Massimo Pigliucci doesn’t like anyone


philosopher

Except Dan Dennett, that is. Philosophers are A-OK.

But otherwise, he’s written a remarkable post, a farewell to the skeptic and atheist movement, in which he goes down the line and expresses his distaste for everyone associated with that broad group. Sam Harris seems to have triggered the latest round of dissociations, but he also takes swipes at Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Shermer, Jerry Coyne, Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. Or maybe it’s not so much that he detests them all, as that he considers himself far superior to them.

As someone who has also deplored the idolatry of heroes, to the extent that their flaws are then excused, I kind of sympathize. Except, unfortunately, that posting them all in a giant lump is kind of an indigestible exercise that makes Pigliucci look like he’s just burning all of his bridges. And also because the last recipient of his splenetic expulsion is…me. I don’t know whether to be flattered by an inclusion in that list of Big Name Atheist Celebrities, or be appalled at either being labeled as a celebrity or at the obvious purely personal dislike he expresses.

Last, but certainly not least (dulcis in fundo1, as the Romans used to say) one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet2, and who has lately discovered3 (together with a number of others that I don’t need to mention here4) both social progressivism and feminism (or perhaps he invented them?5), and has immediately proceeded to confuse them, somehow, with tenets of atheism6.

1Because Latin, like footnotes, makes your hatchet job look like a serious scholarly effort.

2Oh you poor naive man. He doesn’t seem to get out much on the internet, I guess. I was surprised to see that some of his commenters actually defend me (startling…I’m used to seeing nothing but hatred, and there is some of that, to a degree that ought to give poor Massimo the vapors. But then, he probably sees the nastiness against me as justifiable). But Pigliucci replies to the rejection of this claim with one line: It’s really not difficult, just pick almost any thread on that blog and you can read it yourself. Wow.

3He also seems unaware of the long history of the blog author he excoriates. No, I’ve never been anti-progressive or anti-feminist. But even if I had been, would moving towards greater social consciousness be a mark against me? This is a very strange complaint.

4It’s too bad. He could have purged even more bile if he’d bothered to acknowledge the existence of all those other little people, rather than just me.

5Even stranger. Why would anyone sensible think I’d invented feminism? I rely on the works of known, serious feminists to improve my understanding of the subject.

6Nope, I’ve never confused them. I’ve argued, in line with what a philosopher ought to think, that accepting a major premise about the nature of the universe has implications, and that atheists ought to think more deeply about what being an atheist means — and not resort to the lazy trope of claiming that all it means is that you don’t believe in gods. To name one thing, denying the existence of a supernatural authority of absolute morality does mean you have to change the way you talk about right and wrong from the default (in Western culture) of falling back on religious authority.

Oh, well. That killed a half hour of my time waiting for my connecting flight at Schiphol, so I guess his post was good for something.

Comments

  1. Saad says

    P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet

    But the “nastiness” is aimed almost exclusively against the variety of bigots (racists, misogynists, transphobes, etc). Is this just another case of tone trolling?

  2. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Wow. These guys really hate you for being a feminist. Tells me what they think of me and the rest of my gender, doesn’t it?

    You (and the Horde as well) have upset the apple cart for these self aggrandizing, petulant, man-children. Things were going so well for them until those pesky minorities started getting all uppity.

    Thank you.

  3. themadtapper says

    Anyone who thinks this place has “nastiness rarely matched anywhere else on the internet” has obviously not internetted very much.

  4. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet

    Saad,
    He never mentions the people terrorizing women. He’s aware of them. He chooses instead to tell us that we are as bad as the misogynist terrorists sending death threats. No mention of how brave the Hordlings are. We’ve exposed the worst abuse, the most terrible fears and I don;t know about you, by I’ve typed while tears hit my keyboard as fast as my fingers did.
    But we’re so much nastier than the people who dismissed, mocked or blamed us. Massimo, (superior human that he thinks he is) has decided that we should have been more polite to those people. What a myopic shitlord.

    Since Massimo clearly reads the comments here:

    A big fuck you from me to you, Massimo. If you’ve read these comments you know how many of us have been blamed for our own rapes, assaults and abuse. We have had our humanity questioned over and over again. Had we been arguing with Religionists making those kind of comments, you’d be fine with it. But we aren’t. We’re arguing with bigots who hate us so much that they don’t even think of it as hateful to tell us when and how we can be tortured, whether it is by rape, victim blaming or forced birth. That you want me to be polite to them tells me what a disgusting misogynist you are. You should be ashamed. You should know better. You’re smug arrogance in the face of the horrific abuse feminists are receiving right now is repulsive. You have no right to look down at us. Your “civility” is what is nasty.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    And speaking of great science popularizers who are very much adored within SAM: Richard Dawkins has actually gone on record as trashing yet another field (besides philosophy) of which he knows nothing, namely, epigenetics: “I am heartily sick of the ‘epigenetics’ bandwagon and almost look forward to the next one, whatever it turns out to be.” [19] Luckily, that so-called “bandwagon” (actually very sound, cutting age biological research) keeps going regardless of Dawkins’ opinion, producing thousands of papers every year and securing tens of millions in funding from evidently profoundly misguided federal agencies. And let’s not go (again) into the exceedingly naive approach to religious criticism that has made Dawkins one of the “four horsemen” of the New Atheism.

    Clues for the clueless: Dawkins is probably not upset about legitimate research into epigenetics, but rather the uninformed popular statements that epigenetics is some sort of revolution which invalidates the “Darwinist” paradigm. Pigliucci, who doesn’t like Dawkins, can’t be bothered to go into such nuances of his position.

  6. says

    (clutches his pearls) Massimo is tone-trolling so hard I am worried that he may give himself carpal tunnel syndrome…

  7. Menyambal says

    dulcis in fundo

    Did he just say that you have a sweet ass?

    Back when I had an ass, about age 27, I spent a week hiding in my room, rearranging everything in my head in regards to my newly-serious atheism. I dunno if that was philosophy or not, but it was damn profound.

    If this joker is any kind of thinker, he must have done some re-thinking. How can he not sort through all the things that the churches teach, and re-examine them for validity?

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Never cared much for reading Massimo in either Free Thought or Skeptical Inquirer. Always seemed overly pretentious, and in love with sound of his own voice.

  9. says

    Never cared much for reading Massimo in either Free Thought or Skeptical Inquirer. Always seemed overly pretentious, and in love with sound of his own voice.

    I listened to his podcast a couple times, but couldn’t take it after the umpty-thousandth time he interrupted and talked over the “host” Julia.

  10. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Is this the blog that must call her, “Miss Jackson”?

    Let’s go one further.

    In the bridge, Janet sings “Cause Privacy is my middle name / My last name is Control / No, my first name ain’t baby / It’s Janet / Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.”

    Therefore, we must call her Miss Jackson Privacy Control.

  11. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Well shit, if MP’s post wasn’t pretentious enough, I had to look at the comments… /cringe

  12. chigau (違う) says

    He spelled PZ’s name correctly and there are no ALL CAPS in his article.
    Just sayin’.

  13. robertfoster says

    Never heard of him. And that, I fear, may be at the heart of his online tantrum.

  14. says

    Wow Massimo, projecting much?

    BTW, lately he’s been getting into a lot of what strikes me as metaphysical bullshit. He’s going down some rabbit holes in search of the true ground of reality.

  15. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    I wouldn’t disavow/say farewell to atheism because of the jerks who also happen to be atheists. That’s what subcategories are for, for “dividing the house of atheism” (I’ll never let that guy live this down, it’s such a fucking stupid complaint) into more manageable, compatible sizes. Pigliucci may have some valid points on some of the jerks (I’d have to read his post, I guess), but then seems to use too broad a brush in response.

  16. karmacat says

    If Pigliucci thinks he so wonderful, why he worrying about what a blog says. Usually a person puts down other people because of their own insecurities. People with narcissism tend to be wreck inside.

  17. ck, the Irate Lump says

    themadtapper wrote:

    Anyone who thinks this place has “nastiness rarely matched anywhere else on the internet” has obviously not internetted very much.

    Just off the top of my head, these places are all much, much worse: the *chans, the slymepits, Reddit, the chat feeds for any game, YouTube

    And those are just the general purpose sites/channels. There are still darker corners of the internet that cater to overt white supremacists and other varieties of despicable human being.

    I understand his statement will be handwaved away as intended to be hyperbole, but…

  18. Scientismist says

    I can thank Dr^3 Massimo for my pseudonym. A decade ago or so, in one of his diatribes in SI against the notion that science could possibly provide any support for atheism (it being a matter of pure philosophy, whatever that is), or that scientific atheism could possibly have any ethical implications, he not only called such reasoning “scientism” but provided the crushing final logical dismissal by pointing out that no scientist would ever want to embrace scientism.

    But, in 50 years of doing science, never once have I heard of a scientific observation that needed God as an explanation (a record that even the Reverend Bayes would likely find significant); and science seems to work only when people make an ethical commitment to acting in certain ways toward their colleagues, like telling the truth (as they see it), and sharing their knowledge — and how do you do that while disparaging the humanity of a good portion of your would-be colleagues?

    So if this be scientism, I must be a scientismist.

  19. nmcc says

    Christ! How bizarre! The worst offender – and the worst example of the reptilian, narcissistic, know-it-all, hypocritical, dictatorial ‘new’ atheist shit that Pigliucci rails against – Jerry Coyne, is let off scot free and is merely alluded to as a ‘friend’.

  20. John Horstman says

    who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet.

    I always considered this place the equivalent of Stormfront or AVfM, so that makes perfect sense. Yup, perfect sense.

    Still, I call foul for his gratuitous use of Latin: it’s not just that he’s using Latin when there are English phrases that mean the same thing – I personally do that plenty and don’t object to it, though others may well be fair in calling my behavior pretentious – it’s that he uses the English phrase and then throws the Latin phrase into a parenthetical statement. For whom, exactly, is that meant to clarify the English? All the native Latin speakers who understand the English in the rest of his piece but not the very common phrase “last but not least”? That’s just pretentious posturing with no possible utility whatsoever; red card.

  21. doublereed says

    Honestly, when I read the post, I thought that you could have written most of it. It seemed to me that his only gripe with you was just a tone argument. In comparison to the rest, it’s practically a love letter to you.

    Considering you’ve basically burned your bridges in the same fashion, I thought you would have liked it.

  22. says

    who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet.

    Of course we’Re the worst. We don’t treat white men like they’re farting wisdom and eternal goodness. We also use words like “fuck”. In connection with white guys. Stands to reason.

  23. Gregory Greenwood says

    doublereed @ 26;

    Considering you’ve basically burned your bridges in the same fashion, I thought you would have liked it.

    Some bridges deserve to be burned, especially when bigots are all you will find on the other side.

    Honestly, when I read the post, I thought that you could have written most of it. It seemed to me that his only gripe with you was just a tone argument. In comparison to the rest, it’s practically a love letter to you.

    Tone trolling is problematic principally as a silencing technique in the hands of people like misogynists abd other stripes of bigot – it is all about eliding the content of an argument by attacking it for lacking some nebulous and ultimately (with regard to the argument’s true worth) meaningless attribute of ‘civility’; anything to deflect attention away from the actual issue at hand. That Pigliucci was so quick to deploy it here is suggestive at the very least.

    He also does more than just tone troll here – passages like this;

    and who has lately discovered (together with a number of others that I don’t need to mention here) both social progressivism and feminism (or perhaps he invented them?), and has immediately proceeded to confuse them, somehow, with tenets of atheism

    Have a distinct whiff of anti-feminism about them in a ‘keep your dirty feminism out of my philosophically pure atheism’ kind of way. Especially when paired with his ludicrous assertion from earlier in that paragraph;

    …one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet…

    That clearly seems to imply that PZ, and the rest of us, are at the very least on a parr with hate sites like AVfM and the haunts of White supremacists or other dominionist extremists, and all because we state our progressive values and support for feminism without being sufficiently retiring and apologetic about it for Pigliucci’s palette.

    Whenever anyone calls for people pursuing a social justice agenda to be quieter or nicer about it (and doubly so when they directly compare them to violent fanatics for their failure to be polite enough in their struggle to be seen as actually human), their motives immediately become suspect to me.

    On that basis alone, Pigliucci’s rant has burned through any benefit of the doubt I might have been prepared to give him.

  24. anteprepro says

    “You got social justice in my atheism!”
    “You got atheism in my social justice!”

    Also: He forgot to mention “defamatory smears”.

  25. anteprepro says

    Okay, so here are the things Massimo doesn’t like.

    First, here is what I think encapsulates it all, in his own words:

    The Harris-Chomsky exchange, in my mind, summarizes a lot of what I find unpleasant about SAM: a community who worships celebrities who are often intellectual dilettantes, or at the very least have a tendency to talk about things of which they manifestly know very little; an ugly undertone of in-your-face confrontation and I’m-smarter-than-you-because-I-agree-with [insert your favorite New Atheist or equivalent]; loud proclamations about following reason and evidence wherever they may lead, accompanied by a degree of groupthink and unwillingness to change one’s mind that is trumped only by religious fundamentalists; and, lately, a willingness to engage in public shaming and other vicious social networking practices any time someone says something that doesn’t fit our own opinions, all the while of course claiming to protect “free speech” at all costs.

    So general things he doesn’t like: celebrity worship, confrontation, groupthink, stubbornness, and public shaming.

    The “public shaming” element specifically starts setting off alarms for me.

    Specific objections to specific people:

    Harris- Looking for easy publicity, arrogant, fails to acknowledge complexity of ethics, anti-intellectual (i.e. dismissive towards philosophy)
    Shermer- Restates Harris, embarassing logical holes in work on ethics
    deGrasse Tyson: Dismissive of philosophy (which “he knows nothing about”), “questionable behavior when it comes to intellectual fairness”
    Krauss: anti-intellectual
    Dawkins: Already quoted at 10 by Reginald Selkirk
    Hitchens: Brilliant, caustic, funny, “who however couldn’t make up his mind about his politics”

    And on Dan Dennett:

    That’s because I honestly think he is a better intellectual than the rest of them combined, and he also happens to be a genuinely pleasant individual. The fact that moreover he is the only philosopher of the group may or may not be coincidental, we don’t have enough data points to make that judgment.

    Massimo is only pissy with the Horsemen because they are insufficiently Logical or do not have the proper amount of esteem for philosophy. And the only person scolded for tone and being Too Political is PZ, and the entirety of the progressive, feminist side of atheism by proxy. Priorities are obviously at work.

  26. doublereed says

    @28 Gregory Greenwood

    I’m not saying PZ and Pigliucci should be buddy-buddy or anything, I’m just saying that here it sounds like he barely disagrees with PZ at all about anything. Especially when you read the whole post, where he really does disagree with people.

    As I said, other than what he said about PZ Myers, that article could have been written by PZ himself. Probably with a much harsher tone, of course.

  27. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    So I guess he’s never been on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Yahoo, the comments section of local news sites, or any Tea Party, NRA, MRA website. Heck, I’ve seen discussions about which bands rule/suck that are way nastier than anything I’ve seen here.

  28. anteprepro says

    doublereed, Massimo’s tone is already disproportionately harsh considering that Massimo is not actually criticizing these people for the reasons they deserve to be criticized. Sam Harris’s Islamophobia and torture apologetics? No, Sam Harris’s lack of rigor in talking about ethics. Shermer’s history of using alcohol as a date rape drug? No, Shermer made the same mistake as Harris regarding morality. Krauss for defending a rapist? No, Krauss for unspecified anti-intellectualism. Dawkins for his anti-feminism, his “mild pedophilia” remarks, his Islamophobia, his statement where he commands women to abort a fetus with Down’s syndrome, and all his other assorted assholery? No, Dawkins for some comment about epigenetics and for not arguing against God properly. Hitchens for being a sexist and a warmongering asshole? No, Hitchens for not being consistent in his politics.

    No, I could not see PZ writing anything like what Massimo has written.

  29. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Is it wrong that I’m proud that people like this think we’re the worst?

  30. says

    I read Massimo’s piece. I think it’s not as long, and more polite than PZ portrays it as. What struck me most was how *narrow* his criticisms were of all the big names. He makes it sound like the worst thing a person can do is make an off-hand comment which happens to disagree with one of Massimo’s pet philosophical/biological issues.

    I am disappointed. I want more sweeping condemnations of skeptical/atheist leaders! Also, Daniel Dennett is awful too.

  31. deepak shetty says

    Or maybe it’s not so much that he detests them all, as that he considers himself far superior to them.
    And when you officially divorced yourself from the skeptics movement what you wished to convey was , that you are superior to the skeptics ? Or when you post say Jenny McDermott’s comment that she is a secular humanist (and more) , but she wont use the atheist label , what she wishes to convey is superiority to Atheists?

  32. gmacs says

    tenets of atheism

    What the fuck are these?

    The only “tenet” I can think of is “I really don’t think there’s a god”. Many of us have decided we want social justice to flow from that. Some have decided not. Many of the latter are utter shitclowns about it.

  33. doublereed says

    @34 anteprepro

    Fair point. He isn’t actually criticizing them for the right reasons. Nevermind, then.

  34. says

    Clues for the clueless: Dawkins is probably not upset about legitimate research into epigenetics, but rather the uninformed popular statements that epigenetics is some sort of revolution which invalidates the “Darwinist” paradigm.

    The same way I get all worked up about the appropriation of epigenetics as a catch-all for claiming that humans completely control our own health and that thinking makes it so.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/epigenetics-it-doesnt-mean-what-quacks-think-it-means

    It’s rather like a nuclear physicist being ticked off by the use and abuse of the term “quantum” by twits like Deepak Chopra.

  35. applehead says

    Hello everybody, I’m new here.

    Aaaand I guess I’m about to make myself unpopular right from the start. Whoops.

    anteprepro @ 30

    Disregarding his specific points about the, harumph, “thought leaders”, I can’t refrain from agreeing with the first paragraph you quoted. The loose archipelago of skeptics and atheists is steadily subverted by schools of thought that repackage the same old retrograde views that plagued humanity for millenia fit for the digital age.

    One of my favorite atheist, scientist bloggers Athena Andreadis puts it more eloquently than I ever could here:

    http://www.starshipnivan.com/blog/?p=8998

    It’s a testament to the twistedness of our times that social groups who pride themselves on their pro-intellectualism, science-friendliness and enlightened thinking like atheists, skeptics and self-labelled nerds praise a willfully ignorant junk science peddler like Dawkins as the Great Champion of Science! and Logic!, and that those same groups can be easily coopted into recreating oppressive, destructive church hierarchies that simply have their names changed, e.g. from “guru”, “pope” or “saint” to “thought leader”.

    What good is atheism if New Atheism made it a rehash of religious authoritarianism?

    https://twitter.com/HeerJeet/status/528697130341646336

  36. Reginald Selkirk says

    Also, Daniel Dennett is awful too.

    Yes. Last December he didn’t bring me the Avengers action figure I wanted.
    Wait a minute… I might have him confused with someone else.

  37. anteprepro says

    Oh, first commenter is a familiar nym: Socratic Gadfly. An Asshole Atheist with all the unwarranted ego of Harris, but with truly reactionary politics and with pretensions of Mastery of All Things Through Philosophy. And also, via a quick google search, a troll that seems quite obsessed with Pharyngula and PZ. I vaguely recall them getting banned at one point, but I don’t know.

    Anyway, links to one instance where Socratic Gadfly’s trolling also led to strife among Stephanie Zvan and JT (who had, at that time, already moved to Patheos)

    Before: http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/06/25/yay-for-support/ (see comment 10 for a little more)
    After: http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/06/26/fuck-your-civility/
    Jason Thibeault looking at the aftermath: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/06/29/pattern-recognition/

    Socratic Gadfly has on their blog 15 posts tagged Pharyngula, 13 for social justice warriors, and the top random tags on the list of tags are:
    anti-communism, Burning the Future, class warfare, invisible hand, marriage penalty, support the troops, white liberal guilt, and black Jesus.

    Puzzlingly, Socratic Gadfly is on Popehat’s blogroll.

  38. A Masked Avenger says

    #25,

    it’s that he uses the English phrase and then throws the Latin phrase into a parenthetical statement.

    You’re lucky you only have to read it. If you had watched him write it, you’d have been treated to the spectacle of a man typing while giving himself a blow job. Interesting, from the “how does he do that?” perspective, but not really something you want to see.

  39. says

    Socratic Gadfly? Holy hell, that brings back memories of my really early days blogging. What happened? I remember him back then as being a fairly straightforward skeptic & atheist.

  40. Reginald Selkirk says

    Massimo Pigliucci is one of the foremost practitioners of credentialism.

  41. says

    Welcome applehead!

    It doesn’t look like you’ll be too unpopular here (i think you might have misread anteprepro, but either way I’m sure many others here also agree with a lot of that paragraph).

    Also, thanks for that great link!

  42. A Masked Avenger says

    OP,

    I’ve argued, in line with what a philosopher ought to think, that accepting a major premise about the nature of the universe has implications, and that atheists ought to think more deeply about what being an atheist means — and not resort to the lazy trope of claiming that all it means is that you don’t believe in gods.

    Strictly speaking, dictionary atheism is not incompatible with becoming a priest. Why should not believing in deity X preclude one from accepting a job extolling deity X for money? Nonexistent deity X doesn’t mind; why should you? In fact there are plenty of agnostics in the Church: look at Mother Theresa.

    Perhaps we should start responding to dictionary atheists with a knowing, “Ah! Like Mother Theresa!”

  43. anteprepro says

    deepak shetty:

    And when you officially divorced yourself from the skeptics movement what you wished to convey was , that you are superior to the skeptics ? Or when you post say Jenny McDermott’s comment that she is a secular humanist (and more) , but she wont use the atheist label , what she wishes to convey is superiority to Atheists?

    Actually, I wanted to say no, but I guess you have a point. Except in the case of PZ and McDermott, is due to issues of ethics and morality. For Pigliucci, it is due to issues of intellectual acumen and proper esteem for philosophy.

    applehead: No, I agree with you for the most part. I would make those same statements. All of that is a problem and it is certainly worth of critique and mockery. I am sure I have before. I just think it is rather telling when people like Massimo make that their sole critique, aside from vague insinuations that either imply disdain for “BOTH SIDES” regarding the conflict about feminism, or implies even further exclusive criticism of feminists for bringing up feminism in the first place. Which is what his specific criticisms goes on to solidify as his stance. I think it is fair game to criticize anti-intellectualism among atheists. I think it is an utter cop out to criticize anti-intellectualism, and then only make vague allusions to the conflict about feminism, and even then only specifically oppose it insofar as a single specific feminist blogger is too political and not polite enough. The context matters here. It would be far more forgiveable if Massimo just ignored or seemed unaware of that context, but by dragging PZ into it, specifically acknowledging the debate about social justice in his critique, he acknowledges the existence of that discussion and simultaneously dismisses it. That is a problem. And I would argue that it is a bigger problem than any of the issues that Pigliucci brings up in his critiques of other atheists.

  44. says

    Giliell @27:

    Of course we’Re the worst. We don’t treat white men like they’re farting wisdom and eternal goodness. We also use words like “fuck”. In connection with white guys. Stands to reason.

    Maybe he’s mad that we excoriate libertarians for their reality-challenged beliefs.
    Or perhaps it’s that we call people who say racist things racists.

  45. Scientismist says

    Hmm — While “dulcis in fundo” is usually translated to English as “last but not least”, it is not strictly Latin, but a pseudo-Latin term that to the ear of a speaking Italian, means “comes to the sweet [at the] end of the meal.”

    Actually […] “dulcis in fundo” is used with the same meaning, with the same ambiguity of the Italian “adesso viene il bello!” (“now comes the fun!”) or “Il bello sempre all’ultimo!” (“The beauty last forever!”).

    Or perhaps “the best part always comes at the end”? — Pieced together from a Google translation of an article in the Italian Wikipedia

    Massimo is showing us that he can be just as ambiguously obtuse as he perceives the SAM (Secularist and Atheist Movement) activists to be, and with whom he no longer wishes to converse (“You’re no fun!”). Now, with a job well done, he will turn to the rest of society, where secularism, skepticism, and political progressivism (including feminism) require no special organizations and dedicated meetings, as they are well on the way to becoming part of the normal cultural landscape… (“We’ll have conversations worth having!”).

    Dulcis in fundo indeed.

  46. says

    Massimo has openly expressed distaste for PZ Myers’ tone for quite some time. For example, I recall in 2013 Massimo wrote “PZ Myers quits skeptical movement, should we care?“. Says Massimo:

    I think the primary problem with the skeptic movement — of which I am and remain a proud member — is that too many people, both among the “leaders” and the rank-and-file, seem to be in it for the sheer pleasure of calling others out as idiots. Typically this contempt is reserved for religious people, believers in pseudoscience, etc., but occasionally we turn the guns on some of our own and shoot just as joyfully.

    I’m curious what Massimo thinks about his past words now.

  47. says

    Re applehead/#41/ and:

    … that those same groups can be easily coopted into recreating oppressive, destructive church hierarchies that simply have their names changed, e.g. from “guru”, “pope” or “saint” to “thought leader”…

    I probably shouldn’t have been so amazed, but I did, in fact, find that utterance pretty amazing. I figure lots of people harbour unthinking attachments to such hierarchy (I by no means except myself), but I’d like to have thought simply typing such a phrase should have set off some (at least minimally) introspective alarm bells, and he might at least have said to himself, right, that can’t be what I mean, can it? (And probably thereafter just have gone with some judicious editing and a more subtle/deniable way of getting to the same place, sure, but whatever…)

    I’m increasingly myself uncomfortable identifying with the ‘News/Gnus’, for at least some of the reasons mentioned. But the main one, really, is that one, exactly. It’s one thing when people simply hostile to the notion that unbelievers should be openly critical of religion, and with absolutely every interest in drubbing organized unbelievers, make that charge, that oh, you’re just disciples of these luminaries. I was always pretty dismissive of that line because I figured that’s part and parcel of exactly that hierarchical thinking. Much like the line that you’re just setting yourself up as your own god, if you’re having none of ours. The possibility excluded, always, that you might simply have none. And yes, never you mind I was a visible unbeliever long before the horsemen made the bestseller lists.

    But yeah, it’s one thing when criticisms come from such quarters. It’s quite another when the self-appointed ‘luminaries’ themselves seem to start thinking that way. That’s when I’ve got to say, umm, thanks, no, you go be whatever the hell you are over there, and far from me. You’re not my leader. You are, rather, more than a bit of a liability, now, thanks so much. In a previous era I used to grumble that the go-to all-purpose atheist spokesperson, frequently, suspiciously, selected by people not especially friendly to atheism, was Nietzsche (he of the garbled semimystical pronouncements), and now I find myself thinking the same of Dawkins.

    I got to thinking, a little while ago: the one thing I really liked about the News/Gnus was simply their insistence on not kowtowing unnecessarily to established religion, with its continual demands for ‘respect’ (read as ‘silence’), not apologizing, of all things, for not believing, not regretting, of all things, that they could not believe the unbelievable. And since this was one of the things their critics continually complained about, they naturally had my sympathy…

    But, really, it’s not like they invented that, either. And, realistically, it’s always hard to say how much that was even about them. Unbelievers across centuries have got it for that; sure, they’ll compare you unfavourably to previous generations (oh, why can’t you people be more like Nietzsche, was not unoccasionally the line, speaking of) pretty much regardless of your actual tone. You will always be too ‘shrill’ as long as you’re not safely dead, as, I figure, the end goal is really just to get you to shut up, please.

    So that’s roughly where I am, now. Shrill is fine. ‘Disprespectful’, by all means. Nothing in the downfall of any would-be pantheon changes this; quite the contrary. The point being: if you wind up in the end only about setting yourself up as the new priesthood, and continuing to defend more than a few of the inequities the old one guarded, thanks, here’s a little of that ‘disrespect’ in turn. As this is, apparently, exactly where it belongs.

  48. anteprepro says

    More on Massimo Pigliucci, via the FTBorg:

    Greta Christina on his comments regarding atheism and abortion:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2014/03/15/massimo-pigliucci-abortion-and-the-scope-of-tradition/

    PZ on a review that accuses Pigliucci of, basically, scientism and poor tone:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/03/massimo-pigliucci-is-so-very-r/

    PZ’s response to Pigliucci tone trolling him re: a criticism of a friend of his.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/04/16/i-shall-be-no-friend-to-the-ap/

    Follow-up:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/04/16/i-support-philosophy-i-critici/

    PZ mocking Pigliucci’s accusations re: the New Atheists and scientism
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/01/24/philosophism/

  49. deepak shetty says

    @antepro
    Except in the case of PZ and McDermott, is due to issues of ethics and morality. For Pigliucci, it is due to issues of intellectual acumen and proper esteem for philosophy.
    Then you havent been following everything else that Pigliucci has written about the topic, The “esteem of philosophy” issue is important when it comes to discussions of ethics and morality because there is a a school of thought , popular among some Atheists that morality is a purely scientific matter.

  50. anteprepro says

    Oh good lord, deepak shetty. The fucking point is that Pigliucci only cares about the handling of debates in general, not actual moral issues. He wants people to respect philosophy and hates “scientism”. We know this. This has been discussed in this very thread. Even if you use philosophy, and appreciate the complexity of ethics, and don’t improperly use science to derive ethics, and so on and so on and so on, Pigliucci only cares about having that discussion in the “proper” manner. It is entirely about logic and intellectualism. Whereas PZ et. al. worry about the treatment of racial minorities, women, the LBGT community, worry about bigotry and ableism and privilege and the various ways we can overlook or even accidentally support oppression. Or, in other words, a set of moral and ethical issues. PZ et. al. criticize and possibly distance themselves from the atheoskeptizoid community at large due to these issues. Massimo distances himself because they aren’t using or treating philosophy the right way, which includes concerns about “discussion of ethics”, but no actual ethical concerns.

    Do you understand?

  51. says

    I am not really a fan of anger and nastiness, but I’m even less of a fan of tone trolling because too often it seems to lead to this pointless bickering about who is the nastier one. Massimo’s essay linked in #55 offers a good example:

    “when I have read Massimo’s site, Rationally Speaking, I’ve been put off by his arrogance, attack-dogishness”
    -Jerry Coyne
    “to be accused of arrogance, attack-dogishness and stridency by Jerry Coyne, of all people, is ironic indeed.”
    -Massimo Pigliucci

    And even PZ in this very post refers negatively to Massimo “purging bile”. Why can’t we all just get along and be nasty to one another?

  52. says

    You do realize that I’m also one of those atheist/scientist types who deplores the dismissal of philosophy by too many of my fellow travelers, right?

  53. screechymonkey says

    Nerd of Redhead @13:

    Never cared much for reading Massimo in either Free Thought or Skeptical Inquirer. Always seemed overly pretentious, and in love with sound of his own voice.

    That’s my conclusion, too, after reading his book Nonsense on Stilts. I didn’t necessarily quarrel with much of the contents — it’s mostly garden-variety skepticism with some reasonable thoughtful attempts to probe at the grey areas — but the writing style is insufferable.

  54. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    So MP criticized our beloved King Poopyhead PZ, but in the same article, also criticized the Infallible Pope of Thinky Leading Richard Dawkins. I bet Michael Nugent’s head exploded. More than once.

  55. anteprepro says

    Siggy:

    And even PZ in this very post refers negatively to Massimo “purging bile”. Why can’t we all just get along and be nasty to one another?

    Thread won.

  56. okstop says

    This is so depressing to read. Within his particular area of expertise, Pigliucci has always struck me as quite good (I used a philosophy of pseudoscience book he co-edited for a class I taught this past semester), and he’s been quite pleasant and even generous in the few encounters I’ve had with him in a professional context. It’s irritating and sad when seemingly otherwise-reasonable people turn out to be raving nutters. And, for some strange reason, it’s quite often about issues of social justice. Le sigh.

  57. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I bet Michael Nugent’s head exploded. More than once.

    I think one of those times was when he realized he wasn’t mentioned. Ignored again.

  58. deepak shetty says

    @P Z Myers
    You do realize that I’m also one of those atheist/scientist types who deplores the dismissal of philosophy by too many of my fellow travelers, right?
    is that directed to me ? Yes I do realize it and I didn’t say you were one.

    @anteprepro
    not actual moral issues
    And I was saying he does – you probably haven’t read his stuff.

  59. says

    If Pigliucci thinks this is one of the worst places to be on the internet in 2015 …. Pigliucci is terrible at the internet.

    Is his post a declaration of a schism-of-one?

  60. anteprepro says

    deepak shetty:

    And I was saying he does – you probably haven’t read his stuff.

    I really don’t know how else to fucking say this.

    PZ objects to the atheist thinky leaders on the MORAL and ETHICAL grounds of being complicit with various forms of bigotry (and in some cases, on the grounds that they are rapists or rape apologists).
    Massimo objects to the atheist thinky leaders on the PHILOSOPHICAL grounds that they aren’t framing their ethical frameworks and arguments properly.

    One is concerned with the real moral and ethical failings, the other is concerned with philosophical failings in the creation of systems for moral and ethical reasoning.

    Sure, both involve “ethics”, but in very, very different ways.

    And this isn’t about Massimo’s collected works, it is about Massimo’s specific objections in the linked article. Speaking of stuff I allegedly have not read, have you read THAT article?

    Are you being deliberately obtuse, do you actually know something I don’t know, am I communicating poorly, or are you just incompetent? What is going on here? If you are going to continue to insist “yes he does, you just haven’t read his stuff”, actually cite fucking something that you think proves your point.

  61. brucegorton says

    Massimo Pigliucci always struck me as a fourth rate hack. Philosophy as a discipline is useful, but credentialism isn’t philosophy.

  62. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    My one interaction with Pigliucci on his blog was one where he threw the charge of ‘scientism’ my way out of the cold dark irrelevant blue. At least I think it was him. I tend not to partake in blogs where the owner tilts at windmills atop their hobby-horse (to butcher a phrase).

  63. madscientist says

    I wish that meant we’d never hear from Massimo again – unfortunately I doubt it.
    For a second there I thought he forgot PZ, but he redeemed himself with a Bugs Bunny ploy – remember when Bugs was reading the list of what’s on the Taz Devil’s menu? He gets to the end of the list and says “what, no rabbit?” and Taz comes along and flips the page to reveal writing in large letters: “and especially rabbit!”

  64. erik333 says

    @48 A Masked Avenger

    Well, there already are plenty of atheist priests. Seems like it would be a lot of work, pretending to believe all the time though? I would personally be surprised if we by some magic means learned that there isn’t significant minority of atheists among televangelists…

    Personally being a card carrying dictionary atheist, I wouldn’t be impressed by the mother Theresa remark though. I’m not even sure what point you’re trying to make that isn’t an own goal.

    Whether or not a god exists has no bearing on morality in an of itself. You have to move way past the lowest common denominator of vague deism into specific doctrins of various narrow sects to get to stuff that does have bearing, but why bother? Until evidence is presented that makes probable a gods existence *and* shows that we should care abouts god’s opinion *and* provides a working mechanism for learning what that opinion is – god is irrelevant for morality.

  65. Lady Mondegreen says

    I’m with doublereed–MP attacked the others on substance (though there were plenty of other, more important points he could have raised, as anteprepro points out.) When it comes to PZ, all he has is a tone troll, and the childish swipe at PZ’s commitment to feminism (“maybe he thinks he invented it?”)

  66. Lady Mondegreen says

    I should clarify that I agree with doublereed here:

    In comparison to the rest, it’s practically a love letter to you.

    @Orac

    What happened? I remember [Socratic Gadfly] back then as being a fairly straightforward skeptic & atheist.

    There’s Socratic Gadfly, probably the person you’re recalling. Then there’s SocraticGadfly, a doctrinaire libertarian who haunts Popehat. Two very different people.

  67. favog says

    @23:
    I’ve been accused of “scientism” as well on occasion. My response usually amounts to something like, “Okay, if you say so. Labeling my position is not the same as refuting it. If you think my “scientism” is wrong, prove it.”

  68. says

    And the annals of history ask with a collective breath that echoes throughout eternity: “Massimo who?”

  69. says

    I’m thinking that along with the Lounge and Thunderdome threads, PZ ought to start a “disassociation” thread in which we can various declare who we disassociate from. Because I want to disown Massimo, Sam, Richard, Daniel, Christopher, Mick, Hemant, JT, Michael, Randi, Neil, Lawrence, f00t, and probably others in no particular order. Because apparently that’s a “thing” now and I want to make sure I’ve correctly demarcated my rifts and I can’t simply mark it with urine because urine tagging doesn’t work on internets.

  70. llewelly says

    Pigliucci was right that Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape was full of logical errors and poor philosophy, but he didn’t seem to think it was a big deal that Sam Harris reached horribly unethical conclusions like the idea that torture could be moral, or that using nuclear weapons could be moral. Furthermore Pigliucci seemed oblivious to the fact that whenever Harris needed an example of horribly unethical behavior, he almost always reached for an extreme Muslim stereotype – even though most of his readership would have been much more familiar with Christian examples, and most of his ideas would have been better explored with something more subtle.

    Pigliucci loved criticizing people for how they argued for their positions, but he seemed indifferent to the effects of those positions.

    And he often wasted lots of time complaining about perceived tone rather than the actual underlying philosophy.

    And the quality of Pigliucci’s explanations was quite irregular.

    I am glad someone already linked Pigliucci’s criticism of PZ for leaving the skeptic movement. That was the first thing that I thought of.

    I read Pigliucci a lot for a while. He did a good job of lowering my esteem for philosophers. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s view of philosophy is unfortunate, but, well, with people like Pigliucci explaining it to the public, what do you expect?

    But I’m happy for him, now that he’s found a way to be superior to everyone.

  71. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Whenever I get called a “scienctismist”, I take it to mean they know that their “philosophy” doesn’t stand up to evidential scrutiny, and they are pissed at being called out. The problem with theology (for creobots) and some philosophyers is that they don’t do reality checks….otherwise, they would understand reality checks help, not hinder, philosophy.

  72. F.O. says

    Philosophy is good.
    It’s philosophers who are huge wankers and give the discipline a bad name.

  73. Dago Red says

    Wow. Not quite the same level of whinging-crank as Michael Ruse was…but its hard not to see the parallels between Massimo and the previous “tantrum-esque” science-philosopher who decided to pack up and leave the building.

  74. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I wonder why people who claim this blog is so horrible never give links to the comments they take exception with. I’d truly love to know what horrors MP has seen here that popped his monocle. Why no citations? Why be so vague? Why not skewer us with our own words?

    Could it be because he knows better than to point out exactly what he takes issue with? Could it be that he knows exactly what an ass he’ll look like if he’s direct in his criticisms of women responding to rape apology and the like?

    He’s not too bright, but he’s knows when to obfuscate his dislike for feminism with vague tone trolling. Too bad he’s overestimated himself. He’s not fooling anyone.

  75. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    The more I read from the thinky leaders, the more I realize that the wannabe emperors are nude. I cannot believe I used to think these people were smarter than the average bear. Some of them could not reason their way out of a wet paper sack with instructions printed on the inside.

  76. chigau (違う) says

    I, for one, am enjoying how many comments are treating Pigliucci as if he’s dead and gone.

  77. tomh says

    @ #87
    Hardly. His last footnote (20), links to a previous post of his, trashing Coyne, the culmination of a long-standing feud between them. The nicest thing he says about Coyne in it is, “his latest post is a rant pure and simple, and has finally closed the book on Jerry Coyne, as far as I am concerned.”

  78. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Last, but certainly not least (dulcis in fundo1, as the Romans used to say)

    Oh Christ, he’s one of those arseholes. Say something in English, and then provide an exact translation in “Latin”, not because it actually adds anything to the conversation or expresses a sentiment that can’t accurately be expressed in English, but just to prove they can.

    Besides which, I am fairly certain that phrase is Italian and not Latin at all, though I suppose it’s possible they could be identical in both languages. Anyone here with a working knowledge of dead languages who can clue me in?

    …who has lately discovered3 (together with a number of others that I don’t need to mention here4) both social progressivism and feminism…

    This is a recent development? Could have fooled me.

    … and has immediately proceeded to confuse them, somehow, with tenets of atheism6.

    Atheism has tenets? No one ever told me. I’m pretty sure it just has moral implications which logically follow from the realization that there is no God, and I’m not sure that’s the same thing.

  79. Henrik Larsson says

    This is an odd debate. I am not sure MP and PZ know how much they actually agree on.
    Can someone please arrange for beers and pow-wow?
    Can’t fault MP for not having the time to understand the ins and outs of this particular tender and loving blog, but I guess it would be a good idea to not comment on it either then. That Dawkins always seems to need translators who explain what he actually meant seems commonplace as is the fact that unfortunately he seems to typically mean what he says even after translation. Can someone else please enter the podium now.
    Other than that MP does not miss a thing in his piece IMHO and his tone would be a pretty good fit here too actually. I like it. Both content and tone. As MP writes, that SAM is “a community who worships celebrities who are often intellectual dilettantes” is not news to anyone is it?
    Case in point, the recent Harris-Chomsky expose that was truly fantastic entertainment.

  80. Marius says

    Pigliucci is correct in his criticisms of most of the New Atheist figures. Sam Harris in particular deserves all the opprobrium he can get for his horrendous attempts at philosophy – the fact that he’s not generally dismissed as a crank, but feted as some kind of radical thinker for his piss-poor versions of ancient philosophical arguments, reflects incredibly poorly on the New Atheist community.

    The swipe at PZ is strange. I don’t know if it comes from disdain for social justice advocacy or a desire for balance, but it seems disconnected from the other criticisms in the article. There are legitimate philosophical critiques of some of PZ’s positions, but he doesn’t make them. It’s hard to know how much he knows about the context – the more he knows, the worse this reflects on him.

  81. badboybotanist says

    @90
    One of the issues with MP’s post is that he doesn’t address any substantive issues he has with PZ. He simply dismisses this blog and all it’s commenters with his hand-waving tone trolling.

  82. rietpluim says

    @PZ #78 – Since your reply also applies to me (see #71) sorry for not making myself clear. It was not my intention to dismiss Pigliucci by belittling him without argument. I dismiss Dawkins too on some subjects but at least I know who he is. I suspect a case history I’m unaware of.

  83. Henrik Larsson says

    @92
    I agree. Have had some minor contact with MP and he seems like a really nice bloke.
    An uneducated guess would be that I think he maybe does some things based on what others say when he does not have time to get stuff himself. But that’s just speculation of course.
    This blog has a rather specific thing going that many people would not get without proper introduction or the time and inclination to research it yourself.
    I lurk here a bit from time to time and find it quite well-informed and that the groupthink speaks wisely on many important issues where the SAM is often severely lacking. That is if you have time to dig thru the dirt and the blood from those slaughtered here;)
    It’s never as painful to watch as what Chomsky did to Harris though ;)

  84. Great American Satan says

    Beers and pow-wow? No way, it’s time for dissociations and splittings and riftitude, always. Separation! 5evaaa!

    I imagine PZ doesn’t take this as seriously as some angry people around here do; he doesn’t seem at all upset. If PZ and MP met in a dark alley, they’d probably throw the secret Nonbelievinati handshake and go on their merry ways.

    But I think Jackie’s reaction to the very intellectually lazy tone trolling aside MP pulled was as righteous as it was satisfying to read. Fuck that guy.

  85. says

    Jackie@#84 – I wonder why people who claim this blog is so horrible never give links to the comments they take exception with

    Could it be because it’s someplace where they’ve been called out on their bullshit? It seems to me like a fair number of the people who complain about the tone here, may have come up on the wrong side of the commentariat, and are complaining about the tone that was directed at them, because, they don’t have an actual argument.That is the basis for most tone-trolling, after all.

  86. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Henrik Larsson,
    Why? What would be the point of that? Why would anyone want that? We do not need MP. He is not essential. He could have ridden off into the sunset and had he not written this I’d have never noticed him leave. I’m sure not gonna miss the guy. I don’t know why men like you continue to think women want to win these sexist jerks back. We shouldn’t have to put up with this shit. You should support us and be glad when someone like MP wanders off to feel superior to us. Why are you asking PZ to woo MP back? This isn’t high school. We’re not impressionable adolescents worried about our popularity with the “cool kids”. When you say that the differences in a feminist and a sexist who finds ardent feminists who won’t lick men’s boots too much to bear, you are telling me that my humanity is merely a little quibble that PZ should get over so he can sit at the popular kids table in the cafeteria.
    He’s better than that. Please stop trying to pull him (and us) down to your level.

  87. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Marcus,
    Bullseye! That’s exactly the issue people like MP take with this blog.

  88. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I’m so tired of the message people like Henrik Larson are espousing.
    “Hey guys, misogyny isn’t such a big deal. Let’s sweep it under the rug for the sake of unity among smug white guys.”

    I’m gonna go ahead and guess these people have the same attitude toward racism, homophbia, transphobia, ablism, classism etc. They all get a pass so long as the privileged white dudes are still happy. Those same white guys are only happy when the rest of us shut up and sit down. So long as we know our place, we can all have a few beers and get over this silly equality stuff.

    That’s what’s wrong with the world in a nutshell.

  89. anteprepro says

    Regarding the thesis that Pharyngula is non-specifically chastised for tone by those who have wound up on the receiving end of the Horde’s ire in the past, there is this:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/14/dont-tell-people-how-to-feel-about-abortion/

    It would explain why Massimo is worked up about PZ’s “social progressivism” and “feminism”. But I suppose that is too forgiving, in a way. It assumes that the reason for his condemnation of PZ, for these qualities is due to one or two personal slights. That it is merely due an emotional reaction to receiving harsh criticism, rather than Massimo adopting a more “principled” stand against the Horde in regards to ALL of the social justice, progressive, and feminist stances and debates on this blog. I mean, take the man at his word, and don’t give him the charity of assuming that he is just huffy about the posts about himself. Read his words, look at the context, and embrace the clear implication of what he is saying: Pharyngula’s strident defense of social justice makes us the worst of the bunch. I’m sure hurt fee-fee’s play a role, but I would say it plays a lesser role than an overwhelming aversion to Uppity Feminism.

  90. llewelly says

    Henrik Larsson:

    This is an odd debate. I am not sure MP and PZ know how much they actually agree on.

    They agree that Sam Harris and Michael Shermer are douchebags.

    But how they reached those conclusions is entirely different.

    Pigliucci, for the most part, cares about how conclusions are reached, and whether they are advocated with too much rude. He doesn’t seem too interested in what the actual effects are.

    Then, consider Pigliucci’s continual swiping at anyone who expresses any concern for marginalized people of any kind. Anytime anyone actually works to fix a real ethical problem, as opposed to theoretical problem designed to make the math simple, Pigliucci is unhappy.

    That last disagreement is much more important than all the points of agreement, because it has much more effect on people’s lives.

    And it is a sign that Pigliucci would carelessly run over people, and then get mad when they asked for an apology. He’d be a dangerous ally.

  91. deepak shetty says

    @anteprepro
    actually cite fucking something that you think proves your point.
    Essentially – I’m too lazy to use google?

    Here is his view on Hirsi Ali – https://twitter.com/mpigliucci/status/584748881386143744 .

    Here is his view on why the substance of Harris’s Science can determine values is wrong http://www.lehman.edu/deanhum/philosophy/platofootnote/PlatoFootnote.org/Talks_files/Harris.pdf

    Here are his probable views on torture
    https://twitter.com/mpigliucci/status/542388815164223489
    https://twitter.com/mpigliucci/status/559823101413060608

    You do know that he identifies as a progressive liberal, right?
    It’s true that one of his disagreements with New Atheists is what people on this site would characterize as tone trolling (people on the other side would characterize it as – it is unethical to abuse humans merely because you dislike some of their views – e.g. Michael Ruse of Michael De Dora).

  92. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    You do know that he identifies as a progressive liberal, right?

    I can identify as a coffee table if I like. It won’t make me one. Brogressives and fauxgressives are a dime a dozen and they are nothing but dead weight.

    t’s true that one of his disagreements with New Atheists is what people on this site would characterize as tone trolling (people on the other side would characterize it as – it is unethical to abuse humans merely because you dislike some of their views – e.g. Michael Ruse of Michael De Dora).

    Abuse? Dislike? Please elaborate. I don’t understand. Who is being abused?

  93. anteprepro says

    Also, despite bring up specific examples of “anti-intellectualism”, Massimo really is, and has mostly always been, focused on tone.
    From 2011: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/12/28/were-meddlesome/

    How he ends the current article:

    Where to next, then? Toward a true integration and a dialogue (as opposed to a shouting match) with the rest of society, when we will not need special organizations and dedicated meetings, because secularism, skepticism, and political progressivism (including feminism) will be part of the normal cultural landscape, embedded by default in ongoing discussions on how to make this a better world. That’s where my target audience is now: I’d rather have a productive conversation with an intelligent Christian than a frustrating one with an obtuse atheist, and believe me, there is plenty of both out there.

    Also, here is a rather interesting spectacle: http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2011/12/jerry-coyne-loses-his-cool-dawkins-his.html

    deepak shetty:
    Yes, essentially you are too lazy to use google. Or read what I say.
    As for your citations: Why is his view on Hirsi Ali relevant here, because she is NOT mentioned in his current article. At all.
    For that powerpoint presentation: Wow, he fucking presents a picture of female genital mutiliation in such a cheeky manner. Great work at lowering my opinion of him. But also it proves my point: He is focused on the perceived logical flaws in Harris’s arguments about morality. He is not concerned about the actual moral issues. There is NOTHING in there objecting to Harris’s immoral views, or to the immoral things that could happen if you subscribe to Harris’s bad arguments. He is exclusively focused on the bad logic, for the sake of criticizing bad logic alone. He does not care about the moral consequences. How many times do I have to fucking say the same fucking thing to you before it gets through your thick fucking skull?

    Yes, Massimo, unlike Harris, opposes torture (to some degree). I never said he didn’t. I said that his focus, when criticizing the New Atheists, has never been about the immorality of their positions or treatment of other people. The focus in the links you provide, and the actual article we are fucking talking about, is on atheists making bad arguments or being dismissive towards philosophy. That is virtually it, aside from the objection to PZ.

    Do you understand yet? My bets are on “no”, because for some reason, you are consistently incapable of understanding anything when you post on this blog. But at least you are consistent.

  94. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    A philosopher who finds anything but the most lukewarm responses to bigotry offensive and thinks that makes him superior to the people actually facing bigotry in their daily lives? When did being dispassionate in the face of injustice start to equal wise or moral? When did denial and apathy become something embraced by “great minds”? This is a luminary? This is someone we’re supposed to be sorry to see leave?

    What a waste of an expensive education.

  95. anteprepro says

    There seems to be an epidemic among philosophers who demand every discussion about every topic be performed as Ivory Tower Intellectuals, reclining in chairs and gingerly smoking the finest of cigars, speaking as if their conversation is about to be transcribed and published as a college textbook, where all parties must be relaxed and emotionally detached and the first person to display an emotion fails the Vulcan Test and is immediately disqualified from the match while the other haughtily chuckles about how irrational they are. The only insults permitted must look as if they could be pasted into any of the works of Shakespeare, and cussing is only permitted in the smallest doses. And, of course, calling out or labeling of bigotries is strictly forbidden, as those acts strictly of the uncouth.

    Basically, a whole lot of philosophers seem to think that the only way to discuss, converse, or debate is the way that they do in their philosophical tracts, treaties, journals, papers, and formal debates. The real intriguing part is when whole swathes of non-philosophers nod along in agreement.

  96. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    We should start calling this the Schlafly fallacy. That’s when women are told to be nicer to sexist men lest they lose the privilege of spending more time with sexist men.

  97. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    anteprepro,
    Absolutely right. They are accustom to everything happening on their terms and those terms include them never experiencing strong criticism, let alone daily bias or oppression. Benign pain is still pain other people feel. Complaining about pain is bothersome to those not feeling it. They’d rather not hear it. They certainly can’t be bothered to do anything about it other than chat politely and conclude they are smarter and better than everyone else for not being so upset by it.
    After all, it’s such a small thing for mere women and minorities to be in pain or danger. It’s not big deal that bigotry kills because it will never kill them. They are safe. They can afford to be polite to the abusive and oppressive. They have no dog in this fight. If atheists in America were raped and killed at the same rate as women (especially trans women) and poor black people these thinky kings would call it a war. They’d be up in arms with a quickness and they would cheer at every “Fuck you” they read.

    It’s about mind over matter. They don’t mind and we don’t matter.

  98. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I did that thing. I erased black women with my wording. I’m so sorry. Gonna work on that.

  99. okstop says

    @108 and 110:
    How right you are, and I have a lovely little story that illustrates it. Some of us from the department I was with at the time were in a training session to be certified as LGBTQ resource people for the school. It was a subject we all felt passionately about, but during a Q-and-A part of the program, one of us started to ask questions that were drifting more in the direction of doing analysis of the concepts involved – “oppression,” “microaggression,” etc. Now, the person in question was in no way trying (emphasis on “trying”) to diminish the experiences of the people leading the session (much less the people we were trying to learn to be allies for), but it just wasn’t the time or place for analysis. His actions had the effect of removing the discussion from the realm of real, lived experience and into the realm of abstract debate. That, in itself, was a microaggression, albeit a wholly unintentional one; it’s just how he’s trained to think about stuff. I was very proud of our chair, who quietly slipped him a note that read, “Stop being a philosopher for right now.”

    I’ve often said in my ethics classes that sometimes, for some subjects, we have a moral obligation to show moral approbation. If someone got up at a conference and gave a talk about the technical questions involved with the mass slaughter of Jewish people in WWII without ever acknowledging the awfulness of the act itself, that alone would be morally blameworthy (it might be objectionable even with such an acknowledgement, but that’s another issue). One CAN do philosophy about anything… but one shouldn’t ALWAYS be doing philosophy about things. Sometimes, direct, HUMAN engagement is socially and even morally required. Sad that Pigliucci, who is a very bright man, cannot see that.

  100. anteprepro says

    Jackie:
    I agree, the feeling of safety probably is a key part of it. It is because they afford to be civil, but they also just have so much privilege, are so much above it all, that they do not FEEL the urge to actually get emotionally invested, and are above so much that they really do feel that civility and decorum are important than pursuit of justice.

    It’s about mind over matter. They don’t mind and we don’t matter.

    I might need to steal that one.

    Okstop:
    That’s a great example. I think the key is that context is important and that sometimes those who are pre-occupied with making everything Nice and Logical overlook the issue of how those questions and quibbles appear to other people, and the kind of implicit messages sent when you are trying to split hairs or play around with definitions when discussing emotionally charged aspects of other people’s actual lives.

  101. unclefrogy says

    if this fellow considers himself to be a liberal and a progressive I would have to say that he represents what is wrong with liberal progressive politics today. he sounds about a liberal as Dick Nixon to me or should I say a centrist democrat (same thing).
    uncle frogy

  102. Henrik Larsson says

    Jackie the social wizard @99
    You assume quite a bit. Also not sure what it is you feel I am espousing, but what I actually wrote was that both MP and PZ seem like people who want to do good and might in some ways have more in common with regards to the movement than they think. That´s all. I seem to have missed the memo where MP is officially branded an obvious sexist pig and misogynist.

  103. tkreacher says

    Henrick Larsson @115

    Jackie was addressing your words directly.

    That you have overlooked what Jackie, and others, have been saying in regard to your words is telling.

    That you minimize what they have said into having “missed the memo where MP is officially branded an obvious sexist pig and misogynist” instead of actually recognizing or refuting what they have said is also telling.

  104. deepak shetty says

    @anteprepro
    I said that his focus, when criticizing the New Atheists, has never been about the immorality of their positions or treatment of other people. The focus in the links you provide, and the actual article we are fucking talking about, is on atheists making bad arguments or being dismissive towards philosophy.
    So for e.g. if he opposes torture or war and has written on it , you also need him to specifically call out New Atheists who support war/torture.?
    He opposes war/torture and he opposes specific things about New Atheistsin addition – so when he writes about N.A’s he’s likely to only discuss those additional things (tone , scientism, excess arrogance etc). When he talks about things not restricted to N.A.’s (like being pro-war ) there is no reason for him to refer to New Atheists.

  105. Henrik Larsson says

    That is silly.
    @99:
    “Hey guys, misogyny isn’t such a big deal. Let’s sweep it under the rug for the sake of unity among smug white guys.”

    That’s not addressing my words. I did not write that. What it is is a blatant strawman complete with quotation marks.
    I was serious when I wrote I have not seen the quote where MP is an obvious sexist.
    Maybe he is but I have not seen it, and I have read a fair amount of MP:s stuff.
    I don’t think he is the enemy. I could be wrong. I often am.
    Ah well.

  106. tkreacher says

    Henrik Larsson,

    And everyone who has explained why MP’s attitude is the same old same old “sit down and shut up” tone-trolling bullshit trotted out again and again and again against the “unmatched nastiness” of feminist and feminist supporters who dare to be fucking angry and speak their minds… their words elude you?

    That he doesn’t only take issue with the sexism or misogyny of anyone he takes issue with, but *takes pains to single out* the feminist “nastiness” of this blog in particular eluded you?

  107. tkreacher says

    @me 119

    “That, not only doesn’t he take”… I mean to say he doesn’t take issue with the sexism of his targets.

  108. Henrik Larsson says

    Thanx for your reply tkreacher.
    What people write of what they think is the attitude of MP is their opinion and that is obviously fine.
    Words don’t elude me at all, I just happen to have read quite a bit of Massimos writing and am a bit surprised about his misogynist label here.
    He is perhaps a bit of a prickly teacher type sure. But I simply have not seen the misogynism in his writing. In this thread. Or ever. Does not mean it’s out there somewhere I guess. But I would need to see it. But we can leave it. Massimo can defend himself I am sure if given the chance.

  109. okstop says

    @113
    anteprepro, I want to steal this way of putting it – “the kind of implicit messages sent when you are trying to split hairs or play around with definitions when discussing emotionally charged aspects of other people’s actual lives” – and bronze it. Or at least use it in class.

  110. Okidemia says

    Henrik Larsson,
    If you’ve read MP pieces out of curiosity, and found them interesting, that’s fine. At least with me :)
    I remember enjoying one or two of his texts in the past. Usually, I don’t find people disagreeing on internet of special interest, his piece there is not specially interesting. I don’t find that it does speak a lot about his position on feminism in general, and I also understand that some people may find his disinterest telling. Maybe it is.

    Don’t worry about those who think you’re approving of the abhorrent when you just haven’t specified your stand.

    There are people who would say you’re racist if you appreciate Darwin’s books (have you ever met with creationists? :), even despite Darwin’s position was rather liberal and progressive on that matter for his time. You just don’t have to worry about what creationists say.

    For the same reason, you have all the rights to appreciate MP’s texts even if he’s misbehaving, some times, or all the times. Well, you already knew it, so I’m blatantly forcing already opened doors.

    You certainly already understand why some people take no care on certain issues, because these are issues that should have been belonging to the past since a long time already, but they’re still live here and there, in the twentifirst century. Simply, don’t stand in the middle of the battleground, for your own safety… Even if you’re a medics. :)

  111. tkreacher says

    Henrik Larsson

    One of my main problems with Pigliucci here, let me try to make it clear:

    Suppose you are at a table with two religious fundamentalists, two MRA types, and a self-identified secular humanist/atheist/progressive/liberal and all arond Good Guy.

    The religious fundamentalists are going on and on about how women are supposed to subjugate to their men, make babies and be silent. The MRAs are agreeing and adding that they also must also belong in the kitchen, because they are bitches and sluts who need to know their fucking role.

    You say, “you guys are fucking assholes, and I’m not going to just sit here and listen to you spew this bile”.

    At which point the Good Guy decides to step in and say, TO YOU, “you are being nasty, vile, and rude”.

    He is, quite literally, supporting the bigots at the table. He is, quite literally, attempting to stifle your voice, control you, and belittle your offense. It is *irrelevant* if he doesn’t actually agree with the positions of the others at the table. It is *irrelevant* if really just doesn’t like “bad words”, or whatever the fuck has affronted his sensibilities.

    This is what Pigliucci is doing here. It really is as simple as that.

    Now, you may care whether or not that Good Guy stays at your table. But personally I wouldn’t give a fuck if he asked for the check and went home. In fact, good. One less asshole telling me how to conduct myself “properly” in a hostile, bigoted, dangerous environment.

    Fuck him.

  112. tkreacher says

    Henrik Larsson

    One of my main problems with Pigliucci here, let me try to make it clear:

    Suppose you are at a table with two religious fundamentalists, two MRA types, and a self-identified secular humanist/atheist/progressive/liberal and all around Good Guy.

    The religious fundamentalists are going on and on about how women are supposed to subjugate to their men, make babies and be silent. The MRAs are agreeing and adding that they also must also belong in the kitchen, because they are bitches and sluts who need to know their fucking role.

    You say, “you guys are fucking assholes, and I’m not going to just sit here and listen to you spew this bile”.

    At which point the Good Guy decides to step in and say, TO YOU, “you are being nasty, vile, and rude”.

    He is, quite literally, supporting the bigots at the table. He is, quite literally, attempting to stifle your voice, control you, and belittle your offense. It is *irrelevant* if he doesn’t actually agree with the positions of the others at the table. It is *irrelevant* if really just doesn’t like “bad words”, or whatever the fuck has affronted his sensibilities.

    This is what Pigliucci is doing here. It really is as simple as that.

    Now, you may care whether or not that Good Guy stays at your table. But personally I wouldn’t give a fuck if he asked for the check and went home. In fact, good. One less asshole telling me how to conduct myself “properly” in a hostile, bigoted, dangerous environment.

    Fuck him.

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does not mean it’s out there somewhere I guess.

    If it’s out there, bring it here and show us where MP loves feminism and thinks women are totally his equals in every way.

  114. says

    @Henrik Larsson

    But I simply have not seen the misogynism in his writing. In this thread. Or ever.

    Why is this so difficult to grasp? It has been explained many times on this thread alone. It’s about priorities. If a person cares more about correct grammar, or using “appropriately” polite or civil language, or whether someone’s logic is flawless, than they do about people suffering, abuse, oppression, and injustice, they are on the side of the abusers and oppressors.

    If someone’s driving around the neighbourhood running down puppies and kittens, and you go on your blog to excoriate the driver for failing to use their turn signal, wouldn’t it be fair to conclude that the puppies and kittens don’t matter to you, that you think not using a turn signal is a worse crime than killing baby animals for fun, and that maybe, just maybe you think the driver was doing a good thing about the puppies and kittens because the only bad thing you have to say about it has to do with proper technique? Also, if you end your blog post disparaging the local veterinarian, who spends a good part of their day patching up injuries of puppies and kittens, for being too keen? That’s pretty telling.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    HL, does the following sound like an ardent feminist?

    11. Feminism is a form of unnecessary and oppressive liberal political correctness. Oh please, and yet, rather shockingly, I have heard this “opinion” from several fellow CoRers.

    12. Feminists are right by default and every attempt to question them is the result of oppressive male chauvinism (even when done by women). These are people who clearly are not up on readings in actual feminism (did you know that there have been several waves of it? With which do you best connect?).

    I sincerely question whether he is a feminist based on the evidence. Your tone trolling is noticed and rejected….

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    HL, from this blog about MP which includes this about feminism

    11. Feminism is a form of unnecessary and oppressive liberal political correctness. Oh please, and yet, rather shockingly, I have heard this “opinion” from several fellow CoRers (Community of Reason).

    12. Feminists are right by default and every attempt to question them is the result of oppressive male chauvinism (even when done by women). These are people who clearly are not up on readings in actual feminism (did you know that there have been several waves of it? With which do you best connect?).

    To me, this is prima facie evidence MP is not a feminist. Doesn’t mean he isn’t a feminist, but the old statement, “either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem, puts MP squarely as part of the problem.
    Which makes your series of posts nothing but tone trolling, since they lack evidence you could have put up.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Augh, my posts are eaten….Post one PZ, if you run across them.

  118. tkreacher says

    Yeah, got one eaten also.

    More worried about it being double-posted than anything else. Heh

  119. anteprepro says

    Thank you, okstop, steal away!

    deepak shetty, you are obviously beyond help. Congratulations, you have won by attrition, because I am out of fucks to give.

    Henrik Larsson, Ibis3 has it exactly right. The misogyny in question here is not that he has said bad words, or targeted women. It is not an accusation that he has the kind of misogyny associated with the Slymepit, MRAs, or Gamergaters. It is the misogyny of a fencesitter. The implicit sexism, the kind that may not even be conscious, the kind where feminism isn’t necessarily looked down upon, but where somehow it is a grave offense to mix feminism into atheism. The kind of implicit misogyny where the more overt misogyny of one’s tribe is completely overlooked or erased, but the vocal opposition to that overt misogyny is chastised as a violation of decorum. It is that blindness, those warped priorities, that makes one suspicious of the motives of Pigliucci. Perhaps “misogyny” seems too strong of a word, perhaps one would prefer “sexism”, “prejudice against women”, “anti-feminist bias”, or “male privilege”, but I guarantee that any of such labels will raise ire just the same. Regardless of how you label it, though, his priorities really are incredibly fucked up.

  120. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Henrik Larson,

    Yes, do mansplain to a woman what sexism is. Dig those heels in and tell me when I can say something is sexist. That’s swell. Clearly I’m just being a big meanie “labeling” a man as sexist when you can’t see sexism. Have you considered whiteplaining racism to people of color?

    Do put me in my place with your condescension while you dismiss every single comment explaining why it is bigoted to tell an oppressed population to be nicer to their oppressor class when asking demurely to be treated like people. That won’t make you look like a sexist ass yourself.
    Nope, you’re totes the authority on everything, especially when women may call something sexist or misogynistic. That’s not a microaggression in itself or anything.
    You’re right. Feminists are wrong. You know better than us all and we should be grateful that you have enlightened us.

    Happy now?

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The magic of PZ. Both posts appeared magickly. My apologies for the similarity of the content. I tried to give it a few minutes. *sigh*

  122. Saad says

    Jackie, #133

    This comes to mind.

    Henrik Larsson,

    Sexism is not just explicitly saying violent or blatantly anti-women things. It can also be the attitude one takes when addressing problems of misogyny (no matter how small one perceives them to be as a man). For instance, this may not read like sexism to you, but this is such a tiresome hyperskeptic take on the issues of harassment and anti-harassment policies that either he has to be clueless about it all or he has to be a bit of a sexist ass. I’ll let you decide. Here’s Massimo (sexist bits in bold with my comments in brackets):

    So, if women in the movement complain that A-S [Atheist-Skeptic] organization X or Y does not have a sufficiently well developed sexual harassment policy, or it does not enforce such policy swiftly and effectively enough, the people in charge of said organizations ought (moral) to listen carefully and act accordingly.

    However (you knew this was coming, yes?), it doesn’t follow, as it has been claimed in the heat of the misogyny wars, that anything a woman says in this department goes and ought (again, moral) not to be questioned. [holy strawman Batman!!!] For several reasons.

    First off, and this should be obvious, “women” are not a monolithic category who see everything the same way. What may constitute borderline sexual harassment for one woman may be interpreted as innocuous or even welcome flirting by another. (I hope it’s clear that I’m talking about actual borderline cases, not instances of men brazenly groping women in public, or making threats of rape via Twitter.) [that’s some grade A mansplainin’ right there]

    Second, and related to the first point, we do not want to create a social environment where people are constantly afraid of stepping across invisible, vague and always shifting boundaries. That would take the fun out of going to the bar after the conference with friends and, frankly, out of flirting with members of the opposite sex (or of the same sex, if you are so inclined). In other words, as we have seen in the workplace and even in schools, there is a danger of overdoing it in the area of political correctness, something that makes for the kind of overcautious and over-regulated society most of us really don’t want — especially the libertarians! (Remember the case a few years ago of a kindergarten child being expelled because he kissed a girl in his class?)

    [Yes, not allowing unwelcome “flirting” (aka harassment) takes the fun out of going to bars. Is he purposefully misunderstanding the feminist position? Hmm, what kind of men do that?]

    Third, and lastly, there is a danger in automatically assuming that group X (in this case women, but it could be an ethnic minority, or a religious one — including atheists themselves) is automatically right in every dispute regarding treatment of said group. [creating a fake slippery slope and stating it like it’ll be the obvious result of anti-harassment policies and supporting women who are victims of such sexism] It is well known, for instance, that racism is not confined to white people, and that pretty much any group is capable of xenophobia. An accusation of sexual harassment can not only get someone thrown out of a meeting or a bar, but can perhaps permanently tarnish his reputation in the relevant community, and ought (yup, moral!) to be treated accordingly. While it may make sense to default to the possibility that the charge is justified, any particular case deserves further investigation by the people in charge. [who is saying not to do this?! Sorry, I can’t believe he’s genuinely ignorant about this; this is deliberate] Yes, this will complicate the job of conference organizers, so what? Nobody is obliged to organize a conference, but once you do you are expected to provide a certain number of services, a fair treatment of your guests being one. [he’s calling for fair treatment of those accused of harassment as if men being unfairly banished from conferences is the problem]

    I’m sorry, but he’s acting like Diet Thunderf00t there. And I’ll judge him for it.

  123. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    The other thing is that for a lot of issues – including sexism in movement atheism – failing to condemn is upholding the status quo more or less inherently. Like a lot of women who consider themselves part of – or at least affiliated with or generally in agreement with – movement atheism, I generally presume that men (especially men over 40, especially white cishet men over 40) are sexists (or, at minimum, moderately-sexists of the variety who “don’t get the fuss about feminism”) until I get evidence to the contrary.

    Pigliucci has not only not provided said exculpatory evidence, he’s provided (as Saad and others have shown) solid evidence to the contrary.

  124. militantagnostic says

    @Marius

    The swipe at PZ is strange. I don’t know if it comes from disdain for social justice advocacy or a desire for balance, but it seems disconnected from the other criticisms in the article.

    He is demonstrating that he can mount his high horse from either stirrup. Receiving such a Parthian Shot from MP is like plowing with a team. You would be looking at 2 horses’ asses.

    Nobody is obliged to organize a conference, but once you do you are expected to provide a certain number of services, a fair treatment of your guests being one.

    Would I be wrong to assume that by fair he means bending over backwards to ignore the implication of repeated allegations. And the definition of fair is recognizing traditional privilege.

  125. Henrik Larsson says

    Nerd of Redhead @129

    Those points are originally from MP:s blog and lists things that he feels are _wrong_ within the community of reason. He writes a “list of bizarre beliefs I have encountered among fellow skeptics-atheists-humanists”
    http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-community-of-reason-self-assessment.html
    So the first point is actually an example of something he _opposes_ so I guess some prima face evidence of something that is not the worst opinion you can share.
    The second point, I will concede is a tad slippery, as he does not make a clear stand and I do see your point and that a feminist could have provided something tangible there. Ah well. Relativism does not help so I will not go there.

    … but he also writes here:
    http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.se/2012/07/misogyny-wars.html
    “(if you don’t think that society still has a problem with women you have simply not been paying attention, and you need to go back to Feminism 101, which I am not about to provide)”

    I want change but will still give people like MP some slack. Yes, I like him.
    If I still am guilty of tone trolling I apologize. Not my intention.
    I am also not working as a public relationsofficer for MP even though I find much of his writing very useful and actually enjoy his sneering style. It is also on his CV to regularly pick fights with all the prominent bonobo-style-atheism-flashing celebrities that I would pick a fight with given a chance. Pinker, Harris, Dawkins etc. But I will stop this here as I am probably in a hole and should stop digging.
    May I also add for some disclosure that where I live there is actually a feministparty and that I proudly voted for it. Still like MP.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If I still am guilty of tone trolling I apologize. Not my intention.

    This is what happens when you make unevidenced claims. You do thinks unintentionally. And I see no reason to give MP, or you, any slack. I see nothing you posted to back your claims.

  127. Henrik Larsson says

    Nerd of Redhead @139
    Those are not unevidenced claims but real actual quotes that shows something about MP:s position that is not entirely consistent with the claims being made in this thread.
    Other than that this tread probably just requires a great big Hitchens razor.
    I think I have a decent grasp of what structural and institutional sexism means so I do see your points and probably agree generally on what is required there. But attaching that whole cluster to MP on basis of what has been quoted here is not entirely honest and fair IMHO just because he made a prickly blanket statement about this blog. But again, I’ll stop digging now.

    Saad @140.
    I don’t see how that quote helps your claim. In fact I believe it helps mine somewhat.
    I read it as MP is suggesting you need to read up on feminist history to see a real problem in society.
    What do you think it says?

  128. carlie says

    But attaching that whole cluster to MP on basis of what has been quoted here is not entirely honest and fair IMHO just because he made a prickly blanket statement about this blog.

    Wow.
    After all of the context you’ve been given, and all of the explanation of how prioritizing tone over substance supports the dominant position, that’s how you’re going to characterize this? After 141 comments, you’re still going to say it’s about people being upset that he made a rude comment about this blog?

    I don’t know if you’re that dense or that dishonest, but at this point it doesn’t even matter. Ridiculous or reprehensible, take your pick, but you’ve shown yourself to be one or the other.

  129. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I want change but will still give people like MP some slack.

    Of course you do. You are people like MP. No matter what we tell you, you will give him the benefit of the doubt. You won’t shut up about how you know better than us and click the 101 link on this page. Faced with MP’s own words, you refuse to see sexism just because some women tell you exactly where the sexism is and why it is sexist. You won’t do the same for the women telling you why they should not. You discount our experiences with sexism and instead decide that you know better than we do. You’ve decided that what? We’re tilting at windmills? Being mean for the hell of it? Too stupid to know we’re being treated as less than men until a man tells us so? I think there is a word for that, Henrik. Can you guess what it is?

  130. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    When a man scolds women and their allies while ignoring the abuse they experience, that is misogyny.

  131. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    We’re dishonest and unfair because you can’t see sexism? Self awareness: You don’t have it.

  132. Saad says

    Henrik, #141

    Saad @140.
    I don’t see how that quote helps your claim. In fact I believe it helps mine somewhat.
    I read it as MP is suggesting you need to read up on feminist history to see a real problem in society.
    What do you think it says?

    No, I didn’t mean the part you quoted in your #138. I mean the huge portion I quoted in my #135 where he’s trying to make the case that the feminist call for action against harassment issues is somehow endangering fair treatment of men. As if that’s the issue. Look at the bolded parts in that post. He also mansplains. The part where he says he’s talking about “borderline” harassment cases and not public groping is disgusting. He has no idea what he’s talking about. Who is he to judge women’s harassment to be borderline? So much mansplainin there.

    I’m not saying he’s meaning to do this stuff like thunderf00t or Dawkins. I’m saying someone who you’d think is aware of these things and cares about these things should really take a long hard look at what he’s saying.

    And he’s not getting it. In the post scripts he writes:

    I have been warned that I will likely be banned from (ironically) “freethought” discussion groups, and that my views will be seen as misogynistic and those of “a rape apologist, potential rapist.” This is just really, really sad.

    P.P.S.: Since it’s clear from early comments that the point of my P.S. wasn’t clear, I am clarifying it now. I meant the above as an example of the sort of trolling that goes on in these instances and is entirely unhelpful to a reasonable debate. I did NOT believe that I was going to be branded a rape apologist and be banned from discussion groups.

    And later in the comments section he still isn’t getting it:

    I’m not sure what I am supposed to apologize for. Did you miss my clarification? Here it is again:

    P.P.S.: Since it’s clear from early comments that the point of my P.S. wasn’t clear, I am clarifying it now. I meant the above as an example of the sort of trolling that goes on in these instances and is entirely unhelpful to a reasonable debate. I did NOT believe that I was going to be branded a rape apologist and be banned from discussion groups.

    It’s really not that hard. When you’re looking at an issue where there is such a clear line between just who holds the power and who is the marginalized group and you find yourself answer the calls for action by the marginalized group by acting like the group in power is in danger of some unfair treatment, you’re doing it wrong. Very wrong. It’s as if people were protesting against racist real estate practices and one were to say, “But I’m afraid this will lead to mistreatment of white people.” Really does not look good.

  133. Saad says

    I my last paragraph, that should be

    …you find yourself answering the calls for action…

  134. Saad says

    And for clarification, I’m definitely not calling him a rape apologist or potential rapist. He’d have to advance to thunderf00t level to get that label. But he sure seems to be teetering on the edge of apologia. He’s setting himself apart from full blown misogynists in degree only, not in kind.

  135. anteprepro says

    Henrick

    Saad @140.
    I don’t see how that quote helps your claim. In fact I believe it helps mine somewhat.
    I read it as MP is suggesting you need to read up on feminist history to see a real problem in society.
    What do you think it says?

    I’m sorry, you are a fucking idiot.

    Did you actually read what Saad said to you? Read it again. Read it again and again until it gets through your thick fucking skull.

    And then there are all the things I pointed out from that very same link.

    “all the things I pointed out”
    “the things I pointed out”
    “I pointed out”

    What the fuck makes you think they are talking about the one fucking quote YOU provided from that same article?

    Saad provided a massive chunk from that very same article that you quote one fucking sentence from, highlighted several problematic ideas and phrasings, and even explained why for some of them in parentheses. THAT is what Saad was referring. Not your one fucking sentence. And this would have been obvious to you if you could fucking read the single sentence Saad wrote at 140 before you presumed to respond to it, or if you had bothered to read what Saad had previously posted at 135.

    Or perhaps you did read and understand both. But insist that your one sentence invalidate all of the things Saad pointed out. Which would be absolutely fucking asinine.

  136. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I’m sorry, you are a fucking idiot.

    Oh, don’t be sorry. You’re absolutely right.

    Jesus, MP is afraid of women making false accusation of being a “potential rapist”, but when women are being raped and terrorized in this community, we should suck it up and calm down. We’re just so irrational and dangerous because we’re women who won’t simper properly for him and remain quiet when we’re assaulted, harassed and literally told we are at fault for being raped and/or getting rape and death threats. Holy shit, what a sexist asshole.

  137. Henrik Larsson says

    Saad,

    Thank for your reply.
    You gave a quote in @140 and I commented on that one specifically does not seem to support the various claims in the thread that’s all.
    @135 does make some good points for your position and is indeed “teetering on the edge of apologia” to use your own words.
    Ah well.
    If I am allowed, I would like to close on some smaller patch of common ground:
    If you want to fight misogyny in all it’s forms, structural, institutional or other you have my strong unequivocal support and when you write that MP is “teetering on the edge of apologia” i can also go along with that.
    In my experience it’s typical pro-philosopher ivorytower-sorting-talk at work. The sort of stuff that needs some deciphering.
    But perhaps we have found enough common ground in that you are “not calling him [MP] a rape apologist” ;)
    The real world (insert your philosophical position to define that here] is always more complicated than the argument that tries to dissect it and in short, language does not really work for that if you ask me. So why am I still writing?
    Greetings from down the hole. I’ll skip the rest.

  138. Saad says

    Saad,

    Thank for your reply.
    You gave a quote in @140 and I commented on that one

    Wait, no…

    I didn’t give a quote in my #140! That’s YOU! Notice that vertical bar next to it and how I wrote “Henrik Larsson, #138” above it? That means I’m quoting your 138. Don’t you recognize it as being verbatim from your post?!

    My brain is full of fuck…

    The real world (insert your philosophical position to define that here] is always more complicated than the argument that tries to dissect it and in short, language does not really work for that if you ask me.

    Okay, now that’s some fucking dishonest shit. I’ve been too nice and I feel bad about it. I don’t want to be nice to people like you. Fuck you and Fuck Pigliucci.

  139. Saad says

    Henrik, #151

    In my experience it’s typical pro-philosopher ivorytower-sorting-talk at work. The sort of stuff that needs some deciphering.

    LOL, no.

    He will play by the same rules that we all have to play by and he’ll like it. I’m not going to “decipher” his shit. I’ll take his words to mean what they mean in the English language. I don’t care about his philosophy degree.

  140. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Now he’s telling us how the real world works while pretending he can’t see the explanations for why his behavior in this thread is sexist.

    This right here? This is where I can’t even. It is pointless to try to educate this man. Women’s voices mean too little to him. He wants our respect while giving us none. Typical. So fucking typical.

    This is why I will never again be a part of any group or community that is not explicitly feminist. I’d have to swallow this sort of contempt with a smile on my face for the privilege of being “included”.

  141. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In my experience it’s typical pro-philosopher ivorytower-sorting-talk at work. The sort of stuff that needs some deciphering.

    You just describe why many of us here have an antagonist attitude toward philosophy.
    The following are the reasons they can’t speak in plain language:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ,
    *crickets chirring*

  142. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    The sort of stuff that needs some deciphering.

    Clearly you think we need you to decipher it for us. Our poor lady brains need your guidance, else we might start thinking we know what sexism is.

  143. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    In my experience

    That’s what matters, huh? Your experiences.
    You mean to tell us your experience counts for something but ours does not?
    Of all the pompous…

  144. anteprepro says

    Apparently another feature of philosopher ivory tower Civility is that everything they say is complicated and sophisticated and cannot be taken at face value. You cannot properly critique a true philosopher unless you analyze at least seven layers of the writing, interpreting all of the broader themes, the intricacies of the symbols and metaphors, the broader of impact of the ideas and its inter-relationship with the prior works of the author, the implications of the diction and how it relates to the terminology as used in the works of Hume and Kant, and how all of the thorough and proper analysis can never ever be used to reach a negative conclusion about the author. All proper analysis should result in a golf clap and a pat on the back, and never ever ever in a criticism about potential biases. That is just rude and crude, overly simplistic. Have some nuance. Explore deeper. Only then will you understand how Not Sexist it is to condescendingly lecture women at length about how they are not always universally automatically absolutely correct when it comes to sexual harassment claims. Truly, it is so unsophisticated to think otherwise.

  145. anteprepro says

    In other words, “Courtier’s Reply: Mansplainer is Always Right” edition.

  146. Henrik Larsson says

    Saad,
    You gave a quote. You were quoting me quoting MP. That’s what I meant and that much would seem perfectly clear it is, as you write, right there on the page. I was not attempting to attribute anything falsely in any way. So no common ground then. It would appear that the strategy here is that language is some form of bit-correct transmission of code that can be decoded bit by bit correctly at each end given enough brainpower? I feel old, as I am sure I should. My take? The world is built on deciphering and retrieval and comparing of references from our semantic imperfect databases which incidentally is what seems to be going on here with you, me and MP. Often similar but different in alla humanoids. The human condition. So no common ground then. Alrighty. No deciphering, just bit-correct communication here on Vulcan. Working great on the blog. Not a drop of peace, love or understanding is lost. Feeling great in the hole.

  147. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    How dare we be angry? How dare we not be charitable? How dare we hold great men to the same standards as everyone else?
    Could you be smarmier, Henrik?

  148. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    My take?

    Isn’t as important as you think it is. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact calls for civility toward the oppressor class is in itself a form of oppression.

  149. anteprepro says

    Henrik, just stick the fucking flounce. Your handwringing about the imperfection of mere human language is just an asinine attempt to scrounge up excuses. It is a deflection, a dodge. It is an attempt to take refuge based on the mere possibility that things could be interpreted differently, without bothering to put in the work to defend your alternate interpretation. It is absolutely pathetic. You know you are digging. You express that you know you should stop digging. Well then fucking STOP.

  150. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I bet Henrik doesn’t think he isn’t being sexist, because intent. Even though his intent is too “educate” women on sexism while telling them to simmer down and be nice.
    What next Henrik? You going to instruct us to smile more?

  151. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Thanks to all the people who stood up for feminism in this thread. Thank you for your well thought out comments. Thank you so much.

  152. anteprepro says

    Jackie at 167: Thank you, for putting a lot of effort into this thread yourself. Even if Henrik specifically hasn’t seemed to acknowledge you.

    (Also find it rather rich that we are being accused of being Vulcan by someone defending mansplaining, while ignoring context, and doing so in the holy name of Philosophizing. I mean, I thought we were supposed to be the overly sensitive and emotional ones here, not the ones who are strict adherents to and practicers of Pure Logic. Guess we are all things at once.)

  153. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Thank you too, PZ. I cannot express how much your steadfast support of women’s equality has meant to me these last few years. I’m sure many others feel the same. You are truly the greatest of poopyheads. *clinched tentacle salute*

  154. Saad says

    Henrik Larsson, #160

    You gave a quote. You were quoting me quoting MP. That’s what I meant and that much would seem perfectly clear it is, as you write, right there on the page.

    Oh, okay. So you replied to your own point instead of mine.

    It would appear that the strategy here is that language is some form of bit-correct transmission of code that can be decoded bit by bit correctly at each end given enough brainpower? I feel old, as I am sure I should. My take? The world is built on deciphering and retrieval and comparing of references from our semantic imperfect databases which incidentally is what seems to be going on here with you, me and MP. Often similar but different in alla humanoids. The human condition.

    I seriously don’t know what that means. Do I need to get an advanced degree in philosophy to get it?

    Regardless, thankfully I don’t need a degree to spot sexism.

    Jackie, I’m going to steal this too.

    It’s about mind over matter. They don’t mind and we don’t matter.

    So applicable in so many situations.

  155. consciousness razor says

    He will play by the same rules that we all have to play by and he’ll like it. I’m not going to “decipher” his shit. I’ll take his words to mean what they mean in the English language. I don’t care about his philosophy degree.

    It certainly doesn’t justify anything, but it probably does explain some of it. I know he also has a background as a scientist (which isn’t much help in any case), but philosophy departments are among the worst in academia for having a disproportionate number of privileged white men. Concepts like mansplaining and JAQing-off apparently aren’t well understood there, when they’re not deliberately used as a weapon. Pigliucci can be an especially cantankerous one too. You might think that trying to translate technical mumbo jumbo from jargonese to the common tongue would be one of the main goals (and abilities) of philosophers, but they’re evidently not as good at it as they like to think. Add to that their pretensions of being qualified to discuss anything and everything, and you have a great recipe for all sorts of assholery and apologetics.

    Anyway, I do think it’s partly a matter of his background and his sort of personality or disposition, more than any substantive disagreement he might have with feminism or whatever. And I think he’s genuinely trying to be a good, reasonable, progressive person, even though I think quite a few of his philosophical views are simply ridiculous. With good (magical) intentions and two fifty you can buy yourself a cup of coffee, of course — but more than that, it’s a question of how we respond and what needs fixing. I would say that taking his words at face value, letting him feel like an idiot and backtrack and regret various things, might be the best medicine here, but I bet that would take a whole lot of patience before you see any results.

  156. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    It’s about mind over matter. They don’t mind and we don’t matter.

    I didn’t come up with that. I’m just repeating it. Steal away!

  157. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Just throwing in my two pence.

    I have never come across Pigliucci before, but that quote which Saad provides at #135 sure seems like grade-A sexism to me. Serious Shades of Shermer Defenders.

    it doesn’t follow, as it has been claimed in the heat of the misogyny wars, that anything a woman says in this department goes and ought (again, moral) not to be questioned

    No one ever said that. We said she ought to be taken seriously, i.e. not immediately dismissed and doused in rape apologism. Of course steps have to be taken to ascertain the truth of the accusations, no one ever suggested otherwise. Merely that there are reasonable standards to what can and can not be asked in such a situation. “Were you drunk?” is irrelevant, as is the shortness of her skirt. “It was only a quick spank, what are you whining about?” is a completely inappropriate response. That is literally the contention here.

    What may constitute borderline sexual harassment for one woman may be interpreted as innocuous or even welcome flirting by another. (I hope it’s clear that I’m talking about actual borderline cases, not instances of men brazenly groping women in public, or making threats of rape via Twitter.)

    Second, and related to the first point, we do not want to create a social environment where people are constantly afraid of stepping across invisible, vague and always shifting boundaries. That would take the fun out of going to the bar after the conference with friends and, frankly, out of flirting with members of the opposite sex.

    Essentially “What do you mean I have to watch my behavior in a bar!? I’m flirting for Christ sake! How dare you ruin my fun by taking away my perceived right to act how I damn well like!”.

    Look at it this way. If you do not say the potentially offensive thing, then the woman who would not have been offended by it loses nothing and the woman who would have been gets to have a night without being offended. Win-win.

    If you do say it, then the woman who isn’t offended by it isn’t offended, but the woman who is, is.

    As the flirter, it is your job to open the conversation and ascertain interest in sex and openness to such potentially offensive innuendos. Here’s a clue: for most women, whether they are offensive or not is situational. If you get it wrong, that’s your fault.

    Third, and lastly, there is a danger in automatically assuming that group X (in this case women, but it could be an ethnic minority, or a religious one — including atheists themselves) is automatically right in every dispute regarding treatment of said group.

    Yeah, you know what? Women get to define what counts as sexual harassment, mainly because, as Pigliucci himself has already pointed out, what constitutes harassment is subjective. He’s managed to argue against himself in the space of two paragraphs.

    An accusation of sexual harassment can not only get someone thrown out of a meeting or a bar, but can perhaps permanently tarnish his reputation in the relevant community, and ought (yup, moral!) to be treated accordingly.

    Oh noes!

    While it may make sense to default to the possibility that the charge is justified, any particular case deserves further investigation by the people in charge.

    Which is exactly the position being put forward by the people calling for harassment policies. He doesn’t even understand what he’s arguing against.

  158. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Oops, fucked up the second quote. I’m sure people will figure it out.

  159. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    it doesn’t follow, as it has been claimed in the heat of the misogyny wars, that anything a woman says in this department goes and ought (again, moral) not to be questioned

    Oh sweet Jesus on a pogo stick. He’s referring to the women Shermer raped, harassed and assaulted.

    Meanwhile he’s calling men threatening, degrading and lying about women and women talking about it and standing up to it “misogyny wars” as if he thinks that’s funny.

    …but he’s not sexist. Oh heavens, no.
    No joke. I feel sick.

  160. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    What may constitute borderline sexual harassment for one woman may be interpreted as innocuous or even welcome flirting by another.

    It “may” be and that means all women have to shut up and take it because we can’t REALLY tell when we’re being harassed. We certainly have no right to be believed. The harasser is simply flirting. We’re so silly that we think otherwise. Either that or he’s calling us liars who falsely accuse men of harming us for …fun?
    You know who has more common ground with MP than I do? MRAs and Rugby coaches.

  161. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    It isn’t harassment if…
    If Shermer’s victims should not be believed, then there is a good chance he’s buying the excuse “It isn’t rape if…” too. After all, some women may like “drunk sex”.
    Borderlines! Gray areas! How are men to know if they have consent if they don;t know the difference between flirting and sexual harassment? It’s so complicated. We’re overly sensitive. We need to be charitable when men harass us too.
    It gets worse and worse, doesn’t it?
    No wonder he’s afraid of being called a rape apologist. He is one.
    When he excuses men who harass, that tells me what standard he holds himself to. No wonder he’s scared of us. He should be. He ain’t one of the good guys.

  162. Saad says

    What may constitute assault and robbery for one man may be interpreted as harmless horseplay and teasing or even a welcome challenge by another.

    Let’s be really careful how we write laws against physical assault and robbery!

  163. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    (I hope it’s clear that I’m talking about actual borderline cases, not instances of men brazenly groping women in public,

    Wow. That definitely has shades of “It’s only rape if she’s been badly battered. Otherwise, she’s either lying or too confused to know when she’s given consent to sex.”

    or making threats of rape via Twitter.)

    Why would that be obvious? That is exactly what he was calling “misogyny wars”. What is he pretending women are responding to? Does he understand what context is? He’s either clueless or a liar.

  164. anteprepro says

    Jackie:

    Borderlines! Gray areas! How are men to know if they have consent if they don;t know the difference between flirting and sexual harassment? It’s so complicated. We’re overly sensitive. We need to be charitable when men harass us too.

    Proposition: Every time a mansplainer tries to go off on a Sophisticated Lecture about the Nuances of Sexual Harrassment, someone starts playing the song “Blurred Lines” in the background. My only concern is that the people who need that illustration most still wouldn’t get the message, or the issue.

    Saad:

    What may constitute assault and robbery for one man may be interpreted as harmless horseplay and teasing or even a welcome challenge by another.
    Let’s be really careful how we write laws against physical assault and robbery!

    Borrowing and gifting are things that happen. Blurred lines, gray areas, borderline case, nuance, nuance, nuance, handwring. And presto, therefore we should not believe people when they say something was stolen from them. Praise be unto Skepticism.

  165. Henrik Larsson says

    consciousness razor wrote @171:
    “You might think that trying to translate technical mumbo jumbo from jargonese to the common tongue would be one of the main goals (and abilities) of philosophers, but they’re evidently not as good at it as they like to think.”

    That would be a bullseye if I ever saw one.
    And the shifting to Shermer makes it all come into place nicely. Nothing to add there. The real McCoy.

  166. Saad says

    Henrik, #183

    And the shifting to Shermer makes it all come into place nicely.

    Uh, Shermer is a very appropriate instance of what Pigliuicci is defending. In fact, he’s a textbook go-to example. Have you still not read my #135 for comprehension?

    If you’re not going to piss off, do keep up.

  167. Gregory Greenwood says

    Saad @ 135;

    All the way back in my post @ 28 I was pretty sure that I detected a distinct whiff of anti-feminism about Pigliucci’s comments with regard to PZ and the Horde. As I wrote at the time;

    Whenever anyone calls for people pursuing a social justice agenda to be quieter or nicer about it (and doubly so when they directly compare them to violent fanatics for their failure to be polite enough in their struggle to be seen as actually human), their motives immediately become suspect to me.

    On that basis alone, Pigliucci’s rant has burned through any benefit of the doubt I might have been prepared to give him.

    And from the heinous quote I from your @ 135 Pigliucci was entirely deserving of my suspicion, though I had no idea he held such repugnant views as to imply that women don’t know when they are being harrassed (who else is better placed to judge in Pigliucci’s view, I wonder?), that it is acceptable to use such a derisory term for the struggle for equality for women as ‘misogyny wars’ (is he so delusional as to actually imagine that this issue is funny?), that measures against harrassment take the fun out of ‘flirting’ (he uses that word – it doesn’t mean what he thinks it means), and to effectively state that the most important thing to be considered with regard to sexual harrassment and rape is the protection of men from some supposed epidemic of false accusations (he certainly uses a lot of words to convey the charming sentiment ‘bitches lie’ doesn’t he?) – it is all drawn from the standard MRA playbook almost word for word.

    He wants to disassociate himself from atheism and all its works? On this form, I would say good riddence. We have enough misogynistic arsehats to deal with as it is.

  168. Saad says

    He may not be intending to. But people like Shermer benefits from his stance. That’s all that matters.

    That excerpt of his from my #135 is defending Shermer. I’m not surprised you don’t see that.

  169. says

    You do a good impression of an ignorant person, Henrik, but the more you post the more I’m convinced that you’re not stupid. You’re just another sexist douchecanoe. “You can’t know that MP is writing in order to defend Shermer” really? You’ve really read all the posts in this thread (even the ones obviously written by women) and you think what’s at issue are Pigliuicci’s intentions? I don’t believe you, asshole.

  170. Henrik Larsson says

    Saad @186
    “That excerpt of his from my #135 is defending Shermer. I’m not surprised you don’t see that”

    OK. It does not mention Shermers name anywhere and I am not a mindreader.
    If he is indeed defending Shermer there I am indeed fried and done. If you have a link that shows that I would appreciate it.
    I googled MP/Shermer in some combinations as well as some of those text chunks and found nothing.
    It seems however that they are friends and that is indeed worrisome…

  171. anteprepro says

    Henrik Larsson, read the first paragraph in Saad’s 186. THEN read the second. The first explains the point in the second. It doesn’t matter whether Shermer was explicitly named, the general arguments would serve as a defense of Shermer.

    For fuck’s sake just stop digging already. Step away from the fucking computer. You have seemed ready, willing, and able to walk away several times already, but you just keep coming back to re-open wounds that looked already stitched up.

  172. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It does not mention Shermers name anywhere and I am not a mindreader.

    So, either you don’t know the background, purposely refuse to see it, or want to play stupid for posterity.
    Which one is it? None of them make you look good.

  173. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    HL, in case you don’t know it, there are things called dog whistles, which are used by male chauvinist pigs. This is what the people you are defending are hiding behind. They sound innocuous, but the actually coded meaning is for misogyny and bigotry.

  174. Saad says

    Henrik, by now you must be at the Earth’s inner core (which was discovered by a woman*).

    * Thanks, Google Doodle

  175. Henrik Larsson says

    Saad @193
    Yup, just resurfaced in China ;) Don’t know where to dig from here. MP better be a decent human…

    “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
    “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
    “I don’t much care where –”
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    Off with my head indeed!

    Nerd of redheads writes @190.
    “So, either you don’t know the background, purposely refuse to see it, or want to play stupid for posterity.
    Which one is it? None of them make you look good”

    How very Lewis Carroll of you!
    False trichotomy but I am sure you know that. I am obviously missing something.
    So. I have to trust whoever claims MP is defending Shermer here. Because they say so. Is that what it boils down to?
    Or because there is a thing called dog whistling which in this case implies that MP was implicitly helping Sheerer and one must know it because. Yes why must one know it?.
    That’s rather inquisitorial and does not work for me. I would need, you know actual evidence.
    Even though I will submit it looks dodgy at this point with them being friends according to google.
    Unless it is a case of arguing against structural sexism which I again would have no wish to defend in any way.
    So that is it. Hitchens razor again. If it’s obvious show me. If it’s structural I understand and support it but you can’t use a structural argument to frame an individual. So which one is it?

    1. I have to trust somebody who says they know what MP is writing about.
    2. Accept that the structural problem of sexism in western society has to allow people to pass judgement automatically on people on a whim, based on someones opinion.
    Neither works for me. Old-fashioned git as I am.
    I might look like an idiot if MP is a sexist pig that does secret handshakes with Shermer. Could be I guess.
    I will however refuse to look like an idiot until someone has anything other. To the earth’s core and back.

    “In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  176. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Henrick,
    If he is not alluding to Shermers rapes, assaults and sexual harassment, what was he referring to?
    Are you really going to play that dumb?

  177. carlie says

    Henrik, the fact that you are assiduously ignoring everyone but Saad is getting really glaring.

  178. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Unless it is a case of arguing against structural sexism which I again would have no wish to defend in any way.

    Then why are you doing it, you colossal ass?

  179. robertwilson says

    @188

    “I am not a mindreader.”

    Is awfully funny (in the sad way) for someone who defends intent and ignores results/effects. Then again, maybe you can’t read your own mind?

  180. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    carlie,
    Saad seems pretty sick of it too. As am I.

    He thinks his evasions have not been noted. They have.

  181. robertwilson says

    @194

    Going to double post because of this even though it’s already been called out:

    “…you can’t use a structural argument to frame an individual.”

    Because people exist in vacuums completely divorced from the effects of the structures of societies… which they live in… isn’t that convenient?

    You don’t get to divorce yourself from reality, especially not when you claim to be a solid thinker. People exist in societies in which systemic sexism and racism are practiced. It can be hard to see at fist, but why in the world would you excuse individuals who are supposed to be critical thinkers once you understand the systemic issues? That’s the ultimate cop-out. I can pontificate on how things are but never be held responsible for even so much as upholding the status quo.

  182. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    The thing HL seems to be unaware if is that we are not arguing with him to change his mind. We are pointing out the flaws in his arguments for the lurkers who read the comments. We’re arguing for every woman who has been told she cannot be believed or doesn’t know when she’s been raped, harassed or in other ways disregarded based on her gender. We don’t let him go unanswered in order to show other readers exactly where and why he is wrong.
    I don’t give a rat’s happy behind about his half-assed opinions. He doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to sexism, but he is an excellent example of it. He’s a perfect example of what is wrong with “civility” and “charity” toward sexist bullshit.
    In that way and that way only is he useful.

  183. carlie says

    Jackie – it’s funny, because in a group that is talking in person, it’s kind of easy to pretend to ignore somebody with plausible deniability. Look away, say “huh?” but then move on quickly, walk around out of the person’s sight, etc. But in a non-nested comment thread? Yeah, it’s pretty obvious that Henrik is flat-out refusing to respond to anything you’ve written (or pretty much everyone else). Saad, I salute you and the hits you’re taking by continuing to respond to Henrik, but jeez, Henrik. Let up on Saad a little and take a look at the truckload of other points that have been dumped here.

  184. anteprepro says

    Well Henrick used up every ounce I good will or charity I had left. Fuck off, you stupid, tedious shitstain.

    Jackie, Massimo likely wasn’t actually talking about Shermer. The Misogyny Wars article was written regarding this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/do-atheists-have-a-sexual-harassment-problem/2012/07/12/gJQAnMIAgW_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=1

    The focus was on sexual harassment in conferences, DJ Grothe, Elevatorgate, declining attendance by women to these conferences and Rebecca Watson saying she didn’t feel safe at TAM, and a brief mention of Dear Muslima. Jen McCreight is also paraphrased in discussing how women warn each other about sexual harassers.
    Both that article and Massimo’s blog post were published in July of 2012. PZ wrote the grenade post in August of 2013.

    That said, Saad is exactly right: Shermer could easily take refuge in the handwaving arguments that Massimo presented. Massimo might not have intended to specifically defend Shermer, but his arguments and arguments like it do defend him and are used by others to explicitly defend him.

  185. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    robertwilson,
    Yep. That is so common. Either instences of the sexism women face isn’t a big deal or it doesn’t exist. He can admit there is institutional sexism. What he can’t admit are the instances that make up that institutional sexism. His own microaggressions here aren’t sexism to him because he has never been on the receiving end of it. He is blithely unaware of how often women have to to explain ad nauseam why something is sexist and that they have the right to be angry about it. He’s never had someone tell him that he wasn’t REALLY raped or that he should be thankful for harassment. (It’s a compliment!) He’s never had to argue year after year why it is not OK to force him to give birth or to rape him when he’s passed out drunk. He has never been on the receiving end of years death threats for saying, “Guys, don’t do that”. He has no empathy whatsoever. We are the other and we cannot be trusted. He simply knows better than women and he is proud to set us straight.
    ..and I guess he thinks that’s all new to us.

  186. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    anteprepro,
    Thanks. I feel slightly better.

  187. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If it’s obvious show me.

    Since you refuse to look at what the dog whistles mean, not what they say, you will never get it, because you are too much of a sexist yourself to admit you can’t check your privileges, shut the fuck up, and listen to women with the intention of learning something.

    Have you ever had sexual harassment training? You don’t sound like you have. Or, if you did, you didn’t learn anything.

  188. Saad says

    carlie, #203

    Henrik, the fact that you are assiduously ignoring everyone but Saad is getting really glaring.

    I noticed that too. Honestly, I can’t believe my luck.

    Henrik’s 194 just shows xe’s no longer interested in the actual points being made. More double downs than KFC.

  189. anteprepro says

    You’re welcome, Jackie, but it only makes things marginally better. It goes back to the issue I originally had with this article: It only criticizes Shermer et. al. for not being logical enough. I mean, I have been looking into older shit, and I see that even before the allegations came out, people were criticizing Shermer for being sexist.

    Lest we forget, from before the grenade:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/the-delicate-ego-of-mr-michael-shermer/

    ( And aside from that he has also shown himself to be bigoted in other ways that I can find recent examples of that which Massimo also wouldn’t bother to concern himself with:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2015/03/michael-shermer-thinks-hes-more-moral-than-you/
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2014/04/when-neo-cons-and-liberals-unite-the-case-of-anti-muslim-crusader-ayaan-hirsi-ali/)

  190. Henrik Larsson says

    Carli @196
    Sorry about that. I will give it a go.

    Jackie @197:
    I am pretty well up to date on structural sexist stuff as well as an intersectional view of society with all that entails in terms of a reasonable understanding of forms or systems of oppression, domination and discrimination. I have to as it as it is part of my job description in middle management in HR.

    robertwilson @199
    I have tried to state clearly that I know that intent is not magic. That pendulum however swings both ways.
    How anyone can know anyone MP.s intentions here is beyond me and in my view he is not guilty until proven.
    I think that blogpost is also actually from before elevatorgate so would not be about at least that specific Shermer incident anyway. Not sure. Sheerer is a repeat offender and has done his ugly schtick a few time since then if I understand it correctly so I guess it still could in theory.

    Massimo @ivorytower
    ..if you are reading this, you had better come up with something good as Shermer is not worth it.
    The male cultural bond is not all it is racked up to be. Give it up for you own name and decency.
    If the mindreaders of this blog are correct and you have secretly helped Shermer via a dog whistling blogpost
    in order to let him know that sexism is A-OK and that you actually structurally an secretively support misogyny I would
    appreciate if you can please admit it. Might still be a fan until you are a proven male chauvinist sexist pig with a cherry on top

    I think I’ll call it a day. Nowhere deeper to dig but love a good hiding in a debate ;)
    Peace love and understanding from an old hippie…

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nowhere deeper to dig but love a good hiding in a debate

    There was no debate. There was you voicing irrelevancies and the like, and us telling you the truth, which you didn’t want to hear. We learned nothing from you. We’ve heard it all before.

  192. anteprepro says

    I am pretty well up to date on structural sexist stuff as well as an intersectional view of society with all that entails in terms of a reasonable understanding of forms or systems of oppression, domination and discrimination. I have to as it as it is part of my job description in middle management in HR.

    Oh good lord, I don’t even.

    How anyone can know anyone MP.s intentions here is beyond me and in my view he is not guilty until proven.

    Speaking of asinine, hairsplitting, armchair philosophers making arguments from an ivory tower, ignorant of context, with minimal correspondence to reality, that manages to contribute to the continued climate where we doubt victims and trust victimizers by default……

    I think that blogpost is also actually from before elevatorgate so would not be about at least that specific Shermer incident anyway. Not sure.

    That’s not what Elevatorgate is. (Post came after Elevatorgate, before Shermer was outed as a rapist)

    Massimo @ivorytower
    ..if you are reading this, you had better come up with something good as Shermer is not worth it.
    The male cultural bond is not all it is racked up to be. Give it up for you own name and decency.
    If the mindreaders of this blog are correct and you have secretly helped Shermer via a dog whistling blogpost
    in order to let him know that sexism is A-OK and that you actually structurally an secretively support misogyny I would
    appreciate if you can please admit it. Might still be a fan until you are a proven male chauvinist sexist pig with a cherry on top

    You are not worth it. Fucking abysmal. Great job clowning around. Glad you find sexism so fucking comical and hilarious.

    Fuck off already. Shut the fuck up and go the fuck away. You’ve squandered any chance you’ve had for being taken as someone who just simply missed a point, or just simply had an honest misunderstanding. You’ve lost all sympathy. You are just yet another asshole who hides behind faux civility to peck and needle away at women and feminists. Just another disingenuous JAQoff doing his fucking best to muddle any issue involving women, doing their best to be a disruptive nuisance. “Peace love and understanding”, you deliberately bring none of the above. Fucking shitbag.

  193. Henrik Larsson says

    Nerd of redhead @211

    The truth? Check your @190. and then antepros post about the quotes here probably not even being about
    Shermer after all. Not irrelevant to anyone I would think.
    this old hippie has not heard it all before

    antepro,
    I would have to admit that you make Massimos claim about this blog pretty accurate, albeit increasingly eschatological, considering what we have talked about. I guess he is pretty much on the money after all. The ratio between rude selfimportance and sense of entitlement in relation to the intellectual content and coherence is really quite astounding.
    I assume it is some form af cleansing ritual for a dying planet.
    I will now trot off, not to worry. Still with love peace and understanding whatever your wishes on the contrary. No time for anything else. As Chomsky would put it: “I will skip the rest” ;)

  194. anteprepro says

    Henrik, you are an absolute embarrassment. After ignoring every comment I have made, and even ignoring the few points I managed to make in a post that was still mostly about telling you to fuck off, you only manage to whine about tone. Please just do go away. You are a complete and utter waste of our time.

  195. Henrik Larsson says

    Rawnaeris, Knight of the Order of the Glittery Hoo Ha @213

    Terribly sorry. Just realised I forgot the smiley after the attempted joke about middle management in HR.
    Sorry. I just write music for a living if you care to know at all. Mostly sad music for strings. There it is.

  196. tkreacher says

    Henrik:

    You bemoaning the lack of “intellectual content and coherence” is an incredible, almost-a-parody level of Dunning-Kruger.

    Your

    It would appear that the strategy here is that language is some form of bit-correct transmission of code that can be decoded bit by bit correctly at each end given enough brainpower? I feel old, as I am sure I should. My take? The world is built on deciphering and retrieval and comparing of references from our semantic imperfect databases which incidentally is what seems to be going on here with you, me and MP. Often similar but different in alla humanoids. The human condition.

    was the most garbled, content-free, incoherent mess of pseudo-intellectual tripe I’d seen in a long, long time.

    This is even putting aside that this word salad of nonsense, as with the rest of your nonsense, has *all* been guilty of the very thing people were kindly trying to point out to you. You are taking issue with the oppressed over their tone rather than the oppressive nature of society.

    And I agree with those who have said you are willfully obtuse and not honestly confused.

    Fuck off.

  197. consciousness razor says

    I have tried to state clearly that I know that intent is not magic. That pendulum however swings both ways.
    How anyone can know anyone MP.s intentions here is beyond me and in my view he is not guilty until proven.

    The problem with intentions isn’t just that they’re private, or supposedly completely unknowable to everyone else (a wild exaggeration). The problem is that they don’t make a difference to the people who are harmed by an intentional or unintentional action.

    If you kill a person, whether accidentally or deliberately, they are dead, their friends and family mourn, the rest of the community suffers from the loss, and so forth. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to, or meant to do something else (slightly or entirely different) other than the actual result of the person being killed.

    Only when we think about how to respond to it do intentions start to matter sometimes, since with a person we know we’re not dealing with something that lacks intentional behavior entirely. If it was an accident, the person ought to learn to be more careful (among other things), and if they’re probably not going to do things like that on their own, we have a responsibility as a society to make sure their future actions along the lines of what caused the accident ought to be restricted in some way, so that others can be protected from it happening again. If they deliberately murdered a person, similar measures still ought to be taken, based on what we know about those other and different intentions/beliefs/attitudes/motivations which provoked the act. Either way, it still doesn’t make the slightest fucking difference in how much or whether somebody was harmed.

    Same deal here. When he defends sexist crap, however mildly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever or for no reason, it obviously ought to be criticized for what it is, retracted, corrected, etc. And for fuck’s sake, he doesn’t need to name specific people to be defending actions like theirs in general. You might think you can pass off as naive or bad at communicating or hard-of-thinking with that nonsense of yours, but that’s a lot of transparent bullshit to everyone else here. Nobody is buying it.

  198. carlie says

    Here’s the way intent does matter, and it matters even more than you’re saying: if he doesn’t intend to support misogyny, then he ought to be appalled at finding out that his actions do so, and work hard and fast to rectify it. There’s no point in calling out sexism in people who don’t care about it; they won’t care about being called out either, and will completely ignore what they’re being told. It’s the people who DO care, and who DO want to be allies and feminists and whatnot who ought to be the MOST receptive to being called on the carpet for sexist acts, because those people will be glad to find out how to be better at being a feminist or ally. But when the response is “Stop hurting my feelings!” or “stop yelling at me”, then, well, it becomes a lot harder to support the idea that the intent is good.

  199. Menyambal says

    Intentions don’t matter at all, in certain legal situations, so it is odd to read someone saying that until we know his intentions, he is not guilty. To me, if he writes something that can be taken the wrong way, he is guilty of carelessness. He needs to be very careful, or not write, or to blame everybody else for being paranoid. You can’t just write something that sounds damn hurtful, and say you didn’t mean it that way.

    The legal issue that I am thinking of is liability. The illustration that I like comes from the wind-power folks. If you build a windmill, and it happens to shed a blade, and that blade lands in your neighbor’s yard, you are guilty of deliberately firing that blade into that yard, and could be fined all the money that it could have cost had it gone through his roof, his TV and his prize pig, and you had done it with cackling aforethought.

    (I once happened upon some cows in the road, and found the farmer, and told him that his cows were in the highway. He shrugged, and said, “Yeah, they keep doing that. I keep letting them into the field with the busted fence.” I was thinking, “You just gave me your farm.” I could have right then sued him for deliberately causing the most horrendous car/cow accident a lawyer could imagine.)

    So don’t go saying a writer is innocent based on intentions, and expecting a legal backup. Yeah, there have been some cases, but it took some fierce lawyering. Mostly, though, if you can’t take the blowback, don’t write.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not irrelevant to anyone I would think.
    this old hippie has not heard it all before

    This old fart from the radicalization of campus days says you said nothing relevant for two days, just been a tone troll. Don’t like being called one? Stop being stupid and shut the fuck up.

  201. says

    @anteprepro, good point. I’d completely forgotten about that. It’s too common in a lot of ways to even register in my mental rolls anymore.

    @Henrik
    As far as being HR management is a “joke,” that’s not funny, even with an emoticon, as your behavior and attitude here is exactly what I (and I’m sure others) fear we will face if we need to report an issue. I’ve had past co-works keep notes of who it was actually safe to approach in HR. So again. Not humorous, not silly, not in good taste.

    Stick the flounce this time.

  202. Henrik Larsson says

    Just addressing some parting shots that seemed aimed at me while ignoring the blatant tone trolling from those with apparent special privileges to tone troll all they want.

    tkreacher @219 and consciousness razor @220
    That word salad was just my extreme reduction of general cognitive science for lack of time and space and a stab at the old bag about how we form concepts and communicate. Simply more Chomsky than Rand to counter what was advocated here by some as an alternative that seems to be a rather fundamentalist (even objectivist) understanding of language, social interaction and intersubjectivity and that one can easily somehow be allowed the privilege to make own judgements on people’s intentions by looking at real general structures in society and then use that to prioritize your own view of an agents intentionality over that of the agent and the action when judging the outcome in a given scenario. Without any tedious example as my credit has run out, that is pretty much what I thought was accepted as the main drawback to any intersectional or structural way of looking at societal interaction and what I was trying to get at. Leave me out of the debate now please and I will be sure to refrain from coming back for more friendly 4letter words. Thanx.

  203. says

    Oh for fucks sake! No one has time trolled you. We have pointed out, with varying degrees of politeness that you have been a disingenuous shithead.

    Your repeated flounces because we’ve been “rude” in combination with your repeated asinine references to “four letter words” is the very definition of tone-trolling.

  204. robertwilson says

    Trolls certainly do waste time, whether they intend to or not. Since I’m not a mindreader I call the unintentional ones trolls just as I would the intentional ones.

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just addressing some parting shots that seemed aimed at me while ignoring the blatant tone trolling from those with apparent special privileges to tone troll all they want.

    AS YOU TONE TROLL….IRONIC.

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Leave me out of the debate now please and I will be sure to refrain from coming back for more friendly 4letter words. Thanx.

    There is no debate with you. You are wrong, and need to shut the fuck up and listen. But you are too stupid to do so, as you irrationally think you have some new to say. BORING. Heard it all before, for years….

  207. tkreacher says

    Henrik Larrson #225

    Stop trying so fucking hard to sound intelligent. Really. It is having the opposite effect. Stop. It’s absurd.

    Simply more Chomsky than Rand to counter what was advocated here by some as an alternative that seems to be a rather fundamentalist (even objectivist) understanding of language, social interaction and intersubjectivity and that one can easily somehow be allowed the privilege to make own judgements on people’s intentions by looking at real general structures in society and then use that to prioritize your own view of an agents intentionality over that of the agent and the action when judging the outcome in a given scenario.

    That’s one sentence. That is one garbled, tedious, poorly worded stream of garbage. Just stop that.

    If you don’t stay gone, at least have the common courtesy of addressing what people are saying to you in an honest, straight-forward fashion – rather than bloviating nonsensically thinking that you are fooling anyone into thinking you’re deep.

  208. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I imagine it still is, but PZ is too busy swanning around in Spain to get rid of him.

    The fact this guy is in HR when he so obvious doesn’t fucking get it is pretty depressing. Can you imagine being a woman in his company, going to HR because some guy was being a creep at the Xmas party?

    Did he now? Well I’m terribly sorry to hear that, but let’s not make too big a deal of it. Did anyone else even see it happen? After all, an accusation of sexual harassment can permanently tarnish his reputation, and ought to be treated accordingly. It’s not the case that anything a woman says in this department goes and ought not to be questioned!,/i>

    Besides, was this really harassment? I mean, what may constitute borderline sexual harassment for one woman may be interpreted as innocuous or even welcome flirting by another. How was he supposed to know which camp you fell into? I mean, it’s not really fair to demand that he keep track of your invisible, vague and always shifting boundaries. I mean, that would take the fun out of going to the bar!

    *vomit*

  209. Saad says

    chigau, #228

    I think “time troll” should be a thing.

    As in a verb or a potential villain in a Back to the Future remake?

  210. carlie says

    “Time troll” needs to enter the lexicon, stat. It perfectly encapsulates someone who keeps repeating the same point over and over, using more words each time, yet never saying anything new or responding to any attempts to engage, no matter how detailed and well thought out those attempts may be.

  211. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I am pretty well up to date on structural sexist stuff as well as an intersectional view of society with all that entails in terms of a reasonable understanding of forms or systems of oppression, domination and discrimination. I have to as it as it is part of my job description in middle management in HR.

    Yeah. I know what you mean. I saw Roots once. We covered slavery in high school. Now I get to tell black folks what racism is and how to respond to it. /s

  212. Saad says

    Jackie, #238

    Yeah. I know what you mean. I saw Roots once. We covered slavery in high school. Now I get to tell black folks what racism is and how to respond to it. /s

    Yeah, but have you read a sentence from I Have a Dream?

  213. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Tone troll addresses no points, does no due diligence, Will not listen to women’s lived experiences, complains that people are using bad words.

    Does so for days.

    It’s like arguing with a creationist except sexism matters so much more and does so much more damage.

    Seriously, if schools stop supporting rapists and various other forms of misogyny they can teach creation all day long. I don’t care. It just isn’t that important to me.

    Psychics? They can do their thing too. It isn’t that important.

    More and more I feel like I have wasted too much time giving fucks about those things and not enough speaking up about social justice.

    This tends to be how waves of feminism gain momentum. Women attempt to speak up for a cause, find they cannot speak up because they have no voice and they realize that they have to work for the power to be heard first.

  214. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Saad, I can’t be bothered to read.
    Now, allow me to write pages of pointless, condescending, verbose, bullshit about how we could not possibly know if something is racist because we can’t read minds…

    You are going to kiss my lily white ass as I do so, correct?
    No?
    Well, you hordling ruffians do not deserve my wisdom. I must flounce! I am needed elsewhere.
    Awaaaaay!

  215. siger says

    As someone said already in this thread, I think Massimo’s letter could have been written by PZ, if PZ were not mentioned in it. Both are very bright progressive atheists, who are opposing adaptionism, reductionism, evopsych and other socalled scientific research with a rightwing, antisocial agenda, which is more important to me than occasional language. I will keep respecting and reading both.

  216. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    siger,
    Did you even read the thread? Yes, it might have been written by PZ, were PZ not a feminist.
    …and you can’t be progressive if you are not a feminist.
    MP is not a feminist or a feminist ally. If he wants to be, he needs to sit down, shut up and learn.

  217. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    As someone said already in this thread,
    Yes. “someone”. As if there weren’t enough comments from him for you to remember his name and the responses to them.

    You can read and respect who you like. No one is stopping you. That does not make you correct about MP’s “progressiveness”.

  218. anteprepro says

    Time troll is perfect. The deliberate wasting of time as a method of trolling. That is essentially what Gish Galloping is. And also a Courtier’s Reply. And any person who says the same shit over, pretending to address counter arguments while actually just ignoring them. And sealioning would be a combination tone troll and time troll, with a dash of harassment.

    Jackie:

    It’s like arguing with a creationist except sexism matters so much more and does so much more damage.

    Early on in the so-called Misogyny Wars I noticed this. The ineptitude and “tactics” are just so fucking similar. Complete with seemingly deliberate missing of every fucking point and strong reliance on faux civility. Indeed, the key difference is the stakes involved in those debates. Which makes the ones who are being dishonest and playing dumb incredibly fucking odious, instead of just depressingly comical like with creationists.

  219. anteprepro says

    siger:

    As someone said already in this thread, I think Massimo’s letter could have been written by PZ, if PZ were not mentioned in it.

    What if it wasn’t someone who wasn’t PZ but who was objected to for the same reasons Massimo objects to PZ?

    No, that is just a very convenient omission. And as I already wrote a hundred or so comments ago, the reasons that Massimo objects to these people, the same people PZ would also object to, are very much NOT the reasons that PZ would object to them.

    doublereed, the someone who already said that, agreed with me on that.

    Both are very bright progressive atheists, who are opposing adaptionism, reductionism, evopsych and other socalled scientific research with a rightwing, antisocial agenda, which is more important to me than occasional language.

    Huh. “More important to me than occasional language”. Please define what you mean by “occasional language”. Because my suspicion is that you just rather underhandedly dismissed sexism by calling it merely “occasional language”. It really looks like a rather grand euphemism you’ve found there, but please do tell me I am wrong.

  220. siger says

    Of course Anteprepro, your already expressed suspicion will make anything I say be used against me. That is how threads like this go.

    Let me conclude as follows: I do not think there is any error of substance in the text from Pigliucci quoted by Saad in #135. Unless you read it with the assumption that it really is the defence of a rapist who is trying to get away with it – which might be a suspicion, but is not the case at all.

  221. Saad says

    siger, #248

    I do not think there is any error of substance in the text from Pigliucci quoted by Saad in #135. Unless you read it with the assumption that it really is the defence of a rapist who is trying to get away with it – which might be a suspicion, but is not the case at all.

    It’s a defense of the bullying power men hold specifically in the atheist community and even more specifically in large atheist gatherings. That rapists like Shermer can cite it as their own defense is a side effect. In other words, IF we grant that Pigliucci’s stance is correct there, then we will have to concede if Shermer uses it to argue against zero tolerance anti-harassment policies.

    No error of substance, my foot. I bolded the specific parts and even said what’s wrong with them. You tell me why they’re not.

  222. says

    @siger (or are you Henrik back for more?)

    It doesn’t have to be a defence of a rapist to be a defence of the status quo supportive environment for rape and rapists in general. Pigliucci was arguing against treating victims of sexual harassment with any degree of respect or seriousness. Now he’s criticising rapists and misogynists not for their immorality but because they fail to defer to philosophers to the appropriate degree.

  223. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Of course Anteprepro, your already expressed suspicion will make anything I say be used against me.
    Holy lack of self awareness, Batman! You read this thread and you are complaining about being disregarded? I’m literally an invisible pixel almost throughout this thread.

    That is how threads like this go.

    Then leave. You were not invited and you are not saying anything new. I am not about to do this same dance over again to please you.

  224. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Of course Anteprepro, your already expressed suspicion will make anything I say be used against me.

    Should have been in blockquotes.

  225. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    That is how threads like this go.

    So you’ve either been here before or argued against feminism someplace else. Where was it if not here? Pandagon? Skepchick? WHTM?

    If that was not your meaning, what was it? What makes a thread “like this”?

  226. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    You know what? I’m with Saad. I can’t do this. I’m burnt out on asshole atheism.

  227. anteprepro says

    Siger:

    1. Your very loud and begrudging evasion is noted.

    2. The issue with the quote at 135 isn’t “errors”, you dishonest fuckwit. It is the implications and effects that this type of argument has. On harassment policies if the logic is abided by and on women who read that dismissive and dishonest shit. It is equivalent to the arguments about false rape accusations when talking about believing victims and low reporting and conviction rates for rapes. “What about the menz!?”, blurred lines, silencing any discussion about improving things for many, many women because of the very remote chance that an innocent man will get in trouble in the process. That isn’t an “error”, it is just a context and an expected effect that makes it odious. The strawmanning and condescension just adds further to that.

  228. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @siger #242

    As someone said already in this thread, I think Massimo’s letter could have been written by PZ, if PZ were not mentioned in it. Both are very bright progressive atheists, who are opposing adaptionism, reductionism, evopsych and other socalled scientific research with a rightwing, antisocial agenda, which is more important to me than occasional language. I will keep respecting and reading both.

    Except MP is a sexist pissant and PZ isn’t. Other than that, good comparison.

  229. anteprepro says

    Jackie and Saad: I sympathize. You’ve done great work in this thread. As well as many others, of course. Don’t feel obligated to tackle the tedious trolls that pop up and feel free to give yourself some time to decompress and get away if you need it. It’s not like addressing the trolls is an urgent matter either: their inane comments will still be here tomorrow if you need to give yourself some form of respite.

    Just look out for yourselves, is all.

  230. Saad says

    Question for Henrik, siger and any other atheist who thinks like them:

    Where is your skepticism and concern for fairness with regard to zero tolerance policies against racism at atheist conferences? How come it only comes up when it’s about women? Have a dog in the fight, do you?

    Think about that. I mean actually think about it and not just Think™ about it.

  231. Saad says

    anteprepro,

    Thanks. Same to you and Jackie and everyone else posting here.

  232. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Let me conclude as follows: I do not think there is any error of substance in the text from Pigliucci quoted by Saad in #135. Unless you read it with the assumption that it really is the defence of a rapist who is trying to get away with it – which might be a suspicion, but is not the case at all.

    I didn’t. I had no idea it was about Shermer when I read it. And yet I immediately noted the comparisons and described it as Shades of Shermer Defenders. It’s almost as if we were criticizing the language used and the obvious underlying attitudes.

  233. anteprepro says

    Thank you Saad.

    Thumper:

    I didn’t. I had no idea it was about Shermer when I read it. And yet I immediately noted the comparisons and described it as Shades of Shermer Defenders. It’s almost as if we were criticizing the language used and the obvious underlying attitudes.

    Damn, well put.

  234. Tethys says

    I’ve been lurking as Saad, and Jackie have been doing an admirable task of trying to penetrate Henrik’s skull with the idea that women are people, but dayum but we get some obtuse fools commenting on these “stupid white dude with a philosophy degree” threads.

    Simply more Chomsky than Rand to counter what was advocated here by some as an alternative that seems to be a rather fundamentalist (even objectivist) understanding of language, social interaction and intersubjectivity…

    Oh, I am so totally not impressed that Henrik can name drop, though I wouldn’t put a third rate novelist in the same category as Chomsky.

    and that one can easily somehow be allowed the privilege to make own judgements on people’s intentions by looking at real general structures in society and then use that to prioritize your own view of an agents intentionality over that of the agent

    The sexism is apparently invisible to idiot Henrik. Perhaps this analogy will help? It does not matter if you intended to step on my foot. Telling me to ignore the pain in my foot because the foot steppers reputation might be tarnished, how dare I yell, and then to whinge on about how it doesn’t hurt because maybe they didn’t mean to step on me is fucking asinine. Henriks of the world need to shut their fool mouths and Get the hell off my foot!

  235. Henrik Larsson says

    Ibis 3 @257
    Just politely trying to stay out as I was specifically asked to.
    Thanx for pointing me to the rules. I did check them and am probably in violation by answering to your post
    and definitely for not acting correctly upon requests by other users on the blog to bugger off.
    Not intimidated though. Just close to or actually banned.

    Saad @261
    I believe I have been told to bugger off in no uncertain terms and am also apparently in violation with the rules of the blog. So don’t think I should respond further even if I wanted to.

    If I am asked to reply here and don’t I would also technically break the forum rules too so not sure how to proceed. Probably still bugger off? I will think about what you asked though, yes, If you care, this is what I am politically compatible with, voted for and am active on and off in over here: http://feministisktinitiativ.se/sprak/english/election-platform/
    I have also been in contact briefly with another user and mod here crip dyke, and have got kind permission to translate and use some of her stuff in debates over here, Ah well. Greetings from the hole. Love a good hiding as much as the next guy.

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see our tone trolling mansplainer is back. Nothing substantial of course, and he definitely doesn’t understand the concept of either he is part of the solution, which requires listening to and heeding women’s voices, or he is part of the problem (remember that from the civil rights/’Nam war protests?). The latter is the case. Same with siger and MP. They aren’t part of the solution, so they are part of the problem.

  237. anteprepro says

    Henrik has truly mastered the art of saying nothing with as many words as possible.

  238. siger says

    Where is your skepticism and concern for fairness with regard to zero tolerance policies against racism at atheist conferences? How come it only comes up when it’s about women?

    My scepticism and concern for fairness NOT only comes up when it is about women. What basis do you have for that idea?

    Have a dog in the fight, do you?

    What could you possibly mean by that? Do you think I am an harasser or worse? On what reasonable basis? And no, I am certainly not. I am for equal rights for every person. I am against sexism, racism and every other discrimination.

  239. anteprepro says

    Wow siger. After all the criticism of your idiocy here, the most you can be bothered to say is a reassurance that you are definitely not a bigot, because you say so. Grand. Fantastic work. Superb. Perfection. Without a single fault.

  240. anteprepro says

    I believe siger and Henrik are doing a great job at illustrating the concept of time trolling. I think they are trying to seal the deal on that becoming A Thing.

  241. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My scepticism and concern for fairness NOT only comes up when it is about women. What basis do you have for that idea?

    By skeptically and cynically interpreting your dog whistles. DUH.

  242. Tethys says

    One of the effects of the institutionalized misogyny in out societys is that violence against women is such a common occurrence that it is normalized. It is rendered invisible by ubiquity. Case in point The US Military’s Sexual Assault Problem is So Bad The UN Is Getting Involved This article speculates that agriculture somehow is responsible for changing egalitarian hunter gatherer societies into patriarchal societies. Early Men and Women Equal but that idea is silly. Plenty of societies had both agriculture and egalitarian social structures before they were invaded and subjugated by all male militarized and or religious societies which value women as inherently flawed useful servants. Cleopatra and Hatsheput ruled as Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, but the US hasn’t elected any women President. The supreme Court is dominated by sexist male religious bigots, as is every elected body in the US. The entire social structure is biased towards men. but the Henriks of the world think intent is what is important. *argh!*

  243. Henrik Larsson says

    Not sure what is going on here any longer, but if I get banned I wanted to post this from the link above which actually pretty well reflects my actual views on sexual harassment and not the hostile guesswork in the thread based on my interpretation and support of much of Massimo Pigliuccis writings.
    I certainly don’t support the exact views some people seem to have here on what you can be allowed to do with intentionality and have tried to say so with so many words. It matters to me to describe my own views myself.
    Anyway, it is a decent blurb from the electionpamflet of the official view of the party I support and I wanted to get that in there if I am not allowed to write anymore.

    New legislation on sexual crime – criminalize sex without consent.
    The right to bodily integrity is a fundamental democratic issue. Young women and LGBTQ persons are the primary victims of sexual harassment, forced sex and sexual violence. Current legislation as well as jurisprudence places responsibility for human rights violations on the victims. This practice is unacceptable. Feministiskt initiativ has long since been advocating for new legislation concerning rape of which the main element is the criminalization of sex without consent. Contrary to the rulings of several courts we believe that men are capable of taking responsibility for their actions and respect their fellow human beings. While reformed legislation is needed, this is not enough. Obligatory training is needed within the justice system on central issues such as violence, sexism, racism and human rights. In addition, sex education in schools needs to be improved and youth centers and clinics need to be made more accessible.

  244. Tethys says

    Henrik

    Not sure what is going on here any longer, but if I get banned I wanted to post this from the link above which actually pretty well reflects my actual views on sexual harassment and not the hostile guesswork in the thread based on my interpretation and support of much of Massimo Pigliuccis writings.

    I think most here would prefer you to engage with their criticism of your support for MP, rather than court the ban hammer by evading. It’s really boring and frustrating for everybody to focus on tone and intent rather than the issue at hand. This statement by MP is a problem.

    and who has lately discovered (together with a number of others that I don’t need to mention here) both social progressiveness and feminism (or perhaps he invented them?), and has immediately proceeded to confuse them, somehow, with tenets of atheism

    Since it is empirically true that atheist women and any allies who are fighting for equality are subject to an unrelenting stream of internet hate and terrorism from multiple atheist men, MP striking a blow for the assholes claiming that it is a non-issue is deeply , offensively, sexist.

  245. Henrik Larsson says

    tethys @275

    Thanx for your comment. I agree completely with you empirical end paragraph.

    Yes, that MP quote is bad. A bad swipe at the host of this blog.
    “MP striking a blow for the assholes claiming that it is a non-issue”
    Eh. No. Just a bad swipe at the host of this blog.
    Pretty sure Professor Myers , as well as MP can handle the backdraft as well as he gives as well as he gets. I have suggested beers and pow-wow earlier in the thread, as they both seem to be decent human beings. Metaphor!

    Quotemining contest?
    So, at the end of that same article MP also concludes:

    “Where to next, then? Toward a true integration and a dialogue (as opposed to a shouting match) with the rest of society, when we will not need special organizations and dedicated meetings, because secularism, skepticism, and political progressivism (including feminism) will be part of the normal cultural landscape, embedded by default in ongoing discussions on how to make this a better world.”

    not so bad. not so sexist.

  246. tkreacher says

    Henrik Larsson #276

    who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers ) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet

    This isn’t just about the “host”, you disingenuous asshole. This isn’t “just” a swipe against the “host”. This is a blanket fucking statement about the entirety of those who participate in these threads – including people like Saad and Jackie… who are being accused of “a level of nastiness rarely matched anywhere else on the internet” by this dismissive, privileged jackass. Who are being fucking scolded by this sanctimonious wind-bag for SPEAKING UP FOR THEMSELVES AGAINST VIOLENT OPPRESSION.

    Then, they have to face a less erudite, more muddled, less-credentialed version of the same fucking thing right here with you.

    You really are a piece of shit.

  247. chigau (違う) says

    Where to next, then? Toward a true integration and a dialogue (as opposed to a shouting match) with the rest of society, when we will not need special organizations and dedicated meetings, because secularism, skepticism, and political progressivism (including feminism) will be part of the normal cultural landscape, embedded by default in ongoing discussions on how to make this a better world.
    .
    He is such a lousy writer.

  248. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    not so bad. not so sexist.

    No, I don’t see that. I see where women need to shut the fuck up until MP deigns to listen to them as he should have all along. And no sign it is happening, because his mental wanking won’t allow it. All I see is flip…flip…flip….flip…flip….flop, I’ve always said flop. Never mind the five flips proceeding the flop.
    You lose as always. Nothing cogent here, more deception….

  249. Saad says

    Toward a true integration and a dialogue (as opposed to a shouting match) with the rest of society, when we will not need special organizations and dedicated meetings, because secularism, skepticism, and political progressivism (including feminism) will be part of the normal cultural landscape, embedded by default in ongoing discussions on how to make this a better world.”

    not so bad. not so sexist.

    Uh, and actually, yes. Very bad. Very sexist. See bolded part. Classic tone troll.

  250. Henrik Larsson says

    tkreacher @277
    Well, he is not far off there, the blog is actually pretty nasty at times. “Tone matters”
    as your bloghost wrote in his swipe against MP a while back.
    So you feel MP has actually individually insulted everyone that writes on this blog by that swipe?
    While everyone here is “SPEAKING UP FOR THEMSELVES AGAINST VIOLENT OPPRESSION” (your caps lock).
    I can’t argue with that but gotta say the groupthink brush is now the size of Nevada. So be it.
    I am from a different country and a different context and support much of what you guys do and write
    as far as I get it as I have lurked here on and off and have never been in your shoes. I like the place.
    But apparently as Nerd of redhead writes. I “lose”. Not sure what the contest was.
    Nature, red in tooth and claw stuff probably.

  251. chigau (違う) says

    Are We® ever accused of ‘group-think’ when a troll agrees with Us™?

  252. Tethys says

    not so bad. not so sexist.

    In fact, a man (in this case MP and Henrik) who has never had to even so much as notice everyday sexism completely ignoring everything the feminists are saying in favor of lecturing them on how best to effect social change (no raised voices ladies!) is precisely the fucking problem! We do not want to be anywhere near, or associated with the various sexist asshats mentioned by MP. The idea that it’s the feminists of the horde and PZ who should compromise and work towards greater dialog and unity with people we find reprehensible is ridiculous and insulting. We like our rifts deep and wide, thankyouverymuch.

  253. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can’t argue with that but gotta say the groupthink brush is now the size of Nevada. So be it.

    Or your stupidity and dogwhistling is the size of Alaska. The latter comes to mind. What a fuckwitted loser you are. You are not a rational male. Otherwise, you would shut the fuck up and listen. But your innate sexism gets in the way….

    I “lose”.

    Right, until you shut the fuck up and listen and heed women’s voices. Which you are unable to do. Due to your privileges and latent sexism.
    And in case you are interested, I’m a 60+ year old male, and smell your fear of change….

  254. Henrik Larsson says

    chigau,
    Apologies, sloppy of me, i did not mean actual Irving Janis-esque groupthink.
    No slur intended but a broader general sense of the word as in a group that does some thinking together. Sorry.

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No slur intended but a broader general sense of the word as in a group that does some thinking together. Sorry.

    All fuckwitted idjits like yourself accuse those who look at evidence and come to the same conclusion based on it, which is you are full of bullshit, as “groupthink”. Ever think you have a problem with denialism? You do. Shut the fuck up loser. You couldn’t find you way out of a torn wet paper bag with compass, GPS, and book of instructions. You would presuppose your way out….

  256. Henrik Larsson says

    Nerd of Redhead @286
    Yes I am interested. Always.
    Voted feministparty last year. Nearly entered parliament but missed by a few points. Would have been a first in the world. Want the real change. Working for it. Embracing it. You assume too much by my unwillingness to get with the program completely on MP. Some common ground achieved in @151 by accepting Saad’s wording of “teetering on the edge of apologia”. I also thought consciousness razors post @171 was on the money with regards to MP:s disposition and background which explains some of it. This is Yalta all over again. I’ll sign.

  257. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Came back anyway, like a dog returning to vomit.
    It just hit me (I’m maybe a little slow on this one) that the “potential rapist” comment was a stab at Schrodinger’s Rapist.

    He’s a philosopher who thinks Schrodinger’s Rapist is a threat to him.

    If every tenth M&M in the bowl is poisoned and that makes women wary of M&Ms it is unfair. That’s a proud philosopher’s understanding of women telling him that rapists look like everyone else and so many men treat us as the sex class and less human than they are that we have every right to be suspicious. When we aren’t and get raped, we are blamed.
    *Trigger Warning*

    “Are you sure it was rape/harasment/sexism, Honey? Are ya sure? You’re awfully emotional right now. He was probably awkward/flirting/confused by consent. Are you sure you aren’t just ashamed or being a conniving b*tch? Oh, you’re sure? Well, you should have known better than to trust him.”

    This round and round with sexist atheists is so depressing. It wears away at me like drops of water on a stone. That’s how microaggressions work.

    No matter how patiently you explain it to them, they won’t hear it. No matter how many times or how clear you are they will not even try to wrap their heads around it. They won’t study feminism because they do not respect the women who write about it. They won’t shut up long enough to listen. The only thing they know about feminism is how much they don’t want to hear about it. They want silence or even cookies while they tell us how lucky we are “western” (read as “white”) men aren’t much worse to us.

    They want to shame us into shutting up and going away so that they can go back to telling themselves that minorities don’t get involved in organized atheism because they’re just not as good at thinking as white dudes are. The only reason they want women at their events are as support staff, eye candy, adoring fans or tokens. We are threatening that. So, naturally we are just the worst thing ever to happen to atheism ever.

    That atheists of all people cannot stand brassy women with sharp tongues and sharper minds would set Madeline Murray O’Hare spinning in her grave.

    Some days I feel like it’s going to put me in mine alot sooner than if I’d just give up and go away. I’d be much happier today if I had never become an atheist or tried to find an atheist community. I’d probably feel safer using my real name online. I can’t feel that now. I do use my name some places but I don’t ever feel safe doing it. Because any woman could be next. (That’s also how rape culture keeps women in their place.) And look at what they get from their “community” when their number comes up! Jesus fucking wept, no wonder religionists think were immoral, arrogant assholes. If they’ve seen half what I have from atheists that is a reasonable assumption.
    I’d say these atheist men eat their own, but that would mean they’d consider a feminist woman one of their own.

    I’m glad MP went his own way. It’s like the garbage taking itself out.

  258. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes I am interested. Always.

    Only to try refuting stuff, not learning. Which requires you to shut the fuck up and stop mansplainin’, which is what you are doing. I don’t give a shit about your unevidenced opinion. I don’t believe a word you say. Why? Experience with mansplain’ers. Until you shut up, you aren’t and can’t and aren’t listening.
    So, are you listening, or you are mansplainin’. Your lack or response will tell us…..,.,

  259. tkreacher says

    Henrick Larsson #283

    Well, he is not far off there, the blog is actually pretty nasty at times.

    “Nasty” about what, asshole? “Nasty” towards whom?

    So you feel MP has actually individually insulted everyone that writes on this blog by that swipe?
    While everyone here is “SPEAKING UP FOR THEMSELVES AGAINST VIOLENT OPPRESSION” (your caps lock).

    No, I don’t “feel” that. I fucking comprehend that, because I can fucking read. Secondly, I didn’t say “everyone here” is speaking up for themselves. I said he disparaged everyone here and then specifically mentioned two people who are speaking up for themselves against violent oppression who are thrown under his tone-trolling, silencing bus.

    Fuck you.

    I can’t argue with that but gotta say the groupthink brush is now the size of Nevada.

    The “groupthink brush” is yours and MPs, you piece of shit.

    Stop painting, dumbass.

  260. Henrik Larsson says

    Nerd of redhead @288

    Not great with the swearing but I’ll try to get with the program and give it a go since are so up for it:

    May a thousand camels fart outside your tent!

    (Actual bedouin phrase learnt in north africa in the 60s.)

  261. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Henrik,
    I think it is time you took this to the Thunderdome. You are sea lioning and have no intention of doing anything but being an irritating sexist ass. Pretty sure you’ve broken the TOS a few times.

  262. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    May a thousand camels fart outside your tent!

    I don’t give shit about your ignorant mansplainin’ idiocy. You need to shut the fuck up and listen, and would do so if you had honesty and integrity. I know better. You will lie and bullshit to try to gain advantage over any woman who reports harassment to you. Since you have no integrity…..

  263. Tethys says

    This comment by MP is why I have such disdain for white dudes with pretensions to philosophy.

    we do not want to create a social environment where people are constantly afraid of stepping across invisible, vague and always shifting boundaries. That would take the fun out of going to the bar after the conference with friends and, frankly, out of flirting with members of the opposite sex

    According to MP it’s just so darn hard to be aware of such nebulous, trivial things like feminism. Darn oppressed groups and their shifting boundaries. Clearly they are at fault for not pointing out their oppression nicely enough, plus of course the bonus moldy oldy menz complaint; how will he ever flirt/ get laid if dudes are expected to treat their prospective partners as equals?

  264. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    But it is so nice to see that this is funny to you. My equality is such a funny joke, ha, ha.

    A respected (by some) philosopher is calling me (I’m a frequent commenter here and do not suffer fools politely.) nasty for being obviously angry in the face of such unbelievable ugliness. I’ve been triggered in these threads til I wept into and entire bottle of Merlot, woke up the next morning and wept again. If it looks like I have written comments with shaking hands it is because I did. But I’m so nasty. Me. Not the vile rape apologist assholes. Me.

    You want me to respect that man. You want me to be sorry to see him fuck off. You think it’s funny.

    Guess who isn’t laughing right now? Guess who is sick and tired and guess why you get to laugh this off while the women here can’t.

  265. Saad says

    Henrik, you’re a fucking coward.

    We’re on post 293 now and you have not addressed any of the things I’ve pointed out back in #135. Moreover, you had the nerve to quote a line about from that VERY SAME article and use it to say Pigliucci is not being sexist. Why is that?

    And you’ve ignored virtually every single of Jackie’s posts. Why is that?

    You have the self-awareness of a rock.

  266. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Sometimes I wish Cthulhu would rise and open the gates so the Old Ones can eat us. If this is the best humanity can do, maybe giant evil gods should get their turn.

    Since there are no gods I’ll just have to stick it out.
    Brain bleach anyone? It helps when you can’t even.

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Frankly, I see nothing in harassment policies or Crystal Clear Consent that prevents flirting or casual sex at conventions. All I see is that it doesn’t give the man any advantage, and puts the power to the woman, where it should be.
    Anybody who is afraid of such things is a misogynist fuckwit, who needs re-education to be a real man….spoken as a man….

  268. Saad says

    Tethys, #296

    plus of course the bonus moldy oldy menz complaint; how will he ever flirt/ get laid if dudes are expected to treat their prospective partners as equals?

    Yup, there’s his real point. It always comes down to that.

    Pigliucci: “we do not want to create a social environment where people are constantly afraid of stepping across invisible, vague and always shifting boundaries”

    We also do not want to create a social environment where women are afraid of stepping almost anywhere freely.

    Oh wait, too late…

    And wise philosophical thinky men like Pigliucci want to keep it that way.

  269. says

    @Saad and Jackie, may I offer *safehugs* and a *clenched tentacle salute* for ya’ll’s work in this thread?

    —-
    @Henrik, just, go away, or take it to the Thunderdome (link in the left hand bar, near the commenting rules). You are writing like you think this shit is so goddamned funny, or like you think we need to lighten up.

    Guess-the-fuck-what? You aren’t a special snowflake who is bringing these points up for the first time. You’re more like a gnat, in a huge swarm of gnats that all want us to let you, you special individual gnat you, land and bite us. But what you can’t seem to see from your gnats perspective is all the thousands of other bites already covering our faces and arms and legs. You can only see the clear patch of skin you’ve landed on, and so are ignorant of all those other bites.

    We’ve seen tone trolls and JAQoffs and sealions pull your same, tired script a thousand times before, and I have little doubt we’ll see it a thousand times again.

    Shut up and listen. Read this whole thread again, for comprehension this time, lurk more, because you clearly have a lot that needs learning about microagressions and feminism (particularly as practiced in the U.S.).

  270. Henrik Larsson says

    Jackie @297
    I take your equality very seriously. Not trying to be funny about that at all. Please don’t make it into that. Again I vote feminist. The feministparty nearly made it into parliament here in my adopted country. I just see some evidence and the general point about MP but not willing to go as far as some others in the thread. That is it AFAIK. Not laughing anything off in your case.
    But I should probably go away now and stay away as I really don’t want to make anyone miserable. Love a good debate though. Nothing but respect for you.

    Saad,
    I just wrote that I accepted your wording of your critique of MP.
    That was it.
    Other than that I have tried to state my position and argue for it a best as I could.

    Promise to stay away even if others ask me stuff again.
    Lurking mode engaged. Self ban activated. Not a peep.
    Be safe be well.

  271. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again I vote feminist.

    Your testament is dismissed as fuckwittery, since your points are in conjunction with such a statement. In short, you honesty and integrity is trashed cy YOU, so nobody believes a word and say, and you must perforce start evidencing each and every statement you make, or it is dismissed as fuckwitttery. You are too in love with your prose to understand why rational people see you as a total liar and bullshitter….Shut the fuck up and listen….

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lurking mode engaged. Self ban activated. Not a peep.

    *hic* *snicker* *tee-hee-hee* *bwahahahahahahaha*

  273. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Do not advise me, asshole. Do not condescend to me. Do not give me your fake concern, you tedious fuckwit.

    Here’s what you don’t get: I can’t go away from this. This shit you are pulling here has happened to me and will happen to me my entire life. It is happening and will happen to my daughters. It happened to my mother and her mother and it never fucking ends. It is everywhere. I cannot escape it. I can only speak up about it and point out what stupid, inhuman shit people like you are constantly pulling. You cannot fuck off far enough. There is not enough off for you to fuck. I’m sick of it. It hurts, but it won’t and it cannot break me. It is meant to break me. Instead, I’m tempered in it. Faced with a tiny percentage of what women face routinely, you’d fall over dead. You couldn’t hack it, Henrik. You’re too weak.

  274. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Maybe not weak. Maybe soft is the word. Soft like hands that have never seen hard work.

  275. chigau (違う) says

    Henrik Larsson
    I do hope that you are still reading.
    Jackie #306 is the ‘shouting match’ that MP wants to avoid.
    He wants to avoid it because he hasn’t a leg to stand on and because he is a coward.

  276. says

    Do I want to host a site where the comfortable are challenged and made uncomfortable? Yes, I do.

    Do I want to host a site where people who are too often dismissed and belittled can stand up and be supported? Yep.

    I know. I am a truly awful, evil person.

  277. Saad says

    siger, #310

    PZ, is this really what you want to host?

    If the wounded leader of a battered and beaten army of tone trolls was sounding retreat, this is what the pathetic parting shot would be before tucking tail.

  278. bigwhale says

    You know, if I just arrived on this planet I would be surprised that HL voted for a feminist party but is still proudly sexist. He thinks we must conclude he cannot be a sexist because he voted for a feminst party. Too bad I’ve been alive a few years and know this is not how humanity works. When a serial killer is discovered, we hear about how he volunteered for the needy and his murders just don’t align with how his neighbors knew him. Wife beaters love their dogs and can be very tender. When I hear someone defending the sexist status quo, I am not surprised he sees himself as a nice guy who wants the best for women, or even identifies as a feminst. This is how the world works. This is why sexism is so hard to fight. This is why it is structural. Those who support sexism aren’t even aware when they are doing it, and when confronted, especially bright people, are capable of all kinds of motivated reasoning to keep believing they are on the right side instead of admitting wrong and trying to change.

  279. Tethys says

    PZ

    Do I want to host a site where people who are too often dismissed and belittled can stand up and be supported? Yep.

    Thanks PZ, your evilness really is deeply appreciated.

  280. unclefrogy says

    I find it odd and just a little but suspicious that these issues even come up. Oh I read “I’m for equal rights” often enough as if it is something that is granted or earned or fought for and all and nuanced.
    What do not get is that those who are declaring themselves all for equal rights see actually equality as a fundamental quality of existence. Instead they are attached to the constructs of society, culture, tradition and language. The attitudes of power and influence the accidents of birth and sex are deemed more important.
    Their own small accomplishments are give them some added credibility. Even those who call themselves unbelievers play the same game as the reactionary churchman .
    here in the face of the little we have learned about the nature of the only reality we know, as far as we can see, as far back in time we look as deep as we probe ourselves we find nothing that sets anything out as superior or more deserving to exist . nothing special there are differences but the hierarchies we make them. the universe dose not seem to play favorites only survival in the now, tomorrow you all die!
    I just do not hear a we
    it is hierarchies and authorities!
    uncle frogy

  281. siger says

    Let me throw in a bone, and I hope i’ll be strong enough to look away afterwards.

    As a shy man I never consciously initiated a flirt. The few times I was so lucky it was a girl or a woman who started it. So by reading over this thread once more, it struck me how the pack is convinced that flirting is an inherently male kind of tresspassing. Maybe it’s American culture. Or evopsych fantasy.

    I am a European and never stayed in a convent or an atheist conference. It seems to me that in Europe all genders flirt. Lucky so, for my part.

  282. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As a shy man I never consciously initiated a flirt. The few times I was so lucky it was a girl or a woman who started it. So by reading over this thread once more, it struck me how the pack is convinced that flirting is an inherently male kind of tresspassing.

    You are misreading the position of most of us. There is nothing wrong with flirting. Nothing in harassment policies says you can’t do it. The problem is that anybody, usually the woman, can tell somebody to stop, and they must. That is not oppressing flirtation per se, just that you can’t impose it upon everybody else without their permission. Not a hard concept, but beyond the meager thinking of assholes who impose themselves on others. They don’t like that they might have to stop. Which requires them to not act in a privileged manner.

  283. Rowan vet-tech says

    Siger.

    Flirting isn’t trespassing. Flirting isn’t specifically a male idea. The subtle ‘masculine’ idea that men are entitled to a woman’s attention and that she should automatically welcome all male attention no matter how crude or rude or intimate is what results in the trespassing.

    So no, we don’t think flirting is an inherently male kind of trespassing. Women flirt. Women are also able to flirt in a way that a man will find uncomfortable. It’s just that the consequences of rejecting the flirting, and the level of aggression at being rejected tend to be much more heavily weighted towards specific genders.

    For example, I used to have hair down to my waist. My hair is wavy, and quite pretty. Men used to come up behind me and start petting my hair without saying a word, then they would get *offended* that I didn’t want them touching me. It was a male action, because society as a whole had ‘taught’ them that they can do what they want, and a woman who objects is *rude*.

  284. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    siger,
    How unfair of women to not defer to the needs of your boner. What about your needs? Isn’t that what we mean ‘ol ladies should be thinking of?
    *glares*
    If you do not know how yo flirt without sexually harassing a woman maybe the responsible thing for you to do is stop “flirting” until you learn the difference. Maybe you should stop making the same arguments that men use to claim consent is just too hard for them to get from a woman AND make their boners happy. So, what’s a rape every now and then to them?

    This is for you:

  285. siger says

    @Jackie

    Where did you read that I am complaining or thinking that women are unfair? I did not complain, I have no boner-problems of any meaningful sort, and I am not even a rapist (can you imagin?)

    I am very happy with my life as it is, and very grateful to a lot of people, women included. Maybe you would like to read my post again.

  286. Rowan vet-tech says

    Siger, how about you respond to the people who addressed your other points instead of ignoring us.

  287. Al Dente says

    siger @321

    The problem you have, and it is yours, is that you appear to be playing the JAQ game. JAQ means “Just Asking Questions” and is a common tactic used by MRAs and other misogynists. BTW, if you don’t know what MRA means then you are way out of your depth on this thread.

  288. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    siger,

    So by reading over this thread once more, it struck me how the pack is convinced that flirting is an inherently male kind of tresspassing. Maybe it’s American culture. Or evopsych fantasy.
    I am a European and never stayed in a convent or an atheist conference. It seems to me that in Europe all genders flirt. Lucky so, for my part.

    You said that women saying they are being harassed are merely fantasizing while whining that knowing if you are harassing a woman is too hard. Poor “shy” you. Not a thought given to shy women who would rather not be sexually harassed. You’re further claiming that sexual harassment is just an American thing, as if Europe was so enlightened that women there don’t complain of sexual harassment. They do. You are ignoring them like you have the women in this thread. You even accused us of falling for evopsych bullshit.

    This may be the first time you’ve had this conversation, but it’s one of the hundreds of time we have. You’re a tedious, sexist pig. Off with you. Shoo!

  289. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    You also described us as a “pack” thus removing our humanity. Yes, you did indeed say we were being unfair. You painted women as a pack of deluded animals attacking poor innocent men who just want to get their dicks wet. Can you not read you’re own words?

  290. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Women are such foolish deranged animals. You just cannot believe them when they say they were harassed because we’re prone to fantasizing. Siger are the authority on our how we should feel when men “flirt” with us. . We’re just prudes ruining sex forever with our draconian boundaries and our insistence on basic respect.

    Siger,
    Did you know that when feminists back in the day complained that every time they were in public (at a cafe or what have you) without a man, men would sit down uninvited and just start monopolizing their time and “flirting” with them they got the same response you are giving us here?
    How did those women expect men to find women to fuck? Maybe some women enjoyed the attention? Doesn’t that clue you in at all?

  291. siger says

    Yes, in reading my own words I have found my master (surely this response hides some kind of sexual assault?)

  292. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    So many typos. I’ll start to write one sentence. Then I’ll have a thought and I end up typing garbled words. My fingers trip over my brain. I hope everyone get’s the gist anyway.

    When people talk to me while I type I sometimes end up typing snippets of what they’re saying. Is that common or am I just especially bad at focusing?

  293. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Siger,
    You aren’t funny and you are not honest. You’re being a sexist asshole. You’re now accusing me of what? Lying? Fantasizing?

    You need to go.

  294. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, in reading my own words I have found my master (surely this response hides some kind of sexual assault?)

    Either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. You decided to be part of the problem, since you won’t shut the fuck up and listen….

  295. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Mods have been notified. Siger’s little joke is beyond the pale.

    Hey siger, it really isn’t OK for you to accuse a woman of falsely accusing you of harassment. I got enough of that after I was molested as a kid. Many, many women have had enough of that. Are you trying to trigger someone or are you genuinely amused by what an asshole you’re being?

  296. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Ha Ha, women are telling me I’m being a sexist ass. Ha ha. They are so funny when they think they know things. Except when they are lying shrews trying to keep men from enjoying their rightful place as authorities on what women should put up with from men. Is that about right, siger?
    *spits*

  297. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    *picks up shovel*
    *starts digging wider, deeper rifts*

  298. siger says

    #322 @Rowan,

    How can I respond to anything if my words are re-interpreted and slurred every time?
    Must I go over all those of posts with slurs and misreprentations and respond again, after which follow new slurs and misreadings?

    Ask a real question and I will try to answer. I will happily admit my wrong, or honestly defend what I think is right, but read what I write and not something ‘beneat’ which are not what I think.

  299. Rowan vet-tech says

    Siger, did you even *read* my post at 319, or Nerd’s post at 318?

  300. Tethys says

    sigur and this entire thread are inducing deja vu in my brain. I know we have had endless discussions about the difference between sexual harassment, and how to go about engaging in some flirting that may lead to casual sex. It’s the rapists who need to conflate these different behaviors to provide cover for their crimes. If you find yourself unable to tell the difference, don’t care to know the difference, or find being aware of individual womens personal boundaries far too onerous a task. (or decide that boundaries are trivial things in comparison to your sexual desires) you are thinking exactly like a rapist and providing cover for them. There simply is not a big enough FUCK YOU for sigur and Massimo.

  301. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Siger,
    I did not re-interpret anything. Words have meaning and context. Own it. Yes, you need to read the thread again or STFU and GTFO. At this point you are gaslighting. Don’t think we can’t see it.

    You are being willfully obtuse and willfully dishonest. Your tone trolling in #334 is exactly what this thread is calling out. Stop. Shut up. Listen. Learn.

  302. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Our questions aren’t real? We’re even fantasizing about that?

    WTF?

  303. siger says

    @Rowan,

    Yes I read #319 and #318, and I fully agree with their content.

  304. Saad says

    siger, #317

    Let me throw in a bone, and I hope i’ll be strong enough to look away afterwards.

    As a shy man I never consciously initiated a flirt. The few times I was so lucky it was a girl or a woman who started it. So by reading over this thread once more, it struck me how the pack is convinced that flirting is an inherently male kind of tresspassing. Maybe it’s American culture. Or evopsych fantasy.

    It’s not about flirting. It’s about harassment. Pigliucci tried to screw up the conversation by bringing flirting into it.

    If a man doesn’t see the line between flirting and harassment, they should try to learn it or else shouldn’t try to flirt. It’s not a woman’s responsibility to patiently put up with harassment just because the man isn’t intending to harass; neither is it her responsibility to put the effort in to figure out whether the harassment is intended or not.

  305. Rowan vet-tech says

    So, if you read it, and you agree with us, does that mean you no longer think that…

    …the pack is convinced that flirting is an inherently male kind of tresspassing.

    … is true? Because it’d be nice if you acknowledged those responses instead of whining about others being rude.

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

    @Jackie, #333:

    *picks up shovel*
    *starts digging wider, deeper rifts*

    By the time this is done properly, I think you need Dwayne Johnson’s help! It looks like he has experience with a rift almost big enough.

  307. siger says

    Rowan,

    The pack (men and women, I suppose) has given me all reason to believe that they don’t agree (to put it mildly) with me and/or MP, as quoted by Saad. It has been constantly implicated that men flirt and that (unwelcomed?) flirting is harassment., even that just defending the possiblity of flirting as a good thing is equal to defending rape.

    But it is complicated, because Tumper or someone at a certain moment accuses MP of saying the same thing as feminists do, which then seems at that moment also to be a shamefull thing to do. I believe MP and myself say the same thing as feminists do – wich you demostrated with your resent reply.

    I rest my case. Other things to do dan being shouted at.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    t has been constantly implicated that men flirt and that (unwelcomed?) flirting is harassment.,

    Right, only unwelcomed flirting is harassment. Not a hard concept, except to somebody not paying attention to their sexual harassment training.

    even that just defending the possiblity of flirting as a good thing is equal to defending rape.

    Stupid hyperbole showing you aren’t being honest, don’t want to be honest, and can’t be honest.
    Rape is unwanted sex. It only becomes that when men (usually) won’t take no for an answer. Which is why they hate harassment policies, that REQUIRE them to take no for the answer.

    But it is complicated,

    Only in your delusional mind, trying to maintain the privilege of a guy hitting on any woman anywhere as long as the guy deems fit. Which IS harassment by definition.

  309. Saad says

    siger, #343

    It has been constantly implicated that men flirt and that (unwelcomed?) flirting is harassment

    What does a unwelcome flirting look like, siger? More specifically, what does it look like when a man is flirting with a woman who doesn’t want to be flirted with or is not interested in him?

    even that just defending the possiblity of flirting as a good thing is equal to defending rape.

    Nobody has said this.

    And I notice how you left out the very important word “unwelcome” before “flirting” there. You dishonest fuck.

  310. Saad says

    siger, #343

    I believe MP and myself say the same thing as feminists do – wich you demostrated with your resent reply.

    You think MP is saying the same thing as feminists? Post #135. Go.

  311. Tethys says

    Oy, sigur. MPs critique of feminism quoted at #135 is based on conflating harassment, predatory behavior, and sexism with normal MALE sexual behavior. (hint: Women also like flirting and sex, and in general prefer casual sex with partners who don’t consider them subhuman inferiors) Instead of working to make the arena of atheism a socially progressive place where everyone is equal, MP very clearly states that he only values greater inclusiveness within atheism as good because he likes having more women around for flirting and dick-wetting purposes. It was revealed in the grenade thread that michael shermer is a known sexual predator who has raped and assaulted women for years at atheist conferences, with the collusion of such people as the amazing Randi, and the support of his buddies who include Richard Dawkins. We have been discussing this shit for years now.

    MP and myself say the same thing as the feminists

    Fuck you and your lies.

  312. Rowan vet-tech says

    Siger, I am now disappointed that I took your initial words at face value. You are a dishonest bum-on-pate.

    YES, unwanted flirting is harassment.
    YES, saying that men should get to flirt without concern for how the person they are flirting with feels is a BAD THING.
    YES, this seems to be a thing primarily done by men, because of society and how they are raised.
    YES, it is entirely possible for a woman to sexually harass a man via unwanted flirting.
    NO, you are NOT a feminist.

  313. says

    Siger: You are restricted to posting only on the Thunderdome, because clearly you are incapable of civilized conversation.

  314. chigau (違う) says

    siger
    Don’t post an agreement here.
    Just go to the Thunderdome.
    Link is on the sidebar.