Thank you to Latsot for apologising for alleging that I defend rapists. PZ Myers, can you please also apologise?

by Michael Nugent on October 17, 2014

Update: Latsot has now repeated on his blog his allegation that I defend rapists, writing “This is what I mean when I say that Michael Nugent defends rapists. It’s what I always meant. I stand by it. I didn’t apologise for that and I don’t apologise for it now.” He has written of his previous Twitter apology: “It was a not-pology: sorry you thought that’s what I said. Sorry if I came across that way. But what I said stands.” Here is Latsot’s up-to-date allegation.

My original post:

Latsot, a pseudonymous occasional guest blogger at FreeThought Blogs, has withdrawn and apologised for their repeated allegation that I defend rapists, saying that they had intended to convey something else.

Latsot allegation 1
Latsot allegation #2
Latsot apology #1
Latsot apology #2

I welcome and accept Latsot’s withdrawal and apology. It is not an easy thing to do, particularly on emotionally intense issues, particularly after repeating the allegation when first challenged, and particularly having published rather than just said the allegation.

This might be a positive first step in trying to reverse the demonisation of some atheists by PZ Myers and others, which has resulted in increasingly serious allegations being casually made as if they were an acceptable part of normal discourse.

PZ has not withdrawn or apologised for introducing this particular smear about me, and he has failed five to times to substantiate his stated evidence for the smear, which is that some people comment on my blog who also post on another website.

I’ll return to PZ’s role in this later, but in this post I want to put on record the Twitter conversation that resulted in Latsot’s withdrawal of their allegation, insofar as I can reconstruct it, and my initial response to Latsot’s rephrased version of what they intended to say about me.

1. My Twitter conversation with Latsot

It is hard to record Twitter conversations, as there are so many threads happening at the same time, and Latsot was also discussing their allegations with other people. Here are the parts of Tuesday’s conversation which I was following, and in which I interacted with Latsot.

Latsot – @micknugent People like @pzmyers and @OpheliaBenson aren’t smearing you. They’re waiting for you to catch up.

Me – I’ve campaigned for social justice all my life. PZ and others are harming that already-difficult goal.

Latsot – (to someone else) OK, I don’t think that @micknugent is the sole arbiter of atheism. He thinks he is but nobody but him said he is.

Me – You may be confusing me with PZ.

Latsot – Really? You’re going with “I know you are, what am I?”

Me – Okay, show me one place where I said I am the sole arbiter of atheism, whatever that even means.

Latsot – I don’t need to show you, it’s there for all to see. You yourself told others how they should be.

Me – For the second time, please show me one place where I said I am the sole arbiter of atheism.

Latsot – Why do I have to explain why you’re wrong? I’m not the one pretending I’m in charge. You are the one pretending you’re in charge

Me – That’s your problem in a nutshell. You don’t understand justice. You think you can declare someone wrong without supporting it.

Latsot – I think I understand justice. I’m not sure why you think you get to decide I don’t. Do you look at the people who support your position and the things they say?

Me – That’s another of your problems in a nutshell. You should judge an assertion by its supporting evidence, not by who is saying it.

Latsot – (to Darren) But that’s not the point. Michael has decided that accusations are automatically untrue for reasons I don’t understand.

Me – I haven’t decided that any accusations are automatically untrue. I have said crimes should be reported to the police.

[at this stage, I checked back on the conversation, and I noticed that Latsot had tweeted earlier that I defended rapists. This is the exchange in which he did so]

Latsot – How are @pzmyers and @OpheliaBenson harming things? Why do you think your goal is the only worthwhile one?

The Written Ward – Do you consider calling an entire group of people (including rape victims) *rapists* to be helpful then?

Atheist Alan – Because accusing someone of defending rapists isn’t a smear at all, right? @micknugent should take it as a compliment I suppose.

Latsot – It’s a smear? Probable rapists were defended. By whom? What should we do instead?@micknugent

Peter Ferguson – To defend such a claim please answer a) who are the rapists (plural) and b) how is Nugent defending them?

Latsot – I don’t have a list of rapists. Does that mean that rape doesn’t occur?

Peter Ferguson – So rape occurs so therefore Nugent is defending probable rapists? What the actual fuck.

Latsot – @micknugent is defending rapists because he is defending rapists.

Atheist Alan – 1)What rapists has @micknugent defended? 2)Where/when did he defend them? 3)Can you prove they are actually rapists?

[Having read this interaction, I asked Latsot to withdraw that allegation]

Me – Latsot, can you please withdraw and apologise for saying “@micknugent is defending rapists because he is defending rapists.”

Latsot – No, but I’ll modify what I said. @micknugent is defending rapists.

Me – @pzmyers PZ, @latsot is repeating your defamatory smear. Can you please withdraw it and apologise to avoid it spreading further?

[some time later]

Latsot – Come on, Mick, do you feel people like Richard Reed represent you?

Me – Nobody represents me other than myself.

[some time later]

Latsot – You both miss the point.@micknugent clearly doesn’t understand how much rape hurts people, I wish he’d think harder.

Me – Wow. That’s quite an assumption you’ve made there.

[some time later]

Latsot – I think PZ said that rape apologists and threateners comment on @micknugent’s blog.

Me – Then your argument is built on something you mistakenly think is true. This is what he said – PZ Myers has failed five times to justify his smear that I am defending and providing a haven for rapists on my blog

Latsot – I think PZ is right. You equivocate at best.

Me – Have you read that link or just replied without reading it?

Latsot – I’ve read it.

Me – Good. Then do you acknowledge that PZ said rapists, not rape apologists?

Latsot – Sure. I don’t think it changes the argument at all.

Me – It changes your argument. Steersman said PZ said rapists, you said you think PZ said rape apologists. You were mistaken.

Latsot – You’re nit-picking. Fine, rapists, not rape apologists. That’s about your problem with PZ, not mine with you.

Me – Okay. PZ’s argument is that I defend rapists because he says they post on my blog. What is your argument?

Latsot – That you equivocate. That you don’t take a stand against rape culture, that you’re wierdly blind to it.

Me – To clarify before I respond, are you saying that is your evidence for saying that I am defending rapists?

Latsot – Of course not. You are being deliberately obtuse.

Me – Then what is your evidence (I assume you have some) for repeatedly saying that I am defending rapists?

Latsot – Twitter is hardly the best place to do this.

Me – Is that just dawning on you now, after you repeatedly made the allegation on twitter?

Latsot – Calm down, Michael. I’m not making quite the accusation you seem to think I am. I’ll try to clarify. I don’t think you are defending rapists for raping. I don’t think PZ thinks that either.

Me – Then why would you describe them as rapists? Why not describe them as whatever you think I am defending them for?

Latsot – Because the point is a little more subtle than you’ll admit. Being complicit in rape culture is making a haven for rapists. I think you are defending people who happen (probably) to be rapists. If that sounds like I’m backtracking, I’m not. I think – and no doubt I could have been clearer – that you defend the actions of people who either rape or apologise for rape when you dismiss evidence of rape and when you encourage people who do the same. I think that it is a moral imperative to take a stand on this issue and hyperskepticism is at best a cop out. This is what I’ve been trying to say. Most of the time I’ve been replying to what other people have said, so the message will be fragmented at best. I hope this is a little clearer.

Me – Okay, I’ll come to your argument as you describe it now in a moment. First, on the basis of this newly described argument, can you please withdraw and apologise for writing “micknugent is defending rapists because he is defending rapists” and can you please withdraw and apologise for writing “I’ll modify what I said. micknugent is defending rapists”

Latsot – You have defended someone I strongly suspect is a rapist. I still don’t know why. My previous tweet stands.

Me – I’ve given you repeated opportunities to withdraw and apologise for your defamatory allegations. Are you declining to do this?

Latsot – I have said very clearly that I don’t think you defend the actions of rapists. I didn’t intend to imply that you defended specific rapists for the act of rape. I meant to say that your actions seem to perpetuate rape culture and are very problematic. But I don’t think for a moment that you endorse rape in any way. Does that make my point more clear?

Me – Yes. So will you withdraw and apologise for writing that I defend rapists, and that I defend rapists because I defend rapists?

Latsot – Sure. Why not. Michael, As I’ve said several times, I do not think and have never thought that you defend or condone rape. If you want me to say that I withdraw those statements, then I withdraw them. Now can we actually talk about something useful? I apologise for saying you defend rapists. I meant something slightly different and I wasn’t clear.

Me – Okay, we are getting somewhere now. I can’t discuss any more tonight as I have a to take care of a dying cat but I will talk tomorrow. Meanwhile, can you please tweet to your own followers (not just @ me) that you withdraw and apologise for writing that I defend rapists, and that I defend rapists because I defend rapists? Thanks

Latsot – I’m sorry about the cat.

Me – Yes, so am I. He’s been with me for 18 years.

Latsot – Ack. My cat went missing for 24 hours recently and I was beside myself. I feel your pain. I certainly admit that twitter is not the best place for this argument and that we are talking at cross purposes. I also see how what I said might look to people who were not part of the conversation and I’m sorry for that.

Me – He is old, sick, was missing yesterday, came back this morning, on a drip at the vet today, back home for probably his last night.

Latsot – Poor thing.

Me – I know. Anyway, Twitter can wait till tomorrow. Goodnight.

2. My response to Latsot’s rephrased allegation

Latsot, I want to repeat that I welcome and accept your withdrawal and apology. It is not an easy thing to do, particularly on emotionally intense issues, particularly after repeating the allegation when first challenged, and particularly having published rather than just said the allegation.

I will now address your rephrased intended allegation, which is not that I defend rapists, but that in your opinion, my actions seem to perpetuate rape culture and are very problematic.

This allegation is vague and impossible to respond to in its current format.

I will assume that it is related to your previous opinions that I don’t take a stand against rape culture, that I clearly don’t understand how much rape hurts people, that I dismiss evidence of rape, that I have defended someone you strongly suspect is a rapist, and that I am defending people who happen (probably) to be rapists.

These opinions are more specific but are hopelessly ill-informed.

To put them in perspective, the most common advice that I am getting from people who actually know me, including women and including rape victims and including lifelong social justice activists, is that I am out of my mind to be even giving you the credibility of responding to you.

Seriously, Latsot, I really have to emphasise this. You have no idea how bizarre your allegations seem to people who actually know me, who actively campaign for social justice, and who do not share the particular worldview that has shaped your public allegations about me.

However, I will respond insofar as I can to what I think your revised allegation is based on, because you have shown the ability to change your opinions about your previous misinformed allegation, and I hope that you will be able to do so again about your revised one.

I’ll start with your general opinion that I don’t take a stand against rape culture. I am going to park for a moment the definition of rape culture, because different people have different definitions, but here is my repeatedly stated position on how to combat sex crimes, from my recent post Another week, another set of misrepresentations and personal smears.

For context, before I examine the tactics that Ophelia, Adam and others are using to misrepresent and smear me, here are my opinions about combating sex crimes. Please bear these in mind as you read how my views are being misrepresented.

Combating sex crimes while protecting the rights of both victims and alleged criminals is a sensitive and difficult balance. Sexual assault and rape are serious crimes, which all reasonable people abhor, and it is precisely because they are so serious and abhorrent that society should address them in a way that is just for everybody.

Nobody should try to objectively trivialise the subjective emotional suffering that a sexual abuse or rape victim undergoes, which is unique to each victim. Sexual abusers and rapists violate the bodily integrity of their victims, and violate the personal consent of their victims, by imposing their own desires onto innocent children, women and men.

The victim’s suffering can be equally traumatic regardless of whether the abuser or rapist is a family member, friend, acquaintance or stranger, and regardless of whether the abuser or rapist used physical force, or threat of physical force, or non-violent psychological coercion. If you live in a stable democracy, the people best placed to support and advise victims are the rape crisis centres that exist in many towns and cities.

In every area of crime, we need laws that respect the rights of both victims of crimes, and people accused of crimes, that will maximise the number of guilty people who are convicted and the number of innocent people who are cleared. Having these protections in place does not imply that any specific allegation of a sex crime is false. Indeed, most allegations are true. But the legal system must protect the rights of everybody involved in every specific case.

I have campaigned over the years against crimes of varying degrees, from petty neighbourhood crimes to terrorism in Northern Ireland. I have also campaigned to successfully reverse miscarriages of justice, where innocent people had been jailed for crimes that they did not commit. In combating any type of crime, it can be difficult to find the best balance between vindicating victims, bringing criminals to justice, protecting innocent defendants, and improving the quality of life and justice in society.

Finding the best balance is particularly difficult in cases of sexual abuse and rape. Many victims are reluctant to report such crimes to the police, because they fear the emotional consequences and further trauma of a court case. This fear can be exacerbated if the victim fears that the court is unlikely to convict the perpetrator, either because of difficulty in proving the crime or because the perpetrator is seen as a respected or powerful member of society.

We had similar problems finding the best balance in combatting terrorism in Northern Ireland. Many victims were reluctant to report intimidation, protection rackets, punishment beatings and murder to the police, because they mistrusted the police or feared retaliation from terrorists. State responses such as internment of terrorists, and over-enthusiastic prosecutors, resulted in the internment and jailing of innocent people, causing more injustice and further mistrust of the state.

To combat sex crimes and maximise the provision of justice, we need better resources for victim support, better public education about the nature of sex crimes, and better laws and legal training to vindicate the rights of everybody involved. As with any area of crime, we need as many crimes as possible to be reported to the police, so that as many criminals as possible are brought to justice and as many innocent people as possible are cleared.

Now I will respond to your more specific opinions.

Firstly, you say that I clearly don’t understand how much rape hurts people. The only response I will give to that is that you don’t know what you are talking about.

Secondly, you say that I dismiss evidence of rape. Actually, I don’t dismiss evidence of rape. I take evidence of rape very seriously. I believe, as do rape crisis professionals such as RAINN, both that rape victims should get strong support from rape crisis professionals, and should make their own decisions about reporting to the police, and also that reporting evidence of rape to the police is the key to preventing sexual assault and is the most effective tool that exists to prevent future rapes. As a parallel, I also take evidence of murder very seriously, and I believe that evidence of murder should be reported to the police. Indeed, that is how to take seriously evidence of serious crimes.

Thirdly, you say that I have defended someone you strongly suspect is a rapist. Actually, I haven’t defended anybody. I have simply declined to publicly discuss the details of any specific allegation of rape, other than to repeat that I believe, as do rape crisis professionals such as RAINN, that reporting evidence of rape to the police is the key to preventing sexual assault and is the most effective tool that exists to prevent future rape. You may not agree with this fundamental principle of justice, and you may believe that your strong suspicions are more important than due process, but that way lies the type of vigilantism and casual defamation that civilised liberal democratic values are gradually moving us away from.

Fourthly, you say that I am defending people who happen (probably) to be rapists. This is an extension of your earlier opinion, to include multiple people who you say that I am defending who happen (probably) to be rapists. I don’t know what you mean by this. Who are these people? Please don’t tell me, please tell the police.  How do you know that they happen (probably) to be rapists? How am I defending them? You also say that you don’t think I am defending rapists for raping. If so, how is my supposed defence of them related to them happening to be (probably) rapists?

To be honest, these personal smears are becoming tiresome at this stage, particularly when they are repeatedly made after any legitimate confusion has been clarified.

I am continuing to highlight them to protect the reputations of the many people being smeared, to provide a record of the harm caused by this pattern of behaviour, and to help bring about a more productive discourse based on reasoned criticism of ideas and mutual respect for people.

Summary

Latsot’s withdrawal and apology is a positive first step in trying to reverse the demonisation of some atheists by PZ Myers and others, which has resulted in increasingly serious allegations being casually made as if they were an acceptable part of normal discourse.

PZ has not withdrawn or apologised for introducing this particular smear about me, and he has failed five to times to substantiate his stated evidence for the smear, which is that some people comment on my blog who also post on another website. I again ask PZ to withdraw and apologise for this serious defamatory allegation.

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{ 240 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Phil Giordana FCD October 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I would not call this a “positive first step”. More like backpedaling real fast.

Only time will tell.

2 SF October 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Hell will freeze over, before you ever see PZ Myers even begin to hint at a non-apology apology. It ain’t ever gonna happen. You should know that by now, Michael.

3 Jan Steen October 17, 2014 at 9:30 pm

You are being deliberately obtuse.

Said by Latsot. By Latsot! Now I don’t know what Latsot’s preferred pronoun is, so I shall follow the shining example of Nerd of Redhead and put it like this: Xit has the self-awareness of a cabbage.

4 Shatterface October 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Michael, your patience and perseverance is quite astonishing.

Myers and the horde are a lost cause but there are others watching who remain undecided; many are still open to the reason that brought them to atheism in the first place.

Any movement will include those with a genuine commitment to the principles that movement stands for but it will always be vulnerable to entryists who merely see the movement as an incubator for their weaker ideology. In this case we see an ideology which cloaks itself in the language of intersectionality but which is really a manifestation of incoherent rage at the world.

Rage doesn’t demand reason or evidence, it just demands a target. For the last week or so that target has been you. If it hadn’t been you it would be someone else.

You can tell the genuine depth of commitment to a cause by the precision with which language is used. Equivocation over terms – like ‘rape’ or ‘misogyny’ – is a sign the user doesn’t understand the concept behind them.

You can’t argue with an angry Humpty Dumpty.

5 Shatterface October 17, 2014 at 10:14 pm

It was interesting you mentioned terrorism since there is a major story in the news concerning allegations about a member of the IRA who was accused of rape and, not surprisingly, the IRA thought this was something to be ‘investigated’ internally.

The IRA, of course, had many reasons they couldn’t take the matter to the police. Why do the PeeZoids think they need to act like a terrorist organisation?

6 john welch October 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

I don’t think Michael’s wasting his time. Indeed, he’s presenting them with one of the things they can’t handle: an unmoving refusal to play their game. He did exactly the right thing with Latsot. He refused to be drawn into a rabbit hole that would leave his point unhandled.

Instead, he patiently, politely, but relentlessly forced Latsot to come back to the actual point of the discussion, also forcing him to admit that he had no real evidence or proof. Look at the chain, he really did a great job of staying calm and focused.

That lot does not do well when you refuse to play their game.

7 Sharon Madison October 17, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Michael, you said:

I welcome and accept Latsot’s withdrawal and apology. It is not an easy thing to do, particularly on emotionally intense issues, particularly after repeating the allegation when first challenged, and particularly having published rather than just said the allegation.

I’m afraid I have a different take on this. Apologizing should never be difficult for people who wish to conduct themselves with honor and integrity, most especially when they have published an allegation which is hurtful to others. Those who find apologizing difficult lack introspection and compassion; furthermore, they prove that being “right” is far more important to them than behaving with integrity. People who have the necessary introspection to realize that they have been wrong are very willing and happy to apologize for their errors and welcome any opportunity to do so, particularly for mistakes that have caused harm to others. I’ve always thought that skepticism’s greatest value was that people who wish to conduct themselves with honor and integrity would be more able to achieve that goal because they would apply skepticism to themselves and their own thinking first and foremost.

In July of 2011, after watching the atheist/skeptic community in action, I wrote a blogpost, the contents of which follow. (I find it unfortunate that three years on ugly accusations are still being throw around willy-nilly without the least concern about the hurt that these accusations cause.)

My Favorite Words
Recently I got into a discussion with some bloggers about the power of words. It was a fascinating discussion, as it highlighted for me just how difficult it is to communicate effectively. It it so easy to be misunderstood, since expressing ideas clearly takes great skill, and people always have their own emotional baggage which affects the way words are interpreted.

I like the words please and thank you. I also like being told, I love you. But my favorite words are I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. I say it often:

I’m sorry, I was preoccupied and didn’t notice that I was blocking your way, or that there was a queue formed in a direction I failed to see, or that you were approaching the door and I didn’t hold it open for you, etc…
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to step on your foot, or bump into you because I zigged when I should have zagged.
I’m sorry, but not tonight, I have a headache.
I’m sorry, I misunderstood your meaning.
I’m sorry I interrupted you.
I’m sorry we don’t agree, and our disagreement has upset us both.
I’m sorry I behaved inappropriately in this situation.
I’m sorry that I did not consider your feelings before speaking or acting.
I’m sorry I hurt you, even if that was not my intention.
I’m sorry, that was completely my fault.
I’m sorry. When these words are sincerely spoken, they make life more pleasant for all of us.

Some people think saying those words are a sign of weakness, but to me, they’re a sign of great strength of character. Try them! They really do work wonders!

8 Steve Vanden-Eykel October 17, 2014 at 10:55 pm

I suspect that the “group of probably rapists” that Latsot is accusing Nugent of defending is simply “men”. Shame on Nugent for defending men. (someone had to say it.)

9 Ron Murphy October 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Keep it up Michael. Tiresome, but important. Plenty of us are watching this and learning a valuable lesson. Thanks for the effort.

10 Justme October 18, 2014 at 12:25 am

I’m just a little sympathetic to Myers on this one. He’s trapped. If he apologizes, he risks alienating his little “Horde.” They’re all he has left.

11 john welch October 18, 2014 at 2:23 am

PZ can just suck it up. He made the mistake, he can apologize. Even if it pisses off his cultlings.

It’s also astounding just how fundamentally dishonest Latsot is. He tries over and over to convince michael that PZ only meant “possible” or “potential” rapists. Or that what PZ meant was that michael “didn’t get it” about rape being bad.

The lack of interest they have in what’s actually being talked about is amazing. They decide that the conversation is about {BLAH} and nothing you can say to the contrary matters.

12 MosesZD October 18, 2014 at 2:27 am

Congratulations on staying focused and keeping Latsot’s feet to the fire without losing your temper and playing his game. I know, from experience, that when you’re playing SJW Whack-a-mole with some over-the-top proposition (such as the one advanced by PZ Myers and mimiced by his FTB ‘Horde’) it’s easy to become frustrated and lash out ‘proving’ to them that they’re right.

Also, congratulations on the receiving the apology. That particular group of individuals rarely apologizes, no matter how out-of-bounds they are, to someone they are trying to demonize. But don’t hold your breath while waiting for PZ Myers, or any of his co-bloggers, to apologize for demonizing you. That won’t happen.

Also, please do continue to document their anti-social behaviors and transgressions toward yourself and other community members. I’ve always felt with this kind of malicious, anti-social behavior that ‘sunlight’ is the best disinfectant. So the more light you, and others, shine on their anti-social behavior, the better.

13 Jan Steen October 18, 2014 at 8:20 am

PZ Myers will not apologize, because he would in effect be admitting that he was a ranting loon. He would lose face in the eyes of his Flock. Sure, it would also give him the chance to show to everyone else that he might still be a halfway decent human being, but that is irrelevant to him. Those who are not with him are against him anyway.

There is however a way out for him. He just has to say that when he wrote “rapists” he actually meant “Schrödinger’s rapists”.

You have probably heard this term before; it’s a standard piece of PoMo feminist dogma. Sadly, even feminists don’t always know their Feminism 101, so a short explanation about Schrödinger’s rapist may be in order. You see, every man can be imagined as living inside an invisible box. Moreover, as we have learned from former FTB blogger Greg Laden, every man has a rape switch. Now, due to radioactive decay, which is a process governed by the rules of Quantum Mechanics, the switch may be on or off. Therefore, as long as the man is inside his box, he is in two superimposed states: in one state he is a rapist, in the other he isn’t. Only when a woman directly interacts with a man does she open the box; the wave function will collapse and she will learn whether his rape switch was on or off. Evidently, the only way to find this out is when (a) the man tries to rape her; or (b) when the man or woman departs and the interaction terminates without the occurrence of a rape. Up until the moment of departure it would be safest to assume that the switch is in the “on” position.

This magnificent theory is one of the most brilliant intellectual achievements of PoMo feminism, and it now gives Peezus an easy way out of his dilemma.

But he will always remain Schrödinger’s asshole.

14 Kirbmarc October 18, 2014 at 8:40 am

Latsot, Myers and other people who agree with them think that unless you believe each and every accusation of rape you defend rapists.

Except when Myers is the one accused of rape. In that case, he should be believed and the accuser shouldn’t be trusted.

15 Citizen Wolf October 18, 2014 at 10:28 am

Dear Mr Myers
I used to read your blog, however I became uncomfortable with the tone of your writings which seemed to become more aggressive and angry. I no longer read your blog and advise others against it when asked about sites for critical thinking, skepticism etc.

Dear Mr Nugent
I appreciate all your efforts to highlight bullying of the sort practised by Mr Myers. I also appreciate all your other efforts to try and make this world a genuinely better place for us all.
Kudos to you sir.
Regards, CW

16 Lancelot Gobbo October 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

Jan Steen wroteBut he will always remain Schrödinger’s asshole.

Nah. Schrödinger can relax in this case. That particular wave function collapsed with complete clarity some years back.

17 Shatterface October 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

Evidently, the only way to find this out is when (a) the man tries to rape her; or (b) when the man or woman departs and the interaction terminates without the occurrence of a rape.

Surely the woman has still been both raped and not-raped because she is still part of the quantum system until Myers interacts and collapses the rapefunction?

I call this theory Wigner’s Rapist.

Under the Many Rapist interpretation the man is never fully innocent since the rape was always committed in one of the decohering alternative universes.

Some scientifically minded feminists object that this latter interpretation appears to violate the Conservation of Rape Law according to which rape is neither created nor destroyed but merely changes it’s form.

18 Iamcuriousblue October 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

“I welcome and accept Latsot’s withdrawal and apology. It is not an easy thing to do, particularly on emotionally intense issues, particularly after repeating the allegation when first challenged, and particularly having published rather than just said the allegation.”

And that’s a really big and decent way to accept an apology, Michael. Unlike some people, who go into rages over ‘insufficient” apology, and demand an obsequious an apology as possible.

19 Jack Rawlinson October 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Once again, admirable patience, Michael. It’s hard work taking the line you have – relentlessly forcing these slur-slinging ideologues to stay on point, refusing to be taken in by their numerous diversionary fallacies and thus forcing them to confront their error. It worked with Latsot, to the extent that you obtained a grudging concession. It will never work with Myers. He’s too far gone, too drenched in his own egotistical arrogance and, as others have pointed out, his dwindling cult of rage-addled hypocrites is all he has left now. He certainly has little of the respect of the wider atheist/sceptic community he used to enjoy.

Jan Steen is probably correct that Myers might retreat to the absurd “Schrodinger’s Rapist” excuse, in the unlikely event that he cares enough about this to concede even that much. That idea is not only wildly unreasonable but also symptomatic of the way these people’s twisted minds function. The idea that because a man can rape he ought to be regarded as a potential rapist by default is as ridiculous and insulting as using a similar “argument” to label a whole group of human beings “Schrodinger’s Murderers” or “Schrodinger’s Insurance Fraudsters”. Or, indeed, to label all women “Schrodinger’s Batshit Insane Man-Haters”, tempting as it might be after a cursory perusal of Skepchick. :-)

20 Shatterface October 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

In normal discourse we use analogies to describe things which are difficult to understand in terms of things which are easier to understand.

It’s characteristic of Pomo theorists to describe simple things in terms of things which are harder to compreheld: hence Lacan and his topologies, Kristeva and set theory, Irigaray and fluid mechanics, Deleuze and Guattari and calculus, and Baudrillard and non-Euclidean geometries.

Schroedinger’s Rapist is Pomo through and through.

21 Shatterface October 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm

The idea that because a man can rape he ought to be regarded as a potential rapist by default is as ridiculous and insulting as using a similar “argument” to label a whole group of human beings “Schrodinger’s Murderers” or “Schrodinger’s Insurance Fraudsters”.

You can imagine the justified outrage if someone suggested ‘Schrodinger’s terrorist’ based on racial profiling.

22 john welch October 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Shatter, you don’t have to imagine. People have done just that to show how ludicrous a theory SR is. Along with SR’s criminal, etc.

The response was exactly what you’d expect: “NO! YOU CAN ONLY USE THIS FOR RAPE! ANY OTHER USE PROVES YOU’RE A SEXIST AND A MISOGYNIST AND WRONG AND A BAD PERSON AND YOU SHOULD BE IN JAIL AND YOU ARE A POOPY HEAD WRIT LARGE!”

Which shows a number of things about the “hypothesis” (it’s really not even that good), mostly that it’s bollocks.

If SR is valid, then where’s the Murderer version that applies to everyone on the planet? Oh wait, yeah, inconvenient. So you’ll never see that.

23 Aneris ✻ October 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I start with a quote:

“Long before quantum mechanics, the German philosopher Husserl said that all perception is gamble. Every type of bigotry; every type of racism, sexism, prejudice; every dogmatic ideology that allows people to kill other people with a clear conscience; every stupid cult; every superstition; written religion; Every kind of ignorance in the world are all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see, and then we believe our interpretation of it. We don’t even know that we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think ‘this is reality’. […]

When we begin to realize, that we all look from the point of our own reality tunnels, we find it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from. The ones who don’t seem to have the same reality tunnel, do not seem ignorant, deliberately perverse, or lying, or hypnotized by some methodology. They just have a different reality tunnel. And every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world. If we are willing to listen.” — Robert Anton Wilson

You have a big problem if you really can’t understand where others are coming from, which is different from believing what they assert. I don’t believe that Latsot or PZ Myers or the other people are right. But I think I know where they are coming from and what they try to convey. I have modest confidence that I am less wrong than they are. I think it a noble goal to be slightly less wrong than the next person. I can have that modest confidence, as I claim to understand what they want and where they are coming from, yet that isn’t mutual as we’ve seen towards the end of the previous thread on that topic (“PZ Myers has failed five times…”).

And it all comes down to this. What I am asserting, and many others did as well: We understand what, you, the social justice faction want. But how about this. And how about that. How about this book you wrote. How about these images you shared and you “celebrate”. How about the confessed rapist in your FTB comment sections and how about the reactions from the others upon hearing he raped three girls whilst on a babysitter job. And how come you closed down on that and how come you won’t acknowledge what happened, the case itself, and in particular concerning the reactions on your blog – I, we, do understand where you are coming from, dear social justice warriors but we don’t understand how these things fit into the picture you are trying to communicate.

From their point of view, they believe in their prerogative of interpretation. They believe they are more right than wrong when they want the movement to be welcoming to other groups that are traditionally less represented. And they believe that some people are in the way of that goal. The people that are perceived to be in the way cannot be part of the movement, since they would invariably negate all efforts to achieve the goal of more diversity.

For them “diversity” is achieved by collecting countable, discrete, entities. Diversity is measured in a people-of-colour and women headcounts and perhaps by sub-category if you get lucky. Social justice warriors seem to be aware of the shortcomings of their platonistic universe and counter it by inventing another concept known as “intersectionality” to re-introduce a little bit of reality’s messiness. Did you see any intelligent discussion about that one? I haven’t but I also haven’t looked very deeply into FreeThoughtBlogs and SkepChicks and their allies, but I come to expect more intelligent life on the Venus.

What they don’t realize is how they are held hostage by their own narrative. There are 616,000 people who subscribe to the Amazing Atheist, who aren’t part of the Slymepit. I am not suggesting that these people are “in the way”. Some might, some might not. I don’t know. I do know, however, that it is conceivable that among these 616,000 people there might be easily a handful who could cause quite a lot of stress. And these are just atheists. How many creationists are out there who could easily sow discord? There are known trolls among them (too). They don’t even bother to look up “rape culture”. Yet “we” are perceived as arch enemies that PZ Myers and Latsot deem warranted to smear with the most extreme of smears possible. We might agree on 95% of things, but have stark disagreements when it comes to the opinion leaders we deem worthy paying attention to.

How can you top “rapist”? Mass murder is unbelievable and obviously hyperbole. Nobody is taking that seriously at all. Yet, as you tune down the level to where it just becomes a possibility, somewhat plausible, you’ll hit upon “rapist” especially since it is long preached from the blogs that rapists are seemingly everywhere.

It is not a requirement for me that opinion leaders or anyone are always right. I would be terrified to find out that some person I am paying a lot attention to is always right. I might as well listen to myself talking.

Discordianism: 5. Atheism: 1. The one point for atheism goes to Michael Nugent. He’s someone who isn’t fully believing anyone’s belief system (B.S.) and as we’ve seen, pays attention to what happens, instead of operating with labels, stories and platonic entities that are deemed to play predetermined roles according to a narrative.

Next time, we might explore what “they” – the social justice league – are arguing and do a little homework for them what happens when it is formulated in concrete terms, like demanding that Michael Nugent promotes their belief system, in particular regarding the American famous skeptic who is accused of having raped. In a nutshell, they pressure perceived outgroupers to pay the costs for their ideological beliefs, since when push comes to shove, it would be Michael Nugent who would have to defend the views, and pay for them through courts if necessary, since he is governed by Irish Law which is harsher on defamation than USA laws (plus a ton of other issues). But maybe someone wants to give this some thoughts.

24 Shatterface October 18, 2014 at 8:22 pm

I think it’s important to point out – because it’s something I didn’t get myself originally – that when critics of Myers, Benson and the rest use the phrase ‘social justice warrior’ they are largely being ironic; it’s not that they oppose social justice per se, it’s just that they recognise the difference between someone who genuinely wants to change the world for the better, and someone who merely uses the language of ‘social justice’ to browbeat anyone who doesn’t conform to a particular, debased ideology that may look like social justice to gullible outsiders.

25 Skep tickle October 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Aneris in 23 – excellent analysis, as usual. You said:

How can you top “rapist”? Mass murder is unbelievable and obviously hyperbole. Nobody is taking that seriously at all. Yet, as you tune down the level to where it just becomes a possibility, somewhat plausible, you’ll hit upon “rapist” especially since it is long preached from the blogs that rapists are seemingly everywhere.

Oh, they do use mass murder, but it seems more for internal use rather than for “grenade” posts or other broadcast accusations including tweets.

Comparisons with mass murderers are usually used in 2 situations (bolding below was added by me, but italics are as in the original):

A) Accusing groups of people (not individuals, as far as I’ve seen) of issuing “death threats”. A very recent example is Ophelia Benson’s post from today, “A rebellion against moral crusaders” [ref 1] which she starts by saying “Really? Critics of gaming are saying gamers ought to be feared and shunned? I haven’t seen that” but then ends her post by saying that #Gamergate (a) “wants the cosy clique of activists and journalists silenced, and (b) that (quoting the article she’s critiquing) the clash “won’t end happily for the new class of moral crusaders. The game is on” – adding, in her own words, “Complete with death threats and sexist slurs. Congratulations.”

An older example was PZ Myers’ 12/2012 post “Never Forget” on the 23rd anniversary of the mass shooting in Montreal by Marc Lépine [Ref 2], which he concluded with:

I remember following the events of that day intently, horrified that there are people who will kill women simply because they are women. And these anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists and moan that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’ — to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.

B) Commenters at FTB saying that individuals remind them of Ted Bundy, and this comparison being allowed to stand by the blogger. I’ve been the subject of such a comparison, and a search of freethoughtblogs and “Ted Bundy” brings up a host of others, on several of the FTB blogs, in the past 1-2 years.

References (Steersman-style, remove the initial dash for url):
[1] _https://archive.today/nko5o
[2] _https://archive.today/8UszN

26 Shatterface October 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm

I don’t think Myers gets to smear others as murderers when he’s been pushing the ideology of Aileen Wournos for years.

27 Justme October 19, 2014 at 1:32 am

Doc Tickle, I remember reading at FTB right after(?) Ophelia Benson doxxed you as revenge for calling her ‘paranoid’, if I recall correctly. It was all cognitive dissonance over there. You help women. They don’t help women, they hurt and bully women, and now they were trying to hurt you. Not a good look on their resumes. So they had to turn you into Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy helped women… and killed them! You help women… you must kill them too! Or you want to kill them. Or something. It was freaking surreal.

Somebody should write a book about these people.

28 Skep tickle October 19, 2014 at 2:23 am

Justme – thanks – to clarify, I didn’t call her “paranoid”, I expressed concern, in a post that I figured only she would see, that paranoia was significantly affecting her & urging her to seek help. (I see that as different than “calling her ‘paranoid'” though I know that difference may seem subtle, and also that she reacted quite negatively to that comment.)

But, yes, then having people opine over there, after that, about how awful it is that someone like me should be working in a women’s clinic – but that even Ted Bundy got his start “helping people” on a suicide hot line – seemed over the top to me.

29 Skep tickle October 19, 2014 at 2:31 am

Shatterface in 26:

I don’t think Myers gets to smear others…

Oh, but he does, from any venue he controls (FTB or his twitter account) in the U.S., until or unless someone makes a good enough case for defamation that it stops him (at least in that person’s case). Right?

…as murderers when he’s been pushing the ideology of Aileen Wournos for years.

I had to look her up. Sounds awful. I assume your comment is intentionally hyperbolic, as I don’t see anyone “pushing [her] ideology” in all of this – she sounds like a sociopath who was on the wrong side of the law from the time she was a teenager, whose claim (that she killed 7 men in self-defense because each was raping her) didn’t hold water.

30 Shatterface October 19, 2014 at 3:14 am

Wournos claimed all her victims were out to rape her.

The idea that all men are (probable) rapists is one shared by Myers. The idea that rape accusations should be dealt with extrajudicially is one shared by Myers.

Though in Wournos’s defence she admitted it was all bullshit before they executed her.

31 aleprechaunist October 19, 2014 at 3:24 am

Myers certainly owes Mr. Nugent an apology, but it can safely be said that someone who responds to a sincere apology with “fuck him into the ground” is not going to apologize to anyone else.

32 Steve Vanden-Eykel October 19, 2014 at 3:43 am

Isn’t Aileen Wournos the woman that the movie ‘Monster’ was based on?

33 John Greg October 19, 2014 at 3:51 am

Yes.

34 piero October 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

@aneris:

Yet “we” are perceived as arch enemies that PZ Myers and Latsot deem warranted to smear with the most extreme of smears possible. We might agree on 95% of things, but have stark disagreements when it comes to the opinion leaders we deem worthy paying attention to.

Scott Alexander has what I regard as an excellent analysis of the ingroup-outgroup phenomenon here:

_http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/30/i-can-tolerate-anything-except-the-outgroup

It should be compulsory reading for social justice warriors… but also for slymepitters and everyone else, really.

35 john welch October 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Piero, that article is absolutely amazing. Thank you for that link. (Not even close to sarcasm. It’s genuinely interesting as hell.)

36 piero October 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm

@ john welch:

I’m glad you liked it too.

37 Looper October 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

No. No oeqce with PZ Myers crowd. They burned all the bridges.

I warned about that lot over a decade ago and got dismissed as a tone or concern troll or whatever label was trotted out.

The schadenfreude I’m getting from watching this schism is endless.

38 Aneris ✻ October 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Internet Aristocrat, Justicar & Thunderf00t discuss the social justice warrior phenomenon in mainstream media — a kind of comparison between Atheism & Gamer movement. Michael Nugent, and this issue here came up briefly. Don’t know the timestamp as its currently in live tweet.

Atheism+ Stream: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism …

Internet Aristocrat could be viewed as a kind of honorary Slymepitter, known for mocking the original Tumblr social justice warriorism, and now somewhat famous for making videos against the SJW invasion in gaming. The parallels in gaming are remarkable, that’s why they discussing it.

39 Minnow October 20, 2014 at 9:09 am

” that when critics of Myers, Benson and the rest use the phrase ‘social justice warrior’ they are largely being ironic”

Yes, I think that’s right. It is a laugh at the difference between the self-aggrandizing online projections, noise and fury and the actuality. Ophelia Benson, for one example, is fierce for justice in the blogs but you won’t find her volunteering at the rape crisis centre any time soon, rubbing up against those suspect non-SJWs.

40 Jan Steen October 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I would like to return briefly to the discussion about Adam Lee’s Guardian piece on Richard Dawkins. Recall that in this exercise in demonization he gave a particularly uncharitable interpretation to Dawkins’s famous Dear Muslima comment. Mr. Lee wrote:

his infamous “Dear Muslima” letter in 2011, in which he essentially argued that, because women in Muslim countries suffer more from sexist mistreatment, women in the west shouldn’t speak up about sexual harassment or physical intimidation.

To Adam Lee an offer for coffee to Rebecca Watson made at night in a lift in an Irish hotel was apparently a form of sexual harassment. Otherwise he could hardly have argued that Dawkins, who was making fun of the internet fury that had erupted over this incident, did so because he, Dawkins, thought that women in the west shouldn’t speak up about sexual harassment. Now, since Slymepitters are known misogynists, harassers and rapists (if we are to believe PZ Myers, that is), it will not be convincing to the SJWs among us when a ‘pitter like me suggests that what happened to Rebecca Watson may have been somewhat annoying, but could hardly be called sexual harassment.

However, I recently came across the following statement by the well-known Social Justice Warrior Dr. Richard Carrier PhD, which in my view shines a highly unfavourable light on Adam Lee’s interpretation:

Rebecca Watson never once called the elevator incident harassment. It was the haters who made that up to discredit her, to paint her as calling it harassment, “gosh isn’t that ridiculous!” So don’t buy into the rhetoric of the sexist wing of atheism. In actual fact all she did was tell guys not to do that and why. And there is no sexual harassment policy I know of that prohibits what happened–since the man in question was not vulgar and accepted her refusal and no harassment ensued.

http://web.archive.org/web/20140923132314/http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207

Take note, Adam Lee: by implying that the elevator incident was a case of sexual harassment you are repeating the rhetoric of the haters who want to discredit Rebecca Watson. Just so you know.

I find it more than a bit amusing that Dr. Richard Carrier PhD implicitly calls Adam Lee a member of “the sexist wing of atheism”. I couldn’t resist sharing this insight.

By the way, the whole thread linked to above is absolutely hilarious when you like the kind of humour where people fall in a trap of their own making. Wile E. Coyote couldn’t have improved on it.

41 Jan Steen October 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

By the way, the whole thread linked to above is absolutely hilarious when you like the kind of humour where people fall in a trap of their own making.

If this is too cryptic, I was referring to, among other things, this statement by Dr. Richard Carrier PhD:

Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism. I am fully on board. I will provide any intellectual artillery they need to expand this cause and make it successful.

In true Wile E. Coyote fashion he then proceeds to aim his intellectual artillery at his own position. He does this by employing a hysterical, Revolutionary Guard style rhetoric that is in direct violation of each of the three pillars of Atheism Plus (according to the same Dr. Carrier PhD): Compassion, Reasonableness and Integrity.

To return to the OP, Dr. Carrier PhD lists PZ Myers as one of at least ten people who have “affirmed atheism+”. He also mentions Adam Lee, the latter being a propagandist for Atheism Plus.

The usual suspects, indeed. It all comes together. Atheism Plus was their Beer Hall Putsch.

42 Sedan Taboos October 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Michael, it is disgusting that you are forced to waste your time on such things.

43 Matt Cavanaugh October 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I admire and commend Michael’s willingness to ‘reward the try’ and accept latsot’s grudging and half-hearted apology. Latsot still lets stand his accusation that ‘slymepitters’ are “probable” rapists, defenders of rapists, and promoters of Rape Culture™.

Latsot wonders “[h]ow are @pzmyers and @OpheliaBenson harming things? Why do you think your goal is the only worthwhile one?

The answer can be found in the existence of this very post. Recently Michael has written astutely on Pope Francis’ “Southern Strategy”, given an highly insightful public talk on Islam’s friction with secular government, and will be participating in formulating AI’s strategic direction. Yet here he is obliged to divert time & energy to respond to unfounded accusations of criminality by PZ Myers and some anonymous twitterati.

Richard Dawkins is a very busy man, with great intelligence and influence. It is a terrible waste for any amount of those qualities to be expended on appeasing a backwater blogger, Ophelia Benson, about people making fun of her hair.

When CfI is is the middle of lobbying the US Congress to end religious favoritism in the military, their DC office director should not be going out of her way to insult combat veterans on twitter.

Across the board, we see the only “goal” of Myers, Benson, and the rest of the Atheism Plus cadres, is to draw attention to themselves and to secure paying positions for which they are unqualified. They do so by crying wolf about a non-existent misogyny epidemic, by claiming disagreement = harassment, and in general, throwing temper tantrums like the immature children they are.

They themselves make no substantive contributions toward promoting atheism, secularism, or humanism; they merely derail the efforts of others. Further, their antics and bad behavior often substantively harm those efforts.

For going on four years now, well-meaning people have coddled & enabled these ill-behaved children, to great detriment to real, vital work. It needs to end now.

44 piero October 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

@ Jan Steen:
Well, that was… refreshingly hilarious. Unintended humour is often the best, and more so when it comes from pompous self-absorbed twits like Carrier and Lee.

@ Sedan Taboos & Matt Cavanaugh:
Having to deal with the SJL is indeed a waste of time and resources. Sometimes I wonder what distorted perception of reality these SJWs have: perhaps they think that atheism neat is an obsolete, already won fight?

45 Patrick October 21, 2014 at 12:20 am

From Latsot’s clarification of his notpology:

Michael Nugent continues to provide a safe haven for people who perpetuate rape culture. People who trivialise rape. People who use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women. People who vociferously claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape.

Latsot — provide evidence for each of your claims or retract them. If you refuse to do either, you show yourself to be as lacking in integrity and honesty as Myers.

46 Tezcatlipoca October 21, 2014 at 12:42 am

“Not quite as pathetic as using our conversation about your poorly cat to make me appear humbled and contrite, though.”

I thought the conversation made you seem compassionate and caring. Unfortunately, I see I was mistaken.

47 john welch October 21, 2014 at 12:48 am

Patrick, here’s the thing:

NONE OF THOSE THINGS MAKE YOU A RAPIST.

Perpetuating rape culture? Makes you an asshole. Not a rapist.

Trivializing Rape? Asshole. Not a rapist.

Threatening women with rape to silence them? Depending on where you are, makes you guilty of assault, making threats, etc. Still doesn’t make you a rapist.

“Vociferously” claiming that sex with someone whose judgement is impaired by alcohol or youth? Makes you an asshole, still not a rapist. (This would be why we don’t call the twonks who defend Ogvorbis “rapists”. Because they aren’t. They’re assholes. Or Jerks. Either works.)

What makes you a rapist?

ACTUALLY RAPING SOMEONE.

If I quote Bill Hicks and say the only problem with Hitler is that he was too limited in his goals, that doesn’t make me guilty of either murder or genocide. Why?

BECAUSE I HAVEN’T KILLED ANYONE.

They can dance and dodge all they want, but at the end of the day, “rapist” means one thing and one thing only, and NONE of the things Latsot listed makes you a rapist.

Even if you do ALL of them.
Every day.
At high noon in front of an elementary school.

There’s only one way to be a rapist, and Latsot knows this. But again, we see that that thanks to their whole-hearted embracing of Scientology Ideology, nothing they (Clear) say against their enemies (SPs) is ever bad or out of line (Fair Game).

All they’re missing is Xenu, a boat and a billion-year contract.

48 Aneris ✻ October 21, 2014 at 1:07 am

Here is the link to Latsot’s blog. (h/t tina)

A Reply To Michael Nugent

Latsot wrote: This is what I mean when I say that Michael Nugent defends rapists. It’s what I always meant. I stand by it. I didn’t apologise for that and I don’t apologise for it now.

49 JetLagg October 21, 2014 at 1:19 am

Sorry to see Latsot retracted his apology (though I can’t say I’m surprised). I really can’t state enough how much I admire your approach Michael, and though the cynic in me says you’re wasting your time, I’ve seen enough to hold out hope that your labors might bear some fruit.

I spent a brief period of time on a forum dedicated to combating people who believe the moon landings were hoaxed. While there, I learned the founder of the site was a full on conspiracy theorist himself, who, after years of incredibly patient discussion, had accepted he was wrong.

I’ve also seen a theist, after years of debating a youtube vlogger by the handle of Theoretical Bullshit (very obscure, but worth looking up), also shift his position.

Then there’s me, a born again Christian, who after being exposed to mountain pile after mountain pile of evidence, finally realized my position just might be mistaken.

I’m convinced you’re making a difference, and while most of us don’t have the patience to deal with this nonsense as charitably as you have, I’m still glad you’re doing what you do.

50 john welch October 21, 2014 at 1:43 am

I don’t think, however, that Michael should give up being decent to them, even undeserved. Eventually, they will either go away or give up being crappy to him, because it just won’t work.

51 Crackity Jones October 21, 2014 at 1:45 am

Latsot is the mirror image of Oolon. A troll pretending to be a serious mover in the atheist/feminist movements. Like Oolon, he is a dishonest person, who tries to squirm and wiggle when he is caught in the net of one of his own lies.

Perhaps this latest ‘mask slip’ of one of the FTBullies will wake more people up to the lying shysters these creeps are. We can simply add Latsot to the ever growing list of shamed and exposed charlatans that somehow wormed their way briefly into our movement. Good riddance.

PS – I did say Latto’s “apology” was nothing of the sort.

52 Jack Rawlinson October 21, 2014 at 4:34 am

These people are incapable of admitting error, it’s as simple as that. The best you can achieve is what you did, Michael – relentlessly pin their bullshit to the wall until they are forced to either shut up or grudgingly mutter a “notpology” to make their humiliation stop. Either way, they will just continue their venomous, dishonest ways elsewhere after an interval for licking their wounds.

Latsot is just behaving according to type. He, Myers and the whole foul kind are no better than the inveterately religious: they are open neither to persuasion nor reason. They just have a drum that they can’t stop banging.

53 Steersman October 21, 2014 at 6:00 am

JetLagg (#49):

… I’ve seen enough to hold out hope that your labors might bear some fruit. …. I’m convinced you’re making a difference, and while most of us don’t have the patience to deal with this nonsense as charitably as you have, I’m still glad you’re doing what you do.

Well said: as Aneris suggested upthread, “we” all have a tendency to take our perceptions as gospel truth, and, as you suggested, it can take some time for us to become disabused of various mis-perceptions. I’m reminded of something from one of Dawkins’ books – TGD, I think – wherein he described a similar case in the context of science. If I recollect correctly, he was describing a professor of his who belatedly, and unreservedly, admitted during one of his classes that one of his theories or conjectures about some biological structure – the Golgi apparatus if I’m not mistaken – was in fact wrong. Which apparently led to a prolonged and enthusiastic round of applause from the students – which Dawkins used to illustrate his argument about the supposed superiority of science: a little bit more of a commitment to the use of facts and logic, in contradistinction to “Philosophick Romances”, religions, and various ideologies.

But I think a larger point is related to the fact, or at least the conjecture, that, regardless of how certain any of us might be on any topic, we might still be wrong – or at least be able to learn something new in trying to “understand where others are coming from”. While I certainly think that, for example, Latsot is badly wrong in his accusations, I do have to commend him for at least being willing to engage with Michael’s arguments – which very few if any of his fellow-travelers are apparently willing or able to do. Why I think, as your examples suggest, that showing some patience and consideration, even if time consuming & frustrating, is more likely to pay more dividends than not.

54 Jan Steen October 21, 2014 at 6:32 am

Latsot is doing a great job showing what a duplicitous lot PZ Myers and his sycophants are. Well done.

55 Steersman October 21, 2014 at 6:44 am

Skep tickle said (#25):

References (Steersman-style, remove the initial dash for url)

Look Ma, I’m famous (or infamous as the case may be)! “Picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone! Bought 5 copies for my mother!” :-)

But I agree that you were the subject of a rather egregious comparison with Ted Bundy by a member of Ophelia Benson’s commentariat. While I’ve defended Benson for her similar comparison of TAM and Nazi Germany, the supposed and crucial similarity – an essential element of analogies, a concept she seems to have some difficulties with – in those cases was, presumably, the response to repressive regimes of one sort or another. But the analogy with Bundy by “Pteryxx” – he being the guilty party – was just gratuitously nasty without any evidence whatsoever to justify the conjecture. Classy bunch over there, although one might suggest that some on the Pit are periodically guilty of that as well.

But I also agree that PZ Myers’ Marc Lépine screed was similarly off-the-wall. Although I suppose one might be a little bit charitable and suggest that the set of “anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists”, as well as moaning “that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’” might be a rather small if not non-existent one. However that might be more charitable than he deserves as the context suggests his intent was to tar everyone who disagreed with his rather narrow and dogmatic, if not “virulent”, brand of feminism with that particularly odious and narrow brush.

Really rather “problematic” that so many – notably PZ and many in his cohort – insist on such nasty misrepresentations and insults of people and groups. Hardly conducive to advancing the cause of “atheism” – however it might be defined.

56 john welch October 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Steers, PZ et al are only interested in advancing atheism to the point it advances them. *They* are the only cause they find worth advancing, and if it wouldn’t cause them more harm than good, and increase their status enough, they’d become theists so fast your head would spin.

They care as much about atheism as did either Stalin or Mao et al. It’s a convenient cause to help them get their way, nothing more.

57 tina October 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Latsot, stuck in the warped mindset of 70’s second wave radical feminism, trots out the script perfectly, managing somehow to combine misogyny and misandry into a perfect storm of stupidity. In doing so his/their tactics both make the world less safe for women and help discourage active involvement in A/S. Marvellous.

58 Aneris ✻ October 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

This will not end well. For Latsot and his friends.

Latsot wrote on his blog: I said on Twitter that Michael Nugent defends rapists. I didn’t say he defends rape. I said that he defends (some) people who are rapists, I meant something fairly specific by this: Michael Nugent continues to provide a safe haven for people who perpetuate rape culture. People who trivialise rape. People who use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women. People who vociferously claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape. Nugent does not condemn people who espouse such opinions in the comments on his blog. He equivocates, pretending this means he isn’t taking a position.

Latsot does not claim that the comment sections here harbour rapists, unlike PZ Myers who claimed that. Let’s also jot that down. Latsot however makes claims that not only are there “people” who secretly promote rape culture, trivialize rape and the like, no, Latsot claims that these people “espouse such opinions in the comments on his blog”.

I must have missed that. Was Latsot reading the same comment section as I did? Again, let’s suppose that was true and we’ve all just missed this somehow.

Latsot needs to provide evidence for these assertions, all of them. He knows what he means, since he made these assertions and fortunately for him, the relevant comment sections are manageable and he knows what he is are looking for. I hasten to add that someone who can write 1518 words can be expected of taking a few minutes out of his day and point out where these extraordinary statements were made. Bring it on, Latsot!
Directly following the above paragraph, he adds…

Latsot wrote on his blog: (cont.) I expect Nugent despises some or all of these opinions. But he doesn’t condemn them. This is not an issue on which one can be apolitical. Refusing to comment or pick a side; refusing to condemn hateful comments; calling for the abused to engage in dialog with their abusers… […]

Some more for the list of claims. Here we have at the very least extremely careless writing. Since he was made aware of the problems, he doesn’t have any leeway left. It looks malicious if unfounded (and it looks completely unfounded).
Latsot continues to write about condemnation of views, which are now also “hateful” in addition.

Latsot wrote on his blog: (cont.) […] These are political statements and failure to condemn them is tacit endorsement of a deeply unfair and horrible status quo. This is what I mean when I say that Michael Nugent defends rapists. It’s what I always meant. I stand by it. I didn’t apologise for that and I don’t apologise for it now.

Very careless writing, but it seems Latsot wants to convey that not condeming other people who aren’t commenting on an alleged rape case would be equal to defending the rapist.

Since I haven’t seen these extraordinary statements Latsot claims were posted into the comments, Michael Nugent may have missed them, too. If he hasn’t seen them, or perhaps they don’t show up on this side of reality, then it would be very difficult indeed for him to condemn them.

Latsot, being an earnest person who wants Michael Nugent to do better will certainly be glad to provide a list of comment numbers and quotes for all the categories he has listed. Just to have it in a neat format so that no assertion gets lost. Here are his claims once more…

1) MN defends rapist.
2) MN does not defend rape.
3) MN provides a safe haven for people who:
a) … perpetuate rape culture.
b) … people who trivialise rape.
c) … people who use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women.
d) … people who vociferously claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape.
e) … write “hateful” things (note, there was a comment or two, but the impression given here is that it was widespread and made by the same people)
4) MN does not condemn people who espouse such opinions in the comments on his blog.
5) MN is calling for the abused to engage in dialog with their abusers.

Since this (“rape apologetics”) seems to be such an important issue for Latsot and others of his side, here are few quotes taken from FreeThoughtBlogs once more. I have no reason to let them off the hook on this one, since this has been used to smear me (_bit.ly/JanineOggy) — start of the conversation).

Ogvorbis (page 1: comment 425) wrote: The last year that I lived out west, I was offered a summer job babysitting two girls (aged about 4 and 7 (?)). Divorced father who worked with my dad. Good job for a twelve-year-old — $6.00 a day. […] One day, he asked if I could watch a third girl who was 6 years old. I said, sure. There was extra money involved. […] When she got there, all three disappeared into the girl’s bedroom for about an hour. I knocked and asked if they were okay. They said they were. Fuck. I started this, I need to finish it. Deep breaths. Shit. After anhour, I knocked again and heard the third girl say to come in. I went in. They were I was invited to jointhe sex play. TThe third girl had the 3 year old tied up. The tow older ones were taking turns doing things to her and I joined in. THey didn’t invite me but or maybe they did but that doesn’t matter. I joined in.

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/30/stunned-silence/comment-page-1/#comment-681729

Direct feedback (some examples, just look it up, it’s filled with support for Ogvorbis)

Portia wrote: Ogvorbis: You never stopped being a person we love.

Caine, Fleur du mal (now Iyeska) wrote: Godsfuckingdamnit, you were NOT out of line. A bunch of us were relating similar aspects which were a result of what happened to us.

Crip Dyke wrote: Og, you are a good soul – a wonderful soul – and your participation on this thread is exactly what i thought in jeopardy from Ct2 – and now it has come to pass .

Dalillama, Schmott Guy wrote: Ogvorbis: Also, what Caine and Crip Dyke said .

Billingtondev: Ogvorbis […] If there was some weird shift in time and space, and I was having to choose a safe and responsible adult to look after my kids when they were little, and you were one of the options, I would choose you. Every. Single. Time. Because there is not a skerrick of doubt in my mind that that would be the safest possible choice I could make for them.

Beatrice wrote: I’ve been largely uninvolved in this, since I’m one of the lucky ones, but I am been reading. You are a real survivor.

*hugs*

(source: as above, comments are follow ups)

Her case got the thread started. She responds to this:

Elyse Anders wrote: But I cannot read through it. Now that there are stories of abusers asking victims to tell them it’s okay. Now that the thread has comments telling child abusers that they would let them watch their own kids. Now that this is a safe place for abusers to describe the abuse they’ve inflicted, I cannot do it. I’ve unsubscribed from this thread because this is, right now, the only place where I am being triggered. This was a situation I never ever imagined would happen and so it’s not something I emotionally prepared for.

On the next page, he writes:

Ogvorbis (page 2: comment 2) wrote: But I didn’t stop before raping three young girls (all were, give or take, the same age as ‘S’, the girl I was forced to abuse while a scout). I was older. The age difference was even greater. I knew it was wrong even as I joined in and I still did because it may be wrong but its what I was used to.
[…] But it would have been even better if I hadn’t raped them, right?

Source:_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/30/stunned-silence/comment-page-2/#comment-682206

Of course, here we are expected to somehow read other things into it, and explain it all away or indeed trivialize it.

Check out here, when that story made the rounds again (also thanks to FTB Janine above).

theophontes : @ Ogvorbis
You have my love and support. And the same holds true for anyone else who has suffered abuse as a child. We may read some nasty comments by vindictive people in the days to come. I shan’t link, because it is triggering. Source:_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/11/21/lounge-442/comment-page-1/#comment-721555

Tony! The Militant Queer Shoop! wrote: Ogvorbis: You are a wonderful person. I appreciate reading your comments wherever I find them. You are thoughtful, compassionate, conscientious, and empathetic. Much love for you my friend.

CaitieCat wrote:Og, my relatively new friend, remember that these assholes don’t know what it’s like. I do, plenty of others here do, and I’m pretty sure there’re very few of us who’ve been there who don’t get exactly how it came about on a deep and scary level. I know I feel fortunate that I wasn’t under the control of my abusers directly enough that they could violate my psyche in the way that yours was. *unfearing hugs* of support from someone else who’s been there – if wanted, of course. I swear I wanna go all Sinfest Sisterhood on these people. :( Toss a few bent and wobbly hugs from the busted bod in the corner.

Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- wrote: Ogvorbis: I love you. You’re the kind of person I would love to have close to me.

All comments are in context of when the ogvorbis was brought up, and they all follow the first comment, source see there (lounge #442).

You get the idea…

Once more, it was pointed out to The Elders, PZ Myers and Ophelia Benson and it was kept in moderation. PZ Myers had this to say some time later.

PZ Myers wrote (on Ms Benson’s blog):

[…]

[quote from someone else] Further, PZ and many others at FreeThoughtBlogs are happy that a rapist (Ogvorbis) openly admitted he raped, and is free to comment here and receives “hugs and kisses” from his rapebros.

You are disgusting, Mr Gobb…or should I say, Mr Random Anonymous Irate Dude. Ogvorbis was a victim of childhood rape and sexual abuse, and as part of his torment was made to participate in sexual activities with other children. That’s the basis of the slymepitter’s frequent accusations that he is a rapist, and is among the vilest things they do, that they blame a remorseful victim for a child-abuser’s repugnant manipulations in a long-running campaign of lies.

Source_freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/05/its-more-of-a-guy-thing-2/comment-page-1/#comment-2032630

You’ve seen twice wrong. Wrong on the issue, and wrong on how it came up (Janine/janphar revived it again). But it’s true, once the cat was let out of the bag, we indeed do point this out. Tell me why not? Should we instead cover this up and be silent about it?

There is also a difference between the case meant by Latsot, about “famous skeptic” and the one here. The former case is based on witness accounts and hearsay and PZ Myers, Jason Thibeault, Stephanie Zvan et al “web of trust” – i.e. profoundly unreliable. Of course the truth us independent from opinions and statements even of unrelaible people. Again, it may or may not be true. I simply don’t know. However, the latter case here is based on direct confessions and direct feedback in comments, which are also fully accessible (also archived) – there is no guesswork required what the person reported and how the community reacted. Many things Latsot complained about is true in that case.

Now, a last reminder of what Latsot wrote in his introduction.

I said on Twitter that Michael Nugent defends rapists. I didn’t say he defends rape. I said that he defends (some) people who are rapists, I meant something fairly specific by this: Michael Nugent continues to provide a safe haven for people who perpetuate rape culture. People who trivialise rape. People who use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women. People who vociferously claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape.

Youth bolded by me (ogvorbis was 12, his victims about half his age). Projection, Latsot? Will Latsot now condemn PZ Myers and the FTB people? If he doesn’t, is this finally a clear cut case of crisp hypocrisy for J. J. Ramsey, Ariel, Dave etc.?

Game Over. If you accuse people of rape or rape apologia don’t expect them to sit idle by. I may add that “our side” (the collectively accused) so far was actually very modest. Other people would go ballistic after such accusations.

59 Aneris ✻ October 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Above contains one borked blockquote, the part “You are disgusting, […] campaign of lies.” is all from PZ Myers.

I tweeted the link directly to Latsot to let him know about the above. He can make his case. As usual, he tried to play twitter games with me, refusing to acknowledge the information while demanding that I lay out the complex situations to him via a tweet. He refused to even look at the evidence and asked me like a dozen of times to write to him what I mean. Of course I didn’t, but instead refered to here. Remarkable that someone wants to argue without even knowing the evidence in discussion, or even refusing to acknowledge it. This is a remarkable situation. It is as if they well know the implications (especially since the climate and demands are all their own fabrication) and have decided to “overlook it”.

Latsot also claimed he didn’t smear anyone. I then asked him, if the link above was to his own blog, to which he replied: “Go away, little person. You have absolutely nothing to say.” (he is right, he spammed me and I had nothing to say, I just wanted to let him know about the discussion here).

60 Patrick October 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm

john welch @47

Patrick, here’s the thing:

NONE OF THOSE THINGS MAKE YOU A RAPIST.

I wasn’t sure of your point until I went back and re-read the sentences Latsot wrote just before those I quoted: “I said on Twitter that Michael Nugent defends rapists. I didn’t say he defends rape. I said that he defends (some) people who are rapists….”

You are, of course, correct that “rapist” has a perfectly clear meaning. That’s a very serious, very specific claim that Latsot needs to either support or retract.

As an aside, “misogynist” also has a clear meaning, despite the best efforts of the Social Justice Wannabes to corrupt it while still maintaining its visceral impact.

61 sinister October 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Latsot appears to have lost his marbles on this one. He seems to now be saying that pointing out his terrible response is harassment. Or some such nonsense. I am seeing none of the strange things on his timeline he appears to be saying are there.

62 Mel October 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Am I reading this correctly? Is Myers actually claiming that his pet rapist pal was “forced” into raping three little girls by the girls themselves?

And I’m sorry, but what kind of human being rapes a THREE-YEAR-OLD? I don’t care if he’s twelve or six or sixty. Boys and girls are molested all the time (sad to say) and they don’t go on to rape BABIES. Because (1) you can still be a decent person after a molestation, and (2) monsters will rape babies whether or not they were ever raped themselves.

This is the company Myers keeps. How dare he point fingers at anyone else.

Adam Lee, why aren’t you writing an article about this?

63 Crackity Jones October 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Is Myers actually claiming that his pet rapist pal was “forced” into raping three little girls by the girls themselves?

That is completely wrong. Ogvorbis’ own admission reveals he raped the girls under his volition. He was not forced.

This is the company Myers keeps. How dare he point fingers at anyone else.

Indeed. He and a lot of the grubbers at FreeThoughtBlogs have a lot of bloody nerve throwing their shite around.

64 Steersman October 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Aneris said (#59):

Above contains one borked blockquote, the part “You are disgusting, […] campaign of …” is all from PZ Myers.

I might suggest doing a preview – most FTB sites provide such, the use of which might be considered ironic. But expect there are others as well.

And, somewhat in passing, some nice detailed analyses, although one might suggest an abstract/TLDR section or two. 😉 But in particular, liked your quotes of Husserl & Wilson (#23); rather important, I think, to try to get a handle on why we are so frequently at loggerheads over matters of opinion, and how the “hardware” underlying those different perceptions are frequently at fault.

Reminds me of something I have discussed in some detail elsewhere, i.e., the phenomenon of “bistable optical illusions”, the spinning dancer [1] being a notable example. In that case I think one can argue that the dancer isn’t spinning in either direction – it’s merely a series of images with no actual object present – so one can’t say that either those who see clockwise rotation or counter-clockwise rotation are “right”. But in the related phenomenon of the wagon wheels in Western movies apparently spinning backwards, it seems quite clear that the illusion clearly doesn’t correspond to “reality”, and that anyone who insists otherwise is clearly wrong.

Might be useful to consider how similar differences in processing leads to wildly divergent opinions, not all of which are likely to be “right”.

—-
1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinning_Dancer”;

65 Aneris ✻ October 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Mel, his story is inconsistent and some people expressed doubt how much of it can be trusted. The point is not him but the reactions of the community on FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers, Ms Benson & Co — in combination with creating this atmosphere, accusing others of being “rape apologists” (or even being rapists) and making such claims about other people’s comment sections.

There have been two separate events. Actually three. In the first event, Ogvorbis reports an older boyscout had forced him to abuse another child. That created a “monster” in him, as he himself described it. He then reports to have let out this “monster” on two occasions. One incident is the one above, where he reports to have abused three girls whilst on a babysitter job. He’s twelve years old and the ages of the girls is slightly inconsistent. It is unknown to me how much time has passed from the scout incident. He reports yet another incident, where his monster comes out. On that one, he beat up someone in school. All according to his own reporting. Please, again, check the sources.

All of the things are written in the comment sections of FreeThoughtBlogs and it’s plainly there, in his own words. There is no secret inside information. The quotes were provided, and the full context. There is zero intention to mispresent anything. Everyone can just go and check it out. The “opponents” also noted often that it isn’t about ogvorbis but the reactions of the community. It was also noted often that it is known that he was only twelve and the previous incident is also known. Many express doubt whether he tells the truth, or remembers correctly (from the style of his reporting). I write that YET AGAIN just to make sure that Stephanie Zvan and other devious characters don’t use a slightly shortened version to screw me over, as they do with routine with other people.

FTB people, as usual, just use these things to obscure everything and use every loophole, every opportunity, summary (which anyway just refers to the thing) to smear other people with it, as PZ Myers does there above. So, PZ Myers refers to a previous incident and he completely ignores, like most FTB people, the babysitter incident and won’t acknowledge it. They basically want to have it both ways. Smear other people with something, even this incident, while making sure that this case is swept under the rug. In case they do come close to acknowledge it, they directly downplay it and circle the wagons around their friend.

66 JetLagg October 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Aneris reports it accurately. I do want to add that the reason many of us doubt the story is that Ogvorbis claims to have learned of the account through recovered memory, which, to my knowledge, is a phenomenon that has never been demonstrated to actually exist.

Memory is incredibly malleable, and I’d argue it’s just as likely someone recovering a memory is inventing a new scenario rather than recalling something that actually happened.

67 Bartacus October 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I’ve been following the whole circus for a few months now as an interested observer, and I’ve found the behaviour of the FTB clique increasingly appalling, and I have to say, fascinating. I haven’t waded into comment sections yet, save one post on the previous article on PZ here on Michaels’ blog.

The way that the comment section at Pharyngula operates really is something else though, and now that Atheism Plus is wheezing and stumbling to a deserved demise, it may be the most toxic and hostile forum around, at least in my eyes. There is a post from 14 October which is about Sam Harris, and 700+ comments follow, which include the flailing of one poster in particular, and it is quite a read. The vitriol and outright nastiness that is present in so many of the comments is amazing really, and certainly nothing that Myers should be proud of.

I decided to post on a thread that Myers put up about his recent doxxing and Rebecca Watson tonight, to challenge Myers view and also to point him back here, as I really think that Michael deserves a response to his requests. It was a reasonable post I think, no swearing or invective but it stayed up for about 20 minutes and then was deleted. I wrote another short reply and an answer to one of the “herd” (who of course didn’t miss a chance to insult me!) but no joy, it seems I’ve been banned already! So there you are that’s how even a fairly mild disagreement is dealt with. So I don’t hold out much hope for your apology Michael, clearly Myers has as much backbone as the cephalopods that he covets.

I’m off to join the Slymepit now,as I’ve been reading it for a few months now, and it is not a den of misogyny, and the slurs thrown it’s way are undeserved. I hope that the penny is starting to drop about Myers and his toxic clan now, and certainly any impartial observer can find out for themselves, that’s what I have done, I find it incredible that anyone can take Myers seriously at all. The quicker he fades into obscurity, the better.

68 john welch October 22, 2014 at 1:46 am

The reason I don’t believe Ogvorbis is the “monster” bit. Because that’s always what people like him, who are too meek to ever stand up for themselves in any way, other than on the internet, use to justify that meekness.

The Monster.

Think about it, he’s not the first person you’ve known or seen online who’s used it. Online, hell, I’d bet the majority of people here have run into it in real life. Here’s the structure:

I know I seem meek and mild, but that’s deliberate. I have to be, because inside of me, there’s a monster. And if I slip up, if I lose control for even a split-second, people will get hurt. People will die. and I wouldn’t care

(note, the “I wouldn’t care” bit is optional. It’s an added feature when they’re trying to show just how daaaaaangerous they are. Because what they really desperately want people to think is that they are mad, bad, and dangerous to know.)

I could kill someone, and it wouldn’t bother me in the least. Because of my monster. It’s who I really am. The nice face, that’s the facade. That’s the wallpaper over who I really am so I can function in society.

Once we’ve established that, we then have the “story about the time I lost control and the monster came out.”

Canonically, it’s some kid, always bigger, always stronger, usually a jock, definitely more popular is teasing/bullying them, and won’t stop, even though they beg them to stop, because you know, the monster wants to come out.

Then they push it one step too far, and GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER!

The bully in question is always severely beaten. Like “you’re spending time in the hospital level”. But they aren’t killed. Because someone either just barely manages to reach them and stop them, or they manage to just barely pack the monster back in its hole. And they walk away weeping over what they’ve done. Sometimes, they wait until they’re home and then the weeping starts. The cops are either not called because “reasons” or they can’t believe a little wuss like that could actually do that much damage, in spite of half the school witnessing it. (oh, this almost always happens in a school situation.)

But there is always crying. Weeping for the fact that they will never ever be able to be a part of humanity, but must always stand apart, closed off.

Because…the monsterrrrrrr

Over and over you see this. And it’s always bullshit. Because seriously, let’s examine this:

They beat someone up so badly that they have to get medical attention.

But the cops aren’t involved or don’t believe it. In a world full of goddamned cell phones and video. And where the victim’s protestations don’t actually stop the cops from acting when they have clear proof of a crime?

REALLY??

Anytime, any. time. you hear the monnnnnnsterrrrrrerrr story, and there’s no third party proof to verify it, the person telling it is lying. It’s an ego thing. It makes them sound dangerous, because in their world, “dangerous” equals “cool” or perhaps “sexy”. It’s a way to gain status, and possibly sex.

(I’ve noticed this is invariably told by males. Straight ones. Women never, at least that I’ve seen, stoop to this kind of idiocy, and I guess gay men don’t feel the need to either. I think for this level of delusion, you just have to have testicles, and want to use them with a woman. They want to be thought of as dannnngerous because that makes them sexyyyyy and then they’ll get LAID. It’s all manipulative crap to get in a girl’s pants. Nothing more.)

It’s a load of crap. That’s why I don’t believe Ogvorbis’ story long enough for him to even tell it.

It’s all bullshit and baloney.

But here’s the worst part: other than Amy, no one, not one person reading it on PZ’s blog thought to do anything but blow smoke up his goddamned ass. No one cared one bit about how that kind of behavior came off, or that it really affected her, (and at the time, Amy was, in theory, one of them.)

And PZ let it happen. Hell, he defends it.

They’re so deep into the Scientology schtick that when one of their group confesses to a crime, a crime they think of as only slightly less bad than Hitler, their reaction is to say “I’D STILL LET YOU WATCH MY KIDS”.

Even if you don’t believe him, the reaction is “Dude, if that’s real, you need to go to the cops before I call them, and if it’s not real, you’re a raging asshole for trying to score sympathy points as The Sad Little Rapist, and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Not “YOU CAN WATCH MY KIDS, YOU’RE NOT A REALLY-REAL RAPISTMWAHKISSES!!!!”

Once you’re really a part of their cult, even (supposedly) committing rape against a young child is “less bad” than calling someone a cunt.

There aren’t enough letters in “appalling” to properly describe just how appalling that appalling behavior is.

69 John Greg October 22, 2014 at 3:28 am

Welch said:

But here’s the worst part: other than Amy, no one, not one person reading it on PZ’s blog thought to do anything but blow smoke up his goddamned ass.

I think you mean Elyse Anders. She got quite upset about what she described as the celebration of an admitted rapist, left some angry comments, and left the blog. And no one, not one of Elyse’s super-pure, ultra feminst allies even noticed. They just started ‘net cuddling Oggie and offering baby sitting jobs and contact-free hugs. WTF?

You’re right though: There most definitely are not enough letters in “appalling” to properly describe just how appalling that appalling behavior is.

70 john welch October 22, 2014 at 4:03 am

John, you’re correct, it was elyse, not amy. And I agree with her stance completely in that case.

71 Steersman October 22, 2014 at 7:02 am

John Welch said (#56):

Steers, PZ et al are only interested in advancing atheism to the point it advances them. …. They care as much about atheism as did either Stalin or Mao et al.

Seem to recollect reading a portion of a biography on Stalin which showed that he thought of himself as some kind of “great benefactor”, apparently a common aspect of many demagogues of one sort or another. And frequently there are egregious if not systemic social problems that require if not justify draconian solutions. Somewhat apropos of which, you may have been following the concept of “affirmative consent” underpinning California’s new law, on which (of course) I’ve offered my own technological solution (no takers yet), and on which Cathy Young [1] had this to say about a columnist – Ezra Klein – at Vox who was supportive of it:

Klein appeared to agree that the legislation was likely to result in unfair punishments—though he later claimed this was a misunderstanding—but argued that it was good precisely because it had the potential to strike “fear and confusion” into men, since the problem of rape was so terrible and pervasive that only “ugly” remedies against it could be effective. It’s hard to think of an argument more blatantly illiberal.

Talk about getting all twisted up in dogma, ironically speaking, and promoting draconian solutions regardless of the consequences. 😉

As for PZ, while there may be, as you suggest, a great deal of self-aggrandizement in his motivations, I kind of think that to a large extent he’s simply as badly deluded as Ken Ham, that he has his own “rose-coloured” glasses that badly distort what is actually in front of his eyes – a kind of “total internal reflection” type of phenomenon [2]. For a case in point, you may wish to take a gander at this article [3] – P.Z. Myers Is a Dishonest Social Justice Warrior Who Doesn’t Know What ‘Atheism’ Means – notably the author’s comments on PZ’s misinterpretations of the implications of the word “weird”.

In any case John, nice to see you (and others) entering the lists a little more often, and with more tenacity and enthusiasm than you used to do not too long ago. :-)

—-
1) “_http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/19/harvard-liberals-hate-new-campus-sex-laws.html”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_internal_reflection”;
3) “_http://thedailybanter.com/2014/10/a-response-to-p-z-myers-social-justice-warrior/”;

72 piero October 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

@ Steersman:

Thank you for the links. I just want to quote two excerpts I found particularly interesting:

From the first link:

This double standard also seems to be rather flagrantly gender-based—grossly unfair to men and paternalistic toward women.

At Duke, one of the universities being sued for alleged wrongful expulsion, Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek seemed to admit as much at a hearing on the lawsuit last May. When asked if sex between two equally intoxicated students should be regarded as mutual rape, Wasiolek replied, “Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.”

So much for gender equality.

From the third link:

Comment by Chill Girl:I also thought it was hilarious that I – a black girl from the toughest part of LA – was driven out of a “social justice” site by a bunch of whiny privileged mostly white middle-class kids pissing and moaning about how oppressed they were.

Burn!

73 piero October 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

Ooops, sorry: the commenter in the quote above was Chill Chick, not Chill Girl.

74 tina October 22, 2014 at 10:36 am

“Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex.”

What if it’s female on otherkin?

75 tina October 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

Most weekends everywhere boys and girls get ratfaced to remove inhibitions so they can do sex. How do they prove mutual consent after the [f]act?

76 tina October 22, 2014 at 10:46 am

Latsot: Define ‘rape culture’
Also, if you meant that, why did you use ‘rapist’?

Explain.

77 Bartacus October 22, 2014 at 10:51 am

Has anyone ever inquired about the victims in the Ogvorbis story? Personally, I think it’s all made up, as an attention seeking ploy to garner in-group points, that’s how it works over a FTB. But I would be interested to know if anyone has ever pressed him on the situation of the victims, particularly regarding there welfare and how he feels about inflicting trauma on these young girls.

I mean the victims are the priority always, right?

78 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

Aneris #58

Will Latsot now condemn PZ Myers and the FTB people? If he doesn’t, is this finally a clear cut case of crisp hypocrisy for J. J. Ramsey, Ariel, Dave etc.?

Since I was mentioned, I will try to answer.

Your question is whether it would be hypocritical for Latsot not to condemn “PZ Myers and the FTB people”. Please keep in mind that I’m trying to answer this question and *nothing more* than that. Please abstain from reading *anything else than that* in my answer. In particular, it’s not – I repeat, it’s not – an attempt to answer the question whether the behavior of any other person (that is, other than Latsot) was hypocritical.

First, a summary.

WHAT WE DO KNOW:

Latsot claimed (it’s taken from your quotes) that it is wrong to:
(1) Trivialize rape
(2) use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women.
(3) Claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape.

“Trivializing rape” is not a crystal clear concept, but let’s put it aside for a while. I take (2) as clear enough. (3) is ambiguous in that it’s not clear whether the emphasis is on the victim, on the perpetrator, or on both. (3) can mean that excuses of the sort “she was too drunk to say ‘no’ – so it wasn’t rape” or “she was too young to say ‘no’ – so it wasn’t rape” are unacceptable. But (3) could also be taken as meaning that “the perpetrator was drunk, so it wasn’t rape” and “the perpetrator was very young, so it wasn’t rape” are unacceptable. There is a lack of clarity here and at the moment I’m not completely sure whether (3) concerns the the victim, the perpetrator, or both. However, in what follows I will assume the strongest possible interpretation: namely, that (3) covers all of these cases.

WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW:

We do not know:

(a) whether Latsot thinks that rape is an unforgivable offence – always and without exceptions. In particular: should (according to Latsot) rapists be shunned always and forever?
(b) If not (a), under what conditions (in Latsot’s opinion) can a rapist be accepted as a part of a given community?
(c) Are there any possible excuses which could be used by a rapist? From the quotes provided, we know that neither the intoxication nor the young age can change the qualification of the deed as “rape”. But here I ask a different question. It’s not whether it’s rape (because we know well Latsot’s answer). It’s whether there are any valid excuses for rape (according to Latsot) – factors which make the perpatrator less guilty.
(d) In particular (see (d)), how important is for Latsot the age of the perpetrator treated as a (possibly partial) excuse of his behavior?
(e) In particular (see (d)), how important are for Latsot the previous experiences (abuse) of the perpetrator treated as a (possibly partial) excuse of his behavior?

If you know the answers to (a)-(e), please provide them. I may have omitted something; there might be places where Latsot stated his/her position on such matters. At the moment I’m simply unaware of it.

In view of the above, I hope you will not be surprised by my answer: no, I wouldn’t see Latsot’s refusal to condemn “PZ Myers and the FTB people” as a clear-cut case of hypocrisy. (1)-(3) are simply not enough. It is the answers to (a)-(e) that are absolutely crucial. And as it happens, I do not know Latsot’s answers. Do you?

79 john welch October 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Ariel:

How does thinking:

Latsot claimed (it’s taken from your quotes) that it is wrong to:
(1) Trivialize rape
(2) use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women.
(3) Claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape.

make you a rapist?

because you can go on forever about what he means by that and all the rest.

None of that means squat. Latsot has again repeated the meme that people commenting here are rapists and once again, although I doubt you’ve any more respect for the dictionary that does PZ, here is the meaning of the word “rapist”:

rapist |ˈrāpist| noun
a person, typically a man, who commits rape.

(Note, there is not a lot of room for misinterpretation there. )

Because that’s the equivocation Latsot is using: that having bad opinions about rape means you’re a rapist. So maybe you can explain how an assholish opinion translates to raping one or more people.

80 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

John Welch:

I was answering a specific question by Aneris. Your question is very different.

Personally, I’m against using a term “rapist” in any other sense that “someone who commits rape”. I try also to be very cautious when choosing my own formulations.

At the moment I have nothing else to say on this matter.

81 john welch October 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

So then the litany of justifications Latsot is using to defend his, and by extension, PZ’s use of the term are in fact, a distraction from Michael’s point, a distraction you are participating in, even though you don’t actually agree with it.

So what exactly are you defending?

82 piero October 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

@ Ariel:
I’m sure Aneris will give you a more comprehensive and articulate answer. In my opinion, Latsot is guilty on two counts: a. accusing people of a crime and redefining the word that describes the crime in order to wiggle out of an indefensible corner; b. keep quiet about Ogvorbis.

I’m really not that interested in a. Slatsot has dug himself a deep enough hole already, and nobody in her/his right mind would give any credit to the accusation.

Concerning b., whether Slatsot does or does not regard rape as unacceptable under any circumstances is wholly irrelevant. If he does, then he should address the Ogvorbis issue; if he does not, then he cannot use “rapist” as a generic smear unless he knows exactly which named person committed rape and the detailed circumstances.

Rigorous thinking is a tough job, isn’t it?

83 piero October 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

@ Ariel:

Something I forgot:

At the moment I have nothing else to say on this matter.

Really? Do you think it is ethical to use someone else’s blog as your personal billboard and then run away?

84 piero October 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Apologies for getting Latsot’s nym wrong twice in my post.

85 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Piero:

Concerning b., whether Slatsot does or does not regard rape as unacceptable under any circumstances is wholly irrelevant.

I didn’t say “unacceptable”. I said “unforgivable”. That’s different.

If he does, then he should address the Ogvorbis issue; if he does not, then he cannot use “rapist” as a generic smear unless he knows exactly which named person committed rape and the detailed circumstances.

I don’t understand the second part. We normally use terms like “thief” or “murderer” with strong negative force even though we are aware of possible circumstances influencing our assessment in a plethora of concrete cases. What’s wrong with this?

Do you think it is ethical to use someone else’s blog as your personal billboard and then run away?

I think it’s perfectly ok to answer a specific question on someone’s blog. I think also that answering a specific question on someone’s blog doesn’t put me under an obligation to discuss all topics and to answer all questions. I think also that I have a right to disengage from a discussion if I think that a good moment has come … or even if I’m just tired. Ah, and it’s not hypocrisy: I hereby officially declare that I’m absolutely happy to acknowledge similar rights of Piero in this respect.

Rigorous thinking is a tough job, isn’t it?

Indeed, Piero, it is.

86 Jan Steen October 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Michael, I’m assuming that you still haven’t received an apology from PZ Myers.

I believe the chance that you will ever get one has become even slimmer, now that we have evidence that Myers is not only unable to make an apology (except perhaps to members of his own cult), he is even unable to accept an apology.

It has been mentioned here before that Skep tickle once made an off colour joke about PZ Myers on the Slymepit. This joke was repeated in a blog post by Matt Cavanaugh, with attribution to Skep tickle, which is allegedly how it came to Myers’s attention. The joke may have seemed rather tasteless to the uninitiated, but those who know about Myers’s tendency to gossip about people’s private lives, and always to assume the worst of his opponents, will have understood that this was just a way to mock this unpleasant aspect of his personality. But Myers then pretended that it was a serious allegation and in a sleazy act of retaliation gave the full, real name of Skep ticle on his blog, with a link to her place of employment. He added, “I think the [redacted, JS] hospital should know what one of their doctors does in her spare time, so I’m not going to shy away from mentioning her name.” The cowardly lowlife was clearly hoping that one of his minions would run with it and contact Skep tickle’s hospital. Which is exactly what the odious Skepchicks, mouthpiece of Rebecca Watson, proceeded to do (on Twitter).

Shortly afterwards, Skep tickle tweeted an unconditional apology to Myers and the Skepchicks. This was a tactical mistake, as these people, being true Social Justice Warriors, tend to consider an apology merely as an admission of guilt, to be used against you at a later date.

And this is what we can now observe. Myers has another post up, in which he comes to the defence of harasser Rebecca Watson, and in the process deems it necessary to again use the real name of Skep tickle, while linking to his earlier post, the one with the link to her place of work.

There’s not a word about Skep tickle’s apology.

So here we have a True Feminist (in his own eyes, that is) continuing to harass a woman who has done more for the wellbeing of women than all the Thoughtfree Bloggers and Skepchicks put together. I have run out of adjectives to characterize the behaviour of PZ Myers, at least without becoming as foul mouthed as a Pharyngula regular. Let’s not stoop to their level.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141022122231/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/21/so-many-good-reasons/

87 Jan Steen October 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Funny to see that Latsot, a rabid PZ Myers apologist who makes William Lane Craig look honest and reasonable by comparison, now has their own apologist (Ariel).

It recalls the lines:

Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so, ad infinitum.

Myers himself has of course merely become one of Richard Dawkins’s ‘fleas’.

88 piero October 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm

@ Ariel:

Unforgivable is not the same as unacceptable, I agree. In other news, relevant is not the same as pernickety.

The second part is clear enough: if you believe someone was justified in taking someone else’s property, you would not call that someone a thief. I really don’t think I should explain this, but apparently I must: if I have reason to believe that someone stole a chicken in order to feed his/her starving children, I would never call that someone a thief in a public medium intending to give offence. It is obvious that Latsot’s use of “rapists” was intended as an insult; therefore, he must have had reason to believe that the insulted commenters not only had raped, but had raped in an unforgivable way.

Now Latsot has published a clarification where he makes it absolutely clear that his interpretation of “rapist” is absolutely stupid. Unfortunately, the accusations he recklessly twitted did not contain a link to his personal dictionary, where “rapist” means “anyone who disagrees with PZ Myers.” Including women, by the way.

I agree with your last point: everyone has the right to stop posting comments at any time. But having a right is not the same as behaving ethically; announcing that you are not willing to engage further replies to your post is tantamount to throwing a stone and running away.

And rigorous thinking is still a tough job.

89 Crackity Jones October 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

As suggested by Latsot on Twitter, it does now appear that their (the #FTBullies and PZ Myers, etc.) usage of “rape” and “rapist” is actually a “rhetorical device”.

These cretins NEVER had any serious views on rape, and all they can do is trivialise it.

I always Latsot was just a clueless sheep, but it is obvious he is a disingenuous and very dodgy fibber. He and PZ Myers are beneath contempt.

90 sinister October 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

@latsot has taken a nose dive. The level of rhetorical gymnastics on display is both amusing and appalling. He will apparently say ANYTHING in order to come out as “right” (as he defines it.) Watch as he claims he can’t know what PZ Myers has said because he only met him once. As if you have to sit next to people to see what they say online. Hilarious! (and appalling.)

91 Aneris ✻ October 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

@Ariel

You are sidestepping everything. Let’s begin with that you seem to believe people can be called harassers, misogynists and even rapists and you have a hard time objecting to it. You give here the impression that such terms can be assigned without evidence. Myers and Latsot can simply spread this across social media. No problem for Ariel. Hypocrite, however, requires that a narrow set of criteria are met in a true platonic fashion.

Now, the people who are called harassers, misogynists and rapist (and terrorists etc.), such as myself, begin to wonder on what basis such claims are made. I can reject them all and I am positive that others here can reject them as easily. We further note that not Michael Nugent has a rapists (plural) in his comment sections, but FreeThoughtBlogs has at least one. Openly admitted. Not the commenters here cover up a rape and circle the wagons – they do. Not we express love and support to someone who came out as a rapist – they do. Is this still controversial?

Back to Latsot. He can only refer to one person he believes to be a rapist. And that is “Famous Skeptic” (FS). He believes that not making FS alleged rape a main point and give it some of air-time, Michael Nugent and – we all here – directly defend or trivialize rape and thereby we somehow promote a rape culture. We are guilty of these things because we take issue with PZ Myers and not with FS. Otherwise the whole argument of PZM, Latsot and comment sections wouldn’t work.

If Latsot had a problem, deep down in his heart, with making rape seem trivial, then he would have to turn to FreeThoughtBlogs and the regulars there, who expressed solidarity and support just after they learned someone raped three girls. There is no “equal case” on this side of the rift. Since he ignores it and refuses to even acknowledge the case, he falls into his own sword. He is, by his own standard, someone who is a “rape apologist”, a trivializer of rape, someone who looks the other way when rape is in question.

The worst we do, or I do, is to have a skeptical attitude towards claims made towards anyone, which are based on nothing, or hearsay, are years old, not reported to the authorities and conveniently fit in the current storyline. And which are made by people who have made themselves most untrustworthy. I recognize that the latter is merely a heuristic and does not have anything to do with the truth. They may be spot on.

But I can suspend judgement since my private opinion can only be a private opinion and it doesn’t matter in any way, what I believe on the subject. I will not spread unfounded accusations of severe criminal behaviour against someone I barely know without that it was recognized by a court of law. As a critical thinker, however, I will poke holes into anything someone asserts. The more important the outcome is, the more solid it must be.

What Latsot and PZ Myers (and you as well) and co really want is an erosion of core values from the presumption of innocence to critical thinking. They want to replace that with full solidarity for ingroupers (“safe spaces”), authoritarian belief systems where one must obey what the master says who rules the “safe space” and who has special knowledge. The special knowledge hinges on a “web of trust” (Jason Thibeault) which is again tied to the ingroup. And all of that is enforced with transparent bully tactic everyone sees plainly and clearly, but those who are doing it.

What is further promoted is that statements of fact, such as “harasser, “misogynists” or “rapist” are used as if they are merely expressions of opinions or as mere insults. At the same time, insults and expressions of opinions (where I see “hypocrite” in tendency) are promoted to be severest statement that either cannot be stated at all, or are seen as demanding special evidence.

The result are bizarre double standards of the kind you, Ariel, show us here.

92 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Piero:

But having a right is not the same as behaving ethically; announcing that you are not willing to engage further replies to your post is tantamount to throwing a stone and running away.

Ah, you misunderstood me then. You are referring to my answer to John Welch, who – in my opinion – asked a very different question than the one I discussed. I answered that I have nothing to add on John’s question; that was all and that was the whole intended meaning. Please, believe me, that I will continue replying to remarks strictly pertinent to the topic of my comment (see the original question of Aneris) – as long as I feel that I have something to say, or until I get bored, or until I get drunk … whatever. No worries here.

It is obvious that Latsot’s use of “rapists” was intended as an insult; therefore, he must have had reason to believe that the insulted commenters not only had raped, but had raped in an unforgivable way.

Or, as you later add yourself, his interpretation of “defending rapists” was altogether different. Just to remember, here is again a quote from Latsot’s explanation:

I said on Twitter that Michael Nugent defends rapists. I didn’t say he defends rape. I said that he defends (some) people who are rapists, I meant something fairly specific by this: Michael Nugent continues to provide a safe haven for people who perpetuate rape culture. People who trivialise rape. People who use the threat of rape as an instrument for silencing women. People who vociferously claim that sex with someone whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or youth is not rape. Nugent does not condemn people who espouse such opinions in the comments on his blog. He equivocates, pretending this means he isn’t taking a position.

In other words: Latsot presents his “MN defends rapists” as meaning “MN’s commenters perpetuate rape culture and MN permits it”. In effect he is *not* accusing the commenters of committing rape, forgivable or not. His accusations are different. And since they are different, you can’t build a hypocrisy argument on that. It still doesn’t hold water.

You can claim of course that “his interpretation of “rapist” is absolutely stupid”, but that’s a far cry from the hypocrisy charge based on the case of Ogvorbis. (Personally I would say that, first, it’s not so much about the interpretation of “rapists” as about what it means to *defend* rapists; second, I view Latsot’s original choice of words as quite unfortunate.)

And rigorous thinking is still a tough job.

It gets harder and harder, I would say.

Jan Steen #87

Funny to see that Latsot, a rabid PZ Myers apologist who makes William Lane Craig look honest and reasonable by comparison, now has their own apologist (Ariel).

I’ve always thought that it doesn’t really matter whom you defend. But it matters a lot how you do it.

I’m a defender of this horrible Latsot, you say? Dear Jan, it’s far, far worse than that. I would be ready to defend even Pol Pot. Really, it’s that bad. Believe me.

Defend against what, you might ask? Against an accusation of murdering Jan Steen.
How would I defend Pol Pot, you might ask? By arguing that Jan Steen is alive.

Your little flea and Pol Pot defender,
Ariel

93 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

@Latsot (we know you’re lurking)

Why not just say when you use words like “correct” “just” “right” or “good” you mean “in accordance with PZ Myers’ opinions”, then wash your hands of the whole matter? It would be far easier for you, and at last we’d all understand eachother.

94 Jack Rawlinson October 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm

This retreat to the excuse that these abusive people are simply using “rapist” and similar slurs non-literally, or as a “rhetorical device”, is just typical of their jaw-dropping double standards. Remember all the abuse and mockery that ensued when some people referred to the libel of Michael Shermer as “witch hunt”? Or when a commenter at Pharyngula said that they were trying to lynch Shermer, and Myers responded by banning him for “… not knowing what the word ‘lynch’ means”?

For these revolting people, strict literalism is essential when it suits their purposes but can readily be dropped, and words redefined egregiously, if the purpose is to attack or insult others. This is just one form their disgusting and shameless hypocrisy takes.

95 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Piero, my answer to you is awaiting moderation.

Aneris, I’ve just noticed your reply. I will think about it and answer (probably tomorrow).

96 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

@Ariel

I believe Piero is being a little harsh with you. It’s difficult to hold your own when you’re the sole person arguing your position on a thread. I’m glad your here and participating. It’s more than I can say for nearly everyone else in your camp, so you have my admiration in that respect.

97 Aneris ✻ October 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm

@Ariel
Indeed, thanks for taking the time to argue. I know it sucks when you are the only one, and all issues are burdened on you. I hope I don’t make you more of a foil than you made yourself one :)

98 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Misused “your”…

:/

No edit button…

99 Aneris ✻ October 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

More nonsense with Latsot on twitter. He is more concerned that the exact nature of his not/apology is misunderstood than whether the assertions and accusations he echoed are true. For example…

_twitter.com/micknugent/status/524932070540574720

Here is how it is like argueing with Latsot:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Guards Scene

100 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm

The Holy Grail reference is spot on. That’s part of the problem with these larger conversations. People new to the scene assume you must be exaggerating when you describe your opponent, and so you come across as unreasonable and uncharitable.

The truth is it’s next to impossible to describe some people without it sounding like satire.

101 Jan Steen October 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

On the subject of doxxing, one of the commonly repeated lies (also by PZ Myers, of course) is that Skep tickle outed herself by associating her name with her pseudonym.

This Pharyngula commenter named Nick Gotts is a typical specimen of such a disingenuous bottom feeder:

Nick Gotts

21 October 2014 at 4:17 pm

wagnaye@25,

You’re a dishonest little shit, aren’t you? You can’t dox someone who has openly associated their real name with their nym, by using that real name. As for that spineless gobshite Michael Nugent, perhaps he should turn his “concern” to the harassers, misogynists and rape-apologists who cluster around him.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141022122231/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/21/so-many-good-reasons/

“You can’t dox someone who has openly associated their real name with their nym, by using that real name.”

What this charming gentleman forgets to mention is that Skep tickle had already been doxxed by Ophelia Benson in conjunction with others, who had used confidential, not directly visible information (an e-mail name) posted on her and Stephanie Zvan’s blog by Skep tickle. Skep tickle later once used her real name, while explaining that she preferred not to do so because some of her patients might object to being treated by an atheist.

Who is the “dishonest little shit” here?

We also see Nick Gotts insulting Michael Nugent while, as a good PZ Myers acolyte, repeating the unevidenced libel that commenters here are harassers, misogynists and rape-apologists. Note: “rape-apologists”, not “rapist”: even Nick doesn’t dare to boldly go where PZ Myers has gone before.

But while Nick has no evidence, or at least hasn’t bothered to show it, there is plenty of evidence that the harassers, misogynists and rape-apologists are to be found in his own company.

1. Harassers: People who try to get men and women fired from their job because they make jokes they don’t like or have opinions they do not agree with. Those people I would classify as harassers. Evidence: see PZ Myers linking to Skep tickle’s place of employment while proclaiming that her employers should know what she’s doing in her spare time. See also Greg Laden contacting the university where Abbie Smith (founder of the Slymepit) used to work, to complain about her blog posts contra Rebecca Watson. See also PZ Myers calling on the employer of Ben Radford to fire him.

2. Misogynists. Using the designation “chill girl” for women who are not on board with Post Modern Feminism of the SJW variety. I let Stephanie Zvan explain the meaning of “chill girl”:

How do you know whether you’re a chill girl? Simple. Is your reaction to complaints from other women of harassment and discrimination based on gender to turn to the guys and say, “Nah, I’m fine. It’s all cool”? Then you’re a chill girl.

It goes without saying that the women who are labelled as “chill girls” by the SJ Mafia do not really behave in this way. This is just a standard demonization technique. It’s misogyny directed against women who are in the outgroup.

3. Rape-apologists. Pharyngula regular Ogvorbis claims to have raped three much younger girls, without coercion, when he was twelve. What is the response of his fellow Pharyngulanhas? Apart from giving him “pounce hugs” and offers to baby-sit their kids, they say that Oggie was groomed by an abuser when he was younger. He is a victim, so he doesn’t need further scrutiny by psychologists and the police; he doesn’t need to reach out to his victims. Yes, that is rape apology: a rapist is excused when he is himself a victim. But consider this: who knows how many rapists have similarly had a terrible childhood experience? Does that give them a get out of jail card? I should think not. There is also no proof that there is always a direct link between prior abuse and criminal behaviour. This is just assumed by the Commentariat because they happen to like Oggie. [Note: Like many others I seriously doubt every word uttered by Ogvorbis, but that’s another matter. I am here concerned here with what appears to be the honest response of the Pharyngula commentariat.]

And no, Nick Gotts, making fun of Ophelia Benson, PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson on a website they don’t have to visit is not harassment. Criticizing women, even in a rude and crude way, is not misogyny when the criticism is directed at their actions and statements, not at their gender. Suggesting that rape victims should ideally contact the police as soon as possible, because rapists belong in prison, is not rape apology. Even criticising rape victims for not doing enough to get their rapists punished under the law and to prevent further rapes from happening, even that is not rape apology.

102 Jan Steen October 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

By the way, even when Skep tickle’s name had been common knowledge, I still consider PZ Myers’s linking to her place of work, with what amounted to an invitation to harass her, to be doxxing of the most reprehensible kind.

103 piero October 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm

@ JetLagg @ Ariel;

I believe Piero is being a little harsh with you. It’s difficult to hold your own when you’re the sole person arguing your position on a thread. I’m glad your here and participating. It’s more than I can say for nearly everyone else in your camp, so you have my admiration in that respect.

You are right, JetLagg. I did not want to come across as a dick. I apologise to you, Ariel: I too am glad that you are participating in this discussion, and you have my respect for your courage. As Aneris pointed out, being alone against the opposition is no cinch.

104 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

It should be abundantly clear by now that it is impossible to have a reasoned adult conversation with latsot, so why are people still trying? The twitter discussions are particularly surreal.

If there is somewhere a rational person who actually stands behind latsot’s claims and opinions then argue with THAT person, however that person has yet to reveal him/herself.

105 allison October 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm

John Welch wrote:

(I’ve noticed this is invariably told by males. Straight ones. Women never, at least that I’ve seen, stoop to this kind of idiocy, and I guess gay men don’t feel the need to either. I think for this level of delusion, you just have to have testicles, and want to use them with a woman.

I seem to remember Big Chief Caine/Inaji (a woman member of PZ’s horde) telling a similar story about the monster within her.

106 Bartacus October 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm

@JanSteen

Further to your post about the current Pharyngula thread, Nick Gotts was replying to me, I posted one message as wagnaye, which was deleted and I subsequently cannot post there. For a bit of context I’ll paste my original comment here.

——————————————————–

It seems as though you have been under the cosh lately PZ, what with adversarial blog posts, videos, and even a twitter hash tag, why I’m not surprised that you’re lashing out, and I hope that repeating your doxxing of a person who has actually apologised to you makes you feel better.

Because it makes you look like a vindictive little bully and makes me wonder exactly what it was about those comments in particular that has elicited such a reaction from you, I mean you’ve had bad werds uttered in your direction before, haven’t you?

Why don’t you try channeling some of that energy in the direction of Michael Nugent and try answering some of his concerns?

Not waving but drowning.

————————————————————

I didn’t think it was particularly egregious but obviously it hit a nerve. I wish these brave warriors would leave the cosy confines of FTB and engage on a even playing field, but of course not being in control of moderation makes other fora an “unsafe space” I guess.

107 john welch October 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Ariel @ 92:

In other words: Latsot presents his “MN defends rapists” as meaning “MN’s commenters perpetuate rape culture and MN permits it”. In effect he is *not* accusing the commenters of committing rape, forgivable or not. His accusations are different. And since they are different, you can’t build a hypocrisy argument on that. It still doesn’t hold water.

So in other words, “rapist” has nothing to do with someone who actually commits rape. It’s just a convenient “rhetorical device” to draw attention to their thought crimes?

So how far does that go? Are you okay with googlebombing someone so that when their name is searched, the first thing that comes up is “So and So is a RAPIST” even though they have never committed, been accused of, arrested for, or convicted of rape?

Is that okay, since, according to you and those vociferously defend, “rapist” doesn’t really mean “rapist”, it now means “people who don’t think about rape the way I want them to”, where “I” is “the person calling a group of people rapists”?

So if Michael were to say that PZ Myers’ comment section provides a haven to rapists and child abusers and when pressed for proof, provide none, and just say “well, it’s a rhetorical device“, you’d be fine with that?

Also, what word do you use for someone who actually commits rape, now that “rapist” appears to have no goddamned meaning whatsoever other than what the person using it wants it to mean.

Rapist me, I’m rapist to rapist my rapist, and then later I rapist rapist rapist rapist rapist.

you know, when you just let one word have any meaning you want, it makes writing much simpler. No one else can understand a damned thing you say, but that doesn’t appear to be important anyway, and we all know “Dictionaries” are of no real value anyway.

108 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Ariel @92

You can claim of course that “his interpretation of “rapist” is absolutely stupid”,

We do.

but that’s a far cry from the hypocrisy charge based on the case of Ogvorbis.

No, it isn’t. Unless you think that praising a rapist (and I’m using the word to mean it’s actual definition, not the one Latsot has come up with) is not “perpetuating rape culture”. It seems obvious to me that it does. Then again, it seemed obvious to me that “rapist” means “someone who commits rape”.

Really, Ariel, this is exhausting. Do you not see how absurd it is when I have to add an addendum in my sentence just to clarify that, when using a word, I mean what it says in the dictionary, and what 99.999% of the population understands it to mean?

At best, Latsot is guilty of having the communication skills of a two year old, and should excuse himself from adult conversation.

109 john welch October 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Jet,

Ariel is in a corner. Because now she has to redefine rapist in a way that includes everyone here (but her and the people she approves of), but DOESN’T include Ogvorbis *or* the people who defended him and gave him a haven, even though it drove Elyse Anders off the thread. The overall reaction was one of support for Ogvorbis, with almost no one else protesting that they were defending a self-admitted rapist.

So if you take Ogvorbis at their word, then Pharyngula was, and is still literally providing a haven for a confessed rapist. You know, the exact thing PZ/Latsot are accusing Michael of, with Ariel’s full support. Only you don’t have to redefine “rapist”, or play games with nonsensical dodges of “rhetorical device”.

For her to defend that as okay, yet agree with them that Michael is doing the *exact same thing* even though she’s already admitted that nothing of the sort is happening requires extraordinary mental gymnastics. I mean Nadia Comenici-1976 Summer Olympics level here.

She is trying to defend an accusation based on words not meaning what they actually mean.

But she has to. because if “rapist” has any form of definitive, unambiguous meaning, then the person with a blog providing a haven for one isn’t Michael’s, it’s PZ’s.

And if she admits that, well then there’s a lot of other things she has to deal with that I don’t think she particularly wants to.

110 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

“Because now she has to redefine rapist in a way that includes everyone here (but her and the people she approves of), but DOESN’T include Ogvorbis”

It’s not difficult to create a distinction between someone who has committed an offense in the past but is now “reformed” and people who continue to advocate, tolerate, encourage and even commit that offense in the present.

I certainly don’t think the latter is the case here, but I think it’s a valid distinction.

111 Phil Giordana FCD October 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm

“people who continue to advocate, tolerate, encourage and even commit that offense in the present”

Wait, what?!?

112 piero October 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

@Ariel:

In other words: Latsot presents his “MN defends rapists” as meaning “MN’s commenters perpetuate rape culture and MN permits it”. In effect he is *not* accusing the commenters of committing rape, forgivable or not. His accusations are different. And since they are different, you can’t build a hypocrisy argument on that. It still doesn’t hold water.

OK, I’ll play. This is going to be a long and boring post, I’m afraid; just as long and boring as those where I tried to explain that “believing the victim” was question-begging.

There are two possibilities regarding Latsot’s use of the word “rapist”:

1. He takes the word to mean what everybody else in the world understands by it, namely “someone who rapes.” In that case, he is guilty of hypocritically accusing strangers while ignoring a real rapist he knows quite well.

“Not so,” you claim, “because it has not been established what possible distinctions Latsot makes between different circumstances. Maybe he distinguishes “unforgivable” and “forgivable” rapes (u-rape and f-rape, let’s say), and if he considers the actions of the well-known rapist as f-rape, then he is not being hypocritical.”

Unfortunately, this does not quite work. If Latsot’s consistency is based on his differentiation of circumstances, then he cannot consistently accuse strangers of u-rape simply because he cannot possibly know anything at all about those strangers. So, if we accept the u-f theory, then Latsot is not saying anything at all: as you well know, contradictions and tautologies say nothing about the real world. So we can dismiss the u-f theory outright.

You tried a half-hearted defense of u-f theory by pointing out that we routinely use words such as “thief” to describe a wide variety of behaviours. But I replied that you don’t call an f-thief a “thief,” even though it might be legally correct. Using “thief” as an insult can only mean that u-thief is intended.

2. Latsot assigns an idiosyncratic meaning to “rapist,” shared by nobody else in the world. In Latsot’s L-English, “rapist” means “anybody who contributes to perpetuate rape culture” (let’s grant that “rape culture” actually exists). Then we might ask: “what’s so bad about contributing to perpetuate rape culture?” Why, it’s obvious: it makes it more likely that women will be raped! But then I should think that actually committing rape is the most hideous way of perpetuating rape culture. Therefore, the well-known rapist has contributed to rape culture as much as any human being can. Yet Latsot ignores him. That’s hypocrisy.

So either Latsot has uttered a contradiction, and hence said nothing about reality, or he’s a hypocrite.

Why am I writing this instead of watching a good film on TV? Because an imbecile sent out idiotic accusations which he could not support and, realising he was an imbecile but also imbecile enough to try to hide it from others, he bent words to breaking point just to avoid the ignominy of saying “I’m sorry.” And that pretty much sums up everything that Latsot, Myers, Watson, Zvan, Benson etc. are doing day after day through their publications. They are an embarrassment to any movement, let alone a movement that would take pride in clear thinking.

113 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm

@phil,

Which word or letter or pixel in that phrase are you having difficulty with?

114 Phil Giordana FCD October 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Sedan: Have you seen anyone advocate, tolerate, encourage and even commit that offense in the present? Anywhere? Apart from FTB?

(if the offense you’re talking about is rape, of course).

115 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I fairly certain Sedan was speaking hypothetically.

116 Phil Giordana FCD October 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I fairly certain you accidentally a verb.

117 piero October 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@Phil Giordana:

I fairly certain you accidentally a verb.

😀

LOL. I took Sedan to mean that Latsot could exculpate himself from the charge of hypocrisy by claiming that Oggie has reformed since, whereas the despicable pitters are still at it.

That would only work if Oggie had verifiable information about Oggie. Which he obviously has not. So he’s still a hypocrite.

118 john welch October 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Sedan:

It’s not difficult to create a distinction between someone who has committed an offense in the past but is now “reformed” and people who continue to advocate, tolerate, encourage and even commit that offense in the present.

I certainly don’t think the latter is the case here, but I think it’s a valid distinction.

How, pray tell, is one reformed without ever paying a lick of penalty for one’s crime? At no point has Ogvorbis ever said he*:

1) confessed to the parents of the victims or the authorities
2) Tried to make amends

In short, he’s never taken any of the steps one would normally expect to be taken to be “reformed”. Other than of course, sharking for sympathy every chance he gets.

So how is he reformed? Other than being considered Clear?

How does one become a reformed rapist, who is no longer a “real” rapist? Is there a time limit? Is there a series of steps?

From what anyone here can tell, the process seems to be:

1) Be considered Clear by PZ/Skepchicks
2) There is no step 2.

So how does that reformation even happen, other than approval by the clique?

119 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm

It would be easy enough. Ogvorbis was once the sort of person who, by his own free will, would rape prepubescent girls. Now he is not. That meets the definition of reform. Whereas [redacted] is assumed to still be quite willing to rape. I agree with Sedan that it’s a valid distinction.

120 john welch October 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Well, as long as he didn’t say rude things about atheists and put them in a note in the window of his frogurt shop.

Some things are, after all, unforgivable.

121 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Have you noticed we seem to come up with far superior arguments for the other camp than they do for themselves?

122 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 10:08 pm

@john welch,

You are resorting to the same semantic contortions and obtuse reasoning that latsot appears to be so fond of. It’s not working for you either.

123 Ariel October 22, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Piero #112 (and some commenters posting later)

This is going to be a long and boring post

Surprise, surprise: I won’t quarrel with this. The only question is how to avoid writing a long and boring post in return. How about concentrating on the central (and hopelessly flawed) part? Do you think it will work? Well … I don’t but I will do it nevertheless.

Then we might ask: “what’s so bad about contributing to perpetuate rape culture?” Why, it’s obvious: it makes it more likely that women will be raped! But then I should think that actually committing rape is the most hideous way of perpetuating rape culture. Therefore, the well-known rapist has contributed to rape culture as much as any human being can. Yet Latsot ignores him. That’s hypocrisy.

Piero, please, this is not an eristic contest. In an eristic contest you would get a high grade. I grant you this. You are the winner. Satisfied now? Can we cut the crap?

A guy comes to you saying that years ago, when he was 12, he raped someone. And you hate abuse. You want the abuse to stop. What do you do?

You want my own answer? I have NO FUCKING IDEA what I would do. Depends on the guy. On what he says, on what impression he makes on me, on how well I know him, even on my mood perhaps. Anyway, I don’t have a ready-made answer. Are you completely sure you have one?

Kick him out, you say, because he contributed to the rape culture, otherwise – hypocrisy! Perfect. Just perfect. And how will it help the future victims? What if the guy himself was also a victim of abuse? What if you think he has changed, even if your reasons wouldn’t stand scrutiny in court? What if kicking him out – not giving him any chance – makes him only more bitter, more vengeful, more likely to rape someone in the future? May I ask what makes you so damned sure you know all the answers?

I’m neither a judge nor a policeman. I don’t have also a procedure, full of necessary conditions and steps to consider someone “reformed” before admitting him to my enlightened company.

You know, I didn’t participate in this Pharyngula discussion but I read it. It’s quite horrible. It’s heavy, dreary, depressing, and sometimes even ugly. Some of the participants are saying things which I would never say. But you know what? They are more human in all of this than some of you, with your lists of conditions and “far superior arguments”.

Why am I writing this instead of watching a good film on TV?

Sorry, Piero, but I have no idea. Playing for fun, maybe? Perhaps you considered it a good joke? Please, tell me that you did.

124 Crackity Jones October 22, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Latto repeated the FTB law that if you have sex with a drunk person, then that is rape.

Well, OK, but whenever I then point out that that means a prominent Skepchick is a rapist, perhaps several times over, from encounters at conferences, etc. Latto seems to go all quiet, or feigns bewilderment at the notion of someone applying his logic onto people on his “side”.

Latto is a grade-1 listed eejit and a hypocrite.

125 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm

@Ariel

I’m pleased you admit your ignorance. We should all aspire to this as skeptics. Though you then paradoxically support those who are willing to proclaim certainty on matters they are clearly ignorant of.

Since it seems you’re going to stick around, perhaps you could take up Welch’s challenge, and explain (as concisely as possible) what exactly the position you’re arguing for is.

126 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Ariel@123

“Why am I writing this instead of watching a good film on TV?”

Sorry, Piero, but I have no idea. Playing for fun, maybe? Perhaps you considered it a good joke? Please, tell me that you did.

You do realize the question was rhetorical, and answered in the same paragraph you quoted from and supposedly read?

127 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Who has time to read more than the first sentence of any paragraph? That’s more than enough to support your preconceived notions about what the person was going to say anyway.

128 john welch October 22, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Sedan, you’re saying that as long as Ogvorbis declares himself reformed, he is.

So let us be clear: he doesn’t have to do anything other than say “Gosh, I know I raped three young girls, but I’m really, really sorry” and bang, all is forgiven, he never raped anyone, he is washed clean by the blood of christ.

Or whatever mystical process you’re referring to. It’s all crap, I can’t be expected to track it.

Yet, a guy who’s sole crime was to, for less than half an hour, have a piece of paper saying moderately rude things about atheists in the window of his shop, a bit of paper he later took down, and apologized for, multiple times…THAT is unforgivable. THAT man needed to be, and I quote “fucked into the ground” and if you were “any kind of atheist” you’d see that’s the only possible action.

Yet, *I* am obtuse.

Right.

129 Shatterface October 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm

It’s not difficult to create a distinction between someone who has committed an offense in the past but is now “reformed” and people who continue to advocate, tolerate, encourage and even commit that offense in the present.

The recidivism rate for child rapists is extremely high – which is why, when you go on a sex offenders register, you are there for life.

There are 15 year olds on the register for sexting their 15 year old partners who will never be permitted to work with children in their life – but Myers & Scum offer babysitting jobs to someone who has admitted raping three children and who, even now , admits he has to fight the voices in his head every day.

130 john welch October 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Ariel @ 123:

You know, I didn’t participate in this Pharyngula discussion but I read it. It’s quite horrible. It’s heavy, dreary, depressing, and sometimes even ugly. Some of the participants are saying things which I would never say. But you know what? They are more human in all of this than some of you, with your lists of conditions and “far superior arguments”.

And yet none of your paragraphs, not even that one changes one simple fact:

As of yet, neither PZ or Latsot have provided a scintilla of proof that anyone in this comments section is in fact a rapist.

Yet, PZ has explicitly provided a haven for a self-confessed rapist on his blog.

So again, would it then be JUST as acceptable for people to publicly call attention to that? Since you think it’s okay if PZ does it, and based on your distraction-filled attempts to justify everything PZ says as some form of “it’s okay when we do it”, how would it, no, how could it be incorrect given that there is at least some level of proof that PZ is in fact doing the exact thing he accuses Michael of, and further more that, Michael is wrong for doing the same thing PZ is doing.

Oh, and somehow, some how, under this glorious sky, PZ is magically, (because you’ve yet to show otherwise, so magic is all that’s left) not a hypocrite for this stance.

Is there any action of PZ’s you won’t defend unto the very gates of hell?

131 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm

“Have you noticed we seem to come up with far superior arguments for the other camp than they do for themselves?”

This is why it shouldn’t be an us vs. them discussion. “They” might have valid points to make or some insight, but they just can’t seem to frame them in a logical, consistent way. That doesn’t make “us” right, as Ariel points out, but it does make our jobs a lot harder (our job being to determine the truth as best we can).

132 john welch October 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm

The level of Scientolological Thought displayed by the Clear is almost frightening.

almost.

133 Sedan Taboos October 22, 2014 at 11:48 pm

“Yet, *I* am obtuse.”

Apparently so. You are using every tool that you claim to despise in their forums and that make adult discussion impossible. Your methods are equally as despicable, IMHO, even if you are on the same side as I am (which you don’t even seem to realize because I asked you to examine one tiny flaw in your argument and that makes me the enemy now).

134 JetLagg October 22, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I’m against you on this one Welch. First, I think it’s goal shifting to bring up the ice cream store owner (or frozen yogurt, or whatever it was). We were talking about a valid distinction between [redacted] and Ogvorbis. I believe there is one. Most obviously, Ogvorbis expressed remorse, [redacted] did not (to be clear we’re in a hypothetical situation now, where we grant all FTB assumptions about guilt to be true).

Neither Latsot or Ariel actually used this as one of their arguments (hence my point that we actually argue their position better than they do), but it doesn’t change that fact that it’s a valid argument.

135 piero October 22, 2014 at 11:53 pm

@Ariel:
Thank you for your reply. It gave me pause for thought.
Why am I posting here? For two main reasons:
1. I am extremely angry.
2. I don’t like losing arguments against crafty opponents.

I am extremely angry because the very principles of scepticism are at risk due to the fatuousness, egotism and downright imbecility of SJL bloggers and their flock of sheep. Have you pondered the implications of a precept such as “believe the victim”? Accepting as gospel (yes, religiously, just like muslims and christians) such an appalling non sequitur is tantamount to declaring war on reason. That someone can self-describe as a Skepchick and simultaneously uphold as an ethical imperative the fallacy of including your conclusion in the premises is deeply disturbing. I am therefore committed to prevent the destruction of the sceptical movement by second-rate drama queens and their male servants.

I don’t like losing arguments, unless I learn something valuable in the process. I especially dislike having to argue against disingenous opponents who keep nitpicking on irrelevant side issues while avoiding the substantive arguments. Let me just remind you that you have made very long comments about absolutely irrelevant issues, such as your disposition to defend Pol Pot, your status as a flea and the real-though-not-standard meaning of Latsot’s utterances. I’ve replied to your replies only because I don’t want lurkers to get the impression that your arguments were so powerful I could not counter them.

So, let’s talk substance. What would I do if someone told me he had raped somebody? What any rational person would do: first, establish the truth of the claim; if the claim is plausible, establish the victim’s identity; third, call the police. What’s so hard about that? Oh, I see: he was only 12, and he had been abused, and… Sorry, I cannot accept excuses; if we accept excuses, then every rapist should be acquitted, because in every case his behaviour has been shaped by genetic and environmental factors. Do you think rapists just wake up one day and decide that from that moment on they will be rapists? Every single action of every person on Earth can be traces to its causes; it is obvious that there is no metaphysical entity which we can summon in order to make a choice, because then we can ask what other metaphysical entity did we summon in order to decide to summon the first one. Having thus disposed of free will, we can then discuss what to do with criminals. Criminals must be punished, but not as retribution; it makes no sense to punish someone for doing what he would have done anyway. It does make sense, however, if we consider how knowledge of this punishment will shape the minds of other potential criminals, i.e. its effectiveness as a deterrent. What we must not do is reward the criminal, and that’s precisely what Pharyngula’s commenters are doing. Why do you think Oggie turns up regularly? He is enjoying the attention, of course: he is an excellent manipulator, and he correctly predicted what would happen if he “confessed” to a heinous crime; he just had to pull the right strings: he was a victim, he describes himself as a monster, he cries virtual tears of concern for those whom he might hurt, and so on. It is pretty obvious to me that he is lying and having a good laugh at Pharyngulites; but that’s irrelevant, because Pharyngulites are acting on the presumption of truthfulness, and they are actually keeping that guy as their pet rapist. If you don’t the sickness of that, then I’m afraid we cannot possibly communicate in any meaningful way.

136 Aneris ✻ October 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

Now Ariel shows the full authoritarian mindset. You’ve seen this in politics: they’re ready to rip everyone apart who is of the other camp and happily do that based on nothing. If someone of their camp is caught red handed, and it can no longer be denied, now longer be weaseled around and there is no way to downplay it and sweeping it under the next rug these folks suddenly discover “compassion” and “we are all fallible and make mistakes”. Then, they want that everyone is nice to them.

Prediction: Freethoughtblogs is hot spot of high-RWAs like PZ Myers, i.e. pseudo progressive authoritarians. Another reminder:

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/guest-post-linda-calhoun-reviews-the-authoritarians/

The inventories focus on what he terms “Right Wing Authoritarianism” and “Social Dominance”. He uses “right” initially as “correct”, rather than “politically right wing”, but it becomes obvious during his studies that the politically right-wing subjects see themselves, to a highly dogmatic level, as correct in their beliefs, even when evidence stands in contradiction.

Altemeyer describes the personality traits of high RWAs as submissiveness, fear, self-righteousness, hostility, lack of critical thinking, compartmentalized thinking, double standards, and feeling most empowered when in groups. He describes the lack of logic in their thinking; when they like the conclusion, how that conclusion was arrived at is irrelevant. When they like the behaver, the behavior is acceptable; when they dislike the behaver, the behavior is not.

He then goes on to describe high Social Dominators. These people want power, and they don’t much care how they get it. “The end justifies the means” is their guiding principle.

See this exchange:

Ashling O’Brian tweets: @pzmyers why are you avoiding responding to @micknugent request for an apology for saying he defends and provides a haven for rapists?

PZ Myers tweets: .@AshlingOBrien2 No point until he rejects Shermer and cleans up harassers on his blog. He cd also police his pals who fling sexist slurs.

So he believes he can basically write anything for what he believes is a greater good, even call people rapists and claim Michael Nugent provides a haven for rapists, and makes demands — and we learn here, it curiously can be revoked in principle. Bully: “do what I want, or I smear you!” PZ Myers, who really harbours a rapist in his comment sections.

But isn’t great that “rapist” apparently doesn’t mean “someone who raped” in PZ Myers bizarro world? It’s not a statement of fact and either true or not true, but a kind of feeling or insult that can be applied and recanted at will.

I’m wary of narratives. It’s easy to fall into the trap of congruence bias and the like: but his behaviour just checks too many high RWA boxes and there is no conflicting or silent data that is ignored (none come to mind).

137 john welch October 23, 2014 at 12:39 am

Really Sedan.

Pray tell, what exactly is my argument?

138 john welch October 23, 2014 at 12:53 am

Jet:

I’m against you on this one Welch. First, I think it’s goal shifting to bring up the ice cream store owner (or frozen yogurt, or whatever it was). We were talking about a valid distinction between [redacted] and Ogvorbis. I believe there is one. Most obviously, Ogvorbis expressed remorse, [redacted] did not (to be clear we’re in a hypothetical situation now, where we grant all FTB assumptions about guilt to be true).

I disagree. First, you claim, (along with, as near as I can tell, the FTB lot), that because Ogvorbis expressed remorse, because he apologized, he should be, on some level forgiven. Or at least allowed the benefit of the doubt.

Remorse and apology allow for that.

Yet, we see in the example of the Frogurt owner, who both expressed remorse and apologized, multiple times, how no level of forgiveness is allowable in his case. Ostensibly because he didn’t express *sufficient* remorse, his apology wasn’t good enough and therefore, to use PZ’s own words, “fuck him into the ground”.

That’s a hell of an inconsistency given, (if we take Ogvorbis’ tale to be true, which I still refuse to):

1) Frogurt dude’s actions caused actual harm to no one. No one was refused service, as the offending “I WILL NOT SERVE TEH SKEPTICON ATHEISTS” note was up for, by even the least charitable telling, less than half an hour.

2) At worst, the absolute worst consequence of Frogurt dude’s angry letter would have been? You don’t get frogurt. From his shop. That is literally the worst possible outcome.

3) He did apologize multiple times to multiple people and in multiple ways, including Facebook.

Yet, for the astoundingly inconsequential crime of doing no harm to anyone, he was to remain unforgiven until he had groveled sufficiently and appeased PZ.

Ogvorbis admits to helping rape an extremely young girl, and sans debasing apology or any attempt to make things right with the people he (supposedly) actually harmed deeply is not only forgiven, but hailed as an example of how you can turn your life around.

Why? What’s the difference? What’s the difference that allows for nigh-immediate forgiveness of rape, a crime that is absolutely horrible to the PZ/Skepchicks lot, (and I hope everyone else), but requires unrelenting fury over a moment of anger that caused, at worst, no small amount of embarrassment for Frogurt Dude?

The difference is of course simple: Ogvorbis is Clear, Frogurt Dude is SP. The in-group is always forgiven, the out-group can never be.

The reason I brought up Frogurt Dude wasn’t as some way of shifting the goalposts or what have you. It was to show how inane the idea of them forgiving people is, because it’s not based on any action. It’s not based on remorse, or reparations. (Even small children are at least made to apologize to the people they hurt before they can be forgiven.)

It is based on a single quality: Are you Clear? Are you a part of the Body? Do you follow the will of Landru?

If yes, all is forgiven. If not, nothing ever can be.

That was the reason why I brought up frogurt dude: to illustrate the screaming hypocrisy in this idea of forgiveness as practiced by PZ et al.

139 john welch October 23, 2014 at 1:04 am

Piero @ 135:

So, let’s talk substance. What would I do if someone told me he had raped somebody? What any rational person would do: first, establish the truth of the claim; if the claim is plausible, establish the victim’s identity; third, call the police. What’s so hard about that? Oh, I see: he was only 12, and he had been abused, and… Sorry, I cannot accept excuses; if we accept excuses, then every rapist should be acquitted, because in every case his behaviour has been shaped by genetic and environmental factors. Do you think rapists just wake up one day and decide that from that moment on they will be rapists? Every single action of every person on Earth can be traces to its causes; it is obvious that there is no metaphysical entity which we can summon in order to make a choice, because then we can ask what other metaphysical entity did we summon in order to decide to summon the first one. Having thus disposed of free will, we can then discuss what to do with criminals. Criminals must be punished, but not as retribution; it makes no sense to punish someone for doing what he would have done anyway.

As you say, there are reasons for everything. Everything has a cause of some form. Most of what we define as unreasonable isn’t that it’s truly random and caused by “nothing”, it’s that we see the reason and reject it so strongly that it becomes an “un”reason.

But reason!=excuse.

Even if we accept the reason for Ogvorbis’ crime (and make the mistake of accepting that as real), that doesn’t require us to excuse him for it.

reason and excuse are not the same thing.

As far as forgiveness goes.

It is not up to anyone who wasn’t directly hurt by Ogvorbis’ actions to forgive him. In the Lincoln sense, we cannot. We’ve not the right, nor the domain to. We can, as outsiders, no more forgive Ogvorbis than we can forgive, (to use an extreme example), Pol Pot.

The only people who can “forgive” Ogvorbis are the people he wronged. But to do that, he has to admit, and at the very least, apologize to them. Not to us. Not to PZ. Not to PZ’s comment section. But to them. To the people he hurt and their families. Those are the people he wronged. Those are the people he must atone to. Only after atonement can forgiveness happen.

An example of this is Yom Kippur.

Since atheists, by definition do not and can not atone before god or be forgiven by god, then the only people who can fulfill that role are the people they’ve wronged. Not random prats on a blog.

The fact that the FTB/Skepchicks lot are fine with Ogvorbis is somewhat meaningless in terms of forgiveness.

They may not hold it against him, but that is all they can do.

140 Jan Steen October 23, 2014 at 6:52 am

@Ariel,

I’m a defender of this horrible Latsot, you say? Dear Jan, it’s far, far worse than that. I would be ready to defend even Pol Pot. Really, it’s that bad. Believe me.

I called you an apologist, not a ‘defender’. Do you get the difference between a Pol Pot defender (against one specific accusation) and a Pol Pot apologist? Enough said.

141 piero October 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

@ john welch #139:

Thanks for the comment. It made me realise I had overlooked some important points. In particular, that only the victims are entitled to forgive.

142 tina October 23, 2014 at 10:17 am

PZ Myers tweets: .@AshlingOBrien2 No point until he rejects [a named person] and cleans up harassers on his blog. He cd also police his pals who fling sexist slurs.

See Michael, you just have to say ‘get thee behind me [named person]’, (throw some salt over your left shoulder just to be sure), and accept Peezus into your heart as Lord & Saviour and all will be well.

Or not.

143 Patrick October 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

john welch @130 boils one significant point of this conflict down to its essence:

As of yet, neither PZ or Latsot have provided a scintilla of proof that anyone in this comments section is in fact a rapist.

Yet, PZ has explicitly provided a haven for a self-confessed rapist on his blog.

Ariel — I have a great deal of respect for your participation here. I disagree with much of what you say, but you’ve got the intellectual courage to leave the safety of FTB. I would very much like to read your response to John’s point. Do you recognize that Myers has a responsibility to either support or retract his claims? Do you recognize the hypocrisy of his position?

144 tina October 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

But Peezus’ prediction, “The number of people identifying as atheists will stagnate or even shrink, because organized atheism is happily in the process of destroying itself with regressive social attitudes, scandals, and their bizarre focus on irrelevant metaphysical differences that don’t help people.” (Pharyngula: The Atheist Disillusionment – 27/09/14)

…..is correct, but for reasons. It should read..

“The number of people identifying as atheists will stagnate or even shrink, because we are happily in the process of destroying organised atheism by introducing social justice warrior polemics, tabloid sex scandals, and our bizarre focus on feminist ideologies and dogmas that don’t help people.”

I’m bet they feel really proud about it too.

145 Ariel October 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This is going to be the last of my comments for quite a while. Just to explain: no, it’s not flouncing, I’m not going away dramatically offended – nothing of the sort. It’s just that at the moment I’m the only opponent here, all of this is *horribly* time consuming and in the next couple of days I cannot afford it: there is work to do which I postponed long enough. I’m still going to read your replies (if any), but I won’t be able to do anything else than that. Sorry.

The comment will be long but I can’t avoid it: I have to give some answers to various people.

First, Aneris #91 and #136.

I’m wary of narratives. It’s easy to fall into the trap of congruence bias and the like

Aneris, I find it difficult to talk to you exactly because I see you as a “narrative” type – as someone painting with a very wide brush. Nothing particularly wrong with the approach as such; it’s just that our style is so different that communication is difficult.

Now Ariel shows the full authoritarian mindset. You’ve seen this in politics: they’re ready to rip everyone apart who is of the other camp and happily do that based on nothing.

And here is the illustration. I can’t do anything else with this than … just to stare, with a jaw drop. You have your narrative and you try to fit whatever you see into this narrative. Good luck.

What Latsot and PZ Myers (and you as well) and co really want is an erosion of core values from the presumption of innocence to critical thinking. They want to replace that with full solidarity for ingroupers (“safe spaces”), authoritarian belief systems where one must obey what the master says who rules the “safe space” and who has special knowledge.

The same happens here. You have your narrative, with a complete information what everyone wants. Again: I feel helpless. Good luck.

But I will try to deal more charitably with the next fragment, which I’m going to group together with the question asked by JetLagg:

Aneris #91:

Let’s begin with that you seem to believe people can be called harassers, misogynists and even rapists and you have a hard time objecting to it. You give here the impression that such terms can be assigned without evidence. Myers and Latsot can simply spread this across social media. No problem for Ariel.

JetLagg #125:

perhaps you could take up Welch’s challenge, and explain (as concisely as possible) what exactly the position you’re arguing for is.

I decide to understand both remarks (perhaps wrongly?) as the question about my agenda here. The answer is probably very easy to guess and there will be no surprises … nevertheless, here it is.

My assumption was that Nugent’s blog is read also (obviously, not only) by people knowing very little about the rift. For such people, Michael’s OP-s, together with the comment section, will be the first – and sometimes the only – source of information about FtB and the like. Since the comment section seemed to me hopelessly skewed and one sided (surprised?), I considered arguing here a good idea – mainly for the onlookers, without the hope of convincing anyone from the slyme pit.

I feel obliged to add (even though you seem to know it well) that I’m *not* arguing here as a devil’s advocate: I’m *not* trying out the arguments for the arguments sake, no way! It is my belief that the FtB side deserves much, much better than that. As a matter of fact, I spent a lot of time with the FtB people and they influenced me in many respects. I share many of their values, I like many of them (while detesting some of them, which – I would say – is pretty normal) … and yes, I don’t want them to be painted as “arch-enemies of the human race” for the external world to see.

My strategy was to emphasize how far reaching and unfair some of your accusations are. It seemed to me that it accords well with Michael’s approach – with his appeals against demonizing and smearing. It *doesn’t mean* that I approve of everything which has ever been said or done by anyone on the FtB side. It means however that in places like this my emphasis will always lie elsewhere. I can criticize FtB-ers on FtB but I’m indeed extremely reluctant to do it here. The picture painted by you is black enough.

I want to finish with acknowledging a good point made by one of you (because, you know, to each his due!).

John Welch #139

It is not up to anyone who wasn’t directly hurt by Ogvorbis’ actions to forgive him.

You are right and some remarks which I made require modification. It’s indeed not about forgiveness; it’s about acceptance (of a person, *not* of the deed), it’s also about showing support (again, to a person, not to what he did). With these modifications, I stand by everything I said here. I consider it a sad paradox that the most vicious attacks against the Horde concentrate on the case in which – in so many respects – they showed their best, not the worst, sides.

By the way:

John Welch #130

Is there any action of PZ’s you won’t defend unto the very gates of hell?

I’ve never agreed with his treatment of the Gelato guy. I didn’t agree back then (I vaguely remember quarreling with Dan Fincke about it in some old and forgotten thread) and I haven’t changed my mind.

146 tina October 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Ariel: So do you agree with MN that the ‘broad brush’ slurring of Dawkins, Harris, Coyne, Blackford, MN, Krauss, Hale, Sommers, me, Aneris etc etc etc etc as rapists or rape apologists is counter productive?

147 Patrick October 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

tina @146:

Ariel: So do you agree with MN that the ‘broad brush’ slurring of Dawkins, Harris, Coyne, Blackford, MN, Krauss, Hale, Sommers, me, Aneris etc etc etc etc as rapists or rape apologists is counter productive?

More than that, Ariel, do you agree that Myers’ and latsot’s claims are unsupported and dishonest? If not, why not?

148 JetLagg October 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm

We were originally arguing it was hypocritical of Myers to allow a literal rapist on his blog while calling out Michael for defending an alleged rapist (“defending” in FTBspeak, I believe means “not publicly calling for the end of said person’s career”). The presumption is that Myers and the like see Ogvorbis as having committed a crime as heinous as the one [redacted] allegedly committed, thus hypocrisy for not following their own code. But, if, in their eyes, Ogvorbis occupies a different class (due to him being apologetic, and [redacted] not being apologetic), it’s not hypocritical to treat them differently.

Of course, neither Ariel or Latsot argued for this point (well… maybe Latsot did, and it just happens nobody but him knew about it, as he’s speaking a very different language), and, even if we grant the point, it would be very easy to argue (as you do here) their justice code is incredibly unethical. The code itself would still be internally consistent though.

The ice cream vendor is a different thing entirely, and IMO demonstrates Myers’ hypocrisy is like a fractal. You’ll see it no matter what resolution he’s viewed at.

149 JetLagg October 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Ariel@145

Since the comment section seemed to me hopelessly skewed and one sided (surprised?)

I’m not surprised. I’ve noticed that comments really only skew towards Myers sort of views in venues where the moderators share those views, and are quite eager to ban those who disagree.

I do think I understand your general position though. You agree with Myers more often than you don’t. You do remain incredibly abstract concerning the issue brought up in the OP, I suspect because it really is a black-and-white issue, and you can only attempt to present it as gray by not going into any sort of detail about what it is you or Latsot are actually saying.

That’s the case with much of what Myers does, in my opinion. And it’s irritating, because when you describe him, people will assume you’re being uncharitable, making it a black-and-white issue as you say. The truth is that Myers genuinely is that crazy.

150 Phil Giordana FCD October 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Jetlagg: stop playing dumb for a second, please.

Ogvorbis has admitted his rapes. Of his own volition. He is, as far as Pharyngula goes, an admitted rapist.

[redacted] hasn’t been charged with anything, the only clues we have are 7 years-old memories and some vague insinuations.

So on the one hand we have an admitted rapist being cuddled by a crowd who prides itself on their anti rape, anti rape-culture stances, and on the other hand we have a prominent guy being accused of rape via popular opinion.

Regardless of the truth of said accusations, one is definitely not like the other.

There is absolutely NO reason for [redacted] to be apologetic if he didn’t commit the crime he’s accused of. There are many reasons for Ogvorbis to be more than apologetic about the crimes he did admit to commit. Read Welch’s #139 again.

You know what? Myers never apologized for his alleged sexual assault on a student, as he himself described.

Shite, I’m getting tired of this shit!

151 JetLagg October 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I know your upset, so I’ll cut you some slack. But engaging in hypotheticals is not playing dumb.

If we grant all of the FTB crowd’s assumptions, they’re not being hypocritical with respect to this very specific point.

Their position can be shown to be faulty in other ways (which I believe Welch clearly demonstrated).

152 tina October 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Ariel: you wrote (on Fincke’s blog) I don’t want the world to become composed of two offended gangs, with their noses high up in the air. And yes, I’m inclined to think that it is exactly such an approach that would be an excellent topic for mockery and satire.”

Just so. It is. Yet you seem to side with those enacting real world harm to many who have made/are making significant contributions to A/S goals. Why?

153 Shatterface October 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Since the comment section seemed to me hopelessly skewed and one sided (surprised?)

Reality tends to be skewed to one side too.

154 Carrie October 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Ariel says: My assumption was that Nugent’s blog is read also (obviously, not only) by people knowing very little about the rift. For such people, Michael’s OP-s, together with the comment section, will be the first – and sometimes the only – source of information about FtB and the like. Since the comment section seemed to me hopelessly skewed and one sided (surprised?), I considered arguing here a good idea – mainly for the onlookers, without the hope of convincing anyone from the slyme pit.

Well, Michael is covering the rift carefully and clearly. He says things as they are, without the emotive stuff that sometimes surfaces in his comments section; this is what makes him a good resource for those who are looking for facts. And anyone who wants to examine those facts for themselves can look at the links. Some of those links will surely be at FtB, and presumably some at the Slymepit or at archives of various currently-deleted pages. The fact the commenters here are largely from the non-FtB side of things is probably because they are not allowed to engage in conversation about it at FtB, and almost nobody from that side feels able or willing to discuss the matter in an open forum. The information, however, is there and can be examined by anyone who really wants to know the facts. Even those who do not have the skepticism or time to follow the links will be able to see the facts laid out clearly and without bias in Michael’s blog posts; such people would probably not be interested in wading through the comments. And I have to say, if the FtB posters are not willing to come here and explain their side of things, it’s not your problem. People watching can make up their own minds as to whether such people are either too frightened or too disdainful or whatever to do that.

Ariel says: My strategy was to emphasize how far reaching and unfair some of your accusations are. It seemed to me that it accords well with Michael’s approach – with his appeals against demonizing and smearing.

I don’t think that your strategy works, then. I am not from the ‘pit although I love reading it, so I do not have an iron in the fire. I am a skeptic who mostly just watches discussions, and I have not seen people here talk seriously about things that have not happened or that are unfair to FtB. I have seen FtB-ers elsewhere saying unfair and far-reaching things about Michael and some people he knows, which is what he is reacting to.

People here have pointed out that certain things that PZ and co do or say show that they hold others to a standard that they do not adhere to themselves. For instance, although I don’t think that anyone believes PZ to be a rapist, he did tell everyone that he had averted the danger when a student was going to accuse him of rape, and his group were right behind him despite their loud proclamations that we should always “believe the victim”. And yet, slymepitters (many of whom are abuse victinms themselves) are being accused of being rapists and Michael of providing a haven for such terrible people. I mean, WTF?

I do not see anything incorrect with Michael’s “approach”; it makes a lot of sense to me that people should not be smeared without evidence of wrongdoing. Even in the case of the person attacked by the “grenade” post there is no actual evidence; what little support for the alleged victim’s case has emerged appears to be extremely dubious.

Ariel says: I can criticize FtB-ers on FtB but I’m indeed extremely reluctant to do it here. The picture painted by you is black enough.

It is interesting that you say you can criticise FtB on FtB; as far as I can see, nobody else can. I haven’t tried posting there, but if I did I feel sure I would be jeered at or banned. This is the impression that they themselves give to a lurker.

Ariel says: You are right and some remarks which I made require modification. It’s indeed not about forgiveness; it’s about acceptance (of a person, *not* of the deed), it’s also about showing support (again, to a person, not to what he did). With these modifications, I stand by everything I said here. I consider it a sad paradox that the most vicious attacks against the Horde concentrate on the case in which – in so many respects – they showed their best, not the worst, sides.

The problem here is not that those who post on FtB accept Ogvorbis, it is the double standard that they expose in themselves when they smear others, including Slymepitters. I have seen PZ ban someone from his board simply because, he says (without evidence), that they are from the ‘pit. I do not have links handy and do not want to spend the time required over there to search through that mess, but I am sure that others have seen this too. I do not these days spend much time reading Pharyngula so this is the impression garnered during just the occasional lurk.

I also see that the Horde cheers the banhammer and says nasty things about the banned poster. It is this sort of attitude that makes FtB clearly not a safe place to hang out, as Ellen-Beth Wachs found out to her cost. They can say whatever they wish about anyone that is out-group and that they dislike, for whatever reason, and that person has no way of countering such smears other than finding a different venue to rebut them. There is therefore no way for the casual reader to see both sides easily and figure out the facts about a case. It is easier to just take the FtB line, be suitably shocked, and spread the smears to their friends. This is what happens in the mainstream media, which has apparently forgone good journalism in favour of easy shock tactics and the reporting of whatever they are fed by one side. This occurs all across the news, and the end results can be life-destroying for many.

155 Mel October 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm

I want to see Ed Brayton and PZ Myers and his Horde sit down with the girls that Oggvorbis chose to rape when they were toddlers, and explain to them that it really sucks what happened to them but Ogg apologized (to Myers et al) and was Forgiven (by Myers et al) and therefore it is crucial for FTB to do whatever it can to protect him from consequences. To provide a haven, as it were. Which means – for starters – not sending his posts and his IP address to law enforcement.

Surely the girls would understand?

156 piero October 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Ariel said:

Since the comment section seemed to me hopelessly skewed and one sided (surprised?), I considered arguing here a good idea – mainly for the onlookers, without the hope of convincing anyone from the slyme pit.

As I’ve said before, Ariel deserves recognition for trying to engage in a hostile environment. But the question that comes naturally is: where are the rest? We’ve had brief comet-like visits from Tony, Sally Strange, tehophontes and some others. Their comments were… well, up to standard, but they were neither harassed nor threatened with being banned. Yes, sometimes they received less than courteous replies, but in the main the responses addressed the points they made. Why aren’t they here? Why are they happy to let Ariel do their homework? What are they afraid of? By now it should be clear to them that Michael is truly tolerant. Unlike Myers, he seldom comments, and has only done so in order to clarify a point or to explain why some details were redacted. So this space is probably the safest haven even for pharyngula regulars.

Why hasn’t Ariel invited them to participate and lend some support?

157 FishCakes October 23, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Ariel @145,

It *doesn’t mean* that I approve of everything which has ever been said or done by anyone on the FtB side. It means however that in places like this my emphasis will always lie elsewhere. I can criticize FtB-ers on FtB but I’m indeed extremely reluctant to do it here. The picture painted by you is black enough.

Could you share with us a few recent examples wherein you have criticized “FtBers on FtB” then? How was your criticism received and handled?

Or are you merely saying that you “can” do that but that you haven’t actually done it as yet? If the latter, what exactly are you waiting for?

158 Patrick October 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

piero @156:

By now it should be clear to them that Michael is truly tolerant. Unlike Myers, he seldom comments, and has only done so in order to clarify a point or to explain why some details were redacted. So this space is probably the safest haven even for pharyngula regulars.

I’m sure you already know this, but the definition of “safe space” that you are using includes the freedom to comment. The FtB definition requires the ability to control others’ comments. A forum that allows their narrative to be challenged is utterly unsafe for the majority of the FtB horde.

159 piero October 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm

@Patrick:

Unfortunately, it appears you’re right. It’s just that I find it hard to believe that mighty warriors such as Tony! The Queer Shoop; Sally Strange; Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls; Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy (or was it Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm?); theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物); NateHevens. He who hates straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men (not really); Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden; and, of course, the high priest himself, Paul Zachary Myers, could actually be shitting their pants. They are bold! They are brave! They are righteous! They are ruthless! The mere hint of a suggestion that they might be dastardly, pusillanimous chickens is enough to fill my heart with sorrow.

On the plus side, they might be having to wash actual shitstains, for a change.

160 Brive1987 October 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Would it add or detract from the argument if it was (hypothetically) established that a (hypothetical) self confessed child rapist worked somewhere that may have a kids program? Or in this theoretical scenario would redemption still trump? Just interested in boundaries.

There appears to be a disconnect here between the usual blog space intellectual wank and the pragmatic reality of what has been injected from RL.

161 john welch October 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

Well that’s how it has to work. For PZ’s “philosophy” to function, you have to be all-forgiving of the Clear, and always attacking the SPs.

Now, as Commodore, PZ can at any time, strip someone of Clear status, and require all other Clear disassociate from said SP, and if anyone complains, they will also no longer be Clear.

But, he has to be careful, or people will realize what a load of shit his “philosophy” is, and they don’t even get a personality test, e-meter, or shitty SciFi books out of it.

162 JetLagg October 24, 2014 at 12:26 am

I don’t think there’s as big a disconnect from reality as you or Phil seem to be getting at.

The FTB crowd (if we assume their honesty, which is my default position) really do believe [redacted] is an unrepentant rapist with intentions of raping again in the future. They really do believe Ogvorbis is a reformed rapist, who has gone decades without committing another criminal act, and is now deeply remorseful. Treating those two people differently is not hypocritical, not so long as we grant their (admittedly crazy) worldview.

The daycare/kid’s program issue is a separate issue (it’s a bit more about pragmatism, a bit less about justified public outrage) and one that’s trickier.

Since the original debate was about hypocrisy, I’m also not sure how the question should even be framed. Like… are we asking would it be hypocritical of them to give Ogvorbis a job in a child program but not [redacted]? The two aren’t comparable, given the nature of what one admits he did and the other has been accused of doing.

163 Shatterface October 24, 2014 at 1:06 am

On re-offending rates:

On the surface, official statistics for 2008 (PDF) suggest the re-offending rate for sex offenders is low at 26.8%, compared with non-serious violent crime (33.5%), robbery (38.1%), public order or riot (36.6%), and domestic burglary (53.9%).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12478584

26.8% isn’t low – it’s over a quarter. I wouldn’t entrust my kids with someone who has more than a 1 in 4 chance of reoffending. Plus, those other offences the linked article compares sex offences to are generally less serious.

In any case, the article continues:

However, a Home Office study published in 2003 (PDF) looked at the success of sex offender treatment programmes and found that the recidivism rate – a more comprehensive measure of behaviour – was more than five times that of the re-conviction rate.

“Often these offenders are incredibly furtive,” Prof Wilson says.

As far as we know PZ’s pet offender has never been monitored and we only have his word he hasn’t reoffended.

164 Shatterface October 24, 2014 at 1:09 am

Though admittedly I’m baffled as to how a recidivism rate can be 5 times as high as a 26.8% re-conviction rate.

165 Sedan Taboos October 24, 2014 at 1:20 am

“Treating those two people differently is not hypocritical, not so long as we grant their (admittedly crazy) worldview.”

Which makes the vast majority of comments here to be ultimately pointless (and self-indulgent).

However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say “they” aren’t hypocrites, just that they could (if they were more clever) create a logical distinction. However, once they put that clearly in writing they would be locked in, which wouldn’t suit them. I personally have no doubt that their opinions are largely based on their preconceived notions of who is talking (many here seem to have that same problem) and not the facts nor what those people have to say. They have admitted this explicitly often enough (this is obvious to me and I am the most casual of observers).

This is the huge disconnect here, IMO. Let’s forget the ridiculous redefinition of the word “rapist” and other rhetorical nonsense. It shouldn’t matter! Michael is under no obligation to police his forum and boot anyone for whatever crimes (real or imagined) they might have done in the real world or in other forums. He should (and I believe would) boot people for abuse committed on HIS forum and that is his only obligation.

As long as rapists and murderers and jaywalkers can discuss a topic civilly and on point then their input should not only be tolerated it should be welcome. Everything else is irrelevant. Unlike “them”, I don’t need to know someones character or look into their soul to evaluate whether what they are saying is factual or logical.

This whole hubbub is just that Michael is not playing ball by ostracizing those on the blacklist. So now he’s on the blacklist.

166 john welch October 24, 2014 at 1:39 am

Jet, it’s not that they believe whatshisbutt to be a rapist, even though there’s no real evidence beyond he said/she said.

It’s that they actually deny Ogvorbis ever WAS a rapist. They refuse to acknowledge his latter tale of committing rape voluntarily, and only acknowledge the “I was forced to by an adult” tale that supposedly happened some years prior.

Look at their response whenever Ogvorbis comes up. They literally deny the second incident even happened, and behave as only the one time he was forced happened.

It’s as if they believe the “truth” of the first one, but the second one, well, that’s clearly nonsense.

It’s enough to give you a headache.

167 Brive1987 October 24, 2014 at 1:56 am

I accept they are being consistent to their warped premise with is ideologically based. Rape culture made me do it but I have now transcended and per Welch, have become clear

I guess there should be an implicit preamble to all this that FtB are as zany as any other self justifying cult.

I guess I am curious how much pragmatic input would be required for them to self realise.

On the one hand a doctor under a nym needs doxxing for an insulting joke. On the other a rapist who knew it was wrong at the time needs protecting even if (hypothetically) surrounded by children.

Obviously other criminals with exculpatory childhood experiences don’t get a free pass. So you need to be in-group and transcendent.

168 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 2:13 am

@ Ariel

My strategy was to emphasize how far reaching and unfair some of your accusations are.

I would say you have failed in that respect. Nevertheless, I take my hat off to you. You have picked your battle well, namely whether or not Latsot can be accused of hypocrisy. You have cleverly avoided the main issue, namely whether or not Michael Nugent is justified in demanding apologies from PZ Myers and his parrot, Latsot for the scurrilous slurs they have broadcast.

Despite a bravura display of sophistry on your part, to a reader of average intelligence, Latsot’s tweets show him up to be a hopeless equivocator whose attempts at sophistry are risible. He is possibly not bright enough to be a hypocrite. The cognitive dissonance is almost audible. I’m sure that Michael, magnanimous gent that he is, would be prepared to forgive him on the grounds that “he knows not what he does”.

PZ Myers, however, is a different cauldron of octopus. I think he knows full well what he does. Apart from your comment #35, on Michael’s post “the-smears-get-increasingly-serious-as-pz-myers-crosses-a-new-line”, which comment was a failed attempt at re-interpreting the defamation propagated by Myers, you have skilfully avoided the main issue. (I think few would argue with my characterisation of unsubstantiated slurs as defamation.)

Given your undoubted skill at sophistry and penchant for defending the indefensible, it may be that you have missed your vocation and that you should consider a career as a criminal defence lawyer, dare I suggest, specializing in rape cases?
Or may just stick to trolling.
P.s. Please let us know when you are planning to appear on Pharyngula, disagreeing with PZ. That should be entertaining, if short.

169 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 2:31 am

@JetLagg
I don’t think the original debate was about hypocrisy until Aneris introduced it in comment #58. Ariel then succesfully hijacked the thread.

170 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 2:48 am

I agree with Sedan Taboos.

Michael is under no obligation to police his forum and boot anyone for whatever crimes (real or imagined) they might have done in the real world or in other forums. He should (and I believe would) boot people for abuse committed on HIS forum and that is his only obligation.

This is just another red herring from from Myers and in fact is just a repetition of his original slur.
If he can’t follow his own adjuration to “name names” and provide hard evidence for the existence of rapists, misogynists and harrassers amongst Michael’s commentor’s, he should retract, and apologise. The latter would require a degree of self-awareness, honesty and humility, qualities that don’t appear to feature in his character to any discernible extent.

171 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 2:50 am

Spot the typos!

172 sinister October 24, 2014 at 2:53 am

milesnagopaleen bats cleanup, and that’s the game folks!

173 Jan Steen October 24, 2014 at 6:14 am

So we have established that people are not necessarily hypocrites when they are deranged enough to be able to make an appeal to insanity. Fine. It’s also irrelevant.

Can we now go back to the main issue: PZ Myers and his acolytes accusing people of being/harbouring misogynists, harassers and rapists, without evidence? I demand that the scumbags provide exact evidence for their assertions (names of commenters, evidence of their being misogynists, harassers and rapists). As long as they haven’t done so I feel free to show them the virtual middle finger, and to call them sleazy lowlifes who don’t deserve to be treated as serious interlocutors.

174 Guestus Aurelius October 24, 2014 at 6:17 am

@168, milesnagopaleen said the following to Ariel:

Despite a bravura display of sophistry on your part, to a reader of average intelligence, Latsot’s tweets show him up to be a hopeless equivocator whose attempts at sophistry are risible.

As a privileged shitlord, I’m in no position to comment on your lived experiences. I’ll only add that to a reader of superlative intelligence, things look much the same.

175 Ariel October 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

Milesnagopaleen #168

Ariel then succesfully hijacked the thread […]

Given your undoubted skill at sophistry and penchant for defending the indefensible, it may be that you have missed your vocation and that you should consider a career as a criminal defence lawyer, dare I suggest, specializing in rape cases?
Or may just stick to trolling.

Just before I go back to work (you know, there are all these rapists which I’m paid to defend!), I want to make one bold claim. Ready? Here we go:

All the famous atheist in the history of mankind were rapists. No exceptions.

Really. That’s my claim.

You want to criticize me for this? You demand evidence? No way. That’s not the main topic here! That’s hijacking the thread! That’s trolling! You know: making bold claims (e.g. about how full of hypocrisy some people are) is permitted. Of course it is. But criticizing such claims is hijacking and trolling. You disagree? Please, duel with milesnagopaleen then. S/he is the expert here and my bushido master. Only after you receive a mortal wound, you will be permitted to duel with me.

Ok, enough of fun.

As to the “ridiculous redefinition of the word “rapist”” (Sedan Taboos and some others): I think you are missing the place of *real* action. It’s not about the word “rapist” and its meaning. It’s about what it means to DEFEND someone.

Take Jack the Ripper. Imagine me arguing that sex workers are worth nothing – that they are thrash, that they are worse than murderers, that if they are mistreated, they get what they deserve. It seems to me that in such a situation Latsot (and perhaps PZ) would say that I’m indeed defending people like Jack the Ripper. And the emphasis is on “defending”, mind you. The meaning of “Jack the Ripper” remains unchanged. Even the meaning of the phrase “people like Jack the Ripper” can be taken as quite ordinary. It’s the word “defending” that carries the whole burden.

(Just to be sure: at the moment I’m not trying to build an analogy with anyone’s actions. No associations are intended. There is no claim that my example corresponds closely to the real case under discussion here. The whole and only purpose of the example is to explain that this is *not* about what “rapist” means.)

Tina and Patrick, I noticed your question but I can’t answer now. This would lead to a discussion again and such a discussion (as I already know well) is like a full time job. I just have no time for it at the moment. It seems to me however that Michael is not done yet and I’m sure there will be an opportunity to discuss it in the future, perhaps in some new thread.

All I can say at the moment is: thanks to everybody for the conversation.

176 Ariel October 24, 2014 at 9:44 am

Oh my, I bungled it. The quote should end right after “Or may just stick to trolling”. Sorry.

177 Jan Steen October 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

@Ariel,

Your analogy with Jack the Ripper doesn’t work, because we know for sure that these crimes were committed. No reasonable person can have any doubt that somebody nicknamed Jack the Ripper murdered at least one of those women.

In the case of [famous skeptic] there is no such certainty. That is the whole point. When people are “defending him” they are, from what I have seen, doing nothing more than protesting against mob justice; they are not defending a known criminal, nor are they downplaying the seriousness of the kind of crimes he allegedly committed. It’s a completely different discussion, and you have to be as dishonest as a latsot to pretend that this isn’t so.

178 Carrie October 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

I must say, also, that if Ariel is so worried that new people looking into the Great Rift see only comments that show FtB in a bad light, I don’t think that she should be. Most people who are new to this are likely to come into the blogs via the mainstream media, including the Guardian, which starts off by taking the FtB “side” and provides helpful links to their blogs.

Once there, they can see a very clear one-sided view of the Rift, with nobody being allowed to discuss the other “side”‘s points in a positive light.

They are unlikely to find Michael’s blog or the Slymepit except by accident or via Google.

If Ariel is really keen to show balance she would be better going to FtB and saying something positive about the ‘pit.

179 Patrick October 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Ariel @175:

Tina and Patrick, I noticed your question but I can’t answer now. This would lead to a discussion again and such a discussion (as I already know well) is like a full time job. I just have no time for it at the moment.

I understand the problem of real life getting in the way of an Internet debate. I’m not sure why the primary question I asked should lead to a discussion, though. Here it is again:

More than that, Ariel, do you agree that Myers’ and latsot’s claims are unsupported and dishonest? If not, why not?

Unless you have information that has not yet appeared in this or related threads, neither Myers nor latsot have supported their claims. Are you really planning on defending that kind of baseless, libelous smearing?

180 tina October 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Ariel @175 Tina and Patrick, I noticed your question but I can’t answer now.

Noted. Thanks. I’m sure it will come up again soon enough.

181 Carrie October 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Ariel says:I think you are missing the place of *real* action. It’s not about the word “rapist” and its meaning. It’s about what it means to DEFEND someone.

Oh my goodness, NO. If someone tells me that anyone is defending rapists, the emphasis to me would always be on the word “rapist”. The words “defend” and “provides a haven for” (or similar) would then imply to me that the person knows that he has at least one rapist that he is defending and more than one that has been given a haven on his board. Michael is doing neither, and there are no proven rapists to be seen either posting on this board or being defended. The hypocrisy, whether intentional or not, lies in the fact that PZ, Latsot and co made this slur whilst a confessed rapist is in fact both defended and given safe haven on FtB. These are the facts. Why go into derailing minutiae?

182 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Guestus Aurelius
I should have said “to a reader of any intelligence”.

183 john welch October 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Ariel once again trying to distract at 175:

As to the “ridiculous redefinition of the word “rapist”” (Sedan Taboos and some others): I think you are missing the place of *real* action. It’s not about the word “rapist” and its meaning. It’s about what it means to DEFEND someone.

Yes. He says Michael is not just defending, but providing a haven for rapists. That specifically means that PZ and Latsot are declaring that there are people commenting here who are in fact rapists. They have raped people.

Yet, they provide no names, they provide no proof.

They also declare that what Michael is doing is a horrible thing and that there can be no normalized relationships between them and Michael, no real communications until he takes “appropriate” action against the rapists.

Meanwhile, PZ has not only provided a haven for, but has actively defended doing just that for someone who admitted to the crime of rape. Twice. Once, if we believe his story, is forgivable, he was forced.

The second time, he was not forced. (again, assuming either of these stories have more substance than the long-term plans of a mayfly, which would be dumb.)

PZ is actually doing what he accuses Michael of, there is at least some form of proof identifying the person, yet, because that person is Clear, he’s forgiven.

And yet somehow Ariel, somehow, you can see no hypocrisy in this. None. Zip. Nada.

What’s it like being Clear Ariel? what’s it like knowing that there is a group that will forgive you any transgression, any crime, no matter how heinous, simply because you are a part of that group?

184 JetLagg October 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Sedan@165

However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say “they” aren’t hypocrites, just that they could (if they were more clever) create a logical distinction. However, once they put that clearly in writing they would be locked in, which wouldn’t suit them.

We’re of the same mind here. If they were to clearly stated they saw [redacted] as guilty because he belonged to a different class of rapist (namely one who was accused, denied guilt, and remains unapologetic) we’ll be quick to point out that Myers also belongs to that class.

I suspect many of them know this, and it’s why they won’t use that argument, even though it actually is logically sound (whereas what they do argue frequently is “not even wrong”).

They’re hypocrites every which way you look at it, so I’m more sympathetic to the commenters here than you appear to be. It’s impossible to have a conversation with “them” without appearing silly and self-indulgent.

185 Jan Steen October 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm

@Carrie,

The hypocrisy, whether intentional or not, lies in the fact that PZ, Latsot and co made this slur whilst a confessed rapist is in fact both defended and given safe haven on FtB. These are the facts. Why go into derailing minutiae?

But you see, that particular rapist has accepted Peezus in his heart, so he can be forgiven.

Seriously, though, to me the hypocrisy is not even the most repugnant aspect of this affair. That would rather be the fact that a bunch of nitwits can fling around baseless accusations of misogyny, harassment and rape with impunity. It’s a disgrace that such people are still accepted within the a/s community, are still given free tickets to spread their drivel abroad, are still considered worth listening to.

It has been observed that people like PZ Myers have become what they were fighting. But we don’t see creationists like Ken Ham or Ray Comfort going after people’s employment, we don’t see them accusing their opponents of heinous activities, we don’t see them cultivating an abusive commentariat, we don’t see them attempting to stifle debate on other websites than their own. So I would go a step further, and declare that Myers & Co have become worse than what they were fighting.

186 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

@Ariel
I’ll admit I was being a bit unfair in accusing you of hijacking the thread. You merely saw the thread taking a bit of a detour and saw your opportunity. I can understand that you wanted to defend yourself against the implied charge of hypocrisy by association. You could, of course, have stuck to the main issue of the thread, namely whether it is acceptable to make defamatory allegations about a whole group of people and then refuse to either substiantiate those allegations or withdraw them.
You cannot avoid this issue forever and expect anyone to believe that you are arguing in good faith.

What it boils down to is this: do you defend Myers and Latsot’s behaviour i.e. you believe that it’s OK to defame an unspecified number of people, scattergun-style or do you believe that Myers’ allegations are justified? If the latter, I look forward to seeing your evidence, naming names etc. Of course, in order to prove that MN is defending and providing a haven for harassers, misogynists and rapists, you would also have to prove that MN has extended an open invitation to harassers, misogynists and rapists or is aware of and condones the harassing, misogyny and rape practised by his commenters (presumably elsewhere, because there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of it on MN’s blog).

BTW, please do not bother reiterating the claim that MN is defending a certain famous sceptic accused of rape. MN has already fully justified his position on not naming the said F.S. and I have also discussed the principle of the principle of “presumption of innocence” in comment #128 on this blog: \www.michaelnugent.com/2014/10/02/another-week-another-set-of-misrepresentations-and-personal-smears/

187 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Carrie@ #178 said:

I must say, also, that if Ariel is so worried that new people looking into the Great Rift see only comments that show FtB in a bad light, I don’t think that she should be. Most people who are new to this are likely to come into the blogs via the mainstream media, including the Guardian..

Indeed, I came into this via Adam Lee’s article in the Guardian’s “Comment is free”. I soon discovered, however, that comment is not free there as my comment was deleted without explanation, despite asking politely for an explanation.

To see FtB in a bad light, one only has to go there and read the blogs and comments sections, in which free thought seems to be a rare commodity and equivocation is the preferred modus operandi. This blog, by contrast, is a haven of free expression, intelligent comments and tolerance, to the credit of Michael and the vast majority of the commenters.
According to Myers characterisation of Michael Nugent’s blog, one would expect to see sexism or sexist comments, misogny (i.e. hatred of women) and rape apology (I take this to mean condonation of rape). I see none of this. What I see here is a preponderance of intelligent and well thought out arguments and a willingness to examine and re-examine issues and admit error. This is in stark contrast to FtB, where one sees conformity of ideas (i.e. lack of free thinking and scepticism), arbitrary censorship for dissent and verbal abuse.

188 piero October 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

@Jan Steen:

I would go a step further, and declare that Myers & Co have become worse than what they were fighting.

I agree. Not even the most dishonest Bible-thumper would refuse to apologise as Myers stubbornly keeps doing. Apparently, the principles of rationality and scepticism are harder to abide by than the banalities spewed by SJWs ideologues.

189 Sedan Taboos October 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm

The Jack the Ripper example that Ariel provides is absolutely correct. If you accept the premise that prostitutes are trash then you are defending Jack of murder. But defending someone falsely accused of murder is indeed a noble thing, isn’t it. Although Jack is still guilty of littering, so there is that.

If Michael or anyone else here is defending someone who is innocent of rape then they should be similarly commended. If you need to redefine rape to make them guilty, then of course that is a different matter. Which brings us back to the issue being an absurd definition of rape.

190 Aneris ✻ October 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Ariel just obfuscates the issues by making some things seem more controversial than they are, and diverts attention away from others.

Above Ariel claims that wide brushes were used and she can’t fathom many of the premises that are already set.

1) It is uncontroversial that FTB is a “rude” blog, where rude means shock insults of sexual/graphical violent nature. Detractors know that anyway but it is also officially recognized, noted in their Pharyngula wiki (under memes, see Porcupine) and co-blogger Chris Clarke left the blog and cited that was one reason.
Sources:

Pharyngula Standards & Practices
This is a rude blog.
[bold original] We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

We do have a general guideline for handling new people. If you’re a first time commenter, you get three strikes: you can make three comments, and the regulars are supposed to restrain themselves and try to get you to engage rationally before they are allowed to release the rabid hounds. They are hoping you will oblige them and give them an excuse to let slip the leash, so be warned.
_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/01/pharyngula-standards-practices/

Pharyngula Wiki/Porcupine: The preferred animal for ill-received commenters to be urged to introduce, usually decaying and sometimes sideways, into their orifice of choice
_ pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Memes#Porcupine

Pharyngula Wiki/Rusty Knife: Predecessor meme to the Porcupine. Derives from a frequently mis-quoted post by Cath the Canberra Cook, on a thread concerning Bill Donohue’s rape apologetics:

Yeah, well, usually I’m 100% with the “no-one ever deserves to be raped” line. And also 100% opposed to torture. But rape and torture apologists really make that position hard to sustain. Fuck that shithead sideways with a rusty knife. (Umm, but only metaphorically. *Draws self heroically back from cliffedge*)

_pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Rusty_Knife

“Meme” suggests popularity already. But to run home the point:

Chris Clarke, then co-blogger, wrote: Meanwhile, I’m hesitant to encourage friends to comment on what is arguably my own goddamn blog, because no matter how thick their skin is they’ve got to get past this kind of mistrustful hazing — which is, incidentally, something PZ has expressly forbidden.
_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/26/lounge-410/comment-page-1/#comment-590870

Chris Clarke, then ex-co-blogger, wrote: I contributed to the meanness here. That’s something I have heard from random idiot commenters from the usual FtBhater venues, and it pains me to admit that they have — in this one regard — a point. My leaving is not, as some have suggested, about “my health,” or “feeling unsafe” or “hurt.” It’s that I was becoming a worse person for exposure to the comments here. And I made things worse as a result. And I’m unwilling to continue to do so.
_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/01/farewell-chris/

2) It is uncontroversial that people are defamed, smeared, libeled however you want to call it. The issue is insinuating viewpoints or even actions and promote them as if they were true. Plenty of that can be seen in this topic (Latsot) and the previous ones (PZ Myers), and some more can be found by looking into Michael Nugent’s (@MickNugent) timeline on twitter during this week (others repeat it). In case memory was erased again: commenters here were accused of being harassers, misogynists and rapists. Michael Nugent was given a haven to them, and he was allegedly “defending rapists”.
No evidence is known and none was presented. We would need at the very least two people who are harassers, misogynists and rapists (that is harass, hate women and have raped someone).
As much as the deliberately obtuse FreeThoughtBlogs faction claims: we must assume a regular audience who takes statements to mean what regular people would see in them. You cannot claim special jargon or arcane definitions, especially not when it is at the expense of other people.
My bad. FreeThoughtBlog people are too dumb to even understand simple proportions. That’s not available for people who only know Black and White, either go extreme in one direction (We Love Ogvorbis, Child Rapist of Three) or the other “You disagreed with Rebecca Watson, you are a literally a misogynist and rapist!!” – that’s what everyone sees openly and plainly, but them.

What Ariel and others are telling us is also simply unbelievable. People understand “rapists” to mean “someone who raped” and there is no way around that, even if some lesser known definition turns up somewhere. We all know what is meant and it was stated within contexts that are about “rape”; precisely: “forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will”

3) It is uncontroversial that the side brings their narrative into mainstream media. There is no other data that is omitted. There is are no “Slymepit” narrative media articles, and none that is heavily based on e.g. Michael Nugent’s point of view. And there is no SkepChick or FreeThoughtBlogs equivalent (with dozens of highly visible blogs cross referencing their unfounded smear pieces). Michael Nugent has this one blog, that certainly has some more eyes onto it, but I don’t think it is nowhere near the levels of SkepChick or FreeThoughtBlogs, Adam Lee (Guardian), Amanda Marcotte (Salon etc.), Kimberly Winston (Washington Post etc.) etc…

Some media samples.

2014, September

The Nation: When Rebecca Watson, who blogs as SkepChick, expressed annoyance after a man accosted her in an elevator late at night at the 2011 World Atheist Convention in Dublin, Richard Dawkins wrote a parody letter, “Dear Muslima,” contrasting the liberty of Western women with the oppression of women under Islam. Sexual harassment: not as bad as female genital mutilation.
_thenation.com/article/181736/atheists-show-their-sexist-side

The Guardian Richard Dawkins has involved himself in some of these controversies, and rarely for the better – as with his infamous “Dear Muslima” letter in 2011, in which he essentially argued that, because women in Muslim countries suffer more from sexist mistreatment, women in the west shouldn’t speak up about sexual harassment or physical intimidation. There was also his sneer at women who advocate anti-sexual harassment policies
_theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/richard-dawkins-sexist-atheists-bad-name

AlterNet / Guardian: Richard Dawkins has involved himself in some of these controversies, and rarely for the better, as with his infamous “Dear Muslima” letter in 2011, in which he essentially argued that, because women in Muslim countries suffer more from sexist mistreatment, women in the west shouldn’t speak up about sexual harassment or physical intimidation.
_ alternet.org/belief/richard-dawkins-ignorant-sexism-gives-atheists-bad-name
_theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/richard-dawkins-sexist-atheists-bad-name

2014, August

Washington Post: One of Dawkins’ biggest missteps came in 2011, when he blasted Rebecca Watson, a young atheist activist who wrote about feeling sexually harassed at a freethought conference. In a now infamous series of comments posted to the blog Pharyngula, Dawkins wrote in a message titled “Dear Muslima,” ‘’Stop whining, will you? . . . For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.”
_washingtonpost.com/national/religion/richard-dawkins-atheisms-asset-or-liability/2014/08/07/9f19a7a2-1e58-11e4-9b6c-12e30cbe86a3_story.html

2011, September

USA Today: (RNS) Rebecca Watson meant it as a funny story, almost an aside. […] Before she knew it, Watson, 30, was subsumed by what everyone now calls “Elevatorgate.” And when best-selling atheist author Richard Dawkins chimed in, the incident went nuclear.
“Stop whining, will you,” Dawkins wrote in one of three comments on Pharyngula […]
_usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-09-15/atheist-sexism-women/50416454/1

There are more articles, some of them below. For easy comparison: Here is the blueprint from Ms Watson’s keyboard.

Rebecca Watson wrote:You may recall that I related an incident in which I was propositioned, and I said, “Guys, don’t do that.” Really, that’s what I said. I didn’t call for an end to sex. I didn’t accuse the man in my story of rape. I didn’t say all men are monsters. I said, “Guys, don’t do that.” Cue Richard Dawkins‘ response
_skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

How is that a distortion, you ask? From the thread where Dear Muslima was posted:

PZ Myers wrote in “Always name names!”[…] women are lower status persons, and we men, as superior beings, get to ask things of them. […] But I don’t want to talk about that. I want to mention one thing that annoys me. Rebecca Watson talked about this experience at a CFI conference, and one thing she did was to directly address, by name, criticisms of her reaction to being importuned in an elevator late at night. She specifically discussed a criticism by one of the attendees, Stef McGraw, quoting her and saying where the argument was found, and a few people were angry at her for that, and demanded that she apologize to McGraw. Which is, frankly, bizarre.

Please check the full article and context. There is nothing to hide. You can look the cases up and see the evidence for yourself: find out the context of “Dear Muslima” and “Elevatorgate”. Again, you don’t have to believe me at all. I suggest you check Wikipedia, RationalWiki and FreeThoughtKampala* and wherever links lead you. Look at the facts. Who Wrote What When Without Why’s. You know basic critical thinking, instead of “interpretations” and narratives. You can piece it together yourself. How come they converge on the same story and how come this story permeates mainstream media, “surprisingly” citing the same names and who are closer related (there are also more behind-the-scenes-connections, like from Stephanie Zvan to Secular Women, or from SkeptiCon and CFI to the same gang)? Coincidence?

*_freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/elevatorgate/

Wikipedia is supposedly neutral, RationalWiki is a FTB/SkepChick propaganda organ and FTB-Kampala is skeptical of the social justice warrior side, but gives you plenty of further places to look-up (no belief required either). Did Richard Dawkins dispute that women are of lower status or even suggest that it shall be that way? Did Richard Dawkins even address the “Guys don’t do that remark”? According to the SJW RationalWiki, FTB/SkepChick mouthpiece otherwise:

As it was just a note in a longer video about the conference, it went mostly unnoticed, except for two other female atheists who disagreed with Watson and believe the man’s comment wasn’t aggressive, and ended up devolving into the typical nasty YouTube comment fare. Even this did not cause anyone else to care.

Richard Dawkins walked into a internet flame war which is already the meta topic of PZ myers article.

It blew up before but Richard Dawkins involvement and the shameless propaganda from Rebecca Watson and PZ Myers made it go thermonuclear. But you’ll see, same pattern then as today – the social justice warriors could not comprehend at all where other people are coming from who found it of “bad form” that Rebecca Watson would use her privileged position to not only excoriate a reasonable critic, but also placed her next to vile trolls. Then as today: there is e.g. the Block Bot who uses the same principle with its levels (James Billingham, Oolon, and the FTB / SkepChicks social media gang add people who are annoying or found disagreeing and then place them next to “serious people”. BBC News aftermath, the page 9 correction to the page 1 accusations: _bbc.com/news/technology-23533566

Then as today, “always name names” to put people onto an online pillory and make sure they don’t have an equal opportunity to rebut, clear up, explain as a form of intimidation (indeed block them from doing so, while having this bizarre “being silenced” rhetoric). Then as today, use “unknown people” to create threat-potentials (harssers, write death threats, are in the league with terrorists etc) and then link that to named people to intimidate them (smearing, Michael Nugent “defends” & “provides a haven”). “Bully tactics” is rather a charming description.

Some more media articles …

_salon.com/2014/10/03/new_atheisms_troubling_misogyny_the_pompous_sexism_of_richard_dawkins_and_sam_harris_partner/

_washingtonpost.com/national/religion/women-in-secularism-got-a-problem-with-that/2014/05/15/915b514a-dc56-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

_rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/richard-dawkins-and-the-problem-with-focusing-on-abstractions-and-hypotheticals-over-the-concrete/

This does not even begin to cover the massive echo chamber on FreeThoughtBlogs and SkepChick, with their interlinking, from PZ Myers to Amanda Marcotte, to Rebecca Watson and back, referred to by Stephanie Zvan and commented upon, linked to from Jason Thibeault and made into copy pasta by Ophelia Benson, and all in reverse order then to Greta Christina, to Adam Lee and from there to Libby Anne and back and to Amy Roth, to Kimberly Winston and to Secular Women, friends with Stephanie Zvan who are then quoted by Rebecca Watson who is then quoted by PZ Myers and so on and so forth.

5) It must be uncontroversial that Greta Christina wrote pornography containing non-consensual sex, i.e. rape.

Official “Bending” page at her blog: Greta Christina’s erotic stories are written to get you hard and wet — and to change the ways you think about sex. Be forewarned — stuff happens here that’s borderline consensual. Or not at all consensual. These are dirty, kinky stories about shame, about pain, helplessness and danger, reckless behavior and bad, bad ideas….
__http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/04/12/bending/

Pornography is for arousal, and that is also clear from the blurb “Greta Christina’s erotic stories are written to get you hard and wet” and they contain rape as in “Or not at all consensual”. Make of that what you will.

6) It must be uncontroversial that PZ Myers shared rape pornography of the tentacle variety and calls this a “celebration of biodiversity” It was deemed, like Greta Christina’s as “sex positive”. Sources and all that, in comment 33. Some:
_scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/10/29/definitely-not-safe-for-work/
_web.archive.org/web/20071028205103/http://sexe-aka.blogspot.com/2006/10/octopussy-tentacles-of-desir.html
_oolon.co.uk/?p=403

7) It must be uncontroversial that PZ Myers accuses Michael Nugent of harboring rapists (among other things) — a baseless accusation. In reality, PZ Myers harbours a rapist of three girls, ogvorbis. FreeThoughtBlogs regulars love him. All details and links to original sources at 58.

Closing the bracket:

Ariel wrote: Aneris, I find it difficult to talk to you exactly because I see you as a “narrative” type – as someone painting with a very wide brush. Nothing particularly wrong with the approach as such; it’s just that our style is so different that communication is difficult. […] The same happens here. You have your narrative, with a complete information what everyone wants. Again: I feel helpless. Good luck.

I hear your cognitive dissonance all the way and accept your usual FreeThoughtBlogs meta-whargarble “I won’t listen to you because reasons”. You have concrete quotes, links with all the context around, and you had some of that before, so that your claim of a “very wide brush” can be dismissed. If you are incapable of accepting that this stuff emanates from a blog network with people who frequently support each other (linking etc) and whose names then show up in mainstream media, either as authors or with citations, then you might overstretch your “play obtuse” game a bit too much. Nobody is buying your rape defense either.

In previous comments I also laid out who is meant and who isn’t and specifically pointed out that the whole thing is too unwieldy to always include all the information. Just to clean up the B.S. you produce requires a lot of evidence because I want to make sure that nobody who reads here is fooled.

If some link is defunct, try the wayback machine. Or ask, there are also screenshots and freeze-pages and whatnot. Just as precaution: nobody finds it convincing when you call providing sources and links “obsessive” when presented with your level of hypocrisy, and serious allegations (harassment, misogyny and even rape). Writing a few comments is certainly not as obsessive as writing 15 blog posts in a week on Jaclyn Glenn, as Ophelia Benson once did, or I don’t know how many hundreds on C. H. Sommers (slightly exaggerated).

191 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Of course, having made an analogy, Ariel issues a disclaimer and says that no analogy was intended. So now we have to redefine analogy.
Please don’t confuse my remarks for a comment. I am not making a comment at all – it’s “just saying”. I think I’m getting the hang of this.

192 Sedan Taboos October 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

“So we have established that people are not necessarily hypocrites when they are deranged enough to be able to make an appeal to insanity. Fine. It’s also irrelevant.”

It’s not irrelevant. If people here are making false claims, incorrect statements or pushing their argument too far then they should be called on it. Glossing over such things because the argument’s conclusion is generally correct or because the guy posting it is a good bloke makes you no better than “them.” Well, maybe a little better.

193 Sedan Taboos October 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

“This blog, by contrast, is a haven of free expression, intelligent comments and tolerance, to the credit of Michael and the vast majority of the commenters.”

The key phrase here is “by contrast.” This forum has several of the same problems, but to a less egregious extent. This is typical of almost any forum where the majority of posts are made by a small number of people and there is no clear solution to the problem or action that Michael could take to improve it.

194 JetLagg October 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Milesnagopaleen said

Of course, having made an analogy, Ariel issues a disclaimer and says that no analogy was intended. So now we have to redefine analogy.

That was rather funny, but I get the gist of what she’s saying. By defending the actions or beliefs held by Person A, Person B could be thought of as defending Person A, even if Person B was not even aware of Person A’s existence.

Even if we assume that is what Myers and Latsot meant (and to be honest I don’t think it is) it would need to be demonstrated that Michael did defend actions or beliefs held by [redacted], or someone else who has committed certain acts or holds certain beliefs (the language here is obscure, I can’t even be certain what acts or beliefs would qualify).

195 Lancelot Gobbo October 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Good lord, Aneris! I’d thank you more profusely for your hard work, but it’s awkward when my jaw is on the ground….
The link to
_http://freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/elevatorgate/
is very helpful and thorough. I had been present during all that and was unable to follow all the threads and understand all of the fuss (real life intruded as always). I see the essential reason that Stef McGraw was hated boils down to the money quote:

Stef McGraw wrote: If you really want social equality for women, which is what feminism is, why not apply the same standards to men and women, and stop demonizing men for being sexual beings?

I see time and again that equity/egalitarian feminists are particularly hated by the third wave. This is interesting, in that all the strong, intelligent and successful women I know see equality as exactly what they want, and anything else as condescending and patronising. I assume the basis for this loathing is that it is an eminently reasonable and attractive position and thus a dangerous competing ideology to their desire to have special protections to affirm their permanent victim status?

196 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

@Sedan Taboos
Thanks for explaining to me what my comment meant. But no, “by contrast” was not meant to be a qualification along the lines of “Compared with Stalin, Pol Pot was a paragon of virtue”.
I have seen little or no lack of free expression, intelligent comments and tolerance. I have seen no group-think, arbitrary censorship or downright abuse. I don’t think MN can be criticized for the way that he monitors his blog.
Any criticism I have of equivocation or arguing in bad faith is aimed at a very few. Trollers will troll.

197 Jan Steen October 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

@Sedan Taboos,

“So we have established that people are not necessarily hypocrites when they are deranged enough to be able to make an appeal to insanity. Fine. It’s also irrelevant.”

It’s not irrelevant. If people here are making false claims, incorrect statements or pushing their argument too far then they should be called on it. Glossing over such things because the argument’s conclusion is generally correct or because the guy posting it is a good bloke makes you no better than “them.” Well, maybe a little better.

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I could also have written:

“So we have established that the moon is not inedible when it is entirely made of cheese. Fine. It’s also irrelevant.”

Is this not irrelevant?

198 milesnagopaleen October 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

@JetLagg
Personally, I no longer want to waste time and mental effort examining the morass of Ariel’s obfuscations. That’s a mere game and its entertainment value has expired. The serious issues at hand are defamation of character and presumption of innocence. The rest is distraction.
Someone on Twitter has suggested starting a fund, should MN wish to sue for defamation of character. I have no idea how feasible this would be or under what jurisdiction it would be pursued.
Latsot is, of course, a nobody compared with PZ ( a bigger nobody) and it seems that he is banning MN from his Twitter feed and refusing further discussion apart from on his blog. I propose that those of you, who would decry his behaviour go to his Twitter feed and let him know your thoughts.

199 Matt Cavanaugh October 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Ariel, your aptitude for spinning out sophistry is quite impressive. The sophistry itself, not so much.

Here are five simple questions for you to answer.

1. Doxxing is an acceptable tool to be used against people you disagree with. [ ] Yes [ ] No

2. “Rape” and “rapist” have legal definitions, which any reasonable person understands. [ ] Yes [ ] No

3. Accusing someone of rape without evidence is itself a crime, namely defamation. [ ] Yes [ ] No

4. A majority of the general population considers visual & written depictions of rape offensive. [ ] Yes [ ] No

5. A prominent atheist spokesperson actively promoting rape porn reflects poorly on the reputation of atheists in general. [ ] Yes [ ] No

200 Ariel October 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Matt Cavanaugh #199

Another simple question:

6. You need to be no one else than Matt Cavanaugh to write something like that:

That’s not to say that Myers ever acts on these fantasies. It is interesting to note that, following a recent road trip for a conference, he was hospitalized for what just might have been gonorrhea.

[ ] Yes [ ] No

_http://skeptischism.com/atheismneat/2014/10/06/pz-myers-glass-house/

Please, Matt, everyone chooses people he or she wants to talk to. Believe me, it’s really everybody’s right and I’m not an exception. You are not an exception as well: you can choose to talk to Latsot (or PZ Myers for the matter, or anyone else) … or not. Really, as you wish, and I have absolutely no problem with your choices. As for me, I don’t have even the slightest interest in aswering any questions you might ask.

All the best,
Ariel

201 Ariel October 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Bungled quoting again! Rats! Aneris, heeelp!!!!

202 FishCakes October 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Ariel,
Earlier you mentioned that something about you criticizing FtBers on FtB (but not elsewhere), and I was wondering if you would share any recent examples where you’ve actually done that. Any examples where you had a legitimate disagreement and criticism of Myers or even one of the regular commenters that you were able to discuss and hash out on FtB?

From my very limited experience there, combined with what many others tell about it, that doesn’t sound like something that would go over too well. However maybe I have the wrong impression and seeing an example or two might change my mind.

203 Aneris ✻ October 25, 2014 at 12:10 am

Ariel,
<blockquote><b>Bob wrote:</b> QUOTE HERE</blockquote>

becomes:

Bob wrote: QUOTE HERE

A tag must always open with and close with . You can use:
b = bold = <b>bold</b>
i = italic = <i>italic</i>
u = underlined = <u>underlined</u>
strike = striked = <strike>striked</strike>

204 john welch October 25, 2014 at 1:02 am

It’s interesting how, when Ariel is cornered about specifics, she suddenly pulls some weird “oh please, everyone does it” tripe.

Again ariel, how is it not hypocritical for PZ and Latsot to fuss/complain at Michael for “harboring rapists” while giving no proof, no evidence, nor “naming names”, yet defending their defense and harboring of someone who confessed to rape?

How is it okay that they play the McCarthy “I have a list of names” shit?

205 john welch October 25, 2014 at 1:07 am

Fish, as long as you are Clear, you can *lightly* criticize in minor ways. if you’re high-level Clear, you can even call out Xenu, er, PZ on a mistake. But not too often.

206 Sedan Taboos October 25, 2014 at 1:26 am

@milesnagopaleen
“Thanks for explaining to me what my comment meant”

You’re welcome! I’m happy to explain to everyone what your words meant. The more discerning might have even figured out what MY words meant.

207 Sedan Taboos October 25, 2014 at 1:54 am

@Jan Steen

“So we have established that the moon is not inedible when it is entirely made of cheese.”

Is your point that the moon is inedible even though it is made of cheese – therefore Michael Nugent is a rape apologist? If so, then I’d say that your assertion should be questioned.

Which leads us back to my previous reply regarding the “by contrast” nature of this forum (and presumably the slymepit). Don’t criticize the guy who makes the irrelevant (and incorrect) assertion because he is part of the inner circle (or at least supporting them). Instead criticize the guy who points out that the irrelevancy is inaccurate.

208 Aneris ✻ October 25, 2014 at 3:20 am

Gretchen Koch tweets: Funny how calling someone an asshole is okay, but “misogynist” is a bridge too far. Like, how dare you suggest their hate has a direction? — retweeted by Ophelia Benson and Stephanie Zvan, and 16 others

1 — Gretchen Koch is smaller blogger of the Social Justice League, Adam Lee corner.

2 — “funny” how no thought is put into this one, yet presented with usual cocksure attitude and zero understanding where others are coming from.

3 — “asshole” is usually taken as a statement of opinions, whereas “misogynist” is more a statement of fact, much like “rides bike to work”, “loves cats”, “hates anchovis” and “hates women” (misogyny). One is more about the subject — person making the statsment and their feelings. The other is a statement about an object — the target of the statement. This is even more obvious with racists or supremacists (and suprematists) where people self-identify with such views. “Sexist” is a bit less clear, but the same principle applies.There are people who identify with such views, they just use different labels (but the referent is the same). They might call it “traditional values”. Its then acceptable to use “sexist” which keeps the same denotation but uses a word with another connotation. Compare: a person may see themselves as a “vagabound” and may not like being called a “bum” or “homeless” yet if the person does live on the streets, the terms would not be untrue.

4 — social justice warriors violate other people’s prerogative of interpretation in their very own domain. When Gretchen Koch calls someone an “asshole” we learn about her feelings towards someone else. If she claims someone was a “misogynist” she speaks on behalf of another person and declares how they feel about someone (or some group). Controlling other people in this fashion and abusing them is what makes social justice warriors particularily appalling. You learn about this very viscerally when you post at FreeThoughtsblogs, where the regulars take the liberty to completely redefine what you believe. You new opinions are course created about of thin air, so that they have a foil to farm SJ points.

Some twitter fun, better check the timeline here and click through some answers… they’re also all on Michael Nugent / that he dares to criticize Dear Leaders of Social Justice (yes, that’s their usual whine when people disagree with them on Richard Dawkins etc.)

_twitter.com/OpheliaBenson/status/525701042395418625

Christopher Benton (Hyperdeath, Atheism Plus forum Admin) tweets: @OpheliaBenson @ImprobableJoe @Giliell @latsot They’re all for robust debate, but poke THEM and it’s “witchhunts”, “bullying” and “smears”.

How can there be a debate when dissenters aren’t allowed to present their views (hampered, kept in mod limbo, not allowed to talk back to regulars…) , and when social justice cowards won’t come to comment sections where fair rules for everyone are established? Also, again too obtuse to understand where others are coming from. But others of the gang are also literalists when it suits them and see things metaphorical when convenient, and “witch hunts” obviously involves fire, but “rapist”, that’s a metaphorical term of course. /facepalm

Unknown Eric tweets: @SpokesGay @OpheliaBenson @ImprobableJoe @Doubting_Tom@hyperdeath128k @Giliell @latsot It’s dishonest, damaging, and exceedingly arrogant.

Ophelia Benson tweets: @ImprobableJoe @hyperdeath128k @Giliell @latsot Well I think he’s just staggeringly solipsistic. Only what happens to HIM is real

Same pattern once more. She can write 15 blog posts in a week on Jaclyn Glenn (fact), but Michael Nugent is already “staggering solipsistic” for being concerned when accused of providing a haven for harassers, misogynists and rapists and accused of defending them…

They can write on Richard Dawkins (or Jaclyn Glenn, Ch Sommer etc) as often as they please, but nope, you can’t address PZ Myers et all and their smearing and distortions. Instead of addressimg any point, its all whining and moaning and attempting to downplay and ignore the points that were made. And same as above: Ophelia Benson is hairtrigger when it concerns her, and freaks out when some connotation doesn’t align perfectly with her perception, yet sees no issue when people are smeared with extreme allegations (like claiming commenters were rapists and Michael would defend these people). She is also a literalist and master nitpicker, when convenient but will be generous when it suits her and it goes against the outgroup.

Besides, check which qualities Ariel showed here.

The timeline is abit unwieldy, but check it out…theres is more like this… more “he’s defending” etc.

Improbable Joe tweeted: @hyperdeath128k @OpheliaBenson @Giliell @latsot Nugent makes unfounded/false accusations against people and their motives CONSTANTLY.

😀

209 Jan Steen October 25, 2014 at 9:27 am

@Sedan Taboos,

Don’t criticize the guy who makes the irrelevant (and incorrect) assertion because he is part of the inner circle (or at least supporting them). Instead criticize the guy who points out that the irrelevancy is inaccurate.

No, criticize the guy who has made himself believe that something is inaccurate and then expects that everybody else should believe that.

210 piero October 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Can we stop the debate about hypocrisy? It seems to me that it boils down to quabbles about definitions: if my stated principles allow me to treat people differently, am I still a hypocrite? I’d say yes: merely declaring that you value hypocrisy as a virtue does not exempt you from being regarded a hypocrite by everyone else.

Also, I’d like to remind Ariel that she has not answered ANY of the questins posed by Matt. Indeed, she seems proud of her accomplishment:

As for me, I don’t have even the slightest interest in aswering any questions you might ask.

Apparently, Ariel does not answer questions unless they come from an approved source. Since she has answered me before, I assume I am an approved person. So let me ask Ariel:

Is doxxing an acceptable tool to be used against people you disagree with?

Do the words “rape” and “rapist” have legal definitions, which any reasonable person understands?

Is accusing someone of rape without evidence, if not criminal, at least immoral?

211 Aneris ✻ October 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Just to put into perspective all this goes. We have learned from the FreeThoughtBlogs people that you can make severe accusations. And they also envision what happens next…

Stephanie Zvan wrote: It’s an unpalatable thing to say, yes, but I’ll say it. Creating a system in which schools explicitly put accusers and accused on equal footing with regard to sexual harassment and rape will result in more innocent people being found guilty. I am willing to accept that, because the alternative is even less acceptable. — The Elided Rights of Accusers” (July 15, 2014)

_freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2014/07/15/the-elided-rights-of-accusers/

Jaston Thibeault wrote: People forget that there are not merely two options here. There’s not just “jailtime” and “completely innocent”. There’s not just “guilty” and “witch-hunts”. Another possibility is for people to be made aware of these creepers and to know that they cannot trust them as much as they might other people — to warn them that the trust placed in them might not be warranted.

Also, Jason Thibeault doesn’t get “witch hunts”. But we established as much. Witch hunt is about placing a person under scrutiny and looking for implicating material, where wide defnitions and a lot of interpretational leeway is used, with the goal of finding them guilty as charged. This is done in the interest of furthering some ideological agenda by removing ideas or potential adovcates of rival ideas from the community. This is done in a theatric way (show trial) that serves two purposes. One is the removal of the ideas or idea-bearers, the other is to prevent that others can get “infected” by the idea and become new idea-bearers. Thus, there is an emphasis on “theatric punishment” as a form of intimidation. It is also repeated in symbolic acts which remind everyone to not come close to the Verboten Ideas, thereby the target community becomes more pious, more dogmatic, holier than the pope etc. You can go and run with it, the analogy brings you quite far. In the atheist-skeptics community you even have to “denounce” and avoid contact with “infectious” idea-carriers that are already shunned.

I’ve explored (and meandered, perhaps aimlessly) this ideas space in mostly allegorical form. See The Scarlet Letters.

“We would gladly burn a hundred if just one of them was guilty.” – attributed to Konrad of Marburg (1195—1233)

Just to be clear with what kind of ideology we deal with, which is far from harmless. They’ve shown that you can make accusations as you please, where opinions are asserted as if they are true (see the insult distinction above, 208) and then these accusations can easily bring someone into the mills of their “social justice” system, where hearsay is taken as truth (that is the “web of trust” idea promoted by Jason Thibeault, Zvan et al), and if someone cannot produce contrary evidence — that they didn’t do what they are being accused of — they can be locked away since it’s deemed desirable to have some false positives (“false alarm”) instead of false negatives (crime happened but not enough evidence to convict).

212 piero October 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm

@Aneris:

As usual, your analysis is spot on. I just want to re-emphasise the correspondence between these two statements:

“Creating a system in which schools explicitly put accusers and accused on equal footing with regard to sexual harassment and rape will result in more innocent people being found guilty. I am willing to accept that, because the alternative is even less acceptable.” – Stephanie Zvan

“We would gladly burn a hundred if just one of them was guilty.” – attributed to Konrad of Marburg (1195—1233)

Zvan’s comment should be broadcast worlwide.

213 Shatterface October 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

The ‘believe’ movement tends to ignore the racial dimension of false accusations.

False rape accusation were a regular weapon of the KKK.

Ida B Wells, in the 1890s, found that about a third of lynching victims had been accused of rape or attempted rape.

214 Jan Steen October 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

So there’s another believer in Peezus, a guy who calls himself Rorschach on Pharyngula, clinteas on Twitter*, who says he is “sure” that among the commenters here there are “rape apologist, maybe worse”.

He tweeted to Michael:

Martin ‏@clinteas Oct 24

@micknugent I asked people more imtimately involved about the source of the allegations. I’m sure you shelter rape apologists, maybe worse.

When challenged by Michael the coward of course didn’t provide any evidence. But why should we believe a liar anyway? Yes, a liar. Because he also tweeted this:

@micknugent havent spoken to PZ since Dublin, not commented on his blog, and not involved in the politics. Just going by what I observe.

Not commented on his blog? The creep has commented several times on Pharyngula this year, as a simple Google search for “Rorschach” and “Pharyngula” will show to anyone who doesn’t believe me.

Peezus, latsot, Rorschach: they should start a company, called Smears R Us.

* He indicates on his Twitter page that Rorschach and clinteas are the same person. They also have the same creepy avatar.

215 Jan Steen October 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm

(I have another comment in moderation, to which the following is relevant.)

About this tweet by clinteas/Rorschach, made on 24 October:

@micknugent havent spoken to PZ since Dublin, not commented on his blog, and not involved in the politics. Just going by what I observe.

Not only has clinteas/Rorschach on the contrary been a frequent commenter on PZ’s blog Pharyngula, he even commented on PZ’s blog Pharyngula the day before he made this tweet. See: http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/10/she-didnt-smile-she-didnt-say-hello/comment-page-1/#comment-3927277

Draw your own conclusions regarding the honesty of Mr. Rorschach. And his stupidity.

At least we can say that Peezus draws exactly the kind of follower he deserves.

216 Jan Steen October 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Wait, I see I made a mistake here. That comment was on Butterflies and Wheels, not on Pharyngula.

Here is a comment from Rorschach/clinteas from this year on Pharyngula:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/05/07/i-dont-even-know-where-it-is-but-im-going-to-be-there/comment-page-1/#comment-793348

I don’t know if this is the most recent one, but there are a lot more from this year alone, so this slip of mine doesn’t change my conclusions in any way.

217 Sedan Taboos October 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm

“Is accusing someone of rape without evidence, if not criminal, at least immoral?”

It’s not immoral if they are guilty.

218 Jan Steen October 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Correction: It’s not immoral if you know they are guilty. Otherwise it is immoral.

219 Shatterface October 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm

It’s not immoral if they are guilty.

And it is immoral if they are innocent – how many fucking times does this point have to be made?

220 tina October 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

@piero

Ah yes, the Klu Klux Zvan. Lovely. Perhaps a friend of Witchwind at WordPress dot com?

221 John Greg October 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Immoral? Hmm. I don’t think so.

Unethical? Indeed. But immoral? Isn’t that a bit hyperbolic?

Or something like that.

tina said:

Ah yes, the Klu Klux Zvan. Lovely. Perhaps a friend of Witchwind at WordPress dot com?

HAHAHA. Ain’t she something special? Wheeeeee!

Another Witchy-utopia quote:

Women will get to do the nice things such as reforestation, reintroduction of animals into the wild, taking care wild animals affected by pollution, etc. This is a huge responsibility and requires lots of empathy, thinking at different levels, lots of observation and genius. No woman would leave this responsibility to a man.

222 piero October 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm

@Tina:

Why, oh why did you mention witchwind? I had a look, and now I’ll have nightmares for years! Just look at this:

The pattern is that pro-feminist men will very easily occupy and monopolise key positions and publicity in feminism so they can posture as heroes-victims-of-masculinity, and behind the scenes, not only do they do NOTHING to help women but they continue to steal women’s work, abuse women, manipulate women, rape women, promote the work of rapists or publish misogynist content, etc, etc ad nauseum.

223 Aneris ✻ October 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Witchwind is too inane even for the vast majority of FTB commenters. PZ Myers called her type of radical feminism as the “flip side of the MRA”

PZ Myers wrote: Radfems. Just as freakishly twisted, I’m afraid. I somehow stumbled across a radfem site that is arguing that penis-in-vagina sex is always rape, and that men are always rapists. It’s the weirdest perspective, and uses the sloppiest logic. One way she makes her case is the loaded characterization, like this […]

PZ Myers however also likes other radical feminists. He wrote in Maybe the right phrase is “revolutionary feminist”

PZ Myers wrote: The most “radical feminist” feminist I read religiously has got to be Twisty Faster, at I Blame the Patriarchy. She’s a ferociously passionate writer, and simply brilliant in her insights. So when we had the recent hatin’ and shriekin’ from #radfem2013, I had to wonder (maybe that’s the wrong word; I had high expectations) what Twisty would be saying on the issue. And have no fear, she’s all over it.

Generally, the brand of social justice warriorism of PZM and co is trans inclusionary, whereas their social justice warrior arch enemy are so-called TERFs — for trans exclusionary radical feminists. They are very similiar in most regards, certainly rhetorically, yet they are anti-trans folk. In fact, FTB Dana Hunter and Zinnia Jones go as far and deem it transphobic when straight people aren’t sexually attracted to trans-sexuals — but that’s yet anothed can of worms. In that case I don’t think that a majority on FTB & SkepChick can get behind these ideas, but such views aren’t unheard of, either (and also typically left unchallenged).

224 Aneris ✻ October 25, 2014 at 9:49 pm

To avoid a misunderstanding:

They are very similiar in most regards, certainly rhetorically, yet they are anti-trans folk. In fact, FTB Dana Hunter and Zinnia Jones go as far and deem it transphobic

I wanted to express that their factions are diametrically opposed on views on trans folk, and that the FTB faction has some people who drift into a rather extreme direction as well, just the opposite of the TERFs.

225 piero October 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm

@ Aneris:

Thank you for the elucidation. I had more or less gathered that rad-fems were firmly against the transexual-transgender, but I din’t know this:

In fact, FTB Dana Hunter and Zinnia Jones go as far and deem it transphobic when straight people aren’t sexually attracted to trans-sexuals

So it’s like, if I have no desire to become a Muslim, then I am an Islamophobic. Got it.

226 Shatterface October 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Generally, the brand of social justice warriorism of PZM and co is trans inclusionary, whereas their social justice warrior arch enemy are so-called TERFs — for trans exclusionary radical feminists.

Except Benson recently posted a cartoon originating at a transphobic feminist site because it was anti-men.

TERFs hate transwomen because they think they are men and therefore patriarchy; trans-activists hate third wave feminism because if gender is purely performative there’s no difference between a gender-conforming woman and a man in drag.

227 Shatterface October 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

In fact, FTB Dana Hunter and Zinnia Jones go as far and deem it transphobic when straight people aren’t sexually attracted to trans-sexuals

Actually, they go further than that and deem it transphobic if homosexuals aren’t attracted to transsexuals – hence denunciations of lesbians who refuse to allow pre-op transsexuals to enter them with their penises.

This is really the kind of mess you get yourself into if you let your politics dictate your private life. In the real world we find some people attractive and others not so much; who we sleep with is a matter of personal preference.

As soon as you start guilt-tripping yourself or others into sleeping with someone to make a political point sex ceases to be something freely entered into. No wonder they see rape everywhere.

228 piero October 25, 2014 at 11:15 pm

@Shatterface:

This is getting too complex. I thought having to fill in consent forms was over the top; now I’m worried I might not even know which form to fill in!

229 Ron Murphy October 26, 2014 at 1:31 am

Harris on some people that misrepresent him:

Here is the most charitable interpretation I can make of this behavior: People like Greenwald and Hussain are so sure that they are on the right side of important issues that, when they see someone whom they imagine to be on the wrong side, they feel justified in distorting his views in an effort to destroy his credibility. This is an all-too-human impulse, of course, but it is extraordinarily destructive behavior in “journalists.”

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-young-turks-interview

A common phenomenon at FtB too.

230 tina October 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

Piero @ 221
Oh, sorry about the delights of Witchwind. You probably won’t want to go youtubering for Femitheist Divine then. But I admit some curiosity about how these feminist dystopias would pan out. Their hatred of males and maleness is so extreme that their fantasies of gendercide know no limits.

Most feminists disown these extremes as Not True Feminism….just as ISIS are not true Islamists. However, even the less extreme feminists display levels of sexism and misandry that are quite extraordinary and that they seem largely unaware of. Many stew in a toxic brew of resentment and bitterness towards men that severely clouds their judgement and rationality. They are in danger of becoming what they claim to hate.

They are forever the terminally oppressed victims of the patriarchy, in denial of their own power and agency and therefore absolved of any responsibility for the status quo. In this way they can only ever be the victims of sexual objectification while denying that women objectify men every which way till Sunday. Fortunately, fewer and fewer women are buying into this authoritarian feminist BS, preferring to acknowledge and use the power, agency and responsibility we possess in full measure.

The authoritarian leaders and followers at FtB and elsewhere demonstrate that they have bought into the whole feminist ideology, hence the distinctive language and tactics. They will, come what may, continue the slurring and the defamation in post after post accusing their critics of misogyny, harassment, rape, rape apology, sexism, racism, ableism, and generally being old and white and dudelyfied.

It would help if more people would just stand up to them as MN is doing rather than being too afraid to speak out.

231 Jan Steen October 26, 2014 at 10:15 am

[The following is a redacted version of my comment that I mentioned above which is still in moderation, probably for containing the l-word.]

So there’s another believer in Peezus, a guy who calls himself Rorschach on Pharyngula, clinteas on Twitter*, who says he is “sure” that among the commenters here there are “rape apologist, maybe worse”.

He tweeted to Michael:

Martin ‏@clinteas Oct 24
@micknugent I asked people more imtimately involved about the source of the allegations. I’m sure you shelter rape apologists, maybe worse.

When challenged by Michael, the coward of course didn’t provide any evidence. He also tweeted this:

@micknugent havent spoken to PZ since Dublin, not commented on his blog, and not involved in the politics. Just going by what I observe.

Not commented on his blog? He has commented several times on Pharyngula this year, as a simple Google search for “Rorschach” and “Pharyngula” will show to anyone who doesn’t believe me. Such honest, righteous people…

Peezus, Latsot, Rorschach: they should start a company, called Smears R Us.

* He indicates on his Twitter page that Rorschach and clinteas are the same person. They also have the same creepy avatar.

232 piero October 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

@Tina:

They are forever the terminally oppressed victims of the patriarchy, in denial of their own power and agency and therefore absolved of any responsibility for the status quo. In this way they can only ever be the victims of sexual objectification while denying that women objectify men every which way till Sunday. Fortunately, fewer and fewer women are buying into this authoritarian feminist BS, preferring to acknowledge and use the power, agency and responsibility we possess in full measure.

And that’s about as succint a statement of the problem as I’m ever likely to come across. Also, “dudelyfied”! 😀

But what about men who buy into this? Is it mere posturing? I cannot make sense of Latsot’s invective: he knows there are no rapists posting here, so he is using the word as a generic insult. Why would he believe that “rapists” is an adeqaute way of describing those who disagree with you? Is it to win SJW points? What for?

233 Patrick October 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm

latsot has failed to respond to repeated requests for evidence supporting his libelous claims on his own blog. It’s apparent by now that he, like Myers, has no intention of behaving honestly.

The best result to come out of this is that Myers and latsot have demonstrated themselves in public to be mendacious and utterly lacking in integrity. There is no reason to engage with such intellectually dishonest poltroons, either online or at conferences. The only response they deserve is to point at these threads.

234 Aneris ✻ October 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Adding some further evidence to what I wrote above. Here is a recent article by Stephanie Zvan, called “Encouragement to Harass” which is about the doxxing of Skep Tickle.

A little bit of back ground: When I once came to this side of the internets it was a short time after Justin Vacula became “Witch of the Week”. I learned that he was allegedly a terrible person, but I was unable to learn why this was the prevalent opinion on the social justice faction (at the time I didn’t know there were even factions). I didn’t dare to ask, since I’ve seen other people on Pharyngula and elsewhere hounded off for “jaqing off”. After some clicking through links, deemed authoritative, I found it was a bottomless burrow straight from Lewis Carroll’s imagination. It was one of the first steps towards the Dark Side.

Here you have Stephanie Zvans recent article from mid October, and just see how quickly you can get to the bottom of her assertions. If someone is still not convinced that FreeThoughtBlogs is an extreme echo chamber with a thick, partially impenetrable layers of opinions and distortions with next to no sources. They effectively bootstrap their views out of nowhere.

To give you a quick idea (again! check it). Here is what Stephanie Zvan writes:

_freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2014/10/10/encouragement-to-harass/

Stephanie Zvan wrote in “Encouragement to Harass”: Which is why, in the middle of Justin Vacula’s ongoing apologetics telling women that if they were going to speak in public they had to put up with his abuse, Reinhardt resisted. No. Wait. I mean he started a fundraiser to send Vacula to the conference many of these women would be attending.

this is the link in the original… alright, there is some “abuse”. Now, let’s see what this abuse is. I don’t know about you, I am interested in what happened, which is then described as abusive. “Abuse” isn’t a thing in the world. The abuse is then, we learn there, to post in the slymepit forum, which is stated a few times in the next article. Abuse = posting on the Slymepit. Got it. She also provides a list, what is abuse, which and we learn…

Stephanie Zvan wrote in “Vacula: Ladies, Y U No Quit?”:Abuse isn’t specific. It doesn’t target behavior. Abuse of me targets me. It targets me no matter what I’m doing. It targets irrelevancies about me.

We learn a little bit, but not much. Second article in. This article however begins with this part…

Stephanie Zvan wrote in “Vacula: Ladies, Y U No Quit?”: A week ago, I put up a post contradicting Justin Vacula’s suggestion that what the slimepit does is criticism rather than abuse.

Again, that’s the link and since there is apparently a discussion on what is “abusive” let’s follow that further… still hunting for something concrete. The links to leads to the article: “Just Getting a Response” this time and it begins with:

Stephanie Zvan wrote in “Just Getting a Response”:From Ophelia , I discover that Justin Vacula is still on his kick trying to suggest that what the slimepitters, et al. are doing is absolutely not stalking.

Of course, you can wonder why this is an agenda point at all, and why others have to answer that they comment upon (yes, harshly and at times over the top) what opinion leaders do. We learned by now that FreeThoughtBloggers can “stalk” Richard Dawkins and others (also lesser known people like Jaclyn Glenn) as they please, but are themselves not accountable and cannot be discussed. We also learned that it’s not a matter of extreme irreverence, but a matter of principle, since Michael Nugent’s criticism was factual, measured and polite. Anyway, you’ve spotted it. That article already refers to Ophelia Benson and Stephanie Zvan still doesn’t provide evidence for Vacula’s alleged behaviours. Oolon links to the Slymepit, but that only leads to a comment by Vacula where he shares the link back to Stephanie Zvan…

This turns out to be like a Hunting of the Snark. Let’s see, maybe we have more luck with Ophelia Benson then, by again following Stephanie Zvan’s link.

Ophelia Benson wrote in “Public figures who make their controversial opinions known to the world”: After all these somber and/or infuriating items, a funny one. Justin Vacula on Facebook….

Again with a quote from facebook by Vacula, which is “meta” what is criticism and whether it is allowed to post disparaging comments into a forum. Ophelia Benson’s article doesn’t provide further links and again does not provide any sources, so we finally hit upon a dead end and have learned little but opinions on opinions on opinions. How can this be accepted by anyone who prides themselves in critical thinking or skepticism?

This isn’t a freak. You can randomly look into such topics and the pattern will repeat itself. I remember that Ms Benson and Ms Zvan on rare occasion cherry picked actual comments (usually without context, careful cut to size and checking sources is discouraged). There are insulting, awful comments if you will, but that’s not hard to find elsewhere. A random comment by someone doesn’t make the claim any more true that Justin Vaculas’ behaviour was abusive. We still don’t know what is even meant!

This is not whether Justin Vacula did something that can legitimately be seen as “abusive” but about that it is conspicuously obscured and hidden behind thick layers of opinion (and no doubt, distortions). Of course, should some feel compelled to present the “bottom” of it, make sure it is exactly the item that is referred to here. Other than that, I am puzzled as how this sort of thing can be possible within a movement that claims to have to do with critical thinking.

Michael Nugent, as someone who commits to “Atheism, Reason, Skepticism, Happiness” is well within his scope when he deals with it, and everyone else who subscribes to similar ideas ought to care, too. If the “core movement” fails so spectacularly, how can we promote these values to the outside world?

235 john welch October 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

The thing with Zvan and Benson is this. Oh, what the heck, PZ too.

They have all, repeatedly said, (paraphrased) “no one is forcing you to read this site(s). If you don’t like what we say, what our commenters say, then by all means feel free to go somewhere else.”

I completely agree with that as stated. Which is why I don’t read their sites. Because I think that between the three of them, they haven’t had a rational thought in, cumulatively, a good quarter century, if not longer.

So people do that. They go to other sites, or build their own.

But oh no, that’s not acceptable now. Because now, on those sites, they are talking shit about Clear, and the Clear have no control. Now, it’s okay if Clear talk shit about SPs and deny SPs the ability to respond, because they’re just dirty SPs, so who cares what happens to them or what people think about them.

But now, they are saying, to use an analogy, that not only is it unacceptable to go into a Clear’s home and talk shit about a Clear or Clears in the Clear’s home, but it is also unacceptable for an SP to go to the SP’s OWN home, and talk shit about them there. Because then the Clear or their agents have to listen at the window and the Clear cannot shut down the conversation.

So basically, the only time SPs are allowed to converse is in an area where the Clear have control, so the Clear can control the conversation.

Oh, and if an SP reads a Clear’s blog, that too is harassment.

I use Scientology terminology to show just how bizarre this idea is. I keep using it because it fits their actual actions and words.

Were I to play their game, I’d start pushing the idea that by not speaking out against the ‘troll’ in England who was hounded into suicide, it’s obvious that PZ et al are in favor of such things.

But I’m not going to because it’s goddamned stupid to do crap like that, and it’s goddamned stupid whether I do it or they do it or Jesus himself comes down from the heavens to do it.

To use one of my favorite metaphors, they now, philosophically and ethically, have their heads so far up their own asses that they’ve gone full Klein bottle, and are having to figure out how to keep their own uvulas from obstructing their vision when they drive.

236 Phil Giordana FCD October 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm

S.P being “suppresive person”, not Slymepitter. But hey, what’s the difference?

237 john welch October 26, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Good point Phil. Yes, to clarify, when I use “SP”, I mean “Suppressive Person” in the Scientology sense.

238 Aneris ✻ October 26, 2014 at 10:28 pm

The very same script as in the atheist movement is currently played in the gaming industry. Just want to put that on the map, too. And the same points come up, with the same tactics, replies, same approaches, same ways to address criticism, demonize critics etc. The exact same thing. It’s the same even down to how the journalists (>bloggers) are being perceived, the same social justice warriors talking points and the social justice warrior celebrities even prefer similar hair styles.

Even there, Sarkeesian et al can be quite successful, and there are many other platforms that could disagree. In the Atheist-Skeptics internet movement the pond is much smaller, and hence these people could have that devastating effect. Watch the thing, but especially about the 8m+ mark when Rebecca Watson gets mentioned, too.

http://youtu.be/zmN2HZ0qGI8?t=8m54s

No surprise that PZ Myers et al want to be on the social justice warrior side, there too (the Slymepit equivalent there is called #GamerGate, and #NotYourShield), despite that it causes some issues when they promoted/wrote rape pornography themselves (that’s just “sex positive” there, of course). 😀

239 Matt Cavanaugh October 27, 2014 at 1:53 am

Please, Matt, everyone chooses people he or she wants to talk to…. As for me, I don’t have even the slightest interest in aswering any questions you might ask.

Ariel squirms when, instead of being allowed to gish gallop and obfuscate, xe must provide straight answers to questions at the crux of this debate. Thus is the disingenuous polemics of the so-called “free thought” crowd. Ariel, this sort of chicken shit might work on lesser interlocutors. But you’re up against real skeptics here, and atheists who long ago saw through the pathetic rationalizations for irrational dogma.

And get real, Ariel, — to avoid committing to a position, you’re gonna pretend my obvious joke about PZ Myers is so offensive that you won’t engage me? Yet you support & defend Myers who, aside from his very serious allegations against others, accused — not insinuated, not implied, not joked — baselessly accused me of intending on stalking an underage girl. Myers, who himself has been accused of at least one instance of sexual harassment and who talks of a SOP for dealing with such accusations from students (implying this is something of a regular occurrence for him.) Myers, who published an erotic dream about his students. But he’s the saint; I’m the demon. Got it.

Step away from the kool-aid, Ariel.

240 jmpea81 October 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

There are just no lows to which latsot will not sink…

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