating to think that atheoskeptics actually think of themselves as sensible.

    Peterooke’s not nearly as oblivious as these shitweasels.

  266. strange gods before me ॐ says

    sisu,

    What Aratina said. He’s around. Here he is taunting the idiot Dwight Longenecker. Likely he got there from following PZ’s link. Here’s my record of when he was playing Alferd Packer. I believe that was his “response”. I don’t know what it means. I play Jesus so people can eat me.

  267. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I would bet he is still reading or has an entirely new ‘nym already commenting around FTB.

    I’m certain he’s still reading, but I doubt he has a new login. The gravatar over at Longenecker’s blog is associated with the same MD5 hash, so it’s the same account. And it would be a pain in the ass to keep using that old account on non-FtB blogs while scrupulously logging out and back in only with a new account at FtB.

    Well, whatever. I’m sincerely glad he’s staying engaged with things that interest him. It would have been a bit concerning if he had completely disappeared without any notice.

  268. cm's changeable moniker says

    sgbm, are you tracking Gravatars now? That’s … um, diligent?

    I play Jesus so people can eat me.

    That’s totally a Ministry lyric. ;-)

  269. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I don’t typically track them, but when I saw the boat at Longenecker’s I wanted to make sure it wasn’t someone impersonating him.

    And yes, you can drink it right from my veins.

  270. cm's changeable moniker says

    That was a Hail Mary™; I didn’t know for sure if it was viable.

    Seems like I got the substitute refs, and the win!

  271. cm's changeable moniker says

    Oh, lordy, that’s awesome.

    Jourgensen retired in 2008 after serving Satan for nearly 30 years.

    To do what? Play golf with Rob Halford? Satan’s senior citizens?!

  272. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    Brownian wrote:

    The hyperskeptics have invaded Crommunist’s blog.

    [spits]

    Do we – atheists in general – have to take some blame for this? I mean, it’s such a pivotal part of rejecting religion and pseudoscience and so forth, but it appears that the same process is being applied to distinctly non-extraordinary claims for the sole purpose of dismissal of a claim – it’s like the unbeliever’s equivalent of faith.

    On the plus side, it is an easy way to identify an entitled asshole.

  273. carlie says

    I would bet he is still reading or has an entirely new ‘nym already commenting around FTB.

    I’ve been wondering about that, too. Also wondering if, if he did use a new ‘nym, if he came up with a new background and personality to go along with it, just because I don’t know anything anymore.

    I don’t know why he hasn’t faced up to it, either. I don’t know what he thinks we are going to do to him other than tell him to stop it, which we have already done.

    Exactly. I think most people made it clear that he was valued, just cut the plagiarism shit.

  274. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned Kagin. He’s not getting much attention yet for his latest bullshit. Wait and see.

  275. consciousness razor says

    Good god, UKOGB, is nothing sacred?

    Yes, nothing is sacred.

    By the way, that was probably the best medley of jazz standards and pop tunes and Handel I’ve heard in a while, for what little that is worth.

    Probably.

    David Bowie – Life on Mars

    Defiled! By ukuleles!

    Not possible. It came pre-defiled.

  276. Brownian says

    I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned Kagin. He’s not getting much attention yet for his latest bullshit. Wait and see.

    If there’s anything more representative of the atheoskeptics’ community than someone who writes a post on how he’s a misunderstood genius and titles it “To Blog or Not to Blog…” I don’t know what it is.

    Fuck me.

  277. chigau (違わない) says

    I, too, am a Misunderstood Genius™.
    Why does no one understand?
    (if I had a blog, I’d ask for money)

  278. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    cm #381: A modern polytextual motet! Fan-fucking-tastic. It just goes to show that everything comes back eventually, you just have to wait 560 years or so.

  279. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Guess who Barbara Bush’s father is? – SGBM

    There is definitely a resemblance to Crowley. Given the possibility that Jeb Bush might run in 2016, the rumour should be spread assiduously! Of course, it shouldn’t matter who his grandpa was, but if communism is hereditary*, surely Satanism is as well!

    *And what’s more, can be inherited from the man falsely rumoured to be your father.

  280. opposablethumbs says

    Kagin must be an idiot – and have an incredibly low opinion of his readership – if he imagines anyone genuinely took his Modest Proposal seriously. Swift he ain’t.
    .
    I miss ‘Tis. I’d like him to come back, though I imagine it would feel very hard to him (maybe impossibly hard) for him to do so :(
    If I even had the wherewithal to find that info/those arguments, written by people I agreed with anyway but who had, say, expressed things in a way I couldn’t actually better, and if I had maybe forgotten/not bothered to spell that out at first – and then nobody noticed a few times … it might get tempting to go on and/or difficult to change, even though it’s not on. eh, I suppose guessing is pretty fruitless, but still :-\
    .
    Life on Mars was one of the best inventions on UK TV for a long time. So much scope to make-strange and examine the 70s through Sam’s eyes (while sneakily revelling in nostalgia at the same time, the clever bastards). Pity the sequel Ashes to Ashes was pretty rubbish :(

  281. Amblebury says

    If there’s anything more representative of the atheoskeptics’ community than someone who writes a post on how he’s a misunderstood genius and titles it “To Blog or Not to Blog…” I don’t know what it is.

    Oh, fuck’s sake. I’ll bet the next post is titled:

    Pretentious? Moi!?

  282. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I learn that Edwin Kagin’s blog has auto-moderation for two or more links.

    Each comment can contain a maximum of one link if you want to bypass moderation.

  283. says

    Aratina:

    I would bet he is still reading or has an entirely new ‘nym already commenting around FTB. He could even be you! :)

    Ha! It’d be quite the letdown, to go from Harvard-educated/former White House economist/submarine vet to midwestern lolyer mom. It’d be hard to come up with a less interesting backstory/persona than mine. :)

  284. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I am trying to be very nice and patient with Kagin’s personal friends and regular readers (though not Kagin himself, for obvious reasons). I’ve explained why over there.

    Obviously I can’t demand it, but I’d ask that other Pharyngulites try to do similarly. I believe it would be counterproductive to set up an unnecessary dichotomy; if possible, it would be ideal for one of his friends to recognize that his critics are generally correct, and relay that message to him.

  285. Brownian says

    Obviously I can’t demand it, but I’d ask that other Pharyngulites try to do similarly.

    I tried to stay away, but that PG needed a slappin’.

    So I did, in as nice a way as I possibly could.

  286. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Heh. Whining about Josh and skeptifem in a thread they aren’t even in? That’s tipping the hand. PG is definitely not one of the well-meaning regular readers I’m talking about.

  287. strange gods before me ॐ says

    cm, good luck to you. I stand by this critique of that one paper you cited, but in general I admire your attempts to educate.

    You can think of yourself as doing it for the other readers, still.

  288. Brownian says

    Heh. Whining about Josh and skeptifem in a thread they aren’t even in? That’s tipping the hand. PG is definitely not one of the well-meaning regular readers I’m talking about.

    He’s zealous, and stupid because of it.

  289. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    If I had a least favorite Christian, it might be Frank Turek. He’s an awful sophist and he is speaking at my university* tonight. Lest I break a jowl with the angry grinding, I have decided to abstain. I will be drawing flowers instead.

    Fie on Frank Turek.

    *sponsored by a student group but still.

  290. cicely says

    *pouncehug* for DM.
    Also, *chocolate*
    (Yeah, I know; this is the Thread for Acrimony and Strife…but I has to hug ‘em as I sees ‘em.)

    I ch ose to take a different lesson from the story of Jesus “if it bleeds we can kill it”

    That’s why I wear a cross all the time. I think all atheists should, its like dog fighter stamping a skull on the side of their plane.

    *applause*

    because order in chaos would be a fleeting blip.

    Why? There won’t be order because you won’t be in it, beyond the span of your fleeting, mortal life? Bad news for you, guy; it ain’t all about you.

    Make-believe may make you feel better, but it won’t in any way change the fact that when you is gone, you is gone. And ain’t no way, no how, nobody’s going to bring you back here once you is dead!
    [the coffin’s lid rises, and Dracula sits up inside]

    (Apart from as recycled components of other things…and the order they represent.)

    *applause* for A.Noyd.
    -

  291. Brownian says

    So, forgetting that Kagin doesn’t drink, I wrote this in oblivious error:

    It’s hyperbolic whining. This guy wants to ‘blaspheme’? He’s going to deal with a lot worse than pissed of FtB commenters. I certainly hope every second post isn’t going to be him crying into his beer, for fuck’s sake.

    PG, who’s clearly fourteen, came in his goddamn underroos over it.

    Holy shit. I don’t think even you realise what you just did. All I know is, it’s priceless. Brilliant.

    Now, does that strike anyone else as a little giddy at the thought that I might have triggered Edwin, however accidentally?

  292. strange gods before me ॐ says

    There is definitely a resemblance to Crowley. Given the possibility that Jeb Bush might run in 2016, the rumour should be spread assiduously! Of course, it shouldn’t matter who his grandpa was, but if communism is hereditary*, surely Satanism is as well! –KG

    I’ve just finished a thorough study and can report that Satanism is indeed hereditary, with 100% penetrance!

    Both of Anton LaVey’s daughters have started their own Satanic organizations independent of the Church of Satan.

    The elder, Karla LaVey, is shown here with her late father (and a happy black cat) to demonstrate that she carries on his true teachings in her First Satanic Church. She also runs The 600 Club.

    The younger, Zeena Schreck, runs a loose anti-cult group (think Free Zone) called the Sethian Liberation Movement which teaches black magic and is obviously a schism from the Temple of Set, which was itself a schism from her father’s church. Here is a sad article in which she discusses her abusive upbringing, returning to take care of her irresponsible jackass father, and an offhanded mention of her involvement with Iranian Marxists.

    (Anton’s son, the unfortunately named Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, is only 18 and not yet a public figure, so who knows about him.)

    And now, here is a photograph — on the .gov domain, these N.W.O.ers are so carefree — of George W. Bush and family all giving a big Hail Satan!

  293. Aratina Cage says

    PG, who’s clearly fourteen, came in his goddamn underroos over it.

    Yep. That one is quite the angry little troll. He started lecturing me there for–get this–something someone else had done! Group punishment just sickens me.

  294. cm's changeable moniker says

    Over in the Lounge: The Day After. *shudder*

    In the UK, we got Threads. From YouTube (not linking):

    Threads was aired on 1984, one Sunday night at 9pm to an unsuspecting UK TV audience, it single handedly put the nation off the nuclear war effort and was then quitely removed from the archives until 2002. Threads redefines the word grim and is hard to imagine what sort of impact this would have had on its viewers

    As a viewer that Sunday night, I’ll attest: inchoate terror.

    On a schoolnight, too. :-(

    On a cheerier note, the house contains balloons that say “4 TODAY”.

    Child-the-tiny’s not (quite) so tiny any more. And there’s cake!

  295. cm's changeable moniker says

    Thanks, carlie; I shall pass that on.

    Best present: a spacehopper!

    It’s like the 70s all over again, except without the flared trousers.

  296. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Before and after: Arctic sea ice in 1984 and 2012

    That’s a terrifying and eye-opening comparison, even when you think you know what is happening with global warming. Thank you for the link, John.

  297. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Good morning and die in a fire to Josh. You subliterate piece of shit.

    I don’t give a fuck what you think about Rutee or Walton, who we always knew would end up being far better educated than me — but besides being the dumbshit you have always been, Josh —- you ought to afford me the consideration of my knowing why I say the things that I say.

    You stupid piece of shit. I hope you suffer.

  298. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Not to be fucking misunderstood, you piece of shit, my point is that you apparently don’t think me to know why the fuck I say what I think. Or that I, who have been back to and from the abyss, don’t know what I think or why. Stupid fucking asshole. Eat death.

  299. strange gods before me ॐ says

    None of the criticisms of Islam tha I’ve made mean a thing to you. I’ve got J’s actuarial tables well calculated; unfortunately yours are within a decade of mine. How about you start treating yourself like you think of others, and find a way to drop off soonlike? Surely you can find another excuse for cardiac arrest.

  300. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Had time to think about it, regret nothing. He can’t treat his opponents as conscious of why they act. That’s it; I genuinely hope he suffers. Cough up blood, Josh.

  301. Beatrice says

    Um, isn’t four death wishes in four comments a bit much even for Thunderdome? (mostly rhetorical)

    I am trying to write something coherent on that post of Ophelia’s, but I’m ending up deleting everything.

  302. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Probably. Ostensibly an unmoderated thread though. It’s not like I planned four death wishes in a row. What happened is, after the first one, I kept feeling like I should come back and think about whether I really meant it. For others’ sake I will stop for a while now. My feelings are well expressed.

  303. strange gods before me ॐ says

    This is the fucking guy who has complained to me about explaining things too simplistic, who has taken offense at such explanations as though I was treating him as unfuckingcultured.

  304. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I am done for now. Reader, don’t reply to me in earnest, you will only earn yourself a place in the out-group.

  305. cm's changeable moniker says

    Ophelia has issues with the idea of cultural identity, apparently. That post was stupid and condescending.

    What about a concealed substitute? Something carried in the pocket or under the clothes? A physical symbol that’s free of the baggage that goes with the hijab. I would think that would work.

    *facepalm*

    Of course it would. It would totally work.

    And, refreshing B&W, rotifan’s commented. Awesome!

  306. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Now here’s what I said to Ophelia, all of it. Everything I said.

    I don’t want your religion made visible (unless I’m actually in your religious building for some reason). Keep it to yourself.

    FSMers, don’t wear your t-shirts (let alone your sacred noodle strainers!) in public.

    What if it were Nazi “identity” or KKK “identity”?

    Then it would be different. But it’s not.

    What of it? We could still say they were wrong.

    This is the problem with treating religion as primarily an “identity.” It’s more than that, and the more does a lot of harm to many people. We get to say that.

    It is in part an identity, that is a fact. Anyway, you get to say what you want, and no one in this thread claimed otherwise (praise be upon freeze peach).

    But you are acting like you don’t understand why she did what she did — “But then why wear it at all?” — and you are getting an answer to your pretended question.

    More answers here: http://www.wluml.org/node/5756

    It is? It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact? Really?

    Yes, it is a fact that religions are a way that people identify themselves to each other and construe as their own identities. That is what an identity is.

    I suspect you are coming at this from an angle of “if it’s an identity then we have to treat it in ways X Y and Z,” but if so then your approach is a non sequitur.

    I didn’t say it was. But treating Islam as an “identity” is roughly comparable to treating Nazism or membership in the KKK – and more benign political or ideological groups – as an “identity.”

    Like here. Being a Nazi or a Klan member is an identity, and one often important enough to the individual to tattoo or brand themselves for life.

    But you move from “is an identity” to “treat as an identity” without evidently noticing the conflation.

    It is a fact that all these things are identities. It also makes sense for us to react differently to them.

    I mean, what does it even mean to treat something as an identity?

    All I can think of is we recognize what that means: we recognize that it’s self-defining to the subject. Okay. And there’s a lot more to consider besides.

    +++++
    That’s it! That’s the whole thing.

    Idiot Josh responds:

    I know all of you and I know your political and ethical concerns. Your disdain for racism and anti-muslim shit is genuine and well-motivated. But you have calcified into a formulaic position. Ophelia’s right. You HAVE to have the narrative you want to have and you’re talking bullshit.

    What you’re doing isn’t anti-colonialism. It’s a parody of it that infantilizes the oppressed.

    You’re trash, Josh. You should be ashamed of how you’re projecting with that “calcified into a formulaic position” accusation. It’s your standard way of thinking when someone’s criticizing Ophelia about Islam, isn’t it, no matter what they actually say.

    You want the kind of criticism Ophelia is making off the table until some indeterminate time when people don’t react to muslims out of pure xenophobia. That’s bullshit. And it’s not going to happen. And it shouldn’t happen. Just because there’s a lot shit flung at middle eastern people (and there is) by reactionaries does not mean that ALL such criticism is reactionary. Ophelia doesn’t have to apologize for other people’s shit.

    Liar. Liar. Liar.

    And before you write back and say, “I never said it wasn’t possible to criticize X legitimately,” just don’t. Watching you converse on this topic I seriously doubt there is any kind of criticism or questioning of things muslim that you would not label as racist or feeding into oppression. I’m sorry that sounds harsh, but on this topic you’ve become unable to make reasonable discriminations among conversations. It’s all anti-muslim racism to you. No matter what. And yeah, you are working off a narrative that Ophelia Benson is an unreconstructed Islamophobe, even if you wouldn’t use those terms.

    Liar. Liar. Liar.

    You talk about it in other venues frequently. You call it “her big blind spot,” or you accuse her of propping up oppressive narratives.

    Stupid liar. The conversation you’re stuck on takes place right here upthread, and in the lounge at the same time. Not only is your bullshit irrelevant to what anyone who participated actually said, I didn’t participate.

    There is literally nothing she could say on this topic that you wouldn’t view that way. It’s tedious as all hell to watch you all go at it. You’re right on a great many things but on this you utterly suck, frankly.

    Liar. Or are you really so stupid that you can’t understand anything I said? I never can tell; you are profoundly stupid and dishonest whenever it’s a friend of yours who’s being criticized.

  307. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I regret and disagree with my drunk self’s advice that you should die,

    but you should eat my shit.

  308. Aratina Cage says

    I was going to write,

    SGBM, I don’t understand how you can do such a good job of taking the initiative to deescalate things at Kagin’s but then turn around and escalate them for Josh.

    but this,

    I regret and disagree with my drunk self’s advice that you should die

    kind of answers the question.

  309. ChasCPeterson says

    What about a concealed substitute? Something carried in the pocket or under the clothes?

    Hey, what about some like secret magic underwear?

  310. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I don’t speak to everyone that way when I’m drunk. There’s other factors:

    the shit at Kagin’s was pretty much not aimed at me,

    that which was aimed at me was not aimed by someone who knows me (and is, by his own standards, obliged to try to understand me and read me charitably like he demands that I understand him and read him charitably),

    C’s nonsense was explicable by taking Kagin’s word about what was said on the previous threads, without actually reading those threads; what Josh was ostensibly responding to was right in front of his face.

  311. cm's changeable moniker says

    Hey, what about some like secret magic underwear?

    Ah, but doing that would please someone’s parents, where a magic hankie would not. Although:

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/6053

    Ruba wore her hijab from a young age because her religious home environment and surroundings pressured her to do so. However, she points out that this did not happen by force.

    “It was quite the opposite. I wanted to wear it. At the age of nine, a girl thinks that if she wears the hijab, it means that she has matured and become an adult,” she explains.

    Fifteen years passed where Ruba grudgingly wore it. So what led to her making the decision not to wear it after all that time?

    “My father died,” she says before quickly explaining, “God forbid, I never wanted him to die, but this was the main reason I carried on wearing the hijab all those years.”

    Her father used to get very angry because he believed that removing the hijab meant that one was abandoning the religion, but Ruba disputes this.

    “I still pray and fast and adhere to all the other observances, but I am not convinced of the reasoning that girls are a temptation and this is why they have to wear the hijab,” she says.

    Ruba’s family tried to persuade her to keep wearing the hijab, saying she could even make it “fashionable.”

    They gave her many choices, including “clothes, colors, and accessories, on condition that I do not show my hair. But I chose to become unveiled and to be more reconciled with my outward appearance.”

    Working in East London, I see fashion hijabs a lot. It is a thing.

  312. says

    …drawn…in…

    You’re trash, Josh.

    Don’t call anyone trash. There. I’ve said it. I hate that more than I can describe. I know Josh and others have referred to themselves here in the past as “white trash,” and I hate that even more than the unqualified version, for reasons that should be obvious.

    No human is trash. No nonhuman animal is trash. Don’t call anyone trash.

    ***

    I agree with Beatrice.

    Ophelia (who will always be ruined by L&O:SVU) has the problem of not sufficiently appreciating that Muslims (and those perceived as such) are a marginalized, oppressed category in our society/ies. If people acknowledge this, they can understand the complexities of living with and trying to contest myriad forms of oppression, which is like fighting multiple wars – if you’re a Muslim woman, you’re marginalized and oppressed as a woman and as a Muslim. When you’re doing this, actions that might be progressive on one front can be detrimental on others. And that’s not even considering the matter of personal vs. group interests. Balancing all of these struggles and trying to find the most effective general strategies is difficult, and no approach will ever be perfect and progressive in every way.

    Ophelia’s response, like her previous responses, suggested that she doesn’t appreciate that a woman could understand this dress in anything other than oppressive terms. That’s not paying attention to other axes of oppression (class, race, ethnicity) or just personal circumstances. So the decision not to wear it is greeted with a condescending “Duh.” But the other axes have been pointed out. It’s condescending to tell someone from an oppressed group you’re not part of that they’re confused or counterproductive in their strategy or actions.

    (Incidentally, I hate that women’s clothing has become this absurdly weighty symbol. I don’t want to spend my time defending my choices to wear a bra, heels, or lipstick at any given time, and I don’t want people reading political significance into my every piece of jewelry, when girls aren’t learning to read. I don’t care what if anything they want to wear when they’re learning to read; I want them to be in school.)

    I don’t think Ophelia has to post about the many manifestations of Islamophobia, but I do think that when she posts about related subjects she needs to consider and acknowledge, explicitly, that this is a real axis of oppression to which people – people who might be oppressed along other axes as well – are responding. Then we can talk about the complexities.

    I also think Ophelia’s pretty consistent – she has the same reaction to women posing for sexy calendars. The problem, with regard to talking about people’s responses, is one of implicitly accepting a situation in which people are treated unequally vs. acknowledging and challenging it.

    Oh, and so far I think roti fan is pretty awesome. So if nothing else I’ve learned about a new blog.

    :)

  313. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You’re right. What I said was inaccurate. No one is trash.

    I won’t respond again until I collect myself.

  314. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I haven’t responded only because I’m packing for a trip, not because I’m ignoring the conversation.

    My error was to talk about Walton/SGBM/Rutree as if they were a monolithic block. That was wrong and it put words in peoples’ mouths. To the extent I did that to you, SGBM, I apologize.

    However, I don’t think I’m wrong that there’s a conversation among a group of commenters—an ongoing one—that casts the kind of criticism Ophelia made as racist, insensitive, blinkered, and, most of all, contributing to Muslim oppression in countries where they’re a minority. And I think a lot of is argued awfully and in a stereotyped, knee-jerk way. I’m not only thinking of the most recent conversations. There have been other threads over the past few months.

    As far as Walton is concerned, I don’t know what he expects me to think his opinion really is when he blithely “QFT”s really dumb pronouncements from Rutree. And I think Rutree, on this topic, argues in a consistently ridiculous way.

    I get that some of you think Ophelia (or whoever—she’s not the only one, and I know that no protest on my part that I’m not defending her merely because she’s a friend will make any difference) has a too-narrow view of cultural identity issues. I understand how you get to that conclusion. I don’t agree with 90 percent of it. That’s it. And it makes me angry when it appears that no explanation, no counter-claim, makes any difference whatsoever. The same conversation starts all over again. Yes, I know it doesn’t matter that I get mad about that. I’m not asking you to care, I’m only explaining.

    I can be callous, rude, and quick to jump the gun. I have many faults. But I do not set out to wound people through cruelty as a general rule (I fail, sometimes, and it disturbs me). I don’t think anything I said in that thread warranted SGBM’s surprisingly extreme reaction. No, I don’t think I’m above a good tongue lashing and I’d look stupid if I were to complain about invective being lobbed at me. But, yeah, I found that. . . difficult to understand.

  315. Walton says

    However, I don’t think I’m wrong that there’s a conversation among a group of commenters—an ongoing one—that casts the kind of criticism Ophelia made as racist, insensitive, blinkered, and, most of all, contributing to Muslim oppression in countries where they’re a minority. And I think a lot of is argued awfully and in a stereotyped, knee-jerk way

    I don’t think Ophelia said anything that was racist, insensitive or blinkered, nor have I ever accused her of being any of those things. I do sometimes disagree with a few of her more extreme pronouncements about Islam (and about religion in general – don’t forget that I’ve never really been a Gnu). But for what it’s worth, I have a very high opinion of her (which is why I continue to read her blog), and I agree with her very frequently. I’ve said so at B&W, too.

    As far as Walton is concerned, I don’t know what he expects me to think his opinion really is when he blithely “QFT”s really dumb pronouncements from Rutree. And I think Rutree, on this topic, argues in a consistently ridiculous way.

    I QFT’d a single comment from Rutee, because I agree with her that Muslims are an oppressed group in Western societies, and that anti-Muslim oppression is deeply bound up with racist hostility towards Middle Eastern immigrants. I think that’s a point that’s worth making when we’re discussing issues of Muslim cultural identity and religious clothing in a Western context – those of us who are not from Muslim backgrounds sometimes need to remind ourselves that we’re speaking from a position of privilege. This doesn’t mean that any criticism of Islam amounts to racism or to oppression of Muslims, and I’ve never said that it did. (And I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Rutee subsequently said on that thread.)

    I get that some of you think Ophelia (or whoever—she’s not the only one, and I know that no protest on my part that I’m not defending her merely because she’s a friend will make any difference) has a too-narrow view of cultural identity issues.

    I’ve never suggested that you’re defending her merely because she’s a friend. And I think this is something about which reasonable people can disagree in good faith.

    I can understand why it induces anger when one reads about religiously-motivated oppression in Muslim communities against women and LGBT people. I think Ophelia is right to speak out about that. But I think it’s important to do so with enough sensitivity to the oppression that Muslims face for being Muslims. It’s a horribly complicated and nuanced issue. That’s all I’ve ever tried to say about this topic, but perhaps I haven’t communicated very well.

  316. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I don’t think anything I said in that thread warranted SGBM’s surprisingly extreme reaction. No, I don’t think I’m above a good tongue lashing and I’d look stupid if I were to complain about invective being lobbed at me. But, yeah, I found that. . . difficult to understand.

    I went too far. I can’t justify the worst things I’ve said here. I’m sure other people who don’t pay attention to our fights are even more baffled. Much goes unsaid. Some of it is lingering anger over the last time you tried to hurt me — but no, you weren’t as unkind as I was.

    It’s not simply “to the extent” that you put words in my mouth. Literally everything you said about me over at Ophelia’s, starting with “But”, was false. I suspect it happens because you don’t quote; without having to deal with the other person’s actual words, it can be difficult to engage accurately. Of course it outrages me to be thoroughly misrepresented on a subject that’s important to me, even more so when I’m quite sure she’ll take your word that in unnamed “other venues” I’m saying all these godawful equivalents to “unreconstructed Islamophobe” which I am in fact not saying. I want my actual arguments engaged with or dismissed or ignored, not fake arguments.

    And I do think it’s personal. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to expect that if she had told someone

    I suspect you are coming at this from an angle of “if it’s an identity then we have to treat it in ways X Y and Z,” but if so then your approach is a non sequitur. You move from “is an identity” to “treat as an identity” without evidently noticing the conflation. I mean, what does it even mean to treat something as an identity? All I can think of is we recognize what that means: we recognize that it’s self-defining to the subject. Okay. And there’s a lot more to consider besides.

    you’d be saying “good point, Ophelia.”

    My unpacking — if something is a personal identity, not much necessarily follows from that; certainly, immunity from criticism doesn’t follow — is not even difficult to imagine hearing from her on her good days, is it? Maybe not the style of writing, but the substance.

  317. says

    I get that some of you think Ophelia (or whoever—she’s not the only one, and I know that no protest on my part that I’m not defending her merely because she’s a friend will make any difference) has a too-narrow view of cultural identity issues. I understand how you get to that conclusion. I don’t agree with 90 percent of it. That’s it. And it makes me angry when it appears that no explanation, no counter-claim, makes any difference whatsoever. The same conversation starts all over again. Yes, I know it doesn’t matter that I get mad about that. I’m not asking you to care, I’m only explaining.

    This just…isn’t an argument. Really, few or none of the people involved here dislike Ophelia, and some of us adore her (and you). I don’t feel like I’m attacking her. I don’t want to attack her. I just think that atheists need to acknowledge, in practice, the bigotry against Muslims in Western countries’ culture and policy before even trying to discuss strategies with (former) Muslims, especially gay people and women. That’s all – recognizing the multiple axes of oppression.

  318. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Anybody see my comment before it was deleted?

    I attempt to rewrite it from memory:

    +++++
    Carmichael,

    I too will refuse acknowledge any injustice until all injustices are acknowledged.

    Do you think it would be a more efficient use of your time to address what people actually say?

    I find that quoting helps. It keeps the other person’s words right in front of you, in the same comment box where you’re typing. This makes it easier to avoid constructing a straw person.

  319. says

    Is “Rutree” incompetence, or a failed attempt to nettle me?

    No matter. The reason you can’t think of a single time I haven’t called criticism of ISlam racist is because I don’t usually bother to say “THAT WAS A NON-RACIST CRITICISM OF ISLAM, GOOD JORB”. Off the absolute top of my head, I didn’t say jack and shit about the documentarian PZ plugged, because I was given no immediate indication to think he’d done it in a racist way. I mean, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was, but as presented, it sounded just peachy to me.

    This sort of shit, btw, is why I kind of giggle a little when people insist that, for ‘clarity’, we must call behaviors racist, not people. It really doesn’t seem to matter, it triggers the same response, even amongst people who should know better. I didn’t say Ophelia was a nazi, I didn’t behave like she was the worst person who walked the earth. I thought she was fucking up on one specific point. And her response was to pretend she was a time traveller from the perfect future wherein there is no oppression, and to behave as though I’d given her this huge insult. I wonder how she reacts to those who claim not to be even the tiniest bit sexist.

    *Glances at Xianityphobia*
    Oh, white people. Jay Smooth, we really are going to have to disagree on ‘behaviors’.

  320. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Gad, I didn’t even notice this til now:

    I’m getting called Islamophobic a good bit these days. I’m getting called it here and even on the chat threads at Pharyngula, The Lounge and Thunderdome.

    Plainly not true. Not in this thread. Not in the Lounge.

    Maybe this is all performance art, a kind of a meta-commentary. An inversion of “calling all criticism of Islam Islamophobia”, except it’s “calling all criticism of criticism of Islam calling Islamophobia”.

    Do I hope for too much?

  321. says

    I assume, out of cynicism, that people are angry at ‘fucking white people’. Because you know, the privileged don’t have a socialized tendency to make fuck ups more frequently.

    WEll, I could be wrong. Hope I am.

  322. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Sometimes* I don’t apologize because I don’t want the other person to feel like they’re obligated to accept it or thank me. I’d rather they feel justified in being upset with me than run that risk. So I just acknowledge that I fucked up. If memory serves, though, I’m pretty confident you’re not that kind of person, Josh.

    So I want to apologize. I’m sorry for the really hateful stuff I said to you in this thread. It was outrageous and inexcusable, you didn’t deserve it, and I had no right to try to hurt you in that way.

  323. hotshoe says

    Wow, thanks for that, strange gods before me. Your apology to Josh makes me feel a hundred percent better. Josh’s reactions are the ones that count in this, but I also was upset about those four posts, and now I’m relieved. So not speaking for Josh, just for myself, I think you made a good decision and a good apology.

  324. says

    Ing and Giliell, dunno if you care, but you’re mentioned too.

    I do care. I don’t know how the fuck I got mentioned by fucking name when I made as far as I can remember one, MAYBE two comments EVER on the subject at B&W. One MIGHT have been a question back then on Burka bans where I was undecided on it and argued with Walton, which would have been months or a year+ ago. The other was asking for a clarification and accepting the one given, complete with a thank you. What the FUCK did I do that was so outrageous!?

  325. ChasCPeterson says

    I don’t think it was you mostly – much more strange gods, and Ing and Giliell at Pharyngula.

    not ‘from’.

    Not that I know what she’s talking about–I don’t.

  326. says

    Looking more at the asshattery involved at BnW, I have some posts typed, but I find myself thinking “Do I really want this right now? Do I really want to deal with watching someone I respect look more and more like an asshole while specifically trying to make me, personally, look stupid?” And the answer is no, this time I really don’t. I still feel raw about the last time this happened.

  327. says

    I see that sg linked on this thread to a thread from early this year in which Nick and I and some others had this whole discussion with Ophelia. There, Nick said:

    No-one is calling you are racist or xenophobe: what SC and I are doing is asking you to acknowledge that there is a specific, and dangerous, movement to demonise Muslims as such; and that in our criticism of Islam and Islamists, we need to be very careful not to encourage it.

    That’s what I was saying then, and it’s what I’m saying now. (And yes, of course I’d say the same to Maryam Namazie.) I look at the new thread and see the same argument happening again, and Ophelia doing the same things she did back then – claiming people are calling her a racist and Islamophobe without providing evidence of it, calling people uncivil and telling them to leave, offering sarcastic nonresponses that mischaracterize people’s points, avoiding the issue by focusing exclusively on arguments about the word, going back and forth between grudgingly acknowledging the existence of the phenomenon and denying it (or denying that it’s equivalent to other forms of bigotry, for example by comparing Muslims to Nazis or the KKK rather than Catholics or Jews), and so on.

    I don’t know what more I could say or why she’s so resistant to examining this. There are plenty of people who strongly criticize Islamists and Islam and other religions generally while not playing into the absurdly exaggerated fears, demonization, or harassment of Muslims or ignoring/denying that this is a real and serious phenomenon that forms an important part of the context of our criticisms of the religion and its theocrats.

  328. says

    Ing and Giliell, dunno if you care, but you’re mentioned too.

    I linked to what I actually said on Pharyngula in the other thread.
    I debated myself about writing a longish comment on the matter of identity, racism and postcolonialism but I think I just can’t bother.
    I’m fucking annoyed at Ophelia right now, because if she’s so upset with what I wrote she could actually quote it and argue against stuff I did write instead of making allusions.
    I notice that she choses to ignore and dismiss things on this subject with lots of hand-waving and little substance. She dismissed my point about the argumentum at etymology with “nonsense” and hasn’t bothered to answer the much more concrete question since.

  329. says

    Good grief. That’s a nonresponsive and nonsensical answer. This has been going on for more than a year now. It’s past time to grow a backbone, atheist and secular organizations. You’re squandering good will and support that have taken years to amass because you won’t stand up for basic decency.

  330. says

    What good will? People are somehow surprised that an org that wanted a Republican operator who worked with some of the sleaziest members of the party promoting them would somehow have a problem with sexism and harassment?

    I’m including that in the past year, Ing. And my post said nothing about anyone being surprised.

  331. says

    I was reading an interesting comment somewhere yesterday (which I can no longer find, grrr) to the effect that the best way to respond to Obama’s failings and the failings of the Democratic Party in general may be to implement a Tea Party style takeover of the Democratic party, rather than voting third party. Specifically, focus on the lower level offices (especially state legislatures and the House of Representatives), and run primary challenges to Democratic politicians rather than third party candidates.

    The notion is that there’s a much lower barrier to entry for these offices, entering primaries is cheaper than entering the general election, and it’s more likely to be a victory whether your candidate wins or loses in the primary — if they win, the whole Democratic Party machine will be grudgingly behind them in the general election, rather than fighting them, and if they lose, they’ll still force the official Democratic candidate to appease those interests somewhat in order to win the primary and hang on to their base.

    This strategy seems to have worked exceptionally well for the Tea Partiers in the last election, to the degree that the Republican Party is still completely off the deep end, so the question is, why aren’t Occupy Wall Street and other progressive groups copying it? It’s a little late for this election cycle, but it’s not too late for the next one.

  332. md says

    strange gods,

    and citizens killed by executive order
    and citizens killed by executive order

    You be sure and sleep tight though

  333. cm's changeable moniker says

    Conor Friedersdorf, eh?

    Justice Will Take Us Millions of Intricate Moves, Some of Them Annoying and Even Dispiriting

    Social democrats, civil-libertarians, peaceniks, Occupy-symps, environmental “extremists,” left-libertarians and DFHs of America – that is to say, my people. Let’s talk about the election for a minute.

    Conor Friedersdorf wrote a thing and then Henry Farrell wrote a thing and then I wrote a thing and then Erik Loomis misread several things, and suddenly, otherwise-pleasant center-left venues like Lawyers, Guns and Money and Mother Jones became as avid for hippie-punching as any Sunday-morning roundtable of Very Serious Persons. But I don’t want to talk about that right now. I want to talk about the election. For a minute.

    I can’t tell you what you, mon semblable, ma sœur, should do about this situation. Instead I’ll tell you what I’m doing. Cause it’s my blog.

    I personally don’t think anything we do re this November’s ballot, including voting Libertarian or Green, will fix the country’s bipartisan commitment to militarism and panopticon. So I favor deciding what to do with November’s ballot for other reasons. That does unfortunately mean choosing which slate of war criminals should occupy the White House starting in January, as opposed to whether a slate of war criminals should do so.

    That hurts! I mean, I’m not putting you on here. It’s a shitty choice. In my case it compounds the stupidity I feel over thinking I was voting for something else entirely in 2008, and I hate feeling stupid. The reasons why I think it’s worth doing anyway are:

    1. This (making the country more humane) is going to take more than one night.
    2. On issues from health care to women’s rights, a Democratic victory will make many people’s lives better than a Republican one.
    3. The actual voting will be over quickly.
    4. Because voting will be over quickly, it will not stop us from doing all the other things we might choose to do to make the country genuinely better over time.

    Uh, yeah, that’s via DeLong.

  334. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    md

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2012/09/28/wake-the-fck-up-a-rebuttal

    Deadly serious humor.

    Wake the fuck up, and what? Is Romney going to stop the drone strikes if he gets elected? Has he even deigned to mention them once in his whole fucking campaign? How do you like the fact that he has hired a bunch of people from Bush’s foreign policy team?

    I don’t like certain aspects of Obama’s foreign policy, and I don’t think his addition of Anwar al-Aulaqi to the “kill or capture” list was at all justified.

    I just want to know how you think a Romney presidency and a return to neo-con fascism is going to help.

  335. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I will sleep fine, because unlike libertarians, I am not afeared of reality.

    The fact is that it is impossible to cast a vote which will end extrajudicial killings. There are two possible outcomes of this election: Obama wins, or Romney wins.

    In the real world, these are the options, and one or the other must be chosen. To pretend that there are other options is to abdicate one’s own responsibility to everyone else in the world, the responsibility each of us has to treat the world as really existing for everyone and not only for one’s own solipsistic sense of purity.

    I may not be pleased with reality, but I am willing to deal with it. Knowing that I am dealing with reality instead of running from it, that satisfies me more than any third party fantasy ever did.

    But I suspect you of being a racist troll, md, so at this time I won’t treat you like someone who’s to be taken seriously.

    +++++
    Good points by Jim Henley there. Also good points by Erik Loomis (even if Loomis misread Henley like Henley says, they’re good points which stand on their own). Also djw.

  336. md says

    Reality:

    Obama has ordered drone strikes against American citizens.

    Romney has not.

    Romney might, he might not. Obama has. If you vote for Obama, you are voting for someone who has killed American citizens by decree. You have other choices.

    this is not reality:

    There are two possible outcomes of this election: Obama wins, or Romney wins.

    In the real world, these are the options, and one or the other must be chosen. To pretend that there are other options is to abdicate one’s own responsibility to everyone else in the world, the responsibility each of us has to treat the world as really existing for everyone and not only for one’s own solipsistic sense of purity.

    It is likely that Obama or Romney wins, highly probable even. It is not one of two possible outcomes.

    A vote for Obama means you are willing to look past extrajudicial killing of citizens. It means in your moral calculus its more pure to make fun of someone who wears special underwear. Sleep tight, Strange. Don’t wake up.

  337. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    md is more concerned with the moral calculus than the basic moral addition and multiplication. Drone strikes kill by the tens. If Rmoney gets elected, the warpos behind the curtain will certainly push all out for an invasion of Iran and then we’re right back to killing tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, along with hundreds or thousands of US military casualties. We’re over that shit cowboy diplomacy. The current administration has serious issues, but they’re nothing to what awaits the poor alternate universe USA that ends up with Rmoney as its president. And that’s without even mentioning the ridiculously long list of shit the country’s fan would be hit with from the tax cuts for rich and deletion of necessary agencies and programs.

    Yes, there are much better candidates that should be chosen than either Romney or Obama. But this is a matter of choosing the time and place of your battles. The GOP whackoffery this go round is more bent and twisted than an entire gallery of funhouse mirrors, and no way in hell I’m going to allow any of the foreshadowing of the GOP debates and state lawmaking in the redneckiest parts of the US propagate to national (and international) stratum.

  338. dianne says

    Romney is on record as saying that the drone strikes “don’t go far enough”. I think it’s reasonable to assume that he would continue and accelerate their use if he were elected.

  339. strange gods before me ॐ says

    md, probable racist troll,

    Romney might, he might not.

    He will. He has been perfectly clear about this.

    And he praised the killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi: “The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is a major victory in our fight against Islamist terrorism and proper justice for the numerous attacks and plots he inspired or planned against America. I commend the President, the members of the intelligence community, our service members, and our allies for their continued efforts to keep Americans safe. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant and continue the fight against those who seek to destroy us and our freedoms.”

    More Romney: “It is appropriate. When someone has, is engaged in treasonous behavior and has allied themselves with a force that has declared war on the United States of America and is in that sense an enemy combatant, we have every right to fire on them, as they would fire upon us — and have — fired on us.”

    It is irrational to pretend that this does not indicate an intention to continue the program.

    You have other choices.

    That is not true. You are living in a fantasy.

    It is likely that Obama or Romney wins, highly probable even. It is not one of two possible outcomes.

    Yes, it is. Barring a gamma ray burst or other catastophe which ends civilization between now and January 20, Obama or Romney will become president on that day.

    But anyway, as you admit it’s “highly probable”, then you should recognize that it is only rational to plan for that reality, and make decisions accordingly. Voting for Obama is therefore the only sensible action.

    A vote for Obama means you are willing to look past extrajudicial killing of citizens.

    A vote for another candidate besides Obama, or the failure to vote at all, means you are willing to look past the tens of thousands of people who would be killed by Romney’s reversal of Obamacare.

    It means in your moral calculus its more pure to make fun of someone who wears special underwear.

    You’ll have to point to some evidence of any concern with purity in my words. I’ve pointed to where it’s evident from you.

    What is true is there is plenty of evidence that more people will suffer and die under Romney than Obama. It is therefore preferred to vote for Obama. You have suggested that it’s preferable to pretend that there are other options. That is a fantasy, though perhaps one you don’t really hold; you occasionally indicate that you actually want Romney to win.