I hope this opposition to debate catches on


Although I’m also seeing signs that the professional atheist debaters are getting a bit annoyed with us.

Comments

  1. gijoel says

    The cartoonist forgot the miles of screed complaining about being censored because people won’t shut up and let them talk.

  2. says

    The 3rd Panel with the Q on the back of the sweatshirt got my attention. There is a toxic organisation, the ‘Q’ Society in Australia active in the extreme right of politics with a virulent anti-Muslim, anti-halal agenda and the attention and tacit support of the governing conservative party. Is this a coincidence or is the poison spreading?

  3. ck, the Irate Lump says

    garydargan wrote:

    There is a toxic organisation, the ‘Q’ Society in Australia…

    Could also be the QAnon nonsense. They like to emblazon their stuff with big letter ‘Q’s, too. They’re also extreme right wing.

  4. ajbjasus says

    I’m anti halal. Shame if that gets conflated with other forms of bigotry though.

  5. Colin J says

    Ajbjasus, #5:

    I’m anti halal. Shame if that gets conflated with other forms of bigotry though.

    Glad to see you acknowledge it as bigotry.

  6. says

    There is nothing bigoted about being opposed to cruel, medieval practices like Halal slaughter. All industrial slaughter of animals is barbaric, but religious practices like halal tend to make it even worse.

  7. numerobis says

    I don’t understand why we’d care about the precise method of killing a sentient being for meat. We grow cows in feedlots where they can barely move and where their shit is so concentrated it becomes hazardous waste rather than rich manure. Then we put them in trucks to haul them to the slaughterhouse (where we have laws against photography). There they stand in line where they know some bad shit is going down, and then it might take a few extra seconds one way or the other depending exactly how we kill them.

  8. says

    Yea like I said, ALL industrial killing of animals is barbaric, but at least it tends to involve some reduction of suffering based on humane, non-religious principles and legislation.

    Claiming that you need to slit the throat of an animal and make it bleed to death just because your non-existent sky-god said so is beyond indefensible.

  9. says

    This cartoon depicts nasty trolls who pretend to want to debate in order to abuse people they dislike. This is not an accurate portrayal of majority of people who just like debating. I used to be a teacher in my university’s debate club; many of my friends are also debaters. We would never stalk somebody who is walking their dog. This is not how civil debates happen. Moreover, we would never debate about questions like “do black people have genes that make them stupid.” Debating such a question would be utterly pointless, because we already know the answer (“no, they don’t have genes that make them stupid”). In university debate tournaments there’s also a rule that we never have debates about whether God exists.

    I believe that debates can be interesting and useful. It’s perfectly possible to be polite. It’s also possible to pick debate topics that are worth debating about. Debating about whether men should be allowed to beat up women is useless. Debating about the merits of some very specific government policy that is intended to help domestic abuse victims can be useful. In such a debate we can try to answer questions like, “Will this policy be effective at helping domestic violence victims?” or “Is this the best way how to reduce domestic violence, maybe some other alternative proposals would be better?”

    A while ago I wrote about why it can be beneficial to debate or simply have conversations with people who have opinions that differ from mine— https://andreasavester.com/10-reasons-why-you-should-talk-to-people-you-disagree-with/
    Of course, it depends on the situations, some debates are pointless or even harmful. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.

  10. Dunc says

    There is nothing bigoted about being opposed to cruel, medieval practices like Halal slaughter.

    In practice (at least in the UK, which is the only jurisdiction I’ve really looked at in detail), most halal slaughter is exactly the same as regular slaughter, except they play a tape recording of an imam saying the appropriate prayers while they do it. According the RSPCA and the Food Standards Agency, “84 percent of animals slaughtered by the Halal method were stunned before slaughter.” It’s Shechita that absolutely forbids pre-stunning, but for some reason that seems to attract less interest…

  11. Colin J says

    Christopher Svanefalk, #7

    There is nothing bigoted about being opposed to cruel, medieval practices like Halal slaughter.

    Wait, what?? When did this move from halal to animal slaughter? There’s a hell of a lot of halal food that isn’t meat and there’s a hell of a lot to halal that has nothing to do with food at all.

    “Regular” slaughter involves stunning an animal and then cutting it’s throat. All that’s required by halal is the direction you’re facing and saying a prayer. You can be cruel without being halal and you can be halal without being cruel(er than usual).

    If you’re justifying hating headscarves and interest free lending on the basis that some Muslims may be cruel in they way they kill animals for meat then I kind of think you just hate brown people. And yep, that makes you a bigot.

  12. says

    Colin J,

    Wait what?? When did this move to hating headscarves, interest free lending and brown people because Halal slaughter is barbaric?

    No, regular slaughter almost never involves slitting an animals throat, most industries use a bolt to the head. It’s still barbaric, but it sure as hell is more humane than slitting the throat and letting the animal bleed to death.

    I love interest free lending. No religion needed for that.

    I love brown people, no religion needed for that either.

    I don’t hate headscarves, but I do hate religious garments created by men for the purpose of suppressing women and make them conform to medieval, patriarchal norms in the name of religion.

  13. johnlee says

    I had this problem with my dad. He was as bigoted a right-wing loon as you could hope to find, and I refused to talk to him about same-sex marriage, gender equality and a host of other subjects, because virtually everything he had to say would make my blood boil.

    He, of course, claimed that I was censoring him and told me I was a Nazi.

    I would bet that 95% of people who accuse others of being Nazis tick that particular box themselves.

  14. gjpetch says

    Christopher Svanefalk @13 wrote: regular slaughter almost never involves slitting an animals throat

    This isn’t factual. From Wikipedia, on animal slaughter methods: “Many countries have adopted the principle of a two-stage process for the non-ritual slaughter of animals. [first stunning, then] the animal is killed, usually by slitting its throat and allowing the blood to drain.”
    Throat slitting is the norm.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_slaughter#Killing

  15. johnson catman says

    Andreas Avester @10:

    This cartoon depicts nasty trolls who pretend to want to debate in order to abuse people they dislike. This is not an accurate portrayal of majority of people who just like debating.

    So . . . you get the point of the cartoon. There are a lot of people out there who want to “debate” people that they disagree with, but they do not want to debate them. They want a platform to spout their opinions and they want people to listen to their bad reasoning, but they have no intention of actually listening to the opposition, and they will never budge an inch from their opinions no matter how well-structured, logical, and evidence-based the opposition presents the case against their opinions.

  16. says

    Yep, I was wrong about the normality of it, thanks for pointing it out. The point of barbarism still stands – especially since it is being done solely because people believe their non-existent god commands it,not because it is the most humane option (which I would still argue it isn’t)

  17. Dunc says

    @17: No, exsanguination is and always has been the standard method of slaughter, because it’s reliable and you need to do it anyway. Nothing to do with religious dictates. The bolt (or, in earlier decades, sledgehammer) to the head is used to stun the animal first, but It’s never been a reliable method of actually killing them.

    One might almost get the impression you don’t know what you’re talking about here.

  18. says

    “reliable” and “needs to be done anyway” does not equate to “humane” or “best option” – there is zero justifications for doing it while the animal is still alive.

    If we want to kill animals, we can certainly find better ways – the reason we don’t is most likely due to businesses wanting to maximise their profits.

    And yes, in the case of halal slaughter it has only to do with religious dictates.

  19. Saad says

    johnson catman, #16

    So . . . you get the point of the cartoon. There are a lot of people out there who want to “debate” people that they disagree with, but they do not want to debate them. They want a platform to spout their opinions and they want people to listen to their bad reasoning, but they have no intention of actually listening to the opposition, and they will never budge an inch from their opinions no matter how well-structured, logical, and evidence-based the opposition presents the case against their opinions.

    And it’s almost always about something where they have no skin in the game but the other person’s humanity is at stake. “I’m going to politely show you that you should have to give up these rights and put up with these inconveniences while I should get to keep on living my life as is.”

  20. John Small Berries says

    I don’t get the first word balloon in the final panel. Identitarians are a specific movement of white supremacists – which seems more like the Q woman than any of the people who refuse to debate the bigots.

  21. eamick says

    According to the cartoonist’s description of the cartoon, the Q is a reference to Quillette, a right-wing online magazine based in Australia. The panel is inspired by articles that have appeared there.

  22. consciousness razor says

    I don’t get the first word balloon in the final panel.

    I interpreted that as irony, because they whine so much about supposed left-wing “identity politics.”

  23. says

    I’m anti halal. Shame if that gets conflated with other forms of bigotry though.

    I’m glad to hear you’re giving up water.

  24. Allison says

    Andreas Avester @10

    This is not an accurate portrayal of majority of people who just like debating.

    This is an accurate portrayal of the many, many people who insist on “debating” stuff with people who don’t want to debate them and have made that clear. Which describes most of the people who come onto comment threads (or support sites!) and insist on debating. And most of the people who “debate” stuff with people in real life. When the topic they insist on “debating” is someone’s right to exist, it just means that their behavior is not only offensive, but immoral.

    If you want to debate something, and can find someone who wants to debate you, and go to someplace where your debating won’t interfere with people who aren’t interested, then that’s okay. “In private between consenting adults.” (But if the topic you want to debate amounts to debating someone’s right to exist or to be treated as a human being, then it’s still immoral.)

    It is mainly the non-consensual aspect of these “debates” that makes the debaters jerks and trolls.

  25. Allison says

    Christopher Svanefalk @7

    There is nothing bigoted about being opposed to cruel, medieval practices like Halal slaughter.

    I have yet to run into a bigot who didn’t have some rationalization as to why their particular bigotry wasn’t really bigotry.

    As has been pointed out, “halal” covers a multitude of strictures, the rules for how to slaughter an animal only being one of them; it’s like kashrut in that respect. If there’s a particular aspect of how halal butchers customarily kill animals in the places you are familiar with, why not make that clear, instead of lumping it under “halal?” Especially since, as has been pointed out here, the way halal butchers slaughter isn’t really all that different from what “mainstream” butchers do.

    Objecting to Halal per se, or headscarves, or whatever, are popular ways that islamophobes use to justify their bigotry. If you’re going to parrot the muslim-haters’ favorite tropes, then it should not surprise you that we don’t believe your assertions that you’re not “anti-muslim.”

  26. says

    Alison, nowhere have I lumped everything in under halal. You yourself quote me as being opposed to halal slaughter – that’s all . I am not opposed to halal per se. I eat halal-marked food pretty regularly.

    My fault is that I did not understand what the comment I was responding to meant, and jumped to respond to a point they never made. He pointed out my misunderstanding in a subsequent comment, and I should have acknowledged that.

  27. Saad says

    ajbjasus may very well be an anti-Muslim bigot, but being anti-halal isn’t a bad thing*. The idea of certain foods and practices being prohibited by a deity and parents telling their children to also abide by that command is a pretty shitty thing no matter how you look at it.

    it is odd to bring it up here for some reason though and that’s what makes it a red flag

  28. ajbjasus says

    Goodness me, my comment was intended make the point that believing that “halal” ( as in halal slaughter) was inhumane, was not the same as being anti Muslim, which seemed to be the point that comment #2 was making. The point that halal applies to things other than slaughter is well made, as is the point that many Muslims are essentially vegetarian, thus having a way more minimal impact on the animal population than the wider population.

    Feedlots and kosher slaughter are also not great in my view.

    In the UK halal slaughter now permits prestunning, but that wasn’t always the case, and this improvement has been the result of a number of years of dialogue. Of course there’s lots of work to do in other areas of animal welfare too.

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