Comments

  1. L.Long says

    NO!! It not a name but a job description!!!
    Tell me gawd’s name and I might capitalize it.
    But only proper names are capitalized and there aint nothing proper about gawd.
    In fact it is gawd because it should be a 4letter word!!

  2. Monocle Smile says

    Wow, I’m skeptical about that first caller. I understand that apologists like to pigeonhole atheists into specific philosophies to make us easier to attack (See Turek, Frank), but this guy has a fake-ass voice.

  3. robertwilson says

    I don’t think a fake-sounding voice to you (or me if I were the one making the claim) is enough to go on on its own.

    And I don’t doubt for one minute that the caller thinks he gave atheism a legit shot. There are tons of people who think that means not going to church and changing your routine as opposed to actually understanding evidence (or rather the lack thereof) for god. (Nope, don’t capitalize it).

    As for Islamophobia, it is far too often a scare-word to shield ideas from criticism, but there is a small degree of overlap with culture and race just as there is a (much larger) overlap for Judaism (and anti-semitism). It’s important to understand that without backing down when the bogus claim is made.

  4. fullyladenswallow says

    Aside from some unintended comic relief, Mark appeared to be desperately seeking a point to make, though I did feel the energy coming through!
    Being an ex-Catholic, I still occasionally suffer guilt flashbacks when I go to key, “god” without the cap. Would that have been a mortal sin or a venial sin? Talk about being manipulated. Then I realize that I’m an atheist now. However, I do lower-case “Catholic” when I’m in an angry and foul mood and referring to the Catholic Church. I’m not angry at the moment as you can tell.

  5. Craig Pennington says

    I try to use the plural gods when speaking of my own belief. In discussing the beliefs of others I will use phrasing that implies that I am using the term as a category and not a name, such as “your god” or “the Christian god.” I try to not be unnecessarily inflamitory while being firm, clear and consistent.

  6. ChaosS says

    I’ve always thought of “god” as the species of animal that YVWH, Zeus, Thor, etc… belong to, in the same way that Asterion was a minotaur and Polyphemus was a cyclops. I enjoy insisting that god must be an organism in order to be considered alive and intelligent so therefore gods must have cells and DNA and ancestors and all that stuff that organisms have. Theists typically hate this, tell me that I don’t “get it” then flee.

  7. canonicalkoi says

    I’m with L.Long here in that you don’t capitalize non-proper nouns. If I was typing “Yahweh”, I’d capitalize it since it’s a proper name. Same goes for “Zeus”, “Krishna” or “Camazotz”. The word “god” doesn’t deserve a capital any more than “goat” or “cat” or “trilobite”. (All right, I might capitalize “trilobite”, but then I like them.)

  8. says

    @8

    Sometimes, though, the non-proper name is turned into a proper name.

    “Let me introduce you to my cat, Cat”
    “Let me introduce you to my god, God”

    It’s not all that creative, but I have no problem using it the way they do. Avoiding using “God” just seems to me like it would come across as a form of superstition… like we’re trying to avoid saying “Beetlejuice”

  9. Conversion Tube says

    I can’t find the show yet in audio format. Tried Beyondpod, Spreaker and the TAE website. Are they aware of that? I know its on ustream but…

  10. JT Rager says

    I think Jasper has it. One of the names they use to refer to their god is “God”. It’s really dumb, and it’s a fairly transparent attempt at monopolizing the use of the word god by naming their god God. But it’s a proper noun when it’s used that way. So when you use a sentence just referring to the word by itself, such as in “I haven’t seen evidence of God”, that’s when it’s capitalized.

    I purposefully avoid using the word god by itself to emphasize that, in fact, Christians don’t have a monopoly on the word. I always use “your god” or “a god” or “gods”, which aren’t capitalized.

  11. Robert, not Bob says

    Always capitalized “god” is the same sort of thing as g-d and LORD: a demand for extra respect. And possibly a bit of knocking-on-wood as well.

  12. Monocle Smile says

    I always liked Jeff Dee’s “the god” usage. As in “I thought the god was supposed to be all-powerful” or “According to your religion, the god is going to punish me forever!”

  13. FirstNameTaken says

    Hi. When will the audio podcast be available? Also, why aren’t calls after the show included in the audio podcast? Thank you.

  14. Monocle Smile says

    Got a hold of the audio.

    I don’t believe that first caller for a second. I’m halfway convinced he’s the “kung-fu nanotechnology” faker from a few weeks ago. Nothing about that call sounded legit.

  15. satyr says

    Mark is most likely a poe. String”theory” is not even a theory. It’s an hypothesis and has not been tested. There is no consensus at all because it has no evidence as of yet. C.S Lewis is not very bright. He came up with the lame liar.lunatic,lord trilemma which is not very convincing. Electromagnetism can be detected and its used on a daily basis. Saying a Ghost Hunter show proves ghost is like saying the terminator film proves time travel.

  16. satyr says

    The US in the old testament is referring to polytheism. The hebrews were polytheist who eventually turned monotheist over time. The us appears again in the story of Babel.

  17. says

    Which “thing” he watched on string theory isn’t really relevant because what’s he’s saying is right. The problems is that the “brain” it’s talking about that he refers to isn’t a brain with neural connections and thought and consciousness; in fact, it’s not even “brain”, but rather “brane”, short for “membrane”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brane

  18. says

    Should have put this in my last comment. However, the word god should be capitalized when used as a reference to the specific god believed in by Christians. This is the same grammatical rule that says the word mom should be capitalized if used to refer to your specific mother. Even though mom is a generic term, saying, “Hi, Mom,” requires that mom be capitalized because mom in this case is being used as a name. Dog should also be capitalized if you refer to your dog that way. If you notice our strangeness with the word earth, however, it should be noted that’s related to our belief that we’re separate, so that’s unrelated. Generally, when used in place of a name, a word should be capitalized whether it’s actually their name or not. I wouldn’t care about offending people, and I too generally avoid it by making sure it’s a general term by including an “a”, “the”, “your”, or something of that sort. However, if used to refer to the specific god believed in by Christians (and the same would be true if used in place of Allah’s name), it should, grammatically speaking, be capitalized. Frankly, I don’t care if anyone does, but it’s correct to capitalize it.

  19. Nova Solaris says

    The first caller makes me irate. Humans do not have only five senses. People need to stop this nonsense and take a biology course. Do they even know what equilibrioception is? Also, Electro magnetic fields? Really? Hell yea we can feel them, just lacerate your fingertips and implant a neodymium magnet and bam, as you pass a magnetic field, the resulting interaction would stimulate the magnet and stimulate the nerve endings in your finger. People in the transhumanism community have already done this.

  20. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    In reality, my mind is the result of the physical processes of my brain. My behavior, beliefs, desires, dreams, etc., can be explained in a reductionary fashion to the physical processes of the brain. There is no part of my mind which exists independently of my brain. That’s the real world. This view of free will is called compatibilism.

    The other kind of free will is libertarian free will. Libertarian free will is simply all kinds of free will which are not compatibilist free will. Many people understand libertarian free will to be the definition of “free will”, although some people like me dispute that definition.

    In the real world, the relevant physical processes in my brain may be deterministic, or they may be true random in accordance with some versions of quantum theory. Both of those choices are still not libertarian free will.

    I can make choices. My choices may be determined in advance. In other words, perhaps I make deterministic choices. That seems self contradictory to some, but IMHO that’s because they don’t have a proper understanding of the concepts.

    For a very dense (but enjoyable) lecture on this topic, please see this video by Daniel Dennett.
    >Daniel Dennett lecture on “Free Will” (Edinburgh University)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKLAbWFCh1E
    <3 this video so much.

    A separate question is whether a choice is made freely in the legal or moral sense. A person who is coerced to make a choice often bears a reduced legal and moral responsibility for that choice, perhaps zero responsibility. Similarly, a person who makes a choice while being ill-informed often bears a reduced legal and moral responsibility. This question of moral and legal responsibility is orthogonal to whether we have libertarian free will or compatibilist free will.

  21. Ldennis says

    In response to Mark the first caller.When I was a teenager I had tried and tried to loosen a big nut on a hydrant and could not do it.Then I prayed to Thor to give me strength and the next try it broke loose.So Thor really exists?

  22. Fragrant Flower says

    I have been watching your program on the internet now for months, and I like it’s thought provoking topics. I was born and raised in a Muslim home, and the only faith I have embraced is Islam. I think that over a period of a long time I do not feel the need to be ‘religious’ anymore, and although I am not going to denounce it because in my culture, Islam is the vehicle that my ancestors, up until now used to teach us morals and ethical values I do no longer practice it, nor wear the hijab style, except in incidences where it shows respect and reverence for my legacy.

    This topic of Charlie Hebdo is really where I disagree with the commentators here. First, I think that it is disingenuous to make a false assertion that the only reason Muslims are angry about the cartoons is because they image Muhammad.

    If one has studied Islam, one would know that there are THOUSANDS of images of Muhammad in the context of the historical record, and just like Jesus, the story teller drew the image of Muhammad to look like the people of the culture, much as Christians did with Jesus. I remember as a little girl having a children’s book of surahs and ayats to learn, full of pictures of Muhammad. For the most part, Muslims do not have an objection of someone drawing Muhammad’s image to teach, or to add to history,

    Lets understand first, that I am NOT excusing the murder of these people over their cartoons and condemn those acts to the highest degree. I also believe that people have the right to ‘define themselves’, including the right to publish their words freely, as long as others have the right to criticize them, and not like them and be able to say so. I find the cartoons vile, racist, hateful, and come from bigotry, and the EXCUSE the paper uses to get people to rally behind their right to publish that filth is that they are making light of Muhammad.

    I feel that the west is trying to conflate the tasteful historical images of Muhammad with the vile waste of ink by Charlie Hebdo in order to water down the narrative without publishing the cartoons themselves….which now that they are part of a murder, should be published by ANYONE who has an opinion about them.

    However, the most troubling aspect of this situation to me is that the west seems to try and dictate what they find as ‘satirical’ the rest of the world should also find the same way. There is no way that I can ever find racism, bigotry and the spreading of hate funny. To me, my right to self define also includes the right to not find hate speech, or deliberate attempts to incite fully.

    So, although I condemn the killing of these people, I will NOT stand up for Charlie Hebdo as if he is a hero, give him accolades, and would be against any awards, including buying one of his magazines.

    I simply do not find racism and hate funny.

  23. Monocle Smile says

    @Delicate Flower

    I feel that the west is trying to conflate the tasteful historical images of Muhammad with the vile waste of ink by Charlie Hebdo in order to water down the narrative without publishing the cartoons themselves….which now that they are part of a murder, should be published by ANYONE who has an opinion about them

    “Water down” the narrative?
    See, you say you “condemn” the killings, but you don’t. Not really You just don’t get this at all. If you did, you’d understand that the content of the Hebdo cartoons doesn’t fuckin’ matter. It’s entirely irrelevant. They could publish graphic images of Muhummad and Jesus 69-ing every day for a decade and it still wouldn’t fuckin’ matter.

    However, the most troubling aspect of this situation to me is that the west seems to try and dictate what they find as ‘satirical’ the rest of the world should also find the same way

    No, we’re just saying that you don’t get to kill people over drawings or speech you happen to find offensive.

    To me, my right to self define also includes the right to not find hate speech, or deliberate attempts to incite fully

    Hence my nickname for you. No, you don’t have this right. You don’t have anything resembling that right. I realize that I’m being culturally insensitive, but at the moment…I just don’t care. This is one of the more black-and-white current events in recent history.

  24. says

    @Delicate Flower
    Imagine a prostitute is raped. Now, people hear about this particular incident and it’s all over the news. Are there going to be people that feel that she should not have been a prostitute? That feel that being a prostitute was wrong and immoral? Yes. Is this the time to say, “Well, I don’t think she should have been raped, but I won’t defend her because she WAS a prostitute…” No. Being a prostitute may have been immoral in many people’s opinions, but there are times to call someone out for doing something you disagree with. When they’ve experienced a traumatic experience is not that time. If someone disagrees with prostitution, they should find better times to object. Are they ALLOWED to object now? Sure. But it’s JUST as distasteful and hateful, in my opinion, as the comics. When a traumatic experience is used as an excuse to criticize a person or entity, that’s called victim blaming, and there’s a very good reason that term is used so often recently. It’s wrong.

    Also, Monocle Smile is right that it doesn’t matter what the content was. The prostitute’s job explains perhaps why she was chosen for rape just like Charlie Hebdo’s comics explain that choice. However, that doesn’t have any relevance when discussing it at all EXCEPT in understanding why that particular target was chosen.

  25. Catrambi says

    @30

    Yeah, because drawing racist cartoons is exactly like being a sex worker. Awesome slut shaming, dude.

    @29

    And awesome projection. What do you think “condemn” means, exactly? Because the statement “you say you condemn the killings, but you don’t” is basically a contradiction. Also, it’s possible to condemn the killings while also not treating Charlie Hebdo as atheist Jesus. Why is this so hard for some people?

    And yeah, some of those cartoons are racist as hell.

  26. Catrambi says

    Also @29

    Did you really mean to say that people don’t have a right to not find these cartoons funny? What the fuck kind of backwards country do you live in?

  27. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi
    1) Richard Homan wasn’t slut-shaming. He was pointing out a more extreme example where the same rules apply. In fact, he was saying that you DON’T get to slut-shame a rape victim whether she’s a sex worker or not. Her profession is almost completely irrelevant to the discussion.
    2) People say things they don’t actually believe all the time. The flower was doing his/her level best to blame the victim without looking like he/she was blaming the victim.
    3) Learn how to read. You don’t have the right to not be offended. You don’t have freedom from criticism, even tasteless criticism. That’s my point. I live in the US, where people think they have this freedom all the time.

  28. says

    @Catrambi
    Why is that slut shaming? Do you think prostitutes are slut and that I’m shaming them? Because I don’t think they’re sluts and yet many people do. Actually makes a pretty good analogy…

    Also, nice. Accuse me of slut shaming to avoid the actual argument.

    Oh, and I know the last part wasn’t directed at me, but to condemn something isn’t just thinking it’s wrong. It’s expressing that you think it’s completely wrong. In that post, there was a very small amount of condemning the murders and a very large amount of “But THIS!” Where FF says “I will not stand up for [him] as if he is a hero”, there is literally no one asking them to do that. In fact, of the small number of segments covering the topic, virtually all of them have been something along the lines of, “That shit was hateful, but being hateful doesn’t deserve death.” And they’re absolutely right (presumably, I haven’t seen the comics and I’ve no intention of doing so, because the content is literally irrelevant). It doesn’t matter if they’re hateful, that doesn’t excuse what happened there, and to talk about how horrible the comics were is to attempt to excuse the murders. If you don’t like the comics, that’s fine. To use the deaths of 11 people as a way to express that you’re uncomfortable with those comics, however, is no more moral in my opinion than the comics themselves are in yours.

  29. Jeffro says

    ‘God’ in reference to the Christian deity is a proper noun. It functions as a personal name, albeit not a terribly creative one (pun intended), and should be capitalised. Grammatical structure is usually sufficient to indicate whether a word is a proper noun or a generic term. In a sentence of the form, “I saw [word].”, with no article (‘a’ or ‘the’), the word is either a proper noun (e.g. ‘God’, ‘Dave’), a pronoun (e.g. ‘you’, ‘her’), a plural (e.g. ‘cats’, ‘gods’), a non-countable noun (e.g. ‘water’, ‘red’), or an adverb (e.g. ‘well’, ‘poorly’); otherwise, the sentence is poorly constructed. In that structure, the singular countable noun, ‘god’ is not valid, but the proper noun ‘God’ is. If someone writes, “I saw God,” they’re probably lying, delusional, or mistaken; but if they write, “I saw god,” it’s just bad grammar.

    On reincarnation, if everyone has lived past lives, how does population growth work?

  30. Fragrant Flower says

    Monocle Smile:

    If we put something in the public people don’t like, the people that do not like it can express their dislike and say why. I don’t see how you are making the leap from me saying I wont support racist cartoons, to me blaming the artist for his murder.

    To me, murder is a crime and so is rape. The murderer or rapist should be given justice, whatever that means, regardless of what you or I think about the victim. I would personally stand for the right of the prostitute not to be raped, because there are many reasons, including being forced that she may have made that decision.

    However, I personally see the Hebdo cartoons as racist and hateful, regardless of whose image they are in, and will not stand in support of racism and hate, or those who spread it, nor give it accolades or rewards. I can find no moral or ethical reason to be racist and spread hate.

  31. Catrambi says

    @33

    1. Yes he was slut shaming. He was equating making racist cartoons, which is uncool, with being a sex worker, which is not uncool.

    2. People say things they don’t actually believe, we agree about that. However, whether or not they believe it, it’s still a fact that they said it. The commenter Fragrant Flower did condemn the murders. You may say that she doesn’t actually mean it, but you may not say she didn’t say it. That would just be false. In fact, FF has explicitly stated opposing killings as well as racism. Is nuanced thinking not allowed in your world?

    3. That’s ironic, you telling me to learn how to read, since your entire complaint is one big reading comprehension fail. FF did not claim a right not to be offended. She claimed a right not to find the cartoons funny. You can’t just make shit up.

    @30

    1. I don’t think anybody “is a slut”, and the term slut shaming doesn’t require that we agree on calling some people sluts. Google it.

    2. So when FF writes in her comment that she condemns the killings, how is that not “expressing that she thinks it’s wrong”? This, by the way, is why I didn’t treat your “argument” with any respect. You’re just pulling this out your ass.

    The core of this discussion is this: Many atheists (and Christians, and others) have responded to these murders with some sort of uncritical praise for cartoons which some of us feel are racist, and on top of that very unfunny. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that just because you don’t like the cartoons doesn’t mean you think the cartoonist should be shot? In fact, FF explains it in plain English in the comment @28: “So, although I condemn the killing of these people, I will NOT stand up for Charlie Hebdo as if he is a hero, give him accolades, and would be against any awards, including buying one of his magazines.”

    Because, believe it or not, we do have the right not to be amused.

  32. Catrambi says

    If we put something in the public people don’t like, the people that do not like it can express their dislike and say why. I don’t see how you are making the leap from me saying I wont support racist cartoons, to me blaming the artist for his murder.

    ^^^^ This

    How fucking hard is that to understand. Come on people, try to keep up.

  33. Monocle Smile says

    @Flower

    However, I personally see the Hebdo cartoons as racist and hateful, regardless of whose image they are in, and will not stand in support of racism and hate, or those who spread it, nor give it accolades or rewards

    You’re attacking a position nobody evidently holds. Like Richard Homan said, you’re not being asked to kiss Charlie Hebdo’s metaphorical ass. The fact that you’re protesting this much makes you quite transparent.

    Do you really think this is uncommon behavior on the part of Islam? Because Islam and Scientology are notorious for their insane overreactions to criticism.

  34. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi

    The core of this discussion is this: Many atheists (and Christians, and others) have responded to these murders with some sort of uncritical praise for cartoons which some of us feel are racist, and on top of that very unfunny. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that just because you don’t like the cartoons doesn’t mean you think the cartoonist should be shot?

    1) Name one. I have yet to encounter anyone praising the message of the cartoons. Voltaire applies here. I mean, the hosts on show #900 discussed this a bit, and they didn’t come to the conclusion that Flower accused them of.
    2) It’s not hard to understand. It’s just not relevant whatsoever to the shootings. Why even bring it up? There’s only one reason to highlight this in the wake of the event.

    Also, you seem to be aware that Flower is a female. So which are you? A personal friend or a sock account?

  35. Catrambi says

    1. Name one? OK, Bill Maher for example. Also, Freedom From Religion Foundation donated $20K to Charlie Hebdo and called them “atheist and freethinking brothers and sisters”. So I guess you concede this point, then?

    2. Good thing it was never claimed to be relevant to the shooting, then. Again with the reading comprehension.

    3. Quoting from FF’s comment @28: ” I remember as a little girl having a children’s book of surahs and ayats to learn” (emphasis mine)

    Fuck you and your dumbass accusations of sock puppetry. And, again, reading comprehension, you sorely fucking need it.

  36. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi
    1) Okay, fine. Granted, I think Bill Maher’s a tool and both FFRF’s donation and comments are perfectly in line with the point of their existence and aren’t supportive of Charlie Hebdo’s material whatsoever. Again, Voltaire applies. However, why is this being bitched about here? Why not take it to a discussion board about Maher’s comments? Why not send an email to FFRF, even though they’ve done nothing particularly objectionable? Because that particular viewpoint is evidently not shared by the ACA despite Flower’s whining.

    2) This is called “willful ignorance.” I would have to bash my skull in to believe that bullshit.

    3) Whoops, guess I screwed up a bit. Although there’s some irony in you telling me to fuck myself and get better at reading comprehension, giving your hatchet job of Richard Homan’s comments.

  37. Robert, not Bob says

    @Monacle Smile
    Flower’s original post did include a reference to wearing a hijab, that could imply female gender.

    @Fragrant Flower
    Taking offense is a voluntary tactic, generally used to shut up criticism. Beyond that, the problem with “don’t insult religion” rules is that they are open-ended: no limits. In the end, isn’t not being Muslim an implied insult to Islam? As in, I’m saying it’s false?

  38. Catrambi says

    @42

    1. It’s being discussed here because a caller brought up the subject on the show. Sigh.

    2. It’s never the right moment to talk about racist cartoons, just as it never seems to be the right moment to talk about gun control. In the real world, there are people who are capable of discussing Topic A without getting it muddled up with Topic B. Deal with it.

    3. I think the irony here is that it’s pretty damn obvious you never read FF’s comment, since every single time you reference it, you get it dead wrong. This time it backfired. Tough luck.

    @43

    Holy equivocation fallacy, Batman!

  39. Ethan Myerson says

    @22 Nova Solaris

    The first caller makes me irate. Humans do not have only five senses. People need to stop this nonsense and take a biology course.

    Thank you for mentioning this. The caller was wrong on nearly every level, and it would have been a pedantic, forest-for-the-trees correction for the hosts to have corrected this “five senses” canard during the call. But it does need to be corrected.

  40. Matt Gerrans says

    I haven’t seen the cartoons in questions, apparently, though I saw a couple Charlie Hebdo covers in articles on the topic. Could someone please point out which specific cartoons are racist and what race they are being racist against?

    Additionally, please point out specifically which ones are being “hateful” and are “spreading hate.” This claim I find particularly problematic. By the same token, you could claim that Westboro’s speech is hateful. However, it is arguable whether their antics actually “spread hate” or do the opposite. I think a lot of folks who see their demonstrations may actually become more sympathetic to diversity as a result and react *against* the hate they see. In other words, the one of the benefits of free speech is that it allows people to say things that may marginalize themselves.

    Having said that, though, I don’t agree that satirizing religion is “spreading hate” — it is not even close to the level that Westboro is spewing hate, or to the level of hate that Islam shows for “infidels.” We need loads more of religion mocking and this especially so for Islam. Religious people need to learn not to take their silly religious beliefs so seriously; at the very least, they need to accept the fact that people who don’t believe in their mythology aren’t compelled to “respect” it or take it seriously.

  41. Catrambi says

    @46

    The one depicting Boko Haram victims as welfare queens was pretty damn racist, for example. And unfunny, at that. Holy crap it’s unfunny. Does anyone in the world look at these cartoons with as much as a smile?

  42. Matt Gerrans says

    “…nor wear the hijab style, except in incidences where it shows respect and reverence for my legacy.”

    To Fragrant Flower: Isn’t it somewhat unfair that you have to “show respect” for Islam by wearing the gunny sack, but Islamic believers don’t have to show you in the same way? Why do religious dogmatists get free reign to demand respect and adherence to their OCD rituals?

    By the way, are you free to openly and freely profess your apostasy and to freely discuss it with your Muslim family and friends? Or would you experience some “spreading hate” if you tried that? Think about it.

  43. Conversion Tube says

    If you make a BUT statement you are wrong.

    I don’t condone the murders BUT

    NO FREAKING BUT

    It’s not hate speech when you hate an idea or ideology.

    It’s hate speech when you hate a person or people.

    If you hold ridiculous beliefs which do not warrant belief—- prepare to be offended.

  44. Catrambi says

    @49

    And who said “I don’t condone the murders BUT”? Should be easy to point to a quote like that, right?

  45. Catrambi says

    @50

    Seemingly racist cartoon is just very subtle and super smart humor that you can only understand if you’re French. Noted, but I don’t think that’s a good defense. It’s still racist.

  46. says

    I’m going to go back a bit…

    I … will not stand in support of racism and hate

    Good, neither will I. I think racism is the result of ignorance and should not be tolerated. But I will stand in support of a person’s right to think and speak freely without the threat of violence or government pushback. The freedom of speech isn’t an idea that only protects speech we like. It also protects speech we disagree with. That’s the WHOLE POINT of the idea of freedom of speech. You’re not wrong for not wanting to support racism. You’re wrong because you see us being more concerned with murder than racism and you’re presuming we’re supporting that racism and deem it necessary to tell us how much you WON’T support it.

    @Catrambi (37)
    (First section)
    1: No, I was equating our reactions to the two instances. I’m not saying they’re (raping the prostitute or murdering the cartoonists) both right, both wrong, or anything of the like. I’m saying that no matter what you think of prostitution and no matter what you think of the comics, that doesn’t make it acceptable to exploit her hypothetical rape or their very real murders so you can talk bad about them. That’s, like, the exact opposite of slut shaming.

    2: Of course nuance is allowed. Victim blaming, on the other hand, not really.

    (second section)
    1: I’m very aware of what slut shaming is and I didn’t do it. You’re simply misunderstanding me. I’m not saying prostitution is wrong; I’m saying a lot of people think it’s wrong and that it doesn’t matter how many people think it’s wrong, it’s not okay to rape someone. That’s not slut shaming, that’s common sense. Rape is wrong no matter whether you think the person is morally wrong or not. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with prostitution (though that doesn’t mean I agree with the current situation where prostitution is concerned), but even if I did, using her rape as an excuse to say “I won’t stand up for prostitution” would be wrong. No one asked me to stand up for prostitution, they asked me to stand up for a person’s right not to be raped. We’re not asking anyone to stand up for Charlie Hebdo, we’re asking them to stand up for a person’s right not to be murdered…

    2: And I already said that there WAS some condemnation. I also said that it was a SMALL AMOUNT of condemnation mixed in with a LOT of excusing the murderers. Remember, I’m not the one that said she didn’t condemn it. I just think she’s done a piss poor job of condemning it.

    @47
    I recall seeing someone mention “they’re not supposed to be funny.” As I said, I haven’t seen them and have no intention of doing so, but from the comments, I’d say that’s probably accurate.

    @45
    Yeah, I meant to mention that in my post correcting the grammar but I forgot about it. Another one is proprioception, our brains’ tracking system to know where our body parts are in relation to the rest of our body.

  47. Catrambi says

    Also @50

    If you draw a cartoon in which a ridiculously racist caricature of a black American man shooting a police officer while screaming “fuck the police”, that cartoon will be pretty damn racist even if you later add “oh no no, I was just lampooning”. And it would also be unfunny.

  48. Catrambi says

    @53

    Again, nobody in this thread has made any excuses for the killings whatsoever. Stop making shit up. FF clearly condemned the shooting, and made no other comment on it other than condemnation. All else happened in your head only.

  49. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi
    You’re being insanely naive. I mean, listen to yourself.
    I have another analogy, but you’ll probably just miss the point by a country mile like you did with the prostitution gig.

  50. Catrambi says

    @56

    Frankly I didn’t read the rest carefully, since I’m not interested in that discussion right now. I already stated why I didn’t like the analogy. If you want to pretend like I conceded whatever points you think are in there, go right ahead.

    @57

    No, you’re just not understanding the criticism at all. You think this has anything to do with the shooting, which it doesn’t. Absent all other context than a text saying “muslims” paired with these disgusting caricatures, would still be racist. It has fuck all to do with the prophet or the shooting, or whatever other strawman you were gonna knock down in your next analogy.

    I guess we’ll have to wait a few months until the chicken brains have forgotten about the shootings, before we can discuss racism again.

  51. Catrambi says

    For clarification: when I say you don’t understand the criticism, I mean you didn’t even read the comment you were responding to, which has been made clear by every one of your comments since.

  52. Catrambi says

    @59

    Again, then it should be super easy to point to the quote in question, right? So why don’t you? Are you slowly realizing your strawmanning?

  53. Catrambi says

    In conclusion, we have learned the following:

    1. We can never talk about racism, because sometimes shootings happen, and shootings are worse than racism.

    2. Islam is not a race, so racist caricatures of Arab people aren’t racist, because Logic.

    3. Talking about Topic A is not allowed, since Topic B exists.

    4. Analogies always win every argument, no matter how irrelevant.

    5. Using silly nicknames for someone with whom you disagree, is something adults do.

    6. Everyone who doesn’t agree with you must be a sockpuppet.

    Yeah, I think we’re done here.

  54. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi

    I guess we’ll have to wait a few months until the chicken brains have forgotten about the shootings, before we can discuss racism again

    Oh, fuck off. If you really wanted to “discuss racism,” you would be talking about actual racist policies and practices that affect people in tangible ways, not the illustrations of a magazine. People were killed and for some reason, you find it productive to kick sand on their corpses and pretend as if anything they did had real negative consequences for other people. This is actually the reverse of the “no good time to talk about gun control” problem. At this point, you’re beyond naive. You’re being dishonest. Getting butthurt about the prostitution analogy without trying to understand its purpose just piles on.

  55. says

    @58
    Well, considering you’ve not only missed my point with the analogy but also misunderstood the analogy itself, your explanation of why you didn’t like it was irrelevant.

    @61
    Sure.
    “So, although I condemn the killing of these people, I will NOT stand up for Charlie Hebdo as if he is a hero, give him accolades, and would be against any awards, including buying one of his magazines.”
    See, the entire post is basically, “Here’s some background, here’s why I’m not condoning these murders, here’s me saying I don’t condone these murders, but here’s me subtly suggesting I can understand why they were murdered.” Mind you, if anyone here had ACTUALLY suggested standing up for Charlie Hebdo as a hero, that statement would have been fine. No one was, though.

    Also, I think that statement might have been misunderstood to an extent. It appears, as I’ve said, to be a complete thought (the comment as a whole). I think it may actually have been more stream of thought, simply typing until she felt she’d conveyed what she wanted without realizing how it might be taken in whole. If that’s the case, then it’s not so much terrible victim-blaming as it is bad writing (which we’re all guilty of from time to time and is certainly excusable).

  56. Matt Gerrans says

    Political cartoons are often not intended to be “funny” like the ones on the funny pages. They are generally intended for adults and intended to make a point. Sometimes it is subtle and requires knowledge and understanding of the context. Apparently a bit much for some of the children here, so you may want to stick to the funny pages. Maybe Garfield will be funny and not so hard to understand for you.

    “…to do with the prophet…” LOL. Are you referring to a certain 7th century child-molesting warlord here? What do you mean by “prophet?” Do you think this is someone who had personal conversations with a universe-creating god of some sort and flew on a winged horse? The word “prophet” is a meaningless description of a fictional character, unless you can first demonstrate that all the prerequisites for that term are based in reality. Otherwise, you may as well say the “magical sky-faerie whisperer” or something like that.

  57. Matt Gerrans says

    “2. Islam is not a race, so racist caricatures of Arab people aren’t racist, because Logic.”

    Kind of funny that the one “racist” cartoon you provided as “evidence” didn’t have any Arabs in it. I think that shows you are racist and you are making the racist generalization that all Muslims are Arab. That is disgusting.

  58. Catrambi says

    @65

    Consider the possibility that someone disagrees with your argument even though they do understand it. It happens in reality. Read carefully now: Nobody was blaming the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Therefore your analogy was irrelevant.

    @64

    What makes you think I don’t also care about racist policies? Nice Dear Muslima, though. I think in general when you try to take cheap shots by accusing someone of sockpuppetry, you’ve admitted you have no interest in any honest conversation. That, along with the fact that you obviously didn’t read FF’s original comment before replying, is why I’m not interested in further conversation with you. All you’ve done is present strawmen so far, and there’s no indication of this changing in the near future.

    @66

    I’ll be bold and say the first thing I think of when reading this comment isn’t that the author seems very mature. I used the term prophet as short hand, and you obviously understood who I’m referring to. Grow the fuck up.

  59. says

    Now see, here’s what you SHOULD have been learning…

    “1. We can never talk about racism, because sometimes shootings happen, and shootings are worse than racism.”
    1. We can talk about racism, and we can talk about shootings, but we can’t talk about shooting victims being racist as if that either relevant to the shooting (which you did, whether you meant to or not) or as if it excuses what happened (which was not directly done here that I noticed, thankfully).

    “2. Islam is not a race, so racist caricatures of Arab people aren’t racist, because Logic.”
    2. Islam isn’t a race, so caricatures of Muslims isn’t racist, it’s islamophobic. If they were generally of Arabs, it would be racist. Maybe they were? I don’t know. I didn’t even see this part of the argument take place…

    “3. Talking about Topic A is not allowed, since Topic B exists.”
    3. Talking about topic A BECAUSE of topic B and then claiming they’re completely unrelated is disingenuous.

    “4. Analogies always win every argument, no matter how irrelevant.”
    4. Relevant analogies can be misunderstood and dismissed, no matter how simple and straightforward and you WILL be accused of slut shaming if you point out that many people think prostitution is immoral,

  60. Catrambi says

    @67

    You know the Boko Haram cartoon isn’t the only cartoon ever to appear in Charlie Hebdo, right? Now you’re just getting ridiculous, so I’ll end communications with you here.

  61. Catrambi says

    @69

    1. Good! Nobody did that, so I guess that’s settled.

    2. Agreed, but you should check out the other cartoons, then.

    3. See 1.

    4. See @68

    With that, I’ll have to take a break. Feel free to strawman me while I’m gone.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi

    Read carefully now: Nobody was blaming the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Therefore your analogy was irrelevant

    In Richard Homan’s analogy, the rape victim wasn’t (explicitly) blamed, either. Who has to read carefully? I mean, you openly admitted earlier that you ignored the analogy when it made your ass glow red; Richard Homan was just assuming you were being honest.

    “3. Talking about Topic A is not allowed, since Topic B exists.”
    3. Talking about topic A BECAUSE of topic B and then claiming they’re completely unrelated is disingenuous.

    This has been the point of my comment spree. I just didn’t think I had to break it down to the kindergarten level to make it clear.

  63. says

    @68
    “Read carefully now: Nobody was blaming the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack.”
    These are not the droids you’re looking for.
    You do know that just claiming it wasn’t done doesn’t actually mean it wasn’t, right? This leads to…

    @ 71
    1: I think you might have missed my wording… “was not directly done here”. Note the middle word. It’s very important. No one came out and explicitly said, “They put out such hateful cartoons, of course they were attacked and murdered.” That doesn’t mean no one suggested it, which FF very certainly did, though I’m fairly confident it was unintentional.

    3: Yeah. No one did that. No one at all. (Don’t mind the dripping sarcasm.)

    4: See my response to @68.

  64. Catrambi says

    Oh jebus, I guess I shouldn’t have taken one last look at the thread..

    @72

    Let me be even clearer, then. Neither I nor FF even mentioned the shootings, other than for condemning them, because they’re irrelevant to the question of whether the cartoons are racist. I’m sorry that you desperately want this discussion to be about your pet peeve, but that’s not what FF was talking about in her comment. Not everything in the world is about you.

    And let me also say it’s a bit rich of you to be talking about “kindergarten level” since your only contribution so far is making up creepy nicknames, making sockpuppetry accusations, and calling me “butthurt”. It’s hard to believe you’re even serious.

  65. Catrambi says

    @73

    OK, so this all boils done to your claim that someone’s been blaming the victims for the Charlie Hebdo attack, yet can’t seem to point to any such statement in this thread. And now I really do have to go. I’ll check in tomorrow morning, but if by then you still haven’t supported your claim, I’ll consider this case closed.

  66. Monocle Smile says

    @Catrambi

    Let me be even clearer, then. Neither I nor FF even mentioned the shootings, other than for condemning them, because they’re irrelevant to the question of whether the cartoons are racist

    Would you be discussing Charlie Hebdo if the shootings didn’t take place?

    Yeah. That’s what I thought. You can go ahead and claim that you’ve managed to separate the things entirely, but no sane person would believe you.

  67. says

    Thank gawd you brought up that stupid capitalization article! That goofy piece annoyed me in the same way a smelly fart does. Thanks!

    Electromagnetic fields = gawd = LOL!

  68. robertwilson says

    Here’s a pretty clear but statement and as a bonus it’s got a huge strawman:

    “So, although I condemn the killing of these people, I will NOT stand up for Charlie Hebdo as if he is a hero, give him accolades, and would be against any awards, including buying one of his magazines.”

    ALTHOUGH I condemn… (OK… why is this being set aside with “although”?) I will not stand up for things that… no one is asking me to stand up for.

    So FF is expressing support consistently “on paper” but attacking a point that’s neither here nor there. Whether Charlie Hedbo is a hero or not is irrelevant to whether the publication has a right to publish the cartoons.

    So when I read FF’s post it comes across as a superficial condemnation of the attacks derailed by irrelevant asides or missing the point on why Charlie Hebdo is defended. Actions speak louder than words… or in this case, the structure of the text and the choices made on which points to attack or defend, say more than the superficial condemnation.

  69. Catrambi says

    God dammit..

    @77 Yes I would be discussing racist cartoons, and I have been for a long time. Charlie Hebdo is being discussed right now because it’s in the news. Racist cartoons didn’t suddenly come into existence last week. How old are you again?

  70. Fragrant Flower says

    Robert, not Bob. Being critical of something a person puts into the public discourse is different than taking a personal offence. I stated that although I do not condone murdering a person for his words, even if they are racist and hateful, I personally will not support the mob mentality of making him a symbol of freedom of expression. Those are 2 different issues.

  71. Matt Gerrans says

    I see repeated claims of “racist and hateful” and no evidence. Sounds a lot like the Ben Affleck fallacy. Just scream louder, rant longer and attack more vigorously, but never back up your claims.

  72. robertwilson says

    @84 Fragrant Flower

    Freedom of expression doesn’t mean much if its symbols are all things everyone likes. One notable symbol of freedom for expression is Hustler and Larry Flynt.

    The issues aren’t as separate as you are making them out to be and putting them side-by-side every time you say “although” betrays that.

  73. Robert, not Bob says

    @44
    Actually I was using Slippery Slope (which isn’t a fallacy if the slope is actually slippery) with a side order of Reducto ad Absurdum.

    @84
    Nonsense. No objective standard of what constitutes “offense” can exist. It’s clearly a matter of personal taste, and anybody will have a stricter standard toward things s/he identifies with. And haven’t you ever had someone jump at you out of the blue about how you offend them? I have, many times. That it’s a tool of power is obvious.

    And no, I haven’t looked at the cartoons. I don’t care what they depict.

  74. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Catrambi

    1. Yes he was slut shaming. He was equating making racist cartoons, which is uncool, with being a sex worker, which is not uncool.

    Actually, I think the far more likely option is that Richard Homan simply does not share your concern over the publication of racist satirical cartoons. The obvious analogy seems to be: “I’m ok with satirical racist cartoons, and I’m ok with sex workers. Some people aren’t, and that does not give excuse to do violence against either group.” At least, that’s how it seems to me.

    Yes, I recognize that the cartoons might be racist. Yes I agree that we should generally frown upon racist publications with or without intent. Given the cultural context of many people actually victim blaming, I also hold that one should be careful discussing the racism of the cartoons by putting an explicit disclaimer that although the cartoons may be racist, that fact in no way justifies any violence against the cartoonists. I bet we have some disagreement here Catrambi. Do you favor hate speech laws? E.G. Do you favor state-sanctioned violence and oppression such as fines and jail against people who draw racist cartoons? I bet you do. It’s not exactly victim blaming, but you’re also not on the right side of legal freedom of speech either.

    @MS
    You’ll see a lot of this on Pharyngyla threads and the like. They have a point. I just think their priorities are a little screwed up, and I think they’re applying a double standard. For example – if you make the slightest mistake when talking about the danger of being female and getting so drunk that you pass out at a college frat party, then you’re accused of victim blaming – which it’s not, but in this case with the racist cartoons, they don’t appreciate the same possible problem of potential victim blaming. Again, IMHO it’s because of some rather peculiar priorities. Meh. I’m just saying, you may want to be a little nicer and try to understand their position a little better. Meh.

    PS: Why is this discussion in 901 and not 900?

  75. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    This thread reminds me so much of a Pharyngula wall right now. I openly admit that I’ve made a few errors and been aggressive. It’s probably because I have a problem with people who allude to this imaginary “freedom from criticism” or “freedom from offense.” There’s a reason I mentioned Voltaire a couple of times…there’s a difference between supporting the content of someone’s message and supporting their right and capacity to express the message.

    I understand that Catrambi and Fragrant Flower are attempting to communicate a tactless point. While it may be possible to make the point in earnest, I don’t think that’s been accomplished here.

  76. John Iacoletti says

    @Richard Homan (comment 21) – But I’m *not* using “dog” as a name. I call her “dog” because she’s a dog. Much like I might say to you, “come over here, human”. If she was the one and only dog in existence then it might be appropriate to name her “Dog”. Otherwise, “dog” is what she *is*, it’s not her name.

  77. John Iacoletti says

    @cddb (comment 23) – Yeah, I find it hard to believe that he paid much attention to what he read if he can’t even get Stephen Hawking’s name right!

  78. cddb says

    Fragrant Flower posted a very similar message toward the end of the last thread (#900), where he says wonderful things like “pornography…should never be tolerated in any form”, and “racism”, “bigotry”, etc “can never be satirical”.

    I took time to write him a response there but I see he’s moved over here….

    In any case, I sure am glad I don’t live in Fragrant Flower’s world 🙂

  79. HappyPerson says

    the first caller conflated scientism and atheism right off the bat and when this error was pointed out, the caller just ignored it and the call started to derail. too bad since the caller was probably a troll and wasted people’s time with his nonsense at the end concerning string theory, etc.

  80. StonedRanger says

    I keep seeing Charlie Hebdo referred to as ‘he’. Its the name of a magazine not a person. Charlie Hebdo was not killed, 12 of its staff were killed. And islam is not a race, there are many millions of muslims on the planet who are not arab. Iraqui muslims are not arab and they would take offense if you said they were. So just claiming that all muslims are arab makes one a racist. And why is no one bringing up the fact that muslim publications all over the planet routinely print cartoons that make fun of other religious icons and so far no one has killed the people who publish those? Too many people trying to defend the indefensible. This isn’t about who is and isn’t allowed to be offended or what they are allowed to be offended by, its about killing people. I don’t care what they printed, who it offended, how many of them were offended, or why they were offended. ITS STILL NOT RIGHT TO KILL PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WERE OFFENDED BY ANYTHING. EVER. How is that hard to understand?

  81. Matt Gerrans says

    @94 — I agree. That caller was not worth half the show! Should have been nipped in the bud at about 5 or 10 minutes.

  82. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Might as well put this here and continue with the discussion.

    I glossed over this post on the first time, not caring enough to respond. I read it carefully the second time.
    @Fragrant Flower
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2015/01/11/open-thread-for-aetv-900-russel-and-tracie-je-suis-charlie/#comment-584149

    racism, demeaning women, pornography, bigotry, hate speech, generalizations of people based on ancedotes etc. can not be made funny, can never be ‘satirical’ and should not be tolerated in any shape or form.

    Emphasis added.

    I suspect most of us here are sex positive and porn positive. Not all porn is demeaning to women. Second, everything in that list can totally be funny. Third, I think that satire is sometimes an appropriate method to use on everything in your list of topics. So, politely disagreed in many parts, though perhaps not in totality.

    Finally, you are ambiguous whether you want your disapproval to be codified into law. I strongly feel none of the above should be illegal, and I suspect I have the backing of many of the people here.

  83. cddb says

    Apologies, I gendered her as a ‘he’ ;-[

    Anyway… she seems to be arguing against “satire” as a concept in general. Like, in her world, it doesn’t exist, or at least “should not”.

  84. jdandco says

    I also wonder about the first caller. In addition to the other weirdness referred to above, he also mentioned some judicial law that convicts someone based on three people’s testimony. That’s strictly Biblical (Deuteronomy 19:15). Nothing in our judiciary system has anything remotely like that. I really liked it when Jen started to chuckle. Cluelessness like that doesn’t deserve us taking him seriously.

  85. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I would still be interested in some examples of racist Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

    Meh, I’m too lazy to go find links, but there was a discussion in Pharyngula comments a few threads back on Pharyngula, along with links to pictures. If you care enough, you can go find it.

    IMHO, the short version is that several of the cartoons contain the usual (racist) caricature cartoons of black people. Some people defended these particular cartoons by going to context, and arguing that the cartoons themselves are a caricature of the right wing atheism – in other words they copied the racist style but changed it to subvert the message and to show the ridiculousness of the racist caricature and racist views. Some other people said that this interpretation is sketchy. Others said that regardless of whether that’s true, the racist caricatures perpetuate racism.

    IMHO, that last position reminds me a lot like the initial dickwolves scandal. The original Penny Arcade dickwolves comic only made sense under the interpretation that the message of the comic was to make fun of MMOs because the stories downplayed the seriousness of rape, which made the message of the cartoon that rape is a serious problem. However, some people decided that any satire involving rape necessarily normalizes rape, which propagates rape culture, which leads to more rape. I generally disagree with this view, although I can see some merit in the argument in some cases and/or to some extent. (However, Penny Arcade then proceeded to royally fuck up for a while afterwards, but eventually they came to their senses mostly and apologized mostly AFAIK.)

  86. Fragrant Flower says

    No, I don’t believe that codifying speech.

    When I write, I only represent myself, speak for myself, and these are my opinions only….so let me state clearly again, first asserting my right to dislike something, and state it, and secondly that my dislike of someone’s speech, and criticize it does not in any way imply that I want a crime committed against that person.

    Now…I HAVE seen these Charlie Hebdo cartoons beginning when they were featured in a Swedish magazine in 2011. I remember the idea of Charlie Habdo was to copy these cartoons in order to push the envelope of ‘religious sacred cows’.

    Although I agreed with the concept, I did not like the drawings because they were racist, bordered on pornography (one about Muhammad holding his penis as women prostrated in prayer) and were always drawn in the western stereotype of the savage Arab…all of this in the guise of depicting the Muslim prophet.

    It is my right to state my opinion about the cartoon, and question the motive for publishing them. Not liking them is not the same as blaming the victims for their deaths. I don’t see the leap you all are making.

  87. Monocle Smile says

    @Flower

    I don’t see the leap you all are making

    Typically, “X should not be tolerated” = “X should be banned or discouraged by some use of force.”

    It is my right to state my opinion about the cartoon, and question the motive for publishing them

    This is different from your earlier “right to self-define” nonsense.
    Also, when people are slaughtered, immediately pissing on their graves is tactless and at the very least brings into question the idea of victim-blaming. The form of your post was “Although I don’t condone these murders, [insert less extreme version of the shooters’ ideology here].” Please understand that this raises red flags for some of us.

  88. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    “caricature of the right wing parties and racism“. Fixed. Man, I cannot type or proofread today.

  89. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Fragrant Flower

    I don’t see the leap you all are making.

    I think the reaction you received here was a little overly harsh. MS agrees.

    Quoting you from this thread and the other thread:

    I was raised Chinese…and to me, racism, demeaning women, pornography, bigotry, hate speech, generalizations of people based on ancedotes etc. can not be made funny, can never be ‘satirical’ and should not be tolerated in any shape or form.

    When I write, I only represent myself, speak for myself, and these are my opinions only

    I don’t see the leap you all are making.

    Let me try it like this. From my perspective, murderers should not be tolerated. Am I advocating a public policy? Or am I expressing a mere personal dislike of murderers? This is further compounded by the fact that you used the legalistic phrase “hate speech”, and that there are many people with views similar to yours who do want to make illegal hate speech, such as the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. (I was just engaging with some of them in Pharyngula comments the other day.)

    The leap is a pretty basic one to make. I will note that I tried to expressly ask “what is your position”, rather than just blindly assume it. (I did say something like “And I assume your position is X”, for the purposes of attacking it, but I did immediately precede that with an explicit question of whether that is your position.) As for the others in the thread? Did they go to far? Meh. I’m going to tone troll now and say most people here need to simmer down a little (and/or that most people have simmered down a little).

    PS: I still think that your seeming dislike of porn, your special treatment of porn, and your equivocation of porn with racism and the other things in that list, is completely unwarranted and ridiculous. I’m totally not seeing how it makes any sense whatsoever for you to include “pornography” in the above quote. I also disagree with your seeming complete dismissal of the entire art form of satire when you seemingly assert that all satire of racism, sexism, etc., is necessarily racist, sexist, etc. Meh.

  90. says

    Enough. Either act like adults or leave. And yes, I am going to talk down to you, because you’re acting like children. Seeing as how the people who are supposed to be in charge here won’t stand up and fucking tell the worst of you to shut up, I’m going to do it.

  91. Monocle Smile says

    @Chan
    No one appointed you Board Mom. Do you know why the mods haven’t said anything? Because they don’t care. No one’s trolling or spamming, and the purpose of this forum is for the free exchange of ideas related to the topic. Your post might be the most obnoxious one yet.

  92. RJS says

    I enjoyed seeing Jen host. I enjoy seeing her give ’em enough rope and watch them hang themselves approach to theist callers. Part of the charm of theism is never stating what it is that you mean, if anything. And the first caller demonstrated this. He obviously had some kind of literature of the “10 Questions for Atheists” variety. These kinds of lists usually claim, “If an Atheist can’t provide solid, convincing answers for all 10 of these questions, then they are LYING SATANISTS!” Of course, their answer, “God did it!” is about as useful as a pound of lead. Jen’s and John’s patience exposed these “arguments” for what they really are: false diversions.

  93. Chan Kobun, the Ghost-Who-Waddles says

    MS, be quiet. I have nothing to say to you or your little playmate beyond what I have said.

    Matt @#108, the ongoing slapfight in this thread needs to end and it needs to end now. And anyone who doesn’t like that I addressed it, take it up with the people who kept it going – and the mods who do nothing because apparently sub-YouTube-level sniping is what they want. You said you shut off comments on the videos because of how bad YouTube comments are? Try cleaning house here, then. If you want actual discussion, encourage it by stopping the childish attacks and bickering.

    And for anyone who wants to say “well you can’t tell us what to do”, I can say what the fuck I want, but it’s up to the staff to actually do something about it, as they should.

    I, for one, have grown tired of how the comments here are dragged into either someone’s ongoing beef with the hosts or a shouting match, and rarely are an actual discussion of the show. If that what you all really want, though, fine – but don’t expect the comments to matter anymore. Nor should you expect honest discussion, or any new blood. If you want to turn this place into yet another insular mess, go for it – but we don’t need more of those.

    Now I choose to recuse myself from this discussion from here on. I’ll return when and if I think I should – maybe never. I have much to think about.

  94. 14718412810238028 says

    Jen Peoples showed she is not well equipped enough to handle these discussions. Mark went on a tangent and she did not respond in any effective way. This could be misinterpreted that Mark knows what he’s talking about much better than the hosts.

  95. tonyinbatavia says

    Chan Kobun, the Ghost-Who-Waddles @111, wait! Before you flounce, I have a couple quick questions for you: When you say, “I, for one, have grown tired of how the comments here are dragged into either someone’s ongoing beef with the hosts or a shouting match, and rarely are an actual discussion of the show,” did you plan to have an actual discussion of the show? And, are you actually satisfied to flounce after bickering at others for acting like children and for what appears to be an ongoing beef with the mods here?

    Anyway, assuming one can evaluate commenters using your standards, you are a complete and total bust.

    Think about that.

  96. Matt Gerrans says

    @111: I’m with you Chan. tonyinbatavia, I don’t think you’re adding much by trying to play “gotcha.”

    I think what would go a long way to fix this problem here (as well as youtube and many other such forums) is to have a system similar to slashdot.org where the garbage is very quickly modded down to virtual invisibility. The threaded view makes that work well and also would eliminate the need for us to reference post numbers (and likewise scroll all over the place to find the referenced post). This WordPress forum code is so 1990s.

    Short of getting a forum with those useful features, I would like it if a moderator could quickly warn and boot trolls like Catrambi — have some intelligent arguments, stop insulting and attacking people, or you’re blocked. We don’t need the idiotic “drive by” comments that are annoying but offer little of substance.

  97. Monocle Smile says

    @Chan
    Someone has a severely inflated notion of how much anyone cares about their blather. I’m glad tonyinbatavia posted.

    @Matt Gerrans
    Personally, I’m loathe to make demands of the unpaid moderators of a free blog, especially when those demands involve things that are completely out of their hands. I also don’t think Catrambi was trolling.

  98. SAwhowhatnow says

    @67
    “2. Islam is not a race, so racist caricatures of Arab people aren’t racist, because Logic.”
    Kind of funny that the one “racist” cartoon you provided as “evidence” didn’t have any Arabs in it. I think that shows you are racist and you are making the racist generalization that all Muslims are Arab. That is disgusting.”

    _________
    You, Matt, are flat out lying right here. The last picture in the article you linked very clearly has what is intended to be an arabic muslim man. And whats more, if you don’t think that the depiction of Nigerian women with enormous buck and snaggle teeth and overly thick lips isn’t racist then you need to pull your head out of your ass or out from whatever other hole you’ve had it in since the goddamn 1860’s. There are few things I hate more in this world than the faux-intellectual smugness of people like you trying to pull “I don’t see what’s racist here, so maybe it’s YOU who is the real racist, hm?”

    _
    But you know what one of those things that I hate more than that is? The other horseshit you tried to pull with the “Excuse me, but they’re criticizing Islam and not all Muslims are Arab and you’re a racist for saying so! Hon hon hon hon!” spiel. But isn’t it weird how depictions of muslims always seem to have dark skin and black hair, and usually seem to be standing around in a dessert? It must just be a coincidence that these cartoons almost never, if ever at all, depict any caucasian or asian muslims. Why do you think that is, Matt? No, I’m serious, why is that? What willfully obtuse web will you weave to justify this, I wonder?

  99. Xander Dee says

    People! The whole “if your not with us Ur against us” conversation is pointless.
    People that say the cartoons are tasteless/racist/degrading, don’t back up the killings or horrific acts carried out by religious FUNDUMENTALISM. That’s picking statements apart and inserting falses on the context of the belief. It can offend people. But why care in a world so diverse with everyone’s religious believes contradicting one another anyways. People need to focus on their own personal relationship with god and leave it out of everyones lives.

    No one is seriously targeting Seth McFarlane for his satire cartoon shows of sensitive issues going on. From AIDS to kids with cancer to Islam and christianity. That is what freedom of speech is all about. Of course you can critize it, voice your opinion but once you start taking action on censoring it you’ve now imposed your view on the morality of that free speech. A difference between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Your convictions don’t get to leave your personal bubble of religion and neither is it part of your religious right to influence anyone else’s lives.

    Don’t look at it then because at the end of the day if you didn’t know that cartoon existed it would impact you life at all. Even with it existing it doesn’t effect your lives.

    Religion has every right to be questioned just like science does. The difference is religion starts with the answers and fills in the blanks. Science starts with a hypothesis and do the steps to prove it into a theory.
    So they both ask why we’re here? Religion says live for god, by god. Science says I don’t know. Which is going to go a step further in the quest to find out? Religion already has answer A, so with that “knowledge” why search for answer B. Religion can only validate personal feelings, which does not validate reality. It could validate my personal reality but that is not the same as the logical reality that we are all in.

    Love the freedom of this secular nation.

    @AXP
    Keep it up!! I love the show and have almost watched 600 episodes of so. Thanks for the content!

  100. says

    Okay, now that I’ve listened….

    Regarding the “6th sense”, which, I think he’s basically referring to the sensus divinitatis, that may be true. Maybe we’re “blind” in that regard. Fine, now demonstrate that it’s real.

    For visually blind people, we can demonstrate that sight works. There’s a myriad of experiments that could be constructed to do this.

    So figure out how to set up a controlled experiment to demonstrate this other sense. All he seems to mean is detecting EM fields… which, as others have pointed out, can be light, but otherwise, we do have various organisms that can do things like detect magnetic fields, etc…. so that’s already precedent.

    There’s just no connection between that and a god. That’d be like saying saying that some people can detect unicorns, because they have a sense of smell.

    Regarding the 3-witnesses in the court of law – this argument again? The version I previously heard is that the data is admissible in court. Even then, eye-witness testimony is bottom-of-the-barrel in terms of value, in court proceedings.

  101. says

    Gosh.. that first caller… I’m not sure how to label it. He seems to suffer from some kind of “absurd conclusion syndrome”.

    It’d be like walking through the forest, and discovering some hoof-tracks in the snow. Most of us would say, “I guess some deer came through here”, whereas the first caller would suddenly blurt out “INTERDIMENSIONAL UNICORNS!!!”

    From our perspective, he seems to have leaped past all sorts of mundane explanations, and jumped straight to the single most absurd conclusion available.

    He describes the success of the 12-step programs invoking a “higher power”, and I’m thinking, “yeah because of the placebo effect and a myriad of psychological factors” I think religion persists largely because of how our psychology works… most of which is scientifically demonstrable.

    … but he leaps to universe creating wizard? Does it matter if it succeeds with different religious beliefs? Are they all true?

    I’d also like to know how a ghost produces an EM field. We know how they’re generated normally… usually current flowing through wires, or something about changes electron states. How does a non-corporeal being do that without any material? It’s like we’re talking about a brainless mind again.

  102. Monocle Smile says

    @Jasper
    Don’t waste too many brain cells on the troll caller. That’s what he dares you to do: “Here’s an argument so insipid and puzzling that even contemplating it for a second means you’ve lost.”

  103. chris lowe says

    There is an old Cheech and Chong line from (I think) the Big Bambuii album where Thommie Chong says: Before, I was all messed up on drugs, but then I read the Bible. Now I’m all messed up on The Lord.

  104. chris lowe says

    Conversion Tube hit the nail on the head on comment # 49.

    Ideas should be held up to scrutiny. This is how an enlightened world works. If someone finds an idea ludicrous then they can criticize, satirize, or challenge those ideas. If they feel their ideas have some legitimacy, then defend them. No way should anybody claim protection from dialog not in keeping with their own opinion. If you are offended, then Boo Hoo!

    If all you can do is lash out, then to the degree to which you are armed and willing to act out your outrage puts you in sympathy with the terrorists, or makes you one yourself.

    If you’re challenging a culture who lethally pursues people for imaginary crimes such as blasphemy or apostasy, then that culture should not assume immunity from this criticism. Indeed carrying out this behaviour invites criticism and pushback.

    The Charlie Hebdo attacks were a moral obscenity. Let’s not leave out the anti semitic compadre who attacked in the kosher market.

    To all those that protested the “je suis Charlie” movement, Fuck you if you can’t take a joke!

  105. No One says

    Context is important. The caricaturization used by Charlie Hebdo may be vulgar in it’s execution, but the underlying intent is not racist. I fully understand FF’s (Fragrant Flower) initial reaction to the images, being that he/she is a product of Chinese culture. This satire is a product of French culture, not necessarily western culture as a monolith. Nothing unjust is safe or out of bounds, Charlie Hebdo satirizes even themselves (see: “journal irresponsable”).

    ______________________________________________

    From the website “Understanding Charlie Hebdo cartoons”:

    Translation

    “BOKO HARAM’S SEX SLAVES ARE ANGRY
    DON’T TOUCH OUR BENEFITS!”
    Symbols

    The Boko Haram is a militant and self-professed Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria with additional activities in Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
    Pregnant and veiled women, sex slaves of Boko Haram, complaining that their benefits are being removed.

    Context

    The cover of this issue of Charlie Hebdo features “news mixing” of two events:

    Following the kidnapping of school-girls by Boko Haram, it was reported that many of the victims were likely to end up as sex slaves in Nigeria.
    The French government proposed a change in the way “allocations familiales” [child benefits] were distributed in France. Up to that point, child benefits were distributed equally regardless of income, as part of a long-standing pronatalist policy. The proposed change (hotly debated at the time) would substantially decrease the child benefits allocated to high-income families (top 12%). Traditionalist families often have a greater number of children than non-traditionalist families, usually for religious reasons (no use of contraception, women’s role as mothers and homemakers, etc.). While it is true that this describes some immigrant families, it is also typical of French-born conservative Catholics, i.e., the historical ruling class in France.

    Satire

    In France, as in many other countries, some political activists complain that some citizens abuse their state benefits. For example citizens might do this by (fraudulently) claiming to be disabled (a common theme in the UK media). In France, each new child born increases the child-support allocated to their mother/family. Because of this, a common theme in right-wing rhetoric in France is the concept of “welfare queens” (mothers having many children for the sole purpose of claiming more benefits).

    The cartoon combines the two news stories and shows the pregnant kidnapped girls voicing their support for child benefits. One of the ways the cartoon can be understood is as a satirical window into the psyche of an Front National (French far-right nationalistic partyront National) voter, who conflates many issues (Islamist activities abroad, and benefits policies at home). One can picture a Front National voter watching a television broadcast about the Boko Haram kidnapping: he is already worrying about the benefits fraud these young women might commit when they are accepted as refugees in France!

    It’s important to note that the proposed change in distribution of child benefits (which were approved by the Assemblée Nationale two days after this issue was published) would in any case not affect low-income immigrant families. Indeed the demographic most affected would be high-income families with many children: a common situation of many conservative Catholic familes. The proposed change was met with opposition from both ends of the political spectrum, mostly based on the idea that child benefits shouldn’t become yet another wealth redistribution mechanism. The most vocal opponents, however, were right-wing conservatives. This is what makes the cartoon all the more absurd: the Boko Haram sex-slaves are protesting to cuts that would not even affect them. Depicting the Boko Haram sex-slaves complaining about the problems of the well-off makes the cartoon an incarnation of the first world problems meme: while rich French families are complaining about losing money, young girls are being raped and enslaved in Nigeria.

  106. says

    @123

    Hey why do u moderate the comments

    They don’t really… only in extreme cases. There’s a few automatic filters that kick in, and adds someone to the moderation queue. One is adding a bunch of links to the comment. Another are the first-time commenters.

    Both are to filter out spam bots.

  107. robwill says

    Thought this was an excellent show and an interesting topic.

    In my opinion god should not be capitalized unless it is at the beginning of a sentence. God is not a proper noun. It is a concept at best. And last i heard nobody was giving concepts the esteem of a capital letter. If we capitalize god i think we should also capitalize Pixies, Flying Spagetti Monster, and Bigfoot.

    Also, i find the manner and professionalism of Jen Peeples when dealing with some callers to be a breath of fresh air. She is direct with her opinion and calling out what she believes to be dishonest. I happen to agree with her. I think it is foolhardy to think that every caller is completely sincere about everything they say regarding their beliefs. People lie about all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons, and when you’re lying about something that is difficult to fact check at best and usually not worth the effort it really loosens the reigns of truth for callers.

    Also islamophobia………..um. Check it. Islam is a violent religion. I’ve never heard of Hinduphobia or Buddaphobia. Maybe they should start acting differently and then people can start perceiving it that way. I do think that we should add Mormonphobia to the list though. Those people scare the bajesus outta me.

  108. Narf says

    @123 – Xander

    Hey why do u moderate the comments

    Anti-spam and similar stuff, mostly. It’s also to screen out morons who want to drive-by, spray a bunch of bible verses at us, and leave. No point letting something like that into the comment section.

    If we get a theist who is at all coherent and capable of making an argument beyond the appeal to Bible quotes, though, they’re approved and can come on through. Hell, even if we get an incoherent Bible-sprayer, the mods might let the person through briefly, if it looks like it might be fun. They can always ban them later.

    Anyway, you’re approved now, so anything you post will appear right away, barring you saying something that trips the moderation, like multiple links in one message, as Jasper said.

  109. Narf says

    @126 – Paul Williams
    Let me know when you find the person who’s willing to host the show in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yikes.

  110. chris lowe says

    I’m surprised the filter would be that censorial. I have noticed that comments from the loyal opposition have all but disappeared from this section and I don’t think it is because we won everybody to our side.

  111. Narf says

    It isn’t particularly censorial. They let through anyone who can string together a coherent thought. Even that isn’t very rigorously applied; after all, they let Bobby through.

    Steele is still around and about sometimes, I’m sure. He pops back up occasionally, then goes quiet again, after he once again realizes that spraying Bible verses at us and making William Lane Craig’s vapid arguments doesn’t work on anyone with a sound thought-process.

  112. SAwhowhatnow says

    Whats deliciously ironic are the hypocrites like chris lowe who talk a big game about the importance of criticism, satire, and free speech… Right up until you criticize something they agree with. Then all of a sudden you have gone too far. Charlie Hedbo’s criticisms are sancrosanct so don’t you DARE criticize them, you heretic! The complete lack of self-awareness would be hilarious if it wasn’t also so woefully prevalent in the atheist movement.

  113. Narf says

    @133
    Umm, I think you’re suffering from some slight comprehension issues, man. Your description doesn’t fit what he was saying in the slightest.

  114. Monocle Smile says

    @chris lowe
    It’s not “censorial.” If you check out the other blogs, you’ll see that spambots are pretty frequent. They’d get like 50 “get rich quick on this website” posts if there wasn’t moderation.

    Also, as you can see in #133, a troll got through moderation just fine. Imagine that.

  115. cddb says

    @133
    ….where are all these people saying nobody should “DARE criticize” Hedbo’s cartoons, political points, whatever? Chris Lowe specifically hasn’t made that point, at least not here…

  116. Narf says

    The most I noticed was a statement to the effect that people who were criticizing them so much weren’t comprehending the context and the tone of the cartoons.

    … followed by the anti-Hedbo people going ballistic and screaming about how cartoons like those should not be tolerated, that some things should not be satirized, etc. You have a seriously fucked up way of perceiving the contents of this blog-comment section, SA.

    And let me add that if you’re only willing to support the freedom of speech of those you approve of, as seems to be the case with Flower, then you are not a free-speech advocate, and you are not my ally.

  117. Matt Gerrans says

    #15 – Monocle Smile
    “Also, as you can see in #133, a troll got through moderation just fine. Imagine that.”

    Not to mention the idiotic brain-dead trolling by the same anonymous coward in #118.

    “They let through anyone who can string together a coherent thought. Even that isn’t very rigorously applied” as Narf said, putting rather mildly.

    It looks like Ben Affleck may have been prepped for that Bill Maher show with Sam Harris by some terrorist apologists of SAwhowhatnow’s ilk. “Don’t address the actual arguments the man is making, just scream ‘RACIST! BIGOT!'” and do some frothing at the mouth for good measure. If you can’t win the argument rationally, then appeal to base emotional attacks.

  118. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf in 137
    Regarding Narf’s characterization of the back and forth regarding Charlie Hebdo: Meh.

  119. Narf says

    Well, you think I want to comb through that crap again, in detail? The best you’re going to get from me is a vague impression.

  120. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To continue…
    Warning, tone trolling incoming!
    Regarding the back and forth in comments over Charlie Hebdo in this thread. I think both sides could have done better. I don’t feel comfortable characterizing “our side” as clearly in the right.

  121. Narf says

    Eh, valid point. You want to add nuance? I could barely stand reading through it the first time. 😀

  122. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf

    You want to add nuance?

    I know. The world is ending. I think all that time in Pharyngula comments section has made me a better person. Get me the antidote, stat!