My response to Ashley Miller’s open letter to me

by Michael Nugent on April 20, 2015

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for your open letter. I understand your feelings after waiting a week without a response from me to your last post. I’ve now been waiting three months without a response from the manager of your blog network, Ed Brayton, to an email about the network’s oversight mechanisms. You are correct that I gave priority last Friday to replying to Richard Carrier’s smears. In terms of urgency, I generally give priority to countering smears against Atheist Ireland rather than me, but that is independent of tone or gender.

I welcome and appreciate the nuance you and others are bringing to this discussion. I think we may be speaking across each other on some points, and I hope we can gradually tease that out. I will respond to your posts, and to those of MA and Secular Woman, when I have time to respond with the consideration and nuance that you deserve, given that I have already said that you have given me some things to think about in a way that I had not before.

I’m not sure exactly when I will be able to respond, because we are in the middle of a very busy time in our work with Atheist Ireland, and because I am not yet sure what my response will include, and because I will have to articulate it in words that some people (not you) will pore through looking for things they can interpret in the worst possible light. But in the meantime, let me address some of the points that you make in your open letter to me.

The idea that I care more about tone than women

Firstly, I am puzzled by the idea that my replying to Richard Carrier before you sends the message that I care more about tone than I do about women. That is both because my response to Richard was not based on his tone, but on the factually false claims that he was making about Atheist Ireland, and also because I don’t prioritise my responses to people based on their gender.

So far on this overall issue, based on a quick check, I have responded to posts and articles by seven women (Eleanor Robertson, Kimberley Winston, Michelle Boorstein, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, MA Melby, and you) and five men (Mark Oppenheimer, PZ Myers, Adam Lee, Latsot and Richard Carrier). That’s based on a quick check; I hope that a more detailed check will not change that substantially.

However, I have spent my adult life lobbying politically for women’s rights, I actively promote greater gender balance within the atheist movement, my blog includes a list of over 1,500 women speakers for conference organisers to consider inviting, and I proposed within Atheist Ireland that we should host the international conference on Empowering Women through Secularism two years ago, which Jane Donnelly then coordinated and chaired.

I’m particularly puzzled because you also say that you don’t think that is the message that I intend to convey. Well, if you don’t think that is the message I intend to convey, then it is not the message that I did actually convey to you. You may of course think that others have mistakenly interpreted it in this way. If so, can I ask that you consider conveying more strongly your belief that they are mistaken, rather than reinforcing that mistaken belief?

Also, Ashley, could you please consider saying a few words in support of Jane Donnelly and Ashling O’Brien and other women activists in Atheist Ireland, against Richard’s smears made on the blog network you share with him, in which he implies that they are either gullible or wicked enough to be party to using anti-feminist propaganda to defend an accused rapist while furthering another man’s fiefdom?

Jane and Ashling in particular are publicly feminist women who are as much part of the work and public face of Atheist Ireland as I am, and they are as publicly caught in the web of Richard’s smears about Atheist Ireland as I am. Last week on Twitter, Secular Woman also linked Jane and Ashling to supporting abusers and silencing victims, and the pseudonymous Latsot has previously called Ashling a lying wanker when she asked him to clarify something.

Why I have not yet replied, and when I will reply

Ashley, I had hoped to reply to you last weekend after our Twitter conversation, then MA Melby and Secular Woman wrote similar posts, and it seemed more sensible to reply to all three together in a considered way. I have to fit this in with a lot of other work. Last week we had two very important projects in Atheist Ireland, as well as our ongoing media and political lobbying work.

We were finalising a submission to United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights in preparation for our visit to Geneva in June when the Committee is questioning Ireland about its ESC Rights record. This is important actual social justice advocacy on the ground, trying to actually advance social justice in society.

We were also finalising a submission to the Standards in Public Office Commission about the failure of the Roman Catholic Church and the conservative Catholic Iona Institute to register their political activities in order to be financially accountable in their campaigns against same sex marriage, and we were organising debates on same sex marriage.

All of this activity is entirely voluntary. Much of it takes place in the evenings or the early hours of the morning, after we have finished our ordinary day’s work. For example, I finished the final draft of the Standards in Public Office submission at 3am on Friday morning, then I was sent a link to Richard Carrier’s latest smears about Atheist Ireland, and I still had other work to finish over the next hours.

Since the recent extension of smears about me to also include smears about Atheist Ireland, I have made clear that I will make it a priority to correct smears about Atheist Ireland. Defending my own reputation can wait. Smears against Atheist Ireland are more damaging than smears against me, to the project of building an ethical and secular society, and particularly when they are so blatantly false that it would be irresponsible of me not to put the facts on record immediately.

And so, in order to fit in replying to them with my other commitments for Friday, I had to get by on one hour’s sleep before beginning the day that ended with me posting my response to Richard at about midnight. It was absolutely the last thing I wanted to be doing that day, and was as far as you could possibly get from me being, as you put it, “itching to write 3000 words about how someone is wrong on the internet.” You have no idea how mistaken you are about that.

To conclude, Ashley, I welcome and appreciate the nuance you and others are bringing to this discussion. I will respond to your posts, and to those of MA and Secular Woman, when I have time to respond with the consideration and nuance that you deserve. For various reasons, I’m not sure exactly when this will be, but I will do so as soon as I can.

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 146 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lurker April 20, 2015 at 12:39 am

Michael – You may be getting weary of hearing this, and I apologize in advance, but please take care of yourself. The work you and Ashling and Jane and Derek and everyone else at AI are doing for women is so important, and so very much needed and appreciated. I’m glad you are making it your priority, but I hope you are making your health a priority as well. You can’t go on very long on one hour sleep a night!

Does AI accept membership applications from atheist women in America? If not, I’d at least like to send a donation.

Thank you, all of you, for everything.

2 Shivar April 20, 2015 at 1:25 am

Michael, just be aware the the FtB bloggers are deliberately trying to ruin your reputation, your organization and your health.

Since they know that you will post corrections every time they smear you, they have now started to gang up on you and pile on the lies and smears, presumably with the goal of making you look “obsessed” as and “unhinged” in your efforts to defend yourself and Atheist Ireland. And if they happen to ruin your health as well, that’s just a bonus for them because they don’t care about hurting people who don’t kowtow to them.

Keep up the good fight but keep a balance between showing the world how unethical PZ and his goons are, and maintaining your health and your work at AI.

3 FishCakes April 20, 2015 at 1:26 am

In b4 Ashley Miller and her commenters rip into you now for caring more about her open letter than about women.

4 Jack Rawlinson April 20, 2015 at 1:57 am

Michael, you are giving these horrible people far more care, attention and respect than they deserve, but I am glad that you have the decency and patience to keep doing so, because people like me certainly would not, and I think your patience is starting to tell in a way that tit-for-tat aggression would not. You will never get the likes of the vicious egomaniac Myers to understand how inexcusably hurtful and malevolent he is, but I do think that your making his scattergun venom more visible is doing the atheist movement a great service by showing onlookers that we stand firmly against wrong wherever we find it – even when it is festering in our own “community”. More power to your elbow, sir.

5 Jack Rawlinson April 20, 2015 at 1:58 am

Whoops… a minor edit somehow ended up as a double post. Please delete the first one if you get a second’s break from fielding the slings and arrows…

6 Lurker April 20, 2015 at 2:08 am

ETA to previous post, another question for Michael:

Is there anything we can do to help? I’m on another continent, willing to donate, but is there anything else?

One good thing about all of this might be that more people are aware of the hard work AI is doing for women. I certainly never would have known.

It’s horrible that some toxic blog network is attacking AI, and knowing them, they’re just getting started. What can we, those of us so inclined, do to offset it? I can’t be the only one wondering. Please let us know.

7 Jack Rawlinson April 20, 2015 at 2:27 am

Seconding what Lurker said. I would love to do something to help, although it’s hard to see what practical things that might involve. But while it’s totally right and valuable that you should be pursuing these muck-spreading louts, it is clearly taking a lot of your valuable time that could be better used doing the real, decent work that AI does. I dunno… proofreading… research… I’d love to help. Meanwhile, stay strong and keep fighting the good fight. You’ve taken on a Hydra here and, as mythology tells us, that’s a hard road.

8 Glen Davidson April 20, 2015 at 2:39 am

Usually it makes sense to put out the fire burning your building prior to commencing to debate.

The principle isn’t hard to grasp.

9 Zenspace April 20, 2015 at 3:05 am

Michael,

I would take a moment to repeat what others have said before me: please do take care of yourself. Myers and FTB have networked to all their associates to present a multi pointed attack on you and AI. They are all one voice speaking through many channels, with Myers himself at the center.

A question/suggestion: Myers’ main reason for success, such as it his spread of slander and misery has been, is due strictly to the unwillingness of individuals with far greater credibility than him to speak out against his and his associates vile behavior. Someone with your character and stature must have good rapport with these more moral and reasoned people in the community. Have you ever considered an outreach to those people to promote a similar, simultaneous multipointed pushback against Myers and company? The silence from those quarters is deafening and in its place is left a hint of credibility, for those unaware of the nature of the FTB beast, to fill the vacuum. We recently saw some step into the fray, if ever so tentatively, but you need the bigger names and voices to step up as well.

You have done an incredible job so far, but there is concern that your one voice against the vileness that is the FTB smear machine cannot stand alone. Best of luck to you in this thankless battle.

10 Richard April 20, 2015 at 4:12 am

Just because I don’t like the rhetoric of PZ Myers & Co., that doesn’t mean I support the main character in Oppenheimer’s article. I most certainly don’t!

11 Bruce Gerencser April 20, 2015 at 4:15 am

Michael,

Thank you for being willing to take on the vitriolic, bombastic element within the American atheist community. When you wrote your post about PZ Myers, I thought, oh boy, he is going to get blasted. And you have. It comes as no surprise that Carrier would quickly defend his boy.

When atheism+ started 3 years ago, I made it clear that I wanted nothing to do with it, not because I disagreed with their platform, but because of the us vs. them fundamentalist mentality. Those who dared to object were verbally savaged. This savagery continues to this day.

I have sympathy for the social agenda advanced by Myers and Carrier, but since they seem to have missed their Momma’s lessons on how to engage and get along with others, I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear either of them speak.

Keep up the good work. I wish you nothing but the best,

Bruce Gerencser

12 Billie from Ockham April 20, 2015 at 4:33 am

I have sympathy for the social agenda advanced by Myers and Carrier…

Really? What specific part?

13 Bruce Gerencser April 20, 2015 at 4:40 am

Billy,

It is a general statement. I support equality, economic security, and the ideals of humanism. I am a liberal, socialist, pacifist, and a humanist.

Bruce

14 Bruce Gerencser April 20, 2015 at 4:41 am

Billy,

I should have added that I don’t think these things flow from my atheism. It is humanism that provides the ethical and moral framework for my life.

Bruce

15 Mel April 20, 2015 at 6:04 am

The agenda of Atheism+ was as much about social justice as the Patriot Act was about patriotism.

16 Jan Steen April 20, 2015 at 6:35 am

Michael, I think you are seriously mistaken if you believe that the likes of Ashley Miller and Secular Woman are any better than Myers, Carrier & Co. They are all part of the same clique. We are just withnessing the time honoured good cop, bad cop routine, nothing more.

17 Steven Carr April 20, 2015 at 6:55 am

‘….wicked enough to be party to using anti-feminist propaganda to defend an accused rapist ‘

As far as I am aware, even people accused of a crime are allowed to defend themselves.

But in the world of Freethought Blogs, if they accuse somebody of a crime, that person is no longer entitled to a defense.

Because they are judge, jury and executioner and anybody who disagrees with their verdicts are in contempt of court.

18 Phil Giordana FCD April 20, 2015 at 7:07 am

Same as Jack in #7

If there’s anyway I can help with AI’s ongoing work, just let me know. I have plenty of free time and will be more than happy to put it to good use.

19 Nathan (formerly GerardO) April 20, 2015 at 7:18 am

This could be termed a non-response response.

20 Hunt April 20, 2015 at 7:51 am

Michael,
Like others have said, put your own health and wellness first, and all of this second. Rest assured that Myers, Carrier (and perhaps Miller, if she continues to create fairly ridiculous posts like this one), are transparent to all the people who matter. Nothing can’t wait for a few days, or even weeks.

21 Phil Giordana FCD April 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

Michael: thanks for removing the derail and please excuse me. I got a bit carried away.

22 Phil Giordana FCD April 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

Oh, wrong thread. Sorry…

23 Jan Steen April 20, 2015 at 10:13 am

Ashley Miller wrote:

You choose to prove the point that if one writes in an aggressive tone, one will get attention and responses, while if one writes in a reasonable tone, one will be put on hold. I now wonder if I might have gotten a faster blog response if I’d written in a less reasonable tone myself.

I fear that Ashley doesn’t know the difference between reasonable and passive-agressive.

She wrote:

I want you to understand the message that all of this sends, because it’s the same message you were already sending: Michael Nugent cares more about tone than he does about women.

I don’t think that’s the message you want to be sending, based on the mission of Atheist Ireland, I know it’s not.

“Nice organisation you’ve got there. It would be a pity if something happened to it.”

In spite of her seemingly more reasonable attitude, Ashley Miller is just as ready to undermine the valuable work of Atheist Ireland as Myers and Carrier are. She’s just a bit more subtle about it. Her venom is not less potent.

PZ Myers is a kind of living litmus test. Those who come to his defence are toxic.

24 MosesZD April 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

Michael, it’s yet-another-FTB-network dog-pile. Don’t let them wear you out or distract you from your important work as they’re nothing more than gadflys who offer nothing positive to atheism, feminism or any other isms they purport to stand for.

25 Philip Kehoe April 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

Michael

Your apparent bafflement at how you can produce a different effect than your intent when you write something frustrates me a bit.

Put it this way: A person can be insulted by you without thinking you actually intended to insult them.

I’d suggest it would have been better to leave it to someone else at Atheist Ireland to reply to Richard Carrier rather than using your personal blog and giving this impression.

I appreciate your efforts to keep this hopefully constructive discussion going despite everything else you have to do right now.

26 Hunt April 20, 2015 at 11:39 am

Put it this way: A person can be insulted by you without thinking you actually intended to insult them.

In my experience it’s more common that a person is insulted by you by thinking something other than what you intended, which is the common liability of all communication other than face-to-face, and even sometimes then. This is the era of short blog replies and twitter conversations. Entire channels of communication are cropped from conversation. Now, sometimes people are very clear, to the point that there can be no misunderstanding. Other times they use the indirection of online media as a shield to snipe at each other. I ask, what would have been the probability of Myers’ original claim had he made it face-to-face? Enough said?

27 Minnow April 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Can you imagine how Ashley Miller would ave responded if the cases were reversed and Michael N had given her an instant response but said Carrier’s post required a much longer and more thoughtful approach?

28 JackSkeptic April 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm

@Minnow

‘Can you imagine how Ashley Miller would have responded if the cases were reversed and Michael N had given her an instant response but said Carrier’s post required a much longer and more thoughtful approach?’

They are a bunch of hypocrites who always argue in bad faith. That is guaranteed which at least means it can be predicted and prepared for.

Carriers tone and post was predictable, it wrote itself. He has a lot of form in this sort of vitriolic abuse. They are one trick ponies when it comes to any reasoned argument or debate. Either you’re good or you are bad. That’s all they need to know.

Meanwhile the silence from the major A/S Orgs continues to be deafening.

29 Jan Steen April 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

As long as Michael doesn’t capitulate and admits Peezus in his heart the Myers apologists will always find something to nag about. It’s what they do. It defines them. They’re a bunch of Red Queens.

@ Philip Kehoe,

Put it this way: A person can be insulted by you without thinking you actually intended to insult them.

Whose problem is that? The person who unwittingly insults somebody, or the person who feels insulted? Is there a right not to be insulted now?

30 JetLagg April 20, 2015 at 1:28 pm

I agree with everyone saying to make your health a priority. You’re doing real work in Ireland, and the people you’re being forced to defend yourself against here both outnumber you and are unburdened by actual activism.

I really can’t harp on that point enough. To any lurkers sympathetic to FTB, Atheist Ireland is doing actual activism. They’re advancing the agenda the writers at FTB claim to care about. To then spend time taking potshots from the sidelines, actively and obviously sabotaging their own professed agenda, is maddening. It’s easy to think they’re hypocrites who never truly cared for the movement, but I think that they’re simply so blinded by their own senseless hate that they don’t give any consideration to what or who gets hurt.

31 Jack Rawlinson April 20, 2015 at 2:02 pm

@JackSkeptic

They are a bunch of hypocrites who always argue in bad faith. That is guaranteed which at least means it can be predicted and prepared for.

This cannot be overstated. Time and again we see these people run through the roster of fallacy and dishonesty in their engagements with those who dissent from their party line. They misrepresent, quote-mine, ignore context, apply blatant double standards to the discourse (for instance, they will excuse insults, hyperbole, irony etc. when they do it but squeal with outrage when others do the same thing), and they are clearly incapable of conceding significant points or admitting error – unlike Michael, who has done both.

Miller’s response is partly petulant whining, partly devious manipulation. It’s quite clear, and has been stated clearly by Michael, that he regards attacks on AI has being a more urgent matter than attacks on him personally, and Carrier’s ugly distortions carried plenty of those. It seems perfectly sensible that one might take more time dealing with a relatively reasonable response such as Michael considers Miller’s to be than an ugly, intemperate, distorted attack piece such as Carrier’s. If we assume Miller is intelligent enough to grasp this simple idea then her response is clearly just a devious tactical ruse, not a good-faith reply. As has been mentioned, it is all too easy to see how she could just as readily have spun the situation negatively had Michael finished his reply to her before addressing Carrier’s hatchet job, and who can really doubt that that’s exactly what she would have done.

I agree that “Good cop/Bad cop” is precisely what is going on here. but once again, I appreciate that Michael is persisting in wrestling with these disgraceful people, because the relentless exposure of their clear dishonesty and malicious intent can only serve to turn more reasonable people against them. Turn the rock over, expose the bugs to the light…

32 Billie from Ockham April 20, 2015 at 2:02 pm

It is a general statement. I support equality, economic security, and the ideals of humanism. I am a liberal, socialist, pacifist, and a humanist.

Excellent!

But what does that have to do with the “social agenda advanced by Myers and Carrier”?

33 Billie from Ockham April 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Miller’s response is partly petulant whining, partly devious manipulation. It’s quite clear, and has been stated clearly by Michael, that he regards attacks on AI has being a more urgent matter than attacks on him personally, and Carrier’s ugly distortions carried plenty of those.

Having a true sense of honor and a drive to be charitable (which includes projecting positive traits onto others) can be a real problem. Among other things, it can cause you to assume that a point-by-point refutation will evoke an apology and a drop in the likelihood of another false attack.

If your opponent has no sense of honor (or, worse: gets their sense of self-worth from pounce-hugs and high-fives from allies on the internet), then responding to them in the manner that is designed to work on those with real honor is almost guaranteed to fail (assuming that your goal is to get them to stop).

34 Steven Carr April 20, 2015 at 2:18 pm

While Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland do real work , fighting for secular causes, Carrier is charging 59 bucks a pop for an unaccredited online course on debating.

35 tina April 20, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Michael: Just de-prioritise them. Non of these people dialogue in good faith or deserve more of your time than you can actually spare from the brilliant work AI does. It’s all SJW propaganda using the well worn tactics of smears, insults, shaming, bullying and ‘othering’ in order push their sick ideology of identity politics into the mainstream and boost their own warrior points. Just deal with it at a pace that is comfortable for YOU.

36 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Somebody referred to Carrier’s polyamory, which interested me.

Sure enough: he stated that he had become poly in a blog post earlier this year:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/6737

15th Februuary 2015.

What interested me was the language he used in a reply to a question:

“Although I only sleep with people I would be happy to explore as friends or ongoing lovers, i.e. I don’t like a “hit it and quit it” lifestyle. ”

“hit it and quit it”.

Now this may be a new version of “love ’em and leave ’em”, but at least that latter creed paid the respect of using a personal pronoun.

I’m not sure that Carrier quite has the hang of this equality lark at all.

37 Steven Carr April 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Myers has a dull life, grading papers in a tiny town in Minnesota that doesn’t even seem to have a Chinese restaurant it is so mono-cultural.

His only excitement is when he is at the keyboard , smearing people.

38 Mel April 20, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Seconding what’s been said above: Thank you for the work you do, and I would love to help in any way I can.

How’s this for irony: Atheist Ireland is the embodiment in action of every single tenet of Atheism Plus. In fact, “We are atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism” is what got Michael and AI attacked – by so-called A+ supporters and even (if you believe him) the inventor of A+ himself.

“Atheism Plus! Talk the talk, we love you. Walk the walk, we’ll crush you.”

39 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

@Mel:

There are times when atheism – and atheist activism – seems almost to be a competitive pursuit, with people needing to prove that they’re athier than others. Such pissing contests are a common aspect of all walks of life, of course, but they can lead to some unseemingly pissing contests.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve been accused of not being an atheist – well, I wouldn’t be very rich – I’d probably have enough for a nice weekend in Barcelona, though.

I tend to avoid the language of “swivel-eyed loons” and “sky daddies” et al which only create resistance. If someone wishes to worship a deity then that is their right – and they should be able to do so without hindrance or even rancour.

I only cavil when their precepts trespass into my space and I have to forego things which I would view as a right.

It’s a mild and benign form of atheism/humanism/secularism, but it is also one which seems to cause anger precisely because I am not angry. I don’t feel the need to express anger when I am currently being allowed to live my life in as serene a manner as I allow it to be.

I’ve been though a small fraction of what MN and AI are going through. I’m not public in activism, so any abuse has been aimed at my anonymous internet persona who has no relevance, so it has been easy for me to shrug it off. What is striking, though, is that I have in general encountered more anger from fellow-atheists than I have done from theists.

40 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 5:14 pm

@Myself:

When I say a “small fraction” I mean “a very miniscule fraction”. I’ve never been accused of rape apologia.

Oh for an edit function.

41 tina April 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Well I wouldn’t bother going to Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, where you can be put to death for being what you are.

42 tina April 20, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Nuthin really speshul about atheists is there? They range from sane to batshit crazy like folk do in every walk of life.

43 Phil Giordana FCD April 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

“I’ve been though a small fraction of what MN and AI are going through. I’m not public in activism, so any abuse has been aimed at my anonymous internet persona who has no relevance, so it has been easy for me to shrug it off. What is striking, though, is that I have in general encountered more anger from fellow-atheists than I have done from theists.”

And here you go again with your “my experience was X, so I don’t understand your experience Y, or at least you should shrug it off as easily as I did, I, an anonymous poster on the internet compared to you, an IRL activist using their real name”.

I agree with your religious-atheist anger assessment, but really, you have to stop thinking your own personal experience applies to everyone (even if you don’t mean this, it’s the way it comes out in your posts).

44 tina April 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

By the by…what is the actual penalty for blasphemy in Eire?

45 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm

@Phil:

I’d posted an addendum to my post – possibly while your were composing your reply.

Of course it was easy for me to shrug things off because I a don’t use my real name. That was sort of the point.

People such as Michael, Ashling and others are, by contrast public with their identity. Slurs against them are infinitely more precise in their targetting. Yes, it is far easier for me to shrug barbs off when they have been aimed at a cover with which I arraign myself on the internet. That’s obvious.

You won’t get much disagreement from me there.

46 Mel April 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Nialler: “people needing to prove that they’re athier than others. ”

LOL athier. Myers’ exact word when he announced his self-appointment as Fifth Horseman.

I’m kind of new to online atheism and I had no idea of all the history. Carrier & RSS, etc. Just wow.

47 Mel April 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

ETA: By “new” I mean just a few years. I didn’t realize until recently how new that is.

48 Glen Davidson April 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm

While Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland do real work , fighting for secular causes, Carrier is charging 59 bucks a pop for an unaccredited online course on debating.

Quite a bit for a list of smears to use…

Glen Davidson

49 john welch April 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Nialler @36:

What interested me was the language he used in a reply to a question:

“Although I only sleep with people I would be happy to explore as friends or ongoing lovers, i.e. I don’t like a “hit it and quit it” lifestyle. ”

“hit it and quite it”.

Now this may be a new version of “love ‘em and leave ‘em”, but at least that latter creed paid the respect of using a personal pronoun.

I’m not sure that Carrier quite has the hang of this equality lark at all.

That was Carrier referencing what is likely the only “rap” song he knows, namely “Baby Got Back”, by Sir MixALot:

Some punks like to hit it and quit it, but I’d rather stay an play. ‘Cause I’m long, and I’m strong, and I’m down to get the friction on.

(The idea of carrier’s nasal whine trying to karaoke along to that song in his car is quite giggle-worthy.)

Carrier’s about as culturally aware as a rock.

On Mars.

50 bowman April 20, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Mo Ansar is using sock puppets on twitter http://www.jeremy-duns.com/findingannfields/

51 Gunboat Diplomat April 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm

@Michael Nugent

I just read an interesting piece in the Nation by Michelle Goldberg in the Nation on “Feminisms toxic twitter wars”, which also deals with the origin and effects of “tone policing.” Here’s a sample quote but the rest of the article is very interesting and relevant I think to the current discussion.

Online, however, intersectionality is overwhelmingly about chastisement and rooting out individual sin …. An elaborate series of norms and rules has evolved out of that belief, generally unknown to the uninitiated, who are nevertheless hammered if they unwittingly violate them. Often, these rules began as useful insights into the way rhetorical power works but, says Cross, “have metamorphosed into something much more rigid and inflexible.” One such rule is a prohibition on what’s called “tone policing.” An insight into the way marginalized people are punished for their anger has turned into an imperative “that you can never question the efficacy of anger, especially when voiced by a person from a marginalized background.”

http://www.thenation.com/article/178140/feminisms-toxic-twitter-wars?page=0,0

52 Nathan (formerly GerardO) April 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Steven Carr @ 37:

I made this same point about the lack of Chinese restaurants in Morris at this venue last year from memory. [plays spooky music]

53 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 6:21 pm

@ John Walch:

I’m an old geezer so am not hip with the crowd, or something.

Thanks, though, for the cultural reference. It is informative. Data always adds to understanding.

The language in the quoted lyrics reminded me of something which was instrumental in the firing of a couple of Sky Sports soccer commentators a couple of years ago: I thing that Grey had said something along the lines of “Would you smash it?” in respect of a woman.

Carrier’s language is similar. It smacks of misogyny.

54 JetLagg April 20, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Mel@46
I’m kind of new to online atheism and I had no idea of all the history. Carrier & RSS, etc. Just wow.

Welcome to the crew. I predict your experience will be much like mine. You’ll wonder where all this hostility toward Carrier, et al, is coming from. Then, as years pass and example after example of their behavior piles up, you’ll come to see they really have brought it on themselves.

I for one, would be perfectly happy to put this whole schism to bed. But we continue to see hit pieces like the ones Nugent is addressing. It’s a pattern of behavior that’s been going on for years, and the people doing it genuinely see nothing wrong with their actions.

Comparisons to the religious have become cliche in our community. It’s a ready and stinging insult. In this case though, the comparison is apt. My moral thinking, starting at the foundation, is so radically different from someone like Myers or Carrier we’re just going to talk past one another forever. They’re capable of seeing what is, to me, great wickedness as a great good, because it is in pursuit of “social justice”. It is very much like William Lane Craig’s divine command theory, which is capable of justifying something as heinous as genocide and mass rape, so long as God has called for it.

They’re true believers, not nearly so dangerous as suicide bombers, obviously, but the justification they use to commit acts which, against a member of the in group, would be considered taboo has the same logical framework.

55 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

The term ‘tone policing’ originally had a legitimate use. Someone would write a long comment detailing some injustice but they’d do it in an angry way and instead of addressing the content of their comment opponents would address the tone. This is tone policing and it’s legitimate to dismiss those who do it as ‘tone police’

However, there’s a lot of rage blogging and Tweeting that is all rage and no content.

When Block Bot admins tweet ‘KILL ALL MEN’ or ‘DIE CIS SCUM’ there’s no content there other than hate.

Most of what passes for comment at FTB is pure rage. The ‘content’, such as it is, it invented to give the rage some semblance of coherence. The accusations against Michael and AI have no substance but just give them something to focus the rage on.

It’s not ‘tone policing’ to call Myers on his bullshit because he has no substantial argument to address.

56 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

JetLagg@54

I’ve been knocking around online atheism since the very earliest days of the internet.

I’ve seen a repeated trend of wash, rinse, repeat cycles as various new warriors arrive and depart the scene. There has been intense fights between such as Dawkins and Steven Jay Gould; the rise of atheist “celebrities” such as Dennet, Hitchins et al. There was the awful crudescence which was the “Brights”. Allied to this came minor people such as Myers and Carrier – both prepared to shout loudly and to force others to shift up on the atheist sofa.

Neither have achieved anything at all. They have spoken to converts and charged for the privilege.

Nor has Dawkins. He had to close down his forum overnight having seemingly decided that internet forums were not his bag while continuing to make a fool of himself on social media.

I have some respect for AI. I’m not sure quite how much they have achieved – yet. They continue to agitate, though, and they make submissions at the highest level that they can. Positive outcomes may take time, but the efforts to achieve them deserve the greatest consideration.

Look up The Rational Response Squad and Carrier’s association with it at some stage. A bunch of pre-frats who were in it for the kicks, they even drew Dawkins in.

57 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Shatterface@53:

There would have also been some wholesome attachment to the term “Social Justice Warrior” at one stage.

The internet and innuendo has destroyed the language.

58 Mel April 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm

@JetLagg

Thanks! But I never wondered where the hostility was coming from. It seemed so obvious, after Elevatorgate and then the Atheism+ launch, the behavior of Myers and Watson and Carrier, FTB, Skepchick, etc. Clearly they’re after power and money, throwing around terms like “Social Justice” and “FTB CONscience” the same way Fox News throws around “Fair and Balanced”.

Since yesterday I’ve been devouring old TalkRational posts (thank you Nialler). I really am a noob. Wow.

Also feeling kind of passionate right now. I don’t think the bad guys will ever go away (look at Fox – everyone knows about them but they still have a huge audience). But what can be done to help the good folks, like AI, and protect the real noobs coming in right now who are thinking “Oooh! Atheist skepticism! Atheist feminism! sign me up!” and don’t know enough to guard their online anonymity around their new BFFs who in reality don’t give a crap about them, or about feminism, or (imo) atheism at all.

Queen of the Run-On-Sentences stopping for breath now to let blood pressure go down…

59 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I made this same point about the lack of Chinese restaurants in Morris at this venue last year from memory. [plays spooky music]

It’s not exactly metropolitan: 1.3% of the population is African American. By my estimate that makes less than 70 black people in the whole town. I’ve worked in offices with more than that.

Compare that with a genuine 21st Century city like Dublin, where 15% of the population were born abroad.

60 tina April 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm

The difficulty for AI and MN is that they have something they care about to lose: time and effort to concentrate on achieving the goals they set themselves. A realistic appraisal of how much damage to them the FtB cabal could do to them might answer, not very much. Mostly Myers lights up targets for his drones to home in on and he rakes in the money from the clicks. There isn’t a lot else to him. Probably if AI left them to it pretty soon they would ignore MN and AI to concentrate on the next target.

Why are they so obsessed with the Slymepit? Because SP has nothing to lose, can’t be damaged by them, won’t ever go away or stop calling out their hypocrisy, and worst of all won’t stop puncturing their bloated egos or take their fatuous gender politikking seriously. Poor luvvies.

61 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 7:42 pm

There would have also been some wholesome attachment to the term “Social Justice Warrior” at one stage.

Social Justice Warrior was always meant ironically:

“A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will “get SJ points” and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are “correct” in their social circle.”

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=social+justice+warrior

Unfortunately SJWs don’t do irony. Comprehension of irony depends on recognising the difference between what is said and what is meant and for SJWs ‘intent isn’t magic’.

62 tina April 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Gunboat @ 51

Thanks for posting that link. I’d forgotten what a good article it was. :-)

63 Richard Weed April 20, 2015 at 8:11 pm

The usual suspects from the slymepit are infesting the comments yet again. To name them:

Zenspace, Billie from Ockham, Jan Steen, Phil Giordana FCD, JackSkeptic, JetLagg, John C. Welch, Shatterface, et al.

Nugent would be well advised to disassociate himself from any connection with the pit and their online vendettas.

64 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Zenspace, Billie from Ockham, Jan Steen, Phil Giordana FCD, JackSkeptic, JetLagg, John C. Welch, Shatterface, et al.

At least you mentioned me this time, Fuckweed. Last time you commited Shatter-erasure.

Why not address our points instead of listing names people can read for themselves?

65 tina April 20, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Flobalob….Little W e e e e e e e e e d……

66 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm

‘Dick Weed.’

1) A completely self-absorbed, useless asshole with shit for brains;

2) A person so irredeemably stupid that their idiotic behavior causes pain to everyone that they interact with.
My neighbor’s such a fucking dickweed.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dickweed

It’s a troll using a vaguely plausible-sounding nym.

67 Nialler April 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

@Richard Weed 63

I don’t know these people.

Am I supposed to be prejudge hem because they are on a list?

I find this stuff difficult. Who are the good guys and gals? Who are tha baddies?

I’ll prefer to react to posts rather than to lists given by people I don’t know. Maybe I’ll learn more.

68 tina April 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

I just doxxed him. My bad. 😉

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcF9JSxkUSE

69 tina April 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Don’t watch. You’ll get addicted!

70 Billie from Ockham April 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm

The usual suspects from the slymepit are infesting the comments yet again. To name them:

Zenspace, Billie from Ockham, Jan Steen, Phil Giordana FCD, JackSkeptic, JetLagg, John C. Welch, Shatterface, et al.

I was listed first last time. Have I failed in some meaningful way? Please tell me what I need to do, as your opinion means everything to me.

71 Lancelot Gobbo April 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm

tina, you’re showing your age! Somewhere about 1961 0r 62, my charming older brother informed me that Watch With Mother was for little kids, and as I was three I announced I would never watch it again, and I didn’t. Always wondered what became of Andy Pandy and Pinky and Perky….

72 tina April 20, 2015 at 9:31 pm
73 tina April 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMw5jzO_lv0

Round and round and round and round we go…….

74 Matt Cavanaugh April 20, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Ashley Miller describes herself as “… one of the leading young women in the secular movement, speaking regularly at schools and conferences across the country about feminism and communications ….”

Call me old-fashionened, but shouldn’t an aspiring secular leader be out there talking about, I dunno, secularism?

Ashley may be more polite, and decidedly more intelligent, than most of her FTB posse. But she still at every turn allows her Social Justice dogma to trump reason and skepticism.

75 Jan Steen April 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Ha, I can make a list too.

Al Dente, anteprepro, changerofbits, chigau (違う), Donnie, duce7999, “Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-“, Hank_Says, Kristjan Wager, mildlymagnificent, Moggie, MrFancyPants, “NateHevens. He who hates straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men (not really)”, Pierce R. Butler, polishsalami, raven, rorschach, Ryan Cunningham, Susannah, UnknownEric the Apostate, voriank, “Die-in-a-fire” Wowbagger, zenlike

This is the sad bunch of losers who joined in the Nugent bashing on Myers’s latest attempt to inflame his Flock against Michael. His post gathered a massive 34 comments. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard Reed was one of the above.

http://web.archive.org/web/20150420215030/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/04/18/the-irish-holy-war-is-unrequited/

76 JetLagg April 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I’m not sure how we would get along were it not for Mr. Weed’s research. Certainly, it would be impossible for anyone else to go to an open forum (thereby actually engaging with their ideological opponents) and find out for themselves who posts there.

Honestly, if you’re a troll, please try harder to make me laugh. If you’re being serious, you’re a fucking idiot.

77 Shatterface April 20, 2015 at 10:25 pm

They can’t be arsed looking at what Michael and AI have done:

raven
19 April 2015 at 9:25 am
Aren’t there more pressing problems facing Atheist Ireland, such as the preponderance of faith-based schools, and the existence of a blasphemy law?
Good point. Worse than that.
Thanks to the Catholics, there are hundreds or more dead babies and children from their social services programs in graves around Ireland. I assume they’ve stopped that but someone needs to make sure and at least, document the horrrors.
Right now Irish hospitals using wacho Catholic nonmorality, have protocols in place that can and will kill women with pregnancies that go wrong.
Child sexual abuse in the Catholic church was common and might still be a problem. Someone needs to watch the priests because the RCC hasn’t shown itself to be very interested.
I have no idea how common discrimination against nonxians and atheists is in Ireland, but given the RCC, it is probably serious.
Given the huge number of problems the RCC has and does cause to Ireland, one would think Atheist Ireland has centuries of work ahead of it and a target rich environment for reforms. Instead, Michael Nugent rambles on about a biologist in Minnesota, USA.
Really Atheist Ireland needs to give Nugent a pat on the head and tell him to stop bothering the adults and go play on the swing set.

http://web.archive.org/web/20150420215030/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/04/18/the-irish-holy-war-is-unrequited/

This from a disciple of a man who’s sole contribution to the atheist movement was desecrating a fucking cracker and who’s contribution to science is considerably less.

78 Jan Steen April 20, 2015 at 10:29 pm

In my #75, read “Richard Weed” instead of “Richard Reed”. It’s important to identify your weeds correctly.

79 retro April 20, 2015 at 10:32 pm

De-lurking: I stopped following FTB after the Michele Bachmann eating a hotdog picture in a post elevator gate era and have ignored them until I read about this recent dustup at the Friendly Atheists blog. I felt the need to add my voice in support of Michael and AI for all the real world work they are doing. For AI to remain active and credible they had to distance themselves from Myers et al. Keep up the good work!

Jan Steen @75 – I hadn’t realised just how divorced from reality they had become. I got to comment 27 and had to stop in disgust.

80 JetLagg April 20, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Raven is so blind it boggles the mind. She admits AI has real work to do (not once bother to do a second of research, which would have showed the dumb broad that AI is already engaged in said work), unwittingly admits Myers is a nobody in a nobody town, and then concludes by saying Nugent is the child and Myers is the adult?

0_O

81 peter April 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm

“Nugent would be well advised to disassociate himself from any connection with FTB and their online vendettas.”

Fixed and already done.

82 sakebomb April 20, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Isn’t that basically a “Dear Muslima” argument?

83 MeMeandMe April 20, 2015 at 11:05 pm

I think this is pertinent to the over all issue: “Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice” https://medium.com/@aristoNYC/social-justice-bullies-the-authoritarianism-of-millennial-social-justice-6bdb5ad3c9d3

84 Gurdur April 20, 2015 at 11:16 pm

At Richard Weed, @ 63:
Unfortunately for you there are also other people commenting on these issues on Michael Nugent’s blog. That together with the fact you’ve flatly evaded everything Michael Nugent and other Atheist Ireland board members have had to say shows a rather terrible bias on your part. It also invalidates what you’re saying.

85 Gurdur April 20, 2015 at 11:20 pm

To Michael Nugent:

Slick Rick Carrier, Ph.D. April 20, 2015 at 10:50 pm at comment 82 is a parody. While it’s very funny, being quite true to life, it’s also pretending to be from Richard Carrier himself, which makes it deletion-worthy, only in my opinion of course. The last thing needed at the moment is the predictable abuse-filled tirades from FTB that people are allowed to pretend to be others here. In the public eye, it would tend to invalidate what’s being said on the real issues here.

That being said, and I hope it does get deleted, it was very funny.

86 JackSkeptic April 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm

@MeMeandMe (84)

I think a primary issue is how deeply shocking and hurtful it can be to be on the receiving end of these peoples ire. The fact they always interpret someone’s comment in the worst possible light almost guarantees it will happen to anyone they choose.

Luckily Gamergate has made their behavior known to the wider community. But a lot of good people have been emotional damaged over it. Many have been doxxed, their families, including children, put at risk and jobs lost. That is why many of us HAVE to be anonymous. Although that anonymity is not a guarantee by any means.

If you think I am over reacting a chilling comment by Zvan at the Friendly Atheist’s blog of ‘I see you’ is the sort of veiled threat which is all too common.

Deep down I feel the who political philosophy of many SJW’s is actually evil. I think it is evil as it traps the unwary, the damaged, the easily manipulated and the emotionally brittle into believing something which can have such terrible consequences on our ordinary lives and actual social justice. It is like religion, it can make good people do bad things.

Again, that may be overstating it but please, to everyone that posts here, you could be the next victim. To those of you reading yet standing back well, fine. But do not complain if they come knocking at your door.

87 JackSkeptic April 20, 2015 at 11:25 pm

@Gurdur

I think it has been established that Richard Weed (Dick Weed) is a troll.

88 JetLagg April 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

As JackSkeptic said, the parallels with religion here are striking. Specifically, think of religion from the virus of the mind perspective. It’s been pointed out how, viewed as a memetic lifeform, religion has it’s own immune system that seems almost intelligently designed to shut down conversation. Stick around a while and see the way terms like “sealioning” “tone-trolling” and “punching up” are used, the similarities are uncanny.

89 Shatterface April 21, 2015 at 1:14 am

JetLagg:

Stick around a while and see the way terms like “sealioning” “tone-trolling” and “punching up” are used, the similarities are uncanny.

Thought terminating cliches:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_Reform_and_the_Psychology_of_Totalism

90 Zenspace April 21, 2015 at 11:37 am

@Shatterface

That Wikipedia entry is a thorough reference list of practices used by FTB and associates to control the narrative. An excerpt:

“5: Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.

6: Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.

7: Doctrine over person. Members’ personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also.”

#5 above seems written for Myers specifically. It is worth reading the entire entry – very illuminating.

91 JetLagg April 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Consider how Miller immediately declared Nugent had responded to Carrier first because he “cares more about tone than women”, a laughable assertion even to someone like me, who knows the man only through this blog. But it allows Miller to ignore the content of Nugent’s arguments. They were inspired by misogyny, not true inquiry, and thus they are worthless. In this way Miller’s worldview is protected. If she had taken the time to give Michael’s words due consideration, she may have actually changed her mind, and the memetic virus won’t allow that.

92 Karmakin April 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm

@Nialler

“I’m not sure that Carrier quite has the hang of this equality lark at all.”

Not one bit. Here’s the thing that’s often missed, and it’s something that really bothers me. It’s not limited to the A/S sphere either. There are a lot of us that are strongly critical of that particular sub-culture (that’s often called “SJW”…I prefer Neo-Feminist or Hipster/Neo-Hipster) not because we oppose the goals of equality and diversity…but because we think that said Neo-Feminist ideology is complete and utter crap in terms of it’s ideas and concepts of reaching said goal. It’s empty calories.

Our criticism is not coming from the “right”, it’s coming from the “left”, in other words.

There’s a very real conflict between collectivist and individualistic gender theory going on here. (And no, there’s very little discussion or intellectualization of this, but it’s all bubbling under the surface) Neo-Feminism is a collectivist ideology that focuses on the “Blank Slate”, as combined with basically universal belief in social constructivism of gender roles, with the goal of changing said gender roles in a way to move the boundaries of acceptable traits into a relatively narrow frame. Individualistic Egalitarianism, on the other hand, is about believing that we all have unique combinations of traits at birth, that while we can be moved by society, a big part of us is “hard-wired”, and pushing too much against that hard-wiring is dangerous and damaging, and as such we as a society need to learn to accept and appreciate a wide variety of paths, goals and personalities and this makes for a healthy society. (Note that I’d also argue that there’s significant overlap between men and women so we need to get rid of gender stereotypes while still recognizing on-average differences)

That’s the general conflict that keeps on popping up. That’s what ALL of this is about..that’s what started the big schism. It all started with attacks on Individualist Egalitarianism.

93 Guestus Aurelius April 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm

@Karmakin, 92

Individualistic Egalitarianism, on the other hand, is about believing that we all have unique combinations of traits at birth, that while we can be moved by society, a big part of us is “hard-wired”, and pushing too much against that hard-wiring is dangerous and damaging, and as such we as a society need to learn to accept and appreciate a wide variety of paths, goals and personalities and this makes for a healthy society.

Although I think there’s more to it than that, I do agree with you.

Also, I like how you’ve worded this. It’s easy to fall prey to the naturalistic fallacy in such discussions, but you avoid that by focusing on the harm rather than the “hardwiring” itself.

94 Fredrik April 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm

@Karmakin

Bravo! Is there any book/blog/YTchannel you can recommend on Individualistic Egualitarianism?

95 Karmakin April 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Honestly I wish there was. Like I said, this is where I think the memespace is heading but it’s not really there yet, and there’s little intellectualization of it. It’s on the tip of everybodies tongue but nobody has quite given it the name yet. I suspect we’re going to see a lot more discussion of these things over the next 6-12 months and we’ll see things advance accordingly.

One of the better long-form writings on the subject is by the guy behind the Just-Smith Tumblr blog at http://www.wattpad.com/story/7068465-the-fourth-wave

As well, I really like Christina Hoff Sommer’s speech here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_t701RfOEM

@Guestus Yeah, I mean there are obviously some potentially innate traits that we as a society simply can’t just abide and have to change, or at least redirect to something less harmful. (For example someone with an urge to hurt other people) But the goal should be maximizing the amount of variance we have in our society (within reason), instead of minimizing it.

96 MosesZD April 21, 2015 at 2:29 pm

JetLagg April 20, 2015 at 6:34 pm
Mel@46
I’m kind of new to online atheism and I had no idea of all the history. Carrier & RSS, etc. Just wow.

Welcome to the crew. I predict your experience will be much like mine. You’ll wonder where all this hostility toward Carrier, et al, is coming from. Then, as years pass and example after example of their behavior piles up, you’ll come to see they really have brought it on themselves.

I remember that, even a year-or-so-ago, you were defending Carrier with quite a zeal. So much so that people were expressing their belief you might be a Carrier sock-puppet.

My how things have changed. And I mean it in a positive way. There’s something wrong with people who can’t change their minds in the face of the facts. I just wish more people would as it’d make the world a better place and social issues far easier to solve.

97 MosesZD April 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Richard Weed April 20, 2015 at 8:11 pm
The usual suspects from the slymepit are infesting the comments yet again. To name them:

Zenspace, Billie from Ockham, Jan Steen, Phil Giordana FCD, JackSkeptic, JetLagg, John C. Welch, Shatterface, et al.

Nugent would be well advised to disassociate himself from any connection with the pit and their online vendettas.

Ah, the Red Scare all over again…

On Feb. 9, 1950, that McCarthy — who had dubbed himself “Tailgunner Joe” for acts of World War II bravery he did not in fact commit — told a crowd of 275 at the Ohio County Republican Women’s Club that the U.S. State Department was “thoroughly infested with communists” and brandished papers he claimed were a list of 57 such subversives.

Only no such list existed and the red scare was all political hype. And the more things change, the more they stay the same, Tailgunner Dick.

98 Nialler April 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm

@Karmakin 92:

You’ve been using the postmodernism generator again.

99 Karmakin April 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Eh, I’d call it more Wonkery than Postmodern, but yes, I understand how it looks like a word salad.

100 john welch April 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

“Dick” weed @ 63

Yep, that’s about all I need to say on that.

101 john welch April 21, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Matt @ 74:

Ashley Miller describes herself as “… one of the leading young women in the secular movement, speaking regularly at schools and conferences across the country about feminism and communications ….”

I bet she describes herself that way. Doesn’t mean anyone else does.

102 Mel April 22, 2015 at 1:17 am

Myers and the BS Brigade have done a magnificent job of derailing the whole conversation. I wonder who remembers now how it even started?

Myers said Michael provides a haven for rapists. Myers said “the evidence” was the Slymepitters posting on Michael’s blog. Period. That’s it.

Not a word about [that other guy] or about anyone else. By letting Slymepitters post on his blog, Michael was providing a haven for rapists. That’s what Myers said. It’s all there for anyone to read.

The conversation after that involved the BS Brigade making its case that Myers is right! The Slymepitters are rapists and Michael should not be providing them a haven in his blog!

How long did that go on? Weeks? Months? Not once did Myers say “No, you misunderstood. I was talking about [unnamed person]” because, of course, he wasn’t.

Michael kept on him. Evidence your claim or take it back and apologize. Myers couldn’t do the former, and would never do the latter, so he went silent (except for the racist jabs, but the man can’t help himself).

When Michael wouldn’t back off, then it became about [that guy]. Myers and the BS Brigade and anyone else following the sequence of events know Myers blew it and got busted in a fib and this is a BS cover story. But hey, whatever works. It got everyone talking about that other guy, instead of Myers’ dishonesty.

I hope Michael gets the derail back on track. The subject of the other guy is a worthy subject, but it’s not this one. Just my opinion.

103 Shatterface April 22, 2015 at 1:47 am

Are they still tossing the word ‘neocon’ around or has that burnt itself out already?

104 Richard "The King" Sanderson April 22, 2015 at 4:15 am

Shatterface, I know that “neocon” is a favourite catch-all term for exposed fraud CJ Werleman. A lot of his rhetoric mirrors that of the Horde, in that those pesky New Atheists are the source of ALL evil, or something.

105 Richard "The King" Sanderson April 22, 2015 at 4:18 am

Look up The Rational Response Squad and Carrier’s association with it at some stage.

Ahem. I think we all know what attracted skirt chaser Richard Carrier to the RSS!!!

106 Phil Giordana FCD April 22, 2015 at 6:06 am

Mel @102:

“Michael kept on him. Evidence your claim or take it back and apologize. Myers couldn’t do the former, and would never do the latter, so he went silent (except for the racist jabs, but the man can’t help himself).”

It was a point of discussion I had with Michael that it seems Myers never ever recognized a mistake or apologized to anyone (about a mistake or other). I think that may be one of the most infuriating sides of the character, and is totally opposite to reason, critical thinking and skepticism.

If he ever has recognized a mistake or apologized, I’d sure like to have a link.

107 Mel April 22, 2015 at 7:12 am

If he ever has recognized a mistake or apologized

That’s awfully broad. He could point to his “mistake” of not being nastier about Robin Williams’ death.

108 Phil Giordana FCD April 22, 2015 at 7:15 am

Mel @107

Ok, my bad, point taken.

109 Carrie April 22, 2015 at 10:30 am

Mel,

Myers and the BS Brigade have done a magnificent job of derailing the whole conversation. I wonder who remembers now how it even started?

Actually, Noelplum99 has done a rather good video which cuts to the heart of how Michael’s problems with PZ’s hateful rhetoric started.

_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beY-inhk4fQ

I could of course be wrong but it seems to me that the final straw that made AI decide to distance itself from PZ was his nasty swipe at a brave black, ex-muslim woman who speaks out for oppressed people.

110 Phil Giordana FCD April 22, 2015 at 10:55 am

Noel Plum’s video is good. And I say that as someone who doesn’t agree with a lot of what he usually says.

111 Carrie April 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm

I tend to agree with a lot of what NoelPlum says, although not everything. In this case I think he has it spot-on. I particularly liked his description of Hemant as being “teflon” and nice all through :-) It is a good and clear introduction to what has caused this latest rift, which clearly is NOT, as PZ, Ashley M, et al would like to have it, all to do with he-who-shall-not-be-named.

To people who say that “big players” in the A/S community are staying noticeably silent, I have to say that it seems to me that AI and Atheist NI are themselves “big players”. They do real work in meatspace, just not in America. America is not the centre of everything and, although they have a serious problem with religious bigots, they do not appear to have it as bad as Ireland does.

112 Shatterface April 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Noel Plum’s not bad but he misses the whole ‘demented fuckwit ‘ and ‘Irish wanker’ exchange.

It’s like Myers stopped Twatting with the ‘haven for rapists’ Twat.

113 noelplum99 April 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm

The insinuation that you prioritised your response to Carrier with regard to what he has between his legs is bizarre, or at least would be if it were not clearly a bare-faced mud sling.
The claim is made. The point is scored. A little of the mud inevitably remains. That, as you demonstrate, the claim is vacuous, is besides the point. The claim has served its purpose.
I admire that you are playing with such a straight bat Michael but, whatever game it is they are playing, cricket it is not.

114 Phil Giordana FCD April 23, 2015 at 11:20 pm

^ Eh!

115 Michael Kingsford Gray April 24, 2015 at 9:24 am

Phil Giordana FCD:

Eh??

116 Glen Davidson April 24, 2015 at 11:31 pm

Eh+

117 Phil Giordana FCD April 25, 2015 at 6:57 am

MKG:

Eheh!

118 Carrie April 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Yes, I agree with Noelplum99, although it may be that Ashley’s little tantrum (at not having a second reply before Michael dealt with Carrier’s smear) was simply because she has time on her hands and doesn’t understand how busy Michael is. It is obvious to most of us that it was much quicker for Michael to deal with Carrier’s ridiculous, poorly researched comments, plus they had a higher priority since they were new and not yet part of the SJW “truths”. Unfortunately for Michael, Carrier is no more likely to remove or apologise for his post than PZ. I don’t really think that Ashley will re-think her stance either, despite evidence that AI’s split with PZ is not all about MS, but stranger things have happened.

By the way, just a note to say that I have recently been looking at archives of the “grenade” post and I want everyone to be very clear that I am NOT Carrie Poppy nor would I have done what she did with that anonymous email.

119 JetLagg April 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I very much doubt anyone here would have jumped to that conclusion, Carrie :p

120 JetLagg April 25, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I’ll leave this little gem of a misinformed comment here. Carrier’s new comment policy ensures we don’t be able to get any kind of good exchange going there. With any luck though Lady Mondegreen will show up to defend her position.

Lady Mondegreen wrote:
Nugent’s defenders here are busy challenging Richard Carrier’s description of AI as Nugent’s “fiefdom.” They want us to know that AI is more than that, and that it does important work.

Sounds like deflection to me. With a great big dollop of Missing the Point.

Seriously, the OP is not about the structural organization of Atheist Ireland. It is not a criticism of AI’s volunteers, or of AI’s work.

It’s a criticism of Michael Nugent.

Specifically, it’s a criticism of the absurd obsession Nugent has with PZ Myers, who has criticized Nugent for hosting the Slymepit on his blog’s comment threads and for defending Michael Shermer after PZ allowed one of Shermer’s accusers to tell her story on his blog.

Frankly, nobody much cares about organizations’ internal structure. And if AI’s supporters are truly concerned about how their organization is perceived, they have a much bigger problem than being possibly mischaracterized as a fiefdom.

Face it: Atheist Ireland is now known as the organization run by the guy who can’t shut up about PZ Myers. The guy who tweeted at Myers daily for months. The guy who has taken it upon himself to police the tone of the atheist movement. The guy who has written over 30 blog posts and spent gawd only knows how many hundreds of thousands of words chiding an American blogger who has nothing to do with him, wants nothing to do with him, and has mostly ignored him.

There’s a whole lot to comment on there, but I just want to point out she gets the heart of the whole matter wrong from the get go, repeating what I’m sure has become the running FTB/Skepchick narrative by now, that this started by Michael defending Voldemort and Myers simply criticized him for it.

It’s grossly inaccurate to say Michael defended Voldemort.

It’s grossly inaccurate to say Myers’ interaction with Michael was mere criticism.

It’s grossly inaccurate to say Myers’ stated reason for said “criticism” was that Michael defended Voldemort.

121 Carrie April 25, 2015 at 4:00 pm

heh thanks, JetLagg — I got a bit creeped-out there for a moment :-)

122 JackSkeptic April 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

@ M Nugent

Has Ashley Miller responded to you yet or does instant response only go one way? If they can find an excuse to attack they will do it, everytime. Addressing you particular concerns and points you make is not on their agenda. Answer are pre-programmed and set to a ridged universal belief system and can’t be changed.

There will one day be a time, I predict, when you cease to always take them seriously and start laughing at them sometimes as trying to communicate effectively with them get nowhere very fast. The Slympit got to that point some time ago.

123 Jan Steen April 25, 2015 at 8:12 pm

What a charming bunch the commenters at Myers’s outfit are!

whirlwitch

24 April 2015 at 2:36 am

*Reads over Storifys and comment thread*

In conclusion, Michael Nugent can go fuck a power socket.

No word of protest. No banning by the mighty Peezus. “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

124 Jan Steen April 25, 2015 at 8:38 pm
125 Jan Steen April 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm

To clarify, “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept” is a popular saying among the SJWs, because it is a such a nicely back-handed way to tar someone with guilt by association while sounding like a paragon of morality yourself. They will never apply it to themselves, for obvious reasons.

126 Jan Steen April 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

@Aratina Cage,

Maybe you should take this up with Pharyngulanha Nick Gotts, who added this comment after I posted my #126:

Nick Gotts

26 April 2015 at 3:43 am

Whirlwitch@49,

I agree Nugent is a hypocritical fellow-traveller of abusers and a victim-silencing rape apologist, but please avoid anything that could look like an invitation to self-harm. PZ and the Horde (has no-one taken this excellent band-name?) reached a near-consensus some years ago to discourage such rhetoric, whoever the target. That’s why Slymers in search of “I’m rubber, you’re glue.” material have to go so far back. Thanks.

You see, PZ and his Flock have seen The Light and will no longer invite the targets of their ire to inflict self-harm*, whether it is by inserting rotting porcupines or by sodomizing a power socket. Now they just accuse their opponents of being “hypocritical fellow-travellers of abusers” or rape apologists. Yeah, that’s a substantial improvement. It is much more harmful to the recipient, after all.

* Although I seem to remember something about PZ obliquely suggesting fairly recently that someone should apply a ball-peen hammer to their skull. I must be suffering from hallucinations.

127 Aheydis Vaakenjab April 27, 2015 at 8:02 pm

I had some high hopes for Ashley F. Miller (well, the bar is pretty low for FtB I must admit). Ashley seemed to invite conversation on her blog and seemed interested in discussion, and wasn’t wielding a Pharyngulhammer in the comments. A cynical view would have said that her clickbait-titled article mentioning a [named person] was there to simply draw attention to a lesser known FtB blogger for clicks. However, I won’t stoop to that level.

What’s most amusing about the FtB troop is the projection of their deepest insecurities on to others. Ashley’s open letter goes right for the gender card as if it were a triumphant victory for her, uncovering some sort of latent misogyny with MN, and spattering her open letter with the aroma of victimhood.

“You choose instead to respond to a blog post written by a man relying heavily on the posts written by those women…” (Miller)

There it is. In all its glory. The beginnings of a false narrative projected on to Nugent without one shred of evidence. Miller carries on to say “Michael Nugent cares more about tone than he does about women”. I’m certainly glad that those at FtB (including the likes of Carrier) can diagnose people’s mental states over the Internet.

While Michael Nugent is fighting for the rights of the downtrodden and those persecuted by the religious in Ireland, Ashley can now take (as of today) 7 days and counting to respond to Michael publicly. Perhaps Ashley has other priorities to tend to. I would hate for her lack of public response to be a case of her prioritizing doing things for women than responding to a man.

128 Mel April 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Has Ashley’s FTB colleague Richard Carrier taken all of Ashling O’Brien’s posts out of moderation yet? Has he responded to her? Has he responded to men instead?

I wonder if Ashley hasn’t replied to Michael because she’s too busy working on an Open Letter To Richard Carrier.

129 Matt April 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm

The PZ Myers crowd have well and truly burned their bridges in the atheist / skeptic movement. Ignore them Michael.

130 Jan Steen April 28, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Mel asked:

Has Ashley’s FTB colleague Richard Carrier taken all of Ashling O’Brien’s posts out of moderation yet? Has he responded to her?

Yes and yes. Here’s Ashlings comment:

Ashling O’Brien says

April 19, 2015 at 2:35 am

Hi Richard,

I wonder could you comment on the points raised by myself, Derek, Peter F. and Peter H. about inaccuracies and misinformation you have written here about Atheist Ireland. Will you accept that what you have written here with regards to Atheist Ireland is wrong now we have provided you with accurate information and will you apologise to the many members and activists whose efforts you have dismissed for writing these untruths.

Thank you

And the extremely revealing reply by Dr. Carrier PhD:

Richard Carrier says

April 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

I’m letting people decide for themselves. They have my thoughts. They have your data. That’s sufficient.

I call this reply revealing because it once again shows that Carrier lacks even the most basic intellectual integrity. And that calls himself an “independent scholar”. Don’t make me laugh.

131 Mel April 29, 2015 at 1:20 am

I thought Ashling wrote a couple of replies and Carrier was still concealing the second, likely because the “data” conflicts with his “thoughts.”

But yeah, that is very revealing. When anyone with any intellectual capacity has “data” and “thoughts” to choose from, there’s really no decision to be made. But then we are talking about FTB, the Fox News of Atheism, where intellectual integrity will get you a pink slip.

132 JetLagg April 29, 2015 at 1:34 am

Carrier has posted the following on Avoiding drama = Avoiding Truth. He says these links are “Essential reading on what the Slymepit is and its relevance to establishing my claims about what Nugent has really done here”.

I’ve skimmed through the two storifies, and think they could almost stand without comment. I’ll just point out that the first involves Carrier bringing up Nugent’s position on a matter entirely separate from the one that caused Nugent to harp on Myers for so long (Voldermort, if you wonder, and Carrier, of course, trying to conflate the two), and the second amounts to Carrier agreeing humorous photoshops done by the pit are more offensive than telling someone to “fuck themselves with a rusty chainsaw”.

https://storify.com/Jadehawk/some-evidence-for-secular-woman-s-stance-of-atheis

https://storify.com/Jadehawk/secular-woman-atheist-ireland-the-actual-fucking-e

133 JackSkeptic April 29, 2015 at 6:21 am

Carrier must think people are really stupid. That’s what comes from living in an echo chamber where ideas are never challenged. The ability to follow basic reason and logic atrophies.

The Voldemort issue has little to do with Nugent’s issues with Myers. Nice try but fail on that one.

The Slympit has no association at all with Nugent. Anyone who follows this blogs posting rules can post here including those from the Slympit. That in no way suggests any association or approval.

Carrier, you can post here too, why don’t you. What are you scared of? That goes for all the rest of you self proclaimed righteous brave warriors for justice. Can’t you handle a site outside your control?

Why should Nugent be blamed for people’s cowardice? How is he responsible for that?

Anyway you get 0/10. Guilt by association. Logic 101. Try again and please do better next time. Oh, when are you going to apologise for smearing women which in your book is a cardinal sin worthy or exclusion and social punishment? Are you going to recuse yourself from the AS community now? That would be consistent with your statements on this. Or is it OK if you do it? I won’t mention the men as you don’t care about them do you, what with you believing in equality and such.

Really, if it did not upset so many people the whole situation would be laughable. Which is exactly what the Slympit does. It laughs at the pompous, the smearers, the doxxers and the self righteous. It stops some of us going mad when faced with such hypocrisy and hate.

134 noelplum99 April 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

So I read Carriers comment

I’m letting people decide for themselves. They have my thoughts. They have your data. That’s sufficient.

Very interesting.

So this was in response to being asked if he would accept his inaccuracy and apologise.
As a response it is one I have used myself, on occasion. Those occasions are usually to terminate a long and largely fruitless exchange where both positions have been laid out, circles have been gone round and round, and it is absolutely clear that things are going nowhere
I think it is intrinisic in that response that you are holding resolutely to your stated position: in this case it follows necessarily from that that he regards what Ashling et al had to say as bullshit.
There was a time in the not too distant past, of course, when you could simply accuse people of fabricating and/or lying and that was deemed acceptable. However, Carrier’s brigade have played the “denying someone their lived experience” card so very many times in response to such scepticism that I think it is not surprising why he is not prepared to outright state that he doesn’t believe their claims regarding their involvement at AI (and he is orders of magnitude to full of his own self importance to admit that he may have overstated his case, and he retracts his statement).
So there it is. A non-answer answer.

What i would ask. Plead. Is that everyone recalls this and rams it right back down Carrier’s throat if they ever get a chance.
Never ever apologise to Richard Carrier. If you do him wrong, misrepresent the chap, and he demonstrates that you are in error, just tell him that you will let the people decide for themselves. He deserves no less.

135 noelplum99 April 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm

JackSkeptic @133

I have no involvement whatsoever with the Slymepit but having perused the forum on a number of occasions i find what I see there largely on a par with the old British satirical programme “Spitting Image”.
Clearly some of the humour is crude and personal but if that is what classes as ‘hate’ nowadays then the world has become a worser place the last two decades – it has lost the ability to laugh at itself.
That said, I await for the evidence that Atheist Ireland has actually associated itself with the Slymepit in the first place. I have browsed the speaking lists for the events they have held over the last few years and I didn’t recognise any of the names as posters on that forum.
So it appears, as things stand, that both PZ Myers AND the Slymepitters are able to leave comments on M Nugent’s blog and NEITHER of them are likely to be receiving free plane tickets and hosted as speakers at any Atheist Ireland events.
I really admire Myers goons attempted ‘tu quoque’ defence, but it isn’t even accurate enough to be simply fallacious. In the famous words of Pauli, it is “Not even wrong”

136 JackSkeptic April 30, 2015 at 3:02 am

@noelplum99 (135)

The fact you even looked at the Slympit without intent to falsify what you saw means you have committed Original Sin and are therefore deemed a Slympiter De Facto. Not only you but your associates, your neighbour, your neighbours cat and that nice guy you met at the massage palour called Jim.

For that you must be socially punished, smeared, dismissed, derided and treated as an outsider who must be shunned. It is the only way to keep purity. The very idea that anyone should address your criticisms openly and honestly is ridiculous. Keeping the veil of self righteousness and entitlement takes effort and important thinky people have no time for such nonsense.

137 Carrie April 30, 2015 at 10:16 am

@Noelplum 135

i find what I see there largely on a par with the old British satirical programme “Spitting Image”.

That is a perfect analogy! And it explains why I have no problem with the place and actually quite enjoy reading it. Nobody takes themselves too seriously, even when faced with a life-threatening problem of their own. In such cases, something better than sympathy is provided by the others; they demonstrate that they care about the situation but in a way that can make the sufferer smile.

One difference between that and FtB is that the FtB baboons seem unable to laugh at themselves properly.

I really admire Myers goons attempted ‘tu quoque’ defence, but it isn’t even accurate enough to be simply fallacious. In the famous words of Pauli, it is “Not even wrong”

YES it is so clear that AI has every need to distance itself from the act of paying Myers to spread his hate-filled messages at their venues, and no need at all to do so regarding people that it never actually invites.

And I agree with your 134 comment. tl;dr it is clear that he will not admit that he is at any fault at all even when presented with the evidence. He deserves no better consideration from others.

138 Jan Steen April 30, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Greta Christina, author of rape porn and much admired by PZ Myers, has recently characterized the Slymepit as follows:

There’s this online forum, the Slymepit. (No, I’m not linking to them — you can find them yourselves if you like.) They have routinely, persistently, doggedly, for years, engaged in a campaign of hateful online harassment against feminists and social justice activists in the atheist and skeptic communities.

This campaign includes, but is not limited to: racist slurs and imagery, misogynist slurs and imagery, homophobic slurs and imagery, transphobic slurs and imagery, the deliberate misgendering of trans people, anti-Semitism, polyamory-shaming, fat-shaming, mental-illness-shaming, sexually-transmitted-disease shaming, baseless accusations of their targets as having sexually transmitted diseases, other baseless accusations verging on libel (if not actually veering into it), the creation of degrading Photoshopped images of their targets, jokes about their targets being raped, cheerful speculation about their targets’ ugly and painful deaths, the mocking of PTSD, the deliberate triggering of PTSD, even threats of physical violence.

To put this in perspective, one of the regulars on the ‘Pit (I can’t seem to remember his name) likes to make short videos based on clips from the film Downfall. The subtitles are made-up things said by FTBers,who are supposedly the characters in the film. This is all harmless and pretty funny stuff (if you’re on the right side of history). So there was this scene where one of the characters (supposedly Ashley Miller) is executed; the subtitles make it seem as if this was done to score victim points in a contest (if I remember correctly).

Now you can debate whether this is in good taste or not. What you cannot do is to claim that this was a death threat against Ashley Miller, as several FTBers have done. That is a completely ridiculous accusation.

Well, every serious-looking item on Christina’s list is of the same kind.

As for “harassment”, I would say that mocking internet slacktivists who routinely call their opponents misogynists and rape apologists is entirely deserved, and does not constitute harassment. Nobody is forced to read the Slymepit.

It is also not true that social justice activism is derided there. The work of people like Michael Nugent, who with his organization Atheist Ireland works to improve the rights of women in Ireland and to reduce the influence of the Church, is applauded. What we like to make fun of are Social Justice Warriors, folk like Greta Christina, PZ Myers and Richard Carrier: self-righteous hypocrites who constantly find fault with other people while displaying the most disgusting, unethical behaviour themselves.

Me writing this is already considered harassment by these people, believe it or not.

139 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 6:59 am

Noel:

What i would ask. Plead. Is that everyone recalls this and rams it right back down Carrier’s throat if they ever get a chance.
Never ever apologise to Richard Carrier. If you do him wrong, misrepresent the chap, and he demonstrates that you are in error, just tell him that you will let the people decide for themselves. He deserves no less.

I just copy/pasted his reply on his “poly” FB post (without attribution). We’ll see how it goes with his fans…

140 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 6:59 am

Arrrgh!!! What are the proper codes for quoting on this system?

141 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 7:03 am

“So it appears, as things stand, that both PZ Myers AND the Slymepitters are able to leave comments on M Nugent’s blog and NEITHER of them are likely to be receiving free plane tickets and hosted as speakers at any Atheist Ireland events.”

Michael invited me to see “I, Keano”. Does that count? Mind you, I still had to pay for my plane tickets, hotel, food and Guinness. And his orange juice!

142 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 7:08 am

Jan @138:

“It is also not true that social justice activism is derided there. The work of people like Michael Nugent, who with his organization Atheist Ireland works to improve the rights of women in Ireland and to reduce the influence of the Church, is applauded. What we like to make fun of are Social Justice Warriors, folk like Greta Christina, PZ Myers and Richard Carrier: self-righteous hypocrites who constantly find fault with other people while displaying the most disgusting, unethical behaviour themselves.”

THIS! A thousand times this!

143 Carrie May 1, 2015 at 8:24 am

Phil, the quoting thing is done by using the angled bracket (<) and then the word blockquote and then the other angled bracket. the end of the quote needs the same but with backslash (/) before blockquote. Hope that made sense. If I have that right the following should appear properly, if I've made an arse of it, oh well.

Jan @138:

“It is also not true that social justice activism is derided there. The work of people like Michael Nugent, who with his organization Atheist Ireland works to improve the rights of women in Ireland and to reduce the influence of the Church, is applauded. What we like to make fun of are Social Justice Warriors, folk like Greta Christina, PZ Myers and Richard Carrier: self-righteous hypocrites who constantly find fault with other people while displaying the most disgusting, unethical behaviour themselves.”

THIS! A thousand times this!

Yes yes YES! That is also what I see when I read the ‘Pit, along with a certain caring warmth which is difficult to illustrate with isolated quotes, and of course the “Spitting Image” or at times a “Charlie Hebdo” style of humour.

And yes, tl;dr, Michael and AI and their ilk are the true social justice advocates.

144 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

Oh, so “blockquote” it is. I just used “quote”. Let me try:

And yes, tl;dr, Michael and AI and their ilk are the true social justice advocates.

If it has indeed worked, I am 100% behind that statement.

145 Phil Giordana FCD May 1, 2015 at 9:10 am

\o/

146 Carrie May 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

\o/

^^ And I am 100% behind that statement :)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: