PZ Myers publicly hates and despises people, not merely their ideas or behaviour

by Michael Nugent on December 27, 2014

We can hate harmful and unjust ideas and behaviours, without hating the people who believe those ideas or carry out those behaviours. That is an ethically nuanced position, and one that PZ Myers understands, because he sometimes articulates it himself. Indeed, it is the type of ethical nuance that you would expect from a previous Humanist of the Year awardee. Also, PZ has strongly criticised other people for being ‘haters’ of different people, and other websites for being ‘hate sites’. So he sometimes, correctly, sees ‘haters’ and ‘hate sites’ as being pejorative terms.

Despite this, on his own website, PZ Myers regularly expresses public hatred of people, not merely their ideas or behaviour. Among the many people who PZ has publicly hated, despised or detested are philosophers Alain de Botton and Harriet Baber, interfaith activist Chris Stedman, comparative religion author Karen Armstrong, pastor Lee Strobel, columnist Richard Cohen, attorney Debbie Schlussel, US President Ronald Reagan, creationists Ken Ham and Fred Phelps, broadcasters Bob Beckel and Rush Limbaugh, and authors Ben Stein, Bryan Appleyard and Dinesh D’Souza.

PZ has also publicly expressed hatred of Christians (he despises them, and he once left a theatre filled with contempt and loathing for them), Christians who are apocalypse-mongers (he despises these people, and they make him furious and fill him with an angry contempt), your average, run-of-the-mill Christian (he despises Karen Armstrong almost as much as he did Fred Phelps), named people organising a prayer initiative (Jesus Christ but he hates these slimebags, demented fuckwits every one), and crunchy theologians, who he hates on our collective behalf (we atheists despise them because they are wrong).

PZ’s public hatred of people is not a response to the recent disagreements among some mostly American bloggers and activists. Like much of his other hurtful and harmful behaviour, it pre-dates these disagreements. The targets of PZ’s hatred and smears may have changed, but his modus operandi is broadly the same, although he no longer encourages his commenters to tell people to shove rotting porcupines up their ass or to fuck themselves sideways with a rusty chainsaw. This is a pattern of behaviour by PZ, not a reaction to any particular set of circumstances.

Some examples of PZ Myers publicly hating people

Here are some examples of PZ publicly hating people, not merely their ideas or behaviours, together with links to the original material so that you can evaluate the context yourself.

To avoid misinterpretation, it is of course reasonable for PZ to publicly disagree with or even hate the ideas or behaviours of these people, but he could do this without publicly hating the person him or herself.

“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Christians.” Source

“Did I ever tell you how much I despise Ronald Reagan?” Source

“Christ, but I actually hate these people… Fox News Republicans and Libertarians — every once in a while they do something that just ignites this white hot flash of rage in my brain. I can’t help it.” Source

“Religious kooks, please note: I despise you.” Source

“Oh, man, I still remember those houses that handed out Bible tracts rather than candy when I went trick-or-treating as a kid. Yes, do that, because I learned to despise those smug jerks when they shafted little kids that way.” Source

“And finally, Bob Beckel. I despise Bob Beckel.” Source

(On Richard Cohen) “But I’ve despised Cohen for years, ever since he wrote a column telling a young girl that she never needed to know algebra, because he’s so fucking stupid he’s never had to use it.” Source

“I don’t hate gods — they don’t exist. I really despise the buffoons who lie about gods to fleece their flocks, though.” Source

“I say “most” of the famous ones, because crunchy theologians are the ones who shout out their theology the loudest, and are the quickest to define themselves by their faith. We atheists despise them because they are wrong.” Source

“Jebus but I despise these people… However, there’s one kind of Christian that makes me furious and fills me with an angry contempt… These are the people for whom I reserve the term “demented fuckwits”. They are the apocalypse-mongers, the cheerleaders for Armageddon, the monsters who take great satisfaction in their patently stupid belief that the world is going to end soon in a Jebus-spooge of Biblical volume.” Source

(On Chris Stedman and Alain de Botton) “Hemant Mehta thinks Stedman and de Botton aren’t really that bad. It’s too bad none of his arguments actually address why some of us despise Stedman and de Botton, but OK.” Source

“Sorry, no. I’m quite aware of the distinction between crazy fundy evangelicals and your average, run-of-the-mill Christian who believes in silly fantasy stories. I despise Karen Armstrong almost as much as I do Fred Phelps, but for different things.” Source

(On named people organising a prayer initiative) “Jesus Christ, but I hate these slimebags… Prayer will never, ever change the world. Prayer is an excuse to lie about doing nothing and pretend you are making a difference… Demented fuckwits, every one. You know, none of these cretins are fundamentalists, they probably smile a lot, and what they all propose is absolutely harmless, in the sense that it doesn’t do anything, anything at all…but they are the killers, the mind-rot, the lazy brained lotus eaters who will watch civilization crumble away while chanting that we’re becoming closer and closer to Mother Nature.” Source

“One more reason to despise Ben Stein.” Source

“Jebus, but I’ve come to despise Republicans.” Source

“Republicans. Christians. Why do I despise them both?” Source

“Without hesitation, I can tell you who the most contemptible, repulsive creationist I know is: he tops even Ray Comfort and Ken Ham in the pantheon of creationist liars for Jesus. It’s the otherwise negligible Sal Cordova…” Source

“Harriet Baber is a philosopher, and I say that with the most sneeringly disparaging tone I can muster. I don’t normally dislike philosophy, but there are a lot of philosophers I detest, and Baber exemplifies why.” Source

“I think I despise anti-environmentalists as much as I do anti-evolutionists.” Source

“I detest these people” (the neo-conservative elite) Source

“But then, this morning, I read a review of the book by Bryan Appleyard. You have to understand something here. I utterly detest Bryan Appleyard.” Source

“Contemptible ghoul” (Debbie Schlussel) Source

“Another contemptible ghoul” (Ken Ham) Source

“Still more contemptible ghouls” (The entire shrieking, howling, raving mob of religious lunatics at Westboro Baptist Church) Source

“Dinesh D’Souza is a contemptible ghoul” Source

“The latest contemptible ghoul” (Rush Limbaugh) Source

“Add Lee Strobel to your list of contemptible ghouls” Source

Part of a wider pattern of behaviour by PZ Myers

PZ’s public hatred of people is part of a wider pattern of his behaviour that is hurtful and unjust to individuals, and harmful to the atheist movement and to promoting an ethical, secular society based on compassion and reason.

As well as his hatred of individuals noted here, PZ has unjustly smeared other individuals by uncharitably misrepresenting their behaviour. He has also said that the scum has risen to the top of the atheist movement, that if you don’t agree with Atheism Plus you are an Asshole Atheist, and that the skeptic movement has attracted way too many thuggish jerks, especially in the leadership.

You can read details of these other smears and misrepresentations at these links, along with examples of his violent imagery involving knives and anal abuse with porcupines, his use of ableist language despite saying that he opposes it, and his encouragement of his commenters to be abusive to other people, all the while judging others about sexism and social justice by standards that he does not seem to apply to himself.

The targets of PZ’s hatred and smears may have changed over time, but he has been behaving like this long before the recent disagreements among some mostly American bloggers and activists. This is a pattern of behaviour, not a response to any particular set of circumstances. The harm that it causes is a combination of the impact of each individual smear on its target, and their cumulative impact on our discourse and our community.

I and others in the atheist movement have repeatedly asked PZ, both privately and now publicly, to reconsider and change his harmful behaviour, and to apologise to those he has hurt. I still hope that he does so. Perhaps the new year would be a good time for a new start. If he does not, and if we are to successfully promote an ethical, secular society based on compassion and reason, we need to actively dissociate our work from this ongoing harm.

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{ 238 comments… read them below or add one }

1 comhcinc December 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

The more you document the more it seems like PZ really needs to get some good counseling.

2 Shermertron December 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

Another thorough and powerful analysis.

Your essay makes me think about how I feel about PZ. I don’t think I hate him now or ever have. (I will admit that there are probably bad people I hate, but not someone like PZ. Kim Jong-Un, maybe? Hitler? I haven’t devoted a great deal of thought to it.) By all accounts, PZ loves his wife and kids and cares about science and has never done anything too illegal or wrong, so it’s not fair to say I “hate” him.

I do, however, hold in contempt the way he has treated the movement and people in the movement. I was a fan of PZ’s several years ago and met him on one occasion. Perhaps I shouldn’t have admired his “wafer” incident, no matter how satisfying. I suppose the difference between forcefulness and counterproductiveness can be seen in someone like Christopher Hitchens. PZ, as you have proven, shuts down dialogue and demonizes opponents with a priori non-arguments. Hitchens, for example, expressed his admiration for the rabbi he was debating while pointing out that his support for genital mutilation is proof that religion makes otherwise decent people do wicked things.

I agree that we must continue to disassociate ourselves from PZ and the others who are doing harm. Perhaps it’s too much to ask for, but I would love if the movement went back to the way it was before everything went pear-shaped.

3 Jacques Cuze December 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

As a parent of kids about to go off to college, I know this is not at all the sort of behavior I want my kids to have modeled and presented as teacher, mentor, scientist, or adult. PeeZus Christ I am glad they will be thousands of miles from Morris.

Sadly, behaviors from most of the leading American Capital A Atheist Lobbying Groups demonstrates to me that PeeZus is the hero Capital A Atheism deserves, but not the one anyone needs.

4 Jacques Cuze December 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

What is most scary about PeeZus is how he does seem representative of a huge number of modern academics and pundits that adhere to SJW “principles” (or tactics).

Is Ireland holding fast against social justice warriors? Or will Ireland fall as London has, as US academia has, as US feminists demand?

5 Larry Metcalfe December 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

Another great analysis. Once again it’s quite shocking when you read it all documented like this. The take home message for the rest of the a/s movement should be the last sentence, in particular “…we need to actively dissociate our work from this ongoing harm”.

6 vjack December 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

What you have documented here and in previous posts points to a long-standing pattern of behavior that is a big part of what has made PZ so popular. His regular readers are not looking for fair-minded rational behavior; they are seeking something else, and providing it has been quite lucrative for PZ. Why would he give that up in response to a few critics when it is far easier to place those critics in the harassment narrative his supporters have constructed?

I think we have to assume that PZ probably won’t change his behavior and give up what has been such a core part of his schtick for so long. That raises the question of what would it look like to “actively dissociate our work from this ongoing harm?” What is the best outcome for which we can realistically hope, and how do we get there?

7 Gurdur (Tim Skellett) December 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm

From vjack, #6:

“… a long-standing pattern of behavior that is a big part of what has made PZ so popular. …”

Bingo. And that popularity is still evident among some, and the style still evident among many. While Coyne has modified his own style somewhat to the better, the entire pattern is an issue that needs facing up to.

As for how to “actively dissociate our work from this ongoing harm”, clearly Atheist Ireland have done so. I did so years ago. It’s necessary to call upon as many as possible to do so.

As for what we can realistically hope: save what you can from the ashes of the American atheist movement. Give a couple of years, and the narcissism and bile that PZ both channels from his audience and promotes will become a stereotype of atheists in the USA. Given the transatlantic crossover of media today, it will become a stereotype of atheists to some degree in Britain as well, and known in Ireland. So if people care that atheists are shown in a better light, well then, they had better get cracking down to the task, yes? Especially in the USA. The routine way in which any criticisms of atheists en masse are met with aggressive flames won’t help matters; it only makes matters worse. More than enough parallels from the net and society to show that.

8 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Well, well, well.
Here we are again.
Needless to say I didn’t read this post yet upon noticing “PZ Myers” in the title I can reasonably assume that it’s contents were another garbled spiel in which you inadvertently show us your insatiable desire to stalk and harass pot-bellied old-aged tenured university professors who challenge your worldview.
Allow me to predict that your usual coterie of ball-lickers will shortly arrive to parrot every thing you say.
I suggest, Michael, judging by your fondness of echoes, that rather than inflicting these mountains of tripe upon us you go shout the same words into the gap between the mountains thus sparing us of your drivel and allowing yourself more time to go fuck yourself.

9 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I count the arrival of seven echoes already.

10 piero December 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

@Simon Tolliver:
Thank you for sparing us the mighty power of your arguments. As it is, we can simply ignore you.

11 piero December 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm

@Simon Tolliver:
What is it with Benson, theophontes and now you? Do you count the steps while doing the stairs? Do you count the paving stones? This obsessive need to count is getting tiresome.

12 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

@Piero
Claims to ignore me.
Responds with another comment.

13 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Simon Tolliver: Needless to say I didn’t read this post yet upon noticing “PZ Myers” in the title

I stopped reading your comment at that point.

If you can’t be arsed reading the OP you are responding to I can’t be arsed reading your response.

I can’t even be arsed counting your words.

14 Lancelot Gobbo December 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Mr Tollivar, simply saying you didn’t read the article, and thus need not address its substance, will hardly allow you to clutch the few remaining shreds of dignity you may possess and rearrange them over your intellectual nakedness. Go and read it now. All it reveals is that Michael remains affected by the doctrine that one should hate the sin but love the sinner. It’s not a bad attitude to take, and one that doesn’t require you to be a catholic or to believe in sin as a separate form of misbehaviour. It might also reveal to you that PZM isn’t quite so advanced in his ethics as it appears he hates people for their beliefs, words and actions. That’s not my kind of social justice.

15 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

piero @Simon Tolliver:
What is it with Benson, theophontes and now you? Do you count the steps while doing the stairs? Do you count the paving stones? This obsessive need to count is getting tiresome.

They’re like Sasha Baron-Cohen’s gendarme counting the steps in Hugo.

I suspect Sasha’s characterisation is based on the work of his cousin, Simon Baron-Cohen.

16 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Look at the sheer amount of sources linked!
How much of your free time does this infatuation with PZ Myers take up?
I’m surprised there are enough minutes left in your day in which to perform the most basic of ablutions.

17 Tigzy December 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

‘I count the arrival of seven echoes already.’

Watch out, we got an intellectual badass here.

18 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:28 pm

*ECHO…..ECho….echo…..ec….ho…*

19 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Commenters like Simon Tolliver are clearly the target audience of PZ Myers. He should congratulate himself with attracting such thoughtful, articulate people who never fail to provide irrefutable arguments.

20 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I think Myers verbal expressions of hatred pale in significance to his threat to stab Christians in the stomach for praying for him.

It’s like threatening to shoot someone in the face for saying ‘Bless you’ when you sneeze.

21 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

*ECHO…..ECho….echo…..ec….ho…*

That’s the effect sound has bouncing around your empty skull.

22 Hunt December 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm

“His regular readers are not looking for fair-minded rational behavior; they are seeking something else, and providing it has been quite lucrative for PZ.”

It worked for Rush Limbaugh for twenty years.

23 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm

@Jan.
When I tell you to go fuck yourself please take that as a compliment on your physical contortionism being at least equal to your mental gymnastic ability and not a reflection on your Slime Pit herd mentality demanding you to comply to the most basic of requests lest you face social sanctions for disobedience.
KTHXBY

24 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm

@Shatterface

“That’s the effect sound has bouncing around your empty skull.”
Actually, it’s the sound of the same thing being repeated over and over on this blog by Michael and his herd of mental sub-normals.

Don’t worry, that repetitive echo disappears once you pluck up the courage to listen to and accept the views of other people. 😉

25 Shermertron December 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Mr. Tolliver –

Do you and theophontes and Kenny D draw straws to see whose turn it is to represent the FTB hivemind over here?

Like those people, you don’t seem to have any intention of responding to Mr. Nugent’s actual article or the sourced lists of grievances he has against PZ. You just want to derail the conversation.

Are you a skeptic who refuses to engage in arguments and their underlying evidence?

Which parts of Mr. Nugent’s analysis are incorrect? Are you asserting that he has fabricated quotes? I guess I’m asking why you’ve bothered to comment here.

26 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Simon Tolliver: When I tell you to go fuck yourself please take that as a compliment on your physical contortionism

I assume Pharyngulites draw straws when they select cannon fodder to send over here.

I’d really hate to think they are choosing you according to your abilities .

27 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

@Shatterface
Contrary to the wisdom of your internal monologue, selecting a bold font for your spasticated retorts neither increases their coherency nor the intrinsic validity of the scribblings you call ‘replies’. 😉
Sorry ’bout that.

28 JetLagg December 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Look at the sheer amount of sources linked!

What, no count for us?

29 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Actually, it’s the sound of the same thing being repeated over and over on this blog…

How would you know what Michael wrote if you didn’t read it? Are you admitting you lied but chose not to address Michael’s points?

by Michael and his herd of mental sub-normals.

Myers Ablism 101. Head of the class.

Don’t worry, that repetitive echo disappears once you pluck up the courage to listen to and accept the views of other people.

”Just SHUT UP and LISTEN shitlords! BELIEVE! We aren’t a CULT, honestly!”

30 King of Spain December 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Simon Tolliver claims this is an echo chamber, but the ultimate irony remains that he would have been banned immediately at FTB after his first post had he spewed the garbage against PZ that he just spewed against Michael.

31 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Contrary to the wisdom of your internal monologue, selecting a bold font for your spasticated retorts neither increases their coherency nor the intrinsic validity of the scribblings you call ‘replies’.

Wow, my failure to close off the bold like totally invalidates my comment.

Myers has sent some pitiful idiots over in the last few weeks but you really are the most pathetic.

32 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

….Neither does changing the aforementioned font from ‘bold’ to ‘italic’.
😉

33 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Simon, you’ve clearly learned a lot from hanging around at PZ Myers’s place. It has no doubt made you a better person. The civilizing influence of Pharyngula should not be underestimated. I’m often told they even voluntarily retired the rotting porcupine meme. Such self control.

34 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Using a smiley doesn’t make your comment less idiotic.

35 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

@Shatterface
While I’m certain your kind nature allows you to grant the benefit of the doubt to all of your personal opponents I weep myself to sleep at night over the fact that some of us are cursed with more human failings and thus I declare , that in your denial that you purposefully bolded your text in order to seem more intelligent, that you are *indeed*, to coin a phrase, ‘full of shit’.
And, if your kind nature would allow me the basic decency of a retort, I’d go so far as to say that my pointing out your previous font-fallacy has made you somewhat “butthurt” as some people are supposedly saying in response to similar situations nowadays.

36 Carrie December 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

LOL is this the Poe Troll surfacing with another name? It must know that it cannot be taken seriously if it cannot enact the labour of reading what Michael says.

37 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

You weep yourself to sleep because your mom forgot to tuck you in.

Didn’t read the rest of your comment.

38 Lancelot Gobbo December 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm

spasticated

herd of mental sub-normals

Oops. There goes your atheism plus forum membership.

39 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

@Shatterface
The grammatical symbols which you dub as “smileys” were deployed, benignly by me, to assuage your own feelings of guilt at being a shit-thick fucking moron who requires hints and nods into which direction the tone of a comment was intended, be it sarcastic, playful or otherwise.
If you misconstrued my intended meanings I’m both saddened and disturbed. The former at humanity in general for allowing such a retarded shit-kicker as yourself to not only survive and flourish in a supposedly “skeptical” community *and* be allowed internet access without prior vetting by the appropriate authorities, and the latter that such an absolute moron would not only be allowed to live without 24-hour carers watching his every fucking move but that the self-same person would also have support from individuals who seem to agree with him and share and revel in his retarded smiley beliefs.

40 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Simon Tolliver: The grammatical symbols blah blah blah

Didn’t read.

I’d appreciate it if you’d post something longer so I can ignore it in bulk.

41 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

What kind of person behaves like PZ Myers?

In other words: What kind of person constantly plays the man instead of the ball? What kind of person systematically smears his opponents? What kind of person habitually misrepresents others and uses strawmen arguments with abandon? What kind of person goes after the jobs of people they don’t like? What kind of person believes in mob justice?

Someone who is a totally dishonest creep, that’s who.

42 Bartacus December 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm

@Simon Tolliver
How about giving your opinion on the post, What do you think about the hateful comments Myers produces? Is he justified? Because it seems to me that he is becoming more and more outlandish and isolated each time he lashes out. Are you a Pharyngula regular and if so do you truly believe Myers acts in an admirable way?

There’s a lot of insult throwing and talk of echo chambers, etc, in all directions. I’d be interested in hearing a honest comment from the Pharyngula direction. Too much to ask?

43 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

@Shatterface.
It comes as no surprise to the non-Neanderthal community, of which I am a long-standing member, that you “didn’t read” the rest of a post directed specifically at you.
I can only suppose you were distracted by a tree casting shade or a river flowing downstream.

44 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm

What kind of person behaves like PZ Myers?

Hate is just part of the problem.

There’s a general refusal to engage in rational, evidence-based argument.

BELIEVE! is part of it, and trigger warnings and safe places are part of it too. There’s the increasing hostility to ‘western’ science, and to the law, or to anything which attempts to evaluate evidence.

Instead we have ‘lived experience’, ‘other ways of knowing’
and expressions of pure incoherent rage.

45 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Simon Tolliver: It comes as no surprise blah blah blah

http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/263/866/403.gif

46 piero December 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I haven’t yet figured out where I stand in relation to hating ideas rather than people. The problem is that ideas don’t exist outside of someone’s mind, and embracing some ideas rather than others really does tell everyone else a lot about the host.

Since I have no reason to believe that contracausal free will exists, I have no rational grounds to hate anyone. Emotionally, though, I do have a profound dislike of some people; not to the point of wishing they’d die or suffer, but enough to wish they hadn’t been born at all. And the reason I so dislike them is that embrace obnoxious ideas and show no sign of being capable of abandoning them.

Nevertheless, I favour calm, rational discourse even when debating people you fervently dislike: it’s the only way outsiders could be swayed to your side.

47 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm

@Shatterface
“Didn’t read lol”
ECHO…..ECHo……ECho…..Echo….Echo…..echo…..ho….o….

48 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

@Simon Tolliver

“Actually, it’s the sound of the same thing being repeated over and over on this blog by Michael and his herd of mental sub-normals.”

“mental sub-normals”
“mental sub-normals”
“mental sub-normals”
Sorry, I just had to repeat that. Ableism, sir, tsk tsk tsk. What will the lardy bearded perv you clearly adore think?
If you want to call someone a retard, have the sand to just say retard.

49 Shermertron December 27, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Simon Tolliver 47

Seriously, do you have any intention of responding to Mr. Nugent’s point or taking substantive issue with the way he constructed his argument? Or are you simply here to derail the discussion, like a Scientologist who harps on you for being glib about the crimes of psychiatry when you ask about Scientology prison camp?

50 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Sorry, I just had to repeat that. Ableism, sir, tsk tsk tsk. What will the lardy bearded perv you clearly adore think?

Given that Cy’s almost certainly a parody, Cy almost certainly doesn’t care.

51 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

@Dave Allen
In my defence, ’tis the season to be cheerful, and I have a bellyfull of fizzy cheer to slow my wits. That and I hadn’t refreshed the page. Still, my point stands, even if I am having trouble doing so.

52 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

In my defence, ’tis the season to be cheerful, and I have a bellyfull of fizzy cheer to slow my wits.

Well, I’m not one to pour cold water on another man’s carousing, but think about slowing down before you get too shatterfaced.

53 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Since I have no reason to believe that contracausal free will exists, I have no rational grounds to hate anyone.

That doesn’t follow. You might as well say that since you have no reason to believe that contracausal free will exists, you have no rational grounds to love anyone.

Love and hate are emotional responses and both are embedied in the brain; that makes love and hate causal. Rationality doesn’t come into it.

The idea that you can have an attitude towards someone independent of your biologically- and experientially rooted ‘feelings’ towards them implies a seperation of the mind and the body and so comes closer to the concept of free will.

You can employ rational procedures embodied in science or the law to evaluate whether someone is guilty of something or not but whether you like them or loathe them is a subjective matter rooted in biological processes; to claim your emotional responses are based on rationality is essentially to claim they are acausal.

54 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

@Bemused Observer
Show me where I have ever promoted or used “ableism” as a retort and I’ll show you a person doing a servicable impression of Pinocchio during his rebellious phase.
*Deafening silence ensues*
Thank you.
Now ,fuck off.
And, please, if it in any way soothes your crushing loneliness, continue to fuck that inflatable woman your grandfather bequeathed you upon his deathbed, overused yet well loved, though it may be.

55 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Already switched to coffee, for I am a lightweight. Still a couple of pork pies should soak up that booze nicely.
I think that’s what Myers needs. Being veggie certainly made me into a grumpy cunt. A nice pork pie or a sausage buttie and all will be right with the world. Why there was even an article in the [s]SJW Daily[/s] Guardian about the temptation of chopped, seasoned pork in a roundhouse made of pastry.

56 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm

My main opposition in this shit-stained thread being a pack of fucking drunks I now feel more saddened than superior in my fucking mood.

57 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Inflatable woman, pffft, I’ll have you know that I am in a polyamorous relationshit with both my left and right hands.
To be clear though, you said mentally sub normal, which is “I’m so clever” speak for retard…you cunt.

58 Shatterface December 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Given that Cy’s almost certainly a parody, Cy almost certainly doesn’t care.

Poe’s are simply annoying.

Whether Tolliver is serious or taking the piss the effect is exactly the same.

59 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm

@Bemused Observer
May it ease your grasping at unwritten meanings and concepts in my comments that I now call you thricely a retard, a mental subnormal and a cunt. 😉

60 piero December 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Michael said:

[…] if we are to successfully promote an ethical, secular society based on compassion and reason, we need to actively dissociate our work from this ongoing harm.

Given that English is also the de facto international language, blogs written in English enjoy a far greater resonance board than the rest. In fact, what happens in Vegas goes round the world and keeps bouncing around for months and years.

Some of the most urgent matters that should keep the A/S movement busy are happening in the Middle East, Africa, South America and Ireland, as shown by the recent disgusting episode of the brain-dead woman kept alive to serve as ain incubator. People having to face real-life damage attributable exclusively to religious bigotry have little time to waste on the various Myers and Bensons and Watsons and their drama performances. They take up far more space than they deserve and weaken the A/S movement worldwide. Time to shun the lot of them for good.

61 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

@Simeon Gulliver
There now, that wasn’t so hard, was it.

When I was a little lad, I had this mangy fleabitten mutt of a dog and one day he bit me, so I gave him a kick up the arse. My dad saw this and said “Son, one day that mangy fleabitten little cunt is going to come back and haunt you!”.

……………

62 MosesZD December 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that EVERY defender of PZ Myers (1) refuses to acknowledge the detailed arguments and evidence presented and (2) quickly, if not immediately, devolves into ad hominum attacks and profanity?

Not once have I seen a single, competent or even slightly coherent counter-argument made to these charges. And I think that is the most telling of all when we judge.

If PZ Myers was defendable, he would be defended. But he’s not. So the defenders go on the offensive to shift the debate.

63 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm

@Simon Tolliver
I should also point out that I am interpreting your wink as an unwanted sexual advance, which I’m sure you know is literally just as bad as knifepoint rape.

64 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Whether Tolliver is serious or taking the piss the effect is exactly the same.

On anyone who can’t tell the difference, perhaps.

65 Crackity Jones December 27, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Which poster at Pharyngula do we think the troll is?

Could it be PZ himself, stamping his tiny feet in tears and frustration, attempting to derail another brilliant and humiliating expose of himself?

66 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

@Bemused Observer
As ecstatic as I am to be included in your irrelevant family reminisces (it quite fills my fucking mind with joy to be so selected for such an honor) the human desire for retort impels me to charge you with being a fucking idiot who believes that a writing a comment devoid of any meaning in lieu of a cogent contribution to a conversation is a valid response in debates involving people with more brains than half a dried shit-nugget adhering to the ass of a stray dog.

67 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Bemused Observer said:

“@Simon Tolliver
I should also point out that I am interpreting your wink as an unwanted sexual advance, which I’m sure you know is literally just as bad as knifepoint rape.”
Thank you for ecapsulating, in a single comment, to all and sundry (those who loiter on the metaphorical fences and sidelines of this rift especially), your side’s pure fucking idiocy.

68 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Which poster at Pharyngula do we think the troll is?

Tony Parsehole’s on Pharyngula?

69 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

@Simon Tolliver.
Floosh.

Did I do that right?

70 Bemused observer December 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

@Simon Tolliver

“Idiocy”
More ableism. Tut tut tut.

71 Simon Tolliver December 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

@Dave Allen.
“Tony Parsehole’s On Pharyngula?”
HAHA. Was it that obvious?
You got me.
Sorry I was bored and this passed the time.
Bye all.
Enjoy.

72 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm

HAHA. Was it that obvious?
You got me.

It wasn’t bad, subtle and that, but I preferred that Mordecai one TBH.

73 JetLagg December 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

piero@45

I haven’t yet figured out where I stand in relation to hating ideas rather than people. The problem is that ideas don’t exist outside of someone’s mind, and embracing some ideas rather than others really does tell everyone else a lot about the host.

I agree with you that the situation is more nuanced, and a heuristic as simple as hating ideas but not people can only get us so far. There are clear parallels between this and the Christian’s “I hate the sin, not the sinner”, which many of us within the atheist community (rightly IMO) mock.

74 MacGruberKnows December 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

And don’t forget PZ is cissexist. He thinks genitals have gender. That’s banhammer material. Look it up.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/12/23/an-exam-question-idea/

That’s all he has left at his place, the crazies.

75 Shermertron December 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Mr. Tolliver –

Do you plan on addressing Mr. Nugent’s essay or disputing any of the evidence or analysis within?

76 piero December 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm

@Shatterface:

Love and hate are emotional responses and both are embedied in the brain; that makes love and hate causal. Rationality doesn’t come into it.

Hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for the input.

77 KennyD December 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm

It really is sad what you have turned into, Michael. This has become an obsession. I think this is both a personal vendetta against PZ and a desperate attempt on your part to prevent your continued and much deserved slide into obscurity. I think you’re envious that PZ won the Humanist of the Year award and you didn’t. You mention it in practically every post about him.

It’s like you know you’re going down, but rather than go down quietly, you want to take the entire atheist community down with you in a blaze of glory. It’s a good thing that most prominent people in the atheist community see through you, and are ignoring you. Thankfully, for the most part, PZ continues to ignore you in spite of your best efforts at trying to get him to react to your attention whoring silliness.

78 Nigel Garage December 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

@Kenny D
I agree. Vote Ukip.

79 Billie from Ockham December 27, 2014 at 5:48 pm

It’s like you know you’re going down, but rather than go down quietly, you want to take the entire atheist community down with you in a blaze of glory. It’s a good thing that most prominent people in the atheist community see through you, and are ignoring you.

QFT. Now go type it again on the correct website.

80 Steve Vanden-Eykel December 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Another fine article, one that really drives home the consistency of Myers’ personality. However, I take issue with your very first paragraph where you claim the position of hating ideas rather than people is “one that PZ Myers understands, because he sometimes articulates it himself.”

Sorry, but that doesn’t follow at all. Just because one articulates an idea does not mean he understands it. I’m sure we can all find YouTube videos of small children expressing ideas they don’t understand, to comic effect. Heck, I just saw a tweet from a mother saying her three-year-old just called himself a ‘babydaddy’.

In fact, if I draw any moral from this essay, it’s that Myers clearly does not understand the position of hating ideas, but not people, even if he has articulated it on occasion.

81 Steve Vanden-Eykel December 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Sometimes I think it’s better to delete those who respond to trolls than to delete trolls themselves.

82 Billie from Ockham December 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Deleting posts will have no positive effect, Steve, until someone takes down the sign that says “trolls eat for free!”

83 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm

@KennyD,

I think you’re envious that PZ won the Humanist of the Year award and you didn’t.

Yes, that was a travesty. PZ Myers becoming Humanist of the Year is like a butcher winning the Vegan of the Year award; it’s like Henry Kissinger winning the Nobel Peace Prize; it’s like awarding Michelin stars to McDonald’s; it’s like making a pig Miss World (with apologies to Miss Piggy). It’s outlandishly ridiculous and undeserved. The Humanist of the Year award can’t be taken seriously anymore.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So, where is the evidence for your libel Kenny (see previous thread)? If you can’t provide it and refuse to apologize, then you are just an amoral bullshitter like your master Peezus.

84 Skep tickle December 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

KennyD @ 77 provides a good example of responding with a seemingly baseless counter-offensive rather than an evidence-based rebuttal. The counter-offensive engages the limbic system and, if the tactic is not recognized, cause the “discussion” (wherever it’s occurring) to degenerate rapidly into name calling.

85 Jan Steen December 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Next year Genghis Khan will become Humanist of the Year, awarded posthumously.

86 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm

KennyD @ 77 provides a good example of responding with a seemingly baseless counter-offensive rather than an evidence-based rebuttal.

When all you have is a hammer…

87 Aneris ✻ December 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm

No “Simon Tolliver” nor “KennyD” has posted on FreeThoughtBlogs. They could be anyone. However they defend PZ Myers as effectively as Latsot, Ariel or Theophontes who are regulars, followers and fans of PZ and company. None of them, real supporters or not, produced an effective argument and none is expected — they are Social justice warriors after all.

88 Dave Allen December 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm

None of them, real supporters or not, produced an effective argument and none is expected — they are Social justice warriors after all.

Well, three of them are.

89 Jeff Rankin December 27, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Thank you once again Michael for compiling this. It’s maddening, but useful, to be reminded of who PZ is and what he’s done.

KennyD@77

None of what you say applies to Michael, you’re just trolling or engaging in an epic level of projection.

90 Skep tickle December 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm

(I wasn’t referring to your comment that immediately preceded my last one, Jan. I am posting from phone – painfully slow.)

I for one agree strongly with Michael Nugent that criticism should be aimed at a person’s words & actions, rather than the person himself or herself.

FWIW & IMO, this belief in human dignity as a basic right is recognized in health care (at least in ideal practice in modern times). Smoking is bad for your health and as such is fair game for your health care provider to comment on, but you aren’t a bad person because you smoke. Infectious diseases are bad for you – and sometimes for those around you – but you aren’t a bad, or unclean, person just because you have an infectious disease. Neurologic & psychiatric conditions likewise are considered to warrant treatment where possible to alleviate effects considered adverse (though what’s adverse and how it’s addressed can pose ethical quandaries & are hot topics in some communities) – without the affected person’s right to human dignity being in question.

91 Billie from Ockham December 27, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Consider for the moment the possibility that the idea that one should attack the beliefs, instead of the person, or the general concept of “human dignity” are both practical suggestions, instead of moral dictates – that you are simply more likely to have a useful discussion if you treat the ideas of a person as somehow separate from the person who holds them (via some sort of dualism that you would elsewhere deny). On this view, one consequence (purpose?) of personalizing a discussion is to prevent the discussion from being useful. Thus, while you might be annoyed that the FtB trolls are derailing the discussion with personal attacks, they are being entirely rational. What is irrational is the response to the trolls by those who agree with Michael Nugent.

92 chill chick December 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I’m going to ignore the latest infestation of pharyngulan mini-me’s and just talk about the original post (yes, I know, radical concept.)

Anyway, Michael has done a Herculean job (as in, cleaning out the Augean Stables) of documenting just how toxic Myers is to the a/s movement. The more I read, the more disgusted I am at Myers, but also, I’m starting to feel sorry for him. How sad it must be to live your life constantly stewing in impotent rage. How’s that Happy Atheist stuff working out?

I could sit here and hate on Myers, but it would make no difference to him, 2,000 miles away. It would only backfire on me, making me bitter and frustrated, and draining my energy. I don’t mean that in any woo kind of way. I don’t like the soundbite “hate the sin, love the sinner” because (especially as used by Christians in reference to gay people) it’s much more about condescension than love. But there is a nugget of wisdom in it – don’t hate, if only out of self-interest.

Let 2015 be the year in which we calmly distance ourselves from Myers and his ilk, offer a principled alternative to them, and watch them implode as they witch-hunt away their last remaining allies and turn on each other in a final butt-hurt meltdown.

93 Skep tickle December 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Re: claims that no one has offered any effective argument defending PZ Myers’ behavior: as has been mentioned in the comments to another of Michael Nugent’s posts, The argument given is that those disagreeing with him and his allies are “haters”* and therefore the type of behavior Michael has described is completely justified (and indeed righteous). It’s essentially “the end justifies the means”, except it’s a little hard to determine what ends they have in mind. The explicit claims started off as getting rid of harassment of women in A/S spaces in particular, and achieving equality for women. While these are laudible goals, requests to support specific claims have tended to be met with accusations (e.g. list below) rather than credible evidence, and mudslinging back & forth sometimes follows. Besides which, it’s not clear the stated goals actually match the desired outcome(s). Besides which, the means have alienated quite a few people who would otherwise have been natural allies toward those ends, and indeed could make it harder to meet the stated ends (e.g. by making it more likely that people who aren’t comfortable with conflict will stay far away from A/S).

*synonyms used in the “Mad Libs” of A/S: harassers, rapists, rape-enablers, rape–apologists, scum, MRAs, FeMRAs, trolls, slime, slime-[insert 2nd insult here], liberturds, fascists, anti-feminists, male supremacists, white supremacists, ableists, etc

94 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 12:07 am

“It’s like you know you’re going down, but rather than go down quietly, you want to take the entire atheist community down with you in a blaze of glory.”

That a follower of PZ Meyers would say this about someone else is the definition of projection and unblinking self-awareness.

Personal vendettas? Again, PZ meyers invented the term.

It’s about as stupid as PZ Meyers, the most angry pissed off person in the history of atheism putting out a book called “The Happy Atheist”.

95 KennyD December 28, 2014 at 12:54 am

***MosesZD

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that EVERY defender of PZ Myers (1) refuses to acknowledge the detailed arguments and evidence presented and (2) quickly, if not immediately, devolves into ad hominum attacks and profanity?

Not once have I seen a single, competent or even slightly coherent counter-argument made to these charges. And I think that is the most telling of all when we judge.

If PZ Myers was defendable, he would be defended. But he’s not. So the defenders go on the offensive to shift the debate.***

What utter bull. Neither I, nor any other defender of Myers(Humanist of the Year 2009) has refused to acknowledge the evidence that Michael Nugent has posted. What I have said repeatedly is that this “evidence” is one sided, and taken out of context. I have also said that I do believe that PZ and some of his followers occasionally get carried away with insults and may get overly harsh. What matters to me though is that his heart is in the right place.

Now it is possible that not all of Myers’ critics are haters or right-wing reactionaries. As far as I can tell, it seems some of them are dupes. Or they are very confused and not quite sure what they believe in. This may explain why I continue to see this confusing kind of thing on this blog and other atheist sites, often from the same person:

“I used to be a fan of Myers, now I hate him! No, now I love him again! I’m back to hating him! No no, I love Myers with all my heart!! I hate Myers because he’s a feminist! No wait, I am a feminist! I was a feminist until Elevatorgate, and that’s why I must destroy the evil Myers! Wait, what is a feminist?! I’m a feminist and that’s why I hate Myers! Feminism and atheism are compatible! No, they are totally incompatible, and I must spit in Myers’ face! Myers is destroying atheism by making it about feminism but he is also making it better and he is anti-racist and I love his book no I hate his book and he is such a great dancer! Blah blah blah blah!”.

96 Skep tickle December 28, 2014 at 12:58 am

KennyD @95: Citation(s), please?

97 A Bear December 28, 2014 at 1:07 am

I still suspect Kenny D is a poe/troll.
It’s possible that someone has drunk the Pharyngulaid deeply enough they could believe the stuff he is writing, still, xis rhetoric sounds somewhat like a script and I can’t recall a “Kenny D” posting at FTB.

98 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 1:16 am

Michael,

“We can hate harmful and unjust ideas and behaviours, without hating the people who believe those ideas or carry out those behaviours.”

I will categorically disagree with you on this point, not about the hating harmful and unjust ideas and behaviours, but with what you wrote after the comma.

I do so because without people to harbour those harmful and unjust ideas in their consciousness those ideas would not exist.

That however gets us into very dangerous territory, because if personal consequences should have to be drawn then who would be the arbiter of “harmful and unjust ideas and behaviours”.

I for instance would find it perfectly OK that if a woman (or a man) were to bring a charge of rape against a man (or a woman) and that charge was found to be bogus then the woman (or man) bringing the charge would be imprisoned for the maximum term the person she/he accused would be.

If the consequences of bringing a false accusation were as stringent as the possible consequences to someone who was falsely accused yet convicted then I think the incidence “harmful and unjust ideas” would be dramatically reduced.

Let’s take a hypothetical, a person is drunk and gets in his car and knocks someone down. That person then lies in the road for over an hour before someone discovers him and he is taken to hospital.

The person responsible is then found, and that person is then held upright whilst a car is driven into him or her and then left for the same amount of time before getting treatment.

If the person lived then they could leave hospital a free person without any further sanctions.

I am sure however that if this were the consequence of drunk driving then the incidence of drunk driving would tend towards zero overnight.

99 Edward Gemmer December 28, 2014 at 1:24 am

I’m kind of amazed that PZ has basically taken the Bill Cosby defense, which is to just ignore everything and hope everyone remembers when they thought he was a good person.

100 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

@KennyD #95

Then please tell me how I could be a better atheist if I adopted the dogma and doctrine of PZ Myers and consortium.

As I replied to Steersman:

“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?”

As with Steersman you are going to have to tell me what PZ Myers adds to my or anyone else’s atheism before you try to defecate at my door citing him as an authority.

101 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 2:38 am

As for ‘dictionary’ atheist here is the gall of the lunatics at ftb:

“Dictionaries are not prescriptive, if you want to know how the word is used correctly, then educate yourself in feminism.” theophontes

What this lunatic is saying is that our very language is simply a pawn for ‘feminists’. It is a useful tool for them, and they will define it any way they want to advance the cause. This is the mind of an extemist. This is the kind of craziness that would have made Goebbels blush. And it is par for the course for the lunatics at FTB. Remember, human genitals do not have gender.

102 Billie from Ockham December 28, 2014 at 2:43 am

See what happens when you feed them after midnight? Did none of you see any Phoebe Cates movie besides Fast Times? Kenny D @95 said that PZ’s intent is magical and you all just carried on as if it were nothing.

103 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 2:56 am

@Billie from Ockham #102

I addressed KennyD’s assertion in detail.

What I wrote might be in the tl;dr category for you, but please don’t state categorically that his assertions went unchallenged.

Of course I don’t use obscure movie references but rather cogent argument, so you might have felt left out.

104 Shermertron December 28, 2014 at 3:23 am

To be fair, Michael Nager @103, Gremlins was a pretty big film. It’s not as though Billie mentioned a small French film from 1954.

Maybe we should all ignore Kenny D and his ilk. They have no genuine interest in the discussion or in skepticism and just want to mitigate damage to PZ’s tattered reputation as much as possible.

105 Michael Nager December 28, 2014 at 3:46 am

@MacGruberKnows #101

““Dictionaries are not prescriptive, if you want to know how the word is used correctly, then educate yourself in feminism.” theophontes”

For sure, and if I want to know how the words “fair” and “balanced” (or even both in conjunction with each other) are used correctly then I only need to educate myself in Faux News.

I think that would be a bit of education that I would consider to be too suckular even for me as an atheist.

106 Gurdur (Tim Skellett) December 28, 2014 at 5:35 am

@ 77

“… take the entire atheist community down with you in a blaze of glory. …

@ 71 Simon Tolliver “… bye all. …
Desperation and melodrama ITT. Bloodbaths of bathos. Mighty rivers of rhodomontade ITT. Laughter. Given the shrinking base of PZ fanboiz, people who don’t know what is most important is:
1) the OP;
2) the future.
Colour me surprised many atheist flamers have a learning problem. Paint me astounded that only empty flames and trolling left in the arsenal. But what’s important is the OP, and the future. So, the overall problem, the future.

107 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 6:56 am

Gurdur (#105):

So, the overall problem, the future.

Indeed. Somewhat apropos of which, something from the anthropologist John Hartung. He’s referring to the “new lunatic fringe” of eco-terrorists, but the observations seem generally relevant:

And the proletariat’s question remains the same: why sacrifice to save the snail darter, or even the ozone layer, in order to inflict the final disaster on generation Y instead of generation X? Religion is the opiate of the masses, but taking away their drug will not resolve the angst that drives them to addiction. Without an analogue to heaven, eco-morality will suffer the same fate as communism. Ways and means are not the issue. The question remains, ways and means to what?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”. While he was talking in the context of the “eco-morality” answer to the question of purposes and goals, it seems to speak to both the rather narrow vision of atheism, and thereby to its limited ability – and that of the “atheist movement” – to “resolve that angst”.

——–
1) “_http://strugglesforexistence.com/?p=article_p&id=12”;

108 Skep tickle December 28, 2014 at 8:21 am

KennyD @95 (now that I’m off the road & have internet again):

***MosesZD

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that EVERY defender of PZ Myers (1) refuses to acknowledge the detailed arguments and evidence presented and (2) quickly, if not immediately, devolves into ad hominum attacks and profanity?

Not once have I seen a single, competent or even slightly coherent counter-argument made to these charges. And I think that is the most telling of all when we judge.

If PZ Myers was defendable, he would be defended. But he’s not. So the defenders go on the offensive to shift the debate.***

What utter bull. Neither I, nor any other defender of Myers(Humanist of the Year 2009) has refused to acknowledge the evidence that Michael Nugent has posted.

?? Plenty of people have refused to acknowledge it, as if ignoring it will make it go away. Others have done word counts, as if a count that’s too high somehow invalidates the evidence & line of reasoning.

What I have said repeatedly is that this “evidence” is one sided, and taken out of context.

Okay; put it in context then.

I have also said that I do believe that PZ and some of his followers occasionally get carried away with insults and may get overly harsh.

I agree that insults fly both directions. “Overly harsh” seems hard to gauge in light of what Myers has repeatedly posted about other people (see Michael Nugent’s OP here, and others he links at the end of this OP).

What matters to me though is that his heart is in the right place.

As was mentioned w/in the last couple of comments: Are you then saying that Intent is magic? Are you saying the ends justify the means? What are the “ends”, anyway, and are his efforts helping achieve them?

Now it is possible that not all of Myers’ critics are haters or right-wing reactionaries. As far as I can tell, it seems some of them are dupes. Or they are very confused and not quite sure what they believe in.

Does that mean you see 4 possible explanations for a person to be a critic of Myers? (1) Hater, (2) right-wing reactionary, (3) dupe, or (4) very confused and not quite sure what they believe in?

Are there other explanations that weren’t included in that list?

Which do you see explaining Michael Nugent as a critic, now, of Myers?

How about the rest of us here? Could you go make a list and explain which category each of us fits into, and on what evidence you base your assessment?

This may explain why I continue to see this confusing kind of thing on this blog and other atheist sites, often from the same person:

“I used to be a fan of Myers, now I hate him! No, now I love him again! I’m back to hating him! No no, I love Myers with all my heart!! I hate Myers because he’s a feminist! No wait, I am a feminist! I was a feminist until Elevatorgate, and that’s why I must destroy the evil Myers! Wait, what is a feminist?! I’m a feminist and that’s why I hate Myers! Feminism and atheism are compatible! No, they are totally incompatible, and I must spit in Myers’ face! Myers is destroying atheism by making it about feminism but he is also making it better and he is anti-racist and I love his book no I hate his book and he is such a great dancer! Blah blah blah blah!”.

Especially if it has occurred on this blog, it would seem to be a relatively straightforward task to quote & link to support this claim you’ve made. Could you please do so, or explain why not? Thank you!

109 Steersman December 28, 2014 at 8:32 am

Skep tickle (#93):

The argument given is that those disagreeing with him and his allies are “haters”* and therefore the type of behavior Michael has described is completely justified (and indeed righteous). It’s essentially “the end justifies the means”, except it’s a little hard to determine what ends they have in mind.

Indeed – some good points there, many of which resonate, so to speak, with me for any number of reasons. And, more specifically, they suggest an analogy with the Dreyfus case (1) in France in the late 1800s which I’m in the midst of reading about in Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower – fascinating book, as most if not all of hers are; highly recommended. But that case revolved around a bogus accusation and trumped-up charge by the French Army that Alfred Dreyfus, as a Jewish artillery officer in it, had supposedly provided “military intelligence” [an oxymoron?] to the Germans. But because the French Army had acquired a cachet and misplaced if somewhat empty esteem, a rather large part of the populace, government, and press were all too quick turn a blind eye to the depredations and outright crimes it committed to defend both their role as the “shield of France” and their “honour”:

Tuchman: …. In the eyes of the people the Army was above politics; it was the nation, it was France, it was the greatness of France. It was the Army of Revolution as of Empire, the Army of Valmy in ’92 when Goethe, watching, said, “From this day forth commences a new era in the world’s history. …. In the words of a character whom Anatole France was satirizing – though not misrepresenting – the Army “is all that is left of our glorious past. It consoles us for the present and gives us hope of the future” ….

…. Caught in the trap of its early commitment to Dreyfus’ guilt, and of the forgeries and machinations by its officers to establish that guilt, the Army’s honour became synonymous with maintenance of the original verdict. It was a fort to be defended against Revision [the judicial review of charge & sentence] [pgs 201-202]

Which seems, in any number of details as well as in the “principles” defended, rather analogous to the highly questionable defense by many of the more problematic aspects of “feminism”, notably “rape culture”, “the patriarchy”, “sex is a social construct”, and the argument that all sexual dimorphisms in behaviour patterns are due solely to “culture”, to “nurture”, rather than to our genetics, our “nature”. And it seems to be similarly predicated, in part, on some somewhat misplaced and overly flattering stereotypes of women in general, and in some quarters at least – e.g., the “damsel-in-distress”, the person congenitally incapable of lying or being susceptible to self-aggrandizement, or simply being wrong – such that any criticism of any of them or their philosophies, any “linking of the word ‘virulent’ with the word ‘feminism’ (2)” is deemed to qualify as misogyny. And, somewhat apropos of those dimorphisms, I find that an old eSkeptic column (3) by Rebecca Watson, recently discussed in the Pit, contains some comments by her that are rather ironic and quite amusing:

Watson: 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.

While I expect that her “deification” is probably a little bit of inadvertent hyperbole, although it may contain a grain or two of truth, I expect also that she was probably not aware then, and maybe not even now, that the situation that she describes is likely to be predicated on – in general or in part, and as evolutionary psychology frames it – the fact that bringing a child into the world takes a substantially greater investment by women than by men. Although raising them is, by many accounts, an entirely different kettle of fish.

But that “disparity”, that rather brute fact of asymmetrical biology, seems part and parcel of many of our stereotypes, and of many different behaviour patterns in many different circumstances. Which looks like it knocks into a cocked hat the rather dogmatic assertion that culture is the sole culprit to “blame” for any and all differences in behaviour.

And to speak, somewhat more briefly, to your comment about “ends in mind”, one other point of tangency between these “culture wars” – many fought over some of the more questionable tenets of “feminism” – and the Dreyfus case is the extent to which both engage/d the passions – many sincerely held – of many on all sides of the issues. And equally striking is the fact that in both cases, and on all sides, there seems/seemed to be no shortage of political opportunists and freebooters of all stripes. A couple of salient quotes:

Tuchman: In the course of the [Dreyfus] Affair [the Army] became the prisoner of its friends – clericals, royalists, anti-Semites, Nationalists and all the anti-Republican groups who made its honor the rallying cry of their own causes, for their own purposes. ….

Henri, Comte de Rochefort [on the side of the Army], of l’Intransigeant, was the kind of journalist whose capacity for mischief is unfettered by doctrine: the more unsettled his opinions, the more brilliant and scathing his pen.

But ever more notable, though substantially more “problematic, is the fact that misplaced allegiance to some principles – generally or metaphorically speaking, some women’s “honour” in the first case, and the Army’s in the other – leads/led to the abandonment and repudiation of some that are & were, maybe arguably, substantially more important. Notably the integrity of the press, and the right to a fair trial.

In any case, it seems that while PZ, and many in his cohort, may periodically have some justification for their claims and arguments – there does seem to be no shortage of misogyny, and misandry, floating about, and no shortage of sexual harassment of one sort or another – there still seems some justification for arguing that Pharyngula, in particular, has, more or less, turned into the Westboro Baptist Church (4) of Atheism. And that all those who have a more ethical vision have some obligation to curtail or limit the more deleterious of its effects.

——-
1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_affair”;
2) “_https://twitter.com/SteersMann/status/493150440964378625”;
3) “_http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-11-03/”;
4) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church”;

110 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

KENNY D
What I have said repeatedly is that this “evidence” is one sided, and taken out of context.

CARR
To put some of this evidence into context, Myers said Michael Nugent was ‘providing a haven for rapists’ simply because he needed to throw more slurs at Nugent’s reputation. His usual slurs weren’t shutting Nugent up, so Myers throw the r-word at him.

111 JackSkeptic December 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm

‘KENNY D
What I have said repeatedly is that this “evidence” is one sided, and taken out of context.’

Be very careful what you wish for because so far only the surface has been scratched.

To add to what Steven Carr and others have said, when put in context it often reveals an even worse interpretation.

Skeptickles doxxing happened in response to Matt Cavanaugh’s blog post. He did not attack Matt as he knows he can defend himself with no real life concerns. He knew Skeptickle can’t do that. What a nasty person he is, bullying a Woman (along with any family she may have, including children) with the intent to cause harm rather than address the claims. So did Watson by the way. A horrible and disgusting act which in some countries is illegal. Humanist of the year? To me that is a joke of the Centenary.

The same doxxing happened to ensure last years talks were shut down (along with the usual histrionics designed to stop it before then) The attack on Neil deGrasse Tyson, which was clearly manufactured outrage and very silly, was in response to one of Nugent’s posts. The same for the attack on the Slympit members all being rapists which was designed to reflect badly on Nugent. Simple distractors designed to smear and discredit with no basis in reality at all.

The same with the attacks on Dawkins designed to discredit him as he did not roll over and allow his tummy to be tickled like a good little boy when faced with their vitriol.

It is all manufactured faux outrage designed to fool and incite the gullible and assert control through fear.

It is also notable he attacks those he knows are vulnerable and can’t or won’t fight back including numerous Woman. Like religion he creates Devils to hate, tenuous figures such as MRA’s, ‘Libertards’, ‘Slymers’ and ‘reactionaries’. Political extremists do the same with the vilification and dehumanisation of Jews or some other groups, real of imagined.

Correlation does not mean causation of course but I would be careful about context. It will make things look even worse for Myers and Co.

Is it possible for someone such as Adam Lee to write an article not loaded with innuendo and false assumptions purely because they dislike someone or wish to push an agenda to a willing audience? One so economical with the truth it enters LaLa land?

When put in context there are numerous examples of this sort of behavior which damages the AS community as well as individuals for petty personal gain.

Maybe they could do something really radical such as answer the specific claims being made in a calm and rational way using reason and logic without using hate, smears and rancour. Or is that too much to ask? Wouldn’t it nice to be actually progressive rather than regressive for once. To not use the term Social Justice as a smoke screen for their behavior but actually mean it. Wouldn’t that be something?

But really, one of the things they do not want is context. So ask away but as I said earlier be careful what you wish for.

112 Nathan (formerly GerardO) December 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

This post is the least convincing of the PZ Myers series. Hate is a fairly normal and respectable emotion, when pointed in the right direction.

113 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm

By pointed in the right direction, you mean hate should be directed principally at people , as Myers does, rather than at malicious beliefs, as Nugent would say.

114 JackSkeptic December 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm

@Nathan (111)
‘This post is the least convincing of the PZ Myers series. Hate is a fairly normal and respectable emotion, when pointed in the right direction.’

Who gets to decide which direction to point? You? Me? Myers? Who makes sure it is pointed in the right direction and how is that objectively decided?

Hate is the ultimate Ad Hominem which is one of the most common logical fallacies. It attacks and demonizes those it is aimed at while ignoring the argument. As an emotion it is one of the most destructive and one I try my best to avoid.

The fact you seem to think hate is fine and normal is part of the problem. This normalization and even encouragement of such a destructive emotion is why the AS community is faced with so many issues from within its ranks. It is slowly unraveling all the good work put in over the years while managing to provide evidence to theists that they were right all along about the morals and ethics of atheists in general.

So I am going to continue not hating people because I disagree with them if it’s all the same to you.

115 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm

MYERS
These are the people for whom I reserve the term “demented fuckwits”.

CARR
Actually, Myers has stopped reserving this term for certain people and applies it liberally to anybody who thinks his behaviour is designed simply to try make him more famous than a small-town , middle-aged, white teacher non-entity in Smallville, America would be otherwise

116 KennyD December 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Skep tickle(108):

“Does that mean you see 4 possible explanations for a person to be a critic of Myers? (1) Hater, (2) right-wing reactionary, (3) dupe, or (4) very confused and not quite sure what they believe in?

Are there other explanations that weren’t included in that list?”

Actually, there is a 5th possibility that for brevity’s sake I left out. The #5 type of person is an unprincipled person who changes their tune based on whichever way the wind is blowing. They are primarily motivated by a desire to be popular or by greed. They very machiavellian, like clever, cynical politicians with no core beliefs.

These days, there is an undeniable anti-PZ Myers atmosphere in the atheist-skeptical community. Until recently, it was more like an undercurrent; nowadays, it is like a full blown volcano of red hot hatred. A lot of people who don’t particularly hate PZ are jumping on the bandwagon and flinging mud at him to get a popularity boost or at least some extra blog hits. Now I won’t accuse Michael Nugent of being a #5, though it’s very possible, but just compare the number of comments his anti-PZ Myers posts gets versus his posts about anything else. A lot of other bloggers are doing the same thing.

Now humans are very complicated creatures, so it is possible for a person to be opposed to Myers for more than one reason. I think it is important to point out that the people who are opposed to Myers are almost always opposed to so many other feminist-progressive atheists, like Greg Laden, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, Melody Hensley, and Stephanie Zvan.

If Michael Nugent wants to play fair, he should write a post that chronicles all the most offensive, hateful, misogynistic posts from the Slymepit that are aimed at Myers and all of the feminist-progressives I listed above.

In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it. Hopefully, more people will wake up to this fact in 2015, and stop seeing Myers & friends as the enemy.

117 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

So despite a straightforward request by Skeptickle to document his claims, Kenny ducked and dived and ignored and dodged the chance to prove that he was reporting things accurately.

Instead, he claims that Myers is no worse than the worst things found on the Slymepit (whatever that is)

118 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

And Kenny ducked the chance to show that Myers really is treating rape seriously when he threw around claims that Nugent was ‘providing a haven for rapists’.

Sorry, Kenny, but when people like Myers treat rape as just another slur they can throw at people, we know who the real misogynists are.

The real misogynists are the ones who refuse to be alone with a female student in case she makes false rape allegations.

119 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Hey Kenny, anyone at the pit ever say pz should be tied up and raped, or burned alive or handed over to ISIS.

Hypocritical asshole.

120 piero December 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

@KennyD:

A lot of people who don’t particularly hate PZ are jumping on the bandwagon and flinging mud at him to get a popularity boost or at least some extra blog hits.

Hatred is not required in order to criticise. I don’t particularly hate Myers, but I consider his writings and his comment policy to be indefensible from a skeptical viewpoint. Also, speaking of blog hits, you may remember Benson’s spree against Glenn, and Dawkins, and Harris, and just about anyone well-known enough to bring in the clicks.

[,,,] just compare the number of comments his anti-PZ Myers posts gets versus his posts about anything else.

Do the same at Myers’s blog and you’ll get the same result. Anyone who speaks English can comment on “the Rift”; not everyone can comment on Ireland’s abortion laws or the purpose of a particular string of codons. In fact, I’ve never seen you commenting on anything but this OP.

If Michael Nugent wants to play fair, he should write a post that chronicles all the most offensive, hateful, misogynistic posts from the Slymepit that are aimed at Myers and all of the feminist-progressives I listed above.

Play fair? In what sense? In the sense of “teaching the controversy”? Michael saw a problem with Myers and wrote his opinion on the matter; should he also have scoured the net for every abuse Myers might have been subjet to? As you should know, the slymepit is not a blog, and does not represent anyone in particular; it has nowhere near the visibility of FtB, and for every obnoxious comment published you’ll find two or three in disagreement. Besides, if you could find a single misogynistic comment I’d like you to quote it here; otherwise, I can safely assume you are making stuff up.

In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it.

A big problem? How big is “big”? I’d like to remind you that at least one prominent woman left the A/S movement because the sustained barrage of SJWs brainfarts made the atmosphere unbreathable. I’m referring to Paula Kirby, someone whose writings and insight I held in the highest regard, effectively silenced by the pharisees of social justice. By the way, I’m sure sexism is a problem in the A/S movement, just as everywhere else; however, there are other problems which migh be equally important, such as the conspicuous absence of poor Nigerian immigrants at the highest levels: are you doing something about that?

121 KennyD December 28, 2014 at 6:06 pm

To make myself perfectly clear: Atheist-skeptic conferences do not have to be about feminism or include feminism as a topic of discussion(although it could, at times). They do not have to be about racial equality/anti-racism either, though these could also be topics of discussion.

However, feminism and racial equality should be part of the foundation of the atheist-skeptical movement. This means being inclusive to people of any race, and being a friendly environment for women. The same thing could be said about gay equality, and people with special needs. I do not think highly of people who are opposed to this.

Unfortunately, some people don’t get it. There are raving misogynists in the movement who unabashedly label themselves as “anti-feminists”. I mean people like Thunderfoot and his crew, who thinks feminism “poisons everything”. He gets a lot of support from within the atheist-skeptic movement. Almost all of the videos he posts on Youtube are extremely anti-feminist.

It really should go without saying that the movement needs to distance itself from people like this as much as possible. As much as we need to distance ourselves from atheist neo-Nazis. It seems Michael Nugent understood this in the past, but he doesn’t anymore. What happened?

I’m glad we have someone like Myers(Humanist of the Year 2009) doing all he can to make sure the atheist community reaffirms its original commitment to diversity and fairness.

122 john welch December 28, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Ah, KennyD and Tolliver. They’ve spent all the time and money to get to OT III, they can’t even begin to allow that PZRon might not be the center of perfect light and knowledge they’ve claimed him to be.

Of course they engage in magical thinking, and overlook things like Steven’s excellent point about what PZ’s refusal to be in a room with a female student could also be about: not protecting her, but protecting PZ. Once burned, twice shy and all of that.

Do we take it charitably, or do we use PZ’s own words as to why he now engages in this behavior?

In truth, neither explanation does PZ any favors. If we were to go with the charitable explanation, that he refuses to be alone in a room with a female student to protect her, the implication is that she is somehow at risk with him.

But PZ is the ultimate feminist. He cannot be a risk. His “rape switch” (thank you gods of comedy for getting Laden to come up with that shit) has been disconnected and removed. He is safe. So how is there any risk to her?

If it is to protect him, then that betrays a rather deep line of belief that would match up with really any definition of misogyny: he thinks women are untrustable people who will falsely accuse you of rape or sexual assault at the first opportunity.

Of course there’s a third option: he’s protecting her “reputation”. Which would be hilariously patronizing an patriarchal.

For someone so willing to crucify people on what they say without any consideration of intent, indeed, someone who explicitly removes intent and context as a factor in every and all situations (as is convenient for him at least), PZ is astoundingly careless with his own words.

123 john welch December 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Is kenny a bot? I mean, kudos to whomever programmed him, but he’s starting to fail turing tests. Y’all may want to review the code a bit, time for an upgrade.

124 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

“However, feminism and racial equality should be part of the foundation of the atheist-skeptical movement. This means being inclusive to people of any race, and being a friendly environment for women. The same thing could be said about gay equality, and people with special needs. I do not think highly of people who are opposed to this.”

Complete trojan horse to bring in the far far left craziness and completely derail atheism/skepticism.

Kenny, when you can’t assign genitals a gender, can even you finally see the craziness that is trying to take A/S over and use it as nothing more than a tool to promote the craziness?

Look at theophontes asserting that our very language is simply a tool to be used and subverted to promote the craziness.

Quit using ‘equality’ as a smokescreen.

And the WestBoro Baptists are simply trying to promote the love of Jesus.

Wake up idiot.

125 A Bear December 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm

welch @123 writes:

Is kenny a bot?

He does seem to just parrot FTB propaganda, apparently doesn’t have a single original thought and is incapable of answering any challenges to his statements.
For example, KennyD wrote:

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).

When asked for evidence of endless death/rape threats and their connection to the Slymepit he comes up blank. That was a nasty and serious accusation Kenny made, one would think if he was a serious human being with a sense of honor he would either provide evidence or apologize for the smear.
Or is it that the Myers fan club are so self righteous that they can slander people without their conscience bothering them?

126 john welch December 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm

The foundation of atheism is not believing in deity of any kind. The foundation of skepticism is approaching the world via critical thought and basing things on facts and reality, not personal beliefs and faith.

Both of those tend towards equality, because pretty much all the arguments against equality are based on belief, faith, and honestly, bullshit.

But none of that means that anything is beyond criticism, even feminism and other similar movements. Nor does it mean that the bad behavior of one in a group is applied equally to all, even the people not engaging in the bad behavior.

I do not lump the people working to end the hideous treatment of women around the world, or even the less-hideous but still unequal treatment of women in the US/Europe with the TERFS, etc.

Nor do I lump in the people trying to correct the problems men face in areas like custody, support as victims of domestic violence in with the AVfM derps.

The people behaving in a way I consider “bad” are responsible for their own actions. The people who are not behaving badly are not. The brush is not broad. In my world, you don’t get to blame everyone for the actions of a few.

If this sounds familiar, it should be to most in western culture, as I stole it. From Santa Claus. If there are six people in a family, and one is a right proper little ass, the ass, and only the ass gets coal. Everyone else gets presents. It is not right to give the ass presents just because everyone around them was good, nor is it right to give everyone around the ass coal just because of the behavior of one of them.

I absolutely agree that there are a lot of people who hate PZ because he is a feminist, or because he supports the rights of gay people, trans people etc. Those people are kind of messed up and stupid.

But just like I wouldn’t lump PZ in with the TERFS just because they all describe themselves as “feminists”, i’m not going to do the same to other groups. It’s wrong. It’s wrong when PZ does it, it’s wrong when I do it. It’s probably worse when I do it, because I do think it’s wrong.

Not that Kenny or Simon or the other OTs are listening, but it is PZ’s (and Watson’s, and Zvan’s and Canuck’s and the rest of that specific collection of people’s) hypocrisy, and complete unwillingness to live by the standards they demand of others that pisses people off. It is their insistence that any and all criticism of them must be based in hatred, ignorance, or stupidity, as Kenny has so handily pointed out, that pisses people off.

It is PZ being so angry that various Catholic groups called for his firing over crackergate, yet nodding and smiling when the same kinds of actions are taken against those he doesn’t approve of or disagree with him that is infuriating.

He decries women being stalked and harassed at their jobs for having an unpopular opinion, but when Greg Laden did so against Abbie Smith, and hinted for years afterwards at “explosive information” he was going to release that would get her totally fired, PZ was curiously silent about that.

For that matter, pretty much all of FTB was, as was Skepchicks.

Funny that.

PZ should spend more time applying PZ’s rules to PZ before he fusses at everyone else not following them, aka Matthew 7:5.

127 Steve Vanden-Eykel December 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Feminism is the radical idea that men are to blame for all the evils in the world. I see no reason for atheists/skeptics to include this in their platform.

128 piero December 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

@KennyD:

I’m glad we have someone like Myers (Humanist of the Year 2009) doing all […]

Er… is that like “Mohammed (pbuh)”? I’m getting the awful feeling KennyD is having us on.

129 JetLagg December 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Is kenny a bot? I mean, kudos to whomever programmed him, but he’s starting to fail turing tests. Y’all may want to review the code a bit, time for an upgrade.

I’ve noticed people with batshit crazy views who bother to engage with dissenting opinons for any length of time end up sounding like bots. They can only respond to your critiques through one, maybe two iterations before it becomes apparent they’ve lost. So they loop back to the opening assumption, ignoring that it’s just been clearly refuted.

130 Gerhard December 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Kenny D:

Now it is possible that not all of Myers’ critics are haters or right-wing reactionaries. As far as I can tell, it seems some of them are dupes. Or they are very confused and not quite sure what they believe in. This may explain why I continue to see this confusing kind of thing on this blog and other atheist sites, often from the same person:

If you bothered to find out you’d note that a fair proportion of Myer’s atheist critics are left wing. To listen to the Pharyngula Whored you’d think the Slymepit was a nest of libertarians, which is fairly laughable given the arguments that break out when libertarian opinions come up. There isn’t much confusion about why people have a problem with PZ Myers. The backlash comes from a wide variety of sources saying pretty much the same thing, and the criticisms date from well before 2011. Whatever these critics “believe in” has little bearing on Myer’s fractious and dishonest style. I say dishonest because there are many instances of him posting snarky vitriol about blogs he disagrees with and then getting even nastier when the blatantly obvious misrepresentations, which he cannot be unaware of, are pointed out. This is a man who has fostered an environment where scatter gun accusations of rape enabling, misogyny and racism are made irresponsibly and not backed up when challenged. These are serious accusations, yet the Myers response is to write off objections as obsessed kookery.

131 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Kenny, how do you go from ‘feminism is all about equality’ to white men can’t be discriminated against? How does it become ‘you believe that the police office had no justification for shooting Michael Brown and that it was racism or you’re banned?’ How does such a general statement become so narrowly focused? Unless there is an ideological agenda behind it I don’t see how such a general statement can become so narrowly focused.

Stalin believed in workers rights, that’s all he believed in.

Shithead.

132 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Why Kenny, does ‘it’s just about equality’ result in you punching up and me punching down.

You can’t understand why we won’t jump into your strait-jacket.

133 MosesZD December 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Getting a laugh out of #95 by Kenny. He has yet, through Post 95, to put together a coherent argument rebutting any of the evidence presented. Futher, his posts are full of insults and attacks upon Nugent, et. al. rather than attacking the argument & evidence put forth.

Once again proving my point. Even funnier is how he keeps dropping the “Humanist of the Year” award, as if it excuses his current behavior.

It does not. Nor should it.

Note to Kenny: This is not Pharyngula where the intellectually weak and emotionally stunted are protected by PZ’s ban-hammer. Out here, you have to actually form a coherent argument.

134 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 8:21 pm

“Even funnier is how he keeps dropping the “Humanist of the Year” award, as if it excuses his current behavior.”

Richard Dawkins was ‘Humanist of the Year’

Checkmate Kenny.

135 Skep tickle December 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

KennyD, thanks for your reply. Re your post @116:

[Quoting Skep tickle]: “Does that mean you see 4 possible explanations for a person to be a critic of Myers? (1) Hater, (2) right-wing reactionary, (3) dupe, or (4) very confused and not quite sure what they believe in?

Are there other explanations that weren’t included in that list?”

Actually, there is a 5th possibility that for brevity’s sake I left out. The #5 type of person is an unprincipled person who changes their tune based on whichever way the wind is blowing. They are primarily motivated by a desire to be popular or by greed. They very machiavellian, like clever, cynical politicians with no core beliefs.

Thank you for clarifying. So you see these 5 reasons a person might be a critic of Myers:
(1) Hater
(2) Right-wing reactionary
(3) Dupe
(4) Very confused and not quite sure what they believe in
(5) Unprincipled person who changes their tune based on whichever way the wind is blowing; primarily motivated by a desire to be popular or by greed; very machiavellian, like clever, cynical politicians with no core beliefs.

I think you’re leaving out a couple. Could I persuade you to add at least this, as #6: “Anyone who finds the authoritarian, dogmatic approach taken by Myers, his allies, and many who identify as [third-wave] feminists to be, in fact, antithetical to skepticism, humanism, atheism, and freethought.”

And, which # would you use to categorize Chris Clarke, Myers’ former co-blogger who left Pharyngula with (gently, IMO) critical words about the virulence of Myers’ commenters, that Myers allows on his site?

These days, there is an undeniable anti-PZ Myers atmosphere in the atheist-skeptical community. Until recently, it was more like an undercurrent; nowadays, it is like a full blown volcano of red hot hatred.

Michael Nugent has said that his reasons are that he sees Myers’ behavior as damaging to A/S and that he has tried over several years by more private methods to communicate this to Myers, with only temporary success at best. Others have said, including in some of the comment threads to Michael’s posts here on his blog, that they weren’t aware of this behavior, or not its full extent. Others have said that they were hoping the whole thing would blow over, or thought it would/should. (That was me, during the first year of the schism.) Others have said that Myers’ behavior has become so noticeable that they can’t ignore it.

I suspect it’s also the case that people are feeling safer about offering criticism. There’s some safety in numbers. Myers & allies might still try to punish a person who’s not (or no longer) on their side, destroy his or her reputation, & interfere with his or her job, however now the person to whom such an attempt is made is only the latest in an ever-growing list, and is in good company (to coin a phrase).

A lot of people who don’t particularly hate PZ are jumping on the bandwagon and flinging mud at him to get a popularity boost or at least some extra blog hits. Now I won’t accuse Michael Nugent of being a #5, though it’s very possible, but just compare the number of comments his anti-PZ Myers posts gets versus his posts about anything else. A lot of other bloggers are doing the same thing.

This is funny. I don’t see advertisement here, so doubt Michael Nugent is benefiting financially from these posts. (Although, of course, increase in publicity may encourage more people to donate to Atheist Ireland, as I did recently. AI does really important work.) Unlike FtB, as has been mentioned, whose owners & bloggers do benefit directly from increase in hits, and unlike those who rely on drama to boost their Patreon income.

Now humans are very complicated creatures, so it is possible for a person to be opposed to Myers for more than one reason. I think it is important to point out that the people who are opposed to Myers are almost always opposed to so many other feminist-progressive atheists, like Greg Laden, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, Melody Hensley, and Stephanie Zvan.

That’s because what you’re seeing is not a personal grudge against Myers, it’s a response to the whole kit of tactics & approaches that he and the others you mentioned use or have used. This includes what appears to be an assumption (which they protect from skeptical questioning) that women should be treated differently than men – better, more carefully, more chivalrously – unless of course she’s been deemed a “chill girl” or “gender traitor”.

If Michael Nugent wants to play fair, he should write a post that chronicles all the most offensive, hateful, misogynistic posts from the Slymepit that are aimed at Myers and all of the feminist-progressives I listed above.

As someone else recently asked, please point to misogyny at the ‘Pit. (Be aware that satire or criticism of individuals

Re offensive posts: Michael wrote several posts critical of the Slymepit in spring 2013, which should turn up readily in a search. Be sure also to read the comments, including Skepsheik (no relation to me) pointing out the page of offensive (to many) blasphemy at Michael’s own site (or AI’s, I forget) and pointing out AI’s own efforts to repeal Ireland’s blasphemy law. The Slymepit arose because there was no other place for people alarmed by the authoritarianism on the side of the schism with more vocal “celebrities”, and it will die when skeptics can openly be skeptical about what’s happening in A/S without being banned or outed.

Wasn’t freedom of speech & expression the theme of the World Humanist Congress in 2014? I don’t see anyone saying Myers doesn’t have a right to say what he does, but instead that it’s harmful to the A/S movement, in large part because of how prominent he has been. The Slymepit has been called a backwater of the internet; noone has to go there, and it doesn’t hold conferences etc.

In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it. Hopefully, more people will wake up to this fact in 2015, and stop seeing Myers & friends as the enemy.

Fact? I love facts! Please provide some factual support for your claim. :)

136 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Why is the Schroedenger concept only valid when a women applies it to a male? If I were to apply it to an Islamicist, I would be an Islamaphobe. To a black person, a racist. Is it to do with the quantum nature of feminist reality? An exclusion principle of some sort?

And why can your brand of feminism go on about Christians in the broadest strokes possible but critics of Islam are hateful bigots.

It’s a very messed up sense of ‘equality’ you have Kenny.
Hateful almost.

137 MosesZD December 28, 2014 at 8:51 pm

SkepTickle

Put me down for #6.

And add #7: Moral. I find Paul’s behavior immoral. The bullying. The doxxing. The constant slandering and libeling of people both as individuals and as groups.

And, of course, all accomplished through the routine dehumanization of others.

138 Lancelot Gobbo December 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

KennyD,
Inspired by Skep Tickle, I just made a donation (approx. $100CAN in Euros) to Atheist Ireland in recognition of the fact they do brave and useful work on the front line of secularism. We might both belong to the Pit, but we want to do what we can to work towards secularist ends. Might we challenge you to do something proportionate to your means in the same direction?

139 KennyD December 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

MosesZD(133)

“Getting a laugh out of #95 by Kenny. He has yet, through Post 95, to put together a coherent argument rebutting any of the evidence presented.”

Here we go again! This and all the other “why PZ Myers is such a horrible person” posts have been rebutted a bunch of times. Just because you find the rebuttals unsatisfactory doesn’t mean they haven’t been given.

I’m getting tired of repeating myself, so I suggest actually reading my responses. I was almost going to say “reread” them, but it’s apparent you didn’t bother the first time.

I don’t know if I bothered addressing the argument that goes like this, “Some women disagree with PZ Myers so that means he is wrong and is a fake feminist!” on this blog before. I have on other blogs many times, but probably not on this one.

This is a very weak argument at best, if it can even be called an “argument”. It really doesn’t say anything at all. Of course some women disagree with PZ Myers, some have unfortunately been brainwashed by the patriarchy. But that is THE point, and shows you just how powerful the patriarchy is.

Similarly, there were African-Americans who opposed the Civil Rights movement back in the 50s and 60s. Does that mean the Civil Rights movement was wrong? Some African-Americans are still opposed to racial equality. Some atheists love attacking other atheists and kissing up to religion. There are gays who are anti-gay. Some Jews are self-hating Jews. Some Chinese people hate Chinese people.

All it ever sounds like to me is “It is ok to hate X because some members of X hate X too!”.

Another line of attack on PZ, concerning his saying he refuses to be alone with a female student is not something that I believe reflects badly on him. I just see it as PZ not wanting to make the student feel uncomfortable, that’s all. What’s so horrible about that? Of course, to PZ Myers’ haters, this is only evidence of PZ’s “misogyny” because it shows he doesn’t trust women. Give me a break!

While we’re at it, another lie: “If you disagree with PZ he will ban you from Pharyngula”. This has been shown repeatedly to be nonsense, though he may ban some posters for racism, sexism, or for being disrespectful.

Again, always ask yourselves, is it possible you are judging PZ Myers too harshly? Unlike most here, I believe in asking TOUGH questions of Michael, rather than just believing everything he says.

140 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I think if Kenny is a white male who owns anything he should give it all back to the women and non-white males him and his kind stole if from.
If he want to practice FTB/Skepchick feminist principles that is.

141 Steven Carr December 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

KENNY G
Unlike most here, I believe in asking TOUGH questions of Michael, rather than just believing everything he says.

CARR
In other words, Kenny doesn’t believe what Nugent says, even though Nugent gives copious, sourced, linked and comprehensive documentation for each of his cuttings from Myers’s blog of hate.

142 Bartacus December 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Over on Pharyngula the commenters are again dismissing and ridiculing the thorough dissection of that blogs disgraceful content that Michael Nugent has been carrying out. Labelling this comment section “Slymepit Ireland” does not amount to a cogent refutation, there are commenters and readers of these blogs that would be eager to engage and I would love to hear an argument that could begin to justify Myers behaviour.

How about it Pharngula regulars? Why not engage?

I would also urge any reader to check out the Slymepit for themselves, that site has become a convenient bogeyman and some of the slurs that have been attributed to commenters there are nothing short of scandalous, and of course without foundation. The discourse may be ribald at times but 5 minutes reading there will show you that the real bigots reside over at Freethought Blogs. Look for yourself.

143 Bartacus December 28, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Kenny @95

The reason PZ does not want to be alone is to assuage the potential for a false sexual assault allegation. The reason he mentioned it was in relation to his previous allegation that he had to “act quickly in order to shut down” I’m paraphrasing there but the correct info has all been documented here by Michael, if you didn’t know that then fair enough, it seems as though you’re wrong on that one however. Care to try again?

144 Bartacus December 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Here you go Kenny, I think you’ll find a pretty thorough version of events here.
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-
threatened-false-rape-allegation/

145 MacGruberKnows December 28, 2014 at 9:34 pm

“While we’re at it, another lie: “If you disagree with PZ he will ban you from Pharyngula”. This has been shown repeatedly to be nonsense, though he may ban some posters for racism, sexism, or for being disrespectful.”

More crap. By definition, disagreeing with pz is being racist, sexist blah blah blah.

Being disrespectful? Everyone on that site is beyond the pale. Did the people asking for RD to be tied up and raped and burned alive and handed over to ISIS get banned?
Of course not.

Try again Kenny.

146 Lancelot Gobbo December 28, 2014 at 9:39 pm

KennyD spewed:
Some Jews are self-hating Jews.

I think we have seen your sort before, mein herr. Meanwhile, want to respond to my challenge?

147 John Greg December 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

KennyD said:

While we’re at it, another lie: “If you disagree with PZ he will ban you from Pharyngula”. This has been shown repeatedly to be nonsense, though he may ban some posters for racism, sexism, or for being disrespectful.

Utter and complete and insupportable horse pocky.

KennyD, provide some proof, any proof that “… if you disagree with PZ he will ban you from Pharyngula…. has been shown repeatedly to be nonsense nonsense”. Claiming it is nonsense does not show it is nonsense.

People get banned weekly for nothing more than holding an opinion that does not agressively support the general philosophy of Myers and the Commentariat. I have many many times seen people get banned for very polite yet substantive disagreement with Myers and the Commentariat. And this is especially true when actual proofs for the disagreement are provided by the putative enemy.

I myself was banned for agreeing with Myers about the silliness of the Commentariat’s reaction to the blue bunny / pink bunny idiocy. After being harangued by the Commentariat, Myers changed his mind about Bunnygate, and then banned me after deleting my comments, because I agreed with his initial comment and simply restated Myers’s own position that the Commentariat was being ridiculous in freaking out over bluebunny – pinkbunny.

The challenge in successfully proving either side of the banning argument is that Myers more often than not deletes any and all posts made by the enemy-of-the-day, and then follows that deletion with an almost invariably wholly false character assassination and description of the commenter’s supposed racism, or hatefulness, or sexism, or whatever fits Myers’s dogma-of-the-day in the connected original topic.

Myers is very crafty and careful to leave as little evidence of his mendacious editorial policy and woeful hypocrisy as possible. And unless one was careful enough to take a series of screenshots or other irrefutable record of the exchange, there is no proof left, and Myers can throw his character assassinations around with glee knowing full well that the Commentariat neither needs nor wants any proofs … of anything.

148 John Greg December 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

KennyD, Myers actually stated on his blog some time ago and no, I do not remember when or where, that he intended to pre-emptively ban anyone who he knew was “a member of” and/or commented on the Pit.

If I can find a link to that comment, I’ll post it, but it was a long time ago.

And he has kept true to his intent (that old black magic), and has, in point of fact, banned several commenters on his blog simply because he recognized their nym from the Pit.

149 Skep tickle December 28, 2014 at 10:16 pm

KennyD: Thank you for continuing to engage, or at least for continuing to post comments. :)

From you @138:

Of course some women disagree with PZ Myers, some have unfortunately been brainwashed by the patriarchy.

That sounds like an addition to KennyD’s Reasons People Are Critics of Myers, which now reads:
(1) Hater
(2) Right-wing reactionary
(3) Dupe
(4) Very confused and not quite sure what they believe in
(5) Unprincipled person who changes their tune based on whichever way the wind is blowing; primarily motivated by a desire to be popular or by greed; very machiavellian, like clever, cynical politicians with no core beliefs.
(6) Unfortunately been brainwashed by the patriarchy (applies to women who are critics of Myers)

As someone who considered herself a feminist for about 30 years, I find the latest addition to KennyD’s Reasons amusing yet pitiful, but in his defense it does echo the FTB/etc party line perfectly.

Here are 2 questions and 1 request from me @135:

Could I persuade you to add at least this, as #6: “Anyone who finds the authoritarian, dogmatic approach taken by Myers, his allies, and many who identify as [third-wave] feminists to be, in fact, antithetical to skepticism, humanism, atheism, and freethought.”

And, which # would you use to categorize Chris Clarke, Myers’ former co-blogger who left Pharyngula with (gently, IMO) critical words about the virulence of Myers’ commenters, that Myers allows on his site?

KennyD: In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it. Hopefully, more people will wake up to this fact in 2015, and stop seeing Myers & friends as the enemy.

Skep tickle: Fact? I love facts! Please provide some factual support for your claim. :)

I’d appreciate a reply to these when you have a chance, and after you address, as you see fit, the donation challenge posed to you by Lancelot Gobbo.

150 Skep tickle December 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

John Greg @146, and KennyD in whichever post JG was replying to:

See #338 here (comment thread to OP “Adria Richards did nothing wrong”):
https://archive.today/bW53W#selection-34859.0-34859.124

PZ says (at the end of a longer comment, & in red):

However, the confession that you’re a slymepitter breaks one of my absolute rules. Bye. Don’t bother coming back, hypocrite.

151 john welch December 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

It’s amusing to me that kenny claims to stand up for the equality of women, but then demonstrates that he really doesn’t. Women who agree with him are strong, good feminists, but women who don’t follow his views are weak, child-like beings whose wee ladybrains have been rewritten by the patriarchy.

The only difference between Kenny and the anti-sufferage men of the 19th century is i doubt Kenny has the kinds of splendid facial hair sported back then.

Other than that, their lines of reasoning are remarkably similar.

152 JetLagg December 28, 2014 at 10:47 pm

KennyD: In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it. Hopefully, more people will wake up to this fact in 2015, and stop seeing Myers & friends as the enemy.

Skep tickle: Fact? I love facts! Please provide some factual support for your claim. :)

I’ll second Skep tickle’s challenge. Kenny, I see similar claims spouted ad nauseum, but strangely enough never any concrete examples. If you have good reason, as a skeptic, to believe what you say is true, it should be child’s play to provide us with some evidence.

153 Douglas G. December 28, 2014 at 11:44 pm

PZ Myers says: “I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Christians.” (reference above in OP)

If one plays the switch-game we can have some statements such as:

“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Jews.”
“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Muslims.”
“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Hindus.”
“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Shintoists.”
“I left the theater filled with contempt and loathing for Atheists.”

et cetera, ad nauseam

154 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 12:14 am

KennyD: Another line of attack on PZ, concerning his saying he refuses to be alone with a female student is not something that I believe reflects badly on him. I just see it as PZ not wanting to make the student feel uncomfortable, that’s all. What’s so horrible about that? Of course, to PZ Myers’ haters, this is only evidence of PZ’s “misogyny” because it shows he doesn’t trust women. Give me a break!

(a) Myers has stated his reason for not wanting to be alone with female students, and that is because he thinks they’ll make false accusations against him; and
(b) If a female student understandably finds him creepy she has no obligation to be alone with him, and doesn’t need him to pre-emotive my ban her.

The choices aren’t between banning women and making it compulsory to be alone with him.

155 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 12:15 am

‘Pre-emptively’ ban her.

Feckin iPhone.

156 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 12:19 am

Incidentally, I know of no other person in the west who refuses to be alone with a woman.

That’s just staggeringly fucked up.

That’s not a decision normal people take voluntarily, it’s a condition for early release for someone already convicted of something.

157 john welch December 29, 2014 at 12:35 am

Shatter, actually, it’s something I see being recommended more and more. Not just for male/female situations mind you.

158 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 12:41 am

Point of clarification: I don’t believe that Myers specified that his stated caution about being alone with a student referred only to female students, though he did relate it after telling of his close call with a sexual assault accusation by a female student. Indeed, I have a vague recollection that fairly recently he may have said or implied that his caution applies to students of both, or all, genders.

159 KennyD December 29, 2014 at 1:35 am

I gotta admit I am having a good laugh over the fact that certain posters are very busy searching through Pharyngula, FtB, and various other sites looking for “KennyD” in an attempt to doxx me. So far, they can’t find anyone with that name or anything similar.

Since I am at heart a nice guy, let me see if I can help you out a little. I’m not a regular at Pharyngula. I do post there occasionally, but not enough to be called a regular. I am a regular at FtB, and 1 or 2 blogs there, but I’ll leave it to you to guess which ones. This wouldn’t be fun if I told you everything, now would it?

160 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 1:52 am

KennyD @159

Okay, & while you’re leaving that search to those who wish to pursue it, could you work on (then post) responses to the direct questions you’ve been asked above, esp the evidence you’ve been asked to provide to support claims you’ve made? Thanks!

161 KennyD December 29, 2014 at 2:04 am

JetLagg (152):

***I’ll second Skep tickle’s challenge. Kenny, I see similar claims spouted ad nauseum, but strangely enough never any concrete examples. If you have good reason, as a skeptic, to believe what you say is true, it should be child’s play to provide us with some evidence.***

Read it and weep: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

162 Aneris ✻ December 29, 2014 at 2:21 am

KennyD wrote: I gotta admit I am having a good laugh over the fact that certain posters are very busy searching through Pharyngula, FtB, and various other sites looking for “KennyD” in an attempt to doxx me.

It requires one search string “site:freethoughtblogs KennyD” and that’s it. And it has nothing to do with doxxing, which is about obtaining your identity, birth name, address, workplace. For that you have to ask Rebecca Watson’s and PZ Myers’ Doxx Department of Organized Harassment.

I merely wanted to know if you actually post on FTB (under that pseudonym) since when everyone lowers their bar significantly to discuss with you, it shouldn’t be entirely for naught. However, it’s clear that it is.

163 MosesZD December 29, 2014 at 2:31 am

KennyD says:

“While we’re at it, another lie: “If you disagree with PZ he will ban you from Pharyngula”. This has been shown repeatedly to be nonsense, though he may ban some posters for racism, sexism, or for being disrespectful. “

I can’t believe anyone says this with a straight face. He’s banned multiple people for being Libertarians and because he ‘doesn’t want to hear it.’

Not because they were rude, sexist, misogynist, etc. Just because they hold a view on economics that is antithetical to his hybrid socialist-capitalist world view.

The most recent I know of was YoYoMama. A WOMAN libertarian.

And I’ve seen it happen before her. And it’s a LONG, LONG practice that he started long before he took up witch-hunting people in the atheist community. Long before he moved his act to FTB. All the way back in the old Seed Blogs days.

Which is why debate is pointless. We’ve all seen the behavior. Many people have been banned for less than differences in economic beliefs. He even used to keep a record of who he banned and why. And many of them were just trivial little things.

Which is one of the many reasons I left his blog to never return. And I did long before Elevatorgate, long before FTB was formed, long before he became toxic to the atheist community. I saw the handwriting on the wall and didn’t want to be drug into his mess.

So I shut down my blog. Left the A/S community. Only came back a couple of years ago to see Paul had gone off the deep end.

164 MacGruberKnows December 29, 2014 at 2:32 am

“Only came back a couple of years ago to see Paul had gone off the deep end.”

And he took all the people from the shallow end with him.

165 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 2:42 am

KennyD posted this @161:

JetLagg (152):
***I’ll second Skep tickle’s challenge. Kenny, I see similar claims spouted ad nauseum, but strangely enough never any concrete examples. If you have good reason, as a skeptic, to believe what you say is true, it should be child’s play to provide us with some evidence.***

Read it and weep: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

First, here’s an archive link to that page for those who prefer not to give revenue to FTB: https://archive.today/gNPiP

Second, that was selective quoting & response. Here’s JetLagg @152:

KennyD: In the mean time, you can all pretend that sexism isn’t a big problem in the atheist-skeptical community, even as women continue leaving in droves because of it. Hopefully, more people will wake up to this fact in 2015, and stop seeing Myers & friends as the enemy.

Skep tickle: Fact? I love facts! Please provide some factual support for your claim.

I’ll second Skep tickle’s challenge. Kenny, I see similar claims spouted ad nauseum, but strangely enough never any concrete examples. If you have good reason, as a skeptic, to believe what you say is true, it should be child’s play to provide us with some evidence.

And in the 2 places I’d posted this, I’d bolded the parts about women leaving in droves and the word “fact”.

Third, the post you linked is Lousy Canuck listing allegations about sexually inappropriate behavior by 3 men prominent in the skeptic community against 2 men and perhaps 9 women (latter hard to determine because several are 2nd or 3rd hand reports or anonymous). Most refer to the claims by Stollznow against Radford, which is currently in the courts as a suit by Radford against Stollznow. (Radford had posted what appeared to be forensically authenticated evidence that Stollznow had manufactured evidence against him; that remains for the court to determine.)

Couple of caveats: these don’t fit everyone’s definition of sexism (e.g. “prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex”); 2 men were among those who claimed to be victims; these claims tend to be the “she said” in “he said, she said” matters (or the “he said” in “he said, he said” matters); some of the people involved (and listed/cited by LC as sources) probably were relying on what they were told by one side and seem to have axes to grind; these are cases that circulated as rumors and/or people felt like reporting, and doesn’t give any information on the actual prevalence on inappropriate behavior by men OR by women, against women OR against men, if that’s what someone’s interested in learning more about.

Fourth, what I was interested in was support for your claim that “women are leaving in droves.” I don’t see evidence for that. As has been mentioned, the women I’m aware of having left the skeptic community have been those who were personally targeted by Myers & allies, or those disgusted by the infighting (including but not limited to their behavior).

166 Steersman December 29, 2014 at 2:49 am

KennyD (#159):

I gotta admit I am having a good laugh over the fact that certain posters are very busy searching through Pharyngula, FtB, and various other sites looking for “KennyD” in an attempt to doxx me.

Just out of curiosity, how would you know that some “posters” (more than 1) are doing that? And bit of a stretch – being charitable – to infer that it is to dox you – particularly since most if not all those who post in the SlymePit are rather adamantly against the practice. And that in spite of having some justification for it, and a ready target. You too may wish to re-tune your inference module.

167 JetLagg December 29, 2014 at 4:04 am

Kenny D

Read it and weep

I’d already read it. Didn’t weep then, and not much of a chance things will go differently a second time around.

My apologies to Skep tickle for messing up the formatting. The parts she had bolded were indeed what I was hoping you would respond to, Kenny D.

If you want to demonstrate women leaving the a/s community “in droves” you need to do better than provide allegations of sexual harassment. You’d have to provide evidence that the alleged sexual harassment actual pushed someone from the a/s community. Even then you’d have all your work ahead of you, demonstrating that your single case was just one among many, and that there was indeed a casual link between the sexual harassment (should the allegations prove to be true) and the individual leaving the community.

That this is what building your case requires should be obvious to anyone who has spent a bit of time in the a/s community. You’re going on about an epidemic when you can’t provide even a single definitive case.

168 john welch December 29, 2014 at 4:09 am

Oh kenny.

You actually did answer all the questions anyone cares about. As far as doxxing you goes, you know, *actually* doing that, who cares? Your “real” name is of no material value here.

But it is fun to see you laying the groundwork for what I assume will be a simply *enthralling* claim that the people here are attempting to dox you. It will be as reality-free as most of your gibbering, but, I’m sure it will play well with the rest of the Clear on FTB.

But really, you could have saved yourself some time, and just made the accusation. It’s not like you could come up with an accusation of anyone here that wouldn’t be believed, no evidence needed.

You and the rest of the FTB lot already believe that most, if not all the people commenting here are rapists based on nothing but PZ’s accusations. Given that nonexistent bar of proof, how could any claim directed against SPs possibly be challenged at all?

Honestly, you’re all pikers. I’m waiting for the accusations of murder myself. It’s about the only charge that hasn’t been leveled against someone here.

169 MacGruberKnows December 29, 2014 at 4:31 am

The point isn’t that women are assualted and worse. KennyD. It’s the way the radfems use it as a platform for their far-left platform for social engineering. A women employed at a university states that a woman making a false rape claim is just acting out on her hurt feelings and the false rape claim can actually help the man by making him feel the hurt the woman is going through. Crazy people telling women not to go to the police but make accusations online instead. Justice by mob SJW lynching. That’s what we find despicable. It’s not about justice for the woman for these creeps. it’s about using victims as props for their own agenda. It’s despicable. If you can’t see it, then by all means go back to the SJW mob and conduct your online lynchings.

170 john welch December 29, 2014 at 6:19 am

A significant part of SJW “improvement” is based on revenge.

And as we all know, the party revenge is taken on NEVER wants revenge of their own.

That never happens.

171 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 6:25 am

MacGruberKnows @169

The point isn’t that women are assualted and worse.

If there were evidence that people were being “assaulted and worse” – e.g. predatory or violent behavior by one or more person toward another or others – then each of those occurrences would warrant reporting to police, investigation, and possible charges.

If there were evidence that people were being “assaulted and worse” in a systematic fashion, well then that should definitely be reported, investigated, charged as necessary, and (if indeed supported by evidence) should result in some change in whatever people, structures, & processes are encouraging or allowing the situation to occur.

For all the concern about this happening in the A/S community, the “evidence” has been less than clear-cut, and what’s reported doesn’t seem to be different than is seen elsewhere in society in situations in which people gather socially, banter, drink alcohol, and interact with what may be different expectations about the possibility of hooking up…and, at times, about what constitutes signals in favor and not in favor of doing that.

(Side note that women’s safety at A/S conferences seems to raise more reaction among FtB/etc than actual examples of systemic sexual assault, for example as apparently occurred over years in Rotherdam and occurs in war-torn areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just sayin’.)

What does “equality between the sexes” means for interactions between the sexes? Does it mean that men need to behave like feminists think they should? Or that “vive la difference” is the order of things & there will always be people fumbling to understand the other sex & misunderstanding & that adds spice to life? I think this is an area in which opinions differ widely, but that’s been relatively unexplored.

I think that part of being in situations like social events at conferences is knowing your own limits and (if you drink) how you tend to behave when under the influence, and also not being afraid to express your consent or lack thereof for closer interactions. Obviously it would be wonderful if everyone always treated everyone else according to the platinum rule (the way the recipient wants to be treated) but that would require the ability to read minds.

There’s a lot of nonverbal communication involved in developing & conveying interest between people, with concomitant risk of one party or the other misinterpreting what one or the other sees as signals. A clearly stated “no” or “please don’t do that”, repeated if necessary, goes a long way to conveying your limits & boundaries to other people – and those within earshot.

But this is straying far from the OP…

172 Silentbob December 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

@ 171 Skep tickle

A clearly stated “no” or “please don’t do that”, repeated if necessary, goes a long way to conveying your limits & boundaries to other people — and those within earshot.

Huh. Funny you should say that.

I’ve heard tell that there was once a woman who said some variation of “please don’t do that” (perhaps it was “Guys, don’t do that”) whose reward was a multi-year campaign of abuse, denigration, belittling, harassment, mocking, hateful photoshops, the obligatory rape & death threats, and so on… Even – if you can believe it – some dedicated website of unhinged fanatical nutters who to this very day, more than three years on, obsessively follow and mock everything she (or those who defended her) does.

(Although, it’s just possible you already know about that.)

http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=429&p=245237#p245231

Even more bizarre, I’ve heard some of those fanatical nutters go so far as to invent – as a “joke” – stories about her supporters catching venereal disease from her or her colleagues. How fucked up would you have to be to do that, eh? Kinda makes PZ’s supposed “smears” pale by comparison, don’t you think?

173 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 8:27 am

Silentbob @172, my understanding is that’s it’s a common misconception that it was the “Guys don’t do that” line buried in a vlog that people took exception to, some more vigorously than others – but instead it was reaction to the reaction that set things off. Some of the original pages don’t exist any more, but a post at skepchick [1] and ERV [2] will give a flavor. Have you ever seen the video of the talk they both refer to, at CFI’s Student Leadership Conference in 2011? A prominent (adult) speaker in the skeptic community calls out, from stage, a student who had written a blog post that expressed disagreement with “Guys, don’t do that” and called it misogynistic (or her a misogynist; I forget). As I’ve heard the lore, that’s what set off the chain reaction that’s still fizzling.

[1] _http://skepchick.org/2011/06/on-naming-names-at-the-cfi-student-leadership-conference/
[2] _http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/01/bad-form-rebecca-watson/

Re your other: I’ve apologized for my inconsiderate comment directly to those I’d mentioned in it. Not that there’s any kind of a tally, but I haven’t seen apologies for any of the many comments cited in the OP of this post or the others in this series. Please do let us know if that’s incorrect & in fact they’re out there. Thanks.

174 Steven Carr December 29, 2014 at 8:55 am

SILENTBOB
Kinda makes PZ’s supposed “smears” pale by comparison, don’t you think?

CARR
No.

PZ Myers said Michael Nugent was ‘providing a haven for rapists’. He threw out the r-word simply as a way of trying to trash Nugent’s reputation.

Myers had no evidence, no justification and no excuse for using the r-word.

Myers thinks rape is just a weapon he can use to smirch people’s reputations.

175 Silentbob December 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

@ 173 Skep tickle

I don’t believe I’m ignorant of the details of the “Elevatorgate” controversy. Years ago I made a similar point to the one you’re making now:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/05/dealing-with-badly-behaving-speakers/#comment-87941

I do not actually disagree with those who say that RW’s attack on McGraw was bullying and unfair. I think it was. What pisses me off, though, is the hypocrisy. Many of the same people who will make a big deal out of RW’s attack on McGraw, will happily endorse Dawkin’s attack on RW (dear Muslima) although I can see no difference in principle. Both, to me, are people with a dominant platform, using that platform to ridicule a relatively defenceless target.

I wasn’t aware you had apologized. Kudos. Seriously. :-)

I think the chances of PZ apologizing are nil. That’s PZ. An opinionated foul mouth has always been his shtick. Again, what pisses me off is the hypocrisy of his critics. I think it is true that many of the same people who cheered PZ on when he turned his foul mouth on creationists act all outraged when he turns his foul mouth on fellow atheists. Don’t you think this is true? Is especially pisses me off when ‘pitters like yourself rally behind an advocate of civility like Nugent. I mean – seriously! – when have the ‘pit EVER been advocates of civility?! Are you kidding?!

I’m sorry, but I honestly cannot think of any criticism of PZ that cannot also be levelled at ‘pitters, only an order of magnitude or so greater. (Except for silly made up ones like ‘PZ bans anyone who disagrees’ or ‘PZ doxxes out of spite’.)

176 Lancelot Gobbo December 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Silentbob: some reading for you—the most exhaustive description of elevatorgate you could ask for.
Part 1
_https://freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/elevatorgate/
Part 2
_https://freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/category/elevatorgate/

177 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I do not actually disagree with those who say that RW’s attack on McGraw was bullying and unfair. I think it was. What pisses me off, though, is the hypocrisy. Many of the same people who will make a big deal out of RW’s attack on McGraw, will happily endorse Dawkin’s attack on RW (dear Muslima) although I can see no difference in principle.

Watson publicly humiliated McGraw and called her a misogynist. That wasn’t criticism, it was a fucking ambush. Anybody can respond to a comment on a blog because they have time to think about an answer. What Watson did was without president. McGraw was deliberately and publicly shamed.

It was shitty, cowardly, bullying behaviour, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that Myers’ horde approve of it.

178 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

… without precedent.

179 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I’m sorry, but I honestly cannot think of any criticism of PZ that cannot also be levelled at ‘pitters, only an order of magnitude or so greater. (Except for silly made up ones like ‘PZ bans anyone who disagrees’ or ‘PZ doxxes out of spite’.)

If you exclude the well documented examples of banning and doxxing I guess you can ignore Myers willingness to allow rape and death threats to appear in his comments too.

180 JetLagg December 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Silentbob@175
Many of the same people who will make a big deal out of RW’s attack on McGraw, will happily endorse Dawkin’s attack on RW (dear Muslima) although I can see no difference in principle.

Except Dawkins did recognize his error and say as much. I’m not aware of Watson doing the same.

I think it is true that many of the same people who cheered PZ on when he turned his foul mouth on creationists act all outraged when he turns his foul mouth on fellow atheists.

In this very thread it’s been pointed out that many people did turn away from Myers while he was still using these tactics against “acceptable” targets, and that many, many more simply didn’t know about him.

Is especially pisses me off when ‘pitters like yourself rally behind an advocate of civility like Nugent. I mean – seriously! – when have the ‘pit EVER been advocates of civility?! Are you kidding?!

If you have anything like what I find the average SJW’s concept of civility to be, then it’s certainly the case you and I will disagree over the meaning. Regardless, there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing on one point and agreeing on another. In fact, that’s a far more sane system than the “with us or against us” approach you’ll see touted elsewhere.

(Except for silly made up ones like ‘PZ bans anyone who disagrees’ or ‘PZ doxxes out of spite’.)

Except that Myers does ban people for disagreeing, and he did dox someone out of spite (someone right here). There’s evidence for this. What would it take to sway you? I’m sure we could dig it up if you set some clearly defined goalposts.

181 JetLagg December 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Sorry for the botched italics. New paragraph means a change in speaker.

182 Dave Allen December 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Silentbob: some reading for you—the most exhaustive description of elevatorgate you could ask for.

Given that he has already demonstrated some knowledge regarding the subtleties of this particular non-issue what do you think he (or anyone else) would benefit from by reading these links?

If you exclude the well documented examples of banning and doxxing I guess you can ignore Myers willingness to allow rape and death threats to appear in his comments too.

“PZ bans anyone who disagrees” is technically bullshit isn’t it?

So it’s a silly thing to defend.

Better to point out that it’s admittedly lazy shorthand for the fact that if you don’t buy into a similar worldview without too much question, you need to watch what you say there without risking disemvowelling and banning and so on.

Given that Silentbob isn’t defending PZs tone, or the tone of his commentariat, why would he have to stand up for rape and death threats.

“Plenty of bullshit on both sides” seems to be his overall point.

183 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

In this very thread it’s been pointed out that many people did turn away from Myers while he was still using these tactics against “acceptable” targets, and that many, many more simply didn’t know about him.

I was never impressed by Myers attacks on creationism, but that might be because I’m in the UK and most people here think creationism is on par with beliefs in the Flat Earth and not worth debating.

Nobody here would make a reputation for themselves be bunking creationism and more than they would debunking Big Foot.

If they expressed actual hatred for Flat Earthers or Big Footers they’d look unhinged.

184 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Given that Silentbob isn’t defending PZs tone, or the tone of his commentariat, why would he have to stand up for rape and death threats.

I was responding to I honestly cannot think of any criticism of PZ that cannot also be levelled at ‘pitters, only an order of magnitude or so greater.

Pitters do not make rape or death threats.

185 Dave Allen December 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Pitters do not make rape or death threats.

I believe Bovarchist made some remarks that were taken as pretty borderline within the last week or so, and the Pit has been a fair bit nastier in the past than it has been recently IIRC.

So, I wouldn’t bet on it.

186 Jackskeptic December 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm

@Silentbob

How does the behavior of the Slympit members bear any relationship to Myer’s behavior? One does not excuse the other. What makes anyone here think Nugent is picking any sides? For all I know he despises the Slympit and wishes we could all get lost. But he adheres to basic principles even if he does not want to. That is a sign of basic integrity and intellectual honesty not apparent in highly regulated sites such as FtB.

It is notable that those from FtB seem to flounder when there is no ban hammer in play. That provides evidence to me that such censorship is highly damaging not only to those trying to make a point but those it assumes to protect from ‘bad thought’. They actually harm themselves.

This ‘standards you walk by’ meme is also total nonsense as for many, including myself, allowing people to freely express an opinion trumps that. Hitchens explains this much better than I can https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcJxN1VlcuA

As to Watson I do not care that she said ‘Men don’t do that’ but she seems to ignore the fact Women do ‘that’ too and she includes all men in her statement. That annoys some which I think she intends to do. If she said ‘some Men’ then there would have been no issue. She also has a history of attacking all atheist men.

They all have a pattern of saying deliberately inflammatory comments then crying wolf when they get called on it. The irony is they rely on the damsel in distress trope when they do that. Plenty of male Feminists are happy to run to their aid because, apparently, women are incapable of having their own agency or being able to speak for themselves.

The SJW form of Feminism is, in my opinion, highly damaging to the Feminism I have supported long before it became fashionable and long before Myers decided to jump on the band wagon a few years back.

My Feminism is that of true equality between the sexes and not some manufactured outrage movement concentrating only on trivial matters affecting only middle class US women at the exclusion of everything else. One that does not grant anyone special favors or treat Women as special snowflakes incapable of handling criticism

Many people have been duped by them. They play the same tricks cults do as they are highly effective. That is why they are pro-doxxing and pro-shunning (often called social exclusion or punishment, Carrier made such a statement in his A+ talk if you want an example) They vilify and smear, often by suggestion and rumour, and manufacture events such as deleting old comments and replying to people they have banned and then act as if that person could not be bothered to respond when they were actually unable to.

They even have their sworn enemy, the Slympit, which is a handful of people openly expressing opinions sometimes in ways that many may not approve including a lot of its members. But it is hardly an enemy to anyone except Authoritarians and it does represent everything that scares Dogmatists. A genuinely free and open discussion forum that at times can be offensive but hardly of earth shattering relevance.

187 john welch December 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Yes Silent Bob, Dear Muslima was exactly the same thing as what Watson did to McGraw.

Because Dawkins said that as a speaker at a conference with Watson in the audience and directly and explicitly targeted Watson with it.

Oh wait, no, he did none of those things. He made a comment on PZ’s blog, and was targeting the rise of nigh-hysteria AROUND Watson’s comment.

And of course, Dawkins followed up by stating that Watson should feel *honored* he called her out by name, because he wasn’t trying to beat around the bush.

No, wait, that’s what Watson said to McGraw.

And of course, then Dawkins mansplained to Watson how because he used neither “bad words” or raised his voice, then not only should Watson feel “honored” because he was addressing her directly, but understand that she was wrong to feel the way she felt, and because of the mild tone and language used, he couldn’t have possibly attacked her.

Wait, no, that’s what PZ said to McGraw.

See, you can’t even argue that one point correctly, or honestly. You cannot even begin to acknowledge the reality of what happened. It’s so important to you to support your fellow Clear that you cannot even begin to admit that maybe, just maybe, they were being dicks in this case.

What Watson and PZ pulled on Stef McGraw, who was at best, slightly over half Watson’s age, was nothing close to “Dear Muslima”.

But hey, gotta keep the SPs in place, right?

188 Billie from Ockham December 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, of course. But it’s important to recognize when an opinion is based on very little or faulty information, as is the case with SilentBob. Even more: anyone who is willing to make sweeping statements – packaged as if they were carefully considered – when it is quite clear from what they write that they are working from biased second-hand information (at best) should be either ignored or called out for their reasoning, not responded to in detail. You will not teach a person like SilentBob to think by giving him or her better data to play with. You have to fix the actual problem first. Only when the truth becomes the goal of argument to SilentBob will you be doing him or her a favor by giving him data. Until then, you’re just feeding a troll in a different way.

189 Gunboat Diplomat December 29, 2014 at 4:37 pm

@ shatter face #184

“Pitters do not make rape or death threats.”

Well it’s not too long since you threatened to respond to a verbal insult/allegation (rapist accusation) with extreme violence (knocking teeth out), so frankly I think silent bob has a point there.

190 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Picking out one recent comment:

john welch @187 – I was with you until this part:

See, you can’t even argue that one point correctly, or honestly. You cannot even begin to acknowledge the reality of what happened. It’s so important to you to support your fellow Clear that you cannot even begin to admit that maybe, just maybe, they were being dicks in this case.

What Watson and PZ pulled on Stef McGraw, who was at best, slightly over half Watson’s age, was nothing close to “Dear Muslima”.

But hey, gotta keep the SPs in place, right?

Your pointing out the errors in his* attempt to create a parallel between Watson’s critique of McGraw’s comments and Dawkins’ critique of Watson’s comments was spot on.

Going on to claim he* “can’t even argue that one point correctly, or honestly” and “cannot even begin to acknowledge the reality of what happened” is IMO as inaccurate and baseless as his attempted parallel. (Caveat that I only vaguely recall ever seeing “Silentbob” at FTB and have no idea what he* has said there, recently or in the past.)

While Silentbob did come on strong w/ his* 1st comment, he has subsequently demonstrated openness to new information and a more nuanced view than typically in evidence over at FtB/etc. Re Watson-on-McGraw and Dawkins-on-Watson, he* may simply have not been aware how the 2nd unfolded, or may have been relying on a narrative that he* hadn’t considered questioning before now.

Also, correction to your comment about age: Watson was 30 when she spoke at the CFI Student Leadership Conference. As a college student in the US, McGraw’s age was probably between 18 & 22, likely in the older half of that range. So, maybe “2/3″ but not “1/2″.

Finally, while I find the analogy with Scientology to be amusing and not in-apt, suggesting that a specific person is purposefully using the same tactics is likely not to be helpful to dialogue.

Finally finally, I miss your input at the ‘Pit. :)

191 Skep tickle December 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I have a comment in moderation, & note that in it I included asterisks that I then did not explain. Here is that explanation:

*I have assumed “Silentbob” is male, based on “bob” in the nym. Apologies if that assumption is incorrect.

192 Billie from Ockham December 29, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I look forward to your second apology, when you say that you didn’t mean to suggest that anyone is, has been, or ever could be “male.”

193 Dave Allen December 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I believe Bovarchist made some remarks that were taken as pretty borderline within the last week or so, and the Pit has been a fair bit nastier in the past than it has been recently IIRC.

Please note my apologies for this particular example. Bovarchist’s words have little to do with anything that might technically be called a rape or death threat.

194 Billie from Ockham December 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Yes, the Pit has been especially nasty when it quotes things written on FtB, often by using some type of freeze-page. But you really can’t blame the Pit for those statements, can you? Quoting something for the purpose of criticizing it isn’t really endorsement, is it?

I’m not arguing that the Pit is squeaky clear. But when you make a sweeping statement (in this case, about the Pit) and then retract the only specific example provided when it proves not to be what you claimed, I expect a bit more than “please note my apology for this particular example.” I expect either replacement examples or a much larger retraction and apology.

195 Jackskeptic December 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm

There is also the elephant in the room regarding content found at FtB or the Slympit as they are radically different in context.

1. The Slympit is deliberately free of censorship. That provides its own set of problems including objectionable people posting there on occasion. However they are usually called out, but not always. I personally never want to excuse myself from objectionable content as I have no wish to censor myself. That is the way of clinical mediocrity and the death of free thought in my opinion. So objectionable content at the Slympit is an emergent property rather than a deliberate feature.

It also means that everyone is responsible only to themselves for the comments they make. The idea of the Slympit as a homogenous mass is an attempt at guilt by association and it is simply incorrect and part of an attempt to demonise a group, which is a common tactic amongst extremists. But people fall for it anyway which is why they do it.

2. FtB, A+ and Skepchichs follow a heavy moderation policy which is totally arbitrary. Even the moderation free parts are heavily moderated. So it is fair to assume comments that are left are approved by the moderators. They also interfere in discussion and will delete, ban and select according to whim. They have made a rod for their own backs and no one is censoring the censor.

So offensive comments left at one of those sites I will certainly credit to the general ethos those moderators wish to see and encourage. They therefore approve of them and I will therefore hold them to account for what is posted.

So trying to compare what is posted at the Slympit to FtB et al is an exercise in futility and in any case totally irrelevant as it does not excuse a pattern of consistent bad behavior by anyone.

196 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Well it’s not too long since you threatened to respond to a verbal insult/allegation (rapist accusation) with extreme violence (knocking teeth out), so frankly I think silent bob has a point there.

Someone woke Gumboat up.

Threatening to rape a named individual and saying you’d be sick afterwards because he ‘made them sink to their level’, or suggesting that you raise funds so that individual can be handed to ISIS to be burnt to death is rather more extreme than threatening to punch some non-existent guy for hypothetically accusing me of something I didn’t do.

197 Gerhard December 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I think the chances of PZ apologizing are nil. That’s PZ. An opinionated foul mouth has always been his shtick. Again, what pisses me off is the hypocrisy of his critics. I think it is true that many of the same people who cheered PZ on when he turned his foul mouth on creationists act all outraged when he turns his foul mouth on fellow atheists. Don’t you think this is true? Is especially pisses me off when ‘pitters like yourself rally behind an advocate of civility like Nugent. I mean – seriously! – when have the ‘pit EVER been advocates of civility?! Are you kidding?!

I’m sorry, but I honestly cannot think of any criticism of PZ that cannot also be levelled at ‘pitters, only an order of magnitude or so greater. (Except for silly made up ones like ‘PZ bans anyone who disagrees’ or ‘PZ doxxes out of spite’.)

It isn’t just the foulness of his mouth, its the dishonesty and indiscriminate use of the invective. Its his contemptuous dismissal of requests to substantiate and the irresponsibility of it all. And yes, he knew that Skep Tickle’s work as a doctor could be compromised by knowledge of her atheism, yet he doxxed her over what was so glaringly obviously a throwaway joke. Myers is not so stupid that he believes the bullshit he spouted about professional misconduct, yet he doxxes her again in retaliation when others have a go at him. The takeaway lesson is to never apologise to him. If you think that Myers doesn’t ban for disagreement then you are blind. The fig leaf justifications he gives are just pathetic because they apply so much more to his regulars than his critics. Thats when he doesn’t just surreptitiously ban and delete comments.

Continued antipathy to Watson is not about EG, its about her behaviour and attitude. She is an opportunist who dines out on being “harassed”. She even inflated a promise by a women from the Pit to ignore her at a conference into a threat of harassment in one of her talks and claimed that the woman was barred. The organisers actually suggested the “harasser” register under a different name. She goes out of her way to stir up trouble. EG was the best thing that ever happened to her.

198 Gerhard December 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Pitters do not make rape or death threats.

I believe Bovarchist made some remarks that were taken as pretty borderline within the last week or so, and the Pit has been a fair bit nastier in the past than it has been recently IIRC.

So, I wouldn’t bet on it.

So you don’t know of any rape or death threats, but you had to get in a dig anyway?

199 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm

So you don’t know of any rape or death threats, but you had to get in a dig anyway?

It’s his desperate attempt at ‘balance’. He knows there have been no such threats but he desperately needs to imply there might have been so he comes across as a neutral party.

200 Shatterface December 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Please note my apologies for this particular example. Bovarchist’s words have little to do with anything that might technically be called a rape or death threat.

The word you are looking for is conceivably.

201 Billie from Ockham December 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

“What?! I never have beaten my wife. In fact, I don’t have a wife and I’ve never been married.”

“Ah, but the mere fact that we’re even having this discussion makes it clear that you have beaten somebody, even if it wasn’t your wife, in particular.”

202 Shermertron December 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Hey, Kenny D –

By some strange coincidence, Thibeault seems to have forgotten to include that he is one of the men who has been accused of sexual assault. The man who points out that .000000000000000000007% of all rape allegations are false described the incident here:

https://archive.today/swyc1

And we’re all familiar with the accusation his student made against PZ.

By your logic and by PZ’s logic…wouldn’t you say that FTB has a bit of a problem with its writers and what they do in bed? Now, I don’t believe any of the claims for a second, but FTB doesn’t implore us to use reason in these cases. We’re just supposed to believe the woman, so…

203 john welch December 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I think when you start parsing threats vs THREATS, you’re getting into some knife-edge stuff. If threats are bad, then they’re bad, and one shouldn’t make them.

Threatening to punch someone is still threatening them. If one is going to bag on FTB for their threats, however nonsensical they may be, then one should not make threats of one’s own, and then try to justify them as okay. Sauce, goose, gander, etc.

Also, if the worst thing FTB did was OMG PROFANITEEE, I doubt anyone would give a rat’s ass. I’d be goddamned THRILLED if “foul” language was the extent of their crap.

204 Guestus Aurelius December 29, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Billie wrote:

“Have you stopped beating your wife?”

“What?! I never have beaten my wife. In fact, I don’t have a wife and I’ve never been married.”

“Ah, but the mere fact that we’re even having this discussion makes it clear that you have beaten somebody, even if it wasn’t your wife, in particular.”

Also: “Why are you obsessed with me? All I did was publicly call you a wife-beater, for PeetZ’ sake!”

205 Steersman December 30, 2014 at 12:06 am

Gerhard (#196):

It isn’t just the foulness of his mouth, it’s the dishonesty and indiscriminate use of the invective. It’s his contemptuous dismissal of requests to substantiate and the irresponsibility of it all. And yes, he knew that Skep Tickle’s work as a doctor could be compromised by knowledge of her atheism, yet he doxxed her over what was so glaringly obviously a throwaway joke. Myers is not so stupid that he believes the bullshit he spouted about professional misconduct, yet he doxxes her again in retaliation when others have a go at him.

Indeed. As I’ve suggested earlier, Pharyngula in particular seems to qualify as the Westboro Baptist Church of atheism – hardly putting “our” best foot forward, even apart from the somewhat untenable definition and nature of atheism itself to begin with.

However, a point of order or information. While I kind of apologize to Skep Tickle for, maybe, belabouring this point, and with, maybe, problematic, consequences, but which nonetheless seems an important one, it also seems somewhat untenable to insist that Watson & Myers actually doxxed her, at least in response to Skep Tickle’s joke. Which would take a serious amount of dishonesty to characterize as anything other than that. No, the “honour” for that action really needs, I think, to go to “TheBlackCat” (1) on one of Myers’ posts last May – and who should thereby get an “honourable” mention. Although “accessory to the crime” might be more appropriate.

But while I think they are not actually guilty of the crime of doxing in that particular circumstance, it seems that one might readily argue that they were being simply but incredibly petty, and engaging in some rather odious harassment. I’ve seen some impressive intellectual dishonesty in my time, but Myers and Watson in particular of the FTB-Skepchick mob have to take the cake.

—–
1) “_http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=131310#p131310”

206 JetLagg December 30, 2014 at 12:52 am

JackSkeptic@194

1. The Slympit is deliberately free of censorship. That provides its own set of problems including objectionable people posting there on occasion. However they are usually called out, but not always.

This doesn’t get mentioned enough. The pit and Myers’ blog are very, very different in their organization, and any judgement of them must take that into account.

To any lurkers whose only data point on the pit is accounts from those who aren’t now, and have never been members there, I’ll suggest an experiment. Register an account using a pseudonym of your choosing. Post for a few weeks to settle yourself in, then try to organize the pit to do anything, anything. Then you’ll know why I find it so funny to hear that forum being described as some monolithic entity.

The place is not above criticism, obviously, but at least have some idea what it is you’re talking about.

207 Matt Cavanaugh December 30, 2014 at 1:40 am

KennyD wrote: “… feminism and racial equality should be part of the foundation of the atheist-skeptical movement. This means being inclusive to people of any race, and being a friendly environment for women. “

You have failed to provide any credible evidence that the A/S movement is not.

“… some people don’t get it. There are raving misogynists in the movement who unabashedly label themselves as ‘anti-feminists’. I mean people like Thunderfoot and his crew, who thinks feminism ‘poisons everything’.”

Radical feminism, with its postmodernist, unfalsifiable concepts of ‘The Patriarchy’ and ‘Rape Culture’, and its anti-science claims that the sexes are just a social construct, is anathema to skeptical inquiry. There are many people, myself included, who strongly support gender equality, yet who strongly oppose radical feminist attempts to commandeer this or that group to promulgate the radfem revolution.

208 Steersman December 30, 2014 at 2:41 am

KennyD (#121):

Unfortunately, some people don’t get it. There are raving misogynists in the movement who unabashedly label themselves as “anti-feminists”. I mean people like Thunderfoot and his crew, who thinks feminism “poisons everything”. He gets a lot of support from within the atheist-skeptic movement. Almost all of the videos he posts on Youtube are extremely anti-feminist.

Yes, I will actually agree that there are no shortage of “raving misogynists” about, although I think it moot whether there are substantially more “in the movement” than outside of it. And I will tend to agree that Thunderfoot seems periodically to let his spleen get the better of his brain – a lot of that going around, much of it on Pharyngula; maybe it’s in the water – in making what appears to be a categorical claim that one might reasonably describe as sexist. Although I seem to recollect taking him to task for that, and, in response, I think he made some effort to differentiate between the more credible and less credible branches of “feminism” – you might note that Wikipedia (1) lists some 20 different ideologies (and counting) under that rubric so there’s some advantage in acknowledging them. Which I, as well as Thunderfoot apparently, tend to do by quoting the term to suggest a rather large if not problematic diversity under that umbrella.

But, fortunately or not, that tendency to make categorical claims, particularly about “feminism”, is no particular respecter of fences, particularly “The Great Rift”, and many on “your” side are, I think, just as guilty of that crime as well – which causes no end of problems. For instance, you may recollect that Ophelia Benson tweeted (2) that “connecting the word ‘feminism’ with the word ‘virulent’ is misogyny” – and since she hasn’t repudiated the charge, after having been given ample opportunities to do so, I have to assume that she would stand by it.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it or not, but most SlymePitters are rather scrupulous in defending some branches of “feminism” while being quite particular about which branches they find particularly “problematic” or odious, and why they do so; I would suggest that “you” might try doing likewise, and not be so quick, as you apparently are, to think that all “feminists” are above reproach, that they all have been “washed in the blood of the lamb” – so to speak.

———-
1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_movements_and_ideologies”;
2) “_https://twitter.com/SteersMann/status/493150440964378625”;

209 Michael Nager December 30, 2014 at 3:42 am

@Billie from Ockham

You’ve never beaten your wife?

I beat mine at chess, she beat me hands down when it came to growing plants and we were pretty much a draw when it came to cooking.

210 Michael Nager December 30, 2014 at 3:49 am

KennyD#121:

“Unfortunately, some people don’t get it. There are raving misogynists in the movement who unabashedly label themselves as “anti-feminists”. I mean people like Thunderfoot and his crew, who thinks feminism “poisons everything”. He gets a lot of support from within the atheist-skeptic movement. Almost all of the videos he posts on Youtube are extremely anti-feminist.”

When the only comparison I can think of with regard to Rebecca Watson, Anna Sarkeesian etc. are Kent/Eric Hovind then you can guess why I don’t have a very high opinion of them.

The cult of feminism is sinking to the depths of Creationism in terms of dogma and lack of credibility.

211 john welch December 30, 2014 at 7:12 am

Well part of the issue with (rad)feminisim is that there’s no real definition of feminism. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice. You consider yourself one for (reasons) or you do not.

Neither is verifiable in the way claiming to be, say, a Major in the U.S. Army is. Which leads to a lot of the nonsense you see with “no true scotsman”, etc.

“That’s not feminism”. Sorry to say, but yeah, if it’s claimed to be feminism, it is. Even if you disagree with it.

So the TERFS, the sex-negative lot, all of them are just as validly feminists as anyone else.

And of course, when women say “I like certain ideals of the movement, but it’s turned to such shit, (in my view), that I no longer wish to use that label, you get the lot going “YOU ARE STILL A FEMINIST”.

Well, no, Humpty-Dumbass, they aren’t. Why? Because they no longer identify as a feminist. That’s all that’s required.

However, now you have a widely used term whose only ‘definition’ is that it has something to do with women. Here and there.

Yet people are SURPRISED there’s drama around it?

I’d only be surprised if there weren’t.

212 JackSkeptic December 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm

@ john welch @211

The whole concept of Feminism has turned into a bait and switch. An example is the silly expression ‘Feminism is the concept that Women are people too’ therefore if you are not a Feminist you do not think
Women are people and therefore you are a bad person. What rubbish.

1. The above definition is only one premise required to be the feminist they are describing, the rest you can find at the Atheism Plus cult website. This includes buying into rape culture, patriarchy, etc etc. So the definition is incomplete and therefore invalid except as as subset of possible premises.

2. It totally ignores all the varieties of feminism, which arises from the above.

3. It assumes the term feminism is the only descriptor available for the statement ‘I believe women are human too’. The premise is false (it assumes mutual exclusion) therefore the conclusion is.

They play these logic games even to people who are familiar with the logic tricks theists and apologists use. They must think their audience are stupid.

We can all play that game. I can say ‘Communism is the belief all workers have rights’ therefore if you are not a Communist you hate workers. So on and so on. You can do it with Fascism too or any other belief system.

They also use Kafka traps routinely, such as stating that as you do not recognize there is a problem then you are part of it. This totally shuts down discussion, flips the onus of proof to the person asking for evidence, as it is designed to do (including JAQing off), and it enforces the ‘listen and believe’ meme along with other silly concepts such as Mansplaining.

I think the fact they routinely use these tricks is one of the big alarms bells that I heard when I first got involved with all this. It was so against all the AS principles I knew and I was flabbergasted when I heard it from people who I had assumed were immune to that sort of logic nonsense.

This is all very troubling but it is simple Post Modernist clap trap sensible people can ignore. But it is a LOT worse than that. The pure vitriol and hate with attacks on peoples basic integrity is now so common it is becoming routine. Some from the SJW’s seem surprised that anyone would be upset with being called a misogynist or racist or a rapist, which is an attack on a persons core being and deeply offensive.

They are so used to spewing their hate they fail to realize how much harm they are causing. That is the cancer which has to be cured. Personally I think it is far too late. It should have been done a few years back but it has now gone too far. So any cure now may well kill the patient.

The Slympit may be a den of hell but the simple fact is that it is one of the few places that stood up to these people from day one. But at least it was there when it mattered and not hiding behind faux civility and cowardice.

213 Lancelot Gobbo December 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm

C’mon, Kenny, I’m still waiting for your reply to my challenge. Don’t you think it would be the decent thing to donate to AI something proportionate to your means just so that we all know we are on the same (secular) side? Then you can supply the evidence that Skep Tickle requested about your claims. I personally, am keen to hear the evidence for “the droves of women” leaving atheism-skepticism, and with respect to your statement:

I’m glad we have someone like Myers(Humanist of the Year 2009) doing all he can to make sure the atheist community reaffirms its original commitment to diversity and fairness.

where the original commitment was made, and by whom. Not saying that’s a bad thing, by the way, but someone talking on my behalf really ought to tell me where I signed up to what that allows them that privilege. Then we can proceed to the rape and death threats emanating from the Pit, if you like. I’m all agog – don’t keep a girl waitin’ as it ain’t polite. Hmm?

214 john welch December 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

You know what I really find amusing?

That people actually think the Slymepit is some organized force for…(insert thing you don’t like here), when even a casual reading of any given week shows that it literally is incapable of that.

As I’ve said before, it’s a bucket of angry crabs. Honestly, if it has any “power” it’s because PZ and the others have pumped it up to something it never was. Which is why when people actually read it at anything resembling length, the impression is always “Wait, THIS is a cause of fear? HOW???”

215 Gerhard December 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm

As I’ve said before, it’s a bucket of angry crabs. Honestly, if it has any “power” it’s because PZ and the others have pumped it up to something it never was. Which is why when people actually read it at anything resembling length, the impression is always “Wait, THIS is a cause of fear? HOW???”

The fearmongering has been a bit OTT, hasn’t it. Despite PZ’s denials (more disingenuousness, what a surprise), I recall a number of comments by women concerned about attending atheist or skeptic events because of the danger of Slimer presence. Seriously, what perils could they be worried about, the devilish Justin Vacula darting out from behind a pot plant to drag them off for a rape and torture session? You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered guy. The whole SJW inspired atmosphere of misogynistic threat is just so ludicrously unreal. I recall a comment somewhere by a young woman scientist saying that she decided against blogging after reading of Watson’s experiences. This is just so wrong because firstly, Watson and science are a million miles apart and secondly, perusal of science blogs run by women tends to reveal little evidence of misogyny. This notion that there is a significant presence of people opposed to women in STEM is fuelled by the response to women who write ideological and inflammatory piles of shit. Men who write steaming piles of drivel get similar responses.

The Pit is not a bucket of angry crabs. It is mostly a bucket of bemused,amused or annoyed crabs all pulling in their own direction.

216 Phil Giordana FCD January 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

Funny thing, though, there didn’t seem to be any widespread sexism problems in the A/S community, online or otherwise, before the problems were pointed out, exaggerated and fabricated upon by the SJW crowd. Just like with any other community they infest.

It should give one a few moments’ pause.

217 Michael Nager January 1, 2015 at 11:59 pm

@john welch #214

Happy New Year to you and everyone else.

If the SlymePit or Michael Nugent didn’t exist they would make one up, meaning they would find something or someone else to demonise.

If you want to know what’s going on then you will always be in the dark unless you follow the “golden” rule, which is, “Follow The Money”.

Grifters like Anna Sarkeesian, Ken Ham, Rebecca Watson, Kent/Eric Hovind, Sarah Palin are only looking for suckers to con. They look to either create outrage/controversy to convince people that they have problems which don’t exist – and of course siphon money into their accounts to be a spokesperson for that fiction.

Sarkeesian/Watson and the SJW crowd with regard to “feminism” are on a par with stating the Earth is 6,000 years old and is flat; or more pointedly trying to convince people that the cowpat they are selling is actually a delicious pizza.

There are real feminist issues in the US – in the forefront of which the fact that Planned Parenthood is being legislated out of existence in many states. Abortion accounts for only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s activities with regard to women’s health in general and reproduction in particular.

218 Phil Giordana FCD January 2, 2015 at 1:14 am

Nager @217:

“in the forefront of which the fact that Planned Parenthood is being legislated out of existence in many states. ”

?!? Linkies?

219 Michael Nager January 2, 2015 at 2:15 am

I would say google “planned parenthood under attack” and then click on the link for the news source you find credible.

As a sample there would be this link:
http://www.newsweek.com/planned-parenthood-under-attack-fighting-back-texas-63703

I’m pretty sure that whatever link I put in you will come back at me with, “I don’t believe that” or, “That’s biased” etc.

I could be wrong and you could be one of those few who ask for links because they really want to know. In this case I can send you loads of links documenting instances in State Legislators or Congress where bills or “poison pills” put into bills have had Planned Parenthood as their target.

I apologise in advance if I have misread your motives and have done you disservice or an injustice.

220 Phil Giordana FCD January 2, 2015 at 6:47 am

Well, I was just asking for links because even by US standards, it seems pretty OTT. There was no malicious intent behind the request.

I will do my research.

221 Phil Giordana FCD January 2, 2015 at 9:13 am

Ok, I did my research. The main takeaway is: WTF?!? I used to laugh about the idea of American “Taliban”. I think I will be laughing no more.

Shameful.

222 Michael Nager January 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

@Phil Giordana FCD #221

I apologise once again for misjudging the the motivation behind your interrogatory, from now on you are filed under, “genuine; worth the effort”.

As I think you saw, there are real issues confronting women in the US aside from being asked if they want to have a coffee in an elevator.

Before the American Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) there was the crazy situation that a woman who had been beaten by her husband and had received medical care was considered to have a, “pre-existing condition”, and if she left her husband, and was no longer on his Medical Insurance, then she would find it impossible to get an insurance she could afford.

Wendell Potter, who was vice president of corporate communications for CIGNA before turning whistleblower on the practices of medical insurance companies, said that the reasoning behind this kind of decision was that, “Women who have made bad lifestyle choices in the past [marrying an abusive husband] would be likely to do it again”.

Just when you thought it could not get worse though, even if a woman had not been beaten by her husband but had had a child was considered to have a “pre-existing condition” and would find getting affordable insurance impossible if she decided to divorce her husband and could no longer be on his insurance.

Women are quite often between a rock and a hard place as far as their healthcare is concerned and measures are afoot in Congress to roll back provisions in the ACA which women benefited from because of lobbying by health insurance providers (just as they recently rolled back the provisions in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which were implemented to stop bankers from engaging in the practices which led to the 2008 financial meltdown.

As the saying goes, “America has the best government money can buy”.

If I were a feminist, these are the kinds of things I would focus my activism upon. Nutters like Sarkeesian or Watson trivialise the plight of women and make it more difficult for real women’s advocates to bring real issues to the public consciousness.

223 Lancelot Gobbo January 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm

I’m very saddened to see that KennyD is the kind of guy that would leave a girl waiting at the altar. Scumbag. Sadly, that means we can’t take any of your other utterances as seriously. What is it your master says of such people? Demented fuckwit – that’s it! That’s you. End of story.

224 JetLagg January 2, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I am a feminist and I do focus my attentions on exactly the issues Nager is describing. I’m on Planned Parenthood’s mailing list, donate and write letters on a semi-regular basis. The situation is dire, and we could definitely use some more help, but I don’t expect it from the likes of Myers or Watson. It makes it all the more amusing then, when either of them or their followers call me a misogynist.

225 KennyD January 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm

It is amazing that I am required to back up my statement that “women are leaving the A/S movement in droves because of misogyny”. Has everyone forgotten that Rebecca Watson and all the other Skepchicks and at least a few of their followers stopped going to TAM a few years ago? And that female attendance plummeted that year(TAM ’12) and after?

Many women skeptics in the following thread say they won’t go to A/S events anymore because they were either harassed or heard about harassment at A/S events: http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237174

This is one of those tricky chicken or egg scenarios: Does idiocy lead to misogyny, or does misogyny lead to idiocy? Are Slymepitters rewriting history so that it looks like women stopped going to TAM or other events because of the “SJWs” who called for strong harassment policies? Give me a break!

226 KennyD January 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

Gerhard(215)

***The fearmongering has been a bit OTT, hasn’t it. Despite PZ’s denials (more disingenuousness, what a surprise), I recall a number of comments by women concerned about attending atheist or skeptic events because of the danger of Slimer presence. Seriously, what perils could they be worried about, the devilish Justin Vacula darting out from behind a pot plant to drag them off for a rape and torture session? You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered guy. The whole SJW inspired atmosphere of misogynistic threat is just so ludicrously unreal. I recall a comment somewhere by a young woman scientist saying that she decided against blogging after reading of Watson’s experiences. This is just so wrong because firstly, Watson and science are a million miles apart and secondly, perusal of science blogs run by women tends to reveal little evidence of misogyny. This notion that there is a significant presence of people opposed to women in STEM is fuelled by the response to women who write ideological and inflammatory piles of shit. Men who write steaming piles of drivel get similar responses.

The Pit is not a bucket of angry crabs. It is mostly a bucket of bemused,amused or annoyed crabs all pulling in their own direction.***

You helped make my point for me, especially the part about the woman blogger who stopped blogging.

I really hope you’re being sarcastic about Justin Vacula when you say, “You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered guy. ” Yeah, it was definitelyy “mild mannered” to lead a hate campaign against Amy Davis Roth and other prominent women skeptics. In fact, Vacula’s vile behavior was so beyond the pale that even the misogynists at Skepticink had to let him go!

227 Nelson Devoto January 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm

@Kenny
“This is one of those tricky chicken or egg scenarios: Does idiocy lead to misogyny, or does misogyny lead to idiocy?”

Careful. That’s ableist.

228 Michael Nager January 2, 2015 at 9:32 pm

@KennyD #225

“This is one of those tricky chicken or egg scenarios”

If you had paid attention in Biology class then you would know that it is not a tricky question in the slightest.

The answer is of course the egg came first.

You know that cornerstone of Evolutionary Biology “Descent with Modification”? Where do you think the modification occurs? In the hen or the chick that hatches from the egg she laid? DUH!

229 Matt Cavanaugh January 3, 2015 at 4:18 am

“… it is amazing that I am required to back up my statement that “women are leaving the A/S movement in droves because of misogyny”…. Rebecca Watson and all the other Skepchicks and at least a few of their followers stopped going to TAM a few years ago ….”

1) There are many descriptors I’d employ for the Skepchicks; “droves” is not one of them;

2) Good riddance. The Skepchicks don’t play well with others;

3) Out beyond the A/S conferences like TAM, there’s this thing called “the real world.” And in “the real world”, nobody much gives a damn about all this nonsense. Western women don’t feel oppressed, & non-believers haven’t even heard about TAM, much less give a rat’s ass whether a T-shirt made Surly Amy cry. Not only has the Plusser putsch failed; it was doomed from the start for targeting the insular, incestuous alcove of the cons, blind to the big picture.

Wave bye-bye.

230 KiwiInOz January 3, 2015 at 4:56 am

KennyD @ 226 stated the following disgusting lie and libel about Justin Vacula:

“I really hope you’re being sarcastic about Justin Vacula when you say, “You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered guy. ” Yeah, it was definitelyy “mild mannered” to lead a hate campaign against Amy Davis Roth and other prominent women skeptics. In fact, Vacula’s vile behavior was so beyond the pale that even the misogynists at Skepticink had to let him go!”

To date most of your comments here have been disingenuous. You have now moved on to disgusting with your claim the Justin Vacula led a hate campaign against Amy Roth. He demonstrably and verifiably did no such thing. Please apologise and withdraw this statement.

231 Phil Giordana FCD January 3, 2015 at 9:07 am

As far as I’ve experienced, Justin Vacula is anything but “vile”. I’ve talked with him several times via Skype, and even in a one-on-one setting, he’s as mild-mannered as it gets. I’ll have to try and make him swear sometime…

232 Gerhard January 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Kenny, you mong (oops, ableism!)

You helped make my point for me, especially the part about the woman blogger who stopped blogging.

She wasn’t scared off blogging by harassment, she was scared off by Watson’s self-serving BS. Surely even you can’t fail to comprehend that?

I really hope you’re being sarcastic about Justin Vacula when you say, “You couldn’t find a more mild-mannered guy. ” Yeah, it was definitelyy “mild mannered” to lead a hate campaign against Amy Davis Roth and other prominent women skeptics. In fact, Vacula’s vile behavior was so beyond the pale that even the misogynists at Skepticink had to let him go!

So you can document this hate then? I suppose you mean when he naively published Roth’s address to show that it was already public WHEN SHE ACCUSED HIM OF COUNTER DMCAing HER ONLY TO GET HER ADDRESS. He immediately removed it and so did the Pit when he realised what he had done, unlike some people we know. A hate campaign would be whipping up a storm of “hide your daughters, they’re not safe” fear about JV the misogynistic dudebro and organising a letter campaign to remove him from his association with the SCA. This is what makes the Skepchicks so loveable, their propensity for playing the harassed victim at the drop of a hat as a justification for their viciousness.

233 JetLagg January 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Kenny@225
It is amazing that I am required to back up my statement that “women are leaving the A/S movement in droves because of misogyny”. Has everyone forgotten that Rebecca Watson and all the other Skepchicks and at least a few of their followers stopped going to TAM a few years ago? And that female attendance plummeted that year(TAM ’12) and after?

Can you quantify the decrease in female attendance? Can you provide something like a control group (a conference you deem to be lacking misogyny where female attendance remains stable or rises) which could rule out other causes for the dip?

Right now, you’re miles away from demonstrating the point you want to demonstrate, and I suspect you’ll never get there, because you’ve wildly inflated this problem in your mind. That’s a pity, because most of us here would actually like to discuss problems faced by the community (misogyny probably being among them, but also misandry, misanthropy, and a host of others that dwarf those ones in scope), but can’t because you and others of your sort insist on shrieking about exaggerated and/or invented crises.

234 john welch January 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Kenny, kenny, kenny.

That’s the best you can do now? Skepchicks not going to TAM?

That’s your best example?

235 Phil Giordana FCD January 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

Skepchick != “women”.

That should do it.

236 Gary S. January 6, 2015 at 4:11 am

Watch out for socks.
————–
Parody Accountant wrote:

I morph at Nugent’s and TFA etc and I always pretend like I just discovered that all the shit I heard about the slymepit isn’t true. I usually get top-rated comments on Discus etc as I encourage people to check it out for themselves. I also make it believable and have yet to be called out.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=429&p=247995#p247995

237 Carrie January 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Well, I looked at what Parody Accountant says on that thread and actually it is a lie. He says on there that he has been everyone who said nice things about the Slymepit on Michael’s blog amongst others.

Well, I have said nice things about them in comments here and so has tina IIRC. I know for surw that I am not anyone’s sock nor do I have any sockpuppets. Also I would be very surprised if tina is; she seems very different from PA plus she became a ‘pitter after posting here, so Lsuoma would be able to check if she is also PA. So, Gary S, it looks to me as if he has managed to pull your plonker.

Regardless, none of this detracts from Michael’s point which is that PZ publicly hates and despises people.

238 collin237 March 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Take a look at
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/06/20/a-chilling-tale-of-rape-and-social-psychology/
comment #12.

PZ thinks the patriarchy isn’t just a bunch of men with sick ideas in their heads? Apparently he didn’t get the memo that atheists aren’t supposed to believe in devils either!

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