An interim response to Justin Vacula

by Michael Nugent on March 6, 2013

Justin, thank you for your latest response. This is an interim response, as there have been a lot of comments about our dialogue which I want to consider before I make my next substantive reply.

I am disappointed that you did not even attempt to answer the question that I asked in my last post. You said that this was because:

Answering to all fifty items Nugent provides, none of them authored by me, and most of them unrecognized by me, would be quite the daunting task; it is simply too much to reasonably expect me to do…so I will take a line from Greta Christina and say I could write an entire novel about what’s wrong with Nugent’s post, but I just don’t have the time.

However, you did have time to write a two-thousand-word post, less than 5% of which you used to decline to answer my question and to dismiss my post with no supporting arguments, and the rest of which you used to discuss different issues.

Justin, the reason that I am asking you this particular question is so that I can understand, as a starting point for our dialogue, even approximately where you stand in terms of what type of nasty pushback against some feminists on the Internet you believe to be morally unjustified.

Can I remind you how we got to my question:

  1. You said in your video about the “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet that “It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified.”
  2. I asked you if you can go a step further, and say that at least some of it is morally unjustified, and if you can give some examples.
  3. You replied saying that indeed, some nasty pushback is morally unjustified, but it can be difficult to draw a line.
  4. I gave you some examples so that you didn’t have to draw a line, just evaluate specific examples.

As an aside, I would not have even looked for, and therefore would not have published, these fifty examples if you had given me examples of your own choosing when I first asked you to.

Also, I am aware that we both now have the added pressure of knowing that some others are likely to publicly misinterpret whatever we write, and to attribute malign motivations for writing it, during this dialogue.

So if you would rather not answer the question based on my examples, I would be happy for you to give me your own specific examples of nasty pushback against some feminists on the Internet that you personally believe to be morally unjustified.

You have already said that some of the nasty pushback is morally unjustified, so you must have had some specific examples in mind in order to be able to form that opinion.

And don’t worry, as I promised, I am also going to answer the questions that you asked me. In my experience of conflict resolution, the best way to progress constructively is to focus on each point separately, slowly and gradually building confidence in the process.

I know that you might distrust my intentions, perhaps because I have already said that I fundamentally disagree with your analysis, and perhaps because some other people have incorrectly attributed malign motivations to me.

But that is exactly who both you and I (and indeed anybody who wants to improve the current situation) need to talk with about this: somebody who fundamentally disagrees with our analysis.

Anyway, I’ll write again soon based on the sequence of issues that I promised to address in subsequent posts, including the questions that you asked me.

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{ 282 comments… read them below or add one }

251 John Brown March 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm

“Thalmus, you know the answer to that question. If you need specifics, as bigots tend to pretend that they do: the word is misogynistic, usage of the word is misogynistic.”

Bruce. Kindly grow up. That word is no more misogynistic than the word asshole is misanthropic. Get a new narrative and join the adult world. It’s fun here. We have adult conversations and don’t faint when people utter magic words in our vicinity.

252 Chad Gething March 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm


I see it was futile to expect a rational discussion.

I’m out.

253 John Greg March 8, 2013 at 12:48 am

Bruce McGlory asks:

“Has there been a single honest response to your questions? From Vacula or one of his small band of True Believers TM? Nope. And there never will be. Because bigotry is irrational, and the exact antithesis of skepticism.”

Hmm. You really cannot read can you. There have been countless honest answers, and several of them have even included links to proofs. But, well, no, you don’t like the honest answers, nor the proofs, because they do not support your ideological wall, so ShaZzam Magico: No honest answers!


254 Cian March 8, 2013 at 12:58 am

EssBee #246
I think you have a good point there. Is the word misogyny itself in danger of losing its potency and relevance by its over use? Is it not in danger of becoming mundane? It’s actually a valuable and important concept. Sexism and misogyny are being blurred in an unhelpful way.

255 EssBee March 8, 2013 at 1:12 am

Cian #254

I honestly think that it’s a very serious issue for communicating gender related issues. I don’t hang out on line much, but I do talk about social justice with friends and colleagues off the internet (I’m in academia). I’ve heard a number of people (both male and female, and even those who identify as ‘feminist’) that hearing the word ‘misogyny’ thrown around so lightly, so often, is off putting. Lots of things are sexist, but to say that a person, or an action, is demonstrating a *hatred* of women, is serious. It should be reserved for outright acts of violence and malice, in my opinion.

Otherwise, feminists and their allies run the risk of coming off to those potentially sympathetic to their cause as melodramatic and hysterical. And I know the words are loaded. That’s the point. We ought to choose our words carefully lest we become caricatures.

256 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 4:47 am

@ Thaumas Themelios

Insulting words like ‘cunt’ or ‘bitch’ are contentless insults.

You seem dead-set on proving this. Why? Do you really not appreciate the nasty baggage that those words carry, all the bigotry they exude.

If one’s boss googles and finds one accused of mysogyny, xe should at least seek evidence before holding it against one. Otherwise the accusation is baseless. I trust that you understand at least this much.

But you then go and score an own goal by writing this:

Cunt. There. I said it. Does it make me a misogynist now? – Thaumas Themelios

What must your hypothetical boss-to-be make of this? For all your longwinded pontifications, you are being rather obtuse.
Thaumas, why do you not post online using a nym? In your case, and given your comments, I would strongly suggest it.

257 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 5:10 am

@ Cian

Is it not in danger of becoming mundane?

Misogyny itself is mundane and far to commonplace. Were it but rare!

Sexism and misogyny are being blurred in an unhelpful way.

There is something in this. As sexism is so deeply entrentched in society, it is taken for granted and pops up regularly from the mouths of people who are otherwise not misogynistic. The battle against misogyny is fought, in part, by making people aware of the underlying sexism in our everyday life and not ignoring it, nor adding to it through ignorance.

What you may see a lot of on the interwebz… and even on skeptical fora, are peope who self-style themselves as “equity feminists”. They will claim to be egalitarian, but what they actually do is deny that there are deep seated, structural problems with sexism in our societies. I can try to paraphrase the dictionary description, with suitable ammendment to illustrate view: “Of, relating to, or believing [in the principle] that all people are equal and [deserve] have equal rights and opportunities.”

This rationale is really at odds with the truth though. As much as equity is a valuable goal to persue, we are still very far off from such a situation. I cite from today’s BBC website: Graduate pay gap – women paid thousands less than men

258 Michael Nugent March 8, 2013 at 7:44 am
259 Cian March 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

theophontes #257

I have enjoyed reading your comments but I disagree with you on this and just wish to echo EssBee above. Sexism is rife as you said – in pay, job opportunities etc, and we should be ceaselessly working to end it, but sexism is different to misogyny. For instance there is clear sexism in the way that male and female sport is covered in the media, but if you decide to called it misogynistic where do you go in your vocabulary when you want to describe forced marriages and female genital mutilation as suffered by Ayan Hirsi Ali.

Its a dangerous game. It happened in Ireland with the word “republican” – which actually just means being an advocate of a republic with no monarchy, as it means in Australia for instance. But during the troubles in Ireland IRA terrorism was always being reported as being “republican terrorism” so that now in Ireland “republican” means someone who supports the removal of Britain by force. As a consequence people who advocated a monarch-less republic without using force became “Nationalists” – a word which actually has far worse connotation than “Republican”. So we now have two terms basically divorced of there original meaning.
I think in this debate we are in danger of ruining our vocabulary in this way.

260 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

“Thalmus, you know the answer to that question. If you need specifics, as bigots tend to pretend that they do: the word is misogynistic, usage of the word is misogynistic”

So, Sally, didn’t take long for someone in this very thread to call me a bigot and a misogynist. Are you the least bit surprised?

More importantly, do you actually think I’m a misogynist? If not, then consider what this *counter-example* should tell you about the *reliability* of peoples’ claims that others in the atheist/skeptic community are actual misogynists. I’m about the furthest thing you could get from being a misogynist, and yet people still call me one. What does that say about them?

261 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

” Insulting words like ‘cunt’ or ‘bitch’ are contentless insults.

You seem dead-set on proving this. Why?”

Because there’s a difference between an insult and an accusation. Do you disagree?

262 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

“If one’s boss googles and finds one accused of mysogyny, xe should at least seek evidence before holding it against one. Otherwise the accusation is baseless. I trust that you understand at least this much.”

Are you really that naive to think that the average prospective employer is going to bother *investigating* claims of misogyny????? Get real. Seriously. Think about how many pages and pages of comments I had to go through just to get people to realize they had *no evidence* that a guy took any upskirt photos. And *THESE* were so-called *SKEPTICS*. Are you fucking kidding me? The average prospective employer cannot be assumed to be a self-proclaimed skeptic. They are statistically *more likely* (in the US at least) to be theists or at least superstitious. One whiff of controversy and its, “Don’t want any trouble, into the circular filing cabinet. Next!” Seriously. WTF?

263 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

@ Cian

but sexism is different to misogyny

Indeed. Have I argued otherwise?

… when you want to describe forced marriages and female genital mutilation …

These need not be misogynistic. This may be enforced, even lovingly, by parents who believe they are acting in their children’s best interest. (Whether this would happen in anything other than a deeply sexist culture – and at basis likely misogynistic – I very much doubt it. )

“Misogynistic” refers to hatred of women. It is not a superlative form of “sexist” (discrimination on the basis of sex).

Though your comments about the power of words are a little off the point (I am with you on there being a difference between “misogynist” and “sexist”), they are nevertheless informative to the larger debate. It is great that you see the power of words. It is easy for you to then understand (as so many claim to fail to) that words such as “cunt”, “nigger” and ” faggot” have incredible power to do harm. Again I need only click on today’s BBC webpage to find what a dreadful liability it would be to be called a queer in Nigeria: Nigeria ‘lesbian football ban’ reports examined by Fifa title=”follow the linkies” That shaming and degrading of groups within society starts with mere words, “mere” bigoted slurs.

I think in this debate we are in danger of ruining our vocabulary in this way.

No, our vocabulary is being degraded whenever we bring such bigotry – as I highlighted above – into our debate. When we keep using such language as if it has no consequences to the people it harms.

264 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

@ Thaumas Themelios

Because there’s a difference between an insult and an accusation. Do you disagree?

You are drifting off track here. We are discussing something particular, not a general insult. I have indicated very clearly in my comment to Cian above (and furthermore provided a link as an example) that when it comes to bigoted slurs, there are situations were they can indeed serve as accusations. Have a look how the whole homophobic word game has (d)evolved in countries such as Zimbabwe, Uganda and Nigeria. Go further back and look at verbal bigotry in Rwanda and South Africa (Not just in the Apartheid Era, but now too in the Xenophobic Era). Again: That shaming and degrading of groups within society starts with mere words…

Are you really that naive to think that the average prospective employer is going to bother *investigating* claims of misogyny?

I employ people and have employed people. I do not know what through-the-looking-glass world you currently inhabit, but it appears to be very different from mine.

If someone accused someone in my employ of misogyny, I would need evidence of that. Failing such (and aspersions are not evidence), I would assume their innocence until proved otherwise. There is nothing unique or special in this. But if someone started spewing this kind of sexist bullshit around the office:

Cunt. There. I said it. Does it make me a misogynist now? – Thaumas Themelios

I would fire that person so fast that their head would spin.

265 Cian March 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm


thanks again for the reply, I did not mean to give the impression that you argued that sexism and misogyny were the same ( you didn’t ).

I was making a point about understanding the definition of words and keeping them clear ( not allowing them to blur ). My example was just to show how the meaning of two very distinct words can be lost or their meanings can be swapped through misuse.

Your linked article is a very good example of the power of words ( which I agree with you on totally ). What a horrible story – depressing. But I do think there are geographic and cultural factors which play a huge role ( along with the words themselves ). You know how I feel about this from our discussion about the “C” word in Ireland ( where it has never, ever been a gender slur ). Indeed didn’t Harriet Hall make a statement recently saying that the word “queer” was offensive to the LGBT community, but had it pointed out to her that it had been claimed by that community in similar style to the “N” word.

I agree with so much of what you say, and you clearly are a very conscientious person who has other peoples feelings at the forefront of your thoughts ( if we were all like that, we’d have no problems at all ). I just think cultural/geographic factors have a more important part to play ( not that you don’t think they are important too ). I’m sure I’ll be called a “C” in jest this weekend, probably by one of the girls. I know as you told me it is a word full of bigotry in the US ( where I would never use it ), but we won’t stop using it here – because it harms no one.

When going to a new place its probably always a good idea to find what the local nomenclature is. There are probably words in the US that cause no offence there that may cause offence here ( but I wouldn’t expect or want Americans to stop using them for that reason).

I enjoyed reading your comments, you have made me think. – have a great weekend.

266 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

PS: If you are concerned that comments by others might be potentially harmful to your job prospects , Thaumas Themelios, then I really suggest that you simply post under a nym.

I never can quite fully understand why people post under their real names. Surely if the real name of Socrates came to light, this would not – of itself – elevate the value of any of his teachings? Does the book “Animal Farm” become more profound when authored by Eric Blair rather than the pseudonym George Orwell?

There is a person in the atheist blogosphere called Michael Kingsford Grey, who posts under his real name. He does this, in my opinion, not so much to project an aura of honesty or directness,as a means to hide behind all manner of legalistic verbiage when his fee-fees are offended.
The style of such a person could take the following form for example:

By employing my full real name in this multiple libel, you, as well as Paul Zachary Myers, have committed an actionable offence in law. I request that the legal owner of this web-site redacts my name from this list.

It appears such a case might go nowhere for PZ though, as he himself points out:

an anonymous contributor slandering {on the internet} one who employs their real name is now a serious Federal Offense.

In my opinion this is the cowardly gesture of someone trying to hide behind a legal quirk, while taking jibes at others. I trust this is not your reasoning, yet am intrigued by what your reasons are, to write under your real name. (And particularly while defending the use of sexist language in public.)

267 theophontes March 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

@ Cian

But I do think there are geographic and cultural factors which play a huge role

I need only point out that the interwebz is a global phenomenon and then hope that you deal accordingly. I feel I have failed in convincing you of my point of view. I was even about to suggest that you, nevertheless, try a month in your own local environment without using any gendered slurs. But I don’t know. I would rather you grokked it rather than my trying to impose anything – I cannot see that working.

bigotry in the US


I am not USAian by the way. The truth is far more intriguing: Linky.

268 Kevin Solway March 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

“If you are concerned that comments by others might be potentially harmful to your job prospects , Thaumas Themelios, then I really suggest that you simply post under a nym.”

The kind of world where you can’t speak without hiding your identity is a truly ugly world. Unfortunately I think that’s the kind of world we have.

Hell on earth.

269 Kevin Solway March 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

“I never can quite fully understand why people post under their real names.”

For me it’s a matter of putting my money where my mouth is.

It’s a matter of a person not hiding behind their mother’s skirt.

It doesn’t matter if a writer of fiction chooses to hide behind a pseudonym, but if a philosopher or a thinker of any kind tries to do so, then they immediately become suspect.

Soren Kierkegaard initially wrote under a pseudonym, but once he became more confident he wrote under his own name.

270 Daniel Murray March 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Had to laugh at the post encouraging atheist groups to be more inclusive. Atheist Ireland’s facebook page blocks religious believers simply because they are believer. I witnessed this myself and only because some members including myself insisted that they not be removed and that contrary to what the admin said a theism was relevant to atheists.

I myself left after a very hostile response to me posing a question asking did members not believe in god but not state as a belief that there were no gods, as a belief or with certainty, as an active belief. AS well as being hostile the non sensical points made then flip flipped on was astounding. The siting of russell’s teapot and burden of proof and imaginary dinosaurs made it clear these people were expert at quoting others and rhetoric but did not understand the concepts.

In the end, even though it eventually transpired that these people had the same view as me, with one exception I think i.e. that they did not believe in god but did also not say there was no god as a fact or with certainty. In spite of this I was criticized for fence sitting and not making up my mind, I was too agnostic and to come back when I got my atheism sorted out!

So , when this sprung from an article and discussion where Michael said he rejected the idea that atheism was not a belief, to suggest atheist groups should be more supportive, inclusive etc is a bit much from a lead member of an intolerant group hostile to simple questions about certainty of no god… even when the people being hostile agree that we cannot say it as a certainty!

So Theist Ireland does not view theism as relevant to members, at least not when in came from a theist. People who say they don’t believe in god but do not actively believe there are no gods as a certainty or active belief. If you say that you are too agnostic and to quote one hypocrit’s comment in responce to my leaving comment which was critical but also said I had spoken and had good chats with some members “I am sorry for you that of all the 1500 or so members that you did not find some who were compatible with your excellent self.
Pehaps when you are a more definite atheist you will pop back.”. This person clearly does not think you are a proper atheist if you say you don’t believe in god/gods but also do not actively believe there are no gods for the reason that fact has no proof. This person, if she saw this, would undoubtedly use dishonest wordplay as was engaged in when I asked the question.

One of these two members, both women ironically, has a list of all the idiots from theists to ateists who state there is no god as a fact.. ironically she still thought I was too agnostic for having a view that by her definition I needed to have not to be an idiot. So either way I was either too agnostic or an idiot. Of course she would not be sharp enough to spot that in fact she was the idiot and could not see her hypocrisy. Her view, like many I encountered, of her own intelligence was very high, which I suppose is not hard if everyone else is and idiot.

Michael never raises a voice against personal attacks from “feminists”, even when asked to, he in fact supports them. I put feminists in quotes as I would consider myself and most people are probably feminist in thinking and these other “feminists” who go beyond the striving and support for women’s equality are a different matter. They are usually the nasty and excessively hostile people in forums.

So Michael, get your own idea and house in order before you start talking about feminists being treated badly. It is a bit much when you support them attacking others in an unjustifiable way. Also look at the way people with a lack of tollerance even attack other atheists for holding a belief that believe the same as the person they are attacking! That shows incredible aggression, no support to others and as for caring… your group is so far from that it is pointless to mention it’s absence.

The route of this seems to me to come from a latent aggression and desire to “beat” theists, or as Kae likes, to tell them what idiots they are. Also the amount of ego and pseudo intellectuals who expose themselves as “idiots” through misunderstanding points and contradicting themselves, which is impossible for them to admit doing and they must deny what they have said, accuse others of putting words in their mouths, changing the meaning of words so they can say they didn’t contradict themselves. The aggression basically goes through the roof when these people mess up in a comment and show their lack of understanding. They cannot admit they misunderstood so they jump through verbal hoops and become very hostile and start an attack to divert from their inadequacy.

One member, Kae for this example stated she ” – I am a strong atheist. I believe quite firmly that there are no gods.”
then later she says ” You are more “reasonable”, I suppose, given the logical possibility that I am wrong. ” seems clear an polite and also that she is saying my view is more reasonable than hers, my view being I don’t believe in gods, but do not actively believe there are no gods. By the end this(my view) seems to be her view pretty much and according to her always was. Then starts flip flopping but still says “Personally, I do believe that “Daniel’s position is too agnostic. I think he /should/ take a step in one direction or another.” this is her view of me not actively believing with certainty, like a religious person believes in god, that there are no gods.

It gets more and more ridiculous with her saying “anyone that /asserts/ that there is no god is an idiot. anyone that asserts that there /is/ a god is an idiot” EXACTLY WHAT I WAS SAYING BUT WITHOUT NAME CALLING! of course she is fond of calling people idiots and says this later view was clearly her view all along with no conflict between this and her earlier statement. The aggression heats up when I say she has contradicted herself a bit with her comments with ” Daniel, you’re starting to annoy me. Please provide any two sentences of mine that are contradictory, or shut the fuck up and get on with the topic.”. Of course the semantics of things are used to try and rescue herself I quoted her directly and in order but Kae says “You provided words. But they were not the same words that I spoke, in the same order, with the same meaning. I could do the same to your words and make you say anything at all.”.

Not to pick on Kae as if she is the only one to make false accusations, misunderstand and attack on this fact becoming obvious. Of course all these type of ego posters never admit misunderstanding, it is easier to call the other person an idiot and ignore the fact you laid in on/strongly argued with someone who comment was one you agree with.

Sorry for going on, but hypocrisy, especially on a deep level, makes me sick. So for a senior member/leader of a hostile intolerant bullying group to call on other similar groups to be supportive etc. is a supreme hypocrisy.

Online I can hold my own and have gone to far like many others. The most consistent bullying and personal abuse comes from women who are these militant angry feminists, strong pro choice women (this is not a comment of pro choice women just an observation on people I have found extremely hostile being of this view, not that people of this view are extremely hostile), not men. Even here you can see I have to qualify my statement mentioning abusive women who are pro choice. These “feminists” are the most notable hostile group I have noticed online. Religious people are the most hostile out of atheists and theists, atheists being the most condescending of the two. Pro choice and pro life can both have their moments, generally the women in the groups are the most strident and aggressive. As for euthanasia, both sides seem to be seriously concerned about what the best thing to do is and see each others sides. They see how complicated the issue is and are very aware, excluding religious people sometimes, of the pro’s and con’s of both sides. In conversation to do with an issue of great importance to women more directly than men. Men tend to speak in a qualified way, always making sure not to be strident whereas many women in these panels strongly resent men talking(be they right or wrong on that is another issue) and go for them at the slightest provocation or perceived provocation. Of course online words can be intended one way and picked up another and in emotive issues like abortion, peoples feelings can be very involved and there may be personal experience adding to this. As a man it is quite right that I am mindful of this. But being a man does not automatically I have not experienced a tragedy related to abortion. Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent.. I have already says you all : )

Look at yourself and your own group Michael. I may be at fault, totally wrong, but try top look at it without bias or pre judging. Yes, I am angry about this and it has come through in my post. I feel my anger is justified and my observations are accurate. I was attacked for asking a question and holding a view my critics apparently also held. That shows a problem in my view.

271 Eu March 9, 2013 at 3:20 am

Daniel Murray, I didn’t read your huge post, but is this Atheists Ireland page more of a club? Then theists being blocked would make sense – if it was more of a club and not for debates. (Not to mention the fact you cannot include theists in /a/theism. They don’t want inclusion in it. Context is important.) Tennis players belong in the tennis club. Golf players in the golf club.

272 theophontes March 9, 2013 at 6:15 am

The kind of world where you can’t speak without hiding your identity is a truly ugly world. Unfortunately I think that’s the kind of world we have.

Given where I live and work, I certainly can not trumpet my full identity. On the other hand I regard my ideas as far more important than my identity. And my ideals as far more important than my ideas. But these in turn I share with very many people, so my personal identity in all of this is of all the less consequence.

Hell on earth.

Not at all.

There is a joke describing heaven and hell. They both consist of large banquetting tables, stacked with delicious foods. They are both peopled by people that can only eat their food using very long chopsticks. Hell is the table where the people try too feed themselves, and fail. Heaven where the people feed each other, and enjoy a delightful banquet.

The interwebz are what they are. There may be chopsticks certain restrictions, but we make of it a heaven, or a hell, by our own choosing.

For me it’s a matter of putting my money where my mouth is.

Kevin, this is the domain of ideas. Where you come from, in Real Life ™ (I gather from what you say), you are priviledged not to fear imprisonment or deportation. I do not share that priviledge.

It’s a matter of a person not hiding behind their mother’s skirt.

I have given an example of someone who, in my opinion, does just this -by using his real name – in order to use the law as something to hide behind.

… if a philosopher or a thinker of any kind tries to do so, then they immediately become suspect.

I cannot imagine why this would be true. All that would need to be done – if either you or your nym became famous – is make the connection then.

May I proffer the following to you as a potential nym:

Swanky Olive

Pretty cool! (I’d match this with a gravatar of a dry martini.)

Consider: none but the most obtuse will fail to see the connection between your nym and name. But it is not in a form so obvious that Thaumas’s hypothetical judgemental boss could make the connection.

273 Daniel Murray March 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

EU, it is a group not a club. Also the reason given was that theism was not a relevant topic for atheists. As golf is not a “movement” or a philosophical idea and it has no need to discuss social concepts or try to change the social landscape, as AI claims it want to do the comparison you make is absurd. Theists are regularly debated by atheists and the connection is as clear as can be.

Also golf clubs do not block tennis players. Some clubs in fact have a number of sports. But as said AI is not a club, it wants to spread a message so cutting people of is not in line with that.

So you do ask a question, is it more of a club? The answer is no. Maybe a comparison that would suit better than golf would be sinn fein not talking to unionists… they don’t have to let them be members but to see their view as irrelevant would be counter productive and closed minded. As AI claims to embrace free thinking and expression, to see theists this way and to refuse to talk to then on their page is hypocritical.

I did run on in my post a bit. It’s way too long alright.

274 Michael Nugent March 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Daniel, your long comment is both very unfair to the many decent people at Atheist Ireland who are not at all as you depict them, and unhelpful to what we are trying to do here.

If you want to chat about your concerns directly, I’ll be at our Second Sunday of the Month brunch at 12 tomorrow in the Trinity Capitol Hotel on Pearse Street so feel free to say hello.

For anybody who wants to check the Facebook Group that Daniel is referring to, and form your own view about it, it is at

275 Daniel Murray March 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Michael, your hypocrisy and support of feminists bullying people is the problem with yourself and AI. Your blind spot to the serious and significant attitude problem of members of the AI facebook page (I should have made that more clear).

To say me referring to a problem of intolerance and ignorant hostility is not helpful to what you are trying to do is very telling, you see an angry comment as unhelpful but not the cause of that angry comment.

I do not say all members are like that, so to mention that is not much of a point. I was personally and repeatedly attacked by feminists for making a comment about the risk of suicide being allowed in legal abortion and of it not being allowed. I did of course make other comments, but was very careful. I was sujected to a torrent of hosility and told men had no right to have a view with an input to the outcome on this topic as this was solely a woman’s issue and the feotus was not a person. As these points are largely the ones being debated it was a ridiculous to state them like this.

I appealed directly to you on this and you said that they were right in this case and men had no right to a say in the issue. Not only that you went on to joing the bombardment of “points” being made against me, words put in my mouth… I was even attacked for not responding to one of your points by one of these feminists …. I had gone out!! But you joined, not the abuse, but their side and putting some of there questions to me. This was a disgrace for you to behave this way when appealed to for help, you join the mob! The when I had you on the back foot you retreated to demanding an apology for referring, without naming, one of them as a half wit.

I gave AI a reasonable chance and joined the facebook page with a very hoperful attitude. During my time there the massively present tone was of showing of vocabulary, intolerance, smug pseudo intellectualism, an inability to admit an error due to large fragile egos, pack mentality, a view that theism was not relevant to atheists, people who do not actively belief/assert there are no gods are not proper atheists … this was from people who held that view themselves which leads me to my next point, lack of understanding of their rhetoric and sound-bites.

I love a passionate debate as you know, but this ignorance which is covered over by semantics, flip flopping and bullying is a waste of time.

As for your article. It is a ridiculous and false problem. There is no need to address this “nasty pushback” against feminists. These feminists who are not in fact real feminists are well able to take care of themselves and are known for being hostile and often anti men.

The examples you gave are out of context so worthless. Then the disclaimer, I couldn’t believe it! The examples may not be examples of nasty pushbacks! Then why did you include them.

Instead of looking at me critisizing AI and saying it is unhelpful why not look at the substance of it and ask yourself maybe this is the problem. If someone says there is bullying in your group, any group, the response of a balanced person is not to tell the person saying this there mentioning it is the problem.

After I left and was still being insulted on the site, one person falsely said I had complained about being many times told I was not a proper atheist. I did not say this. She was the one who told me to come back when I got my atheism sorted and, in the logic of the group, said it was my fault she said that as I must have sent out signals to that effect!!!! She would not leave me alone and even though she was contacting me relentlessly and I said to go away, she said she would report me if I didn’t stop contacting her! I had to block her and complain to AI admin.

Michael, there is a problem in AI with the dominant attitude. So instead of inventing problems and rescuing poor set upon militant feminists who would not say a cross word to anyone, maybe look at this and think maybe the problem is what I am talking about… not that I am talking about it.

Please stop hiding behind saying things are unfair or being offended. It is ridiculous on anyone but more so on an activist for social justice. Stop hiding and address the actual issues. At this point I do not care what you think is fair or useful. I used to but after my experiences and you lack of action and double standards I was choking on it.

I have not falsely depicted anyone. I was quite specific. Stop looking for offense to hide behind and address the issue.

276 Daniel Murray March 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Michael, I just recieved notification of another abusive and moronic comment from Sarah Boland, who like many complains about people putting words in her mouth! On another thread a member HP plantagent is being attacked and as his post is similar to mine, Bernie Dee makes this comment ” Same post as Daniel Murray and same attitude . Plant ? maybe.” If chalenged or shown up AI member on facebook attack and make up conspiracies as they are clearly mentally inadequate and bitter. Bernie’s post was liked by Kae, the pseudo intellectual and Bronwyn Verens. The mob for quickly to bully in numbers. You should open your eyes and look at what AI is, online anyway.

277 Daniel Murray March 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Michael, if you don’t deal with this. I will and this opportunity is more than you deserve as you have betrayed it before.

278 Daniel Murray March 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

here is a recent post from the man accused of being a plant by me “HP Plantagenet
I’ve been on the internet from the beginning. In my line of work I teach internet safety to survivors of domestic violence and other people (like my daughters). And one phenomenon which has become all too common, is internet groups whose only real function is to hang out there welcome mat for new visitors, and then abuse the crap out of them. Which, if there is no value-added in the first place, it a rather self-destructive strategy. I hope the rest of the atheists in Ireland have a better forum than this.”

Michael your group is a total disgrace, it supports bullying, esspecially by women, or men with womens names who look like women. As another member says “Jyoti Thapa If anyone feels bullied, they ought to leave the forum. Quite simple.”. This is the tone constantly on your groups page. It is representative. AI is a digrace to atheism and it get’s rid of people through attack and mob, that it should be welcoming.

279 mofa March 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

Put a mirror up in front of your own face and now see that you sir are the bigot. Your apparent distaste for testosterone gives you away. You are anti-male? Or only anti the males who have high levels of this steroid hormone? You are siding with those who follow an ideology that constantly engages in bigotry. Only one side is interested in *debating* feminism’s place/role in the skeptical/atheist movement, answering questions and having open discussions, and it isn’t your side (but don’t take my word for it…ask Lee Moore).

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