The hurtful and harmful smears of PZ Myers, “The Happy Atheist”

by Michael Nugent on December 16, 2014

After I criticised PZ Myers and others for smearing the atheist movement and individual atheists, PZ responded by falsely accusing me of defending and providing a haven for rapists, and he has now refused for ten weeks to withdraw and apologise for this defamatory smear.

In this article I will analyse, quote from, and link to examples of PZ’s years-long pattern of smears that led to my original criticism. PZ promotes himself as The Happy Atheist, but his writing conveys more anger and causes more hurt and harm than happiness.

There are now so many smears that each can hide behind the others, as PZ drags us on a desensitising race to the ethical bottom, many levels below the basics of civil discourse, evidence, fairness, empathy and justice. Ironically, any one of PZ’s smears, if viewed on their own, might stand out as worse than the suffocating tangle of smears that has evolved as he gradually lowers our expectation of decent behaviour.

Despite this, you could excuse many of these smears by interpreting them charitably, particularly if they were made by somebody who is normally charitable, who has been misinformed or is writing in anger, and who either substantiates them or apologises and changes their behaviour. But the sheer relentlessness of PZ’s smears, and his reluctance to apologise, brings as a wider problem their cumulative impact.

PZ Myers’ unethical behaviour is harmful to the atheist and skeptic movements, and to the cause of social justice, as well as being hurtful and unjust to the individuals that he smears. It also discredits the American Humanist Association and the IHEU, who gave him a Humanist of the Year award in 2009 and International Humanist Award in 2011, and it disrespects other Humanist awardees who try to promote ethical rather than unethical behaviour.

1.1 Scum at the top and thuggish jerks leading assholes
1.2 Personal smears against living and dead individuals
1.3 Shanking and stabbing, and morons and lunatics
1.4 Abuse and threats and smears by PZ’s commenters
1.5 Summary

2.1 Sources: Scum at the top and thuggish jerks leading assholes
2.2 Sources: Personal smears against living individuals
2.3 Sources: Personal smears against dead individuals
2.4 Sources: Shanking and stabbing and other violent imagery
2.5 Sources: Using ableist language despite saying he opposes it
2.6 Sources: Abuse and threats by PZ’s commenters
2.7 Sources: Personal smears by PZ’s commenters

1.1 Scum at the top and thuggish jerks leading assholes

Let’s start with the big-picture smears. PZ Myers has said that the scum has risen to the top of the atheist movement, that it is burdened by cretinous reactionaries, that sexist and misogynistic scumbags are more than a fringe phenomenon, and that if you don’t agree with Atheism Plus you are an Asshole Atheist. He has also agreed that the atheist movement has a white supremacist logic.

PZ has also said that he has officially divorced himself from the skeptic movement, that the skeptic movement has attracted way too many thuggish jerks, especially in the leadership, and that the communities of atheists, science-fiction writers, gamers, scholars of literature, skepticism, politics, and philosophers are rife with sexist scumbags.

These are serious smears. They indiscriminately attach themselves to countless decent people around the world who are selflessly working to create a more ethical, secular, rational, compassionate world based on reason and social justice. They go way beyond allegations of individual bad incidents, and falsely suggest systemically corrupted communities with scum rising to the top and thuggish jerks leading assholes.

1.2 Personal smears against living and dead individuals

PZ Myers has also unjustly smeared many individual people by name. He regularly places very uncharitable interpretations on somebody else’s comments or behaviour, describes this misrepresentation using emotive and cruel and defamatory language, then continues to smear the person even after they have clarified what they meant.

Some examples: PZ has said that Richard Dawkins seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children, that many Catholics are quite gleeful that Richard has embraced the same moral relativism that they use to rationalize crimes against children, and that he is now writing off Richard because he has been eaten by the brain parasites.

PZ has said that Sam Harris is racist in his thinking (he also says that we all are, but he only mentions it with regard to Sam). He agrees that Sam spouts and promotes Islamophobia under the guise of rational atheism, and that it is past time that the darker aspects of Sam’s worldview receive attention.

PZ has instructed Neil deGrasse Tyson on how to properly apologise for inaccurately paraphrasing President Bush, while PZ himself misrepresented what Neil had written. And when a shop owner publicly and sincerely apologised for putting a sign on his door saying that atheists were not welcome, PZ responded: “No. Fuck him to the ground, let him be a lesson to others.”

PZ has said that Russell Blackford is a lying fuckhead, Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor and Bill Maher are assholes, Bill Maher’s date at an event was candy to decorate her sugar daddy’s arm, Jerry Coyne doesn’t have to work at drama, rage and recrimination, and Peter Boghossian is upset because he has got no imagination and his opponents are more creative in their insults than he is.

PZ has said that Ann Marie Waters is a nutter, and that Abbie Smith and and her coterie of slimy acolytes are virtual non-entities, and that he will not participate in any conference in which Abbie is a speaker. He later changed his mind about this while he was criticising Richard Dawkins for not speaking at the same event as Rebecca Watson.

PZ has said that DJ Grothe, then of the James Randi Foundation, appears to be an evasive jerk, that Ron Lindsay of the Center For Inquiry seemed more interested in appeasing an obsessed gang of manic, moronic anti-feminist spammers and countering the purpose of his own conference, and that Thunderf00t is a dishonest scumbag and a slimy goatfucker.

PZ has called Irish blogger ZenBuffy a narcissistic wanker, after she said she has experienced mental illness. And when a pseudonymous poster on another website made a bad taste joke about PZ (for which she has apologised), PZ named her on his blog along with details of the medical institution where she works, and urged his readers to contact her employers about her.

PZ has published allegations of criminal behaviour against named individuals, and has allowed his commenters to repeat these allegations. He has also said that Ben Radford is a revolting narcissistic scumbag, and that his lawyer is J. Noble Dogshit who has a bit of a reputation as a rabid dog, and everyone hates to go up against him and deal with the slime.

After I criticised PZ for smearing the atheist movement and individual atheists, he responded by falsely accusing me of defending and providing a haven for rapists, and said that the evidence for this was that some people who comment on my blog also post on the Slymepit forum. He has repeatedly failed to substantiate or apologise for this defamatory smear.

PZ Myers’ smears even follow dead people to the grave.

He has said that Charles Darwin was a sexist asshat, that Richard Feynmann was a reprehensible asshole, that Ayn Rand was a crappy and awful person, and that Christopher Hitchens was a bloodthirsty barbarian and a club-carrying primitive whose politics were vile. He described Robin Williams’ suicide as the death of a wealthy white man dragging us away from news about brown people, and added that he should have been more rude about Robin Williams because asking him to have been nicer about the dead famous guy is missing the point.

1.3 Shanking and stabbing, and morons and lunatics

PZ Myers regularly employs violent imagery, often related to the use of knives, and he uses ableist language despite his own stated opposition to it. This gradually lowers our expectations of civil discourse and compassionate ethics, particularly when coming from a winner of Humanist awards from the American Humanist Association and the IHEU.

Some examples: PZ has encouraged his commenters to draw their knives and flense certain comments so thoroughly the dispassionate ass is feeling the pain in every nerve ending. He has joked about Rebecca Watson shanking Thunderf00t in the kidneys, and about himself stabbing Christians and pitching people off a pier.

He has joked about a priest and human rights advocate dying in a ballooning accident during a charity fundraiser, and said he will dream of shooting other priests out of the sky from an aircraft. He has said he would rather debate William Lane Craig in writing where he can stick a knife in the bastard and twist it for a good long while.

Despite his own stated opposition to ableist language, PZ regularly insults people using phrases associated with various handicaps. For example, he has implied that people would assume that sexists and misogynists are a bizarre handicapped aberrant group, and he regularly insults people by calling them idiots, morons, demented and lunatics.

1.4 Abuse and threats and smears by PZ’s commenters

PZ Myers has said that he judges other bloggers by their commenters. But PZ has previously encouraged his own commenters to invite people to shove a rotting porcupine up their nether regions. They in turn have told people to put a three week old decaying porcupine dipped in tar and broken glass up your arse sideways, to fuck themselves sideways with a rusty chainsaw, red-hot pokers and a rusty coat hanger, and to go die in a fire, seriously.

More recently, PZ’s commenters have said that Christopher Hitchens was just a loud, racist and sexist atheist, that Sam Harris is a sickening, appalling, dreadful, frighteningly ignorant racist, that Richard Dawkins is a racist misogynist piece of shit who thinks child molestation doesn’t count unless there’s rape or murder, that if he’s not actually a child molester he’s dangerously close to wearing the uniform of one, and that he and his rape cheerleaders can fuck a power socket.

PZ did not remove any of these smears, but he did ban a commenter who defended Richard Dawkins, saying: “Goodbye. We don’t need your petty resistance to any dissent from the sacred position of your great heroes around here. Fuck off.”

1.5 Summary

PZ Myers’ unethical behaviour is harmful to the atheist and skeptical movements and the cause of social justice, as well as being hurtful and unjust to the individuals that he smears. It also discredits the American Humanist Association and the IHEU, who gave him a Humanist of the Year award in 2009 and International Humanist Award in 2011, and it disrespects other Humanist awardees in their promotion of ethical behaviour.

Despite there being so many smears that each can hide behind the others, as PZ drags us on a desensitising race to the ethical bottom, we should try to look at each of his smears as if they were isolated allegations, to be judged on their individual merits based on principles of evidence, fairness and justice. If we do that, we will realise the harm that PZ is causing, and the need to actively dissociate our work from the damage caused by his smears.

SOURCES

2.1 Sources: Scum at the top and thuggish jerks leading assholes

“We’re seeing a crisis of confidence with atheist leadership, too… Atheists already had an image problem with the name, but somehow the scum rose to the top and worked hard to make it worse.” Source

“Atheism is still growing… but a lot of the early adopters and drivers of the culture are abandoning it in disgust, looking for something that isn’t burdened with the cretinous reactionaries.” Source

“One question I got at my CFI-DC talk was about the prevalence of sexist/misogynistic scumbags in the atheist movement — aren’t they just a minority? And my answer was that I don’t know what percentage they are, but that it’s a mistake to dismiss it as a fringe phenomenon..” Source

(About Atheism Plus) “And if you don’t agree with any of that — and this is the only ‘divisive’ part — then you’re an asshole. I suggest you form your own label, “Asshole Atheists” and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it. I just had a thought: maybe the anti-atheist+ people are sad because they don’t have a cool logo. So I made one for the asshole atheists – A* ” Source

(PZ agreed with Sikivu Hutchinson that)“Engaging in science fetishism without a social justice lens merely reproduces the white supremacist logic of the New Atheist Movement…” PZ wrote: “Unfortunately, I can’t write a rebuttal… because she’s right, damnit.” Source

“I officially divorce myself from the skeptic movement… So don’t call me a “skeptic”. I’ll consider it an insult, like calling a writer a stenographer, a comedian a mime, a doctor a faith healer, a scientist a technician. I’m out.” Source

“I feel that way about movement skepticism — skepticism is an essential element of our toolkit, but the movement has attracted way too many thuggish jerks, especially in the leadership, who want to deny every progressive effort that some of their members want to make.” Source

“OK, the communities of atheists, science-fiction writers, gamers, scholars of literature, skepticism, politics, and philosophers are rife with sexist scumbags.” Source

2.2 Sources: Personal smears against living individuals

PZ has written about the use of language:

“Words have power. Guns also have power; is unregulated access to guns the best path to a free society? We’re engaged in that experiment in the US right now, and I can tell you…no. Similarly, we have to recognize that words must be used responsibly. Speech can do great harm. Words can enlighten and educate, but they can also oppress and mislead. As humanists, we must appreciate the importance of truth, and do what we can to stop the promulgation of lies.” Source

Despite this, PZ has written the following smears about individual people:

(About Richard Dawkins) “He seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children… I’m sure many Catholics are quite gleeful that Richard Dawkins has now embraced the same moral relativism that they use to rationalize crimes against children.” Source

(About Richard Dawkins) “Well, I’m going to have to write off Richard Dawkins now. He’s been eaten by the brain parasites.” Source

(About Sam Harris) “He is racist in his thinking, but then, we all are… the absurdity of thinking it’s not racist if it targets yourself.” Source

(PZ agreed with Glenn Greenwald’s opinion of Sam Harris) “Harris and others like him spout and promote Islamophobia under the guise of rational atheism… it is past time that the darker aspects of their worldview receive attention.” Source

(About Neil deGrasse Tyson) “NO. That’s not how you respond. Allow me to help out, Dr Tyson. Here’s how it should go:” Source

(Hemant Mehta on the shop owner’s apology) “Andy, the owner of Gelato Mio, just posted a more extensive apology to atheists on Reddit. This isn’t just PR-speak. I think he genuinely feels bad about what he did and wants to make things right. You can decide if he accomplishes that.” Source

(PZ on the shop owner’s apology) “No. Fuck him to the ground, let him be a lesson to others.” Source

(About Russell Blackford) “I think he’s just a lying fuckhead at this point.” Source

(About Matt Taylor) “The memorable image of the day of the Philae landing will always be This… Good work, Matt Taylor, Rosetta… It’s a demonstration that people can do amazing things, and that some of them are assholes. Powerful image, that.” Source

(About Bill Maher) “When you let assholes be the public face of atheism, it’s no wonder we have a bad reputation.” Source

(About Bill Maher) “I do not defend Bill Maher; I can’t stand him, I didn’t care for his movie, and think he’s a great example of the awful atheist.” Source

(About Bill Maher’s date) “He also showed up with an extremely attractive young woman who could have been his daughter, or even granddaughter, but was actually his date. She was pleasant to talk to, quite unlike her sugar daddy, and actually bothered to engage the table briefly in light conversation. But you could tell that Maher’s ideal woman was candy to decorate his arm in public.” Source

(About Jerry Coyne) “He really doesn’t have to work at drama, rage, and recrimination — his commenters do a fine job of that already, with his tacit permission.” Source

(About Peter Boghossian) “I’m beginning to think that his real beef is that he’s got no imagination, and his opponents manage to be far more creative in their insults than he is.” Source

(About Ann Marie Waters) “the nutter who’s demanding special attention be paid to one kind of domestic violence” Source

(About Abbie Smith) “For instance, I will not participate in any conference in which Abbie Smith is a speaker. If I’m invited, and later discover that she is also invited, I will politely turn down the offer. I could find myself spending a lot more time at home, which wouldn’t be bad at all, except that she doesn’t get invited out that often, and her coterie of slimy acolytes are virtual non-entities, too.” Source

(About DJ Grothe) “DJ Grothe appears to be an evasive jerk who rejects the solutions found in every other organization.” Source

(About DJ Grothe) “If you’re writing to the JREF, I hate to tell you this, but the publicly available address routes email directly to DJ Grothe’s desk, and you know what he’ll do to them.” Source

(About Ron Lindsay) “a director who seemed more interested in appeasing an obsessed gang of manic, moronic anti-feminist spammers who’d been flooding the twitter feed, and countering the purpose of the conference.” Source

(About Thunderf00t) “Yes, we want to make Thunderf00t a pariah in the atheist movement, and for good reason: he’s a dishonest scumbag.” Source

(About Thunderf00t) “Seriously, l’affaire Thunderf00t ended on our side once the slimy goatfucker was kicked out.” Source

(About ZenBuffy) “While I do think Zenbuffy is a narcisstic wanker — it’s not about you at all, lady, it’s about the guy who floods me with nonstop hate mail..” Source

(About Ben Radford) “My god. What a revolting narcissistic scumbag.” Source

(About Ben Radford’s lawyer) “His lawyer sent all this to me some time ago, as part of his effort to intimidate me, so I’m pretty sure this maneuver is just fine with his lawyer, J. Noble Dogshit or whoever.” Source

(About Ben Radford’s lawyer) “Apparently, Radford’s lawyer has a bit of a reputation as a rabid dog…there’s been some difficulty getting representation because everyone hates to go up against him and deal with the slime.” Source

2.3 Sources: Personal smears against dead individuals

(About Charles Darwin) “Darwin, sexist asshat” Source

(About Richard Feynmann) “being really good at physics or any other intellectual endeavor is not an excuse for being a reprehensible asshole.” Source

(About Ayn Rand) “Are you saying she wasn’t an atheist? No. I’m saying she was a rather crappy person… that the general term encompasses some awful people does not mean we’ve been given a pass to be awful ourselves.” Source

(About Christopher Hitchens) “on some subjects he was warm and humane and a true child of the Enlightenment. And on others, a bloodthirsty barbarian and a club-carrying primitive.” Source

(About Christopher Hitchens) “his politics were vile, he was a cheerleader for war, his ‘solutions’ for problems in the Middle East were little more than excuses for genocide.” Source

(About the suicide of Robin Williams) “thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white man to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people… Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Robin Williams to create such a spectacular distraction. No one wants to think the police might be untrustworthy.” Source

(About a woman making a racist comment) “She seems nice. She looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at nanu-nanu” Source

(About the suicide of Robin Williams) “I’m mainly feeling that I should have been more rude, because asking me to have been nicer about the dead famous guy is completely missing the point.” Source

2.4 Sources: Shanking and stabbing and other violent imagery

(About his blog, 2014) “Pharyngula is a hostile, aggressive place: we run hot, and I like it that way. It’s not going to be a good place for some people. And that’s perfectly OK, too…It’s a difference between this site and McEwan’s. McEwan would rather provide a sanctuary for the oppressed. I’m more interested in rhetorically arming and inflaming them.” Source

(About his blog, 2012) “The Absolute Law. I AM THE BOSS, and don’t you forget it. I have sole and absolute power here; I can ban you, I can destroy your comments, I can shut down whole threads. I am a being of caprice; I don’t have to justify anything I do… I will do as I will to make this place the kind of party I want to attend, and that’s all that matters. This law supercedes all other rules.” Source

(About his blog, 2011) “This is a rude blog. 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…” Source

(About drawing knives and flensing) “I hate that faux-Vulcan shit so many skeptics and atheists love to pull, but I’m not forbidding it — I encourage the commentariat here to instead draw their knives and flense it so thoroughly the dispassionate ass is feeling the pain in every nerve ending.” Source

(About shanking Thunderf00t) “Now Rebecca Watson shanks him in the kidneys and mocks him cruelly. Trigger warning for sad ex-paragon of anti-creationism being publicly exposed as a moral cretin.” Source

(About going for a meal in Seattle) “The watchword for the evening is “casual”. Pleasant conversation. Friendly discussion. No pressure, no worries. Don’t show up to pick a fight or we’ll pitch you off a pier.” Source

(After a priest died when carried away by balloons in a charity fundraiser) “I think this is my favorite newspaper headline yet… I am imagining a day when every priest in the world stands smiling beneath a great happy bobbing collection of many-colored balloons, and they all joyously loft themselves up, up into the sky… This will be my new dream. It will bring a smile to my face as I fall asleep. And as long as I’m dreaming, I’ll imagine myself with an ultralight aircraft and a BB gun, buzzing above a great Sargasso of wind-gathered balloons.” Source

(After watching God’s Not dead) “I’ve got to start carrying a knife now. Just so all you Christians know, if I’m in a fatal accident, and I’m lying in the street dying, and you’re not running over to stop the bleeding or otherwise physically help me, and you try to pull that prayer-and-conversion shit on me, I’m going to stab you. I’ll have nothing to lose, and you sure as hell don’t deserve to continue living. I don’t like violence, but I will make an exception for this one possible circumstance.” Source

(About William Lane Craig) “I’d rather get his words down in writing, where I can pin him down, stick a knife in the bastard, and twist it for a good long while. Longer and with more detail and rigor than is possible in a verbal tussle.” Source

2.5 Sources: Using ableist language despite saying he opposes it

PZ’s commenting rules include

“No splash damage. I have no problem with insults (except, not in the Lounge!), and encourage everyone to use vigorous and creative language. Except…I insist that you be precise and focused. Stilettos, not shotguns. There are classes of insults that rely on broad spectrum stereotypes to be insulting: racist, sexist, ableist, ageist slurs don’t just hit your target, they hit everyone in that group.” Source

Despite his stated opposition to ableist language, PZ regularly insults people using phrases associated with various handicaps.

(About sexism and misogyny) “it’s too common, and the people who are doing it aren’t some bizarre handicapped aberrant group, they’re people you wouldn’t look at twice if you saw them in the street.” Source

“How about a new rule: no idiots allowed in our parks?” Source

“This moron is basically saying that if most of the kids’ education is decently done, then they can afford to throw a few state-mandated lies at them.” Source

“But no matter how progressive the state might be, we’re still afflicted with horrible, demented people who run for office.” Source

Animal rights protesters are “bloody-minded lunatics.” Source

“Nevada seems to have more than its share of idiots.” Source

The US legal leadership “consists of brain-damaged, narrowly literal-minded amoral morons” Source

Michelle Bachmann is “one lunatic among a field of demented dwarfs.” Source

The Republican Party is “the fringe party of lunatics, demagogues, and irresponsible lackwits.” Source

“In Indiana, it’s not just the lawmakers who are idiots — it’s the media, too!” Source

“some moronic writer for the Telegraph who uses stereotypes to make generalizations.” Source

“there are now demented dingbats… implying that I’m some kind of hypocrite, because I have in the past been subject to an abortive false accusation.” Source

Judge Scalia is a “dangerous lunatic.” Source

“new idiots join in to scream about how you’re violating free speech, and besides, the same morons just come crawling back under new pseudonyms…” Source

“That student from Hell” who complained about her supervisor: “Who looks demented now?” Source

Bill O’Reilly is a “raving lunatic’” Source

2.6 Sources: Abuse and threats by PZ’s commenters

When PZ falsely claimed that I defend and provide a haven for rapists, and that the evidence was that people who post on another Internet Forum also comment on my blog, he added:

“Where did I say he should delete comments? I said I judge him by the company he keeps.” Source

I don’t agree with that approach. But what happens if we judge PZ by the company he keeps, meaning the commenters on his blog? Well, PZ encourages his commenters to be abusive. For example:

“I have no problem with insults (except, not in the Lounge!), and encourage everyone to use vigorous and creative language. Except…I insist that you be precise and focused. Stilettos, not shotguns.” Source

“This is a rude blog. 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…” Source

This has resulted in comments such as the following being published in the past:

“Go fucking die in a fire, Lion. And, no, I am not fucking kidding.” Source

“So John, if you are one of them, please pick up a dead porcupine and use it to floss your bowel. Then go die in a fire. Slowly.” Source

“You are a silly, ignorant, gobshite, tone trolling, vacuous, dumbfuck. You can put a three week old decaying porcupine dipped in tar and broken glass up your arse, sideways. – This is going to take something larger than the average porcupine.” Source

“However, the porcupines are still located to the left of the door as you leave. Grab on. Shove it where it will do the most good (to the entire world), and then go die in a fire. Slowly.” Source

“Oh, fuck olvlzl sideways with a rusty chainsaw. I am so tired of that prat.” Source

2.7 Sources: Personal smears by PZ’s commenters

“Saying Hitchens is racist is a statement of fact, not ‘failing to stick up for free speech’… He was just a loud atheist, and unfortunately quite a racist and sexist one.” Source

“The easy answer to PZ’s last two questions is that Sam Harris is racist.” Source

“That’s because you’re a sickening, appalling, dreadful, frighteningly ignorant racist, Harris.” Source

“If no one else is going to say it I will… Someone needs to tell Dawkins that if he’s not actually a child molester he’s dangerously close to wearing the uniform of one.” Source

“Are you fucking kidding? A racist misogynist piece of shit who thinks child molestation doesn’t count unless there’s rape or murder? That’s not “fucking good”. We can do better.” Source

“Dawkins and his rape cheerleaders can fuck a power socket.” Source

PZ did not remove any of these three smears about Richard Dawkins, while he banned another commenter, who was defending Richard, by telling them:

“Goodbye. We don’t need your petty resistance to any dissent from the sacred position of your great heroes around here. Fuck off.” Source

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{ 535 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jan Steen December 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm

This collecting of evidence only proves that you are an obsessed stalker, right?

2 Lsuoma December 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Great collection, Michael. Thanks for enacting the labor!

3 Jimbo December 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm

This is going to be an excellent resource. I predict it will be spread far and wide.

4 katamari Damassi December 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Michael. If there’s any justice, this column will be the first item that pops up when you google PZ Myers. How he or any if his toxic clique continue to get invitations to speak astounds me.

5 Phil Giordana FCD December 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Michael: please remind me from time to time not to get on your bad side.

😀

And again, well done. I’d almost be inclined to call it a deliberate tour de force!

6 Tezcatlipoca December 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Wow, PZ, being an instructor, should appreciate having his douche-bag antics, and those of his commentariat, listed with a reference section.

7 JetLagg December 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Every now and then a member of the atheist community mentions PZ, and I’m quick to give them a run down of the man’s history. This will be my go to resource from now on. Thanks muchly, Michael.

8 Luis Dias December 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Pretty sure that every single one of the FTBullies watching this are gleeing in the prospect of using this as further evidence of your “unstable mental” disorders and obsessions, that you are a stalker (exactly right, Jan), that the real problem here is how the Irish Atheists are still giving you any respect, how this is hurting atheists worldwide (feeelings!), etc.

It’s just beyond their empathic capabilities to understand just how terrible they all sound.

9 Young American December 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Steen, collecting data is not stalking… it’s research. It seems sad that you don’t know the difference.

10 Jeff Halmos December 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Myers is merely filling a hole, that of the atheist who acts like a creationist. I wouldn’t waste my time on him anymore.

11 Shatterface December 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

<i<Steen, collecting data is not stalking… it’s research. It seems sad that you don’t know the difference.

Jan’s being sarcastic at Myers’ and Benson’s expense.

12 Eskarina December 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

How to deconstruct PZ Myers!

I bow to you, Michael. It’s such a shame you have to waste your time on him.

13 Shatterface December 16, 2014 at 6:47 pm

This has resulted in comments such as the following being published in the past

There was also this charming threat to rape Richard Dawkins that Myers gave tacit approval of:

40. Usernames! ☞ ♭
19 November 2014 at 8:45 am
I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial, he said.
OMG, I am SOOOO going to grab that asshole in the crotch, look him in the eyes and say, “hey, sweetie! Let’s go get some coffee and you can unzip this toy.”
If he pulls away, I will say, “Oh, dear Muslima, don’t play hard to get! You know that only turns me on more!”
And then I’ll excuse myself, walk around the corner and puke my guts out for having sunk to his level.

Followed by a death threat:

69. Anthony K
19 November 2014 at 10:11 am
Hey, how’s about a kickstarter where money is raised to tie Dawkins up in duct tape and ship him off to confront ISIS for real, instead of tweeting shit about Rebecca Watson and pretending every tweet is a salvo at the Imams.
Fucking useless prick taking on Islam from the safety of $10,000 speaking engagements. Burn him.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/19/dismayingly-dawkins/

14 Shatterface December 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Meanwhile, elsewhere on FTB, Ophelia Benson takes advantage of the Sydney coffee house siege to kick the hostages:

The story says the people in the window are staff. Not even privileged rich coffee-sippers, but young people who staff the cafe.

http://www.freezepage.com/1418705765PFZWRCSBDJ

15 Larry Metcalfe December 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

This is a great post. Even though I already knew most of it it is really quite a shocking read seeing it all put together like this.

16 Matt Cavanaugh December 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm

1) Not only has Myers distanced himself from the skepticism movement, he has formally disavowed skepticism as a mode of inquiry. He labels as “hyper-skepticism” requests for evidence before believing claims;

2) Myers’ comment about stabbing Christians (quoted above), spurred by his viewing of an evangelical film, was immediately preceded by:

“Fuck me. All I felt was hatred. That was despicable.”

Given the venom dripping from this statement (“you sure as hell don’t deserve to continue living”), and in the context of Myers’ regular stream of hate- and violence-filled words, it seems overly charitable to describe this as merely “a joke.” Rather, these should be read as the true sentiments of an unstable, rage-filled, misanthropic man.

17 Shatterface December 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

It’s like there’s something missing from Myers and co. I’m not sure what it is – some mix of empathy and self-knowledge, maybe.

They just have this kind of… absence. The kind of thing that makes dogs whimper and horses cower away from alien bodysnatchers in Fifties B- movies.

If we knew what was missing we’d be somewhere further along in understanding what makes us human.

18 John Greg December 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I’ve been a so-called Slymepitter since its inception, and even so, I am somewhat gobsmacked by that list of Myers daring-do and heroic behaviours.

I mean, I’ve been there all along and had no doubts about Myers’s behaviour; nonetheless, when it is listed in such a clear and concise manner, with sources, he looks even worse than I thought.

And Young American at #9, Steen was being projectively ironically sarcastic.

19 AnonymousForAReason December 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Sorry Michael but it’s too late. You have burned your bridges with me and probably a lot of others. Many years ago I told you how dangerous Myers and his ilk were, I told you they are simply bad people. But you wouldn’t listen, you still live in this fantasy world where everyone lives together in harmony. It’s never going to happen Michael, some people are and always will be assholes.

The really annoying thing about all of this is that you have spent so much time listing all of this evidence (it isn’t even needed for anyone with sense) but you haven’t taken 2 minutes to write a note to everyone who you turned your back on to say that was wrong and you are sorry.

20 A Bear December 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

My own experience at Pharyngula that would fit in to your 1.4 Abuse and threats and smears by P.Z.’s commenters.
Tethys 7 Feb 2013 (snip)
And this is THUNDERDOME!!
*Breaks two liquor bottles and brandishes the jagged necks*
I WILL cut you abear, you stupid fucking troll.
I used no abusive or threatening language anywhere during this exchange, simply disagreeing with the “horde”. Instead of the person making the threat it was me that got banned!
Later, when I posted the particulars of this incident on another blog, PZ showed up in the comments and said I would be saved further threats by his insuring I would permanently be banned from commenting on his blog.
I’m sure he thought that was humorous, but when you consider how seriously he takes “harassment” and threats against his Skepchick friends it only goes to show what a monumental hypocrite he is.

21 Damion Reinhardt December 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm

This post is a deliberate tour-de-force.

For real though.

22 Phil Giordana FCD December 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Damion: I so beat you in comment #5!

23 Ashling O'Brien December 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

While I was aware of most of what Michael has outlined above, seeing it all laid out like this is actually quite shocking. What really strikes me is the level of violence in the language that is used. Michael describes this as unethical, I don’t think that adequately covers this level of vitriol.

24 Roger Ewebuns December 16, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Michael, what you listed would be more complete if you put up the quotes of Myers about Ray Comfort.

I posted on Pharyngula many years ago when his main ire was directed against this Ray Comfort. After a couple of months or so the blog just became too repetitive for me and I stopped reading it.

All of you were OK when he was doing what he is doing now, only he was doing it to the “right person” then.

The SlymePitters love to throw the term “Dunning–Kruger” around I would say that the “Peter-Principle” and with regard to the company in which he now finds himself, the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” seem more appropriate.

With regard to Richard Dawkins I think that Myers is just jealous because Dawkins is the celebrity that Myers wishes to be.

With regard to Christopher Hitchens I have my own axe to grind just because he called it as he saw it, but with regard to Myers I think he is jealous of the disestablishmentarianism which Hitchens tried to pursue, and successfully – to the extent any one individual can succeed against the inertia of apathy, with regard to religion and society.

As far as I am concerned, Sam Harris is a used car salesman who really has nothing. With regard to any horsemen he is a hanger on to the tail of a pony at best.

With regard to Daniel Dennett I am extremely biased. He reminds me too much of my favorite Philosophy Professor at Glasgow University, Professor Bell. His son was in my year there and one story he told was when they moved to Bearsden in Glasgow that the neighbours were calling him a Jew.

One Summer morning he went into their back yard wearing a bathrobe when the wife of their neighbour was in her back yard, he called over to her and opened his robe and he was bare naked underneath and shouted over to her, “See, I am not Jewish!” (he still had his foreskin).

I loved being in Professor Bell’s lectures and almost always they would go on for hours after he had finished where he stood toe to toe with all of us lobbing questions and criticisms at him and he would put us in our place in a way that it was not so much that he was right, but rather that we had not thought enough about what we had said before we opened our mouths.

Myers, as far as I can see, has never had a go at Dennett because Dennett is above the fray.

Myers is in the role of the Prisoner’s Dilemma because he had to decide where his gain was going to be and what his win would be if he threw people such as myself (an atheist only and I am and not because I am a member of any group) under the bus to consolidate a smaller group which would acknowledge him (reward) for his efforts.

His blog now has fewer readers and contributors; however those readers and contributors pay him the tribute he feels should have been his due.

He was a mediocre fish in a large pool and now he is a big fish in a small pool. He is not however a leader, he is just a very vocal follower of a parade which has passed him by. He always seems to be trying to run to catch up nowadays and his efforts to be relevant far outweigh his efforts at any form of personal integrity.

Myers reached the level of his incompetence when he stopped criticizing creationists and considered himself a leader of atheists. I don’t know about any other atheists here, but I don’t consider myself (as a life long atheist) to have any leaders. I do find it refreshing when I see views I have held for decades finally voiced by others, outside myself, in public, but that is about as far as it goes with regard to my solidarity with regard to my non belief in a deity.

Michael I am not going to agree with you with regard to “Social Justice”. Nobody is good or bad just because they belong to a certain group. There are good people and bad people in every group and elevating groups just means that the bad people get to have skirts to hide behind.

I will take people as I find them, irregardless of what they profess to follow. EVERYBODY is not one of me – I am fallible and because I realise that in me I accept it in others.

I am very sympathetic to what you have written, you are younger than I and have been a conscious atheist for less time. you lost your partner as did I, only my partner died three months pregnant after we had been trying to have a kid for about six years – and to the SlymePitters, yes I did know which hole to put my penis into; and it was not a grudge pregnancy, nobody had it in for the father.

In many respects, Myers is more to be pitied than scorned because he has not achieved the impact his advocacy has given him with regard to the accolade and attention he obviously thinks he deserves.

There is a poem that Robert Burns wrote about the path that you and I travel, which PZ Myers has abandoned and it is called, “A Man’s A Man For A’ That”:

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man’s a Man for a’ that:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

25 piero December 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I echo Larry and John: seeing all this dirt neatly exhibited is jarring. And I agree with Eskarina: it is a shame that so much of Michael’s time has to be devoted to exposing the moral decay within the social justice branch of the A/S movement. But it is an inescapable necessity; we cannot afford to lose credibility when there are still so many horrors perpetrated daily by religious fanatics. Above all, a secular movement has to be inspired by the hope of making the world a better place, and I fully agree with Michael’s approach in this respect.

26 Simon Gardner December 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm

This is very, very boring indeed. I killed myself before I got to the end.

27 Henry Fitzgerald December 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Having read through comments to this and previous posts, I feel I’m in a bit of a minority: I didn’t know P.Z. Myers from a bar of soap until this year (I must have seen countless references, starting with Dawkins’s in The God Delusion, but they would have whizzed right by me) – so I don’t have any sense of disillusionment. When I encountered him, he was already an obvious shock jock.

I recognised in him something of a writer I’d really liked as a teenager – Harlan Ellison; and here I’m talking about his essays, not just fiction. Eventually, the constant rage bored and repelled me, until I couldn’t recall how I’d ever liked it; now I just feel embarassed, and want to say something like, “Well, teenagers are like that.”

But I’d like to offer a charitable explanation, not so much of myself, but of how P.Z. Myers got to attain his current popularity. The first component of this is not charitable: I don’t think he’s a rather crude and unsubtle thinker – but as a writer he plays to his strengths (sledgehammer not rapier). His posts tend to be not just violent but short (Harlan never-shut-up Ellison kept going with the rage for longer, which is probably more wearying). And take a continuous sample from his blog, ignore all rhetorical devices, and concentrate instead on the single, broad-picture message of each, and the amount of disagreement one might reasonably have with him is smaller than you’d expect.

My thesis: many people don’t actually read Myers. That is, even his readers often don’t read him. They read him as one might an Australian-style newspaper editorial: doing the minimum work required to the broad gist, skipping over unpleasant prose, trying not to hurt their eyes too much, immediately forgetting anything that sounds too ridiculous. Another factor that doesn’t get mentioned enough: the layout and functionality of FTB is dreadful. The site is painful to use and look at.

If otherwise reasonable people didn’t notice how awful Myers was being, I think there these are all mitigations. Pharyngula forces you to be both charitable and inattentive, if you are to get through the experience of reading it at all.

28 Henry Fitzgerald December 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Sorry for that mess with the italics.

29 Bartacus December 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Wow, as others have mentioned, it is quite remarkable to see all this material collated so thoroughly, thank you for that Michael, impressive work.
Myers really seems to be the ultimate internet tough guy, but reading all this makes me wonder about his state of mind somewhat, is he a drinker?

30 Roger Ewebuns December 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm

@John Greg, nomen est nomen :)

31 Pacopicopiedra December 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Sorry if someone’s said this previously, but FTB should just be renamed Mos Eisley. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy…

32 Crackity Jones December 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Bravo, Michael.

Ophelia’s comments are a classic example of how the “social justice” mindset has overridden their thought processes. Whenever some event occurs, usually a tragic one (Sydney killings, Robin Williams’ suicide) they are immediately trying to tie a “social justice” Fox News style angle on it. Hence, Ophelia’s hopeless ramblings about “privilege” (a fecking trivial concept in the light of the breaking news event), and proceeding to make herself look like a heartless, nasty, vindictive, unthinking, non-skeptic troll. They will continue to step in the s**t and make these horrific blunders because they are sooooo desperate to apply the “social justice” prism on all news and world events. Expose and ridicule them every time they do this. We will wear them down.

I have noticed that Theophontes (and a couple of others) is using the Sydney cafe killings as an opportunity to have a snide-ridden go at you. Sick comments from a sick mind, on a blog (Butterflies and Wheels) which has disgraced itself (again!) over the last few days.

Of course, it could be a desperate ploy by Theo to derail any discussion of Sydney and the privileged coffee-sippers. He is trying to distract attention away from Ophelia’s faux-pas, by desperately trying to attack you.

Trust me, Mick. These exposures have rattled PZ and some of the other FTBullies. They re tearing their hair out.

33 Lsuoma December 16, 2014 at 10:50 pm

John – I think that Roger guy is trying to be about 5% more subtle than Phil McCracken or Phil McCavity or some such made up name.

34 Crackity Jones December 16, 2014 at 10:52 pm

BTW, if any “social justice” conference, or skeptic/atheist conference, invites PZ as a speaker, I will be sending the organisers links to Michael’s pages, especially this one.

Imagine the cognitive dissonance in the mind of @realskepticon (the organiser of Skepticon who waved away criticism about PZ being at his event).

35 Lancelot Gobbo December 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Michael, you touched upon Myer’s denigration of ZenBuffy for suggesting the possibility that Dennis Markuze might be suffering a mental illness and that she felt it was unfair to stigmatize him, and spoke up as someone who had suffered herself. This wasn’t the only time he used psychiatric language as a slur. If you look at any of the many threads about Markuze you will see terms such as crazy, schizophrenic, lunatic, madman being used very loosely. In fact Myers has often used psychiatric diagnoses as terms of abuse, and his Flock have happily followed suit (blithely ignoring the fact that they will accuse someone of being ‘ableist’ for far less stigmatizing terminology). Reminding them of that doesn’t go down too well as I discovered in the thread mentioning ZenBuffy. I’ll say yet again what I said to them in that thread:

I’m not someone with a huge amount of sympathy for running the world according to politically correct guidelines, but some of the things written in this thread will be cringe-worthy one day. Most people never meant any real harm when they called people kikes, queers, fat, stupid, wogs or nig-nogs, but they were doing harm and now we wouldn’t call people by those epithets. If, one day, we come to regard calling someone crazy or psychotic in the same light (and I hope we do) we shall feel ashamed for pointing fingers at those who did not ask for their illness, did not deserve it, and may be unable to help themselves out of it. The Canadian Psychiatric Association convened a working group on stigma, and you might like to read a
report* on one of their surveys. I thought the comment “Stop calling it stigma. Call it what it is. Discrimination!” was telling. Some of the opinionated bullies up above should be made to read it.

*_http://www.cpa-apc.org/media.php?mid=1437

36 Pogsurf December 17, 2014 at 12:08 am

Michael, firstly well done, your cataloguing of Myers sad decline is amazing. I don’t know where you get patience from.

Secondly, I agree with your point that atheist, skeptical and social justice organisations should distance themselves from Myers. In general I would say that I am against no-platforming people and organisations with controversial views, but in this case I believe we are dealing with someone who has been given many opportunities to co-operate, but has utterly failed to defend his position in any kind of reasonable way. Respectable organisations should have no place for those who choose to use their voice to smear others. You will be aware that I contacted many of these organisations in 2013 with respect to Myers’ behaviour, and in particular the IHEU. Your readers may be interested in an email I received then from the Communications Director, Bob Churchill:

Dear Martin

Thank you for your concern.

The International Humanist Award is given for work over an extended period of time, and people with very different styles can be recognized. This does not mean that we endorse any and all comments made in the very large output of a personal blog.

I do agree that we should take seriously the language we (and others) use and the effects it may have. And I note that (this example notwithstanding – which as you say has now been superceded, perhaps for the very reasons you mention) Myers himself is well-known for championing language-sensitivity on matters including sex and violence, sexism, and so on.

Kind regards

Bob Churchill

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)

Reminds me of the old saw that all we need for the triumph of evil is for good men to look away.

AnonymousForAReason wrote:

Sorry Michael but it’s too late. You have burned your bridges with me and probably a lot of others. Many years ago I told you how dangerous Myers and his ilk were, I told you they are simply bad people. But you wouldn’t listen, you still live in this fantasy world where everyone lives together in harmony. It’s never going to happen Michael, some people are and always will be assholes.

The really annoying thing about all of this is that you have spent so much time listing all of this evidence (it isn’t even needed for anyone with sense) but you haven’t taken 2 minutes to write a note to everyone who you turned your back on to say that was wrong and you are sorry.

I disagree with both of AnonymousForAReason’s points. Firstly Myers has a choice: he can let this be his legacy, or he can choose to make amends. We hold out hope that any transgressor can make amends, whilst they still have breath in their body, because that is the humane thing to do.

Secondly, just like anyone else, at any given time Michael knows what he knows, and doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Myers is a bully. I can say this with conviction, because he tried to bully me, and then I observed him bullying others. I had had my doubts for a long time, but I only really knew for sure when he tried to bully me. A lot of arguments amongst people are of the ‘he said, she said’ type, and it is very difficult for an onlooker to observe and really work out who is in the right and who is in the wrong. But when that bully turns on you, it crystallises, and you are able to form a judgement. Michael did what any skeptic should do, he kept an open mind. The amazing thing is that when it happened to Michael he was able to keep his cool and document Myers’ transgressions in such a dispassionate way. He does a service to all the people who Myers has abused over the years by documenting this so thoroughly. I know that I haven’t always kept my temper when dealing with Myers, Michael shows us all the way to do it.

37 Paul Douville December 17, 2014 at 12:19 am

Well done.

Almost makes up for your earlier thrashing of Thunderf00t. I imagine you now realize that you had misjudged that situation. In this case I think you’re right on the money. PZ is a clown – a harmful clown.

38 Crackity Jones December 17, 2014 at 12:41 am

Lancelot Gobbo: In fact Myers has often used psychiatric diagnoses as terms of abuse, and his Flock have happily followed suit (blithely ignoring the fact that they will accuse someone of being ‘ableist’ for far less stigmatizing terminology). Reminding them of that doesn’t go down too well as I discovered in the thread mentioning ZenBuffy.

Similar to how the BlockBot admins really don’t like it when you refer them to Rebecca Watson’s ableism. They are suddenly not so hot in doing their day jobs!

39 ConcentratedH2O, OM December 17, 2014 at 2:51 am

Just another expression of thanks, Michael.

40 Bad Girl Bex December 17, 2014 at 3:00 am

Hi,

I’m fairly new to your blog and only recently learning of this whole revolting descent into impotent rage, that Myers has managed to publicly embarrass himself over. As an atheist, antitheist and skeptic I don’t subscribe to the notion of anyone becoming a ‘leader’ per se – be they self-imposed or unilaterally appointed. But I do respect the knowledge shared, the opinions published and the positions posited by those who one might consider a ‘big hitter’ or prominent character among fellow atheists/antitheists, skeptics.

I understand that we are all human with our own particular foibles and faults and that no one is immune from criticism or the occasionally controversial opinion. My admiration and respect for said people comes from what I believe to be at the core of their character; what it is that truly motivates them. As such I have long admired Hitchens & Dawkins and am recently learning more from the works of Dennet, Harris and Boghosshian among others. I find their objectives to be decent and their desire to bring an end to the prevailing, pernicious aspects of religion, thoroughly admirable.

My recent discovery of the myriad You Tube atheist commentators out there is also something I’m having to navigate using my own internal gauge to ascertain who is coming to the discussion from a place of genuine interest, care and concern. My tastes and choices when it comes to those I view will probably be at odds with what many others choose to follow, but I like to think that the people I invest my time and attention with, are those motivated by a greater sense of honesty and integrity.

Everything I have learned of Myers thus far has vacillated between being disappointingly crass and disgustingly vile. The man comes across as nothing more than a spotlight hungry, venomous, self-serving hypocrite, who tries to use his persona as an ‘intellectual heavyweight’ to disregard, belittle and defame those who oppose him in any fashion. His desperate attempts to cosy up to the likes of Rebecca Watson et al also appears to be his final attempt to cling onto any notion of being a ‘somebody’ using the trope de jour, to further his own self-promotion.

Thank you for taking the time to put together this comprehensive reference piece, detailing various pieces of evidence that merely give credence to the opinion I and many others, already had of this obnoxious, blustering buffoon, who we all hope will bow out of the public eye, sooner rather than later.

Your efforts in compiling this are much appreciated.

Kind regards

Bex

41 franc December 17, 2014 at 4:12 am

Erratum –

//He has also agreed that the atheist movement has a white supremacist logic.//

It’s actually pudgy, pink, middle class, entitled white supremacist logic.

Stop smearing racists. They’re nowhere near as bad as Myers (or Watson).

42 Bill December 17, 2014 at 4:24 am

PZMyers and co. are social justice warriors. They follow a cultural marxist ideology and use shaming language as a means of shutting down debate and discourse.

You now see what has been happening to GamerGate, as well as other groups who have had the misfortune of having these professional victims invade their space and claim to be oppressed.

43 thin-skinned pitter December 17, 2014 at 4:49 am

I’m a little slow, but did some with a last name that is something like “rump of female sheep” really throw “nomen est nomen” at all pitters?

44 Sigmun Lloyd December 17, 2014 at 6:53 am

You people should leave your mother’s basements once in a while. Michael – you are an epic muppet.

45 HuwOS December 17, 2014 at 7:12 am

Hadn’t heard of PZ Myers before. This supposedly damning list makes me think I might quite like him. It does seem he was marginally unfair to the shopkeeper who apologised the rest seems to be made up of things you clearly failed to understand or chose to misinterpret.

46 Larry Metcalfe December 17, 2014 at 7:22 am

@Sigmun Lloyd, 47

Perhaps you could furnish us with just a little bit of the reasoning you used to determine that Michael is an ‘epic muppet’?

47 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 7:24 am

Hadn’t heard of PZ Myers before. This supposedly damning list makes me think I might quite like him. It does seem he was marginally unfair to the shopkeeper who apologised the rest seems to be made up of things you clearly failed to understand or chose to misinterpret.

So you claim that you hadn’t heard of Myers before, yet you also claim that you understand everything better than Michael. This implies at least that you must know about everybody who was abused by Myers, and yet somehow you had never heard of the man himself. Not very believable, to say the least.

48 Al Stefanelli December 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

Well done, Michael. Well done, indeed.

49 Shatterface December 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

Hadn’t heard of PZ Myers before. This supposedly damning list makes me think I might quite like him.

If that’s true then you you show all the symptoms of end stage pharyngulism. I doubt there’s anything anyone can do for you here.

It does seem he was marginally unfair to the shopkeeper who apologised the rest seems to be made up of things you clearly failed to understand or chose to misinterpret.

Maybe you can use your self-confessed ignorance of all-things Myers to explain why violent sexual threats against Dawkins are perfectly acceptable?

Why do you think rape is okay against Dawkins? Is it some subtle distinction between ‘raping up’ and ‘raping down?’

50 Shatterface December 17, 2014 at 8:37 am

You people should leave your mother’s basements once in a while. Michael – you are an epic muppet.

Maybe you should reflect that the majority of people outside the US don’t have basements.

Even your insults are based on ethnocentric preconceptions.

51 Minnow December 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

On the subject of generosity, it is interesting to see Ophelia Benson demanding that her nasty comment about differentiating between effete ‘latte sipping’ victims of terrorism and the more ideologically acceptable proletarian ‘apron-wearers’ ( who presumably drink coffee, in a proper blue collar fashion) be interpreted generously: perhaps poorly worded but merely reflecting her human, all-too-human compassion for the downtrodden. And if the same comment had been made by, say, Richard Dawkins? Exactly.

52 Dave Allen December 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

On the subject of generosity, it is interesting to see Ophelia Benson demanding that her nasty comment about differentiating between effete ‘latte sipping’ victims of terrorism and the more ideologically acceptable proletarian ‘apron-wearers’ ( who presumably drink coffee, in a proper blue collar fashion) be interpreted generously:

I’m confused by the whole thing – I’ve never associated being a customer at a coffee joint with being a bourgeois oppressor before.

Is it some sort of cultural thing? Are you only allowed into US coffee shops if you have a salary like a telephone number or something?

53 Phil Giordana FCD December 17, 2014 at 10:16 am

I have instant coffee at home, and an Italian coffee-maker for when I feel really posh. Saves all the hassles of coffee shops and terrorism. And hipsters with laptops working on they’re groundbreaking novel in which a brave young writer has to face incredible dangers and unfathomable odds to finally prove that they’re the new Social Justice messiah.

So, instant coffee it is.

54 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

Have the Myers apologists already accused Michael of being a tone troll?

Like religious people, which in a sense they are, the SJWs have this convenient store of put downs and dismissive phrases that in their warped minds are valid substitutes for arguments. “Tone troll” is only one of many. “Intent is not magic”, is another example. Even logic itself will be ridiculed by calling you a “Vulcan” if you dare to use a logical argument that they don’t like. Which designation, when you think about it, is in itself illogical. After all, the archetypical Vulcan, Mr. Spock, is portrayed as a pure and noble character, a paragon of morality. Why would you equate a rape apologist or a tool of the Patriarchy with Mr. Spock? But then, cognitive dissonance is one of the hallmarks of religious thinking.

As for Myers himself; he is no doubt going to “double down”, to use another SJW meme. He is so predictable. All ranting demagogues are.

55 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

A charitable interpretation of a nasty remark is fine when the person is not known for habitually making nasty remarks.

56 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

@Dave Allen,

I’m confused by the whole thing – I’ve never associated being a customer at a coffee joint with being a bourgeois oppressor before.

Someone needs to check his privilege.

57 Dave Allen December 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

Someone needs to check his privilege.

Right after I finish my grande mocha frappuccino.

58 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

Jealous now. I’ll alert Ophelia.

59 HH December 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

Pogsurf, you said in comment #39
“I disagree with both of AnonymousForAReason’s points. Firstly Myers has a choice: he can let this be his legacy, or he can choose to make amends. We hold out hope that any transgressor can make amends, whilst they still have breath in their body, because that is the humane thing to do.”

Just a personal opinion but I think that sentiment is the cause of considerable harm. I should say that I don’t want to attribute any extremis of this view to you Pogsurf so the following is meant as a general comment rather than a direct response to you.

It seems to me that these days that people are less and less expected to bear the consequences of their actions. It is little surprise with this kind of thinking that more and more people seem to think that apologising automatically undoes all harm their actions have wrought. Why should anyone fear to wreak havoc when everything can be made ok again with a mea culpa?
I should also point out that I am not suggesting that forgiveness is a bad thing, I just think we take the idea a little to far sometimes. Some actions should result in long term consequences.

You also wrote
“Secondly, just like anyone else, at any given time Michael knows what he knows, and doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”

An observations. There were many people who were pointing to the ugly tactics and hypocrisy of Meyers while he enjoyed Michael’s support. If you see no fault in Michael not heeding those people then, you must extend the same courtesy to those who refuse to recognise Meyers’ wrongheadedness now.

60 HH December 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

@Micheal Nugent,

You make much of charitable interpretations of people’s words and works but it seems that your own willingness to be charitable is selective. In your post about the Thunderf00t video, you wrote this:

“These are articles encouraging people to behave in an ethical, compassionate way towards the women in our community, and to stand alongside those women when they face verbal or physical threats either online or in real life. What possible reason could TF have to be sickened by these appeals?”

In response to Thunderf00t saying this:

“The problem is that many in leadership positions have managed to get themselves bullied or cajoled into this bullshit PC appeasement position by people who are conspicuous in that they proudly label themselves as feminists.”

The issues that I would see with your response is that
a) You have clearly de-contextualised Thunderf00ts irritation at what he terms “bullshit PC appeasement”. when you ask the question “What possible reason could TF have to be sickened by these appeals?” as though Thunderf00t is bothered by the appeals in and of themselves. He had gone to labours at this point to state his position that the hatred directed at women was a wildly overblown issue. He was clearly annoyed that prominent people in the movement where all coming out to condemn this behaviour furthering the idea that this was a large problem in the Atheist/Sceptic Movement. Might as well ask an opponent of Stalin why they object to workers owning the means of production.

Imagine is there were instead a slew of articles and statements condemning racism and the need to combat it in the atheist/sceptic movement. Very few people would disagree with the sentiment but if these articles and statements are coming on the back of a few people stirring up undue concern and vastly overstating the presence of racism in the community. If you felt strongly that some people were steering this agenda (incidentally a group dedicated to promoting POC in atheism who focus considerable attention on racism) and prominent leaders were uncritically enabling the narrative and you were sickened by this (it is after all supposed to be a community of sceptics); how would you feel if someone were asking why you would be opposed to such noble goals like combating racism? Would that strike you as a fair question given the context?

b) By doing (a)) you imply that Thunderf00t is bothered by the idea that people would want to stop hatred being directed at women.
This is a back-handed smear.

You further hammered home this interpretation with this
“Even if everything else in his video was 100% accurate, even if the people he is attacking were actually worse than he believes them to be, TF should still support appeals for people to speak out against hate directed at women. That is is a very basic, rock-bottom, minimalistic ethical position that he should be able to publicly support alongside his other concerns about some people’s behavior.”

This is bordering on mendacious.
His entire point was that a mountain was being made out of a molehill and you want him to maintain that position whilst simultaneously praising the mountain’s construction.

In the same piece you take Thunderf00t to task for taking PZ Meyers literally when he said
“For instance, the Internet community of atheists is racked with these paroxysms of argument over, of all things, the status of women. We’re trying to decide whether women are fuck toys and eye candy for the privileged white men, or whether we are colleagues together in this movement. And I would have said some time ago: all that’s easy, that’s settled, we know the answer is that they are equal partners in this effort. But surprisingly, that debate is going on on the Internet right now. I guess misogyny is not the sole prerogative of Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. There are also some atheists that feel this way.”

To which TF said

“Look I don’t know whose bright idea it was to get these guys to talk at critical thinking type conferences, but what he is saying here is so outrageously detached from reality. It’s not even a strawman. It simply bullshit. It’s an outrageous fiction, told to conjure up this bogeyman that there is a great faction of the secular community that argues that women are fuck toys and eye candy for privileged white men. Okay maybe that’s unfair. Maybe there’s a tiny fraction that think that women are fuck toys and eye candy for privileged white men.”

You don’t seem to willing to apply the same interpretation to TF as you were suggesting Meyer’s be granted. It seems to me that TF was suggestion that the framing of the disagreement (even hyperbolized) was so distant from the actual argument that it wasn’t even a strawman. To Illustrate what I mean, try the following.

Describe what Meyers was exaggerating about. What argument was occurring in the atheist community that could even be hyperbolized into Meyer’s statement? Was it in any shape or form representative of the argument he was alluding to. Meyer’s hyperbole here was nothing should of a mass smear. TF responded with Meyer’s own hyperbolic language.

I don’t want you to read this as some form of attack. I admire your approach in general and, as it seems to me, your sincere intentions when it comes to accurately stating facts and I would agree with some of your criticisms of TF. However, you seem unaware of when you are guilty of the kinds of things you go to considerable lengths to point out in others. In my opinion you have a tendency to read with pedantic literalism when it suits and with charity and interpretation at other times.

When PZ said you were providing a haven for rapists, did he really mean that all the commenters he didn’t like were literally rapists or was he employing hyperbole?

61 Kirbmarc December 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

If you see no fault in Michael not heeding those people then, you must extend the same courtesy to those who refuse to recognise Meyers’ wrongheadedness now.

If all they do was thinking that Myers was in the right, when and if they will change their mind I’m not going to dwell too much on their past. For a brief period, when all I knew about Myers was his support for atheism, secular ethics and LGBT causes, I thought of him as being on my side.

When people said that he was being harassed by trolls I thought they were talking about actual trolls (which aren’t exactly rare on the Internet), not simply people who politely disagreed with him.

It’s only when I read his attacks and was exposed to his peculiar brand of radical Social Justice philosophy that I rejected him.

Some people fall more easily for his tactics. I’m not going to blame them for being relatively more gullible than me.

Of course if they engage in some obviously unethical behavior (threats, doxxing, smears, etc.) they should be held responsible for what they’ve done. But simply siding with PZ Myers against his critics isn’t unethical.

Has Nugent ever threatened, doxxed or smeared Thunderfoot and others who told him about Myers’ wrongdoing or has he simply refused to believe them then and has changed his mind now?

62 Phil Giordana FCD December 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

HH:

regarding your latest (#63) there’s a lot of things I agree with regarding TF’s treatment by Michael.

With a caveat: at the time he posted about it.

I’m in no position to judge, but I’m ready to bet at least a pint of bitter that Michael’s stance may have changed on this issue. I’m more than happy to see Michael take a stand on the issues at hand right now, I won’t begrudge him for putting aside other past issues that may need addressing at some point.

63 Aneris ✻ December 17, 2014 at 11:55 am

Jan Steen wrote: Like religious people, which in a sense they are, the SJWs have this convenient store of put downs and dismissive phrases that in their warped minds are valid substitutes for arguments.

(1) It works because they aren’t arguing with you, but for their own audience and they accept these phrases and that’s all it needs. Hence it’s futile to complain that they don’t follow the rules of decent communication since they don’t communicate with you. Outsiders are mere foils who provide the contrast against which they can posture as the “good people” towards their own Flock™.

(2) The phrases a connected to more elaborate stories and in a sense, they create the “opposition” when they are invoked. Consider the “I ride with you” hashtag, while noble it also suggests that the society in Australia will mete out punishment at random Muslimas who happen to be on the train. Suddenly society seems threatening. Maybe it’s justified, maybe it will worry Muslims more that others feel they need special protection however suddenly the threat is visible.

(3) The stories which are connected to the phrases are tuned towards “feeler” personality types, which I strongly suspect is yet another fault line of the Rifts™. Note that the sides aren’t symmetrical, it’s more one faction vs “the rest”. There is good evidence for a strong “Feeler” audience: “hyperskepticism” which is effectively a declaration against the “Thinker” personality type. Spock “Straw Vulcan” is a negative role model, as you listed. Then there was an outrage when Richard Dawkins mentioned logic and reason at some point. They are also explicitly against the “devil’s advocate” despite that some personality types (also Thinker spectrum) learn intuitively by pitching arguments against each other. There are strong appeals to emotions in their language. Solidarity is seen as an overriding concept and they have a focus on the “ought” over the “is”, which ranges from dislike of “dictionary atheism” and it’s value-less musings and perhaps why they reject Evolutionary Psychology for they believe the findings might be counterproductive to the ideological aims.

There are resouces on the net what the differences are, just in a nutshell: Feelers aren’t more emphatic, and Thinkers aren’t more intelligent. I also like to stress that I don’t buy fully into Myers-Briggs, but think it has utility.

(4) The phrases are effective Thought-Terminating Clichés that are meant to shut down the discussion and bolt their ideological framework into place. It’s very interesting to see how each has a purpose and how these phrases cover every angle and possible rubuttal. For people interested in rhetorics and skepticism, there is a lot of mileage in just observing the structures.

(A) “You Are Making All About Yourself” terminates the discussion when the interloctor needs to answer several times to the incoming Deliberate Offense Gish Gallops.

(B) “You Are Obsessive” is the counterpart that terminates the argument when a single response is throughout. Nobody knows why exactly, but the conversation simply ends there, too.

(C) “Mansplaining”, “Whitesplaining” dismisses any argument instantly, and terminates it there. The story is here that someone has “lived experience” and it cannot be rebutted of someone who cannot have the same experience. The subjective is held in higher regard (feeler personality again), and there is a postmodernist or cognitive relativist mindset that locks into place. Anyway, you’re wrong. It terminates here.

(D) “Check Your Privilege” is a catch all thought terminating cliché, works because the argument maker is declared to be an “oppressor”, someone with privileges and they can’t understand the problem for the same reason as in C.

(E) “You’re Hyper-Skeptical” originally comes from the frustration of having to explain the most basic things, however it was pushed further and became a blanket dismissal of anything skeptical if not desired in the context. Again, terminates the argument.

(F) “Tone Troll” and “Concern Troll” declares the person a troll for requesting civility. Seeing an interlocutor as a troll again terminates any meaningful conversation.

(G) “Justified Anger” is a supportive rationalisation that excuses almost any behaviour, and also why the “Tone Troll” is wrong.

(H) “Shut Up and Listen” suggests that the person hasn’t immersed themselves in the proper Social Justice Warriorism 101 reading material, you guess it: end of argument. Go back to re-education!

(I) “That’s a Micoaggression” is a borrowed concept which can be used when someone demands sources, or evidence. It is somehow a discrimmination to not know the authoritative sources that explain what Teh Patriarchy International Eternal™ is up to lately.

(J) “The Standard You Walk Past Is The Standard You Accept” popularized by Ms Watson and a genuine Kafkatrap, that is, by failing to care about whatever the social justice warrior has declared to be of import, you are somehow responsible as well for whatever heinous thing they have found. Michael Nugent didn’t address their Whataboutery regards Voldemort (whew that’s cryptic jargon here), hence he is somehow responsible for it.

(K) Double-Think 1: “Rape Culture” vs “Sex Positive” — outgroup does the former and when the identical (or worse) thing is done by the ingroup, it’s the latter.

(L) Double Think 2: “Silencing” vs “Freeze Peach” if it concerns them, they scream they’re silenced, when it concerns some “opponent” they point out that nobody is really muzzled since they can tweet or blog somewhere if they want to…

(M) “Dear Leader” or “Leader Worship” and similar ideas are curiously designed to protect their own opinion leaders, in their “safe space” where top-down hierarchies actually exist, while pretending that the criticism directed at them is only motivated by protecting the opponents leader. It’s another ad hominem fallacy. Of courese: terminates the criticism.

Most of these move the “interlocutor” into one of few designated corners: misogynist, racist, supremacist, ableist, sexist. They are essentialist categories, in accordance with an overall platonistic and heavy “narrative” thinking (identitity politics overall seem to ascribe essentialist features to members of some category). For excample, if “mansplaining” works, then the target becomes a sexist or misogynist or MRA (and almost nobody knew what that even means). End Of Argument.

The big question is: How is this possible in an atheist-skeptics movement?

The Wiki Site on Thought Terminating Clichés is quite nice, see the 8 points there: “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism” _en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_Reform_and_the_Psychology_of_Totalism

Kafkatrapping detailed, again:
_esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

Deliberate Offense Gish Gallop
_rationalwiki.org/wiki/Deliberate_offense
_rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

When Challenged
_rationalwiki.org/wiki/Deliberate_ignorance

64 Phil Giordana FCD December 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

The good news is that most, if not all, of those rhetorical tactics don’t have as much hold as they used to.

The bad news is that those same rhetorical tactics have managed to consequently diminish the meaning of important words such as “rape”, “assault”, “harassment”, “bigot”, “sexist”, “racist”, “misogynist” and many more, at the same time diminishing the actual experiences of people who have been subjected to them.

Again, well done SJWs.

65 Steven Carr December 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Phil is correct.

Myers has so devalued rape accusations that he now regards it simply as a defense mechanism to state that people who are criticising him are rapists, or providing a haven for rapists.

He just throws out libellous, malicious rape accusations as a smear tactic to discredit the person he is responding to.

I can’t imagine what a genuine rape victim must think when learning that Myers now regards rape accusations as merely a useful tool to besmirch the reputation of other people.

66 Jan Steen December 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

@Aneris,

Thorough as usual. You must be obsessed (see what I did there?).

I think it’s time for some counter-rhetoric. There’s only one rule: if you use any of the standard SJW phrases (“check your privilege”, “you’re mansplaining”, etc.) then you have demonstrated that you are not an honest interlocutor and therefore whatever you say next will be dismissed. It will be like rhetorically shutting the door in the face of a Jehovah’s Witness.

67 Aneris ✻ December 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

@Jan Steen
See how that worked for Ron Lindsay. He tried to address that, got a lot of flak and was subsequently replaced with a doppelgänger. Now would be the time to use the momentum to get together.

PS: I should have used up some Obsession Fuel to spellcheck properly…

68 Crackity Jones December 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Sigmun Lloyd: You people should leave your mother’s basements once in a while. Michael – you are an epic muppet.

Do you need help getting back to Pharyngula? I can find someone to hold your hand on the way!

PS – Aneris, ironic that you quote RationalWiki. That is a site whose neutrality is now in deep serious question given its support of Social Justice bullshit, and its tendency to ignore every single negative aspect of the SJWs. I asked the RationalWiki Twitter account when they would be updating PZ Myers’ page, detailing some of his abuse and hypocrisy, but was met with Rebecca Watson-style snark!

69 Individual Personson December 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm

This looks a lot better than I thought it would; my stomach isn’t crawling half as much as it usually is after reading a few blog posts by the man.

70 Jeff Rankin December 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Michael for putting together this useful and comprehensive overview.

71 Nelson Devoto December 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm

@Aneris ✻

There’s also kinkshaming.
Your expressed sexual interests or fantasy involving consenting adults is demeaning, oppressive and sexist!
Criticise mine? You’re kinkshaming!

72 John Welch December 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I GREW UP IN AN AREA WITH A HIGH WATER TABLE! WE COULDN’T HAVE BASEMENTS!

I…I CAN’T EVEN!

CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE!!!!

SOB!!!

73 Phil Giordana FCD December 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

We don’t have basements where I live. See, it’s way too close to the beach and water would get everywhere.

I tell you, it’s a real burden.

74 Matt Cavanaugh December 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

I’m none too keen on recriminations over who was tardy in seeing through the FTB/skepchick scam. I’m just glad everyone’s now talking about PZ & gang in the past tense.

Still, some credit is due to people like Abbie Smith and John Greg, TF and others, who from Day One recognized PZ, Benson, Watson, et al. As the bullies & provocateurs they were. “Mama always told me to be nice / but she didn’t know you when she gave me that advice / I’m through with you / la di da”.

Active members of the A/S movement ought, however, reflect on what made PZ Myers so appealing to them in the first place. So he drove a nail through an eucharist, ha ha. But PZ was insulting & demeaning his enemies back then , too — only they were Phelps, Ham & Comfort, so that was ok, I guess. From the start, PZ also politicized atheism, something highly corrosive to concerted action. Only when PZ took up the SJW/radfem banner, and shifted his sights from creationists to fellow atheists, did folks start to get fidgety. But Myers & gang were no damn good from the start.

I won’t elaborate here, and maybe it’s just a USA thing, but A/S movement cadres seem out of sync with the general atheist/agnostic/secular population. The latter don’t have axes to grind with organized religion, don’t feel the need to prove their intellectual superiority over believers — and certainly don’t conflate nonbelief with socio-political agendas.

Promoting reason, freedom of conscience, and secularism — such as Michael’s recent stand against the hilltop cross — is the route to go. If scoring cheap points with Ray Comfort’s banana is your main gig, then we have a problem.

75 John Welch December 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Matt, the sad thing is, Pepsigate showed just how swiftly PZ would attack anyone he viewed as disagreeing with him.

If you tried to post anything not “YEAH! KICK THE BASTARDS OUT” on his post(s), the knives came out.

They had CLEAR evidence what PZ was really like well before elevatorgate, and ignored it.

76 John Welch December 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Reading this, I realized something else: PZ really sucks when it comes to using profanity. He just shoves a bunch of rude words in there and done. No thought to flow or actual effect. I mean really:

You are a silly, ignorant, gobshite, tone trolling, vacuous, dumbfuck.

that’s not an insult, that’s a list of synonyms. It’s like being cussed out by a thesaurus. It’s not like it would hard to do well, using the same words:

You silly, ignorant gobshite of a tone-trolling vacuous dumbfuck.

See? Remove some commas, make the sentence more direct and add the dash to “tone-trolling” and you have much better results. Profanity, like any other grammatical construct, should be used with care. Spend some time with it, get a feel for how different words flow together.

For example, even reworded, PZ is guilty of “better add another one”, a common mistake of the skills-poor user of profanity. Like many things, with profanity, less is often more. Let’s take another pass at it:

You stupid tone-trolling dumbfuck.

“gobshite” et al are pretentious, a lame attempt on PZ’s part to sound more erudite. You get better results, and when spoken, it’s easier to get a better word-to-word flow by removing the extraneous bits.

PZ and his lot are such amateurs at pejorative, I wish they’d stop and just go back to insults more at their level of skill. Like “poopy-head”.

77 Guestus Aurelius December 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm
78 Guestus Aurelius December 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

(PZ switches roles halfway through that clip.)

79 Nelson Devoto December 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Not forgetting the self styled blog tag categories Myers files his entries under as passive aggressive insults as well.

Eg an entry on a Peter Boghossian and Stefan Molyneux YouTude discussion, entries on Thunderfoot, Bill Maher and Michael Nugent are filed (among other tags) under :
Fools, Tools, Kooks, and Goons,

and why is he still using a gendered slur anyway?

OED’s meaning 2b: “A bodily organ; spec. the male generative organ (or pl. organs). Now slang.”

80 Git December 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm

John, to add to that, Myers wouldn’t know the correct and effective use of “gobshite” if it bit him on the arse.

Also, as a professional Ulsterman, I demand Myers stop debasing one of our best descriptive words. Its Cultural Appropriation, I tell you! 😀

81 AnonymousForAReason December 17, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Someone has said that Michael has changed his mind on Myers so that makes it all ok now. Well I am sorry but it doesn’t.

Michael was warned a long time ago, we are talking 4/5 years here that he was in bed with some very dangerous and, for want of a better word, evil people. He continually refused to listen and in fact spent a lot of time deriding those who were trying to make him see sense.

Now there still has been no apology from Michael here that he was wrong. In fact the only real thing here is Michael listing the transgressions of PZ, which is extremely easy, if time consuming, to do given that me makes so many of them.

Michael is still on the side of the cultural Marxist feminists, still tries to claim he represents those who do not have any religious faith in the Irish media and therefore would suggest that I and others like me share the views of the cultural Marxists.

You are still in bed with the evil Michael, either get out and remain unbiased or I remain with my opinion that you should never speak in the media again as some sort of representative of all those in Ireland who want religion removed from everyday life.

82 Anon December 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I just filed a report with the U of M Morris. I urge others to do the same, PZ Myers needs to be held accountable.

Here is the link,
https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_information.asp?clientid=9502&locationid=3161644&override=yes&agreement=no&companyname=University%20of%20Minnesota&cid=9502&violationtypeid=1210

83 Shatterface December 17, 2014 at 11:57 pm

You are still in bed with the evil Michael, either get out and remain unbiased or I remain with my opinion that you should never speak in the media again as some sort of representative of all those in Ireland who want religion removed from everyday life.

Wind your neck in.

84 AnonymousForAReason December 18, 2014 at 12:05 am

“Wind your neck in.”

The usual reply of condescension without any actual critique involving facts or evidence. Are you sure you aren’t religious, or is it just that your religion doesn’t involve a god?

85 Gurdur (Tim Skellett) December 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

at “AnonymousForAReason”

“You are still in bed with the evil Michael, either get out and remain unbiased or I remain with my opinion ..

wtf, who cares what opinion you have, AnonymousForAReason?
All you do is keep on obscurely attacking Michael Nugent and trolling the thread. For your opinion to actually matter, people need to have at least some idea of what your opinions have been worth in the past, even if only under a consistent pseudonym of yours. As it is, you don’t give us a single reason to care. Maybe you could just get together with John Welch and Mykeru, form a club for similar souls. But I think most of us really don’t care at this stage how much you allegedly warned Michael in the past, or what Michael remains as in your opinion.

86 john welch December 18, 2014 at 1:40 am

The usual reply of condescension without any actual critique involving facts or evidence. Are you sure you aren’t religious, or is it just that your religion doesn’t involve a god?

NEVER RETREAT, NEVER SURRENDER!

An okay movie whose title describes a mediocre philosophy used by those who want the world to think they actually live by ALL OR NOTHING.

Good luck with getting it all son. Don’t stop believing.

87 john welch December 18, 2014 at 1:41 am

wtf, who cares what opinion you have, AnonymousForAReason?
All you do is keep on obscurely attacking Michael Nugent and trolling the thread. For your opinion to actually matter, people need to have at least some idea of what your opinions have been worth in the past, even if only under a consistent pseudonym of yours. As it is, you don’t give us a single reason to care. Maybe you could just get together with John Welch and Mykeru, form a club for similar souls. But I think most of us really don’t care at this stage how much you allegedly warned Michael in the past, or what Michael remains as in your opinion.

Um, I don’t recall pissing in your cheerios Tim, but if for some reason you think I did, then let me know, and I’ll make sure to actually do so. I mean, if you’re going to be pissed at me, I should at least get the satisfaction of giving you a reason.

88 Matt Cavanaugh December 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

Anon @86,

What exact ethical violation did you report? PZ’ erotic students-as-mermaids dream post might be germane. But unless Myers has some public conduct clause in his contract, none of his atrocious behavior matters to UMM. As much as I want Myers’ damage to A/S to end, his day job is not our concern.

Besides, it’s unlikely they’ll can him. Do you know how hard it is to find someone willing to settle for an associate prof position for life in the middle of nowhere, teaching bored farm kids how most evolution is not due to natural selection, and that acquired traits can be passed on to descendants?

89 HH December 18, 2014 at 8:35 am

@Gardur,

“wtf, who cares what opinion you have, AnonymousForAReason?”

A statement that can be directed at anyone, at any time, venturing any opinion. Including at your opinion of AfaR’s opinion. You seem to be of the impression that your opinion should carry some weight. This is, of course just another opinion that you can dismiss as not being appropriately authoritative.

90 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

HH at #62.

The sentiment of acting humanely is to be compassionate. If compassion is noted to be causing “considerable harm” the answer is to become more compassionate, not less.

If you see no fault in Michael not heeding those people then, you must extend the same courtesy to those who refuse to recognise Meyers’ wrongheadedness now.

Agreed.

91 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 11:20 am

Faults, yes, probably. Unforgivable, though? No. Courtesy has been extended to those who refused to recognize Myers’ wrongheadedness and later realized they had been had. Pogsurf is a handy example of such, as is EllenBeth Wachs.

Hopefully, in time, such turnarounds and realizations will come in more numbers, more publicly and will be more advertised.

92 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

PZ promotes himself as The Happy Atheist, but his writing conveys more anger and causes more hurt and harm than happiness.

The observation here is that PZ lacks insight. The only time I heard PZ speak directly was when he made a comment from the floor towards the end of the Dublin 2013 conference. I can’t quote it directly, but it was words to the effect that atheists and secularists should use their anger to motivate them towards activism.

I have believed for a long time that PZ’s problem is that he is using unremediated anger in the raw, instead of using anger to fuel a period of introspection and motivate a considered response. He needs a spot of mindfulness to temper his revolutionary zeal.

93 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

Thanks Phil, for lifting the scales from my eyes.

94 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 11:41 am

Pogsurf @97:

Err… sorry, there were no snark or other ulterior motives intended, just an observation, and one close at hand. You did use to be on the Pharyngula side of the debate until you changed your mind, yes?

95 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Phil #98. Sorry, I wasn’t being sarky either. I didn’t really belong to either side of any debate, to be quite honest. I think when I first came across you I was firmly locked in Myers dungeon. You invited me to join the ‘pit, where I have since commented as a guest. If you are not offended by a bit of banter and swearing, which I am not, then this is a perfectly fine place to be.

So I haven’t changed any sides, but I do try to argue a point to my own satisfaction. We all do. (Well most do, some use other tactics such as blocking, ostracisation, smearing etc, etc.) I can’t fault anyone else for doing the same, so when I see ‘you were late to the party’ type comments I think there must almost always be a ‘well you didn’t explain the problem very well’ type counter-argument.

I’m genuinely grateful for your invitation back then to come and join the ‘pit because it was an act of kindness on your part, and if my earlier comment here didn’t read that way I apologise.

96 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Oh, ok, we’re cool then.

:)

97 Mick December 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Clearly PZ has gone off the ranch… If you are of the opinion that everyone else is wrong and you’re right then that alone should be evidence enough you’re having a picnic three sandwiches short of the full quota…

98 A bystander December 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Myers is a case-study of what happens to someone when they are given the illusion of internet “power”.

He is far more interesting as a specimen than as a scientist.

99 JackSkeptic December 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Michael, thank you for coming out and standing up to these people. Hopefully it will give encouragement to other prominent figures to stand up to them to. So far any that have stepped out of line have been attacked, smeared and vilified with little or no support. That needs to change if the AS community wishes to retain any credibility.

It has been clear what has been going on for years. I have come to the conclusion that a large percentage of the AS community supports these entryists as it takes little actual effort to see what is going on. This sort of thing has been going on in communities for thousands of years so ignorance is not a defense. Fear explains some of the lack of response but not all of it.

The habit of heavily politicizing everything in the US is the main cause and until that is resolved this issue will not go away. However more people speaking up and being counted can mitigate a lot of the damage they cause.

One thing I still can not grasp. Why do organizations still invite people who have no compunction in harming others, such as Skeptickle, when it suits them and have been doing this for years. I consider that such organizations are enabling this behavior and as long as they give them a platform to spew their hatred it will never stop and more people will be harmed.

Identity politics is not only harming people but seriously affecting all the good, hard work that has been done over the years to promote AS concepts to the world as a whole. There is so much more to do and yet so many sit back and let the SJW’s ride roughshod all over it for their personal socio-political dogmas.

100 JackSkeptic December 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm

to=too=bleh

101 Shatterface December 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The usual reply of condescension without any actual critique involving facts or evidence. Are you sure you aren’t religious, or is it just that your religion doesn’t involve a god?

I was being condescending because you are being a dick.

If you don’t want condescension don’t earn it.

102 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Do you know how hard it is to find someone willing to settle for an associate prof position for life in the middle of nowhere, teaching bored farm kids how most evolution is not due to natural selection, and that acquired traits can be passed on to descendants?

I never knew this about him. I’d always understood him to be a hobbyist fish-breeder. You learn something new every day.

103 MosesZD December 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Roger Ewebuns December 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

….
I for instance am an atheist and what I mean by that is that I don’t believe in any god or gods – nothing more nothing less.

Interesting, because according to Myers it’s not possible to be an ethical, moral ‘dictionary atheist.’ According to Myers, being an atheist means you must be a progressive, Godless SJW in exactly his way (including absorbing and re-spouting his belief system) or else you’re just a piece of garbage and do not count and are no true atheist.

104 Roger Ewebuns December 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm

@MosesZD #108

Myers is a bit of a johnnie-come-lately to atheism compared to myself and so he really has nothing to tell me about what atheism is or is not.

I have to say it makes me smile because I remember back in the 1970’s when I talked about being an atheist and I would get back replies like, “So you worship Satan then” (not as a question but as a statement) and I would reply, “Which part of not believing in any god or gods don’t you understand?”.

If Myers can redefine atheism then so can any other Tom, Dick or Harry.

And let’s face it, it is bad enough that the religious types have a go at atheists for being rapists and pillagers (I have it on good authority – the christian bible for instance – that it does make a difference in which order you commit those acts) without Myers coming along and gratuitously giving them ammunition.

Myers is not a social justice warrior, he is a nest befouler.

I don’t belong to a sect of atheism and there are no rites or doctrine which define as an atheist. As I say, what part of not believing in a god or gods is not understood?

Myers and his cohorts are as loonie as the book of genesis and it’s character Moses. Really? All those people walked around the desert for 40 years and they didn’t know it was wrong to kill, steal, or lie until Moses brought down the tablets that told them it was wrong?

I mean OK, better late than never I suppose, but if Myers is trumpeting the “Social Justice” now, then when did he actually convert from the idea that gay bashing or lynching or rape was a bad thing? I mean if he thinks that it is such a bad thing now he must have thought that it was a good thing or at least OK in the past.

There are some of us who have never thought it was a good thing – didn’t then and still don’t – so we don’t have any particular reason to expound or emphasize it.

With regard to Myers and consortium I would say, “Those that shout the loudest usually have the most to hide”.

And to the rest here, yes the name I adopted on this thread is a joke, a couple of you got the “Ewebuns” but because you are Americans you didn’t get the “Roger”.

105 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm

“There are some of us who have never thought it was a good thing – didn’t then and still don’t – so we don’t have any particular reason to expound or emphasize it.

With regard to Myers and consortium I would say, “Those that shout the loudest usually have the most to hide”.”

Yes, that’s been my feelings for a while as well. Some sort of “the lady doth protest too much, me think” vibe.

106 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm

To say you are an atheist is to do nothing more than claim you don’t have a particularly common type of delusion. I think it says very little about you, although it is generally considered a good thing to not suffer from delusions. The mistake many atheists can make is to believe that they have no other types of delusion. I think this is very unlikely to be true.

107 KennyD December 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain. I may not always agree with his style or tactics, but at least he’s fighting the good fight.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day. This doesn’t seem to bother anyone here. No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community. No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either. No one here anyway. I wonder why. No, I don’t actually. No, all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.

Too many people in the movement are heavily invested in the status quo. They can’t fight against sexism and racism(let alone talk about it) because they are its beneficiaries. They pretend PZ Myers and his allies are the problem because it is easier to scapegoat than to look in the mirror and see what the real problem in the atheism-skeptic movement is. These deflection games though aren’t fooling anyone with more than half a brain.

108 John Greg December 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Roger said:

Myers is not a social justice warrior, he is a nest befouler.

In my book, that is precisely what SJWs are: next befoulers; befouling the nests of the rest of the human species for little or no reason beyond some weird twisted me first ideology (mixed with various degrees of identity politics — if I understand what identity politics is/are, and I am not certain that I do).

… if Myers is trumpeting the “Social Justice” now, then when did he actually convert from the idea that gay bashing or lynching or rape was a bad thing? I mean if he thinks that it is such a bad thing now he must have thought that it was a good thing or at least OK in the past.

re. emphasised part: Huh? Why? How does the former require or indicate the latter? I’z confuzed.

And to the rest here, yes the name I adopted on this thread is a joke, a couple of you got the “Ewebuns” but because you are Americans you didn’t get the “Roger”.

I am not American, but I don’t get it. At all. Care to explain?

109 Roger Ewebuns December 18, 2014 at 7:12 pm

@Pogsurf #112

I think I said or at least strongly implied that.

Someone may be an atheist but watch what happens when you tread on their own little area of woo, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or vegan diet.

There is nothing about being an atheist that inoculates you from other forms of folly (well arguably you could, just possibly, be more amenable to rational argument).

110 Mel December 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Mr Nugent is exposing sexism in the atheist community. That’s precisely what he’s doing.

111 John Greg December 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm

KennyD said:

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain. I may not always agree with his style or tactics, but at least he’s fighting the good fight.

You really, honestly, think that the kind of things Michael has listed (and sourced), regarding Myers, exhibit examples of someone fighting the good fight? Of someone who is even capable of fighting the good fight? The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day.

Except there is scant proof that such threats, beyond a small handful of almost certainly meaningless and harmless trollers, are legitimate, or in point of fact even actually occur.

This doesn’t seem to bother anyone here.

No one here has ever condoned or supported death or rape threats. In fact, many people here and on the pit loudly condemn such things. What we do do, which is something that FTB and SJWs in general abhore and ignore, is request proof of claim.

No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community

.

Not at all true.

No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either.

Also not at all true.

No one here anyway.

Balls.

No, all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.

Stating that self-aggrandizing glory seekers like Myers, Watson, Sarkeesian, and Benson (you have got to be kidding? Benson?) are courageageous is little more than laughable.

Inclusive? I do not think that word means what you think it means. Inclusive? Not even slightly.

They pretend PZ Myers and his allies are the problem because it is easier to scapegoat than to look in the mirror and see what the real problem in the atheism-skeptic movement is. These deflection games though aren’t fooling anyone with more than half a brain.

“Pretend”? “Deflection”? HAHAHAHAHA!

112 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Uh Oh! Tumblr infection detected.

113 Patrick December 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm

KennyD @113:

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain.

Please demonstrate how Michael Nugent has taken out of context or invented how PZ Myers claimed that Nugent provides a haven for rapists.

If you refuse to address that issue, you make it clear that your goal here is to derail and obfuscate, not to have a productive discussion.

114 John Greg December 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Roger said:

It would also suggest that he was OK with it – the rape bit or the gay bashing or the lynching – in the past. Why else bring it up as such an epiphany?

From my chair, that seems too black and white. I mean, I see it as possible that such things could have been phenomena that Myers has always opposed, but which did not loom particularily bright in his personal radar until such time as he determined that jumping on that particular SJW bandwagon, especially while riding on Watson’s dusty ersatz feminist coattails, was the next best method for increasing his socio-political ‘net net value.

Wellies

Hmm. I know what Wellies are, but I still don’t get it. Maybe you really need to be specifically Brit to get it.

115 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Roger Ewebuns at #115.

I had better declare an interest here, because I’ve had acupuncture once, took homoeopathic arnica for a bruised finger and I’m a vegetarian.

Don’t rule out the placebo effect Roger. VS Ramachandran, a world renowned neuroscientist, says that placebos work, even when you know they are placebos. Interestingly many currently prescribed psychotropic drugs only score slightly higher than placebos in trials.

There is nothing about being an atheist that inoculates you from other forms of folly (well arguably you could, just possibly, be more amenable to rational argument).

I challenge the ‘just possibly’ here. Do you think that psychiatric wards are entirely devoid of atheists? That is full blown psychosis can affect people of all shades. If being an atheist cannot protect you from psychosis, why should it make you a better skeptic? Feynman said the easiest person to fool is yourself.

Rational argument is not the only tool which is needed, one also needs a grounding in reality. Myers has lost his feet because he doesn’t understand the damage he does. Michael’s posts are grounded in reality because he demonstrates what damage Myers is doing to various causes he claims to care about.

116 Shermertron December 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm

KennyD @113

It just so happens that my non-existent sister received a rape threat from, one must assume, a person who supports “Jackie,” the alleged rape victim from the discredited Rolling Stone UVA article.

Others have done a better job of dismantling your points, but I would also like to remind you that people like Anita love to post their “hate” mail which is often either 1) reasonable objection that is labeled “abuse” or 2) copy/pasted from a blog or clearly manufactured by someone who doesn’t quite understand how to troll themselves on Twitter.

(sorry; I don’t know why my obviously abortive first attempt at a post went through. Please delete if you wish.)

117 Jan Steen December 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Somebody swallowed all the usual SJW propaganda and is now proselytizing.

@KennyD,

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain.

It would help if you could give some examples, otherwise you look like the one who is inventing things.

I may not always agree with his style or tactics, but at least he’s fighting the good fight.

Right. The end justifies the means. You have to break some eggs to make an omelette. Admirers of Mao, Pol Pot, David Koresh, etc., agree with you. You’re in good company. When will the likes of you understand that people like Myers, who resort to abuse, smearing and doxxing, are per definition bad news? Nothing good can come from such tactics.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day. This doesn’t seem to bother anyone here.

Richard Dawkins also receives death threats. They even show up in the comments on Pharyngula, right under the nose of your idol PZ Myers. I don’t make such threats, don’t approve of them, and they are not my responsibility. If Watson et al. think the threats are serious they should alert the authorities. I also believe that these ‘threats’ are in almost every case that I have seen not real threats but stuff made up by obvious trolls. I have also noted that these ‘threats’ are remarkably convenient tools to gain credulous converts like you.

No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community. No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either. No one here anyway. I wonder why.

Because it is not a real problem in this community. It’s a made up non-problem by a bunch of SJWs with a political agenda. What’s their best evidence for sexism in the a/s community? A guy who offered Rebecca Watson a coffee. Give me a break.

No, I don’t actually. No, all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.

There is nothing courageous about libelling and doxxing. These ‘courageous people’ of yours are beneath contempt. They have never ‘exposed’ rampant sexism and racism in the atheist community. It’s all unsubstantiated propaganda. And the last thing SJWs are doing is making the movement more inclusive. No, wait, they do make it more inclusive: for radfems and similar bigots, to the exclusion of normal, rational people. Women who disagree with their extremism are called “chill girls” and are relentlessly doxxed and abused.

Too many people in the movement are heavily invested in the status quo. They can’t fight against sexism and racism(let alone talk about it) because they are its beneficiaries. They pretend PZ Myers and his allies are the problem because it is easier to scapegoat than to look in the mirror and see what the real problem in the atheism-skeptic movement is. These deflection games though aren’t fooling anyone with more than half a brain.

More innuendo without substance and evidence. Let me guess, “white, cis-het men” are the problem, right?

No, there is no problem in the a/s community other than the ongoing take-over attempt by bigoted, mendacious SJWs like you.

118 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Drilling holes in people’s heads is a well-known practice, designed to release fluid pressure around the brain. craniotomy and craniectomy are still in use these days.

Or maybe that’s just some new Pokemons. No idea.

119 John Greg December 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Roger said:

If you are saying that Myers is only now emphasising his opposition for cheap personal gain then that does speak volumes about the person.

Indeed it does. And none of it good.

If however Myers has suddenly become a convert to the whole “Social Justice” invective then it also speaks volumes about the person and one has to ask one’s self the question, “What were his thoughts before his conversion?”

Sure, a good question. I don’t know the answer to that one; I have only been aware of Lord PeeZus for about 4 or 5 years. He likes to claim he has been, alternatively, depending on the day of the week, a born feminist; a true feminst since childhood; a dedicated feminist since his teens; a hardcore feminist for the last several years. Who knows what the truth might be.

“Hmm. I know what Wellies are, but I still don’t get it. Maybe you really need to be specifically Brit to get it.”

Now you are just being too obviously obtuse to be credible.

What the fuck is the matter with you? I did not get your nick, and asked for clarification, and that makes me too obviously obtuse to be credible?

I tend to be slow on puns and puzzles. That does not make me too obviously obtuse to be credible. After additional pondering, and trying to wrap my generally overly-literal head around the pun, I now get it.

As for the tag of your comment, thanks for such clear understanding that not everyone is as quick or as certain to pick up on puns and puzzles as your wonderful self. Such glorious ability to so successfully put yourself in someone else’s putative shoes is a gift never to be foresaken.

120 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Jan, the UK/US irony translator may be down. I should ask Mr Nugent to get it rebooted.

121 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Bwahaha!!! I get it! “Roger” as in “Mister Roger”!

*Bjarte*

122 Phil Giordana FCD December 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

“To “Roger” is another way of saying to shag.”

Ok, close enough.

123 WarriorFemShelly December 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Thank you KennyD!

Your post was a breath of fresh air amidst a never-ending hatefest aimed at destroying PZ Myers and social justice advocates. It is amazing how many people are totally obsessed with Myers or other social justice advocates. I mean seriously, it’s like a lynch mob here! What are his “crimes”? He’s told some jokes or said nasty things about the reactionaries and misogynists who have been harassing women nonstop? Bigots like this DESERVE to be ridiculed, satirized and chased out of the atheist movement! Why is there any controversy about this?

Maybe PZ Myers doesn’t have the finesse of Jon Stewart, but they are very similar the more you think about it. There is nothing funnier than the white rubes who claim to be perpetual “victims” of social justice. Heaven forbid the atheist movement become more diverse and inclusive!

But please, go ahead lynch mob, continue to destroy what’s left of this joke of a movement. It is because of people like you that I am ashamed to call myself an atheist!

124 John Greg December 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

WarriorFemShelley said:

It is because of people like you that I am ashamed to call myself an atheist!

While I think you are probably a POE, nonetheless, my response to that is: Thank God!

125 Aheydis Vaakenjab December 18, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Personally, I will never sign up to FtB or sign up to an event where any of my personal information could be made available to the likes of PZ Myers. I consider that a reasonable approach to keep my personal information from being abused by the likes of a self-proclaimed leader of the A/S community.

I’m pretty sure folks like Dawkins, Dennett and Harris are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at the person who they may have considered an equal not too long ago. You cannot possibly tell me that Harris or Dawkins do not receive hate mail that would make the average FtB comment jockey soil their pants. But that apparently doesn’t count and it surely doesn’t count when the hate mail and threats come directly from the comment section at PZ’s place.

It’s interesting – PZ years ago claimed that if you would like to rebuke his words to do so on your own blog, using that argument as the reason why he can ban, block and smear people on his blog. So when people like Michael Nugent do so, suddenly they’re obsessive and worthy of more smears and innuendo. Interesting to see when the readership and followers decline, PZ resorts to exactly the same tactics creationists and scientologists do to try to suppress dissent. Nicely done PZ! You’ve a laughingstock at this point and the miserable failure of your book shows that in spades.

126 Jan Steen December 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm

@Pogsurf,

Jan, the UK/US irony translator may be down. I should ask Mr Nugent to get it rebooted.

Not necessary, old chap. One should never miss an opportunity to say “Let’s not stoop to the level of a Rebecca Watson.”

127 Nelson Devoto December 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm

@ WarriorFemShelly said:
“I mean seriously, it’s like a lynch mob here! ”

Really? I give you your Great PeeZee Myers reply (echoed in the comments ) whenever the accusation of a lynch mob by someone he disagrees with, is brought up on his blog. Prepare to have your Irony and Hypocrisy detectors calibrated to go off the scale.

PZ Myers said:
“Oh My Gourd, the feminists lynched him? Dragged him out to a nearby tree and hanged him until he was dead?”

Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
16 November 2014 at 9:17 am
What is it with these right-wingers? Are they all so timid that they can’t handle a little mild criticism without yelling “lynch mob” ?
This is typical bully behavior. If they can’t intimidate you, which you show by criticizing them and their ideas, the defensive mechanism kicks in. So they try to play the victim, over acting with overwrought emotion, which makes them look ridiculous. If they could only see that.

twas brillig (stevem) said:
16 November 2014 at 9:25 am
What is it with these right-wingers? Are they all so timid that they can’t handle a little mild criticism without yelling “lynch mob” ?
It’s psychologically called “projection”. They can only conceive of what they would do (if God didn’t stand in the way), so naturally, they project their desired behavior on people criticizing them as “lynch mobs”

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/16/glenn-reynolds-has-always-been-a-hack/#more-21466

I forget, it’s OK when YOU do it.

128 John Welch December 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Oh kenny, bless your heart…

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain. I may not always agree with his style or tactics, but at least he’s fighting the good fight.

Ah, “the ends justify the means”. Funny how that turns into a continual excuse. Even in your statement there. “oh sure he does things I disagree with, but the ends justify the means.”

The difference between you and Dick Cheney: zero. You both believe the same idiocy that if your end goal is just, how you get there is immaterial. Bullshit. The means are just as important as the ends. Probably more important.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day.

Cue the distraction. You know what another title for this bit is?

“Dear Muslima…”

Funny how your lot was so very, very angry at Dawkins for that, and yet, here you are, doing the exact same thing. “HOW DARE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS THING WHEN THIS OTHER THING IS HAPPENING”. Tell me kenny…I mean, I know it’s okay when you do it, but WHY is it okay when you do it?

This doesn’t seem to bother anyone here. No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community. No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either. No one here anyway. I wonder why.

There’s this thing called a “topic”. Also called a “subject”. Racism and sexism are indeed bad things and really, everyone here is against them from what I can tell. But just like I’m not going to ask why no one is talking about oppression in Myanmar at a bingo game, the fact that people aren’t talking about doesn’t mean they aren’t against bad things. It means that those things aren’t a part of the subject of the post, and so they aren’t discussed here. if someone asks you what you thought of a movie you saw, do you accuse them of being sexist because they are talking about a movie and not sexism?

No, I don’t actually. No, all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.

Simmer down L. Ron. Given the way your heroes have treated actual women, and actual people of color who dare to disagree with them, you might want to start thinking about who’s really the SP.

Too many people in the movement are heavily invested in the status quo.

You mean the one wherein PZ, Ophelia, Watson and the rest are automatically forgiven all their trespasses? The status quo that ensures they are always feted at every possible turn? You’re right, there are a lot of people invested in that status quo.

That was the status quo you meant, right?

They can’t fight against sexism and racism(let alone talk about it) because they are its beneficiaries. They pretend PZ Myers and his allies are the problem because it is easier to scapegoat than to look in the mirror and see what the real problem in the atheism-skeptic movement is. These deflection games though aren’t fooling anyone with more than half a brain.

(someone attempting to deflect this discussion entirely pissed off about deflection. This is why I don’t own an irony meter anymore.)

I really don’t know how to say this given you’re not listening anyway, but what the hell: this isn’t about sexism and racism. This is about PZ Myers’ actions. The things he has actually done. I don’t disagree with PZ Myers because I loves me some sexism. Actually, in my world, casual sexism causes me problems because it limits the number of smart people in the field. Same thing with racism. That’s not being all liberal, that’s the reality of two decades of experience.

Same thing with Rebecca Watson, who now defends initiating physical violence against people for being annoying. Who calls doxxing “not” doxxing because the information was publicly available when it happens against someone she disapproves of, but when the exact same thing happens to someone she likes? Oh that’s verrrrry different.

Or Zvan and Canuck who are all about defending Melody Hensley’s PTSD and demanding people be sympathetic to it, but then spent years defending one of their own who had actively tried to mess with someone’s PTSD, solely because that someone wasn’t in their little in group.

It is their actions that cause me to speak out against them. Were they to cease those actions and begin taking better actions, my need to speak out against them would drop to zero rather quickly, as would my desire to speak out against them.

Sometimes, to paraphrase Key and Peele, it isn’t that we’re sexists. It’s that you’re assholes.

129 Pogsurf December 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Not necessary, old chap. One should never miss an opportunity to say “Let’s not stoop to the level of a Rebecca Watson.”

Steady on, Sir. All this generalised nonsense doth create nowt but muddy waters.

If you are referring, say, to her recent views on Aldrin punching Sibrel, yes, I think she doesn’t understand that escalating violence during a confrontation works in no one best interest. If that is her general approach to disagreement, I wouldn’t advise stooping that low.

http://skepchick.org/2014/12/why-im-okay-with-doxing/

130 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 12:02 am

From birth.

131 John Greg December 19, 2014 at 12:20 am

I have a phuque queue that you are welcome to join as well.

Eeeeeek! I’ze bein oppressed!

Linearlyly.

Since when is a ewe a lamb?

Ya, ya, ya. I blixxed on that one. Mea culpanas and ice creams all around.

That’s not ramb; that’s polk! said Yoshida Taki.

/private in-joke

132 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

Let’s pre-empt the next Social Justic Warrior, real or poe.

You all hate PZ Myers because he thinks that women are people too. Because he thinks People of Color are not second class citizens. Because he calls a racist fuckwit a racist fuckwit.

You are all indulging in your unchecked privilege, patting each other on the back for being such great skeptics, while trampling on the rights of marginalized people. Why don’t you shut up and listen for a change?

This SJW rhetoric is really easy. No thinking required.

Of course, if you do think about it, it is quickly seen to be as hollow and dishonest as asking “When did you stop beating your wife?” Almost every sentence is both an accusation as well as the assertion that this accusation is true. Evidence? Who cares about evidence? You would not be accused if you weren’t guilty.

133 cognitiveprimate December 19, 2014 at 12:45 am

Jesus. You guys whine much? What about the poor white males running the entire atheist movement (and the entire world)? That mean PZ just won’t quit picking on them.

Do you guys need a blanket and some Kleenex?

134 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 12:49 am

Too late, cognitiveprimate, you have just been pre-empted.

135 justme December 19, 2014 at 1:05 am

Awww, mean white male Myers just won’t quit picking on women in the atheist movement. Get out the Kleenex.

(Men only pick on women who deserve it. Just ask the men, they’ll tell ya.)

136 Michael Nager December 19, 2014 at 1:32 am

@cognitiveprimate #154

“Jesus. You guys whine much? What about the poor white males running the entire atheist movement (and the entire world)? That mean PZ just won’t quit picking on them.

Do you guys need a blanket and some Kleenex?”

There’s an atheist movement?

You mean we all bow down before our intrepid leader Douglas Adams and our war cry is:

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”

I’m thinking that a Vogon has more chance of being the next Poet Laureate.

How can we all agree to not believe in the same thing when the thing we don’t believe in doesn’t exist?

137 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 1:33 am

Jan, if I am reading #153 correctly, you wrote the quoted text. If so then this isn’t an example of SJW rhetoric, but an example of your creativity.

138 John Greg December 19, 2014 at 4:40 am

Now I am confused.

139 Matt Cavanaugh December 19, 2014 at 4:43 am

KennyD wrote:
“As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain.”

Show precisely what things have been taken out of context or invented.

“I may not always agree with his style or tactics, but at least he’s fighting the good fight.”

So, the ends justify the means?

“Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day. “

Show that these ‘daily’ threats come from within the A/S community. Sarkeesian isn’t even an atheist, so I’m not sure why she’s a topic of discussion.

“This doesn’t seem to bother anyone here. No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community. No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either…. all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community….”

You all have failed to make a compelling case that these exist to any real extent, much less are “rampant”. Try again.

“… and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.”

Greta Christina seeks to attract more US blacks to atheism by having atheists work for social justice issues dear to blacks. But US blacks are largely homophobic. Will Christina also tone down her gay lifestyle so as to appeal to blacks?

PZ Myers refuses to collaborate with conservative or libertarian atheists (or anyone not on the far political left, for that matter.) Explain how this makes atheism more ‘inclusive’?

“Too many people in the movement are heavily invested in the status quo. They can’t fight against sexism and racism(let alone talk about it) because they are its beneficiaries. “

Your conclusion is predicated on the assumption that we acknowledge the existence of all this alleged “rampant” sexism and racism. That assumption is false; your logic, atrocious.

140 Matt Cavanaugh December 19, 2014 at 4:54 am

cognitiveprimate wrote:

“Jesus. You guys whine much? What about the poor white males running the entire atheist movement (and the entire world)? That mean PZ just won’t quit picking on them. Do you guys need a blanket and some Kleenex?”

I am glad to have been exposed to this point of view and appreciate the time you took to express it.

141 Matt Cavanaugh December 19, 2014 at 5:42 am

Shellyfem wrote: “There is nothing funnier than the white rubes who claim to be perpetual “victims” of social justice. Heaven forbid the atheist movement become more diverse and inclusive!”

rube (n): an unsophisticated country dweller.

I am white and live in a rural area. Tell me, Shelley, am I one of those you’d “chase out” of atheism to make it “more diverse and inclusive”?

142 Aneris ✻ December 19, 2014 at 5:50 am

cognitiveprimate wrote: Jesus. You guys whine much? What about the poor white males running the entire atheist movement (and the entire world)?

I agree. People should whine less about some rare criticism of Ed Brayton and PZ Myers — old privileged white dudes that they are, who attempt to run the movement by telling everyone else what to do. Or do you mean Rebecca Watson who wanted to boycott Richard Dawkins and since it didn’t work out your sorry faction tries to get there with distortion, propaganda and falsehoods? We got it.

What exactly does Richard Dawkins “run”? He probably runs his foundation to some degree. Problem? Other than that he tours around as an author and activist, and that is exactly bad for which reason? Or do you mean he has a lot of readers and followers on twitter? Such as these people…

PZ Myers ✓
Ed Brayton ✓
Ophelia Benson ✓

Once you get everyone from FTB and SkepChick to unfollow and withdraw attention from Richard Dawkins entirely, you can maybe demand that others do the same.

143 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 7:07 am

@Pogsurf,

If so then this isn’t an example of SJW rhetoric, but an example of your creativity.

These things are not mutually exclusive. I can write nazi rhetoric without being a nazi. And which part of the word pre-empt don’t you understand?

144 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 7:09 am

(Let’s try this again.)

@Pogsurf,

If so then this isn’t an example of SJW rhetoric, but an example of your creativity.

These things are not mutually exclusive. I can write nazi rhetoric without being a nazi. And which part of the word pre-empt don’t you understand?

145 franc December 19, 2014 at 7:14 am
146 franc December 19, 2014 at 7:33 am

WarriorFemShelly December 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

// Your post was a breath of fresh air amidst a never-ending hatefest aimed at destroying PZ Myers and social justice advocates. It is amazing how many people are totally obsessed with Myers or other social justice advocates. I mean seriously, it’s like a lynch mob here! What are his “crimes”? //

Let’s see –

* multiple attempts to doxx me
* putting me on a “no fly” terrorist list
* getting me listed as a viloent criminal with Interpol
* notifying Australian family services I am a danger to them

Short list. There is much more. Myers is a repugnant human being.

147 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 7:58 am

Jan, I just checked a dictionary for the meaning of ‘pre-empt’. It does have a meaning to acquire in advance, but I’m still baffled as to what comment #153 is meant to mean. Can you spell it out for the hard of thinking? It seems peculiar to me that if you dislike SJW rhetoric you should then be compelled to write your own.

148 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 9:10 am

Pogsurf @168:

I think what Jan did in his comment is what is known as a Poe. And it succeeded brilliantly, thanks to cognitiveprimate’s subsequent post.

149 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 9:40 am

BTW, I wonder what all those brave SJWs, who come here to comment, don’t understand about “hurtful” in the very title of this post. Isn’t that one of their main problems, people being hurt?

No, probably doesn’t count, because the people being hurt are not the “right” kind of people.

Humanism my ass.

150 Michael Nugent December 19, 2014 at 10:32 am

I’ve removed Roger Ewebuns’ personal smear about Ophelia. Please don’t do that again here.

I’ve also removed all of the discussions about Roger’s pseudonym.

Please remain civil, and at least approximately on-topic, while you are here. Thanks.

151 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 10:39 am

I should declare an interest, I might be a SJW.

I’ve been a member of the Green Party for fourteen years, and a local party candidate on several occasions. I use the internet to help spread the word. Green Parties all around the world put social justice as a central pillar of their platform.

Do you think I might be suspect Phil?

152 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 10:55 am

There’s a substantial difference between Social Justice Advocates/Activists and Social Justice Warriors.

The former do useful things and lead often-successful campaigns for better social goals, while the latter mostly whine and moan on the internet about the lack of interest by the general population in their fury/otherkin/whatever fandom.

Also, Advocates/Activists tend to try and solve social problems, while Warriors just seek personal kudos.

153 Aneris ✻ December 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

Some observations from Phil Tetlock that might illustrate the situation from yet another perspective….

“[…] which of the factors would be more potent determinants of the amount of attention a pundit would attract in the blogosphere? On the one hand, there is the empirical accuracy of the pundit. The degree to which the pundit is able to attach reasonably nuanced realistic probabilities to possible futures. And on the other hand you have the degree to which the pundit is passionately partisan and entertainingly sarcastic – it’s not even a remotely close call, is it? And that says something interesting.

If you are a 19th century liberal in the spirit of John Stuart Mill, you might say: “Well, look. The Marketplace of Ideas is going to equilibrate and self-correct in the long run.” But of course in the long run […] we are all gonna be dead. It’s a question of how patient you want to be. The major thrust of my talk is there is great value to be had in keeping score [emphasis mine]. And systematically monitor the degree to which pundits and various other self appointed experts actually do have an empirically realistical view of the world […]

One of the bigger surprises is: the very factors that make experts charismatic and attractive and likely to draw attention to themselves in the blogosphere – those factors tend to be inversely related to what makes them empirical accurate. So there is a perverse dynamic at work” – Philip Tetlock (lecture, 2006/08/24)

PZ Myers always combined polemics with education and managed to find a balance with his own acerbic Socratean style. As style that was pretty influential within New Atheism.

His Flock™ emulated his trappings. However, when fewer and fewer creationists lost themselves in the comment sections, PZ Myers and his commenters moved to social justice and onto miry ground. Compared to the theory of evolution, the newfound territory was more like a swamp–where in addition you have to walk on eggshells. He wanted to maintain his style and had to replace deserved certainty with dogma.

The social justice warrior ideology — antithetical to reason, conversation and education — left polemics and vitriol as the only option. The best anyone can write on it at present are arresting platitudes. Anything else will likely alienate, trigger or send someone into a rage-tear shock: “women are people, m’kay?” or “actually, rapes are more common on an american Campus than in a warzone in Congo” or perhaps “sexual dimorphism is a cultural construction”. You generally don’t want to go deeper into the mire where it suddenly gets more ambiguous or uncomfortable. Now everyone gained status by producing invective, a proper victim-narrative or a sexist confession story.

Since PZ Myers shakled himself to Rebecca Watson, who famously issued a boycott on All-Things-Dawkins (in my opinion, the real reason for the excessive fault finding that came later), he pretty much set himself up for the path he has taken; though a story is easily told in hindsight. PZ Myers is an avoidant character who prefers to keep harmony with people around him, even if he has to bomb his embassy to other groups. He sunk into the mire he assumed was as rock solid as the Theory of Evolution. One day when someone writes his eulogy, they will wonder what happened to the humanist who once contributed to humankind with his Courtier’s Reply and occasional strolls through the park.

Authors@Google
_www.youtube.com/watch?v=f73A-HB-08M

154 JetLagg December 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Spot on Aneris. Our confidence in our understanding of evolution (or the big bang, or black holes, etc…) ought to be orders of magnitude higher than our confidence of our understanding in things like the patriarchy. I find myself repeating that ad nauseam to SJW types. Their epistemology is completely broken. They put gender studies on the same playing field as physics.

155 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Just a pet hate of mine, Phil, labelling people with descriptors they wouldn’t use themselves. I’m sure in Myers’ eyes I am a MRA, anti-feminist scumbag. Since I object to him inventing descriptors for people, I try to avoid doing so to others.

156 John Welch December 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The issue of “are the threats against Watson or Sarkeesian ‘real'” is somewhat immaterial.

I have no doubt that both women get both ‘real’ threats and ‘fake’ threats constantly.

But those have nothing to with the issues, at least raised here. Rebecca Watson having people threaten her does not make any and everything she does okay. It means there are assholes out there, who should goddamned stop it. Stop even coming up to the line. (Playing semantic games with her, or Sarkeesian just makes it harder on everyone else. There are huge fertile fields of stupid and wrong things she actually says and does to point out.)

Getting into hair-splitting about what’s a “real” threat or not is a distraction, and it’s dumb, because no one can decide what’s a “real” threat but the person at the other end. What I might laugh off would scare someone else and vice-versa and neither of us would be wrong in our reactions.

It’s like defining “hot” in terms of “is that thing too hot to touch”. At the extremes, sure, we can all agree. But in the middle, there’s all sorts of issues with pain tolerance, etc. What person A finds “too hot” person B will find “not even close” and so on. Neither is wrong, because these are not objective issues, or things with binary answers.

What getting into “OH YEAH? PROVE YOU GOT THREATENED” does do is give them material with which to build a nice bat with which to swing at everyone criticizing them.

The problem with Watson isn’t that she won’t define her threats in a way that other people can agree with. The problem with Watson is that her actual words and actions are problems and cause harm. The problem with PZ isn’t that everyone criticizing him may or may not be sexist. The problem with PZ is that his words and actions are problems and cause harm.

When they bring up the threats and similar, possibly a better response might be something along the lines of “Well, yes. Those do suck and the people making them also suck. however, that has nothing to do with my point, and none of that excuses your actions/words in $SITUATION.”

Every time folks get suckered into “what’s a real threat” and lord knows it’s easy, I’ve fallen for it waaaaay too often, they get to avoid being criticized for the things they’re actually doing and saying. In other words, getting into that is doing them a favor.

Just sayin’

157 Guestus Aurelius December 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

@Pogsurf

The difference is that MRA is a label that some people actually choose for themselves. SJW is just a term of belittlement—it’s not nice, but it doesn’t carry much (if any) semantic potential for intentionally and falsely signaling to one’s loyal eavesdroppers that the target self-identifies in a particular way, perhaps in a way that would convince one’s loyal eavesdroppers to automatically dismiss anything the target might have to say.

In short, SJW is an insult, not a smear.

158 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 4:41 pm

“SJW” is not supposed to be nice. As Guestus Aurelius said, it’s an insult, and the main goal of an insult is to be anything but nice.

I’m not trying to bend over backward to whatever some jackass is crying about on the internet. Those people that I label as SJWs are labelled so for a reason. A casual perusal (it rhymes) of Tumblr or Reddit will give anyone not in the loop an idea of what SJWs are. And if it pisses off said SJWs to be called that, all the better.

159 Shatterface December 19, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Jesus. You guys whine much? What about the poor white males running the entire atheist movement (and the entire world)? That mean PZ just won’t quit picking on them.

Funny, last time I looked Myers was a straight white male.

Why are you insisting this particular straight white male should be above all criticism? Why do you protect a straight while man who doxxes women and orders DeGrasse Tyson to apologise to a former (white) president?

160 John Greg December 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

John C Welch, at circa 159: Good post. Thanks for that. It definitely gives me a different perspective and new thoughts on how to approach the putative threats issue.

161 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Funny that: thread goes dead for hours, and all of a sudden comes a litany of new posts (2 posts is a “litany”, right?)

162 JetLagg December 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

While I agree there’s no sense in getting into a debate over what constitutes a real threat (although it’s worth pointing out that there’s a big difference between an anonymous online threat and someone taking action in meatspace), that doesn’t mean the entire topic of threats should be dismissed as a non-starter. People like Sarkeesian and Watson want to pretend they receive threats in greater volume than other public figures with controversial opinions, and that the reason for disparity is our culture is hostile to women. It’s a huge part of their argument and deserves to be singled out and criticized.

163 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Jetlagg @165

All those threats, be they harm, rape or murder threats are despicable. I don’t think a single person here would disagree.

That said, it is not very wise to use them as advertisement for the oh so welcome clickbait. This kind of exploitation will only bring in more threats. I’m not saying the victims of those threats should shut up, but if they think said threats are serious enough for concern, they should go to the competent authorities. Not blog about it.

164 Shatterface December 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

But please, go ahead lynch mob, continue to destroy what’s left of this joke of a movement. It is because of people like you that I am ashamed to call myself an atheist!

The only reason I’d stop calling myself an ‘atheist’ is if I started believing in gods.

So you were okay calling yourself an atheist when people were pointing out Stalin was an atheist – but Michael Nugent is a monster too far?

165 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

And a very short off-topic to say I just noticed the only trackback so far on this thread is by Uncommon Descent. Myers has achieved the ammunition loading they needed all those years.

Well done, that man.

166 JetLagg December 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm

@Phil

Don’t know if you follow gamer gate, but Brianna Wu was interviewed on David Pakman and he mentioned that he too had received threats, and the authorities always told him publicizing them was a bad idea. When he asked Wu if she’d received similar advice, and if so why she choose to publicize her threats anyway, she accused him of running a hit piece. It was hysterical.

167 Lancelot Gobbo December 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Phil Giordana FCD opined:
Funny that: thread goes dead for hours, and all of a sudden comes a litany of new posts (2 posts is a “litany”, right?)

Phil, your English is so far ahead of my French that I’m happy for you to make ‘litany’ mean whatever you like. (But please don’t try to insert your litany into any of my body parts—OK?)

168 Phil Giordana FCD December 19, 2014 at 6:01 pm

“A litany of posts” is to English as a “murder of crows”. Make of that what you will.

169 Carrie December 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

A great post, Michael, thank you. Very informative, complete with all the sources.

Nobody deserves to receive threats and hate mail. That includes rich, white, cis-het men. Everyone with a presence on the Internet receives threats and hate mail, it has nothing to do with gender and is not indicative of sexism or a “rape culture”. It so happens that some of those who have been convicted and sent to gaol for sending hate mail via the Internet are women. For some reason they are not labelled “misandrist” or sexist. There is no proof that all or even most of those who sent hate mail to atheist (or non-atheist) women online are atheists, so it is silly to give fuel to Creationists by calling atheist men misogynists. Dawkins and Harris are not misogynists nor are they racist, but are often being accused of one or the other or both. “Dear Muslima” was simply making the point that being asked for coffee by someone who had been in the bar with Rebecca was a zero-bad event. However, it was made into the central piece in Amy’s “artwork”, in which she conflated it with real hate nonsense from trolls. This sort of thing is why it is difficult to take the SJW “victimhood” narratives seriously.

When a woman says something stupid, why is it so bad to say that this is so, when it is fine to call out a man for saying stupid things? Are we women such delicate little flowers? As a side note, I cannot understand why it is considered to be so bad, and even “racist”, to call out Islam for the host of terrible ideas that its holy books foster. Apparently it is perfectly OK to trash Christianity and the bible, but not Islam. Why?

Nobody should be doxxed, regardless of whether their information is easy to find online or not. Whether you think that the doxxee deserves it, you could be wrong and the fall-out from a doxxing can affect others. This is where a real lynch-mob mentality kicks in and eventually it hurts the lynchers as well as the lynchees. In the case of PZ, skepchick etc, their reputations are becoming soiled by their behaviour, both by their appalling rudeness to Michael and by their doxxing of and rudeness to people who simply disagree with them. This is another reason why I would never even try to post on FtB.

44 Sigmun Lloyd I am another who has never lived in a place with a basement. That would perhaps be a rich person’s house. And I like muppets, often their philosphy is better and with more empathy than that of people such as PZ.

45 HuwOS a Poe, perhaps?

I see that some people are taking Michael to task for not accepting warnings about PZ etc earlier. I understand if they feel hurt, but I do feel that Michael deserves some slack. He is obviously a man who tries to find the best in others, so it is understandable that it has taken him this long to see how awful the SJ”Warriror” mindset can be. I have seen others hoodwinked by them, who took a while to see the reality; EllenBeth, for instance.

I do not know the history behind some of the bitterness but I can see that the Thunderf00t post was a bit less even-handed than Michael’s posts usually are. I think that this is possibly because TF’s style is antagonistic and can sound mocking — personally I enjoy his videos but he is starting to repeat himself wrt Anita — and because he was aiming to influence event-organisers such as Michael.

170 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Pharyngula commenter rorschach copies the offending paragraph that Michael removed from this thread and tries some good old guilt-by-association to make all commenters here seem responsible. It’s hardly worth bringing this up, but the response by PZ Myers is mildly amusing.

44. PZ Myers
19 December 2014 at 6:49 am
One comment gone, 50,000 words of his own to go. I’m not impressed.

Let’s not forget that many of those 50,000 words were originally written by none other than PZ Myers. Quite a few of those are in my view far worse than the ones exhibited by Mr rorschach. The deleted comment was undoubtedly in bad taste, but it was not, like so many of Myers’s words, an attempt at character assassination. Besides, Myers and his commentariat have quite a record of spouting stuff that is at least as vulgar and offensive as the comment that made Mr rorschach reach for his smelling salts. Yet, I don’t recall that I have ever seen Mr. rorschach objecting to those comments and requesting that Myers censor his blog. In other words, he is just a garden variety hypocrite.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141219205046/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/19/thunderdome-56/

171 Justme December 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm

“Let’s not forget that many of those 50,000 words were originally written by none other than PZ Myers.”

Of course that would be what he wants deleted the most. He’s exposed, hoist with his own petard, on a site he can’t control.

172 Pogsurf December 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I wrote to the British Humanist Association saying I would like to join, but I had an ethical objection to them giving Myers a platform. Here is their reply:

Dear Martin,

Thanks for your email. PZ Myers is not a member nor a representative of the BHA. However, he is a successful and popular speaker on atheist issues, which is the capacity in which he spoke at the World Humanist Congress. We have no relationship with PZ Myers, and there are simply no grounds on which would, or could, censure him in the way you suggest

With best wishes

Tamsin Van Dyken
Office Manager, British Humanist Association
39 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB | 020 7324 3060

I guess if you are ‘successful’ and ‘popular’ that trumps being ethical every time. I don’t really accept the claim that they can’t indicate their relationship with him is severed – a simple press release will do the trick. I suspect it is a case that they won’t rock the boat.

Michael, I’m going to make a very big assumption that Atheist Ireland is unlikely to offer Myers a platform any time soon. Do you accept membership requests from overseas? (I already own an Atheist Ireland tea mug, it seems like the next logical step.)

173 Justme December 19, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I think you’re going bass-ackwards. When enough people decide they don’t want to pay to see the bad guys and they do want to pay to see the good guys, it’ll be the good guys who get hired. Myers’ claim that Dawkins is trying (or is going to try) to get him blackballed from conferences hints that invitations are already drying up. Attributing it to Dawkins is just ego-boost.

174 Jan Steen December 19, 2014 at 11:59 pm

We’re doomed, I tell you.

I had another look at the ‘unmoderated’ Thunderdome thread on Pharyngula and noticed to my horror that commenter Brony, Social Justice Cenobite had left this terrifying threat:

I’m tempted to start posting there [i.e. here, JS] as a gadfly but I need to think carefully about how.

You may not realize it, but this Brony person is the one who once proposed that the people on his side should organize a squad of “rhetorical assassins” in order to deal with attacks by their critics. He is also a big fan of My Little Pony, which, I have to say, slightly detracts from the threat emanating from our would-be gadfly. He also proves himself horribly ill-informed, seeing that he writes:

I’ve only ever encountered that porcupine issue and similar when people on that side of the rift bring it up. I don’t think that I have seen that sort of thing around here otherwise.

For his education, here is a “porcupine comment” from only two years ago on Pharyngula.

I think good manners are an important social skill. Being polite is usually a quality. But sometimes your interlocutor just needs to understand, in plain language he will understand, that he is a filthy slime-pit dwelling, shit-eating, excuse for a human being who takes pleasure in oppressing women. That he is, in short, an septic arsehole and can stick a decaying porcupine dipped in hot tar and glass shards up his pustule-covered arse sideways, slowly.

How nice! Note that Michael has cited a very similar, but different comment in the OP. A case of self-plagiarism? Note too that the other commenters did not call out this vile and sadistic rhetoric. On the contrary, a commenter by the name of Sally Strange seems inspired by it.

Personally, I try to observe the rule of sticking to criticizing what a person does/says rather than what they are.
If they respond to such criticism with further foolishness then insulting their very person–calling them a weeping pustule oozing infected pus on the ass of humanity, or similar hyperbole–is fair game.

One example out of many, Brony. Only one out of many. Read the OP. And even that just scratches the surface.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/19/a-psa-from-a-gamer-dude/

175 Matt Cavanaugh December 20, 2014 at 1:42 am

Jan wrote: “Let’s not forget that many of those 50,000 words were originally written by none other than PZ Myers.”

In responding to my “Glass Houses” blog post, PZ claimed: “not a word of it is true.” I found that quite droll, considering I’d quoted him verbatim, and linked extensively to his blogs.

The man, quite simply, has become detached from reality.

176 Matt Cavanaugh December 20, 2014 at 2:01 am

Pogsurf,

Did you happen to mention to the British Humanist Society that PZ Myers describes his argument for condoning bestiality as “objective humanist morality”?

Granted, PZ assures us he personally has no desire to copulate with animals; he just finds no ethical objection to others doing so, and would like all anti-bestiality laws stricken from the books.

177 Shatterface December 20, 2014 at 2:57 am

How nice! Note that Michael has cited a very similar, but different comment in the OP. A case of self-plagiarism? Note too that the other commenters did not call out this vile and sadistic rhetoric

It’s sexually sadistic language.

It’s important to emphasise the fact that the violence advocated on Myers’ blog is almost always sexual in nature and usually directed at the anus.

It’s never punching or shooting, it’s always some form of object-rape.

There’s the occasional threat to stab Christians but behavioural science tells us the knife is often a substitute for a penis in violent crime.

178 JackSkeptic December 20, 2014 at 3:39 am

If organisations wish to invite Myers and the rest of them that is up to them. However, over the last few years there has been either actual ignorance or a claim of ignorance about their behavior from organisations. They also have a habit of giving non-sequitur reasons for invites (such as ‘they get trolled therefore we invited’) or dismissing concerns as trivial.

What I would like to know from all organisations is:

1. What is their policy on the protection of privacy to any attendees?

2. Do they include that policy in their conference policies?

3. If they do not then why not?

4. Does that policy extend as a principle to other areas such as their forums and donation records?

Some people who attend conferences use pseudonyms to protect themselves, their families and associates from actual harm. I have no need to remind anyone this includes totally innocent third parties. Skepticle is an example but there are many on both sides. Several people on the Atheism Plus forums have indicated they will receive serious harm if their identities are known due to previous relationships.

Everyone needs to be protected and I do not want any harm to anyone even if I fundamentally disagree with them. That statement is obvious to most people but unfortunately not everyone agrees with it as some are willing to doxx.

I would like to know what organisations do to respect anonymity. By inviting Myers and Co, unless they state otherwise, I will assume they do not respect it and I will judge them accordingly. I will also consider the conferences to be unsafe for those needing to remain anonymous.

Michael is focusing on Myers but this issue is a lot bigger than that. There is a culture of hate present in the AS community and it has to stop.

We know some at FtB, Atheism Plus and Skepchics will use any information they obtain in confidence to doxx which I define as the revealing of personal information (easily obtainable or not) with the purpose to cause harm. That needs to be made clear so people can make up their own minds about posting on these sites or interacting with these people.

179 John Greg December 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

Jan Steen said:

We’re doomed, I tell you.

It would be an interesting exercise in the observation of a specialist in bafflegab and the questionable art of bullshit baffles brains if Brony did in fact drop by and pontificate some of his rigorously assassinative rhetoric.

But I fear the pony lover would be flambeaux before he trotted his first round of ethos, pathos, and logos across the threshold. And without supporters in fancyfree, Holms and WMDKitty, the poor farrier would have a mighty tuggy struggle on his … hooves.

180 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 8:40 am

There is one thing I really don’t get (well many things on many different topics actually but for now it’s just this one thing) Myers, Watson, Benson, Carrier etc. are either atheists or skeptics right?

So we can eliminate any kind of god and mysterious ways etc. out of their view of good old homo sapsap. With regard to rape then there are only two possibilities that I can see.

1) Rape is innate to males of the species, hard wired like being afraid of the dark/snakes/spiders etc. In this case what the hell are Watson & Co. whining about? They should be happy that there only is as much rape as there is and not even more. In fact it would then not be something to complain about (it would after all only be an expression of a normal genetic hand-me-down), but rather to factor into their daily lives as an inevitability, so they should just suck it up and stop whining.

2) Rape is aberrant behaviour on a par with breaking and entering – only in meatspace instead of houses. In this case their whole “all men are rapists” meme is a conscious lie on their part for the purpose of self aggrandizement.

181 Patrick December 20, 2014 at 11:29 am

JackSkeptic @179:

What I would like to know from all organisations is:

1. What is their policy on the protection of privacy to any attendees?

2. Do they include that policy in their conference policies?

3. If they do not then why not?

4. Does that policy extend as a principle to other areas such as their forums and donation records?

I would go further and ask about the goals and ethics of the organization. With his careful, detailed, and polite documentation of Myers’ behavior, Michael has made it impossible for anyone to claim ignorance. Any conference that gives Myers a platform is implicitly supporting his doxxing and his dishonest, defamatory smears of prominent atheists and skeptics.

I have been making this point on the Gateway To Reason Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gatewaytoreason/timeline), with little impact I’m afraid. Myers will be speaking at their conference in a few months but the organizers seem quite unconcerned about what that says about them.

182 Deepak Shetty December 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

To paraphrase Myers, Let us assume P.Z. Myers is the lowest scum in the entire universe – How does that explain your views about [named victim]? How does it explain the callous dismissal of [named victim] ?

You also have mixed quite a few things – For e.g. is Sam Harris a racist? I don’t know – I do know he supports racial profiling of people who look like me – forgive me if I don’t think calling Harris a racist is a stretch. You should consider that you aren’t impacted by his views and I am so we will assign different weights to the views but does that necessarily make you right?

183 Deepak Shetty December 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

@Michael Nager
. In this case their whole “all men are rapists”
Please point to where anyone on this side has made any such claim.

184 Deepak Shetty December 20, 2014 at 11:56 am

@JetLagg
People like Sarkeesian and Watson want to pretend they receive threats in greater volume than other public figures with controversial opinions, and that the reason for disparity is our culture is hostile to women.
I remember a video Dawkins had done with the hate mail that he gets – Coyne too posts sometimes as does Myers. Did you actually see the difference between the type of threats they get and the type Watson or Sarkeesian get? Hint – it was not, it was never about the quantity. Point out where Watson or Sarkeesian has said that she gets more threats than Dawkins.

185 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

@Deepak Shetty

“Please point to where anyone on this side has made any such claim.”

Which side? I didn’t mention any “sides”.

186 Shatterface December 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I remember a video Dawkins had done with the hate mail that he gets – Coyne too posts sometimes as does Myers. Did you actually see the difference between the type of threats they get and the type Watson or Sarkeesian get? Hint – it was not, it was never about the quantity

If your point is that Watson and Sarkeesian receive sexual threats, posters on Pharyngula post sexual threats all the time. It was positively encouraged by Myers.

Follow the links above and you’ll find posters threatening to rape Dawkins at the watercooler, and an endless stream of anal-rape threats.

No other site actively encourages anal-rape threats.

187 deepak shetty December 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

@Michael nager
Fine who does “their” in your comment refer too?
And still waiting for who said “all men are rapists”

188 Jan Steen December 20, 2014 at 4:12 pm

@Deepak Shetty,

How does it explain the callous dismissal of [named victim] ?

What callous dismissal? I must have missed Michael callously dismissing any victim. Maybe you mistakenly equate “not blindly believing an accusation” with “callous dismissal.” One would have thought that the recent Rolling Stone rape fantasy fiasco would have finished off the “always believe the accuser” attitude and replaced it with “always seriously investigate an accusation,” but I guess not. Some people are just inaccessible to reason.

For e.g. is Sam Harris a racist? I don’t know – I do know he supports racial profiling of people who look like me – forgive me if I don’t think calling Harris a racist is a stretch.

I seem to recall that Harris has said that according to his profiling criteria he would himself be singled out. Strange kind of racism, that. You may call it a bad idea, but racism? I don’t think so. And this is not taking into account that according to the SJW definition of racism someone cannot be racist towards their own group. Which would imply that Harris cannot be racist by definition.

You should consider that you aren’t impacted by his views and I am so we will assign different weights to the views but does that necessarily make you right?

Right or wrong have little if anything to do with the extent to which you are affected by someone’s views. What’s the point of this question, except to suggest that you are some kind of victim and therefore are automatically in the right about this?

189 Jan Steen December 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

@deepak shetty,

And still waiting for who said “all men are rapists”

“All men are rapists” is a slightly exaggerated paraphrase of what Myers’s buddy Greg Laden has written.

In other words, when all the young men stay home, they are mostly not going to rape anyone. In contrast, when the same exact men go off to war, an alarming percentage of them rape. Switch off, switch on.

In the gentile society in which we imagine ourselves living (at least according to many of the comments on the above cited post) the switch is off, and stays off for most people’s lives. But there are circumstances in which most men’s switch is turned on. The switch being on does not mean that rape will happen. It simply means that the man (with the switch on) is now a rapist, whether he actually rapes or not (but he probably will), and when the switch is off, he is not (so he probably won’t).

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/06/02/is-there-a-rape-switch/

190 Jan Steen December 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

And of course there are extreme radfems who consider all male penetration during intercourse to be rape. Which would make all heterosexual men rapists. (Unless they are neckbearded virgins who live in their mothers’ basement.)

191 Shatterface December 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm

The switch being on does not mean that rape will happen. It simply means that the man (with the switch on) is now a rapist, whether he actually rapes or not

Does Laden know where in the brain this rape switch is situated? Is it near the Shatner’s bassoon?

192 Habber D Asher December 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Regarding the ‘SJW’ conversation versus ‘activism’… we are always activists at every point when we partake of public activities. We have impact spheres, large or small, electronic or meatspace, where our words carry weight in opposition to an established status quo of nebulous origins. I’m not sure if you really should separate “real” activism and “SJW” activism.

For instance, I participate in clinic escorting where I see innumerable instances of slut-shaming. Do I then shut up about it when I see it online? No, I take my activism to another sphere where I think it matters and may have some impact. Does it make me a SJW if all you know about me is my attempts to curtail the language which aids in the dehumanization of women?

It seems as if even the insult of ‘SJW’ isn’t evenly applied in a manner to cast light on the issues, but on the person. The attempt seems to be an attempt to discredit ; the insult is just another vanilla way of dismissing the protests without engaging the issues.

193 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

@deepak shetty

Without even having to look very far there is this nugget from Rebecca Watson:

“That’s right, you liberal, intellectual guy, who has a healthy interest in science and skepticism, but who finds feminism distasteful and would rather not hear about it. You are worse than rape threats”

194 JackSkeptic December 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm

@ 195 Habber D Asher

‘the insult is just another vanilla way of dismissing the protests without engaging the issues.’

Let me know when they want to engage. I won’t hold my breath. SJW’s rarely engage and even more rarely outside venues they do not control. They have no interest in engaging and in fact they have numerous memes designed to shut down conversation and attack anyone who questions their beliefs and actions.

With few exceptions they are not rational people who have a natural interest in discussion. Dogmatists want to assert and get upset if people do not comply. Listen and believe is their motto.

195 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm

@deepak shetty

The only context in which I was talking about “they” or “their” was with regard to:

“There is one thing I really don’t get (well many things on many different topics actually but for now it’s just this one thing) Myers, Watson, Benson, Carrier etc. are either atheists or skeptics right?

So we can eliminate any kind of god and mysterious ways etc. out of their view of good old homo sapsap.”

196 Aneris ✻ December 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm

@Habber D Asher
Social justice warrior isn’t even an insult, but a fairly tame description for a type of behaviour which you can recognize. Someone can theoretically put away their SJW hat any minute, but typically they are so immersed in that mindset that they don’t do it. In the strict sense, PZ Myers isn’t a SJW. He is more like a shepherd of them. Same for the others bigger names, they share ideology more or less and their rhetoric is tamer, since they can moderate and ban and don’t need to be as crass as the usual SJW.

Also, the term is good for feminism and other activists, as otherwise these loons would corrupt these labels even more. Here is a SJW generator that shows what is meant in a stereotypical fashion. Also see above the list of common thought terminating clichés.

http://tumblr-argument-generator.lokaltog.net

197 Matt Cavanaugh December 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Can we stop talking about Anita sarkeesian? She’s neither an atheist nor a skeptic. She’s a former graphologist who now makes youtubes about video games she’s never played.

198 John Greg December 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Hear, hear!

199 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 8:02 pm

@Habber D Asher #195

When I was about 15 I was quite chubby, and I remember seeing a film with Rock Hudson in the role of an American Indian warrior. I thought at the time that he had a great physique and I wished I could look like that.

My friend (who was – and is – two years older than me) took me along to where he did weight training and I started doing that regularly and then, because I don’t do things by halves, I got really into it.

Over the next few years my weight dropped down to 63.5 Kilograms and my maximum bench-press (free weights, not machines) went up to 102.5 Kilograms.

When I was 18 I saw the film with Rock Hudson again and I thought, “What a fat bastard”. The thing is that even as I was thinking that I remembered what I had thought just a couple or so years before.

Obviously nothing had changed about the film except my perception of it. The old adage about “If all you have is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail” comes to mind when reading your post.

In your case it seems that familiarity with one aspect of life has caused you, if not to have contempt then, to have a heightened awareness of others lack of sharing your perception coloured by your intimacy with the subject matter.

I see the likes of Myers and the SJW consortium as akin to the Westboro Baptist Church; whereas when my girlfriend stayed over at my place during a Summer I heard the Muslims from the mosque next door line up in front of my place on the pavement and, without telling her why, told her to get dressed and then I went with her to the door and with the Muslims lined up about to begin prayer I said to her, “See, I told you they were picketing my place”.

Everybody got the joke and they had a good laugh, as did I and my girlfriend.

It is not that I care less than you about women being harassed when going to a clinic, it is just that my feelings aren’t focused on that one issue to the exclusion of everything else.

I also think that there is a huge difference between women being verbally abused when going to a clinic and women being stoned to death or having an “honour killing” inflicted upon them as they try to go about their daily lives.

I find it a travesty for instance that Bill O’Reilly was not indicted as a conspirator in the killing of Dr. George Tiller when for weeks before the murder O’Reilly had many times referred to him as “Tiller the baby killer”.

200 Billie from Ockham December 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I would like to echo and extend the above comment from Aneris *, because distinguishing between the leaders and followers in any political movement is important, especially when the movement lacks widespread support (for very good reason). In the present case, those who are setting the agenda are probably better referred to as “social-justice ideologues” to keep them separate from the foot-soldier/follower social-justice warriors.

I say all this for at least two reasons. First, warriors are rarely involved in setting goals, making plans, and are often not even told for what they are fighting. Even more: In those cases where the cause enjoys little widespread support or has no rational justification, warriors often begin to object to the battles that they are being asked to fight when they begin to learn the truth. This can apply to anything from the conflict in Vietnam to modern-day Patreon appeals. In the latter case, for example, when supporters learn that they are paying someone’s rent or credit-card bill, instead of paying for actual research and outreach, they become rather less inclined to continue. Being able to tell friends: “hey, I paid for those earrings!” isn’t always sufficient, I’m sorry to say.

Second, the leaders of unjustified political movements rarely if ever deserve the positive aspects of the label “warrior” as they rarely take any of the risks, themselves. They might incite risky actions in others, which again may vary from actual warfare and torture, to public demonstrations and sending traceable emails to the employers of enemies, but, when one digs deeper, one finds that those leaders who would be endangered by any personal action are rarely found on the front lines. They won’t even collect their own crackers to desecrate, relying, instead, on the willingness of others to commit petty theft. If more social-justice warriors knew the true meaning of “I stand behind you!” (cf. #NotYourShield), we would all be little bit safer from them.

201 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

@Billie from Ockham

Would I be fair in paraphrasing your post as:

“Those who can, do, those that can’t do, teach; and those who can’t teach, teach teachers”

?

202 Billie from Ockham December 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Absolutely not, because I was not in any way disparaging the abilities of the leaders of the on-line social-justice movement. Far from it. In a war of any sort, remaining far behind the lines and keeping your own troops in the dark is quite wise. It’s just not the sort of wisdom that I consider to be worthy of respect.

203 Matt Cavanaugh December 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Deepak wrote:
“Please point to where anyone on this side has made any such claim” [‘all men are rapists’]

Just a sampling —
* Greg Laden, (7/26/13) stated: “Testosterone poisons male brains.”

* FTB blogger, Taslima Nasreen, always blames men as a class for the atrocities committed against women in India, Pakistan, & Bangladesh. For example (10/31/13),

“Men throw acid on us … and walk away as happy men.

One of her commenters, philippeorlando, replied, “Something is very wrong with the human male.”

Nasreen tweeted (6/11/14), “Men shd learn from animals not to rape.”

* FTB blogger. Miri Mogilevsky (5/24/14) wrote:
“… many men violate women’s boundaries and autonomy constantly, and all men are socialized to think about themselves, about sex, and about women in similar [i.e., violating] ways.
“The type of masculinity that young boys are taught is not compatible with mental health and with ethical behavior…. I don’t know a single man who doesn’t suffer as a direct consequence of it. I know few who have never made others suffer as a direct consequence of it.”

204 Matt Cavanaugh December 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm

H D Asher wrote:
” I’m not sure if you really should separate “real” activism and “SJW” activism.”

Did they #bringbackourgirls yet? I doubt Boko Haram can stand much longer the embarrassment of being scolded on twitter.

205 Michael Nager December 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

@Billie from Ockham

“Absolutely not, because I was not in any way disparaging the abilities of the leaders of the on-line social-justice movement.”

So I need a leader to tell me right from wrong? I can’t work that kind of thing out for myself?

So things like not assaulting a woman or anyone weaker than me in general would be a book with seven seals without some wicked-ass guru pointing that nugget of wisdom out to me?

Really? Do you think this would be beyond my own ethos or sense of ethics to grasp?

I had three generations of Staffordshire Bull-Terriers – in the US they mistakenly call them “Pitbulls”.

Stafforshire Bull-Terriers have about two and a half biting strength of a German Shepherd Dog. The last one my mother got as a shelter dog and when she did not respond well to my mother or her partner, they asked me to train her.

The thing to remember is that she weighed 37 Kilos and none of it was fat.

The thing is that she had not had any guidance and when I got her back to my place, she was pleasant enough until I put myself in a position where I was under her, and she went straight for my throat.

I had to teach her that she could try to bite, but that bite would never land and the way I did that was to put my arm in her mouth, my hand around the back of her neck and to press my arm in until she would either stop trying to bite or I would separate her jaws.

Her self preservation kicked in and she knew that she could not dominate me and decided that cooperation was the better course.

It was not her fault but rather the fault of those who had her as a puppy and didn’t realise that she would grow up.

The second Bull-Terrier we had was born in my bed, and grew up with me.

We had a rapport to the extent that, with my hands behind my back and just through the use of my head and my eyes, with no verbal commands whatsoever I could get him when he was let into the room to:

1) Come in front of me

2) Sit

3) By looking raise either the left or right paw (that backfired when I did that but said “What did they used to do when Hitler was alive, and I looked at his right paw and he raised it straight in front of him and the person was incensed that I could bring my dog up to be a Nazi – like yes, dogs are really into political ideology).

4) Get him to jump up on a chair

5) Sit

6) Stay there as I walked out of the room whilst someone tried to call him off the chair

7) Go back to where I was

8) Get him jump off the chair and stand in front of me

9) Sit

10) Lie down

11) Go out of the room and stay away for over half an hour and he would not move.

Where does this have any relevance beyond my domineering ego?

When we were out and about I did not have him on a leash. Another person threw a ball for his dog and my dog basically thought that all balls belonged to him and went after it.

My dog reached the ball before his dog did, grabbed it and ran back towards me, the other guys Golder Retriever followed my dog.

A few yards in front of me my dog opened his mouth to let the ball drop towards me, turned on a sixpence and was all teeth towards the other guys dog.

I had my dog sit, and then kicked the ball in front of him and although he really wanted to have that ball he stayed.

I said the owner of the Golden Retriever that he could tell his dog to get the ball. My dog raised his lips and there was a hint of a growl as the other person’s dog went towards the ball. I said “EH!” to my dog and he let the other person’s dog get the ball whilst he sat still and watched.

From that time on, my dog knew that someone else throwing a ball for their dog was none of his business – no matter how much he loved balls and such a thing never occurred again.

Dogs, cats and computers work on the basis of no bullshit. Humans are not rational beings but rather rationalising ones. Bullshit seems to be a universal human language.

206 john welch December 21, 2014 at 12:05 am

As a few people have pointed out, Phil is remarkably judicious about when “the good outweighs the bad”, and it does seem like gender is a bit tipping point for him.

Now, there are not a lot of *famous* women who are involved in Science, so the pickin’s can be a bit slim, but they are not so slim that a woman who literally knows better is promulgating multiple anti-science lifestyles and viewpoints had to be included in that graphic or that Phil had to basically say “yeah, I know she’s more anti-science in real life than not, but she’s really famous and on a show a lot of people love, so let’s just ignore her anti-science stuff and pretend it’s all okay because hey ladies, you need all the help you can get.”

She is not a good role model for women in science.

sigh.

207 john welch December 21, 2014 at 12:06 am

sigh…crapola, stupid browser had the wrong tab open. That was a reply to another site about phil plait’s support of mayim bailik as a good role model in science.

Michael, if you want to delete that as having literally nothing to do with the point here, I have no objections.

208 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 12:09 am

If Michael deletes your comment as unrelated to the conversation but leaves the one before it, I shall be somewhat disappointed.

209 Michael Nager December 21, 2014 at 12:19 am

@Billie from Ockham

“Far from it. In a war of any sort …”

Have you ever killed someone or left them for dead after defending yourself?

Until you have had someone actually try take your life and defend yourself with deadly force, or have been in the position of terminating someone’s life to foreshorten their pain then you have the right to shut the fuck up..

There is no metaphorical “killing a human being”.

Foreshortening of a human beings life even if it is for a minute or an hour for the sake of lessening their suffering is premeditated murder.

The only purpose of war is death.

210 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 12:25 am

The only “foreshortening” that I have ever experienced involved a mohel who was, thankfully, more sober than you seem to be.

211 Michael Nager December 21, 2014 at 12:33 am

@Billie from Ockham

That is the limit of your argument, ad hominem?

So I must be pissed because all you can come up with is a piss poor argument?

212 Michael Nager December 21, 2014 at 12:35 am

BTW Billie,

what is a “mohel”?

213 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

Huge apologies. I had no idea that we were having an argument. I was under the impression that you were babbling and I was making jokes.

214 Michael Nager December 21, 2014 at 12:40 am

So war is a joke?

Depends on which side is being ripped apart by bullets or bombs I suppose.

215 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 4:57 am

Does anyone understand what Nager’s raging about?

Is this yet another example of “I dinnae know what metaphors, analogies, hyperboles, or creative language is at all at all so I rage; I rage.”?

/ponder ponder

216 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 6:50 am

I inferred that the name is short for (or a misspelling of) “Michael’s Nagger” which would make him Latsot 2.0.

217 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 7:34 am

Shatterface (#177):

Myers is now apparently calling himself a ‘nonce’.

Actually, he didn’t. What he said, apparently on the basis of the link, was that he was “immured behind walls of paper for the nonce”. And the relevant definition for that word is:

nonce (nŏns)
n.
The present or particular occasion: “Her tendency to discover a touch of sadness had for the nonce disappeared” (Theodore Dreiser).

That is, he was “immured” – i.e., confined, entombed – behind walls of paper for the moment.

There’s a great amount that he can be raked over the coals for. But it doesn’t do “our” credibility any good whatsoever to be trying to do so on trumped-up charges.

218 Skep tickle December 21, 2014 at 8:57 am

Michael, what a comprehensive & well-referenced collection of the types of smears PZ Myers has long used (& allowed at his site). Thank you. Not only does it help drop the scales from some more people’s eyes, but it’ll very likely become a go-to reference for as long as needed – as long as this seemingly interminable schism persists.

I completely agree with Steersman at what’s currently #220: Myers used “for the nonce” in its meaning “for the moment”. In the US, AFAICT, “nonce” does not at all have the meaning those of you in the UK & maybe Australia recognized right away, besides which that meaning of “nonce” simply doesn’t make sense in the phrase “for the nonce”. There are plenty of examples of “problematic” behavior by him & his followers & associates on which to focus; not only would they be fairer areas to target, but (I presume) likely more useful too.

219 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

Why should Myers get a pass when it comes to cultural variations for the use of a word? It’s a largess he doesn’t extend to others.

220 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 9:37 am

Even if PZ had used the word meaning slang for child molester he still wouldn’t have called himself one.

221 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

Intent isn’t magic.

222 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 9:51 am

Don’t just do it because they do it.

223 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

Dave Allen at #222

Don’t just do it because they do it.

Do what? Please clarify.

224 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

I don’t think for one second that Pogsurf or anyone else believes Myers used the word as meaning sex offender. It’s just a humorous “taste of your own medicine” thing. Not likely to accomplish anything in the long run (I mean, Myers engaging in self reflection? Not likely) but it sure is satisfying.

225 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

Probably the main reason why you don’t see many posters from Pharyngula coming here rallying in support of PZ Myers is that they know they don’t stand a chance. They know they have to defend the indefensible. They can do that in their own “safe space”, where nobody will disagree with them. Almost all dissenting voices have been silenced there long ago. But here their inevitable l i e s and distortions would be exposed mercilessly.

Consider this recent comment by Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy on the ‘unmoderated’ Thunderdome.

So terribly unreasonable to say Mick Nugent provides a haven for rapists when he has to be prompted to delete a comment advocating the rape of a specific person

This is a tactic you often see over there: deliberately misrepresenting a deleted comment to make it seem worse than it was. In this case, ironically, the deleted comment can still be read on the same Thunderdome thread on which Seven of Mine posted their shameless distortion.

It’s comment 43 by rorschach in the following:

http://web.archive.org/web/20141219205046/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/19/thunderdome-56/

Whatever you may think of it, this deleted comment was not “advocating the rape of a specific person.” That’s simply not true.

Dishonest scum. That’s what you become if you try to defend a scumbag. It’s inevitable.

226 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

I don’t know what Myers believed when he used the term ‘the nonce’. That is for him to explain.

His blog commentators noted the pejorative usage.

CaitieCat, Harridan of Social Justice
19 December 2014 at 11:15 am
Yeah, “nonce” has a somewhat unsavoury connotation in UK English, PZ. Not ambiguous, but a bit funny. :)

and eight others refer to ‘the nonce’ without him commenting until at comment 30 he says:

PZ Myers
20 December 2014 at 1:36 pm
In an amusing & typical distortion from one of the trolls, Martin Wiesner AKA Pogsurf, one of more supercilious & stupid members of that crowd, has just announced to David Gorski on Twitter that I am now calling myself “the Nonce”, as evidence that I’m a sex offender.
Let me know if Nugent adds it to one of his interminable lists of my crimes.

It seems it was not until I upped the anti that Myers spotted that people were laughing at him.

Myers laughs off the words ‘sex offender’, after my evidenced claim, so it is clear to me he feels I am doing him no reputational damage when I say it. Long ago Myers came to believe that I was not important enough to score any damage to his reputation. I believe otherwise. History will show whose belief was grounded in reality.

227 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

It’s just a humorous “taste of your own medicine” thing.

Hilarious.

By all means sink to their level and continue to look as stupid as they do.

228 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 11:03 am

“continue to look as stupid as they do”.

That’s a feat even I don’t think I could ever achieve. But I’ve always aimed for excellence in whatever endeavor I’m engaged in, so I’ll give it a try.

You’re a poopy-head.

229 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

I have to agree with Dave Allen, Steersman and Skeptickle here. There’s enough real stuff to complain about; there’s no need to make things up to make Myers look bad. That would be resorting to their tactics.

230 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

Not hilarious to me. I find it sad when someone loses their self-respect.

231 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 11:08 am

Jan are you claiming that I wrote this Wikipedia article?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonce_(slang)

232 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 11:13 am

Jan: I’d say that taking Myers up to task with his very US-centric use of “nonce”, and disregard of any differing cultural use of the word, is ground enough to be part of the complains. It’s nit-picking at its best, and it is one of the things he and his gang love to do.

Again, I don’t see why he should get a free pass, when he is so eager to deconstruct the most innocuous comment and turn it into some accusation of sexism, misogyny, rape-enabling and more. See Richard Dawkins and Michael “dishonest ass” Nugent for references.

233 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

It’s fine to accuse Myers of US-centrism, or to make fun of his oblivious use of ‘nonce’, but to suggest that he is a nonce in the British sense of the word is just rubbish. We can do better than that.

234 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Jan: you will note that I haven’t suggested that, and even stated that I didn’t believe it to be the case.

235 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

It would have been smarter to note that Myers is defending a nonce on his site. I would have no problem with that.

236 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Maybe not you Phil, but others have.

237 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Steersman
Actually, he didn’t. What he said, apparently on the basis of the link, was that he was “immured behind walls of paper for the nonce”. And the relevant definition for that word is:

nonce (nŏns)
n.
The present or particular occasion: “Her tendency to discover a touch of sadness had for the nonce disappeared” (Theodore Dreiser).

Oh, for Christ’s sake: we know what Myers meant. We were mocking his pretentious use of archaic English.

Here are some references you might find helpful:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention

238 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

As far as I can see even the charge of US-centrism is overcooked in this instance. Most British people would probably regard “for the nonce” as meaning “in the meantime” or “for now” as opposed to “for the pedophile”.

239 Skepsheik December 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I agree with some of the previous commenters. Myers was not calling himself a child molester. Pogsurfs trolling did initially have the effect of prompting Myers to point out the problem of wildly flinging out unevidenced allegations of sexual assault – seemingly oblivious to the fact that he himself has recently accused the 970 members of the slymepit of being rapists!
Pogsurfs followup has been far less successful and verges on stalking behaviour.

240 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

As far as I can see even the charge of US-centrism is overcooked in this instance. Most British people would probably regard “for the nonce” as meaning “in the meantime” or “for now” as opposed to “for the pedophile”.

It’s an archaic term.

I’m British and have never heard it used to mean ‘for now’ outside of BBC adaptations of literary classics.

On the other hand I hear it constantly when dealing with ex-offenders.

Google it: almost all the contemporary uses from films, books, TV shows or newspaper headlines refer to sex offenders. Most of the rest refer to cryptography.

This is Myers trying to look smart by appropriating English words. There’s a certain subset of American who think it makes them look erudite, even when they are using British swear words like ‘gobshite’ or ‘wanker’.

241 john welch December 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I have to say, until this thread, I’d never seen/heard of the pedo usage for nonce.

I’d only ever heard it used in the “for now” meaning.

242 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Before this thread, I had never heard of “nonce” at all.

243 Aneris ✻ December 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Jan Steen wrote: I have to agree with Dave Allen, Steersman and Skeptickle here. There’s enough real stuff to complain about; there’s no need to make things up to make Myers look bad. That would be resorting to their tactics.

QFT. Especially since those (relatively) tiny things are exaggerated and become part of their mythology, too. Like: “Did you know how 3 anonymous people on the internet made fun of that Rebecca Watson confused Galieo with Bruno and *gasp* DID NOT add that she corrected it shortly afterwards. True story. — Really!? These Monsters!1! Humans suck, I could literally throw up now!11!!”

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
— William Blake, from Auguries of Innocence

“Bad intent” from the perspective of those who don’t like these “truths”. And here’s another one…

“You piss off a bard […] he might put a satire on you. And if he was a skilful bard, he puts a satire on you, it destroys you in the eyes of your community, it shows you up as ridiculous, lame, pathetic, worthless, in the eyes of your community, in the eyes of your family, in the eyes of your children, in the eyes of yourself, and if it’s a particularly good bard, and he’s written a particularly good satire, then three hundred years after you’re dead, people are still gonna be laughing, at what a twat you were” – Alan Moore

244 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I have to say, until this thread, I’d never seen/heard of the pedo usage for nonce.

I’d only ever heard it used in the “for now” meaning.

Then I take it your aren’t British. If you lived in the UK you’d have grown up on a diet of The Sweeney, Minder, McVicar, EastEnders, Guy Ritchie films, Life on Mars and Camberwick Green:

http://youtu.be/PHP3Jih_rfA

245 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Google it: almost all the contemporary uses from films, books, TV shows or newspaper headlines refer to sex offenders.

Depends, if I Google “for the nonce” few of the links seem to refer to sex, if I Google “is a nonce” they all are.

How was PZ using it again?

This is Myers trying to look smart by appropriating English words.

Well I suppose if you can’t get him for being a self-confessed child molester you can get him on the charge of “employing somewhat pretentious language”. However, seeing as “nonce” as in “meantime” was part of the English language by the time of the first English-speaking American colonies it’s hardly what I would call appropriation.

246 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Yet again, eating a Curry or practicing belly-dancing would hardly be what any sane person would call appropriation. And yet they do.

247 Larry Metcalfe December 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I can see that there’s a little bit of fun to be had here at Myers’ expense, but not a huge amount. He’s used a word without knowing it’s British slang meaning. Amusing, especially to us Brits, but not that much of a big deal. Given the masses of disgusting things he’s said over the years that Michael has documented might I suggest geting back to that?

In that regard here is a genuine question. Was Michael just scratching the surface of Myers’ behaviour? How much more is there we ought to be aware of?

248 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Depends, if I Google “for the nonce” few of the links seem to refer to sex, if I Google “is a nonce” they all are.

I just googled ‘nonce’. Googling ‘for the nonce’ would be a bizarre way of establishing contemporary usage.

Well I suppose if you can’t get him for being a self-confessed child molester you can get him on the charge of “employing somewhat pretentious language”. However, seeing as “nonce” as in “meantime” was part of the English language by the time of the first English-speaking American colonies it’s hardly what I would call appropriation.

You could argue the same about wanker, which is from the Irish uath-anchor (self abuser ).

The fact is some Americans think using British terms makes them sound smarter than they are and sometimes they fall flat on their face

249 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Yet again, eating a Curry or practicing belly-dancing would hardly be what any sane person would call appropriation. And yet they do.

And yet again, what you seem to miss is that if it’s patently absurd for one set of idiots to do, it doesn’t make it any less absurd for another set of idiots to do.

250 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Dave:

So you don’t think holding these people to the same standard they want to hold others to is a worthy strategy? I beg to differ.

251 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Also, if you think I’m stupid or an idiot, just say it, don’t imply it, Myers-style.

252 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

The fact is some Americans think using British terms makes them sound smarter than they are and sometimes they fall flat on their face

Look, if it makes you happy to imagine that if most Americans got off the plane at Heathrow and said “we have to wait for our luggage for the nonce” that they would raise the eyebrows of any English people who heard them then by all means imagine away.

253 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm

If any American was to publicly state in France that they are attending a con, it would raise a few eyebrows…

254 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

So you don’t think holding these people to the same standard they want to hold others to is a worthy strategy? I beg to differ.

It’s a moronic strategy to adopt the demonstrably irritating behaviors of your opponents.

255 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm

If any American was to publicly state in France that they are attending a con, it would raise a few eyebrows…

Presumably because there’s no common alternative meaning that would explain any ambiguity.

256 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 2:52 pm

@Larry Metcalfe,

Was Michael just scratching the surface of Myers’ behaviour? How much more is there we ought to be aware of?

Good question. Documenting Myers’s habitual dishonesty, especially but not limited to his relentless strawmanning, would be at least as revealing. However, that would be a huge project, because you would need to give sufficient context, and the number of instances is enormous.

257 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

“Presumably because there’s no common alternative meaning that would explain any ambiguity.”

Oh, but there is, indeed. “Con” can mean: a c*nt, a t*at, a p*ssy, an a**hole (yeah, weird), an idiot, a friendly jab, a term of endearment…

Plenty to take from.

258 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Plenty to take from.

What a load of rubbish.

259 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Sure. Teach me French…

260 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

We, the undersigned, wish to file a formal complaint against the last 50 comments on this blog. None of the authors have undergone the required training in thread-derailment and are, in effect, defending PZ without a license.

– Latsot, Theophontes, Michael Nager

261 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Look, if it makes you happy to imagine that if most Americans got off the plane at Heathrow and said “we have to wait for our luggage for the nonce” that they would raise the eyebrows of any English people who heard them then by all means imagine away.

If you think that British bystanders wouldn’t piss themselves laughing at you, try it yourself next time you pass through.

The British have an entire tradition of comedy based on double entendres. Even ‘sophisticated ‘ comedy shows like [b]Q.I.[/b] or [b]Have I Got News For You[/b] rely on it.

A typical example was from The News Quiz a couple of weeks back:

‘Dominatrix battling to keep open Stockport fetish club says she will not go down without a fight’

That’s from BBC Radio 4.

Now I understand some people might have difficulty getting that joke if they are incapable of understanding the contrast between the intention and the effect but an audience of fairly smart people thought that was hilarious.

262 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

You know, Phil, if you hadn’t mentioned Englush wasn’t your second language there’s no way I’d have guessed.

It’s not just that your grammar is spot on, it’s that you seem to understand nuances and ambiguities that some of those who speak other forms of English miss entirely. It’s like they think because they speak something which sounds like British English they understand British English better than we do.

263 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I too agree with Steers, Skep, Dave Allen, and now Steen. The weak attempt at humour around Myers’s use of the word nonce is just that: weak.

And Pogsurf and Shatter are just playing at sophistry and overly literal semantics, and clearly do not understand the difference between current usage (rare or otherwise), and popular colloquialism. Tiresome.

Shatterface said:

It’s an archaic term. I’m British and have never heard it used to mean ‘for now’ outside of BBC adaptations of literary classics.

It is from Middle English, but it is most certainly not an “archaic” term. It is current. And for the record, neither my Canadian Oxford, nor my British Oxford incude the sex offender definition at all.

On the other hand I hear it constantly when dealing with ex-offenders.

That’s only because it is a currently popular colloquialism.

Christ, people. All you have to do is look in a proper dictionary. Unless, of course, you support Myers et al. rhetoric regarding dictionaries and insist that colloquialisms and current usage, whether slang, popular, or abstract trump all other forms of etymology and use.

264 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

John @263:

“Christ, people. All you have to do is look in a proper dictionary. Unless, of course, you support Myers et al. rhetoric regarding dictionaries and insist that colloquialisms and current usage, whether slang, popular, or abstract trump all other forms of etymology and use.”

So, basically, you are agreeing with us? Because that’s the whole point of the bloody exercise!

265 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Sorry for the aggressive bolding. On the other hand, I have just discovered how to bold things here. Next: quoting.

266 Guestus Aurelius December 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I can’t believe I’m wading into this stupid argument, but here is evidence that nonce is now used in its new naughty sense (OED’s earliest example is 1971) at least as often as it’s used in its traditional sense:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=for+the+nonce%2Cnonce&case_insensitive=on&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t4%3B%2Cfor%20the%20nonce%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bfor%20the%20nonce%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BFor%20the%20nonce%3B%2Cc0%3B.t4%3B%2Cnonce%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bnonce%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BNonce%3B%2Cc0

You can see that starting in the mid-20th century, for the nonce constitutes an ever smaller percentage of total nonce appearances.

The recent upward spikes in that chart make me wonder if the growing popularity of the slang has somehow prompted a resurgence in the orthodox usage. It would be interesting to see the data sorted by country.

267 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

That’s only because it is a currently popular colloquialism.

Which is why it’s a double entendre.

It’s not ‘sophistry’ to point out most British people will be entirely familiar with the colloquial use of the term and unfamiliar with the original usage.

You are sounding like some retired old colonel insisting ‘gay’ means ‘happy’ no matter how many times people point out it is now mainly a colloquial term for homosexual and who can’t understand why they snigger when he says he’s come over all queer.

Nobody says ‘nonce’ in the sense you are insisting they do if they aren’t wearing tights and a codpiece. It’s no more ‘current’ than ‘hey nonny nonny’ or ‘odds bodkins’.

268 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm

I can’t believe I’m wading into this stupid argument, but here is evidence that nonce is now used in its new naughty sense (OED’s earliest example is 1971) at least as often as it’s used in its traditional sense:

No one, it seems to me, is denying that it is used as a synonym for pedophile.

Rather, what I assert is that if someone where to say “I’m mired in paperwork for the nonce” very few people, even in the UK, would think you were doing accounts for a pedophile as opposed to being busy for the meantime.

Some wee scrotes might titter at the double entendre, at a stretch.

But the pretense at it likely being taken as anything else is contrived.

269 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Sure. Teach me French…

You don’t need to know French in order to grasp the difference between a homophone, and a word with a particular meaning which may or may not cause offence according to context.

270 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm

The recent upward spikes in that chart make me wonder if the growing popularity of the slang has somehow prompted a resurgence in the orthodox usage. It would be interesting to see the data sorted by country.

It’s a common, almost comic term for sex offender – which is why it gets a laugh in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels when Little Chris says. ‘Piss off, you nonce’.

It’s not like he means ‘Piss off for a moment’.

If anyone has examples from the last 50 years of ‘nonce’ being used to mean ‘for the moment’ I’ll give them ten examples meaning sex-offender drawn from my extensive collection of Martin Amis and Will Self novels.

271 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

If someone were to say “I think some rape situations are worse than others”, very few people would label the speaker as someone condoning rape. Normally.

But sure, take it lying down. Why not?

272 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm

The Nonce Prize
The final story returns to Danny and Tembe from the opening story. Danny is framed for child molestation and murder and is sent to HMP Wandsworth. He eventually finds an outlet in the prison English classes. His desire for redemption is entwined with his desire to win the Nonce Prize.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tough,_Tough_Toys_for_Tough,_Tough_Boys

273 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

“You don’t need to know French in order to grasp the difference between a homophone, and a word with a particular meaning which may or may not cause offence according to context.”

Well, as a matter of fact, you do, when talking about French. It’s not just a language, you know?

Now, about “niggardly” and black hole”…

274 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Let me express my previous comment (which concerned thread-derailment) in slightly different terms, as some of you appear to have missed my point.

About 2000 years ago (plus about 40 weeks), a young lady was traveling from town to town with her unrequited boyfriend of the time. If you must know, they were Grateful Teach-to-Phish fans, devotedly following their watered-wine heroes. But before you make any snide remark, please know that these were pious and chaste youngsters, completely unlike the (damned) kids of today. Each night they would set up separate places to sleep. The young man – who I shall call Jay – preferred fresh air, so he would unroll his blankets out under the stars. The young lady – let’s call her Em – was deathly afraid of insects, it seems – at least, she would often yell to Jay that, no, she did not want to have insects with him or anyone else – so each night she would use a large tarp to create a small house- or shed- or lean-to-like structure in which to sleep safely.

Then – as they say – came the dark and gloomy night. Rain threatened our youngsters, causing Jay to beg and promise and swear and plead until Em finally agreed to allow him to enter her small house-like structure. One thing led to another, I’m sorry to say. A flap was torn as insects became part of our young lady’s life. “I might as well have slept outside,” complained Em. “Because intent is definitely not magical.”

275 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Crackers must be bigger than normal round your way Billie.

276 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Name a Cracker larger than Robbie Coltrane and win a prize, Dave.

277 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Shatter, et al., I don’t think anyone is denying the use of the word nonce in the sense you mean. I think the general argument is that the Myers reference, as in his being or claiming to be a paedophile, is just weak; thin; poor humour.

And it is not really a double entendre, at least, not in the way it has mostly been used. You are missing your cause and effect, so to speak, to actually claim it as a double entendre. It would have to have been so used by Myers himself to actually be a double entendre, and, obviously, he did not do so.

link: _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_entendre

278 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Bille said:

Name a Cracker larger than Robbie Coltrane and win a prize, Dave.

The Ley Hill School and Pre-School Christmas cracker: _http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-christmas-cracker-/

279 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Can we put this nonce-argument out of its misery, please?

280 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Yes. For the nonce.

281 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Noncense!

282 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Name a Cracker larger than Robbie Coltrane and win a prize, Dave.

Meatloaf?

283 Jan Steen December 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm

This is too funny. The Pharyngulanhas are obsessively counting the number of comments on this blog and are at the same time calling Michael obsessive.

(On the ‘unmoderated’ Thunderdome).

Also, all the issues we bring up here have been resolved many years ago. Really? Is it that long ago that Myers called this place a haven for rapists? Or maybe they think so because space-time is warped around the black hole of libel, abuse, insanity and dishonesty that is Pharyngula. There is probably a more likely explanation, though.

284 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

The Pharyngulanhas are obsessively counting the number of comments on this blog and are at the same time calling Michael obsessive.

In what sort of proportion do they do this?

More seriously though, it is pretty pathetic that just because a topic gets settled within an echo-chamber that those within will assume it’s settled to the satisfaction of those without.

285 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

… it is pretty pathetic that just because a topic gets settled within an echo-chamber that those within will assume it’s settled to the satisfaction of those without.

Well, you see, that’s because they do Thinky stuff right, and we do Thinky stuff wrong.

There you go.

In a nonceshell.

286 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm

And it is not really a double entendre, at least, not in the way it has mostly been used. You are missing your cause and effect, so to speak, to actually claim it as a double entendre. It would have to have been so used by Myers himself to actually be a double entendre, and, obviously, he did not do so.

A double entendre is something that can be understood in more than one way: it doesn’t mean the person who says it is in on the joke.

In fact the wiki article you linked to makes this same point:

In some instances, it is unclear whether a double entendre was intended. For example, the character Charley Bates from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist is frequently referred to as Master Bates. The word “masturbate” was in use when the book was written, and Dickens often used colourful names related to the natures of the characters.

287 john welch December 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm

well, no, i’m not british. Which is probably why, were you to refer to a pedo as a nonce over here, people would have no clue what you were on about.

288 john welch December 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm

A quick bit of dictionary searching shows either the more american usage on its own, or with the pedo version. Neither are given any real superiority. The pedo version seems to be a more recent adaptation of the word.

Then there’s “nonce word”, etc.

So there doesn’t seem to be an authoritative “correct” definition that excludes all others. it seems to be more of a contextual thing.

289 John Greg December 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Context is not magic!

Am I doing that right?

290 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 7:03 pm

John @288:

“Context”, like “intent”, has a ‘n’, a ‘t’ and a ‘e’.

So, yes.

291 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm

well, no, i’m not british. Which is probably why, were you to refer to a pedo as a nonce over here, people would have no clue what you were on about.

Look, Myers used a word that means something entirely different over here, which is why it was funny. Commentators on his own site pointed out the double meaning.

Nobody actually uses the term to mean ‘for the moment’ anymore; even authors like Will Self who pride themselves on their obscure vocabulary don’t use it to mean ‘for the moment’.

Okay, you don’t get the joke, or you don’t think it’s funny. Whatever. Just don’t pretend you understand how colloquial words are used in Britain better than we do.

It’s simply irritating when you or Steersman deny the colloquial use of words as if the rest of us are new to the business of speaking.

292 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm

So there doesn’t seem to be an authoritative “correct” definition that excludes all others. it seems to be more of a contextual thing.

Well, precisely. If there was a definitive definition if the word there wouldn’t be a double entendre. Double entendres have more than one meaning; in fact, they have two, hence the word ‘double’.

I’m struggling to work out why you went looking for a single correct meaning that excludes all others when the whole point of the joke is that there are two meanings.

293 Carrie December 21, 2014 at 7:15 pm

263 John Greg

I too agree with Steers, Skep, Dave Allen, and now Steen. The weak attempt at humour around Myers’s use of the word nonce is just that: weak.

Well when I saw that particular blog post header of Pz’s I had a giggle; I knew that he meant the archaic version of the word, and probably did not realise the double entendre. That probable fact made it even more amusing to me. But I would not have bothered to mention it, I simply enjoyed the way in which a pompous little man had slipped on a verbal banana-skin. It is interesting, though, that Theo a while ago went off the deep end about a different word, Tw*t, which to me did not have a rude meaning, and tried to make out that Michael was a terrible person for linking to a cartoonist who had used that word in one of his cartoons.

Spooling back to 107 KennyD (I told you I was slow):

As usual, critics of PZ Myers take things out of context or invent things to make him look the villain.

As others have said, you should provide citations for that allegation. Part of Michael’s point, in this series of posts, is that PZ and his ilk use precisely these tactics on those with whom he disagrees. As it happens, nobody needs to invent things to make PZ “look the villain”; he broadcasts enough proof himself as you can see from the sources that Michael provides.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkeesian, Ophelia Benson and other feminists continue to receive death and rape threats every day.

As does every other prominent person on the Internet. The difference is that most people treat it as background noise, not as a means to bolster a victimhood narrative.

In the case of serious or truly upsetting threats, people should and often do report the harassment to the police instead of giving the perps the oxygen of blog publicity. Some people (including women) have already been convicted and sent to gaol for threatening others online. SJ”Warriors” do not need to “fight the good fight” against online harassment because the authorities already take it very seriously:

_http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-01/27/online-harassment

At the end of last year, 43-year-old Tams was found guilty of harassment following a four-day trial. In January, she was given a suspended custodial sentence. The judge ruled that she had pursued a “relentless and intentional campaign of harassment pure and simple” and found that many of the tweets she sent had been homophobic, aggressive and abusive.

At around the same time that Tams was sentenced, two people — Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25 — pleaded guilty to sending feminist journalist and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez “menacing” tweets. These included rape threats, being told to “go kill herself” and tweets saying “I will find you”. They were given custodial sentences of 12 weeks and eight weeks respectively on 24 January.

107 KennyD

No one wants to discuss sexism or sexual harassment in the atheist-skeptic community. No one wants to discuss racism in the movement either. No one here anyway. I wonder why.

Probably because most people who visit skeptic blogs are actually interested in the debunking of woo. I for one would not go to a skeptic event where I knew the majority of the discussions would not be about skepticism or atheism but instead about political correctness and hurt fee-fees. I would go to a “Women’s / LGBT / PoC issues” conference to hear about those if I were interested. PZ’s blog is mostly no longer about atheism nor about biology, so I do not find it as interesting to read as I once did. WEIT and Michael’s blog mostly are about biology / science (and cats) or atheism, so I do find them interesting to read.

No, all anyone wants to do here is fight against the courageous people who have exposed the rampant sexism and racism in the atheism community and are trying their best to make it more inclusive.

The people who are trying to make it more inclusive are very selective as regards whom to include.

Too many people in the movement are heavily invested in the status quo. They can’t fight against sexism and racism(let alone talk about it)

The people who refuse to talk about sexism or racism properly are those who shut down the conversations using the kind of meme that Aneris has detailed in this thread.

These deflection games though aren’t fooling anyone with more than half a brain.

LOL!

294 Shatterface December 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

You know, if Myers had said ‘Marking is over for the moment ‘ and someone said ha-ha, Myers thinks he’s magnetic! then there’d be a point arguing whether it was a double entendre or not.

295 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm

I’ve never received a single threat over the internet. Ever.

296 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Look, Myers used a word that means something entirely different over here, which is why it was funny.

Except it doesn’t mean something “entirely different over here” because people “over here” still understand the original meaning in constructions such as “I’m stuck doing lots of paperwork for the nonce”.

297 Carrie December 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm

293 Phil Giordana FCD

I’ve never received a single threat over the internet. Ever.

Awwww poor boy, shall I send you one? *grin* More seriously though, it must be that you are too good to have offended anyone.

298 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 7:48 pm

“Except it doesn’t mean something “entirely different over here” because people “over here” still understand the original meaning in constructions such as “I’m stuck doing lots of paperwork for the nonce”.”

What a load of rubbish.

299 Matt Cavanaugh December 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Jan Steen wrote: “Probably the main reason why you don’t see many posters from Pharyngula coming here rallying in support of PZ Myers is that they know they don’t stand a chance. They know they have to defend the indefensible. They can do that in their own ‘safe space’, where nobody will disagree with them. “

QFT. Many of them (Myers included) lurk here, then respond to comments made here — but at the restricted-access “thunderdome”.

I’ve just been informed that the latest thunderdome pitter-patter is over my reference @176 to Myers’ condoning of bestiality. While one may debate the ramifications, that Myers does expressly condone bestiality is irrefutable, as I clearly show with extensive use of Myers own words at:

http://skeptischism.com/atheismneat/2014/11/14/pz-myers-animal-lover/

Unlike Pharyngula, no censoring of opposing views occurs at Atheism Neat. I invite Myers or any of his supporters to explain at Atheism Neat how I may have misinterpreted Myers’ views on sex with animals.

300 Skep tickle December 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Carrie @291:

The people who are trying to make it more inclusive are very selective as regards whom to include.

Yes. This. Acting like a skeptic is enough, now, to have a person or group of people be excluded from certain blogs and conferences that are purportedly about A/S, but where questioning of the wrong type &/or by the wrong people is not welcome. Skepticism is an approach. One’s identity or group affiliation(s) should not matter.

(I know Myers has divorced himself from the skeptic movement, but “free thought” and science similarly rely upon “logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas.”)

And Aneris’ observations about the methods used to shut down discussion & to misrepresent and vilify people who disagree with them was another Aneris classic. :)

301 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 8:01 pm

What a load of rubbish.

Piffle.

302 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm

“Piffle.”

Good, we’re making progress.

303 Matt Cavanaugh December 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Carrie wrote: “The people who are trying to make it more inclusive are very selective as regards whom to include.”

Indeed. The Plusser call for ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ is less about encouraging more women, PoCs, etc. to join the existing community, than in replacing the undesirables — cis het old white men — with these new elements. (See Shelly’s comment above about “chasing out” white rubes, and Jen McCreight’s original A+ call for driving out old white men and assorted non-progressives.)

304 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Phil (#264):

John @263: Christ, people. All you have to do is look in a proper dictionary. ….
Phil: So, basically, you are agreeing with us? Because that’s the whole point of the bloody exercise!

I am, of course, a big fan of “tit-for-tat” (1) – which I might emphasize is “an English saying meaning equivalent retaliation”. And also a fan of tats for tits, although they, of course, should be “tasteful”. But I think that the technique has to be used judiciously and not dogmatically – as one might argue is precisely what you and Shatterface and company are not doing (i.e., using not judiciously and not not dogmatically, so to speak) in your accusations that Myers is a pedophile. If the principle in play is the one of yours that people should not be making bogus accusations without evidence then it looks rather odd – at best – to then turn around and repudiate it – unless maybe you think “it’s ok when we do it”.

Now if “you” had couched your accusation as a hypothetical, or as a rhetorical question (2) (maybe as “why shouldn’t Myers’ comment justify characterizing Pharyngula as a blog by and a haven for pedophiles?”), then you might have had a leg to stand on. Absent that, it kind of looks like shooting yourselves in the feet.

Far better I think, somewhat in passing, to be targeting him for various other hypocrisies rather than indulging in the same ones yourselves. For instance, I note with some amusement that Chas is throwing a well-aimed stone or two at the pharyngulanas’ position on gendered epithets. Who knows but that might actually lead to a “fruitful” discussion, there and elsewhere, on the too infrequently discussed analogy “cunt is to sexism as nigger is to racism” ….

BTW, top marks for the bolding and soon, one hopes, for the blockquoting. 😉 In passing though, you might note that FTB provides a preview function that I find quite useful as they seem to support pretty much the same set of HTML codes. See, FTB is not totally useless ….


1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetorical_question”;

305 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm

“as one might argue is precisely what you and Shatterface and company are not doing (i.e., using not judiciously and not not dogmatically, so to speak) in your accusations that Myers is a pedophile”

I would really love to see where I’ve ever made such accusations.

306 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm

In other news, sources in Washington, Tel Aviv, and London all deny any involvement is the mysterious internet-borne illness known as “Steersman Syndrome,” first detected on a certain Irish web-site on Sunday evening local time. “Even if we had helped develop this virus,” said a CIA spokesperson, once afforded anonymity, “we would have targeted Iranian Shi’ites, not a bunch of neck-bearded atheists.” A Mossad spokesperson then made a similar statement, after disputing that neck-beards are related to atheism, adding “you know that it wasn’t us because, just 100 comments previously, someone claimed not to know what a ‘mohel’ is.” [Full disclosure: this person then went on to tell a rather unfunny joke about an amorous desert animal and a rabbi, with the punchline “I’d walk a mohel for a camel,” making us question his sanity, seriousness, and claimed disdain for American adverts.] Finally, our contact with MI6 also denied any knowledge of Steersman Syndrome, going so far as to make the unprecedented admission that both Latsot and Theophontes are (failed) agents as proof. [Again, full disclosure: our confidence in the veracity of this source was then greatly rattled when he went on to say “but don’t quote me on that, at least not for the nonce.”]

307 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I’ve just caught up with thread, and I think we need a use of ‘nonce’ upon which we can all agree. How about Pharungula is a breeding ground for the nonces?

308 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Steers:

I expect an actual retraction, unless you can prove I did accuse Myers of being a pedophile. Damn, we’ve shared enough talks that you should know my feelings about pedophiles.

309 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Phil:

Maybe you haven’t done so explicitly. But seems a little disingenuous – at best – to suggest that your defense of Shatterface – “Why should Myers get at pass?” (#219), “Intent isn’t magic” (#221), “It’s just a humorous ‘taste of your own medicine’ thing.” (#224), etc., etc., etc. – isn’t tantamount to (“virtually the same thing as”) doing so yourself.

And, as you suggested, one would think that “your feelings about pedophiles” should make you a little more circumspect about bogus accusations.

310 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Careful Steersman, ‘bogus’ is actionable.

311 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Sure Steers, sure. Me trying to defend a rhetorical point is the same as calling Myers a pedophile.

Yeah, right.

312 Billie from Ockham December 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm

One furry creature to another in a swamp: “we have met the [bog] enemy and he is bogus!”

313 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Billy from Ockham (#303):

… mysterious internet-borne illness known as “Steersman Syndrome,” first detected on a certain Irish web-site on Sunday evening local time ….

LoL :clap: :-)

But a question though. About your razor: do you shave the barber or just yourself? 😉

314 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Of course Phil – “intent is magic”

315 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm

If Pharungula is such a rude blog, why do they get so exercised by a bit of banter? Yanks perplex me.

316 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 8:54 pm

So Steers, are you happy now that you have implied I called Myers a pedophile without evidence?

It might make me blacklisted from A/S events, you know.

But maybe that wasn’t your intent?

Oh…

317 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Phil:
I conceded, in effect, that you probably didn’t explicitly call Myers a pedophile without evidence. But seems rather clear you’re defending those who do – regardless of their intent. Which seems rather irresponsible.

318 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Yeah, no. I’m defending the rhetoric.

319 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Also, “probably” is incorrect. I didn’t call Myers a pedophile at all. Never, ever.

An apology might be a good move. (trying to stay on-topic with the OP).

320 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Phil:

That – “probably” is incorrect – is from your knowledge, not mine. However, as I’m a big fan of quid pro quo, I’ll consider apologizing if you apologize for calling me an idiot (1).

And it might also be a “good move” if you were to apologize for defending bogus accusations, for whatever reason – which are hardly conducive to “civil discussions”.


1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/12/01/pz-myers-sexist-fascist-charitable-theo-uncharitable-theo/comment-page-1/#comment-1362803″

321 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Steersman I warned you about using ‘bogus’. Retract and apologise.

322 Phil Giordana FCD December 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Steers, from your link:

“Steersman is an idiot when it comes to certain topics. Smart guy otherwise, but there are some places you don’t want to go when having a discussion with him.”

Nope, I won’t apologize, because that critic was deserved. It was also just my opinion and not a statement of fact (if it was to be accepted so, I’d be the King of the World by now).

I also have not defended bogus accusations, I have defended the mechanisms behind using Myers’ words against him. But maybe you’re too much of an idio…doooh. Almost got me there!

323 Henry Fitzgerald December 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Forgive me if too much has been said about “for the nonce” already, but from a speaker of Australian English – the archaic meaning (“for the present”) was the only one I was aware of. (Admittedly I only know the term from written English – Nabokov and Chesterton, I think – so this doesn’t mean much.)

I rather approve of people using archaic expressions they happen to like. We should see more of it. Myers should feel free to do this more often: it might help him dial back his dyspeptic sputtering.

324 Dave Allen December 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Admittedly I only know the term from written English – Nabokov …

Well, citing Nabokov is just going to confuse things further, isn’t it?

325 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm

For the nonce, there is no problem using flowery language.

326 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Phil (#322):

Nope, I won’t apologize, because that [criticism] was deserved. It was also just my opinion and not a statement of fact ….

In your opinion it was deserved. And likewise, it is my opinion that your defense of Shatterface’s accusation – and that of Pogsurf if I’m not mistaken – has pretty much the same effect as if you had done so yourself. At least on the basis of the argument that those who “retail” rumours & gossip are almost as bad as those who create them “wholesale”. Seem to recollect a Russian short story that had one of the former, as penance for having peddled such rumours, being obliged to throw “to the winds” some pieces of self-damning information from a church belfry, and then having to go and retrieve them all. A substantial part, if I’m not mistaken, of Michael’s point about Myers’ accusations of “providing a haven for rapists”.

So my concession that you probably didn’t explicitly accuse Myers of being a pedophile is probably as much in the way of an apology as you’re going to get.

I have defended the mechanisms behind using Myers’ words against him.

Technically if disingenuously true: my opinion is that you can’t defend the use “Myers’ words against him” without defending a bogus accusation – particularly as Shatterface phrased it. Kind of an “end justifies the means” kind of thing – which tends to be rather “problematic”. Kind of like this old “sally” by one of the Pharyngula most-irregulars (1):

Strange, Sally Strange: Personally, I try to observe the rule of sticking to criticizing what a person does/says rather than what they are.

If they respond to such criticism with further foolishness then insulting their very person–calling them a weeping pustule oozing infected pus on the ass of humanity, or similar hyperbole – is fair game.

Amusing though that she apparently doesn’t think that me calling her a cunt – lo, these many moons ago – was also a case of “similar hyperbole”, and “fair game”.

—–
1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/12/16/hurtful-harmful-smears-pz-myers-happy-atheist/comment-page-1/#comment-1444286”;

327 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Steersman, you are not a man of honour. I will see you in court.

328 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Pogsurf:

And the charge will be what? And on what evidence?

329 Pogsurf December 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Defamation. The evidence is right here in this thread.

330 Steersman December 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Pogsurf:

Unless you have some more tangible evidence for your charge that Myers is a pedophile – which, if true, should be brought to the authorities – I would say that your “for the nonce” definitely justifies the “bogus” accusation, i.e., “Counterfeit or fake; not genuine”.

And which would, no doubt, justify your charge of defamation against me being laughed out of court – if not justify a charge against you for wasting the Court’s time and money.

331 Pogsurf December 22, 2014 at 12:03 am

So says Steersman, who knows little of the world,
But in the dark dark wood there was a woodcutter,
An elf, and three scary Goblins …

332 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

Except it doesn’t mean something “entirely different over here” because people “over here” still understand the original meaning in constructions such as “I’m stuck doing lots of paperwork for the nonce”.

Christ almighty, when I say ‘over here’ I’m talking about where I fucking am not where you fucking are. WTF is wrong with you?

333 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 12:49 am

I am, of course, a big fan of “tit-for-tat” (1) – which I might emphasize is “an English saying meaning equivalent retaliation”. And also a fan of tats for tits, although they, of course, should be “tasteful”. But I think that the technique has to be used judiciously and not dogmatically – as one might argue is precisely what you and Shatterface and company are not doing (i.e., using not judiciously and not not dogmatically, so to speak) in your accusations that Myers is a pedophile

We didn’t call him a pedophile you fucking moron, we took the piss because he used a word that means sex offender in colloquial use.

You should apologise to Phil and myself.

334 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 1:06 am

Nobody is going to take you to court Steers because no country is barbaric to hold you legally accountable for anything.

Apart, maybe, for some middle-eastern hellhole where they still hang squirrels for spying.

335 Ichthyic December 22, 2014 at 1:20 am

“Atheism, Reason, Skepticism, Happiness”

well, one outta four ain’t bad, right Mike?

you actually ARE an atheist, and not lying about that, yes?

336 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 1:32 am

Forgive me if too much has been said about “for the nonce” already, but from a speaker of Australian English – the archaic meaning (“for the present”) was the only one I was aware of. (Admittedly I only know the term from written English – Nabokov and Chesterton, I think – so this doesn’t mean much.)

It’s ironic if Nabokov only used it in the archaic sense.

337 Michael Nugent December 22, 2014 at 1:39 am

Can everyone please be careful, when discussing the use of the word nonce, to phrase things in such a way that a reader who is unfamiliar with the background would not misinterpret what you are writing as a serious allegation against a named person? Thanks.

338 ChasCPeterson December 22, 2014 at 1:42 am
339 Justme December 22, 2014 at 1:50 am

Thanks for trying, Michael.

340 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 1:52 am

Pogsurf (#333):

I have made no charge against Myers, I just called him a paedophile.

One would think that such a clever fellow as yourself would recognize the context of my sentence. Although that seems to be something that, in general, you’re clearly unable to do. Note:

charge: 6a. To make a claim of wrongdoing against; accuse or blame: The prosecutors charged him with car theft. Critics charged the writer with a lack of originality.

Of course you weren’t charging him in a court of law. But still clearly making “a claim of wrongdoing” (2).

Don’t rush, and don’t keep making such a fool of yourself along the way.

Piss off.

——
1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/charge”;
2) “_https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/546320877797642243”;

341 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 1:53 am

Can everyone please be careful, when discussing the use of the word nonce, to phrase things in such a way that a reader who is unfamiliar with the background would not misinterpret what you are writing as a serious allegation against a named person? Thanks.

For those outside the UK, over here, by which I mean (for the hard of thinking) where I am, not where you are, it’s a colloquial and now quasi-comic term for sex offender.

Myers used the term recently, oblivious of the connotations it has ‘over here’, by which I mean where I am, not necessarily where you are, and some of us ‘took the piss’, meaning ‘taking the Micky’, or ‘taking the Michael’, which is Cockney rhyming slang (‘Micky Bliss’), and not literally confiscating his urine, although taking the piss comes from ‘piss proud’ meaning the false erection caused by a full bladder.

Those oblivious to British humour and/or polysemy may struggle to get the joke but that’s your problem not ours and maybe you should think twice before slapping someone on the fanny or smoking rough shag.

342 john welch December 22, 2014 at 1:56 am

Shatterface@ 291:

Look, Myers used a word that means something entirely different over here, which is why it was funny. Commentators on his own site pointed out the double meaning.

Only if you get the joke. If you’d never heard that usage before, you’d be completely mystified. It’d be like me using some specific reference that only makes sense if you grew up in Miami in the 1970s and happened to watch local kid’s TV.

It would make perfect sense to me and others of that group, but you’d probably be wondering just what the hell we were talking about. Same thing.

Or if you go to Atlanta, GA, and order a Coke. The correct response will be “what kind” because in and around Atlanta and much of the southern US, “coke” is a synonym for “soda” as much as a specific brand of soda.

Nobody actually uses the term to mean ‘for the moment’ anymore; even authors like Will Self who pride themselves on their obscure vocabulary don’t use it to mean ‘for the moment’.

Clearly that’s an incorrect statement, given the number of people in this thread and elsewhere who have *only* ever heard of nonce as a somewhat fancy-schmancy synonym for “for the moment”. It may not be the common usage where you are, but that doesn’t mean your usage is the only ‘common’ usage of it, nor is it the only ‘correct’ usage.

In your part of the world, the common usage is as a synonym for pedo. In other parts of the world, it’s a synonym of “for the moment”.

What I’m unsure of is why you seem to really need people to acknowledge one, and only one usage as canonically and objectively correct. That’s a bit silly.

Okay, you don’t get the joke, or you don’t think it’s funny. Whatever. Just don’t pretend you understand how colloquial words are used in Britain better than we do.

I’m saying no such thing. I’ve said:

1) I’m not british
2) I’d never heard of the ‘pedo’ usage until this thread
3) From the quick bit of dictionary searching I did, neither usage was “the only one”.

None of that is me asserting authoritative knowledge of British Colloquialisms in britan. I don’t know who is doing that, but it ain’t me. Saying otherwise then getting pissed at me for it veers rather close to strawman territory.

It’s simply irritating when you or Steersman deny the colloquial use of words as if the rest of us are new to the business of speaking.

It’s probably as irritating as being told you’re an idiot for not knowing the usage of a word given that there’s almost no chance I’d ever run into that usage without being in a specific geographical location. Actually, it’s probably less irritating than the above AND being told I’m saying and thinking things i’m not, given that you’re rather unqualified to tell me what i’m thinking, and you don’t seem to be doing a very good job with what I’m saying/writing either.

343 john welch December 22, 2014 at 2:03 am

Shatterface yet again, this time @292, (Shatterface: The Sequel!)

Well, precisely. If there was a definitive definition if the word there wouldn’t be a double entendre. Double entendres have more than one meaning; in fact, they have two, hence the word ‘double’.

Thank GOD you are hear to explain that to me. Tell me, do you usually jump right to “you’re not saying what I want you to say, clearly you are stupid” in real life? And if so, does it work well for you? I’m curious because it doesn’t seem like a good tactic in the long term. Or in the short term for that matter. Unless you’re going for “I want no one who doesn’t agree with me to talk to me.” If that’s the general idea, it’s working really well.

I’m struggling to work out why you went looking for a single correct meaning that excludes all others when the whole point of the joke is that there are two meanings.

You could try just asking me why I looked the word up. I understand that if you want to understand another person’s motivation, rather than pulling half-baked guesses out of your nethers, you can, you know, ask them.

I looked up the definition of the word for two reasons:

1) I’d (AGAIN), never heard the pedo version, so I was curious about it. I also did some reading up on the etymology of that usage. It’s kind of interesting.

2) Because you seemed to be saying THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE. (note: “seemed”.) That seemed a bit off to me, so again, I did some dictionary searches.

Really, that was it. Simple curiosity about a heretofore unknown usage of a word. No big “MUST PROVE ALL WHO DON’T AGREE WITH ME WRONG” shit. In fact, I went out of my way to point out that there is more than one “correct” meaning.

You know, for someone trying to point out “IT’S A JOKE”, you’re really doing a bad job. And spending a lot of time explaining it. Which is usually a sign that the joke kind of fell flat with a given audience. In general, if the joke bombs, just move on. Explaining it won’t actually make it funny.

344 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 2:07 am

People have explained the joke to you and you keep coming back saying you didn’t get the joke. Fine. It’s not funny to you if you’ve had to have it explained to you anyway and we understand that: we’ve simply explained why we found it funny.

Myers used a term that makes the title of his thread funny in the UK. That’s all there is to it. If he’d said that out loud at a skeptics conference in the UK people would have laughed.

And what makes if especially funny is that he used the term thinking it made him sound clever because it sounds British, something he also does with ‘bloody’, ‘wanker’ and ‘gobshite’ which probably sound erudite to him but would be common parlance in British school yards.

345 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 2:18 am

2) Because you seemed to be saying THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE. (note: “seemed”.) That seemed a bit off to me, so again, I did some dictionary searches.

Jesus wept: the entire fucking point of a double entendre is that THERE ISN’T ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE. What is is about the word ‘DOUBLE’ you are having problems with?!?

Really, that was it. Simple curiosity about a heretofore unknown usage of a word. No big “MUST PROVE ALL WHO DON’T AGREE WITH ME WRONG” shit. In fact, I went out of my way to point out that there is more than one “correct” meaning.

You aren’t just being wrong you are being dense.

You know, for someone trying to point out “IT’S A JOKE”, you’re really doing a bad job. And spending a lot of time explaining it. Which is usually a sign that the joke kind of fell flat with a given audience. In general, if the joke bombs, just move on. Explaining it won’t actually make it funny.

This will be the last time I explain it: the joke is that it’s a double entendre in British English. That’s it. You didn’t get it and despite the endless attempts to explain double entendres you keep coming back with bullshit like ‘you seemed to be saying THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE’ when we are saying precisely THE OPPOSITE.

It’s a DOUBLE MEANING.

By no reasonable interpretation can a DOUBLE MEANING be said to imply THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE.

346 JackSkeptic December 22, 2014 at 2:19 am

You guys really know how to score an own goal. Well done and thanks for derailing for a bonus point.

347 john welch December 22, 2014 at 2:28 am

Shatterface@ 341 (Part III: THE SHATTERFACING)

Maybe if you’d not started out by doing a great impression of telling everyone who uses the other meaning of nonce that they’re stupid and wrong, that might have helped.

It also might have helped had you then not come across as highlandering the entire thing. (THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.) That may not have been your intent, but that was what came across.

And the almost strawmanning, that tends to kill humor too.

But really, it’s not about the joke. Once I understood what you were actually talking about, (some time ago), I got the joke. It was kind of lame, but sure. Hey Beavis, he said “nonce”, heheheheheh.

I am more than amused at your insistence that the only reason PZ, (or anyone who’s not ‘entitled’ to use it) is to be pretentious. See, there’s this thing called “television” and “movies” and by watching “television” and “movies” made in places other than where you live, and about people other than the people where you live, you can do what is called “learn things about them”.

I know that’s kind of shocking, but it’s true! So, if you happen to say, like “television” and “movies” that use certain words a lot, you just might adopt that usage yourself. Not because you think it makes you…whatever. But because for whatever reason, that word pleases you. I don’t think calling someone I think stupid a “stupid tit” makes me sound smarter or more british or whatever. I just like the phrase. Kinda rolls off the tongue. “Stupid tit” The tongue placement for the “d” in stupid leads easily into the “t” in “tit”. Bunch of reasons.

I use it for me, not for anyone else.

I know it’s PZ and all, but there’s a good chance he’s using it for internal reasons, not external validation.

Now, gobshite, I’ve got no clue why anyone would use that. It’s just an awkward word to physically say, which is why I wouldn’t use it myself.

I use the french “merde” instead of the spanish version, even though I grew up with the spanish version because I like how the french version sounds, and the spanish (or more properly cuban) version tacks on an extra syllable that is again, awkward.

Do I think it makes me sound…well, however the fuck saying “shit” in french would make you sound? Nope. Just like the word. Also, if you work around people who are monolingual when it comes to profanity, it can help you deal with the day’s little frustrations without getting in trouble.

Etc. yadda.

I know it’s PZ, but still.

348 john welch December 22, 2014 at 2:30 am

Shatterface 4 (Featuring Zombie Richard Pryor!)

This will be the last time I explain it: the joke is that it’s a double entendre in British English. That’s it. You didn’t get it and despite the endless attempts to explain double entendres you keep coming back with bullshit like ‘you seemed to be saying THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE’ when we are saying precisely THE OPPOSITE.

It’s a DOUBLE MEANING.

By no reasonable interpretation can a DOUBLE MEANING be said to imply THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE.

You are literally quoting without reading at this point.

you SEEMED. That bit has meaning. I.e. “i know what you meant in your head, but maybe allow that what came out wasn’t quite as clear as you thought it was.”

Just thought you should know.

349 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 2:36 am

Shatterface (#333):

We didn’t call him a pedophile you fucking moron, we took the piss because he used a word that means sex offender in colloquial use.

You should apologize to Phil and myself.

I’ll go as far as conceding that neither of you explicitly called Myers a pedophile. But you in particular did say (#177), although it seems Michael has deleted it which I at least have to question – maybe he’s trying to prove his blog isn’t “SlymePit, Ireland” [ 😉 ]; in any case, to wit:

Myers is now apparently calling himself a ‘nonce’.

Which is unmitigated horse shit. And pandering to the cheap seats. And attempting a bit of character assassination – not that his character is anything that one might reasonably call exemplary. But he didn’t say that he was a pedophile, he rather clearly said he was stuck marking papers “for the moment”. Seems rather disingenuous if not intellectually dishonest to suggest that that isn’t at least tantamount to calling him a pedophile.

To kill two birds with one stone and to amplify some of the points made by John Welch (“Hey Beavis, he said ‘nonce’, heheheheheh” – :-) ); Shatterface (#291):

It’s simply irritating when you or Steersman deny the colloquial use of words as if the rest of us are new to the business of speaking.

And frequently make a cockup of it too:

Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks have taught their Greek.

But use proper English you’re regarded as a freak.
Why can’t the English,
Why can’t the English learn to speak?

I’m certainly not denying “the colloquial use of words”. Just pointing out the illogic, if not the hypocrisy, of insisting that one’s own interpretation has to carry the day, that it has to be the one used to interpret someone else’s statement when they rather clearly were using a different one.

You may wish to review Michael’s perspectives on charitable interpretations.

350 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 2:38 am

I am more than amused at your insistence that the only reason PZ, (or anyone who’s not ‘entitled’ to use it) is to be pretentious. See, there’s this thing called “television” and “movies” and by watching “television” and “movies” made in places other than where you live, and about people other than the people where you live, you can do what is called “learn things about them”.

Amazing that there are all these TV shows and films that teach you how people speak elsewhere and you have never once seen a movie or TV show from the UK featuring the word ‘nonce’.

Don’t they show Jason Statham movies where you are?

351 john welch December 22, 2014 at 2:38 am

Seriously. Once folks explained the meaning for the unenlightened WE GOT THE JOKE. To quote beavis: “Err…i get the joke…err, it’s just not that funny…”

What some of have been talking about was not the joke nor the double meaning. It was how some folks were coming across like there’s only one ‘correct’ use for ‘nonce’ and how you’re a nit-wit if you don’t use that particular meaning.

THAT was the puzzling bit. Really.

352 john welch December 22, 2014 at 2:39 am

I dunno, did he use it that way in “Transporter II”? He might have, I was paying attention to the awesome fighting not the craptacular dialogue.

353 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 2:43 am

I’m certainly not denying “the colloquial use of words”. Just pointing out the illogic, if not the hypocrisy, of insisting that one’s own interpretation has to carry the day, that it has to be the one used to interpret someone else’s statement when they rather clearly were using a different one.

Jesus fucking Christ.

I’m not going to retype this, I’m just going to paste:

By no reasonable interpretation can a DOUBLE MEANING be said to imply THERE IS ONLY ONE CORRECT USAGE.

354 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 2:54 am

Shatterface (#350):

But that seems like some serious ad hoc-ery: “shifting contexts to create new meanings” (1); some serious “ret-conning” (2): “alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work”.

Maybe you can point out where you clearly indicated – at the outset – that you accepted that there were “DOUBBBBBLE MEANINGS” – of which “for the moment” was one.

—–
1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hoc”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroactive_continuity”;

355 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 2:59 am

Maybe you can point out where you clearly indicated – at the outset – that you accepted that there were “DOUBBBBBLE MEANINGS” – of which “for the moment” was one.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_End

356 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 3:05 am

Shatterface:

Dickhead. n. one who responds who credible and cogent challenges with “rickrolling” (1)

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

357 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 3:12 am

That’s not a double entendre.

I honestly didn’t think the concept was so difficult to grasp.

358 Justme December 22, 2014 at 3:18 am

This persistent derail of Michael’s blog, could it be deliberate to get the focus off Myers?

359 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 3:22 am

Shatterface (#354):

Still looks like some serious misdirection – being charitable, to a fault. The point isn’t that the statement is open to alternative meanings or interpretations: i.e., double entendres. It is that “you” – and Pogsurf and Phil to greater or lesser extents – are rather clearly trying to “bust Myers’ chops” over a different one, other than the one you insist on, that a rather large number of people – including Myers – rather clearly subscribe to and use.

360 Shatterface December 22, 2014 at 3:25 am

It’s not a misdirection and I am not being charitable to you, faulty though you are.

361 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 3:26 am

Justme (#355):

“Only the Shadow Knows ….”

Focus as much as you like on Myers as I expect there is no shortage of stuff to “hold his feet to the fire” for. But trying to make a case when the evidence really isn’t there just looks petty at best – hardly anything to redound to “our” credit.

362 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 3:31 am

Shatterface (#357):

It’s not a misdirection and I am not being charitable to you, faulty though you are.

If the first part was really true then you would be able to point to some evidence that you were joking when, at the time, you said “Myers is now apparently calling himself a ‘nonce’”; some evidence, at the time, that you recognized it was based on an alternate – and idiosyncratic – definition and use of the word. Can you do so???

363 Pogsurf December 22, 2014 at 3:32 am

I am beginning to despair that we will ever teach the Americans any decent manners. They really are a very unkind and disagreeable people.

Where I went school, which is now a housing estate, we were taught to use two very simple words to help lubricate our conversations. Fortunately there is no ambiguity in there usage across the pond.

The words are ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Did I say there were two words? I clearly meant three. Now it seems our numbers are broken too.

364 Justme December 22, 2014 at 3:47 am

Michael, what you tried to do is so important, and I’m so sorry this happened. I hope you won’t give up trying. Maybe there’s a better place to do it than here, I don’t know. Anyway, good luck. I’m out.

365 FishCakes December 22, 2014 at 4:15 am

Can any of you please put your ego aside and just drop it already? You’ve all had your say (on a topic that has no real relation to the OP) so how about exercising a modicum of will power and just stop already. Or at least take it elsewhere. Please and thank you.

366 John Greg December 22, 2014 at 4:56 am

Steers, Shatter, et al. Congrats on one of the best, most successful, and most boring derails I have seen in a long time. It’s true FTB quality derailing if ever there was.

Claps all around.

367 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 5:14 am

FishCakes (#362):

I beg to differ with you – at least to some extent. While there is more than a little justification in what you say, and while I’ll readily agree, at least in general, with Michael’s argument that “PZ Myers’ unethical behaviour is harmful to the atheist and skeptic movements, and to the cause of social justice”, it also seems that more than a few on “our” side are all too quick to indulge in some serious “in-group morality, out-group hostility” of our own; to cut a few ethical corners in the name of the end justifying the means.

Which, one might argue, is unlikely to do much to attenuate or put an end to “Myers’ unethical behaviour”, particularly as “they” can then point to equally unethical behaviour on “our” side as justifications for their behaviours. For instance, you might note Michael’s frequent refrain of “judge each other charitably”, ask yourself whether unevidenced accusations of pedophilia really qualify as such, and whether the effects have done much to bring us closer to that objective.

368 Aneris ✻ December 22, 2014 at 5:27 am

Look up “homonyms”. The same sign (letters, sounds) refer to different things and speakers know which is meant by context. By “look up” I didn’t mean you should stare at the ceilling. The point isn’t lost that a reader must have some goodwill to understand what a message was probably meant to convey. “Intent isn’t magic” is just rubbish invented to pretend that a social justice warrior is justified to read into someone elses text whatever they can get away with. What is meant depends on context, hence social justice warrior arguments rely on the “elimination of context” — which is also in the zeitgeist (and allowing the social justice warrior phenomenon to blossom).

Here’s a good read:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2014/12/18/chris-rock-campus-conservatism-the-interview-and-the-outrage-economy

369 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 5:30 am

John Greg (#363):

Thnk you, thnk you ver’ much. Just call me “The Manchurian Candidate”. Though I note you’ve weighed in – on the side of the angels – in a number of comments.

But you might consider that there’s some relevance in the devil & details aphorism. And in the observation that if one wishes to become rich then one should just look after the pennies as, in that case, the dimes and dollars will look after themselves. Grand ethical principles are all fine and dandy, but if no one subscribes to them in the trenches then it seems unlikely they’ll carry the day.

370 Pogsurf December 22, 2014 at 5:58 am

Well done Steersman, I knew you had it in you.

I’m afraid I have to go away for a few days. I’ll be back in touch when I can.

371 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 6:20 am

Aneris (#365):

Love it; great article. Some choice observations: “We’re governed by the thinnest skins”; “hair-trigger indignation”. And I see it links to a Slate article on “The Year of Outrage: 2014”.

But you might not have seen this article (1) linked to in one of the comments, a rather amusing but quite cogent satire on, apparently, identarianism in general.

No longer will I persevere in patience. No longer will I suffer in silence. I am a left-handed individual, and my humanity needs be respected! The next time someone tells you to Do the right thing! turn around and flick them off with your left middle finger.

Do the left thing.

Apparently “the author was, of course, promptly sacked for offending the delicate sensibilities of the small-minded …” No sense of humour I’d guess, although the site seems to have one or more in the same vein.

——
1) “_http://www.michiganreview.com/do-the-left-thing/”;

372 Pogsurf December 22, 2014 at 6:53 am

Well done again, Steers. I too have been oppressed by my at times crippling left-handedness. Knives and forks, buttons, door handles – all of these are designed for the majority market.

I really must go now because I can hear the Police rapping at the door. Goodbye.

373 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 7:37 am

Pogsurf (#367):

Well done Steersman, I knew you had it in you

Had what in me? The ability to keep this derail off de-track? So to speak.

But, as mentioned, I hardly think that this really qualifies as such, and actually speaks with some relevance and cogency to several of Michael’s points, notably the issue of “charitable interpretations”.

Now one might argue with maybe some slight justification that I in particular was not being particularly charitable myself in thinking that you were actually making a “charge” of a rather odious crime (1). However you gave absolutely diddly squat in the way of context, that I saw, to justify or suggest any other one – in the future you may wish to consider linking to various articles and definitions to forestall people reaching those conclusions. Or maybe that was your intent?

In addition, you might note Aneris’ post (#365) which argues, also with some justification, that:

“Intent isn’t magic” is just rubbish invented to pretend that a social justice warrior is justified to read into someone else’s text whatever they can get away with.

Although one might suggest that there are some actions that we should know the consequences of, even if we don’t intend them. But I wonder, do you really want to join those ranks? Because it sure looks like that was precisely what you were doing. And while some apparently argue, with maybe some justification, that “Myers had that coming”, it seems the more credible argument is that accusations of pedophilia are hardly something to be joking about, that they are rather different, not just in degree but in kind, from virtually anything that he might be guilty of.

——
1) “_https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/546320877797642243”;

374 Steersman December 22, 2014 at 7:45 am

Pogsurf (#369):

I really must go now because I can hear the Police rapping at the door. Goodbye.

Be brave dear Pogsurf ….

375 Dave Allen December 22, 2014 at 10:02 am

Christ almighty, when I say ‘over here’ I’m talking about where I fucking am not where you fucking are. WTF is wrong with you?

We’re both in the UK.

376 Carrie December 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

Just a quick point — there are different areas within the UK. Not every “where I am” will understand the same colloquialisms as another. For instance, when I met my mother-in-law for the first time, she asked me if I would like a fancy-piece. I had to explain my giggles; she was offering me a cake, not a lady of easy virtue. We both are / were natives of the UK.

I find it telling that a battle of this sort can erupt with vigorous misunderstandings on Michael’s blog and end with the equivalent of handshakes rather than chaos, hate and banhammers.

377 Phil Giordana FCD December 22, 2014 at 11:12 am

With a probably erratic internet connection for the next few days, I’d like to wish everyone here a merry Christmas, and thank Michael for his patience and his providing of a haven for people who don’t like to be silenced.

Have a great time, all!

378 Carrie December 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

And a merry Christmas / holiday season to you also, Phil. I hope that things are a lot better for you (and for all of us) in 2015. I echo your thanks to Michael, he is giving us not just a haven but also a clear and good example to follow.

Cheers!

379 john welch December 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

What else can actually be said about PZ that is new? I mean, he’s a hypocritical crybaby who talks endless smack on his blog, but in person basically runs and hides behind “I’m just a big friendly teddy bear”.

Yeah, a teddy bear with knives for which to stick in your back.

He’s got all the integrity of a rabid mongoose pumped full of spanish fly in a cobra cage, and all the self-awareness of a brick. I’d say he was just trolling people at this point, but he’s never been that sharp, and at this point, at the pinnacle of his “thick as a whale omelette and twice as loud” glory, well, I almost feel bad to compare him to a brick.

Bricks at least, are useful.

Honestly, were you to tell me that silly tit had fainted because he’d forgot to breathe while walking, I’d not blink. Wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

It’s not a derail. It’s just that bagging on him is, at this point, boring.

Michael is doing a masterful job of detailing his hypocrisy, and I’m very glad for that, but the gold in that is in the level of detail involved. None of it is really new. It’s just that PZ can’t chuck Michael in the MRA/Slymepit Oubliette as easily as he can other people, and so it’s a bit inconvenient for him.

But in the meantime, it is a distraction, but at least there’s some educational value in it. I learned a new use of a word. That’s more than I’ve ever gotten from PZ.

380 Lancelot Gobbo December 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Carrie wrote:
Just a quick point — there are different areas within the UK. Not every “where I am” will understand the same colloquialisms as another. For instance, when I met my mother-in-law for the first time, she asked me if I would like a fancy-piece. I had to explain my giggles; she was offering me a cake, not a lady of easy virtue. We both are / were natives of the UK.

Southron! While I was born in Wiltshire, my parents were from Cheshire and Durham, so I grew up with a lovely mixture of colloquial English. “We’em yur naw, let me get ma clarty boots off, get yer some lardy cake and we’ll have a crack!”

381 John Welch December 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Same thing in the US. The aforementioned “coke” is a popular example, but there’s a few things. highway vs. tollway vs. expressway.

y’all vs. youse vs. you’ins

the variations on “hello”.

Liquor store vs. “packy”

“staties”

I lived near boston long enough to realize Bostonian is damned near its own language. It’s more distinct than southern ever thought of being. You order a “milkshake” in Boston, you may get something verrry different than what you expect.

So yeah. even “over here” isn’t.

382 Patrick December 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm

JackSkeptic @345:

You guys really know how to score an own goal. Well done and thanks for derailing for a bonus point.

Indeed. Michael’s original post is a valuable resource for documenting and, hopefully, reducing the harm being done by Myers and his ilk to the atheism and skepticism movements. The off topic derailing comments detract significantly from that value. I don’t know if it’s possible with this blog software, but it would be great if Michael could create the equivalent of AtBC’s Bathroom Wall and move the nonsense there.

Myers & co. are not going to stop with their defamatory smears, doxxing, and harassment until their behavior has repercussions in what they consider the real world — speaking gigs at conferences. The material that Michael has consolidated here is the basis of an argument to be made to conference organizers, other speakers, and sponsors that Myers is a toxic presence who should not be given a platform to spread his bile.

I’ve started using it in this way in discussions with the Gateway To Reason (https://www.facebook.com/gatewaytoreason/timeline) conference that has Myers scheduled for early next summer. I’ve also started contacting the other speakers. How about redirecting some of the time and energy spent arguing about archaic English to hitting the disingenuous rage blogger where it will hurt?

If anyone knows of other conferences that are supporting Myers and the other FtBullies, please share the information.

383 John Welch December 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Yeah, if you contacted the gateway folks anonymously, they pretty much dismissed you because you didn’t have the “balls” to use your name.

I love that response though.

P.s. if you had serious grievous , as I reveal my name, you should do the same.

Those that hide in shadows are not as seriously taken as ones that fight openly.

bless their hearts.

384 Douglas G. December 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I have to agree with JackSkeptic @ 345 and with with Patrick @ 381 – Michael has done a masterful job of collecting and listing some very pertinent information and then… “an own goal” to quote JackSkeptic.

Why the derailing and bullshit? Why try to outdo people like “Nerd of Redhead” or “Theophontes” or “Latsot” at their own game?

Thanks for your hard work and excellent research Michael. Happy holidays to you and yours.

385 Stacy Turner December 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

“…and that if you don’t agree with Atheism Plus you are an Asshole Atheist. ”

“Atheism Plus ”

You could have just stopped there. LOL.

386 Patrick December 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

John Welch @382:

Yeah, if you contacted the gateway folks anonymously, they pretty much dismissed you because you didn’t have the “balls” to use your name.

I contacted them using my full real name, but whoever is hiding behind the Gateway pseudonym is unwilling to look at the evidence provided by Michael and discuss the actual issue of sanctioning Myers egregious behavior.

I’ll keep plugging away. I hope some of the participants here will choose to to the same.

387 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 12:19 am

@John Greg #215

Sorry to be so tardy in my reply, but I have had a few visitors. One person who I have not seen for over two years (I am godfather to his son, who he named after me) and another who I have not seen for about eight years (and as it turns out named his son after me and asked me if I would officially become his godfather).

Added to that, Skype has been going pretty much bonkers with one call coming in after the next.

Not raging but rather words like “war” or “rape” are bandied about indiscriminately and when all is said and done those words are demeaned.

With regard to Staffordshire Bull-Terriers or Pitbulls as the yanks call them, they have a really bad reputation which after personally having three generations of them I know for a fact is not deserved.

As with nearly everything I have ever experienced, “common wisdom” is invariably wrong.

From most any group you care to name I have had both positive and negative experiences from individual members of that group – except dogs, cats and computers where the experience has always been positive.

Although otherwise the normal mixed bag, the two worst back-stabbers I have ever had the misfortune to know were gay men – I would not grace those two with a golden shower even if they were burning.

Religious types tie themselves up in pretzels when it comes to differentiating the likes of dogs from human beings. In my experience I would say, dogs are:

a) Sentient – yes
b) Self aware -yes
c) Cognizant – yes
d) Emotional – yes
e) Intelligent – yes

There is a really tragic saying in Washington DC (sad in that it reflects so poorly on humans), “If you want a friend in Washington, then get a dog”.

What I related above with regard to my dog and the ball was later summed up in a joke by Ricky Gervais:

Q: How do you bring a blind man’s dog into a crisis of conscience?
A: Grab the white stick off the blind guy at a busy crossing and throw it as far across the road as you possibly can. The dog is thinking, “What a bloody rotten thing to do to my blind guy, on the other hand that is a bloody good throw”.

That reminds me of my favourite blind joke:

A blind guy is walking past someone out with their dog when the dog turns around and bites him.

The blind guy puts his hand into his pocket and pulls out a biscuit and holds it down.

The owner of the dog says, “Sorry mate, my dog just bit you and you are holding out a biscuit for him?”

The blind guy replied, “Of course I am, if I don’t know where his mouth is how the hell am I going to be able to kick it up the arse!”

The last bull-terrier I had (the one that had a go at my throat when I was under her) and the bull-terrier I talked about with the non verbal communication, we had at the same time.

One thing was the male bull-terrier loved balls, the female could not give a damn about balls or sticks but went crackers for stones.

Anyway I was out with both of them and I threw a tennis ball into pretty long grass for my male dog, and it surprised me that the female dog went after it like the clappers as well.

Anyway the male dog was running around like mad looking for the ball and the female dog just stood there doing nothing. She would also not come back when I called her.

So I went over to her, and she was standing there a bit awkwardly with her front paws together (each of her paws was about half the size of my hand). I looked down and I could just make out the tennis ball she was standing on in between her paws and I could swear she was smiling when she looked over at my male dog going nuts trying to find the ball and then looked back at me.

388 JetLagg December 23, 2014 at 12:26 am

Christ. What happened here? I wasn’t even gone that long.

Anyway, assuming Deepak is even still reading…

Deepak@184

Point out where Watson or Sarkeesian has said that she gets more threats than Dawkins.

That this is their implication is obvious. They want us to believe misogyny runs rampant in our culture. As evidence, they show that they (public figures with controversial opinions) get harassed. If it turns out that female harassment is not disproportional to the harassment faced by male public figures (and to date, nobody has demonstrated that it is), then the evidence wouldn’t point toward the conclusion they want it to.

So, they’re either implying women face worse harassment than men, or they’re such sloppy thinkers they don’t even realize that is what needs to be true in order for their argument to get off the ground. It is, has always been, about the quantity.

Of course, it being about the quantity and it being about the quality are not mutually exclusive.

389 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 12:35 am

@Shatterface #248

“The fact is some Americans think using British terms makes them sound smarter than they are and sometimes they fall flat on their face”

The worst example of this I ever saw was in an episode of “Friends” where one of the main characters referred to someone else as a “wanker”.

Now the writers of the series obviously thought they were just using another term for “jerk”.

They obviously did nor realise that the term “wanker” would be classed as “fighting talk” and not just banter.

Go up to two different guys in a British pub and call one a jerk and he will tell you to piss off. Call the other one a wanker and you will be picking your teeth up off the floor.

I don’t think the writers of American TV shows are doing their viewers who might travel to the UK someday many favours with things like that.

390 Julia December 23, 2014 at 2:21 am

I am flabbergasted and disgusted with what this blog has turned into. At first I thought it was “Slymepit Ireland”, but no, it seems it has already surpassed the Slymepit. Michael, what has become of you? I remember when you were one of the good guys. Why did you sell out? Why did you let your blog become infested with the deranged mob of misogynist crybaby losers who are doing all they can to destroy the atheist/skeptical movement because of how much they hate PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson?

This is truly heartbreaking! It is difficult to read the hateful comments here.

391 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 3:05 am

@Steersman #372

“Although one might suggest that there are some actions that we should know the consequences of, even if we don’t intend them.”

You mean like that flag with a blue “X” with stars in it flown by people in the US southern states to protest supposed “infringements” against their “Second Amendment Rights”?

Never mind that those people (well actually up to and including SCROTUS – Supreme Court Republicans of the United States and especially Scalia and his sockpuppet Thomas) are too bollock stupid to have read the first bit of the sentence. I think we can all get together on the grenade launcher:
http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2014/10/hero_army_expert_removes_grena.html

That flag is actually a battle flag of the Confederacy and anyone flying it is actually denoting themselves as an enemy combatant of the United States of America and as such should be treated the same way as any other enemy combatant on any other battlefield either historical or extant.

I’m quite sure that an A10 Republic Thunderbolt II fully armed doing a strafing run with live ammo might dampen the fervor of those glorifying the concept of armed sedition against the legally appointed Federal Government and its Commander-in-Chief wouldn’t you say?

Ah yes, there is that pesky little by-law called “Posse Comitatus” which does make it easy to be “brave” against the “oppressors” I suppose and to fly a flag inimical to peace and well-being of the nation.

392 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 3:20 am

@Julia #388

Ah so you are one of the exalted, if not anointed, non “dictionary atheists”.

The thing is your buddy Richard Carrier did say, and as far as I am aware Watson and Myers subscribe to the statement that atheists such as I (you know, people who do not believe in gods or gods) are not good enough to be considered to be in the “atheist/skeptical movement” unless I adopt the dogma and doctrine of anyone but atheists who happen to have some kind of first world pity-party crisis going on.

What was it Carrier said, “You are either with us or against us”.

You know what I have been a life long atheist and not some Johnnie-come-lately to the concept such as PZ Myers or some snot-nosed little kid who has barely been weaned like Carrier and I personally think that we atheists have enough problems.

On a reciprocal basis I would be willing to support other groups if they have a valid grievance – which Watson and the SJW consortium most certainly don’t from what they consider to be “abominable”.

Watson can decide whether she wants to be an atheist or a feminist – I for one do not want to be straddled by that cognitively addled woman.

393 FishCakes December 23, 2014 at 4:14 am

deranged mob of misogynist crybaby losers

Such a well-reasoned and thoughful comment is sure to win hearts and minds. Keep up the great work Julia, you are fighting the good fight against hate. Well done.

394 Patrick December 23, 2014 at 4:21 am

Julia @388,

Would you care to address PZ Myers’ claim that Michael Nugent is providing a haven for rapists or is he somehow exempt from your criticism of “hateful comments”?

395 Patrick December 23, 2014 at 4:23 am

Julia @388,

Oh, and while you are commenting, could you please provide links to the comments that you consider misogynistic? I will certainly support you in condemning them.

396 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) December 23, 2014 at 4:27 am

@ Julia

Michael, what has become of you?

Watch this space for the next while, and see if Michael Nugent is happy to allow Michael Nager‘s rank ableism to stand.

397 FishCakes December 23, 2014 at 4:53 am

theophontes,
Speaking of ableism, please tell us how you feel about Julia calling other people deranged. Somehow I suspect you’ll find a way to justify it or rationalize it away.

Oh, by the way, what’s taking you so long to own up to your ridiculous attempt to smear Nugent as being associated with some group from the 1930s? Why should anyone take anything you say seriously, especially if you aren’t even able (oops, is that ableism?) to muster the courage and maturity to retract and apologize for that bit of nonsense?

398 john welch December 23, 2014 at 5:05 am

Oh Julia, Oh Theo (and the fact you’re whining about ableism when you continue to a page with a blatantly ableist slur shows just how hypocritical and completely devoid of real concern about ableism you are), woe is you! WOE IS YOU!

Also, as FishCakes pointed out, “deranged” is an ableist slur theo. I expect you, as a Clear, to immediately denounce it. (JUST KIDDING, JULIA’S CLEAR TOO, SO IT’S OKAY!)

Also, crybaby as an insult supports traditional patriarchal views that force men to hide all emotional response, thereby contributing to the oppression of women and other Clear by forcing a disconnect from the emotional stability they were born with, and only lost because of the non-feminist science they’ve been taught by other men.

I really expected better from the Clear.

399 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 5:12 am

@theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) #394

“Watch this space for the next while, and see if Michael Nugent is happy to allow Michael Nager‘s rank ableism to stand.”

OK, I think I can die now. That’s it, I have heard everything, there are no surprises left. Wake me up from my state of cryptobiosis when something even more insipid comes along disguising cognitive flatulence as coherent thought.

Usually osteoblasts stop when they have healed the bone damage, but in the case of Theo it seems the healing of the damage to his head continued until the whole skull was not only healed but filled in.

As far as “ableism” is concerned I’d advise you to stay away from IQ tests, you seem to have reached the pinnacle of your intellectual ability when you flunked the Turing Test

400 Pogsurf December 23, 2014 at 6:58 am

“… deranged mob of misogynist crybaby losers …”

I am going to own up to all of these, and worse, with the slight exception of ‘mob’ – there’s only one of me. That is if you discount all the sock-puppets that I run which I suppose is a mob of sorts.

I welcome Julia’s contribution wholeheartedly because it’s all sounding very male around here. It is only by allowing ladies to make a full and considered contribution that I will be able to flirt, and thereby cultivate my outrageous sexism (please don’t tell the wife).

Hello Julia, You are very welcome.

401 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) December 23, 2014 at 7:04 am

@ FishCakes

Speaking of ableism, please tell us how you feel about Julia calling other people deranged.

Thank you for calling Julia out on that, FishCakes, we make quite a team.

…muster the courage and maturity to retract and apologize for that bit of nonsense?

I recently responded to a similar comment by Patrick here: Linky.

402 Michael Nager December 23, 2014 at 7:18 am

400!

403 Pogsurf December 23, 2014 at 7:25 am

Sorry Michael you miscounted, try again.

404 Mel December 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

Anything Michael Nugent could possibly accomplish is just going to be derailed by slymepit trolls. I sent people to this blog because I really think it’s important. Now I’m just fucking embarrassed. Bye.

405 Jan Steen December 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

@Julia,

This is truly heartbreaking! It is difficult to read the hateful comments here.

I take it that you agree with the OP, but just have a problem with the comments? Then don’t read the comments. They were not written by Michael. He is not responsible for them.

Anything Michael Nugent could possibly accomplish is just going to be derailed by slymepit trolls. I sent people to this blog because I really think it’s important. Now I’m just fucking embarrassed. Bye.

Just ignore the “trolls” (also known as people who disagree with you) and focus on the OP. Do you agree with Michael regarding the harmful influence of PZ Myers on the a/s community?

406 Mel December 23, 2014 at 8:23 am

I agree passionately, but the slymepit is too determined to undermine Michael’s efforts and unfortunately there are more of them than there are of him.

I’m done here, no need to reply to me.

407 Pogsurf December 23, 2014 at 8:54 am

Utter nonsense Mel.

I have posted on the Slymepit, and praised it here:

http://pogsurf.blogspot.ca/2014/05/available-for-late-autumn-2014.html

Justin Vacula is a Slymepit member. He has asked for funds to aid his activism via the auspices of the Slymepit.

Both Justin and I travelled via aircraft to visit the Dublin 2013 and attend the conference chaired by Jane Donnelly. Empowering Women Through Secularism was hosted by Atheist Ireland whilst Michael Nugent was chair of that organisation. We all committed to resolving our differences and working towards the conference’s aim by spending our own money , attending and working together in a peaceful and respectful environment.

Your opinion is not based on facts. What commitment have you shown?

408 Jan Steen December 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

It must be confusing for those who are used to the carefully moderated echo chamber of Pharyngula, where every bit of non-PC language or dissenting opinion is called out at once, to see a comment section where people speak their own minds, without worrying too much about what the neighbours might think. Yes, sometimes there are obnoxious people who shout stupid things or who can’t drop a subject that has been done to death. Welcome to democracy. It’s not a perfect system, but every alternative is worse. I think Michael is doing a good job moderating his comment sections. Only a fool would think that every opinion expressed here is one that Michael agrees with.

What in my view is far worse than shouting stupid things or derailing threads is to attack the character of commenters you disagree with, instead of providing decent counter arguments. We see nobody here attempting a coherent defence of PZ Myers. Instead, when you dare to point out what an abusive, libellous and dishonest person he is, with citations to prove it, the response from his camp is that you are a misogynist, a rapist, a person with a sleazy, fascist past, or a reactionary, MRA, libertarian scumbag. All without evidence. Anything but a decent argument.

It is exactly the same tactic that the Bolsheviks used, who called every opponent a “fascist spy”, or the Scientologists, who declared (and still declare) dissenters “Suppressive Persons”. That was all the evidence needed for members of the ingroup to know that they were dealing with a “bad” person. I have been called a “reactionary pissant” by our friend theophontes, which I found more interesting than insulting. People like him can’t insult me, but they can provide some valuable insight into the mind of the equivalent of a Maoist lunatic. Those people would have called me a “bourgeois traitor” or some similar stock phrase, obtained from the same store, and possibly from the same shelf, where “reactionary” lied gathering dust. It is really funny to see theophontes blowing the dust of such old-fashioned clichés and using them as if they say more about his opponent than about himself.

We live in a democracy, imperfect as it is. There is freedom of speech, to an extent. Nobody has to fear that they will end up in a concentration camp for having the wrong opinion. But seeing the rhetoric used on Pharyngula I have a strong suspicion that we have to be grateful that the people who spout that kind of language are only ridiculous commenters on a ridiculous blog who have no real power over others. There are no more Stalinist show trials. But the kind of people who organised them are still among us.

409 FishCakes December 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

theophontes @401,
The relevant point, which unsurprisingly you completely missed, is why you failed to call Julia out yourself. You clearly read her comment, as you responded to it; and just as clearly, you had no problem with her ableism.

You do realize that your inconsistent morlizing demonstrates (to the rest of the world, at least) that you don’t actually care about ableism so much as you care about in-group and out-group allegiances, right?

As to your rationalizing your smear of Nugent, your response can only be described as pitiful or laughable.

So I ask again, why should anyone else take what you say seriously?

410 Billie from Ockham December 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

My suspicion is that, when Mel wrote “…the slymepit is too determined to undermine Michael’s efforts…” Mel was using the word “determined” to describe the effect of certain posts, rather than the intent of the authors; if so, then I completely agree.

(Cue three-day argument about the usages of the word “determined”…)

411 Pogsurf December 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Please accept my humble apologies Mel. I have some family matters going on at the moment that are very stressful to deal with. Like a fool I took some of my current irascibility out on you. Looking back at my earlier comment I think I would now try to word the lead in the following way:

“Please forgive me Mel, but the following words will directly contradict your point that …”

Sorry.

412 John Greg December 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Quoted for truth, importance, and validity:

What in my view is far worse than shouting stupid things or derailing threads is to attack the character of commenters you disagree with, instead of providing decent counter arguments. We see nobody here attempting a coherent defence of PZ Myers. Instead, when you dare to point out what an abusive, libellous and dishonest person he is, with citations to prove it, the response from his camp is that you are a misogynist, a rapist, a person with a sleazy, fascist past, or a reactionary, MRA, libertarian scumbag. All without evidence. Anything but a decent argument.

(My emphasis.)

413 KennyD December 24, 2014 at 2:16 am

A lot of people have asked what I meant when I said things have been “taken out of context” in Michael’s post, and also the “inventing things” issue(to be clear, I accuse people in the comments of inventing, not Michael).

The greater context that is left out is that PZ Myers “hurtful” and “harmful” smears have been largely aimed at the haters and their enablers who have been unrelenting in their vile attacks against Rebecca Watson and other female and feminist atheists since the elevator incident. I don’t just mean the rape and death threats, I mean various well-known male “skeptics” being very dismissive of the concerns of women in the atheist-skeptic movement.

The Slymepit is at the very center of this, though there are other sites where female skeptics are regularly ridiculed(often with sickening Photoshopped images), or accused of lying or making stuff up. Or that they are simply doing this to get attention because they are “professional victims” or “drama queens”.

Claims of sexual harassment at conferences or other events are said by misogynists to not be “legitimate” because of impossible to meet standards of “evidence”. Even when hard evidence is presented it is laughed at. The same goes for the rape and death threats. PZ Myers takes these issues very seriously; those who are against him are very dismissive of them. So yes, PZ Myers is pushing back and it can get ugly. I don’t always agree with his approach, but at least someone is pushing back against the obsessive crazies and misogynists. I’d rather he went back to blogging about biology and atheism.

As far as “inventing” goes, what I meant was that his detractors often invent all sorts of base motives for PZ’s actions. What I mean is, we often hear that he merely discusses feminism or responds to attacks(with colorful language) from bigots for the attention, or because of a personal vendetta or jealousy of certain prominent atheists. No evidence is ever provided to support these wild accusations.

PZ Myers is flawed like all of us. However, when he’s mean, he has a very good reason for being mean. At the end of the day, I believe he is an asset to the world atheist community.

414 john welch December 24, 2014 at 3:05 am

What a shock. Theo is still refusing to refute ableism when used by a fellow Clear.

I must sit and fan myself from the vapors caused by this completely unexpected behavior.

Also, just how many ways can you say “PZ is a hypocritical dip” before it’s even more boring than arguing about nonce? Michael’s doing a great job on this, but if anyone expects the comments section to do much more than (dis) agree with his points.

Well, I will say that if one of the Clear actually had a cogent point to make against Michael’s argument that wasn’t:

1) I hate your commenters, so you are wrong.
2) You used too many(few) words, so you are wrong.
3) You only hate PZ because you’re really pro-rape, because PZ says you’re pro-rape and only pro-rape people disagree with PZ…
4) You wear a red shirt and are Irish so you’re a facist

I’d be completely gobsmacked. I mean I would be surprised beyond words to have someone who disagrees with Michael not resort to some version of the 4 bits of idiocy that we’ve seen to date.

415 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) December 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

@ FishCakes

you don’t actually care about ableism so much as you care about in-group and out-group allegiances, right?

I’ve never made the claim that I seek to personally call out every instance of ableism. That would be like trying to catch water gushing out of a fire-hydrant. I try to call out the most egregious cases. Sometimes I call out PZ’s ableism, sometimes I do not. I called out Michael Nager because he had gone so very far out of his way to be explicitly and willfully ableist.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, it is not my call. That Michael Nugent is happy to host such comments (whether or not called out by other commenters), appears to be something I can do little to stem.

You will notice that I fail to respond to each and every brainfart that emanates from this blog. That, too, would be like chasing the wind.

416 Pogsurf December 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物), have you ever considered that one man’s brainfart may be another man’s witticism? I find that slipping on someone else’s glasses sometimes, hence a deliberate change of perspective, can help with entrenched cases of myopia.

417 Larry Metcalfe December 24, 2014 at 9:58 am

So Theo sees Michael’s new post detailing Myers’ disgusting behaviour and thinks, no, I won’t post here defending Myers, I’ll just bide my time. 400+ responses later he’s still biding his time, waiting for the right moment, but noticeably not defending Myers. Suddenly a commenter makes what he decides is an “ableist slur”. Aha, now I’ve got the bastards, he decides, and wades in.

But, still no comment on Myers’ behaviour as documented in the OP. Interesting.

418 Dave Allen December 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

Claims of sexual harassment at conferences or other events are said by misogynists to not be “legitimate” because of impossible to meet standards of “evidence”. Even when hard evidence is presented it is laughed at. The same goes for the rape and death threats. PZ Myers takes these issues very seriously; those who are against him are very dismissive of them. So yes, PZ Myers is pushing back and it can get ugly. I don’t always agree with his approach, but at least someone is pushing back against the obsessive crazies and misogynists. I’d rather he went back to blogging about biology and atheism.

Personal and/or ideologically-inspired grudges may explain some of PZs petulant attacks on people. But they don’t explain all of them.

Take PZs attack on Neil DeGrasse Tyson for example. PZ was clearly in the wrong, NGT isn’t a political opponent of PZs, so why the rancour and why the refusal to back down?

Even PZs usually supportive comment section seemed mostly opposed to his attitude in this case.

Also, there is more to taking something seriously than being a partisan dog in a manger.

For example – defending Rebecca Watson on the issue of rape and violent threats is all well and good. Many of her stauncher critics do the same.

But defending her from every criticism using the same tactics and tone is not a good idea. In fact it might strike some as bordering on anti-feminist as it denies her the responsibility to account for her errors, treats her like a damsel in distress and so on.

And its now at the absurd level (in fact, it’s been there for some time) were someone can be subjected to rape and death threats from regular Phyrangulites in the name of counter-misogyny.

So it strikes me that it isn’t just “ugly”. It’s needlessly divisive and counter-productive in terms of pushing any of the agenda PZ claims to care about: be it social justice, atheism or science.

Because by now it’s increasingly obvious that unless you are another partisan dog in the manger you won’t be fitting in well.

419 Citizen Wolf December 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

KennyD
**The greater context that is left out is that PZ Myers “hurtful” and “harmful” smears have been largely aimed at the haters and their enablers who have been unrelenting in their vile attacks against Rebecca Watson and other female and feminist atheists …**

Even if that were true, even if he only ever levelled his abusive behavior against those who (in his mind) were being offensive against Rebecca Watson & Co, it still wouldn’t excuse his behavior.

But this isn’t even the case. Michael Nugent is not a hater of Rebecca Watson, nor is he an enabler of vile attacks against women, and yet PZ still decides to use the same tactics on MN saying that he provides a haven for rapists and in doing so is endorsing rape culture. Then he calls him names such as fuckwit, etc etc. He fails to clarify and withdraw his allegations even when it is highlighted that others have started to repeat his allegations and slurs.

As MN himself discussed in a previous blog you can take a charitable or uncharitable view of PZ’s behavior. In my opinion PZ’s behavior is unethical. IMO there is no charitable view of his behavior.

420 Jan Steen December 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

@KennyD,

The greater context that is left out is that PZ Myers “hurtful” and “harmful” smears have been largely aimed at the haters and their enablers who have been unrelenting in their vile attacks against Rebecca Watson and other female and feminist atheists since the elevator incident. I don’t just mean the rape and death threats, I mean various well-known male “skeptics” being very dismissive of the concerns of women in the atheist-skeptic movement.

Rebecca Watson has become a kind of saint or martyr in the eyes of the SJWs. Some even compare her to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Every criticism of Rebecca Watson is automatically “a vile attack”. It’s almost a cult of personality. In my view, on the other hand, much of the criticism levelled at her is entirely justified. Undoubtedly that makes me, and many others who agree with me, a “hater” in the eyes of the SJWs. That is such a convenient label, isn’t it? You’re just a “hater”, therefore you can’t possibly have any valid criticism. In short, “hater” is merely another smear from the SJW playbook.

The rape and death threats you mention are also conveniently conflated with criticism and satire, as if it is a given that they come from the same people. There is not the slightest evidence that this is true. On the contrary, I see the critics of Watson constantly urging her to take these threats to the police.

Criticism of Rebecca Watson is also equated with “dismissing the concerns of women.” As if she represents and speaks for all women. As if all women are basically copies of Rebecca Watson. Fortunately, that is not the case. If I make fun of PZ Myers I don’t make fun of all men. If I make fun of Rebecca Watson I don’t make fun of all women. In any case, women are not above criticism, you know. People like PZ Myers, who act as if they are (unless they are Suppressive Persons, aka “chill girls”), are as sexist as the worst misogynists.

The Slymepit is at the very center of this, though there are other sites where female skeptics are regularly ridiculed(often with sickening Photoshopped images), or accused of lying or making stuff up. Or that they are simply doing this to get attention because they are “professional victims” or “drama queens”.

It is not allowed to ridicule female sceptics? Why on earth not? Again, we see that women are apparently above criticism. You should really reconsider that deeply sexist, condescending attitude. The Slymepit has the valuable tradition of requiring evidence for assertions made. Everything is carefully documented. If someone is accused of lying there’s a good chance that the evidence is presented, so that you can make up your own mind. The Slymepit is one of the last places on the internet where scepticism is still practiced. I think that’s the real reason why the SJWs hate it so much. Because they are the opposite of sceptics, even if they call themselves Skepchicks.

Claims of sexual harassment at conferences or other events are said by misogynists to not be “legitimate” because of impossible to meet standards of “evidence”.

Right. If you ask for evidence you are a “misogynist”. Because people never exaggerate to make a problem seem worse than it really is.

Even when hard evidence is presented it is laughed at.

Maybe because it is laughable? Even asking someone for a coffee is now deemed sexual harassment (by Adam Lee, among others).

So yes, PZ Myers is pushing back and it can get ugly.

The end justifies the means. At least you recognize that what he’s doing is ugly.

PZ Myers is flawed like all of us. However, when he’s mean, he has a very good reason for being mean. At the end of the day, I believe he is an asset to the world atheist community.

It is never right to be mean. Why can’t you see that? Mean people are not an asset in any community, they are a liability, especially if they pretend to be a leader figure. Myers and Rebecca Watson are the worst things that ever happened to the a/s community. Their self-aggrandizement trumps everything. We need such people in our community as much as we need a boil on our bottom.

421 Citizen Wolf December 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Jan Steen
**It is never right to be mean. Why can’t you see that? Mean people are not an asset in any community, they are a liability, especially if they pretend to be a leader figure. ……..We need such people in our community as much as we need a boil on our bottom.**

Just thought that paragraph deserved to be posted twice for emphasis.

422 Nathan December 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Over at Thunderdome, there seems to be considerable agitation at Michael Nugent’s continual poking of PZ with the sharp, pointy stick of justice, with ‘anteprepro’ being particularly wound up (though not wound up enough to crawl out of the pharyngulabunker however).

ChasCPeterson @ 338: ??????????????????

423 Lancelot Gobbo December 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Nathan, if you follow the first of ChasCPeterson’s links you will see that it shows Jerry Coyne using the phrase ‘for the nonce’ repeatedly. After all, it is perfectly good English (if archaic), and a very good illustration of why some commenters here have made themselves look very silly by accusing PZ of being a pædophile because he used it. The man has enough nasty traits and stupid, mean and cruel utterances for us to choose from; we shouldn’t be distracted by insubstantial froth like this.

424 Aheydis Vaakenjab December 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Theo and Julia are like those schoolyard minions who wait for “the golden child” of the class to slip up – and when the golden one does, they go running for the closest teacher or schoolmaster to dole out their just desserts.

Nevermind the OP, Theo must certainly ride on his high horse of morality to save us from ableism in this thread. Thanks Theo. Thanks Julia. You’ve saved me… Now if you have any shred of consistency or the ability to look in to a mirror and see yourselves as “intellectuals” or “moral arbiters”, then you should tread back from where you came from and call out those in your circle for doing the same…. go on…

This thread is far too long and has degenerated in to a bit of a farce to be honest. MN’s OP stands on it’s own with zero rebuttal from the likes of FtB. This comment thread seems to have started out with the right intentions, but seems to have lost its way. Don’t get me wrong, good healthy discourse is absolutely important – however we’ve all seen where shock-jock style “humour” and “hyperbole” has taken PZ… have we not learned anything along the way?

Theo, it is high time to award MN a Christmas present – apologize for your smear and perhaps set yourself a nice rosy New Year’s resolution: To try to be humane to everyone, not just those who PZ anoints as untouchable. Or is it that you can’t apologize because you’re hiding in a bunker and only a certain style of internet communications is allowed to leave your computer?

Again Theo, I wish you all the best in 2015 – and I hope you never get accused of such things that you’ve smeared MN with. Perhaps you can grow as an individual to realize that what you’ve done should be beneath you.

425 FishCakes December 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

theophontes @415,
You are creating a false dichotomy here. Nobody said they expect you to personally call out every instance of [what you consider to be] bad behavior (such as ableism, for example). However, you clearly read Julia’s comment which undeniably contained what you would consider to be ableist language, and yet you responded to her in a supportive way and mentioned nothing about her ableism. And I suspect that even you realize now that you did so because she happens to be “on your team”.

You repeatedly ignore [what you consider to be] bad behavior amongst those with whom you happen to agree (e.g., Julia, Myers, etc.). Or you seek to rationalize it, as KennyD did @413, on the basis of the ends justifying the means.

You seem truly unable to recognize how this makes you look in the eyes of other people.

How about providing an explicit condemnation of Julia’s ableism and of Myers’ harmful and hurtful smears? If you are unwilling or unable to do that, there is absolutely no reason for anyone else to take you seriously.

426 FishCakes December 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm

KennyD,
Are you willimg to entertain the possibility that you have misunderstood and mischaracterized the nature and intent of those who frequent the slymepit and others who oppose the likes of Myers and Watson, et. al.? Or are you convinced that you’ve got it right about them, and nothing will change your mind at this point?

Just curious.

427 Aneris ✻ December 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

KennyD wrote: The greater context that is left out is that PZ Myers “hurtful” and “harmful” smears have been largely aimed at the haters and their enablers who have been unrelenting in their vile attacks against Rebecca Watson and other female and feminist atheists since the elevator incident. I don’t just mean the rape and death threats, I mean various well-known male “skeptics” being very dismissive of the concerns of women in the atheist-skeptic movement.

Only in Bizarro Universe. Here on this side, there were Stef McGraw, Abbie Smith as early “named” critics. And they weren’t the only ones. Only a Mitläufer — an uncritical follower and propaganda believer — can make this about a “gender war”. However, I see that this is exactly the idea of the social justice warriors, and the method to get their talking points on the agenda.

Some Context
KennyD, you are the nerd who follows a queen (1) and a sexist one at that who believes a double chromosome makes someone an elite unit.

“In the land of the nerds, the double “x” chromosome is queen.”
— Rebecca Watson. eSKEPTIC newsletter, November 3, 2005

PZ Myers “named names” (2) where he sided with Rebecca Watson admist a flame war. You want to read the original context. Then you want to take into account how PZ Myers “non-blacklisted” Abbie Smith (3) whose opposition (and comment section) provided the foundation for the Slymepit. Awkward, isn’t it? Where is that side of the story? All that disappeared.

The greater context is how Rebecca Watson, after she was banned from JREF (for abuse of admin powers) (1) and after she called for a boycott of Richard Dawkins (4) began to undermine the movement from within, and how Mitläufers — uncritical followers such as yourself — joined her cause. That’s why they started shitstorms about conference politics mostly aimed at JREF’s TAM, and that’s how Richard Dawkins’ tweets got extra scrutiny. Basically, Ms Watson burned bridges early on and then simply followed through, with guillible Mitläufer nerds following their queen. Her words, not mine. In other words, conveniently Ms Watson bootstrapped a controversy out of nothing and the “bad guys” happen to be the ones she was at odds with for various reasons. The female critics conveniently “disappeared” in the relentless propaganda and it was made into “misogynists vs the women”. Final propaganda stage: Richard Dawkins personally unleashed the harassers of women. (5)

It’s almost comical that even when looked through the “privilege” lens, it is upside down and inside out. Rebecca Watson, known speaker with a stage against unknown student Stef McGraw; or PZ Myers, well-known blogger and professor (and male) against Abbie Smith, undergrad (and female).

Many stories fit the evidence and this one works just as well. Here you can find everything.

1_phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Rebecca_Watson
2_bit.ly/DearMuslima
3_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/05/24/there-is-no-blacklist/
4_phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Denialism:_Watson_call_For_Dawkins_Boycott_%22Never_Happened%22
5_http://youtu.be/QdM3qsCNQYY?t=28m30s

428 KennyD December 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm

FishCakes

***KennyD,
Are you willimg to entertain the possibility that you have misunderstood and mischaracterized the nature and intent of those who frequent the slymepit and others who oppose the likes of Myers and Watson, et. al.? Or are you convinced that you’ve got it right about them, and nothing will change your mind at this point?

Just curious.***

You mean when Franc Hoggle, a frequent contributor to the Slymepit, threatened to sexually assault Ophelia Benson? Or how Melody Hensley was ridiculed because of her serious medical issues, and was even accused of faking them? It was sickening and it is sickening how many people laughed at her because of her mental health issues(which incidentally were largely due to endless death/rape threats and harassment from the haters who frequent the Slymepit).

I guess I misinterpreted Franc. He was really trying to be nice to Benson, right? And the mockery of Hensley was really meant to help her overcome her problems. Or it was just a joke and she should lighten up.

Yes, I must be misinterpreting the intent of members of the Slymepit. It’s sad to see them take up residence on Nugent’s blog.

429 Steersman December 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

KennyD (#428):

Are you, perchance, referring to Franc’s “If I were a woman, I’d kick her in the cunt”? Because if you are then I should point out that it was clearly prefaced with the word IF – i.e., it was entirely hypothetical and the chances of it ever becoming a possibility – if he were to have a sex change for instance – were, I expect, somewheres between slim and none.

And, somewhat similarly with Ms. Hensley. While I think more than a few, both inside & outside the Pit, were somewhat unfair to her, it doesn’t take much effort or commitment to fairness to find any number of cases where she has “mischaracterized” – being charitable – criticisms as harassment. Which, I might point out, even PZ has acknowledged as being, generally speaking, entirely different critters.

Although he seems to honour that principle or concept more in the breach than in the observance. While I can sympathize that he, and many of his ilk, might feel beleaguered by all of the criticisms directed his way – maybe “The Lion in Winter”, but if so then a rather “cowardly” one – it seems that he, and they, have a rather problematic tendency to tar everyone with a rather narrow brush.

430 A Bear December 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Kenny D: Presumably you have actually read the Slymepit?
It was sickening and it is sickening how many people laughed at her because of her mental health issues(which incidentally were largely due to endless death/rape threats and harassment from the haters who frequent the Slymepit).
You have evidence that members of the Slymepit have been sending death or rape threats to Hensley or anyone else? How about a quote? You must of seen one of these on the Slymepit so you can easily provide the evidence.
Or maybe you are just making it up or hallucinating? If it is true, show us and I will aid you in contacting the authorities.

431 Jan Steen December 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm

And the smearing and demonization continues…

@KennyD,

You mean when Franc Hoggle, a frequent contributor to the Slymepit, threatened to sexually assault Ophelia Benson?

Except, he didn’t. Read this explanation by Franc Hoggle himself.

http://greylining.com/2011/11/10/morphology-of-that-comment/

That you have to dig up and misrepresent a comment from years ago tells me that you have nothing of substance.

Or how Melody Hensley was ridiculed because of her serious medical issues, and was even accused of faking them?

Where is your evidence that she was ridiculed “because of her serious medical issues”?

It was sickening and it is sickening how many people laughed at her because of her mental health issues(which incidentally were largely due to endless death/rape threats and harassment from the haters who frequent the Slymepit).

This is pure libel. Show me a single rape/death thread coming from someone who frequents the Slymepit. I am sure you can’t. You see, this is what happens when demagogues like PZ Myers are left unchecked. Gullible people start to believe their demonizing propaganda.

I guess I misinterpreted Franc.

Indeed you did.

And the mockery of Hensley was really meant to help her overcome her problems. Or it was just a joke and she should lighten up.

If you have a habit of making nasty and provocative remarks, like Melody Henley has, you should not be surprised if you are rewarded in kind.

Yes, I must be misinterpreting the intent of members of the Slymepit. It’s sad to see them take up residence on Nugent’s blog.

It’s sad to see such a poor job of smearing the Slymepit being carried out here. I suggest that you show us your evidence that Slymepitters sent rape and death threats to Melody Hensley or apologize.

432 A Bear December 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Kenny D: I’m guessing you are not going to provide any evidence of Slymepitters making death or rape threats toward Hensley or anyone else. I have been reading the Slymepit for a few years now and I haven’t seen any there. Is there evidence that someone that is a member or even a reader of the Slymepit has done so?
If so let’s see it!
In your post @413 you write:
The Slymepit is at the very center of this, though there are other sites where female skeptics are regularly ridiculed(often with sickening Photoshopped images), or accused of lying or making stuff up. Or that they are simply doing this to get attention because they are “professional victims” or “drama queens”.
You appear to be making a spurious accusation about a group of people making threats against an individual and smearing a group of people while doing it. Is it any wonder why people are skeptical when they hear claims of threats being thrown around haphazardly?
Presumably you came here to deny that PZ and friends don’t throw around reckless smears about people and you end up just proving
they do. Nice own goal!

433 Billie from Ockham December 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Keep it up, Kenny, and you’ll undoubtedly get your wish: you shall achieve Latsot and Theo status, earning your own post from Michael Nugent, dedicated entirely to your personal smears. The Baby Peezus would be proud. Way to take one for the team!

Assuming that Kenny is the last, what delightful label shall we use for these luminaries? The Three Wise Men is taken, as are The Three Stooges and The Three Amigos.

434 Shatterface December 24, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Theophontes: I’ve never made the claim that I seek to personally call out every instance of ableism. That would be like trying to catch water gushing out of a fire-hydrant. I try to call out the most egregious cases. Sometimes I call out PZ’s ableism, sometimes I do not. I called out Michael Nager because he had gone so very far out of his way to be explicitly and willfully ableist.

I don’t recall you ever criticising Myers for his continual ableist slurs. Maybe you can link to your comments?

You posted on the same Pharyngula thread where another poster threatened to rape Richard Dawkins and you made no objection at all.

Another poster said they should tape up Dawkins and put him in the hands of ISIS to be burned. We know you read this comment because you responded to it – but your only objection was to using tape.

You are quite sickening.

435 Dave Allen December 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I’d suggest using positive reinforcement in Kenny’s case.

Define a Slymepitter as someone with 30+ posts on the Pit.

For every such person Kenny demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt to have threatened Melody award Kenny 10 points.

For 50 points I will agree to listen to an Amanda Marcotte podcast of Kenny’s choice.

250 points and I’ll write a positive Amazon review of The Happy Atheist.

500 points and I will promise to subject any white heterosexual males who achieve anything of worth in 2015 to belittling snark on Twitter.

Come on Kenny – win me to the cause bro!

436 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Don’t forget, PZ and the whole bunch of Pharyngulans advocate the death of small animals by rectal asphyxiation. Probably after you’ve had sex with them.

437 Shatterface December 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Michael Nager: The worst example of this I ever saw was in an episode of “Friends” where one of the main characters referred to someone else as a “wanker”.

Now the writers of the series obviously thought they were just using another term for “jerk”.

The worst example was in an episode of the otherwise excellent Dead Like Me where the writer clearly thought ‘wank ‘ was a synonym for penis.

Mason: ‘It landed on my wank! My wank is the key!’

438 Matt Cavanaugh December 24, 2014 at 8:45 pm

KennyD claimed: “It was sickening and it is sickening how many people laughed at her because of her mental health issues(which incidentally were largely due to endless death/rape threats and harassment from the haters who frequent the Slymepit).”

You’re full of shit, Kenny. Show a single instance of a death or rape threat from a Slymepit member against anyone, or STFU.

439 john welch December 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Oh Theo, you hoist yourself again:

I’ve never made the claim that I seek to personally call out every instance of ableism. That would be like trying to catch water gushing out of a fire-hydrant. I try to call out the most egregious cases.

Oh, so *you* get to decide when you’re going to play by your rules and when you are not, but no one else gets the same flexibility. I would love, just *love* to know what criteria you use for “most egregious cases” besides “do I approve of the person doing it?”

As well, how do you even begin to tell the difference between slurs? What magical friggin’ matrix of “well, this one we’ll let go, but that one is ALWAYS WRONG” do you have? And is it available for all to see?

Sometimes I call out PZ’s ableism, sometimes I do not.

Links for the former or it never happened.

I called out Michael Nager because he had gone so very far out of his way to be explicitly and willfully ableist.

And that would be comment #…?

440 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm

“Oh, so *you* get to decide when you’re going to play by your rules and when you are not, but no one else gets the same flexibility. I would love, just *love* to know what criteria you use for “most egregious cases” besides “do I approve of the person doing it?””

The standard you walk by and all of that.

441 Shatterface December 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm

The criticism of Hensley on Slymepit centred largely on her sneering at combat veterans:

Melody Hensley
@MelodyHensley
Military/ex-military combat folks: there are groups that have higher statistics of PTSD than you. You need to educate yourself.
12:50 AM – 14 Apr 2014

And contacting their commanding officers if they answered back:

Melody Hensley
@MelodyHensley
If you are in the military and you are harassing me about my PTSD, expect that I will be speaking to your commanding officer.
12:48 AM – 14 Apr 2014

Melody Hensley
@MelodyHensley
@splendisaurus They have their info on their Twitter. I just contacted someone’s commanding officer.
12:54 AM – 14 Apr 2014

Irrespective of whether you believe she has Twitter PTSD or not that’s a shitty way to treat other sufferers.

442 Shermertron December 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

KennyD:

I guess we can all chuckle at the irony: you’re making unfounded smears in the comment section of an article that points out how PZ makes unfounded smears.

Yes, the irony is delicious…but why don’t you just read the articles Mr Nugent writes? Or provide evidence for your assertion?

443 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Somebody twittering all day long about how twitter gave her PTSD
is only worth sneering laughter and contempt.

444 Billie from Ockham December 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm

And please note that running around DC taking selfies to post on Twitter is not inconsistent with being “bedridden” due to Twitter-induced PTSD because the word “bedridden” is “a tad more nuanced than that.”

445 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

*Literally shaking and crying right now*
Michael….The Slymepit morons have UTTERLY infested this blog. It’s no wonder the good people don’t come here. I have literally read through about 5 comments in the last 4 and a half inches of computer screen that would have never seen the light of day on Pharyngula yet YOU let them through!? What the Muthaflipping F dude?
You greatly need to update your moderation policy because at the minute you’re allowing the cancer to flourish and you have no chemo sessions booked in.
– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

446 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Snowflakes are melting

447 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm

And, Michael? No hard feelings from me or Pharyngula/FTB.

I’d wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’ (as the unenlightened say) but as a confirmed atheist and a member/ deputy head-treasurer of the Atheist Council Of Bridlington (ACOB) I shan’t sully my name by invoking the fictional birthday of a mythical manger child nor the ancient pagan traditions his supposed miraculous appearance usurped.

– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

448 Shatterface December 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Source for those Melody tweets – FreeThoughtBlogs:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2014/04/15/how-could-twitter-possibly-cause-ptsd/

Not the Slymepit.

449 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm

MacGruberKnows
“Snowflakes are melting”
Is your face a snowflake? Because that’s what me and others see melting right now.

-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

450 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm

“MacGruberKnows
“Snowflakes are melting”
Is your face a snowflake? Because that’s what me and others see melting right now.

-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR”

If you and your others can see me why are you asking what I look like? Never go full retard.

451 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm

@Shtterface

Why would anybody click a link from a confirmed SlimePitter?

No doubt it leads us to a hilarious “RickRoll” or maybe an animated gif of
sexual objectification.
If you have valid arguments then use them, sir. Don’t share mindless 80’s music videos or vulgar low-resolution animations.

452 Lancelot Gobbo December 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm

For goodness’ sake please spell ‘Mordecai’ correctly before making a fool of yourself in various other ways—if you want to be taken seriously as a Poe, that is.

453 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:44 pm

@MacGruberKnows
“If you and your others can see me why are you asking what I look like? Never go full retard.”

Very brave of you to insult me AND use racist ableist insults whilst hiding behind a fake name.
Why don’t you use your real name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym if you’re so righteous and brave?

454 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm

@LancelotGobbo.

For goodness’ sake please spell “Goblin” correctly before making a fool of yourself in various other ways—if you want to be taken seriously as a Poe, that is.

#Touche
#Burn
#ChewOnThat

455 Carrie December 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Good grief, MGTLOTOSADOATULAR, if you are suspicious of a link, just hover your mouse over it. I don’t see how Shatterface’s link to a freethoughtblogs post could possibly lead to a RickRoll. Your dislike of everyone who posts on the Slymepit is making you blind to evidence.

What you can see on Michael’s blog is that neither he nor his commenters need to sling mud around or play childish games in order to show how ridiculous PZ and co are being when they smear others and refuse to apologise.

456 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

@Carrie

Your words are noise to me.
The fact you choose a username of a murderous psychokinetic teenager with rage issues says everything about you I need to know.
Now, tottle off to your chums and laugh at how you “bested” me like a good little girl.
Ok?
Goodbye.
-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

457 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 24, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Why, oh why is Michael putting my perfectly un-offensive comments into the purgatory of moderation? I suppose only dissenting voices are doomed to moderation on here?
Nice, Michael. Nice.

-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

458 Steersman December 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Mordecai,

The fact you choose a username of a murderous psychokinetic teenager with rage issues says everything about you I need to know.

What a dickhead. How do you know that that is the connotation she had in mind when she – or her parents – chose that name?

459 FishCakes December 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

KennyD,
First, you seem to be painting all members of the slymepit based on the supposed actions of one person or a few people. I trust that even you are clever enough to understand why that’s nonsense. Condemn the person or persons individually, but please stop with this ridiculous broad brush smears and accusations of an entire forum.

Second, as others have requested, please provide evidence that member(s) of the slymepit are responsible for sending or making threat against anyone. I don’t believe you, but if you are telling the truth I will join you in unequivocally condemning such people and such tactics. If, on the other hand, you fail to provide evidence, then I’ll be forced to conclude that you either deliberately lied or that you were misled by someone else and are now uncritically parroting these nasty false accusations. In either of those latter cases, I will also be far less inclined to believe such accusations from you and your fellows in the future.

460 Steersman December 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

MacGruberKnows (#450):

If you and your others can see me why are you asking what I look like? Never go full retard.

You know, even though Mordecai is clearly a dickhead and quite likely a Mitläufer (a word that should, like “schadenfreude”, be another word “stolen” from the Germans), he might have a bit of a point that that qualifies as an “ableist” slur. Unless, of course, you wish to defend the position that such words – like nigger & cunt – aren’t necessarily pejorative of the entire groups with which the “insultee” happens to share a suggested attribute or feature …. 😉

461 MacGruberKnows December 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

And if I thanked you for your intelligent reply I would also be ‘ableist’. So fuck ableism and all of this other crap SJW’s are trying to tie people up with. If I think you make a retarded statement I will say so. If I think you make an intelligent statement I will say so. If you don’t like fire, don’t own a lighter. If you are perpetually butthurt at everything, stay the fuck off the internet. Leave it for the men, and the manly women.

462 Carrie December 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Your words are noise to me.
The fact you choose a username of a murderous psychokinetic teenager with rage issues says everything about you I need to know

Carrie happens to be my name; my parents chose it for me and I do not think that they named me after a murderer.. I do not know what teenager you are talking about; I do not believe in psychokinesis.

It might be a good idea not to make snap assumptions about people whom you have never met.

Your comments are so mindlessly antagonistic that I can only assume that you are either a troll or a Poe.

463 Steersman December 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

MacGruberKnows (#461):

If you are perpetually butthurt at everything, stay the fuck off the internet.

Nice “principle” that I, in general, at least tend to agree with: people do tend to make rather too much of “political correctness” & the “proper” language – and for not particularly credible reasons as I’ve tried argue. But which leads, in the extreme, to the situations described in the article on the “outrage economy” that someone here, or in the Pit, linked to recently (1).

However, the other side of the coin is the “rude blog” of Myers, and the nastier aspects of Reddit &Tumblr. Something which is, quite arguably – as Michael is credibly doing, largely detrimental to all.

The difference between scratching your ass and tearing a hole in it – one that rather too many (on all sides) seem to lose sight of.

—–
1) “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2014/12/18/chris-rock-campus-conservatism-the-interview-and-the-outrage-economy/”;

464 Steersman December 24, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Carrie (#462):

Your comments are so mindlessly antagonistic that I can only assume that you are either a troll or a Poe.

I know that Michael has, repeatedly, called for “charitable interpretations” of our interlocutors’ statements. However one might suggest that you’re being “charitable to a fault”, are taking his call to, in effect, bend over backwards to do that to “positively supine lengths” – as Richard Dawkins suggested in a similar case in his The God Delusion …. :-)

465 Shermertron December 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm

FOr Carrie @462.

The obvious Poe troll (who is doing a very good job of recreating the look and style of comments at FTB) is referring to the Stephen King novel “Carrie” and its stage and screen adaptations.

The obvious Poe troll captured the FTB tone perfectly. Instead of responding to your point, he/she/they found a reason–any reason–to delegitimize you in the minds of people who don’t know any better. (95% of the shrinking FTB audience.)

466 John Greg December 25, 2014 at 12:17 am

Yes, I think “Poe troll” is an accurate description.

467 Carrie December 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

LOL Ah OK Stephen King; I don’t much like his books, the first one I read was called the Fog, I think, and it rather put me off.

Yes, obvious poe troll is obvious; it told me to “run along”, putting me down in the most patriarchal manner, so it cannot possibly be from FtB, can it! Can it?

Merry Christmas all, I hope you aren’t on Santa’s Naughty List!

468 Billie from Ockham December 25, 2014 at 2:45 am

I haven’t been on any list used by Santa since he hired Oolon as his new data-base programmer.

469 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 2:58 am

theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

“I called out Michael Nager”

You and calling me out – snowballs chances in a certain region come to mind.

That is however not the only thing you don’t have a clue about.

Your favourite term, and as far as I can ascertain the only term you seem to be even remotely familiar with, “ableism” is being used in a way such as to make it meaningless.

Just a few nanoseconds of thought on your part would make it clear that the term “ableist” can NEVER be applied to an individual but rather exclusively to a population – this is also the way that the term has ever been formally used.

Let me clue you in because you seem to labouring under a large misapprehension.

One of the central paradigms of Psychology is what is known as “The Gaussian Curve” aka “Bell Curve” or “Normal Distribution”.

For any trait one is examining one would expect to see the collated individual measurement results follow this curve for a truly randomised population sample. The frequency of the individual results would clump around a central value and fall off to each side of the curve.

The term “ableism” or “ableist” could only be meaningfully applied with regard to comparing the results of various population samples, it is meaningless if applied to any individual.

Your use of the term “ableist” with regard to individuals thus shows your stunning ignorance of the very concept you try to impose on others.

I on the other hand have a perfectly good reason for considering you to be a fool, and, if you continue to inappropriately use the term in the way you have to date, now that you have been relieved of your ignorance, you will have crossed the line into stupidity.

470 John Greg December 25, 2014 at 3:58 am

LOL.

471 john welch December 25, 2014 at 4:43 am

Look sir, trolls.

Some of king’s early works were quite good. Salem’s Lot is one of my favorites.

472 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 5:19 am

@john welch #471

Stephen King has never been an author I was interested in reading. It is just not my genre.

I would never be able to say whether or not I thought his writing was bad or to criticise it.

I like reading books by Neal Stephenson for instance and I would be somewhat put out if a person were to say that he was a bad author or that his work had no merit.

473 Gurdur December 25, 2014 at 5:53 am

It’s all about ethics in psychokinetic teenagers. Clearly.

474 john welch December 25, 2014 at 6:05 am

Michael,

I’m not really put out anymore if someone doesn’t like something I like. Even for silly reasons. I like king, you don’t. Doesn’t mean much other than (SHOCK), we’re different people.

I’ve been a solid harlan ellison fan for a long time. But a lot of people aren’t. Doesn’t bother me, and I’m pretty sure Harlan doesn’t care either.

475 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 6:58 am

@john welch #474

Harlan Ellison as an author I didn’t like as much as other ones, however in my early teens I read an anthology he edited called “Dangerous Visions” which introduced me to authors I might not otherwise have read.

So although one could call me a “fan” of his I am so for a different reason than you.

476 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 7:48 am

It’s the celebration of the Winter Solstice, but sod that:

Merry Christmas everyone.

477 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 25, 2014 at 7:54 am

“Merry Christmas everyone.”

Translates as “I hope your celebration of the mass of Christ is happy, everyone”

I’ll be adding “fake atheists” to the list of reasons to ignore the shit out of you all.
You are the laughing stock of the internet.

478 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

As an atheist I find it hilarious that you all supposedly deny god yet you celebrate the birth of his fictional son.
I gift my family the same thing I do every December the 25th and that’s a smile, some love, attention and a light breakfast. Coincidentally this is the same thing I gift them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I don’t need an arbitrary date in a winter month to be a FUCKING GOOD PERSON to somebody., unlike some others I could (but won’t) name.*

-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

*Michael Nager

479 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

@Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason

I’ll take that under advisement.

Though with regard to the concept of disappearing in a puff of logic and reason I think Douglas Adams got that market cornered :)

480 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

@Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason

Obviously I am a lot more comfortable in my atheism than you are.

481 Carrie December 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

Ah. So “Christmas” needs to be taken literally, it cannot simply be shorthand for “Winter Festival with Pagan undertones”? Obviously I need to re-think a lot of things, including my diary, so as to hide any fakery from keen-eyed Poe Trolls. Real Atheists would have to avoid using the words Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday in case they are “outed” as worshippers of Tyr, Woden, Thor, Freya or Saturn.

482 john welch December 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm

really, this is the dullest troll ever.

483 KennyD December 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

As I suspected, this is turning into a colossal waste of time. So much of what I’ve said has been distorted to the point that it doesn’t come close to anything that I’ve said. How can I respond to such garbage? Is it really too much to ask that maybe you have judged PZ Myers too harshly, in light of the ongoing conflict in the atheist/skeptical community? It seems you want to pretend that these “smears” were aimed at decent people or that they occur in a vacuum.

Maybe some of them are, if inn fact they are unaware that they are enabling or empowering a vicious mob of woman-hating extremists who work overtime trying to intimidate women out of the movement unless they submit to the patriarchy. Actually, there really is no excuse anymore for anyone to be unaware of this.

It’s also a myth that the deluge of rape and death threats never get reported to the proper authorities. Some do, some do not. It depends on a variety of factors. A number of them are being investigated, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Theophontes: I admire your tenacity, however, I think this may be a waste of time. Thankfully, we don’t need to win this battle to ultimately win the war. Have a fantastic new year, buddy!

484 Mordeacai- Great Toothed Lord Of The Outer Schism And Destroyer Of All Trolls Using Logic And Reason December 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm

@Michael Nugent
My perfectly reasonable and cogent comments are STILL being held in moderation. WHAT THE F?
Why do you have such strict moderation policies? Your worship of unbridled “freeze peach” is laughable and hypocritical.
What’s the matter? Scared of having your worldview challenged by sound dissenting arguments?

-– MGTLOTOSADOATULAR

485 Matt Cavanaugh December 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

KennyD whined: “As I suspected, this is turning into a colossal waste of time.”

Yes Kenny, you’re wasting our time if you continue to refuse to back up your accusations with evidence. Show us where, as you claim, Slymepit members have made rape or death threats against Melody Hensley.

486 Dave Allen December 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Is it really too much to ask that maybe you have judged PZ Myers too harshly, in light of the ongoing conflict in the atheist/skeptical community?

No.

Nor is it too much to explain why you might think he hasn’t been judged too harshly.

487 Michael Nager December 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

@KennyD #483

Speaking for myself PZ Myers insulted me in a very personal way when he described me as merely a “Dictionary Atheist”, as if I were something vile to be scraped off the bottom of his shoe.

I don’t need enemies as an atheist when there are “friends” like him around to denigrate me.

Unless the “intellectual artillery” as Richard Carrier modestly describes himself is in the top two percentile then I am not personally impressed – he is a dud squib at best.

I am not going to allow myself to be co-opted to the agenda of other groups. Atheists have more than enough issues to deal with.

The only thing I am interested in hearing from PZ Myers is an abject apology for the insult he hurled at me.

Other than that, he can get stuffed – and I would strongly suggest that he not turn up in my home town again as he did in the middle of 2011 as I can guarantee that the reception he would get now would not be in the least bit as friendly as it was then.

488 john welch December 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm

As I suspected, this is turning into a colossal waste of time. So much of what I’ve said has been distorted to the point that it doesn’t come close to anything that I’ve said. How can I respond to such garbage? Is it really too much to ask that maybe you have judged PZ Myers too harshly, in light of the ongoing conflict in the atheist/skeptical community? It seems you want to pretend that these “smears” were aimed at decent people or that they occur in a vacuum.

Oh, so if the person you’re attacking isn’t “decent” then there’s no rules? Look everyone, Kenny just described and supported Scientology’s “Fair Game” schtick.

Also, for a defender of PZ Myers to be pleading that he’s a special case who deserves charity of opinion given the way he’s treated anyone he decides is on his list? Really? Irony isn’t dead, it’s fat, bloated, and screaming for more.

Maybe some of them are, if inn fact they are unaware that they are enabling or empowering a vicious mob of woman-hating extremists who work overtime trying to intimidate women out of the movement unless they submit to the patriarchy. Actually, there really is no excuse anymore for anyone to be unaware of this.

Of course, there’s no chance PZ could be wrong. Nope, if PZ fingers them, they’re guilty, otherwise he wouldn’t have fingered them. PZ is, evidently able to judge the character of people he’s never met perfectly, and no one, certainly not Kenny is even the least bit skeptical of this nigh-magical talent.

Man, if only Bill Frist had known about PZ’s magical diagnostic power, Terry Schiavo might still be alive.

I bet Kenny tells people he cares about facts and supporting evidence a lot.

I bet Kenny even believes it.

It’s also a myth that the deluge of rape and death threats never get reported to the proper authorities. Some do, some do not. It depends on a variety of factors. A number of them are being investigated, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Well, the number of people saying they *never* get reported or never have been reported is pretty damned small. What they’re saying is if you consider something to be a threat, reporting it to a friggin’ blog network is not going to even have the possibility of solving the problem.

But that would require Kenny to do more than allow PZ’s micron-fine cherry picker to be his sole source of information on the SPs. Of course, since PZ is Clear above Clear, there’s no chance his information or dictates could be anything less than perfectly accurate.

If PZ says it, it must be so.

Kenny, if you are not a Scientologist, you should consider it. All you need is Xenu and an e-meter, and you’d be following their philosophy perfectly.

489 MacGruberKnows December 25, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Poor Kenny and Theophontes come to an atheist/skeptic site and can’t understand why we won’t drink the feminist kool-aid with them. Try a feminist site guys. Park your privilege and your testicles at the door.

490 Aneris ✻ December 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

or explain in clear language what this means…

KennyD wrote: Maybe some of them are, if inn fact they are unaware that they are enabling or empowering a vicious mob of woman-hating extremists who work overtime trying to intimidate women out of the movement unless they submit to the patriarchy. Actually, there really is no excuse anymore for anyone to be unaware of this.

1. What does “submit to the patriarchy” mean?
2. What is “the movement”?
3. What has “the patriarchy” to do with “the movement”?

I really don’t know. It might be obvious, but I don’t think it is. Anyone else who knows can explain as well. Links would do.

Preferably KennyD, explains what he meant. Otherwise I suspect he is just an ordiary FTBot like Latsot, Theophontes, Ariel et cetera, unable to discuss anything. Maybe the wireless connection to hivemind central is not strong enough for a rational thought. Who knows what’s wrong with these people.

491 A Bear December 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm

483 KennyD December 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

As I suspected, this is turning into a colossal waste of time. So much of what I’ve said has been distorted to the point that it doesn’t come close to anything that I’ve said. How can I respond to such garbage?

You’ve been quoted in context accusing a group of people of committing felonies and instead of coming back and showing evidence for this sickening smear are you now trying to pretend you didn’t say it?
You wrote what you wrote and instead of acting like an adult and backing it up with facts or apologizing for it you are trying to weasel out of it. First you provide a shining example of the type of behavior Michael has been calling out in this series, then you come back and stick your foot even further down your throat.

492 FishCakes December 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

KennyD,
Is it really too much to ask that maybe you have judged PZ Myers’ detractors and critics too harshly, in light of the ongoing conflict in the atheist/skeptical community?

493 John Greg December 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Happy secular Christmas everyone.

494 Shermertron December 25, 2014 at 11:07 pm

@KennyD 483

Yes, yes. I know. You’re above the fray and better than all of us.

You seem to have forgotten that you have completely failed to address the evidence that Mr. Nugent has presented. You’re also failing to acknowledge that you are literally engaging in the shameful behavior that Mr Nugent is describing.

Your techniques may work in the FTB playpen, but this isn’t a playpen.

john welch is correct; you would have a stellar career as a Scientologist. Just be careful not to join Staff too early; you don’t want to be stuck on the lower rungs or sent to the RPF.

495 Jan Steen December 26, 2014 at 1:18 am

His Master’s Voice, I mean, KennyD, said:

Maybe some of them are, if inn fact they are unaware that they are enabling or empowering a vicious mob of woman-hating extremists who work overtime trying to intimidate women out of the movement unless they submit to the patriarchy. Actually, there really is no excuse anymore for anyone to be unaware of this.

Hahahaha. Priceless. You have almost outdone theophontes in the quest for the silliest rhetoric.

This is the same KennyD who has falsely claimed that Franc Hoggle “threatened to sexually assault Ophelia Benson,” the same KennyD who happens to know that Melody Hensley received “endless death/rape threats and harassment from the haters who frequent the Slymepit,” but refuses to provide his evidence.

Why should anyone believe a word you say, Kenny? You are just a mindless drone spouting regurgitated smears from your idol PZ Myers, mixed with some worn-out SJW clichés. I sincerely believe that you are incapable of having even one independent thought of your own, Kenny. It’s all recycled rubbish without a shred of evidence.

496 KennyD December 26, 2014 at 1:27 am

To answer Aneris:
**1. What does “submit to the patriarchy” mean?**

This simply means that women should accept secondary status in the atheist movement. They should be content with this secondary status, in which they hold few if any leadership positions since men are naturally better at both atheism and science according to male atheists(based on the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology).

When necessary, women atheists should be happy to serve as the sexual playthings of male atheists, or at least just stand around and look pretty. The sexual pleasure of male atheists is of paramount importance(they are doing such important work after-all), while what women think or feel is seldom important.

Those who doubt the existence of this patriarchy need only revisit the awful reaction to Rebecca Watson’s “guys, don’t do that” video.

**2. What is “the movement”?**

The “movement” is the atheist-skeptical movement. While they are separate movements in their own right, there is enough overlap between them that for my purposes I will consider them as one.

**3. What has “the patriarchy” to do with “the movement”?**

The patriarchy are both the enforcers of and the beneficiaries of the sexism in the atheist-skeptical movement. They are looked upon by people inside and outside the movement as its leaders. Many male atheists see it as their birthright to succeed the current leadership. They are deeply troubled by the idea of women becoming equal players or sharing leadership roles within the atheism-skeptical movement. After all, men are just so much better at science and rational thinking. On the other hand, women are too emotional, and irrational to be solid leaders or thinkers, the sexists in the movement will have us believe(just ask Michael Shermer).

497 Jan Steen December 26, 2014 at 1:51 am

OK. Kenny is a poe. I shouldn’t have wasted my time.

Nobody can be that… I mean… Such people do not actually exist, do they?

If I had invented Kenny as a satirical character, people would be disappointed in my lack of subtlety.

498 Jan Steen December 26, 2014 at 1:53 am

Anyway, thanks for the laughs Kenny. Happy Holidays everyone.

499 Michael Nager December 26, 2014 at 2:05 am

@Jan Steen

I don’t get it, not what you said, but rather where the likes of KennyD thinks he is coming from.

Atheism is not a belief system, it is not a believing in not believing in a god or gods, it’s just plain and simply not believing in them.

There is no “plus” which could ever be added to atheism. I don’t believe in Santa Clause so what would “asantaclauseism plus” be?

As far as I see it atheism is a personal decision to reject the idea and propaganda of theism. It doesn’t lead anywhere else. We are a group only because we are on a small island surrounded and assaulted by an ocean of superstition.

I have been trying to work out what KennyD is trying to say to me as an atheist and I just can’t.

500 FishCakes December 26, 2014 at 2:11 am

I agree with Jan @497 and 498. Well played, KennyD, very well played indeed. You are a true master of your craft. You had me going this whole time, but I’m afraid your last two comments regarding women submitting to the patriarchy gave you away.

Either way, please keep it up because you are beautifully demonstrating the utter inanity of this brand of SJW/feminist ideology for all future readers.

501 A Bear December 26, 2014 at 2:26 am

KennyD: good one: I had a special I was had laugh when I saw this:
When necessary, women atheists should be happy to serve as the sexual playthings of male atheists, or at least just stand around and look pretty. The sexual pleasure of male atheists is of paramount importance(they are doing such important work after-all), while what women think or feel is seldom important.

502 john welch December 26, 2014 at 4:33 am

The sad thing is, Kenny probably isn’t a Poe. For that to be true, you’d not have to have as many Kennys as there are, all of them really believing what they say.

503 Skep tickle December 26, 2014 at 8:54 am

It seems most likely that KennyD believes what he types up & posts, as is true for anyone who’s not trolling, acting as a poe, or playing devil’s advocate.

In any case, asking him to support his claims (as has been done) and/or pointing out when he hasn’t done so (as has been done) are much more useful approaches than making up something uncomplimentary about his love life & disparaging him for that.

504 Skep tickle December 26, 2014 at 9:23 am

Aneris’ quote of Rebecca Watson on “double ‘x’ as queen” was the first time I recall seeing that line. (Thanks, Aneris!)

The original source is [1] below. Note these 2 paragraphs (starting with that quote) from Ms Watson’s 2005 article in eSkeptic:

In the land of the nerds, the double “x” chromosome is queen. The lack of women getting actively involved in skepticism has led to a peculiar deification of any female brave enough to dive into debates, engage in philosophical arguments, or just withstand the flirtatious banter that permeates online forums. The skepchick is held up as an ideal in an intellectual community – a woman who is smart, interesting, and most of all, approachable.

Despite what I saw as a distinct willingness for men to accept and embrace (sometimes literally) skeptical women, there were just not that many around. Somehow, the word was not getting out.

That was then, this is now. Apparently now the view is that “the word” is (or was) “getting out”, but that the women who would like (or would have liked) to “ge[t] actively involved in skepticism” are not allowed to do so by the (older white) men in charge. Instead, those women are kept around as eye candy, arm candy, & other types of candy. “Double ‘x'” is no longer viewed as, or acknowledged as, “queen” “in the land of the nerds”, nor subject of “peculiar deification”- I’m not sure how she’s now seen (by other women, and allies like KennyD) but perhaps as a princess locked up in the tower, or a scullery maid.

It seems that the relative scarcity of women in the skeptic movement is no longer seen as being due to “female[s]” not being (in Ms Watson’s words from 2005) “brave enough to dive into debates, engage in philosophical arguments, or just withstand the flirtatious banter that permeates online forums.”

Debate & argument are key to a skeptical approach; flirtatious banter isn’t, and can be ignored if one isn’t interested in engaging in it. And while lack of “brave[ry]” about engaging in argument may be an issue for some women (and some men), that doesn’t keep a person from following others’ debates & arguments. Instead, I suspect other factors such as interest level and competing interests play a significant role in the gender gap in A/S.

Back to willingness to dive into debates and engage in argument, which were seen as key to participation of women back in 2005: note the irony that debate & skeptical evaluation don’t seem to be allowed, now, for the claims being made about women & the A/S movement.

[1] _http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-11-03/

505 Aneris ✻ December 26, 2014 at 10:22 am

KennyD, thank you for explaining what FreeThoughtBlog, SkepChick et al commonly believe.

That means, when given the choice between PZ Myers (♂) and Abbie Smith (♀), the sexist, misogynists atheists chose PZ Myers since they don’t want women in any leadership positions and don’t want to promote them. Hence, they supported PZ Myers when he bullied her out of the movement. Is this correct, KennyD?

But why do you claim the Slymepit is one of those places that don’t value women? That would make no sense in your theory. I know it’s widely believed, yet that’s an obvious problem, isn’t it?

I guess you have to introduce something else to make your theory work. With Teh Patriarchy™ in place, you already have the basics of a good conspiracy theory, and now you can keep adding one thing after another to fill the holes that are created with each previous addition.

It’s quite amazing that FreeThoughtBlogs, SkepChicks and “Center For Inquiry” and others apparently believe such things, but it makes them a good quarry for critical thinking and skepticism for years to come (or ridicule and mockery).

PS: What have FreeThoughtBlogs, SkepChicks, Center For Inquiry, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Peace in common?

506 Jan Steen December 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

If Skep tickle is right, if KennyD is not a poe or a troll, then he is our prime evidence to support the assertion that PZ Myers is the L. Ron Hubbard of the a/s community.

Where Kenny writes that

When necessary, women atheists should be happy to serve as the sexual playthings of male atheists, or at least just stand around and look pretty. The sexual pleasure of male atheists is of paramount importance(they are doing such important work after-all), while what women think or feel is seldom important.

he is basically rehashing what Myers said at a conference. I mean this:

For instance, the Internet community of atheists is racked with these paroxysms of argument over, of all things, the status of women. We’re trying to decide whether women are fuck toys and eye candy for the privileged white men, or whether we are colleagues together in this movement.

To think that there are actually people who take Myers’s outrageous strawmanning seriously is as shocking as the realization that there are people who actually believe the rubbish about Xenu and thetans that the founder of Scientology pulled out of his arse.

But Kenny proves himself to be even worse than just another blind believer in Peezus. He is a downright conspiracy loon, on a par with the most deranged of the Truthers, Birthers and anti-vaxxers. Because he writes:

The patriarchy are both the enforcers of and the beneficiaries of the sexism in the atheist-skeptical movement. They are looked upon by people inside and outside the movement as its leaders. Many male atheists see it as their birthright to succeed the current leadership. They are deeply troubled by the idea of women becoming equal players or sharing leadership roles within the atheism-skeptical movement.

Most SJWs who use the ‘Patriarchy’ concept are clever enough to stress that the Patriarchy is not an actual group of people, which makes it much more nebulous and harder to refute. But not our Kenny. Oh no. The Patriarchy, that is the leadership of the a/s community. You know, people like Dawkins and Shermer are The Patriarchy.

Kenny, it really makes me sad to see delusional people like you (if you’re not a poe). You are living proof that even if all religions would be eradicated people would still believe the most incredible bullshit. People like you make me lose faith in humanity. It’s depressing.

But you still need to provide evidence for your libel.

507 Aneris ✻ December 26, 2014 at 10:25 am
508 JackSkeptic December 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

It’s been several weeks and I have yet to see one good argument from the Myers and Co supporters. Either no good argument exists or they are very bad at formulating a thought not wrapped up in unsupported social conspiracy theories or demonstrably false assumptions.

One thing Post Modernism has done is completely remove the ability for some people to think for themselves and present a coherent argument. Listen and believe. Do not critisise or examine. It is not a coincidence that many from the FtB side sound like clones of each other. The pure hate and vitriol it spews is just bonus. That hate and vitriol is required to keep momentum as without it more people would be brave enough to shout out the fact the Emperor has no clothes.

Michael is brave enough but far too many just sit back and let others do the work and take the hits while they pretend it will all go away. It won’t go away and those keeping quiet will one day live to regret it when the hate starts knocking on their door and there is no one left to help them.

509 Jan Steen December 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

@Skep tickle,

It seems that the relative scarcity of women in the skeptic movement is no longer seen as being due to “female[s]” not being (in Ms Watson’s words from 2005) “brave enough to dive into debates, engage in philosophical arguments, or just withstand the flirtatious banter that permeates online forums.”

Of course not. Because that view, as here formulated by Ms Watson, comes down to “It’s more a guy thing.” It’s blasphemy.

Has Rebecca Watson been Witch of the Week already? Someone should notify Ophelia Benson. It’s only fair that Ms Watson should also experience the special Butterflies & Wheels treatment that Michael Shermer received when he said “it’s more a guy thing.” Better late than never.

Bah, what am I thinking? Am I expecting intellectual integrity, or something? How naive.

510 Michael Nager December 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm

@Jan Steen

“Am I expecting intellectual integrity”

If you are expecting any kind of intellectual activity whatsoever then you are a born optimist.

511 Steersman December 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Michael Nager (#499):

Atheism is not a belief system, it is not a believing in not believing in a god or gods, it’s just plain and simply not believing in them.

That seems to depend somewhat on whether one is a “strong” atheist, or a “weak” one (and I might note that even Dawkins suggests some value in the latter), i.e., whether one asserts “there is no god”, or just “there’s no evidence for one”. Consider the following definition for “believe” (1) that, while it supposedly pertains to a case where it is “used without [an] object”, one might argue that it can apply to cases where it is:

believe: verb (used without object), believed, believing.
1.
to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so:
Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.

Seems that one might credibly argue that many “strong atheists” are somewhat fixated on a particular definition of “god” – largely an anthropomorphic one, and rather dogmatically insist that it is the only game in town that has any value.

——
1) “_http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/believe”;

512 Lancelot Gobbo December 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Skep tickle quoted The Double X Queen:
In the land of the nerds, the double “x” chromosome is queen. The lack of women getting actively involved in skepticism has led to a peculiar deification of any female brave enough to dive into debates, engage in philosophical arguments, or just withstand the flirtatious banter that permeates online forums. The skepchick is held up as an ideal in an intellectual community – a woman who is smart, interesting, and most of all, approachable.

Ms Watson’s phrase is probably recognisable to many as a restatemnt of a saying from Erasmus that became unusually popular in Edwardian times: “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Of course, H G Wells showed that it might not work out quite so well
as expected.

513 Billie from Ockham December 27, 2014 at 12:57 am

I thought that we were supposed to ignore what chromosomes a person has and focus on what sort of creature they believe themselves to be. (This is not entirely off-topic, seeing as PZ is currently in the woodshed, being “corrected” by his commentariat for making the same mistake as Ms Watson.) Neckbeard-kin, don’t do that.

514 Michael Nager December 27, 2014 at 1:30 am

@Steersman #511

I used the words which completely appropriate to what I wanted to say.

I have absolutely no confusion with regard to the vocabulary I implemented.

The Theism – Atheism scale relates to a belief or rather non-belief of a god or gods

You on the other hand seem to what to confound this with the Gnosticism – Agnosticism scale which relates to knowledge or ignorance of god or gods.

Now short of being a candidate for a room with padded wallpaper and a jacket which buttons up the back, what you call a “strong atheist” i.e. a “Gnostic Atheist” cannot exist.

I am aware that the planet Vulcan, the substance Phlogiston and Geocentrism exist – in books relating to the history of science and in this way I am agnostic to those concepts. I cannot be gnostic with regard to knowing they do not exist because I have read about them. They are not valid concepts however that is not to say that the concepts do not exist.

In the same way I cannot say categorically that a god or gods don’t exist. I have read Marvel comics, I can count the days of the week or the months of the year. All of them make reference to various gods.

I cannot prove that a god or gods don’t exist, in the same way that I cannot prove that the Loch Ness monster doesn’t exist. Nor would I ever put myself in the position of attempting, or wasting the effort, to do so. I take it you have heard of the adage, “One cannot prove a negative”.

Agnostic Atheist would thus be the only intellectually tenable – and sane – position to adopt with regard to a god or gods.

I am agnostic on the knowledge – ignorance scale and I am an atheist on the belief – non belief scale. There is no “weakness” with regard to my position re the existence of a god or gods.

515 john welch December 27, 2014 at 1:40 am

But Aneris, Abbie is an SP, so obviously siding with her against a Clear like PZ is misogynistic.

516 Michael Nager December 27, 2014 at 5:16 am

@john welch #515

It is pretty certain that it was not L. Ron Hubbard, but rather John W. Campbell Jr. who had the main ideas and most likely wrote most of the book “Dianetics” which was first serialized in the magazine “Astounding Stories/Science Fiction” edited by Campbell. The book then went on to become the founding document for “Scientology”.

From other writers such as Asimov and Heinlein who he alienated Campbell demanded strories about “inner space” instead of “outer space” in the late 1940’s.

Campbell would also heavily rewrite stories submitted to him by authors. This has been recounted by the likes of L. Sprague de Camp, A. E. van Vogt, Asimov, Heinlein and Theodore Sturgeon.

From those who knew him it is reported that L. Ron Hubbard was pretty much a talentless hack (see L. Sprague de Camp “Elron in the City of Brass”) and a book like “Dianetics” would be far outside his abilities without major help.

517 Billie from Ockham December 27, 2014 at 6:20 am

See, isn’t it better when you take your meds? So why do we have to argue about it so often?

518 Steersman December 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

Michael Nager (#514):

I used the words which [were] completely appropriate to what I wanted to say.

I have absolutely no confusion with regard to the vocabulary I implemented.

But a number of people seem to use the word “inappropriately”, and have some “confusion with regard to [that] vocabulary”. And your “atheism is not a belief system” seems to put you solidly in that camp. Consider these definitions (1) – unless you’d care to make common-cause with PZ in his cavils about “dictionary atheism”:

There are two in-use definitions of the word ‘atheist':

1.) A person who lacks belief in a god or gods. People who use this definition categorize atheists as either negative (or implicit or weak) atheists or positive (or explicit or strong) atheists. Negative atheists, while they don’t believe in a god, do not positively assert that no gods exist. Positive atheists, however, do.

2.) A person who believes that no god or gods exist.

And this one (2):

a•the•ism (ā′thē-ĭz′əm)
n.
Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs. But absent some efforts to qualify beliefs in general – for instance on the basis of their plausibility as I have done here and elsewhere, and as you sort of attempted to with your genuflection towards “agnostic atheism”, although you kind of waffled away from it at the end – I would say that you – and/or many of the more doctrinaire and dogmatic atheists – are being a little inconsistent, if not actually hypocritical, in throwing stones at the less doctrinaire and dogmatic within the theist camp.

—-
1) “_http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Atheist”;
2) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/atheist”;

519 Aneris ✻ December 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm

John Welch wrote: But Aneris, Abbie is an SP, so obviously siding with her against a Clear like PZ is misogynistic.

Aye, yet KennyD wrote that there were women-hating atheists; that they accept women only in inferior positions; that they would never promote a woman and that they hang out in the Slymepit. Yet the glaringly obvious problem is that the Slymepit goes back to Abbie Smith’s blog and with people who support(ed) her against PZ Myers. If those misogynsists are more comfortable with a man, then why did they agree with Stef McGraw, yet another woman, and why would they stuck around with Abbie. According to KennyD / FTB crackpot theory they should have gone with the two elderly dudes at the helm: PZ Myers and Ed Brayton, and not remain stray cats with a lose affiliation with Abbie Smith and others.

(I know you know all that, I know it was more of a rhetorical question, but the crackpot theorists may not know, hence they are forced to introduce additional explanations to patch up the holes in the story).

KennyD, let us know what you have in store…

520 Aneris ✻ December 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Another point and a reason to be wary of stories: you can write many around the evidence.

Here is another one: Rebecca Watson and the SkepChicks have recognized they are to paraphrase Ms Watson “queens among the nerds” and have conciously or unconciously begun to defend their privileged position by making the movement seem unfriendly to (other) women. By claiming this as fact and spreading their opinion wide and far they discouraged women to join in, and by posing as the damsels they have emotionally manipulated the well-meaning people to support them even more, and by changing the topics and themes where they can pose as experts, they have carved out a niche for themselves.

See, works just as well.

521 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

@Michael Nager,

From those who knew him it is reported that L. Ron Hubbard was pretty much a talentless hack (see L. Sprague de Camp “Elron in the City of Brass”) and a book like “Dianetics” would be far outside his abilities without major help.

To those interested in the topic of Scientology I can recommend the book Going Clear; Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (2013).

Dianetics is not a book in which Hubbard explained the tenets of Scientology; it’s more a kind of wacky psychological self-help manual.

The tenets of Scientology, the things that actually make it a religion, are not disclosed in any official publication. They are secret information that is slowly revealed during expensive “courses” that aspiring members have to follow. The full nonsense about Xenu and his thetans is only revealed after tens of thousands of dollars have been spent, when you reach the level of Operating Thetan III.

Thanks to investigative journalists and former cult members this Church doctrine is now common knowledge, so that I suppose only the terminally stupid still pay money to become Operating Thetan III. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stupid people. Nor is there a shortage of evil people who take advantage of them.

In the book I mentioned, it is carefully described how L. Ron Hubbard evolved from a third rate pulp fiction hack to an anti-psychiatry activist, and how he then decided to turn his movement into a full-fledged religion, for which he subsequently wrote the founding documents. This he did years after Dianetics was published and largely while he was on board a ship sailing the oceans. The leadership of the cult is still called the sea org, in reference to the years spent at sea by Hubbard and his crew.

522 Michael Nager December 27, 2014 at 11:31 pm

@Steersman #518

If you are going to correct what I said then you should do so correctly.

The post you are referring to was very easy for me to write and I basically knocked it out in a couple of minutes and didn’t bother to re-read it before I submitted it.

The first sentence should have read “I used the words which [are] completely appropriate to what I wanted to say.”.

The words were appropriate then and still are appropriate now – I have not changed my mind in any way with regard to the words I used.

You carry on to state the following:
“But a number of people seem to use the word “inappropriately”, and have some “confusion with regard to [that] vocabulary”. And your “atheism is not a belief system” seems to put you solidly in that camp. Consider these definitions (1) – unless you’d care to make common-cause with PZ in his cavils about “dictionary atheism””

Either you are referring your post to me or you are referring it to a number of people. I would appreciate it if you could make up your mind because that sounds like a bad parody of Faux News and their “some say”.

Which camp? Which “number of people”? Name names, otherwise I have assume that you pluck your “number of people” freshly steaming from the same orifice Faux News gets their “some say”.

You seem to mistake obfuscation for cogent rational thought.

Belief makes reference to the credibility of a concept.

I’ll give you an example, if I were to say to you, “I don’t believe you have a million dollars”. This would not be the same as saying that I do not believe that a million dollars exist.

The existence of a million dollars is credible. That you have a million dollars is not credible, without further corroboration.

I believe that the concept of a god or gods exist – as I said, I have read Marvel comics, know that many of the days of the week and the months of the year are named after gods. I do not however believe that those gods ever had any existence outside of stories invented by people.

To this end I cannot be gnostic with regard to my atheism regarding the concept of god or gods.

Isaac Asimov wrote a short story called “The Planet that Wasn’t”, and how ancient Greek mythology could be said to have exactly predicted one of the most important discoveries of the 20th Century, involving one of their gods “Vulcan” and the planet which was envisaged to be within the orbit of Mercury which was named “Vulcan”.

I believe that the planet Vulcan exists in books about astronomy (and by that token that Vulcan exists as a god in Greek mythology), I do not however believe that the planet exists as something orbiting our Sun – never mind as a god. I would thus be an agnostic Vulcanist.

Beliefs can be both right and wrong at the same time. For instance I could say, “I believe that the Intel 4790K is better than the AMD A10 7850K”. In some cases that belief would be true and in some cases that belief would be false. In this case it would be a case of context within which my belief is framed and not the credibility of the object of the belief.

How can this be?

We would have to look at the context:

1) Computer would be used only for online games, Internet browsing, office programs and very basic graphics work. The AMD A10 7850K coming in at about a third of the cost of an Intel 4790K but would not noticeably – for the user – perform any worse, my belief that the 4790K is better is of course objectively wrong and not credible.

2) Computer would be used for high end gaming and graphics work. In this case there is no amount of value which could be added to the AMD A10 7650K to make it perform at even a quarter of the performance of the 4790K system. Also if one wanted to make the AMD A10 7650K even remotely adequate to the task of gaming/graphics it would chew up easily twice the amount of energy than the 4790K and would still could not be considered a good performer. In this case and this context my belief that the 4790K was better would be vindicated and credible.

So a belief could be true, false or contingent and deciding to not believe depends for me as an atheist upon the credibility of, and the confidence in, the information I have at my disposal with regard to a god or gods irrespective of the fact that many concepts of a god or gods objectively exist.

PZ Myers’ slur describing someone such as I as merely a “Dictionary Atheist” is utterly fatuous because what value added would there be to my personal atheism by subscribing to his dogma or contingencies with which he wishes to qualify atheism?

How much less would I believe in a god or gods than I do now?

It is possible that a majority of the people reading this consider Faux News to be a credible source. Would it add anything whatsoever to my atheism if Michael Nugent all of a sudden made “real atheism” contingent on watching that wretched propaganda?

The only personal consequence I would draw for myself would be to have the contempt for Michael Nugent that I now have for PZ Myers.

If PZ Myers and consortium want to create a cult then they should leave the word atheism out of it.

You then go on to dig your hole deeper with this example of misplaced concretion which I only rivaled when I inadvertently squirted the SodaStream into my mother’s urn:

“You are, of course, entitled to your beliefs. But absent some efforts to qualify beliefs in general – for instance on the basis of their plausibility as I have done here and elsewhere, and as you sort of attempted to with your genuflection towards “agnostic atheism”, although you kind of waffled away from it at the end – I would say that you – and/or many of the more doctrinaire and dogmatic atheists – are being a little inconsistent, if not actually hypocritical, in throwing stones at the less doctrinaire and dogmatic within the theist camp. ”

With regard to my beliefs I think that is a given because if you tried to deny them to me you would end up with your head in your hands to play with.

I had qualified my beliefs and I expanded upon that above because I did not assume that your cognitive impairment was as chronic as you have shown it to be, before I addressed your second “insight”.

I told you that on the Gnostic – Agnostic scale (range of values if only binary) I could not honestly know that no god or gods existed because the the concept of god or gods exists; therefore to be a Gnostic Atheist would be to deny any knowledge of any god or gods which I do not believe exist – i.e. “They don’t exist and I know they don’t exist”, I cannot know that, it’s untenable. It would make me a hypocrite at best and someone with a severe mental illness at worst. So that would only leave me with agnosticism on the knowledge scale.

On the Theist – Atheist scale, which refers to belief in a god or gods, I do not believe so I would be on the atheist side of that scale.

Seriously? Genuflect is the word you are going with? I have to ask at this point, is English a language which you are proficient with?

The rest of your word salad at the end just did not make sense. I don’t know who or what you consider me or “doctrinaire and dogmatic atheists” to be with regard to some “doctrine” or “dogma” beyond not believing in a god or gods.

And where pray tell am I throwing any stones at anyone in a theistic camp?

523 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 2:14 am

Michael Nager (#522):

Either you are referring your post to me or you are referring it to a number of people.

Both. Arguing from the specific to the general – the former tends to be valuable largely or generally to the extent that it provides or supports a general rule of thumb.

… because I did not assume that your cognitive impairment was as chronic as you have shown it to be ….

Dickhead. Wanker.

On the Theist – Atheist scale, which refers to belief in a god or gods, I do not believe so I would be on the atheist side of that scale.

And my point is that, as the first definition I provided illustrates and which you apparently didn’t bother reading or couldn’t comprehend, some, if not many, people use “atheist” in the sense of believing, if not positively asserting (2nd definition), that “no god or gods exists”. Which kind of refutes your rather dogmatic assertion that “atheism is not a belief system”.

I think you’re rather unclear on the substance and implications of the existing definitions for the term. Hence my shot about “dictionary atheists”.

And where pray tell am I throwing any stones at anyone in a theistic camp?

I’ll concede that you didn’t – that I could see – explicitly do so. Although one might argue that your “propaganda of theism”, and your general defense of atheism qualifies as such.

524 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 2:41 am

@Steersman #523

You cannot be referring to both, either your post has specific reference to me or it references an amorphic collection of others and thus has no relevance to me in particular whatsoever – it is up to you and decide before you get back to me with any conclusions.

I don’t have any problem with “dickhead”, but with “wanker” you are just knocking my hobby. Either way it doesn’t really add much other than that you realise you are on very shaky ground and your only way out is by using ad hominems.

I do not give a damn about what arbitrary definitions you supply from obscure sources which are worded such that they are malleable to your prejudice.

I will go with the Encyclopædia Britannica:
belief, a mental attitude of acceptance or assent toward a proposition without the full intellectual knowledge required to guarantee its truth. Believing is either an intellectual judgment or, as the 18th-century Scottish Skeptic David Hume maintained, a special sort of feeling with overtones that differ from those of disbelief. Beliefs have been distinguished according to their degree of certainty: a surmise or suspicion, an opinion, or a conviction. Belief becomes knowledge only when the truth of a proposition becomes evident to the believer. Belief in someone or something is basically different from belief that a proposition is true.

or Mirriam-Webster:
: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true
: a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable
: a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone

You did not in fact provide any definition because you were either too intellectually lazy or too intellectually deficient to do so. You just looked for something which was short enough and vague enough that you could bash to fit.

Seriously you moron, do you think this is my first time at the rodeo?

Considering what castrates you consider to be a definition that would make you a eunuch.

525 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 3:49 am

Michael Nager (#524):

You cannot be referring to both, either your post has specific reference to me or it references an amorphic collection of others and thus has no relevance to me in particular whatsoever ….

So fucking what? Who put you in charge of Robert’s Rules of Order? Whether you want to address the general case or not – and you seem to be doing the former regardless, though that suggests that neither consistency nor self-awareness is your strong suit – I figured both might be of some general relevance. Or maybe you think the sun never sets on your opinions, that they are “the measure of all things”?

… and your only way out is by using ad hominems.

I call it tit-for-tat. But what do you think “cognitive impairment” qualifies as? A cogent and well-evidenced argument?

I do not give a damn about what arbitrary definitions you supply from obscure sources which are worded such that they are malleable to your prejudice ….

As opposed to those that are “malleable to your prejudice”? But I rather doubt either The Urban Dictionary or the American Heritage Dictionary (Fifth Edition) can really be considered “obscure sources”, except maybe to the bigoted and narrow-minded. But since that latter combo seems to fit you to a T, you might consider the following from Wikipedia (1) which I expect even the backwater you seem to reside in probably wouldn’t call “obscure”:

In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3], [4], [5]

[3]: Rowe 1998: “As commonly understood, atheism is the position that affirms the nonexistence of God. ….

[4]: Harvey, Van A. Agnosticism and Atheism, in Flynn 2007, p. 35 …. The second definition takes atheism to mean the explicit denial of the existence of gods and agnosticism as the position of someone who, because the existence of gods is unknowable, suspends judgment regarding them

[5]: Simon Blackburn, ed. (2008). “atheism”. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2008 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Either the lack of belief that there exists a god, or the belief that there exists none. Sometimes thought itself to be more dogmatic than mere agnosticism ….

You may wish to take up your objections with Messrs. Rowe, Harvey, & Blackburn.

You did not in fact provide any definition because you were either too intellectually lazy or too intellectually deficient to do so.

I actually provided links – two, count them, two (if you can go that high) – to actual definitions. But I guess you had your head too far up your own ass to notice that fact.

P.S. You might consider learning how to use HTML codes – if you’re capable of such , particularly for block-quoting; most FTB sites provide a Preview function that supports most of the same codes used here – although I expect you are already aware of that fact.

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism”;

526 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 5:21 am

@Steersman #525

You seem to be rather irate and irrational – could it have been something I said?

I did see the “sources” you quoted and instead of looking for them I just googled “belief” and hey presto, I found both of your sources on the first page of the results.

So I would add sloth to the list because you did not go for the most relevant or the most rigorous definition but rather for the two most conveniently available.

I must say that your ability to quote mine Wikipedia rivals that of Creationists when they do so with regard to Stephen Jay Gould and intermediary fossils or Charles Darwin and the eye.

You totally missed out the bits which stated:
“Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10]”

You do realise that Wikipedia is openly accessible and that you will get caught out if you try to selectively quote mine from any article don’t you? Or did you just think it was a secret between you and your version of the Internet and that I had probably not updated my system to the version you were reading from?

I was not aware of “Robert’s Rules of Order”, on the other hand I am not American. Which particular edition you would consider to be applicable, the first edition from 1876 or the eleventh edition from 2011 (which can hardly be called “Robert’s Rules” unless Robert is some kind of undead entity)?

What you tried to gloss over was the fact that you can either be specifically addressing your post to me personally, in which case you would be expecting an answer, or you were addressing your post to an amorphous collective in which case your were addressing your words rhetorically. You cannot be doing both.

There is no way that you can expect me to answer for others especially if those others are not specified in any way.

I freely admit that I have my prejudices which is why I generally look beyond the first page of google results when searching for a term. I also use differently worded homologous search terms to narrow down my inquiry – to eliminate the invariable crap that comes up if I just restrict myself to one search term.

It’s one of the reasons why I am so good at what I do and the reason why you will be so bad at whatever you attempt to do in lieu of actual intellectual endeavour.

You did not quote the “American Heritage Dictionary” as a source, so you cannot blame me for not following a link which you did not provide – well actually it is a pretty transparent post hoc rationalisation which you tried to slip in there because you got caught with you fingers in the cookie jar (actually it is more like I slammed a door shut on your testicles).

You can actually count to two and are so proud of it that you mentioned it twice – and all I can say in response is that God is Real, until declared Integer.

I think that in light of your reply to me the term “cognitive impairment” is eminently applicable and you should consider going back on your meds.

527 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

Michael Nager (#526):

You totally missed out the bits which stated:
“Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. ….

No, I didn’t miss it – it wasn’t relevant to my objective. Which was to show that your categorical statement – i.e., “Atheism is not a belief system” – was untenable since it is quite clear that there are two [2] different definitions in play – one of which clearly qualifies as or describes a “belief system” – that pertain to two largely different groups of people, each of a significant size.

You did not quote the “American Heritage Dictionary” as a source, so you cannot blame me for not following a link which you did not provide….

What an ignorant fucking dickhead – stupid pommie bastard; you’re like the character Otto West in the movie A Fish Called Wanda: apparently able to read philosophy, at least the titles or headings, but understand dick-all about it. You’re too clueless and intellectually dishonest to follow the second link I provided (in my comment #518 above) and note that the FreeDictionary (the one referenced by said link) lists definitions from several different dictionaries – American Heritage, Collins, Random House, etc – and that the first one happens to be the one I quoted. Which, mirabile dictu, happens to be American Heritage. As I claimed. Q.E.D.

… you should consider going back on your meds.

Fuck off; kiss my ass.

528 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 6:17 am

@Steersman #527

I don’t know why others say that they have so many problems with your replies.

It has only taken me three posts to reduce you to a gibbering loon.

I guess my work here is done.

Have a nice day.

529 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 6:26 am

Michael Nager (#528):

Hi ho Silver – you’re a real legend there Nager; at least in your own mind.

530 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 6:34 am

@Steersman #529

Not to mention lunchtime, never forget lunchtime because as the immortal prophet Douglas Adams stated, “Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”.

I’m trying to help you out here mate, it is pitiful to witness someone try to gather together the remnants of their self esteem when they have publicly humiliated themselves in the way you have.

Ooops, did I just say that out loud?

531 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 6:51 am

Michael Nager (#530):

In your opinion. Which is clearly worth dick-all.

532 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 7:06 am

Wow, you just gave a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Holding your own”.

533 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 7:12 am

Michael Nager (#532):

Hardly. Most likely only in your fevered imagination:

dick all
another word for nothing.
I learned dick all in lecture today

But then again, that is something that you and PZ apparently do; say were you two twins that were separated at birth? That is, redefine words to meet your own ideological objectives.
——
1) “_http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dick+all”

534 Stacy Turner January 30, 2015 at 1:45 am

Atheism Plus. LOL. Does the guy even lift?

535 Jeremy Tarone October 6, 2015 at 1:57 am

I find it strange that some people find it necessary to flay anyone who makes a mistake. Not that I’m saying the articles author is doing this, no, I’m speaking of Mr. Myers and his ilk. Some people just seem to have to jump down the throat of anyone who makes the slightest error, or comment that doesn’t comport with their particular stated world view. Sometimes an error or stand is worth pointing out, but if you have to mistake or misrepresent what people say, then there is no point other than, well, other than what? Maliciousness? Anger?

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t stepped in it or stuck their foot in their mouth, indeed, the more one speaks in public, the more this becomes a certainty. What is different (?) is how what otherwise mostly like minded people are behaving as if they are part and parcel of Fox News or the Republican party. They immediately go on the attack as if the very soul of the nation was lying in wait as the prize for the winner.

The biggest problem, exaggerating, sliming and mud slinging has become standard operating policy for some, even though they aren’t a politician, pundit or even a supporter and they don’t really get any reward for doing it.

I’m reminded of a man I knew in an old folks home. The head nurse said he had a ‘personality disorder’ when he was being discussed as a problem patient (he constantly swore at staff, belittled them, grabbed one nurses breasts – some people believe this is part of the job. It’s not, and we won’t put up with it anymore, nurses shouldn’t be treated worse than nightclub waitresses, they both deserve to be treated with respect). Someone remarked, “that’s just a fancy way of saying the mans an arshole”.
I have no time for these types. Life is too short. I want to hang out with pleasant people who are nice who are generally smarter than me.
He doesn’t fit any of those categories. And I don’t consider myself to be very smart.

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