Open thread for episode 22.09: Matt and Jamie


Jamie is from Talk Heathen.

Comments

  1. Donna Godfrey says

    Just want to say: Jamie is a sweetie. Thanks to all of you, including behind the scenes, for fab show.

  2. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Matt (1:56:46):

    If you as a politician have decided to say, “Hey, we’ll do thoughts and prayers and ‘In God we trust’,” and then not take any action that makes anybody safer, you’re a jackass. You are a whore. And you need to be removed from office by people who actually take action. […] career politicians, who’d want to do nothing but whore around lobbyists, chose their position and their money over doing the right thing.

    Oh Matt, please don’t denigrate sex workers by comparing them to politicians. One in particular is even taking action against the president!
     
    But seriously, you’re more than capable of choosing an insult that accurately describes specifically their behavior in a pithy negative way.

  3. Ima Atheist says

    That last caller and the question from the audience were damn good… That caller though sounded like she needed a hug. 🙁 That’s probably the hardest bit for Theists knowing that what they got told wasn’t true. It makes the statement “I never got to say goodbye” feel so raw. But really when you think about it you are only saying goodbye for your own peace of mind. They are gone. There is nothing you can do about it. They say their goodbyes to you so you feel better they are no more after that.

    Although it’s a hard truth to swallow the statement “In 300 years no one will remember us” is very true. People go out and look up their family trees and find out the names and maybe the “occupation” of their families but no one knows what their life was like. If you really want your family and friends to remember you try writing down stories of your life. Tell people about the jobs you had. The friends you made. The sports you loved. The music you hated. All the family members you know. Stories about those family members and your friends. Funny stories. Sad stories. Anything that shows people who you are. Tell them things that they might not understand. Like how many people reading this grew up with phones that had a single handle on the front that rang a bell in the exchange and an actual operator connected you manually by plugging a line in. My grandma was scared of light switches cause the old Bakelite switches would make a spark and sometimes would give you a bite if you had ya finger in the wrong spot. These stories our kids don’t know about. And we have stopped talking and now have our faces planted in phones and computers. I guess you could call this our sedation from the speed of the world and at the same time it’s our opioid… Catch 22…

    Anywa enough of my guff.

  4. says

    Sky Captain @1:

    you’re more than capable of choosing an insult that accurately describes specifically their behavior in a pithy negative way.

    Can you suggest one? I’m struggling to think of one myself that doesn’t denigrate someone. One could make the case that “whore” is generally understood to describe a particular kind of behaviour — not selling sexual services but pretending to false affection for money, which may be a subtle distinction but a valid one, I think.

  5. t90bb says

    1 sky….i love ya….but based on the last few show threads it seems your on a political correctness crusade. the first comment in this thread is a combo of this with a dash of monday morning quarterbacking. Have you considered starting your own show?

  6. Porivil Sorrens says

    @3
    You understand what show’s comments you’re on, right? The Atheist Experience crew are very outspoken on not punching down with regards to insults – hence why they have an easily-accessible policy against ableist insults, for example.

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @NelC #2:

    Can you suggest one? I’m struggling to think of one myself that doesn’t denigrate someone.

    I’ve neglected to cultivate an active vocabulary for insults. Alternatively, one might reconsider if an extra jab is even important for the message to be worth it.
     
    A cursory search for politician pejoratives yielded politician (heh), shill, and snollygoster! XD
     

    One could make the case that [word] is generally understood

    Maybe?

  8. gshelley says

    The high school guy (didn’t catch his name) was all over the place, but that is perhaps not surprising. I think he started off suggesting that (not in these words) God has written morality on people’s hearts, so apart from the rare exception (which I don’t think he even tried to explain), we know what is moral and what is not. He managed to defeat that argument himself by saying that God thinks same sex sex is immoral, so it is, but that he doesn’t have any objection personally (ie it isn’t written on his heart)
    He also tried to bring out the “well, we shouldn’t judge”. I wonder what his response would be if he was asked if that applies to other immoral acts, such as murder or rape

  9. t90bb says

    The high school kids were spouting decent level apologetics. I disagree with all they said but it was nice to have them so engaged. No doubt the call gave them food for thought. I give them an A for engaging. They made a better case than some others twice their age….OOPS hope I did not offend someone!

    The last call was just sad….coming to grips with the likelihood that we have to say goodbye for keeps is really, really tough. I wanted to give her a hug..

  10. t90bb says

    4 Porivil……pointed insults directed to intentionally hurt someone would never be condoned. Matt inferred that politicians are “whoring” themselves out on behalf of the NRA. I see absolutely no problem with it. This is political correct pitiness to a fault IMO. If you feel different thats your right.

  11. says

    ableist? Really? We going down that path on here? The politically correct experience?

    As for the whore reference.. FFS. It’s not denigrating sex workers to use that term. It’s in common parlance to use that term for people such as politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder.

    It’s going to get real tedious on here if we have language police now.

  12. Tsukihime says

    That last caller really had me in tears over here. I know my pain isn’t as bad as hers most likely however I’m facing the possibility of losing one of my cats that I have raised from kittenhood when I was still in junior high. She’s almost 17. When I flew to my parent’s house for the holidays that was the last time I saw her. There is a very real chance that is my actual last time meeting my best friend, so while I was there I spent as much time as possible with her and made sure she knew that she’s irreplaceable in my heart. I was raised going to a United church here in Canada and I was always told that we will eventually meet up in Heaven. Yes even cherished pets were allowed in Heaven. So I wasn’t raised with the proper tools for how to deal with loss like this. I think when the time comes and she passes on I will be more devastated than my family, because I am very sure she will never come back just as much as I will never see her again. So I just want to say this in case Mandy is reading these comments, I understand what you are going through. Don’t ever think you are alone, you have a support group whether you know it or not. If I were closer you know I would have given you the big hug you deserve and need. Hopefully my virtual hugs reach to you. It’s never easy, but you’re not alone.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun
    We’ve always been about treating people with respect around here, and especially regarding attacks on people for irrelevant and/or uncontrollable details like race, sex, disability, etc., and especially regarding attacks against marginalized groups which are marginalized for no good reason e.g. bigotry.

    The word “whore” is totally not neutral. The word carries an unavoidable connotation of sex negativity, and especially the double standard where female sexuality is bad, whereas male sexuality is good, e.g. slut-shaming. This is also true for other words like “faggot”, “nigger”, etc. This is especially true when the words are used by anyone other than members of the marginalized class. Yes, sometimes they get to use the word and you don’t.

    http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/43087620460/i-was-reading-a-book-about-interjections-oddly

    I was reading a book (about interjections, oddly enough) yesterday which included the phrase “In these days of political correctness…” talking about no longer making jokes that denigrated people for their culture or for the colour of their skin. And I thought, “That’s not actually anything to do with ‘political correctness’. That’s just treating other people with respect.”

    Which made me oddly happy. I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase “politically correct” wherever we could with “treating other people with respect”, and it made me smile.

    You should try it. It’s peculiarly enlightening.

    I know what you’re thinking now. You’re thinking “Oh my god, that’s treating other people with respect gone mad!”

    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  14. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I am unsurprised that Shaun and t90bb are unaware(hehe) of the blog norm.

    Please read blog rules again(also the rules of the facebook page,) the last thread the troll used it against you both, if being a ball of nonsense didn’t disqualify him from the game, he’d have pinned the tail on you both.

    Language policing is something humanity has been doing since they started forming societies: atheists do it themselves, considering they use it against theists in their quest to brandish them as proponents of undesirable behaviour like homophobia, racism, sexism, misogyny etc due to their use of slurs targeted against each respective group/s.

    It’s a work in progress, don’t get me wrong but it helps mitigate the stringent strain of trash that floats up from time to time.

    Please stop falling for the sensationalized narrative of, “ZOMG, mAi LaNgUaGe!1!1”

    You’ll live. Just like everyone else that made it a practice to not “punch down” as Porivil put it. Yes, it’s a personal decision but when you’re on a platform that has made examples out of those that do, you accept that risk.

    The hosts and the organization have stood in opposition to the dreaded “isms, ias, ny” that we all know.

    Sidenote: this is not to take a dump on either of you, I’ve read your posts, I’ve enjoyed them, so I know you’re not unreasonable and I’ve noticed a penchant for this behaviour. I hope you do continue posting.

    Unrelated to either of you: I’m feeling a chill, a hint of pax in the air, perhaps?

  15. RationalismRules says

    @EL #11
    That is so well expressed that I am going to have to bookmark it for future reference.

    I would add that the notion that combining sex and commerce is somehow the lowest of moral behavior owes much to religion, and I fail to understand why any rational atheist doesn’t recognize the fetid presence of religion in the pejorative use of ‘whore’.

  16. says

    @Chancellor

    – homophobia, racism, sexism, misogyny. –

    Look, I’m as opposed to prejudice based on “isms” as the next guy. I’m also against the restriction on the use of colourful language based on someone’s strict interpretation of language.

    Unlike most people here, I’ve actually had a relationship with a sex worker in the past. I hardly think she would have been offended by the use of the word “whore” to describe a politician. Words have context. To get offended at the use of certain words regardless of context is very 1984 Ingsoc thought control and I won’t ever subscribe to that.

    Similarly being called out for using the word “moron”. Context is all important. When used in common parlance it is not derogatory towards the mentally disabled. It is used to describe people who are willfully ignorant, who suffer from an inability to see their fallacious thinking. It is used in the context of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – “Know your limitations Freddy. You are a moron”.

    And once more, personal disclosure. I have a child with a mental illness.

  17. says

    And on more thing. Words have multiple meanings and uses. from thefreedictionary.com:

    3. A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.

    So in the context Matt used the word, entirely appropriate.

    And Moron:

    1. A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
    2. A person with mild intellectual disability having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

    Note that the second definition is considered no longer to be appropriate, so the use of such a word is in fact correct in the context of robust debate against someone who is exhibiting signs of willful ignorance and in no way implies any insult to any disabled person.

    So when the language/thought police come out, I think it’s wise to perhaps look at both context and all uses of words.

  18. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Shaun #14:

    1984 Ingsoc thought control

    First law of holes…

  19. says

    @Sky Captain

    Come again? Is this to suggest that the free exchange of ideas of people debating is good faith on this blog shall be tramelled by a prevailing orthodoxy?

  20. RationalismRules says

    @Shaun
    Please learn the difference between marginalization and offense. They are very different issues.
     

    the free exchange of ideas of people debating is good faith on this blog

    If you’re genuinely interested in exchanging ideas, get off your defensive high horse and reread EL’s post. When you use terms that have been historically used to denigrate a particular group of people, that association remains attached to those words, regardless of how many alternative dictionary definitions you can cite, or whether or not you intended the association in this particular context. It’s absurdly disingenuous to pretend that ‘moron’ can somehow shake off its association as a derogatory term for intellectual disability.

    Also, what is so terribly important about this war against perceived political correctness? What exactly is the onerous cost to you of changing the words you use? On the other hand, what do you think the emotional / psychological cost might be to someone who is marginalized by society, to constantly hear their ‘label’ used as a term of insult. I would have thought the relative cost / benefit would be fairly obvious to anyone capable of setting aside their own ‘rights’ long enough to actually put themselves into the other’s position.

  21. says

    It’s absurdly disingenuous to pretend that ‘moron’ can somehow shake off its association as a derogatory term for intellectual disability.

    I try to avoid being disingenuous in debate at all time, and nor am I attempting now to be disingenuous now. In fact I do believe when it comes to the term “moron”, you are in fact out of step with current usage. I have never in my life heard the term used to refer to an intellectually disabled person. However I have heard it used plenty of times to describe people who are being willfully ignorant.

    Nor do I feel I am being overly defensive on the matter. Context and multiple meaning are a part of the understanding any language. This thread of discussion began due to Matt’s use of the word “whore”. I was just pointing out that to imply bigotry against a marginalised group for the use of this word was in my view being overly sensitive.

    I have said before and will say it again. Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods. I don’t believe it should be attached in any way to an orthodoxy. I feel that to tie to a certain set of other beliefs is a retrograde step and I believe that overly sensitive policing of language is a step in that direction.

  22. Nathan says

    We will get to a point were every single word that describes any group used in any context will be considered offensive to someone.

  23. RationalismRules says

    @Shaun

    I was just pointing out that to imply bigotry against a marginalised group for the use of this word was in my view being overly sensitive.

    This is the crux of the entire argument. Nobody is claiming that Matt’s use of the word implies bigotry on his part. The point is that the word itself carries unavoidable associations with bigotry, because that is the history of the word. I do not believe that you are bigoted against people with intellectual disabilities because you continue to use ‘moron’ as a slur. I just think you’re so focused on the need to oppose the ‘language police’ that you can’t see that, to a person with a disability, arguments about the context or the dictionary definition or the ‘current usage’ doesn’t alter the fact that these words that you are currently using to tell someone they are ‘lesser’ than you, have been used throughout history to brand them as ‘lesser’ than everyone else.
     

    Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods. I don’t believe it should be attached in any way to an orthodoxy. I feel that to tie to a certain set of other beliefs is a retrograde step and I believe that overly sensitive policing of language is a step in that direction.

    Nobody is “attaching atheism to another orthodoxy”. All that is happening is that we are having a discussion about why it might not be a good thing to use marginalizing terms as your insults of choice. Nobody is suggesting that this is somehow a requirement of atheism.

    Certainly, the conditions of participating in this blog specify that you do not use certain derogatory language, but that is not ‘tying atheism to that orthodoxy’, any more than saying I don’t want guests praying in my house is ‘tying my neighborhood to atheism’. We get to set our own rules in our own spaces, and if the blog-owners believe that derogatory language reinforces marginalization in society and that they want no part of that, they have every right to eschew it from their space. Do you also object to them barring racial slurs?

    (There was an attempt some years back by some overzealous persons to tie atheism to some other philosophical positions that they themselves held. It was called Atheism+. It died very quickly, because people simply pointed out “this has nothing to do with atheism”. So you can stop worrying about needing to defend atheism against that particular threat – the battle has already been fought and won.)

    Nor is anybody attempting to force an orthodoxy on you. We are attempting to change your mind with argument and persuasion. This is not about ‘orthodoxy’, it’s about making informed humanistic choices. If you simply don’t care whether your words harm others you can just say so and I’ll stop attempting to convince you.

    I’m going to repeat some of the final paragraph of my previous post, because for me it’s the key point, and you effectively ignored it:
    What exactly is the onerous cost to you of changing the words you use? On the other hand, what do you think the emotional / psychological cost might be to someone who is marginalized by society, to constantly hear their ‘label’ used as a term of insult?
    If changing your words costs you effectively nothing, and could save even a small amount of additional emotional / psychological load to someone with a disability, why would you not do it, simply as a decent social being with concern for the welfare of others?

  24. RationalismRules says

    @Nathan
    Please learn the difference between marginalization and offense. They are very different issues.

  25. indianajones says

    @Shaun and t900b: If there is a non punching down way to describe what you want, in a case you cited ‘wilfully ignorant’ for ‘moron’ then why not use it? Echoing RR as he echoes EL, what is the onerous cost? And as for the defense of ‘whore’ because you were in a relationship once with a sex worker? I knew a muzzy once and they didn’t mind being called a nigger in the slightest, which was pretty amazing coming from a pooh jabber, AMIRITE??

    Secondly, as a male, middle aged Australian who is about as WASP as it gets, I don’t get to decide how to describe minorities. They do. If the Godless Bitches wanna reclaim ‘bitch’, they can, and I welcome them doing it if they wish. But I shall avoid the term. I do not call my homosexual friends ‘faggots’, even if they use the term themselves. And so on. Because if I do, I am denigrating (potentially) others who do not deserve it and I make myself look (again potentially) like an arsehole. I don’t wanna do that and also I do wanna be explicitly aware of my privilege. That privilege I have simply by luck of birth that I was not born into either of those, or other, historically marginalized groups. I was lucky.

    Thirdly I have never found, on either side of any debate including in any post thus far in this very thread, that ‘politically correct’ was not a perfect synonym for ‘not being an arsehole’.

  26. says

    @RR

    This is the crux of the entire argument. Nobody is claiming that Matt’s use of the word implies bigotry on his part. The point is that the word itself carries unavoidable associations with bigotry, because that is the history of the word. I do not believe that you are bigoted against people with intellectual disabilities because you continue to use ‘moron’ as a slur. I just think you’re so focused on the need to oppose the ‘language police’ that you can’t see that, to a person with a disability, arguments about the context or the dictionary definition or the ‘current usage’ doesn’t alter the fact that these words that you are currently using to tell someone they are ‘lesser’ than you, have been used throughout history to brand them as ‘lesser’ than everyone else.

    Your point is well made and I respect your view. However I still think that we do need to be very careful about the language police.

    It is very easy for some people to see slights and offence everywhere, even when none is intended. Case in point, there is a clip in the internet where a bunch of social justice warriors go mental over the statement made that on average(and statistically demonstrable too), men are larger and stronger than women. This flies in the face of their (fallacious) world view that men and women are entirely equal in every way. It is taboo to them to make any statement that suggests anything other than this belief and so they are offended.

    I would not for one minute slur the intellectually disabled, and as I have pointed out the usage of the term “moron” to refer to intellectually disabled people is an archaic use of the term. To suggest that I would use that term if it still had that use is as ridiculous as suggesting I would call someone with down syndrome a mongoloid.

  27. says

    @Indianajones

    And as for the defense of ‘whore’ because you were in a relationship once with a sex worker?

    That was tangential to my point. My main point being that I didn’t consider what Matt said to be a slur against sex workers and pointed out that he was entirely correct in its usage.

    I am opposed to anything that attempts to belittle sexual women. I find it very strange that society does this and I have never understood it. So if I felt this comment did that I would say so. But I don’t think it does at all.

    As for not being an arsehole as a synonym for political correctness, yeah I like the concept of not being an arsehole.

    But it’s not a synonym. Political correctness has baggage. A baggage associated with any orthodoxy where dissent is stifled. I don’t subscribe to any dogma.

  28. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Shaun #24:

    Case in point, there is a clip in the internet where a bunch of social justice warriors go mental over the statement made that on average (and statistically demonstrable too), men are larger and stronger than women. This flies in the face of their (fallacious) world view that men and women are entirely equal in every way.

    Video: Freethinkers of PSU – James “Google memo guy” Damore Panel (1:42:51)
     
    The pre-planned walkout occurs at 20 minutes.

  29. Muz says

    As an aside, I think Jordan Peterson is vague about his religiosity at least partly because his audience is now all the nominally atheist, angry anti-feminist gamer/chan-er types. He knows perfectly well he’d lose all these ‘lost men’ immediately if he led with the god stuff. Better to stick with the commonalities in despising the poisonous, destructive leftists/feminists/trans movements and then circuitously argue for grand structures and inherited traditions and morals and essential higher authorities of that sort. Then if some jesus just happens to get in there, well whadayaknow!

    It could be a fun chat. You have to infer a bit but my impression is that Peterson’s stealth apologism comes from a very similar place to people Matt has debated before. Father Frank Jacobse was the guy I think (who pulled the nazi card at the last minute and Matt refused to debate again. Was that the guy?) Whoever it was Matt has met one or two people who assert the necessity of transcendent authority for there to be any sort of morality, who are very taken with what I call the lost Russian christian tradition; love their Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and consider them very instructive, are very fearful of the “worship of reason” leading to chaos and destruction and so forth.
    Peterson seems to be very much of that mold even if he likes to keep it under wraps in his polite Canadian way.

  30. indianajones says

    ‘My main point being that I didn’t consider .. to be a slur against sex workers’. You don’t consider. You are not and never were one (I assume), you don’t have the lived experience of being one, or of being called a whore. You can’t know what harm is being done by the use of ‘whore’. You can’t know what splash damage is done to other sex workers by continuing to use this term, even if your friend doesn’t mind it. Me neither. That is why I try to be careful of my terminology. You’ll note that I do not defend my caution in terms of trying to be ‘PC’. I love the quote put above by EL too, by the way. In fact I shall now use ‘Treating other people with respect’ as opposed to ‘not being an arsehole’ and wish I could modify my above post. On that note….

    ‘Political correctness’ is indeed a perfect synonym for ‘Treating Other People With Respect’ because it is only ever invoked by people decrying something as, and only as, PC and only as a pejorative. See above where it is used first to decry several of the perfectly reasonable position’s of Sky Captains’ as a ‘crusade’ without further context. Then again to describe the outcry against the word ‘whore’ as petty by dismissing it as PC without addressing the actual concerns as raised against the term ‘whore’ And then yet again to say ableism is ok because PC is not. And you and t90bb are the only ones invoking it as a pejorative. No one is defending anti-ableism, for instance, on the grounds that it is the ‘PC’ position. Ableism is being attacked on the grounds ableism is bad.

    Any negative baggage associated with PC is put there by the people who think that labelling something as PC is a good catch all. It is not. Usually it is applied so broadly as to be meaningless. Just why is it ok to say ‘whore’, noting the wide spread splash damage the term still causes, aside from an anti PC stance? In what context would ‘PC’ not be a synonym for ‘Treating Other People With Respect’? AFAICT it is in fact pefectly synonymous.

    Not only that, but considering the type of people who often use it (And I want to be VERY clear here, I going to use examples of horrid people because they illustrate my point, NOT because I am accusing anyone here of being one), I am pretty sure that most people who endorse ‘treating other peolple with respect as an ‘orthodoxy’ are ok with whatever ‘baggage’ is implied. I do not reject it as an orthodoxy, hell I wouldn’t even label it as such in the first place come to that, simply because it is an orthodoxy. As you seem to. I am talking about MRA’s who decry any attempt to address gender pay gap for instance as PC. With racists wanting to say ‘nigger’ with any dissent being labelled as ‘PC’. Homophobes defending bigotry and voting against Marriage Equality to stick it to those of us they label as ‘PC’. I don’t know what ‘baggage’ is implied to you by ‘PC’ that is not, to use my examples amongst the many possible, anti-racist/misogynist/homophobe/bigot.

    I think this bears repetition: I still see no example, anywhere, where ‘PC’ is not a perfect synonym for ‘treating others with respect’. Feel free to provide me an example.

  31. says

    Yeah I’ve seen plenty of examples of political correctness gone mad. From feminists who claim that they cannot possibly be racist or sexist because only white males can be that to transgender activists who claim that all heterosexual white men are by definition racist, sexist and homophobic.

    The orthodoxy I speak of is where it’s taboo for a professed atheist to hold anything other than a specific set of views in certain circles. To the point where in America for example (and this has been raised on the show before) atheists who are republican are ostracised as being not “true” atheists. And that right there is utter bullshit. There is no such thing as a “true” atheist and nor should there ever be.

    And frankly I don’t give a flying fuck about the use of the word “whore” because I actually never use it myself. I raised a point about context, and if you don’t accept my view, that doesn’t make my view any less valid.

    And herein lies the point that I am getting at. Otherwise intelligent people are now stepping in and saying “You’re out of line with your view” No I’m not. I have an opinion. I have a right to an opinion that diverges from anybody’s on this blog.

    I’ve expressed no racist, sexist or homophobic sentiment, and yet just because I have pointed out I have an opinion on the use of language, I am getting piled on here. And that is where orthodoxy begins. When someone isn’t allowed to have a dissenting view against the overall consensus.

  32. Muz says

    This’ll probably make things worse but…

    “Yeah I’ve seen plenty of examples of political correctness gone mad. From feminists who claim that they cannot possibly be racist or sexist because only white males can be that to transgender activists who claim that all heterosexual white men are by definition racist, sexist and homophobic.”

    Firstly, I’d be fascinated to see these examples in context. And secondly, I wouldn’t call that Political Correctness Gone Mad. I wouldn’t even call it Political Correctness, unless we’re using the nominally conservative talk back radio sort of definition which seems to run “Everything faintly left wing or progressive is Political Correctness”.

    You would need to show that these views form a doctrinal viewpoint in any significant number of people and these views are at all likely to be imposed on wider society. They are not even widely held views among “fellow travelers” I’d say.

  33. t90bb says

    wow…..this really blew up.

    My point was Matts use of the term whore is absolutely fine by me. If you have a different opinion, thats great. If you feel the need to chastise Matt publicly here for it…..well……

    The experience and exchange here is interesting. I know I am a decent sort who would never go out of my way to insult or marginalize any innocent group. I am an atheist…and a homosexual….so I know a bit about bigotry and hatred. I really am willing to listen to others point of view on all issues. But I have no intention of a being lectured on an ongoing basis about word usage. If I cross a line going forward ban me….I am ok with that.

    Life is tough enough without editing even tepid remarks. By trying to impose your level of importance on word usage on the rest of us…you are doing the same as the right does with their dogma.

    Surely people will cross a line…and when they do so I would expect others to point that out and take action when needed……BUT when we get to the point where we are publicly critical of the way Matt used the word “whore”….we are approaching a debate I have no real interest in. I consider it HYPER sensitivity. And thats my right to hold that view. If you are going to correct that type of “infraction” on this board and in life in general, you are going to a very very busy individual. Hey if you up for that, great!

    This is my final remark on this issue. Like I said, I heard you and I have considered your thoughts. If using the word “whoring” as Matt used is going to trouble you, I suggest you simply skip over my posts in the future because I am sure to offend you. That said, I didn’t use good judgement in my exchange with Victor and I plan to clean that up in the future. I apologize to Victor and anyone else that found my language offensive. I really do love you all.

    I guess I stand with a similar position as Shaun. So do not expect me to engage on it further unless I am tickled to do so.

  34. says

    I was very uncomfortable in that last call. It seemed Matt was talking AT the woman rather than TO her. The fact that she was seemingly emotionally fragile and upset did not seem to occur to him, or was not important to him. I love Matt as a host and as a speaker, and I understand he may be a bit burned-out from his years as host, but he is starting to veer into pomposity, and neglecting basic humanity.

  35. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #32:

    I know I am a decent sort […] But

    Decency is something to aspire to and requires ongoing feedback from others to maintain/improve.
     

    I heard you and I have considered your thoughts. […] I didn’t use good judgement in my exchange with Victor and I plan to clean that up in the future. I apologize to Victor

    Like that.
     
    Conscientious != offended, and not everyone agrees on specifics or degree. Some folks only see fit to adjust their own behavior at the ban/illegal line – which is to say not at all, they just exit – and ironically get loudly offended at the mere suggestion of a gradient.

  36. VTPete says

    I quite enjoyed this episode of the show and hope that Jamie can host or co-host more often. He brought a kindness to the show that I feel is often missing with other hosts.

    I personally have made more progress moving people forward in their thinking by asking questions about their feelings as I engage them on these topics. Asking someone, “How would you feel if you found out you were wrong?” opens the door to getting them to face their emotional baggage *before* they have a tough conversation about their beliefs. Every journey is made easier if you leave most of your baggage behind.

    Said another way, most theists have an emotional commitment to their beliefs. A lot of cognitive dissonance can be avoided by getting them to admit that the conversation they’re about to have will be scary.

  37. adi98 says

    Ethan from Ohio.. He does not completely understand what atheism really is. He needs to think more about it and must stop being so offensive.

  38. Ethan Myerson says

    Jamie was a superb second chair in this episode. I’m definitely gonna start checking out Talk Heathen.
    .
    The call with the two apologist students was a great one. I sincerely hope that they left with some degree of doubt about why they hold to the beliefs they do. Maybe they start interrogating their own thoughts in ways that they haven’t before.
    .
    (Ethan isn’t a super common name, so I’ll point out I’m not the Ethan who called this show.)

  39. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Shaun wrote:

    I have said before and will say it again. Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods.

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    t90bb wrote:

    wow…..this really blew up.

    My point was Matts use of the term whore is absolutely fine by me. If you have a different opinion, thats great. If you feel the need to chastise Matt publicly here for it…..well……

    It did not blew up because of Matt’s use of the word, nor because of what you said. Those are trifling offenses. It blew up because someone says that they don’t care about their part in continuing negative stereotypes against undeserving minorities. It blew up because someone went full asshole-apologist.

    In other news:

    Jordan Peterson

    Oh goody. That particular infection has reached here too.

  40. Porivil Sorrens says

    I’ll never understand the smug “NOT PC AND PROUD” sort.

    If one is incapable of speaking in a way that doesn’t punch down at marginalized groups and make present company uncomfortable, it speaks rather poorly for your vocabulary and creativity, I’d think. Buy a thesaurus – it’ll make your insults significantly less boring and rude to unintended targets.

    If one is capable but unwilling to do such, they’re just proud of being a jerk. Wow, big achievement. Bet that got you major points with the other schoolyard bullies, eh?

  41. RationalismRules says

    @Shaun @t90bb
    Guys, please, get it into your heads that people arguing against your position is not an infringement of your rights!

    Every post to you has contained considered argument. No-one has abused you, belittled you, attempted to silence you, or dismissed your right to hold your own views. Being argued against is not victimization. We DISAGREE with you, and we are making the argument.

    I’m done. I was already, but the whole “arguing against me is oppression” argument – sheesh!

  42. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To RationalismRules
    Well, I kind-of silence Shaun by strongly suggesting that he leave and join other asshats. (I have no problem with t90bb.)

  43. RationalismRules says

    Urk. I wrote my previous post before EL’s and Porivil’s latest came through.

    Dammit EL, you just validated Shaun’s orthodoxy argument.
     

    the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    NO, NO, NO. Fuck! Now I’m on Shaun’s side.

  44. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    My my, for kinda a dull episode it certainly has sparked a heated comment thread.

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon.

    So long as we’re being careful with language, Sargon’s not a nazi (neo or otherwise). He’s a horse’s ass granted and believes alot of dumb shit, but let’s not be overly hyperbolic here.

  45. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Evil God of the Fiery Cloud
    No, Sargon is a neo-Nazi. He is quoted as saying that he wants to address “The Jewish Question”.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/comments/792560/sargon_is_planning_on_doing_a_video_on_the_jewish/
    https://mobile.twitter.com/thejd800/status/923717552043208704
    If you were like me, you might be wondering “what is the Jewish question?”. Here’s a hint: The final solution is an answer to the Jewish question.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution
    The Jewish question is: How should we treat Jewish people in our society. The answer is both obvious and simple: as human human beings, and just like anyone else. Posing “the Jewish question” as a legitimate question deserving of serious inquiry and commentary means that the person is a neo-Nazi.

  46. Monocle Smile says

    @Several
    For the record, I’m in agreement with RationalismRules. I understand EL’s viewpoint, and I completely agree that there are a number of atheists with whom I will not associate (and with whom I am extremely glad that AXP does not associate), but that’s different from EL’s line in the sand.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t have a big issue with “whore” as it was used, largely because it was super clear that it wasn’t meant to be a slight against sex workers. Neither do I have an issue with “moron,” as it’s rather anachronistic to think that colloquial modern usage actually alludes to the mentally disabled.

  47. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    I’m afraid I’ll have to plead ignorance as to who Mouthy Buddha is or what he said to give that bit context. I thought I was pretty up on who the various Youtube streamers and personalities were, but here we are I guess. I’ve no idea what kind of videos he plans to make, but he’s been on my radar for a long time. I’ve watched alot of his videos over the years and I’d be surprised if what he makes boils down to “so yeah, Jews are awful and we need to kill them all.”
    As I’ve said, Sargon’s an ass. He’s nowhere near as smart as he seems to think he is, and has become increasingly and needlessly provocative and thoughtlessly incendiary as his fame has grown. However, I’ve never heard him go on about making Britain into a white ethnostate or calling for the murder of minorities as inferior. I want to give the folks on this blog more credit than to fall down the “anyone who disagrees with me is a nazi” hole.

  48. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I want to give the folks on this blog more credit than to fall down the “anyone who disagrees with me is a nazi” hole.

    Agreed, but as I said, because he takes “The Jewish Question” as a serious question that deserves a series of videos to address, he’s either a neo-Nazi, or pretending to be a neo-Nazi, and I don’t much care about the distinction.

  49. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    That’s fair. I wouldn’t put it past him to be entertaining the question solely to gain notoriety. There was a hot minute when the guy first came on my radar that I took him seriously, but that quickly faded. We’re talking about a guy who wouldn’t commit to a position about climate change “because he didn’t know much about it” on the Drunken Peasants a way’s back, FFS.

    Back to the “main” point though. Oh wait, amusingly MS actually said pretty much what I intended to on that matter in the second paragraph there… Thank the gods for that Preview button, hahaha.

  50. says

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    I beg your pardon? Says who? Says you? And your standing here is?

    Who the hell do you think you are defining the parameters of this blog and for that matter the atheist movement? Talk about orthodoxy right there! The atheism movement MUST be a secular humanist movement? MUST?

    Here’s a plan. You have a secular humanist movement and be part of that. Meanwhile I’ll continue to not believe in the god of the bible and comment where I think appropriate. And if I offend you with views that don’t align with your view of how a “true atheist” should act you can tell me, but in the end you’ll just have to live with it, because different people have different points of view and different ways of expressing themselves.

    And if you think I’m being an arsehole and tell me so, I can live with that because I’m thick skinned. But just as you take offence at the wrong word in the wrong place, I take offence at pomposity.

    And never, never, never tell me that because I find science denial, young earth creationism and a belief in Jehovah absurd, that I must subscribe to you doctrine.

    Atheism+ failed as a movement. And it failed because people don’t want to replace one set of dogma with another.

  51. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And never, never, never tell me that because I find science denial, young earth creationism and a belief in Jehovah absurd, that I must subscribe to you doctrine.

    I don’t make any such ridiculous argument. I say that you must subscribe to my doctrine of being a nice person and treating other people with respect, not because you’re an atheist, but because you’re a goddamned human being.

  52. says

    @RR

    My problem with the responses that came back at me was that they were in opposition to my right to have a dissenting opinion.

    Opinions – you know – a point of view? Monocle Smile essentially just said the same thing. That has been my point all along.

    I get the counter argument, that injudicious use of language has the power to hurt. But I think language police are toxic.

    I’ve seen them at work on steroids, where a social media co-ordinator friend basically couldn’t do her job because every single post had the potential to hurt someone. Couldn’t even say happy Christmas “because for some people it’s not a happy time of year”.

    You can tell someone they are wrong when they get a fact wrong. You can’t tell someone they are wrong simply because their opinion differs from yours.

    And frankly ELs post stepped way over the line, essentially saying because my view of atheism was different from theirs, I was wrong and was therefore (by inference) a nazi. Now that IS offensive. Really fucking offensive in fact.

  53. says

    I don’t make any such ridiculous argument. I say that you must subscribe to my doctrine of being a nice person and treating other people with respect, not because you’re an atheist, but because you’re a goddamned human being.

    What the fuck? Yes you did. You said this was a secular humanist blog and as such I must express myself in ways you deem appropriate to the tome of this blog.

    And there’s the word must.. right there. I don’t have to subscribe to any doctrine of yours or any body else’s.

  54. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And there’s the word must.. right there. I don’t have to subscribe to any doctrine of yours or any body else’s.

    It’s called “being a decent human being”. It’s called “morality”. Are you rejecting all moral obligations whatsoever!? Again, this just sounds like asshole-apologetics 101, e.g. “I don’t have to be a decent human being if I don’t want to”.

  55. StonedRanger says

    @Shaun “I don’t have to subscribe to any doctrine of yours or any body else’s.” Nope, you sure don’t. If you want to be a dick to other people and ignore other peoples feelings that is your right. You sure take offense at the word ‘must’, but no one else is to take any offense at what you say? Really? That’s fine too. I know lots of people who are assholes that don’t care who they hurt or how they hurt them, as long as they get to behave and act ‘the way they want’. That is their right too. It still makes them giant assholes. So don’t be so surprised when people call you out for it.

  56. says

    “I don’t have to be a decent human being if I don’t want to”.

    You may have said that to make some kind of point, but too bloody right I don’t. I don’t have to subscribe to any code of behaviour that you insist upon. And if you don’t like that, tough.

    Saying if you are an atheist you MUST be a secular humanist is to me entirely equivalent to someone else saying you can’t be a good person if you’re not Christian.

  57. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Saying if you are an atheist you MUST be a secular humanist is to me entirely equivalent to someone else saying you can’t be a good person if you’re not Christian.

    Stop strawmanning.

  58. says

    You sure take offense at the word ‘must’, but no one else is to take any offense at what you say? Really?

    Now Stonedranger, I’m not averse to people pointing out where I am being offensive, and have in fact retracted and apologised for comments in the past.

    But I would like you to point out exactly what I have said in this thread that is in fact offensive. The whole tread of this discussion came about because I defended Matt’s use of the word whore and said words have both more than one meaning and have context too.

    Now not one person in response has said, I see your point (except for MS). And everbody who has chimed in has basically told me I’m wrong. Factually I’m not wrong. Words do have more than one meaning. And the meaning of words do change over time.

    And also I’m correct when I say I don’t have to subscribe to any other person’s dogma.

    So please point out exactly where I’ve been arsehole (by the way it’s arsehole not asshole) and I’l retract.

  59. RationalismRules says

    @Shaun

    My problem with the responses that came back at me was that they were in opposition to my right to have a dissenting opinion.

    Prior to EL going rogue in #37, I don’t see a single instance where someone argued against your right to express your dissenting opinion, and I certainly have not done so. Arguments against your position are not oppression, they are debate.

    (I agree that EL’s posts have now moved to suppression, and I entirely disagree with him, as I disagree about Atheism+. As far as I can see, he’s the only one who has taken this path, so it can hardly be considered ‘orthodoxy’.)

    On the other hand, you just expressly told me that I do not have the right to express myself how I choose:

    You can tell someone they are wrong when they get a fact wrong. You can’t tell someone they are wrong simply because their opinion differs from yours.

    Shaun, just to be clear, I’ve enjoyed many of your posts, and I hope I will continue to in future. However on this thread you are pulling up some really shit arguments, especially the whole “I’m being victimized” stance, particularly when you consider how you treated Victor in the previous thread. Maybe take a moment to think how you would respond to a theist who made the sort of arguments you are making here.
    Or don’t. It’s a suggestion, not an imperative.

    I want out of this debate, because I’ve made all my points, but I struggle to let bad arguments pass without response. I shall now exercise almost superhuman self-control and shut my laptop for the rest of the day. Au revoir, mes amis!

  60. says

    Actually how can that even be a strawman? A strawman is a misprepresentation of someone else’s argument.

    Am I misrepresenting your view when I characterise it as you expect that atheists who comment on this blog to also be secular humanists?

    What this blog is is a blog for people to comment on the content of the Atheist Experience show. That’s all.

    Fucking hell, no sooner had I said about PC baggage than the gates of hell opened.

  61. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And never, never, never tell me that because I find science denial, young earth creationism and a belief in Jehovah absurd, that I must subscribe to you doctrine.

    I don’t make any such ridiculous argument. I say that you must subscribe to my doctrine of being a nice person and treating other people with respect, not because you’re an atheist, but because you’re a goddamned human being.

    Saying if you are an atheist you MUST be a secular humanist is to me entirely equivalent to someone else saying you can’t be a good person if you’re not Christian.

    This is twice now that you’ve failed basic reading comprehension. Going for a triple?

  62. says

    Shaun, just to be clear, I’ve enjoyed many of your posts, and I hope I will continue to in future. However on this thread you are pulling up some really shit arguments, especially the whole “I’m being victimized”

    RR, allow me to clarify. I haven’t felt too victimised to be honest.

    I also understand people’s counter points about not punching down. I never intentionally set out to denigrate people in less fortunate positions that mine. I get that.

    OK, I’ll grant you. Picking on someone like Victor could be construed as attacking someone who’s not playing with a full deck. But he seems relatively coherent even if he falls victim to to fallacious thinking.

    This may be a hobby horse of mine and why I am at it like a dog with a bone, but the groupthink idea expressed by EL saying I had to subscribe to a doctrine or get off the blog is a toxic idea and must be pointed out and argued against.

  63. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    This may be a hobby horse of mine and why I am at it like a dog with a bone, but the groupthink idea expressed by EL saying I had to subscribe to a doctrine or get off the blog is a toxic idea and must be pointed out and argued against.

    I would react similarly to a neo-Nazi, a homophobe, racist, sexist, etc.

    Also, I’m decently sure that my position here happens to align with the owners of this blog, the AXP cast and crew; they will eventually kick someone if they continue to behave in an “un-PC” manner on the blog.

    This is not a public forum. If you don’t like the rules that the owners of the space place on you, go complain somewhere else that you’ve been de-platformed. No one here cares.

  64. says

    This is twice now that you’ve failed basic reading comprehension. Going for a triple?

    Selective quoting much?

    How about the original?

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    Allow that to sink in – the atheist movement SHOULD and MUST be a secular humanist movement.

    Now those are YOUR words. explain to me how I am in anyway strawmanning or misrepresenting what you have said. Or is that fake news?

  65. says

    I would react similarly to a neo-Nazi, a homophobe, racist, sexist, etc.

    So you’re pretty much saying agree with what I say or else. How intolerant of you. Because all I have said is I don’t have to subscribe to your view of atheism as having to be aligned with secular humanism. It’s a fair point. And for making this point you are implying that I am as bad as a sexist racist homophobe neo Nazi.

    I’m glad I spoke up about dogma, because this has highlighted exactly the point I was trying to make.

  66. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Allow that to sink in – the atheist movement SHOULD and MUST be a secular humanist movement.

    Saying if you are an atheist you MUST be a secular humanist is to me entirely equivalent to someone else saying you can’t be a good person if you’re not Christian.

    Those are two very different things.

    There is little to no value in promoting atheism. This is abundantly clear, and your behavior in this thread is but one example. Increasing atheism in society won’t improve society. However, increasing critical thinking and spreading the values of secular humanism will improve society. I thoroughly endorse and promote the tactics of ridding the atheist movement of mere dictionary atheists and focusing on what I want the core mission to be. The core mission should be primarily to combat the evils of religion and promote critical thinking and the values of secular humanism, in order to make the world into a better place. At one point, this sort of strategy and movement was known loosely as atheism+.

    At no point in that story did I assert “someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist”. Rather, I simply stated that everyone should be a secular humanist, and that includes atheists. I also stated that we should exclude the shitty atheists from the atheism and skeptic movement, so that we can accomplish something of value, and make the world into a better place for everyone.

  67. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    How intolerant of you.

    Thank you.

    The part that contrarian assholes like you don’t get is that the only way that social progress is ever made is to be exclusionary, divisive, and in-your-face. This is the lesson that Martin Luther King Jr taught us. Your understanding of him is almost certainly a white-wash of history. If you haven’t already, you need to read his Letter From A Birmingham Jail.
    https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

    And for making this point you are implying that I am as bad as a sexist racist homophobe neo Nazi.

    You’re the one who is refusing your moral duty to not be an asshole, and to not use marginalizing words, and thereby not suppress innocent minorities. You’re the one who is complaining about political correctness treating people with respect. The implied comparison is not too far off the mark.

  68. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    I may come to regret sticking my toe in these waters, but still:

    You’re the one who is refusing your moral duty to not be an asshole, and to not use marginalizing words, and thereby not suppress innocent minorities. You’re the one who is complaining about political correctness treating people with respect. The implied comparison is not too far off the mark.

    Is that what he’s doing? Because it looked to me like what he was mostly trying to do was (in so many words) express concern that tone policing can be taken to ridiculous extremes and that just because one doesn’t take it maximally serious doesn’t make them a bad person. He might not have chosen the words I would to do so, but I don’t see anything in what Shaun’s been trying to say that should lead ye to boxing him in with the worst elements.

  69. Nathan says

    @68
    Can we get a complete list of these marginalizing words? As a gay man in a very conservative area I’m less insulted by someone off handedly saying the word fag than I am listening to someone like Bryan Fischer use the word homosexual. It has a bit to do with how much he actually hates gays versus someone who off handedly says fag. So can we ban the word homosexual now? Could it be that words should be taken into context?

  70. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Evil God of the Fiery Cloud
    Yes, I think that’s what he’s doing.

    To Nathan
    Context is important.

    However, I’m struggling to imagine a situation that I would not condemn that involves a white person using the n word in any way other than to suggest to other people that they not use the word.

    I’m not going to give you a banned words list. I’m not presumptuous enough to believe that I even know half of the words that carry this negative baggage whose mere use, and especially use as a pejorative, does damage to undeserving minorities.

    This is important: I’m not going to disown anyone who uses the words. Most of the time, it’s a relatively trifling affair. Look at the previous thread, and how long it took me to even bother posting anything at all, and when I posted something, it was something like “you should probably knock off using that word”. However, if someone says that they will willfully continue to use the worst words without regard to the harm that they are causing, then it’s time to take drastic action.

  71. t90bb says

    well well well…….I thought we would have moved past this by now.

    RR?? really??? I said I was being oppressed?? Oh come now! Lets not get delusional. I think you might want to walk that one back.

    By and large I stand with Shaun.

    In summary of my participation on this blog…

    – I challenged what I thought was over sensitivity in the opening post
    – some decided to lecture me and I listened (sky telling me how “decency” is too be measured, lol)
    – their case was considered regarding the “whoring” comment and I rejected it
    – I stated my concerns about overly “policing” language on this blog and was told i was claiming I was being “oppressed” lol

    Like it or lump it I think some who have self appointed themselves as language police here are on the verge of getting out of hand. But I will always listen, I am sorry if it disturbs you that we do not see eye to eye on this. I will proudly stand with any of you in the face of bigotry and hate. The word policing…..such as what was done here with the word “whoring” ….well, .thats your battle entirely.

    After reading the thread again I sort of chuckled to myself. I have run into many theists who claim that atheists “just like to argue.” And I note that I found the last AXP episode enjoyable as usual…..but a bit bland. Seems like we like to stir up something to get our intellectual teeth into. And here we are.

    And out of caution let me say this. I am not against trying to clean up our language. Not at all. I openly made a commitment to myself and the board (above) to do just that. But even a good thing can be taken too far. When we start publicly critiquing each other over the use of “whoring” as Matt used it……..well. its been taken too far for my taste. That was my original and only real point here! Some obviously feel different…and that’s fine.. At least it seems we are all moving towards the same direction.

    I have enjoyed chewing on this with you all. I think I learned something from each of you. Thanks!

  72. t90bb says

    EnlightenmentLiberal….

    I see you have been at it again while I was writing. I am not a fan of your pompous lecture style. You do not make the rules here, You were not elected to guide us. It is time you cut your losses, I think. You made your case. Some agree, but it seems more do not. You are being way to hard on Shaun. And, I must say…you seem a bit angry. You might want to look into that.

  73. says

    Rather, I simply stated that everyone should be a secular humanist, and that includes atheists.

    This always gets really weird when someone basically says I didn’t say what I said, when it’s in print.

    the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    Must! Right there. Must. Not should – must.

    I’m not part of a “movement” by the way. I am an individual.

    The part that contrarian assholes like you don’t get is that the only way that social progress is ever made is to be exclusionary, divisive, and in-your-face.

    And the part that pompous pontificators don’t get is that I have a right to an opinion just the same as you do.

  74. says

    I am simply repeating the rules, as to the best of my understanding.

    Or alternatively, I am interpreting the rules according to my biases.

  75. t90bb says

    76…and you were doing much more than repeating the rules so stop that. Now lets play nice.

  76. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And the part that pompous pontificators don’t get is that I have a right to an opinion just the same as you do.

    No.

    Yes, you have the legal right to believe whatever you want, and say whatever you want (subject to the first amendment’s very limited exceptions, assuming you’re in America).

    However, what you clearly meant is that everyone is entitled, ethically / morally, to their opinions, and when people say that, they really mean that everyone has the right to say foolish and hurtful things without social repercussions. Someone is not entitled to be free from verbal attack and social consequences for saying that the Earth is flat, or that all Jewish people should be killed. They have the legal right to believe and say these things, but they don’t have the moral right to hold such odious and evil and harmful beliefs, and I am definitely under no moral obligation to respect these people, and say “my opinion is just as good as your opinion about The Jewish Question”.

    And spare me your childish complaints – I did not call you a Nazi, or evil, nor did I imply it. I’m simply using counter-examples to disprove your very broad claim that everyone is entitled to their opinions.

  77. says

    And spare me your childish complaints – I did not call you a Nazi, or evil, nor did I imply it. I’m simply using counter-examples to disprove your very broad claim that everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    Once again, denying what you have previously written. You didn’t directly call me a nazi, no. You told me to get off this blog and go to a neo nazi blog. The implication is there –

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon.

    And like it or not, everybody does have a right to an opinion. Even those who have opinions you find morally repugnant.

    How far do you want to take this? You’re an atheist; you find religion offensive. So therefore no one should have a right to be religious. That is the end point of your totalitarian thinking. As to the exclusionary, divisive and in in your face, how many people have committed atrocities with the justification that, “It’s in a good cause”.

  78. t90bb says

    81…EL…..YOU HAVE LOOKED REALLY BAD HERE. You have more than made your point. Go have some ice cream or something!!!

  79. Thas says

    I was going to wade into this but I just saw breaking news that Stephen Hawking has died. He lived an extraordinary life and had a huge impact on mine as I’m sure he did for others here, as well. Among the greatest minds of this age.

    “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark” – Stephen Hawking

  80. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun
    You seem to be doing fallacious equivocation arguments. Saying “I have the right to an opinion” can have multiple meanings. I addressed the separate meanings in my earlier post. You’re ignoring those distinctions, and seemingly you’re conflating the different meanings together, in order to draw conclusions that I did not make.

    Free speech is about ensuring that the best advocates of ideas can do verbal battle, so that the bad ideas might die. In order to permit the best advocates of an idea to do verbal battle, it is necessary to give legal guarantees to everyone to voice practically every idea. However, free speech is not about protecting bad ideas. Free speech is about killing bad ideas. The death happens through typical peer pressure. For example, if someone in a party says that they can fly by flapping their wings, and really insists on this claim, they are going to pay a definite social cost.

    The freeze-peach article covers a lot of this, in its own way. I am a free speech advocate. You are a freeze peach advocate. I fight to improve the human condition, and to increase correct ideas in the culture, and to decrease incorrect ideas in the culture. Seemingly, you fight to protect people with bad ideas from facing any sort of negative social pressure for holding bad ideas (“entitled to their opinions”, paraphrase).

    Again, at no point did I call for any laws, and the insinuations that you are making in this regard are flat-out dishonest.

  81. Porivil Sorrens says

    Idk, EL looks fine to me. He’s not the one going out of his way to be a jerk and use slurs.

  82. t90bb says

    84…EL…except you have not even won the argument here!!!!….Shaun has done nothing to merit your straw man of him. You sound like you are off your rocker. (oops hope I did not marginalize people in rocking chairs!)

  83. t90bb says

    85. Porivil….show me these awful slurs. Shaun is colorful and may push some limits, But show me these horrible offenses. I have read EVERY response on the last 2 threads. He lost his patience with Victor (as did I). Absolutely nothing thats been said should merit this. EL is using this as an opportunity to push HIS agenda.

    EL looks fine?? He is going to tell you and me what the atheism movement MUST strive for. Really? He looks fine?? Wow. the board has gone of its rails. LOL He is not telling me shit. Sure he can talk.

  84. says

    Again, at no point did I call for any laws, and the insinuations that you are making in this regard are flat-out dishonest.

    Um, laws? Where did I say anything about laws? This is getting weirder and weirder. You are saying you didn’t say what you said, didn’t imply what you implied and that I said stuff I didn’t say.

    When you told me to stop strawmanning I asked you to point out the strawman and you wouldn’t. Why? Because I didn’t use one. mostly because I would be embarrassed if I had.

    Free speech is about ensuring that the best advocates of ideas can do verbal battle, so that the bad ideas might die. In order to permit the best advocates of an idea to do verbal battle, it is necessary to give legal guarantees to everyone to voice practically every idea. However, free speech is not about protecting bad ideas. Free speech is about killing bad ideas.

    NO, NO, NO. That is your interpretation of free speech and your opinion only. Others are not bound by this interpretation. The US supreme court has in the past ruled that free speech is an end in itself.

    The ACLU has defended the right of the KKK to rally, despite being opposed to their view.

    You are starting to sound like Bill Donohue now.

    Free speech is not free if you say people are only allowed free speech if they express ideas you agree with.

  85. t90bb says

    And let me be clear. I don’t dislike EL. I just think he had some delusion that he was elected to speak for the atheists that use this blog. He is not going to tell me how I need to police my language anymore than the pastor down the street is going to tell me who to sleep with. Not without getting an earful that is.

    If I, or anyone continually break the rules than they should be removed. Short of that, I do not need mommy and daddy here to tell me how sloppy my language is, and how I could potentially offend or marginalize. You police YOU!. Because your silly over the top policing of words like “whoring” are only gonna be met with an earful. Your going to have to accept that we don’t see eye to eye on this. Life is tough sometimes.

  86. says

    @91 t90bb

    Nicely put. Although I am starting a school on how to use colorful language in your posts effectively and you may want to attend a few lectures.

  87. t90bb says

    90. Shaun,,,,,you bring a lot to the table…and you occasionally push a limit. I like it. LOL….

    I HAVE NEVER seen you intentionally “ride” anyone that was not up for the battle. Nor have I seen much that could even unintentionally hurt anyone. Nobody is perfect (except the LORD……GOTCHA!)

    Lets all sleep on it. We are all trying to understand each other..

  88. t90bb says

    BTW…Shaun….what happened to post 89. Its the first time I have seen you at a loss for words!

  89. says

    I was just closing off a blockquote that I had inadvertently left open. If I hadn’t done that I’m not sure how it would have affected other people’s posts going forward.

  90. t90bb says

    Shaun..you do realize this is the calm before the storm. You know at least one person is feverishly scanning your every post since 2010 to paint you evil, right? lol….

    hope there aint too many skeletons in your closet.. haaaaaaa

  91. says

    Shaun..you do realize this is the calm before the storm. You know at least one person is feverishly scanning your every post since 2010 to paint you evil, right? lol….

    Haha, thanks for that, you actually gave me a literal LOL there. Yes I am aware of that. I need to be denounced now as a heretic.

    That’s ok. If someone is offended because I called Sam from UK an idiot, or Victor a muppet, so be it.

  92. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    If someone is offended because I called Sam from UK an idiot, or Victor a muppet, so be it.

    Careful, if someone says his name 2 more times he’ll appear to talk us in circles about how the proof for God is that humans can’t create life yet.

  93. Stephanie says

    Well I think this thread was somewhat more enjoyable than the episode. Still enjoyed the episode of course.

  94. Muz says

    EL @ 37

    Jordan Peterson

    Oh goody. That particular infection has reached here too.

    Well Matt is doing an event with the chap, so strap in I guess.

    I do find his phenomenon fascinating, I must admit. As I said, he’s attracted a particular audience who he should be abhorrent to, but thanks to the circumstances of their meeting, so to speak, he has inspired many of them to his work. He gives many people the intellectual fuel and academic credibility they’ve always wanted for their anti-feminist, traditionalist and McCarthyist culture war positions. At the same time, attacking him based on views of the sorts of dudes he attracts is a mistake, since the things he says are more subtle than that most of the time. Because of this and I think the general divisions on the internet (and coping with Peterson’s own voluminous output) it’s taking a while to marshal really comprehensive critique.
    Matt taking a look at him interests me for that reason, and because in listening to a lecture or two (which had nothing overtly to do with religious apologism, I might add) I was immediately struck by how he was making a case for a philosophical authoritarianism that was remarkably similar to people Matt had debated in the past, down to talking about The Brothers Karamazov and so on. Most apologists use this brand of philosophy in some form or other, but it’s usually a small part of their debate arsenal. Among more “liberal” christians less central to the US traditions like Peterson, it’s pretty much the whole thing. So I’m intrigued to see what happens there.

  95. says

    @Muz

    I critiqued Jordan Peterson here:

    http://www.nobrainnogain.com.au/the-world/jordan-peterson-and-the-art-of-sophistry/

    My big issue with him is that when he wants to be slippery he starts to use language as a smoke screen to hide meaning rather than communicate meaning.

    It’s strange that on the one hand he insists that gender must be binary, but on the other hand when asked a binary question about belief in God, says it’s not as simple as yes or no.

    I personally think he’s a jerk.

    Will be interesting to see Matt debate him. Matt is good at holding people’s feet to the fire.

  96. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Muz
    I heard enough from Peterson for a lifetime when I listened to Peterson and Sam Harris discuss for like 2 hours whether or not something can be true if it’s bad. Spoiler: Peterson says that something cannot be both true, and bad, as in undesirable. I’m not even making this up. It’s too ridiculous to make it up. Only good things are true. From another thing I saw with Peterson, he explains why he takes this absurd position – he believes that religious belief is necessary for happiness or something, and he knows that religion is false, and so he needs to pervert the very meaning of truth in order to permit believing in religion without believing something false.

    I also think the guy is a troll; I think he’s purposefully obscure in most of his conversation, hiding what he really believes.

  97. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I expected this to be done with by the time I returned but yikes.

    All the standard cards were used and I can sympathize with those that have withdrawn.

    My expectations of my fellow posters were proven unearned.

    It’s clear as day where you both stand…somber news.

    Kudos to the tech crew, the hosts and the donators that help keep this thing running. Good show. Looking forward to the next one.

  98. t90bb says

    I have not seen that much of Peterson….but from what I saw I agree with EL. Seems this guy links truth to utility. If something is useful…it is true. Seems he likes to redefine/redirect words (in this case “true”…”true equals helpful”),

    Bottom line, it seemed that since he believes the overall theme of the Bible…as well as its moral prescripts “good for society” , he therefore he claims its “true”, even though he does not believe it is actually historical or literal. Made up narratives that can be applied and result in positive effects on humans and/or society can be (or are) TRUE.

    Using his standard many nursery rhymes are “true”..

    The problems this causes are obvious I hope.

  99. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To MS

    For the record, I’m in agreement with RationalismRules. I understand EL’s viewpoint, and I completely agree that there are a number of atheists with whom I will not associate (and with whom I am extremely glad that AXP does not associate), but that’s different from EL’s line in the sand.

    Is it? Am I doing such a bad job communicating here? Seemingly I am. What do you believe is my line, and what do you think the line should be, and can you particularly point out the differences, please?

  100. t90bb says

    108…EL……FOR SHITS SAKE MAN….let it go. There is no litmus test for being an atheist other than lacking a belief in a god or gods, Your add ons wont fly here…like it it not. Just let it go man, You can advocate for your positions but you sure as hell wont call the shots. Stop being obtuse. Cmon man..your better than this.

  101. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    There is no litmus test for being an atheist other than lacking a belief in a god or gods,

    I’m genuinely asking for assistance from a friend, MS, to see how I could have fucked up so hard. With full honesty, I say that I believe that I never said any such thing in this thread, nor implied it, and I believe that I said the opposite thing at least once in this thread and quite explicitly so (and I probably said so many times more than once), and I believe that I went to rather extreme lengths to make sure that this miscommunication could not happen, and yet here we are. I am dumbfounded. I don’t know what other conclusion to reach besides “you’re a really shitty reader”, but again, I’m asking a friend, MS, to give me some other option where I can blame myself in part or whole.

    I encourage you to go back and read what I actually wrote, and see that I didn’t actually say what you accuse me of saying, and see that I explicitly agree with you several times.

  102. t90bb says

    110. AND EL….your line in the sand was stated in post 37…..

    This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    People are free to use this forum to discuss atheism, period. They do not need to ascribe to any agenda so as long as they abide by the rules. The use of the word moron or the term “whoring” are not violations of the rules as most of us read them. Advocate for your agenda sure. But remember social peer pressure works both ways. Nobody here wants you to be our mommy or daddy. If you are annoying you will be told so.

    I DONT THINK OUR POSITIONS COULD BE ANY CLEARER….can we all just move on????

  103. t90bb says

    110…..and EL you did not “fuck up”. You are passionate about what you believe and you want others to see things the same as you. Your passion is admirable. You just got a bit over zealous. I forgive you. For shits sake I already admitted I acted a jerk in the last thread. We learn, we grow, You did not kill anyone…lighten up on yourself.

  104. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To t90bb
    I’m trying to have a discussion with a friend, to see if I could have handled myself better. I do not appreciate your attempt to silence that conversation in this place, and I will ignore your efforts to do so. tl;dr your concern is noted and logged.

    I notice that you didn’t actually point to any place where I contradicted this:

    There is no litmus test for being an atheist other than lacking a belief in a god or gods,

    I would appreciate it if you stop pretending that I said things which I did not. I would appreciate if you stop pretending that I said things when I actually said the exact opposite things. Aka strawmanning. It’s quite frustrating to be on the receiving end of a strawman, and at this point IMHO it’s either dishonesty or gross incompetence on your part to do such a thing in this case.

    Finally:

    They do not need to ascribe to any agenda so as long as they abide by the rules. The use of the word moron or the term “whoring” are not violations of the rules as most of us read them.

    You are not the judge of the rules. The cast and crew of AXP are, and as I already said, I’m pretty sure that they’re going to disagree with you on this topic. There’s almost zero chance that they’ll ban you over a single use of the word whore, and at this rate, I’ll be surprised if they even bother to issue a warning to you or Shaun. It’s not a zero-tolerance policy here, and as long as everyone engages in good faith and demonstrates at least some concern for the well-being of others, I sincerely doubt that they’re going to ban or reprimand anyone. However, for someone who openly and explicitly flouts their rules, and demands the right to say obnoxious and hurtful words that perpetuate harmful stereotypes of minorities, such as what Shaun has been doing on and off, that is not going to fly. The cast and crew will say that this is not a place for mere atheists, and they will not indefinitely tolerate hateful and hurtful atheists here, nor on their facebook page. They have been known to ban atheists from both places for similar shenanigans.

  105. t90bb says

    113. WOWWWW….and I tried to be nice. You seem to be in love with the black and white fallacy btw…..Shaun and I do not agree with your standard/level of commitment to language (we agree btw but are in disagreement on some words YOU deem UNACCEPTABLE)…and therefore Shaun is obnoxious, hurtful, and hateful??? Because he views the word moron less socially unacceptable than you?? The word MORON?? really?? seriously??? Get a grip,

    You say….

    “You are not the judge of the rules. The cast and crew of AXP are, and as I already said, I’m pretty sure that they’re going to disagree with you on this topic”

    Really?? you think so?? hmmm

    So you need to tell me I am not the judge of the rules?? But you make/interpret them in post 37? EGO much???

    “This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement”.

    OK EL…please see if “they” will clarify the that the use of the word “moron” and Matts use of the word “whoring” are in violation of the rules of the blog. I doubt they will….and that does not sit well with you now does it?? I suggest you have a cookie.

    I think out of charity I am going to stop replying to you EL. You are desperately trying to save face. Almost to the point of pulling the pity card. I have dropped this several times. I even pleaded with both you and Shaun to move on. But you can’t. And you pull me back in by pathetically referring to me as a “shitty reader”. Sure using the word moron is terribly hurtful right??? But calling Shaun and I “shitty readers” was not intended to be hurtful, right??? See the double standards here??: You, EL, you….you are so virtuous!!! What bullshit. Get off your high horse.

    I know your a smart guy. Much smarter than me in fact. But I don’t mind telling you this latest round has caused me to lose some respect for you.

  106. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #113:

    I’m genuinely asking for assistance from a friend, MS, to see how I could have fucked up so hard. […] I believe that I went to rather extreme lengths to make sure that this miscommunication could not happen

    I, for one, am curious to see the response from MS.

  107. t90bb says

    and for the record…in case it was missed…

    …..and EL you did not “fuck up”. You are passionate about what you believe and you want others to see things the same as you. Your passion is admirable. You just got a bit over zealous. I forgive you. For shits sake I already admitted I acted a jerk in the last thread. We learn, we grow, You did not kill anyone…lighten up on yourself.

  108. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To t90bb
    I don’t respond well to people who repeatedly strawman me, and refuse to own up to their mistakes, and who get mad when I tell them to stop strawmanning me. The appropriate thing to do now is say: “Yes, you’re right. I looked over what you wrote, and you did not claim ‘someone is not an atheist if they’re also not a secular humanist’ (paraphrase), and I recognize that you even explicitly stated ‘someone can be an atheist and not a secular humanist’ (paraphrase), i.e. post #67. My apologies for misportraying your position.”

  109. says

    I sincerely doubt that they’re going to ban or reprimand anyone. However, for someone who openly and explicitly flouts their rules, and demands the right to say obnoxious and hurtful words that perpetuate harmful stereotypes of minorities, such as what Shaun has been doing on and off,

    I know t90bb has been trying to be polite but I I will be less so. I know you won’t get it or concede, which is a really bad look. It shows that you have cognitive biases as bad as any creationist on here.

    You talk about strawmanning but won’t explain what my strawman was. Meanwhile you willfully misrepresent both what I have said and my intent – which as we all know is the textbook definition of strawmanning.

    You have also denied your intent and implication although it is in plain sight for everyone to read on the blog.

    So first off let’s start with your latest accusation and then finally list off my stance in a brief bullet point fashion, since I think most readers are fatiguing rapidly on this. Frankly a reasonable person rather than twist their own words to say they didn’t say what they said would have conceded some ground right now. Even when t90bb has been placatory you are still chucking a temper tantrum with him.

    So first, your accusation that I want the right to use words that may offend minorities. Utter rubbish and a clear strawman. I am in fact on record conceding and apologizing when I think it RR who said I used a term that could be construed as offensive to a minority. I am in fact more likely to say “you’re a fucking wanker” than anything else, and if that is offensive to chronic masturbators I’m really sorry for that.

    So – once more, in a in a nutshell –

    My only argument that started out this utterly ridiculous shitstorm was that two words had alternative meaning and common usage that differed from what you were insisting they must mean and that they were therefore in your view taboo.

    Next was your insistence that this blog represented atheism+ and that unless I was prepared to embrace secular humanism I should not post on here. It was suggested that because I didn’t use language the official party endorsed way I should get off this blog and go to a neo-nazi style blog, with the implication that I would fit in better there.

    Next was your insistence that you had read the rules and I was breaching them. I read those same rules and found nothing of the sort.

    Now frankly I find your attitude disgraceful and everything I hate about “movements”. They start out with good intentions and next thing you know the zealots take over. I now consider given what you have said, that you are indeed a zealot. And there’s nothing I hate more than zealotry. The “you must conform” mentality is offensive and must always be resisted. And I think if you think you’re some kind of evolved being, you need to take a good hard look at yourself.

    Anyway, enough said.

  110. t90bb says

    Heres a way of framing this issue as I see it…..its corny, but hey!

    Lets say there is a spectrum of how careful one cares to be about language (as it affects or could affect others)

    from ZERO to 10
    zero being does not care at all so careful as to strictly screen every word

    I see the the ZERO person as selfish and uncaring (totally lacking empathy). In my eyes..a total jerk.
    I see the TEN person as potentially neurotic, brilliant, or needing to commit great resources to screen against harm

    In the discussion above…..i see EL as a 9-10. And I see myself a 7-8. I think the fact that EL is a 9-10 is great. Wonderful in fact. It seems that he just cannot imagine ANYONE not wanting to be a 9-10. He wants to hold others to the same level of commitment…..and he wants to impose his view of the rules to try to make that happen.

  111. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    Here are the lines of concern:

    You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    It’s not so much that I disagree per se, but this along with some of your other posts make me think that you’d like to engage in purity witch-hunts and attempt to expel all “impure” atheists from “the atheism movement.” I find this counterproductive. Part of my fear stems from the fact that this already occurs in socially progressive movements and it’s tiresome.

  112. says

    I don’t respond well to people who repeatedly strawman me, and refuse to own up to their mistakes, and who get mad when I tell them to stop strawmanning me.

    oh ffs, this came through as I was writing my final entry. I can’t let this one go.

    I don’t respond well either to people who claim I am strawmanning them, won’t identify the strawman when asked, refuse to own to own there own mistakes and saw they didn’t say what they clearly said even though it is in writing for all to see. And selectively pick quotes to hide their own meaning into the bargain I might add.

    Now. For the last time. Identify your claimed strawman or SHUT THE FUCK UP about it. It’s an easy request. If you show me that I have in fact strawmanned you, will happily concede.

  113. t90bb says

    120…I see that my attempt to show my spectrum got messed up…

    zero being a jerk…not willing to care at all what he says

    ten being a person who feels the need to carefully screen every word in the hope to minimize harm to others….

    but you guys are smart…you probably new that. Now reading post 120 may make a bit of sense.

  114. t90bb says

    NOW that MS has chimed in can we see that although we all feel so strongly we often talk past each other. we are really aiming to the same end?? Its really only a matter or degree. If we believed anyone here was motivated by, or filled with hate….it would be our duty to reprimand, warn, and do our best to remove the cancer. On this we agree.

    I strive to be a better person day by day. To enjoy this short life and maximize my usefulness to my fellow apes.

    EL…your greater intentions are good by me. We do have to respect individuality, however. There is room in the boat for us all.

    I cannot help but admit I am partially to blame for this craziness. I did act like a jackass to Victor. I am very new at this and I really was not sure if he was playing along. Not an excuse. I will do better.

  115. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Monocle Smile
    Thanks. I guess we do have a legitimate disagreed. I’m against some of the more extreme witch hunts, but I’m still for some of them, and seemingly moreso than you are. I suspect that we still have a disagreement. However, thanks for making clearer your position and disagreement with me.

    To Shaun

    You have also denied your intent and implication although it is in plain sight for everyone to read on the blog.

    If you believe that you understand what I believe better than I do, then there’s not much point of further conversation. If you believe that I’m lying to you about my beliefs, then there’s not much point of further conversation. This is what leads me to say that you’re still intent on strawmanning me. It seems readily apparent to me that you have a stereotype in your head of what “my side” is, and you’re trying to fit me in that pigeonhole. Knock it off already. Engage with what I say and what I believe, and not with the stereotype enemy that is in your head.

    So first, your accusation that I want the right to use words that may offend minorities. Utter rubbish and a clear strawman.

    Then please explain yourself. You wrote the following in your first post in this thread. I think it speaks for itself.
    “ableist? Really? We going down that path on here? The politically correct experience?”
    IMAO it clearly supports my characterization of your position as “I don’t want to be told to not use words that are harmful to certain undeserving minority groups”. Have you changed your position since the start of this thread? Do you now accept that certain words are harmful to disabled minorities, e.g. ableist language, and that we should try to avoid using (some) ableist terms, like “retard”? For the record, I still use the words “idiot” and “stupid”, although I’m trying to stop, and I’m very sympathetic to those who say that “idiot” and “stupid” are not really ableist. However, for words like “retard”, I think it’s much harder to argue that the word “retard” today doesn’t carry some significant negative baggage that is harmful to people with mental disabilities. If you simply mean that not all words which are claimed to be ableist are ableist, then you should say that, instead of attacking the notion of ableism altogether, as you did in your first post.

    My only argument that started out this utterly ridiculous shitstorm was that two words had alternative meaning and common usage that differed from what you were insisting they must mean and that they were therefore in your view taboo.

    See above – if that is true, then you should learn to speak more clearly. I also believe that you are not properly remembering how this conversation started and happened, and I encourage you to go read it again.

    Next was your insistence that this blog represented atheism+ and that unless I was prepared to embrace secular humanism I should not post on here. It was suggested that because I didn’t use language the official party endorsed way I should get off this blog and go to a neo-nazi style blog, with the implication that I would fit in better there.

    More or less, yes. There’s some space for misunderstanding in what we just wrote, and so I want to make it clear: use of language which is clearly ableist, such as using the word “retard” as a pejorative, is generally not tolerated around here, and a person probably will get banned for doing that repeatedly here.

    Next was your insistence that you had read the rules and I was breaching them. I read those same rules and found nothing of the sort.

    Yes and no. I don’t think I said that you were breaking the rules, at least not in this thread. Anyway, I meant to say that you are merely complaining about the rules, and particularly about the rule that you shouldn’t use bigoted and harmful language, i.e. ableist language.

    Now frankly I find your attitude disgraceful and everything I hate about “movements”. They start out with good intentions and next thing you know the zealots take over.

    And you should know that I have an exceptionally low opinion of your moral character. The more that we interact, the more that I become convinced that you’re a despicable person.

    I now consider given what you have said, that you are indeed a zealot.

    Thank you for calling me a zealot. It warms my heart. No seriously. I’m not being sarcastic. I take it as a great compliment. For example, I never understood why people like you chose the term “social justice warrior” as an insult. I embrace the term openly. It’s a great compliment. I am a warrior for social justice. Surely social justice is something that we should want, and therefore surely it’s something that we should fight for. I am for making the world into a better place. I am totally a zealot for this cause.

    For example, I won’t sit idly by while someone uses clearly ableist language (at least not for long). I won’t sit idly by when someone complains that the rules forbid them from using ableist language.

    And there’s nothing I hate more than zealotry. The “you must conform” mentality is offensive and must always be resisted.

    Nope. You’re just wrong, and almost entirely so. You’re like a child who is upset because they are being told that they shouldn’t put their hand on the stove, or that they shouldn’t hit their sibling. You’re upset because I’m telling you to conform to the standards of basic human decency. It’s outrageous that you’re resisting this very simple and obvious notion.

    It’s just the same-old freeze peach nonsense. It’s the wrong-headed idea that western and liberal society is about free speech, and that’s about protecting people with wrong-headed beliefs from negative consequences. That’s just wrong. I explained in detail above why this is wrong. Again, we should use social pressure to coerce our friends and acquaintances into not behaving immorally and to not believe ridiculous nonsense. This is how we make the world into a better place. Wrong-headed beliefs, whether factually wrong or morally harmful, should not be tolerated, socially. They should be attacked so that they might die.

    Now, the purpose of free speech is to ensure that people with other views always have the chance to voice alternative opinions. That’s why it shouldn’t be illegal to say more or less anything. If they have a good point, then they should win the day in conversation and debate. However, if someone uses this legal right to say something that is particularly noxious, then they get to reap the social consequences of saying something so wrong-headed.

  116. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Meh. Missed a closing italic tag. Note to self: Preview preview preview.

  117. Nathan says

    @ EL
    Have you ever called into the AE? I’d love to hear you bring these ideas up with them. I think it would make for a very, very interesting conversation.

  118. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I called in once, long ago. One of my pet peeves was Matt’s unclear language – and maybe unclear / incorrect beliefs, I’m still not sure – regarding methodological naturalism. The call didn’t go horribly, but I don’t think I made much progress with Matt.

    I don’t see the need to call in, because I’m pretty sure that I agree with the hosts on these issues. It would be a rather boring call of “yep, we agree, congrats”.

  119. Nathan says

    @ EL

    Do you know what show that was, I’d like to listen to it. I was meaning to call in to discuss the use of these words, since this whole thread started off with the issue of Matt using the word whore.

  120. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To be clear, I called in once, long ago, on an entirely different topic from this thread. I don’t remember exactly what episode. I could find it with enough google-fu. I can tell you my position clearly enough:

    > How not to attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical misconceptions about Methodological Naturalism
    > (final draft – to appear in Foundations of Science)
    > Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke, Johan Braeckman
    https://sites.google.com/site/maartenboudry/teksten-1/methodological-naturalism

    > God, Science and the Problem with Nature – Scott Clifton (Theoretical Bullshit) – Skepticon 7


    And this one particular webcomic. Particularly, just the comic for the particular day – no context is necessary.
    > Girl Genius Webcomic
    > Friday, December 05, 2008
    http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20081205

    As best as I can determine, Matt may be falling prey to the common mistake that one must understand the cause of something in order to know that A causes B, and the common mistake that one must understand the mechanism of causation in a particular case in order to show causation in a particular case. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is, and epistemology more generally. Again, I must emphasize that I’m not really sure if he has these mistaken beliefs. He may just use unclear language.

    For another example, I once had the opportunity to sit with Aronra over dinner. Aronra IMO makes many of the same mistakes during his stock speeches. However, over dinner, I had the chance to “grill” him on this topic. Took like 2 minutes, and in the end he agreed with me. The conversation went something like “you often say that the supernatural doesn’t exist by definition. However, imagine we lived in the world of D&D, and you could go down to your corner shop and pay money for an augury or divination spell, and that it actually worked. It worked, testably, and everyone knows that wizards and clerics exist, and can do magic. Magic is just an everyday thing. Surely it would be perverse to deny that magic exists if you found yourself in that world.” Thankfully, Aronra agreed quite quickly, with the obvious caveat that our world is nothing like that world, and of course I agreed to that to. Magic doesn’t exist, but we know that magic doesn’t exist because of the evidence, because of scientific inquiry. Naturalism is a conclusion of the scientific method, not a premise.

    If you really want to see / hear me in action, I could try to find the exact video. I’d honestly just be using google with obvious search terms to find the show thread where I and MS talked about my call a little bit.

  121. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Oh, and I should include the Feynman video on magnets too.



    This IMO is the most important bit to understanding this common mistake.

  122. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Yikes.

    You’re upset because I’m telling you to conform to the standards of basic human decency. It’s outrageous that you’re resisting this very simple and obvious notion.

    And just what would those “standards of basic human decency” be exactly? Isn’t one of the bigger deals that said standards aren’t so simple and obvious?

    I was under the impression one of the main reasons Atheism + burned itself out so quick was because no one was pure enough to pass its purity tests.

  123. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    For the record, while I do agree with your spiel about ableism, I do not agree that merely using the word “retard” as a pejorative makes someone a despicable person. In fact, I don’t even think Shaun’s despicable…just wrong and in need of some education.

    This is going to sound bizarre coming from me, but people generally don’t react well to being beaten with blunt instruments. Now, I will defend myself here, because when I act as a blunt instrument, it’s not because I have any hope of convincing the person on the receiving end of anything. However, I think it’s pretty clear from Shaun’s posting record that he’s not beyond hope or even close to that, so therefore a different approach is appropriate. The Slymepit comment was pretty extreme, and appears to be what put Shaun’s hackles up. Can’t say I blame him.

  124. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I do not agree that merely using the word “retard” as a pejorative makes someone a despicable person.

    I believe Shaun is despicable for much moreso than just a hypothetical use of “retard”. I agree that a single use doesn’t make someone despicable. Even repeated use doesn’t make someone despicable. As I have said many times, it’s the repeated usage that makes someone despicable combined with the attitude “you’re not the boss of me” and “you can’t make me stop” and “I’ll use hurtful words whenever I want” and “this culture of political correctness treating people with respect has got to stop”.

    However, I think it’s pretty clear from Shaun’s posting record that he’s not beyond hope or even close to that, so therefore a different approach is appropriate.

    Maybe.

    And just what would those “standards of basic human decency” be exactly? Isn’t one of the bigger deals that said standards aren’t so simple and obvious?

    I agree. That’s why I’m not pretending to lay out exactly what is orthodox and what is not. I agree that a strict orthodoxy is probably not a good idea. However, again, please look at how Shaun entered this thread. Look at the following from Shaun’s first post in this thread:

    “ableist? Really? We going down that path on here? The politically correct experience?”

    I don’t think I’m off-base here.

    I was under the impression one of the main reasons Atheism + burned itself out so quick was because no one was pure enough to pass its purity tests.

    A little bit of that. Maybe a lot of that. I don’t know. I wasn’t active on the places that branded themselves as atheism+, except for here (if here counts), Pharyngula, and Richard Carrier’s blog (lol).

    However, IMAO, an equal or larger part of the blame is that the atheist movement is chock full of assholes. Consider the relatively recent debacle where they invited Sargon and a few other “choice” persons to an atheist conference. Aronra refused to go. Matt went, but said that he won’t attend another conference like that again. People report standing ovations from the crowd when Sargon said truly despicable things. The atheist and skeptic movement has a severe problem. Many people are rightly starting to consider the atheism movement to be synonymous with a bunch of privileged white male assholes who freak out for years and ruin people’s lives over a simple polite suggestion like “don’t proposition a women for sex, alone, late at night, in a hotel elevator; it’ll make the woman feel uncomfortable”.

  125. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    As another example that relates to something that was just brought up. Look at the attention that Jordan Peterson is getting. To use a meme from an unrelated context, when so many atheists and skeptics can fall prey to an obvious snake oil salesman like Jordan Peterson simply because he says what they want to hear: men and women are different, women are more sensitive and emotionally weaker than men, men are better at business, men and women are most happy (on average) in different roles in society, and the rest of his garbage, – we have ourselves a “worrying trend”. I see this firsthand. One of my friends has been suckered by this guy, and it’s bewildering.

  126. Monocle Smile says

    @EL

    Many people are rightly starting to consider the atheism movement to be synonymous with a bunch of privileged white male assholes who freak out for years and ruin people’s lives over a simple polite suggestion like “don’t proposition a women for sex, alone, late at night, in a hotel elevator; it’ll make the woman feel uncomfortable”.

    Agreed in full. I am still in shock that ElevatorGate was ever a thing. It’s beyond my ability to understand.

    Yes, Shaun didn’t start off on the right foot with ableism. Yes, he did rant against political correctness with no real need. But you spend time on Pharyngula…I have no desire to associate with about 80-90% of posters there and Shaun seems to have encountered these types. It just might take more work.

  127. Monocle Smile says

    @Nathan
    Yes, men and women are different. No shit.
    But they’re not different in how Peterson claims. Just FYI, your question reads as a form of sealioning.

  128. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    I will admit that when the objection to the term “whore” and able-ism were brought up my first reaction was to roll my eyes. Many many many many MANY times over my adult life I’ve seen and experienced people looking for any excuse to be offended. So when I saw someone glomp onto a word Matt used and ignoring the point he was trying to make my go-to reaction to such things is “oh, for fuck’s sake.”

    Consider the relatively recent debacle where they invited Sargon and a few other “choice” persons to an atheist conference.

    Hahaha, bringing up Mythcon is a whole nother can of worms. While I didn’t watch the videos of it, I’m aware of the players and read/watched their breakdowns after the fact and can say I’m probably most in line with David Smalley’s take on it. I’ve said I’m no fan of Sargon, but I’m no fan of Thomas Smith either.

  129. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To MS and Nathan
    Ehh, IMO Nathan has been quite fine. I see no problems. I don’t see sealioning.

    Obviously, men and women have some innate differences which are genetic. Men and women have different amounts of certain hormones (on average), which leads to different averages of body mass and strength. There’s also the obvious sex organ differences.

    Also, most men find women sexually attractive and not men, and most women find men sexually attractive and not women. It’s the same reason when people generally find other people sexually attractive and don’t find dogs sexually attractive. This is also obviously genetic.

    Of course, for the moment, I’m speaking about the typical cases. Sex is not a binary thing. Sex is a continuum. The distribution on this continuum is bimodal, aka it has two peaks, and like 99% of people are in one of the two peaks, male and female.

    However, for almost any other claim about innate psychological differences between men and women, the speaker is full of shit. We don’t have the evidence to make such claims. Maybe there’s an innate, e.g. genetic, difference, but we don’t have the evidence.

    I cite the one study which initially found that the Hollywood standard of female beauty was innate. They asked a bunch of people from many cultures around the world to rate female beauty, and this was their discovery. However, as soon as they started to control their data for “exposure to Hollywood”, then their correlation died. The actual important conclusion about this study is that people from all over the world have exposure to culture from the other side of the world, and this degree of cultural exposure is way way more than most people could possibly believe. Unfortunately, because of this cultural “contamination”, it’s almost impossible to derive any sound conclusion about innate psychological differences in the sexes. Any observed differences can easily be explained by learning instead of genetics, including the subtle hints that children receive every day of life from TV, their friends, etc.

    The other important example is the standard word association test. The test is to flash words on screen like “bad”, “criminal”, “good”, “generous”, etc. Then, make some of the words be colored as “white” and some of the words be colored as “black”. Then, ask the subject to pick out the positive word as quickly as possible, or something like that. The fascinating thing is that when done to Americans (and I assume most Western audiences), they will take longer to report when the positive word is printed with the color black compared to the color white, and there will be a higher rate of incorrect reporting. We all have an unconscious bias against black people, and this test is the perfect illustration of it. Even more fascinating is that black people in America share the same unconscious bias against black people. I remember vividly hearing Neil deGrasse Tyson describe his shock when he first took this test and realized his own unconscious biases.

    People who are claiming differences are doing so entirely on stigmas and without any proper evidence whatsoever. They’re just repeating racist and sexist stereotypes. There’s other parts which are important as well, such as nutrition and the widespread lead poisoning from leaded gasoline, but I’m just trying to give an introduction.

    And finally, even if you find a 10% difference, which is about as worse as the data can support, the distributions will still overlap substantially, which means that any moral and ethical policy will still be to be color-blind and sex-blind, and to evaluate the individual according to the merits of the individual.

  130. says

    I ain’t playing this game no more. You’re as obtuse as the creationists that argue their position without compromise until they’re blue in the face. Go fuck yourself.

    Still haven’t seen the strawman pointed out.

    I understand now why you take offence at the term moron.

  131. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Evil God of the Fiery Cloud #141:

    I will admit that […] my first reaction was to roll my eyes.

    ignoring the point he was trying to make

    Flipping the comparison was an attempt at humor, not ignoring Matt’s point (transcribed and quoted in the same post).
     
    Though I was trying to get an eye roll.  : P

  132. t90bb says

    To Monocle Smile
    Thanks. I guess we do have a legitimate disagreed. I’m against some of the more extreme witch hunts, but I’m still for some of them, and seemingly moreso than you are. I suspect that we still have a disagreement. However, thanks for making clearer your position and disagreement with me.

    So after all that EL…..I guess I was not just a shitty reader, eh??? Or is MS a shitty reader too??? Amazing how quick you were to imply I should apologize earlier. I must have missed your apology to me. Is this one of those do as i say, not as I do situations?? Or is double standard 101 part of the atheism+ curriculum?

  133. t90bb says

    before i go…2 unrelated questions…

    1. rationalityrules……same guy as the utube atheist?? i figure it is…..huge fan

    2. is there a mechanism to edit or delete posts on the blog?? or once up..as is?

  134. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #146:

    is there a mechanism to edit or delete posts

    There is not.

  135. says

    What an incredibly entertaining thread.
    The last caller to the show I felt somewhat ambushed the hosts by almost demanding on the spot grief counselling that could rival believing there is no reason to grieve.
    I think the fact that theists still talk of dead loved ones as being lost reveals deep down they know they dont know if heaven is real.
    If you were 100% convinced you will see loved ones again after death you wouldnt feel any more sad than you do if they had decided to go to the other side of the world for a few decades.

    I think they handled it very well especially Jamie. I hope she learns to cope with grief without surrendering to nonsense thinking.

  136. says

    @Shaun Well done for standing your ground EL seems to be on a mighty stallion of a high horse. He should consider that some minorities may find it offensive that he appoints himself their champion.

    As far as words and offense go I think the push should be towards people developing the mental fortitude not to feel hurt by words. We have enough trouble in this world protecting people from actual violence.
    I am a member of some minority groups and the realisation I have come to is that the will always be people who will use derogatory language intending offence, those who will use it it not intending to cause offence and so on therfore I look inwards for a solution and I decide that I will let it amuse me and I well laugh smugly at how much better a human being I am than that person and move on.
    I was quite surprised about what has been said about Dr Peterson, noone is correct about everything bug I believe he is well meaning, he is right about men and women too at least more than EL gives him credit for, EL concedes genetic hormonal and physical differences but fails to realise that hormones plag a role in cognitive function as well. If we a physically different then we are mentally different since the mind is a product of the brain and the brain is part of our physical body, but that is just my reasoning. Here is an article with some actual science that I think backs up the idea that the difference between men and women goes way beyond sex organs and muscle mass. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-relationships/201402/brain-differences-between-genders%3famp

  137. says

    Just want to address one thing – my distaste for the term “ableism”.

    If I don’t like a particular term I am expressing what is known as an “opinion”. You can say I disagree with your opinion, but you cannot say you are not allowed have that opinion. Well you can but at that point the response will always be the same – “go fuck yourself”. And so it should be.

    Now let’s look at the other standard forms of prejudice –

    racism – the belief that some people are less equal than others because of their race. It is an abhorrent view and is rightly opposed.

    sexism – the belief that some people are less equal than others because of their gender. It is an abhorrent view and is rightly opposed.

    homophobia – the belief that some people are less equal than others because of their sexuality. It is an abhorrent view and is rightly opposed.

    ableism? – the belief that some people are less equal than others due to a mental or physical disability. No! in my experience people are uniformly sympathetic to the plight of those less fortunate than themselves. You may get some immature jerks who denigrate disabled people but they are rare and are generally pulled into line by others. It’s a manufactured label in my view.

    Now you may disagree with me on my take on ableism and I don’t have a problem with that. But don’t ever tell me I am not entitled to form my own opinion on anything.

    Now, onto the labels political correctness and social justice warriors.

    Political correctness in my opinion refers to those at the extreme end of the spectrum who would impose, as has been said, a purity test on those expressing opinions they disagree with and attack them for not being in step with their version of some idealised orthodoxy.

    Social justice warriors – people at the extreme end of the political correctness spectrum who seek to take offence at things at the drop of a hat because they’re extremely special and can’t cope with real world concepts and nuance – such as the idea that though men and women should have equal rights, we are still a sexually dimorphic species and as such are in fact different from each other.

    Now, once again, these are opinions. You are welcome to say, well my view differs from yours and here’s why, and perhaps you should consider this, but you can’t say, “You’re wrong!!” Well you can, but it won’t get you far.

  138. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun

    You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that [a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods]

    And never, never, never tell me that because I find science denial, young earth creationism and a belief in Jehovah absurd, that I must subscribe to you doctrine.

    I don’t make any such ridiculous argument. I say that you must subscribe to my doctrine of being a nice person and treating other people with respect, not because you’re an atheist, but because you’re a goddamned human being.

    What the fuck? Yes you did. You said this was a secular humanist blog and as such I must express myself in ways you deem appropriate to the tome of this blog.

    Saying if you are an atheist you MUST be a secular humanist is to me entirely equivalent to someone else saying you can’t be a good person if you’re not Christian.

    Stop strawmanning.

    At no point in that story did I assert “someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist”. Rather, I simply stated that everyone should be a secular humanist, and that includes atheists. I also stated that we should exclude the shitty atheists from the atheism and skeptic movement, so that we can accomplish something of value, and make the world into a better place for everyone.

    You talk about strawmanning but won’t explain what my strawman was.

    Still haven’t seen the strawman pointed out.

  139. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, to t90bb

    So after all that EL…..I guess I was not just a shitty reader, eh???

    Apparently yes. And overly stubborn too.

    Or is MS a shitty reader too???

    MS hasn’t misrepresented what I have said. You have.

  140. says

    @EL

    Your fucking words:

    “but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.”

    Can’t get much clearer than that!

    I did not misrepresent you at all. You decided to reframe what you meant. What you meant is crystal to me. You are saying exactly what I hate. You are imposing a purity test on what it means to be atheist. You have decided that it is you who gets to decide who is a “good” atheist and who is a “shitty” atheist. And then you are saying that on this basis that those who in your view are not “good” atheists should be banned from this blog.

    If you think that I said that you said that you are not an atheist unless you are also a secular humanist it is you who are misrepresenting what I have said. You won’t be able to see that because you need to take your head out of your own arse to do that.

    So anyway, I say once again. Go fuck yourself.

  141. says

    In fact it gets to the bizarre position now where someone has to misrepresent my position to make the utterly specious claim that I am strawmanning them. How Ironic!!

  142. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun

    If you believe that you understand what I believe better than I do, then there’s not much point of further conversation. If you believe that I’m lying to you about my beliefs, then there’s not much point of further conversation. This is what leads me to say that you’re still intent on strawmanning me. It seems readily apparent to me that you have a stereotype in your head of what “my side” is, and you’re trying to fit me in that pigeonhole. Knock it off already. Engage with what I say and what I believe, and not with the stereotype enemy that is in your head.

  143. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, pay particular attention to this:

    At no point in that story did I assert “someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist”. Rather, I simply stated that everyone should be a secular humanist, and that includes atheists. I also stated that we should exclude the shitty atheists from the atheism and skeptic movement, so that we can accomplish something of value, and make the world into a better place for everyone.

  144. says

    “At no point in that story did I assert “someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist””

    And, now this may come as a shock to you, Nor did I ever say you asserted that. This is where you strawmanned me to make the claim I was strawmanning you. Nice trick if you can get away with it without getting called on it.

    You are saying that you want to be the self appointed arbiter of who is a “good” atheist and who is a “shitty” atheist. And you will have a little group of right thinking people who think exactly like you.

    And then someone in your little group expresses a view that in your opinion is wrong, and they must be excluded. And that happens again and again. We all get how this goes. But of course the world will be a better place. If only we can make sure everybody thinks the way the are supposed to.

  145. sean117 says

    I just wanted to comment on ‘Manda’ because the YouTube comments are disabled, one and a half hours later (I ended up reading this entire argumentative thread) I’ve forgotten what my comment was… as a side note though, I hope EL was triggered by my use of the word disabled. KeK

  146. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And, now this may come as a shock to you, Nor did I ever say you asserted that.

    You quite clearly did. I supplied the quotes above. Quoting you from a previous time “What the fuck? Yes you did.”. This is getting tiresome.

  147. t90bb says

    EL are these your words?? yes or no???

    “Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement”.

    YES or NO???…..

    Jeez man…I really thought you were a decent sort. You cannot even accept responsibility. You said these things…and then you tried to convince us all that you were misunderstood…and that those that were troubled were just shitty readers. Then when even you best buddies on the blog agreed with US….you changed tactics and defend them by saying you are in favor of some witch hunts…and that Shaun IS despicable. Like I said…is “double standards 101” and dishonesty standard curriculum in the atheist+ you advocate for??

    Think what you actually said…and the content of criticism it received across the board. Its so funny because I feel like I am arguing with a theist. The fallacies (like the black and white fallacy I mentioned earlier) are strong IN YOU. I have taken accountability for my behavior after careful consideration of much of the feedback I received.

    Its clear that you are frustrated..not because you have been misunderstood..BUT because no one agrees with you that witch hunts are good and Shaun (and I assume I) are despicable.…(and that those that do not share your commitments are NOT welcome on the blog).

    You really should start to walk your talk….and a good start would be to apologize to Shaun. That might show you are actually committed to some of the ideas and standards you claim to embrace.

    You have called Shaun “hateful”. Brother…many of your posts are lined with hate. You cannot accept that not everyone feels the same as you. Have a cookie!

  148. t90bb says

    HAA…..EL called me….”overly stubborn”. Wow the projection! This board has tried to move on like 5 times, and EL could not stand that his case (that this bog is for his brand of atheism only) has not been accepted….so he comes back for more,

    I dont know if this is purely face saving or what. Perhaps he has such I high opinion of his intellect that he thinks if he keeps re branding and restating his argument he will win me (us?) over.

    Like I said..hes “VICTOR-lite”……have another cookie.

  149. says

    I realize I’m a longtime lurker and not a poster, but for a moment, can we actually talk about the phone call from Jamie in Lynchburg, Virginia? I find this personally very interesting, so much as it relates to my personal experiences in becoming an atheist.

    Like Jaime might soon find, it was quite an existential crisis and a bit upsetting to realize that essentially I didn’t believe in God, or the words of the bible, and in turn realized that Heaven didn’t exist and that my death didn’t mean that I would eventually reunited with loved ones or old friends. Over time, I’ve obviously felt better and my outlook has greatly improved to the point that I’m actually quite happy and grateful for not having to defend a faith.

    I’m curious as to other’s reactions concerning the call.

  150. t90bb says

    160. I felt very bad listening to the call. Because I been there. There is difference between knowing there is no afterlife and recognizing there is no reason to believe one awaits us. One can I hope I guess.
    .
    Nova, I feel you brother. It was so freeing to not feel the pressure to try to believe something that made no sense to me, that there is nothing wrong with me when I honestly express my doubt. Its such a better way for me to live. Disappointing in its own way, sure. But deep down I am really not sure I ever believed. I cherish each day..each moment. Its pretty cool. When my time is up…its up! And life in no picnic anyway! LOL….

    I really hope you post more!!! Its great to hear some new voices. Thanks, Nova!

  151. says

    “You quite clearly did. I supplied the quotes above. ”

    Um, this may also come as a surprise to you, but none of the quotes you supply prove what you are now asserting in any way. In fact quite the opposite, all of them show that I was quite aware of what your assertions were and didn’t like the implication pf purity testing to stream atheists into good and shitty atheists.

    You see, here’s the thing with quotes. They actually have to prove your point, not just sort of sit there.

    Now if an impartial observer who is also reading the quotes above can tell me I’m wrong and that they do prove your point please step. Because right now I’m scratching my head when reading those quotes over again. going, “they don’t say that”.

    I don’t think you are using the black and white fallacy. More saying black is white if I say so.

  152. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @nova1967 #160:
    Around maybe 4yo, my first pet died. My baby book says I had a conversation grilling Mom on where exactly Heaven was and how one might hypothetically rescue said pet (trampoline, plane, etc). That was as serious as I ever took it.
     
    The horror came muuuuuuch later upon realizing churches weren’t just a cartoonishly themed clubhouse in most other people’s minds. Those weren’t understood as euphemisms and dodgy classic fairy tales. Many thought they meant what they were saying, and some would act on it: banal voting decisions, or passing for secular in secular contexts until a berserk button gets discovered. Worse, that before they could be educated on what was true, they had to be persuaded to care about truth at all.
     
    An uncle talks about his trip to the grand canyon. I tangentially mention some quaintly amusing cranks. He suddenly shouting Hell threats, dickish badgering, and trying to use a recently dead relative for emotional leverage. ‘Cause Jesus is definitely real. He thought he was frothily arguing with a Muslim. I had a good long laugh. And he started loudly filibustering to Jesus about me in the 3rd person.

  153. t90bb says

    EL in 157……

    “And, now this may come as a shock to you, Nor did I ever say you asserted that.

    You quite clearly did. I supplied the quotes above. Quoting you from a previous time “What the fuck? Yes you did.”. This is getting tiresome.”

    Yea it sure is EL…..and we gave you plenty of space…several chances to stop and reflect and even walk away. You are just so full of yourself you cannot consider apologizing the Shaun for the exchange MS even said was over the top!!!! Your just too damn virtuous in your own mind to reflect on anything you say. After all…Shaun is “despicable”, right?? You said so. Despicable because he falls short of the standard the great EL has set for us all!!!

    Honestly..your as warped as some theists I have seen here. Totally incapable of self reflection and accountability. Its your way or the highway, right?? Because who but you has the moral authority to set the standards????

  154. t90bb says

    165…SKY….cute story about the pet. I regret not being able to see some of my pets more than I will regret seeing most people I’ve known. Str8 up. lol

  155. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To t90bb
    Please actually read the posts. Both you and Shaun accused me of saying roughly “if someone is not a secular humanist, then they’re not an atheist”. I never said that. I even clearly said that the opposite of that. That’s the misrepresentation of my position. As a separate matter, I also said that we should exclude shitty people from the atheist movement, i.e. we should not invite shitty speakers to speak at events, and we should bar entry to persons in the audience who are particularly shitty. Please recognize your own error, and I wish Shaun would as well.

  156. t90bb says

    EL actually this is what you said……

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    OWN IT

  157. t90bb says

    EL…and because context is important…..you said that in response to to Shaun…..so here it is….

    Shaun wrote: (HE SAID)

    I have said before and will say it again. Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods.

    (YOU RESPONDED)
    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    MEANING UNLESS YOU ARE ALL IN ACCORDING TO YOUR STANDARDS…GET THE FUCK OUT!……

    Still waiting for you to walk this back and apologize.

  158. Devil Travels says

    I felt bad for the last caller. All she wanted to know was why anyone would be an atheist..how anyone could not believe in a god.
    It seems she received some tough love but not a lot of foundation to help her be supported in understanding.
    Hopefully she will be inspired to check out videos that can provide those basic building blocks that can help her better understand what supports the steps to atheism. Because it’s easier to take small steps up than to take huge leaps that may cause pain.
    I’m thinking she should start with the logical fallacies and how they are applied(and abused), then move on to the deeper questions of life and biology.

  159. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    OWN IT

    I have, repeatedly.

    It’s time for you to do the same. You said this to me:

    There is no litmus test for being an atheist other than lacking a belief in a god or gods,

    You said that to me, with the quite clear intention to rebut me. However, I never made the claim that you’re rebutting. I even said the opposite. It’s time for you to own up to your own mistakes.

    Let me try one more time with you. Again, it’s quite simple. Slow down please and try to read it, with an open mind to your own faults. There is no litmus test for who is an atheist besides “do you believe in a god” question. I totally agree. However, there should be other tests for who we want to participate in the atheist movement. For example, someone like Michael Shermer, who abuses women at atheist conferences. That’s someone we need to exclude from the movement. He’s still an atheist, but he should not be a welcome member of the atheist movement. Ditto for many others, such as Sargon, Laurence Krauss, and so forth.

    I’m just asking that you don’t misrepresent my positions.

  160. t90bb says

    EL…

    It’s time for you to do the same. You said this to me:

    There is no litmus test for being an atheist other than lacking a belief in a god or gods,

    You said that to me, with the quite clear intention to rebut me. However, I never made the claim that you’re rebutting. I even said the opposite. It’s time for you to own up to your own mistakes.

    WELLLLLL EL

    To the man so far..everyone what weighed in said they interpreted your exchange with Shaun and you follow ups to imply that you were creating a “purity test” to be part of the atheism movement. SO apparently your saying that they have your permission to be an “atheist”…..but you will deny them permission to join our club…. HENCE a litmus test.

    “YOU” dont have a club EL….its not your club. It never wa your club. I am afraid I have to take you off your imaginary throne pal. Play whatever semantic games you want brother. You seem to want to deny what you didnt say…as a ruse to avoid what you did say. (AKA PLAYING THE VICTIM) YOU POOR THING!
    You said plenty that was offensive to Shaun…AND you GROSSLY overstepped in your thinking that YOU can speak for the Atheism Movement.

    so..a hmm…apology??? we are all waiting……. CMON man ..show us what all that beautiful atheism+ can do for a fella….

  161. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To the man so far..everyone what weighed in said they interpreted your exchange with Shaun and you follow ups to imply that you were creating a “purity test” to be part of the atheism movement. SO apparently your saying that they have your permission to be an “atheist”…..but you will deny them permission to join our club…. HENCE a litmus test.

    It wasn’t everyone. For example, MS didn’t, even though he still disagrees with. MS was able to disagree with me without misrepresenting my position.

    Also, it’s not my fault that others share your abysmal reading comprehension. The fault is still yours. Again, I’d really appreciate it if you found some integrity and honesty, admitted your clear mistake, apologized, and promised that you would work on not incorrectly representing my positions again. Am I going to get this? Or are you going to continue digging this hole of yours?

  162. says

    Please actually read the posts. Both you and Shaun accused me of saying roughly “if someone is not a secular humanist, then they’re not an atheist”.

    And yet again I flat out reject that assertion. In the interest of brevity I will state it again in one sentence only. This debate has ALWAYS been about rejecting your view that you get to determine who is part of your group of “good” atheists.

    Now I think you are so used to debating theists who are unable to understand what fallacious reasoning is that you are unable to shift gears when you encounter someone who is capable of rational, nuanced thought.

    t90bb has been so placatory, yet you not have backed down an inch.

    Other neutral observers who probably often question my style of combative engagement have come out and said you may have overstepped the mark.

    And rather than just say, yeah, I may have crossed a line a little bit, you are doubling down on a bad position because you can’t be wrong. That is a shitty way to play the game.

    My meaning has been restated and restated ad nauseum. I will not adhere to doctrinaire thinking. You are doctrinaire. Stop making more of a jerk of yourself by continuing to try to win a debate for no other reason than because you can’t stand being wrong.

    Your personal view that to be worthy to post on here you must adhere to standards that you define has been rejected by every other poster on here. Let it go.

  163. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m not going to engage anymore with you Shaun. I don’t have the desire to engage with someone as dishonest as stubborn as you right now. Maybe some other time, or maybe if you get enough integrity and honesty to admit your clear mistakes.

  164. says

    Also, it’s not my fault that others share your abysmal reading comprehension. The fault is still yours.

    OH MY GOD! Now I’ve seen it all. Everybody else is wrong in their interpretation of what I said. I said it right; you read it it wrong. All of you.

  165. says

    Maybe some other time, or maybe if you get enough integrity and honesty to admit your clear mistakes.

    The projection is strong in this one.

    Well it won’t happen any time soon. As previously stated, you simply can’t say, “i’m right and everybody else is wrong”. It doesn’t work that way.

    As I said, even those who think I can be a bit of a jerk at times have chimed in and said you were wrong. If someone now says, I agree with EL and here’s why, and gives me a cogent argument I will say, oh yeah I see your point there. But no one has. They have all said you went to far.

    And your response to that? You are all wrong.

    And as far as engaging me or not? No skin off my nose one way or the other.

  166. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Shaun #178:

    you simply can’t say, “i’m right and everybody else is wrong”. It doesn’t work that way.

    Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  167. t90bb says

    180….sky..yea…you can say its just Shaun’s opinion. Except that nearly everyone says ELs position and post to Shaun was troubling at best….wanna see it again???

    Shaun wrote:

    I have said before and will say it again. Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods.

    EL REPLIED..

    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    EL IS TRYING DESPERATELY TO deflect from the fact that he told Shaun to go to the slymepit or neo nazis, and THAT UNLESS YOU EMBRACE HIS version of who this blog is for…then you should leave….

    The desperation of EL to try to make this about anything but what he actually said should be obvious to anyone. He wants to dance around the issue by finding fault with others in the hope that he can get me or anyone else to admit we erred in some fashion DURING THIS thread so that he can declare victory and maintain his wayyyy overblown ego. THIS IS A PLOY I WOULD DEFINITELY EXPECT FROM DISHONEST THEISTS. ITS DISHONEST AND DESPICABLE.

    I CHALLENGED EL TO BE THE BETTER MAN MULTIPLE TIMES SINCE HE IS SO HUMANISTIC…AND APOLOGIZE…but what did EL DO?? HE IGNORED THE REQUEST ENTIRELY. He didnt even address it. ANOTHER UTTERLY DICK MOVE I WOULD EXPECT OF DISHONEST THEISTS.

    EL SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO SHAUN. WILL HE?? LETS SEE…EL TALKS A GOOD GAME, EL WANTS AND EXPECTS ALL THOSE IN HIS BRAND OF ATHEISM TO BE VIRTUOUS, DECENT, AND COMPASSIONATE. LETS SEE HOW MUCH HE REALLY CARES FOR THESE IDEALS.

    SO EL SHOULD APOLOGIZE… your move EL

  168. t90bb says

    I SAID….

    To the man so far..everyone what weighed in said they interpreted your exchange with Shaun and you follow ups to imply that you were creating a “purity test” to be part of the atheism movement. SO apparently your saying that they have your permission to be an “atheist”…..but you will deny them permission to join our club…. HENCE a litmus test.

    YOU SAID
    It wasn’t everyone. For example, MS didn’t, even though he still disagrees with. MS was able to disagree with me without misrepresenting my position

    OH REALLY…??? MS DID NOT SAY YOUR post implied a purity test?? HERES WHAT HE SAID..EXACTLY..

    “It’s not so much that I disagree per se, but this along with some of your other posts make me think that you’d like to engage in purity witch-hunts and attempt to expel all “impure” atheists from “the atheism movement.” I find this counterproductive. Part of my fear stems from the fact that this already occurs in socially progressive movements and it’s tiresome.”

    SERIOUSLY ER…

    FIRST YOU ILLICIT THE INPUT OF SOMEONE YOU LIKELY THOUGHT WOULD TAKE YOUR SIDE…IT FAILED
    SECOND YOU LIE ABOUT WHAT HE SAID….

    AGAIN…MS SAID….

    “THE POSTS MADE ME THINK YOU’D LIKE TO ENGAGE IN PURITY WITCH HUNTS……..”

    BTW YOU later said some witch hunts are ok. That was the same post you called Shaun despicable btw.. (another point MS DISAGREED WITH YOU ON BTW}

    i guess you are willing to lie and deflect…hmm…thats some impressive atheist+ shit you got going on.

    YOUR LIKE A DEFENSE ATTNY THAT CALLS WITNESSES THAT PRESENT EVIDENCE AGAINST HIS CLIENT…..LOL

    REMEMBER A WHILE AGO I complemented you..and told you I thought you were much smarter than me?? I think I need to revisit that.

  169. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @t90bb

    If I may, calm down dude. No sense letting yer temper cost ye the high ground at this point. As ye and Shaun have pointed out, the written record is all there for how this conversation has gone, so at this point it may behoove ye to just leave it at that.

  170. t90bb says

    184…Ha Ha…Im very cool….I got lazy with the cap lock and am typing with my dog on my lap. I am not the slighted bit angry. A bit exasperated perhaps, definitely not angry. I am kinda surprised though since I held EL in pretty high regard. EL could have ended this pretty quick by simply saying he went a bit over the top and apologized to my buddy Shaun..

    This whole exchange with EL was a gimme put. I am not a good debater or particularly intellectual. It helped a lot that I was actually on the right side of the argument (smirk)…

    But seriously, I believe this thread will be helpful in the long run. I have learned a few lessons for sure. Ii know i plan to clean up my act…and I also think the language police are less likely to be neurotically picky, No one person here is going to dictate standards. We will hash things like this out and come to an understanding collectively (or not).

    Hope everyone is warm and safe tonight!

    Seeing as it appears EL does not have it in him to apologize, I am willing to let him off the hook.

  171. RationalismRules says

    @42:55 “Good design has the hallmark of simplicity” is not a universal truth.

    Some good designs are complex by necessity. A Dyson vacuum cleaner is a complex piece of kit, yet it’s one of the most highly regarded pieces of design of the past century. Complexity of function tends to require complexity of design.

    Also, design encompasses both function and form. It’s probably fair to say that ‘efficiency’ (as distinct from ‘simplicity’) is a hallmark of good functional design, but from an aesthetic viewpoint, complexity of form can certainly be good design (eg. Art Nouveau furniture).

    Better to stop at Jamie’s original point, “complexity is not an indication of design”. That is true.

  172. RationalismRules says

    @t90bb

    rationalityrules……same guy as the utube atheist??

    No relation. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  173. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To t90bb
    I’m not backing away from my position. I’m not trying to hide it. I’ve said it multiple times. Let me say it again. Someone is an atheist if they don’t believe in a god. Someone can be a shitty atheist, i.e. a libertarian and an atheist, or a rapist and an atheist, or a Nazi and an atheist. We should exclude some of the shittier atheists from our atheist movement. That’s like the 5th time that I’ve said this same position.

    We all want some exclusion. MS, you, Shaun – in spite of t90bb’s and Shaun’s protestations otherwise. We simply disagree as to the amount and kind of exclusion that we should do. Simple proof: Consider a hypothetical situation where we found a guy who attended 5 atheist conventions, and at each convention, he raped and killed someone, and ate their body, while wearing a Nazi uniform, e.g. the worst thing that you can imagine. However, suppose he was an atheist. I’m tolerably certain that we all would agree that this person should be excluded from attending other atheist conventions.

    Now, imagine sexual harassment policies. Most / all of the crew are very much in favor of having official, written, sexual harrassment policies for atheist conventions, conferences, etc. I am too. Inevitably, this also means that they, and I, support the exclusion of atheists who perform repeated or severe violations of these policies. For example, Michael Shermer should be excluded from atheist conventions, conferences, etc.

    I can make similar examples and arguments for why we should exclude certain people from holding positions of authority, and positions of “expert”, and simple speaker roles in conferences, youtube, etc., in the community and movement. We want to attract the good kinds of people, and that means excluding the most horrible kinds of people. In short, it’s solution to the paradox of tolerance (see link up-thread). For the extreme cases, I’m tolerably sure that you’ll agree. I don’t know about other cases, such as Michael Shermer, a repeat rapist, and Lawrence Krauss, a repeat sexual assaulter, and Sargon, an actual neo-Nazi. For me, it seems like a rather easy decision to say that we should remove our support from these people, and shun these people, and not invite them to our events, and bar entry to our events.

  174. says

    EL

    You’re still not getting it.

    You are welcome to have a fucking movement all you want. I’m not part of it ok?

    Also, membership of the “atheist movement” is NOT a prerequisite of posting on this blog that I am aware off.

    If I went to an atheist convention that had codes of conduct I would either comply with them or simply not attend.

    Your remarks about Krauss, Shermer and Sargon are utterly reprehensible. The reason I say this is that we are supposed to live in a civil society governed by the rule of law. Though there may have been allegations against both Krauss and Shermer, there have been no findings of fact by either tribunals or courts against either of these mean. To then go to trial by rumour and accusation is disgraceful, but then we are finding a lot like this about you as this thread progresses.

    As for Sargon, I think he’s a bit of a pompous pontificator to be honest and a bit of a smug jerk. But to call him a neo nazi is bordering on outright slander.

  175. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal #190:

    For me, it seems like a rather easy decision to say that we should remove our support from these people, and shun these people, and not invite them to our events, and bar entry to our events.

     
    Podcast: GaytheistManifesto – Callie Wright In Conversation with Stephanie Zvan and Matt Dillahunty
     

    Matt (1:02:30): When I say that it was difficult to come up with what should be said because the strongest statement I could ever make is the one I made today which is…
     
    I think Lawrence Krauss has a problem, and he’s not gonna address it, and I won’t work with him in the future. And I regret that, despite not having the information, that I’d agreed to work with him in the past – if I knew then what I know now.

  176. says

    @EL

    Your argument for exclusion one of the most specious arguments I’ve ever read, and I’ve gone toe to to with Sam from the UK.

    That you have to equate people who will not bow down to a doctrinaire viewpoint with a murdering raping cannibal shows you are really clutching at straws here. What the fuck is wrong with your thought processes?

    People have told me before when you’re in a hole stop digging…

  177. JBarnes says

    Jamie’s tone and incisiveness were delightful, especially in conjunction with Matt. Great callers today, too. Overall one of the best shows I’ve heard!

  178. t90bb says

    EL…..so

    Shaun said:
    I have said before and will say it again. Atheism is a single issue – the belief or lack thereof of in a god or gods.

    You said….
    Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.

    So lets get this on record…You are not backing away away from

    a. telling Shaun he is “despicable” and telling him to “get off this blog”??
    b. telling him to go back to slymepit or neo,,,,,,,?
    c. asserting this blog is “exclusively” for humanism…atheism+?
    d. trying to tell us what the “atheistic movement” MUST be???

    I noticed once again you ignored my direct question regarding apologizing to Shaun. BTW…I remind you that you have a right to your opinion about what you believe should be fundamental to the “atheism movement”. You do not speak for this board…you do not speak for the atheism movement. Telling anyone to “get off this board” and setting your personal purity test for those allowed to post is unacceptable from my perspective.

    You should take accountability for this. After all you are so very virtuous being an atheism+ kinda guy, right??….

    You suffer from the same level of denial, delusion, and obfuscation usually reserved for the conspiracy crowd (Hence my personal nickname for you…Victor-lite!)

    I wonder why you wont simply apologize to Shaun…or show the decency and courage to simply say you refuse??? You show not a shred of humility. Talk is cheap my friend. You have definitely lost points here…you might gain a few back by actually doing the right thing.

  179. t90bb says

    202

    I also like Jamie…he has a habit of stepping all over the host and co host on Heathen…..and here as well. But hes new at this. I like what he brings to the table and how he expresses himself. A but too silly at times but I am a fan for sure. Eric of Heathen is awesume as well!

    And Matt…well Matt is Matt…..I can listen to him forever!

  180. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    a. telling Shaun he is “despicable” and telling him to “get off this blog”??

    Meh. Might have overreacted there. Emphasis “might”.

    b. telling him to go back to slymepit or neo,,,,,,,?

    I still think that he would feel quite at home there.

    c. asserting this blog is “exclusively” for humanism…atheism+?

    In a certain sense, yes. For example, the blog rules include “no ableist slurs”. So, the rules don’t demand a purity test to be on here, but they do demand that you act according to that code of conduct while you are here.

    d. trying to tell us what the “atheistic movement” MUST be???

    Of course I’m not backing off that one.

    You do not speak for this board

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that I do. I’m pretty sure that the cast and crew hold to the same opinions on these matters that I do. I’m not an official spokesperson, and I never claimed to be, but I do claim that you’re fooling yourself if you think that the cast and crew think drastically differently than I on these issues.

    Telling anyone to “get off this board” and setting your personal purity test for those allowed to post is unacceptable from my perspective.

    I don’t give a fuck. Your concern is noted and logged (e.g. entirely dismissed).

    indianajones,
    thanks.

  181. t90bb says

    206…thanks for the honesty. lol.. (although you not so skillfully avoided the request for an apology, I am sure I am not the only to notice that)…..

    “might”….
    “in a certain sense”…:

    Victor-lite sure can tap dance!

  182. says

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that I do.

    Actually I’m pretty sure by now that you’re just a self important wanker who thinks that just because he posts on this blog he is someone special. What you are and have shown yourself to be is a total jerk.

    I don’t give a fuck. Your concern is noted and logged (e.g. entirely dismissed).

    Yeah, your tendency to authoritarian thinking and a lack of concern for the opinions of others has been noted and logged. What a scumbag. Doesn’t matter, left or right, the extremes are the dangerous.

    As for not engaging me.. good. I don’t like you.

  183. jpa020 says

    I just watched a clip from this show, on YouTube, and about half-way through an ad popped up that made me chuckle. It was an ad for Hellenic College, The premier accredited Orthodox Christian College of America. I even took a screenshot hoping I could post it with this comment but, alas, I cannot.

  184. t90bb says

    I think Adam said it best in 154!

    @Shaun Well done for standing your ground EL seems to be on a mighty stallion of a high horse. He should consider that some minorities may find it offensive that he appoints himself their champion.

    Dont think I could have said it better!……

    EL…that tap dancing Victor-lite! Keep up that atheism+/////…..your gonna win a lot of fans!

  185. Nathan says

    I went back to find the show Josh (EL) was on just out of curiosity, the blog thread of that show have him posting a year later still claiming victory and thinking everyone else should apologize to him. This is his modus operandi. He is never wrong and everyone else is just too much of a moron to understand his greatness. Let him think he has some sort of control over the atheist community and this board, when the only power he actually has is to go back to years old threads and post so that he can get the last word and win.

  186. says

    @t90bb

    Yeah, I hope sam or victor or even john from uk are on here, so we can rip into theists or flat earthers for a change.

    But this was good and cathartic. It’s interesting to see how intolerant the self appointed enlightened are.

  187. t90bb says

    And one last thing to my favorite little tap dancer……

    do you see this thread??? no freakin way you would have invested this much time addressing these points and defending yourself if you didnt have some form of a guilty conscious……so there may be hope for you Mr, Victor-lite!

    perhaps when you finally move on you can get back to tap dancing practice!!! not that you need much practice there… .

  188. t90bb says

    AFTER calling Nathan to the stand……I will let this go to the jury!!!!

    I am OFFICIALLY OUT OF THIS discussion now………

    I really hope this long painful exchange was beneficial….it was a conversation that I think really had to be had. My apologies to anyone who’s ears bled!

  189. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    the blog thread of that show have him posting a year later still claiming victory and thinking everyone else should apologize to him

    What? I’m pretty sure your description is like “pants-on-fire” wrong. Concerning the time or two that I called in, I still think I’m right, but I never demanded that Matt or anyone else apologize to me. That’s just silly.

    If you believe otherwise, citations please.

  190. says

    I like the ending to that thread. Six months after it started it ended with a

    “PS: Again, fuck you.”

    From the enlightened fuckwit.

    This is a person with a pathological inability to see that other people both have a different point of view and also have a right to that. No point engaging that type of person.

  191. t90bb says

    220…..OHHHH SHAUN….I watched it…..I may never be the same…..DO YOURSELF A FAVOR….have a drink before you watch it…….

    This world is really cruel I tell you.

  192. says

    @t90bb #219

    yeah, put’s a new perspective on it.

    Someone who thinks they’re brilliant but nobody recognises their brilliance. Also known as narcissism.

    Interesting that this person who says he speaks for the show was actually hung up on the one time he called the show. How ironic!

  193. t90bb says

    220….and better yet…its not like Nathan pulled that up out of the blue. EL (Josh) bragged about it earlier on the thread…………………holey!

    WOW…lol…wow…..I guess this thread is entirely in character for EL (Josh)…….and this the self appointed leader of atheism+.

    I honestly feel trolled…….I laughed so hard tears rolled…..

    I need to stop for the same reason it was wrong for me to pile on Victor….its likely he cannot help himself!

  194. says

    DO YOURSELF A FAVOR….have a drink before you watch it…….

    Umm, it’s 10 o’clock in the morning here – LOL!

  195. t90bb says

    I really wish there was a block button on this board………….

    And I thought I was having a serious conversation………my hats of to you JOSH…you got me…

  196. t90bb says

    225…Then dont watch it!!!! Might ruin your day.unless your as twisted as I. I actually have found humor in this, now!

  197. says

    need to stop for the same reason it was wrong for me to pile on Victor….its likely he cannot help himself!

    You’re correct there. It would be a narcissistic compulsion to prove that he is right and everybody else wrong (Mr amateur psychologist here)

  198. says

    @227 strong coffee got me through.

    But yeah I do laugh now, knowing what I was debating with.

    Mind you the principles espoused still stand. A right to your own opinion and a rejection of doctrine and dogma. So I’m happy that the debate highlighted that.

  199. t90bb says

    SEE you on the next thread Shaun!!! I dig your sense of humor by the way. Until SUNDAY!!!!! adiossssss

  200. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Shaun

    Umm, it’s 10 o’clock in the morning here – LOL!

    Now now, when I was in Japan whenever I’d be at the train station early in the morning everyone around me would have beer or sake while waiting. Of course they’ve got booze vending machines there, so early morning drinking requires significantly less prep work…

    That said, I’m rather amazed at what a shit show this thread turned into. Well, maybe not amazed. More disappointed. Amusingly it was researching thoughts on secular morality that turned me on to AXP in the first place a depressing number of years ago and I’ve enjoyed this blog to varying degrees as a venue to discuss the show’s topics and occasionally interact with some of the kookier callers into the show.
    When I learned of Atheism+ when it was emerging I thought it was an interesting idea, but quickly became disgusted by its adherents and tendency toward cannibalism and wanted nothing to do with the movement after that. Thankfully during the rise and fall of it, this particular forum, regardless of whether the showrunners ascribed to it or no, seemed to be more geared toward bouncing ideas back and forth rather than excising the impure.
    This blog has a Progressive bent, sure (and to be clear, I do count myself as a Progressive of sorts) and I don’t tend to see many regular posters being rude for the sake of rude (making allowances for loss of patience or occasional carelessness). Even Shaun I read as being more concerned with someone trying to declare words/ideas taboo than wanting the right to be a prick to people, and even then a prick is a far cry from a Nazi. If this blog were exclusively for atheism+ as EL suggested, I doubt I ever would have bothered to post here. Frankly I’m quite thankful that’s not the case.

  201. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    If this blog were exclusively for atheism+ as EL suggested, I doubt I ever would have bothered to post here.

    You and I mean different things by that. I mean that we should conduct ourselves according to the standards of “atheism+”, and not that our topics of discussion should be limited to topics of “atheism+”. And by “the standards of conduct of atheism+”, I simply mean the blog rules as already written and enforced, which includes a general prohibition on ableist slurs.

  202. t90bb says

    232…..Evil. I really enjoyed your post. This may have been something that needed to happen. Please do not give up on the blog……this has been well “fleshed” out (I hope). I have read your posts and in my opinion you are important here! I would miss you. Sorry you found this tedious.. Sooner rather than later we will turn the page and a theist will “step in it” and we will have a new “news cycle”.

    I also apologize to anyone else who found this agonizing.

  203. says

    When I learned of Atheism+ when it was emerging I thought it was an interesting idea, but quickly became disgusted by its adherents and tendency toward cannibalism and wanted nothing to do with the movement after that.

    Atheism+ failed for these tendencies. The aformentioned purity test. And absolutist thinking along the lines of either you’re with us or you’re a nazi.

    So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the person most identifying with such a movement should act in such a manner as EL has.

  204. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun:
    First, I said as written and as applied.

    See:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/moderation-policy/

    Disagreement is welcome; bigotry is not. Insulting blanket statements about groups of people are likely to get you banned. That includes women, racial groups, homosexuals, transsexuals, and YES, sometimes even religious groups.

    Also relevant:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/about-the-rules-of-the-facebook-official-discussion-group/

    Not this:
    […]
    Use language that is racist, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc. (Ableism examples: retard, lame, idiot, stupid. Longer list here: https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/about-the-rules-of-the-facebook-official-discussion-group/ )
    […]
    The one that trips up a lot of people is the prohibition against ableist language. This includes, but is not limited to, words that are slurs about mental disability (such as crazy, stupid, idiot, moron, retarded, dumb, insane, imbecile, maniac, nuts, psycho) and words that are slurs about physical disabilities (such as lame, crippled, invalid, blind, deaf, spastic).
    […]
    Barren
    […]
    Blind to ____ / turn a blind eye to ____ / blinded by ignorance/bigotry/etc.
    […]
    Bound to a wheelchair (wheelchair bound)
    […]
    Confined to a wheelchair
    […]
    Crackpot
    […]
    [etc]

    For a particular instance, see:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2017/03/12/open-thread-for-episode-21-10-matt-and-john/

    John Iacoletti says

    March 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Lillith, your gendered slur was “annoyingly stupid bitch”. It’s ableist too. So is “idiot”. Everybody, please avoid the use of any sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic language or slurs on the blog.

    I really do know what I’m talking about.

  205. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Reposting because my post included too many links:

    To Shaun:
    First, I said as written and as applied.

    See:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/moderation-policy/

    Disagreement is welcome; bigotry is not. Insulting blanket statements about groups of people are likely to get you banned. That includes women, racial groups, homosexuals, transsexuals, and YES, sometimes even religious groups.

    Also relevant:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/about-the-rules-of-the-facebook-official-discussion-group/

    Not this:
    […]
    Use language that is racist, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc. (Ableism examples: retard, lame, idiot, stupid. Longer list here: https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/about-the-rules-of-the-facebook-official-discussion-group/ )
    […]
    The one that trips up a lot of people is the prohibition against ableist language. This includes, but is not limited to, words that are slurs about mental disability (such as crazy, stupid, idiot, moron, retarded, dumb, insane, imbecile, maniac, nuts, psycho) and words that are slurs about physical disabilities (such as lame, crippled, invalid, blind, deaf, spastic).
    […]
    Barren
    […]
    Blind to ____ / turn a blind eye to ____ / blinded by ignorance/bigotry/etc.
    […]
    Bound to a wheelchair (wheelchair bound)
    […]
    Confined to a wheelchair
    […]
    Crackpot
    […]
    [etc]

    For a particular instance, see:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2017/03/12/open-thread-for-episode-21-10-matt-and-john/

    John Iacoletti says

    March 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Lillith, your gendered slur was “annoyingly stupid bitch”. It’s ableist too. So is “idiot”. Everybody, please avoid the use of any sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic language or slurs on the blog.

    I really do know what I’m talking about.

  206. says

    Can’t be wrong, can you Josh?

    Since I don’t contribute to the facebook discussion group, not relevant. The rules of this blog are relevant.

    Now, back in your box and lay your narcissistic trip on someone else.

  207. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun

    Since I don’t contribute to the facebook discussion group, not relevant.

    Lol.

    Oh wait, you’re serious? Let me laugh harder.

    You also failed to address:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2017/03/12/open-thread-for-episode-21-10-matt-and-john/

    John Iacoletti says

    March 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Lillith, your gendered slur was “annoyingly stupid bitch”. It’s ableist too. So is “idiot”. Everybody, please avoid the use of any sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic language or slurs on the blog.

    Do you not know who John Iacoletti is?
    http://www.atheist-experience.com/people/john_iacoletti/

  208. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    To be fair, he does say “Please” implying it’s a request and not a hard fast rule. 😛

    Seriously though, how much more meat is on this bone?

  209. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Evil God
    As you should know, I’m tenacious to a fault, and well past what most would consider good common sense. I’m a living embodiment of “duty calls”.
    https://xkcd.com/386/

  210. says

    Josh, Josh, Josh, so fucking what?

    Your argument now is appeal to John’s authority. It’s like “I’m telling the teacher on you”.

    If John was moderating this thread and complained about my use of language, or any moderator for that matter, I would say, ok. But this argument is now 240 posts old and it would appear it’s as likely to happen as Jesus coming back.

    So, once more.. go fuck youself* You are not worthy of debate. Your pedantic, absolutist manner shows that. The spokesman for the AXP who the one time he called the show was hung up on and argued for six months after that call that he was correct.

    * Not meant in any way to be a slur against anyone who can, in fact, fuck themselves.

  211. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shaun
    So, does that mean that you accept that using ableist slurs is against the rules here, and continued use of ableist slurs will probably get you banned from here?

  212. says

    “To Shaun
    So, does that mean that you accept that using ableist slurs is against the rules here, and continued use of ableist slurs will probably get you banned from here?”

    No it means that I think you’re a wanker with a huge god complex, and you have no authority over anybody on this blog but are so narcissistic probably in all areas of your life that you think you do.

    As far as moderation goes, I always abide by the direction of moderators on any forum, (since it’s the polite thing to do) but since I’ve yet to hear from them, nothing to abide by.

    So, once more, with feeling – go fuck yourself.

  213. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Just to be clear, you’re telling me to go fuck myself because I’m informing you that the rules of etiquette of this blog forbid you from using slurs against marginalized and oppressed, undeserving minority groups, and because I assert that you have a basic moral duty as a human being to not be part of further marginalization and oppression of undeserving minority groups? You really should look in a mirror. Is that really the hill that you want to die on? “Don’t be an ass to disabled people”, “You’re not the boss of me!”.

  214. says

    Just to be clear, you’re telling me to go fuck myself because I’m informing you that the rules of etiquette of this blog forbid you from using slurs against marginalized and oppressed, undeserving minority groups,

    You aren’t very good at comprehension are you? I told you to go fuck yourself because you are a narcisstic wanker with a god complex.

  215. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ok then.

    I told you to go fuck yourself because you are a narcisstic wanker with a god complex.

    I don’t believe you. I believe you are lying, or otherwise incorrectly reporting your own state of mind.

    Well, that about sums it up then. I don’t think I have much more to say. But please, continue with your abuse of my character, or whatever it is that you’re doing.

  216. says

    I don’t believe you. I believe you are lying, or otherwise incorrectly reporting your own state of mind.

    OK, that has to be satire. If not, starting to understand this fixation on “ableist” slurs.

    Free not to believe me all you want. Still think the same way. I think you have real problems with the ideas of thinking different to you.

  217. Nathan says

    “Well, that about sums it up then. I don’t think I have much more to say.”

    You’ll be back even if you have to wait six months, just so you can have the last word and claim victory.

  218. t90bb says

    249,,,,,

    After watching him in action on the show….I now liken him to a young child that crawls into an intersection to direct traffic….Its almost endearing. ALMOST!……just like Matt I have personally chose to hang up on the poor thing.

  219. t90bb says

    The last time I witnessed a person so off base, critically vacuous, egotistical, and prideful was when our current president decided to run for office..

  220. says

    Just want to applaud Matt and Jamie for their excellent interaction with the high school boys. You got those boys thinking without putting them on the defensive, which is so important when talking to kids their age. No doubt they walked away from the call feeling like they were heard, their opinions taken seriously, and that atheists aren’t the vile monsters they may have been lead to think. Great job guys!

  221. t90bb says

    As we still have a day to kill, I think Id like to talk about the broader question in this thread.

    I remind everyone that this thing got rolling as a result of someone being critical of the way Matt used the term “whoring”. He got push back and then a few others pushed back in defense of the original criticism. Several including RR offered up what seemed to be a lecture as to why the term “whoring” carried baggage.

    At the end of the day…after listening to their side,,I stand firm and have no issue with the word whoring in the context used.

    So we disagree. How do you suppose we hash this out?? Does it need to be hashed out???

    Mind you…I think I once used the word “retard” on the board and someone reached out and told me that they had a problem with it. I listened to their argument. I decided, based on the discussion I was going to refrain from ever using the term. They spoke, I weighed their argument, and I ultimately felt moved to change my behavior.

    So for terms like “whoring” in the context used, I listened, and my conscience left me unwilled to make a change. So what now?? (is that acceptable?)

    Mind you I am a young gay male and have experienced the pain of bigotry and hate, so I consider myself pretty empathetic and willing to extend myself far to avoid causing discomfort. I am pretty liberal that way and have already expressed regret when it is evident to me that any line has been crossed.

    I assume most of us will agree there are many words and descriptions that are simply obviously wrong and intentionallu divisive and hateful (niggxx, cxnt, fagxgot bixch and the like). Fine and good.

    Then we fall into a tier that are (and will be) debated (moron, idiot, …. the list can really go on and on).

    So many words in one context or another can cause someone or some group discomfort, or as RR likes to say “marginalization”.

    I guess what I am saying is.aside from the terms for which there is little to no debate…..it mostly, it seems to me, comes down to a personal decision of conscience.

    Clearly in the context of this blog, moderators can rule absolutely. And considering my recent contacts with them revealed no one has been banned (or warned) in the face of some recent marginal or questionable violations, they have a wide liberal view.

    But to further complicate this, the moderators also have their personal bias..and conscience to wrestle with. That is, what Jen P. may deem a violation, Don B. may not.

    I am not just stirring up trouble. I have watched several blog members nudge, some lecture, and most recently some actually try to demand adherence to their “version and interpretation” of blog rules in regards to acceptable speech.

    I suppose this a mere microcosm of what we are watching play out across society today.

    I know for me. I take the opinions of others seriously and have changed behaviors in many areas of my life. And I appreciate that others have adapted in the name of my ease and comfort. But at the same time, I feel some of the requests do not merit change…and although I am willing to further discuss them, I refuse to be bullied into said changes. We are all individuals. Individuality is to be cherished and respected.

    I am quite sure this post will be used against me in some form or fashion. My decency, empathy, even my intellect are sure to be challenged.

    I dont know….just putting it out there.

    Many of us take this issue very seriously and we continue to evolve. But it will be my conscience as the driving force in this evolution. not tireless lectures, and definitely not threats.

    Social pressure as Josh has brought up has a role here, no doubt. But social pressure can work both ways.

    Thoughts?

  222. StonedRanger says

    Thoughts? A couple. How tedious. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. That is all.

  223. t90bb says

    255…..exactly my thoughts when I see someone called out for using the world “moron”. Thanks

  224. Nathan says

    It’s a complicated issue, and I feel it really comes down to context, which I’ve said before. I personally work in a multinational corporation and within my own office in the U.S. we have people from all backgrounds. Taking into consideration all the different viewpoints people have and their background it is important to be very careful how one speaks at work, (even though I still hear plenty things against LGBT people). At the same time I think people need to be adults an understand that not everyone understand every aspect of the variety of all peoples lives. Maybe, they can update their language but is that really the issue?

    For instance, at work, I’ve never heard anyone call people a faggot or something like that, but they have talked about how wrong it is for a guy to wear makeup. Personally,I like to paint my nails, but have never heard a sentence from them where I could pull out one word and say,”that’s it, that’s the word they can’t say.”

    This all turns into such a petty thing where some people think they are making some sort of difference but really are not. Some how if we censor some words, and kick those people out of our group that solves our problems. It doesn’t .

    It’s the meaning that matters, not the words. Again, I’ll point out, I’m less offended by someone saying faggot than I am Tony Perkins going on national news and talking about me in clinical terms like “homosexual” and describing me as a disease that needs cured.

  225. tommy403 says

    259. Nathan…

    Understood yes. Its really all very complicated. Hard to read minds. Thanks for responding. Hopefully we all commit to be better people.. (wishful thinking I know).

  226. t90bb says

    Yup Nathan. All good points. Intent and context are key. Takes effort to evaluate intent tho. Standardizing is less labor intensive……pros and cons…..hence your point…its complex!

    Thanks for responding

  227. Muz says

    I’m one who thinks in general so called PC language has been a good thing in the world. At every stage it has been seen to be toe curlingly minute in its impact, by people who looked into their hearts and thought that, say, being openly racist with words was not a bad thing, their off the cuff slurs didn’t really matter and their conscience was entirely clear about it and they felt no change was necessary. And yet, the general weight of arguments, both reasonable and emotional, went against them and their behaviour was pushed aside in wider society.
    We can say that this was because there was a general victory of rationality and knowledge that altered the moral landscape and maybe even the fostering of a greater sympathy for the people being addressed was at play. Probably the case, but at the same time I think it also involved a very great deal of free individual behaviour simply being forced (Forced! Shield your eyes libertarians if it helps) into restricting themselves lest they suffer to the invisible mob of society. From which I think it can be argued that these ways of thinking and behaving were stunted in their growth in generations to come (although that’s not the sole reason it happened).

    Why am I bringing this up when we all kinda know this?. Well, I do think it gets lost in these discussions of how we should stop all this PC-ness and it’s gone mad and so forth. We’re here at this point in history because it works: from altering language at all to then bludgeoning people over the head to comply as a moral imperative. No I don’t think everything done in its name is a worthwhile fight and I do think that all speech is to some degree emotional so there’s almost no theoretical end to it if we really get down to it. That’s obviously bad. But I think we hit a self limiting efficiency problem well before that so it’s not a risk.There isn’t a clear place to draw the line either though, to my eye. It’s going to continue and be a tussle for a while to come (although how widespread such concerns are will probably ebb and flow).

    I’m not sure I have a point here really. I guess I think that these discussions boil down to people getting worried about policing language on principle, for no tangible reason they can see and also because the action of such policing is destructive. History paints that argument as, if not necessarily wrong then something that can be overlooked and overruled if the cause is worth it, quite often for the good. So, that being an impass that’s hard to resolve without barricades and canon and so forth I think everyone should concentrate on some other aspect of the issue perhaps? Maybe figure out if prostitutes are alienated by this language or not? Or I guess that’s another likely stalemate. Use your imagination though, maybe something will come up.

    tldr: Thoughts? I don’t know.

  228. says

    The sheer absurdity of this debate has astounded me, and I felt quite sheepish as I realised I had been arguing the point with someone who, far from representing the interests of the show, had called the show once 4 years ago and was hung up on by the host. And reason he was hung up on was an inability to see other people’s points of view, a tendency to split hairs endlessly and a pathological need to be right.

  229. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Shaun #266:

    The sheer absurdity of this debate has astounded me

    I had been arguing the point

  230. t90bb says

    there never was a argument from my perspective that obvious hate speech and marginalization should end…..thats a given from my side.

    the question is were are lines drawn?? Is it fair to use the term obese?? It its bound to make some people feel objectified. Is it fair to say a football team lost?? Since losing is traumatic for some…,,,ho about fool?? or dummy???………

    thats what this has been all about,,,line drawing and limits…. and who gets to decide…..

  231. t90bb says

    268….I think the point he was making is that your claiming the whole argument is absurd on one hand….yet investing and participating at the same time…

    at least thats what I took away. As usual hes rather cryptic….

    i am looking forward to heathen and tae tomorrow….. night all….l

  232. Liam Dunne says

    Hi Jamie,
    I’m a Catholic (can’t escape that).

    I made my first communion.
    I was confirmed.
    But from the age of fifteen I struggled to believe.

    I went to ‘Charismatic’ (evangelical) meetings in Dublin.
    But, these meetings only emphasised that Christianity made no sense.
    The worst thing there was ‘speaking in tongues’.
    That just made me think that these people are crazy.

    However, in order to bolster a belief in god
    I went to a seminary to become a Catholic priest.
    During my time there, I was told that I would make an excellent priest.
    (Doesn’t this indicate that belief is not required for priesthood?)
    My experience there confirmed that I did not believe.

    I am a positive atheist.
    I can’t see how there could be a god.

    However, like Matt says, I cannot prove that.

    Hi Jamie,
    I’m a Catholic (can’t escape that).

    I made my first communion.
    I was confirmed.
    But from the age of fifteen I struggled to believe.

    I went to ‘Charismatic’ (evangelical) meetings in Dublin.
    But, these meetings only emphasised that Christianity made no sense.
    The worst thing there was ‘speaking in tongues’.
    That just made me think that these people are crazy.

    However, in order to bolster a belief in god
    I went to a seminary to become a Catholic priest.
    During my time there, I was told that I would make an excellent priest.
    (Doesn’t this indicate that belief is not required for priesthood?)
    My experience there confirmed that I did not believe.

    I am a positive atheist.
    I can’t see how there could be a god.

    However, like Matt says, I cannot prove that.

    Regards

  233. RationalismRules says

    @Liam Dunne

    I’m a Catholic (can’t escape that).

    Why “can’t escape that”? Given that you don’t accept the most fundamental tenets of Catholicism, why would you consider yourself ‘inescapably’ Catholic? I have heard it said that Catholicism in Ireland is as much (or more) about culture than it is about belief – is that the point here? As someone who comes from a part of the world where Catholicism is simply a branch of Xtianity rather than a cultural identity, I’m intrigued.

  234. GG says

    The correct response to the “God cured cancer, I don’t know how else it could happen” is THIS:
    “If that person had lost a limb in an accident, do you believe that you could pray and God would make that limb grow again?”
    Make them understand that God seems to “work” only in cases where it is possible for other things to create a solution. God doesn’t seem to work where there is NO solution.

  235. Scott Fraser says

    Hi Matt, Jamie,

    I really appreciate how you treated these young fellows. You were tough, but not mean or bullying. You appeared to try to meet them where they were, as they were just starting out.

    Nice way to not alienate folks. 🙂 Great job.

    Next time, let Jamie talk more to folks like these. He’s more gentle. 🙂

  236. Andrea Laforgia says

    Manda’s story really touched me. I am an agnostic atheist (big fan of the show for years now btw) and I totally agree with Matt when he says we should be given tools to cope with those terrible situations – since our childhood I’d say. I lost my father when I was 19 and I lost my mom when I was 38. The loss of my mom (4 years ago) really shattered me and I still get emotional when I think of her. It was really hard for me, in those moments, to stick to my atheistic vision of the world. I couldn’t believe she was no longer there. Believing that she was “somewhere”, looking at me, still caring about me, still thinking of me was SO tempting. But then rationality necessarily takes over emotions, as that’s our natural survival instinct. So what I’d like to tell Manda is that she’s not alone feeling the way she feels, and she should not be afraid of giving up a doctrine that makes (clearly false) promises for something that is instead concrete, true, tangible, present here and now. Big hugs to Manda and whoever is living the same situation.

  237. kubush says

    I registered to this blog just to say this: Why are you blocking youtube comments? I read that it was because of misogynistic comments and apologists and such but…..that’s called freedom of speech. Sorry but I am a die hard freedom of speech advocate. BUT besides that, disabling comments guarantees lower youtube traffic because a lot of the youtube traffic that comes to controversial channels comes from debates in the comments section!!!!! I’m annoyed not just because I’m a freedom of speech advocate but because I believe in the message that the channel provides! And disabling comments on your channel will hurt your growth guaranteed. If you don’t believe me. Do a trial run for 6 months or so and see if there is a difference in subscribers and viewers.

  238. David says

    Manda! You’re loved ones are always with you.

    My philosophy on death is this… If you take a fish and place it in the ground, it becomes the earth, it helps plants grow, basically it becomes part of the ecosystem/our environment. I view that with death, the person becomes the earth, the plants, the trees, they become the water, the oxygen….. I only need to take a step outside, or a hike in the woods and remember my loved ones who have passed on. It’s kind of spiritual in a way 🙂 As long as you remember them, they will always be around you.

    Dave

  239. RationalismRules says

    @kubush

    Sorry but I am a die hard freedom of speech advocate.

    So if a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses turn up at the door while you’re hosting a party you invite them in, and give them stage time and a mic when they ask for it, right? Because anything else would be limiting their freedom of speech, wouldn’t it?

    If your answer is no, then you already understand that ‘free speech’ doesn’t mean ‘whenever, wherever and however I want.’
     
    As for the ‘traffic’ argument, read AXP’s reasons for not enabling YouTube comments. (There’s a link at the side of every blog entry, but I’ve embedded it in the previous sentence so you don’t even have to scroll up for it)

    Clearly, AXP considers this a more important factor than the unquantified benefits of increased ‘controversy traffic’. Maybe if you were able to demonstrate that ‘controversy traffic’ leads to a significant increase in meaningful views (ie. people actually watching the video, not just treating the comments section as a playground) you might have a stronger case.

    Even so, I doubt it would outweigh the AXP moderation policy. Sometimes ‘spreading the message to a wider audience’ is a less important goal than ‘not attaching a gigantic pile of shit to our message’.

  240. says

    Manda from Lynchburg, VA… What a wonderful person… She sounded so much like she needed a hug… She also sounded like she really was listening and understood what she was listening to… The idea of losing her loved ones was huge, and losing all of that had died all at once, rather than still believing she’d see them again must have been terrible. I wish so much we didn’t poison our reality with this pretending… I hope she finds a way to cope with her losses once (if?) she moves past her religion. What a wonderful person…

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