I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

by Michael Nugent on February 18, 2015

Today Sarah Jones of Patheos called me a “far right hack” on Facebook. I’ve asked her to clarify what she is basing that opinion on. [Update: Sarah has clarified that she meant that my stance on Muslims and Islam is identical to what she would get on Fox News in the US.]

Yet on Saturday, a commenter on my blog alleged: “No doubt Nugent would like Ireland to be a version of the pre-1990 Soviet Union, which Nugent was such an admirer of before its demise.”

Pharyngula commenter Uncharitable Theophontes has alleged that my seedy past includes links with fascism, and that my blog is a home-away-from-home for right wing reactionaries.

Yet David Quinn of the Iona Institute has complained that I always come up with leftist or liberal type conclusions, and have reliably leftist positions on abortion, gay marriage, religious freedom and denominational schools.

I have been accused of allowing Atheist Ireland to be hijacked by feminists, and of supporting feminists who are bullying people, yet PZ Myers has not withdrawn his smear that I am a demented fuckwit who defends, provides a haven for and supports rapists.

My late wife and I had vitriolic abuse dropped through our letterbox when we were campaigning against terrorism, yet the author Tim Pat Coogan alleged (until a High Court defamation case corrected him) that we had founded a peace group that grew out of the old Official IRA.

So it seems that I am a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack.

I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

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{ 138 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tina February 18, 2015 at 1:19 pm

LOL…you only need ask and we’ll tell you what you think 😉

2 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Sarah Jones once tried to smear the campaigners against gender segregation at UK universities as a right-wing mob of Islamophobes. The campaigners including the likes of Maryam Namazie, the Southall Black Sisters, ex-Muslims, progressive Muslims, many people of colour, and erm, the likes of Ophelia Benson. The opposite of right-wing Islamophobes.

She was put right by many people, but she decided to “double down”. A bit like PZ Myers. Don’t expect much of a coherent response from her. She is essentially an anti-liberal, who enables the fascism of sections of the far rights (Islamists) by trying to stifle and silence legitimate criticism and protest of them.

3 Diane February 18, 2015 at 1:26 pm

I share your frustration as I also have been labelled by others into contradictory groups. The complaint of ‘she doesn’t know her own mind’ (From twitter) is one I cherish. Some of us strive to take positions on individual issues and, not do group think which confuses many people who do. The association fallacy and group think afflicts many atheists I’m afraid.

Take care.

4 Tezcatlipoca February 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

I really despise the patronizing, smarmy, enlightened missionary, head patting from the far left such as Croft and Jones. Thanks, Bwana!

5 John K February 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

God, Michael. You’re such a flip-floper! Pick a strawman people can use against you and stick to it!

6 tina February 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Yet another marxicissitic air-head. They’re two a Penny.

7 Kirbmarc February 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

This happens when you try to argue rationally with people who blindly follow the idea that you’re either with them or against them.

If you criticize them for any reason you must be on the side of forces of evil (whatever they may call them), because no “good person” would ever disagree with them.

And so the “righteous warriors” on every side of an issue always believe you’re on the other side unless you completely agree with them.

Dogmatism is pretty awful.

8 Shatterface February 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I stick to using ‘Right-‘ and ‘Left-wing’ to describe economic positions and ‘liberal’ and ‘authoritarian’ for social justice or law and order issues; ‘secular’ or ‘theocratic’ for religious issues; nationalist or internationalist depending immigration or foreign affairs, etc.

The Left-Right axis is useless on its own.

Communism, as practiced, was Left-wing, authoritarian and secular; anarcho-syndicalism (as practiced briefly in Spain) was Left-wing, anti-authoritarian and secular; early fascism was nationalist, authoritarian and economically Keynesian; later fascism was the same but economically right-wing; Islamism is theocratic, authoritarian, anti-capitalist (but not socialist) and nationslist, etc.

Refusal to give in to Islamist demands is both ‘liberal’ (because it opposes authoritarianism) and ‘secular’ (for obvious reasons).

It’s not a Right-Left issue because it doesn’t directly map onto economics.

9 James February 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Another day in the strange world of keyboard activism.

10 LindaL February 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm

This is all from of the current culture where any deviance from a position (and even questioning parts or it) is tantamount to being the enemy.
Comparing your stance on anything with FOX News is meant to further this. It is meant to get a quick reaction from her followers without any additional information.
I am embarrassed Sarah Jones felt that was a valid argument.

11 Jan Steen February 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Mud flingers fling a different kind of mud according to their natural habitat.

12 Billie from Ockham February 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Flippant comment: Many people, maybe because of rainbows and diagrams in physics textbooks, believe that colors exist on a linear continuum, from red to violet. But those of us who work with color as a psychological construct know that colors exist on a circle, from purple to red to orange to yellow to green to blue to red (back) to purple. Likewise, political bent also exists on a circle, with the extreme right and left wings being quite similar. (Note, also, the confusion in the US on what color ought to be linked to each view, with “red states” being conservative but extreme leftists being called “reds.”) While the commonality of both extreme views is usually best seen (e.g., on FtB) in terms of authoritarianism, the creature that I associate with the location where both extremes meet is not the Russian bear or the Chinese panda; it’s the polo-shirted sea lion. Thus, the only mistake that I see you making is your choice of color. You need some purple shirts.

Slightly less flippant comment: If you’re getting smeared from both the left and the right, then you’re probably doing something correct.

13 peter Hinchliffe February 18, 2015 at 4:40 pm

So, Sarah Jones had an opinion, someone she now calls a bigot disagreed with her and used your article as evidence- so now you are a far right hack.
Now when challenged she makes a completely unsupported claim that you hold opinions on Islam similar to Fox news.
Is this individual supposed to carry some sort of gravitas in freethinking circles?
All that aside, I have those brown shirts Ironed for the weekend Micheal, what was it you had in mind?

14 JackSkeptic February 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

I do now know the person the Op was referring to so the following is just a general observation and not specific to any individual.

Outrage commentators have no interest in who you really are or what you really believe. It is easy to set up an ‘other’ to attack with no effort at all.

They just decide what you believe and they’re done. If you question it or ask them to explain themselves you’ll get blocked, ignored or they will add to the pile of untruths and smears. Sometimes they may have apologists who’s sole job is to tell people you did not say what you actually said at all but some magic fairyland version. Entertaining but ultimately a sad commentary on the human ability to ignore reality when it suits tribal loyalties.

It is simply an indicator of how lazy some of these people are and how easy they find it to attack others with no care in the world about the consequences. For some commentators the days of subtlety, fairness and at least a pretense at intellectual integrity are long gone.

This smearing is as old as mankind and it is a shame some people seem to have missed the message that many of us hope to move on from that sort of tribal, stone age behavior.

It’s pernicious, sometimes subtle but ultimately it will cause untold damage to normal human relations, more than it has already. It causes schisms and hate and adds misery in a world where we should be making an effort to get on.

Stephen Fry talks about the dehumanization tactics in the use of words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohrtFuxUzZE

15 Jon Anderson February 18, 2015 at 5:03 pm

It’s false dichotomy/with us or against us posturing while dabbling with well-poisoning. If you don’t agree, they’ll try to bully you into changing your opinion or forcing an “apology” by insinuating you’re part of the most vile group they can think of.

On even the most basic of subjects, with some people, if you
don’t agree with feminists, you’re an MRA,
don’t agree with MRAs, you’re a feminazi,
don’t agree with liberals, you’re a member of the American Tea Party/Fox Watcher,
don’t agree with conservatives, you’re a communist/socialist/MSNBC Liberal,
don’t agree with , you’re a religious imperialist or a militant atheist…

And so on, always with the implication that you are WRONG and BAD, with no redeeming value to your personality whatsoever, regardless of whether the thing you don’t agree with is only small part of whatever ideology. A liberal gay supporter of women’s rights with a certificate in LBGT studies and a history of social activism might be called an MRA for being skeptical of the value of trigger warnings on college syllabi, for example.

It’s ludicrous.

16 Jon Anderson February 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm

-insert religious practice here- was surrounded by greater than/less than signs, and so it was eaten by HTML. Sorry!

17 Ashling O'Brien February 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Is anyone else having trouble accessing the facebook link above? I asked Sarah if she could link to where Michael has said things about Islam and Muslims that she disagrees with, now I can’t see the page. Has it been removed or have I been blocked?

18 Peter Hinchliffe February 18, 2015 at 6:01 pm

I can not get it either, it was available earlier. Perhaps deletion has won over apologie, that would be a shame if true.

19 Michael Nugent February 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm

I’ll report on this in more detail later, but here is the short version:

Sarah and James Croft, whose page it was on and who also called me a far right hack, both apologised for their “heated rhetoric” and “uncivil remarks”. I thanked them for the apologies.

I asked Sarah again, on the substantive issue rather than the rhetoric, what she believed my stance on Islam and Muslims is, that is identical to what she would get on Fox News, and that caused her to call me a far right hack.

She said that it is getting obsessive now and that the conversation is now over, James whose page it is on posted a graphic of ‘Let it Be’, and then the discussion became unavailable for me to view.

20 Aneris ✻ February 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I can’t access the Facebook page, either.

Sarah Jones is a member of the organisation called “Femin Ijtihad”: http://feminijtihad.com/meet-the-board/meet-the-team/

Unsurprisingly, she belongs to the extended Social Justice League (also known as Atheism plus, FreethoughtBlogs, SkepChicks & allies faction). As illustrated many times, they are generally Islam accommodationists. Until recently Ophelia Benson was the odd one, but fell back into line with the Chapel Hill shootings. Sarah Jones is strongly accommodationist end and it’s not even clear if she or her organisation are atheists. I already had a brief encounter with one of her supporters who was a Muslim feminist. It was unremarkable except that this combination appeared ridiculous to me.

Femin Ijtihad appears to be a religious humanist organisation, at best, which appears to work within the theological framework of Islam. On their About page, they explain:

Femin Ijtihad (FI) stands for “critical thinking” of gender notions and laws. It is one of the key projects of a global advocacy network called Strategic Advocacy of Human Rights. We draft legal opinions, defence statements and law reform analyses on women’s human rights under International and Islamic Law. […]

Our Priorities
Facilitating dialogues amongst lawyers and activists on tackling gender-stereotyping and misinterpretations of law.

The good thing about this is that all the “interesting” connections become clear.

21 Shermertron February 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Mr. Nugent 19

Ah, looks like they’re using the old “Sea Lion” ploy. That sea lion thing is an incredibly annoying conversation-stopper. Can you imagine going into court, being accused, then having the judge tell you that any defense is “sealioning” and you should shut up?

22 Colin Morrison February 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Sarah Jones is a close associate of “faitheist” Chris Stedman, supported the attempt by AHA and CAIR to block Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking at Yale, and once said this (hope HTML img tags work):

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/BLoUs74nDa0HtwhD91-vDoRi1rgF-y_zLhfXGMdsOFg=w400

Now, such a statement may be wrong, in that another religion may be more violent, or meaningless, meaning religions are neither inherently violent or peaceful (this is usually accompanied by a No True Scotsman statement), but to deny it as a rational question?

23 Billie from Ockham February 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Our host wrote: She said that it is getting obsessive now and that the conversation is now over, James whose page it is on posted a graphic of ‘Let it Be’, and then the discussion became unavailable for me to view.

I wrote earlier: … the creature that I associate with the location where both extremes meet is not the Russian bear or the Chinese panda; it’s the polo-shirted sea lion.

In short: nailed it .

24 Billie from Ockham February 18, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Note to self: you made a nice little note-card to remind you which sites get square brackets and which get greater-than and less-than signs; why did you make this note-card? T0 waste paper?

[I fixed that for you – MN]

25 Jeff Rankin February 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm

I think we can all agree that the most important thing is that you’re labelled. Otherwise, your positions would have to be evaluated based upon their utility and merit.

26 Gerhard February 18, 2015 at 9:15 pm

She said that it is getting obsessive now and that the conversation is now over, James whose page it is on posted a graphic of ‘Let it Be’, and then the discussion became unavailable for me to view.

This seems to be a trademark of the SJW identity politickers. They appear to give themselves carte blanche to say or do whatever they wish to further their agenda and either take no responsibility for doing so or brush it off as inconsequential when challenged to substantiate. Aratina is a prime example passing off his blockbot and doxxing shenanigans as something akin to a game and with his “no harm no foul” attitude. This is the world of the SJW where obvious attempts to damage the outgroup with rhetoric must instantly become water under the bridge when they wish to disown them.

27 JackSkeptic February 18, 2015 at 11:00 pm

I think I mentioned it before but I feel they have been so desensitized they are genuinely surprised when they get even mild push back. Conversely they have become hypersensitive to their own needs which is simply their defense mechanism to flip the blame. Their echo chambers simply reinforce their belief that they are righteous (those words have actually been used, very religious)

Many people are not in a position to push back and usually get blocked and/or smeared (doxxed in the case of Skeptickle ) for their efforts when they do. This is why I have long been dismayed at the noisy silence from most A/S leaders and groups in the US. This was all known about years ago, it’s not new and it’s not going away.

Its a real sad state of affairs and I often have to remember that the vast majority of people are honest, decent people who would never engage in the behavior they do.

I love loud, direct and robust discussion. I am fine with people swearing. I am fine if someone upsets me with their views. I do not care about ‘offensive’ cartoons or offensive jokes even if aimed at me.

None of that attacks a persons very integrity and right to live free of casual oppression by self appointed bigots. This new way of expressing ideas is vicious and I do not see it changing soon. It attacks our very being.

28 Jacques Cuze February 18, 2015 at 11:06 pm

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,

Choose A) or B)

A)
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

B)
(I am aneurotypical, I am a nougat of head-mates)

29 JetLagg February 18, 2015 at 11:57 pm

It should be added that you are a cishet white male shitlord.

Really, I hope you’re proud of these labels, wearing them like a skeptic badge of honor. Identity politics has no place for a free thinker such as yourself. All that can be done is watch in amusement as they try to figure out what you are.

30 JetLagg February 19, 2015 at 12:10 am

JackSkeptic@27
I think I mentioned it before but I feel they have been so desensitized they are genuinely surprised when they get even mild push back….

Alternatively, in a textbook display of projection, they could be assuming we’ll never let them hear the end of it should they admit to any fault or misstep, that we’ll use the admission to drive them from the group and tarnish their respectability.

31 Pogsurf February 19, 2015 at 12:59 am

By labelling you ‘obsessive’ Jones tries to say you ‘won’t give up’, but due to a combination of wounded feelings and emotional immaturity can’t help herself from adding the poison of a mental health slur. Look upon it that she was trying to call you ‘tenacious’ Michael, but just lacked the grace.

32 Patrick February 19, 2015 at 1:04 am

JackSkeptic @27,

I love loud, direct and robust discussion.

There’s one of the primary differences between members of the greater atheist and skeptic communities and the SJW fringe: They don’t want discussion, they want to make pronouncements and have them accepted.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating that this is a dispute between authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. They want control of the narrative. They want to be “leaders”. Most of them have no clue what that means.

33 Patrick February 19, 2015 at 1:05 am

JetLagg @30,

Alternatively, in a textbook display of projection, they could be assuming we’ll never let them hear the end of it should they admit to any fault or misstep, that we’ll use the admission to drive them from the group and tarnish their respectability.

Well spotted. The words “I stand corrected, thank you.” would never occur to them.

34 John Morales February 19, 2015 at 4:45 am

Michael in the OP:

So it seems that I am a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack.

I interpret that as: “So it seems that [I think that some people claim that] I am a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack.”

(I do not dispute that, hyperbole aside)

I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

Well (sarcasm duly noted) clearly you care sufficiently about what you think people believe about you to the extent you post about it.

(That’s what blogs are, no? Glorified soapboxes)

35 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2015 at 6:29 am

I have to admit, the OP made me laugh. It’s so predictable.

36 Gerhard February 19, 2015 at 7:53 am

Ditch the conspiracy theories, John Morales is obviously just here for the typing practice.

37 Shatterface February 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

Pogsurf: i>Look upon it that she was trying to call you ‘tenacious’ Michael, but just lacked the grace.

Or vocabulary.

38 JackSkeptic February 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

@John Morales 34

That has to be one of the most content free posts I have seen in a long time. You know you can do better than that:)

39 Carrie February 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm

What a superb encapsulation of the nonsense that all those judgemental people spew. Thanks for the smiles, Michael.

40 Billie from Ockham February 19, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I don’t mind the fact that many blog-posts are like rants from the tops of soap-boxes. It’s the comments that remind me of people talking back to their televisions that I could do without.

Of course, John Morales might have the last laugh, duly noted by his Samsung SmartTV.

41 Nathan (formerly GerardO) February 19, 2015 at 3:43 pm

We all know you’re a Scientologist, MN, don’t try to pretend otherwise.

42 Shatterface February 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

I want that on a t-shirt .

43 Aneris ✻ February 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm

It am not sure how much of it is established and how long it takes until more people see the overall pattern, but to me this whole mess is part of the (mostly) US American Zeitgeist in the “liberal” authoritarian side which is neither truly liberal nor truly left.

Here is an example from Sam Harris, dealing with his critics, who also write…

Starting to get creeped out by how obsessed Sam Harris is with me &@ggreenwald -as tho we’ve given him a 2nd thought [removed link] — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) February 18, 2015

…to which Sam Harris responds…

Aslan writes articles about me, hires people to write even longer ones […] continually mentions me and distorts my views in his press appearances, and tweets about me with abandon —and he believes that I’m obsessed with him. It is safe to say that I would never mention Aslan again if he stopped spreading [untruths] about me.—SH

Hear the thoughtful podcast and find more similarities.

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-chapel-hill-murders-and-militant-atheism

You can find Aslan’s and Sarah Jones style also with Ophelia Benson, PZ Myers and the likes. Further, they aren’t just in agreement on how they “discuss”. They also largely share a similar ideology. PZ Myers sided with Greenwald, or with Adria Richards or Anita Sarkeesian and so forth, all in a similar direction.

You can read this, and the same US zeitgeist of PZ Myers and company comes through nicely, and the same cast of characters with the same kind of attitude.

__nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html

All that only gives the overwhelming impression that the US secular movement has failed, and in fact, does not promote enlightenment values. They appear even to be against them. Why of all people atheists are against discussions, promote outrage culture, guilty-by-association remains a mystery.

What’s more, this secular movement also promotes an escalation of discussion into Serious Business™ territory, where it is no longer about listening to other views, discussion and learning from one another. They have made it “unfunny” to put it mildly. With doxxing and workplace harassment, and serious allegations, and calling entire comment sections rapists and the likes, it’s a quality that I have never seen before. Who would have imagined that atheists accuse other atheists in that way?

I can’t comprehend how the American secular movement, in particular, can tolerate this. If atheists and skeptics don’t defend “classic” enlightenment values, from pluralism to presumption to innocence to freedom of speech, then they can’t really expect that others do it, either, and with that, the US movement has failed.

44 Billie from Ockham February 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

If American SJWs were only invading (and ruining) American atheism and secularism, then I’d agree with you, Aneris, that we ought to be asking why we put up with it and why we don’t do more to mitigate the damage that they are causing. But we are not their only target, as best recently exemplified by #GamerGate. They ooze their way into anything that they can, from Title IX over-reactions to regulations on the number of toilet stalls in public restrooms. Even if the American atheist and secularist community succeeded in removing them from our sphere, they would come back at us again and again, from their other home-bases.

It parallels the recent issue with measles and herd immunity in California. Even having a majority of people vaccinated isn’t enough.

45 Darby February 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Billie from Ockham is dead right. It may not be common knowledge in other parts of the world, but here in the U.S. the SJW attack on the secular/skeptic/atheist communities was proceeded by several other offensives. Billie mentions the attack on the U.S. higher-ed system. At about the same time the SJWs invaded SF fandom using exactly the same tactics. Go to Tor.com (major U.S. SF/Fantasy publisher) or io9.com and check out any commentary on a book, movie or TV show. You’ll find constant blather about “Bechtel” tests and complaints every time a dreaded white cishet man is cast in a role (especially if the character has historically been a white cishet male). Everything is, as they say, “problematic”.

The latest target of the SJW invasion is tech, a small part of which is the GamerGate idiocy Billie mentions. The tech people I used to work with now have Twitter feeds consisting of almost no technology talk and a shit-ton of how us honkey dudes are keeping a sister down – to the point where John Welch and I are pretty much persona non grata with that scene even though we ran one of the very few tech podcasts that featured a woman co-host and regular women guests.

46 Billie from Ockham February 19, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Since someone has my back, as it were – thanks, Darby! – please let me add this:

Besides being distracting and incredibly annoying, the main thing that American SJWs bring to whatever table they decide to sit down at is this: nothing. Choose any area that they have invaded and look at what has been achieved since their arrival. Once you get past the finding that progress in the area slowed when the SJWs joined, you’ll discover that the few advances that were achieved despite them were all by non-SJWs. Even more, one of the reasons that progress appears to slow when the SJWs join in is that they have a tendency to be most distracting to non-cis-het-white-males. (The cis-het-white-males, after a brief fight, usually try to ignore the SJWs because being told that you’re scum every minute of every day can be, as I said above, incredibly annoying and non-productive.) Thus, the little progress that is made in the newly-invaded area has a tendency to become more cis-het-white-male dominated, instead of less.

Rather than acknowledge that the invasion has had the opposite of the desired effect, the SJWs see the increased dominance by cis-het-white-males as evidence that the patriarchy ™ is fighting back and/or that there’s simply more work to be done. Therefore, rather than being self-correcting, it becomes a fast-descending spiral.

But, hey, if you end up with a used Mini Cooper at the end of the day, paid for by lemmings on the internet, then it’s all worth it, yes?

47 Aneris ✻ February 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm

You are both making my point. I thought the term Zeitgeist was known in English. It literally means “time-spirit” or “sprit of the times”. I use it more liberally to describe a kind of fashionable way to think or act typical for an age. What the internet has called “social justice warriorism” is a kind of high-right-wing-authoritarian, New Left syncretism with a strong social media component—to my mind at least.

The point though was that social justice warriors are mostly secular and mostly American, and that the atheist-skeptics movement who would have ample interests in resisting that fashionable nonsense is not a bulwark against it, but their fortress. Who would have thought atheists would one day insinuate that Charlie Hebdo had it coming, or are on board with the whole outrage-offense culture, and would denigrate freedom of speech which is currently and credibly under stress. Who would have though skeptics accept guilty-by-association and ad hominem fallacies as most viable ways to conduct a debate? Who thought it was acceptable to write about other people, and then deny them to comment and that for no good reasons when everyone else can comment (and add their spin).

When you read through the articles linked to above (and there are many more reflecting this zeitgeist), you will also find the same names coming up. There is some sort of faction or group with people who share a lot of views, but even more share how to behave properly. This is why the FreethoughtBlogs and SkepChicks writers could float their distortions into mainstream media. It is completely unsurprising that PZ Myers thought Adria Richard was “exactly right” and supports Anita Sarkeesian (despite apparent contradictions to his own media suggestions involving Japanese characters, and tentacles or providing blurbs for rape pornography books of other bloggers). Of course, he’s on that “team” and on the anti-GamerGate side. From there you can go full circle with people like Sam “bring back bullying” Biddle, and why incidentially the critical hashtag against them is named #FTBullies and everyone but them find it more than apt.

Contradictions and double standards, noted many times before, are even more apparent when you set “obsessive” against the women who is mentioned in the New York Times article linked to above, Justine Sacco. She tweeted and that was that. But the social justice warriors kept going and going and made her life miserable. The very same arguents are also used: You can basically copy and paste Ophelia Benson, PZ Myers or Stephanie Zvan or any random social justice warrior and it works in any other context. That, too, was illustrated in comments before. Had Ms Sacco argued back, no doubt, PZ Myers and other such characters would accuse her of being obsessive. In a strange way, PZ Myers and the likes are in some sense exactly like the monsters they allegely fight. They abuse online and prefer it when their targets don’t fight back and just endure the procedure.

I guess the point is that I believe the US secular movement has failed, because it did not oppose that nonsense in particular in form and failed to protect people. In a beautiful sense it loops all back to Abbie Smith’s “Bad form, Rebecca Watson”. With the CFI Talk it was made acceptable to smear and defame in extreme ways, and do that from a privileged podium and denying other people to clarify or defend themselves properly. This was then developed into an art form, and nobody said anything. First it were comment section distortions. And nobody said anything. Then serious allegations were made. And nobody said anything. Then entire comment sections, dozens of people were described as rapist. And nobody said anything. Then names were put onto online pillories and intimidation tactics started. And nobody said anything. Then they decided it was acceptable to dig up real names and put that online next with employer information. And nobody said anything. Hence, I conclude there is really nothing. And nothing worth supporting.

What’s more the social justice warriors keep escalating, until someone strikes back; not just with satirical images in an obscure forum but in a way that they really have a reason to complain. Then, I am sure that’s the idea, they fall back into the victimhood routine and the gullible US secular movement will believe it. At the same time this movement taught everyone that fairness is overrated and should be cut out, unless you personally feel strong about it. I guess I do, but I can say that it is compeltely useless. You aren’t treated better — rather worse, as if they know who they can abuse.

TL;DR
The US secular movement is an EPIC FAIL.

48 Aneris February 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Apparently, the Zeitgeist also started to haunt Britain, too. Gurdur, wrote on it here, and also draws connections to “our” little corner, in this case the Block Bot where commenter Aratina was involved:
http://heathen-hub.com/blog.php?b=1797

49 Jacques Cuze February 20, 2015 at 1:12 am

It’s seemingly not just the US, here is Laurie Penny acknowledging the scope of the “new culture war”

http://laurie-penny.com/why-were-winning-social-justice-warriors-and-the-new-culture-war/

And as she says,

> There’s a culture war happening right now. It’s happening in games, in film, in journalism, in television, in fiction, in fandom. It’s happening online, everywhere.

I’d add that it’s not just games, in general, it’s Tech and STEM. Industry and academia. And it’s happening in law and legal domains.

And it seems everyone but the #gamergaters are cowed.

50 Billie from Ockham February 20, 2015 at 4:00 am

Please keep in mind, Aneris, that what people in other countries are most likely to see, when it comes to American atheists, are those on the internet or those who are interviewed on national television. You won’t see the people speaking out at local government meetings or writing to the editor of their local paper or standing between Catholic anti-abortion protesters and the clients entering a clinic, etc, etc. I agree that the internet and TV abound with American atheist idiots and ideologues, as do most of the organized conferences. But, on the street and in small/local meetings, it isn’t quite so bad. In fact, no-one from my local A/S group had ever heard of PZ Myers. (I still owe them a huge apology for bringing him up.)

51 kraut February 20, 2015 at 6:28 am

The whole “culture war” among atheists is a continuation of the attempt of the usual suspects from academia to enforce political correctness. They found many in the atheist community willing to subscribe to this agenda when PZ especially proclaimed that “atheism is not enough” soon after the Watson elevator eclat and his declaration of despising what he labelled “dictionary atheists”, alienating any atheist not following their definition of true atheism.

From being previous liberals with already some tendencies to ” see the light” of atheist righteousness – political correctness being the driving force – they founded the ideology of atheism+, and engaged in a tightly controlled masturbation circle among the like minded, attacking anyone who tries to question their motives, methods and agenda and mercilessly throwing out those who deviate from the book of PZ, Zvan, Benson and Thibeault – just try to read his newest sermon on Chapel Hill if you have the stomach.
Those morons to actually consider it fairness to accuse anybody they target as the enemy to accuse of rape, abuse etc. and find the smearing of any person which such crimes justifiable because the “victim” is always right, no matter how flimsy the evidence.
Their concept of justice is accuse first, look for evidence later – exactly acting like the cops they so gleefully criticize for the same behaviour.
There is only one way to separate those that know free discussion is necessary to the development of atheism and skepticism from those that think that the only true way is to force an agenda of a particular ideology: continually and relentlessly exposing their hypocrisy, show their untrue claims, their straw manning, their barely hidden authoritarian stance, their enmity to free discussion questioning their ideology and agenda.

52 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

I think the saddest part of all of this is that those so called American “atheists and skeptics” (you know the ones) are shooting themselves right in the foot. The US are among the rare Western societies that would benefit from a stronger A/S movement, and yet here it is crippled by identity politics, a stupid, mostly internet-based meme that should by all means take a second or third seat WRT secularism in the US.

I may sound callous, but right now I care more about secularism than about furry/bronie/otherkin acceptance. This acceptance will follow, eventually, if at least religious bigotry was tamed down a notch. And I then would be an ally, but not right now when so much needs to be done about way more pressing issues. And I now find myself not caring much about this US “movement” anymore. Well done.

Myers and friends are not doing anyone any favor.

53 John Morales February 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

Aneris:

The US secular movement is an EPIC FAIL.

Mmmhmm.

Apparently, the Zeitgeist also started to haunt Britain, too.

Epic failure, that!

<snicker>

Billie:

Besides being distracting and incredibly annoying, the main thing that American SJWs bring to whatever table they decide to sit down at is this: nothing. Choose any area that they have invaded and look at what has been achieved since their arrival.

The more they invade, the more epically they fail?

54 Carrie February 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Indeed, they are doing their best to damage the UK too. And of course wherever they get any kind of real foothold, they fail because they cause workers for any cause that they target to freeze, leading to a Fail.

The speciality of the “PC” brigade is to make things stop, or at least pause until they are shaken off. For instance, in the UK, they managed to make a whole area in the UK (Rotherham) so scared of being non-PC, of offending people of colour, that they allowed something like 14,000 children to be sexually abused for several years rather than take to court the Pakistani males who had perpetrated these crimes.

This is not terribly new, these “warriors” have been at work over here for many years. Last century, the American “warriors” managed to infect a bunch of British social workers with a horrible zeal. They wrenched many children from their ordinary homes in Rochdale and other areas and ruined hundreds of families and lives, in the belief that children were being sacrificed or abused in satanic rituals. This wave of idiot warriorism only died off after the spectacular case in Orkney, where a judge finally had the sanity to dismiss the case for the nonsense it was. After that, there were proper investigations and the whole pack of cards collapsed.

Anyone who snickers at this kind of appalling behaviour is too unpleasant to bother with. Indeed, the more they invade, the more epic is the failure — and the more lives they ruin on the way.

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orkney_child_abuse_scandal
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotherham_child_sexual_exploitation_scandal
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_ritual_abuse

55 Billie from Ockham February 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Phil wrote: I may sound callous, but right now I care more about secularism than about furry/bronie/otherkin acceptance.

If that is callous, then I’m a Plantar wart. The Americans that I was referring to above, who focus on local action and often avoid the internet, spend a majority of their time on secularism.

56 Darby February 20, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Aneris,
I do get your point, but I think you are perhaps missing mine. All I’m saying is that the SJW phenomenon is something that originated external to the atheist/secularist/skeptic movements and has since invaded; and as such needs to be examined in that context. Also, I’d strongly disagree with your claim that U.S. SJW’s are “…mostly secular…”. As I pointed out, before invading secularism the SJWs had a merry time playing their game in academia and SF/Fantasy fandom, and are currently having their way with the tech media community. I can’t think of any reason why those groups would be more “secular” than the rest of the population.

Now, I am in complete agreement with you that the failure of avowed skeptics to see the SJW phenomenon for what it is and reject is is a complete and utter failure. I feel the same way about the SJW invasion of the tech media community.

All that said, I think there are a few simple reasons for why SJWism has been so successful in invading certain communities.

First these is the fact that SJW’s are grand masters at deploying the Motte and Bailey argument (http://philpapers.org/archive/SHATVO-2.pdf). On the face of it, the goals espoused by SJWs are, for most rational people, perfectly reasonable. “Women should be equal to men.” Well, sure, we should strive for a society that is equitable to everybody. That’s hardly controversial. Of course we all know that the reality of what SJW’s desire is not so simple.

Second is the fact that – in the U.S. at least – there are very real and undesirable social and professional consequences for being targeted by SJWs. Take a look at the groups mentioned so far: academia, SF/Fantasy fandom, atheist/secular/skeptics, and tech media. In all these groups, professional success is predicated on maintaining an audience. A professor who can’t get published, an author no one reads, a skeptic with no conference draw, or a tech pundit who is ignored is basically unemployable. Now look at one of the few groups to push back against SJW bullshit, “hardcore” gamers. What sets them apart from the others mentioned? In large part, the fact that they were already marginalized and ostracized. SJW tactics are literally useless against them because no one liked them to begin with.

In short, while I agree that the failure of U.S. skeptics to reject SJWism is an utter failure, it is hardly an unique failure and it is an understandable failure.

57 Billie from Ockham February 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

One small +1 to Darby above:

My experience with local American atheists – i.e., who are actually doing things, rather than just blogging – is none are what should be called a Social Justice Warrior. They are all “dictionary atheists” plus a few Universalists and Episcopalians, working together for secularism. When I do come across a SJW in real life, they are usually doing something close to the opposite: rather than trying to get something like religion out of local government, they are trying to impose their unfalsifiable views on everyone via local government or university administration – i.e., they have as little evidence for their views as the religious.

58 JetLagg February 21, 2015 at 12:29 am

I wouldn’t be so harsh Aneris. We haven’t failed yet, though the SJW cancer has done us a great deal of damage. As Billie points out, it’s primarily an internet phenomenon, a minority using (as you keenly stated) social media to great effect. Even then, online, in my FB internet group, nobody had heard of PZ Myers.

So, I don’t believe they’ve won, but they are a danger, and it is notable that only Gamergate has given them any real fight.

Darby@56
Now look at one of the few groups to push back against SJW bullshit, “hardcore” gamers. What sets them apart from the others mentioned? In large part, the fact that they were already marginalized and ostracized.

Nailed it. Gamers have become very good at adopting derogatory labels and wearing them as a badge of honor. There are some parallels to the gay rights movement, and their ability to giddily adopt the pejoratives thrown at them. Gamers didn’t flinch when major news outlets came after them, and thereby wasted no time on defense.

59 Aneris ✻ February 21, 2015 at 2:31 am

JetLagg wrote: I wouldn’t be so harsh Aneris. We haven’t failed yet, though the SJW cancer has done us a great deal of damage. As Billie points out, it’s primarily an internet phenomenon, a minority using (as you keenly stated) social media to great effect. Even then, online, in my FB internet group, nobody had heard of PZ Myers.

The “movement” of course is larger, in particular when you count all the YouTube channels and their communities. They probably dwarf all other atheist communities. However, the social justice warrior atheists have brought their stories into mainstream media, where they are damaging. News don’t bother with the details and might write such things as “English biologist Richard Dawkins, who , recently gave a statement about something else …”

That might not matter in the USA, but it does in Europe. For European newspapers, Richard Dawkins is large and international and probably gets instant attention. There aren’t much more other people. If any. A big outlet will not bother with some nationally known (minor) character unless for specific purposes. If the audience doesn’t know Alice Atheist, then they don’t see a reason why her comment would matter on e.g. an Islamic terroristic attack. Richard Dawkins is currently the only person that comes to mind that could make certain points.

As with many things, PZ Myers (et al) idea about having more different voices is poorly thought out. There are already hundreds of them, and they don’t matter because you need recognition outside of an insular community. Having a track record and many bestsellers and having presented on TV all helps in that regard. Besides, Richard Dawkins is someone who has this sense of wonder and brings it across. I find it sad that people have negative opinions about him based on distortions and falsehoods, which simply irks my sense of un/fairness.

Phil Giordana FCD wrote: And I now find myself not caring much about this US “movement” anymore. Well done.

That’s exactly how I feel about the matter, too. At times I catch myself almost wishing the US would turn into a theocracy, just so that I can send a “thank you” letter to PZ Myers and his gang and wish them a good time under their new rulers. Since I am left myself, there are other reasons I have more than one issue with him and his faction. It is very well with corporate/establishment interest to have racial tensions, then tensions between young and old, between men and women, and so on. All that makes the problem of wealth distribution invisible which is quickly becoming a global problem (i.e. the “We are the 99%”). All the identitarian rubbish only alienates one humankind that actually has many shared interests. PZ Myers and his faction are really promoting some kind of Rise of Nationalism 2.0 only that the new nations aren’t territorial communities, but virtual. And hence, there I write it fully aware of the topic, that he belongs into a fascist corner. I mean it.

60 John Morales February 21, 2015 at 3:03 am

Aneris:

PZ Myers and his faction are really promoting some kind of Rise of Nationalism 2.0 only that the new nations aren’t territorial communities, but virtual. And hence, there I write it fully aware of the topic, that he belongs into a fascist corner. I mean it.

So much for what people say about Michael and his expressed confusion thereby… once again, it’s all about PZ and SJWs and PC fascism.

(Let’s not get derailed from PZ being a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack!)

61 Aneris February 21, 2015 at 3:41 am

@John Morales
What new information do you have offer, when I already noted with “fully aware of the topic” the similarity. There can be good and bad reasons for such opinions.

62 John Morales February 21, 2015 at 4:40 am

Aneris, perhaps I was too subtle: that you assert that PZ “belongs into a fascist corner” (!) and that you mean it (!) is pretty irrelevant to the post topic, which is Michael’s purported confusion about contradictory assessments about him from various parties over a period of time, but it’s predictable — this because experience indicates that, regardless the post topic, the not-so-strange attractor towards which Michael’s current commenter-base’s comments converge is how pernicious and despicable PZ and those whom you associate with him are.

(Powerless perniciousness, oh my!)

For example:

At times I catch myself almost wishing the US would turn into a theocracy, just so that I can send a “thank you” letter to PZ Myers and his gang and wish them a good time under their new rulers.

I confess I find it hard to keep a straight face when reading about PZ’s rulership of a theocratic US.

63 Aneris February 21, 2015 at 5:19 am

For obvious reasons, because the whole series started with “unjust smears”, which do come from a particular direction and which were then defended by a particular faction, and then extended to Michael Nugent (defends & provides haven…) and certain commenters here (HMR Triplet).

FTB people think they outsmart everyone when they transparently make it normal for themselves to smear everyone as often as they wish and write articles full of falsehoods about other people as often as they like (which e.g. also get tweeted to 160k+ followers), yet are busy making it seem dubious when other people react to that in the mildest ways possible.

You also cannot read well. My schadenfreude wishful thinking (of course completely unrealisitc) was about that PZ Myers, raging atheist, is ruled by theocrats because he and the other SJWs are counterproductive. It was an expression of the failure of the US secular movement.

64 John Morales February 21, 2015 at 6:42 am

Aneris:

For obvious reasons, because the whole series started with “unjust smears”, which do come from a particular direction and which were then defended by a particular faction, and then extended to Michael Nugent (defends & provides haven…) and certain commenters here (HMR Triplet).

Ah yes, you fight for justice against injustice (those “unjust smears”).

(Suffused with irony, you are)

FTB people think they outsmart everyone when they transparently make it normal for themselves to smear everyone as often as they wish and write articles full of falsehoods about other people as often as they like (which e.g. also get tweeted to 160k+ followers), yet are busy making it seem dubious when other people react to that in the mildest ways possible.

They make it normal to smear, whilst you are a warrior for justice.

Gotcha.

You also cannot read well. My schadenfreude wishful thinking (of course completely unrealisitc) was about that PZ Myers, raging atheist, is ruled by theocrats because he and the other SJWs are counterproductive. It was an expression of the failure of the US secular movement.

Fair enough, wishful schadenfreude from which you almost refrain.

(It’s still a funny rant)

65 Carrie February 21, 2015 at 8:33 am

I can’t think why people bother to argue with JM. He has no evidence nor even anything other than silly jibes to offer.

Others highlight that, in the Atheist “movement”, PZ, RW and others at FtB / Skepchick do their best to undermine anyone that they do not personally approve of. The outcome of their smearing tactics seems to align with the same kind of “SJW” PC results in other spheres; in other words, when the PC crowd moves in and takes effect, the “movement” fails. They do not add, they simply confuse and halt progress, just as any other ideology does (such as religion).

The fact is that Michael and others have been smeared, without evidence, and Michael here points out how ridiculous these unsubstantiated smears become.

66 John Morales February 21, 2015 at 8:49 am

Carrie:

I can’t think why people bother to argue with JM. He has no evidence nor even anything other than silly jibes to offer.

So you consider my observations to be but silly jibes.

(Yet you bothered to write and post that perception of yours, though you can’t think of why you do so)

Others highlight that, in the Atheist “movement”, PZ, RW and others at FtB / Skepchick do their best to undermine anyone that they do not personally approve of.

Yet others highlight that, in the Atheist “movement”, some do their best to undermine PZ, RW and others at FtB / Skepchick because they do not personally approve of them.

(Remarkable!)

The fact is that Michael and others have been smeared, without evidence, and Michael here points out how ridiculous these unsubstantiated smears become.

You are yet another who can’t be bothered to distinguish between opinion and fact.

(Unremarkable)

67 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2015 at 10:33 am

I’ve learned to skip Morales’ posts and instead read people who answer to him. Saves a lot of time. And strongly reduces injuries related to overt facepalming.

Win/win!

68 Carrie February 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

LOL yes, Phil — I usually do the same. In this case though he was the last one on the page and I had not yet had my coffee. I can go back to skipping his nonsense again now.

The facts are clear to any who can read: PZ smeared Michael publicly, and when asked to provide evidence he smeared a number of nameless people from the pit. There is no ambiguity, no mention of “opinion” in these two items. PZ states them as facts.

He should apologise and retract the statements.

69 Kirbmarc February 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm

“Yet others highlight that, in the Atheist “movement”, some do their best to undermine PZ, RW and others at FtB / Skepchick because they do not personally approve of them.”

Is this your opinion or a fact, John?

Also: are these people “trying to undermine” PZ, RW and FtB or simply trying to point out their smears, hypocrisy, double standards and attempts to undermine their critics?

If you repeatedly smear someone and insult them, and I say “you have smear and insulted that person, and that’s a dishonest tactic”, I’m not “undermining” you because I “don’t like you”, I’m simply pointing out what you did.

Unless PZ can provide actual, documented evidence for the claim that Micheal Nugent’0s blog is haven for harassers, misogynists and rapists, his claim is nothing but a smear.

And no “Slymepitters post there” isn’t actual, documented evidence.

70 JetLagg February 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm

If Morales can abstract the issue enough (reserving, of course, the right to be tediously specific should the situation suit him), he can erase any distinction between the behavior of Myers and Nugent.

It’s like arguing (and I’ve seen someone essentially make this exact argument) that cheating on your wife is violating a contractual agreement, and not paying your rent on time is also violating a contractual agreement. The deadbeat and cheater are both guilty of violating contractual agreements. They’re exactly the same! How could you admonish one more than the other?

It’s a trick of the absurd sort you normally only see with religious apologists, and just one more reason I think the SJWs have more in common with the faithful than they do with us skeptics.

71 Mikko February 21, 2015 at 9:14 pm

John sees Meyers as a hero that always tells the truth

72 John Morales February 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Kirbmarc:

“Yet others highlight that, in the Atheist “movement”, some do their best to undermine PZ, RW and others at FtB / Skepchick because they do not personally approve of them.”

Is this your opinion or a fact, John?

Also: are these people “trying to undermine” PZ, RW and FtB or simply trying to point out their smears, hypocrisy, double standards and attempts to undermine their critics?

Both.

If you repeatedly smear someone and insult them, and I say “you have smear and insulted that person, and that’s a dishonest tactic”, I’m not “undermining” you because I “don’t like you”, I’m simply pointing out what you did.

Possibly, but not necessarily.

Unless PZ can provide actual, documented evidence for the claim that Micheal Nugent’0s blog is haven for harassers, misogynists and rapists, his claim is nothing but a smear.

Not necessarily.

And no “Slymepitters post there” isn’t actual, documented evidence.

Actually, it is documented and actual evidence, it’s just not necessarily relevant.

JetLagg:

If Morales can abstract the issue enough (reserving, of course, the right to be tediously specific should the situation suit him), he can erase any distinction between the behavior of Myers and Nugent.

[…]

It’s a trick of the absurd sort you normally only see with religious apologists, and just one more reason I think the SJWs have more in common with the faithful than they do with us skeptics.

I find it rather amusing that you (and others) continue to assume that I’m a social justice activist (or SJW in your terminology) despite my protestations.

(cf. #7)

John sees Meyers [sic] as a hero that always tells the truth

An epitome of opinion stated as fact.

(cf. #7)

73 Kirbmarc February 22, 2015 at 8:20 am

“Possibly, but not necessarily.”

Why not?

“Not necessarily.”

Why not?

“Actually, it is documented and actual evidence, it’s just not necessarily relevant.”

I concede this point. I don’t see how it could be relevant to the original claim unless PZ had actual, documented evidence that some Slymepitters are supporters of “harassers, misogynists and rapists” or even “harasser, misogynists and rapists” themselves.

74 John Morales February 22, 2015 at 9:28 am

Kirbmarc:

“Possibly, but not necessarily.”

Why not?

Because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

“Not necessarily.”

Why not?

Because a claim can be true even if made without warrant.

75 Kirbmarc February 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

“Because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Which is true, but if the claims made are supported by valid evidence, why should we care about the intentions of those who make the claim?

If a police officer arrests a thief and produces clear, documented, and relevant evidence that he committed a theft, why should we care that he might have some animosity against the thief?

“Because a claim can be true even if made without warrant.”

This is also true, but the burden of proofs lies with those who make a claim. In absence of evidence a claim of unethical behavior is supposed to be a smear by default.

In this case PZ is the one who either has to justify his claim or apologize. The choice that he has made, to avoid answering Micheal’s request for either evidence or an apology, shows that he’s unwilling to either support his claim or to admit he accused Micheal unjustly.

To many (myself included) this shows that Myers is behaving in an unethical way, and since it has been documented that Myers is willing to act swiftly and with no remorse when others even jokingly suggest that he might have done something inappropriate this also shows that he has a clear double standard about claims.

Myers has clearly shown that he can accuse others of supporting rapists without feeling compelled to back up his accusation with relevant evidence. However when other jokingly suggest that he might have had consensual sex with someone other than his spouse he’s willing to call for his followers to harass those who have made this claim.

Supporting a rapist is thought by most people to be worse than cheating on your significant other. It is pretty legitimate to assume that an accusation of supporting rapists is therefore far worse of an accusation of sexual infidelity (which was furthermore made rather clearly in jest).

So what Myers said about Micheal Nugent is worse than what Skep Tickle said about Myers himself.

And yet when Myers is the accuser he doesn’t feel the need to either support his claim or apologize, but when he’s on the receiving end of a joking accusation of a far less unethical act he’s willing to expose personal data of the person who joked about him and to call for his followers to harass this person (and potentially getting them fired) even after said person apologizes.

Does this look like an example of ethical behavior to you, John? Do you think that Myers has the right tp freely accuse other with no consequences but has the right to react in extreme ways when he’s the bottom of a joke?

76 JetLagg February 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Morales@72
I find it rather amusing that you (and others) continue to assume that I’m a social justice activist (or SJW in your terminology) despite my protestations.

First off, I didn’t assume you were an SJW, just that you’re behaving in a typical SJW fashion, defending the indefensible behavior of a member of the in group. Normally this is where I’d apologize for not making that more clear, but given your demonstrated bad faith, I’m not very motivated.

Second, if you could stop being willfully stupid for 30 seconds your amusement would cease. Part of your confusion is that you think SJW is another way of saying social justice activist. It’s not. It’s sarcastic, a joke. SJWs are not warriors for anything, least of all social justice. They just frequently imagine themselves to be.

77 Lancelot Gobbo February 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Michael Nugent wrote:
I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

I believe the contradictory accusations mean simply that you are doing something right. Carry on!

78 Aneris ✻ February 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Skep Tickle is awesome, but not a well known scientist blogger like PZ Myers. Skep Tickle wrote it in a comment, in an obscure forum. The forum has a few reglars and maybe 10 guests. PZ Myers spread his accusation wide and far, he has 160k followers on twitter alone. Skep Tickle made her comment in a joking and speculative manner, PZ Myers asserted his as fact. The “sides” were never equal.

79 Jan Steen February 22, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Sarah Jones has also written on the Chapel Hill murders. She is one of those who, with the blinkered certainty of a jihadist, just know that the murderer’s atheism was a motive.

Early on in her piece she is still slightly rational. In the first few paragraphs she talks about possibilities, not certainties.

It’s entirely possible that the shooter’s unabashed hatred for religion contributed to his decision to murder three young Muslims.

I don’t think Craig Hicks set down his copy of “The God Delusion,” walked out of his house and shot three people to death because he thought that’s what Richard Dawkins would want. But I do think Craig Hicks’ hatred for Islam made his Muslim neighbors appear like a threat when they really weren’t. I think it made it easier for him to snap.

She can think what she wants. She can think that his lack of belief in Father Christmas is a factor; it’s just speculation.

But by the end she has magically convinced herself that her personal speculations are established fact, as her closing sentences demonstrate.

To Craig Hicks, Deah, Yusor, and Razan’s religion made them targets. Among atheists, he is not alone in his opinion. It is time to clean our house.

Sarah Jones is a curious example of an atheist who feels the need to defend religion. But not just any religion. She is specifically an Islam apologist. She is one of those SJWs who believe that sharp criticism of Islam is bad because the adherents of Islam form an oppressed minority. Which is a fallacy called the Argument from Consequences.

If we, as atheists, want to avoid hypocrisy, it’s time for us to admit we have a problem. It’s time to admit that the lionization of reactionary figures like Ayaan Hirsi Ali feeds hate and encourages bigotry.

Consider: It is part of the problem to argue that religion, including Islam, is an inherent social evil. It is part of the problem to argue that militancy is solely the province of the religious. It is part of the problem to accept that our police departments can profile people with brown skin and Arab names for national security purposes. It is part of the problem to demand that Muslims condemn the Charlie Hebdo shooters, but insist Hicks’ anti-theism contributed nothing at all to his actions.

And if you insist that Hicks decided to kill his neighbors because he was mentally ill, but that Islamic extremists commit violence because of religion, you are part of the problem.

I wonder what it’s going to take for people to understand that violent rhetoric begets violent action. I wonder when people will be able to accept that a passionate belief in the freedom of speech can coexist with the condemnation of hateful and ignorant anti-religious sentiment.

There is a line between the reasonable criticism of oppressive doctrine, and condemning the entire religion.

What Sarah Jones does is making atheists responsible for everything said by anyone against Muslims, which includes Christians, xenophobes and humanists as well as atheists. She does not give a single example of violent rhetoric that can directly be attributed to atheism. Even on the murderer’s website there is no such rhetoric. This violent rhetoric in the name of atheism is a complete fabrication by Sarah Jones.

There is a whole spectrum of atheists, from those who just lack a belief in a god but don’t give another thought to it, to those who believe that faith and religion present serious problems to society — to civilization even — that should be dealt with squarely. There are, however, no atheist holy books that call for a jihad against believers. By contrast, intellectual frauds like Sarah Jones who make things up to suit their agenda are common as muck.

So, when she calls you a “far right hack”, it is not even a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It’s a case of the pot calling the teacup a kettle.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nonprophetstatus/2015/02/11/why-craig-hicks-is-our-problem/

80 Aneris ✻ February 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

In light of your find, Jan, there is an entertaining article by my currently favourite comedian, Jason Thibeault. I guess it fits into the whole mess: “Tribalism, empathy, atheism, and Chapel Hill”.

He begins with:

Jason Thibeault wrote: In the rush most Big Name Atheists are making to disavow or diminish the role Craig Hicks’ atheism played in his murdering three Muslim students earlier today, I am not shocked at all that some — most, even — of these Names are the same people who demanded that every Muslim disavow the actions of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo massacre or else be judged complicit. Nuance goes right out the window when viscerally reacting to a traumatic event, and doubly so when your instincts incline you toward protecting The Tribe.

His hallmark humour is about making pompous announcements with unflinching certainty which are utterly inane; or accusing other people of things he does himself in the same stroke. Here, he’s into “nuances” that allegedly fly out the window, yet he is the one that is incapable of nuanced reasoning – like the obvious: which scripture atheists have to carefully interpret as to not promote violence?

Jason Thibeault then uses the Chapel Hill Murder case to peddle the “Atheism Plus” pre-packaged worldview, which equips the believer with critical theory and intersectionality identitarianism and more. PZ Myers and others, for the record, have done the same, ignorant that Mr Hicks for all we know was seemingly on board with the social justice aspects that are allegedly the only requirement to not be “against” the Atheism Plus idea.

Jason Thibeault of course sets his views against the “dictionary atheism” worldview, which he assigns to Hicks (of course, see the comedy here, he writes about tribalism).

Interestingly, he mixes up the labels. The packaged worldview o Atheism Plus that comes as a set belief system he calls “pluralistic”. In contrast, the atheism that starts at the bare minimum and which requires the proponent to go shopping for additional and complementary views is presented as the opposite.

That is, non-pluralistic, pre-packaged belief system is called “pluralism” here, and the one that actually requires that you interact with pluralistic views all around you – this becomes the seemingly anti-pluralist viewpoint. War is peace. Freedom is slavery.

It’s only more bizarre that these people are no-platformers, pro censorship, denigrate freedom of speech, don’t tolerate people with slightly different views (they are even flamingly intolerant towards what they call “libertarian”), that’s “pluralism” to Jason Thibeault. The entire article is littered with falsehoods, e.g.

Jason Thibeault wrote: We have real problems of racism here, which absolutely contribute to the prevalence of “let’s profile all the brown people” advocates, like Horseguy-slash-Thinky-King Sam Harris [link].

The link, for a change, doesn’t go to Rebecca Watson or some other part of the echo chamber but to the source which is Sam Harris article, which is about the “security theater” at US American airports.

Never mind nuance. What about Sam Harris “Moral Landscape”. What about his book on (and against) “Lying”. What exactly is “dictionary atheism” there, if they really insist on that idea? It seems that in US culture, some people have no grasp of pluralism and no idea how this works to just go ahead and make your own worldview. Like the Evangelicals, they believe that if there isn’t some authority handing you down the “book of things to believe” whether it was written by some supreme being or by PZ Myers (which in their mind is probably the same) then you have no morals. And because you have no morals without such authorities, you then credibly might just go ahead and kill people, because Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and other people have offered critical views on something.

I can only assume that these people so live in their own snow globe Bizarro Universe which they have manufactured for themselves that they are no longer make statements about our presumably shared reality.

Source of the Hilarious Article…………………
http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2015/02/11/tribalism-empathy-atheism-and-chapel-hill/

81 Jan Steen February 22, 2015 at 8:11 pm

It’s indeed pure comedy to see clowns like Thibeault and PZ Myers complaining about militant atheism. Only five years ago Myers gave a talk at Skepticon 2, defending New Atheism against its religious and accommodationist opponents. It’s an interesting talk in hindsight, because he mentions “deep rifts”, but these are not the “deep rifts” that were created a few years later by the emergence of Atheism Plus.

This is what it means to be an atheist, according to PZ Myers in 2009:

– There are no gods
– Religion is institutionalized lunacy
– Science is our model and ideal

I suppose at least he still believes there are no gods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8M8T67bD1Q

In those days Dawkins was still his hero and guiding star.

82 Michael Nager February 22, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Don’t be confused, you are called whatever the commentator at the time could dream up to label you with, without any evidence whatsoever.

One would think it would be ridiculous, but no, the echo chamber will repeat it ad nauseam.

83 Billie from Ockham February 23, 2015 at 12:45 am

Five years ago, Jan, PZ Myers still had hopes of being a Horseman; that’s why he was publicly supportive of New Atheism back then. I have no idea if that support was honest or as self-serving as his current position(s) and, to be blunt, I really don’t care as it’s mostly irrelevant.

84 JetLagg February 23, 2015 at 3:38 am

I remember being quite critical of that Harris blog back when it was published, however I recently heard him clarify his position in a conversation with Cenk Uygur (watch the first ten minutes or so if you want to see Harris say Uygur is behind the death of journalism, I guffawed), and found it to be more reasonable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVl3BJoEoAU

85 John Morales February 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

Kirbmarc @75:

“Because the two aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Which is true, but if the claims made are supported by valid evidence, why should we care about the intentions of those who make the claim?

You tell me; it was you who initially asked me whether “these people [were] “trying to undermine” PZ, RW and FtB or simply trying to point out their smears, hypocrisy, double standards and attempts to undermine their critics?” as if the distinction mattered to you.

“Because a claim can be true even if made without warrant.”

This is also true, but the burden of proofs lies with those who make a claim.

Only if those making a claim seek to sustain it.

In absence of evidence a claim of unethical behavior is supposed to be a smear by default.

You want to deal in suppositions, I can’t stop you; I can but note that they’re suppositions.

In this case PZ is the one who either has to justify his claim or apologize.

Obviously, there is no such need outside the perception of some, since neither has happened.

The choice that he has made, to avoid answering Micheal’s request for either evidence or an apology, shows that he’s unwilling to either support his claim or to admit he accused Micheal unjustly.

You fail to exhaust the universe of possibility; he might believe he has justified the claim sufficiently, for example.

To many (myself included) this shows that Myers is behaving in an unethical way, and since it has been documented that Myers is willing to act swiftly and with no remorse when others even jokingly suggest that he might have done something inappropriate this also shows that he has a clear double standard about claims.

Myers has clearly shown that he can accuse others of supporting rapists without feeling compelled to back up his accusation with relevant evidence. However when other jokingly suggest that he might have had consensual sex with someone other than his spouse he’s willing to call for his followers to harass those who have made this claim.

Attempting to infer motive from someone’s behaviour that you see as discrepant to proper ethics is fraught, especially when you compare dissimilar situations.

Supporting a rapist is thought by most people to be worse than cheating on your significant other. It is pretty legitimate to assume that an accusation of supporting rapists is therefore far worse of an accusation of sexual infidelity (which was furthermore made rather clearly in jest).

So what Myers said about Micheal Nugent is worse than what Skep Tickle said about Myers himself.

And yet when Myers is the accuser he doesn’t feel the need to either support his claim or apologize, but when he’s on the receiving end of a joking accusation of a far less unethical act he’s willing to expose personal data of the person who joked about him and to call for his followers to harass this person (and potentially getting them fired) even after said person apologizes.

You are elaborating more than necessary; I understand your claim.

Does this look like an example of ethical behavior to you, John? Do you think that Myers has the right tp freely accuse other with no consequences but has the right to react in extreme ways when he’s the bottom of a joke?

What consequences has Michael suffered? 😉

Heh. Jocularity aside, I think that dismissive disparagement is not necessarily unethical, and that’s what I consider such offence as PZ has offered Michael.

86 John Morales February 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

JetLagg @76:

Morales@72
I find it rather amusing that you (and others) continue to assume that I’m a social justice activist (or SJW in your terminology) despite my protestations.
First off, I didn’t assume you were an SJW, just that you’re behaving in a typical SJW fashion, defending the indefensible behavior of a member of the in group. Normally this is where I’d apologize for not making that more clear, but given your demonstrated bad faith, I’m not very motivated.

Well, that’s progress; I’m now considered to be merely behaving like one — but you still imagine I’m and part of some in-group to which PZ belongs, and further, that I’m defending him by critiquing criticism towards those.

Second, if you could stop being willfully stupid for 30 seconds your amusement would cease. Part of your confusion is that you think SJW is another way of saying social justice activist. It’s not. It’s sarcastic, a joke. SJWs are not warriors for anything, least of all social justice. They just frequently imagine themselves to be.

You know them better than they know themselves, right?

(Heh)

87 Jan Steen February 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

@Billy from Ockham,

Five years ago, Jan, PZ Myers still had hopes of being a Horseman; that’s why he was publicly supportive of New Atheism back then. I have no idea if that support was honest or as self-serving as his current position(s) and, to be blunt, I really don’t care as it’s mostly irrelevant.

I don’t think it is irrelevant, now that anti-theists (New/gnu Atheists) are being implicated in the Chapel Hill Murders. The accusation is that they have created a climate of hate against religion, which supposedly incited the killer to murder his three Muslim neighbours. Therefore it is interesting to see that only five years ago PZ Myers was a happy anti-theists, who called religion “institutionalized lunacy.” Nowadays, the mere suggestion that religion and delusional behaviour are similar is anathema among the SJWs. This kind of talk could get him excommunicated.

It is also verboten to suggest that people like Craig Hicks have a mental health problem. Instead, they are tools of The Patriarchy, or something. Because reasons.

88 JetLagg February 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Morales@86
Well, that’s progress; I’m now…

Not just now. Always were. Nothing has changed.

…considered to be merely behaving like one

You aren’t merely considered to be. You are.

You know them better than they know themselves, right?

I know it’s tempting to resort to content free jabs when defending a position as weak as yours, but no, that Myers is not what he claims or imagines himself to be is clear to anyone paying attention.

89 FredC February 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Sarah Jones is, as people noted above, an apologist for the excesses of Islam, whose fingers work faster than her brain. Given her piece on why we as nonbelievers are responsible for the North Carolina murders, in the absence of any evidence for that, I don’t know why she holds any position in humanist organizations, since she’s far more sympathetic to believers than nonbelievers.

90 john welch February 25, 2015 at 1:34 am

Here we have a classic Morales game of dodgepoint. First, the attempt at a point:

Michael in the OP:

So it seems that I am a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack.

I interpret that as: “So it seems that [I think that some people claim that] I am a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack.”

However, note the important part: “I interprest that as:…” Right away, Morales tells you, straight up that what he is talking about isn’t what was said, but rather his interpretation of it. He literally warns you he’s building a strawman, and makes it almost sound like he knows what Michael “meant” in some [meta] way beyond the words.

It’s almost a religious trick isn’t it. “you can’t go by the mere WORDS, you have to look for the DEEPER MEANING”. It’s a deepity strawman, but it now gives him free reign to avoid saying anything of either consequence or concreteness…

(I do not dispute that, hyperbole aside)

What don’t you dispute? What Michael actually wrote, the meaning of which is clear from the entire post, or your interpretation of what you want us to think Michael really meant by what he wrote?

It’s almost impressive, (well, more de- than im- but definitely pressive), because now, no matter what someone brings up with regard to what you don’t dispute, you have a perfect dodge. If they use your interpretation, you simply hide behind what Michael actually wrote and play the “those specific words weren’t used” game, or if they use the literal words, you can pivot and dodge behind “I was talking about my interpretation of what I thought Michael really meant.

In a sad way, because it’s so blatant, you’ve already set up the infrastructure to guarantee you cannot ever be wrong, and that anyone not in agreement with you is misunderstanding, possibly deliberately, the shining clarity of your argument. All infinity of them. And all as much as strawman as the next.

But we move on…

I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

Well (sarcasm duly noted) clearly you care sufficiently about what you think people believe about you to the extent you post about it.

Ah, here we have a bit of a wandering into the gambit by where you dismiss his argument due to the fact he even made it. You note it is sarcasm, and at the same time, respond in a way that only makes sense if it is not sarcasm, once again, setting up an acre’s worth of wiggle room.

(That’s what blogs are, no? Glorified soapboxes)

And now we apply the definition of some blogs to all blogs. A nice application of the spotlight fallacy, light, almost sparkling.

And, like every post you make, have ever made, ever will make here, you:

1) Never address the point Michael is making, but rather your “interpretation” of it.

2) Never actually say anything that you’d have to actually defend

3) Dismiss his entire argument by saying the making of the argument invalidates it.

I really hope PZ is paying you for this. You’re throwing away some not-bad blathering here.

91 john welch February 25, 2015 at 1:46 am

Darby @45

The tech people I used to work with now have Twitter feeds consisting of almost no technology talk and a shit-ton of how us honkey dudes are keeping a sister down – to the point where John Welch and I are pretty much persona non grata with that scene even though we ran one of the very few tech podcasts that featured a woman co-host and regular women guests.

The sadly ironic part of this is that when the SJW types decided to go after said podcast, the person they targeted to be fired because they happened to have great influence with that person’s employer?

The woman who was our co-host. Who was fired, and remains unemployed to this day. (While I am not given to conspiracy theory, the fact that most of the potential employers in her area are the friends of the lot that got her fired is definitely a coincidence, and these people are in fact, just that petty.) Not the male white honky devils on the show with her. The comments my wife saw, (because I refused to read any of that shit) were also interesting in that they ascribed to her the title of “most vicious” of the bunch when on the most profane day of her life, she was not coming close to what Darby and I did on an average day.

But they set her up to take the fall, and created the false image of her as “the worst of the worst” so that their actions would be justified.

When they targeted the employers of some of the guests, which guests were targeted? Yep, women. Not all of them, the ones who were “of the right group” were left alone. It was the ones they thought they could get leverage on they went after. In that case, they failed hilariously.

The success or failure of the attempts though is almost less important than the clear lesson in all of this: the SJW types, while screaming about check your privilege and equality, reserve their true venom for the people with less, or at best, equal societal status than them. The ones they know they can bully.

it’s not a coincidence that the vast majority of SJW types are white, and a significant majority look to be male.

They are however, all hypocrites.

92 John Morales February 25, 2015 at 3:39 am

john welch:

However, note the important part: “I interprest that as:…” Right away, Morales tells you, straight up that what he is talking about isn’t what was said, but rather his interpretation of it. He literally warns you he’s building a strawman, and makes it almost sound like he knows what Michael “meant” in some [meta] way beyond the words.

Morales responds thus: You think that what Michael wrote should be taken literally — that is, that seemingly, he is a far-right fascist leftist communist pro-feminist rapist-supporting anti-terrorist terrorist hack?

It’s almost a religious trick isn’t it. “you can’t go by the mere WORDS, you have to look for the DEEPER MEANING”. It’s a deepity strawman, but it now gives him free reign [sic] to avoid saying anything of either consequence or concreteness…

That’s an… um, interesting interpretation.

What don’t you dispute? What Michael actually wrote, the meaning of which is clear from the entire post, or your interpretation of what you want us to think Michael really meant by what he wrote?

What I don’t dispute is the claim that various people have opined about him to the effect of what he wrote when considered in aggregate.

It’s almost impressive, (well, more de- than im- but definitely pressive), because now, no matter what someone brings up with regard to what you don’t dispute, you have a perfect dodge. If they use your interpretation, you simply hide behind what Michael actually wrote and play the “those specific words weren’t used” game, or if they use the literal words, you can pivot and dodge behind “I was talking about my interpretation of what I thought Michael really meant.

<snicker>

Have you considered that I routinely distinguish between opinion and fact? It’s a much simpler explanation, and it also happens to be true.

In a sad way, because it’s so blatant, you’ve already set up the infrastructure to guarantee you cannot ever be wrong, and that anyone not in agreement with you is misunderstanding, possibly deliberately, the shining clarity of your argument. All infinity of them. And all as much as strawman as the next.

What’s blatant is your person downshift from third to second person.

I don’t dispute that I find it hard to imagine that I might be wrong about my own opinion, but in regard to facts and inferential processes I am no less fallible than anyone else.

But we move on…

I’m confused. I don’t know who to believe about what I think.

Well (sarcasm duly noted) clearly you care sufficiently about what you think people believe about you to the extent you post about it.

Ah, here we have a bit of a wandering into the gambit by where you dismiss his argument due to the fact he even made it. You note it is sarcasm, and at the same time, respond in a way that only makes sense if it is not sarcasm, once again, setting up an acre’s worth of wiggle room.

What?

Is it not obvious to you that if I note that it’s sarcasm, then what I write about it is predicated on its being sarcastic?

And now we apply the definition of some blogs to all blogs. A nice application of the spotlight fallacy, light, almost sparkling.

Some blogs ain’t blogs?

(heh)

And, like every post you make, have ever made, ever will make here, you:

1) Never address the point Michael is making, but rather your “interpretation” of it.

2) Never actually say anything that you’d have to actually defend

3) Dismiss his entire argument by saying the making of the argument invalidates it.

1. Leaving aside that the very act of reading involves interpreting a sequence of symbols as ideas, the particular idea I quoted is incoherent (because it’s contradictory) if taken literally rather than rhetorically.

(Perhaps Michael’s ability to express himself is higher in my estimation than in yours?)

2. Easier and better not to say anything that’s indefensible.

3. To what dismissal (and of what specific argument) do you refer?

I really hope PZ is paying you for this. You’re throwing away some not-bad blathering here.

A informative hope, but alas for you, a futile one.

You may abandon it forthwith.

93 john welch February 27, 2015 at 12:38 am

Morales @92 is confused, because someone actually saying something definite and being willing to accept the results, for good or ill is completely foreign to him. He has spent so much time carefully wordsmithing his every utterance online (and I doubt he’s much different in person) so that he writes pages and says nothing that the idea that others don’t do the same is incomprehensible for him.

He has no basis with which to communicate with people who aren’t constantly bullshitting the world and making sure that at no point can they ever be accused of having said anything because other than endless noise, he literally never says anything definite.

Literally, he finally cops to it:

Easier and better not to say anything that’s indefensible.

It’s a bullshit excuse because at some point, someone can take ANYTHING to be “indefensible”. Morales will never be accused of that, because out of all the things he’s ever typed, at no point has he ever said anything in a clear, direct fashion. Never a statement that he has to defend for good or ill. Nothing that he can be accused of being wrong, or right with.

It’s all just blather. Endless noise possessing neither meaning nor value, and so self-absorbed that he even compliments himself on his own cleverness. He’s like the prats on facebook that like their own posts. I think he should be happy Michael gave him an outlet, it may be the most social contact he has. I mean, can you imagine trying to go to lunch with this foole?

“Where do you want to eat?”

an hour later

“Never mind, I have to go back to work. Hungry. Asshole. never asking him anything again.

I don’t know the reasons why you are the waste of bits you are, but I am somewhat grateful for it. You are endless proof that it is better to be wrong than be nothing.

94 Jan Steen February 27, 2015 at 7:20 am

@john welch,

Heh.

95 John Morales February 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

john welch, @93, why do you persist in posting comments about your opinions of me, rather than about the post topic?

I think he should be happy Michael gave him an outlet, it may be the most social contact he has. I mean, can you imagine trying to go to lunch with this foole?

Another another hope of yours is dashed on the rocks of reality.

96 JackSkeptic February 27, 2015 at 11:05 am

@ John Morales

When someone’s whole position is based on identity politics it forces them to obfuscate, confuse, strawman and misdirect a lot of the time.

We can all fall into the trap of doing that too of course as we are all human. But at least I am not required to do it to defend the indefensible and can happily agree with someone even if that is against a person or position I would normally support.

So over time, as an example, I have critisised and agreed with Nugent. They are not mutually exclusive events outside of identity politics. I would argue it was a sign of genuine thought and freedom to express that without the risk of smears and rancor. These freedoms are concepts I regard very highly. Far more important than what group I decide to identify with.

Are you happy that you have tied your hands and restricted your own ability to express a genuine opinion? Are you happy you have sold your proverbial soul to an ideology that must not be argued with thereby shackling yourself to what you are allowed to think and say?

Also I WOULD go to lunch with you although you may refuse. The day I allow petty politics to get in the way of normal, decent human relations is the day me and my cat move to a desert island to get away from all the insanity.

97 John Morales February 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

JackSkeptic, what’s identity politics got to do with it?

Are you happy that you have tied your hands and restricted your own ability to express a genuine opinion? Are you happy you have sold your proverbial soul to an ideology that must not be argued with thereby shackling yourself to what you are allowed to think and say?

I have no idea whether I’d be happy or not to have tied my hands and restricted my own ability to express a genuine opinion, since that is extremely unlikely to occur — and the same applies to soul-selling.

(How many times do I have to repeat I am not an ideologue?)

Also I WOULD go to lunch with you although you may refuse. The day I allow petty politics to get in the way of normal, decent human relations is the day me and my cat move to a desert island to get away from all the insanity.

To what politics do you refer?

(Me, I’d need an actual reason to go to lunch with someone)

To get back to the topic (well, to try, anyway 😉 ):
Since various people have have opined about Michael with contradictory claims, it’s logically obvious that not all those claims can be right, though they can all be wrong.

(I note that Michael did not make that latter claim)

98 Kirbmarc February 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm

“Since various people have have opined about Michael with contradictory claims, it’s logically obvious that not all those claims can be right, though they can all be wrong.”

It’s also interesting to note that none of those claims has been supported by relevant evidence.

“I note that Michael did not make that latter claim”

He doesn’t need to. The context of his article clearly suggests that he’s mocking those clearly contradictory claims. Micheal wrote that he “doesn’t know who to believe about what [he] think[s]”.

Since it’s clear that Michael actually knows what he thinks (all mentally healthy people know what they think, and there is no evidence to suggest that Micheal isn’t mentally healthy), what is the meaning of his comment?

If we choose to interpret Micheal charitably and assume that he’s trying to convey a meaning through his sentence and not simply writing words for the sake of writing, we have to interpret his words ironically.

It can be easily inferred that what Micheal is saying is “Look at all those contradictory claims about my ideology. Obviously they can’t all be true. How comes that every person who has made such claims has pegged me as an ideological enemy? Maybe it’s because they don’t really care about what I actually think and they try to demonize me in the eyes of their supporters because I disagree with them”.

Micheal can correct me if I’m wrong.

99 JackSkeptic February 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm

@John Morales

My point was very much on topic. Nugent’s point is obvious no matter how many times someone tries to misinterpret it, dismiss it or throw in irrelevancies, such as ‘(I note that Michael did not make that latter claim)’. A pointless comment that could only be inserted by you to attack the point he is making. Please correct me If I am wrong.

There is a tendency in dialogue to slap a label on someone and then attack them based on that label. Michael is showing how silly that is but it is an unfortunate feature of identity politics and PoMo discourse.

It has no place in rational debate when what is true should matter irrespective of the person making a point and irrespective of any political position they may hold. The AS community should remain apolitical and pluralistic. This politicization of everything is causing a lot of damage. This ‘small tent’ concept is something I loath. It hurts people and hurts our cause.

I am also stating that this method of discourse is far too common. We get it from Aratina and yourself (I do not care if you are an ideologue or SJW or not, I am going by how you respond)

We see it everywhere. Four legs good, two legs bad. Do you or do you not agree this is an issue in the AS community and should it be addressed and not ignored? Or do you feel politicization is not only acceptable but desirable? If so what politics should it be?

Myers knows the answer to that, it is his form of Cultural Marxism dressed up as ‘progressive’. It is actually regressive as it resists any examination so it therefore never examines and rejects bad ideas or takes on good ones.

As far as Myers is concerned not believing in a god has a direct causal link to his political beliefs, something I find breathtakingly flawed and supremely arrogant, especially coming from a Scientist who does not have the defense of ignorance.

Anyway I digress, is there anything Michael Nugent may say which you would fully agree with without distraction and caveats? Is that a possibility for you? Is that possible for anyone you have already labeled as your ‘enemy’ including me?

100 John Morales February 28, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Kirbmarc @98:

“Since various people have have opined about Michael with contradictory claims, it’s logically obvious that not all those claims can be right, though they can all be wrong.”

It’s also interesting to note that none of those claims has been supported by relevant evidence.

If they’re claims about their opinion, that the claim was made is evidence that that is their opinion.

“I note that Michael did not make that latter claim [that they are all wrong]”

He doesn’t need to. The context of his article clearly suggests that he’s mocking those clearly contradictory claims. Micheal wrote that he “doesn’t know who to believe about what [he] think[s]“.

Then you’re in agreement with what I wrote.

Since it’s clear that Michael actually knows what he thinks (all mentally healthy people know what they think, and there is no evidence to suggest that Micheal isn’t mentally healthy), what is the meaning of his comment?

If we choose to interpret Micheal charitably and assume that he’s trying to convey a meaning through his sentence and not simply writing words for the sake of writing, we have to interpret his words ironically.

Again, you’re agreeing with what I wrote.

It can be easily inferred that what Micheal is saying is “Look at all those contradictory claims about my ideology. Obviously they can’t all be true. How comes that every person who has made such claims has pegged me as an ideological enemy? Maybe it’s because they don’t really care about what I actually think and they try to demonize me in the eyes of their supporters because I disagree with them”.

The first part is uncontroversial, but I don’t find your speculation about their intent and motivations particularly plausible. I can think of other, more credible reasons for them to write about their opinion.

JackSkeptic @99:

My point was very much on topic. Nugent’s point is obvious no matter how many times someone tries to misinterpret it, dismiss it or throw in irrelevancies, such as ‘(I note that Michael did not make that latter claim)’. A pointless comment that could only be inserted by you to attack the point he is making. Please correct me If I am wrong.

Your appeal is granted: If my comment was pointless, it could not possibly have been an attack, because that would constitute a point — and the converse equally applies.

There is a tendency in dialogue to slap a label on someone and then attack them based on that label. Michael is showing how silly that is but it is an unfortunate feature of identity politics and PoMo discourse.

You mean a label like ‘SJW’? Yeah.

I am also stating that this method of discourse is far too common. We get it from Aratina and yourself (I do not care if you are an ideologue or SJW or not, I am going by how you respond)

Really? What label have I applied and to whom?

We see it everywhere. Four legs good, two legs bad. Do you or do you not agree this is an issue in the AS community and should it be addressed and not ignored? Or do you feel politicization is not only acceptable but desirable? If so what politics should it be?

“Let a thousand flowers bloom”.

Myers knows the answer to that, it is his form of Cultural Marxism dressed up as ‘progressive’. It is actually regressive as it resists any examination so it therefore never examines and rejects bad ideas or takes on good ones.

As far as Myers is concerned not believing in a god has a direct causal link to his political beliefs, something I find breathtakingly flawed and supremely arrogant, especially coming from a Scientist who does not have the defense of ignorance.

So you think that, unlike PZ, Michael’s activism for secularism (such as opposing anti-blasphemy laws) is not due to his atheism?

Anyway I digress, is there anything Michael Nugent may say which you would fully agree with without distraction and caveats? Is that a possibility for you? Is that possible for anyone you have already labeled as your ‘enemy’ including me?

Well, yes: this very post’s OP, as my comments hitherto indicate.

(Whatever makes you imagine I consider (let alone have labelled!) Michael as my ‘enemy’?)

101 john welch March 1, 2015 at 12:34 am

Morales at 95

You have a very strange and completely fooleish idea of what I would actually hope for. Trust that in no way are you ever a part of it.

Also, while a bit young, you may in fact be one of the best examples of what Matthew 7:5 is talking about I’ve ever seen. Is there any standard you hold anyone to that you live up to yourself? Just one. One verifiable standard that you meet or exceed while holding others to it.

I’ve a comfy chair, by all means, please, show us.

102 John Morales March 1, 2015 at 1:40 am

john welch:

You have a very strange and completely fooleish idea of what I would actually hope for. Trust that in no way are you ever a part of it.

It was you who wrote “I really hope PZ is paying you for this. ”

(Such honesty!)

Also, while a bit young, you may in fact be one of the best examples of what Matthew 7:5 is talking about I’ve ever seen. Is there any standard you hold anyone to that you live up to yourself? Just one. One verifiable standard that you meet or exceed while holding others to it.

I’ve a comfy chair, by all means, please, show us.

Yet again, you make it all about me, rather than about Michael and his response to those who write about him (that being the post topic).

But fine, I hereby appease your curiosity as a courtesy: intellectual honesty is the standard I attempt to uphold, and it is a significant basis upon which I judge others’ worth.

103 Kirbmarc March 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

“If they’re claims about their opinion, that the claim was made is evidence that that is their opinion.”

So if I say “I believe that John Morales is actually a 7 feet tall purple sapient manatee” I don’t need any evidence of my claim, because it’s just an opinion and the claim is evidence of my opinion?

What you’re basically saying is that anyone can say anything about anyone else without having to provide evidence just as long as it’s clear that it’s just their opinion, because the evidence for an opinion is the claim itself.

This isn’t how skepticism works.

“The first part is uncontroversial, but I don’t find your speculation about their intent and motivations particularly plausible. I can think of other, more credible reasons for them to write about their opinion.”

Such as?

104 John Morales March 1, 2015 at 9:29 am

“If they’re claims about their opinion, that the claim was made is evidence that that is their opinion.”

So if I say “I believe that John Morales is actually a 7 feet tall purple sapient manatee” I don’t need any evidence of my claim, because it’s just an opinion and the claim is evidence of my opinion?

There is a difference between acknowledging that someone has expressed an opinion and agreeing with that opinion; evidence supporting the correctness of that opinion is of relevance to the latter case but not the former.

What you’re basically saying is that anyone can say anything about anyone else without having to provide evidence just as long as it’s clear that it’s just their opinion, because the evidence for an opinion is the claim itself.

Well, yes, anyone can do that, though there may be consequences.

This isn’t how skepticism works.

Scepticism is less a method than a philosophical stance — essentially, that the certitude of one’s beliefs should be proportional to their warrant.

“The first part is uncontroversial, but I don’t find your speculation about their intent and motivations particularly plausible. I can think of other, more credible reasons for them to write about their opinion.”

Such as?

Such as wanting to share their opinions because they think others are interested in them.

105 JackSkeptic March 1, 2015 at 10:16 am

@John Morales

Why do you misinterpret everything I say? Do you feel a desperate need to do that for some reason?

I’ll give you an example:

I said: ‘ Myers knows the answer to that, it is his form of Cultural Marxism dressed up as ‘progressive’. It is actually regressive as it resists any examination so it therefore never examines and rejects bad ideas or takes on good ones.

As far as Myers is concerned not believing in a god has a direct causal link to his political beliefs, something I find breathtakingly flawed and supremely arrogant, especially coming from a Scientist who does not have the defense of ignorance.’

You said in reply ‘So you think that, unlike PZ, Michael’s activism for secularism (such as opposing anti-blasphemy laws) is not due to his atheism?’

Why can you never deal with what is said rather than drag an irrelevant point in? For once try and specifically answer what is said. Please.

1. Secularism is not a political belief. It also does not follow from atheism either as many religions which do not require a belief in god yet get involved with political matters, such as Hinduism, will testify to. Many secularists are theists as well. Being atheist can give rise to people seeing the damaging effects of religion (theist religion or not) so secularism is a natural position to take but it is not directly linked. There are many atheists who are fine with church and state as it is.

But you know that so why not take my words at face value and deal with them directly?

2. Any activism I do is not because I am atheist but because others are religious. There is a fundamental difference in that if everyone in the world were not religious then I would have no need to care about being anti-relegious. But if everyone were atheist it does not follow everyone would be non religious. So I am anti-religious which for practical purposes often means anti-theist but that is not always true.

You may have heard the term ‘not a stamp collector’ as having the same utility as the word ‘atheism’ Even worse, Myers claims atheism itself must give rise to his political beliefs which are extremist in my opinion and highly exclusionary. That is patently false and every time he explains it his words are full of logical fallacies. He is a Scientist so I find it incredible he tries to pull that trick and deep down I can’t see how he can possibly believe it.

I assume you realise that amongst atheists Myers belief on this is very rare and supports people claiming atheism is a belief system and even a religion. Thanks for that Myers. Nice one. Very helpful when I am arguing with theists. Myers even suggests that without his personal political beliefs, which must derive from atheism, people have no moral code. The claim Stalin did what he did due to atheism becomes validated. The same goes for that recent shooting which Myers fell over to blame atheism on. This flies in the face of everything atheists have been saying for years.

The fact atheism itself does not give rise to anything except the non belief in a god of gods does NOT give anyone the right redefine it in order to impose their beliefs on it and then attack others for not holding those same beliefs. That is what Myers is doing and something I find extremely troubling.

Of course people are well within their rights to be active secularists, be involved in social justice activism, atheist outreach and education or whatever they want and still self declare their activities as being atheist as it is often a good enough position to be arguing from but it is not required and strictly speaking it is flawed unless it is dealing directly with atheism (such as discussing the existence of gods and religious claims derived from a god or gods)

The politicising of atheism and the smearing and attacks which have derived from that has been extremely damaging to the AS community. It needs to stop.

106 JackSkeptic March 1, 2015 at 10:40 am

Just to add to my rambling, if anyone things Atheism is not being politicised and voices silenced as a result, check out the Jamila Bey’s blog at Ftb. She, a black woman, is being attacked for attending CPAC, a conservative meeting, with AA.

What she does to promote atheism there is irrelevant apparently, her politics is in question so she must be purged and her comments on her blog are now closed after the attacks on her.

It is also being discussed here https://archive.today/hb4Wk

Ironic that happens on the same day Myers talks about the silencing of minority voices (as Damion points out elsewhere)

@John Morales, do you support this behavior?

107 Billie from Ockham March 1, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Arguing with Obvious Troll is pointless, in my opinion, as moving targets are rather hard to hit. But I wish that Nick Gotts would come here and explain why it is a smaller leap from atheism to Atheism+’s social-justice nonsense than it is from atheism to secularism. Even if it only takes a few comments to make it clear that Nick Gotts’ argument relies on unstated and unwarranted assumptions, I would really like to see this dealt with.

108 John Morales March 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

JackSkeptic @105, to me but not about the post topic:

Why do you misinterpret everything I say? Do you feel a desperate need to do that for some reason?

I don’t, and no.

I said: ‘ Myers knows the answer to that, it is his form of Cultural Marxism dressed up as ‘progressive’. It is actually regressive as it resists any examination so it therefore never examines and rejects bad ideas or takes on good ones.

As far as Myers is concerned not believing in a god has a direct causal link to his political beliefs, something I find breathtakingly flawed and supremely arrogant, especially coming from a Scientist who does not have the defense of ignorance.’

You said in reply ‘So you think that, unlike PZ, Michael’s activism for secularism (such as opposing anti-blasphemy laws) is not due to his atheism?’

Why can you never deal with what is said rather than drag an irrelevant point in? For once try and specifically answer what is said. Please.

I did deal with what was said, by asking you a question which you’ve evaded by claiming it is irrelevant.

1. Secularism is not a political belief. It also does not follow from atheism either as many religions which do not require a belief in god yet get involved with political matters, such as Hinduism, will testify to. Many secularists are theists as well. Being atheist can give rise to people seeing the damaging effects of religion (theist religion or not) so secularism is a natural position to take but it is not directly linked. There are many atheists who are fine with church and state as it is.

But you know that so why not take my words at face value and deal with them directly?

Um. Secularism is most certainly a political belief, and no — it need not necessarily follow atheism, but any rational and thoughtful atheist who examines the concept is (IMO) very likely to find it persuasive.

As for those who are content, well… not every atheist is rational and thoughtful. 😉

2. [a] Any activism I do is not because I am atheist but because others are religious. [b] There is a fundamental difference in that if everyone in the world were not religious then I would have no need to care about being anti-relegious. [c] But if everyone were atheist it does not follow everyone would be non religious. [d] So I am anti-religious which for practical purposes often means anti-theist but that is not always true.

a. They amount to the same thing, logically: the population can be divided into A and ¬A.
b. Your counterfactual conditional is irrelevant; the facts are what they are, and yes, if things were different, things would be different.
c. I don’t dispute atheism and religion are compatible; obviously, not all religions are theistic — but it is you who is equivocating between the two.
d. IOW, you are anti-religious which for practical purposes often means anti-theist — and this follows directly from your atheism, no?

[a] You may have heard the term ‘not a stamp collector’ as having the same utility as the word ‘atheism’ [b]Even worse, Myers claims atheism itself must give rise to his political beliefs which are extremist in my opinion and highly exclusionary. [c] That is patently false and every time he explains it his words are full of logical fallacies. [d] He is a Scientist so I find it incredible he tries to pull that trick and deep down I can’t see how he can possibly believe it.

a. The expression is “Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.”
b. No, he doesn’t claim that; what he claims is that thoughtful, rational atheists will adopt some form of atheistic humanism rather than the revealed morality.
(That you imagine that humanism is extremist and highly exclusionary is not that convincing to others, given it’s actually universally inclusive)
c. Or so you think; once again, you state opinion as if it were fact.
d. He is a scientist, not a Scientist (!) and your incredulity is merited.

Anyway, I tire of this. Do you have anything to say about the post topic?

109 tina March 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I don’t know what to think either. It’s probably best to seek advice from someone wise like Dr Richard Carrier, A+ers Genital Artillery and master of compassion, integrity and honesty.

https://theyetisroar.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/dr-richard-carrier-phd-a-creepy-dishonest-hypocrite/

110 Gunboat Diplomat March 2, 2015 at 11:20 pm

@tina,

Wow, that is one moralistic, hate-filled article dissecting the love life of another person. 10/10 for brief entertainment value and for a good lesson on why its never a good thing to discuss ones love life in a public forum.

Now here’s a picture of me naked…

111 JetLagg March 2, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Ah, so Carrier is defending his heinous actions. Outside of the blog I mean, where he doesn’t so much defend himself as act completely ignorant of his own wrongdoing. Disgusting.

112 Kirbmarc March 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

“No, he doesn’t claim that; what he claims is that thoughtful, rational atheists will adopt some form of atheistic humanism rather than the revealed morality.”

There’s a huge difference between humanism in general and the specific form of identity policies endorsed by PZ Myers.

Myers seems to believe that his “Atheism Plus” is the only choice that thoughtful, rational atheists have when they have to make a moral choice.

I happen to disagree, and so do many others. Myers’ flavor of humanism is far from the only logical conclusion that can be reached on the basis of humanist values.

For example Myers is pro-choice, but there are some pro-life atheist humanist who argue for their position in logical and cogent ways. You may not agree with them but you can’t call them “No True Humanist” or “No True Atheist” unless you manage to demonstrate that a pro-life position is logically incompatible with atheism and humanism.

Many humanists also do not see gender and sex as social constructs, as Myers does. Evolutionary psychology isn’t a form of “revealed morality” and isn’t incompatible with humanism, but its conclusions go against many assumption of Myers and Atheism Plus.

Many humanists also see skepticism as a critical part of humanism. Myers explicitly rejected skepticism of the claims that a woman makes when she accuses a man of rape or sexual assault (the “Listen and believe” policy).

Many humanists value freedom of speech and the free discussion of ideas. Myers thinks that freedom of speech should be curtailed in society to protect “oppressed people” from “microaggression” and mocks the free discussion of ideas as “freeze peach”.

Many humanists (including Myers himself at least until 2010) believe that radical Islam is a huge threat to secularism and it is currently the most dangerous and morally appalling of the Abrahamitic religions. Myers now thinks that those ideas are “Islamophobic”.

“(That you imagine that humanism is extremist and highly exclusionary is not that convincing to others, given it’s actually universally inclusive)”

Myers’ peculiar brand of humanism is highly exclusionary of those who happen to disagree with it /(“white dudebros”, “chill girls”, “self-hating gays”, “Islamophobes”, etc.) or even only with his rhetoric (“tone trolls”, “sea lions” etc.)

113 John Morales March 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Kirbmarc:

“No, he doesn’t claim that; what he claims is that thoughtful, rational atheists will adopt some form of atheistic humanism rather than the revealed morality.”

There’s a huge difference between humanism in general and the specific form of identity policies endorsed by PZ Myers.

Well, whatever the specifics, you’re not disputing his basic thesis that (in the world as it is), atheists have reasons for being atheist and that their atheism has implications towards their morality and their politics, among other things.

“(That you imagine that humanism is extremist and highly exclusionary is not that convincing to others, given it’s actually universally inclusive)”

Myers’ peculiar brand of humanism is highly exclusionary of those who happen to disagree with it /(“white dudebros”, “chill girls”, “self-hating gays”, “Islamophobes”, etc.) or even only with his rhetoric (“tone trolls”, “sea lions” etc.)

This is a fact: PZ received the American Humanist Association’s 2009 Humanist of the Year award and International Humanist Award in 2011.

(They clearly didn’t find it so peculiar)

114 Kirbmarc March 4, 2015 at 1:05 am

“Well, whatever the specifics, you’re not disputing his basic thesis that (in the world as it is), atheists have reasons for being atheist and that their atheism has implications towards their morality and their politics, among other things”

Not all reasons for being atheists are the same, therefore not all the implications are the same.

And the “specifics” I talked about are incredibly important. Fundamentally different moral and political choices are made based on those “specifics”. Myers’ ideas aren’t shared by all humanists, never mind all atheists.

“This is a fact: PZ received the American Humanist Association’s 2009 Humanist of the Year award and International Humanist Award in 2011.”

That was before he changed his mind about many important issues. His fans of today have called a collection of some highlights of his posts from those years “Islamophobic”.

Check out this link for the details: https://archive.today/7vbRa#selection-41055.0-41055.5

(from comment 286 onwards).

115 John Morales March 4, 2015 at 3:33 am

Kirbmarc to me about PZ rather than about the post topic:

“Well, whatever the specifics, you’re not disputing his basic thesis that (in the world as it is), atheists have reasons for being atheist and that their atheism has implications towards their morality and their politics, among other things”

Not all reasons for being atheists are the same, therefore not all the implications are the same.

I see you don’t deny that reasons and implications exist, indeed you contend that there are multiple types.

And the “specifics” I talked about are incredibly important. Fundamentally different moral and political choices are made based on those “specifics”. Myers’ ideas aren’t shared by all humanists, never mind all atheists.

And you now further contend that there are implications to those implications! 😉

(So much for ‘dictionary atheism’, eh?)

“This is a fact: PZ received the American Humanist Association’s 2009 Humanist of the Year award and International Humanist Award in 2011.”

That was before he changed his mind about many important issues. His fans of today have called a collection of some highlights of his posts from those years “Islamophobic”.

No revocation of the awards has been made, your opinions about his fans’ opinions (whoever those may be) is quite irrelevant in relation to his stated and demonstrated positions, and you clearly do not dispute that fact.

(It’s pretty significant fact notwithstanding your effort at deprecation)

116 Carrie March 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

@ Kirbmarc, congratulations for staying on topic. PZ is clearly one of thse who seeks to muddy the waters regarding what Michael believes, and he has not apologised for nor retracted his smears against Michael.

I find it intriguing to watch the game that is currently being played out by PZ and his followers, and Jamila Bey (a new poster at FtB who ticks the boxes of “black” and “female” but has spoken at CPAC (horrors)). I wonder if she will be kicked out of FtB for not being a “proper” atheist but simply being a “dictionary atheist” who happens to do good work for the “movement”. She must be wondering who to believe about what she believes also.

117 tina March 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

@Carrie

Yes, odd isn’t it? I wonder if he sees the disconnect between his previous moralising and current behaviour. Strikes me as deeply hypocritical and desperately insecure. But then, a lot of them are.

118 Jan Steen March 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

PZ Myers has again updated his story about the student who threatened to make a false allegation of, what he now calls, “sexual behavior” against him.

A desperate student threatened to threaten[sic] me with public accusations of sexual behavior if I didn’t give her a good grade. My response was to immediately leave my office, check in with a women[sic] graduate student next door and ask her to talk with the student, and then went to my administrator to explain the situation. I moved fast because hanging about and arguing about the situation would have been pointless, and also would have given an opportunity to claim prolonged private contact. My chair requested some assistance from a woman faculty member, and they met with the student to get her story.

I was not there. I had basically recused myself from further involvement. There was no “bullying” — I did not tell the student to do anything, and had no further conversation with her about the accusation in any way. I placed the entire problem in the lap of the university administrators, who made sure that people who could be sympathetic, or at least objective, about her claims were present. She was given ample opportunity to talk freely about the situation, without me present.

I later heard second-hand that she’d retracted the accusation, and that there was no punishment or penalty. That was the end of it.

_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/03/03/cernovich-throwing-muck/

The previous versions of this incident are described by Michael in this blog post:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/

So, what’s new? In a previous version the student who threatened him came to his lab; now she comes to his office. In a previous version he had to act fast because “I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.” This time he had to act fast because “hanging about and arguing about the situation would have been pointless, and also would have given an opportunity to claim prolonged private contact.” The nature of the accusation has now morphed from harassment, a sexual encounter or rape to “sexual behavior”, whatever that means. The “female grad student” of a previous version is now called a “women[sic] graduate student”, which I suppose is more PC in Myers’s circles these days. This person is asked to talk with the student rather than sit with her as in a previous version. No mention is made of the witnesses that he brought in immediately, as he mentioned in one of his accounts. Unless this single grad student is supposed to be a witness. But that can’t be, because this person was called in after the incident.

This is nitpicking, but it’s the kind of nitpicking that actual victims of sexual harassment are routinely subjected to. Which is unfortunately necessary because in a civilized society an accusation cannot be accepted at face value without some kind of verification. But then it seems only fair that the account of the accused is subjected to the same scrutiny.

Remember, though, that in SJW land we should always “believe the victim”. False accusations are assumed to be vanishingly rare. In that land, inhabited by PZ Myers, he can’t be innocent. The minor inconsistencies in his stories only make his guilt more evident. So why hasn’t he been burned at the stake already?

But no, Myers has nothing to fear. His faithful commenters prefer to indulge in some Michael Nugent bashing instead.

119 Gerhard March 4, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Sans quote fail.

John Morales:

And you now further contend that there are implications to those implications! 😉

(So much for ‘dictionary atheism’, eh?)

There is no one set of political or ideological implications to being an atheist other than the rejection of divinely directed choices. That doesn’t even imply that atheists necessarily make different choices to the religious, just that they don’t choose for religious reasons. You appear to be implying that the different implications of different paths to atheism somehow, through the mere fact that there are implications, negates the notion of dictionary atheism. That makes no sense at all. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods, pure and simple, and the diversity of opinion amongst atheists, however they arrived at them, points to the foolishness of trying to associate any particular stance with atheism given that lack of belief does not lead inescapably to that stance. A lot of us are sick and tired of people with political axes to grind trying to make atheism about their politics and generally being divisive shitheads.

120 John Morales March 5, 2015 at 12:58 am

Gerhard:

There is no one set of political or ideological implications to being an atheist other than the rejection of divinely directed choices.

Then there is one, by your own admission.

That doesn’t even imply that atheists necessarily make different choices to the religious, just that they don’t choose for religious reasons. You appear to be implying that the different implications of different paths to atheism somehow, through the mere fact that there are implications, negates the notion of dictionary atheism. That makes no sense at all.

Whether or not it makes sense to you, I tell you that since the notion of dictionary atheism is that atheism is an attribute with no implications, then the fact that there are implications indeed negates it.

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods, pure and simple, and the diversity of opinion amongst atheists, however they arrived at them, points to the foolishness of trying to associate any particular stance with atheism given that lack of belief does not lead inescapably to that stance.

What it is and what it entails are not the same thing.

You might as well have written: ‘Non-atheism is the lack of lack of belief in gods, pure and simple, and the diversity of opinion amongst non-atheists, however they arrived at them, points to the foolishness of trying to associate any particular stance with non-atheism given that lack of lack of belief does not lead inescapably to that stance.’

A lot of us are sick and tired of people with political axes to grind trying to make atheism about their politics and generally being divisive shitheads.

You think you are grinding no political axe trying to make atheism irrelevant to politics?

(Me, ceteris paribus I would vote for an atheist over a goddist)

But this has nothing to do with what PZ has written about Michael, the actual post topic. Or his awards, either.

121 Jan Steen March 5, 2015 at 7:32 am

SJWs like PZ Myers clone Chris Clarke call Michael Nugent obsessed.They remind me of politicians in the former Soviet Union declaring dissidents mentally ill. It’s just another smear tactic from the arsenal of the totalitarians.

122 Gerhard March 5, 2015 at 8:35 am

You know damned well that the whole Dictionary Atheist business is about some atheists insisting that their particular political beliefs are THE logical consequence of being atheist and others trying to stop the aforementioned from making their politics the official politics of atheism.

I’m really not going to indulge any further in this pointless game with you. There is nothing subtle about your sophistry.

123 Gerhard March 5, 2015 at 8:57 am

I see Chris Clarke has weighed in and called MN a sick obsessive stalker. Right out of the SJW playbook.

Jan, I suspect Chris Clarke to be an SJW true believer, a class of people so self-righteous that they see themselves as correcting others from a position of moral authority.They have lost connection with the reality of life outside of the SJW bubble where words have accepted meanings and non-hypothetical consequences.

I’ve said it before, he joined Myers cesspit and swallowed the myths about the opposition right off the bat. He was just as intolerant and dogmatic as the rest and is still unable to see the hypocrisy in his reasons for flouncing.

124 Jan Steen March 5, 2015 at 11:35 am

@Gerhard,

I see Chris Clarke has weighed in and called MN a sick obsessive stalker. Right out of the SJW playbook.

Here is the Twitter link:

https://twitter.com/micknugent/status/573276425068908545

It gets even funnier. When Michael said to Clarke, “No need to be sarcastic. I was being sincere,” the latter responded with:

ISIL is sincere as well. And they also charge themselves with doling out consequences.

Let this sink in. Michael is trying to get the message across that PZ Myers’s persistent unethical behaviour is harming the a/s community, and one of his clones responds by associating Michael with an organisation that tortures people to death for propaganda purposes.

Sanctimonious SJWs like Chris Clarke don’t realise that all they are doing with this kind of rhetoric is painting themselves as the creepy clowns they are. They have lost the argument. At this point only people who are as unethical and dishonest as Myers himself can still defend him. People like Chris Clarke.

125 tina March 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Pay close attention to their smears. It is often them projecting what they see in the mirror. If you point to the damage they will say ‘but of course, it is intended.’ Then they will dress that up in the dogmatism of the true believer, for that is what they are. Ironic, isn’t it?

126 Jan Steen March 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

@Tina,

They certainly are as closed-minded and as confirmed of their own righteousness as your average fundamentalist.

127 Jan Steen March 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

confirmed -> convinced

128 Jan Steen March 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm

Some SJWs are so oblivious in their fanaticism that they make you laugh, no matter how obnoxious they are. In the comments under the post in which PZ Myers revealed the latest version of the false rape (or “harassment” or “sexual behavior”) accusation against him, proving (if you believe him) that false rape accusations do exist, one of his helpful sycophants manages to pull the rug from under his feet.

Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

4 March 2015 at 12:00 pm

So, his response to your critique was basically to make a false rape accusation.

Well, that’s basically how MRAs prove that false accusations exist: they make them.

So, according to Gilliel false rape accusations do exist, but they are made by MRAs.

In 2013, PZ Myers wrote:

I’ve been threatened with a false rape accusation, one that could have totally destroyed my career.

We may safely assume that the female student who accused Myers was not an MRA. Therefore her accusation cannot have been false. QED.

I’m sure all cult leaders envy PZ Myers for the quality of his Flock.

129 John Morales March 6, 2015 at 7:36 am

Jan Steen:

Well, that’s basically how MRAs prove that false accusations exist: they make them.

So, according to Gilliel false rape accusations do exist, but they are made by MRAs.

Giliell did not claim only they make false accusations.

We may safely assume that the female student who accused Myers was not an MRA. Therefore her accusation cannot have been false. QED.

Your logic is flawed, as per my observation above, and so your purported demonstration fails.

I’m sure all cult leaders envy PZ Myers for the quality of his Flock.

I very much doubt anyone envies Michael’s Slymepit Flock.

130 Jan Steen March 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm

@John Morales,

Giliell did not claim only they make false accusations.

But that was clearly her implication. In SJW land, MRAs are the enemy, they are the ones who always complain about false rape accusations. Giliell’s suggestion is that even MRAs have to invent these false accusations by making them themselves.

I realize that reading between the lines is difficult for someone with your disability to parse natural language.

I very much doubt anyone envies Michael’s Slymepit Flock.

I agree. No cult leader would want to have a gang of irreverent skeptics like the Slymepitters among their followers. Gullible fools like the FTB regulars, who ignore or defend the unethical behaviour of their leaders, are more suitable cult material.

131 Billie from Ockham March 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

When we do become a cult, please be sure to dress appropriately:

_http://www.amazon.com/Gildan-Mens-DryBlend-Jersey-Polo/dp/B0035E2XT4/ref=sr_1_4?s=athletic-clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1425653015&sr=1-4

132 John Morales March 6, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Jan Steen:

@John Morales,

Giliell did not claim only they make false accusations.

But that was clearly her implication. In SJW land, MRAs are the enemy, they are the ones who always complain about false rape accusations. Giliell’s suggestion is that even MRAs have to invent these false accusations by making them themselves.

So you concede that what you actually quoted does not actually say what you think it implies.

(Have you considered that you find a clear implication because of your pre-existing narrative about the purported thinking of those you label SJWs?)

I realize that reading between the lines is difficult for someone with your disability to parse natural language.

Parsing is about reading the lines (understanding what has been written), not about reading between them (understanding what was meant).

I very much doubt anyone envies Michael’s Slymepit Flock.

I agree.

:)

133 Jan Steen March 6, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Yeah, we know that you’re an expert quote miner John. Thanks for proving it again, if superfluously.

134 Jan Steen March 6, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Parse (…) 3. to analyze (something, as a speech or behavior) to discover its implications or uncover a deeper meaning:
Political columnists were in their glory, parsing the president’s speech on the economy in minute detail.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parse

I don’t know why I even bother to try to educate John Morales.

135 John Morales March 7, 2015 at 2:14 am

Jan Steen, I don’t dispute that that third sense of the word in that dictionary is about interpretation, unlike the primary and secondary senses.

… which still leaves your conceding that what you actually quoted does not actually say what you think it implies.

Yeah, we know that you’re an expert quote miner John. Thanks for proving it again, if superfluously.

<snicker>

So when you wrote “I agree.”, you didn’t mean it?

(Because if you did mean it, then it wasn’t a quote-mine, was it?)

I don’t know why I even bother to try to educate John Morales.

Your self-ignorance is duly noted.

(That you don’t even know why you do what you do is not a good indication that you know why others do what they do, is it?)

136 Carrie March 7, 2015 at 10:27 am

… such as, that Michael deserves an apology since it is clear that a lot of what others (such as PZ and Creationists) say about him is illogical and only said for smear value.

137 John Greg March 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

You know, as I see it, Michael deserves an apology since it is clear that a lot of what others (such as PZ and Creationists) say about him is illogical and only said for smear value.

138 John Greg March 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I’ve been expunged!!

/tears

Carrie too.

Fair play to you, Michael. My comment was unnecessary.

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