SkepticDoc, M.D.


Do I place a higher value on reason, critical thinking, and skepticism or on the interpretation of feelings as accurate indicators of truth (e.g., if I feel harassed, I was harassed), arguments from experience, and the uncritical acceptance of third wave feminist ideology?

Some tendentious derpwad on the internet

All claims require evidence, whether they are extraordinary or not. And a claim, in and of itself, is not, by definition, evidence.

Some other derpwad on the internet

I don’t know what it is, but some skeptics have adopted this calcified attitude towards what constitutes reasonable evidence and reasonable claims. It seems to me that these are nothing but excuses contrived to justify denying reality, and that they are actually toxic to any kind of functional, societally useful version of skepticism; this is the skepticism of the status quo.

What if people actually operated as these advocates for purblind skepticism suggest? So I paid a call on SkepticDoc, M.D., the very acme of this form of skepticism. Here is how the visit went.

PZ: Doctor, lately I’ve been experiencing shortness of breath and an ache in my left shoulder when I exert myself…

SkepticDoc: Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down! See the name on the shingle? It’s SkepticDoc. Do you have anything other than your feelings to justify wasting my time here?

PZ: What? I’m telling you my symptoms…

SkepticDoc: Yeah, yeah, your feelings. Do you have some physical evidence that you felt pain? Some independent corroboration that you felt this remarkable “ache”? So far, this is just gossip.

PZ: It prompted me to come here, pay money, face some physical discomfort, and apparently have my condition mocked and dismissed. But what you’re supposed to do now is test me, find evidence of the cause of the problem and help me get better.

SkepticDoc: Right. Sure. But why should I bother? Look, people live to be about 70 years old on average, that’s over 25,000 days without dying of heart disease. The odds that you’re actually experiencing these symptoms is really, really low, so it’s a waste of my time to take you seriously. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

PZ: But I’m a 57 year old man with a family history of heart disease and a prior incident that required hospitalization! This isn’t extraordinary!

SkepticDoc: A professional victim, eh? Your kind are always in here giving me your sob story. Well, boo hoo hoo. Look at all the people who aren’t having trouble with heart attacks, and try to be like them. They aren’t in here taking up my office hours.

PZ: So you aren’t even going to examine me?

SkepticDoc: Oh, all right. I’ll take a look at your chart.

Hmmm.

Says you’re a college teacher, right? Made these same complaints a couple of years ago, same time of the year…right before classes start? Interesting.

Your job is a little stressful? You think another couple of cushy weeks in a bed with pretty nurses waiting on you hand and foot is looking pretty good right now? Yeah, I’ve seen your type.

PZ: Getting stuck in a hospital isn’t a vacation! And I like my work!

Wait, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be interpreting my medical history, not trying to psychoanalyze me. Yes, I have a history of heart disease. That’s why I’m being careful and coming to you now.

SkepticDoc: Aha, you admit it!

PZ: I admit what?

SkepticDoc: That this is your personal problem, and that you’re expecting someone else to help you. It seems to me we have a little problem with personal responsibility here. Grow a spine!

PZ: But…but…you’re a doctor. This is your job.

SkepticDoc: That’s right. I’m in charge. But my first job here is to find a reason and place the blame. By the way, I notice you’re a bit overweight.

PZ: Yes.

SkepticDoc: Stop it. Just stop eating. When someone comes by with a cookie or a hamburger or a carrot or something, just don’t eat it. If you find it hard to say no to a second helping, just leave some food on your plate. It really is that easy.

PZ: OK, mea culpa. I’ll watch the diet more closely. But this is a problem right now, I’m worried and I need your help.

SkepticDoc: What problem? I just checked the heart transplant registry, and your name isn’t on it. If this were a really serious problem, you’d have gone all the way to applying for a transplant immediately, so I think the fact that you’re taking a lesser step means your problem can’t possibly be that bad.

PZ: Huh? Are you suggesting I need a heart transplant? You haven’t even looked at me! I’ve detected symptoms of an onset of a possible problem, and I’m here taking an appropriate first step to diagnosis and treatment.

SkepticDoc: I don’t know. You look fine to me — you don’t seem to be having a heart attack now, your color’s good, if a little flushed, all the observable evidence says you’re not in need of any kind of medical attention. Why are you bothering me?

PZ: I told you! Chest pains!

SkepticDoc: And I told you, I don’t believe this personal testimony nonsense. And hey, didn’t you earlier say the pain was in your shoulder? Now you claim it’s your chest? You’re not very credible, liar.

PZ: <storms out>

A few minutes later…

Nurse: Dr. SkepticDoc! Dr. SkepticDoc! That man who just left your office … he has collapsed by his car, his face is turning purple, I think he’s having a heart attack!

SkepticDoc: You say. Do you have any evidence to back up that unusual claim?

[and…scene!]

This story has been entirely fictional. There is no SkepticDoc, M.D. in my town, and no humane and responsible doctor would express the kind of absurdly hyperskeptical attitude we see in the cited derpwads. Also, I’m in fine health and am not experiencing any chest pains…I mean, shoulder aches!

Comments

  1. says

    Oh goody, I can actually go to bed! Because I was just sitting here thinking I should really write something up about Dalton’s bullcrap arguments. Batting for your best pal dressed up as hyperskepticism, by yet another smug and smooth dudebro operator.

    And that one is obviously not particularly bright, the fact that he can speak into a camera might have confused some people for a little while there. Glad we could clear that up.

  2. says

    Tony:

    Well at least this time when the thread erupts, we wont have just finished a 4,112 comment thread while rehasing the same subject in two concurrently running threads.

    There is that, however, I think we all deserve a vacation. So, all the hyperskeptical geniuses should disappear for a minimum of two weeks, to see if they can kickstart their brains and rummage around for a bit of empathy. Oh, also, some of them need to seriously work on that lying for rapists/sexist douchecakes/harassers problem they have, the one which makes them claim they just don’t understand words anymore! Words, stumping hyperskeptical geniuses since the beginning of time.

  3. says

    Caine:
    I agree.
    To add to that: it is an incredibly inconsistent attitude.
    Applying the pseudosketic attitude properly, when I wrecked my car on June 30, none of my friends should have believed me. No injuries were sustained, and I had no pictures. No eyewitnesses have spoken up either. In lieu of that, their reasoning would be to disbelieve me. Right?
    No, of course not. They would likely believe I wrecked my car.

    A few months back, when I found hair in my food on two separate occasions at the same buffett, should people believe me or not?
    The pseudoskeptics likely would.

    So far as I have seen, only in cases of women making allegations of sexual harassment or sexual abuse do we see this need for lots more information.
    Why the hell is that?

    ____
    I have nothing more than suspicion, but I wonder if psedoskeptics reject claims of sexual assault and/or harassment despite their ubiquity bc they are afraid to question their own behavior. Behavior that may have been sexual harassment or assault .

  4. rumleech says

    And yet when the ultra-skeptics start to complain about being FTBullied, banned and sidelined this will all be clear and objective fact and not group paranoia (that’s an emotion, right?)

  5. says

    It’s idiocy. Feeling as though one has been harassed is the prime indicator of being harassed. However, what bothers me, as always, is the implied claim here that because it is women (presumably) saying that they feel harassed, it is not worth taking seriously, and they should just stay quiet. I have no idea why it is that so many men automatically take other men seriously (unless they’re not manly heterosexual men), but for some reason not-men are to be patronized, ridiculed, and expected to endure.

  6. says

    Tony:

    I have nothing more than suspicion, but I wonder if psedoskeptics reject claims of sexual assault and/or harassment despite their ubiquity bc they are afraid to question their own behavior. Behavior that may have been sexual harassment or assault .

    I imagine that for at least some, it’s a matter of not wanting to take a few minutes and take a serious look at their own behaviour, but overall, I think it’s just part of the usual backlash. I don’t think anyone really loves analyzing their own behaviour and attitudes, that tends to make most of us uncomfortable. We all like to think we’re one of the Good Guys™. In the case of the ‘oh-most-high-and-serious skeptics, the probability of self examination hits -10. For too long, skepticism and being a skeptic has been one of the last men’s clubs, a place where many members feel safe and warm, a haven of male autonomy. Then those pesky women come along, upsetting that lovely autonomy. Now people expect them not only to examine their own behaviour and attitudes, they expect them to be conscious of what and how they think, as well as what they say and do. That’s taken as a grave offense, because they feel they are the elite in the thinking department, never bothering to figure out that tossing shallow skepticism at every problem is not critical thinking.

  7. clauslarsen says

    PZ,

    I noticed that, despite your earlier call to always name names, you did not name the person making the quotes you provided above.

    Do you have reasonable evidence of the quotes you provided above?

    What do you hope to gain from referring to the person you quoted as “some tendentious derpwad”? Does that not add to the animosity that abounds?

    Sincerely,
    Claus Larsen

  8. otrame says

    for some reason not-men are to be patronized, ridiculed, and expected to endure.

    Well, duh. Because penis.

  9. says

    I noticed that, despite your earlier call to always name names, you did not name the person making the quotes you provided above.

    Another hyperskeptic who doesn’t keep up. It’s kind of losing the element of surprise at this point.

  10. says

    #6: You missed a point. Not only would they not believe that your car was wrecked, but they would simultaneously believe that wrecking the car was entirely your fault and that you deserved it.

  11. says

    Do you have reasonable evidence of the quotes you provided above?

    Thank you for providing an exapmle of derpwad behaviour that is being chided in the OP, zeefix!

    If you want evidence for the second quote, watch last MrDeity video.

    And, PZ, I trust you and the victim you provided your soapbox to.

  12. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ah, hyperskepticism – the last resort for the type of scoundrel who either can’t or won’t simply say that god made them do it…

    As obsrved by Tony, The Queer Shoop: Undefeated Pictionary Champion @ 6, it is also a curiously patchily applied and inconsistent attitude. Hyperskeptics never seem to apply their unreasonable standards to people they identify with, but the very second the topic of rape comes up (a blight known to be widespread in society) suddenly no level of evidence is ever good enough. It is particularly ironic that, in their haste to trot out rape apologia, they behave in a fashion all but indistinguishable from creationists and AGW denialists. Gaol posts are moved with abandon, evidence and credible studies are ignored for no reason, and they demand an unacheiveable level of evidence before even contemplating the possibility that rape is a serious problem in society, and yet never offer a shred of evidence to support their clear assumption that women are inveterate liars by nature, and that false rape claims are thus supposedly ubiquitous – they act as if they hold the right to define the terms of the discussion entirely acording to their own agenda.

    They contort themselves into knots trying to claim the mantle of the True Defenders of Skepticism(TM) while at the same instant transparently obviously (not to mention odiously) abusing the principles of skeptical thought to ignore an ongoing crisis within atheo-skepticiosm and broader soceity that is blighting countless lives.

    Asserting with a straight face that a statement that we live in a patriarchal society with a deeply entrenched rape culture (a position amply supported by evidence and several credible studies) should be viewed as on a par with claims of sightings of Bigfoot requires that one either be – as a most generous interpretation – inconceivably niave, perhaps improbably foolish, or (most likely) a hypocrit acting in bad faith.

  13. says

    I noticed that, despite your earlier call to always name names, you did not name the person making the quotes you provided above.

    I know where the first quote came from. Took about 5 seconds to find out.

    Dear Claus Larsen,

    We aren’t even 20 comments in. Please go fustigate yourself.

    Sincerely,
    The Internet

  14. says

    Charly:

    If you want evidence for the second quote, watch last MrDeity video.

    Oh, right. I have been trying to bleach every word that particular tendentious doucheweasel said in the video and after out of my brain. This is someone who claims they don’t know what “I was coerced” means. Uh huh.

  15. says

    clauslarsen

    Does that not add to the animosity that abounds?

    Yes, that being rather the point. We are not on the same side as these tendentious derpwads, and in fact feel a great deal of animosity towards them.

  16. Gregory Greenwood says

    clauslarsen @ 11;

    Is this some attempt to be humorous, or are you really bringing reactionary knee-jerk hyperskepticism to a thread mocking… reactionary knee-jerk hyperskepticism?

    If it is the latter, and knowing the Horde’s prediliction for keeping their teeth sharp and coats sniny, I don’t see this ending well for you…

  17. says

    Again: Eyewitness testimony from a victim of a crime is evidence. Every court in every state in the US, and every country not named “Somalia”.

    If you think someone cannot be convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony from the victim alone … think again. In a court of law. Never mind the great “court of public opinion.”

    These derpwads (great pejorative, I’ll steal it) can’t even get the fundamentals right, they’re so non-skeptical about protecting one of their braveheroes.

  18. says

    I would call it a double standard, but it doesn’t really even rise to the level of standard. It seems like “everything you say, no matter how ordinary and common and rational, is wrong and stupid and evil because I don’t like you”, and “everything that I don’t like is the worst thing ever, because you’re not allowed to say or do anything I don’t like.” But really it is just “you’re a poopyhead and you suck and I hate you!” It is just immature temper tantrums from purported adults, and it is fucking pathetic.

  19. carlie says

    And it’s a horribly dreary view of the world to consider every statement ever made as a lie by default, which is what their “every claim requires evidence” stance requires.

    I thought Claus was being tongue in cheek?

  20. girlyboy says

    Experience is evidence of experience.

    That is why it is valid evidence for witnessing a crime, but not for the existence of extra-planar dieties.

  21. says

    Before we get too far along, some helpful reading. Attention hyperskeptical geniuses! READ.

    Timeline of Harassment/Accusations in Atheoskeptisphere:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

    On one particular Tendentious Derpwad:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/15/mr-deity-and-the-victim-blaming-and-dismissiveness-of-serious-allegations/

  22. says

    Carlie:

    I thought Claus was being tongue in cheek?

    Perhaps. Given the sheer amount of asses lately who have said such things in all seriousness, I’m not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. If someone can’t be arsed to place a snark tag somewhere, they can be prepared to be taken seriously when posting such shit.

  23. Gregory Greenwood says

    Barefoot Bree @ 22;

    Not that is a particularly delicious typo.

    And another offering to great Typyos is made…

    If only there was more gaol involved when it comes to rape, and less in the way of legions of rape apologists lining up to opine that she must have been asking for it…

  24. rundvelt says

    First time posting, so I hope you’ll be gentle with me. :D

    I’d like to start by taking a look at a rape claim by a woman against a man. A young woman is bought several drinks by a man who really fancies her. He drives her home, and without her consent, performs the deed (trying to keep it clean). This woman tells you the story 3 years later and will not go into details.

    I have a couple questions:

    – Would you agree that we have a standard of what is and isn’t acceptable as evidence of a crime, namely the standards of evidence present in our legal system?

    – If a person applied the same rigor to the evidence that would be required in a court to obtain a conviction, would they be hyper-skeptical as defined by your article?

    – Given this single claim, what do you think the most rational position would be:
    1) This woman was raped.
    2) This woman was not raped.
    3) We do not know whether a rape happened.

    Thanks, looking forward to some great replies! :)

  25. magistramarla says

    “no humane and responsible doctor would express the kind of absurdly hyperskeptical attitude we see in the cited derpwads.”

    I guess that I really hit the jackpot on finding inhumane doctors. I moved and brought along a list of symptoms and medications, as my docs had advised.
    The PCP read the paper and said “You might be a hypochondriac”.
    The rheumatologist ordered her own list of tests, since she didn’t want to believe the diagnosis of the previous one. She then told me that everything was negative, so I had to be fine. Can we say, THE MEDS MIGHT BE WORKING?
    She sent me to a neurologist for the numbness in my feet and legs. After doing a lumbar punch and having that be negative, I asked him if it was part of the Sjogren’s Syndrome (I had been to a conference and knew that it could be). He told me that SJS was ONLY dry eyes and dry mouth and that I was only drug-seeking.
    I saw a different rheumatologist, who also thought that SJS is ONLY dry eyes and dry mouth, so he refused to renew my prescriptions, so now my symptoms are worse.
    So, either doctors are a bunch of hyper-skeptics or they are just misogynists. I haven’t figured out which, but I’m beginning to detest them all.

  26. procrastinatorordinaire says

    The thing I found most infuriating about Brian Dalton’s video was how he started on about not believing gossip and then switched to saying that if Shermer is trying to get you drunk in order to rape you, just put down the glass. If you didn’t realise that he was trying to get you drunk in order to rape you then you are spineless and lack personal responsibility, and getting raped was somehow your own fault.

  27. rundvelt says

    #32

    Let’s say there’s a case where one woman is claiming she was sexually assaulted by another woman. Wouldn’t that mean the court is putting a woman’s testimony ahead of a woman’s testimony?

    What I think is happening, regardless of the sex of the people, is when you have a claim by one person against a claim of another person, it’s generally a wash.

  28. says

    runveldt!:

    I have a couple questions:

    Here are all the bloody answers a person could want:

    9 pages of answers: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    2 pages of answers: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/15/this-is-not-an-update/comment-page-1/#comments

    2 pages of answers: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/12/last-word-for-now/

    What in the fuck is it with you skeptical JAQers that removes your ability to read?

  29. Gregory Greenwood says

    I have just watched the Mr Deity video the second quote in the OP is drawn from, and read the post about it over at Lousy Canuck, and frankly Dalton has not so much shot himself in the foot as taken a 40mm grenade launcher and blown himself into several dozen pieces. I cannot, in good conscience, support the Mr Deity video series when its creator has looked at the current problems with gross misogyny in the atheist and skeptical community, and publicly thrown in his lot with the harrassers, the rapists, the garden variety creepers, and their various hyperskeptical arsehat supporters.

    Also, do not read the comments on the Mr Deity Youtube video. They are everything one might expect from Youtube comments, and pretty much repeat the contents of the video, but add that extra frisson of douchebaggery that only arrogant MRAs can.

  30. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    He drives her home, and without her consent, performs the deed (trying to keep it clean).

    Let’s not beat around the bush. He rapes her.

  31. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    rundvelt,
    No one should be “gentle” with you, wanderson or any of the other wankers pulling this BS.

  32. says

    wanderson:

    Second, symptoms are always subjective, which is why no doctor would cath this hypothetical patient or perform CABG without first doing some preliminary testing.

    Which is why, in PZ’s hypothetical with SkepticDoc, he mentioned being there for testing. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us all you really did get the point by spectacularly missing the point. That was a bravura performance.

  33. says

    I have nothing more than suspicion, but I wonder if psedoskeptics reject claims of sexual assault and/or harassment despite their ubiquity bc they are afraid to question their own behavior. Behavior that may have been sexual harassment or assault .

    It would be hard to tell, but I doubt that everyone defending shermer has done something similar. There are other explanations.

    I have been wondering if it is just a matter of who you identify with more in a conflict. People tend to better understand other people who are like themselves (since it takes zero effort). All the things that are taken for granted in that- like perspectives that are shaped by race, gender, class, etc are not taken into account at all. I was duking it out on the JREF forum a bit yesterday and that really seemed to be the crux of the issue to me- they could simply relate to an accused dude’s problems more than a woman who has been raped, so they seemed like a more pressing issue. Funny how what they feel is more important is cloaked in all this bullshit about what is objective and skeptical and blah blah blah. That shit was why I started my blog years ago- to try and reshape the movement into something more inclusive, but it looks like it pretty much failed. All the cool folks turned in their resignations and I am stuck with this shitty moniker.

    wow that rant sorta went all over the place. sorry.
    ANYWAY.
    I know that in situations involving racial inequality I have to make a conscious effort to take the non-white persons perspective (as best I can). I know I didn’t used to, it is an unthinking reaction to these things, I think.

    Another alternative is poor republican syndrome (where they aren’t rich, but they assume they will be someday). It would mean they don’t want to turn down drunk sex if they can obtain it at some point in the future.

  34. says

    Let’s say there’s a case where one woman is claiming she was sexually assaulted by another woman. Wouldn’t that mean the court is putting a woman’s testimony ahead of a woman’s testimony?

    Okay, it’s clear you are not here honestly. Take your itty bitty hypotheticals which you *think* are gotchas, and go fustigate yourself, in both senses of the word, hard. Ta.

  35. says

    Tangent:

    It also bugs me when they go on about how this is all a conspiracy to get blog pageviews.

    For starters, it is not like there wasn’t a far more lucrative business in skepticism in relation to selling conference tickets.

    But really, it is the same argument anti-vaxers , blaming it all on profitability.

  36. Sili says

    I thought Claus was being tongue in cheek?

    Highly unlikely if past experience is anything to judge by.

  37. rundvelt says

    #37

    I tend to agree, albeit for a different reason. It seems silly to expect an individual to know an individuals’ intent and modify his/her actions to fit it.

    However, the way the story was phrased was a little ridiculous. I mean, to suggest that he “helped you” get drunk is ridiculous, because unless he was forcing them down your throat and you had no choice, then you made a decision to consume the alcohol. I think that’s what he was lampooning.

  38. says

    @38

    Let’s say there’s a case where one woman is claiming she was sexually assaulted by another woman. Wouldn’t that mean the court is putting a woman’s testimony ahead of a woman’s testimony?

    it isn’t about the gender of the accuser or the accused, it is the fact that people do not lie about this very often.

  39. rundvelt says

    #46

    So, my point is less valid because you think my motivations behind the post are suspect.

    Since when is an argument’s validity determined by who said it?

  40. MissEla says

    wanderson: Wow. I am now temporarily deaf from the sonic boom that followed the point of this article screaming over your head. Reading comprehension, do you has it?

  41. rundvelt says

    #50

    Point taken. I do in fact think that a high percentage of claims of sexual assault are valid. However, averages don’t hold water in small sample sizes. In cases of criminal charges, the sample size is 1.

    You can say “hey, it’s more then likely that he raped her.” but that’s not really any different then “hey, she probably murdered her husband because most of the time it’s a family member”.

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

  42. says

    However, the way the story was phrased was a little ridiculous. I mean, to suggest that he “helped you” get drunk is ridiculous, because unless he was forcing them down your throat and you had no choice, then you made a decision to consume the alcohol. I think that’s what he was lampooning.

    Who cares? He is a total prick then because he has perpetuated the idea that drunk women are totally fine to rape. I don’t give a fuck what his intentions are- perpetuating rape culture is the result.

    Imagine you are a guy who targets intoxicated women to rape them. IMagine being that guy and watching this video. What does it say to you? Its like giving a high five to rapists to say that type of shit. Imagine you are a woman with a drinking problem, what does that say to you? It says “its fine if someone rapes you”.

  43. lancelotgobbo says

    This just in: Prominent ex-skeptic says feelings more important than evidence. Stay tuned for our next segment on Crystal Healing – it’s all in the vibrations.

  44. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 1:

    Explainer: What’s an MRA?
    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2007/10/explainer-whats-mra.html

    Rape Culture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

    Rape Culture 101
    https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/

    http://victimblaming.tumblr.com/

    Excellent explanation of privilege
    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

  45. rundvelt says

    #55

    Can you rationally explain to me how you got that message from his video? Cause I got a totally different message. Namely making fun of someone who seems to be shifting some of the responsibility for being drunk onto someone else.

    I guess I have to say this given the discussion’s direction, but being passed out does not permit anyone to do anything to you.

  46. says

    Point taken. I do in fact think that a high percentage of claims of sexual assault are valid. However, averages don’t hold water in small sample sizes. In cases of criminal charges, the sample size is 1.

    You can say “hey, it’s more then likely that he raped her.” but that’s not really any different then “hey, she probably murdered her husband because most of the time it’s a family member”.

    it is extremely different. Rape victims have a very strong need to be believed when they tell their story. Casting doubt on them or assigning them as responsible for rape has very serious psychological consequences (which compound the consequences of the rape itself). Its like rubbing salt in a wound. It fucks them up really badly. Go look into the health outcomes for sexual abuse victims- it isn’t pretty.

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    what is this ‘warrant a conviction’ shit? we are talking about believing it or not.

  47. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 2:

    Nice Guy™ 101.
    http://synecdochic.livejournal.com/214607.html

    Schroedinger’s Rapist.
    http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-

    without-being-maced/

    Meet the Predators
    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    Predator Redux
    https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

    Things Happen to Men Too
    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/

  48. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 3:

    XYOnline
    http://www.xyonline.net/

    The Male Privilege Checklist
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

    Intent is not magic
    http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

    Straight Privilege Checklist
    http://lgbteducationforum.com/?p=123

    Rape Prevention Aimed At Rapists Works
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/01/08/rape-prevention-aimed-at-rapists-does-work/

  49. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 4:

    Social Justice and Economics
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Economics#Social_justice_and_economics

    Social Justice Link Roundup
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_link_roundup

    Implicit Bias (We All Haz It!)
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_link_roundup#Implicit_bias

    Timeline
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

  50. rundvelt says

    43.

    What BS? Stating a position and asking for your thoughts on said position? That’s a bad thing here?

  51. karpad says

    PZ @14:

    You missed a point. Not only would they not believe that your car was wrecked, but they would simultaneously believe that wrecking the car was entirely your fault and that you deserved it.

    Can you even prove the car is yours? Did you steal someone else’s car? Can you even prove you were driving? Do you even have a car? I don’t see any evidence this car exists, or even if any car has ever existed.

    Or is that dipping too cartoonishly into Solipsism?

  52. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I consider it rude to refer to people’s comments just by number, at least write the name or quote the person. I’m not going back thirty comments to search for what you’re replying to.

  53. rundvelt says

    60.

    Regarding the trauma that rape victims have and I don’t doubt what you’ve said, but how does this factor into whether we should accept a statement as fact when believing it?

    If you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such, we should think it’s more likely then not.” Then that’s perfectly fine and we’re in agreement. But if you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such we should believe the rape occured.” Then I don’t agree and would like to discuss why you think that.

    As for the conviction stuff, it’s per my entry post. I was asking whether or not the standards used by the court to determine guilt are reasonable to apply in believing whether a crime took place or not.

  54. says

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    There are so myny red herrings in these debates to make any bloodhounds head spin.

    Your throwing in “conviction” is just another red herring. We are not at a court of law. We are not convicting anybody, we are not even proposing prosecution of anyone. We are talking about what is reasonable for us, as individuals, to believe about certain person and how to adjust our perception and behaviour towards that person accordingly.

    In small words: women are being warned about rapist.

  55. rundvelt says

    69
    PZ did it, so I figured that was acceptable.

    I’m not very tech minded, which of the HTML codes allows quotes?

  56. MissEla says

    wanderson, have you read *anything* that has been posted on this site for the last week or so? Do you know what the hell is even being discussed? You’re picking apart the example instead of the actual analogy. Here’s a booster for you: A woman has claimed to have been raped via being plied with excessive amounts of alcohol to the point where she could not consent (YES, THIS IS RAPE. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT, TAKE IT UP WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, NOT US). “Troo Skeptiks” came out of the woodwork to say it’s her fault, why was she drinking, she should be more careful, etc, etc. PZ set up an *example* of WHY THIS FALSE STANDARD OF EVIDENCE DOESN’T APPLY ANYWHERE ELSE. It has NOTHING to do with medicine and EVERYTHING to do with false standards.

  57. rundvelt says

    71.
    Your throwing in “conviction” is just another red herring. We are not at a court of law. We are not convicting anybody, we are not even proposing prosecution of anyone. We are talking about what is reasonable for us, as individuals, to believe about certain person and how to adjust our perception and behaviour towards that person accordingly.

    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?

    This goes back to my original post. I was asking if the standard of evidence required by the courts to make a determination of a crime happening is hyperskeptical when used by individuals.

  58. says

    Basic fact: Court systems in the west are designed to be in favour of the accused: In dubio pro reo.
    But that very premise of western legal systems should tell everybody that not all those actually guilty of a crime will be convicted ( and we haven’t even talked about the rate at which rape is actually reported).
    The fact that a victim doesn’t report doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen and the perpetrator isn’t a rapist.
    The fact that the investigation was ended without a charge does not mean the crime didn’t happen and the accused isn’t a rapist.
    The fact that the verdict was “not guilty” doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen and the accused isn’t a rapist.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What BS?

    Your inane and fuckwitted hypotheticals. Typical of those trying to muddy very clear waters. And sounding like idjits while they do it.

  60. lancelotgobbo says

    wanderson wrote:

    Having said that, I get your point in the post, which is that claims should be taken seriously and not brushed off.

    I think you are saying that when you think you have a truly ischæmic patient in front of you the right response is to phone the local cardiac cath lab, not to scream about it on the internet?

    But I might only think that since it’s 42 years since I qualified!

  61. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    rundvelt,

    In you hypothetical, you said yourself that your hypothetical guy “did the deed” with a woman without her consent. That pretty much tells you everything you need to now about whether it was rape or not. Could we skip the bullshit “just asking question” shtick?

  62. says

    @rundwelt
    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?
    Read again what I wrote. Multiple imes. As many as are needed.

    If you are trying to tell me, that in day-to-day interaction you base your decisions and recommendations to your peers based on the same level of evicence that would be needed in the court of law to garant conviction, then you are liar, since that is simply impossible.

  63. rundvelt says

    75.
    > Basic fact: Court systems in the west are designed to be in favour of the accused: In dubio pro reo.
    But that very premise of western legal systems should tell everybody that not all those actually guilty of a crime will be convicted ( and we haven’t even talked about the rate at which rape is actually reported).
    The fact that a victim doesn’t report doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen and the perpetrator isn’t a rapist. The fact that the investigation was ended without a charge does not mean the crime didn’t happen and the accused isn’t a rapist. The fact that the verdict was “not guilty” doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen and the accused isn’t a rapist.

    I couldn’t agree with you any more if I tried. However, if there isn’t sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, by what standard do you use to determine to yourself if a crime has happened?

  64. says

    Shit, borked quote. I shall never forget the preview button

    @rundwelt

    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?

    Read again what I wrote. Multiple imes. As many as are needed.

    If you are trying to tell me, that in day-to-day interaction you base your decisions and recommendations to your peers based on the same level of evicence that would be needed in the court of law to garant conviction, then you are liar, since that is simply impossible.

  65. rundvelt says

    78.

    > In you hypothetical, you said yourself that your hypothetical guy “did the deed” with a woman without her consent. That pretty much tells you everything you need to now about whether it was rape or not. Could we skip the bullshit “just asking question” shtick?

    My post:
    > I’d like to start by taking a look at a rape claim by a woman against a man. A young woman is bought several drinks by a man who really fancies her. He drives her home, and without her consent, performs the deed (trying to keep it clean). This woman tells you the story 3 years later and will not go into details.

    It seems that the shoe is on the other foot. You’ve actually told me about yourself, namely that your interpretation of “a woman makes a claim” is “it’s absolute fact”.

    I am open to other explanations though.

  66. procrastinatorordinaire says

    You can say “hey, it’s more then likely that he raped her.” but that’s not really any different then “hey, she probably murdered her husband because most of the time it’s a family member”.

    If we find a bloody note next to the body in the husband’s handwriting saying ‘my wife did it’, our suspicion that she was the murderer goes up a notch,

  67. lancelotgobbo says

    I probably shouldn’t do this, but since this forum is supposed to pride itself on logicality, MissEla wrote:

    YES, THIS IS RAPE. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT, TAKE IT UP WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, NOT US

    so…
    what should the original complainant have done?
    what should the grenade accepter have done?

    Not disbelieving the complainant outright at all. Just asking.

    Ad hominems are not proper replies.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, if there isn’t sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction,

    Fuckwit, the testimony of the woman IS EVIDENCE. You are saying it can’t be evidence since it is the testimony of a woman?

  69. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    <blockquote>quoting is easy</blockquote>

    quoting is easy

  70. rundvelt says

    82.
    > If you are trying to tell me, that in day-to-day interaction you base your decisions and recommendations to your peers based on the same level of evicence that would be needed in the court of law to garant conviction, then you are liar, since that is simply impossible.

    You are aware that courts have different standards of what is and isn’t sufficient based on the situation correct? Namely, certain crimes have required elements that others do not. These in fact require a “higher” standard of evidence for conviction.

    As the severity of the claim decreases or as the type of claim changes, what is and isn’t required to make a case changes as well.

    So your point about “applying” the same standard of criminal court proceedings to my day to day life isn’t really valid.

  71. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ad hominems are not proper replies.

    Sorry fuckwitted cupcake, insulting your meager intelligence isn’t an ad hominem, as insults aren’t ad hominems. If you can’t stand the heat, fade into the band width, but stop your tone trolling.

  72. consciousness razor says

    If you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such, we should think it’s more likely then not.” Then that’s perfectly fine and we’re in agreement. But if you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such we should believe the rape occured.” Then I don’t agree and would like to discuss why you think that.

    What’s the fucking difference between believing “it’s more likely than not” and simply believing it? If you’re not believing it’s a 100% probability, or you’re not believing them based on a priori first principles, then it’s just an ordinary fact-claim … in which case, you simply don’t believe those?

    I emphasize “than” because you’ve mistakenly used “then” instead twice now.

  73. says

    Jebus, it’s like they have a script. Just once, it would be nice if one of the people who are just sure the rape is her fault and/or that none of us ever think about things, or are able to form and test conclusions WOULD READ A GODDAMN THREAD first.

    Because in all the history of the internet, they are the first person to ever think of their objection. Yep. You, rundvelt, are the ONLY person to have thought of that objection. No need to catch up with the conversation, your brilliant and unique insights must be dropped in as soon as you have them.

    I think I just sprained my eyeballs rolling them. Must go seek an ice pack.

  74. consciousness razor says

    By the way, I don’t really give a shit about your blithering or your opinions (or even what your definition of the word “believe” is, for example). I just wanted to make a note of your incoherence.

  75. says

    @lancelotgobbo

    That crime has been commited in no logical way implies it is the duty of the victim to report the crime, neither does logically follow the crime is provable, and even if it is provable and reported, it does not follow that it will be dealt with accordingly. In case of rapes, all three “does not necesarilly follow” are more often true than not.

    Now be a lamb and go read that 4000 comments long thread. All your concerns have been answered multiple time, and if you insist on beeing force-fed them here, you are a lazy git.

  76. says

    I’d like to take a second and thank the latest wave of Misogyny Inc. for aptly demonstrating the point, right down to the inability to understand what words mean, but still wanting to play Junior Debate Club douchebag (hey, I’m just Devil’s Advocating and making sure you consider all arguments instead of actively dismissing any time a minority speaks out about the abuses of the powerful or the shit that happens to people in this shit world we have).

    Your firm investment in proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the rot that infects us is well appreciated and will continue to be used by any not invested in perpetuating a culture that dismisses rape, sexual harassment, and sexism even to the point of trying to swarm and derail people simply talking about their experiences in a forum where the “poor menz” are already getting a reward of zero jail time for committing a FUCKING CRIME.

    So thank you, all, and do please accept this basket of fuck you as your lovely welcome gift to this most recent round of you trying and failing to supposedly demonstrate your ability to out-think a brain-dead turkey.

    Oh and a more SPECIFIC PS:

    rundvelt @38

    Let’s say there’s a case where one woman is claiming she was sexually assaulted by another woman. Wouldn’t that mean the court is putting a woman’s testimony ahead of a woman’s testimony?

    What I think is happening, regardless of the sex of the people, is when you have a claim by one person against a claim of another person, it’s generally a wash.

    My girlfriend was raped by a woman. Held down in the middle of a frat party, stripped and raped in front of a crowd that did nothing. To this day, she has massive triggers about stripping, being naked in front of others, and her breasts which were a major focus of the rape. It has a direct impact to this day in her ability to enjoy sexuality, how safe she feels in public spaces, her connection with a group she previously loved unconditionally (the queer fraternity where she had a lot of friends). She lives in still constant fear of running into the person, has massive breakdowns periodically from PTSD symptoms from the attack, and a whole stack of other shit.

    This is what she carries with her, every day, because some fucker decided her body was public property for the fucker to enjoy at her will.

    And her follow-up, because of the culture we live in, has been to tell a small handful of people, none in her rapist’s circle and at risk of being attacked by her, without naming a name. Because that’s how rape victims end up thanks to this abusive cycle of pounding on any rape survivor that dares let people know of the years-long trauma-inducing hell they went through because “oh noes, someone out there might have to only barely deal with a muted version of consequences for their actions”.

    So fuck your rape apologist, sexist, homophobic BULLSHIT. And you’re “oh so clever” thought experiments as if we didn’t have gallons of real blood and real experiences to point to.

    What happens when ANY rape victim speaks about what happened to them?

    Abuse. The continuation of trauma. And a disbelieving public.

    Because we as a society don’t WANT to end rape.

    Because people like you will fight to the death to ever even let us start.

  77. says

    Runveldt @35, I don’t believe that you’ve been paying attention, since your questions have been answered at length and multiple times in recent threads. But I’ll give your questions a go, just for practice.

    First question: that’s certainly a standard, and it’s the one we apply to cases of criminal law. There are different standards for reporting experiments, say, or requesting medical treatment, or giving testimony at public inquiries, or warning others of dangerous situations. If I had to follow a lawyerly standard for telling you that there’s a hyena behind the bush you’re plucking berries from, well, someone’s going to get a good meal, but it isn’t going to be you.

    Second: yes. See above. Standards for particular venues and purposes can generally only be expected to be useful in those venues for those purposes. For the purpose of warning vulnerable people of a likely danger, it is indeed hyper-skepticism to demand the standard of a court of law for the warning.

    Third: d) the rational position is to pass the warning along. Shroedinger’s Rapist is everywhere, but there’s a higher probability that he’s certain people than others, sadly. To not warn others when there’s evidence — remember, a testimony is evidence — that the warning will help others avoid danger is irresponsible in the extreme.

    Now, you’ve had your traditional three posts to not say something asanine, and it’s not looking too good for you, so I advise you to think about what’s been said, go read some of the relevant threads, and not set up stupid hypotheticals around a bunch of people punch-drunk from dealing with stupid, offensive, little trolls for the last couple of weeks.

  78. rundvelt says

    Fuckwit, the testimony of the woman IS EVIDENCE. You are saying it can’t be evidence since it is the testimony of a woman?

    It’s not sufficient when the defense has contradictory evidence of the same type.

    In the case of rape, it’s like this.

    Woman: “He raped me.”
    Man: “I didn’t rape her.”

    Where do you go from that? Maybe you’ve heard of these sorts of cases. They’re he said, she said. And generally speaking, without any other evidence to support either side, it results in a wash.

  79. says

    Caine, don’t be mean to that doctor guy (Wanderson #39). He’s a doctor, he just wanted to say that no doctor would act like the doctor in PZ’s skit. He did miss the point (which was that no doctor would act that way), yes. And then went on to clarify for our benefit what doctors interpret as “subjective” and “objective”. Give him a break. I don’t think he was defending the hyperskepsicks.

  80. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    rundvelt,
    Oh jesus fucking christ, yes if she says that a man raped her I believe that he raped her, i don’t require that she shows me the bloodied sheets. The chances that she is telling the truth are far greater than that she is lying. The chances that she will get shit from just about everyone with any power to actually do anything about the rapist are greater still.
    But hey, if you believe that women just go about making up rape claims for shits and giggles, what can I tell you other than that you should really read some of the links Caine provided. Maybe you find a clue somewhere.
    I’m sick to death of reading the same old questions. What’s next? Will we discuss (again and again and again and again) how many drinks before it’s rape?

  81. says

    Rundvelt:
    Please read the links Caine has provided.
    I am straining my reserves of ‘benefit of the doubt’, but if you truly want to learn, you have gotten off to a splendidly atrocious start. You need a better understanding of the subject matter before wading in. Take it from me, and many others, post less. Lurk and read more.
    Go through the grenade thread. All questions you have are answered there.

    Or better yet, before you go that far, what is your motive in asking your questions?

    To be crystal clear:
    My motives are to provide support to Jane Doe and any other victims of sexual harassment and/or assault. My motives are NOT to provide excuses for sexual harassment or rapists.

    Empathy for the victim, believe the claim vs Support My hero, deny reality

    What side of the ever growing chasm are you?
    (And yes, in matters of equality, I will draw a line in the sand. I will not allow for shades of grey. Women are human. Full stop. No exceptions.)

  82. says

    @rundvelt
    All your questions have the same basic answer: This is not a courtroom.

    Once you understand the difference between a courtroom and a blog comment thread, the rest of the pieces fall neatly into place.

    Furthermore, this is a point that has been reiterated literally dozens of times since this started, over the course of multiple threads. The only way that you could be unaware of this is if you simply haven’t done the minimum background reading on this subject.

    Stop being a pretend-skeptic and start being a real skeptic. Start by educating yourself on the subject before you spout bullshit. Go back through all the links that Caine has so graciously provided and when you’ve read those, then you can come back and ask whatever questions still trouble you.

  83. piegasm says

    However, if there isn’t sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, by what standard do you use to determine to yourself if a crime has happened?

    This question is inane. Conviction in a court of law is not the same thing as an individual reaching the provisional conclusion that it would be reasonable to behave as if a claim of some sort is true until and unless further evidence comes to light. We’ve been over this and over this and over this in the grenade thread and multiple others. Go read.

  84. says

    rundwelt

    Namely, certain crimes have required elements that others do not. These in fact require a “higher” standard of evidence for conviction.

    You really need to read for compehension. You keep reusing the same red herring over and over again.

    I am done with you, since you are either insincere or dumb:
    We are not at court of low and we do not try and convict anyone. If multiple friends tell you you should not buy car from dealer X, because he has shady practices, you would not insist on courtroom evidence in order to go and buy car somewhere else, if you can, would you? Get this trhough your skull, you are talking about something completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  85. says

    Elizabeth:

    Caine, don’t be mean to that doctor guy

    Oh, aren’t you sweet? Tell ya what, Elizabeth, go fuck yourself. After dealing with these doucheweasels pretty much non-stop since the 8th, I’m out of patience. I’m also out of this thread, because I just can. not. deal. with. the. same. old. shit. again today. I certainly don’t need you telling me what to do because you’re feeling all sorry for Dr. Doucheweasel. I can make up my own mind about stuff like that, thanks.

  86. rundvelt says

    My girlfriend was raped by a woman. Held down in the middle of a frat party, stripped and raped in front of a crowd that did nothing. To this day, she has massive triggers about stripping, being naked in front of others, and her breasts which were a major focus of the rape. It has a direct impact to this day in her ability to enjoy sexuality, how safe she feels in public spaces, her connection with a group she previously loved unconditionally (the queer fraternity where she had a lot of friends). She lives in still constant fear of running into the person, has massive breakdowns periodically from PTSD symptoms from the attack, and a whole stack of other shit.

    This is what she carries with her, every day, because some fucker decided her body was public property for the fucker to enjoy at her will.

    And her follow-up, because of the culture we live in, has been to tell a small handful of people, none in her rapist’s circle and at risk of being attacked by her, without naming a name. Because that’s how rape victims end up thanks to this abusive cycle of pounding on any rape survivor that dares let people know of the years-long trauma-inducing hell they went through because “oh noes, someone out there might have to only barely deal with a muted version of consequences for their actions”.

    So fuck your rape apologist, sexist, homophobic BULLSHIT. And you’re “oh so clever” thought experiments as if we didn’t have gallons of real blood and real experiences to point to.

    What happens when ANY rape victim speaks about what happened to them?

    Abuse. The continuation of trauma. And a disbelieving public.

    Because we as a society don’t WANT to end rape.

    Because people like you will fight to the death to ever even let us start.

    That’s the longest reply I’ve ever seen that didn’t even bother to address the point I was making in the post.

    There was someone asking me why a woman’s testimony was discounted versus a mans. I said it doesn’t, because a woman can rape another woman and their statements are on equal footing too.

    Personally speaking, the people at that party were scumbags. They should have helped your girlfriend. And to what degree that they could be punished, they should be.

    But just because you have a sore spot doesn’t mean you should go around asserting things about people you don’t even know. I mean, I was a victim of sexual assault when I was in grade 6 and 7. Of course, no one will believe me because I have a different viewpoint then the majority of people here. I find that rather interesting.

  87. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    rundvelt,

    In the case of rape, it’s like this.

    Woman: “He raped me.”
    Man: “I didn’t rape her.”

    Where do you go from that? Maybe you’ve heard of these sorts of cases. They’re he said, she said. And generally speaking, without any other evidence to support either side, it results in a wash.

    Since you shitweasels are so fond of hypotheticals, here’s one:

    You have a husband and wife. He is one of those people who believe that a married woman has consented to sex with her husband by default, so he has sex with her one evening against her will. The woman doesn’t resist. Ashamed that she couldn’t please her husband, didn’t desire him, she just lets him do what he wants.
    A couple of days later, she tells what happened to a friend. That friend encourages her to go to the police.

    What you’re saying is that this woman shouldn’t be believed.
    What you’re saying is that this woman can’t possibly win a case against her husband.
    What you’re saying is that if a man rapes his wife, without causing a lot of physical damage, he can’t possibly be held accountable for the rape since it would just be her word against his.
    What you are saying is that men who are well-versed in manipulation, psychological threats or coercion can rape women without those women having any hope of getting the rapist convicted.
    What you are saying is that any rape that doesn’t involve physical injuries is fair game, since it would be just the word of the victim against the word of the rapist.

    Fuck you. That is all.

  88. says

    Feeding time!

    #35:

    I have a couple questions:

    – Would you agree that we have a standard of what is and isn’t acceptable as evidence of a crime, namely the standards of evidence present in our legal system?

    – If a person applied the same rigor to the evidence that would be required in a court to obtain a conviction, would they be hyper-skeptical as defined by your article?

    – Given this single claim, what do you think the most rational position would be:
    1) This woman was raped.
    2) This woman was not raped.
    3) We do not know whether a rape happened.

    -ADBOC. Though this is more clearly a gotcha, and in more obvious bad faith, than I’m used to seeing.

    -yes

    -false choce. Of the options presented, there is more evidentiary support for 1 than 2, however.

    On rereading, I noticed your futile (at least here) attempt at emotional manipulation. “He likes her! He means well, he’s just going about it the wrong way!” Yeah, no. Rape is rape regardless of how the perpetrator feels about the victim.

    #54:

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    I absolutely see no reason why it wouldn’t be. I guess we’re talking law now; does the statute in question specify the act has to happen more than once?

    If we’re not talking law, I can believe whatever I damn well please, and, to the extent of my powers, treat people accordingly.

    Consider, too, that if the answer to your question is “no,” you’re basically saying rapists get a freebie.

    Giliel @ #75:

    The fact that the verdict was “not guilty” doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen and the accused isn’t a rapist.

    Which, indeed, is why the verdict is “not guilty” rather than “innocent”

  89. says

    @Rundvelt #71:

    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?

    “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is not the standard that we as a society have used to determine if a crime has occurred. “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard that we as a society have used to determine whether or not the person accused of a crime should be punished under the law for committing that crime.

    For instance: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were stabbed to death. O.J. Simpson, the man accused of and tried for their murders, was found not guilty because there was not sufficient (admissible) evidence to establish proof of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Does this mean that Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were not murdered? Did a crime occur?

  90. says

    Wanderson’s point is a familiar and oft-refuted variant of the “well, if she was actually raped, why haven’t you reported it to the police?”, well larded with irrelevant procedural detail.

    When you go into the doctor for the symptoms I described, it’s not with the intent that you should get immediately slapped down for a CABG. Maybe it’s a muscle strain; maybe the stress is produced by anemia; maybe you’ve got lung cancer; maybe you watched a show about heart disease and are feeling hypochondriacal. Of course the subjective experience isn’t necessarily very strong or even specific evidence, but it IS evidence that something is going on that needs investigation.

    The last thing you do is dismiss it as nonexistent. You test.

    Old school skeptics also know this. Joe Nickell, for instance, is positively rabid about not simply dismissing a claim (because that is a “debunking” mindset, and he opposes it), but of investigating even the most bizarrely ludicrous paranormal claim. But for some reason, when it involves a woman being oppressed, the hyperskeptics decide a priori that it isn’t true and is just a symptom of some credulous form of “third wave feminism”.

  91. rundvelt says

    Oh jesus fucking christ, yes if she says that a man raped her I believe that he raped her, i don’t require that she shows me the bloodied sheets.

    Ok, so if a man says he was raped by a woman, do you believe him?

  92. says

    Rundvelt @88:
    Charly’s point whizzed by you.

    If you have a friend that calls you tomorrow morning needing help to change a flat, do you need courtroom level evidence to believe her? Do you need to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that she is being truthful? Or will you help her?

    Will you recognize that the standards for believing a claim and accepting said claim provisionally are NOT the same standards as a court of law?

    Why do you and your ilk continue to insist on using standards of the courtroom that only apply in the courtroom?

    Goddamit you people are infuriating.

    Here, listen to Dana Hunter. She lays it out nicely:

    One further disclaimer: Potential victims may use any standard they wish in order to decide what action will best address their safety concerns. This includes avoiding someone because something about that person makes their spidey sense tingle. None of us have to provide ironclad evidence that we are right to be concerned in order to decide we wish to have nothing to do with certain people. Freedom of association is a thing. Deal with it.

    Without further ado, then:

    Reasonable suspicion: “a low standard of proof in the U.S. to determine whether a brief investigative stop or search by a police officer or any government agent is warranted.” For our purposes, this would mean that convention officials don’t need a notarized statement from a dozen witnesses and video from nine different security cameras in order to check out possible skeevy behavior. It is the standard of evidence we might use to chase down that somewhat fishy smell issuing from the vicinity of a certain leading light.

    Probable cause: “a relatively low standard of evidence, which is used in the United States to determine whether a search, or an arrest, is warranted…. In the civil context, this standard is often used where plaintiffs are seeking a prejudgement remedy.” In our circumstances, it means we have enough evidence to pursue inquiry, and possibly eject a probable offender from our gatherings. No legal remedy is being pursued. There is no great harm coming to the accused, just perhaps some temporary embarrassment and inconvenience. This isn’t a criminal case; presumption of innocence does not apply, and a higher burden of proof does not need to be met. Sorry, legal eagles.

    Now, let’s move on to legal standards used in administrative hearings. We’re not even within sniffing distance of a trial court yet. This is an important point to remember.

    Some credible evidence: “does not require the fact-finder to weigh conflicting evidence, merely requiring the investigator or prosecutor to present the bare minimum of material credible evidence to support the allegations against the subject, or in support of the allegation…” In other words, this is definitely enough evidence to warrant ejecting Probable Creeper from the gathering, and to encourage further fact-finding if the aggrieved party (or parties) wishes to pursue the matter.

    Substantial evidence: “[M]ore than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” At this level, Probable Creeper should not be surprised should they not be welcomed back into whichever venue they were misbehaving in, now or in the future. This is more than enough evidence for reasonable people not directly targeted to use in deciding what precautions to take against Probable Creeper for the comfort and safety of those relying on them to provide a safe space. Note: presumption of innocence still has not come into play. (I am ever so sorry for those of you who own that drum and love to beat it. You’ll get your chance, never fear! Hold your drumsticks in the meantime.)

    Now, let us move on to civil burdens of proof, which are rather more strict.

    Preponderance of the Evidence: “met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true.” Note it does not say much greater than 50% – 50.1% will do. If there’s a greater than 50% probability that Probable Creeper is a predatory asshole, it’s quite reasonable for folks to refuse to share a stage with or offer a platform to Probable Creeper. The proof need not be ironclad. And, as Probable Creeper is still free to roam (just not in our spaces), there’s still no requirement for a presumption of innocence.

    Clear and Convincing Evidence: “means that the evidence presented by a party… must be highly and substantially more probable to be true than not and the trier of fact must have a firm belief or conviction in its factuality.” This, my friends, is the standard of proof PZ used in deciding to release the information he’d been given regarding Michael Shermer. I think this is the lowest standard we third parties should use in deciding to publicly out someone as a probable abuser (note this is an opinion, not a rule). At this level of evidence, it’s my belief that we have a moral duty to do so. But the victim does not have to press charges in order for this decision to be made. The accused remains free, suffering only social penalties, and often not even those, as there are always plenty of lickspittles and apologists around to make excuses for their behavior. Also, we are still not in criminal court. No presumption of innocence is required even now.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2013/08/13/sexism-skeptics-and-the-burden-of-proof/

    _____
    (I was not sure rundvelt woyld click the link, so I posted more than the snippet I normally would.)

  93. piegasm says

    Ok, so if a man says he was raped by a woman, do you believe him?

    FUCKING YES!

    Just as we’ve stated every time the latest hyperskeptical fuckweasel of the LynchHunt McWitchMob Brigade asks us.

    YES! We take the victim’s word because an actual rape is much, MUCH more likely than a false claim of rape.

  94. says

    I have just watched the Mr Deity video the second quote in the OP is drawn from, and read the post about it over at Lousy Canuck,…

    You might get rid of some of the sour taste left by that by reading this piece by Ian Murphy, if you haven’t already seen it. Of course it wasn’t meant specifically as a response to that video, but it works well as one.

  95. Louis says

    Oh PZ, your analogy doesn’t work. You’re a MAN having a heart attack. Of COURSE your word is to be believed. It’s not like you’re a WOMAN claiming to have been raped or something outlandish.

    Derp.

    Louis

  96. Pteryxx says

    Oh PZ, your analogy doesn’t work. You’re a MAN having a heart attack. Of COURSE your word is to be believed. It’s not like you’re a WOMAN claiming to have been raped or something outlandish.

    Heart disease often misdiagnosed in women

    (CNN) — When Jean Horgan complained of heart palpitations, her doctor told her it was just nerves.

    “I was told, ‘Go home and take tranquilizers. You’ll be fine, you’re under stress.’ ”

    Much later, another doctor — one specializing in women’s health — ordered an echocardiogram, an ultrasound test of her heart. The echo showed Horgan had a heart condition, and she needed medication.

    When Phyllis Cruz went to the emergency room, she told the nurse she felt as if she was having a heart attack. She said the nurse didn’t believe her.

    “I said to her, ‘But I have pain, chest pain. I can’t breathe.’ She said, ‘Well, there’s a lot of people here. Sit down.’ ”

    Six hours later, Cruz also was given an EKG. It turned out she did have a heart attack.

    Eventually Cruz turned to Nieca Goldberg, a New York cardiologist who specializes in women. Her patients’ biggest complaint is that their doctors haven’t taken them seriously.

    “And you know what? Most of the time they’re right,” said Goldberg, author of “The Women’s Healthy Heart Program.”

    Statistics bear Goldberg out. “Research shows that women may not be diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men,” says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  97. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Ok, so if a man says he was raped by a woman, do you believe him?

    Yes, I would believe him. Men don’t go around reporting rape for shits and giggles either, mostly for fear of being shamed for not being manly enough and wanting sex always and with anyone so it is much more probable that he is telling the truth than that he is lying.

    I would err on the side of believing the rape victim, no matter their gender.

    One beautiful day in the future, when rape stops being a gotcha game of “was it rape rape or was it “just” not-entirely-consensual sex” and rape victims start getting justice most of the time, I’ll start being more suspicious about claims of rape. If that happens during my lifetime, which I doubt.

  98. says

    rundveldt, you’re done JAQing off here. Take your hypotheticals and toddle off somewhere else with them, we’re not interested in playing. If you insist on dragging out the hyperskeptical distractions, I’ll insist on kicking you out of here.

  99. consciousness razor says

    That’s the longest reply I’ve ever seen that didn’t even bother to address the point I was making in the post.

    There was someone asking me why a woman’s testimony was discounted versus a mans. I said it doesn’t, because a woman can rape another woman and their statements are on equal footing too.

    Which is completely fucking irrelevant to the point that person was making. Jebus, I’m a man who was raped by men, and I can read well enough for fucking comprehension to understand that. Fucking idiot.

    But just because you have a sore spot doesn’t mean you should go around asserting things about people you don’t even know. I mean, I was a victim of sexual assault when I was in grade 6 and 7. Of course, no one will believe me because I have a different viewpoint then the majority of people here. I find that rather interesting.

    What I don’t believe is that no one would believe that. Try dealing honestly with us, rather than projecting. That works.

    And you haven’t even explained what your “different viewpoint” is, because as I pointed out it’s fucking incoherent, or what you’ve said about it so far hasn’t been what your viewpoint actually is.

  100. says

    Okay. You want attention? You got it.

    rundvelt @49

    However, the way the story was phrased was a little ridiculous. I mean, to suggest that he “helped you” get drunk is ridiculous, because unless he was forcing them down your throat and you had no choice, then you made a decision to consume the alcohol. I think that’s what he was lampooning.

    OF COURSE! Ladies, just never ever drink in public again. And that will stop you from being raped. I mean, did he force you to get drunk? And did you have the small-minded idiocy to think you were free to participate in society like a man would without KNOWING YOUR PLACE? Well, a little rape and rape apologia will fix that up nicely, won’t it?

    P.S. I was raped while sober. My girlfriend was raped while sober. My partner’s girlfriend was raped while sober. My partner was raped once while sober and sleeping and another time while drinking. The common thread to all these rapes? The presence of a rapist!

    rundvelt@54

    Point taken. I do in fact think that a high percentage of claims of sexual assault are valid. However, averages don’t hold water in small sample sizes. In cases of criminal charges, the sample size is 1.

    Okay, sure, every time my friend says it’s raining, it turns out it’s raining, but today is a new day and real scientists always look at the sample size of one rather than factoring in the sum total of observations and evidence seen so far.

    Also, I’m too fucking stupid to realize a fuckton more than ONE person has been reporting about Schermer’s rapey bullshit.

    You can say “hey, it’s more then likely that he raped her.” but that’s not really any different then “hey, she probably murdered her husband because most of the time it’s a family member”.

    Oh hey, that literal argument. Hey, why investigate her as a suspect based on this well-established pattern and the fact that she’s already murdered one husband already?

    TRUE SKEPTICS TM ignore all facts, because they personally weren’t there to collect. Evolution, bah! I didn’t see the extinction of the dinosaurs so there must be triceratops in the Central Valley.

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    Huh. Well, isn’t that a surprise? We’re actually convicting him of the crimes he most likely committed and he’ll spend time in a jail. You know, less than if you get caught smoking pot, but okay.

    OH WAIT. No he won’t. He’s not being convicted of FUCK ALL. Women are simply reporting their experiences around this rapist to try and protect others from being raped by him, because they have given up on the law ever having their side or society taking rape seriously enough for it to be worth the risk pursuing anything else.

    rundvelt @59

    Can you rationally explain to me how you got that message from his video? Cause I got a totally different message. Namely making fun of someone who seems to be shifting some of the responsibility for being drunk onto someone else.

    Seriously bitches, is it really so much to ask that every woman accepts that if they drink or go out in a short skirt, they’ll be raped, despite the fact that that doesn’t describe many rape histories and plenty of people have been raped while sober, conservatively dressed, and trying to be “good” and staying inside with people they felt they could trust.

    I mean, fuck, how are we going to get you out of OUR spaces with the threat of rape, if you’re not willing to play along and accept full responsibility for our raping you.

    rundvelt @65

    What BS? Stating a position and asking for your thoughts on said position? That’s a bad thing here?

    If you ever intended to post in good faith, then I am a spotted lemur only able to operate these internets through latent telekinetic ability.

    rundvelt @70

    Regarding the trauma that rape victims have and I don’t doubt what you’ve said, but how does this factor into whether we should accept a statement as fact when believing it?

    Sure, rape victims are horrifically traumatized by their experiences, but why should I give a fuck about that or recognize that people traumatized and hurt aren’t really looking for reasons to dwell on their experiences (see veterans and talking about the shit that haunts their dreams) and certainly aren’t eager for MORE TRAUMA.

    I mean, let’s just kick the poor creatures while they are down for being stupid women who should have known better than get drunk.

    If you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such, we should think it’s more likely then not.” Then that’s perfectly fine and we’re in agreement. But if you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such we should believe the rape occured.” Then I don’t agree and would like to discuss why you think that.

    Just because there’s a low percentage of a false rape accusation and a high percentage that a rape victim will not be taken seriously is no reason to take rape accusations seriously.

    I mean, that would be following evidence and REAL SKEPTICS DON’T DO THAT!

    As for the conviction stuff, it’s per my entry post. I was asking whether or not the standards used by the court to determine guilt are reasonable to apply in believing whether a crime took place or not.

    If we don’t use the exact same standards as a court for our daily life. But not a real court, more like the kangaroo court that actual rape victims suffer in America and even then mock and refuse to take them seriously, then well, I’m not sure how anyone can get out of bed.

    Oh wait. That’s fucking stupid and no one. And I mean no one really treats their life that way, being unwilling to proceed with their daily life unless a full criminal trial would confirm or deny every action.

    It’s a rationalization tactic trying to exploit the fact that our justice system is broken in order to perpetuate the rape culture that broke it.

    rundvelt @74

    Your throwing in “conviction” is just another red herring. We are not at a court of law.

    Oh, now you get it. Amazing how you sockpuppets can turn your arguments on a dime when you want to avoid ackonwledging your real arguments (that women are sluts and liars and deserve the rape culture to put them in their place and that talking about it violates the “contract” by virtue of being uppity).

    We are not convicting anybody, we are not even proposing prosecution of anyone.

    Yup a rapist is going to walk free on raping someone even if they are “condemned” in the “court of public opinion”. They will have in every way GAINED something from the exchange even in the worst case scenario for them.

    And yet you assholes want to pretend that he’s suffering “the most” of anyone, the victim included.

    We are talking about what is reasonable for us, as individuals, to believe about certain person and how to adjust our perception and behaviour towards that person accordingly.

    Yeah, right.

    But hey, if you want to play, look at the long history of similar complaints going back years. Then look at how quickly you dismiss it in order to justify hating the lying bitches. Then acknowledge what that’s going to look to the rest of us and what you have become.

    A rape apologizing fuckwit and willing tool for our diseased rape culture, willing to defend any abuser, no matter what.

    Choke on that self-realization, for all I care.

    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?

    No.

    My employment discriminated against me for being trans*, tried to drive me to suicide with gaslighting and endless petty bullshit. There is no pending case file against them, thus I am to assume it didn’t happen.

    What about my rape. There’s no pending case file there, but it happened to me. I was there. I still have the scars across my mind.

    And what about you, going out with your buddies. Is that admissable in court? And if not, would you be willing to discount that life experience?

    The world is not a court of law and we are all grateful for that. Because the American justice system is broken beyond fixing.

    This goes back to my original post. I was asking if the standard of evidence required by the courts to make a determination of a crime happening is hyperskeptical when used by individuals.

    Yes. Your point that looking to the evidence, the history, and historical precedent is fucking pussy shit compared to what a dudebro wants to believe in defiance of the evidence.

    Yes, you are very much separating yourself from the inclement thinkers you want to think yourself better than.

    Go fuck yourself, you disingenuous toad. No one’s buying what you are selling.

  101. says

    @Rundvelt:

    In the case of rape, it’s like this.

    Woman: “He raped me.”
    Man: “I didn’t rape her.”

    Where do you go from that? Maybe you’ve heard of these sorts of cases. They’re he said, she said. And generally speaking, without any other evidence to support either side, it results in a wash.

    Let’s say a man is accused of rape. There are two possibilities: either he committed the rape, or he did not. Let’s also say that he’s not a philosophical knight, compelled to tell only the truth in all circumstances. Let’s say that he has a reasonable sense of self-preservation. So, if he is innocent, he’s likely to say “I didn’t rape her,” because it’s the truth. And if he’s guilty, he’s also likely to say “I didn’t rape her,” because he hopes it muddies the waters and makes the case into a he-said/she-said situation, which he, like you, thinks will work out better for him than if he says “I did rape her.”

    So we can glean absolutely no information from denial. A guilty man or an innocent one will likely have the same response.

    Can we glean any information from the accusation? Well, making an accusation of rape is a costly, humiliating, and painful process. It opens the claimant up to having their entire sexual history dissected, and even if the rape is substantiated with undeniable evidence, typically results in attacks and character assassination for the victim. We can also look to the statistical evidence of prior situations, and see that actual rape occurs depressingly frequently, and false rape accusations are vanishingly rare. So, what motivation would a person have to make a false rape accusation? Why would they be willing to pay that personal and social cost, especially when the best they can hope for (assuming your assessment) is “a wash” (or, more accurately, is about a 25% chance of conviction for reported rapes).

    I’d say that gives us a little more substantial information, and for me (and for a lot of the people around here) enough to provisionally believe the victim’s accusation.

  102. says

    Rundvelt:
    Now you are displaying 202-level douchmaggotry.
    Rape happens. A lot. Like ever day. Across the world. Anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their life.
    False rape claims account for anywhere from 2-8% of rape claims. That means at the least, 92% of rape claims are true.
    What is also true is that people, especially the police dismiss rape claims.
    And yes, men do get raped–by other men and women.
    Given how society treats rape claims, and how society shames rape victims, and given how many men feel too ashamed to speak up about their rape, YES, if a guy told me he was raped, I would believe him.

    For fucks sake, was the empathy well dry when your turn came up?

  103. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    1) Even I thought I over did the hyperbole to make it obvious that I was mocking the misogynists.

    2) You bring up an excellent point. Not just about bad treatment of women but of “Male as standard” medical models have failed women, particularly in the case of heart disease/attack where women can often present with identical conditions showing in very different ways from men. It’s a really concrete bit of historical (HA! Historical….eyeroll) sexism affecting women very badly.

    Louis

  104. rundvelt says

    110 Tom Foss

    “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is not the standard that we as a society have used to determine if a crime has occurred. “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard that we as a society have used to determine whether or not the person accused of a crime should be punished under the law for committing that crime.

    I wasn’t as descriptive as I should have been. I had assumed that people reading my paragraph would have concluded that I was discussing the fact that a crime has a perpetrator, not merely the fact “something illegal happened.” You know what they say when you assume.

    Even still, I don’t agree with your statement. Mainly because decisions on whether someone should be punished occur before the application of that standard, see cases of mental illness. And to what degree someone should be punished is applied after the application of reasonable doubt.

  105. piegasm says

    Of course, no one will believe me because I have a different viewpoint then the majority of people here. I find that rather interesting.

    How very fucking skeptical of you to not only assume we wouldn’t believe you because you disagree with us but to also find that little fiction “interesting” (which I’m sure is a euphemism for “indicative of an utter lack of skepticism”). Fucking fuckwitted fuckweasel.

    By the way, I’m sorry that happened to you and I’m even sorrier that your own experience with sexual assault hasn’t resulted in a little more empathy on your part toward other victims.

  106. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    SC,
    Thank you for that link to Ian Murphy’s post. I literally* died laughing.

    * ;)

  107. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    rundvelt,
    If you’d read the links provided, you’d see that yes, we would believe him. In fact, I shared that my male friend was raped while drunk and no, I didn’t ask him for proof. I took his word and did not pile more trauma onto an already traumatized person.
    Now fuck off. You aren’t willing to educate yourself and you’re being a complete asswipe.

  108. says

    beatrice

    I consider it rude to refer to people’s comments just by number, at least write the name or quote the person. I’m not going back thirty comments to search for what you’re replying to.

    I use control+f and type the number to find things quickly (if you are already aware of that then please ignore)

  109. lancelotgobbo says

    Tony, The Queer Shoop: Undefeated Pictionary Champion wrote:

    Why do you and your ilk continue to insist on using standards of the courtroom that only apply in the courtroom?

    My concern is that this will end up in a courtroom, and that PZ will be responsible for some rather expensive damages. There’s a right way, and a wrong way to accuse some one of being a sexual predator. You can be as outraged by my restraint in suggesting that as you like, but it won’t save PZ any money. The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual. I just don’t want to see it on CNN’s front page when PZ is found liable for $x,000,000 (especially not if commenters like you and me are included in the judgement) – as it will hearten the godly types who hate us all, male, female or those in between.

    BTW, Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls and Charly, thanks for the ad hominems. Please answer the argument in future rather than attacking the messenger. It doesn’t do our cause (or feminism) any good and it makes you look, well, sorry, rather silly.

  110. says

    The correct analogy then would be amateurs on the internet claiming that a they don’t believe that a patient has coronary artery disease because the patient did not present evidence

    no, it would be that amateurs on the internet claiming that he didn’t have the SYMPTOMS he listed.

  111. Bernard Bumner says

    Does hyperskepticism necessarily go hand in hand with sociopathy?

    That’s the longest reply I’ve ever seen that didn’t even bother to address the point I was making in the post.

    You callous wanker.

  112. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    skeptifem,

    Heh, I actually forgot that comment numbers on ftb are searchable. Thanks!

    I still prefer at least a nym if not a quote, for easier and quicker use in busy threads.

  113. unclefrogy says

    this hyperskepty stuff does not seem to have the smell of being rational but has the stink of emotional reaction. it is all mostly “don’t tell me what to do or think, I right your wrong”

    trying to be rational takes effort , skepticism is a lot more than a reaction against authority
    without questioning ourselves it is nothing it is just a different god but god none the less.
    skeptifem said it clearly with the comment about reacting to racial issues. we learn these things “unconsciously” It takes effort to change
    unless we really question out own selves we are just changing sects and not abandoning faith at all.

    uncle frogy

  114. says

    lance

    There’s a right way, and a wrong way to accuse some one of being a sexual predator.

    bwaaahahaha! no there isn’t. If you want to dig yourself in deeper then describe the ‘right way’ for everyone, since all of us (rape victims included) are just too dumb to know about it yet. if you are going to say ‘call the police’ then you need to read up on what happens when people try.

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    speak for yourself, fuckstick. I think people are more important than a movement, and that ALL manner of fuckery is excused with the rhetoric you are spewing in the quote above. Hell the only way that a movement is important is because of the impact is has on people, right?
    I would be proud to be a part of a movement that actually took rape seriously instead of excusing it when Very Important People do it, but I can’t seem to find any, anywhere. It looks to me like any group that concentrates power ends up with some sort of abuse happening behind the scenes, and the people who should do something about it usually say the same thing you are- that its more important to save face than to out a predator and protect others in the future. its sickening.

  115. says

    Aside:

    Cerberus #122 – in your dismantling of rundwelt you failed to notice that some of the claims you appropriate to him, are in fact my claims he wrongly quoted. That was not them “getting it”, that was just being them unable to quote.

  116. says

    Wanderson:
    Did you read the Grenade post?

    I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously.

    This was not “a claim made on the internet to no one in particular”

    The hosting org had a responsibility to handle those claims properly and they failed utterly

  117. kittehserf says

    @runtvelt*:

    Ok, so if a man says he was raped by a woman, do you believe him?

    Yes.

    What is so fucking hard about “believe rape victims” for you? Why are you so invested in believing rapists?

    *not a typo

  118. Pteryxx says

    wanderson @128:

    Had the police, the professionals in this case, not taken the claims of the victim seriously, then the analogy would be apt.

    …You poor fucking damned ignorant fool.

  119. Bernard Bumner says

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    This is just nonsense. The only movement worth preserving is one which protects its members. If it will not or cannot, then it should be torn apart and remade.

    Don’t pretend that PZ is chasing glory, and don’t dare suggest that victims should be made and sacrificed for the greater good.

  120. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    lancelotgobbo,
    Yes, well, I’m sure that PZ appreciates your concern (that was sarcasm, btw), but he has already stated that he thought it through before going forward with his source’s story.
    He’s an adult and very much aware of how these things work, and he was willing to take the risk because the woman who accused Shermer did not get justice (or even a marginally acceptable response) when she first tried to report the rape to the conference in question, and wanted to help her get the word out as a warning to other women. So yeah, this was the “right way” because there was no other way that a) victim was comfortable with and b) would be effective.

  121. rundvelt says

    123 Tom Foss

    First of all, let me say it’s been great chatting with you. It’s kind of sad that people resort to calling you all sorts of names simply because you disagree with their viewpoint and ask them to explain it.

    I understand that it must be frustrating if I’m one of the uninformed here and people think they get a lot, but I don’ t think the vitriol is warranted.

    Let’s say a man is accused of rape. There are two possibilities: either he committed the rape, or he did not. Let’s also say that he’s not a philosophical knight, compelled to tell only the truth in all circumstances. Let’s say that he has a reasonable sense of self-preservation. So, if he is innocent, he’s likely to say “I didn’t rape her,” because it’s the truth. And if he’s guilty, he’s also likely to say “I didn’t rape her,” because he hopes it muddies the waters and makes the case into a he-said/she-said situation, which he, like you, thinks will work out better for him than if he says “I did rape her.”

    Total agreement here.

    So we can glean absolutely no information from denial. A guilty man or an innocent one will likely have the same response.

    Absolutely correct. We cannot get any information from the man/defendant/whomever

    Can we glean any information from the accusation? Well, making an accusation of rape is a costly, humiliating, and painful process. It opens the claimant up to having their entire sexual history dissected, and even if the rape is substantiated with undeniable evidence, typically results in attacks and character assassination for the victim.

    You have an assumption here. The first is that the woman is telling the truth. If someone is lying, it’s probably less painful, probably less humilating (or they don’t care). Also, how is this process costly on the victim? Are you talking financially or emotionally?

    We can also look to the statistical evidence of prior situations, and see that actual rape occurs depressingly frequently, and false rape accusations are vanishingly rare. So, what motivation would a person have to make a false rape accusation?

    Custody battles, divorce proceedings, good ol fashioned revenge…

    Why would they be willing to pay that personal and social cost, especially when the best they can hope for (assuming your assessment) is “a wash” (or, more accurately, is about a 25% chance of conviction for reported rapes).

    Again, I’d say the cost for women who are raped is much higher then women who are not raped. I mean, there’s no emotional pain from reliving the event, there is no real psychological toll and generally speaking, the motivation for them filing the false claim outweighs those pains. Otherwise they probably wouldn’t have done it.

    I’d say that gives us a little more substantial information, and for me (and for a lot of the people around here) enough to provisionally believe the victim’s accusation.

    I’m in total agreement, even though I disagree with the phrasing of some of your previous points. Saying “I don’t know, but given the situation, I’d say it’s more then likely” is acceptable. What’s not is saying “I believe a rape happened because the victim said so.”

  122. consciousness razor says

    My concern is that this will end up in a courtroom, and that PZ will be responsible for some rather expensive damages. There’s a right way, and a wrong way to accuse some one of being a sexual predator.

    Could there be more than one of each? Would you specify what you think these right and wrong ways are?

    You can be as outraged by my restraint in suggesting that as you like, but it won’t save PZ any money. The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    Hence why the movement is not at risk, so it would have no relevance to your concerns for PZ’s potential legal troubles.

    I just don’t want to see it on CNN’s front page when PZ is found liable for $x,000,000 (especially not if commenters like you and me are included in the judgement) – as it will hearten the godly types who hate us all, male, female or those in between.

    Supposing that happened, what the hell do you think that would change about the relationship between the atheist/skeptic movement and the “godly types who hate us all”? It will hearten them? Why are you so concerned about that? Are you just as concerned about explaining to me “the right way” to accuse someone of rape? And relative to all of that, are you more or less concerned about rape itself?

  123. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    lancelotgobbo

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    Oh, in my hurry to address lancelotgobbo’s worry for PZ, I failed to notice that they were actually worried about the atheist/skeptical movement.

    Well, I don’t really consider myself part of any such movement, unless hanging around pharyngula, discussing life and arguing with halfwits counts. Honestly, if you are in any way representative of this/these movement(s), then fuck them. They are not worth my time.

  124. Pteryxx says

    rundvelt:

    You have an assumption here. The first is that the woman is telling the truth. If someone is lying, it’s probably less painful, probably less humilating (or they don’t care). Also, how is this process costly on the victim? Are you talking financially or emotionally?

    …I want to know where rundvelt’s magical La-La Land is where everyone from police to journalists to random douchebags on the Internet say “Oh, she’s probably lying about rape? Well that’s just fine, we’ll leave her alone and go pay attention to something else now.”

  125. rundvelt says

    141 Kittehserf

    Yes.

    What is so fucking hard about “believe rape victims” for you? Why are you so invested in believing rapists?

    Who said I’m believing rapists?

    The three options are:
    “I believe a rape occured” <— your positiion
    "I do not know if a rape occured" <— generally my position
    "I believe a rape didn't occur" <— no one's position.

  126. says

    Caine, don’t be mean to that doctor guy (Wanderson #39). He’s a doctor, he just wanted to say that no doctor would act like the doctor in PZ’s skit. He did miss the point (which was that no doctor would act that way), yes. And then went on to clarify for our benefit what doctors interpret as “subjective” and “objective”. Give him a break. I don’t think he was defending the hyperskepsicks.

    spoken like someone who hasn’t ever had to work with doctors. I did patient care (and later problem resolution) work in a hospital, and let me assure you- there are plenty of doctors who act like total pieces of shit. One of the most common issues is prescribing weight loss to overweight/obese patients instead of actually listening & diagnosing:

    http://fathealth.wordpress.com/

    I’ve also been prescribed dr phil instead of anxiety medication, when I didn’t have any insurance and got charged for a visit that basically said “snap out of it, dumbass”.

  127. says

    I understand that it must be frustrating if I’m one of the uninformed here and people think they get a lot, but I don’ t think the vitriol is warranted.

    How do you feel when the fifth creationist in a row comes up to you and asks “if humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”
    How do you feel when he does that after you’ve just explained the flaws of that question to his friend standing right next to him?
    How do you feel when you hand him a biology text book with all the information he wants and his response is that he wants you to read the book out to him?

    That’s how we feel. And even then, people have still responded to you, providing you with links for you to educate yourself. They’ve been frustrated, but they’ve still provided you with the answers you wanted. Yet here you are, complaining that the answers weren’t spoonfed to you.

  128. Bernard Bumner says

    I’m in total agreement, even though I disagree with the phrasing of some of your previous points. Saying “I don’t know, but given the situation, I’d say it’s more then likely” is acceptable. What’s not is saying “I believe a rape happened because the victim said so.”

    You keep stating this, but I’m not sure that that anyone cares what you consider to be acceptable.

    Your approach will do more harm than good, and ours will do more good than harm. That is why our approach is better. How to be a Decent Human Being 101.

  129. says

    “I believe a rape occured” <— your positiion
    "I do not know if a rape occured" <— generally my position

    And of course, we have to top it off with a bit of equivocating about different levels of certainty and the difference between knowledge and belief.

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

    rundvelt,

    Also, how is this process costly on the victim? Are you talking financially or emotionally?

    You mean you don’t realize that if the victim has been reading these threads, with all the assholes explaining how she’s lying, grabbing attention, wasn’t really raped, whatever (but not rape) happened was her own fault since she was drinking, is ruining a man with her lying lies, etc… she might be a tiny little bit hurt? Discouraged? Ashamed (for drinking/not telling him off/talking to him – basically, getting raped)?
    No? YOu don’t see how emotionally costly it must be for any victim of rape who was drunk at the time to listen to Mr. Deity say she’s lacking a backbone and shouldn’t go around accusing people of rape just because she got drunk (and got raped)?
    No?
    You have some issues, man.

  131. rundvelt says

    …I want to know where rundvelt’s magical La-La Land is where everyone from police to journalists to random douchebags on the Internet say “Oh, she’s probably lying about rape? Well that’s just fine, we’ll leave her alone and go pay attention to something else now.”

    Tom was suggesting that due to the toll put on the victims of rape making the claim, that there’s less likely to do so. I replied that his first assumption was that every single woman was telling the truth.

    That doesn’t suddenly morph into “most women are lying”. No more then me saying “You shouldn’t assume all dogs wear collars” doesn’t morph into “Most dogs don’t wear collars”

    I suggest you re-read what I wrote.

  132. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Re: rundveldt…

    …is there a reason we’re indulging this dishonest little shitstain?

  133. says

    wanderson

    However, the victim in PZ’s post is not describing her feelings or her physical perceptions of the event, she is describing the event itself.

    you seem to believe that there is a difference. There is no way to describe an event without describing what you perceived of it (including your physical sensations), our senses are how we get information about the external world and observe every event. When someone says “I was raped” it means exactly the same thing as “I experienced rape” unless there is some kind of hallucination or other anomaly occurring.

  134. says

    Oh gee, a new STUPID excuse: I am worried about PZ.

    lancelotgobbo:
    Why not respect PZs decision? He is an adult and has a much better idea of what he is doing than you do. Hidden–poorly I add–in your faux concern is the idea that you are more logical and rational than he is, and better qualified to make decisions about his life than he is. Which is deeply arrogant you douchecannon.
    Shove your fake concern.

    AND FUCKING LEARN WHAT AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS dipshit. Calling you mean names like I just did is not an ad hominem.
    FFS, its not like you can’t open a new tab and google ‘ad hominem’ and correct your ignorance.

  135. rundvelt says

    You mean you don’t realize that if the victim has been reading these threads, with all the assholes explaining how she’s lying, grabbing attention, wasn’t really raped, whatever (but not rape) happened was her own fault since she was drinking, is ruining a man with her lying lies, etc… she might be a tiny little bit hurt? Discouraged? Ashamed (for drinking/not telling him off/talking to him – basically, getting raped)?
    No? YOu don’t see how emotionally costly it must be for any victim of rape who was drunk at the time to listen to Mr. Deity say she’s lacking a backbone and shouldn’t go around accusing people of rape just because she got drunk (and got raped)?
    No?
    You have some issues, man.

    Actually, I was asking because he was repeating himself. Painful and humiliating are both types of emotions. If he’s saying it’s also emotionally costly, then that’s already evident by the painful and humiliating statments. So I was just clarifying.

  136. says

    What’s the fucking difference between believing “it’s more likely than not” and simply believing it? If you’re not believing it’s a 100% probability, or you’re not believing them based on a priori first principles, then it’s just an ordinary fact-claim … in which case, you simply don’t believe those?

    don’t you know that you only get so much ‘belief’ to go around, and that you have to spend it accordingly? yeeesh, I have to explain everything to you pharyngulites!

  137. says

    rundvelt:

    At this point, you are the equivalent of the kid who comes into the chat room/forum/comments section and posts:

    hey wow good discussion you guys. i have a question tho. Consider the debate of the biological bases of human behaviors. What are the ramifications of the extreme points of view (“blank slate” versus “programmed behaviors”) with regard to these topics? How might each be seen in terms of an intermediate model, as described in the chapter?

    i think its a good question and i’m curious what you guys think to! i have my own opinions but id like to here you’res. oh and if you could please site at least two sources that would be great!

    And my response is going to be exactly the same: go do your fucking homework.

    People have tried responding in good faith. People have even done you a great favor and pointed you in the right direction, so you don’t have to sift through years off blog posts on the subject. The correct response is to say thank you to the people who helped do your homework, and then shut up, read, and come back when you can have a conversation with the grown ups.

    It’s quite clear from your unwillingness to learn that you are not asking questions in good faith. There’s no reason for us to waste time trying to answer you in kind.

  138. rundvelt says

    …is there a reason we’re indulging this dishonest little shitstain?

    What have I been dishonest about? I’ve been stating my opinion and asking others what they thought. And I’ve been asking them to rationalize what their position is.

    For some replies, they’re very good and we have a discussion. For others, it’s immediate attacks and assertion. Take the good with the bad.

  139. says

    Re: rundveldt…

    …is there a reason we’re indulging this dishonest little shitstain?

    I don’t see the point anymore. We can use caines links to reply if anyone really cares anymore- that is the approach I will be taking, anyway.

  140. says

    Beatrice
    They can’t blockquote either. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that people defending harrassment can’t master basic courtesy, though.

    Elizabeth Hamilton

    He’s a doctor, he just wanted to say that no doctor would act like the doctor in PZ’s skit.

    Then he’s still wrong, as evidenced by magistramarla’s post 36 (which is well before he turned up). I could recount a half dozen stories like hers that have happened to people I know, and the only reason it’s not more than that is thay my memory’s not cooperating.

    rundveldt, wanderson, lancelotgobbo
    I heartily recommend you resign your membership in the human race, and your residency on planet Earth; I hear that the Mars colonists are getting some momentum going, or you might look into one of the moons of Jupiter. I wish you well in your future endeavours, so long as these do not include communicating with anyone here.

  141. maudell says

    There’s a right way, and a wrong way to accuse some one of being a sexual predator.

    Yes! That! Please tell us, because we’ve tried everything and only found the wrong ways. Apparently, people warning each other about an individual in the same way we do with every other type of harmful behaviour (liar, thief, violent person) is wrong. Not talking about is wrong as well. Going to the police is wrong (in my own experience, the police told me that I should drop it, since it would be too painful to live). Going to the orgs is wrong. Talking about how this is happening, in a general sense (without naming names) is wrong. Doing the same, but with names is wrong.

    What did I miss? It would be really useful for you to let us know.

  142. rundvelt says

    People have tried responding in good faith. People have even done you a great favor and pointed you in the right direction, so you don’t have to sift through years off blog posts on the subject. The correct response is to say thank you to the people who helped do your homework, and then shut up, read, and come back when you can have a conversation with the grown ups.

    Actually, what’s happened is more like this.

    “Hey, my favourite flavour of popsickle is purple. I think it works the best.”

    To which I’m met with.

    “I can’t believe you said cherry popsickles are gross.”

    What I find rather odd is that if people don’t want to talk to me, why do they? I mean, if you don’t have an interest in engaging with someone about your thoughts, why bother?

    And I don’t know what “asking questions in good faith” means. Cause generally it seems to me that unless I think exactly the same way that others do, I’m not asking questions in good faith.

    I mean, it’s up to the individual. I think it speaks far more about a person when they just reply to toss vitriol from rather tame replies then those who simply want nothing to do with it.

  143. calicocat says

    What an interesting story to use; most of the women I know who dabble in homeopathy, prayer, or altmed – the stuff those guys in the skeptic community love to make fun of and debunk! – are there because of the sexist hyperskepticism they were subjected to by doctors and so can’t get proper healthcare. What a pathetic bunch of people that part of the skeptic community is.

  144. Louis says

    I think Caine’s links are the basis of what can become a standard reply form.

    “Dear X (Where X is most recent JAQer/MRA/whatever)

    We your friendly and not so friendly Pharyngula Horde have answered all these questions and had this discussion very recently. Whilst we are sure you are a special snowflake who will bring individual brilliance to any conversation we are tired and weary. Our fingers are sore. To prevent you to being mocked to within an inch of your life, please follow this LINK to a page of other links. Contained within are the recent arguments and basic concepts you need to be aware of to be up to the minimum standard of discussion required to participate meaningfully and with novelty. Thank you in advance.

    Love

    Pissed off Pharynguloids.”

    Sound reasonable? We could all have copies, the standard reply gets posted, the person is then placed in Coventry (i.e. no one speaks to them) for 24 hours (a reasonable reading time) and then the level of discussion miraculously elevates! (Erm…yeah)

    Louis

  145. says

    Hyperskepticism has been a problem since, what, 200BC or so? When the pyhrronian skeptics established their tropes demolishing claims to knowledge, I’m sure they were extremely irritating to anyone and everyone who was trying to make any kind of statement involving observation or fact. While the pyhrronians are basically irrefutable (David Hume filled in a few of the remaining chinks in their armor) the standard counter-argument is that the extreme skeptic obviously evinces concern about “real” world things – they may be skeptical regarding the evidence of their senses but they still appear to walk around what appear to be trees in their path out of an apparent concern for not breaking what appears to be their noses.

    The degree of epistemological certainty that some of the ‘derpwads’ (I like it!) demand is such a high standard that they refute themselves by offering their critique:
    After all, by critiquing lack of evidence, they appear to be assuming that they have an audience – without a sufficiency of evidence. If they were truly as skeptical as they wish to appear to be, they’d appear to shut the fuck up because they have no apparent way of being sure that anyone is listening to them.

  146. consciousness razor says

    Tom was suggesting that due to the toll put on the victims of rape making the claim, that there’s less likely to do so. I replied that his first assumption was that every single woman was telling the truth.

    That doesn’t suddenly morph into “most women are lying”. No more then me saying “You shouldn’t assume all dogs wear collars” doesn’t morph into “Most dogs don’t wear collars”

    I suggest you re-read what I wrote.

    And the point is that even if it’s a false accusation, there are generally bad consequences for doing so. It is something to avoid doing, given the culture of heartless, fuckwitted dissemblers and denialists like you. That is unlike the “beneficial” self-serving consequences people certainly don’t avoid when they lie about being innocent.

  147. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Greg,
    Are you saying that a woman telling the truth is as extraordinary as claims of a god on Earth that works magic and rises from the grave?
    Just be honest. Is that what you are saying?

  148. maudell says

    @rundvelt 156

    I think it was your own assumption that he assumed all women must be telling the truth. I think he was responding to your 50/50 argument. The fact is, whether she is telling the truth or not, an accusation of rape is very costly. First, there’s the fact that a false accusation is unlikely to work (since real accusations rarely result in guilty verdicts). Then, there is the public shunning. If people believe her, she will be labeled as ‘damaged goods’. Probed everywhere, in her past, her behaviour, her actions. Typically, most of this investigation is done on the alleged victim, not on the accused.

    Another finding in research about rape is that false accusations are typically about stranger rape. A person will claim to have been abducted and raped by a person ze could not see. I am not saying that false rape accusations on real people are impossible, but I find your insistence in assuming it as default odd. The 2-8% calculations of false accusation only applies to court cases, therefore the total ratio real vs false accusation is incredibly one sided.

  149. frogkisser says

    Rundvelt,
    Since you are requesting explanations…
    Go fuck yourself. <- That is an imperative statement.
    You are a silly fucking fucker. <- That is a declarative statement and an insult.
    Your arguments are invalid, because you are a silly fucking fucker. <- THAT is an ad hominem attack.

    Do you feel better now?

  150. consciousness razor says

    And I don’t know what “asking questions in good faith” means.

    This much is obvious.

  151. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s not sufficient when the defense has contradictory evidence of the same type.

    Defense doesn’t refute the claim, but tries to wave it away. BUT IT IS EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO WARN OTHER WOMEN TO BEWARE OF A POTENTIAL RAPIST IN THEIR MIDST. Which was the intent of PZ’s post. Warn women, not convict MS.

  152. maudell says

    Ok, popsicle analogy. Rape is only a matter of opinion, right? Personal taste.

    You’ve got a bag full of socks, rundvelt?

  153. says

    lancelotgobbo

    I just don’t want to see it on CNN’s front page when PZ is found liable for $x,000,000 (especially not if commenters like you and me are included in the judgement) – as it will hearten the godly types who hate us all, male, female or those in between.

    Nice priorities you have there. Tell me, do you believe the Catholic church is correct in placing its public reputation ahead of its legal obligation to see justice served?

  154. says

    I think Caine’s links are the basis of what can become a standard reply form.

    “Dear X (Where X is most recent JAQer/MRA/whatever)

    I think it would be cooler if we just (all) replied:
    Standard answer #4
    (or whatever number it was) and maybe link it to a page of standard answers. It’s dismissive, yet accurate, and saves trolling bandwidth. If a troll comes up with something new then they get their own number and personalized fisking.

    There’s an old joke about a bunch of prisoners who spent so long in a cell together that they stopped telling jokes (because they all knew them so well) and just replaced them with numbers, for brevity. So periodically, one of the prisoners might should “!19!” and everyone would laugh (joke #19 is the one that ends with the punchline ‘what did the turkey do?’) So one day they’re sitting around and one of them yells “!22!” and everyone giggles. Then another yells out “256!” and everyone groans except for one of the prisoners who is incapacitated with laughter. One of the prisoners asks him, “Do you really think #256 is that funny?” and the prisoner replies, “I hadn’t heard that one before.”

  155. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am simply saying that the description of an event is not the same as a description of the one’s perceptions of the event. F

    Mental wanking drivel. Typical of rape apologists trying to muddy the waters, not real folks with empathy.

  156. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    wanderson,
    So a woman is not capable of knowing if she was raped in the way that a person may know their symptoms but not the medical cause? You are stating that she just thinks she was raped and we should be hyperskeptical of her claim because it may not have been a “legitimate rape”?

  157. says

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    Lie back and think of the movement, baby
    Think about what it’ll do for the movement!
    Sure, she might have been raped, but what about the PR if we actually do something?
    Shut up, you’re hurting the movement!
    Shut up, you’re destroying TAM!
    Shut up, shut up, shut up, who cares if you’ve been raped, who cares if he rapes again, shut up, shut up, shut up!!!

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    BTW, Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls and Charly, thanks for the ad hominems. Please answer the argument in future rather than attacking the messenger. It doesn’t do our cause (or feminism) any good and it makes you look, well, sorry, rather silly.

    You a feminist? I don’t think so tone troll. And I insulted you. That is never an ad hominem…..

  159. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Lance,
    If you’re movement is so important to you that you’d happily throw me and other women under the bus, then you and your movement are evil. You are supporting rapists and harassers and hushing victims because you view them as unimportant. That’s disgusting. You are disgusting.

  160. says

    Wow, has anyone notice that PZ claims are just like the gospels? You have anoymous tales, told years after the facts

    Oh, how original! I haven’t been following this series of postings as carefully as the serious Hordeites, but I think that clever argument has been made at least 14 times so far. And it’s still stupidly wrong.

  161. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Reporting my chest pain to the people who organized an atheist convention would not constitute reporting it to a professional in a professional setting, unless one of the those organizers happened to be a physician and I made the report as she stood by my hospital bed and waited with me for the ED physician to arrive.

    Which of course means that expecting those people to answer with worry about your chest pain, asking you whether you feel well enough or they need to call a doctor for you immediately is totally unreasonable, and they should be expected to dismiss you, disbelieving your claims of chest pains.

  162. says

    @Rundvelt #126:

    Even still, I don’t agree with your statement. Mainly because decisions on whether someone should be punished occur before the application of that standard, see cases of mental illness. And to what degree someone should be punished is applied after the application of reasonable doubt.

    That’s irrelevant. The point is that we determine a crime has occurred long before we acquire proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict the guilty party. Determining a crime has occurred is (typically) a matter for the criminal investigation, not for the courts.

    And, of course, that’s only one standard. That long quote from Dana Hunter’s blog outlines some of the other standards we have just in legal matters.

    First of all, let me say it’s been great chatting with you. It’s kind of sad that people resort to calling you all sorts of names simply because you disagree with their viewpoint and ask them to explain it.

    People here have been dealing with disingenuous “disagreers” and question-askers for a week now. There are 4,000-plus comments and multiple blog posts explaining relevant viewpoints. That people are irritated because you’ve come in with no information, asking the same questions that have been answered repeatedly in other threads, and that you seem to think they’re under some obligation due to politisse to answer your questions as if they’re the first time they’ve been asked, is not a mark against their characters. I’m procrastinating from things I ought to be doing, and I haven’t been heavily active in the other threads. My patience hasn’t worn quite so thin, but entitlement like that is likely to rip right through it.

    You have an assumption here. The first is that the woman is telling the truth. If someone is lying, it’s probably less painful, probably less humilating (or they don’t care). Also, how is this process costly on the victim? Are you talking financially or emotionally?

    I think having people publicly dissecting your sexual history and proclaiming you a slut who asked for it is going to be painful and humiliating whether or not you’re telling the truth. In terms of cost, I’m speaking emotionally and socially; the Steubenville case, for example, had the victim’s reputation demolished and earned criticism and shunning from the community, because how dare she ruin the lives of good boys who just happened to rape her and film it and post it online.

    Custody battles, divorce proceedings, good ol fashioned revenge…

    A) At least two of those are completely irrelevant to this situation
    B) What revenge? Why would you engage in a revenge campaign that has little chance of resulting in any kind of punishment for the target of your revenge, and in nearly all cases, will end up dragging you through the mud as well? Why would “lying for revenge” be a more parsimonious explanation than “telling the truth”? And are there any actual studies to establish the commonality of any of your proposed causes?

    Again, I’d say the cost for women who are raped is much higher then women who are not raped. I mean, there’s no emotional pain from reliving the event, there is no real psychological toll and generally speaking, the motivation for them filing the false claim outweighs those pains. Otherwise they probably wouldn’t have done it.

    Well, you’re assuming a bit of hyperrationality here, and also failing to realize that filing a false claim is a criminal offense. A liar isn’t likely to experience PTSD, but is more likely to experience jail time as a result of wasting police time and energy. Hard to determine level of cost, there.

    I’m in total agreement, even though I disagree with the phrasing of some of your previous points. Saying “I don’t know, but given the situation, I’d say it’s more then likely” is acceptable. What’s not is saying “I believe a rape happened because the victim said so.”

    I disagree, and I don’t think anyone here gives a damn what you think is “acceptable.” You’re splitting hairs. No one here is claiming knowledge, so “I don’t know” is an irrelevant issue. We’re talking about belief. And so if you’re saying it’s “more than likely” (which doesn’t make much sense, so I assume you’re saying “it’s more likely than not”), then I fail to see the difference between saying that and saying “I believe the victim.”

    Believe is not a 100% certainty issue. I believe the victim. I believe that UFOs are not alien spacecraft. I’m open to evidence suggesting otherwise, but until then, I believe.

  163. says

    @189

    I think derailing for dummies did that effectively. Maybe pharyngulites should get together and make one for rape apologists? it would be handy as hell.

    organizing the information is the tough part. the way i see it there are 3 main categories:

    1. reasons she is a liar
    2. reasons she deserved it
    3. just asking questions

    am I missing something?

    I haven’t posted anything to my blog in a long time, but if there needs to be a place to put this stuff I can shut comments off and post it there.

  164. Louis says

    Marcus Ranum,

    Ya see, that’s what I like about this place. Someone comes up with an idea, someone else adapts it, someone else make it awesome. Take this internet, it’s yours.

    That’s one of my favourite jokes by the way, so I may be biased.

    Louis

  165. darkwater says

    Rundvelt @35,

    Interestingly enough, your hypothetical basically describes my rape, with only minor differences:

    (TW for rape)

    Now, my attacker didn’t buy me drinks; this was at a college party so there was no buying to be done. Also, the group of us took turns fighting our way to the bar to get drinks for the rest of the group. My attacker also didn’t drive me home unbidden; again, this was on campus so the group of us walked back to our dorm under our own power. He did “do the deed,” as you put it; I woke up to find him sucking my dick just before I came in his mouth.

    Turing your later question @112 back to you, since this is a case of a man raping a man (and to pre-empt your next question, the fact that both of us were straight played absolutely no role in me reporting my rape to the authorities :) ), do you believe me?

  166. says

    scratch stuff about my old blog- im starting a new one. I can be reached through skeptifemblog at gmail dot com if anyone wants to submit something.

  167. says

    Jesus, I’m just realizing how much Rundvelt’s position is the same bullshit people try to pull in thinking that “agnostic” is midway between “atheist” and “theist.” In which case, this is relevant.

  168. Pteryxx says

    rundfelt again:

    Tom was suggesting that due to the toll put on the victims of rape making the claim, that there’s less likely to do so. I replied that his first assumption was that every single woman was telling the truth.

    …no, that’s irrelevant and begging the question. YOU just assumed that to your hypothetical lying woman, none of the costs are really costs- being slut-shamed doesn’t hurt her, being accused of lying doesn’t hurt her, having her name dragged through the mud in public doesn’t bother her, she’s fine with paying for her own rape kit, being cross-examined and interrogated by officers, risking jail for making a false accusation, just for the joys of revenge and a chance at a fat payout at the end of it all (hello, gold-digger presumption, mere days since I saw you last) — when all the evidence shows that even real-life rape victims with ironclad evidence and confessions by the rapists have better odds playing an actual lottery than hoping to see their rapists convicted.

    So again, where is this magical rape-jackpot land you describe, where the legal system worships at women’s feet and rape victims need only hold out their hands to collect rivers of gold falling from the sky?

    Such a place MUST exist, otherwise…you might be wrong. And that’s just too terrible a prospect for you to accept.

  169. lancelotgobbo says

    Thanks, Tony:

    AND FUCKING LEARN WHAT AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS, dipshit.

    Irony is a much overused and abused word, but I think you just managed to personify it anyway. BTW, is “douchecannon” a term one might use without offending some innocent party (Cannons? Douche users? Douches (and I know far better than you that they have no medical use, and probably no semantic one)? Think about that for a while (I know it might take you quite a while) before replying.

  170. socrates82 says

    So, asking for evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness. Got it.

  171. says

    So, asking for evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness. Got it.

    The victim’s testimony isn’t evidence in your world?

  172. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    lance,
    Nope. You’re really fucking stupid.

    socrates,
    I noticed that you didn’t even mention the victim. She just doesn’t even factor in for you, does she?
    If she says she was raped, yes it is ridiculously misogynistic to question her honesty or capability to recognized whether or not she was raped.

  173. says

    Ok I got a blog up but no posts.

    http://answersforrapeapologists.blogspot.com/

    anyone generous enough to donate their post for bullshit argument #1 (‘we need more evidence before we can believe a rape claim”)? I started writing and realized someone else probably said it better already. I can attribute your name on the blog (or not, whatever), but be advised that my ‘about’ page encourages people to repost the argument without attribution if they so please. If someone steals the arguments and passes them off as their own to seem clever then good, the message got spread around. that’s my theory anyway.

  174. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Daz, she’s just a woman after all. She needs male witnesses, else it is fine to disregard her entirely.

  175. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    wanderson,
    No, I’m not.
    Fuck off.
    You’re repulsive.

  176. Nightjar says

    So, asking for evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness. Got it.

    So, dismissing evidence that a rape occurred (i.e., the victim’s testimony) is equivalent to dismissing evidence of a serious illness (i.e., the patient’s complaints)?

    OH WAIT YES IT IS!

    Fucking doucheweasels.

  177. socrates82 says

    An anonymous victim who refuses to give details and apparently never went to the police is not sufficient evidence for me to decide someone is guilty of serial rape. It’s not exactly unheard of for people to falsely accuse others of crimes. Google the words “Duke” and “lacrosse,” if you get a minute.

    I don’t know who this person is and cannot make judgments on her character or what she claims happened to her–and that is exactly the point. Assuming a priori that Shermer is guilty of rape because PZ Meyers posts an anonymous accusation.

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So, asking for evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness. Got it.

    The word of the woman WAS EVIDENCE. What evidence do you expect to find? And since the purpose was not a criminal conviction of MS, but to warn other women MS is sexual predator and uses this MO (corroborated by other women). So, what is your problem?

  179. says

    An anonymous victim who blah blah blah

    A victim is a victim. Even courts take anonymous testimony from victims of rape.

    I am, for all intents and purposes completely anonymous here. If I say I was mugged last week, would you doubt me? I doubt it. If I say my house was burgled last night, would you doubt me? I doubt it. If I say I was raped last night, why would you suddenly doubt me?

  180. socrates82 says

    So, is every man who is accused of rape automatically guilty, since we have an “eyewitness” (i.e. the alleged victim)?

  181. socrates82 says

    Daz, I wouldn’t doubt you if you said your house was burglarized. If, however, you said your house was burglarized by Chelsea Clinton, the reasonable question to ask is “why should I believe she is guilty of this particular crime?”

  182. says

    Daz, I wouldn’t doubt you if you said your house was burglarized. If, however, you said your house was burglarized by Chelsea Clinton, the reasonable question to ask is “why should I believe she is guilty of this particular crime?”

    Ooh, now we’re getting somewhere.

    How about if I saw the burglar and recognised them?

  183. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    socrates,
    No one is interested in you. Go away. You aren’t arguing in good faith and you have not read any of the links provided. Go be a rape apologist elsewhere.

  184. anteprepro says

    Oh, how original! I haven’t been following this series of postings as carefully as the serious Hordeites, but I think that clever argument has been made at least 14 times so far. And it’s still stupidly wrong.

    I’ve noticed how they all seem to magically converge on the same memes before. I wonder if this particular meme is just them regurgitating Mr. Deity though.

    Jesus, I’m just realizing how much Rundvelt’s position is the same bullshit people try to pull in thinking that “agnostic” is midway between “atheist” and “theist.”

    I actually was thinking the exact same thing.
    He’s not denying rape, he’s just rape agnostic!

    AND FUCKING LEARN WHAT AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS, dipshit.

    Irony is a much overused and abused word, but I think you just managed to personify it anyway.

    Dunning-Kruger, by constrast, isn’t quite used enough, because it describes you perfectly!

    So, asking for evidence in the face of already present evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness.

    Fixed to make it more accurate, and make the answer an obvious “duh”

    I am saying that PZ’s analogy is flawed. I am saying that equation a hyperskeptical professional who is duty bound to investigate a claim with amateur internet posters is a straw man.

    Will you shut the fuck up? Your claim that PZ’s analogy, repeated over and fucking over like anyone gives a fuck, is based entirely on a fucking quibble. Yes, the amateur skeptics don’t have the same professional obligations or whatever. Big fucking whoop. The point is that their level of hyperskepticism isn’t practical or helpful if used in real life. The petty little complaints you have mustered haven’t showed that PZ’s analogy is flawed enough to stop being an analogy (all analogies have to some level of disconnect, otherwise they aren’t as much an analogy as an equation).

  185. socrates82 says

    Daz, then what you have is an accusation, and not evidence that would hold up in a court of law or that reasonable people should accept as proof that that particular person is guilty. Again, do you recall the Duke lacrosse case?

  186. anteprepro says

    It’s not exactly unheard of for people to falsely accuse others of crimes. Google the words “Duke” and “lacrosse,” if you get a minute.

    God fucking dammit. Google the word “statistics” you fucking self-important twit.

    because PZ Meyers

    Yep. socrates is a live one.

  187. says

    Daz, then what you have is an accusation, and not evidence that would hold up in a court of law or that reasonable people should accept as proof that that particular person is guilty.

    Bullshit. If a person known to me burglarised my house and I saw them my testimony, including my identification of the burglar, would be—in the absence of any strong reason to doubt it—accepted by any thinking person.

    The question now is, why apply a different standard to rape?

  188. says

    I am aware of the harm douching can be to women (and men; I have douched) under the pretense of being helpful.
    You came here unsuccessfully trying to use fake concern for PZ to mask your opinion thatv”the movement” is more important thant the people in the movement.

    I am aware of the harm your opinions can have on women (and men) under the pretense of being helpful.

    While here, you spew you bullshit on the thread.

    DOUCHECANNON.

  189. anteprepro says

    In addition to “skeptic” etc. in one’s nym, I have never met someone with Socrates or Socratic in their ‘nym that wasn’t a prolific fucking asshole.

  190. Rey Fox says

    Donnyrundvelt:

    Does that not add to the animosity that abounds?

    The animosity is not the problem. The rape is.

    king of tediumwanderson

    I am saying that equation a hyperskeptical professional who is duty bound to investigate a claim with amateur internet posters is a straw man.

    Oh who the fuck cares? If the analogy corresponded 1:1 to the subject of the analogy, it wouldn’t be an analogy anymore.

    All the cool folks turned in their resignations and I am stuck with this shitty moniker.

    All the sorries. You have been on my mind lately whenever I opined about how people with “skeptic” or “rational” in their handle* were raging assholes. There’s always an exception.

    * Or the name of a supposed luminary in that field, such as, oh, let’s say, Socrates

    It looks to me like any group that concentrates power ends up with some sort of abuse happening behind the scenes, and the people who should do something about it usually say the same thing you are- that its more important to save face than to out a predator and protect others in the future. its sickening.

    QFFFT.

  191. Rey Fox says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    You don’t automatically deserve civility.

  192. says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    Erm, no. Civility ≠ valid argument

    Fuck off.

  193. socrates82 says

    Daz, there isn’t a different standard. If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her. The standard for rape is the same. If our justice system didn’t work like this, anyone could just accuse their personal enemies of some crime and then watch them get locked up.

  194. Nightjar says

    An anonymous victim who refuses to give details

    What the fuck do you want the details for, anyway?

    and apparently never went to the police

    I wonder why…

    is not sufficient evidence for me to decide someone is guilty of serial rape.

    You see, no one gives a flying fuck what doucheweasels like you decide or don’t decide. This is women advising other women to avoid the man who raped them, so you can pretty much go fuck yourself and take your hyperskepticism with you.

    It’s not exactly unheard of for people to falsely accuse others of crimes.

    FFS, have you even read the comments in this very thread you’re commenting on? The comments on how costly it is for the victim to make a rape accusation? No? Then SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO READ!

    I don’t know who this person is and cannot make judgments on her character or what she claims happened to her–and that is exactly the point.

    Yeah, that is exactly the point, isn’t it. You don’t have enough information to paint her as a slut who was totally asking for it, or as a liar who can’t be trusted, or whatever. Poor, poor you.

  195. says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    no you aren’t. there are lots of victims of sexual violence here (just like the rest of the world!) and the questions you are asking are extremely fucking rude.

  196. says

    Socrates:
    2-8% of rape claims are classed as false rape claims.
    92% of rape claims are truthful.
    That you can find a small number of false rape claims is not sufficient reason to disbelieve a victim.

    And shut the hell up about “anonymous claims”. PZ knows Jane Doe. She is unknown to us, but she is not anonymous.

  197. anteprepro says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    Oh yes. You may be smug, sarcastic, and largely just assuming that false rape accusations are common enough that we are obligated to dismiss the victim’s testimony. But you are not using naughty words! So we should be nicer to you!

    Civility is the last refuge of the ignorant, cowardly scoundrel. Go fuck yourself.

  198. says

    Whenever I hear atheists indicating the movement is more important than the people within I start to think about the Catholic church and its history of protecting its ass and trying to make sure things stay nice and quiet. I would not be surprised if many of them have spent time being critical of its culture of sweeping things under the rug and hiding these issues.

  199. says

    Daz, there isn’t a different standard. If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her.

    Why do you keep repeating this bullshit? If I recognise my burglar/assailant, then my testimony will be accepted unless you can show good reason for my testimony to be discounted.

    Please argue in good faith or piss off back under your rock.

  200. says

    YAY its already useful!

    Daz, there isn’t a different standard. If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her. The standard for rape is the same. If our justice system didn’t work like this, anyone could just accuse their personal enemies of some crime and then watch them get locked up.

    http://answersforrapeapologists.blogspot.com/2013/08/confusing-criminal-court-with-rest-of.html

  201. Rey Fox says

    It’s rude to withhold judgment on a rape accusation?

    You can do whatever you want with your precious judgement. Don’t tell us what to do with ours. Particularly when we’re much more informed on the subject* than you are.

    * see all those links that people have been posting here

  202. says

    socrates:
    This is a rude blog.
    When you present yourself in a reasonable manner, you will often find that tone reiprocated.
    In and of itself, you are likely to find a lot of people who care not one shit for civility, especially when your civil claims are disgusting.

    You are advocating for an abominable position you tedious assclam.

    If you cannot handled harsh words fuck off elsewhere you little troll.

  203. says

    socrates82

    Also, when did this conversation become about what would happen in court? I asked, back @222, why you would doubt me.

  204. Nightjar says

    If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her.

    Oh, don’t worry. Shermer will not go to jail unless there is additional evidence that implicates him. He won’t.

    That has fuck all to do with anything, though.

    It’s rude to withhold judgment on a rape accusation?

    It’s kind of rude to assume a rape victim is automatically lying, yes.

  205. says

    It’s rude to withhold judgment on a rape accusation?

    yes it is. I’ll repost what I wrote before since you aren’t a fan of reading up on much of anything:

    Rape victims have a very strong need to be believed when they tell their story. Casting doubt on them or assigning them as responsible for rape has very serious psychological consequences (which compound the consequences of the rape itself). Its like rubbing salt in a wound. It fucks them up really badly. Go look into the health outcomes for sexual abuse victims- it isn’t pretty.

    I’m sure you’ll just say that reserving judgment doesn’t mean you are calling them a liar, but you are confusing intent with effect. They are likely telling the truth, so when you decide not to take their word for it you are likely being a total asshole to someone who has been brave enough to share the most horrific event of their life with you. Being believed is what a victim needs, at an absolute minimum, to feel supported. Speaking up about rape is a position of extreme vulnerability.

  206. says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    I’ve noticed a lot of the people coming here with these arguments have brought up civility and have complained heavily about how mean everyone is. First, this suggests to me that they really must know very little about Pharyngula because anyone that has spent any time reading the comments would know that being all smiles and sunshine is not what this place is about and that civility is not looked upon as being more important than what is actually said.

    Second, some of the most disgusting and terrible things I have heard people say have been said in nice civil tones, without swearing or being terribly mean. Being civil says nothing about how odious you are being.

  207. says

    AND FUCKING LEARN WHAT AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS, dipshit.

    Irony is a much overused and abused word, but I think you just managed to personify it anyway.

    No. If his statement had constituted an ad hominem, then you’d be right; that would be highly ironic. However, since it doesn’t, it isn’t.

    An ad hominem is when you argue to the man; when you reject an argument based on who makes it, rather than the merits of the argument itself. Ex.
    Premise: You’re an idiot
    Conclusion: Therefore your argument is wrong

    This is distinct from mere insult; the attribution of undesirable qualities to a person. Insults do not qualify as ad hominem fallacies simply because they’re insulting. For an ad hominem, it is essential that the insult is used as a premise for an argument where the conclusion does not actually rest on the character of the person being insulted.

    Note that in the quoted case, the argument comes first and the insult is appended; remove the insult and the point still stands. The insult does not form part of the argumentative chain, so it can’t be an ad hominem.

  208. anteprepro says

    It’s rude to withhold judgment on a rape accusation?

    The memory hole doesn’t work that well in these parts, socky.

    Behold, Civility at work!

    The most civil of snarks!

    So, asking for evidence before deciding if someone is a rapist is the equivalent of a doctor dismissing evidence of a serious illness. Got it.

    The most civil downplaying of key facts and telling people to Google shit!

    An anonymous victim who refuses to give details and apparently never went to the police is not sufficient evidence for me to decide someone is guilty of serial rape…. Google the words “Duke” and “lacrosse,” if you get a minute…

    Assuming a priori that Shermer is guilty of rape because PZ Meyers posts an anonymous accusation.

    And the most civil of scare quotes and “alleged” hedging!

    So, is every man who is accused of rape automatically guilty, since we have an “eyewitness” (i.e. the alleged victim)?

    Oh, yes, dear socky is indeed withholding judgment on the matter! And we are indeed only offended by his utter lack of an opinion! Truly truly.

  209. consciousness razor says

    Daz, I wouldn’t doubt you if you said your house was burglarized. If, however, you said your house was burglarized by Chelsea Clinton, the reasonable question to ask is “why should I believe she is guilty of this particular crime?”

    So if I reported that I was raped, it would be reasonable to believe me. I should know that it happened, after all, because it happened to me. It would be reasonable in any situation to ask “why I should believe them?” and the answer to support it generally amounts to “because I don’t think they have a reason to lie or be mistaken,” so this is beside the point.

    However, if I specify who it was, which I should know because it happened to me, then suddenly there’s no evidence at all and you shouldn’t believe what I’m saying? I might have been raped by someone else or maybe not at all? Now you need to know all about my character, but not before when the allegation was more vague and you weren’t confusing your own beliefs with procedures in a court case?

  210. says

    the Duke lacrosse case

    You know, if false rape accusations were really as common as the doucheweasels think they are, you’d think there would be more than one (questionable) example of it from, say, the past decade. Conversely, I have heard of two cases where women were falsely convicted of making false accusations. Their convictions were subsequently overturned when their rapists were later accused and convicted and evidence of previous rapes was found in the rapist’s possession.

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    Rape apologism isn’t civil. How rude do we have to be in order to get you to go away?

  211. anteprepro says

    Civility , A Play in Three Lines and One Godwin:

    The Gentleman:
    “Now I’m no racist, but I think Hitler may have had some good ideas after all!”

    The Fool:
    *spits out coffee*
    “Wait, what the ever living fuck did you just say!?”

    The Gentleman:
    “My my, aren’t you ever the rude and snippy one! Not fit for intelligent, adult conversation, I dare say!”

  212. says

    I should specify: those two cases I mentioned were both from within the past decade, if not the past five years. I now wish I’d bookmarked those cases, because they seem to have faded from the public record. To find links to them now, I’d have to sift through hundred of links to MRA-associated misogynist websites bleating about the scourge of gold-digging sperm-jacking rape-accusing whores.

  213. markbrown says

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    You might think that, but you’re wrong. You’re being hugely discourteous to everyone here by asking the same damn questions, and making the same damn arguments, that we’ve seen hundreds of times already. That have been answered hundreds of times. That don’t need asking ever again, if people like yourself had any respect for the regular commentators by actually doing what has been repeatedly asked over and over again; read the links that Caine provided earlier in the thread.

    To all new commentators: read those links, or expect major abuse. You deserve no modicum of respect, and will be shown none if you refuse to respect US by checking to see if you are rehashing the same old arguments, and saying the same old things. Too lazy to read the links and be informed? Then don’t fucking post.

    In your case socrates82, just fuck right off. We’ve had this discussion, and it was stupid and worthless the first twenty times.

  214. markbrown says

    bah… borkquote :-(

    I’m at least being civil and would request the same treatment.

    You might think that, but you’re wrong. You’re being hugely discourteous to everyone here by asking the same damn questions, and making the same damn arguments, that we’ve seen hundreds of times already. That have been answered hundreds of times. That don’t need asking ever again, if people like yourself had any respect for the regular commentators by actually doing what has been repeatedly asked over and over again; read the links that Caine provided earlier in the thread.

    To all new commentators: read those links, or expect major abuse. You deserve no modicum of respect, and will be shown none if you refuse to respect US by checking to see if you are rehashing the same old arguments, and saying the same old things. Too lazy to read the links and be informed? Then don’t fucking post.

    In your case socrates82, just fuck right off. We’ve had this discussion, and it was stupid and worthless the first twenty times.

  215. Pteryxx says

    Conversely, I have heard of two cases where women were falsely convicted of making false accusations. Their convictions were subsequently overturned when their rapists were later accused and convicted and evidence of previous rapes was found in the rapist’s possession.

    May as well link one, since one example proves every other case was exactly like that backs up the statistics re prevalence and the cost of false negatives, natch. (bolds mine)

    Until Last Week, The Official Policy Of One Virginia City Was To Assume All Rape Victims Were Lying

    Until last week, Norfolk, Virginia police classified sexual assault claims to be “unfounded” — or not valid — by default. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a 22-year-old woman’s case prompted Norfolk police chief Mike Goldsmith to update the policy so that officers must now assume rape victims are telling the truth.

    The woman reported the attack immediately to police, only to be told, “If we find out that you’re lying, this will be a felony charge.” Before giving her a medical examination, officers subjected the woman to interrogations during which they said things like, “You’re telling us a different story than you told … the other detectives,” and “This only happened hours ago. Why can’t you remember?” Having had enough, the woman cut off the interview.

    The police eventually arrested and charged the attacker for multiple other sexual assaults and felonies, and Goldsmith apologized for mishandling the woman’s initial allegations. Now that Goldsmith has updated the policy for handling sexual assault cases, the department will also undergo training for post-traumatic stress disorder and rape trauma.

    Many other areas have this same problem. In light of a Baltimore investigation on the city’s high number of unfounded cases, the Police Executive Research Forum noted, “Unwarranted ‘unfounding’ of cases can result in offenders remaining free — and in victims losing trust in the justice system.” This classification also leads to lower reports of rape, because “unfounded” cases are not included in crime stats.

  216. says

    PZ’s analogy is flawed.

    It has been demonstrated that this is not the case. That you continue to ignore those demonstrations does not mean that it has not been demonstrated.

  217. says

    Pteryxx – Thank you. And, I will note, both of the cases I read about predated that story. One was from Oregon, where it turned out the rapist kept video evidence of his crimes. The other, I think, was from Rhode Island.

  218. says

    Are you suggesting that the internet is real life? If you are, I think you may find that many things on the internet are not as they are in real life.

    Are you suggesting that the internet somehow isn’t real life? Does it live with Yahweh in some ever-retreating realm “outside space-time” perhaps? I’m addressing you now, with real words. Are you suggesting that I’m aiming my words at a figment of my fevered imagination?

  219. anteprepro says

    Are you suggesting that the internet is real life? If you are, I think you may find that many things on the internet are not as they are in real life.

    Wow. Not only is that irrelevant to my argument, but that’s great that you are now dismissing the relevance of internet interactions. Why are you even here? What are you actually hoping to accomplish by quibbling? By consistently dismissing the relevance of a sizeable contingent of skeptics going overboard on “skepticism” isn’t apologize for a rapist, because they are making their arguments on the internet? What is your fucking goal here? Because if it is anything aside from annoying us, I don’t think you are succeeding.

    You are free to try to demonstrate otherwise, but simply stating that it is not is not an argument.

    The fucking irony.

  220. markbrown says

    As for you wanderson, nobody cares about what you are saying. You don’t like the analogy? Live with it. It’s not something anyone here wants to talk about, and all the people responding to you are trying to do is find a way to shut you up. This thread is not about you and your opinions. We are not here to help you hone your debating skills. For the love of Cthulhu, drop it and move on, please.

  221. anteprepro says

    isn’t apologize for a rapist,

    Should be “by apologizing for a rapist”. Or something. That sentence was a fucking mess.

  222. says

    Rundveldt: Banned for ignoring my warning.

    Socrates82: Banned for dumbassery.

    Wanderson: Warned. No more posting in this thread. You’ve made your point that you do not understand an analogy at excessively longwinded and obtuse length.

  223. consciousness razor says

    Are you suggesting that the internet is real life? If you are, I think you may find that many things on the internet are not as they are in real life.

    Are you suggesting that you’re not a figment of my imagination? If you are, I think you should tell me what you think you mean by “real life.”

    Or I should tell myself what I think I mean, come to think of it. Okay: the internet is an aspect of real life. So that’s settled, then. Carry on.

  224. Pteryxx says

    SallyStrange, wow you were not kidding about search attempts. Even my search-fu isn’t cutting through all the trumpeting about the same half-dozen cases of LYING WIMMENZ WHO LIE.

  225. karilith says

    “SkepticDoc: Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down! See the name on the shingle? It’s SkepticDoc. Do you have anything other than your feelings to justify wasting my time here?

    PZ: What? I’m telling you my symptoms…”

    >.> Well, no, Actually. In this case, it would be as if you were telling the doctor about your unnamed friend’s symptoms, while expecting said doctor to give YOU the medication for that person, simply on acceptance of faith. In fact, to compound the issue, your friend doesn’t seem to want to go and see the “doctor”, in this case, though the doctor might well be the person best suited to help them.

    As a woman, I expect a bit more than two, unverified, anonymous sources – only one of which mentioned actual explicit contact having even taken place.

    But, more to the point – as someone who can unfortunately confirm knowing some who have had this terrible crime committed against them, much as I wish to have spared them the grief; The police were called. DNA was swabbed. Reports were filed. Security concerns for the woman after their attacks were addressed – all with the help of local law enforcement.

    As upset as a woman might be after such a horror, no, it is not easy and no, it is not delicate or personal or consoling. But it is was necessary.

    Let me make another doctor analogy for you, since that seems to be the fruit of the day:

    If anyone here has ever been shot, or physically assaulted, then you may be able to understand: Not calling the police after you feel as though you’ve been sexually assaulted is, to my mind, as big a mistake as refusing to go to the hospital with a bullet in your arm that someone else put there. No excuse – not the difficulty, not the pain, not the embarrassment, nor the cost – should keep you out of the ER if you get shot.

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE. If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    P.S.: If your doctor skit were actual, he would follow real protocol; before he even stepped in the room, the nurse would have taken your blood pressure – heart conditions are known to exacerbate the body’s already natural response of upping the blood pressure during and just following experiences of pain, stress, or distress. So…the doctor would have had evidence. Because that’s what he’s supposed to seek out and get for himself.

    Aren’t you glad that your doctor doesn’t accept information regarding his patients from third-party anonymous source?

  226. says

    Karilith: You’re an idiot. That’s the point. NO DOCTOR WOULD DENY THE SYMPTOMS BECAUSE THEY WERE SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCES. They would be grounds for further examination.

    The point is no doctor would do as I described…but the hyperskeptics consider it standard procedure.

  227. says

    If anyone here has ever been shot, or physically assaulted, then you may be able to understand: Not calling the police after you feel as though you’ve been sexually assaulted is, to my mind, as big a mistake as refusing to go to the hospital with a bullet in your arm that someone else put there. No excuse – not the difficulty, not the pain, not the embarrassment, nor the cost – should keep you out of the ER if you get shot

    fuck you, seriously. If you get shot and don’t go to the hospital something bad happens (usually), if you are raped and go to the police they usually either do nothing or abuse you.

    what you are suggesting (social stigma for victims who do not report) is a recipe for suicide.

  228. markbrown says

    consciousness razor

    “These people arguing with me are so life-like! Virtual reality is so cool!”

  229. anteprepro says

    Skeptifem: I love your blog already. Keep up the good work!

    On a related note…

    Hey, karilith: Read.

    And then go fuck yourself.

  230. frogkisser says

    For what it’s worth, I think the analogy is an especially apt one. I have had my descriptions of pain hyper-skeptically question by a physician, and I have had my allegations of an assault hyper-skeptically questioned by the authorities to whom I reported the incident. For me, the feelings of disempowerment and more pain on top of pain differed in degree only.

  231. says

    Are you suggesting that the internet is real life? If you are, I think you may find that many things on the internet are not as they are in real life.

    Back in 1994, when I was a wee nerd, I started using the internet. I have to admit back then it did seem like it was not real life to me. It did not have that much bearing on how I went about my life every day. But this mindset is antiquated and was wrong then. I think many of us at the time were very naive about how the web worked or would be used. What happens online is deeply entwined with our meatspace existence, it is every bit as real as anything else. The internet is real life, stop pretending it is some magical land disconnected from everything else.

  232. says

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE.

    I think your bias is showing. You mean reason, not excuse. And, of course, you’d be right. Apart from the fact that the victim may be told they had it coming to them because of their dress or state of inebriation, have it made clear to them that they should have fought harder, had it made clear to them that they shouldn’t have been in that part of town, or with that person, or have accepted that invitation, etc etc etc. Or, of course, that they’re making it up, because the person who raped them “would never do that.” Or, of course, that they’re just a lying slut, with no further reason given.

    Yeah, no reason at all.

  233. markbrown says

    karilith

    Your point has been discussed ad infinitum in the Grenade Thread that Caine linked above. I would suggest looking there first, as our response to more repetition is likely to be… impolite.

  234. says

    What I’m seeing is that actually, a lot of problems in how doctors treat their patients are similar to the culture of victim-blaming that happens with rape. It’s a well-known problem that doctors rarely spend enough time listening to their patients’ subjective accounts of their experiences, talk over them, ignore important information, and as a result, can misdiagnose or simply miss out on serious illnesses. Our culture is still struggling with a Cartesian mind-body rational/emotional dualist hangover. Subjective experiences are suspect, especially when they’re the experiences of marginalized groups. The pretense is that the dominant groups’ subjective feelings and experiences are objective whereas everyone else’s are not. This cultural blind spot appears to be preventing some people from perceiving the absurdity in PZ’s example.

  235. says

    karilith:
    How fucking dare you tell every other human being on the planet what they MUST do if they have been raped?
    You arrogant shitstain.
    Tekling a rape victim that they MUST report their rape places their needs secondary.

    For a human being who cares about others, the needs and desires of the victim are the sole concern.
    God, what oozing scumbubble sockpuppet are you?

  236. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    I’m out.
    Fuck these disingenuous assholes.

    Horde + PZ,
    You continue to rock so very much.
    Thanks.

  237. consciousness razor says

    Well, no, Actually. In this case, it would be as if you were telling the doctor about your unnamed friend’s symptoms, while expecting said doctor to give YOU the medication for that person, simply on acceptance of faith.

    Tell me, in this analogy, what do you think “the medication” is, which PZ wants the doctor to give HIM?

    In fact, to compound the issue, your friend doesn’t seem to want to go and see the “doctor”, in this case, though the doctor might well be the person best suited to help them.

    Who is the doctor supposed to represent?

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE. If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    Do you know what “hearsay” means? Is anyone claiming they shouldn’t seek lawful avenues? What if they’ve already tried and the legal system failed them? Why are you pulling all of this out of your ass, just to make some bizarre argument that victims (or people supporting them) have NO EXCUSE? How empowering would you say victim-blaming really is?

  238. Nightjar says

    Oh fuck, another one.

    If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    No, the WORST thing you can do is berate the victim and send her the message that she won’t be taken seriously because she didn’t go to the police at the time, or because she was drunk, or because she wants to remain anonymous, or…

    You get the idea. That is WORST thing you can do. It’s what you are doing now. Stop it.

  239. Pteryxx says

    No excuse – not the difficulty, not the pain, not the embarrassment, nor the cost – should keep you out of the ER if you get shot.

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE. If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    *major snark warning*

    Guilt-the-victim approach number 347 – it’s your DUTY as a WOMAN to expose yourself as an individual to revictimization, and if you can’t you’re just not SELF-SACRIFICING ENOUGH. Go push out babies while squatting over a deer hide somewhere, you failure you. Systemic rape culture? Not our problem.

    http://thecurvature.com/2010/06/04/rape-victims-tell-of-mistreatmet-by-the-nypd/

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

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/06/20/why-ididnotreport/

    http://jezebel.com/5894505/revisiting-untested-rape-kits-cracks-cases-but-revictimizes-women

    Lots of Pubmed citations, too.

    …so where the heck are all those men, genderqueers and trans* persons who automatically get supported and believed when they report their rapes to the police/military? Oh right…

  240. anteprepro says

    (Sarcasm below may be triggering)

    I’m so glad that karilith could blame the victim of rape for not going to the police. Because, really, the true villain of rape culture are all those evil, self-absorbed victims of rape who, totally irrationally, refuse to get the cops involved. And I’m sure spilling much ink and frothing from the mouth in rage over about the victims Doin’ It Wrong contributes nothing at all to their unwillingness to go public! I’m sure it contributes nothing at all to the culture that pressures these women to stay silent. It really is just all the victims’ fault!

    Seriously though: karilith, you are the worst person to barge into this thread so. Congratulations on that one. You had to fight hard to win that honor.

  241. says

    Karilith
    Follow the fucking links at the top of this very fucking thread. Then read the other three threads on this topic from this week alone. Then shut the hell up forever and stop wasting everyone’s time and energy with your bullshit.

  242. Rey Fox says

    If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    So now we’re not just harming the movement, but we’re harming women. Through some obscure process.

  243. says

    Claus Larsen, someone I’ve never heard of before, is very upset with Skeptifem’s comment in #63 and has sent a demand:

    The accusations are utterly untrue, and defamatory in nature.

    I request the following:

    – Immediate removal of the post, and all references to it.
    – The IP address and all other available information in your possession about the user called “skeptifem”.

    In hope of full cooperation,
    Claus Larsen

    First: Skeptifem, I can find no record of Larsen defending any kind of sexual abuse, and he sure as heck hasn’t done it here — he has made only one comment here, ever. Back it up or retract.

    Second: Larsen: I utterly detest sanctimonious whiners who barge in, say something stupid, get called on it, and then go crying to the blog owner. The answers to your two demands are 1) No, and 2) Hell no.

  244. anteprepro says

    So now we’re not just harming the movement, but we’re harming women. Through some obscure process.

    I’m guessing it’s the same process by which you are harming minorities and supporting racism by pointing out racism. Because only major racism counts as racism and pointing out racism that privileged white people don’t want to think of as racism means that you are the one bringing up race all the time when everyone else is just fine and not seeing color at all and shit.

  245. Muz says

    I’m kinda curious if all the legal eagles who want due process but are also hyperskeptical (when it suits) are actually likely to accept the verdict of the courts.
    Really you can pick just as many holes in that too if you are sufficiently skeptical. Surely they realise this.

    I think if hyperskeptics were at all honest they’d notice they’re a hair’s breadth from solipsism. Making that small leap could be good since they might feel no need to talk to all of us any more. (alternately, being the only acknowledged consciousness in the universe might make them enjoy the sound of their own voice even more)

  246. says

    So according to Karilith, if we changed PZ’s analogy to “PZ visiting the doctor & describing his own symptoms” with “PZ calling 911 and relaying word-for-word someone else’s symptoms,” and we had Skeptic911Operator instead of SkepticDoc, the Operator giving the exact same hyperskeptical response would be totes reasonable.

  247. Pteryxx says

    Anyone with institutional access to articles in the UK, there’s a trove here.

    One of the articles with fulltext available: (bolds mine)

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13552600.2011.613278#tabModule

    Within the adversarial justice systems that operate in many parts of the world, including North America, England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the victim of rape becomes a witness called upon to present evidence at the defendant’s trial. The ways in which justice systems are weighted to guard against the risk of wrongful conviction of the innocent translates in practice into the elevated likelihood of victims failing to see those who have offended against them brought to justice. Indeed, worse than that, in rape cases it is the victim who typically feels as if she is the one on trial as assessments are made of her credibility and her acts and behaviour come under scrutiny (Adler, 1987; Doyle & Barbato, 1999; Gavey, 2005; Koss, 2000; Lees, 1997; Madigan & Gamble, 1991; Martin & Powell, 1994; Matoesian, 1993; Orth, 2002; Thomas, 2008). A police officer in a recent New Zealand study described it this way:

    The victim is required to be in the stand having her credibility and morals dragged through the mud by defence counsel questioning them in often an inappropriate and degrading manner … Often the defence counsel will use any tack to call into question her credibility as a truthful witness. (police officer, quoted on p. 103, in Mossman et al., 2009)

    While one might expect outside critics and feminist campaigners to voice such concerns, it is chilling to hear even current serving agents within the system voicing similar misgivings. The same study asked practitioners: “If you had a close friend or family member who was a victim of sexual violence, would you recommend they go through the criminal justice system?”. Respondents were also asked if they would recommend reporting the offence to the police, without it necessarily going to court. While 88% of police officers said they would recommend that friends or family members report the incident, this dropped to 59% saying they would advise them to go through the entire criminal justice system. Interestingly, a similar proportion of Crown Prosecutors said they would advise reporting to police (85%), but only 39% said they would recommend taking a case through the system (Mossman et al., 2009). These findings indicate that even many of those working within justice systems have concerns about how victims fare within their processes.

  248. anteprepro says

    am not apologizing for a rapist, I am discussing an analogy that fails to make the point the author was trying to make. I have no goal, other than to better understand why so many people disagree so vehemently about this incident. I believe the analogy only makes it harder to get at the root cause fo the disagree….

    How is it ironic that I have asked you to explain your position and support it with an arugment? An opinion, unsupported such as yours, isnot an argument. It is an opinion. In order to weigh the validity of your opinion, it would be helpful to have you support it with logic or point-by-point anlysis.

    Fuck off, Spock. You aren’t as clever as you think you are, and you offer nothing but repetition.

    *disengage*

  249. sharkjack says

    karilith. The fatal flaw in your analogy is that going to the hospital when you’re shot with a bullet, it is for your own benefit to get it removed at the hospital. That’s why it’s the right thing to do.

    In the case of rape reporting, that clear benefit is not present. It could be true, but it’s not nearly as universal as in the original example. Depending on the place, your position of privilege and the specific case, the authorities might just make your life a bigger hell and not take it seriously at all. That is a perfectly good reason not to go to the authorities.

    PZ’s main point of the analogy is not to DISMISS inconclusive evidence. Take it for what it’s worth and take appropriate next steps. For a doctor that would be further testing. For a skeptic organisation that would be investigating the claim and documenting it. For any person in particular it’s evaluating the claim for what it’s worth and then going about life with the knowledge of the claim in the back of their head for whenever it may become relevant. (like when other people make claims about the same person your past experience corroborates the claim, or when the mentioned person is plying you with drinks)

    See how PZ’s analogy manages to bring across it’s main point? Yours doesn’t. It also victim blames the fuck out of people who went through a horrible event. That’s terrible.

  250. says

    Why the fuck do I even bother? I’m nice enough to give wanderson a warning, and what does he do? Like they always do, he ignores it.

    Then I check his details, and WTF? Wanderson is the asshole formerly known as billhamp. Previously banned. Previously told to go away. Now back with a sockpuppet account.

    Banhammer applied. Cleanup in progress. Jebus.

  251. says

    - The IP address and all other available information in your possession about the user called “skeptifem”.

    The fact that he requested this information makes me more inclined to believe that he is a sexual harasser. There are only two reasons to request that information:

    1. To enable further sexual harassment

    2. To threaten a libel suit (which is just ordinary harassment)

  252. markbrown says

    PZ

    I believe Claus Larsen is a known for pestering Greg Laden and the Atheism+ folks, plus various crap on the JREF forums.

  253. eigenperson says

    #295 Steven Doyle:

    2) a patient’s sore shoulder isn’t going to make anyone go to fucking jail.

    That’s an absurdly disingenuous argument you make. Jane Doe’s report isn’t going to make anyone go to fucking jail either.

  254. sautterron . says

    The way the medicine works is that a doctor doing diagnosis is like a detective – he has to lead the investigation into particular patient’s health state, find the evil guys – germs, viruses, fungi, degeneration, injury etc. and only then he can prescribe drugs. A doctor gathers evidence – using all appropriate methods, like high-tech lab tests, scans, X-rays, measurments, taking probes (smears etc.) of suspicious stuff.

    In general – first there’s enough evidence, then there is diagnosis. Without enough evidence a doctor shouldn’t make a diganosis. That happens in medicine, but is wrong – example opinion why it shouldn’t be that way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_j9nlQelbU

    “I always say psychiatrists are the only medical doctors that never look at the organ we treat. You know – we make diagnosis just like they did it in 1841 when Lincoln was depressed – we talk to people, we look at them and then we prescribe powerful treatments. It’s really crazy! We need to do it better way.”

  255. says

    They really cannot help themselves from bringing courts and jail into it. Apparently it is the one and only measure of wrongness out there, and the only possible way to address issues of sexual harassment or rape.

  256. broboxley OT says

    Steven Doyle have you ever been mugged? Did you report it to the authorities? Did the authorities then insist that it was a fight, you started it it and therefore should get out of the precinct before being arrested for making a false police report? Is that really how it should work?

  257. eigenperson says

    Pteryxx, he didn’t say that rape was just subjective feelings — he said exactly the opposite (and also essentially said that is why you shouldn’t trust anyone who reports it: apparently we can trust people about their subjective feelings but not about what actually happened to them). Not that I can prove it now, since his post is gone.

  258. markbrown says

    Steven Doyle

    If your doctor gets it wrong, I’m sure you’d believe your preventable death wasn’t a problem? But yeah, the malpractice would be unlikely to send him to jail… sure you’d feel better for that.

  259. sharkjack says

    Steven, people telling others about their rape experiences aren’t doing it to get that person in jail. If they wanted to do that they’d have to go to the authorities (which they very well may have done).
    They tell people so that those people know about the claim and can take that into account and judge it for themselves.

    Either way, the point PZ made was that people will DISMISS the claim of sexual harassment and go on to say that there is ZERO evidence. The claim is evidence. It’s not sufficient evidence for definite verdicts (like how PZ’s account of pain isn’t sufficient evidence for medications), but it is evidence and it deserves to be treated as such.

  260. says

    Dear very stupid people:

    Read the last paragraph. Read it now. This is a reductio ad absurdam. No rational doctor would act this way; neither would any rational person. If you’re going to make a comment telling me something about how doctors really work, you are not reading the whole thing, and I need to ban you so your stupidity doesn’t contaminate more threads.

    Thank you,

    PZ Myers.

  261. eigenperson says

    I think it’s interesting that the very stupid people seem to be evenly split between saying “Your analogy is terrible since no doctor would ever act that way” and “Your analogy proves me right, because doctors should act that way.”

  262. markbrown says

    Dalillama

    Latest jackass
    Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammed riding Ganesha’s mouse! Where the fuck do you assholes keep coming from? Go read the fucking thread, you complete dipshit!

    Maybe we should just post this every 30 minutes or so, and call it an early night… ;-P

  263. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think the hyperskeptics are utterly and totally afraid of being informed of and given the total context for the evidence presented by Jane Doe. Positively petrified to take it at face value. I then wonder why. And my cynical outlook for such things imagines that it presents a bad picture of their motives.

  264. says

    One thing these “skeptics” demonstrate is that deliberately ignorant (they could learn, but they choose not to) people do not understand the difference between “skepticism” and “denialism”.

    If you are remaining “skeptical” and demanding that the “other side” do 100% of the work to prove that which has been demonstrated a million times before because “well, the evidence just isn’t compelling and haven’t you considered this (thing that has been considered a million times before)” then you are NOT A SKEPTIC. You are a denialist.

    Just like climate change denialists, evolution denialists, and so on, these rape denialists will accept no possible evidence and instead use it as an excuse to pretend to a higher level of “logic” where they are “just asking questions” in exactly the same cookie-cutter forumulas as we’ve seen from every other form of denialist that has come this way.

    And I’m fucking sick of every last one of them.

  265. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @54 I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    It definitely warrants being taken seriously and investigated, doesn’t it?

    Or are you saying that the threshold event count for sexual harrassment is higher than the threshold for vandalism, car theft or “I saw a guy hiding in my back yard”?

  266. says

    I am fed up with these sock puppeting nitwits

    Please provide court-records proving your fed-up-ness to be an actual thing.

  267. unbound says

    PZ – Sadly, it isn’t as far away as you might think for a few doctors here and there. My own experiences with 5 different doctors before finally being diagnosed with hyperaldosteronism was nearly as frustrating and comical if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d been fighting extremely high hypertension during this whole.

    I was irrationally blamed for not eating right (despite having tight control of my diet at the time), not exercising right (despite being an active black belt winning national level competitions), and lying about taking my pills (despite taking them consistently per instructions). I was told to lose weight which would fix the problem…and when it didn’t, other accusations came about. Because, statistically, being on 5 concurrent hypertension medications as power as the ones they were giving me should have resolved the problem.

    Turns out I was a statistical anomaly with the hyperaldosteronism. I was too young to have such a thing, and I had the rare type of a bio-chemically active tumor in lieu of the typically large tumor that causes the issue.

    I’ll point out again that I went through 5 doctors before this finally got uncovered (learning along the way that “primary hypertension” really means that the doctor hasn’t a clue what is causing it). So it wasn’t like I ran into only one doctor that wasn’t particularly rational and wouldn’t really dig into the issue.

  268. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @67 runveldt if you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such we should believe the rape occured.” Then I don’t agree and would like to discuss why you think that.

    Because rape is a known phenomenom, a fairly common one, unlike Bigfoot sightings or alien abductions, you should believe that it occurred until a real investigation shows it didn’t.

    To do otherwise is foolish, as the Norfolk VA police recently admitted. They closed out a rape case as “unfounded” and it wasn’t until another rape ocurred that they decided maybe the first woman had really been raped. One needless rape,and one raped woman needlessly traumatized by being told she was lying.

    Here’s a “what if” for you. What if the first somplaints of priests raping altar boys had been taken seriously and investigated? Huh? What if?

  269. Pteryxx says

    seriously, I should thank the rape denier doucheketeers for this awesome resource on institutional mistreatment of rape victims that I totally found all by myself with a sixty-second Google search. Oh wait no I’m not going to thank them. Lawl.

    More from the same paper:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13552600.2011.613278#tabModule

    Victim support

    In the 1970s, when much of the silence regarding rape was first broken, feminists worked voluntarily to provide support for victims while campaigning for state assistance in funding service provision (Jones, 2004; Maier, 2011). Since then there has been growing recognition of the trauma of rape and victims’ needs in its aftermath, making it frustrating and perplexing that the non-governmental agencies providing these essential services typically lack a secure funding base. A recent US review found that all the community-based rape crisis centres and programmes studied had experienced decreases in funding or been threatened with imminent cuts (Maier, 2011). Lack of funding emerges as a barrier to effective service delivery, with financial instability making it virtually impossible to plan ahead given the needed focus on day-to-day survival (Maier, 2011; Ullman & Townsend, 2007). As a volunteer worker at one US Rape Crisis expressed it:

    If we could actually get funded for what we are doing it would be great … We are doing amazing, wonderful things on peanuts. (Maier, 2011, p. 152)

    The situation in New Zealand is similar where, despite considerable rhetoric regarding the need to support victims and such initiatives as the introduction of a Victims’ Charter, services for rape victims remain woefully funded. Accessing appropriate support is becoming harder, not easier, despite the growing “victims matter” mantra. For example, in 2009 the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) introduced a new “sensitive claims pathway” stipulating that counsellors and psychotherapists could no longer assess victims of sexual abuse and violence as eligible to receive subsidised counselling—such assessments now needed to be conducted by psychologists/psychiatrists (Binning, 2010; Collins, 2010). Funding would be approved for only those individuals diagnosed with a DSM-IV mental illness arising from the trauma (Hume, 2010). This requirement removed the assessment process from agencies specialising in sexual violence support, entrusting it to a relatively small band of professionals who may or may not have a sound knowledge of rape impacts and trauma. Those accepting financial support also had to accept a mental illness diagnosis, thereby placing themselves at risk of later discrimination and limited opportunities (in relation, for example, to arranging mortgage finance or international travel). One of the strongest objections to the ACC approach arose from the adoption of a model purporting to be “sensitive” while simultaneously pathologising the victims of sexual violence and subjecting them to additional trauma (Hume, 2010). High levels of protest forced ACC to partially amend their initial requirements but the impacts have already been felt in significantly reduced access to counseling and specialist agencies now facing major funding crises, including the threat of closure (Cheng, 2010; Dominion Post, 2010). Earlier this year, when a claimant criticised an ACC senior medical adviser on her blog site, he retaliated by initiating High Court legal action against her (Trevett, 2011). The woman concerned responded saying her blog would have little impact, then asked:

    So let me see if I get this straight … a blog of 15 followers has done more than $250,000 worth of damage to a man who has never granted a single woman seeking compensation for sexual abuse a mere percentage of that amount? (Waikato Times, 2011, p. 9)

    Eventually, after public debate and pressure, and an experienced lawyer offering to defend the woman, he withdrew the legal action (Nelson Mail, 2011).

    …So, by publicly supporting rape survivors and fostering discussion and education on a mere blog? We’re helping. Several people spoke up here and on Greta’s thread saying that they’re now giving donations or volunteer support to rape crisis resources because of these discussions. Over a hundred survivors have spoken up and some have found support and counseling due in part to discussions here. Folks have been better equipped to offer that crucial first supporter role to people who trusted them with their stories. Police departments are under pressure to work with victim advocates and change their victim-blaming policies. That’s what mere volunteers can do.

    After acknowledging the long delays and difficulties faced by victims/survivors in accessing counselling, the Stern Review posed the question: “What priority in allocating resources should be given to the voluntary sector services that help victims recover and get on with their lives?”. The answer provided was clear and unequivocal:

    Support and care for victims should be a higher priority. The obligations the State has to those who have suffered a violent crime, and a crime that strikes at the whole concept of human dignity and bodily integrity, are much wider than working for the conviction of a perpetrator. (Stern, 2010, p. 11)

  270. says

    I guerss it doesn’t matter at this point, and never really did, but is it even actually true that convictions don’t happen solely on uncorroborated victim testimony? There’s no real reason to assume it couldn’t happen (the accused doesn’t mount a defense, say, or not a sufficient one).

    Tom Foss @ #189:

    B) What revenge? Why would you engage in a revenge campaign that has little chance of resulting in any kind of punishment for the target of your revenge, and in nearly all cases, will end up dragging you through the mud as well? Why would “lying for revenge” be a more parsimonious explanation than “telling the truth”?

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when pressed on what hypothetical false accusers might be seeking revenge for, these people frequently suggest sex-like activity that happened without meaningful consent.

  271. laurentweppe says

    I’m going to be tangentially godwinning here, but please follow my reasonning trought:

    You know that hyper-skepticism is a beloved trick of the holocaust deniers, right? Holocaust debiers are people who, deep down, approve the holocaust, but, because such approval cannot be openly stated without burning one’s reputation beyond repear, they nitpick the hell out of any witness and study in order to find a way to justify their anti-semitism through rethorical byways.

    Your derpwads are using the same trick: deep down, they approve, but, because such approval cannot be openly stated without burning one’s reputation beyond repear, they nitpick the hell out of every claim, demanding unobtainable amounts of evidences, in order to find a way to justify their misogyny through rethorical byways.

    Also note that in both case, blankets statements are being used: it’s never “I think that Person A”s account of event are not be considered truthfull for reasons X, Y and Z which I’ll devellop now“: because succesfully demonstrating that one testimony in a sea of millions is false does not help their “cause” one bit.

  272. Ingdigo Jump says

    If anyone here has ever been shot, or physically assaulted, then you may be able to understand: Not calling the police after you feel as though you’ve been sexually assaulted is, to my mind, as big a mistake as refusing to go to the hospital with a bullet in your arm that someone else put there. No excuse – not the difficulty, not the pain, not the embarrassment, nor the cost – should keep you out of the ER if you get shot

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/17/police-tell-victims-call-911-and-youll-get-evicted-under-nuisance-laws/

    Now shuddup

  273. Ingdigo Jump says

    I’m going to be tangentially godwinning here, but please follow my reasonning trought:

    You know that hyper-skepticism is a beloved trick of the holocaust deniers, right? Holocaust debiers are people who, deep down, approve the holocaust, but, because such approval cannot be openly stated without burning one’s reputation beyond repear, they nitpick the hell out of any witness and study in order to find a way to justify their anti-semitism through rethorical byways.

    Your derpwads are using the same trick: deep down, they approve, but, because such approval cannot be openly stated without burning one’s reputation beyond repear, they nitpick the hell out of every claim, demanding unobtainable amounts of evidences, in order to find a way to justify their misogyny through rethorical byways.

    Also note that in both case, blankets statements are being used: it’s never “I think that Person A”s account of event are not be considered truthfull for reasons X, Y and Z which I’ll devellop now“: because succesfully demonstrating that one testimony in a sea of millions is false does not help their “cause” one bit.

    QFT

    The three pillars of holocaust deniers
    “It didn’t happen, it wasn’t so bad, and it was awesome”

  274. anteprepro says

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when pressed on what hypothetical false accusers might be seeking revenge for, these people frequently suggest sex-like activity that happened without meaningful consent.

    I am surprised that we don’t have a word to describe that situation. Perhaps we should call it “a Brian Dalton”?

    (At very least, it will be a valuable “euphemism”)

  275. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @206 Socrates “An accusation is not evidence. Ever.”

    So why do prosecutors have victims testify? It’s a first-hand, eyewitness account of an incident.

  276. eigenperson says

    Hershele Ostropoler:

    I guerss it doesn’t matter at this point, and never really did, but is it even actually true that convictions don’t happen solely on uncorroborated victim testimony? There’s no real reason to assume it couldn’t happen (the accused doesn’t mount a defense, say, or not a sufficient one).

    Theoretically, someone could be convicted on the basis of the testimony of a single witness, if the jury finds that witness credible enough that the single witness’s testimony convinces them of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    But it’s hard to find any actual examples, and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is probably too high for one to crop up in practice very often.

  277. anteprepro says

    I guess the author will never find out since he specifically says he doesn’t want to know. Yes, it was an analogy, but it wasn’t particularly apposite,

    Says the self-important fuckwit who just skirts past all the counter-arguments to the asinine arguments against the analogy.

    and in no way justifies the publication of libel.

    And the blithering, rape apologizing ignoramus who thinks they confidently call publishing someone’s personal account of being raped as “libel”.

    And with that answer I expect to disappear in a puff of red editorial ink.

    I can only hope. Your fellow idiots in this thread have been banned for less. Congratulations on tempting fate.

  278. says

    Hershele Ostropoler @322

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when pressed on what hypothetical false accusers might be seeking revenge for, these people frequently suggest sex-like activity that happened without meaningful consent.

    Oh yeah. Which really does get to the meat of what is really being objected to.

    And in many ways, it’s very similar to all the other bitching about how women are being uppity and “trying to get revenge” and “blowing things out of proportion” for daring to treat things assholes and abusers used to get away with as something serious.

    The frustration and confusion on being called out for making cons and business places unwelcome spaces for women, for sexually harassing women or constantly spewing out sexist jokes. And of course the raw anger for women who talk about their experiences with rape or rapey uncomfortable bullshit. The idea that by resisting the natural order of things and daring to report this stuff as if it was a real problem with consequences and should be taken seriously, they must be acting in revenge.

    Cause I mean, back in the day, a woman knew to shut her damn mouth and accept her punishment for straying out of the box. But now? All the bitches are trying to get revenge for rapey situations by talking about how they were raped in a medium devoid of any real consequences for the rapists (because the abuse campaign against those who speak about their rapes is horrifying to withstand) and GRR. I say GRR!

    If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this shit will stop when all the MRA toads, right-wing fascists, and libertarian pseudo-intellectuals fade into an ever less important subculture of screaming fuckwits and the majority of people recognize that women are people and it’s long since past the time that people need to stand up for them against the ever-rising tide of terrorism.

    Travis @101

    They really cannot help themselves from bringing courts and jail into it. Apparently it is the one and only measure of wrongness out there, and the only possible way to address issues of sexual harassment or rape.

    It is a really common tactic of abusers and abusive systems to dictate one and only “right” way for victims to address wrongs and then make that one system as abusive and unhelpful as possible. See wrong-doing corporations making their clients and employees signing contracts promising to address all wrongs through corporation-favoring arbitration or systems having one single means of reporting problems that is then not upheld or abusers demanding one particular way of their victims to talk to them which is then used as proof that they must not a) care very much or b) be a trustworthy and not insane source of information.

    It’s a great way to shut down the conversation and make it impossible to dissent.

    Which is just how the fascist fucks want it.

    karilith @259

    If anyone here has ever been shot, or physically assaulted, then you may be able to understand: Not calling the police after you feel as though you’ve been sexually assaulted is, to my mind, as big a mistake as refusing to go to the hospital with a bullet in your arm that someone else put there. No excuse – not the difficulty, not the pain, not the embarrassment, nor the cost – should keep you out of the ER if you get shot.

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE. If you want women to feel powerful, if you want women to see the results of their power in society in action, the absolute WORST thing you can do is repeat hearsay after the fact, while not counseling the woman to seek lawful avenues.

    When I was raped I did not report it to the police. I didn’t even report it to the con where it happened.

    When my partner was raped, her rapist actually sat and manipulated her from reporting it to anyone before he had smeared her name to anyone who would listen. With her other rape, she is still hesitant to even call it a rape and she sure as hell didn’t report it to the cops.

    My girlfriend’s rape was not reported to the cops. It may have been reported to the offending organization, but they’ve had a long history of ignoring rapes in their community. In fact of the over two dozen rapes reported to them in the last several years, they’ve only gone so far as to kick the person out (no jail time) once and that person was already on their way out due to other problems.

    My partner’s girlfriend’s rape. The most recent one, at least. That was actually reported to the cops. They proceeded to spend over an hour grilling her on how she must be a filthy liar and must have been trolling the streets looking for a homeless man to molest her and besides they won’t even be able to do anything so why bother filing a report. As of now, that has proceeded exactly zilch and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t filed in the circular filing bin.

    So on behalf of all of us, I’d just like to say:

    Go fuck yourself, you victim blaming piece of shit.

    You think we don’t get that? That it would be better if we could bleed and die and suffer to try and prevent this from happening to anyone else? You don’t think that doesn’t twist us up inside? But the system is the system and there ain’t nothing you can do unless you are a very specific victim, with a very specific abuser, and your abuser is so specific as to lead no doubt as to your violation and even then… well yeah.

    I mean look at Steubenville. No fucking doubt that what was happening was rape. The abusers even provided the taped evidence themselves and still assholes came out of the woodwork to claim the victim had it coming and what about those poor rapists.

  279. Nepenthe says

    Reposting from Beatrice @104

    What you are saying is that any rape that doesn’t involve physical injuries is fair game, since it would be just the word of the victim against the word of the rapist.

    Fuck you. That is all.

    This is the crux of this whole situation for me. The hyperskeptics are not only willing to allow the majority of rapists to avoid legal repercussions, but social ones as well. They want us to have no way at all to protect ourselves and others.

    @karilith
    [TW]


    Yes, I definitely should have reported being raped, especially since I was living with the man who raped me and he told me that he considered “false accusations” to be grounds for justifiable homicide. I really should have rolled the dice and bet that the police would arrest him for raping his mentally ill fiance, who hadn’t a mark on her, and not have let him come home and try to kill me. You are so right. How selfish of me.

  280. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her. The standard for rape is the same

    And the standard of evidence required for me warning another girl in my dorm that a certain foreign student put barbituratres in my drink and then tried to take my clothes off … so she should make sure he isn’t allowed to pour any drinks would be what?

    What is the standard of evidence required at a conference when SEVERAL women warned me that getting in the elevator with Isaac Asimov was likely to lead to a mauling and that he was “too important” for the conference to do anything about it should I be the recipient of his attentions?

    If they were allknown to me as reliable persons, did I have to be mauled by the old lecher before I could suggest to one of his adoring fans that he was known to have wandering hands ?

  281. says

    Heh. It’s kind of all a weird conflux right now. Tomorrow I’m going to be doing this thing for trans* survivors of sexual violence that my girlfriend found for me. Sort of helping survivors deal and stuff. And there might be this thing where I’ll be writing about asexuality and the huge amount of rape perpetuated against that community.

    And it’s got me reflective of just how universally fucked we are at the moment with regards to how much we’re even willing to look in the general direction of the rape culture (much less do a damned thing to stop it) and how many people I know personally who have been violated.

    I’m pretty sure at this point, I know more people who have been raped (both sexes) than not. And I run with a pretty heavy introvert, nerd, staying inside and rolling d20s on Friday nights sort of crowd.

    It’s… kind of staggering to put it all in perspective.

  282. Pteryxx says

    What you are saying is that any rape that doesn’t involve physical injuries is fair game, since it would be just the word of the victim against the word of the rapist.

    Fuck you. That is all.

    ^ this. Not to mention, even rape WITH physical injuries gets dismissed – one of my cites earlier involved NYPD giving the excuse “Sounds like rough sex gone awry.” (Direct quote.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/nyregion/03rapeside.html

  283. says

    Nepenthe @333

    SAFE HUGS!

    And SAFE HUGS to all the others who have been willing to speak about their personal experiences to a crowd largely identified by their hostility to the life experiences of rape survivors.

  284. kittehserf says

    “I believe a rape occured” <— your positiion
    "I do not know if a rape occured" <— generally my position
    "I believe a rape didn't occur" <— no one's position.

    You’re either a liar or incredibly stupid.

    Someone tells you they were raped. If you don’t believe them, you’re saying you believe a rape didn’t occur. Your “I don’t know if a rape occurred” comes down to that if you’re rejecting what they tell you. That is supporting rapists. That is reinforcing rape culture. Rape doesn’t happen! It’s not something one can take anyone’s word for! Womenthings People lie about being raped all the time!

    And if you really think nobody takes the position that “I believe a rape didn’t occur” then you have read NOTHING of the reactions to Jane Doe’s revelation of being raped, or the Steubenville rape, or the Castro case. (In case you missed it, there are MRAs out there saying Castro did not kidnap and rape his victims; they frame it as him sheltering them and having consensual sex.)

    Fuck you, you rape-supporting scumbag.

  285. says

    socrates @225

    I know it can be a little awkward responding to the banned, but this illustrates something important:

    If you accuse a specific person of burglarizing your house, that person will not go to jail for it unless there is additional evidence that implicates him/her.

    No one is going to jail.

    Schermer is going to walk his rapist ass free of a jail cell for the rest of his days, no matter the numerous victims he has left behind and TRAUMATIZED. He’s gotten a fucking boon, express package of our broken ass legal system and the extensive rape culture willing to protect him. He’s lucked out, won something, gotten out of the consequences for his actions. Hell, he’s even going to be protected from most of the social damage of his actions by the legions of rape apologists willing to lionize him. Which is a community he was already courting while alienating the only audience that would have cared (because it’s just wimmin, amirite /fuckwadarguments)

    And yet, even defended from all that. Even just facing the merest sliver of social consequences for terrorizing and traumatizing countless victims has got people violently angry and willing to defend him from this clearly analogous to jail time horror.

    And that’s such a perfect distillation of the rape culture, I should frame it.

    I mean, there it all is. So many people think so minimally of rape and are so supportive of it in society that they think just having their victims talk about it amongst themselves and warn new blood to stay the fuck away is a bridge too far. Is something beyond the pale, demanding extra trauma and violent repercussions for the victim.

    Because if a rapist gets cockblocked from a single of his victims then he has truly suffered more than the decades-spanning traumatic hell that is suffering a single rape.

    And I don’t even think they even believe that. Merely, that that is the more “socially acceptable” excuse for something even more terrible.

    That’s the culture we’re all living in right now.

    And they wonder why some women are a little hesitant throwing themselves out there and serving as sacrificial pyre for these fucknuts to practice their little Denialist tactics on.

  286. Nepenthe says

    Cerberus @338

    Thank you. I’ll leave the hugs for anyone who needs them. At this point in my life, that story is no longer emotionally evocative for me, which is why I don’t mind telling it to assholes.

  287. says

    the website is pretty bare bones right now- I will add links to better worded/more eloquent versions of the same arguments on the pages (and of course additional pages).

    lol@the demand for my IP address (was it claus?). All the crap I referenced is available at the jref forum for anyone to see (not that anyone would want to slog through all his posts).

  288. Pteryxx says

    …wow. That’s a case where the woman was actually charged with filing a false report too. And fined and forced to publicly recant, if not formally “convicted” per se. *saves from signal-noise ratio*

    —TW and the link itself is even worse—

    In August 2008, a stranger broke into the apartment of an 18-year-old Lynnwood woman, gagged her, bound her hands with a shoelace and raped her.

    When the woman reported the attack to Lynnwood police, she says detectives Jerry Rittgarn and Sgt. Jeff Mason didn’t believe her. Claiming police coerced her into recanting her story, the woman was charged with false reporting and fined $500 when she later tried to insist the rape did happen.

    Additional data point

  289. says

    Why is it so many people hear “this guy got me drunked at raped me” and in their head it turns into “I begged for sex, but it doesn’t count, because my blood alcohol was .09.” The claim wasn’t she consented to sex, but it’s rape because she was drunk. The claim was that she couldn’t, and therefore didn’t, consent.

  290. Pteryxx says

    …WHAT THE FCKING GRR.

    (TW, same link as my previous)

    D.M. called a neighbor, who called police. Police gathered evidence from the house, including stained sheets, the shoelaces, blindfold and gag.

    At the hospital, a doctor noted injuries to both her wrists and abrasions on her genitals. Doctors also collected DNA specimens, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit alleges police ignored or disregarded this evidence once they convinced themselves she was not telling the truth.

    Their suspicions were based on comments from three people who said that they doubted her story, according to the suit. One was her former foster mother, with whom D.M. had been arguing, and the other a friend who had spoken to D.M. on the phone that night, before the alleged attack. The third doubter was an anonymous caller.

    None of them had any firsthand knowledge of what had happened, the lawsuit says.

    …This is a case where AN ANONYMOUS CALLER SAYING A WOMAN IS LYING is more credible to the investigating officers than the woman plus all the evidence from the scene!

    Gah, how more perfect (as in pukeworthy) can this example possibly be?

  291. says

    pz myers

    First: Skeptifem, I can find no record of Larsen defending any kind of sexual abuse, and he sure as heck hasn’t done it here — he has made only one comment here, ever. Back it up or retract.

    I didn’t say sex abuse, I said harassment on the internet. A poster at the JREF forum (ducky) had his wife join and post, but she quit because claus kept making sexual remarks about her. After she left he kept saying sexual things about ducky’s wife.

    The sex with underage girls stuff was in a thread at the jref too. To be clear he simply said he thought it was not immoral to do it, he never claimed to have done so himself. He posted as CFlarsen there. He eventually got banned for the same weasely, asshole behavior that he demonstrates on ftb.

    I went back and the jref forum doesn’t go back far enough to find the threads- it only goes to 2012. If you want you can delete what I said. I have friends who can back me up about these things happening, if that is sufficient proof.

  292. Nepenthe says

    Actually, now that I’ve read the accounts posted by Pteryxx and Jessa, I’ll take those hugs. And maybe some cocoa and a cat video. *shudders*

  293. believerskeptic says

    @anteprepro— My username was chosen on the basis of the podcast I do, “Believer and Skeptic Show,” on iTunes (with a partner; he is the believer, I’m the skeptic). It’s not because I think I’m SuperSkepticMan or anything (as opposed to those who name themselves after Socrates as to invite what they think will be a favorable comparison). I also do not make any attempts to hide my real name, which is Robert Gross, and I often sign with it or initialize with it.

    I’m sorry that rundvelt was banned (to a point), if only because I wanted to ask him:

    If you were indeed sexually assaulted when you were a boy, and have even had experiences in which people wouldn’t believe you, why on earth would you not extend the same benefit of the doubt and empathy toward a woman making the same claim? I would think you of all people would be the first to empathize and extend the benefit of the doubt to the woman given your history.

    RG

  294. believerskeptic says

    I just realized I’ve been assuming rundvelt is male, but I think there’s a better than even chance of that.

  295. believerskeptic says

    You don’t like the analogy? Live with it.

    Douglas Hofstadter says analogy is the core of all cognition. But what does he know, he’s only the country’s leading cognitive scientist.

  296. says

    eigen @ #330

    Theoretically, someone could be convicted on the basis of the testimony of a single witness, if the jury finds that witness credible enough that the single witness’s testimony convinces them of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Yeah, I’m not surprised it’s unlikely. But it’s not ridiculous that we would simply believe people who say they were raped; it’s not a lower standard than we hold other evils to; it’s not like rape is the only evil where we believe the victim just because they said it happened.

  297. says

    Pteryxx:

    Not to mention, even rape WITH physical injuries gets dismissed – one of my cites earlier involved NYPD giving the excuse “Sounds like rough sex gone awry.” (Direct quote.)

    You can even get away with rape and murder, if you’re pretty enough, privileged enough, and white enough. Chambers case, aka The Preppy Murder. Awww, poor guy, it was just rough sex, not his fault she ended up dead!

  298. says

    Correction, Chambers pled to manslaughter, not murder, the original charge. He would have served little time if he didn’t continually commit more crimes in prison. After he was out of prison, he was convicted on a drug charge, and got more time for that than the murder.

  299. Pteryxx says

    Nepenthe, I’m sorry about that. *all the hugs*

    and Cerberus… your mind and heart are awesome, I don’t have the words. *set of all the hugs +n*

    believerskeptic, IMHO it’s a point in your favor that you’re still reading. Kudos.

  300. believerskeptic says

    Just like climate change denialists, evolution denialists, and so on, these rape denialists will accept no possible evidence and instead use it as an excuse to pretend to a higher level of “logic” where they are “just asking questions” in exactly the same cookie-cutter forumulas as we’ve seen from every other form of denialist that has come this way.

    Yes. Even if a rape were caught on camera, they would just proceed with “well, the camera’s black and white, not color; that image is a little fuzzy there; we can’t really tell from this angle if that’s actual penetration, etc.”

  301. Jessa says

    Nepenthe:

    Actually, now that I’ve read the accounts posted by Pteryxx and Jessa, I’ll take those hugs. And maybe some cocoa and a cat video. *shudders*

    *hugs*. Also, I apologize for not putting a TW on my link. I don’t have cocoa or a cat video, but here’s a video of a dog with a severe static problem.

  302. believerskeptic says

    Thanks Pteryxx. I had a rough start but I got over it. If it’s not too late I sincerely apologize for my previous lapses and hope I can start again with a blank slate.

  303. maudell says

    Self-described super rational skeptic man: “Analogies are invalid unless they describe the exact situation analogized. It’s just like a Stalinist witch hunt!”

  304. Pteryxx says

    believerskeptic, FYI the Thunderdome would be a better place for apologies, derails, and any random flares of temper that may occur ;> Good luck

  305. imnotandrei says

    A couple of things, as further evidence of hyperskepticism run amok: (I am getting *sick* of typing that word ‘evidence’ — amazing how many people insist “there isn’t any”, but there you go:)

    On a self-proclaimed Skeptic’s blog, the following statement:
    Were a friend of mine say that she (or he!) had been raped, I’d believe her (or him). In the same way I do not have any friends who I could believe are rapists, I don’t have any friends who would make such an accusation falsely.

    This is someone who believes in Shermer’s innocence because he disapproves of Myers. Pointing out to him the one-sidedness of his hyperskepticism (and trust) does not appear to have made a dent in him. ;)

    Similarly, I have watched the people in another thread go berserk over “We don’t even have a valid claim, since we don’t have all these details” while others go “I heard they were both drunk, so maybe they raped each other!” — the game of Bad Skeptic Telephone gets really impressive.

    Finally, in response to Karilith, #259 —

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE.

    When I was assaulted, I resisted; I left more marks on them than they did on me. Reporting to the police would have put me in a position where I would have been on the *wrong* side of some of the physical evidence. So; what was I supposed to do, then?

    I talked to the conference organizers where I was; I showed up the next day mad as hell. But no legal charges were ever filed. Are you going to tell me I did it wrong?

    (Sorry, just needed to vent about these examples and that charge.)

  306. anteprepro says

    My username was chosen on the basis of the podcast I do

    But you still wound up with “skeptic” in your name, so you bear the curse. So strive. Strive to be the exception that proves the rule!

    Self-described super rational skeptic man: “Analogies are invalid unless they describe the exact situation analogized. It’s just like a Stalinist witch hunt!”

    Win.

  307. Fionnabhair says

    Why is it these hyperskeptics like to apply the beyond reasonable doubt standard and demand EVIDENCE! when deciding whether or not to believe a person is a rapist, but are unwilling to apply the same standard when it comes to the person making the accusation?* They demand evidence before they’ll believe a rape claim, but no evidence is necessary to believe that the person making the accusation is lying.

    *Rhetorical question.

  308. anteprepro says

    It’s just like a Stalinist witch hunt!”

    Also: North Korea.

    (Sorry, just needed to vent about these examples and that charge.)

    No need to apologize, since you made some great points. There’s a lot to be outraged about as well! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that you should feel free to vent more!

  309. woodworm says

    Hope this isn’t too anecdotal/blurty/deraily/triggery.

    To any apologists / devil’s advocates / twerps who haven’t been banned yet:

    I’ve actually observed a rape trial. My ex-partner was a character witness. It was horrible, but it had a ‘happy’ ending in that justice was done. The victim went to police three years after the event. She gave a clear, brave, honest, consistent testimony. The defence lawyer tried every trick in the book: calling her a liar, a fantasist, and so on: just trying to break her down. He sneered at her, asking her why she didn’t give testimony at the time (answer: she was in shock). There was a slew of evidence, but the defence team claimed it was inadmissible (he had sent pervy letters to various teenage girls, but the jury wasn’t allowed to know that). The only evidence the jury had was the woman’s testimony, and various circumstantial reports about mood changes, from her friends and parents. At the time (I was pretty naive, I guess) I felt certain he’d be acquitted. There was no forensics; no third-party witnesses. But the standard of proof was ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. A jury of twelve men and women reached a verdict. Her testimony was completely consistent. They had no reason to doubt her. Why would she lie? And so it was: guilty, seven years. The rapist appealed on a technicality (inadmissible evidence). A second trial; a second verdict. A second panel of twelve reasonable, decent people. A second guilty. Seven years.

    This, for the benefit of the douchey-advocates on this thread, was a real court of law, applying the higher standard of evidence as used in criminal trials. This was the unanimous verdict of twenty-four people.

    Now this ‘grenade’ case is not even a criminal trial. Nobody has arrested or charged the guy. It’s HIM coming forward with the writs. If it gets to court, the standard of evidence will be much lower: just the balance of probabilities. A court will simply have to decide which of two scenarios is more likely: that this happened to six women broadly as outlined, or that someone would make something up and suffer years of abuse (not least from the resident twerps), all so that her bearded biologist friend could get a few extra hits on his blog. That’s the bottom line … not whether we have sufficient evidence about celestial teapots, brains in vats, or any number of sophomoric thought-experiments. Those twenty-four people in the jury didn’t give a rat’s ass about ontological scepticism, or whether we can objectively prove that I’m not a figment of your imagination. They simply had to decide, in a reasonable and honest way, whether a brave and terrified teenage girl in that courtroom was telling the truth.

    Also, before I try to sleep: everyone knows that justice isn’t always done. Rapists get away with rape all the time. A really close friend recently told me she’d been raped at knifepoint. By someone she trusted. Someone she dated. The police wouldn’t prosecute because she knew her assailant. She blamed herself. Still does. The rapist is still out there, sneering. There are no words to describe the anger and impotence we all feel when something like this happens. As for the hurtful, malicious, trolls on this thread, I can’t find insults or condemnations strong enough, except to go listen to the last verse of Bob Dylan’s ‘Seven Curses’ on repeat.

    The Horde is inspiring, even to those of us who mostly lurk. You’ve no idea how happy it made me feel to log on after the 15th to find that the grenade thread was still there.

  310. broboxley OT says

    I think most of the skeevy types have wandered on to the next outrageathon. In case there are a few still reading these links, I will post one more time here. If you are ever on the wrong side of a bad sexual experience, male, female, other, how likely would you be to report it or even admit to yourself what has happened? Does shame and self loathing enter into the picture? That is what rape culture does to everyone. Enslaves the victim to the experience, shields the aggressor and reinforces that everyone including friends and family will be after you to recant because of “the taint”.
    The guy whining legally to PZ is exploiting that. Unless he is a completely self centered ass he would recognize that something in his past behavior has triggered this. He would be well aware of sex that didn’t go well for the partner and after some introspection he would have contacted someone whom he felt would be reasonable enough to talk about it. A borderline incident in his mind, and ask for an honest assessment. He may have done so, we don’t know about it.
    Maybe that will change his behavior in the future, I/we don’t know. His legal maneuvering is just that, use rape culture to shut up the complainants. Lets work together to see that this will not work in the future.

  311. Azuma Hazuki says

    Reading through this whole thread, something occurs: “hyperscepticism” is a question of applying the wrong method to a given problem.

    It seems like they’re trying to smash everything down to deductive logic, when what’s called for here (and what makes it all so damn messy…) is a Bayesian if not generically inductive approach. And herein lies the problem: “Bayesian priors” are varied, may be set without some important facts or evidence, and each person weights them differently, and that doesn’t even begin to take into account the distortions created by prejudices, traumas, beliefs, &c.

    I understand the hypersceptics’ motives, and why they are genuinely offended when someone calls them on the douchebag effects of their behavior: the ones acting in good faith are genuinely trying to maximize their facts before making a claim. It’s a case of too much of a good thing, almost like an autoimmune disorder. But it can go really bad really fast…ironically, because of a fundamentally unsceptical confidence in their own methods!

  312. Victorious Parasol says

    Not reporting rape has NO EXCUSE.

    Yes, because a rape victim should be told how to react to her/his boundaries being violated.

    (I’m not sure if I should put a sarcasm or a scorn tag on this.)

  313. believerskeptic says

    [rant]

    YOU CANNOT SOLVE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WITH BAYES’S BLOODY THEOREM.

    [/rant]

    That’s all this thread needs is some lesswrongian masturbation thrown in.

  314. Anri says

    I know this is getting tiring for the regulars, but as the idiots refuse to read the previous threads:

    Daz, then what you have is an accusation, and not evidence that would hold up in a court of law or that reasonable people should accept as proof that that particular person is guilty. Again, do you recall the Duke lacrosse case?

    Those that believe this is a court case must wait to be called to testify before speaking.

    If you are speaking with being called, you know this is not a court case, so stop pretending to be dumb enough to think it is.
    Thank you.

  315. says

    Nepenthe @348

    No problem. SAFE HUGS. Yeah, that story was intense.

    Jessa @358

    But appreciated. The more we can rub these rape apologist assholes’ noses in exactly what they’re supporting, the better.

    believerskeptic @356

    Yes. Even if a rape were caught on camera, they would just proceed with “well, the camera’s black and white, not color; that image is a little fuzzy there; we can’t really tell from this angle if that’s actual penetration, etc.”

    MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS.
    #
    #
    #
    #
    #

    Oh definitely. We saw exactly that during the Steubenville case with all the assholes clamoring to argue that the video taped evidence, recorded by the rapists themselves showing them committing rape on a completely unconscious woman was proof that she somehow consented.

    Same with a case a bit ago, can’t remember the name of it, but it was one where a woman was gang raped including by pool cues and other objects and the rapists not only recorded it but actually sent it to the police themselves because they thought the police would find it funny. And despite this video evidence, there were still no end of assholes claiming she must have consented to rough sex and then changed her mind afterwards.

    There is literally no evidence that will ever make the rape denialists accept a rape to another person as real.

    Not that it stops those same assholes for using rape as a metaphor for things completely unrapelike such as “paying your taxes” or “watching your favorite sports team lose a game”.

    Overall, it’s a culture thing and it’s long past time that people who are not shit stand up for what’s right and start shaming those who support this shit instead of the victims and survivors and those VERY few who stand up for them.

  316. qynoi says

    Oh my. This seems to happen whenever rape and rape culture gets mentioned. There are a few aggressive posters rehashing arguments about rape that don’t make any sense and several more enlightened people trying to correct their thinking but not getting anywhere. It’s a lot like trying to argue evolution to a staunch creationist. People who are stuck in their own beliefs and not willing to even consider the other side are almost impossible to sway (I’d say impossible, but I’m a knee-jerk optimist). Although, I often think the people who keep hammering the same illogical arguments and ignore the warnings of our patient host are just trolls trying to get a rise. Again, I’m a knee-jerk optimist, but I find that, in person, few people are as not willing to listen as these posters seem to be. I’ve given up on trying to posters like this. They’re not going to take the time to look into or consider responses I’ve given, so why waste my…breath? fingers?

    On a side note, that SkepticDoc experiences is sadly reminiscent of trying to get disability. Not an exact equal by any means, it just put me in mind of some of my experiences. The people you’re dealing with have to be skeptical than usual because they’re handling money, I understand that. But, golly, the process gets so mired and bogged down that many people with actual disabilities fall through the cracks. Actually, it’s another case where people being overly disbelieving are hurting others. Doesn’t affect as many people as rape culture, but still out there.

    Your example illustrates what has happened to the understanding of skepticism. I fear people have come to think of it as “take everything you hear as possibly being incorrect/false/wrong” instead of “investigate what you hear” -note, no inherent bias there. I’m not saying you can’t be emotional, but immediately started out assuming something/someone is incorrect is bad place to start and is precisely why we end up having such a hard time convincing people of anything.

    Sorry for being long winded. I try to be as precise as possible. I get nervous about speaking up, so I end up overdoing it when I infrequently do. I’d provide a TL;DR version but I fear people would only read that and misunderstand what I’m getting at.

  317. Kevin Schelley says

    YOU CANNOT SOLVE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WITH BAYES’S BLOODY THEOREM.

    Nobody here is saying it can solve everything, but it is useful in some situations. I’m far from an expert on it, but using a less formalized version of it can help guide thinking in cases like this, using general probabilities to figure out which situation is more likely. It’s certainly more useful than the “reasoning” the TWOO SKEPTICS!!!1!!! are using.

  318. Azuma Hazuki says

    @381

    Thank you @_@ It feels like I stepped a foot in the swimming pool and got a brace of piranha racing up my leg there, skeletonizing it as they went. Good grief…

    That’s a lot of complicated language to say “Induction’s not great but sometimes it’s all we have.” That’s all I meant by it.

  319. says

    Ingdigo Jump
    He came back with apologies, actually. Still has a thing about Bayesian probability, though, apparently because it’s popular at Lesswrong, which he has a grudge against.

  320. qynoi says

    Nepenthe – Thank you for sharing. You remind us that this is not theories we are talking about or philosophical points – this is about real people and what improper skepticism really does (makes people afraid to share because they get scrutinized so badly).

    Jessa and Pteryxx – Thank you for also providing us with examples that show the humanity behind this issue. I hope you don’t mind that I couldn’t finish reading the articles. They were so terrible.

    Nepenthe – After reading that, I hope you don’t mind a few extra hugs (kinda need them myself and I haven’t even lived through it). Here’s a funny animal pic. It’s not a cat, but still amusing: Funny Pony Pic

    Skimming through the articles also brings up the poi

  321. qynoi says

    Erm… I forgot to finish my sentence. I was just going to point out that is nice to see how many people are out there that actually do think and that it’s not just an exercise in rage control.

  322. John Phillips, FCD says

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    Then it is not a movement worth saving. But not only that, if what we have seen recently is any indication, maybe the sooner it dies the better. Perhaps then we m8ght be able to grow a new one that considers everybody people and of value, not just the ‘big shots’ and their hyperskeptic arselickers.

  323. keithm says

    I understand the hypersceptics’ motives, and why they are genuinely offended when someone calls them on the douchebag effects of their behavior: the ones acting in good faith are genuinely trying to maximize their facts before making a claim.

    Here’s the thing though: I’ve interacted with some of them and the level of fact they claim they’d be willing to accept before coming to a tentative conclusion, about anything, means that either (a) they are unable to function in the world, or (b) they’re misleading themselves, at best.

    Seriously. If you go on what some of them say, if they saw a bunch of people staggering out of a bar, speaking loudly, with slurred speech, singing, and generally doing all the other things we associate with people who have been drinking, the hyperskeptics say they’d refuse to come to the tentative conclusion that they are likely drunk.

    Which is just bloody stupid. I have no doubt that were I walking with said skeptics along the street and pointed out the group, they wouldn’t object to someone calling them a bunch of drunks. I have no doubt they’d assume as much themselves.

  324. piegasm says

    @347 skeptifem

    He posted as CFlarsen there.

    That makes him one of the earliest people to get banned from the A+ forums. If I’m remembering correctly, he was spouting a bunch of thinly veiled sperm-jacking fuckwittery.

  325. believerskeptic says

    Ingdigo Jump
    He came back with apologies, actually. Still has a thing about Bayesian probability, though, apparently because it’s popular at Lesswrong, which he has a grudge against.

    I don’t know if I would call it a grudge. I would call it real concern.

    What I would call a grudge are Ingdigo Jump’s feelings toward me.

  326. believerskeptic says

    Seriously. If you go on what some of them say, if they saw a bunch of people staggering out of a bar, speaking loudly, with slurred speech, singing, and generally doing all the other things we associate with people who have been drinking, the hyperskeptics say they’d refuse to come to the tentative conclusion that they are likely drunk.

    This is just a side note— I’m only merely reminded of this by the quote, I’m not commenting on the quote itself— but I have a friend who plays in an orchestra. She showed up for the gig, was staggering, her speech was completely slurred, and she stumbled, fell over on her face, had to be helped up, helped to her seat, at which point with slurred speech she thanked the people who helped her. She overheard one of the other orchestra members who didn’t know her mutter something to the effect of how appalling it is for people to show up drunk to a gig.

    Thing is, she has cerebral palsy.

    There are so many invisible disabilities in this world, and so many people so quick to jump to so many wrong conclusions. Clinical depression is one, which I have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to stop “whining.” Which, thank you very much, is ableist as all hell. Yes, I’m looking at you, Ingdigo.

  327. says

    Clinical depression is one, which I have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to stop “whining.” Which, thank you very much, is ableist as all hell. Yes, I’m looking at you, Ingdigo.

    *eyebrow shoots up*

    Now THAT’S a new one. Whining should be tolerated because sometimes people are assholes and tell people with clinical depression to stop whining?

  328. laurentweppe says

    @ imnotandrei

    Were a friend of mine say that she (or he!) had been raped, I’d believe her (or him). In the same way I do not have any friends who I could believe are rapists, I don’t have any friends who would make such an accusation falsely.

    It might be involontary, but your self elf-proclaimed skeptic does provide an accurate description of one recuring problem with people’s reaction to rape: one of the enabling factor of the ongoing impunity of sexual predators is the I’m Friend with no Rapist! attitude: a great many people who ought to know better will simply never accept to aknowledge the existence of sexual predators within their own social circle.

  329. mildlymagnificent says

    I wonder what I and my family would do as hyperskeptics when we heard two particular things in one 24 hour period.

    Daughter is looking for a kennel to care for her dog while they’re away at the end of the year. Friend warned her that the one nearest, which they were looking at, had allowed her dog to lose several kilos in weight during her holiday and the vet had been horrified at its condition when she rushed the poor creature there. Does she or does she not entrust her beloved pet to these people? After all, they haven’t been charged with animal cruelty or gone out of business.

    Neighbour came around to, literally, borrow a cup of sugar. Warned me that a couple of people around the corner had had their car tyres slashed this week. I don’t know these people. I haven’t seen any cars with slashed tyres. So do I or don’t I bother to drive the car a few further metres down the driveway and put it behind a locked door for the night? Nobody’s been arrested or charged with any car/ vandalism offences.

    This sort of thing is exactly the same level of report/ testimony/ evidence as we are getting about exactly the same kind of commonplace risks of certain activities – safety of animals in the care of others, safety of parking cars in certain places at certain times, safety of people in social settings.

  330. says

    believerskeptic #389, for someone who’s already acknowledged that they’ve made a few missteps here at Pharyngula, perhaps now would be a good time to start Lurking Moar?

    Flurries of contributions from those who haven’t done the requisite lurking tend to lead to newbie errors that merely serve to illustrate the failure mode of clever.

  331. sawells says

    Believerskeptic: please understand that Bayes’ theorem ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes'_theorem ) is a fundamental result in probability theory and, importantly, predates the “Lesswrong” site by a couple of centuries. Please stop equating Bayes’ theorem with Lesswrong: they are different things. You wouldn’t scream ALCHEMY IS WRONG every time somebody mentions calculus, would you? You;’re going to cause serious derail problems if you go LESSWRONG!!! every time Bayes’ theorem is mentioned.

  332. says

    Nice! I wonder if they realize that they’re arguing “it didn’t happen” and “it was her fault” in the same breath. God is perfect and created your sinful ass and will fuck you up for not being perfect.

  333. says

    @394 Not to mention ignorance. Caine posted the relevant links, specifically Meet The Predators. These are almost never people who live in caves, broken away from society, waiting in the bushes at night. The way these people find targets is through friends and family, if not the friends and family themselves. It’s also a form of cover (but Coach Sandusky was such a saint, giving all those wayward boys a good Christian home).

  334. says

    please understand that Bayes’ theorem ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes'_theorem ) is a fundamental result in probability theory and, importantly, predates the “Lesswrong” site by a couple of centuries.

    Maybe we should just call it “Laplace’s Theorem”, since he fixed and extended Bayes’ work. It would also confuse the hell out of those Lesswrong weirdos.

  335. says

    PZPatient: Doctor, I’m in pain. Give me morphine!

    SkepticDoc: Tell me something about your symptoms. What is the nature of your pain?

    PZPatient: I don’t want to talk about that. Give me morphine!

    SkepticDoc: If you lie down here I will examine you..

    PZPatient: No! What’s wrong with you! Lots of people have pain! It’s a completely reasonable claim! Why do you need evidence for that! Give me morphine now or you must be a sadist who wants people to suffer!

  336. says

    And yet when the ultra-skeptics start to complain about being FTBullied, banned and sidelined this will all be clear and objective fact and not group paranoia (that’s an emotion, right?)

    QFT. How often have I heard now how all the anti-FTB women have women come up to them saying they feel intimidated by #FTBullies? Quite regularly. How often have I seen the hyperskeptics demand physical/corroborating evidence for that testimony? Not once.

    Does that not add to the animosity that abounds?

    I so very much don’t give a fuck about “animosity”. So fucking amused that the douchebisquits still think anyone’s trying to bridge the Deep Rifts.

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    bullshit. a movement is only important because of the people it is supposed to help; if it causes harm instead, it should be discarded. and under no circumstances is any movement worth throwing even more marginalized people under the bus.

    An accusation is not evidence. Ever.

    lol. even the people with law degrees from the university of google know better than that. (if an accusation were never evidence, then defamation suits would be impossible)

    – – – – – – – –
    I know this dipshit has been banned, but I wrote this as I was reading, and it might come in handy to others… and maybe even the dipshit, given that the banned rarely actually take their banning as a sign to fuck off properly.

    - Would you agree that we have a standard of what is and isn’t acceptable as evidence of a crime, namely the standards of evidence present in our legal system?

    no, of course not. the extreme burden of proof in court exists not because that’s what’s reasonably necessary to figure out what actually happened, but because of the extreme power-imbalance between state and individual; it skews extremely in favor of the accused because that’s the only way to balance out the fact that consequences of having the entire legal system against you are extremely dire, and the state also has far more resources at its disposal than the average individual.
    I’m not the state. I cannot imprison anyone on my say-so; I do not have armed thugs, investigators, and judges at my disposal. Therefore, the burden of proof needn’t be this excessively skewed towards the defendant, because the power-imbalance that extreme bias is meant to protect against doesn’t exist. And more: between a rape-victim and rapist, there’s often a power-imbalance going the other way.

    - If a person applied the same rigor to the evidence that would be required in a court to obtain a conviction, would they be hyper-skeptical as defined by your article?

    as part of a court? no. outside of a court? yes.

    - Given this single claim, what do you think the most rational position would be:

    I reject your silly spherical cow hypothesis in favor of reality. A sensible position on anything is not arrived at via a single hypothetical.

    I mean, to suggest that he “helped you” get drunk is ridiculous, because unless he was forcing them down your throat and you had no choice, then you made a decision to consume the alcohol.

    oh, I get it. This commenter is an alien from mars, and doesn’t know how humans work. Because humans generally understand concepts such as social pressure and being inattentive in social situations.

    I mean, are we suggesting that a single claim is sufficient to warrant a conviction?

    does this blog look like a courtroom?
    no?
    then shut the fuck up about “conviction”.

    But if you’re saying “If a rape victim says she was raped, there’s a low percentage that it’s false, and as such we should believe the rape occured.” Then I don’t agree and would like to discuss why you think that.

    1)there’s no difference between “believing it’s more likely true than not” and “believing”; because absolutely nothing can be known with 100% certainty.
    2) the dominant reason for acepting the claim as true until evidence to the contrary is shown is simple harm reduction.

    I was asking whether or not the standards used by the court to determine guilt are reasonable to apply in believing whether a crime took place or not.

    outside of a criminal court, they are not.

    But isn’t that standard the standard that we as a society has used to determine if a crime has occured, and if, failing that standard, isn’t the reasonable thing to say “I don’t know what happened.”?

    no. also “we as a society” is an argumentum ad populum. society for a long while didn’t consider marital rape to even be a thing. society was wrong. an accepted social standard is not always the best one; quite often, it’s the opposite, because we live in an ignorant and highly discriminatory and unfair kind of society.

    I couldn’t agree with you any more if I tried. However, if there isn’t sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction, by what standard do you use to determine to yourself if a crime has happened?

    by whether it is more likely to be true than not true, and by whether more harm is caused by accepting a claim provisionally than rejecting it.

    You are aware that courts have different standards of what is and isn’t sufficient based on the situation correct? Namely, certain crimes have required elements that others do not. These in fact require a “higher” standard of evidence for conviction.

    that’s because of the power-imbalance, and the severity of consequences if found guilty; it has fuck-all to do with what is realistically enough evidence to determine truth and everything to do with counteracting a power-imbalance.

    There was someone asking me why a woman’s testimony was discounted versus a mans. I said it doesn’t, because a woman can rape another woman and their statements are on equal footing too.

    divorced from reality. the relative positions of accuser and accused in the matrix of oppression absolutely matter in terms of who is more likely to be believed.

    In the case of rape, it’s like this.
    Woman: “He raped me.”
    Man: “I didn’t rape her.”

    Where do you go from that?

    statistical probabilities, power imbalances + potential harm by provisionally accepting either claim => the appropriate conclusion (which most of the time is to believe the woman until evidence contradicting her is presented)
    This really isn’t that difficult.

    I mean, I was a victim of sexual assault when I was in grade 6 and 7. Of course, no one will believe me because I have a different viewpoint then the majority of people here.

    The claim about being disbelieved is pure prejudice on your part. I have no problem accepting your claim about being assaulted, until evidence to the contrary presents itself; because it has a high probability of being true, and I’d do more harm rejecting the claim than accepting it. You’re a prejudiced asshole for assuming otherwise about the commenters here based on your dislike for them.

    Ok, so if a man says he was raped by a woman, do you believe him?

    yes. it’s AFAIK less likely than the other way round, but still likely, and there’s still more harm in dismissing than in provisionally accepting the claim until evidence to the contrary is presented (assuming of course there’s no additional power-imbalance involved, that is; I assume that all of these scenarios are “ceteris paribus”)

    Mainly because decisions on whether someone should be punished

    completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, since no one is proposing punishment.

    “I believe a rape didn’t occur” <— no one's position.

    that is bullshit; bullshit caused by willful ignorance of the situation at hand.

    Actually, what’s happened is more like this.

    “Hey, my favourite flavour of popsickle is purple. I think it works the best.”

    Thinking an ethical stance on the burden of proof for believing a possible rape victim is an “opinion” comparable to your opinion on the flavor of something?
    Divorced from reality, and more callous and dangerous as a result of it.

  337. says

    PZPatient: Doctor, I’m in pain. Give me morphine!

    warning other people = demanding a restricted and addictive substance.

    #BrainFail

  338. says

    I do place a higher value on reason, critical thinking, and skepticism than on the interpretation of feelings as accurate indicators of truth. I’m talking about my feelings, not yours. I know that my own interpretations are frequently unreliable, and I won’t judge yours. I place a high value on arguments from experience, depending on the person making the argument, and the nature of the argument. Some claims — extraordinary or not — require evidence, and some don’t. A claim, in and of itself, is, by definition, evidence, but it isn’t proof. I believe every woman who tells me that she has been harassed or raped.

  339. piegasm says

    Translated #402 Johan Rönnblom:

    LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE ANALOGY PZ DIDN’T MAKE!! I’M SO CLEVER!!

  340. vaiyt says

    I used to balk at this trend of calling denialists “hyperskeptics”.

    Nowadays, my opinion of skeptics is so low I don’t even bat an eye.

  341. vaiyt says

    The atheist/skeptic movement is more important than you, me, PZ or any other individual.

    A “movement” of rapists and rapist enablers can go die in a fire.

  342. John Morales says

    vaiyt, bit of a broad brush, there.

    (Do you think Pharyngula is not part of the atheist/skeptic movement?)

  343. says

    Do you think Pharyngula is not part of the atheist/skeptic movement?

    A movement consists of people. Some of the people who read Pharyngula are atheists, some are not. The blog owner is part of movement atheism in that he attends movement cons to speak there.

    But I have no doubt at all that the blog owner would also be ready to throw movement atheism in the bin , if he thought there was no chance to fix the current problems. Obviously he thinks there is a chance to fix it. I’m not so optimistic, myself. I suspect that just as religion seems to be some software bug in human brains, so is misogyny and sexism and ignorance of base rates.

    So personally, if Dalton, Shermer, Dawkins, Blackford, Thunderf00t, Mayhew, ERV, Hale, the Atheist Foundation of Australia, ElevatorGate, Sanderson and their fans want to run those movements, I say let them.

    In 200 years they’ll look entirely pathetic, so there’s that.

  344. says

    @Johan Rönnblom
    Your analogy is ass-backwards. In your analogy, the patient doesn’t merely expect to believed, he expects a particular course of action with potentially severe consequences. This would be analogous to if we demanded that the accused be instantly locked up on the say-so of the victim, with no investigation or trial.

    Notice how we’re not saying that?

    The correct parallel is this:
    Claim – tentatively believing the claim – investigating the claim – taking action
    Claim of pain – believing the patient – examining the patient – treating the patient
    Claim of rape – believing the victim – investigating the crime – imprisoning the rapist

    Your analogy compares a second level step with a fourth level step. Once we correct that mistake, the analogy no longer makes the point you’re getting at. That’s, by any reasonable standard, a poor analogy.

  345. John Morales says

    rorschach, actual organisations with memberships are one aspect of the atheist/skeptic movement*; I think it comprises the collective of people who advocate for (and practice!) what the movement preaches.

    * Also, I think the most likely places for curious people who seek to learn about atheism and scepticism to begin looking. FWTW.

  346. says

    LykeX: Sure, if you expect that we should only be concerned with ‘believing’ this unknown person, and then taking absolutely no action. But that is less than useless. No one advocates that.

    If we have a serial rapist then we need to take action. Get him convicted, or at least do our best to make it harder for him to rape. But we can’t do that without causing serious harm if he is not a serial rapist.

    Now, I think that it is likely that some serious journalist will actually take this case on, try to locate the people who are alleged to have been raped, and verify their story. If it is possible to find these people and they do make these claims and the claims are not obviously unreasonable, then I expect a serious publication to publish this story. If that happens, I will find it unreasonable to believe that the claims are not largely true. But if this does not happen, I will assume someone is just spreading rumours on the internet, which is easy to do. And please don’t compare with the low rate of false police reports of rape – making a false police report is a serious crime, spreading false information anonymously on the internet is extremely easy and nearly risk-free.

  347. carlie says

    no, of course not. the extreme burden of proof in court exists not because that’s what’s reasonably necessary to figure out what actually happened, but because of the extreme power-imbalance between state and individual; it skews extremely in favor of the accused because that’s the only way to balance out the fact that consequences of having the entire legal system against you are extremely dire, and the state also has far more resources at its disposal than the average individual.
    I’m not the state. I cannot imprison anyone on my say-so; I do not have armed thugs, investigators, and judges at my disposal. Therefore, the burden of proof needn’t be this excessively skewed towards the defendant, because the power-imbalance that extreme bias is meant to protect against doesn’t exist. And more: between a rape-victim and rapist, there’s often a power-imbalance going the other way.

    This needs to be plastered at the top of every single comment thread where people come in yelling about standards of evidence.

  348. says

    @ LykeX: Also, you’re missing the point in my analogy. In this case the doctor is taking the patient seriously. The patient is believed. But the patient is not cooperating, which means the doctor is unable to help in any responsible way.

  349. sawells says

    @Johan Ronnblom: You are obviously incorrect when you say “…do our best to make it harder for him to rape. But we can’t do that without causing serious harm if he is not a serial rapist.”

    Because the only actual “harm” that Shermer could suffer here is that young women who are concerned for their personal safety may be less likely to let him pour them lots of drinks. Is that “serious harm”?

  350. says

    making a false police report is a serious crime, spreading false information anonymously on the internet is extremely easy and nearly risk-free.

    PZ is anonymous now? When and how did that happen?

  351. says

    @sawells: Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    But what is so terrible about trying to verify these accusations?

  352. says

    If we have a serial rapist then we need to take action. Get him convicted, or at least do our best to make it harder for him to rape. But we can’t do that without causing serious harm if he is not a serial rapist.

    Complete nonsense. First, let’s distinguish between we, the people on this blog, and we, the larger society, including the justice system. The appropriate actions are very different for each group.

    On this blog, the appropriate action is to give people a heads-up about a potential predator, so they can be on their guard. That’s what we’ve been doing. This does not require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and it causes no major harm to the accused if the accusation is wrong. At most, it’s harder for him to get laid. Oh, the humanity.

    The police and justice system, if they get a report of rape, should investigate, like they do with any other crime. Since the potential for harm is greater here, they have a greater standard of evidence; guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Also, you’re missing the point in my analogy. In this case the doctor is taking the patient seriously. The patient is believed. But the patient is not cooperating, which means the doctor is unable to help in any responsible way.

    Bullcrap, again. The patient is asking for a specific, very serious course of action; a course of action that requires more than their word. This would be analogous to a criminal conviction. I fully agree that if anyone demanded that Shermer be incarcerated on a mere accusation, and actively prevented a serious police investigation, that would be irresponsible in the highest degree.
    However, since nobody is asking for that, we can put aside such nonsense. The behavior of the patient in your analogy simply isn’t analogous to the behavior of the victims, bloggers or commenters in this case.

    It sounds like you’re really just spouting a particularly obscure and long-winded example of what we’ve heard before; “police or it didn’t happen.”

  353. says

    @Daz: You misunderstand me. PZ is taking a serious (and in my view, foolish) risk. But the person who sent him the accusations is not.

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate. Or at least, if he has taken these steps, he is terrible at conveying this to his readers. Since his stated (and likely) reason for publishing the accusations is to convince people that they are true, it should definitely be in his interest to convince his readers.

    Obvious steps would be: 1) verify that the rape story is at least plausible, eg does not contain any unicorns or similar and 2) attempt to verify that the five (5) other rape victims that PZ’s source claims exist and actually do claim to have been raped.

    It is possible that PZ has done either or both of the above, but in that case he obviously feels no need to make his readers believe that he has.

  354. says

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate. Or at least, if he has taken these steps, he is terrible at conveying this to his readers.

    What part of PZ’s statement that he trusts the person in question did you find hard to understand?

    (And please stop conflating “unnamed” and “anonymous.” It’s disingenuous at best and downright dishonest at worst.)

  355. says

    @LykeX: Well, I don’t want to be part of any community where if someone is anonymously accused of rape, that person will be shunned and even the most basic attempts to verify whether the accusation is true will be met with hostility.

    Again, what is so terrible about trying to verify whether the claims are true or indeed even plausible? Note that the claim is that at least 6 women have been raped. The claim is that all of these women have been willing to tell at least one other person about it.

    I think someone even vaguely involved in skeptical investigations should recognize this as something that is not an impossible case to bring clarity about.

  356. Lofty says

    Johan Rönnblom:

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate.

    Only in the eyes of the hyperskeptics. PZ is sufficiently convinced of the victims claim to act as he did. People who trust PZ are convincded he is doing the right thing. How is this hard for you lot to understand?

  357. says

    Again, what is so terrible about trying to verify whether the claims are true or indeed even plausible?

    Is that what you think you’re doing here?

  358. Bernard Bumner says

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate.

    This again.

    Or at least, if he has taken these steps, he is terrible at conveying this to his readers.

    Other than confirming that essential facts of the allegation were independently verified by two parties.

    Piss off, you terrible reader.

    Obvious steps would be: 1) verify that the rape story is at least plausible, eg does not contain any unicorns or similar and…

    Did it? Did you bother to read the OP on the subject – which claims could be compared to a delusion of unicorns?

    …2) attempt to verify that the five (5) other rape victims that PZ’s source claims exist and actually do claim to have been raped.

    Did you read the post?

    PZ doesn’t have to share anything with you, with us, with anyone. He is a grown man, perfectly able to assess risk and take responsibility for the content of this blog.

  359. says

    @Daz: PZ trusts this person, but he gives absolutely no sensible motivation for why he does this. Hence, I do not really trust PZ. I’m not saying he is making this up, but for all I know he may never have met this person, may never have talked to her, may never have been able to ask her any questions about what happened. From what PZ is telling us – and that is all we have – it may just be a question of what PZ ‘feels’. I’m not saying that is the case – it might just be that PZ is absolutely lousy at writing. Maybe PZ is playing three dimensional chess and is trying to goad Shermer into suing him, at which point he’ll reveal that in fact he has a very good case. I’ll eat humble pie if that happens. But from what it looks, the accuser is not given good help here.

  360. says

    Again, what is so terrible about trying to verify whether the claims are true or indeed even plausible?

    The claims have been deemed plausible enough to warrant warning other women about Shermer’s actions.

  361. Bernard Bumner says

    Johan, thanks for telling us that you don’t trust PZ. Do you have anything else to tell us?

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate.

    Who the fuck are you to define what PZ must do to bring thing up to your fuckwitted level of skepticism? PZ did examine the claims based on his experience, the known truthfulness of Jane Doe, and the backchannel knowledge that MS should be avoided. They were consistent. Now, what is your problem? You aren’t in charge? You don’t make the call.

  363. Lofty says

    Why is it important to hyperskeptics that PZ publicly release the names of all of the victims when he was expressly asked to keep them hidden and safe? His object is not to convict one lecherous atheist hero but to help prevent other women falling victim. I think he has achieved his goal. The lecherous atheist hero may have to refine his technique and get actual consent to intercourse next time. Gasp.

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but he gives absolutely no sensible motivation for why he does this.

    It’s called corroborating claims. Which you ignore, being a presuppositionalist that PZ is wrong. Being a presuppositionalist, you have nothing cogent to say. Just you attempts to justify not looking at the evidence.

  365. says

    I’m not saying he is making this up, but for all I know he may never have met this person, may never have talked to her, may never have been able to ask her any questions about what happened.

    Could you propose any sensible reason for him to have done this?

    it might just be that PZ is absolutely lousy at writing.

    “I know this woman and I trust her” is terrible writing?

    Maybe PZ is playing three dimensional chess and is trying to goad Shermer into suing him, at which point he’ll reveal that in fact he has a very good case.

    Or maybe he’s taking part in an activity women have always done: the sharing of warnings about men who are known to be predators.

  366. says

    @Bernard Bumner: I don’t know that anything was independently verified by anyone. For all I know, PZ got three emails from the same guy with 3 email accounts.

    It’s not that PZ has to tell us everything he knows. But, at least he could give us a reason to believe that he knows. He could at least give us a reason to think that he is thinking critically. If he can’t find any of the other 5 supposed victims, he could at least tell us that he is trying to. He could, at least, acknowledge that finding any them would make the case so much stronger.

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Keep in mind, the reason for the post was to warn other women that there is a sexual predator at cons, and this is the MO he uses. Which was well corroborated. Splash damage to MS is incidental to the warning.

  368. says

    Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    Wow. Rather specific.

    And, yes, I predict that the metaphorical mileage of those who’ve actually experienced rape, as you clearly have not (otherwise you would not make such a ludicrous claim), will vary significantly from yours.

  369. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But, at least he could give us a reason to believe that he knows.

    He has. You haven’t been listening, too busy trying to prove you presupposition PZ is wrong. YOU ARE WRONG.

  370. originalantigenicsin says

    @Johan Rönnblom
    Do you have any evidence that you are a human being and not a rape apologist bot ?

  371. says

    Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    I’d only say that if i relied on coercive techniques to get laid.

    And I say that as having experienced rape.

  372. says

    I’m not saying he is making this up, but

    I’m not saying he is making this up, but I’m saying he is making this up.

    Why do people think those disclaimers work?

  373. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m not requesting that any names be released.

    Who the fuck care what you claim. You lie and bullshit. So you do want the name. Otherwise, you would shut the fuck up and accept PZ’s word for why he did it…..

  374. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    My sockpuppet meter is twitching again…
     
    Johan, please try to understand you are not relevant.
    No one is trying to convince you of anything.

  375. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Otherwise, take your own advice.

    Fuck off rape apologist. That is what you are doing….

  376. says

    I’m not requesting that any names be released.

    I find this very hard to square with …

    Well, I don’t want to be part of any community where if someone is anonymously accused of rape, …

    Please note your own emphasis. If what you call anonymity was not a problem for you, why did you emphasise it?

  377. says

    But, at least he could give us a reason to believe that he knows. He could at least give us a reason to think that he is thinking critically.

    Such as? What kind of information would be sufficient to convince you? If you don’t trust PZ when he says that he believes the victim that have contacted him, why would you suddenly trust him if he said “I’ve checked and their stories are plausible”?

  378. abewoelk says

    So, is PZ arguing that there is no such thing as a hypochondriac who goes to the doctor when there’s no real problem?

    There is a middle ground here. Probably most people who go to the doctor, and most people who complain about sexual harassment, are telling the truth. On the other hand, I once had a feminist tell me that it’s sexist to eat meat since the meat may have come from a female animal; there are some people who are just perpetually offended. Surely the doctor, whether hyper-skeptical or not, has a duty to determine if the patient is a hypochondriac, if for no other reason because it will influence treatment. And, there must be an objective definition for harassment beyond just simply “I feel harassed so I was harassed.”

  379. Maureen Brian says

    Johan,

    You are bullshitting. Stop it!

    PZ was careful to explain his reasoning in the original grenade post, just as he was careful to protect the identity of the person who says she has been raped. Did you read it? Do you realise that you have no standing in this matter? Neither the woman in question nor PZ is in any way accountable to you.

    Now, I have been getting signals for several days and from this blog that PZ has had good legal advice and have noted that he no longer discusses the particular case but is as forceful as he ever was about the wider problem. Perhaps they were subliminal signals because you – if you have read up properly – seem to have missed them entirely. Your problem to deal with, not mine.

    It is, of course, possible that you just arrived from a totally different galaxy, unaware of human psychology or social organisation, and that may explain why you have missed the significant minority who have popped up since the story broke with messages like, “Yup! Me too.” or “That confirms my suspicions.” or “X warned me about that in 2006.”

    On the balance of probabilities at the outset and in the light of confirmation and partial confirmation coming from all directions, it makes more sense to believe this story than to disbelieve it.

    There’s a reading list on this page which represents the minimum understanding required to take part productively in this conversation – http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Caine,_Fleur_du_mal – so get to it and we’ll see you when you’ve discovered what we’re talking about. You might also find this set of links useful – http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

    See you then!

  380. Lofty says

    abewoelk, do you have an actual debateable point or are you just another in a long line of JAQers?

  381. says

    Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    I’ve been struggling with how to address this. So I’m going to put it into terms of my own abuse.

    If I were put into a room with a child and given the choice to either beat the shit out of that child or have the shit beaten out of me, I would take the latter, every time.

    As it’s stated though: If I were given the choice to either be that terrified child again, or merely (implied: falsely) become known as a child-beater… I would rather have everyone believe I was a child-beater, and have to change my name and go live in a cave or whatever, than ever go through that again.

  382. piegasm says

    @447 abewoelk

    So, is PZ arguing that there is no such thing as a hypochondriac who goes to the doctor when there’s no real problem?

    Analogies: how the fuck do they work?! I’m not sure who you think you’re fooling with this shit but it isn’t us. GTFO.

  383. Maureen Brian says

    abewoelk,

    Are you trying to tell us there is some middle ground between being raped and not being raped? Or between being believed and being slut-shamed?

    Oh, and do look up how the definition of harassment is worded, what the objective definition is. You’ll sleep so much easier if you do and save us a lot of boring, repetitive work.

  384. oldgeezer says

    Hi

    Very long time lurker here. I’ve never posted before, and I’m unlikely to post again, but here goes.

    In the UK there was a Disc Jockey/television “personality” called Jimmy Savile. He worked for the BBC from the 1960’s almost up to his death in October 2011. Savile did a huge amount of charity work, and was well respected by many people. He was awarded an OBE for his charity work, and later (thanks to Prime Minister Thatcher) he was knighted.

    Not long after Sir Jimmy Savile OBE died (aged 84) the BBC began investigating claims that this pillar of the community was a paedophile. To their shame (and partly on legal advice, because of worries of libel) they stopped the investigation and didn’t make a broadcast. Fortunately ITV took up the story.

    The broadcast opened up a huge can of worms, many more victims came forwards, the BBC looked like fools, and suddenly everyone had 20/20 hindsight. Everyone had heard the rumours, but had dismissed them because “surely he couldn’t be?” “He’s to famous!” “How could he get away with it for 50+ years?”

    He found it very easy. Savile manipulated people into trusting him; he was powerful and rich and famous and no one dared speak out against him. He befriended senior police officers, politicians and charities. He became everyone’s friend. No one spoke up, and if they did, people said “not good old Jimmy”, and dismissed the claims.

    Then, when someone had the courage to speak up, the floodgates opened. Now women, many abused half a century ago, are speaking up. The police are involved, and several aging tv stars who (alongside Savile) had abused their power find themselves under arrest. One (Stuart Hall) was investigated after an anonymous complaint (all idiots should take note of this, I hate to use capitals, but I’ll repeat muself for emphasis). This ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT was passed to the police by a reporter. Mr Hall (who is in his eighties) recently pleaded guilty and he’s now in jail.

    I find the similarities between what’s happening here and the Savile case to be striking. Rebecca Watson should be lauded for her initial action. It only takes one person to make a stand, and then others step forward and say “me, too”. That’s what is happening here. As time goes on, and the publicity increases more people will be accused, and more people will corroborate the offences. MS has nothing to worry about (if he’s innocent). If he’s guilty, then he’s had it, and no matter how many good things he’s done over the years will change that.

    So, to all those who in their various ways ask “where’s the proof?” or say “anonymous claims mean nothing!”, then all I can say is you’re fools. Listen to the accusations, and do not—whatever else you do—make a judgement about the motives of the accuser.

    G

  385. says

    I swear, I’m losing my patience again.

    So, is PZ arguing that there is no such thing as a hypochondriac who goes to the doctor when there’s no real problem?

    Obviously not, as should be clear to anyone of even moderate intelligence and honesty.

    Surely the doctor, whether hyper-skeptical or not, has a duty to determine if the patient is a hypochondriac, if for no other reason because it will influence treatment.

    And you do that by listening and taking what the patient says seriously. If they’re lying or delusional, it will become apparent soon enough.

    And, there must be an objective definition for harassment beyond just simply “I feel harassed so I was harassed.”

    For this particular case all we need is the very clear and simple rule: No consent = rape. Not complicated at all, is it?

    This illustrates a problem with using analogies: They only work if the other party is honest and tries to understand your point. If they’re not honest; if, for example, they’re lying little shitstains with no moral sense or common human decency, then an analogy only gives them more options for bullshitting.

  386. says

    If we have a serial rapist then we need to take action. Get him convicted, or at least do our best to make it harder for him to rape. But we can’t do that without causing serious harm if he is not a serial rapist.

    nonsense. making it so many more women chose not to hang out with him in places alcohol is served is not “serious harm”. which is what Jane Doe wanted to accomplish, and which is the reason PZ published her account.

    try to locate the people who are alleged to have been raped

    I fucking hope that PZ and other people who’ve been confided in by Jane Doe don’t sell her out like that.

    But if this does not happen, I will assume someone is just spreading rumours on the internet,

    you’re not the target audience, so I don’t give a fuck what you believe. However, your demands that a woman can’t warn other women without risking the consequences of public exposure, that I have problems with, because THAT is dangerous.

    spreading false information anonymously on the internet is extremely easy and nearly risk-free.

    oh yeah; so “risk free”, you have to risk being chased down by journalists hungry for a story and willing to expose a victim’s identity for it.

    @ LykeX: Also, you’re missing the point in my analogy. In this case the doctor is taking the patient seriously. The patient is believed. But the patient is not cooperating, which means the doctor is unable to help in any responsible way.

    nope. this is you missing the point. Jane Doe didn’t ask for any help. She is the help, a warning to other women.
    Which incidentally has fuck-all to do with this post, which is about the “experience is not evidence” BS.

    @sawells: Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist.

    PErsonally, I find it very hard to believe that you’d rather suffer severe physiological and psychological trauma than suffer a bad “rumor”.

    But what is so terrible about trying to verify these accusations?

    you mean other than the fact that nothing actually ever convinces rape-denialists, and that trying to anyway would expose the victim to actual harm?
    Once again, we’ve arrived at the part where skeptic ethics value “verification” above everything, considerations for harm reduction to actual human beings be damned.

    I think PZ is foolish becaue it does not appear that he has taken reasonable steps to verify that the accusations are accurate. Or at least, if he has taken these steps, he is terrible at conveying this to his readers.

    lol
    so let me get that straight: because PZ has not told you everything he may or may not have done, you think you have enough information to make the judgment about whether he’s made a terrible mistake or not? Even though it’s OBVIOUS that he wouldn’t tell us everything since a)he’s protecting Jane Doe’s identity, and b)probably been told by lawyers not to update us any further?
    But believing a rape accusation against someone already known among many women who’ve been part of the skeptic-conference circuit for years as someone better avoided, and for being extremely skeevy, that’s unreasonable?
    LOL hyperskepticism, how does it work.

    Well, I don’t want to be part of any community where if someone is anonymously accused of rape, that person will be shunned and even the most basic attempts to verify whether the accusation is true will be met with hostility.

    don’t care. a few dudes losing easy access to drunk women is a cheap price for women getting raped less. And hell, maybe if this finally starts affecting dudes, something might actually get done about the culture of silence around sexual misconduct in skepticism/atheism

  387. says

    I’m not saying he is making this up, but for all I know he may never have met this person, may never have talked to her

    so you’re not saying he’s making it up, you’re just saying he’s lying.
    ok then.

  388. abewoelk says

    At Lofty No. 448: Yes, I do have a point. It is just as sexist to say that women always tell the truth as it is to say that women always lie. When an accusation is made, a fact finder’s job is to find out what happened, and not assume that one or the other is telling the truth.

    I’m not going to comment on the specifics of this particular case because I don’t know the facts; he may very well be guilty of rape. That doesn’t mean there should be a rule that says that if she says it’s true, then it’s true. This is why we have trials.

  389. piegasm says

    @456 abewoelk

    It is just as sexist to say that women always tell the truth as it is to say that women always lie.

    Good thing nobody is saying that, then.

    Reading comprehension: how the fuck does it work?!?!

  390. says

    So according to Karilith, if we changed PZ’s analogy to “PZ visiting the doctor & describing his own symptoms” with “PZ calling 911 and relaying word-for-word someone else’s symptoms,” and we had Skeptic911Operator instead of SkepticDoc, the Operator giving the exact same hyperskeptical response would be totes reasonable.

    Well, the last Sunday before Christmas my dad in law, heart patient, too, complained about chest-pain, feeling unwell and his spray not working.
    So I called the equivalent of 911.
    Interestingly, they didn’t ask me to provide any additional evidence of me even having a father in law, let alone his medical history or things like his blood-pressure.
    They asked their address and 10 min later there was a team of RNs and an ER doctor.
    Because not believing that I have a father in law would have had the same effect as believing I was lying: a dead person.

  391. says

    It is just as sexist to say that women always tell the truth as it is to say that women always lie. When an accusation is made, a fact finder’s job is to find out what happened, and not assume that one or the other is telling the truth.

    In the absence of any good reason to believe someone is lying, we generally assume they are telling the truth.

    I’m not going to comment on the specifics of this particular case because I don’t know the facts; he may very well be guilty of rape. That doesn’t mean there should be a rule that says that if she says it’s true, then it’s true. This is why we have trials.

    Please read this (it’s only been posted at least three times in this thread, so why should we expect you to have noticed before now, eh?):

    http://answersforrapeapologists.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/confusing-criminal-court-with-rest-of.html

  392. says

    That doesn’t mean there should be a rule that says that if she says it’s true, then it’s true. This is why we have trials.

    Indeed and this isn’t one, nor are anybody suggesting that we dispense with trials and just go directly from accusation to sentencing.

    You, of course, know this, so I can only interpret your posts as an expression of the most deliberate and outrageous dishonesty.

  393. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, I do have a point. It is just as sexist to say that women always tell the truth as it is to say that women always lie.

    Nope, you don’t have a point when the topic is rape. Fuck off, your drivel has been refute scores of times before. You add nothing new.

  394. crocodoc says

    PZ: I know a woman who claims to have pain somewhere. We will not go into details and her identity must be protected.

    SkepticDoc: So I can’t examine her?

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls: Fuck off you fucking fuckwit, fuck you fucking fucker fuck fuck.

  395. Bernard Bumner says

    Do none of these people understand the basic concept of argument by analogy? Apparently not.

  396. Crys T says

    @crocodoc: Has she said that she wants to be examined? Is she asking Skeptidoc to just write her a prescription? NO!

    All she’s doing is saying that she’s in pain. Why the FUCK wouldn’t you believe that?

  397. Anri says

    Johan Rönnblom:

    Maybe PZ is playing three dimensional chess and is trying to goad Shermer into suing him, at which point he’ll reveal that in fact he has a very good case. I’ll eat humble pie if that happens. But from what it looks, the accuser is not given good help here.

    The concept that PZ’s actions are inexplicable or mysterious only follows from the unalterable presumption that the women in question are untrustworthy.
    Everything that has happened is easily explainable if you accept the concept that you can trust what a mere woman says.

    Also, please reconcile this:

    Now, I think that it is likely that some serious journalist will actually take this case on, try to locate the people who are alleged to have been raped, and verify their story. If it is possible to find these people and they do make these claims and the claims are not obviously unreasonable, then I expect a serious publication to publish this story.

    … with this:

    @Lofty: I’m not requesting that any names be released.

    …because without any names, why would you believe the ‘serious journalist’ any more than you would PZ?
    I ask in all seriousness.

  398. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls: Fuck off you fucking fuckwit, fuck you fucking fucker fuck fuck.

    Ah, a tone troll….

  399. Anri says

    crocodoc:

    PZ: I know a woman who claims to have pain somewhere. We will not go into details and her identity must be protected.

    SkepticDoc: So I can’t examine her?

    No. It’s like this –
    PZ: A woman told me about the pain she suffered after someone pushed her down the stairs. She doesn’t wish to be named, and we’ve heard from 5 other women who were pushed by the same person.
    Please be careful around this person and stairs, m’kay?

    (It’s not really that hard to understand. That’s if you think women are trustworthy, of course.)

  400. Lofty says

    Even if MS finally broke his silence and said “Bugger, OK, yes I did indeed do what was claimed” the hyperskeptics wouldn’t believe it. They would claim coercion had been applied to MS. Because reasons of penis havers.

  401. Lofty says

    Unknown woman: Dear Doc, I have this pain.
    .
    Doc Crocodoc: (Gnaws on her leg)
    .
    The sequence of events may have been reversed.

  402. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Johann Ronblom

    Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    I was going to bother treating you seriously, but with that one announcment you have effectively declared yourself to be yet another moron who’s not worh the effort.

  403. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to oldgeezer’s excellent post @#452.

    Being from the UK, I’m familiar with the Saville enquiry and should have spotted the paralells before. oldgeezer is right, the situations are analogous. All the hyperskeptics™ should read #452 very fucking carefully, and then examine their own actions and possible motivations.

  404. Fionnabhair says

    @crocodoc: I know a woman who claimed to have pain somewhere, too, lots of pain. She had this complaint for years, was told it was all in her head after tests came back showing no anomalies, had to put up with cod-only-knows how many doctors who didn’t believe her…

    Turns out she has fibromyalgia. Maybe if doctors had taken her pain seriously sooner (like, years- and I do literally mean years- sooner), her quality of life today would be better than it is.

    Conclusion: assuming people are lying can actually be pretty harmful! Also, fuck off.

  405. sundiver says

    Is Johan Ronnblom just rundvelt back as suckmonkey sockpuppet? Abewoelk, the idea isn’t necessarily to put Shermer on trial, the idea is to warn women to trust him about as far as they can throw a supertanker. All the rape-apologist MRA assholes make me think maybe my old dog was right, humans are to be avoided whenever possible. And no, the atheist “movement” is not worth a pile of camel snot if rapists have to covered for and rape dismissed as the reports of hysterical wimminz. If certain men can’t understand that I want nothing to do with it. Or them.

  406. carlie says

    The concept that PZ’s actions are inexplicable or mysterious only follows from the unalterable presumption that the women in question are untrustworthy.

    Or worse, the presumption that there is never any reason to stick one’s neck out for a fellow human in need, so the only way to explain it is that he *must* be getting something out of it.

  407. Nepenthe says

    Johan’s analogy is unwittingly apt, given that pain management and who is believed about pain is strongly racialized and gendered, much like who is believed about rape.

    Start here.

    Don’t worry Johan, we all know that this was entirely unintentional.

  408. mjolnirpants says

    While I agree with your sentiment, I find your analogy to be quite poor. If a person claims to feel pain, we have no real choice but to believe that they actually feel pain. The same holds true with a feeling of harassment. This is true, and it is also true that whether or not a person feels chest pains is often the only indicator of an impending heart attack.

    But whether or not a person was in fact harassed depends on much more than whether or not they felt harassed. It depends as much on the intentions of the accused.

    Consider the following hypothetical:
    Jane got a new haircut last night, and decided to dress very nicely today and spend a lot of time on her makeup, just to take advantage of her new look. When she arrived at work this morning, one of her coworkers -Jeff- gave her a lewd wink and asked “How much, baby?”
    Jane is -quite naturally- a bit insulted, and feels harassed. She scolds Jeff for being a crude pig (which he absolutely was, IMHO) and goes on with her day.
    An hour and a half later, during her morning coffee break, she encountered Joe. Joe gave her a quick once-over and said “Looking good, Jane. Got a hot date tonight?” Again, Jane felt insulted and harassed. Doesn’t she have the right to dress up as much as she likes without justifying herself to others? Of course she does.
    But doesn’t Joe have the right to pay someone a compliment and ask a question, as well? After all, he’s not forcing her to answer, or even to acknowledge him. I say that he absolutely does.

    It’s not at all as simple as your analogy. When the way someone feels is in question, we absolutely have to take their word for it. But with harassment, how someone feels is not the whole of the story. Insisting that it is -or even implying that it is- gives ground to people like Ken Ham to claim that the teaching of evolution constitutes religious harassment, for instance. That is just ridiculous.

  409. Chie Satonaka says

    TW: Sexual Assault

    @SallyStrange — I’m late to this thread, and this refers to your comments way back in the mid-200’s of this thread, but I have a third case in which a rape victim was charged with filing a false report by police when she was in fact raped, however this case is 15 years old.

    A blind woman named Patty was raped at knifepoint by a stranger in her apartment in Madison, WI in Sept 1997. The police decided she was lying and under pressure from them, she recanted her story and was charged with obstruction of justice. It took FOUR YEARS for a proper DNA test to be done on the evidence left behind in her apartment. Her rapist was ultimately convicted. It took Madison police another several years to formally apologize to her, which they did in 2006.

    And this was a stranger rape, which is generally accepted by our rape apologist culture as the only kind of “real rape” that happens. So it really pisses me off when assholes like the trolls who’ve come to this thread start stomping around saying, “Just go to the police!”

    Women who go to the police get treated like liars and are revictimized. The majority of rapists get away with their crime.

  410. carlie says

    But doesn’t Joe have the right to pay someone a compliment and ask a question, as well?/blockquote>

    No, he doesn’t. Not without expecting that she is allowed to have any reaction she wants to it. He can have any thought about her that he wants to, but you can’t say “I think what I am saying is a compliment, therefore you have to treat it as a nice thing I’m doing for you”. As soon as the words are out of your mouth, the other person has the right to take that statement in any way they see fit.

    On a different angle, why do you think he has the right to “pay someone a compliment”? That’s telling someone that you judge them and find them acceptable. Why does he have the right to interrupt her day by telling her what he thinks of her? Why does he think his opinion is so important that it must be shared?

  411. says

    When the way someone feels is in question, we absolutely have to take their word for it. But with harassment, how someone feels is not the whole of the story.

    “I did not consent to sex” is not a feeling.

    This apparently hard-to-understand fact was brought to you by Daz’s Dictionary Of Statin’ The Fuckin’ Obvious. Please give generously.

  412. Bernard Bumner says

    Why are all of these (apparently nordic) hyperskeptics suddenly breaking cover to post on this?

    But doesn’t Joe have the right to pay someone a compliment and ask a question, as well? After all, he’s not forcing her to answer, or even to acknowledge him. I say that he absolutely does.

    Only if Joe is willing to accept that Jane has every right to tell him to fuck off because it is none of his business, and that she would appreciate it if, in future, he kept his opinions on her appearance to himself.

    But whether or not a person was in fact harassed depends on much more than whether or not they felt harassed. It depends as much on the intentions of the accused.

    No. It really doesn’t. The worst sorts of stalkers are often convinced that their behaviour is both wanted and reciprocated.

  413. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @MjolnirPants

    She absolutely has the right to be insulted in both those cases. Just because you see something as reasonable doesn’t mean everyone else will.

    The moral of your story is: do not comment on others’ physical appearance, in either a positive or negative light, unless you know them well enough to be reasonably certain of their reaction. Do not just assume that everyone will appreciate your comments, and sure as hell do not dismiss their negative view of your comment, should they have one, as an “over reaction” or similar.

  414. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It depends as much on the intentions of the accused.

    Ah, somebody who hasn’t taken corporate harassment training. The intentions don’t matter. What the victim feels is everything. So, your statement is so much bovine excrement.

  415. Maureen Brian says

    Just imagine what these arseholes could learn if they’d only stop gabbing long enough to read the whole post + comments or click on a link!

  416. says

    I’d love to know if so many would be so hypersceptical if we we were discussing, for instance, Cardinal Shermer…

  417. originalantigenicsin says

    @MjolnirPants

    If a person claims to feel pain, we have no real choice but to believe that they actually feel pain.

    You could for example do an fMRI… or you could just take the person seriously. Which is the entire point of this analogy.

  418. Chie Satonaka says

    Also, how hard is it to just say something like: “Did you get a haircut? I really like it!”

    Women hear judgments on their “fuckability” all day long. We know them when we hear them, and they are NOT innocent compliments.

  419. jamessweet says

    SkepticDoc: Stop it. Just stop eating. When someone comes by with a cookie or a hamburger or a carrot or something, just don’t eat it. If you find it hard to say no to a second helping, just leave some food on your plate. It really is that easy.

    PZ: OK, mea culpa. I’ll watch the diet more closely. But this is a problem right now, I’m worried and I need your help.

    This hits on another point, and this is the conflation of the theoretical responsibility for an individual issue on one hand vs. effective means of tackling systemic issues. You see it a lot from a certain type of conservative viewpoint on poverty, for example. Even if some people are poor because they are lazy and shiftless (and I am not asserting that, it is merely for the sake of argument), that doesn’t really see anything about how you are going to deal with this problem. I’d rather have lazy shiftless people get basic housing, healthcare, and education, than have them stabbing me for pocket change, amirite?

    In regards to the issue at hand, even if there are some examples of sexual harassment where the victim shares some modicum of the responsibility (and again, I am not asserting that; but some people are, so let’s grant the premise and see where it takes us) that really has very little to do with effectively preventing such issues in the future. “Don’t be poor!” or “Don’t accidentally give misleading signals!” or “Don’t eat that hamburger!” are very shitty ways of tackling poverty, sexual harassment, and obesity. It doesn’t even really matter if you are the type of person who believes that the poor, the assaulted, and the fat deserve what’s coming to them — even if they do, letting the problem fester just hurts everyone in the long run.

  420. Crys T says

    @Daz – no, of course they bloody wouldn’t be. The minute they heard “Cardinal” they’d automatically assume he’s a (boy-child) rapist.

  421. says

    So, is PZ arguing that there is no such thing as a hypochondriac who goes to the doctor when there’s no real problem?

    a hypochondriac isn’t lacking symptoms. This analogy suggests that women can be mistaken about rape- how? Unless a woman has a serious mental health issue that causes hallucinations its pretty fucking hard to be confused about not consenting to something.

    What you are thinking of is munchausens sydnrome (not to be confused with munchausens by proxy where people poison/harm their children). It is where a patient knowingly pretends to have symptoms in order to get medical attention. It is rare, and these patients almost always get found out by their providers and have to shop for someone new. They do this their entire lives. In all my years of health care I ran into one person who clearly fit this profile- the first tip off was her fake service dog. Something was wrong with her for sure, it just wasn’t all the crap she made up.

  422. carlie says

    Women hear judgments on their “fuckability” all day long. We know them when we hear them, and they are NOT innocent compliments.

    Not to mention that “Wow, you look really nice today” implies that, by comparison, you look pretty shitty most of the time.

  423. says

    Personally, I’d rather be anally raped than become known as a rapist. Your milage may vary.

    some moron on the jref forum said something similar. he said he would rather be forced to have sex with a woman than go to jail.

    and I was like “WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH PRISON YOU GET TO LEAVE.” because seriously- with abuse its like you always *think* its over and then its not. You think you’ve ‘moved on’ and then something totally screws that up for you and you feel like you are back where you started. Pregnancy is that way for a lot of survivors, but not having kids if you want them is like letting the abuser(s) control you still so you’re fucked either way. You have to constantly work at not letting it hurt you more than it has to. It is never over. Its life sentence. People tried to tell me roman polanski paid a ‘high price’ for rape because he couldn’t accept his awards in person. I think regular people just don’t like to think about how awful things really are, they want to pretend that inconveniences like that are just sooo terrible. They aren’t. They suck, for sure, but its not fucking trauma, okay? Its not like rape is only bad while it is happening. its permanent.

  424. nightshadequeen says

    Slight derail:

    An hour and a half later, during her morning coffee break, she encountered Joe. Joe gave her a quick once-over and said “Looking good, Jane. Got a hot date tonight?

    That, that part I bolded, is double-plus not okay, and is not a compliment. It implies women only bother to “look good” when they have a date.

  425. Jacob Schmidt says

    But whether or not a person was in fact harassed depends on much more than whether or not they felt harassed. It depends as much on the intentions of the accused.

    “Sure, xe may have grabbed your ass without permission, but that doesn’t count because they didn’t intend to harrass you.”

    But doesn’t Joe have the right to pay someone a compliment and ask a question, as well? After all, he’s not forcing her to answer, or even to acknowledge him.

    I should point out that the exact same reasoning applies to your previous hypothetical.

    Why does Joe have a right to make someone listen to him? Why doesn’t Jane have a right to not discuss things she feels is inappropriate to discuss?

    If this scenario actually happened, and Joe was reported for harrassment, all that would happen (at best; likely nothing would happen at all) is that he’d be informed by management not to discuss Jane’s sexual appeal. Now why is that so terrible for Joe?

  426. Jacob Schmidt says

    On that note, I have complimented friends an co workers on how they look. Usually I’ll say, “Hey, you look really good today,” or, “Hey, that dress/suit/shirt looks good on you.” Occasionally, if I suspect there’s a reason for the way they look, I’ll say, “Hey, you look nice. Is there anything special, or is this just for fun?” Sometimes it’s a date they want to look good for; sometimes it’s some function they have to do; sometimes it’s just to try out a nice shirt they bought a while back but haven’t worn yet; sometimes there is no reason, and my friend just looks really good that day.

    It’s bloody easy to compliment someone on the way they look without saying (implicitly or otherwise), “You’re fuckable.”

  427. Bernard Bumner says

    Also, why have we ended up considering tacky compliments in a discussion about sexual harassment, when the original allegations about leading Skeptics were variously of harassment via unwanted sexualised communications, sexual assault, and rape?