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Jan 19 2013

Trumped!

Lately, I’ve been marveling at the stupidity of my foes: I mean, really, the hate campaigns have been getting absurd. Reap Paden put together a crude animated video of me, caricatured with breasts (because, you know, feminist), and then another slymeclown named “Mykeru” is circulating on twitter a cheesy image he photoshopped together, putting my face on the body of a hairy fat man in his underwear. (The laugh is on him, though, because he made me look better! Trust me, if you could see the squamous batrachian horror that oozes and trembles obscenely beneath these clothes, you would all go mad.) These are their arguments; this is the quality of my opponents. They are desperately stupid.

But then it stopped being funny, and it sank in that women are always going to get it worse than I do. You should see the comment Ophelia got.

Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake.

That’s from some slymeguy named Jerry Conlon, and it’s chilling. Throwing acid at women who offend them…why, that’s what evil barbaric Muslims do!

Nope, now it’s what atheists threaten to do.

That’s my great disappointment. I’d once thought that atheism was a good first step on the path to living a rational, tolerant life. Clearly it’s not. That’s been demonstrated to me on a daily basis for the last couple of years.

I was wrong. Atheism is not enough.

298 comments

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  1. 1
    Randomfactor

    Maybe atheism plus something else…

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, the “plus” is looking more and more like it’s more important than the “atheism”.

    I am finding this terribly depressing. I think I’ll go for a walk for a while.

  3. 3
    Charly

    I think you are wrong, PZ. I never thought I will say this to someone, but you seem overtly pessimistic (which is understandable, I could not deal with this kind of shit, it would force me to stop my internet presence).

    Not that atheism is not enough – with that part I completely agree. But the part that atheism is not a good first step on path to living a rational, tolerant life. I think it IS a good first step. It is not the only possible first step, it is not the largest possible first step, it is not the best possible step, it is not the most important possible step, but nevertheless, there are people, who began their journey to rationalism and tolerance via atheism as the first step. And it is a good step, because it allows people to disconnect from some of more egregious and most prominent forms of irrationality.

    And the failure of pathetic excuses for a human being, who tnink that threats substitute argument, lies not in them not making good first step, but in not recognizing this is just it – one step. The journey to rationalism and moral life constitutes of many steps and it is possible to stray away after the first step, even after more steps.

    That is how I see it anyway and I actually do not think is constitutes some fundamental disagreement.

  4. 4
    stanton

    Throwing acid at women who offend them…why, that’s what evil barbaric Muslims do!
    Nope, now it’s what atheists threaten to do.

    Correction: the bigots among Hindus do that, too. Though, they often do it to those uppity members of lower castes in order to put them in their places, too.

  5. 5
    The Mellow Monkey

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    No, atheism is not enough. There is no horrific act, no threat, no viewpoint, and no happily embraced ignorance associated with the worst aspects of religion that can’t also be used by some secular asshole.

  6. 6
    jerryc

    What I said was vile and inappropriate. I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal. I have sent an apology to Ophellia. I hope I didn’t cause her any personal harm.

    [That's nice. But too late. And if only the other slymepitters that you are such a fan of were able to step back from the precipice, too. But I'm still banning you, because I don't want to ever have anything to do with someone who would make that kind of threat as a "joke,", and your history shows that that vile comment wasn't a one-off remark. --pzm]

  7. 7
    lilandra

    These apologies are rare, but I am not sure how you could have even posted something like that in the first place. You must have known that people can be scared, hurt, and intimidated by language like that.

  8. 8
    johnmarley

    What I said was vile and inappropriate. I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal. I have sent an apology to Ophellia.

    WTF, asshole? Ophelia (among others) has been the target of threats and slurs for a very long time. What made you think that your comment would be seen as a joke? If you know it was vile and inappropriate, why did you make it in the first place? If Ophelia accepts your apology, then good for her. I would tell you where to shove it.

  9. 9
    Lars

    I’m impressed by the apology. (But I think that says more about my threshold for being impressed right now, than anything else.)

  10. 10
    vaiyt

    @jerryc

    I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal.

    Fuck you. Calling what you said childish is an insult to children.

  11. 11
    frankb

    jerryc, you made one small step in the right direction. Please continue. It will get better.

  12. 12
    Space Monster

    Oh please. “It was only a joke” is the standard fallback for bullies who suddenly are afraid they might get in trouble.

    (back to lurking)

  13. 13
    anteprepro

    Wait…jerry thinks that the problem with a comment inviting violence and solely focused on a woman’s appearance was that it was childish and personal? How about it being sexist and either glorifying or outright threatening violence? No? Not a concern?

  14. 14
    Matt Penfold

    The next step Jerry needs to make is to realise that hanging around the ‘pit is not going to help him become a better person.

  15. 15
    Anri

    jerryc:

    On the off-chance you’re still reading, here’s my take, should you want it -

    What I said was vile and inappropriate.

    True.
    Good that you realized that.
    Next time, try to realize it before you say it aloud.

    I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal.

    There was nothing in what you said that was either childish or a joke.
    Stupid, I’ll grant you.
    If it wasn’t a cold, horrible, calculated way to try to hurt someone as much as possible without being in the room with them, then it does a damn good impression of it.
    I can’t say, of course. Only you know if you were trying to make her cry or not.

    I have sent an apology to Ophellia.

    Good, that required some courage. I can’t imagine it felt good to have to do that.
    There is a way you can never feel like that again.

    I hope I didn’t cause her any personal harm.

    You did.
    Which, really, is why you are encountering what you might consider unwarranted reactions to what you did, even in your apology: you hurt someone. You can’t make it so that you didn’t hurt someone. You can’t take that hurt back.

    You can feel sorry that you did, and try to learn from having done so, and strive to not do so again. But right now, people are angry with you, and justifiably so, because you hurt someone for your own amusement.

    It’s good that you apologized. But it wasn’t noble, or self-sacrificing (if you happen to think it was, I dunno). It’s the minimum requirements for being a decent person. You met those this time. Good.
    Now see if your allies agree with your action. Watch closely what happens next.

  16. 16
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    What I said was vile and inappropriate. I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal. I have sent an apology to Ophellia. I hope I didn’t cause her any personal harm.

    Jokes are expected to be funny in some way or another.

    If throwing acid onto a persons face is funny to you or friends, you seriously need to re-evaluate your life.

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Stanton, perhaps it was once a feature in Hindu society but it has spread.

    (Warning. Very graphic photos.)

    If jerryc is still lurking, he should look at what he was joking about.

  18. 18
    Louis

    I did something I very, VERY rarely do (because I’m not super interested in the hate campaign stuff, that is a reflection of my privilege I realise), I went over to the Slymepit for a look. I read a few pages of their new version of the endless ERV inspired thread (1 to 6, 20 to 30, and 68/69 IIRC) just to get a flavour of what they were about.

    Okay, well not too many surprises, few more uses of certain words than would fly here, but that really is by the by, they’re not open to being convinced that language has the power it does, fine (unpleasant, but you know, in the grand scheme of things not the most serious crime ever). We know that already. I was pleased to note the general tone of reaction to this Jerry Conlon tweet (even though he was a very minor and rare slymepit poster who no one remembered, ostensibly at least) was disgust. Good on them for that.

    Should I emphasise that last part so passing pitters note that an evil Pharynguloid credits them with some actual humanity?

    I was less pleased to note the pretty standard rantings of Reap and people like that, the venom is impressive and well tolerated, even supported. That’s a bit sad really. The hate directed at PZ/Rebecca/Jen/Greta/Ophelia etc is pretty disgusting, can’t excuse it. I was really unimpressed by crowing over claimed profound “logical victories” which, in the couple of instances I saw linked to and subsequently read weren’t anything of the type, just more point missing, question begging, assumption laden crap. Which is dull. Voltaire’s “prayer” applies again I think.

    I was actually shocked to see the minimising and point missing that went along with the condemnation of this tweet. A fair amount of “not-condemnation” went on, i.e. “this is disgusting, BUT it’s obviously only a joke” or “this is disgusting, BUT it’s just playing into Ophelia’s hands as a professional victim” and so on.

    It’s all a bit disappointing really. I can’t muster enormous outrage because I don’t know these people, they just seem a bit crap. They don’t seem like the folks I’ve met at atheist/sceptic meet ups and what not, they don’t seem like any of my colleagues or friends. I guess I’m just lucky that I tend not to meet people who obsessively hatefap over the internet over mean women who won’t fuck them and mean people who won’t tolerate their bullshit. Hell, if I hated everyone who hadn’t tolerated my bullshit over the years I’d have no time for anything else!

    Granted for PZ/Rebecca/Jen/Greta/Ophelia etc it’s an entirely different kettle of fish, and those people obviously have my sympathy. I find it really, really, REALLY hard to credit that this all kicked off pretty much just because some woman on the internet said “Guys, don’t do that”. Really? Seriously, really? THIS is what energises these people?

    {sigh}

    I have a tendency towards comic hyperbole. I love a good joke, me. I’m fond of over the top extreme comic pseudo threats like “I’ll tear your arm off and beat you to death with the wet end”. I’m just puerile enough to find them funny in the right context. And there, again, is the fucking cluebat. Context. It matters. I’ll tell you the wrong context, the context where it is really easily misunderstood: when there are lots of people pouring hate filled missives at someone and you are an additional unknown/pseudonymous person adding to the cacophony. THEN those sorts of “jokes” take a different sheen, an entirely different tenor. How the hell is Ophelia to know if this person is mucking about or unhinged? She’s not. Granted it’s more likely he’s being an obnoxious moron than anything else, and the likelihood of anything nasty actually happening is tiny, but really how can anyone tell?

    And this is where I *can* muster some genuine outrage. I don’t know Ophelia, I’m pretty sure we’ve never met, I read her blog rarely and comment even more rarely. I’m sure someone will claim I (and people like me) are White Knighting, but really, we’re not. Ophelia’s sex is only relevant in the sense that women do get acid chucked in their face for being “uppity” in various ways. And many other things besides. This is not a context free comment. This tweet does not exist in a vacuum. It exists as part, a particularly obnoxious part, of a large amount of vitriol directed at Ophelia for a variety of reasons. Not the sexist comment about her looks, note the slymepitters referring to her by a looks based insult on their site on a regular basis. Is this the best they can do?

    Fuck it, I’ve done similar things in my past (comments about Denyse O’Leary for example) and I feel like a knobhead for having made them (and I was!). My dumb comments about Denyse O’Leary’s looks weren’t a substitute for actually engaging with her IDCist arguments. I never wanted her to shut up and go away, in fact, just like I want with the slymepitters, I wanted her to keep talking. That way I never needed to lift a finger to make her look a fool. I would never consider hounding the poor woman with derogatory comments on her Twitter feed (if she even has one) I don’t in fact even give two shits about the dozy git! Her dozy arguments are the fun bit. Low bar cracks about her looks aren’t great wit. The idea that I’d make threats to her, or make comments that could reasonably be interpreted as threats, is laughable. Just who does that?

    Oh wait, sexist shitheads do that. Right. Gotcha.

    Sorry for the teal deer ramblings but urgh. Sorry.

    Louis

  19. 19
    raven

    Are atheists better than fundie death cult xians?

    The statistics say yes. But the bar is very low here.

    And they are probably measurably but not much better. Unfortunately it is no panacea or magic bullet.

    The people PZ Myers is referring to make us look bad. They would be far more useful joining ugly xian cults. They would fit in much better and make them look bad instead.

  20. 20
    Space Monster

    Because of people like Jerry, I’ve pretty much given up on atheism and skepticism. Oh, I’m still a non-believer in gods and other silliness, but as a whole these groups are way too infested with over privileged assholes and bullies.

  21. 21
    juliewms

    PZ and other FtBloggers… it’s time to disengage from these people (Slymepitters, Reap Paden, Stefanelli, the haters, the negative posters, etc.) completely before someone is physically hurt because of the continuous arguing and posting online. It is obviously escalating, with the latest threat of an acid attack, and you all need to involve the authorities (law) at this point.

    There are many of us in the secular movement who are weary of watching this “fight” continue between everyone. Please stop engaging the haters and let them wither-on-the-vine. The more you engage them and give them a platform to spew their hate, the longer it will continue.

  22. 22
    Space Monster

    Wow, victim-blaming already at #21. Is this a record?

  23. 23
    Randomfactor

    Please stop engaging the haters and let them wither-on-the-vine.

    They’ll see it as capitulation and up the ante.

  24. 24
    Ophelia Benson

    Jerry Conlon hasn’t sent me any apology, at least not any that I’ve received. Perhaps he wrote one on a piece of paper and then threw it out.

  25. 25
    chigau (違う)

    All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

  26. 26
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I am not sure that just ignoring them will help, juliewms. Even if PZ, Rebecca, Ophelia, Greta, Jen and other were to just ignore them; they would still be obsessing over every tweet, every post and every appearance that they make. They will still be making “parody” videos” and shoddy photoshops.

    And they will call the act of ignoring censorship. Look at how they react to being blocked and being banned.

    Shit, they still can tell the difference between the desire to build organizations without them (A+) with taking over the concept of a word (atheism). Yes, they argue that FtB and Skepchick are trying to take over atheism.

  27. 27
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Charly, let me be clear before I say this that you are not the problem.

    That said, I F*n HATE the language of tolerance. Let’s take a look at the definition of “tolerance” shall we?

    Definitions that pop up in the big google definition box when searching for “tolerance definition” [no quotes] are the following:

    1. the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with:
    …the tolerance of corruption
    …an advocate of religious tolerance

    1a. the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, especially a drug, transplant, antigen, or environmental conditions, without adverse reaction:

    Yeah. This is the **current state** of politics. This is how oppression functions. “You? You slimy thing? Why, because I am a good person, I suppose I shall tolerate you.”

    How F*n magnanimous of you, douchegabber.

    Tolerance is the language of the oppressor. The oppressor would love to maintain a status quo of “tolerance” as the standard.

    Standards? They are the things we use to measure. They are not minimal floors on behavior. If you F*n GOAL is tolerance, then it is **expected** that you will, on occasion, **not tolerate**. This is JerryC – “Look, I’m a good guy. I have the same goal as you: I hope to tolerate the wimminz. But, hey, I’m an imperfect human being. Therefore, I don’t always reach my lofty goal of tolerance. Therefore, sometimes I literally do not tolerate the existence of opinions, behavior, or people with whom I may-or-may-not disagree. I certainly did that the other day, but clearly I am a good guy with the wonderful goal of tolerance because when I was done not tolerating the existence of Ophelia, I decided to tolerate her again. That is a good choice and I hope that you see my worthiness in making that choice.

    And give me a cookie.”

    No. Your choice to tolerate someone does not make you a good person. And make no mistake, this was about tolerating Ophelia, not a particular position on a particular issue, else JerryC would have been all, “I totally would throw acid on that worthless, circular argument with the embedded argument from authority. Wow, that argument is so ugly it looks like it was an idea that was already self-immolating when someone put it out with a gallon of rhetorical vomit. That argument is so ugly, the acid would probably improve it.”

    But, no. JerryC is in the ongoing process of choosing to tolerate, or not, human beings. That he sometimes chooses – even if he almost always chooses – that yes, he will tolerate person X, the modus operandi of toleration is to make the presence and/or existence of a person conditional:

    “In this moment I am tolerating you. In the foreseeable future I anticipate tolerating you. Nonetheless, my “goal” of tolerance that requires me to aim so high that I result in tolerating you is sometimes out of my fallible human reach. In those moments, you will not be tolerated. Your presence/existence will be actively opposed. At my whim or the whim of my human failings. And that’s okay, because, like you, my goal is to tolerate.”

    NO. That is not my goal. It is not acceptable to me. The person who believes that tolerance is something for which to strive has a moral floor so low worms can’t touch it.

    This doesn’t even begin to deal with the moral and social consequences of tolerating – only with having a goal of tolerance that must, as all goals must, occasionally be out of reach. Being tolerated is itself harmful. How many of us have felt tolerated in one environment or another? All of us? If not, then damn close. And what were the consequences of that tolerance? How good is it for a human being to feel tolerated?

    You strive for tolerance in our movement – you know, mostly not threatening to throw acid on women and determining their value based on their appearance while denigrating that appearance in hyperbolic terms, but, occasionally, falling short of this lofty goal.

    You strive for tolerance in our movement and, despite your awareness of how it feels to be tolerated, you insist that there are no barriers to women’s participation in this movement.

    Really? F* you.

    So what would be an acceptable moral goal?

    Striving for acceptance isn’t even good enough. Failing at acceptance results in tolerance, and we’ve just sen that ain’t enough.

    Strive for celebrating the diversity of people that exist around you, and, when you fail, accept the existence and respect the value of those people. You may disagree with them. You may argue against them. But they never, ever, have less value than you do to yourself – and if you’re a depressive like me, they typically always have more.*

    Tolerance of opinions is very different. It is perfectly okay to not tolerate behaviors like corruption or lying to the gullible.

    Me personally, I choose not to tolerate setting tolerance as a goal in human interaction.

    So, JerryC, feel free to apologize. Such an apology is absolutely necessary for such appalling behavior. But no cookie. When your ability to tolerate someone like Ophelia is not a goal, but the basement floor in a home whose basement door you’ve nailed shut, then you can apologize for your tolerance of human beings and begin to participate in human interaction in a way that actually permits – not even necessarily nurtures, but at least permits – the full participation of others.

    At that point, your posts might be worth reading. Until then, I’m quite F*n happy that PZ has banned your ability to comment here.

    I have no more use for your tolerance than I have for your intolerance.

    *which is an indication I’m failing in my moral responsibilities to myself, not that my standards towards others are too high.

  28. 28
    Jadehawk

    PZ and other FtBloggers… it’s time to disengage from these people (Slymepitters, Reap Paden, Stefanelli, the haters, the negative posters, etc.) completely before someone is physically hurt because of the continuous arguing and posting online.

    shorter: stop being so uppity, lest you make them hit you.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    juliewms

    @SpaceMonster… no one if blaming the victim. The threat of an acid attack should involve the police, immediately. The middle-school crowd in the Slymepit wants an audience, and all I’m saying is that, at some point, we need to stop providing it for them.

  31. 31
    No One

    6
    jerryc

    What I said was vile and inappropriate. I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal. I have sent an apology to Ophellia. I hope I didn’t cause her any personal harm.

    So why did you do it in the first place? What the fuck is rattling around in your brain? Fix it. Until then think hard before you hit the return key.

    As an aside to all men (and women for that matter) who are hung up on physical appearances; Ophelia, as a person of character and experience with a mind like a razor-blade, could probably fuck you within in inch of your miserable lives… if she chose to… (Muttering) Fuckin’ tadpoles… grow up…

  32. 32
    Jadehawk

    The middle-school crowd in the Slymepit wants an audience, and all I’m saying is that, at some point, we need to stop providing it for them.

    this is incorrect. see link at #29

  33. 33
    Dick the Damned

    I’m interested in how the sexist bozos come to atheism.

    I guess most atheists are sufficiently honest with themselves to have come to the self-understanding where they reject religion. Being honest with yourself is probably a necessity for being ethical.

    People have an amazing capacity for compartmentalizing their beliefs; witness the religious scientists. Is it similar with the sexist bozos; do they compartmentalize their misogyny? Or are they just not very ethical? Maybe their atheism is not the result of an intellectual struggle, but is just a convenient stance?

  34. 34
    Space Monster

    Juliewms, you are blaming the victim. You are saying the victims of verbal attacks need to stop posting before the slymepitters escalate to physical violence. That is disgusting.

    Oh, and I don’t give a fuck how ‘weary’ you are of all this.

  35. 35
    glodson

    The apology is nice. But minimizing what was said as a joke still indicates that more understanding is needed as to why many, including myself, are just outraged. I do hope this statement jars loose whatever is stuck in the ways thinking by those who routinely lash out with this behavior, and illustrates a sharp contrast between being critical and bullying.

    As to the original post, my atheism is a consequence, so it was never enough. I lost my faith, more abandoned my faith, as I tried to fully embrace rationality. The part that a number seem to overlook is the need to examine our own positions from time to time with the same harsh critical eye we examine others with. It is hard and painful at times, but always worth it. Here we seem to have a group unwilling to examine their own positions and behavior under the light of critcal thinking, spiraling into an ideological tailspin, much like we see in many religions and the GOP.

    The Plus is a natural extension to atheism. There is a consequence to living in a world with no gods. We have the duty to get it right. The duty to see that everyone gets a chance at a good life, to be treated justly. As we tear down religion, we cannot allow the same injustices to be repeated. And we can only do this ourselves. It isn’t that atheism is unimportant, this is a major component in moving forward. It is just the practical effects of religion, and irrational hatreds, need combating dircetly. Ending religion is just a part of a whole.

    At least that is my take now. I am still exploring what my own atheism means.

  36. 36
    Randomfactor

    The threat of an acid attack should involve the police, immediately.

    And I suspect the (potential) involvement of the police brought the “apology.”

  37. 37
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Juliewms, you still not explained just why the slymies would stop just because all of us stopped reacting to them.

  38. 38
    wholething

    Critical thinking should be the goal. Atheism should be a result of critical thinking, not a goal. There isn’t much difference between being wrong and simply happening to be right for wrong reasons.

  39. 39
    punchdrunk

    @Juliewms, ignoring doesn’t help. If the other link didn’t get it through to you, here’s someone who is trying to ignore it, and how that’s working out:
    http://skepchick.org/2013/01/will-there-be-more-surly-grants/

  40. 40
    kellym

    @Juliewms, it’s the slymepit that is escalating the hatred that will likely lead to violence. If it happens, it will be the fault of every slymepitter and their supporters, not the targets of the raging hatred and abuse.

  41. 41
    Space Monster

    Janine, obviously if women just knew their place and didn’t upset the menz then everything would be fine!

  42. 42
    R Johnston

    @33:

    I’m interested in how the sexist bozos come to atheism.

    They come to atheism via a blanket rejection of authority.They reject god rather than truly disbelieve in god, and they do so because libertarian Freedom WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, that’s about as coherent as they get in their understanding of atheism.

    Never think for a second that they’re actually people who’ve thoughtfully come to atheism. Their atheism is unthinking and religious in nature.

  43. 43
    glodson

    I don’t get the thinking behind “don’t feed the trolls.” Okay, it might work on a lone troll looking for attention by derailing a thread.

    But when you have a group that is suffering from epistemic closure, not addressing them will serve to only encourage them. The reaction to the comment as reported by Louis shows a divergence in understanding. They reject the statement, but reduce it to a mere joke, not seeing as a consequence of their own tactics, as that doesn’t fit with their narrative of bully victimization.

    I doubt ignoring them would stop this. Worse, it may just give rise to even more outpouring of their tactics as they force their free speech on all of us.

  44. 44
    hyperdeath

    We have empirical evidence of what happens when people “disengage” the Slymepitters: Jen McCreight quit blogging and they went after her even more.

    They won’t see it as deescalation. They’ll see it as weakness.

  45. 45
    Inaji

    jerryc:

    What I said was vile and inappropriate. I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal. I have sent an apology to Ophellia. I hope I didn’t cause her any personal harm.

    Vile and inappropriate hardly begin to cover it. The harm you caused is done. Do you really think (well, obviously, you don’t) that there’s no psychological effect? That your words won’t reverberate in Ophelia’s memory, at any given time, even years from now? Do you think anyone deserves to have such a threat reside in their brain for a lifetime, wondering if someone even sicker than you will actually make good on such a threat?

    Do you think women don’t already have to spend their life constantly on guard? What is wrong with you, that you could even consign such a threat to the realm of “childish” and “a joke”?

  46. 46
    Amphiox

    I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal.

    No it is not and was not and never will be a “childish joke”.

    And this is why the “apology” fails.

    Jerry Conlon hasn’t sent me any apology, at least not any that I’ve received. Perhaps he wrote one on a piece of paper and then threw it out.

    Well, well. A “notpology” indeed. Why am I not surprised?

  47. 47
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Cripdyke- THANK YOU for saying that about “tolerance.” I’ve always hated it for just those reasons.

    juliewms—No. This is not “middle school” behavior. This isn’t “childish.” This is full-grown adults doing very adult hate. It has always been thus. You cannot minimize it by comparing it to middle school (school years being periods of intense cruelty just the same). This is what people do, all the time, all over the world. They’re not outliers.

  48. 48
    hyperdeath

    glodson:

    I don’t get the thinking behind “don’t feed the trolls.”

    I do.

    It’s another way of saying, “please make it easier for me to ignore this”.

  49. 49
    Charly

    @ Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    That said, I F*n HATE the language of tolerance.

    I actually agree with what you said with respect to the definition of word tolerance you provided. I avoid to use the word tollerance in some generic context as much as I can, but I was answering to PZ’s post, where he used the word “tolerant life” as a worthy goal along “rational”. It was his choice of words, not mine.

    I interpreted his post as using the word “tolerance” as defined on Wikipedia, id est (emphasis mine):

    …a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

    Not that I like this definition of tolerance either, hence my emphasis. But I sorta assumed, in the context of this blog, that when PZ says “tolerance” he does not mean acceptance of douchebags, slymepitters, of abusive or othervise despicable behaviour or something like that.

    I would personally prefer to say that atheism is good first step towards rational and moral life. And, in this context, I interpreted the use of word “tolerant” (by PZ) as synonymous with “moral”.

  50. 50
    Inaji

    juliewms, FFS, please, get a clue. Or three. People have already disengaged, they have stopped responding, ignored, gone about their business – all that happened was all the shit doubled down, tripled down, quadrupled downed and got much, much worse. If we don’t fight the good fight, if we sit down and shut up, what’s the point?

    You can do whatever the fuck you like. Don’t be telling us what to do.

  51. 51
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Crip Dyke,

    re: tolerance
    You reminded me of this article: I Do Not Deserve Your Tolerance
    It’s about marriage equality, but similar words can apply to other brands of snotty “tolerance”.

    —–

    “Ignore them and they will go away” generally doesn’t work. There are occasions when it does, but that can’t be generalized to any kind of situation. Ignoring these people could easily be interpreted as approval of their actions. That would be bad, both in making assholes think this kind of attitude is ok and in making their victims feel isolated and possibly deserving of the horrible words.

  52. 52
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    Julie:

    The middle-school crowd in the Slymepit wants an audience, and all I’m saying is that, at some point, we need to stop providing it for them.

    No. The sad fact is that the slymepit is merely trying to enforce the overall societal norm. Their only goal is to shut us down to reinforce the default partriachal values and patterns. If we shut up, they will win. They will go away, but only because they will see they are no longer needed.

    What we really need is people like you to stop supporting them in their struggle and stop reinforcing patriarchy.

  53. 53
    Inaji

    Hyperdeath:

    I do.

    It’s another way of saying, “please make it easier for me to ignore this”.

    Yep. It’s “stop rocking the boat! If you’d just shut up, everything would get back to normal!” I’m finding people who take this stance to be the worst of all, because they are the ones with deliberate blinders on, the ones who choose to ignore all that’s wrong with people and don’t want to lift one delicate finger to make things right, but will happily enjoy the benefits which come from those of us who do fight.

  54. 54
    glodson

    @48 You are right about that. As I lurk, I read people makjng that kind of comment. Sometimes mixed with the balance fallacy.

    I guess I should say that I do not understand why anyone would buy that argument.

  55. 55
    Louis

    Paging Dr King, Paging Dr King. Dr King to the white…errr sorry…black courtesy phone.

    You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

    And

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    From here

    Just a hint for you, juliewms.

    Louis

  56. 56
    Ing

    Odd how engaging in such middle school childish behavior if done by a child can get you tried as an adult

  57. 57
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Just to back up what punchdrunk said at #39, the slymies are still braying about that Ven Diagram in Surly Amy’s post.

  58. 58
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    R Johnston

    Never think for a second that they’re actually people who’ve thoughtfully come to atheism. Their atheism is unthinking and religious in nature.

    Please don’t fall into this trap.

    I can understand it’s a comfortable though. I also certainly agree that the libertarians have a far greater risk of rancid sexism. Still: The others are not immune. Patriarchy is everywhere. It’s never a question if a person is sexist, but how. That goes for me, that goes for you.

    Personally, I constantly have to watch myself to not go into unconscious sexism, and I don’t always succeed even though I try. For the time being, in the society we live in, not being sexist is not a state, it’s a process. The default state if the process stops is sexist.

    As an example, take Richard Dawkins. AFAIK he’s not of the libertarian persuasion, but still, there’s the infamous “dear muslima”.

  59. 59
    Louis

    Janine,

    Gotta be honest I don’t agree with Amy’s Venn diagram much either. I know what she’s trying to say but I think she’s wrong in that diagram.

    Clearly this is a massive deal and therefore I could get very excited about it and add to the hate campaign against her. Or I could not be bothered and look at it in the light it is obviously intended, humorous. Gee, there’s that humour again. You’d think such a bunch of chuckling funsters as the Pit Crew would find that HILARIOUS. After all she only used the word “assholes” and didn’t do anything really over the top, sufficiently over the top that they would agree it’s over the top, like make a “joke” about chucking acid in someone’s face.

    Why aren’t they doing that?

    Louis

  60. 60
    tajparis

    Argh! Just… fucking ARGH!

    If you* find yourself so upset that a blogger supports ideas you don’t like that you cannot bring yourself to just not fucking read their work, and in fact become so irate that your impulse is to make a horrible “joke” wish/threat/implication like this, step the fuck away. Just walk away… before you make that statement. You really need to evaluate your involvement. This is not skepticism or rational by any fucking definition. This is pure maliciousness, nothing more than single-minded obsessive hate and desire to inflict pain on another person. Any other explanation is a shitty rationalization.

  61. 61
    Louis

    R Johnston,

    See what Gnumann+ just said.

    That.

    With knobs on.

    I don’t think there’s a vast gulf between any two arbitrary groups of people. The slymepit lot are a little more defensive about having their errors pointed out perhaps, a little more comfortable with their privilege than many here are, a little more tolerant of certain species of “jokes” across wider varieties of contexts. That’s mostly it. Obviously there are exceptions, the Hoggles, the Padens, and assorted cranks. But mostly it’s just dumb guy stuff. How do I know. I AM a dumb guy! I know how much work it takes not to be one 24/7.

    That’s not anti-male, that’s a recognition of the fact that I am a lucky bastard and I need to be aware of it.

    Louis

  62. 62
    unclefrogy

    Well maybe he thought it was a joke like he said but the operative suggestion here would be leave the comedy to the professionals.
    It is the kind of “joke” that is laughing at someone and finding their reactions funny kind of like throwing a rock at someone in the distance and laughing when you hit them or teasing someone until they start crying that is the kind of thing that ain’t funny.
    The other thing I can say about any of this is when you are always around bully’s, aggressive abusive people you might feel safer if you sound like them too, so they wont turn on you.
    That to some extent goes for here also as any other social grouping wanting to fit in and be accepted by the group is at work.
    That is in no way meant to make excuse any of it.
    On the other point it looks more and more like atheism is a separate “idea” from empathy, rationality or social consciousness. Though it seems less common these days the religious once were at the for front of social change especially in regards to racism and civil rights, peace and antiwar politics.

    we need social change and rationality too bad there ain’t no easy quick guaranteed way to accomplish that.

    uncle frogy

  63. 63
    Inaji

    Louis:

    Gotta be honest I don’t agree with Amy’s Venn diagram much either.

    Neither do I. However, it doesn’t detract from her over all point. Perhaps it does highlight something about the ‘pitters, though. It seems that pictures grab their attention, while they don’t do well with words [text] at all.

  64. 64
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    People were disagreeing with her about that diagram in the thread. And Amy said that they had a point.

    But the people there did not get obsessive. You, Louis, have not been obsessive. Shit, for most of us, it was not that big a deal.

    But it is for the slymies. And this is where I make myself go round in circles. This kind of action does not surprise. Having a decent grounding in history makes it so human actions cannot surprise. But I sure as fuck do not understand what they are doing.

    One of my many failings.

  65. 65
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m absolutely amazed that anyone would think that threatening to throw acid in someone’s face is even remotely funny. Who wants to live in a world where people make threats like that? By making such a threat one is making that choice, not realizing that it invites pre-emption or escalation.

    I’ve been following this brouhaha fairly closely and it’s my opinion that Ed/PZ/Ophelia/Richard Carrier et al have the right of it. I do wish there was some way to de-escalate without appearing to be granting a “victory” to one side or the other. That’s also the problem with threats and harassment: it’s a poor substitute for argument and if you do de-escalate then the threat-makers and harassers are left with no position worth defending.

  66. 66
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    De-escalate? Impossible.

    The only solution to this problem is, maddeningly, never going to happen. There needs to be a massive, coordinated banning by bloggers from FtB to CFI to Skepchick, etc. No discussion. No reasons given. No even acknowledging pitters. Just immediate banning and removal, with reports to authorities for threats and shared information on the banning with every other blogger.

    You can see why it’s never going to happen, but there is no other potential solution.

  67. 67
    Anthony K

    This is probably a good place to re-post Adam Lee’s petition: The Leaders of Atheist, Skeptical and Secular Groups: Support Feminism and Diversity in the Secular Community.

  68. 68
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Josh, now they are going to howl that you are a jack booted thug enforcing the dictates of Chairman Myers.

  69. 69
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I don’t give one fat fuck what any of them do. I hate them to the core for ruining the last two years, terrorizing people I love and respect, and making some of the best places online into a sewer. Fuck them. Fuck them. Fuck them.

  70. 70
    Anthony K

    Josh, now they are going to howl that you are a jack booted thug enforcing the dictates of Chairman Myers.

    I’m with Jackboots Josh (Joshboots?)

    [Laces up jackboots.]

  71. 71
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Don’t do that in front of me, Anthony. I’ll get real frisky.

  72. 72
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Oh, they already have a special love for Anthony K, as we all know.

    Josh, I am with you with the hatred.

  73. 73
    dsmwiener

    Atheism is not enough. In fact, it is nothing; it only defines what one does not believe, and why one does not believe it.

    It is why I identify as a Humanist. And quite frankly, I have more in common with liberal xian humanists than I do with the idiots who have been attacking feminism within the ranks of atheists.

    It also comes down the level of one’s empathy. Do you only have empathy for a small tribal group, or do you have empathy for all humans? It doesn’t mean loving your enemies or being weak. It means having the insight to examine your own prejudices and see them for what they are. To be honest with yourself.

    None of us will ever be successful in being honest with ourselves. It is an ongoing process, and some people really have a long way to go.

    PS – how the heck to I get breaks between my paragraphs?

  74. 74
    Louis

    HANDS OFF MY VIRTUAL HUSBAND, ANTHONY!

    Bloody hell. I mean, really. If someone cannot respect the comedy bond between two men on different continents the what is the world coming to?

    Louis

  75. 75
    dsmwiener

    Ok – breaks between paragraphs don’t show up in preview mode. As a programmer, I would say that is a bug.

  76. 76
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Louis, you do not see me getting jealous over the fact you are one of my sister wives.

  77. 77
    Marcus Ranum

    De-escalate? Impossible.

    I agree. That’s why I said “I wish” instead of “should” :(

    I had a friend a bunch of years ago who was being stalked and harrassed. She knew who it was but the police didn’t do anything other than talk to him and conclude there wasn’t enough evidence, yadda yadda. My suggestion was that she wait until he came home some night and shoot him in the back with a paintball gun, then offer mutual de-escalation. As it happened, the stalker died of a heart attack, in a completely unrelated quirk of fate, so the problem took care of itself.

    That’s what I don’t get about people doing threats and harrassment. Don’t they realize that if they actually manage to really scare their targets, they might wind up triggering a pre-emptive attack? Scared humans scare the shit out of me! Humans are really nasty, dangerous animals.

  78. 78
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Louis, there’s enough of me for both of you. Really.

  79. 79
    Anthony K

    I’ll get real frisky.

    Save your energy for the jacking*, Bootsy.

    *Is that the right verb? I don’t know if that’s the right verb.

  80. 80
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    dsmwiener

    Are you leaving blank lines between your paragraphs?

  81. 81
    Louis

    I’m feeling a little insecure, what can I say.

    I mean, Josh doesn’t call any more. He doesn’t send me flowers. And it’s been weeks since he did that thing with his tongue.

    Louis

  82. 82
    Anthony K

    HANDS OFF MY VIRTUAL HUSBAND, ANTHONY!

    Boys, boys, boys: we’re losing sight of the real goal here: The Booting. The Jacking. The both at the same time, sometimes.

  83. 83
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    You know where I am, Louis.:)

  84. 84
    Inaji

    dsmwiener:

    It is why I identify as a Humanist. And quite frankly, I have more in common with liberal xian humanists than I do with the idiots who have been attacking feminism within the ranks of atheists.

    You know, I can’t personally agree with this, either. I have no doubt that many in the ‘pit would consider themselves humanists. *shrug*

    I refuse to give ground, any ground. I am an atheist. I’m also a secular humanist. I’m also a skeptic and critical thinker. I’m all kinds of things. However, I’m not running away from one label just so I can feel safely separate from other people I don’t much care for and consider that I’ve done the important bit.

    Do I find their attitudes and thought processes loathsome? You bet I do. However, the way I see it, I’m staying in the ring, and I’ll fight like hell for the atheoskeptic sphere to be re-defined as a large, inclusive space with a definite emphasis on social justice. If they don’t fucking like it, they can stay in their little tent howling and gibbering and whinge away. They aren’t going to be allowed to define what I am or the community I love or the community I want to take shape.

    As for line breaks, preview is all fucked up.

  85. 85
    ChasCPeterson

    the slymies are still braying about that Ven Diagram in Surly Amy’s post.

    well. That was pretty stupid.

    I mean, focusing on the stupid diagram while ignoring the point of the post is typical ‘pit shit. I don’t condone their weird hate campaigns in any way.

    But if it’s the diagram we’re talking about, the only humorous point it makes is that Ms. Roth doesn’t understand Venn diagrams.

  86. 86
    Inaji

    Marcus:

    My suggestion was that she wait until he came home some night and shoot him in the back with a paintball gun, then offer mutual de-escalation.

    I have an idea that you don’t understand the psychology of stalkers all too well, Marcus.

  87. 87
    Marcus Ranum

    I have an idea that you don’t understand the psychology of stalkers all too well, Marcus.

    Obviously. :\

  88. 88
    Louis

    Josh,

    I do, and what worries me is I want to buy a plane ticket…

    …actually that should worry you!

    Louis

    P.S. Anthony, ah yes, how silly of me, forgive my moment with the green eyed monster. Booting and Jacking at the same time you say? Are you flying down from Canadia or driving? Want some company if the latter. I can meet you at Josh’s house with a gallon of lube and some pinecones in…oh…let’s say 12 hours.

  89. 89
    Marcus Ranum

    I didn’t say it was a good suggestion!

  90. 90
    Anthony K

    But if it’s the diagram we’re talking about

    Is it? If so, should we be? I mean really, who the fucking fuck gives a fucking fuck?

  91. 91
    Anthony K

    Are you flying down from Canadia or driving?

    I don’t think you understand what a jackbooted thug is. When I come, it’ll be in the middle of the night, and you won’t have any warning.

  92. 92
    glodson

    I refuse to give ground, any ground. I am an atheist. I’m also a secular humanist. I’m also a skeptic and critical thinker. I’m all kinds of things. However, I’m not running away from one label just so I can feel safely separate from other people I don’t much care for and consider that I’ve done the important bit.

    This is what makes dealing with these assholes important. If we abandon atheism, they get what they want. There is no interest in a debate. They aren’t looking to talk about sexism, they are looking to keep their spaces.

    It is maddening. But it is worthwhile.

  93. 93
    Inaji

    Marcus:

    I didn’t say it was a good suggestion!

    No, you didn’t. The thing is, that if your friend had carried out your suggestion, the probability of the end result being her murder would have been very high. Even passive protective actions, such as moving, tend to fuel a stalker even more and most often escalates their actions, with the result often being rape, murder or attempted murder or any combination of those things.

  94. 94
    Rip Steakface

    Correction: the bigots among Hindus do that, too. Though, they often do it to those uppity members of lower castes in order to put them in their places, too.

    Call it confirmation bias or selective memory, but I swear I remember both the Taliban and certain uber-fundamentalist Muslim groups in Iran throwing acid. It may have been one or the other or neither, but I feel like it was definitely at least one.

  95. 95
    Marcus Ranum

    The thing is, that if your friend had carried out your suggestion, the probability of the end result being her murder would have been very high

    Yeah, that’s my “sobering thought for the day” … I didn’t know very much about stalkers (I still don’t!) but from watching what’s been going on with these horrible assholes that are cropping up in our community, I’ve certainly realized how wrong I was. At the time, the main thing I was thinking was “what if stalkerboy carries a gun?” Although I did learn enough about him to know he was a completely cowardly human being behind his veil of anonymity. So, yeah. I’m sincerely glad the guy had the good taste to die all on his own.

    I wonder if there are criminologists who’ve written anything worth reading on this topic. I’m now finding it morbidly interesting. Presumably, since stalking is a fairly common behavior, there must be some sort of playbook recommending how to de-escalate, or – well, what do you do? Now, I want to know. Sounds like I’ll be spending my evening with a glass of red wine at Google University.

  96. 96
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @ Louis.

    Anthony is – properly – attempting to preserve the element of surprise. But just between you & me, when you hear “fap fap fap” noises from a black helicopter, that’s Anthony coming.

    I mean, wait…

  97. 97
    Inaji

    Marcus, there’s a ton of work on stalkers. The main thing to know is that you’re dealing with obsession, and that’s a scary, scary thing. The only really effective thing which works against stalkers is legal intervention, as in locking them up. Restraining orders don’t generally have the desired effect. Even then, a majority don’t lose their obsession in prison, so when they get out, there’s a possibility they may start up again. If they do lose their obsession for that particular person, they often fixate on another object [person].

  98. 98
    Eamon Knight

    I’d once thought that atheism was a good first step on the path to living a rational, tolerant life. Clearly it’s not.

    Oh hell, I was a better feminist for much of the time I was a Christian (especially after I got into the more liberal end of the church) than certain atheists we all know and love despise. Yeah, the “plus” *is*, in significant ways, more important than the atheism, because it tells you concretely how to treat people *now* irrespective of what meta-ethics you use to justify it. And the concept of “decent human being” seems to be accessible across a wide range of metaphysics.

  99. 99
    Louis

    Crip Dyke,

    Wait…you mean that wasn’t bird poo…

    Louis

  100. 100
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Atheism can at most remove one reason why people become slimeballs. Now granted, a slimeball who thinks his sky daddy is telling him to be a slimeball is going to be a smarmy and complacent SOB. Gonna be hard to reason with that jizzbag.

    However, there are other reasons why one might choose to be a slimeball, including natural inclination, having read Ayn Rand and not gotten the joke (which is Ayn Rand herself). etc. Maybe you could reason with such a person and maybe not.

    What is missing from glibertarians–be they fundies or atheists–is the realization that we as a species are social animals, a superorganism akin to social insects. A single human cast adrift in nature is not going to last long, at least not and stay sane.

    The realization that we are social animals, coupled with the freedom from the dictates of imaginary deities, I think, ought to be sufficient to become a decent person if one is so motivated.

  101. 101
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Louis:

    Leviticus 18:27-28

    27 I are on teh ceiling. I cans spunk on u.
    28 I spunkd on dose guys. Hehe.

    From the New Interntional LOLcat Bible.

    It just seemed appropriate.

  102. 102
    Inaji

    A_Ray, it hasn’t escaped the ‘pitters or others of a less than lovely attitude that we are social animals. They know that, that’s why they work as part of a group, rather than the stereotypical “isolated loner” mode. It’s more that they feel, socially, that things are pretty darn good, so why you bitchez have to whining all the time?

  103. 103
    Ophelia Benson

    To set the record straight: Jerry Conlon did send me an apology (of sorts) on Facebook; it was in the “Other” box and I overlooked it at first.

    He said he didn’t mean to threaten me, just to insult my appearance. I told him insulting people’s appearance is also not ok. His reply to that seems to be genuine regret; I hope so.

    I don’t like this way of teaching bullies to be better though. I don’t want to be a target so that I can then convince one bully to stop bullying. It’s slow, it’s inefficient, and

    IT IS NOT FUN FOR ME.

  104. 104
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Caine,
    Yes, I’ve noticed that. The slimepitters tend to form “packs”, but they don’t seem inclined to cooperate on the larger scale required by actual civilization. And actually, my experience is that they are not happy with the way things are, but that they blame women, minorities, gays…–the safe targets rather than the patriarchs.

  105. 105
    Inaji

    Ophelia:

    He said he didn’t mean to threaten me, just to insult my appearance.

    :facepound:

    Oh for…

    Obviously, they don’t seem to understand that insulting a person’s appearance isn’t okay, either, but if someone just has to do that, what ever happened to “hey, you’re ugly!”? I have to say, I fail to see how throw acid in the face is a remark about someone’s appearance.

  106. 106
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ophelia,
    My sympathies. You don’t deserve this. Jerry is worse than slime. He’s prebiotic slime. I hope that he is sufficiently ashamed that he joins a fucking monastery and spends the rest of his life flagellating himself.

  107. 107
    Inaji

    A_Ray:

    And actually, my experience is that they are not happy with the way things are, but that they blame women, minorities, gays…–the safe targets rather than the patriarchs.

    Yes, that’s common behaviour and it all has a lot to do with perceptions of masculinity. However, in the case of the ‘pitters, it’s a little different – they’re primarily whinging about and targeting those who don’t think the status quo of the atheoskeptic sphere is just dandy.

  108. 108
    morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor

    If any of the horrid threatened actions such as rape or acid splash were to actually happen, does it occur to the slime that the first suspects will be those who have threatened such actions? They could be in a pile of legal crap very easily. Words have consequences. And no, it obviously does not occur to them that shutting up just might save their own sorry asses.

  109. 109
    Marcus Ranum

    Caine: Yeah, I can see I’m gonna be wading through a pile of input tonight. Nom! Yeah, a couple google searches and I’m already buried in references. Now comes the fun part: figuring out what’s bullshit and what’s not.

    If it’s an obsession, wouldn’t some of the cognitive therapies maybe work? Yipe, when I read your “the only thing that really works is legal intervention, as in locking them up” all I could think was that’s just about the most likely thing that happens, though, right? Now I’m wondering if stalkers are highly similar across cultures, or whether (say) Americans have vastly higher rates and they’re more violent than, say, the French. Do stalkers tend to have OCD spectrum disorders? This is a fascinating (temporarily, for now) and sad topic.

  110. 110
    Inaji

    Marcus:

    Now I’m wondering if stalkers are highly similar across cultures, or whether (say) Americans have vastly higher rates and they’re more violent than, say, the French.

    I don’t know. I’d be interested in finding out though. As for locking them up, yes, it’s the general outcome, but it still doesn’t happen enough before someone is assaulted or murdered. I’m not sure of the status now, I’ll have to look it up, but as of a couple of years ago, there were still a large amount of states in the U.S. without stalking laws.

  111. 111
    Pteryxx

    Unfortunately refusing to engage is only ever helpful (sometimes) against lone stalkers and harassers, who want some sort of personal relationship with their target. (Which plays right into rape culture, natch…) Ignoring online hate mobs isn’t going to work very well because they get their primary reinforcement from each other, not from their victims:

    What happened to me, and sadly other women as well, can best be described as a cyber mob.

    And whether it’s a cyber mob or just a handful of hateful comments, the end result is maintaining and reinforcing and normalizing a culture of sexism — where men who harass are supported by their peers and rewarded for their sexist attitudes and behaviors and where women are silenced, marginalized and excluded from full participation.

    A ‘boys club’ means no girls allowed. And how do they keep women and girls out? Just like this. By creating an environment that is just too toxic and hostile to endure.

    from Sarkeesian’s TEDxWomen talk: http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/12/tedxwomen-talk-on-sexist-harassment-cyber-mobs/

  112. 112
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy


    Dick the Damned

    Or are they just not very ethical? Maybe their atheism is not the result of an intellectual struggle, but is just a convenient stance?

    In the case of people like the ‘pitters, I suspect that both of these are true. They’re atheists because that gives them one more group to feel superior to and denigrate. Also a healthy dose of ‘libertarian freedom WOLVERINES” like R Johnston said.
    Gnumann+

    As an example, take Richard Dawkins. AFAIK he’s not of the libertarian persuasion, but still, there’s the infamous “dear muslima”.

    Apples and oranges, I’d say. Dear Muslima was very bad, and shows that Dawkins has a lot of sexist baggage and unexamined privilege, but the thing is that Dawkins hasn’t spent the time since “dear Muslima” obsessivly stalking, harrassing, and threatening the people who dared to call him out on it, in massivley mysoginistic ways the way the ‘pitters do. That kind of atheist sexism is AFAICT overwhelmingly associated with Randist WOLVERINES bullshit.

  113. 113
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    Apples and oranges, I’d say. Dear Muslima was very bad, and shows that Dawkins has a lot of sexist baggage and unexamined privilege, but the thing is that Dawkins hasn’t spent the time since “dear Muslima” obsessivly stalking, harrassing, and threatening the people who dared to call him out on it, in massivley mysoginistic ways the way the ‘pitters do. That kind of atheist sexism is AFAICT overwhelmingly associated with Randist WOLVERINES bullshit.

    It’s still all fruit.

    And by any means, anybody idiotic enough to engage in pit tactics is far more likely to be a randhead. I do not in any way dispute that. The whole mess is far too complex though to be dismissed with one-factorial othering explanations. And it’s very dangerous to assume that clear thinking in one area excludes you from idiocy in others.

  114. 114
    Inaji

    Dalillama:

    That kind of atheist sexism is AFAICT overwhelmingly associated with Randist WOLVERINES bullshit.

    Perhaps so. However, I think this line of thought still falls into the “convenient othering” category. In the NYT thread alone, we had people, yet again, making the point that X amount of years ago, I would have thought the same as ____. We’ve been hearing the same for years, especially on the subject of sexism and feminism.

    Maybe it’s because I’m having my brain opened by Manhood in America, but I think the sentiments you and R Johnston and others are operating on are much too simple and ignores not only the complexity of the problems, but willfully blind you to the likenesses between us. I understand the impulse to other, believe me. Refusing to be associated with such attitudes, thoughts and actions is great, I fully support that. However, continued othering in order to convince yourself that these others are almost a different species isn’t going to help. People grasp rotten views all the fucking time. The reasons they do so are often a bit more complex than we like to think.

  115. 115
    douglas1102

    This was a message to me…

    “So I suppose anyone can make serious claims, have nothing to back up said claims and then expect sweeping rules and regulations including ones restricting speech with broad and arbitrary terms?

    If there was sexual harassment at these things that would be a POLICE MATTER. Again, where is evidence of RAPE let alone any real harassment?

    You are a pussywhipped mangina needlessly pushing a effort to stifle free expression on the basis of unverified emotional sniveling. “Rape culture”, GTFO loser.”

    I consider it flattering =) It tells me I’m really getting to them ;)

    However… people need to start calling out this crap more ’cause mark my words one of these loons is gonna go further at some point.

    I really like the term “Atheism plus” and the logo “A+” I think it’s really clever. Certainly better than “PEARList” or “Brights”(<—ugh) I suppose I'll have to check them out sometime.

  116. 116
    Tom Foss

    Pteryxx (#111) said what I was thinking, but backed it up with citations as usual :).

    I remember getting the “ignore it” advice when I was bullied in grade school. The problem is, when you have no way of shutting out/evading the situation, there really is only so much you can “ignore,” and the bullies know it. They know that there are things they can do to get your attention. Won’t respond to the name-calling? Bet you’ll respond to a flicked ear or having your books knocked out of your hands or being slammed into a locker. When it escalates from verbal to physical, you either respond or you become a plaything, and to the bullies both are roughly equivalent.

    But as Pteryxx noted, this isn’t an isolated schoolyard bully, but a culture that reinforces and rewards this behavior. It seems to me (armchair psych mode) that these random people who pop up to harass the FtBullies and Skepchicks on Twitter and comment threads and the like aren’t doing it to get a rise out of the targets so much as to get plaudits from the ‘pit. They’re trying to impress the ‘pitizenry by gaining status symbols like being blocked from someone’s Twitter or banned from someone’s blog. It’s SlymePit initiation. Some commenter someplace recently (Stephanie or Ophelia’s place, I think) more or less said as much, that xe was taking a screenshot of xir comment to show as proof on the ‘pit. They’re showing their graffiti tags; they’re stealing underwear from the sorority house. It’s why “ignore” is a useless policy, and why escalation is inevitable. Calling an FtBully a “c*nt” is so passé; what if I instead say they’re ugly or need acid thrown on them? That’ll really impress the Pit!

    The only thing stopping it from being completely pathetic and pitiable is how vile and dangerous it ultimately is.

  117. 117
    Marcus Ranum

    Ignoring online hate mobs isn’t going to work very well because they get their primary reinforcement from each other, not from their victims:

    That’s very interesting! And, of course, it’s head-slappingly not-quite obvious.

    It also seems that some stalkers feel vindicated by just about any reaction (! they noticed me !) like Markuze. Some of the slimepitters that show up here seem to be revelling in being abused. I guess the attention is rewarding.

  118. 118
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Some of the slimepitters that show up here seem to be revelling in being abused.

    Almost like they get a special button to ‘wear’ when they get banned. Or, even better, multiple bans.

  119. 119
    douglas1102

    I suspect this prolly won’t win me any friends here but my experience dealing with “real racists” is that bullying them right back actually works to the point of often changing their view. I even got a couple of Thunderthugs to actually post that he was wrong on harassment policies.

    These guys are group-think cowards and they respond (seemingly only) to intimidation, why do you think you never really hear this crap other than anonymously?

  120. 120
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    douglas1102:

    I disagree with the idea of becoming a bully back.

    However, reacting assertively, even aggressively, to racist, misogynist, bigoted, and other prejudicial language is an effective tactic. To the bully-er, it may appear to be bullying — for victims to refuse to be cowed, to refuse to be silenced, can, on occasion, change a mind. I’m not going to go to their (whoever they happen to be) and abuse them, but when they come here,they are fair game.

    I wish it happened more often, though.

  121. 121
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    I disagree with the idea of becoming a bully back.

    However, reacting assertively, even aggressively, to racist, misogynist, bigoted, and other prejudicial language is an effective tactic. To the bully-er, it may appear to be bullying — for victims to refuse to be cowed, to refuse to be silenced, can, on occasion, change a mind. I’m not going to go to their (whoever they happen to be) and abuse them, but when they come here,they are fair game.

    QFT.

  122. 122
    douglas1102

    @ Ogvorbis

    Hey… said it prolly wouldn’t win me any friends =)

    Now that I read your post I realize I prolly mean “assertively, even aggressively”

    All the times I’ve wasted hours arguing about these things nothing ever works until I finally get fed up and start acting a lot more “”assertively, even aggressively”.

    But where is the line drawn? I’d would genuinely like to know when the line is drawn it comes to responding to this sort of thing. Where does “assertively, even aggressively” end and bullying begin?

    Insulting their intelligence seems to work quite well, but personally… that’s where the line is drawn for me despite the effectiveness.

  123. 123
    DLC

    You know, I once wondered if some of these cretins could be salvaged. But I haven’t got the energy to try these days. So, they get banned here as soon as they rear their ugly heads, and then nobody has to mess with them. Which is it’s own brand of not feeding the trolls, only more like metaphorically cutting their tongue out. A thing I approve of. Don’t give them an audience, encourage others to not give them an audience, and let them spew their crap on their own hunk of the Net. Just to be clear, I’m not saying ignore them, I’m saying that PZ’s policy of banning them at first sight is the right idea, and should be propagated throughout the community(ies).

  124. 124
    Inaji

    DLC:

    Don’t give them an audience, encourage others to not give them an audience, and let them spew their crap on their own hunk of the Net.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t help much in people being harassed for the great crime of being female on the ‘net.

  125. 125
    douglas1102

    @ DLC

    Of course they can be salvaged, why not? It sure sounds like you’re saying “ignore them” banning is a great way to ignore someone.

    Hate speech is best countered with better speech, when better speech fails censoring begins.

    However… I defiantly agree with it here, if I were PZ I’d be doing it the same way.

    @Caine No kidding… to ignore it on the inter-net is to allow yourself to be restricted and give up things like YT or Twitter. Besides, there’s poisonous idiocy being spread and it’s gaining momentum.

  126. 126
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    But where is the line drawn? I’d would genuinely like to know when the line is drawn it comes to responding to this sort of thing. Where does “assertively, even aggressively” end and bullying begin?

    Define to what you refer by ‘bullying’.

    Insulting their intelligence seems to work quite well, but personally… that’s where the line is drawn for me despite the effectiveness.

    If they understand you’re insulting their intelligence, then you’re doing it inexpertly; if you go out of your way to make it obvious, you’re doing it wrong.

  127. 127
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    Hate speech is best countered with better speech, when better speech fails censoring begins.

    Censoring?

    <snicker>

    (You do get this is PZ’s blog, right?

    Not being able to comment here doesn’t stop anyone from doing anything on any other part of cyberspace)

  128. 128
    douglas1102

    @ John Morales


    If they understand you’re insulting their intelligence, then you’re doing it inexpertly; if you go out of your way to make it obvious, you’re doing it wrong.

    Sound like wise words, can I have some elaboration? Do you mean like subtle ridicule? That can be really hard, especially with a bad audience.

  129. 129
    douglas1102

    @ John Morales

    Censoring?

    (You do get this is PZ’s blog, right?

    Not being able to comment here doesn’t stop anyone from doing anything on any other part of cyberspace)

    So I guess you’re doing it wrong? Is that really called for? All of a sudden ignoring seems like a good option.

  130. 130
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    As John pointed out, you don’t know what censorship is.

    Hint: a blogger denying someone right to post in blogger’s tiny little part of the web ain’t it

  131. 131
    John Morales

    douglas1102 @128, you need elaboration?

    Sure: Insulting your interlocutor’s intelligence for argumentative purposes is pointless; rather, it’s one’s little foible, and utterly irrelevant to the argument.

    @129: What?

    No, I’ve just noted PZ restricting or banning any commenter here is not censorship any more than it he had comments permanently disabled.

    (You’re making a “FREEZE PEACH” argument that doesn’t fly)

  132. 132
    Inaji

    Hate speech is best countered with better speech, when better speech fails censoring begins.

    Oh joy, frozen peaches.

    Meh.

  133. 133
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    douglas1102 @ 125

    when better speech fails censoring begins.

    Operating under the assumption that censorship in every situation is the most negative consequence imaginable, and the assumption that private entities owe a platform to everyone else, not to mention the assumption that banning isn’t itself better speech: e.g. PZed’s response to jerryc and subsequent banning. Do you have any reasoning behind these assumptions?

  134. 134
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @ John Morales, 126

    If they understand you’re insulting their intelligence, then you’re doing it inexpertly; if you go out of your way to make it obvious, you’re doing it wrong.

    I have **no** idea how it occurred, but on the only other board in which I’ve ever participated actively there arose a discussion about the flavor of human pee. Again, I have no memory of how it occurred or why people thought this was a great discussion for a mini-painting website (ReaperMinis, if you must know). But there were 2 people who were connected somehow – brothers or best friends or something – who were arrogant jerks. They said some things and other people stepped in and said, well, yes, it’s true that pure chemical X has flavor Y and chemical X is present in human pee, but human biochemistry has a ton of variation and it’s not as simple as you’re suggesting. They even pointed out that in many parts of the world, drinking pee is not at all rare, and that there wouldn’t likely be a cultural tradition if pee was as unpalatable as it was portrayed by the two arrogant jerks. The two jerks then ridiculed everyone else, and kept asserting that all the knowledge that others were bringing to the party was useless and that their knowledge was quite superior.

    I was sick and tired of both the conversation – really? aren’t there anthropology sites for discussing the non-sexual cultural traditions around pee drinking and rather specific sites for discussing the sexual cultural practices? This is really the best place for a discussion on a website that we hope appeals to not just adult gamers, but their families and children, and children whose parents aren’t gamers? – AND the behavior of the two jerks.

    So I pointed out to everyone else (didn’t even address the jerks) that the jerks kept asserting that they knew better than anyone the flavor of pee and maybe we should just all concede the argument to their expert opinion.

    The discussion quickly ended. The smarter ones in the crowd laughed quite a bit, as was related in person at a ReaperCon later.

  135. 135
    douglas1102

    @ Beatrice

    You guys are ridiclous… I said I support PZ’s decision, I’ve argued for it at length and my comments are not asking anything remotely to do with that. I’m not trying to make an argument PZ censors at all.

    If I said “moderate” would you quit the patronizing and respond to what I’m actually asking? Sheesh…

  136. 136
    No One

    #103
    Ophelia Benson

    <blockquote)
    … He said he didn’t mean to threaten me, just to insult my appearance. I told him insulting people’s appearance is also not ok. His reply to that seems to be genuine regret; I hope so.

    I don’t like this way of teaching bullies to be better though. I don’t want to be a target so that I can then convince one bully to stop bullying. It’s slow, it’s inefficient, and

    IT IS NOT FUN FOR ME.

    That was my take on it, he was insulting physical appearance.

    So jerry… in case you are lurking… Ophelia’s appearance was what she was born with… you on the other hand have allowed you character to get ugly… good news is that you can steps to correct it and become a better person than you are currently. If you have the courage to do it.

  137. 137
    No One

    And blockquote fail…

  138. 138
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    douglas1102,

    You are being very unclear. You talk about “bullying back” in positive light and censorship in negative, and then you say you actually meant neither of those things. So really, I have no idea what you are asking.

  139. 139
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    If I said “moderate” would you quit the patronizing and respond to what I’m actually asking? Sheesh…

    Define to what you refer by ‘bullying’ in my #126 was a response.

    (One you have ignored)

  140. 140
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You guys are ridiclous</blockquoteAnd you aren't? Unsupported OPINION on your part….

  141. 141
    DLC

    Caine @124 : It minimizes the amount of space they can befoul with their crap. If enough places ban them they will eventually be limited to their own hunk of internet to make noisome. Is it a perfect solution ? No.
    Does it make life any easier for those targeted ? Not much, but in time, if successful, it can help.
    Sorry if it sounded like it, but I was not attempting to suggest that banning be the only course of action. I should have actually said “One of the things I approve of is . . . ” or something.
    ==============================
    douglas1102 @125: Your concern is noted: Free Speech does not guarantee the right to an audience. You’ll note that I say “. . .and let them spew their crap on their own hunk of the Net. ” In no way is their freedom of speech endangered.
    Look at it this way: If a man comes to my house as a guest, and then insults my family, breaks my dishes and threatens to throw acid on someone’s face , they’re getting their ass kicked out of my house, even if it means I need to summon the police to do it.

  142. 142
    echidna

    Being hostile to individuals or groups people simply because they exist is reprehensible. Simply using imagery associated with attacks against the groups being targeted is acknowledged as being threatening in other contexts.

    The talk of acid in the face immediately brings all the imagery of women and girls in India and Pakistan who have had this done for having the temerity to, say, go to school, and is clearly move that is intended to silence people, especially women, who are considered to have got out of line.

    If someone’s idea of a joke is to punch down at a person or group, then I hope they consider carefully what their contribution actually is to society. Such “jokes” aren’t harmless fun, and they affect more people than the intended recipient.

  143. 143
    douglas1102

    @Nerd

    “You guys are ridiclous</blockquoteAnd you aren't? Unsupported OPINION on your part…."

    No kidding… of course it's opinion. And I did support it, but who cares? Are you asking me to take it back?

    @DLC

    " Your concern is noted: Free Speech does not guarantee the right to an audience."

    Where in the hell did I say that??? I argued on Matt's vid and others that exact case, where is this censorship argument coming from? Is it because I qualified a broad statement by clarifying that I support PZ's thread moderation just in case anyone misread me??? (That sure as hell didn't work)

    @ John Morales

    "Define to what you refer by ‘bullying’"

    Do you mean "define to what you are referring to as bullying?" 'Cause it sure sounds like you want me to bully. Ignored it??? Whaaa? You block-quoted my example AND responded to it and you block-quoted my question asking when the line is drawn.

    Are you reading this PZ? I'd really like to know how you would react had this been your first time on this blog 'cause so far I'd sooner wait 'till Mon. for the xian to come back to Aron's blog. Actually… that's what I'm gonna do, at least he didn't use lame patronage, he responded to my actual posts and he didn't try to put words in my mouth.

  144. 144
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    fee fees

  145. 145
    Ing

    do I have any ducks left to give? Nope all out. You’ll just have to go fuck yourself

  146. 146
    chigau (違う)

    Rev
    You understood that??

  147. 147
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    Leave those poor ducks alone.

  148. 148
    Ing

    AAutocorrect can luck my ads

  149. 149
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    “Define to what you refer by ‘bullying’”

    [1] Do you mean “define to what you are referring to as bullying?” [2] ‘Cause it sure sounds like you want me to bully. [3] Ignored it??? Whaaa? You block-quoted my example AND responded to it and you block-quoted my question asking when the line is drawn.

    1. Well yes, except I put it more succinctly.

    2. It does, does it?

    3. You’ve now responded to the comment, but not to the question.

    (Am I bullying you now?)

    Are you reading this PZ? I’d really like to know how you would react had this been your first time on this blog ’cause so far I’d sooner wait ’till Mon. for the xian to come back to Aron’s blog.

    Leaving aside your evident confusion, it does seem that Pharyngula ain’t for you.

  150. 150
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Caine

    People grasp rotten views all the fucking time. The reasons they do so are often a bit more complex than we like to think.

    I admit that the ‘it’s another way of feeling smarter than and hence superior to others’ part is somewhat inferential, but my statements about increasingly malignant levels of sexism and Randist WOLVERINES bullshit having a strong positive correlation don’t depend on any particular reason for holding those rotten views. Just that the greater the degree someone holds one set, the greater the degree to which they hold the other as well, IME.

  151. 151
    DLC

    you say, explicitly :

    Hate speech is best countered with better speech, when better speech fails censoring begins.

    Then you go on to say you agree with banning people who break the rules. You need to be more clear. What do you want ? I want to be rid of assholes who bleat out hatefilled crap simply because they dislike one person or class of people. They add nothing to the discussion and I really don’t feel like wasting my time on them any more than I have to. If you agreed with PZ’s rules on banning slymers, why even put the blockquoted portion out there ? it’s a massive non sequitur.

  152. 152
    csue

    I would like to point out that Mr. Ranum successfully scared a stalker (same slimy guy, actually) off both me AND a friend while we were at college together, so I think he understands them pretty well. :> Alas, sometimes all they DO understand is a bigger guy coming along and peeing on your leg. XD

  153. 153
    normolsen

    Yep, atheists can be jerks just like we all can. How about dropping the “A” and just going with the “+”. Oh wait … not that.

  154. 154
    John Morales

    [meta]

    PS Crip Dyke, a wonderful anecdote @134.

    (In this case, it was still irrelevant to the argument but very much not to the meta-argument!)

  155. 155
    Marcus Ranum

    I would like to point out that Mr. Ranum successfully scared a stalker (same slimy guy, actually) off both me AND a friend while we were at college together

    Purple Sue, is that you? Never expected to run into you here… Long time and hope you’re doing well, etc!

  156. 156
    robster

    These dickhead critics are really closet christians who are scared of you PZ, so they create a concocted drama to suggest that the freethinkers are bigots of some sort, lead by the biggest bigot, our own PZ. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black!

  157. 157
    PZ Myers

    No. They aren’t Christians. They’re atheists.

    That’s what makes me sick at heart.

  158. 158
    Inaji

    These dickhead

    We don’t use gendered slurs here and that goes for idiots and trolls too, Cupcake.

  159. 159
    douglas1102

    @ DLC

    Did you really just respond to me after I said I was done?

    I’m sorry but this is ridiculous… it’s polite to respond but just lemme get back to Aron’s blog,

    I thought I would get somewhere on PZ’s blog but it’s just not working and I know you agree… I am curious what PZ’s reaction would be but otherwise just lemme go, alright?

  160. 160
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I thought I would get somewhere on PZ’s blog but it’s just not working and I know you agree

    What made you think you had a point, pointless one? There’s your problem…

  161. 161
    Amphiox

    when better speech fails censoring begins.

    It isn’t censorship.

    PZ’s banning of the misogynist isn’t even a free speech issue at all.

    It is, if anything, a freedom of association issue. It is PZ exercising his freedom to decide, and control, who he wants to associate/interact with on his own personal blog.

  162. 162
    douglas1102

    @ Amphiox

    “It isn’t censorship.

    PZ’s banning of the misogynist isn’t even a free speech issue at all.

    It is, if anything, a freedom of association issue. It is PZ exercising his freedom to decide, and control, who he wants to associate/interact with on his own personal blog.”

    Oh come on… you’re just trolling me now >_>

    Exactly where the hell did I make that claim? Not to mention… I just responded to the exact same accusation where I point out that I make that argument and you can verify me making it right on Matt’s video over and over for months. You’re just trying to trap me in a silly semantic argument and it’s just plain stupid.

    I thought chasing someone away was a win??? Wtf keep dragging me back? What exactly are you trying to accomplish anyway?

    I’m just floored O.o I’ve really stepped through the looking glass.

  163. 163
    chigau (違う)

    Hey douglas1102!
    You really are not required to respond to anything!
     

    …I am curious what PZ’s reaction would be…

    Send him an email.
     

    just lemme go

    What’s stopping you?

  164. 164
    Marcus Ranum

    Did you really just respond to me after I said I was done?

    I think XKCD did a cartoon about that. “Someone didn’t give me the last word on the internet…” or something like that.

  165. 165
    douglas1102

    @ Chigau

    “Send him an e-mail”

    I’m pretty sure comment already does that, and I don’t actually care that much. Curious… but not that curious.

    “What’s stopping you?”

    Politeness… I consider responding to be polite.

    I’m also kinda curious what you hope to achieve with this comment.

  166. 166
    athyco

    ♦ Douglas misused “censor” when he meant “moderate” or “banhammer” or “banish to Thunderdome.”
    ♦ Douglas asked about the dividing line in assertive and/or aggressive answers versus bullying and gave an ambiguous example about insulting intelligence. He never made clear whether he thought insulting intelligence came before or after the line for bullying. He stated that he has been very effective at insulting someone’s intelligence.
    ♦ With apparent incredulity, Douglas appealed to PZ to…stand aghast (?) at what others were saying to/about him on this thread.
    ♦ Douglas thinks that answering him here after he has gone elsewhere irresistibly draws him back willy nilly.
    ♦ Douglas shouldn’t mind my comment because I didn’t speak to him, but about him.

    When I compare my concern for his treatment here with Ophelia’s treatment currently peaking with the Jerry Conlon tweet, I am utterly underwhelmed by my concern for him. I would contend that his pitching the little hissy on the very thread about that tweet compels the comparison.

    And, sometimes, circumstances allow John Morales to be a real hoot.

  167. 167
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh come on… you’re just trolling me now >_>

    That isn’t a cogent response to what was said. And you know that. You are trolling with you non-response.

  168. 168
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    [1] I thought chasing someone away was a win??? [2] Wtf keep dragging me back? [3] What exactly are you trying to accomplish anyway?

    1. What?

    Quite the contrary: trying to get you to attempt to engage the responses to your contentions would be a win.

    2. Because [1] is not the case, contrary to your conceit.

    3. Discuss stuff.

    (Why, what are you trying to accomplish?)

    I’ve really stepped through the looking glass.

    You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone

  169. 169
    Marcus Ranum

    Politeness… I consider responding to be polite.

    Wait here while I run set up a blog with an eliza chatbot you can dialogue endlessly with. This will be great entertainment! :D

  170. 170
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Douglas, the strongest statement you can make is “this is what I believe, and this (link) is the evidence to back that up”. Your sheer OPINION is *POOF*, dismissed as fuckwittery.

  171. 171
    chigau (違う)

    douglas1102
    Let me be sure I understand.
    As long as anyone responds to you, you will respond back?

  172. 172
    Inaji

    Wtf keep dragging me back?

    Sweetpea, did a mean Pharyngulite show up at your doorstep and tie string to your fingertips and drag it all the way back here?

    Twilight Zone indeed.

  173. 173
    douglas1102

    @ Athyco

    I agree with your points, thanks for clarifying. But you needn’t be concerned for me, I never asked for it.

    @ Nerd

    That was only part of my response and you would have to be trolling me because I obviously never made any such insinuation and that’s the second time I’ve been accused, that is not what my comments address at all.

  174. 174
    douglas1102

    @ Nerd

    “Douglas, the strongest statement you can make is “this is what I believe, and this (link) is the evidence to back that up”. Your sheer OPINION is *POOF*, dismissed as fuckwittery.”

    Thanks for the patronizing advice, but what is this opinion that I’m trying to pass as fact? Did you just throw that out there?

  175. 175
    douglas1102

    @ John Morales

    “(Why, what are you trying to accomplish?)”

    Well for one I’d like to discuss where drawing the line is… that’s one of the first things I posted before you started arguing about my imaginary censorship claims.

  176. 176
    athyco

    Then, Douglas, do as he first asked: Tell him what YOU think would be bullying.

    Remember, you agreed with my point:

    ♦ Douglas asked about the dividing line in assertive and/or aggressive answers versus bullying and gave an ambiguous example about insulting intelligence. He never made clear whether he thought insulting intelligence came before or after the line for bullying. He stated that he has been very effective at insulting someone’s intelligence.

  177. 177
    chigau (違う)

    douglas1102
    If you really plan to do this until the Monday resurrection on “Aron’s blog” learn this:
    if you type
    <blockquote>paste quoted text here</blockquote>
    this will result.

    paste quoted text here

    It will make your comments easier to read.
    It will not help you make sense.

  178. 178
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’ve been accused, that is not what my comments address at all.

    All you comments address nothing of substance. You are trolling when you accuse others of trolling you. Get over yourself. You are the stupidest one posting at the moment.

    but what is this opinion that I’m trying to pass as fact? Did you just throw that out there?

    See the above. You are confused, and I’m trying to get your thoughts focused. By using Evidence….

    Well for one I’d like to discuss where drawing the line is…

    What line? Be precise, and show evidence for what you mean….focus your thoughts, such as they are….

  179. 179
    douglas1102

    @ Caine

    “Sweetpea, did a mean Pharyngulite show up at your doorstep and tie string to your fingertips and drag it all the way back here?

    Twilight Zone indeed.”

    Not only that I think PZ may have slipped a pea under my mattress and it may have bruised me.

    *eyeroll*

    Good point though… now I know exactly how better to deal with on-line harassment.

  180. 180
    Inaji

    douglas1102!

    You are the one who waltzed in here, claiming that ‘bullying back’ was effective. There is no discussion of “lines” when you won’t answer a fucking question. Define bullying.

  181. 181
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    now I know exactly how better to deal with on-line harassment.

    Why are you harassing us online? You are doing so by being vague and imprecise, and avoiding clarifying questions that make you look like the idjit you are…

  182. 182
    douglas1102

    @ Cain

    Read athyco’s post

    “Douglas asked about the dividing line in assertive and/or aggressive answers versus bullying and gave an ambiguous example about insulting intelligence. He never made clear whether he thought insulting intelligence came before or after the line for bullying. He stated that he has been very effective at insulting someone’s intelligence.”

    He got it (mostly), why can’t you? (but I never said “he has been very effective at insulting someone’s intelligence.”, I said “insulting someone’s intelligence seems to be effective”)

    I’m asking when it tips over to bullying and I also said when I personally think so, “insulting someone’s intelligence”.

    Do you want a dictionary definition to decide where the line is crossed? If so, thanks for the input but I was hoping for something better than that.

  183. 183
    douglas1102

    @ Nerd

    I’m harassing you now? Puh-lease. I offered to leave, if that’s what you’d like then that would be fine by me.

    If anything I’m getting harassed after I said I was done and still getting replies, it would be really petty, but a better claim than you’ve got.

  184. 184
    chigau (違う)

    douglas1102
    You are not getting more articulate as it gets later.
    Use blockquotes.

  185. 185
    douglas1102

    @ chigau

    Tyvm for taking the time to let me know how to block-quote properly , I sincerely appreciate it.

    But I’ve really no idea what’s up with the sarcasm.

  186. 186
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Douglas:
    You cannot decide where to draw any line as long as you refuse to define what you think bullying means.

  187. 187
    douglas1102

    Several now have asked the exact same question so this is a group response.

    What do I consider bullying?

    I offered an example, “insulting someone’s intelligence” it’s right there in one of my first comments before being asked by several people often several times.

    Can we discuss that now?

  188. 188
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    Do you want a dictionary definition to decide where the line is crossed?

    Well, this may not be a dictionary definition, but it works for me: “Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour enabled by a power imbalance which is intended to hurt another person for the satisfaction of the aggressor”.

    Can we discuss that now?

    Are you being bullied yet? :)

    * Leaving aside the blog post author.

  189. 189
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Do you want a dictionary definition to decide where the line is crossed?

    Put out a definition, or shut the fuck up. That is the difference between you discussing and venting. You actually make an effort to be wrong.

    I offered to leave, if that’s what you’d like then that would be fine by me.

    You can leave as far as I am concerned. You aren’t discussing anything. You are harassing us by not defining your terms, and forwarding your argument. Which means you have nothing to say. So, the best way to say that is to shut the fuck up.

    I offered an example, “insulting someone’s intelligence”

    Why? What criteria do you us to make that decision. Cite something…

  190. 190
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Can we discuss that now?

    Forward your point. There isn’t anything to discuss. For example, more examples.

    And insulting your intelligence isn’t bullying. It is a statement of fact. Or you would have finished your discussion by now….

  191. 191
    Inaji

    Do you want a dictionary definition to decide where the line is crossed?

    Jesus fucking Christ. One more time: You are the one who waltzed in here, claiming that ‘bullying back’ was effective. You provide your definition of bullying. A 3rd grader could do better than you’re doing right now. It’s a simple fucking question, just answer it already. Either that, or go away.

  192. 192
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    What do I consider bullying?

    I offered an example, “insulting someone’s intelligence” it’s right there in one of my first comments before being asked by several people often several times.

    An example is not a definition. Do you think insulting someone’s intelligence is always bullying? Are there bullying and non-bullying forms of insulting intelligence, or is it per se bullying regardless of context? Also, you assert insulting intelligence is bullying, but you forgot to explain your reasoning. Oops. Hop to it.

    Can we discuss that now?

    You can. I won’t indulge your derail any further. Do you want to discuss the OP maybe? Did you read it? I am in a fucking bad mood. After reading the couple of threads at Ophelia’s on Vacula and Conlon, I am too pissed to deal with douglas’s wanking.

  193. 193
    Inaji

    I offered an example, “insulting someone’s intelligence”

    That is not an example. An example would include specifics. So, if I say you’re a fuckwit (and so far, the evidence is leaning my way), will you consider yourself bullied and go away?

  194. 194
    chigau (違う)

    “insulting someone’s intelligence” is a poor definition of bullying.
    “Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour enabled by a power imbalance which is intended to hurt another person for the satisfaction of the aggressor.” is a good definition of bullying.
    Which shall we use?

  195. 195
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Politeness… I consider responding to be polite.

    And this is stupid as fuck.

    If your responses are shit, then it is more polite NOT to respond.

  196. 196
    douglas1102

    @ John

    “Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour enabled by a power imbalance which is intended to hurt another person for the satisfaction of the aggressor”

    Ahhh… finally, tyvm. =)

    So do you think insutling someone’s intelligence should count in your definition? I think it most often certainly does but I also think it’s fair game and effective depending on the circumstance. And is it an effective way to combat hate-speech that should be used on say, Youtube?

    And thanks again for the bock-quote info Chigau, I think I’ve got it.

  197. 197
    douglas1102

    @ Cain

    That is not an example. An example would include specifics. So, if I say you’re a fuckwit (and so far, the evidence is leaning my way), will you consider yourself bullied and go away? <blockquote cite="

    I'm trying to establish specifics.

    Are you trying to bully me into going away? I try not to respond to bullying so it might have the opposite effect.

  198. 198
    douglas1102

    Lol… !@#$ I guess I haven’t got the block-quotes down.

  199. 199
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Haven’t figured out the substance bit either.

  200. 200
    douglas1102

    @ Chigau

    “insulting someone’s intelligence” is a poor definition of bullying

    Obviously I offered that as an example and not a definition… I find it hard to believe you didn’t read it as such because I specifically said “here’s an example” and that’s been quoted several times.

  201. 201
    chigau (違う)

    douglas1102
    What do you think “insulting someone’s intelligence” means?

  202. 202
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    So do you think insutling someone’s intelligence should count in your definition?

    That’s the point; it’s not a matter of opinion, given a specific definition.

    If the particular instantiation of insulting of someone’s intelligence constitutes repeated aggressive behaviour enabled by a power imbalance which is intended to hurt another person for the satisfaction of the aggressor, then clearly yes.

    (And conversely, by implication, no)

  203. 203
    douglas1102

    @ Woo

    And this is stupid as fuck.

    If your responses are shit, then it is more polite NOT to respond.

    Sounds like arrogance to me and that’s hardly polite, unless by “shit” you mean deliberately trying to annoy. I’m happy to respond to a stupid response as long as it’s sincere. Like I say, I consider it polite.

  204. 204
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Psst, Chigau was using more of that sarcasm stuff.

    Anyways, if someone answers your question, then will you go back to your usual activities (feeling superior to xtians), and stop making this thread about you and your understanding of what bullying entails?

    So do you think insutling someone’s intelligence should count in your definition?

    Use your brain, matey, don’t be so lazy. If the insulting of someone’s intelligence takes the form of repeated aggressive behaviour enabled by a power imbalance which is intended to hurt another person for the satisfaction of the aggressor, then it would count as bullying under John’s definition.

  205. 205
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Like I say, I consider it polite.

    Regardless of what you consider to be polite, I am telling you that I do not find it polite when people are talking shit. Even if someone addressed you, if your response is nothing but evidence-free assertions and whining, then you are not being polite.

  206. 206
    douglas1102

    @ Chigau

    What do you think “insulting someone’s intelligence” means?

    Well, what I’m trying to get at is making bigots feel stupid but I’m not sure “insulting one’s intelligence” is the best wording.

    It’s usually used to mean expecting someone to believe something they would have to very stupid to believe, however that’s not what I’m getting at.

    Where are you going with this?

  207. 207
    douglas1102

    @ Woo

    if your response is nothing but evidence-free assertions and whining, then you are not being polite.

    I would only agree if they were knowingly being dishonest, I’m happy to give genuine ignorance a pass.

  208. 208
    Inaji

    Woo_Monster, it would seem the fuckwit feels that non-stop posting, off-topic no less, is a heroic thing to do, in a splendidly passive aggressive way, by putting the onus on us (if you stop talking about me, I’ll go away! Nyah!). Some people.

    *sigh*

  209. 209
    chigau (違う)

    If “insulting someone’s intelligence” is “usually used to mean expecting someone to believe something they would have to very stupid to believe” why the fuck are you using it to mean something entirely different here?
    meh
    I’m going to watch sumo.

  210. 210
    athyco

    Since King Crocoduck dropped a link in the “Matt Dillahunty being all reasonable” thread, I’ve been–as my gorge permits–watching some of the vids made by fans of Tf00t and Vacula. One was about gun control. The guy said that it was FAR more likely that one would be killed in a traffic accident than by firearms.

    When I engaged him in comments, he got more specific: Didn’t I know that 40,000 people in the U.S. were killed by cars each year?!? I was a THOUSAND TIMES more likely to die in a car crash than be killed by a gun.

    With the evidence he handed me, I insulted his intelligence. I don’t consider that to be bullying in the least.

  211. 211
    Inaji

    Chigau:

    meh
    I’m going to watch sumo.

    Yeah, I’m with you. Except instead of sumo, I’m going to snuggle up with Jim Hines. Er, one of his books I just downloaded to my nook.

  212. 212
    chigau (違う)

    G’night Caine.

  213. 213
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I would only agree if they were knowingly being dishonest, I’m happy to give genuine ignorance a pass.

    Am I being unclear, or are you just not getting what I am saying? You said that you think it is polite to respond to comments addressed to you. You said this to explain why you were still here in this thread. My point is that, despite the fact that you may think it polite to respond to comments addressed to you, depending on the way in which YOU respond, you may not be being polite at all. If YOUR comments (responses) are worthless, then it is NOT POLITE to waste everyone’s time by posting them. How much do I have to spell it out? Your responses have been shitty, so if you made them with the goal of being polite in mind, you have failed.
    ***

    Well, what I’m trying to get at is making bigots feel stupid but I’m not sure “insulting one’s intelligence” is the best wording.

    Wait, what? This is what you are really trying to get at? Your point is that it is bullying to make “bigots feel stupid”?

    How do you think bigots should feel about their bigotry? Do you not think bigotry is stupid?
    ***

    I’m going to watch sumo.

    Yeah, I’m with you. Except instead of sumo…

    Don’t leave me behind with Mr. Don’t Make Bigots Feel Stupid! I’m off to spelunk virtual caves.

    Mr. Don’t Make Bigots Feel Stupid, I hope you consider my lack of further responses to you to be intentionally impolite.

  214. 214
    Inaji

    G’night Chigau.

    Woo_Monster, have fun in those caves!

    Goblin Quest, here I come.

  215. 215
    ck

    Gosh, athyco, it’s almost like we should have safety regulations, registration, and laws and restrictions on the operation of motor vehicles. Wait… That was supposed to be an argument against gun ownership restrictions?

  216. 216
    douglas1102

    @ Chigau

    why the fuck are you using it to mean something entirely different here?

    I’m not, and I clarified ” I’m not sure “insulting one’s intelligence” is the best wording.”

    @ Woo

    (feeling superior to xtians)

    Yea right, obviously you checked my comments on Aron’s blog so you know that I made it clear that I don’t feel superior. As matter of fact I said “I wish people would attack xians for being jerks and not for being stupid.” I deride no pleasure making others feel stupid, it’s petty and is pretty much what Youtube atheism is about.

    I’m surprised how long it takes most atheists to realize atheism isn’t enough, I don’t think I’ve ever thought that way.

  217. 217
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    G’night all.

  218. 218
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Last comment, promise, I just had to point and laugh at douglas’ shooting himself in the foot.

    Yea right, obviously you checked my comments on Aron’s blog so you know that I made it clear that I don’t feel superior.

    Two sentences latter…

    I’m surprised how long it takes most atheists to realize atheism isn’t enough, I don’t think I’ve ever thought that way.

    Nope, no feelings of superiority to see here.

    *points and laughs* (and then logs off FTB).

  219. 219
    athyco

    Yeah, ckitching. And he was a bit outraged that when I asked him about that. You see, his gun was licensed, and he had taken a voluntary hunting course after his purchase of a semiautomatic handgun and hollow point bullets.

    It was almost four minutes of jacking and handling and describing that gun. He’d never fired it “in anger,” but he protected his home by jacking a round in the chamber, and the distinctive sound was enough. The last 45 seconds was about cars being more dangerous.

    I don’t know how he felt about my question on a gun safe. Or homeowner’s insurance rates. Or the possibility of violating his lease/association rules. He never answered.

  220. 220
    douglas1102

    @ Woo

    If YOUR comments (responses) are worthless, then it is NOT POLITE to waste everyone’s time by posting them. How much do I have to spell it out? Your responses have been shitty, so if you made them with the goal of being polite in mind, you have failed.

    Thanks for the opinion.

    Your point is that it is bullying to make “bigots feel stupid”?

    There’s no way you could think that’s what I meant. However, I think a line could be crossed to where it could be. I asked in one of my first posts “Where is the line drawn?” and I think John’s answer was helpful.

    I’m also asking others if they find it effective and if it’s a worthwhile strategy. If not, then what is?

  221. 221
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Sounds like arrogance to me and that’s hardly polite, unless by “shit” you mean deliberately trying to annoy.

    Isn’t that what you are doing? Pot, kettle, black.

    I would only agree if they were knowingly being dishonest, I’m happy to give genuine ignorance a pass.

    We don’t give arrogant ignorance a pass. We call it out, like with your shit from a person who isn’t thinking very well tonight. You want to discuss, you discuss. You don’t make an idiotic statement and tell us to “discuss”, and expect us to dance to your tune. That is your arrogance and ignorance showing.

    Got the Redhead to bed, and now myself. ‘Night all.

  222. 222
    douglas1102

    Last comment, promise, I just had to point and laugh at douglas’ shooting himself in the foot.

    Yup, good point. However that hardly means that I feel superior, that just means that I worded that horribly. I hope you’re not seriously saying that I gave my alleged need to feel superior to xians away.

  223. 223
    harvardmba

    “That’s my great disappointment. I’d once thought that atheism was a good first step on the path to living a rational, tolerant life. Clearly it’s not. That’s been demonstrated to me on a daily basis for the last couple of years. I was wrong. Atheism is not enough.”

    Gee — what a surprise. I posted that here recently, that the bar for entry in this atheism thing is as low as it gets. Namely, the only requirement is not believing in god. That explains two things:

    1. Why atheism will never be a meaningful movement for anything other than not believing in god.
    2. Why there more shitsacks in this faux-movement, as compared to more focused groups.

    Good luck PZ. There’s more assholes and moral degenerates on this board than most others I’ve read. You’ll be making these same responses to scumbags (such as the one threatening acid in the face) when you’re old, gray and near the end.

  224. 224
    douglas1102

    @ Nerd

    For someone constantly pointing out that you don’t care about opinion you certainly seem to like to offer people your own.

  225. 225
    omnicrom

    Douglas1102

    The reason that Nerd was deriding your opinions is that your opinions have so far shit. You have been weird and vague and annoying and dense through this entire thread. You have tone trolled when people called you on being weird and vague and annoying and dense. You are still being weird and vague and annoying and dense even now.

    Want people to stop being rude to you for being weird and vague and annoying and dense? Stop being weird and vague and annoying and dense. What are you trying to say? Why do you say this? Keep it as clear as you conceivably can because I can barely understand what you could possibly be trying to communicate. You say Woo_Monster misrepresents you? Well considering how weird and vague and annoying and dense you are how could we possibly tell?

  226. 226
    CJ Anton

    Of course atheism is not enough. Religion doesn’t cause misogyny. I think it might be more accurate to say that misogyny causes religion. Certainly it exists outside of religion. As far as I can see, any organization, movement, or other collection of people in which males predominate will be hostile to women.

  227. 227
    douglas1102

    G’night all.

    If ya have a suggestion on how to combat the crap Pz is talking about and the bigotry on-line please lemme know… all I’ve got so far is to “ignore it” but I don’t consider that an option.

    Thanks anyway though.

    And PZ, I sincerely expected a better discussion after reading the comments on your blog and I find it hard to believe you think that’s what I received. But… I did get some useful advice so thanks again. Maybe another time will work out better =)

    @ Omnicrom

    Well considering how weird and vague and annoying and dense you are how could we possibly tell?

    See what I mean? How is that helpful?

    I really don’t care about the “rudeness”, although I’m disappointed that seems to be a goal and included in every single response. Perhaps if you didn’t sidetrack me with stupid accusations that I have a problem with PZ’s moderation and make repeated demands for “defintions” over and over again no matter how many times I respond I could focus on being “less vague”. The “censorship” accusations really floored me and I think it’s VERY obvious I never made such claims, even after I clarified my view on that matter and offered evidence that I’ve never held that view I still I get semantic games telling me what I supposedly really mean. I don’t blame you for being defensive considering the crap Tf00t is pulling but this is ridiculous.

    And just to remind you of what that goal is, here it is again… (if any of you must have the last word at least respond to this.)

    I’d like to figure out effective ways to combat this crap on-line.

    Thanks again and g’night =)

  228. 228
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    I really don’t care about the “rudeness”, although I’m disappointed that seems to be a goal and included in every single response.

    To be disappointed by something you about which you purportedly don’t care is nonsensical, and therefore to make that claim is an indication either of intellectual dishonesty or obtuseness.

  229. 229
    katansi

    Then again maybe in light of shit like this it’s a good thing I can’t afford atheist events.

  230. 230
    athyco

    I went to the pit because someone said Jerry Conlon made a “took one for the team” good-bye post. I find no evidence for it; On New Year’s Eve, however, he’d put “Opehie” first on a “Top Five” list called for by Reap Paden. They’re mostly calling him a dumbfuck for giving Ophelia what she had “baited” someone to do. His tweet and her post about the Bolshoi acid attack are equivalent, however. Then, they have a screen shot of Conlon doing an disingenuous protestation that he meant “alpha hydroxy” for exfoliation.

    *sigh* CommanderTuvok was dismissive, looking for the next venue:

    I reckon Jerry Conlon is a fake account set up by one of the Baboon supporters. I wouldn’t put it past them.

    This is why I have said that if a forum outside of their control opens up, and it is possible to engage and respond with the Baboons – DO IT. Hit the boards and give them hell. Make them scarper back to the safety of their Baboon cages. Make them get a sense of reality – that the atheist and skeptic communities despise them.

    I think we need a support day for Ophelia. No references to anyone else to be considered “baiting.” Reference her writing, her speeches, tell her funny stories about dogs at the beach. There’ll be more such comments by me from now on, that’s for sure.

  231. 231
    John Morales

    athyco:

    I think we need a support day for Ophelia.

    I’ve been reading Ophelia for around 10 years; right at the beginning, I sent an email of support*, and I’ve yet to rescind my opinion.

    I still support her.

    * I was impressed. This well before she had any association with PZ or FTB.

    (I remain impressed)

  232. 232
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    <blockquote.I disagree with the idea of becoming a bully back.

    However, reacting assertively, even aggressively, to racist, misogynist, bigoted, and other prejudicial language is an effective tactic. To the bully-er, it may appear to be bullying — for victims to refuse to be cowed, to refuse to be silenced, can, on occasion, change a mind. I’m not going to go to their (whoever they happen to be) and abuse them, but when they come here,they are fair game.

    I wish it happened more often, though.

    That’s what Douglas is advocating. It’s just that the Worthless Piece of Rat Shit types have managed to move the Overton Window so badly and gerrymander the basic rules of Decency and Civility so badly that

    reacting assertively, even aggressively, to racist, misogynist, bigoted, and other prejudicial language

    is equated with “bullying back” not just with the active Worthless Piece of Rat Shit types but the passive Worthless Piece of Rat Shit types and also the marginally more excusable spectators.

  233. 233
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Douglas, I’ve read to 150 and if this conflict is still going it sounds like you may well basically agree with us but have made an unfortunate mistake of phrasing and aroused the horde’s ire based on pattern-matching errors…and then reflexively Gotten Defensive. If so, best strategy is to go limp.

    *continues reading*

  234. 234
    omnicrom

    See what I mean? How is that helpful?

    Because I explained what I saw is the reason behind the hostility you were getting. You are being maddeningly vague. When people ask you for “definitions” the correct response is not to whine but to define what the words people don’t understand mean. When people get confused about what you’re saying and why you’re saying it you should take a step back and try to rephrase what you’re saying. When you get defensive and sarcastic and start tone trolling you dig yourself deeper.

    If the question you were always asking is “How do we combat this vileness offline as well as online” then that should have been what you said. When people completely failed to understand what you said you should have apologized for failing to get your point across and said something like “My question is how do we combat this vileness offline as well as online?” That’s a real question, but when you spend post after post after post being defensive and sarcastic instead of asking that question you do yourself no favors. When about half a dozen people all say they don’t understand what you’re saying perhaps the onus for the miscommunication is on you.

  235. 235
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    ….or, perhaps I’m just a pathological optimist. That’s good too.

  236. 236
    athyco

    Azkyroth, I hope you find “pathological optimist” funny when you’re sober. Optimism caused by disease–are you contagious? :D

  237. 237
    douglas1102

    @ John Morales

    To be disappointed by something you about which you purportedly don’t care is nonsensical, and therefore to make that claim is an indication either of intellectual dishonesty or obtuseness.

    (Purportedly??? Really? You really think lame ass insults get to me?)

    That’s just stupid, irrelevant, nonsense.

    Obviously someone can not care about insults thrown at them and still be disappointed that they’re being used. Lemme spell it out for you seein’ as you guys have so much trouble “comprehending”. I don’t care if you insult me, but I’m disappointed that you want to comment for no other reason than to insult. Did you get it that time or do I need to be even “less vague”?

    What are you trying to accomplish anyway?

    This is just a pointless waste of time.

  238. 238
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Well, I habitually project my own history fundamentally well-meaning but either blinked and self-centered or 99 and 47/100 Percent Pure fumbling onto other people who seem to be getting a tough break without being hyper-obviously enemies. Doesn’t that fit?

  239. 239
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    “History of”, “blinkred….blionkir….FUCKING HELL

  240. 240
    John Morales

    douglas1102:

    (Purportedly??? Really? You really think lame ass insults get to me?)

    That’s just stupid, irrelevant, nonsense.

    I don’t need to resort to lame-ass insults when stating the obvious suffices.

    Obviously someone can not care about insults thrown at them and still be disappointed that they’re being used.

    You’re funny; disappointment requires caring.

    What are you trying to accomplish anyway?

    To correct wrongness on the internet.

    This is just a pointless waste of time.

    As opposed to a pointed waste of time, I guess. :)

  241. 241
    douglas1102

    @ Azkyroth

    Wait, someone actually made a relevant post and didn’t make up bullshit I never even hinted at? And there wasn’t even any lame-ass self-deluding, self-gratifying, condescension?

    I’m sorry but it’s too late…this is the stupidest thread I’ve ever been involved in and that includes Tf00l vids on Youtube,

    I really expected more from a PZ meyers blog but now I’d sooner go back to Youtube and actually do something rather than hang about any longer in this cesspool.

    @ Omnicron

    When you get defensive and sarcastic and start tone trolling you dig yourself deeper.

    I don’t care about your idiotic opinion and you can shove your “tone trolling” accusation right up your ass with the rest of the nonsense you posted, if you don’t want sarcasm and defensiveness then don’t ask for it by being obtuse morons and don’t offer it to me first. And do you really think I care??? What exactly have you deluded yourself into thinking you can offer me??? Idiotic arguments about how it’s impossible to not care about being insulted personally yet still be disappointed people make insults? Really??? Wtf kind of irrelevant pseudo-intellectual crap is this anyway?

    All I’ve gotten here is the advice to “ignore it” and if that’s advice or even a respectable position around here then there’s something seriously wrong and I’ll have no part of it.

    Good luck with whatever the fuck it is you think your going to accomplish (and thanks for the block-quote info at least this wasn’t a total loss)

  242. 242
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I see douglas still can’t keep his points straight.

    this is the stupidest thread I’ve ever been involved in

    Not quite the stupidest, but close enough. I bet we disagree on the main source of stupidity, though.

  243. 243
    tigtog

    douglas1102, I’ve just read this whole thread because it’s late on a Sunday night here and I’ve been most of the weekend away from the blogosphere.

    You accuse the readers here of being obtuse for claiming to not understand the arguments you are presenting. Are you open, at all, to the possibility that you actually have simply not been as clear as you might have liked to be?

    I’ve tried to follow your argument, I really have, and I still find it incoherent. I think that’s at least potentially a shame, because I don’t think you’re necessarily malicious, but if you think your argumentation here has been compelling, or even clearly laid out, then I have bad news for you – you’re simply wrong.

  244. 244
    douglas1102

    @ tigtog

    Well fuck you very much for your stupid opinion.

    If you did read the posts which you clearly did not, then you must have seen my last comment and what I concluded.

    I’ll consider answering your question if you can be bothered to answer one from my previous comment, feel free to choose which one.

  245. 245
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    I really expected more from a PZ meyers blog but now I’d sooner go back to Youtube and actually do something rather than hang about any longer in this cesspool.

    And there’s a tell. Why do all the trolls misspell his name like that?

    And I’ve just finished reading all the comments and I have no idea still what doug1102 was trying to get at.
    And I can’t think of anyone here who suggests that ‘ignoring the trolls’ is an effective tactic. In fact I believe there was a link early in the comments as to why it isn’t. Give reasons. Give evidence. If you only give opinion, and then whine that nobody can understand you then you really aren’t going to be received well here.

  246. 246
    athyco

    douglas1102, In this comment I am not going to insult you.

    When you commented on Matt’s video and Aron’s blog, there were comments there for you to argue with, yes? It was clear that you were agreeing with Matt and with Aron. Others commenting could identify where your agreement stood. When you arrived here, that was not the case. You began by quoting a slur-filled comment that you’d gotten elsewhere. You then told us that

    people need to start calling out this crap more ’cause mark my words one of these loons is gonna go further at some point.

    (1) We do not tolerate slurs here. Why were you subjecting us to them rather than saying something like, “I’ve gotten slur-filled arguments elsewhere”? That indicated that you did not know this environment.
    (2) “People need to” and “mark my words” say, to a group of people you obviously don’t know, that we need to heed this IMPORTANT STUFF from you. Given the topic of the OP and the fact that you obviously had not read the preceding 114 comments (or lurked elsewhere on contentious threads), we were alerted.

    Who are you? Are you clumsily trying to join us? Why have you not referenced the OP or any of the comments before yours? Are you setting us up for some “gotcha”? I’m sorry you don’t know we have the right to eye you askance, but the burden is on you to avoid it. LURK MOAR, as the saying goes.

    I suspect this prolly won’t win me any friends here but…

    That’s the way you start your next comment. Azkyroth called it in #233: you continue to make errors in a pattern that we match. You’re setting up the conflict with no reference to ANYTHING we’ve said and doing it in a joshin’, aw shucks manner so we’re still guessing.

    …my experience dealing with “real racists” is that bullying them right back actually works to the point of often changing their view. I even got a couple of Thunderthugs to actually post that he was wrong on harassment policies.

    These guys are group-think cowards and they respond (seemingly only) to intimidation, why do you think you never really hear this crap other than anonymously?

    “real racists”?? And if Thunderthugs admitted that Tf00t was wrong on harassment policies, you may have used insults and profanity, but you convinced them with evidence, not opinion. We’re again alerted that you call this “bullying them right back” because what you describe is what we do here–and we do not think it’s bullying. Finally, your question about their anonymity? The topic of this very thread is about a vile tweet that was not sent anonymously.

    With all that stacked against you, you said “censor,” which is the erroneous battlecry of the YouTube crowd against FTB. Finally, you have “Gotten Defensive” (Azkyroth @233 again) in virtually every post since then.

    If you can’t see any of this, I wish you good-bye and good fortune in become a valued commenter for Matt and Aron.

  247. 247
    douglas1102

    @ Aria

    Comment 21 and comment 123,

    Sure he says in comment 123 “I’m not saying ignore them” but that’s clearly what he says anyway.

    That sure didn’t take long and I bet I can find more.

  248. 248
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    That sure didn’t take long and I bet I can find more.

    Make sure to find comments telling juliewms (who made comment #21) how wrong she is. I think you won’t have much trouble with it since there are at least a dozen.

  249. 249
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Okay, you guys can be all charitable and shit but personally I see no reason to. Seriously this sentence alone from douglas1102 pisses me right the fuck off.

    I’m sorry but it’s too late…this is the stupidest thread I’ve ever been involved in and that includes Tf00l vids on Youtube,

    So you think the threads of youtubers being stupid, bigoted, racist and sexist assholes praising TFoot for being a stupid, bigoted, racist, sexist asshole is BETTER or SMARTER than this thread?

    Really?

    If you said this thread is more pointless, I would have agreed because it’s now all about your stupidity.

    But stupidest? Stupider than TFoot’s videos where he rails against harassment policies and spouts pro-gun lies?

    Really?
    This thread is at best about your misunderstanding and sloppy choice of words. Yet it’s worse than TFoot saying harassment policies targets and prohibits consensual acts and flirting?

    Fuck you for that, you stupid asshole.

  250. 250
    Lofty

    douglas1102, if you are such a genius and no-one here can see it, why are you not commenting where people swoon at your feet for your incisive and erudite commentary?
    BTW I think you are a fuckwit, but that’s just me.

  251. 251
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    For someone constantly pointing out that you don’t care about opinion you certainly seem to like to offer people your own.

    Who cares about YOUR OPIONION if you can’t/won’t express it clearly, concisely, and forward your argument. Making meaningless statements is your idea of expressing your OPINION.

  252. 252
    tigtog

    Douglas #244,

    I’ll consider answering your question if you can be bothered to answer one from my previous comment, feel free to choose which one.

    This comment of yours is an exemplar of how you obviously think that you’re being totally clear but what you are arguing actually doesn’t follow at all. Here are all the questions you asked in your comment immediately previous to #244, which was at #241 (non-questions have been snipped)

    @ Azkyroth

    Wait, someone actually made a relevant post and didn’t make up bullshit I never even hinted at? And there wasn’t even any lame-ass self-deluding, self-gratifying, condescension?

    [...]

    @ Omnicron

    [...]And do you really think I care???
    What exactly have you deluded yourself into thinking you can offer me???
    Idiotic arguments about how it’s impossible to not care about being insulted personally yet still be disappointed people make insults?
    Really???
    Wtf kind of irrelevant pseudo-intellectual crap is this anyway?

    [...]

    So you’re asking me to answer questions you explicity directed at Azkyroth (2) and Omicron (5)? About their intentions?

    How can I possibly do that?

    Maybe you meant to point me to a different comment of yours which contained questions that it might be possible for me to answer, but if so you just were not clear enough about which comment you meant. This has been a repeated pattern of yours on this thread – you assume that others know exactly what you mean without giving them adequate information to determine relevant context and background, and then you accuse them of being obtuse.

  253. 253
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That sure didn’t take long and I bet I can find more.

    Find what? There is no context to your statement, no quotes, etc. Nothing but irrational blather.

    I’d like to figure out effective ways to combat this crap on-line.

    What on-line crap. More blather making what you say unintelligible. That is why I asked you early on to do “this is what I think, and this (link) is the evidence to back it up”. In other words, you have a solid proposition you are putting out for discussion. Not a vague fuckwitted idea, and you expect us to take it from there. Until you do so, your posts are ridiculous jumbles of non-sequitors.

  254. 254
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    @doug

    And did you read the responses to 21 where multiple people told that poster that that was not a good method?

    Or are you cherrypicking?

    OK, I could have more clearly stated. I can’t think of any regulars here that would state that ignoring them is a methodology.

    Banning isn’t quite the same as ignoring. After all, it doesn’t leave the troll free to litter the forum with their gibberish.

  255. 255
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ariaflame,

    Banning isn’t quite the same as ignoring. After all, it doesn’t leave the troll free to litter the forum with their gibberish.

    Yes, it’s quite different actually.
    Ignoring can send the offender a message that his writings are ok and that people find no problems with them. Any lurkers that are hurt by the message see no one standing up for them and can also understand that as implicit approval.

    Banning might make the banned individual feel like a slighted hero, but it will send a clear message that that kind of talk will not be tolerated in the particular community/blog/forum. It sends a positive message to those victimized or caught in splash damage of the vile comments.

  256. 256
    douglas1102

    @ Lofty

    I never claimed to be a genius, not even remotely.

    @Athyco

    You seem sincere and there’s just too many people responding to me so I’m just going to respond to you.

    Would you prefer to PM or to discuss right here? It’s up to you.

  257. 257
    athyco

    Make sure you want to. I’m going to call you on things like damning me with the faint praise “You seem sincere” if you do. You see, as you damn me with faint praise, you imply that everyone else doesn’t even “seem” sincere. I’m not going to get cut out of the Horde. We are sincere.

    So, right here.

  258. 258
    tigtog

    This blog does not run on the sort of software which allows PMs between commentors. FYI.

  259. 259
    douglas1102

    @ Tigtog.

    Sry but I’ll get back to you after Athyco, and I’m sorry I snapped at you. I lost my patience and it shouldn’t have been directed at you.

  260. 260
    tigtog

    My #258 was in response to douglas1102′s #256, just in case that wasn’t clear.

  261. 261
    Matt Penfold

    Well I’ve read this comments here and I still have no idea what Dougie is arguing the toss about. I suspect that is because he does not know himself.

  262. 262
    tigtog

    No rush on my end, douglas1102. It’s after midnight here and my bed is calling. Take your time responding to others.

  263. 263
    douglas1102

    @ Athyco

    All right, here.

    But I’m going to ignore everyone else.

    And please, lets keep points really short. The only thing I’m confident that I understand from your long post is that slurs aren’t tolerated even when quoted and if that is the case then I apologize for that.

    You go first, offer me a short point or question and I’ll respond, I’m sorry if you have to repeat something from your long post.

  264. 264
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dougie, try some structure:

    All in one post
    Paragraph that defines the problem you want to discuss.
    Paragraph that defines the terms in reasonable fashion for the discussion.
    Paragraph that explains your opinion, with links to evidence where possible.
    Paragraph that shows how your ideas work with real world examples.
    Paragraph summing up the above.

  265. 265
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But I’m going to ignore everyone else.

    Huh?

  266. 266
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    athyco,

    You must feel so honored!

  267. 267
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But I’m going to ignore everyone else.

    We won’t ignore you, making sure you lose the battle for the lurkers.

  268. 268
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Ogvorbis,

    Huh?

    Pretty much my reaction to douglas.

  269. 269
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Pretty much my reaction to douglas.

    Weird thing is, when Douglas first showed up, I politely disagreed, he seemed to agree with my rephrasing, and then what the fuck happened? So, yeah, “huh?” pretty much sums up this thread.

  270. 270
    chigau (違う)

    Hey!
    Did you know that Harvard grants MBA degrees?

  271. 271
    athyco

    Sorry. Coffee.

    I’ll tell you first what I surmise. You have had successes arguing with YouTube commenters and creationists; you know that they express ire about Pharyngula. You came to join forces with us. Based on your previous successes, you expected open arms, congratulations, and calls for your advice/examples of your techniques. It won’t happen until we recognize that you are aware of our “house rules.”

    This is a rude blog, but comments must have clear statements and advance the discussion. The discussion should focus first upon the OP. It does diverge, as it has in this case, but a first comment that diverges is suspect.

    If you want to be a part of it, you must first drop the defensiveness. What do you want to achieve here?

  272. 272
    athyco

    Ogvorbis is right about the “huh?” moment, BTW. In your first comment actually referencing someone here, you agreed as if to springboard right back into whatever you had preconceived the conversation should be. It struck as a non sequitur.

  273. 273
    Argle Bargle

    Doug1102,

    Congratulations, you’ve changed this thread from a misogynist threat to violence against a woman to the “everyone’s being mean to Doug” thread. Aren’t you proud? You’ve managed to divert peoples’ attention from a serious topic to a whinefest from a Pharyngula newcomer. That’s quite an accomplishment.

    So what’s your next topic? You might try “did London Bridge ever fall down?” or “why are stainless steel knives and forks called silverware?” because these topics are of at least equal importance to “why should I define bully?”

  274. 274
    douglas1102

    Based on your previous successes, you expected open arms, congratulations, and calls for your advice/examples of your techniques.

    I didn’t expect that at all, how on earth would you guys know of my successes? And I certainly wouldn’t expect you to ask for advice or techniques. I’m sorry but that’s just not the case xD But thanks for the ego stoke =) And I really don’t care about creationists unless they plan on forcing people to learn it, I don’t care if people want to believe silly things.

    It won’t happen until we recognize that you are aware of our “house rules.”

    Ok, that seems perfectly fair.

    you must first drop the defensiveness

    Alright, I’ll hit my reset button but if that won’t go both ways then what’s the point?

    What do you want to achieve here?

    I want PZ’s job!!! Naw I’m jk… I want healthy discussion and honest criticism from somewhere a little brighter than Youtube. Really I came here because I felt bad about unsubbin’ from Aron and wanted to support his blog but I’d like to see something happen about the bigotry that’s been flying around so much lately as well and that’s what brought me to this blog.

  275. 275
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’d like to see something happen about the bigotry that’s been flying around so much lately as well and that’s what brought me to this blog.

    Then why have you, as Rodney Nelson wrote, “changed this thread from a misogynist threat to violence against a woman to the “everyone’s being mean to Doug” thread”? Why should we have to tell you what the line is between assertive behaviour and bullying behaviour?

  276. 276
    douglas1102

    @ Athyco

    Ogvorbis is right about the “huh?” moment, BTW. In your first comment actually referencing someone here, you agreed as if to springboard right back into whatever you had preconceived the conversation should be. It struck as a non sequitur.

    I’m sorry but I’m not sure what you’re referring to. If it’s important then please explain.

  277. 277
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Douglas:

    # 120 and #122 above.

  278. 278
    douglas1102

    @ Athyco

    See what I mean? I say I’m not going to respond to anyone else so we can converse properly and yet it really seems like I’m getting baited doesn’t it?

    You guys say you don’t want the thread to be about me yet look how many comments are directed right at me. I even offered to do this PM

    I sorry Athyco but that’s just silly. Am I wrong?

  279. 279
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    douglas1102:

    There are no private conversations on an open comment thread. We can all see, and read, what you write.

  280. 280
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Then why have you, as Rodney Nelson wrote, “changed this thread from a misogynist threat to violence against a woman to the “everyone’s being mean to Doug” thread”? Why should we have to tell you what the line is between assertive behaviour and bullying behaviour?

    I think one of the “house rules” Doug missed is keep on topic. Doug thinks this is an open thread, and anything can be talked about. The open threads are the Lounge and the Thunderdome. I think Doug should take this to the Thunderdome. That way he can babble about what he wants without being accused of derailing the thread.

  281. 281
    athyco

    Ogvorbis answered your question quite well; you didn’t “listen.” He’s basically said everything you just said you wanted.

    But here’s a hint. Every comment before my 246, I’ve put Ophelia back in, even if discussing you.

    You see, douglas, we’re more interested in discussing how to support Ophelia than talking about your definition of bullying. Watch and learn. I’d love to have us all head on over there to leave creative and pointed comments about her value to us–12 hours, say, of creative and pointed messages of her value to us to push back the mildew pit cloud she’s got over her head.

    How do we combat this crap online? We provide evidence, not opinion.
    We SUPPORT our own.
    We curb prejudicial and threatening over-reach on our side.
    We allow the calm presenters to be calm.
    The angry commenters to be angry.
    The comforters to comfort.
    Fit in if you can. We won’t stop you. But this is Ophelia’s thread. What can you add to THAT?

  282. 282
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I agree with Nerd. Thunderdome would be a better place for this conversation.

  283. 283
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Douglas can’t have a private conversation in a comment section of a blog. For shame!

  284. 284
    athyco

    You are quite right, Nerd, and I will no longer do this here. I had hopes of getting it over quickly, but that was foolish. I should have suggested Thunderdome from the start.

    No more on this thread, douglas1102. Unless it’s about Ophelia.

  285. 285
    douglas1102

    @ Athyco

    Alright, fair enough. To the dome.

  286. 286
    chigau (違う)

    athyco
    I’ll be away from Pharyngula for about 6 hours.
    Please tell douglas1102 that if he is still talking about himself by then, I’m sending an alert.
    If someone else doesn’t beat me to it.

  287. 287
    chigau (違う)

    never mind

  288. 288
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Back on topic. Making fun of the appearance of the person you are arguing with does not make you right. Suggesting that they should be maimed, or that maiming them wouldn’t make them uglier does not make you right.

    Those are not rational arguments.

    If you wish to style yourself as someone rational, then do not use those type of arguments.

  289. 289
    Marcus Ranum

    Wars of attrition are the worst kind. But, once your opponent switches over to an attritionist strategy, they’ve acknowledged that they can not win, they’re just trying to make you lose too.

    Sun Tzu probably said that. Or something.

  290. 290
    terminus

    True Believers (as pointed out in Eric Hoffer’s self-titled dissertation) – people who are fanatical in their beliefs – share several things in common, even when their ideology is diametrically opposite to one another. Hoffer argues that it is not uncommon for an extreme, fundamentalist (let’s say, Christian) to give up their belief in gawd, convert to an equally extreme, atheistic view of the universe, and then preach that anyone who disagrees with them be put to death.

    In this case, it seems as if we have a group of die-hard atheists, who also happen to be mysoginistic, hypocritical, asshole bullies. Their fanaticism knows no bounds. They are as intolerant as the craziest Muslim or Catholic.

    I don’t think their brand of “crazy” speaks ill of the atheist movement (although it does not help our cause), but it certainly demonstrates that Hoffer knew what he was talking about.

  291. 291
    tonysnark

    P.Z, isn’t this what the so-called “dictionary atheists” have been telling you all along? That atheism is defined merely as the non-acceptance of theistic god-claims? You seem to be implicitly agreeing with this when you say “atheism is not enough”.

    I don’t understand why you always felt the need to conflate atheism, humanist values and skeptical reasoning together under the banner “atheism”, when clearly there are many people who identify as atheists because they don’t believe in gods, but who have thoroughly fucked-up values and couldn’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag. I have always been content to identify myself as an atheist, a humanist and a skeptic (and a feminist) for that reason.

    I wish it were true that atheism, humanist values and skepticism came together as a package, but unfortunately they don’t.

  292. 292
    adrianluca

    Throwing acid in the faces of enemies isn’t a horror exclusive to hindus, muslims or Russian ballet dancers. Where do you think we got the term “vitriolic attack”?

  293. 293
    didgen

    Ophelia’s blog makes me despair of humanities chances of rising above the cruelty of our history often. Then I read the comments there and here, and think that maybe enough people care and hope for better and that maybe my grandsons have a chance to live in a better world.

    I truly hope so.

  294. 294
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    “I turned a stupid childish joke into something personal.”

    I think that Jerry was saying that Ophelia Benson’s comment about the online arguments at the Bolshoi turning to actual acid throwing, i.e. should she worry, was a stupid childish joke and he turned it personal by telling her she was ugly and that acid might help. I don’t think he meant he was joking. That’s my reading of it.

  295. 295
    bradleybetts

    (PZ) “Throwing acid at women who offend them…why, that’s what evil barbaric Muslims do!

    Nope, now it’s what atheists threaten to do.”

    (Stanton #4) “the bigots among Hindus do that, too”

    Let’s not forget the Hasidic Jews when one of their Rabbis gets called out for child molestation.

  296. 296
    bradleybetts

    @tonysnark

    I think that’s the one thing that the douchebag anti-feminists have got right: Atheism is just a non-belief in Gods. That is the very definition of the word, after all. However, I think that Humanisn and Skepticism naturally follow from Atheism, to the point where I don’t really see how anyone can be an Atheist without being a Humanist and a Skeptic. Based on that, it’s entirely unreasonable to demand that Atheist blogs focus entirely on the evils of Theism. It’s akin to demanding that Environmentalists only ever talk about how water pollution is bad without ever alluding to the benefits that a lack of pollution may bring. It’s a ridiculous position to take.

  297. 297
    csue

    @marcus

    Hi! *waves* Yeah, I lurk here. STILL HAVE THE PURPLE JACKET, lol.

  298. 298
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I wish it were true that atheism, humanist values and skepticism came together as a package, but unfortunately they don’t.

    For a majority (it seems), that is the case. For a few reactionary retrogrades….

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