Comments

  1. uglygeek says

    At the beginning of the show Matt said: “… And this is a funny thing; I have never wanted to draw Mohammed until somebody told me I couldn’t, and now I will… and so it should be really obvious when your preferred tactic actually backfires massively, like, tell me I cannot draw Mohammed, I’ll draw Mohammed; tell me I cannot say ‘f… Mohammed’, I am gonna say ‘f… Mohammed, …”

    But is this true? Do these tactics really backfire? Ask it to to Molly Norris, a cartoonist from my city, Seattle, who is still in hiding since 2010 after having organised the first (and last?) annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”. First you’ll have to find her.
    And ask it to the editorial staff of ‘Charlie Hebdo’, in Paris.
    Looks like these tactics have been quite effective indeed in enforcing blasphemy laws in Western Europe and in the United States.

  2. John David Balla says

    @uglygeek
    You are conflating Matt’s point about how prohibitions can actually stimulate the activity with the perceived enforcement of the prohibition.

  3. uglygeek says

    @2 John David Balla
    Well, yes and no. Prohibitions can stimulate the activity yes, but strict enforcement of the prohibition really stifles the activity, and prohibition and enforcement are strictly related. The result is that nobody is drawing Muhammad anywhere, because deciding to do that is potentially life-changing, so it’s objectively not true that prohibition stimulates the activity in this case.

  4. John David Balla says

    @uglygeek. As a matter of squelching distribution of Muhammed cartoons, the threat was a de facto prohibition and has been extremely effective as you pointed out. I do recall Matt drawing a Muhammed stick figure on an AXP episode. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge AXP with more mainstream content distribution channels. Depending on how you do the math, Matt may have been one of only a few who successfully ran the gauntlet. Pretty ballsy when I think about it.

  5. Lamont Cranston says

    Once again this week we had a discussion about evidence for God and how or if God could prove his/her/its existence…

    Based on the previous thread, I went and found two videos of Steambath (1973, there is a later 2005 version I have never watched). The first one is where God proves he is God to Bill Bixby’s character after much discussion and initially doing the “pick a card any card” proof attempt. The second is the full PBS telecast (you have to log in to see it). The warning is due mostly to Valerie Perrine’s entrance. For what it’s worth, she is currently 75 years old and suffering from Parkinson’s (some may remember her as Miss Teschmacher in the first Chistopher Reeve Superman movie).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-k5mDhwjfs

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

    The whole play kind of revolves around Bill Bixby’s character dealing with whether he believes that a Puerto Rican steam bath attendant could possibly be God.

    Lamont Cranston

  6. Josiah says

    I really resonate with quinton. I am in a very similar situation at the moment and it really does help to know that I’m not alone in that.

  7. indianajones says

    @uglygeek Are you suggesting that the Charlie Hebdo massacre had anything at all to do with anything other than murderous thugs murdering? Or that Molly Norris is in hiding for any other reason that murderous thugs want to? Because to suggest that to be so, to lend these murderous thugs any shred of their claimed justification any weight at all, would be truly disgusting.

    You may have a point. Find better examples. I am willing to grant that it was perhaps unintentional, but there is a strong whiff of victim blaming and appeasement for murderers in your posts thus far IMO.

  8. plamuk says

    Matt, you keep coming so close to laying the hammer of Clarke’s 3rd Law down in conversations about the supernatural…but you always stop short of actually asking your interlocutor how THEY would determine the difference between tech and magic. Why? This might have been an effective way to shake Bill out of his focus on your epistemology, and instead to focus on his own shortcomings with respect to his belief in alleged miracle events.

    it would be absolutely trivial for an alien intelligence to wear a jesus mask, or to appear to split the moon in two.

  9. uglygeek says

    @6 indianajones – No victim blaming at all, and one must read my words in the less possible charitable way to think so.

    On the opposite, I was living in Paris in January 2015, when the Charlie Hebdo massacre happened, and that episode had a profound impact on me (for example, it completely changed my views on immigration) and this is the reason why I reacted negatively hearing Matt talking so lightly about the blasphemy rules imposed on us by radical Muslims.
    Because it is obviously not true, these rules are enforced by murderous thugs, as you say, but they are really enforced in reality and people avoid breaking them. Nobody draws Muhammed because people are afraid of the consequences.

    And while I also despise Christianity, I can’t help but notice that the artist Andres Serrano, who in 1987 created “Piss Christ” the famous image of a crucifix submerged in a glass tank of his urine, is not living in hiding.

  10. jabbly says

    A kinda interesting episode even if the first pretty much said nothing. The slavery question was better. I can understand the argument that ‘times were different’ but that only gets you as far as someone would consider it morally acceptable not god wasn’t clear on the matter.

  11. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Matt has said that while he does not believe in an absolute morality, he does accept objective morality once a baseline for moral behavior has been established. Matt uses well-being as a baseline so that future acts can be evaluated against this standard. I have no problem with this, if you can get a meaningful consensus on well being, that is. The only time Matt strays from this and comes close to declaring a moral absolute is with the issue of biblical slavery. I have written elsewhere that slavery in ancient times was a fact of life, a thing as normal as anything else and it was held that some people were simply born to be slaves. The man who first penned the words in Exodus and put words in the mouth of his imaginary god could probably not have imagined things being any other way and so the god had no choice but to speak his assigned lines, said god being nothing more than a projection of the people and their own desires. They decided what their god’s commandments would be, giving themselves permission to do what they did, which leaves them ultimately responsible.

    But were they acting immorally?

    If we could time travel back to those times and propose the idea of well-being as a basis for moral behavior to those iron-age people, I’m sure their concept of what would comprise the well-being of the tribe would be radically different from our own, including the rightness and necessity of slavery. (It could be that those ancient people were, in fact, acting against their best interests in the long term by maintaining slavery, but I am not qualified to make such an appraisal.)
    The take-away is that those people were not acting immorally in light of their own agreed upon moral baseline, one that maintained the rightness of slavery, something that had thousands of years of history, after all. Unless you want to judge them by some moral absolute, as Matt seems to do; the absolute that slavery was immoral, is immoral, and shall ever be immoral. But slavery is neutral. It is neither moral nor immoral; neither good not bad until we come along and place labels on it according to what we perceive to be in out best interests. What is considered to be in the best interests of the group is not written in stone, but changes with time and place and circumstances.

    The real problem arises when Christians today insist upon dragging their iron-age god into present and find themselves mired in one conundrum after another as a result, always trying to plug their square peg into the round hole of modern thought. Without that, we would not be having this conversation.

  12. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ PC #10:

    “I have written elsewhere that slavery in ancient times was a fact of life, a thing as normal as anything else and it was held that some people were simply born to be slaves.”

    And it was still immoral, even if the people at the time didn’t realize it.

    “But were they acting immorally?”

    Yes.

    “If we could time travel back to those times and propose the idea of well-being as a basis for moral behavior to those iron-age people, I’m sure their concept of what would comprise the well-being of the tribe would be radically different from our own, including the rightness and necessity of slavery.”

    You’re stuck on the well-being of groups, which is a part of it, but individuals matter too.

    “Unless you want to judge them by some moral absolute, as Matt seems to do; the absolute that slavery was immoral, is immoral, and shall ever be immoral. But slavery is neutral. It is neither moral nor immoral; neither good not bad until we come along and place labels on it according to what we perceive to be in out best interests.”

    You’re really overthinking this.

    “What is considered to be in the best interests of the group is not written in stone, but changes with time and place and circumstances.”

    Okay, but what is *actually* in the best interest of the group doesn’t change.

  13. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @PETER CUSHNIE #10:

    those people were not acting immorally in light of their own agreed upon moral baseline

    It’s not an agreement if parties involved are ignored or coerced.
     
    Article: Third Servile War

    To varying degrees throughout Roman history, the existence of a pool of inexpensive labor in the form of slaves was an important factor in the economy. […] With Rome’s heavy involvement in wars of conquest in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, tens if not hundreds of thousands of slaves at a time were imported […] While there was limited use for slaves as servants, craftsmen, and personal attendants, vast numbers of slaves worked in mines and on the agricultural lands
     
    For the most part, slaves were treated harshly and oppressively during the Roman republican period. Under Republican law, a slave was not considered a person, but property. Owners could abuse, injure or even kill their own slaves without legal consequence. While there were many grades and types of slaves, the lowest – and most numerous – grades who worked in the fields and mines were subject to a life of hard physical labor.
     
    This high concentration and oppressive treatment of the slave population led to rebellions. In 135 BC and 104 BC, the First and Second Servile Wars, respectively, […] found tens of thousands of willing followers wishing to escape the oppressive life of a Roman slave.
    […]
    The effects of the Third Servile War on Roman attitudes towards slavery, and on the institution of slavery in Rome, are harder to determine. Certainly the revolt had shaken the Roman people, who “out of sheer fear seem to have begun to treat their slaves less harshly than before.”

     

    But slavery is neutral. It is neither moral nor immoral

    Only if you ignore the voices of people being worked and beaten to death. Variability doesn’t mean there are no lower limits to what human physiology will happily tolerate.

  14. Jun says

    The guy who called from Japan didn’t sound like a Japanese man. He sounded like one of Polynesians. I’m Japanese, was born to Buddhist / Shinto / Confucian parents and grew up in Japan. I’m not religious though so I don’t know much about Buddhism but I’m pretty sure my thoughts,my philosophy are based on it. My late wife was a Catholic and I’ve live in the US so long I’m familiar with Christianity more so than before. She wasn’t religious but deeply believed in God. Christians in Japan there are less than 5%. It’s kind of a surprise considering we lost the war and under the US military occupation for a long time. There’re some 30% Christians in S. Korea. But thanks to the US occupational force that forced Japan to be secular. They change all national holidays that were religious to secular names, forced the Emperor to declare he’s a mortal man yet remained the spiritual symbol of Japan. Yes, that’s why all Japanese national holidays have weird names like “the old people’s day”, “Coming of age day”. It’s all America’s fault.
    I was asked if I believed in “Jesus” when I went a park one day. The thing is that it was in Portuguese when the first Christian missionary arrive in Japan. So ‘Jesus’ was not cal Jesus in English. It was pronounced more like “yes” christ. So i had no idea what the hell the guy was talking about. We went on like for 15 – 20 minutes before I realized it’s Jesus Christ for Christ sake! And of course my understanding of English was very poor, too.
    I wouldn’t call myself an atheist because there’s no god in Buddhism, not really. They’re more of spirits than gods. And it’s easier to accept the theory of evolution among us so there’s no debate of the theory of evolution what so ever. I remember that there’s a survey at colleges in the East and the West to name the top 3 or 5 world scientists around the world in history who influenced the most. Among the colleges in the West Charles Darwin always came up. But among colleges in the East his name never came up.
    I wish you guys get more calls from around the world. More calls from Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Daoists, etc. That would be really interesting. Be kind, Be patient. Thank for your time.

  15. says

    @plamuk

    Matt, you keep coming so close to laying the hammer of Clarke’s 3rd Law down in conversations about the supernatural…but you always stop short of actually asking your interlocutor how THEY would determine the difference between tech and magic. Why? This might have been an effective way to shake Bill out of his focus on your epistemology, and instead to focus on his own shortcomings with respect to his belief in alleged miracle events.

    it would be absolutely trivial for an alien intelligence to wear a jesus mask, or to appear to split the moon in two.

    This is always Matt’s response to the “What would you consider as evidence for the existence of God?” question. What I don’t understand is, and I’ve brought this up on Steve McRae’s channel, is that if he doesn’t know what would convince him, then how does he know what he’s rejecting? How the hell does he even know he’s an atheist in the first place, if he doesn’t even know what he’s rejecting? It doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s almost as though Matt’s saying, “I don’t know what God is, I haven’t come across any evidence for this thing I call “God” but I don’t now what it is, I haven’t seen any suffcient evidence to convince me that “X” (that which I don’t know what is) is true. He sounds more like an igtheist or a theological noncognitivist whenever he produces this same glib nonsensical non-answer to this question.

  16. Monocle Smile says

    What is considered to be in the best interests of the group is not written in stone, but changes with time and place and circumstances.

    What people consider to be moral and what’s actually moral are not the same thing.
    If someone thinks drinking battery acid is healthy, they are welcome to their opinion, but they are wrong.

  17. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #13

    “What I don’t understand is … is that if he doesn’t know what would convince him, then how does he know what he’s rejecting?”

    He’s rejecting the god claims that other people present him with. This is really, really easy.

    “How the hell does he even know he’s an atheist in the first place, if he doesn’t even know what he’s rejecting?”

    This doesn’t follow. I know what time travel is, but I don’t know what would convince me that it was possible. Someone could hook me up to some kind of machine and tell me that I’m going back in time, and I might think that I’m in a different time, but I don’t know how I could rule out that my brain was being manipulated in some way to make me think that I was going back in time when I really wasn’t. Someone could present me with the body of a long-dead person who is clearly alive, but I couldn’t rule out that they had been cloned from a dead person’s DNA and were not actually a time traveler. Your nonsensical assertion that “you can’t claim to reject something if you don’t know what would convince you” is simply a non sequitur.

  18. PETER CUSHNIE says

    @ wiggle puppy #11

    “And it was still immoral, even if the people at the time didn’t realize it.”
    Here you seem to be speaking of a moral absolute, which I don’t accept.
    How did this absolute come to be an absolute in the first place? How is it that this absolute managed to be ignored or unknown for so many thousands of years by so many people?

    Moral precepts, like freedom, fairness, justice, are cultural concepts that exist only in our minds and which we project outward in an attempt to maintain order, though this can often be misguided and even self-destructive. Morality, like evil, remains a label we apply to things we do.

    “You’re really overthinking this.”

    I have no idea what that means.

    Thanks for your reply.

  19. Monocle Smile says

    @Peter

    How did this absolute come to be an absolute in the first place? How is it that this absolute managed to be ignored or unknown for so many thousands of years by so many people?

    You’re misunderstanding. Nothing about Wiggle Puppy’s post indicates that he thinks that there are moral absolutes.

    I, for one, do not accept that slavery was not considered immoral for thousands of years. I think loads of folks knew it was wrong, but were either beaten into submission or rationalized bad excuses to keep it around.

  20. Wiggle Puppy says

    @PC #16:

    “Moral precepts, like freedom, fairness, justice, are cultural concepts that exist only in our minds and which we project outward in an attempt to maintain order, though this can often be misguided and even self-destructive. Morality, like evil, remains a label we apply to things we do.”

    Yep. I doubt that Matt would say that it’s a “moral absolute” that slavery is wrong, just that it’s really obvious that it’s in conflict with human well-being, which almost everyone on the planet recognizes nowadays. You’re stuck on this idea of “absolutes” and it’s confusing you.

    “I have no idea what that means.”

    Have you heard the chess analogy? If we value winning a chess game, then there are objective moves that are better or worse at achieving that goal. Just because we don’t have absolute knowledge of chess and the possible implications of any possible move doesn’t mean that we can’t judge some moves better than others. And if we value human well-being, then slavery is in obvious conflict with that, and it was always immoral, even if ancient people didn’t think it was. Like I said before, just throw out this idea of “absolutes” and you probably won’t have so much trouble with it.

  21. PETER CUSHNIE says

    “And if we value human well-being, then slavery is in obvious conflict with that, and it was always immoral, even if ancient people didn’t think it was. Like I said before, just throw out this idea of “absolutes” and you probably won’t have so much trouble with it.”

    First, let me say that I do not advocate slavery, okay? Let that be understood. Myself, I would not want to be anybody’s slave, neither would I want you to be my slave. I don’t want anyone to be anyone’s slave. I can only restate that the morality or immorality of slavery is a purely subjective evaluation. Whether or not it survives, whether or not it is condemned, depends solely upon how many people you can gather on your side.

    “… it was ALWAYS [emphasis mine] immoral, even if ancient people didn’t think it was.”

    Well, if that’s not a declaration of an absolute, then I don’t know what is.

    Again, I want to thank everyone for your thoughtful replies.

  22. Murat says

    I wish to report immediately something that is kind of urgent, meaningful and heartbreaking from Turkey:

    The oppressive right-wing gov’t and its ties to islamism are well known to many. Their leadership has been doing everything, imaginable and unimaginable, to cut off the country’s ties with the free world. In the recent municipal elections, they lost all three of the greatest metropolitant areas. After that point, Istanbul’s new mayor was left unannounced for 17 days as the ruing party was busy (most probably destroying financial records), but they later had to accept the defeat – or so it seemed. Today, the judges under their manipulation declared a re-election.

    Also, this was the first day of Ramadan, and the persistance of the ruler was reaching its extremes on all fronts. No one was exempt from this. Not even “other kinds of muslims”. Indeed, the ruling party’s “favored” muslims were growing even more savage against anyone who had a different approach towards religion and how it should (not) be made part of politics.

    Ihsan Eliacik is a writer with roots in the extremist islamist tradition. Within the past decade, his transformation to a very different character was noted. Today, hardcore / traditional muslims in Turkey tend to see him as a “crypto atheist”, some kind of devil with a secret agenda to shatter the notion of islam from within, only to open the gates to youth’s minds to deism and even atheism.

    Eliacik has been resisting the gov’t every which way he could, and he was arrested during the reign of this “right-wing, islamist regime” even more times than he was by the “secular system” back when HE was seen as “the islamist”. A weird sentence, that of not being permitted to step out of Istanbul, was given to him years ago.

    Eliacik’s resistant group, a.k.a “the anticapitalist muslims” has been growing thanks to the man being a very influential speaker and associating his ideals of social justice with what he portrays as the “actual spirit” of Islam. Ona major thing the group was famous for was the “Earthly Meals” organization, the spirit of which was to gather in squares during the month of Ramadan, without any kind of differentiation between who was fasting, who was not, who was a believer, who was not… Getting the support and participation from several groups including the LGBTI, these “public sharings of what each has got” events have been attracting attention, as Eliacik’s (oppressed-yet-surviving) TV show remained one of the prominent criticism of the gov’t from an islamic perspective.

    Today, I got extremely sad to learn that police has attacked the “Earthly Meals” gathering in Istanbul, and they have taken Eliacik into custody. What I know of this regime suggest that, they will stick on him absurd and exaggerated allegations like being part of a terroristic organization, provoking the public, trying to overthrow the gov’t (by sharing food on the street, yes) etc.

    I’ve long been entertaining this improbable fantasy of one day listening to a debate between Dillahunty and Eliacik. Improbable not only because of the man’s ban, but mostly because of the language barrier between the two. And even the thought was making me smile, because if somehow the barrier was overcome, I was sure Matt would find some kind of a soul mate in Eliacik; enjoy his ways of reasoning and ideals much more than those of Peterson or Slick.

    Thinking I might be the only person to notice the parallels between the stories and secular humanistic stances of the two, I had on a few occasions thought of writing about Eliacik on this platform, but could never find the time to.

    What he’s being subjected to is so much in contrast with what the man has been preaching that, I’m growing furious even as I type these. The moral of the story is that, every faith group needs secularism at one point or the other. Just like the AXP hosts noted on several instances, Christianc can enjoy to crush other Christians, Muslims can turn the lives of other Muslims into hell when they get the uncontrolled power, etc. And they do.

    For I know how the gov’t manipulates people, I also know that, atheists’ and LGBTI’s support towards him was also among the reasons he was attacked. Therefore, much as I believe and even know that, this guy is the kind of activist everyone on this platform would support fully, at this point I am not sure what kind of popular immediate reaction would help him be released shortly.

    This is how he has announced today’s gathering:
    https://twitter.com/ihsaneliacik/status/1125105869648277510

    And this is how it ended for him:
    https://twitter.com/puleragema/status/1125445994395705345

  23. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ PC #19:

    “I can only restate that the morality or immorality of slavery is a purely subjective evaluation.”

    You can restate this as much as you want. But if you care about human well-being, then it’s an objective fact that slavery is in conflict with that. Yes, caring about well-being is subjective, but we do. Those who don’t are dead. And once we have a value that we care about, we can make objective assessments about the consequences of certain actions with respect to that value. We can makes objective assessments with respect to any *value* in this way. If you care about making money, then there are actions that are objectively better at accomplishing that goal than others, and the opinion of one individual (or even an entire society) does not affect that. If there’s a society that thinks that exhausting its natural resources is a good path to long-term wealth, it’s wrong. If there’s a society that thinks that drinking battery acid is healthy, it’s wrong. If there’s a society that thinks that slavery moral, then if we’re defining morality in terms of well-being, then that society is wrong.

    “Whether or not it survives, whether or not it is condemned, depends solely upon how many people you can gather on your side.”

    This is true, but has nothing to do with morality. If you can get the majority of a society to agree that drinking battery acid is healthy, that doesn’t mean that it is.

    ““… it was ALWAYS [emphasis mine] immoral, even if ancient people didn’t think it was.” Well, if that’s not a declaration of an absolute, then I don’t know what is.”

    This is not an absolute statement. An absolute statement would be, “slavery is absolutely wrong.” I could be wrong, and slavery could actually be moral in some way. But the overwhelming evidence we have from centuries of human history shows that slavery is immoral, and always was so.

  24. t90bb says

    Peter……you are confusing a near unanimous consensus with an “absolute”. As often used “an absolute” generally carries a divine dictate…

    If you are using the term absolute….as implying that nearly all agree..then sure its an absolute

    if you are using the term absolute…as in a divine dictate….then no….most of us here do not consider slavery in contradiction to a divine absolute, since most of us don’t believe such absolutes exist

    I persons individual opinion on slavery and on all things are subjective. It just so happens when it comes to certain behaviors our subjective opinions closely align….possibly giving people like you the idea that we are following a moral divine absolute…we (I) am not….

    It is perfectly possible someone believes that slavery is moral….they would be an outlier and I would disagree with them. Consensus, fortunately and unfortunately generally rules…..so laws here in the USA and around most if the world forbit owning other humans as property to be used, abused, and beaten.

    This really is not hard……

    Do you think from your subjective view slavery was ever moral??? ever??? If you think not, welcome to civility, empathy, and kindness.

  25. t90bb says

    paragraph above should read…

    I believe a persons individual opinion on slavery and on all things are subjective. It just so happens when it comes to certain behaviors our subjective opinions closely align….possibly giving people like you the idea that we are following a moral divine absolute…we (I) am not….

    NOW…you might say well Tom…that makes your opinion and judgement on slavery in the bible JUST your subjective opinion….and I would say that’s correct……..JUST like the Christians view on the God of the bible being worthy of worship is also their subjective opinion…..

    subjective opinions, to the best of my knowledge is all any of us have……..

  26. Gerald Black says

    Anyone else think “Bill” was Evolution Fails, aka Dark Dawkins. Not that it really matters. Even if it was, at least he was more productive in his approach.

  27. oreoman1987 says

    t90bb, “ subjective opinions, to the best of my knowledge is all any of us have……..“

    Is this statement also a subjective opinion or a statement of knowledge or truth? If it’s just an opinion, then you don’t know if it’s true or not. If it’s a knowledge or truth claim, then it refuted your entire statement.

  28. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    He’s rejecting the god claims that other people present him with. This is really, really easy.

    So, when Matt’s asked, “What evidence would you accept for the existence of God?” the appropriate answer is, “He’s rejecting the god claims that other people present him with. This is really, really easy.” Can you say non sequitur? That’s what a non sequitur is, that response made no sense. Matt is more of an a-itseist than an atheist. I’m not the only one finds Matt’s response to this question quite glib. Corey also made a good point that because Matt doesn’t even know what he’d consider sufficient evidence, then he’s not even in a position to validate any claim in the first place.

  29. paxoll says

    Kafei,
    Depends on what God is presented, for instance when some douche says that a hallucination is evidence for the supernatural, the rational answer is no…its evidence for a hallucination. The evidence for a god is the same as everything, it has to be necessary and sufficient. Nothing has ever been presented that is necessary and sufficient to show a God. I’m guessing if Matt was taken out of time and space of our local universe and was introduced to god and could observe God creating a new universe and you defined God as an entity outside of time and space that created our universe, than that would be sufficient and necessary evidence for Matt. Guess what. A fucken hallucination is not able to provide that knowledge. Most theists who have something similar they define as God would insist that this is asking for too much, to which Matts answer is the most rational and precise response. He doesn’t know, but any God that is defined as having the knowledge and power to know what would convince him could very well do so, and if they don’t its not Matts job to look for it.

  30. Monocle Smile says

    Cool, more brazen dishonesty from Kafei. That mangled post is not even an attempt to honestly portray Wiggle Puppy’s statements. The trolling is getting more obvious.

    The sour irony is that Kafei bitches day and night about Matt, AronRa, and Greta Christina for demanding something of substance to back up theist claims, meanwhile his idea of “knowledge” is “things I feel I know or knew at one time” rather than “things I can demonstrate to be true.”

  31. indianajones says

    @PC I think you are mistaking the conclusion for the moral. If we tentatively accept a ‘least harm’ type approach to morality, just as a for instance, we come to the absolute conclusion that slavery is and always was immoral. Among many other conclusions.

    Ok, so the laws of orbital mechanics are tentative, and we are still working on them around the edges here and there. Having said that; the sun is absolutely rising tomorrow, there absolutely will be a full moon on June 3, and Neptune absolutely will not collide with Earth this year.. But not because these are laws of orbital mechanics. I doubt a coherent set of orbital laws that made useful predictions could even be formulated from these precepts alone. Rather, the actual (tentatively) laws of orbital mechanics merely imply these things as conclusions.

  32. oreoman1987 says

    Kafei,

    It’s also clear that Matt is very inconsistent with his argumentation. He has said before that he’s not certain of anything but yet continues to make truth and knowledge claims about things.

    It’s also self-refuting for him as an evidentialist to demand evidence for things and criticize people for having faith in things. He should know better than this if he claims to be a philosophy buff because he would realize that everyone’s worldview is based on faith. This is true of logic, math, reason, and science since those areas too start with unproven assumptions to get started. I think nobody demonstrated that better than Gödel. https://www.perrymarshall.com/articles/religion/godels-incompleteness-theorem/

    And worst of all, you’re right, Matt should know what evidence would convince him of something. Because people like forensic scientists understand exactly what evidence they need for things because they understand what determines what they need in order to arrive at conclusions on what they’re investigating.

  33. t90bb says

    31..MS

    In all seriousness. try blocking them….worked wonders for me….Unfortunately I see responses to their posts from others but at least I don’t see their repetitive drivel……I actually thought cookieboy was banned…..oh well…,,….post away boys!

    I had cookieboy pegged really early on////…..heres his schtick:

    1. strawman opponent by claimimg they claim knowledge and truth (when they don’t)..He does that with matt and myself
    2. when they correct you by telling you that you are not claiming 100 perc certainty, he will tell them they are using faith
    3. since he claims they use faith because they lack certainty…..he will smuggle all sorts of shit based on faith and call it an even playing field.

    sooo……everything is equally likely to be true because faith is involved, lol..

    That way he can smuggle in god, even though hes too cowardly to admit his belief….In cookieboys world if you don’t claim 100 perc knowledge then its not reasonable to infer fire will burn you if you don’t also have equal confidence that a man can from the earth directly to the moon. Because its all faith baby! Levels of confidence cant exist because his sky genie would get a low level of confidence based on evidence….and cookiegut cannot have that……..But if everything is equally preposterous because everything is based on “faith”…then a theists claims are just as valid as any proposition at all !!

    That means the claim that water generally freezes at 32 degrees f…..is just as much a faith claim as JEZASS!

    but remember in a prior thread he went on record as saying he never claimed HE does not know anything…He said he has knowledge…….and when pressed on this he ran away like the coward he is…..He would not tell us what he knows and how he knows it….lol……

    I will be glad to pull that part of a previous thread if he denies it…..

    and no I am not 100 percent certain cookieboy even exists…im just reasonable certain….and I am cool with that!

    good luck,,,but consider the block my friend. If cookiedump had any balls hed take up is initial issue with Matt directly. But I will give him credit in as much as he does not want to be embarrassed on the show. He can hide here.

    Good luck engaging with this coward. Many of us gave him plenty of time to make his case. But based on what I see he has circled back to attacking Matt. Maybe one day he will have the onions to take up the issue with Matt but I doubt it. Cowards run their mouth.

  34. oreoman1987 says

    t90bb, “1. strawman opponent by claimimg they claim knowledge and truth (when they don’t)..He does that with matt and myself”

    The problem with your statement here is that it’s also a knowledge claim. Which makes it self-refuting. Saying you’re not claiming knowledge or truth is itself a truth and knowledge claim. So, it’s not a strawman at all since it’s shows the inconsistency with Matt’s and others own logic.
    “2. when they correct you by telling you that you are not claiming 100 perc certainty, he will tell them they are using faith”

    The problem is is that when you say you’re not 100 percent certain of anything, then that means you do in fact believe things without justification. Which is an example of faith instead of proof or consistency. Plus, if you’re it certain of something, then you don’t know it.

    “3. since he claims they use faith because they lack certainty…..he will smuggle all sorts of shit based on faith and call it an even playing field.”

    Where did I say any of us were on an even playing field? The point is is that every worldview starts with unproven assumptions that cannot be justified by any other argument. In order to start proving anything, you must have unproven axioms to get started. Yes, Matt and everyone else’s worldview is based on faith due to the problem of the criterion and Agrippas’ trilemmna. Since you can’t avoid circularity, you must base your beliefs on faith. Especially if it doesn’t lead to certainty like you claim. Reason itself is based on faith because the laws of logic themselves are circular. They are basic axioms that are assumed without proof.

  35. oreoman1987 says

    t90bb,

    Another problem that should trouble you is how Matt wasn’t able to show a single thing that he knows to be true in his 2014 debate with Sye Ten. I don’t think any other demonstration is needed to show the inconsistency of Matt’s argumentation.

  36. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @MS #31 + others
    Count me in.
    @WP #15
    I really liked the time travel example.

  37. t90bb says

    31 @MS

    PLUS another on the oreo ban…..hes a nuisance even when blocked…

  38. says

    Kafei, #13

    What I don’t understand is, and I’ve brought this up on Steve McRae’s channel, is that if he doesn’t know what would convince him, then how does he know what he’s rejecting? How the hell does he even know he’s an atheist in the first place, if he doesn’t even know what he’s rejecting? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Let us test this theory. Consider the following claim:

    A split second before John F. Kennedy was shot in the head, he was trying to recall precisely how much salt goes into his grandmother’s beef stroganoff recipe.

    From this, I will ask two questions.
    1. Do you understand this claim?
    2. What would convince you that this claim is true?

    If you can answer #1 in the affirmative, but you do not have an answer to #2, then your perceived conflict is a myth.

  39. John David Balla says

    Can someone tell me how I can block or filter out these nuisances who repeat the same pointless point ad infinitum as if it is said often enough it will magically mean something?

  40. tommy403 says

    Thoughts on Oreo’s posts

    My thoughts regarding 34

    You said “another point that should bother me……” “should”?? Because you say so?? Is that a knowledge claim?

    I watched that debate. I was not only unconcerned by Matts stance, I thought it was entirely honest and consistent.

    The difference between Matt and Sye tor me was their level of intellectual honesty. Matt freely admits he does not know anything for absolute certainty, and that he could be wrong about anything or everything. This, to me, is intellectual honesty at its finest. Although it is uncomfortable for him to admit, he is honest about it. He then goes on to explain that although he does not claim certainty he does believe he has varying degrees of justifiable confidence in propositions. This, to me, is perfectly rational. I am fine with, and grown comfortable with, a similar position to Matt’s. I also don’t claim to know anything with complete certainty and I seem to manage my life pretty well.

    Sye, on the other hand makes claims he cannot justify. He claims that he has knowledge because a God he cannot demonstrate gave it to him.

    Matt admits he does not know and Sye PRETENDS to know (and cant do better than “god told me” or “I know because I know”).

    Utimately, not only was I unconcerned about Matt’s position, I thought he handled himself well and won the encounter. But that’s my take only,

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Now as per #33

    It seems you confirmed exactly what T90BB said.

    And btw, Oreo, you are making an awful lot of knowledge claims sir!

    You have made many knowledge claims about Matt, T90BB, and Islam in the past if memory serves.

    You avoided much of what was directed at you and conveniently selectively responded. Like, why have you said that you, unlike Matt, do not, not claim to know ANYTHING FOR CERTAIN?

    This implies that you do think that it is possible for you to know things for certain. I think you even said that you do know some things for certain. If I have this right please tell the blog how you have come to this knowledge.

    Perhaps I have misunderstood your position, Oreo. But unless you can demonstrate a basis for the knowledge you are claiming, and/or the knowledge claims you continue to make, you have self refuted yourself.

    I would appreciate a direct response to the following:

    1. Do you claim to know anything??
    2. If so, how have you come to this knowledge??
    3. If not why do you make knowledge claims??

    hope your well.

  41. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ tommy #42:

    Please, I beg you, do not engage this guy. He has filled several other threads with hundreds of posts, diverting from actual discussions by giving roundabout, nonsensical answers to the questions you pose. I would recommend going back and reading through past threads if you want to know about his baffling thought process.

  42. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403, The issue with Matt isn’t honesty but inconsistency. Matt does in fact make many knowledge claims which contradicts the idea of him not claiming certainty. He often claims people are wrong about things which is another appeal to certainty. That’s the biggest issue I have with Matt and other “skeptics” when they say they’re not certain of anything but yet continue making objections to arguments as of they’re right about what they’re saying. Which is self-refuting.

    “You have made many knowledge claims about Matt, T90BB, and Islam in the past if memory serves.
    You avoided much of what was directed at you and conveniently selectively responded. Like, why have you said that you, unlike Matt, do not, not claim to know ANYTHING FOR CERTAIN?”

    I never said knowledge claims are a problem, nor have I said knowledge is impossible. Most people in here seem to not have a grasp on epistemology and justification. My point is is that many propositions can be known and that complete skepticism is impossible. I just expect people to be consistent with what they say.

    Matt seems to have no problem making knowledge claims against other people in many debates but for some reason when debating Sye Ten, he says he doesn’t claim to know an for certain. I think it’s because he’s unable to defend his presuppositions.

    “1. Do you claim to know anything??”

    Yes. As I’ve said, many propositions can be known in any possible world and I can back up every one that I make without running into an infinite regress of justifications.

    “2. If so, how have you come to this knowledge??”

    Examining all of it and through studying.

  43. Lamont Cranston says

    John David Balla says in #41

    Can someone tell me how I can block or filter out these nuisances who repeat the same pointless point ad infinitum as if it is said often enough it will magically mean something?

    If you use Firefox you can use this extension to allow blocking or hiding of any posts by a person you don’t want to see.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blog-killfile/

    Once installed, you will see options just to the right of the posters name that allow you to hide either everything from a poster or specific comments. Once hidden, you will only see the name of the poster along with the option to unblock or unhide a specific posting;

    My blood pressure appreciates this extension. 🙂

    Lamont Cranston

  44. John David Balla says

    @Lamont Cranston
    Thank you, sir. Unfortunately, I use Chrome and really would prefer not to switch browsers. At any rate, hopefully, these two individuals will have the courtesy and decency to make no further attempts at engaging me directly. But I do have my doubts.

  45. tommy403 says

    Oreo

    Oh so you don’t get to “knowledge” the same way as STB? You know things because you examine and study them with your fallible mind?? You cannot even know the things you examine and study are real?? Can you?? Reason, logic are all faith based….and when you use them they are magically infallible?? Do I have this right??

    STB gets to knowledge through an ultimate being that has given him knowledge. You are not making this claim???

  46. Monocle Smile says

    @tommy
    Oreo uses his own esoteric definitions for every one of the philosophy terms he’s used thus far and then gets butthurt when other people mean different (read: more useful) things by those terms instead.

    Throw in a persistent trickle of blatant trolling and one heaping scoop of random Islamophobia and you’ve got oreoman.

  47. PETER CUSHNIE says

    bubble puppy @12,20,24
    t90bb @ 25

    Thanks for your comments and for not resorting to snark or ad hominems. One respondent (I don’t remember who) felt it necessary to call me a “…piece of shit” for my opinions. And speaking of opinions, I notice that I should use that word more often when I express myself. “In my opinion,” or, “I believe,” or the more whimsical IMHO. I do tend to speak in the declarative sense when I get going, even when I’m going on about absolutes.As for the subject we have been discussing, I am going to drop it now. I said what I wanted to say, people responded, and that’s all good, but enough, already. IMHO.

  48. oreoman1987 says

    Monocle Smile,

    Definitions are given for the sake of clarity. I never really get clear definitions from most people on here.

  49. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403,

    Are you saying you know my mind is fallible or do you just believe my mind is fallible? Because I have yet to see anyone on here explain their starting point for reasoning.

  50. Monocle Smile says

    See, this is the blatant trolling I’m talking about.
    Oreo knows well and good that several users have spent far too much time and effort to earnestly walk through epistemology 101 with him and carefully lay out definitions and describe concepts in an easy-to-digest manner.

    Now Oreo is essentially daring us all to waste a colossal amount of time either doing it all again or digging up old threads to show that it’s been done already. This is the mission of the troll.
    Fuck this asshole.

  51. says

    @Secular Strategy

    From this, I will ask two questions.
    1. Do you understand this claim?
    2. What would convince you that this claim is true?

    If you can answer #1 in the affirmative, but you do not have an answer to #2, then your perceived conflict is a myth.

    I don’t see the relevance. It’s really not much different from Wiggle Puppy’s false analogy involving time travel. It misses the point. You can’t just say that you don’t know what would convince you. You see, a person has reasons for becoming an atheist. So, they can’t just say “I don’t know” to the “What evidence would convince you of God?” question. What should convince an atheist is simple: making those reasons that caused this person to identify as an atheist in the first place invalid. That’s it. There’s no reason to bring up John F. Kennedy or time traveling, these are silly examples that accomplish nothing, just like Matt’s automatic glib response to that question that heoffers every single time.

  52. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ MS 57:

    I emailed John Iacoletti and asked him to check this thread.

  53. Monocle Smile says

    You see, a person has reasons for becoming an atheist.

    Mostly, this reason is “I realized that I had no good reason to believe in the gods that I used to believe in.”

    There’s no reason to bring up John F. Kennedy or time traveling, these are silly examples that accomplish nothing

    “I don’t like these examples because they expose the weakness of my point, so I dismiss them for no reason just like I do everything that exposes the weakness of everything I say.”

  54. indianajones says

    ‘Are you saying you know my mind is fallible or do you just believe my mind is fallible?’

    This bull shit after the amount of time and words you have spent telling us all minds are fallible? I point and laugh and mock at you forever you annoying dishonest fool.

  55. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei 58:

    “You can’t just say that you don’t know what would convince you.”

    Yes, I can.

    “You see, a person has reasons for becoming an atheist.”

    Some people grow up in atheist homes and never *become* atheist, goofy.

    “What should convince an atheist is simple: making those reasons that caused this person to identify as an atheist in the first place invalid.”

    Long story short, I grew up Christian (Methodist), and then in college, I realized that the world was filled with all kinds of religions and all kinds of people believing in all different types of magical beings who intervene in the world, but I was living in a world where magical things don’t really happen. Meanwhile, all of these people around the world were citing the same kinds of evidence – personal experience, mainly – to justify belief in all different types of magical beings. So if you want to convince me – in your phrasing, make these reasons invalid – you would need to demonstrate the existence of a magical being. And what would do that? Well, I don’t know. As Matt points out, I don’t know how I would differentiate between magic and some highly advanced technology. So I don’t know what would convince me. Why is this so difficult?

    “There’s no reason to bring up John F. Kennedy or time traveling, these are silly examples that accomplish nothing”

    You’re imbuing god claims with some kind of “special” status. Stop. Unjustified claims are unjustified claims, and god claims don’t get any special consideration here.

  56. oreoman1987 says

    indianajones,

    The problem is is that when someone on here makes a knowledge claim, them that contradicts what they’ve said about not being certain of anything. Yet they make responses to me as if they’re true. Which contradicts their position about not being certain of anything. If someone’s not certain of their position, then I have every reason to not believe in their position since they could be wrong about it based on their own logic.

  57. oreoman1987 says

    As Matt points out, I don’t know how I would differentiate between magic and some highly advanced technology. So I don’t know what would convince me. Why is this so difficult?“

    The problem is is that the problem of the criterion shows that you cannot tell weather reason or faith or any other method is superior to another. So, how do you know you’re beliefs are consistent now as opposed to when you were a Methodist? And how do you know that your living in the real world as opposed to a skeptical scenario? I’d like to hear your starting point for reasoning.

  58. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ oreo 64:

    “So, how do you know you’re beliefs are consistent now as opposed to when you were a Methodist?”

    Because of French fries

    “And how do you know that your living in the real world as opposed to a skeptical scenario?”

    Because of chocolate ice cream

  59. Chikoppi says

    “You see, a person has reasons for becoming an atheist.”

    Oh for cripes sake.

    The “reason” to not adopt the belief that Leprechauns exist is that the available evidence is insufficient to support the claim. The default position is not, “I believe in Leprechauns because they have yet to be proven to not exist.”

    A person does not “become” an a-leprechaunist. A person “becomes” a leprechaunist by adopting belief in the claim.

  60. says

    #58

    I don’t see the relevance.

    It’s very simple. We are testing a hypothesis. I will call it “Kafei’s Postulate”:

    If an individual cannot list the evidence that would convince them that proposition P is true, then that individual does not understand P.

    My “Kennedy” example was a refutation of that hypothesis. You have not stated any objection to it (beyond relevance, which I am addressing here), so I will assume that we are on the same page so far. If not, speak up.

    The best read I can get on your argument is that you are not applying a general rule, but stating something that is unique to atheism or ideas of God. This strikes me as an obvious case of special pleading. But the fact remains, you have stated several times that Matt cannot possibly understand the concept of God while simultaneously stating that he does not know what would convince him that God is real. You have offered no evidence in favor of this claim. On the contrary, I’ve given reasons to believe that it is false. Either put forward a good argument, or concede it. Your call.

  61. says

    @Monocile Smile

    Mostly, this reason is “I realized that I had no good reason to believe in the gods that I used to believe in.”

    Then, what should convince you is making that reason invalid. It’s really that simple.

    There’s no reason to bring up John F. Kennedy or time traveling, these are silly examples that accomplish nothing

    “I don’t like these examples because they expose the weakness of my point, so I dismiss them for no reason just like I do everything that exposes the weakness of everything I say.”

    They expose Matt’s weakness, if anything, that people have to scramble for concrete things they’re familiar with, like Hollywood sci-fi examples and historical events. That’s why these are false analogies. They’ve nothing to do with why an atheist cannot answer what evidence would convince him/her of God.

    @Wiggle Puppy

    Long story short, I grew up Christian (Methodist), and then in college, I realized that the world was filled with all kinds of religions and all kinds of people believing in all different types of magical beings who intervene in the world, but I was living in a world where magical things don’t really happen. Meanwhile, all of these people around the world were citing the same kinds of evidence – personal experience, mainly – to justify belief in all different types of magical beings. So if you want to convince me – in your phrasing, make these reasons invalid – you would need to demonstrate the existence of a magical being. And what would do that? Well, I don’t know. As Matt points out, I don’t know how I would differentiate between magic and some highly advanced technology.

    So, your notion of God is a ‘magical being,’ and because you have this assumption, you believe that you will not be able to discern highly advanced extraterrestrial technology from the magic performed by this magical deity? You mean, how do you know it’s not a very clever trick put on by Penn & Teller or something?

    So I don’t know what would convince me. Why is this so difficult?

    It’s not difficult. It’s rather paradoxical, it’s contradicting. An atheist that doesn’t necessarily know what he/she’s rejecting, because this atheist doesn’t even know what would convince him/her, nevertheless maintains identity as an atheist is someone who just sounds confused. So, instead of Matt seeking truth for himself, he just shifts the burden of proof and assumes, “Oh, if there’s a magical entity out there, I’m sure he’d know what it would take to convince me. So, I’m just going to sit fat and pretty here criticizing religion until that happens.” That’s a cop-out statement that Matt just automatically rolls out whenever he’s posed that question.

  62. Chikoppi says

    The problem is is that when someone on here makes a knowledge claim, them that contradicts what they’ve said about not being certain of anything.

    Knowledge =/= Absolute Truth

    Problem solved (that was easy).

  63. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #68:

    “They expose Matt’s weakness, if anything, that people have to scramble for concrete things they’re familiar with, like Hollywood sci-fi examples and historical events. That’s why these are false analogies.”

    I’m familiar with god claims, and have rejected those I’ve been presented with. You really don’t know what special pleading is.

    “An atheist that doesn’t necessarily know what he/she’s rejecting, because this atheist doesn’t even know what would convince him/her, nevertheless maintains identity as an atheist is someone who just sounds confused.”

    Wow, you are making this way more difficult than it should be. Like I mentioned, all kinds of people believe in all kinds of different gods, and I don’t believe in any of them. When we actually have a god to examine, and we can determine its properties, then we will be in a different situation.

    “So, instead of Matt seeking truth for himself, he just shifts the burden of proof and assumes, “Oh, if there’s a magical entity out there, I’m sure he’d know what it would take to convince me. So, I’m just going to sit fat and pretty here criticizing religion until that happens.””

    Wow, so much wrong here. First, you don’t understand the burden of proof. Saying “please demonstrate your claims in a way I find convincing” is THE DEFINITION of establishing a burden of proof. Second, Matt has spent over a decade taking calls from and debating theists, so to say that he isn’t “seeking truth” is just hopelessly dishonest. Third, it doesn’t matter, because you’re still engaged in special pleading. You’re imbuing god claims with this special significance that isn’t warranted. Am I not seeking truth if I disbelieve in time travel without going out and seeking to discover whether or not it’s real and determine what I would find convincing. Am I not seeking truth if I don’t devote my life to finding out whether or not I’m in the Matrix? There’s nothing special about theism – the only reason we identify as “atheist” is because we live in a world where religion is as common a demographic identifier as nationality, or gender, or anything else like that. So when people ask what we religion we are, we say “atheist.” It’s just a convenient shorthand for saying “we don’t believe in any of the gods that other people do.” The fact that you have to twist and turn this much to try and score a point is really telling.

  64. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    Wow, you are making this way more difficult than it should be. Like I mentioned, all kinds of people believe in all kinds of different gods, and I don’t believe in any of them. When we actually have a god to examine, and we can determine its properties, then we will be in a different situation.

    What do you mean “God to examine”? You expect God to be something you can see, hear, and touch? A God that Rationality Rules might call a “literal God,” but even he considers that God might be something not “literal” in the sense that you can hit it with a stick, but rather accessed through consciousness, something mental, not some artifact like Russell’s teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    “So, instead of Matt seeking truth for himself, he just shifts the burden of proof and assumes, “Oh, if there’s a magical entity out there, I’m sure he’d know what it would take to convince me. So, I’m just going to sit fat and pretty here criticizing religion until that happens.””

    Wow, so much wrong here. First, you don’t understand the burden of proof. Saying “please demonstrate your claims in a way I find convincing” is THE DEFINITION of establishing a burden of proof.

    Yes, and Matt is not exempt from the burden of proof. Any atheist who claims they don’t have a burden of proof is intellectually dishonest. Anyone seeking truth holds a burden of proof, period.

    Second, Matt has spent over a decade taking calls from and debating theists, so to say that he isn’t “seeking truth” is just hopelessly dishonest.

    Yes, he’s spent decades denying what his callers attempt to bring to the table. I wouldn’t necessarily call that “seeking truth.” Matt’s ready to reject the caller before he even takes the call. It’s my opinion that Matt parades himself as an agnostic atheist, but when asked more closely, it’s quite clear that he’s a closet gnostic atheist/anti-theist, especially when he talks about ridding religion completely from the planet.

    Third, it doesn’t matter, because you’re still engaged in special pleading. You’re imbuing god claims with this special significance that isn’t warranted. Am I not seeking truth if I disbelieve in time travel without going out and seeking to discover whether or not it’s real and determine what I would find convincing. Am I not seeking truth if I don’t devote my life to finding out whether or not I’m in the Matrix? There’s nothing special about theism –

    Yes, whether you’re debating God, whether you’re attempting to discern whether you’re in the Matrix, whether you’re evaluating time travel, you’re going to have to discern the truth of these things for yourself. To cast aside the BoP and just say, “Oh, well, if there’s a God out there, I’ll just leave this burden on him” makes no sense at all. First of all, it assumes that there is such a God out there that would be concerned that you should know God in the first place, and so making that assumption necessarily precludes you from ever ascertaining truth for yourself.

    the only reason we identify as “atheist” is because we live in a world where religion is as common a demographic identifier as nationality, or gender, or anything else like that. So when people ask what we religion we are, we say “atheist.” It’s just a convenient shorthand for saying “we don’t believe in any of the gods that other people do.” The fact that you have to twist and turn this much to try and score a point is really telling.

    So, atheism is a religion you adhere to? It certainly sounds like it when you have Neil DeGrass Tyson explaining atheists in this fashion. I’m not typing for points, these are the literal atheist stereotypes out there that exist.

  65. Monocle Smile says

    Notice how scornful Kafei is of people working to improve the world rather than selfishly dissolving into their own psychedelic self-exploration.

    They expose Matt’s weakness, if anything, that people have to scramble for concrete things they’re familiar with, like Hollywood sci-fi examples and historical events. That’s why these are false analogies

    No, that’s a feature, not a bug. Bitching that we expand our knowledge by describing things in terms of other things that we understand instead of describing things with a bunch of fabricated word salad is expected from you, but no less appalling.

  66. buddyward says

    For fuck’s sake, every fucking thread. This is just going to kill this blog.

  67. Monocle Smile says

    but even he considers that God might be something not “literal” in the sense that you can hit it with a stick, but rather accessed through consciousness, something mental, not some artifact like Russell’s teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    There is absolutely zero evidence that these are two different ontological categories. You’ve been smuggling this bullshit in during your entire tenure at this blog.

    Yes, he’s spent decades denying what his callers attempt to bring to the table. I wouldn’t necessarily call that “seeking truth.” Matt’s ready to reject the caller before he even takes the call

    Jordan Peterson has taught you how to read minds, has he?

    So, atheism is a religion you adhere to? It certainly sounds like it when you have Neil DeGrass Tyson explaining atheists in this fashion. I’m not typing for points, these are the literal atheist stereotypes out there that exist.

    Yeah, among religious apologists and their bootlickers like you. Nobody else.

    Yes, and Matt is not exempt from the burden of proof. Any atheist who claims they don’t have a burden of proof is intellectually dishonest. Anyone seeking truth holds a burden of proof, period.

    More broken epistemology.
    Why does the existence of atheists hurt your butt so much? You’re going to avoid this question by claiming you’re not butthurt, but you’re fooling exactly nobody.

  68. Monocle Smile says

    Good thing nobody fucking asked you or fucking cares what you fucking think.

  69. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei 71:

    “A God that Rationality Rules might call a “literal God,” but even he considers that God might be something not “literal” in the sense that you can hit it with a stick, but rather accessed through consciousness, something mental, not some artifact like Russell’s teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

    Not going down the CME route again.

    “Anyone seeking truth holds a burden of proof, period.”

    You don’t know what a burden of proof is.

    “It’s my opinion that Matt parades himself as an agnostic atheist, but when asked more closely, it’s quite clear that he’s a closet gnostic atheist/anti-theist, especially when he talks about ridding religion completely from the planet.”

    If the language is tripping you up so badly, then just table the word “atheist” for a minute. We don’t god claims because there isn’t sufficient evidence to justify them. That’s it. You’re hung up on language and tying yourself in knots.

    “To cast aside the BoP and just say, “Oh, well, if there’s a God out there, I’ll just leave this burden on him” makes no sense at all.”

    You don’t know what a burden of proof is.

    “First of all, it assumes that there is such a God out there that would be concerned that you should know God in the first place”

    No, there could be humans that have discovered this god and could be able to present evidence for its existence, independent of whether or not the god cares about people knowing its existence.

    “and so making that assumption necessarily precludes you from ever ascertaining truth for yourself.”

    Please just look up “special pleading” already. There is a countless number of possible claims that I could be presented with, and I don’t have enough time to investigate every possible claim about everything ever. If somebody wants to convince me of something, they need to present me with sufficient evidence to do so. That’s it. God claims aren’t special.

    “So, atheism is a religion you adhere to? It certainly sounds like it when you have Neil DeGrass Tyson explaining atheists in this fashion.”

    I don’t care what Neil DeGrasse Tyson says. If you want to argue with him, go find his email address. You’re here on this message board, with us.

    “I’m not typing for points, these are the literal atheist stereotypes out there that exist.”

    There are all kinds of stereotypes out there about all kinds of things that have little basis in reality. Who cares?

  70. says

    @Monocle Smile You’re the one constantly bringing up “butt-hurtedness.” Projection much.

    @Wiggle Puppy Anyone seeking truth holds a burden of proof, period. It’s as simple as that, but not many people seem to grasp this fact. If you don’t like that burden, then you obviously don’t care about what’s true.

  71. Wiggle Puppy says

    “Anyone seeking truth holds a burden of proof, period. It’s as simple as that, but not many people seem to grasp this fact. If you don’t like that burden, then you obviously don’t care about what’s true.”

    burden of proof: the obligation to prove one’s assertion

    thanks, Google

  72. Monocle Smile says

    Cool, so Kafei thinks we’re obligated to pour our full efforts into exhaustively investigating every single crackpot idea on the planet or we’re just all liars.

    So Kafei, I assume you have conclusively proven what happened in the Dyatlov Pass incident?

  73. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ MS 81:

    Or time travel, or the Matrix, or ESP, or ghosts, or vampires, or aliens, or the global reptilian conspiracy, or the identity of Jack the Ripper, or Joseph Smith and the golden plates, or…

  74. Monocle Smile says

    That kind of empty bullshit might arouse you and your buddies who all grin like idiots as you utter shallow druggie nonsense, but those of us who aren’t chronic underachievers remained unimpressed. No wonder you’re such a Jordan Peterson slappie.

  75. Wiggle Puppy says

    “It’s simple: Just truth, that’s all. Once you have that, the rest is shown for what it is.”

    I’m having trouble coming up with a statement less devoid of substantive meaning than this.

  76. says

    @Monocle Smile You’re an obvious example of butt-hurtedness when atheists like Matt Dillahunty have their BS exposed. You wanna talk about empty BS? Ask Matt what evidence would convince him for evidence of God.

  77. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Kafei #83:

    It’s simple: Just truth, that’s all. Once you have that, the rest is shown for what it is.

     
    Song: Hugh Laurie – All We Gotta Do (2:53)

  78. Wiggle Puppy says

    Hey, you want to know how someone knows they’re cornered in an argument? They go back to the beginning and start it all over again.

  79. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #83

    It’s simple: Just truth, that’s all. Once you have that, the rest is shown for what it is.

    This is some big talk coming from a guy who’s word salad would fit in on the Spirit Science YouTube channel and who cited a New Age “life coach” when asked why he rejects falsifiability (if you don’t believe me on that last point, google Leo Gura).

  80. says

    @Wiggle Puppy Well, you asked for a statement with less devoid of substantial meaning. Matt’s glib retort takes the cake.

  81. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei #90

    I am rubber and you are glue and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you

  82. Prisoner 24601 says

    Can we just ban Kafei already. He’s already proved to be a dishonest idiot, or is just a plain idiot, or both.

  83. oreoman1987 says

    Chikoppi,

    The problem here is that most people on here say that they don’t know anything with certainty. Which exposes them as not knowing anything. There’s a difference between knowledge and truth. Knowledge is justified true belief with a Gettier defeater and truth is still something that philosophers are still trying to determine with all of their opposing theories of truth to try to get past the liar paradox.

  84. oreoman1987 says

    Wiggle Puppy,
    “Hey, you want to know how someone knows they’re cornered in an argument? They go back to the beginning and start it all over again.”

    How can you know this is you don’t have a starting point for reasoning?

  85. tommy403 says

    meaningless nonsense???? like visions during drug impairment of the brain..lol……

  86. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ oreo #94

    “How can you know this is you don’t have a starting point for reasoning?”

    Because of banana pudding

  87. tommy403 says

    What we have here fellas is two very frustrated theists who cant get to god. Of course they can try to poke holes in our positions just like creationists try to poke holes in evolution But guess what??

    It still gets them no where close to god…..

    Their claims and cases for god are laughably week. Kafei thinks the fact some have similar euphoria while high as a kite is evidence of the divine and oreo does not even have the balls to admit he believes his truth is revealed.

    I will give some credit to Kafei since he steps up and calls the show occasionally even though it always go badly for him. Oreo is completely worthless….

    as chik said in 69……addressing oreo

    “The problem is is that when someone on here makes a knowledge claim, them that contradicts what they’ve said about not being certain of anything”.

    Knowledge =/= Absolute Truth
    Problem solved (that was easy).

    this has been explained to oreo many times and in many ways, but he cant accept it because his canned script falls apart if he recognizes and acknowledges this.

    Oreo likens himself a warrior when he wrestles with straw men. He has to as he is a presupper and a one trick pony.

    I’m personally glad these two jokers came around. They cant win their case for god but they keep trying. I am better for hearing their bullshit. They recycle the same shit so it does get old but its great fun watching them try to get to god.

    Oreo gets to knowledge by studying…..lmfao………btw STB didn’t win his debate with Matt any more than you have won the argument here.

    By all means Kafei and Oreo keep trying. If you stay hear long enough and repeat yourself you might convince me that god exists. Keep going…….

    Why not start with attacking Matt some more? Then Kafei you can tell us what a real CME is and all the scientific and peer reviewed studies that reveal god exists. And then Oreo can stuff another strawman that doesn’t exist and beat it down while he flexes his beer muscles..

    Its a wonderful show indeed. The pitiful parade of theists who pretend to know shit..lol

  88. says

    Kafei, #86

    You wanna talk about empty BS? Ask Matt what evidence would convince him for evidence of God.

    We’ve been over this already. You insist that it’s a problem for him to not know what would convince him. You have given no reason why anyone should accept that this is a problem.

    If my summation in post #67 is an accurate take on your central claim, then I feel like I did a good job addressing why it is false.

    If post #67 is not an accurate take, then please state your claim as clearly as possible.

    I’m giving you an opportunity to engage in a substantive argument. Take it or leave it.

  89. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403,

    Where did I indicate that I’m a theist or that I’m arguing for god?

    I’d like to know what your starting point for reasoning is. In other words, how do you know what absolute truth is?

  90. oreoman1987 says

    “Oreo gets to knowledge by studying…..lmfao………btw STB didn’t win his debate with Matt any more than you have won the argument here.”

    How can Matt have won that debate if he couldn’t even tell us one thing that he knows to be true?

    Go back and see where he’s unable to answer the question on how he knows anything to be true or what his basis for knowledge is.

  91. tommy403 says

    99…oreo…

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  92. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403,

    The point is is that it’s self-refuting for Matt and others to criticize faith when their worldview is also based on faith. It all depends if your axioms can be consistent or can get past skepticism. So, again, what’s your starting point for reasoning?

  93. tommy403 says

    100….oreo….I suggest you re read chiks post numbered 69. If it does not make sense read it again. I realize acknowledging it throws off your script but that is not my problem.

  94. tommy403 says

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  95. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403,

    How does he know what absolute truth is if he doesn’t have a starting point for reasoning? He also didn’t define the terms either.

  96. tommy403 says

    oreo in 102 you say to me

    tommy403,
    The point is is that it’s self-refuting for Matt and others to criticize faith when their worldview is also based on faith. It all depends if your axioms can be consistent or can get past skepticism

    ha ha ha ha

    excuse me oreo but you just made a knowledge claim there!!! and its hypocritical for you to criticize matt for doing it when you do it yourself……perhaps it just bugs you that MATT has an audience and you don’t?? lol

  97. tommy403 says

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??
    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  98. tommy403 says

    oreo….please answer the question……….

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?
    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  99. tommy403 says

    why did it get so quiet in here OREO??? oreoooooo?????? please answer my direct question sir!

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  100. oreoman1987 says

    tommy403, If you haven’t established your starting point for reasoning, then how do you know anything you’re saying is true?

  101. says

    Tommy, please get Oreo’s e-mail address and continue the conversation in private. This pet debate of his has polluted the blog far too many times.

  102. tommy403 says

    Oreo……this is not about Matts position. Or my position. You have made truth and knowledge claims So again I ask you..

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  103. tommy403 says

    111, SS…as painful as it is I will not let him off the hook. If he continues to evade I will continue to post even up to us both being blocked by all others or even getting us both kicked off the blog….

    so again oreo….I ask you sir!

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  104. Prisoner 24601 says

    @Oreo

    Have you even heard of probability? How there are ways for us to be reasonably certain about things.

    Also, we already acknowledge that our foundation of reasoning is faith based, but that goes for everyone else. We have to assume the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle, and a few other pre-suppositions. Everyone is playing on this same exact field as everyone else and it doesn’t mean that every proposed solution or assertion is equally viable because the foundation is faith based, because you’re ignoring the rest of the details. Doesn’t matter if our foundation is faith-based, and it’s a rather disingenuous way of saying that everything is equally viable under a faith-based foundation when it is demonstrable that it works. Just look at all the things man has created and tested such as the computer you’re using to type your drivel. We obviously have ways to go about reasoning and logic despite this philosophical quandary.

    In other words, IT JUST WORKS. From this foundation we construct logic and reason. If you’re going to assert to the contrary, then please provide proof, or if you’re claiming to have absolute knowledge of things, please tell us how you got to that path of absolute knowledge and how the rest of us can achieve that.

  105. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @tommy403 #113
    If you really care to see how this shit plays out just look at oreotroll’s past threads. He isn’t going to stop or answer your question because he just wants to ruin this blog; that’s what trolls do. Please stop making his job easier.

  106. tommy403 says

    please don’t run off oreo…..I want to know why you are dodging??? You are either criticizing Matt for what you are doing yourself or you???? All I am asking for is an honest response Oreo, sir…..

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  107. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Tommy:

    Please, seriously, stop. He isn’t going to answer questions and it has been derailing productive conversations for months now, going around and around endlessly about the same things. Please contact him in private. The rest of us want to have conversations about other things.

  108. tommy403 says

    114 AtheistNotAgnostic I am sorry. There are not many people left that even can see his posts. I want the few left to be able to see how brave and straightforward he is……I shall not let my good friend off the hook….

    So again, Sir. Mr, Oreo Sir……I ask why you dodge??

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  109. anxionnat says

    Thank you for this show. I especially found your discussion with the college student Quentin, who asked about going to church with his family. My parents were catholic, and it was always assumed that I’d go to church with the family, if I was visiting. Our church was *very* conservative, but when I was home we always went to the UC Berkeley Newman Center. So…go back in time to Christmas 1971…. All six of us kids, sitting in a pew with Mom on one end and Dad on the other. I was bored out of my skull, so I turned to my next oldest sister (I’m effectively the oldest) and whispered “I don’t believe any of this? Do you?” She whispered, “No.” I told her “pass it down and pass it back.” In a couple of minutes I had my answer. None of us, from 11-year-old Dan, to 19-year-old me believed. My youngest brother, 9-year-old Richard, said he “wasn’t sure.” We had never talked about this before! I had had no idea what the results would be! But, by age eleven, *all* of us were atheists. Nobody in my family was some genius. We were, and are, just average people. So Quentin may find out that his brothers, too, may just be putting on a facade when they go to church. My suggestion is that he *ask* them! He might find out more than he bargained for.

  110. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @WP #116
    Looks like Tommy isn’t gonna stop. Onto the killfile hush list he goes!

  111. tommy403 says

    116. Wiggle Puppy. I will post this question to my good friend every time he posts until answered. So feel free to block me fellow apes! I will not post unless he returns so that other conversations may be had, but until then I ask my friend! Oreo? Where art thou?? Oreo!!! come out come out, Sir!

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  112. tommy403 says

    119. AtheistNotAgnostic…..do what you must! Cannot say I blame you!

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?
    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??
    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

  113. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @SS #121
    I don’t think Tommy needs to be banned. If he earns a rep as a troll enabler over many threads then sure but this is the first thread I can recall that he’s done this. It is super annoying though.
    @anxionnat #118
    Thanks for sharing your story. I think it demonstrates a great point: there are way more of us out there than we think! If you have the courage to start talking about these subjects (assuming it’s safe for you to do so) you’ll likely inspire others to come out that you never expected.

  114. tommy403 says

    121…SS….if I am banned I am banned….I am making a point I feel important. Oreo has been allowed to spew his web of confusion and character assassination for quite a while. If direct questions about his beliefs or claims make him feel uncomfortable to the point he refuses to answer or plays deaf I will make it obvious to all.

    I realize many will disagree with my approach but its a hill I chose to die on if need be. I enjoy the blog but wont let Oreo bully his way here and take a piss on Matt and others. I will post and repost my question to the good Mr. Oreo but only in responses to his future posts. Mr. Oreo could answer my question and he would never see the question again. All I am asking for is an honest response.

    Sure I would be disappointed to be banned and I will not let this prevent future discussions but my question to the good Mr. Oreo is not, and will not go away. Period. I also have a lot of respect for the blog and its members, Remember that if I am sent to the land of Shaun and others, I will still be with you in spirit my brothers!

    but oreoooo!!! mister Oreoooo!! where have you gone, sir! 🙂

  115. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    A couple quick points that were brought up that I felt no one did a good job addressing.

    1-
    Here’s a better example of having some understanding of some claim, but also not understanding what sort of evidence might show it to be true.

    Consider Einstein and General Relativity. When he wrote down his equations of GR, he didn’t know that one could derive an orbital motion for Mercury that matched observations. He knew that the derivations of Newtonian mechanics did not match the observations of Mercury, but he did not know whether his model would match before doing the work (see: precession of the perihelion) (and remember that he had to do his calculations by hand; no electronic calculators). Einstein definitely had some level of understanding of his equations before making the further calculations regarding the orbital motion of Mercury, but before he did that, he didn’t know the exact real observations that would tell him whether his idea was right or not.

    In other words, for some ideas, it can take a lot of time and mental effort (and effort with pen and paper) to determine what some consequences of an idea may be. The consequences of many ideas are often subtle and not-obvious.

    2-
    Most people here are misapplying and misunderstanding the burden of proof.

    There is no such thing as the “null hypothesis” a priori. Just get that out of your head right now. There are no positions which are privileged so that they are the default position before we look at evidence.

    Now, if you have a lot of background evidence, then you should apply that background evidence, which means that when you enter a conversation, some positions will be your default position, and that’s fine, because they’re supported by evidence.

    The “burden of proof” is a good answer to an “argument from ignorance” fallacy, e.g. “you don’t know the answer, and therefore it’s {fill in the blank}”. However, this is just another way of saying that there are no null hypotheses. In other words, this usage of “the burden of proof” is just another way of saying that you should apportion your beliefs according to the evidence, and you should withhold belief when the evidence is insufficient, and you should apportion your confidence-levels in your beliefs according to the evidence. More broadly, this is because proper epistemology is Bayesian – there is never a privileged or “default” belief. Instead, we are always weighing claims against each other. Some claim about reality is true only to the extent that some other claim about reality is false. In other words, I only understand what it means for some claim to be true in the context of some other claim being false. This has a very tight coupling with why it’s so important for claims about reality to be falsifiable. In other words, I do not understand unfalsifiable claims about reality at all – such claims are not right, and they’re not even wrong – they’re gobblygook incoherent nonsense.

    The “burden of proof” also has a completely different usage. If a speaker tells the audience that the audience has a duty to investigate an obscure and unlikely claim, then the audience is within their moral remit to tell the speaker to fuck off. It would be grossly unfair if someone could foist a duty to investigate any obscure claim onto someone else because then we would all be wasting our time investigating obscure claims at the invitation of trolls. It can take a long time to gather evidence, and also because it can take a long time to simply think through the logical implications of an idea (see my Einstein example above). So, to counter this problem, we as a society have determined that if someone wants to advocate for a seemingly unlikely claim, then the speaker has the moral duty to do the investigation for the audience and to present a summary of that investigation to the audience, and to provide directions to further details (i.e. citations) upon demand. This has basically nothing to do with epistemology; it’s a principle of fairness in social interactions.

    PS: In the very general case, this fairness principle does become a principle of epistemology. Epistemology is the art and practice of knowing things. Part of that is deciding how to allocate your time to investigations. We all have to develop rules, heuristics, to determine when a claim is worth our time to investigate, and how much time to spend on the investigation. However, it still has nothing to do with default positions and “null hypothesis” – those are informed according to the available evidence, and whether we should hold that some claim is true or not has nothing to do with whether the claim was recently spoken aloud by some speaker.

  116. oreoman1987 says

    EnlightenmentLiberal,
    “ I do not understand unfalsifiable claims about reality at all – such claims are not right, and they’re not even wrong – they’re gobblygook incoherent nonsense.“

    Falsification is a very irrational position to take with any position. I’d recommend studying the philosophy of science to understand the problems with falsification and science.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8kTl6Zx1SGI

  117. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ oreo #127

    “Do you even know what a starting point is?”

    Peanut butter? I swear I know this, just give me a minute

  118. says

    @Secular Strategy

    We’ve been over this already. You insist that it’s a problem for him to not know what would convince him. You have given no reason why anyone should accept that this is a problem.

    That problem that has been pointed out. If you don’t know what would convince you, and you turn around and then say, “But! If there is a God, then that God should know what would convince me!” Then, you’ve conveniently shifted the burden of proof to this imagined God. And I say imagined, because Matt’s assuming with that statement that there’s a God out there that should come along and show him grace. That’s not atheism, that’s a-somethingism. It’s a position that says there’s something out there, I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how to define it, I don’t know what it would be if I ever encountered it, but I don’t believe it. Whatever that “something” is. You don’t see the ridiculousness in this at all? That’s hyperskepticism, and in fact, Matt just did a recent journal entry titled “Am I being too skeptical?” That’s a resounding yes.

    If my summation in post #67 is an accurate take on your central claim, then I feel like I did a good job addressing why it is false.

    If post #67 is not an accurate take, then please state your claim as clearly as possible.

    #67 was a pretty good example of a false analogy. I’ll give you that.

    I’m giving you an opportunity to engage in a substantive argument. Take it or leave it.

    Alright, I’m willing to discuss this if you want to address the glaring issues I’ve brought up. Did you know that Matt ultimately would like to see religion banished from the planet? I really see the push for a world-wide atheism futile as trying to rid the world of bald people or fat people. That’s the rant of a deluded anti-theist with an agenda. But hey, if you have a similar secular strategy, that’s your thing.

    @EL

    PS: In the very general case, this fairness principle does become a principle of epistemology. Epistemology is the art and practice of knowing things. Part of that is deciding how to allocate your time to investigations. We all have to develop rules, heuristics, to determine when a claim is worth our time to investigate, and how much time to spend on the investigation. However, it still has nothing to do with default positions and “null hypothesis” – those are informed according to the available evidence, and whether we should hold that some claim is true or not has nothing to do with whether the claim was recently spoken aloud by some speaker.

    Well, yes, of course, we’re talking about epistemology here. You wanna know how I know we’re not in The Matrix? ‘Cause the food isn’t that good.

  119. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei # 131:

    “And I say imagined, because Matt’s assuming with that statement that there’s a God out there that should come along and show him grace”

    You’re really overthinking this. Whenever I’ve heard Matt give this kind of response, it’s usually in response to claims about an Abrahamic god who has commandments for us, has expectations for us, etc. So if this god expects things of us, it’s up to that god to at least make its existence known. I’ve also heard him say that if there’s a god out there who doesn’t care about us at all, like a deistic god, then that god is irrelevant to how we live our daily lives.

    “You don’t see the ridiculousness in this at all?”

    No. If there isn’t any god, then all of the time spent searching for it is probably largely wasted.

    “That’s hyperskepticism, and in fact, Matt just did a recent journal entry titled “Am I being too skeptical?” That’s a resounding yes.”

    There’s more special pleading buried in here. I doubt you would say this about any other existence claim out there. There’s nothing special about god claims that makes them any more deserving of investments of time and energy than any other existence claim. If there’s a god out there that wants us to know it exists, it’s up to that god to demonstrate its existence. If there’s a person (or group of people) who claim that a god exists, it’s up to that person (or people) to demonstrate the truth of that claim. And what evidence would demonstrate that claim? I don’t know. If there is, in fact, no god, then there may very likely be no evidence that could convince me. So every minute I spend searching for said evidence is time wasted that I could be doing something else. That’s it. This really isn’t hard.

    “Did you know that Matt ultimately would like to see religion banished from the planet? I really see the push for a world-wide atheism futile as trying to rid the world of bald people or fat people.”

    I’ve heard Matt and the other co-hosts acknowledge that it’s extremely unlikely that religion will *ever* be banished from the planet, let alone in our lifetimes. Do you know what a “goal” is? Do you think the American Cancer Society is wasting its time if it has a “goal” of eliminating cancer in our world? No, obviously. But it can channel time and resources into decreasing the incidence and severity of cancer over time as best as it can. The point is to set a goal and then work toward that as best as one can. You’re taking all of this way, way too literally.

    “That’s the rant of a deluded anti-theist with an agenda.”

    I think you need to talk to someone. Your irrational hatred for Matt is, like, kind of disturbing.

  120. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    I think you need to talk to someone. Your irrational hatred for Matt is, like, kind of disturbing.

    I think you’re taking me too literally. I don’t have some kind of “hatred for Matt.” I don’t even have a hatred for terms like “spiritual experience,” but I can see how someone might find it annoying to refer to the phenomenon of frisson as a “spiritual experience.” I actually am a fan of Matt’s work, I wouldn’t check out all his journal entries, if I weren’t. I think I’ve seen pretty much all of ’em. I also have been meaning to go down to Austin and try and see if I could chill with him during one of these afterparties they throw after the show, maybe have a deeper conversation that I haven’t been able to have with him on the show.

    I’ve heard Matt and the other co-hosts acknowledge that it’s extremely unlikely that religion will *ever* be banished from the planet, let alone in our lifetimes.

    Well, of course, it’s not going to disappear, and if it is truly rooted and founded by natural phenomenon, then it certainly be around forever. What I’d really like to ask Matt is what the hell does he mean by “rid of religion.” Because from the sounds of it, it sounds like he thinks that if people adopt reason, rationality, intellectual honesty, etc. then when they examine the “evidence,” they’ll naturally find their way to atheism. “Evidence” he even admits he wouldn’t know how to invalidate in the first place. And yet, despite this, he argues that logic itself, once accepted and integrated, is a psychological process within itself that naturally leads one towards atheism, and I don’t buy that. Also, if you’re going to acknowledge that religion is here to stay, then why even mention a grandiose atheist wet dream like the thrust to a world-wide atheism, anyway? I’ve seen Matt do it on multiple shows as well.

  121. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I still want to bring both sides to task for this.

    Consider the link above by Kafei.


    In short, someone advanced the correct idea: If you’re a hard atheist, e.g. someone who asserts that there is no god, then that means that you must have a particular concept of “god” in mind, and you must have considered the idea enough to figure out some of its implications so that you could determine that the implications are false so that you could hold the position “there are no gods”. Thus, if Matt Dillahunty calls himself a hard atheist and also says that he doesn’t know what would convince him that a god exists, then he’s doing something wrong.

    However, mere moments after making that correct point, the speaker then made a standard “argument from ignorance” fallacy. See:

    You have reasons why you hold a particular position, right?

    Wrong. If I hold a positive belief, a positive assertion, then yes, I do typically have reasons. However, for a weaker form of atheism that is equivalent to “I don’t know”, such persons do not have reasons. It’s the distinct lack of reasons that causes one to occupy the position “I don’t know.”

    … And a hard atheist believes that gods don’t exist. I have reasons for that, right? So you ask me “what would convince you?”, “well, I don’t know”. No! What would convince me is making those reasons invalid.

    Also wrong. Based on the context, the phrase “what would convince you?” is short for “what would convince you that a god exists?”. Thus, he just did an argument from ignorance fallacy. Attacking someone’s reasons for believing “X is true” is not good enough by itself to arrive at “X is false”. Even if you demolish the reasons for believing “X is true”, that just leaves you in the position “I don’t know”. The speaker here basically did an argument from ignorance fallacy, just like any creationist who argues for god by solely attacking evolution.

    To think like a Bayesian, if you remove all of your opponent’s reasons for why “X is true”, then that leaves him in the default position “I don’t know”. In order to shift him to the position “X is false”, then he needs to already have at least some evidence or reasons to suspect that “X is false”, or you need to provide them.

    PS: I did say that proper epistemology is Bayesian. Therefore, when advocating for an idea, it is crucial to attack competing ideas. However, you have to do more than that. You also have to put forward evidence and reasons for why your idea is likely to be true. Otherwise, the best that you can hope for is leaving your audience in the position “I don’t know”, and “I don’t know” on the topic “is there a god or gods?” is an atheist position. It is included in the umbrella of atheism.

  122. says

    Kafei #131, I’ll tackle your responses to me in reverse order.

    First, if you want to talk about something Matt said regarding getting rid of religion, that’s another topic. I politely decline.

    #67 was a pretty good example of a false analogy. I’ll give you that.

    I have given you multiple opportunities to rephrase “Kafei’s postulate” and you have declined to do so. As such, I take it that I have accurately portrayed your claim, and done a decent job of refuting it.

    By the way, my counterargument made use of no analogies whatsoever, false or otherwise. It made use of a counterexample, which is not the same thing. If you don’t see the difference, I will happily explain.

    “But! If there is a God, then that God should know what would convince me!” Then, you’ve conveniently shifted the burden of proof to this imagined God.

    This is completely unrelated to your original claim, but still wrong. It’s not a shifting of the burden of proof. It is a fact that is logically entailed under the hypothesis of an omniscient god.

    And I say imagined, because Matt’s assuming with that statement that there’s a God out there that should come along and show him grace. That’s not atheism, that’s a-somethingism. It’s a position that says there’s something out there, I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how to define it, I don’t know what it would be if I ever encountered it, but I don’t believe it. Whatever that “something” is. You don’t see the ridiculousness in this at all? That’s hyperskepticism, and in fact, Matt just did a recent journal entry titled “Am I being too skeptical?” That’s a resounding yes.

    Sorry, but this is just incoherent nonsense. You are trying to posit that Matt is, in fact, arguing that there is “something out there,” when that is most certainly not his belief. You know this, because you got his argument right the first time: “If there is a God…” You said it yourself.

    I seriously recommend that you take a few minutes try to pin down (a) what claim you are addressing, and (b) the most robust method for countering it. Right now, you are all over the map, taking on (by my count) three unrelated claims, and lumping them all together into one messy argument. Slow down, think it out, then proceed.

  123. says

    #134

    Thus, if Matt Dillahunty calls himself a hard atheist and also says that he doesn’t know what would convince him that a god exists, then he’s doing something wrong.

    To be clear, I do not agree at all. Let’s take a really simple example:

    Egypt does not exist.

    I’m about as certain as I can possibly be that this claim is false. But what would convince me otherwise? I have no clue. It’s difficult for me to fathom what would overturn this belief.

    Is there a conflict there? Am I being irrational for not having a response to “What would convince you that Egypt is fake?” I certainly don’t think so.

    Once again, if someone wants to point out how God beliefs get their own set of rules in this respect, they will have to state their reasons.

  124. Chikoppi says

    “The problem here is that most people on here say that they don’t know anything with certainty. Which exposes them as not knowing anything.”

    No, no, and no. Knowledge =/= Absolute Truth

    A knowledge claim is therefore not an absolute truth claim, no matter how “certain.” Knowledge is provisional and epistemic. Knowledge is a belief that is epistemologically justifiable and demonstrably true to a degree equivalent to the claim.

    The charge of a proton is 1.6021766208(98)×10−19 C. That is a factual statement as the belief expressed corresponds to the meaning of the words and is consistent with observed reality. “Proton” and “charge” are labels for conceptual objects that relate to a set of perceptions. The degree of the measurement describes a consistently observed relationship established between those objects as established by epistemic means.

    Do protons actually exist or are they a solipsistic hallucination? It doesn’t matter with respect to the knowledge claim as it is not a statement of absolute truth, but rather a reference to the conceptual objects, the perceptions to which they correlate, and the consistency of the relationship between them.

  125. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Egypt does not exist.

    I’m about as certain as I can possibly be that this claim is false. But what would convince me otherwise? I have no clue. It’s difficult for me to fathom what would overturn this belief.

    Use your imagination. It’s not that hard. Think about writing a (bad) scifi TV show with that premise. Just because the things that you would require are outlandish does not mean that they’re hard to imagine. Try a little.

    Put on your Bayesian falsifiability hat: What convinced you in the first place? Every single bit of evidence and reason that you have to believe that Egypt exists could have been otherwise. You were not born knowing those things. You could have been born in a world where those things could have been otherwise. You can conceptualize being born in a world where those things could have been otherwise. You were not born knowing those things. You had to learn them. All you have to do is find new evidence that reverses all of those former evidence, one by one.

    So what if your answer is something like “proof of the Reptilian infiltration of all of the world’s governments”. That’s an answer. It’s outlandish in the extreme, but that’s only because you chose a proposition for which we have overwhelming evidence.

    That’s the beauty of falsifability – prior evidence and conclusions can always be reversed based on new evidence, even if the amount and kind of new evidence required is outlandish in the extreme.

  126. says

    @Secular Strategy

    Sorry, but this is just incoherent nonsense. You are trying to posit that Matt is, in fact, arguing that there is “something out there,” when that is most certainly not his belief. You know this, because you got his argument right the first time: “If there is a God…” You said it yourself.

    I’m not saying that Matt is arguing that “something is out there.” What I’m saying is that he’s essentially defining God in this fashion, he’s not saying that it’s necessarily “out there.” You may have misconstrued me. That’s why I left the link to Ietsism. This view is defined as an unspecified belief in a something-or-other of some indeterminate description, it’s not a deity of any specific religion, but a kind of “higher power” of some unspecified source. Matt’s position resembles something closer to a a-Ietsism rather than atheism, but even an Ietsism might have a better idea of what they’d be convinced of than Matt. Matt, in saying that he ultimately doesn’t know what would change his mind, is basically taking that uncertainty of what he wouldn’t know what would convince him and applying it to all religion. That which I don’t know what it would be like if it were to reveal itself to me is the very reason I reject all religions. It’s like a cyclical self-defeating argument.

    I seriously recommend that you take a few minutes try to pin down (a) what claim you are addressing, and (b) the most robust method for countering it. Right now, you are all over the map, taking on (by my count) three unrelated claims, and lumping them all together into one messy argument. Slow down, think it out, then proceed.

    Well, they’re definitely interrelated. I can guarantee that these anti-theist comments Matt has made about ridding of something like Christianity is directly related to his identification as an atheist. You can politely decline, if you’d like, but if you’d rather focus on one specific argument, then why don’t you emphasize it? I’ve not only addressed what I’ve claimed here, but I’ve linked to talks where I’ve addressed this with other people heavily interested in these topics. Not just on Steve McCrae’s channel, but Dragnauct as well. We spoke about the possibility of religions evolving which is something I don’t think Matt considers at all.

  127. says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal

    In short, someone advanced the correct idea: If you’re a hard atheist, e.g. someone who asserts that there is no god, then that means that you must have a particular concept of “god” in mind, and you must have considered the idea enough to figure out some of its implications so that you could determine that the implications are false so that you could hold the position “there are no gods”. Thus, if Matt Dillahunty calls himself a hard atheist and also says that he doesn’t know what would convince him that a god exists, then he’s doing something wrong.

    I couldn’t have pointed out this contradiction better myself. I think you pretty much summed it up. You know, Matt once asked me for “my definition of God,” and he asked it by saying, “I don’t care what your definition of God is, pick any,” hell even told me to “make one up.” And so when I offered my definition, he retorted, “That’s not a God.” So, I think this is a perfect example that correlates to what you’ve explained above, that Matt has defined God under some kind of parameter, but when it comes to his own standard definition, he cannot only say more than “I don’t know what would change my mind,” but he also rejects any definition of God that doesn’t tally with his own definition of God that, as you rightly point out, he seems to have figured out its implications, its limitations, etc. enough to announce himself a hard atheist. I believe this is why he’s always pointing out to callers with extra emphasis sauce, “There’s no demonstrable scientific evidence that could be established for the supernatural.” It assumes, first of all, that God has anything at all with the supernatural, but that’s a whole other discussion that I wouldn’t mind hearing your thoughts on, because according to Matt, that’s not an issue with his standards of evidence, he pours the blame on the “supernatural claims.” However, my point is that he necessarily believes that claims of God should be “supernatural” to even tally in his mind as a claim of God in the first place. So, yes, he is definitely setting his own parameters for God, and contradicting them when he’s questioned closely. It’s a safe bet that Matt’s a strong atheist, have you heard the pure vitriol he’s spewed on some of these episodes? No offense to Matt. I found your description of strong atheism very interesting. To be honest, that’s the sort of dialogue I’ve been attempting to invoke, but I’ve been met with much close-mindedness with people flat-out blocking me.

  128. tommy403 says

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

    tick tock

  129. Chikoppi says

    “And so when I offered my definition, he retorted, “That’s not a God.”

    If one is asked to define use of the term “unicorn” and responds with, “an elastic bladder, filled with pressurized gas and sealed,” then the definition offered is incongruous with common linguistic understanding. I believe balloons exist. Referring to a balloon as a “unicorn” does not mean I now believe unicorns exist or that balloons somehow possess the properties commonly associated with the term “unicorn” through some transitive association.

    Definition of theism
    : belief in the existence of a god or gods specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

    A-theism is the rejection of the claims of theism as commonly defined. If the claim is about something that lies outside the common definition of theism then that claim has to be defined in separate terms, as a-theism is no longer applicable to the subject.

  130. says

    Fixing typos @140 *even an Ietsist might have a better idea *that God has anything at all to do with the supernatural

    @tommy403

    99…oreo…why are you dodging my direct question. sir?

    so you don’t get to knowledge like stb?? you do not believe a god or divinity is the basis for your truth??

    if you don’t well then fuck….your another imbecile just like the rest of us! welcome friend…your merely a postulator that uses faith to guide yourself just like us!

    tick tock

    Oreo isn’t the only theist here. What question do you want him to answer? I bet I could answer it. You know, being a level 1 theist in Dawkins’ formulation, and all.

    @Chikoppi

    A-theism is the rejection of the claims of theism as commonly defined. If the claim is about something that lies outside the common definition of theism then that claim has to be defined in separate terms, as a-theism is no longer applicable to the subject.

    “As commonly defined.” Well, what would be that “commonly defined” description of God? George Carlin also once said, “Well, most people are fucking stupid, too, shall we adopt all their standards?” That’s why I often emphasize Einstein’s criticism on what he called the “naïve interpretation of religion.” You wouldn’t be speaking of some type of anthropomorphizing of God, would you? Because if you look up the earliest notions of the divine, you find that they’re invariably monistic, henotheistic and pantheistic/panentheistic. So, argue that atheism is this argument against the “common conception” is akin to arguing that atheism is the rejection of the “naïve interpretation of God.”

  131. Monocle Smile says

    “Well, most people are fucking stupid, too, shall we adopt all their standards?”

    I don’t know what’s worse…the fact that you post the same annoying fucking shit verbatim all the time because you’re just that atrocious at expressing yourself, or the laughable suggestion that you consider yourself outside of the category identified by Carlin.

  132. says

    @Monocle Smile

    I don’t know what’s worse…the fact that you post the same annoying fucking shit verbatim all the time because you’re just that atrocious at expressing yourself, or the laughable suggestion that you consider yourself outside of the category identified by Carlin.

    You do realize Carlin wasn’t an atheist don’t you? He only played one on stage and on MADtv, you know. Don’t let the big screen fool ya.

    @tommy403 oreoman1987 is only a Level 2 on Dawkins’ formulation.

  133. Monocle Smile says

    Oh my shit, how is your reading comprehension below a 4th grade level? How did you misunderstand my post that badly? What an embarrassment.

  134. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Oh my shit, how is your reading comprehension below a 4th grade level?

    Let me copy & paste what you typed:

    that you consider yourself outside of the category identified by Carlin.

    I don’t consider myself outside of Carlin’s views. He’s pretty much spent his entire life articulating the very same topics I’ve been interested in. I don’t know what you think I’ve somehow “misconstrued” at a “4th grade level,” maybe you can explain.

    How did you misunderstand my post that badly? What an embarrassment.

    Maybe because I don’t share you naïve conception of God. Have you considered this? I’ve even recently posted at reddit relative to all this and my call to Talk Heathen.

  135. Chikoppi says

    ““As commonly defined.” Well, what would be that “commonly defined” description of God?”

    A-fucking-theism. The “theistic” description as commonly understood is what applies. The origins of the term “a-theism” date to the 16th century and it is the prevailing definition of “theism” from that period forward to which it refers.

    If your claim is about something else then it is up to YOU to articulate what that is, define its properties, and provide sufficient evidence. Merely referring to a collection of vague notions as “god” doesn’t conjure something into existence that fulfills any meaningful connotations of that term and it certainly has no bearing on a-theism.

    This is akin to those knuckleheads who call in to say, “I think the universe is God. You believe the universe exists, so you can’t be an atheist.”

  136. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    This is akin to those knuckleheads who call in to say, “I think the universe is God. You believe the universe exists, so you can’t be an atheist.”

    Actually, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

  137. t90bb says

    Has Kafei told any of you when his first Theist Experience show is???? Oh wait..that show id just like his drugged psychosis produced god…….it doesn’t exist.

  138. says

    @Chikoppi #149

    This is akin to those knuckleheads who call in to say, “I think the universe is God. You believe the universe exists, so you can’t be an atheist.”

    This is actually a very, very common misconception which I’ve addressed on the last thread at post #90 in the pink link.

  139. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei 152:

    I don’t think the point Chikoppi was making was about pantheism or panentheism specifically (side note: another example of you taking things too literally). I think the point was to point out the absurdity of your relentless critiques here. As we’ve noted, the word “god” has a normative definition – something to do with a supernatural, powerful, immortal being, something like that. We’re generally referring to this concept when we call ourselves “atheists” to indicate that we don’t believe in the existence of any of the various beings that fit this description whose existence has been proposed. The goofy theists who try to define “god” as something we all agree exists in order to say “See, you’re not *really* an atheist! Checkmate!” are just wasting time. Okay, if you define god as the universe, or as a coffee cup, or something like that, then yeah, I’m not an atheist with respect to that god, but then you’re just playing games with words and not actually accomplishing anything of real substance or value. So to say that you have your own esoteric definition of what “god” is and then critique Matt for saying that he doesn’t know what would convince him of that thing’s existence, when he’s talking in terms of a normative definition that has a common usage in dialogue, is kind of stupid.

    It’s kind of like the people who call into the show and define “faith” as coequal to “confidence,” and then get the hosts to agree that, yes, under that definition, we do have “faith,” and then turn around and say, “See, you atheists criticize people for having faith, but you do too! Checkmate!” This ignores that when followers of Abrahamic religions use “faith,” they’re often using it as a catch-all justification for believing outlandish things with no verifiable evidence at all. It’s just playing games with words, which gets us no closer to being able to separate reality from fantasy.

  140. Chikoppi says

    This is actually a very, very common misconception which I’ve addressed on the last thread at post #90 in the pink link.

    “Spinoza expressly denies personality and consciousness to God; he has neither intelligence, feeling, nor will; he does not act according to purpose, but everything follows necessarily from his nature, according to law….”Thus, Spinoza’s cool, indifferent God is the antithesis to the concept of an anthropomorphic, fatherly God who cares about humanity.”

    Yup. Don’t care. This isn’t a meaningful theistic definition. It is an inert, non-agent that is needlessly inserted as a fetish object on which to project and personify understanding of the “natural laws.”

  141. t90bb says

    hey guys..i am taking on a fun exercise of making a list of the top reasons (or all) reasons theists use to justify their faith that a god exists….I want to keep them succinct…..heres a start we can add to

    1. consciousness (life)
    2. miracles (including the virgin birth, life, resurrection of Jeezass)
    3. complexity of things (life, universe)
    4. prophecy of holey texts
    5 NDE (evidence of afterlife mostly)
    6. intelligence (related to consciousness)
    7. innate desire of or belief as evidence
    8. the beauty of nature
    9. love (related to consciousness)
    10. atheism (lol yup they say it!)

    Theres 10 to start…..help me add to this list….ill add CME in honor of my friend…….LETS KEEP IT GROWING….others?

  142. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    I don’t think the point Chikoppi was making was about pantheism or panentheism specifically (side note: another example of you taking things too literally). I think the point was to point out the absurdity of your relentless critiques here. As we’ve noted, the word “god” has a normative definition – something to do with a supernatural, powerful, immortal being, something like that. We’re generally referring to this concept when we call ourselves “atheists” to indicate that we don’t believe in the existence of any of the various beings that fit this description whose existence has been proposed.

    Well, then it’s as I said at #143 relative to Chikoppi’s “God as commonly defined,” if atheism is simply the rejection of what Einstein called the “childish interpretation of religion,” this notion of a personal God, then atheism defined in this manner is merely the rejection of the naïve interpretation of God. Nothing, nothing less.

    The goofy theists who try to define “god” as something we all agree exists in order to say “See, you’re not *really* an atheist! Checkmate!” are just wasting time.

    Anyone who thinks it’s about “atheism vs. theism” to the point where they have to retort “Checkmate!” is missing the point. Of course, this is not a game to see which side will prevail over the other. It’s about ascertaining truth, not a fight between theism and atheism.

    Okay, if you define god as the universe, or as a coffee cup, or something like that, then yeah, I’m not an atheist with respect to that god, but then you’re just playing games with words and not actually accomplishing anything of real substance or value.

    I’m not playing word games at all. I’m merely pointing out that the notion of “relabeling God as the universe” is a very common misconception relative to what Spinoza actually professed relative to pantheism.

    So to say that you have your own esoteric definition of what “god” is and then critique Matt for saying that he doesn’t know what would convince him of that thing’s existence, when he’s talking in terms of a normative definition that has a common usage in dialogue, is kind of stupid.

    I don’t have “my own” esoteric definition of God. There is the esoteric definition of God that is often overlooked by atheists, but it didn’t originate with me. It originated with the early mystics.

    @Chikoppi

    Yup. Don’t care. This isn’t a meaningful theistic definition. It is an inert, non-agent that is needlessly inserted as a fetish object on which to project and personify understanding of the “natural laws.”

    It is nevertheless what the mystics intuit at the height of these mystical states of consciousness, so it’s not merely a conception. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it isn’t a “meaningful definition,” it’s the only real definition. To say it isn’t a meaningful definition is akin to saying, “Oh, I don’t like this definition of God.” What’s the matter? You wanted there to be a God entity out there that is all-loving? You’re disappointed? This is how the mystics encountered the divine, by direct experience, and they became the conduits for cultivating an experience of unconditional love, the mystics by refining and integrating these experiences became exemplars of turth and moral paragons, they were often renowned for their probity; think Jesus Christ, Anthony the Great, Symeon the New Theologian, Gautama, Bias of Priene, etc. This is what “esoteric” means. It means understood by the initiates alone, those who undergone a direct experience of the divine. So, it’s not like it’s a definition of God is completely inert and non-active, it’s rather that it proceeds forth into matter with its interaction with us. That’s how the Trinity is understood by the early Christian mystics, that the Father (Absolute) proceeds forth as the Holy Spirit (mystical union) to the Son (the conduit that is man or woman).

  143. Monocle Smile says

    It is nevertheless what the mystics intuit at the height of these mystical states of consciousness, so it’s not merely a conception

    Once again Kafei confuses experience with reality.

    This is how the mystics encountered the divine, by direct experience, and they became the conduits for cultivating an experience of unconditional love, the mystics by refining and integrating these experiences became exemplars of turth and moral paragons, they were often renowned for their probity; think Jesus Christ, Anthony the Great, Symeon the New Theologian, Gautama, Bias of Priene, etc.

    Oh look, more heaping piles of bullshit, including references to people who probably did not exist.

  144. says

    @Monocle Smile

    Once again Kafei confuses experience with reality.

    Oh, yeah, ’cause your experience has nothing to do with reality, right? Or even an experience that people describe as “more real” than everyday waking consciousness.

    Oh look, more heaping piles of bullshit, including references to people who probably did not exist.

    The only name up there that people doubt is Jesus, and I’m perfectly willing to accept that he may not have been a real person, but a symbol for intellectual enlightenment or a literal human being, human as you and I, who once walked this earth.

  145. Chikoppi says

    It is nevertheless what the mystics intuit at the height of these mystical states of consciousness, so it’s not merely a conception.

    Presupposition. Demonstrate it is “not merely a conception” or personified fetish object.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that it isn’t a “meaningful definition,” it’s the only real definition. To say it isn’t a meaningful definition is akin to saying, “Oh, I don’t like this definition of God.”

    It isn’t meaningful relevant to the position of a-theism.

    What’s the matter? You wanted there to be a God entity out there that is all-loving? You’re disappointed?

    I have entirely no investment in proposals of “gods” or “divinity” whatsoever.

    This is how the mystics encountered the divine…

    Presupposition.

    …and they became the conduits for cultivating an experience of unconditional love, the mystics by refining and integrating these experiences became exemplars of turth and moral paragons, they were often renowned for their probity; think Jesus Christ, Anthony the Great, Symeon the New Theologian, Gautama, Bias of Priene, etc.

    “Unconditional love” is not a property of an “indifferent God [that] is the antithesis to the concept of an anthropomorphic, fatherly God who cares about humanity.”

    So, it’s not like it’s a definition of God is completely inert and non-active, it’s rather that it proceeds forth into matter with its interaction with us.

    Describing “god” as a concept, idea, or notion that motivates “initiates” does not conjure anything into existence beyond the concept, idea, or notion itself.

  146. says

    @Chikoppi

    Presupposition. Demonstrate it is “not merely a conception” or personified fetish object.

    Well, simple, because the “complete” mystical experience is an experience, and not a concept, it’s not something that is born out of the intellect, it’s rather something that is purely intuited.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that it isn’t a “meaningful definition,” it’s the only real definition. To say it isn’t a meaningful definition is akin to saying, “Oh, I don’t like this definition of God.”

    It isn’t meaningful relevant to the position of a-theism.

    Sure, if you’re defining atheism as to be the rejection of the naïve interpretation of God. I mean, if you want to define atheism that way, go right on ahead.

    What’s the matter? You wanted there to be a God entity out there that is all-loving? You’re disappointed?

    I have entirely no investment in proposals of “gods” or “divinity” whatsoever.

    Yet here you are attempting to fathom this interpretation of the divine.

    This is how the mystics encountered the divine…

    Presupposition.

    This is no presupposition, this is, indeed, what our modern science has established.

    …and they became the conduits for cultivating an experience of unconditional love, the mystics by refining and integrating these experiences became exemplars of turth and moral paragons, they were often renowned for their probity; think Jesus Christ, Anthony the Great, Symeon the New Theologian, Gautama, Bias of Priene, etc.

    “Unconditional love” is not a property of an “indifferent God [that] is the antithesis to the concept of an anthropomorphic, fatherly God who cares about humanity.”

    Yes, because the Absolute that is directly experienced at the height of the CME is a state of the totality of potentiality. There is nothing to do in the CME, because all things are done. This is why it is expressed as a state that is “outside of space and time” or a “timelessness,” because it contains all things, and it is also a state of unconditional love. So, there’s no Godhead out there that has a will of its own to express this unconditional love. It’s rather that this divine potential to experience unconditional love is at the core of all us, and to the degree we can experience it, then that’s how it operates in the material world, and always has. It’s never happened in any other fashion.

    Describing “god” as a concept, idea, or notion that motivates “initiates” does not conjure anything into existence beyond the concept, idea, or notion itself.

    I believe the Absolute that is intuited by the mystic is purely experienced, but when the mystic returns to ordinary consciousness, then the Absolute has to be transduced into words, symbols, concepts, etc. But the concept or the symbol or the word is not the Absolute, they’re merely pointers to it. As Bruce Lee once said, “It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!”

  147. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Kafei 158:

    “Oh, yeah, ’cause your experience has nothing to do with reality, right?”

    Possibly, but not necessarily.

    “Or even an experience that people describe as “more real” than everyday waking consciousness.”

    I’m done. My senile grandmother used to describe to me how even though her bank accounts might *seem* to reveal that she had barely any assets to her name, she *actually* owned the shopping mall near her nursing home and everybody there worked for her because she had won the lottery and purchased it. She had memories of this experience and described it in great detail. How people *describe* an experience just doesn’t count for very much.

    For those of you wondering how long it would take Kafei to bring up mystical experiences again, take a drink. You earned it.

  148. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    I’m done. My senile grandmother used to describe to me how even though her bank accounts might *seem* to reveal that she had barely any assets to her name, she *actually* owned the shopping mall near her nursing home and everybody there worked for her because she had won the lottery and purchased it. She had memories of this experience and described it in great detail. How people *describe* an experience just doesn’t count for very much.

    I wouldn’t compare the misrememberings of your senile grandmother to experiences that people describe as “more real than everyday waking consciousness.” Even if your grandmother is misremembering something, it’s still happening in her everyday waking consciousness, even what she’s misremembering is mundane. So, this is a falsey analogy, through and through, balls to bones.

    For those of you wondering how long it would take Kafei to bring up mystical experiences again, take a drink. You earned it.

    Well, I’m a Perennialist. These things are part of my perspective. It’s sort of hard to express myself without invoking these things, because they’re completely integrated into how I see things. However, they also are recurring themes on the more recent episodes of TAE, and I’m not surprised at all. I did, after all, say that these topics would continue to haunt TAE and these threads, even long after I’m banned, until they’re properly addressed.

  149. buddyward says

    Anyone here knows of any other discussion sites for AXP? I am just about done with this blog.

  150. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @t90bb #155:

    a list of the top reasons (or all) reasons theists use to justify their faith that a god exists

    – Argumentum ad populum
    – Sciencey babble or Deepak word salad.
    – Pleasant feelings during religious [meetings / rituals].
    – An impulse to flip open the holy book to a verse.
    – Hearing a voice that tells them to do something inane, like leaving milk at a stranger’s doorstep. Bonus if it turns out to be helpful somehow, or if it merely drew their attention to some interesting event that followed [minutes / hours / days] later.
    – People are acting strangely, so something must be controlling them.
    – It just makes sense.
    – Ancient authors knew more about the world than we’d expect, so they must’ve had an omniscient informant.
    – Ancient authors couldn’t have written such an impressive book, in general.
    – Ancient authors wouldn’t have just made up all the embarassing stuff, so it must all be true.
    – It’s inconsequential to daily life, so why not?
    – Their life was crap. They were bad. After joining, then things got better. Goddidit.
    – There’s probably *something* out there we don’t understand. That might be God.
    – We can’t *really* know anything, so let’s just treat imaginary entities as real.
    – The only way to believe is to try really hard to fake it.
    – Bravado. Fear that entertaining doubt will endanger their soul.
    – Neighbors are watching. Must avoid the appearance of sin. (avoidance for its own sake, cause it’s a rule)
    – Fear of lost social connections, lost income, retaliation, or being treated the way they themselves had treated outgroups. (avoidance for tangible consequences)
    – Staving off a murderous rampage. (threat to end an argument)
    – Maintaining the will to live. (threat to end an argument)

  151. John David Balla says

    @buddyward #163
    Checkout the AXP Facebook Page… https://www.facebook.com/groups/atheistexperience/

    The page is actively moderated so the shenanigans which have become a daily and constant disruption here really doesn’t happen there. I am deeply saddened by the state of this blog as the direct result of the trollers and their enablers. Together, this behavior is an extremely poor reflection on the ACA. Who in their right mind would recommend this blog to anyone as it functions right now?

  152. Monocle Smile says

    Now Kafei is linking conservapedia. Is that enough trolling to finally get banned?

  153. Wiggle Puppy says

    I can’t decide whether I’m an atheist because of hatred toward God (#2), Satanic deception (#20), or ingratitude toward the Creator (#27). They all seem equally likely.

    I was fine to engage with Kafei when he was talking about a topic kind of related to the show – what evidence would be convincing in order to prove the existence of god – but yeah, ban this idiot.

  154. Chikoppi says

    Well, simple, because the “complete” mystical experience is an experience, and not a concept, it’s not something that is born out of the intellect, it’s rather something that is purely intuited.

    You aren’t defining “an experience.” You are attributing the experience to a “god.” I give no fucks about invented notions of non-existent entities to which “experiences” are merely attributed or projected.

    Sure, if you’re defining atheism as to be the rejection of the naïve interpretation of God. I mean, if you want to define atheism that way, go right on ahead.

    I am defining your definition of “god” as unsubstantial, inconsequential, and irrelevant.

    Yet here you are attempting to fathom this interpretation of the divine.

    I’m not here “attempting to fathom the divine.” I am responding to a claim you have made. When I respond to a claim, say, about homeopathy, by pointing out it is peddling bullshit doing so doesn’t suggest I am “disappointed” that it isn’t true or that it didn’t encompass a different flavor of bullshit.

    This is no presupposition, this is, indeed, what our modern science has established.

    Cite the scientific evidence that specifically establishes that a god exists. You won’t. You’ll cite a survey about the self-reported qualities of a narrowly selected subjective experience and then presuppose a “god” as a cause where none is established.

    Yes, because the Absolute that is directly experienced at the height of the CME is a state of the totality of potentiality. There is nothing to do in the CME, because all things are done. This is why it is expressed as a state that is “outside of space and time” or a “timelessness,” because it contains all things, and it is also a state of unconditional love. So, there’s no Godhead out there that has a will of its own to express this unconditional love.

    What a load of unmitigated horseshit. If the proposed properties include “all things” then they also include states of “unconditional hatred” and “complete indifference.”

  155. Lamont Cranston says

    John David Balla says in #166

    Checkout the AXP Facebook Page… https://www.facebook.com/groups/atheistexperience/

    The page is actively moderated so the shenanigans which have become a daily and constant disruption here really doesn’t happen there. I am deeply saddened by the state of this blog as the direct result of the trollers and their enablers.

    It’s sad that it would only take two or three simple actions to rectify the situation, but those actions have not been forthcoming.

    I will not be participating on the Facebook page because I refuse to have a Facebook account.

    If the situation is cleared up I may return at some point. Otherwise all ya’all have fun watching those two and their enablers talk to each other.

    Lamont Cranston

  156. PETER CUSHNIE says

    In scanning the comments, too numerous to respond to individually, I have come upon a topic that I believe is pertinent to much of what is being talked about, that is, what qualifies as a god? Well, here’s what I’m thinking: A god would have to be a being unaffected by all laws of physics, whether those of our universe or any other. It would have to be removed from any definition that might limit it, for if it had limits, then we would have to conclude a power greater than the god itself and there must be no way to think of the god as simply a very powerful, but limited, being. The god must be supreme, reigning above everything, not to be confused with a merely technologically superior entity. This god cannot have a nature, for that would be a boundary and, again, would imply something greater than itself. For the same reason, this god could not be subject to “what is logically possible” where the claim of omnipotence is concerned. How did “what is logically possible” come to be? And how was it decided that a god could know only what it is possible to know and not know? No, only the god could decide what it could know and not know and what it could do and not do, thereby knowing what cannot be known, for itself has declared it to be unknowable and must thereby know it, and able to do what cannot be done for it alone has decided what cannot be done and thereby must know how to do it. It can, therefore, do what itself has declared it cannot do, know what it has declared it cannot know, for nothing would be beyond its reach. Could this god blot out its memory? Choose to forget or limit its power? Of course, but it would thereby become a degraded, fallible thing, capable of its own destruction. So, could our god destroy itself? It would seem so. Why not? What could possibly stop it?But could it recreate itself to be even grander than its original self? Or, to put it another way, could it create a greater god? If no, then we have another limitation and question how this limit was defined. If yes, then the question must repeat itself ad infinitum. How many greater gods could there be?

    Well, those are some thoughts. I hope I have clarified the matter. 😉

  157. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Well, here’s what I’m thinking: A god would have to be a being unaffected by all laws of physics, whether those of our universe or any other

    Wrong.

    It would have to be removed from any definition that might limit it, for if it had limits, then we would have to conclude a power greater than the god itself and there must be no way to think of the god as simply a very powerful, but limited, being.

    I don’t accept that the sole correct usage of “god” is “all-powerful gods”. There are plenty of gods of religions that are not all-powerful, i.e. Greek and Roman gods.

    Further, I refuse to spend time thinking about something that is not “bound” by the laws of logic.

    For the same reason, this god could not be subject to “what is logically possible” where the claim of omnipotence is concerned.

    Either the god can create a rock it cannot lift, or it could not. Either the god could kill itself, or it could not.

    could our god destroy itself? It would seem so. Why not? What could possibly stop it?But could it recreate itself to be even grander than its original self?

    I don’t understand what you’re talking about. If it destroyed itself, it cannot then later do anything, let alone recreate itself or create a better version of itself, because it’s destroyed. Something that is destroyed cannot do anything. You’re not making any sense.

  158. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    A few posters are treating this their own personal blog and what should be a fantastic forum is almost worthless.
    They need to be banned so the forum can serve its purpose of reasonable discussion.

  159. Murat says

    @EL
    An unreal god can be anything and everything.
    Problem arises when we try to position the definition of our imagined god as part of reality.

  160. RationalismRules says

    t90bb #155. SkyCaptain #165
    Pascal’s feeling left out right now.

  161. t90bb says

    178….dayumm….pascal!! thank you Stephen. By the wat great job as usual on th and tae……you made me proud as usual.

  162. t90bb says

    Simon…read the thread there is software where you can block individual posters. Contact me directly and I will help you if needed…..or take a heavy dose of mind altering drugs and it may be revealed to you.

    Ive used it and it works great….you still have to read through others responces to them but it helps a lot

  163. Lamont Cranston says

    Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says [hush]​[hide comment]

    If you use Chrome or Firefox you can install Killfile which will cause [hush]​[hide comment] to be displayed just like above after the name of each poster. If you select Hush their posting text will disappear and all you will see is their name. You can un-Hush or see individual hidden comments at any time if you want to, but otherwise you can just ignore them.

    For Firefox
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blog-killfile/

    For Chrome
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ee-killfile/aghlloohhfdcogiifcjeffpmpoecloee?hl=en-US

    Lamont Cranston

  164. PETER CUSHNIE says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @ 174

    Chill. The comment was an attempt at humor through absurdity. You were supposed to laugh.

  165. Honey Tone says

    Peter –

    Wink emoji needs to be bigger. Even though your post was a trip back through the experience of children and grandchildren at around age 5, you could be one the alarmingly large number of adults who have failed to leave such childish things behind.

  166. says

    @Chikoppi If you really want to continue a discussion relative to your last post at 171, then I’ve responded to you at Reddit, and so if you’ve an account there, you’re quite welcome to post on the thread I’ve made there.

    @Enlightenment Liberal

    I don’t accept that the sole correct usage of “god” is “all-powerful gods”. There are plenty of gods of religions that are not all-powerful, i.e. Greek and Roman gods.

    And even the great Greek philosophers of the time, Plato, Xenophanes, Socrates, Aristotle would criticized the mainstream religion of Zeus and his offspring, and recognized the divine solely in what Plotinus would eventually call “the One.”

    Either the god can create a rock it cannot lift, or it could not. Either the god could kill itself, or it could not.

    Peter Cushnie should really hear out my friend Leo’s take on this.

  167. Monocle Smile says

    Nobody wants to hear your buddy Leo spout empty-headed word salad while wearing that obnoxious shit-eating smirk on his fucking face.

    Also, grouping all of those philosophers (who were all terribly wrong about a great deal) in with Plotinus is exposed as dishonest by your own fucking link.

  168. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Kafei
    Don’t care. Not talking to you anymore about that. Please stop talking to me about that. Please go away.

  169. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @RationalismRules #178:

    Pascal’s feeling left out right now.

    INFINITE CARROT !!!
     
     
    @t90bb #179:

    thank you Stephen. By the wat great job as usual on th and tae

     
    Comment: Axp 22.09 – RationalismRules #195:

    @t90bb
    “rationalityrules……same guy as the utube atheist??”
     
    No relation. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  170. John David Balla says

    FYI about Stephen Woodford (Rationality Rules)
    Earlier today the ACA censored Mr. Woodford and among other things, accused him of being transphobic. The official ACA announcement can be found on the AXP Facebook page. I have already written the ACA to express my outrage, which you can now find under the comments section of the ACA notice. Note that the ACA withheld commenting for most of the day until very recently, sort of like how AG William Barr set the narrative of the Mueller report, and by the time it was released, most people had already made up their mind. At any rate, I encourage everyone to look into this with the rigor that many of you show in this blog.

    John

  171. Monocle Smile says

    “Censored?” How did an organization that does not host the vast, vast majority of a person’s content “censor” them?

    I also find the Barr comparison extremely inaccurate and uncharitable.

  172. paxoll says

    I saw a video from him a month ago about participation in sports. I found it very shallow, and a bit of a strawman/false dichotomy, and his evidence a bit irrelevant since it addressed men and women averages, not averages of athletes or trans. The “final” argument of his “refuting” there is no such thing as a fair competition was completely thoughtless. Regardless, I did not find his position from this video to be transphobic, merely talking about a problem thoughtlessly.

  173. John David Balla says

    I meant “censured.” A rebuke. A typo on my part. I caught right after I posted, but as you know, this blog doesn’t allow edits.

  174. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Article: ACA Statement
     
     
    Video: EssenceOfThought – Refuting The Anti-Trans Pseudoscience on Trans Athletes RE: Rationality Rules (48:18)

    (25:14, EoT): I expect you to make your errors clearly known to all who subscribe to your channel. You failed to carry out due diligence in regards to the science. You made a number od schoolboy errors and as a result many of the transphobic elements of your audience are going to feel emboldened. They’re going to ramp up the abuse on people like me because of your failure. So I expect you to have the decency to do the right thing. […] A lot of what is said is not just factually wrong, it’s unnecessarily hostile and dehumanizing towards trans people.

     

    (41:42, Woodford): “I’m convinced that unless quickly rectified, this will kill women’s sport. I don’t want to see the day when women’s athletics is dominated by Y chromosomes. Without a change in policy, that is precisely what’s going to happen.”
     
    (41:54, EoT): In effect, the Olympics have been a testing ground for Woodford’s claims for the past fifteen years, and we’ve not seen anything to remotely support the alarmist spiel he throws out there. This is the exact same rhetoric as that used by apologists who claim that high levels of atheism in the country will lead to its destruction.
    […]
    Nations are willing to pour millions of dollars into an Olympic team for the chance to win gold medals. And they’ll do their research to figure out the easiest way to maximize that. So if there were strong evidence that trans women had an advantage over cis women, it’d ve very reasonable to expect nations to start hunting for trans athletes, not for the benefit of said athletes, but to ensure the best shot at gold in the Olympics to uphold a capitalistic sense of national pride. But that doesn’t happen. There are next to no trans Olympians, let alone any all-trans line-ups.

     
     
    Woodford tweeted:

    It is with great sorrow that I say this, but this morning the @InsideTheACA (which hosts such shows as the @AtheistExpShow) denounced me as transphobic. I made mistakes in my video, but they were born of ignorance, not “fear”. I’m working on a full reply

     
    Tweet: EssenceOfThought replied, below Woodford’s statement

    First all, a phobia encompasses more than fear. Second, phobias are born from ignorance, so touting said ignorance is not a defense. You made alarmist claims about women’s sports based on prejudices you had against trans women. That’s transphobia.

    [The next step is to] acknowledge his transphobia, show us ways he’s attempting to overcome it. Don’t just pretend like it doesn’t exist. I didn’t get to pretend it doesn’t exist when hundreds of his fans hit me with transphobic, homophobic, and ableist slurs.

  175. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Sky Captain #194
    Fantastic work as usual. I’ve watched both RR and EoT’s videos when they first released and I have to say the whole exchange really lowered my opinion of RR. I’m still a subscriber but I was shocked when I first watched his video. It sounded like the type of crap a Peterson fanboy would barf out on a Reddit post. The inclusion of Rogan at the end didn’t help matters, either. While I 100% stand with EoT against RR, I don’t think the ACA needed to disavow him the way they did. Anyone who watches ACA consent knows they lean left and aren’t “anti-SJW” or ancap atheists so it should be pretty clear that by inviting RR to appear they weren’t endorsing his poor trans video. I don’t think it’s realistic for the ACA to reject any guest whose views don’t line up 100% with the Board. Just my 2 cents.

  176. jabbly says

    @AnA #195

    To be perfectly honest I stopped watching EoT’s video after ten minutes or so as I was hoping to see a rebuttal of the arguments RR put forward and not some sort of character assassination. This person is ‘horrible’ therefore my criticism of them must be correct.

    ACA’s response I also don’t think has helped as they just seem to adding to the grab your pitchfork and flaming torch, burn the witch instead of addressing the issue that sports are, in the vast majority of cases, separated by gender so what does that mean for transgender in addition to dispelling misconceptions.

  177. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @jabbly #196
    I sometimes find EoT hard to watch (I find their voice hard to understand sometimes) but their video did address the arguments. Just look at Sky Captian’s quotes in post #194. RR’s entire argument can be debunked just by observing that nothing significant has changed at the Olympics since they began allowing trans athletes. Either way, this topic has been litigated many times over on YouTube and I have no real interests in litigating it again. IMO the ACA shouldn’t have said anything publicly, and if they did, they should have just said that they disagree with his views in the video but he admitted he got somethings wrong and we’ll reserve judgement until he posts his update video. There was no need to open this wound in the community the way they did.

  178. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic #197:

    they should have just said that they disagree with his views in the video but he admitted he got somethings wrong and we’ll reserve judgement until he posts his update video.

     
    ACA Statement:

    (YouTuber “Rationality Rules”) had made ignorant and transphobic videos and statements on his social media platforms in the weeks leading up to his appearances […] we do not share or condone his opinions or attitudes

     
     
    @AtheistNotAgnostic #195:

    I don’t think it’s realistic for the ACA to reject any guest whose views don’t line up

     
    ACA Statement:

    We acknowledge that the ACA did a poor job showing our support by allowing Mr. Woodford to make appearances on our shows without either addressing his controversial views on the air, or asking him to refrain from appearances until he released a clarifying statement on his channel.
    […]
    We sincerely apologize […] We have let you down, and we intend to do our best to earn back your trust.
    […]
    The ACA is working quickly and diligently to ensure that this kind of mistake does not happen again. We will be coordinating with hosts, co-hosts, and staff to communicate any potential issues with a guest well in advance of when they are set to appear on any ACA production.

  179. buddyward says

    Damn it. Just when I am about done with this blog you come up with an interesting topic.

    I watched the video with RR regarding transgender athletes and I have to admit that I am ignorant about that topic. I have read a few articles with regards to transgender women in sports and I have to say that I can see both sides of the arguments. What I have failed to find is objective data that will tip the argument one way or the other. I am trying to find a study (or a number of studies) that show whether or not trans women does have an advantage. I do not find the Olympics argument very convincing as I do not believe that the causation follows. For example, how many trans women have participated in the Olympics since 2004 and how did they perform as compared to cis women? Perhaps it is my lack of Google skills that is keeping me from finding that data.

    If there is no such data available then both sides are arguing philosophically and have no evidence to support their case and we all know what it means to assert something with no evidence. If there is data then I would like to see it and I would also like to know why there is still a debate on this.

    As for the way the ACA treated RR, I would disagree with their decision. I did not see RR as being transphobic. I see his presentation to be lacking in objective data. RR, being an honest individual admits his mistake to which I believe should weigh heavily with regards to making judgements towards him. Everyone makes mistakes. I used to believe in a god and now I do not. I was mistaken. If I realized this mistake an hour ago and changed my belief an hour ago does that still make me a theist?

  180. Monocle Smile says

    @buddyward

    As for the way the ACA treated RR, I would disagree with their decision. I did not see RR as being transphobic. I see his presentation to be lacking in objective data

    Perhaps, but the hidden question here is why was the video made in the first place? I don’t believe anyone was forcing RationalityRules to make a video about transgender athletes, and why would someone spend the time to make a video about something and do apparently very little research beforehand?

  181. paxoll says

    @skycaptain
    This is a fallacious argument by EoT. That something hasn’t been a problem in this specific area is not an valid argument that it will never be a problem or is not a problem in other areas. I agree that the ignorance and hyperbole RR displayed can embolden transphobic people, but it is a real issue that has to be talked about and addressed, and him apologizing makes the labeling of him as transphobic pretty ridiculous and really harmful. EoT (never watched this individual) has not presented any good arguments (at least in what you quoted) or rebutted the ones from the other side, it was like a giant ad hominem burrito. The ACA needs to keep its ideals of logic and reasoning in the forefront of public positions and not let itself devolve into a useless cesspit like other communities.

  182. buddyward says

    @MS #200

    Perhaps, but the hidden question here is why was the video made in the first place? I don’t believe anyone was forcing RationalityRules to make a video about transgender athletes, and why would someone spend the time to make a video about something and do apparently very little research beforehand?

    People make videos for various reasons and many of them do very little research. There is a very long list of theist videos out there that are based on little to no research. RR made a presentation of a topic that he thought is relevant and presented his opinion on it. He does not have to be forced to do it. Did he make a mistake by putting the video out with very little research? In my opinion, yes, he did but to me that is his mistake. He admitted to the mistake and hopefully learn to be more careful next time. If he continues to make the same mistake then his credibility would be questionable.

  183. paxoll says

    @MS
    I would guess the reason most people make long scripted videos on youtube, to make money to pay the bills. 1) pick a controversial topic that will attract lots of views. 2) apply your schtick to said topic. I detest Rogan, and will only watch that trash to see what kind of ridiculous arguments the vast majority of idiots are going to present on a topic, because he will hit them all. Noel Plum addressed this topic with a good analysis of the problem, along with a more reasonable way to work on unfairness in sports. Disagreements here at TAE/ACA should not wind up with this kind of social justice dog whistling. Ken Hamm gets more respectful treatment and he is as disgusting of an individual I can think of short of a criminal.

  184. Monocle Smile says

    @paxoll

    I would guess the reason most people make long scripted videos on youtube, to make money to pay the bills. 1) pick a controversial topic that will attract lots of views. 2) apply your schtick to said topic.

    Yes, this is my point. I don’t understand why people act surprised when shit-stirring to make a buck results in consequences.

    Disagreements here at TAE/ACA should not wind up with this kind of social justice dog whistling. Ken Hamm gets more respectful treatment

    This is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever posted and my opinion of you has taken a major nosedive.

  185. jeffcia says

    I just cannot see how the Rationality Rules video is in any way transphobic. His point was valid – those born male have an advantage. Why not address the point he made rather than putting out a statement like he’s done something wrong.

    You’ve lost my support.

  186. paxoll says

    @MS
    Sorry, but I don’t think shit-stirring is a great analogy. Do you want to imply that this topic is unimportant and should be ignored, or that RR was being disingenuous with his position to provoke controversy that does not exist? I’m not going to pretend to know his thoughts and motivations, I will say that I think the appropriate response to his shitty arguments is good arguments, not what happened.
     
    Which part, that Ken Ham gets more respectful treatment? Or that I don’t think the TAE/ACA should be dog whistling? Can you find the ACA labeling Ken Ham or Ray Comfort as transphobes needing to apologize before they talk with them? How about Matt’s preacher friends that come on TAE? Certainly people need to be held accountable for their actions and words, it is important to distinguish when someone is wrong and when someone is being malicious. Peterson has had ample time to learn how his positions are wrong and how he is enabling harm against the transgender community, to hold him in contempt and deride his actions is reasonable at this point, I don’t think the same is true of RR.

  187. Muz says

    To be charitable, I think it’s easy to underestimate the urgent need to publish felt by many a youtuber. Something which leads them to jumpt the gun (so to speak) on doing all the reading. You want to stay topical, you’ve got to keep pushing content out to maintain exposure and subscriptions. It’s a whole thing. I wager it can affect people who think they are immune, once in a while.

    Anyway, I was wondering if this would come up. I think it’s an interesting discussion and hope it doesn’t all just turn on the use of the term “transphobic”. I think Woodford would come around if shown the evidence, or at least develop a more complex position. And if he doesn’t, an evidence baseed discussion is the only way we’re going to find out. Talking about whether somone should or shot not be labelled a transphobe is just going to go round and round.

  188. Monocle Smile says

    @paxoll
    I agree with some of that post.
    Not this part:

    Can you find the ACA labeling Ken Ham or Ray Comfort as transphobes needing to apologize before they talk with them? How about Matt’s preacher friends that come on TAE?

    What in the fucking shit are you talking about? What preacher friends? Ken Ham and Ray Comfort have never been co-hosts on the show. Co-hosting AXP is an endorsement! Merely speaking with people using the show as a platform is wildly different from making them a co-host.

  189. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #201:

    That something hasn’t been a problem in this specific area is not an valid argument that it will never be a problem or is not a problem in other areas.

    Never be a problem? Other areas?
    EoT said, “Olympics have been a testing ground”.
     

    the ignorance and hyperbole RR displayed can embolden transphobic people, but it is a real issue that has to be talked about and addressed

    Do you agree that it should not be talked about with ignorance and hyperbole?

  190. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #201:

    him apologizing makes the labeling of him as transphobic pretty ridiculous and really harmful

    Really harmful to whom and how?
     
    RR’s video has 223k views. He was made aware of issues a month ago. It has not (yet) been disclaimed or taken down. His apology so far has only been for “mistakes”, not the impact those mistakes have had. And his contrition (so far) was for being called out, specifically by the ACA.
     
    Comment: YouTube – RationalityRules (a month ago)

    This video has been public for 7 minutes (half the video length) and I’ve already had accusations of transphobia and people unsubscribing. I could write a lengthy reason as to why I am pro-trans on the vast majority of issues, but do you know what? I’m happy to loose the viewership of such fickle people. Take care, and have a good life.

     
    He pinned someone else’s comment expressing similar sentiment at the time.

    (Joey Tribbiani): Not even 6 minutes since you released the video and people are claiming you are against transpeople without even watching the whole video. Just goes to show how “tolerant” these people are. Just because he isn’t agreeing with transexuals on a certain issue doesn’t mean he hates them. Thanks for making this video!

    That is *still* the pinned comment today.
     
    Maybe that’ll change tomorrow. Maybe it won’t.

  191. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain,
    People calling him a transphobic is not an argument and he should NOT give a rats about people throwing around ad hominem. He apparently talked with this EoT person and it doesn’t sound like they made particularly valid arguments. The olympics is a testing ground is ridiculous on many levels. The cultures of those countries, the taboo, the rarity of trans gender + atheletes + male to female transition. I did a quick look for research or data on many of the claims such as hematocrit or heart size/efficiency, ect for elite athletes and there is practically nothing. They get tested, they have rules against having crits above 50%, but no information is not equivalent to no differences.

    It is the same as the vegan community attacking Matt without actually putting forth valid arguments. His talk with cosmic skeptic showed the same kind of dodging where every time Matt poked a hole in a particular argument the argument was quickly switched and then brought back as if it was a valid argument. Sorry but the emboldening argument is not a fucken argument. It is a tactic to avoid discussion. If you don’t consider hyperbolic labeling as harmful to the individual it is levied against, I am not going to argue the point because I don’t feel like wasting time digging up examples and proving they are analogous.

    Being contrite when someone/s you know and respect call you out is pretty fucken reasonable, what is not particularly reasonable, is for him to scour through 10k comments by strangers looking for valid criticisms (which I have also posted on his video).

  192. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    paxoll #192:

    [I found RR’s video] very shallow, and a bit of a strawman/false dichotomy, and his evidence a bit irrelevant […] The “final” argument […] was completely thoughtless.

    paxoll #201:

    I agree that the ignorance and hyperbole RR displayed can embolden transphobic people

     
    @paxoll #211:

    the emboldening argument is not a fucken argument. It is a tactic to avoid discussion.

    A declaration of harm is an argument for the need to apologize for recklessness and to proceed more carefully.
     

    If you don’t consider hyperbolic labeling as harmful to the individual it is levied against

    RR said he’s happy to lose viewership.

  193. paxoll says

    @MS
    Sorry, I was 100% positive Matt had brought a preacher friend on the show to give his 2 cents on callers questions but I cannot find the show, maybe it was in some other forum.

  194. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain

    A declaration of harm is an argument for the need to apologize for recklessness and to proceed more carefully.

    its an argument to apologize IF he is wrong, which requires a valid argument against his points. Yes it is an argument for recklessness and to proceed more carefully, but it is not an argument that he is transphobic.

    RR said he’s happy to lose viewership.

    and people are happy to get divorced, it doesn’t mean they weren’t deeply harmed by it.

  195. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #213:

    I was 100% positive Matt had brought a preacher friend on the show to give his 2 cents on callers questions but I cannot find the show

     
    Thread / Video: AthExp 2010-01-10 #639 – Russell, Jen, and guest Kyle Miller – Problem of Evil Debate

    (58:10, Russell): This is Kyle Miller, executive pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church. And this is the first time in the Atheist Experience history that we’ve actually decided to try something like that.

    They stopped taking calls. Then the guest showed up for a 27-minute debate.
     
    Matt and Russell talked with Ray Comfort on the phone in 2011-03-27 #702.

  196. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Honey Tone @ 183
    May 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm
    Peter –
    Wink emoji needs to be bigger. Even though your post was a trip back through the experience of children and grandchildren at around age 5, you could be one the alarmingly large number of adults who have failed to leave such childish things behind.

    Sorry, but maybe I’m just slow on the uptake in my old age, but I’m aways willing to learn. Please elaborate, because I’m at a loss to understand what seems to be a negative criticism. Go ahead and hit me with it. I can take it.

  197. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #214:

    its an argument to apologize IF he is wrong

     

    it is not an argument that he is transphobic

    Framing it as a debate over his character is a distraction. The complaint is about his actions.
     
    paxoll #201:

    I agree that the ignorance and hyperbole RR displayed can embolden transphobic people

    Do you think RR should apologize for doing that?

  198. t90bb says

    im sure ill be hammered here but when I first watched RR video it seemed rather rational and reasonable…….I see now where some of his points were misleading and not even applicable. Being charitable I cannot assume his conclusions were coming from fear or dislike of trans people…..I think hes just wrong. Perhaps hes got something against trans people, but based on this video how would one ever conclude that??……..has there been more than just the video that caused this stir?

    Im not sure I agree with ACA handling….and the talk of this causing “anguish” is political correctness on steroids. Sure it might have hurt some people and pissed others off…..but anguish??? How bought everyone just fucking grow up and not be so sensitive. If there is more to this story and RR has clearly shown some fear or loathing of trans folk I will be more than happy to outright criticize him.

    And in case I am about to get a lecture about privledge and how I cant relate….I grew up a gay man and an atheist in a very religious family and town. I understand how life can be uncomfortable, We should do all we can to make people feel loved and included. But branding someone trans phobic for merely being wrong about some aspects of their biology is a big leap that I will not take.

    go ahead..bash me

  199. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Peter 218:

    “Sorry, but maybe I’m just slow on the uptake in my old age, but I’m aways willing to learn. Please elaborate, because I’m at a loss to understand what seems to be a negative criticism. Go ahead and hit me with it. I can take it.”

    It wasn’t immediately obvious that you were joking / engaging in satire, and there are plenty of people who actually think like this. Just watch some apologetics videos by William Lane Craig and you’ll see what I mean – it’s basically “if we assume these attributes of God, then we can derive this property and this property and this property…” So if you start posting something about the attributes / powers of God, then someone will probably respond, and call out things that make no sense.

  200. t90bb says

    222. Yes Peter has the dry humor…..I think I was the one that blew up on him originally LOL….defending the morality of slavery or some such lol

  201. Honey Tone says

    Regarding Stephen Woodford’s vid on trans atheletes:

    Ignoring his alarmist statement about women’s sports being “destroyed” (are we suddenly drowning in trans folks? … SMH), I wonder what the science is for either side of this issue? Woodford cites 8 factors which by implication justify the current binary segregation of male/female sports. The first is testosterone, which he dismisses as the sole valid criterion. From my limited reading, there seems to be some question as to the acceptable blood level of that substance. IOC recently said twice the level used by the IAAF. There’s also some variation as to the length of time it should be at a specific low level (12 to 24 months).

    Woodford at time mark 9:23 recites 7 other factors, and links to papers/sources. Trying to read through the first couple quickly made me realize I wasn’t qualified to judge the methodology, the data, the conclusions or the impact these might have on the issues. Is anybody here qualified to do so?

    I personally would like to know if there’s some scientific consensus on what, and to what extent, specific factors can properly be considered to impact female sports in a way that should be regarded as somehow “unfair” when male to female trans participate.

  202. John David Balla says

    I just wanted to give a shout-out to all of you who have been contributing professionally and substantively over the past 24-hours or so. Prior to that, I was ready to cut and run with this blog, but now the level of discourse is better here than at the AXP Facebook page.

  203. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Honey Tone #225:

    I personally would like to know if there’s some scientific consensus on what, and to what extent, specific factors can properly be considered to impact female sports
    [ + ]
    in a way that should be regarded as somehow “unfair” when male to female trans participate.

    Nope.
     
    Article: Science – This scientist is racing to discover how gender transitions alter athletic performance, including her own (2018)
     
    Article: Sports Medicine – Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies (2016)

  204. Murat says

    @Paxoll

    It is the same as the vegan community attacking Matt without actually putting forth valid arguments.

    Vegan community’s problem with Matt has more valid grounds than ACA’s rejection of Rationality Rules, I’d say.
    *
    And it was Russell, not Matt, who invited a preacher friend of his to the show twice.
    *
    I see no problem with either case (preacher as guest or RR as co-host) and would not have a problem if a pro-carnivarous atheist one day took over the show as whatever, just to present his perspective on the issue.
    That is, even though I associate veganism with the kind of moral values I hold dear.

  205. Murat says

    @t90bb

    And in case I am about to get a lecture about privledge and how I cant relate….I grew up a gay man and an atheist in a very religious family and town. I understand how life can be uncomfortable, We should do all we can to make people feel loved and included. But branding someone trans phobic for merely being wrong about some aspects of their biology is a big leap that I will not take.

    Exactly!
    The thesis that “private companies need not care about free speech” hit the dust with FaceBook and Twitter gaining more power over communications than any gov’t anywhere could ever experience.
    There just needs to be some sort of “outlet” for even the most marginal, most dangerous ideas from within every kind of community. And if a “transphobic” person (not that RR is necessarily one) is free to call the show and speak out loud whereas they should not appear as a co-host, then, that would only imply that the power hosts have over the flow of the whole thing is a tool to manipulate the audience. (Which is NOT so with the AXP, hence, the stoning or ostracization of RR does not make sense to me.)

  206. jabbly says

    @Sky Captain #228

    I’ve only read the first link (the formatting on the iPad for the second is just awful) and that’s really the type of information that quite a few people have been looking for.

    Intuitively it makes sense that transgender athletes would seem to have an unfair advantage. Facts tend to trump common sense.

  207. John David Balla says

    A couple of updates on the RR saga.

    Here’s Stephen’s video response to the ACA’s announcement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX_vOpX6mt4&feature=youtu.be

    And here’s a post excerpt from Erin (EoT): “Matt Dillahunty can go fuck himself… So much for his fucking “supporting the trans community” or “following the science”… He’s a fucking bigot and a hypocrite.”

    Have a nice day!
    John

  208. Honey Tone says

    Jabbly-

    I was able to read the 2nd article on my iPad in landscape mode by swiping pages from right to left. Hope this helps.

  209. Muz says

    Well things are going swimingly there.

    I appreciate the earlier (more calmly discoursed) videos and articles. I’m going to say some stuff out loud and see if my particular takeaway fits and represents some aspect of the argument passably well.

    The “common sense” error people make, including myself at times, is the comparing of trans women to “women”, according to some broad definition that is itself questionable and unexamined. Instead they should be compared to cis women athletes. The latter are a much more peculiar and varied group that is prone to outliers and exceptional people and that fact is not being accounted for in many a commentary on this subject. A trans woman athlete may (I stress, not Will exhibit but May) exhibit differences to cis women, but that is no more likely to be an unfair advantage than, say, the advantage that someone like Serena Williams posesses simply by being herself.

    Hopefully I’m on the right track there. But we’ll see I guess.

    Anyway, that’s how I’m looking at this now and it is still an interesting one to get my head around at times. Probably thanks to some inherent biases, but that’s life. I do sympathise with some who might have a hard time getting used to that, but with time I think the logic there will percolate. Hopefully.

    But coming back to one of the key citations people make : Joe Rogan. What ever you think of him, his view point seems formed by and comes back to a couple trans women in combat sports, moreso than others. These people really do seem to outclass everyone in their division thanks to having been male quite recently. Are people wrong about that?
    Accepting we’ve got the science and the rules sorted for 90% of trans women athletes and most of the concern is misplaced, couldn’t there still be outliers among outliers that do get an advantage from their past in this way? If so, what should be done about them, if anything? Or are they just doomed to be controversial like a Caster Semanya?

  210. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @jabbly #232:

    formatting on the iPad for the second is just awful

    Here’s the pdf version.
     
    Article: Sports Medicine – Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies (2016, pdf)

  211. buddyward says

    Thank you Sky Captain for the links.

    It appears that there are still more work that needs to be done with regards to getting a more “fair” metric. Joanna Harper stated that:

    “If you’re competing in the women’s division, you should do so with women’s hormone levels,” she says. “I understand just how much difference they make.”

    The IOC’s testosterone level regulation of 10 nanomoles per liter is more than 3 times the amount found on 99% of women. In a more local level (i.e. high school or college), I do not know if there are such regulations since athletes do start in some local level and it is unknown to me if trans athletes can take away the opportunities from others by simply not having to comply to the specific standards that exist in higher levels.

  212. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: Matt Dillahunty – Retweeted the ‘Galileo RR is a heretic’ video and said, “Agreed”
     
    Comment: Matt Dillahunty – Below the video itself, “Agreed.”
     
     
    I couldn’t source the EssenceOfThought quote in #233 about Matt. It didn’t seem to be on Twitter or below the video. There’s a tweet suggesting an alternate thumbnail for the video.
     
    Prior to the video, on the 9th, EoT tweeted about RR.
    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1126698141728665601

    Look. You fucked up. We get it. Admit your errors in full, show us how you’re trying to work on it, give us hope that your words are genuine. If however you want to half arse it, hoping trans people to thank you whilst not upsetting shittier segments of your audience, get fucked.

  213. buddyward says

    And here’s a post excerpt from Erin (EoT): “Matt Dillahunty can go fuck himself… So much for his fucking “supporting the trans community” or “following the science”… He’s a fucking bigot and a hypocrite.”

    I do not know who this Erin person is but are they justified in their accusations towards Matt? I do not see in the above quote where there is a reasonable argument.

  214. paxoll says

    Hmm, spent time on a post last night and previewed it and forgot to post.
     
    @skycaptain

    I agree that the ignorance and hyperbole RR displayed can embolden transphobic people

    Do you think RR should apologize for doing that?

    Do I think someone should apologize for potentially bad behavior of someone else? No. Neither do I think people should apologize for someone misunderstanding them, maybe this is not a great policy for keeping friendly relationships, but I am too old to allow people to emotionally blackmail me into feeling bad.
     
    @Honey
    I’m sure you read, but I will cut out the relevant science in skycaptains article for other people too lazy to.

    The only experimental study was by Gooren and Bunck [23] who aimed to explore whether transgender people taking cross-sex hormone treatment can fairly compete in sport……. In relation to transgender female individuals, Gooren and Bunck found testosterone levels had significantly reduced to castration levels after 1 year of cross-sex hormone treatment. Muscle mass had also reduced after1 year of cross-sex hormone treatment. However, muscle mass remained significantly greater than in transgender male individuals (assigned female at birth) who had not been prescribed cross-sex hormone treatment…….While this study was the first to explore, experimentally, whether transgender people can compete fairly, the sample size was relatively small(n=36). Additionally, they did not explore the role of testosterone blockers and did not directly measure the effect cross-sex hormones had on athletic performance(e.g. running time).

    The researchers at least were fully cognizant of the complexity of the term “fair”, they go on to explain how transgender does not necessarily mean they are on hormone therapy, or want hormone therapy, or are planning on sex reassignment surgery. It is not fair to force a transgender person to be on hormones, it is not fair to make a transgender woman on hormones compete against men, it is not likely fair to make women compete against transgender women. RR in his original video agreed with the argument that sports/athletic competition is never fair, he chose at that time to draw a line in the sand about what is acceptable and unacceptable fairness. This issue if anything has simply brought the irreconcilable problem of fairness in sports to the attention of people. It is an important conversation to have, if the societal values we have that make sports and competition important are ever going to be compatible with other societal values of fairness and equality.

  215. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #240:

    apologize for potentially bad behavior of someone else? No.
    Neither […] for someone misunderstanding them,
    maybe this is not a great policy for keeping friendly relationships

    I asked earlier “Do you agree that it should not be talked about with ignorance and hyperbole?”
     
    You didn’t answer. Based on your other statements, would you agree with this?
     
    “Ignorance and hyperbole are nothing to apologize for when speaking before a sizable audience about the inclusion of violently marginalized minorities. Maybe this is not a great policy for keeping friendly relationships, particularly with said minorities.”

  216. paxoll says

    @skycaptain
    I think everything should be talked about without ignorance and hyperbole, which is precisely my argument against the ACA on this topic. RR’s video was mostly in error over ignorance, sadly it is not possible to simply not be ignorant, discussion is often necessary to alleviate ignorance. Whereas the ACA was hyperbolic and ignorant, and was significantly more harmful to discussion and alleviating ignorance than RR’s video.

  217. Murat says

    @buddyward
    Matt is not even advocating that ACA statement, far as I read.
    The board consists of other people.

  218. buddyward says

    @Murat

    I know that Matt is not advocating the ACA statement. I am asking why this Erin person is cussing him out.

  219. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    I watched RR’s video and did not feel at all it was against “the inclusion of violently marginalized minorities”.
    It was about ragulations and fairness in sports. He was not offering to exclude trans people from sports, but claiming the current method of inclusion was not ideal as it was bringing with certain problems that seemed to contradict with the idea of a “fair game”.
    Maybe he was wrong, maybe the current path to inclusion is the correct one and needs just a few minor adjustments here and there. But that’s not what the man is being accused of.
    Rationalism, far as I am concerned, should not take pre-defined sides on such matters.
    Would anyone have asked / expected RR to make amends, redeem himself, apologize, self-correct etc if the factual errors he made were IN FAVOR OF trans women competing along with cis women and NOT vice versa?
    THAT part of the whole deal looks alarming to me on some level.

  220. someoneontheinternet says

    Here is a straightforward way to look at the discussion.

    Sport is separated and restricted based on multiple factors, these are mainly by sex (due to testosterone and strength advantages of males), weight (for more even one to one contests) and age (so 18 year olds are trounced by 19-39 year olds and that 40+ or 55+ (golf) aren’t trounced by 19-39 year olds).

    Women’s category in sport is restrictive, by definition, so to allow biological women to compete on as even a playing field as possible.

    Men’s category is an open category, women can attempt to compete and men are not restricted short of PED’s which include testosterone being too high (they now have historical records of your testosterone to track this).

    Seeing as increasing one’s testosterone gives a marked advantage over those whom levels are within the normal range, it is considered cheating.
    Couple this with the fact that the women’s category is restricted by definition, there has to be clear evidence to allow anyone else to enter it. This is especially true if a person goes through puberty as a male, thus gains advantages from that process. Even if this person then takes estrogen and testosterone blockers they will still have advantages since they developed as a male. These people may or may not have advantages after undergoing and continuing to take a drug to lower their testosterone as the science is not settled as there has been very little done. As such until it is conclusively proven that going through puberty as a male and then lowering your testosterone to levels of 1.5 n/mol does not give any advantages then the women’s category should not be made more open.

    If these people wish to compete they are welcome to compete in the open category. This also goes for trans men as well, they can compete in the open category because they are specifically taking testosterone to increase their numbers so to present as a male. Nobody contests this as it makes perfect sense.

  221. John David Balla says

    The moderators on the FB AXP page, well, I’ve never seen anything like it. They are doing everything possible to remove negative comments about the ACA’s rebuke of RR while still claiming transparency and fairness. BTW his video is now north of 50k views in less than a day.

    I was just reading a very well penned letter from a member addressed to the ACA Board, and while I began to comment, poof. It disappeared. Message: This post is no longer available. Stuff like this has been going on for a couple of days now. At times, they just shut off comments and replies. It’s really starting to get embarrassing on how the sentiment has clearly turned against their position but they try to vainly suppress that fact.

    I really hope the adults can take charge because the current leadership clearly isn’t up to the task. I do feel for them. Unless you have gone through something like this previously, it’s very difficult to keep a clear head, especially if the ethics haven’t been put into place to help guide them through their emotions and impulses. It’s really getting sad. This can’t go on much longer.

    On a related note, does anyone know if Erin, the person who clearly instigated much (if not all) of this, is an ACA Board member? I thought I saw something to the effect but so much is getting deleted right now, I’m not sure if I dreamt it or what?

  222. paxoll says

    I would like to point out at this time that people that support RR and are waiting for his clarification video on the topic, can likewise give the ACA the benefit of time to recognize their error and correct it. At the moment they seem to be doubling down, but they deserve time, and I look forward to some kind of statement from specifically the TAE crew on tomorrows broadcast. As Matt has demonstrated on his facebook, the actions and beliefs of people in power often do not convey the beliefs of the people they are representing.

  223. Murat says

    @paxoll
    Sure.
    Problem is, though we know who Rationality Rules is and whatever he will say will undoubtedly be his very own words, at this time the ACA seems to be having an identity crisis, something like a multiple identity disorder or a mutiny or just bad communication or poor crisis management. So, the two sides to this exchange are unfortunaltely not equally equipped regarding their immediate representation, nor on the basis of having a single voice to take for granted.

  224. Ian Butler says

    In my life there have been exactly 2 times when I felt that trans inclusivity had gone too far. The first time was when some complained the women’s march was being non inclusive because the pink pussy hats didn’t represent trans women, and the second is the recent treatment of RR (and apparently Matt). This incident will not only damage the ACA’s reputation but the trans rights movement as well, because it turns natural allies away.

  225. John David Balla says

    @248 paxol
    @249 Murat
    Your characterizations of the situation I find to be spot-on. My biggest concern is that the ACA is not showing signs of coming to grips with what is happening. It’s as though four people are trying to steer the ship at the same time, and none of them agree where they’re heading. We know there are more people within the organization who have the experience, respect, wisdom, and temperament to stop the hemorrhaging. It’s just that I don’t see them stepping in. And I really don’t know the organization well enough to who those people are beside the likes of Matt and Tracie.

  226. someoneontheinternet says

    I have noticed this board isn’t as open to discussion as many, as seen by my comment not being posted which did not denigrate anyone but gave a perspective. Sadly, open discourse is not flourishing in atheist communities anymore.

  227. Muz says

    John @ 250 .
    Thanks. I actually can’t read that at the moment, but I’ll take your word for it. It’s just that Sky Captain couldn’t find it earlier. Nor myself, at a brief glance.
    EoT is often harsh on social media, but I didn’t think that harsh. I was kinda hoping it might have been deleted or something.

  228. Lamont Cranston says

    John David Balla says in #253

    Right now Seth Andrews is live on Youtube discussing the RR situation with a caller.

    I too was just listening to that call (perhaps there will be more).

    Before I say anything further, I think I need to provide some very abbreviated background on my circumstances. There is no way in the world I could be considered trans-phobic. I am the father of a trans-son who had previously thought he was gay. This involved surgery, hormones, name change, birth certificate change, passport change, drivers license change, the whole enchilada. I have been to countless PFLAG meetings and support group meetings for trans-guys to both understand and help them to deal with their fears regarding how to navigate the male world in which they did not grow up.

    Having said all of that, I found nothing trans-phobic about what RR had to say. Nor do I think there was any intent to incite trans-phobia. I agree with some of it and disagree with some of it, but ultimately the science is not clear on the subject. I even had a further discussion with my son on the whole situation and even he did not react to exploring the possibility of a potential unfair advantage being an issue of trans-phobia. We had quite the discussion. He and I disagree on a number of topics but it never gets down to throwing labels around and resorting to name calling. There is mutual respect for our differences of opinion. Also, make no mistake about this, I was in full support of my son’s transition. That is not an issue where we had any disagreement.

    To me, name calling is the kind of thing I have seen far too often in the religious community when people feel their beliefs are threatened. The use of language like this is called “thought stopping” by those of us who have dealt with cult issues (something I have done for decades). We see it for what it is, and don’t like the manipulation and coercion that it reveals.

    For the record, just being atheist, and even a skeptic, does not make one immune to religious behavior (thought stopping, manipulation, coercion and the like). However, I would hope that in the long run we are better than that and can have actual discussions and not useless flame wars.

    Lamont Cranston

  229. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #250:
    That FB link was broken the moment it was written here.
    I’m not seeing any “erin.rose.greene”, nor any connection to the name “Erin”.
     
    There is an EssenceOfThought FB page. Your excerpt does not appear there either. EoT closes posts with Peter/Ethel.
     
    The following article says their name is Peter/Ethel Thurston.
     
    Article: SecularByNature – An Interview with Atheist YouTuber EssenceOfThought

  230. John David Balla says

    @255 Lamont Cranston
    Thank you so much for sharing. These deeper and more intimate perspectives are so much more helpful then ad hominems being wielded on Facebook right now. Thanks for being a model for how to communicate sensitive topics.

  231. John David Balla says

    @256 CompulsoryAccount7746
    Hmm. I just double-checked and the link is working fine for me. If I knew how to, I would post the screenshot here.

  232. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #258:

    If I knew how to, I would post the screenshot

    The magic google words are “image hosting”. There are numerous free sites that accept uploads for free without requiring an account. This blog does not support fancy tags to display here, but you can link to the url of an image.
     
    An optional account just makes it easy to manage past files. Anonymous uploads sometimes offer a special link to delete it later. Regardless there’s usually an expiration feature. You can expire after, say, a month as a courtesy so their servers won’t be burdened forever.
     
    They’re all basically just: click a “choose file” button, set an expiration, submit, copy the url, paste anywhere.

  233. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #233 / #260:

    here’s a post excerpt from Erin (EoT)

    Why did you call author Erin Greene in that screenshot “Erin (EoT)” ?

  234. RationalismRules says

    Interesting discussion. I think it’s best for clarity that I stay out of it.

    not-Stephen

  235. John David Balla says

    I may have. I thought they were one and the same, no? It’s definitely Erin Greene’s post.

  236. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #263:

    I thought they were one and the same, no?

    The Erin you quoted / screenshotted has this twitter account and patreon. The latter has a largely similar photo for comparison. The former’s photo has a slightly more visible tattoo.
     
    Different person.
     
    #190:

    sort of like how AG William Barr set the narrative of the Mueller report, and by the time it was released, most people had already made up their mind At any rate, I encourage everyone to look into this with the rigor that many of you show in this blog.

    That didn’t age well. XD
    /jk

  237. buddyward says

    Tomorrow will be interesting to see how the two shows (TH and TAE) handle this situation.

  238. John David Balla says

    It’s even possible that the two shows’ hosts won’t be on the same page. I should stop speculating at this point.

  239. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    RR has retitled the original video
     
    From
    “The Athletic Advantage of Transgender Women (and why it is UNFAIR)”
    to
    “The Athletic Advantage of Transgender Women (Please Note That This Video Contains Errors)”
     
     
    Tweet: Rationality Rules – Progress

    I’m making good progress on my next video on trans athletes, but I’m still far from publishing (10-20 days). For now, I want to make you all aware of what changes I’ve made to my first video. I am truly sorry for my previous insensitive remarks.

    To be clear, the reason for the delay is that I just got back to the U.K and I want to ensure that my research is sound and that I have the time to consult experts in order to get this right.

     
    The tweet contains a screenshot of a YT comment.

    Hey all. I want to make very clear that I made a few major mistakes within this video, and that due to this, I’ve demonitized it and have added to the title “Please Note That This Video Contains Errors”. I’ll be publishing a new video relatively soon in which I correct these mistakes and express my altered views. To be clear, I haven’t done a complete u-turn, but my views have indeed changed in very important ways.
     
    FYI: Some have suggested that I delete this video, but for the sake of transparency (I make mistakes), honest representation (as opposed to chopped and uncontextual versions that some critics have made), and as an example to be learned from, I doubt I’ll opt for this option.

     
    * It’s apparently a screenshot of below the original video, although in my attempt to permalink… I couldn’t find it there, even with a browser extension to search YT comments. It was 6 hrs old when the picture was taken. The tweet was only minutes ago. Odd.
     
    At the moment, for me at least… The pinned comment about “‘tolerant’ people” (quoted above in #210) is no longer pinned. RR’s own comment about “fickle people” was not deleted and remains prominent.

  240. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    RR’s interactions with misc users below that announcement…
     
    https://twitter.com/HeuristicWorld/status/1127421037862428672

    I hope the angry mob did not force you to betray the truth. If those changes you’re mentioning are indeed mistakes, then great, but I hope you’re not appeasing the mob for the sake of it.

    RR:

    I will never appease a min, I assure you. I haven’t done a u-turn, but my views have indeed altered.

     
    https://twitter.com/Edie_DerVrit/status/1127432266744045569

    I hope you stick to the actual scientists when choosing which experts to consult, not hacks from gender studies or trans-activists.
    While you’re at it, please ask how is manipulating athletes’ performance via sex-changing drugs any different from manipulating it with doping.

    RR:

    Will address both 🙂 [ascii smile]

  241. Muz says

    So EoT has not denounced Matt, even temporarily. That’s a relief.

    Woodford sounds like he’s being right on this. But I wager whatever addendums he makes won’t be contention free.
    It’d be good those contentions could be discussed without needless hostility and denunciations when the time comes.
    What paxoll says at #240 is really good. This is a clash of complex, imperfect rules based systems and the changing of already messy human concepts. Treating sport as a public insitiution like any other w/r/t activism is not going to be a smooth thing

  242. jabbly says

    @Ian Butler #251

    I fear you may be right. One of the outcomes of this will be that certain groups will use this to portray trans activists as oversensitive and shutting down views they dislike by trying to shame.

    I’m rather amazed as to how ACA have handled the whole situation.

  243. Monocle Smile says

    Sounds like RR is doing all the right things now. Pity his fan base has a shitlord contingent.

    @Murat
    Given that in the past you have screamed that opponents of trans athletes should have standing to challenge the legality of said athlete’s participation (including, for example, the opponents of Serena Williams who may claim she is biologically male despite that accusation being hot garbage), I’m not exactly inclined to take you seriously on this matter.

  244. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: EoT shared a 1-on-1 conversation they had with RR on May 10th
    Four screenshots of direct messages. I’ll try to capture it with minimal typing…
     
    Chronology note: RR published his heretic video the following day.
     

    EoT: Your recent display has demolished all confidence I have in your abilities to own your actions. Ignorance is not a shield against being transphobic. In fact, it is a necessary component. […] The only correct course of action would have been to acknowledge your transphobia in said actions, and show how you are attempting to overcome it. Not pretending it doesn’t exist.
    […]
    RR: I’m not this person that you’re painting me to be… that is, someone who hates transpeople and wants to denigrate them. I honestly think that this feud between you and I is negatively impacting the LGBTQIA+ community, and I know we both don’t want that.
    […]
    EoT: I don’t care about the lies you tell yourself to sleep at night. You either lied about doing your research or you lied about what you find. That’s a fact since the impact of HRT on muscle mass and fat distribution is discussed in nearly every damn article on the subject. You cannot research this subject in any genuine fashion and miss that. […] You either acted without basis, utilizing emotional appeals to catastrophe, or you did such knowing full well that it was a load of bollocks. And I’ve tried to keep things under control. […] But to see you try and bullshit your way out of taking responsibility for your transphobia, I won’t let that one pass.
     
    What you stated in that video was transphobic. When you made it, you were transphobic. You may not have realized this, your realization is irrelevant in the exact same fashion as Christians who claim they’re not homophobic, they just “don’t think that gay stuff is acceptable for children”. You actively caused harm, not just to me. Not just with the hundreds of your fans who emboldened by what you had said launched endless transphobic, homophobic, ableist attacks on me. You’ve done a great deal of damage to the reans community as a whole.
     
    And yeah, I know you’d like to play pretend. Like it never fucking happened. We don’t get to play that pretend game. When we’re dragged to the ground and kicked in the head because the media keeps blasting people with messages that we’re dangerous, that we’re a threat to women, that we’re stealing what is rightfully theirs, that’s reality.
    […]
    As for your appeal to the impact this has on the LGBT+ community, you lost the right to talk about what’s best for us when you decided to make us out a threat.
    […]
    RR: Please, Ethel, you’ve got to stop equating me with real violent bigots that have physically and severely hurt you. Don’t you see? By putting me on the same level as them you’re legitimizing them? Because people see what I said as reasonable, or close to reasonable, and when they see you demonize me the same way you demonize actual nasty transphobic assholes, they no longer trust you… and in come cases they also loose trust in the LGBT community (which is devastating).
     
    I made mistakes. I’ll admit what I got wrong, and apologize for my ignorance, language, and endorsement of other commentary, but I’m telling you… I don’t and have never harboured any fear or prejudice against transpeople.
    […]
    What I was trying to convey (and failed… which, again I’ll apologize for) is that people that have experienced male puberty have, more often than not, a significant athletic advantage over those who haven’t (even if they take hormones, etc). My mistake was to draw the line at gender… I should have drawn the line at virilization, and substantiated that position. Instead, I advocated a position that doesn’t allow transwomen to compete as their gender, and that was very wrong of me.
    […]
    EoT: Now where did I do that? You create them. Embolden them. Given them the veneer of justification to do what they want. I didn’t claim you were out there stabbing trans children. All I pointed out was the fact that your actions feed the culture of trans hysteria that results in that. […] If people see what you said is reasonable though you know it’s false. here’s what you do.
     
    Remove the lie and counter it in a future video, or at the very least make clear that it is a lie. You could have changed the title of that video […] you fucking sat there and lashed out in self pity when the ACA called you out on your shit. You could also do the grown up thing and […] work on it.
    […]
    I’m not responsible for your shit. If you came out and admitted what you are and made strides to change that, maybe their views would change too. And those who refuse. Well I doubt I had their trust to begin with.
    […]
    You acted out of prejudice. Spun fear from it. And trans people are the ones to suffer from it. Throughout this you’ve claimed not to be the monster you believe I’m making you out to be. Throughout this, I’ve replied with a single request. Prove it. You don’t get to come out of this with trans people thanking you for the steps you’ve made whilst keeping the shittier elements of your audience happy.
    […]

     
    EoT followed that release with examples of what reality is like for trans folks.
     
    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1127514291643375616

    More symptoms of the ongoing trans hysteria. Trans child strangled multiple times at school. School failed to even inform the parents. This follows on from another child being stabbed and another being given severe concussion before a teacher intervened. [ Article ]

    My previous video outlining the other two cases I mentioned. This is why fear mongering is not funny. It’s not a joke. It’s not a minor ‘whoopsie’. It’s a problem with dire consequences for trans folk.
     
    [ Video: Multiple Trans Teens Violently Assaulted In The UK (5:50) ]

  245. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Here’s the heretic video again for juxtaposition.
     
    Video: RR – I’ve Been Denounced by the ACA (7:35)

  246. Murat says

    What you stated in that video was transphobic. When you made it, you were transphobic. You may not have realized this, your realization is irrelevant in the exact same fashion as Christians who claim they’re not homophobic, they just “don’t think that gay stuff is acceptable for children”. You actively caused harm, not just to me. Not just with the hundreds of your fans who emboldened by what you had said launched endless transphobic, homophobic, ableist attacks on me. You’ve done a great deal of damage to the reans community as a whole.

    Is the concept of Paralympics an insult to those who participate? No, it’s a special category for people who have particular physical conditions. I’d be ok if in time team sports were required to have one paralympic player so that they could blend in to the more mainstream spectacle. But at this time, if the best method of inclusion for the disabled is to have that separate organization, that’s fine. Why should another group of people with a different set of physical/metabolical advantages/disadvantages find it directly offensive to be offered their own competitions, or some other thing than the current path to inclusion? What gives? It’s not like RR forced something like that on the trans community. He just expressed his opinion. If the opinion is uneducated, then, fine, correcting him should be enough.

    A friend had this to ask on the subject, which I think is a notable question:

    If someone believes that there’s almost no difference between cis women and trans women, but they’re concerned that sport appears to highlight these small differences, is that person a bigot?

    One aspect of such issues directly involve communities and they have all the right to voice their concerns, but there is also another side to the argument, which is the art of resolving problems in the light of reason. When I listen to RR talk about this, I can clearly see that he is approaching this as a problem to solve. That’s it. Nothing more than that. No secred agendas are needed to freely think and speak about such things. Maybe it’s a minor problem, maybe RR’s efforts at solving it in another way than the existing one were futile and uncalled for, but still, anyone should be free to play mind games over how best to resolve something.

  247. John David Balla says

    @Muz #269. Sorry for the confusion I caused with this. For some reason, I thought Erin Greene and EoT were the same person. I still don’t know who EoT is.

  248. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @John David Balla #275:

    I still don’t know who EoT is.

    EoT’s name, Facebook page, and biographical interview are in #256.
     
    Regarding EssenceOfThought’s role in all this, see my first mention in #194 alongside statements from the ACA and RR.

  249. buddyward says

    @ Murat #274

    Is the concept of Paralympics an insult to those who participate? No, it’s a special category for people who have particular physical conditions. I’d be ok if in time team sports were required to have one paralympic player so that they could blend in to the more mainstream spectacle. But at this time, if the best method of inclusion for the disabled is to have that separate organization, that’s fine. Why should another group of people with a different set of physical/metabolical advantages/disadvantages find it directly offensive to be offered their own competitions, or some other thing than the current path to inclusion? What gives? It’s not like RR forced something like that on the trans community. He just expressed his opinion. If the opinion is uneducated, then, fine, correcting him should be enough.

    I do not think that this is a good analogy. Neither being a cis woman nor a trans woman is a disability. People who participate in Paralympics do so because they realize they have disabilities that would not allow them to compete effectively against people without disabilities. This is not taken as an insult.

    On the other hand trans women are the one with the (perceived???)advantage and are the ones taking offense on the suggestion that they ought to be segregated from the competing with cis women. Your analogy would be like having a non-wheelchair bound person taking offense that they cannot participate in the Paralympics.

    We need to be more thoughtful with how we make our analogies. These trans athlete discussions with regards to fairness are unique in my opinion as I think that there are still aspects in this issue that are being overlooked. Perhaps it might be a good idea to have a separate category for trans women while scientists work on finding out what is physiologically fair and what kinds of testing that would yield to an even playing field. The problem with this idea is that there might not be enough trans women participants to sustain the sport in their category.

  250. Murat says

    @buddyward
    I understand what you mean, but the analogy was already intended in the sense that neither being disabled, nor being trans are “bad, inferior, shameful things”. Yesterday I watched a video by Dusty Smith in which he challenged RR’s and Joe Rogan’s takes on the subject. He made some very good points, like this not really being an issue, that people were ok with trans women competing BUT were resorting to such arguments only when they WON etc. Any thought exercise on the issue may be poorly executed, mine, RR’s, yours, etc., but my point is that, just because an idea about a touchy subject is not good, we should not be attaching stickers of “phobia” on the people who came up with them. Because this overreaction in and of itself creates a shadow over the whole thing, makes it look like spokespeople of groups are narrowing down and manipulating thought exercises in such a way that individuals prefer to shut up in fear of online lynch mobs or something.

  251. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain

    EoT: I don’t care about the lies you tell yourself to sleep at night. You either lied about doing your research or you lied about what you find……You either acted without basis, utilizing emotional appeals to catastrophe, or you did such knowing full well that it was a load of bollocks.

    Seems like EoT has absolutely no self awareness.
     

    EoT followed that release with examples of what reality is like for trans folks.

    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1127514291643375616

    More symptoms of the ongoing trans hysteria. Trans child strangled multiple times at school. School failed to even inform the parents. This follows on from another child being stabbed and another being given severe concussion before a teacher intervened. [ Article ]

    My previous video outlining the other two cases I mentioned. This is why fear mongering is not funny. It’s not a joke. It’s not a minor ‘whoopsie’. It’s a problem with dire consequences for trans folk.

    [ Video: Multiple Trans Teens Violently Assaulted In The UK (5:50) ]

    Man, Darwin was such a racist, transphobe, nazi sympathizer. I mean we would of never had eugenics if he didn’t write about natural selection.

  252. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #279:

    Man, Darwin was such a racist, transphobe, nazi sympathizer. I mean we would of never had eugenics if he didn’t write about natural selection.

     
    Tweet: EoT

    […] Woodford is no Galileo. He’s closer to Andrew Wakefield.

  253. buddyward says

    @Murat

    I understand what you mean, but the analogy was already intended in the sense that neither being disabled, nor being trans are “bad, inferior, shameful things”.

    I do not see anyone arguing that being trans is shameful. On the contrary the argument is that trans women have an advantage and I do not see that as shaming someone.

    Yesterday I watched a video by Dusty Smith in which he challenged RR’s and Joe Rogan’s takes on the subject. He made some very good points, like this not really being an issue, that people were ok with trans women competing BUT were resorting to such arguments only when they WON etc.

    Of course people will argue when someone wins when they think that the winner had some unfair advantage. I believe that there will be no arguments if there are no perceptions of an unfair advantage. An athlete can drink all the water they want as long as it is not perceived as an unfair advantage then no argument will ensue.

    I also do not think that the issue is prejudice against trans women but rather we as a society are not quite there yet when it comes to fully understanding the physiology of trans women when comparing it to cis women in the context of sports.

    Any thought exercise on the issue may be poorly executed, mine, RR’s, yours, etc., but my point is that, just because an idea about a touchy subject is not good, we should not be attaching stickers of “phobia” on the people who came up with them. Because this overreaction in and of itself creates a shadow over the whole thing, makes it look like spokespeople of groups are narrowing down and manipulating thought exercises in such a way that individuals prefer to shut up in fear of online lynch mobs or something.

    I agree that vilifying those who may be brainstorming to address a specific problem is a bad thing and I believe that most if not all of us here in this thread agrees with you.

    People like EoT, I believe in this situation, is detrimental to the transgender cause. Devolving into ad hominem, and insisting that a person admit to something that they are not sound a lot like what actual “phobic” people would do.

  254. Murat says

    @buddyward
    You may be reading the example of Paralymics in reverse. Why are able-bodied people not taking part in those games? Because they are known to have physical advantages over the disabled as a group. Because that would be totally unfair. The argument with trans women over cis women is, rightfully or not, the same in principle.

    I also do not think that the issue is prejudice against trans women but rather we as a society are not quite there yet when it comes to fully understanding the physiology of trans women when comparing it to cis women in the context of sports

    Maybe nor do they, themselves.
    Given that they were never cis women, they do not / can not have an idea about their opponents’ conditions, right?
    Cis women go through mensturation every month and that affects their training in a way trans women’s isn’t. If you want to disect every single element scientifically, you gotta take this one into consideration as well

    People like EoT, I believe in this situation, is detrimental to the transgender cause. Devolving into ad hominem, and insisting that a person admit to something that they are not sound a lot like what actual “phobic” people would do.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  255. buddyward says

    @Murat

    You may be reading the example of Paralymics in reverse. Why are able-bodied people not taking part in those games? Because they are known to have physical advantages over the disabled as a group. Because that would be totally unfair. The argument with trans women over cis women is, rightfully or not, the same in principle.

    Able-bodied people are not taking offense for not being included nor are they fighting to be included in the Paralympics.

    Maybe nor do they, themselves.
    Given that they were never cis women, they do not / can not have an idea about their opponents’ conditions, right?
    Cis women go through mensturation every month and that affects their training in a way trans women’s isn’t. If you want to disect every single element scientifically, you gotta take this one into consideration as well

    Not sure who you meant by they. I believe that my use of the word society includes everyone.

    I am not a woman and therefore I do not know if having a period will affect my performance. I can only imagine that it will differ on an individual basis.

  256. says

    Not all of the folks who moderate the blog have the same views. My view is that if you call trans women “men”, I’m not going to allow that comment. If your comment isn’t showing up, and you equated trans women to men (example: “When a man transitions to a woman”), that’s why. If you would like to restate your comment in a less bigoted way, and try again, you’re welcome to do so.

  257. Murat says

    @buddyward

    I am not a woman and therefore I do not know if having a period will affect my performance.

    Exactly my point. Sport does not begin and end with a race or a game. People go through training all their lives, other things get merged into professional physical activity, etc. If the athletic history of a trans woman has been lived without ever experiencing a mensturation, then, in the long run, we can argue that she had less problems on at least one level than her competition (cis women) did. Can we know how much such things affect the success rates of trans women overall?
    Not yet, because this is an emerging discussion.
    And my perception of RR is that, he says that we can not know such things well enough to argue without a doubt that there is no problem of “fairness” when trans women and cis women compete.
    If there is, then there is. He approaches the question through a rational lens.
    Let’s see how he will correct his previous views.

  258. buddyward says

    @Murat

    If the athletic history of a trans woman has been lived without ever experiencing a mensturation, then, in the long run, we can argue that she had less problems on at least one level than her competition (cis women) did.

    No, we cannot argue that. Not knowing is not the same as having less problems.

    Can we know how much such things affect the success rates of trans women overall?
    Not yet, because this is an emerging discussion.

    So if we cannot know such things then concluding that a trans woman would have less problem would be irrational. The best that we can come up with is that we do not know.

    And my perception of RR is that, he says that we can not know such things well enough to argue without a doubt that there is no problem of “fairness” when trans women and cis women compete.
    If there is, then there is. He approaches the question through a rational lens.
    Let’s see how he will correct his previous views.

    I do not know if this is what RR said but if he did then I think he is not making any claims here. I am understanding this statement as there are no evidence that we can use to conclude that there is no problem of fairness. There are also no evidence to conclude that there is a problem of fairness.

    If this is a rational argument then I do not know what needs to be corrected.

  259. Murat says

    @buddyward
    I think it was the data he referred to that needed correction.
    My point is that, when the issue itself is competition, there are several different measures to conclude whether the game is less fair with trans women or not. You can just say “Life is not fair at all” and move on, that’s one way of resolving it.
    If I were a cis woman who was to compete against a trans woman, I’d expect my personal observations to count as well. Inclusion is not just about those who somehow need to be included, but also about those who will include them. The observation of the competition will not be “scientific” in the sense that counts of red blood cells or muscle mass is, but the world of sports itself is not a science lab; it works on multiple levels.
    I wonder if there was ever a male athlete who, for some reason, training or not, raced against a female competitor, and then years later, did the same again, this time as a trans woman. Spectators’ perception would match with anything that could be measured (time, velocity, etc) but the perception and evalutation of the competition should also matter.

  260. someoneontheinternet says

    Heicart, that is shockingly ignorant of you. I call trans women trans women, and biological women biological women. Please, tell me where that is incorrect.

  261. buddyward says

    @Murat

    I think it was the data he referred to that needed correction.

    What data? You were the one that said to see how RR will correct his views not the data.

    My point is that, when the issue itself is competition, there are several different measures to conclude whether the game is less fair with trans women or not.

    To which, AFAIK we currently have no means to measure what is fair.

    If I were a cis woman who was to compete against a trans woman, I’d expect my personal observations to count as well.

    Why? Shouldn’t there be a more objective way to measure fairness instead of your own personal observations?

    Inclusion is not just about those who somehow need to be included, but also about those who will include them. The observation of the competition will not be “scientific” in the sense that counts of red blood cells or muscle mass is, but the world of sports itself is not a science lab; it works on multiple levels.

    The world of sport is more scientific than what you are claiming here. It is not perfect by all means but science have been used in many ways to improve performance in sports. The fact that the scientific method is always used in sports does indicate that the world of sport is indeed a science lab.

    I wonder if there was ever a male athlete who, for some reason, training or not, raced against a female competitor, and then years later, did the same again, this time as a trans woman. Spectators’ perception would match with anything that could be measured (time, velocity, etc) but the perception and evalutation of the competition should also matter.

    I do not know but I also do not know how this matters.

  262. says

    >Heicart, that is shockingly ignorant of you. I call trans women trans women, and biological women biological women. Please, tell me where that is incorrect.

    The terminology is transgender and cisgender.

    My biology did not determine my gender. And women who are transgendered are not men who became women.

  263. paxoll says

    @skycaptain
    You have demonstrated with your systematic review, that the appropriate research is simply non-existent to make very conclusive statements, but by the same review the evidence still points to the conclusion that RR stated. Comparing the most reasonable conclusion based on current data to fallacious science like Wakefield, is another fine example of the hyperbolic appeal to emotion that is being hypocritically levied at RR by EoT.

  264. Murat says

    What he said was he was not going to make a U-turn, but was going to fix certain conclusions he drew depending on misleading data. Sorry if I was confusing about this, but I was just passing on what I recently read. Anyhow, the change in RR’s views or data concerns me less than how such opinions should be treated, on which I think we are on the same page.

    Why? Shouldn’t there be a more objective way to measure fairness instead of your own personal observations?

    No, not necessarily. Because if I’m competing against someone, my subjective observation also matters. (That line began with “if I were a cis woman competing against a trans woman…”)

    The world of sport is more scientific than what you are claiming here. It is not perfect by all means but science have been used in many ways to improve performance in sports. The fact that the scientific method is always used in sports does indicate that the world of sport is indeed a science lab.

    I disagree. Sports are also a form of entertainment. They serve political agendas from time to time. You can not constrain the spirit of any sport to the lab studies covering it.

    I do not know but I also do not know how this matters.

    Would it not matter if the competitor said she experienced the very same difficulties before and after, regardless of the change?

  265. Murat says

    I got the feeling that I noticed an oxymoron somewhere, but I’m reluctant to bring it up.

  266. buddyward says

    @Murat

    No, not necessarily. Because if I’m competing against someone, my subjective observation also matters. (That line began with “if I were a cis woman competing against a trans woman…”)

    Yes, I took into account the “if” in your statement. Why would the personal subjective observation of a competitor matter in determining fairness? Should we not be using an objective means of measuring fairness?

    I disagree. Sports are also a form of entertainment. They serve political agendas from time to time. You can not constrain the spirit of any sport to the lab studies covering it.

    Entertainment industries and political views does not make a good basis for objectively measuring fairness. Science does.

    Would it not matter if the competitor said she experienced the very same difficulties before and after, regardless of the change?

    No, it does not. Everyone experiences different difficulties. We cannot enforce everything to be the same for everyone before a competition. For example, an athlete from one part of the world may have state of the art training equipment while another may be from a part of the world where their running shoes are made from old car tires. One athlete may suffer from a disease while in training while another is in perfect health.

    I got the feeling that I noticed an oxymoron somewhere, but I’m reluctant to bring it up.

    If this is something I said, I would appreciate that you bring it up as I would like to know and correct it.

  267. Murat says

    Entertainment industries and political views does not make a good basis for objectively measuring fairness. Science does.

    Sure. But that has nothing to do with what I meant. Sports can not be downsized to the sciences that cover it. There is more to it. Words may not convey what I mean, so, just think of that classic montage scene from Rocky IV where Ivan Drago does his computerized training indoors while Balboa is carrying a log to the top of a snowy mountain.

    Everyone experiences different difficulties. We cannot enforce everything to be the same for everyone before a competition. For example, an athlete from one part of the world may have state of the art training equipment while another may be from a part of the world where their running shoes are made from old car tires. One athlete may suffer from a disease while in training while another is in perfect health.

    This boils down to what I previously mentioned as the “Life is not fair at all anyway” argument, which is a fine path to take. But RR’s video was on fairness, so…

    If this is something I said, I would appreciate that you bring it up as I would like to know and correct it.

    No, it wasn’t from you. I just don’t feel like getting into an exchange which would very likely bring forth bigotry and/or ignorance as an accusation towards me whereas my perception of my own motivation would be curiosity.

  268. Claywise says

    Re heicart’s comment at 295., “And women who are transgendered are not men who became women.”
    This is an objective, evidence-based statement. It is an interpretation, but there is plenty of legitimate debate about this issue.
    I view trans-women as trans-women. I would never insult them by using a name they did not use or refer to them by pronouns they feel does not match who they are.
    But as a skeptic, I draw the line at a dogmatic statement such as “Transwomen are women.”
    What the measures are, or should be, are up for debate, and subject to interpretation — and just because one does not subscribe to the statement above does not make one transphobic.
    Whether hormonally, genetically, or morphologically, it is indeed possible for a reasonable and compassionate person to distinguish between trans-women and biological women and trans-men and biological men. The borders are fuzzy, clearly, but demanding that free-thinking individuals accept dogma when there is legitimate debate is as bad as what theists and autocrats do.
    Trans-dogma is not widely accepted, but it does not follow that all those who can’t bring themselves to agree with it are “trans-phobic.”
    I’m extremely disappointed in the level of conversation on this issue.
    And I’m fully aware that I have just opened myself up to be utterly trashed and savaged by those who have a different opinion, but who cannot acknowledge that these issues are *not* settled, and open to interpretation.

  269. buddyward says

    @Murat

    Sure. But that has nothing to do with what I meant. Sports can not be downsized to the sciences that cover it. There is more to it. Words may not convey what I mean, so, just think of that classic montage scene from Rocky IV where Ivan Drago does his computerized training indoors while Balboa is carrying a log to the top of a snowy mountain.

    I am failing to see how the Rocky scenes help in supporting the relevance of entertainment and politics in determining fairness in sports.

    This boils down to what I previously mentioned as the “Life is not fair at all anyway” argument, which is a fine path to take. But RR’s video was on fairness, so…

    We strive to make the competition fair for everyone competing at the moment of competition. Sports organization do not regulate anything while in training. An athlete can train as little or as much as they want. They can train however they want. Fairness in competition does not extend to the training prior to the competition. RR’s video was on fairness during competition.

    No, it wasn’t from you. I just don’t feel like getting into an exchange which would very likely bring forth bigotry and/or ignorance as an accusation towards me whereas my perception of my own motivation would be curiosity.

    Ok thanks, FWIW I currently do not sense any bigotry from you. I am questioning some of your reasoning but I do not see any prejudice nor acts of bigotry on your part.

  270. paxoll says

    @Claywise
    Women/men is a gender. It is a social construct used to generalize a group and identify people within that group. A transwoman is a woman. The trans prescript is nothing but a descriptor to subdivide/refine the identity. A black woman, a transwoman, and an old women are all examples of the same thing (except old is very ambiguous). A transwoman is no less a woman if they don’t take hormones to change their body, that is a choice some transwomen choose to do, it is also a choice some old women choose to do. The scientific evidence shows that gender identity forms at a very early age, which makes the idea of a “man” transitioning to a “woman” a scientifically inaccurate statement that is mostly due to ignorance and a refusal to acknowledge the differences between sex and gender, most often presented by anti-trans people (I find the phobic term absurd).

  271. John David Balla says

    @Claywise #331
    >>I’m extremely disappointed in the level of conversation on this issue.
    And I’m fully aware that I have just opened myself up to be utterly trashed and savaged by those who have a different opinion, but who cannot acknowledge that these issues are *not* settled, and open to interpretation.

    Welcome to the club. Culture and language are always fluid. I prefer to address people in ways they prefer if I know what those ways are (within reason). However, if I am judged “phobic” either because I am unaware of a precept that has not reached my orbit, or simply because I acknowledge that a debate exists which is unsettled, I would not call that reasonable. That said, it appears that some degree of dogma may be required to extend from a small ring of society to its outer limits. Whether that’s the right or best way to effect change also seems like a debate worth having. In other words, there’s a lot of fuzziness to contend with. And some people deal better with ambiguity than others. Complicated stuff, indeed.

  272. Murat says

    @paxoll

    The scientific evidence shows that gender identity forms at a very early age, which makes the idea of a “man” transitioning to a “woman” a scientifically inaccurate statement that is mostly due to ignorance and a refusal to acknowledge the differences between sex and gender, most often presented by anti-trans people (I find the phobic term absurd).

    Fine.
    But can you tell me what it is that transitions so we call these individuals transwomen?
    By this very definition, their gender identity (which forms at a very early age) does not change, nor becomes the subject of a transition. It is the sex that changes due to a medical operation, right? So, how come the terminology is dictated as transgender and not as transsexual?
    I am aware of the reasons for the preference of one word over the other, but, within the frame that you draw here, I think there is grave inconsistency between what is suggested as the definition of a gender and what the proposed / dictated terminology is.
    *
    And, if I may, I’d like to take an extra step and ask something that would need to be anwered on a very personal level, just to test the validity of the definition of a transwoman being really in line with black woman or old woman.

  273. paxoll says

    @Murat
    Trans is not short for transition. It is a latin term meaning same side. Cis or transgender is based on what was assigned to them before they actually developed an identity. When a male child is born people assume it will be a man/boy gender, so they call it a boy. If they develop into a boy, than that is the same side as what was assigned to them so they are Cis gendered. Trans is latin for across, so if they develop into a girl when they were labeled a boy, their gender is across the “line” or whatever.

  274. paxoll says

    Sorry, Trans and Cis is based on latin, trans means across cis means same side.

  275. someoneontheinternet says

    I do not adhere to those labels. Instead I use the terms trans women/men, and biological women/men.

    I don’t have to agree or use the terms that you say are correct, as they are anything but, they are terms.

    As such, trans women are not biological women, and the same goes for men.

    To be blunt, saying it is latin makes no difference, language is decided when people speak about a subject and come to a mutual understanding. I know exactly what you are talking about; but I consider a lesbian biological woman, to be a biological woman. I do not consider a lesbian trans woman to be a biological woman. Their sexual preference, or gender identity doesn’t even factor into the conversation. We are speaking about biology here (as is RR in his video), not gender selection or sexual orientation. To conflate those is to not be staying on topic in my view.

  276. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    Because if I’m competing against someone, my subjective observation also matters.

    Cool, so if Serena Williams is playing against someone and they claim she is a man and should be DQ’d, they should be taken seriously?
    Most of your posts are goalpost shifts and grasping at straws.

  277. someoneontheinternet says

    @paxoll, where did I conflate sex and gender? I specifically stated the exact opposite, that I am not bringing gender into a discussion about biology (as so many people who seem to think gender is not 99% of the time the same as a person’s sex want us to do).

    I do not care what gender you present, think you are, declare yourself to be, and I wish those people all the best in life as whichever gender they want to identify with. However, a trans woman whom goes through puberty as a biological male has advantages in their physiology that a biological woman plainly does not have. That is the discussion that is at hand. I do not care if the biological women (or trans women for that matter) are heterosexual, homosexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.

    @Monocle Smile subjective observation doesn’t matter is what you are saying then? Since you are putting words in Murat’s mouth I can safely play the same game. If subjective observation does not matter then trans identified people should not be allowed into women’s categories in sport since you just stated that subjective claims are not to be taken seriously. Only objective things, such as are you born biologically male and gone through puberty as a biological male? If this box is ticked as yes, then the category you can compete in is the open category, and do so freely and welcomed within it.

  278. paxoll says

    Let me simply correct your sentence for you, since you seem incapable of doing it. “A trans woman athlete who goes through male puberty likely has advantages in her competitive sport over females due to the physiological differences that do not go away completely with hormone treatment.” Its pretty simply when you use the correct words and appropriate nuances. I would also agree with this statement.

  279. someoneontheinternet says

    Ahh, passive aggressive condemnation. Good, now we are getting places.

    I don’t disagree with your corrected sentence; I take some umbrage at your tone, and saying I did not give appropriate nuance; for I did and I also used the correct words. Your statement is just as good as mine, and I would argue for both with equal tenacity.

    Now that we have gotten past any misunderstanding of what this whole topic is about, I am uncertain where else this conversation should go. I’ll let you lead this time.

  280. Honey Tone says

    someone @ 308:

    I do not adhere to those labels. Instead I use the terms trans women/men, and biological women/men.

    I don’t have to agree or use the terms that you say are correct, as they are anything but, they are terms.

    To be blunt, saying it is latin makes no difference, language is decided when people speak about a subject and come to a mutual understanding….

    Seriously? Are you one of those folks who simply rejects, for example, the scientific definition of “theory”? For you it’s the “Every man’s Opinion about Gravity”, not the “Theory of Gravity”?

    What the eff is wrong with using terms of art as terms of art, and accepting the technical definitions as intended and used in the literature? “Trans” has a use in chemistry based on its Latin etymology, and in everyday language as a Latin derived prefix in lots of English words. Deciding to ignore the borrowed-language basis of words or phrases doesn’t promote understanding of our language, deciding for yourself that the technical definitions don’t fit *your* current understanding doesn’t make communication easier.

  281. Murat says

    @someoneontheinternet
    I just replied to @MS’s question and gave him exactly what he wanted, not on here but in the thread about the latest episode as the discussion going on there seemed to be more relevant and for it is the more vivid platform at this time.

  282. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Article: Callie Wright (May 11th, having seen the heretic video)

    I’ve watched the videos and read the ACA’s statement, and I feel it super necessary to say a few things

     
    Assorted comments…
     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157250713729483

    John Iacoletti: Thank you, Callie. This, more than anything else, affirms to me that we (the ACA) did the right thing.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157250833884483

    PZ Myers: I saw RR’s video when it first came out, and instantly unsubscribed. Just the fact he was citing Joe Fucking Rogan was clue enough.

    Also, the ACA response was mild & reasonable, doesn’t warrant the gasps of horror I’m seeing from some quarters.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251025384483&reply_comment_id=10157251034709483

    Jen Peeples: [RR was invited] Because the production crew doesn’t properly vet guests on the show. If you have some kind of following online, especially if you’re a cis het white dude, you can be a guest on the show.
     
    This could have been avoided if anyone – and there are plenty of people getting paid by the ACA these days – had taken an hour to check out this particular individual.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251025384483&reply_comment_id=10157251042669483

    Kendall Hopkins: The proper channels of communication were not utilized in the ways that they should have been. Some knew beforehand about the controversy and didn’t speak up, so others were left in the dark. There’s no doubt about it that we handled this poorly and failed.

    (And by “we,” I mean the ACA, though I am not a board member or anything of the sort. Just a show co-host.)

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251025384483&reply_comment_id=10157251096539483

    Re: “Did the ACA make any attempt to reach out to Woodford before publicly accusing him of being transphobic?”
     
    Kendall Hopkins: Stephen was educated thoroughly and explained how his views and behaviors were problematic by multiple members, myself included.

    Please also note that I cannot and will not speak for the organization as whole, or for the board of directors.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251229009483

    Jon Tabb: Myself and the other three “admins” all quit over this issue as well. What an absolute cluster. Then to see Matt agree with someone who said such disgusting things is extremely disappointing. Great post, Callie.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251229009483&reply_comment_id=10157251386204483

    Matt Dillahunty: I agreed with the video I linked to. Nothing disgusting in that.
     
    Neither myself nor Stephen agree with the video people are objecting to… something he’s said and is correcting.
     
    Maybe, having spent hours taking to him, I might actually know more about this than some of the more disappointed people.
     
    Maybe.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251503499483

    OP: “My community and my life are not an intellectual exercise. If you claim to be an ally and you have questions, there are millions of blog articles, podcasts, videos, and people willing to share their ACTUAL expertise on the subject, as opposed to just another dude on YouTube with ignorance and opinions to share despite it who apparently just HAD to make a video. The information is out there, and its not even a little bit difficult to find.
     
    If you consider yourself a trans ally, maybe ask around to some trans folks?”
     
    Tracie Harris: ** THIS **

     
     
    https://www.facebook.com/calliewright513/posts/10157250625304483?comment_id=10157251025384483&reply_comment_id=10157251063309483

    Jen Peeples: We talked about the Caster Semenya case on Godless Bitches last week. It’s the recorded episode, so I think that one drops in a week.

    Re: T levels and athletic performance – there’s no good evidence that higher than “normal” T levels make a difference in most women’s sports.
     
    Callie Wright: ^ at the very least it’s a LOT more of a complicated question
     
    Kendall Hopkins: I have PCOS which means I have much higher testosterone levels than the average cis woman. But if I went into athletics, nobody would ever question it.
     
    Jen Peeples: For example, I’m a cis woman, and I don’t know what my T levels are. Do I have a naturally high level? Is that why I’ve always been a natural athlete? Who knows.
     
    I also regularly spar men, most of them much younger, faster, and stronger than me. That does give me an advantage when sparring women in my division. Bottom line is that no amount of testosterone can substitute for training. Physiology is one of many factors that affect athletic performance.
     
    PZ Myers: Jen Peeples I’m a cis man, & I don’t know what my T-levels are either… although I assume they’ve been declining, as an older man. Odds are they’re higher than yours, still, and odds are really good that you could beat me up without breaking a sweat.
     
    We don’t use T-levels or chromosomes or genitals to decide how well we can play baseball or football or whatever. It’s really weird that they’ve become the focus of so much contention.

  283. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Axp 23.20 – A brief opening message (May 12th)

    Hello. I’m Jamie Boone, president of the Atheist Community of Austin.
     
    Recently the board of directors released a statement that has resulted in the ACA being embroiled in a public relations kerfuffle, as it were. I’d like to clarify first that the position on trans rights has not changed. However, I’d also like to say that the ACA is in communication with the stakeholders involved in this controversy and that we are working hard to reach an amicable and productive solution. The ACA cannot speak for all parties involved, but we are working on this, and we will have more info to come.
     
    Thank you for your patience.

  284. Murat says

    Jen is off the track, as I had suspected she could be on this particular issue.
    “Who knows?”
    Really?
    That’s not even the point of the discussion at this time.

  285. paxoll says

    Jen Peeples: We talked about the Caster Semenya case on Godless Bitches last week. It’s the recorded episode, so I think that one drops in a week.

    Re: T levels and athletic performance – there’s no good evidence that higher than “normal” T levels make a difference in most women’s sports.

    This seems to be the most ridiculous thing I have heard someone state. Steroid use has been banned in sports for a very long time because the effects are well proven in science. It just hurts my head to think of how the emotional connection to this topic would cause her to say something so patently false. But I like this experiment because I like to imagine Betty White pumped up on steroids having the muscle to back up her sharp tongue. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4701202/
     

    Kendall Hopkins: I have PCOS which means I have much higher testosterone levels than the average cis woman. But if I went into athletics, nobody would ever question it.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28646101
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19461542
     
    I think some people need to admit that their position on this topic is that they don’t care about sports, or athletes, they only care about the emotional well being of the trans athletes. I think the intersectionality of this topic is a large problem for them because of this. Caring about someone, while completely not caring about what is most important to them means you are not going to be able to help them.
     
    This seems to be the most thorough, comprehensive paper on the topic
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6391653/

     
    I think quoting Myer’s is about as offensive as quoting Rogan.

  286. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Not all of the folks who moderate the blog have the same views. My view is that if you call trans women “men”, I’m not going to allow that comment. If your comment isn’t showing up, and you equated trans women to men (example: “When a man transitions to a woman”), that’s why. If you would like to restate your comment in a less bigoted way, and try again, you’re welcome to do so.

    Thanks. I’ll try to keep this in mind. This is still new to me, even though one of my younger sisters is a trans-woman. My mother and I are still learning. I remember just a few days ago my mother using this sort of language, saying “back when she was a man, and dating her former girlfriend Ashley”, or something like that. It didn’t strike me as bigoted at the time, but if other people see it that way, I’ll try to keep that in mind, because I genuinely don’t want to insult someone or demean someone without a (good) reason.

  287. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ack. My earlier post is missing necessary context. There was a point in recent memory before which my sister identified as a gay man, and my mother and I didn’t know anything else until like a year ago when she asked to be referred to as a woman. We obliged, of course.

  288. Murat says

    @EL
    I fail to see how your mother’s quoted remark (or something along these lines) can even remotely be seen “bigoted”.

  289. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    YT Comment: RR’s original video – Matt Dillahunty had replied to RR’s ‘fickle people’ comment (1 month ago, near when the original video was published)

    I’m not only “ok” with trans people, I love and support them and want a world where they’re equal, safe and not facing discrimination. That said, there’s nothing transphobic here, it’s about the science of athletic performance and the problem of how we make competitions fair. Perhaps EACH sport will need to change….weight classes, more accurate categories than just men/women x/y… maybe tiered categories based on past performance (like FM/IM/GM in chess) would be better.
     
    That said, Joe Rogan may make some valid points, but he repeatedly slips into misgendering. Even listening as charitably as possible, he’s killing his point with garbage like “he’s a GUY!”. And I wouldn’t have followed a clip from him with “and that’s why I”, because it can so easily be misunderstood.

  290. Brian D Simonds says

    I agree, fairness and inclusion is the issue and I wish there were more categories as there are in disabled sports like the Paralympics where each event has multiple categories to help inclusion and maintain fairness.

  291. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: EoT – Addressing Rationality Rules’ Transphobia and The ACA’s Statement (44:26, May 15th)
     
    A transcript is linked in ths description.
    Or script, rather. It’s not quite verbatim.

  292. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: EoT – List (May 15th)

    On the matter of a certain list going around. It comes from a support group formed by many of the people who walked out on the ACA. Some of those were the social media moderators who were on duty when Woodford’s audience showed up. It really messed some of them up.

    I find it weird how intention is all of a sudden irrelevant when that’s been Woodford’s only argument. But the reality is that support group was started by people who left the ACA. Mostly they talk about how their sleep has been effected and how their health is taking a dive. They’re really scared of Woodford’s audience and they’re wanting to avoid similar incidents.
     
    I have no issue with Mr Atheist, but he has chosen to still associate with podcasts run by people such as McRae who actively targets and abuses trans people, seemingly for sport. I remember explaining to Kyle how perhaps he should weigh the cost of keeping someone like that around. And here that cost is shown in how it’s worn away people’s trust. It’s not a witch hunt list. It’s just a case of ‘be aware, there’s an overlap here’.

     
     
    Tweet: Objectively Subjective

    I created lists for people who feel unsafe in the atheist community.
     
    Lists gets publically shared.
     
    People attack the people who wanted the list made and the one that made the list.
     
    While never questioning why the list was made.
     
    Wonder why they felt unsafe to begin with???

     
    Tweet: Objectively Subjective

    Here’s the list of people who have publically spoken in support of RR’s after his transphobic video. It’s not a list of transphobes as some have tried to claim.
    [Screenshot]
    ” ” ”
    Janet Reyes thought it would be a good idea to list those who have come out in support of Rationality Rules and those who have come out in support of the trans community. I think possibly to avoid confusion the Allies should have a separate topic.
     
    This is not a complete list of people who have been supportive of Rationality Rules. Please add others that have been seen.
     
    Telltale Atheist
    Viced Rhino
    Godless Engineer
    Kaitlyn Chloe
    Shannon Q
    Mr. Atheist
    Cosmic Skeptic
    Rachel Oates
    Noel Plum
    Suris the Skeptic
    Nonsequitur and it’s various collaborators
    Matt Dillahunty
    Seth Andrews
    GM Skeptic
    ” ” “

  293. Muz says

    Belatedly to John @ 280. No worries. It’s a confusing ol’ world. Essence of Thought might have a go at Matt soon the way this is going.

    Regarding the list above there and discussions around it (to which I guess they are now having to add Aron Ra and a few others); I really don’t understand how that is supposed to help anyone. Even at the most charitable interpretation of the intent I need somone to explain it to me. Some people need a list now because stumbling on one of these people who would not disavow Rationality Rules is going to do…..what exactly? Are they more likely to be triggered by these people than before? Is it now supposed to be triggering knowing that these people would not disavow RR?
    All the action is on facebook and none of the people in question really comment here, but it’s still worth a try.
    But this is bad so far gang. It really is. People are really going to fall out over ‘transphobia’ this time? When the great rift happened over feminism at least there actually were people who were sexist and would not take a backward step, people who were anti-feminist and who didn’t want sexual assault rules at conventions etc etc. That was real stuff.
    This is like “A segment of the community refuses to apply this word to people exatly when and where we want, so they’re out”. They aren’t in any meaningful way anti-trans. They just won’t condemn someone who admits they were at least partly wrong in precisely the way we think they should.
    I mean, as schisms go that’s a doozy.

  294. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Muz #328:

    I need somone to explain it to me.

    I will keep an eye out for a fuller explanation from those involved.
     

    Are they more likely to be triggered by these people than before?

    My speculation: If someone’s action was surprising to readers, a list could serve to recalibrate expectations so as not to be blindsided: either by more disappointing actions in the future or, more specifically, for turning correction into spectacles. An infographic it is not, so readers would need to look up each statement to check for any nuance and caveats.
     

    people who would not disavow Rationality Rules […] They just won’t condemn someone

    That phrasing is misleading. The two lists were labeled “in support of Rationality Rules” and “in support of the trans community”.

  295. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Ah, I neglected to consider the crowds… as in “overlap” among YouTubers’ audiences.
     
    https://twitter.com/Skeptibearical1/status/1128633722541096960

    […] a YT creator’s proximity 2 a harmful action by another may leave their own social media spaces open to malignant use by bad actors, and that’s what the list is about. “Hey that neighborhood over there might be rough!”

    Objectively Subjective

    EX-Fucking-actly! People do not want to be attacked all the time and that’s what this list was meant to prevent.

     
     
    Tweet: Objectively Subjective

    The lists were just content creators in the atheist community and we’re meant for one very specific purpose.

     
    Tweet: Objectively Subjective

    […] No one was guilty by association, they were simply people who supported RR. […]

     
    Tweet: Objectively Subjective

    A list was made, by me, at the request of another person, which listed people who had vocally supported RR after his transphobic video.
     
    These were a small group of people, some trans, that feel unsafe in the atheist community anymore.
     
    It was too make people feel safer.

    I made it and I’d make the same list if I had to go back.
     
    Someone decided to take that list from a small private group and broadcast it far and wide as if it were a list of transphobes. It was not.
    But the skeptic community has very little care about facts in general it seems.

    I will always put the safety of others above any group image. I have no issue with the list being shared, just wish those sharing it were honest about it.

  296. Muz says

    Thanks SC, as always.

    Perhaps my phrasing is poor. At the same time the project, however low key and well intentioned, lays down a seeming hard line here and there. Perhaps it’s only to the uninitiated, but the implication is that if you feel “unsafe” in the atheist scene now you should avoid these people/outlets; one list is in “support of Rationality Rules” the other “in support of the trans community”. Altogether that implies supporting RR at least partially tips you out of being entirely supportive of the trans community (in some people’s estimation). That might be a little captious and defensive sounding, but I don’t think that’s an extreme reading either.
    That defense of RR that got people on that list is pretty uniformly saying that the guy made some mistakes but calling him a transphobe is going too far. Even if the goal is mostly pragmatic I think people reacting poorly to that logic shouldn’t be surprising.

    That being so, it really all does turn on the use of the term ‘transphobe’ and ‘transphobic’ as well as the resistance to applying it. It’s probably an unintended consequence but that seems to be what it boils down to: Defend RR from a transphobia charge and you’re on a list of people potentially ‘unsafe’ for trans people. Seems like harsh judgement and even if it’s not how we got there seems curious.
    Generally I think it should be obvious terms like these are going to be a flash point. We can argue until blue in the face about how it’s not personal, it’s systemic or clinical etc (which is a half truth. There’s definitely people who enjoy the slam and really lean into it). But it really doesn’t matter. The whole discussion could be conducted without using it at all.

  297. Murat says

    Janet Reyes thought it would be a good idea to list those who have come out in support of Rationality Rules and those who have come out in support of the trans community.

    The sides to this argument can not be defined as such.
    EoT keeps on with the understanding that RR was against the trans community, which was never the case.
    Right under that original video, there’s a post from someone who says “I’m a trans woman and I totally agree with you”.
    You don’t become anti-trans just by addressing the issue of sports in the light of fairness, just because it contradicts with one perception of how gender equality best be warranted.

  298. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Muz #331:

    it really all does turn on the use of the term ‘transphobe’ and ‘transphobic’ as well as the resistance to applying it.

    Apologies for the length. This is from 2008, but this seemed important enough to quote, rather than linking and gesturing emphatically at it.
     
     
    Video: Jay Smooth – How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist (2:59)

    remember the difference between the “what they did” conversation and the “what they are conversation”. Those are two totally different conversations, and you need to make sure that you pick the right one.
     
    The “what they did” conversation focuses strictly on the person’s words and actions and explaining why what they did and what they said was unacceptable. This is also known as the “that thing you said was racist conversation”. And that’s the conversation that you wanna have.
    […]
    When you say “I think he’s a racist.” … That’s not a bad move because you might be wrong. That’s a bad move because you might be right! […] even though intuitively it feels like the hardest way to hit him is just run up on him and say, “I think your ass is racist,” when you handle it that way, you’re actually letting him off easy – because you’re setting up a conversation is way too simple for him to derail and duck out of.
     
    Just think about how this plays out every time a politician or a celebrity gets caught out there. It always starts out as “what they did” conversation, but as soon as the celebrity and their defenders get on camera, they start doing judo flips and switching it into “what they are” conversation.
     
    “I have known this person for years and I know for a fact that they are not a racist. And how dare you claim to know what’s inside their soul just because they made one little joke about watermelon, tap dancing, and going back to Africa.”
     
    Then you try and explain that we don’t *need* to see inside their soul to know that they shouldn’t’ve said all that about the watermelon. And you try to focus on the facts of the situation, but by then it’s too late because the “what they are” conversation is a rhetorical bermuda triangle where everything drowns in a sea of empty posturing
    […]
    Don’t let this happen to you. When somebody picks my pocket, I’m not going to be chasing him down, so I can figure out whether he feels like he’s a thief deep down in his heart. I’m gonna be chasing him down, so I can get my wallet back. I don’t care what he is, but I need to hold him accountable for what he did.

     
     
    From EoT’s video Addressing RR and ACA (#326):

    (16:05): “Recently, the ACA Board of Directors was made aware that guest co-host Stephen Woodford (YouTuber “Rationality Rules”) had made ignorant and transphobic videos and statements on his social media platforms in the weeks leading up to his appearances on ACA shows.”
     
    Notice how they focus solely on the content Woodford has put out and say nothing about him as a person. They also didn’t state that this was cause for a ban, going on to add the following in the next paragraph.
     
    “We acknowledge that the ACA did a poor job showing our support by allowing Mr. Woodford to make appearances on our shows without either addressing his controversial views on the air, or asking him to refrain from appearances until he released a clarifying statement on his channel.”
     
    So had Woodford acted in the 30 days since he published his video on the 29th of March and his appearance on the Atheist Experience on the 28th of April, this entire thing could have been avoided.

     

    (24:25): You say here you don’t have an issue with trans people when in your original video you very clearly stated the opposite […] Again, we see this argument all the time with every other disempowered group. See my previous example with ‘I don’t have a problem with gay people, but gay teachers are a danger to our children’.
     
    Just like a racist will claim that they’re not racist because they don’t murder people of colour. Or a sexist will claim they’re not sexist because they don’t beat and rape women. Or a fascist will claim they’re not fascist because they’re not gassing people, you pretend transphobia is solely extreme acts. Which it isn’t. Transphobia as with my other examples are not merely extreme acts of violence, it’s the narratives which cultivate such violence.
     
    And this is why you don’t get to draw the line, just like people accused of racism, sexism, and fascism. There will always be someone who has done something you deem worse, and you’ll always draw the line between them and yourself. What I am telling you as a trans person who has studied what you are saying, is that your words were transphobic and have resulted in massive harm of the trans community.

     
     
    Muz:

    Altogether that implies supporting RR at least partially tips you out of being entirely supportive of the trans community (in some people’s estimation).

     
    Curating, or influencing, one’s fandom to be less hazardous is what EoT was getting at in #277:

    Throughout this you’ve claimed not to be the monster you believe I’m making you out to be. Throughout this, I’ve replied with a single request. Prove it. You don’t get to come out of this with trans people thanking you for the steps you’ve made whilst keeping the shittier elements of your audience happy.

    Allyship is demonstrated by consistently making efforts to be a positive influence, for the safety of others, not to use as a personal shield against criticism. Part of being an ally is learning the function of apologies: addressing harm, not face saving. RR has been flamboyantly self-centered in all this.
     
    Further, EoT notes that it’s not uncommon for LGB allies, even segments of LGB themselves, to be hostile to T. There’s an aside about that at 20:08 in the “Addressing RR/ACA” video. This situation could yet be RR’s chance to earn a spot on the trans allies list, but pointing to what he’s done in the past for other letters is no substitute. Trans folk have been betrayed too often for that to win their trust.

  299. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Sorry, you may need the transcript to make out EoT’s aside, particularly the end of it.
     

    The UK charity Stonewall, named after trans instigated riots, even forwarded transphobic authors – who claimed trans people to be self mutilators – for writing awards as recently as 2008. Only in 2015 did they change their policy to finally start allowing trans people access to the resources […] It’d be like having a Martin Luther King Foundation which explicitly says “no blacks” on the door.

  300. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain
    That tweet is “flamboyantly self-centered”? The issue is there are 2 issues going on.
     
    First is the video from RR and the criticisms of it. I haven’t seen one reasonable response from EoT in anything you have quoted. I’ve seen 2 criticisms that could be close to reasonable in labeling RR transphobic is when he shows a video clip of Rogan saying “that a guy!”, in both cases of RR and Rogan, they are specifically talking about a particular athlete and their point is being made callously and recklessly. Our culture has been conflating sex and gender especially in language for a long time, and it is reasonable to give someone the benefit of the doubt and correct the issue as I have done with multiple people on this #303, #312. Considering RRs entire video was about physiological differences between the sexes and gender was primarily just a background cause of the issue, reading the statement as denigrating the athletes gender identity is quite unreasonable.

    The second would be his hyperbolic statement after the video where he said this problem would destroy woman’s sports. The issue with this is that, considering the fairness issues that create ALL divisions in sports, “womens” sports should never have been considered a gendered division in the first place, it was always about providing a more fair playing field based on the differences in sex. Again this is a language issue and the argument is by and large pedantic.
     
    The second issue is the response to RR. Which has been wrong or, pedantic or, hyperbolic, and harmful in just about every possible way. So calling RR’s tweet “flamboyantly self-centered” is pretty much just adding to that. Lists, presented as if there is a fundamental dichotomy on support, are pretty obscene in the hyperbolic and harmful category and no little *disclaimer* before them is going to change that.
     
    At this point I simply want to see people apologize for what they feel they did wrong so I can make a personal judgement on their rationality and integrity, and decide if I want to bother spending my time interacting with them.

  301. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: ACA – Clarification (May 16th)

    The Board of Directors of the Atheist Community of Austin has voted to clarify its previous statement.
     
    I would like to provide what clarification that I can.
     
     
    Communication from the President of the Atheist Community of Austin
     
    The ACA would like to provide clarification regarding a recent public communication released by the Board of Directors where we expressed our unequivocal support for the LGBTQIA+ community. The position of the ACA in this regard has not changed and we will remain as it has always.
     
    We recognize that some mistakes were made in the execution and communication regarding the events surrounding our statement and Stephen’s appearance on multiple ACA programs and we would like to take steps in order to rectify those today.
     
    We acknowledge that Stephen (Rationality Rules) released a video which contained hyperbolic rhetoric and presented insufficiently researched information regarding the participation of Trans Women in sport. We also acknowledge that his presence on our productions to discuss issues unrelated to this topic, (prior to the release of his impending video clarifying the positions he himself has indicated were incorrect and in need of amendment), contributed to the sense of anxiety that is felt especially by those who are directly affected and gave the perception of a lack of sensitivity on our part. For that we sincerely and ardently apologize to our members, viewers, and stakeholders who felt as if they were not taken into consideration in this regard.
     
    We subsequently released a statement which was poorly worded in order to make it abundantly clear that we unilaterally support the LGBTQIA+ community. We will not waiver on this position and as such we encourage those who have expressed the motivation and willingness to reconsider and amend their views to do so.
     
    We do not wish to unintentionally vilify those who, through productive rational discourse, have potentially come to a change of position. This is contrary to the values we wish to instantiate.
     
    We wish instead to pave the road that leads to that change. We apologize to Stephen for our perceived condemnation as we should have instead awaited your full response and assisted in a mutually beneficial outcome for all involved.
     
    We are glad that we have heard from members of the trans community and that we have been in contact with Stephen in order to work towards a resolution that is beneficial to all those affected by this conflict. We have every indication that there will be a mutually beneficial resolution. And we are hopeful that the outcome will align with our expectations.
     
    Our goals are to voraciously defend the path to truth and inclusivity. This has not and will not change.

  302. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: The original ACA statement (edited on May 16th)

    This statement has been officially retracted by the Board of Directors. For transparency the original text has been left up

  303. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Podcast / Transcript: Queersplaining w/ Callie Wright – I’m Tired (39:41, May 16)

    (0:54, Callie): this episode is really just a talk between [Tris Mamone] and I, going over how we make decisions about navigating these conversations as trans folks. How do we decide what fights are worth engaging in and which ones we sit out of? How do we manage activism and self-care? At what point is Callie just being super naive and giving too much of the benefit of the doubt.
    […]
    (1:42, Callie): pretty much any conversation around transness is defending your humanity. And I think that’s a distinction that a lot of people don’t get. I think a lot of people see it as, “Well when you’re fighting transphobia you’re defending your humanity, but […] those everyday conversations about transness? That’s not what you’re really doing.” But like that is really what you’re doing. And it gets really fucking exhausting.
    […]
    (20:45, Callie): But going back to the the Rationality Rules thing in the whole video that he made… You know, I spent about an hour and a half on Facebook Messenger audio with him, talking with him about, you know, what he got wrong and why it was so bad. And, some of the conversation was encouraging. Some of it was incredibly frustrating.
     
    There are some foundational things that I still don’t think he understands, but some things that I told him that he seemed genuinely receptive to. And I would say that’s progress because he has an incredibly large audience. His audience is 200 times bigger than mine. And if he can be reached, and his mind can be changed, and he starts speaking about things in a positive way that’s a huge victory, I think.
     
    But also the damage is done and folks need to be held accountable for that.

    The rest of the show is general.
     
    Previously, Callie wrote an RR-specific statement in #316 which… now seems to require a Facebook login. That text has been quoted in full over at [23.20 #32].

  304. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Video: NonSequitur Show – ACA President James Boone Live on Rationality Rules Controversy (1:18:57, May 16th)

    (15:59, Jamie): The part of the initial statement that was well-communicated was, “We hear you and we’re sorry,” to the trans community. The part that wasn’t intended because emotional zeal that drove the statement to the press before it’d been reviewed and proofread sufficiently caused us to act rashly and phrase things in ways that we otherwise wouldn’t have.
     
    We’ve been in touch with Stephen since then, and we understand that he’s said […] that he was working on a video that on the first hand apologized and on the second hand clarified which parts of his views have changed. I think mostly the first hand is a little more important than the second. That wasn’t something that was mentioned in the first statement.
    […]
    Sure [the first statement] doesn’t literally include the word ‘transphobe’ in the initial paragraphs. The following paragraphs and the detail- The emotional force that it communicates certainly sets a context where it sounds like […] a condemnation of the character of Stephen, which was not the intended point. […] We’re not mind readers. So I can’t say that I know what’s in his mind.
    […]
    (32:10, Jamie): We examined what the goal of our social media was in terms of the way that we were moderating. And what goals those rules, and directions, were aimed towards. When thinking about open discourse and honest communication even with people that you fundamentally disagree with on almost everything, et cetera… You have to have those conversations if you want to change or affect their mind. […] There are conversations happening internally in terms of ways of facilitating places for different topics of discussion.
    […]
    (49:18, Shannon Q): There may be some people who may feel that they aren’t necessarily emotionally safe because opening forums up to more open discussion may make them feel as though their very existence is up for debate. […]
    […]
    (52:35, Shannon Q): I hope you understood the emphasis of my question. […] There are people that if they go into forums where there’s open dialogue- There are people who would […] on public platforms, and do, quite frequently, attempt to debate that. […] they once felt as though they could come and constantly be safe. […] It sounds to me as though you’re saying nothing about those values in any way change with the moderation change. And that’s still not going to be tolerated. […]
     
    (Jamie): Yeah, no. That’s not a fear that people should have. Abuse and harassment are not acceptable. And arguing with someone that their existence is questionable. Or whether their existence is permissible. That is abuse.
    […]
    Talk Heathen is a call-in show. […] We’ve taken calls from people that are wrong about human rights and wrong about trans issues. […] The people that are part of that specific conversation are […] consenting to it. And in larger forums where you have thousands of people communicating about an issue. […] That’s an issue that needs to be clarified and dealt with.
     
    I’m committed to providing safe forums for people to exist. And I’m also committed to taking calls and providing a forum where people who are wrong can come in to be told they are wrong. And I don’t think that anyone is under the impression that the ACA has only one forum, or only one show, or only one Facebook page or group. […] And I think differentiating them is something that we need to accomplish.

  305. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Kendall Hopkins – Rationality Rules VS The Atheist Community of Austin (22:31, May 14th)

    I have an interesting perspective that I think might differ from the videos that have already been released on the topic. […] co-host of a show. For a short period of time, I was also a moderator for the Axp Official Discussion Group.

    After criticising RR’s original video (3:31-12:47), there’s a summary of events from that, the FaithlessForum/ACA visit, through RR’s heretic video.
     
    This was published after she’d commented on Callie Wright’s statement on the 11th (#316) and a day before EoT’s “Addressing RR/ACA” video in the 15th (#326).

  306. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Muz #331:

    Altogether that implies supporting RR at least partially tips you out of being entirely supportive of the trans community (in some people’s estimation). That might be a little captious and defensive sounding, but I don’t think that’s an extreme reading either. That defense of RR that got people on that list is pretty uniformly saying that the guy made some mistakes but calling him a transphobe is going too far. Even if the goal is mostly pragmatic I think people reacting poorly to that logic shouldn’t be surprising.

    Found more background from Kendall Hopkins (of Parenting Beyond Belief).
     
    Tweet: Kendall Hopkins (May 15th)

    The list that was compiled was of those who have vocally supported RR. It was NOT a list of transphobes or transphobic people, but a list of content creators who trans folks should stay away from until this blows over to avoid having to read excuses being made for RR when they’ve already heard it all, and reading such content is just pouring salt on their fresh wounds.
     
    Nobody on that list has taken the time to ask themselves WHY they were put on that list, and instead have jumped to making themselves the victims. Our group has 60 people in it. You aren’t being “slandered” publicly, or even slandered at ALL. It’s time to cut the shit and let it go. All of you are milking it for every drop of sympathy you can, when you should be asking yourself how you can be a better ally.

    And just to clarify, @DearMrAtheist is the ONLY one on that list who deserves an apology […] I didn’t make the list, nor did I endorse it, but that was in *my* group that I created. It’s been discussed and agreed upon in my mod team that he shouldn’t have been included, but that damage is already done.

     
     
    Tweet: Godless Cranium (May 15th)

    Still working through my thoughts on this, and I am in no way implying that the people on this ‘list’ are in any way transphobic or anti-LGBT. I count many of them as friends and I admit that when I initially saw this list, it made me angry.
     
    But since then, I’ve had time to think about it.
     
    Now, I wouldn’t necessarily be angry if my name appeared on that list. My comment section alone shows that there is a very strong anti-trans element in this community, and if I were trans and walked into my comment section… I’d be horrified. I would not feel like I was valued. And if someone adds me to a PRIVATE list because they feel unsafe venturing there, I’d accept that and hope I could work towards creating (or recreating) a community around my channel, where they would no longer feel that way. Hopefully, my name comes off that list.
     
    I’m not a part of the LGBT community, but I know people who are and who work within that community, and safe, private groups are not that uncommon – and for good reason.
     
    The person who took that safe haven away by leaking a private safe haven (and therefore taking it away) should really be the one who is ashamed. It’s time for some self reflection in the secular community. Add my name to the list. Please.
     
    And let’s start asking ourselves why some ppl feel the need for such lists. And groups to begin with. I’ve been told that group was created to support the people who walked out on the ACA.
     
    So again, please add me to that list. And I’ll work towards earning the respect needed to hopefully have my name removed in the future.
     
    If they were doxing, trying to flag down my channel or calling for violence towards me, I could see being super angry about it. As far as I know, it’s none of those things. It never was. […]

    Tweet: Kendall Hopkins (May 15th)

    Thank you. SO. FUCKING. MUCH. You are the first person I’ve seen that hasn’t completely taken the victim role in all of this and I appreciate it more than you know.

  307. paxoll says

    @Skycaptain
    Could you please explain the purpose of your posts? Your links are typically relevant evidence to an argument, yet I find no relevance or evidence in your posts.

    If they were doxing, trying to flag down my channel or calling for violence towards me, I could see being super angry about it

    Its not significantly different than doxing. It is clearly a kind of ad hominem, red herring, dog whistle for the topic. Equivalent to Petersons favorite post-modern neo-marxists. Does it change the intent when the author prefaces it with “I’m not saying these people are bad, but..”? Does it change the intent if one of the people on the list says that they don’t care they are on the list? Obviously I’m not a mind reader, but the rational inference is precisely these. If the purpose was to warn people of possible triggering content, they would make an argument about what specific issues the person has and why they are bad. This is another flavor of Macarthyism.

    I admit that when I initially saw this list, it made me angry.

    But…

  308. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Equivalent to Petersons favorite post-modern neo-marxists.

    Was this meant ironically? There is no such thing as a “post-modern neo-Marxist”. Marxism is a modernist movement, and most Marxists, such as the Frankfurt school wrote against post-modernism for much of the same reasons that Peterson would. Marxists, especially at the Frankfurt school, saw themselves as inheriting the mantle of rationalists and realists.

    Also, “post-modern neo-Marxists” does have one well-established meaning. It means “Jew”. Specifically, “Marxist” has always been used as a code-word by Nazis and others like Nazis for “Jew”, and such usage typically signals that the speaker believes the same old Nazi nonsense that that there was an international conspiracy of Jewish bankers who were out to destroy western society. Peterson is just the newest person who is spouting the same old Nazi rhetoric. See:

  309. paxoll says

    @EL
    Peterson is a moron. It is how he uses scare words to brand people that makes it equivalent to the ad hominem that is being used during this “kerfuffle”.

  310. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #342:

    Could you please explain the purpose of your posts?

    Chronicling events.

  311. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    #338:

    Callie wrote an RR-specific statement in #316 which… now seems to require a Facebook login. That text has been quoted in full over at [23.20 #32].

    I contacted Callie Wright. She says some arguing started that she didn’t have the time or capacity to moderate, so she had switched the post’s visibility from public to “Only me”.

  312. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Video: GodlessBitches – 5.10 (55:43)
     
    The episode was recorded on May 4th.
     
    Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris discuss sports (1:32 – 25:10). It’s primarily about unusual athletes and accusations of being too good to compete. Caster Semenya, Michael Phelps, Oscar Pistorius, and an unnamed swimmer, I think Lynne Cox. Trans athletes are only alluded to in passing.

  313. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: RR (May 18th)

    The Atheist Community of Austin (The Atheist Experience, etc) has amended their recent post to clearly state that they have officially retracted their denouncement of me. Thank you.
    ” ” ”
    In order to remove any ambiguity in the following statement, I wish to make clear that the ACA earnestly and sincerely apologizes to Stephen Woodford (Rationality Rules) for vilifying his character and insinuating that he is opposed to the LGBTQIA+ community. The Board of Directors has officially retracted our original statement.
    ” ” “

    This was the ACA Clarification previously quoted in #336.

  314. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Those who walked out from the ACA left a statement on The Atheist Experience Official Discussion Group.
     
    Article: Fabian Elfeld – Walkout Statement (May 17th)

    For the past couple of years, we have devoted thousands of hours volunteering for the social media platforms of the Atheist Community of Austin (ACA). We joined forces from all over the world coming together believing in the ACA’s mission: the separation of church and state and educating on the harm of religion. The ACA was always at the forefront in taking a stand for positive atheism and creating a safe environment for the marginalized.
     
    It is with incredible sadness that we release this statement denouncing the ACA’s handling of the issue regarding Stephen Woodford/Rationality Rules. Mr. Woodford made a video where he has admitted he made mistakes. He promised a correction and apology that has yet to be issued. It is important to note that the mistakes in the video include not only poor research and bad science relating to transgender athletes, but also bigoted clips that disparage the transgender community while Mr. Woodford refers to the clips as “gems.” These types of attacks on the trans community deserve to be denounced until such time as amends are made and appropriate corrective actions are taken.
     
    Much to our dismay, instead of standing by their previous statement condemning this video and apologizing for the harm his appearance on their shows inflicted on the trans community, on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the ACA has retracted their stated disapproval of this video and went so far as to apologize to the very person who made comments that caused harm.
     
    This is an absolutely reprehensible action that trades the trust and protection of the marginalized for profits and likes. The ACA were once leaders setting the gold standard of inclusive atheism. That beacon of hope that was the ACA has now gone. They have lost our trust. They have lost our viewership. They have lost our support. We are ashamed of what they have become. May they someday find their way back to being an organization where all feel safe and welcome. Until that time comes, we remain the disappointed former volunteers of the ACA.
     
    Erin, Kaitlyn, Joey, Janet, Jon, Joy, Ian, Zak, Lisa, Samantha, Fabian, and Angela

  315. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Axp 23.21 (1:11:39 – 1:14:04)

    (Vivian): I just wanted to say that I’m extremely disappointed with Matt Dillahunty and the ACA. And trans rights are human rights.
     
    [Hosts stare at each other]
     
    (Jen): Okay. You wouldn’t get any disagreement from the two of us regarding trans rights.
     
    (Vivian): Both of you are pretty awesome generally. I don’t know what your stance is on the current controversy, but like yeah… It’s been a roller coaster ride. And I hope that all the ACA employees that’re getting so much harassment might get the support they need to.
     
    (Tracie): I can only reiterate that I have full support for the trans community. Even though they’ve told us that the hosts have free reign to do whatever content they wanna do when they’re on the show… and that they don’t want us to feel moderated… I do want to say that I don’t feel completely at ease talking about it because my views don’t necessarily align the group. And I feel on this topic, I can’t speak for the ACA. I feel like my job, at this desk, on this show, right now, is to do my best to speak for the association… and probably not to speak against it. I appreciate your call, but I feel unable to express my views.
    […]
    (Jen): But thank you for the call. And we agree. Trans rights are human rights.
    […]

     
    I had difficulty making out the caller’s name. At first I thought it might’ve been Fabian, cosigner of the Walkout Statement in #350, but after re-listening slowed down, Vivian fits better.

  316. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Kevin Logan interviewed EoT (55:39, May 19th)

    (13:45): Woodford’s audience swarmed the ACA pages and began abusing the moderators […] There was a mass walkout. Matt came out in support of Woordford. That caused more walkouts. […] A lot of them are suffering quite a few mental health problems as a result. In a support group that they started for the walkouts, we’ve had discussions about people sleep being affected… people having to book emergency appointments with their psychologists and psychiatrists. We’ve had discussions go as far as people discussing suicide. […] That is the level we are at with how horrific Woodford’s audience has treated these people.
     
    And then to add insult to injury, the ACA just came out and ordered all moderators to step down. […]
    ” ” ”
    I move that the ACA immediately cease active moderation on social media pages, groups, and threads. This includes but is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord. This should not be construed as an inability or refusal to remove spam, threats, harassment, and report cases of abuse. It is merely acknowledgment that the resources and time are better spent in other areas of the ACA’s work.
    ” ” ”
    But the way that’s actually been applied, […] it’s just been abandoned. So many people have begun walking out, retracting their support for the ACA… There’s discussions about possible legal repercussions here. It’s got to a clusterfuck by now.
    […]
    (17:40): Since [the first statement] the board has become pretty much homogeneous. They used to have several people of color, several LGBT+ people, and a few women on there. Now it’s all white guys and a single white woman.
    […]
    Some have taken the idea of, “Okay, things are bad but we need to change it from within.” Some of them have now left, and they noted that after the original people left, there was interrogations, […] grilling them over their loyalties to the ones who walked out versus the ACA in its change of stance on Woodford. Made to feel incredibly unwelcome. Last night, they had some elections, during which one of the questions was, “Do you support the original statement or the revised statement,which apologized to Woodford?” If they supported the revised statement, they were given pretty much a pass. If they supported the original statement, they were dragged over coals for it.
    […]
    (52:26): the people who walked out on the ACA. Their grievances will need to be heard. The hostile work environments that’ve been formed as a result of this, the abuse they received, the fact that so many are affected in their mental health, etc. I don’t even know if it is possible to save the ACA.

     
    * From a cursory check, I was unable to find the end-of-moderation directive to permalink it. It may not have been public.

  317. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Rationality Rules – Debunked (4:42, May 20th)

    […]
    if all I had received was criticisms that were prefaced with accusations of transphobia, then – since I am not, and have never been, transphobic – I probably would’ve moved on before getting to any substance. So to those who were respectful, thank you. Thank you for your charitable listening.
    […]
    Now, a great many of the trans community have reached out to me both privately and publicly to make clear that they were not hurt by my previous video and that they certainly didn’t find it or me to be transphobic.
     
    But my apology of course, goes out to the whole of the trans community. Please know that I am truely and sincerely sorry for the mistakes that I made. Mistakes happen, and they’re a critical component to learning as an individual and as a collective. But some mistakes are more hurtful than others. My failure to cover the effects that HRT has on trans women was a pretty huge and embarrassing blunder. But my lack of sensitivity and endorsement of extremely insensitive statements – and indeed entire narratives – is where I royally messed up. I’ve always tried to be an ally to the LGBT+ community and have always meant for my videos to reflect this. And so to know that my mistakes and hyperbole has likely emboldened some actual bad actors weighs heavily on me, but the weight that I feel is nothing compared to those who suffer at the hands of said bad actors. For what it’s worth, I am sorry for my failure on these matters.
     
    A few days ago, I demonetized the video, updated the title, pinned a comment, and donated all of the ad revenue that had accumulated to the transgender charity Sparkle. And indeed, that’s also where every penny from this video will be going. What’s more, once I publish my new views, I will likely unlist the old video and link to it in the new view published.
    […]

    Comment: RR soon added this below it

    To clear up any ambiguity. While my views have changed quite significantly, I have not done a u-turn. I feel as if I’ve now made clear what I got wrong, and hopefully my apology has been earnestly received. To those of you worrying about me caving to the small, but very loud group of hypersensitive bullies that’re incessantly calling me transphobic, I give you my word… I haven’t, and I won’t. But with this said, I did owe an apology. I really did mess up.

  318. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Objectively Subjective – The Prophesied Non Apology (14:05, May 21st)

    (10:02): “Sorry,” in this fashion doesn’t quite cut it. Perhaps you could actually call your dogs off. Many people are still being relentlessly attacked because of your choice to make that video. You along with your buddies have destroyed the ACA’s social media presence, which was at one point a safe place for the LGBTQIA+ community. The damage that you have done Mr. Woodford will continue for months and years to come. You and your friends might be moving on from this issue, but the wounds that you have left in the trans community, the atheist community, and elsewhere will be healing slowly for a long time coming.

  319. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    A new group was announced.
     
    FB Post: Fabian Elfeld, in the Axp Official Discussion Group (May 20th)

    The recent kerfuffle has led to many people feeling betrayed by the ACA, some of them outright leaving or at least looking for alternatives like this one (which I myself belong to, as well). Others regret the division caused and wish for a return to the time before.

     
    Twitter / Facebook Group: Progressive Secular Alliance

    About the group: PSA’s goal is to start a movement of like-minded secular folks hoping to create a welcoming and supportive environment fostering productive discussion, educating about the harm of religion, and creating a better and more accepting culture.

  320. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Chrisiousity – Rationality or Transphobia (32:32, May 21)

    (3:37): What I want to address is Woodford’s work leading up to his putting out the video about trans athletes and why I believe his issues with transphobia go back some ways. And his assertions about being an ally for trans people all this time is pure nonsense.
     
    I’m gonna show two different videos: [Jordan Peterson’s Truth Debunked] and [Shapiro’s Unactualized Actualizer Destroyed]. In both cases, he’s specifically arguing against their religious ideas. And he takes time to […] talk about his regard for them in general. While we watch, focus on what it is he says he likes about them and the specific examples he chooses to show his reasons for believing them worthy of that regard.
     
    [For Peterson: Woodford says his ‘defense of free speech and biological facts has been truly admirable’. […] Peterson speech bubble says, “You’re not an apache helicopter!” when asked if there are two sexes.]
     
    [For Shapiro: Woodford chooses clips that say, “Why aren’t you sixty? […] I’m not denying your humanity if you are a transgender person. I’m saying that you are not the sex you claim to be.”]
     
    (8:48): In fact, let me show you the whole exchange that Woodford is clipping from so you can see exactly what it is he’s endorsing. […] “No, gender is not disconnected from sex. […] No it is not in the mind. You’re not a man if you think you’re a man. […] I usually say ‘a boy who thinks he’s a girl, or girl who thinks she’s a boy, which is technically what we’re talking about here’.”]
     
    (19:30-31:30): [Matt Dillahunty’s past vigorous objections to racist slurs, and to shaming sex workers. Juxtaposed with laconic agreement with RR and cautioning against rushing to judgment.]
    […]
    I don’t know how to reconcile the Matt Dillahunty from those clips that I showed you with the person who, so far, has done nothing to affirm that he cares about the safety and well-being of trans people in this community here.
    […]

  321. Daniel says

    Thank you for your work, Sky Captain. For your work in chronicling and amplifying the relevant voices in this conversation.

    If trans people say that something is transphobic, the obvious starting point is to trust that they know what they’re talking about. To start by saying sorry (even if you don’t fully get it), sit down, shut up, listen and learn. So amplifying their voices here and in other places is very important, so that they can be heard.

    The same goes for all marginalized groups: they generally know their own oppression way better than outsiders. As an outsider, any understanding must begin by listening to their actual experiences. The fact that self-proclaimed skeptics and humanists don’t get this is almost farcical. But I guess that’s what you can expect from people who turn “rationality” and “skepticism” into a performance, rather than treating it as a painstaking process filled with often painful introspection and doubt.

    Trans rights are human rights.

  322. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Podcast / Transcript: Queersplaining w/ Callie Wright – Matters of the Heart (23:18, May 23)

    (5:53): I’m going to unpack this mess, my conversation with Stephen, and what this can teach us about allyship, and how to make things right when we mess up.
    […]
    (7:23): I get the sense that Stephen didn’t realize he was entering a political discussion. He told me that being trans is just not that big a deal in the UK, and so in his mind it’s very easy to separate the conversation about trans folks in sports from the political conversation around trans identity. [… …] based on what I know from friends who live in the UK, and lots of things happening in the political and social discourse over there, I feel confident saying that he’s just dead wrong about that.
    […]
    (9:10): In our conversation Stephen kept referring to this as a binary issue. “I think there needs to be a conversation, and people seem to be saying there shouldn’t be.” I found it telling that the obvious third option didn’t seem to occur to him […] maybe consider you’re just not the right person to take the lead
    […]
    (16:16): Stephen’s actual mistake was not working to fully understand the cultural context this conversation exists in, and thinking that it still made sense to wade into the conversation as a thought leader with an important and necessary take. Everything that I can point to as being wrong in this situation boils down to that as the primary causal factor, in my view.
     
    At the end of our conversation, I didn’t really get the sense that Stephen understood this. Frankly when you’re this poorly equipped for a conversation, the solution to the problem is not a video where you espouse yet another position on a subject you’ve just barely just begun to understand. The solution is to listen, and to amplify the voices of the people who actually have skin in this fight.
    […]
    (19:33): Ultimately you have to demonstrate your character and intent by an actual change in your actions. Given the apology that was released, I’m not sure I feel confident that we can count on changed behavior in the future.
    […]
    (20:41): my read is that Stephen is a guy who ultimately means well. […] I don’t think he actually hates trans people. But I also don’t really think those are the important questions to be focusing on.
    […]
    in March of 2019, with access to the internet, when you have an audience of over 200,000 people. that level of ignorance is negligent. It’s dangerous negligence that he needs to be held to account for. […] Platforms equal power, and that kind of power comes with a serious responsibility to get this kind of shit right.
     
    His good nature frankly just matters a lot less than people think it does.

    More in the podcast, particularly the generalized lessons.

  323. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * From the description: “[Kendall Hopkins] let me spend a lot of time bouncing ideas and thoughts off of her for this episode.”

  324. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    YT Comment: John Iacoletti, below Chrisiousity’s “Rationality or Transphobia” (May 23)

    Thank you! The ACA board took a lot of heat and was accused of lying when we referred to Stephen’s videoS in the plural. This succinctly shows why we did.

  325. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    A little more detail about the ACA…
     
    Twitter Thread: Progressive Secular Alliance – Summary (May 26)

    In case you or someone you know missed out on details about the current kerfuffle surrounding @RationalityRule and the ACA, here’s a summary thread:
     
    Stephen Woodford made several transphobic remarks in his videos. One video is transphobic as a whole because it is an alarmist demand for trans women to be excluded from women’s sports lest they “destroy” it and it “becomes dominated by y chromosomes”. Still, the ACA invited him to their shows, 4 times, without confronting him about it in any way.
     
    Several people in the ACA including @Matt_Dillahunty confronted Woodford about his video privately, at Faithless Forum and when he was Austin. After the board was alerted about the controversy, Eric Murphy called each board member individually saying that this EOT person was overreacting, that it wasn’t a big deal, that they’ve already spoken to RR and convinced him that he made a lot of mistakes, that an apology was imminent, and that the board didn’t need to worry about it.
     
    After pressure from trans activists and the resignation of all the ACA’s social media admins, they released their first statement, calling Woodford out and apologising for their own behaviour.
     
    This caused quite a little storm. Woodford made a video explaining how mean the ACA was, comparing himself to Galileo and them to the inquisition in the thumbnail.
     
    His fans started brigading ACA social media. The board first decided to not allow discussion on the topic, then to allow it, but only in one dedicated thread.
     
    Then the board decided to order the remaining moderators to cease active moderation.
     
    This lead to a lot of transphobic and otherwise rather vile comments appearing unmoderated in the group. Jamie appeared on Non Sequitur, apologising for the first statement and the “censorship”, laughing about trans people’s fears and pain with Shannon Q and Kyle.
     
    The ACA issued a new statement, also apologising to Stephen and taking back the first one.
     
    That was when I left as a social media volunteer for the ACA.
     
    A new board was elected, which now consists almost exclusively of white cishet dudes (one cis woman), and all the old members who had opposed Stephen were voted out.
     
    Matt publicly supports him and rants around in live chat and on Twitter about how mean everyone is. Actually, many prominent atheists have come out for Stephen, including Aron Ra, Holy Koolaid, Shannon Q, oh, sorry, I guess I shouldn’t do this, because there has been a big uproar about how a small private group of people made a list of those who support Stephen, so that they know where Transphobia is accepted and defended, and where they can feel more or less safe from it.
     
    A screenshot of this list was sent to the people on it by an unknown person, it was published, and caused a lot of anger. It was called a “hitlist” by some, and often compared to the work of the Nazis.

     
    * The thread had 11 numbered parts with two addenda of YT videos, but the chain of replies seems to have glitched and may not be fully visible.
     
     
    I don’t know about live chats, but Matt has said very little on Twitter.
    https://twitter.com/Matt_Dillahunty/status/1126660172796002304
    https://twitter.com/Matt_Dillahunty/status/1127208466416918529
    https://twitter.com/Matt_Dillahunty/status/1128088370058530816
    https://twitter.com/Matt_Dillahunty/status/1132351480911081475
     
    I hadn’t recalled laughter in Jamie’s NonSequitur appearance (#339). He mostly seemed dazed to me. And it took a half-hour to get through to him just why moderation was desired… Ah, I spot checked some laughter from Shannon at 28:30 as he said he was “unbelievably shorthanded in terms of moderation”. For the walkouts, that whole show must’ve been grating to watch.
     
    Regarding the directive to cease active moderation… In the chat during Kevin Logan’s EoT interview (#352), just after 15:45, Janet Reyes said, “This came from Jamie, the president.” She added at 16:35, “There was also a post that dropped the T slur. And they were ordered not to delete it.”

  326. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: TalkHeathen 03.21 (2:17:00, May 26)
     
    Matt and Jamie talk about the situation (1:12:50-1:29:44), then discuss it with trans caller Brenda (until 2:04:19). Followed by trans-denier caller Clay until the end.
     
    Video: Axp 23.22 (1:44:06, May 26)
     
    Matt gives more of his perspective (1:50-32:42), adding a little at the end (1:41:00).

  327. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: RR – The Mistakes of Many on Transgender Athletes (25:30, May 28)
     
    Pinned comment:

    Because of the way in which I’ve structured this video, before getting half-way through it some are thinking that I’ve done a u-turn, and so let me make this clear. I have not. HRT does not sufficiently reduce many of the advantages granted by male puberty (such as muscle mass), and so we are not justified in asserting that the playing field is fair in regards to sports that are predicated on such traits.

  328. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Poly-Ology – Four polytheists watch RR’s “Mistakes” video (2:28:04, May 29)
    – Calon (@yrysbryd) – trans, sociologist with a specialty in criminology
    – Via the Heathen (@avishirv) – trans
    – Rhuagh (@PolyRhuagh) – cis
    – Thomas (@ThomasOfTibur) – cis
     
    Misc excerpts…

    (9:35, Calon): There is no real discussion until you show statistically significant results that somehow trans women outperform normal cis women. And even when you show that, you have to show that it’s somehow relevant. If you do not produce that kind of data, there’s no conversation to be had.

     
     

    (27:29, Calon): Another thing I don’t think he realizes is that his arguments for exclusion of trans people also put a cap on cis people. […] If a cis woman happens to meet those, well now she’s trans, even though she’s cis. […] Oh, intersex we could probably spend hours and hours on. But in short, Rationality Rules would not be able to handle that.
    […]
    (29:51, Rhuagh): Why not make, for example, a basketball league for people who that are somewhat shorter on average instead of longer, which is a big advantage […] sex is just arbitrary at that point.
    […]
    (31:39, Thomas): I do HEMA (Historical European martial arts) […] HEMA’s actually been really good at integrating male and female people

     
     

    (58:52, Via): Almost every trans person I’ve followed and seen on Twitter has been getting attacks from either Stephen’s fans or people in the atheist community who don’t know what they’re talking about – because the only person they’ve seen talking about this subject is Rationality Rules.

     

    (1:05:57, Thomas): I like how Rationality Rules completely disregards any kind of empiricism because he totally discounts […] past runs playing any part in determining if somebody has an actual advantage or not.

     
     

    (1:27:00, Calon): The fact that he cares more about the burden of proof than about [what] his words and his arguments are doing to trans people is disconcerting.
     
    (Thomas): This is one of the few examples in which I think science is a better determinant than [debate] in regards to how to treat people. Instead of treating people like people, and determining in context, Rationality Rules would rather think solely in terms of logical arguments, which may not necessarily correspond with reality.
     
    (Rhuagh): […] I was watching a video of his earlier today in which he specifically stated that he would put the welfare of others above the truth. He’s not doing that here.

     
     

    (2:05:52, Calon): Elite athletes, they’re the only ones that’re important. He doesn’t realize how his argument would be applied to everyone beneath elite athletes.

     
     

    (2:11:06, Calon): As Objectively Subjective points out, that’s a pre-transition picture [of Hannah Mouncey] that he’s using. No, no you don’t do that.
     
    (Rhuagh): That is dishonest as fuck. […] Don’t use it in a way that makes it look as though HRT […] didn’t have any effects on those attributes that he’s talking about.

     
     

    (2:13:28, Rhuagh): Why does it matter how you got the height that you did?
     
    (Calon): Ultimately it doesn’t because, again, we don’t segregate according to height.

     
     

    (2:24:27, Calon): I disagree on some of EssenceOfThought’s tactics. […] sometimes personal feelings get in the way of forcing through useful trans dialogue. But this I cannot fault them on. This was a major fuckup on Woodford’s part.

  329. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    (Continued…)

    (28:53, Calon): Sex, like it or not, is a social construct where we choose to label arbitrary biological parts and things and put them into categories. Something I don’t think he realizes.
    […]
    (1:53:09, Calon): I provided him peer reviewed research that has been cited over 12,000 times. Do people realize what it takes to get a paper cited over a thousand times?
     
    (Via): At this point he’s just being ignorant and belligerant and not doing proper research.
     
    (Calon): And the thing is, I will happily help him in whatever research that he needs. He has a huge audience, and if he were *willing* […] we could spread actual education about trans folks. But this isn’t it. This is doing us harm.

     
    * Calon had mentioned the paper several times on Twitter as having 1200+ citations. Thought they’d misspoken here, but Google scholar says “Cited by 12887”.
     
     
    Article: Gender and Society – Doing Gender (pdf)

    other cultures have acknowledged the existence of “cross-genders” and the possibility of more than two sexes.
    […]
    genitalia are conventionally hidden from public inspection in everyday life; yet we continue through our social rounds to “observe” a world of two naturally, normally sexed persons.
     
    It is the presumption that essential criteria exist and would or should be there if looked for that provides the basis for sex categorization. […] Kessler and McKenna argue that “female” and “male” are cultural events – products of what they term the “gender attribution process – rather than some collection of traits, behaviors, or even physical attributes.
    […]
    we operate with a moral certainty of a world of two sexes. We do not think, “Most persons with penises are men, but some may not be” or “Most persons who dress as men have penises.” Rather, we take it for granted that sex and sex category are congruent – that knowing the latter, we can deduce the rest.
    [… …]
    The categorization of members of society into indigenous categories such as “girl” or “boy,” or “woman” or “man,” operates in a distinctively social way. The act of categorization does not involve a positive test, in the sense of a well-defined set of criteria that must be explicitly satisfied prior to making an identification. Rather, the application of membership categories relies on an “if-can” test in everyday interaction. […] if people can be seen as members of relevant categories, then categorize them that way. That is, use the category that seems appropriate, except in the presence of discrepant information or obvious features that would rule out its use. […] take appearances at face value unless we have special reason to doubt
    [… …]
    We have sought to show that sex category and gender are managed properties of conduct that are contrived with respect to the fact that others will judge and respond to us in particular ways.

  330. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    In the ACA Facebook group, someone asked about board election results. John Iacoletti replied there’d be an announcement soon. Then there was another conversation set in motion by a conspiracy theorist claiming EoT is a cult leader (May 30).
     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156534637288337

    Kevin Carney: What does EOT mean? […] I did not know about EOT.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156534716188337

    Clare Wuellner: I had never heard of RR or EoT before any of this happened. […] EoT had nothing to do with any of the actions that the board took, as far as I know.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156534820348337

    Clare Wuellner: The second statement and the “remove any ambiguity” statement were from the President of the Board.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156535488278337

    Matt Dillahunty: Wow. The delusion and dishonesty are staggering.
     
    The current board voted for the original statement… voted to retract that statement… voted to remove moderation and read, discussed and approved a draft of the replacement statement.
     
    EoT’s video is what brought all of this to the attention of the board (it’s telling that “as far as” Clare knows… it had no effect)…albeit indirectly. Something the board would have known had they bothered to talk to those of us actually involved rather than making decisions without all the information.
     
    Let’s stop blaming the new board (which can take no action until June) and trying to pawn things off on the president.
     
    It speaks volumes that the same board voted to retract a statement that some of them claimed to stand by at the elections after they voted to retract it.
     
    You don’t get to fuck up and then try to pass the buck.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156535546828337

    Fabian Elfeld: Matt Dillahunty what happened to you?
     
    I never really liked you, but … You were not always this, were you? Or did I just not notice because I never experienced you behaviour in such a situation?
     
    Or are you not the real Matt? But your profile seems genuine, and I saw you on Talk Heathen and Atheist Experience. So …
    *Sigh*
    [… some back and forth w/ Matt …]
    Well I guess you usually didn’t come across quite as pompous to me, and with a little bit more humour and self-irony or something.
     
    But you do you. I realise you’re under no obligation to project a picture I like.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156535563928337

    Kevin Carney: Matt Dillahunty This statement on your part I agree with. I own the fact that as an ACA board member I screwed up in agreeing with issuing the initial statement. That’s on me.

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156535916448337

    John Iacoletti: No Matt. I was the one who said I stood by the original statement and I did not vote to retract it. Speaking of propagating misinformation..

     
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/18852453336/permalink/10156532520963337/?comment_id=10156533790963337&reply_comment_id=10156536311538337

    Matt Dillahunty: John Iacoletti I didn’t say the vote was unanimous and your stated reason for not voting the retraction was because of the clause to retract without concern for a replacement. And you were the only no vote… and you were not the only one to express that you stood by the original… perhaps the only one at the election.

    I actually agreed with your stated reason for voting no… but the fact remains that all of the decisions were made by the same board (apart from the fact that some board members were surprised by the original statement)

  331. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: GodlessBitches – 05.11 Intersectionality, What Does It Mean To Be An Ally? (1:32:31, Jun 1)
    – Clare Wuellner, Jen Peeples, Tracie Harris, Serafina Smith, Mandisa Thomas
     

    (8:29, Sera): this is my personal opinion. [RR] didn’t need or deserve an apology [from the ACA]. I’ve seen that maybe he’s learned a bit about trans medicine and perhaps about checking his facts better in that time, though maybe not much about checking his privilege. But whatever he may have learned – which I’m glad for – he learned at the expense of a lot of people who are already less privileged and struggling more than he was. For me personally, I’m sad about recent events. I’m sad about the people the ACA’s losing. I’m sad that some people in spaces, both physically and online, where I once felt at home no longer feel truly safe for me. And I’m sad because I’m reminded how very tenuous and conditional allyship can be. […]
     
    (Tracie): I am personally sorry that you don’t feel safe in those spaces, and I totally understand why. I can’t go into those spaces anymore either, because I get angry. I don’t feel unsafe, but I feel angry. […] Especially when you have people in an atheist community who are gathering to be away from a dominant culture of religious intrusion and oppression, who then turn to somebody like Sera and people like Sera and say, “Why do you need these safe spaces?” It is such a lack of self-awareness.

     
     

    (36:35, Sera): It’s really easy to get defensive about this sort of thing because ya don’t wanna feel like you’re hurting people. Ya don’t wanna feel like you’re the bad guy. And you do wanna feel like the ideas that you already have about the world are correct. And unfortunately they’re not. They are absolutely teeming with privilege. You’re just taking that as the universe as it is, when it’s actually the universe as you’re narrating to yourself.

     

    (39:13, Jen): Right now, there’s a lot of people in atheist communities who’re calling for civility when dealing […] with issues that don’t affect them. And I think that’s one of the most corrosive things out there, to insist that everyone remain calm and civil while we have this intellectual debate about people’s right to exist and engage in public life. It’s absolute bullshit.

     

    (51:16, Mandisa): White folks, especially cis white folks, do not have to have an opinion or to be the spokesperson for everything and everybody. You can sit back and shut up. Some people just feel like they absolutely have to say something all the time, and that’s when they put their foot in their mouths.

     
     

    (55:11, Clare): [I] reached out to as many endocrinologists as I could get on the phone: Planned Parenthood, the University of Texas has a very large and strong women’s and gender studies scene… I wanted to talk to somebody who actually knew. […] Unfortunately nobody got back to me in time. […]
     
    (Tracie): […] There’s been no sports authority coming and saying, “As an atheist, what do you think of this?” Because we can’t make a determination until you guys decide what’s right here. Our opinions could not be less relevant.
     
    (Clare): Unless you’re an endocrinologist or an academician studying these things, you don’t know, anything. Here’s why I wanted to go to an actual expert. […] Everything you see in a scientific journal is 5 years old. […] The people who’re saying the jury’s out… Yeah, the meta-studies say the jury’s kinda out. That doesn’t mean that’s all we know.
     
    (Tracie): […] As far as I know, they’re not testing bone density to make levels in MMA […] So then, if a woman wants to compete, and they’re saying, “Whoa this woman has better bone density,” or something… Okay, that’s just a fact. How is this a disqualifier?

     
     

    (1:29:27, Sera): The moment that you are using “ally” as an identity […], you are stepping away from being an ally. It’s a short step, once you’ve turned in that direction, to use it as a defense instead of a motivator. Being aware of that is the first, most important step. Beyond that, instead of taking the microphone, *being* a microphone. Being an amplifier for the voices of the people you want to support, instead of making it about you.

  332. paxoll says

    Wow, so much of those quotes are intellectually dishonest and offensive. When your arguments are ad hominem (i.e. you are a male, or cis, or white, therefore your argument and participation in the argument is invalid) you have failed not only in your position, but in any justification you have in your standing.

  333. indianajones says

    Actually paxoll, this is a rare case of ad hominem not being ‘intellectually dishonest and offensive’. With such a tiny minority being so brutally persecuted so often and in so many ways, shutting the fuck up and letting trans people speak is actually not a bad default. You don’t have to stay at that position of course, but treading very very carefully should you stray from it is sound advice indeed I think.

  334. paxoll says

    An ad hominem is intellectually dishonest always. It is offensive in pretending to not be. I also did not make that claim anyway, I said the quotes are intellectually dishonest and offensive, the claim their arguments are ad hominems is a completely separate claim.

  335. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: EoT – Rationality Rules Screws Up The Science On Trans Athletes, Again (41:39, Jun 5)
     
    Pinned comment:

    If you believe Rationality Rules’ latest trans athlete’s video fixed the many scientific errors he made in his original, you would be wrong. Not only does Woodford fail to tackle many arguments, he makes the same basic mistakes when reading studies.

     
     
    Video: EoT – Rationality Rules Is No Ally To The Trans Community (27:58)
     
    Pinned comment:

    Now that the science of Woodford’s video is out of the way, it’s time to tackle his opening which sets out to mislead his viewers about what happened. We also discuss AronRa defending Woodford’s video as not transphobic without ever watching it.

     
    * Eot’s response ran long and was broken into two parts. Originally both were to be published this weekend, but they were completed early, and there was popular demand for immediacy. The second is currently unlisted, scheduled to appear on the weekend, as a reminder for those who couldn’t find the time during the week. For viewers who’d rather not wait, the first part directly links to the second.
    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1135641423217188867
    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1136042738078457856
    https://twitter.com/EssenceOfTweet/status/1136283502578507776

  336. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Comment: Axp 23.22 – John Iacoletti #400 (Jun 5)

    Ok, I’ve reached my limit with complaints about Kafei. He has been blocked.
     
    Note that Tracie, Jen, and I have left the show and the ACA, and therefore the blog as well. If the new board decides that it wants to continue the blog and/or subject it to any form of moderation that will be up to them.
     
    You can reach the board president at president@atheist-community.org. The john@atheist-community.org address will soon no longer exist. Thanks to everyone for your participation. I’ve enjoyed reading your feedback and hope to see you in some capacity in the future.
     
    John

  337. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    FB Comment: John Iacoletti (Jun 6)

    Well apparently I blew up Facebook. I should only speak for myself, so I’ve edited the blog post. Others may have already made their own statements on their own social media.
     
    After 13 years of working on the Atheist Experience and 6 years and 51 episodes of being a rotating cohost, I’ve decided to leave the show.
     
    I’m grateful for the support and feedback that I’ve gotten over the years, and all the great calls and discussions.
     
    Thanks to everyone, and I hope to see you again soon in some capacity.

     
    Comment: Axp 23.22 – John Iacoletti #400, revised

    Note that I have left the show and the ACA, and therefore the blog as well.
     
    [edit: I should only speak for myself]

    * The edit was to remove “Tracie, Jen, and” and add the footnote.

  338. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    YT Comment: Kendall Hopkins, below her video in #340 (written 2 weeks ago)

    [The board apologized to RR] and I wholeheartedly disagree with their decision and have since left the ACA.

     
    In response to someone else asking what she thought of the retracting…
     
    YT Comment: Kendall Hopkins (2 weeks ago)

    To say I’m upset about it would be an understatement.

    […] In my humble opinion, RR was not vilified, but rather called out for his transphobic behavior and language. And that’s the issue that I have. The ACA is pussy-footing around the word “transphobic” in order to spare the feelings of RR’s followers.

     
     
    She also corrected a line in her video (10:15): “One thing I did discuss during my brief conversation with him was that… I understand that in the UK, where Stephen is from, they might be ready for a conversation like this because largely their politics are a hell of a lot better than ours here in the US.”
     
    YT Comment: Kendall Hopkins (2 weeks ago)

    After having spoken with many trans folks from the UK, it has become clear to me that even most areas there are not ready for this conversation either. Had I known that, I would not have included it in my video.

     
    See also: Callie Wright’s similar interaction with RR in #358.

  339. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I learned how to precisely date YouTube comments through the API. Inconvenient.
     
    Kendall wrote she was upset on May 18, circa when the ACA Clarification was amended with the apology in #349. Kendall wrote on May 20 that she had already left.

  340. bodbod says

    Just watched Godless Bitches. So much hatred in that room. Obviously the standout takeaway from the show being that non-trans people shouldn’t speak for trans people but rather should let them speak for themselves. As well as being a vile and inacurate thing to say – (the people to talk about it being anyone with something sensible to say and not being excluded by sex or gender – tut!). Also ironic as 3 of the hosts talking about it for an hour and a half were not trans.

    Also I may be wrong because it’s hard to follow everything that’s said but Jen refers to their right to be angry because people are having a philosophical argument about their right to exist? Is anyone saying that? As far as I can see there’s only been a discussion about the sports implication and the rest is fabricated outrage, but again, apologies if I’ve just missed it.

  341. paxoll says

    @bodbod
    I agree, no one here or on the aca facebook page (as far as I’ve seen) has been denying trans rights or right to exist. That being said, one thing you see all over the place is conflating sex and gender. Now, this could be a simple colloquial mistake, or it could be ignorance, or it could be bigoted assholes who think transgender are “mentally ill people who don’t understand biology”. WAY too often, I test the people who say things like “biological women”, “natural” women, or women’s sports. I tell them they should use the proper words to make their argument clear since women is a gender, and a social construct making the terms they are using make no sense like saying biological religion, or natural religion. I tell them to use the terms for sex such as female because they are conflating the two. I then link them to the APA website on transgender that explains the difference between sex and gender. Most of the time they respond by saying there is no difference, and a “man is a human male”, ect, ect. Which demonstrates they ARE denying transwomens existence, they ARE being bigoted morons. As you can see I had to do that multiple times here and got close to the same results.

  342. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: EoT (Jun 13)

    […] I think it also challenges the ignorant attempts by some people to pretend like female athletics consists of one body shape that will be out competed by trans women.
    ” ” ”

    these pics really make u see how boring and uninspired character designs for girls in cartoons and videogames are
     
    [Pictures of a variety of female athletes in a line-up]

    ” ” “

  343. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: RR – Do Transgender Athletes Have an Unfair Advantage? (Jun 15)
     
    Pinned comment:

    The most astute among you might be thinking “Wait… didn’t Steve make this video a month or so ago?” and the answer is “Yes.” However, it’s since been delisted due to primarily the narrative being too easily leveraged by some people who were (and still are) attacking trans people. This video can be considered the remake, and I’ve done my utmost best to illustrate that this is not about people’s rights, it’s about *what constitutes fairness in sport*. You, me and everyone else have the right to compete in sports, but that doesn’t mean that we have the right to compete in any division we want.
     
    The “women’s category” is, in my opinion, poorly named given our current climate, and so I’d elect a name more along the lines of the “Under 5 nmol/l category” (as in, under 5 nanomoles of testosterone per litre), but make no mistake about it, the “woman’s category” is not based on gender or identity, or even genitalia or chromosomes… it’s based on hormone levels and the absence of male puberty.
     
    Whatever your views on this topic, please don’t be a dick. I get that it’s an emotional topic, but don’t attack trans people for who they are, and don’t call everyone a transphobe – such conduct is unacceptable.
    It helps no one.

     
     
    Tweet: EoT (Jun 15)

    I just saw @RationalityRule had a new video out and decided to glance over the references. I REALLY hope this one is used ironically since it’s a US Christian funded group in the UK that puts out transphobic propoganda. It’s called AstroTERFing;
     
    [Screenshot highlighting “Fair Play for Women”]

    To anyone who thinks I’m being hyperbolic, this is how they responded to someone saying if trans women could carry children they’d stop being an organ donor… by grinning at the prospect of them dying of cancer.
    [Screenshots of tweets]

    […] He hasn’t used them ironically. @RationalityRule has gone from quoting transphobic bigots to organisations that grin at the prospect of trans women dying from slow and painful deaths. He’s driving traffic to both their sites and their cause. What the fuck.

  344. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: GodlessBitches – 05.12 Intersectionality II (pre-recorded, released Jun 15)
    – Clare Wuellner, Jen Peeples, Tracie Harris, Phil Session, Adriana Buenaventura
     

    (1:14:33, Clare Wuellner): I am sorry to say that this will be the last Godless Bitches 2.0 show for Jen, Tracie, and Me. There may be a Godless Bitches 3.0, I don’t know, but this round is ending.
     
    This has been an amazing and gratifying experience for me. And I thank you for watching. I hope that what we have offered to you is educational and inspiring. I know that Jen and Tracie challenge me to think about issues in new and better ways, and I hope this show has challenged you in that same way. I hope that what we have presented here has led you to broaden your empathy and to be a better humanist. And remember that compassion can only happen between equals. And one more thing. We don’t need a savior. We’ve got each other. It’s all we’ve ever had and all we’ll ever need. Bye.

     
     
    /Minor correction to my first Sera quote in #367: “people in spaces” should’ve been “people and spaces”.

  345. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    No Link: Phil Session (Jun 15)

    The final episode of Godless Bitches 2.0 begins today at 11am. I am honored to be a part of it with some of my favorite people. This is part 2 of the Intersectionality series with Adriana of Hispanic American Freethinkers – HAFree, Clare, Tracie and Jen. Part 1 aired on June 1st with Mandisa and Serafina gracing the stage, and is DEFINITELY worth checking out and learning something.
     
    By my decision, this will also be my last appearance on an ACA production for now. I’m glad it could be on GB speaking on things that are so important. [a rainbow of tinted heart emojis]

    * Transcribed from a screenshot.
    * Part 1 is at #367 in this thread.

  346. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    The GodlessBitches FB group is no longer accessible. Mirroring #383 here…
     

    Thank You and Farewell.
     
    When you go online to find archived episodes of Godless Bitches, you find early files dating back seven years. This was when Beth Presswood first reached out to some secular associates to see if anyone would support an idea she had for an intersectional podcast dealing with feminism and atheism.
     
    Originally the project included Beth’s associates, Lynnea Glasser, Tracie Harris, and Jen Peeples, and much content was devoted to reproductive rights, gender inequity, and religious oppression in these areas. The project was a labor of love for Presswood, who worked hard, planned well, and reached out to diverse guests to come on and discuss community service, personal experiences, and current affairs tied to the show’s mission.
     
    The show attracted a small but devoted following, and when it retired a few years later, there were many calls for revival. But Beth was ready to move on to new things and handed the branding to the Atheist Community of Austin (ACA), at their request, before leaving.
     
    Calls for revival continued. And eventually ACA did reboot the show as “GB2.0,” including legacy cast members Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples, and the new spearhead for the project, Clare Wuellner.
     
    The reboot had a broader mission, in light of an increasingly oppressive social and political climate. It now dealt with social injustice, generally expressed as oppression and marginalization in at-risk and vulnerable communities. Immigration, racism, sexism, LGBTQA+, mental health and welfare, and more, became topics for discussion, often including expert and experienced guests to helped guide the hosts and audience in navigating perspectives, causes, and influences that shaped these results and the need for change.
     
    The GB2.0 cast has learned much, grown much, and worked in an effort to expand acceptance, support, understanding, and compassion, as well as raise awareness of the day-to-day social injustice that many demographics face in the modern world. If GB has achieved that in any way, for others who have joined us as we traveled down this path, then it has accomplished something truly worthwhile.
     
    With this, the final episode, Tracie, Jen, and Clare will be retiring from the current iteration of GB2.0, with a great deal of satisfaction and gratitude for having been provided the opportunity to do some small part in hopefully making this world a somewhat better place. ACA retains the rights to the GB branding, but please be sure that Tracie, Jen, and Clare will all continue their commitments to work for social progress and welfare as they carry on in new directions in their lives.
     
    We sincerely wish the best for those who have been with us for all or part of this journey. And we thank those who have participated and supported our mission. Please, be well, and always remember: “We don’t need a savior. We have each other. It’s all we’ll ever had, and all we’ll ever need.”

    – Archived Google cache of the post.

  347. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: (Jun 16)

    Rhetoric & Discourse: In the newest version of his references, Steven removed the citation because people pointed out what a shit group Fair play is.
    […]
    To be fair, he does mention that he took it out, so at least he’s not trying to completely erase it.

    EoT: Where does he mention that? He blocked me after I grilled him for it.

    R&D: At the end of the new list. It’s a rather vague statement and I’m still going to call him out on it. [Screenshot]
    ” ” ”

    * I have removed a reference a certain source that I used an image from due to them being bigoted on related topics (thank you for letting me know of their actions outside of this debate).

    ” ” ”

    EoT: I don’t buy it. I think he’s solely done it because he got caught. It’s his job to check the sources he uses, else he could start citing The New Atlantis or the Discovery Institute.

  348. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    FB Comment: Tanjil Wright (Jun 19)

    […] we do have two new mods who are brilliant so I’m not alone anymore.
     
    Paul Arndt and Alyssa Roberts […]

     
     
    Video: Xevaris – RR STILL Doesn’t Understand Sports (13:41, Jun 16)

    (8:06): When we talk about what is fair in sports, we’re not talking about how equal the competitors are. We’re talking about if each competitor has a chance to win. Each competitor isn’t ensured the *same* chance to win, nor should that be the goal.
     
    If our goal is to ensure that each competitor has the same chance to win, nobody would compete in sports. Nobody would watch sports.
     
    (10:01): In nearly every possible example of a rule change in relation to individuals dominating, it comes only after that individual, well, dominated it. […] Sports are about the adversity, about overcoming the odds. […] As long as competition is maintained, meaning that as long as outcomes of sports are not impacted disproportionately, there is no reason to prevent trans athletes from competing in sports with cisgender athletes of the gender they identify with.

     
     
    Video / Transcript: EoT – RR Proves Himself A Transphobic Hack (50:23, Jun 22)
     
    Pinned Comment:

    Not only is Rationality Rules’ updated video on trans athletes a simple rehash of already refuted arguments, but it clearly demonstrates how claims of Woodford simply being ‘misinformed’ and not transphobic lack all merit. It’s time to uphold accountability.

  349. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: Rhetoric & Discourse – RR Doesn’t Understand Science (12:32, Jun 22)

    (2:29): let’s look at all the scientific literature that Stephen cites
    [ [ [

    01 An anti-trans website, later removed from the list.
    14 YouTube videos, to show he can’t be transphobic since others are worse.
    03 News articles, neither scientific nor peer reviewed.
    06 Sports records, reports, etc.
    14 Science-related sources
    – 2 aren’t useful.
    – Only 4 talk about athletic performance.
    – Only 2 of those compare cis women to trans women.

    ] ] ]
     
    (11:17): Stephen comes to this conclusion in the same way that he did the last time: comparing cis men to cis women and by ignoring the actual literature that compares trans women to cis women. To make matters worse, Stephen lies about the content of his studies
    […]
    Stephen claimed that he understood what his biggest mistake was: comparing cis men to cis women, and concluding that this comparison applied to trans women who had undergone HRT. But this new video only shows that he either didn’t understand, or he cares more about bashing on trans individuals than he cares about intellectual honesty.

  350. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Matt acknowledged the Axp hosts who had left.
     
    Video: Axp – 23.26 Matt Dillahunty, Don Baker (2:00:14, Jun 23)
     

    (1:38, Matt): There are four people […] who have left to the Atheist Experience. Some of them have left the ACA to go pursue their own interests and other things. Some of them are still involved in the ACA or taking a break or whatever else. And that would be Tracie, Jen, Phil, and John Iacoletti.
     
    And you might be going, “Holy crap! That’s like everybody except for you and Don!”
     
    Yes, which is one of the reasons why we added [Jenna Belk]. […] People are always trying to stir up drama. I wanted to make it clear […] these people are our friends who dedicated, in some cases, 13 or more years of their life to doing something they love: this show. They deserve nothing but our respect, and thanks, and our best wishes as they go forward to something else. And at some point, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that some of them might come back.
     
    They’re not the first people leave the show [Martin Wagner, Ashley Perrien, Jeff Dee, Russell Glasser.] But in this case with these four people, we have John, who was the treasurer of the ACA for 13-14-15 gazillion and one years. Then you have a former president and vice president in Jen. A former, I believe, VP in Tracie. But definitely a former VP in Phil. There’s been so many position changes over the years.
    […]
    don’t pay attention to the rumors. The only thing that matters is that there were four people who dedicated a huge chunk of their life to doing this show’s mission. They were my friends. They are my friends. I appreciate everything they’ve done. I am sad to see some of them go. The show will continue, and we’re hoping to make improvements […] I can’t possibly thank people enough.
     
    There were some people who were like, “Oh, you left and that’s a bad thing!” No. No matter what your reason is. Some day, I’m gonna leave the show, and my reason is probably going to be: I’m either no longer able to do it, or things have changed so much that what I want to do is now not the same thing as is what’s happening on the show. When that comes, if anybody says anything other than you know, “Thanks for the time you put in. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out,” I’ll be grateful.
    […]
    (1:59:34, Matt): to our friends and colleagues who spent countless years of their lives doing exactly this, thank you.

  351. bodbod says

    To go to all the effort of pointing out how chummy they all are; don’t believe the rumours etc then add the line “I am sad to see some of them go” seemed a bit strange.

  352. paxoll says

    I think the point is pretty clear. They all did a lot for the organization and Matt is grateful for their work. At least one of them Matt feels was no longer an overall asset to the organization. Whatever the rumors are, they likely do not accurately represent why people are leaving and what everyones feelings are.

  353. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Video: RR – Hitchslap 200k (Jun 28)

    (3:55): [Someone] asks, “How are you doing personally after the whole ruckus with being disowned by the ACA? Like, what are you doing to recover from that unexpected backlash?”
     
    […] I have mixed feelings on the topic and indeed the current climate as a whole […] I’m actually working on a video right now in which I give all of my thoughts […] In short however I’m fine, and I’m pleased to say that the ACA has since retracted its statement. And as far as recovery, I’ve received tons of messages from the trans community who have accepted my apology, and that is literally all I could ever have asked for, and for that I’m very very grateful. However there’s a small but very loud group which are incessantly distorting my views and calling me transphobic, and there’s nothing I can really do about that within the realm of being respectful. It’s very unfortunate though because they are hurting the very community that they are claiming to fight for, and that sucks.
     
     
    (12:06): [Someone] asks, “How sorry do you feel for having caused so much division within the ACA that some of the most prominent hosts end up leaving the show? What’s that highly specialized elite athletics topic really that important? Can’t help it, man… Tracie Harris. What a loss.”
     
    The ACA losing Tracie, who is someone that I have always and still very much respect, despite the fact that she’s not too fond of me, is indeed a big loss, and I am very sorry to see it.
     
    However, I do not think that I am responsible for this kerfuffle. Rather, I think that I was the catalyst. By talking to many people at the ACA during my stay, I can tell you with certainty that this division, if you will, has been brewing for a very very long time. The capital of the “left pole” [from which all other directions are right] it seems, is located in Austin. And for years now they’ve had a pretty big grip on it, though not so much anymore. This is why moderators have been deleting comments that don’t fit their narrative for years, so yeah I was just the final straw. That camel’s back was going to break in any case.
     
     
    (13:39): {Someone} asks, “Can you please get on the Joe Rogan podcast? People, please tweet at Joe to get him on.”
     
    Yes. […] Let’s tweet Joe Rogan. I think him and I would have a really fruitful and fascinating conversation on many subjects from conspiratorial thinking, to veganism, and indeed transgender athletes. In fact, I genuinely really enjoy that conversation, so it’s worth try. […] I’ve tweeted him, and if you’d like to see it happen, come and share my tweet. Try and get his attention with me. Perhaps we can we can make it happen.

    No need to watch. The rest were unrelated questions.

  354. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Tweet: RR (Jun 28)

    In reference to my latest video [#392], @joerogan you legend! Any chance you fancy discussing / debating conspiratorial thinking, veganism and transgender athletics? [rofl emoji]

     
    Tweet: EoT – Rogan, again (Jun 28)

    Funny how Woodford distanced themselves from Joe Rogan for blatant transphobia in aggressively misgendering trans people, only to go running back to them the moment he feels like the eye of the secular community is no longer on him.
     
    And I’ve still yet to hear a single peep from the many secular YouTubers who told me to give him a chance. In fact, I think that’s why he feels secure doing it. People like [Holy Koolaid], [Matt Dillahunty], and AronRa have given him a free pass, so he knows there are next to no consequences for his actions. […]

     
    Tweet: Godless Cranium (Jun 28)

    Almost like the ppl trying to raise the alarm were right all along, and the majority of the secular community failed to uphold simple, basic humanist ideals because it was too tough calling out someone they were friendly with. And now they just want it to go away. [thinking face emoji]

  355. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    News about Selina Soule, the student athlete RR featured in his his original video (#272)…
     
    Article: CNN – Complaint says transgender athletes in Connecticut have an unfair competitive advantage (Jun 20)

    challenging the state’s policy of letting transgender athletes compete […] a federal complaint with the US Department of Education […] was filed Monday on behalf of three female track athletes by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a faith-based non-profit legal organization. Only one of the athletes, Selina Soule, was named.
    […]
    The complaint says transgender athletes should be banned from competing in the category corresponding with their gender identity, claiming that allowing them to do so results in “boys displacing girls in competitive track events.”
     
    Allowing transgender girls, whom the complaint refers to as “biological males,” to compete with other girls violates the mandate of Title IX for equal athletic opportunities, according to the ADF.

     
     
    * Article: MediaMatters – ADF turned to Tucker Carlson to announce it’s working to prevent trans athletes from competing (Jun 18)

    Soule has been interviewed on both Fox & Friends and The Ingraham Angle last February, and she was highlighted on right-wing sites including The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal. [Her mother] also recently participated in a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation advocating against transgender athletes.
    […]
    ADF has repeatedly used Fox News to promote its cases and policy positions; the Carlson interview was at least the sixth ADF appearance on Fox this year. […] Carlson and ADF lawyer Christiana Holcomb repeatedly misgendered transgender girls as “males” and “biological males.”

     
     
    * Article: MediaMatters – The extremism of anti-LGBTQ powerhouse ADF (2018-07-26)

    Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is one of the largest and most powerful anti-LGBTQ groups in the nation. The legal powerhouse raked in more than $50 million in revenue in 2016 and has what it refers to as a “powerful global network” of over 3,200 “allied attorneys.” ADF’s influence is widespread. It has played a role in dozens of Supreme Court cases, including ones regarding abortion, religion, tuition tax credits, and LGBTQ issues; it has special consultative status at the United Nations; and at least 55 of its affiliated lawyers, fellows, and former staff served in influential government positions at the state and federal levels in 2017.
     
    ADF is leading the fight against transgender student equality by attempting to sway, often successfully, local school policy across the country that affects basic protections for trans students, including their access to restroom facilities that align with their gender identity.
     
    The group actively works against nationwide efforts across the country to protect LGBTQ youth from the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy. It is also working to prevent LGBTQ people from adopting children by advocating for measures that would allow child welfare agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents, among others. It has even targeted protections for transgender prisoners, who are at the highest risk for incidents of sexual violence in prisons and jails. ADF works closely with other influential and extreme anti-LGBTQ groups such as Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel.

  356. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I covered this in the thread for Axp 23.28. No specific reasons were given for the latest resignations. I’m mentioning them here mainly to establish who’s on the board at this point.
     
     
    Board of Directors (Jun 2018): Jamie Boone (President), Phil Session (VP), John Iacoletti, Eric Pearson, Kevin Carney, Vern Graner, David Oliverio, Chelsea Rodriguez, Clare Wuellner
     
    – Event: ACA Board Elections (May 18)
     
    Board of Directors (Jun 2019): Jamie Boone (President), Megan Bonner (VP), Kevin Carney, Dan Earles, Vern Graner, Drew McCoy, Eric Pearson, Silas Shafer, Kevin Stein
     
    On Jul 7, Matt Dillahunty announced more shuffling of the board.
    – Matt replaced Jamie Boone as president.
    – Megan Bonner resigned from the board.
    – Silas Shafer was promoted to replace her as VP.
    – Maria Senftleber joined the board as secretary.
    – Kevin Carney resigned from the board but will still work with the ACA.
    – One seat remained vacant.
     
    Board of Directors (Jul 2019): Matt Dillahunty (President), Silas Shafer (VP), Dan Earles, Vern Graner, Drew McCoy, Eric Pearson, Kevin Stein, Maria Senftleber, [Vacancy]
     
     
    https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://atheist-community.org/about/board-of-directors

  357. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: ACA Bylaws
    https://atheist-community.org/files/ACA_Bylaws_2018_9_2.pdf

    Qualifications – […] Directors shall be members of the ACA for six months or more prior to election and must be interested and knowledgeable supporters of the ACA’s purpose.

     
     
    Tweet EoT (Jul 9):

    Fun Fact; Drew McCoy (Genetically Modified Skeptic) is not only one of Woodford’s drinking buddies, he also wasn’t an official member of the ACA until after he was elected as a board member this May. […]

    On a similar note, a woman was denied the right to run in the 2018 elections because she only had [4] months of ACA membership under her belt. How peculiar.

     
     
    Tweet: EoT (Jul 11)

    […] John Iacoletti, then (now former) Treasurer & Membership Chair.
    Below is the testimony he has given for my coming ACA walkout video. […]
    ” ” ”

    Drew (McCoy) claimed that he had paid somebody in the control room 30 bucks at some point for a membership, though there was no record of a Paypal payment or a credit card swipe. It would have had to have been in cash, and he would have also had to have filled out a membership form for it to have been a valid membership and then that form disappeared without a trace. I would know, because all memberships went through me.
     
    Jamie vouched for him and claimed to remember discussing the membership requirement for being a show host with Drew. But wait, was Drew even a regular host of an ACA show? In any case, I went through every bit of paper and financial record I had and could find no evidence of this membership ever happening. With the person barred from running the previous year due to only having 4 months of membership, we had all the paperwork.

    ” ” “

     
    Tweet: Janet Reyes (Jul 10)

    Drew couldn’t produce any evidence that he was a member before he was elected. He was asked and could not do so.

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